2011 – Lin’s Year in Review (with cute graphics)

So I believe that it is very important to take stock of where things are headed. I also think that this shouldn’t only happen once a year, and that periodic reviews throughout the year are important. But since it is the end of the year I was reflecting on all the changes that I have made for the better… and It made me feel happy so I thought that I would share them… Here we go.

Moved 32.4 Km to my new house beside the seaside!

Dropped 4 dress sizes! Losing over 38kg!


Running Stats 463.38km (or 62h 26m 49s) this doesn’t include Step into Life sessions or the walking that I started doing in Mordi before I could run – These are pure run sessions from April this year (can you tell I am proud of this stat!)

Have become a lot fitter and stronger. Dropped down to a Resting heart Rate of 53 BPM



Competed in a lot of 1st Events, 5km, 10km, 14km & 15km (runs) then my First Half Marathon, and First Triathlon.

Started Road cycling too!

Made better food choices and began to find a better balance with this!.



So overall I began to have a better life balance overall, physically, emotionally, spiritually, psychologically, relationally etc you get the picture. This came from not just focusing on the weight loss and fitness, but working on my thoughts, feelings and being honest and direct with people around me (sometimes too honest and too direct!) But this is who I am! – Thanks to all my friends (new and old) who have supported me this year, and a big thanks to my family for their unconditional love always.. And thanks for reading and supporting my rants on this site – You guys rock

May we all have a challenging 2012, where we are pushed to grow in ourselves and our own life journeys…  I know that anything worth achieving doesn’t come easy, and the times that seem the toughest almost always bear the best fruit… SO squeeze the fruit of life and drink it up! (if you prefer to ferment it to make some wine first go ahead it can make the tough lessons a little easier to bear!)

Thanks for reading see you next year 😉

Lin xox

Food Day Tuesday; Choices

Which Path To Take? What Outcome Do You Want?

So today’s Food Day Tuesday is a Day Late and a recipe short!

Yes Christmas has come and gone, the hype and spending of too much money is over for yet another year! It was nice spending time with the family, seeing my little nieces, especially with the 2 1/2 year old talking about Santa and opening all the presents (the little poppet was a wee bit overwhelmed!) But back to the post.

As I said There is no recipe today – It is about choices… The hard ones too make   I found that I was still trying to make good choices at our Christmas Family Dinners… It was hard (and I did succumb to the pavalova) but overall I chose well, limited my intake and didn’t feel like I had spent the time mindlessly eating.

Tonight I went out with friends for dinner. Again I tried to make positive choices, low carb, high protein, but did indulge and enjoyed dessert at a friends place afterwards!…

Food choices are a funny thing, it is often a culmination of the small and seemingly insignificant choices we make that add up to real and lasting outcomes for our lives. It is easy to justify the chocolate, wine, cheesecake, beer, cookie at the time, forgetting that it is the culmination of these choices, the everyday, every moment choices that make the difference… The small choice adds onto the choice from the day before and the day before that and it is easy to forget about the overall impact…

My mother saw a saying when we were children and would often quote it when we were growing up in relation to our education and making decisions for ourselves to have the best outcomes. The saying was this

“The Choices we make dictate the Life we Lead”

I got this saying when I was a teenager about the choices around education, drugs, obeying the law etc… What I did not understand (then) was that the food choices I was making was having a very real impact on my quality of life. It was easier to justify the choice each day and not see the overall picture.

Everyday the food choices I make dictate the type of life I can lead. If i fill myself with junk, I will feel sluggish, tired and not perform at my best. If I eat good, “Clean” veg and protein, limit the intake of sugar and carbs then I feel good, avoid the peaks and troughs and can ustilise my body to Live The life I Want to lead 

All that being said – I did eat carbs, sugar and enjoyed my Christmas… I now need to put Christmas behind me (and all the treats that it brings) and make sure my routines and food choices are on track into the new year !

It begins NOW not tomorrow, It begins with the next Choice and then the one after that – because I know that Tomorrow Never Comes..

So Keep making good Choices, till next time

Lin xox

Food Day, Tuesday; Tuna, Chickpea and Asparagus Salad

Ready to be eaten!

Summer is the season for a good salad & I love a good salad.

I had some asparagus that needed to be used, and I needed to eat Protein after an hour and a half of training. So with those two in mind I grabbed the asparagus, a can of tuna & threw together a few more items to make filling yet light salad.

I was cooking for myself tonight,  this will serve 1 person for a full dinner. (Mind you I only managed to finish about half of it.)

