Thursday, 30 May 2013

The Bad Workout

I am having one of THOSE days....a day where nothing goes to plan, time slips away faster than it should and my mood is as grey as the sky.

 Today I was going to run around the You Yangs, a national park near me, on a 16 km track.  I was pumped, I was looking forward to it, it is such a beautiful area. And I woke to this....

Up to you if you want to listen to all 10 minutes of it....

So, the run was out. My program actually calls for weights training today and I was so not in the mood for weights. Inside I was having a mini tanty....I WANT TO RUN THE YOU YANGS, not be stuck inside the gym. So I humphed my way through the morning, and dragged myself to gym.  I was applying the 10 minute rule...go for 10 minutes and if I still am really shlumping my way through it, then go home.

You know as well as I do, that I stayed for the whole hour long weight session, but I did so ungraciously. I grumped. I  procrastinated. I let Phyllis have full rein in my head since we were in agreement about how sucky weight training was today. It seemed to take forever and I was totally over it.

And then it was done. Somewhere in the grumping, the procrastinating, the whingy whiningest moaning I was doing, the workout got done.  And I felt great. Better than great, I felt..
There are always going to be bad workouts. There will always be bad races or training sessions.  Noone ever said they would be bucketloads of joy and rainbows and personal bests every single time. I don't think there is one person in the world that doesn't think at one time or another that they'd really much rather be kicking back on the beach drinking cocktails with Johnny Depp rather than go workout today...(or is that just me?)

Take the words 'good' and  'bad' away and you are left with Workout. It's work. It's a job that gets done. And that is all there is to it.  The 'feel good' part of the workout is a bonus extra when you get it. Getting hung up on how I don't feel 'awesome' or 'in the zone' or even 'motivated' isn't helping get the job done. It doesn't help my mindset for next workout. And it is not an accurate description of a bad workout.  There is only one statement that would accurately describe a bad workout....

Monday, 27 May 2013

Finding Phyllis.

 I have struggled with negative self talk for a long long time. It's debilitating, when the hate or the bullying I experience actually comes from my own head.  You know the voice that says " You can't do that" or " You aren't good enough". I have tried so many different methods....stopping the negative thoughts consciously, replacing with positive but what I was turning back into positive thought just didn't sound really believable to me.  I tried meditation, reading positive and motivating books, making gratitude lists, the lot.

 And I would be okay for a while and then crash in a heap again....and again....and again.

A very good friend, Silvana, pointed out one day that it sounded just like a bully and she wished she could stand up to the bully in my mind. It got me thinking about it and she was completely right.  That voice in my head that puts me down, makes me feel like dirt and stops me from achieving IS a bully. A self opinionated, arrogant, critical bully. And what is the best way to defeat a bully?

Stand up to them.

In fairytales, if someone knows your REAL name, they have power over you. A REAL name in fairytales is what defines you as what you are, what you do, what you believe.

Naming something takes the mystery away from it, giving a definition to something takes away the fear of the unknown. When my children were sick as small babies, I would worry until I saw the doctor, who could  diagnose, (ultimately name and define) what the problem was and then we could take steps to make them healthy again or understand it.

  Well I decided to name the bully voice, Phyllis. (No offense to any other Phyllis out there) It's great finally knowing her name, and finding out her name conjured up a mental image to go with it.

Knowing the name and what she looks like now, makes it SO much easy to stop her. Our 'conversations' go somewhat along these lines...

Phyllis: "You are completely useless, you do realise that, you selfish cow.  Why can't you do something constructive....and properly instead of the half assed effort you put into everything."

Me: "Shut up Phyllis"

Phyllis: "How very DARE you?! Look, you can't even lift as heavy as that chick over there, so why embarrass yourself further by going to gym? You are just a fool. No wonder no one likes you"

Me: "Shut up Phyllis"

Phyllis: "Don't you tell me to shut...."

ME : " Shut up Phyllis"

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Something to look forward to

I have been a busy little bee today. And all to the power of fun.

You see, while it's all very well to set goals ( tick), the steps to achieve them ( tick), timelines and plans and various other bits of organisation that requires using my love of lists and ticks ( tick) without adding the element of fun, then it becomes dreary dull boring what's-the -point stuff.


