A farewell.. of sorts.

This is the final blog post for this blog.

It isn’t my final blog post ever, just for this blog. I am trying to streamline my life more, and this means cutting back on certain things. So I have decided to only have one blog. Much as I like the WordPress for many things, Blogspot suits my needs more. And no I’m not going to pay to self host WordPress. 🙂

So, if you would like to continue to read my sporadic ramblings be sure to follow me at my other blog.

Orthodontic Overture

Dentists… an interesting breed. I had the ‘joy’ of spending an extended period of time at a dental hospital recently whilst my son had bands put on his teeth.

It happens to be a teaching hospital. You see students scurrying around learning the dental trade, whilst senior dentists instruct on everything from procedures to patient care.

Dental nurses seems to be so clued into their assigned Dentist that they know which tool is needed before it is needed. And all around there is the subtle undercurrent of fear and distaste from the multitude of patients, who mainly happen to be quite young (at least in my terms – teenagers are young).

But these dentist, orthodontists, dental technicians, dental nurses etc are dedicated. You can see they want the best for their patients, that they know the fear just the word ‘dentist’ has for some people.

Why is it that we fear them so much? Women happily present themselves to have hair violently ripped from their bodies, but will avoid sitting in a dentist chair. Men revel in slamming bodies together on the sporting field, but quake in the face of a tiny drill.

Let’s face it.. it happens inside your mouth.. the place you eat, breathe and drink through. The thing you use to talk. Inside your skull. Pain inside your head is awful. Having people inflict pain inside your head is horrible. But honestly, not seeing a dentist is worse.

Bad teeth can add to other health risks, increasing infection rates. Surgeons will refuse to operate on a patient with rotting teeth because of the infection risk.

So we all need to man up and face the guy with the big moving chair… or find a way to minimise necessary visits. Brush, floss and have regular check ups. Go on… all of you…. but not me… scares the beejeebers out of me!


As a parent I spend a lot of time attempting to teach my children how to share, teaching them that sharing is important and necessary. Unfortunately I forgot to tell them that some things do NOT need to be shared. These things include bodily functions and your germs.
My children have recently chosen to share their germs with me.. resulting in a rather nasty cold. So thank you offspring.. but next time, keep it to yourself!

Yarn balls and a dark box.

My weight loss journey is currently on hold.. I am trying not to let things blow out… but other things have made themselves a priority.
The main aspect of this is my mental health. I have been living with depression and a dissociative disorder for many years, both of which have their roots in events that began 30 years ago.
The last 9 months or so have been traumatic for me, starting with the loss of my dear dear friend Sofie, who I wrote about last year. Since then there have been several more losses, both for me and for those who are close to me and mean a lot to me. All of these passings have been difficult, shocking and unexpected. The one that I might have expected has not occurred as yet (my dear grandfather who has terminal cancer).
All of this has caused a relapse of my depression, which I pretty much had under control and well managed.
Depression is a difficult thing, but it is also interesting. As part of my treatment I see a wonderful therapist, someone I have been seeing on and off over the last 6 years or so. In my last session I was talking about the world inside my head as a way of trying to understand where I am and where I need to go.
Hence the title of this post.. yarn balls and a dark box.
I am currently in the dark box. Inside with me are all the tools and tips and tricks I have learnt over the years to manage my depression. None of them seems to currently be able to crack the box open. Eventually one will get it open and then the work really begins.
Outside the box is a world populated with giant yarn balls, massive tangles that need unknotting in order to move forward. Some are fairly easy to sort out, but others are complex and tiring and difficult. Sometimes it gets so hard that the dark box looks very attractive. Things are simple in there.
Over time I progress forward and I begin to feel ‘better’ and begin to relax. Then I glance over my shoulder and it is right there.. the dark box. No matter how far forward I feel I have moved.. it is just there.. beckoning, calling. And then I look forward and I recognise yarn balls I already untangled.
If the outside world is going well, then I can knuckle down and keep moving forward.. but if things go crazy, or bad things happen, then the box looks more attractive than ever. I figure I can just duck in there and rest up.. but this is a mistake. Things might be simple in the box but it is enervating. And the yarn balls grow and tangle while I am in there.
Sometimes I get so tired, so drained, so unhappy in my head.

