Saturday, October 24, 2009

Body love

Today, I picked up an old copy of WHO Magazine. The front cover screamed "Biggest Losers - Are They Still?". I would hazard a guess that not a week goes by when a magazine doesn't have something about celebrity weight-loss or gain on the front cover. Good on Magda for shedding the pounds. Tisk, tisk... look at how skinny Nicole Ritchie looks. Oh my, I don't think should be putting that in her mouth...

For as long as I can remember, I've been on a diet. I can recall family gatherings where the table was laden with delicious carb and dairy-laden nibbles. As a kid, I would stand close enough but not too close so that I didn't appear to be moments away from inhaling everything in front of me. Anytime I so much as cast a glance at something my mother would throw me a menacing glance, or if I dared reach for something she would swiftly smack the back of my hand, followed by a growl of "You don't need that." Damn straight I didn't. But I wanted it.

I have always been one of those 'big boned' girls. You know the ones. Taller than the other girls, was the first to wear a bra, teased for wearing anything that was shorter than my knees, told I had tuckshop lady arms by the boys. It sucked. Even at 178cms tall, I've never been skinnier than a size 12, spending most of my teenage and early adult years at around a 14, barely being able to fit into anything at Sportsgirl or Portmans when it mattered most.

Even at that time, I would look at photos of myself and see a fat girl. I would take a quick glance and then push it away, vowing to not eat ever again. Looking back on those photos, I can't believe I tortured myself mentally and physically as much as I did. I actually looked pretty good, in hindsight. I was healthy and curvy. But I can still see the anguish on my face in those photos. I didn't like my body one iota.

Now I'm 27 years old. I would like to think I don't have as much of a hang up on my body as I did 10 or more years ago, but the reality is I still judge myself. Harshly. I even convince myself that other people have the same judgements of me. As confident as I appear to be on the outside, I'm ashamed to admit that sometimes I feel like I over-compensate on the confidence to mask how frustrated I am with myself that I don't look a certain way or fit into certain sized clothes.

Then some days I do a complete 180 and look in the mirror and think to myself "I look great." I tell myself that the size I am now (18-20) is fine and that I don't really look like I'm that size. But I am. And I'm the only person who can do something about it.

I'm not really into fad diets (such as Atkins, Lemon Detox, all those meal supplement shakes etc), as I love food too much. After years of experimenting, I know that the only thing that truly works for me is a good amount of exercise and sensible eating.

Three years ago I lost 30kg by seeing a personal trainer and eating a strict low-fat, low-carb, high protein diet. And it worked a treat. Until I put most of it back on again. The last few years I've gotten into a pattern of skipping breakfast as I race out the door to get to work on time, forgetting lunch as I get too busy in the office, and so I binge when I get home at night and eat anything I can get my hands on. And we all know the easiest things to eat are often the worst things for us.

So I've started on a new program - Ultra Lite, which is pretty much the same program I was on those few years ago. A colleague at work has done it and she looks fantastic. Granted, I have more weight to loose than she did, but to know that it works and it easy to manage into everyday life without having to make too many major and drastic changes is a big plus for me.

Today is day four, and I'm feeling pretty good so far. The portion sizes are small to teach you that you don't need to eat as much food as we do. It's all about balance - salad, veggies and meat in moderation, but regularly. No sugar, no complex carbs. I don't feel hungry and I'm starting to get more energy during the day. I take ketosis tests every morning, so I know for the last three days my body has been burning fat. Hooray!

This new journey isn't about 'being skinny'. It's about being healthy. I'm not healthy the way I am. The fashion stuff is just a bonus. Most of the time I love what I see when I look in the mirror... from the neck up. Now it's time to love all of it.

I go back to see my consultant on Tuesday night and am looking forward to seeing how much weight I've lost and how far my measurements have decreased. Stay tuned! The journey to Body Love has started.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Tutu love no longer unrequited

I've finally got it. No longer do I pine after The One I can't find or afford. No longer do I spend countless hours scouring scores and scores of potential fill-ins or replacements. My love is complete.


Made lovingly by a colleague's mother, it is made of six luxurious layers of soft black tulle and a skirt of black silk satin giving it a glamorous swishing sound as I walk. Complete with a think waist band, it sits high on my waist and is fastened by three vintage black baroque-style buttons.

Hello, lover *swoons*

The Skirt will get its first outing on Friday night (tomorrow) at The Coffee Club's Charity Ball "Journey to the Wild" at the Convention and Exhibition Centre. Last night I did a head count of the number of potential events I have coming up... There's at least half a dozen between now and Christmas. And I don't even need a date - I have The Skirt.

Could I make it my 'thing'? Where ever I go and where ever I wear it, people will stop and say, "Oh, there's the girl in the black tulle skirt..." I think I could make it work.

I'm so in love I think I need it in other colours... Pink and nude/beige as a start...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

All aboard the sushi (love) train

Every Monday there is one thing in my diary I always look forward to - lunch at the local Sushi Train (if you're ever around Paddington Barracks I recommend you pop in for lunch).

Two weeks ago I just happened to go on a Thursday. I hadn't had chance to get lunch and at nearly 2pm I knew it was all I was going to get quickly before I had to race back to the office. The plan was to only spend about 15mins scoffing some tuna rolls and teriyaki chicken, but that didn't happen.

Two plates in to my usual three-four with an icy cold can of Diet Coke, I happened to look up and notice a guy sitting on the opposite side of the train. Now, usual Sushi Train etiquette is to not make eyes with other people who are there - get in, get out and get back to work. But I couldn't help myself - he was cute!

I took a second glance, to make sure - yup, still cute.

And then a third when I sensed he was looking at me too - yup, he was looking.

Oh. My. Goodness.

To look a fourth time was going to put me firmly in stalker territory so I kept my eyes down and tried to look as though I was concentrating hard on making my next sushi plate selection as though I was judging a Nobel Peace prize.

After sitting for so long I thought I was going cross-eyed and without eating anything more, I decided enough was enough. I slowly stood up from my stool, gathered my handbag, straightened my blouse, took a deep breath, and... walked over to the reception counter to pay. I'm more chicken than a Lenard's store at Christmas.

I believe in the next few seconds I managed to stop breathing - he also stood up, made his way to the reception counter and within a micro second-long glance, I was able to judge he was about 6'3 and single. The shoes were a dead giveaway - not great so therefore a girl certainly hadn't picked them out and he clearly wasn't gay.

Waiting for the young Asian girl to process my credit card (a measly $10), I continued to fidget and make another backwards glance. I only hope he didn't think I had a tick, with all the fidgeting and sideways glances...

Alas, no verbal exchange was made and I will confess that since the first Sushi Man sighting, I'm still yet to see him despite having been daily for a week since. If I wasn't worried about him thinking I was a stalker previously I'm sure there's no doubt now! (Joking, clearly, if Sushi Man is reading this)

I'm yet to hear of anyone kicking the bucket following a sushi overdose... so I'll keep going and hope that I see him again with the plan that something intelligent, charming, witty, yet sexy comes out of my mouth... Suggestions welcome.