I've signed up for the half marathon, an achievement I am itching to do again. I am logging the kilometres, pounding the road, doing hill intervals and bike sprints and weights to build up my leg power. i know come race day I WILL be ready...I won't win but I will finish and feel awesome at the same time.  But the REAL thing I look forward to is the meetup for celebrations afterwards with the other runners in my running group to celebrate all our distances and sweat, to clink glasses and say " Good race".

Fun Factor.

I ran the Mothers Day Classic last year with my then 7 yr old daughter, her first and our first 4k run together. Exciting and proud moment but what did I look forward to the most?  Running it in Wonder Woman costume together.....Fun Factor.

So, having signed up for the 12WBT again, I look at the nutrition plans each week, and nail the exercise plans each week. I'm hitting my goal targets and working hard.  But the fun....ah the fun will be in Adelaide this August for the finale party.

It's all about the Fun Factor.

So flights have been booked thanks to the good people at Jetstar and their conveniently timed birthday sale.  Accomodation has been booked thanks to the efforts of Julie Trait, her friend and the Grand Chancellor Adelaide. So here's my bed ( I'm sure LOL)....always exciting to sleep in a new bed.

Isn't it just the spot to flop after an hour long workout with Michelle Bridges? And to get glammed up for the cocktail party?

But now the big question of life...what will I wear to the cocktail party?  Well, my good friends in Hong Kong have never failed me with their cheap but striking range of gorgeousness ( just go to Ebay, type in cocktail/evening dresses and hit buy it now to see what amazing dresses there are!) and I have my dress.

But let's wander back through the finale dresses......and give them another day in the sun.

Sydney Finale Round 3 2011
($25 from CT lane shop at local plaza)

Perth Finale round 2 2012, a top 20 finalist dress
($6 no postage from ebay shop in China)

Sydney Finale round 3 2012
($45 from a little shop near our hotel in Sydney)

Melbourne Finale Round 1 2013
($36 no postage again from my Chinese ebay friends)

And now....I give you ( Fanfare please) the Adelaide Finale round 2 2013 dress

($37 including postage from my Chinese friends on Ebay)

(And something you won't be able to notice but in each of the pictures....I am wearing the same shoes...Kate Middleton watch out)

The Fun Factor has risen remarkably. I am BUSTING to get through this round so I can party in a city I've never visited before. Winery tour is still being finalised...can't go to Adelaide without sampling.  It's against the Rules of entry into South Australia.

So when the workouts start to get harder, when the weather gets colder and I'm looking for my motivation, I can look forward and know the Fun Factor is coming, I have something to look forward to.

And as long as I look forward, I will keep moving be the best I can be.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Plan A in operation

Ever had one of THOSE days?  One of those days everything is all too much. Let me share with you a day I had a little while ago.

I was worried about my father who had been ill with a suspected heart attack just after Easter. I had spent nearly 24 hours awake sitting with my parents at the hospital, which is always a pleasant experience for patient and family...NOT.  I came home to mother duties, a wrecked house and decided that if that wasn't all stressful enough, I should go and do the groceries in an unfamiliar supermarket.

And the events all came down on top of my head in a great one tonne weight....yes, I was the woman standing in front of the dairy fridge, bawling my eyes out because I couldn't find the feta cheese.  I left a full trolley of groceries there and had my breakdown in the company of Mr Cadbury's finest chocolate in the car.

So what's wrong with this picture?  That last sentence.

To stop myself feeling bad, stressed and upset, I turned to a sugar fix that really fixes nothing. It's like putting a bandaid on an amputee....makes you THINK like you are doing something but you're not.  Why is it so hard for us as adults to feel our emotions?

Working with small children, I notice they have NO problem in letting you know exactly how they feel.  Have a guess at these emotions.

I defy ANYONE to be happier than the second pic!

Children do NOT have a problem with feeling their emotions to the full. They will shriek, laugh, scream, bawl, yell as they feel. And as Adults we race to placate these emotions....they are too full on for us to handle, it's not polite or 'the done thing' to display your emotions like that. And usually our first reaction, particularly to negative emotion displays is to shove something sweet in their mouth to shut them up. Fall over and hurt you knee?  Don't cry it out, here have a chocolate. Temper tantrum at the right moment, here have a chocolate and shhh for goodness sakes! Frightened?  A cuddle and a chocolate usually makes it all right again.  Happy?  I'm happy too.  Let's BOTH have a chocolate.

Why is that?
Why did it become so socially unacceptable to feel our emotions? And why did it become socially acceptable to use food, traditionally sweet food to ease the 'pain' of all of these emotions?

