Day One

Coming up for a title for this post was difficult so I made it plain, I made it simple, Day One…quite simply the most appropriate and significant day in recent times. So what’s been going on? A lot actually…I have changed jobs since I last checked in, my relationship is going along swimmingly (I’m engaged now!) My best friend and his partner have moved up here so I now have friends again that I can see and do things with, and yet somehow in the last 12 months I have put on 15kgs and sunk into what I thought was a “rough patch” after 6 months of roughing it I realised last week that this was no patch, this was my old friend depression rearing his ugly head again. Knocking on the doors of my mind and invading like an unwanted squatter clouding my thoughts and judgement.

I have gone from a t shirt size of M to a now XXL in a 2 year period. At first I palmed it off as “relationship weight” you get comfortable, you stop going to the gym as much, you go out on dinner dates more and generally just enjoy each other and it was an amazing time. I genuinely loved getting to know my partner and spending time together doing what we love. It was the most amazing and exciting time of my life and I loved every second of it. During this time though the gym sessions went down from 5 times a week to 3 times a week to one to eventually none. Blaming busy schedules and comfort everything just slipped away and as time flew by and I moved to a sentient job my life spun completely out of control .

During this time I have had a gym membership and I have been going intermittently. I did start to lose some weight earlier this year and things were looking up, however as my schedule got busier and I felt wearier I kept putting my next workout off because I was tired/not in the mood/busy/made other plans/not enough hours in the day/partner needs my attention and every other excuse under the sun that you could ever think of.

So here I am weighing in at the biggest I have ever been in my life 117kgs. I had my first proper gym session yesterday and I was so proud of myself. I completely smashed it and when I got that rush of endorphin and pump all these memories of how addicted to that feeling I used to be came flooding back and something in my mind just clicked. It was like I went into hyper-drive and I knew that this was it, do or die time. When I got home I was scrolling through Facebook and saw a video from a PT that I follow Steve Booth the video spoke at length about how you have to change your standard to lose weight and get fit and basically rise above what other people are doing. Having done a weight loss thing before I know it’s the alcohol and sugar that make me put on weight and I have allowed myself to become that person again who drinks and eats whenever and whatever I want without consequence. I used to be a drinker, I stopped when I lost weight for health and life reasons and now I have allowed myself to slip back down into that drinking lifestyle again.

When looking at what I could possibly do to kickstart this thing I honestly considered lapband surgery, it would be quick, the results would be good and it would force me to portion control. But then how does an easy way out work? I know people that have had it done and they have all put it back on because it doesn’t change lifestyle or bad habits. I considered chinese tea diet of tea 3 times a day for 4 weeks, yeah no sorry my body requires actual food to function and when I lost last time I did it with amazing fresh food and protein. At I weighed my options I knew that the only thing that could actually change my situation was nutrition and exercise. It all boiled down to 2 simple things that I can control and do, but I felt like I needed assistance. I don’t have hundreds of dollars for a personal trainer so as I paroozed Steve’s fitness page there was a 7 day start up transformation program that was free and all online. Without hesitating I signed up and decided that now is my time. I can work with the demons in my mind but I really REALLY want to get my body under control and start implementing self-discipline.

Here begins day one, I had some natural yoghurt and honey for breakfast with a weight loss shake and small coffee (almond milk) I premade chicken breast with broccoli and brown rice for lunch and banana for pre-gym workout later. Thus starts my 7 day transformation that will then continue with a life-long promise to myself that I will NEVER let myself go again. Looks aren’t everything and I know that but I want to look good for me, I want that rush from exercise and pump from working hard and seeing results. This is what I need to push through and motivate me, so not only am I back into exercise but I feel that my blog needs to come back to work through my mind demons to come out the other side.

Here’s to Day One!

 

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2015 – A Reflection

What a year! I started out in Surry Hills for New Years, alone with a bottle of wine and  some movies. At the time I was blissfully unaware that I would be ringing in the most surprising and exciting years of my life. I was living with one of my close friends Sam (one of the only things I actually miss about Sydney!) working at my usual job, just generally plodding along doing what I do with no idea of what was ahead.

