Updated: Jun 27
🎧 In this episode (LISTEN TO THE EPISODE), Lisa tells her story about being born and raised in the US by immigrant parents from Chile and starting her early years career in repairing buses. Only after her body could not cooperate with this hard work, she moved to the office to make a great career in technology.
She immigrated to Australia in 2013 under a working visa, lived first in Adelaide then moved to Sydney.
Lisa says that she feels like she was born with an old body, so her perfect body would be something that doesn’t make her joints hurt.
She wishes she knew how to manage stress in her 30s. Her advice to younger women is - Enjoy the ride and don’t take life so seriously!
Lisa’s favourite quote is “Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think and loved more than you know.”
10 Facts About Lisa M
(at the time of the project)
1. 52 years old.
2. Lisa is originally from the United States born and raised, but she is a child of immigrant parents who immigrated from Chile. And so she was brought up with a Chilean culture in the United States.
3. She grew up in Seattle.
4. Lisa started her early years career repairing buses and helping her dad. Only after her body could not cooperate with this hard work, she moved to the office to make a great career in technology.
5. Lisa has been in technology since the early 90s. She is really passionate about growing the business that she’s a part of.
6. Lisa has divorced after being married for 22 years.
7. Lisa immigrated to Australia in 2013 and first lived in Adelaide for three years, and then she moved to Sydney.
8. Lisa has a son who currently lives with his father in Queensland.
9. Biggest challenge at this age – “The fluctuation in hormones and the change in the balance of how much I give a shit.”
10. Positive change with age – “I'm not aging as fast as other people of the same age.”
Watch Lisa's VIDEO interview HERE
LISTEN TO THE EPISODE:
INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT (auto-generated) :
Hi, you are listening to My Body My Story podcast,
Enjoy the ride, and don't take life so seriously. There's so many times of just stress and anxiety and attention that we create for ourselves that it's absolutely unnecessary.
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, Lisa, welcome to our studio and to our project. And while you're sitting in the makeup chair, and Chitra is doing makeup for you. I'll be asking you a few questions. Let's start with telling us a bit.
I am 51. I'll be 52 on the 26th of November. I am originally from the United States born and raised, but I'm a child of immigrant parents. Both my parents immigrated from Chela. And so I was brought up with a Chileno culture in the United States in a part of town that was very minority driven. And we were a minority among the minorities, because at that time, and in the early 70s, there weren't any Latin people really in Seattle. It was pretty far from South America. So it was called and it's not something they would they would normally gravitate towards. Let's say more about myself. I I've been in technology since the early 90s. And I'm I'm barely driven about work. I was married for 2022 years, and my partner and I drifted apart and we ended up getting a divorce. At the time, we had a nine year old son. And he currently He currently lives with his father in Queensland, and I live here in Sydney. So I guess, I guess, let's say I'm a sister. I'm a mom. And I'm a workaholic. So I guess that's I guess that's how I would summarise myself.
That's interesting. But what are you most passionate about?
What am I most passionate about? You know, in the last, I'd say three years I've I've been struggling with that answer. Before it was really easy to answer. I used to be really passionate about growing the business that I'm a part of, and helping customers solve problems. So I'm a consultant, I get to I get to work with a variety of different businesses and industries and and now I'm responsible and have helped grow the business that I'm a part of. For the last five years we've grown from, I guess, let's see, when I moved to Sydney, from Adelaide, we had 12 employees, we're now over 30 I think we're at 35 right now. So I used to be really passionate about growing the business, but now I'm questioning whether whether I'm in the right place again. But I've been with the company for eight years. So that's I guess why my passion is kind of kind of waning at this time. Because it's it's been a lot of the same for the last couple of years. But I get to work with global companies I get to help them define what their products are, how they're going to engage with their customers what the experience should be. Advise them when they're doing things silly and tell them as I you know, I I use really strange phrases and I tell them things like you know, if you go right, you're gonna find a dragon is over there and you really need to stop. So trying to make things stick for them is what I do and recommend, why and how they should go about things.
So you said you came to Sydney from…
I lived in Adelaide, actually, I immigrated to Australia under a work visa in 2013 with my family and I lived in now Adelaide for three years, and then I moved to Sydney. Just recently I became an Australian citizen.
