Monday, 30 April 2012

All junk in my trunk

Image from here

When I went to the physio last week, I was informed that I have no gluts. 'No gluts?' I asked. 'You sure about that?'

My butt has been a prominent feature in my life.' What in the world am I carrying around here?' I quipped squeezing my admittedly squishy cheeks . She smiled as she dug her elbow into my hip and thigh.

My mate Jimmy was equally amused by my new predicament when I reported it to my friends. 'So what happens when you clench?' He asked. 'Hmmm... ' I responded, having a little try, 'Not much, sadly'.

'Can I have a feel?' He asked full of his usual enthusiasm. 'Um, no I don't think that will be necessary.' Shuffle feet. Change of subject. Awkward.

When I went back to the physio today, I asked more about my shortcoming.

'Not 'no gluts' exactly' she said, 'I am sure they are there somewhere.* You just need a butt more like Serena Williams. Now those are the gluts for you' she assured me.

Now I don't know about you, but I can't say I have ever coveted SW's platform. Her serve, yes, but not the butt. Never the butt.

In a few short years, my 'child bearing hips' turned out to be not so child friendly, and my big bum turns out to be muscle-free. I am officially carrying junk in my trunk.

Sigh. It is a lot to take in.

What is the least flattering thing you have heard someone say about your body?

* I know. I didn't find it reassuring either, but she wasn't trying to be mean

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Nipples aren't meant to be censored

Image from here
Nugget turned seven during the school holidays (during the internet vortex period). I have been secretly dreading this moment. I was warned by my Mum that there is 'nothing worse than a seven year old boy'. And now I have one.

I have had some stellar parenting moments with my kids to date* so I have been imagining the worst. But so far, so good. He still seems to be his lovely self; full of contradictions. But I do acknowledge that it is very early days.

He wanted to have a Harry Potter party to celebrate. Just like Cousin Maxi. Now if you know Sister B, you would not be going anywhere near a similar themed party. She does party-planning like no-one else I know. I'm not really all that with birthday celebrations (or any sort of celebrations if I am honest).

"How about a slumber party?" I innocently suggested. I was thinking a play at the park, take away dinner, a little Harry Potter movie, some pancakes for breakfast. Easy. No planning involved.

The idea was snapped up. A few phone calls were made and the slumber party had legs. The fact that each parent asked "Are you mad?" should have been deterred me. But it didn't. We awaited it with baited breath.

As the big day (Saturday) approached, I shopped for food, planned a couple of activities for the kids who were coming for the afternoon/evening** but not staying the night. Oh yes, my original "Just a couple of kids" grew to about 15. I was calm and ready.

Until the Geege informed me that he would be working.

Thank God for Sister B and the lovely K who stepped in and were a pair of Robins to my Batman.

So how did it go, you might ask? And what does this have to do with nipples? Well. It went to plan. It went swimmingly in fact. A busy afternoon and all asleep by 10:30ish. Only one boy woke during the night with a Harry-Potter-movie-inspired nightmare. There were no fights. My warning system*** seemed to work to keep the um, shall we say, boisterous boys in check.

But it was weird too. Generation Z en masse like that is a real eye opener. They speak differently than I remember we did as kids. They listen less to adults than I remember. They know what they want, and they aren't afraid to tell us what it is: "I only have honey on my pancakes".

It made me wonder what my kids are like with other adults.

It made me wonder if ,when asked to put a pajama top on because it is a cold night, my kids would respond with "Nipples aren't meant to be censored" or if they would just put their shirts on.

I like that this generation has (a small l) liberal world view. I think their generation will suffer far less prejudice than generations past. But really? Really? How does a person respond to that?

I highly recommend the slumber party. It is like watching a wild animal in its natural habitat. A real culture shock. But if you are going to go there, maybe avoid the seven year olds? I hear they can be revolting. They even scared the eggs out of our chickens****.

What is the most gob smacking thing a child has said to you?

