Unleashing My Inner Awesome

My "journey" through health, fitness and life in general

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Looking back

floodsOn Friday this week it will be our 5th wedding anniversary. The first 2 were relatively uneventful, in that way that wedding anniversaries are. I’m sure they were lovely and loving and all of that, but that has been overshadowed.

Our 3rd wedding anniversary was spent overlooking the most devastating scene I have ever personally witnessed. Ever optimistic, I booked our usual room in the Sofitel hotel in Brisbane CBD. It’s where we spent our wedding night, and we’ve started a tradition of staying there each year.

But 2011 was just a bit different. We woke on our anniversary morning to find the hotel swarming with armed forces personnel, who’d been stationed there. I walked to work through the eerily deserted streets to see staff from shops and offices reinforcing windows with tape and pushing sandbags up against doors. Roads were closed, but I managed to find a way across the river. Arriving at work (a large maternity hospital) where at the time I was working in the IT department, I ended up being seconded to transport babies to the Gold Coast hospital via ambulance. At that point the hospital was on emergency power, and all patients who could were being evacuated.

I remember vividly the trip to the Coast. Me and my little bubba in the back of an ambulance, and as it was school holidays the theme parks were absolutely packed. I felt like screaming at people, did they not know that just down the road was mass destruction and loss of life? How could they PLAY under such circumstances?

And then driving back to the hospital in a taxi, the reality hit home when the taxi driver wanted to drop me off away from the hospital so he didn’t have to get too close. We’re a block from the river you see, even if it’s up hill, and he wasn’t sure he’d get home. At that stage I hadn’t even given thought to getting home to my house. Friends had been totally cut off and were uncontactable, at that stage I didn’t even know if they were alive, only that they had no power and no phone.

It was surreal. The weather was a perfect summers day, low 30s, clear blue skies (the rain had ironically cleared up completely), and the only sign of anything different was the fact that from the hospital you could see the river. About 7 metres higher than it was normally!

But the big thing to come out for me that time was the community spirit. When the river came down enough to let people through to my old home, I went to help clean up. With thousands of others. Armed with shovels, compressors and high pressure water hoses, sledgehammers and gloves, we spent days cleaning mud, knocking down saturated gyprock and generally helping. Even businesses were getting down to it. At Bellbowrie where I was, the local Pizza Hut and Dominos took turns to deliver pizza to the workers and residents. A car would turn up with food from both companies on the back seat, and they’d walk around delivering it. People who weren’t physically capable of helping drove around with kegs of drinks and sandwiches. People with power and water invited complete strangers in to shower and eat.

It renewed my trust in humanity. On a daily basis bad things happen to good people, but deep down I cannot lose faith that people are genuinely good for the most part. Some individuals aren’t, but most are.

My wedding anniversary will forever involve tears and reflection. I look back with thankfulness to the day I married the love of my life, and gratitude that I was not directly affected, and compassion and empathy to the people I know and strangers who are still recovering from this event. And this year I hold my breath and hope for the people in many areas who are threatened with devastating bushfires that have already destroyed lives and homes.

Gratitude. I think that’s the point of my post. Every day, I try and find something for which to be grateful. I’m feeling a bit whingy at the moment because I injured myself, and I can’t run for two weeks. TWO WEEKS! That’s too long! But it’s not really. It’s only two weeks, and in the big scheme of things it’s not a long time, and it’s a pretty minor thing to be annoyed about. Really.


Chaos and randomness


Not everything happens for a reason. Not all bad events (illness, family issues, financial dramas) occur to test us, or to show us something, or because we have been less than perfect.

Sometimes shit just happens. Shit happens to bad people and good people equally. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you attracted it, sometimes you were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. That’s the universe and its chaos and randomness for you. Some things are just inexplicable.

Don’t overanalyse events. Don’t try to work out the reason or the lesson in everything that occurs in your life. It happened. Acknowledge that and move on. Otherwise you will never be able to move forward.

Where did I come from?

I don’t very often talk about this. Only a couple of people know at this point. But that’s all about to change, isn’t it readers???

Today you’re going to get the guts and all version of what caused me, a year ago, to turn my life around. It’s not a pretty story, but it needs to be told. For me as much as anything.

