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Monday, 21 April 2014

Question and Answer with Alison Amos, CEO Ovarian Cancer Australia

Cat: How many women are diagnosed annually in Australia?

Alison: Each year in Australia around 1400 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and more than 1000 women die from the disease each year. Sadly, ovarian cancer has the lowest survival rate of any women’s cancer and there has been very little improvement in survival in the past 20 years.

What are the major signs and symptoms to be aware of?

There is no early detection test for ovarian cancer so the best way of detecting the disease is to know and recognise the symptoms. The four most frequently reported symptoms for ovarian cancer are: 
  1. Abdominal or pelvic pain; 
  2. Increased abdominal size or persistent abdominal bloating; 
  3. The need to urinate often or urgently; 
  4. Feeling full after eating a small amount.

    I
    f these symptoms are new for you and you experience one or more of them persistently over a four-week period, consult your GP.

Women can also track their symptoms by downloading Ovarian Cancer Australia’s symptom diary.
or our ‘K.I.S.S. & Make Up’ iPhone app which allows women to record their symptoms and generate a report to help them communicate with their GP. Our K.I.S.S and Make Up app also features makeup tips from Miranda Kerr’s Australian make-up artist and is available for FREE from the Apple iTunes and App store


What can exacerbate risk and are there preventative measures?

Risk factors include: Age: ovarian cancer is most common in women over 50 years of age and in women who have stopped menstruating (have been through menopause); Genetics and family history:  Genetics and family history are responsible for at least 15% of ovarian cancers. For example; if a woman has two or more relatives from the same side of her family affected by ovarian, or ovarian and breast cancer, her risk of developing the disease may be increased. This tends to be a result of an inherited faulty gene (BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation) that increase a woman’s risk of developing ovarian and breast cancer.  Women who are descended from Ashkenazi Jewish populations are more likely to carry this faulty gene. All women diagnosed with ovarian cancer, regardless of family history, are recommended to attend a familial cancer centre to consider genetic testing; Child-bearing history: women who have not had children, are unable to have children, have never used oral contraceptives or have had children over the age of 30, may be at slightly higher risk. This is due to ovaries not having a “rest” from the break and repair of the surface of the ovary when women ovulate each month; Endometriosis: this condition is when the tissue lining the uterus (endometrium) is also found outside of the uterus; hormonal factors: including early puberty (menstruating before 12) or late menopause (onset after 50); lifestyle factors: such as smoking tobacco, being overweight or eating a high fat diet. For more information visit www.ovariancancer.net.au.

What treatments are available and what are the success rates?

Treatment for ovarian cancer usually involves a combination of surgery and chemotherapy. Less often, treatment may include radiotherapy. The type of treatment a woman receives depends on the type and stage of her ovarian cancer and her general health. Ovarian Cancer Australia strongly recommends that women are treated by a gynaecological oncologist who specialises in treating cancers of the reproductive tract and has very specialised surgical skills. Ideally, women will also be part of a multidisciplinary health care team — where each member of the team specialises in a different area of care. 

Ovarian cancer has a five year survival rate well below the average for all cancers. In Australia, the overall five year survival rate for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer is 43%. In comparison, the overall five year survival rate for a woman diagnosed with breast cancer is 89%. If diagnosed early, the majority of women can survive. Unfortunately the majority of women are diagnosed with advanced stages of the disease.

What sort of support is there for women with OC?

Ovarian Cancer Australia offers a range of resources and support options to ensure that no woman with ovarian cancer walks alone.

Resilience: a free guide and personal record for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The guide includes information on diagnosis, treatment, well-being, support, as well as useful, practical information about additional support resourcesResilience also includes a support DVD which includes interviews with women with ovarian cancer as well as family members and health professionals.  

Support groupsOvarian Cancer Australia’s support groups provide an opportunity for women to share their story, gain more information about their diagnosis and treatment, share coping strategies and receive emotional support. Support groups are held in capital cities around Australia.

Tele-support group: This support group is held monthly over the telephone and provides a space for women to share stories, obtain information and talk about coping strategies.

Online forum: The online forum enables women and their families, friends and carers to share their personal stories and information in a secure online environment.

1300 support and information line: Women can call our 1300 number for information and support from Monday to Friday.

For more information on these resources visit www.ovariancancer.net.au

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Yes To...

This is one of those things I just thought everyone knew about! I've been using the Yes To Carrots and Yes To Cucumbers cleansers and moisturisers for years - admittedly, because they're the best packaging in the supermarket!
I often do the gym to shop to meeting - I know lots of us do - and this means skipping the shower!

