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Episode 99 – Stephanie | My Body. My Story PODCAST| 45 Over 45 chapter

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

(at the time of the project)

1. 45 years old.

2. Stephanie was born in Malaysia.

3. She came to Australia when she was 21. During the Olympics year, the year 2000.

4. Stephanie is a single parent. She has one daughter, she's 11.

5. Stephanie is an architect and runs her own design practice called 30axis.

6. Stephanie graduated top of her class, and she got offered a scholarship to finish her degree but didn't want to go to Perth. So, Stephanie gave it to the next person and came to Sydney by herself.

7. In 2008 Stephanie traveled by herself to Europe through about 20 countries for about nine months, connecting with people in each country and staying with complete strangers.

8. Stephanie’s favorite country is France. This year she took her daughter there.

9. Stephanie craves adventures and likes learning about other people, how they live, other cultures, different foods, and different family traditions.

10. Stephanie also reads a lot. On average, she reads about 20 books a year!




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

I was engaged to be married once a long time ago. But I decided not to. And instead, I packed all my things up and I travel by myself to Europe back in 2008. Yeah, I travelled by myself solo, through about 20 countries for maybe about nine months. And I did all of it through Couchsurfing.

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 That's Aleksandra spelled with a K S. Or visit our website

Hello, everyone, and welcome to The My Body My Story project and today with us in the studio, Stephanie. And while Nicole is creating her magic and does makeup and hair for her, I'll be asking her a few questions. Morning, Stephanie, welcome to the studio. Let's start and tell us 10 facts about yourself.

I just turned 45. I was born in Malaysia. And I came to Australia when I was 21.

Oh, wow. Longtime.

Yes. During the Olympics year, the year 2000. I am a single parent, I have one daughter, she's 11. I am an architect. I run my own design practice. The name of my design practice is 30 axis.

What is it again? 30. Axis?

Yep. architectural design practice.

Oh, that's nice. So what do you what do you do usually like What's your main speciality? Or, like, what do you design?

I mainly do residential. A lot of alterations. Sometimes it's a whole knock down and rebuild a new house. Sometimes a lot of people want duplex. So it's kind of a bit of everything. But mainly in the residential area.

Oh, that's interesting. So if someone wants to find you where, where they can, where they can find us, you have a website or Instagram.

I do. So my website is And on the there's a portfolio of all my projects. And yeah, if anyone wants an architect, that's where they would find me.

Interesting. So why you decided to become an architect.

Um, I like designing. I originally thought I would do interior design. But the more I thought about it, I decided to do architecture because I could still do Interior Design as an architect, and it's more diverse. And mainly people a lot of people told me I couldn't do it. Because at that time, not many females were in architecture. So I just wanted to be a rebel and prove to people was that couldn't do it that I could do it. Yeah.

Did you study in Australia?

I studied. I started in Malaysia. It was a training programme with Curtin University, which is in Perth. And after a certain stage, the students go to Perth to continue the degree. But I graduated top of my class and I got offered a scholarship to finish my degree but I didn't want to go to Perth. So I gave it to the next person. And I came to Sydney by myself. Hmm, interesting.

So you liked Sydney and Is it your favorite place here in Australia?

I haven't been to Perth, to be honest, I haven't visited all of Australia. But at that time, when I was 21, I thought I wanted something new. And Sydney seemed like the biggest city in Australia with more opportunities. Also, I think I had this vision that I wanted an adventure not together with my other classmates who graduated in Malaysia, because they were all going to Perth. And I just want an adventure on my own.

So you're a rebel

I am. And I'll tell you more in a second what why I was a true rebel.

Yeah, please do.

I was engaged to be married once a long time ago. But I decided not to. And instead, I packed all my things up. And I travel by myself to Europe, back in 2008. Yeah, I travelled by myself solo through about 20 countries for maybe about nine months. And I did all of it. Through couchsurfing through sorry, for what through couchsurfing? So connecting with people in each country and staying with complete strangers.

Oh, wow. So how was this experience?

It was very, very, once in a lifetime experience, it was very eye opening.

So which countries have you visited?

I think I started in Dubai, as a transit, my first transit and then from there, I went to Egypt because it was not far away. And I left Egypt to my first European city was Paris, and I only had a ticket to go to Paris, but then it was open ended. To go anywhere else. I want it for the rest of the year. So I travel, probably spent two months in France.

