Updated: Feb 9
In this episode, you will learn 10 FACTS about Tuyana, 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 Tuyana
(at the time of the project)
1. 45 years old.
2. Tuyana was born in Siberia on the Mongolian border so she has Mongolian roots and can speak the Mongolian dialect that her grandfather taught her.
3. Tuyana grew up with her middle sister at her grandparents, while her parents were doing their PhDs. It was a happy childhood, in a remote Siberian village with nearly eight months of winter.
4. Tuyana lives in Australia for about 16 years. She followed her boyfriend at the time and now her husband. They lived in Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Canberra, and now Sydney.
5. Tuyana is a mother of two, a 25-year-old son and an 11-year-old daughter.
6. She works full-time as an accountant for a company that installs solar panels.
7. Tuyana learn how to swim at 25 years old and now swims with her daughter on Sundays. They won the parent and child race for two years in a row.
8. She also learned German at school and went to linguistic Uni to become a German English teacher but changed it to accounting after her son was born.
9. Tuyana has a very busy social life. She is a member of the Australian Conservation Foundation where she contributes to environmental issues and brings awareness to related problems. She is also a member of a movie club, swim club, a few book clubs and is involved in the Human Library project. Tuyana reads a lot since her childhood, and she continues her learning. She does yoga and rides a bike.
10. Tuyana thinks she managed to build the life she probably wanted to build but says that there is always room for improvement.
Hi, you're listening to the My Body, My Story podcast.
I can sing a tune my uncle used to sing all the way down getting away from engaging me.
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 email@example.com That's Aleksandra spelled with a K S. Or visit our website aleksandrawalker.com
Hello, everyone, and welcome to my body My Story project and today with us in the studio Tuyana. And while she's sitting in the makeup chair Chitra is doing makeup for her. I'll be asking her a few questions. Hi Tuyana.
Hi, everyone. Hello, hello.
Welcome to the studio. Welcome to the project and let's start. Tell us 10 facts about yourself
It was hard time to choose yesterday when I was thinking, What shall I give about myself in 10 facts? Maybe first, I'm 44 nearly 45 year old I was born in Russia in Siberia Mongolian border so I have Mongolian roots. But my great great granddad already was Russian by citizen 380 years ago. They say willingly signed a petition to join a Russian and by instead of going on the Chinese so that's how I My mother tongue is Russian. I can speak also Mongolian dialect my grandparents taught me. Yeah, I consider myself very lucky. I grew up with my grandparents. We in my middle sister. So when parents studied in St. Petersburg, they both know that my dad is in physics and mom is in math. So they did they PhDs and they left kids to their parents. But didn't same thing I did when I had my son. So I had this absolute feeling. You know I with this my best luck in my life. I grew up with grandparents who actually had their own, I guess ambitions done with their kids. They turn out good. Therefore kids. So with us, they just let us be. So just recently reading this. Agatha Christie's autobiography. I've heard this thought she says, the best luck in your life you can get if you have a happy childhood. That's what I actually had with grandparents. It was absolute freedom. Like we I learned to read and write. Yeah, I was seven year old. Now when my daughter, for example, was born. I made sure she's you know, all this education and all this. So she learned how to swim before she started walking. She learned how to read she was about three year old or something. But not that. I mean, I did it very much. Intentionally, I guess just we created this environmental thing, all these things, but in our case, we grandparents created playful environment for us. We were roaming streets from dusk till dawn. Yeah, it was very happy childhood in a remote Siberian village with nearly eight months of winter, but then in then three months of summer last summer, is like people rarely believe when I say it's plus 30 degrees, which is somewhere in our places. And then yes, fair enough. It's minus 30 When it's cold winter, but you will have all the reverse frozen, so you can skate. You can do all the skiing and yes, very happy time in my life. What
was your favourite activity during the winter?
Winter? Yeah, we we skied, we had a skating activities playing just snowballing I guess. Also, it gave me an opportunity to read a lot because when it's too cold when it's blizzard or something you just looked at I'm reading you have hearty fire, you know. So yeah, all these memories romantic. And so I think, what we look for when we grown up and try to recreate for my kids for example, that's well I had just given
and here you are with a nine month summer. So like, opposite direction. So how you When did you move to Australia?
I live in Australia for about 16 years, I followed my husband boyfriend at the time. He's from Russia as well, but caucus mountains, so sounds fresher. We met in Moscow studying. In a year of his PhD research, he said he's not doing what he wanted. So he needs to find a sort of nice alternative. Maybe getting Australian passport is a sort of thing of future as well because parents expected a lot. And he could only offer sort of an alternative. Equal. Yeah, so he went to lift for a year without me in Melbourne. And for the whole year he was trying to be get me interested thing. It's awesome place. If you've never come, you'd be regretting it. Live. So yeah, follow it. And here I am. 16 years.
