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Episode 72 – Julie | My Body. My Story PODCAST| 45 Over 45 chapter



In this episode, you will learn 10 FACTS about Julie , 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 Julie

(at the time of the project)



1. 60 years old.

2. Julie is born in Australia, in a town called Cowra which is in the central west of New South Wales, better known as canola country.

3. Julie was raised on a farm. So, she grew up barefoot, crazy and running through the bush.

4. lived in many, many different places. when she was 16, she took up a job in a bank in Bathurst, then moved to Canberra for a while, then to a small coastal town just down from Wollongong called Kiama and then to Sydney.

5. Julie is single with a friend with benefits. So, she has just discovered that that's a good idea rather than a relationship.

6. Julie currently works four jobs! She is a workplace trainer and teaches interpersonal skills leadership, management, coaching. So, developing people is her main job.

7. She is also an aqua aerobics instructor which is something she’s very passionate about, which helps keep her fit. She is also a fitness coordinator for her area in Hornsby Aquatic and Leisure Centre.

8. Julie loves lots of colour. Her favourite colour is purple.

9. Julie is bisexual and leans more to the lesbian side. She has had both relationships, and she’s probably happier with women. She knew this right from a young age but growing up in a small country town this was challenging.

10. Julie has two children of her own, a son and a daughter. And three stepchildren, her oldest stepson is deceased, but she still has two stepchildren. So, there are two girls and two boys effectively. Now, she’s home alone, which she is quite enjoying.


 

INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT

(auto-generated):

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


But it didn't, I didn't take it and make it define me or wasn't concerned about it. It's like, you know, I am who I am. And I've got what I've got that said.


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 info@aleksandrawalker.com That's Aleksandra spelled with a K S. Or visit our website aleksandrawalker.com


Hello, everyone, and welcome to the My Body My Story project and today with us Julie in the studio. And while she is sitting in the makeup chair, and Agata is doing makeup and hair for her. I'll be asking her a few questions. Hi, Julie.


Hi, how are you Alex?


Good. Thank you and welcome to the project. Welcome to our studio. And let's start and tell us 10 facts about yourself.



10 facts about myself well I'm turning 60 on the 28th of February, so in four days time, and I'm really excited about because getting older doesn't bother me in the least I'm here to experience it.


It's nice to hear.


I was born in Australia. I was born in a town called Cowra which is in the central west of New South Wales, better known as canola country. So when you see all those pictures of their beautiful yellow flowers across acres and acres, that's where I'm from. And I was raised on a farm. So I grew up barefoot, crazy and running through the bush. I've lived in many, many different places. So apart from Cowra, I then moved to the neighbouring town when I was 16 and took up a job there in a bank. And that's called Bathurst. And then I moved back to Canberra for a while I got married very young, very silly, but I did. And we moved to Canberra which is of course the nation's capital which to me was the big time and then from their own back to Kiama, which is a small coastal town just down from Wollongong. But I'm happily living in Sydney now I've been here since 1990 and lived through many transitions of life. I'm single, oh with a friend with benefits if I'm allowed to say that as you do at 60. So I've just discovered that that's a good idea rather than a relationship. I'm a workplace trainer. So I teach interpersonal skills leadership, management, coaching, developing people as my main job. I'm an aqua aerobics instructor which is something I'm very passionate about, which helps keep me fit. I'm also a fitness coordinator for our area. We're on a maternity relief. And I currently work for jobs. Wow, that keeps me fit and off the streets basically. So I can't give too many people too much cheek. My favourite colour is purple always and lots of colour. So finding some clothes for the photoshoot was a bit tricky. Dark I can do but light things not so much.


But you've got a nice purple top


yes, I do. I do. It was only a few years ago that one of my girls, my best girlfriends daughters came shopping with me. And she said, I've just got to do something with your wardrobe apart from purple. So she took me shopping and introduced me back to red. I hadn't worn red for 20 years because my uniform in the bank back then was red.


Bad memories.