A road trip to Melbourne for Australia Day and my birthday reunited with the Lawlers/Fraters and I was reminded why I love these beautiful and inspiring people who consistently love and surprise me just be being themselves. Nicole I could not ask for a better best friend than you (well maybe if you picked up the phone a few more times! You can’t blame Harper forever :P) Ryan you are one of the first straight men I have been able to get along with and I love that the husband of my best friend is just as amazing as she is. Thank you for always being honest and hitting me with the “hard truths”

Returning to Sydney I found out that our apartment was being sold and I had to move out. This terrified me as I re-evaluated just where I wanted to live, what I wanted to do with the year and really gave me the kick I needed to make some changes that I wanted instead of just drifting along in my complacency. I took up residence temporarily in a house in Annandale. A cute little apartment with a tennis court and swimming pool, it felt like I was living in a resort with beautifully manicured gardens, a large room to live in and walking distance to Newtown, this is a house I could see myself in. After 3 months of living here and not changing much except my living location, I kicked myself into gear. An opportunity came up at work to change things and relocate to Brisbane, this had always been on the cards for me, my brother and sister live there, my cousins live there, it was nice and warm there consistently, it was to be a temporary holiday place where I could “check out” of my life for a few months before finally making the move to Melbourne that I really wanted.

So I packed up my life, sold most of my belongings and filled my car to the brim with what I could and made the drive from Sydney to Brisbane to live with my sister temporarily until I decided where I wanted to live. A few weeks turned into a few months after some circumstances changed for my sister and I discovered that the sunshine state was agreeing with me. Two weeks into my stay I received a message on an internet dating site about my profile picture (taken at Sea World!)

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Look at this dish! Who wouldn’t want a piece of it? 

He was asking me about what I thought of the park and others that were in Queensland. When I told him that I would be visiting Movie World a few days later we arranged to meet up for coffee (as this is where he worked!) I went to the park and met him under the clock tower. He was wearing a blue cardigan over a business shirt and blue business slacks. The moment I saw him he took my breath away, he was to put it simply stunning. He was intelligent, he was funny, he had piercing blue eyes and we conversed over coffee and decided that we wanted to see each other again. The rest as they say is history, it has been 4 of the most intense and fulfilling months of my life and we are only getting started on our journey. I am choosing to stop this now so I don’t keep going on about him, but I will say Luke – I never dreamed that this year I would meet someone who I would care so much about. No-one has ever treated me as well as you do, you are kind, you are smart, you are hilarious, and I truly feel that we are a partnership and it has enriched my life in so many ways.

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Going along with Luke are the people in his life – Bradley I cannot believe you are leaving! I never thought I could be friends with a 19 year old, but you are so intelligent and funny and have made the last few months a lot of fun (and VERY boozy!!) I feel like I have just started getting to know you and you are leaving! I can’t wait to see all of your adventures and hear of your conquests in the USA.

My friends came to visit me in the Sunny state as well, The Lawler trip to Noosa was extremely memorable where we learnt that waterproof phones and spa selfies do not mix. Nicole has an unhealthy obsession with ginger factory tours and picking your own strawberries from a farm. Harper loves “mina mina” and not swimming at a beach in winter.

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12006129_1025012684196485_3237589170047162224_nHallowqueensland was an eventful weekend, Kale visiting for Fright Nights which turned into a massive weekend of theme park mayhem and eating out (A LOT!). Kale it sucked to leave you and move here and I do miss you a lot, we have an unbreakable friendship and I can’t wait to come and see you soon! You have been through so much this year and are still fighting fit and coming out on top.

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The Graham Family – This includes Sue, Sharna and Tameeka you ladies have been a rock for me moving here, I was so scared and worried about everything and you all contributed to making me feel welcome.

Ryan Betson – You are one of the funniest and most entertaining guys I have ever met. You always get a laugh, you work damn hard and put your all into everything, and on top of that you are an amazing friend. It has been my privilege to get to know you this year and I am so proud to count you in my friend circle.

Cam Byrnes – You saw me at one of the lowest points of my life and started to turn my head to see the person that I could be. Although our time together was short, you kick started my return to the world and I will always be grateful to you for this.

No this is not an Oscar’s speech so I will move on to the lessons I learnt this year.

People not things has been a resounding theme, in Sydney I locked myself away from the world, I would spend my weekends going to brunch and then playing games or binging TV shows in Netflix all weekend, and this flowed into the week as well. I shut myself away from the world because I truly believed that I was not good enough for anyone but myself and I convinced myself that I was ok with that. Warning – this is no way to live your life!

