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Last week our family had a week that definitely fit in the category of crazy. We were   overbooked, unprepared and, well, busy.

It is not difficult for me to know when I am tired. Here is my advice to you.

You know you’re tired when…

  • you question what kind of froot loops are advertising a “pirate sale” only to find on closer inspection that the sign actually read “Private Sale”.
  • you turn the radio on and are appalled to be listening to a song on the local christian radio station called “you were made to be cremated” only to realise the lyrics were “You were made to be Courageous”.
  • your 8 year old asks for some help with a multiple choice question and you are left with no alternative but to send him to his teacher to ask for the answer.
  • you think the high school gym must have a problem with its students stealing seeing as there is caging around the clocks on the wall. Of course, they could be covering the clocks in the gym to prevent breakages while basketball games are on…?
  • your migrant friend leaves a message on your answering machine and it sounds like she said her daughter is pregnant and on her way to have an abortion when in actual fact she said her daughter has a music assignment and wondered if she could use your piano.
  • you are at a wedding for three hours before a friend asks if your pants are a new trend and you have to excuse yourself while you go to the bathroom to turn them in the right way.
  • you are working out with a friend but the remote doesn’t reach the sensor on the stereo from the stationary bike. You begin to move the whole stationary bike across the room when your workout buddy suggests  you just turn the sensor to face you.
  • your son pours morning fresh dishwashing liquid into your bolognaise sauce and you start stirring it through because you figured it was especially oily mince.

Yes. These are all legit events that occurred to, and by, me.

I think I’ll leave it there and try and get a good nights sleep.






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A mum of 5 once shared with me that her eldest child’s first word was “ap-ple” while the youngest’s was “Mac-ca’s”. I can so relate!

 Take Master 2 as an example. This photo shows him shedding tears over being told “no” to TV this morning. Not proud that I let it come to this. Time for a TV detox!

I am now at a stage where 4 of my 5 are at school 5 days a week and my little guy has not had the same experiences as my other 4. It is such a joy to interact with my kids but I get busied with other things and so I am on a mission to not let these last few months of having my youngest at home with me go to waste. By 2013, he will be in kindy 2 days a week.

I have found pinterest to be an invaluable tool for finding some great resources as well as googling blogs and educational tools. My search is narrowed down before I even start searching.

We have the basics like blocks, lego, mega blocks, cars and train set but it has been a while since I got the play-dough and paints happening.

I picked up a few basics and raided the cupboards for things that would help me help J overcome his television cravings. Coloured matchsticks are versatile for sorting. Pictured above is J using tweezers to sort the matchsticks into a storage container with compartments. We also used them to build a road for his cars to drive on.

I printed and laminated a colour wheel. J then placed the pegs with a matching coloured dot on that segment of the wheel. So easy! He loved it! Some of the colours on the pegs were different shades and tones of the colour on the wheel but J recognised the colours which surprised me.

Today I think it will be cubby central in our home. I have a tendency to use every sheet, peg and pillow accessible to me when I get going. Me thinks today will be fun!




Making home.


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Home. I imagine my understanding of the word will be different from the next person’s. How about you? What is home? Where is it? Who is it?

According to wikipedia a home is a place of residence or refuge.[1] When it refers to a building, it is usually a place in which an individual or a family can rest and store personal property.  ”Home” is also used to refer to the geographical area…in which a person grew up or feels they belong…home may be perceived to have no physical location—instead, home may relate instead to a mental or emotional state of refuge or comfort. Popular sayings along these lines are “Home is where the heart is”…

Home’s are as varied as the personality’s and the combinations of personality’s that occupy it.

But to make a home, that is an art!

Take a recipe for example. You are given a list of ingredients and instructions to follow with the goal of producing something already pictured before you begin. There is a certain combination of flavours and textures to create something appealing, tasty, sometimes healthy (hee hee) and, usually, satisfying!

Now let’s take a look at your family. You are given the gift of the people who make up your family. Spouse, children, extended family, friends perhaps? Do you have a picture of what the end result will be? Happy, healthy, patient, loving, accepting….What are the flavours and textures of your home?  Order, beauty, laughter, honesty, fun…Making a home, is the art of finding the best recipe for the flavours and textures you have in your pantry. You have been given a unique blend of ingredients to create a dish that has never been tasted before!


In our home we have quirky, humorous, passionate, fiery, inquisitive, leader, hospitable, nurture, reflective, relational…and the list goes on.

Home making makes me think of baking and cleaning and home decorating. But Making a home uses these skills to create an environment where life can simmer beautifully.

Okay, so I just read this back and it is so corny but that’s alright. Hopefully you get my point. And while I love home decorating and actually don’t mind cleaning, my reason for using my time to make my home beautiful and orderly is simply to make way for life to take place. A place where my family are nurtured and thrive no matter what their ingredients!


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Today I learned a valuable lesson. After not working out for the last couple of weeks I decided not to wait any longer. Perhaps my weight is not any further down, but it isn’t any further up either. So back into it! I was cranking the workout tunes oblivious to the world around me. The sun was going down but it was still bright enough to have my glasses on. I was lured into a sense of false security. At what point did I actually believe that if no one can see my eyes behind my 8cm wide lenses that I am invisible to them?

So, there I was feeling pretty good about myself walking in time with my tunes when I began mouthing the words to the songs. Oozing confidence and feeling on top of the world I couldn’t care less what anyone driving or walking by thought of me. I was in my zone! The zone of make believe. “Silently” I sang along to J-Lo and Beyonce’ as I imagined I could sing as well (and imagined I looked as good, too…)  when I walked straight into insects flying en masse at dusk! You don’t have to have an active imagination to work out why I was glad to have my water bottle with me.

Note to self: If you wanna make believe “hot” during your workout don’t do it at dusk!

That is all.


Balancing act


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I have more drafts ready to post than I care to read and why have I not posted? Well, I began thinking about what people might think of me and what makes a good blog. I thought about keeping to a theme and following the “rules” of blogging but seeing as I am not here to make money or have thousands of hits I am deciding not to worry about doing it “right”. This is my blog and I’ll write what I want to.

I am not looking to be unique. I am not looking to be the smartest or the wittiest, the wisest or the most profound blogger out there. I am just little ol’ me trying to live this life one day at a time and become healthier in the process. So far, the thing I have realised about my weight loss journey is that it is really more than weight loss. My wellbeing is affected by my diet, my activity, my marriage, my children, my home environment, my relationships, my time management and organisation as well as my mental and spiritual health!

So today “and in health” is moving in a new direction! Simply, I will continue to share my commitment to a healthier lifestyle but I will recognise and share the other parts of my life that are so vital to living out that healthy lifestyle. This is my journey to living out a balanced life. Not a “perfect” life but a prioritised, balanced and healthy life!

I am not an expert. I have no credentials. But I can do real. May you be encouraged that you are not alone and if a laugh at my expense brings you joy then I hope you laugh!

To my faithful, selfless and gracious husband, you continue to love me for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health. Thank you for loving and cherishing me.

And to my beautiful children, I love you all so much I want to be the best mum I can be for you but I don’t always get it right. You don’t just make my day, you make my life!




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Last weigh in 99.5kg. Today I am 99kg. At first I felt a little disappointed as I worked really hard this week! But then came the measurements!!!!

Arms –   42cm
Bust -  121cm  123cm
waist – 111cm 103cm
Hips -  130.5cm 128cm
Thighs -  78cm 76cm
Calves -  45cm 46cm

I am happy with that!

Just goes to show they mean it when they say you can lose little weight but plenty of centimetres.

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This past week it has been rather quiet on the “and in health” front. There is a reason for that! As you know, I have lost 5 kg all up thus far and, well, now I think I can conquer the world!

You think I’m joking? Think again.

It was 1988 when an 8 year old Tamara was introduced the sport of Physical Culture. An Australian dance sport combining modern dance, ballet, aerobics more!

I quickly fell in love with the sport and found myself making my way to the Sydney Opera House annually for the National Finals. I even managed to win the Australian title in my age division a couple times! In 2012, 17 years after I last competed in a Physical Culture competition, a new organisation has formed to bring Australian Women and girls this wonderful sport! APDA (Australian Physie and Dance Association) has launched its new syllabus and has clubs popping up all over the country…including Toowoomba! I lose 5 kilos and think I can do anything! I have now registered my club and will begin advertising in the weeks and months ahead to establish Toowoomba Physie and Dance. Crazy? Absolutely. Expected? Absolutely not! Exciting? You bet!

So I guess I am doing things a little in reverse. Instead of getting myself in prime condition for my future I am stepping into my future and my body is just gonna have to catch up!

On the 12WBT front I am but a week away from kick off! I have cleaned my pantry and fridge, acquired all the gear I will need, been honest with myself in recognising the lies I tell myself and now, I am officially announcing to you all, that I am a woman of my word and I am committing to Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation! I will do whatever it takes to lose the excess weight I am carrying and I will do so over a sensible period of time (I am looking at 12 months all up).







Son of a gun


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Whoa! I have been asked this morning if I am a woman of my word. Will I do what I say I am going to do? Will I see this journey through to the end, regardless of the challenges I may face?

This confronting question surely got me thinking. Am I a woman of my word? Do I have the backbone to see this thing through?

I believe my answer is yes. I admit, I haven’t always seen things through but I recognise that in these circumstances I haven’t always verbalised my commitment or defined my destination. Of course, I now have my goals, my destination, my reasons and my motivation in order.

