RUOK Day 2015 – Thanks for Asking

It’s that day again, when we see lots of images posted on social media (and the media) with big yellow and black writing asking: RU OK?

ruok-day

I have written two responses to this day in 2012 & 2013. I’m not sure why I missed last year, but perhaps at that time, I wasn’t okay.

Not only is the 2nd September of every year dedicated as RUOK? Day, but today is also National Suicide Awareness day. Quite fitting. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (a government organization), over the last two decades there has been a steady rise of death by suicide, and incidents of self-harm resulting in hospitalization.
To pretty much everyone, this is scary stuff. Suicide today, is still a subject that is skimmed over, hushed, and most certainly not as common a topic as we should be making it. Why are people committing suicide? What is making them think that death by their own hand is the only solution? Of course I can’t give you these answers, but what I can do is highlight that we have the power to change someone’s life.

All it takes is one question: Are You Okay?

We don’t have the right to tell people how to feel, we cannot force them to feel, or make them talk to us. What we can do is show compassion, and show that we do care by asking them a simple question. Not because we want to be cool, and trendy, but because we care. It is a simple question. It’s three words. What is not simple is the answer you might get. When someone says, “No, I’m not”. What happens then? The aim is to start the conversation.

I’ve seen a few posts online today that are questioning whether people should be asking the RUOK question if they are not equipped to handle the answer. From my point of view ~ Yes, they should still ask the question. All exposure to a worthy cause is fantastic. This cause highlights so much, and it is the job of those who understand it, to equip those who may not know, with answers. If they are asking RUOK? on this particular day in September, then we are assuming they’ve seen the social media graphics, the television ads …. I mean, we can only assume (which could be risky) but now what we do is inform everyone that not only are we asking the question, we hope they are reading material regarding mental illness, and how to be a supportive friend. Materials they may never have seen without the RUOK day campaign. Remember, being supportive doesn’t mean you take on the responsibility of the problem that someone may be feeling. You don’t suddenly make those feelings your own, and you certainly don’t turn into an unqualified psychiatrist or psychologist. There is so much that can be done by being You. Acknowledge, validate, and you offer to help them if they would like. Quite often it’s letting that person know they are not alone. Did you know that every year ONE in FIVE Australians will experience a form of mental illness?! Now with a population like ours, I’d say it’s a pretty safe bet to say that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. You certainly don’t have to yell from the rooftops that you are not okay, but I promise, if you have seen someone ask the question, and you’re willing to do it, then please, answer honestly and let them be a support.

Soooooo….. enough of the preachy preach! I’ll add some links to the bottom of the post so you CAN be armed with any solutions, help, assistance, or answers you might be seeking if you do get an answer that isn’t, “Yes, thanks for asking”.

This years theme of RUOK?  Day is: “Thanks for asking”… right now in my life, although I feel like I am drowning a lot, I know that I am okay. I’ve had people ask me and I’m am so thankful they asked. At this very moment in time I have a supportive spouse, and close friends who are forever my sounding boards on life, love, and everything in between. Unfortunately, not everyone has that luxury. Society enforces it’s labels upon us, and many people can feel locked in a box. Thinking they are not “Normal” and therefore, not able to be their true self. To those people, I am but one person who would like to say: Regardless of how you see yourself – YOU MATTER. You have the ability to create an impact on society and this life. Be who you are. Be what you want. Just be yourself. As Dr Suess says:


10-life-lessons-from-dr-suess-5-728

Depression, anxiety, and feeling hopeless… I’ve experienced all of those feelings. I want you to know. They do not define you…. It Gets Better. The more we speak about it, the more it’s in mainstream media, hopefully the more we can abolish the stigma. In my opinion, social labels suck…huge big sucky suck….but they are there, and it’s our job to smash them into a million pieces and make the abnormal, normal. There are so many fantastic places that can offer assistance free of judgment and stigma. Many, like Lifeline, are anonymous. They are someone to lend an ear when you’re feeling alone and helpless. Please, know that this life is one for living, and you living it, matters.

Take Care and Remember, it’s okay to say you’re not Okay. You are not alone……

 

Hot Links

Click on each one to be taken directly to the website

Lifeline 13 11 14

Black Dog Institute

RU OK? Day 

beyondblue

headspace (for 12-25 year olds) 

SANE Australia 

Dry July – A Month In Reflection

How was your July? Mine was Dry! dry_july_member_FB Last year, for the first time, I took part in a fundraiser called Dry July. It is a movement that asks you go “Booze Free” for the month of July in order to raise funds for benefactors that focus on the wellness of adults with cancer. This is something that is dear to my heart, as I see on a daily basis, adults who are going through cancer treatments. Last year I was able to rack up $225 which I thought was an amazing amount! With that in mind, I signed up again for 2015! What an amazing opportunity I have had! Not only have I successfully smashed Dry July, I was able to bring exposure through newspaper, radio, and public fundraising.dryjuly9 I began Dry July full of optimism, although a little concerned I wouldn’t be able to go to my nightly wine. The first couple of dryjuly11days were a bit blah, and I felt like I didn’t have a go-to drink. It was an effort to boil the kettle and figure out what tea I was going to have. Then I would sit and pout about how it didn’t taste the same as wine. I managed to get to a wonderful 30th birthday celebration and by-passed all of the alcohol! It was hard!!! It was at the beginning of July so I was still very much in the mind dryjuly6frame that booze was fun! I did a lovely ‘test tube shot’ of lemonade while everyone knocked back some schnapps! I didn’t let it dampen the fun, and still had a hilarious time playing Heads Up with a bunch of loaded ladies!!!! It was also a struggle during school holidays. Three kids, two weeks, no booze. That’s enough to send anyone a little crazy. Lucky for me, I already am crazy, and I was able to make amusing Mr T. memes to distract myself.dryjuly1 As the month went on, I found it was less and less on my mind. With winter in full swing, it was just as easy to boil the kettle and make a nice warm cup of herbal tea. I don’t mind the Chamomile & Spiced Apple. That flavor definitely became a favourite. Half way through the month I was blitzing the donations and was extremely thankful dryjuly3that I had so many people “on my side”. Knowing donations were coming in really did keep me accountable. Not only did I have something to prove to myself, but people were giving up their hard earned money with the assumption I would follow through on my end of the bargain. I knew I needed wanted more money so I decided to have a go at a cake stall! The local dance school (that both my daughter and I dance at) kindly allowed me to set cakestall3up shop one Saturday morning. With the help of a bunch of great friends who came forward and baked for me, I had a great set up. There were lots of goodies on order, and my local Tupperfriend came to lend a hand and showcase some goodies. I cakestall1decided not to mark any price on the items, and simply mentioned that all items were “by donation”, allowing the choice to remain in the hands of the buyer. I was amazed. By not restricting myself, I ended up with a whopping $341.55!!! I mean the fact that someone paid $20 for a cupcake was simply amazing to me! As soon as I explained WHY I was doing the cake stall, the money was handed over with no question!!!!! The following weeks were even easier. I didn’t think about the wine anymore. It was non-existent in the fridge and in my mindset. I was sleeping better, and I certainly felt a lot more alert. I did lose 4kg over the month, but I dunno..is that really the wine (please say no, so I don’t have to be sad!!). I’m just glad it’s over! I didn’t drink for another week, and then had a really bad experience, but that’s another story for another time. I can’t believe I managed to get through another July without booze! It was worth it! In fact, it was $923 worth it! That’s the amount that I have managed to raise! My dryjuly4benefactor was The Crown Princess Mary Cancer Centre at Westmead. I am so proud of being able to contribute to ongoing funds to the centre. My hope is that by being one person, doing one thing, I can make a difference. I’m not sure if I’ll do it next year!! We’ll have to wait and see! In the meantime, have you attempted Dry July, or something like it? Had you ever heard of Dry July before? What’s the most amount of $$ you have raised for a charity? How did you go about raising so much?! Let me know, so I can be prepared for my next fundraising venture!

Those With Less Often Give More

Have you done anything for someone, to make yourself feel better? By that I mean, have you helped someone in need? Have you gone the extra mile to do a little something for someone without them expecting it? Sometimes it’s people who don’t have enough to share, that share the most.

Recently, I saw a video on YouTube and I was astonished at the social experiment. Watch it, and then come back to me! We can discuss…

Soooo.. what did you think?? My heart broke a little knowing that people were willing to give up their dollar for booze and drugs, but not for a man and his family. I think being on Dry July I’ve been able to take a step back and see how alcohol plays a huge part in society. Everywhere. Instead of asking if he needed help to get out of that rut, they assisted his behaviour. Interesting.

I loved the woman who came up and although she was homeless herself, she gave him EVERYTHING she had earned that day. EVERYTHING. Yet, at one point we see kids driving by in a mini car?!!? They stopped and you can see their parent (I presume) pushing them along to keep going. Why? Why do you think society turns it’s back on these people, yet not others?

I’d love to hear your thoughts….

bcyM6MdcLI’m currently participating in a charity drive for “Share The Dignity“. The aim is to provide homeless women with sanitary items. It’s a wonderful initiative (there are a few various charities who do it – Melbourne Period Project is another), because this is a controversial topic that is quite often brushed under the rug. The more people talk about it, the more people will know about it. If you would like to donate a packet of pads or tampons, please check the website for Australia wide drop off locations. The drive ends August 31st and all items will be distributed to local recipients. I believe there are programs like this in North America, and encourage you to look them up and contribute!

Schools Back.. Skerred.

In my youth I decided that university wasn’t for me. I wanted to see the world. To live in another country. To Fly Like An Eagle. That’s exactly what I did. After an extended time overseas, I finally came back to Australia for good, in 2004. I met a guy, married, worked, had three kids…. For that reason, my university journey is taking shape in my late thirties, instead of my teens.

Tomorrow, the kids go back to school for term 3. A welcomed return for me (not so much for them, because helloooo…homework – YUK!)

It’s also a week until I return to university. After having studied online for a few years (and getting nowhere thanks to not getting cross-credits) I have found that on-campus is definitely the best way for me to study successfully. The only problem is I have mild social anxiety. I do not like crowds, and I do not like being around a lot of strangers. Whenever I think about having to go in to the campus I am a combination of excitement to be learning new things, and sick to my stomach because..people.

I’m trying not to acknowledge my anxiety and nerves, but they are creeping up, sitting on my chest and pressing down so much that I can physically feel it change the way I breathe.

I don’t have any ‘university friends’ as last semester I was doing a couple of mandatory subjects that were aimed at a cross section of courses, thus not strictly in my ‘field of study’. Also, I’m not good at making friends. I love being friends. I love having people in my community, but I’m so awkward when it comes to making them. I have a knack of being really quiet and observant, until I know you. Once I do know you though, look out! You’ll never get me to shut up! It’s hard, but I’m going to try to reach out this semester.

Anywho, I’ve managed my anxiety with diet and exercise for awhile now, however my exercise has slipped. My diet isn’t terrible, and I try to stick to Gluten Free, Wheat Free as much as I possibly allow myself. I certainly don’t beat myself up when I do eat a spoonful of Nutella, but I am aware it will affect me. In the past I have seen marked improvements through exercise. Something I have learned is that I really need to do a ‘type’ of movement every day. If I don’t do it every day, my body becomes a blob. Yesterday I had great intentions of going out for a run (jog/walk/shuffle – let’s face it, what I do isn’t graceful, but it is out there!) I had on all the gear and then bam… throughout the day, my mind talked me out of going. I didn’t do it. Complete regret. Why didn’t I just lace up the shoes and go? I KNOW I’ll feel better. It’s like I self-sabotage myself by not doing it. Self-talk is huge. How you talk to yourself reflects on how you put your own energy into the world. I also believe that you can change the way you think by being conscious of the how you speak to yourself. Being present, and listening. I’ll listen to Benedict…because he knows…


Anywho, this week I am committing to three thirty minute runs (and anything above that is a bonus!). I am also starting back at dance class this week, which I thoroughly enjoy. So, whilst the anxiety is creeping up, and I’m feeling panicky, and scared to return to school, I am also going to commit to getting out and exercising, as well as being kind to myself. Because really, in the end, being kind to yourself really does matter. Regardless of my ‘friend count’ I know that I am important, and I matter.

***Shout Out to a wonderful online community. I’ve written about them before. They are known as Operation Move. A true Sisterhood. If you are into being around positive women, who uplift, encourage, and inspire, then they are your community! Come over and check them out on Facebook! I’m fairly certain that without them I wouldn’t believe in myself half as much, and I certainly wouldn’t have the confidence to move as much.***

School Holiday Fun – Two Ingredient Screen Time Saver

If you’re anything like me you have a love-hate relationship with school holidays.

Whilst I love not having to make school lunches and ship off the kids every morning by the time the second bell rings, I do so miss the routine and the few hours of time that I usually do things without the kids (or at least with just the littlest).

It’s also a battle of the screens. You want to give the kids a well deserved break from school, and let them have at it with technology, but you don’t want to lose them to the monster of the screen. You know, the children that turn into unrecognisable monsters when you say “time’s up” or “break time”…don’t tell me that’s only my children!

Today we went and saw The Minion Movie. Cute. Funny. Completely kidcentric!!! When we came home I knew the kids would all want to jump onto their iPads, or tablets, or PSwhatevers, but I had a trick up my sleeve. Last week on a Facebook post I saw a recipe for two ingredient moon dough. Curious, I clicked and read how easy it seemed. I’m linking to this post because I can’t remember the FB one I clicked!  All you do is add in some hair conditioner to cornflour and ‘presto’ ..moon dough. I didn’t quite believe it could be that simple. Until I did it!

20150710_135441_resizedWhat a great, clever idea! Here’s what you do:

1 cup Cornflour
1/3 cup Hair Conditioner

Mix in a bowl until 20150710_135557_resizeda ball is formed – hand over to child and watch them mould, fold, stretch, and shape it! It was so simple AND it smelt so good (because I used apple scented conditioner).

It gave the kids some time away from the screens (I 20150710_135641_resizedthink the first sitting was 45 minutes), and once I packed it into a ziplock bag, they came back to it later and played again. They used knives to slice it. Cutters to shape it. Hands to mould it! It was a great activity that didn’t cost anything (because we had the ingredients in the house!) AND there were no complaining about not being on technology!

So, next time you’re looking for a simple time out from screens activity, give it a try! Sometimes it truly is the simple things in life that are the most fun!

20150710_140511_resized

Cupcake!

20150710_135619_resized 20150710_135728_resized  20150710_140051_resized

When you don’t meet a challenge have you failed?

Recently I took part in an 80 day fitness challenge.

The idea was the exercise/move every day for 80 days in a row. Before you think that the idea is insane and rest days are important, one of the options was stretching, which worked well for ‘rest days’. It was also a fundraiser for a wonderful woman raising money for Cancer research.

I went into the challenge full of enthusiasm and had planned out a countdown of days. It looked intimidating, but totally achievable. I enjoyed moving every day, and at the beginning of the week I would set out my days and what movements I would be doing. I used YouTube a lot and am so addicted to “The Fitness Blender” and all their workouts. I got stuck into the kettlebells and the DOMS were feeling good. By about day 25 I started to feel stronger, and better. The online support group was great, and it was good to go in and celebrate movements.

There was an element of nutrition that came into it, such as introducing more fruit and veg, which I eat anyway, and trying to cut back on alchohol..bonboooong.. THIS one may have definitely was my demise with seeing complete improvement.

We planned a trip away for the weekend for my eldest, who turned 8. That’s when it all headed south (literally). I believe it was around day 52. We spent the weekend away and I didn’t make it a priority. That‘s basically what it comes down to. Poor planning meant that I neglected to do any movement, thus disqualifying me from the challenge.

Now..there are two ways this could go. I miss a couple of days, pick myself back up and keep going with moving every day (because I genuinely enjoyed the feeling!) Or…. drop it and forget all about it. Going back to old habits and neglecting what made me feel good. You can guess which one happened. I fell apart. All the planning, all the moving. It stopped. Do I regret it? I don’t regret it, because I feel it’s a genuine lesson. I think the lesson I needed is to keep small goals in mind. Not grand ones. Think small, achieve big. I was able to go for 52 moving EVERY day. That is HuGE. To me, that is an achievement I should celebrate. So.. I am celebrating the fact that I was able to meet part of a challenge, and whilst I didn’t complete it to get a ‘medal’ at the end, I know that I’ve learned an extremely important lesson to me.

