A Change Is As Good As A Holiday

For those that do not know me personally, I have recently relocated from the stormy and cold city of Sydney, to the sunny, friendly and breathtakingly beautiful state of Queensland. An opportunity came up at work to relocate and after much soul searching (a whole 24 hours) I said yes and then it seemed as if I blinked and it was time to move.

I haven’t talked much about my time in Sydney, it was one of the most challenging and rewarding times of my life. I moved after completing a 12 week challenge that reinvigorated my body, I had dreams, I had ambition and a new job and everywhere I went it seemed like everyone around me was shitting all over it. I had one persistent and ever optimistic friend (thanks Sipple!) who encouraged me to keep going for my dreams and if it wasn’t for here I would not have experienced half of what I did in my time there.

Sydney was amazing for my Novastream website, movie premieres, gaming events, networking and connections and I found myself busying my life with this noise and surrounding myself with “things to do” that were distracting me from what was really going on inside. I had up and moved and left all of my friends behind, and instead of taking all I had learnt with me, I fell victim to what I am calling “Sydney Syndrome”, an infectious disease that I found in a lot of people I met with there.

They, like me, had moved to Sydney hoping to achieve their dreams, they had big plans, make it big, get rich, get connected enough that they could then get out and live where they wanted to and all would be right in the world. One of these people (whose name I have changed for the sake of this article) is Mike. Mike had moved here 12 months before I did, working at a low level paying office job in the CBD, a horrible boss, whose dreams had also been squashed by the city lights, he went in day and day out, 5 sometimes 6 days a week and had dreams of running a Google like empire. He had the degree, he had the connections, but the city had beaten him down, told him that too many other people were trying to do the same thing, so what is the point of trying to do it? You will try, fail and then have to come back to work here and will end up resenting yourself and life. No, no, it is easier and more rewarding if you just stick to what you know and leave that to Sundar Pichai’s of the world.

Another friend Bettina, had been living here for 6 years, she wanted to be a news reporter, and now worked in the low level administration for a television studio. She spent her days answering phones, through her window she could see the news desk and coerced with journalists and camera crew all day, sitting there longing for the job, but overtime she thought she tried, she was denied, feeling like she was always overlooked for someone younger, someone prettier so she descended into madness and monotony and decided to stick to what she knew.

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Now don’t get me wrong, this is not a trashing Sydney post, I learned so much from my time there about myself, about other people and about the world. All I will say is that it was definitely not the place for me. I do miss the coffee and the late night shopping combined with the consistent slew of events that the city just seems to pump out day and night throughout the year. Sydney will always have a fond place in my heart, it taught me a lot about myself and revealed some ugly truths that I had to face and deal with.

So where am I now? I am in Queensland, everyday is feeling like a holiday at the moment, I go to work during the day, then in the afternoons and evenings I get to explore some of the most beautiful beaches on the planet (I could possibly be biased here, just a little!) I feel like this place has defrosted me from the inside out. I am dating again, and successfully this time (I think…) work is great, my direction and purpose feel revitalised and the blocks that were stopping me are feeling further and further away. If I get bored or need inspiration I can drive to a beautiful beach, go for a walk in the golden sand, eat ice cream and go on a rollercoaster, and it’s still winter! I feel lucky and blessed to be here and I would not want it any other way.

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!

Understanding Children

I know, you just read the title and thought what would a gay man know about children? I mean until the other day, I didn’t have a full understanding of the female reproductive system and the in-depth knowledge of what happens when a girl has her period (apart from the horror movie style bleeding scenes that we love to imagine!) nearly 12 months ago my best friend had a baby, and it was such a terrifying time for me, usually in the past when friends have had babies, they morph into this monster that see single people as “sad” and “lonely” and the worst “unfulfilled because you don’t have children” So naturally I expected the same thing to happen, and while they assured me nothing would change, I was convinced it was only a matter of time.

The baby arrived and (not biased at all!) is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. She is funny and smart, with personality to boot! I always used to roll my eyes at children and think meh I could never be that interested in one, oh how wrong I was!

I already felt like a member of the family, and them having this child only accelerated it further. I can’t even describe how protective and loving I am of this child, and it didn’t even come out of me!(so I can only imagine how my friend feels about her!) All I want to do is cuddle and kiss her and wrap her up in a fuzzy pink dressing gown and have her stay that way forever!

