Archives

Day Three

Woke up hungry again but it wasn’t so bad and after my tablet it backed off. Tried the strawberry flavour today. It’s ok. So far, I have had the coffee, mocha, vanilla, caramel, strawberry and chocolate. I won’t have the vanilla again, it tastes and smells way too much like the Herbalife stuff. The rest are ok. The only other two flavours are banana and chai. I don’t think I would like the chai but if I need a bit of variety, I might buy some at some point. I am still feeling motivated and determined and disciplined. Enough so that I bought 4 more boxes of OF which equates to a 16-day supply.

I was ‘naughty’ today. I stepped on the scales. One of the first things you learn when you go on a weight loss journey is not to step on the scales every day. To choose the same day and time once a week and that is it. Because our weight fluctuates so much through the day and through the week, the only accurate reading is that once a week, same time, same day reading. I couldn’t help myself though. I wanted to see if I was making any progress. I know that come next Monday (my official weigh-in day) that I may not have lost so much but on Monday when I began this journey, I weighed in at 141.5 kg and today, Wednesday, when I weighed in, I am already down to 139.9 kg. That’s a current loss of 1.6 kg. If that sticks I’ll be super happy! Though I’m not confident at all because I tend to fluctuate anywhere from 139 kgs to 142 kgs when I’m not even trying to lose.

Having said that, because I am so very morbidly obese, I am likely to drop weight pretty quickly for the first few weeks. When I plateau in a few weeks, that will be the real test of my will because while I’m seeing results, it keeps me motivated and strong. When I feel like I’m doing my absolute best but I’m not getting anywhere… that is when I’m likely to throw the towel in and concede defeat. So again, the first few days, even the first few weeks, while apparently the hardest for most people, are actually the easiest for me. It’s the prolonged sustainability that I suck at. If I can make it past a month, it will be a miracle. I hope I do though. I hope I can this time. I hope writing here helps me.

I had a moment just before where Gimme came forward a little stronger than the past two days but it was only for a moment. She came through so strong that she actually made my stomach growl and make me feel like I was sick hungry. I am not. It lasted barely a second but it is amazing how powerful our mind is, that it can cause that in us. It is interesting watching/listening/feeling what my body/mind tries to do. I hope I can keep this detached observance as I travel through the year. I hope I can continue to just stand apart from the goings on and just watch, allow these things the space to exist and then carry on doing what I need to do so that I can have a better body weight again before I do start to get sick.

I want to show my daughter it is possible to control your weight and eat right and it doesn’t have to be a BIG thing. She has chubby cheeks but she is not a fat girl, she is curvy, she has no choice, it is genetic. My family are curvy, voluptuous humans. A lot of her friends are straight, thin little girls. I think she compares herself to them so I want to show her that you do not have to be straight and thin to be beautiful. When I reach my goal weight, I will still be curvy and voluptuous and she will learn that does not mean I, or she, is fat. She tries to say she is fat and it hurts my heart that she thinks that. At least I get to say, no honey, no. Look at me. This is fat. You are not. I’m not putting any shame on being fat when I say it, it is just a fact. A simple fact. That is all. No emotion or hate attached to it. It is just a way of putting it into perspective. By getting a thinner body shape again though, I can show her that it’s possible to make the right choices and I can teach her what those right choices are along the way. I am hopeful my journey will help my beautiful daughter.

Lastly, as a bonus side effect to this journey, I’ve begun walking again. I was doing really well walking every day through winter and spring but when summer began to roll in with it’s humidity I just couldn’t do it anymore. Yet, even though summer is still here, I have begun walking again albeit at night time and not around the bushlands as is my preference but it’s better than nothing. I haven’t met my 5000 step a day goal yet but I’m getting close and that is great! So here is me cheering on another win. Let’s hope I can keep it up and let’s hope that using this blog to journal my progress helps me keep it up too.

Today, I won.

Day Two

What I discovered yesterday, on Day One, is that I have this … it’s not a voice, I think I want to call it an entity, or maybe it is a persona, maybe we will call it Fat Samm… I have Fat Samm in the back of my mind. She sits waaaaaaay back, so far back that I normally don’t notice she is there. What I’ve come to understand is, she is subtle, she hides but she is there and she drives the Food Truck. Like I said in Day One Post, the first few days of starting something are not the hardest for me but often the easiest and for this particular addiction I’m trying to overcome, this is a lifelong thing. I am going to literally be fighting this persona, this Fat Samm, for the rest of my life. She doesn’t move, this Fat Samm. I think she is so fat she has no legs anymore. If I envision her she is literally this blob, almost like Jabba the Hut, omg maybe I should call it Samma the Hut LOL and I can’t see her legs and all she wants is food. Food. Food. Gimme food. I’m not hungry. Don’t care, gimme food. Ohhh, you know what, maybe she can be called Gimme. I like that, that fits the best.

Jabba the Hutt

So Gimme. She’s already not too pleased about the haps. At the most random moments I’ll discover Gimme saying, “Food?” I was sitting there around 10 am yesterday typing away at my MT job as I do and there’s this gnawing energy way back in the dark recesses of my mind and I realise there is a thought that keeps being pushed forward from there. “You should eat.” “What is there to eat.” “Food?” “Food.” “Things to eat.”

It’s not a need. I’m not hungry. It’s not even a wanting because I don’t want to eat, I’m busy. But it’s thought that keeps being pushed forward and capturing my attention. It is weak, for now but the deeper need, the ache, the desire I get to stuff my face, it’s not that strong yet. Give her time, Gimme will begin to speak louder for sure. I know it. Now I’ve found her, named her, given her my attention and given her shape and located where she is and what she feels like and what she sounds like, I realise I’m very familiar with her. She is like a comfortable pair of tracksuit pants or an oversized hoodie. Comfy and familiar, comforting.

