How She Does It -
Janine Mison of Love Your Shape
Posted on 27 July 2016
Every week we interview women about how they incorporate active and healthy habits into their lives. We believe there is no one-size-fits-all approach to health and fitness, so we aim to capture the variety of ways women choose to be active to give you ideas and inspiration on how to live your best active life.
Tell us about yourself
I am a healthy and happy 45-year-old mother of my 13 year son Zac and “Bonus Mum” to my 15 year old son Jeremy and twin 26 year olds Rhys & Nikki. I have a wonderful husband Pete who is my rock. We live in Bayside Melbourne nearby the beach and lead a busy lifestyle with juggling life’s commitments. I work full time in my business as a Plus-size Expert, Stylist and Wholesale Fashion Agent.
I don’t seem to have a lot of spare time, but I’m lucky because what I’m so passionate about I’ve actually been able to make my full-time work. I feel so grateful that every day when I head to my office or out to meet a customer or client I get to live, breath and feel my passion for deserving plus-size fashion options in Australia.
Apart from my family and my work, my other passion is travel. I’ve travelled extensively in my 20s and beyond, and luckily my husband Pete is just as willing to jump on a plane to a new destination whenever the budget allows and we can make time. Our recent trip to Cambodia is one that will sit in my heart forever, the experience was nothing short of amazing. What an incredibly resilient country with so much to offer. I have no doubt we will be seeing a lot more from Cambodia in years to come.
What does active living mean to you?
Active living is making the most of every opportunity. As a family we really enjoy the outdoors, hiking, travelling, exploring and day-tripping. We are explorers by nature and enjoy this time together. With an essentially sedentary work life, it’s so important to move – I enjoy it and feel and think so much better when I do.
What do you like to do to stay active?
Earlier this year I had the pleasure of meeting Richelle who was putting the finishing touches on her plan for an outdoor activities group targeted exclusively to curvy women. Escaping Your Comfort Zone has made such a positive impact on my life, I enjoy weekly hikes – usually at night with a group of like-bodied women in a body positive environment where we all enjoy exercising together. We’ve enjoyed weekend retreats, weekend hikes and regular events during the week that I attend as often as I can. I also (especially in the warmer months) walk with my children at the beach and together as a family on weekend outings.
Have you always been active and healthy?
As a child I danced. My mum was a dance teacher and had her own Dance School, so I grew up with a barre in our lounge-room and dancing around to music with my mum. I LOVED it. I followed classes in ballet, tap and jazz ballet right into my early 20’s when I started travelling extensively and walking with a back-pack took over my exercise routine. Unfortunately, I’ve never made it back to a dance class since, but I often think about doing that and have never found a class in my local area that offers dance classes to women over 40! If anyone knows of one – and one that is body positive – please let me know!
Healthy nourishing food and being active has always been a part of my daily life. I’m a healthy size 20.
Four years ago my husband had a serious skydiving accident that resulted in a double open compound fracture to his leg. This has impacted his mobility and whereas before we used to walk for miles and miles, he can now only tolerate a kilometre or so of walking before pain takes over. This of course changed our way of life and we found ourselves choosing less active activities. The Escaping Your Comfort Zone hikes help me to feel less guilty that I am out and about without Pete, and give me a social outlet too. Pete loves that I’m back out and about again, and is so supportive. We are getting better at finding ways to minimise the impact on his leg and still enjoy outdoor exercise together and with our family.
What is your daily or weekly routine (if you have one)?
Last year I discovered a fantastic Yoga Teacher, Sarah from Body Positive Australia and Fat Yoga. I attended one of her classes and an hour later left feeling like I was walking on air. I was astounded at the impact on my body. I’ve attended a few yoga classes over the years, but always felt that things moved too quickly, there was no real explanation or instruction on how to move – I just felt like I was racing to catch up all the time. As a dancer this was a rare feeling for me as I was quite used to understanding how to follow and even quite good at it. Suddenly I felt slow and unsure. It was therefore a great revelation that yoga comes down to the teacher, not the practice. Sarah holds regular body positive classes around Melbourne, she works with the group in a seamless way that makes you feel warm & fuzzy and so capable. I also have a knee injury which often impacts my ability to perform certain moves and Sarah always has an alternative pose that reaps the same benefits. I just love it! I was pretty regular for a while attending yoga, and then the hiking took over. I love both, but I just can’t commit the time at the moment to attend both so I find myself leaning towards hiking and practising some yoga at home and attending classes whenever I can.
