I’m Going Where…? and How Did I Get In This Hand-basket?

Really, the title of this post is just paying homage to my more melodramatic side because I haven’t had licence or opportunity to bring it out lately. I’m not really going to Hell in a hand-basket. I’m sure there are a few more stops before that destination.

Even so, in the spirit of promised transparency, I’m going to admit that this week hasn’t been a brilliant one for me… but I think the best part about getting older and somewhat wiser is that you get better at focusing on the good bits and accepting that sometimes shit just happens.

I’ve covered a lot in this blog because I’ve not felt like writing the last few days but I had so much going on inside my brain. All the thoughts kind of just fell out tonight so apologies for the length of it 🙂

26.01.13

Monday was the beginning of the end. Working on project drawings until 5:30 Monday morning was more than likely what set the tone. Suffice it to say, I was appropriately pissed off with myself because I promised that this year I would nourish and nurture my (somewhat-in-a-state-of-disrepair) bodily temple. Evidently, given my chosen profession I’m going to have to get used to these stints of madness. I’ve been doing it for 13 years. I did it nearly every night this week. I don’t even know how I do it most of the time.

It was waking up on Wednesday morning to the LED screen on my phone burning “11:55am” into my retinas that proved to be an issue. I have this theory that it doesn’t matter how or when the work gets done, as long as it gets done. Luckily, this week my boss was a fan of this theory. The downside is that my GP has told me time and time again how crucial my sleep-health is to my well-being. To everybody’s well-being. Yet after 16 years, I still can’t get the hang of it. I can do so many amazing, brilliant things but I can’t manage a regular sleep schedule. Genius.

Self-flagellation complete, I shall now touch on the good parts of the week that was… starting with the university stuff. This week was class registration – so excited! One more month until classes start and my student life takes over my real life again… I know most people will be dreading it but I can’t wait. I’m such a nerd. I have an amazing timetable that will allow me plenty of time to focus on assignments, to get a part-time job (in the industry) and to focus on managing my time and my health. Best laid plans and so on… *rolls eyes*

Subjects for this semester are Architectural Design 3, Architecture in the 20th Century and Integrated Technologies 1. The others also have to do a second major or 2 x minors but I’m exempt from that as my Interior Design degree counts as a second major, backed up by my 10 years in the industry. There may be a misconception that this will mean I have things a bit easier… don’t be fooled. Haha. With the amount of pressure I put on myself? Seriously? 😛

I had a few conversations with some fellow students re: what majors and minors to choose and my advice was the same across the board. Pick something you are going to enjoy. Architecture (or any design subject) is a difficult and intense enough degree without throwing more hardship on top of it. Your major / minor is only one subject per semester and 2 subjects per semester in your final year. Choose something you will enjoy studying or something that you are passionate about because 6 months in the real world will teach you more than you will learn over 3 years of your major / minor. That’s what I learned a decade ago when I completed Interior Design and got my first job. All the theory in the world didn’t prepare me. So I doubt much has changed. The real world is the deep end and the fastest way to learn is to just throw yourself in. That’s if you don’t get thrown in by someone else. Always fun.

Some of the most lovely conversations I had were with Gregory, whose artistic skills are out of this world. Photo-realistic. Deep. Insightful. Layered. He is going to be a phenomenal architect one day but he is going to back that up by being a phenomenal person. I’m so glad that I’ve met all these people. I also want to thank Vivien and Sally; I know you guys are following this blog and I really appreciate you taking the time to read it all! I can’t wait until we’re back in study-mode and I can really get some ideas flowing. I know it’s very life-centric right now but come the end of February, there will be a lot more architecture stuff appearing here and I’d really like you all to contribute by posting interesting links, comments and maybe even guest-blogging 🙂

Second highlight of the week… I’ve lost weight. Deliberately. I have been struggling with it ever since I got sick and now – success. Something is happening. It’s not happening fast but it is happening. For those of you who don’t know, I’m 6 feet tall and weighed around 65kg until I became unwell. I weigh around 22kg heavier than that now. That was so hard to type but now it’s out there for the world to see. No more hiding. I’ve dealt with it using humour and self-deprecating yet comical remarks for a long time but deep down… not fun.

