Wednesday, February 29, 2012



Geez it was great to score a small win at uni tonight. The lecture didnt start well. The guy I normally sit next to, who is great to talk through the set questions and exercises with, wasnt there for the start of the lecture. I sat with 2 guys from my group assignment team, both of them considerably younger than me. Every time the lecturer told us to discuss our answers in a group, the guy in the middle would turn away from me and discuss everything with the other guy. I was left sitting alone, hands folded until the lecturer started his explanation.

Well we came to the final question and it was long, detailed and quite complex. The lecturer went through it all step by step documenting everything on the board. My neighbour was flicking through his notes and the text book, clearly floundering. I took my workings and checked through what I'd done, ticking off my answers at all of the steps. Towards the end it got a bit confusing and some of my workings differed from the lecturer's. Then he  (the lecturer) got to the final outcome announcing "and the net result is a gain or profit of $1,250 from the sale of the equipment." "I got that answer", I announced. I was overjoyed. My neighbour turned towards me with a look of total disbelief on his face. I smiled at him and repeated that I got the answer right, even though some of my workings varied slightly, my logic must have been correct. He was dumbfounded (he obviously hadnt got that answer).

I could just read the look on his face. Yes I may be old enough to be his mother (if I'd had him at a very young age) and I dont give the impression that I'm super smart or overly confident. I outwardly admit that the workload is killing me and in group meetings I'm never the most talkative one. But I'm not a dumbass wallflower thats out of her depth, chasing a dream that will never eventuate. I worked through that question, step by laborious step and I got the answer right and I'm feeling damned proud of that right now. Score one for me :-)


Today I'm putting February behind me and launching into a new month, new attitude, new choices and new habits. Although I love summer (give me heat anyday) I must admit there is something totally magical about autumn that just agrees with me. I've always considered it to be MY time of year. I married in autumn (both times LOL), I ran my half marathon in autumn, in my comp prep in 2007, I overcame some of my biggest physical and psychological challenges in autumn and I can recall many a year when in terms of health and weight management, things just came together for me in autumn. So with all this positive belief and attitude under my belt I'm heading into a positive and productive season.

I have no big hairy arsed goals other than getting my weight back down to the sub 67 mark. Yep its crept up in the last few weeks and I can feel every extra gram and I dont like it. So its a matter of taking action now to avoid further pain and sadness down the track. Nothing drastic, nothing scarily strict or restrictive, just good old fashioned healthy, mindful eating.

Bring on the new month and the new season :-)


Tuesday, February 28, 2012



well I'm not going to beat about the bush, sugar coat stuff or dumb it down. I'm just going to tell it like it is. This is me. This is where I'm at and I dont like it.

February has sucked. I've spent most of the month feeling stressed, depressed and in a bad mood. It feels like every step forward in January has been more than doubled backwards in February. Although I've come to accept the limits of my injury and am adjusting to working within those limits, I still feel like I'm drowning, my time and energy being eaten up by my study load.

I've tried to balance my family life, my me-time and my study at a level thats kept me sane but it hasnt worked. The workload is massive, requiring several blocks of several hours of work to stay on top of it. Then there's the group assignment that I'm very conscious of contributing to in terms of quality and quantity seeing as the group cut me some slack while I finished work on last year's project. To survive and complete this module will require even more time being devoted to study and I can see late nights becoming the norm. And late nights mean no early mornings, mean no exercise :-(

I'm not sure how I'm coping with my day job as I've had an IT problem thats left me with a PC functioning at about 20-30% since last Wednesday. I've patiently followed up my request for IT support every day but today it was a case of "this needs to be fixed NOW." I've had so much time away from the office too - chiro, X rays, eye test (I need new glasses for reading), a day sick. Its just as well that I've had lots of runs on the board to date as I certainly havent scored many in the last few weeks.

But at the heart of all this are two major issues that are not sitting well with me at all. Whilst I can whinge on and on about how hard the study is, I remind myself that I've taken it on because I wanted a qualification that would help me to progress my career. But qualifications and career advancement come at a price - less time with my family, depression and bad moods and a negative effect on my health. 

