Updated: Jun 27, 2022
🎧 In this episode, Isabelle talks about her biggest passion - her family, keeping it together and making sure everybody feels loved. Isabelle’s husband, her three daughters, and four grandchildren are what really matter most to her.
Also, Isabelle says that the hardest four-letter word in the English language is H-E-L-P. There's almost a fear installed, where you think that you will be considered weak. So you don't ask because you're supposed to be strong. Ask for help, - says Isabelle - Always.
Isabelle shares her favourite quote - There is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women. ― Madeleine Albright
10 Facts About Isabelle
(at the time of the project)
1. 63 years old.
2. Isabelle was born in South Africa and moved to Australia when she was 16.
3. She lived in Perth, Melbourne and now Sydney.
4. Isabelle is married to a very special man and her passion lies in keeping the family unit together, in making sure everybody feels loved.
5. Isabelle’s three children are born in Perth. Two of them live in Canberra now and one lives in Melbourne. She also has four grandchildren.
6. Isabelle lived in Dallas, Texas USA for 4 years and moved back to Sydney, Australia a year ago.
7. Isabelle and her husband are making plans to move perhaps to Queensland to retire there when is ready.
8. Isabelle’s greatest accomplishment is bringing up three girls and living through and surviving their teenage.
9. Biggest challenge at this age – “Maintaining my health is a big challenge at the moment. Apart from that the challenge that I found at this age mainly with regard to making friends after having been out of the country for so long.”
10. Positive change with age – “I'm more relaxed about who I am. I think I know myself a little better now. And I don't care too much about other people's opinions. Regarding the way I look, or what I do. What they think about you doesn't matter much to me at all.”
Watch Isabelle's VIDEO interview HERE
LISTEN TO THE EPISODE :
INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT (auto-generated) :
Hi, you are listening to My Body My Story podcast,
Be courageous, be brave. And I think the hardest four letter word in the English language is help. And that is something I would have told my 30 year old self.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website, www.aleksandrawalker.com
Hi, Isabelle, welcome to our studio. Welcome to the project - My body My story. While you're sitting in the makeup chair, and Tanya is doing makeup for you, I'll be asking you questions. And let's start with telling us a bit about yourself.
I was born in South Africa, and moved to Australia when I was 16. So I've lived here longer than I lived in South Africa. I've lived in Perth, Melbourne and now Sydney. And it was the best move of my life.
So what do you prefer Perth or Sydney?
Sydney. Definitely. Perth is almost the end of the earth really? It's so far from everything.
So you're enjoying life here?
Yes, I am very much. My three children are born in Perth. And two of them live in Canberra now and one lives in Melbourne.
Oh, so you're all over the country.
So what are you most passionate about?
You know, I've been asked that question so many times. And I, I couldn't honestly tell you. I am very passionate about my family. My three girls, my four grandchildren. They are what really matters most to me. And my husband. Last but not least, my husband is a very, very special man. And so my passion lies in keeping the family unit together. In making sure everybody feels loved.
That's a good one. It's a tough job, actually.
It is very tough. It's very tough. Sometimes doesn't always work that well.
It doesn't work as we think it should.
That's right. We have our own ideas about what is a perfect family. And there is no such thing.
But if it would be something like Oh, close to perfect. What is it for you the perfect family?
That I that we would be closer, as in geographically. I don't think we see enough of each other. And COVID has not helped. So I'm hoping that as the borders open, we'll get to see more of each other.
So it's important to be physically close, close to each other. That's what you're saying.
Yes, it is. We with technology though we are able to communicate, communicate. That’s right see each other and so that allows me to keep up with my grandchildren's rapid rate of growth.
How old they are - your grandchildren?
I have two and a half and a seven year old and a 10 year old.
Two of them most of the two and a half. It's nearly two years you didn't see them in the two and a half years.
Yes, absolutely. And we've only moved back to Australia a year ago from The States so Okay. I haven't seen them. I haven't seen much of them at all.
So you lived in the States as well?
Yes, in Dallas, we spent four years there. Which was interesting, but it was time to go come time to come home.
So everyone knows that with age we change. But what positive changes? Have you experienced so far?
I'm more relaxed about who I am. I think I know myself a little better now. And I don't care too much about other people's opinions. Regarding the way I look, or what I do. What do they think about you doesn't matter much to me at all.
Does it mean that you know yourself better?
I think so. But it doesn't come without effort. You have to really get to know yourself. It doesn't just happen because you're older.
Yeah, it's still work to do.
So what is the biggest challenge for you at this age?
Maintaining my health is a big challenge at the moment. Apart from that the challenge that I found at this age mainly with regard to making friends after having been out of the country for so long. And, again, with COVID, it hasn't been easy to get out. So establishing new friendships has been difficult. A definite challenge.
And with age, it's more difficult because you not that you have more requirements, but you're not ready to put up with some things which you were able to do in when you were younger, or you know, exactly who is your person? So..
Absolutely, and I, I've always had a tribe of women, not many, but they were and they still are very, very special people. Where you don't have to say very much. And you know, it's understood. It's understood where it's almost like, starting high school in year 12, where everybody already has established their friendships. And it's difficult to get in.
I agree with you.
Especially if coming to Sydney after being away for a while. I don't have that many friends in Sydney. Most of them are still in Melbourne and Perth. And so it's that's been a challenge.
Are you considering moving back to Perth, Melbourne?
No. Excuse me? Definitely not. No. My husband and I don't tend to go back. Also, where we're making words, yes, we're making plans to move perhaps to Queensland to retire there. When is ready?
Yeah, that's a nice place.
Yes. So we'll go and check it out and see what's happening there.
So that's why you chose probably Australia because it has the kangaroo and ostrich who never go. Who never go back or it's only go forward.