Starting today, I am going to plan one week ahead. No further. I will write out my workout/moving plans and stick to them. I will celebrate small victories and although the bigger picture will always be hanging on the wall, I will choose to look at the snapshots that will create good habits, and allow me to continue on a journey of life, love, health, and everything in  between.

Do you have any favourite YouTube workouts? Do you have a secret to motivation? Is it motivation, or is it planning?

Charity Virtual Run

The Charity Virtual run I wrote about a couple of months ago is happening!

Right now I’m finalising the details of the website and Facebook page, as well as minor details with the charity of choice. Once I’ve done that I will be posting all of the details of entry and participation.

I’m also looking at medals and best ways of getting them for good quality at the lowest price (after all, I want the money to go to the charity, not into the bling!)

I am hoping for a wonderful and successful first round so we can make it a regular event! These virtual runs have been so super fun for my family. My 7yo son and I have just entered into a Star Wars themed one!!!! So Cool!

Keep a look out for the details soon.

On another note… I’m now going ON-campus to uni so life is going to be everything in between for quite some time! Wish me luck!

Congratulations – Virtual Charity Run #1

Congratulations4After a week of voting – the winner has been decided. It was a close call and I thank everyone who voted and took the time out to share the poll. Moving forward I hope you join us on this journey and create a brilliant platform for fundraising, and getting out there and moving more!

Congratulations to Give and Take

Screen Shot 2014-12-26 at 12.34.15 am

Please keep an eye out on this page for upcoming news regarding the run and how you can participate from anywhere in the world! The first event is estimated to be February 2015.

bcyM6MdcLNever fear Feel The Magic voters – stay tuned for exciting news coming soon.

Virtual Charity Run Fundraiser – Top 3 Final Voting

 

 

VOTING HAS NOW CLOSED – THANK YOU FOR PARTICIPATING.

 

 

top31


 

Thank you to everyone who nominated and voted for their favourite charity! The poll was open for a week and in that time we had over 400 votes! An amazing effort! The top 3 have been decided and now it’s time to vote for the finalist! Poll will be open for one week. Once the finalist has been chosen I will contact them regarding fundraising on their behalf. Once we’ve got all our shoes in a row, I’ll be posting about the event. Happy Voting! (Read the original post regarding ‘what a virtual run is’ here).

Click on the names to read more about each charity.

Feel The Magic

James & Kristy Thomas are the founders of Feel The Magic Foundation. It’s their mission is to brighten the lives of kids who have lost someone they love. 

They both know first hand how hard it is to deal with the loss of a loved one, which is why they are both so passionate about their cause.

Dealing with grief is always a difficult and challenging time for anybody, however through the eyes of a child it can be a devastating experience. Feel The Magic has been created to lift the spirits of children who have lost their parent/parents or even a sibling due to illness or unfortunate circumstances completely out of their control.

Feel The Magic is a non-for profit organisation, which raises money to send bereaved children & their immediate family to the happiest place on earth Disneyland. We know that this is not going to bring back their lost loved one however It’s here where families can create magical experiences that they will remember forever. It’s also an opportunity for them to reunite as one and honor the memory of the deceased. Feel the Magic also offers ongoing grief education and support to help kids and their families move forward in life without their lost loved one in a positive way.

 It is Feel the Magic’s vision that the whole family will unite in a magical way in a magical place like ‘Disneyland’.

Give and Take

Based in Sydney Australia, we are a local community group with volunteers from the Hills District (Castle Hill to Quakers Hill area) wanting to make assistance available where there seems to be a gap in the current system offerring help to families.

Some families do not meet the criteria at the local welfare and community centres for help and we want to try to help those that fall through the cracks of the current welfare, charity and community system.

We are 100% non profit community group that relys 100% on volunteers and the community gifting our families we are helping.

When we have supplies available to us, we help families needing food, care packages, baby goods, clothes, toilletries, toys, books, furniture, white goods, electricals, appliances, homewares, shoes, tradesmen and assist with medical requirements.

We can also assist in finding meals for families in need and referring them to agencies or centres that can assist them with support or referrals to other resources.

Give and Take not only help with “needs” items but also with “wants” items. We pride ourselves on being unique and modern with assisting families with everyday items that keep up with society. (For eg. to prevent bullying)

We have many volunteers that can help with deliveries and transport and have access to alot of suppliers for items of basic needs necessary for everyday life.

National Organisation for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

NOFASD Australia is an independent not-for-profit charitable organisation. We are the national peak organisation representing the interests of individuals and families living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD).

Our Vision is the prevention of alcohol exposed pregnancies in Australia and an improved quality of life for those living with FASD.

NOFASD Australia has a strong commitment to FASD prevention at a primary, secondary and early intervention level.

NOFASD Australia is working towards ensuring FASD is recognised as a disability in Australia, promoting social inclusion by advancing the rights and interests of people living with FASD, and providing the necessary supports to individuals and families at a grassroots level. This advocacy work is fundamentally important in preventing the social, health, economic and justice consequences of this condition for all Australians.

In addition to delivering support to families living with FASD, NOFASD Australia also provides education and training workshops to parent and carer groups, government and non-government service providers and school communities throughout Australia.

goodluckIf you have any questions, comments, concerns – please send them to virtualcharityrun@gmail.com
Cheers ~ Genevieve

Virtual Run Charity Fundraiser – Voting Round 1

As you might, or might not know (if you’re new here!), I’m a little bit of a runner (slash-jogger-walker-shuffler)… I also love running for the bling-also known as a ‘finishers medal’. Recently, I’ve come across this awesome trend of “Virtual Running Events”. These are fundraisers in which anyone can enter and complete a nominated distance 3km, 5km, half, full, ultra (cumulative or all at once!) wherever they like (treadmill, trail, road) — walk, run, jog, shuffle – even cycling! By registering and paying the registration fee, they earn a ‘finishers medal’. Since the ones I’ve entered have been so amazing and inspiring, I thought it would be awesome to run one as well. The more the merrier, as the saying goes! At the moment it’s in the ‘planning stages’, but I can promise you some fun bling! I asked online for people to nominate a favourite charity they feel could benefit from donations. From this, I’ve created a poll in which to narrow down the TOP 3. Once the TOP 3 have been chosen, I will then post another poll for FINAL vote. I will then work with the winning charity to gather all the requirements to run an online fundraiser for them. I’m so very excited to get shoes moving and make this a great success!  Please, share this poll with everyone, and get those votes happening! Poll closes in one week.

 

Please click on the nominees name for more information.

make-a-difference-poem
*The cost of entry will depend on how much it is to manufacture the “finishers medal”. ALL proceeds will go to the elected charity (no money will be made on this event)*
 

Our Friendship Goes The (Running) Distance…

I have a little sister, her name is Lola.. Oh wait..hang on… wrong opening line!!

Actually, I have a little friend, her name is D….. and I lub her very much!

D and I have been friends for a little while now (thank you social media!) and we have a common interest (among many) of running. She introduced me to the wonderful, supportive, online group Operation Move and I haven’t looked back! Recently I flew up to see her for a visit, but also because she had convinced me to sign up for the Tour De Tambourine 10K run! Talk about crazy!!!

Flying to Queensland, I got off the plane and was immediately wrapped in a warm blanket of lov…..no, not love…it was humidity!! Oh My!!! That stuff is thick..and sticky!! Not used to that at all, but yay… Queensland.

Leading up to November, D and I had undertaken a 12 week training program with Operation Move, but had completed the training a few weeks before. Both of us were a little struggling with fitness, and decided we’d just spend this run as a fun run, not for any record times. This is why I think, and want to absolutely stress…. running with friends makes it fun!!!! I know that running can be a wonderful, individual time out from anybody (mostly the kids), pushing yourself to get your pace and fastest time, but running with a friend (my first time!) was soooo much fun!

tourdetamboWe picked up our race packets (so easy!) and I was so surprised that it had MY NAME on it!!! I was so bloody excited that I forgot I’d be pushing through 10k the next day!!!!

tambofriends

You know how running can be a mind game, and there is no “only” about it..if you do 1km, you do 1km, no matter how slow you go?! Well the lady who took our photos asked what distance we were doing and I made the mistake of saying “Only 10k”…both her and D corrected me, that it’s not just “only”….. remember that… no matter the distance, it counts! She also said to us “The Journey is Now” … that was really sweet. All the hard work we put in, and maybe the work we didn’t, now mattered! Not much else to do, we relaxed and drank coffee… a staple in our diet… and friendship!

We had a yummy Indian dinner, go check out the restaurant Masala Shanti if you’re ever there!

Race Day Ready …. lucky for the band aids in the cars first aid kit! I have a tricky little toe and without band aids I’m not sure I’d have a toe left …hah. tambostuffHow good does the Operation Move shirt look?? So incredibly honoured and proud to be able to wear it. This wonderful, online group of women prove every day that you can be all shapes, sizes, and ages to succeed, just by Moving!

tambocoffee

Mandatory Pre-Race Coffee It’s good for the lungs…seriously!

The event was well set up, and a great course. The only downfall, the lack of photographers on the course (We’d even discussed our photographic poses in the week leading up to the event!), and few marshals around the outer parts of the course (Oh, and the lack of bling *sob*) …Apart from that, it was a top notch event. Lots of hydration stations, although the water spraying we got at the end would have gone well throughout the course!!!
Since there were no photographers, it was lots of runfies and selfies!! So Much Fun! Going up

The hills...so many hills!!!

The hills…so many hills!!!

the hills killed, going down the hills..not so much! It was also nice to see other people out on the course from Running Mums Australia who were very supportive of their team mate who was walking/jogging with injury..I swear they clocked up heaps more mileage through doubling back!

The running community I’ve been able to witness really is a great one. As long as you’re out

ONE MORE KILOMETRE TO GO...we can do it (just don't stop on a hill - that was the advice of a pro running past us!)

ONE MORE KILOMETRE TO GO…we can do it (just don’t stop on a hill – that was the advice of a pro running past us!)

there – running, jogging, shuffling, or briskly walking…you’re a part of a super global community! There’s always someone there to encourage you to keep going, and someone letting you know you’re doing a great job, even if you’re internally struggling!

We finally got to the finish line and crossed over at the EXACT same time!!! *all of the smiles*

tambofinish

WE DID IT! …And all we got was a wrist band! I wore the ShIT outta that wrist band the next day! But seriously..we did it!!!

I’m so glad I got to go to QLD and run an event with a friend. No record for finishing. But it was all about the friendship, and going the distance.

I’m so glad that D is in my life. I’m so glad that she is my friend. Although we live in different states, our souls are still entwined.

The End.

Kara-Goucher

Study Bug Nerves …

studyadamlevineThroughout the past several years I have undertaken distance education through various universities. My end goal is to become a Primary school teacher. The irony of this is not lost on me, considering my three children CONSTANTLY keep me on my toes and drive me mad (in great ways, of course!)

I recently received some results that were a pleasurable surprise! I didn’t think I ‘understood’ the assignment at all, yet I trucked on, and  You Should Be Studying gained assistance from emailing the tutor (HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS AVENUE, it’s what they’re there for – I now realise this only having just sucked it up and given in to asking for assistance/clarification!) and especially gaining help from online supportive friends. In the end, I gained a High Distinction, and a Distinction overall,  and by gosh, I am very proud of it. Whenever I am doing assignments, that little self doubt voice rears it’s ugly head and tells me I’m not good enough, I’ll never make it, and to just give up. I guess because in the past I haven’t committed, and as a result, failed some subjects.

The other week, I went to a seminar session with Emazon. I’ve seen her before, and little moments of that session have always resonated with me (although putting into practice is a constant challenge!). She went into some details over no such thing as re-programming the mind> It’s all about new programming. I think that when it comes to my university studies, this is the one thing I need to remember. Forget about the past, it’s happened. Some things might stay in the brain that can come in handy, when it comes to assignments, but all those fails, I can now rise and program myself to succeed. From all my worrying about failing, and having to re-do subjects because I didn’t receive cross-credit, I didn’t even realise that I have completed my first year of university!!! (All except 10 days of practicum placement, which can be done when I am able to get into primary schools!) Hooray! I NEVER thought I’d be able to say that, it feels like I have been doing this for years (which I have!!!)

Sooo, next week the university trimester is back. I am starting to panic a little, and the nerves are making me second guess myself. I feel overwhelmed with having to run a house, round up and raise three children, help out with school community projects, run a successful direct sales business, AND complete university. BUT.. I’m new programming, and thinking positive. If it’s really what I want, I know I will succeed. I know that over the weekend, I need to plan, plan, plan. Learning to use my time wisely is an ongoing lesson, and I look forward to succeeding in all areas.

avengersstudy

What are your top study tips?! What keeps you concentrating, and/or motivated?!

Wish me luck, as I throw our life into chaos for another semester of bettering myself and attaining a dream!

Exciting Book Cover Reveal – Happily Evan After – Michelle Irwin

I don’t usually do book reviews on this site. Whilst I read, A LOT, I usually keep my reviews and thoughts to myself, or on my Goodreads feed.  However, when a friend puts out a call asking if anyone would like to help her out with a cover reveal, I couldn’t resist in helping! After all, that’s what friends are for!

I’m very excited to support Michelle, as she embarks on publishing her first books, this year! There’s nothing better than watching friends bloom and grow, and have their dreams come to fruition!

sooo… without further ado..I give you the BLURB for “Happily Evan After”  ..a paranormal romance, with a difference!

Evan is a reluctant cupid. Facing an unknown term of servitude to repay his debt to the world, it is his responsibility to guide couples together. Despite initial hesitancy, he has learned to handle every case with care and he now basks in the afterglow of new-found love and relishes in the energy it provides him. But his end goal is still the promise of paradise in return for his penance.
It’s all going according to plan until he receives an assignment that is inconceivable to him. He has to find a mate for Becca, within whom lives the reincarnated soul of his one true love. Bound by his duty to find her a match, he must resist her charm and suppress his own desires. It is his job and he cannot fail, even if his own paradise now seems lost.
For a cupid, falling is love is against the rules.
Isn’t it?

Sounds exciting, yes?!? *everyone nod your heads and grin* … who wants to see the cover?!?! Check it out …….

 

 

 

Happily Evan After - 3d Cover

(Cover by: Soxsational Cover Art)

How cute does it look and sound?!! I can’t wait to read it!!  Publishing Date: TBA soon! So make sure you scroll down and add Michelle to your Goodreads and Facebook and Twitter and just basically, all social media!


Author Bio:

Michelle Irwin BioMichelle Irwin has been many things in her life: a hobbit taking a precious item to a fiery mountain; a young child stepping through the back of a wardrobe into another land; the last human stranded not-quite-alone in space three million years in the future; a young girl willing to fight for the love of a vampire; and a time-travelling madman in a box. She achieved all of these feats and many more through her voracious reading habit. Eventually, so much reading had to have an effect and the cast of characters inside her mind took over and spilled out onto the page.
Michelle lives in sunny Queensland in the land down under with her surprisingly patient husband and ever-intriguing daughter, carving out precious moments of writing and reading time around her accounts-based day job. A lover of love and overcoming the odds, she primarily writes paranormal and fantasy romance.


I am very excited to read lots of words, by Michelle, and I hope you are too! Thanks for stopping by today!

Like I said, I love to read, all genres (besides horror, and maybe graphic crime, I’m boring like that, so head down to comments, and let me know what you’re reading, or your best recommendations that I just HAVE to read when I finally get that break from uni!!)

Never Let Numbers Suck The Joy Out Of Your Awesomeness

I’ve broken up with my scales, because quite frankly, they were sucking the joy out of my awesomeness.

I’ve always had a war with the scales. What the numbers represent. Berating myself if they weren’t going down, even when I was starving myself on 1200 calorie diets and 500 calorie workouts, daily. Worried that I was too fat, too heavy, and the numbers were too high. That stops, today.

