Thursday, 27 September 2012

Undressing myself...

So I've run to the bathroom twice already before I've even written the first line of this post...this is the most courageous post I've written so far.

When I started 12WBT we were asked to create screen names - for use on the forums etc.  As you know, I called myself 'Coco Girl' (for a play on words that you can see in the title/description of this blog).

Instantly, I felt safe.  I had a name to hide behind.  No-one knew who I was - I spent hours creating my profile picture - of the pink butterfly - not a photo of me.  I felt strong and safe enough to write on the forums, on this blog, on Facebook and on Twitter, all of my deep and dark thoughts and feelings, my history, my questions, MYSELF.  I was hiding behind a name and that made it ok.  I could be ENTIRELY honest.  No hiding anything, completely baring my soul.  There was Coco Girl, spilling her guts out all over the internet.  And I, the real life person behind it, didn't mind doing this, because no-one knew it was ME.

There was Coco Girl and then there was me. Same person, both being honest, but was Coco being more honest...?

About halfway through my 1st round (Round 2, 2012), I decided to open up to my fellow 30+ crew  members on Facebook, as to what my screen name was.  Everyone shared so many personal stories and photos in that group, and it got to a point where I felt safe to 'bare' myself to some people...these safe people.  I didn't make a grand announcement (because no-one else would care if they knew my screen name or not - not that they wouldn't care, but I was the one with the issue- they wouldn't have known any different).  So I let it slip into conversation in a post one day.  No-one probably even noticed.  No-one minded, and of course no-one turned around and wrote "you're Coco Girl??".  It was fine!  And completely in my head!

In saying that though, I was so overcome with putting myself 'out there', that I had a dream that night that I was naked on a nudist beach, while being filmed by Channel 7 and Channel 9 on live TV.  (For those who don't understand, a common meaning of 'being naked in public dreams' is that you feel extremely vulnerable and exposed.)  Uhh- yeah I was!

Phew!  That was out of the way!  Still, I didn't tell anyone else.  A few of my non-12WBT friends asked to read my blog, and I always changed the topic and never gave them the link.  I didn't put any photos of myself on here.  (Actually I did - a very long distance group photo - and a miniscule tiny photo that no-one would have recognised, but just in case, I took it down).  I was petrified of being found out.

A few weeks later, coincedentally on the very same day the Pre-Season for Round 3 'shout it out to the world' task was announced, Mish emailed everyone who was doing Round 3 and suggested that they do a blog, amongst other things.  She included the links to a few blogs as examples, and one of them was mine -- Coco Butter.

A few hours later, I got a text message from my sister-in-law...........she was signed up for Round 3, had clicked on Mish's email link, started reading my blog and recognised that it was mine.  (She had read the post about my home 'gym' and recognised the photos I took).  My sister-in-law's SMS was beautiful.  It was so loving and supportive and she said she loved my blog, respected my journey even more now that she understood where I had come from, and that as soon as she realised it was me, that she stopped reading as she felt like she was reading my personal diary.

Her response couldn't have been better.  However, I completely freaked out - I ran to the bathroom at work, I was red and hot all over and crying my heart out.  If I didn't feel naked last time, I surely did now.  I couldn't believe that someone I knew, a family member at that, had read this.  I calmed myself down and finally texted her back :)  and over the next few hours, something amazing happened.  I started to rationalise it, and truly think about it.  Why was I hiding?  What was I hiding from?

I read the best newspaper article once.  It was one of those "Dear Aunty" columns where readers would ask "Aunty" those difficult questions and she would reply with some witty but decent advice.  One reader wrote in and asked something along the lines of that her sister was very overweight, obese even, and that she didn't know how to tell her that she should do something about it.  "Aunty" replied with the best line.  She said with mock sarcasm: 'I hate to break this to you, but if your sister is obese....SHE ALREADY KNOWS.'  I loved it.  It was basically telling the story of how Mish says, the 'elephant in the room' that nobody speaks about.  If someone is obese, THEY KNOW.  And what I have recently realised myself, EVERYBODY ELSE KNOWS too.  They don't always say anything, they usually don't.  But people know.  

I've had moments when I've shared something about my weight situation with a friend, and they haven't been shocked.  This has, although, shocked ME - "they know??"  It's funny how our minds work.  I have the most distorted image of myself.  I truthfully can not look at 2 photos of myself and tell you in which one I am bigger.  My view is that distorted, or fucked up!  So I guess for a while I lived in my nice little dream land, where no-one could tell that I was 141kg.  It was my little secret.  Yeah right.

So back to the story - the tell the world day!  After processing this, I suddenly felt really empowered.  I felt like it was ok to share, that this was ok.  I actually sent an out of the blue email to 2 friends who had asked to read my blog, and sent them the link.  It was funny, I didn't have to tell the world myself in that pre-season task, Mish took care of it for me!  And it was ok. :)  See, she knows what she's doing! 

