Friday, 30 September 2011

Say Goodbye to Fatty Boombah - The one where I get jiggy with it

Today is Friday, so the day I do a re-cap of how my week has been doing the Michelle Bridges 12WBT run by Huggies. We started Week 1 on Monday and so far, it has been great. The eating plans are full of fresh, wonderful tasting food. I have not been hungry throughout the day and not looked to top up with anything tempting.

Exercise has been easy as well. I have diarised what I am doing each day and its funny how your mindset changes, but if the diary says 6.30pm Pump class, it gets done with minimal fuss. I am doing a combo of classes and DVD workouts. TBone leaves at 5am for work 6 days a week, so I can't eave the house in the morning to exercise - and I am not going to exercise before 5am regardless of how much Michelle threatens to kick my butt. So weekends and 2 week nights I can get a class in, but the other days are DVDs in nap time, which seems to be working well. It gives me enough variety to keep my goldfish attention span going.

I love the Les Mills classes, particulalry Body Pump, Body Step and RPM. I find the repetition suits me, nothing tricky and I can just switch my brain off and exercise. Then last night I tried a Zumba class ..........

My mum must have learnt early on that I probably wasn't going to make a career as a dancer. When I was given the 'lead' teddy bear role in The Teddy Bear's Picnic ballet recital she probably guessed. 'Lead' sounds good yeah? No. I was just the teddy bear that stayed in the centre of the stage the whole time in first position and all the other girls pirouetted around me. She also probably realised that I wasn't co-ordinated enough for gymnastics from all the bruises I came home with. And by the time I was doing Jazz Ballet, she was confident enough that I could miss the grand finale recital so we could go to Perth to have my braces tightened. I was sure I would have rocked to Peter Gabriel's Sledgehammer, but she obviously recognised the truth.

I love to dance, but it is usually confined to the house or with the aid of cocktails. Having a love of something, doesn't mean you are good at it and last night proved it. 

I have always wanted to give Zumba a go. I was blinded by the hype. I had seen the ads and thought it would be easy. I expected a Latino instructor, but was met with the tiniest whitest girl - don't get me wrong, she was good at what she did, but I think I would have done better if she spoke Spanish.......

I was atrocious. I didn't really even get a sweat up because I spent most of the time just trying to stay upright 20 steps behind the class. There are lots of salsa and cha cha moves, a lot of hip gyrating and pelvic thrusts. I couldn't, for the life of me, get my pelvis to move separately to my arms, so ended up looking like a helpless octopus. I wasn't even helped by the song words "Put your left hand in the air", "Put your right hand in the air".

The other women (only women) in the class seemed to have some idea what was going on and had genuine looks of enjoyment on their faces - just like the ads promised me. They didn't all match what the instructor was doing, but kept dancing through the whole thing and I think that is the key. I came home feeling that I needed to do more exercise to make up for the lack of sweating I did, so today I will have to do a morning and evening DVD session.

Will I try Zumba again? The Old Me would say No. 
Next week, Michelle wants us to focus on breaking old habits. Maybe one of my habits that needs to change is that I don't persist with anything that I am not immediately good at. Maybe to make new habits, and a new mind set, I need to give it another go, get over my self-consciousness and realise that although I think the world revolves around me, no-one else in that Zumba class cares about what the fat chick (soon to be healthy) in the back row is doing with her hands. 
I may just have to put myself out there and give it another go. I will let you know. 

How do you exercise? Do you get self conscious of how you look?

Chantel x

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

New Kid on the Blog

See what I did there??? Yep, the corny 90s shine through in my attempt at humour too! I am new to this blogging thing and I will say I have been surprised by the blogging community. From my experience in parenting, pregnancy and weightloss forums, I assumed the blogosphere would have a lot more negative inhabitants than it does. Sure, I have seen a few trolls that are clearly jealous of certain people and need to get a life, but overall it has been such a supportive, caring community to be part of. The disagreements I have seen have been respectful and constructively argued. I am sure there are a lot more that have happened in poor taste and have hurt the people involved, but I haven't seen that much evidence yet.