I had a pregnant friend. She’s a lovely girl, and she was expecting her first baby. I’d been invited to the baby shower. Obviously she’s not pregnant any more, because she has the most gorgeous (not so) little boy, but then she was.

I spent the best part of 2 hours deciding what to wear. Back then I had work uniforms, a couple of good dresses, and one old faithful big baggy number than I wore everywhere. And as it was a distinctive print and I’d worn it the weekend prior to lunch with the same group of girls I was frantically trying to find something, anything, that actually fitted and didn’t make me look like a tank. Not an easy job, but eventually I settled on my work pants (navy and with the logo covered up) and some sort of shapeless t-shirt. Not ideal, but covered the important bits at least. And like I said, a 2 hour mission in futility.

On the way to the party I stopped to get petrol. At the petrol station I bent over to pick up the petrol cap that I’d dropped and yep, the arse split out of my pants. From my crutch to the waistband. Not the sort of thing you can easily cover up.

I paid for my petrol, got back in the car, drove around the corner and burst into tears. And there I sat. I turned the ringer off on my phone so I didn’t have to listen to my friends texts asking where I was. I very deliberately didn’t go straight home because I knew my husband wasn’t expecting me until later and he’d ask questions. So I sat for about 2 hours, by myself, on the side of the road, until it was a more respectable home time. I graphically described the event I hadn’t actually attended to him, games, food and all. I totally lied.

When I got on the computer than night there was an email from Michelle Bridges about the 12 Week Body Transformation. I hit the button on it before I could think any more about the fact that this was “just another weight loss program” and I’d fail at this one as well, like I had before.

And the rest, as they say, is history. And now I’m off to slog my transformed body up and over the Gateway Bridge on my bike. Because I can.

Where do I go from here?

I’ve been struggling lately with my food and exercise. I’m starting to overcome the exercise thing by attending more group activities. After saying last round I was going to cut back, I’ve realised it’s in my best interest to have a commitment to someone. Otherwise I just don’t do it.

So on the nutrition thing, I’ve been self sabotaging in a major way. McDonalds, alcohol, ice-cream etc. I know what I need to do, I know I just need to shut up and do it, but there’s a little voice in my head which has turned into an overwhelming roar that says “it doesn’t matter. You can have the <insert vice here> if you want”.

Today I’ve done some serious reflection on why it’s happening. And here’s what I think it is. Warning: this next part may induce hysterical laughter at just how messed up my thinking is…

Physically I’m smaller than I’ve ever been. I’m a size 12. By all measurements except my BMI I’m a healthy size. My body fat is in the normal range, my waist measurement is under 80cm, and while my BMI is over 25 it’s only 25.5. So realistically I could stop losing weight now and be healthy. Sure, I’ve got some serious gains to make in the fitness stakes, but that’s a work in progress.

But I haven’t lost my 30kg. My goal was to go from 99 to 69, a number which I picked for no reason other than it was a kind of cool number. And 69 sounds better than in the 70s. I have been close to the 30+ crew and it’s a nice round number.

So I’m wondering if I’m deliberately self-sabotaging so that I’ll gain a little bit and then have to lose it again? I’ve got used to attacking my weight, and seeing a smaller number on the scale each week and I’m not sure my head is ready for the number to be the same each time. I haven’t really thought about what will happen when I get to goal. My goal weight is some weird far-away thing that I’ve never even got close to. I keep saying to myself I want to be a size 10, or an 8, but I don’t know if I do really. I think maybe a 12, and with a healthy body fat level and awesome level of fitness is where I really want to be.

As I read and digest what I’ve written I think that’s where I am. I want to sit somewhere around the size I am now, but a tighter, more toned version. If that’s heavier or lighter than what I weigh, so be it. I really think I’ll start working on maintenance mode from this time on.

The thing that’s really bugging me is that I feel like I’ve failed the 30+ crew. Those guys (and you lot who are in it!) have been amazingly supportive. They’ve kicked my arse on numerous occasions and been a shoulder to cry on on others. In my head I don’t want to stop before I get to 30kg lost because that will feel like I’m not one of the gang any more. While I’m still “losing” I can pretend that I belong.

I know that sounds sad and pathetic. I know I need to get over it. But knowing something and doing it are two different things, as we know, otherwise it would be easy.

Thanks for listening… xxxxx

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