It’s a miserable day when we catch up with local model and personality, Fiona Falkiner, but speaking with the beaming beauty you certainly wouldn’t know it.
The Seaforth local shines as she chats candidly about the ‘crazy rollercoaster’ of life as a new mum to son, Hunter.
“I never thought I could love another human as much as I love him. He’s just an absolute joy,” the former Biggest Loser contestant and host gushes.
Like many COVID babies, Fiona admits it hasn’t exactly been a conventional start to life for the six-month-old.
Due to her fiancée, Hayley Willis’, work in the media department at the Sydney Swans, the newborn has already been through hotel quarantine multiple times in his short life.
“I think Hunter has been to Victoria, Perth, Queensland… He’s done a lot of travel that boy,” Fiona laughs.
“Everyone was like, ‘Was hotel quarantine with a baby really difficult?’ And to be honest, I actually kind of looked at that time as an incredible time where he had our undivided attention.”
The delight the 38-year-old takes in motherhood is especially heart-warming, considering she has been courageously open about her journey conceiving through IVF.
“I remember doing my IVF cycles during the first lockdown. Hayley was there 100 per cent every step of the way, but I also felt really, really alone during it,” Fiona explains.
“It’s such a personal journey to go through. I found a lot of comfort and solace in other people’s experiences because you’re searching for hope, I guess.
“So, halfway through our journey I was like, ‘Why don’t we start a podcast? I think it would be really beneficial.’”
What the IVF? has since become one of the top fertility podcasts in Australia, with Fiona and Hayley forthrightly tackling topics like choosing a specialist, hormones and the emotional ups and downs of fertility treatment.
“Still, to this day, women starting their journey are like, ‘Oh my gosh, listening to this every day is really helping me get through some tough times,’” Fiona says.
“It feels really good to put something out there that helps other women.”
Post-birth, the body positivity advocate is continuing to support these women by unreservedly showcasing her body transformation on Instagram.
“Obviously during IVF, you can gain a lot of weight and I did. And then during my pregnancy, I had some complications that meant I couldn’t really do any training or movement at all,” she explains.
“I just want women to know that it’s so normal to still have a tummy.”
She is now a proud ambassador of The Healthy Mummy and is using the diet and exercise program to keep up her health and wellbeing through the ‘wonderful chaos’ of motherhood.
“I’m not putting any pressure on myself to ‘snap back’,” she says.
“What I’m doing is working, but there’s no pressure there. I’ve been through enough weigh-ins in my lifetime!”
Chatting with her on New South Wales’ ‘Freedom Day’, the conversation naturally turns to life after the pandemic.
She says she is eager to make up for lost time, finalising plans for her wedding (which has been postponed three times) and, hopefully, visiting Victoria to see her family soon.
“My mum has Alzheimer’s and is in a care facility in Victoria,” Fiona explains.
“While we did get down to Victoria with the Sydney Swans and I got to see her, COVID has been really tough on her illness. Just because there’s been such long periods of time where we couldn’t see her.
“Mum did get to see Hunter, which was just so good, and I got some beautiful photos to show him.”
She’s also excited to be stepping out alone, representing herself for the first time in her career.
“I felt like I’d been managed by an agent ever since I came off The Biggest Loser as a contestant. It just got to the point where I feel like I’ve been doing what I do for so long, most of my clients know my personally and I wanted a change,” the model says.
And with her apartment just sold, the house hunt on and, potentially, a second child on the horizon, it seems there’s no chance of her slowing down any time soon.
“Our lives are madness, but I love every minute of it,” she smiles.