* Smeared poo all over the cot coming to mind as a particularly painful memory.
** We did a treasure hunt and some team trivia. We didn't even make it to the park in the end. The cubby house, chickens and trampoline seemed to keep them occupied.
*** Ten warnings and then a call to the parents to come and pick you up. One boy got to nine, another to eight, but no-one went over.
**** We were greeted with three eggs this morning. Our first ever. Go you good things

Thursday, 26 April 2012

The Food Patrol 90 Day Challenge: The finish line (with photos)

I have been avoiding writing this post. I have been avoiding admitting that I did exactly what I always do with diets. So close, and yet so far.

On January 16, 2012 I looked like this:
BEFORE: No idea why I am wearing pink undies on the internet.
Chest: 102cm; Waist: 99cm; Thigh: 83cm
I completed the Food Patrol 90 Day Challenge on April 16.

AFTER: Still in pink undies and now with added crazy
CHEST: 94cm; WAIST: 87cm; THIGH: 64cm
The program was awesome. Easy to follow. Motivating due to the quick results I achieved at the outset. It encouraged regular exercise (although I never quite got the resistance program going which means my shape hasn't changed much). The guys at the Food Patrol office stayed in contact; they were the trainers in my corner. I felt on top of the world. Until I went to free-range in Bali.

I wrote about my Bali Blowout. It wasn't really the 700g or so I gained that was the problem though. It was the fact that I had a taste of free-eating, and I had exactly the same pattern as I did before the program. I seemed to be able to forget about healthy eating, listening to my hunger cues or eating to a schedule.

I just seem to be able to block out sensible eating. When it suits me. I seem to be able to go into a trance and ignore myself. I refuse to get on the scales too. Another sign of denial. If I don't weigh myself, maybe it won't count?

And so when I got home, I initially lost the Bali weight. I was 74.8kg the next week. Then we had Easter. And Nugget's 7th birthday. And my niggly hip issue became an actual problem so I couldn't exercise without ridiculous amounts of pain. And it rained. And I got really stressed at work. And before too long, I had gone from the odd chocolate here, to a couch potato with a regular night time snacking habit and a hell of a lot of excuses.

So hard to stop. So bloody easy to start again.

I completed the challenge at 75.6kg. A total weight loss of 11 kilos (which is fantastic). The program works. It really does. It is just that my issues with food aren't really about being able to lose some weight. I have done that successfully now, and before too. It is about maintaining weight loss. It is about redefining my relationship with food. I know the Food Patrol can help me with this. I just have to get back into the head space. And it has to be about more than 90 days.

So if you think about it, I have now had a few weeks off the program if you count the weeks during the challenge where I actually put on weight and ate crap. I am already feeling the heady out of control feeling I get when I spiral downwards and pack on weight.

So it stops today. All the denial.

I woke up today and I thought, write the damned post. Admit you are out of control again, and get back on the program. Get back on the horse. Finish the damn job.

So I am. Today is Day 1. I am determined to kick this butt's butt.

Thanks so much for the Food Patrol for sponsoring And then there were four during this challenge. You had helped me in more ways than I can say :-)

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Simple but effective repurposing idea

Image from here
I am always on the look out for frugal ideas.

The kids and I have a tendency to borrow lots of books from the local library. Borrowing from the library is a environmentally friendly and frugal, provided that you don't keep your books too long and end up with a fine.

I haven't always had an effective system for keeping track of the long list of books we borrow (I get a print out of the list from the library now) and sometimes I just couldn't find the damned books when we were heading to the library. With four kids, each with their own secret hiding places, book wrangling can be a time consuming task.

So up until a few months ago, I pretty much always ended up with a fine of some size. The killer was the one we got for more than $15. At 20c per day, that is a lot of days looking for our missing book! Something had to be done about this budget busting habit.

We were doing the Buy Nothing New for a Year thing at the time, so I had to come up with a repurposing solution, rather than buying something to solve my little conundrum.

It was simple in the end. I got an old box from a pair of boots, wrote "library books" on the front, placed it next to the bookcase and put the books in it. I told the kids that the library books needed to be kept in the library box now and, hey presto, it actually worked.

Not a single fine since.

Simple, but effective.

Have you got any neat, frugal ideas that keep your cost of living down?

Monday, 23 April 2012

Haven't I seen you before?