I put it all on a dinner plate as I go and then it is ready to eat…So what is in it?                     1 Large Handful of rocket and baby spinach leaf mix.                                                        1/6 Red Capsicum (Bell Pepper) cut into strips.                                                                                           6 Asparagus Spears (panfried in olive oil spray for 5 -8 mins until they brown a little)        1/4 of a red onion in slices. (I wilted in the hot pan with the asparagus for a minute) Remove the Asparagus and Onion – add to salad plate.                                                               1/2 can of Chickpeas (200g) (drained, washed and warmed in the pan for 1 min) plate up     90gm Canned Tuna (flaked over the top)                                                                        40gm Goats Feta (or regular if you prefer)

I heat and reduce a couple of tablespoons of balsamic vinegar in a pan and then spoon over the top, if you don’t like balsamic substitute for your preferred dressing.

Enjoy you summer salads!

Lin xox

Trigger Happy! – Planning, Success and Resolutions…

The Loaded Gun!

Emotional eating and figuring out triggers for this has long been an issue for me.

I got to a point in life that I was basically eating for any reason, happy, sad, frustrated, lonely, tired, guilty, anxious, rejected, bored… you get the picture..

But what I have learnt is that  it is not just the trigger and my food drug of choice at that time that is the problem. It was also opportunity and situation.

I had set up my life (over many years of reinforcing poor choices) to have a constant supply of food, situations and opportunities to allow these triggered food reactions to occur. I had allowed my lifestyle to revolve around food – buying food, storing food, preparing food, eating food, blah blah blah..

The lap band took out the ability (for most of my eating) for me to binge eat and stuff my feelings down… The barrier that it put in place allowed me to slowly address the emotional eating and break them down. The opportunities and situations decreased. I began to make smart choices and re-frame my relationship with food and my feelings.

Now that I have had the lap band and it is adjusted to be a bit more open, and I can eat a little more, I have noticed that I need to work on this area a little more and revisit it again.

Earlier in the week I had a situation where I was feeling tired, anxious, worried and a little guilty. I was at work and near the “social club shop” where tempting treats of chocolate, chips and soft drink lay in wait. The chocolate did not survive…

I analyzed my behaviour a little later, figured out what was going on emotionally, and what else was a threat that day – why didn’t I stick to my plans… It was because I hadn’t prepared for work that day properly. I hadn’t packed the foods I knew I would need to have at my desk and avoid going into the “shop”. I didn’t drink enough water and my sleep pattern was more whacked than usual.

I have good, strong plans and work at them (really well) most days!                                        I do not buy junk food for my house anymore, I have a supply of hummus and vegies to snack on, some sugar free 85% dark chocolate, and I have changed my habits.                       I now rarely watch TV (TV and eating used to go hand in hand for me –  I watched (and ate) more hours away than I care to remember) I now prefer to exercise, read, go out, live an actual life.

But the point here is for me to keep acknowledging that successful people plan; they then work their plan, learn from their mistakes, reflect – adjust and move forward…

The Lesson learnt from today;

*Plan and follow through with the plan and have a back up plan in place.

* Work out and write down what is going on and bothering me before I reach mindlessly for the junk food… (If I can see it at the time) If I don’t see it till after, acknowledge what is going on and figure out a way to constructively deal with it.

*If I fall down – don’t kick myself while I am down there! – Help myself get up take stock and reflect;                                                                                                                          What didn’t work, why? who is involved?                                                                         What can I control? (i.e my reaction, behaviour, attitude)                                                   What can’t I control? (other people? their actions and reactions, work load etc)                   What will I change and adjust? What is a realistic new and modified plan? How do I keep moving forward.

And while I think that all this writing and reflecting about it is good, the proof as they say is in the Pudding…. (Did someone say pudding 🙂 )

This type of thinking and reflecting can apply to more areas of life than just food, diet and exercise.  With the craziness of “New Years Resolutions” just weeks away, It may help to think about the cycle of planning, working the plan, reflecting and readjusting plans, rather than, off the cuff resolutions that make you feel crap when you have forgotten about them in a matter of days, weeks or months.

2012 is shaping up to be tough year… It will be tough to maintain the fitness and weight loss that I have built this year… That is the challenge though and one I aim to meet!

Thanks for stopping by, till next time

Lin xox

(Dancing) Running in the Dark

They say it changes when the sun goes down!

I loved the song by Bruce Springsteen when I was a kid… But what I love more now is running in the Dark.

I love to get home from shift, and before I can make any excuses throw on my running kit and head out onto the streets.