And speaking about my health, the honest truth is I just dont have the energy to devote to it. I know it shouldnt be hard, it should be second nature, something you do instinctively, but its not. For me, it still requires effort, energy, planning and focussing on a positive headset. When all I want to do right now is crawl away from the crowds and sleep.

So I ask myself, does the cost (of the study) outweigh the benefit? And even when the answer is 'no', I'm committed (financially and professionally) and need to see it through. End of story :-(


Friday, February 24, 2012


Tonight I attended the informal graduation for my management training course done last year. Although I saw everyone a week ago when we did our final project presentations, it was lovely to be back tonight celebrating our successful completion of the course.

During the course of the evening I got talking to the Director of the MBA (Master of Business Administration) course that I'm sort of enrolled in (the Grad Cert BA is nested within the MBA). I was speaking honestly to him about finding the accounting module quite hard and being worried about the volume of material we were covering and worried about how much of it I could retain. His first bit of advice back was totally off the mark as he spoke about people who just weren't good with numbers. Well that's not me. Numbers don't scare me. I've held finance and audit positions before and felt very comfortable in them.

So then he picked up on my use of the word 'worried' in expressing my concerns and picked up on my fear. Fear about my perceived inability to learn the material. Fear about the future. Irrational fear. It's a shame we couldn't talk this through as the award ceremony was starting but I could see where he was going with it.

I am scared. I'm scared of failing and the feelings that will come with it. I'm scared that I won't be well enough prepared, that I'll have a brain fade on exam day, that I just won't get it right. The consequences are significant in terms of time and money. Yet again, the pressure is on.

But in order to give myself any chance to succeed, I've got to let this fear go. I've got to find self confidence, self belief and move forward with a healthy, positive mindset. That is my challenge.

Interestingly, out of a group of approximately 25 people doing the course last year, only 2 of us are continuing with our study (one more will resume in May). Perhaps being one of the two, makes me a winner already. At least I'm giving it a go. What's that saying ..... No matter how slow you're moving, you're still lapping all those sitting on the couch LOL.


Thursday, February 23, 2012


Well it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that the 6th to the 16th of February were just about the hardest 2 weeks of my life. But it is those hard times when you battle against the physical and emotional pain that you learn the most about yourself and maybe come out the other end stronger and wiser.

Just to recap quickly: I had a double study load as I was finalizing my report and presentation to finish last year's uni course whilst having started a new subject this year. The pre-reading and preparation questions and exercises were daunting in both volume and complexity but I had to focus my time on preparing for my presentation which I delivered last Thursday. My work was falling behind as I could no longer devote an hour or two in the evening to stay on top of things. I HATE that feeling of falling behind and drowning. But that was only half of it. On the 6th my lower back, hips, legs and everything connected, decided to play up again. I was in pain constantly and it was practically all over from my neck to my right ankle. I was under pressure, stressed and comfort eating became my scapegoat - yet again.

Depression took over as I didn't train, I ate poorly and I was immersed in study late into the night. At those times I'm not a calm and logical thinker. I catastrophise. I panic. I become overwhelmed. I let all my self doubt and low self confidence take over. And all that drives me further down in my downward spiral.

But I'm glad to say, I've come out the other side and I generally feel ok. Not great. Not good, but ok. I'll be honest. The study is HARD. Not just time consuming but a total emotional roller coaster and I found this hard to deal with until I could see the pattern forming. I'm learning to live with it. Learning to live with the feelings of being overwhelmed and demoralized but then managing to get on top of things. If its true that you grow when you're out of your comfort zone, then any day now I should be HUGE LOL.

My injury has been relentless and last week I invested in a one hour Bowen Therapy session out of desperation. Have you ever tried Bowen Therapy? I'd liken it to a cross between gentle massage and chiro without the bone crunching manipulations. I felt great after the treatment but it was a uni night and after half an hour of sitting at uni, I was in pain again. I doubt if I'll do it again. It's not cheap and it provided only very short term relief.

