Time continues to pass – but so much has happened

They say time passes faster as you get older. I always thought the concept was rubbish – until time started going faster for me.

Since my last post back in August we have been posted. We are now in Brisbane, living it up in the humidity. I should say struggling in the humidity. Our family are hard to please – in regional Victoria the weeks over 40 degrees was hard, not we aren’t getting that hot, but soaked in sweat when you start thinking about moving from the lounge.

I have been on Long Service Leave since mid last year. Taking a break after a VERY long Army career. I had many grand plans of reading books, exercising at my leisure, meditating, seeking and finding myself. It didn’t happen – in fact life took over and my days were spent like any other stay at home Mum. Doing lots of stuff that wasn’t quite hitting the mark for me personally (clearly my perception in no way judgement of stay at home Mum’s). Big D’s work continued to dominate our lives and really kept me as a single Mum for the whole three years we were there.

Not working did give me the chance to seek out and speak to alternative sources about my growing sense of spirituality. I haven’t cracked that particular nut yet, but hope to gain more opportunities now we are in Brisbane and closer to many people who are further along their spiritual paths than I am. Right now everyone is still at home before going back to school and work. I look forward to that first day where I have a few hours alone!

I have now enrolled to study Counselling. After much soul-searching I have decided to take that path. A number of those ‘alternative’ resources mentioned in the last post lead me to decide on counselling. I struggled to make the decision having been convinced for a long time I would study psychology – but given I will be starting to study part-time (until Little L – now 3YO – gets to school) I could be about 80 by the time I finish of my study and actually start earning!

I think counselling is a good medium for me. I am empathetic and intuitive. I think counselling gives you the room to use those characteristics. Now as I look back on my 22 years in uniform, building relationships, interacting, relating and counselling of staff and peers has always been my strongest area of performance. I am looking forward to it. Although completely aware of the challenges starting studying now when I finished my last degree in 1995! I am sure whenever I attend lectures, I am likely to be the only one with a pen!

My life in terms of health and fitness was great prior to the move. Not so great now. I seem to have put on size again. Grrr – so that journey continues. As it does.

Advertisements

It has been 12 months

Wow, 12 months, nearly to the day since I last posted. I haven’t stopped thinking about it though.

Lots has happened to move me to the next chapter in my life since I last wrote. For starters I am now on Long Service Leave. After 21 years service I am taking advantage of the opportunity Longer Service provides, though not how I ever imagined it. I always planned to do something magnificent, adventurous, life changing with this leave. But life is getting in the way of the magnificence. I am finding that even nearly three months into it, I still haven’t done the simple things I wanted to like sit in a nice spot and read a book!

I didn’t end up doing the training program I spoke about previously, I just had this horrible feeling in my gut that it wasn’t right. Crazy really, but I questioned so much of it, I thought ‘why bother’. So ended up sticking to my circuits at work, boxing weekly and yoga when I can fit it in. All working fine until I started to really just stop thinking about my food choices. So found myself still being pretty fit, but carrying too much weight around the middle. I was getting back to ‘fit and fat’. So I am back working hard on getting my nutrition right, with endless fresh fruit and veg and switching up some training with heavier weights (all with some help).

The best thing in this last 12 months is I have been venturing out in the world of alternative. I have had my first Reiki experience, seen a kinesiologist, consulted with a soul interpreter, completed Reiki 1 and more. I am trying to use as many tools as I can to seek out me from behind the uniform and I hope to be slowly emerging as the real me. Not the ‘Me’ I have always known to now. The me that knows where she is going, confident in the next step and being true to herself.

Please come along for the ride. We are due for posting at the end of the year, still unsure exactly where that will be. So watch as my stress increases waiting for the big bureaucracy to work to get us there and I get life back to normal for all of us.

 


Doing what sits best

An amazing thing happens when you get honest with yourself and start doing what you love, what makes you happy. Your life literally slows down. You stop wishing for the weekend. You stop merely looking forward to special events. You begin to live in each moment and you start feeling like a human being. You just ride the wave that is life, with this feeling of contentment and joy. You move fluidly, steadily, calm and grateful. A veil is lifted, and a whole new perspective is born. – Unknown


A different approach

In my last post I wrote about Amber’s blog regarding her successful experience with the 12WBT, that lead to a little excess and perhaps a touch of insanity! A great heartfelt, honest post. I know when I was doing the program I would be telling myself off if I didn’t achieve the six exercise sessions a week. Sure the program is intense, but is designed to be. In one of Michelle’s early books she talks about being converted to the possibilities of fast weight loss based on her Biggest Loser experience. Prior to that she was of the conventional thinking that slow and steady is effective and sustainable. The 12WBT program is meant to help you achieve results quickly. That is what is does, if you follow it properly.

