I was an Oxygen Magazine Australia cover girl for the first time last year. This had always been an ultimate goal and dream of mine, and words cannot express the feeling when I found out I had landed the cover shot.
When I first saw myself on the cover, I was so happy to see that the image was a true representation of me. This meant that a scar that I have on my stomach was completely visible and not edited out. (I have done many photo shoots where edited photos had my scar removed!)
I was impressed that Oxygen magazine had the same values as me when it came to women embracing their flaws and imperfections.
At first glance you may not notice that across my stomach I have a scar. When I was one year old, I was diagnosed with a Wilms tumour on my left kidney. This tumour was found to be cancerous, so I had to undergo chemotherapy and surgery to remove my kidney.
I am 100 per cent cleared and have a full-functioning single kidney. The scar that was the result of the surgery, however, was something that, growing up, I had always been very self-conscious about. I did not feel comfortable wearing anything where my scar would be visible. It made simple things like going to the beach with friends very uncomfortable for me.
It’s taken me a long time to accept this part of me. The thought of being successful in the fitness industry, a professional bikini competitor or magazine cover girl would never have crossed my mind. When my social media following started to grow, I must admit it was a little daunting posting photos for hundreds of thousands of people to see. Even though over time my scar has faded and it’s now quite faint, I am still very aware of it, and if it’s visible I often think that people are noticing it.
I’ve learnt to accept and embrace this part of me, and it’s what makes me, me. It’s unique and it tells a story about my past. The same goes for all our flaws, imperfections, and the things we just wish we didn’t have. Such things only have control and power over us if we let them.
It’s important to accept and embrace who we are.
We all have things we don’t like about our own bodies, but they don’t make us any less of a special person. Everyone has individual and special qualities that set us apart from each other, and this should be celebrated.
The female body is so beautiful. You may have scars, stretch marks, or cellulite, but accepting these ‘so-called’ flaws will actually empower you. We should be proud of our bodies and support each other on our own journeys of self-acceptance and self-love. It’s not easy, but it is so important. Be comfortable with your body and don’t be afraid to show it off.
If you asked me what my ultimate goal is, it’s to be someone who people look up to and see as a role model. A message that I strongly push across in my social media is for girls to be true to themselves, work hard toward their goals and dreams, and to never give up.
I never imagined I would be where I am now, but it all started with a goal. My goal is to become the best version of myself, and in working toward that it is me being true to myself.
My favourite quote is, “There’s no need to be perfect to inspire others. Let people be inspired by how you deal with your imperfections.”
If you asked me what advice I would give to women who are wanting to get into the best shape of their life, it would be this: work hard, be patient, and develop a mindset that will allow you to sustain a healthy and active lifestyle.
Too often I see people who want that quick fix. They tend to follow very restrictive and low-calorie diets that may get results initially, but it is not sustainable for long-term results, nor is it good for their health.
I always try to educate and encourage my clients to change old habits and create good behaviours that will allow them to not only get results during their program, but also that they can take on board for years to come.
Your dream body won’t just happen overnight; it takes time and consistency. As they say, nothing worth having comes easy. When you start to see the results pay off from your hard work, this will fuel your fire and motivate you even more.
Cover girl diet
Meal 1: Peanut butter protein oats
Meal 2: Post-workout shake, blueberries
Meal 3: Barramundi, mushrooms, sweet potato fries
Meal 4: Turkey mince, tamari almonds, zucchini noodles
Meal 5: Tuna with salad or grilled vegetables
Meal 6: Strawberries, cashews
Wednesday: Powerlifting session (squat or deadlift focus)
Thursday: Rest day