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Lunchtime Conversation

            
             
            
Janice Lorraine

 

     Janice Lorraine


Motivational Speaker 
World Champion Natural Bodybuilder
Author 
Psychologist 
Acclaimed agent of change using the power of positive thinking
 

 

Author of:  

What's Stopping You? From Retiree To Ms Universe 

Face-Up The 100% Natural Way To Tone Up Facial Muscles

What an absolute delight it was to finally meet in person, the amazing Janice Lorraine.  Petite, blonde with a figure to die for, she swishes into my lounge room for an hour or so.   

Janice is a ‘ground breaker’ in the world of ‘older women’.  She is chopping down barriers in the most amazing way by using her platform as a bodybuilder to spread the word on positive thinking and positive living.

When Janice retired she decided to build her self up and reshape her life, dragging her trophies and the image of older women in her wake.   

At 66 Janice doesn’t look a day over 45, and if that doesn’t get you into bodybuilding this afternoon I don’t know what will.  She looks stunning and it is all down to her hard work, perseverance and her vision of living a positive life.   

She is intense, speaks very quickly but is open and warm and I like her immediately.  
We settle back to have a chat.

DARING TO BE DIFFERENT

Gigi:  Why did bodybuilding seem like the answer

Janice:  Well, older women have taken a beating over the years with comments like, ‘Old Boiler,’ ‘The Old Bag’, ‘Mutton Dressed Up As Lamb.’  I wanted to show that older women could be sexy and desirable and I saw Natural Bodybuilding as a way to do that.

To start at the very beginning, I was bought up in a very different society.  In the sixties you married young, often in your teens and there wasn’t much scope for anything else and so I became a wife and mother.  Once a wife and mother you became consumed in the role and dressing sexy was definitely not a part of that role back then. 

Also in the 60’s there was a very strict dress code.  Even young women couldn’t wear sexy clothing like they do today. If you did you would have been labelled as easy and a slut and definitely not considered an appropriate marriage partner.   

And so a lot of women in my age group now have this simmering desire to express sexuality because we never had the opportunity when we were young.

Gigi:  Well, you have a divine body, Janice and could easily wear sexy outfits.   Most of us at 66 would be dealing with lumps and bumps and the word camouflage springs to mind. (Laughs) Maybe not many 66 year olds are ready to expose bits of their body as readily as you. 

Janice:  Well Gigi, not everybody is attracted to or wants to be a stick insect like me, but what I am saying is that it’s not just a matter of having a good body.    What I want to say is, if you are excited about yourself and excited about life, men will come buzzing around you at any age. 

I have to say I have more men interested in me today at 66 than I had at 18.  I was so nervous and shy, restricted and restrained at 18. 

It saddens me that a lot of 60-year old women are sitting in corners feeling sad because they feel they are no longer wanted and so they give up.  The thing is, most women don’t realise that they can be anything they want to be and should be able to wear what pleases them.    The sad thing for women in my age group is that they weren’t able to have a life.   

I speak to many men now and they express disappointment that their wives don’t show initiative and have become dependent blobs.   Well, society created that.   

Years ago women were not encouraged to have a life outside their family, in fact it was expected that a woman would give up her dreams and help her husband and her children to fulfil their dreams.

Also in those days women’s wages were only half that of a man.  So single women usually couldn’t afford to buy a car or rent a flat.  It was definitely a man’s world.

I was born at Harris Park, in Sydney’s Western suburbs and my family was working class.  I found the attitudes of my family very restrictive.  I can still hear my mum saying over and over: “Janice you want too much out of life, you have just got to settle for something and make do.” 

But I didn’t want to settle and make do.  I wanted to realise my dreams. In fact, I felt that I’d rather die looking for happiness than settle for half happiness. 

But unfortunately the more I searched for happiness and tried to better myself and achieve, the less love and approval I received from my mother.

My mother was the biggest influence in my life and the most negative. 

 Gigi:  Could it have been a jealousy as you excelled? 

Janice:  Whether it was that or not, I don’t know!   But the gap just got bigger and bigger----Maybe she took it personally that I didn’t want a similar life to hers.   

I saw her life as drudgery, sadness, and pain.  I remember sitting in a corner crying on my 10th birthday just because I’d reached double figures and that meant I was getting closer to being an adult and closer to having to enter the adult world I saw.  I thought there has to be more to living than the sort of life I saw as a young child.  

