Saturday, September 29, 2012

Go Jump off a Cliff!

Seriously... Do it!
If you are anything like me, you will shake, almost cry, freak out, get over it (the edge and the fear) then cruise to the bottom, because you don't know how to stop!  
If you haven't guessed yet, today I went abseiling. 
This is not me - I didn't have my camera when doing it...
The last time I did it was approximately 29 years ago, at Form 1 camp ( I think - my memory isn't what it used to be, but it was about then) same age as my eldest daughter is now.  
If I had been like she is, I would have wholeheartedly thrown myself into the challenge and tackled the fear head on, but no.. I avoided it, cried, tried to quit, and eventually realised that they were not going to let us out of it, so I did it... and from what I remember I actually enjoyed it. 

For years I have said that I'd like to do it again, but it took until today to make it happen.   A few weeks ago I saw a scoopon deal for abseiling (with instruction  for $19 (normally $39) and with only a few hours to grab the deal, I bit the bullet.  Well ok, I first had to coerce another crazy fool to come with me... Cass agreed, and we booked in with RiverLife to walk over the edge of a cliff at Kangaroo Point.

I need to point out that I have a fear of heights, actually that is not technically correct, I actually have a fear of edges... that fear gets worse the higher I get, but essentially I don't like edges even a foot off the ground.
My children enjoy torturing me when we walk to the end of piers or jetties, when I walk smack down the middle, don't go near the edge, and freak out when they do.  If I get to the edge, I get vertigo, get shaky... you get the picture. So why oh why am I now going to lower myself over the edge of a cliff?... Feel the fear, and do it anyway.  My new mantra to make sure that I no longer deprive myself of experiences, just because I'm scared.

So today was the day, we travelled over an hour by train and foot to get there, and we were surprisingly calm, even after climbing the hundreds of butt-screaming stairs to get to the top of the cliff, and still when standing at the top of the cliff with harnesses and hardhats on.  We learn how to hold the rope behind our backs as the brake, and to bring it out to the side for the accelerator...seems simple enough.
We split into two groups and we watch the first girl go (first timer, a little nervous, but no problems). Then we turn around to see the other group with the first guy over the edge with his feet i the air!  How the hell...? Oh great, this does not instil great confidence.

Anyway back to my group, 2nd one to go, a cocky know-it-all guy who has obviously done it before leapt of the edge and was at the bottom in seconds flat... shit, that means my turn is closer.  Next guy goes, newbie, no probs.
Next girl, she's nervous... phew, I think... I will be better than that, I don't even feel nervous. 
Then its Cass's turn. I watch her heart rate monitor jump from 94 to 140 in the seconds when she climbs over the railing and walks out to the edge (Safety harness attached of course). 

She looks anxious, a bit grey in the face, and she looks at me with a look to say "you got me into this"... and over the edge she goes.

Oh god, now its me. Stepping over the railing, and out to the edge was hard. I held on tight, and Proud (the instructor - yep thats his name) could obviously see i was already struggling.  He reminded me to breathe, reminded me that I was attached to him, and that he had the other rope that could take control if necessary. "Now just slowly walk backwards towards the edge"... Shuffle, shuffle... I'm staunch, I can do this...."bit more, bit more, lean back, right on your toes, bit more"... Oh God, this rope won't hold me, I'm going to slip and fall face first into the rock... I looked him in the eye, and said "I'm Scared". 
Then I leaned back, lowered my butt until i was almost horizontal.  That is by far the hardest part, having to let all your weight go on that rope. I stopped thinking and just listened to his instructions, and "there you go" he said,  "Rock and Roll", one step then another.

But I did have my camera after and took this shot afterwards

Once I got moving it was actually quite easy, but halfway down I realised that no matter how hard i squeezed that rope, and tried to pull it behind my back to brake and slow down, I couldn't get my arm back there. I wasn't going too fast, but a part of me wanted to stop for a second and refocus, but because I couldn't figure out how to stop, I decided to just go with it, and actually started pushing off the wall and swinging out a bit, like what the real abseilers do... yeah, yeah, I probably felt like that, when in reality it probably wasn't like that at all. 

And there I was, at the bottom. Only seconds after finally getting over the edge, I was at the bottom. 
The muscles in my right arm were screaming, from the intense grip I had been using, and my legs were shaking, but most of all the feeling of 'I did it and I did it without a fuss' was enveloping me, and I was so proud of myself. 

We could have climbed the stairs for another go, but both Cass and I agreed that once was enough. It was far scarier than I expected, and I still did it. 
Now, 8 hours later, I'm wishing I had had that second go... isn't hindsight wonderful, and just like with childbirth, I've forgotten that terror I felt, and looking forward to the next time. 

Anyway, while there are a lot of the goals that I set earlier in the year that I haven't achieved, I can proudly say that I have achieved this one. 
And you know what... if my Mother now says "If all your friends were jumping of a cliff, would you?"... I would probably say "YES!!"

Saturday, September 22, 2012

How to be a Quitter

Yes Boys and Girls, todays talk is about how to be a quitter.
You see, I'm an expert at it, always have been. As a kid I quit piano, ballet, netball... the list goes on. I just don't seem to have that that inner spark that says when the going gets tough, the tough get going.

Today I was doing parkrun and I quit. I hurt my hip halfway through and rather than saying "ok, won't be a best time, I'm in a bit of pain, but I can walk to the end"... yeah rather than that...I quit.

And it started me thinking...why am I so good at quitting?  What is it about me that chooses to give up, rather than battling through when things get hard?  I mean I know I can persevere... I was in far more pain during the Mothers Day classic 8km, and I kept going. I think maybe it hinges on how much I have invested... I mean I paid to enter the Mothers Day Classic, and I had my family at the finish line cheering me on... I had to finish. Today, ParkRun is free, my daughter was running with me (and way ahead) and really the only one I was letting down was me... so I did.  

And there we have it.  I won't let other people down, but I will let myself down time and time again.  Why do I not have the self worth to not want to let myself down?

Looking at my three children, I have two that are like me... will look for any excuse, find the easy way out, give up when it gets hard, ... and I have one who is self motivated, hardworking, and won't quit - even when she wants to.  She must take after her father.  
I don't know if Quitting is genetic (I can't find any evidence to support that it is - and I spent a whole 4 mins googling it before I quit searching) or if a quitters mentality comes from environmental factors... You know, Shit happens when you are a kid, that makes you not have belief in yourself, and because you don't have that self worth, you don't think you are worth that extra commitment, you let yourself down so you can say ...see I am worthless after all!  

I think its a bit of both.

So we have established that I am very good at quitting, however events of the past year have also proven that I can do more than I ever thought I could.  It appears that unbeknownst to me, I have slowly been making deposits into my Self Worth Bank, and I have discovered that maybe, just maybe, I don't want to let myself down any more.  Maybe I want to quit quitting.

Quitting, or being a quitter, has such a negative connotation, but as addicts know, sometimes quitting is the hard thing to do.
I was a smoker once, years ago, not for very long compared to alot of smokers I know, but I was smoking enough for it to be a problem... and then I quit.
I quit easy. It was easy because I had a reason to, a reason that I wanted more than I wanted to smoke.  That reason was singing. I had been asked to join a band, and I knew that I couldn't get through a night of singing and dancing in the audience without losing my voice, so I needed to make sure I had a voice. I came down to singing or smoking, I chose singing. End of story.

So quitting can be a good thing, and seeing as I am an expert at it, I am going on a quitting spree.

With the help of Google, and my supporters, I am going to find out how to be a quitter, find out tips and strategies on how to quit effectively, and I am going to quit the following things :

  • Quitting
  • Making Excuses
  • Sugar
  • Soft Drink
  • Feeling sorry for myself
... BECAUSE WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH, THE TOUGH GET GOING!  and I have decided that I am tough enough... after all I plan to do Tough Mudder next year, can't get any tougher than that.

and I am writing a letter to my quitter inside, and kicking her butt to the kerb.

I am going to 'invest' in a quit sugar book and start on the quest today!

Friday, September 21, 2012


So I have to show you how I am I doing on my small changes that I blogged about a few days ago.

Yesterday and today I have had a good nutritious breakfast BEFORE leaving for work.  I have drunk 3 litres of water a day (... and needed to pee every hour!!) and I went for a run yesterday morning! - Here comes the accountable bit ... I DIDN'T run this morning.. in my defense... oh alright!... my pathetic excuse was that I had a really bad nights sleep.
HOWEVER in addition to that I did do a 2 hour Kickboxing class last night, including 50.. YES 50! throw downs (in a row without stopping, but including a excruciating cry of pain during the last 3).

I have also been 'swapping' the lift for the stairs at work. 6 flights, and it doesn't matter how often I do it, the first three flights are "pfft, easy", and the burn starts on the transition between 3 and 4, and by the 6th I'm dying.

A Healthy Lunch

2 of these a day!
The stairs to my office

I recorded a little message while running ... If you can't understand me it's cos I was whispering so the other walkers didn't think I was talking to myself! LOL.  I said "I'm up, I'm running, I'm doing it" , "Check out this beautiful view" and "See ya"

Heading out to Park Run in the morning, knowing that my personal best time is not at risk of being set, but I'm going to do the best I can. Also planning a trip to the farmers market on Sunday, and some bulk cooking to prep some healthy meals for the week ahead. 

As of this morning I weighed 80.4.... SOOOOOO NOT impressed to see that 8 again.  Weigh in Wednesday, lets see if I can get that 7 back.

Also found a link on Facebook today, that intrigues scares the hell out of me... 
What do you think?? 

Oh and we signed up to do it again...jump through fire, crawl through mud etc

All going well, I will have some time to blog again tomorrow!  See you then.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Back to Basics

Time to Fess Up! 
Time to admit that I haven't been blogging about weight loss, because I haven't been losing weight... in fact I have reverted back to my old habits, and if I keep it up I will revert back to where I started and I am not about to let that happen.

So at least 15 times I have started over, and not got to the end of the day before I have fallen off the wagon. I'm so frustrated with myself, and today was a particularly bad 'binge' day so I need to start again, again.  Obviously its not as easy this time around. The reasons excuses I have been using are - Its so cold, I'll wait until Spring (**excuse me, Spring started 19 days ago**),  Work has been getting me down, and I am eating through my emotions (**true, but lets find an alternative coping strategy**), I'm too tired - hitting snooze too many times in the morning... and the list goes on. I have lost my Just Do It mantra.

So what do I do to get back on track?

I think I need to :
Start small..Baby steps, and slowly build up momentum
Be accountable - Tell you what I have planned and own up if I don't do it
Go through the mind exercises again - Get real, Plan, and Set Goals.

So here we go -
Tomorrow I plan to start on the basics
WATER - Drink 2 litres (I didn't have any water today, or yesterday)
RUN - a morning run before work. If I leave by 6am, I am back by 6.45 and still have at least an hour before I need to leave for work,
BREAKFAST - Non-negotiable, no more "I'll have it at work", and then getting to 11am before realising I haven't had it.

So that's it! The plan for this week is above, I will check in tomorrow and let you know how it went.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Today's post is a dedication more than anything else. 
A personal blog post, that I am willing to open up and share.

23 years ago today I was 17, and numb.
I had been told that my 19 year old boyfriend had been killed in a car accident, only hours after dropping me home. 3am on Saturday 16th September 1989. The crash claimed 2 best friends, and seriously injured 2 more, and the lives of many were changed forever.

After the initial shock, when the numbness wore off and the pain set in, and after the funeral,  I shut down - emotionally. I didn't know how to cope, and I almost checked out myself to try to escape the pain. 

When everyone else appeared to carry on with life, I was walking around with a big hole inside, and I see now that I tried to fill that hole with food.
As painful as that was, for many, many years, I now see how that losing Rob, and finding ways to survive, led me to spirituality, opened my soul up bare and raw, and molded me into the person I am today. 
So after 23 years I have learned to be grateful for that experience, bizarrely grateful for losing him. Because, you know what, I now know that I can survive.  There are other things I have survived, and no doubt more that I will in the future, but today on the Anniversary, I am grateful for having known him, having loved him, and having lost him. 
For years, September 16th made me cry, and now it makes me smile, I never ever thought I would say that, and be at peace with it.

a few weeks before the crash
So on this day, a day that passes every year and I think of Rob, it is opportune for today to be the day that I decide, I promise myself, to learn other ways to cope with pain, and stress.  Get back to meditation, which helped me in the early years, and I have not had time for lately. To write more, journaling/blogging to get it out, before it festers and I need to eat... to move on and start dealing with the other traumas of the past that caused me to get to 100kg, to once and for all allow myself to really 'feel' and not anaesthetise my emotions.

To Rob's family, wherever you are, I'm thinking of you 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Laughter is the Best Medicine

A policeman in the big city stops a man in a car with a zebra in the front seat. "What are you doing with that zebra?" He exclaimed, "You should take it to the zoo." The following week, the same policeman sees the same man with the zebra again in the front seat, with both of them wearing sunglasses. 
The policeman pulls him over. "I thought you were going to take that zebra to the zoo!" The man replied, "I did. We had such a good time we are going to the beach this weekend!"

