About Me

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My name is Claire, and I'm a UK expat living in South Australia. I live with my man, a cat that thinks he's a dog, and have two step children who visit frequently and make us laugh. I'm in my thirties, and I'm only just working out how to make my life exactly how I want it, and have fun along the way. I write, I blog, I take pictures - and this is where I share it all.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Take Responsibility

When I started 12WBT I was determined to become a runner.

I improved my time to 6 minutes a km, then I had pain in my pelvic area.

I was told not to run. Not for any extended period of time, just DON'T run.

Did it stop me exercising?


I regularly knock out 600 to 800 calorie sessions at the gym using classes, cross trainers, bikes and rowing machines.

Do I let the niggle in my lower back stop me?


Do I left the soreness in my leg muscle and knee from the referred pain stop me?


I managed it.

I get it regularly looked at, and I rest when I need to.

I don't use it as excuse.

Just like I don't use cramps as an excuse to 'go easier'.

Just like I don't let a headache stop me - I take a painkiller.

Just like I don't let the fact I've had a bad day send me to the bottle shop - I go to the gym instead.

I don't do any of this stuff because I have to, or because I've paid for it, or because I feel a responsibility to anyone around me. I do it for me.

I'm not going to stop at the end of the 12 weeks, it's not a 'stage' or a 'fad' or something I'll try and then give away - it's a lifestyle that I've adopted, and will continue to live by.

So stop making excuses, don't let them creep back in, suck it up, and get on with it.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

My Bad

Last night at the gym I worked my little heart out and burnt over 800 calories, see,


A combination of cross trainer, rowing and RPM class saw me crack the 800 barrier in one session, and I have to say, I felt it this morning as hauled myself out of the sleep pit.

This effort was largely driven by the fact that I haven’t worked out a lot this past week, for one excuse (note that I said ‘excuse’ not ‘reason’) or another, and I hadn’t done any major calorie burning since Sunday.

It was no surprise then, that when I jumped on the case this morning for WWW I’d gained weight.

300 grams, which isn’t a massive number, but I should have at least made an effort to stay the same weight as last weigh in. What I haven’t done yet is my measurements, I know you’re supposed to pay more attention to those than anything else.


My Bad.

Having a hangover on Saturday and reaching for my staple hangover food, which just happens to be McDonalds, was the first of several contributing factors to my gain. Just to give you an idea of how bad this hangover was, I haven’t touched McDonalds in almost a year.


Because is crappy and fatty and processed and makes me fill icky when I eat it.

But that didn’t stop me did it?


The knowledge I have acquire from a YouTube video of Jamie Oliver showing the school kids how they make their chicken nuggets by blending and blitzing left over chicken bits and carcasses didn’t stop me either.


But, never mind, it’s all about the journey – apparently – let’s just say that this was a detour I should have known not to make, and won’t be repeating it to quite that extent.

Today is supposed to be a toning day, but I think I’m going to get my bike out after work and go for a ride, then do some core work at home, and tomorrow I’ll do cardio + rpm combination again and try to get my calorie burn higher on average, so I can join the big weight droppers.

At this point, I’d like to send a big shout out to all of you who are smashing the KGs week after week, stellar effort ladies and gents, you should be so proud of yourself. I’d like to send a special shout to my fellow 12WBT-er and work colleague, Wenz71, who is chasing down those numbers consistently – you go girl!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Toys & Pride

Another day. Another morning consumed with thoughts of food and snacking, and how to survive the day.

I’m very aware that I haven’t worked out much since last weigh in, and with WWW looming, I might have to pull out a big session at the gym today.

The last time I did an intense Cardio workout was Sunday, before that, Tuesday. Why?

Wednesday was a toning day for me.

Thursday we had a tax appointment straight after work and didn’t get home until late, by which time I couldn’t be bothered.

Friday I did some light exercise and some core work.

Saturday, I had a hangover and a Year 7 kids choir concert to attend on the evening – which meant late home again.

Sunday I did a lot in the garden, and I went and bought a push bike

This is my new toy;

My partner rides his bike to work a couple of days of week, so once he’d adjusted my seat my for me, we went for a ride along Linear Park which took about an hour. I enjoyed it, and could get used to riding again. Now that the weather is changing and the days are starting to get a little longer, I’ll be making more of an effort to get out on my bike on weekends and after work.

Yesterday I did a toning work and had another physio appointment about my pelvis, which involved more needles in my bum, and more interrogation about if I’d been running.

I informed Susan that no, I had not been running, and yes I’d been doing my stretches.

I also explained that it’s nowhere near as sore as it was, but the niggle is still there and I want to stay on top of it. I find that low impact is best for me, so the cross trainer is now my new best friend, and Tuesday (today) has become RPM day. The intention plan is to finish work at 4:30, wander over to my gym, get a ticket for class which starts at 5:30, and spend the time before hand either on the cross trainer and rower or power walking on the treadmill. I’m going to try to smash the 900 calorie mark today to make up for my neglect!

I have an image saved to my desktop that I look at every morning, it helps me regroup my thoughts and refocus for the day, so I thought I’d share it with you, and hope that it does the same. 

Have a great day 12WBTers!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Motivation, wherefore art thou?

Last week I had yet another issue with my pelvis, it's slightly out again. I have an appointment on Monday to get it fixed again.

I listened to my physio and I didn't run at all, everything was low impact. I've done all of my stretches like a good girl!

I'm finding it difficult to be motivated to do other forms of exercise, I'm doing it, but I'm not enjoying it like I was. Actually, it's not even motivation, it's reluctance to do anything in case I hurt myself more. I am being good with the food though, that's my saving grace I think.

So, no work out Thursday, no work out Friday and a big night out (no dinner though), and then too hungover for anything resembling a SSS!

Today, because the weather is nice, I'm going to get myself out and go for a nice long walk - and do the housework, because that burns calories too. I need to do something, and tomorrow I'll be doing a toning day.

I'm lucky that my man is so supportive of me, it wasn't for him telling (telling, not asking) me that we were going to go for a bit of a hike today, I'm not sure I would have even bothered!

I suppose I should listen to my own advice, and 'stay strong & carry on!'

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Confronting Questions

There was a time in my life when I felt like I didn’t deserve to be happy, and I didn’t particularly like myself.

Growing up, I had some body image issues, some of them even lasting into my early twenties, and if I’m honest with myself, several of them were still with me up until a few years ago. I suppose they’re always ‘with’ you, it’s just how you manage them.

The turning point for me was back in late 2009. I was miserable, and fat, 106kg of fat, on a 5’6 frame = obese. I had convinced I was unhappy because I was fat, so I decided I needed help to lose the weight, and I went to see a psychologist.

Why a psychologist and not Jenny Craig? Because I knew that I had to get my head right to make any sort of change stick. I needed to know what I was dealing with, and why I’d gotten to where I was.

During my three sessions with Joe I discovered the root cause of my relationship with food. As a child, it was a reward, or a treat, something I associated with feeling positive and good about myself, so in adolescence, I’d gone to the extreme, and every time I felt bad about something, or myself, I’d eat to try to recreate that feeling. Joe helped me learn new way of thinking about food, he helped me break my bad habits through hypnotherapy, and I can honestly say, it helped.

Now I’m not suggesting for one second that it was a quick fix, I had to want to change, and I had to want to take responsibility for myself. Without that resolve and commitment it wouldn’t have mattered how many session I had with Joe, nothing would have worked.

Over the course of about six months I dropped 25kg to 81kg. I was impressed, I was over doing it, but I was impressed. I was slimmer, healthier, fitter, I wanted more out of life, and I had the whole world in front me. I felt energised and revitalised.

Why then, I asked myself, was I still miserable?

I sat down and I made a list, and all of sudden, it dawned on me – I wasn’t unhappy because I was fat, I was fat because I was unhappy.

Every relationship I’d ever been in had seen me gain weight whilst in it. All sorts of alarm bells started going off in my head – but I felt liberated because I’d finally worked out what the issue was. I don’t just mean my boyfriends. Any relationship where I felt I needed approval, such as my relationships with my parents, my friends, and, more recently, the men in my life.

I had no idea who I was when in a relationship. All of my attention and my time and effort went into making the other person happy. I lost myself and my sense of identity.

What about me?

What about my needs?

What about what makes me happy?

Did I even know what made me happy?

Two days later I broke up with my boyfriend. I’d felt unsettled with him for a while, and that realisation was the final straw. People were shocked, five years we’d been together, and for five years I’d wanted more from him, and I was just waiting and hoping it would happen, but it was never going to happen.

I spent the best part of a year single. I’d never even lived on my own, so it was a whole new world for me – my time was my own, I could do what I wanted, when I wanted (who I wanted – although not that often to be honest!) – I learnt a lot about who I was, my likes and dislikes, and the sort of partner I wanted and needed, and the sort of lifestyle that I wanted.

My trips to the gym became less frequent, and most of my time at the gym was to avoid being at home anyway. As a result of this pullback I put a little bit of weight back on, 6kg actually, but I was happy, and content, and I maintained that weight. I was side tracked by a health issues, but that’s another blog. Besides, I knew I’d get back into it, but I was just taking some time to stand still and breathe.

Things are different now, I have a loving supportive partner that expects me to be nobody else but myself, and I’m happy with myself and where my life is at. My head is right, my attitude is right, and now I feel ready to tackle the last half of my weight loss, which is why I signed up for 12WBT.

So if you think you’re unhappy because you’re fat, maybe you’re fat because you’re unhappy. It’s a confronting question, but one worth asking yourself. Only then can you stop filling that happiness void with food and replace it with self respect, love for yourself, a new skill, a hobby, new friends, etcetera. 

If I learned anything worth remembering during this light bulb phase, it’s this; 

Make peace with yourself – get your head right – and the rest will follow.