She’s the bubbly, proud mum who won Australia’s hearts competing on MKR, and while she may appear full of life these days, Lisa admits she’s had her fair share of health battles over the years, including kicking a 32-year smoking habit once and for all.
“I had been smoking since I was 13,” Lisa, 55, confesses.
“For about a year I was coughing and it was really affecting my life. It was waking me up at night and the doctor was saying, ‘You’ve got to give up smoking, that’s why you’re coughing, you’ve been smoking for 32 years!’ So I gave up smoking.”
“It was really hard, by the way. It’s one of my greatest achievements.”
However, the 55-year-old’s health did not improve in the way her doctors expected after quitting smoking.
“I was still coughing, coughing, coughing,”she says.
“Six months later, after I’d given up smoking, I was still coughing and the chemist worked out that I’m allergic to the blood- pressure medication I was taking and that’s what was making me cough. So, basically, I got tricked into giving up smoking! I was so addicted to smoking and I’m really glad I gave it up.”
Next month marks Lisa’s 10th year of living smoke-free.
“I’m very proud of that,” she says.
“It’s false pride, though, because I’m not proud of the fact that I started in the first place.”