Pamela Connellan

Books

Author recalls swimming with Prince Charles in her new book

Author recalls swimming with Prince Charles in her new book

In her new book Finding Fabulous Over 60, Lesley Thomas opens up about how she had some drinks and swam with Prince Charles in 1983 – as well as a collection of other amazing life lessons. 

Lesley Thomas was the woman we saw swimming with Prince Charles on the front page of all the newspapers when he visited back in 1979 and 1983. She says, however: "I was not the model who ran up and kissed him in the surf!"

But she did swim with Prince Charles several times at the North Cottesloe surf club beach when he visited Perth. She adds: "He turned up unexpectedly late one Sunday afternoon. The full story is in my book, but he came to the party and stayed two hours and had a great time because there were no press, no cameras, no mobile phones and he could relax, have a couple of drinks and enjoy himself - which is exactly what he and his entourage did."

As well as these stories there's much more from Thomas in her new book including how she overcame serious addictions, ended toxic relationships and lost weight, to wind up as she says: “a fit, vibrant 67-year-old woman – or so I’m told!”

Her autobiographical book documents her darkest moments when she prayed to a power greater than herself for help. Even though the road was rocky, she based her recovery, weight loss, fitness, and absolutely brilliant sense of wellbeing on those prayers being answered and her path being guided.

Here at Over 60, we talked with Thomas and asked her what inspired her to sit down and write her book – Finding Fabulous Over 60?

I wanted to help others to know it is possible to overcome and recover from addictions, childhood traumas, weight issues and toxic relationships and find for themselves the level of inner peace and joy that I have experienced more and more in my life. When Covid arrived in 2020, space opened for me when I lost my job and that is when I was guided to start writing.

Your book is autobiographical and you’ve said it’s about a “transformation” and “overcoming addictions – in particular alcohol addiction.” Was this something you struggled with yourself and you wanted to write and let people know how you became sober?

Yes, the 'disease of addiction' is debilitating, more so when you are trying to quit. You are fighting with your body, which wants a substance far more than you can cope with. It may sound dramatic, but anyone who has experienced it will know exactly what I am talking about. You feel like you are going insane and that you can hardly bear to be awake at times. The mental and physical anguish and torment are unbearable. I am hoping that the stories of my experiences with overcoming my addictions to nicotine and alcohol in particular, but also my struggles with my addiction to processed sugar and flour and overeating will give people hope that they too can overcome their addictions.

 

You also talk about ‘overcoming childhood traumas’ in your book. Was this another area you found helped you in your life?

Unprocessed childhood traumas crippled me mentally and emotionally, especially in my adult life and I wasn't even aware of it. I didn't start seeking professional help until I was 45 and it was the best thing I could have done for myself. Starting the process of dealing with childhood traumas assisted me enormously as I worked on overcoming my addictions. It wasn't easy and it took a long time, but it was certainly worthwhile.

Many people would be interested in how you ‘detached from a three-year toxic relationship’. Does it inspire you to let people how you’ve dealt with issues so you can help them?

Absolutely. It is so wonderful seeing 'hope' or 'the realisation of possibilities' come into someone's eyes. I used the word 'detached' in that phrase because it wasn't just a matter of physically leaving, I had to detach mentally and emotionally (from what seemed like a soul level) as well as physically and I could hardly believe how painful that was, but I knew in my heart I had to do it and get through it for my sanity and wellbeing.

Key to this was a willingness to look at and address honestly my own 'stuff'. In any relationship, we each have our part and we kid ourselves if we think it's 'all' someone else's fault when the relationship breaks down. Also, if we don't do this work, we will take out 'stuff' into the next relationship and it will all happen again.

So many men and women would be keen to know how you ‘lost weight and dealt with food addictions.’ Can you please give us a teaser of how you did this?

I had to accept the fact that nobody was going to do it for me. I also acknowledged that to be successful I needed to get out of my own way, become accountable, and get professional guidance.

Do you feel your life after death experiences with each of your parents after they passed has helped you on your journey?

Yes, enormously. Each of the visits of my parents after they passed that I describe in my book absolutely astounded me and left me in no doubt at all that there is life after death. It was a great comfort to me knowing that and that they are around me when I need them and are helping me.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with the readers of Over60?

With a grateful heart and a willingness to look on the bright side, I believe anything is possible for anyone. Truly! You are never too young or too old to take the first step to freedom, a better life, inner peace and a lot of laughs along the way. It's just the best feeling.

Lesley Thomas’s book is available on her website here: - www.findingfabulousover60.com

Here are some of the reviews of the book:

“An incredible read! A hugely inspirational story of transformation”

- Sue Stone - UK Author, Secret Millionaire and Inspirational Speaker

A recommended read for sure this book left me motivated to change ...in my case to lose weight (which I have since done) and in places the stories gave me a good old fashioned laugh. And who does not need a dose of that!!!!

- Henry Blatman

Photos: Courtesy of Lesley Thomas

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