Transformative travel

At age 40, Roxanne was caught up in a stressful cycle of playing Mum and Dad to her two kids, ages six and nine, as her husband frequently travelled for work, all while carrying around an excess weight of 20 kilos. “I had gone up and down with my weight since I had kids and, at that point in my life, I was overweight. I wasn’t feeling good about myself,” says Roxanne. “I didn’t find myself attractive, I avoided looking at myself in the mirror and I even stopped working and going to social events,” she shares.

It’s an all-too-common feeling among women. Based on The Dove Global Beauty and Confidence Report, the 2016 data revealed that 89 per cent of Australian women are opting to cancel plans, job interviews or other important engagements because of how they view their appearance. According to Sarah McMahon, a psychologist and director of BodyMatters Australasia, in everyday life people are almost trained to do so much self-surveillance that they’re looking at their bodies and imagining how they look — to themselves and to others — and that has really dominated a big part of their lives. “It’s a real tragedy that so many of us would not participate in things we actually really enjoy and would like to do simply because we don’t like the way we look,” McMahon adds.

Roxanne realised that in order to make a change, she would

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