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.

I heart NY

From the bush (see You Can Take the Girl Out of the Country...)to the Big Apple - my loves couldn't be more different!

Nearly two years ago I spent ten days in New York (January 3 to January 13, 2008) and fell in love. Not only with the city but it's people, culture, architecture and general 'aliveness'. Following my trip, I put together a list of New York Favourites, which I recently updated to share with some friends who are heading off on their own New York adventures. So, I thought I'd share it with everyone.


  • Nikki Beach - 151 E 50 St - like stepping into a bar that belongs at Byron, good for celeb spotting
  • W Hotel on 49th & Lexington in Midtown - Oasis Bar and Whisky Bar, ultra cool, very trendy
  • 'Neal's Speakeasy - 174 Grand Street - great bar, cool cocktails, smooth service (this was "Scout" in Sex and The City)
  • Planet Hollywood in Times Square is also cheap and great people watching - kind of tacky but worth a look and good for a late night snack
  • Waverly Inn – very exclusive, get there early, amazing celeb spotting, very low key suprisingly. 16 Bank St, Greenwich Village
  • SoHo Grand Bar – 310 West Broadway. Gorgeous.
  • Gansevoort Rooftop in Meatpacking District is HOT! 18 9th Ave.
  • Bungalow 8 – of course. 515 w27th in Chelsea. The bar itself is more famous than the people you’ll see there…
  • The bars in the boutique hotels are fantastic – check them out, you might just find a hidden gem!


  • TAO - 58th and Madison - largest and most popular Asian restaurant in NY, great for star spotting, awesome cocktail bar out front, definitely need to book ahead
  • De Nico's - 164 Mulberry Street - best Italian in Little Italy, cheap and awesome service. Sit out the front section so you can watch the people traffic, two young brothers own it and they are typical New York Italian mafia!
  • Sushi Samba - 245 Park Ave Sth - great Japanese food with awesome sushi bar and ultra cool cocktail lounge (as seen in Sex and The City when Samantha throws the cocktail in Richard's face)
  • Sarabeth's - 40 Central Park South - beautiful views of the park, right next to the Plaza, good place for breakfast
  • Cupcakes – Magnolia Bakery, of course. Bleeker St in Greenwich Village
  • Pastis for Sunday brunch is a must! 9th Ave Chelsea
  • Kytofu - like Freestyle, NY-style! Voted as best cupcakes in NYC so make sure you compare against Magnolia! Chelsea Clinton is often spotted here… 9th Ave Midtown (48th & 49th)
  • Check out for some great restaurant recommendations and a page of “cheap eats” too!
  • Gourmet Garage – 6 locations around Manhattan to pick up nibbles and snacks for the days you can’t be bothered eating out


  • Can't go past Abercrombie & Fitch on 5th Ave for guys stuff - and the hot boys standing out the front with their shirts off (get a photo - I chickened out!)
  • Apple Store on 5th is also really cool and open 24hrs. The biggest in the world.
  • There's heaps of boutiques down on Bleeker Street in the West Village like Marc Jacobs and some very trendy designers (it was my favourite shopping spot)
  • For department stores, can't go past Macy's for the bargains and Bloomingdales is definitely worth a look. Seriously can't go wrong with any of the department stores, they are phenomenal. And if you need to buy presents for girlfriends, Victoria's Secret across from Macy's is very cool and sure to win brownie points!
  • Toys - can't go past FAO Schwarz on 5th or Toys'R'Us in Times Square.
  • Ok, now the serious ones - Manolo Blahnik on 34 W 54th Street, Jimmy Choo 645 5th Ave, Sergio Rossi 694 5th Ave, Bergdorf Goodman 754 5th Ave, Bloomingdales 1000 3rd Ave are all in Midtown and AMAZING!
  • There is Diane Von Furstenberg for gorgeous dresses 440 W 14th Street in the Meatpacking Dist, not to mention Alexander McQueen and Stellar McCartney's flagship studios on E 14th Street
  • I LOVED Sephora in Times Sqaure for cheap cosmetics and also the FREE makeovers - you know how they charge for those here (redeemable on product) - over there, they are free, no obligation.
  • Henri Bendels was beautiful, slightly more pricey than the other cosmetics stores, but the service was impeccable.


My best pics were the Guggenheim, the Frick, and the MoMA. There is also the Museum of Sex - interesting... I also loved The Met but it’s so huge. In summer they have great rooftop sculpture gardens apparently!