Well, it was more that you just wore it every day. It's just quite interesting. Yeah, I got really tired of it. And it's quite hilarious sitting here looking out this window while my hair's been done. I'm looking straight ahead at the National Australia Bank star because that's where I worked. So it's quite a coincidence.


Nothing is Coincidence in this life…it's a sign (laughing)


could be …Hope it's not that I'm going back because I think I'm done with banking for sure. So something I really wanted to talk about today about myself was sexual orientation. I'm bisexual. I lean more to the lesbian side of the fence if there's a side of the fence should lean towards. I've had both relationships, and I'm probably happier with women do get a lot of conversation. You get a lot of shared tasks. It's amazing and things get done around the house. It's quite incredible. I think that's because that bit older and I knew this right from a young age but being in a small country town this wasn't something that you did challenging. challenging while you'd be bullied and ridiculous and the first girl that I was interested in, I was just laughed at. So I'd locked it away then for 30 odd years, so yeah, so that was something that was important to me to talk about about myself.


So are you participating in the meeting Mardi Gras?


No, I'm not because coming to the city at night to pest. Lazy, I think the prom man, I would like to and I think one year I will, but I'm just a bit lazy.


Yeah, but I wonder if this year they're doing it in the city? Because I think the previous couple of years they did it on the stadium.


Yes, I think so. I think that was sort of due to COVID range of different things that was happening at that time. Yeah, I think you're right. So I thought about my favourite place and effectively, it's not really a place my favourite place is the water. So if unless I'm dipped in water every day, I don't feel good. So and that's not just having a shower. That's a proper swim and, you know, proper exercise. So anywhere where there's water, really. So when I plan a holiday, I look for hotels with pools, and I plot a map of where I'm going to buy where we have swimming pools and or ocean beaches. So I love to ocean swim. I like doing beta bass swims out in the ocean. I swim in a pool every single day. So yeah, my favourite place is the water.


So you said your instructor for aqua aerobics?


Correct.


And so if someone wants to join your class, how they can find you?


Oh, that's easy. Hornsby Aquatic and Leisure Centre. Just look it up online. And look at our timetable. It sits online on the website. And we have quite an extensive fitness regime, even if aqua aerobics isn't your thing. Maybe Zumba might be or hip hop, or yoga or pilates. We have instructors on all those particular interests. So you can join us a member or test, run a couple of sessions and decide what you'd like to do from there.


Cool. That's great. Perfect. And you've mentioned you have daughters, you said,


I have two children of my own, so a son and a daughter. And I have three stepchildren, my oldest stepson is deceased, but I might still have two stepchildren. So there's two girls and two boys effectively.


Nice. So how they communicate with each other, like the near and far they are.


So my eldest daughter lives in California, through Facebook Messenger, that sort of thing. Her sister keep in touch a lot, because her younger sister is here and she's over there. So Facebook's sort of the catch up place for what have you been doing? What are the pictures? What are the boys? What How old are the boys? And what are they doing that that type of thing. So my younger daughter lives with me off and on, depending on what the month is and where she's where she's feeling as she might be at a partner's place. So at the moment, I'm home alone, which I've got to admit, I'm actually quite enjoying it.


I was going to ask you Do you like it? Or do you prefer? Look, of course you love your kids. We know that.


I'm an extrovert. So I typically get my nourishment from being around people in the outside world. Yeah. However, sometimes it's nice to escape that outside world and I've never actually lived alone. This is the first time I've lived alone. Which is sounded a bit daunting. But you know what? You leave in the morning and you come back in the evening and everything's where you left. It is a real bonus.


And nobody else making mess


And you don't come home to a sink full of dishes when there wasn't one that morning. Yeah, sounds good. So I think my passion really as if I talked about my passion is aqua aerobics and water. I enjoy participating in classes, which is what led me in, during COVID to take up instructing because I didn't want to get to the end of it and go, Well, that was a waste of time, wasn't it? So I decided, well, I can't do anything or go anywhere. So I might as well study. So I thought well, that can give me an income. You know, it's separate. That's also something I enjoy. It's nice to get paid for something you don't feel like the task. Exactly. Yeah. And I've enjoyed I think speaking of COVID what came of it for work life balance, especially for women. Being able to work from home a few days a week would have been an absolute NO NO for most organisations that have looked at it and thought you had three heads if you asked for that. But now it's quite the norm. So I didn't find COVID such a bad thing.


