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Episode 103 – Anna | My Body. My Story PODCAST| 45 Over 45 chapter

In this episode, you will learn 10 FACTS about Anna, what age she would like to go back to and what advice she would give herself at that age! We also talk about the main causes of body image issues, how they come up and how she overcomes them. And we discuss what aging means to her and to her body.


You can READ the interview transcript HERE 



10 Facts About Anna

(at the time of the project)

1. 52 years old.

2. Born in Sydney, Australia and absolutely loves living in Sydney.

3. Anna lived in many places. She lived in London for nearly two years, in Paris, in Madrid for three and a half years. Anna has also lived in Melbourne, where she went 20 years ago to do her Master of Art Therapy for three and a half years.

4. Anna has a teenage daughter, who was born in Madrid nearly 15 years ago.

5. Anna’s favourite cuisine is Vietnamese.

6. Red is Anna’s signature colour. She feels that it's powerful, dynamic, and energetic.

7. Anna works across three professions plus one, but they're all very aligned.

8. She is an art therapist working from a psychotherapeutic perspective, where she helps people through the art process, to connect with themselves and the world in a very integrative, holistic way.

9. Anna is also a lecturer and a qualitative researcher for about 25 years. She teaches as part of the Bachelor of Art Therapy and Bachelor of Counselling and Psychotherapy courses.

10. For the last 10 years Anna’s side hustle is Mama Creatives, a community for creative mothers and creative women. Anna is helping them to find their voice, share their stories, celebrate creativity, and build their confidence.






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


This continued to bring in the love from the inside, slow down, find peace, and just be grateful for what the body has achieved and can continue to achieve, you know, thank my legs for all those 1000s of kilometres who are walking around and my body for creating life and giving birth and just being so grateful for it and not losing the small little moment because it goes so quickly.


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 in the studio, Anna. And while she's sitting in the makeup chair, I'll be asking her a few questions. Morning, Ana, welcome to the studio.


Morning. Thank you so much.


And let's start and tell us 10 facts about yourself


10 facts Well, I am 52 for turning 53 This year, and I have a teenage daughter. People ask me what I do. And I say I work across three professions plus one, but they're all very aligned. I work what I call in the human connection business which I'm an art therapist. And I work from a psychotherapeutic perspective, where I try to help people through the art process, connect with you know what's happening for them in the world in a very integrative, holistic way. Coming in finding their creative spirit. I also lecturer I teach as part of the Bachelor of art therapy and Bachelor of counselling and psychotherapy courses. And I've also been a qualitative researcher for about 25 years. So it's all about understanding the essence of who someone is, and helping them fit and facilitate them to find that in themselves. And for the last 10 years, I celebrated my 10 year anniversary last year. My Side Hustle is mama creatives. And that is a community for creative mothers. But now creative women, helping them find their voice sharing their stories, celebrating creativity, I think we all have that at our core. And I've grown that from a few friends to a few 1000. And I've done many, many events of all types. And I just love it. I love finding helping someone find their story, and sharing it and validating it, acknowledging it and helping them build their confidence. And I think that's across all the things that I do.


So if someone wants to find you where they can work, do you have social media profiles, website?


It’s, or on Facebook or on Instagram, I'm not great on social media. But I do have stuff there that people can see. And the website has a lot of videos and a lot of information. I've also done an online course called your creative awakening through mama creatives, which is a 10 week online experience. And it's live. And I've spent a year developing that and I always revise it. And that is also about really peeling back the layers, and helping people discover their creativity under all the self-limiting beliefs and the blocks. And we find we find it through there. And we go through all different things. And I just love all those things. Working with women in midlife, I've worked with children and families from domestic violence. I work in a hospital with people recovering from addictions and mood disorders, and in aged care as well. And I think when you work in aged care, you see when people haven't connected with their creative spirit and live the life that they want. They live in a life of regret. And at the end of their life, they are grieving and their grief is so extreme that it actually affects their nervous system and their collapse. And in their grieving the life they wish they had. And I think that has taught me a lot about living for now, and really being embodied and present with what you have. Because I see it at the other end when you don't live that life. It's a life of waste and disappointment. And it shows up in the body. And people ended up in hospital and they are just like a ghost. And so what I try to do with all my work is to find the energy and the life force And that dynamism of the art of living. Just


before we move to the body question body image questions, I want to dig a bit more into your personality and get more facts about you. So you were born in Australia, where, in Sydney?


in Sydney


so, all your life you lived here?


