Thursday, September 30, 2010


Hi and welcome to my second instalment LEARNING TO LIVE IN THE GREY. This one is particularly relevant and important to me.

First off let me explain where this post comes from and more accurately, where I've come from.

In the past I have viewed my eating behaviour as pretty black and white. This perception was with me from an early age as I struggled with my weight throughout my teens. I remember a very kind and caring GP telling me a long time ago that "it didnt have to be all or nothing." To be honest, back then I didnt know what he meant by that.

30 years on and I know EXACTLY what he meant but I still have black and white moments - sometimes weeks (but I'm working on that.).

So here is what black is for me. Its falling into a binging state where one bite is too many and a thousand are not enough. Its eating for the sake of oral pleasure and never registering "enough". Its letting the food take control and rendering myself powerless. With these come a lot of black feelings and thoughts. Its not nice. Black is also being totally obsessive about dieting. Not just following an eating plan but obsessing over it by weighing everything, recording everything, analysing everything and "oh my god I cant eat that because I havent weighed it or measured it and maybe the person who prepared it used oil or butter .....". Yep I've been there too and again its a bloody depressing existence.

Then you have the opposite ... white. White is just the opposite end of that spectrum but with a whole different set of pitfalls. Being "saintly" with food but then not being able to maintain it. Convincing myself that I'm a failure when I fall off the "saintly" pedestal and "Oh look I'm back in the black."

But between the black and the white there is a large patch of grey where balance, sanity and happiness live. In that grey there is eating healthy food most of the time but enjoying treats in moderation. There is also a way to eat with some discipline that is comfortable and easy to maintain. My mission is to find my patch of grey. I've had it, lost it, had it and lost it again but I know its there for me to claim. Striving for perfection is a waste of time. Striving for balance gets my tick.  

If you've found your grey, I'd love to hear about it or share your experience in looking for it.

Instalment three: KEEP IT SIMPLE will be my next post.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


We all lead busy lives. I don’t know anybody who can honestly say that they’d have spare hours in a day on a regular basis. There is work, kids to organise / drive around / entertain, a family that needs our time and attention, friendships to nurture, hobbies and interests that keep us sane which may include some form of training and the inevitable household to run. Yep on many days I wish I had an extra couple of hours to fit everything in.

But we all have the same number of hours in a day so we all end up doing the inevitable juggling act. Some people juggle more, some less and here is where there’s a key difference in the outcomes.

So lets look at someone who chooses to juggle less.

Firstly there will be no spare time to exercise. I should also mention that the “P” work plays a big part in this (PRIORITIES). “I cant possibly get up early” or “I’m just too tired at night” or “I cant (insert any one of a number of different activities here) because (insert any one of a number of excuses here).” Subsequently there are many people who do absolutely no exercise … EVER.

Then there is the issue of preparing healthy food in advance. Again, this takes up extra time each day, or one big hit of time on the weekend.  Time that isn’t spare so its not given priority. We all know its so much easier to buy lunch each day and maybe have a few take-aways for dinner. Easy peasy, and it frees up some precious time.

Hmmm good habits???? Or not????

On the other hand we can get organised and choose a time when we will fit in some exercise. If you’re doing nothing now, even 30 minutes a day is a good start. After that, well its up to the individual. For me that means getting up at 5am. Yeah its not always pleasant but when my alarm goes off I don’t negotiate with myself about whether I want to do it or not. Its feet to the floor and JUST DO IT. The reward is that I always feel so much better after. Its my way of doing something good for me.

On the food front I admit that devoting the extra time to preparing healthy lunches to take to work and planning healthy dinners night after night, sometimes makes me grumpy. I wish the Fitness Fairy would wave her magic wand and poof it was all done for me but alas … I dream. The reality is that the time invested in preparing and planning those meals is critical to me and my family eating well. And there’s no denying it ….When I eat well, I feel good. When I eat crap, I feel like … yep you guessed it.

For me the outcomes are absolutely clear. If I choose to juggle less in the short term my health, fitness and happiness will suffer in the long term. Personally I need to invest the time up front to reap the benefit in the end. I’m sure it’s the same for most others, whether they choose to see it or not.

As for balancing, well it flows on from the juggling. We juggle. Some times we keep the balls in the air, sometimes we don’t. Mastering the balance is what I work towards.

Have you mastered your juggling and balancing or are you like me, a work in progress?

The next instalment is: LEARNING TO LIVE IN THE GREY.

Monday, September 27, 2010


Over the last week or so I've agonised over my out of control emotions and the flow on effect they had on my eating, rehab and exercise - all of which suffered badly. I was at a point where I had convinced myself that I had to diet again to get back to a "happy weight." I was disillusioned, desperate and despondent. Oh and down in the dumps - in case you hadnt guessed LOL.

