1 Year Reflection. . .

This week I had an anniversary, it has been 1 year since I moved to Sydney and started working in the industry that I wanted to work in. Looking back when I moved here I was so full of promise, so full of hope, so excited about the future for myself and what my life would hold. It is no secret that over the last 6 months things have taken a turn. I have lost that hope, that excitement, I put on 5 kilos and have just gone back to existing. While it was happening I really had no control over it and really did not notice it until a new friend pointed this out to me (something for which I will be FOREVER grateful!)

Over the last few weeks I have reflected and considered everything that has happened in the last twelve months, re-evaluating where I have been and what I want to do, it has been a long and hard process with many lists (thanks Nicole!), phone conversations, consultations and some alone time to really for lack of a better phrase “sort my shit out” I finally hit the nail on the head.

When I moved to Sydney, I expected to learn, to grow, to get everything that a capital city could offer, what never did occur to me was the fact that I had to really do anything to get that. The good old phrase “You get back what you give out” never crossed my mind, I just expected that things would happen because of where I was and where I worked, I never thought for a second that I had to work at it and for the last 6 months I have just been sitting complacent.

A few times this has come up over the last few weeks with a few friends and I never really thought too much about it, till a new friend told me last night over our first dinner that “If you don’t work at it, Sydney will chew you up and spit you out!” and it’s true. I have not made friends here because well honestly I don’t know, I just kind of expected it to happen automatically, the same goes with work, with study, with everything and it is not the person who I wanted to be when I moved here.

I alone am responsible for what has happened and how I got to be in this position, I let myself go back and didn’t have the strength or support to stop it. I take full responsibility for this and dedicate to pulling myself out of it and getting back on track.

Today I finally finished Glee, a show that I have loved since day one, and while people may complain about the music and the direction of the show, it was always amazing to me. The message of the show REALLY shone through in the last season that Glee is about opening yourself up to joy and my favourite line from the show “See the world not as it is, but as it should be.” This is something that I am really going to try and live by moving forward, it is so easy to get bogged down in the worries of the world and other people’s emotions, and it is something that I know I am really susceptible to and have only just discovered this.

I also spent today reading back my previous posts and wanting to get back to that person, and while I can never be “that person” again, I can be someone with more experience, more information and more self aware than I was before. I do not know what the future holds for me, but I know what I have to do to shape it to be how I want it to be and how it ultimately should be.

This week I start training again, with a trainer and I am so excited about getting some motivation back into the fitness area of my life. I have been cutting back my portion sizes this last couple of weeks and this has been a challenge in itself.

It has been such a difficult couple of months and while the whole thing was escalating I never really knew what was happening, I just thought I was having a bad day, or bad week and let it go over to the next week. But now I have a grand plan, a short term and long term plan with a checking system to make sure I don’t head back into this place again. From here on in I just have to take it day by day.

Motivation

So the holidays are over and my birthday is looming closer and closer. (AH! The dreaded over 30’s birthdays) I find myself having “rewarded” myself over the holidays a little too much, and the gym sessions declined to a whole week of nothing, that’s right NOTHING and it was pure fucking bliss. I ate what I wanted, I played video games for hours on end, ate bread with no guilt whatsoever and desert! OH DESERT HOW I MISSED YOU! I gorged on Drumsticks, Puddings, Cakes, Profiteroles and Messina!

I took a week off working out and felt like absolute shit, Like complete and utter crap, I felt slow and tired, I was grumpy living off a constant trans fat high and I was begging to go back to the gym and eat better (well the last part…sort of…) It really showed me just how far I  have come, if you had told me this time last year that I would be craving going to the gym and not eating and playing video games, I would have laughed in your face and called you crazy.

I went back to the gym today and worked so hard, I poured all of my energy and frustrations over my “week off” into my workout and was so happy with the results. Yes I am exhausted, Yes I am a little cranky at my small portion dinner of chicken and brocolli, but I am happy and knowing that 2015 is the year that I will lose ALL of my gut and have defined abs. It is a hard goal to want, but I know I can do it and it all starts with what I do now.