I have found in my daily eating and exercise habits my children come to the forefront of my mind.

  • What kind of example do I want to be to my children?
  • How will my achievement in the physical inspire and encourage them to persist in the challenges they face?
  • Will I be an active mother and, God willing, one day Grandmother who will get along side my favourite people and play sports, dance, go surfing etc. with them?

I recently read a post on the Michelle Bridges 12WBT forums. I think it is encouraging for those of us who are parents or role models to someone. And, realistically, we are all influencing someone younger than ourselves, whether we know it or not!

I have been doing the Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation since Round 1 2010. I have achieved so much in such a short time. The effect of the 12WBT flows through to every area of your life. As you may or may not know I am originally from the USA and moved here 8 years ago with my Aussie wife Maria.I am also an Australian citizen too. So all of my family is back in the USA. I have two children a 22 year old daughter and a 21 year old son from my first marriage. They live with my parents.

We webcam every they have seen my transformation.My daughter is overweight and it worries me. You don’t want to see your children so unhappy and unhealthy. I know that you can not want it for them they have to want to make the change to a healthy fit lifestyle. We were webcaming the other week and my daughter says “Dad you have inspired me to be fit and healthy. I am eating health and started to exercise. Thank you. I am so proud of you Dad.’” Well that moment is forever etched in my mind and in my heart. It brought tears to my eyes.WOW the 12WBT does have a major impact on the people around you. I have achieved so much since starting my 12WBT journey but when you inspire your own flesh and blood to live a fit and healthy life well there are no words to describe it. I am so proud of my daughter for taking the steps to make a lifestyle change, I am forever grateful to Mish and the 12WBT for with this extraordinary program none of this would have been possible!

Then just on Friday I receive an email from my son who is 6 feet 2 inches tall. “Dad So the holiday seasons over and I put together a challenge for myself. My plan is for you to have a running partner when you come here for a visit. I haven’t really ran since the summer. I’ll be honest nutrition wise, I usually went more towards the more convenient food stuffs vs the healthy stuff. However, I am proud to say that I have been investigating facts before eating. As it turns out, somethings (like total fat content) are a turnoff. Anyway, the only thing I have to do now is the exercise bit. Its not gonna be easy, but i noticed once Im warmed up, its not too bad. I learned not to attempt jumping jacks in the basement though,.., haha I am so proud of you DAD. Thank you for inspiring me and everything you have done for me

WOW talk about needing a box of tissues. You as a parent are always proud and want your child to be happy and healthy what an honour and proud moment when you have an impact in your children lives. You always tell your children you are proud of them but when they say it to you WOW you are left speechless. These moments are priceless and will never be forgotten 

So don’t underestimate your ability to have an impact on those around you. You do make a difference and you are extraordinary. Thank you for letting me share this with you.

All the Best,

Oh! Can you imagine?! Even if my children never thank me I want to be an example of health and discipline but what a bonus it would be to hear words such as these!

So, how about you? Are you a woman (or man) of your word?

To view Albert’s before and after shots you can take a look at his webpage Yes he is now a personal trainer!

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Today’s post will be short and sweet!

I have lost 3.7 kilograms in 9 days!

104.2kg is now 99.5kg.

Arms –  43cm 42cm
Bust – 120cm 121cm
waist – 111cm
Hips – 131cm 130.5cm
Thighs – 80cm 78cm
Calves – 46cm 45cm

I guess being at such a large weight the initial weight loss will be quite substantial. I have been eating very well and exercise almost everyday. And to think the 12 Week Body Transformation Challenge hasn’t yet begun!

Stay tuned for some exciting (if not slightly crazy) news!!!

had to chuckle at myself as I pondered holding a Country homes or Home Beautiful magazine instead of New idea. So this is purely for the record. Now I can put it in the trash!

Sorry guys, not exactly eye candy.


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Now, I’m not sure which Pete they’re were talking about but I think you get my point. I am telling you to modify!

I am 46 (maybe, even 50) kilos overweight and have been progressively increasing my workout time and intensity and feeling fantastic about my achievements!I remember hearing one lady’s weight loss story where she described some of her first aerobics classes at the gym. She attended a class where the ladies were in no way hesitating to strut their stuff in lycra bike pants layered with a thong leotard. She recalls  being told to do things higher, or harder, or faster but her obese body physically could not keep up. She decided to simply modify the moves so that her body could cope with the workout.

Which brings me to Sunday morning. I made my way to a ladies workout group.  (For the record, we are not talking about a group of thong wearing show offs but a great bunch of fit and strong ladies who were very welcoming and accommodating!) We began by jogging a lap of the park and then a second. I was at the back of the pack and gasping for air when I remembered… “modify!”.

Now here is where I went wrong. I knew how unfit and weak my body currently is, and yet,  my optimistic , if not delusional self decided I would be right to gauge my efforts on the number of sets and reps I completed. Word of advice! Listen to your body! When your eye starts to twitch and your legs start to shake be careful! Or when the thought of sitting on the couch and watching Top Gun with hubby seems like a good idea, be very afraid! It means you are in denial. Denial over the amount of pain you are about to feel for the next few days! I know to the “fit” person I probably look like I am not doing much but my ‘very little’ is hard work!

If you are just beginning your weight loss journey  by all means, push yourself,  work up a sweat, but be sensible. If you can’t do a full, do a half. If you can’t do a half, do a quarter. When they run, you can walk. When they sit-up, you can crunch. If stepping up and down a 60cm high table could possibly result in expletives you have never even used, then step up and down a a 20cm step instead.

I have now continued exercising these last couple of days amidst the pain of sitting or standing…I can’t even step down a 3 inch step without feeling the pain but I press on. Unfortunately, I have not been as productive in my workouts due to the pain and discomfort of overdoing it on the weekend. So for what it’s worth, don’t be afraid to modify! Consistency is not only important physically but mentally. If you have an “I overdid it and now cannot function properly” kind of workout you may feel discouraged and lose momentum. I think I would rather burn a few less calories in one session but be able to workout in the days to come than to be out for the count!

Just saying.

Pep-talk to self


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Forgive me if today’s post is a little boring, I haven’t written it yet so I’m not sure how it will turn out but I am using my  ”and in health” blog to process my pre-season task number 2. Read it or skip it, either way, here I go!

Excuse#1 : I am not disciplined enough to exercise regularly and plan menus in advance.

Response to self : Is that so? You seem pretty disciplined when you want ingredients for pizza or you need to drive to Cold Rock at 9pm in the evening to get that fix! Heck, you even scrounge coins if you really want a burger and fries! You are disciplined with the things you want, when you want them. The problem is not a lack of discipline. Now, if we can just use your powers for good and not evil…

Excuse#2 : What I did in the way of exercise today was better than usual so it’s ok if I don’t eat just right, or exercise the full 60 minutes I committed to.

R 2 S: Would you be okay with your kids having this attitude to their schoolwork? That’s what I thought! You have been given this body and the means in which to keep it healthy. Settling for less than what you committed to is cheating yourself  and not taking full responsibility for the mess you got yourself in. Don’t reward the little effort you give by stealing from your own success! Give your best and reward yourself with the satisfaction that comes from completing the challenges you set for yourself.

Excuse#3 : It’s too hard to prepare menus and meals. It’s too hard to get up every morning to exercise and go to bed on time (early) each night. I’m just not that organised, disciplined and routined.

R 2 S: Nice try! Once again avoiding the responsibility you already signed up for when you chose to become a parent 5 times over.

Excuse#4 : I’ll do it tomorrow. I’ll start next week.

R 2 S : How many weeks are there in a year? How many years need to go by before you realise you don’t really mean what you say. You think you mean it, but your words and actions just don’t match up. You have a heartbeat, clean air and a limbs in working condition. Appreciate them! Use them! They’re there to help you not hinder you!

Excuse#5 : I can’t workout if the house is a mess. Once I am in order I’ll get exercising.

R 2 S : Wrong answer! With a family of 7 if you don’t have the energy to look after them your house will NEVER stay in order! Besides there is plenty of time if you honestly look at how you spend it.

Excuse#6 : (oldy but a goody) I’m too busy!

R 2 S : Yes! Yes you are. That’s why you get up earlier than the rest of the world and workout before “life” begins. Problem solved.

Excuse#7 : I have too much weight to be able to work out!

R 2 S : Oh P-LEASE! Have you seen how fast you can run when the garbage truck is nearly  at your curb and you haven’t put the rubbish bins out in time? Or how quickly you can get from point ‘a’ to point ‘b’ if some kid a few years older starts pickin’ on your babies!

Excuse#8 : I’ve failed before why would this time be any different?

R 2 S: How many successful weight loss stories do you know of the first time they ever try to lose the weight? Try and try again!

Excuse#9 : I have so many hurts . People have offended me and it is hard to get past that. Especially when it is those who are closest to me

R 2 S: Yep. So? So what?! Do they control your destiny? Do you let unforgiveness and bitterness rise up in  you as a way to avoid your responsibility for losing weight? COME ON! This is YOUR life! Live it!



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Today I was challenged with my pre-season task as a part of the 12WBT with Michelle Bridges. Wow! This lady is a firecracker. No fuss, straight to the point, tell it like it is even if you don’t like it, yet, not aggressive. I LIKE HER! I have decided to process some of my thoughts here on “and in health”. I guess something I have never had a problem with is sharing my faults as well as my successes. Although I certainly like my privacy and don’t share every little detail about myself with anybody, I am not overly concerned with making a fool of myself. I figure if it might help someone else and if it will even help myself along on this journey then, so be it! So call me a fool and let’s get on with it!

