Archive for July, 2010

After a post last night where I feel like I could have been slightly too negative… I felt the need to focus on some good stuff about me.. I am a good person.. I mean… I try to be… And I have many good qualities.. I guess I am just realistic about what I am and what I’m not.. I see no point in sugar-coating stuff.. I know that we can’t all be perfect at things.. And I expect that if I thought any different I would be severely disillusioned.

There are many things I am good at, even pride myself at being good at. And I think if I focus my energies on improving and progressing the areas I am talented in then I am far more likely to yield success than worrying about things I am not so skilled at…. Just the way I see it… But here are some of the things I am good at….

1.I like to think I am good at writing… I enjoy writing and I enjoy the reflection it affords me

2. I am good at cooking. I can cook a mean 3-course meal and put others to shame on occasion. I also have a knack for doing all this without recipes, or usually tweaking recipes with my own special touches. <– this does however run the risk that I can never repeat the meal I have made….

3. I am good at explaining and teaching medical/nursing/midwifery concepts to both fellow students, colleagues and also to patients. I can explain things simply so that the common man can understand. I can explain it without all the extra jargon and added “buzz words” which we find these days. So I guess this will hold me in good stead for a nursing/midwifery career. So much of nursing/midwifery is about patient education. As a side-note I used to work at Telstra and very RARELY had a customer who didn’t understand their bill once I explained it to them.

4. I am good at working under pressure- I think my disorganization and “flying by the seat of my pants” lifestyle stands me in good stead for working in nursing, and using the tools I have available to me…

5. I am very good at making people feel welcome in my home, and providing a hospitable environment. I think this is something I have grown up around, but also fine-tuned. I would hate to think that people didn’t feel comfortable in my home.

6. I am good at providing people with a non-judgemental ear to listen. And I am empathetic and compassionate. I care about people. And I will do all I can to support someone in their time of need. Even if it’s just being a soft place to land.

7. I give really good hugs. I have been told this on more than one occasion. And I don’t give out hugs that easily. Though I am softening in my old age. My sister is always complaining that I don’t hug her enough. I don’t mind hugs. But I am not a touchy-feely person. I guess I am always worried people won’t hug me back…. :-/

8. I can run. I never could run before. I can run now, and I am ok at it. I am even going to do a half marathon in October. I’ll make it through that out of stubborness alone, let alone being *able* to do it.

9. I can swear like a trooper, drunktweet and I can even operate an iPhone when the drinks are flowing and most can’t even manage to unlock theirs. But most of all I have fun.

10. I have fun even when I fall down on the ground cos I can’t walk. I usually look up and laugh. And if I fall down, I imagine what it would be like if someone had filmed it and then put sound effects to it like they do on “Funniest home videos”.

See, when I wrote the post last night about the things I *can’t* do… I was worried about people perceiving it to be a “woe is me” kind of “FML” post. It wasn’t that. It was a simple acceptance of who I am and what I can’t do. And being ok with that. Now that I have written this post, I feel a slight tinge of “I think I’m so good” “Look at me, look at me” about it. That’s not what I am aiming or. Its a simple case of well, these are my strengths and I am happy to celebrate them. I am happy to know what they are. I don’t see anything wrong with that. I think if you can know your strengths then you are more likely to develop them….. And that’s what I’m about.. Being the best version of me that’s available. 😀

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Ok.. so it was through a quick little conversation on twitter tonight that I got to thinking.. It was something I was thinking of earlier too.. I had a conversation during the day as well..  I saw an old face from the past.. It was a very special friend who I hadn’t seen for about 5 or so years…

The friend I am referring to made a comment about a particular location in Melbourne. I shrugged saying I didn’t know where that place was, and I probably never would know.. I made the flippant comment: “It might well have been 5 years, I still have no sense of direction and I probably never will….”

It got me to thinking… And bear with me on this…

There are a number of traits about me I don’t like, and a number of traits which my family don’t like, and in general I am sure can be very irritating.. Though I am coming to a place where I am starting to accept some of these things about me.. I am seeing that they are what they are.. No point in worrying over them.. I mean, why make myself more miserable with worry right?

