10km training run; Hill Running.

Today was my longest run since surgery… And I feel great.  I actually don’t mind running hills. I like the satisfaction of beating them, and while I don’t actually carry a stick, I do beat them in my mind with a big, big stick.

Up at 7am this morning, a little reluctant to get out of bed, but I got out from under that warm doona and I headed down to the coast.

Mount Eliza has some great hills for running and our trainer mapped a course that is challenging and makes you work.

The first 1.5km is up a hill, a long gradual climb of roughly 70m in elevation. It keeps going after a short reprieve up a few more hills to roughly 80m elevation, then back down to sea level… It was a 5km course that we got to do twice… As the Run Melbourne Half Marathon is a twice around course, this is how we train.

So after I did it once, it was back to that long gradual hill, I just kept putting one foot in front of the other. I did not stop once this morning, I did not walk any hill or section of the run (with the exception of the slippery set of stairs) I might have been the slowest in my group, but I am not competing against any one, just myself, and my mind.

When running hills I may slow down a little, but I don’t stop and I don’t walk – I keep that running action and use my glute muscles like pistons to push me up the hills. It is not how fast you are, It is not about who beats you, it is about getting it done! and today, well I got it done!

Hill runs are great for building power and endurance into your legs because as you run you are using your body weight as resistance up the hills. I have found in the past that after a hard hill run, I run better the next week. It improves my strength and then when I go back to flats I notice an improvement in my time.

It would be easy to take the easy option when planning training runs and avoid the big hills, or map an easier route, but I encourage all you runners out there to put in some hill work every couple of weeks and notice how it improves your running. Here are a few tips; Make sure you warm up properly before setting out. Drop your regular speed a little on the hill and take a shorter stride. On the down hill avoid placing your foot way out in front and opening up the speed, while this is tempting this can cause a lot of stress to be placed through your knee and makes you more prone to injuries. Listen to your body and if your heart rate is climbing then slow the pace down a little but try to keep up the running action because this is not about speed as much as getting it done!

Finally – stretch out properly after the run, take your time to add a few more stretches over the day and the next day… and allow your body some time to recover before your next run.

Here is a good article from Runner World too!  Can Hill Running Make You Faster?.

Till next time, Lin xox

PS – I am no Dr, so if you are starting to run make sure you get cleared to exercise and all that jazz, don’t just listen to me!

Coping & Routine

We all have strategies that we utilise to cope with navigating our world. I was discussing this idea earlier in the week and reflecting upon some of my personal practices.

Coping mechanisms can be healthy and unhealthy.  Having a big night out with a few too many drinks and bad moves on the dance floor can be good to let off some steam, drinking by yourself every night not healthy… Eating a bowl of ice-cream after  hard day not too bad occasionally; eating the tub, a large pizza and a packet of cookies (in one sitting), not so good.

Exercising is a healthy option, often under utilised and under estimated. Studies have shown that even a simple 30 min walk each day can help in improving mood and decreasing some of the symptoms of depression. I wrote recently about not being able to run (which is my personal preferred coping mechanism now). When this was off the table, I slipped into some unhealthy coping strategies and ate more than I usually would, in particular foods that I attempt to limit.

Part of the reason that I believe that I went back to older patterns quicker was that I hadn’t re-established my exercise routine after surgery in February. I wasn’t back to training until April, the routine wasn’t solid yet, the routine didn’t have enough time to solidify prior to the confluence of life situations that lead to me feeling overwhelmed. Here is the key… Pattern and Routine.

Pattern and Routine are essential for us to be able to navigate through each day and keep our emotions, thoughts and feelings in a state of relative order. To be in a space of emotional safety and allow us to move through life and cope with what the world flings at us. When our pattern and routines are not established, take a hit or become disrupted we can fall back into easier or older coping mechanisms.

Recently, when my “Perfect Storm” of stressors rose up it wiped me, my running and my exercise out. This lead to falling back into old thinking and patterns – Honestly, this scared the crap out of me. I have worked hard over the past 4 years to move the weight and change my patterns of coping. While I didn’t completely fall off the wagon or relapse – I felt a little out of control and that I was trying to hold onto water with it only to run straight through my fingers.