Yesterday, I went on a date day with my 2 boys. We saw Guardians of the Galaxy (AWESOMENESS personified!) Before we left, I got dressed in my regular attire of jeans and tee, put on some makeup, and I felt really great. I realised the feeling did not come from being ‘skinny'(which I am not), it did not come from being my ‘ideal weight for my height’ (which I am not), it did not come from starving myself to fit in a calorie count(which I am not). It came from my ATTITUDE. I looked past the mirror, and inside myself (how very cliche!) and realised my self-worth is so much more than numbers. It was the first day I’ve felt that  training plan I am doing through Operation Move event training is actually making a difference, inside and out. 

I am by no means at my ideal weight for height as per all those people that tell you you should be, and I’m okay with that. What I am though, is healthy. I don’t have any health ailments. I have the ability to go out and run long distances, 10km and beyond. I am able to give blood when needed. I am HEALTHY. I am currently training for the Tour De Tambourine 10k event in November, as well as the Spartan Race in October. None of the excess fat I am carrying will stop me from doing that!  I am so sick of seeing all the fat-shaming that is going on at the moment. I saw an article online today that talked about ‘fat people’, and I was horrified. The thing is, there is no such thing as ‘fat people’. There are ‘people’, and some have excess fat. Some also don’t have much fat, and yet, they too are shamed for being ‘skinny’. I’m a little frustrated, and pissed. I’ve always been the ‘fat one’, or the ‘chubby one’ and it effected me for a very long time. I’m by no means where I was when I was younger, but I have had the ability to carry and birth three beautiful children in this body!!! Why do we need to label people as fat?! A quote that has stuck with me (I can’t remember the source) is…..

 

So anyway, I just wanted to remind you…. not to step on the scales and let that determine the joy, and mood you will be in today. You are Awesome! You will always be awesome! Take care of your health, first and foremost. Appearance is secondary. Next time someone calls you fat, punch them in the face (okay, maybe don’t, but what you can do, is IGNORE them.) Your self worth is more valuable than someone else’s opinon. Be You. BeYouTiful! Now..go forth and Be Awesome!

 

EDIT: The adult jazz class I am doing is totally rocking this song right now!! It’s AWESOME!!!!!

 

P.S On a completely unrelated topic: I loved the new Doctor Who!!!!!

I ran a multi stage marathon and finished a trimester of uni

Heyyyyyyyyyyy!! It’s been AGES (this is becoming a common theme for opening lines of my posts!)

Life takes over.. ya know?! I have been incredibly busy doing all sorts of things, but the two I’m super excited to share are the Multi Stage Marathon and finally making it through a trimester of new uni and not stressing to the max!

Okay, so actually having to go and be a real live teacher in a child care setting had me pooping my pants more than the kid in the babies room!!! It was a rocky start, I lost my voice, I had fun, I fell a little in love with the kids!!! What a great experience! Whilst child care still isn’t my number one thing I’d like to do, I’m glad that I’m getting the chance to see it all.

 

Now… you may not know this (I’m sure you do!) I do this lil thing called running.. or shuffling to be more appropriate!!! So when I went into my drafts I saw that I hadn’t actually completed this entry yet!! This was an amazing experience!!

Put on my Mind Body Motion Fitness, it was a completely virtual challenge!! Obviously I didn’t virtually run, I actually did that bit, but all the plans, support network, and celebrations were done online!!! I committed to it, and can’t believe that in a month I actually accumulated 98kms, just in training! It challenged me in so many ways. Committing and seeing something through. Working through pain (thankful for remedial massage therapists!). Lots of tears, and I don’t wannas. Lots of smiles and Oh My Shoes I Did It!  ((Speaking of shoes, I really need new ones!!!))

Here’s a few training pics, and the proof the magic happened!

Week2training

Week 1training

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Day1

Day2

Day3

Day4

I DID IT!!!!!!!

Something I’ve been teaching the kids more and more is … we are not allowed to say Can’t.. we have to say, We Can, We Will, We Can Try, I will do my best.

That is what this challenge was about! Not the scary amount of distance needed, and thinking it was impossible. It was Trying to do my best. I might have missed some training sessions due to injury, but in the end, I did my best and my best was all that mattered!!!!!

multistagemarathon

There’s loads more to share, so I’ll be back in more posts, coming soon!! There’s always something going on in this crazy Life, Love and Everything In Between World!

We built a Fairy Land!

*edit – I wrote this in January and got so busy with life that I didn’t post!!

We’re finally hitting the pointy end of the NSW school holidays, and it’s been a good one. We haven’t gone away anywhere, but we’ve definitely been busy visiting family, spending time together as a family, and trying to stay cool in the heat. However, as a parent, you start to run low on energy, and ideas on how to keep the kidfairys entertained. (side note: thank you, teachers everywhere!) At the beginning of this week the kids were anxious and wanting to do ‘something’. They didn’t want to play with toys (isn’t that typical? Pretty sure there’s a cull coming!) and I had enacted a ‘no technology’ rule because I was sick of them fighting over which piece of technology is cooler and who got what.

We have a garden out the front, it’s square, and houses a big gum tree (I dislike the gumtree and it’s desire to drop leaves EVERYWHERE, but we have to have it, and it’s well established now, so there’s no way around it). We recently removed to large hedges from the garden because they didn’t look very nice, and were preventing other hedges from getting sun. So, it left us with a patch of garden. Inspiration struck me on Monday, and I asked the kids if they’d like to build a fairy garden. A resounding YES came from everyone!

Off to the hardware store we went! The result was a fun time searching for fairy houses, supplies to make it inviting, and lots of plants!!! Then it was time to come home and get to work!

It took us almost 2 hours, and I’m so proud of all my children, as they got stuck into it and had the staying power to finish! We almost lost a few workers, as it was hot, and they didn’t like to wait ‘their turn’, but we made it! The results were so fun!! The kids were extremely proud, and excited, and couldn’t stop talking about how the fairies were going to ‘love it’.fairy2

 

Since January, the garden has grown and taken on a really magical feeling. We’ve often caught birds feeding on seeds and having a rest in it. The kids still love to look at it, and imagine what the fairies are doing at night. We’ve also added trinkets and decorations for them…..

garden22 The addition of a mushroom for resting
a mouse to keep an eye out
and a dragon to keep watch over the baddies!

 

 

Imagination is such a wonderful thing. I urge everyone to allow your children to express it and to run with it….there’s plenty of time for reality when they’re all growed up and forced to be responsible!

Do you have a special place you’ve created with your children? I’d love to see it or hear about it!

 

 

Instant Protection .. from the moment you start

That’s the catch phrase for the new Castrol Magnatec Car Oil that I am rounding up some blog posts about!castrol_magnatec_03_1024-768

I admit, at the beginning of the blog series about the oil, I had no idea that oil was ‘all that important’ to your car! Obviously, I knew it was needed, but didn’t know there was so much ‘technology’ behind it!!!  Some fascinating things about this particular problem have been proven. Watch some of the following videos: The Problem, The Solution, The Proof, The Benefits!

I drive a 4WD and my car gets a pretty good work out every day. Stopping and starting constantly as I do errands with the kids, and school runs. The abrasion on the car must be massive. This oil will be so good for my car. It will cling to the engine, and result in a smoother ride, and the engine will sound a lot less ‘vroom vroom’ 4WD, and a quieter ride!

I urge you to get ‘intelligent’ and get your car a drink! Castrol Magnatec. The drink of choice!

Do you take notice of your car? Servicing? Type of oil you use? I’d be interested to know your car routine! Leave a comment and let me know!

Happy Birthday, Me

Today is my 35th birthday. I love birthdays therefore I love today! My mum posted this photo of me last night on Facebook. Ever since I saw it I haven’t been able to get a few things off my mind, so here’s a letter to baby-me.

1510388_10151812470356646_1028753711_n

Dear Baby Me,

Hi there, cutie. Happy birthday. Today we’re 35 years old (or young, depending on how you look at it!) Can you believe we got to 35? Amazing! There’s a few things I would love you know, and wished I could have imparted into your soul while we were this age, but I know that everything we have gone through has made us who we are.

First, look at that double chin! For years now I have warred with the fact that when I take photos I have a double chin. I put it down to the fact that we need to work on it, and try to rid of it. If I’d remembered that I’d had it at such a young age I would have started embracing it earlier. It appears it’s a part of us, and something I shouldn’t try to change! It’s cute at this age, why shouldn’t it be cute at 35?

Second, that hair! We were born with hair of the orange/red variety. I believe on our birth certificate it states Strawberry Blond. Now, growing up you will be teased for having this hair colour, and we will hate it. Hate it with a passion. We will want to dye it as we get into our teens, but mum will be relentless that our hair is ‘beautiful’ and that people ‘pay lots of money to get our hair colour’. I wish I could have told you that when we are older, and especially when we are 35, we will love our hair colour. As an adult we would have experimented with bright red, and blond, and other colours in between, but by the time we get to our 35th birthday we will be sporting a very short hair style in our very natural colour. I would tell you not to be afraid of the colour because it will darken and won’t be so ‘orange’.  It will take us until we are 34 to actually be courageous enough to chop it all off, but it will be one of the best hair decisions we ever make. It will give us so much more confidence, so hold tight, we’ll get there.

Third- bullies.  Growing up we are going to face some harsh critics in life. We will be called all sorts of names, for no reason, and they will hurt our feelings. We will feel lonely, and chant ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me’ and we won’t really believe it, because bullies suck, and they are mean. By the time we are 35 we will understand that bullies are just insecure, ignorant people who need no attention paid to them. They are often lonelier than the person they are picking on. So just know, that we will have come out of it so much stronger. Being brave is going to get us through it all.

Fourth-family. We will grow up living in a variety of places, in fact we will end up going to a lot of schools, and by the time we are 35 we will be back in school!!! Our family will be small, and although we will fight with our brother, we will love each other, sincerely, and forever. He will always have your back, and no matter how many times you yell and scream at each other, in the end, he’s your brother, and always will be. Mum will work hard for us, and will have some tough times too, but she will always be there for us. We must remember to tell her we love her, heaps of times, so she remembers she is valued. I’m fairly sure we took care of that one alright. Growing up, we will wish we had a sister. Don’t worry. By the time we get into our teens we’ll discover a wonderful surprise. We have a sister!!!! Although she will come into our life later, we will still have loads of time to get to know her. She’s a lot like us, even if she didn’t grow up with us!

Fifth – Love. Now, love. There will be many times when we don’t love ourselves enough, and we will be lonely. We will be friends with many people, and especially with the boys. Friends. We will spend a lot of time fretting over why we don’t have a boyfriend when everyone else does, and I just wish I could have  implanted in your brain that it will be okay. You don’t need a boy to complete you! You will be amazing without one, and being friends is so much easier! Also, by the time you are 35, true love will have come into your life a couple of times! You will love many times, and have love in your heart, for many. You will learn valuable lessons about love and yourself, and finally, by the time you are 25, you will meet a wonderful man, who you will marry and who will love you for everything you are, not who you want to be. He will love all your curves, all your quirks, and all of you.  He will help you to create three beautiful children, who often mirror who we were when we were kids! An emotion that we will only discover closer to 35 is that we are valuable, and self-loving of us is the greatest gift we can give ourselves.  It will take us a little rough road to get there, but we stayed strong, and we made it!

Sixth – Kids. You will grow up constantly loving and wanting children. There will be many times in our life we will wish for kids, and it won’t happen. It will devastate us, but it will make us resilient! I would tell you, there is a plan. There is always a plan, and kids will enter our life when they are wanted the most. Lots of surprises are in store, and when we are 35, we’ll still be surprised every day! We will question if we are a good mum, often, but then when we receive our 35th birthday card, our 6year old will write in it ‘I love you mum and I like you being my mum’. See, we will do many things right! We just need to chill.

Seventh – self image. From this photo you can see we aren’t ‘petite’. It will haunt us for a very long time. We will never be the same as everyone else, and we will feel like a failure, often. If I could, I would have implanted the wisdom to know, that by the time we reach our 35th birthday we will have been through many transformations, and will be more in control of how we feel about us. We will have done many thing we didn’t think possible, including running two half marathons when we lived overseas! There will be many times we can prove to ourselves that if we will it, we can do it. Committing will help us to achieve anything.  We should have relaxed during our middle years, but now we are older, it has made us stronger, so we can praise those moments, and know they were all a part of our plan. Depression and anxiety will come into our life, but we will fight it, and it will be a battle we will win. Although we will constantly be fighting,  we will be stronger than we ever thought, and the dark roads that don’t seem to be there, will slowly light the way to a better place.

So, baby-me. Just know, that our life will be filled with loss and laughter, and strength and adversity. You will be closed off to many people, and it may come across as snobbish, but understand, that every day is a step closer to be the sincere self that you are. Remember, as long as we are sincere to who we are, and those we love, we will be real. I love this picture of us, as it shows a child who is ready to take on the world, and the world, we will take on. We will not be perfect, but we will be who we are. Be strong, and remember, the love starts with us. Positives outshine the negatives, and this year, as throughout our life, we will shine brighter than the sparkliest gem! All those that come into our life will come for a reason. They may stay a short time, they may stay a while, but they will be valuable, and they will teach us many things. Keep learning, keep being, and keep living. The best is yet to come! Live, Love, Learn.

Lots of love,

35 year old, me.

 IMG_20130716_073952

how to be a reader…..

Are you a reader? Not everyone is a reader, for this I know first hand. My husband isn’t a huge reader, unless it’s the latest “Motor” or “Top Gear” magazine that’s appeared in our letterbox, but I am.

I have always loved to read, and I hope that I can instill that value in my children as they grow up. I got my sons report card today for the end of first grade, he still needs to apply himself a little more when it comes to reading and writing. As a person who loves to read and write I am trying not to booksforkidsblame myself for his lack of enthusiasm when in the classroom. His teacher this year has been great, and as I’ve spent time in the classroom, I know she is using best techniques for best results.

I just don’t know how to get him interested in writing, being able to use his words he knows, and trying to get him spell things correctly. He has started writing notes to me, apology notes; permission slips; love notes!!! I love this, and hope he never stops that!!

We read books nearly every night before bed, and my 6yo has started reading me Dr Suess, it’s fun to hear him reading these, and I’ve been working on him really grasping the concept of the story, rather than relaying the words to me without emotion!

What do you do to get your kids to read? Any tricks, hints, tips? Will this just be something that ‘clicks’ in him and he’ll be off and writing in no time? I’m interested to hear from teachers, parents, friends with no kids!! Let me know! Also, what’s your favourite kids book, to read to them, to have them read, book you grew up with?

As we head into the first week of school holidays (tomorrow is the last day of school/care for all of my kids!) I wish you all sanity and self-love! May the forces be with you and the holidays be smooth sailing. I have a feeling we’ll be at the local water park a lot, and the local parks!!!

From my family to yours… Merry Happy Holidays!

20131212_081035

What do you know about Lubrication…

for your car?!?! I’m talking Motor Oil!!! I bet you were thinking something else, weren’t you!?!!!

You may remember a few weeks ago I posted about doing a project for SOUP ab0ut Castrol Magnatec Motor Oil. If you missed it, you can read it by clicking here.

After some hiccups with Australia Post, and the silly season, I finally received my information pack so that I can share with you!

PicsArt_1386895900539Engine Oil is the life blood of the vehicle.
The better you buy the better protected you are.
Darren, Healesville – VIC

That sounds familiar! The better you buy, the better protected you are. I always believe that you get what you pay for. According to my fancy information sheets, the Castrol Magnatec Oil has intelligent molecules that cling to the engine, and they don’t drop off once the car has stopped. Pretty fanceeey! I’m in my car every day, taking the kids to and from school, running errands, going places! Over the next week  I’ll be taking my trusty Mazda Tribute in for an oil change, after  I’ll be back to let you know how it runs. I’m looking forward to a difference!

I’ll leave you with this fun ad they’ve produced, which explains a bit about the technology. Who knew Engine Oil was so tricky!!!!

