It is our pleasure to welcome the beautiful Joanne to The Crew! Joanne is a 53 year old MUD ( Mum and Dad) to 5 grown up kids and she currently lives in Darwin.
Joanne was born in Terrigal, NSW, where for her the "magic age" was 5. Once you turned 5, you were allowed to go to the beach by yourself. Being a small town back then it was very safe. Joanne says that she cannot I remember not being able to swim and the beach is her happy place. It's the place that puts the whole world in perspective for her. She moved to Sydney at 18 but still sought out the beach on weekends. Her kids all love the beach as she took them often - no better free entertainment than the beach!
Joanne says "I have had some shitty things happen in life but my love of water and swimming has never changed. I have never given it up because of my weight. I have always had the attitude that if anyone has anything to say about it, then shame on THEM! I was a chubby kid who grew up into a chubby adult. I have battled my weight my whole life and continue to do so BUT I moved to Darwin 2 years ago with my partner and took some time out from the high pressure life of Sydney and began focusing on ME and what makes ME happy."
Since moving to Darwin with her partner Christian and shifting some focus on to herself, Joanne has discovered that she loves photography, painting and her house is now filled with things that she makes from driftwood and sea glass. She says "I have started feeding my soul instead of my face and while I hope to continue on my quest to be thinner, fitter and healthier, I am happy with who I am each day and look in the mirror and don't hate on myself. We are our own worst enemies and I relish being involved in something that shows women its ok just to be YOU! Fat is what I am NOT who I am and I feel I am pretty awesome, even if I say so myself!"
Joanne works part time for a crocodile hunter and she volunteers for Orange Sky Laundry, which she loves as she has been homeless in the past - with 5 kids under 9 when her house was burnt down. But, as any strong willed woman does, she picked herself up and dusted herself off and got through, day by day. She says "as women, we forget to acknowledge how tough we are sometimes."
"If I can show myself to other women in my cossies, with a big smile on my face and just ONE woman says "she did and so I can "', I would be over the moon", she said.
In the last two years, Joanne has learnt to put herself first because she knows that it is not selfish and that it is important to respect and care for herself. She is happier now than she has been in years.