In various places I read lots of supportive responses to Amber’s post, but also a lot critical of the 12WBT program. Now I think some of the criticism is a bit harsh. Lets look at the reality, Michelle Bridges is taking many largely sedentary people and helping them to start moving of their own accord, teaching them about the importance of food choices, showing how to cook healthily and encouraging a supportive community. 12WBT has introduced so many people to a healthier lifestyle she can only be applauded. For me, I really learnt through that program the value of food. I had been sucked into all the talk of fat being the greatest offender when it comes to weight management. But I knew there was something wrong when fairy floss was fat free! I knew it wasn’t healthy, but didn’t, at the time, place any intellectual effort into find out the real story. But 12WBT taught me so much more about food, it set a really good foundation, even though I haven’t applied it like I could or should have.

600600_670965016250879_502854862_nThings are a little different now, there is much mainstream talk about the evils of sugar and I have even read articles about culling it out of your diet completely (including fruit??). I don’t believe in cutting out anything to be honest, that is a bit too extreme. For me, I am all for cutting down, but I do like my cup of tea with a sugar and if my tastes change and don’t need it anymore that is great.

Now, a friend of mine is a living breathing example of success based upon the ideas of Metabolic Precision  (MP). Essentially it is a nutrition/exercise program, but with a slight difference. It teaches you about types of food in detail and when to eat them. As an example, you have  window of three hours after exercise to consume specific types of food. My friend has been living by the principles of MP for nearly three years, and continues to go from strength to strength. Compared to 12WBT, you have three training sessions a week. Intense, but short in nature. You just don’t train to cancel out your consumed calories. It is all about the correct type of food and exercise. People live by this and are really passionate about it, it was many of these types who so vehemently criticise the 12WBT program.

I had heard about Metabolic Procision before, but didn’t like the idea of being a slave to timings. I think they also use supplements and I have always been shy of them. It certainly sounds complicated, but I think I am coming around. So much so I have kind of committed (an oxymoron I know) to doing a round of the program from early Sep. They run 12 week programs where newbies and accomplished MPers share the results of their efforts for the designated 12 weeks for a cash prize. Having been feeling overwhelmed by life this past couple of months, I did not intend on starting anything new. I can barely plan my life as it is let alone learning a new eating concept/idea. I had been thinking that I would perhaps take on another round of 12WBT early next year, that way I could have a chance to fit in my exercise during the day and not miss out on sleep. But instead I have signed on for 5.30am sessions two days a week and 6.30am on a Sat!

I do feel a bit like I am going from one thing to the next in an attempt to get my health in balance. I guess I am searching out the right fit for my family and I.  I am still reasonably fit, but that has never been my problem. I find keeping my nutrition in check is really hard. I am bingeing on crap food these days and I am planning on the learning process of MP to help be more consistent in my choice of food and balance it with exercise.  The promise of real interactive sessions regarding food and what they really are and how you can maximise their affect is attractive to me. My exercise program will be conducted in small groups and be concentrating on resistance training. Resistance training is the key to body transformation (they say), so I guess I will be doing as they tell me to give the program a good chance. The good news is that I will be able to continue my boxing (which I am really pleased with) and yoga is also ok. So I suppose once I fit in both of those I will still be exercising five days a week! Hmm.

Speaking of boxing I was given the loveliest compliment from my trainer (BS) last week. He has a TAFE kid in there when I train and last week the young fella held the focus mitts while BS told me what to do. At the end of the session he told me ‘I could watch you box all day’. Apparently I am doing alright. It made my heart sing!! Given that compliments don’t come that often, these really make me feel good. We have managed to get started with some defence, moving and even punching and moving backwards at the same time. Awesome. I am very much looking forward to tomorrows session.

My intention will be to track my program on that here, once it is all formalised. It should be interesting if nothing else. I just need to get my head in the right space so I can make a serious crack at it, have goals, visualise, stay consistent, do as I am told….that might be the sticking point!

 


A long absence….

A long absence I know. But I have been thinking constantly about the blog and what I would like to write here. Seriously I could never sleep if I typed all the drafted posts in my head. It is no different to my journal that sits neglected beside my bed. I have always had a journal on the go, at least since sometime in Primary School, but it too is taking on more dust than ink at present.