I have asked myself over and over am I making excuses? Yes. Yes I have made excuses and they have served me well. That is, for the purpose I intended them to be used for. But questioning my habits is scary! It might mean change, or worse, responsibility! And I think avoiding responsibility is what my excuses have really been all about.

There were three words Michelle Bridges shared on her 12 WBT programme this morning. They stopped me in my tracks. “…being your word.”

notes from pre-season task 2

I believe in the power of words. I believe that words and actions need to match up. My blog until now has been full of posts where I can so easily use my words without action.  These 3 little words were profound. I want to be what I say I will be. I want to do what I say I will do. When I think of my husband, my children, my friends, my family, my God…am I “being my word”? Am I taking action? Or am I just full of hot air?

I think Mish popped my balloon and for the first time I can see I need something more substantial to hold me up than hot air. I need Truth; action; evidence. Then, as my words and deeds match up I can say that I am “being my word”!









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Quick update: This morning I began the pre-season tasks in Michelle Bridges 12WBT. I decided today would be my official kick off to eating well and exercising. So at 4:45am I was up and at it! By 5am I was out the door even though the wind was strong and it was raining (only lightly). I walked around 5km and felt fantastic for doing so! I even threw in a few jogging spurts!
With my meals planned and my mind made up I am feeling pretty positive today!
I think the next purchase I will need to make will a couple new bras. Jogging and big boobs just don’t go well together. I don’t want to scare the wildlife.
After making my way home I weighed in on the wii today only to find my weight is up…again!
So my starting weight is 104.2kg/230pounds (that’s a BMI of 40.7) and my measurements are as follows:

Arms – 43cm
Bust – 120cm
waist – 111cm
Hips – 131cm
Thighs – 80cm
Calves – 46cm

My long term goal weight is 62kg/137pounds which will bring my BMI down to 24.2. Apparently, a healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9. The wii fit suggested I should weigh 56kg but I think I will get down to 62 and decide if that would be a healthy weight for me.
For Round 1 of the 12WBT I am aiming to lose between 10 and 12 kilograms. Which makes my goal as of today to get down to 92.2 – 94.2kg by the end of Round 1.

For the record, here I go again!



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Tomorrow morning at 5am I will be hitting the pavement as I begin the pre-season tasks in Michelle Bridges 12WBT. I am super excited and HOPEFUL! Knowing that I will be completing the challenges along side so many others not only around the nation, but around the globe gives me great hope! Perhaps I am a little strange, but I love events like Christmas day and Easter, New Years Eve, the Olympics, even election days when we all make our way down to the local primary school hall to fill out our ballot papers for the simple fact that I know we are all connected in some way. All off to share a meal with family, or party it up like it’s 1999, or whinge about the cue and the opposition at the ballot box! I LOVE IT! Well, I love the camaraderie!
So, today I will document a little something I have done, as crazy as it sounds! In the months ahead I will know whether or not there is any method in my madness!
So what is the craziness I speak of? The last supper, of course. I ate a large Hungry Jacks meal with coke and onion rings with sweet’n'sour sauce, a gourmet burger with swiss cheese and dressing dripping off the bun followed later in the evening by a large serving of Cold Rock ice-cream! (My weakness is English toffee with maltezers and turkish delight.)
I felt this little ceremony was a psychological exercise where I was able to say farewell to the food that has masqueraded as my friend, when really it has stolen my figure, my confidence, my energy and my ability to enjoy a long list of activities and life to the full!
I felt satisfied after my “feast”. And mentally prepared to close this chapter of my life and begin a new way of living! I don’t know if this was a helpful thing to do but time will tell. I am certain I will have withdrawals of sugar and I will need to retrain how I deal with life’s challenges. For too long I have believed the lie that food is my comfort!
Am I nervous about failing? YES! Am I worried I will crave all the wrong things? ABSOLUTELY!
But for once I don’t feel alone in this!
What about you? What support and accountability do you have in your weight loss journey? Could this be a key to a successful lifestyle change?
Tomorrow morning as I step outside I won’t be alone. My fellow 12WBT’ers will be rising to face the same challenges I will be facing.
And that, I believe, is going to make a world of difference.

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A little over 6 months ago I made a commitment to myself, my husband and my children to live a healthier lifestyle. In this time I have learned that I am brilliant at making rather good excuses. Not that I give it thought like a villain intending to be deceitful. No!I am so good that I even deceive myself and genuinely do not realise what I am doing. I’m not sure which is worse?!
Some would say I failed because 6 months later I have gained a kilo. I think they would be right. But then I read that “at any given moment you have the power to say this is not how the story is going to end!”
And I am deciding my 6 month dilly dally is not how my story ends!
You know, the cliche’ saying “those who fail to plan, plan to fail” has some truth to it!
So I am planning to succeed!
But what happens when you have a fear of failing…and succeeding?!
Perhaps you don’t relate but for those of you who do, let’s ask ourselves the tough questions? Do we sabotage our own success? Do we embrace our failure? I know I do and I think I am figuring out why. I am afraid of failing and remaining in this undisciplined, unproductive, unhealthy person who is really quite capable of achieving great things BUT I am also apprehensive about what it might mean to succeed. I think somewhere in my subconscious these sorts of questions are floating about: Will it affect my friendships with other women? Will I attract attention from men and how will I handle that being a happily married woman? What responsibility comes with my weight loss? Will I gain attention? What if I become cocky? I need to trust that I am more than ready for the experiences that are coming my way. I choose not to fear success but dive head first into the experiences that will shape me into the person I am yet to be! And she is gonna be awesome!

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Hello to my readers. All 4 of you! I am back and ready for action!
I have been practising old habits and at the risk of making a fool of myself, again, I am about to get back on board and share my “and in health” journey.
Since my last post 4 of my 5 children have completed another year of schooling, we celebrated Christmas and New Year, I have spent the best part of 2 days of my life covering school books and, most recently, I have signed up for Michelle Bridges “12 week Body Transformation” challenge after asking my sister Rebekka if she thinks I would die if I did it. Here is an excerpt of her email response to me:

“Yes you should – that’s what I did.
You won’t die (you actually might) but I promise you this…If you commit to it (3 months) and give yourself NO EXCUSES you will succeed.

Schedule your meals like a mother licker and do everything she says you will lose weight like there is no tomorrow. Note that if you are HUNGRY – celery is 2 calories a stick!!! So you can find ways to hold off your appetite – and water water water.

If I were you, I’d go to a dr. before hand to get advice on how far you can push yourself with exercise because you may have boundaries that are inhibiting (aka potential injuries etc) and its better to find out and amend from the get go then hurt yourself and not be able to finish it.

I think you could lose up to 30kg with that 12 week program. BUT you have to stick to the diet and MUST complete the exercise everyday…

Realistically I think you should ask yourself how long do you want to spend on making yourself feel good about yourself – if you decide to do the program and DON’T finish it – you will have to finish it elsewhere at another time – The reason I LOVE THIS PROGRAM – is that it is QUICK (in terms of weight loss) but also HARD!!!! If I only had to commit to 3 months…that’s actually really really small in the big scheme of things…

You’re health is so important Tamara…and maybe the only way to do it is to make it a MUST, a priority, for 12 weeks…

Michelle Bridges should give me royalties…that is all!

Let me know how you go…”

So I made my appointment with a Doctor just down the road. I am good to go! Just going to have some blood tests in the morning to be sure and 12 week Body transformation here I come!
I had a chuckle to myself when he asked me if I was going on any plan and I told him I was. He simply responded “Well, I would’ve saved my money and bought a good pair of shoes!” I surprised myself when I responded “Sir, I an excellent pair of new shoes, a treadmill, a bike machine, a sidewalk and a support network! I am set to go!” I almost gave myself a “You go girl!” and a high five! Have you ever noticed the same people who complain about people who don’t exercise and overeat complain about the way you choose to go about it? I am getting myself pumped writing about this! Cue hype song! GAME ON!

Enough stuff!


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As I look around my home I am pleasantly surprised to observe that my home has become increasingly more organized and uncluttered over the past few months. “Does this clutter make my butt look fat?” is the title of one of Peter Walsh’s best-selling books where he discusses the link between the state of our homes and the condition of our bodies. While he is not saying that if you are fat your house will be cluttered or if you are fit you will have a meticulous home he does acknowledge how closely linked the two are.

I see how the things around me have occupied my head space. From emails, paperwork, books that don’t have a space on the bookshelf to the clothes that might one day fit again, home decor that is still needing a home or photos that aren’t in albums, I have been overwhelmed by the “stuff” in my life. As I ruthlessly de-clutter and simplify my home I am finding that my mind is freed up to think about my health and exercise.

This week I have lost “excess weight” that comes in the form of “stuff”.
So far I have got rid of old books, dvd’s and clothes. I have sorted through every piece of paper in my filing cabinet and each and every drawer in my office! I have a walk-in-robe that I can actually walk into and I have started culling excess linen and electrical leads that have moved into my home somewhere along the line and have overstayed their welcome!