Day one was easy enough. I also had the last of my coke to drink, probably about 300 mL I had left and I had one last ice cream cone. Those are gone now. Today, I had a large Cadbury caramel easter egg that is in my fridge. There is another one there. I’ll have it tomorrow though I’m not craving these things… yet. I’m just sort of eating them because they are there and I want them gone but I am unwilling to just throw them away.

Today has been easy enough as well. I was hungrier than I normally am in the morning and that sucks because I do take levothyroxine, it has to be on an empty stomach and I am not meant to eat for half an hour after but it wasn’t a ravenous hunger. It was just a noticing of slight hunger. This is new for me, normally I will have a very large cup of coffee around 10 and not actually feel hungry until after midday. I heard Gimme again this morning. Still fairly faint and distant. That was until I walked into Woollies. I forgot to get dishwashing liquid and I was in desperate need to do dishes and I decided I wanted some salmon with my salad for dinner. Before I even got past the first lot of sliding doors into the store, I could smell the bread and Gimme started roaring like a starving lioness. I had to stay ultra-focused because I felt Gimme so far forward she was right behind my eyes and kept wanting to look around for something, anything. The smell of bread was driving her wild. I caved and got grapes instead. It wasn’t what she wanted but at least it was something I wasn’t intending to get and that seemed to satisfy the need, the gimme need. Even after that, passing the aisle with the chips and the thought popped in ‘chips, eat chips, chips are good, what kind of chips will we get today?’ I ignored it. Then on the way out, all the fizzy drinks lined up calling my name. Gimme says, ‘coke, get coke, we will just drink a few sips every day, we’ll be fine, we can do that. It’s fine. Get coke. Going on. But if you’re going to get one, you may as well get two because they’re 2fer.’ It was actually the part about getting 2 that paused me. If that thought hadn’t crossed my mind, I may very well have a bottle of coke in my fridge right now. I could feel the weakness there on that one and after having walked through the shop fighting off every other comment Gimme made, I was worn down and coke, coke has always been my weakness. Yet, I didn’t get it. There was another voice that popped up, this one stronger… for now. “You can just drink water. Water is good. You like water.” This is a female, she reminds me of a warrior princess like Athena even with the robes/tunic. I hope she sticks around for a long time.

I really do want to lose weight this year. 1 kg a week is all I ask. Extra is great. I’ll be happy with any loss though, even if it’s just 100 g. If I can end this year with less fat on me, wearing clothes a size or more, lower, if the scales can read under 141.5 kg, then I will call it a successful year. I hope I can do it. I really do. Wish me luck.

For now, today, I won.

Day One

I don’t expect to post every single day about this journey but for now, maybe I will, to help me stay accountable. Then eventually perhaps it will become a weekly thing. I don’t know.

HOW DID I GET HERE?

Well if you read the post “And so it begins…” you will see how I got here but today I’ll go into how I got specifically to this particular Day One and what it is Day One of.

At the end of 2017 my doctor put me on a waiting list to get a government funded gastric sleeve. I waited and waited and waited thinking this might be just what I need. I could hit the reset button. It would be like getting to start all over again! So I waited and waited. Eventually, I was sent a letter saying the PAH no longer offers this service would I like to stay on the waiting list. I said no, if I am not getting that service, why would I stay on the waiting list? The doctor later said I might have been sent to a different hospital so I should have stayed on the list. So at the end of 2018 I asked if she would get me back on the waiting list. I was accepted onto the waiting list! I was a category 2 and would be seen within 90 days. Exciting!

That didn’t mean I was going to get the surgery mind you, just that they would see me and assess me.

I got an appointment just over 30 days later. Fingers crossed! I was praying and hoping to be able to hit the reset button.

Nope.

I am not unhealthy enough. My morbid obesity class 3 is not enough to warrant government funding on a gastric sleeve. I mean, I don’t even have diabetes and he said that you won’t even be considered if you don’t have diabetes. I went to walk out and he said we can offer other things. I had a feeling I knew what they were but I gave him the space to give me his spiel anyway. When I denied his offer of drugs, his whole attitude toward me changed. It was quite disgusting. He literally turned his whole body away from me where before he was sitting facing me and he could barely even turn his head the whole way toward me when he spoke. When I first walked out I was feeling pretty crushed. Yet again I’m not quite ‘sick’ enough to warrant being helped. It’s the same with my mental health, I’m high functioning enough to not qualify for any extra help just the bare minimum. Well, it’s the same thing with this, I’m not quite physically ‘sick’ enough to qualify for any extra help only the bear minimum.

After the feeling of crushing defeat wore off a little, I began to feel quite angry as my over-thinking brain went back over things. The message I ended up taking away from that day (last Thursday to be exact) is:

IT IS BETTER TO BE SKINNY AND UNHEALTHY THAN OBESE AND HEALTHY.

I am morbidly obese but I am not sick. I do not have diabetes, or a heart condition or liver problems, I do not have high blood pressure or high cholesterol. I’ve been saying for years, I am one of the healthiest morbidly obese people on the planet and that means I do not get any extra help. That means I am completely alone in my struggle. There is no help for me.