But the fog and gloom have cleared and now I find myself exploring what I believe is essential to ditching the destructive emotional eating that some of us (especially me) still struggle with. Adding to that I believe its possible to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight without resorting to diets - you just have to be smart about it - and approach it differently to following a prescriptive diet.

Stay tuned to read my take on this. This is not about what to eat / how to eat and how to train. Its about getting the head right and letting the rest take care of itself. I admit that I havent mastered all of this but at those times when I followed these principles, things were going bloody great for me so I have faith in what I write.

The first instalment: BALANCING & JUGGLING will be in my next post.



Sunday, September 26, 2010


Psycholigically I feel great starting any new fitness / health venture on a Saturday. Yep I let my hair down on Friday night (well last week my hair was down all week LOL) and then start fresh on Saturday. So Friday was home made seafood pizza, red wine and then some halva for a last little sweet treat fling.

Despite a less than pleasant encounter with the MM, I felt great on Saturday knowing that I had some goals that were based on health and fitness rather than just a number on the scale. Yes I hope the number drops but everything doesnt hinge on it this time.

I have done the walking that my physio has prescribed and have been pretty diligent with my rehab work. And yes I'm on day 2 with no added sugar (although this is not 100% correct as I have a skim cappuccino on most days and it has chocolate powder sprinkled on the top which I enjoy eating - but its a small amount so I'm not stressing about it).

So all up I feel like I'm tracking well and have things pretty well sorted now. The trick is to maintain this state, or at least when things go haywire - and we all know they will - then NOT to resort to eating my body weight in junk food. To that end I'm considering engaging a support person of some sort, like a mentor but not somebody who tells me to eat this, dont eat that and tells me off if I eat off plan. I have worked out that one of the keys to my success is to own the decisions I make about what and how I eat. I must learn to CONSISTENTLY trust my instincts about food, nutrition and all the "head stuff" that goes with it. I know I have it in me - but I often lose sight of it.

So you can tell I'm back in calm and logical mode which makes life so much simpler. Sometimes being an overemotional and oversensitive Cancerian sucks. But on the other hand I look at my ability to connect with people, empathise with them and my capacity for caring and I realise I wouldnt have it any other way.

Good night all


Friday, September 24, 2010


This morning I bid a relieved farewell to the full moon from last night. You will know that I've had a shitty week with a lot of my old issues resurfacing and taking over with a vengeance. Emotionally I was a bit of a wreck but I'm pleased to say that I feel normal again today (I never thought that would be so appealing).

So its with a clear head and after a lot of soul searching that I've made a decision about where to from here. I've looked within to find whats important to me and how I believe it can best be achieved. And I've set some goals for the year's final quarter.

GOAL # 1

By 24 October I plan to be running for 30 minutes at a time.

GOAL # 2

By 21 November I plan to be running for 1 hour once a week.

GOAL # 3

By 18 December (12 weeks away) I want to be running 10kms in 65 minutes.

There are other more personal goals that I wont blog about but I will blog my short term goals for the first week:

1. Ditch all white sugar from my diet.
2. Do at least 75% of my rehab exercises.
3. Complete at least 6 x 40 minute walks.

There may only be one quarter left but there is still time to finish strong.


Thursday, September 23, 2010


I had another physio appointment today and am pleased to report that things are improving for me even after this week of my pathetic efforts, little of which were aiding my recovery. I have had times of no pain and have learnt an effective method of releasing tightness in my sore muscles. My alignment and stability are improving, albeit slowly. Strength will come after, Miss K tells me.

I was told that it wont be long before I can jog again. Normally I'd be delighted about this but sadly my reality is that with the weight I've gained jogging wouldnt be enjoyable and I worry that the extra weight will also put unwanted stress onto my back (as I discussed with Miss K at an earlier consult). I'm not happy being in this position, I can tell you but as I said in an earlier post .... CHAPTER CLOSED.

Tonight after dinner I had cause to go to my local shopping centre and noticed that the moon was full. Maybe thats why I felt so over emotional today, fighting back the tears and snapping at people. Or maybe its just a culmination of the week of I've had and the struggles that continue to take up too much space in my life.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


A friend emailed this to me tonight. I wonder if she's psychic?? LOL

Carrots, Eggs & Coffee!

A carrot, an egg, and a cup of coffee...You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again.

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up; she was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil.

In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans.

She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners.
She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl.
She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.
Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, ' Tell me what you see.'

'Carrots, eggs, and coffee,' she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did   and noted that they were soft.

The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, 'What does it mean, mum?'

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

'Which are you?' she asked her daughter. 'When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavour. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate yourself to another level?

How do you handle adversity?

Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


It came to me today and it was loud and clear. I know how to fix my situation and how to go about it being wiser and working smarter this time around. I have some planning to do to get one thing into place. I believe it will be critical to my success.

Sometimes when your back's against the wall and you have nowhere else to go, decisions are easier. There is no point in cutting off your nose to spite your face. You're better off just doing what needs to be done, embracing it, believing in it and committing to it.

Chapter closed.


Monday, September 20, 2010


Back for my second post today. Still stuck on Struggle Street but looking for that way out. Now where is the exit sign??

I typed a big negative woe-is-me rant and then deleted it. Honestly I'm sick of this negative spiral that I keep falling into. Enough about it already!!

Deep down I know that things have to change but I admit that I feel a bit lost working out just what that is and how I can make it happen. Maybe its time to stop thinking with my brain and listen to my heart instead. Or try some stuff that I havent done before.



Todays' post will be an abridged version of all my thoughts and feelings. There is just too much to put out there, most of which I dont really want to put out there at all. But here goes with what flows.

There is no mistaking it. Today I feel depressed and grumpy. This morning I came very close to turning back and staying home. I didnt want to make the effort to go to work, solve problems and interact with people. But my conscience said "suck it up princess and get on with it."

You probably know where I'm heading with this. So let me put this into perspective.

I started the year in a great place, a great frame of mind and feeling great about my body. I finally thought that I had my eating all figured out. I was training for a big, scary, hairy arsed goal. I was HAPPY.

So how did I get to this place where I've gained 8 kilos, have hardly any clothes that fit (only stretchy ones and they're not looking great), feel like I have nothing figured out about my eating and am battling an injury that has me wondering whether I'll ever be able to run long distances again.

Today the glass is half empty. Its obvious that what I've been doing is not working. This is not where I want to be and not how I want to be feeling.  In a nutshell I'm just over it all. I'm not sure what the answer is but something needs to change. Something significant.


Thursday, September 16, 2010


It really has been such a busy time that I've struggled to write anything meaningful on Blogger so I decided to lie low instead. However today I have news that I MUST share.

After two weeks of physio treatment I was feeling a bit down, having convinced myself that it wasnt working. I was still getting a lot of aches and Negative Nelly was making a lot of noise, none of it good of course. After a bit of an indulgent weekend with too much wine and less than stellar dietary choices I was aching like mad on Monday morning. I ate well on Monday and voila, less aches on Tuesday. Had a few sweet foods on Tuesday and voila, more aches on Wednesday. Hello there is a distinct pattern here.

I had another physio appointment today and here are the key things I got out of it:

I asked the lovely Miss K (physio) whether she believed that certian foods could cause an increase in muscular pain and possibly inflamation. Her answer was a definite "YES" and she explained how they (at her practice) often worked in conjunction with naturopaths to help heal their patients. She immediately went on to list the 3 main culprits being: white sugar, coffee and alcohol.

A great discussion followed with my key point being that I could easily tell when I had overindulged in said culprit(s) and that a day of good eating would rectify the situation quite quickly for me. I made the point that I had lived in my body for long enough now to know how it worked, what it liked and what it didnt like. With age comes wisdom, which is just as well because I could no longer get away with some of the destructive things I did in my twenties.

Miss K was emphatic about the detrimental effects of white sugar and was recommending very strongly that I ditch it from my diet 100%. We agreed that 1 coffee a day (a cup of weak cappuccino) and wine on the weekends (2 glass max at any time) was a good standard to follow. I have toyed with the sugar free diet before but didnt make it to 21 days. My short term goal - starting Monday - is to achieve 21 days free of white sugar. My motivation being to help my back heal and not aggravate the aching I get, as opposed to weight loss.

Miss K was happy with my healing progress. My aches have mainly centralised in my glutes which she says is a good thing. When the aches move to my lower back then we are really on the home stretch LOL. I'm now allowed to increase my walking to 45 minutes a day as most of my aches are happening at the start of the walk and not at the end.

There is a heap more stuff that I'm doing and not doing but I wont bore you with all of the details - unless you have a similar problem and are interested to know more about my treatment - then leave me a comment and I'm happy to reply.

So we have a few more celebrations for Peter's birthday and then I'll commit to going sugar free and implementing my other dietary changes - which are not drastically different to what I'm doing now. Its more a tweeking rather than an overhaul. I've also been toying with some more vegetarian meals and have cooked up chick peas and kidney beans to replace some of my meat meals. I'll be interested to see how my system responds to the changes.

I'm feeling a bit like a human experiment in nutritional influences but I admit I find this truly fascinating and of course anything I can do to get my problem sorted out quickly and thoroughly is a good thing.

Time to get out of this chair, do my rehab exercises and then hit the zzzzzzs.

