5 minutes with natural beauty, Solveig Walkling
JOURNALIST, INTERNATIONAL MODEL, PRESENTER, PILATES AND YOGA INSTRUCTOR AND ADVOCATE FOR HEALTHY BODY IMAGE
I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT … sports. I can’t remember not being active, running around and doing all sorts of sports. Sitting still too much actually makes me narky. I love moving.
It’s quite weird as my mum didn’t like sports and I was never pushed to do them myself. But I guess both my parents are quite active without being into organised sports much and they must have obviously seen early on how much I loved exercise.
One of my earliest memories is trying to catch up with my parents’ fast pace as we were walking around lakes and through forests. (I could never keep up possibly not just because I was little but also because I was a real daydreamer as a child and got distracted easily.)
And I remember doing a looong evening cycles – two hours or so – most nights in summer with a sandwich for dinner before I’d even lost my training wheels.
I did gymnastics, yoga and dance as a child. It took me a while to grow into my body and become coordinated actually. And I didn’t really play competitive sports until my teens. I love team sports but also sports where you can just be in your own head and focus entirely on the activity and your surroundings. I’ll try anything once given the opportunity.
I RELAX BY … watching the ocean or harbour or doing anything surrounding and involving the water: sailing, swimming, walking or running along the foreshore, surfing. I remember reading about a study a while ago that said even just looking at pictures of the ocean calmed people right down – I think it slowed their heart rate and breathing down within twenty minutes or less. That’s definitely true for me. Looking out over a body of water centres me.
I LIKE TO … experience new things and learn. It’s good to keep challenging yourself, your perceptions and your habits. That’s how we grow. It can be exciting or downright painful but at the end of the day it will turn you into a wiser more well-rounded person as long as you’re open to what life throws at you. Travel, new hobbies and putting yourself outside your comfort zone are all great ways to enhance your understanding of life, people and yourself. Plus, you lay down new connections in your brain by learning new skills.
I THINK BEAUTY IS … very much in the eye of the beholder. It’s so diverse. For me, it’s about an inner quality that shines through. A warmth and engaging spirit that people are drawn to. Kind eyes and an open smile.
Real beauty isn’t flawless. That’d just be bland and boring. Perfect isn’t so great. It’s our little quirks, scars and what sets us apart that makes us beautiful. An endearing quirky laugh, a daggy sense of fashion, eyes that are just slightly too far apart, a knack for being inappropriate; that kind of thing.
MY FRIDGE USUALLY CONTAINS … a range of food. From lots of veggies and fruit over yoghurt, dips and meat to chocolate. Unfortunately, I’ve got a real sweet tooth. I say unfortunately because it means my energy levels can be a bit all over the shop if I indulge too much. Sugar isn’t a very good source for sustained energy when you do sports. I like cooking for other people more than for myself but unfortunately I’m mostly out for dinner these days – either teaching Pilates or sailing – and quite often I just eat convenience food.
MY EXERCISE ROUTINE IS … no routine. I mix it up every week depending on what my body feels like. It responds quite well to exercise – due to years of training perhaps – but I still tend to overdo it. For me it’s really a matter of stopping myself and being gentle with my body rather than having to force myself to exercise. I’ve never 100% understood how some people find it difficult to get into exercise. It just feels so good to be healthy and active.
My current week sees me doing around twenty hours of Pilates classes, plus several runs and about two to three sails. I also walk a lot, go for the occasional swim, kayak and bushwalk and integrate anything else that might get thrown at me.
MY FAVOURITE BEAUTY TREATMENT THAT LEAVES ME LOOKING AND FEELING NATURALLY BEAUTIFUL IS … Aveda. I discovered their products and treatments in Hawaii and have been in love with them since. Their body polish makes your skin glow in an instant and smells scrumptious. And their spa treatments are heavenly. I don’t get to go anywhere near often enough though!
MY NUMBER ONE BEAUTY TIP IS … water. We’re made of it.