Becoming Rolene
Women's Health South Africa|August 2019

You might know her as Miss World, but as Sinead Martin learns, there are many more sides to Rolene Strauss. Mother, graduated medical doctor, business owner and total #fitspo goddess... Here she reveals just how many layers fit beneath her toned physique…

YOU might think that a Miss World title speeds up your personal growth and gives you enough life experience to age you way before your years, but after sitting down with Rolene Strauss, I quickly learnt that this 27-year-old’s personal journey is really just beginning. “I can’t even compare how I felt then to how I feel right now,” Rolene says about her past beauty pageant life. “People assume that I was at my most confident when I was Miss South Africa, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Then, I felt like all eyes were on me and I was constantly trying to fit into a certain box or mould rather than just saying ‘this is what I do and either you like me or you don’t’.”

FINDING BALANCE

Only in the past two years has Rolene felt like she can finally share her real self with the world. “I’ve just decided to be myself and I haven’t felt stronger than I do now – which is because I have been focusing on my health rather than the way I look. After I gave birth, I realised that I’m not just being healthy for me anymore, but I’m doing it for my son.” She pauses, “so I think that’s where my focus changed… I’m now focusing on being healthy rather than looking good.”

First, Rolene realised she needed to implement a strong routine in her life, something that no doubt all young mothers quickly feel necessary. “I didn’t have a balance or any kind of routine… If I had a big event coming up, I’d do a quick diet before it.” She reveals, “but now I have a definite routine, I try to exercise three to five times a week, but if I don’t manage all of those days then I have decided that it’s okay.”

Quickly, it becomes very clear to me that Rolene’s newly adopted philosophy is rooted in being kinder to herself. She’s not chasing universal perfection, but rather looking for ways to optimise her energy and attention. “There’s no secret to keeping the balance. In fact, sometimes I don’t maintain the healthy balance and I can drop the ball on a lot of things, but I know what is most important to me – like my family and the health centre that I have just started with my sister-in-law – those are the balls I know that I can’t drop, so sometimes I make a conscious decision not to focus on something if I can’t do it to the fullest. I guess it’s trying not to multitask, but to literally focus on one thing at a time.”

FIGHTING THE PERFECTION MONSTER

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