What daily habits keep you fit and healthy?
I am guilty of putting others first before myself, I think as women we tend to do that a lot. With such a hectic lifestyle it’s easy to prioritise other things before yourself. I realised a few years ago this wasn’t a good idea – I always think of the flight attendants giving the safety demonstration on board a plane “fit the mask on yourself first – THEN assist others”. So ok, I need to make time for me. I love to cook with fresh ingredients and I enjoy experimenting with different ingredients. I enjoy taking the time to do this and this benefits not only me, but the whole family. My children are great helpers too so that’s an added bonus. I have used the pedometer on my iPhone for ages, but just recently Pete gave me a FitBit which I’m enjoying using and keeping track of my movement and sleep.
Sleep is something that is a challenge for me, I’ve suffered from insomnia on and off for years, but with the help of some melatonin treatment recently I’ve now got a good system going and it’s incredible how much of a difference a good, deep sleep and fresh eating along with mindful movement goes to feeling great.
What is your best active living hack?
Find something that you enjoy! There’s nothing worse than committing to a routine that becomes a bore or frustrating. Personally I’m not a gym person, I’ve tried on and off for years to make a commitment to the gym, but I just find after a short time I become bored and frustrated. The Hiking group is exciting, as is my yoga class, both are nourishing to my body and my mind. Find something you love.
What does a sample workout look like for you?
Comfortable clothing – and a head-torch! (for the night hike!), and for yoga my colourful leggings, a comfy top and my hair up in a pony-tail.
Favourite healthy meal?
Grilled asparagus and halloumi with a poached egg - LOVE
What challenges do you need to overcome in order to achieve healthy and active living?
My biggest challenge is allocating time.
What is the best ‘side-effect’ of staying healthy and active?
You look good and feel good. This is evident in hair, nails and skin and in your approach to life.
What (or who) inspires and motivates you?
I’m inspired by the women I meet in my everyday work and who I hike or yoga with every week. I’m motivated to model positive body image, to share my passion for making the most of who you are today and to encourage them to follow.
One of my biggest gripes is that when working-out I want to wear garments that fit my curves, are comfortable AND fashionable. Traditionally this has been difficult for women above a size 16. It was so amazing to discover Active Truth’s bold confetti leggings – I just love how they fit and make me feel and this motivates me even more! I love my work in the plus industry and being part of the change we are experiencing with the expansion of more deserving offerings in the plus sector. There are some incredible brands recognising that curvy ladies work out too and want to look great.
How do you overcome negative thoughts?
By honouring the thoughts, thinking them through, reflecting on how and where the thought came from and then either resolving the thought or pushing it to the side and moving forward.
How do you manage days or periods where you are not as motivated?
I listen to my body and always respect how it feels. I recognise that it is “normal” to lose motivation sometimes, and this is my bodies way of saying “rest” and then move on.
What do you do to treat yourself?
Massage! I LOVE massage. Massage makes me feel so in-tune with my body and mind.
Top 3 songs on your workout playlist?
All She Wants to do is Dance – Don Henley
Jam – Michael Jackson
Groove is in the Heart – Deee-Lite
What is your active truth?
Make the most of who you are TODAY!
Janine Mison is an expert in the plus-size fashion Industry. Her passion is pushing the boundaries and deservedly positioning plus-size fashion where it belongs, readily available in boutiques across the country and beyond! She works as a consultant to the Industry, has a large following of curvy women within Australia and beyond, and works as a stylist and body positive ambassador. Find out more by visiting her website at www.janinemison.com.au