No, I've lived. I've lived overseas. I lived in London for nearly two years. I lived in Paris, which is always my dream and my 20s. I also lived in Madrid for three and a half years, my ex husband Spanish, so we went off for a 12 month adventure and stayed three and a half years, came back plus one with our baby was born in Madrid. She's now nearly 15. And I've also lived in Melbourne, where I went 20 years ago to do my masters of art therapy, because the course at Latrobe is where I wanted to do it. So I just packed everything up, drove my car down to Melbourne and I did that for that course I lived there for three, three and a half years.


So what's your favourite place on earth? At the moment, as it may change with time.


I have to be honest after living in all these places, Paris is very romantic but to live there and to live in Europe. It's so hard. I would have to say Sydney is the best place I live near the beach. I have a fantastic lifestyle. I'm so grateful every single day. I go for a walk on the beach every day because I know what it's like not to live with air and fresh air and water and ocean breeze living in Madrid. We didn't have that. Living in all these different places. I think it makes you appreciate what you have right at home and I absolutely love living in Sydney. We are so lucky to live here.


What's your favourite cuisine?


My favorite cuisine? I'd have to say Vietnamese.


Wow. Unexpectedly


can't get better than a big ball of fur. Yeah, and the flavours are just delicious they can be it's just a delicious palette on your you know in your mouth with the different chilli and I just love a certain you know Thai food and Vietnamese food.


Excellent. And I know you I already know but I will ask so those who are listening to us can also get this information. Your favourite colour you just told me


I wear a lot of red I feel ready the life force I feel that it's dynamic. It's energetic. It's not you know if you want to talk about blood, yeah, that's what drives us throughout our body. But that's a very literal way of looking at it. I feel it gives me a lot of energy and I feel like it kind of suits my colouring. I like to wear red I've put on red. It's a bit of a power colour. I also love a really bright green and mustard but red people know me for red. If I'm not wearing red. It's like who are you? Are you an imposter? So red is my signature colour. But I do like to wear other colours as well. But red is I just feel good in it.


Excellent. And my next question was why red and what this symbolises to you and you already said it. So let's move to ageing and body image questions. And what does ageing means to you at 52?


It's such a good question. We are obsessed with youth. But I think there is an incredible surge of women, late 40s 50 Plus, who are perennials, I think people are getting more empowered, and living a great life older. I think ageing, I think this decade of the 50s is an absolute gift for women, I think it's we're in our prime, I think we've let go of a lot of stuff. And we're really stepping into who we really are. It's taken all these years, it's kind of an earned power, having been through divorce or long marriage or, you know, the trials and tribulations of life by this age. I think we just step into this knowing of what it is to be a woman and I think ageing gives us this wisdom, this earned experience life experience and letting go of the things that don't serve us. So I think it's a really time to be really strong, but also very tender. And and okay with knowing that life is about how do we manage the hard times and appreciating the joy? I think it's a privilege to age. I have some friends who have died in their 40s. And I've I know many women in the 80s and 90s. And it's a work with them. And my parents are nearly 90 And my family have longevity and I just think it's an absolute gift to age. So I think as women, we need to embrace it and not worry about the small things but look at the big picture and appreciate and have gratitude for the strength that women have how many things we have to You carry, and that we we survive. But it's not just surviving. It's, this is your strength and power, I think, to women as we age. And I like to step more into that. And I like to support that in other women too. But


if you've got to go back to any age, what age it would be, why, and what advice would you give yourself?


