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Episode 100 – Dominique | My Body. My Story PODCAST| 45 Over 45 chapter

In this episode, you will learn 10 FACTS about Dominique, her life in Australia, and how the 2008 financial crisis and losing everything she had taught her resilience. We also discuss aging and body image issues.


You can READ the interview transcript HERE 



10 Facts About Dominique

(at the time of the project)


1. 57 years old.

2. Dominique is from Belgium and her first language is French.

3. Dominique moved to Australia when she was in her 20s after backpacking around the world for about 12 months. She fell in love with Sydney straightaway. So Australia became her home almost 30 years ago.

4. Dominique lived in Drummoyne initially and then she’s moved 14 times in the last 20 years.

5. Dominique has two kids. Laura 25, and Sebastian 23.

6. Dominique met her husband 26 years ago in Sydney, but he's from Belgium as well.

7. Together they opened three Belgian restaurant in Sydney that were very popular.

8. In 2008, during the financial crisis, they lost everything they had built in 20 years – three restaurants, a house, and money - and had to start from scratch in 2012.

9. All these events taught Dominique to be resilient. And that's when she connected with spirituality. She did lots of meditation, yoga, and retreats. That's when she really got to know herself and made her strong. It taught her the real values of life.

10. After leaving her husband a month ago, Dominique is starting from scratch at 57 and thinks it's exciting.






Hi, you're listening to the My Body, My Story podcast.

I'd like to age gracefully. Like I see some of these, you know, all these full of wrinkles for the strong inside and the inside beauty comes out, you know, and that's how I'd like to be.

This is the 45 over 45 chapter where we celebrate Rule Breakers and role models, the women who inspire us to live life our way and to show their sensuality beauty, soul, and true essence. Here we talk about what it's like to be 45 Plus, adjusting to the changes that come with time, and we listened to the stories about participants. If you have an interesting story, we'd love for you to participate. You can email us at That's Aleksandra spelled with a K S. Or visit our website

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the My Body My Story project and today with us Dominique in the studio. And while Nicole is doing her makeup, I'll be asking her a few questions. Hello, Dominique, welcome to the studio. Welcome to the project. And let's start and tell us 10 facts about yourself.

Hi, so I am 57 and I'm from Belgium, French speaking, as you can tell, so I moved to Australia when I was in my 20s after backpacking around the world for about 12 months. And I basically fell in love with Sydney straightaway and I wanted to live there. So a year later, I moved to Sydney, I was lucky I was in it and it was easy to get the permanent residency when I moved. So I got a job straightaway and I felt home. So basically, Australia became my home almost 30 years ago.

So where did you move to which city?


I moved to Sydney. And I was in Drummoyne initially and then I've moved 14 times. Oh my in the last 20 years.

Wow. Okay, in 20 years, it's still fine. Yeah, it's still a lot almost every year.


Oh, well, yes. years. You know, when you rent you have to. Usually they kick you out after a year or I just wanted to live somewhere else.


And I know you mentioned earlier you lived in Queensland.

Well, I moved to Queensland just three years ago, after 25 years in Sydney, I wanted a bit more nature and quietness and affordability. So I moved to Queensland with my husband and we also kicked the kids out of the house. And so we're like, let's just get an apartment in Queensland and by the beach. And we did.

How many kids do you have?

So I have two kids. Laura 25, Sebastian 23. And Laura's in Europe at the moment doing ski season and you know, working there and Sebastian finishing his university in Newcastle, so they're everywhere.

So but now we are doing it in Sydney. Have you moved back to Sydney?


Yes, yes. I love Sydney. It's, it's, it's a good city.

Better than Queensland?


No, no, I love Queensland. I love Queensland. I will go back there eventually. But for now, I'm hoping to have a few more years in Sydney and meet new people. No, no, this is like the third stage of my life. And I'm excited to start it all alone. And start from scratch. Basically, you know, I left my husband a month ago, packed the car drove to Sydney, staying with a friend so I have no more husband no has no job. I left my job as well.

So it's like completely starting from the scratch


from scratch at 57 I think it's exciting.

it's very brave.


