Updated: Jun 27, 2022
In this episode (LISTEN TO THE EPISODE), Kyla talks about the idea young women are raised with - the idea that you meet a man, you marry him, you buy a house, you have children. But no one talks about how it consumes 20 years of your life… and what is AFTER that. It's only when you hit that line you start thinking – sh&%t, what am I going to do now?
Also, as a Manager of a chain of adult stores, Kyla talks about the importance of breaking down stigma and barriers around sexuality, likes and dislikes, and what’s perceived as right and wrong in anything of a sexual nature. She says that a lot of women in their 50s and 60s who visit the stores she manages, never had or used toys. Going through them and making women realise that it’s not that scary, and fun is an important part of Kyla’s mission. She thinks that it's incredibly important for self-care that every woman deserves self-pleasure every now and then.
With the biggest challenge of realising her mortality, Kyla wants to do more, to get out there and make the most of it. She wants to leave the rest of her life, not having regrets and do everything she wants to do.
Her advice to younger women is - You need to make sure that you are putting yourself first!
And yep….Don’t eat that extra donut!
10 Facts About Kyla
(at the time of the project)
1. 47 years old.
2. Kyla has three adult children, 2 sons and 1 daughter.
3. She recently left a 20 plus year marriage and finding her own way at the moment.
4. After starting new chapter of her life, Kyla made the decision to “no longer be the fat chick”.
5. She did the weight loss surgery, lost 60 kilos and had plastic surgery to get the body of her dream.
6. Kyla also moved from Orange to Newcastle.
7. Kyla works full time as a manager of a chain of adult stores across New South Wales. She’s very proud of where she is in her work and what she does for the company.
8. Kyla’s biggest accomplishment is her kids and getting her three children to adulthood.
9. Biggest challenge at this age – “My mortality. For me, 50 is that number where, I'm getting too old. And I really haven't had a massive amount of life experiences. I want to do more, and I want to just get out there, and make the most of it, live the rest of my life and not have regrets and do everything I want to do.”
10. Positive change with age – “My weight loss is a really, really big thing. My biggest positive is taking control of how I feel about myself, better understanding of myself. more focus on myself, and trying to find that self love.”
Watch Kyla's VIDEO interview HERE
LISTEN TO THE EPISODE:
INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT (auto-generated):
Hi, you are listening to My Body My Story podcast,
Take the time to find yourself and don't get caught up and lost in the day to day of everything, because at the end of the day
This is the 45 or 45 chapter where we celebrate rule breakers and role models, the women who inspire us to live life our way and to show that 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 will listen to the stories of our participants. If you have an interesting story to share, we would love you to participate, you can email us on email@example.com or visit our website, www. aleksandrawalker.com
Hi, Kyla, welcome to our studio. And thank you for joining our project. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I'm 47 I have three adult children. I work full time as a manager of a chain of adult stores across New South Wales. So it's certainly an interesting job. Recently just left a 20 plus year marriage and just basically just finding my own way at the moment. I'm getting there slowly I've lost 60 kilos and had plastic surgery so a lot of skin removal bought some new boobs currently working on getting my teeth done Yeah, and just finding my way I've just moved down so I've made from orange to Newcastle for a bit of a life change about six weeks ago and I'm just settling in now.
Wow. So what made you go through those drastic changes in your life, like what was their initiating point?
Look all my life I've always been the fat chick. You know yo yo dieting every three years I'll be 120 kilos I'll be 70 kilos and just needed to make the decision to no longer be the fat chick. My marriage I was probably unhappy for a very very long time, but settled in my marriage because bit of a mentality thing that well no one else is going to want me or I'm going to die fat and lonely. So I did the late to do have weight loss, weight loss surgery. So I had the gastric sleeve. And 12 months later because I'd lost so much weight I had a huge amount of excess skin. And I just but I was single then and it was all about me and it was about me finding my way. And you know working on myself and I have absolute zero regrets. I feel amazing.
What are you most passionate about?
Look in my work. Obviously, being adult stores. The big thing with on the worksite is breaking down stigma and barriers around sexuality and likes and dislikes and what's perceived wrong and write in anything really of a sexual nature involving toys and everything else like it's about making normalising sex with people normalising adult stores and finding your way and all that sort of thing. So that that for me in our business is incredibly important. And that's something I want everyone to be comfortable with coming into adult stores and not feeling the shame that perceived shame and the stigma that supposedly goes along with it because it's a normal part of life so and gay that that side of it in my work is incredibly important. Personally though, passions, still finding my way. I don't know. My kids my kids in my life albeit they're all slightly unhinged and whatever but they they are what makes my heart sing. So just making sure my kids happy.
