Archive | March, 2015

How do you feel in your own skin?

14 Mar

Sunday 4th August 2013… it would have to go down as one of the last dates I truly felt good in my own skin… I’d just run a half marathon without stopping (21.1km… in 2 hrs 19min), I was 85kg the lowest weight I can remember being and I felt energetic, strong, fit and healthy. I even called myself a runner ( )!!

I’ve done a few other physical things since that date (another half marathon, Noosa Triathlon, Tour Down Under bike ride amongst them) – and completing them has demonstrated that my fitness is alright. Certainly room for improvement, however I was happy with the achievement of finishing. BUT while I achieved these things I wasn’t feeling quite as good in my own skin. You see I stopped focussing 100% on what I put in my mouth. That’s not to say that I was eating complete rubbish, I just wasn’t counting every single calorie…. And in the 18 months since that first half marathon, slowly some weight has crept back on (despite continuing regular exercise!).

When I’m participating in events I do feel a sense of confidence, and I’m very thankful for my health that allows me to exercise and complete these events. But the person I feel on the inside isn’t what I look like on the outside…

I feel like these girls (cyclist Chrissie Wellington or Iron Woman Amber Ferreir)

cyclistchrissiewellington ironwomanamberferreir

But actually look far less athletic!


Seriously though, I know that comparing myself with iron women or professional athletes isn’t in any way a fair or reasonable comparison, but I do want to feel good in my own skin.  Right now, again my clothes are feeling a little too snug (uncomfortable), my self-confidence has dropped,  and my energy level has decreased… all side effects of creeping back up to where, if I had to round out my weight to the nearest 10kg, 100kg would be the nearest whole number, and that just feels lousy. Really lousy.

I don’t know if you have ever struggled with your weight. I don’t know whether you have “won” or if you’ve lost so many times you can’t even count them anymore. I do feel that if you’ve not struggled with your weight you have no idea what it feels like. If you’re anything like me you might have a wide range of feelings:

  • I feel angry at myself – Why is it I can’t seem to just maintain a healthy weight!
  • I feel exhausted – after all you are likely to be carrying around extra weight (next time you’re at the supermarket pick up the 5kg bag of potatoes and imagine moving around every day carrying a few extra of those bags with you everywhere you go – is it any wonder life is tiring).
  • I feel frustrated – then of course the vicious circle begins – you feel too tired and heavy to get out and exercise, even though you know that once you start exercising you’re going to feel more energetic… but some days that effort feels completely overwhelming
  • I feel upset – because honestly not feeling good in your own skin is upsetting.

There are plenty of reasons I should feel good about myself regardless of my weight – because I know I’m loved by a number of people. I also know that I have been wonderfully made by a God who loves me.  But sometimes knowing that in your head and knowing that in your heart are two very different things…and some days I find this easier to believe than other days.

I don’t want to be one of those people who are obsessed about their weight – I don’t want it to be everything I think about day in day out, BUT it seems that if I’m going to lose weight and maintain that weight loss that is exactly what I have to do. So my ever patient husband is again hearing the words 12WBT in discussions as I ponder my approach to weight loss…. AGAIN.

If you’re anything like me maybe you need some encouragement – to know you are awesome just as you are – I googled that very thing and so I’m going to share a few images with you that I found. Because today I needed some encouragement and a few of these things got my attention. And do you know what – not one of them talked about outward appearances… sometimes the pressures of the world really aren’t the pressures we should be listening to (even though that is easier said than done).

So friend, hear it from me if you hear it from no other person today. You are important, you are intelligent, you are valued, you are amazing, you are celebrated, you are loved, you are special, you are YOU– and there is no-one else on earth who can be that person. You were created to fulfill a special role in this world – you have a very important job – to be you. Go out and be the best you that you can be!

wonderfullymade youyesyou

amazing1 Amazing-Blessing-You-Are-from-StudioJRU realiseforyourselfgodsloveneverfails


Muscle Up for MND

7 Mar

The call went out…. The Muscle Up for MND Challenge needed me to become a “Muscle Uper” – building muscles for those who can’t: People living with Motor Neurone Disease. People like my younger brother Peter.

