In this episode, you will learn 10 FACTS about TJ, 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 TJ
(at the time of the project)
1. 47 years old.
2. TJ was born and raised in Lithgow, New South Wales in the Blue Mountains.
3. She is the third daughter of her parents, and their names all start with T. She goes by TJ which stands for Tamara Joanne.
4. TJ is a C-Suite executive assistant, and she currently works for the CEO of Newcastle airport.
5. TJ is recently separated.
6. She has two biological sons 23 and 20. And two stepdaughters 26 and 23. A daughter-in-law-to-be and a wonderful little grandson named Bodhi, who was just born a couple of weeks ago.
6. TJ’s nana’s name is Glamma, which stands for glamour grandma, and she totally identifies with this.
7. TJ has two cats that are 10 years older brother and sister named Mario and Peach and they are her full-time indoor companions.
8. TJ’s passion is encouraging others, lifting others up and reminding people of what they have to be grateful for and to find the gold in all situations.
9. She is a people person. However, still an introverted extrovert. TJ is extroverted around people that she knows and she’s comfortable with and introverted the balance of the time. And she’s happily cheering people in the background.
10. Her favourite quote is - "Find out who you are and do it on purpose." ~ Dolly Parton.
Hi, you're listening to the My Body, My Story podcast.
And yeah, I think we're not taught to listen to our own voices enough when we're taught to listen to the voices of others, you know, whether it be social media, magazines, celebrities, or whether it's people in your real life.
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 the My Body My Story project. And today with us in the studio TJ and while she's sitting in the makeup chair and Nicole is doing magic on her makeup and here. I'll be asking her a few questions. Hi, TJ. Hi, welcome to the studio. Welcome to the project.
Thank you for having me.
And let's start and tell us 10 facts about yourself.
I'm 47 in April this year, I was born and raised in Lithgow, New South Wales in the Blue Mountains. I am the third daughter of my parents are still together and our names all start with T I go by t j which stands for Tamara Joanne. I'm a C-Suite executive assistant, and I currently work for the CEO of Newcastle airport. I am recently separated I have two biological sons 23 and 20. And two stepdaughters 26 and 23. A daughter in law to be and a wonderful little grandson named Bodhi, who was just born a couple of weeks ago.
Yeah, and I know that he was a reason why we have to change the date or your shoot
My nana name is glamma, which stands for glamour grandma and I totally identify with this. I have two cats that are 10 years older brother and sister named Mario and Peach and they are my full-time indoor companions. My passion is encouraging others, lifting others up and reminding people of what they have to be grateful for and to find the gold in all situations. I'm a people person. However, still an introverted extrovert. It seriously does make sense. I'm extroverted around people that I know and I'm comfortable with an introverted the balance of the time. I my background girl 100%. And I'm happily cheering people in the background.
I can't relate. Okay, sounds interesting. So I know that you're supposed to come like, I think it was a week ago. Or and suddenly, you texted us that your son and daughter in law are in the hospital and about to deliver your grandson unexpectedly. So how you are feeling as a grandma, in the new role?
I feel wonderful. I just can't believe that 20 years has passed me by and how I could possibly be a grandma yet. But here we are. 47 and 47. Almost. And he is lovely. He's absolutely delicious. And it's just been the best thing to ever happen.
I was I'm always wondering because I'm not a grandma year. So hopefully one day. Is it different feeling like when you have your first-born child compared to your firstborn grandson or granddaughter.
There it is. It's funny though the love that you have for your children. Just I can't believe how much it can extend out into the love for your grandchildren. So, so quickly and so suddenly, and all of those feelings come straight back. And it's amazing how it takes you straight back to when you had Jaws like even though it's 20 and 23 years ago. I remember it like it was yesterday. And all the smells and the sounds and everything just takes you straight back to being a mum and my daughter in law, Mackenzie. She just did such an amazing, she just did amazing and I'm just so grateful for her for what she's gone through to bring me grandson. I'm just yeah, I'll be forever grateful.
Oh, that's so nice. And so you mentioned that you're 47 years old. It's still young, but obviously we are entering stage of ageing and since we're born and so what does ageing means to you?