This got me thinking – There will likely come a time when I am faced with another “Perfect Storm” of stressors. That is just the way of the world; we cannot (despite trying) control all the factors of our lives. This has pushed me to think about extending my coping mechanisms and routines to include other healthy coping mechanisms on a regular basis.  This will allow me to build into my routine new coping mechanisms and use them on a regular basis, so, that if the day comes that I am not able to run or walk, or move as I would like, I will have another healthy way of working through the stress, thoughts, feelings and emotions. It is a bit like exercising a muscle, the more you train and work that muscle the stronger it becomes. I need to exercise new coping strategies, make them strong and build them into my life.

So my question to myself and one that you can ask yourself is this; What do I enjoy that can become a solid practice in my life  (part of my routine) that will allow me to cope and deal with the stressors of life in a healthy way?

Some ideas for me to explore are having focusing methods and projects,  understanding meditative practice better, and incorporating reading and writing as reflective practice.

I would be interested in reading your ideas or thoughts about this so feel free to leave a comment.

Till next time, Lin.

Mum

I am not a mum to my own children. I have been a foster carer in a past life, and that gave me an incredible insight into parenting at some levels. It is the hardest job in the world being a parent. It means that your life is not just about you anymore, and that you are responsible for another human being.

I remember calling my mum after my first week as a single parent foster carer of 3 teenagers; I thanked her for putting up with all my teenage angst, and told her how I didn’t know how she did it…She told me it was OK, that she loved me, and encouraged me not to give up, that I was doing OK… She laughed when I told her all her sayings that I had used in that week and always swore I would never say to my kids.

I also felt ashamed for some of the hateful things I had said to my mother growing up, names called, anger screamed. Often it was not my mother that I was angry with, but another situation, person or I felt generally sad about my life… I was angry at Mum because she was safe, I knew she would always love me, never reject me; that was something that I never doubted.

Mum was always safe, but it wasn’t until I grew older that we grew closer. I didn’t really understand my mothers strength until I became a woman myself. It wasn’t until I grew up that I saw and understood her love for family, that she would put her own needs and wants aside and solider on in the face of tough times and opposition. It was when I realised this that I finally saw my mothers true beauty and strength.

Neither of my parents are perfect people, we all have our flaws – but I know this.             My Mother is a woman who loves her children, their partners, her grandchildren and extended family with the heart of a lioness combined with a spirit of grace, wisdom and forgiveness.

Not everyone gets a Mother like mine – the work I do is testament to many young people who don’t get a childhood or parents that they need and deserve. My two brothers and I are the lucky ones. Forget about the 70 million dollar Powerball draw – We won the lotto when we got a mum that loves us unconditionally and with passion to see us become the best version of ourselves we can be.

Thanks Mum & Happy Mothers Day,  Love Lin xox

P.S. Remember to tell your Mum what she means to you… and not just on Mothers Day.

Total Eclipse of the Heart

I blogged earlier in the week that there has been some stuff I have dealt with over the past fortnight, and that I might share that later. So here is the story… A fortnight ago I ended up in Hospital with some bad abdominal pain. They did a bunch of tests, and couldn’t find the source. I saw 5 different doctors over the course of my stay, and was given 3 different diagnosis, and a bunch of wrong info.

When I was discharged the doctor told me they had found something else that needed to be followed up, she then said it could wait until I saw my GP on Monday to discuss it and get further tests. The Dr said I could read it when I got home in the letter to my GP as my friends were there to pick me up and take me home. Bad practice right there to start. It was serious news, she should have asked my friends to step outside and given me the info, and allowed me to ask questions, and not send me home alone to read it myself without any way of being able to follow-up with my Doctor until Monday.

I got home and read that one test (of the 4 I had that day) detected fluid backed up on the right side of my heart. In fact I read “Right Sided Heart Failure”… Not helpful… I was stressed. Saturday was a nightmare of a day – I felt so alone and scared. I rang my mum in tears at 12:15am on Sunday morning – I was a wreck…. So Mum and Dad drove down arriving at 1am to try to calm their daughter who was a mess. It was a tough weekend all round for a number of reasons, I am very grateful to have parents who love me and understand that sometimes, despite the courageous facade I put up to the world, I can’t actually handle everything…

Off to my GP on Monday and she sent me for an Echocardiogram… I had that last Thursday and I had to wait a week to get the results. Waiting for the results since first reading the test from the hospital has been a time of high anxiety.  I haven’t coped well with it. I guess I felt that I had abused my body for so long, being obese for so many years that I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. I felt that now that I kinda have some of my sh!t together, loving life and enjoying exercise, having all these fitness goals this year, the rug was going to be ripped out from under me…

Back to the results. I saw my GP yesterday for the results…. I got a clear bill of health – My Heart is all good and functioning within normal limits. Yee Haw!