Be Safe & Lubricate (your engine!)

*All opinions are my own – this post has been sponsored by SOCIAL SOUP & Castrol Magnatec Oil*

Mini Monday – Life’s Better With Cake

It’s been a few weeks since I posted, and that topic was a little… depressing.. SOooooooo.. I’ve decided that today required a Mini Monday post!

As a mother, it’s my job to do right by my kids. Quite often that’s saying No when I know that saying yes would prevent the screaming, meltdowns, tantrums and general dislike. However, there are sometimes when small things can make such a huge difference.

I took the two girls to the shop the other day to fill up our trolley full of groceries. As I passed the cake aisle I noticed a huge mark-down ticket on the fun novelty cakes. Having previously had one of these cakes for Mr6’s birthday I knew they were of an ‘okay’ variety, regarding ingredients. Not perfect, but okay.

So, after much debate and some rock, paper, scissors, we picked a cake! For no other reason than sometimes, days are just better with cake. The kids had so much fun, pretending it was everyone’s birthday, and then cutting it. According to Mr6, Miss4 now has to kiss a boy because she touched the bottom!

20131205_185118

So next time you’re in the midst of a rough day, or you just feel like there’s too many “no’s” in your life… stop.. relax.. and eat cake!! (Unless you’re like me, and don’t eat any of the ingredients included in cake, in which case, buy someone else a cake, and make their day!!!!)

Have a great week x

I apologise ….

I’ve had something on my mind for the past couple of days. Ever since I heard about the English cricketer who has gone home from the Ashes with stress-related illness. It can happen to anyone. And it does.  This is my post in response to that (which is actually pretty unrelated)…..

I think I need to make an apology. What for? You might ask… You see, at the beginning of this year I was traveling a very dark path. There were no streetlights, and there was no end. There was a street sign with the name of the street, but you would have to look really hard to read it because it was so dark. When I looked forward, there was no hope; There was no future. I was at a crossroads and they were marked Depression Rd and Anxiety Way.  The thing is…there were so many things happening in my life, in my head, and I had no way of filtering them, of sorting them out, and getting through them. From the outside looking in, it probably seemed as if I had it all. I had a husband, a home, 3 beautiful children, a stable income and a car. I was studying at uni and there was sunshine in the sky. That’s where my apology comes in. The sun wasn’t shining for me.  I locked myself away, and didn’t come out at all. I would drop the kids off to school without getting out of the car, so that I didn’t have to talk to anyone, or didn’t have to get out of my pajamas. I declined every invitation to get together and socialize because I didn’t know what to talk about, and I didn’t want to leak my sour mood onto anyone else. I didn’t want to get out of bed, and would quite often go straight back to bed as soon as I returned from school drop off. Only now, now that I am finally at the end of those streets and finally walking along It Gets Better Street do I realize, by doing this, I had the potential to jeopardize friendships I’d had for months/years. To the outsider who doesn’t know, my behavior could be perceived as uppity, and snobbish. As if I was acting like I was too good to talk to anyone. Or to good to go out and share a meal and have a drink.  The problem is. That’s not the truth. The truth is that when you are in the deepest parts of depression, nothing seems appealing. Hiding in my house all day. Looking things up on the internet. Getting lost in books. Watching tv without even seeing it. Those were all the things I was stuck in. It was like a loop and I couldn’t stop it from happening.  Just the thought of having to talk to people would cause a physical reaction and I’d cry. I couldn’t breathe at the thought someone would talk to me. I know that a lot of people suffer in silence. They don’t want to burden anyone with how they are feeling, and what they are going through. That’s exactly where I was.

If not for a couple of friends who gently persisted on being a friend and never giving up, I would still be in that pit of despair. They listened without judgement, they asked questions, and they were there, often just through a small phone screen. So……to all the people in my life, both on screen and off who felt the brunt of my struggles. I am sorry. I’m sorry if I bought you down. I’m sorry if I ignored you. I’m sorry if you thought I didn’t value our friendship, because I do. I do so very much.  There may be nothing that can turn things around, but just know… everyone has their journey they’re traveling. Sometimes it just takes one friend to ask the question and make sure everything is okay. Just be there. Be present. Know it’s not personal, it’s the person.

I also want those people who may be reading this and are still walking along those Roads and Paths marked with lights that have blown out… I am here for you, and you will get to the end of it. It might not happen tomorrow, it might. Either way, you are not alone. Never, ever, ever…. And remember YOU ARE IMPORTANT.. even if you don’t believe it.

 

IF you’d like to know more about how I was able to turn myself onto a better path please feel free to ask. I’m more than happy to share my story. It might just be similar to yours!  You can email me at sydneygen04@yahoo.com

I don’t think my journey is over yet, in fact I know it’s not, but I am glad to see a lot more streetlights burning bright. Let’s turn some on for you, too!

Friendships, Tattoos & Motor Oil … Oh My!

So, I have a friend. Well, I have a few friends, but this friend is special. We’ll call her Bee. I met Bee online (through Twitter) through a mutual love of reading fan fiction, and listening to music. That’s the great thing about the internet, it connects you to people you might not otherwise meet. So, I live in Sydney, and Bee lives in Brisbane. Same country, different state. I can’t even put into words what makes Bee such a special friend, because there is so much, and there just aren’t words to describe other things! Bee has helped me pull through some very dark times in my life, and she has lifted me up to celebrate some wonderful times. Bee never judges, and always listens. Bee is awesome.

So.. last week I paid Bee a visit in Brisbane. It was wonderful. We spent a few days hanging out and just chilling. It was good for the mind, and good for the soul. We also forever ingrained our love and friendship by getting matching tattoos!!! There’s a song by a Sydney-based artist named Jack Carty, it’s called One Thousand Origami Birds. It’s wonderful. It inspired the tattoo. For that, I thank Jack for singing and sharing his music. Bee got hers on her foot, and I got mine on my arm. I love it. So much, just like I love Bee. We each have our own meanings to the tattoos, but a lot of meaning to me is friendship, and battling anxiety and coming out of the battle with depression. The musical notes represent the part of the song that says “Peace Will Come” … it’s to remind me that in all the chaos of life, and in the moment, peace will come, eventually, as long as I weather the storm. I also like that the musical notes end in a smiley face!!!! 🙂

Image       Image  I also got to hang out with another friend, we’ll call her Bale. She’s awesome, too. She made awesome food, and supplied great entertainment. We watched Friends… what better way to spend time with Friends?! There’s NONE!

So, what does that have to do with Motor Oil? Weeeellll… I am going to be reviewing Castrol Magnatec Motor Oil on behalf of SOUP (an online reviewing company). I’ll be blogging about it over the next few weeks, but it got me thinking. Friendships are exactly like motor oil. They help to keep things moving, they help you to not burn out, and they also stick with you, and you need it.

The new Castrol Magnatec Oil has intelligent molecules (ooooo!!!) and is designed to stick to your engine, rather than drain off when you stop the car! Stay tuned for more interesting and fun facts in the very near future!!!

In the meantime, I urge you to listen to Jack sing … magic happens *winky face*

Wasn’t that great? So worth the listen! Go to Youtube and look up his other stuff, too! Click for Jacks YouTube Channel

This was the one pic from the weekend in Brisbane that Bee & I could agree that we looked fabulous….

Image

So whether you have friendships near, or friendships far… treasure them. Always. And remember.. friendships are like motor oil…. they stick with you, even when your engine has stopped!

Random Ramblings of Nothing At All

Just thought I’d spin a quick blog post out because it’s been ages.

Hope you’re all doing well in bloggy land! Things have been busy here.

I’ve discovered geocaching and love love love it

I’ve decided to apply to a different university, for the same/similar degree with hopes I’ll get more support

I’ve rallied support and started a Bushfire appeal, which snowballed into amazing things

I’ve felt lost and lonely, even when surrounded by people with smiling faces

I’ve run a 10km fun run full of hills in 1hr 3mins (actually, apparently it was only 7.5km, due to a change of finish line!)

I became an Avon Lady *ding dong*

I’ve realised that I’m not happy with my fitness/weight/shape and have been back at the gym consistently

I’ve started a Paleo Primal lifestyle and haven’t eaten bread in 2 weeks!

I’ve lost 2.2kgs in 2 weeks

I’ve sent my middle child to Kindergarten orientation for 2014!

I’ve fought

I’ve kissed and made up

I’ve had a hair cut

and what’s to come…

On Thursday I’m traveling to see a bestest friend in another state. This person gets me with no judgement and no hassles; friendship at it’s finest

I’m getting a tattoo in 2 sleeps

and finally….

I’ve been me.

What have you done?

 

R U OK? – It’s OK To Say NO

Today is once again, R U OK day in Australia. This initiative started as a movement to raise awareness and open channels to help people struggling with life. According to the RUOK website www.RUOKDAY.com:

The R U OK? Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to encouraging all people to regularly and meaningfully ask ‘are you ok?’ to support those struggling with life.

R U OK?Day is our national day of action on the second Thursday of September (12 September 2013), and dedicated to reminding people to regularly check in with family and friends. We also have Resources for You to use throughout the year to help you ask ‘are you ok?’ regularly of family, friends and colleagues.    Stephen Fry

You might remember that last year I wrote a blog post about it, and at the time, I was NOT OK. You can read all about the reasons here: R U OK 2012.

Since then I have had many struggles, up and down, and I am still working through them, but for today, I can say, “I am OK”. Who knows what tomorrow brings. My anxiety peaks and waves, comes and goes. Some days I feel like I can conquer the world, and some days I feel like I want to hide out in my room all day and not talk to anyone.

The reason I’m bringing this up is because I want to ask YOU the question: ARE YOU OK? R U OK? ARE YOU ALRIGHT? Nothing is ever black, and white. I know nothing can ever be solved with a cup of tea, but it sure can ease a burden! Let me be your tea-maker. I am HERE for you. I will listen, I will not judge, and I will not set out to solve the worlds problems. Sometimes all you want is a friend to listen and acknowledge, not judge, not try to solve the issues, or tell you where you might be going wrong. I am your friend.

Not AloneIf you don’t want to talk to me, just know that You are NOT alone. With the progress in social media and the access we all have to the internet, I have found that you are open to a world of opportunity and hope. If you have anxiety about being in public situations, you can be comfortable in your own home and reach out. If you don’t like the way you look and it makes you depressed, you can be behind a computer screen asking for advice. You don’t have to put yourself in situations that may cause you to be even more “not OK”.

So, today, at this point in time, why am I feeling OK? I think it has something to do with finally seeing a psychologist. It took me a couple of goes, and it’s not always first one is the best choice, but the one I have been seeing was not trying to read my head, or solve the worlds problems of why I am the way I am. We were simply letting it be and working with how we can work with that. It’s hard work, and it’s not all roses and sunshine, but the one thing I have learned is, FriendsEveryone needs someone to talk to. By talking about my issues with someone who was non-judgmental, my whole attitude changed. I’m no longer holding onto feelings inside myself, and no longer taking it out on my loved ones. Again, not always having great days, and yes I regress, but I know that I’m getting better. You can too. All you need to do is ask the question.

I hope you are aware that you are not alone. You will be OK. There is help available. If you go to one doctor and they say they don’t believe in ‘depression/anxiety’ then go to a different doctor. Start doing Yoga (I know it sounds naff, but it did help me!). Start exercising, even just a 15 minute walk outside in the fresh air will clear your mind and help.  If you want to send me a private message, then please do. My email is: sydneygen04@yahoo.com .

I’ve listed some resources that you can go and check out and maybe gain a little further information and maybe some help?

Take-The-First-Step

RESOURCES:

Beyond Blue

R U OK Day

Dancing with the Black Dog – A blog

and just remember:

You__ve_got_a_friend_in_me__by_pocket_full_of_posy

The Doctor Creating Happiness

Last week was the annual book week parade at Mr6’s school so I thought I’d share some fun pics with you all of his ‘character’ he chose. When he said he wanted to be “The Doctor” I didn’t hesitate at all, in fact I may have embraced it enthusiastically!

A quick trip on ebay and voila… the Doctor was born.  Mr6 and I have been bonding over “Doctor Who” for about a year now. It’s been so much fun discovering it with him, and we quite often get into some philosophical discussions over the Doctor and his companions!! We started at the “Ninth” of the ‘new generation’ although I do remember as a kid watching the series on the ABC. I recently went to an op shop and managed to score big on some of the old tapes, getting just about the whole catalogue, plus some Torchwood (Captain Jack..mmmm) so now we can go back in time and space for adventures and more! Here’s our excitement for Doctor Who wrapped up in pics!!

SUPER HAPPY EXCITED to finally have his hands on a Sonic Screwdriver! He chose the 11th Doctor

SUPER HAPPY EXCITED to finally have his hands on a Sonic Screwdriver! He chose the 11th Doctor

The future Doctor?!!!

The future Doctor?!!!

Do you watch Doctor Who? What’s your favourite episode? My favourite is Vincent & The Doctor, with Vincent Van Gogh..I can cry EVERY time I watch it!

Who’s your favourite companion?? I tend to like all of them for different reasons, but really,whoshirt7 Rose & The Doctor made me cry, but Donna made me laugh so hard! I own a few shirts with Companions on them, and just yesterday received a shipment of some more shirts… I don’t ‘think’ I have a problem…..although….

Thanks for reading….. until next time.. hope you have a Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Awesome Custard & Fish Fingers Fantastic kinda day!

Accepting A Failure Sucks

Many of you know that I started a ‘journey’ to becoming a teacher a couple of years ago. I felt this would be achievable by studying online, and as it’s something I’ve wanted to do practically my whole life (right, mum?!) I knew I had finally found a topic I wanted to study with all of my heart.

So, this week when I got the news that I had yet again failed a subject that had previously given me grief I was beyond devastated. I was upset, angry, sad, cranky-any emotion that evokes a feeling of failure (except for the acceptance ones, which I’ll get to in a moment).

I have been studying online for the past couple of years, and it has mostly been a success. I can’t say it’s been an easy path, and it’s definitely not been my favourite mode of study, but I’ve tried to make it work. I tend to be an over achiever, and someone who hates to be wrong (smiles sweetly at my dear husband!!!) so of course admitting that this may not be the way to succeed in my studies has been a long and arduous road.

  Failing this particular course (which I was seriously certain I understood!!!) has bought out many questions of why, what, and where am I supposed to go in life?! I know that one failure can’t break us, but it’s just came at a time of vulnerability and self-doubt. I spent the last couple of days cranky and upset, and trying not to over-think the situation. Tutor emails back and forth left me with no hope of a pass, so what’s done is done. I’ve finally realised that just because they don’t think I know what I’m doing, I KNOW what I’m doing and I won’t let them bring me down.

Failure, as such, is such a funny thing, not in the ha-ha sense, but in the ironic sense. Everyone was very quick to jump on to me and tell me that I can do it, and that I’m not a failure and that I’ll be okay. Being someone who often does that to others, I get that. I understand that. Most of all, I appreciate all of the people who were willing to push my negativity and shower me with positive words, in a time when I just saw grey everywhere. I know I’m not dumb. I know I’m not stupid. I just hate that a mark on a paper can show that I wasn’t able to grasp something at the time.

So… what was I to do about it?! Yesterday was the annual book-week book parade at Mr6’s school. They also had open classrooms in the morning. I have previously gone and helped in the classroom, but studying had pulled me away from that. When I was in the classroom, seeing the kids doing their work, the structure of it, how they behaved and interacted with me… I just knew. I knew it was my true calling. I knew I’d be happy in the classroom. And I knew it was time to let the sadness and anger have it’s time and be gone.

 What are my options? Well, I can continue to study online, but I honestly have struggled with balancing it with life/house/family and I just don’t think it’s working for me. When my children are asking if I can finish ‘studying’ so I can play with them, I know there is some serious questionability about whether I’m doing more harm than good with this mode. There are many good schools in my area, so I’ve gone ahead and signed up for some uni open days and am going to investigate going on-campus next year. I’ll only have 1 child left at home as we send Miss4 into the big world of Kindy next year, so I’m hoping it’s going to be a viable option. My youngest will be 3, and I’m still trying to figure out how we’ll coordinate child care, but I must remember to stop over-thinking and let that happen when it happens.

