Sunday, 21 July 2013

Feel this moment- Christina Aguilera & Pitbull

You've seen them before, people driving their cars from the right, to the left hand lane , weaving in and out of the traffic down the highway. Like they have a greater sense of importance, that the rules don't apply to them, and that their destination is far more superior than yours. Only for you pull up next to them at the exiting traffic lights.

You think gee, was it worth putting yourself through all that stress and the stress on the car?  You've burnt more petrol, worn out your tyres, probably still angry and you know what, I bet they do the same thing tomorrow, wanting a different outcome?  Stopped at the same traffic light is where you will find them .......  right next to me.

 How do you want to travel the road?

I felt really nervous last week travelling down the freeway towards the pool. Questioning, and questioning myself, am I doing the right thing? I've lost all my confidence in my bodies ability. It just felt like I was starting at 130kgs again, in my first aqua class.

The first time I ever did aqua,  ( 3 years ago) I  cringed and tried to get into the pool without looking like a whale. I wore shorts and a rashy. I hadn't been in a pool for at least 15 years, not even to do the swimming lessons with my babies, was enough incentive for me to drop the disguise.  I wrote it off as Michael's "bonding time" with the boys.  In all honesty it was just another bullet in my heart that I was fat, overweight and I sitting on the sidelines, not to been seen. Not feeling like a mother, or a wife I just felt completely invisible, to everyone. Especially to myself.

The physio told me 3 weeks ago, as soon as the scar had healed, I could begin water work. I asked aqua? And I even showed him the movements that we do. Yep, was his answer, "just no hoping and make sure your landing is safe, that your knees are still over your feet, but YOU ARE READY. Funny how I've quizzed him every week, even 3 days out of surgery, I was asking, when do you think I can do a class?

 When I take the exit off the freeway, that day and moment had come.

I tweaked my knee for the first time in February, but I feared if I even acknowledged it then I would have to stop this momentum that I had developed. So I ignored it. I told nobody, pretended it would just go away. So I rested and iced it until I felt like it had "repaired" it's self then I would push even harder, to make up for the days that I had "rested" . Oh the mind games in my head.

Reality was I couldn't ignore it on Easter Thursday when I completely ripped it and I couldn't walk. GOD the pain. I spent all Easter not being able to move, any support on it would cause it to buckle in excruciating pain.

So I became the "manger" of my knee. I couldn't hide anymore, the damage was done, Oh .......  so done !!!!

I began physio very quickly after that, knowing that it was heading for surgery, I just knew in my gut, even I couldn't fix this.

I could walk 4 hours on it, then rest for an hour or just to have save it for work at night. I became very good at sitting a watching catch up tv.

So ironic that once I couldn't get off the couch, because I was purely fat and lazy. This was the last place I wanted to be !!!!!    I had to stay in bed, to rest & recover to get back to what I felt so passionately about ....... exercising.

One of those shows that was on my catch up list was The Block. Such creative people with such vision. How on earth do they have the design and methods in their heads to present such stunning outcomes?  Even if it's not to you liking, when you see the before and after photos I am simply in awe of them. Sure they have the professional tradies to help them but collectively they just pull all of their resources and they deliver !!!!

OMG, my knee, and my body is THE BLOCK !!!!! 

From all good buildings a "plan" and "foundations must be set in place. I've got my leg wrapped in bandages, swollen and the remains of dried blood still underneath all of that & I'm asking when can I get back into exercising ???? It's like asking can I paint the feature wall?  How can I even expect to do that ? When I have so many processes to do ?

I've "planned"
 - Done enormous amounts of pre-surgery physio (5wks)

I've had the slab poured 
 - The surgery, now I need to let the knee rest and set ( just like the cement base)

Setting out the bricks
 -   Then we need to start rebuilding the knee to function again, that means bending, and supporting my weight.

Mortar   -    There's no use setting down the bricks if you don't put the
mortar in between the bricks, to make the whole structure supported  & stable !!!!  That's why 4 times a day I was doing my muscle building around my knee & will CONTINUE to do so. My knee has been traumatised and I need to do every thing to give it support and make the structure strong.
So at each episode of The Block, I am thinking about the process in relation to my knee.