Gigi:  Apart from bodybuilding what do you do?

Janice:   I have just finished a book that I am trying to get published which is about helping socially inept people to function better.  So obviously I write.  

The book I’m currently writing is about ‘Daring to be different,’ and it’s about giving yourself permission to live the way you want to live. 

The book I’ve published,
 


“WHAT’S STOPPING YOU? From Retiree To Ms Universe,


and it’s about making a life after retirement and it shows that it’s never too late to reinvent yourself.  The book’s available on my website: www.janicelorraine.com.au

The underlying theme in all my writing is positive psychology.  My passion for psychology can be dated as far back as the 4th grade when I remember marching into school and looking at the teacher’s faces.  I used to wonder why their expressions were so constant but different from each other!

My professional focus in psychology has always been to help people realise their dreams.  

That’s why I am doing bodybuilding I want to help women to crash through the barriers of their conditioned beliefs and become the person they want to be.   

   BODY BUILDING      

Gigi:  How long can you keep competing?

Janice:  So far I have competed for ten years and I’m competing in the INBA 12th Natural Olympia this year in October. 

I started bodybuilding at 55, shortly after retiring.  I was aerobically fit but I was concerned about keeping my shape and strength and about the possibility of osteoporosis.  Also I needed a purpose.  I’d just retired and my whole world had vanished and so I thought: 

Why not become a bodybuilder and start competing to show that it is possible to be muscular and in-shape at an older age?

Well this idea met with a great deal of laughter from the bodybuilding fraternity, mainly males.  “You can’t be a bodybuilder, you’re too small and too old to build muscle”  Some also let it be known to me in ways other than words that they thought that it would be distasteful for a 57 year-old woman to present herself on stage in a bikini.  These comments only made me more determined to do it!

I won the Sydney Title the Ms Australian Title the first year I competed and so I thought I’d take myself to the USA and have a go at competing in the Natural Olympia, in Los Angeles and the Natural Universe, in El Paso, Texas.

The male bodybuilders were aghast:  “You won’t be able to do that.  We wouldn’t even do that, it’s too hard,”  they said, but a little voice inside my head said, you’ve worked so hard to get the shape you’ve got, you might not be in this shape again.  This might be your only chance! 

At the Universe competition there were no other competitors 50+ and so I was put on stage with the over 40’s.  The venue was fantastic.  It held 5,000 people and everyone couldn’t believe I was 57 plus have such a good body.  

It was a magic moment when I stood there receiving the title Ms Universe Grand Masters division with the crowd roaring and the whole thing being beamed on TV right across America.

It was like a fairytale.  I just couldn’t believe at my age I was having such an amazing experience. 

In 2005 I was training for titles when my left foot collapsed, it was a congenital thing, and I had to have the whole thing reconstructed.  I could hardly walk so I couldn’t compete that year.  In November the same year I had to have the right one done so I had two feet out of action.  In February 2006 I had to have the left one redone and it took me a long while before I could walk properly again.  During that time I lost so much muscle tone.  My backside dropped, the top of my legs went all grapey and worst of all, I felt like a little frail old woman.

Gigi:  Did it affect you emotionally?

Janice:  It made me very depressed, I will say that.  I went to a pretty dark place because I couldn’t do anything.  It took me 12 months to gain the strength and to shape up.  But what it did show me is what I would be like if I did not exercise.

I know what it feels like and I ‘ain’t’ going back there. (Laughs) 

Something that will excite you is a piece of research that was published in May 2007, which showed that weight resistance training actually reverses the ageing process in muscles.

Tarnopolsky and Melov conducted the study and the participants were healthy specimens 70+, who had never done weight resistance training.  As we age our muscles thin and become weaker.  This is because something called the mitachondria in the muscle becomes defective.   What this study found was that weight resistance training caused the defective mitachondria to be flushed out  and when the muscles regenerated and the mitachondria returned it was found to be no longer defective.

Gigi:  When body building, what is more important, diet or exercise?

Janice:  Well, both are important but maybe diet a little bit more.  I have seen people come to the gym and they have been there for years but they don’t change shape.  That is because they are not eating the right food. 

These people might have good bone density, they might have good strong muscles but if you want to have a sculptured body you have to eat the right sort of food.  A lot of people say “I don’t eat very much’ but when you start looking at what they are eating they get a shock.   They are eating biscuits, chocolates, full fat cheese, bread etc and consuming soft drink and the like and you don’t even have to have much of these things to put weight on.