I truly don't know.  What I do know is, if I started having a tantrum in the middle of the supermarket because dammit, I've had a hard day and I can't find the feta cheese, they'd cart me off to the madhouse....probably to my usual bed ( ha)

What do children do?

They throw their whole bodies into it. They are little missiles of action no matter what....have a think or watch your own children ( I'd say watch someone else's but that may give rise to awkward situations). If they are supremely angry and in a fully licensed to kill temper tantrum, their WHOLE body is joining in. If crying, their whole body cried with them (and leaks from EVERYWHERE it seems)  If they are laughing, good lord, Santa would be proud of the wobbling bellies and shaking shoulders. And if they are tired/asleep, it's as if all life has left the building, they are limp little dolls of themselves. Children are nothing but little balls of physical movement in all extremes.

They don't automatically think "Hmmm, today has just not gone to plan and I've really had enough.  I think I need a family size box of Maltesers to get me through."  No.  It is more like it IS a commercial, for condoms funnily enough but it is the perfect illustration.

 So I developed the Kipwil Emotional Education plan A.

The next time I felt angry,  I went for a run. I had the feeling all inside me and it had to come out so if you were walking down by the river a couple of weeks ago and heard a psycho woman running and yelling sporadically, that was me. I make no apologies, just letting you know it will be likely to happen again, so don't get concerned or call the cops.

It took 5 kms to get it all out. And I felt good afterwards. Empty but good. It was as if I fuelled that run with the fires of Hell that were in me until they were all used up, and nothing, not even ash was left.

So next time when I am feeling really angry or really sad, or really happy or really ANY emotion, I am going to use physical means to feel it.  I will cry. I most likely will yell.  I will definitely laugh.  But instead of eating it down inside of me, I will feel it and run.

I will run that emotion out of myself. I will feel it no matter how much it hurts or bothers me or elates me and I will run with it. So far, plan A is working.

We adults have so much to learn from children.......if we only take the time to watch and listen.

Friday, 17 May 2013

A lesson learned

Yesterday I attended a kindergarten conference.  One of the speakers was Adam Elliot, the creator of the  Oscar award winning short animation film Harvie Krumpet.

Interestingly, he said he wasn't sure what we would get out of his speaking about winning the Oscar and about leading up to the whole event and after party, etc.

But I got a huge amount of inspiration.

Adam Elliot was on Centrelink benefits when Harvie Krumpet won the Oscar. For years, Adam painstakingly filmed 5 seconds of film a day, hand making all the set, scenery and characters for the film, shooting it, everything.  He didn't have a studio, he had a storage shed with no heating or cooling, catering was the servo across the street. The entire film budget of $300 000 was funded by an arts grant from the Victorian Government. He was up against bigger ACTUAL studios....the list of nominees included Boundin' by Pixar, Gone Nutty ( as in Ice Age pre movie) by Blue Sky studios, and Destino by Disney animation studios, all with budgets in the millions and tens of millions.

What do you reckon his chances were?  Apparently if you asked his mum, or his friends,  it would be similar to a snowballs chance in Hell.

And yet, he won.

So what did I get out of it?

This man had a dream. It wasn't getting him famous or rich, in fact he had to move back to his parents home because he couldn't afford to live anywhere else at one stage. He was pressured to get a 'real' job. The script was rejected once before it was finally picked up. He worked long long days and all for 5 seconds of film?!  CRAZY.


And he won. When everyone else thought no chance, when even he thought no chance on the flight over, on the red carpet, in the Kodak theatre, right up until they announced it and shoved a camera in his face ( he still thought he misheard the winner) the work he had done all those years came through.

He persisted in following his dream even when his relationship fell apart, he had no money, when giving up and just thinking it was too hard would be an easier option and an easy out.

He believed in  what he was doing and what he IS doing still. It gave him a line to focus on, a goal to achieve, something to aim for while being true to himself.

He did what had to be done. He still hand makes all his props, scenery etc for his animated films.  He still can only film approximately 5 seconds of film a day, but work for countless hours each day just to get that vital 5 seconds.

THAT is what I needed to put into my running.....into my work life and into myself. It is the 'secret' of success. To have that tenacity to follow through no matter what is a common theme for those who succeed in achieving their goals. No matter how hard it is, or how much they want to give up (or others tell them to give up) they stick with it and produce glorious results.

