Laura Watson – Jordan Springs Women’s Community Group
Laura sent me an email introducing herself and asking if I would be interested in having chat. She has just started Jordan Springs Women’s Community Group and was reaching out to people to help spread the word. I love anyone who is doing something to help their community so I called her straight away and set-up a time. Laura is one inspiring, gorgeous lady who shared her story about how she came to set-up the group with me. Read on to find out how she went from being over weight and unhappy to a runway model.
I grew up in Cranebrook my whole life, we were a low-income family just surviving in the suburbs. I was always the chubby girl with glasses at school and I was the victim of bullying. I was always the one that was left aside while all the cool girls went off and played. That made me anxious.
My father left us when we were still young and my mom had a breakdown and my brother turned to drugs so I was the next parent figure to look after my mum and brother, which taught me to grow up really quick. I stopped being a teenager and started being an adult. Seeing the struggles that my mum had as a single mum with depression and anxiety and the emotions that she went through, taught me that I couldn’t open up because I had to be everyone’s rock.
I had so many issues myself going on. I was very depressed and anxious, I was worried if my dad was going to come back or what was going to be the next drama in our lives but I had to be strong. I just pushed my problems aside.
Then my (now) husband and I bought a house, got married and had our own two kids. As a mum you put yourself last. You make sure the kids are fed and bathed, put to bed and the house is tidy before you start thinking about yourself, so my health was going downhill.
I didn’t exercise and I ate junk food all the time, I put on a lot of weight. I think I was about a size eighteen by the end of my first pregnancy and I said to myself, “I’m so unhappy, why do I hate everything?” I hated how I looked and was anxious so I’d emotionally eat and put on more weight and hated how I looked more. I was always looking after the children, I would come home every night and cook for them, but by the time I did all that I’d just end up having toast or ice cream and go to bed. I was not looking out for myself at all.
After my second child, I said to myself I’m not going through that again, I have to wake up and realise only I can do it. So I started clean living, I got up at 5:00am every day and went for a run, got rid of all the junk food, I wasn’t having chocolate and pizza for dinner every night. So within 18 months I lost 28 kilos, I became fitter and healthier and started to become interested in health, nutrition and fitness.
Then I was approached one day by a model scout and he asked why I hadn’t been doing runway work and I thought, “Don’t be stupid!” I was a size 18, a few years ago, why would I think about doing that now, I was never one of the good looking, popular people and they said it doesn’t matter, believe in yourself.
I tried it out and it was amazing, but I thought “I work full time, I don’t have time to do something for myself on a Saturday, it’s really selfish when I have two young kids” That’s when I started thinking, I’ve got to have a life too, you can’t just be a mum, you’ve got to be a person as well.
I thought if I change my life, I can teach others how to do it and help them to believe in themselves. I decided to start in my own backyard first and make a little group for women and that’s when the Jordan Springs Women’s Community Group started. I approached a friend of mine Chloe to help me she is a wellness and fitness coach who was really excited about the idea and jumped on board.
It runs on the first Thursday of every month, from 7:30pm to 9:30pm at the Jordan Springs Centre. Our first one was the fifth of November. It was the night that a big storm started and we thought that no one was coming, it was just going to be us two.
I was surprised that at 7:35pm we had four ladies running in drenched saying, “Oh, we didn’t want to miss it” and I thought, “Thank god, people came!” I was surprised with the age range, I think one young lady was in her twenties and the oldest was sixty. I told them about my journey and how I’ve changed over the years and things that I’ve accomplished proving that it is possible to do what you want and Chloe talked about her business helping with health and fitness.
At each meeting, we’ll have a different topic. Chloe’s going to do the health side of things: like food, how to organize a grocery list and how to eat healthy on a budget. I’m going to do the mental and emotional side of things: like how do deal with stress, how do look after your mental state, how to make time for yourself and things like that. It won’t be the same story over and over again every month.
We won’t be burning our bras and protesting that we hate men. Chloe and I both have husbands and lead busy lives. We want women to understand that we’re equal in life to men and that you need to follow your own goals and make time for yourself and look after your own health. We’re not out to start a men hating club or anything like that. We are just two women that have life experience and are trying to help other women out.
The next meeting will be held on Thursday December 3rd, 7:30 at the Jordan Springs Community Centre info here and then on the first Thursday of the month
Interview: Katrina James
Photography: Katrina James