You see, I don’t eat anything like that.  I started on the bodybuilding eat style in 1997, which is low fat, low carbohydrates and high protein and I keep to it and I enjoy it.   If you persevere with good clean food you will end up getting to love the food that is good for you and does not put weight on.

Gigi:  Do you drink alcohol?

Janice:  Oh yes I have alcohol (Laughs) I have a couple of glasses of wine at night.

We settle back to watch the DVD’s Janice has brought along.  The music blares and Janice, resplendent in her bikini, begins the series of poses.  It really is mind blowing for any age, and you have to keep pinching yourself to believe that Janice is in her 60’s.

Gigi:  I noticed that your competitions have the word Natural as part of the title.

Janice:  Yes, they test for drugs so you can’t take steroids and the like.  Natural Bodybuilders are usually smaller and leaner than other bodybuilders. 

We continue watching the DVD.


Gigi:
  I bet you get a buzz from just watching this!

Janice:  Well, I do but the biggest thing I got from that night happened when I was walking through the auditorium after the show.  Two girls about 20 came running up to me.  They were so excited and they said until they saw me on stage they didn’t know a woman in her 60’s could be like me.  

They said we don’t have to be like our grandparents we can be like youI was excited because they had seen the possibility of a more positive vision for their older age.  That’s what I am doing this for, to update and enhance the traditional stereotype of the older female.   I want to show a more in-shape vibrant vision of older age.

By the way, at 62 I had my bone density checked and it was close to the young normal range and that’s thanks to weight resistance training.

Gigi:  Were you always a fitness fanatic?

Janice:  No, not at all.  I was never a sporting person.  My first introduction to sport was in 1983 when I played soccer, which seriously displeased my mother.  She felt that only men played soccer and she told me to wake up to myself and wouldn’t let me talk about it.  Anyhow, we won the grand final.  That was my first experience with sport.

Then I moved to the country town of Cooma and I started at the gym there.  I was so thin and I had loose flapping arms and an unsightly bony neck.  The instructor said ‘Who is that lady who always wears a skivvy?’  I was 41 then.  That was when I started and I continued. 

Up until 1998 I only did aerobics.  It was after I retired that I started my bodybuilding journey.

I thought I was going to have a fantastic time when I retired but I wasn’t prepared for what happened.  You see, I was a school counsellor and I had five schools and I was very popular and I was used to a lot of praise.

But when I left work, all of a sudden I was lost.  I wasn’t getting the praise I was used to and I no longer felt relevant or useful.  I no longer belonged to the education fraternity or to the education system and I had all this time and the responsibility of how I spent this time was all mine.

Also I knew this was the last part of my life and I felt and enormous pressure to make the most of it, but what did I want to do?

Then I thought wouldn’t it be fantastic if I could become a body builder and compete and show that older women can have great bodies.  I didn’t have heaps of muscles back then. (Laughs)

 


I see older women at the gym.  They come with a little spray of purple, pink or blue on their hair or a bangle on their foot.  They are trying to express their sexually in a small way.  I am hopefully helping women to give themselves permission to get out there and wear sexy clothes and feel good about their sexuality and themselves.

 
Gigi:  What do your children say about your bodybuilding?

 

Janice:  My kids are not excited about my bodybuilding.  I don’t get any accolades from them.   They see me only as mum and mums don’t get up on stage in a bikini.  If the mother of one of their friends was doing what I’m doing I think they would think it was fantastic.

 

FACELIFT

 
Janice:   I had a face lift back in 1995, that’s 14 years ago.  I started on that track and then I began observing people who had facelifts.  I noticed that the form of their faces had gone or diminished greatly and that under the tight skin there was no muscular shape or strength.  Their faces looked hollow and empty. 

I have been doing facial exercises over the years.  I learnt them from a Hollywood Make-Up artist, but I wasn’t doing them as regularly as I do now.  I do them every single day.   You can do them anytime, at the traffic lights, making the bed, in the shower, wherever.  The muscles on your face will weaken and droop without exercise.
 

 

Even if you decide to have a facelift you will get a much better result if you strengthen your facial muscles with facial exercises beforehand.  That way, when they pull back the skin tight you are gong to have a nice face shape rather than look like Paul Hogan with his hollow, sunken face.  And if you do them after the facelift you get a better result by keeping everything in place. 