We were at the show and I wanted to get her something for Easter that wasn’t chocolate (I am waiting till she is a little bit older, I can have her for the morning, pump her full of chocolate and send her back to Mum & Dad with a new drum kit!) and found the most precious beautiful hand made plush bunny rabbit. The stall lady wrapped it in a brown paper bag and we took it back to her. She opened the bag herself and pulled the bunny out, and the look of pure joy on her face smashed my heart and as she cuddled it to her head and smiled I am not ashamed to say I got a little teary and the love I felt in my heart-like area was unlike anything I have ever felt before. My Mum always says that Christmas isn’t the same when your kids grow up and you can’t see their faces, and I always say “Yeah yeah whatever, we are still your children, you can still buy us stuff up!” and grin at her stupidly. Now I think I understand what she means, if I could I would buy her a present  a day just to see that look on that beautiful little face, the pure joy and love from something so simple.

The day went on and on and I had that “ah-ha!” moment, this is what children are, this is what they bring that I have never understood before. So as I was walking home, the undeniable question lingered “Do you want kids?” and to be honest, it was never something that I considered to be a possibility before, I have always been that “self-involved” person so it never occurred to me that I could love anyone more than myself. But I love knowing that question is lingering and I now have a deeper understanding of what children are and why breeders (hehe) go so crazy over them.

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?

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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My Revelation

This week was brutal, I stuck to my diet hardcore, I exercised in a public park and managed to factor in some fun as well. I came home for the long weekend and smashed the gym sessions with my whole body writhing  in pain and agony, but I lost 2 kilos this week and I HAVE to be happy with that. With all this weight loss I couldn’t help but think what about the muscle gain?

After a few chats with Levi, I finally realised after some photo taking that I had already built muscle, I was just too focused on my gut to notice it. They are not massive, but it is a great foundation to build upon. I don’t even have to be pumped up to see the muscle growth. This is mainly in my arms, shoulders and legs and I have shaved them down to try and see the difference close up.

I got a little down today about how all of this happened and the distance I have had to place in between myself and other people as I can’t get drunk with people or eat out and while Anzac Day weekend involves a lot of this I found myself not doing much besides working out and while this has been a great way to catch up on Uni work, it is also made me a little sad.

I still feel like I’m caught in between two places right now and I don’t know what to do. I am excited though at the prospect of everything changing, especially my body. As draining as this challenge is, I think I am actually going to miss it. I will miss having amazing PT sessions that push me to my limits, I will miss really watching what I eat and being guilted into pushing myself all week. It sounds crazy but I will miss it.

That being said I lost 3 cms off my stomach this week! 3 cm!! HOLY WHAT? You will also be happy to know that I have also thought about the future of this blog. I will merge it with my personal blog and keep the name Goodbye Fatty. I will still post about my fitness journey, but will also use it to post recipes, workout videos and advice about fitness and my continuous weight loss journey.

A MASSIVE thank you to Levi for sticking with me through this, you have gone through literally every emotion I have the tears, the laughs, the breakdowns, the depression, the complaining, the whining, the screaming, the yelling, a job change, tiredness and most of all the diet thing. You have evolved from a trainer into one of my closest friends and no amount of money could ever repay what you have done in my life. You are always there when I need you as a friend first and trainer second and I am so proud to count you among my friends circle.

Corrine, Wade, Baptiste, Dom, Grace and Mark – you have all been so encouraging every time I have gone to the gym and helped pushed me to work harder and made the gym a fun and social place to keep coming back to.

Kara and Ingrid – wow! What can I say? You two are a pair of the funniest girls I know. Working hard at booty with you has been so much fun. You always make me laugh and are there to listen to my complaining and comments about the hell that Corinne and Levi inflict upon us when we would much rather be drinking coffee and eating eggs bennie! You are not only funny, but you are massively inspiring! You make the gym and boot camp look so damn easy week in, week out it is such an encouragement for me. I am so glad to have met you and can’t wait for this damn thing to finish to get absolutely smashed with you!

Carol – lady you need to write a book! You are so inspiring and your journey is worth sharing! You are funny and so positive. Don’t ever give up on your journey, it has been an honour to share mine with you.

To everyone who has read this blog, commented and sent me encouragement – I cannot begin to thank you for your advice and your loving words. They have meant so much to me and I hope that you have enjoyed reading about my journey as much as I have sharing it.

So if you are wondering what is my revelation? My revelation is this – this journey has been the best thing I have ever done in my life. It has challenged me and shook me to my core, it has forced me to look at my life and change everything that was needing to be changed. I gained a support network who have encouraged, loved and supported me and I could not be more grateful. As much as I have complained about this change, it is a change that is set in my mind for life. I will not stop working on my body, I will care about balance when it comes to my eating and I find I am no longer using food as an emotional crutch. I realised this week that this is a lifestyle change and I will NEVER give up on it. I will never stop caring about my body,  I will never stop pushing myself to become a better person inside and out and I will NEVER let myself down again.