Like I said earlier, I have wanted to be a teacher since I was young (amongst wanting to be a park ranger, an actress, a Play School presenter!!), and this to me, feels like my purpose beyond being a mum, wife, and house manager. So with all the sadness and anger having ‘left the building’ wish me luck as I embark on the next step of this education journey!!!! If you have any advice, please, please don’t hold back, anything that can help me succeed (remember, I hate failure!!!). Also, I believe that we must want something to really go after it. This is what I’m planning on doing. I’m going after it!!!!!

If you’ve made it to the end, thanks for reading! I know it was a long one!

P.S You know how I joined a gym?? Well since then, I haven’t been able to go *cries*. I ended up with Influenza and a chest infection, which I was treated for, however I didn’t feel any better in my chest, and was struggling to breathe, so I just went back to the doctor and the chest infection has turned into bronchitis. I am so ready to get over the sickness and get back into the fitness. I need that happy mind state back!!!!!! Has anyone had to get over an ‘illness/injury’ hurdle? Any advice?

Doing Things I Said I Would Never Do….

So basically, I’ve gone and done TWO things I said I’d never do!

ONE: I joined a gym (and I’ve been going!!!!)

TWO: I have been running on the treadmill (and not hating it!)

Slinky on a Treadmill
Slinky on a Treadmill…. your argument is invalid…

We’ve recently had one of those 24 hour gyms open in the neighbourhood and I know a lot of people who have joined it. I always said, “Oh I can’t join a gym, I’ve got no time..or … What would I do with the kids? By the time it’s evening, I’m stuffed!!”  So when I saw another local gym set up a booth at the local shopping centre I was intrigued… because the big sign said “LADIES ONLY AREA” and “CHILD MINDING” … ding ding ding!!! Two definite things that have always made me err at the thought of a gym. I curiously went up and spoke to the girl, and was surprised at all they were offering! Some great deals on joining, no need to pay until Spring, child minding included, reasonable hours, good location, classes at perfect times, and NOT THAT Expensive!!!!  If ever I was looking for a sign, I thought I’d found it! I took the information and went home to discuss with my husband. It would be a decision that needed to be jointly made, and the budget adjusted accordingly. He was very supportive and agreed I should go for it! So, a couple of days later I signed up! That was Friday… I was excited to get rid of the excess 10kg I’ve put on in the last year (gasp…yup….I’ve let myself slip A LOT!). I want to fit back into the jeans I have just waiting to be worn!! I want to feel better, and to not be so lethargic.I started on Monday, and besides a minor hiccup yesterday (Wednesday) of dropping a ceramic bowl on my toe and my knee being sore from a little hyper extension on the elliptical (btw elliptical, we are no longer friends) I have been going every day, straight after school drop off, so there’s no excuses!! The girls enjoy going to the children’s corner and it has everything they could want or need, including a friend they already know!!!

That brings me to the number two thing. I always said Treadmills were boring… I guess I said that when it wasn’t Winter, and it wasn’t cold and rainy outside!!!! I’ve eased back into my running by starting the C2K program (Couch to 5km) although I skipped straight to week 2. I’m not a hater of the treadmill anymore, and I know that once I’ve shed a few kilos and not as heavy, I’ll feel much better about hitting the road again. I still like being outdoors, and feel I run farther when I am, but for the meantime, I’ll use the nice cosy gym ones (equipped with tvs and internet!!).

What I look like - funny running picture

So there you go. I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone and I’m gymming it. I haven’t even been to the ladies area yet! I’ve done some ab work in the general area, and just stayed in my little zone!! Everyone is there for the same reason, so yeah… I don’t even care!  Hopefully, in a months time I’ll start seeing significant changes. My mind is already starting to swirl itself back into possibilities. Making things a lot clearer. I’m excited again. I have my fitness eval and program write up next week… then we can get onto some strength activities, as well as losing the fat! Now.. if I could JUST get onto that housework that forever evades me.. or do I evade it?!!

In other news.. I have “The Greatest Athlete” obstacle course coming up next weekend. I’m scared witless!! It’s going to be fun, but Oh My!!!! Definitely the “weekend warrior” here! I’m also pretty pumped about the following weekend when the WHOLE family completes the The Swisse Color Run ! Hubby and I did it last year and had a load of fun throwing colour at each other, we thought this year it would be fun to take the kids and let them have fun too!! I’m off to get some ‘goggles’ for the girls and maybe a drop sheet for the double jogger pram!? I’ll update with pics once these events have happened!! In the mean time…. thanks for reading!

Be Safe – Sparkle & Shine – Be Happy

Cut it ALL OFF…

So a few weeks ago I did an outrageous thing and I absolutely LOVED IT!!!!

I cut off ALL MY HAIR!! … okay, so not ALL my hair, because then I’d be bald, but I cut off most of my hair. I’ve been unhappy with my hair for a long time. It’s frizzy, it’s gross, I had tried to strip the ‘colour’ out of it, and all I ever did was it was pull it up into a pony, and I was over it!!! Completely!  I’ve wanted short hair for a long time. I’ve wanted really short hair for a long time, but I just haven’t been brave enough. Every time I had my hair cut short it was ‘bobbed’ and looked ‘cute’ for the night it was cut, and then I’d wash it and it’d be a triangular frizzy mess, having me scramble for pins and bits and bobs to pull it back into order. So when I went to a local hairdresser for the kids, and a friend was there, I received some gentle encouragement (read: Yelling, DO IT DO IT DO IT) to go for it. Get it all cut off! I showed the hairdresser this picture:

(How freakin adorable is Carey Mulligan!?!?!!)

So I showed the hairdresser this (including a pic of the back) and she said “Yeah, of course, let’s do it”!!! I was sooooo excited!!! I’ve always wanted a pixie cut! I mean, fairies are real and all (just ask my kids!)

Soooo.. wash wash, massage (beeeest part of hairdressers!), snip snip, cut cut, snip snip, cut cut, blowdry and VOILA.. I was done!!! I LOVED IT!!! I LOVE IT!! I am so very very happy with the end result!!!!!!!!! It’s been almost 4 weeks and actually, I think I need to go and get some maintenance mowing done. It’s looking a little rough around the edges, and seems to be growing a lot more than it did when it was longer! What I love the most is that I feel better. I don’t feel as drab, even on my drabbiest of drab days! I get up in the morning and this haircut REQUIRES me to do something with it! My hair is naturally wavy, and naturally frizzy, so a lil bit of this and a lil bit of that and I’m ready to go! I also get to steal all of Miss4’s headbands and cute hair clips ala The Great Gatsby, Woot!

To put it into perspective.. here are some ‘before pics’…. DUN DUN DUUUUUUN… (you’ll get that if you’ve seen The Croods!!!)

 photo-17

20130715_102251

Sooo now… here are the pics of my epic pixie haaaaaaaiiiiirrrcut…

20130715_110450The Back!!!!! So short! THAT’S WHAT MY NECK LOOKS LIKE!!!!!

IMG_20130715_114117THE FRONT! all Blown to perfection!!

Of course, being the practical person that I am, there is NO WAY I’d be able to blow dry my hair like that, so yeah… I went home and washed it! Plus I wanted to see how little shampoo and conditioner I really needed (oh hai, budget saver!)

IMG_20130715_132426Pretty darn pleased with the way it sits with a little frizz-ease and a light blow-dry!

and how it is every other day of the year….

IMG_20130721_103053

Woohoo to stealing the girls’ hair accessories!!

So there you have it! I love it, and I’m not sure I’ll ever go back to longer hair… only time will tell. The last time I had hair this short I looked liked this…

photo-1

so for now.. I’ll stick with this!

IMG_20130716_073952

So I’m pretty sure I’ve just created a huge blog dedicated to my hair….. yeah… that’s interesting!! Anywho.. it’s been great being off Facebook and taking a break, but for the record – I have one assessment due this weekend and then I’m BACK for good!! I missed you all! Until next time…

Be Safe, Shine & Sparkle, and Be Kind.. to Yourself

Oh and Dry July.. SMASHED IT!!!!

Emazoning it…. Learning to walk before I run

This week has been a topsy-turvy week in the SydneyGen world of things-that-happen…..

Our youngest has been hit with a horrible sickness, and her usual vibrant self is nowhere to be seen. It’s taken 2 doctors visits to finally diagnose tonsillitis, so with the proper medication, I’m hoping we all get some sleep relief soon! Speaking of sleep…. an interesting thing happened to me last night.

I attended a free (absolute BARGAIN) one and a half hour session with Emazon (Stand Your Ground) thanks to the wonderful girls at Designed 2 Fit gym.  If you haven’t heard of Emazon before, she’s been on The Biggest Loser, and Australia’s Next Top Model. From her website: Emazon travels the country as a keynote speaker, presenter and coach. STAND YOUR GROUND is the renowned mind body workshop that has toured the country for over 5 years. A provocative and unconventional insight into our health, weightloss, self image, personal authority and self destructive behaviours.

Anywho… for an hour I got to put on some very cool red wrist wraps, that immediately got me into the ‘zone’ and belt out some boxing and get my mind into some focus points.. basically, I got to forget about the world and my life for an hour and a half. Whilst I really enjoyed the boxing aspect of it, and the way that Emazon made you micro focus, I got the most of the session at the end. She ran us through a breathing technique and relaxation, which of course I loved, as it w photo IMG_5234_zpsb9ac3a6a.jpgas very yoga-esque. Then, she spoke to us about some ‘techy stuff’ to do with our bodies, brains and functioning. As she was speaking I was listening and nodding along. Everything she was saying I was thinking, “yes, yes, yes that’s me, yes” … I don’t get enough sleep. I don’t sleep at the optimum times, I don’t handle my body correctly, and I’ve definitely done too much too fast in everything, to be able to maintain a proper, consistent form of living and weight loss.  I asked a question about how “us mothers with young ones” are supposed to get the “eight hours” sleep, when it’s a fantasy. The answer wasn’t as complicated as I thought. If I can’t get the eight hours, then it’s more beneficial for me to be asleep between 10pm-1am in the ‘deepest’ part of sleep. That means I start a going-to-bed ritual a lot earlier than I usually do. I turn off technology, I calm my brain down, and make it a habit to sleep sooner, rather than later. Surely that can’t be too hard!!

At the moment, I’m really unhappy with how I feel I’ve let myself go. In the last year I’ve gained 10kgs and I can feel every little bit of it. Interestingly though, instead of thinking I have to go hell-for-leather and start immediately.. it was pointed out, that in order for our bodies to not rebel on us, or go into shock, we have to ease into things. So, with that in mind, I am not jumping straight onto the 1200 calorie eating plan again, I am not going to attempt to run 8kms again, instead… I’m going to slowly ease my calories down to 1200 over the next two weeks, and I’m going to start walking as much as I can. This is my ‘say it out loud’ and I’m hoping you’ll hold me accountable!

I was very lucky to have a wonderful stranger gift me a ‘group session’ that she had won in the lucky door prize. I thought I was going to cry!! It’s those small things that need to push me. Last night I saw some people I hadn’t seen in a very long time, it was like a mini 12wbt reunion. I was so happy seeing them, and realised that by isolating myself, and not seeing them I have not been ‘surrounding myself with things that help’ … These were girls I climbed the highest mountain with (literally) and they’re the type of people who will gently push and encourage and you listen, because they’re going through exactly the same thing you are! So in saying that. I am also going to work out how I can afford regular gym sessions, one-on-ones and group training.  I’d love to go to the Emazon convention in October, but some things are beyond reach… for now.

emazon

Middle and Center for the Team Photo!!

Err so what was this post all about then? Ummm.. it was just me wanting to express that A: I don’t like the way I am right now. B: I know I can change this. C: I will change myself slowly and surely. D: I recommend you look up Emazon and check her out. E: The girls at Designed 2 Fit are awesome. F: I will surround myself with people that help me be the best version I can be. G: Tonsillitis in littlies sucks H: I don’t need to get through the whole alphabet because this post is long enough.

Until next time….  Stand Proud and JUST Be the Best You Can Be!

Mourning the loss of any life is … okay…

 

Princess Diana, Kurt Cobain, River Phoenix, James Gandolfini…. I didn’t know ANY of these people on a personal level, but you know what? I cried for every single one of them when I heard the news they were no longer with us. All lives, amongst many, gone too soon from this world………..

  Today I heard the news  

that Glee star, Cory Monteith had been found in his hotel room, dead at the young age of 31. Listening to the police confirm that this wasn’t an “internet hoax” was one of the saddest things I’ve seen recently. For our family, Glee has been a show that bought us together. My 6yo son has loved it from the start (and yes, from an early age that he was!!) He would sing Don’t Stop Believin in the car whenever he’d hear it. We have all the soundtracks, and we have some seasons on DVD. He even listens to the soundtrack to go to sleep at night (Actually, it’s a tie between Glee & Pitch Perfect!) You see, Glee might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but from it, I have seen my son bloom and blossom for his love of music and dance. It was/is a show that has taught my son that it’s okay to like to sing and dance, and that it’s not “girly”. For that, I will be forever thankful to Cory, and the gang for bringing that into our lives. I remember taking Mr6 to the 3D Glee movie, and how he sat amazed at watching the cast sing and bring the songs to life. I’ll miss seeing his face light up whenever “Finn” came on the screen. The goofy football jock who knew it was okay to be left of field and sing because he felt good doing it. Now, Cory is singing forever, in our hearts and our memories.

I hope that the media can give the respect deserved. His death cause is unknown, and I won’t even speculate, because that is just wrong and disrespectful.  I saw a lot of things today online, but some things hurt my heart even more. The messages of people saying “No loss”, “who cares”, “whatever, I didn’t know him” in a public forum was awful. I am not shocked that people feel this way. I am shocked that people feel it’s okay to express their opinions, without thinking of the fact that there are people out there that did know him, that did care, and that will forever miss the boy with the big smile, the kickin drum beats, and the stage presence that lit up the world…..

So, the reason I’m writing this is because I cried today. I shed tears, I had a heavy heart, and I hurt. For someone I have never met. For a family I will never know. And for his friends who will now live all of this out under public scrutiny.

Rest in Peace, and may his family and friends find the answers and closure they need. You might not care, but today I did…. And you know what?!?

It’s perfectly okay to mourn someone you didn’t know….

As an end note: I also received news that a dear family friend passed today as well. She was the kind of friend you called Aunty even though you weren’t related. I hadn’t seen her in a long time, but I am glad I knew her. My mourning has done double duty today. I think I need a peppermint tea! RIP J.M. You will never be forgotten.

Why I quit Facebook and Booze ….and other random stuff

I’m not a Quitter, I am GREAT! The Great Facebook and Booze Dry Spell of the year!

Hello, my name is SydneyGen and I haven’t had a drink in 12 days…. Wait.. wrong forum!

Actually, it’s true though!! I am still going strong in Dry July and have to say… not missing it at all too much!!  I thought it would be harder to put down the wine and vodka (mmm….vodka…….) and not have a drink, but it truly has been easier than I anything I’ve ever done realised. It’s also made me aware of the fact I think I was drinking ‘just because’ before, and that kinda takes the enjoyment away!  I’ve replaced wine with water (There’s something awfully backwards about that statement!!) and know the health benefits are rockin. So far I’ve started exercising more *slowly first, but more than before* and I’ve started watching the scales decline… (hoorah, finally.. although I had a sneaky suspicion this would occur once I stopped) I am glad my minds at a place now where I can do this. I have ‘tried’ in the past, but absolutely didn’t pass because I wasn’t strong enough to give in to temptation. The Aussie culture is definitely one laced with booze, but that’s not a bad thing (in my opinion), it’s the responsibility of booze that needs to remembered and reenforced.  I am about to go off on a tangent here, because that my dear friends, is my brain!!! Anywho… the other night I was flicking through the tv channels (which is rare in itself, I barely get time to sit down at night, let alone watch tv…whoooops, there I go again!) and I came across a show on the ABC called

Shitsville Express with Joe Hildebrand. Shitsville Express

If you haven’t heard of it, it’s this:  Each week, Joe Hildebrand rubs the noses of our four bright young things in Shitsville’s darkest and grubbiest corners, examining issues including the explosion of alcohol fuelled violence, the gambling epidemic, Australia’s substandard transport system, the current housing crisis, and the pros and cons of coal seam gas mining. And at the end of it, all four will put their ideas to a former Prime Minister who’s been to Shitsville and back many a time, and who knows the difficulty of making change happen. 