I am convinced that each step I take, although not as fast or, seemingly, not as significant as some would think is satisfactory, is a step in the right direction to total wellness. As I look back over the last 6 months, I ponder the lessons I have learned and the changes that have taken place both emotionally and spiritually. I have received grace from the most unexpected people, witnessed relationships I desire to imitate and attitudes I’d rather not. I have been on a journey of forgiveness and surrender and I am learning that my mistakes and my failures do not define me! And in the same way that Peter Walsh observed that clutter doesn’t always equate to being overweight, I am realizing that “fitness” doesn’t always equate to being a healthy person. So while the scales are not yet tipping, I am getting set for changes that will last a lifetime!

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So I have defined my “non-negotiables.” Those areas of my life that will be scheduled into my week first! As the rock analogy suggests I am placing the things I value most in the jar before adding any extras.

Here they are:

1.) The Big Fella upstairs! The Alpha and the Omega, the Highest High, the King of Kings, the One who gives me breath! God.

I have experienced too well, that when I do things my own way or turn my focus off Jesus, I fall. Simple as that. Don’t wanna live without Him…full stop. So this rock includes my spiritual health. Prayer, worship and time in God’s company. This is not just at the top of my list but throughout the rest of my list!

2.) My family – marriage and parenting

I love being a wife and a mum! I want exercise to work in with my life not become my life. I am not interested in being away from my family to be at a gym. I am not interested in having my children minded while I go to work out when I can go for a walk before they wake up or let them play while I am on the treadmill. I look forward to more activities with my kids. Soccer, bike riding, swimming, walking etc.

3.) Health – diet and exercise

While it is not my goal to put my fitness goals ahead of my family I completely appreciate and understand the importance of maintaining my health so that I have ample energy to be a great wife and mum. I also want to set a great example for my children and enjoy good health as long as I live!

4.) Housework – keeping things orderly and general running of our household

This is practical but also important in maintaining any sense of peace in our home. A chaotic house usually results in a slightly overwhelmed mummy!

I have spent the weekend eating anything and everything I shouldn’t!
Last week I spent time on the treadmill and the stationery bike. So hopefully, I am at the same weight.

Really enjoyed that and found by switching between the two I didn’t tire so easily. Gave my joints a break and I think I got more out of my workouts. Last week I did one set of squats and lunges twice. This week I will do 2 sets three times. Sore but not out of action from the pain.
Also, I went to the library this morning and found a few recipe books for kids (I am not the best cook and my daughter wants to be a chef so I figure this could double as healthy eating training and quality time spent with my girl!)

That’s all from me. I have some walking to do!

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Confession time! I have succumbed to my old ways and am drinking coffee after making numerous cups of herbal tea that I just didn’t like. I lied. I do like coffee. I like sugar! I like take-out! I tried to convince myself I don’t like it, but I do! I have been sick and then I have felt like I am not “doing” health and so I completely gave up.
As a mum of 5, I really have put my health on the back burner. My mind is constantly jumping from place to place and this mental clutter needs to be cleared out!. I am, quite frankly, trying to cover too much ground.
Here are some of what’s going on in my mind (in no particular order):

-meals for the day
-lunches for school
-laundry – correct uniforms cleaned and ironed
-beds made
-birthday shopping – gifts,
-party preparations – decorations, games, prizes, cupcakes, birthday cake etc.
-appointments – doctors, teachers,
-bible study/prayer
-parenting reading – always needing to learn something as my kids keep evolving!
-kids homework – listening to readers assisting where the they need help
-house plans…considering this down the track..possibly, maybe…
-marriage – spending time with hubby!
-and in health – blog about my non-existent health commitment
-home projects – refurbishing furniture
-starting to prepare for Christmas – listing presents to buy and menu
-work…pondering what I am going to be when I grow up!
-family time

Anyway, you get the point. I am filling my life up with lots of “stuff”. Some important, some trivial.
I do not place importance on my health simply by placing all these other things first. It is amazing how the decisions we make, those resolutions we make, put us on autopilot even against our better judgement.
When my eldest son was 5 months old we almost lost him. I fell and his head was fractured on the concrete. The skull popped in and severed his brain when it popped back out. It was a trying time and very scary but a couple weeks later we came home with our happy baby boy who is just fine today! I remember making the vow to be the best mum I could be! Over the years this vow has worked against me time and time again. I have placed more pressure on my children, my husband and myself than was necessary or healthy. But why am I telling you this? Because I realize this vow is at work even now. I am filling my life with those things I think make me a good mum and not doing any of them really well.
Mother guilt. Has anyone else entertained her recently?

Have you heard the jar analogy? Take a look at this.

My weeks have been slowly filling with the unimportant things first. NOT COOL!
I am the queen of excuses and most of the time they are genuine reasons for being unable to complete something…at least, that’s what I have told myself. The truth is that although there are times I cannot do certain things this doesn’t prevent me from working around my limitations to achieve my goals!
A week ago I was given a great life lesson when a lovely friend planned to take me to a boxing class. It was a Friday afternoon, the day before my daughters birthday party. I was strapped for time and I was stressing out about getting to the session and having everything else be complete and ready for my princess’s special day. She let me off the hook and planned we would go a week later! “I’m in” Then two days ago I overdid some squats and have not been able to walk properly since. I mean, really not able to walk properly. I piked. Now I feel awful.
I spent the morning with a friend in hospital who has been given a short few months to live, according to the doctors. I looked at her and considered that my days are numbered and I am wasting them! Yes. I am wasting them! I have many moments every day that are valuable and important to me, but, compared to what I could be doing and the way I could be living…I am wasting much of the precious time I have been blessed with. You can replace wasted money. You can replace lost items. And in some instances, our bodies can be healed but we cannot replace loved ones or time. Once they are gone…
I have wasted this past month with a terrible diet, no exercise and unimportant little tasks that, at the end of the day don’t matter! So, when Adam gets home I am going to be measured and find a way to change this overweight, tired, aching, depressed body into a healthy, vibrant, fit and happy one!

I have not given my best. I have not wanted this badly enough and I have not pushed through the pain. Yes, I have some restrictions presently but there are other options to get me on the right track. So, no more excuses. Let’s go again. I’m gonna give my best…

…my very best.

The Big Picture!


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I have been out of action this week with a nasty bug. But I am grateful to have had this time to really ponder my habits and the reasons behind them. I got to thinking, we all have those moments where our child mind is challenged to the point of a complete paradigm shift. For example, as a little girl I always had a problem with the song “I saw mommy kissing Santa Clause”. I thought that was kind of disturbing. I think I was 27 when I was in a department store and the song was playing when I worked out that Santa was Daddy!!! There I was surrounded by fellow Christmas shoppers walking by as I let out an “Oh, I get it!” Then there was the time a few years back when I worked out that www. stood for World Wide Web!!! Genius!
If you can’t relate to these “special” moments, perhaps you can recall a song that you sang for years until you learned that the lyrics you were making up were not the lyrics at all! My favorite was the song I thought was the theme song from the Olympics in Russia (were the Olympics ever in Russia?) “Moscow! Moscow! Daily round the room I run, daily round the room I run. Ho-ho-ho-ho-ho-Hey!” Come to think of it, I still don’t know the lyrics…(just going to google them.)

Hey, hey, hey
Moscow, Moscow,
Throw your glasses at the wall,
Fame and fortune to us all, ho, ho, ho, hey
Moscow, Moscow, join us for a casatchok.
We’ll be dancing ’round the clock ha, ha, ha hey
Moscow, Moscow
Drinking vodka all night long,
Keeps you happy, makes you strong ho, ho, ho hey.
Moscow, Moscow,
Come and have a drink again,
You will never leave again. Ha, Ha, Ha

I feel complete now.
Anyhow, my point is that pondering my weight gain and the reasons for my overeating has been a little like my above revelations.
I have viewed food and exercise through short sighted eyes. Always seeing the short term and what it entails rather than looking ahead a little. I need the big picture!

So I am taking a few simple steps to break out of my short sighted ways.

1 – I will identify what is at the forefront of my mind especially in my moments of weakness
2 – Challenge it
3 – Replace it with big picture thinking

I am not one for rules for rules sake. Who is? But when I understand the “why’s” then I have my motivation!
Becoming more learned in the area of health is essential if I am to have a big picture perspective.

The question is “where do I begin?”

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While I am unwell I have decided to learn about diet and particularly detox. I figured a good place to start would be investigating the health benefits of tea and coffee.

I first began drinking tea and coffee around the age of 29. Mostly because I enjoyed being able to “have a cuppa” socially. I still like the idea of drinking tea and coffee but I don’t think I actually like it?! There are many varied opinions about drinking coffee and weight loss but  considering that I don’t really love it I am going to cut tea and coffee out for the time being. Perhaps I will go herbal tea shopping and drink something with some nutritional benefits. I found this little article about the effects of coffee on your weight loss. Please let me know if you  know any other interesting bits of information about this topic.

peppermint tea

I found that loose leaf tea as opposed to tea bags, has greater concentrations of the good stuff so perhaps the old teapot will become well loved in our household. Here are just some of the herbal teas you can drink:





lemon grass



St John’s wort






masala chai spices

Of course, black tea has health benefits too but if I can try something new, why not?

Healthy idea! I think I will purchase myself a lemon myrtle tree again. I had one years ago but it died as a result of my lack of gardening efforts. I could just pop a leaf in a cup of boiling water and enjoy!

Time to detox!






