Sunday, 16 December 2012

All the little things........

I guess I'm not the only one who is absolutely flabbergastered (hehehe - what a fun word to use!) that the end of 2012 is just around the corner.  Does anyone else feel that life seems to have 'seasons'?  Some season's are full of happiness and joy; some are more sorrowful; some are exausting......
For me - 2012 has been quite a year, a season of struggle.  Much of the year has felt like I'm trying to walk uphill in soft sand - its been bloody hard work!  I'm not just talking about weight-loss here - although at times that has been hard work too, but everything.  Because this year has been so challenging, there have been many times when I have felt absolutely overwhelmed, powerless, and like I can't keep on fighting.  It's so hard to see what's working when the things that aren't working quite right are yelling so loudly!

I know we all have these times in our life, and because, for me remembering the good, the beauty, the joy that still exists in my life - takes conscious effort at the moment - I thought I would use this post to list those things that keep making it worth getting out of bed each day.

- My six children
- My country and my town where I can live safely and peacefully
- My health
- My bed, with clean sheets on it
- Family
- Family get-together's with piles of kids running around and piles of laughs
- My work colleagues, who are more like dear friends
- Roses
- Sweet Peas
- My growing muscles
- That even though we are at the bottom of a financial canyon - my children have always been fed, and not gone to bed hungry
- That I still have hope that things can be different; that I want to be in the position where I can do random acts of kindness for others like they have for me
- The breeze off our lake
- Small country towns like ours
- That I am realising that I am much stronger than I ever knew
- That my 16 year old has grown and matured so much since the events earlier in the year that led him to leave home
- That my children are well cared for and taught in their schools
- That I've been able to work outside the home for the first time in 16 years
- The generosity of whoever has given me a subscription to Oxygen magazine
- Pantry Club - even though I am still working through the shame I feel in needing to access a service like this - I am so thankful, they are there
- Running the City to Bay for the first time
- New friends made this year
- Old friends who love me with all their hearts and have helped me time and again to hold my heart together
- The pride I feel in my new body
- The inspiration I feel for what is still possible in my body and with my fitness and strength
- My daughter's rabbit - personality plus!
- The uninhibited giggling, dancing and singing of my youngest children - so refreshing
- The untapped potential each of my children hold inside
- The written word of others - life-changing
- Mish and the whole 12wbt team
- A hot cup of tea in my favourite cup
-The way I feel when I look at interior design magazines
- The satisfaction that comes after smashing out an awesome workout
- When my heart-rate monitor watch sings me a little song and gives me a little trophy when I've met its training targets
-Heck, I'm even glad for the struggle, because even though it hurts, and the tears aren't over yet - I know it makes me grow, and become a better, stronger, more resilient me

I hope that your year has left with you - not just memories of the struggles but full of memories of the things that have made you smile, made you cry with joy, taken your breath away and made you glad you're alive.  Love to you all xxoo

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Daring to dream....


I've spent so many years of my life pushing aside any thoughts I may have had of a better life; a happier life; a more prosperous life; a more successful life.  Would I ever tell anyone about my innermost, most cherished desires?  Hell no!  Because, I didn't believe I deserved more than what I had.  People like me can't want things.....because they will only be disappointed, or chastised for being ungrateful.  I've started to realise all that, was a lie. 

I dreamt of being thinner - but never thought it would happen - but with 12wbt and the support of friends and family and a lot of damned hard work, I made it happen.  The realisation of that dream, has given rise to new dreams.  Being fitter, being a runner, having muscle definition.  I love that, the success of something gives you the courage to dare to want for more.  And the motivation to do what it takes to get there.  I am a runner.  I can run a half marathon.  I am gaining some muscle.

So where to now?  Wherever the heck I want, I reckon!  Why not?!  Why not dream big and high and far and wide?  What's the worse that can happen, if I don't realise all my dreams?  I'll have had the adventure of trying.  I'll have had the opportunity to grow from my failures and be stronger for next time.  I'll be more of myself.

I dream to run the City to Bay in under 1 hour
I dream to run be the fastest 38 year old female running the City to Bay in 2013
I dream to be able to do chin-ups
I dream to create a career for myself that makes me excited
I dream to help someone else on their journey, so that they too can feel that the world is one of possibility
I dream of travelling to Europe
I dream of having a reliable car, made this century
I dream of having the finances to fix the leaky roof on my house
I dream of being able to pay for my childrens private school fees myself - without having to be subsidised
I dream of having the most rocking body I can possibly have as a 38 year old
I dream of writing a bestselling book
Some inspiration to persevere and dream big.I dream of having the choice to make or buy gifts for my family at Christmas time, and choosing to make them anyway

My dreams are growing all the time........

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Seven Ways to Stop Craving Junk Food

I am pretty excited to be writing this at the end of a very successful Week 1 of Round 4, 12WBT.  Five red flag days, this week - and my nutrition plan is still intact - very happy with that!

I wanted to share something I read this week - from the American version of Women's Health magazine.  I'm going to be re-reading this again, and again and again - you'll understand why, when you read the title......7 Ways to Stop Craving Junk Food.  I don't know about you, but even though it usually makes me feel sick these days, I still crave it, especially the sweet stuff, and sometimes the cravings get the better of me. 

