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)...it 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.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Weight and mood

I have added a big brain dump to the pages part to the right here.. it is listed under
the big ol beccyb story
and I have put it there to bracket off the history until now.  It was a very useful process to get it out and another day, when I am feeling a little more together, I shall write more about our first baby, Max.  It was a complicated tale, and has changed who I am.  And he deserves his story told well.  But I am still a bit empty.

I can't promise that as I head down this bonkers path, there won't be more ridiculously long posts, as I need to journal my stuff out of my head.

But lets get back moving forward now that we have done some looking back...

I've been enjoying the food, making lots of substitutions but also trying lots of new things.  I am blessed with kids and a husband who have adventurous tastes.  The exercise is going well too, a little support from the forums here and there but am enjoying the 10k program.

And holy basketball jumps, has anyone else tried Michelles super shredder curcuit DVD?  My glutes are still sore from Saturday.  What a shred.  Shall be including that a little more often cos it doesn't hurt when you do it, but my word, there's a staggery walk to the toilet next morning.  I love that 'my legs are so workout-sore, it hurts to sit on the toilet' feeling.  Don't you?

It's week 3.  I went a little off the rails last week and had a mental meltdown of moderate proportions.
Prompted by the caring words of a colleague, I have made some steps towards formalising the diagnosis of Bipolar II.  I feel ok about the process now that I have had a bit of space from it. 
And in blackdog's self test, errr, I scored pretty high.

Today  I saw a counsellor that I have seen before throught the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that my health service offers.  You can have a few sessions, face to face or telephone for any kind of crazy - work stress, financial stress, personal issues or relationship stress. 
I should have remembered that the last time I saw her, for a glut of super stressful work stuff that lead to me being a bit snakey at home,  the first response was to offer me a book called "good sex, great lovin'" and we talked little about the issues at hand.  I don't believe the book was particularly relevant to my situation, if you get my TMI drift.
Today, when I mentioned that she was my first port of call to get some support for my difficult to manage mood and that it had been suggested that I have Bipolar II and that my research and self reflection would support that, she launched in with a few anecdotes...
About her friend with a Bipolar husband who clearly has Bipolar I and sells the furniture while she's out.
About mania (err, I am talking about Hypomania, it's not the same) and how I don't have it.  I know.
About how the woman in the next office could do some kinesiology, and white magic.

White magic.  Seriously.


Would you like to make an appointment for another time?
No thanks

I am seeing a GP/counsellor (of course my GP is away) on Thursday.  I shall get myself a plan and I will be ok. 

I can happily report that the Nigelator, he of the middle of the road, he who reports he actually has no feelings, is coping very well with having a bonkers wife.  He has been kind and encouraged me out the door to run when I have felt more like putting staples in my eye.

It made me think of the lyrics to the Sheryl Crowe song 'Are you strong enough to be my man?'
I sang it to him today.  Turns out he is.

The times when exercise could sweep out the cobwebs and make us feel physically strong and capable and much more able to cope, are the times we feel least able to.

It is interesting that the times that most of us have looked our best physically, have been the times when we are least 'together' on the inside.

I suspect that I am like many with 'issews' with weight and food, it's not about the food.  People who overeat or are outside a healthy weight range often eat to protect themselves - if I am fat, I am less attractive, I'm invisible.  I am safe.

Protected from what?

Inappropriate contact - so many women have been raped, or molested or experienced unwanted sexual contact and so being physically invisible, as many overweight people do, feels like insulation.  The same could be said of the invisibility of wasting away through eating disorders of food withholding.
Protected from feeling.  Feeling real emotions.  Connecting with people, allowing them to see us for who we are.  Risking that they do not like us.  Risking that they do.

It is tough to be vulnerable.  The world can be prickly. 

Embracing the 12WBT and grabbing this moment where my mental health is challenging me seems like a bit of a double whammy.  I feel like I should do one or the other. 

But they are intrinsically linked.  I need to get myself well - and my physical and mental health are equally important.  Imaging how great it'll be when I have smashed the 12wbt and have a plan to keep my mental health manageable?

Off out the door after a nice carrot wrap to do my strength work outside in the sun.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012


I am in the middle of my work week, 3 nightshifts down, 3 to go.

It has been a rough run.  Too many really sick kids to mention.  I don't mean fully sick, as in subwoofer,  I mean critically ill, edge of life stuff. 

And so I am feeling a little bruised.  And my mummy bone is a little fragile.