Yes. Well, I think my mum was very smart because she decided that I needed to come here and have more opportunities here than I would have had in South Africa.
So you came here by your own?
I had a brother here an older brother and his family. And when my dad died, my mum at my guardian and my mum was a woman who couldn't cope very well. And I had a boyfriend and she wasn't happy with the boyfriend so she picked me off your way. Yes. I ended up marrying him. Which wasn't such a good move. For sure. The right at the hands. You say you should always listen to your mother. It was a good Yeah, absolutely. Sometimes mothers know best. Yeah, they feel it. Yeah, absolutely.
So, what is your greatest accomplishment been so far?
Surviving, rearing three girls and, and living through the periods of being 15. Teenage. One of them her 15 year old period lasted until she was almost 19. I did get a call from my oldest daughter when she was 20 apologising for a behaviour 15. And really, she wasn't that bad. And now they have their own children to deal with. So, karma? Yes, absolutely. I listened to their stories, and I smile.
My mum usually tells me you will know it later. And when time comes to this moment, she said, You see, I told!... this forbidden phrase “I told you”
I try not to do that. I just smile. And when they're gone, I'd say to my husband. Well, we saw that coming.
So if you could go back in time and meet your 30 year old self, what advice would you give her?
When I read these questions, I saw that the first word that came to mind was only one word that came to mind was - Run! Life at 30 was not pleasant. What I would say now is be courageous, be brave. And I think the hardest four letter word in the English language is help. And that is something I would have told my 30 year old self. Ask for help. Always.
Yeah, sometimes we're afraid to ask for help, or we don't know how to do it. I think we should teach our kids to ask for help when they need it without hesitation?
Absolutely. Absolutely. There's almost a fear installed, where you think that you will be considered weak. And so you don't ask because you're supposed to be strong and be able to do these things, all sorts of things.
And actually, it's the opposite thing that you have to be strong enough to accept that you need help. And to ask for that.
So what advice would you give to younger women who will eventually undergo these changes and reach this age? What would you say to them?
They must always be true to themselves. And, and remember their worth? Always and not settle? When it comes to anything. They really should take a very good hard look at themselves and understand exactly what they're worth.
So where do you think the idea of perfect body image comes from?
Oh sweet lord, it's everywhere, isn't it? It's in your face all the time. On television, movies, billboards, advertisements, you just you never too thin, you know, thin enough. And it's it causes major problems. I have started looking at women differently. Because I have been around people who have had quite terrible things to say about just people passing by, you know, or they should spend more time at the salad bar. And it's just I think women irrespective of their shape they have an innate beauty that has nothing to do with outward appearances. And I know that I Have I've treated my daughters that way. My daughters are beautiful. I don't know where they got that from. But what is really important is the fact that they're, they're very smart women. They speak their own minds. And sometimes it's not such a good idea. But they don't hesitate. They will always stand up for themselves. And I think I don't take a lot of the credit for that, because they've grown into themselves. I haven't always been around. And they've made great decisions about their lives.
As we say, you give them a good start base.
I certainly tried. There were many hiccups along the way. And, and as parents we do, we can do a lot of damage. But they've, they've done very, very well.
Yeah. So when you mentioned the people who do comments about others shape, I think it's more about them. It's their fear. Like when they look like women look at others and see something which they don't want to be or they afraid, yeah. Or I'm afraid to put on weight. And so she's sounded out her own fear. And the other lady may be very happy in her body, you know, and she's fine. Or she's more enjoying eating food than looking thin?
I know. I know. My husband has a saying every meal is a feast, and every day is a holiday. And I think we should treat life a little more like that. You should enjoy more of life because it's not guaranteed to last forever.
That's true. Yeah. I think the only reason you should think about your weight is your health, like how it affects your health. Once it starts affecting your health, that's time to think about it seriously. But if you're happy and healthy, and you got a couple of more kilos, extra even 10 kilos extra, but you're feeling well, then. Then it's okay.
So what does it mean to you feeling good and looking good, and what comes first for you?
Feeling good definitely comes first. Because if I'm not feeling good, I might just stay in bed all day. And that's not a good look. So feeling good comes first. And I think that is important to me when I feel good. It doesn't really matter. I don't have to make too much effort to think that I look good. And when I get dressed, I do so to please myself. Whatever I decide to wear on that day. It's not to please anybody else but myself. And if my husband thinks I look great. That's a bonus. I don't deliberately dressed please him.
So what makes you feel the most beautiful?
I don't know that I've ever really felt beautiful. My husband tells me constantly. And I think that perhaps that's his job. So I can really see beauty in other people. But no, I just I don't see myself as beautiful. I don't see. You know, I can I might be attractive but not beautiful.
So yet still to figure it out.
Well, it's 64 bit hairier.
I think you have plenty of time.
So, do you have any favourite quotes about being a woman?
I do. Actually I have to. One is keep your head, your head, your heels and standards high. And that was said by Coco Chanel. But there is another one. There is a special place in hell for women who don't support other women.
Oh, that's great.
And I think that's very true. You know, even though we do as women, we do tend to talk more. And you would think that you will receive more support, but sometimes that doesn't happen. Also, as women we tend to hide a lot. You know, you can pretend all sorts of things, that you have a perfect family so that other people don't see that you have issues. So those are my two favourites at the moment.
That's a great one. I love the second one. I just love it.
Thank you for joining our project. I hope you will enjoy today's photoshoot. And thank you for sharing your thoughts in this podcast. Welcome again.
Thank you, Alexandra. That was very good for me to do. Thank you.
If you have an interesting story to share would love for you to participate. You can email us at email@example.com 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.
For more information about the project visit: