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Sunday, 5 August 2012


As mother or even just a woman, we always feel the need to be doing everything at once and sometimes what we're doing doesn't quite feel "good enough" so we add some more things in to the mixer to ensure that what we're doing really is good enough, whilst not actually realising how damaging this pressure can be to many aspects of our lives; emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually. I think too, that once you reach the peak of all this pressure, you become "numb"... you lose all sense of feeling as you're in survival mode to ensure everything and everyone around is still moving, whilst you stand still and feel like you're not actually living, but standing still and watching everything go on around you. And eventually... something will occur to "snap" you out of this cycle... until next time that is...

The last few months have been huge in my life but as Dory once said "just keeping swimming, just keep swimming" and that's what I've been doing. I've been surviving; I've been going through the motions of life but looking back now, it's all a blur. It's all a blur as I was standing on the outside of my life, absolutely exhausted in so many aspects, just surviving and watching everyone go on around me and wondering how I got here and then all of a sudden, you're bought back to life with an almighty thud when you realise how precious life can really be.

Very recently, the world lost a beautiful, gentle, man who will be forever missed and not having the chance to say goodbye has bought to the surface many questions that we all face when we lose someone. What is most important in my life? What do I need to ensure I'm making the most of my time here? Can I possibly keep existing like this"? and to be honest the answer is "NO"!... no one can exist like this... it's not natural, it's not healthy and most of all it will destroy you or something you cherish, one way or another. And unfortunately, over the past few weeks, there are quite a few things that I cherish that have nearly been destroyed forever due to this innate pressure I feel I need to place on myself.

I constantly say to those that question me and tell me to slow down... "I don't know any different"... but this really doesn't cut it any more. I'm a grown 30 year old woman, who has made my own path in life, full of wonderful choices, full of some not so good choices (I'm claiming I was young!, but I wouldn't change them!) and of course I now, STILL DO HAVE A CHOICE. We all do, we all are responsible for our own lives, we make our own choices and it is our own responsibility to ensure we're living a life we're happy with. It's no one else's responsibility. If you're reading this and thinking, "no it's not, _____ did this" or "I HAVE to do this"... no you don't! No one is forcing you to do anything... yes, you may prefer not to work, but if you wish to have a roof over your head and food on your table, that's what you have to do. You might not like to work, but IT IS A CHOICE you make so you can live with a roof over your head and eat food prepared in your clean kitchen.

YOU just need to be be clear on what choices you make to ensure you're living a life you're happy with; if you don't like the choices you've made... change them. No one is stopping you... and you deserve to make choices that make you happy... if that means you hurt others in the process, that's unfortunate but YOU need to look after YOU... because at the end of the day, YOU need to leave this world knowing that YOU did what YOU wanted whilst you were here... and YOU made the most of your time here.

So I ask you to think about your life, think about the choices you make that have a huge impact on your life but also think about the ones that have a small impact on your life... reason being is you may find the ones you think are huge aren't so big and the ones that are so tiny you forget they exist, are the ones that deep down at the end of the day will decide whether the life you live is what you really want for the time you have left here?

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Whilst I always "think" about my blog... I never actually find the time make the time! to catch up and do some writing. The last time I logged in to have some green sunshine, I accidentally deleted my favourite post and then spent hours trying to find it! Luckily, a lovely man somwhere on the other side of the world, came to my rescue and I was able to re-post it (just with the wrong date!). Don't you hate that, when you just feel so busy you make stupid mistakes when all you're trying to do it be productive, sometimes maybe too productive?

Last time I checked in we were at Week 4 of the Michelle Bridges 12WBT, we are now at WEEK 10!!! It's gone so quick! We've got 3 weeks to go until Round 1 is complete. Due to injury & illness, I haven't trained since Week 5 and as you can imagine, when we don't train, we don't eat great either!!! So needless to say, eating and training went well and truly down the gurgler but I still managed to lose weight. You may say "that's awesome", "congratulations"... but it wasn't good at all. I was losing weight with the bad habits I joined the 12WBT to get rid of! Throw some stress in and you have my body's magic recipe for losing weight; eat crap and stress! Whilst the number on the scales was decreasing, I was getting more and more dissatisfied.

I joined the 12WBT to lose weight in a ways I could be proud of and in ways that required hard work! I'm one of those people who at times can eat loads and loads of crap and pull a good number on the scales! I always counted myself lucky for this until I recently experienced reaching my GOAL WEIGHT with little effort! I stood on the scales at Week 8 and my "magic number" appeared (well I was actually lower than my goal weight!) It was SO dissatisfying. I was really annoyed that I'd reached my goal weight because I knew that the ways in which I'd acheived it were not the healthy ways I wanted to live my life!