I’ve documented the facial exercises I do in a book called ‘Face-Up  The 100% Natural Way To Tone Up Facial Muscles.’ 


It’s available on my website:www.janicelorraine.com.au

Gigi:   Would you have another facelift?

 Janice:  I don’t think so because I believe too much surgery can eventually wipe away the character lines that reflect your life and who you are.  But I suppose that if my face became really ravaged by age lines then perhaps I would revisit it.


CHANGING OLDER WOMEN’S STEREOTYPE

 
Janice:  I have pushed through the boundaries of the unflattering older women’s stereotype and I’ve also tried to influence some members of the media.

 

The media still wants to define us as mothers and grandmothers.  As an example when I returned from Las Vegas in September 2001 having won the Ms International Natural Forever Natural Bodybuilding Title I phoned the Canberra Times who were interested in doing a story on me.  Also of interest to the media was the fact that I was in Las Vegas on September 11 and was due to fly to Los Angeles that day on a United Airlines flight. 
   

I was completely alone, as the rest of the Australian team had left to go home the day before.  When the attack happened all hell broke loose.  People were running everywhere trying to phone home and there were long queues at all the phones.  I was scared because no one knew at that time that the terrorists were only targeting New York.  Then the airlines closed down and because I had already paid my bill to leave the Hotel they wouldn’t take me back.  After some swift talk and looks of desperation they took me back in and I ended up staying there another 6 days.

 

Being stuck in Las Vegas was an interesting experience.  After September 11 the whole place became eerily quiet and stayed that way for the six days I was stranded there. 

During that time I didn’t have to talk to or listen to or to cook for anybody.  The biggest thing I had to do was think about what to eat and when and what TV show I might want to watch.  I couldn’t get in touch with Qantas to book my flight. 

Strangely I really enjoyed those six days. 
We women don’t often get that sort of quiet time. 

When I got back to Australia, I rang up the Canberra Times they said, ‘Yes of course we’d like to interview you and we’d like to do a photo shoot.  Do you have any children or grandchildren?’ 

I said I didn’t have grandchildren at that time, but I did have children and whilst I loved them dearly, what had that got to do with me winning a body building title in Las Vegas?

 

I said ‘I am doing this to show that women are more than a role, so if you put the children in the photo you are putting me in the role of mother”.  So they said ‘I understand Janice sure that’s fine.’

But when the newspaper came out, there was the picture with me doing a front double biceps pose with the under title of ‘Muscly Mum’.  And at the end of the article it read, ‘not a grandmother yet’!

I was furious and rang the Newspaper to object.  Probably complaining wouldn’t make a jot of difference but ‘you have to try and get the message out there’.

Also I was on ABC radio and I spoke with Andrea Close and I was talking about the psychology of being older, things I had done and about motivation and bodybuilding.

She said. ‘You look fantastic Janice I want our viewers to see you. What we are going to do listeners is get a photo of Janice and put it on our website.’

When I looked at the website and there was the photo emblazoned with the words:

'Bodybuilding Grandmother'.

 

I immediately contacted the station.

 

They said ‘The reason we do it Janice is, if we say you are a grandmother, then other women think they can do it to.’

 

We are more than a role and we must fight for our right to be seen as a person and not just as a role.

 

CONFIDENCE TO PURSUE YOUR DREAMS

 

Janice:  Having permission to pursue our dreams is our hardest challenge

 

Women have been conditioned to be selfless and to give and give and give and if we even think about putting ourselves first we feel guilty.

 

But think a moment, the way you are living is modelling to your children how they should live.  Would you want your children to sacrifice themselves like you have done?

I think we need to model a more healthy way of being to our children, otherwise by modelling sacrifice we are setting up a continuation of more suffering resulting in more disappointed hopes and lost dreams. 

On the other hand if we model living fully and becoming all we can be, we are giving permission to our children to live the life of their dreams.

 

BUILDING CONFIDENCE

 

Janice:  Telling yourself how wonderful you are will not build confidence.  Confidence is gained by doing things that make you feel good about yourself.

 

The thing that makes people excited about themselves is having a go and succeeding

Usually the reason that we do not have a go is that we feel frightened.  I believe that there is only stimulation or stagnation, there is no in between. You are either stimulated by a challenge and going forward or you are in a state of decay.