The other message I received by the doctor I saw, and then his boss lady who he brought in at the end because I think he went and spoke to her and told her I was one of those ‘difficult’ patients so mummy had to come in and berate me, is: I am lazy, I am unmotivated, undisciplined and if I just do (all the stuff I’ve been doing) I will lose weight, simply because they told me to do (all the stuff I’ve been doing). That hurt. It was like they were telling me I just wasn’t trying hard enough.

Despite all of this, the anger has fuelled me. The anger was necessary to motivate me to DAMN THE MEDICINE, SAVE THE SAMM (if you get the obscure reference you are my best friend!). So, fuck them, they won’t help me? I’m not trying hard enough? Ok, I’ll own that. So here I am. I am going to try my absolute fucking hardest and I WILL SUCCEED this time without them because fuck them. I don’t need them. I CAN and I WILL do this on my own. I gave up cigarettes cold turkey with no help, I gave up marijuana cold turkey with no help, if I could just give up food (without the turkey) then I could do this with no help. Unfortunately, our bodies technically need the foods to survive. I can’t go all no turkey on this addiction but I am going to see if I can find the part of me that gave up tobacco and marijuana and use it to succeed, alone, by myself because that is the theme of this lifetime for me. Doing it myself. I don’t need anyone else, I’ve made it to 43 years of age with very little assistance from anyone else in this world, I can do this alone too.

That’s where I am at right now.

They said OptiFast.

That is what I will do. OptiFast.

Here we go bitches.

It says the first few days are the hardest. *laugh* I am, as always, an anomaly. I know I’m not alone in my anomaly as I firmly believe there is always someone else in the world who experiences a thing the same way you do but I do think I am an anomaly, either that or they are just outright liars and they say the first few days are the hardest to … I don’t know, suck you in? When I gave up cigarettes they said the first few days were the hardest but then it got easier. Nope! Not for me. Those first few days were so easy. Hell, the first two weeks were easy! It was after that it began to get harder. I am great at starting things. I could totally be a professional starter. Starting shit is super easy. Sustaining shit, not so much. Follow through, not so much. Discipline to keep going, not so much. So today is easy. I expect the next few days to be easy. When I hit day 7 or 8 though, we’ll see how I’m feeling then. We’ll see what is coming up for me and how I can manage it.

It’s almost like the first few days my brain and body haven’t quite caught up to what I’m doing. Once they figure it out though, oh my, I expect all sorts of hell to break loose. I hope I can do it this time though. I really hope 2019 is the year for me. It would be really nice to only be overweight again instead of morbidly obese.

But that is where I will need this blog. I am going to write about the feels that come up when they come up. I’m going to write about breaking the addictions I have to food, namely sugary carby foods. Maybe, maybe if I give them the space to have a voice, then I can get through it rather than stuffing it all down with food like I normally do. Here’s hoping, right?

And So It Begins…

I haven’t used this blog in a long time and decided I will use it to track my weight loss journey and hopefully, it will help me stay accountable for myself. Also, I figure it might be helpful to write about what I’m going through as I’m going through it.

While this is about weight loss, you will find it is also about personal development, facing the shadowy parts of self, letting shit go, realigning myself with who I want to be, discovering who I am and what I am made of and much more. While this is, on the surface, about the physical, it will intersect with the mental, emotional and spiritual as well. I got here by abusing myself in all these ways or allowing abuse to happen to me. I didn’t get here because of a medical condition – well not entirely. No one else put me here but me. I put myself into situations and I remained in situations that led to self-disrespect, to not caring about myself the way I need to, so this is very much also a journey in self-care, self-love, self-nurturing, self-parenting, self-sufficiency, discipline and more.

 It’s very easy to play the victim or the damsel in distress always looking for someone else to help and if life has taught me nothing else, the one thing it has taught me is you only have yourself and you only need yourself and it is only ever up to you to make the decision, to take the action and to follow through. I’m the one who ate the way I have, I am the one who thought the way I though, I am the one who made the choices that got me where I am today, at 141.5 kgs. That isn’t even the heaviest I’ve been. I made it all the way up to 155.8 kg, maybe higher but that is when I understood if I kept going the way I was going, not caring, too tired not just physically but mentally and emotionally to look after myself, then I would end up on the news one day when I died and they had to lift the roof of the house just to get me out. When I saw 155.8 kg on the scales, I decided that was it. I had to stop letting other people’s actions and choices affect me, even when those choices/action were directly about or toward me. It was time for me to love me the way I deserve even when it felt like no one else in the world did or could. I mean, I always knew only I could love me right and that how other people felt about me didn’t matter but knowing it and acting on it are two vastly different energies.

I decided I had experienced morbid obesity enough now and it was time to love myself more, treat myself better and help myself live a long life.

If only it was that easy, right?

For around 3 years since that awful day when I stood on the scales and saw 155.8 kg I have been struggling along trying to lose weight as best I was capable of at the time. Let’s face it, I was deep in the trenches of the depression war, fighting it with anti-depressant after anti-depressant and failing. All the while becoming chronically fatigued to the point that I could barely lift my arm come 3 in the afternoon let alone do anything at all. The first step, for me, was to wean myself off the medication that I KNEW was making me chronically fatigued despite my doctor assuring me it wasn’t the medications. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to get healthy when I was always feeling that tired. So, I did it, I weaned myself off the drugs and instead began taking magnesium supplementation. Minimum 400 mg a day, sometimes more. Wow, it made a difference. For some people pharmaceutical drugs work and I am glad they work for them; however, they do not work for me. I literally tried 4 or 5 different types over a period of 4 years and not one of them made me feel any better and they all left me chronically fatigued. I knew magnesium did amazing things so I began taking it. I began to stop feeling so deathly tired every day. My mood increased and boy did I know it if I missed a day of magnesium, it would take me almost three days to recover and get back on track. Now, I take it religiously. If my mood dips into those dangerous levels, I double dose. That’s not to say I don’t still experience depression, I do. It just isn’t as bad as it was and I can manage, I can cope. The best thing though was the lifting of the veil of fatigue. That shit was killing me.