From what I have observed so far, it definitely seems that the blogging community can be likened to a village or school environment. There are the 'cool kids' that everyone wants to be. These cool kids are popular outside of the village as well. They have opportunities to promote themselves in the media and instead of any jealousy like that is seen in the school yard, there seems to be a respect that they are paving the way for the rest of us and are promoting blogging as an important social media tool. I think too, some of these bloggers are in this position as they are just so damn funny, witty and have a certain spark that everyone wants to be around.

There are the 'beautiful people' - the ones whose blogs are just stunning. There design is gorgeous, the photos are well composed and the pages are just awesome to look at. I scroll through the photos, dreaming wistfully of rooms in my house looking as bright and breezy and put together as the photos, then reality comes running into the room with vegemite on his face 

There are the quiet achievers. These are the ones who consistently publish amazing, insightful posts, but do it without too much fanfare or self promotion. Their posts are very well written and you know there is a novel waiting in the wings for all of them. I have found they are also often the most supportive and encouraging on other people's blogs. They are more than happy to share their knowledge and skills with others.

Then there are the class clowns - or court jester, depending which poorly contrived analogy of mine you are following. These bloggers post in a hilarious way about sometimes the most mundane of things and they have you laughing at every post. I love to go to these pages for that 2pm pick me up when I need a good laugh to get me through the rest of the day - but it is OK, if you are the court jester, you can sometimes have a serious post, it shows you are a balanced 'normal' person :o)

Then finally (but of course not limited too, just for the sake of this post...) there are the blogging 'geeks'. The one's who are really, really good at what they do. They get computers, they actually know about programming and not just where to turn your laptop on. They understand terms such as SEO and RSS feeds and their posts are often a great resource for the rest of us that are bumbling our way around our computer. They are PR and marketing savvy and are often able to actually carve out a living from this blogging caper. Imagine that! Many are not just about the technical side either. There are some wonderful bloggers that can do all of the above and also write creatively about their lives. 

Of course, like any village, not everyone is a nice, supportive person and some blogs I have stumbled across can be negative, moaning and just plain mean. You have the Esme Watson* gossips, Brooke and Taylor** bitchy cat fights and the Issy from Neighbours conniving. The beauty of the internet is that you can choose what you can click on and off and its very easy to not visit those sites.

So even though there is such a variety of blogs out there, the blogosphere can be likened to a village. So many different personalities make up a village. There are similarities, similar passions, styles and ideals. It is also an eclectic bunch with as many differences. The one thing than shine's through though, is the sense of community and the support.

How do you find the village? Do you feel supported?

Chantel x

*Showing my age - A Country Practice gossip - think Colleen from Home and Away
**Surely you know who these two are!!!!
***Sorry for the blatant generalisation and labelling, made it easier to write.

Linking up today with I blog on Tuesdays with Jess at Diary of a SAHM

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Sunday Session - I'm Blue

Linking in with Thea at Do I really wanna blog? for the Sunday Session. This week Thea's songs have a very pink theme to them - her whole blog has been feeling very pink this week. I thought I would follow her lead and use the colour blue to help with my song selection. Blue is my favourite colour, there is not a shade or tone that doesn't make me feel good inside. This was really hard to narrow down, so I went a bit eclectic with my choices.

First up a song that was never really a favourite, but it was a definite ear worm at the time. It was one of those songs that was played in pubs and clubs for months and months on high rotation. Eiffel 65 - Blue (Da Ba Dee).

Next is a song that brings back memories of our first year living in Leeds in the UK, from the band Blue. They were one of the many boy bands around at the time trying to compete with the success of Take That. They reappeared this year as England's entrant into Eurovision. I am a closet pop lover much to my husband's horror and we really could not escape this song - it stayed in the UK charts for 63 weeks - All Rise.

Trying to regain some sort of credibility after those two, my favourite blue song EVER. New Order - Blue Monday. 

