Photography by Melissa Gidney
Occupation: Public Speaker, Adventurer, Co-founder of Nectar Juicery
I am ready for what life has to give. I am addicted to following my vision, finding challenge and creating beauty. I always aim for authenticity, honesty, human connection, nourishment, education and being approachable. I have a desire to make change and would describe myself as a woman on a mission to pave a new way to healthier living.
If you had to describe your RAW shoot in one word what would it be?
Beauty can be defined in so many ways. What is your definition of ‘beautiful’?
Beautiful is vitality to me, the beams of energy and good vibes from someone’s presence. I always fall in love with a feeling someone gives me over just the physical being. It is true beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I often find as I fall in love with a friend or lover they become more beautiful.
When do you feel most beautiful?
When I feel healthy and strong.
What part of aging scares you the most?
Not having enough time to do what I need to do in this lifetime.
What part of aging is the most exciting?
The lines of wisdom we earn with age. When I was a little girl all, I wanted was to be like my Aunt Peg who traveled and experienced all the world had to offer. Her face tells the stories of her life like a map. I can only hope the lines are as telling on my face as I age.
On average how much do you spend each month on cosmetic items such as make-up, hair cuts/colouring, waxing, clothing, nails, tanning, creams etc.?
This question made me laugh and the answer would have been very different a year ago. I spend under $20 per month.
Your body has taken you to some pretty incredible places. As the youngest person to row across the Atlantic you must be in love with your body’s strength and resilience. Have you ever felt anything other than total love for your body?
I am so grateful you asked this question – this has been a battle for me. After rowing across the Atlantic and using my little body to accomplish such a powerful feat, I was totally perplexed when I became seriously ill a year later. It was a very disempowered time in my life feeling like I had no control over my body. I was so afraid not to live up to “the Atlantic rower” complex I had created for myself that I did not share with anyone how I was feeling. I became very negative and abusive to my physical image in pursuit of perfection and control. It was not until I found my voice again that I was able to fall in love with myself for all that I am, illness and all. The relationship to my body has been a battle of self love, trust and acceptance, and is a daily practice.
Have you ever had cosmetic surgery or treatments? Please share your thoughts on this.
I have never had cosmetic surgery as I have a huge fear of being cut open by a knife — not hurricanes! Kind of funny when I write that out.
I have had treatments before like facials and laser hair removal. I personally find “flaws” and natural looking women the most beautiful. However, I know what it feels like to lack confidence in your image and know it often comes from somewhere deeper inside related to a lack of self love, I understand the motivation to alter oneself. Surgery and treatments are temporary fixes and I find it worrying we have the ability to totally change our identity under a knife. I encourage all women to make choices that are right for them and to check in along the way, investigate their motivations and make room for more self-acceptance. A wise old woman once said to me “you will never be more beautiful than you are today.” She said this everyday in the mirror to herself for 40 years! At the time I thought, how free and I want to feel this way to. This really stuck with me and is a reminder to see beauty each day at its full potential.
Let’s talk Photoshop. What are your thoughts on this cultural phenomenon? Yay or nay? Or is there a place for it sometimes?
I do not condone Photoshop. I understand the temptation, however, it sends the message we are not good enough as we are, and most women struggle with this already. This is the opposite of the practice of self-acceptance, so I am a big NO. We need to send the message that beauty, however you define it, comes along with the courage to be real.
You and Lara Kozan are about to launch an incredible new business called Nectar. How does what we eat play a role in our self confidence and happiness?
We are what we eat…literally. I found myself through a healing journey with food. True empowerment is when we feel we are at one with ourselves. True self-confidence and happiness is accessible when we feel strong, vital, and alive. Food is the most empowering or disempowering thing in the world. We have to eat it every day and have direct control over what we chose. The little things we do each day create the greatest ripples in our lives. What do we do each day? EAT! We have total control over how much vitality we live with: eat alive and feel alive. If you feel alive there is more room for love, self-confidence, and happiness to creep in. It is that simple.
We all know we should only put the best of the best in our bodies but is it okay to have a piece of cake or a bag of chips sometimes (I love chipppppsss)? How do we keep a healthy relationship with food without letting it become obsessive?
FYI: I love potato chips, too! The main thing to focus on is our relationship with food. Why we eat what we eat and when. For most people, food is related to control which is why it is connected to self esteem, and we all want to feel empowered. I do not suggest putting foods into “good” and “bad” categories — try to intuitively eat. If something does not make you feel well, don’t eat it. On the other hand, if you emotionally enjoy a food, do not punish yourself for eating it as long as you listen to when your body says it’s had enough. If you learn to listen to your body it will guide you to where you need to be; this is the best health advice I ever received.
When you were 5 what did you want to be when you were older?
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