I didn't know I was thinking about that. Nor thinking older, wiser, I'm not sure. You know, how has 23 years passed me by because, like, I was just saying, I still remember when my oldest was born. And I can't believe I'm old enough to be a glimmer. I like to think that getting older means increasing, increasing in my knowledge, my trust, my faith, and my resilience. Even though going through what we do to be resilience, all my skills is in the process. Not to sound or metaphorical, but like a diamond in the fire, which actually means reflective light. And I, I really liked the sound of that the reflective light that I sparkle and shine.
Yeah, sounds good. So if you could go back to any age, what age it would be, and what advice would you give yourself at this age,
I would definitely be 15. Again, it was such a pivotal time for me, I went through quite a number of life events halfway through turning 15 and turning 16. And I would take it all back to before then I would be more innocent in so many ways, and my pop would still be around. Advice, I'm so great at giving advice to others, but not so great of taking any of it in myself. Self-love and respect are so important. And it doesn't mean you're being selfish, and it's not a negative. This can be done in the right way. But we just aren't taught how our default context is that it's selfish or self-love, or self-centered to love yourself. And it's totally not. Self-love is self-care. And care of self is one of the most important things, you know, how can you feel from an empty cup? We need new content, speak from a newly created content and change our mindset to support the new way of being?
Yeah, so it's good that if young people can hear us listen to this podcast, or so many women share similar points, you know, and saying like, I wish I was more confident or more loving myself, but why do you think it's important to give this advice at this age of 15. Like what happens?
I think there's just other influences that come in and around that time. It's no longer just your parents, you've got friendship groups, there's, you know, there's love interests, there's, you know, you've got, you're just doing other things, you're getting more freedom to do other things, you know, because you're coming to a certain age where you're allowed out a bit more, or you're, you know, you don't have as long, tighter curfew or something. So it's just such a pivotal age 1516, you're not quite old enough as an adult, but you're still you're not a little kid anymore. And it's such a pivotal time, where we make decisions around things for ourselves, you know, we're starting to learn to trust ourselves and trust our own judgement more. And yeah, I think we're not taught to listen to our own voices enough, when we're taught to listen to the voices of others. You know, whether it be social media, magazines, celebrities, or whether it's people in your real life, I just sometimes think we're not. We're not encouraged enough to listen to our own voices and work out what they're saying.
So do you think that these are the main causes of our body image issues as well, like the media, you mentioned, media, peer group? Or like, what are the causes for the body issues we have?
Yeah, I think largely, it's the environment that you surround you that you're in and who you surround yourself with, what kind of self-talk you have, what you allow, how we've been spoken to, or at. I really love some of the new generation like loving themselves sick. I wish I had half their confidence. Social media, it's, it's not new, it's just digital. Now. The old social media like we said, was the magazines like sports illustrated with the swimsuit editions, telling us what they perceived was beautiful. You know, models could only be a certain height, shape and style and if you didn't fit the mold then you had no hope.
Once you mentioned that the new generation is more confident but I'm very careful with being happy for that because I'm just always thinking is that true confidence or is the mantra they repeat also influenced by new wave of social media that you this body, body positive movements and you have to love yourself? Is that true loving themselves or it's more of a you know, like a religion? Yeah, question, you know how to define? Is that for real? Or?
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it's hard. It's hard to define, isn't it? It's hard to work out whether that's the new whether that's the new self-talk, that's the new mantra, or whether it's real, you know, are they being encouraged to step into these other things and the body positivity? And, you know, they've got all these celebrities like, Lizzo. And, you know, there's just so much of it going around, you know? Is it still what they want to say to themselves? Is it still how they feel? Or are they being influenced by these things? I still think it's got a lot to do with what you put in, like, what you listen to what you watch what your environment is, that's a such a big, a big factor,
because my concern is that this positive body positive movement, sometimes people are using as an excuse for not taking care of themselves.
Absolutely. There's definitely a danger there with that. You know, I still think, you know, people need to be careful how they take care of themselves, so their mental health and their physical health is still should be a top priority. You know, just because you might be not model material doesn't mean that you shouldn't look after yourself and put and put your health and wellbeing first. You know, it's still good to eat well eat a balanced diet and exercise, it's still good at this. There's so much evidence to say that these things are good.
So if you imagine that your body could talk, would you think it would ask you or tell you?