Giddy Up, was my thought, I am back. I walked out of the doctor’s clinic feeling that I had dodged a bullet and  a smile from ear to ear! So I am back to training, running, and cycling and no need to keep the heart rate down… In fact my trainer did smash me a little last night (Thanks Dave – love it, bring it on more I say)

Being fit and healthy is the priority for me, this scare was again a good reminder that my best defence against illness and disease is a good offence… So I will keep eating well and moving more…. Remembering every time I don’t feel like running how I felt when I thought I wouldn’t be able to again.

But why write this post? Why share so much of my life on here… Despite what some people think, it is not about getting personal attention..  It is about letting people know that change is possible. Life is a choice. Everyday I spent overweight I was closer to dying. Everyday I was depressed, tired and at some levels did not want to live. Now that I have a life again, I don’t want anything to stop me living it. This is why I write my blog. It is about living everyday, but I do have to remember that I have to live with the consequences of my former decisions and life. If you or someone you love or care about is struggling with obesity, know that there is hope… If I can change my life – anyone can, there are solutions, there are second chances;  But I do understand this can be hard to believe if you are in the grip of obesity, there are days that I never believed that could be possible…  Part of my goal now is to be an example to people who feel that they have no hope, no future – to look them in the eye and say; I understand the pain, your journey, I have walked the long, slow, painful mile in those shoes…

You can reclaim your life. It can be better than you even imagine or dream, I never thought it was possible for me, yet here I am living it!

Till next time, Lin xox

Society, Church, Sex & Being Single…

On Monday there was a story doing the rounds of the Australian Media outlets. It featured on Channel 9 news in Melbourne. There is a link to the Courier Mail article at the end for the full context.. Overall it was not a well researched article, and was full of quotes from people designed to get a response and polarize opinion. Well it got me, hook line and sinker… or should I say stinker.

The premise of the story was this; Grab a man if you are a single girl or miss out. (Subtext you are to blame for being single, It is your fault for wanting it all) In fact what really frustrated me was Catholic Church Priest Father Tony Kerin episcopal vicar for justice and social service in the Archdiocese of Melbourne, and his gems (*cough*) of wisdom, that went a little something like this;

“Today’s women wanted the best of both worlds.” “Are women getting too choosy? I’d say yes,” Fr Kerin, speaking on behalf of the archdiocese, said.

“I think many are setting aside their aspirations for later, but by the time they get around to it, they’ve missed their chance. In trying to have it all, they end up missing out.”

WOW – thanks Father; We want the best of both worlds – Really – Too Choosy you say! Can’t we just aspire to have the best life we possibly can? Of course relationships are about compromise, working together, learning to live with differences and  live together.  But we no longer live in a world where as women we are reliant on a marriage to make sure we are “looked after”. I want a partner that is an intellectual, emotional, and sexual equal and treats me like one. No I am not willing to settle for less than that.

I didn’t happen to meet anyone in my 20’s for a bunch of reasons; “Never mind” says the Catholic Church, “that’s your lot in life, you’ve missed your chance Lin now live with it”. Or in Cartoon like fashion I imagine it a little like  this “Haha ha you tried to have it all woman!!! Now take that (slap)”.

There’s an expletive I want to scream at this priest it goes something like; “F#&K OFF!!

Honestly I wasn’t trying to have it all, I was just trying to live my life… My 20’s were hard work and a huge learning curve… I am kind of glad I didn’t get married then, I was a mess; physically and emotionally.

The very statement of women “trying to have it all that they end up missing out” is so misogynistic; And then there is the push to get married, like that doesn’t have anything to do with Christian views on sex.

But hey, don’t worry girls, the  Church doesn’t seem to be such lovers of women unless you are the virgin mother! After all it was a female that ate the apple and lead Adam astray, Women who are depicted as adulterers, and then the bibles love of highlighting the female role of seductress who will lead men astray…Yeah the church has a really healthy view of  relationships and sex… They don’t place any guilt around sex at all right?

But wait there’s more! The article also explains that there are substantially fewer available women than men out there … I also have an issue with the way this was stated in the article, and here is a quote from the article in relation to the work of Demographer Bernard Salt (who is promoting his new book that talks about this topic);

“Demographer Bernard Salt calculated that for single women aged 25 to 34, there is substantially less heterosexual, well-off, young men available after excluding those who were already married, in a de facto relationship, were gay, a single parent or earning less than $60,000 a year.”