So here are some of the things I can’t, won’t ever be able to do well….

1. I have no sense of direction, and I can’t read a map. I won’t be able to, but I will always leave myself plenty of time to get somewhere when I am going somewhere uncertain. Will I offer to navigate when others are involved? Probably not.

2. I can’t drive a car. I don’t do it well. I never have. And I can safely say that 8 years into having my license, I’d expect to have mastered the basics by now. But no. I haven’t. And I won’t. I will improve, and I will do my best to be safe, but drive well.. I will never do. Teach my own children to drive one day? I think it best I don’t. I prefer not to drive if there is another licensed driver in my company.. Both because I value my life, and theirs…

3. I can’t eat what I want, when I want. I have now lost all this weight… (see here) but this is a lifestyle change… I will never be able to eat what I want, when I want. Unless I want to eat lettuce, brocolli, and snowpeas everyday for the rest of my life and never eat another slice of cheesecake. 😛

4. I am not good at computer related tasks. Sure I can use a computer, and I can usually type stuff into it, but the minute something goes wrong I am cactus. It all confuses me…

5. I can’t seem to be on time.. for anywhere… I mean, you know.. for real life.. everyday stuff… like uni and so on… I always feel like I am in a rush to get out the door.. I always seem to forget something.. I run inside my house usually once, sometimes twice before I manage to drive away.. Badly…

6. I am as clumsy and unco-ordinated as they come. If there is a cake to drop on it’s top, then I will do it. If there is a knife I can slice through my finger with, I will. If I am carrying a bucket of water, I can be as careful as possible, it is guaranteed I will drop some somewhere.. If I can somehow manage to rip something I will.. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t *try* to do these things.. They kinda just happen.. I try my best.. But this just seems to be the natural pattern…

7. Maths- counting.. I mean, I can count from 1-infinity. But I can’t add, subtract, divide or multiply anything more than simple equations. I can’t do it. My mind boggles, and all the numbers running around in there just look like that number-ghetti they sell in the baked bean aisle…

8. Walking- I don’t do that well.. I seem to fall down quite a bit more than the average adult.. I mean, I had hoped it would be something I would grow out of.. Now I just tend to stay away from climbing up ladders, and you know.. general tasks which require balance or precision in any way.. I’m not too fussed.. I just won’t be table-top dancing any time in my life… Which some ppl might be happier to hear than not… 😛

Ok.. I think those are enough negative things for now.. But in all honesty.. I don’t see them as all that negative.. I see these things about me as fact.. I am who I am.. I can’t worry myself about it too much.. It is what it is.. I mean, there will never be a day I live where I don’t try to improve myself… But all I can do is try.. and at the end of the day, isn’t it better to be real and accept those things I can’t change..? Be content with what they are. But accept and be who I am in the same moment…? Can that be done? Is that my realist attitude? Or is it one of pessimism? I guess I don’t love these things about me.. But I recognise that I can fight the tide and end up MORE frustrated with the things I can’t change.. Or I can accept me as I am and be pleasantly surprised with any improvements I happen to manage…..?

I am not too worried about the things I can’t do.. I am not going to focus on those.. I’ll do my best, and fake the rest.. I don’t know that there’s anything wrong with knowing where my strengths and weaknesses lie.. it’s just a realistic attitude to have right?

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So I have been working at losing weight for some time now. I have been asked by a few people what it is that I have been doing. Over the years I have done a lot of reading on diet and exercise and healthy living. I have not always been the pillar of health, but I guess I have tried to adapt what I have read and what I found worked into a plan that worked for me. Most importantly, I decided last November to make *me* a priority. Since then, I lost 25kg, I lost 30cm off my hips, I learned how to run, and I gained life…. Here is a few little areas of my life that were “out of shape” and here’s what I did about it….


I eat healthily. I eat frequently, and I eat for fuel. I plan my food for the day. I think about it before it happens. I think about it beforehand so that I am not trying to decide what to eat when I am FUNGRY. I don’t like to be trying to pick something to eat when I am hungry. Cos I will go for the carbiest filled meal there is.