Thank you. Thank you. I now hold three citizenships. And so I need to figure out ...
Yeah, I was going to say that…
..where, where am I gonna land? Yeah, so I'm, I'm Atlanta because I lived in Chela, in between 2005 and 2006. And that's when I actually relaxed enough to conceive my son and have my pregnancy stick. So I guess, you know, I'm, I'm really fortunate that I have him because prior attempts didn't work out. And I think it was because too much stress in my life. And then I moved back to the US so he could be near his family. And I could be near my parents. And then, after, after things changed, we decided we needed to live abroad again, because the politics of the US are exhausting.
So you just, you never lived in Chile..
.. no I did for a year.
Well, except this year.
So how did you find it like
I, throughout my lifetime, I travelled back the first time I travelled to see my family in Santiago RNG, lead gen, I was seven, my parents sent me down there for 65 days by myself. And I think that was one of those, those really life altering activities, because being a seven year old, going without your parents, and meeting people who you'd never met before, who are familial, but you've you've never known is, is quite an experience for a little kid, I would never have done it with my son. But I also understand why my parents did it, because, you know, they, they worked really hard. And they we didn't have a lot growing up. But this was a huge gift to me, so that I could know my culture and know my aunts and uncles and cousins and, and my grandmother, because she was the only one that was alive at that time of my grandparents. And so, I since that trip, I made five prior trips, so I knew of of Chela, and I knew of Santiago and many of the places where my family came from. I just hadn't lived there for long periods of time, I'd visit for a couple of months at a time.
Interesting. Everyone knows that. With age we change. But what positive changes have you experienced so far?
That's a tough one. I think because of my olive complexion, I think one of the positive things with ageing is that I'm not ageing as fast as people that don't have as much pigmentation age. My current partner is is six years younger than me. But my son always says that he looks much older than me because he's more wrinkly.
He knows how to make complements.
Yeah, he knows how to make his mom feel good for sure. But as far as ageing, I you know, it, it gets to the cliche stuff, right, the wisdom of knowing now, some of the things that used to really worry me, don't worry me as much because they're not that big of a deal. i i I honestly wish though, that I had not been born with an old body. So that's, I guess why ageing is kind of one of those odd questions for me was my first surgery and like I had mentioned, my first really major surgery I was I was 12 and I had reconstructive knee surgery on my left knee. When I was 15, I had my gallbladder removed. And so, you know, feeling like I had a physical structure that could could support me being either sporty or athletic or healthy has always been a bit of a struggle.
But do you think the amount of surgeries you went through it helped you to appreciate your body more or on the contrary, it's questions you're like, What is my body and I'm leading to the question of What is the body image and where do you think this idea of perfect body comes from?
You know the the idea of the perfect body and, and body image that's a tough one when I was when I was kid, you know we used to we used to idolise obviously the feminine figure Barbie and this, you know, you must have this hourglass figure and you must, you must be blond and blue eyed and very fair skinned. And so when I was growing up that was that was what everybody thought was beauty. But because my father was very he was a diesel mechanic, and he taught me how to help fix things. One of my very first jobs that was in manual labour, I used to repair buses for the transit authority in Seattle. And so, you know, I know how to weld I know how to panel beat cars, I know how to paint, silkscreen, and do all this really heavy stuff, and my body couldn't keep up. And I actually got damaged, damaged my hand in 1990, which led me to be in an office which led me to be into computing, which is, was great. It was it was, you know, serendipitous, but my, my belief of body image and everything else, I never really thought of myself as a voluptuous woman, or, or feminine because I could do these things that were non traditional. And, you know, for years, I was always told I was in non traditional trade. And I'm not afraid to, you know, dive in and try and build something or constructor deconstruct something when it comes to either my home or, or a vehicle. So I never have really felt feminine in that way. And knew that I wasn't Caucasian, blue eyed blond haired, and I didn't fit that that mould so I didn't have to try and be that perfect woman, right. And so, up until recently, I rarely have worn makeup or, or even thought about how and what I do to be. I guess that that that feminine image that people think or expect, or that I believe they expect, it hasn't, it hasn't really been a priority, right? I do dress up and try and try and make myself comfortable with what I'm doing and why I'm doing something. But I'm not necessarily focused on why what everybody else thinks.
