Sunday, 11 November 2012

Where have you been?

Want to know what I have been up to? 

Click on the link on the sidebar to my City2Sea fundraising blog to see what's been happening and to read about our wonderful day yesterday.

Monday, 1 October 2012

bloggers challenge catch up

I am home again, staying put now for a bit and loving being back in my own space.

It was lovely to be away, some time in my parents very welcoming new holiday house in Inverloch. Some time with my parents and some time with my bestie and her 3 children.

I did have a little giggle when my mum, a very devoted grandmother to 10, suggested that Ally and I might like to 'have a break and go out to the pub for an early dinner.'
Ok, so let me get that right.  6 children aged 14 months, 3, 5, 6,7 and 8.  And 2 grown ups.  A break?  Not so much.

image source -

So home made spaghetti bolognese it was.  And like the best of long friendships, at 4.15pm, I looked at her, she at me and in an unspoken way, decided it was time to start cooking dinner so that we could pack our 6 little much wanted and loved cherubs away.  And let the real chatting begin.
Ah, chatting therapy, it is a much under-rated thing.  And long overdue.

I was rather thrilled, as I posted earlier, to find that my weight has continued to slowly slide down.  Slowly, but surely. And people are starting to notice, without significant prompting, which is such a great motivator to continue.

So now it's time to get back on track, and return to the guts of the 12wbt, not some spliced together version. 

So in that spirit, I return to the 12WBT bloggers challenge, guided by noni77 whose linky thingy I think is still unlinky-ed.  Nonetheless...

Week 3 – Ch ch ch ch changes

If we want to transform ourselves we can’t expect it to just happen – we have to make an effort and make changes in our lives. This week’s challenge is about the changes you have made to your life – whether you have been on this journey for three weeks or three years – or anywhere in between.

1. What do you think were the three most important changes you have made so far?
No more seconds.  Ever
Portion control
Take responsibility for my choices

2. How have these changes to your food, exercise or mindset impacted on the rest of your life?
A realisation that I am in control, for better, or worse.  I have choices, the trick is to make them good ones. 

3. What did you have to do in order to make sure these changes happened?
I believe that the preseason and warm up tasks and challenges really helped me get my groundwork done.  A gentle shift that got me ready enough to make changes that will stick. 
4. What difference have these changes made to your body transformation?
While my weightloss since the 12wbt has started is slower than some, my overall loss is something I am really pleased with and I feel the mindset changes and shift in my thinking are one's that I can really stick with and sustain.  
5. Have these changes been hard or easy for you to make? Why?
Err, kinda both.  There is certainly a commitment to make and it can be time consuming to trawl the forums, print the recipes, plan any menu changes, blog....but, it is taking the place of mindless tv watching, and associated unconscious eating, and wasted time online. And I found the 'work' of preseason and warm up to be hard in an emotionally challenging way.  Overall, living this way is much much easier than seeing my weight increase, and feel shit about myself.  That self loathing is super time consuming.
6. Would you recommend others make these changes to their lifestyle too? Why?
Hell yeah.  I love feeling healthy and in control of my health.  The 12wbt is not rocket science, but it is supportive and I think the groundwork stuff is really where it has made the difference to me.  And a lifestyle change that makes you feel more a part of your own life is surely a great thing.
7. What do you think the next things is going to be that you will have to change
I need to commit to getting into a better routine, not just 12wbt style but to really prioritise the important stuff of my life, starting with myself and my exercise, but including a better commitment to dedicated relationship time, and making sure I schedule some recreational time for myself too.  I have really left behind my occasional sewing and crafty stuff which I love to do, a little, not a lot of. And I need to get a bit of a career plan, an ongoing education plan for myself...some lists I think are needed!  And importantly I am going to schedule a few running events each year. I am committing to doing a half marathon in SA next year in the Barossa.  Oops, it's out now.  I'll have to do it.  Any takers?

and now -
Week 4 - Highlights so far

Breifly, this time. And in pointform for efficiency because I have to go to work. :(
  • losing weight
  • losing the big emotional investment in how fast the weight was coming off
  • rediscovering running and how clear it makes my head
  • incorporating lots of new food choices into family meals, and modifying existing family recipes to make them better choices
  • enjoying sausages (kanga bangas rock)
  • liking what I see in the mirror more.
  • Fitting into more 'lost' clothes
  • Realising that I can say no to food.  Amazingly, I am the boss of myself. 

and now -
 Week 5 - Food

What were your old food habits like?