I don’t eat carbs much at all. I eat a diet high in protein, and low in fat. I don’t eat those lo-fat meals or those “diet” meals. I don’t like them, they are full of sugar. I focus on eating salads, vege’s, and protein. This fills me up so I don’t eat more, and the protein helps with muscle repair.

I usually have a high-protein meal replacement smoothie for breakfast as it is a routine. It is high-protein. It fills me up. And it is healthy. I usually don’t feel hungry again til mid-morning. And in fact, I rarely let myself feel hungry. I always carry water and food on me so that I don’t. It was hard in the early days, but now I am no longer in a habit of just eating because I am bored or sad… It’s a lot easier…


I drink 2-3L of water a day. I have a 750ml bottle and it gets filled 3-4 times a day. I don’t drink tea or juices. And I don’t drink any flavoured drinks. I do however allow myself one coffee a day. This is because of research I have seen which states that getting caffeine into your bloodstream not only wakes you up, but it also helps to reduce the pain caused by exercise. I read somewhere too that caffeine has something to do with the metabolism of food and can aid in weight loss. I only drink 1 cup a day, and am very strict about maintaining that amount. If I am tired and feel the need for a coffee in the late afternoon, I will eat an apple. It works. Getting off the coffee won’t be easy for some. But strict limits of a maximum of 2 cups per day! And NO JUICE! NO CORDIAL, NO SOFT DRINKS.

All of this being said, I haven’t even touched on ALCOHOL!!! I made myself a rule that I only drink on weekends. I think it is far too easy to drink every night. There are a few reasons for this. When drinking alcohol. So often, this means that you eat certain foods with it. Cheese, wine, sandwiches etc.

I drink on weekends. Weekends can be a little hard to define, but I define them as Friday and Saturday night. On occasion there might be an event during the week where I know I will want to drink. As a result I will forfeit one of my 2 “weekend” nights. These rules are strict. But they work.


All this talk of alcohol and coffee brings me to sleep. It is particularly important to limit coffee in relation to sleep. I don’t have coffee after 3pm in the afternoon. It would interfere with sleep too much. And while you may not lie awake at night tossing and turning just because you’ve had a coffee, it does keep you more alert and more awake, so more likely to head to bed later.

As far as sleep goes, it is important to try to get 8 solid hours a night. If this can’t be achieved, then 7 solid hours is good too. I try to make sure that I get a solid sleep. As you may know sleep is responsible for restorative processes in the body. But these restorative processes can’t be happening in the earlier stages of sleep. They happen in the latter stages of sleep. Obviously sleep can be helped by regular exercise. It’s a bit of a vicious cycle in that regard.


Ingredients I can’t live without for exercise. iPod, good sports bra, good sneakers and good socks.

Each day at night before I go to bed, I consciously reflect on my day and what exercise I have done for the day. I also then think about the day to come and what exercise I will do for the day to come. I think about where I am going for the next day, how can I fit in my exercise.

When I exercise I like to make sure I sweat. I like to make sure I work up a sweat. I like to work so hard that the sweat pours off my head. I like to push myself. I like to push myself harder than I did the day before. And when I get to the end of my workout, I like to make sure that I need a full 15 minutes to sit down and recover before I can think about taking another step.

When I work out, I mix it up. I like to ride, lift weights, and I like to box. These are exercises that work for me. I also like to improve on my exercise, each time I go. I like to stride out faster, harder and stronger. The tracking of this is made easier through apps that the iPhone has. Some track the distance, and some just track the time.


I think that in any diet, any change of lifestyle, it is important to have a balance. It is important to maintain this balance. Part of socializing is unfortunately food, and this is where so many of us come undone. Because we meet with friends and family and enjoy good food. But what I did do, is set aside a rule that I have one break day a week. This break day is something I plan at the start of the week, and on said day, I can eat whatever I want. It means I don’t have to go without birthday cake when my family has a birthday, or I can enjoy some pizza with my brother when I go visit… It means I don’t feel like I am missing out on too much…

In the end, I haven’t missed out.. I have gained so much more… The journey continues.. My next goal? To run 10km in an hour… Where to from here? I stole the keys to the skkkkyyyyyyyy!!!!




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