p4p team

Participating for Peter…. (L-R) Dave, Jeff, Peter, Peter, Rach, David, Jen, Marcio, Katie, Jess, Chris

The challenge… to attempt to break the world record for the “largest personal training circuit class”. This record currently stands at 2061 people. I rallied as many people as I could to help join this mission and was fortunate to have 16 people put up their hands to join me (unfortunately 5 had to withdraw for various reasons) but it was a team of 11 that stepped out onto the hallowed turf of the Gabba (The Brisbane Cricket Ground). Looking around at the (empty) 42,000 seats was quite a weird feeling… must be pretty amazing to run out onto the ground when those seats are full!

Our team was a mixed bunch – being my friends they were mainly made up of work and church people – we had 5 Registered Nurses and if you weren’t a RN then your name was probably Peter (2) or David (2) with Chris and Jeff joining our team to provide a bit of diversity in the name department (or just because they wanted to step foot on the Gabba).

So on Saturday 7th March, between 0730 and 0830 on a nice, warm Brisbane morning we gathered. Starting to feel a little bit anxious about what we had committed to… the format would be 10 stations, each 4 minutes duration with 2 minutes to grab a drink move to the next station before the cycle started again. I decided I could stick to anything for 4 minutes… little did I know…

We started at Station 5 – a station run by Pat Carroll Running Group and Sally Brouwer fitness. A little confusion prior to commencement of the hour long session had us start early… so the 4 minutes ended up being a bit more (and felt like 10 minutes!). 5 push-ups, run 50m, do some nasty exercise and repeat…. By the end of this station I was REALLY wondering what I had got myself into!! Station 6 however, run by Triple M had us grooving to the music – a bit of a different session – balancing while playing air guitar, jumping like in a mosh pit (FYI jumping is quite tiring) and generally just keeping that heart pumping!

From there Station 7 beckoned… Goodlife health put us through our paces of squats, lunges, star jumps, and the first appearance of the dreaded burpee… But never fear, just a short (LONG!) 4 minutes later and we were making our way to Station 8 – Mad Dance House reminded me that my coordination levels needed a little improvement… still I attempted to keep following their lead and put one foot in front of the other…

Station 9 was manned by a few of the Brisbane Lions players. There was however no time to stop and admire this fact… knees up runs, picking invisible balls up from the ground and then jumps to attempt to mark those invisible balls was enough to keep anyone moving (and you sure don’t want to stop moving in front of the likes of those guys!). Made it to the end? Ah well it must be time to run back and do it again. There was no rest on this station! Finally the 4 minutes finished and we continued our clockwise movement around the Gabba. The next station had me concerned – run by a group called Shred’Em Fitness… their name sounded scary and not surprisingly they were. Plyometric lunges, plyometric squats and those dreaded burpees returned!! By this stage I was feeling pretty warm I’d now doused myself in a cup of water. It was 28 degrees and humid. The sunny, cloud free day saw the ground completely covered in light (no shade to be found anywhere – I have a whole heap more respect for the guys that head out there and play on the ground for hours in the relentless sun).

Dave and I

Dave and I

With only 4 stations remaining the end was suddenly in sight. The superstars ran Station 1… hula hoops were the item of the day. Let’s just say I need to work on my hula hoop action… Around my wrist – no problem, around my neck – not too bad, around my waist… not a chance! Although I did note that Katie and Jess were able to keep their hula hoops in the air! I think I did more squats than necessary in that station as I had to keep bending to pick up my dropped hoop! Aspire Fitness at Station 2 took us through a boxing routine. It was quite enjoyable though I was a little concerned for the people around me, so found space where I wouldn’t accidentally clobber anyone!

Station 3… Integr8 fit… It was here we were introduced to frog squats. I have to say, I have no desire to repeat this move and I’m sure I’m going to feel it tomorrow (which let’s face it is actually the sign of a good work out…). Frog squats, to parallel squats… to “don’t you dare stand up”… to an interesting crawl manoeuvre that was only about 20m but felt like 100m… oh boy… this was the longest 4 minutes of the day! Fortunately our final station was so close. The Clem Jones Centre kept us moving with Zumba. I saw Peter O’Sullivan getting his groove on… however again I learned just how un-coordinated I am. It was a great way to finish and felt a bit like a warm down at the same time (let me tell you, I was pretty warm!).

