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!

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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

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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:

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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!!!)

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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….

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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…

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so for now.. I’ll stick with this!

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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.

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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!

Wednesday Weigh-In Week 11 + Revisiting Goals and Expectations

It’s week 11 of the 12 week body transformation program that I signed up for. I can’t believe it’s been almost 3 months.  In pre-season we set goals for ourselves. As this round comes to a close I thought it would be good to go back and see what the ‘pre-season’ goals I had written for myself were, and to check out how far along I had come. Well then, wasn’t I a low expectation setter!!!

1 month goal: lose 1-2kgs – run ANY distance without huffing and puffing — CHECK

3 month goal: lose 5kgs – Run without needing to stop after a few minutes – CHECK
Buy a pair of jeans in the ‘normal’ section – CHECK

6 month gaol: lose 10kgs – Run 4kms without stopping

As you can see, I blitzed 1 & 3 month goals and need a heavy re-evaluation!! As for the 6 month goal, I still have 3 months to get to the 4kms without stopping, but that should be helped along with the Run Clinic I’m doing this weekend through Mind Body Motion Fitness Solutions.

My new goals are to run as many fun-runs as I can leading up to a half-marathon. I’m thinking of giving myself about 6 months for this goal.

As for the weight – the numbers are in for this week! I’ve been pushing myself on the weekends and again, hit the 1000 calorie mark on Saturday and then attended a Boxing training class at the park on Sundays with a program called Pain in the Park with AC Fitness. Combined with at-home workouts and eating well I’ve lost more weight this week!

After yesterdays post I’ve had time to reflect and come to realise that I do need to be concentrating on how far I’ve come, instead of how far I want to go. In working towards success I must also celebrate the victories that I’ve achieved. I’ve said previously that you must celebrate the small things, in order to see the big picture. Looking at these numbers I surely can say without a doubt that I am smiling at my success.

If ever there was a time where I thought I would doubt myself, or I thought that I’d just do it tomorrow, it’s now. I’ve stepped up the plate and I’ve met the challenges set out for us and the changes that needed to happen, head on. I always seem to go into things enthusiastically and full-force, and I believe in one of the earlier posts I mentioned that I often start to fade and end up missing out on the completion of tasks. Or I get distracted and move onto other things. I decided to join up for this round because I knew I needed the help to stay focused and I needed the right person to tell me how it is and what to do. Seriously, this program has been that. A life-saver really.

I can’t say that this has been easy to do, but the moment I took control and responsibility of my actions it did become a lot, lot easier.

In saying that, it actually wasn’t all that hard to stop doing the things we’d been doing to sabotage ourselves. I remember a couple of months ago, my husband and I decided to add up a ‘typical Sunday’ in regards to food. A typical day when we didn’t really watch our food or portion sizes and we thought we were doing good, because we were having salad with dinner… I was HORRIFIED to see that it all added up to over 4000 calories!! I can’t believe I was putting that through my body, then sitting and being miserable because I felt so fat!!! The lessons in mind and body that this program has taught me have become so invaluable to me. Only last night my husband and I were discussing food and I pointed to a nice dessert in a magazine saying that it looked really good. He actually said to me that it didn’t really appeal to him. I nearly fell off my chair. This is the dessert man and the man who would sit and eat a whole block of chocolate, not three months ago! It’s as if our body chemistry has changed and we no longer crave that manufactured food!!  What a bloody wonderful thing that is!!! Although I did say I could go one of those gorgeous french pastries you find in the boutique bakeries!!!!

I’m a  huge believer in the program and if you want to change, then I say go for it. Do it. But know this…You have to commit over 100 % of yourself to the program and the lessons. Nobody can do it for you and nobody can change you, but yourself. People can ‘help’ you along with support and such, but in the end it’s you that has to do the hard work. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen *insert hair flick!* and although times might get tough and you might want to give-up, it’s a lifestyle change,  not just a fad and not just an in-the-moment-ideal…a new way of life.. a new lease on life! Creating the best version of me that I possibly can.

The weather lately hasn’t been the best. We’ve gone from hot-as-hell to rainy-and-want-to-stay-in-bed weather! This morning was a definite CBF day but I thought I better get down and do something! Pilates seems to be my go-to when I’m in one of those moods. Rather than a high-cal burn it’s still stretching and toning muscles. It’s usually a quick and easy work-out except for this morning. The kids were in cuddly moods too! I just wanted to show you, to prove that YOU can do it too, that work-outs can be done when you have kids, you just have to adapt!!

       

Mini Milestone Week 8 Smashed

My running bib and spot prize "visor" I won

Holy Grilled Cheesus what have I done?!?! That’s exactly what I thought Saturday morning after picking up our running bib and timing chip for the Brooks Spring into Shape Race 2, at Parramatta Park. You see, my husband and I talked ourselves into changing our distance from 4km to 8km!!!

It’s been seven years since I’ve ‘ran’ any distance of length and I guess I was up for the challenge??  Definitely up for the challenge! It was a beautiful Sydney morning and hubs and I had left the kids at the in-laws and headed into Parramatta. Due to changing the distance we had time up our sleeves, so we popped home and had a quick coffee! Nothing like that little extra oomph to help out! I was actually nervous. I knew in my heart that I could do this, but it was such a big step. I’d been on YouTube checking out running videos and technique to brush up and to prevent injury, and I was raring to go!

Watching everyone come over the line for the 4k race was great and I tried to clap for everyone, knowing that it’s such a huge effort to get out and do any type of distance. I spent the 20 minutes before the start reining in my excitement and nervous energy so that I could use it to my advantage!

Hubs and I at the START - why are we smiling?? We're crazy! We're just about to torture ourselves and we're smiling!

A quick group warm-up and we were ready. I would say there were about a hundred participants, and when the buzzer went off, we all pushed forward.  I had my iPod on and my ‘running track’ music pumping the whole way. The km markers seemed like they were a great distance apart (ha-ha, yeah yeah, I Know, they were 1k apart!!) but each time I saw them I pushed that little bit harder. Going around the first time and onto the second lap I knew I’d made the right choice to change to the 8k. I felt extremely determined. I wasn’t worried about my time, although I was trying to get less than 8 minutes because that is what I’d been doing on my regular flat runs.

The scenery was lovely (erm..I may be talking about the shirtless footy players that had finished training, sorry hunnnni!!) One of the great things about running is anyone can do it! There were so many people of different ages, different shapes and sizes!  With each step I took I knew that this was the right choice for my mini-milestone. As I was coming onto the 7k marker, my iPod switched to “This is the best thing that has ever happened to me” and I couldn’t help but break into a huge smile. This whole journey, the 12WBT journey, has truly been the best journey I’ve had in a very, very, very, very, long time, if not ever!   My husband had left me behind half way through, he’s taller and slightly faster and I didn’t want to hold him back! It was really great to run into the final few metres and have him with me, smiling and encouraging me!!!

The adrenaline shot through me as I crossed the finish line, knowing I had finished it! I had run the 8kms in approximately 1 hour 2 minutes! (There’s been a glitch in the system and my time hasn’t been recorded. I sent an email and they’re having the timing manager look into it).  I walked a few times, to catch my breath and recover, but I am really happy with my efforts!

We did IT!!! Now we can smile and have a valid reason!!! Mini-milestone SMASHED!

I just want everyone to know that being in the right frame of mind and challenging yourself will reap the most awesome benefits!!! I feel great and can’t wait until we do our next event!  I’m also going to do a running clinic at the end of the month, to get to the right ‘tools’ to succeed. I’m definitely looking forward to that!