So do you have any interesting or funny stories to do with your work in adult store? You probably have plenty of them.
Oh yeah. Look, we get all walks of life come into our stores. I think some of the best ones are, you know, people who come in who are visually nervous, or, you know, worried about coming into stores, we've got a gorgeous 85 year old lady who has the most incredible toy chest of toys and at 85 has the most incredible inactive sex life. And some of the stories she tells us about, you know, throwing a leg over and dislocating a hip and whatever, you know, it's, it's, yeah, just saying people walking out. With the I don't know, I guess you'd say the right toy for the right fit for the right job. But yeah, you get all walks of life in there. But at the end of the day, if your customers are walking out with a smile, you know, they're going home, and they're going to end up with an even better smile. So but yeah, the gorgeous 85 year old lady, she always pops into my mind, thinking, it doesn't matter what age, you can still throw a leg over, so to speak.
When they walk out the store, they feel more confident than walking in.
Absolutely. Yep. Especially with, you know, first timers, we get a lot of older women actually, you know, in their 40s and 50s, who've never ever had or used or even thought about sex toys or anything like that. And going through with them and making them realise that it's not, it's not all that scary. And it's all that fun. And every woman deserves a bit of self pleasure every now and then. And there's nothing wrong with it. So and that's, that's incredibly important to you know, self care.
That's cool. Everyone knows that with age we change. But what positive changes have you experienced with the age?
The positive ones, obviously, my weight loss, my weight loss is a really, really big thing. We all have, you know, parts of our body we don't like and we always focus on them. For me, my biggest positive is taking control of how I feel about myself. Obviously, always seen myself as you know, the sad little fat chick. Now, like, I was only, not even 12 months ago, I wore a bikini for the first time since I was six. And that, who cares what people think, you know, you're getting older. You can't worry about what people think you can't worry about, you know, is that person going to be looking at the bumps on your ass? So but yeah, for me, obviously with uh, you know, cheese separated now realising that, you know, I am getting older, and I need to start taking some risks and not worrying because if you don't take a risk, you don't know the outcome. So for me, it's my positive changes are a better understanding of myself. more focus on myself, and trying to find that self love
My favourite saying is Take a risk or lose the chance. That's it, you don't know the outcome if you don't do it. So what is the biggest challenge you're experiencing at this age?
My mortality, I, you know, 47 and going for me for some reason, 50 is that number where you sort of like shit, I'm getting too old. And I'm realising I'm getting closer to that. And I really haven't had a massive amount of life experiences. I I want to do more, and I want to just get out there, really, and make the most of it. Because it is there in my mind. I'm like, and it's hard not to but like I'm getting towards 5050, in my mind seems like, Oh, you're turning 50. And I want to continue and I want to just go out and explore and just live you know, live the rest of my life and not have regrets and do everything I want to do.
Yeah. Do you think it's this fear of, as you said, Fear of mortality that makes you suddenly think that what have I done with my life and I've been here for nearly 50 years and haven't tried this and that and that's the reason for many women just to rethink and to change their life.
Absolutely. Absolutely. I've been doing that. You know, being a being a mom, I my my my oldest is 24 My youngest is 20. I have three kids, and they are such a focus of your life for so long and they they basically consume your idea entity for a whole large part of your life. And then you just go shoot, what have I done? What for myself? Yeah, what have I done for myself? Because you do you get lost along the way. Because every you know, your family and your house and you know, at the time, your husband and everything becomes your main focus, and you don't think of yourself. And I'm doing that now. And while I do feel a little bit selfish, doing all these things for myself, I need to do them, because we are only on this earth for a short period of time. So I need to start doing my thing, and going out and enjoying myself.
And you see how much this social pressure made us think that it's very selfish to think of ourselves, which is really funny. And it's even on the plane, they say, put the mask for yourself first.