Too much food. Great healthy food, made from scratch.  But no consideration, or awareness of appropriate portions

What were you like before embarking on this journey to become a healthier version of yourself?

Lacking in a sense of personal responsibility for my physical appearance. Simply that.

How did you feel?

Blank.  Didn't allow myself to think about it.
Was there anything you struggled with but have over come?
Portion control, and realising that it is not about restriction, or diet or going without.  It's about having enough.  And choices. 

So that's it for today, all caught up.  But need to get my marvellous list writing fingers on the job tonight and commit to planning for my important stuff.  And working out what that stuff is too.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

down and down

Only a quick post today, from the Inverloch library...gee we are lucky to have such terrific libraries in both NSW and Victoria.  Wireless internet, computers for an hour at a time.  Really lucky.

Loving a break here, warm sandy times.  And although the Goose thought that the beach was great, apart from the sand, we are all having a restful and smiley time.

But I digress. I must be working harder than I thought because I am now well and truly in the 60s - 69.6kg this morning. Down from 70.2 last week.  So that is 2 weeks of back to back holidays and associated consumption and decreased routine and still managed a loss. It would seem that the times I think I am over indulging, I still have been better than I thought.

I am pretty pleased.

So that's it for today.  Hope life is treating you well.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Week 4 - Milestone week and reflection

So today sees 4 weeks completed of the Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation

And what has changed?

As is my pattern when there are too many thoughts to articulate well, I shall proceed with point form.  It also makes me feel a little more connected to my love of stationary and lists when I use point form.

  • I have lost a total of 7.4kg since I began the journey.  Only 0.3kg lost appears on my 12wbt tracker.  This is partly due to my massive preseason enthusiasm, and the welcoming of the new truthful scales into my home. 
  • I am in a pattern now of making more thoughtful choices with food.  Even if I don't stick to my 1200 cals or even track them, I know that I ingest far, far fewer than ever before. Even when my mood is low
  • I oscillate with my exercise enthusiasm.  It is linked directly to my mood and mental state.  Ridiculously, I feel better when I exercise, but feel least like doing it when I am low. Kick up ass required.  Husband assisting.
  • I have lost 14cm from my body measurements.  People are starting to notice, so grabbing on to that as a motivator to continue
  • I have Bipolar disorder.  Whatever.  Still the same nutbag I was before.  Have a label to put with it now.  I am a categorised nutbag.  And that's ok
  • I am nourished by some particularly great friendships
  • I am supported by some lovely new contacts in internet land, on blogs, and on the 12wbt forums. I like that.
  • I have a wonderful little family unit.  The Nigelator, pickle, curly and the goose are my people.  And I am theirs. And we love each other.  And make each other laugh.  And prefer each other to all others.  And now I know it more than ever.
Off to spend a little more time away this coming week, this time at my parent's holiday house at the beach in Inverloch.  And will catch up with my gorgeous friend Ally and her brood.  Can't wait.

I hope the week is kind to you, and you are kind to yourselves.

Friday, 21 September 2012

i'm back!!!

Hi all.

I am back from a camper trailer adventure in Merimbula.  We wagged a week of school (it's fun to be a grownup sometimes!) and had a great time.  We stayed here...

Our campsite was just behind the building in the 1 o clock posisiton in this photo, ritght near the camp kitchen and amenties but not so close to have heaps of noise.  And close enough to the playground to hear the distinctive squark of one's own child without having to step away from camp.  Fabulous, highly recommend the park, and Merimbula.

