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Tuesday, 19 March 2013

At what point is something "too much"?

Warning: probably no images in this post.

On Saturday, A and I took my little business to a market. It was very slow going in terms of traffic and sales. People took my business card, so we'll see what comes of that.
When you're at markets, you tend to talk to the stallholders around you - after all, you're all there for the same thing and that is to promote your wares and get your name out there. Oh, and maybe sell some stuff and make some cash.

Somehow, I got to talking to the lady next to me (who sold earrings and necklaces) about my weight loss. She did not hide the fact that she was in her 50s, 51 I believe she said she was, and that she's lost 10kg since cutting out sugar from her diet. I told her how I have lost almost 20kgs, and she asked how I did it. I told her MFP, subtle and not so subtle changes in eating habits, and a little exercise when I could. She was very impressed, and went on to say that she reckons she's been dieting ever since she's been 12. Now, although I'm on the road to self-improvement, it's not my place to comment on someone's appearance and goals unless asked. Our conversation was continuing and I mentioned how I would like to lose another 10kg. 
This lady wears plus-sized clothing, has her own designer-recycled plus-sized clothing store, and is herself trying to lose weight.
I was absolutely flabbergasted to say the least to her reaction when I told her about wanting to lose another 10kg. She told me I would look anorexic and disgusting. Anorexic. Disgusting. What!? In my confusion, and wanting to keep the peace, I fumbled and stumbled over my words and said "Thank you, I take that as a compliment, I guess."

Her comments plagued me for the rest of the day, so much so that I need to write about it, and brings me to the question: At what point is something "too much"?

I've lost 18kg since 18 April 2012. I'm plateauing. I'm stressed. How do I know I'm stressed? I'm eating pizza and other carby carbs in the same day. I'm eating carby carbs multiple times a week. The scales aren't budging, so I'm not doing anything about it. I know I need to be, but my head isn't in the right space. I have f*cked around saying this that and the other about why I haven't lost any weight for a while, but fact of the matter is that there are other things in my life that are placing stress on me right now (really, I am okay, it's nothing I can't handle) and although I did develop this awesome habit of eating healthily and keeping track, it's slowly sliding away and all that goes with it.
Shit, there's no denying that I don't want that weight to pile back on. F*ck no. I would be so utterly depressed, devastated and angry at myself. Only I can pull myself out of this rut. But when?

Moving forward. Enough digression. Back to the question: At what point is something "too much?"

Background on me

Height: 156cm/5'2"
Start Weight - April 2012: 98kg
Current Weight - March 2013: 80kg
Start BMI: 40 - Obese
Current BMI: 32 - Obese
Ideal weight for my height: 45 - 61kg
Ideal BMI for my height: 18.5 - 25 - Healthy
(information calculated at Heart Foundation Australia)

This image here to the left (click on it, make it bigger, don't strain your eyes!) is where I was in April 2012 (and if I'm not careful, with the way I'm going, will end up back there :( ).

Now, BMIs are to be taken with a grain of salt - even the Heart Foundation website says so. However, health care professionals tend to judge you based on these numbers.
A tells me all the time I have an athletic build: my shoulders are broad, I have muscly calves and upper arms (I'd like to say my thighs are muscly but I'm sure it's cellulite/fat), however I always wonder if that's right.
I conferred with a girlfriend, R, who confirmed my suspicions - I'm an hourglass. I'd almost go so far as to say I'm a neat/perfect hourglass. It's very hard to tell your shape from any of these BMI images though as they're quite generic.
So, back to the hourglass. I'm balanced on top and bottom with a slender waist - got to love writing those words about myself. Despite this, I still have a tummy. It's my biggest problem area. And (cardinal sin, I know), of late, I've noticed it's getting just that little bit more rotund: clothing/underwear is a little more snug around the tum-tum, which means I've let myself get out of the good habits. OH NO!
I started this post on Saturday. It's taken up lots of my thought processes, distracted me from uni homework (oops...), and is taking far too long to write. Sometimes, that happens though. 