Currently I sit at putting the stud walls up and I have one hand on the sheet of plaster.

Still a long way from painting that feature wall, I still need to patch up holes, sand  it back, apply the undercoat. There's a few steps that I need to get through before, I can even think about that before and after photo,  I'm striving for. But it's one I am happy to take it at each "episode" at a time.

So as I pull into the car park at the pool, I am so terribly nervous. What if I ruin all of my good work, and it was all for nothing and I make it worse?

I wait for the first class to finish, I walk all the way around to the ramp to get into the pool.  I duck under the lane ropes, and I find my spot in the class.

I wait, in the pool thinking, god, I've made it. I'm here, I'm actually here, in this moment, this is what I have literally dreamt about. I hear the women complaining about the temperature of the water as they dip their toes in. " Brrrrrrr one lady saids ..... "you mean I gave up my warm bed to get into that freezing water?".

In my head I was SCREAMING ARE YOU SERIOUS ???????? 

This is a luxury to exercise !!!  I have waited 19 weeks to do this. It could have icebergs floating in it, bloody hell, if your body is capable of doing it, then don't complain, you've made the effort to be here. JUST DO IT !!!! 

And with that, I couldn't have been happier, start that music, I'm ready.

 I'm back, it might be at 70% capacity, but I'm back and I feel like the huge missing puzzle piece has come back into my life and I feel alive again.

Once again on the freeway ,  I ponder,  about the erratic driving, I take time to look at my journey and my destination, looking at what I've learnt and gained through this whole process. I don't want to be repeating the same mistakes, I'm still trying to develop and become a better version of me.  If that takes time, then that's what it's going to take. But I still want the same results, that I know will never change but I now also know that it takes hard work and determination, to make the right choices every time !!!

Yes, I have found myself stationary at the red traffic light, I've been idling on amber for a few weeks, and I've now been given the green light ........  NOT TO SPEED  .......  but to be smart and take it at my own pace. And create those moments that are all about the positive within me. However small they are it's all about the moments


" But until the gates are open
                                                 I just wanna feel this moment "

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Pompeii - Bastille.

I can feel that constant head ache, it's been there since Sunday. I so wished it was because I was dehydrated or detoxing from junk food but it's none of those, it's the worry and the ...... I give up that I just can't seem to settle with. It's like my whole body & mind hurts, things were suppose to be so different but here I am nearly 12 months later and what has changed? Really 30 kilos has gone but nothing has changed ....... but perhaps me ?

On Sunday I went to a 6 year old birthday part at McDonalds. I am one of those mothers that can sit within the group and join in the conversation or I am quite happy to sit away by myself too.  This was Sunday, in less than 24 hours the kids were back at school, my knee surgery was coming up to 6 weeks and I'm so ready to make the gym and aqua classes a part of my everyday routine, oh how I've waited for this exact moment.

I came armed with my folder with coversheet, pencil case, calculator and menu plans to write down my next 3 months of weekly plans, but more importantly this weeks plan. The mums know who I am and don't even question when I sit down & begin my planning. They understand me and accept me that this is important to me, it's so odd to be so comfortable and supported.

My phone silently flashed, a number I've never seen before ..... okay I'll let it go to message bank, I have no idea why I still think, perhaps it's Helen, my mother who I haven't spoken to in over 6 years but I guess that's just the way my brain thinks.

Then as I listen to the message, my blood turns cold and my face is a blank, the mothers look at me & say Anthea, Anthea, is everything o-kay. In like slow motion I see them talking but I can't hear them, I'm trying to think clearly on what I am to do. I'm a planner & I action things but how has it come to this, at a busy McDonalds that I am to 1) trying to understand how my mother is on the other end of the phone and 2) How can I do this all over again?  How can my sister be "saved" again from her 3rd suicide attempt?

Please pick up the phone, please pick up the phone and just talk to me. I've always been able to talk her around, but what if I'm too late and it doesn't make sense to her and she doesn't respond to me? Oh please be strong.

She picks up the phone and Oh so groggy, I have to calmly ask her what she has done, and do I need to call for an ambulance?  On the inside I want to jump down the phone and I want to slap her in the face but I have to be measured, it's crucial that she hears me.