Number One: Reinforce your Resolve:  One reason most diets fail is that long-term goals can be deceptively difficult: When the plan is to watch what you eat for the next six months, chugging one caramel latte with whipped cream seems like a minor slip (been here before!) To avoid that kind of thinking, commit to eating well for a fixed amount of time that you're 100 percent confident you can manage, even if it's just a few days.

Once you make it to your goal date, start over. This establishes the notion that you can be successful and gives you a chance to notice that eating better makes you feel better, reinforcing your desire to continue.

Number TwoFind meaningful motivation
If the main purpose of your diet is cosmetic--i.e., to look amazing in boy shorts--you're unlikely to stick with it for the long haul.

The solution: Arm yourself with additional motivators.  Keep a daily journal in which you monitor migraines, heartburn, acne, canker sores, and sleep quality in addition to body measurements and the number on the scale.

Discovering that your new diet improves the quality of your life and health is powerful motivation.

Number ThreeMove on after a mistake
OK, you overindulged. What's the next step? Forget about it. One meal doesn't define your diet, so don't assume that you've failed or fallen off the wagon.

Institute a simple rule: Follow any "cheat" meal with at least five healthy meals and snacks. That ensures that you'll be eating right more than 80 percent of the time. (I LOVE this idea.)
Number Four: Roll out of bed and into the kitchen
Sure, you've heard this advice before. But consider that if you sleep for six to eight hours and then skip breakfast, your body is essentially running on fumes by the time you get to work. And that sends you desperately seeking sugar, which is usually pretty easy to find.

The most convenient foods are typically packed with sugar (doughnuts, lattes) or other quickly digested carbohydrates (McMuffins, cinnamon buns). Which brings us to our next strategy.
Number FiveRestock your shelves (I know we've all just done this one - but a little reminder now and then never hurt anyone.)
How many times have you driven to the store in the middle of the night to satisfy a craving? Probably not nearly as often as you've raided the fridge. You're more likely to give in to a craving when the object you desire is close at hand. So make sure it's not: Toss the junk food and restock your cupboard and fridge with almonds and other nuts, cheese, fruit and vegetables, and canned tuna, chicken, and salmon. And do the same at work.

By eliminating snacks that don't match your diet and providing plenty that do, you're far less likely to find yourself at the doughnut-shop drive-thru or the vending machine.
Number SixThink like a biochemist
Cookies made with organic cane juice might sound like something your yoga teacher would eat, but they won't help her fit into her Lycra pants. Junk food by any other name is still junk. Ditto for lots of "health foods" in the granola aisle. "Natural" sweeteners like honey raise blood sugar just like the white stuff.

If you're going to eat cookies, accept that you're deviating from your plan, and then revert to your diet afterward. Kidding yourself will only get you into trouble.
Number SevenSpot hunger impostors
Have a craving for sweets even though you ate just an hour ago? Imagine sitting down to a large, sizzling steak instead. If you're truly hungry, the steak will sound good, and you should eatIf it doesn't sound good, your brain is playing tricks on you.
Change your environment, which can be as easy as stretching at your desk or turning your attention to a different task.
Now I really liked these.  Even though most seem like common sense, I'll take any extra strategies I can that will help get me closer to my health and fitness goals!
Life is..
Have a great week two :)


Saturday, 10 November 2012

Excuses, excuses, excuses

It is just a little bit exciting to be a part of the first Round 4 of 12WBT!  And a little bit exciting to be taking the Lean and Strong journey this round - after all I've seen the after photos of others, who've had babies, and then found where their abs have been hiding all this time - so I figure there's hope for me yet!

What is it about Task 1 - Get Real, No More Excuses, that makes it so hard?  Well - I find it hard anyway.  In actual fact - its only the Internal Excuses that are a problem.  Hello!   If that is not a great big signpost to a big fat road block, I don't know what is!   External excuses - I feel like I've worked them through - but I'll still be on the lookout, in case they sneak back in.  But unravelling all that internal that is a whole different ball game.

Here's what I've got so far.....

I can't ever reach my goal weight (seriously?  Its about 3kg away!) Solution: Other people my height weigh my goal weight and with training, good nutrition and patience I will too.
I can't control myself with food (really - now I have four legs, a snout and a curly tail?!) Solution:
I have my hands on the steering wheel and if I am feeling weak, I will take a walk, get on the forums or find another way to keep my hands busy.

It's too hard to achieve the results I want.  Solution: Yes, it is hard work, but I am strong, and I have achieved other things I never thought were possible, so I will keep focussed on my goals, by reading them daily, and repeating my affirmations.

I haven't got time.  Solution: I will prioritise and plan my exercise to make sure it gets done.  We make time for the things that matter to us.
I'm sick of fighting with myself.  Solution:  I don't have to engage with the fight in my head - I can notice the things I am telling myself, and get on with the things I want to do anyway.  There is only a fight if I let there be one.

I just don't care right now.  Solution:  I need to walk/run away as soon as I hear this one in my head - because, the reality is - I DO CARE.  I recognise, that eating has been a coping mechanism that I've used, but now, I choose other ways to cope eg. exercise, reading, talking to friends, writing down what I'm feeling.

Here's hoping you all are having success in unravelling your own excuses - the battle is won and lost in our heads!

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Don't you just love it when you learn something new? And it works.  So, perhaps what I've learnt is no new thing to many, no huge thing to others, but for me - it really fits well. 