I finished writing season 1 of my first TV show and it was such an uphill battle. I had such a clear vision for it, I sat down and wrote and hated it. So I scrapped the whole thing and rewrote it in a completely different direction. I was not happy with this direction, so again I threw it out and went back to square one. Fortunately the third time around everything just flowed and it fit perfectly (again in my opinion). This was such a huge achievement for me and I am so proud of it and can’t wait to pursue it in 2016!

One of the biggest lessons of this year was love, I loved more than I ever have in my life before and I really felt it all around me. Love for my family, love for my friends and love for myself. This year certainly had its challenges but the overall theme of it was love and I am eternally grateful for every up and down that happened as I have come through it a stronger and wiser person.

I hope you all have a very merry christmas, happy new years, hanukkah, kwanzaa. Stay safe, love yourselves and each other.

 

 

 

 

 

An Open Letter To Foxtel & AME

On Monday Foxtel’s Facebook page went rampant with posts about an advertisement for the Marriage Alliance “Same Sex Marriage : There’s More To It Than You Think” (see ad here) Hundreds of disgruntled customers and annoyed LGBT Australians and supported flooded the page with messages of anger and disgust over the decision to air these ads repeatedly over the weekend. The ad claims that same sex marriage will lead to changes in sex education in schools, effect children and directs viewers to a website to find more information (you really should check it out!)

Like clockworks customers and the LGBT community and its supporters hit the Foxtel Facebook page, flooding it with outrage. Cancellations and promises of moving to streaming services flowed on their page for days, as well as members of the LGBT community and their supporters tearing down the company for daring to air the ad. I was also one of these people, not a Foxtel subscriber, but a member of the LGBT community and felt outraged that an ad I hadn’t bothered to watch was aired on a service that I did not have. So after I wrote a scathing message condemning Foxtel for daring to show the ad, I actually watched it and realised that it wasn’t anywhere near as offensive as others had claimed, and that I was more offended that the Marriage Alliance seemed to blame the gay community for sinking the Titanic!

Foxtel were not the only one’s to cop it, the Australian Marriage Equality Twitter page was bombarded with messages of outrage, as they had previously confirmed that Foxtel were a corporate sponsor and support of AME. This response was posted by the AME in conjunction with Foxtel :

“Australian Marriage Equality values the support shown by Australia’s business community for marriage equality. Foxtel is among our corporate supporters.

A group opposing marriage equality, known as “the Marriage Alliance”, is currently airing an advertisement through various media outlets including Foxtel. It is their right to express their views.

The feedback from decision-makers in Canberra is that the “Marriage Alliance” advertisement is actually helping our campaign. The ad offers nothing new and and our research indicates that when opponents of marriage equality express their views in the way they have, support for marriage equality increases.

We urge community members who are angry about the ad to turn their anger into positive action.

If you’re outraged with the Marriage Alliance’s campaign the best way to end it is to help make marriage equality happen and recruit everyone you know to help. There are actions listed on our new website www.wecandothis.org.au

You can leave a message in support of marriage equality on our Equality Calling hotline 1300663679. Your message will go direct to your MP and Senators.”

Similarly Fairfax media have aired the ad on Channel Nine and online on their news website. In response they have said a Fairfax Media spokesman said:  “The advertising Fairfax runs is just that, advertising, and not reflective of the company’s position on anything whatsoever.”

It is hard to not get emotional about this issue, Tony Abbott himself confirmed that this is a very personal and emotional subject and it is easy to get upset when the opposite opinion is aired. It is easy to forget that we live in a democratic country that has the openness to show both sides of an argument and it is our job as human beings to respect that there are two sides. We don’t have to agree with it, we don’t have to support it, but we should as human beings and Australian’s at least allow for that other opinion to be heard. Now before you start commenting and biting my head, you should know my stance on the issue. I am a gay man and I support marriage equality 100%. I am not in a relationship so this is not something that is an immediate option for me, but I do have friends who have been in loving and fruitful relationships for many years, who would love the option to enter into a marriage in the eyes of their country.