Then Easter appeared... and OMG! I ate plenty of chocolate, didn't train and you know what... I gained 600g at Week 9. It was the most satisfying 600g of my life! I was heavier than my goal weight... my body has given my a second chance! A second chance to take the 12WBT by the reins and get to my goal... MY WAY! In ways I can be proud of; eating 3 regular meals & 2 snacks, drinking loads of water (thanks to Judy for the reminder SMSs) and getting back in to training! I feel so grateful that my body has given me this opporunity, so that when we turn up at the finale workout and the finale party (watch our Plaza Ballroom, we're a coming!!!), I can be proud. I can be proud of my journey from start to finish... I'll always know that there were 5 weeks were I slipped off the rails but the best, most satisfying knowledge is that I picked myself up. I picked myself up and my body gave me a second chance. A second chance to live the life I want to. A second chance to embrace the opportunities that life presents but most importantly, a second chance to trust myself and believe that I can achieve!

I'm not saying that I'll never 'slip off' again, I have no doubt I probably will because that's life... but I've done it once and I can do it again. I can dust myself up and pick myself up each and every time I slip. Each and every time I do this, allows me to learn and keeps me heading in the right direction. You never know, sometimes when we do slip, it might purely be because we were heading in the wrong direction. Our slip ups might be actually more than that... it might just be the universe's way of saying... "hey, you think that's the direction your journey should be taking but I've got other ideas"... you just have to believe that where you are right now, is exactly we're you're supposed to be. And if you don't like where you are... make some changes and see what happens. That way you know you gave it everything you had with no regrets.... you never know... you might end up somewhere wonderful....

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

49 days later...

I really need to check in on my blog more often and remind myself of what I've written, particularly my last post! So it's been 49 days since that post and I'm happy to say I have NOT taken one photo! I've decided that clearly that "goal" isn't important for me at the moment and that's OK. We take photos on our phone quite regularly so that will just have to do for me now, rather than pulling the SLR camera out and trying to get the "perfect" shot and worrying each day that I must get a photo to represent today. That's an added pressure I don't need at the moment!

The 12WBT is coming along and the Facebook group I created is now up to 116 members! It's crazy to think that the group I started (hoping for 10-15 members to hopefully catch up and train with) has gathered momentum and this number of ladies! We're up to Week 4 (tomorrow) of the 12WBT and so far all is going OK... Week 3 (this week) was a hiccup for me; back injury put me out of training, old eating habits crawled back and self-doubt set in. So instead of dwelling on this as I would normally have done and continued this old eating habits, I've spent some time thinking about how they crept their may back in... I need to train. It's a pretty simple thing. I need to be physically active and energised to keep my mind in check and to allow me to enjoy the most of what life has to offer. Training also encourages me to nourish and look after my body so that I can cope with my training and feel the best! Needless to say, I'm looking forward to a ripper Week 4 and actually really looking forward to not having another piece of chocolate! I'm sooooooooooooo tired from eating crap and not training that I can't dig myself out of this hole quick enough.

I'm not sure I would have come to these conclusions as quickly as I had if it wasn't for the wonderful women I've met through Facebook. Whilst yes, this social media avenue is sometimes used for not very nice things, but I would like to disagree that it CAN be used for good rather than evil and my 12WBT group is evidence to this. We comprise of women from all walks of life, some with families, others not, some young, some more mature and the list could go on about our differences but the one thing we have in common is we want to change our lives; we want to change the way with live our life, the way we treat ourselves and the way in which we give ourselves the best opportunities of living life to the MAX!. I sometimes feel the "pressure" to hide my faults and failures (eating crap!) from the group, as being the "creator" I feel like I need to have all the answers and be a role model for these ladies... but then I'm not being honest with them. I'm not saying to them "hey... I might not have the greatest amount of weight to lose, I might be skinny... but you know what? Skinny girls still have battles to fight as well!" Just cause I don't have as many kgs around my tummy, doesn't mean that my head feels the same". So, today... I put it out there; I put it out there that I was struggling, that week 3 had got the better of me... and you know what I got in return... SUPPORT! That is all I got. Pure, non-judgemental, encouraging support... and for that I will be forever grateful. I will be forever grateful for these women... who I created the group for to assist them in changing their lives but in the process, whether they know it or not, they're changing mine.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

No title...

How quickly does 3 weeks of holidays go? I'll tell you.. way too bloody quickly that's for sure! I'm heading back the practice tomorrow to commence the working year. Whilst part of me is happy to be getting some routine back into our household, I'm not keen on the additional pressure that working brings either! But I'm hopeful that this year will be a little smoother as I feel I've got a bit more of a handle on myself and what makes me happy and what makes me tick, what's worth wasting my energy on and what's not etc! Whilst I may not have achieved everything I wanted to during my holidays, I am thankful that I had the 3 weeks to at least tick some things off and the other stuff will just have to be gradually ticked off as time permits after work committments, home committments, health committments and of course craft committments!