So my birthday is now less than a week away and I have a goal, along with my things to do this year and some other prospects that I can’t say too much about at the moment, things are looking up in 2015, I know that this year I have to DOUBLE the energy, double the effort, double the enthusiasm and passion for life that I had in 2014, and while a lot of it is physical, it really is just a state of mind.

If you are lacking motivation at this most auspicious time of year, don’t let it run dry, don’t do the new year new me thing and get bogged down in the same business that will stop you from becoming the best version of yourself, because above all else, you owe yourself that life.

65 Things in 2015 *UPDATED!

So i stole this from my friend Troy Lampier. I love the idea of making a list of things to do and ticking them off as you go along! So in 2015 I will attempt to complete every task on this list, keep checking back as I will update with pics when they are complete! I hope you all had a great new year!

They are:
1. Travel overseas at least twice.
2. Live in two cities at once for at least 6 months – DONE! (Sydney & Gold Coast!)
3. Walk the entire length of beach from Nobbys to Merewether at least once.( DONE!)

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Walk done with Levi!


4. Do the Q1 tower walk on the Gold Coast
5. Give away $100 to a random person for no reason at all.
6. Go rock climbing for the first time.
7. Go skydiving at least once.
8. Sing into a microphone, in public (DONE!)
9. Go vegetarian for at least one month. (Officially backing out of! Seriously, what was I thinking?)
10. Pick up a hitchhiker
11. Get another tattoo
12. Complete twelve pull-ups in one go (DONE!)
13. Get a photo of myself at the Big Banana.

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14. Get a photo of myself at the Big Pineapple. (DONE!)

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15. Visit the War Memorial in Canberra.
16. Dance with my shirt off at a dance party.
17. Finish the horror short story
18. Learn French.
19. See a shooting star or meteor shower.
20. Try drinking juice (DONE!)
21. Be able to plank for 5 minutes
22. Bake and decorate a cake.
23. Go a whole month without eating any burgers or fries (I doubt this will EVER happen!)
24. Go on a hot air balloon ride
25. Make an item of clothing and wear it.
26. Finish my first trilogy novel
27. Finish my goddamn degree (I have started UNI again!)
28. Buy something online and have it posted to a friend for no reason.
29. Go camping (NOT glamping!)
30. Grown my beard for a month without clippering it.
31. Write a poem that is at least 3 pages long
32. Try kiwi fruit (I still can’t do it!)
33. Go swimming at a beach in winter ( I did this in QLD so it still counts!)
34. Go to a horse race (Ethical reasons are making me not want to do this!)
35. Eat at a vietnamese restaurant (Done!)
36. Eat a meal at a revolving restaurant
37. Visit Cradle Mountain, Tasmania
38. Go tenpin bowling (Done! Thanks Luke)
39. Jump on a trampoline
40. Buy flowers for someone I love
41. Go to a drive-in in every state of Australia
42. Eat a tropical fruit that I have never tried before
43. Ride a motorbike
44. Make out with someone in the back seat of my car
45. Visit Australia Zoo in QLD (I have heard it’s lame so I might alter this one)
46. Visit Taronga Zoo in Sydney
47. Ride a rollercoaster (DONE! So many times!) 

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48. Go fishing
49. Give a busker $100 (Done! And I cried and he cried)
50. Go skinny dipping on a beach
51. Make a piece of public art and leave it somewhere public
52. Grow and maintain a herb garden at home
53. Eat a Yorkshire Pudding
54. Make a loaf of bread (no cheating!)
55. coffee

Switch to Decaf Coffee…yeah this was NEVER going to happen
56. Complete an online course
57. Do a nude photo shoot
58. Walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge (DONE!)
59. Get my passport
60. Do the BVH with Kale
61. Leave flowers at the grave of someone I don’t know
62. Learn to swim properly

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63. LOVE more!