So, you didn't plan. Know where you go. Just you knew that you're going to Paris and then decide there what you want to do next?

Yes, exactly where I wanted to travel, how long I would stay in each place. So, I didn't know where I was going up till until I got somewhere. And then I would typically stay about three, three nights. And then maybe two days before I would decide to the next destination. So, I would just buy tickets along the way, like train or bus and travel through Europe, mostly Western Europe. Yeah, I travelled down and I flew to some places. But altogether, I did it for about nine months. It was six months in Europe, actually.

So how many countries do you have? Have you counted?

I think I did. 20.

Oh, wow. Yeah. And how long it took for you to travel?

Oh, I think it took about six months altogether. Yeah, yeah, only staying a few days in each place.

Which country you were impressed with the most?

The most was France. I stayed there two months. And then I travelled downwards to Spain. I spent about a month there. And then I went to Portugal. And then from Portugal, I think I flew around some of the other countries. But it was kind of all random. Depending on how I felt and how much energy I had at the time, yeah, I will decide what to do and where to go.

So do you would you go to tourist attractions or you try to live life like a local.

Um, it was, it was definitely more like a bit of both because I was couchsurfing with someone local who live there. They will always hang out with me and bring me to all their local like, favourite spots. Yeah. Which is which are usually not tourist places. Yeah, that's which is good. And the nice thing was there were a lot of times bring me to their family like dinners online. Sure.

So you seen the real life.

That's what I wanted. That was the experience. I want it so I got it. Yeah. Cool.

So You said it was 2018? Already you had

sorry. 2008. As I mentioned, as an eight, how was your job? You? Have?

You said you have the daughter?

Yes. My daughter? Yes. She was born in 2012. And yes, you're right. It's 2008. I was 10 years to miss it by 10 years.

So what was your biggest outcome from this trip? Or thought maybe like? Or maybe you learned something. Or just enjoyed life.

I think I Yes, I enjoyed life, I discovered a lot about myself, that I, I crave adventure, and things that are different from what I grew up with. I like learning about other people, and how they live, other cultures, different foods, different family traditions. And I was just really curious that what I was exposed to me that that can't be all what life is about. It has to be more.

So now when you are a parent, and you have a daughter to travel, or you did the big travel, then and so do you travel together with her or you stay in Australia around Australia? I know that there was a COVID and you know, the restrictions and everything.

So the answer is yes. When she was very little, it was very hard. So I stayed mostly here. When she turned six, I started travelling again with her together. And we took her to Qatar to Turkey. We went to recently, we did a big Europe trip in June, July.

This year?

yes. This year, after COVID. I decided to do my big trip since the last because hadn't been back since 2008. And I took her to France. And we went to Amsterdam. We stopped in Lille, which I hadn't been before, even though I've been to Paris before many times. And on the way we went to South Korea as well. So it was a big adventure for us. We spent a month travelling together.

Did you like it?

It was amazing. We both loved it. It was a really good experience.

And it's a good quality time mom and daughter.

Yes, exactly. And I hadn't been there in summer. So my last trip was in winter time. Very different.

That's good. So anything else we have? I don't I didn't count. If we have 10 fights about yourself. Anything else you want? Do you have any pets?

okay. Yes, we do. We have a cat. His name is Frodo. He's kind of a senior cat. No. Senior, he's old old man. He's going to be always going to be 13 years old. So he's an old man cat. And yeah, I've had him since he was a kitten and my daughter and I love him to bits. It's like a family member. My second my first child actually, this child. Yeah. So it was before you do it? Yes, exactly.

Okay. All right. So let's move to so is that is I understand that you have passion for travelling. Yes. Any other passions?

I do read a lot. During COVID, the year that we were locked down, I read 40 books in that year. To me, that's a lot because an average I think on average, I read about 20 books a year. But that that year I read 40 books.

What kind of books you like, like fiction or history or?

I really love autobiographies. And that's, you know, started. I like to read not just anyone's autobiography, but people will find it interesting. I love science fiction and fantasy fiction kind of books. Yeah, so Current and in dystopian kind of story. So that's what I'm reading at the moment.