We went to Magic Mountain.  Lots of fun. 
Let's not speak about the swarm of bees (I had one hand on my epipen and one eye on an ambo colleague I saw across the grass).
Lets not speak about the 3m snake meandering  a car length from the jumpy castle.

Lets just not speak about them. I have blocked them out and only remember the squealing joyful laughter of my daughter on the water slide, the 'cool as' from the pickle as he came off the roller coaster, the grin from curly as he came off the 'fully sick' toboggan ride.

The joyful photos of the boys and their daddy catching fish on their 'bloke' day, the goose and craft and chatter on girly day. Dolphins. Sand.  Rain, and sun. And yahtzee in the camp kitchen.

And the wonderful community of camping.  We chatted and befriended lots of other families.  Sharing stories, recommending activities and places to eat.  I cradled in my arms a little boy of 2 while his parents enjoyed the waterslide with their 5yo daughter, and they helped the goose too.  They were so grateful to be able to do that, and I was thrilled that the goose was able to be a little more independent, but be supervised too.  Ahh, camping.  It's a village.  And I love it.

Now here's the thing...I didn't grow up camping.   I grew up living in flats in Glen Iris.  Very suburban.  My mum's idea of a travelling adventure was to go and stay in a motel, with air conditioning and a pool.  In Burwood.  6km from home.  Opposite KMart.  Admittedly it was for a time the biggest KMart in the Southern Hemisphere.  But it was still Kmart.  And it wasn't camping.

The Nigelator grew up living by the beach, near Bells Beach in fact.  He also had time living on a farm in regional Victoria as a small boy.  All bikes, and tractors, and snakes in your bike wheel and dads shooting kangaroos and foxes.

Not quite motels in Burwood, I know, but a childhood of sorts, I suppose.

So it was quite a stretch to consider camping as an option for our family.  But I really love it.  I remember when we first moved away from Melbourne to live in Tumut, we made friends with people who were 'campers.'  They had all the stuff and were happy bush camping, equipped with all the stuff to manage without civilisation for a while.  I was amazed.  It all seemed so hard.  Toilet paper in your pocket, boiling the kettle to do the dishes.  Ewwww.

But then they told me a story of them going camping, ironically to the same park in Merimbula.  They'd driven for 5 or so hours to get there, a 2.5yo boy and a breastfeeding bub.  They pulled up at dusk, she started to feed the baby in the passenger seat, he started to assemble the tent.  And then the village arrived...a woman and child took her boy to the playground. 3 blokes arrived and helped pitch the tent.  Another bloke arrived with beer.  30 mins later, the sausages were cooking and everyone was laughing and the camp was set.  And then they all trickled back to their own camps. 

And I love it. 

Thursday, 13 September 2012

I am married to a really great man. And I'm planning my week 4 reward

Check out my new shoes.  Mizuno Wave Enigma.  So light and purpley.  And a bit hard core.

The Nigelator and I went to see Pickle in some rugby thing he was picked for.  It was played in the grassy square off the main drag in our town.  Yay, Pickle!!! But I was watching, not concentrating. But I was proud of my boy, out there, working hard.  He got 2 tries.  I am told that's good.
I am a barracker, but don't really go for team sports.  I'd much rather have a run and a chat than hang out at the footy.  The Nigelator really, really loves sport. A natural sportsman, he is capable at many things sporty.  He is also a committed sports watcher.  Jumps from his chair watching golf on TV, shouting and hollering.
Golf, I tell you. Really?
He is a reverse magic pudding for sport...he cannot be filled up enough.  It is a gift he has given our kids.  Go Nigelator, balance that crazy mumma stuff with ball sports.

Anyway, so we saw the pickle playing and walked across the road towards our car.  Past the Athletes Foot. 
Into the Athletes Foot.  And I accidentally spoke to the man,  and accidentally tried on shoes.   And the Nigelator, bless him, says to the man 'she runs heaps, like 30k a week, so she needs good shoes. And she's lost heaps of weight so her other shoes are no good.'