Recover and regroup


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I have not exercised for a  week but I have lost 1.4kg which I suppose happens at times…Monday morning walk was cut a little short as I needed to get home to the bathroom…no, seriously! I haven’t been that uncomfortable since the last time I had a full bladder during my pregnancy ultrasound 2 and a half years ago! What do they think is going to happen when pushing on a person’s full bladder?! But I digress. Perhaps my mind has been thinking of pregnancy a little more than usual this week. I hadn’t considered how exercise might alter my cycle. I wasn’t too worried to begin with but when I got to a week and a half overdue I got a little concerned.  My accurate cycle ended up being 18 days late! I didn’t think I could be pregnant but 18 days will get you wondering!

A couple of nights back I took Miss 5 down to the emergency room at the hospital after she woke crying in pain from an ear ache. I was worried leaving it overnight so off we went rugged up in the cold. Turns out it is nothing panadol and a few days rest can’t cure. I was wrecked the following day! We had been waiting for 3 hours and “the footy show” was on the tv for most of that time. Not my idea of a great night out!

This week I have been in pain when I walk due to Plantar Fasciitis. Catch 22. I need my foot better in order to exercise and I need to exercise to get my weight down to alleviate the pain in my foot. This morning I was reminded of the connection between the physical, the emotional and the spiritual! My mind is covering so much territory daily that it is easy to let the “not urgent but important” things slide. Especially when curve balls keep coming and although they are not always urgent they are important! Like when master 2 decided he wanted to be naked and gave an academy award winning performance when I tried to get him to wear pants! 45 minutes later he settled down. Then Master 11 decided he would like to start a gardening business and “needs” his own email address, Miss 5 is now hallucinating and has a terrible fever (keeping a close watch on her), Master 7 wanted to discuss which cake he would like me to make for his birthday, Miss 9 needed me to give her a spelling test, there were notices to be signed, lunches to be prepared, uniforms to iron etc. I have caught what my bug my daughter had and even a gentle walk on the treadmill sent me quite dizzy. So I am out of action but not out for the count!

So it is time to recover and regroup without getting  discouraged or defeated.





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Oh Fleetwood Mac how did you know? How did you know I would tell myself lies that I can’t disguise. I have “let go” at times either because I feel it is too hard, I felt deprived or I thought I deserved to be rewarded. Oh how I deceive myself! I am afraid my measurements are up again, however, I have continued to exercise but not in the last couple of days. I have been unwell and may need to just accept this as a minor setback, pick myself up and dust myself off and keep on keeping on! If I don’t change my diet significantly the progress will be very slow! I need to see some change. I can’t post the same ol’ fat girl before pics fortnight after fortnight. What have I got myself into?! I can do this! I just need to focus. Here are just a few of the lies I have been telling myself…

- I have exercised so now I can have 2 instead of one.

-I made a low-fat cheesecake so I can have more than one slice for all the hard work I have put in

- It’s the weekend!

I am making improvements but this isn’t a ticket to bust! Imagine an alcoholic rewarding them self with alcohol. Rewarding myself with food is absurd. But I fear feeling deprived! Habit is involved and, of course, simply gluttony. Looking at what I cannot have is not helpful. What about looking at what I can have and being grateful for the abundance?

Exercise without diet is not effective for weight loss! I am a perfect example of that! However, I would not have kept up exercising if I had put further pressure on myself in regard to diet earlier on. One step at a time means just that. While I have spent 6 weeks exercise with little improvement to my diet I am now feeling confident that exercise is something I can continue with and get stronger in! Hence, I am ready to address my diet.

Here are my measurements for the week.

Weight – 101.8kg 104kg

BMI – 40.00

Arms – 43cm 41.5cm

Bust -  122.5cm

Waist – 113cm 119cm

Hips – 124.5 123.5cm

Thighs – 76cm 77cm

Calves -44cm

dress size – 20

So I’m going to pick myself up and dust myself off. I have some weight to shift!


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This weekend I ‘gots’ me some new boots!

my new "boots"

After a month of exercising consistently Adam took me shoe shopping for June’s reward! He took me down to Athlete’s foot where I was measured and fitted for some new cross trainers…$17o later! I have never spent that sort of money on shoes but I got over it pretty quick when I went walking without pain. I was shown a pair of shoes that required inserts but these would have totaled  $210 as the inserts were $50. I fell some months back from quite a height while painting. My right foot landed on the edge of a  paint tin with my full body weight behind me. 6 months on it is still not 100% but these shoes are making a significant difference.

Yesterday I made my way to my first chiropractor visit in years. My last chiropractor ended up in the newspaper for trying to flee the country. So I went to this chiropractor on recommendation of a friend.  I was busy telling her how impressed I was with him. Turns out, I went to the wrong chiropractor! She goes to some guy named Trevor on the other side of the street. Oops! I found this chiropractor to be friendly, professional, thorough and informative. He was running a little late but this didn’t stop him from giving me his undivided attention during my appointment. He is interested in rehabilitation and so gave me exercises to do before my next session. He was gracious. After all, the gown I had to wear didn’t cover my butt and so I was left exposed in my daggy underwear…(I have never been to a chiropractor where you had to strip down to your underwear before). Not my finest moment! But after giving birth to 5 child this was a cinch! You see, when I had baby number one I was quite upset that I had to wear a gown with no sleeves. I was really self-conscious of  my “fat” arms. (HA!) By the time I had baby 4 I remember hearing the anaesthetist had arrived and I walked out butt naked and shook his hand. Ah, child birth. You prepared me well for my “gown that wouldn’t cover my behind” experience.


Window shopping


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Today I am adding a new item to my living life list!  As I perused the stores recently I realized how much I actually love fashion but just haven’t “gone there”. As a “stay at home, clean the toilets, do the laundry, mop the floors, change the nappies, clean the chuck, run the kids to school, buy the groceries, make the lunches” kind of mum I have not had an abundance of time (or funds) while I am not “working”. And so, as many of you mum’s can relate I have not spent much money on clothing. (May I just add here that I LOVE being a mum at home and would NEVER EVER NEVER give up the years I have had being here doing the above mentioned things…just so you know.) Being the size I am it is difficult to find affordable clothing that looks good. Even when sales are on, once you reach the plus sizes the discounts are often minimal or non-existent as opposed to, say, a size 8 or 10. Of course as my weight goes down I will require new clothes but I specifically wanted to add lingerie to my list. There are so many beautiful things out there and I am sure my hubby won’t mind if I buy something special down the track! (nudge nudge wink wink!) Of course, this will be one living life challenge I will simply cross off my list without sharing pics but I will share most of the remaining challenges with you.

So a re-cap for those who haven’t read my Living Life Challenge: (although some of my items are more experiences of the pampering kind…that’s okay isn’t it?)

LIVING LIFE CHALLENGE (in no particular order)

  1. Take the family to wet’n'wild and enjoy all the rides with my kids!
  2. Rock climbing – with Karlee followed by a massage
  3. Swim in the parent/teacher race at the kids school swimming carnival
  4. Run in a fun run (10 or 12km). Bridge to Brisbane and Gold Coast Marathon, 2012.
  5. Go bike riding with my children and keep up!
  6. Swimming in the ocean (haven’t been in for years due to embarrassment of body).
  7. Bush Dance – call me crazy but I think it’d be fun, the whole “Bow to your partner!”
  8. Go surfing
  9. Hike – yet to decide where and how far
  10. Water skiing (I’d love snow skiing too, but bit too far away at this time).
  11. Aerobics
  12. Dancing. I am coordinated enough for someone to teach me something hip and fun!
  13. Zumba
  14. Lingerie shopping


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Pain! I laugh in the face of pain! And then I vomit. This mornings bike ride was a challenge to say the least! For most of you, it might have been a leisurely pedal but I did have to stop at one point when I was between feeling like I would faint and feeling like I might throw up. I just got a little ambitious. I did appreciate, however, that we had a beautiful route. As we rode by a local elite fitness club we noticed the gym  packed with people on treadmills looking out over the very park we were riding through! Not worth the hundreds they are paying in membership fees in my opinion. I think we came across 3 walkers over the hour. Admittedly, that will increase in summer but for now I am content to be cold out in nature!

(If you are interested, here is an article which outlines the way to breathe for different activities.)

I have been getting pins and needles in my hands when riding. I tried lowering my seat to take some of the pressure off my hands but it didn’t help. I also have small hands and so find I get pain between my thumb and index finger trying to stretch the hand to squeeze the brakes. I think new handle bars may be in order. The discomfort is certainly going to put me off cycling and I don’t want to write it off until I explore my options. I found these two articles to be helpful for those of you interested in getting on the bike.

Handlebars for touring

Bicycling and pain

On a fun note, recently I found a disc from our wedding with a few pics on it. It’s amazing how much the mind has to do with how we view ourselves. I completely believed I was fat on my wedding day! Ha! If only I could look this good once again! If you are looking at these pics and think I am fat it must be because you are really tiny and if you, for even a moment, think you are fat or say anything remotely like it then watch out because I am sending you a smack over the head via wordpress!




Me? Dramatic?


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I began the biggest loser on Wii this weekend. The whole experience was like a good (the good bit is not possible) soap opera. I laughed, I cried, I ached, I smiled goofily, I got mad and it just seemed to keep going on forever with no point! Let me explain. The actual workout was great! And I think it will be a great tool to have in the months ahead.