Image from here
Dad and I watched a bit of the Randwick vs Gordon rugby at the weekend. Although it has been a long time between Saturday arvo rugby for me, I love a bit of local rugby.

As the game progressed, one of the big Tongan lads went down in a heap. Boom. Crash. The commentators happily reported his age and weight (125kg) and filled in valuable viewing time with stats and things while the camera focused on the lovely blonde physiotherapist who had raced onto the field to help the injured player.

Dad and my conversation went a little like this.

Dad: "Big boy".

Me: "Aha"

Dad: "She looks little next to him. I wonder if she will be able to lift his leg up."

We both watch in anticipation.

Dad: "Stronger than she looks huh?"
I walked into the physio practice for my first appointment for my hip injury this morning.

I was greeting by a whippet of a physio. I wondered if she would have the strength to massage my knotted gluts and quads.

After she did her assessments, and she diagnosed me with a condition I can't even pronounce, she got to work on my troublesome spot. She was surprising strong.

Me: "You didn't happen to provide physio to a 125kg Tongan at the weekend on the sideline of a rugby match, did you?"

She: "As a matter of fact I did."

Me: "Thought I had seen you somewhere before".

Strapped up and smelling of anti-inflammatories, I left with more of a limp than I went in with. It will be a process but my blonde whippet will see me fighting fit for the Oxfam trailwalker in August. If she can work magic on the rugby pitch, she can work magic on me too.

Have you had a coincidence like this before?

Sunday, 22 April 2012

There's something about Delta

Image from here
Like the rest of Australia, I have been tuning in to The Voice. I haven't watched one of these music reality TV shows since the first series of Australian Idol, but there is something about the format that is compelling.

Seal is a total dude. He has a voice of silk and many runs of the board in the music industry. He doesn't turn his chair for just anyone. He is discerning. He is looking for something different. A unique sound.

Joel Madden is full of Americanisms and is far too huggy for my liking, but he is enthusiastic and confident and strangely likable. I like that he knows his limits. He leaves the big voices to other judges.

Keith Urban is smart and an excellent musician.  I like that he comments on the arrangements that the contestants put together, and their skills on the guitar. He has made a few too many references to the 'soul in your voice' but I forgive him for that. I rate him. Even if he is married to Nicole Kidman.

And then there's Delta. I know I should like Delta. She is musically gifted. Attractive. Friendly. Successful. But there's just something about her. I don't know what it is that makes her so unlikable. But I wouldn't pick her if I were a contestant. I just wouldn't.

I reckon if I had the choice, I'd go with Seal.

Who would you pick to be your voice coach if you were on The Voice?

Tuesday, 17 April 2012


How long does it take you might ask, for an internet connection in a metropolitan area to be sorted out?

6 off-shore calls.

5 swear words*.

4 hours of 'troubleshooting'.

3 bloody weeks.

2 different modems

And a partridge in a pear tree.

Still no connection.

New service provider? Yes, I think so. Just as soon as my line is fixed!?!

* There may have been more...

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Blogging without the internet

Image from here
There is something going on at our place at the moment. Ever since the 'big rains' our internet has packed it in. It is like living in the early '90s. No email. No Facebook. No Google. No Reading Eggs or Mathletics. No blogging.

We have been having "the troubles" for the past couple of months but initially we had snippets of usage during the day (if we unplugged the modem, counted to ten then replugged it). But for the last week? Lights flashing. Nobody home.

I have come to realise that blogging without the internet is pretty hard. I know! I am a genius!

I can't publish stuff that I write*. I can't read stuff that you write. I can't comment. I can't get my emails.

But I still kept recording things in my head, and writing blog post titles in lists in my phone and wondering how the Conference went and wondering what I should do about this blog of mine.

The service provider is scratching their head about what the problem is, so I won't be back at this gig regularly any time soon. But I really miss it. And I miss reading your blogs too.

In the meantime, I am hanging with the Geege and kids, reading (I can recommend "Freedom" by Johnathon Franzen for a big American novel and "King of the Cross" by Mark Dapin for a gritty underbelly-esque read) and watching TV. I really hope to be back soon.

What do you do when you can't blog?

* I have borrowed the services of a friend's computer for the purpose of posting this
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