Thursday, September 29, 2011

You are getting sleepy...

A ruffled mind makes a restless pillow.  ~Charlotte Brontë

Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night (or the morning) completely disorientated? I quite often wake up thinking 'where the hell am I?', and sometimes go as far as jumping out of bed to investigate. Like early this morning when I woke up wondering why all the furniture in my room had been rearranged.

Sleep and I are sometimes terribly at odds. There are times that I'll sleep soundly all night, but others where I'll wake up at 2 or 3 in the morning and have no chance of getting back to sleep.

Those times are good for getting reading done. Sometimes I'll read blogs and sometimes a novel. I quite like the iPhone/iPad for those moments, as you can read without turning the light on. Not good when you're totally hooked on a paper book (I'm on book three of the Game of Thrones series and loving it), but otherwise very handy.

I'm also a bit strange in that strange bit between awake and asleep. I'll quite often be sitting innocently on the couch with Anthony and he'll say 'what did you just say?'. Guaranteed it will be something weird about singing elephants or cross-dressing serial killers. Who knows what's going on in my subconscious?

I remember after Sam died sleep was next to impossible. We spent the nights of the first week together on the lounge, not sleeping, but even after that sleep was always broken (most of the time by checking on Oliver), but sometimes with the bad dreams and grief stuff that was inevitable I guess. And a lot of those disoriented moments included forgetting that Sam wasn't there.

Being the busy person I am, I often think how productive I'd be if we didn't have to sleep. But really, there's nothing like that feeling when it all goes right and you're snuggled up warm and comfy and sleep is the only thing you want...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Losing Mel

So, I'm a few days into my quest for a new me, and so far so good.
I'd like to share a couple of successful moments with you, and then do a little bit of goal-setting.

I've mentioned before that food is a bit of a weakness for me. I can't help it, I like food. Especially good food that tastes yummy. So whenever I've 'dieted' (god I hate that word) before, it's been food that's brought me undone. I'm good at getting into a fitness routine, but it's the food that gets me in the end.

The very last time I started in on this, it was chocolate (my arch nemesis!). No sooner had I resolved to change my wicked ways than boxes of it appeared around the office (fundraising for the Christmas party; so a good cause, but a terrible temptation all the same), and my lovely colleague/boss Lyn introduced me to Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Sigh.

Before that it was alcohol. I don't drink much really, and never during the week, but I do like the odd drink on the weekend. And sometimes when I have a couple of drinks, it's very easy to slip into the junk-food habits that seem to go hand in hand with it.

And there's also the general stuff - I have been hesitant to forgo the hot chips or the bowls of ice cream that my boys can enjoy without too much trouble (although Oliver is showing signs of the potential to pudge - better watch that).

So since I resolved to do better (and to spend a couple of weeks cutting ALL the bad stuff out), I've been proud of some wins (small things yes, but big to me):
  • When at a cooking party recently, I avoided the Burger Rings, a one-time favourite (I craved them terribly when pregnant with Samuel)
  • I have been able to completely ignore the ever-growing stash of junk food in the office, including the Chomp bar left on my desk this morning (Anthony gets that one - lucky boy
  • At the club for lunch on Sunday, I went to the bar for a beer, and came back with a soda water
  • I've been eating LOTS more vegies
I haven't done much exercise lately, as I've been sick, but I plan to get stuck into it again this week.

So here are my short term goals:
  • To get back into my typical exercise routine:
    • Monday - Sh'Bam
    • Tuesday - 45 minute morning walk
    • Wednesday - 45 minute morning walk
    • Thursday  - Sh'Bam
    • Friday - sometimes a walk
    • Saturday - Sh'Bam
    • Sunday - something with Oli (bike ride, walk or whatever)
  • To lose 5 kilos by this time next month
  • To stick with the 'no sugar or starchy carbs' thing at least until I go away with the boys in early October
If I do all this, I am going to buy myself a treat. I'm not sure what yet...

Hangin' with the smarties

I gave my first (and hopefully not my last) university lecture today.