After that ever so dramatic first paragraph, I know you are chomping at the bit for me to reveal ;)


Affirmation:  1)The act of affirming or the state of being affirmed; assertion.
                       2) Something declared to be true; a positive statement or judgement

Now - who doesn't need more of that in their lives?!  Affirmations aren't a completely foreign concept to me, and from what I can see - they are certainly something that the most successful people in the world use.  If that doesn't sell the idea to you, I don't know what will!  I love Jillian Michaels book, Unlimited and she is certainly a big believer in positive self-affirmations.  She has two rules for constructing your affirmations the right way.

1. Focus on only positive words and phrases.  Focus on coming from a place of abundance, as you do when you are praying for something or trying to create a different outcome.  Use positive words.  if you use negative words, your subconscious mind will hear and place the focus on them.
2. Also be sure to use the present, not the future, tense.  Saying 'Iwill be' this or 'I will accomplish' that places your ideal reality in an indefinite future.  Instead, tell yourself that you are this or are accomplishing that now.  Sure, there's a little self-trickery involved, but that's the point.  The goal is to get your subvonscious mind to adapt and accept your affirmations as reality, so that they can become reality.
Here's one of her examples:
Don't say: 'I will not get tired or sick during my workout today' All your brain hears is tired, sick, and workout, so that is the reality you will create:  a workout that makes you tired and sick.
Do say: 'I am strong and healthy, with the energy I need to get through my workout.'  This statement, using self-assured, positive language, exudes confidence that will create the outcome you desire: a strong workout that delivers results and makes you feel great.

I reckon this all ties in with my last blog post and empowering beliefs.  So here's a couple I'm using at the moment:

I am in control of what I put in my body.
My body responds in positive ways to the gift of fitness and nutrition that I give it each day.
I am stronger than I know and I make my dreams become reality.
I have plenty of money and the security I want and deserve.

For me - these add a feeling of being in control - like Mish says - being in the driver's seat with both hands firmly on the steering wheel.  A sense of security comes as a result of that.

If you overhear someone muttering 'I am in control of what I put in my body' as they pass the confectionery aisle in the supermarket, say Hi - its probably me!

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Always learning and peeling back the layers

A real focus for me, as you may already know, is to uncover the truth about my own weight gain, and why I've turned to food for comfort so readily in the past.  Ok, I'll admit it - it still happens sometimes.  Changing a pattern that's been firmly entrenched for about 20 years is H-A-R-D to break.
So last week, when I saw an article in Oxygen Magazine (first time I've ever bought this - the physiques of the women on the front always scares me!) titled 'You are what you think'.  I was intrigued.  It was part 2 of the article, part 1 being in the previous issue, and it really got me thinking and inspired this post.

The author comments that achieving and maintaining weight los can be simple - count me in! She also says, that it can be realistic to believe that you can maintain a slim body fairly easily but first, we have to look to our minds and to what we believe, as this is where success or failure begins.  So, I obviously can't put the whole article in here, but I'll try and give you the main points. 

Step 1:  Discover your beliefs.  She gives three questions to answer to help in your discovery, which you should not think about, just grab a pen and paper and answer with whatever comes, write until there is nothing else to write.  I haven't done these yet and though it might be fun or frightening - we'll have to wait and see, if I did my answers here.  So here goes....

What I believe about weight loss is....
I can't maintain it
I'm always going to be fighting with my body
I'm never going to be able to relax or I'll straight away gain weight
I can't trust myself around food
It's only a matter of time before the weight comes back
I shouldn't get used to looking and feeling like this, because it won't last
My body just loves to store fat
Some people don't even have to think about their weight, I can't stop thinking about mine
It's exhausting

What I believe about maintaining my ideal body weight is.....
I'm not sure that I can
If I'm not 100% focussed on training and calories all of the time, I'll gain my weight back
It never gets easy
It will always be hard work
One little slip up and the scales go up 1.5kg
I don't even know what my ideal body weight is, or what it should be
I don't know how to work it out
I don't know how to keep my training going so that my body has to keep guessing
Its a constant struggle
It feels like it will always be a constant struggle, and I don't think I can carry that around for the rest of my life

What I believe about eating healthily is....
It makes me feel better in my body and about myself
I like healthy food, but sugar and chocolate still undo me
I can only eat healthy for a short time and then I can't help but binge on chocolate
I can't make the changes I want to make permanent ones
I can't manage my nutrition well enough to get the results I want

Step 2: Acknowledge the limiting beliefs - look over your beliefs, because once you are aware of them you have the power to change them into beliefs that empower you.

Source the limiting belief:  It can be very helpful to remember the source of where the belief began.  Past memories become part of your belief systems now and are now limiting you.

Step 3:  Create a new empowering belief - write down the opposite to the limiting beliefs.  Create positive beliefs that support your weight loss goals.  Affirm these new beliefs to yourself each time you are exercising/eating/working throughout the day.  Eventually it becomes your natural way of thinking.

Step 4:  Visualise the outcome of your new belief - write down the answers to the following questions:
What does (insert new belief) look like?  (What will you see visually in your life that will let you know you have achieved this new belief?)
What does (insert new belief) feel like?
What will be my self-talk when I (insert new belief) and what will others be saying to me?