I've been thinking lots about my training and I come back to the realization that my body just can't handle higher intensity or longer workouts. High impact, plyo, intense stretching are quiet ticking time bombs for me. Longer runs are totally out of the question but perhaps the walk/jog combos are manageable. I've now come to accept this and I'm working within my limits. Yesterday I did upper body weights using Hilde's program of super sets but going a little lighter on the weights. Today I did my own lower body workout which I call 'Lower Body Basics' or LBB. It's just squats, static lunges (some people call these split squats), stiff legged deadlifts and wide (pliƩ) squats. But I've taken my weights down really low to allow me to focus on technique. Then over the weeks I'll slowly take my weights up but remain focused on technique. This should allow my lower body to reacclimatise to weight training without risk of further strains or injury. At Bikram I'm toning it down to moves that feel safe and that don't push me to my limits.

I've had to let go of the voice that tells me I'm invincible and that I can do anything if I put my mind to it. That voice in my head might think so but my body tells me differently and if I ignore it I pay the price through injury and pain. So I've parked my dreams of looking like a lean, mean fitness model (insert tongue in cheek) and am working on being the best me that I can be. The competition is with myself, not the 20something who can smash out 10kms in 50something minutes, not the figure competitor who can bench her body weight, not the fitness instructor who can belt out 2 or 3 classes in a day. My goal is to simply stay active: lift weights, jog a little, walk some and stretch, tone and strengthen at Bikram. Being an idle couch potato is NOT on my agenda.

I wish I'd never had the binging setback earlier this month but at the time, the odds were totally stacked against me and I'm not beating myself up over it. I could feel the extra couple of kilos and it didn't feel good at all - adding to my depressed state. But after my presentation was done, I regrouped, refocused and got my eating back to normal. I weighed this morning, knowing that the number wouldn't upset me and in fact I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't as high as I had expected. What I'm learning from this is that my body resets itself fairly easily to around the 67 kilo mark even after a massive indulgence of high fat, sugary foods. I don't need to diet. I don't need to cut out any food groups. I just need to be mindful and sensible and it happens. So if I continue to be mindful and sensible and keep training regularly then I know my weight will come down a bit more. I don't need to diet. I don't need to get all obsessive and anal. I just need to eat healthily, consistently and it will happen. Again, this lifestyle won't have me looking fitness model lean and mean but it WILL keep me happy and sane so I'll take that.

Last Sunday's Body and Soul lift out had an article on 'happiness secrets from around the world' and I picked up this saying: 'THAT TOUGH PLACE YOU'RE IN RIGHT NOW? IT'S NOT YOU. IT'S JUST A PLACE.' Well how true is that??!! We all go to that tough place at some point in our lives, probably many times over. But it doesnt define us. It doesn't have to break us or bring us down. It may just force us to reflect, reconsider and vow to come out the other side a stronger and better person. Maybe?


Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Hi all and thank you for your kind words and support after my last melt down blog post. My absence from blogging is mainly due to the ridiculous amount of time I now spend studying even after finishing my assignment and presentation from last year's course. That and grabbing some down time when I can which is rarely these days.

A lot has happened that I want to write about but yet again it is late and I have but a few minutes before bed time. I've skim read other favourite blogs - apologies for the lack of comments. I'll be back soon.

:-) M

Sunday, February 12, 2012


OMG I'm not sure what to make of this weekend. But it sure wasnt a bed of roses.

On Friday night I went to an MBA dinner put on by the uni. One of my colleagues from last year was going to attend with me but he wasnt there on the night. I dont know why. It was a great night but really hard work. Hard work making appropriate conversation. Hard work meeting new people. Hard work trying to fit in with the uni staff and the MBA students with dreams, ambitions and self confidence.

Saturday was spent in the usual whirl of ice skating lessons during which I do the pre-reading for Wednesday's accounting class, followed by dropping my boy at my mum's, grocery shopping, packing the groceries away and then going to my SIL's for her birthday dinner. Saturday night came with a couple of surprises - one VERY surprising and I was glad I wasnt drinking so I could take things on board and think about them.