So the reason I’m bringing this up is because the episode I caught just happened to be on alcohol fueled violence. I sat in astonishment at the awful scenes of women barely wearing anything, stumbling around drunk. Men beating each other up, and blood pouring everywhere. A boy who was only 16, drunk, showing gang signs and looking for a fight. And I was sad. So, So, So, sad. What has happened with our youth? What has happened to parents instilling values, decorum? I remember being a fresh-faced 18 year old in Tassie, and stumbling through the streets of Hobart at 2-3-4am and walking between bars, but there was never violence involved. It was usually a bit of hippy love to a passer-by, a hug and a squeal to a stranger, or a friend you hadn’t seen in a while, but never violence. There were no brawls, no beatings, and certainly nobody dying from being king-hit as they walked out of bar. The issue bought up on the tv show is, “what can we do about this”, and I seriously don’t have the answer. My mother taught me to drink responsibly, and if I’m going to get shitty drunk, still be a lady about it. OH, and WHAT EVEN is this ‘pre-loading’ these people are doing at home. Drinking a bottle of alcohol and THEN going out? (I of course blame the cost of alcohol for this! We used to go out for $50 and be able to shout rounds to people and still be happily drunk by the end of the night!)  If you’re going to drink at home, make a night of it!!! If you’re out to pick up, WHY do you need to be drunk?? You most likely won’t remember it!! Ugh, I think I’ve ranted, for far too long!! (I do that, too!) So … anyway.. my advice to the youth and drinkers of today…. drink, have fun, be merry, and keep your mitts to yourself. You’re giving booze (for the rest of us responsible people) a bad name, and making it cost FAR TOO MUCH! I’m not sure what I’ll do when August 1st comes around. I don’t even think I’ll notice it. I have 2 assessments due that time anyway, so booze will be the last thing on my mind!! We’ll just wait and see.

Right, now that I’m off that soapbox I’ll just briefly go into my hiatus from Facebook!

Two uni assessments due, lots of reading to do,  housework to be done, and what do I find myself doing? Glued to my Facebook feed. Clicking likes to win prizes I’ll NEVER win, playing awesome stupid addictive games, and being sucked in to a time vortex. Something had to be done, so I cut it. Cut it out. I have enjoyed Facebook for many benefits, but mostly for being able to share one image, one thought, a useless status update with many people. It has connected me with people from my past, and present, and has allowed me to stay in touch with friends who live far away. BUT… it’s a time waster. It really is. You think you can just check one thing, and the next thing you know it’s school pick up time, the tea is cold, and you’re rushing to get things done and be places on time. Since I’ deactivated my account I’ve managed to get a lot done. Uni is caught up, and I feel good. I do miss it, but not in a life is so much worse now I’m not on it way. The one thing I have realised is the amount of businesses, and bands, and people in general, who are using Facebook as their platform for promotion! I’m still on Twitter (and Instagram – I need SOMEWHERE to picspam my kids!), but Facebook is ‘The way’ to do business nowadays I guess? I even hear on the radio, ‘check us out on Facebook’ and I cringe and think UGH, why can’t they just have a good website that can be browsed and updated. What has the Zuckerburger done to us??? What’s next?? Who knows…. but yeah… a Facebook break has been good. I have a mobile phone, and anyone who’s important will know the number, so who needs an FB message to let me know if somethings happening, or someone’s pregnant!! I’ve disconnected, to reconnect!

So WOW… this post was epic and also about not much, basically, a common theme on this blog!! I hope you’re all well. I have almost survived School Holidays – which deserves it’s own blog post – maybe next time I have a spare five minutes!!

Take Care of Yourself.  Shine & Sparkle (and drink responsibly, and with class *in a glass)

Dry July

I’m going to tackle one of my biggest vices. .. alcohol!  Here’s how I decided to do “dry july”….So I’m sitting in the RSL (that’s returned services league for those who didn’t know) and I’m waiting for my food in the bistro (mr6 is upstairs at a disco, which subsequently is producing a few injuries!)and I look around at all the glasses of wine and beer and for the first time I thought. ..hmm. .. What would it be like to give up wine for a bit… so that’s it. .. I’m going to do it.  I’m not going to over think it, I’m not going to over analyse it (which by the way, I am brilliant at! !!) I’m just going to do it. I’m thinking of the health benefits as I well, I want to be where I was 12 months ago, which was 9 kgs lighter and happier! !

So, tomorrow is the 1st of July.  I  like the way Dry July rhymes (!!!!) So we’re going to do this. … One day at a time. ….
image
until we meet again….

Have you ever attempted to give up something?  Have you ever done dry July?

Yoga, Therapy & Teen Wolf .. the week of new things!

Hello there!!

Wow, what a week is has been!! A week of new things, a week of changes, a week that was….

So this wyogainnereek, thanks to a great Living Social deal I was able to try my hand at Yoga for the very first time. I say the first time, because I have a feeling that the Kids Cosmic Yoga on YouTube (which oh my gosh, is still so much fun! Check it out and do it WITH your kids – or by yourself! ) doesn’t really count! I went in not sure what to think. The only experience I’ve really had with Yoga is watching it in a scene in a movie, which usually involves characters posing and talking….. the complete opposite of what we did. I loved it. It was relaxing, but challenging at the same time. Making the connection between the body and mind was an amazing feet (get it..feet..hehehe) ok, so I meant Feat and it was pointed out to me that I typo’d, but yeah.. we’ll go with feet..who knew you had to spread em that far!!!!!  I am used to working out and doing “cardio” so the burn usuallyLiza-yoga-cartoon500 comes from pushing myself at a high pace. So I was quite surprised that when I went into some of the poses ‘lunges’ that I was able to hold them for so long as my thighs burned like crazy! The Yoga instructor was very clever at assisting with the progress of pushing the mind. Although I did have a bit of trouble calming down the chatter, I let myself go, because it was my first time …. I came out of the hour and a half session feeling absolutely relaxed and amazing. I am excited to return and continue on a personal journey of stretching the body and the mind to more than I am now…..  and maybe I will not be thinking about the wine at the end… and the crazy chatter will disappear..

Speaking of trying to get the chatter to disappear.. you may remember a little bit aruoksgo, I wrote about the RUOK day and how much I tend to struggle from day to day. After a lot of soul searching, I finally made the leap and went for some therapy. Whilst I won’t go into details of all that was said, I will say that it’s amazing what happens when you see someone you feel comfortable with, and you feel is actually listening.  With some ‘homework’ to do, I am hoping that the coming week is going to be better, and the future is looking brighter. If you are struggling, I urge you to seek help, in any form, whether it be confiding in a friend, a loved one, or a professional. In Australia, if you go to your GP, you can get a referral that will give RU OK and its ok to say youre notyou a Medicare rebate, so there are No excuses.  I definitely look forward to the positive changes that are sure to come out of it all.

And as for Teen Wolf… well… I’m late to the party, but just started watching….. Enjoying it, and can’t seem to stop watching, although I’m only on Season 1 and they are now showing Season 3….  Not much else to say, so I’ll just leave this here …

Teen-Wolf-Cast-550x366

That’s it from me. Just thought I’d pop in for a little hello, and make it known that we are all struggling within ourselves. Remember, never judge someone from how they look, or what you don’t know… We’re all making our way in life, our way….  Until next time…. Shine Bright Like a Diamond in a big fat ring on your finger *smiles*

self

Chalk Boards & Goals

50s-wife-list-1

 

Hi There!

Long time, no post! I have been super duper busy, and neglected this little site for too long! It’s time to come back and try to make it a regular update again!

So.. this post is all about goal setting. I tend to be extreme. I either go all in with something, or I just go .. meh.
One of these things seems to be goal setting. When I did my first round of 12wbt I noticed goal setting was super important, and because I was so determined to reach some goals, I did go all in. The results spoke for themselves, so I’ve often wondered why I haven’t had much success since then. It’s obvious! I hadn’t been setting achievable goals!

I recently purchased a tin of ‘blackboard’ paint from Aldi. A super awesome buy that I was going to use to repaint the kids chalkboard that had been decorated with textas! I was pretty much addicted from the get go! I kind of wanted to paint my whole house in it so I could draw all over it!! Pretty sure hubby wouldn’t be up for that!! haha! So, I found a piece of board that goes to the kids whiteboard and decided I’d paint that. I was going to use it as a shopping list, but then I had a thought… what if I used it every day and put some small, yet achievable goals to work towards. I decided that they weren’t going to be ‘set in stone’ (obviously, it’s a chalkboard, not stone!!) and if I didn’t get ALL of them done in a day, it wasn’t going to be tragic. Like I said, I tend to be a high achiever and go all in, and then get disappointed if it doesn’t work out….

The results have been cathartic. Every day I get up and think about the goals I’d like to do today. Some are practical, some are fun, and some are to do with house stuff. Mainly though, they are reminders for me. Something for me to pass by and say “Oh, that’s right, I was going to do that today!”
I’m posting these via Instagram at the moment. Feel free to find and follow me if you’re not already – I’m at SydneyGen .. I’ve also posted them below, to give you an idea of what sort of goals I’m setting. I’d love to hear about your goals, how you think about them, set them, achieve them? What do you think is important? Leave me a comment!!!

P.S You’ll notice on one of them that there is a word “WOOF” and a picture of a “pocket with a sunshine poking out” .. this was on the weekend, when I neglected my poor chalk board. I soon came to discover, that if I didn’t set myself some goals, no matter what they were, the black dog decided to snuggle up for awhile. To me, this reaffirmed the need to give myself direction, in order to move forward!!! Lesson learned!

2013 – The Year of Awesome – A Mish Mash Post

Hi There!

AGAIN… it’s been ages since I’ve blogged!! I did participate in the margarine switcheroo and whilst I thought it was interesting to trial, I’m pretty sure I still prefer butter!

So .. it’s week 1 of 2013.. how is everyone fairing? So far, I’ve had a great 2013. It was one that started with a bunch of if’s, what’s, when’s and whys!!! Change may be in the future, but we just need to sit tight and see.

I’ve taken a semester off of study so that I could concentrate on myself and my family. It has been great to have a break, but at the same time I’m itching to get back to studies. I have three courses to complete my “1st year” of my degree, and that excites me! I’m eagerly awaiting to hear that I get accepted into the “Bachelor” program. One of the best things about all this is that I’m doing it with a friend. We’re so going to be teachers one day, and we’re going to rock!!!!!!!! I’ve actually become a little obsessed with “teacher blogs”! They’ve definitely taken over “mummy blogs” !!!!

I’m not really one for resolutions, but I have thought that perhaps I should try to blog more. As a means of expression and therapy in a way. Is this me saying it out loud??? Try to hold me to it!

I still struggle daily with the ‘depression’ and the ‘anxiety’ however by focusing on all that is good in my life, I am getting through it. I have a wonderful support system that I’ve reached out to, and I encourage everyone to do as much as they can.. even if it’s sending me a message!

We are now in week 2 of school holidays. What a treasure trove of fun that has been! There’s nothing like having all the kids home, and to be the entertainment for them! Does anyone have any fun, at home, activities for under 5’s?? all suggestions welcome! I’ve been extremely lucky to have my husband home and able to take the focus away from just me, but there’s only so much “daddy” can do, before they want mummy again!

I’ve also just started again on a 12 week weight loss challenge. This one came across my email as a ‘special offer’ and while I usually ignore them, I decided that the cost of the 12 weeks was definitely worth the look. It is American based, but it’s doable! I started on my birthday, as I thought this would be a great milestone. The great thing about it is that I get to include up to 5 friends on the program, so we can have a secret support society to help each other out! I’ll let you know how it goes! I’ve actually stopped having sugar in my tea and that is HUGE! I have had sugar in my tea since I was a teenager.

Okay, well this post was full of a lot of nothing, and everything, but I wanted to get a new post for 2013 out there and happening! This year will be great! Why? Because we can make it great!!!!!!

Posts will be random, and will be about a multitude of things, but that’s what life’s about!!! Until next time… Happy Reading and Be Safe!

 

P.S One of my guilty obsessions at the moment is One Direction.. I know, I know.. you can JUDGE away, and I don’t mind.. it’s what makes me ok! Anyway, I wanted to direct you to one of their songs, and the lyrics… I think they (or Ed Sheeran!) wrote it about me!! Check it out!  lyrics

Doing the lunchbox switcheroo

Have you heard of Soup? No, I’m not talking about that yummy, winter goodness that makes you feel better on cold days, or when you’re sick. I’m talking about The Soup.com.au – a company that lets you do some market research in the comfort of your own home. I’ve been applying to Soup projects for a while now and have received some pretty awesome products to test out. There’s never a lack of interest in our house, especially with the 3 young children, and their friends and families.

This new project I’ve been assigned is all about Meadowlea margarine. It’s called the “lunchbox switcheroo” and I’m very excited to be an ‘official blogger’ on the project. Having children that are huge toast and sandwich lovers, I quite often find myself muddled over to what is best to put on them. They’re quite the ‘fussy’ lot, however there is always a request for something ‘under’ the Vegemite.  I thought this project would be perfect for our family!

When looking at children’s nutrition, in my opinion it’s always good to be looking for a whole food approach. I was absolutely astounded to read then, that by making the switch to Meadowlea you can save your kids 2.5kgs of saturated fat. If I’m saving my kids that, and I’m also eating toast/sandwiches, then I’ll be saving myself that too. This is a very good thing!

Check out these photos of what 2.5kgs of fat looks like. The kids thought it was ‘gross’ hahahaa!

Ewwwww…. And to think.. in the past year I’ve lost at least 6 of these blocks, off my body. Wow!!! Puts all the food choices into perspective!

Meadowlea is also 65% less saturated fat than butter, as well as being a natural source of Omega3, good for healthy heart function and general well-being.

For the next month, I’ll be making the switch. I’ll be reporting back as to whether the children have loved it, hated it, or not even noticed!

I’ll also be running a competition in a few weeks, with the winner receiving a $50 gift card, so stay tuned for details on that!

For now..I’m off to think of fun and creative things for the ‘lunchbox’….

Talking About Dogs..NOT the Furry Fun Kind….

We interrupt our regularly scheduled program to talk about dogs….

That’s right. I was supposed to write about the school holidays that have now long gone, but instead I feel the need to post about the dog that visited me for snuggles yesterday.

I love dogs. I would definitely be classified as a Dog person, unfortunately this is not the type of dog I like to pet, snuggle and visit with. This was ‘the black dog’. I just wanted to document, mainly for my own self, how easily it can be to go from high to low in one day.

I had a lovely morning yesterday. I got the kids off to school and daycare, and then the youngest and I went to have a coffee with a wonderful friend. WE don’t catch up enough in real life, but I so do enjoy it when we do. We had coffee, chatted and took Little Miss to the nearby park. It was lovely, relaxing and enjoyable.

How can you not LOVE and SMILE at this?!?!!

After a couple of hours, I got some lunch and headed home. My problem began when I walked into the house. I have been studying and neglecting housework so very much, and it was evident yesterday. The amount of ‘toys’ and “useless crap” that was lying around, dishes not done, kitchen a mess, was completely overwhelming. I ate lunch and put Lil Miss down for her nap.

Now here would have been a good time to get up and start clearing and cleaning away all the mess. I didn’t have distractions of a child following behind pulling things out, it was a lovely day, I had a full belly from lunch., but you know what I did? I had a sudden overwhelming urge to give up. It was a feeling inside me that crept up so gently, all I could feel was my chest hurting and the need to cry.  That was when I realized, the black dog had come knocking at the door. Not so much knocking, as showing itself in through the doggy door and settling in my lap.
All I could do was lie in bed and cuddle my blanket wondering why I could be feeling this way. My life is wonderful, I have a supportive husband, a great house, a car, I’m studying. Just another example of how this damn thing doesn’t discriminate. Luckily for me, I feel that my journey through this and the impact, or ‘length of visits’ seem to be assisted and shortened with the help of social media. My twitter followers are great, and all I have to do is tweet something about how I’m feeling and I’m overwhelmed with new ways to think and cope, and distractions to get me back on track.

