Sep 7, 2015

I am fat. Capital F- capital A- capital T. Not only am I fat, I'm not good at getting thinner. I love food. I love food until I feel full (too full), I love baked goods, and I'm a mean home cook. I've made many attempts to reverse the fat over the years. Some would say I have a problem with willpower. To that I would say "yes, my friend, I do!" I also eat for comfort. I eat as a social activity- I catch up with friends and do brunch, because brunch is awesome.

I've flirted with the fat acceptance movement. "Why yes, I'm fat! Yes, I'm healthy!" I've been proud of the fact that my body is not showing signs of being brought down by this fatness, proud that my cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure results come back as fine. But for how long? I take medication that can cause increase cholesterol levels, and I have seen some iffy results in the past, but further tests have shown a healthy result. How long will this continue, though? How many more slices or raisin toast will it take to kick my results over the unhealthy abyss? Further to this, babies might be in our future. I want to decrease the risks my obesity poses on an unborn child, to decrease the risks of complication for myself, too, as baby making is riskier for the overweight woman.

Those of you reading along at home might note that this is not the first time I have made this fat-loss declaration. I don't plan on changing the method for which to lose weight, but I do hope to change the psychological aspect of the journey. So the song hasn't changed, but the tune has to. I have one simple goal. I want to decrease the size of my pregnant-not pregnant belly. As it decreases of course other areas will also, too, which will be a win! So I'm starting again. Me and my tummy are going to rock this shit. And if I fail, I will start over again. I'm always going to have a butt that goes for miles. I'm always going to be curvy. Hell, I may even always be overweight. But I can do it in a healthier way.

I'm starting again.

Image credit: The Library of Congress, via Flickr

Feb 1, 2015

The journey, not the destination.

I know it's been a while. Sometimes life just gets in the way. Things have been mostly pleasant! But lets cut to the chase. I'm here to talk about being a fatty. I'm normally a private person, I'm quite selective in the things I share about myself in life and on the internet. But I cannot hide this 'secret' from anyone, it's pretty obvious, I'm a chubster. I have been a chubster my whole adult life, save a short few months where I was sick. I don't like being obese. I see fat acceptance champions and I think, “you guys are just awesome!” And they really are! But for me it's all about being a healthier me. I want to know that I can sleep at night and not keep my husband awake with my snoring. I'm currently not in any risk factors for 'fat diseases', and I want to keep it that way. I don't want to be one of those 3 in 5 Australians who make up the overweight/obese statistic.  Actually, I want to amend that. I'd be ok with being 'just overweight' rather than obese, I think this is a reasonable goal! I want to not jiggle so much when I move. And I'd really like to purchase clothes from a 'standard' clothing store.

I have two options to bring my BMI* into line. I can grow to be much taller, or I can lose weight. Looks like weight loss is the path I'll be taking! The Heart Foundation Australia's BMI calculator  has me checking in at a BMI of 37. I vaguely recall at my heaviest being a BMI of 43, so it is amazing so see I have come quiet a way already! The Heart Foundation website also tells me that I should be looking at weighing in at 53-71kg. I'm not aiming for this right now. In the short term I'm just keen to see numbers drop, and in the long term I am aiming for is a waist measurement of under 88cm, and from there, a measurement of under 80. This is recommended as ideal for avoiding those weight- based illnesses. I have so far to go on these measurement goals that I haven't even started documenting my progress. Right now I just have to focus on 'calories in vs. calories out'.

I've tried many diets in the past. Most based on extreme calorie cutting. I recently ended a year long stint with Weight Watchers. Not that I didn't like the program, in fact I though it was rather user friendly. I did question how not tracking fruits and vegetables saw my over all calorie count for the day. So now I'm on to MyFitnessPal. I am working on clocking in at under 1700 calories per day. This number will decrease as I do. I'm generally recording under my calorie goal without too much fuss. This is partly thanks to a little help from calorie controlled shakes via the Celebrity Slim Program. I certainly do not plan on the long term use of a shake based program, but I'm using them as a little boost to my weight loss. It certainly helps me control the calories going in. In the mean time I'm educating myself on low calorie meals and snacks. I'm quietly enjoying the idea of calorie counting. I'm still feeling hungry quite a lot, but I'm drinking metric buttloads of water as a way to counter that.

So far so good! I feel like I am doing something good for my health and for the future. I try to remind myself of this when I have hunger pangs. I've not been so positive about exercise, however! Exercise is a major bug of mine. I go the gym three times a week, and each time I grumble. I haven't been able to see exercise as I have my diet changes. I begrudge it! It's certainly something I need to work on. I've read a bunch of success stories where people have lost a tonne of weight through diet and exercise. These people are now running marathons! Doing boot camps! So there is a long way for me to go just yet! It's certainly the journey, not the destination.

Are you on a diet and/or exercise journey? How is it going for you?

