Tag Archives: choices

Of gratitude and hope

I was just driving home with my windows down and my stereo cranked, with the warm spring air ambracing my arm as I hung it out the window. And I almost cried.

I’m so happy right now.  I’m so thankful for what I have and I’m excited at what my future might hold.  So what brought this on?

A combination of lots of things and the realisation that life really is great right now and I just wanted to share it.

We won the Rugby World Cup.  I was 15 years old when I watched David Kirk (who I had a crush on) hold the William Webb Ellis cup aloft.  And I was privileged to be at Eden Park to watch “our Richie” do the same last week. And thanks to Nick and Nathan for celebrating the day/night with me! You guys rock.

The Christchurch CBD is again alive.  I was excited to be one of the thousands of people who visited the new Cashel Container Mall in the weekend.  What a brilliant job by everyone involved.  I, like many, was a little dubious about the concept of containers for a shopping precinct, but it works and looks amazing.  Continue reading

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Shifting the Quake Weight – update #2

It’s been over 2 1/2 months since I updated where I’m at with my Quake Weight challenges I.  (Please check out my previous posts for context “OK, the Quake Weight has gotta go” and “Shifting the Quake Weight – update #1

My exercise has wavered over this time.  I’ve been plagued with a return of back pain, which I’ve let affect me.  When in fact historically, my back pain has been easier to control when I exercise more.  I think a little discomfort can often deter people from exercise, when in fact, it’s what your body actually needs to help itself heal.  Joints that aren’t moved enough can often stiffen up through disuse and that sitffness can creat more pain – it’s like a vicious downward spiral – one that I have to constantly remind myself of.

I also threw my hat in the ring, so-to-speak, to fight in the charity boxing match the Fight for Christchurch. I love boxing.  I used to do a boxing fitness (non-contact) class every week at the gym.  And in fact I was in that class when the 22 February quake hit and subsequently lost my boxing gloves. And I’d do one-on-one training with the boxing trainer or my PT.  Boxing is great all round fitness and I was really hoping I’d be chosen to fight, as the 12 weeks of training would have been awesome, but sadly I wasn’t.  Judging by the women contenders to date I’m not blonde or model-like in looks.  I may still be the back-up fighter, in case one of them gets injured.  We’ll see

So, I’ve kind of used that as an excuse as well. I thought that it would give me some focus.  So, know I have to move on and refocus again.  And yesterday, my dear PT Gareth, decided it was time for me to get the gloves on during my usual weekly session.  I loved it.  But I realised out out of condition I was for punching in the first 90 seconds of the warm up….it left me gasping and my arms aching.  Not a good sign.  However, my brain seemed to remember what I was supposed to do to throw a punch and my body responded.  However, today is another story and I’m in pain greater than what I experienced the last time I broke a rib.  Sneezing reduced me to tears today and I nearly passed out.  I’m now on painkillers and anti-inflammatories.  A lesson in re-conditioning.  But I don’t regret it.  I really missed getting my gloves on and hitting shit.

But, what you’re really here for are the pics.  So, here they are.  I’m wearing the same jeans in all pics.  And you may notice they fit a little differently around the waist.  That’s because my actual waistline has reduced by a whopping 5cm since the beginning of May. Continue reading

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Shifting the Quake Weight – update #1

It’s been a month since I posted about my Quake Weight and the challenges I (and many other Cantabrians) faced with putting on weight post-earthquake.  (If you haven’t read the post “OK, the Quake Weight has gotta go” – read it first.

It’s been great seeing the post re-tweeted, shared on FB and linked to.  It’s had over 1,000 views. It means that some people have read it, and hopefully some people have taken action.  What’s also been good is the number of people who have asked me how I’m going.  One of the reasons I wanted to go public was to make myself accountable – if other people know what I’ve committed to doing, it’s much harder to hide it.

Now, I haven’t been perfect in following what I said I’d do.  But I’m not beating myself up about it either. But my new gym programme has certainly kicked my ass – quite literally.

I measured my waist today – and I’ve dropped 2cm already.  And I think the change is evident in these pics – less muffin top than a month ago.  So, if you’re still making up excuses for not taking action to improve your fitness/weight/general health – then stop. And just do something!

My stomach 3/5/2011

My stomach 2/6/2011

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Change is good

You live a dynamic life.  The world is constantly moving.  And so you are always faced with change.  Sometimes you control that change, sometimes it is forced upon you, sometimes you can influence it, sometimes you let it take you.

Change can be sad. Because sometimes you lose things you love – people, places, precious things

Change can be frightening.  It takes courage to deal with – and belief in your own strength

Change can be uncertain. The unknown can make you anxious – so turn to others for support

Change can be challenging.  Rise up to meet it – it’s how you grow

Change can be exciting.  Passion is the driver of success – lead with it

Change can be opportunity. It can open up new worlds with new ideas and new ways – the old may not be the best, the new can be different

But regardless, you have to deal with change – it will always happen.  You can’t stop it.  You may be able to stall it for a while, but it is inevitable.

And it is your response to that change that will shape who you are, who you become and what you create around yourself. You can choose to be a victim of change or its master.

Look for inspiration in those around you; in their ideas, their passion, their courage, their love, their support, their strength, their leadership.

And then look inside yourself.

What do you see?

This is your chance to embrace the change and change yourself.  This is your chance to make things better.

Do it now.

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** This post was inspired by recent events in my own life, and others close to me, as well as learnings from the recent TEDxEQChch event “Reimagining Christchurch”

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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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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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