Want abs like THIS? We ask our December cover model Meaghan Terzis to share her trade secrets.

Meet our cover model: Meaghan Terzis - PICTURE - Women's Health & Fitnes

On body image:
My biggest advice on body image is that you look as good as you feel. Size does not matter. We are all built differently and come in all different shapes and sizes; we need to learn not to compare ourselves to others but to embrace what we have and be confident in the skin we were given. In my experience, eating right, exercising regularly and getting enough shut-eye fosters positive body image.

On wisdom:
I know first-hand that life is short – especially after going through an emergency appendectomy, where I almost lost my own life, a year ago. This experience was an eye-opener and taught me so much – to enjoy the little things in life, and that it’s not the end of the world if I miss a workout or eat a piece of pizza with friends. I used to put a lot of pressure on myself being in the fitness industry, but now I have a better grasp on balance and living life to its fullest.

On food:
I never like to say I am on a diet; for me it’s a lifestyle. In terms of aesthetics and performance, I believe the kitchen plays a huge role. A healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables, healthy fats and lean sources of protein is helpful, as is eating every two to three hours to keep your metabolism revving and averting hunger that could lead to overeating or poor choices.

On cravings:
Once in a while I have that craving for something salty and crunchy so I open up a can of chick peas and place them in an oven safe dish, drizzle a little bit of olive oil and add a dash of sea salt and roast them in the oven for one hour.

On festive season excesses:
When it comes to the holidays and the festive season, one thing seems to come to mind: food, and lots of it. To manage social events anchored by high-calorie drinks, lollies, canapés and desserts, I suggest drinking lots of water and either skipping alcohol or having one glass. To keep a check on portions, serve what you plan to eat on a plate rather than choosing as you go; it’s easy to lose track!

On workout motivation:
I will always celebrate an accomplishment or a goal I’ve achieved – whether it’s competing in a fitness competition, running a 10km or competing in a Crossfit challenge. I believe it is good to reward yourself or treat yourself to a celebration with your friends and family or anyone who has helped you to reach your goal.

On balance:
Balance is such a big part of my life. Being a busy mother of two, a wife, running a household, helping to manage my husband’s dental practice, fitness modelling and my own fitness and health, life can be crazy. But with the right organisation, prioritising and judicious sacrifices, everything is achievable. My advice for finding balance is to make time for yourself, whether reading a book, watching a movie or enjoying a yoga class. For me yoga is my escape and what I do to relax.

On body prep:
In the lead-up to summer, or a photo shoot, I like to keep things consistent rather than doing anything drastic. I follow a regular workout plan, clean up my eating habits, get lots of rest and drink lots of water. Being healthy and fit is about incorporating healthy habits into everyday life – not isolated ‘kicks’ for an event or season.

On beauty:
For special events, I get my hair coloured and roots touched up and have a manicure and pedicure the day before to ensure the nail polish is unchipped. I get a light spray tan to give me that sun kissed glow without the harmful UV rays.

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Photographer: James Patrick.