Are you enjoying it here?
Absolutely. Well, we travelled we lived in Melbourne, Brisbane and Gold Coast, Canberra, our daughter, you'll learn how to walk shore of Lake Burley. But we move to Sydney and I think as my husband said we could have travelled anywhere else because Sydney has it all. I love it. And I live in one of the best parts Sydney Northern Beaches. So yeah, we've travelled northern beaches as well so lifting Collaroy now when the veil But for a person who learn how to swim at 25 year old me who we are members of call risk swim club with my daughter so we once a week we or twice a week actually she does Wednesday swims long distances. I'm not that proficient yet. Maybe I will never be but Sunday's we swim competitively. It's, you know, something, I guess we won parent and child race for two years in a row. We had the perpetual trophy. Got our names engraved in golden letters on the back of the trophy. So yeah, I was thinking it's probably the I could say these achievement for me personally, because it's like, yeah, Swimming was.
And you said also, you mentioned earlier that you have son as well.
Yes, my son's a nine day sister and 25 year old. That's another big I guess. Part of me who is a mother of 25 year old boy, it's like I can't believe it. When he was born. I was 19 and a half. He's same thing like at some point. I was studying in wishek Uni. So I've learned German at school and went to linguistic uni to become a German English teacher. And in second year, I thought, tweak what I actually liked to do. So I couldn't quit as well with the sole academics expectations for my family. I could only offer something like equally important so I had a gap year having a boy and creating my own family. It was a great experience. A 22 year old I think I had it all happening. I was graduating from uni with an accounting degree. I had son three year old to childcare pretty independent family to build and yeah the rest of the world to be concrete and guess
Wow. So you started your journey early and like from the high start. So what do you think is your I know it's it was the question from the previous seasons, but I'd like to ask you so what do you think is your greatest achievement or achievements
that's a hard one as well because you I hope they are ahead the big achievements. But for now say when you think pro Probably what my parents wanted for me grandparents as well, when they put so much love into bring me up with some I'm outside become a good person helpful to others. And hopefully they can say it's actually happened. I am a mother of two, my wife I work full time accountant for a company that instals solar panels. So I kind of nurture this with the purpose yes thing that I'm part of something bigger. And you just, I was really thinking, what's once life achievements. What counts is this little things like you know, really a battle you get up, get your family ready, get yourself ready, you start work, you do things you like, you make time for yourself, and also maybe contribute a little bit to the society. Yeah, so I guess what the answer to this question is, I hope it's the bigger tunes I had. But at the moment, I managed to build the life I probably wanted to build. And yeah, maybe another thing is, I'd really like to get more involved into bigger world sort of happenings not on politics or say things but but I'm say for example, I'm a member of a few book clubs, just because I'm into people's psychology, right. So you read the same book as some other doesn't do was you but then you make not conclusions, but you notice something, and the other 70 Something else different. So you think you see how it works. We do have different upbringing, the ground, so the brain trade to pick things different. Not necessarily good or better, but just different. So you learn from others as well. Say for example, being a member of Australian Conservation Foundation is another thing you contribute to environmental issues, bring awareness to problems, or like say my involvement in the Human Library, it's an online project for me now, because with the COVID started, they expanded so you can participate online basic ideas, Human Library publishes human books. So like you borrow a book from the library, you can invite someone who will tell you his story. And obviously the your story needs to be interesting to others. For example, books titles you pick you can be you can have different a few titles at the same time. Say mine, one of them immigrant immigration, right so I've sort of lift is the immigration process, I've managed to adjust maybe if I tell my story, how it went, others will get some sort of ideas, little tips how to build it better for themselves. And other ones for example, young mother because my story is as well like I was very privileged I had all the help from parents. It went very smoothly. I never had to sacrifice anything. I benefited from it because becoming a mother at a young age teaches you a lot of things like you know mother first of all sacrifices her time maybe even interests bigger purpose Exactly. For the sake of dedicating your time to child needy child who's first you know, just learning physically how to adjust in the world and then grows up growing as a person human being but then it's in the very Buddhistic way I guess same big thank you to my grandparents who brought me in that way. So some things just come naturally to me. I can't say I learned to do it. Just you know, I got it. Very like with mother's milk for pretty much I know. You accumulate say good deeds you contribute to the society. So same thing like you, you don't do bad things not because you say want to be reborn next life but to have a chance to live better, but just because you want to help others. So maybe this. Wow,
what a great story. So, let's move to the subject of our project and the podcast and let's talk about body and ageing. And my next question is, what does ageing means to you?