Weeks 4, 5 and 6

Oh dear, I have been slack!
Apologies to those who were waiting on the next instalment of my weight loss journey.
At the time of writing this I have had my 6th weigh in and am currently 120kg, so a loss of 9.5kg since I began. I was surprised I lost anything this week as I haven’t been exercising as recommended, nor have I stuck to my diet. I frankly have had a very bad week with my depression.
The week before I didn’t have a loss or a gain, which I put down to getting an Elliptical trainer from a friend – I’m pretty sure I put on muscle mass, which we all know weighs more than fat.
This last week has not been easy, and there have been times I have eaten things in excess or things I shouldn’t really eat.. like chocolate mousse cake. However, the cake was for my son’s birthday and one of my other kids made it.. so I think it was only fair LOL.
Easter is also not helpful. All that chocolate everywhere you go. I’m a chocolate addict, so this is a bit like sticking an alcoholic in a brewery. I did have some chocolate, but I specifically bought dark chocolate, partly for its ‘health’ benefits and partly because I can only eat a little at a time without feeling sick!
But I am still on track. Bumps and hurdles are expected and managing them effectively is all I can do.
Thank you to those who are helping me and supporting me on this journey.

Week Three Check In

Here I am after my third weigh in. Did I lose any weight? Did I put weight on? Had anything changed?
Good news is.. yes I lost weight.. another kilo! I am now 123kg (according to the scales at home.) I had a doctors appointment today, and when I told her I had lost over 5kg she was shocked that I had lost so much in 3 weeks. It is not often I surprise her! She had some lovely vampire blood test results for me. Unfortunately these were not all good. My sugar levels are fine, as are my iron and a few others things. But my Vitamin D levels are a little low.. more sunshine for me. My cholesterol is a bit on the high side, with low levels of the good bits. My triglycerides are high too.. which is apparently tied to sugar. I do not really add sugar to much, so I can only assume this is due to sugar in foods, like bread.
I will redo these tests in 6 months and we will see how it is going.
I am very happy with the weight loss, especially as this was a very tough week where I felt emotionally battered and drained. I am very proud of myself for avoiding my usual comfort eating, choosing instead to snack on healthier options.
Now we head into Week 4.

Weigh In Week 2

Im a few days late with this post. Life gets hectic… ok, I got sucked into Fable 2! Anyway, I am finally here.
Monday was my second weigh in. I went with what the scales at home said, which would make my weight 124kg. This means I lost 1.5kg last week. This is actually quite impressive to me, considering the week I had.

On the Wednesday I found out that a doctor I had a few years back ended his own life. This came as a huge shock. This doctor, Paul Lehmann, had a huge impact on my life and the life of my family.
When I first met him he was pretty much fresh out of medical school. He was probably the youngest doctor I had ever seen. One of the first things I noticed was that he knew how to type, and not that one finger deal the older doctors were doing. And he wasn’t watching his fingers. Funny how you remember little things.
What he did for me was diagnose my PND. I had probably had it since I had my twins back in 1995, but it wasn’t diagnosed until after I had my fourth son in 2000. He helped me get the help I needed and for that I will always be grateful.
When my partner hurt his back at work a few years later he was unhappy with the response of the first doctor he went to. So I recommended Dr Lehmann to him as someone who would listen and take action. The first doctor had handed him a script for painkillers and told him to rest for 6 months. Dr Lehmann explored other medical treatments and helped him get a proper diagnosis. He also stood up for him in meetings with Work Cover (notorious for not taking the ‘client’s’ needs into account). Unfortunately my partner’s back injury has not been resolved, but it is certainly better than it would have been, thanks to Dr Lehmann.
Dr Lehmann was a fierce campaigner for Mental Health services, and is considered the reason behind one of the biggest injections of funds into the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service in South Australia.
What wasn’t known as much is that he battled depression himself. Even with all his knowledge, and his intelligence when he was in the darkest depths of depression he could not see clearly and acted in a way he would not normally.
He was a wonderful man and doctor and will be sorely missed. His funeral was yesterday, and it was standing room only, and very moving. I extend my deepest condolences to his family and friends.