The brain game to get out of the door and actually run, usually begins at the Hwy turn off about 1km from home. This is how it plays out…

Fit Lin – Mmm I should go for a run now.

Lazy Lin – Nah you had a hard shift  (is there any other kind?) don’t worry about it!

Fit Lin – Comon, You know you love a run, It’s that old attitude that helped keep you fat.

Lazy Lin – Oh yeah, your right thanks for the reminder.

Fit Lin – No worries..

Somedays It is harder than that – I get home and am still back and forth – Friday morning after a Thursday night shift was one of those mornings. I walked to the fridge to get some cold water and saw a Post It note that I put on there a few weeks ago – the quote was something I picked up off a TV show – the football coach said “All it takes is all you got” It stuck a chord with me at the time –  and again when I read it this morning.

What is All I Got? – Well if i am breathing and healthy enough to go for a run I should damn well be out there. So I put on my gear and walked out the door… As soon as I started to turn the legs over, I felt happy and remembered that I LOVE TO RUN….

One Big Plus is that I really love to run in the dark..  I came across an article on Nike a few days ago that talks about how we think we run faster in the dark. (see link below)   It is all about how our brains perceive the world around us, depth perception and the difference the dark makes to that. I don’t really care why, but I always prefer to run in the dark. And on Friday morning I ran the quickest back half that I have ever done over 6km. My back end (the last 3km of my run not my butt 😉 )  was all run in sub 7min k’s… A goal I have been working towards cracking by the end of this year. Whoo Hoo!

Till next time – Lin xox

Nike Running – News Blog – Night Speed Ahead: Why We Run Faster in the Dark.

Where’s your head at?

Escaping from negative thought patterns is hard work.

Recently someone introduced me to the concept of gentleness. Now I can hear some of you now say What the??, Yes, I know what being gentle means, and as a social worker, friend and family member, I know I can be gentle to others,

But gentle to myself – well that is where it gets hard.


When this concept was floated, it kind of stuck a chord with me. I have beaten myself down for years, told myself that because I was fat, I didn’t deserve to be “happy”, I didn’t deserve good things in life, I was a failure, blah, blah, blah – you get the idea. Bascially I spent the majority of my day mentally beating myself up on every aspect of my life.         And let me say this is not the mindset of someone who will succeed at anything.

Body acceptance and being gentle to yourself is sooo important when it comes to changing in the long term…. I found this article that explains it a little.

“We may balk at the idea of body acceptance. If we accept our bodies, won’t we become complacent? If we embrace our imperfections, won’t we lose our motivation to exercise or eat right? Actually, the opposite is true. Some studies have shown that a healthy body acceptance actually encourages us to exercise and eat right. The reason? People who are comfortable with their bodies emphasize function over appearance, so they eat more intuitively, eating foods that make them feel good when they’re hungry. Meanwhile, people who diet because of body dissatisfaction are more likely to fail.via The Perfect Body – How to Accept Your Body Through Exercise.”

Looking back (Ahh don’t we love hindsight) I can now see that by hating myself, I was not allowing myself the space to build on any positive changes. Changing and Escaping from this mental game was part of what allowed me to change and keep changing.

It started with me believing that this time – with the Lap Band, I would have a tool that would help me succeed. In fact I think the Lap Band allowed me some mental space, it gave me a physical barrier to stop eating too much. This assisted me in looking at the weight that slowly came off, and over time (months and years) realising that I could win at this as it was not coming back on. I started to really believe that the weight was coming off for good. That I could accept the fact that I was changing, and that I might get to a place I was OK with. It also stopped the daily ritual I had of mentally abusing myself for eating too much or not doing enough exercise.

It is important to note here that I don’t think that being gentle of myself is the same as making excuses for eating poorly or not exercising, that to me (now) is not negotiable…         Being gentle means I will not abuse my mind, call myself names etc. I will speak positively to myself and say “anti up girl you can do it”, “stay strong” and “Yes I can”

I still struggle with being gentle with myself, it is a new concept to think about… But I now realise it has been something that I have been practicing unconsciously over the past few years. I am not skilled at it yet… I am still scared of putting weight on, and I am still incredibly driven and feel bad when I don’t exercise or eat something I perhaps could have said no to. But I now know that mentally abusing myself was part of the cycle that kept me obese. While I am gentle to clients, friends and family, Now I need to practice being accepting and gentle to the person I will spend the rest of my life with… Me.

I hope that after reading this you will think about being more gentle to yourself too and rephrase old negative thoughts to a new positive framework… I can change, I will succeed, I have strength, I am enough.