The very first words that came up on Wii fit were “Think about how you can ease up on those afternoon snacks.” What the?! Where is my hello, you are back? Good on you! And this was before my weigh in. How rude!  So I was weighed only to be gutted by the fact that my weight was up by 1.5 kilos. It then asked me to select why I think I have gained weight. Overeating? No exercise?  I desperately shouted at the screen “Muscle mass! It HAS to be muscle mass!” Adam was in the kitchen laughing and I felt all alone in the world. I selected “other”. The next question was “Are you SUUURRRE you don’t know why your weight is up?”  Dear Wii, I have been up daily at 5:30am, cutting back on unhealthy foods and drinking (and peeing) enough water to fill a small lake…why must you be so suspicious of me? You didn’t give me a chance! Why did you not give me the option of muscle mass or it’s super cold and I must be wearing heavy clothing!?

Next I selected the biggest loser boot camp and began my workout. I liked that the  instructor was trim and working out on the beat while the class participant was  overweight and doing everything really slow. I was keeping up with the instructor which, of course, means I am not as fat and unfit as the computer graphic I was looking at. I actually felt encouraged when the computer said “make me proud!” Nearly brought a tear to my eye.

At one point I noticed the 3 other little people who had joined me on lounge room floor to exercise. Goofy smile here! They were so cute. Especially Master 2 lying next to me while we did leg lifts.

The joy was short lived once I was introduced to burpies. Yes, someone named an exercise a burpie. This is where you, apparently, jump down on the floor and while you are there you jump your legs back as if you are in a position about to do a push up. You then jump your legs in and finally jump up in the air kicking your feet to your butt. This is death masquerading as exercise. Don’t believe me? Try it!

But once again the mood changed when the instructor came out with this great line. (read with whiney expression) “I know….it hurts…you’re gonna die…Wah! Wah! Wah!”

I completed my workout (all in 20 minutes as I had been on the treadmill for 40 minutes prior to this) and felt fantastic!

The story has a happy ending as I realized that during my treadmill time I had 1.5 litres of water. 1.5 litres would weigh…1.5 kilos now, wouldn’t it?

Motivate Me!


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I have some great friends in this world but now and then you are blessed to gain  one of those extra special, love-you-warts-and-all, tell-it-like-it-is kind of friends. Well, this classy lady is just that!

This is Sonia! (In fact, I have taken to collecting Sonia’s over the years. Haven’t met a bad one yet!) Should I fail at my weight loss efforts my dear friend has offered to let you know that I am dead “because that’s the only way you’ll get out of this one!” So I am burning that bridge here and now because I will not need her to make any death notices via and in health but thanks for the offer lovely lady! xx

As for today, here is little something I put together. Some of my favorite quotes and verses to keep me focused! I will print it out and place in frame or on my fridge for motivation.

This is just a picture of my computer screen but if you can imagine it printed out and framed…

You really could use any quotes, verses, proverbs, sayings or song lyrics that take your fancy to inspire you. I just used microsoft word for this. Easy peasy! I even put together one of all the things our family said they want our family to be.


Do you have any favorite quotes that help to keep you on track? Let me know!

I will be getting one of these printed and framed for one of “and in health’s” reader’s. All you need to do is suggest at least one motivational or health and fitness related quote on my facebook page “And in health” and you’ll be in the running. The quote with the most likes will win! Winner to be announced on September 1st and will select their favourite quotes for the quote art and color scheme! Let your friends know about it and they can vote for your quote!

Motivate me!

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This morning we rode into town and home again. I don’t know if I should be more concerned about posting pics like this one but it is too good to leave out. The point of making a fool of myself is to encourage you to get up and get moving now! Don’t wait! Admittedly, I do get home before the sun comes up and my attire may need to improve before summer arrives but at least I am getting active! My 5:30am reality today was not pretty. I rolled out of bed (after being up with my 2 year old who was coughing and crying until around 11pm) grabbed the first items of clothing I could find, couldn’t find my joggers and so went out in my black shoes, couldn’t remember where I put my beanie and so wore one of Adam’s and grabbed my son’s Auskick backpack to put my camera and extra jacket in. So here I am. Embracing all that is daggy!

what a vision!

Notice my headlight? All legal now! Yes sir-ee! Oh Adam has been a champ getting along side me as I get moving!

I really look forward to the time we have together exercising in the morning! Carving out a bit of us time more frequently is great. I especially like walking because we have some time to talk. Correction. I have some time to talk (you know, women do have a higher word quota than men!) Having said that, Adam enjoys a good yarn and enthusiastically shares his observations.

For example, we were cautiously making our way through a park one morning before the sun had risen. We could see very little when Adam spoke up.

“You know, we can only see far enough ahead to see where we are heading one step at a time! Our attention needs to be on what we can see. Not what we can’t. There’s a sermon in that!”

The next morning we were riding our bikes and Adam had a moment of brilliance as we stood under the street light waiting to cross the road.

“You know, you can see when you’re standing in the light.”

“Hmmm. That’s amazing Adam.”

“No, think about it! If you are in the dark you can’t see, so step into the light and you can see! There’s a sermon in that!”

Our running joke is, of course, “there’s a sermon in that!”

So this morning I couldn’t help but notice the life lessons all around me.  I noticed the dry, brown looking willow tree. Looks a little like how I feel some days. And yet, it is still getting plenty of water as it is planted by the water and will soon show lots of life once again! (Yes I will!)

willow tree

So, not the best photo but you get the idea.


Lake Annand

Then we can take something as beautiful as a park in the dark. Just because you can’t see it all doesn’t make it any less beautiful! There’s gotta be a sermon in that!

So here’s to the life lessons all around us day in and day out!

Open your eyes to the moments where you can say “there’s a sermon in that!”






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This morning I did not exercise.

I went on strike. (I’m not sure who I was striking against…)My bed was warm, I was tired, it was still dark and my foot ached.

You see, I had a fall on my right foot a few months ago . This morning it hurt enough that I think I need to see someone about it. I had an ultrasound not long after the injury but the doctor said it would be fine.

So today I made an appointment with a chiropractor who also uses massage.  I am not sure this is where I should start but I figure I gotta start somewhere. In the meantime, I will stick to walking on the treadmill and maybe riding my bike until then to make things as easy as possible on my foot.

I need to be fitted for shoes that will support my weight too. I have heard Athlete’s foot is good for this. Zumba does have a lot of direction change and high impact moves which, being as big as I currently am, can be risky. That’s okay. I just modify! modify! modify!

This might be as good a time as any to mention how much I like my Zumba instructors. While I am gasping for air and grunting as I salsa my way across the room they smile at me. They just keep on smiling at me! It’s very encouraging you know.

Anyway, my “to do” list over the next week or two is as follows:

  • go to chiropractor appointment
  • research and maybe even buy new running shoes
  • homework for my study “made to crave”

It’s gonna be busy. I am soooooo behind in doing the laundry. Ahhh! You’ve heard people say “if I had a dollar for every time…”. Well, I am thinking if I lost weight every time I was hanging clothes on the line…! With a family of 7 I am convinced it is nearly impossible to keep on top of the laundry. It is like the tide. It comes in, it goes out but it always comes in again! Recently, I found this lovely sign for the laundry. Think I might need to get me one of these!

I wouldn’t really put this one up but it gave me a chuckle!

(Did I just use the word ‘chuckle”?)

Oh dear. Laundry is doing my head in!





Measure me Monday


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Today is not only photo day but also measurement day!

I am pleased to announce that I have lost 0.2kg! The reason I am pleased is because I am not half as interested in my weight as I am my measurements. And although most of my measurements have remained the same, the hips and waist are down!

I’ll get to that a little later.

We moved house a few months back and pretty much dumped our gear in the garage. Adam put up his shed “man cave” complete with storage for tools, gardening equipment and, wait for it…laminated top gun, poster. (At least he didn’t frame it.)

So we cleared the garage with the intention of making it into a make-do rumpus room for the kids. We bought some $4 per metre lino for the floors to make it look more like a room.

The garage

so much better!

The result was a usable space for the whole family! Adam put the projector up so we could have the Wii on without taking up floor space with a television unit and leads etc.


We are yet to add in bookshelves but I could immediately use this space for, you guessed it, ZUMBA!

zumba e la rumpus OLA!

I am so very grateful to have a handy man husband! You are awesome, hun!

Now for my measurements

Starting weight -102kg 101.8kg

BMI – 39.61

Arms – 42cm 43cm

Bust-121cm 122.5cm

Waist – 127cm 113cm

Hips – 134cm 124.5cm

thighs- 76

Dress size – 20

So there you have it! A step in the right direction. Well done me!

Now for August…


Body Mind Spirit


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I had the privilege of meeting with a friend this week, Chris, who is incredibly knowledgeable on the subject of health. He came over to put things in English for me. As I have so often found myself avoiding the topic of health for the simple fact that there is so much information available! I get overwhelmed with the do this, don’t do this messages bombarding my little brain. I have put them in the too hard basket… until now.

What I found interesting was the topic of detoxing. He helped me identify 7 inputs. The ways I take things in.

  1. Eat
  2. skin absorption
  3. breathe
  4. smell
  5. hear (music…)
  6. see (read, look at)
  7. think (engage with)
  8. choose (decisions)

So not only do we need to detox our body of impurities but also the mind and spirit.


I guess it will be different for each of us but for me it will be thinking about what I’m thinking  about and ridding any toxic thoughts through discernment and knowledge. Through discipline and routine I am exercising and feeding my body well but I am also meeting with close friends for accountability and, as a christian, we meet for bible studies and prayer. Recently I had the opportunity to complete the first part of Elijah house ministries which addressed my spirit and the detoxing that needed to happen there.  It is an ongoing process.