What ageing means to me, I guess inside. We laughed recently with my husband, I asked him, How old is your inner child? Because, you know, inside of each of us, there isn't child, but then I guess it depends if your child is five year old, you want one thing or you know certain thing things. And when your child is, say 10 year old, it's a bit of a different story. So I think
this is for those who are listening to us and don't know what you're talking about this psychological? I don't know. Like, idea. Yeah, like, everyone has the inner child inside, which is the basis of our personality, and you have to grow your inner child to become whole adult is like, meaning like healing your trauma as this is just like a side note. Yes. And so what did your husband answered?
Oh, he didn't, of course, easy for me. So he said, we figure it out yourself yourself, since you've asked, but I thought my inner child is probably my best luck is maybe I have, I had two chances to sort of, not to heal my inner child. I don't think you know, the child needed any healing because he had such a happy childhood was accepted with whatever, even you know, tricky. Things I used I've done when I was little. But with each kid you have a chance to live through your questions, some uncertainties, say, now I watch how my daughter's growing. So, at this date, my daughter is 11 years old, I think my inner child is 11 year old. So yeah, when I see her looking for her place for her standards, say shifting, adjusting, because we live in a society you want it or not. At some point, you will be looking around you and there are stages waiting for you to be sort of lived through experienced, like pretty preteens, they will at some point, question your authority as a parent, and no matter how, you know, good your standards and principles are, but they will be looking up to their peers small right? So now I'm thinking like I had this stage in my life when I was some sort of as well shifted and uncertain. But because I'm 11 year old right now saying 44 year old woman body, I can compare and I can appreciate things I've been just given explained without with no explanation. So I've taken them very naturally. So we've of course, buddy ages Fortunately, for you or not, I mean you can feel restrictions. But I understood it very early as well. Say looking at my grandma who had big problems, I knew I need to do exercising, so I enrolled myself into yoga studio. I was 25 for all now I again I'm very privileged I live I live across the road of the wonderful a yoga studio. Hot yoga studio. They also for not vinyasa hot vinyasa classes. I do outdoor yoga with my beautiful friend, as well. So regularly exercising, keeping your body strong because it's the best instrument given in your life. You know, so we spend time learning how to play piano, use your mobile phone with some millions of functions, but then your body is the one instrument with such a sophisticated and with proper care. You can use it for quite long, exactly. Again, my grandparents. Hopefully I've inherited some genes from them, say, grandma left us she was 94 year old. Her mother left she was as well 95 And Grandfather, for example, he's, he was 104 year old. His own mother was 102 year old, she rode the horse, to say goodbye to the children. So she my grandmother used to say my mother in law came once from the neighbouring village, riding horse brothers prisons. And then there was last time they saw her but then she was 102 year old riding on her own, so young. Now I'm thinking good genetics. Oh, well, hopefully. But looking at how you can probably with healthy diet, good lifestyle, balance in your life, work, rest, you can manage quality of life.
Now I understand like with your genetics and family history, being only 45, even not being 45. It's like you don't feel ageing, it's knowing that your relatives were leaving until 90s. But if you could go back to any age of yours, what it would be and why. And what advice would you give yourself at this age?
I think maybe it'd be when I was 25. On the verge of deciding, should I emigrate or not? Because I left lifestyle when I left Moscow, right? Either job quiet social statues, or pretty young age, good salary, circle of friends. You know, theatre subscription for a year paid in advance? Sort of things. In then yeah, I pushed myself completely out of my comfort zone when I came to Australia. But definitely it works it otherwise, I probably never, ever would have developed some signs of my personality. As I've developed, I hope here immigrating, doing things I think I'd probably do. And the advice would be to myself, 25, it will be alright, you will figure it out. It'll be even better than you imagined. It probably applies to me even right now. Because human nature is, we worry, you can help it because we have certain expectations from the family society around you, or for you from yourself as well. But it actually comes out. Well, in any case. And if even if you think you know, getting something you should probably just the door you should you don't need to open. There is another one for you. Waiting.
I agree. I agree. So we touched a bit on that subject. But let's move closer to the body image questions and what do you think are the main… no I'll ask this question a bit later. So the first question will be if your body could talk, what do you think it would tell you? Or ask you?