Till next time, Lin xox

Food Day – Tuesday, Paella Inspired Baked Beans

All ready to be Baked in the Oven!

I love to cook, and in the past have posted pics to FB of the food I have made.

I often get comments from friends wondering where their serve is, or asking for recipes. So I have decided that as part of my blog I will try to share the food I have been making and eating on here, Hence the Food Day – Tuesday! After all what would a blog be without a regular update that includes  a catchy or trite “day” title in it 😉

Today’s recipe is brought to you by the letter “B” – and the left overs that I had in my fridge and cupboard. The “B” is for Baked Beans (not everyones cup of Tea) but these are not the Bean’s means Heinz canned type, these are the tasty home baked variety.

If you are not a fan of beans, maybe you could give them another go, or stop reading now No offence taken!… This recipe was inspired by the fact I am trying to limit my carb intake at the moment, and eat more protein and veg. I had left over roast chicken in the fridge, a chorizo sausage and thought – i can’t have paella because of the rice… Last week I was reading some recipes and Homemade Baked Beans was one… Bamm the two concepts came together in my mind and Paella Inspired Baked Beans was born!

Ingredients                                                                                                                            1 Brown Onion,cut in half then sliced                                                                                   1 Chorizo Sausage (smoked avail from supermarket deli), take off the skin and cut lengthways into half and then lengthwise again into long strips, i then chop into cubes.    1/2 Red Capsicum (Bell Pepper), sliced into small lengths                                        100gm Cooken Chicken (I used a BBQ chicken breast), chopped into cubes                  1 Clove Garlic, minced I used a garlic press, but your could chop finely.                           2 x Canned Cannelli Beans (Approx 420gm each) drained and rinsed.                            1 x Tblspn Tomato Paste, if you dont have any use tomato sause.                                     1 x Can of Chopped Tomoates (420gm)                                                                             1 x Can Water. (Approx 420ml)                                                                                             2 x Tblspn Worcestershire Sause.

Method ;                                                                                                                                  Put your oven on to warm up at 150c, Place a little olive oil or spray into a fry pan, heat and then add the Chorizo, fry this until it starts to sizzle and release the fat and paprika flavour into the pan, this will not take long, and shake the pan a little to move the sausage and stop it burning.                                                                                                                    Next add onion and stir to soak up the flavour from the chorizo, the onion will start to caramelise and then add capsicum to the pan, it will absorb the favour and begin to caramelise too. The onions and capsicum will soften and begin to break down.                  Next add my chicken stir, add garlic next (I find if you add it earlier it can burn and gives a bitter flavour) stir it through, next add the tomato paste, stir together.                                Now add the beans to the mix. Stir and cook for a minute then add the tinned tomatoes, water and Worcestershire sauce.                                                                                             I cook for a few more minutes in the frying pan to bring it all together, check the seasoning of the sauce and add a little salt or more worcertershire to your taste.

You could eat it now if you don’t have time and skip the oven stage,(add only 1/2 the water if you do this) but baking them give you a lovely flavour as the baking breaks down the beans a little and they have a creamy texture inside.

Transfer it to a oven bake dish, cook uncovered for 1 hr  on 150c. Serve with a squeeze of lemon for a little extra flavour!

Well my oven just chimed and they are ready now so, Bon Appetite

Lin xox

Who’s that Girl in the Photo?

Ever not recognised yourself?

I had a bit of a crazy moment on Saturday night. I was out with my training group for our Christmas Party (we might train hard – but we party harder!) It was a great night with lots of fun, a few drinks and crazy dance moves. But I did have a slight melt down internally regarding photos.

Photos are still really hard for me to deal with. I love taking Photos, I am part of a photography group, have an OK digital SLR and like to capture a shot or two… I don’t usually take photo’s of people, portraiture photograpghy is not really my thing.

But all that being said, I don’t like my photo being taken at the best of times. I am OK sometimes to pose with other people, but I really struggle with it…                                           I know that people love capturing moments at events, and I am not opposed to them in theory. But I don’t like photos of just me – at events or anytime; Even when I put them on here I am pushing myself to be honest and real. I hated photos of me when I was massive, and struggle now even though I am getting smaller. In some respects they are harder now –  as I don’t really “see” me in them yet.

Group photos are a little easier, If you give me a friend to stand with – that makes it a bit better! Sometimes I have  woken up (especially after night shift) and there are these images on Facebook, and I think “is that me? I don’t look like that” and  there is serious a “disconnect” moment;  So please don’t be offended if I untag myself, and I may ask you not to put images up or take photos of me.  It will take time (I think) to make my brain realise that I am the woman in these photos. But at the moment there is this disconnect and the only way I can deal with it is slowly and by trying to have some control.

