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A New Lease On Life…

11 Jul

With my hair straightened and blow-dried, I precariously applied a light coat of lip gloss.  I studied myself in the mirror one last time and thought, “Hmm…not too bad, girlfriend.”

The meticulous preparation and the subtle pep talk to self was reminiscent of being single and first dates.  But it wasn’t.  Instead, I left the bathroom and went to find my husband to ask for his opinion.

“Wow !  You look like a brand new person…” he beamed.

The moment his face lit up when I walked into the room, I knew I hadn’t just been placing tabs on myself.

I knew I felt good.  I knew I felt confident and comfortable in my skin.

But he proved that it was also visible.

The new me.

Walking to the bus stop, waiting in anticipation, I was eager to meet up with my newly acquainted friends.

I believe that people step into your life at the right time for the right reasons.  I found it to be true when meeting my husband.

Having only met these ladies once before, we established a connection in the first instance.  So much so that I went home not being able to sleep – my head whirling with the possibilities of where the friendship could take us.

The only natural progression was to see them again soon after.  To be absolutely sure we were on the same page.  That the initial profound conversations were not a fluke.

And they weren’t.

We immediately picked up where we left off – sharing secrets, trading stories, planning goals together.

It had been awhile since I felt involved.  Where my opinion mattered.  Where my past experiences in the corporate world were considered valuable.  An asset, even.  Delving into the conversations – feeding off from each other’s excitement and passion – I felt alive again.

I know I never died.

This is not to claim that my roles as a wife and mother are unsatisfying.  Or that my existing long-term relationships and friendships are inadequate.  Getting caught in the humdrum of life, sometimes there is little time left for family and a handful of friends.

So, how is it possible that I establish a new circle ?

Where did the need come from ?

The unquenchable search to figure out my purpose in life beyond motherhood.

That it is possible to find an even newer lease on life…

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Training for the City2Surf: Finding Will Power – Week 2

9 Jun

I’ve made it public last week about my sordid love affair with Salt ‘N Vinegar chips.  In the past, it has gone beyond control.

After spending a long extended stint in Japan (namely, almost a decade), the first thing I did when I arrived back in Australia was crash on my parents couch, watched Foxtel and ate bag after bag…after 175 gm bag of salt and vinegar chips.  Yeah, I know.  Disgusting, right ?

"Salt 'N Vinegar Chips, how do I love thee ??? Let me eat through the ways..."

While living in Tokyo, my folks always sent care packages with an abundant supply of these sodium-rich, mouth watering snacks.  Opening the boxes, the packets had inevitably burst open from the high-altitude air-freighted journey, leaving me with broken chips scattered everywhere.  It didn’t stop me from picking up and savouring each and every tiny little precious crumb.

So, here I am today.  On my running and fitness kick.  I know there shouldn’t be any room for my beloved crispy pals.  But breaking away from them is oh, so, so hard.

Going to Coles for our weekly grocery shopping on Sunday, I managed to achieve the unthinkable.  Walking by the confectionary aisle, I noticed an inviting bright yellow sales tag under my source of addiction:

“2 for $4”

I walked by that aisle three times.  Despite all the pacing, I stayed strong.

I left Coles without those extra snacks.

The drive home was excruciating.

I could only think about how terribly delicious that combination of salt and vinegar always is.  And how I was missing out.

Last week I mentioned how motivation and encouragement comes from others.  It takes friends, peers maybe even family to give you that hearty kick up the butt to get moving.

But when it comes to will power…that is all you.

No one else.  And although that can be a lonely concept, the rewards are again, only for you to reap.

Not buying those chips was a small triumph for me, but it lead me to avoiding bigger regrets.

Instead, I was able to enjoy this week’s highlights and achievements.

Highlights:

No major weight loss this week, but I can feel my body changing.

Wearing my pre-pregnancy jeans, they no longer feel tight.  There is a certain sag in the bum and in the legs.  Although I don’t need to yank them up all the time, when I do need to pull them up, they don’t stop in the same place.  My jeans can actually go a little higher on the tummy.  Amazing.

As for that post-natal rubber tyre stomach ?  It’s still there.  But that stubborn bulge is less prominent.  It’s no longer a tyre.  More like a billowing cushion…

I even got to wear new slinky jeans on date night !

Achievements:

One of the mums from my personal training group suggested we go for a run last Saturday morning.

Jeepers.  I am so not a morning person.  Yet somehow, I agreed.

So, she texted me at 6am.  It was pitch black outside.  I grumbled getting out of bed to put on my running gear.

Then, getting outside I realised just how magical early mornings are.  There was a pink sunrise.  Only cyclists and the milk delivery truck on the road.

We ended up having a great time.

During our run, this mum made a great point, “This is the only time in the day when I can truly say it’s just time for me…”

No screaming tantrums.  No smelly nappy changing.  No unpredictable family or children-related dilemmas.

We’ve arranged to go for another run tomorrow morning.

Tune in next week for more running and fitness adventures 🙂

Training for the City2Surf: Going Beyond The Call Of Duty – Week 1

1 Jun

There’s a mothers exercise training group that I joined almost three months ago.  I’ve spoken about them in previous posts – here and here.

Most of them are hard core.  Super fit.  They are the perfect group of people to get me motivated in losing all these wobbly bits brought on by twinlet birth and an undying love for salt and vinegar chips.

We meet every Tuesday and Thursday mornings – rain, hail or shine.

In all its heavy rain and strong winds, yesterday morning was no exception.

As we arrived for training, standing under the only tree in the park for protection, our trainer started to brief us on the raining trail she had planned for us.

We all looked at each other, looked at the rain and all groaned.

Yet, off we trotted.

As the downpour became heavier, one of the other mums jokingly yelled out to our trainer, “You know, this is totally going beyond the call of duty !!!”

And she was right.  Going beyond what we usually would’ve done and completely step out of our comfort zone.

But then, there is the outcome.

I seriously took up running three months after the boys were born.  It has been a struggle.  I am not a natural runner.  In fact, initially I hated it.

But as it’s typical of my character to live up to a challenge, I’ve tried to stick with it.

To try and conquer the fear.

A little over a year later, there I was:  Jogging in the rain with a bunch of superfit mums.

Despite looking like a drowned rat who had been floating in an open sewerage canal, I was loving every minute of it.  Soaking up the liberating feeling of being outdoors .  Appreciating the rain for all of its natural beauty rather than its usual inconveniences.

So here’s the deal:  I’ve signed up for the famously gruelling 14km City2Surf.

In its lead up (which is Sunday, 14th of August…10 and a half weeks away), every week, I’m going to write a post about my running and fitness.

Where I’m at in getting rid of these post pregnancy love handles.

I’m going to step out of my comfort zone and make sure I see myself at the end of that of that finishing line at Bondi Beach.

In each post, there will be a list of the highlights and achievements from the week.

What better time to start than now ?

Highlights:

  • I’ve lost five kilos in two and a half months
  • Went down a jean size in three weeks
  • My mother-in-law came to visit last week and while I was out of the room, she pulled my husband aside and asked him if there was anything wrong with me as I was “fading away”.

Achievements:

Running a 7km trail in the rain with a bunch of awesome women who are my inspiration.

I’m pumped.  City2Surf 2011.  Bring it on.

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