Three sensible F-words: my New Year’s resolutions

Yesterday I wrote about my New Year’s realisation. I realised I would be happy just to look like Ricki-Lee Coulter’s “Before” photo. I faced the fact that I’m not happy with my weight and want to do something about it.

Every year it’s the same. I think about several things I don’t like about myself and resolve to change them. I think about all the things I want for my life and resolve to get them. But then, before you know it, another year has rolled by, and I am exactly the same. Same rolls of fat around my middle, same bad habits, same character flaws.

I think maybe I should just save myself the time and grief and not make any resolutions. Because if I don’t make any in the first place, that’s one less thing to fail at, right?

But isn’t the definition of success simply picking yourself up one more time than you fall? Well, it’s one definition. And I have to keep trying. I live in hope.

So here I am, 2015, picking myself up, again. This year is the year I really need to make these changes, because it’s amazing how quickly one year turns into five… especially as you get older.

My resolutions involve the three ‘Fs’. No, not ‘Fun’, ‘Funk’ or any other ‘F’ word. It’s the three sensible ‘F’ words: ‘Fitness’, ‘Finance’ and my favourite, ‘Furniture’.

Here’s what I plan to do with these F-words.

Fitness – I’m gonna get me some!

Finance – I’m taking control!

Furniture – I’m gonna move it to a new location!

Now I’m thinking of another F-word. That’s right –  ‘Fool’, because that’s what I’m going to look like as the months roll by (now that I’ve put it ‘out there’) if I don’t make any progress. I just need to do some plotting and planning about how I’m going to make these changes, and then, you know, take the action required (that’s the tricky part).

I now take inspiration from a quote on a post-it note I stuck above my desk months ago (that I am only just taking notice of now): “Great things are not done by impulse, but, by a series of small things brought together.” Vincent van Gogh.

It’s exciting just thinking about how things could be this time next year… or this time in five years.

Happy New Year everyone. I hope it’s a good one for you and may it be better for everyone than 2014 was!

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Frangipani in our courtyard: May 2015 be blooming good for you. And for me, I hope the only things that bloom are flowers, fun, fitness, finance and furniture.

Do you make New Year’s resolutions?

New Year’s Realisations

Happy New Year!

Before I post about new beginnings, resolutions and all that jazz, I would just like to briefly recount my New Year’s Eve.

Spider Boy and I had just returned from Canberra and we were both pretty tired. My offer for us to walk to the end of the street to see the 9pm fireworks, was met with a “No thanks, I don’t like crowds, and I heard on the radio there’s going to be over a million people.” Well, not in our neck of the harbour, but I was just as happy not to go anywhere.

So we settled in for an evening of fireworks and mild (very mild) entertainment on the ABC. Spider Boy was mildly amused to see Jimmy Giggle from Giggle and Hoot as one of the presenters.

After one lot of fireworks, SB went to bed. Then there was the really bad TV, while waiting for the fireworks. “Pub Trivia” on ABC, and Channel Nine trotted out You Can’t Stop the Music again (where was Richard Wilkins? Budget cuts at Nine too?)

Senorita Margarita, who has spent the past two New Year’s Eves with us, with retro music and movies, was at some kind of folk festival in Queensland called “Woodford”, or as my family members call it, “Woodstock” (Mum), “Waynestock” (me), and “That conference in Queensland” (Dad).

I amused myself with Who magazine’s annual HALF THEIR SIZE! issue with freshly-popped champagne and leftover plum pudding with brandy butter.

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The cover line screamed at me excitedly, “Exclusive! Ricki-Lee tells How I lost 30kg (that last bit was in excited yellow ink) with a full length bikini shot of Ricki-Lee looking gorgeous (posing and in makeup as part of Who‘s shoot) and then a smaller paparazzi bikini shot in the corner of the 29-year-old singer looking more well-rounded, particularly around the hips, bottom and thighs. But still gorgeous.