You don't see that but we are having guys cleaning windows outside and just now one guy said hi to us.


That wasn't what I was expecting today, but every experience is a new experience.


You've got an extra


Yes, I know. I didn't realise I've never guessed.


What does ageing means to you?


I think ageing is wonderful. Because I can take lessons I've learned and apply them to my newly found life as a single person. And if I haven't learned something by almost the age of 60, I should be giving up I think. I think the longer you're around, the more interesting things you can do. And I think I think you get less worried about what people think, people, if people don't like what I'm doing well, you know, too bad. This is my life. And I'm going to do what I would like to do. I'm enjoying discovering life as a single person and with a friend with benefits, because I have to keep saying that, because I'm not allowed to say partner. I was told not to.


So if you could go back to any age, what age it would be, and what advice would you give yourself at this age?


It's interesting, because I haven't really sort of thought about that much after a close friend of mine died last year, and my partner of 16 years left, and I kind of thought, well, I've got, again, a new lease on life now, because I want to live every day to the max, because you just don't know when that's going to be your last one. And I don't feel in invisible, which is something many people over the age of 50 talk about, I still get compliments and graciously accept them. And I mean, he'll who wouldn't have had probably, if I had to pick an age, I'd probably go back to my early 30s self and with my lessons learnt over the following 30 years, I'd probably want to be a better parent, because I think I've got a better manual on it now than I had, then you're just trying things out, it was all experimental. And, you know, maybe most of us didn't do such a crucial job at times. So I think I'd take my lessons and give it to my 30 year old self.


And let's talk about body image and how we perceive our bodies and you know, around this theme, so if you body could talk, what do you think it could ask you or tell you?


I really liked that. That was a great question. I think it would probably tell me to slow down a tad. There's times I get into bed and I go, Whew, that was a day, wasn't it? You know, I start out early in the morning with a swim in an aqua aerobics class some sometimes before 530. And then proceed to my next job, and work all day. Sometimes I'm in a classroom all day teaching. And then I might pack up and go back and teach aqua aerobics and get home and go Hmm, so I think my body would say, Oh, for goodness sakes, slow down.


It looks like you have a quite an active life. You know, and for 60, as you said, like not everyone can be proud of having that. I wish I had very active life.


It's not never too late to change. Alex never too late.


Yeah, I knew that. Just you need to do this one first step towards that.


Yes. It's just a matter of developing the habit and for it to become something that's about you that you'd like if I, as I said earlier in the in the cast that if I didn't get immersed in water each day, I'd feel weird.


the question I want to ask you is related a bit with the next question, but I will twist it a bit. Do you feel like with age because as I understand you do this? Aqua aerobic for how long? You've been doing that?


As a participant? I've been doing it since 2014. So that's, what nine years, nine years? Yeah, as a teacher or instructor, I've been doing it now. This is my third year. So since 2020,


so do you feel that with the age you have to slow down on physical activities, or your body's not taking as much as it used to? Like, do you feel any changes, you know, with, uh, with age that in terms of physical activities of the body?


Yeah, great question. Yes, and no, I think the answer, which doesn't help you very much. So I actually feel fitter now than I did in my 40s and 50s. Because of instructing, though, the flip side to that is that you do need to be conscious of knees, hips and other areas that are clearly not as lubricated as they used to be because you're older. So so long as you're mindful of how you're doing it and use correct techniques. That should be no reason why you can't keep doing this. I think the one of the oldest instructors was in the late 80s when they passed away and they were still teaching. So look, I think some people will slow down. And it's often dependent. I think more on your health and genetics, that sort of thing as opposed to you absolutely having to slow down. I think when you slow down, you could actually stop, which worries me.


