Posted in mindfulness

Chewing on food and words

I have been giving myself a hard time because the ease of following my eating plan in the first 5 months has ended.  I now find myself tempted, a lot and have even over indulged purely in habit when stressed.  

I had a change in thinking yesterday.  I am now viewing the struggle as positive.  It is forcing me to make decisions about what I eat and why.  I am no longer following the eating plan or the actual choices of food by rote.

My goal this year was to live mindfully and these challenges help me achieve that.  I know that talking about something won’t cure it but if it is a habit and you manage it by replacing a new more mindful way of action and thinking.  It is a better way of living.

Two nights ago I had 5 points left on my daily point allowance under  the Weight Watchers system.  We were at the supermarket and I was putting high point items in the trolley stating they were for later.

Who was I kidding!! Not even myself because I knew if I bought these high point items I would eat them, immediately, and at the same time wreck my clean eating efforts. At times will power is ineffectual over just having to eat something I know is sitting in my cupboards. 

So I chose not to buy them. I told myself if I wanted them I could go back tomorrow and eat them within my points.  Was I a ‘little’ grumpy ? Definitely!, but I didn’t go back for them the next day.

This way of eating is teaching me a lot about my eating patterns and how often they are dictated by my mood and the past.  I wanted a lifetime not a lifestyle change and I am working hard for it.

Posted in Thesis Trauma

Righting a wrong

I woke today with new words from my thesis.  As you may know from my writing, I have an adversarial relationship with my thesis.  I received my lowest media studies grade for it and I never felt the heart connection to it, that it deserved and required.  I also let stress interfere way too much in the process.

The relationship with your supervisor in this process is pivotal and mine was flawed.  I could not voice what I needed and he could not meet me at a level I needed. This challenge was made harder with the death of the supervisor I wanted and their mutual dislike. 

I have to rewrite it.  Yep 40, 000 words.  I am leaving the flawed thesis in place and am working with what I have.  Although I will take on board what the markers felt was missing.  I am not sure I can find peace with this process until I do do so   

I am dreading and excited about this.  I will post updates but will keep the work private until complete.  This feels right for me to do.

Posted in Published Writing

The Life and Work of Scott Thomas Eastham

Today is a very special day to me. I contributed to a book celebrating the life of my lecturer, Scott Eastham who died in 2013.  The book is written by his family and his students.  It shares his philosophy of life and teaching and I have it in my possession and on my eReader. 

The title is:

CIRPIT REVIEW MONOGRAPHS n. 3 – 2016.  The Life and Work of Scott Thomas Eastham.  His message to the next generation.

It was edited by his wife Mary Eastham. Making it even more special to me.

I am so honoured to be a contributor.  It was important to me that his amazing approach in the classroom was represented. My chapter is titled:  

“Say not in grief he is no more,- but live in thankfulness that he was” 

Quoted from Rabindranath Tagore.

I am so proud that my chapter passed the international peer review process.  I was intimidated when writing it, feeling inadequate to do so.  While my writing is academic, I did write exactly what I wanted to.  

I love the Mitch Albom quote that I included:

Death ends a life, not a relationship” 

From his wonderful book Tuesdays with Morrie.    Which will also be my second tattoo.

I read my chapter out to my parents and my mother cried.  It took me a while to be able to read it without crying.  I will probably cry as I read the book for the first time in its entirety.

I am so looking forward to curling up with my eReader.   The hard copy is for display in our library at home.

There may be a book launch and I will want photos from that.  It is just a wonderful feeling, embedded in this book and helping ease the loss of his physical presence in my life.  He is always with those who knew him in spirit and from what we learnt.

Posted in Daily life


EMDR: Eye Movement Desensitisation & Reprocessing

I thought that CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – a talking therapy to manage your problems by changing how you think and behave) was my last chance to heal.  I liked the homework and very structured approach but it didn’t work for me.  I found it extremely depressing, seeing so much wrong and how much work.  It meant that I began to experience hopelessness.  I was also very closed off from my thoughts and at times I could not even figure out my trigger thought.  Mindfulness made more sense for me.

I am trying to get into DBT (Dialectical Behavioural Therapy – an offshoot of CBT) because I believe that some of the practices you learn within it offer more tools for my toolbox to defeat my depression and anxiety.  Or at least learn how to manage it with less negative impact on my life.  However, in NZ there are hardly any practitioners so I am on a never ending waiting list.  I do work on some of these therapies on my own through book guides but doing it that way means that I have no feedback about whether it is effective or not.

So I am trying EMDR but with tapping not the rapid eye moments because that gave me a headache.  I am in the initial stages but it seems to suit me.  I can invoke my meditation skills to build the safe place required to move from there into trauma areas.  Basically, this theory seeks to remove trauma memories from the forefront and resolve them in the same way that positive memories are.  They may be present but not in the dominant way that they were previously.

I am hoping this is my way forward.  I appreciate the calmer state of meditation and bringing mindfulness into play throughout my day.  I want to be more present in my life without the shroud of my past over shadowing it.