Well, I do have my buddies. Okay with how I treat it, because I know I need a good sleep. Otherwise I'm not have good sort of a person. So yeah, go to bed early. I get up with some rice. I practice gratitude ritual. So yeah, I think my body as well, because it's been so good to me. It was a home for two of my babies. It took me through some difficult years. When you know you your priorities are not your body so you only remember we added one instrument you say with back pain or high blood pressure or something like that. But then those are signs you say thank you giving me science in advance. So I need to take care of you. So you take wrist exercise, probably treated with some massage, sauna. So good food. Ocean swims will just
So it will just say: Thank you to you.
I hope so. But yeah, maybe there are a few things I'm not doing. I could have, say more regularly doing massage say or maybe quitting sugar completely. But I still like to trick myself occasionally to piece of cake.
And what do you think are the main causes of body image issues if someone has a body image issue,
We are never happy with what we've got, right? But again, I was very fortunate at very early age, my grandmother explained me she said, Darling, you have two beautiful symmetric eyes, two hands, you know, straight nose. Healthy buddy, you should know, there are people who don't have even that. So no matter if you know, your eyes say not so be cool eyelashes, not so long. It all can be fixed, right? Especially now. You know, with makeup and write maybe records, you will have a good photograph and you will be happy enough. So I think the main idea is you need to come to terms with yourself. First of all, be in harmony with yourself with your self image. You can't help it sometimes you see, there are, you know, people tall, slim, you're never going to be that because your height is what has been sort of genetically given to you You've reached it at 44. So but then you can buy heels you can add a few centimetres that will help to you know your legs look longer. You can exercise so you muscles in shape. But yes, of course you can. It's it. I mean, when I see young ladies with thin bone structure, for example, I'm gonna give it give it because I'm quite heavy from nature. But then I remind myself, this is the body I've been given, I'm not going to get any better so I can just look after it. Well, it will serve me for long. With the social pressure, for example, the image that meet Social media is create same thing like I tried to explain my daughter eyes, you only see what people like to show you. But it's not true. Like in matrix you see one image but then behind it so much work. So
Like an iceberg. Only the tip of the iceberg is shown.
And I guess Life is short have realised it already halfway through. So I'm thinking it's it's not worth spending your life miserable thinking I you know, I'd like to get something you can work with what you've given.
Yeah, that's true. And do you believe that negative body image can affect relationships, any relationship like friendship marriage?
Of course, even me, you know, I can't help it I think at some point when you know we've, if I was slimmer, I might have felt more confident for example, right if I'd be looking better, I could find a better place but the price of it first of all, it's no point of you know, wishing for something you're not going to get ever. So my advice to myself first of all is just to remember you get what you paid for. So, meaning if you investing in your time in your in regular visits into the gym your sports, lessons classes, tennis plays, I don't know what not you will get rewarded. So with the interrelationship insecurities, we maybe we struggle with not the behaviour. Our partner, for example, is demonstrating that your perception because it's your choice how to react, right? So maybe if I teach myself to see what's annoying me or what's challenging me? First of all, something I'm struggling with, it's, it's going to be much more help. So if I'm insecure because of my idea image I have in my head, is it a body or relationship? Image? Model? Right. So that's my problem. I need to work with it. So yes, definitely your insecurities, your maybe being stiff in pictures you have in your head. That's what's going to affect relationship. So you first of all, try to work
And how do you overcome some body related insecurities when they come up? I have another question is do you have any ways to bring yourself into body shape you want? And like, what's your ways to calm down those insecurities?
That period of my life, I was 25. Moscow. I worked there was a cartoon character, my son. Yeah. So it was very sort of roughly sketched girl who lived and she struggled through life. I pretty much I remember a lot of those little cartoons, they for adults, but I'm thinking at some point, I probably wouldn't show it to my daughter. Because she lived. That was my life. And there was one episode when she had depression. She was depressed and her friends came and said, you know, tried to cheer her up, take her out, and nothing worked. So they just said she, you probably have to help herself. They've tried everything. It didn't work. So she was just lying in steering towards the ceiling. And at night, there was a very bright night, she woke up, she wrote her bicycle, maybe you're thinking just to finish it all, you know, though, she was on the shore of Neva River. And then at some point, she looked at the moon's reflection, she sort of had a tune in her head, and she started singing, and then she started laughing. And so that was her relief, right? So she came out of it revived. So I think all this crisis is, that's like Takata shell, you reach your point, but then it's very painful to leave your shell. And then you have to do it. And then you through struggles, psychological, physical, whatever challenges you face, you need to overcome so and then there'll be point you will help yourself because you're the only one who can help of course, friends family, probably, it makes it for her as well. But I think this is…
But what is your method? If you feel I don't like how my body looks at the moment. So what is my go to? Do I like do you work with you saying that the main method is psychological work on yourself or you have also some physical actions that you do? And I'm interested, has it changed with age like, for example, when you were 20, and something you don't like about yourself? You had the method to put it back to normal and now when you 45?