*BMI might not be the best calculator, but it is an industry standard. Check out this article.  
 Image credit: Library of Congress, Walter Miller via Flickr

May 31, 2014

Day Thirty One

Day 31, Saturday: Gratitude. 

I have a lot to be grateful for. I'm certainly grateful for the new friends I have made by taking part in Sunday's Blog Every Day in May Challenge. 

I am grateful for all the things I that make me happy! 

   My people. (My husband, family & friends.)
   My furpants cat, Coco, and cats everywhere.
   Getting into my pajamas after dinner, sitting down and watching a show.
   (And sometimes pajamas in the day time too!)
   Chocolate, and things chocolate flavoured, especially ice cream. 
   Snuggles in bed, at any time of day.
   Cups of tea, or any warm beverage, really. Hot chocolate specifically.
   Warm porridge on a cold day.
   Warm sun streaming down, or a cool breeze in summer
   Feeling content
   a really good book or even just an ok one.

I am also grateful that I live in a safe, comfortable country and home, and wish that this is the outcome for all mankind.

What are you showing gratitude for today?
(Keep in touch!)

Image credits: The State Library of New South Wales via Flickr 

May 30, 2014

Day Thirty

Day 30, Friday: Best advice you’ve received lately.

Just start. And once you have started, just keep doing.

It's something I have heard in a few different forms from a few different places. Start, then do.
But sometimes the 'start' part can be scary. And the 'do' part that follows is no kettle of fish either.

So what must I do? I must start, then just keep doing.

Everything will be alright.

Image credit SMU Central University via Flickr 

May 29, 2014

Day Twenty Nine

Day 29, Thursday: What have you said ‘yes’ to today?

Today I have said yes to my psychologist, yes to an extra weight watchers apple bar, yes to the cat eating her tuna, and yes to the supermarket checkout assistant & yes to the petrol station attendant.  

I shall also say yes to smiles and warm hugs and snuggling under a blanket watching telly. 

Image credit: George Eastman House via Flickr

May 28, 2014

Day Twenty Eight

Day 28, Wednesday: Family.  What do you love?  Best traits? What crazy genetics do you have in common?  Fave photo?

 *not my family. 

I'm one of six kids. -Divorce, marriages, whatnot. I grew up as one of four. My folks certainly had a good sense of humour, raising us! Of course they did a marvellous job. We all see each other once a month, give or take, where we still make a raucous sound across the dinnertable. I love them all very much! No crazy genetics that we know of, though individually we certainly have some unique quirks! I did think at one point when I was in my pre-teens that I was adopted. See, I was the only blonde in the family, to me it was case closed! I had all the evidence I needed.

And of course I have my new little family which is compact and just as loving. A lot quieter than my own, a house full of storytellers, 'yarn spinners'.

And of course there is my fur pants, kitty Coco, who will always be part of the family, too. Her skills include leisurely naps in the sun and having an ear for the tuna tin before it is open.

Photo credit: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland via Flickr  Family details unknown.

May 27, 2014

Day Twenty Seven

Day 27, Tuesday: Share a project you’ve been working on.

I've been working on this poor ol' blanket for a couple of years. I was inspired to do a granny square project after a short class I did, where we worked with granny squares & embroidery and focused on the mindfulness of crafting. (Crafting is so good for the mind! A form of meditation, if you will.)

Much of the wool for this project has been remnants and leftovers from here and there, so some squares are thicker or bigger than others, But I kind of love it's mismatched, uneven beauty. I'm now working on crocheting along the edge of the entire blanket to finish it off.  

I really like to crochet in front of the TV. Watching something that I have already watched, so that I can focus half on the telly, half on my crochet. And of course I prefer to work on blankets when it is cold! I should get this blanket finished this winter, then I might think about learning how to knit. 

I do have another project that is new to the works, I've been asked to complete a piece to exhibit at a gallery for a show! This is quite exciting, but it is also quite intimidating, as I feel lately as though I have lost my creative spark. So I have a short amount of time to convince myself that I can do it, then my piece will be needed. 

Have you seen my spark lying around? Any words of advice for a loss of the 'knack'?

May 26, 2014

Day Twenty Six

Day 26, Monday: Invite someone to guest post for you.

Welcome to Shimmer and Glow Sunday of Love Happy Daily!

 At the moment I'm really making a committed effort to wear my Fitbit every day and try to get my number of steps up each day.  This means that I've had a few days when I've arrived home after work and quickly strapped on my sneakers and have gone for a walk to help get my numbers up.  Something that helps convince me to get out the door is having a podcast to listen to as a I walk. I use them all the time as incentives to get me to spend time cleaning or exercising as they distract my mind from whatever it is that just needs doing.

Last week, while listening to the latest edition of the Joy the Baker podcast on my walk, Joy was talking about how a friend of hers put together a mood board to help her to refine her style.  As I'm doing 12 new pieces for 12 months this year, choosing pieces that really work for me and set me up with a clear style are something that is important.  I haven't bought an item of clothing since March, so I have an April purchase and a May purchase to make.  As it is getting colder here in Melbourne, I should really be choosing items that will get me through the winter months.  But what to pick?