But what is it for you, your perfect body would be?
My perfect body, for me would be something that doesn't make my joints hurt. Right? You know, I've gotten over the fact that I'm not going to get rid of certain bulges here and there. Because that's just how we are and they've been with me for so long. They're not going away anytime soon.
So basically, it comes to healthy body is the perfect body
That would be absolutely right. And, and I don't know, if I'll ever get to the healthy body where I'm not having, because I've already been told I need to have my right hip replaced and my left knee replaced with the surgery that I'm going to have on the 15th. I'm removing the last bit of meniscus in my right knee. I had meniscus surgery on that knee in July. And I've damaged it again, just doing nothing but minor rehab, and we're not really sure how I did that. So I don't feel like I said I feel like I was born with an old body. Right. So yes, that
But even with this old body, you you were able to get married and have kids. Yeah, child.
Yeah. I'm very, very fortunate from that perspective. For sure.
Don't you think it's also our perception? Like, I you know, what, I learned recently that our bodies is so resilient, you know, we don't know how much it can bear. And we think that.. I just met this fear of getting old and then suddenly I realised that you really have to try hard to damage yourself, like the body is so able to regenerate or of course, you cannot regenerate parts if they're removed, but still, you know, and it's mainly a big part is in our mind, how we perceive us as ourselves as old or young or healthy. And would you agree with that?
I do agree with that. I I've I think that mentally I feel like I'm, you know, 20 something. And so as long as I've got the mental health capacity to be able to think through things. Although I do have to say with pre menopausal activity that's starting to happen. My sharpness and my ability to problem solve and not have a foggy brain is really a struggle. And I know that my diet, and how I treat myself really affects that. Because when I've when I've completely detoxed and I've gotten rid of garbage, and I don't drink, and I, you know, try and treat myself, you know, better but restricted, that that mental quickness comes back. But if I don't, if I don't pay attention, it becomes kind of that fog again.
Yeah. So you need always to keep this maintenance like… I compare this with an old car, which can run for ages if you keep maintenance.
So would it be the biggest challenge you're experiencing at this age? The transformation into.. your body transformation?
Yeah, I think I think the fluctuation in hormones and I think the, the change in balance of how much I give a shit, right are things that that are the kind of the things I need to focus on or think about now. Right?
So if we move to things we achieved already in life, what do you think your greatest accomplishment so far?
So far? Yeah, my greatest accomplishment I would have to say is, is obviously having my son. When when I got pregnant with him, I was. I didn't think I was actually pregnant. It turned out to be what, what I thought was the world's longest hangover turned out to be. It turned out to be my son. I was celebrating World Cup in Chela, and the semi fan finals landed on my anniversary. And so we started very early in the morning at 830, watching the matches in Germany. And I think we finished up the day at the pub at midnight. So it was a very long day, all day, long day. Many things were consumed. Let's put it that way. So four days later, I was still feeling really horrible. And my, my partner at the time, he looked at me, and he said, I don't think this is a hangover anymore. And he went and bought me a pregnancy test, which was hilarious, because he's, he's, as I would say, put it in American mud. Right. He's an American, he barely spoke Spanish, and it was mostly his interpreter most of the time when we live there together. But he came back with the test, I took it. And sure enough, I was pregnant, and I had symptoms that would make me think I wasn't. So I scheduled an appointment with an OB who specialised in women over 35 and found out that I was going to lose the pregnancy, if I didn't literally stop and lay down. So I was on what I refer to as house arrest for six weeks. I couldn't show the doc said you can go from the bed to the kitchen to get food. Don't sweep, don't clean, don't do anything and then go to the couch. That's it. Don't walk on stairs don't do anything. And throughout that six weeks, I almost lost him once. So it was it was a pretty big accomplishment for us to actually carry the baby to term. And yeah, he was. He was born quite big and healthy by the time he came around, but that would be I guess, the greatest personal accomplishment that I've had professionally, I would say it would probably be, gosh, many, many little steps. So I've worked for some pretty big companies in the US and have received accolades, you know, given awards or been ranked really high, sent on trips, those sorts of things. Because when I dive in, I dive in hard and I work hard. So yeah, I guess it just depends on whether we're talking professional accomplishments or personal. Yeah.