Yes, again, when my partner left to Australia, we said goodbye to each other right? Is it was a new chapter for him. And I thought that's probably that's it. So I was I was depressed and I remember I spent the week lying you know in the star shape on my bed with face down then I lied another week with my face up. start shaking, but then something happened I don't remember exactly how but I got up. I bought my the ministers, you know the youth dense Bellydance. So this is Because shawl, just a shawl with the ministers sewn to it, and dusted bellydancing learning how to build things. I went to I hired a private swimming coach. I went for a week, I think every day. And then he taught me the theories that you're very telling the student now you need to just practice come to this pool swimming pool, you'll be swimming like champion suit. That's what I did. I lived next to the Academy of I mean, the academy, and they had the swimming pool in it. It was open at five o'clock in the morning. I had I could have gone around the building, because there was a fence between us. But because I was 24 I was very determined. I used to jump that fence, ran to the swimming pool. It was a wintertime, February. I remember it was snowing. But yeah, I swim every day. Then I went to the belly dance. I guess I danced fiercely. I was. And then when my partner met me in a year's time in Melbourne. He was of course that he saw photos. And you mean he saw lost about 10 kilos or something. But I guess when we met it was very, I still remember in the year time, he said, Do you think we should keep your size six dresses, costumes, you think he can feed back into those. But I think I've tracked them for a few years and I've never managed to come back to the size six anymore. So this stage I had, I guess COVID as well helped, not helped. But you know who was reasonable it? I put a lot of weight and same thing probably with the prime menopause. By the changes. I put at some point about 15 kilos, I've lost half. Another half is still for me to battle with. But again, I don't think I am ready to be that fierce. I don't know if it's good or not anymore. But definitely extra weight. It's no help. No physically No, mentally. That's probably something I like to do. But again, I swim. You know, regularly I do yoga, hot yoga, so I sweat a lot but then the weights not moving. And I'm thinking I'm not probably fused enough anymore for the four year old. So but then I knew I know in my way of coming back to fit state is just moving more I don't think I'm ready to cut my diet because I don't think I eat a lot dough era always room for improvement. Of course, it might have you know, honestly written down every piece of food I've eaten for weeks and then at point where I could have cut or you know, adjusted something. But I don't think I'm ready to do it. Life is too busy with full time work with a daughter in high school with my son round you know, as I also tried to make time for things I love to do, like you know, attending all these book clubs, the movie club, busy, busy life foundation Conservation Foundation meetings, yes. Watching movies, swimming in the swim club, attending birthday parties cooking. What else you know, so riding bike around the lake. So I think I am quite happy with what I have right now. There are room for improvement. I know that
the main thing that you are happy,
Yes, exactly. Will they say you know, if you don't have strength enough to do something, say step stairs 1000 Steps maybe just turn toward it like toward the tops probably that's what I'm doing.
Well, when my last question, just to wrap up this very nice deep conversation, which I enjoyed greatly, Is do you have any favorite quotes about being a woman?
I had one. I don't know if I'm gonna quote it correctly. But the meaning is strong woman is knows she has strengths in her to make the journey. But women with strengths know. It's in a journey. They gain strengths. So I think life is not a struggle like I don't think so because a lot of seems more just given to me. But definitely it's a sort of obstacle course. Some obstacles you think maybe not so fair to you, but you need to believe it's for your own good. You can gain strength you can become stronger, wiser happier when you overcome them themselves.
Oh wow. Thank you very much. Thank you for the such a great conversation and I hope you will enjoy the rest of the day in your photoshoot. Just for our listeners, can you say at least one phrase in the Mongolian dialect because I just wonder how it sounds. I never heard that.
I can probably even sing a little tune if I choose one night maybe since it's about me. It's About Us girls. Lovely ladies. I can sing a tune my uncle used to sing. (singing)
it's so beautiful. Thank you Tuyana. Thank you very much.
If you have an interesting story, we'd love for you to participate. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org That's Aleksandra spelled with a K S. Or visit our website 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:
ALSO Follow 𝗠𝗬 𝗕𝗢𝗗𝗬 𝗠𝗬 𝗦𝗧𝗢𝗥𝗬 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗷𝗲𝗰𝘁 page. ➡️ https://www.instagram.com/mybodymystoryproject