Yes, yes.

But no regrets.


Nope. No regrets, I'm actually more excited than regretful so

but you mentioned that you start a new job very soon. Are you still in IT or you're doing something else?

I know I'm, I'm still in IT consulting. So I wanted to do I've actually studied to do life coaching. And I want to start my own business at some stage but because I've left my husband I need to still make a bit more money initially to settle down in some way. So I'll go back to IT for a few years and then I'll try and slowly move to something more you know that I love more which is more you know, coaching people training all that aspect of things that I really have to you've got you've got diploma with the for the coaching and they just waiting for this time to start 

Okay. Any more facts about yourself?


Oh, well, yes. I mean, I've so I met my husband 26 years ago in Sydney, but he's from Belgium as well. So that was quite funny. Yeah. And he together we open to Belgium V Cafe, they were very popular Belgian restaurant in Sydney, they were three of them at some stage. And it went really well, you know, we had money and build a new house and all this and then the financial crisis happened, you know, in 2008. Something Yeah. And then there was a big scam was the bank, we were within the suddenly asked to reevaluate the pubs and of course, after the GFC, or the value went down, and so basically, they asked us, oh, you have to give us back, you know, a million dollar next week. Oh, which we couldn't do. So, to cut the long story short, we lost the whole the three restaurant, my husband lost his job. And so we had to go bankrupt both of us, which means we lost everything we had built in 20 years, you know, like, the restaurant, the everything, the house, the everything, we had to move the kids from, you know, private school, public school. So we basically had to start from scratch in 2012. From with zero money, basically. And that's where I'm grateful that I always kept my job. And I never stopped working, because it's thanks to that, did I we could survive. And also, it really taught me to be resilient. And that's when I connected with, you know, spirituality, I did lots of meditation, yoga, into retreats. And I, that's when I really got to know myself. And I think it made me strong. You know, this, this is probably the worst time of my life when we lost everything. And it's, but it's been life changing. So, in hindsight, I'm really glad it happened.

So now it's easy for you to start all over again.


Exactly. So no, it's not the first time. It taught me the real values of life, you know that I'm not materialistic at all anymore. It's all about, you know, love, friendship, joy, kindness, all the things and yeah, isn't

it funny that we get to know ourselves? Or get into our spiritual side? Only after we lose something material?


Yes. Or yeah, it's always either you get a disease or you get a financial problem, or you get cancer. That's usually what bring people to realise, like a wake up call life is about right. Yeah.

So if we move to the ageing body image questions, what does ageing means to you at the moment?

Ageing means it's about wisdom. For me, it is when you know, I really, it's about knowing who you are, and owning it. You know, they just don't for me ageing means I'm not taking bullshit anymore. I don't want to be with negative people. I'm more. You know, I just want to be myself. That's what ageing means to me. Now. I'm alive. Now. You know, I'm alive. I don't want to please everyone. I just want to be me and do what I want to do. Yeah.

But if you can go back to any age, or what it would be? Why, and what advice would you give yourself at this age?

Yeah, so I would definitely go back to my childhood. I had the best childhood and I felt, you know, when I was a child, I was super confident, I felt free, loved and loving, and, you know, in in wonder of the world. And so I really missed that time. My parents were teachers. So we would travel every school holiday and go to a different country in Europe. And it was wonderful. It was life was just a big adventure, you know? So that's the time I would go back to


Do you have brother?




She lives here? 


No, she's in Belgium, in Belgium.


Do you go back there?


Yeah, every four years or something like that, but I was trained as home.


So if your body could talk, what do you think it would tell you or ask you?

Well, if it would tell me to accept the wrinkles and the saggy skin and the changes in in it because they are just, you today tell my stories, to be cliche, but it's true. And to keep it going especially so I can enjoy it when I'm 90. You don't want to be that eight year old doing gymnastics and travelling. And yeah, I want to keep doing my yoga till I'm 90. And I don't want to have to stop moving. So I need to look after my body but also accept the changes and go slower as well.

Yeah. So you think that with age, our body changes, and we have to adjust to different pace of life.