Hmm, I thought about this, I could think about every decade and give myself advice. Especially with a teenage daughter, I'm thinking, you know, in your 20s. I don't know about other people, but my body was absolutely amazing. I still look good. But I had the most amazing figure, but I didn't appreciate it. So in my 20s, I would say to myself is learn to be connected to who you are, be really, really connected and embodied in yourself in your skin, be comfortable in your skin, you don't need to wait to your 50 to be comfortable in your skin, learn to be attuned to the niggles to the triggers earlier, and so then you can be really present and meet people and have relationships at that higher level. And in my 30s, and 40s, when I was married, I had a lot of good times. But again, it was such a blow having a child and moving countries and all those things. I would say be kinder to yourself, and put yourself first a bit more. You need to take up space. And that's okay. Yeah.


So let's move to body image questions. And if your body could talk, or do you think it would ask you or tell you again at this age,


Continue to bring in the love from the inside, slow down, find peace, and just be grateful for what the body has achieved and can continue to achieve, you know, thank my legs for all those 1000s of kilometres for walking around and my body for creating life and giving birth and just think so grateful for for it and not losing the small little moments because it goes so quickly. I talked about my 20s 30s 40s I was in incredible shape looks fantastic. I didn't appreciate it. And I think it's about really appreciating from the inside. How much the body teaches you there's so much wisdom in the body, we've learned a lot from trauma is stored in the body with a lot of the research now. And we need to be paying attention to that. Not the superficial parts, but the inner wisdom of what the body can tell us and not miss those, those cues. If you're not, well don't push through, go and lie down, pay attention to that go and get it checked. Don't wait, don't be afraid, your body is telling you something. Until then you create sickness, you've got to slow down and really, really pay attention. And I think mental love from the inside, I think it can go a long way.


So what do you think are the main causes of body image issues?


where we'd have to go these days social media, we'd have to go to social cultural expectations on women, which have always been there, but they're absolutely on steroids at the moment, with just so much access to people living these perceived perfect existences with filters. But it's not real. I think the concern is reality versus superficial fantasy, and people chasing this fantasy is causing, you know, an increase in anxiety and depression and suicide. So I think we need to, I don't know how we need to have more education around social media and the reality behind that. But when you're younger, teenagers, they all want to belong and look like each other. And so it's a very, very deeply entrenched concern. And I think parents need to be educated and I think they're trying, and we need to go into just a broader social responsibility on educating younger people on body image.


But why do you think it's created on the first place like the somebody created this kind of image why people create this?


If you want to get into it, I would, I would say the patriarchy in the patriarchy is and blaming men, the patriarchy is a system for where you need to belong within a structure. And I think I've seen women break through that and I feel like it's coming through. But there's this expectation of how we are meant to look within a patriarchy. If we go back to can you what like to look for what I'll give you an example. It may not be exactly to the question, but if I think about Mother guilt, I think Mother guilt is construct construct that was created to keep women out of power. So if you so women used to not work, they used to raise children, which is a lot, which is a full time job. That's enough, being a mother and at home is absolutely respected. That's a hard job, that if women wanted to work as well, there was the invention of Mother guilt, there's no father guilt, not to say that fathers don't feel guilty for going to work. But the expectation is that women shouldn't go to work. And so there was this invention of Mother guilt, which there's nothing wrong to long for your child or feel sad or miss your child, but going on and earning a living, getting independent, making money having more power, that's a real direct, you know, confrontation to the male dominance. And so if women started to get more money and more independence and more power and more control, then that's the concern to the patriarchy. And so they mother guilt is a construct within that patriarchy where men have more power, and women stay home. And I think we've evolved from that. But I do think there's something around that in terms of why does it exist, it exists in these bigger structures, than if you dare to criticise or break free from that, and try to get your own independence and power, then it it marks up the status quo, which doesn't, isn't a healthy foundation at all for creating a healthy body image. So we attack women, how they look, we attack women in their relationships, we attack women, when they're trying to every time they try to make more money or get more independent or try to challenge and, and so there's this it's a power, it's a power struggle in the dynamic. And I'm not just saying men and women, but I do believe there is this power imbalance.


So how do you think that negative body image can affect relationships?