I ask her to walk over to the front door and unlock it so paramedics can come in, she does but she then asks me to cancel the ambulance and let her die ........ that I can not do. I understand it but it's an impossible ask of me and with that, that's the last conversation I have had with my sister.

The McDonalds is still loud and busy and the kids are playing and the mothers have a worried, concerned look on their face. Well Anth?  Have you called the ambulance? Yeah, I have ...... but with a lump in my throat that doesn't even shift when I swallow I reply ....... but I think I may have lost my sister forever because I haven't given her what she wanted.

It's so hard to explain to anyone about addiction and mental health, if your not living it, it's hard to fully comprehend or understand it but it's hard on EVERYONE.

So all those good intentions of doing my shopping list & menu's,  well that just didn't happen, plan ..... plan ..... plan , it's suppose to be that easy but this was something I just never saw coming.  Hmmmm sounds just like my knee, I did everything right, but could have never had predicted the surgery.
So what if I close my eyes?  It almost feel like nothing changed at all ...... I can almost still see Jenny, my sister is still my sister, but more importantly I know who I am and what I am capable of doing. I am loved, I am determined, I am strong but whilst my heart is still beating.

I will continue to ask the question that made me sign up.

What is life?
What are MY choices?
What is it that I can control?  
What can't I control? Therefore I need to let it go
How do I make it work for me?
I've been here before but I was 130kgs,  I've hiked mountains, ran up sand dunes, I've buried my best friend, and had surgery.
Where do we begin ? The Rubble or our sins ?
We all have to have a start but the ending & MY LIFE is up to me.  

Bastille- Pompeii.

I was left to my own devices
Many days fell away with nothing to show

And the walls kept tumbling down
In the city that we love
Great clouds roll over the hills
Bringing darkness from above

But if you close your eyes,
Does it almost feel like
Nothing changed at all?
And if you close your eyes,
Does it almost feel like
You've been here before?
How am I gonna be an optimist about this?
How am I gonna be an optimist about this?

We were caught up and lost in all of our vices
In your pose as the dust settles around us

And the walls kept tumbling down
In the city that we love
Great clouds roll over the hills
Bringing darkness from above

But if you close your eyes,
Does it almost feel like
Nothing changed at all?
And if you close your eyes,
Does it almost feel like
You've been here before?
How am I gonna be an optimist about this?
How am I gonna be an optimist about this?

Oh where do we begin?
The rubble or our sins?
Oh where do we begin?
The rubble or our sins?

And the walls kept tumbling down
In the city that we love
Great clouds roll over the hills
Bringing darkness from above

But if you close your eyes,
Does it almost feel like
Nothing changed at all?
And if you close your eyes,
Does it almost feel like
You've been here before?
How am I gonna be an optimist about this?
How am I gonna be an optimist about this?

Monday, 24 June 2013

Landslide - Dixie Chicks ......... Lyrics Stevie Nicks

Could it really be? Could the Orchid have buds on it? When I thought it was all done and dusted amongst the weeds I honesty think I can see something.

 Six years ago walking through nan and pops house I knew the pressure was on to "sort" through their belongings, I had done this once before with Michael's Grandma 7 years ago, so I kind of knew what to expect. Remove the emotions out of it Anth, systematically it just needs to be done.

My step mum had already gone through the process of clearing things that she deemed as "important". But all I could think of was, he lived  till he was 90 and he got to see my babies born, that was important to me in those final months, everything else was materialistic and really without them in there, it was just becoming an emptied unit, no longer a "home".

She kept nagging me to fill the car , it was of great urgency to have this done as they wanted to rent out the unit. SOOOO lost on me but hey, it was what it was.

I walked from room to room, it felt cold, I never knew the rooms were this big, I never really had too look at it like that, it was where I was loved and I felt safe, and it was the only place I had felt unconditional love. No matter what was going on, nan and pop just adored me. They picked up that ringing phone, no matter what time it was and no problem was ever too big to handle. We were spoilt ...... spoilt and loved !!!

