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.

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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.

Happy Holidays

I dont think I have ever actually done a Christmas/Holiday greeting blog post before. I wonder if there is a formula, things one is supposed to say? So I will have to wing it as best I can.
The holiday season is a difficult one for me, many memories that I would rather forget, however I have children and I believe that they deserve to have Christmas memories that are good and worth remembering. But in our family our focus is not on having a huge feast, or getting lots of ridiculously expensive presents. Our focus is quite simply being together. A couple of years ago my gifts to my kids were Ambulance cover and a new working home phone. Most years they get clothes.. yes jocks and socks. And you know what, they appreciate it. They understand that the thought is more important than the cost.
So my Christmas wish for all, is that you get joy from the little things at this time of year… the joy on the face of a child catching sight of Santa, the hug from a distant relative, the smile from a loved one, the sound of ripping paper and laughter. For one day put aside the anger over a harsh word, the stress of financial worries, the past events that taint family get togethers and be thankful for the good things you do have.
Being thankful is something one should try to do everyday, but I am more than well aware of how difficult that can be… so make an extra special effort to make sure you have at least one shining day.
From me and all my family…
Happy Holidays, may joy be with you.
HaffinaCreations 🙂

Encouraging the next generation.

As some of you who have followed me for a while will know, I have children. Five of them to be exact. The 4 oldest are all males, and the littlest is a girl who seems to rule the house, but that is another story.
My children have been watching me create for years, along with my mum, and often ask to try things out. My mum has taught them knitting and cross stitch, whilst I give tips on drawing, perspective, painting and on occasion allow them to access parts of my ‘stash’.


Recently the ‘middle’ child asked if he could make some jewellery, in fact he had been hounding me a bit about it, because it had been probably a year since he last had been granted access to the hoard. I was busy creating myself, so I said yes and handed him a container of ‘mixed’ Czech pressed glass beads and other bits.
As he designed and strung he would come and show me, and I was pretty impressed, his ‘style’ has improved. A couple of times I made suggestions on what I thought would work better or be more appealing. Then when he was done I finished the pieces off for him.


During my next photography session I took photos of his pieces and then listed them in his section of HaffinaCreations (yes, he has his own category, as do his two older brothers).
A few of my artisan friends saw his pieces and frankly they were really impressed, he shows a definite talent, his eye for balance is great. When I told him and showed him the comments that had been made he was so chuffed.


My main reason for this blog post is not to toot his or my own horn, but to encourage all parents to encourage their children to find their talents. Give them a helping hand, show pride in their achievements, they are the artisans and crafts people of the future. Educate them in how to show off their creations in a positive and constructive way, help them build confidence to take the scary steps of going public with what they are doing.

Props to the Postie

We all read lots of stories about dreadful customer service and being let down, ripped off, disregarded etc etc.
Well today is different, today I am going to write a blog about my local post office and its all good.
I live in an area that was semi-rural, but in recent times has had something of a growth boom..the little country town is turning into something more like a suburb. Quite often when that happens a lot of the services lose their ‘personal’ touch, their customer report.
I am happy to say that that is not happening everywhere in my town.
Take the local post office… the only post office in what is a fairly large town now. They are pretty busy most of the time, but that doesnt stop them from looking after their customers. If Im expecting a parcel and it hasnt arrived when I thought it should have, they will do an extra check for me. They often give my daughter something to play with to keep her occupied or happy..I’ve been given books and stickers and balls.. for free.
Today took the prize though..and I wasnt the one on the receiving end of the fabulous service.
A lady came into the post office with a huge box to be posted. It wasnt very heavy, but the box was pretty big… about 16 cubic litres I think they said. Anyway, because of the size of the box the postage was going to be expensive…especially for the weight. The lady said that there wasnt really much in the box, but it was the only one she could find to fit the length of the item in it… and even then it was longer than the item.
So instead of charging her for all that empty space, Mike (postal worker – fab guy) opens the box, takes out the item, then proceeds to cut the box down to a smaller size, tapes it back together and puts the item back in.
He didnt have to do it, and it cost the post office money, but for me it was one of the most heartwarming things I’ve seen in a while. This type of amazing customer service is something I think deserves recognition. His bosses probably arent happy.. but whilst that one act might have cost them a few dollars in postage, it certainly has ensured my custom, and will be passed via word of mouth to others..which is the best advertising a business can receive in my book.
So to the folk at my local post office..thank you, many businesses could learn a thing or two from your customer service.

Success!

The other day I was chatting with my gem queen, Deb from Crysallis Gems, whilst I was swimming in ‘da bukkit’ (nickname for the most gorgeous, sparkly treasure trove ever!). I had come across some darling little gemstone cabochons. By little I mean 6mm and 7mm across. Now as obsessed as I am with miniatures I wondered if I could turn these little marvels into miniature jewellery by beading around them.

Deb, as usual, thought I was nuts!

Last night I was lying in bed when I remembered that I had a couple of small faux opal cabochons that someone had gifted me. I had pretty much ignored them because they were too small for the type of jewellery I was making at the time. Now these cabs are bigger than Deb’s babies, but are small enough to give a good idea if a beaded cab this size is feasible.

So today I sat down to try it out. I grabbed some 15/o seed beads, fireline and a scrap of Ultrasuede (I knew I kept the tiny bits for a reason!). Fast forward a hour or two and I now have a Barbie sized beaded cabochon with spiral rope necklace, finished with a ‘beaded toggle’.

Excuse the quality of the pictures, but I was very eager to share and snapped a few quick shots. And excuse the state of undress of the Barbie model – her owner (3yrs old) believes Barbie does not need clothing.LOL