I’ve done a lot of things to try and reach a healthier weight again, even back when I was only overweight, not even obese let alone morbidly obese. I certainly did not get here overnight and I need to remind myself that means I won’t get back to overweight overnight either. Oh, how I long to be ‘just’ overweight. The first time I decided I needed to lose weight I was around 80 kg. I wish I could be that fat again. Back then though I just tried to give up coke cola and eat better and exercise more. It kind of worked. I would fluctuate between 60 kg to 80 kg. For years this went on. Then baby 2 came along and I discovered I had made it all the way up to 96 kg! I was mortified. Almost the dreaded three-figure 100 kgs! That one snapped me into gear and I went on Jenny Craig and got a gym membership that I went to religiously and I loved it. I was on Jenny Craig for a year, yet I still only managed to lose 20 kg. After a year my husband informed me that if I wanted to move back to Queensland to be near my family then I couldn’t afford to keep doing Jenny Craig, so it had to stop. Lucky for me the gym membership was already paid for so he couldn’t stop me going there… yet. A curious thing happened when I stopped Jenny Craig, something that will make me never use their service again. For about three or four days after I stopped, I had really bad stomach pains. It left me wondering what they add to their food that I went through such withdrawal symptoms…

So that got me back into the 80 kg range and we moved to Queensland to be near my family. I got another gym membership and I kept going with that and I tried to just eat better and I went to the doctor and said I have a thyroid problem. They tested me, sure enough, my thyroid is underactive. Thought maybe that might help reign in the weight gain and I guess it kind of worked. I got closer to 80 kgs again. Then I was informed by the husband that we had to move closer to the city so he didn’t have to commute so far and that meant paying higher rent and save up to buy a house, so guess what? I couldn’t afford to renew my gym membership anymore, so that went out the window. Funny thing about exercise, as the saying goes, it creates endorphins and endorphins create happy people and happy people just don’t kill their husbands….

Next baby 3 came along. I was still doing pretty well after he came thanks to the HcG diet my mother put me on to. That one is pretty brutal. You take the drops and you barely eat. I lived on tomato and fish for however long I did it. Yet, without the exercise, which I really did love, and being in a marriage where I did NOT feel loved or supported or even liked for that matter, it took its toll. My mood became progressively worse. My mother suggested St John’s Wort. I stubbornly refused to accept I was depressed and I stubbornly refused to go on anti-depressants. That is until I was put on probation with my license because I kept getting caught speeding. It was a friend who suggested I might have sleep apnoea after listening to me and having seen something on TV about it. Off I went to my current doctor and told him I had sleep apnoea after having researched it and decided my friend was actually spot on. I did a sleep study and sure enough, 32 obstructive instances per hour putting me in the chronic obstructive sleep apnoea class. Onto CPAP therapy I went. Realised, how dangerous I was driving around before that. For a while, I felt so much more rested and alert through the day, it was great. Sadly, it didn’t stop the depression I was still denying I had. It wasn’t until I spent a really dark 48 hours seriously thinking about killing myself, despite the fact I had three children who loved me, that I decided it was time to give in. I went on anti-depressants and saw yet another psychologist. By this stage I think I was up to my third one so far in this lifetime.

At this point I had SERIOUSLY threatened to leave my husband twice, the first time I even threw my wedding ring at him. But I loved him. So much. More than I have ever loved anyone other than my own children and my sister. Despite feeling absolutely miserable in my marriage even though I begged him over and over and over to help me make it better, I stayed. I kept staying. Then I went on the anti-depressants and began seeing a psychologist I made my husband choose in order to try and help us because what is the point in taking the anti-depressants when the very thing that is causing the depression isn’t changing or being worked on, right? Well, the counselling is a whole other story for another time, as is the deeper currents of my marriage so we will fast forward now.

Looking back a couple of years later I was devastated as I went through photos of myself and saw me ‘before anti-depressants’ and ‘after anti-depressants’. There is a very clear delineation there. I put on at least 20 kgs in almost the blink of an eye once I started the medication that didn’t even work because the cause wasn’t being fixed no matter how much *I* tried. At the end of the day though, sometimes what YOU can do is simply not enough.

The husband was given a deposit for a house from his father and had researched the cheapest place to buy a home that was affordable and we then moved away from the city. Ironic really. It was even further from the city than where we were when we lived near my family but it was ok now because 1) it wasn’t near my family, 2) it wasn’t near the ocean where I regain some of my sanity from just being on the sand near the water and 3) it was HIS decision and it meant owning a home which is what he wanted at the expense of our marriage. We moved to a rental while looking for a house in the area. I literally said to him in therapy while we were living there that I was done. He somehow didn’t hear me. I went to the therapist again by myself after that and asked her if she heard me clearly and understood what I was saying because he just carried on as if I hadn’t said I was done and that the marriage was over. His lack of understanding what I said shocked me into staying longer it was so mind-numbingly confusing.