Times were changing, I'm a mum now, I'm a wife but I will always be their granddaughter, they were just not within these four walls anymore.  So as I walked around, there was nothing I wanted, the only things that meant anything was my memories and their love and firmly in my heart they remain but anything material, I just couldn't see it ?

The water feature my nan LOVED so much and it needed to be turned on, every time we visited because she was so proud of her "water feature" even that looked like a big mound of plastic. All that I wanted was a little bell she would wave around when she wanted something, when she was too ill to talk and perhaps some plants?

I always admired The Japanese Maple, that had it's own beach umbrella to keep it protected in the weathered conditions and perhaps the orchids because whenever it flowered, nan would ring me to tell me she had her magnificent flowers.

If by some stroke of genius, I could keep them alive then I was somehow honouring them?

I managed to over love the Maple, I put it into a larger pot to give the roots more room, and it was beautiful but then we went on holidays and I feed it too much and it just died.

I did so much research on how to keep the orchids healthy, I had imagined this array of pots and flourishing, and I had become an orchid growing sensation overnight. I put bean bag balls through the soil to create air, fed them special fertiliser and I separated the dry root bulbs discarding them and keeping the healthy root bulbs and replanted them, when they appeared stagnant and unresponsive,  I just put them to the side. I just didn't want to wish for the impossible anymore. Yep I gave up, it was never going to happen, so why even pretend to try ...... perhaps it's just never going to be my thing. I haven't thought about the Orchids for at least 2 years. That was until this Saturday.

 I was looking at my veggie patches

when I glanced down the side of the house, where the garden has overgrown with weeds through the garden beds ( just another one of the jobs I can't get too because of this knee)  and I see the pot .... of green and a line of flower bulbs from the orchids hanging over the pot, something I have never seen in the 7 years of having them !!!

I couldn't get to those pots quick enough to pull the weeds out of them, it had happened without me even trying, they were bringing themselves back to life and this completely resonated with me. I really needed this to happen in this exact moment.

I've been finding it difficult to relate to 12wbt, sure I can eat well but the exercise and the measurement of success? Well I can't get around the 1km block, can I do a push up, or the  sit & stretch or the wall sit? My knee does not allow me to do any of these.  So what did I have to offer in a blog?  I feel like I have not achieved anything since February, when all this knee problem began.

Well it all comes back to the orchids.

Sometimes we just have to wait for the "right" time to be upon us. The orchids went through so many seasons, without water, without food, it still had the base and the root system. Whilst there was still light, air, the right amount of shade, it just wasn't going to give up, even when I had pushed it to the side.

Once it meant everything to me to "Honor" my grandparents in death and what it symbolised to me in these plants. The "want & wish ",  just wasn't even enough, so me to keep that vision alive.

So I immediately bought it around from the side, to remind myself that it's taken this long of neglect and has come a full circle. It will still take quite a few months for those buds to come into bloom but boy when it does, I will enjoy them so much more. Just like my nan did.  Not only because of her but because I know what it went through to get there and what it now represents in 2013.

Just like my 12wbt experience. I may not be doing it under the complete umbrella of 12wbt, but like the maple needed the umbrella for shade, sometimes even I need help, to grow in the right direction. I needed to come out from the weathered conditions too.  In time I will eventually get there, if I remain true, dedicated and remain honest to the person who matters the most .... to myself.

I still know who I am, some thing 12 months ago, I had no idea because life was just so out of control on so many levels. I believe I'm a good person, and I've learnt so much from every experience, I've lived ....... be that good or bad.

 It makes me wonder there's nothing I love more than climbing the mountain. God, it's hard work but the view is so incredible and .......  I ask myself, what's my own reflection on a snow covered hill?  From that beautiful song. The Landslide.

Who do I see?

Does it need to be a skinny person looking back at me? Not particularly ...... skinny ......  it would be nice but I need to be in a healthy, strong functioning body. I hope I see a good, kind person, who just will never give up on moving forward, it's going to take time, and still more healing on a totally new level !!!!  No matter what the weather may bring.  I feel so much richer for having the tools and determination to get to where I want to go, no matter how long it takes me and my body, when the time is right for me.

When I went through nan and pops house I had to go in and detach myself from any of my emotions. When it comes to weight loss .....  again I need to keep being detached in the emotion of weight gain/loss and just stick with what I have already known to have worked for me.