Wow - answering those questions taps into a whole world of negativity and 'I can'ts'.  I really found this very powerful - and as we can all see from my answers in step 1, I have a bit of work to do!  I know there's not some magic end point.  I know, even if I weigh my ideal weight - that's not the end of the road.  Its just a fuel stop in the longer journey.  There will always be more to learn, more layers to peel back, new ways to grow and change - and for every little thing that finds its way onto my path, that helps peel off another layer I am grateful.  Like Mish says "Losing weight is science, keeping it off is psychology"

"If you struggle to lose weight....
there will be a limiting belief in your subconscious brain."  Tamika Hilder - Think Your Body Slim Coach

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Inspiration/Motivation and other stuff

Sometimes the words and images of others really leave an impression. So today - even though it feels a tiny bit like cheating my post today is quotes/words etc from other sources that inspire/move and motivate me. Enjoy.

 I like to read these often, 'cause we all know, sometimes the road just seems awfully long.
Follow Your Destiny by Vicki Silvers
There comes a time in your life when you realize that if you stand still, you will remain at this point forever.  You realize that if you fall and stay down, life will pass you by.  Life's circumstances are not always what you might wish them to be.  The pattern of life does not necessarily go as you plan.  Beyond any understanding, you may at imes be led in different directions that you never imagined, dreamed, or designed.  Yet if you had never put any effort into choosing a path, or tried to carry out your dream, then perhaps you would have no direction at all.  Rather than wondering about or questioning the direction your life has taken, accept the fact that there is a path before you now.  Shake off the 'whys' and 'what ifs', and rid yourself of confusion.  Whatever was is in the past.  Whatever is - is what's important.  The past is a brief reflection.  The future is yet to be realized.  Today is here. 
Walk your path one step at a time with courage, faith, and determination.  Keep your head up and cast your dreams to the starts.  Soon your steps will become firm and your footing will be solid again.  A path that you never imagined will become the most comfortable direction you could have ever hoped to follow.
Keep your belief in yourself and walk into your new journey.  You will find it magnificent, spectacular and beyond your wildest imaginings.
Some final pics:

Sunday, 16 September 2012

A Fun Run Virgin - turned addict!


That's me - in the orange at the front.  Just kidding!  But I am there somewhere, towards the back, way, way back.
So excited today.  Ran in my first ever Fun Run - Adelaide's City to Bay.  It was A-W-E-S-O-M-E!  Like really, really awesome.  Even when I was waiting in the starting area, with goosebumps all over.  Even when I was wondering if I'd make it to the finish line before I needed to pee - didn't want to take any longer than necessary!  Even though caution is needed when running near any blokes (sorry guys) because they spit - YUCK!  Even though it started raining. 
I can't remember how long I have wanted to be fit enough and thin enough to run this.  Years.  And then my doctor told me I shouldn't run, because I have osteoarthritis.  At 35 years old.  That's one way to make you feel as though your life is over before its hardly even begun. 
And then came 12wbt in March 2011.  Thank God!  I decided, I would just run for those 12 weeks, as part of the exercise program, and then stop, to save my knees.  As it turned out, those 12 weeks, were just the beginning.  I haven't stopped.  And you know what else - I swallow fish oil like it's going out of fashion, and 27kg's lighter - my knees are feeling A.O.K.
The lead up to today's run was not without its drama, mind you.  I've been swallowing multivitamins and garlic tablets and all sorts for the past 2 weeks because all of my kids have been real sick, then husband got it too - so I tried to hold my breath as much as possible while sleeping next to him so I wouldn't breathe in his germs.  I had a sore throat all week, and then on Friday my chest started hurting, and getting tight (I'm an asthmatic).  By Saturday morning I had serious doubts as to whether or not I would be in a state to run the next day.  Saturday night though, I was feeling like I might be OK.  Phew!  I was pretty determined to run no matter what, but I didn't want to do anything silly.  But wait - there's more.  My Mum, who is so proud of what I've been able to achieve (love you, Mum),  offered to get up at 5.30am to drive me to the city and then pick me up at the other end.  An then, last night, I get a phone call from my Dad, saying he's got my Mum at the hospital with Mum in terrible pain with an ear infection, and he doesn't know if she'll be up to driving in the morning.  He says, go ahead as planned and if he or Mum can't drive in the morning, I'll have to take myself.  Sad face!  I pull myself together, give myself a little pep talk, try not to pay too much notice to the chatter in my head telling me - "See, you're never going to get to do the things you dream of.  Good things aren't meant for you." Hmmmm.
I go to bed early, until 3.30am.  When my mind will not stop - where will I park?  I haven't got a travel voucher to get back to the city?  What time do I need to leave?  Aaargh.  I tried and I tried and I tried to go back to sleep.  But no, at 5am, I gave up.  I did have thoughts of perhaps falling asleep mid-stride.  What a relief to arrive at my Mum's and see Mum up and ready to go, with a very blocked ear, but no pain!  A big YIPEE!
What a relief to finally get there.  I've never been so excited to share portaloos with 39,000 others in my life!  I grinned like a cheshire cat all the way through the first kilometre.  So much fun!  When I powered (yes, I really did come home strong) over that finish line - it was fan-freaking-tastic!  I felt invincible!  And then I got really cold because it was still raining.  But that's OK. 
So next year, I'm planning to move up a time group, and be with the sub-60 minute runners - ooh look, I can even talk the lingo!  Who's a clever girl then?!