It was part of the course I've been tutoring in for the last few weeks, and because some of the content was about the kinds of things I do in my job, they asked me to do it.

It was pretty cool! I had practised it this morning, and thought I sounded pretty lame, so by the time I got to the lecture theatre, I was pretty nervous. I got there early too: having made lots of arrangements to get there early in case parking was tricky (it's always really hard to find a park when I go there on Wednesday afternoons), I managed an easy park right outside the lecture theatre with 20 minutes to spare. Mind you, if I hadn't allowed the time, I would probably have been late, so that's cool (I'll tell you some time about the frustrations I have with lateness!)

But I needn't have worried. I spoke pretty well - apart from some terrible times with some of the more tongue-twisty of words - and even got a couple of laughs, which I think is pretty good from a room full of 20 somethings with laptops on their laps or phones on their hands!

I haven't listened to the recording yet, because it might pop my bubble (what if I'm kidding myself and I was actually awful??), but I will keep it for posterity.

So much fun! I could really see myself doing that regularly. Hopefully there's a bit more of it in my future!

Friday, September 16, 2011

It's all gotta go!

I am going to lose half my body weight.
It's true! I am!

It might take me a long time, but I'm gonna do it! And...I'm taking a big risk telling you, dear readers.

Ach! Did I really just admit it? Why did I do that?
Number one because it's a big thing for me to admit to. Yes, I am horribly overweight (OK, obese), and I need to do something about it. It's a pretty big step for me to say it loud though. After all, who wants to admit they've failed at something? Especially me?

Number two because telling people makes me accountable. Now that might be a good thing, for accountability's sake (well, duh!), but it's also a big risk, especially if I stuff it up. Which is possible, because I'm a bit of a self-sabotager (more about that later).

But why now?
Well, you'd have to be pretty dumb to think that it's OK to be overweight. I mean, the evidence is pretty clear that it's not a good place to be.
I've certainly got by on not losing weight. I've always been pretty active, and have always had good blood/pressure/cholesterol. Good genes maybe? Or just luck?
But...I mentioned in my last post that my doctor told me that I'm on the verge of diabetes. That's nothing new to me really - my grandmother developed type two diabetes when she was older, so it's in the blood, and I'd long suspected that my habits might catch up to me sooner or later. In fact, part of me had anticipated that my blood tests would show I already had it.
But I was lucky. I didn't. And if that's not a wake-up call, I don't know what is.

I don't want to die early. I don't want to be incapacitated. I don't want to live the second half of my life counting the pills I have to take each morning. I want to be awesome, and successful and travel and create! I can't do that as easily if (a) I'm diabetic, and (b) I'm HUGE.

But haven't you done this before?
Yes, yes I have. Quite a few times actually (in fact, I've documented most of the whole silly story already). And no, I don't know if this time I'll do it better. But I'm damn well gonna try.

Ok, so what are you going to do?
Well, as I've said previously, I've tried a few different things. I've never gone down the Weight Watchers/Jenny Craig road, nor the surgery/extreme measures road (though god knows I've contemplated it!), but I've definitely done near-starvation and over-exercising.
The most success I've had (a good 40 kilos worth) was through good eating and regular exercise. I hope I can be that good again.

Because that's what I've decided to do again. I did consider a lap band (some people close to me have done it, with much success), but can't stand the thought of the things I'd have to give up - or the cost. I also looked into Atkins and Cohens (etc), but all seemed just too prescriptive for me. I just tend to rebel (even if mentally) if people tell me what I can (and can't) do, and once I go back to 'normal', that's the end of me!

I am making a few compromises to get me started. I am going to cut out starchy carbs for a while. You know, the potatoes, lollies, cakes and white bread etc, with a slight leaning to Atkins principles, but with a healthy measure of low GI too. Just to get me started. Because I need to see some results quickly.
Once I lose about 10 kilos, I'm going to go back to refining my diet for a long term lifestyle change.
It's going to be based on low GI principles, because I think my blood sugar has something to do with all this. But it's going to be something I can sustain. I still want to be able to eat the occasional Toblerone Cheesecake, or Goodberry's or delicious double brie, but I need to learn to do that in moderation.

I think it will be OK. My tastes and habits have changed a fair bit over the years. I actually like vegetables a whole lot more now, and I'm already in a pretty good exercise habit. It's just making some permanent changes to portion size and sugar consumption.

So I may well vent my frustrations along the way, and I'll definitely keep you up to date with how I'm going. But please, do hold me accountable. Ask me now and then how it's going. Oh don't worry, I'll tell you!

Thursday, September 15, 2011


I know, it's very cheeky of me to think that anyone would still be around after completely neglecting my ever-faithful readers for the last month, but I thought I'd better pop my head in.

In my defence, I've been exceptionally busy since I last spoke with you, not to mention horribly ill for the last couple of days (it's so nice to be able to sit up for any length of time!)
Mind you, I'm not completely better yet. I got hit with a very rapid onset cold on Monday night, and have been in bed since. In fact, I'm writing this while all snuggled up. I think I've got a little bit of a chest infection to be honest, so if I'm not better tomorrow, it's back to the doc. I don't want to get pneumonia (again).

So, my last post was on the 29th of August. I've had many adventures since then: There's been a strike, which is always interesting, if nothing else. There's been lots of work-related hi-jinx with some new, and very interesting and fun, colleagues - did you know it's been a whole year since I started my new job? And I still love it!
I've also started my other casual job doing some tutoring at the Uni. That's been a lot of fun too, though at times frustrating (I'm a little pedantic about spelling and these are university students - I'll say no more...), and scary (do I really know enough to teach at a university level?). I'm even giving a lecture next week, which is even more scary! Still, I'm glad to be doing it. It's a nice kind of teaching.

We had Father's Day, which was a pretty quiet affair, with my Dad away and me not 100% (what is it with me lately?), but the boys did some nice kite flying:

We have also been busy creating a 'Lego Room'. We have an old trailer/caravan thing that's been sitting out in the backyard full of junk, so we cleaned it out (chucking most of the junk out thank goodness!), and moved all the Lego from Oliver's room.

Last week, James and I went to see The Living End at the local uni bar. We probably wouldn't have gone if not for the whole Sam thing. As you know, The Living End was Sam's favourite band, and I had said that I would go the next time they were here. If Sam was alive, he definitely would have been there with me (it was over 18s, but we would have worked something out!), but it was good having James there, as he gets it. So once again, it was a good night tinged with sadness. It was a pretty good night, they always play well and they played enough of their old music to get most of the crowd involved.

I also spent last Saturday night being extremely wicked at the Hen's Night of a good friend: drinks, dancing, strippers, you know - the usual. You know, despite the horror of finding myself at Mooseheads (check out the photo!), it was actually fun, and a bit of an ego boost, as many boys came up and tried it on with me, and not just the ugly desperate ones!
It was a great night in which I (of course) had a bit too much to drink, which was a bit silly as the next day Oliver and I were due to take part in the annual Canberra Times Family Walk. 

Luckily, I was spared any sign of a hangover and we had a pleasant (if very cold) 5km walk around the lake. It's the second year we've done it (my friend Deb went too with her daughter Lucy), and it's lots of fun for a good cause (The Heart Foundation).

Phew! It's no wonder I've had no time for blogging! I will try to get back in here regularly, but it doesn't look like slowing down. We're going on a holiday soon (robbers beware, our house will be inhabited), plus it's not only social season (have you noticed that the social engagements seem to pile up when the weather starts to warm up?), but it's birthday season around our place. This month we've got Anthony's mum's 60th (it was on Tuesday but we're having lunch on Sunday); then in October we've got Oliver and Anthony(40!), as well as Anthony's brother Tim; then in November we've got Anthony's brothers Phil and Christopher and foster sister Ange; and finally in December there's James, my Dad and me! Lots of cake. Not so good for me who is now on a no-cake diet!

Actually, that's the other thing. My doctor told me the other day that I'm 'this close' to diabetes. So I'm going to lose some weight. No, I really am! It may well take up the bulk of my future posts.

So until the next one, much love to you.