I found this particular clip helpful for detoxing the body. DETOX CLIP

We have to get rid of the bad before we can absorb the good!








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Before I post my full entry today I have a little update. My scared-of-heights friend, Karlee, has put her hand up for rock climbing with me. I think we will have to add a pamper session after that…a nice massage to soothe our aching muscles. Let’s aim for 2 months from now! (then we’ll book abseiling)

LIVING LIFE CHALLENGE (in no particular order)

  1. Take the family to wet’n'wild and enjoy all the rides with my kids!
  2. Rock climbing – with Karlee followed by a massage
  3. Swim in the parent/teacher race at the kids school swimming carnival
  4. Run in a fun run (10 or 12km). Bridge to Brisbane and Gold Coast Marathon, 2012.
  5. Go bike riding with my children and keep up!
  6. Swimming in the ocean (haven’t been in for years due to embarrassment of body).
  7. Bush Dance – call me crazy but I think it’s fun, the whole “Bow to your partner!”
  8. Go surfing
  9. Hike – yet to decide where and how far
  10. Water skiing (I’d love snow skiing too, but bit too far away at this time).
  11. aerobics
  12. Dancing. I am coordinated enough for someone to teach me something hip and fun!
  13. Zumba

Any suggestions I could add?

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It is interesting how much I am struggling with cutting down portion sizes and not always finding something to eat out of habit! I have noticed when I feel a bit anxious or nervous I eat while I am pondering or processing my thoughts. What’s that about??

So on good advice I made a couple of “swaps” when I was at the supermarket yesterday.

This week's swaps

I had already made the change from full cream to lite milk. But this week I am trying brown rice and pasta instead of white, lite philly and 70%more antioxidants than green tea in coffee. But it came at a cost. The 50g coffee was $5.71 from Coles.  OUCH! And although I am keen to use the 40 second, right size portion brown rice, it was only a little less for two small servings than the whole bag pictured above. Which makes a difference to our family grocery budget when feeding 7 people! And I bought a new measuring tape which is why that is in the picture in case you were wondering.

I have planned my weeks meals in advance and figure this will be a big key to having the right foods and the right portion sizes. I have binged over the weekend and have recognized a cycle of desperation, satiation and defeat. It is when I feel my “improvements” aren’t enough that I tend to cave.

Last week I was rather irritable when my oh-so-wise and insightful friend, Sarah, made this observation. “If you are feeling uncomfortable it is because you are doing something different. And if you are doing something different it means you are going to get different results. Discomfort, in this case, should be encouraging!” I think she may be on to something there!






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Today I was up and at it bright and early having the kitchen organized between 4:30 and 5 as I couldn’t sleep. One little intruder made their way into my bed with the “mummy, can we have a snuggle” line that makes me melt every time. So my little snuggler turned into the bed hogger and I got an early start to the day.

We made our way out the door by 5:30am and jogged 5 x 100 metres during the course of our walk.

After dropping the kids off to school I was feeling rather in the mood for…Zumba! I closed the blinds and turned up the volume and 50 minutes later stood astounded it was over so quickly. Having enjoyed dance in my childhood and teens it was speaking my language! So, on to a winner there! Whenever I found a move too hard for me, especially when jumping in a way that my body weight was too much for my knees, I would modify the move often toning it down to a basic aerobics move. Simple!

The coolest thing was my generous friend, Nadine, lent me her POLAR WearLink and FT60 G1. Seeing my heart rate really gave me a sense of accomplishment. Not just some random figures guessing how many calories I’ve burned based on the amount of steps I have taken. This was MY heart beating, baby!

FT60 G1

Well, actually this was just the time but it was my heart beating earlier!

WearLink®+ transmitter by POLAR

For those of you who know as little as I did about these little gadgets, the FT60 G1 is worn like a watch and the wearlink and transmitter is worn around your torso transmitting your actual heartbeat to the ‘watch’ for you to keep track of your heart rate at any given time during your workout!

I am keen to exercise tomorrow!  Zumba, cycle or walk??? Will let you know.


One crazy squirrel!


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Today as I opened my fridge this greeting card caught my eye. I think it was then that I realized the seriousness of posting my before pics on the net.


"Dude, you are crazy!"


I can only conclude that I am one crazy squirrel!

Made to Crave


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This week I began a study called “Made to Crave”. I bought the dvd which contains 6 sessions and is accompanied by a study book. Once a week I meet with a couple of my girlfriends that I can share openly and honestly with. You know the kind of girlfriends who love you even when you have a stinking attitude! (wink wink, girls!) We watch a session and then discuss the material we have seen and read. What a challenge this is turning out to be! The questions posed are confronting my greatest area of weakness. I am certainly out of my comfort zone.

Made to Crave

Probably the most impacting key for me was the thought of recognizing when I am desperate. Desperation always leads to me breaking the rules and making choices I will later regret. One observation I made is that when I do succeed at eating the right thing or the right portion size I feel only a momentary satisfaction for my self-control because it feels as if I am depriving myself and will have to deprive myself forever more! I recognized that I can imagine a timeline in my mind and every time I overcome temptation or control my eating I am one step closer to being completely free from this habit. One more step along my timeline. It won’t always be this hard!!!!

On a practical note, I was introduced to the idea of pre-planning what I will eat rather than recording what I did eat. In being prepared in advance I can eat on purpose and for health rather than out of a place of panic, desperation or emotion.

Good thing my sister bought me this typo meal planner!

meal planner

And on that note, here are a few links to some templates to support your planning!

If you have any great tips for meal planning I’d love to hear from you!


July 18


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July 18

I seriously struggled to post this one. I have been exercising for two weeks but have not focused on my diet. I lost 0.2kg which felt great until I over ate on the weekend and found myself back to square one. My measurements haven’t changed at all. Now I know this is going to take time but this week I have been faced with just how much I struggle with food. For some its work, alcohol, porn, shopping, money, drugs, technology…my stronghold is food. When I celebrate, I eat. When I am depressed, I eat. When I am happy, sad, bored, excited, lonely or socializing, I eat. My question to myself is why?

almost didn't post this one!

Two days ago I had these glamorous shots taken. 48 hours later in a moment of weakness I am hitting publish and confronting this issue head on. The time is now. Exercise I can handle but mess with my food!? Anyone hearing me?

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Today I am on a mission to find the best workout/hype/”I can conquer anything” kind of music. I asked my friends for their suggestions. Here were some of the artists they suggested:

  • Mika
  • Twisted Sister
  • Metallica
  • INXS
  • Salt’n'pepa
  • Queen
  • Sia
  • Scooter
  • Alice Cooper?
  • Black eyed peas
  • Usher
  • Timbaland

I know that using iTunes or BearShare is a great way to discover new music but I want to be sure my music is a suitable tempo for getting going in the morning. Especially when I am on the treadmill! I am one of those people who tries not to walk in time with the music at the shopping centre as I don’t want to be too embarrassing. But the truth of the matter is I like walking in time with the beat if I am digging the song!  So my treadmill time is a great way to satisfy my desire to keep with the beat.

I googled tempo change downloads and downloaded Winamp and pacemaker which allows me to change the tempo of any song I add to the playlist without changing the pitch.

How about you? Any favourite songs to keep the motivation?


My fitness pal


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This week I will begin watching my calorie intake but I want it to be fun! I have agreed to limit my calories intake to 1200 calories daily but I have no idea what that looks like and so recording what I eat with an approximate calorie value will give me the guidelines to learn portion control.

There are so many fantastic tools available to record calories and exercise. I have chosen a program called “my fitness pal“.What I like about this particular weight loss tool is that I can record in metric measurements. I also wanted to find a program that allowed me to record both my calorie intake and my exercise output.

Here are  a few more to get you started. (imperial only) (imperial and metric)

everyday (imperial and metric)

On target nutrition (imperial only) gives you a 7 day free trial but is a little misleading in that they advertise JOIN FREE but don’t mention the $7.99 a month beyond the first week.

If anyone knows of any other helpful links I’d love to hear about them!




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Out on our morning ride we encountered a small army of cyclists passing us by. I am not talking about the “let’s go for a ride” kind of cyclists. No. I am talking about the tight fitting lycra wearing, slick helmet owning, up at 5am in the morning in zero degree weather, skinny tyre, riding (faster than my old van even goes) kind of cyclists! Well, one of these guys shouted out to us rudely “they’re dark lights!” referring to our bikes not having headlights on our bikes. I was not impressed.  “Good morning to you too!” After all, I had even waved  when they were first passing by. Pfft!

Adam then endured my sarcasm laced monologue about how we know how to look out for cars and don’t need lights so that everyone else has to look out for us! I was about to be humbled.

My gracious husband kindly suggested we might check the web for bicycle laws in case lights were a requirement. After all, if anyone would know it would be the cyclists we had just encountered.

Turns out my ignorance…is illegal!

That is when I found this:

“There’s a few items that you are required by law to have, and you may be booked if you don’t have them.

  • Helmet (Unless you have a doctors certificate saying you can’t wear a helmet).
  • A bell, horn, or other warning device.
  • At least one effective brake.”

There’ll be no more riding for us until we go light and bell shopping!

Later in our ride, a group of cyclists came round a corner where I was pushing my bike up the hill. One of these cyclists called out in concern”you guys okay?”

Adam gave me “the look” that told me I had over reacted and need to give poor cyclists a break.

