Marion (Maz) Maclean may be familiar to long-time Illawarra Mercury readers.
This newspaper has reported on the former weight loss coach and author's many adventures over the years.
There have been many highs but just as many lows in her life.
Losing her mother to suicide when she was only six-and-a-half years old was "extremely tough".
Maclean, now happily married with a 20-year-old daughter, spent many years dealing with the legacy left by her mother.
It caused her pain to the point of breakdown, then joy at the prospect of becoming a mother to the daughter she thought she'd never have, but also ambition to achieve physical perfection almost to the point of self-destruction.
In 2012 she told this reporter: "I was 36 and had known for many years and had accepted the fact that I couldn't have children, but extraordinary things do happen and [husband] Kerry and I were blessed with our daughter Alana.
"This responsibility was troubling for me, because of my own troubled childhood, my early years were in foster homes, because my mother had mental health issues and took her own life, and I didn't discuss this until I was an adult."
This responsibility was troubling for me, because of my own troubled childhood, my early years were in foster homes, because my mother had mental health issues and took her own life, and I didn't discuss this until I was an adult.Marion Maclean
Her memoir "Defeating Anorexia Athletica" looked at Maclean's metamorphosis from an obsessed and depressed lost little girl to a healthy mother with a blossoming and balanced life.
Maclean's story takes the reader on a compelling and often painful journey that touches on the complexities of our fixation with physical perfection, eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia, and obsessive-compulsive disorders.
It also sheds valuable light upon the links between diet pills, mental illness and suicide.
That's why today the 57-year-old from Towradgi continues to espouse the virtues of health and fitness.
A support worker for the past nine years, Maclean also enjoys a rewarding career helping others employed by the Disability Trust and working privately for herself.
"I've been working with a varied range of clients with physical or intellectual disabilities, extreme trauma, extreme isolation and mental illness. I love what I do. It's great to play my part in helping people," Maclean said.
Although this means she is often on call seven days per week, Maclean manages a life/work balance to enjoy quality time with her family.
Importantly she also finds some time for herself to embrace the challenges of being a woman of today in her mid 50's.
At her daughter Alana's suggestion, Maclean set up her own Instagram account. Her embrace_the_50s account has already racked up over 21.5k followers.
"I've always had a lifelong passion for health and fitness and have experience of running a successful online weight loss life coaching business for seven years," Maclean said.
"I thought I would share some of my positive and motivating ideas aimed at women embracing their 50's, on Instagram.
"I have to tell you I'm ecstatic that so many people are following me. The power of the medium has shocked and surprised me. I get a lot of joy using Insta. I have to say it de-stresses me after a hard day's work."
Maclean wants people her age to "own their lived lives and histories".
"All of us go through trials and tribulations. What matters is the way we handle them," she said.
"No-one is going to go through life unscathed. All of us will go through our lows and our highs and unfortunately I had a lot of lows in my early childhood and my late 20s.
No-one is going to go through life unscathed. All of us will go through our lows and our highs and unfortunately I had a lot of lows in my early childhood and my late 20s
"In life you will lose loved ones. I lost my father and my stepmother and my mother took her own life.
"There are so many people that I've loved that I've lost, and you grieve but you have your own family to live for.
"With my daughter, every day I try to set good examples for her. I try to encourage my daughter to trust and respect people. If you have those traits, you're on the right track."
Maclean said that as she was getting older, her health was becoming her biggest priority.
"No matter how old you are, your health has to be your number one priority. Without your health you've got nothing," she said.
"The 50s is the years you have to embrace and look after your health.
"Usually you have got a good career by then, the family is all grown up so you have got a bit more time for yourself, which is good."
Maclean said it was also important to be true to yourself, no matter the consequences.
"You get to an age where you are too old to worry what other people think. If you are like me and like to wear bold colours, do it and be true to yourself," she said.
"It feels good to do what makes you happy.
"I'm in my 50s and I have a daughter and I'm finally doing things with Instagram about what I'm passionate about because I've been in the industry for over 35 years.
"I love my job as a support worker for those people with extreme trauma and mental health issues.
"It can get emotionally draining but the thing is when I go onto Insta I'm doing the things I'm passionate about and I also kind of destress in that way also."
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