I want that tenacity...imagining success when none seems possible. Moving ahead when there seems to be no clear result in sight.

I have my goal.....and I will hang on with all my strength and belief until I get there. And I WILL get there.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

What have I done??????

I like to think I am normal.  Normal enough anyway. A suburban mum with 4 children, work in a kindergarten, hang out with my friends, go to the Melbourne Cup to frock up every year.

But I surprised it turns out, I may be less 'normal' than I thought.  Let's look at the events of the last 24 hours.

I had birthday money still, a gift from my parents and in laws. Now, I COULD have bought some new clothes, the cool pair of boots I saw at our local shops, any number of books for my kindle, had a spa day or thoroughly indulged myself.

I could have bought any of those things. But I didn't.

Instead I have signed up to run in The Age Run Melbourne half marathon (only 9 weeks away) and have put some cash aside to buy a running headlamp so I can run at night and should have a bit more for some workout clothes.


Ok, so I ran a half marathon over a year ago....and I swore never again. And that was AFTER a few MONTHS of training, not weeks. But, there is a difference.

I am stronger now. I KNOW I can do it.  Because the new strength I have is my stronger mindset.

My body knows what to do.  It is capable of the distance and the work. It was my mind that needed to building, the strengthening, the working out.

Doing weights for nearly the past year has helped focus my mind from can't to CAN. It strengthened the belief in myself. I was surprised each time I could lift heavier and heavier weights, or add more chinups when my head was saying " YOU CAN'T DO THAT, IT'S TOO HARD!" and my body just went ahead and did it anyway .

Who knew that every barbell I lifted my brain was too?

The other thing that has changed is that I have found a group of runners who are MEGA AWESOME ladies...the Western Warriors running group.  Running on Monday nights with them is becoming the highlight of my week. It still surprises me that I would willingly go out in single digit weather in the dark and run, when a NORMAL person would be curled up on the couch in the warm, hot chocolate in hand.

Running in a group means I am with a new kind of normal people,  there is always someone to run with me, someone to chat to, someone to laugh with.....and someone to celebrate with me when I complete my goals and people to celebrate with when they reach theirs. We run further than we would if we were by ourselves....and not notice it.

 Many of these Warrior Women are running in the same running festival that I signed up to....some are doing 10 k, some are doing the half marathon.  We are all different,  different ages, different careers, different families but with one thing in common.



 One of the Warrior Women, Theresa, put this up on Facebook....and I think it sums us all up....those who run, those who walk, those who don' all those making a difference in their life in big ways and little ways.


Thursday, 9 May 2013

Happy Birthday to MEEEEEE!

Yes, that's right I hit the big 41 last Saturday.....and how did I celebrate?


The celebrations started on Friday....I work in a kindergarten and they had made me a special birthday hat, a plaster cast foot and sang Happy birthday to me while I blew out candles on a pretend cake.  Then my colleague, bless her, had the children clap me for every year of my age.  I pretended not to notice how they lost interest around 32 and the small boy who said " OH MY GOD How many MORE do we have to do?" (Thanks mate)

One of my closest friends came down from Newcastle for the weekend and we went to the Best Pub in the World for pre birthday drinkies.

But the day of my birthday, that was HUGE!  What better way to celebrate than with a couple of thousand of like minded friends?
We were booked in to the Michelle Bridges group workout and arranged to go in fancy we went as the Commando from Biggest Loser.....

with some success on my husband's behalf I believe....there were several women who flocked to him thinking he was the real thing and at this moment is in a helluva lot of photos.

We started with a 20m sprint challenge as a warm up then Troy hit the pushup competition, managing about 70 in 60 seconds. We met up with other fabulous people we had only spoken to via computer before.  We wandered the sponsor stalls.  And then it was a call to the field.

In true Melbourne fashion, it froze, it rained, the sun shone, the wind blew, we froze again, the sun shone again but we were so pumped, nothing short of a full on hurricane would have stopped us.

Michelle Bridges put us all through our paces for an hour, we were stuffed. Spot the Camo!!!

Time to get out of uniform and into GLAM.

The finale party that night was held at Crown Casino with the theme old Hollywood Glamour. And I do say, we met the criteria pretty well.

****BRAG BREAK*****

my dress? $30 from an Ebay store, free shipping....FIND OF THE YEAR! $30 to feel a million bucks!

My gorgeous husband and myself...the King and Queen of Awesome.