No more sweaty face (or, "glowing!") for me though. I've got Yes To Blueberries pre-moistened towelettes in the glovebox. They smell gorgeous! Like a fruit salad for your face.
I'm keeping the Pink Grapefruit towelettes in my gym bag for quick between-class wipes too. My friend, Nat, keeps the Yes To Cucumbers in her car and finds them particularly useful for the grubby fingers of her son! There's also the fragrance free Yes To Carrots wipes new to the range.
Read more on the Yes To Website

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Skull print? Peacocks? Mesh? Add to Cart!

If you spend more than 2 or 3 days in a gym or studio, all workout gear tends to look a bit same-same. Is that the 40th Lululemon top I've seen today? Is everyone advertising for Lorna Jane now? I don't understand! Is she paying you?
Anywhoo. I'm just as guilty of doing this. I am a dedicated Nike girl - no other trainers fit and last as perfectly and look as good. Well, other than North Face when I went on an experimental bend! They were purple and silver - what was I to do?

If you're excited by prints and a quirky sense of humour, I'm letting you in on a secret. Onzie not only makes amazing yoga outfits, but they have a whole gallery of people wearing their gear in action! Not models - yogis! And they're just as amazingly beautiful - if not more so. So inspiring! My favourites here. My order is in - can't wait to show you what I picked!

www.onzie.com

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Bangs For Your Buck

I know I fooled most of you! I am channeling Jessica Biel's amazingly tame fringe.

Yes, I'm a sucker for a fringe. It says "chic" and it reminds me of my desperate desire to resemble Jennifer Keyte when I was young and she was a channel 7 newsreader with a killer, shiny bob and perfectly straight fringe.

If your hair, like mine, refuses to be tamed OR if you're flirting with whether to get a fringe cut, take my advice. Get a clip in. Lady Jayne Fringe Hair Extension at Priceline $24.99

Monday, 14 April 2014

Fit Makeup - No Shining Here



I have to admit, and clearly I have a one-track mind, when I saw Maybelline's FIT makeup, I thought "Great! Makeup perfect for a workout!"

Actually, it is about makeup that "fits" your skin shade. It's quite high-tech and smart. So, because it's way cheaper than most Fit tools (you could buy a CAR for all those watches and gadgets!), I suggest you invest in shine-free FIT me and save the big dollars for the Porsche Cayenne.

My shade is somewhere between 115 and 120 (depending on whether I have fake-tanned!). If you have olive skin, you need the 200 range and darker skin, the 300. Super affordable and you can say you've invested in your FITness. Well done.

Maybelline FIT Me!

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Eating Disorder Not A Life Sentence

I really ummed and ahhhed over this one. I think it's important to be honest and to kick a few myths and misunderstandings to the curb.
From the age of 17, I've struggled with eating disorders - for many years I managed to maintain an acceptable-looking weight so doctors assured me there was nothing serious to worry about. Close to four years ago, I was admitted to a public hospital in Melbourne with anorexia nervosa. My weight was dangerously low and I wasn't able to hold a job or enjoy a social life or relationships or really, anything much! I had completed my university degree and worked in several enviously hard-to-get positions in media and multimedia, but my preoccupation with my weight and body made it difficult to take any joy or fulfillment in my jobs.

My weight is now in the healthy range, and I no longer look ill, but like many women, I struggle with my expectations of appearance and I have to be vigilant about looking after myself. That means not exercising as a chore and a punishment. That means recognising when my self-talk is driven by fear and anger and anxiety and coming to my own defense! It also means recognising when a person, or people, around you are not part of your healthy life. Then you have to make some choices about who you spend your time with, what you spend your time doing and what matters.

I can't change my past, and believe it or not, I'm really grateful for having had to recognise that my body is vulnerable and I can either drive it into an early grave or make it super-strong and (hopefully) motivate and inspire other people to find joy in being active and nourishing themselves. So when I teach, it is with the knowledge that what I'm sharing is about grace and balance and strength. I'm not perfect, I'm still battling, and I think it's ok to admit that.

What I'd like to get across, to the girls who are struggling too, is that everyone and their dog has an opinion and in the fitness industry, they are especially keen to share their opinion on your body. But it actually doesn't matter - it's an opinion and they're totally free. A bit like the crap that comes in Happy Meals. You can just toss it out and carry on - sometimes it's easier. Some days it's not.

A girl I was in hospital with all those years ago is now a participant in one of my classes, and while it is confronting sometimes, it's also a reminder that we're not defined by our weaknesses or our past. What I know about my body and how much I LOVE being strong and flexible is largely the result of knowing how completely miserable it is to have no energy and protruding bones. While to this girl, I look "big!", I know that actually, I'm just not sick-looking anymore and I'm glad. I hope that as a teacher, I'm able to inspire the women and men who come to my classes to really enjoy and appreciate their bodies - whatever size and shape they are.