Good night all


Tuesday, September 14, 2010


..... here in September. Peter's birthday today so we are officially in celebration mode until Sunday. My MIL is visiting, adding to the social activity. My SIL is due in about 4 weeks and I've just hosted a baby shower for her.

Hoping to grab a quiet half hour for a more meaningful post. I have so much that I want to write about but want to do it well rather than throw some words onto the page (screen) late at night.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010


In yesterday's post I touched on the core strengthening work I'm now practicing and how it forces me to take a break, breathe and relax. Today I want to talk some more about the power of this breathing.

I have always taken breathing for granted as we all do it without thinking about it. I know how important it is to get a good breathing rhythm happening when running and when lifting weights but other than that it just happens. If I heard some-one say "breathe" when in a stressful or anxious state I would shrug it off, give a cursory large breath and then stay in my stressed or anxious state.

So its been a delightful surprise to discover the real power of breathing and just how calming it can be. Imagine this:

Lie down in a comfy spot with your knees up and feet flat on the floor. Maintain the neutral curve of your spine and breathe in through your nose letting your stomach rise up as you fill your lungs with air. Then slowly exhale and feel your stomach flatten back down. Concentrate on nothing but your breathing and how with each breath out you are becoming more and more relaxed. Let your thoughts and worries go for this brief period of relaxation.

I then incorporate my core strengthening work but maintain my relaxed state throughout the exercises. When I'm finished I feel so calm, centred and relaxed, its quite amazing. I now see how this focussed breathing can lead into meditation and I know thats where I want to go with it.

Whilst the food demons have been pretty dormant lately and I havent needed to calm down and refocus, I know that if the need arises in future, I'll have just the tool for doing so. Lie down, breathe, relax and refocus. I'll let you know if it works.

Cheers for now


Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Last week  I took the plunge and sought a different form of help for my lower back problems. Although I have a great chiro who practices very effective pain management treatments, I found that he wasnt able to address the underlying cause of my pain. I've been talking with Liz a fair bit lately and she had some pretty good advice about who to seek out for help. I'm now seeing a physio and working my way slowly thru some rehab work.

Over the last week I've been focussing on strengthening my core muscles in particular my pelvic floor (which isnt too bad) and my TA (transverse abdominus) which has lots of room for improvement. The exercises I've been given force me to take a quiet break and connect with my breathing in order to totally relax. I even take a break at lunch time, close my office door, lie down on the floor and do them in total peace. They leave me feeling calm, relaxed and ready to tackle the afternoon.

Running is off the agenda for now but I walk for 30 minutes daily and whilst it sort of feels like its not enough, I constantly remind myself that its better than nothing. I must be patient and allow the rehab to slowly take effect.

From today I begin self myofascial release of my ITB (outer thigh) and the muscles either side of my sacrum (lower back). The walking and core strengthening work continues. I've even gone as far as to wear a lower heel despite being a high heel devotee all my life. I love that my physio has said that high heels are ok if I can take them off when in the office and walk in bare feet for some of the time. Oh and no more sitting with legs crossed and wrapped around each other. Its all about posture and making it is as good as possible to give the muscles a chance to relax and realign.

I'm feeling positive about my treatment and am committed to doing my rehab exercises as I want the best possible recovery. Its a bit of a wake up call that says "hey you're not 20 something anymore and whilst your body can still do a lot and look good, its gonna take a bit of extra care and work to maintain."

So rock on and lets make it happen :-)

Friday, September 3, 2010


Hello and welcome to my new blog.

Many would know me from my “Running for My Life” blog that followed my journey from a (mainly) overweight aerobics instructor to a body building figure competitor in 2007. My journey continued with two years of struggling with diets and yo-yoing weight before I finally said “no more dieting”. It was time to trust my instincts to eat well without always rebounding to my overweight self.

At around that time I discovered a love for running whereas previously it was something I tolerated and did because I felt I had to. For me it was simple, less fat on my body = increased love of running and I was hooked. With the expert guidance of I trained for a half marathon and ran The Greenbelt HM in Adelaide in April of this year. My goals were to run all the way (no walk breaks) and complete it in under 2:30 and I achieved both.

But since then I’ve been plagued by chronic lower back injury which has forced me to reassess how much I run and subsequently left me feeling depressed and sorry for myself. I’ve had some miserable times lately but I’ve decided that they are over.

Today (I wrote this on 1 September), I begin a new journey to holistic wellness. I have a plan to address my lower back pain and for the first time in a VERY long time I’ll be paying more attention to my inner wellbeing. Its time to nourish my body, mind and soul so that I can get back to running, find my inner peace and achieve a sense of balance in my life.

This blog will focus on my new approach to wellness. I’ll continue to write about my training both rehab and beyond, my “food and lifestyle thoughts and facts” and my venturing into the world of the mind and soul. I hope you enjoy being a part of my journey.