So if you could go back to your 30 year old self and meet her, what advice would you give to yourself?
Oh, yeah, I thought about that one, long and hard. And the advice I would give to myself, would be to actually trust in my own my own beliefs, my own thoughts and not follow his dreams, or his his, his meandering wandering of what he thought the world should be. I gave up. I gave up my career in mid 2000s. Because I was told that I loved my job more than I loved him. And he was kind of starting to really become without being too critical, conspiracy theorist and paranoid person. And so I gave up a lot, and I shouldn't have. And 15 years later, when I finally went, this is I've had enough, I'm done with this. My brother of all people, he said to me, it's about damn time, because we thought he jumped off the cliff A while ago, mentally. And, you know, nobody told me. And I asked him, Why didn't tell me? He said, well, because you would have dug your feet in and you would have stayed longer. So I shouldn't, I shouldn't have stayed I should have let him go when he threatened because I should have known right then and there people who threaten you aren't, aren't there for you. So that would have been the advice I would have given the 30 year old self.
And what would you say to younger women who will eventually reach this age and undergo this changes?
Enjoy the ride and don't take life so seriously. Right? Because there's so many times of just stress and anxiety and tension that we create for ourselves that it's absolutely unnecessary. Right. It's it's, it's, it's chaotic what we do to ourselves because of impressions of what other people think or what we think their expectations are, and how we should meet it. And it's just unrealistic, or unnatural.
And I think it's, I was thinking long, how come we have to reach 45, 50 and more just to start thinking that I don't want to be bothered about small things. And I made the parallel with our health that when we do it to ourselves, that we damage our health, mentally and physically as well. And once we realise that our health is damaged, we just all we wanted to be healthy. And for that we realised with we shouldn't worry that much. So if we could add our 30 year old self, just stop doing that it would be perfect. I think that our health would be much better as well.
I agree. And now I will say I'm not good with managing stress. And I know that stress can stress can literally kill what your body tries to grow. Right? It is it is really toxic to you. So that's the one thing at my age I still haven't figured out yet is is how to not stress about things and how to alleviate that. So if I can tell my 30 year old self figure that one out, I would
Yeah. What does it mean to you feeling good and looking good? And what comes first?
Yeah. So feeling good comes first to me. Because there's, there's, I can't remember the last day I woke up where I didn't wake up because of pain. And I, I'm fortunate that I don't have the ability to take pain pills. Because I would probably be a direct kick. Which sounds terrible, but I'm either broken up by by knees or my hips, bothering me. Because of the way I was laying. And and so feeling good is is is not having pain to me. And it's it's kind of a rare thing. Because it's always there in some sort of dull capacity. And then looking good. Gosh, you know, looking good to me is typically when I'm in my element, and I am in command of the topic or the command of the situation and I know what I'm doing and I feel confident. So that's when I feel like I look good. Typically even if I'm you know, in my ratty jeans and and and don't care about whether I put makeup on or did my hair. It's it's it's having commanded the topic and the situation and being calm. fit in Yeah.
And what makes you feel the most beautiful?
I think it's one of my partner. And this sounds really, really shallow that I feel like I need to be validated by somebody, but I don't really think about feeling beautiful. Until I'm told, you know, hey, you know, your smile lights up the room or, you know, something like that. And it's it's basically being reminded that, that I am. I don't really think about it, if that makes sense.
So do you have any favourite quotes? Or quotes about being a woman?
Um, you know, I do. But I'm really bad on memory these days. And I had to write it down because I couldn't, I couldn't remember it and I need to put something on so I can actually read it.
“Remember, you are always braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and more beautiful than you imagine. And loved more than you know”.
That's a beautiful one.
..that was that's one of my favourite ones.
Thank you, Lisa. Thank you very much for sharing your wisdom and coming to join into joining our project. And I hope you will enjoy today's photoshoot. Thank you again.
If you have an interesting story to share would love for you to participate. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website, www. aleksandrawalker.com
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.
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