 

The only way to be happy and have confidence is to put in the effort and face the discomfort that always accompanies attempting something new.  If you don’t attempt something new and move out of your comfort zone your life will sadly stay in the monotony of sameness and you will not grow or ever feel that you have become all you could have been

 

I believe if you do something that you admire about yourself, you learn to love yourself.

 

It could be something as simple as starting to eat well and or exercise.  It could be learning a skill that makes you feel proud of yourself.  We have to build our confidence no one can do this for us. 

 

Trying to cover up by wearing heavy Make Up, expensive jewellery and designer clothes never works but working on your health, fitness and shape not only makes you look a great deal better, it also helps to build your feeling of self worth.

 

Also don’t waste energy trying make others do what we want them to do or to be the way we want them to be.  We have no power over others, unless they choose to give it to us, but we can have power over ourselves. 

We can become anything we want to be.  So let’s do it!

 

Gigi:  What was your most outstanding achievement in bodybuilding?

 

Janice:  Winning the Ms Universe Competition in 2001 in Hollywood.

 

Gigi:  How long does it take you to get ready for that event? 

 

Janice:  Generally it takes about three months for organising a strict diet, but initially it took me about 16 months of hard work to get off the starting blocks.

 

       RELATIONSHIPS     

Gigi:  Are you a spiritual person?

 

Janice:  Religion has always interested me.  Having been brought up in the darkest of dark environments as a child, I went to a lot of different churches trying to find the answer.  That was one of the reasons I married the man I did because he was a Catholic.  I was told that the Catholic Religion was the ‘right way’ and everyone else had it wrong so I became a Catholic and married him. 

 

Then I started getting disenchanted with the Catholic faith because I felt it was teaching me how to die rather than how to live.  I haven’t embraced any other religion since.  I am spiritual though. I meditate and do yoga.  I believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ and I believe in the power of love.

 

I get solace from spreading love and bringing happiness.   My aim is to help people realise their dreams and accept and love who they are.  I think I’ve done that with thousands of people.  The reason I am motivated to help others, I think, has something to do with the battle I had trying to be accepted as a child.  I was so full of love as a child, so full of hope and excitement but I simply couldn’t please my mother.  I think I am motivated to love and accept others just as they are because I wasn’t accepted and loved for who I was.

 

Gigi:  Is your mother still alive?

 

Janice:  Yes but I don’t have much to do with her.  I feel sorry for her.  She is a product of her time. I do wish things were different.

 

Gigi:  Maybe it doesn’t really matter if you don’t have a perfect relationship with her.

 

Janice:  I’m working on that very point right now Gigi, with meditation.  I’m working on accepting “what is” and releasing what I think it should have been.  

 

Kids are quite different today though.  Kids today have no fear at all of their parents.  They are not as concerned about what their parents or teachers say or do so maybe their lives won’t be so influenced then.

 

Gigi:  What message would you like to give?

 

Janice:  I’d like to tell others that, ‘It’s never too late.  Your time is always NOW!’

 

You can be attractive and desirable at any age.  You can become everything you want to be.  It’s all relative.  If an older woman at 60 decides to become what she wants to be and tries hard to achieve her goals, by comparison to her peers she is going to be so much better than those others who are staying stagnant.  And let’s face it many give up and take the stagnant path at a very young age.

 

I have this theory, as you get older your idea of what is attractive becomes different.  There is a guy at the gym who’s 76 and I find him attractive. He is ten years older than me.  Sometimes I think, ‘how could I find a 76 year old man attractive’ I have to remember I am now 66. 

When you are young you find young people attractive and when you are older you find older people attractive.  I remember the boy I had a crush on in the second grade.  He was the butcher’s son and I didn’t think of him as a little boy.  I thought of him as an object of my desire and I was only seven years old. As I said it’s relative. 

Another even more poignant example happened when I attended the birthday party of a man turning 100.  This 100 year old man was sitting down and two ladies arrived, upwards of 70 and the 100 year old man looked up and said, “Who’s those two girls who just came in?’  As I said it’s relative.

 

Gigi:  I cannot believe you are 66, Janice.

 

Janice:  Thank you. 

 

Gigi:  I believe you are now married to a much younger man.

 

Janice:  Yes he’s 42 and I’m 66.  It’s been a fascinating relationship in a lot of ways.  My first husband left me in a very hurtful way.  It was a long saga but my new relationship started on my 48 birthday.  It was just after my divorce and my friends insisted we go out and so we went to a nightclub.  I wasn’t really in the mood.  They went up to get a drink, the next thing I have a man going down on one knee and asking me for a dance. 