So that's how it was for a few weeks.  Then at finale, I spoke to a few people about this, and a couple of them encouraged me to put myself out there, to share photos, to not care.  At the finale party I was swanning around with a name badge saying 'Coco Girl'.  That in itself made me feel strong and it was liberating!

And it got me thinking.  A massive part of this journey has been changing my mindset.  It's made me share things with people that I have never, ever shared before.  It's made me more confident.  It's encouraged me to bare my soul, my heart, my mind and it's given me the opportunity to be honest with myself.  The things that I've shared with 12WBT'ers and even non 12WBT'er friends, is insane.  But as much as I have shared, I have felt so confident in doing so.  I've taken a lot of inspiration from others who have been very open with their journies.  Their journies have inspired me to no end, because they have shared so much.  And when I see people's reactions to them, no-one is dissing them; people are jumping up and down with support and encouragement and getting inspired themselves.  I guess I had to remember that I'm not in highschool any more.  The bitchy Year 9'ers aren't going to laugh at me.

For the past few weeks I've been thinking a lot about this and considered sharing the 'real me'.  I realised that I don't know what I'm hiding.  People who I know, know that I'm fat.  They know that my weight has gone up and down.  They know.  So why am I hiding?  We only live once.  Why not be open with the world?  I am the most open person I know.  I am an open book and wear my heart on my sleeve 24/7.  Except when it comes to this stuff.  Why?  Everyone needs inspiration in their lives, honesty, truth, all that stuff.  I have gotten so much of that from others who have been brave enough to share their journies with me.  Maybe I can be as brave as them?

Last week, as a test, I sent my link, out of the blue, to a few close friends.  One of them, and her beautiful mother, both sent me cards in the mail (yes, Australia Post, actual cards!) :) to say thank you for sharing my journey with them, and encouraged me to keep going.  That reaction kind of sealed the deal.  We are all human, we all have our ups and our downs, and when we share, we let people in.  I'm feeling empowered now.  Don't get me wrong, I'm terrified too - but in an excited way.  I've hidden this for too long, I'm putting myself out there.  Some people may not understand how huge this is for me - but I don't have the greatest self confidence or esteem (that's an understatement!) and when you've kept something hidden for 15 years, it kind of becomes a personal, private part of you.

So, enough discussion and thinking and reasoning.  This may be the most liberating thing I've ever done. This is who I am.  Undressing myself for you right here.  My name is Kate.  I will still call myself Coco Girl because I like it, but my name is Kate.  I say that I wear my heart on my sleeve?  Well now, I truly do.


Before and after photos of my first round.  2nd photo taken at finale....Coco Girl :)

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Purple vs blue shirts and the yellow pole

The yellow pole
I achieved my Week 4 Mini Milestone! Whoohoo! And I loved it! How I can say I 'loved' something that was grueling doesn't make sense to me but it's true.

My Week 4 Mini Milestone was to climb Mt Coot-tha with a big group of QLD crew, led by Zenergy trainers. It was an organised event and I sort of joined up without really knowing about it but just wanting to be a part of the team event.
Boot camp first up

I should have started to be suss when I heard that we were doing the 'Kokoda trail'. Or when a friend posted a photo on Facebook during the week of a sign saying 'Heartbreak Hill'. Hmmm. I started the day off with boot camp and then we drove straight up the mountain.  There was a big group and they had us doing squats, burpees and pushups throughout the challenge. They said it was a loop and that we would make it back to the 'yellow pole'-- which I duly noted and kept in my mind for the next hour and a half.

The run down the mountain was good- it was slippery and uneven ground, there were stairs and the whole track was rocky. I jogged the whole way down minus 2 metres. I was proud as I've been beginning to think my first and only 5km a few weeks ago was a fluke. I've hardly handled sprints since then because I've been having a bit of trouble breathing (I think it's anxiety rather than physical).  But I took it at a slow pace and was fine. This sounds odd but I could actually feel the endurance in my that weird?

Anyway- I thought the way back UP the mountain would be on the same trail. Ah no. Apparently we hadn't gotten to 'Kokoda' yet.  I know of course that it's incomparable to the real Kokoda but my gosh they named it right! One fellow walker was walking up and down actually training for the real Kokoda so it has to have something in it. 

The first half was ok. I wasn't running much at all as it was mostly uphill but I was going ok. My heart rate stayed around 175-185 for the most part.

AND THEN. I looked up ahead and saw a fellow challenger in a purple shirt- she wasn't standing just up ahead, she was standing UP--- I almost had to strain my head to see her, she was so much higher than me! I actually made a small groaning noise - kind of a distress call to myself. If swearing was a noise, that is what I made.