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Looking Season 1 Review

Looking – HBO

Looking is the latest in the HBO family of series to be given the greenlight and follows a long tradition of gay television shows being made into hits. Looking premieres a mere 8 episodes and then has now been greenlit for a second season. The show is set in San Francisco and follows a group of gay guys on their many different paths and most importantly relationships.

The main character is the meat of this show, he is the HGN (Hot Gay Nerd, something that we don’t see a lot of in pop culture. He is about to turn 30 and works in the video game industry as a designer and finds himself completely misunderstood by the community, unable to find an area to fit in and more importantly struggles with relationships.

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Sexy is something that HBO tends to not shy away from, and this is the part of this series that disappointed me the most. While there are several scenes it is nothing compares to the steaminess of Sex & The City or Boardwalk Empire. This show is taking place at such an important time in history when as a society we have accepted homosexual as no longer a choice, rather now as actual human beings and not to get all Lady GaGa on you but “born this way”.

The show touches on important issues like the introduction of gay marriage and deals an interesting conversation about how this has been done to make us seem “normal” and this is a chord that stuck with me.

Issues of age and life events are tacked head on, and this is something only seen in shows like Queer As Folk who push the “old man on young man” thing instead we see a 39 year old, dealing with being a waiter for 10 years straight and needing to do something more before he turns 40 because of past relationship and has kind of being standing still. This storyline is a little flimsy as really who is going to believe that no one in San Fran has ever heard of or had peri peri chicken before?

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Dealing with race and inter-racial relationships is another topic that I haven’t seen in a gay themed show and is dealt with.

The gay group of friends that are the central point of this show are not your usual fare, yes there is the token hag, the old one, the couple, the single fat one, the main character.

Some of the story arcs are surprising and take a weird turn and come out of nowhere. A surprise fight between three characters is kind of weird and comes from nowhere.

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The main character can’t deal with conflict, instead makes snap decisions attempting at band aid fixes for issues that the other can’t get past.

The show delves into issues of money and how things are portrayed in gay culture and how all of this is reciprocated. Sometimes things aren’t always as easy as we think, sometimes they don’t ring true to who we are or what we want.

The underlying message of “Looking” feels like we, the audience are looking at gay culture, getting a glimpse of real world type situations and people that aren’t a caricature or overcast stereotype. It is through this that an organic vibe eminates from every angle of this show.

Dealing with mother and son relationships and stereotypes is also something that is explored well in this show. Blaming parents for how we act in relationships is all too familiar and is explained in intricate detail in this show.

Overall this show delivers an engaging 8 episode story arc, the characters are complex and engaging, the setting of San Fransisco is a welcome change from the tired streets of New York. Complex relationships between friends, lovers and family shouldn’t feel so fresh, but this show presents in this way. It is inspiring that a show can hook me in just 8 episodes and provide a season worth of material to keep me hungering for season 2. If you are looking to get hooked on something in the impending desert of TV then this is it!

Looking gets 4 and a half peri peri chicken steaks out of five.

 

Miss Moving On

Wow what a week! Who knew so much change could happen so quickly! I started my new job and as a result of long travelling times and other factors my exercise time is significantly smaller this week. It is Friday night and I have only done 4 workouts instead of 5, but I do have all weekend to make up for it and that will begin with boot camp tomorrow morning followed by an afternoon gym sesh and then a sunday sesh to round it all off.

My eating has been great this week, I was obliged to indulge a couple of times at work but it was expected and that is ok. I wrote an article for a local magazine the week I started this challenge and it has just been published. The online link is here. It is so bazaar to read it back and think wow I can’t believe I ever thought that and reflect on just how far I have come now.

The weird thing is I have met people all week who have never seen me bigger and it is bizarre to think that I lasted the whole week with no support network. I went out alone and I didn’t over-eat, I didn’t just slide back into old habits, It made me realise that the old me is dead and gone and I could never go back to being that.

I am so scared of moving on, of moving away and starting a whole new chapter of my life, and I may just be paranoid, but this week I have felt the cold sting of people pulling away and letting me go and it sucks because it is always hard for me to let go. But I know deep down that I have to. I have to do to this and I will. But I have tools now to ensure that I stay as healthy as I can, to be the kind of person that I can be proud of and finally I can look myself in the mirror again and be happy.

Here’s a selfie of me on the train sleeping haha just because 🙂