Monday, 10 September 2012

Goal setting is making me sweat!

I know, I know.  I can hear Mish 'The Pre-season tasks are so important.  Those who do their pre-season tasks do better on the program'.    It's been on my to-do list, truly it has!  Today its at the top. And OH MY GOODNESS - it is H.A.R.D!  I'm feeling a little freaked out.  A couple of weeks ago I saw a picture in a magazine of a woman in a yoga pose.  The caption on the picture said 'Goal setting is powerful, but without a meaningful vision, your goals risk becoming just another checklist.  Spend some time looking into your future and create a personal vision that get you excited and maybe even a little nervous.  Ask yourself, "What does my life look like in ten years?"

Reading that made my heart race - almost like  running up a hill!  I'll be way closer to 50 than I'd like to be.  And aside from that - well I just don't know.  My youngest child will be 15, maybe there will only be a couple at home by that stage.  I've just never thought that far ahead.  In some ways never had that luxury - I've been so consumed with just surviving the current day.  And now, that I'm clawing myself back.  Finding who I am when I'm not someones wife, or mother - I feel like life is only just beginning.  And now it's only a little more than ten years and I'll be 50 - my life is over!  Now, I realise, I'm being more than a little dramatic, and anyone who is 50, is highly offended and wants to hit me over the head!  But heck, it got me thinking.    And you know what - I don't really know where I want to be in 10 years time.

Some things are obvious - I want to be fit and healthy.  I want to have raised happy, healthy, productive, kind, determined and resilient children.  I want my marriage to be a strong, healthy and fulfilling one.  I'd like to be financially stable.  But then what. 

I work in a job that I do enjoy, but really just because it was there and we need the money.  It's not really a position with a lot of room to grow.  So what else?  How do I want to be spending my working hours?  Do I have a huge burning desire to accomplish something in particular career wise?  I don't know.   I'm just beginning to discover all sorts of things that interest me, that I care about, that make my heart skip a beat.  But is one of them a career?  How do you even figure this stuff out.  I don't want to just sort of drift into one day and then the next, and before you know it, another 12 months have passed.  Now that I really feel like I am living, taking a participatory role in my life, rather than a spectator, I want to do it well.  I want to squeeze every bit of living from it that I can.  I want to have goals other than numbers on the scales.

At this point - its mostly numbers that are clear to me, so here they are:

One month goals - lose 5kg.  70.3kg down to 65.3kg. 
Not bingeing on Weigh-in-Wednesdays
Not returning to yo-yo dieting patterns because I binged on Wednesday
Run first ever Fun Run - 12km
Finish a module of my Interior Design course

Three month goals - be at goal weight of 60 kg (or less)
To have a waist measurement of 80 cm (or less)
To be maintaining my non-yo-yo diet lifestyle
To run 12km in 1 hour or less
To wear a halter-neck or backless top with confidence
To fit my favourite size ten jeans comfortably
To be able to wear a shirt tucked into my jeans without overhang
To finish another 3 modules of my Interior Design course
DREAM - to attend Round 3 Finale

Six month goals - be maintaining goal weight of 60kg and non-yo-yo eating
- Bench press 50kg
- Finish Interior Design Course (deadline JANUARY 2013)

Twelve month goals - still maintaining goal weight of 60 kg and non-yo-yo eating
- To be able to afford to take my family on a little holiday

What else?  I wish I knew.  I'm going to let it 'stew' for a bit and see what happens.  I'll be back with more.

Friday, 7 September 2012

No answers for childhood obesity, just questions

A forum post I've read has really gotten me thinking about something.  Really got me feeling - very sad. 

The forum post talked about a kid who had been overweight since he was little, but whilst being away on some kind of camp for a month, away from his family, and whatever he usually ate - he has lost 10kg.  That is mind-blowing!  It speaks very loudly to what his diet was like at home.

Gosh, I'm not making any kind of personal judgements here - I know, every parent is just doing the best they can for their kids.  The best they know how to do.  That's all we can all do.  What I'm wondering is - how is it that as a society we've neglected to pass on what healthful eating looks like?  Why is it that it takes people like Jamie Oliver to open people's eyes to what they are putting on their plates.  How did we end up in this place, where for some people, the only things they eat in a day, come from a packet? 

Is it that we are so busy doing, that we've traded off preparing food from scratch for earning money, buying things?  I feel sad every day that I work.  I work in a school canteen/cafe.  I estimate that nearly a third of the kids that come to the canteen, are overweight, if not obese.  I don't know about you, but when I was in high school (about 20 years ago - cringe), there were only a handful of kids that were overweight.  What has happened in the past 20 years?  I feel so sad for the struggle ahead of them - the struggle to lose weight; the struggle to keep their health; the struggle to move; the struggle to fit-in that so often accompanies being overweight.  So many kids come to the canteen with their recess or lunch in their hands, with nothing fresh, or homemade or not out of a packet to be seen.  Why do we do this to our kids?  To their future?

Recently, in my husband's work, a mother was given $50 and sent into the supermarket to buy lunch and snacks for herself and her 5 children for the next day, when they were going to an aquatic centre.  She came out with 5 litres of Coke, and packets of chips. 

Is it that we are ignorant?  When we buy our kids a bright blue coloured iceblock, do we actually think it is food we are giving them?  When we eat a burger from a fast food chain - I'm sure we've all heard the story about the person that kept a cheeseburger on their fridge for five years, and it looked the same after five years as the day it was bought - do we really think we are nourishing our bodies?