It was so steep and so much higher! It was funny, I was going fine until I saw the purple shirt. As soon as I saw her and realised how much was ahead of me, my legs went weak and I lost a bit of momentum. I kept going but it was hard. In my mind, all I kept focus on was the yellow pole that I would reach. 
Sweat baby sweat

If I thought that was steep, I had another thing coming. This wasn't uphill, this was friggen upmountain! :) I tried walking on an angle, leaning my body forward to help with gravity as I trudged on!

I was fine but my heart rate was up and I could only take tiny steps. It was rocky and I had to be careful of my footing. Yellow pole, yellow pole.

Then I heard people cheering up ahead- it wasn't for me but it was encouraging to hear that and also to hear that I was probably close to the end. :) I then heard a voice of a friend who I adore and who is very encouraging. It sounded like she was coming back down the mountain to spur people on- I glanced up hoping I was right, saw a glimpse of her blue shirt and got a bit more power in my legs. She and others helped us stragglers a lot, even grabbing my hand. It's amazing what a few words of simple encouragement can do to a mindset.

And then I saw it...the yellow pole! Whoohoo! I made it up and tapped the pole, then threw an orange quarter in my mouth. I think I was a bit tired, someone handed me a cup of water and I actually asked what it was for- I thought it was to dip my fingers into- what the?? Weirdo ;)
And I thought this was steep

I've been thinking about it since and it's really made me think about my whole journey. I have a massive road- way back from the start, I had 83kg in total to lose. When I saw the purple shirt and saw how far I had to climb, the effect on me mentally and physically was immense. It didn't last of course and I was fine, but as soon as I looked up and saw how much I had to go, it affected me: THERE'S SO MUCH MORE TO DO. Yet when I thought about the end prize, reaching that yellow pole, I felt inspired and just kept on trudging. It was like if I viusalised the end, I had more momentum, but as soon as I looked at how hard the journey to there would be, the hard work I had to do first, my legs turned on me.

If I think about my weight goal and everything associated with that, if I see it and smell it and hear it and touch it, it gives me motivation to keep on keeping on. But I just have to think of the end goal and not the massive journey ahead of me- if I think about the mountain climbing ;) and heights that I have to push myself it can be overwhelming. I have to just think of each step ahead and focus on my mini goals and break the journey down into achievable chunks.
We got certificates :)

Oh and the blue shirt reference? That's just to remind myself that even though it's a journey for me and I have to do all of the work, friends in blue shirts (& others, thank you everyone) calling out words of encouragement can propel us forward more than they may realise. We could all do with being surrounded by positive, encouraging and supportive people. This journey is hard enough, so I am just soaking up the positive people I have been lucky enough to have around me. If you don't have these people then reach out- to friends, family, or online. It does wonders. I am loving this journey and a huge part of it is thanks to all the blue shirts I have around me.

Thanks Ange, Tony, Jodie, the Zenergy team and my never-give-up fighting green shirted friend for today, and to everyone who was so lovely, blue shirts, black shirts and everything in between :)

I have my eye on the yellow pole and I will get there :)

The Mt Coot-tha / Kokoda challengers!

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Coco's Week 4 wrap up in bullet points