I have had to do a fourth song to try to raise the mood after that song, so I have included another song that reminds me of our time in the UK when we were heavily into the White Stripes and anything that Jack White was touching. Blue Orchid from their 2005 album Get Behind Me Satan.

Head on over to Thea's page for some more awesome Sunday Music.
Have a great week.

Chantel x

Grateful for Spring Picnics


Today was a wonderful spring day in Perth. The sun was shining, there was a gentle breeze and we went on a picnic! I love picnics, I always have. I have such fond memories growing up of our family picnics, which used to be the greatest adventures.

We attended TBone's company picnic at a local winery and the setting was magnificent. The grounds are immaculate and the grass runs for miles with beautiful, old trees providing much needed shade. There are several picnic benches and tables dotted around the grounds, but we were content with the good old picnic rug - which has seen better days - and camp chairs.

We ordered a wonderful platter of local produce and sampled the vineyards best wine. It was the perfect setting for a wonderful family day out and Master Z had the best time running away from me. Such a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon - bring on more Spring picnics!!!!

How did you spend Saturday in your neck of the woods?

Linking up with Maxabella's Grateful for.... hosted today by Sonia from Lioness Lady

Chantel x

Friday, 23 September 2011

Preparation is the Key

As I mentioned in this post, I am taking part in Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation and it starts on Monday. Every Friday until the end of the year, I am going to post about how my week has gone, what I have learned and how the kilos are melting off me - here's hoping!!!

Michelle has set several pre-start tasks and I have now completed all of them. I completed my kitchen makeover today, where I had to get rid of anything tempting. Surprisingly, there was not a lot to throw out - what was more disconcerting was the stuff in the pantry with expiry dates pre-2008. I also took the opportunity to clean the pantry and the fridge - very satisfying.

I have planned the exercise I am going to do - and if I am honest, I am really excited about getting back to regular exercise. I love the feeling you get from regular exercise and am planning to do a mix of Step and Pump classes, DVDs at home and I am going to will myself  to try a Zumba class. I love doing the Step and Pump classes as it is mindless exercise for me - after a few classes, when you get an idea of the routine, I can switch my brain into neutral and wake up in an hour. Two times a week, I am planning to get up at stupid o'clock to exercise - we will see how long that idea lasts!!!

The final task we had to do prior to commencing is measuring!!!!! I knew this was not going to be pretty, I knew what most of the measurements would be, but it was a definite reality check as to why this needs to have my 100% commitment for the next 12 weeks. We also had to take a photo - yep, that ain't going to ever see the light of day! But I think that I just have to look at it as motivation to never get back to looking like I do today - I never want to weigh this much ever again.

Michelle has posted our food plans, - which I must say look very substantial and pretty enticing. I have shopped today, stocked the cupboards and am ready to go. I also got some new work out gear, as the maternity trackies that I have been bumming around in for the last year probably don't need a public showing.

Have a great weekend.

Chantel x

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Sunday Session - the 21st edition

Last night, we attended my cousin's 21st birthday. So as I link up with Thea's Sunday Session, I thought it would be a good excuse to revisit some music from the year he was born - 1990. (Anything to get the 90s on my blog!)

The top selling single in Australia that year was Sinead O'Connor's 'Nothing Compares 2 U' - but that is way too whingy for me, so first up is B52s 'Love Shack' - came in at number 10 even though it was released in 1989.

One of my favourite grungy bands is Faith No More, and this one of their first hits, but it was still before they were a commercial success - 'Epic'.

1990 was the year of Roxette's 'It Must Have Been Love', Jon Bon Jovi's 'Blaze of Glory', Aerosmith's 'Janie's got a Gun' , New Kid's on the Block's 'Step by Step' and Milli Vanilli's 'Blame it on the Rain'.
But on the non-commercial stations, there was some amazing sounds starting to evolve. It was the year before Nirvana's 'Smell's Like Teen Spirit'and the grunge explosion. The west coast of America had many emerging bands with dirty guitars, and a black view of the world. Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains and SoundGarden were all in a garage somewhere on the brink of something pretty amazing in music history.