Bless you, super cycle man. Bless you.


early morning frost


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This morning Adam decided to check the weather report before we walked out the door. I’ll let the figures speak for themselves.

weather forecast

At 3.7 degrees that felt like -1.6 degrees with the wind you can understand why when Adam took my picture I did not look pleased!

Not impressed!

The funny thing is that I love getting outdoors in the morning. Yes, even in the cold I enjoy the fresh air. I love being up early enough to feel as if I have a head start to my day but knowing the temperature BEFORE walking outdoors was not the wisest move to make.

Take a look at these tips about staying warm in a cold climate when exercising.



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Friday night we made our way down to Ormeau to stay with my childhood friend, Amy. We had an awesome night! I was not strict about my diet but I made a few small choices that will seem like a joke to many but were important for me.

At dinner, I enjoyed a glass of red. Ok, it was two! I chose the small dish of pasta and chose the smaller dessert. I did have some chocolate and even enjoyed a couple of marshmallows over the fire. To top it off, out came the port! How could I resist? I stopped at one and went to bed  pleased that I had made some small improvements.

The following morning Amy, a professional photographer, generously offered to take some photographs of our children. We made our way outdoors and the next thing I know Amy is telling me where to sit!

“NOT ME! I have no make-up on! I’m too vain! Just the kids!”

Her response, “Tamara…GET OVER IT!”

Love it! No excuses! No waiting for perfection! Just do it! We are in the here and now, right?!

It got me thinking, what else am I waiting for? Writing a blog, because my grammar isn’t great… Reading that book because my house is not clean…Buying something nice to wear because I am too fat…writing that letter to let someone know I think they’re  awesome because I might make a fool of myself…recording that song because my voice isn’t good enough…

What are you waiting for?

*to see our pics visit

Swap it!


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Today I began making little changes where I could. For example, I have not been having sugar in my tea and I have decreased my coffee intake to one cup a day with half a sugar.This will be phased out but for the moment it makes this whole transition a little easier mentally. I even got on the trampoline with the kids… and jumped! My legs were getting a good work out  and I was certainly huffing and puffing but it didn’t feel  like exercise as we laughed and hugged!

Which brings me to swap it! An Australian government initiative.  Packed full of ideas of how to swap some of the choices we make for healthier ones. There is a downloadable 12 week challenge which includes shopping list, activity planner, menu planner etc.



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Day 3

My trusty and dusty treadmill was put into good use this morning. I kept my settings easy and walked only for a half hour. With each step I felt my legs were heavy and I became aware of my small frame beneath all this weight struggling to keep moving without hurting. Today was a struggle and I will need to get creative as to how I can keep from becoming bored while I am using the treadmill. I listened to my radio and  am now on a mission to collaborate THE best exercise hype music selection for my workouts!

As I walked this morning I felt like I was going to hurt something. I got down and began stretching and some simple pilates exercises. I have a book that outlines the steps to each exercise. I think I figured because I am doing so well it was ok if I took it easy today. That was a cop out. I didn’t feel great but the exercise I was doing wouldn’t have been enough to make me hurt anything seriously nor would it have been enough to make the nausea anything unbearable. So next time, no stopping just because I don’t feel like it. But no dwelling on my less-than-the-best effort.


Tour de pavement!


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Day 2

Last night, Adam was busy pumping up tyres and checking brakes, digging out our helmets from the garage and adjusting seats. I estimate it has been around 5 or 6 years since I was last on my bike. This morning was certainly an eventful morning. I was not real steady on my bike at first but found my balance. Around 5 minutes into the ride I pulled aside to catch my breath. There was a slight incline in the road and I was in the lowest gear. I felt rather dizzy and was gasping for air when this ‘mature aged’ lady walked by and saw me huffing and puffing. She chuckled to herself as she walked by! I was not impressed by her obvious amusement at my lack of fitness.

We continued on our way to the first service station we could find as my front tyre had need for more air. Unfortunately, construction on a building right beside the servo cut off access to the air. So we carried on up the hill. I pushed my bike up the hill only to notice an elderly gentleman out on his morning walk. I couldn’t overtake him! AHHH!

Every few minutes we would see more cyclists in their lycra and reflectors. Most had a headlight for safety. We hardly looked experienced. Once again we were rugged up in our tracksuit pants, jumpers, beanies, scarves and gloves. In fact, this morning I left my pajama pants under my tracksuit pants for warmth! Classy lady that I am. We eventually got to another service station, also close. Our third attempt was successful and we pumped up my tyre. I suggested to Adam we might ease up a little as I felt a slight pain in my right shoulder/neck region and thought I might die of a heart attack. But my dramatic tendancies didn’t end there. We were on our way home when Adam called out from behind “Car coming!” There was plenty of time for me to move aside but I panicked and couldn’t decide between trusting the driver to go around me or staying safely in the gutter. I knew I couldn’t just go up the gutter or I’d fall. So inching closer and closer to the gutter I got so ridiculously close that I hit the curb and flew through the air to land on the grass beside the pavement! The poor driver slowed down after seeing my stack. I let him know I was okay and we carried on.  The sky looked stunning  lighting up the Lockyer Valley as we looked out from the Great dividing range ! I love getting up before the day has really begun. Feeling a sense of accomplishment first  thing in the morning is a gift. I choose to look out for these “living life” moments!

Day 1


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So last night I did it! I made it official and comitted to take the challenge. I signed the agreement and and was up at 5am this morning for my first session of exercise. Low and behold, Adam was up with me ready to go! “Are you coming with me?” I asked. “Of course! That’s the point! I am with you all the way!”

signing the agreement

So with a couple layers of clothes, gloves, scarves and beanies we took our not-so-glamourous attire to the streets! We walked for an hour in the dark. My feet hurt, it was cold, I was gasping to catch my breath and…I survived! It felt great and I am already allowing myself to believe I can do this.  I can get fit and healthy!






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So, the time has come to post the before pics. I am either very brave or very stupid! Either way, there’s no turning back!




Oh dear!

mug shot

How’s that for getting real? No make-up, no sleeves, hair back. I tried looking all depressed and serious for my before shots but I just look weird. As you can see I have a lot of work to do! My neck has dowager’s hump which I am hoping to do something about but I will address that a little later.

For now, first things first. Here are my BEFORE (and never to be again) measurements:

Starting weight -102kg

Goal weight -56.3kg(the point 3 is very important)

BMI – 39.61

Goal BMI – 22

My measurements are obscene.

Arms – 42cm


Waist – 127

Hips – 134

thighs- 76

Dress size – 20

And my favourite…according to wii fit I have an age of 44 and am obese! I am only 32! Reality check.

One thing I did read today is that if you divide your height in half that should give you your healthy waist size. If this is the case then an 80cm waist will be healthy for me.

So, anyone with me?  Let’s do this!

Living Life


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We have all heard of a bucket list, right? It’s the list of things you want to do before you “kick the bucket”. But what about a Living Life list? I have a reasonable chance of not dying anytime soon so I thought I would focus not on what I would have missed out on if I died soon but on what I can experience while I am alive and kicking!!!

Having said that, I have found a fun website called which has some wonderful ideas! Check it out here!

I figure I need to keep focused on what I am gaining in lifestyle and how I am feeling physically rather than on how much weight I have lost or what I can’t eat if I am going to meet my goals. So below is a list of things I would (will) do if (when) my fitness and self-consciousness were not (are no longer) an issue.

This list may evolve, so stay tuned.

I would love to hear your “Living Life” suggestions! I hope to journal each of the experiences as I complete them.

LIVING LIFE CHALLENGE (in no particular order)

  1. Take the family to wet’n'wild and enjoy all the rides with my kids!
  2. Rock climbing – with Karlee followed by a massage
  3. Swim in the parent/teacher race at the kids school swimming carnival
  4. Run in a fun run (10 or 12km). Bridge to Brisbane and Gold Coast Marathon, 2012.
  5. Go bike riding with my children and keep up!
  6. Swimming in the ocean (haven’t been in for years due to embarrassment of body).
  7. Bush Dance – call me crazy but I think it’s fun, the whole “Bow to your partner!”
  8. Go surfing
  9. Hike – yet to decide where and how far
  10. Water skiing (I’d love snow skiing too, but bit too far away at this time).
  11. aerobics
  12. Dancing. I am coordinated enough for someone to teach me something hip and fun!
  13. Zumba




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I am hesitating to post the inevitable before pic. I guess it is true that when we don’t see ourselves we can deny just how overweight we have become. I only have a day before the challenge begins and I am yet to sign the agreement. There are, however, a few things I need to do before embarking on this life changing journey.

When Adam presented me with The Agreement he was thorough in preparing a plan of action. Included in my folder was a calendar laying out my months to come!


So here is my checklist:

  • Record weight and measurements
  • Book a doctors appointment
  • Have suitable walking shoes
  • Alarm clock set for 5
  • photo journal – recorded fortnightly
  • Goals (including living life challenge)

At this stage I am not stressing about having the pantry and fridge stocked perfectly. My first step will be to cut down my portion sizes and make afew small changes. I will look more closely at my diet in the days and weeks to come. This is about lifestyle change. I’m in for the long haul. So it’ll be slow and steady.

Bedtime will be strictly 9:30pm at the latest and I will begin using my alarm clock to be up 5am sharp every morning.

Tomorrow I will clearly define my goals and introduce you to my Living Life challenge!