OK, the Quake Weight has gotta go!

Hands up if you’ve put on weight since either the September or February earthquake.

Me.

And hands up if you’ve done anything about it.

Yes, but not until last week.

And hands up if you’ve had plenty of reasons why you haven’t done anything yet.

Yup, plenty of reasons, but really, they were just excuses.

And yes, I know there will be a lot of you reading this who know me, saying you yourself “What the fuck is she worried about, she’s skinny anyway”.  Well, my friends it’s all relative and it’s all a matter of how we each feel about our body.  As a massage therapist it’s important that my body is in good physical condition – the burn out rate is pretty high and I don’t want to fall prey to that in a hurry.  Also, with my dodgy (arthritic) hip, I have to keep the muscles around my pelvis strong otherwise my hip aches.  And I’m not getting any younger – it’s the last year before I hit my 40s and I’d quite like to pass for early 30s for a bit longer – vain, yes, but I’m honest. And I got a bit puffed walking 10 minutes to the pub the other day.

So, this is what I looked like in late November last year.  See those abs.  I had a visible six-pack. You could see it when I was standing too, trust me.  And no muffin top.  Also, no visible cellulite on my thighs.

I worked quite hard for those abs.  And those legs, and those arms – and even the boobs were given a bit of a natural lift due to the strengthened pec muscles (true story girls – non-surgical boob job!)

I was at the gym at least 4 times a week, including once with my PT, Gareth, and usually a boxing fitness class or one-on-one non-contact boxing session. (Which reminds me, my boxing gloves are still at the gym where I left them during the earthquake)

And what you can’t see from the pics was my cardio-fitness level.  I could play a whole game of touch rugby (when there were no subs) and not be tired at all.  Or spend a whole day up the mountain snowboarding.  I was fitter, stronger and leaner than I’d been in my whole life.

But the most important thing, was that I actually felt great.

Cue the February earthquake.

  • I started smoking – my excuse – I used it to help keep me chilled out.  Bullshit.
  • I hardly exercised – excuse – my gym is still closed.  I’ve joined another one but it’s not as good my old one.  Bullshit.
  • I was drinking more, up to 4 times a week – excuse – again, it helped me relax and the pub was where my friends met up.  Bullshit.  (I still drank on my own.)
  • I was eating crap food – my excuse – comfort eating? Bullshit.

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Making a difference….one person at a time

In the days following the February earthquake I sat at my friends’ house for hours at a time transfixed by the images fed to me via the TV and internet.  I cried at what I saw.  And I cried for all the people affected.  And I wanted to help.  So I cried because I was sitting there, not helping.  But, after the September earthquake I wanted to help too….so I rang and emailed places to find out what I could do using my skills.  And no one was interested.  Turns out that so many people did the same thing that there was no way to co-ordinate all the offers of help.

So I sat and watched instead. Mostly feeling numb.  And sometimes feeling completely useless that I wasn’t doing anything.

And I’m sure that all over the city, thousands of people felt the same. I know lots of people signed up for the Student Volunteer Army again – and did a fantastic job.  I didn’t.  For whatever reason.

I did have the opportunity to spend some time at the Pioneer Welfare Centre with the Emergency Relief Therapists, doing massage for the evacuees and the medical staff and volunteers there. And then I organised an afternoon at the New Brighton Volunteer Fire Station. A team of us provided massage therapy to the fire fighters and the families of those who were not able to stay at home and were sleeping at the station. The highlight of my day was seeing the daughter of one of the fire fighters take over my massage chair and give others massage.

Then, an opportunity came up, via my friend Dan, to work with Telecom and help their staff.  I’d like to say that I think the support that Telecom have provided to their staff across the city has been amazing.  I’ve seen it first hand and it’s genuine caring. Continue reading

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Laugh, cry, shout, hug

It’s over a week since the massive earthquake here in Christchurch.  No need to remind you of that.

And as the people of this beautiful city try to adapt to the new normal, there is more danger lurking.

Stress.

Stress is necessary for your survival and is in fact beneficial in moderate amounts.  However what happened in our city on September 4 and February 22 have put many of us into stress overload.  Your normal coping mechanisms are overwhelmed and the stress can start to have a negative effect on our lives – physically, mentally and emotionally.

Stress manifests itself in so many ways.  Check through the list below.  If you or those close to you can tick more than 5 of these symptoms, it’s likely the stress is starting to get to you:

  • disturbed sleep
  • feeling helpless
  • lack of appetite
  • headaches
  • lack of motivation
  • irritability Continue reading

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Counting myself very lucky

I was at the gym when the earthquake hit, it was terrifying – the noise was like a huge train going past, the sprinkler system burst, glass doors and windows exploded, concrete support pillars cracked, TVs fell, heavy weights were tossed around like toys. I wasn’t concerned for my own safety as much as those around me who were panicking and distraught. I ended up crouched over one of the guys in my gym class, protecting him from any falling debris – he was huddled, cowering, trembling and I felt it was the least I could do to help him.