The article here makes the assumption that single women aren’t interested in any men that are single parents or earning less than $60,0000 a year. The subtext of this to menfolk; If you have kids, well then women are not interested, if you earn less that $60,000 in the last financial year, sorry mate you’re not a viable option. How bloody insulting to men and women. So as a woman, I must only be interested if you are single, no kids and earn over $60,000. What are you smoking Bernie??

I have dated guys with kids, it is not a deal breaker. I have also dated men that earn less money than me… I can earn my own money thanks. But the figure in the article is also arbitrary given I have dated tradies that earn less than me on paper for tax reasons, but more in real life in their business.

This article does confirm that dating out there is hard. There does seem to be less viable men out there than women. However my single male friends tell me they aren’t finding it any easier either, and that finding a female partner is hard too.

This whole article screams of fear mongering to me; it screams of 1960’s expectations of the lives we need to lead. Hey ladies if you’re not in a relationship of some description there is something wrong with you..can anyone hear the word “Spinster”sitting on the cusp of this article… (Now where are my cats and balls of yarn!)

Thanks Church again for telling me (and other women) that we should follow your prescribed playbook for our lives. Hang on I know what to do; Let me find a man who I don’t get along with, marry him,, quit my job, have a couple of kids and bake all day…    Not that there is anything wrong with being married, having kids and baking all day …     But God forbid you are gay, bisexual or having sex outside of marriage… No, because according to the church that is forbidden, God doesn’t approve, there can be no love for you, no grace… You don’t fit the marriage mould, or aren’t allowed into the “club”.

Now I know plenty of Christians that wouldn’t agree with what the priest said about single women being picky, but I know plenty that would as well.

I know Christians and churches that love and accept straight, gay, bi, tri – well anyone really. But there are also plenty that don’t and actively promote hatred towards people who don’t fit their mould.

What I am sick of is this… Faith groups (of any description, denomination or religion) bullying groups of people and making “holy” unhelpful statements about how people should live their lives. Women in particular have been bashed enough by faiths across the globe. For crying out loud, most women (and men) I know are just trying to navigate their lives the best they can, with what they have, and get through each day. Leave us alone Priests and demographer’s… We got enough on our plates…

Rant over (for now)

Till next time; Lin xox

Grab a man or miss out, girls warned | The Courier-Mail.

Hard Days Week… No excuses

It has been a tough 10 days. A few little setbacks along the way, some soul-searching, and a reality check have all been in there.  I had a great fun day with friends today and I am doing ok, but instead of a hard days night it has been roughly 10 days worth of crap. But the point of this blog post is not to gather sympathy, it is to be real with myself and my readers…

I may blog about some of the crap that has gone down later in the week; and while it is safe to say while I am doing a lot better with all the obstacles put in my way, I have fallen off the food wagon a little.

I am writing this post, because some people assume that I have all of my food and eating patterns together now. Well people, that is a fallacy. I still have my days where I lean towards eating through emotions…Most of the this behaviour is in the past, But compounded issues on issues resulted in me taking a side step into this dangerous territory.  Ice cream is not my friend, and it slides through my band like hot butter. With all its evil sugar, carbs and calories.

The hardest part is I am not supposed to run at the moment until I get a medical clearance (Thursday can’t come quick enough)… And running makes me feel good, helps me deal with stress and as I have stated many times re-aligns my head. No running equals Naughty Lin trying to come out to self sabotage with ice-cream and carbs. Not helpful.

A friend had on her Facebook the other day this little gem of a statement (thanks MAE)

This is truth… It is about making wise choices everyday.  So what if I can’t run at the moment… I can walk, and I can walk for hours if I need too, I can lift weights, and go to yoga… Running may be my favourite exercise, but I can go low intensity for a while. Everything else is an excuse, I have had enough excuses for a lifetime, I am done with them… So my resolution, me being accountable to me (and anyone who reads this),  I intend to choose wisely again, focus on me again – and let all the other crap fall to the way side.

Till next time, Lin xox

Safety First

Short and Sweet today, this post is very random for me! But I felt that I should write it. Today’s life lesson is about Safety, the Letter T and the number 4.