The good news moving forward is that the five day span of Marriage Alliance ads are now over, in that time we saw a six hour parliamentary debate happen with the current government to decide what to do moving forward with this issue, yes no decision was made, but what did come out of it was more conversation and more discussion within our community. Media outlets like The Project and MammaMia have posted articles and videos in support of Marriage Equality and condemning the speech from Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who remains stagnant on the issue. American actor and comedian Jack Black even voiced his opposition to Abbott stating “I personally think the guy’s living in the stone ages, though. He’s not seeing the writing on the wall. The movement of the world is heading towards equality for all people, all sexual preferences. Come on, we’re all the same in the end. Who cares what gives you a boner. Really?”

So where to from here? I can confirm that Australian Marriage Equality have their own ad coming and it will run for a lot longer than the five days given to Marriage Alliance, just like you I jumped down Foxtel’s throat without thinking, without investigating further what would happen with Foxtel’s alliance with the AME and how this will change things in the future. If you look at Marriage Equality in other countries, it has passed when both sides have been given time to air, because in the end love wins. Showing the ad from the Marriage Alliance highlight’s the ignorance and exploitation of children, while AME show’s nothing but pure and beautiful love, love that should be celebrated, love that should be encouraged and love that should be accepted.

I guess this is a really long way of me personally apologising to Foxtel for jumping the gun and posting my ill-informed message on your Facebook wall. At the time I withdrew Novastream affiliation for Foxtel and affiliated streaming service Presto with our upcoming podcast The Streaming Show, we now would like to reinstate our full support and thank Foxtel for supporting the AME and airing pro marriage equality ads on their channels. We look forward to the day that Australia finally achieves marriage equality, until then there will be plenty of debate around the issue and remember, in the end love always wins!

Change

Looking back a year ago, I didnt really have much choices, I was living with my parents at the grand old age of 30, I was working in a coffee shop, barely making it by and convinced I would be there, working away in a place that bred unhappiness and despair. I found myself with no choices, go to work, get paid, hang out with friends, go to the movies and that was really about it. I wanted choice, I wanted options, I wanted more but somehow I was completely unable to obtain it. I had locked myself away and become the person that I never wanted to be.

Flash forward 12 months and I find myself surrounded by choice, II now live in Sydney in a much nicer apartment than I ever have before, I have options to travel to other states (and live if I wanted to!) A plethora of opportunities have opened up to me, all because I was brave enough to say yes to the choice offered to me 12 months ago, it was the only choice that I could see in my future, it was the only one available and I knew that I had to do it and be completely and utterly alone for the first time in a long time.

So I made it, I made the move, and for the first 6 months it was hell, I had no friends, all I did was work and then go home every chance I got to spend time with the friends I used to have, not realising that everybody moves on, I think this is our fundamental flaw as humans, we want change in our own lives but struggle when it comes to other people having and accepting change we want everything to always be the same, and never change which is an impossible task inside itself as really we can not expect or ask this of anyone.

When it comes down to it, choices are something we take for granted, I used to be the whingy whiner guy, always complaining about my life, the fact that I never went anywhere or did anything, and it wasn’t until I looked at myself and realised that I was the one stopping these choices and these good things from coming into my life. I had choices, but I was not open to them, I was crying out for choice, without realising it was already in front of me, and all I had to do was reach out and take it. This is easier said than done mind you, taking a risk and a chance on an unknown choice is fun to say and to write about, but when you have to make that step and be completely alone, you start to analyse and realise things about yourself. It forces yourself to look inside and take a long hard look at yourself and that’s when (to quote my favourite author Liz Gilbert) the “aha!” moment happens. What the hell was I whining about? I had choices all along, I was just too scared and too weak to make any of them and realised that this is not a new revelation, this is a pattern, a constant cycle of madness that has surrounded me my entire life, I have always made bad choices, in everything, life, relationships, cars, career, coffee shops, but this was the time that I chose to stand up and say no longer will I be in a victim state, no longer will I continue to believe that I have n choice.

I live in one of the most open and choice riddled countries on the planet, my vote counts, my feedback is appreciated by others, to quote Homer Simpson “I’m a middle age white male, everybody listens to me” this may sound pompous and arrogant but it is funny just how accurate this statement is, and I have been running from it my whole life. Why don’t I want the world to open up to me? Why don’t I believe that my opinion and thoughts can contribute to society and the world? Why? Because we live in a culture built on fame, on celebrity, on “the beautiful people” and unless you are naked, spouting champagne over your head while balancing a glass on your butt, any opinion or thought will never “break the internet”

But this will not stop me, I come from a family that believe that their opinion cannot change anything, my mum is constantly avoiding conversations about current events and politics as in her mind “We can’t do anything about it anyway” and this maddens me, it frustrates me so much, to think that this strong and outspoken woman could truly believe this. IF anyone was going to stand up and listen, they would stand up and listen to her.