I made the decision to train again today and went to Bikram yoga so as not to waste my 10 class pass. I was a disaster. Inflexible. Right groin giving way. Sharp pains in my lower back. Neck stiff and sore. I sat out the triangle pose but found it hard to control my thoughts and emotions and I could feel the tears coming. After the 2 minute savasana I decided to pack my things and go home early. I worked on my assignment luckily only having easy tidying up to do. But in the afternoon I dropped the boys at the cricket and went to a coffee shop to do my accounting prep. I dont know if it was just my headspace being so crappy or maybe I am dumb but I just wasnt getting this lesson. Again, tears coming. Feeling miserable and helpless but putting on a brave face when picking up my boys.

My evening has been a rush of housework (and its still not all done), haircut for my boy, dinner prep and clean up, making lunches and on and on it goes. Only after 9pm did I manage to numb out on FB and Blogger, unable to stop the downward spiral.

I read so many blogs and FB status updates from people who have their shit together. They have goals and they go after them. They are motivated and disciplined. They work hard. They know that a positive attitude goes a long way in helping them reach their goals. They have a set of principles that they live and die by. They are successful.

And then I look at myself in my downward spiral. Sigh.


Friday, February 10, 2012


So glad to see the end of this week.

I had two interesting experiences today and I want to blog about both but its late and I'm tired.

So next two blog topics will be:

1. Looking through different eyes.

2. Uni dinner and what others see.

Good night for now though


Thursday, February 9, 2012


And the award for the most feral workday goes to ....... drumroll...... TODAY!!!!

The only advantage being that I was SO engrossed in deadlines, writing to the CE, getting capital projects back on track and doing a quick practice of my project presentation that I didnt have time to think about my dicky back, neck etc

Without doubt, this has been one of the hardest weeks I've had for a while and I'll be honest and admit .... I'm struggling. My February plans and goals have fallen in a heap and I'm just in survival mode, looking for the silver lining on a cloud filled sky.

I need time. Time for me. Time to reflect and reconnect with whats important. Time to breathe. Time to rebuild my positive energy. 

Maybe tomorrow? Maybe soon?


Wednesday, February 8, 2012


In a classic case of better late than never, I'm taking some rest days, starting with today. Following up with tomorrow and then seeing how I feel. I was planning to arrange another chiro appointment for later this week but was so inundated with work that it got pushed aside and now I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that my healing takes care of itself.

One of my uni colleagues called today as he was feeling overwhelmed with the study load and was considering pulling out of the Grad Cert (he too is finishing the assignment from last year's course). We shared our woes and I managed to convince him to hang in there as in a week (next Thursday) half of it will be over and then we only have our Grad Cert subject to worry about. I tell you, its this that keeps me hanging on.

Would love to blog more about the stuff I'm grappling with but right now I get a few minutes each day to process it and I need more time than that. If the Universe would like to send an 'aha moment' my way, I'm all ears and open to suggestions.

:-) M

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


So with my back and lower body all out of sorts, I decided to do my upper body weights today and give the core strengthening work a rest as it can hurt my lower back a bit.

Now I must say that after yesterday's chiro treatment I still felt like my neck wasnt quite right. When he did the adjustment on it, I felt he hurried it a bit and didnt get it quite right. Couple that with my lat pulldowns where I was determined to get the bar to my chest and .... yep, I've hurt my thorasic spine/neck.

Its been sore all day and I have limited range of movement in tilting my head back and to the sides. I'm still sore through my lower back but it has eased up a little. My adductors are sore from the treatment to release their tightness (but I can deal with that pain.) I FEEL LIKE CRAP.

Note to self: when the chiro says have a couple of rest days, he means rest days and not training the bits of the body next to the ones that are injured. Its all one unit you know; the hip bone's connected to the thigh bone, the thigh bone's connected to the ... you know how it goes.

So I'm now officially out of action until my body decides to work properly. Another chiro visit may be necessary but in the meantime I'm going to ease off and let it all settle down.

Misery guts signing off

:-( M

Monday, February 6, 2012


Today I'm suffering the effects of a chain reaction. My legs, hips, lower back and just about everything around there is in a lot of pain. I'm one unhappy camper :-(

Here is my theory on what brought this on. I'll try to be brief.