Hi guys,

I haven't been on here for a few days so thought I should check in.  We're just finishing Week 4 and it's been a mixed up week for myself.  I don't have one big story to tell you but I have a lot of little things so I may as well throw it all out there so I can start Week 5 refreshed.  I love bullet points and so that is what you will get - in whatever order comes from my mind through the keyboard this evening:
  • This week has, overall, for myself been shit.  I won't go into it on here but in a nutshell I hit rock bottom.  The bottom-est rock.  I'd dearly love to be all smiles and happy grins and say what a TOP week I had!  But my promise in this blog was that it would be honest, warts and all.  I had one of the worst weeks I have ever had.  I am not trying to sound dramatic, just truthful.  I guess one of those weeks where you just don't know what to do and can't see an out and feel 100% alone.  I'm trying to improve it and it's going ok.
  • Tuesday night was fun, we had 12WBT live chat with Mish which I love - that is cool enough, but then she read out my question!  And if that was still not cool enough, I won a Polar from it!  Nice thing to happen on an otherwise awful day.
  • Then Wednesday morning I found out I am one of the winning blogs for this weeks challenge!  Second round in a row!  I am stoked that people are still reading this and liking it (?) :)  Thank you to everyone who reads this and who voted for Coco Butter.  This certainly made my day, but it also makes my day each time someone reads it, comments or sends me a message.  Thank you, guys xx
  • Wednesday morning also saw our weekly weigh in....I lost 2.5kg.  I was actually disappointed - simply from being impatient.  I am happy with it, but I did expect more from myself.  It just resolved me to work harder this week.
  • Week 4 is also a week where we redo our measurements and fitness test.  I was extremely disappointed with my measurements - my chest and hips had gotten bigger!  I was stunned - my weight is going down and my clothes are looser, so I had no idea how this could happen?  It wasn't TTOTM either.  I redid my measurements a couple of days later just out of interest and the total had dropped a little, but not by much.  Augh!  I didn't understand.  One friend suggested it could be my pectoral muscles --- I hope she's right!  I can't do much more except for keep on going and work even harder.  I was thinking "I'm off to a flying start for The Yellow Dress Challenge, NOT!" :)  I was happy with my fitness test results though.  Especially finally being on the 'plus' side of the sit reach test!
  • I've been going full on with the training and have been eating extremely clean...except for Wednesday night.  I had a little binge.  It knocked the wind out of me --- in the past this was normal...but now?  I don't do that anymore!  It shocked me that I could so easily fall into the same trap.  It was a good reality check, it showed me that I am not 'cured' yet.  I moved past it the very next morning though and am comforting myself with the same advice I gave someone on the forums the other day...something I heard on The Biggest Loser once.  My binges are getting further and further apart.  They used to be daily, constant.  And if I started "being good" and cracked, that binge would continue for days, weeks.  I reason that this week I had one, it was one night, I haven't done that in weeks, and I moved on the very next morning starting with a 4:30am training session.  My binge eating 'episodes' are getting further and further apart and less in duration.  And one day I will stop it.  It was a reality check, alright.  And maybe I needed that.  It's all a journey, a process, a battle.  And what do you do with these things?  You keep going.
  • On a similar note, I had a win today though.   I went to a baby shower of a very old friend - we've known each other since we were 7.  This is her first baby and I am over the moon for her - she's a gorgeous girl.  However I really really did not want to go.  I'm not feeling very confident at the moment and not exactly in a happy place, and the baby shower was being organised by a girl who made my life hell last year.  I was maid of honour at my friends wedding and she was another bridesmaid.  Bridesmaidzilla.  As well as her, the whole wedding in question was traumatic for me - we had big issues with the dress, and I felt singled out and humiliated on shopping trips etc.  On the big day I felt (and looked in photos) hideously fat and I was left out of things and my weight was just always an issue.  I don't even use the word 'traumatic' lightly.  It was awful.  Whenever I look at the dress I feel the same feelings.  (On a side note though, I tried it on the other day and it fell off me - WIN!)  But anyway --- Bridesmaidzilla was organising the baby shower and I didn't want to go.  I felt like it would be like the wedding all over again.  I nearly backed out so many times - even when I was driving up their driveway!  But I couldn't not go, she is one of my oldest friends - so I forced myself.  When I got there, about 4 people I know looked me up and down when they greeted me.  WHY DO PEOPLE DO THAT???  I don't understand it.  Do people not realise that we can see where they are looking?  You know, that quick up and down glance before they greet you?  It really gets to me.  Anyway, so that happened and I just felt fat.  Then we played a knowledge game about how much we know about babies and births etc. and I got the most right and won.  My friends mum turned to me and said loudly, (me being pretty much the only non-mother ther)e, "how on earth did YOU win?!"  She was joking of course but she hit a sore point...  So I was sitting there and....there was a whole table of pretty little cupcakes and cakes and chocolate and a table full of food....  The mind games went crazy for me.  I had, on purpose, had my 12WBT lunch right before I went, but that was all out of the window.  I reasoned with myself, I dared myself, I almost gave in and just binged.  I wasn't in a happy place.  But I didn't.  I did have a mini wrap - I shouldn't have but under the circumstances, I forgave myself.  I also had a stick of celery and half a teaspoon of testing baby foods as a part of a game.  Win for me.
  • Tomorrow is my mini milestone day.  I'm starting the day with a bit of a virtual group challenge with some other 12WBT'ers, then boot camp and then I'm doing my mini milestone event, climbing Mt Coot-tha.  They dubbed this the 'Kokoda track'.  I was fine until I read this -- what have I gotten myself in for?  Wish me luck - eeek!
So that is where I am.  Not an awesome week but I'm trying to look forward.  Mish said that Weeks 4-8 are the "golden weeks" and I can see why.  I have the opportunity to smash out some hard work for 4 weeks (and beyond of course!) so I will give it my best shot.  Bring on the next 4 golden weeks.  And farewell Week 4.

"No amount of security is worth the suffering of a life chained to a routine that has killed your dreams."

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Introducing...The Yellow Dress

THE yellow dress
Ok.  So the countdown is on.  We have 59 days until Sydney finale.  That's pretty much 2 months away - 8 weeks and 5 days :)  I have so many goals to achieve by finale, but I have a new one.  I shared this with a small group of friends the other day and thought I'd add it here as well, to make me even more accountable!

