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!

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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?

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!

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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!!!!!

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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!

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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!