Choosing to do what is best for you is never easy, everyone will always have opinions and thoughts about what they think you should do based on their own personal beliefs and cultural laws that exist within our society. I do have a small select group of people I to go for advice about decisions and choices that I am considering in my life, but they will never provide me with the definitive answer to what I should do, these select few offer a balanced and two sided point on things and it has taken years to find the right people for the right advice.

At the end of the day, the only person who has to live with your choices is you, I guess the point of this is we all have choices, what we wear, where we work, where we live, who we date, who we hang out with, what media we consume, what Karashian to obsess over, it all comes down to the one simple question that I repeat to myself day after day, Can you live with the choices you make?

Society’s Stigma

Attention – the following is a little “ranty” and is heavily opinionated from a white male’s perspective. If this offends you I implore you to not read on, and instead go and click on something else.

On the weekend I logged into Facebook on a breezy Saturday morning and found that one of my oldest friends had posted a rather long and honest status about the state of his mind and the state of society. It is 731 words of delicious and raw honesty and as I read I felt my inner fist pump happening and I just had to share it and add my own thoughts about.

“A few months ago I posted a ‪#‎5NegativeThings‬ to counteract the 5 positive crap people were posting .. “everyone’s news feed is filled with negativity” which at the time I disagreed with.

I must say that everyday now all I see is negative crap!
So maybe I’m behind… or maybe I was fortunate enough to not have the negativity prolonged?!

However, all I see now is hate!

I think hate has become addictive for everyone.

The whole “I’m entitled to my opinion” has made this so much worse!

Suddenly everyone’s differences are on display… And many people make it a nasty opposition!

The only way to make news now IS negativity and sensationalism!

I’m not going to deny that shit happens and we all won’t agree on why, how or when.

To selectively post/share stories to hate (or provoke it) is VERY BAD…

Don’t you see this? Really?

I’m once again not going to deny the problems of people … But to keep highlighting certain topics will only result in opposing opinions and never amount to a solution… or peace.
It only raises fear and hate! The two thing most destructive!

I seriously want to kill myself when I read shit everywhere opposing me!!!

I’m not going to deny it… Ive been pretty low lately, very dark places.

Are you all aware suicide rates have risen??

Why don’t you all care?

I think “WTF is wrong with you?”.

Because I was born with a God damn PENIS I suddenly become hate #1.
Being male means I’m going to rape a woman or treat her inappropriately. “Social experiments” show this to be true! … Yeh ?!
Now don’t forget, When my dangling penis ages = well guess what I’m a fucking pedophile! Yup!

Please hate me!

Wait! What? I’m gay!!!

Mmmm, well I better not go to Russia for a holiday!
Even being in my home country gets uncomfortable and unaccepted by my own government…. Not to mention the stigma mention above … “I’m pedo who will take advantage of of children”…
WTF …seriously… What????

Fuck me and my family entitlements right!

How dare a gay male like children like any other male with children!
I can’t have children in my relationships… Does that mean I do enjoy childhood? Even tho as a child (once) I knew what life meant?!

I have NO fucking chance of love, and how dare I even think of saying I love ‘another’ man….

Even in the ‘Gay scene’ I’m a bloody ‘minority’ by public opinion.

Do you know that I am NOT a slut, and I don’t have HIV/AIDS.
I’m even lesser so than the heteros spreading their promiscuous behaviour around!

I know right! Fuck, wow!

Let’s not forget I have a penis right now!!!.
We know Lesbians are socially more accepted in public, and even seen desirable?!?….

I have a penis and I’m a gay male… Hate Me !

(Oh!you already do!)

Now, regardless of having relationships and experiences from different cultures (because I’m accepting and love everything life offers me) …

Although I am Australian,
I am therefore a racist!
A RACIST!

Hate me!

Can I just say…
That having such an easygoing, loving, accepting and grateful personality is very much a minority in this world!
And it’s much harder than being a part of more than ‘half population’ democratic.

I have a penis and I’m a gay Australian male…
Hate Me !

U hate me yeah!
That’s all I see!

I don’t see myself as gender, race or sexuality… Except where I ‘need’ to declare myself … Like this post!