I have a dress that I will be wearing on the weekend of finale!  It is this yellow one.  What's special about this dress, do you ask?  Well, nothing!  Apart from the fact that I want to wear it!  I have a stack of dresses and I love each one...this is just a random dress I have.  And I miss wearing it!  I've had it hanging up for weeks now, as inspiration.  It's not even my goal size or anything.  But the other day I tried it on and was disappointed that it didn't do up.  We had an unofficial finale for QLD and the theme was 'gold'.  I thought it would have been awesome if I could have worn it.  I know that I was nowhere near the size I was when I last wore this, but I tried it on anyway.  And this is what it looked like:

Side view...maybe if I suck in really hard....?

Instead of being disappointed, I made a new resolve - I will wear this on the finale weekend!  Not to finale itself, but just out and about!  This is as far as it would stretch around me.  There was no way this zip was being done up!  (Oh, and umm don't mind the sexy crop top, I had just gotten home from training when I took this photo) ;)

So yes!  I will be wearing this in...59 days time!  It's a little goal I set with a few friends but I still wanted to share it with you and I will keep you updated on this yellow dress and it's measurements!  It's a random, funny little goal that I'm looking forward to.  Any little thing that can keep me encouraged and running forward is great.  This is my little yellow dress goal :)

Hope you're all having a great week, Week 4 of 12WBT.  Tomorrow is weigh in Wednesday!  eeek!  I'm hoping for a good result tomorrow.  I've been training like a demon and eating mostly clean (have been within calories).  I took a forced rest day today as I have the DOMS of all DOMS.  I have been having trouble walking, I am in so much pain.  I pushed through it yesterday with 3 gentle walks but after a bit of research last night decided to take today off to let my body recover.  It's slowly getting better but let me tell you there has been a lot of moaning coming out of my mouth this week!

We have our fitness test and our mini milestone challenge this week as well - it's a big week!  I have a few more posts at the top of my mind so will be back on here soon.  One of them is all about Diet Coke....funny that! :)

Love Coco x

Size 16 by 17th November weekend!

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Chef Coco in the kitchen!

BAM!  My cooking for the week is DONE!  I just spent a few hours in the kitchen getting some meals cooked and ready!  All it took was a trip to Wooly's, a few hours in the kitchen, 12WBT recipes, and getting my ass into gear to get down and organised in the kitchen!  5x 12WBT meals cooked, 1 to go!

I've been so disorganised lately and it has been driving me nuts.  I've been buying my groceries on the day, each day, and have been all over the shop.  I decided to finally get my act together and make a few meals to freeze.  I'll spread these out and use some as emergency meals, but it's good knowing I have food there and ready to go. 

I made myself a 12WBT bacon and egg roll when I got home from boot camp which went down very well!  I then got hard in the kitchen and made the 12WBT lasagne, spinach and ricotta cannalloni and the penang chicken, and they are all now in the freezer!  They smelt awesome so I am impressed that I didn't want to taste test any.  I was actually feeling really faint while cooking, I don't know why but decided that my body needed more food.  My breakfast was really late so I wasn't hungry yet but I think my body just needed more, as I've been pushing myself with training.  Soooo I cooked the 12WBT beef with creamy mushroom for a very late lunch, got the red meat into me and I am now feeling much better!

Yummy meals and I feel great that I now have many meals tucked in my freezer.  There are NO EXCUSES now.

Funny side note, I keep getting amazed at all of the new foods I've been trying.  There's nothing extreme or strange, but just random condiments that I have never cooked with before.  Red curry paste, fish sauce, passatta .... I didn't even know what that was!  It's hard to find things in the aisles sometimes!  But it's great :)

Anyway I am off, just wanted to show you my organisation prowess from today! :)

Have an awesome Sunday night xx


Exercise high!!!!!

I've always been the kind of girl who would do her best to get out of PE at school. I'd be the one at the back of the cross country, walking and eating M&M's. I wouldn't run, even for the train. No way. I'd drive to Red Rooster which is a block away, rather than walk. You get the picture.

But I've been thinking how much I have changed just in a few months.