Alright that is a pretty bad joke, and it's not going to have you rolling in the aisles, but if it did, it would be very good for your health.

Last week, my workplace, as part of a company initiative called "Be Well" month, we had a lunchtime seminar with 2 guys from Element X. Former World Iron Man champion Phil Clayton and Athlete Mentor/Manager, Creator of the original Kellogg’s Nutri Grain Series David Simons spoke to us about the best Nutrition to get the most out of our bodies. While this was informative, it was David's talk about Qigong, and focusing on breathing that really interested me. His positive outlook and sense of humour really inspired me - I want to look at my life, and it's challenges with the same fervour that he does. 

He explained that many people do not breath effectively, to really take in the oxygen we need to function properly. He showed us how to exercise our diaphragm through fast short breaths, then showed us how the same muscle movements were gained by laughing. 

It appears that back in the early 1800's Lord Byron knew what he was talking about when he said ... "Always Laugh when you can. It's cheap medicine". 
Probably the most famous case of someone laughing their way to health, is that of Norman Cousins who,  when doctors had given him the news of his impending death, added an extra 10 years to his life by laughing himself back to health.

I'm not sick, but I am not leading the most healthy lifestyle either, and ultimately I have realised that my quest for fitness and health, is really a quest for happiness, and when you think about it, what goes hand in hand with happiness?... LAUGHTER!!

I've done some research and decided I definitely need to laugh more, and this is why:
  • Laughter therapy is an excellent aerobic exercise.
  • Laughter helps you lose weight. (15 minutes of laughter burns as much as 50 calories).
  • Improves breathing (respiration) and blood circulation
  • Laughter Improves mood
  • Laughter eases anxiety and fear
  • Laughter relaxes the body and muscles, and relieves physical tensions for up to 45 mins
  • Laughter lowers stress hormones, Boosts the immune system and infection fighting antibodies which improves your resistance to disease.
  • Laughter releases endorphins, the body's natural feel good chemical, which can also relieve pain

So, easier said than done. I can't just sit here and make myself laugh, can I?
Well actually, funny thing is I probably can, if I laugh it makes my husband laugh at me, and then I laugh at his laugh, and before we know it we are cracking up at each other and don't even know why... so all I need to do is find a few things to kick start that laughter like :
  • Watching the comedy channel
  • Watching funny video's on you tube
  • Watching my kids play stupid games
  • Get out and do fun activities
  • Spend more time with friends who make me laugh 
  • Play games
  • Have tickle-fights?
My goal for this coming week is to laugh more. A nice simple goal, one of many that I will be implementing into my life, to help me get closer to finding my authentic self. 

Here is a few to get us started.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

What a difference a year makes.

Last September I weighed 98.5kg, and was an inactive unenthusiastic lump.
If you have been following my blog, you will know that a lot has changed since then.
Only 8 days into this September, and I have achieved a couple of amazing things this month alone. 

First of all, my hubby and I went on a 3 night 'Lifestyle' cruise, a cruise to nowhere out of Brisbane. My first cruise, something I had always wanted to do, and it's now ticked off my bucket list (I plan to go on a longer one now I know I can handle my sea legs). The best thing being, the cruise was free... a competition prize I won.  I prefer to think of it as the Universe rewarding me for making such positive changes in my life.




Now today I ran in "The Stampede" I signed up months ago, as a challenge to myself, and all these months I was secretly packing myself... until today. Today it was truly excitement, not nerves. 

I decided that any obstacle I encountered I would tackle, and I did, every last one of them, from crawling through mud under barbed wire, jumping over burning logs, climbing over a bus, to running through live electrical wires (yes I willingly got zapped by 10,000 volts - and it hurt!) - and that is to name only a few.
No times, no medals... just downright dirty fun, and my goodness was it ever. I am exhausted now, my feet hurt, and I am still finding mud in my hair, ears, and other bodily crevices, and I can't wait to do it again. 

The old me would never have had the courage to do this, would never have believed that I could. If I can make such huge changes in a year, I can only imagine what I can achieve in 2 years, or 5 years,
Anyway, September is here, the Sun has decided that our Spring should be more like a Summer, and we are definitely going to make the most of it.

Next big adventure?...I'm booked in to go abseiling on Sept 29th.