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.

 

 

 

 

 

Goodbye FireFly

Warning – the following is very personal and only a handful of people on the planet know this about me. If you don’t believe in the supernatural then maybe this post is not for you.

For the majority of my life I have had a spirit/entity/ghost that has acted as semi-guide/creeper who has provided me with insights about the people around me and attempted to interject and advise on decisions I make in my life. Judging by the state of my life it is pretty safe to assume that I do not always listen or choose to hear and ignore and go on my own merry way. Why this poor thing would lump itself to me is completely beyond my understanding!

I call “it” or “him” Firefly as the first few times I saw him this was how he appeared, as a group of lights that were attempting to form a shape and it reminded me of these beautiful little beetles. I think this is possibly why I was never frightened of him.

The first night I met him was when I was about 6 or 7 years old. Our family home had just gone through a christian “purification” I still remember this husband and wife team coming over and telling my parents that there were demons hiding in the corners of the roof, that they were sitting there and they would swoop down and attack. It was one of the most frightening memories for me as a child and of course it invoked no sleep for me. My eyes would constantly dart up to the corners anytime I was scared or felt something with me in the room.

One night things were really bad, I awoke from a nightmare and opened my curtain as I heard a noise outside, I was convinced that I had seen a demon but in actual fact it was probably a bird or a confused bat who had flown into the window by mistake. I was crying and screaming and my mother came into my bed to comfort me. She sat on the end of the bed and grabbed my hand and asked angels to come down on the roof and protect us. A few seconds later she looked up to the roof and said “Do you hear that? Footsteps!” I looked up but couldn’t hear a thing.

I told my mother that I was ok and she went back to bed, I laid back into my bed, eyes wide open, still terrified out of my mind. This is when Firefly first appeared next to me, he floated in calmly and with a sense of complete coolness that instantly made me feel at ease. As he hovered next to my bed I heard a voice in my head “It is ok, everything will be ok now. Sleep” and I stretched out my hand and fell asleep instantly.

From here on in I saw him a few times over the coming years, when I met people I would get impressions of them and words that turned out later to be quite accurate. I never really thought too much about it being a child and all, but it wasn’t until later on in life that I started to realise just what this Firefly thing possibly could be.

Being the studious person I am I did all kinds of research into what this could possibly be. I found websites and personal accounts of spirits attaching themselves to people who could possibly have a “medium ability” I found stories of ghosts seeking companionship so they find people who are “open to the idea” I didn’t feel like I really fit these moulds.

Firefly was there when I decided to leave my abusive and violent relationship, he told me time and time again to leave for good this time, but little ol’ stubborn me would not listen, believing that people could change for the better. Firefly was there when I made bad choices, whispering the opposite in my ear but still stayed with me anyway, he was there when I triumphed and was overjoyed when I decided to move to Queensland because “Exciting things await you if you just go, don’t over think it, just GO!” These were his words as I contemplated the decision to move and for the first time in a long time, I listened (and boy am I glad I did!)

When I first moved I was scared and unsure about what lay ahead of me, but Firefly was with me every night that I was sitting in my sisters house on a mattress on the floor thinking about what the hell I had just done. He encouraged my confidence and bravery as I decided to finally start dating again and the second I met my current boyfriend he said these words “This is a good man, a good, good man, and you deserve a good man!” These words resonated with me, as I first met Luke and we talked and laughed, as I walked away from our first meeting words of reassurance and joy filled my head and I knew that we had just made a special connection.

At various other points in my life Firefly has interjected and offered his advice and opinions, if I asked for them or not. He has revealed things about past, present and future and acted as a semi spirit guide that I developed a relationship with. There was a time when he revealed that he was a monk in a previous life, and a warrior in another. This was revealed when several nights in a row I had horrific dreams about being attacked while I was sleeping. Fortunately it was not him attacking me, but protecting me from whatever was trying to get me that night.

