At age 54, Melisa believes life is to be lived to the fullest! Fifteen years ago she learnt to sail and has sailed the Whitsundays three times now. Five years ago she became a pillion bikie chick and has ridden on the back of bikes across the USA, Vietnam and a fair whack of Australia. She loves to travel and lived in India, Zambia and South Africa when she was a classified communicator working in the Foreign Service and still calls India her spiritual home. She is a self-described gypsy and lover of all things bling!
She loves adventure and one of her favourite sayings is “life begins at the edge of your comfort zone”. And that is pretty much what led her to applying to join the Cossie Confidence Crew. From learning to swim at the age of two, she has pretty much been in a cossie ever since – she loves the beach or even just lazing around a pool but whilst she has never let her insecurities stop her from putting on her cossie and getting out there, she has battled with feeling self-confident in that cossie.
She is the mother of one, step-mother to two more and will become a grandma for the first time next year. She met her husband, John, online 18 years ago and while they have no kids together, there is one very spoiled furbaby called Miss Daisy who lives with them these days.
With her hubby running a successful business, Melisa retired three years ago after a 30 year long career in high level Administration, including the last 13 years working as an Executive Assistant in the Science Faculty at the University of Queensland. These days she keeps herself busy with volunteer work and getting in the kitchen (she loves to cook and is pretty good at it).
Six months ago Melisa realised a long-held dream and moved to Melbourne – well she actually splits her time between Melbourne and Brisbane, with Melbourne being her main place of residence. She is an avid Carlton supporter and loves going to the game (often on her own). Being a bit of a foodie and loving fashion, the Melbourne move has been beyond expectations – she’s even enjoying the cold weather! Mad right?
Melisa heard about Cossie Confidence when she tapped into the Instagram world of fashion and loved the body positive message it sends out, not to mention the gorgeous cossies on the beautiful real models!
Can you imagine – when she was in her first year in High School, all the girls were weighed as part of a gym class (yes really) and from that moment is when her battle with weight acceptance started – she certainly wasn’t overweight, but she was heavier than a lot of her classmates. So at age 13, the lack of self confidence began.
Through her 20’s and 30’s this continued and it wasn’t until she was well in her 40’s that she had a sudden realisation that bodies come in all shapes and sizes and there is nothing wrong with that. On the beach or by the pool, nobody is looking at you thinking “ooooh you’re too fat to be wearing that” – they are too worried about themselves. She now lives by a wonderful motto she heard a few years back “other people’s opinion of you is none of your business”. How very true!
So just as Melisa started feeling really at peace with herself, along came the dreaded menopause and she has had quite a run with it, well beyond the usual symptoms. And this time it wasn’t just the external stuff of weight gain and changing body shape, but also the internal stuff, which she wasn’t expecting (anxiety being one she had never dealt with before nor expected). She really feels that we still, in this day and age, don’t talk enough about this inevitable time in all women’s lives and speaks quite openly about her journey in hope that it helps other women who may be struggling.
She wants women to stop feeling invisible when they hit their 50’s, to be proud of who they are, how far they have come and what their bodies have done for them. She wants women to get out in their cossies and not feel self-conscious but to just enjoy life.
Thank you Melisa for bringing your beautiful, positive self to the Crew and to all of the women that come across you, whether in person or on social media. You are such an inspiration!