Inspired by Joy, I decided to have a go at making my own mood board.  I've decided that my style is possibly best described as Bright Preppy Sparkle

Here are some examples of the kinds of things that appear on my mood board:

You can check out my full board (in progress) on Pinterest

How would you define your style?  

Thank you very much for your guest post, Sunday! Your have inspired me to set up my own Pinterest board to help me define my style. One pin so far!

May 25, 2014

Day Twenty Five

Day 25, Sunday: A list for the week ahead.

To do:  Love lots, be mindful, smile. Also, READ MORE.

 Image credit: The Graphics Fairy

May 24, 2014

Day Twenty Four

Day 24, Saturday: If you could have 3 people to dinner tonight, who would you invite?

Yet another tricky challenge from Sunday.  As I sit saddened by the fact that I have finished my lunch time bowl of porridge, I can't help but feel stuck, yet again. Lost for words. 

So, both fictional and non fictional characters blended in together, the sort-list off the top of my head would include:
My grandparents
Prime Minister Tony Abbott (For fiery dinner table arguement!) 
Elsie Larson & Emma Chapman (To ask them what it is like to live the dream)

If Sunday had have said 'four people' that would have been so much easier. I would have picked the ladies of our bridal party. It would be nice for an excuse to fly everyone in to catch up!

Image credit National Library of Ireland via Flickr

May 23, 2014

Day Twenty Three

Day 23, Friday: Write a post about a particularly good or controversial comment someone left you.

I'm really lucky, I've only ever received the kindest most thoughtful comments while blogging. I cannot pick out my favourite for comment.

 I wonder if I were to change my tune a bit, would things be the same? If I spoke about how I felt the Australian government were really mistreating the poor, ill and downtrodden with it's latest budget? Maybe my stance on other controversial issues? Maybe then I would attract some mean spirited people. I have seen some truly thoughtless comments in my time on the internet.

I do think that we should treat others the way we like to be treated.

Do the things we say on the internet reflect how we are in real life, or are we are hiding behind the anonymity of our screen?

Be kind to one another! 

Now here is a picture of a kitten to make things more sunshiney.

Image credit: George Eastman House via Flickr

May 22, 2014

Day Twenty Two

Day 22, Thursday: Share a video clip that you are loving at the moment.  It could be as simple as a song on YouTube or an inspirational speaker on TED Talks.

I had a good time researching for the topic of the day. I certainly don't watch as many TED Talks as I would like! But boy, are they inspiring! Above is a short talk by Dan Gilbert, "author of Stumbling on Happiness, [he] challenges the idea that we’ll be miserable if we don’t get what we want. Our "psychological immune system" lets us feel truly happy even when things don’t go as planned." Ten years on, TED have contacted Gilbert. He has some interesting words to say in regard to his TED Talk of 2004, well worth a follow-up read, I think!

I also found this little gem hereBrother David Steindl-Rast speaks -quite beautifully- of happiness. He suggests happiness is born of gratitude. He asks us to be mindful in our lives, to look for those little moments. A short clip I think most of us would find truly inspiring.

May 21, 2014

Day Twenty One

Day 21, Wednesday: What’s on your plate?
Being on Weight Watchers, what's on my plate sometimes seems like very serious business! Today, for example, I had a Weight Watchers approved muffin for breakfast while out at the local shopping centre with my husband. When we got home, I followed it up with three naughty chocolate chip biscuits (which will prove to be the undoing of my day, I'm over for my points for the day because I snuck those in.)

I had a big serve of oats for lunch, and on my plate for dinner for tonight will be spaghetti bolognaise, cooked by my father in law. It will have lots of vegetables in it, and I'll certainly want to eat more than 200 grams of pasta. Oh, and of course, plenty of parmesan cheese, as plenty as I can milk from my 30 gram portion. I'll probably have some fruit in there, too, maybe a banana if I get hungry after dinner.

Up until recently I was going great guns on the diet. More recently it has been quite the struggle. I don't want to be stick thin, I just want to be healthier. Less chocolate chip biscuits, I suppose. What a sad story that is.

May 20, 2014

Day Twenty

Day 20, Tuesday: Who inspires you?

When I think of inspiring people, I think of my loved ones, friends and family, who have been through so much -sadness and joy. But I don't want to single out one person, nor do I want to share their deepest secrets (Their near superhuman abilities to cope and survive and love). It is the strength I see in my loved ones that inspires me. When I do not feel strong, I notice their strength and just keep going on. 

Image credit: The Powerhouse Museum via Flickr

May 19, 2014

Day Nineteen

Day 19, Monday: Dream job? 

Working from home, running a small business whilst raising children. 
Gift card store owner.
Cat whisperer.

Image credit: The Graphics Fairy