All these crazy new brain wires need to somehow establish a new connection, make that connection strong and the new pathway will hopefully become easier to link the me in real life, with the image of me that is captured…  I just hope that I don’t short circuit in the mean time 🙂

Till next time – Lin xox

P.S – One day I will post a before photo and a now photo – it is a big step and one that I am still working up too!)

Breaking Goals….

My Runners, the Brooks "addiction" series which is quite apt.

Discovering running this year has been part of rediscovering myself, challenging myself and what I am capable of. Running to music, with no music, when I am tired, it is hot, wet, windy, in the middle of the night, at dawn, sunrise, dusk, about every time of the day now I come to think about it (this is mainly due the the fact I work night shifts)

I started at a personal training group Step Into Life (SIL) on the 31st of March this year. I love this group; at SIL I have made some excellent friends there who helped me settle into the new area and encouraged me and supported me in my fitness goals. (An extra  big thank you to my good friend Dean who introduced me to SIL and many of the people there)

Why all the back story on SIL, well SIL was how I started running properly, and was part of the reason for my success. I was speaking with our Trainer Dave last week (Dave btw is amazing and always knows how hard to push me) and he reminded me of the goal that I made when I joined in March. One of my goals was to was to run 5km without stopping by the end of the year. My first SIL session involved running, and I couldn’t make it anymore than 300m without stopping to walk.

Dave provided me with the best running advice I have ever received.  He told me to run really slowly at a pace that I felt I could keep up, and not run out of breath. He went on to explain that this way my body would get used to the action of running and over time I would go further and get quicker, but I would develop stamina in my legs and lungs. This totally worked for me. In the past i have tried Couch to 5km programs where you walk, run, walk, run etc. This didn’t work for me as I went to fast and didn’t give my body the time to develop the lungs and legs to this new way of moving.

The day after my 1st SIL session on April 1st, I went back to the same path (a 2km circuit) and ran the whole way… Now looking back “ran” may be a little strong a term, slow jog (or sl-og) may have been more accurate, and at 10min per km, I had been walking quicker on my daily beach walks. But it was a start, I made it without stopping and to me, then, it WAS Running.

Things progressed quickly from there, by the end of April I was running 4km a few times a week and had taken 1min 30sec off per km… On 1st of May I ran my 1st  5km… And set a new goal to move towards completing my first 10km…. But more on that another time…

The point of this blog entry is that when people ask me how did I start running (and I do get asked this a lot), I answer very slowly and by not comparing myself to others.

I could actually walk faster than I was running when I started, Yes everyone could have been looking at me and thinking – WOW that woman is slow… But focusing on that wouldn’t have helped me achieve MY goal…

Focusing on my improvements, being consistent, committed and not giving up even when it was hard – that is what allowed me to build on my fitness and crack my 5km goal well before I thought was possible ( BTW Dave told me when I set that goal that I would be running further than that by the end of the year –  and he was right! )

Till next time, Lin xox


I got up this morning for my first Triathlon… and I remembered that Mordialloc was the first triathlon I came to as a spectator about 4 years ago. Today I competed at Mordi ( I also have the privilege of living here)

I remembered coming down to watch the Tri, being so proud of my friend Julie as she competed; but I also remembered the feelings of shame and embarrassment of being near people that fit and healthy, I was close to my heaviest then.

There has been a lot of work, sweat and a few tears along my journey to today, and this is another moment to be savoured & enjoyed.

I completed a Mini Triathlon today (200m swim, 8km ride and 2km run)- and I enjoyed it… It was hard in the water with a big swell, a few kicks in the head and throwing up salt water… But all good things that I strive for and find satisfaction in are hard to start with.

I loved the ride (except couldn’t get my bike into the highest gears, something wasn’t clicking in) but was able to gain some ground there, and then I ran the 2km (felt that my legs weren’t working properly) but kept at it and enjoyed it.

My parents and a few friends were there to support me, and I competed with a few friends from my personal training group. (Shout out to Lou, Greg and Cam) A big special thanks to Lou for all her hot tips and being kind enough to help me feel at ease about the sport in the lead up.

Overall I am not the woman that I was 4 years ago, but then the aim for all of us is to grow as we live out our lives…

But I am glad that I can remember her, that woman from four years ago, reflect, and then say I was strong enough to change, and I am strong enough to remain fit, healthy & strong everyday.

It is a choice, a choice that I have to keep making Everyday!

Lin. xox