 

I thought he looked about 32 but it turned out he was only 24.  I told him I was 38 but in actual fact I was 48.  I didn’t think I would see him again but when he rang me I told him how old I really was and he still wanted to see me. 

 

A recent survey conducted in America in relation to age differences in a relationship found that males could be older than females regardless of age but when it came to females being the older partner there was a definite age limit of acceptability.  If the female was no more than about 15 years older than her male partner that was considered ok but if the male partner was young enough to be her child that was considered not ok and my three children are about the same age as my partner. 

 

But it has been wonderful being with him.  He is very supportive with my bodybuilding.

 

We have been together 18 years now, and I think we will stay together as I know him so well and he loves me.  It is very special.  He is romantic too, even after 18 years. 

 

Gigi:  Did your relationship happen before the bodybuilding?  Do you think that having a younger man might have put some pressure on you to keep fit?

 

Janice:  I met David in 1990 and I started bodybuilding in 1999.  No I don’t think I stay fit because I’m with a younger man.  You see I wanted to have my day in the sun.  When was young I had a beautiful body, a 40 inch bust and slim hips and a tiny waist, but could anyone see it?  In those days you covered up. 

 

A lot of women from my generation never got the chance to express their sexuality or achieve things themselves apart from being a wife and mother.  They suppressed their dreams and moulded their lives to support their husbands and nurture their children. 

 

Gigi:  Yes, I believe it might be difficult to find the passion and energy to make life happen for yourself after years of being in a supportive role.

 

Janice:  Yes, and it can be frightening.  Even coming here today was scary for me.  That’s what many people don’t understand, they think if you do something that you have confidence and they don’t, but all the while we doers are going through fear. 

Many famous entertainers and sportspeople talk about the nerves they suffer prior to an event or a show.  Fear is a natural companion on the road of success.  Fear stimulates and energises.

 

Gigi:  Maybe the childhood you had is where you draw your strength from.

 

Janice: I think it made me more determined and definitely more disciplined than I would otherwise have been.

 

OLDER WOMENS CLOTHING

 

Gigi:  What is your opinion on the way older women dress?

 

Janice:  Older women dress according to their means, even so there is pressure for an older woman to cover up her shape.  I think that our society has a great deal to do with that.  For instance when I was in Barcelona I saw older women dressing far more flamboyantly that our older women do.  In Barcelona older big women were wearing low cut dresses with interesting styles and seemed quite at home in the garments.  Women in this society are forced to wear clothes that cover up as if the older body is something to be ashamed of.   

 

Gigi:  Don’t you think the shops dictate what you wear though?  And some women get to an age where the bit between the boobs and hips goes into a block and they have trouble working with this new shape.

 

Janice:  I don’t know about that.

 

Gigi:  (Laughing) No you wouldn’t!

 

Janice: But I think posture has a lot to do with improving how one looks in clothes even if one has developed this new "block shape”.  The Alexander Technique is good to improve posture and so is yoga.  Your figure can look more streamlined with better posture. 

 

Ageing happens, it’s not that we age, it is how we age that matters.

 

Gigi:  So things you might have taken for granted when you were young you now have to pay attention to.

 

Janice:  Yes, it is good to keep on top of these things.  It does take time.  By the time you have done your Alexander Technique, Yoga, Facial Exercises, gone for your walk, done your push-ups and Meditation though, your day is almost all used up! (Laughs)

 

It does take effort to keep looking younger.  I know I work hard at it.  I go to gym three days a week for 3 hours, including some yoga.  The other 4 days I walk 8 kilometres. I do 30 push-ups, some abdominal work and yoga and I do the facial exercises every day.  That is the exercise I do to keep myself looking this way. 

 

You see, when you are young you really don’t have to put in much work to look in good shape but when you are older you really do need to work on yourself.  That is why visualization is important. You have to work out how you want to be and visualise it constantly. 

 

You should ask yourself ‘How do I want to be?’ 

You might say, “I want to be thinner”.  But you need to be more specific than that.

For example when you’re thinner, what activities do you want to do?  What clothes do you want to wear?   How do you want to walk, run and dance?  You must have a clearly defined vision.’

 

Now if you have the vision of what you want to be, that excites you, when the custard tart comes up or you are a bit tired and don’t want to go for a walk, that vision is there to motivate you.  That vision is there to help you say no to temptation. 