By this stage I was over the dreaded three-digit number. I was probably fluctuating between 100 and 110 kgs by then. I was fighting a losing battle! Between the deep sadness I felt within my marriage, the lack of exercise other than walking around the neighbourhood and the anti-depressants all fighting against me, my only solace was food. Not just good, healthy fresh foods though no. Deep, thick, filling, heavy carbohydrate and sugar filled foods, that and art were the only things keeping me alive at that point. I know I had a choice, I do. Looking back, I know I had a choice but while I was in it, it felt like I had no choice but to gain weight. Those foods were literally the only thing giving me an endorphin hit by this point.

I didn’t even make it a year in the house he bought. I wasn’t even particularly upset when it happened. I wasn’t having any major issues or hateful thoughts, I wasn’t particularly in any emotional pain. I had begun seeing my own therapist, as the one we had been seeing together disintegrated like one before that I had convinced him to go to with me. It was all too easy for him to not work on things. I loved my therapist. She was right up my alley and with her encouragement, I arted more. I did so much art journaling thanks to Tam Laporte and her LifeBook course. I connected more deeply with me and who I am and who I wanted to be and what I wanted for myself and for my children so randomly, I ended up blurting out very clearly that I wanted a divorce and when I said it I shocked myself but I knew I wasn’t taking it back. I was done. I was done begging him to help me build the life I needed to survive.

You would think that when I left, that would somehow make things better. The biggest cause of my depression was no longer something I had to deal with 24/7… except that isn’t true. After 10 years there is still a lot of stuff that needs to be dealt with, especially at first. Even more so when you are the one that left even though you still love them. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I knew it was the best thing but it hurt so badly. For the first year he made a very feeble attempt to keep the marriage going, by feeble, I mean non-existent by more than just words. It took 10 months after I left for him to agree to counselling again (like it worked the first 2 times, what was I thinking?) and it was in the last session we ever went to together I discovered I really was done. I discovered he really didn’t love me. I mean, I knew it, deep down, but there comes a time where no matter how much you love someone, you can’t keep making excuses for them and you can’t keep fooling yourself into believing the fairy tale you’ve created just so you can survive.

By this stage the anti-depressants had a good hold of me and I was up around 120 kgs. The pain was intense. The pain was searing. I wanted to just pull my heart out of my body and bury it somewhere deep and dark where no one could ever find it again. 10 years of deeply loving someone who never loved you the same way back, never could love you the same way back… it’s soul destroying. Again, my only solace was food. I was on Isagenix by this stage with some success but it was a constant fight. The motivation and self-love and self-caring would emerge for awhile but then I would sink into the depths of depression once more where I just didn’t care anymore, I was defeated. I was utterly and completely defeated. I even tried the GAPS diet for awhile, that’s gross. I’m really not a bone broth consumer. I wish I was, but I’m not.

I walked away from my marriage at the start of 2015. It was the start of 2016 that I realised he didn’t want to fix our marriage and so I said enough is enough and I called it. Time of death January 2016. It was around mid-2016 that I hit 155.8 kg. I was literally eating myself to death because the pain was too much to bear. This was definitely not how I envisaged my life. Yeah, I walked out of the marriage but he killed it. I spent most of those 10 years resuscitating it and keeping it alive by bear threads but in the end, he killed it.

So mid-2016 I tried Isagenix again with little success, the determination and discipline just wasn’t there. 2017 I discovered keto and had decent success with it. Managed to get myself to fluctuate between 138 kg and 142 kgs. In January of 2018, the divorce was finalised and I was still in a lot of pain. 2017 was when I actually really accepted my marriage was over, some stupid part of me just wouldn’t stop holding on to hope even after I called time of death but come 2017, I finally accepted the death and it was only then that I began to allow myself to even grieve.  I think it was the grieving and the allowing myself to feel the pain of it all that really helped me lose the weight that year, more than anything. 2018 wasn’t so successful. I didn’t spend any time allowing my grief or feelings any space. I think part of me though come on, it’s time you were over this already, just move the fuck on. He has. It doesn’t really work like that though. I buried myself in trying to earn money working from home so I could be here for my children and I didn’t allow space for the feels other than the handful of times it would sneak up and smack me over the back of the head and I would be left thinking why isn’t this done yet? Will it ever end? Can it just stop, please?! It’s now 2019 and I don’t think the pain will ever end to be honest. There are moments where I think I have been so damaged that there is just no coming back, ever. That heart I wanted to bury? I put it in a trunk in the deep recesses of my brain and my Inner Child sits on it with the key that unlocks the chains that are wrapped around it and she is not giving up that key, probably ever.

2018 was a bust for me. I mean, I lost a LOT of weight in 2018, unfortunately, it just kept coming back again so at the end of the year, I essentially have lost no weight.

I don’t know if 2019 will be any different for me. I have no faith in myself. I have no faith in my ability to look after myself, parent myself, discipline myself. None. So I guess, if you’re reading this and you continue to read it, together we will see. Together we will see if 2019 is different for me. Maybe I am a little more healed this year. Maybe I am a little more willing to look after myself this year. We will see.

DISCLAIMER: This turned out to be a lot more about my failed marriage than I thought it would, though it makes sense as that marriage, the dynamics, the relationship, it all lead me to where I am today. I just want to throw in here, that even though I left my husband and even though there might be some allusions to him being a bad human, I want to say HE IS NOT A BAD HUMAN. He is a good human. He is not an alcoholic or drug addict, he is loyal, trustworthy and as honest as the next person. I didn’t leave because he was a bad human. He is a good father and he does the best that he is capable of. So, while he was a key character in the story of how I got where I am today, he is not the villain. There is no villain here, except for maybe me because I made the choices that led me to where I am. He is merely a character that influenced those choices but I, I am the one who made the choices and followed through with the choices.