64. Read an autobiography (Done!)
65. Write a song and perform it online.

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?

Intro – New Beginnings

Intro – New Beginnings

After the closing of my weight loss and body image challenge I needed to take this in a new direction. I have recently started dating actual men again and thought that this was the right time for a project that has been on the back burner for a few years now. Everytime I try and recreate it, it just never works, but I feel that this is the right time, so without any further ado here we go!

Prologue

“The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing.”  Voltaire

Let me start by saying that I am not a relationship expert, I don’t have a degree in psychology, I am not a therapist I like to think of myself as more of a self-appointed relationship coach. The advice contained in this blog is a guide inspired by real people and real events. I am not bitter, not all relationships are bad, I am merely using this as a means of sharing what I have learnt about relationships, specifically gay one’s and provide a “how to survive” guide as best as I can.

Relationships are tough, in particular gay relationships, I don’t know if it is because of the years of affliction we as a people have suffered, or the completely unrealistic expectations we place on ourselves and of those around us. It is something that has been shown in movies, books, on TV, songs are mainly about relationships and if we are talking country songs bad relationships. It seems that everyone everywhere wants to talk about relationships but there is one type of relationship that we do not get to look too deep into. The Gay relationship, specifically man to man. Most men I know that are straight are under the impression that there is always a man that is the man and man that is the woman, naturally they assume the more feminine acting man is branded the girl and like most assumptions this is rarely the case. Gay relationships are as every bit complex as a straight couple’s. Sure and let’s be 100% here gay men have a lot more sex than straight men and it is no secret that a high sex drive comes built in to us males and is something that we can rarely avoid. The following is a description of events, people and places that have nurtured these relationships and have allowed me to look at each of them thoroughly and draw my own personal conclusions from there.

I chose Voltaire’s statement as I not only love it, there is something about it that just grabs me, I am in a constant state of “know nothingness” and while this has allowed me to have a very open mind, I often find it puts me in the place of being in constant contrast to nearly every other person on the planet. When I was younger I grew up with people in groups. My family were very strict penticostal christians, we weren’t even allowed to watch certain Disney movies (The Little Mermaid because of the sea witch, Aladdin it had magic and said Alla, The Lion King because it had a witchdoctor, and so like any other normal child when everyone is doing something that you are not allowed to do, we would sneak over for sleep overs and binge on them at our friends house (yes youth’s of today, binging existed before Netflix and DVD box sets!) Anyway I digress, everyone was segregated into groups in my childhood, the christians, the secular non-believers, family, friends, school, teachers, leaders and my memory of this is that all of these people held a similar opinion about the world, you knew if you went to a certain person who fit into a certain group they would have an identical or similar opinion and you knew who you would go to for certain things. Spiritual guidance could be found in leaders at the church, bullying and schoolwork issues could be helped by teachers, friends would play games of Super Mario Bros. or Sonic The Hedgehog with you, in between hurtling down the slip and slide on long hot summer days, everything had its place and worked neatly.

Then I left the family home and discovered that these little groups that had existed in my head, these perfect enclaves of beings was a childhood fantasy, a safety mechanism in order to keep things safe. I had to leave the folly of childhood behind as I found out, unfortunately not too quickly, that not everyone is honest. I was used to taking people at face value, trusting judgement from my parents that had already been made for me, I had no society or friend filter and found myself being taken advantage off easily. It took me several years to build up even a small level of street smarts and now at the grand age of 30 I think I finally have my shit figured out.