I am generating lots of thoughts, plans and ideas in my head which range from my daughters upcoming birthday party, my exercise regime, what meals to cook, where to holiday for some respite after this posting, can I take time off before studying next year, what will I study, what if I don’t like it, what if I fail, I need to file better, how can I manage all this paperwork, I need to do those sewing jobs…it is endless. I am tired and feeling overwhelmed by life. Which led me to this blog that should help me get on with life…..it talks about embracing your overwhelm, nice in principle but I am not there yet. You can find the page here.

Things have been really hectic at our place, the winter has not been kind to us with everyone getting sick including a five week stint with a cold for me too. Big D is having a hectic time at work, as am I, although to a much lesser degree. We both have the same project on, but he is seriously feeling it, poor guy has not been in bed before 1.00am in longer than I can remember. For me it means I am less organised with the meals because I am not getting home early enough (due to my work and then picking up the kids). Everything at night is happening later and we are all getting less sleep. Awesome. But we are managing.

Now, through all of the mess in my head I have started two things that I have always wanted to do (I think on a bucket list I wasn’t entirely aware of in my head) – I have started baking bread (although I have still not conquered my fear of yeast!) and getting some personal training with my boxing!

IMG_1862

My first loaf of ‘bucket bread’.

Now I have always enjoyed boxing, I did a little but when I was in basic training. But since all of that time it has mostly been fitness boxing, where all the movements are in the arms and not really looking after your footwork or form. So I have found an ex-title holding boxer locally who is teaching me properly. I have been to see him four times so far and he has already seen lots of improvement. He even commented that he thinks I may have been a heavy weight in a former life! That really warmed my heart – I am sure that is something not everyone would like to hear!!

I have been contemplating what my next move will be fitness wise. With Big D being so busy I have not had much opportunity to get to yoga (dammit) and to the circuits at work, hardly managing the lunch time sessions. I was thinking I could looking to go back to 12WBT, but I am not sure I am ready for that right now. I read a really interesting blog ‘how to lose friends and piss people off’ that talks about doing the 12WBT and kind of developing really unhealthy habits of too little food and too much exercise. I can certainly see where Amber is coming from if you haven’t seen it, check it out. I just can’t see the six exercise sessions a week being sustainable long term. Now don’t get me wrong, I am loving exercise at the moment and would love to train that often, but I am finding it hard to fit it in and to be honest this now 40 year old body is showing some signs of wear!

Now as part of my rapid brain movement I do tend to read bits and pieces online that are interesting . Another great page a I came across the ‘Body Image Movement’. Now this is one brave woman! Taryn has a great story and I love that she has gone out to follow a path that she believes in. Anyway, this is all about accepting you as you are. I love the idea, but haven’t quite got there yet. I bought her e-book and haven’t really progressed at this stage (might just explain why I am seeking out my next  exercise regime?). I have so much admiration for Taryn, I look forward to not being so scared to move to that next stage in life. She has a great smoothly recipe on the page that includes maca and protein powder, spinach and a few more ingredients. So I popped to the health food store to spend $100 (on more than these items!) and I really love her green smoothy. It is more appealing than some others I have see since it has spinach rather than kale or other exotic veges. Plus it is just a blender not a juicer. One issue is how much a scoop of protein powder is – mine doesn’t have a scoop in it or an indication of how much you should have…minor detail.

Speaking of next stage, I think I will finish up this career at the end of the year. Pretty much made the decision, just need to come up with some dates and negotiate some time off with Big D. It is exciting and terrifying.  steve-jobs-quote-0022


An overdue update…plus a comment on last night

Talk about being idle! I have just not managed to put my fingers to the keys to keep the blog up to date.

The last month has been inconsistent to say the least. My exercise has been sporadic and this week especially my eating has been atrocious. I am seriously bingeing for the first time (or maybe it is just I recognise it?). I continue to eat because it is there and nearly challenge myself to finish off whatever it is tempting me. Part of the problem is I haven’t been to work this week with Little L getting sick. When I am not working, my exercise frequency drops off and then I eat more. Of course the awful germs have been kindly shared with me, so I am not too sorry to not be at work. My lungs feel like they will come out my mouth with every cough and to be honest, my work is nothing I am passionate about, so I don’t really miss being there, but I have so much work to do!

20130210-201749My boss is under extreme pressure at the moment and I am feeling significant guilt for not being there to ease the load. This part time gig was always planned to take some of the load off her, but I really haven’t had much opportunity. Although some bits I have managed to take off her plate, there is also lots of stuff I just can’t manage to help out with because all the details are in her head, and I am just not there enough. She doesn’t have time to brief me properly so she just keeps it all to herself. It worries me for her and my other half who is under similar pressures.