Fuck that being born with an Australian with a penis and liking only circumcised Aussie men makes me a pathetic person !

Hate me !

I don’t want the “woe is me, everyone hates me” vibe in my life…
But because of the society (you) fuckwits have created, I have no other option.

U post it and I start believing it’s a mass representation of life as a human….
People don’t understand when I say “I hate people”… But really I do.

There was once a time I felt confident and loved. Now my mind sees everything negative toward me.
I now even hate myself.

Life is bullshit!
But only because of the opinions and hate of everyone else.

Can we take a national shoosh on the hate PLZ ?

Peace out x”

I have so many opinions on this and I cannot help but agree with a lot of it. Recently two of my best friends had a child and often I have been there visiting and watching them change her, bathe her and dress her, most of the times the baby has been naked. The first few times I felt really uncomfortable, like should I turn around and not look? Are they going to think I am a dirty perv for not leaving the room? Are they intimidated that I am in the room with their naked child, and I am a gay adult? These are the thoughts that plagued me as they bathed their beautiful baby and she splashed and giggled with delight. These words were never said and would never ever be in their thought process (I hope!) but the stigmata of our society makes me feel like that. At the moment I live with a single mother who was a son of her own (he is 10 I think? Sorry B if I’m wrong!) and he often loves just sitting on his bed with the door wide open with no clothes on (and to be honest who doesn’t!) this still is awkward and I think the same? Does she think I’m a dirty perv? Is she scared to leave him alone with me? When did we get like this?

The same goes for being out in public, since the birth of my best friends child I have noticed children a lot more in public. The cute things they do, the funny things they say, the way they act in public so carefree and reckless. If a child looks at you and smiles or waves, I always feel awkward if I do anything back as I am single gay man in my early 30’s with no partner, no wedding ring, so I must be a child predator and a creep. I think this is a disaster, our divorce rate is high in this country (and the world for that matter!) I grew up without a father influence in my life (for most of it!) and feel like so many experiences were missed because I had a working single mother of 3 as my guide (please note this is NOTHING against single mothers, my own did an outstanding job while fighting depression and illness) but I taught myself how to drive, I figured out what I wanted to do with my life, I don’t have that “parental unit” to fall back on for support when I need it, I don’t have a father to give me guidance on “guy stuff” and honestly it fucking sucks. So many other children out there are growing up without father figure’s in their life and missing out on that male influence that honestly we all need. So when we look at things like gay marriage and such people’s arguments are that they would only get a male’s influence or a female’s influence, and yes it does come down to the person, but our society is set on gender role’s and still to this day we need both to feel “complete” according to the underlying rules to western society.

I remember back in the early 90’s my family went on a trip overseas to the U.K. I was always an inquisitve and independent child (and still are to this day!) so I had no problems taking to adults, finding out things, asking other adults about sights and tours we went on. As a result of this I made a lot of adult friends, I was 15 at the time and my parents never stopped me or warned me against doing this, by today’s standards this would be seen as “neglect” and I made so many friends on these trips just from speaking to adults and learning about their country.

Now moving onto the gay thing, in my own minority group I am a minority inside that. I am not a young muscle mary with a good head of hair and rippling muscles, I am also not the opposite end, the older, mature guy with a head of silver hair and tons of cash. These are the two groups that our minority acknowledges, if you don’t fit inside either of these you are pretty much fucked (well actually no you are not! You are about as dry as Madonna after her latest world tour!) So not only does straight society put these pressures on me, my own minority group that I am meant to fit into looks down on me.

So what do we do? Because I am white, male and live in a Western country my opinion is suddenly invalid because I am “privileged” But let’s not forget the gay part, so I am infact a white, Western male living in a minority inside a minority who just wants to live my life without feeling like I can’t be involved in the raising of young people who are not blood related to me. What’s that old saying “It takes a village” and I know that Hilary Clinton did not invent those words but in her speech in 1996 at the Democratic Nation Convention in Chicago she did say (and I leave you with this)we have learned that to raise a happy, healthy and hopeful child, it takes a family, it takes teachers, it takes clergy, it takes business people, it takes community leaders, it takes those who protect our health and safety, it takes all of us.

Yes, it takes a village.

Source : http://www.happinessonline.org/LoveAndHelpChildren/p12.htm

 

 

Goodbye Fatty!