Interesting. Okay, perfect. So let's move to ageing and body image. Questions. And my question. My next question is, what does ageing mean to you? At this moment of your life,

I'm not really sure. Because sometimes I don't feel like I am ageing. Physically, I feel when I compare pictures of myself from, say, 10 years ago, I don't really see a huge difference. I guess, in terms of life, is when I compare myself to other people, I feel like I'm falling behind. You know, people find buying houses, or they, you know, got married, some people get married, to get divorced and to get married again. And I feel like I'm still in the same place despite ageing. So I kind of feel like, I My body's ageing, but I'm kind of stuck in the same place, I guess.

When you're 35, at the age of 35,

or 25. Even Yeah, yeah. Yeah, exactly.

So, but if you body could talk, what do you think it would tell you or ask you?

Oh, my body would say thank you for looking after me so well. Think COVID. I know, it was a struggle for a lot of people. But I started exercising a lot. During COVID time,

would you just go to the gym or just heavy lifting or

when we were all stuck at home, we because I couldn't work. I started doing home workouts, because that started kind of being very popular on YouTube during the start of COVID. So, I started doing that. Before that, I would go to the gym just once a week. And when COVID started, I started exercising every day. And that was in 2020. And I guess, after lockdown was finished, I continued because it gave me a sense of purpose every day, even if I wasn't working, or I had not much on that day, doing a workout in the morning. Made me feel like I accomplished something. So as time went by 2023 I started doing strength training. And yeah, I think my body would would say thank you for for for looking after, like weary well, with with exercising.

You if you could go back to any age, what age it would be and why. And also, what advice would you give yourself at that age?

What did I like about myself? At that age?

What if you could go anywhere? Like at any age, where would you go? at what age you would like to go back? And what would you say to yourself at that age? Or maybe advice?

Give advice? I should have prepared for these questions. Anyway. Right philosophical questions. I think I was I will go back to when I was 30. And I was doing my solo travelling trip. I would tell myself to really enjoy it. You know, savour those moments. We don't know what will be in store for us in the next 15 years. Life would be you know a lot of will be very challenging many times and to really be happy at that time.

So let's move to body image. Questions. And my first question here is what do you think are the main causes of body image issues?

Our say social media is a big one. There's so easy to compare yourself to what you see online. And I know a lot of those photos, manufactured, you know, curated. But everyone has the compulsive urge to look and compare and make themselves feel not good enough.

But on the first place, why do you think social media has such a huge influence? Like if we were probably maybe we have some somewhere inside us that social media triggers? Or what do you think about that?

Maybe it's human nature to compare ourselves to society? Yes, or to think? What are we doing? That's different from everyone else?

On how do you think the negative body image can affect the relationship, in what way?

In extremely damaging, destructive ways. I just came out of a relationship, and the other person had terrible body image issues. And it made the relationship deteriorate. Because everything I did was said, somehow triggered that feeling of insecurity. Exactly. And in the end, it didn't work out because that person needed to fix what was inside. And, yeah, interacting with another person intimately just brought out all the negative feelings. So that I can say firsthand, I've experienced it. The negative body image problems,

if you have, from time to time, any insecurities about your body. So how do you overcome them? So what's your go to method? And has it change with age?

I don't think it's changed with age. My go to methods, I think. I think I tried to escape from it. And maybe that's why I like to travel so much, because it gives my mind something else to do focus on positively instead of focusing on negative things, and I know that travelling and meeting people and seeing new cultures is exciting to me, and it gives me a lot of positive feelings. So at the end of the day, that positive feeling will override any negative feeling. But I will say that I would I never had a negative body image of myself. Not not in a very discipline, not in a destructive way.

Okay, perfect. So your way is not like to switch to something else, which gives you pleasure, but could nice interactions or nice emotions and not to get into the negative thinking about something, which is not your main issue. Is that right?

Yes, correct.

So, we talked about the call you bring yourself when body and shape you said that you do exercise?


And my last question is, do you have any favourite saying or court about being a woman? Or maybe your own thought? What is it to be a woman?

There's a quote I've seen online, and that quote is we can do hard things. And I think that's my favourite quote for women is we're strong and we can do hard things.

Thank you, Stephany. Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts and I hope you will enjoy the rest of the day and your photoshoot.

Thank you Aleks.

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






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:

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