Week Four #2016PCChallenge

I’ve made it to week four! I’ve actually been doing quite a bit of polyclay playing this year so it gets to the end of the week and I have to sit back and think ok, what did I remember to take photos of? Which project shall I post about?

 

This week I decided to go with the dragon scales work I’ve been doing. This is based on Deb Hart’s Dragonscale Gems tutorial that can be found at Craft Art Edu. I didn’t use her exact colours but it still turned out pretty kewl. The first thing I tried out was a bracelet. I haven’t managed to find a form the size I like to wrap my scrap clay around yet so this one is quite a big bracelet. Having said that I actually like how big and chunky it is. If ever I lose weight I figure I’ll just push it up to the top of my arm instead!!

dragonscalebracelet

So after I baked the scrap clay form I went to work on making the clay, then I filled the outside of the scrap clay form with the cane slices. I baked that and so far that’s as far as I’ve gotten with this particular piece. I still need to sand and polish it and put some black clay around the inside to neaten it up a bit. Once that is done I think it will look quite awesome!

I still had plenty of the clay cane left over so I decided to shrink it down, found one of my bezels and filled it with a bunch of slices. I didn’t mind how the bracelet looked all flat, but this time I wanted it to be more 3D and I have to admit I much prefer it this way! I may need to make a smaller bracelet or cuff with 3D scales rather than smooth flat scales.

DSC_0153

I really loved how this one turned out. So I then decided I’d make a dragon egg. In case you don’t know it, I LOVE dragons. I have loved dragons since I was very, very young. So this cane was right up my alley! Then upon re-discovering polyclay in my 30’s I have spent time trying to make dragons and all sorts of other things. No matter how far away from dragon’s I travel in my exploration of the clay, I always seem to come back to them. I’ve always wanted to explore doing dragon eggs, so I thought now was the time…

dragonegg02

That is what I came up with. I’m not sure if I’m completely finished with it yet. It keeps calling for me to put some sworovski flatbacks on it, so I may just have to do that before I call it done. I’m not sure what kind of dragon would hatch from this kind of egg but I’d sure like to see it one day! I still have left over cane, perhaps that’s what I need to do with it?!

This cane definitely excited me with all the amazing possibilities. This is only my first ever attempt at the cane, just wait until I start trying different colour combinations!! Remember to come back next week to see what polyclay creation I’ve come up with!

Week 3 in the #2016PCChallenge

I actually finished this week pretty early so I’ve done a bunch more than just this weeks project which is awesome because I am starting the markets this week and I want to have a heap of stock to sell. This weeks project was done specifically to sell at the market. I also managed to finally complete a few things I had begun last year which is nice too.

So this week I found a tutorial via a blog I follow on blogspot… I’m sorry I don’t remember which one it was now or have a link to it. They didn’t make hair pins but I saw the design and thought it would be well suited to hair pins:

DSC_0104

This picture was taken after they had come out of the oven and cooled down, ready for a few extra embellishments.

DSC_0106

This one is the final product. I put some sculpey gloss glaze over all of them and added some swarovski gems in random spaces in some of them:

DSC_0109

Others I left plain:

DSC_0112

Then there was a couple of pairs where I added extra petals inside before the baking process:

DSC_0110

Hopefully they sell! And hopefully they stay together and don’t fall apart!!

Week 2 #PCChallenge2016

Well I’m a day late for this post seeing as it’s the 15th January 2016 now but better late than never!

This weeks polymer clay piece is inspired by Faerie Magazine‘s dragons and mermaid gallery. They have some really amazing stuff for anyone who is a true Dragon Lover, which I am! I’ve always been interested in dragons and inspired by them since I can remember. So it was only natural when I re-discovered polyclay a couple years ago now that I would venture in to dragon making. I have done some dragons… ok, a lot of dragons, in that time but making miniatures doesn’t sing to me.

So when I saw dragon eggs I thought oh man, that would be awesome! I just never got around to making any … yet. Then I saw some pendants and because it was small and simple I thought why not? So I got one of my bezels and plopped some black clay in it, textured it, added a tiny rose quartz cabachon and some glow-in-the-dark polyclay and… voila!

 

DragonPendant01

My very first dragon shell pendant.

OK, so I’m not so happy with it, but that’s ok, we all have to begin somewhere right? Firstly I really need to make sure I’m working on an extremely clean surface with extremely clean hands. I have to say, the clean hand thing is no easy thing! I feel like I can wash and wipe my hands 100 times but as soon as I touch white clay or the glow-in-the-dark clay it manages to pull more of the darker clay from the dips in my fingerprints or something. It’s quite frustrating!!

So I’m really unhappy with how dirty the glow-in-the-dark clay is. I’m also disappointed with how much the rose quartz faded in the heat. You can’t even see the rose in it anymore. Then the very middle spike I can see the very end of my armature which is most frustrating because I didn’t see that before I baked it and I don’t think there’s anything I can do about that now! So I guess I just strike this one down to a first attempt and do better next time.

It was fun though and I can see myself quite likely making more of these cute little necklaces in the future. Not bad for my 2nd completed project for the year so far!!

Week One #2016PCChallenge

Can you believe the first week of 2016 is already done and dusted?!

I can actually. I’ve done a lot and feel pretty accomplished and on task. One of my tasks this year that I have set myself is to do one polymer clay piece a week so that by the end of 2016 I’ll have done at least 52 COMPLETED polymer clay pieces. The completed part is important for me because I am amazing at beginning projects… the completion though is something I need more practice with. After this week though I do wonder where people find the time to do everything in their lives. It’s not like I have a full-time muggle job to get to 5 days a week or anything. I would end up with no time for anything at all if I did!