I awoke to a grey skied day with rain, rain, and a little more rain for good measure. I had a bunch of errands today and out into the grey I headed. I was a little distracted on the road, water flying everywhere, my head a jungle of thoughts, ideas and concerns. On the way up Nepean Hwy towards the City I had to brake hard, “thanks truck for swerving into my lane, very helpful!” . The tyres didn’t quite react as well as I hoped, there was a little aqua plane action, but I pulled up just in time. On Freeway home from the beautician in the afternoon, this time a “P” plate driver came into my lane unannounced and uninvited; again with the brakes, and I felt that (despite the rain) that either the brakes or the tyres weren’t just reacting like usual. I decided that I should get the tyres checked, I thought that I was possibly due to replace 2 of them. So stopping at the Highway Tyre store near home I found out that 2 were overdue, the other two were very close to the margin for replacement. My particular tyres are quite specialised in size and profile, so aren’t cheap (typical). But safety is cheaper than an accident or possible life time health complications from one. So I opted to change all 4 Tyres, straight up, just do it!

Why do I write this, I suppose with the change of seasons (and so many near misses in one day on the roads) I wanted to remind my friends and readers to remember to check the thing that keeps you on the road, and often the thing we forget or overlook.

I ended up getting a great deal from my local Tyre Centre, saving around $80 per tyre, and despite the savings, there is no price that I can place on my safety or the safety of those I share the road with.

So Lesson on Safety – Check

Number 4 (tyres) – Check

T – for Tyres and Timeliness – Check

Safe Driving out there,

Till next time – Lin. xox

~ Relationships; Old & New

Marilyn Monroe

“I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”Marilyn Monroe

I have thought a lot about relationships this week. What they are based on, what people expect of us, what we expect and want of ourselves. What I been pondering is two-fold, Old & New, Beginnings and Ends;  Like what happens to relationships (either platonic or romantic) when a divide grows and there seems to be nothing left in common? Or the parties involved aren’t being real anymore? In some respects it is easier when the relationship is romantic, often you kind of know when it’s over or not going to work; this somehow seems to be more difficult with platonic friendships… Can you “break up” with a friend in a nice way… How do you say in a platonic relationship “Look I like you but just not like that anymore, let’s be friends; oh i mean… Um let’s not be friends” Awkward right?

I adore the words of Marilyn Monroe when it comes to relationships; either friendship or romantic… And let’s be honest; relationships aren’t easy; personally I have a habit of just blurting out stuff, being too open and honest – perhaps it is a style of guerilla honesty to see if you can handle me 🙂

For some reason the idea of not being friends with someone anymore doesn’t sit well with us. We all want to be liked, we are social creatures. Redefining relationships may mean that you need to draw in new boundary lines; or it may mean the line is a separation line – fold along the dotted line and cut. ———————————————-

While closing doors on relationships that need to be shut can be hard, Starting Relationships – Well that is hard work too!

I am beginning to learn that Dating is a Minefield, a Minefield people! And, as I am learning, somehow even harder in your 30’s. You see I am now pretty happy with my life, yep sure it would be nice to be in a relationship (with a great guy obviously) but single-dom is pretty attractive most of the time, and is a hell of a lot better than being in a bad relationship. As Marilyn’s quote at the top says, I am impatient, a little insecure (after years of being obese and ridiculed who wouldn’t be right) and like us all, I can definitely be selfish… but I do have a best side too 😉 and Dating is about finding that person that can handle your best and worst, that doesn’t happen overnight. Being in a relationship requires building a friendship, and trying along the way to get to know the real person not who you want them to be, or comparing them to your other friends.

Ultimately Dating is a bit of a process; in your 30’s a lot of your friends are married, you have your social circles set and meeting new people can be tough. Meeting new single guys even harder. There is the first date, the text messages, the second date, the phone calls. It is a process, it takes time and while dating is hard work, it is fun as well. Your 30’s presents the problem to that you have developed your personality over a longer period of time, and are more set in your ways. I have some pretty funny stories about some of the people I have met, I’ve learnt more about myself, what I want and don’t want, learnt that the best thing to do when someone won’t stop texting you and you have been clear that you are not interested in pursuing things further, is to ignore the texts (they do stop and nothing you can say will make you look better in their eyes, trust me on that one).  I am not entirely sure dating is time well spent…but hey maybe the next date will prove me wrong, and that’s the point right!

Till next time, Lin xox

Boot Camp, Leaps of Faith & Sucking Marrow from Life

Obstacles of Course - Mental or Physical?