Don't get me wrong - my kids eat junk food from time to time.  They're kids.  For some reason they're drawn to brightly coloured non-food substances!  I can't and don't want to be some kind of control freak who monitors every morsel that goes into their mouths.  But I do give them the information about what  exactly happens in their body if they drink a glass of soft drink or whatever.  But, for the most part, I do everything I can to make sure I'm feeding them food that will help them learn and grow and play.  I try not to feed them food that will just add more complications to a life, that will already have its share of complications.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Uncovering Myself

I couldn't believe how moving creating an inspiration board for the 12WBT was.  How powerful.  Browsing hundreds of images, letting my heart not my head speak to me, call me, draw me in.  Showing me more of who I am, no filters, no covering up, no misrepresenting myself for the approval of someone else.  I am unique.  That is actually a good thing - so wish my 14, 15, 16 and 17 year old self could have known that.  It is exciting to uncover new parts of myself, often parts that have been hidden and rejected.

Because this round, for me is all about focussing on what's going on in my head - it was interesting to notice my thoughts, even whilst trying to uncover myself and my dreams and desires.  Even in this supportive, encouraging forum, I caught myself thinking - Ooh, I don't want to put that, because then it just seems like I want 'things'.  And - I'd better put something like that on, because that makes me look like a nicer person.  What the?!

My goodness!  Who am I trying to impress?  This is for me, about me.  And still, I'm trying to be seen as OK to others.  So I've made my best effort to select images that motivate, inspire, and move me.  Things that I feel passionate about, things so beautiful, my heart skips a beat.

 It's wonderful to get a little peak into the lives of other 12wbter's.  To see what makes others tick - what makes your heart skip a beat.  Which in turn - inspires me.  Looking at the world through  the eyes of someone else trying to be their best self, different eyes to mine.  What a privilege.

I think I've had myself a little life-lesson today!  We are all so breathtakingly unique and individual.  And that is absolutely fantastic!  I love that the life experiences and minds of others combine to create and dream and visualise things that are different to mine - even the ones that don't make my heart skip a beat!  I love what I can learn from that, even if its just, farout - I really don't like orange furniture!

Here's to all of our gobsmackingly wonderful uniqueness!

PS - Here's my Inspiration Board

<a href=""><img src="" width="169" height="28" alt="Follow Me on Pinterest" /></a>

Friday, 31 August 2012

When it gets ugly

The Ugly....

There's nothing for it - but to be completely raw and honest.

Sometimes life just seems to stink for a bit.  A bit of background info would probably help set the scene here....
  Seven and a half years ago, my husband and I had just had our fifth baby.  My husband ran his own fencing contracting business, which after starting from scratch five years earlier was just starting to pay its way.  I didn't work outside the home, as we were homeschooling our other children.  My husband had just returned to work for the year after Christmas break, when an accident happened at work, leaving the man working with my husband with life-threatening injuries, and Jamie (husband) with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  He has always struggled with depression and anxiety, but this accident really tipped him over the edge.  He spent the next 6 months in bed while I tried to hold everything together.  After many hours of therapy he was doing better, but could still only cope with a few hours of work.  This went on for months and months, and he was always sick and fatigued.  After about two years, when his fatigue got to the stage that if he walked to our front gate - approximately 12 metres away, he had to spend the rest of the day in bed recovering.  He was then diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  We also added our sixth child to the family.  During this time, our only means of income were Family Payments from Centrelink and a Disability Pension.  It has been so, so tough financially - our roof leaks because it is so rusted, we have rotting floorboards outside our bathroom door, our screen door blew off our house and so on.  These sorts of things just have to go by the way side, when you are juggling if the children's school shoes can be glued together one more time, so that you can replace the pair of pants that got a hole in the knees or put petrol in the car so that you can go to a family birthday party on the weekend.  Financially, things have been  rotten.  Jamie still struggles with his anxiety, our relationship has struggled with the demands placed on it, I have been scraping the bottom of the barrel emotionally and physically for way too long, and our 16 year old son with Aspbergers, has for many months turned our family on its head.

So in a previous post I mentioned a job prospect for Jamie.  He didn't end up with that job, but as a result ended up with a 4 week contract with the strong possibility of it becoming permanent.  You can imagine the excitement in our house!  A regular income!  He has completed three weeks, but was told today, that the permanent position has gone to someone else.....aaargh!   Jamie had some part time work, that he had to quit, in order to take up this contract, so now we're back to barely any income again.   The 7 hours of part-time work I've found and Centrelink.  Now I know, in my head, that things will work out somehow, but I can't help the avalanche of feelings that are rushing in.  I'm so tired of that juggle.  I'm so tired of not being able to fix my house.  Of not knowing if we should get our lawnmower repaired, because the car is so old and tired, that it will probably need major repairs any day now.  I'm tired of only being able to afford old, tired, broken cars that always need fixing.  I'm tired of having to always tell the kids, 'No, sorry, we can't ever go see a movie together, we can't afford it.'  I'm tired of having $200 left in the bank for the next week, to try and feed my family nutriciously and still put fuel in the car.  I'm tired of hoping I will have earnt enough Everyday Rewards and Fly Buys points to be able to get gift cards, so that I can buy my kids a Christmas present.  I'm tired of how draining I find it trying to help Jamie maintain a somewhat positive view of life, when it's fairly easy to think it all looks bad.  I'm tired of how when he doesn't have something to occupy his mind - he starts feeling bad about everything, mostly, it seems, about how badly I'm meeting his needs.  I'm tired of feeling like I'm doing everything I can possibly do, to hold this family together, and make it work, and yet it's still such an uphill battle.  I just don't feel like fighting anymore.  I know there's really no such thing as normal, but I so wish for that fantasy - the white picket fence, the happy children, the motivated and successful husband who works, and a mutually rewarding and satisfying marriage partnership.  The icing on today's 'special' cake - my oldest and dearest friend, who lives interstate,  is currently in my state, for her Mum's funeral, and I can't go because my car is at the mechanics and I'm at work trying to pay for it!  So I can't be with her, when her own life is awful, awful, awful.