What I have learned is that every person on this planet is actually different, we say one thing and think another, unless you were born with no filter like I was, where you say what’s on your mind without hesitation and this is both a blessing and a curse. As a result I do not fit in with the corporate types, or the “classy” types that have to dress up to go to dinner while sitting in a posh restaurant with 8 forks, or the socially appropriate conversations just don’t wash with me, and also as a direct result of this I am not great at small talk. I actually despise it, pleasantries, general chit chat annoys me to no end, I like to get to the crux of the discussion and really have a good long hard talk about it, rather than say the weather, traffic or “local/popular sports team” I used to find this really frustrating as I found it really hard to fit in when I was in these circles, but when I discovered that this was a trait I got from my nan and my aunty I relished in it, knowing that it was ok for me to be this way, and it didn’t mean I was strange or odd. My mother is the complete opposite of me, she is bubbly, bright, outgoing, could get a conversation from a dead tree in 20 seconds if she tried, she could talk underwater and has no hesitation making general chit chat with anyone in public. I used to be so envious of this ability, it was always something that I desired so I tried to force myself to do it and realised that there was no possible way to make it seem sincere so I agreed that I should always be myself, because that is the only and best person I can be for myself and the world.

So what is this? This is a blog about my experiences in the hope that anyone having relationship or identity issues can find some solace in these words, but mostly this is for me. This started out as a book, then a tv show, then a book again and now hopefully a blog. I find joy in spending time with people, observing them, interacting with them and it is from here that I draw my conclusions in a very non Carrie Bradshaw-esque way I hope. It should also be noted that I have changed the name of every single person I have interacted with and observed for obvious reasons, except for Nicole Lawler, who is to this day and will always be, the most amazing, the most lovely, the most brave, the most inspiring person on this planet to me, as everyone should know just how important and incredible this woman is. With that I now bring this introduction to a close and hope you will come back for the next chapter in which I hope to explain just exactly who I am and how I got to be here and why it took me to 31 to get my shit together. As much as this blog is about me, it is also about my experiences and relationships in this world that have helped challenge, shape and mould my opinions of the world.

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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Goodbye’s Suck…

In the last 6 months it feels like I have had to say goodbye A LOT! And really I have, I had to say goodbye to friends that were holding me back, I had to say goodbye to friends who were lifting me up and encouraging me as I moved away, I had to say goodbye to bad food, goodbye to free time as I exercise and now today I had to say goodbye to a relatively new friend and I forgot how hard it is and how much they, for lack of a better word, suck.

We have the same sense of humour, we laugh at and make the same kind of jokes, we get each other coffee, we get lunch together, we talk about our lives together, he helped me move and transition down here, gave me advice on cars, boys and life and we have shared a lot of great times together. It wasn’t really until the last week when he told us that he had a new job and would be moving on, that I realise how much I respect and admire him.

He is a couple of years older than me, he has a great apartment in the city, a steady boyfriend, a new great job, great friends, and is one of the most down to earth and funniest guys I have ever met. We tried to motivate each other to go to the gym (sometimes successful, other’s not so much) and he was a great motivator to not eat so many Cronut’s and Pop Tarts at my desk.

Today due to a family emergency it was his last day in our department and as he emptied his desk and passed a lot of things onto me, it only hit me how much I will really miss working with him. Regardless of how bad the day was, he could always make me laugh and lift the mood, no matter how mind numbingly boring it was, we could always talk about something light and fluffy and the day was that better. Now I have to face the fact that I am back to square one and I’m not going to see him everyday anymore.

As I finished my shift, and we said our final goodbye, I realised that I am sick of saying goodbye to people and situations in my life. I know we are meant to love change, embrace change, accept change, but as much as we can try, I just hate it so much sometimes. With so much change happening in my life, I just want to freeze time for like at least a year and having things stay as they are, the more I thought about this, the more upset I got. I don’t want anyone to remain stagnant for a year, I wouldn’t demand that anyone halt their life for the sake of anyone else’s comfort. It is important for us as humans,especially in western society to keep changing, to keep moving, to keep growing and keep improving.

So it is with a whole heart that I wish him all the best on his new job role, that I say congratulations, you are deserving of this promotion and I hope it propels you forward into a career and a life that you love. As for me, I am still learning to deal with change, learning to let go and how to move on when things feel chaotic and out of control.

How do you deal with change? Let me know in the comments below….

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!