-I've been looking forward to this weekend because I had 2 boot camps / group training sessions on. I've been looking forward to it more than other weekends where I have parties and baby showers and lunches with friends.
-Last week at Perth finale, I was worried about not having a dress to wear. $ is tight but I worked out a way to go shopping for a new dress. But at the last minute I changed my mind and instead used the spare $ I did have for a dress, to replace my Polar instead as that was more important to me.
-On Friday a lady at a shop asked if I had "gym brain" as I was dressed in training gear and was distracted when she served me. (People don't often put the word "gym" together with me, this just gave me a giggle) ;)
-I feel more comfortable in training clothes rather than normal clothes.
-I have been craving exercise.
-I have to remember to take my HRM strap off when it's not needed- I'm so used to it being up my top.
-I've trained this week more than I have in a while and it feels fricken awesome.
Cal burn from yesterday's training session

I have just been loving it! Yesterday I did a group training session with the awesome Angela Wallace, Mason Luxford and Margie from The Biggest Loser. I had a ball! I burnt 914 calories in the 90min., my max heart rate was 191. It worked us HARD. This was the first session I've ever had where my legs were so tired that they collapsed from under me. I didn't go to sit down, I fell down! I wanted to stand and walk but for a bit there my body refused to let me! I felt that all day and night, I call it Bambi Legs, ouch!

This morning I did a back-up session with Ange and a whole stack of other 12WBT'ers. I am in so much pain from yesterday but I gave it my best shot and had heaps of fun.

I'm just on the biggest high though- from getting those calories burnt, from the endorphins, from the experiences and from the people. We had an unofficial QLD finale party last night too- and I've been thinking a lot about how I am really relishing being surrounded by so many like minded and positive people. I had a few people in both training sessions this weekend who helped me get through it. I was a bit of a weakling this weekend for some reason, but some of the girls really pushed me through, they held my hand, high 5'd me, stood on my toes to help me do butterfly sit ups when I was struggling and slowed to my pace to go alongside me. The encouragement is just out of this world and makes me feel in top of the world!

I've just been grocery shopping (finally!) and am about to do a massive cook up! Will post about that later. I'm looking forward to weigh in this week, I've been eating clean and upping my training, and as my trainers said: "you get out what you put in." Here's hoping!

Just wanted to drop by and say how much of a high I'm on from training! High on training, people and the process.

Love Coco Girl! Xx

Wednesday, 12 September 2012


Really - what do you want?  Do you know what you want?
I've been thinking about this a lot lately.  It can sometimes be hard to know what you want.  You have to do a lot of soul searching if you don't know.  One idea is to open up your eyes and look around you.  I keep thinking back to a chapter in my favourite book of all time: "Nine Secrets of Women Who Get What They Want" by American author, Kate White.  I am not a self help book kind of girl.  But this is a book that I stumbled across for $5 when I was about 17 in one of those makeshift book shops in a shopping centre.  Random buy, life changing book.

It was incredible and I read it over and over through the years, until I lost my copy a few years back.  It's incredible and I recommend it to anyone.  It helped me to get a promotion once, among many other things.  One thing she teaches in her book is to embrace the colour green...well, so to speak.

You know that awful, horrible emotion, ENVY?  The feeling that makes you feel wracked with guilt?  Well she shows you that it's actually a really positive emotion.  It shows you what you really want.  Are you envious of the girl down the hallway at work who just got that promotion?  Are you envious of your best friend's new razor layered hair cut?  Are you envious of your gym buddy who has just hit their 30kg loss?  Whatever it is, no matter how random or small, if it makes you envious, have a think about it - is that just showing you want you actually want?

It's not a bad thing!  In fact, I think it's very healthy.  Jealousy can be at different levels, and we have all heard stories of where jealousy can be taken to its limits and cause damage.

But don't give up so easily on envy.  If you're not sure what you want, have a look around you.  What makes your stomach burn?  What makes you get dreamy eyed?  What makes you salivate at the image you can conjur up so crystal clear, of what you would love to have?  These are your answers!

Get inspired...surround yourself with pictures of what you want...immerse yourself in books, magazines, Google, photos, hand scrawled notes....if you're surrounded by things that inspire you, chances are, these will spur you on to keep achieving your goals.

I'm not feeling particularly envious myself lately, but I already know what I want.  I want a lot of things - believe me :)  But one thing I didn't have to think about as I already know, is my weight loss goal.  I want to achieve this!  I've been thinking about it a lot.  How important is this to me?  How much do I want to achieve it?  Two questions I asked myself:
  1. Is it at the top of my 'wish list'?
  2. Am I treating it as my top priority day to day?
I had my answer there.  I have to dedicate myself to this and make choices - sometimes this will be hard.  There will be conflicting priorities day to day.  I had a big one last weekend.  I'm an actor and was supposed to be performing in a show at the same time as Round 2 finale.  Instead, I decided (some weeks ago), that Perth 12WBT finale was a bigger priority for me.  I never miss shows.  Trust me on that :)  Years ago I once had a secret symbol for a particular show I was in - I was very, very sick, but I refused to not perform.  So I had this symbol that, if I used it onstage, it meant to call an ambulance.  Fortunately I didn't have to use it, but I had my Stage Manager and Director in a tizz for whole show!