Next song is Andy Prieboy's 'Tomorrow Wendy' - such a haunting song.

That song makes me cry, so, to lighten the mood - my favourite song from 1990. Still a favourite, feel good song - and I love the film clip, always makes me smile and bop along - They Might be Giants 'Birdhouse in your Soul'.

Surely that got you smiling :o) Have a great week! 
Head on over to Thea's Do I Really Wanna Blog? to check out what other's are listening to.

Chantel x

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Grateful for......

Today, I was going to write a post about birthdays, as it s TBone's birthday and we also have a 21st to go to tonight - and I LOVE birthdays.

I was in the shower getting ready, formulating what I was going to write, when it struck me that what I was really grateful for today, was hot showers. A hot shower, my one time of solitude and relaxation and the place I can process things and hear myself think.

So what I had planned, went out the window and the simple fact is that today, I am grateful for hot showers.

Linking up with Maxabella's Grateful for... hosted today by Brenda at Mira Narnie. Head on over to check it out.

Chantel x

Friday, 16 September 2011

Things I know....This Week

This week, I know...

  • There never seems to be enough time in the week to get everything done I want to. Work competes with cleaning, cooking, shopping, relaxing, blogging, uni. But one thing I will always have time for is Master Z and his infectious smile. (for more reason than one, see point 3) Regardless of how busy life gets, he is my priority

  • I already miss my work colleague Miss N as she galavants around Europe for 7 weeks. I have no one to discuss about what I made for dinner the night before or who in the office I think may be preggers! Have an awesome time Miss N - what are you doing reading this???? - get off your iPad and enjoy your trip!

  • I made awesome gnocchi with a bolognase sauce last night, all in the thermomix - if Miss N isn't around to hear about my cooking, you will have to! Then I got my pre-season task for the week from Michelle Bridges 12 WBT where she wants us to clean out our kitchen of the bad foods and I know that it will be the last time I have gnocchi for a long time.

  • I am being diligent in all the said pre-season tasks so that I am in the right frame of mind to start the new programme on the 26th September.

  • I know I harp on about it, but week 6 of daycare and 6th lurgy - this boy will have a constitution of steel by the time the year is out

  • I know that the Freo Dockers have made a very stupid move getting rid of Harvey when he has done so much the last few years building new foundations. Oh well, it is just going to make the Eagles' job so much easier!! C'arn the Eagles, please beat the Blues tomorrow!

What do you know this week?? I am linking up with Shae and Yay for Home! Hop on over to check it out.

Chantel x

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Spring has Sprung

I didn't think our sunflowers were going to bloom this year, but here they are! Memories of Italy.

Linking up with Trish at My Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday

Chantel x

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Say Goodbye to Fatty Boombah

A lot of bloggers are talking about looking into weight loss programmes at the moment - must be the hint of summer in the air- that pressure of having to be seen in public, possibly in a bathing suit will do that to anyone. 

Like so many women out there, I am not happy with how I look. I feel fat, I feel unhealthy and I don't fit in to any of my pre-pregnancy clothes. I have always been a yo-yo dieter, but before my pregnancy with Master Z, I was at my ideal weight, I was comfortable in my own skin and loving life because of it. I then got pregnant, and unfortunately suffered a miscarriage at 8 weeks. In my infinite wisdom, I decided that spoiling myself with all my favourite meals and food treats was going to make me feel better and take the pain away - nothing like emotional eating hey!! For about 4 weeks, I ate everything in sight - so proud of myself that I wasn't resorting to alcohol or anything silly to make the pain lessen. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I now know that in times of hurt, I eat to feel better and it is something I am more aware of and definitely don't want to do again.

Fortunately, we got pregnant again straight away, but the damage was done. I had already put on 18 kilos when I found out I was pregnant the second time and through the course of the pregnancy with Master Z, I put on a total of 42 kilos. I didn't think about what I was eating or doing and even my obstetrician said that pregnancy was the one time you can eat what you want, so I did .... and then some!!!! I have managed to get rid of 23 kilos, but am stuck in a cycle of excuses about how I am going to manage getting back the old me.