And he looked at me and said 'you love running, and you deserve them.  You can't let yourself get hurt because you aren't wearing the right shoes.'

And I think my jaw did a little drop.  Nigelator, for all his out-and-proud-ness of not doing feelings, is a super kind and thoughtful man. He looked at me with that effortless love look of a non-gushy guy who just loves his lady.  And I had a tiny tear, because they've been not far from the surface, and it wasn't about the shoes.

I am so fortunate to have such a steady, loving guy, a great foil for my ebbs and flows, a tolerant eye roller, and a guy who's man enough to feel lucky to have me too.  And almost 20 years down the track, he's the person I most want to talk to, to spend time with and to love.  And he doesn't do flowers or gushy cards.

Turns out, he does shoes.

And so I deliberately bought them. They were $240.  I have never had shoes, ever, that were that expensive. 

Ooh, I fancy myself now.  Imaging how great they'll look on my super long beach walk/run for my week 4 reward next week.

And now I'm off to cook some good car choices for our trip, a significant 6.5 hrs to our beach destination.

Some raspberry yoghurt muffins, some sausages (kanga bangas cold in the car, mmmm), and cook some chicken breasts to shred for chicken and salad rolls (no temptation from yummy cooked chook skin if I cook those suckers myself) 
And a big Michelle Bolognese to take with us so that after we set up camp, there is no temptation to get takeaway.

And while we are away, I am really really going to try to eat fish.  Seems silly not to eat super fresh fish when you are by the seaside.  And a great food choice that I should try harder with.

And, even though it is probably a bit silly, I am taking my bathroom scales.  We won't be home till Friday, and I want to know how I'm doing.  And they won't take up much room.  So there. 

So wish me luck.  I will be exercising like a demon, and making the best food choices I can.  But also living my life.

See you next week.


Interesting that today is RU OK? day

This image is of Bondi Beach today, to mark RUOK? day. 

What a great initiative, a catalyst for people to ask a question, and help a person who can't find their voice.

It was that exact question that led to me having a bit of a mental health meltdown, followed by formalising my diagnosis of Bipolar II, and now feeling as though I am coming out the other side.

As I have previously discussed, ebbing and flowing is how I roll.  One of my most gorgeous besties today reminded me that it is often the time that I seek help that signals the upswing in my mood, that the tide turning happens to coincide with, not result from, the 'help.'  She is in a position to know.   This is our 18th year of friendship.  She is a mighty sensible and tolerant gal.

And today, my GP appointment was less about white magic and more about common sense.

A turning point moment was in realising that I am addicted to the chaos.  My mad family of origin and all their crazy shit that I buy into, my work life as an emergency nurse, my 3 kid house and all its' natural bedlam, my 47 different half started activities (you'll notice, not half finished) is all about creating chaos. 
Chaos is what I know.  I can cope in chaos.  I feel safe in chaos.  It recharges me, fills my  emotional tank with fuel, all needed and puffed up.

For a while.  Then I realise that it is a really crappy fuel.  It's energy is really short lived.  And it takes more than it gives.

So the question is, how to find another fuel source. 
Food, historically, is not a great choice for me.  Refuel with LOTS of food and puke away the feelings. Nope, bad choice.


Run, beccy, run. Breath in the fabulousness, and breathe out shitty bad feelings. And look in the mirror sometimes.  And don't be cross with what you see. You have experienced lots of interesting things, not all of them great.  But you are a product of your life.
This is your life, no one else's.
Live it.  Be healthy and strong.  Run to refuel, fun to be fit.  Run to feel good.
Off for a family camping hol on Saturday, so shall be off the air for a little while.
In the meantime...
I hope you are.  And if you're not, I care.  And I want you to be ok too.
Cos not ok feels a bit shit.  But getting better feels pretty great.