Territory Stories

Sunday Territorian 24 Aug 2014



Sunday Territorian 24 Aug 2014


Sunday Territorian; NewspaperNT




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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.

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Nationwide News Pty. Limited

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Nationwide News Pty. Limited



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SUNDAY AUGUST 24 2014 LIFESTYLE 25 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA V1 - TELE01Z01BS P oised. Its one of the first words that come to mind when meeting Today show co-host Lisa Wilkinson. Others are intelligent and (impeccably) well-dressed. But TV presenter doesnt figure immediately. Thats because were meeting at body+souls photoshoot, and as soon as Wilkinson walks through the studio doors, its as if she never stopped being a magazine editor. From the way she sizes up each of the 20 designer outfits on the rack to her suggestions to the photographer on what angle will be most flattering and her meticulous way of assessing what shots of her work and what dont, its like seeing the former editor of Dolly and Cleo back in action. However, once the camera turns off and we start talking, Wilkinsons passion for the world of TV takes over. I love my job, I think its the best job in TV, she says of her seven-year stint on the Nine Networks breakfast show. The love gives me an extra level of energy that helps me do the job as well as I possibly can. No time for Negativity Rumours of host changes at Today are currently running hot, as the show continues to come second to Sevens Sunrise in the ratings battle, and several other staff have departed or announced their intention to. Since November last year, theyve farewelled an executive producer after only nine months in the job, and long-term news presenter Georgie Gardner, while sports presenter Ben Fordham leaves at the end of the year. Wilkinson recently told The Daily Telegraph that, as with all of her jobs, she approaches this one thinking that each day could be her last. In our interview she says something similar, but adds that she doesnt waste time on negativity or worrying about her jobs expiry date. I dont believe in wallowing in self-pity, I dont believe in holding grudges, or feeling jealous of other people, she explains. Im in control of my experience in life, and I want to make it as positive as possible the rest of its wasted energy. ShiNiNg a light oN bullyiNg Its a great mantra to live by, and is one that Wilkinson refers to again when she reveals shes about to start doing adult ballet classes. Despite being a talented ballerina as a child, she gave it up when she was 14 in an effort to avoid standing out after she became a victim of bullying at high school. Quitting ballet is my only regret, she says. But had I continued, I wouldnt have done b+s 05 profile + firSt thiNg A big cup of boiling water filled with fresh lemon (the flesh, rind and juice) and fresh ginger, followed by a double espresso. If I dont have that I cant quite function. journalism. Its not like I hold a grudge, thinking those bullies ruined my life, but Id like to know how far I could have taken it. I know Im going to love the classes. Its all about enjoying your body and what its capable of. Wilkinson says her experience of being bullied as a teenager has enabled her to shine a light on it when she sees it happening as an adult. The bullies I saw in the playground I still see in adult life. But if you call it out, its amazing how quickly you can affect change, she adds. I had a situation not that long ago in my professional life where I had to call out bullying and Im really proud that I did. She wont, however, say anything more. StrikiNg a balaNce At 54, with three teenage kids and a demanding job with unusual work hours, Wilkinson is in excellent health. She gets a mere four or five hours sleep a night (its not much) but balances that with eating well (see box, below), and exercising regularly (shes an avid walker and gardener), plus shes up-to-date with all her screens and checks. Im even up-to-date with my colonoscopies, she adds with a laugh. Theyre not fun, but both my husband, Pete, and I have lost parents to cancer, so Id rather be health-aware. However, she admits she hasnt always been so in tune with her health. I struggled with my weight in my 20s and early 30s; I was probably 15kg heavier than I [am] now, she says, adding that the combination of being bullied at school, then becoming editor of Dolly at 21 had an impact on her eating habits. Maybe it was a form of self-sabotage, maybe I didnt want to shine too much. I think I used food as a crutch lots of women tell me they do the same thing. Wilkinson says her weight stopped fluctuating in her early 30s, when she started dating her now-husband, journalist Peter FitzSimons. A couple of months after we met, he made a comment about my weight I cant remember exactly what and I reacted badly, and ended up explaining about my weight struggles. He said, Id love you if you were 20 stone, and I can still remember the look in his eyes. I knew he meant it, and I realised that if he could love me at 20 stone, then I should be loving myself under any circumstances. Really, from that moment on it hasnt been a problem. a focuS oN health In the past few years, Wilkinson has had some serious health scares, including an abnormal mammogram in 2013 (further tests cleared her of breast cancer) and a virus that affected her heart, which she contracted during a particularly busy work period in 2011. She considers both to have been good wake-up calls. The virus stopped me thinking I was superwoman, and taught me the art of saying no, she says. Of the mammogram, which shed put off doing for a year, she says it put her on the straight and narrow. I check myself every month, and Ill have my next mammogram exactly when its due. Its not OK for it to be constantly number five on the to-do list, as it was for me. Shes been an ambassador for the National Breast Cancer Foundation for years, and a + breakfaSt Avocado on multigrain toast with a squeeze of lemon, plus a green vegetable smoothie (both are consumed during the broadcast). + iNdulgeNce If I have one downfall, its chocolate, she says. + luNch A wholegrain muffin or a salad. She says one of her idiosyncrasies is that she doesnt like sandwiches. I check myself every month, and Ill have my next mammogram exactly when its due. Its not OK for it to be number five on the to-do list + diNNer A large salad with kale, pomegranate, carrot, lemon rind and quinoa. my day oN a Plate few times in our interview she mentions her awe and respect for breast cancer survivors. the age advaNtage Wilkinson sees no negativity in ageing. I think one of the reasons I was offered the Today job was my age. People want that knowledge and experience that comes with it. My age helps to make me the best I can be. She thinks theres a societal shift as more people choose to reject any negative labels about their age. Getting older is so much better than the alternative [of not being around at all], she quips. Longevity is a good thing. Wilkinson on set, and with her Today co-stars (from left) Steve Jacobs, Sylvia Jeffreys, Karl Stefanovic, Richard Wilkins and Ben Fordham