Well, I think it's it goes into the power imbalance, it continues to make women second guess. So it's a real type of gaslighting. And rather than appreciating and loving everything that a woman does, and brings, it's this critical power play. And I think people who criticise are actually very insecure in themselves. And so it's a projection. So you can take it from the individual, but collectively, it becomes online bullying and harassment. But if we took take it within the individual relationships, it's a way of not empowering women, it's the opposite. So it's a very Unhealthy, Toxic, very immature child state. To keep women in a negative stance within a relationship, there's no growth, there's no transformation, there's no maturity, I think we're having a real problem in society at the moment with this very childlike, very immature lack of emotional intelligence. And so staying within that state keeps women down. And I think the body is a really easy way really easy target. And women have a very vulnerable to that. And so it comes from generations of having to perform and expectations of how we should look in the media, and pornography now. It's all around us. So I think we need to, you know, support each other and bring each other up.


So how do you overcome the body related insecurities? When? And if they come up? And has it changed with age? Like, what before you were younger? Yeah, it's you use something different than it's now from? The approach is different from current approach.


I think I've learned over the years to be really comfortable in myself, I have a confidence and inner confidence. So I don't sort of pick on my thighs and get on my thighs aren't perfect. I'm like, I'm very, I've learned to not have negative self talk. Like I'm very comfortable in myself. So I'm very positive about myself. I don't tend to pick on that I'm not perfectly so perfect that which is what I did. When I was younger, when I actually was pretty ideal. If I think about it. Yeah. But at the time, I would find all this isn't that or this isn't that, you know, I didn't have the weight that I wanted. But I always had an incredible figure. So it was just, you know, it comes from childhood. If your parents or society makes a comment. We genuinely at a very vulnerable age might internalise that, and then it becomes a bigger thing. And then it becomes a story. It becomes a narrative. That's not true, but we hold on to it until we call it doing the work where you'd learn to change the narrative. And I think, you know, being a therapist, I've done years of stuff around all of this and so on, you know, during my 20s I had an eating disorder for 11 years, which I forgot I even had, but I didn't even think about it. So I was able to reframe that and heal from that and not think like that at all. And, and so I think it's the philosophy of how are we, it's not just how we look at how we live our lives, the relationships we have, whether we have healthy relationships, whether we have long friendships, whether we love the work that we do, whether we make time for movement, taking time to slow down and nurture and cook food, and make food that's good for you. So it's, it's this whole philosophy of, of wellness, I think, without being toxic, the whole toxic wellness, which can go a whole other aggressive way. I think it's slowing down and being really authentic and, and being really attuned to what works for you. And I think so it's all those things. It's not just how you look, but it's how you feed yourself. In all those ways, not just through food.


Excellent. So my last question is, what is your favourite saying about being a woman?


Well, that was such a good question. And I have to say I have a few. So you might want to edit them out. But I had a couple that go that I share with my community, my creative, which is for all women, but I'm always I always say - your story matters. Your story matters. And if no one as a therapist, the one thing that people want and don't have is someone to sit and listen and just be with them and validate them. So that's a really important one that I share with some of my events. And I also love, you know, empowered women empower women, it's very simple. If we are there to hold each other up, not pulling each other down. It's just we can do anything. So there are a couple that I really love for my community and for all women. But here are a couple that I love personally. And here's one-  “If it doesn't bring you energy, inspiration or orgasm, it doesn't belong in your life”. And this is another one. This is from a friend of mine who's an artist and a magenta – “Remember, if you're too much for someone, they're not enough for you”. And then I have this is going to I'm going to end on this one and people can think about it. “And if I asked you to name all the things that you love, how long would it take for you to name yourself?”


I’ve got goosebumps. Thank you, Anna, thank you very much for sharing your thoughts and such a meaningful conversation. I really enjoyed it and I hope you will enjoy the rest of the day in your photoshoot.


Thank you for what you're doing. You're empowering women with this whole experience. It's really a great honor to be here.


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:


ALSO Follow 𝗠𝗬 𝗕𝗢𝗗𝗬 𝗠𝗬 𝗦𝗧𝗢𝗥𝗬 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗷𝗲𝗰𝘁 page. ➡️


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