We have to go slower, we have to eat better drink less, you know, all that stuff is important. I can't party as long as they used to, that's for sure. No, yeah.

Well, this this time, I think even in the 30s already, you start feeling that you can. So what do you think are the main causes of body image issues?

Are the social media and these female magazine who just focus on youth and beauty in like physical beauty? Right, there's not enough emphasis on spiritual beauty, internal beauty, kindness, you know, all the other beauties in the world. It's, it's very sad. Like I've seen it was my daughter, she's suffered so much, you know, from the social media bullying and the fact they can't escape it. It's always they on their phone, I find it very sad. I see all the young girls and they all they all suffering from it.


So when you were growing up, did you feel this pressure as well from media? Or it was…


No, not at all? Not at all. I was just me. And you know, there was always a bit of TV ads or at the time, yeah, but it was not, not at all the

it didn't affect you, as bad as now generation are affected by social media.




So what do you think that the social media just triggers something, but the problem is within and they just pull this trigger? Or you think they create the problem?


I think it's the, the social media and the image that they see all the time, you know, our brain is influenced by what you see all the time. So you want to look like that? And you just focus on look and not? How you feel within?

Yeah. How do you think it can affect a relationship, this negative body image of yourself?

Yeah, it, it really affects relationship? Because how can you know, love someone properly, if you don't love yourself? How can you be vulnerable, you know, when you make love, and you are hiding yourself or thinking, Oh, he is gonna see my butt? You know, things like that. You can't, you can't just be in the moment, right? So it's important to accept how you are and just go for it and be in the moment. But if you can't, you basically not emotionally connecting with your partner. And also it makes you jealous, insecure, controlling, which also can be very damaging to a relationship like I've seen it myself, I had a very jealous husband, because he was insecure. And it just drove me nuts. You know? So yes. Even for men, you know, being insecure is it's not the right thing to be so,

but how do you overcome these body related insecurities when they come up? And has it changed with age?


Yes, I mean, I've, I've focused on my good parts, right? Like, I don't like my leg, for example. And then I focus on I like my, you know, my, my torso, my back my shoulders. So, I wear clothes that highlight my good parts. And I tried to forget about the others that I don't like so much. But then I think at the end, it's about joy. If you feel joyful, if you feel happy, if you have a purpose in life, you don't have time to think about how you're looking your body issues or whatever, you know what I mean? So, but I think with age, you have become most more secure have become more self-confident. And yeah, so I think it's at least when you grow older, you become wiser, hopefully, I mean, some women they do cosmetic surgery and all these things because they don't want to see them themselves ageing, but I'm gonna try not to like gummy No, sometimes I'm like, Oh, these wrinkles, you know, they look terrible or my skin is saggy. And that's not fun to look at, but you can never fix it. Anyway, so you're going to have to age at some stage so we might as well embrace it.

Yeah. So you're, you think that you probably go towards the embracing.

I'd like to age gracefully. Like I see some of these you know, all day these full of wrinkles, but the strong insight and the insight beauty comes out, you know, I'd like to be one To be these women with Botox everywhere, and that looks like they don't look happy and that their strengths don't come out. Yeah,

That's true. So, my last question is, do you have any favourite saying or quote about being a woman?


Yes, I found a quote from Beyonce actually, that said, the most alluring trait that a woman can have is confidence. And I totally agree with that. I think if you're confident people are attracted by you, and you don't need to be pretty, you just need to be confident.

Excellent. Thank you, Dominique, thank you very much for sharing your thoughts. Thank you.

Thank you for the opportunity.

I hope you will enjoy the rest of the day and your photo shoot.

I will. Looking forward to it.


Great, thank you.

If you have an interesting story, we'd love for you to participate. You can email us at That's Aleksandra spelled with a K S. Or visit our website







This is the 45 over 45 chapter of MY BODY MY STORY podcast, where we celebrate rule breakers and role models - the women who inspire us to live life our way and to show their SENSUALITY,  BEAUTY, SOUL, and TRUE ESSENCE.


For more information about the project visit:


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