The Nigelator and I negotiated for him to play in a golf thingy for most of the days of this week.  We planned that I would come home, have some breaky and straight to bed, so that I could get up to pick up the kids and do the afternoony stuff. 
This is a bit of a shift from our normal pattern - I usually come home, we share the getting the kids out the door stuff and then I wake up whenever in the arvo...sometimes it's 4 hours, sometimes 7, but he carries the load for the arvo. 
He's a good bloke and I am fortunate to have a relationship where we truly share the load of house stuff and parenting.  (Today, I woke up and he had vacuumed and mopped.  Bliss)

Yesterday, I woke after 4 hours and needed to get the kids from school and preschool (located next to each other so very convenient) and felt super bleh.  Not sick but hurty belly.  Annoying ovaries probably, but my mood was low.

And I found it hard to lift my mood.  Really hard.  Felt close to tears.   And so it goes. 

I have had many times in my life where my ability to manage my mood has been a challenge.  I have certainly experienced depression, and most people who know me well have seen me in times of hypomania.  I have never been formally diagnosed with Bipolar disorder, but my GP skirted around the edge of it last time I checked in with her. 

It wouldn't be a big surprise to me.  Nor, probably to the people I love and love me back.  I function pretty well, and I believe I have reasonable insight into where I am at.

And so it goes.

When I found myself in struggletown yesterday, I decided go and buy some proper digital scales from Big W. 
I love Big W, can't describe it, but I really like to shop there.  Easy to find stuff, good range, good prices (although how are the prices at KMart recently?? makes me a little nervous about the sweatshoppy potential. But I do love a bargain).  But I digress.

I had my suspicions that my dodgy old spring scales weren't as accurate as they could be so I bought some new $30 digital, tell the truth ones.

I didn't like the truth they gave me today, when I woke up after 6 hours of dead to the world sleep.  The sleep of emotional fatigue.

1.3kg more than last week's weigh in.  Bleh

But, I can see where this could be so

  • I am working this week, so weigh in arvo when I get up is not truly a first thing, after toilet naked weigh in.
  • New scales.  Potentially more truthful.  Bleh
  • My bleh of this week has seen me less vigilant with my calorie tracking. 
  • Possibly portion creeping associated with bleh.
  • bleh
And so it goes.

And off we went to the soccer final for Curly after school.  They got slaughtered.  But they are 7 and got a trophy and a sausage so really didn't care that much.
But I found I was close to tears for much of the game.  Nothing to do with the game.  And when, after the game, Pickle said 'mum, are you alright' and I said ' you know what, I just feel a bit bleh.  You know when there's nothing in particular that you are upset about, but you just feel bleh?  That's how I feel.  It's not your fault.' 

And he looked at me, really looked at me.  And he said ' I know exactly what you mean, Mum.'  And he proceeded to recall 4 or 5 occasions where he felt exactly the same way.

And down came the rain.  Sobbed.  Ugly sobs too. Because he meant it.  A boy who at 5 made suicidal statements and tried to be hit by a car.  A boy who said 'nothing about my life makes me happy and I just want to die'. 

A crisis mental health assessment and a great child psychologist helped him out the other side and he is now a regular boy who's mood is sometimes a little low, but who is generally a happy functional kid with good resilience.

Ringing any bells?  Yep, that's be the cow bell of mother guilt.  I have been a peaks and troughs girl all my life.  And in the depths of my melancholy, my 8yo son is the one who spotted it, and dished out the empathy.  And just gave me the most wonderful hug at bedtime and said 'it'll pass, Mum.'


He's right.  But I hate it that he knows.  Way to go with passing on great stuff to your kids, BeccyB.

And so, I pushed down all the feelings with souvlaki and chips for dinner.  Fish and chips for the kids.

Unsurprisingly, that only lasted momentarily.

So the plan goes like this...
  • Go easy on myself for 3 more nights,  then 3 weeks off work.
  • Go back to the GP next week and see what we can do about a referral to a 'feelings' doctor
  • Go for a run, right now to clear my head.
  • Realise that if I can sort my shit out and be a functional person, diagnosis or not, I can still be a great role model to my boy (diagnosis or not) about how to rock the world with your awesomeness, peaks, troughs and all.
  • Get back on track with calorie tracking and know that it's ok
  • Talk to my people. 
So it's out the door now.  I feel a little more clear headed for writing it down.

And I am who I am.  I'll be ok, regardless of whether I have a label.

And so it goes.