I think it would tell me to trust my instincts. If it doesn't feel right, then there's a reason for that. I don't care about your age, we've all got this inside of us, we just aren't taught to listen to it. And we just listen to so much of what other people say, you know, even if you might tell a friend or a family member, if they don't agree, you know, they can teach you not to trust your trust your instincts. And it's physical field. It's a physical feeling. Yeah. And I think we need to pause and ponder on what that is. What is it that it's trying to tell us? It's like, you know, for me, it's like electricity that can run through you at times, you know, in in the pit of my stomach. My body would tell me to stop. So that's that pause, just stop. Stop being so judgmental. Stop being so self-critical. And stop being sorry for what the past has brought me would tell me that I'm okay. I'm safe. And that I matter. And it would tell me that boundaries are okay, no matter who they are with or what the reasons are. Boundaries are a form of self-care, even with those closest to you. And I think it's even more important for those in your intimate space.
Yeah, that's true. Nicely said. So how do you think negative body image can affect any relationship like intimate relationship friendships, be relationship work? Space? Do you believe it can cause any damage to the relationship?
Yeah, I think definitely, in some situations that can, that can cause such a divide. Intentionally or unintentionally. You know, you might sit and worry and think, oh, gosh, you know, does my partner think I'm looking old? Or are they looking at my flabby tummy? They could seriously be sitting there and thinking how lucky they are to have you in their life, or thinking of what they want for dinner. But our negative thoughts get in the way and stop us from communicating. Because we believe the lies our minds tell us and sometimes, for me, it just feels so loud, it drowns out all the good. Partners, and people in your space can get frustrated with the negative criticism that some people go through. They don't know how to help us move through that and they feel caught. They feel damned if they do and damned if they don't. If you've got a partner that you feel safe with, then this makes it easier to talk about where your mind goes and what kind of things you think. And they can journey alongside you. That's the kind of relationship that I'm looking for.
How do you overcome your body related insecurities when they come up? And how does it change with age?
yeah, I am what's the way sort of Yeah, I'm, I find that I do this with great difficulty. I struggle at times with crippling anxiety, and I hold my breath and I clench my jaw. I try to be released Have aware if I notice I'm doing it, I stop and take that big breath in, breath out. What can I see, touch, hear, smell, and I deliberately, like loosen my jaw. I try to remember the good part of my body that my body's done for me. I disliked my stomach immensely. I was chatting to you about that before. But it bought me two amazing boys. And went through nine operations due to endometriosis. Between the ages of 19 and 30, which resulted in a hysterectomy at the young age of 30. I talked to people that I trust, I tell them what's happening for me, my older sister is my biggest champion and has some serious flair and confidence. And she says you can do whatever you want, wear whatever you want, as long as you do it with confidence. One of my best friends is great to talk to in these situations. She once said to me, the next time you feel this way, remember that you're talking to the person that I love. And I won't allow you to talk to her that way. And that's really stuck with me ever since that really got me through some negative moments. You know, she said you would never speak like that to anyone else. You would never speak like that to me. I've never heard those words out of your mouth. She said, so why do you talk to yourself like that? And it's just really interesting. It does make me stop and think why do I talk to myself like that when I She's right. I would never to anyone else.
But you may think about somebody else's seems just being polite. You may not say that.
No, I'm I just don't. I don't think that way. You don't even think that. My brain just doesn't go there. But only towards myself.
Interesting the soul has, how sometimes we can be so hard on ourselves. And, you know, it's you know, it's a common saying like we're the worst critics of ourselves. But it just for me, it's always interesting why we allow to criticise ourselves that bad. You know this?
Yeah, like, where did we pick that up from? Where did we? Where did that first start?
Yeah, that would be interesting to discover. Because when the baby's born, like, they don't criticise them. Yes. Yeah. Like sometimes. Adult people who behave like children. They don't know. Yeah, sometimes they don't know the limits, you know, but it's how you behave like a baby. They don't even think like, oh, that's bad that I'm doing something bad. They just do because they feel like it. Yeah.
Yeah, I think it's to do maybe with the norms and restrictions society puts on us and somehow it develops into this bad self talk. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. It's really awful. It's just something we've got to unlearn. Yeah,
so because maybe it's we've been taught it's not good to talk bad about other people's but nobody said that. It's bad to talk. Yeah, that's right by ourselves. Yeah. So my last question, and it's the favourite one for me. What's your favourite quote about being a woman or saying maybe thought?
So I absolutely love Dolly Parton. And she said once, find out who you are, and do it on purpose.
Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts and your story, and I hope you will enjoy the rest of your day and the photoshoot and you will see yourself differently.
I hope. Thank you.
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.
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