Last spring I was asked to be featured in a Marie Claire Australia article about my eating habits. Since I’m a mother of two toddlers, I was pretty open and honest about the fact that I don’t have the time or energy (or the luxury of kids who cooperate at mealtime) to stick to the organic and vegan diet of my dreams. First of all – I can’t remember to be a vegetarian most of the time and secondly – it’s going to take at least six months in rehab to even begin to tackle my cheese addiction. I told the interviewer all about the frozen pizza, chicken fingers and pasta dishes that often slip onto my plate.
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Along with being interviewed for the magazine, they wanted to have me go to Sydney for a fancy photo shoot – hair, makeup, wardrobe – the whole shebang. Feeling like I was basically Hilary Duff, I was ecstatic. I was also suddenly self-conscious about my body because I’ve been pregnant twice and am painfully aware that my boobs, moles, and scars aren’t where they used to be. I had also talked about how sometimes, “I just eat brie and wine for dinner” and didn’t want to be body shamed.
With only two months to prepare, I enlisted the help of Kiera from Active Health Solutions Mudgee. I went to her boot camps, started personal training and worked my butt off (literally and figuratively.) I traded my late night deli meat and mustard snacks for rice cakes, swapped my lattes for long blacks and even stopped having fried hash browns for breakfast. However, I was realistic and knew that I didn’t want to give up wine. I have two kids, after all.
Long story short – I tried really hard to be the fittest I could be for my first magazine shoot. As I’d sprint for my life on the Assault Bike, I’d envision my (future) rock hard abs sandwiched between a sports bra and yoga pants, while a wind machine blew my freshly bleached locks. When I thought I couldn’t do another squat, I’d picture toned legs peeking out from a twirling skirt. And when Kiera made me press a 9kg medicine ball above my head for the 100th time, you best believe all I saw were ridiculously toned triceps (a la Kelly Ripa) as I stood akimbo in front of the camera.
Finally the day came and I headed out of Mudgee for Sydney. Confession: this was the first and last time I ever went out of town and didn’t get McDonalds. Not even a fruit bag. Soo off I went to Sydney for my moment of glory. When I arrived at the shoot, racks of gorgeous clothing were lined up and being steamed by effortlessly cool Carrie Bradshaw lookalikes. The photographer was testing lighting and there was AN ACTUAL FAN being wheeled in. My makeup was applied by someone who knows what they’re doing and my hair styled to resemble the put together adult I desperately want to be. I felt great. And then I was given my outfit.
When I say they gave me, “Mom Jeans,” I’m not joking. The actual label inside the jeans said, “MOM.” They were high waisted and accentuated my womb. Next, I was given a top that could have been mistaken for a tablecloth or cruise ship napkin. I asked the stylist if she thought it was too big. She decided to clamp it in the back a bit, but that “big and boxy was the look.” It was a beautiful outfit and would have looked amazing on Gwyneth Paltrow or Jennifer Aniston. However – I am not overly tall and I had worked VERY hard to have a waist and toned legs and arms and selfishly would have preferred to be naked. Seriously – have you ever done a 30 second sprint on the Assault Bike? IT’S HARD.
Even though I didn’t get to show off my new bod, the shoot was amazing and the shots turned out to be quite wonderful. I also noticed that I felt undeniably happy and way less stressed about life in general. I discovered that eating well and exercising daily is actually pretty good for you emotionally. Even though I briefly considered submitting some nudes to Playboy so the world could see what Kiera and I had accomplished, I nixed it. (The kids, remember?!) Nah – I just have to enjoy my new found strength and motivation to be fit and healthy myself.
Get a signed copy of Summer’s memoir, Summerlandish, HERE.
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