It is my intention to blog about each polymer clay piece I do each week so that’s what this blog is meant to be about. Win/win being I not only do a polymer clay piece each week, I also blog each week! Better than last years effort by far if I can pull this off 😀

DSC_0982

So here goes! I started off being inspired by Claire Wallis’ tutorial for Faux Knit weave in polymer. I did manage to do a couple (see above photo) but I wasn’t really happy with them. From that I kind of moved on to weaving…

DSC_0983

It wasn’t my intention but that is where I landed. I used my Makins’ extruder for the logs simply because I am lazy and I do like the ease of uniformity. Once I’d done the weave I squished it together a bit and used a brayer to roll over the top to squash it down some.

DSC_0984

Once I was happy with that… ok, not happy but couldn’t be bothered being a perfectionist 😛 I ignored the gaping holes and instead decided to put a sheet of glow-in-the-dark polymer clay underneath it, cut it in to a heart… because hearts… and of course border it with some more glow-in-the-dark polymer clay.

DSC_0989

Once that was done I put a couple of small holes in the top left and right corners of the heart, twisted and mashed up the rest of the clay and rolled it in to a not-so-uniform log.

DSC_0994

As you can see I kind of flip-flop between wanting perfection but being too lazy to actually strive for it in reality. I figure if I don’t do my absolute best, when it doesn’t turn out as awesome in reality as I think it is in my head… well I have my lack of precision to blame and can always convince myself that if I just tried harder and took more time with it, imagine how much better it would have been. Or is that just a cop-out?

So after I rolled it in to a log, deciding just how many beads I wanted… I went with 7 on each side because as much as I love even numbers odd numbers tend to look more pleasing to the eye *sigh* I then cut the log in to 1cm sections once I made sure the log reached 14cms, thus ensuring I would have 7 beads for each side of the necklace.

DSC_0995

At this point I wasn’t actually sure how I was going to turn it in to a necklace. The holes I put in the heart were too small for suede or hemp, which meant my only real option was wire. I could have then made the holes big enough in the beads to thread them on to some black suede but because I do love wire working a lot I figured why not make the whole thing wire, so I did the beads up in my little contraption here…

DSC_0997

As they were baking in the oven the gears were still churning around in my head and I finally decided how I would piece it all together. So once it was all nice and cool I began…

DSC_0002_01

I got out some seed beads, got out some 20 gauge bronze wire and began to put together a pattern. I’m not sure why but I thought it might not end up as long as I would like. So in addition to the bead links I did a couple rose and bead links. In the end I left out two of those links because I realised it was actually getting quite long! To finish it off I attached one of my magnetic rhinestone clasps.

DSC_0092

And this is it! My first completely finished polymer clay and wire wrapped piece for 2016! I haven’t seen what it looks like when it’s all glow-in-the-darky yet but I imagine it’ll look pretty awesome with some glowy bits peaking through from the back of the heart and the bits and blobs of it mixed around in the matching beads.

I’ve realised this is going to be quite the challenge after all this year. To complete a piece every week. It sounds easy… 52 projects a year… but in reality, I guess we’ll see. I haven’t even started my Uni course yet and I still want to find a couple more regular face painting gigs! Let alone the more time I want to spend out in nature like today with the kids at the Ennogera Reservoir. It was really beautiful there and while I may or may not have gotten a bit burnt, I can see us spending more time there this year having picnics and swimming and walking the tracks.

So fingers crossed I can succeed in getting through this #2016PCChallenge as well as all the other stuff!

I’m always happy to read your thoughts on my posts so don’t be shy, leave a comment if you dare.

Either way have a beautiful day, In Joy!

 

Day 2 already?!

Yeap, it’s the 2nd day of the year here in Australia already… actually the 2nd day is almost over! I only have 5 more days to start and complete my very first polymer clay piece for my yearly challenge!! And I’m not even sure what I’m going to do yet. I may need to begin working on that tomorrow.

Today I spent time working on planning my 2016 with Susannah Conway’s Unravelling the Year Ahead. If you want some help with releasing last year and moving in to this year with some clarity and purpose head on over to her page and download the free pdf! It’s well worth it in my opinion. It felt really good to sit here most of the day answering the questions, picking tarot cards, and sorting out my desires for the year. No resolutions for me, no goals for me. Just desires for things I’d love to see happen. The pdf gives you this fluidity and ability to go with the flow which I love. Just as life has this inevitable way of changing, so do your intentions and desires. This way, I won’t feel bad for not accomplishing my goals or resolutions. It feels better this way!

I also started my Birthing Ourselves Into Being course for the year. I’m really excited about this one too as it speaks to me on a deeply spiritual level. The first chapter that we work on this month is all about our birth story. Writing it, owning it, seeing how it shaped us, then rewriting it in a way you wish it had been and transcending what is to what can be. You can find out more here.

Funnily enough with all my planning and ideas, I didn’t end up putting in there that I’d like to blog more regularly, which is something I’d really love to do. I want to blog at least once a week about the polyclay project I’ve completed. I’d love to blog once a month about BOiB. Perhaps also blog about the jewellery making and then of course is my Uni course! Yeap, I’m going to Uni this year! 40 years old and I’m finally going to University. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’m the first one along my particular genetic branch to go to Uni! Go me! I’ll be studying Art therapy which I’m hoping to bring to those who need it online as well as in person. We’ll see how we go. Those are plans for another year 🙂

As the clock ticks inevitably toward midnight and toward the 3rd day of January 2016 I really must get myself to bed. I have 2 face painting gigs tomorrow. My regular tavern gig for the lunchtime rush between 12 and 2, then I’m going to help a bunch of other painters paint up the fans of Brisbane Heat tomorrow at the Gabba. Being an Aussie you would think I’d be all in to sport and stuff.. but I’m not. Apparently Brisbane Heat is a cricket team. Their colours are teal and white. They logo a flame. So I’ll be painting a lot of teal flames tomorrow night!