So yes, unless you're dying or already in hospital, you perform (in my books) ;)  However when I knew about this clash, I made a decision that finale was more important to me than this show.  I didn't bail on it, it was organised well in advance that I wouldn't be partaking.  But it was still a huge thing for me.  I'm lucky I had an awesome finale to distract me from being sad that I wasn't on stage, performing in Brisbane.

But I made my choice.  I wasn't choosing acting over my weight.  But I decided that being involved with and being inspired by finale, was more important to me at this point than this particular show.  I think it's important to prioritise every day.  We're all so busy and we all have so much going on in our lives.  But you have to be, as Mish says, "gut wrenchingly honest" with yourself and ask.....what is it that you truly want?  If you're not sure, open up your eyes, get on the green envy train or immerse yourself in everything until you find that thing.

That thing that makes your heart BURN with excitement and anticipation.  You'll know what you want when you feel that.

Today's training
My big current thing is my weight goals.  So today I kicked some ass training and went hard at it, morning, noon and night to kick start the week for myself.  I put this as a priority for myself, because, I know, that that is what makes my heart burn with passion...that is what I really want, right now.

What do you REALLY want?

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Bloggers Challenge #2: Week 2 - Rewarding vs Reminding

Hi guys!  Here's my responses for the Bloggers Challenge for Week 2.  I think this is a good chance for me to settle into my goals for this round and beyond.  Thanks 77Noni for the questions this week.

What are your goals for this week?
  • To eat clean every day
  • To manage red flag meals effectively
  • To train 6 days and burn my calorie goal
  • To have an awesome result on the scales next Wednesday
  • To organise myself
  • To reassess my weight goals
  • To work at 100% at the QLD Crew Unofficial Finale group workout
  • To work at 100% at boot camp (PIP) on Sunday 
  • To decide on my Week 12 Major Milestone as I need a new one!
What is/are your main goal/goals for week four of the twelve weeks?
  • To improve on my fitness test from last time
  • To achieve my Week 4 Mini Milestone 
  • To meet (or surpass!) my weight goal
  • To be into a more improved routine with my cook-ups / meals / shopping planning
  • To continue my training program
  • To get back to managing my Diet Coke addiction
What is/are your main goal/goals for week eight of the twelve weeks?
  • To do at least 1 push up on my toes!
  • To achieve my Week 8 Mini Milestone (my first triathlon!)
  • To be on track with my weight goal
  • To continue my training program and nutrition
What is/are your main goal/goals for week twelve of the twelve weeks?
  • To reach my weight goal for this round
  • To feel amazing
  • To be a Size 16/18
  • To be able to see a massive difference in my before and after photos
  • To achieve my Week 12 Major Milestone 
  • To be on track with my training and nutrition
What is/are your main goal/goals for one year in the future?
  • To be maintaining my goal weight 
  • To run a half marathon

77Noni asked us whether we agree with Ralphy and Nat-o:

The reward of a thing well done is having done it. 

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Awards are so unnecessary, because I think we get so much out of our work by just doing it. The work is a reward in itself.

Natalie Portman

I don't agree.  But not for the obvious reasons:

Why do you think its important to reward yourself along the way as you achieve your goals as a 12wbt?
I think it's important to reward yourself along the way, not because the rewards of the journey and end result are not reward enough, BUT BECAUSE rewards along the way are reminders of what we are doing and achieving.  Weight loss can often be a long road.  I myself have 83kg to lose in total.  That's not something that can be done in a week or two, of course.  It takes a long time!  And the journey is difficult at times!  I think that anything that helps you stay on track is a good thing.  If it's a new pair of earrings that remind you of your first 5kg loss, then that is great and is a great reminder of how hard you worked to get rid of that 5kg.

Likewise it's just good to have things to look forward to along the way.  Yes, losing weight is rewarding, but if you can break it down into smaller chunks and celebrate those smaller chunks along the way, the journey can be a lot more enjoyable, interactive and interesting.  Small wins are worth celebrating.  I like to look at my rewards as reminders of why I am doing this and pieces of encouragement to keep me pushed along my journey.  Celebrate the journey!