When I got my program from Hilde at Active on Line the lower body training had some power moves like jump squats and jump lunges. Of course I did them the first week but straight away I noticed a new wave of funny aches and pains (not DOMS) in my lower body so decided to cut them out and just do the exercises with weights.Things were generally going ok so last week I put the jump squats back in :-)

In the last few weeks I've been feeling pretty good physically and mentally so decided to put some jogging back into my training. I started out gently doing 1 song walking, 1 jogging. Then after a couple of weeks took it up to 2 songs jogging, 1 song walking. No dramas. All good. Last week, when pressed for time I did my first couple of 25 minute jogs. Light and easy. No sprints. No long times or distances. Feeling good.

Then last Sunday at Bikram yoga the triangle pose #9 on my left side resulted in a loud crunching sound from my groin. 'Hmmm, I'm sure I shouldnt be hearing that', I thought but carried on giving the class my best as always. This Sunday I again found the triangle pose really hard on the left side but did it to the best of my ability. By the end of the class I could feel my lower back getting tighter and more and more sore.

To make matters worse, I had to spend the day at my computer working on my assignment and by the evening I was in a lot of pain as I described at the start of this post.

So put all that together: jump squats + jogging + intense triangle pose that my groin couldnt handle + a LOT of sitting at the computer and you have a recipe for disaster.

I've been to the chiro today and even he was amazed at how tight my adductors were. Needless to say his treatment was excruciatingly painful and will take some time to kick into effect. I've been ordered a couple of rest days as well.

But the most challenging bit is to NOT get depressed over this. I cant change the fact that I'm angered and frustrated when my body lets me down. I've not been to work, I've not studied nor have I done anything much constructive and I'm fighting off the waves of feeling sorry for myself, remembering all too well the last time I fell into a depression over this type of injury. But I must keep reminding myself that it is temporary. I can ride this out. It will all settle down and I'll be back feeling good again. My chiro is a miracle worker and he has worked his magic. Now I just need to rest and let my body heal while I keep my mind healthy and positive.


Thursday, February 2, 2012


Hi all,

well here we are in February already and my uni course kicked off last night. Fortunately our lecturer is passionate, charismatic and engaging so 12 weeks of 'Accounting for Managers' will not be anywhere near as bad as you'd expect. Phew!!

Having said that I made a bad error when reading the uni information last year. I was SURE that this module kicked off in mid Feb (its actually the other one that does this), giving me time to complete my project and presentation from last year's course (due mid Feb). So right now I've got a double load of uni work. My propject/presentation still needs a fair bit of work and I've just had the rudest shock about the amount of pre-reading and trial questions required each week for the new course. Of course I had read about it but its not until you come to fit it into your busy life that you go 'gasp, this is FULL ON'.

So its been a few nights of working late and it aint over yet - not to mention giving up a few more Sundays. I'll be breathing a little easier after Feb 16th though :-). Dont get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I'm just taking a bit of time to adjust to a new routine and new expectations - my own and that of uni as well.

So I had BIG plans for Feb with lots of motivation to ramp up my nutrition and fitness. I've been re-reading Tosca Reno's 'Eat Clean Diet'  and was pretty keen to dive into this lifestyle (again). Training too was going to be tweaked and ramped up with some long term goals in mind. But this week reality has hit and I've had to lower my expectations and scale back my plans. here is a bit of an outline of what i'm shooting for now:

A 30 minute workout on 6 out of 7 days each week. This means breaking some of my weight training into 2 sessions. This plan allows me to sleep a little later (important as I'm going to bed later) but still get some exercise in.

Nutrition will continue as is which is about 80% clean but not strictly so. I will NEVER give up my skim cappuccinos nor a few glasses of wine on the weekends. My favourite cafe also stocks some very nice sugar free bars (Artisan cereal bars) which I enjoy with a coffee on weekends.

However, the MOST important thing is to remain binge-free and I tell you when I feel overwhelmed and under a LOT of pressure, thats when my thoughts turn to comfort food (NOT of the clean variety). Yesterday was a classic test but I remained calm and focussed and dismissed the thoughts.

Gotta run now. Have a great day and I'll be back when next I have something important to say and the time to say it.

:-) M