My nan & pop were my roots.
The orchids had their roots and through it all, no matter the seasons and changes, I just have to weather the storm so I can bloom again in the sunshine, just like those buds.  So I can stand on my own mountains again.

Landslide : Dixie Chicks

Oh how I love the original too, but this film clip is so beautiful & crisp
Songwriters: Stevie Nicks
I took my love and I took it down
I climbed a mountain and I turned around

And I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
'Till the landslide brought me down

Oh, mirror in the sky
What is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail thru the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?

Mmm Mmm...

Well, I've been afraid of changing
'Cause I've built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Children get older
I'm getting older too

(Gutiar solo)

Well, I've been afraid of changing
'Cause I, I built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Children get older
I'm getting older too
I'm getting older too

So, take my love, take it down
Oh climb a mountain and turn around
If you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well the landslide will bring you down, down

And If you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well maybe the landslide will bring it down
Oh oh, the landslide will bring it down

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

The Gambler - Kenny Rogers

As I walked to the car, I was shaking my head and giggling, sure it was 6.30am in the morning,  I should be tired and I still feel a little bit sleepy, I needed groceries after not being home all week end and I needed to use the shopper docket for the petrol but I heard her comment . Not sure how I am feeling but I am definitely puzzled...... that I will have to think about a little bit more.

I have just had an enormous week-end, a week-end that I had been planning for quite sometime, Michael's 40th Birthday.

We are not party people, actually we aren't even social people. Michael and I spend so little time together, with him working 2 jobs , that when we have; "free" time, we like to spend with each other.

 I am confident and enjoy people's company but put me in a group bigger than 4 people and I'm just a different person, especially if it's one where I don't know many people, I feel like my oxygen is slow being taken away from me. Give me a good walking track in the bush, by myself and I am happy, pondering in my own thoughts. As crazy as it sounds, because I share so much through my blogs, I am friendly and well liked but I'm most comfortable when I am alone.

God I miss my walking,  my time to think things over, I find some of my best reflections are done while I am burning those calories, boy how I've missed every aspect of being out and JFDI. 

Before 12wbt I would often tell myself. I feel like I am stuck in quicksand, with only my head hanging out .... barely able to breathe.   I was so completely stuck and cemented in one spot . The more I tried, the more desperate I had become to get that quick ......immediate, fix, THAT SOMETHING, to just make it all disappear over night.

It's the most vicious cycle  ....  eat crap, feel like crap, which makes you too tired to even think .....  little more than exercise, which makes you feel even more useless  ......  more fatter and more repulsive  ..... so I might as well  go and eat more crap. Which makes me more tired and so the cycle begins, with no END POINT, other than the feeling of hopelessness and the physical weight, literally unbearable.  

So when I am able to push out those calories and burn them, I feel on top of the world, and that was my key, if I hit that burn and saw that 500-700 burn everyday then my eating was a no brainer, I ate perfectly. Why would I need to undo all that work ?  Besides .....  that high of exercise made me feel protected too. If I don't exercise I actually feel like I am cheating myself.

 This is exactly what I am struggling with at the moment, unable to "burn" what I am consuming.

On Friday , Michael had the day off, and I needed to go and have my dexa scan done as it had been 12 weeks since I had my last one. I thought , what a wonderful opportunity for Michael to see why this is so important to me, hmmmm  why not secretly book him a scan too?  

Unbeknown to him I had packed his skins, so he would feel a little less exposed and booked the next block for him.  His face was priceless, and HE LOVED it !!!!!  Now we are able to support each other and he now sees the importance of how much further, I have to go. 

Then it was my turn. I felt very excited and realistically  disappointed at the same time due to the amount I haven't been able to put in due to my knee, especially in the past 6 weeks. Sure I could have been stricter with my nutrition, but I have just felt out of sorts with a few things in my world.

 I feel so heavy at the moment,  going up and down like a yo yo, from day to day. Naturally I wanted different results but the scan reveals a 2kg gain in the 12 weeks. Which I thought hmmmmm o-kay then.  To be expected.