Everything has a time, when I started this blog I was in a place of turmoil, I was so confused and lost and was changing who I am inside and about. That time I feel has come to a close, I am a completely different person and I don’t think I need to go into the details about that (it is already all here!) So what happens now? Like every story, every journey, life goes on and so does our journey. I really feel like this blog was relevant for a chapter in my life, but now that chapter has closed and I feel like I am prolonging by updating on here. So instead I will import all of these posts into my personal blog and leave it in a separate section as a chapter of my life that has now closed, but one that I will always look back upon with fond memories and will never forget the journey I went through and learning that change only comes by being brave, by sacrificing everything you have.

Thank you for reading, for commenting, for clicking. If you want to keep in touch my personal blog is here this one will be closing in a few days.

 

Happy Anniversary!

Holy shit! Sorry to open this post so crass-like but those are the two words that circulated my mind the whole way to work this morning as it dawned on me that it has been exactly one year since I started my fitness journey.  One year ago today I bravely asked a regular customer what his gym was like and thought yeah maybe I could do this, and really since then – well you pretty much know the rest. I met Levi which led me to meet some of the most amazing, inspirational and dear friends and really the rest is history. I don’t want to go too much into the in’s and out’s as you probably already know them through the intimate and sometimes too much information contained in this blog. So what is going on in my head now that it has been a year since I started on this crazy journey, well I am still going at it one year later and I have never ever done that before. So let’s recap the stats…

November 7 2013 – 108 KGS   November 7 2014 – 84kgs

November 7 2013 – T-Shirt Size XL November 7 2014 – S

November 7 2013 – Pants Size 38/40  November 7 2014 – Size 32

To say that I have come a long way is an understatement! Just looking at these figures just blows my mind and I feel so proud of what I have accomplished. But of course as much as you have to do by yourself, there is no actual way I could have EVER done it without the support of SO MANY PEOPLE! So as much as I count this a personal victory and achievement, I actually view it as a joint effort. The following are people who I love and hold dear to my heart and this one year anniversary special is for you beautiful people who showed me the person I was inside and unleashed him and made me the person I am today. No thank you is ever too much, no gift is big or expensive enough, and I will never stop being grateful. So this goes out to the following (in no particular order!) : Ingrid, Kara, Hannah, Liz, Corinne, Carol, Levi, Kale, Belinda, Hannah, Sophie, Tim, Grantley, Mark, Michelle,Dante, Bianca, Dom, Nicole, Ryan, Mama Deb, Emily, Holby, Shay, Scott, Keryn and my parents for living with the nightmare that I was at the time. The endless phone calls of what the hell am I doing, to the time I broke down because all I wanted was a chicken schnitzel.

For 4 months I took a time out from being a complete fat pig and sloth and learnt about weight loss, fitness, muscle building and the most important thing I think I have ever learnt…FOOD! My relationship with food was always emotional, deeply emotional, dependent and horribly toxic. I had combined this with an alcohol addiction that I kicked a year and a half before that and now had come full circle to deal with my body, the one thing that always dragged me down and had me singing songs like “Big Girl You Are Beautiful” and all that other love yourself regardless of what you look like stuff, but what I didn’t know is that your inside doesn’t automatically reflect on your outside, like everything else in this life you have to work for it and I had no idea just how hard I would have to work to get it. We all know the months and now well year it has taken to completely transform my body into something that I am well still working on, but ultimately am proud of.

While the physical is important, it is also the mental that has changed so much, I had just finished working for two bosses who helped to smash my self-confidence and make me feel like a complete piece of dirt, this combined with my still lingering depression caused me to reach probably one of the lowest points of my life. I was drifting through life on Zoloft, I used food as a therapy and shut myself away from the world and people, convinced I would be hurt again. Then I started going to the gym, hanging out with people who encouraged and loved me and supported me and I began to change. I realised that I didn’t have to accept things as they are, I didn’t have to just drift from job to job, from day to day and accept that’s how things are, I had to change, I had to shape the life I wanted and I am the only person with the power to do that.