Sunday night as Luke & I were talking in bed (I was a little bit intoxicated from day drinking) I told him about Firefly, it was important to me that he knew about this part of my life and he was only the third person alive to know about this. The next day I was concerned that he would think I was certifiably insane, I kept waiting for the white coats to walk down my driveway over the next few days and take me away because “my boyfriends has a voice in his head that talks to him!” I am aware of how insane this sounds!

Monday night when I arrived home, I attempted sleep, As I lay in my bed thinking about all of my encounters with Firefly, naturally he appeared. He was smiling with a solemn look in his face. He told me that he had to say goodbye, that he had taught me everything that he was sent here to teach me and that someone else needed him now. At this point I broke down, I was streaming tears and doing the “ugly cry” thing. He wished me well and told me I was on the right path and then like magic I fell asleep.

The next day I could still feel him lingering around me. I spoke to him several times during the day about something I was unsure of, a situation that I kept second guessing and he told me to stop over thinking things, stop second guessing.

Then on Tuesday night at approximately 8:45pm he left, unceremoniously departed with two words  “Be Happy” and he was gone. Wednesday I woke up for the first time without Firefly, I know that he has moved on and I have a sneaking suspicion that I know who he has moved on to (insert ominous guess here!)

So what did I learn from all this? Am I crazy? Are there voices in my head? Was this a ghost? A spirit? Divine intervention from the gods to stop my crazy life choices? Who knows! All I know is that Firefly was an important part of my journey and while it was difficult to discuss in the past, just writing about it now is helping me attempt to make sense of our crazy journey together.

So Firefly this one is for you! Thank you for the guidance, thank you for the lessons and most of all thank you for the protection. Does the supernatural exist? I do not know, but I choose to believe that whatever this thing was, it was a force of good and that can only be a good thing.

Public Affair

Anyone who knows me well, knows that my favourite author is the sublimely talented Elizabeth Gilbert. I find her so inspiring, her memoir Eat Pray Love changed my life and helped me forge my own journey (albeit not through the beauty of places like Italy, Bali or India) to self acceptance and through the pit of depression and out into the light. If you follow my Goodbye Fatty blog, you will no doubt already know all about these challenges and what I went through so you are all caught up? Great!

Liz (I hope I am allowed to call her that?) has written a fabulous new book called Big Magic, it is all about creative living beyond fear, something that speaks very expressly to me. I have been devouring this book every night, chapter by chapter, consistently fist pumping and screaming out “Yes! Yes! This so happens!” to the point of my housemates asking if I am ok in there (to which I reply with a resounding YES!). This is something that I have struggled with for so long, constantly being excited by creativity, but then fear creeps in and takes over and everything dwindles and I fall back into the black pit of “artist suffering” resolving myself to the fact that I will never be a writer or creative person.

A large part of the book explores our influences growing up and what people say to us about being creative and how this cannot lead to success (or what the world deems as successful) and I must admit that this is where probably three quarters of my fear comes from. What if I put it out there and it gets shot down? What if everyone laughs at it and it is a complete failure? What if my family read it and realise that some of this is about them? What then? This and a host of a million other questions consistently flood my mind when I start a creative project, I exhaust myself going through all of this, that I am so depleted and my creativity is completely bruised and battered, and the project slips away.

One of the ideas in the book explores making our creative projects public, this is something that I also struggle with, I have believed for the longest time that all creative work is for public consumption, otherwise how do you know if its any good? This has been my struggle this week and my realisation is this, I create because I want to create, because I make something that did not exist the day before. I do it because it get’s hold of me and I have to get it out. It doesn’t have to be a fully formed novel or script, it can be an idea with a few major plot points, and the more I dwell on it and research it, it reveals more of itself during this process. My problem is posting everything up for anyone and everyone to see before it has been attended to and coddled to produce a work worthy of creativities idea. I also do this in my personal life too and this has been a huge realisation this week, I looked back at the last few posts on here and they are deeply personal. I am posting up thoughts and events about myself and someone else I am currently involved with (hopefully still am!) and while I am an open book, he is a private person who does not necessarily want my thoughts about us and him out there for everyone to see.