Then  he explained that the result although could be better, I actually had only put on 200gms of fat on my body and the remaining ( 1.98gram)  I had bulked up my muscle.

Then I had to look at the bigger picture, I have not gorged on food, I have not had  McDonalds, of soft drink and I am still very measured in the amount of food I am consuming. I am not ridiculous in my choices nor am I punishing myself, like I use too. I could be doing better, I could be doing worse. So I need to be looking at my wins and not my failures.

Another win on the week-end was having the buffet breakfast at The Grand Hyatt. I had already coached myself with an action plan, o-kay we were spending a lot of money on this breakfast, but it didn't mean I have to eat my "monies worth".  ( we had eaten a magnificent meal the night before too , so very aware of the extra calories already consumed)  I did about 15 laps of the servery, I was giggling thinking, here you go Anth extra calories burned & the other half was saying eat all that, and you will be here for the next week running laps in here. I picked up the smallest plate and choose fruit, some muesli, and nuts, dried fruit.

I then had one strip of bacon, mushroom and grilled tomato from the hot service, and I had the smallest of sweet almond pastry and it was delicious.  I did spot the cheese bar too, and I LOVED cheese !!!!!! Brie and Camembert, I took some back to the table and I thought, I can't even remember liking this, but I remembered I did ......  took one nibble and HATED it. Yes plates were taken away with food still left on it because basically I just didn't enjoy it. If I don't enjoy tasting the food, I simply don't eat it any more.

As we walked out, Michael and I looked at each other and said, now what are we going to do ? We packed up the room and jumped in the car, drove home and went straight to the gym on a Sunday morning and I've never felt so satisfied !!!!!  a) that it's what we needed to do & wanted to do but also b) Michael was right next to me.

So when I'm walking away from the paying my petrol, I'm thinking about what the cashier had said, to me ........
" I was going to ask you, if you were interested in,  2 for the price of one chocolate bars, but clearly you are very sporty and wouldn't eat chocolate, looks like you are off to the gym".

YES, puzzled, because it got me thinking 40kgs ago, if I had been asked that question, I would have bought 4, because that seemed like an excellent deal, I would have never been offended because the question was just playing straight into my hand, I truly believed that the chocolate bars .......   I HAD TO HAVE !!!!!

But why?  Why now because I "look sporty", I now have a new dialogue addressed , to me?  Sure it would be her standard line she is told to ask to increase sales, but once again it got me thinking about the cost and the worth of the money?  The money at The Grand Hyatt buffet, and the long term cost to my body?  

Our bodies are exactly like running a bank. We bank to save. Well that's our aim. Our bodies are no different , our bodies are just like the bank .

 Our "money" instead is our calories ( put in the right amount of calories and burn the right amount ) our gain instead is actually our weight loss.  But if we are spending more than we earn ( eating more calories, than we burn) we will find ourselves heading towards bankruptcy.

 So you need to start banking on yourself in the POSITIVE and not the NEGATIVE.

All of us would love that the "dream" of not having to go to work to earn our money. Winning 60 million in lotto, would just make everything easy but the cold hard truth is LIFE DOES NOT WORK LIKE THAT, there are NO QUICK FIXES, it takes hard work, commitment and loyalty to yourself to achieve all your riches !!!!!!

We have to show up every day to get that pay packet. Why not take that to the next step and show up for yourself?  Surely your own "worth" has to be more than any $$$$ can give you ...... YOUR HEALTH IS WORTH IT !!!!! 

Does cancer and illness care how rich or poor you are?

Does it help to be in a healthy strong body first before the unknown hits you?

And what about that mindset and attitude? That has to be worth something ?

In saying that I sure would like to have a crack at how 60 million dollars would feel ;)

"The Gambler"

You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table.
There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done.

Now Ev'ry gambler knows that the secret to survivin'
Is knowin' what to throw away and knowing what to keep.
'Cause ev'ry hand's a winner and ev'ry hand's a loser,
And the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep."

Friday, 19 April 2013

Straight Lines - Silverchair.

When I got out of the pool, I just never thought I would have that emotion of unhappiness and sadness again, over something I knew was completely out of my control, that realisation and acceptance that things have changed.

