Mental Health

Today is the day I went back.

Back to Dr Rensburg. Well to be honest, I was really going back to see Viola. She is an incredible councillor and so easy to talk to. No judgements. I didn’t look at my weigh-in number. I know it would be a little distressing and that if I am on the program I will feel much better about my weight next week.

As I sit here thinking about my weight, I am also listening to Q&A on the ABC. Whilst my weight is important to my overall wellbeing, I am so lucky compared to many others that suffer from mental health issues. This week is Mental Health Week and they have an incredible line-up of television programs for viewing this week.

Some years ago I needed the care of a number mental healthcare professionals and I cannot speak more highly of the role they play in society.

Please take the time and think about mental health in your community and how you might be able to contribute to someone who might need it.

Like the campaign; R U OK Organisation – a conversation could change a life.

Back. Again.

Today I am grateful for:

The site of: the sun – you can feel summer coming
The sound of: the wind through the trees
The touch of:  clean hands
The smell of: that slightly summer smell in the air
The taste of:  curried egg sandwiches

I am back here again.  A lot has changed. I will report back. Dr. Rensburg next Monday. I am excited.

It’s too cold

Sweet Summer Dreams

Last time I lost a whole bunch of weight was over the 2010 summer period so I didn’t really notice the cold.  Right now I’m 13.5kgs down (that’s nearly 30lbs) and I am cold cold cold all the time which, in turn, leads me to staring at the blogs of the current Northern Hemisphere summer.

One of my favourties is Jeanne Damas. She is this gorgeous 20-something Parisian living a fabulous life. Truthfully it reminds me of my time living in Europe – oh what fun that was and how unburdened I felt back then.  The shot above just makes me long for summer and how healthy and fit I will be.  It keeps me focused.  This is her below.  How carefree she looks – this is what I want (again).


It’s been a crap couple of months, but I have remained totally loyal to the Rensburg program and it has paid dividends. In fact I think it’s helped in some small way as everything else in my life seemed so uncertain.  I haven’t had a drink for nearly 7 weeks and as I mentioned before I am down 13.5 kgs which has made a massive difference to how I look (and feel).

Happy Thursday.

The problem with being able to smell

So I’m sitting at my desk around lunchtime minding my own business when I start to smell that unique and truly magical smell of freshly fried chips.  And not just crappy chips from some local deli that are all soggy, I am talking about hand cut shoestring fries from one of the best little cafés in Perth; The Tuckshop Cafe.

Tuck Shop Cafe Chips

I couldn’t help it.  I got out of my seat and went over to take a look.  Just a look mind you.  There they were looking all crunchy and salty.  I wanted one.  No I wanted two.  No I actually wanted to eat the whole damn lot. I mean who wouldn’t?  I hadn’t had lunch yet as I was running around from one client meeting to the next all morning.

I was in very dangerous territory.

But I knew what to do.  You see I have this inspirational photograph that’s hanging on the wall right behind one of my computer screens.  It’s from an article about ‘curvy model Kate Upton’ from last month’s American Vogue – I have no idea why she isn’t a ‘normal’ model but that’s a whole other blog post.

Kate Upton Vogue

I can feel her smile, her confidence and that’s what I want and that’s what I’m going to get being on the Rensburg program.  I’m not going to get it from some basket of fries that will feel good for a couple of seconds – not to mention the guilt that will settle in for at least a few hours.

It’s also not so much about her body in this shot but the bathing suit.  When I hit my goal weight, these are the bathers I am going to buy, no matter what the cost.  Designed by Chanel, they are so beautiful that it makes all the pain now worth it now.

I think I need to carry this photo in my wallet as well come to think of it…

A change of mind (and heart)


I don’t know how many times on this blog I have said the words “it’s finally time.  I am taking responsibility for my health and happiness”.  Well my friends I am going to say it again.

I’ve had quite a hard time of it lately. I was not looking after my health, I was drinking way too much, I was eating about three times the average amount of food a normal person should eat, sometimes secretly.  All of this ended up with me gaining not only weight but also questioning who I want to be for the rest of my life.

On July 11th this month I turned 47.  Now I’m not big on the age thing.  It is what it is, but this time I could actually notice myself aging. I could see my skin getting that little bit thinner and dry.  My period, which was as reliable as Big Ben, was now all over the place, sometimes not coming for months at a time.  Gravity was beginning to really come calling and I was feeling VERY sorry for myself.

Knowing that I hadn’t had proper ‘get on a plane with a passport vacation’ for years, my oldest and dearest friend talked me into going to Phuket to a luxurious villa.  Needless to say from the picture above it was amazing.

Unfortunately the second night I fell over and badly sprained my ankle leaving it incredibly difficult to walk for the rest of the holiday.  For me this was a real wake up call.  If I don’t start doing something about my health, my weight and my work/life balance the rest of my life is not going to get any better.  If anything, worse.


Our private infinity pool.

We talked a lot on that vacation about health and our lives and where we wanted to be.  He had a good friend who passed away some years ago now.  She tried for years and years to give up smoking but couldn’t. During her career she worked incredibly hard for all they had. She was the hardest of workers.  It came to her one day, a little too late, that if she is such a hard worker, then giving up smoking is just hard work and I know I can do that.

Now I am sure I‘m not doing this story any justice but it rang true with me.  I work bloody hard, so this is just another something I need to work hard at, and to me it makes total sense. I have worked hard all my life in my career; surely I can work hard at something that is going to keep me alive and feeling good.

Yes, it does sound way too easy but it’s put my head into a totally different space and that’s a good thing. So here I go.

But, just a little bit differently this time.