My previous post was all about goal setting for 2012... well you'll have a good laugh to know that I've only managed to fill in one goal page of my journal (and that was only done 3 days ago!). I just wasnt in the "right frame of mind" to be setting my goals so I decided that it was PERFECTLY ok to not do them then. I would much rather make the process an enjoyable one and most of all realistic one where I've had time to think and decide what I can actively and realistically achieve over the coming 350 days! This just shows me how far I've come as the "old" me would have not budged on this, they would have had to be completed on January 1, 2012 by COB and come January 2, I would have no idea what I would have written! I would have set the bar WAY TOO high and from then rolled myself successfully down the stairs in failure.

Whilst I haven't put pen to paper, there are however, a couple of things I will fill you in on (just as a reminder to myself too!) that I plan on doing in 2012...

* A photo a day - I'm going to document my life with one photo per day to represent some kind of activity that occurred. I planned on showing you the first 14 days today, but the computer was playing hardball and I'm not spending my last day of holidays fighting with it when the beautiful sunshine is calling my name! I can't wait to January 2013, when I can look back on this and see what our life was all about in 2012. I'm taking photos of stuff that aren't necessarily "big things"... more the little things that make us happy along the way.

* Michelle Bridges 12week Body Transformation - yep, I've signed up to what will be the most interesting 16 weeks (4 weeks of pre-season activities) of my life. Whilst I don't have a lot of weight to lose, that's not what this is about for me. It's about putting the last pieces of the puzzle together in my head, seeing how far I can actually push my body to see what it can achieve and most of all learning to encourage myself (rather than encouraging others and hiding behind that!). I've got some big mental blocks to jump over and hoping this programme will be exactly what I need! I started a group on Facebook for all the 12WBTers in our area and so far in 19 days we're up to 56 members and they are the most wonderful, supportive and motivating woman going around. We hardly know each other, but you certainly wouldn't think that!

* Routine - I'm a stickler (if you haven't gathered) for routine and organisation but what I realised in 2011 was it's great to be like this... but who for? It certainly wasn't for me... so this year, I'm going to be organised for ME and organise stuff that I enjoy doing and like every mother out there... (try?) and put myself first! (I was so excited the other day, I told hubby that I just need an afternoon to myself and that I was taking myself to the movies and to dinner just to regroup before someone lost their head in our house!!! And a double bonus, I spoiled myself with a pedicure after much ummming and ahhhing!).

There are lots of other things I'm hoping to look at acheiving in 2012 but until I find the right head space and more importantly make the time to sit and write these down, I"m happy with these 3 (although I'm yet to do the routine part!!)...they'll do for now and that's all that matters... NOW! Not yesterday, not tomorrow but right this minute... x

Friday, 30 December 2011

WOWZA! I actually didn't realise that it had been 3 months since my last post! How time flies when you're having fun? or caught on the rollercoaster of life! As per the life that everyone experiences, it's been busy, fun, stressful, exciting, sad and the list could go on but you all know how it goes particularly when it comes to December and CHRISTMAS appears right under Rudloph's shining red nose! So with Christmas celebrations out the way, I've had some time to start thinking about the New Year, 2012! Yes, I'm one of "those people" who look to the New Year, with new goals and resolutions... some which stick and probably more than not, those that don't!

For some reason (not sure why yet), I'm REALLY looking forward to 2012. I turned a nice round age in 2011 and since then, I feel that my perspective has changed a little! I worried so much in the last decade about what other people thought, was I a good enough person?, do people like me? and the list could go on! Having started this new decade, I've decided that I'm not going to worry about these things any more; it's just a complete waste of energy and yes, I am a good person and yes people do like me. If no one liked me, how could I possibly have the wonderful, supportive girlfriends that I do today? The answer is.. I wouldn't have them and I wouldn't be on this ride!

So to keep with the change in thinking, on a holiday in 2011, I gained the courage to put myself on a Toboggan! Yes, I know... it's only a Toboggan but my brain sees/ hears Toboggan and thinks "injury" "out of control" "accident" and all these other negative terms which take over any sensible thinking. But this time, my sense of regret was more than my sense of injury! So, i dug deep and after watching my 3 year old! go down, I figured I had nothing to lose (maybe a finger or I could break a bone but no one ever died from those!). So on I hopped!!! And I must say I'm so very pleased I did! Not only was the view from the toboggan AMAZING! but the freedom I felt as I zoomed around the track was something I hadn't felt in a very long time! and the old cliche of the "wind in my hair" was such a refreshing feeling!

