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.


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…….


Weigh in and return to work

I am not sure how, but I have dropped to 74.3kg according to the official weigh in this morning. That means I exceeded my Round 4 goal by a little bit, which I am so pleased with. So I am holding my head high in this final week of the round. I don’t know where that came from but I am happy to see it! I did weigh myself yesterday and was 74.4 so I was pretty sure that would be up again today!! It feels good. I will post the rest of the stats properly once I have completed the whole fitness test.

First week at work and I have to say Monday was AWFUL. Little L is distraught being at daycare, we were both crying as I walked out. He has bawled each day this week and it just breaks my heart into more pieces each day. The staff are being really lovely, but but I still feel like a traitor for leaving him. I know it will get better, but it feels likes forever right now.tumblr_mcx6cwltc81rnzm2eo1_500

Work? Well it is ok, just a start, talk about feeling inadequate when you don’t get there until 9am and leave at 3pm for school pickup. I am fortunate that my boss is very understanding and I will be able to just bring stuff home to do. It is hard to turn my brain onto that world with all of the acronyms (it is true what they say about the military, it is a whole new language when you get into it) and in the 18 months I have been away, things have changed a bit.

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SSS and more heat

Friday I was feeling guilty after not training on Wednesday so decided to complete the 12WBT ‘Burning Bridges’ cardio circuit and the day’s program Core and Flexibility. Well, didn’t I feel it. The ‘Burning Bridges’ is a circuit video provided within the 12WBT program and goes for 40 mins, it is a real heart racer. Holy crap I was sweating up a storm! I even felt it later in the afternoon with a slightly sore shoulder. Fortunately Saturday it wasn’t feeling sore at all, I was a little worried I may have done some damage. The good news is that although it is hard work, I enjoyed the circuit and felt pretty good doing it. I can’t manage the 20 secs of tuck jumps like the pocket rocket Jacqui, but that is something I can work towards.

A typical view of my backyard workout area.

A typical view of my backyard workout area.

My SSS was hard work. Never before have I donned a 10kg backpack to do sumo squats! It was a strength pyramid circuit that made sure the muscles were firing from overuse.  I struggled with the triceps pushups, I am not sure if I am doing them right sometimes. I know they are meant to be hard so just slip down to my knees and do the reps there. The other exercise I struggled with was pushups with a clap (you read right). I can manage them on a bench but could do myself some serious damage to do them from my toes on the ground! Anyone watching would have sniggered to themselves seeing me flounder about. So there is something else to work towards! It didn’t chew so many calories and I ran out of time to even get close to 1000kg. But I am taking heart in that 1) I did it and 2) strength work is meant to chew up calories for longer.

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Success and then realising failure

Here I am at week 9 of the 12WBT and I am struggling. Big D went back to work today, so my flexibility with training has gone. I need to be up earlier and firing straight away. Since he has been on leave I have been able to get up and saunter about before doing whatever is in the program, but not anymore! This morning I wasted time where I didn’t get to do the run on the Advanced Lean and Strong program. In fact after Big D left, I went back to bed! Even though I was all dressed ready to go…what was I thinking? I was guilt ridden, arguing with myself to get up and do SOMETHING, if not exercise then do other jobs about the house.Calendar_0

I feel like I am losing my way with the program. The Weekly Challenge this week is to demonstrate how far you have come and this morning I was doing exactly the opposite of what I had managed to achieve through this round. Exercise before the rest of the family gets up. Fortunately, the kids slept in after Big D left, so I had the opportunity to take on the cardio circuit ‘Earn Your Burn’ that is part of the program. Phew! I was really happy with myself, actually doing it when I had fought inside my head about getting on with it, and then it wasn’t as hard as the last time I did it. I was able to work for longer and really used more calories than then before. A pickup I really needed. Read the rest of this entry »

Belated New Year thoughts

Ruth Ostrow suggested in her Weekend Australian column this past weekend, to take stock of the past year by accounting for all your achievements – not what you didn’t do, but those things that are good about the year. I like that idea, I keep saying how there is so much I didn’t do this year being off work, I do need to think about what I have done so i don’t feel like I have wasted my year at home.

As is normal for most people are at home, much of my achievements for 2012 are invisible. They are day to day Mum tasks that largely go noticed, not any less important, but they are just expected to be done. It is like logistics in the military, somehow the water and shitters just turn up. Logistics, just happens (or so believed by Arms Corps brethren with no appreciation for the work that provides all their basics).