Posted in Daily life


I must admit that with counselling and self reflection comes journalling.  Besides that every year I would buy a glossy new diary with a page a day and enthusiastically write for a few weeks and then just stop.  I have a pile of half full journals to attest to that!  I think they are like New Years Resolutions! Or at least, for me, meet a similar fate!

Hubby, he who knows me well and is often heard to say:”I know because I observe” nagged me to get a 5 year diary.  Much like he nagged me to get a blog going!!  I find it much easier to fill in a few lines for a day than a whole page.  If I need more space I can take up the next year’s space too.

If I don’t write and like my nlog there are periods where my written voice is somehow snatched from me, no page is blank because it will get written on the following years. For me that rem9ves some of the stress for when I can’t write.

My diary requires me to fill in the year, understand each days date. What I am enjoying and finding fun and inspirational is reading what happened the year or two before.  I find details of my life I forgot and little treats of what was important enough to note down.

Last year there was periods of a really hopeless mindset and suicidal ideation.  Reading those days helps remind me of how far I have c0me to this point and hopefully when I return to those dates next year it will be even better!!

So I highly recommend a five year diary to record snippets of your life and remind you of what you valued previously.  The personal insights are helping me progress on my recovery journey.  Both in a return to function and to a better self – relationship.

Posted in Daily life

Engaging the Patterns

I am very conscious to the fact I self sabotage.  I have a fairly consistent record of it.  I succeed at something like triathlons, cycling, gym workouts, daily 8 km walks then runs, hockey etc etc.  Then there is a period of ” can’t be bothered” or injury or some excuse, that grows from missing one session to months of inactivity and piling on the weight.

Hubby works tirelessly to break through my mood and mind set. When I do break through I fail to return to the old and proven.  I try something new.  Not this time.   This time I am aware of the pattern and am actively engaging with it.

I returned to the gym because I truly love the workouts and the body it creates.  I know I love it so why give in to nonsense and try to find something new.  I can accommodate my injuries and pain and still have a great workout.  There is a measure of accountability in writing my experiences here, open to speculation but also motivation and inspiration.

In regards to Weight Watchers there was stress but I also think I got bored.  6 months of absolute focus on eating got boring.  It was working but I craved more.  Adding the gyms means today I am 4 days of clean eating. It also helped that I sat down and had a meditation session around what was happening, engaged with it and bought my eating back to conscious eating decisions.

I am struggling a bit today but will hold to the gym in an hour or so.  I woke up with sore shoulders so will take that into account.  I am considering swimming tomorrow for a cardiovascular but gym break. I do better going every day.

Share your story or advice or what you feel like.  I love getting and replying to comments.

Posted in Daily life

Day two

I went to the gym and did a knee conscious cardiovascular workout on the seated bike.  At the start my knees protested painfully but I persevered and felt my thighs and calves loosen up.

The modification was that instead of 20 mins going up a level every minute I got to 10 and turned back. I was pleased to keep the rpms at above 60, which I achieved.  I got sweaty!

I ended the cardiovascular session with a good stretch.  I was pleased to really feel the stretch and to deepen them gently through meditation.

A great day two!  I am considering the circuit session on Thursday but I am being careful to watch that my enthusiasm doesn’t create an injury.

Feel encouraged to share your exercise stories.  I l9ve engaging with others!!

Posted in Daily life

Dreams come true

This morning I dreamt I worked out. On waking I nearly went to the gym. A gym I stopped going to about this time last year.  I wrote some of the why in the earlier post. 

So I told hubby my dream. And being the man he is he took me to the gym and signed me up.  I didn’t panic.  I didn’t argue, I signed up. On the way out I hit the door sensor with my card and just smiled.

Tonight I went back and did the first workout in my gym book.  I figure it worked before and I enjoyed it so start there.  My old trainer is the gym manager which was cool and she said I looked good!!

Here is my post workout look:

I loved every minute of my workout. My muscles seemed to remember the moves and went for it.  The rower was a bit much for my knee but otherwise I rocked it.  

Of course I may not be able to move tomorrow lol. But so worth it.

Posted in Daily life

Seeking Sign Post

Recently I have lost my way with my weight loss efforts.  Stress, injuries, lack of focus, medication withdrawals and generally poor decision making all contributed.  I found myself slipping into poor eating choices,  all the while arguing with myself to stop.  

I took a break from my meetings and my fitbit and just refocused.  I like how I look at 20+ kilos gone, so another 40 would be sensational.   I could try clothes on in “fancy” shops where I only push my nose against the window now.

I wore more fitted clothes that show off my new shape.  I almost gasped when I saw my reflection in a window.  My hips  have definition and my waist is much slimmer.  Normally I don’t notice but I need to, if I am to lose another 40 kilos.

I want to return to the gym.  I quit because I could not make myself go. I was ashamed at my weight gain and too depressed to make changes to address it. I believe I am ready now. My thinking is that I can go to the gym when I feel trapped.  Burn off the feeling with physical exertion, instead of thoughts tumbling  around my head.

I dreamt about working out and woke hungry for it.  I have some basic gear at home but I believe I need the social aspect of other people being present.   I don’t need to engage them, just their presence helps me battle my agoraphobia.

I will think some more on this and let you know the outcome!