On Sunday, as much of an awful thing that it is, I feel like I was given a second chance at this weight loss game. A had a very major car accident just 300m from home. He's okay, not a scratch on him, but I can't say the same for our car. We're assuming that it's a write-off. Not so much fun there. Car hunting, bleurgh. However, as poor uni students, we're going to take our time and save up to get something half decent. If that means we're without a car for 12 months, so be it. Where we live, we have the tram 300m away (pretty much where A had his accident, give or take a few metres), the bus that goes directly to A's work is 500m away, and the train is 700m away. Car, schmar. Did I mention the environmental benefits, too? We're now carless, and doing our bit even more. A's thinking about getting a bicycle for his main mode of transport, and as for me, well I've been relying on Melbourne's PT network for almost 2 years now. Piece of cake. 
Now, how do I feel as though I've been given a second chance at weight loss? We're now forced to take more sustainable modes of transport. Walking, cycling, PT. Now that there isn't a car, I can't get A to pick me up from work, I have to walk 1km from work to the train station and vice versa. In walking from home --> station, station --> work, I will clock up 3.4km a day. 

With that in mind, this is what I currently look like, according to The Heart Foundation's BMI calculator. I really can't see too much of a difference in these images, which is total crap, because on my body, I can. As you can also see, I'm just two categories away from no longer being obese. Instead, my goal of 70kg will be classed as being overweight! Ha! Anyway, back to this second chance. It's a damned awful situation as to why I'm getting serious again - ironic though, the first reason I decided to do this weight loss thing was because of the loss of a loved one in a car accident. After A's smash, I realised that it could have been much worse, and that we needed to begin to look after ourselves again (even he's got a bit of a pot belly happening, sorry honey!). I know we could have made better choices, but all that hot weather we had here in Melbourne recently really tugged at our desire for ice cream. We couldn't give in. We didn't have it every night, but frequently. Throw in a few too many pizza orders, and you got yourself a nice, big, bloated stomach that will stick around for quite a while to come. Unless you're ready to do something about it.

A while back, I said that I was ready to do this again. In fact, I may have said it a couple of times. Pish posh. Nothing happened, clearly. I'm still fluctuating between 80 and 81 kilograms. For the most part, it's around 80.5kg. I'm okay with that. And there's my problem - I am okay with that. Being okay with something when you want to be somewhere else is really not a good thing. You need to change that mindset. You need to readdress where you're headed and how you'll get there. Well, I think I managed to find that train again. 

Today, for the first time in I don't know how long, I logged my food on MFP. Holy shit, any wonder I am plateauing in a major way - I ate twice today. TWICE. I used to eat SIX times a day. I would guzzle water like it went out of fashion, and I would be in bed before midnight. Well, I'm in bed before midnight right now, but I have the computer on writing this, when I really should be reading articles for discussion at 11:30am tomorrow. Old Hollie's habits are really coming back with a vengeance. Not good at all. Hopefully the fact that I have outwardly said so will keep me in check.

On that note, I should probably get back to reading my articles, but I leave you with this: At what point is something "too much"?
In the next post, I'll explore this some more.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Blogs: Who I'm Following

What is a blog?

Urban Dictionary has this to say about a blog:

January 11, 2005 Urban Word of the Day
Short for weblog.
A meandering, blatantly uninteresting online diary that gives the author the illusion that people are interested in their stupid, pathetic life. Consists of such riveting entries as "homework sucks" and "I slept until noon today."

v. intr.
The act of posting to a weblog.

When it comes to my blog, I tend to agree. I do meander. That said, my meandering has received a bit of praise from those who do read it, and for that I am very thankful. 
As a blogger, I like to hope that people are following me. I can see that there are 5 people who subscribe, and I could name you individually, but you know who you are! Then there are my friends who tell me they read my blog and they comment about this and that and that makes me feel just as good - so again, thank you!
I just hope that for anyone who randomly reads finds what I write even half interesting.
So, getting to topic - blogs that I follow.
I have a whole list of stuff in my blogger dashboard that I subscribe to. Crafty blogs most of them, but you know, I confess, they're not the ones I read - whoops! Apologies if any of you read my little ditty.
The list below is of those I follow semi-regularly. I say semi-regularly because for me, reading blogs is something I do when I remember (after the addictions of Facebook, the forum I help moderate, Pinterest, Polyvore, and Instagram). Most of them are fashion and lifestyle blogs. I am a woman, it's to be expected.