I choose to teach because I really, really love it. How I spend my time, and who I spend it with has become 100% more vital to me. I hope you think about whether your job gives you meaning and joy - it's never too late to change and explore until you find it.

If you do nothing else - please don't comment on other peoples' weight. Whether they can hear you or not. It's not your business and it can do way more harm than good. Surely you can find some other quality that is much more worthy of your opinion?

Butterfly Foundation
Eating Disorders Victoria



Pastel Shades - Illamasqua

 Illamasqua is my addiction and I'm not alone - it's a cult favourite of anyone who loves makeup, colours, creativity and artistry in fashion and cosmetics.
I am lucky to have snared a moment with Frances Cutri, international ambassador for the brand, to get her recommendations on how to use my favourite colour pigments (love these! you can use for lips, eyes, cheeks - mix and match). The beauty of the pigments is you can use a little for the subtlest hint or build it up for a full-on lilac attack. I can draw or paint for hours - that pure joy of colours and details! If you're the same, make a beeline for Illamasqua at Myer. Also see their website.
I highly recommend that you follow Frances Cutri on Instagram - she is both stunning and an incredible makeup artist. See her work, left.

Vow pencil is perfect for the inner rim of the eye to cut out any redness and instantly brighten the eye. You can also use it under the brow to highlight and around the lips to make them appear bigger.
Androgen cream pigment is a warm orange tone and looks amazing on anyone with a warm complexion. It can be used on the eye, cheek and lip. It is also a great color correcter for cutting out any ashy shade or blue tones under the eye.
I am a shameless fan of In The Frow - check out how Victoria rocks Androgen! See images below.


Dab is a stunning soft purple. It is a cool tone and looks amazing on fair skin as an eye color, cheek or lip. It gives a very soft glowing look.
Cream pigments are also perfect as powder eyeshadow bases.




In The Frow: Illamasqua Androgen

Friday, 11 April 2014

Hip Hop Yoga

Do you love it? You can do this at Yoga 213 in Melbourne! The song is Jay Z "Already Home".


Thursday, 10 April 2014

Yoga Activewear and Nike Outfits at Nordstrom

It's not my fault, I swear. A lovely girl in BodyPump last week had a killer Nike outfit on and I made the mistake of telling her how fabulous it was. She ordered it from Nordstrom and couldn't recommend them enough, so.... I stayed away for a week. A whole week. But now there's trouble. Here's my favourites! Go to Nordstrom to have a look - you'll be hooked.
ONZIE Low Rise Capri
NIKE Tadasana Low Rise Harem
Zella Leggings

C&C California Tights
Nike Leg-A-See Tights
Hard Tail Bootcut Pants
SOLOW Slouchy Capri Sweats
Nike Free Trainers

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Victoria's Secret Butt

Ok, don't quit your job and decide you'll pay off your mortgage by modelling lingerie RIGHT away. This video will not make you 7ft tall! But it does have some great ideas on training the gluteal muscles. What really works here is:

  • small pulses to fatigue the muscles
  • hitting different angles of the same group of muscles in sequence
  • using small weights for increased resistance
We do this sort of training in Ballet Sculpt - even if you're not training for vanity, having a strong butt supports your movement in daily activities and all sports. There's no downside to a strong butt!

Monday, 7 April 2014

I'm Grape-ly Serious

No, not an Autocorrect issue - I really mean it. Unless you've been hiding under a big rock, you'll know I LOVE purple. Every shade from lilac and mauve to queenly gothic almost-black purple and eggplant. So I've hunted around for my favourite purple shades and the best cleanser for really dry skin - those New Zealand beauty brands know how to harness nature for good (Antipodes)!
The Clinique lip chubby stick appears more pinky-toned in the photo than it really is. It comes up as a gorgeous just-darker-than-natural tone that flatters EVERY skin colour. Links below!

Clinique Chubby Stick Instense Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm "Grandest Grape"

Clinique All About Shadow Duo in "Beach Plum"

Illamasqua Cream Pigment "Dab"

OPI "A Grape Fit!" and "Anti Bleak"

Antipodes Grapeseed Butter Cleanser

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Charmene Yap - Sydney Dance Company

Charmene Yap is a graduate of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. She achieved her Bachelor of Arts in Dance in 2006 and has been working in Australia and internationally ever since.
A member of Sydney Dance Company since 2010, she won rave reviews and numerous accolades for her performance in 2 One Another - including 'Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer' in the 2013 Australian Dance Awards.
Her latest role is in Interplay, featuring choreography from Rafael Bonachela, Jacopo Godani and Gideon Obarzanek. It premieres at Southbank Theatre in Melbourne on 30th April, running until 10th May.
I caught her post-rehearsal in the SDC studios for this interview. 
Photo by Peter Greig 