The last time I felt like this was the night I said good bye to Jenny at her funeral.  For some silly reason, I knew I could cope with the whole enormity of the day, flying in from Queensland, then turning up at the funeral, because I could focus for 45 minutes and get lost in my aqua class, forget about it, listen to the beat of the music, sweat and go hard ........   go hard for that burn. I went to bed exhausted yet free because I was no longer worried about her and the saying rest in peace rang true.

So  last week, when I came out of the pool, I felt lost, now what? What if I can't exercise?  It's become my place of peace and when I am finished I feel like I can take on anything and everything. For the first time in a really long time, I just wanted to cry and I felt really, really lost and I actually felt really alone !!!!

I haven't felt "miserable" over anything ( other than Simone & Jenny) ,  and especially not over food, but for the first time I could feel the distance between the pool and the car felt so long and I could feel a panic attack, sitting there in the pit of my stomach, and to tell you the truth, it scared the crap out of me. Asking me not to exercise is like telling a greyhound not to chase the mechanical rabbit. This is my love   .......  this is my passion.

Exercise has felt like the key to everything, whilst Jenny was dying, it was my escape.  I couldn't wait to wake up every Saturday to do my SSS. I knew I could eat a little extra if I was prepared to "burn" it off and that worked for me. But now, I am faced with a whole new set of circumstances, and challenges and what if I couldn't get rid of my blues ....... then what?

So I did some deep thinking in a couple of days, Why do I feel so hopeless? How on earth do I turn this around? I haven't turned to food but by god I could feel the rip tide pulling me in the wrong direction. What if I was floating and sinking out to sea again? What if I can't stop these internal thoughts and I wake up over 100kgs again?

So I open up the computer and I read through my blogging. It's my own thoughts and written words that would be pull me back from my non exercise funk and dilemma. What was it that got me through my thought process?' ..... wow reiki, it's been 8 weeks since I had my last reiki.( my rieki master has moved away)

So I reach out to a friend who does reiki. I needed to be centred again. I had taken on far too much and I needed to make some decisions.

Once I had my reiki, things just seemed to be clearer. I was thinking about moving woolworth stores, because I was looking for more hours but the new store was not accepting hours beyond my contract and I didn't want to let anyone down and questioning do I need a change?  What's going on with my knee?  Do I go to finale, if I am in so much pain?  I've already booked hair & make-up, will I be letting people down?  I had planned Michael's Birthday to do private dancing lessons and I can't even walk? I felt like I was letting so many people down.

So many questions and no answers. This is all typical behaviour before 12wbt .... never making definitive decisions until the last minute because I was thinking about how it was affecting everyone else. Not only this but I was beginning to wear my tracksuit pants, and not putting my jewellery on and not doing my hair, all past behaviour that was associated with a person who just didn't care a hell of a lot about themselves because I felt completely blocked.

So by Sunday night I had decided to go back to the doctors, and get more advice, halt the interview for a new job, not go to finale, and look towards the next round in a whole new approach, because I wasn't even going to do the next round and I arranged Michael's birthday. Action  ...... I was back into action,  making things happen after feeling so lost.

Michael's birthday is the week end of 27th but with Anzac Day, he is taking the Friday off too, which I happen to be booked in to have my Dexa Scan.  He was most interested in the details of  The Dexa Scan and I thought PERFECT. He watches the 12wbt videos with me and is so supportive of our new lifestyle, that I have secretly booked him to have a Dexa Scan too, so we both have the same focus.

It was a great week ( better than the past 3 weeks) , boys back at school, gym assessment with PT Paul, and Physio on Wednesday.

All my questions were being answered. I am now doing 90 minutes of upper body work in the gym, 2 times a week. Which I have been specifically told ( once again I wanted to be there every second day)  YOU  ...... need to ONLY see me 2 days a week or you will be doing all that work for nothing, your muscles need time to repair, note has been taken, although hard, I have heard.