And the Beautiful Eilz and myself in the Atrium bar for a pre party cocktail

And yes, we caught up with the Lean and Strong was at a premium!

This celebration was perfect. Over the past year I have transformed so much, gained so much strength, so many new friends, a new way of living and looking at life. I found happiness after searching all my adult life and I found it surprisingly, in me and I what I do.  It was just Universe perfection to have something that has been a HUGE part of my life for the past year and an even bigger part in my Changing of the Ways to culminate in a massive party right on my birthday. To me, it was like the closing of the loop to the way I used to be....

and now it's time to get my awesome on.

See you in August in Adelaide 12WBTers ;)

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

How to make it easy.

First of all, I should be more accurate...this is how to make it FEEL easy, it being of course, exercise and healthy eating.

Because let's face it, in the beginning it can be HARD WORK.  And even when I've nailed it for a while I still get those days where I would rather lie in a bed made of chocolate and cheese than get up and move.

I'm signing up for another round of 12 Week Body Transformation.  My plan was to do another round of Lean and Strong, the weight lifting program to tone and gain muscle definition.  I like lifting weights.  I like feeling strong. But after I ticked the little 'Lean and Strong program' box, I felt.....flat. Tired. U.N.M.O.T.I.V.A.T.E.D.

In short, I felt like Eeyore on a good day.

This is not a feeling I get very often and I was a bit confused. What's going on? What's wrong with me?  This is what I like doing!!!

But then, a little niggly thought popped it REALLY what I like doing? What do I really want to achieve?  What do I really want to do? If I am going to spend 6 days a week doing a workout on each of those days, where do I really want to spend my time?

Well, I just want to RUN.  And when I realised that, a huge weight just flew off my shoulders. A bolt of positive energy hit me in the head and HELLOOOO BABY!
My mojo was back!

The Universe must have been listening.  Within 10 minutes I had been invited to join a running group the next  night by a gorgeously lovely friend of mine, Theresa.  Never had 8 km flown by with so little legs!  The vocal chords didn't stop working the whole time!

Time flew and I felt good. The world felt good.  I had found my little spot in it.

It became fun.

So how to make it feel easy? Find out what you REALLY want to do. Find your joy. Some people find it in the bike saddle, some people find it on trails or in the gym.  I found mine on a stretch of empty path ahead of me, just waiting for my little feet to burn it up.

Think you can't run? It's too hard, too overweight, too much too soon? Tried it before and never got anywhere? So did he..... once.

It's not a test.  There is no pass or fail with running. You don't need to be licensed to run, you don't need prior experience, you don't need to be able to run 1, 2 or 21 kilometres to be called a runner.

You just need to start.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013


I'll never be the best, the fastest, the prettiest, the smartest.
 I'll never be the strongest, the calmest, the trickiest, the fanciest.
But I will always be trying my best.

EVERY accomplishment, no matter how small, should be celebrated, remembered and cherished. It is my effort that brought me there, my hard work, my decisions.

It's not 'just' a 5km run, it's not 'just' another weight session, it's not 'just' a healthy choice.

It's the physical evidence of what I can achieve.

Each achievement began with me deciding to do it. Every time I lace up my joggers, and walk out that door, I am deciding to work towards achievement. I am deciding to practise until I reach it.  After all, that's what training is....practising over and over until you get it.

 But if I start worrying about 'being the best' or who is better than me, I lose sight of the goal. I get distracted and just like looking away from the road while driving, I drift away from  the direction I want.  Sometimes I crash and burn....because I took my eyes off the goal ahead of me and instead looked behind or beside me.

To be the best I can be, it is not enough to merely exist. To find and reach my potential requires action. I would never have imagined in my 40th year, that I would shake off the couch potato and run a half marathon, take part in a triathlon, run an endurance race on a mountain, learn to lift weights, find a love for writing, find a love for life.

And I have only just scratched the surface of what I can do, it is a discovery I make every single day.

Excellence is not about BEING the best, it is about DOING your best. 

And I can do this in 4 steps.
1. Decision.   2. Action.    3. Evaluation.  4. Repeat.

Decide what I want to achieve.

Put the decision into action by DOING what is needed.

Evaluate the level of success...(and there is always an amount of success, even if it was just trying in the first place.)

Repeat.  Do over. Keep doing. Even if you reach what you think is the highest, the best, do more.  There is always more to learn, more to give, more to do.