She's told perfection for authenticity, and now home and away veteran Ada Nicodemou shows Paul Ewart how she's living on her terms. Ada Nicodemou has barely grown old on Home and Away during her 20 years.
With her youthful beauty and enviable curves, you would imagine she's going to wax lyrical about balancing life, motherhood, daily green drinks, having eight hours of sleep, and participating five days a week in Pilates classes-she doesn't.
When healthiness & Wellbeing gets alongside the straight-talker, she's very keen to bust illusions, and to shatter this "having it all" fantasy."I think there's such a lot of pressure on women to be perfect," the Summer Bay star and mum admits.
"And it's just not realistic. I've always got about ten balls within the air. But now I'm learning to abandon. Rather than making five appointments within the day, I'll just make one. Or instead of having a picture-perfect showroom home, I'll let the house be messy so that I can play with my son."
"I've learned to tug back on tons of stuff and to understand how important it's to possess the time for myself and time with my child. Now I pick and choose. Otherwise, you finish up running yourself into the bottom. It's such a standard female trait that you simply just attempt to confirm everyone else is happy that we ditch ourselves."
Keeping it real
Ada's desire to stay it real has also translated into her social media content.
In today's world of hyper-perfect, painstakingly curated Instagram posts that are designed to guilt-trip the remainder folks mere mortals, Ada's posts (all unfiltered and honest) are an antidote to the Insta-perfect one-upmanship.
"We've just needed to be more real," she says, thoughtfully. "Because it's putting such a lot of pressure on us – especially younger ladies. It's impossible to be perfect all of the time. But there are numerous images out there that are all retouched, filtered, or face-tuned."
"Now, I like putting on makeup, I prefer getting dressed up, having facials, and that I do get Botox – I'm not getting to lie around what I do – but I'm not getting to make my waist look thinner or airbrush out my wrinkles. I feel it is so important, to be honest, and to empower women."
"We're all beautiful in our way and that I think we all got to be there for one another and to assist lift each other."
A balancing act
For anyone who has seen snaps of a bikini-clad Ada recently, it's clear that there is no got to retouch anything – because the go-getter's toned tummy and thighs testify. But instead of the results of digital wizardry, her beach body is that the result of a lifelong passion for exercise.
"I've loved to exercise for as long as I can remember," she enthuses.
"I guess it's tons easier on behalf of me to remain fit because it's something that I enjoy. I do not exercise because I would like to seem a particular way, I exercise because I really like it – it just makes me feel good.
"I live by a kind of 80-20 rule – 80 percent of the time I'm exercising and eating quite well, and 20 percent of the time, I'm having creme caramels and indulging. It's about living – you cannot always watch what you're eating; that's just not fun. If I'm going away to Europe, for instance, I eat tons more pasta then I do reception, and on holidays I'll have dessert a day ."
A "sweet tooth" by her admission, outside of a daily sugary treat, Ada says that her diet is pretty healthy overall.
"I was lucky because I grew up during a household where we ate healthily," she reflects.
"We never had nutriment and infrequently had anything fried. Instead, there were tons of fish, good meats, good oils, and veggies, and fruit. It's carried through to how I eat now. Simple and attractive is vital, and my meals tend to be some kind of protein, like grilled fish, with vegetables or salad."
An ongoing and ever-changing shooting schedule is that the nature of performing on a show like Home and Away.
So, how does the busy television star manage to exercise amidst the erratic filming?
"I've learned to schedule in exercise," she explains. "My Home and Away schedule comes out on a Thursday, and I'll then undergo my calendar and make appointments with myself for training sessions or classes."
"I attempt to do two to 3 weight training sessions every week – at some point that specializes in the upper body, subsequent the lower body, and therefore the third-day all-over body. I wont to do tons of classes, and what I've tried to try to recently is also to try two new classes hebdomadally ."
"I did a Body Jam class last night, which was such a lot of fun and something that I have never finished an extended time. I feel it is often good to push yourself and check out various things ."
Behind the scenes
After getting her big break in 1994 playing Katerina Ioannou on teen show, Heartbreak High, it had been six years later when she would land the role of a lifetime, playing Leah Patterson in cult soap Home and Away.
"I can't believe it's been 20 years," she says, beaming.
"But then, it's been a neighborhood of my life for such an extended time, and I can not remember my life before it!
"I started on the show as a young, innocent, single girl – I do not think I'd even traveled overseas at that time – and now I'm a mother. I've seen the country, I have been to other countries, I've met numerous incredible people, and I have learned such a lot ."
"It has afforded me such a great life and that I feel so grateful to be doing something that I like every single day, and to be working with such amazing people. The relationships that we've formed off-screen show onscreen too. I feel you'll genuinely see that we all like one another. They're my family. It just seems like home, it does."Though she's been beyond lucky professionally, Ada had had to affect some devastating blows in her private life over the years, the primary of which was a health diagnosis that came before she turned 21.
"Growing up, I used to be always in pain during my cycle," she remembers.
"I suffered badly – sometimes I could not attend school, and it had been just really awful, but I never knew why. Eventually, I visited a specialist and that they said, 'You've got endometriosis, and you cannot have a baby. Sorry that .' then I paid my bill and left."
Occurring when endometrial tissue grows on the ovaries, bowel, and round the pelvis; hormonal changes thanks to the cycle cause this misplaced tissue to become inflamed and painful. The disease also can cause fertility problems, and there is no cure.
Left reeling from the devastating diagnosis, a young Ada was distraught at the prospect of life without children.
Thankfully, the doctor's harsh predictions proved to be unfounded, and therefore, the brunette stunner gave birth to a son, Johnas, in 2012.
However, endometriosis reared its ugly head and played its part during a devastating miscarriage in 2014, which left Ada delivering a stillborn son, Harrison, eight months into her pregnancy. It was a heartbreaking turn of events that left the screening natural, feeling devastated and alone.
"I'd never met anyone who had miscarried," she reveals.
"I felt so alone, and like I had nobody to speak to… I felt like there was something wrong with me. So I desire it's essential on behalf of me to talk about it and to say: 'Look, it's okay, it happens to all or any folks – one in four women miscarry.'"
"We got to mention endometriosis, and we'd like to speak about postnatal depression, we'd like to speak about miscarriage and every one of those things. we will not just mention the ups, we have got to speak about the downs."