If you look back to when you graduated in 2006, what have you learnt about life as a professional dancer that you would never have imagined as a student?
That’s a hard one! When I was in uni, I don’t know if I knew what it would be like anyway. I’ve taken each project and each company as it comes. After working with a few people, each company and each way of working is very different. It’s about the variety and the sense of self that you bring to each company and each choreographer. You’re not just a dancer or a mover, you’re a collaborator and a creator.
2.    What are your feelings on the dance community in Sydney and Australia generally? Is it competitive?
Photo by Peter Greig 
Yes. In Sydney, and every place I’ve been to, including Tasmania and Melbourne, each community is very different. It’s extraordinarily competitive between great dancers and great choreographers. There’s pockets of different things going on everywhere. In Melbourne, there’s a really quirky side to creating and in Sydney, it’s more athletic and movement-based. There’s very few jobs and very few grants.
It’s been a long journey for me so absolutely, there have been times where as your own boss, you’re continually trying to find the next thing and the next paycheque. I’m lucky now that I’m in one of the very few big dance companies in Australia. I had doubts about whether it was possible when I first started out! 
Have you ever struggled with your image and what services are in place for dancers to be educated and supported in maintaining a healthy weight and mental resilience through constant rehearsals, performances, rejections and media commentary?
That’s always a hard one because with dance, it is about the body. It’s your instrument really so it’s unavoidable not to think about it. In SDC, there’s many shapes and sizes. Contemporary dance is a little bit more lenient – there’s not a specific prototype body so in that way it’s a little bit less stressful! We have the benefit of working every day at SDC so we’re fit and healthy just from doing work. There is none of that pressure to be a certain weight or a certain look. It’s a very healthy image that we have. In saying that, I haven’t personally gone through anything dramatic image wise but the beauty of contemporary dance is you work with what you have. Everybody brings something different to the company which makes it interesting and diverse.
4.    You have achieved so much in dance. Are there any choreographers you want to work with or locations you’d like to dance in?
Photo by Wendell Teodoro
I don’t have anyone specifically that I want to work with. When I was younger I had more of a drive to move around and work with a huge variety. I feel like I’ve worked with a great range of choreographers just in Australia. I was always interested in the Forsythe way [German dance company] of moving and I’m open to anything really – dance theatre, having as many experiences as I can get. Visiting choreographers come into SDC and that’s great.
5.   Would you like to move into other areas of dance in the future – ie. Choreography, teaching or promotion?
This is a question that I keep asking myself. I definitely love design and architecture. Dance took me on a different path. In my own time, I do online courses and I enjoy keeping my brain working in a different way to dance. After dance, who knows? I have had a bit of teaching experience but I'm seeing how I go. I would like to go into design.
6.   Tell me about Interplay and what it means to be part of it.
Interplay is a triple bill. Two are world premiere new works. The first is by Rafael Bonachela with live violin. He has taken some music by Bach and created an ensemble work for us. The second is a remount of a work called Raw Models made in 2011 by Jacopo Godani. That has a new cast and Jacopo’s is a little bit more dark and energised. They’re very different. The last is Gideon Obarzanek [from Melbourne] – he came over and created this group work for us. All three are an insight into the broad range of contemporary dance. Hopefully the audiences will find something that they enjoy. It’s a big program and sometimes tiring but a very fulfilling and rewarding experience.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Hardware for your Hair

I don't shy away from a bit of shiny bling. And if it comes in pink? I'll take two. No, make it three.
Here's how to use Lady Jayne ponytail semi-cuff.
I've got one from The Metal Collection and a gorgeous pale pink from The Digital Romance Collection. Get yours from Priceline or Pharmacy Direct
Lady Jayne
Lady Jayne on Instagram
Brilliant Hair Inspiration Oh Hello Hair on Instagram

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Beyonce - Learn The Dances

If Justin Timberlake can do "Single Ladies", I think any of us can give it a whirl. My lovely friend Gen is one of the Bey Dancers - we're lucky in Melbourne to have a schedule of dance classes dedicated to Beyonce routines. Open to beginners and experienced dancers, the moves are built up in each class. That's right - nobody expects you to turn in Beyonce in one session.
Here's the timetable. Questions and to book, contact Liz by email
Need some more Beyonce inspiration? See

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Frizz-Free Gym Hair Ideas

I naturally have curly, frizzy hair. Every day, I workout. So...how do I avoid being attacked by Feral Frizz?
By following these steps:

  1. Using really good shampoo and conditioner (Kerastase!)
  2. Heat Protect Spray $24
  3. ghd straighteners on SMALL sections of clean, dry hair (Step-By-Step Guide here!)
  4. Tying hair up to avoid sweating into it during a workout with snag-free ties
Once you're super smooth, you can plait it, knot it, twist and pin it. Working out and looking chic CAN happen together!









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