 

Gigi:  If you don’t feel like going for a walk, what do you do?

 

Janice:  I go!  After a couple of kilometres I feel energised.  Some years ago I had to give up aerobics because the twisting motion was affecting my back.  As you get older there are changes in your body so you have to rethink.  At the time I was pretty annoyed.  But I found walking to be wonderful.  My walk takes an hour and fifteen minutes.  I can get into this meditative state, and become energised. 

 

I carry a little bum bag with a tape recorder in it so any ideas for talks or books I am writing, I record as I go along.  Lots of ideas pop into my head because I’m relaxed.

 

IS THIS THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE

          

Gigi: Would you say this is the best time of your life?

 

Janice:  Yes, this is the best time of my life, but there have been happy times when the children were small.  I look back there with melancholy and a touch of fantasy but I suppose, immerse me back then and I would say, get me back to 2009 quick smart (laughing) . 

 

Retirement is a wonderful time but it is only wonderful if you put in the effort and make a world for yourself.  You have to be continually reinventing yourself and accepting challenges although you might be a bit frightened.  You must accept those challenges otherwise you decay.

 

You look at Arnold Schwarzenegger, Madonna or Clint Eastwood, they keep reinventing themselves.  You see, people feel bad about themselves when they are older because they are trying to be like they were when they were twenty. 

You must continue to reinvent yourself and continue to become something new.

 

You have to be looking for things that excite you all the time.  If one interest finishes you have to find another passion to keep you alive.

 

I’m writing books now.  I never thought I could write books.  Now this excites me and opens a whole new world for me. 

 

And the funny thing is bodybuilding was never really my aim.  It was the power of positive thinking that drove me.  I wanted to show what was possible.  That is really what my whole life is about, showing what’s possible.  When bodybuilding came up, it felt right for whatever reasons.  I felt it was the right thing to do and so I just did it. 

 

Now bodybuilding has turned out to be the perfect vehicle for me to launch my message.  I do talks.  I talk about things like childhood conditioning and the fear that goes with pursuing dreams and mistakes as learning tools and those sorts of things but at the end of the talk the audience usually asks me, ‘what do you eat’, ‘how much exercise do you do’.  So I find people are more interested in the body beautiful and not as much interested in the deep underlying things and challenges that you confront when you take on a journey.

 

INSPIRATION

 

Gigi:  Who has inspired you?

 

Janice:  Louise L Hay.  She wrote a book ‘You Can Heal Your Life” which is so fantastic.  Everyone should read it. She is 80 now and shares her secret on living life.    She says being in control of what you think is the key.  In fact she believes that your thinking actually creates your life a bit like the book ‘The Secret’.

 

Gigi:  What do you think makes older women unhappy?

 

Janice:  Feeling irrelevant, not wanted, no longer desired and not appreciated.

 

At any age we want to be loved, appreciated, desired and feel useful.

 

FAVOURITES

 

Gigi:  What is your favourite quotation?

 

Janice: Here is my own:

 

“It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose, succeed or fail; the essence of life is experiencing it”

 

Gigi:  Best piece of advice?

 

Janice:  Believe in yourself, follow your dreams and listen to your heart.

 

Gigi:  What is your visualization?


Janice:  I see a vision of me doing chin-ups at age 80, and travelling the World, motivating, exciting and encouraging as many as I can to crash through their doubts and fears and pursue their dreams.

 

Gigi:  Name one person who stands out in your life?

 

Janice:  Well I had a French teacher called Mrs Dudley.  She doesn’t sound very French does she?  But she made me feel special.  I was very nervous and shy and she would come into the room and look around and say, “Where is Janice today?  Looking back I think she noticed how tense and pale I was back then.  So I would sit in different parts of the room so as not to be noticed but she’d still look for me and say, “Where is Janice today?  Ah there she is.”  So obviously I had to work hard to please her and I did.   I came top of the class. 

 

I don’t know what she gave to me but she gave me something.  She singled me out and made me feel special.  She had a belief in me and because of that I achieved.  She has always been very tender in my heart.

 

Gigi:  Well, Janice you are very special.  You obviously do believe in yourself now.   You have achieved and risen to heights that do make you stand out. 

 

Thank you so much for spending time with me today and sharing your story with all our Wise women. 

Congratulations on your physical achievements and we wish you well on your journey as you spread the word of positive thinking and living and how you can definitely work miracles if you set your mind to it.