One of the blogs I follow is Dr Duncan Jefferson and as I was eating a pack of Tina Wafers last night (not even Tim-Tams! C'Mon Chantel, if you are going to do something, at least do it in style! - but no, I don't keep Tim Tams in the house as I would only eat them - hence the Tina Wafers!!!) I read his post about Stroke prevention. I looked at the risk factors he mentioned and aside from not smoking, I am really not doing anything to look after my health. As I am carrying a significant amount of extra weight at the moment, I am sure if I was tested, I would have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and be heading towards developing Type II Diabetes. These are all factors that can cause significant health complications and even death.

I need to look at being overweight as first and foremost a health issue and focus on getting healthy. I want to be healthy and fit enough to run after my kids, I want to feel good about myself, be able to fit into pretty clothes and most importantly, I want to be around to watch my kids grow up. My biggest short term motivating factor for getting healthy and losing weight is having more kids. If I fell pregnant at the weight I am now, I would not be comfortable and would be putting myself and the baby at risk. 

I had been toying with ways to get back on track, when the universe delivered me I received an email from Huggies, promoting Michelle Bridges' 12 Week Body Transformation. It starts on 26 September and finishes at Christmas. I saw this as a good way to get myself started, get back to eating well and starting an exercise habit back up again. I realise I haven't exercised at all since Master Z was born, so going on 20 months now!

Since signing up, I have read that Sarah at Ah,The possibilities! and Suz at Segovia are also participating and I am sure there are more bloggie people joining in that I haven't come across yet. Michelle has set some Pre-season tasks for us to do, which includes introducing ourselves on the forums, shedding our excuses and making a commitment to ourselves and those around us. So this is me making my commitment - I will do everything in my power over the 12 week programme to make steps towards my short and long term goals. I will blog about it along the way, so sorry if it gets boring, but putting it out there, in this space, makes me accountable and will hopefully be one thing that helps to keep me on track. My goal is to lose 15 kilos over the 12 week programme and have an exercise regime established that becomes a long term routine for me.

So please cheer me along, be stern with me when I falter and remind me of where I want to be at the end of these 12 weeks.

Chantel x
  linking up today with Jess from Diary of a SAHM for I blog on Tuesdays.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Sunday Session

Linking in with Thea at Do I really Wanna Blog? for today's Sunday session.  Head on over to check it out.

Many, many earworms this week and some blasts from the past. I decided to do a very 90s Sunday Session. I am pretty much stuck in the nineties when it comes to music. I love guitars, I love grunge.

First up is Breeders, Cannonball. Loved it in the nineties, love it now!

Next up is Veruca Salt, Seether - I love heavy, guitar centric songs sung by powerful women.

And finally, Pearl Jam's Betterman. My favourite band of the nineties. Enjoy and have a great week!

Chantel x

Friday, 9 September 2011

Today, I am Grateful for my Hairdresser

I love my hair. I find it is my one redeeming feature. Even when I feel 'blah' about my weight, like I do  the moment, I have good hair. I am fortunate to have never really had a bad haircut either - well at the time, I thought the bleached blonde spiral perm I sported in 1993 rocked!

I always find a visit to the hairdresser solves my problems. If I get in a funk, I find a change of colour or a new style goes a long way to making me feel better. If I am ever at a cross roads with a big decision to make, I visit my hairdresser and the decision seems easier. If I am upset, a haircut makes the sun shine again. I don't know if it is the massage and attention to my head, the 'me' time,or the changed look that does the trick, but it always seems to work. 

I was a blonde until puberty, then became a murky baby poo dark blonde. I spent ages and a fortune trying to relive that colour, but have now resigned myself to dark brown and spend $11 once every six weeks with a 'do-it-yourself' dye. My hair has never been healthier!