Other tips

  • Jump on one of the Red buses that takes you on a loop of NY. Great info on different spots and history on NY. Also great way to get your bearings and see where the major spots are and how far to walk etc.
  • Despite the lines, the view from the Empire State Building is awesome. Do the Top of the Rockefeller Centre at night time - it's totally empty and extremely romantic.
  • MUST walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. I suggest getting the subway over, grab a coffee or something and then walk back to Manhattan across the bridge. Stunning.
  • Central Park is amazing and has some really interesting guided walks. The best spots are the Bethesda Fountain and Terrace (where all the movies are filmed) and the Mall (avenue lined with trees) and the Literary Walk of all the famous writers.
  • The subway is really easy to navigate - get taxis when the weather is bad or you can't be bothered walking otherwise - but walk as much as you can to take it all in!
  • Get a hot dog from Grey's Papaya - there are lots of them all over the city.
  • If you like ice cream, grab a soft serve from Tasti D'Lite - tastes amazing and nearly guilt-free!
  • Definitely get down to Ground Zero and Wall St but there really isn't much to see so you could spend maybe two or three hours here, tops
  • Jump on the free Staten Island Ferry when the weather is good to see the Statue of Liberty
  • Whatever you do, don't dine in any of the restaurants in Times Square - they are poor quality and a total rip off on tourists. There was a really great pizza place at the top of Times Square just a short walk from the Gershwin Theatre that I can recommend - cheap and tasty and all the celebs have been in and signed plates on the walls so that now none of the walls can be seen!
  • If you are looking for somewhere to get a blow dry, there's a place called BLOW on E 14th St down in the Meatpacking Dist which is purely a blow drying salon. The guy that did my hair when I went had just done hair for a Victoria Secret shoot.
  • Do either a helicopter tour of Manhattan to get a really amazing perspective on just how incredible the city is, or do a walking photo tour – they look like so much fun and you get some great touristy and not-so-touristy shots to take home!
  • Check out to see which movies are filming in NY when you’re there
  • And of course if you’re a SATC fan, the bus tour is a MUST! Lots of fun.

Monday, October 5, 2009

You can take the girl out of the country...

Last weekend I took two friends out to Boonah, about 90kms west of Brisbane, just past Ipswich on the Scenic Rim.

While there wasn't anything 'scenic' about it on the weekend we went following the biggest duststorms seen in Australia for decades, I still adored the peace and quiet of the bush.

Friends of my family own a small house on the outskirts of Boonah overlooking Boonah Valley and it's truly a picturesque spot. Just 24hrs in Boonah and I feel rested and rejuvenated.

I'm not sure if it's the memories it stirs in me of weekends in Warwick in my primary school years, or just the simple life away from the day to day hustle and bustle of work, the city and my schedule. Whatever it is, I love it.

What about you? Do you have a place that's dear to you, where you can just switch off and forgot your 'world' is a million miles away?

The latest love-search installment...

Ok, here's where we left off: FBI - date number one down, date number two pending. Sparkie - date number one and two down until it turned out he needed bigger nappies than my three year old nephew. So, I'll pick up where I left off...

FBI headed off to Canberra for work training for four weeks before we had a chance to go on date number two, and I was left to fend the singles scene again. While the channels of communication were kept wide open with occasional chats and text conversations, I felt that it was entirely appropriate for me to continue dating, but not actively.

Two weeks into FBI's Canberra jaunt, I was contacted by Gym Boy (again, still on RSVP at this point). The profile was fine, so were the photos. He ticked the boxes, without me thinking "Wow!" so being open-minded and still practicing good dating karma, I said yes to a drink one Saturday afternoon. Thinking that the successful first date with FBI was a fluke, I was keen to test out the theory that all you need to get a date, is another date. And to ensure that I hadn't dreamt I was actually getting good at this after six years...

So, London Club one Saturday afternoon after a day of apartment hunting and shopping in early September, I met Gym Boy. Turns out not only do we have plenty in common, but he was also much cuter in person than his photos gave him justice (as was FBI). One glass of wine turned into three and before I knew it we were saying good bye and making plans to catch up the following week. Ker-ching! I was officially on a dating role.

Sadly, date number two with Gym Boy had to be postponed for various conflicting scheduling issues and with FBI soon to come back from Canberra I was happy to hold off for a bit to give things with FBI a chance to progress, if they were going to.

Much to my girlish excitement, FBI contacted me the night he returned and we made plans to 'hang' on the weekend - breakfast and mini golf.

So Saturday morning rolls around as slowly as a little girl waits for Christmas Eve to be over, and I meet FBI for breakfast at Cirque, one of my favourite New Farm spots. A few coffees, serves of sweet corn cakes, fresh juice and a discussion of feature articles in The Australian later, we had caught up on the happenings of the previous four weeks, him in Canberra and me in Brisbane, amid constant teenage giggles and eye flirts. On to mini golf, and the comfortable yet goofy laughter continued. It's been a while since I was so relaxed on a date and I'm not sure what was more relieving - that I was spending time with him or that I was so comfortable in someone's company. Despite this, you can imagine my disappointment when he revealed he was being posted to the Solomon's until January - certainly not my idea of long distance dating.

Which brings me to dilemma - how was I to let him know I was disappointed without coming across too keen or too disinterested now I'd learnt he wasn't going to be in the country?! While I don't believe I have a very good poker face, I've been told in the past that I don't show enough interest. It's damned if you do and damned if you don't... and at that moment I was between and rock, and well, a bigger rock.

Without revealing too much of my thoughts on his not being in the country, we ended the date with a promise to 'chat soon' and headed out separate ways... "Why oh why does this happen when I finally meet someone great?!" I asked as I sat in my car, hands on the steering wheel and head softly banging against them (I couldn't mess up my hair). I hope to God he didn't see me sitting there.

Days later, I put my heart on my sleeve. Well, maybe my shoulder. And turns out he was willing to bare his a little too. We've swapped emails with the hope that we'll be able to continue getting to know each other as e-pals for the next few months, then see where things are in January.

In the mean time, Gym Boy and I are still friends and have been honest about where we both are in the dating scene.

Time will tell...

Forgive me Web 2.0, for I have sinned...

It's been nearly a month since my last blog and I must say I've been (pleasantly) surprised and humbled at the number of people I run into and they comment that they are waiting for the next installment... so I'm going to make a concentrated effort to blog once a week. On Monday. As many posts as I feel like. So hold on tight... here we go!