Weight Watchers (again)

To say this has been a disastrous and stressful couple of months in my life would be putting it mildly. I am sure the absence from here has given a clear indication of that.

This long Easter weekend made me ponder about my life, what’s working, what isn’t and the fact that I’ve gained back half of the weight I took off with Dr. Rensburg. And the three I took off at my last 5-week stint with him.

Clearly the Rensburg way is not working for me like it did last time.  This is due to a number of factors, but the main one being it’s just too strict and I cannot deal with such austerity when I have client lunches and dinners at least twice a week.  Now I know that sounds like a poor excuse, but I just can’t do it at the moment.

So this weekend I turned to the other program that’s worked for me in the past.  Weight Watchers online. When I lived in New York I used the first iteration of the online version (2001) to lose around 9kgs. On this program I was also able to manage the client lunches and dinners. The big thing for me will be giving up having a drink in the evening with the boy.  It also (falsely from the research I’ve done) helps me sleep.

So with credit card poised (only $89.85 for three months) I joined.  I spend yesterday familiarizing myself with the way it works – it’s quiet different, as it should be, from when I used it over 9 years ago.

Once again I am embarking on a weight loss program. I feel confident, but I know it will be hard in the first few weeks.  I just have to get through that and I will be OK.  I can plan my week around the points and my client lunches and dinners. No it doesn’t mean that I can order anything I like when I’m out, but I have more options now.  Lean meats and vegetables are always on the menu.  I can even have a glass of wine now and then.

Last night I made Shepard’s Pie Potatoes. Only 6 points and it was delicious (check out the shot above). I love cooking so I’m looking forward to finding and creating some scrumptious low point recipes. Here is a link to the PDF of the recipe above, if you’re so inclined.

Hope you all had a fantastic, chocolate filled Easter.


Staying on track (kind of)

This week has been moving along slowly.  I’ve had a couple of falls off the wagon, but promptly picked myself back up and got on the diet train.  I’m trying so hard not to throw it in and realise that this is a life decision, not a sometimes when I feel like it decision.  That’s a hard thing to do.  It’s not that I’m eating sausage rolls and chips.  I’m all out healthy as you can see from my lunch today – just a little too much of healthy.

Work has been busy and I like it that way.  I am officially hopeless without deadlines looming.  I’ve always been this way and have learnt to accept that I’m like a rudderless boat without clients wanting their work NOW.

I am enjoying my poached egg blog a lot and seem to be getting some great feedback.  I also like how it falls into my eating plan (apart from the toast but I forego my rice cakes that day so it all equals out).  It’s a nice treat for the start of the day.  What I’m amazed about is that most people have an opinion on how they like their poached eggs cooked and what constitutes good vs. bad.  Here’s a link to my rating system and would love to know what you think.

So anyhow that’s been my week.  I thought I would leave you with some goodness I’ve found around the interwebs to enjoy.

These shoes
These chairs
This wreath
This dress
This food photography
This sandwich
This online shop

The boys and I are off to Albany as it’s a long weekend.  A lot of beach walking and swimming for me.


The here and now

It’s so easy to just put food in your mouth (seems rather obvious) without thinking about it.  I mean this is why I’m in the trouble I am now.

So I started thinking about how to stop myself just carelessly putting food in my mouth.  Last time I was on Dr. Rensburg’s diet I use to say to myself “if what you’re eating right now can create the exact same feeling of walking down to the beach in your bathers and feeling confident, then you can have it”.  Hasn’t worked so well this time I must admit.

Then I came across this blog entry from Your Healthisa.  It was written around Christmas 2010 and goes like this:

All you have to ask yourself is, “Can I eat this food only HERE and NOW? Or could I easily eat it tomorrow, or next week, or next month?” If the answer to the question is “only here and now,” then you should probably at least sample whatever it is (if it’s appealing to you)! If the answer is that you could easily eat the food tomorrow or next month, it’s probably a good time to hold out for better treats.

Here’s what I mean. Say your coworker brings in doughnuts that he made himself. He only makes them once a year at the holidays because they’re not easy to make. He says they’re really special and don’t taste anything like the doughnuts you can get at Dunkin’.

If you like doughnuts and are hungry enough to eat one, by all means, DO IT!! These doughnuts are DEFINITELY hear and now treats.

However, if your coworker brings in doughnuts from Dunkin’ Donuts (or whatever run-of-the-mill store), which — though they might be covered in holiday-themed frosting — you can pretty much get anywhere, consider saving yourself for a more special treat.

I really like the idea of this and will try it out over the next few weeks.

Day Two

Well I can safely say that I made it to Day two.  Now I realise that doesn’t sound impressive at all, but trust me… it is.  If I have made it to here the rest is going to get easier and here’s how I figured this out:

  1. I had to come clean about the fat that I actually put some (1/2 – holds breath) back on
  2. I had to tell people around me that I am back on the program.  I felt somewhat like a failure (although I didn’t as well – doesn’t make sense I know)
  3. I had to book the appointment. Ringing up and making that damn appointment was hard – an admission that I didn’t do it. (of course they were just lovely and supportive and all that stuff was going on in my head)
  4. The thought that I am going to have to ‘be without for so long’ – now that’s just a thought (POD in his terms) and I will not be without but that one statement running around me head had me head to the fridge on many an occasion.

And now I find myself in the meat of Day two and it’s not so bad.  I have my meal plan broken down and I am tracking it daily (you don’t have to do this but I find it keeps me on track).

I woke up this morning feeling lighter.  Not on the scale but in my head.  And like I said before, that’s the hard part.

Image via hannah-aviva