At the height of my snuggles with the Black Dog

I’m also amazingly lucky to have my husband in my life. For all the pressures he is under at work, he always ‘just knows me’ and knows when I need him, even without telling him. Unbeknownst to me, he had thought I needed a break from having to wake Lil Miss and get Mr5 from school, so came home early to do a brief stopover, before continuing with his work! He was able to come home, hold me and understand.

While he left to get Mr5 I decided to have a shower and reclaim my day. There was to be no more snuggling with the black dog, things needed to be done.  Showered and dragging myself away from the computer, I started slowly… just as I had finished cleaning my kitchen, and hanging the dishcloths to dry, there was a burst of sunshine through the back doors. I smiled, for the first time in hours, realizing that the signs were there telling me to just do it. Move and keep moving. All will be ok.

By the end of the night, I’m happy to report, I had reclaimed my living room of all the children’s toys, moving them into a separate area, away from the living room. My anxiety peaks whenever I see so much mess from the kids. I’ve decided that if I take that mess away, and it’s out-of-sight, I can get my anxiety under control.

My house is now clean, tidy and I am feeling much better today. I wasn’t impressed with the visit from the dog, but I’m grateful I was able to push through it and come out the other side. It’s just amazing to me, how quickly it can creep up and take over every thought, every feeling, every sense of your being. Even when you are internally telling yourself you do not want to feel this way, You are chanting for it to go away.

Time heals all things, and with help, I know I Will get through this. I have been terrible about getting further assistance with this, but yesterday affirmed for me, I need to make it a priority.

That’s it for now…. I’ll try to post about the school holidays next… and then I’m starting to blog as a part of a Mummy blog challenge….. I’ll fill you in more soon!!

Like I said, this post was more for me, but I thank you for reading….

 

~ Something else I forgot to add, which was an incredibly important part to not succumbing too much to the black dog, was the fact that I have gained 4kgs since my weight loss journey ended, well really 6 when I was at my optimum. I am struggling with getting back on track and doing the right thing food wise. Knowing it’s 80% food choice is a mantra I keep telling myself. Yesterday when I was at a low, I kept chanting to myself – I am not hungry, I am not hungry…this is the black dog talking.. do not eat meaningless food to make yourself better….. I will admit that It was HARD! In the past I would have opened the cupboards and eaten ANYTHING and EVERYTHING, regardless of what it was. I’d make something if there was nothing. With the education I received on the 12WBT program, I was able to convince myself not to eat. A little win for me!!

Fathers Day 2012 (belated post)

I was going through my photos the other day and realised I had a couple of Fathers Day pics which really summed up what a magical day it truly was. How was your Fathers Day this year? Every year I always send out a message to all those single parents who are acting as Mum and Dad. It’s got to be tough to be a single parent, and not get any respite or reprieve, so again, I thank you parents out there that do it day in and day out!

This year all of the children were really able to get into the Fathers Day spirit! We had something very special planned and I was excited that Mr 5 and Miss 3 were able to keep it a secret!!!!

We started the day with letting Dad have a sleep in! Then when he got up we made him breakfast and let him read the paper in peace. We spent some wonderful family time at the park – minus my phone (daddy likes when mummy isn’t attached to her phone!) – and then it was time to head home and banish daddy upstairs to get his surprise ready! The kids set up the front room as a movie theatre and made a huge mattress picnic for daddy. They hid all the presents around the house and called him down.
In typical 5 year old style, daddy got NERF GUNS, underwear, and The Avengers DVD. I was ambushed by NERF guns and NERF wars, and lots of giggling and squealing!!!!!! We all settled in and had a lovely family afternoon of watching The Avengers together and spending a special Fathers Day today.

So… what did you do for Fathers Day? What type of things do you think we could do next year to top this year? We are always on a budget, so things at home are always a winner!

I hope you all had a lovely Fathers Day … Thanks for stopping by! My next post is all about surviving the school holidays!

R U OK?

It’s R U OK? Day in Australia. What is R U OK? Day you might ask? Well the website explains:

R U OK?Day is a national day of action on the second Thursday of September (13 September 2012), dedicated to inspiring all people of all backgrounds to regularly ask each other ‘Are you ok?’

By raising awareness about the importance of connection and providing resources throughout the year, the R U OK? Foundation aims to prevent isolation by empowering people to support each other through life’s ups and downs.

Being a stay-at-home Mum full-time I find it very isolating at times. You have school pick up and drop off where you can connect with other parents, and you have those days when you may go for a walk to the shops or meet at the park with friends. Apart from that, it’s all systems-go at home. The walls start to close in and the same episodes of Peppa Pig start to really get on your nerves. It is one of the reasons I have taken up my university studies again, and it’s a reason I actively participate in Social Media of various forms.  I love to communicate, chat and share with people who have the same interests. I believe it was Oprah (or probably someone before her) that said, “Knowledge is Power”, I firmly believe that being knowledgeable is powerful to the mind.

Anyway, I digress. One of the reasons I am writing this post today is to ask YOU reading this, R U OK? If you answer No, then I want you to think for a minute, and answer this question, What can I do for you? I am here for you, and I will listen. If all you need is to talk to someone, I will do it. If you need to vent, scream, or cry, I am here. If you need someone to make you laugh, I am here. I will always be here.

Now, if someone was to ask ME if I am OK, I am find today a good day to say, “No, I am not exactly OK”. For the past 6 months I have been struggling to come to terms with not feeling OK. It is one of the hardest things to admit to yourself, and one of the hardest things I can do, by putting it out here into the webiverse. Through the support of some fantastic friends and a very understanding husband, I have been to my GP and have been diagnosed with Post Natal Depression. When I first heard those words I was in denial. I mean, I’d completed all of the surveys conducted by the health care nurses, and in hospital, yet I was fooling myself. I knew exactly what they wanted to hear, so I filled them out accordingly. I didn’t want to admit that I needed help. I have always been able to handle things on my own.

However, the only person I was lying to was myself. I have 3 children under 5. That’s A LOT of pressure that I have been putting on myself. I stay at home all day and I try to make the house a happy one. With the help of those amazing friends I spoke of above, and my wonderful husband, I am able to seek the help that I need. It isn’t a quick fix, and it’s not something that I think can be solved with a ‘pill’, however through a variety of things combined, I will overcome this feeling and get to the day where I can smile and say… I am OK.  I look forward to that day. I’ve started concentrating on organising my life, studying at university and getting back into my healthy eating and exercise. Through all this, and support, I can conquer the black dog that barks so loudly in my life.

So, what was the point of this post? Well……. if just one person reading this is able to stop and say they are not OK, and go and speak to someone about it, then I feel like I have done a duty. It is important to educate ones self, to be able to answer the questions that are tapping at the door and to move on and live the best life you can, being the best version of yourself. You can be OK, and you will be OK.

I am proud to live in a country that recognises that Mental Health is real, it is not made up, and it needs to be addressed. Through many campaigns, such as R U OK? Day, we can all get together and help one another. Please, ask someone today, R U OK? If they answer No, please, let them talk it out. Give them the website to R U OK? Day and educate yourself, so that you can be the best friend that person needs.

Here are some additional resources I encourage you to have a look at:

The Black Dog Institute – A valuable resource for all things to do with Mental Health

Dancing With The Black Dog ~A wonderfully witty, candid account of one man’s victory over anxiety & depression

 

Jumping Back Into The Blog Life!

Hi!
Yes, it really is a blog post! The first in …. 1-2-3 months? No, make that, all year!! Whoopsie! I’ve been so busy and the blog took a back burner, but I’m back!!! I’ve also changed the name of the blog and have decided to make it a general topic one, rather than a ‘weight loss’ one.

Since I’ve been gone I’ve done so, so many things!

In February I had the chance the meet Michelle Bridges at a book signing!! It was great to say Hello and Thank you to the person who’s helped to change my views and ways to live life!

Image

In April I signed up and completed the Canberra Times 10km fun run. It was a great goal to have and was a really fun time. My husband did it with me and being his first time, it was a really great atmosphere.

Image

In May, for the first time in the 5 years I’ve been lucky enough to celebrate Mother’s Day, I did not sleep in!!! Instead I participated in the Mother’s Day Classic and did the 4km walk. I was originally going to run, but hubs wanted to participate in the run, so I went in the next event. The kids had a great time getting faces painted, dancing the music and jumping around!

Image

I joined a fantastic group of Sydney 12WBTers and we climbed Mt Kosciusko! The highest point in Australia! It was an AMAZING feeling and achievement and I was very, very grateful to get the last minute opportunity thanks to Rach, a fellow member of the 12WBT who couldn’t make it.

Image   Image ImageImage

I attempted a second round of the Michelle Bridges 12WBT, after a very successful 18kg loss my first round. Unfortunately I didn’t commit myself the way I should have and there was no progress, but no setbacks either.

I also had the opportunity to travel (alone!!!) to America and visit with some awesome people that I’ve known online, and in life’s past. It was absolutely wonderful! I went to Vegas and almost lost a whole day after experiencing things the way they should be!!! It was a very Hangover moment when I woke up in the middle of the day, I threw up, and discovered I’d lost half a toenail..oh and I think I was still sleeping in a formal dress I bought?!?  I hired a car and ended up with a Convertible Mustang, Yellow! My very own Bumblebee! I cruised along the highway from Las Vegas to Arizona and had the most amazing, soul-searching, quiet, experience. When “they” say some things are good for the soul, I think those moments where what “they” were talking about!

ImageImageImage

So why am I back to blogging? Well I am mainly doing it as a place to put my thoughts down, on life, love, everything in between, and also because after gaining 2kgs I’ve realised that I am not finished with my weight loss and fitness journey. There is still much to do. By acknowledging that here, I feel that I can keep myself accountable and have a place to diarise all the mundane, or the fun stuff! I’m still having my children involved with all things fitness and my 5year old son is always excited to join me on a ‘run’. We recently bought him a good pair of joggers and he can’t get enough of it!

Image

I’m also on an “organising” spree with my life. That includes house, life and everything in between! I was recently introduced to The Organised Housewife blog and I am in love! Simple, easy tips to get things back in order! Yesterday I spent ALL day going through a handy-dandy check-list from the website and I have to say, I’ve never felt so focused or in control when it came to the housework! I’ve always wanted to be a 50’s housewife! You know the one? Clean house, dinner on the table, kids happy, secretly sipping vodka in her water glass all day long!!!

Here’s my first attempt at organising: 3 kids means 3 lots of bags and clothes that need to be sorted. I’ve now used our hallway as a bag station because I figured we always have to go through it to get to the front door, or to the back room where we live most of the time. I also created an art of the week spot, so that we can rotate the artwork, and finally get it off my fridge, which made it look so cluttered!

Image

I’m also participating in the 20 Days to organise & clean your home challenge being run by The Organised Housewife blog I mentioned above. Pre-season tasks are the order of the day at the moment and the excitement is great! I’m holding on to hope I can complete this challenge and be more centred in the home and life!

On top of everything I’ve listed I’ve done many more things, and have also started university! I’m studying to be an Early Childhood/Primary school teacher. It’s been a life long goal of mine and the timing all fell into place. I’m doing it all online, which is an interesting concept, and am learning many great lessons in needing to be organised, prioritising, NOT-procrastinating, and to focus! I’ll have many, many years until I’m finally in a classroom, but all good things come to those who work hard!!

So that’s it…. We’ve got a long way to go, but everything is moving along nicely! I hope you’ll join me from time to time on this never ending journey called… Life!

Losses and Rewards

This is how I felt when I lost my polar watch

A few days ago I lost my Polar watch that goes with my heart rate monitor. Devastation doesn’t even begin to describe the emotions that I’ve experienced over these days. If ever there was a time that I thought I had a need for something, it would be now. I was extremely upset that I couldn’t find it anywhere. I usually take it off and put it in the same place, every time! Apparently I had neglected to do that the last time I used it (Friday) and it was misplaced. I remembered vaguely that my 15 month old had handed it to me and I’d thought that I better put that away in a safe place.

I slipped into a bit of a funk about it all and although I know I have deeper issues to be addressed, it was a lot to do with the watch missing. This watch is my motivator, my friend. It tells me how far I’ve gone and how far I need to go, it pushes me far more than I’ve been pushed before. I watch the numbers climb and I keep pushing on. So, to not have that really made me feel edgy and as though it wasn’t ‘worth it’ to work out, which I know is a terrible thing to say. I don’t need the heart rate monitor and in fact, for the first nine weeks of the last 12wbt challenge, I didn’t actually use one. I guesstimated, using the internet and websites that calculate. So now I wonder why I’m so reliant on this ‘tool’ that is assisting me. I mean, it’s not doing anything physically, it’s not weights, it’s not a piece of resistance equipment; it is simply a band around my torso and a watch that measures my heart rate and calorie burn.

I put the message on a Facebook support group that I was sad I’d lost it and immediately I was offered a ‘loaner’ watch. The people of the program are amazing and it’s one of the reasons I’m happy to go back for another round, but I digress. I happily accepted the loaner (Thanks Jackie!!) and was ready to go, although yesterday was a funky day (for completely different reasons – think house/kids/life stuff in general) so I pouted and didn’t work-out, although I did get roped into playing my sons wii star wars game he rented, which involved a lot of standing, jumping, and

throwing my arms about (a little incidental exercise, perhaps?!)

This morning my husband was up and out of the house for a run at 5.45am, he is amazing and is encouraging and makes me do things when I just don’t want to! He got up early, so that I could get out and go before he went to work! I didn’t want to get out of bed this morning, but I knew that he’d done that for me, so I trudged through and got dressed and strapped on the loaner polar watch and off I went. My heart wasn’t in a long, fast  run and I knew I had to get home for him to go to work, so I just managed 3.45km this morning, but it was enough to refresh the mind, wake-up and start the day. I got to the top of the hill and looked out at the sun shining and realised that it really was worth getting up and getting out. I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a morning person, never have been, however, dragging myself out and actually seeing the world come to life has it’s own special rewards. I also think my iPod is in freaky tune with me. It must have known that I was on Struggle Street today, because I put all songs on random shuffle and everything that pumped out had a popping, fun, running beat!!!!

When I got home I knew I needed to do some more, I was in the zone and wanted to keep the momentum, so I popped on the Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30, it’s only ’20 minutes’ which then turns into 30 with warm-up and cool-down. I love doing it, because it seems to go so quickly, but it also feels like a good overall work-out for the body. I was on the ground and turned my head to the side, during one exercise and what do I see under the couch?!?! MY PINK POLAR WATCH!! I can’t believe it! I swear both my husband and I looked under that couch, twice, but we didn’t see it! I’m thinking it was a light situation?! Hah! I’m so excited to have my friend back, and will be forever diligent of where I put it after my work outs each day!!

So today has started off well. I’ve managed to burn 572 calories this morning, I got to see a lovely sun-rise,  I’ve found my polar watch and the day has only just begun!

Moral of the story…… When you just get out and do it….The rewards are worth it
(look at that view! What you can’t see in this pic, is the Sydney City skyline, but I could see it!)

The other moral to the story?!? …..

Weighing in and running for it

Image

Things are going well in discovery land, every day is a new day and I need to keep pushing through temptations and trying to make the right choices.

No, I don’t need that cookie at Mrs Fields’, even if it’s called a “nibbler”, how harmful could it be?? I didn’t choose to find out! I was standing longingly at the counter having an internal debate about it being ‘okay’ if I just got one with a coffee. Lucky for me, I’d just been in a few stores and tried on some clothes, fitting into mediums and size 12 dresses!!!! This gave me enough confirmation to walk away, so I did. My hips thank me for it, but even better, the scales today reflected the decision.