So where am I now? I now reside in Sydney, I have a job I enjoy, I am now taking care of myself all the time, growing in confidence all the time and I would not trade my life for anything in the world. What is next for me? I don’t know to be honest, I have to finish my degree and I will keep working on my body and my writing. I do have an announcement though. . .I learnt so much at boot camp and lost so much sweat and tears and had the absolute best time doing it, and all of this INSPIRED me. So I have decided that I need to take some of what was given to me and pass it on to others, so I am starting my own boot camp! I am about to start qualifications and get the necessary permits etc to start it. It will be boot camp, but it will of course have a twist infused with my personality. It is going to be called “Work Bitch Booty” and will all be set to music, so sort of like Zumba but better music and focus on dance moves that work muscles combined with exercise reps and will not only be a huge workout but will hopefully be a lot of fun as well (if you have any feedback or ideas please let me know!)

That’s it, one year on and I have the life I always wanted thanks to myself, some amazing friends and a lot of hard work – so if you are considering surgery, a magic diet pill or an “easy way out” know this, yes it took me some time to lose the weight, but guess what, I have skills that will keep the weight off and I made a lot of friends, gained confidence and had actual fun while doing it. The other thing that I gained from this is, is one burning question that the writer/journalist in me wondered from the beginning, Can exercise help depression? The conclusion I have come to is this, Yes, yes it does. It ignited me and made me feel like a brand new person and when I looked better, I felt better.

Here is to another year, and all the others to come! Thanks for sticking with me in this blog for a year and I hope you stick around as I plan to update this more.

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She’s BACK!

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note : no this is not me or my new look!

What a break! I have been having so much fun exploring my new surroundings and city. I went on a “no carbs left behind tour” of Melbourne and Sydney and realised one morning when I tried to pull my jeans up that they were a lot tighter than they used to be (they still fit!!!) so I did what I know I had to do and weighed myself..I had put on 4 kilos since the challenge, I was actually surprised because I was expecting it to be at least 8 so it was a good news/bad news situation.

Fortunately this put a little fire in my expanding belly and I started to get back to the gym, but this time I was doing it with no motivation, no trainer help, no friend support, I was completely and utterly on my own and it scared the absolute shit out of me. I found myself sitting around having no idea what to do. I would start off on the treadmill, get bored after 10 minutes, then go over to the cross trainer, get bored after 5, go to the weights area and get intimidated by the overflow of hotties and just give up and go home.

This process repeated itself for a few days before I just gave up. I threw my handbag in the river and decided that staying at home and playing video games was a better way to spend my time. Cut to me three weeks later, depression had come slinking back in with his good friend self-doubt and began whispering in my ear “You are not good enough” “Look at you – you fat hypocrite! You have come here and you are NOTHING!” Usually this would send me into a downward spiral of carb loading, chocolate consuming (ok this part I MAY have partaken in!) instead I went to my friends and found solace in complete ignorance, and when I returned I ahd forgotten about the feelings and life carried on. I got back into the gym, I started eating properly again and just as I was in a rhythm, BAM! ! I got hit with a stomach virus, and this was unlike anything I have ever experienced in my life. Anytime I tried to eat it just came rocketing out of me (sorry for the visuals!) I spent days in bed, writhing in pain, I couldn’t keep anything down except for dry biscuits and lemonade, which to a foodie is a complete and utter insult.

Anytime I attempted a normal meal, I paid the price, each time getting sicker and sicker and in the end I just had to give in to the sickness and wade it out with lemonade, dry biscuits and gastro-stop. The silver lining was the first morning I emerged from my bed feeling a little bit better I got dressed, looked in the mirror and BAM! Shit I looked good again, I had lost weight and my version of myself was back to where it was 6 months ago. It was just the boost that I needed to get back on track.

I got back to the gym four times one week, then five, then six! My eating portions got back on track. my happiness returned and those extra kilos I put on? Gone! My jeans are looser, my smile is bigger and I did it all by myself.

Whenever I see anyone who hasn’t seen me for six months and they go on and on about the weight loss and my journey etc, it all is so amazing and it still astounds me everyday that I did it, this portion of my journey, this six months has been so crucial, in that I did it all by myself, I didn’t have a trainer hounding me to go the gym 6 days a week, I didn’t have friends cheering me on, asking about my weight loss, my kilos this week, my eating, all I had was me and my brain and my willpower, which is now so much stronger, so much fitter, so much better than it ever was, and I am grateful to myself for pulling myself through, an ordeal that could have gone horribly the other way.

So here is to me, to coming back after what could have been a complete re-bound, to committing to this change for life and for having the sheer determination and will-power to do this and not let depression, anger or hurt get in the way. SHE’S BACK BITCHES!