Business Chic

I came across Business Chic through Caroline at 17 Laps Marketing.  
Business Chic - Cheryl - is one woman, a very stylish woman at that, writing about and  photographing her fellow Melburnians and their corporate style.
See Cheryl for the entire month of March as she exhibits at Melbourne Central as part of the Loreal Melbourne Fashion Festival with her infamous Little Black Dress Project (which went to print this week - hurrah!).
Oh, and did I mention that I actually work with Cheryl!? World = Small.

Image courtesy of

A Girl and Her Pugs

Image courtesy of
A Girl and Her Pugs is exactly that - a mid/late twenties Adeladian woman blogging about her life, her hubby, and their two pooches. Ms Puggy, as she calls herself, has just made a career change back into the world she left not long before returning. Alas, her posts are now once a week, but always provide me with good laughs, food and interior inspiration, as well as the knowledge of where to take A for good coffee if we ever head to Adelaide.
I came across Ms Puggy from the forum I help moderate.

A Girl and Some Clothes

Image courtesy of

Guess what?! Ms Puggy also has a blog for fashion and style, again focussing on corporate wear, but also with some less corporate outfits as well.  Ms Puggy likes to style pieces readily available or easily shipped to Australia.
This lady also has some serious style. I get itchy waiting for her Polyvore sets to appear on her blog.


Where do I start with Yvonne's blog? 
Yvonne is my mum's childhood friend. Yvonne's beautiful daughter Aimee is my friend (rest in peace beautiful girl), along with her sons Lachlan and Stuart. We all spent our childhood in a small town outside of Geelong, mum and Yvonne included.
Now, Yvonne is living in the Blue Mountains. She just won Star Central Magazine's Blogger of the Year for 2012 (well done, Yvonne!).
Her blog is much more ordered than mine, and is about ", love, loss, laughter, and larrikins".
If you think that you can never relate to anything, go and read Yvonne's blog*. Pretty sure your life will change. 

* warning - tissues are required

Image courtesy of

Cheeky Pickle

Image courtesy of
I actually stumbled across Ali's blog after being told about Ali's 'Cheeky Chats' on tickle the imagination by A's step sister, D (who owns Fashion Deli, stockist of all that is awesome in the realm of kids, and LGIS merch when I have the time...and hopefully that's all gonna change this year).
Ali and her hubby moved to Australia from the UK about 7 or 8 years ago now. Ali is a successful 'mumpreneur' and someone whom I admire. Her drive and determination for her business has stirred the fire in my belly to really push Little Goldfish this year - thanks, Ali!


If you're in the blogosphere, this one needs no introduction. In fact, if you're on any form of social media, you will know all about Fat Mum Slim. Chantelle Ellem's blog makes me feel like I'm there living her life with her. I'm pretty sure a lot of other readers would have the same, or similar, sentiments. Her awesome Photo A Day challenges every month have created a buzz in phone photography. I finally got the bug and joined in for February (in fact, I think I'll be doing a whole post dedicated to my shots each this space). Chantelle has provided yet another opportunity for all the strangers on this planet to connect with social media through the use of the infamous #fmsphotoaday on instagram and twitter, as well as creating a Facebook group especially for those around the globe partaking in the challenge.

Image courtesy of


Image courtesy of

Now, I have only just discovered Fox in Flats a few weeks ago through Business Chic on Instagram. A blog for the fashion conscious mum, (yes, I know I'm not a mum, but heck, I have a new-found body after losing all that weight!) Andrea really does inspire mums around Australia, and the world!
Andrea's got a Style Dare A Day going on as well - and this month, I'm playing! Talk about getting out of my comfort zone, the first one for the month of March was 'Grr!'. I don't do animal prints for anyone. Anyone. But, I did it for the Style Dare (see below). I don't own them - yet. I had to be creative. Everywhere I looked today - there was something animal print. What's your verdict on my venture into animal print?