When I approached the subject with him, he did listen and say that he understands why I need to write about it, and I agree to some extent that I definitely do need to write about it, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be public. So if you are reading this expecting hot and steamy details about my relationship, I am sorry to disappoint you, moving forward that is completely off the cards, I will be continuing to write about it, but it will not be something that is made for public consumption.

I feel like this is a first in a series of giant leaps forward for my creative life and I am excited about where it takes me. If you look to the left you will see a cute little cartoon that I nabbed from Liz Gilbert’s Facebook page about fear. This is a quote from Big Magic about where fear should be in the presence of our creative lives. “Fear is allowed to come along for the ride, but it is sitting in the back seat, it doesn’t get a say, it doesn’t get to navigate, it definitely does not get to take over, it does not even get to touch the radio! Instead of fighting it or conquering it, we have to work with it and acknowledge that it exists” I cannot stop reading this passage over and over and dwelling on the direction this will take my writing.

Recently I gave up playing games and dedicated that time to my writing, already in the last few weeks I have seen such a surge forward in my work, I am getting to pursue and accept so many things that I just kept on the back-burner because I was convinced that I would do these things “when the time was right”. Already this post is close to 1000 words, something that used to feel like such a chore to get out, now just seems to be flowing out of me as I open myself up to the creative process and accept that yes I am a writer, yes I am a successful creator and I have all the tools I need to do this.

If you want to listen to the Magic Lessons podcast hosted by Liz Gilbert you can subscribe here

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.

The Truth

It has been exactly one year that the “12 week Transformation” thing happened, and I found myself reflecting all week upon it. Looking where I am now, what am I doing now, where am I at now and it all affected me. At the time I got down to 84kgs, I was starting to develop actual shaped muscles and believed that having a “good body” would make me feel good about myself, and at the time I thought this was true. Flash forward 12 months later and I actually believe the opposite, I am now 93kgs (yes 9 kilos heavier!) and I am happy.

I am happy that I don’t spend hours everyday at the gym, that I don’t spend what little time I have obsessing over every calorie I consume and what it is doing to my body. I can’t believe that I was ever so selfish and narrow minded that I thought life was about making myself look good to get the approval of other people, and this in lies the real heart of the matter. I was consistently posting “selfie updates” on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter, feeding off the likes and comments, my head swelling and turning into this gargantuan egotistical maniac fuelled by the approval of others, to feel accepted, to feel normal.

It felt like I was back in high school again and definitely not the person I had set out to be. Now before you start jumping to conclusions I met some amazing people and made life-long friendships through doing this, I do not regret what I did, but I do see the holes in it, and know that looking good is not an instant thing that will last forever, it is bloody hard work and not something to be taken lightly.

While it may sound like I am trash talking fitness and losing weight, I have made many life long friends through it, and that is something I will always be grateful for. I am as happy now as I was when I was 9 kilos lighter and that is something that surprised me. So what really does this prove? It proves that you can have be skinny and have a 6 pack if that’s what you want, I don’t want that. Sure I am still going to work on my body but I love food too much to have the “perfect” physique. I am prepared to do enough work to warrant eating burgers and fries, while not being morbidly obese, I am happy with the body I have and that is fine with me.

If you want to kickstart your body, do a 12 week challenge but be prepared to invest your money, your time, your patience for a great kickstart, but be prepared to learn maintenance work to keep the body you have gained, if not it is easy to slip back into old habits. So I guess for me the Truth is that I want working out to be a social thing, so group classes, boot camps and group training sessions are going to be my thing moving forward, it’s where I can make working out fun without being too aggressive about it and maintain my fitness.

What is your truth?

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.

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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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!