A little spark of light......

I haven't eaten this away.  No chocolate.  I've even been in the shops, and not bought any.  I am SO pleased with this.  Its taken white knuckled determination all the way.  But, I've done it. 

There is much to be grateful for, I know.  We are together, we are mostly healthy, we have warm beds, we aren't hungry.  I'm not looking for pity.  I'm frightened this sounds like one big dramatic Days of Our Lives style, sob story.   I just need a way to let some of these INTENSE emotions out so that I can think clearly again, and find the way forward.  And, besides, I don't have the energy to pretend I'm feeling super pumped right now - cos, I'm just not! 

I'm grateful to have let the feelings out.  I'm grateful for the space to do so.  I'm endeavouring to focus my energy on the little sparks of light.  Thank you.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Full Immersion

On the 27th August 2012, Round 3 of 12wbt begins.  Seeing as this is my fifth round ( I think?!), you might imagine that I have this all under control, that I will be breezing my way through the next twelve weeks.  I guess if that was the case, maybe I wouldn't be beginning another round.  I have A LOT of work to do.  There is excess baggage.  Not so much weight, but mental baggage.  It feels like the final frontier.  The last wall to tear down.  The final hurdle.  I think, I can confidently say I am an
exerciser.  Can I confidently say that I'm not an emotional eater?  Hell no! Do I feel like I have both hands on the steering wheel of my food choices?  No way!
It's here that I'm focussing my goal setting.  I'm not forgetting the scales, or the stopwatch - but what goes on in my head is priority number one.  This round is all about remaining conscious (and no, this is not connected to alcohol consumption at all!).  I know how to train with integrity - its time to really eat with integrity.  To be present when I'm eating, to be paying attention to what I'm eating (anyone else noticed when you're eating emotionally, you barely taste it?).  To be sitting down.  To be eating in full view - no sneaking things in when no one is looking - so, yes I'm giving up the excuse, that if no one saw me eat it, the calories don't count!
My strategy for succeeding - FULL IMMERSION!  I am surrounding myself with reminders of my goals.  Pictures, inspirational quotes, snack ideas,  and distraction techniques for moments of weakness are my new wallpaper.  My diary is full - red flag days noted.  Training times locked in.  Flourescent cards with reminders of my goals are in places I go to often - my bag, my purse.  My phone has an alarm set to remind me to re-read my goals every day.  I'm taking notes of Michelle's videos.  I've started a scrapbook full of pictures of fit, strong women who look amazing, who I aspire to be like.  I'm aiming to be consumed with inspiration and determination, rather than thoughts of food, and how I'm going to work those calories off that I shouldn't have consumed.  Finally, I'm going to pay attention - to my thoughts - not to buy into them, but just to notice them.  Notice the stories about myself that I've taken on board as truth.  Notice the negative self talk.  Notice my triggers that send me to the shops (like you - my kitchen has been cleaned out - no junk in sight!). 
I'm thinking this could be the most challenging round yet. 

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Plan, plan, and then plan some more!

Today, was nearly a day of undoing.  Gulp!  Not enough planning went into today - the things that almost went in my mouth were very nearly, not the greatest choices.   I'm tempted to use that phrase we've probably all used before, 'I undid all of my hard work'.  Ridiculous though really.  One meal that doesn't fit with your goals, is seriously not going to undo all of one's hard work!  The mind games we play with ourselves!   The day went something like's school holidays, so I got up later than usual.  I was due to take two of my kids to my sister in laws by 10am to have their hair cut, but before I could do that I needed to clean our big Hiace van inside and out, because my brother is going to sell it for us (six kids is more than enough for us! Wish we'd listened when people warned us about what having teenagers was like!  Lol.)  That doesn't include getting my training done, eating breakfast, cleaning up the kitchen, hanging up a load of washing, blah, blah, blah.  You know how it goes.  Notice on the list of things to do - packing snacks and lunch for myself isn't on the list and you'll begin to see how things could start to unravel.  So when we finally arrive at my sister-in-laws at 10.40 (oops), I have eaten breakfast - a bowl of muesli in the car (I love a recipe of Rosemary Stanton's for healthy and scrummy toasted muesli, with a few personal modifications).  But no lunch is planned.  This is all fine, until about 1.30pm, when the tummy is really starting to make rather loud noises!  And -  there is this golden, buttery anzac slice on the counter - mmmmmm.   You'll be pleased to know I managed to talk myself through it - having a coffee, to keep my going until I got home.  But, only because I was relaxed - so I had the 'brain-space' to work it through in my head - goals/weigh-in day tomorrow or pieces of slice? 