If you are one of the few people to have read my blog, thank you 🙂 Hopefully I will bring you interesting content throughout the year. If not, at least this will be a space for me to share my authentic self. Much love.

The Cacao Dieta Begins

I wasn’t actually going to post today. I haven’t had my radical rest even though it’s 9.45pm already! What?! 9.45pm?!! I didn’t think it was that late. I was going to lay down and watch some TV before bed, but now I’m thinking I might be better off just going straight to sleep.

While I haven’t really done all that much today I still feel like it has been a big day. I had a lot of dreams last night, however I didn’t write any down so I don’t really remember any. If there were any messages in them, I totally missed them. This morning I spent a lot of time cutting my cacao…

chopping the cacao

Yes, that is a Thomas the Tank Engine placemat 😛 While Mr Bee, now Master of the 4’s and heading into 5, still loves Thomas and his friends, he isn’t quite obsessed with them anymore. Not that he’s here to witness me using his placemat! I have managed to cut enough cacao that I have enough for another ceremonial dose tomorrow without having to sit there and chop, chop, chop it. It can get quite tedious to do, because the finer you chop it the smoother it is when you make the elixir. However, it is also quite meditative. I was listening to some very beautiful piano music by Michael Golzmane and I was doing my best to keep my thoughts positive. Not always an easy thing to do and I had to redirect my thoughts quite a few times. It’s nice knowing I don’t have to do any chopping next time if I don’t want to. I might do it anyway and chop down the last of the block I’m currently working with.

I complained a little in the chocolate ceremony group yesterday about the vile taste of cacao, which I am experiencing right now as I write this and try to eat a bliss ball before bed. The bliss balls are deceptive because they look so good and when you very first bite in to them they are coated in coconut so your taste buds get excited… unfortunately that excitement doesn’t last. The wise women in my group, the elders of the tribe, had some useful information and some wonderful insight which has also lead me on a slightly new course.

One suggestion was to use some tea as a base, peppermint was one of the suggestions and one of the teas I happen to have sitting in my pantry. So I used the peppermint tea as a base today and I have to admit it was much easier to consume this concoction…

CACAO01

See how luscious it looks, how tempting. It whispers my name with sweet promises only to bite me on the arse with bitter realisations. However, cacao (pronounced ka-kow in case you were wondering, not ka-kay-oh) IS a plant medicine and not all plant medicines taste good, depending on what medicine they will be bringing. I guess I feel a little ripped-off is all because it looks so sweet, so delicious and disappoints me every time. Like I said, however, the peppermint base helped a little today. Now that I know I can have the full ceremonial dose without any nasty side-effects I’m quite happy to just scull the whole lot down, which I did. It took me three takes before I got it all down then I put a bit more of the peppermint tea in the glass and swished it around and drank that for good measure.

Something else the lovely wise women in the group helped me come to on my own, was that the intention I need to set forth with when I work with cacao deva, is to help me release my addiction to sugar! The very fact that it is the sweet call of sugar I need to release from my body and my mind could be the very reason I am finding cacao so difficult to consume, so difficult to swallow. Like a bitter pill designed to rid me of a toxic drug.

I feel better, having this intention. I felt very unanchored today as there was no real intention for me. I went in with the intention of gaining any healing I may need and integrating any insights that might arrive. With that I didn’t meditate or do a healing, instead I drew my first mandala in awhile. I enjoyed it immensely, however felt like I didn’t get as much use out of the cacao medicine as I could have. Now though, now, I have a deep, connected and vital intention of healing that feels so right. I can now go in to my daily cacao work with the intent of shifting my addiction to sugar out of my body, loosen the hold it has on my mind, come to realise that I do not need sugar. I can survive without it. Not just survive, but thrive!! I know without a doubt this is something I desperately need to happen. Sugar is like a vice around my pituitary gland demanding I put more and more of it in to my body. This needs to stop.

So while day one of my dieta has felt like I didn’t accomplish anything, I have come to the end of my day and realised it has actually accomplished a lot. I now have 4 -5 more days of really focusing on releasing the hold sugar has over me. I now have 4-5 days to truly heal the emotional ties that have me imprisoned and thinking the only freedom I can ever feel is when I consume, consume, consume. Not just sugar, but dense, heavy carbs and nasty fats, not the good fats. Not just food either, but stuff. Stuff that I don’t necessarily need but I can’t seem to help but purchase. Four or five days left to sink in and allow Ixcacao to do her work on me, however that work shows up. Even if I do nothing but 4 or 5 more mandalas, I will accept that it what I need right now. I am hoping for more. I am hoping for a shift. I am hoping for a change. I am hoping I will come out the other side stronger. Strong enough to rip the chains, to cut the cords, to no longer succumb to the foods I know are not feeding me properly. Strong enough to eat the foods I enjoy eating and that my body enjoys me eating and that my soul enjoys me eating.

Tomorrow is going to be a late day of ceremony as I get to find out what my MRI has said about my knee. No doubt it is telling me I need to lose weight. That is ok. I have begun.