Because I heard that with age when you train. Like, if before you could train five days a week or seven days, probably nobody does that. Anyway, I do. So and they say after 45, you should train only three times a week, just to let your body rest. That's why I asked.


Yeah, well, I say that they have no idea. That's what I say you feel okay. I feel great. Yes. And particularly because it's water based exercise. For the most part for me, that you you're not putting stress and strain on your joints. And that's the whole point of of aqua aerobics. And that's why we have a number of older participants who say how great they feel. And we actually have a lady who comes on two sticks to assist her walking. And during COVID, she just said she felt miserable. She felt lonely, because she was at home alone, she was used to having her Aqua friends to go to coffee with and things. And she said she got stiff and sore. So she was worse off for not being in the pool, which is not not surprising.


Yeah. And so do you. How do you overcome? Would you relate it insecurities they when they come up? And what's the go to weigh? Bring yourself into your body shape? I know you do the aqua aerobics and obviously you have great shape. But I'm sure from time to time we feel low. And you know, we need some some kind of tricks, you know, to bring ourselves back to here to track. So what do you do have has changed since with age,


I think not so much with age, possibly with age only due to the fact that then you've got less kitty duties to do. So you've actually got more time for yourself. So I think that's, that's an interesting change as you get older. But I think it was more around my friend dying last year, that was a real metamorphosis for me to go. You know, this could be really short, I best get on with it. So I've never really had a lot of body insecurities. You know, there's been times when I've had more weight on the nice should have, which was usually my fault eating muffins or something. But I now really focus on how fortunate I am to still be here and to be healthy and happy. And how I understand my body's unique and it's functional. So what more could I possibly want. And it's what I've got to work with like you can you can be as envious of someone as you like or is envious of what you see or deem as perfect. But that's not what you've got. That's not the canvas you've got to work with. So you just need to be grateful for what you've actually got and make the most of it.


So what's your go to method to bring yourself back to nice mood?


I do meditation, I do think or sound bath meditation with a friend. And we it's basically a meditation with these Nepalese sound bells is really peaceful. So I like to do that to bring myself back to Earth. Also, swimming in itself is a very solo pursuit. So you've got time to I can sort of meditate along or I can plan my day or think about absolutely nothing. So I find that that's a 40 minute sort of relaxation session for me, even though I'm working out working hard, it's still a time for yourself when you can bring yourself back to a conference place.


Just to relax your brain.


Exactly.


So where do you think generally this was the main cause of body image issues?


Yeah, good question as well. I think inherently some people's traits and characteristics some are more self confident as as a natural thing than others. So if you happen to be given a poor pool of genetics, and you you come from a family where looking on the downside of things is more than norm, and perhaps carrying a bit of weight or whatever you've been predisposed to, then you might be more vulnerable to some of the external pressures that happen about body image. So I've always been fortunate to be self confident and pretty positive most of my life, you know, everyone has their down days. I do too. Though, in general, I tend to look at the glass being half full rather than, you know, empty. I think what is it exacerbating it these days are certainly schoolyard bullying with which we were talking about a little bit earlier, is is a big thing. And I'm hearing from friends who are teachers that, you know, children as young as 989 10, are talking about being fat, and you know what they look like. Whereas when I was that age, I wouldn't have even given a thought to any of it. So I think the access to media and much more of it in your pocket, probably hasn't helped anyone who, who maybe can't extract themselves from that type of thinking, perhaps, and then being bullied. Probably gives you lower self esteem. And then so the cycle goes. But I think media certainly has a huge part to play in it.


Yeah, I was just while you were talking, I was thinking, well, if person imagined the person leaves on its own, on his own or her own on an island, and do does he need self confidence? And would he have body image issues? Like,


maybe he's got nothing to compare against you? You might not.


So that's I think that's what you said is the key word the comparison. Yeah. So that's what creates the the issue securities?


yeah. You're not going to be like the model in the magazine. That's just not everybody's built that way. That's why this few models, and there's more of us regular folk.


