By Olivia Amourgis
Images by Dallas Olsen | Hair and make-up by Lisa Lee
CHANGE: “MAKE OR BECOME DIFFERENT; MOVE FROM ONE TO ANOTHER.” – THE OXFORD DICTIONARY
Change is inevitable; places, people, opinions will change. Just think back to where you were five years ago – how much of your life has changed? How much of that change did you welcome? How much did you resist? What change did you create? When it comes to change in life, you have three options: you can resist it and fight for the comfort of familiarity; you can accept and embrace it; or you can reach for and create change. One option creates inflexibility, harvests negative energy and prevents opportunities; the other two take courage, yield growth and create freedom.
If anyone understands the difficulties and, most importantly, the opportunities change creates, it’s cover model Vlatka Dragic. Born and raised in Croatia and unable to speak a word of English, she moved to Melbourne at 16 years-of-age. Thrown into a world vastly different from what she knew, the teenager had no choice but to embrace the new life Australia had to offer.
“I had to adapt to so many changes and learn so many new things,” Vlatka says. “This gave me no choice but to stand my ground, familiarise myself with the new world and step ahead. Having to deal with so many life changes at 16 gave me the strong attitude now to always go that extra mile and not be afraid of changes.”
With her strong attitude, natural intrigue for breaking perceived limitations and motivation to improve her body, Vlatka never limited herself to changing life around her. Instead, she focused her energy on changing what she knew she had most control over: her body and mind. Changing herself from the inside out created the opportunity for personal growth, improvement, strength and progress. While creating change is often no easy feat, sometimes it’s the difficulties overcome that create the highest sense of achievement and self-belief.
“Training has really changed my life,” Vlatka says. “The physical aspect of it is great – I love being healthy and looking fit, but for me it’s more about mental focus. The feeling of accomplishment and knowing you’re doing something great for your body and health is amazing.”
The 27-year-old confesses that before training she didn’t have the focus or drive she was craving in her life. After finding her passion, she chose to chase her dreams of competing in fitness competitions and living in a tropical state on the beach. While it appeared out of reach, Vlatka went for it none-the-less and never looked back. She describes it as the hardest decision for her to make, but also the best decision of her life.
The now-personal trainer, online coach and e-book author has certainly developed a grasp on what’s needed for people to create positive change in their lives. While some of you take on change with undeniable enthusiasm and ease, others need a little push, guidance, love and support. But no matter where you are in your journey of change, Vlatka’s advice remains the same: uphold a positive attitude at all times, maintain focus on how YOU can improve and how far YOU have come, and never compare yourself to others – you have no idea where they are in their journey.
“My current success is so much more than everyone can see,” Vlatka says. “I have spent years of trying different diets, different training, getting advice, competing and not placing, but one thing I always had was a positive attitude and strong will.
To hear the rest of Vlatka’s incredible journey, check out the latest issue of Oxygen in all good newsagents, or you can click here to subscribe.
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