What have I learned - plan, plan, plan!  Nothing startling here - its just oh-so true.  So, I'm going to have a back-up plan - always.  A protein bar in my bag, an apple, whatever - just something to get me out of a spot.  I've chucked a list of my goals in my bag too - so I can't avoid them.  I know - if I'd been out shopping with the kids, and things were stressful, and I could smell the smells of a food court or something - I may be telling a different story now.  If I'm strung out (or a myriad of other emotions) it is so much harder to remember where I'm heading. 

Interested in Rosemary's Muesli?  Here's a link:

Friday, 22 June 2012

Lorna Jane named a crop after me! Well sort of......

Here she is!

I don't know about anyone else, but I LOVE Lorna Jane activewear. Did I mention I L.O.V.E Lorna Jane! So imagine my delight when, drooling over her clothes - again, I see a crop - called 'Carissa'. This made my day - my christian name being.......Carissa!!!  On  a personal note - I have never worn a crop  - six babies have left their mark on my poor belly!  But, damn it, I am going to find a way to wear this one!  You have to don't you?  If it has your own name attached?  Well, that's the justification I'm using anyway!  Its fitting, because, my reward to myself is to buy some Lorna Jane items as rewards for reaching my goals along the way.  I purchased two tops this week, which I have tried on - but not worn, in anticipation of reaching my month 1 goal (which will be in week 5, because I signed up late).  They are beautiful.  One says 'Dance with me' - that will be for wearing to Zumba - Yay!! And the other one, doesn't say anything at all but is in my favourite shade of green - and will probably be for wearing to Zumba - more yay!  By the end of this round - I'm hoping for a whole new Lorna wardrobe.  Seems kind of fitting to end things with another picture borrowed from Lorna Jane. 

Mind Games

I'd mentioned in my last post about some work I'm doing on my head - or what goes on inside it to be precise.  I don't really know why it is that sometimes things just start getting to you, but this week - things are getting to me - in a BIG way.  Is this a case of the week 3 curse?!  Does everyone suddenly well up with tears while showering; while driving the kids to school; while chatting with friends; while making lunches at work?  That's been my week.  Here's what I've noticed going on inside my head.

My husband had a job interview this week - if he is succesful, it will be the first time in eight years that our family has had any income, let alone regular income.  You'd think I might be a little excited about the prospect, - but, I can't let myself get attached to that possibility - because, that sort of good stuff doesn't happen for us.  We just struggle from one hurdle in life to the next.  That's what I've found myself thinking.   It makes me cry, thinking of the huge difference that would make in our lives, and also sad, because I presume it will never be ours.  Why?  What am I telling myself that story for?  Why can't that happen to us.

Another example - after an exercise class I went to with my sister-in-law, I was chatting with our instructor, who commented that her husband thinks my sister-in-law is gorgeous (she is) and he had joked that my sister-in-law could come visit any time.  Nothing in that right?  Wrong!  Instantly, I'm thinking, yep, I'm not gorgeous.  No one's husband would be thinking that about me.  Which leads into - I'm not good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, funny enough, likeable get the picture. 

These thought patterns in the past have led me straight to the nearest chocolate bar - thank goodness I've done the kitchen makeover pre-season task!  I guess most people have their own versions of my negative thinking.  I'm wanting to unravel mine.  I'm hoping that recognising it is a good first step.  Its just such a struggle at times - keeping the faith - trusting that there's a reason for the struggle, that there's a reason for my life.  Michelle said in the live feed - that I'm perfect, that we're all perfect, that we're in just the right place.  I'm holding onto that for dear life.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Back blogging with a bang!

I know, it's something that is said all the time - but - my how time flies!  Life gets crazy and suddenly 1 month has passed, and then two and then 12!!!  I'm excited to be writing here again, thanks Michelle Bridges - you made me do it! 

I finished my third and final round of 2011 doing Lean and Strong last year.  Feeling pretty good about being 27kg lighter, a whole lot musclier (got distracted while I was driving because I was too busy admiring my own guns!  Oops).  And then it was Christmas.  And then it was Easter.  And then three of my children had birthdays.  And then I'd gained back 8kg!  2012 was my year to see how I'd go on my own, not being part of 12WBT.  But I'm back, the accountability and support here, helps keep me focused on the direction I want to be heading in.  I read somewhere recently (doesn't it drive you nuts when you can't remember where you saw something?!) that our committment it what keeps us going in the direction we want - when we don't have the motivation.  Or something like that.  Sounds like a plan to me.  This round, I'm doing things I've never done.  I'm keeping a journal; I take notes during Michelle's videos like I'm at school; a sorry admission - but for the first time, I'm diarising red flag days (yes Michelle would probably like to smack me around the head for that one!).  I'm really looking at the talk going on in my head - paying attention to the negative stuff in particular (more on that later - turns out I've got quite a bit of work still to do in that department!).  I'm not beating myself up about the 8kg weight gain - I'm learning where my weak spots still are and making plans for how to combat them.

So here I am - back enjoying the comradery, the DOMS, the breakdowns and hopefully the breakthroughs that are part of 12WBT.  I listed in my pre-season task - that I want to make  magic happen - here goes!