This toboggan experience also gave me a new insight into the busy lifestyles of society these days... just like the toboggan, I CAN actually control AND choose how slow or busy my life is... if I wanted to go fast on the toboggan, I pushed the lever down and if I wanted to slow things down, I just pulled the lever up, so in turn... If I wanted my life to be busy and fast, I'd say "yes" to everything but then if I wanted to change the pace a little, all I had to do was pull that level up and say "no"... it really was as simple as that. There was nothing complicated about it... it was just a matter of two simple little words... that we all struggle to say! Which one do you struggle say?

So with 2012 upon my doorstep, I'm still going to make my resolutions (I know that one of my resolutions... will definitely have something to do with one of these words... can you guess which one?)  but I'm also going to take the pressure off myself to achieve them all and allow myself to adjust them along the way as life goes up and down and around! For the first time ever, I'm going to try and take my time and enjoy achieving what I set out for myself rather than racing around like I'm on acid, trying to achieve everything all at once in the quickest amount of time possible which is how I usually roll!

With 2012 here in approximately 37 hours, I encourage you to do the same; I encourage you to not only decide which two letter word is going to be your mantra for 2012 but to also set yourself some goals for 2012 (you've got 365 days to achieve them!) but in the same notion, allow yourself the opportunity to relax and review these every week, month, 3 months whatever suits you to see if they are still suitable to where you are at the moment or where you want to be at the end of the month or year. Wherever that may be, trust that that's where you're supposed to be... 'cause you never know... it just might lead you somewhere pretty wonderful!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

I'm not too great at this "regular" blogging thing am I?

I've just returned from spending a week away with my boys recently in beautiful Merimbula, NSW, Australia. We've been to Merimbula two years in a row and how much has life changed in that year! Merimbula will always be a special place for me as when we went the first time, it ended up being the perfect antidote for my depression. It was at Merimbula, that I had the time and the space (and the beautiful ocean) to sit and reflect and make some decisions that would change my life forever.

I've never been medicated for my depression (I tried 2 days of anti-depressants, but had a severe reaction and that's a whole other story) so I have always tried to manage my illess through naturopathic channels, counselling and any other way I could find that worked! The biggest decision I made at Merimbula and one that would change my life forever , was to join a gym! I hadn't been a member of a gym for around 5 years and certainly hadn't done a lot of manage my health or fitness during this time; I think I exercised about 3 times when I was pregnant, then after the birth of my son, always tended to find an excuse (as you do!) and then between starting a business when my son was 6 months old, going back to work and trying to be the perfect mother, I had let the gym bunny side of me take a big hopping leap. This was a big thing for me as my first job was working at at gym and being fit, active and healthy has always been a part of my life and over time I've come to realise it's a part of WHO I am! 

So, 4 days after we returned from Merimbula, I started researching local gyms to find one that suited me. I attended trials at a few but still couldnt' find one that suited me and most of all one where I felt comfortable being me; depression, anxiety and all! My last resort was a local "women's only" gym... I'd never thought of attending a women's only gym. Where I've worked always had men and women, so the novelty of a women's only gym had never really appealed to me. I thought after all I'd been through, I didn't have much to lose. I took the chance and stepped through the doors; I felt right at home as soon as I walked in. The manager that greeted me listened to everything I said I needed and  and really understood what I needed to get me going and to get me managing my illnesses. It was nice for a change to not feel judged but feel supported by a complete stranger! I signed up straight away and I've never really looked back... since then this "stranger" is no longer a stranger but someone who I can turn to for encouragment and support. I was also introduced to another "stranger" (my trainer) who I now regard as one of my closest confidantes... she gets me and doesn't pull any shit. She's a realist and tells me how it is... I must say when she first did this I thought "gees, you can't say that to me, I suffer from a mental illness"... but give me 1 - 2 hours later when I actually processed what she had said, I snapped right out of it and was on my way again. Clearly she'd done her job well!

13 months later and here I am... stronger, healthier, smarter and more in tune with me! All because I found a piece of me that was missing... the healthy, active, fit, gym lover who had taken a back seat to something we call LIFE! I'm not saying it's been an easy process, I've had my moments believe me! But it's a journey and

Remember, if you're feeling sad, angry, frustrated, flat, confused etc, find someone you can chat too. Share your problems, no one should have to walk the journey alone. You never know, that "chat" could change your life forever. Mine did.


Tuesday, 2 August 2011

A quick sneak peak at what keeps me sane!

As we all know, life is busy and sometimes we forget to take a moment, smell the roses so to speak and do something we love or something that makes us relax! How could we possibly forget something so important... but the truth is so many of us do!

We recently gutted out house and pretty much put a new house inside the old shell and one of my "requests" was to provide me with some space (I'm not asking for much!) for me to be creative and a space for me to take a break and time out. I love to scrapbook and in turn make handmade cards... so I thought I'd share a few of my recent creative surges with you.

I hope you too have something that allows you to zone out from the world... even if it's just for 5 minutes... and if you don't, best you go and add that to you to do list!