“In order to be the best you, you have to take time out. A healthy you is a healthy parent.”
I’ve been a nanny to about 14 children under five over the last two years. However, actually parenting them is something completely different. I’ve never had to cope with the extreme highs and lows of parenting, and after seeing the struggles some parents go through, I’m not sure I want to. I had many a mother voice to me her love for her kids, but also her frustration at not being able to take time for herself, especially when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Supermodel and Fruit Juice Australia ambassador Robyn Lawley is no stranger to this.
As a new mother to daughter Ripley, balancing her professional life and a newborn was quite a shock to the system. In an industry where keeping fit is a job requirement, the pressure is constant, and can cause incredible anxiety when it comes to body image. Sure, France has cracked down on too-thin models, but there is still a long way to go, even in the plus-sized modelling world. Eating disorders and body dysmorphia go hand in hand with modeling, and avoiding the food-demons is sometimes an impossible task.
As a plus-sized model, Lawley tries to rise above societal ideals of what a woman should look like. “I’ve have come to love my size,” she says.
“I’m incredibly tall and broad, think Viking size, and add a size 16 to that, and it’s no surprise I know what it’s like to be different.”
However, loving your shape and size unconditionally is easier said than done. Women are bombarded with a myriad of advertisements for weight loss and fitness products, all of which imply we’re just not good enough as we are. The lack of self-confidence forced upon women effects everything from their eating to not asking for a raise at work. Lawley has an admirable philosophy to cut through this, and keep her self-confidence barometer high.
“I will never be super thin but I can make myself strong. I love kickboxing and weight training, I think strong is the new sexy, and healthy is the skinny!”
When it comes exercise, Lawley states that as a mother, there is absolutely nothing wrong with taking some ‘me’ time.
“I think all working mothers and dads struggle to find balance amongst it all, and yes it’s incredibly hard,” she says.
“I try to not feel guilty when working out, because something I really struggle with is taking time for myself, but in order to be the best you, you have to take time out. A healthy you is a healthy parent,” she says.
But how does one juggle the strain of parenting with a personal routine, and what would this routine involve? Lawley’s solution is simple; include your children in your exercise.
“I often go on long walks with my daughter and I’m looking forward to when she’s older so we can hike together. Bush walks are great ways to exercise with a baby. I do think you should give yourself some solo time to really exercise too, maybe join a local class. You make friends and have people to work out with,” she enthuses.
“Another way is to sign up for team sports, as again, having teammates is a way to keep you committed.”
And when it comes to food, Lawley’s philosophy is surprisingly relaxed.
“I think food is about moderation and quality. I enjoy real food and try to follow a diet similar to the Europeans, which is based on fresh, local produce. When it comes to my must-haves, I enjoy fruit daily and occasionally I’ll have a glass of fruit juice, with no added sugar. I also love the breakfast sandwiches that my partner cooks for me!”
And she’s a big advocate of getting out in nature, too.
“We all need to spend more time in nature. I love gardening and I try to go on as many hikes and walks as I have time for. It gives you space and perspective,” she says.
In fact, Lawley’s overarching life philosophy is far flung from what we’re used to hearing come from the mouths of models and celebs. She’s happy to admit she doesn’t know it all and is still picking it up as she goes along; something many mothers can all relate to.
“It’s important to keep learning about different people, cultures, events, hobbies, whatever is it! Life is a journey.”