It has been a sad week for many around me, and for me myself. However, I did not use this as an excuse to over indulge. I did eat a bit more on a couple of occasions, but stuck to ‘healthier’ options. I noticed another physical sign of changing size too, my bras fit better (probably too much information LOL). I also bought myself some new sneakers which make walking a lot more comfortable.

Now we face forward towards another week. Until then – ciao!

Weigh in one and a revelation.

Today was my first way in on Calorie King.. the site I am using to help me on my weight loss journey. They help with meal plans and have heaps of helpful information and supportive people.. all of whom are going on a similar journey.
So every week you ‘check in’ – update your weight and measurements. Because I decided I wanted to do my check in on Mondays it has been less than a week since I started.. about 5 days. My starting weight I got from my doctor’s scale.. today I weighed myself on our scales. I am not entirely convinced of their accuracy, although this afternoon my mum told me they were pretty good. They aren’t digital, so minor weight losses are not going to register as well as they could. Anyway.. according to our scales I lost 5 kg. That was taken first thing in the morning in my pjs. I did it again after I came home from running around doing ‘errands’ and eating and got 4.5kg. So I’m saying I lost 4kg. A lot more than I was aiming for, but I am still pleased. I am also aware that it is unlikely I will get numbers like that very often if ever again LOL.
I bought myself a pedometer today too… it talks! It was fairly cheap, but I think will help determine how much I burn whilst walking around all over town taking the little one to Kindy and Daycare and doing errands. I do not have a car, so I walk or use public transport. It is sort of funny walking along and suddenly this voice from my hip goes ‘1000 steps’ LOL.

Shrinking Me

Now on to my revelation. Today was also my monthly counselling session. I have suffered from depression and a dissociative disorder for many years which stems from abuse as a child. These sessions are great for me to refocus, and to unload. And sometimes things come up that are like a lightbulb. Today was one of those days.

Being fat is a very effective barrier. People do not often look past the fat to the person inside, do not consider there may be things going on that have contributed to them being where they are. This is fine by me, was fine by me.. it meant I could be dissociative without worry. I hide behind my fat. But I am also slowly killing myself. I am sabotaging myself. I am committing suicide very slowly and quietly so no one will really notice and I can just ‘not be there’. Well that was until last Wednesday.. when I realised I do not want to kill myself, I want to be here. I am not going to go quietly. I want to see my children grow up and have families of their own.
This may not seem like a major revelation, but it really does indicate a turning point in my mental illness. It means I am no longer waiting for things to happen, I am taking action. Taking action is what changes things.. not waiting. The ‘right time’ doesnt just happen, you have to make it happen.

Baby Steps to begin a new journey.