I used to attend a fancy pants, super expensive salon, where I would spend the GDP of a small country to get a half head of foils done, but am very fortunate that the chick I saw there - super cool and very talented - has moved up the road into the back of a tattoo parlor and I gladly followed. Same service, one third of the price!!!

I rarely have an actual hair cut - when I was trying to be blonde, it was probably cut every 18 months, just getting different amounts of foils at each visit. Then I had Master Z and I didn't even visit the hairdresser for 18 months! It was down to my bottom, dreadlocky and not healthy. I made the leap and got it cut in line with my scapulas 8 weeks ago. Tomorrow I am having it cut  again and may go shorter - maybe to sit on my clavicles. Never too short, my face is too round for that - the pixie look doesn't work on me. I have a wedding to go to, so even if it doesn't get cut, it is so nice to get a professional to style it instead of the hour and a half it takes me to blow dry it.

I love my hairdresser and I am so grateful she is amazing at what she does, she has great conversation and we share a birthday (albeit I am 10 years older!), so that must mean something!

Have you got a good relationship with your hairdresser? Have you ever had a dud haircut?

Today I am linking up with Maxabella's Grateful for... linky, being hosted by Kimmie at 'a day in the life of us' - Hello Kimmie! -waving .

Chantel x

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Daycare Newbie


I am playing Wordless Wednesday with Trish at My Little Drummer Boys. Head on over to check it out.
*The little pot with the red lid is Holy Water from Lourdes - trying anything to get him healthy :o)

Chantel x

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Long Distance Relationship

I am having a long distance relationship, yet TBone is here next to me. My relationship across the ocean is with my best friend and I hate that we are so far apart.

I never really had a best friend growing up. I have always been part of a group of 'good friends', but never had a 'BFF', someone that I had a total connection with, that I shared all my secrets and dreams with. 

That was until I met Miss J when we lived in the UK. Our friendship was immediate, she was my boss in an OT department. TBone and I were invited to attend her wedding just 2 weeks after meeting her and having not even met her husband to be. Our friendship strengthened over the next 5 years, our partners became good mates, we traveled together, we worked with each other each day. They became our family, our support base and we were welcomed into Miss J's family at Christmas when I was missing home terribly. We returned to settle down in Perth and we are now separated by thousands of miles and a 21 hour plane flight.

We email regularly, but not often enough. I hate using the phone and for some reason we haven't really got into Skype. The one time we did try to Skype, I became so overwhelmed to see her there, I wasn't able to speak, I just giggled.

I miss our chats, I miss her sensible, compassionate advice. I miss her enjoyment of the quirky things I love, like all things Disney and Percy Pigs. I miss her acceptance of my flaws and her gentle reminders to pull my head in.

I hate that we are so far away, that she has yet to meet Master Z and I haven't got to see her gorgeous Master H grow up.  I hate that I haven't been there to give her a hug when she has gone through dark times or been there to laugh through the great times. 

I really hope that in the near future we will catch up face to face - children and life are now making our travel plans less frequent, but I know we will pick up right where we left off and I can't wait.

In the meantime, I need to put my fear of Skype aside. We are so fortunate we have the technology to do so and I need to reconnect properly with my best friend.

Are you in a long distance relationship? What do you do to stay in touch?

Chantel x

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Sunday Session

Linking in again with Thea at Do I really wanna Blog? for the Sunday Session.

This week has been super busy and as always, the music running through my head has been varied. 

For some inane reason, The Gambler has been at the forefront. I am not really a Kenny Roger's fan, I don't really even know the song, I have just had a few lines stuck in my head. I think I probably learnt it by osmosis from my parents record collection. So you have to suffer too!

The other song that has invaded my headspace has been Adele's Rolling in the Deep. It is everywhere at the moment due to its use in the latest series of Channel 9's Underbelly: Razor. I love Adele and I love this song. I was at a Hen's Party yesterday and this was played pretty much every 30 minutes in the bus. Love it!

Now for a quick retro, one of my favorite Creedence Songs, "Down on the Corner".

Have a great week everyone

Chantel x