What rewards do you have planned when you achieve the goals?
My list is long :)  These are just a handful of some of my rewards I have set out for myself.  To be honest, yes I'll need a second job to pay for them, but I don't care :)
  • Bellybutton ring (for my new flat stomach!  It's just something I've never been able to have done)
  • Go for a ride on a Brisbane CitiCat at night in my Size 10 goal red dress (wind in my hair kind of experience) :)
  • New boots (I've never been able to find knee high boots that fit over my calves - boots are like this glamorous thing I've always not associated with myself)
  • New wardrobe (this doesn't need an explanation!)
  • New gold ring (treat!)
  • Hair cut / colour / straighten (before the CitiCat ride - like part of a pamper day) :)
  • Brisbane Eye ride at night (The Brisbane Eye is a ferris wheel that I probably couldn't ride on at my current weight.  I haven't even checked because I feel like I don't belong on that ride.  I will soon though!)
  • Glamour photo shoot (of course!)
  • New handbag (I need a new one and refuse to buy it until I reach goal)
(See why I'll need a second job to pay for these?  I'm a bit of a dreamer at times) ;)

But as you can see, my list (and these are only some of them!) is very involved and long and expensive.  However my weight loss journey has been way more involved, longer and expensive (I'm not just talking financially).  Of course, getting to my goal weight itself is all that I truly want.  I'd throw the boots and hair cut out the window in a heart beat if it just meant that I could reach my goal.  But, I say, why not?  It's exciting to look forward to and I deserve them.  I can't wait! :)  What are some of your rewards? :)

I left a piece of myself in the Swan River...

Hello!  What a weekend!  I'm back from Round 2 finale in Perth.  Incredible!  I won't be able to describe it accurately, but it was amazing.  I met the most AMAZING people, I visited the other side of my beloved country, I got inspired, I met Mish (!) :), I adored the group workout, I had fun, I laughed, I didn't stop, I felt beautiful at the finale party, I just had the most fantastic weekend.

I wanted to share two little moments with you (trust me, these are two moments out of a gazillion amazing moments I had!) :)

One of them was at the group workout.  I was so overcome at the workout.  I was so high on the atmosphere, the culmination of 12+ weeks of doing 12WBT, the inspiring people I was surrounded was one of those moments of truth in life.  I kept grinning all through the workout, just because I was enjoying it and having so much fun!  Fun at the workout and fun doing 12WBT.  I feel so thankful for this program.

After the workout, we did a warm down, led by the trainers.  I was standing there at the back of the crowd, watching a sea of people, all of these courageous, inspiring people and new friends, and we were stretching our arms in the air to the side, and this is the song they had as the backing track: "Proud" by Heather Small.  The main chorus line is: "What have you done today to make yourself feel proud".  A link is here:


Oh gosh.  It was another backing track to amazing moments in my life :)  Ahhh the tears poured out then!  I was exhausted, exhilarated and overwhelmed, and looking at this sight and listening to this song was just amazing.  It seemed to capture my 12WBT journey so far, so well.  What a fantastic workout.

I had a moment during the workout actually that amused me.  I was really, really tiring.  We were doing lunges and squats.  Up, down, up, down, up, down.  I was giving this my all but my body physically was being pushed to my limits.  I thought I'd have to stop as I really couldn't lunge or squat any more.  I glanced at my heart rate monitor (yes I replaced it whoohoo!) and my heart rate was at 190.  I was shattered!  And then I look up, and literally 2 metres away from me, was Mish.  Let me just say she is one incredible Personal Trainer.  She wasn't even looking at me, but let me tell you, if your legs feel like they'll collapse and your heart rate is at 190, and Michelle Bridges is just standing next to you?  You don't stop.  hahaha.  Best motivation to keep at it ever! :)

My other moment that I wanted to share was a really special one.  I've finally spoken my commitment for this round.  I was inspired all weekend and was go go go and had the best time, but then on Monday, a few hours before I had to go to the airport, I spent about half an hour by myself alongside the Swan River.  I sat there with my feet dangling over the edge, and clutched a little oragami paper crane that I bought from the Fremantle markets the day before.  Paper cranes symbolise, amongst many things, hope, belief, peace, and offers a focal point of dreams coming true. 

I sat for a while by myself and then threw the crane into the river and I watched it float away.  It was an odd thing to do maybe but I just did it for me, I feel like I got so inspired in Perth, on top of how I already am, and I wanted to leave a little piece of me there.  When we took off in the plane on the way home, as we were going through the clouds, it made it feel like I had been in a different world, a dream land for 4 I peaked at Perth and rose up through the clouds.  And it kind of was like a dream land.

I'm back to reality now (yuck) but I'm feeling more focused to get on with my journey.  I made a commitment:
I commit to myself, Mish, 30+ crew, my family and my friends, to be the very best version of myself that I can be. I won't let anything stop me. 
Thanks Perth for an incredible weekend.  Perth is a beautiful city, Perth people are so hospitable, Mish was so genuine, 12WBT'ers are so inspirational and beautiful, and 12WBT itself is just so enjoyable.
I'm off to keep enjoying my journey.  I've dedicated myself.  Have a great Week 3 :)
This was on the wall in my friends hotel

I do!


Watching my paper crane float away...

Langley Park, across from where I sat by the river

We wore this on our really is a gift

My beautiful new Polar.  I love training again now!

Thank you

Beautiful Perth

I will choose to be happy