I think most of the people are regular, like, yeah. And it's interesting that old days, the full body were in fashion, and now a slimmer .. it just depends on time, you know, where .. what body considered to be ideal.


That's very true. And when I was growing up, curly hair, certainly wasn't in dead set flat, straight hair was in and of course, having curly hair. I was bullied for it, which is also ridiculous, because there's not a damn thing I can do about it. It's genetics. I inherited it. That's that.


I can't I can't imagine why someone would bully you because of the curly hair??


I know, it makes absolutely zero sense. And that's why I could look at that and go Oh, seriously, really? That's the worst thing you've got to worry about. You've not got many problems.


I think people just pick up things which are different from majority. And it's the reason to bully around. Yeah, you know, whatever it is,


I call it the pet chicken syndrome. So yeah, when small chickens are kept in massive coops and whatnot. If one of them develops an injury or looks different in any way, the other chickens will turn on it and pick it to death. So I think I think humans are a little bit like chickens in a in a pen.


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


definitely without a doubt, I think it affects sexual intimacy. If you aren't happy with what you what you have and feel good about it, you definitely would be less inclined to be more sexually intimate, or, dare I say, even adventurous. Because you are more concerned about certain aspects of your body. And of course, being naked is the most, the ultimate, I guess, outing, if you like, of what your body really looks like. So I think intimacy would is definitely affected. And to some extent, probably even just conversation and your confidence to have an equal relationship and have a say, you might feel like you're not good enough. And so you might not express your wishes as to what you'd like to do in life.


I just had another question. Spontaneous question. What would you do that, for example, you have a partner who you love a lot, or you're infatuated with and that says this, this, suddenly this person is saying, like, oh, you need to lose a bit of weight, or you need to put on weight. So what would you do?


Absolutely nothing. I do what I needed to do and go Well, I'm sorry, you know, oil painting yourself pet. I'm not going to give you advice on what to do. So don't give me advice on what to do. Yeah, I definitely stand up for myself and say, I'm very happy the way I am. Thanks very much for your your concern. I'd like to think that. Yeah. The person I'm involved with would not say that at all. But yeah, I guess there's plenty of people who who do receive that. And I certainly have. I remember being in a longer term relationship where that partner said, your legs aren't your best asset. And I remember that Yeah. that feeling like an ouch. But I still didn't believe it anyway.


So and you forgive the partner for that, or


Yes, yes, that partner was a little bit more obsessed with, with perfection and fineness


didn't just leave a bit of scar, Scar, Scar,


Scar scar. I will, I guess the fact that I remember it and can repeat it means that it was embedded in my head as a memorable moment. But it didn't. I didn't take it and make it define me or I wasn't concerned about it. It's like, you know, I am who I am. And I've got what I've got. That's it.


Excellent. So my last question. I love it a lot. Do you have any favourite quotes about being a woman or saying,


Yeah, this this that was really hard to to actually choose because there's so many women I admire and they're from all sorts of walks of life. That I guess I guess I had to come back to because I had to choose one. Being an aqua aerobics instructor. I really love music, and I sing badly while I'm doing aqua aerobics, which I encourage everyone to come and sing badly with me. And I like Shanaya Twain's - Man, I feel like a woman! because there's a line in there that says that one, that man, I feel like a woman. The best thing about being a woman is the prerogative to have a little fun. Yeah. And I think sometimes we get a little bit too serious with life and bogged down. So remembering that life can also be fun.


Thank you very much for sharing your story. I really enjoyed and hope you will have amazing photoshoots Thank you. And amazing birthday celebration next week.


Could you believe it? I'm working next.


Aqua aerobic?


Yes, that's right. I'm working. But hey, you know, that's, that's a normal day for me, so why not?


Thank you, Julie. Thank you very much.


Oh, thank you. Thank you so much.


If you have an interesting story, we'd love for you to participate. You can email us at info@aleksandrawalker.com That's Aleksandra spelled with a K S. Or visit our website aleksandrawalker.com


 

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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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