Today I jumped on the scales and it’s official! 71.0kgs! (156.2lbs) which makes it an 18kilo loss so far!! My original goal for 12 months was 15-20 kilos, so we’re well on the way to surpassing goals! I also measured myself from the end of the last round and I’ve lost 8cms, mostly off the hips (that’s a very good thing!!!) I started this journey back in September and it has well and truly changed my life and who I am.

I’m hoping, for the sake of myself, that it hasn’t changed me too much. I’ve noticed that I’m always thinking about nutrition and exercise, but I have so many interests that I’ve been losing focus. For example, I haven’t done any creative writing in over a month. This makes me sad. When you’re living a ‘healthy’ lifestyle, or you’re trying to lose weight, you tend to concentrate and start to prioritize in regards to how to go about it. Unfortunately, I’ve neglected to prioritize the other things I love to do too. I must make a conscious effort to do this from now on.

I’ve been doing my dedication run this week and managed to run out another 19kms since my last blog post. I’ve only got 14 to go to have achieved the 45kms nominated. I have honestly found that having to be accountable has pushed me that little bit further, so to everyone that ‘liked’ and ‘commented’ to get me there, I thank you! The kms were for me, but they were also for you! I have a training schedule for a half marathon in 10 weeks that I’m trying to stick to. If I can stick to it, I’ll participate in the Canberra half marathon in April. I’m going to reassess my progress in about 4 weeks and see whether I should enter the 10km or go for broke! Wish me luck!

I’ve been contemplating the next step in my weight loss journey. Last night I was on the bed and pushing through the doona of fat on my belly and contracting my muscles. I was super excited that I could actually feeling my abs contracting every time I squeezed! Don’t get me wrong or let me mislead you, there is still a big belly in the way, and a layer of fat keeping everything nice and snuggly, but the fact that I could feel ‘something’ under there made me focused and determined to not stray from goals.

I have to say, I am determined and I am focused, but I am also very easily understanding how a person can to a point and think that “Oh well, I’ve already lost a bunch of weight, I can give myself a leeway every now and then.” For that I give myself a huge mental and physical slap and remember what it’s taken me to get here. When ‘they’ say blood, sweat and tears, ‘they’ weren’t lying! I’ve been on this journey for six months now and I can’t believe the changes taking place. I just have to remember that. If you have a day where you may stray, pick back up and move along. Just don’t make every day a stray day!

I have to sign up for the next round of the 12WBT and am still contemplating what I’m going to do. I am 2kgs away from my original 69kg goal, but to be in the ‘healthy’ BMI I think I need to be 65ish. I was thinking of doing the Lean and Fit program. I want to keep running, it’s definitely a mind clearer and sense of achievement every time I complete a run, but I also want to start getting stronger. I have limited upper body strength and my core needs more work! If you’ve done these rounds, or have experience with these type of programs I’d love to hear from you. I definitely need to work on the preggy belly and get those abs out and proud!!!

If you’ve never run before and you’d like to give it a try, I’d highly recommend the C25K program, that’s Couch to 5 km.  It will set you up to be running in no time! It starts out nice and easy and very achievable. If you’re an iPhone app freak, you can also download the app from iTunes to help you along! I’d love to hear if you’ve started this, how you’re going with it and what you’re getting out of it, if you start it or have done it!

For everyone doing pre-season of 12WBT let me know how you’re going with it! I’m excited to hear the new journeys and the return journeys!

Until next time! Be Safe and Stay Pretty everyone! Thanks for reading!

Dedicating my Kms

It’s been a while since I’ve been here. Holiday season and all that!??! who knows, anywho it’s a new year which means it’s back to the path to a new me. New Year – New Theme, hope you like it!

When I left you I had lost 15 kilos and had gone from 89kgs to 74kgs. A huge achievement considering I had set that 15 goal for 6 months!! Over the last month I feel as though I’ve been losing focus slowly, although the lessons I’ve learned along the way have never truly left my mind. I think that has helped to overcome some of the fear that I would revert to old ways and gain, gain, gain!

During the time away from blogging I had a great little break with friends in Canberra and also had such a wonderful birthday! I decided that it was my birthday and I was going to give myself the best gift of no stress! It’s amazing how even when I gave myself this freedom and took the pressure off, I didn’t feel the need to go absolutely crazy! We saw We Bought a Zoo (Highly HIGHLY recommended!), enjoyed a beautiful mexican dinner and indulged in some delicious cocktails (Oh how I miss those empty calorific drinks!!)

Made with Love

Birthday Breakfast - One indulgence on a special day is acceptable - right!?!!!

A couple of days after my birthday I met up with a few fellow Sydney 12WBTers and we embarked on a bush walk in the Blue Mountains. It was a great day for it and although I didn’t do as many calories as I truly thought I would, it was a very enjoyable couple of hours and a wonderful achievement when we made it to the end!!!

So Many Steps!!!!

So that bought me to the next stage of getting these grams gone! I needed to find some additional motivation. I saw a post on Facebook by Jayne (a fellow 12Wbter) who had said she will dedicate 1km to each LIKE she got on her status. I was watching her numbers climb, climb, climb and thought, hmmm this might be a good idea, except there’s no way I’m going to get around to do over 60kms!!! So I set a few guidelines and asked my Facebook friends to help me start running again. I said I’d dedicate a km to each of them. In the end I got 41 people = 41kms, and I added the family to make it 45! I’ve started the runs, but must remember to try to get out there early as the summer heat is a killer!!

With everything I do, I need accountability so I’ve got the pics to prove it!! I’m 12kms down and each time I’m managing to improve the time.

Steady as she goes, isn’t that the saying? It’s definitely what I’m doing! I enjoy running, although I struggle sometimes, I just love being outside and

being able to clear my head. I saw this image on Facebook and it gave me such a chuckle that I had to share, for all those that feel they may not be able to do it, or I’m sure there’s a few of you who can relate…

Every day is not always roses and is not always great, and there have been many times where I’ve felt that I’ve been straying on the path of focus and achieving. I think our biggest critic is ourselves and that I need to work on a lot of things with my inner self so that I can have them reflect on my new outer self. There are many days where I still can’t see the huge amount of weight loss that I’ve achieved. I think it’s because I’ve spent so many years as the way I was? I’m not sure. I weighed in today and was down from 74kgs back from my last post to 71.9kgs!! Through all the small efforts and staying consistent within my limits and boundaries I am leading myself to success. I just need my mind to catch up! There are also times where I think ‘Wow, have I really done that?’….looking at those numbers, I am only 2.9kgs away from a 20kg loss!! Twenty freakin kilos? That’s just madness! That’s my 4 1/2 year old!! Anyway, I think I’m rambling now!!! I’ll leave you with another great capture I got from Facebook. I love Mish and everything she has helped me achieve, but I also love Jillian Micheals, and on her Facebook the other day she said something that I really needed to see and read at that very exact moment (the world works in those weird ways, hey?!)

Remember to believe in yourself and you will achieve. Thanks for reading, I hope to hear from you all and would love to know how you all spent your holidays and what fun things you did?!

Those times when you can’t be…..

I have a confession to make…….. I’ve been slacking off.

I know, I know. I went hard for 12 weeks and then splat….I fell flat on my face. I’m not sure where it’s coming from, whether it’s because I’m not following a “plan” every day, or whether it’s because I’m a little bored with the working out?

It’s terribly hard to do everything by yourself and without the motivation of having someone working along side you, or against you if you’re competitive like that.

I must admit that before the previous 12 weeks, I would have given up and not even cared. Luckily, I’ve had a mind-set change and have been able to train my brain to JFDI when the time calls for it. Last Saturday morning I was awake early and on the couch wishing I was still sleeping. I received a text from a friend asking if I wanted to work. Believing in signs *yeah, I’m spooky like that* I took the opportunity and ran with it by accepting, well actually we walked, but it was a good decision to make. Together we did 6kms and from her house to mine it was about 8km!! Not bad for a nice quick paced walk and talk! Training with friends, in any way, seems a whole lot better. Some days I wish my husband and I could go out together, but alas, 3 kids will do that!!!

Anyway, today was another day where I couldn’t be stuffed. I didn’t feel like doing a huge cardio workout and I didn’t want to do a thing, even though I knew that if I did, I’d feel better. Last night I downloaded some free exercise apps that had 5-8-15 minute workouts for targeted areas. This morning, while the kids were watching Play School I ended up doing 5 minutes of abs, 5 minutes of legs, 5 minutes of arms and 5 minutes of butt…..20 minutes of focused exercise. Did I feel better? Yes, I did. My philosophy of something being better than nothing definitely paid off today. As did all the housework we can throw in as incidental exercise!

With the Knowledge that I haven’t been putting a whole lot of cardio/exercise effort into my days, I’ve been trying to watch my calorie intake. I’m not sure if there’s any scientific studies that have been done or not, but I swear when it’s TTOTM I just want to eat, eat, eat, even if I’m eating proper, whole meals. I’ve crept slightly over on a day or two, but also acknowledge and own it.

Soooo..this post was mainly just for me to get my thoughts down and out there. Acknowledging and owning my actions and learning. So far I’m 15 kg down and those 15 are never allowed back. I’m continuing on my discovery of myself and taking one day, one moment, at a time….

Finale Celebrations and In Between Weigh Ins

Hi All!

I haven’t posted about last weeks finale celebrations because I wasn’t sure how to put everything into words (I know right, me…not knowing how to put things into words?!?!)

Basically, it was amazing, inspiring, fun and an opportunity of a lifetime.

Through the generosity of Mum looking after the kids and a ride in from a fellow 12WBTer  (thanks Sue!) I was able to attend the Finale Workout at Centennial Park. I was among 1000+ other people, celebrating our 12 week achievements!!!! It was an amazing vibe and there was so much passion and happiness in the air. Wearing my purple “Sydney crew” singlet it was great to be able to identify fellow Sydneysiders and say Hello to them and introduce myself, even if I’ve never met them before.

I thought the best way to show you was in photos, so I’m just going to post some up here…

Sydney Crew with Mish before the workout - already pumped to go!

Getting into it!!!!!

Why am I smiling? Oh right, a break in the routine!!

We did it!! Sydney Crew AFTER shot!! (What is UP with my face?!?!!!)

It was a brilliant morning and I was so glad I got to go. It truly was a celebration of the 14.1kgs I managed to drop on my own. I thoroughly enjoyed working out with others and hope that they can do similar things during the rounds (not just at end, that’d be awesome!)

Up until the Friday, I wasn’t going to be attending the finale party. We couldn’t afford it, nor could we find babysitters. Through the generosity and luck I was given a ticket by a fellow 12WBTer! (Thanks Diana)

It was a wonderful night and I was truly inspired by the people who were there. The night was a definite affirmation for me to come back next round and to smash my final weight loss before possibly getting into a Lean & Fit program. If they can, then I definitely can!

Me all dressed and ready to go!!!

***as a follow-up, I am now giving this dress away! Dare I say it, it was too big!! I spent all night making sure the top wasn’t falling apart or off and letting everything hang out! Even the Hollywood tape failed me!!! Another cause for celebration!!!***

and now…. the official round of 12wbt is over and the pre-season of the new round doesn’t start until mid-January, but that’s not stopping me! I still have just under 10 kilos to goal and I’m giving myself a head start. So without further ado .. another update:

This whole experience has been a change for life. So many small things are making sense and are making a difference. I recently read something on my Facebook written by a health advisor. She said something to the effect of: Use your calories like you would with money. Budget them. Don’t give up the things you really love, if you don’t want to, but instead put them within your budget.  I truly believe this is also a successful way to help you out. If you aren’t ready to give up the things you’re attached to, then don’t. Just be accountable for them, but also remember to think – does my body need this to survive, or am I just eating this because I’m emotionally attached to it!?! Food for thought.

This has been my mini mantra throughout - it just makes sense!!!

AND WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS..this is WILDLY APPROPRIATE:

Thanks so much for reading about this journey. I hope in some way I’ve helped you out in your own journeys. I’ve appreciated all the wonderful words and signs of support. It’s meant so much to me! I’ll be back next round to blog lots and I’ll also be adding a vlogging component to the site. It’ll be easier for me to talk things out and you’ll be able to see me in all my tired, exhausted worked out glory!! Hope to see you then!!

When you just need to do it

Two posts in one day?!? Whoa Gen, settle down!!!

This is just a quickie, cause even those are worth it sometimes..wait…what….moving on!

20111207-073916.jpg

I struggled out of bed today!! I’m definitely in the I don’t wanna stage! Just thought I’d share some cute pics from my morning go….

My 1 year old enjoys challenging me to work “around her” and her morning cuddles!!

20111207-073955.jpg

how am I supposed to get anything done with this cutie in my lap? Extra weights?!!!!

20111207-074047.jpg

Mummy’s little calorie inspector – better keep going, not much there!

Hope these made you smile like they did me! Just remember, you can do it anywhere, you just have to adjust!

Let’s start the 6wbt

So the official 12 week body transformation round has ended. I think I might have pouted for a couple of days before I realized its not over. I’m not at goal, and pouting doesn’t burn
Calories (or maybe it does just not enough!!)

I received an email yesterday from the team! Check it out:

20111207-061536.jpg

I was thrilled with this. I mean it’s taken me a lot of time staring at my before and after pic to see the change that’s happening. I actually got another email saying the calculations were incorrect and I’d Lost 15.84%!

My Gold Star of the program (I always did love getting my school work back with stickers on it!!)

20111207-062533.jpg

I’m not sure I’m brave enough to post my undies shot so I’ll take a vote. Let me know if you think I should….

I won’t be going to the finale party on Saturday night. Once I worked out cost of babysitter and accessories it was just too much money. I would love to use that money for the Las Vegas trip next year! I’m still struggling to find a job which is a little depressing. That’s really tough to handle sometimes and it’s really showing how far I’ve come as I haven’t turned to comfort eating at all. Lucky we don’t have the comfort food handy!!

There is a massive workout at centennial park on Saturday. If I go I have to take the kids (again, no babysitters and I can’t afford the $22 per hour being charged!!) this will be an adventure. I have no idea how to get there or where to park!!!!! I’ll add this to pre-bucket list — survive 3 kids in the city, alone!

It’s Wednesday so I’ve done a weigh in…I’m trying to decide whether I start off where we finished, or start from scratch. Either way, the results of this week are:

-500grams

I haven’t used numbers here ever as I thought that might be labeling, but if you think I should, let me know as well! We can start with my “starting weight” next week!

I better go. It’s 6:30am.. time to put on the new compression pants and sweat it out!!

Don’t forget – I’m still looking for things for the 5 year bucket list that isn’t!!!!

short shout out to Linda who is enthusiastically joining the program next round. She’s already making changes and has started blogging. I look forward to reading updates!

another quick shout out to Diet Schmiet who has blogged honestly about her personal journey. Reading her posts often help me get into the right head-space (so thank you Schmiet!!) good luck with your future, look forward to reading about it

For anyone else who has sent me messages I thank you. You don’t realize how much it means to me. It’s pushed me along when I’ve felt like giving up (which has happened more times than I’d like to
Blog about!!!)

For anyone thinking of making the change and joining any type of program….

20111207-063640.jpg

It’s the End… but it’s only just begun

Hi Everyone! GUESSSSSSSSSSSS WHAT?????????????

I DID IT!! I survived to tell the tale of my 12 week body transformation journey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can you believe it’s been three months already?? I can’t!! There have been bumps in the road, there have been teeny tiny set-backs, but in the end…there was joy!

It’s been a crazy ride and I’m not ready to get off yet! I still have a goal to achieve and am starting again tomorrow, from scratch! We’re putting the results of these 12 weeks aside, and we are going for gold again!

Soooo… here’s the summary:

If you’d have given me ANY of those numbers at the beginning of the program I would probably have scoffed at you!! I sit and stare at my before and after photos, still in disbelief!!! I am well on my way to being the person I want to be, and this program has been it for me.

I am going to blog more very very soon about feelings, but for now I just wanted to give you the final results!!! Thanks for coming along with me and for reading and commenting and blogging and texting and inspiring ME to be the best version of me!