So Little L is 22 months now and is only having one sleep when at daycare. He is a mess with one sleep and although he probably could have gone to daycare some of this week, I just know he would be home again next week without some proper rest. So I have been putting him down for two sleeps all week. He is going down easily and not even too bad at night. So it seems to be working. But again, I am feeling guilty, if he is well enough to be in care – then he should be! But then I feel better knowing he is likely to be fully recovered by next Monday to start in care again.

Anyway, with this week off, then school holidays starts, crikey, I don’t feel like I am ever in the office. I will really have to be on my game to get the healthy eating and exercise down for next week for my shift of school holiday care with Little D.

I have been seeing my trainer irregularly and have not been to yoga for about three weeks! 20130403-103639 I am missing the yoga terribly, I am not looking forward to the slow progression back into it. But work for Big D is really out of control (where he comes home late and may be working at home until 1-2am each night) so it is hard to get away to make the class times. He leaves the house any time after 7am so my options for classes really are limited morning and night. It can be frustrating, but I am trying to keep my attitude in check.

Even though my training has really not been what I would like. I am trying to do it without a fixed program (ie no 12WBT for a bit (I was getting bored)). I really want to be driven by my own goals and desires, not by a timeline that has an imperative based on how much money I have spent! I have been looking around to see if there is anything else I can do locally that might give me more satisfaction, including swapping my Personal Trainer. I really want someone who is engaged with me, takes the time to know me and helps me to develop physically, mentally and with my knowledge. I have found a boxing coach locally who I really want to see, boxing is absolutely one of my favourite training options and I would love to do it properly. So I hope I can make some times to get to his classes and maybe use him as my PT?

Without wanting to get caught up in all the Political crap – I just want to say I am saddened by the removal of Julia Gillard last night. Sure, she didn’t get to the top job in the first place in the best way, but she was there post-election in 2010 having negotiated Labour’s way into Government. If Labour think rewarding Rudd for his conniving behaviour is the way to remain in power I think they are kidding themselves (or the Australian voters are as dopey the media portrays us). All this talk from ‘people on the streets’ in the media about how popular he is I think is bollocks, as is the talk about her ‘lying’ about the carbon tax – consider the circumstances of the govt, it wasn’t just her decision. The sooner this current batch of leaders is over the better. Personally I can’t stand listening to Rudd or Abbott.


Struggling to make the brave decision….

It is just about the time of year when Army people find out where their next posting will be. The speculation started more than a month ago – where the conversations start with asking how long you are in your current job, where do you want to go, where are you likely to go are you planning on hanging around locally etc, etc. Everyone has the same conversations.  It is a the natural progression of the year for military types.

853833195d5214981cb102c8f5d11eb8

My family are fortunate in the sense that we will be here for at least another year. Prior to this we were in a location for 5 years, my longest ever, the five years prior to that we had a move every year! So location is already resolved, but for me, my current position is only for this calendar year. So people at the same rank as me have been getting a ‘feel’ for what my next move will be – if I go my position may be available for them. That is ok, except, when the questions started to be asked I was still getting settled in the job! My next position just hadn’t crossed my mind.

Honestly, I am still struggling to make the decision about whether to stay in uniform or not. The more I think about it, the more I know it is time to move on, but it is such a MAJOR life decision. This is why:

  • being in the military (well Army at least) is absolutely a lifestyle not a job;
  • I have been in uniform for 20 years, pretty much my whole adult life this has been me;
  • I do feel my uniform is an integral part of who I am and is significant in how I identify myself;
  • there is security, you know where you fit;
  • despite the impression that you get from the media, I am part of the ‘team’ and have respect from my peers;
  • once you go, everything changes, when you are no longer sharing the day to day aspects of life, you don’t have the same witty, fun exchanges I look forward to now;
  • I am going from a reasonable level of management to nothing; and
  • what the hell am I going to do next?

That is all the emotional stuff, I didn’t put up there the financial security.

 

“You can’t make decisions based on fear and the possibility of what might happen.” ― Michelle Obama

 

I am feeling the weight of my age (not in a bad way!), after turning 40 earlier this year, I don’t want to be in this position in five years waiting to be brave enough to make the hard decision to depart the service. I also don’t want to wait too long and to work in a field I really love. I am looking at going to study psychology – should I want to be clinical the study time is something like 6 years! So if I don’t start soon (given I am not likely to have a full study load in the beginning) I will be due for retirement!

So I keep having thoughts run about in my head. It is a little exhausting and I know once I do make the call, I will feel lighter for it…….