So anyway, my achievements include:

  • settling our family into a new state, home, and daycare. Thinking back, it took more than I realised and we are only feeling more at home nearly 12 months down the track.
  • I kept the home fires burning for Big D, which was for him a horrendous year at work. Acting as his sounding board and trying to support him as best I could.
  • I realised that I am finally ready to finish up my 20 year Army career. It took me all year to realise that I would be happy to stay home and not go back. Which makes my upcoming return to work a little troubling!
  • Even though I was late in the year getting here, I got my brain in the right place to tackle Round 4 of the 12 WBT. I did start Round 3, but didn’t finish it after finding a melanoma on my back and having two surgeries to remove it. Thankfully I got it early enough and didn’t need any further treatment. But it really caused a scare and probably contributed to my feeling the family is more important then my work. Right now I am exercising six days a week and mostly enjoying it.
  • I did achieve my goal of completing the Canberra Times Fun Run in Sep, a year after the birth of Little L. In the end I wasn’t that far off my pre-pregnancy time, finishing this year in 1.01hrs. I was so pleased having not quite got in the training that would have been ideal and that was my first 10km this year!

Even though I didn’t tick off my long list of things I wanted to do over this year at home, I have to be content with what I have done. It is no good beating myself up for something I cannot change.

So, 2013 will be a year of research, decisions and juggling! No resolutions really from me, just a commitment to keep working on the next me, out of uniform.

Hello Struggle Town

Our holidays have started, we hit the road and are now at my Dad’s place a couple of days before heading to the coast. It is beautiful here, he is on a bush block outside Canberra. The kids are loving it, Little D has been running all over the yard, on the billy cart and the ride on mower. There is so much space inside the house Little L was speed crawling from one end to the other just for the hell of it! This is going to be our last time here as Dad has sold up. Really sad, but it is better for him.

Meanwhile, this challenges my efforts for the 12WBT. As seems to happen in many households, this holiday only happened because I made the decisions and arrangements. Unfortunately I have run out of steam and am finding meal planning tricky. My Dad is cooking for us (enjoying having someone to share with I think) so my control is limited, so I will have to concentrate on portions – which is fine. The trick is going out during the day.

We are trying to see a couple of friends while here. If we were at home I would pack a bag of snacks and lunch for the kids, but I just don’t have the resources here, plus I really don’t want to go buying stuff that we then have to haul down the coast (very little room in the car). Anyway, I am flat out making arrangements for this kids, so organising for my own meals ahead of time is non-existent.

Struggle 1 – Now holidays for Big D and I means taking the opportunity to have a beer at night. Back in my earlier years I was a world class drinker, seriously. I wasn’t one for spirits but I could mix it with my male friends quite easily drinking beer. Now, I am so far from ‘piss fit’ (apologies but there is no other term I can think of to use!) it is crazy. I have had a beer with my Dad the last two nights, full strength (unusual) and I was falling asleep. At home I am lucky if I have one light beer every fortnight!

Struggle 2 – Getting in exercise. As a family real exercise is not necessarily embraced. My exercising as part of trying to be fit for work, was always the exception to a largely inactive family. This morning I did manage a run for 45 mins which hopefully kept the body remembering what it is meant to do. I am feeling sore from the bed here and I was thinking being tired and sore might be my out, but I just grit my teeth and go it done. Feeling tired but better for it.

Struggle 3 – my family has food issues. Nothing crazy, but we don’t what we are eating, it’s energy or calories. Our portions are too large and sometimes we just go overboard. I think one of our biggest traps are chips! Rarely are they placed in a bowl on the table for all to share civilly. More likely we are standing around in the kitchen with the bag open on the bench, all eating from the bag. It must be unpleasant to watch.

So nice we hit the coast tomorrow, I will have to work out our food for the week, plan activities, coordinate with the extended family, wrap the gifts and fit in conscious eating and awesome exercise. Don’t you love holidays!? I am planning to have two long exercise sessions in the week where I try to crack that 1000cal barrier.

I weighted myself here this morning and am pleased to say I am in the 75 kg’s. I have nearly reached my goal to be close to 75kg for Christmas, that feels awesome. Just have to address each struggle above to make sure I don’t regress.

Anyone else struggling?