Magda Szubanski is relishing her new life as a healthy person who can do anything she wants.
It’s a scorching Sydney summer day and Magda Szubanski is with friends who are keen for a dip at Bondi Beach to cool off. In the old days, prior to her dramatic weight loss, Magda, 49, may have thought twice about this suggestion, but not today.
Within minutes she’s splashing around amid bikini-clad babes and men sporting sixpacks without a care in the world. While she was wearing shorts, not skimpy swimmers, for Magda it’s a spur-of-the-moment decision that has much more to do with convenience than camouflage.
“I’m pretty sun-conscious, but also it was an impromptu decision with friends to jump in the water so that was just what I had in the car,” explains Magda of her outfit. “I’ve always swum and enjoyed the beach. I think it’s vital that people of all shapes and sizes get out and be active.”
These days, when Magda heads into the water it’s for a more energetic swim. Her newfound stamina means she doesn’t just try to stand up to the waves. Instead, she dives and body surfs, something she would have found impossible two years ago.
No longer does she also have to worry about the gruelling soft-sand trek back to bitumen, or the stares of the beautiful people reclining on their beach towels as she labours for each breath under her excess bulk – bad memories of an unhappier time.