My weight struggle since the end of 2010 has gone from this:

SKINNY 3

to this (when I no longer had a boyfriend and could no longer hold out hope of miracle weight-gain explanation baby):

SKINNY 1

to this, by the end of 2012 when I was so exhausted I could barely drag myself from my bed to the sofa:

SKINNY 4

But from somewhere deep in the reserves of my psyche, I found the will to get my life back. With weight loss comes confidence. I understand that is not the case for everyone but it is for me. I’m good at a lot of things. Being kind to myself hasn’t been one of them but I’m hoping that other people will learn from my mistake, as I currently am. I learned the hard way. Being kind to yourself is the best thing you can ever do – for you. It has the added bonus of giving you a greater capacity to care for other people.

Does losing weight change who I am inside? No. I’m still the same person whether I’m 65kg or 165kg. Does it make me feel more confident to attack life with both hands? Yes. But if I was being 100% honest with myself, it’s more about health and well-being than it is about weight. I’m just sick and tired of feeling like shit – day in, day out. But I have to take baby steps. It took 2 years to get to this stage, it’s going to take a long time to get back to my old self (physically).

Here’s where a shout out goes to my beautiful friend, Carly. She is extremely knowledgeable in this particular sphere and is very focused on personal healing, personal growth and general wellness of the mind, body and soul. Check out her Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/AkashaMedicineWoman … When I went to see her before Christmas and described my plight, she suggested a regimen of drinking a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar before each meal to help improve digestion, promote weight-loss and detoxify. That was to be accompanied by a ginger and lemon drink, using fresh ingredients only and to be sipped throughout the day.

Carls knows that I’m a skeptic. She knows I hold little faith in the herbal over the prescription… but I have to say… this has worked. Seriously. Combined with an eating plan from my GP that is high in protein, (very) low in carbs, I have dropped nearly a full dress size in 2 weeks, with no exercise whatsoever.

The reason for the lack of exercise is that I’ve discovered in the past that trying to do too much too soon has led to an overall throwing in of the towel. This time, I aimed to get my eating under control – apparently it takes 21 days to form a habit – and then I will slowly but surely begin a graded exercise program. Of things I actually enjoy doing, such as evening walks or swimming laps. I really feel like I have control of things this time. I’m committed inside my head. I think that’s what was missing last time. I was too exhausted and my heart and soul weren’t playing the game. The apple cider vinegar isn’t pleasant but I have no dodgy after-effects from eating. The lemon & ginger tea staves off hunger and cuts my sugar cravings.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still on 3 packs a day…. Not cigarettes. Sugar-free gum. But I’m trying to cut back.

Now this is where I’m at:

SKINNY 2

I’ll tell you why. Because this is how I know that I’m losing weight. I had to use the next row of hooks inward to do up my bra 2 days ago. It’s like someone up there is just looking down and having a good ol’ laugh. The only good part about putting on weight was finally having cleavage. Now, it’s the first thing to go. If only there was a way to redirect fat storage… ie. take the fat from my butt and put it into my breasts. Even though my pants were uncomfortably slipping down on Thursday, I don’t think I can hang on to hope that the missing fat is being redistributed to my boobs.

Lastly, I spoke to one of my very best friends on Skype weekend before last. She lives in Canada now and I know she’s feeling painfully homesick (despite having a wonderful, caring man by her side and generally having a great time in life) … and I just wanted to say to her that she is one of the most beautiful, funny, kind-hearted human beings that I have ever had the good fortune to come across. I’m sorry I didn’t tell her the moment I started feeling down last year but I know that when there is so much distance, I would feel helpless in her position and I didn’t want her to feel that way. I know better now and I promise she’ll be the first person I call / text / email. I miss her like the devil but I’m so proud of her for having the guts to go away from everything familiar on this huge overseas adventure. If I had the money, I’d fly her home for a visit but being a poor student now, that’s out of the question. Nonetheless, she has been there for me in times of crisis that no-one else knows about (a relatively frequent state of affairs for me – haha) and in times of complete hilarity. With her, I’ve laughed until I cried. She’s a true friend and someone I trust to the ends of the earth. Speaking with her a fortnight ago settled me no end, because I know now that no matter what goes down, we’ve got each others’ back. I love you, Mealsy… this is for you…Happy Australia Day!!!

Koalas-cute kangaroo1 sausages-on-barbeque r1063148_12473067 australia-flag-map minties440 vegemite175 castlemaine_xxxxgold bogan

And you’ll be back with us soon enough, so smile at this OK????!!! PS. Love the last pic of the bogan. Lastly, I’ve included 2 clips of the fabulous Rebel Wilson in Pitch Perfect, just in case you haven’t taken my advice and got it on DVD… she absolutely kills it in this movie. haha. xx

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