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life…                                                                                                           – Henry David Thoreau from his work Walden: Or, Life in the Woods

I went to Boot Camp and Discovered that I am capable of so much more, I am capable of pushing through fear and self doubt. Capable of working hard for 4 hours at a time, in heat and with little sleep. I sucked the marrow out of life this weekend and loved it!

This past weekend I went with my Step into Life Group (outdoor group personal training) to a Scout Camp Site in Mt Martha. The brief was 4 hours training Saturday afternoon, backed up with another 4 hour session Sunday morning. Over the weekend we carried a metal “rifle” pole  and ran in lines, got punished with a lot of pushups, went through a obstacle course (twice) then put together a “structure” with ropes, water containers, wooden poles, logs, tires all joined together and carried it as a team. We played capture the flag, ran hills in the heat, worked out on sand at the beach, ran relays and more push ups and sit ups…. well you get the picture.                                                                             It was hard work… But as I say, all things that are worth achieving are hard!

Two moments over the weekend stood out for me – the first was conquering something I was afraid to do last boot camp….the Fireman’s Pole. The pole was in the obstacle course, basically you climb a structure, then put your legs around the pole and slide down… sounds simple, but I couldn’t do it last boot camp and I was so scared this time. But with the help, guidance and support of my team I slid down that pole like it was covered in butter! Then celebrated with a decisive fist pump and a big YES!

The next moment was the Leap of Faith…. With the first day and the first 4 hours over, we had some free time before dinner, so 4 of us headed down to the beach.  One of my friends said he knew of a spot just down the road, and that it was not just any beach – It was jumping off a cliff into the water! I thought that it sounded like fun, so down we went to the beach walking down the cliffs to where there were quite a few groups of people (mostly young guys in their 20’s mind you) were jumping off the cliffs into the cool water. It didn’t look high from a distance but standing at the edge was a whole other matter.

My friend went in, (he jumped and didn’t die so i knew it was safe 😉 – No seriously we did check the depth before jumping in… After he was safely in the water  I went down to the edge of the cliff ready to jump – It was here that I FROZE. Yep, there I was with guys in their 20’s around me saying “comon, you can do it” and I was completely frozen. I wanted to jump, but just couldn’t do it I was paralyzed with fear. So I moved back from the edge, shaking and disappointed in myself.

My next friend jumped in – she did a great job and then I decided to have another go, So I moved to the edge, the problem was every time I looked down into the clear water, I just froze… I then decided to focus on my friends faces – stop thinking (and psyching myself out) and just take a step out. And that is what I did – jumping 3.5 – 4 meters into the clear cool water below.

It was a rush as I took that leap off the edge. Facing a fear and pushing through it was awesome – not being stuck on the cliff looking like a sook was good too! I hit the water and popped up to the surface quickly, and it was all over!   After all 4 of us had jumped into the water we swam for a while, and then my friend got out climbed the cliff and jumped the off the 10m cliff – Awesome to watch and his efforts were out of my league!

I remember that my parents used to say to me “if your friends jumped off a cliff, would you follow?” – If they asked my that today the answer would be ABSOLUTELY 🙂

Cliff Diving was not something I would have considered 12 months ago, I loved the jump (in the end) but more than that – I was living life and present in the moment, not eating dip and chips in a corner somewhere, wishing I was living life with everyone else!                                           I had the strength to climb the cliffs down to the spot, the confidence to jump, and the strength to climb up out of the water and climb the rock face back up to the top. That was a great feeling and realization as to how much life has changed for the better…

On Sunday after a beach workout (think lots of sand running and dragging stuff) we had to run 4km back to camp mostly up hill. The last hill was a killer, it was a hot, hot, hot morning and I managed to ran most of it, with a few quick walking breaks along the way… But every time I stopped to walk a bit, I had to keep telling myself – “You are fitter than this” “You can finish this – keep running” – It was a great feeling to finish it – working hard all weekend right to the end was great. Even the DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) today is good pain – It is good because I know that I worked really hard to earn it.

Our trainer Dave put in a great deal of work over the weekend for us to have a fun and challenging time! Thanks Dave! – Plus a big thanks to all my friends and team mates who without encouragement from I wouldn’t have slid down a fire man’s pole, or jumped off a cliff !

While they might not be completely new learnings, this weekend I came away with the following being reinforced;

*I am capable of more than I think, and then some more on top of that too!

*Real friends encourage you to achieve and break down your own barriers.

*I enjoy spending time with people who love living life.

*I will continue to live deliberately and suck the marrow out of life and every moment possible.

Thanks for reading (especially this long post), Till next time,

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