So 10 stations… generally it felt a bit like a hard station, followed by a more chilled/dance/fun station. It was hot… really hot… but I’m pretty sure a good time was had by all (based on the grins, smiles and laughter that was heard across the morning). Importantly, from what I hear, about $65,000 was raised for the MND and Me Foundation – A foundation dedicated to supporting and providing for people living with MND and their families, as well as contributing to funding research into this disease.

So how close did we come? An agonising close 67 people short of the world record with 1,994 active participants on the morning! Ah well… guess I’ll just have to come back and try again next year!

10 years…

1 Mar

As my nephew Tim turns 10 today I’m reminded that it has been 10 years since we left Adelaide!! (I know, you’re all shaking your head in disbelief right now… I know I am…) Tim was born about a week after we left so his birthday always seems to remind me that another year has passed. 10 years though sounds like a long time… a decade… what can happen in 10 years?

I remember the last Sunday service at what was Pedare Uniting Church (now The Journey Uniting Church). Roger talked to us, and we acknowledged that we didn’t know what the future held, but we did know who held our future and that we were thankful that we “can do all things through Him who gives us strength” (Phil 4:13). It wouldn’t be life if we didn’t have our fair share of ups and downs…

Milestones… we’ve obviously celebrated a few birthdays here… I passed my 30th and I’m in the middle of them now… and this year Dave has decided birthdays should start with the number 4… (well he didn’t really get much say in that!) We’ve celebrated 5 years marriage, then 10 years… and now we approach our 14th anniversary this year (it seems like only yesterday… though to look at the photos we’ve clearly aged!).

Health… Wouldn’t it be nice if that was smooth sailing! I busted an ankle, ended up with a DVT…leading to ovarian cysts, discovery of endometriosis and as a result a few rounds of surgery. I’ve had a decent kidney infection and learned that I have only one working kidney (but it’s doing a good job), we’ve had decent rounds of food poisoning… but on the whole our health is good. We’ve been able to run a half marathon together so really we are doing okay. I can’t even begin to list the number and variety of illnesses and injuries (DAD!) family back home have had in that 10 years… over that time I’ve had to face the reality of thinking both of my brothers will die – and being geographically distanced from family, particularly at times like that, isn’t always easy (and Praise the Lord both are still here!).

Family… After Tim our family has welcomed another 4 nieces and nephews. They’re all wonderful and I’m not biased (well maybe I am a little)! The extended family has grown too! But with the good is the not as good… we’ve not had kids and we’ve said goodbye to a much loved Grandfather and Grandmother, seeing the end of that generation in our family on both Mum’s side and Dad’s side.

Work… We’ve both made changes to our careers. Dave left the world of software engineering, did post graduate study and ultimately his Doctorate and now works hard as an Academic. I went back to study (under sufferance…who likes study anyway!) and completed a second Bachelor Degree to become a Registered Nurse (and I love it!).

Location… We’ve called Jakarta and Brisbane home in that time and we’ve been privileged to be able to travel to various countries and continents in the world… Europe, Asia and America. I feel very blessed to call Australia home. I know that it’s not perfect, but despite its faults it really is a wonderful place to live.

10 years… Tim’s whole lifetime… some things change, some stay the same. I see more and more people confronted with the reality of life and death at work, and it’s a reality that we’ve had to face as a family in the last 18 months for various reasons. As I list all the aspects that make up life as I know it, the one that I’ve left off is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow… The same thing that I said 10 years ago can be said again today as it is still just as true. I don’t know what my future holds, but I know who holds my future. There is not a single step I take in life that I don’t journey it with a God who loves me unconditionally (in life’s ups and in life’s downs). While my relationship with Him also has its ups and its downs He’ll never leave me nor forsake me and I know I can always rely on that. So here’s to the next 10 years… who knows what they will hold in terms of milestones, health, family, work and location… but I know for sure that I don’t need to take a single step of the journey alone.