We spoke to Kristina Abramoff about her current PhD research, what she has learnt from her time on The Bachelor, her 2020, and her plans for the year ahead

Season 8 of the Australian Bachelor saw a familiar face brought to the screen, with Perth local and two-time Australian Survivor contestant Locklan ‘Locky’ Gilbert as the lucky Bachelor. Among the romantic hopefuls vying for Locky’s affection was another Perth personality, Kristina Abramoff. We had a chat with Kristina, to get to know her off the screen, and out of the Bachie mansion.

Lovely to chat with you Kristina. To start us off, are you currently listening to any podcasts or reading any books?

I’m currently listening to an audiobook called The Atomic Habits by James Clear. It’s one of those motivation books about building better habits and learning how to eliminate any unproductive ones.

You’re clearly a very motivated person. Tell us about your research at UWA, and why you chose that particular area of study.

I’m a PhD student at the University of Western Australia, and my research is on Type 1 Diabetes. I’ve been looking into how and why standing or exercising in water of varying temperatures affects the glycemic control in individuals with Type 1 diabetes. My research will help further the development of  treatment plans for the condition. The mechanisms of Type 1 diabetes are based on hormones, which was an area that I was particularly good at in my undergraduate degree. When choosing my research, I looked at the hormonal conditions that were available, and having a close friend with Type 1 Diabetes, I was most drawn towards the autoimmune disease.

Is there a certain area of expertise or field you are wanting to move into once you complete your research?

For the time being, I will most likely stay in the area of Type I diabetes. But, my degree is quite a holistic approach in the medical sciences, which can further stem into other things. We just don’t know the problems that are going to come up in the next couple of years, so I like to keep that option open.

Let’s talk The Bachelor. What’s one of the biggest lessons you’ve taken away from your experience, and what would you say to someone who was thinking of applying?

Unfortunately you just have to be more careful about who you trust, whether that is with dating or with friends. There were people who previously didn’t have the time of day for me and then when they found out that I was on TV, they would try to creep their way into my life.

If you’re not thick skinned and little things get you easily, I would not recommend applying to be on the show. I would definitely be more self confident in yourself before going into something like that.

Since leaving The Bachelor and the show being aired, has anything changed when meeting new people or when dating?

The line is even longer now… just joking!

I get told things now like I wish I knew you before you went on TV, which I feel puts me on a bit of a pedestal. In some ways, it makes dating a bit harder when trying to distinguish those who are genuine.

Not only did you enter the Bachie Mansion this year, but also had to deal with the global pandemic with the rest of us.  In retrospect of the wild ride that was 2020, is there anything you’ve learnt about yourself or taken away from it all?

I had to self isolate for the two weeks after returning from the mansion. During that time I learnt how to be happy by myself. And from that, I learnt that I don’t need to tolerate friendships that aren’t serving me.

It’s clear that you live an inspiring and healthy lifestyle, What would your advice be to those hoping to improve their fitness and health in 2021?

FAD diets or anything telling you to cut out certain food groups, you should definitely stay clear of. You can be good maybe 80% of the time and still enjoy yourself. As long as you are consistent, it will easily become a habit.

Do you have any goals or resolutions yourself for the new year?

No. If I feel I need to change or improve something I act immediately! I feel that if you are going to wait for a new year to change anything, you are less likely to stick to it.

And finally, what’s next for you? Do you have any plans for 2021?

As for Summer, I was meant to be in Sydney for now and for New Years but with the current situation, that obviously couldn’t happen. The main plan for the year is to finish my PhD study.

I don’t like to have anything planned too far in advance. I like to take life as it comes.

You can follow Kristina on Instagram, or listen to her on the latest JDRF podcast.

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