I had a wake up call the other day. I had a doctor’s appointment to have a general check up, and in the course of it the doctor weighed me. She knows I hate to be weighed and I didn’t look when she did it. I know I’m overweight, and I had a pretty good idea what it was going to say. The doctor had to leave the room for a couple of minutes and I was looking at my file on her computer. And there is was.. my weight.. in black and white. Im not overweight… I’m not even obese.. I’m morbidly obese. My 163cm frame is carrying a whopping 129.5kg. My chances of becoming a diabetic are very high, as well as the risks of heart disease and the stress it puts on my body.
Now the reasons behind getting to this weight are complex, and not just due to overeating and being sedentary. I have hypothyroidism which developed whilst I was pregnant, but was not diagnosed until 3 months after I had my youngest. Previous to getting pregnant I had lost a fair amount of weight and kept it off for nearly 4 years, I was pretty active and my diet whilst not the healthiest, was pretty good, lots of vegetables, low fat just about everything.
So during my last pregnancy I started to put on weight, and there didn’t really seem to be a reason, and for the first time ever I was putting on weight around my upper abdomen..previously all weight seemed to go straight to my lower belly, butt and thighs. I had every intention of getting back into walking after I had my daughter, even bought a jogging type stroller. I certainly hadn’t counted on having no energy at all. I knew I would be tired, this was baby number 5 after all, but this was very different.
I would get up in the morning, get the older kids off to school, then go back to bed until lunchtime.. my little one lying next to me or being looked after by my mum. Then I’d get up and have a shower, then rest on the lounge for most of the rest of the day. I did very little… could do very little. My arms got gradually more and more weak.
Eventually I realised there was something wrong, went to the doctor, had a blood test and suddenly learned that I wasn’t just being lazy.. my body was ‘broken’. My doctor told me my thyroid related levels were probably the lowest she had seen. My thyroid is not underactive.. it is inactive, useless, borked. Which means medication for life.. I can live with that (not much choice really!)
So during this time I put on a lot of weight, which made me feel bad about myself, which brought up a whole heap of ‘old’ issues, which led to me becoming depressed again, which led to overeating.. yeah vicious cycle really.
My ‘baby’ is now four, she is beginning to take steps to independence, learning how to talk, expressing herself. The other day she said ‘mummy is fat, I’m not going to be fat like mummy’. Ouch!
So no more denial, no more ‘waiting for the right time’.. I’m making this the right time. I am going to lose weight. I want to see my kids grow up, I want grandchildren.
So here I am in all my 129.5kg glory….

This is the last time I will be this big. I will never let myself go like this ever again. I fully expect that sometimes I will fall off the cart, but I will pick myself up and get back on. I will hold myself accountable for everything I put in my mouth. I will move this big butt more and more.
I’m not after miracle weight loss, I don’t want a quick fix. I am going to work my butt off.. literally. It will not be quick, it will not be painless.. but it will be worth every tear, every drop of sweat, every uneaten chocolate bar.

If you are interested in seeing how this journey goes, then feel free to keep an eye on my blog. I am going to attempt to update it at least once a week.. even if just a few words.

Find your Calling.

Over the last week or so I have spent a bit of time in and around medical facilities whist my dear Grandpa has various treatments and appointments.
He is very lucky to be cared for by some very dedicated doctors and nurses who look past his advanced age and give him the same care and attention that they give much younger patients.
You see, Grandpa is 94 years and 5 months old. He has lived a long and full life and I have noticed on occasion that some wonder why they should bother ‘fixing’ anything when he is ‘not long for this world’.
But these nurses and doctors are dedicated to tending patients young and old to the very best of their ability. They don’t see a decrepit old man, they see a human in need.

There is nowhere this is more obvious than the Day Oncology department of Cabrini (the hospital my Grandfather has spent a lot of time in recently). Many people come through their doors every day, and many spend quite some time sitting quietly receiving treatment.
The nurses, whilst extremely busy, take the time to chat to their patients, answer their questions and tend to their needs. This helps to make what can be a quite distressing situation just a little easier to bear.

Which brings me to the reason for this post.
For these nurses and doctors caring for the sick and injured is a calling. It has nothing to do with money and everything to do with the personal fulfillment that their job gives them. Knowing that they have helped just a little in someone’s life at an awful time.
And this makes me think of myself, and my many crafting/artistic/creative friends and how it can be a calling, a deep, intense need to contribute to our world in a creative way, a positive way.
Sure, there are those that create to make money, as there are those who do medicine to make money. But personally I think they are far outweighed by those who invest their heart and soul.
For me creating is a calling. I derive enormous personal fulfillment from ever piece I create, every word I craft, every idea that becomes reality. And whilst I love to sell my items, share my work, to those that appreciate it, I would do it regardless.

Unfortunately we live in a world where people need money to live, and personal fulfillment is not high on the list of ‘necessities’.
What a wonderful world it would indeed be if we could all do that which is our calling, and make a fair living from it. I hope one day to be in that position.
For now I will continue to create, to answer my calling as much as I can. I can only hope that I can touch the life of some, as the doctors and nurses who care for my Grandfather have touched mine.