I was born in Canberra but grew up in Western Sydney, just my dad and I, since I was 18 months old. My dad was always working out and was extremely active, I probably wasn’t the most sportiest of kids, never got into team sport and would much rather crafting up a storm but I loved to dance. It never was on my agenda as a career path and so as my work hours in retail increased; my dance opportunities were fewer and further between.
I have never had the best relationship with food, whether it was being told to finish my plate as a child or eating up my children’s leftovers, serving up a banquet to the ones I love or self-medicating with pecan danish when hubby was away on business trips. It all started to show in the shape of my body.
The busyness of having two part-time step kids and our four, meant that my health as a priority slipped down the ladder, but now I realise that keeping myself healthy is not only beneficial for me but also for the ones I love. At 103kgs, I rode the “get fit” roller coaster many times and didn’t realise at the time that it was not fun or good for me mentally so I didn’t stick to it.
My family and I have moved to the Noosa Hinterland in Queensland and now that my babies are growing up and need me in a different way. I made the decision to reclaim my body; I need to have dancing back in my life. I have missed the freedom and joy that loud music and hip shaking offers. Dance schools were a little too serious for my liking and the locations were a bit further than I wanted to go. I used to do Zumba classes in a past life and always had a smile on my face, after being re-introduced to Zumba through a friend’s DVD; I decided to inquire about training to be an instructor. I now have completed my Zumba Basic, Zumba Gold and Zumba Kids Training; which has lead me to also completing my Strong Nation Instructor certificate.
Recently my alter ego has joined the family, The Contenderella persona was born from the idea of a goal I am aiming towards. I am working towards being in body building competitions, being able to weight train and then wear high heels and a bedazzled bikini on stage seems the greatest push out of my comfort zone that I could think of. I want Contenderella to represent to beauty of both the strength of women and femininity of women. Being able to push your body to the limits but appreciate a nice smelly body lotion to smother it in.
After spending many years in the stay-at-home mum bubble, it has taken a lot to build my confidence back up. I now have to accept that at 39 years of age, the skin doesn’t spring back like it used to and there are a few my “smile lines” generally all over my body. But I made the decision 12 months ago to make a change, I put complete faith into my dear husband and asked him to write me a program and be my trainer. With his amazing support, constant love and him not take advantage of me saying “Hubby, I will do what ever you tell me to do!” I focused on doing something for me. I now weight train 6 days a week, eat well and still enjoy life’s little indulgences, because I no longer associate emotions like guilt or shame to food. I choose what is good for my body and savour every morsel. I am passionate about continuing to learn; exploring what my amazing body can do; also appreciating the transformation that happens to my mind, body and soul along the way.