When we’re rushing between work, socialising and fitting in those all-important workouts, it’s easy to overlook the real women who are at our side every day. Whether you’re on a first name basis with the girls in your yoga class or you silently cheer on another sister when you pass her on the running track, we’re all in this together.
In the latest edition of Real Stories of The Sisterhood, we want to celebrate one very special woman in our world. Equal parts fit and fearless, this bright spark defines what it means to be living a beautiful active life, despite the many obstacles in her way.
It’s time to meet Lia Halsall. Just one short year ago, this energetic life lover was happily working as a clerk in the Royal Australian Air Force, spending her free time taking on active adventures with her hubby and four legged children.
Then, her world turned upside down when she was diagnosed with cancer in her left breast. But true to her character, instead of being defeated by breast cancer, Lia began the fight of her life.
Today, this brave woman is going back through the hospital doors to the place where her journey began. At her 12 month breast cancer check up, Lia will meet with her surgeon and receive the test results she’s been waiting for.
Whilst today is a nerve-wracking day for Lia, we wanted to share her uplifting story with the entire sisterhood – you just can’t help being swept up in her infectious attitude. Get ready to be blown away by Lia’s life-shaking perspective on cancer, health and all things MNB…
What’s your story?
My name’s Lia Halsall and on 20th November 2012 I received a phone call at work from The Wesley Breast Clinic confirming that I had breast cancer. It was a grade two invasive ductal carcinoma in my left breast and the weirdest thing about it was, that I was okay with it. Unfortunately I can’t say the same thing for everybody else around me. All I was interested in was what the next step was so I could get back to work.
How has your experience shaped the person you are today?
It’s changed my life, and for the better. To be quite honest, breast cancer is the second best thing that’s happened to me next to meeting and marrying my husband. It’s been a blessing in disguise. I know that might sound crazy, and to other people it is, but not to me. My diagnosis has come with so many great life lessons and blessings that I truly consider myself to be lucky. I focused on the positive aspects and that’s helped me get through the worst of it.
Did you ever have moments of wanting to give up? What motivated you to keep going?
After 2 surgeries, 4 chemotherapy treatments & 33 radiotherapy treatments I thought the worst was well and truly behind me. Hormone therapy was next which involved oral medication. What I didn’t expect was for my body to suffer a chemical imbalance that would turn my entire life upside down. It was so bad that my breast care nurse & oncologist referred me immediately to a psychiatrist. I was diagnosed with clinical depression & anxiety. There were some challenging times back then but with the right prescribed medication and professional help I was able to start recovering again. Giving up wasn’t an option for me and if that’s what I had to go through to get where I am today, I’d do it all over again in a heart beat.
How did you discover Lorna Jane’s philosophy & MNB way of life?
I’ve worn Lorna Jane activewear for quite a few years now because physical training is a part of my daily life in the Royal Australian Air Force.
I guess you could say it was a pivotal moment and a huge turning point in my breast cancer recovery & rehabilitation. Since then I’ve fully immersed myself in it and used it to help me help myself when the fatigue hits me the hardest. It’s a part of me now and it’s how I chose to live my life every single day.
What does Active Living mean to you?
Active Living to me means moving your body every day in whatever manner you can or chose to so that you can remain fit & healthy for longevity. It also means to #MOVE615 with my two sporty sisters, Marnel & Jen. Sharing common interests with like-minded people is so rewarding and satisfying plus I always feel better after moving my body.
What drives you?
It’s simple really, life & living. After losing both parents in 2008 and surviving breast cancer in 2013, I learned to really appreciate my life. I know what’s truly important now and I try to not take anything or anyone for granted. Life is so very precious and I know that now.
What are some insights/words of wisdom you can share with the sisterhood?
That attitude is everything, you really can achieve anything you want if you put your mind to it and believe in yourself. Don’t let anything or anyone stand in your way of achieving your dreams and/or goals. Don’t be afraid, go for it!
What’s your life mantra?
Life challenges us in many ways and it’s these experiences and how we deal with them that have helped me become a better version of myself. Everything in life is about balance with positives & negatives. I chose to see the positives.
How do you live your best life every day?
I try to be authentic and the very best version of myself that I can be in every aspect of my life. I never give up and I keep on moving forward because what doesn’t kill me will make me stronger.
Future plans in the works?
I’ve already started setting up short and long term goals on my Believe Board. I’m working towards getting back onto the bodybuilding stage in September 2015. Bodybuilding’s something I’m extremely passionate about and having done it before I know I can do it again. It’s just going to take a little longer this time as I’m still in my recovery & rehabilitation phase of breast cancer.
Favourite recipe right now..
I can’t get enough of my organic banana breakfast smoothie. I never tire of it, never. If you want to try it over the weekend, you can find the full recipe on my website.
Books on your bedside table…
I’m currently reading for the second time “MORE of the Fit Women’s Secrets” by Lorna Jane. Then I’m going to go through and check everything out in the 2014 Lorna Jane Diary, which I’ve just purchased. And yes, I know I’m passionate about all things Lorna Jane, Active Living & Move Nourish Believe. It’s what I believe in and the more I immerse myself in it the more successful I’m becoming in my life.
Favourite LJ pieces to MOVE in…
Comfort Sports Bras, Mandy T-Shirts & ¾ Bootleg Pants. The Mandy are especially comfortable to wear and I love how they come out in different colours through out the year. Spring & Summer have the brightest colours, you can’t not be happy when wearing and working out in them.
The quote you always find yourself reading on those ‘not so great days’…
This one is my all time favourite quote I found in 2008. It still resonates with me even today.
So, are you inspired yet? If this incredible woman can’t get you up and moving, we don’t know what else will! Lia, your beautiful perspective is truly one of a kind. From the bottom of our heart, we are so glad to be on this active journey together.
Do you want to learn more about Lia’s active way of life? Visit her website for delicious organic recipes and more or click on over to her Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ or Youtube for daily inspiration.
Do you have a story you would like to share with the sisterhood?
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, we’d love to hear from you.