We were quickly evacuated and as I came down the front stairs, I could see dust rising from across the CBD – I knew it wasn’t good.  I could hear a girl crying hysterically down in front of me, but I couldn’t reach her to comfort her.

For those of you outside of Christchurch, I’m sure you’ve seen all the TV coverage of the devastation – I saw just the tiniest of that first hand, as the gym is on Moorhouse Ave and away from many of the CBD buildings that were destroyed. I did however get the Moorhouse Ave/Colombo St overbridge closed as I could see cracks in one of the main supports and the road separating with each aftershock. I did see people being rescued from a building – alive and well. And I saw the full length of Moorhouse Ave full of silt and water from liquefaction. Luckily my new place is only 30mins walk from the CBD – so I walked home, with nothing but the clothes I wore to the gym. It wasn’t til I got home and saw on TV the extent of the damage, that I realised how bad it really was, and how lucky I was to come out unscathed. Continue reading

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We have choices

I just watched this video posted on Twitter by the awesome Spida Hunter of EHP Fitness about being a victim.  It’s quite a long piece and Spida clearly shows his passion around this topic, so it comes across as a rant in a few places – but he’s taken a stand, and I acknowledge him for that.

It follows on from a news story in The Press about surgery being offered to morbidly obese people in Canterbury.

Kevin Williams - 250kg

Kevin Williams is currently 250kg, although down from the once 350kg.  His weight ballooned after “his marriage fell apart 20 years ago he turned to food for comfort”  – 20 years ago. The article finishes with this “The huge costs involved in caring for him now could have been avoided if he had obesity surgery when he was first referred 15 years ago, he said. He believed he would still be working if he had had the operation, and many of his health problems would be gone.”

I’m with Spida on this one.  We ALL have choices.  Sometimes they’re hard ones.  Sometimes they require persistance and dedication.  Sometimes they need us to change our way of thinking. Sometimes they involve getting help from other people.  And sometimes we need help and encouragement from other people to open our eyes up to the fact that we do in fact have a choice.

It’s the last part that often gets overlooked.  Where were Kevin Williams’ friends and family 20 years ago when he started on the downhill spiral of out-of-control eating that lead to his obesity?  Did any of them say to him “Hey dude, that bucket of KFC you’re having every night is not good for you.  Maybe you need to get some help before it gets out of hand.”

I have no idea.  Maybe someone did.  Maybe Kevin chose to ignore that advice.  I really don’t know what happened, that lead to him getting to 350kg….although to be fair he dropped 100kg to the current 250kg, which is in itself an achievement – but why did he stop?

Choices.

We all have them.

And too many people spend their lives blaming other people, the economy, the government, their parents – anyone else they can – rather than take responsibility for the shit they’ve gotten themselves into and make the right choices to get them out of said shit.

I’m the first to admit I’ve tried to blame others for the situation I’m in at the moment.  I won’t bore you with the details, but never-the-less, Spida’s post was a wake-up call for me too – I’m NOT a fucken victim.  I made my choices, and I will continue to make choices to get my life back on track.

And I have good people around me who are looking out for me – and I’m putting my hand up to #justaskforhelp

CHOICES.

We ALL have them.  Even when we don’t think we do.

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Moving at the speed of sound

Haunting lyrics from one of my favourite artists – Eddie Vedder.

Kind of like my life at the moment – I feel like I’m standing still while everything around me is moving.

Speed of Sound

Yesterdays, how quick they change
All lost and long gone now

It’s hard to remember any thing
Moving at the speed of sound
Moving with the speed of sound

And yet I’m still holding tight
To this dream of distant light
And that somehow I’ll survive

But this night has been a long one
Waiting on a sun,.. that just don’t come

Can I forgive what I
Cannot forget
And live a lie
I could give it one more try

Why deny this drive inside?
Just looking for some peace

Everytime I get me some
It gets the best of me
Not much left you see

And yet I’m still holding tight
to this dream of distant light
and that somehow I’ll survive

But this night has been a long one
Waiting on a word… that never comes

A whisper in the dark
Is that you or just my thoughts?
Wide awake & reaching out

It’s gone so quiet now
Could it be I’m farther out?
Moving faster than the speed of sound

Artist: Pearl Jam
Composer: Pearl Jam

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I am the Queen of Procrastination

To be perfectly honest it’s not a title I’m particularly proud, but I’m self-titled, so maybe not that bad.

However, it is a problem, has been for quite some time and continues to trouble me today…right now even.  I should be doing something far more constructive.

_________________________________________________

The above two lines were written on Tuesday – 5 days ago.  Therefore I’ve proven my point.

Procrastination.

Sigh.

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