Yes, yeah, absolutely. But it is I mean, you sort of from when you're when you're young, you're sort of raised with this idea that you made a man you marry, you buy a house, you have children, they consume, you know, 20 years of your life, and then but there's not that. After that, where, you know, you sort of people don't talk and think about what happens after that. I've hit that now. And I'm like, shit, what am I going to do? Yeah, I've, you know, I've had 20, you know, 2526 years of kids and marriage and house and bill paying and which is what, you know, the is perceived as a social norm, and what the expectation is, but what do you do after that? There's no real especially, you know, if you're, if you're single, and navigating that whole dating game and everything again, to there's no, there's no rulebook or no guidelines with that. So you sort of do get a little bit lost?
Yeah. And you'll get this identity crisis like thing. Okay, I've done I've been Mother, I've been wife. I've been, like everything. And then what's next? And then kids grow up and you thinking and who I am now and who I am.
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And that's, yeah, that's where I am. And but I'm enjoying the ride or enjoying the trip so far. That's great. Yeah.
Describe your greatest accomplishment.
That's a tough one, I was thinking about that. Look, at the end of the day, my grit, I'm not going to leave any massive, lasting legacy or, you know, have my name in lights or anything else. But, you know, to, to get my three children to adulthood. I'm very, very proud of, you know, they all function most of the time, that that makes me smile. Obviously, the changes in me with my weight loss, and all my plastic surgery and things like that. And I think my role as general manager for a chain of stores for me, workwise is a really, really proud achievement. I'm very proud of where I am in my work and what I do for the company. And I always take a huge amount of pride in my work, but at the end of the day, it's my kids.
Yeah. They're our legacy.
Yeah, they certainly are.
What advice would you give your 30 year old self?
Don’t eat that extra doughnut! That was my problem. Get the basic stuff. Don't smoke. I'm still a smoker, which is terrible. moisturise, moisturise, moisturise, and you need to take the time to find yourself and don't get caught up and lost in the day to day of everything. Because at the end of the day, back then I probably would have had a different outcome I probably wouldn't have stayed in my marriage as long as I did. And I did that. Because that's how I felt I needed to do so as my 30 year old self. Just take the time to keep yourself happy. And sometimes along the way you might make other people unhappy but at the end of the day, your own happiness is the most important
Great. So what advice would you give to younger women who will eventually undergo these changes?
Try and embrace them don't miss the changes don't all of a sudden become 47 and go I was only 30 2 years ago. You know enjoy the ride and spend time on yourself you know for me look if you don't want wrinkles have Botox if you don't like your boobs, buy new ones. If you you know you want those shoes buy those shoes but you have to do it for you, and not for anyone else. So at the end of the day, you need to just make sure that you are putting yourself first and focusing on the changes and looking towards what you're going to do in the future. Don't miss it.
So where do you think the idea of perfect body image comes from?
Well look, it comes from own your little kid really been one of the things I think growing up you always see your mom's and your friend your friend's parents and things I'm too fat. I don't look good in these clothes. I'm overweight. So parents always dieting, things like that. Which give that perception that if you carrying a little bit of weight or doing any of that, you're not ideal. And now with social media, of course, everyone looks a million dollars. And if they if they don't, they're called out for it. They're called out for being overweight or not perfect or whatever. But it's social media, even things like your, your simple marketing catalogues that come in the mail from Kmart. They're all the perfect shape. And they all look brilliant. And it's it's that it's in your in everywhere you look, there is perception of the perfect body.
As a photographer, I know exactly that even models, they don't look perfect. And with all this retouch done, you know, everyone can look much better than they are. But truly, like no one looks perfect. Even models get retouched.
Absolutely, yeah. But it's that retouching and we're seeing that all the time and going. That's how we're meant to look. That's how it's meant to be.
And it's interesting that old days, remember that If you were slim, you were considered to be unhealthy. Like you had to be fed all the time and like you in a good way. That means you're in good health.
That's right, exactly. Yep.
And now it's changed completely opposite direction. So it makes me think that it's also as you said before, you have to decide what is good for you. Yeah, what is your perfect body image?
Yep. What makes your heart sing? Yeah, yeah. If you feel comfortable, in 70 kilos, just be it or if you feel comfortable in 90 Just be it or you have to lose only because you don't feel comfortable in this. Wait, that's wrong. But you have to be doing it for yourself not for what you think people are looking at you and judging you as it's got to be figure for yourself not to portray an image to someone else.
So what was your decision made? was based on when you decided to go for surgery? Is it like a health reasons? Like you were not feeling good?