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My first thoughts were, how the hell could someone who doesn’t even look overweight in the first place (well-rounded, but not what I would call fat) lose THIRTY kilos and still be able to stand up (ie not collapsed from malnutrition)? Why does anyone, who already looks good in a bikini, need to lose 30 kilos? Maybe the before picture (taken in Bali in 2010) used was not an illustration of Ricki-Lee at 30kg heavier than the cover shot. But weight can be deceiving, and some people carry it better than others. Ricki-Lee is 180cm tall, so any excess weight can be more discreetly carried. On little 163cm me, there’s simply less surface area for the fat to hide.

I suppose I was a little confronted by the realisation that I aspire to look like the before picture. Because right now, I look fatter than Ricki-Lee’s before picture. So it just seemed silly to me that she felt she needed to lose 30kg. Maybe I’m envious. But I’m not going to get all Judgey Mcjudge about Ricki-Lee’s 30kg weight loss. It’s her choice if she just wants to eat fruit for breakfast, snack on nuts and only partake of fatty carbs once a month, in order to look model thin. I thought there was nothing wrong with the before picture though – she’s wearing a bikini (a bandeau top no less), she’s in the surf with wet hair, in Bali, living life. It’s just a different version of beauty.

The main point of the weight-loss, according to the article, is that Ricki-Lee feels so much better now. She told Who, “I completely transformed the way I used to live, and I feel amazing.” When I read the article, I realised that even though I thought she looked fine before, she didn’t feel fine.

“I was onstage performing… I was walking and singing and gasping for air. I was so unfit and so unhealthy, I’d probably just eaten two pizzas before I went on and skolled a bottle of wine. At that moment I felt like fat Elvis. I made the decision I never wanted to feel like that again.”

Ricki-Lee didn’t feel fine, she felt really bad, made the decision to change, and actually did it. And I commend her for that.

I am overweight. I look fatter than Ricki-Lee’s before picture and I don’t feel good about it. I don’t feel as good physically as I know I can, as I have in the past. I find it inspiring that Ricki-Lee made the decision to change, and actually did it. I hope I can carry this inspiration with me throughout the days, weeks and months ahead, and actually do something about my not-so-little problem.

Did you have any New Year’s Realisations?

The cookies-and-cream cake of the subconscious mind

My diet detour

My diet detour

Being a Monday, I had decided yet again that I really needed to get my diet , healthy eating lifestyle back on track, as it’s really veered off course the last…oh, seven years or so. “That’s it!” I said, “I’m sick of this! Diet starts now!” I decided I would just have soup for dinner every night during the week. Soup, NO bread, followed by two dates with a cup of tea if I was still hungry later in the evening.

I threw cans of soup, tuna (for lunch) and fresh vegetables into my trolley for my healthy new regime. But since I last went into my local supermarket, they have had a redesign. More shelf space. And what do you think is on those extra shelves? MORE fresh baked goods. I’m talking about “artisan” breads in brown paper packages, soft cookies filled with chunks of white chocolate and macadamia nut, chocolate cupcakes with a Mr.Whippy style swirl of cookies-and-cream frosting on top. And don’t even get me started on the chilled cabinet with it’s lemon tarts, tiramisu and triple-layer chocolate mousse cakes. What are you doing to me, Supermarket?!

I decided to NOT put any of those baked goods in my trolley. But just as I was about to hit the checkout, I caved. I turned back. One packet of cup cakes won’t hurt, right? There’s four cakes in there, but I can freeze them, for later. It’s not like I have to eat them all at once,” I reasoned. So I went back and got them, and felt instant calm. Putting the cakes in the trolley was a salve to the mild anxiety I was feeling at missing out on them.

Once I’d arrived home with the shopping and started unpacking, I realised I’d left a bag of groceries at the checkout. The bag with the veggies, tuna and soup in it. But I had the bag with the cupcakes, clutched in my fat little hand. How’s that for convenient?

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This was also in my shopping bag. Nice to have one with a cup of tea. Makes boring tasks less boring.

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Look, it’s a health cookie, OK? Oats, raisins – it’s all good. Probably.

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They were on sale. $5. Down down, prices were down.

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Before.

After.

After.