Physio has told me it will be a 6-8 week recovery. It looks like I have injured my meniscus, which shoots pain on the outside and inside of my leg and pain through my knee. I am only to do very straight movements. Cross trainer, and bike okay , no rower but I need to be mindful that my knees and legs are straight. NO water, as that gives me no stability and I need a solid surface. I need to keep moving to get the oxygen through it, then it needs to be rested. But just knowing the right actions I need to be doing , not to cause it anymore pain, is amazing , like getting out of the car, getting off the couch, a chair, the toilet, all makes a difference but at least I am not "guessing" anymore. ( surgeon on the 7th of May)

So I am being very measured and smart in what I can and can't do but what has surprised me the most is how much I have changed,  but in some areas I haven't .  I began feeling really fearful that Anthea 100 kilos  plus was coming back.

My weight dances from 90-88kgs and I feel really heavy and revolting but had you asked me at 120kgs would I have been happy at under 100 kgs? I would have said ,"Hell yeah !!!!"

 But through all this self doubt,  what I have found hard is not getting hung up on the eating Vs the burning of calories because that honestly was doing my head in, it didn't make sense to me because that's the only way I have been operating.

Why do I LOVE exercising?  It's because of the way I feel after I have pushed myself to new limits, it's that natural high that you get,  of feeling unstoppable, which in turns makes me want to make all the right food decisions because I didn't want to undo all that effort I had put in. When I'm not exercsing it's even harder for me to stay on track.

 It has however,  always been about the way I feel, the way I feel after exercising, the way I feel after eating crap food, always about the feelings and emotions attached to my choices.

I then realised how important it is, to take care of myself and make me feel good in other means, other than exercising.  I continue to have waxing because it makes me feel fresh and sexy, I put a face mask on, I conditioned my hair and I bought new clothes.

Before 12wbt I thought all this was "reserved" for people who were "up" themselves, but I get it now. If you feel good about yourself, you carry yourself differently and you react and action things very differently too.

So yes carry out those milestones and hit all those indicators of calories in and calories out, that's so important for your weight loss but also be aware that it's o-kay to take care of yourself with other things that make you feel good. Be consistent in the 12wbt markers but also be consistent in making yourself feel good about yourself all the time !!!!

We are all human, we all have our emotions, god knows I feel like Ive been completely lost this round, we will have our ups and downs but it's so important to be a bit kinder on ourselves too.

Straight lines is what I need to be walking , for my recovery and to  not stray beyond my own boundaries. It's not easy but by god I'm still bloody learning and trying to be the best version of myself, no matter how hard I am finding it.

 Breathing from a hole in my lung
I had no one
With faces in front of me
Racing through the void in my head
To find traces
Of a good luck academy

Sparks ignite and trade them for thought
About no one
And nothing in particular
Washed the sickened socket and drove
Resent nothing
There's good will inside of me

Wake me up, lower the fever
Walking in a straight line
Set me on fire in the evening
Everything will be fine
Wake me up strong in the morning
Walking in a straight line
Lately, I'm a desperate believer
But walking in a straight line

Something I will never forget
I felt desperate
And stuck to the marrow
Invisible to everyone else
I'm a sex-change
And a damsel with no heroine


I don't need no time to say
There's no changing yesterday
If we keep talking and
I keep walking in straight lines
s so what I need to be walking.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

I Won't Give Up - Jason Mraz

I don't know how many times I have said this, but if I could just be under 100 kilos, I just know I will be happy and everything will be fantastic.

When I was over 120 kilos and staring head on at 130 kilos, being under 120 kilos seemed like an impossible ask, so I never attempted it, my scales became something sitting in the cupboard and had no batteries. I attempted weight loss programs but I never really seriously stuck with something that would head me in the consistent right direction, and I tried them all. But at 120 kilos, I was sad, I was miserable and everything felt dark all the time. I "appeared happy", but mentally I couldn't have been further from the truth.

The littlest thing, seemed like the biggest injustice and I complained about everything and anything to anybody who would listen. I would be complaining to my grandma, Tara, Lisa, Clare,  I would be on the phone all day, looking for someone to listen and agree with me on how rough my life was, and if that wasn't working for me I hit Facebook too, to let everyone know it wasn't a good day for me. I just felt it was important to keep everyone "up to date", just in case people stopped being interested in me. I was forever looking for other people's validation to tell me I was o-kay because I didn't particularly like myself a whole lot.

When I hung up the phone or put it on Facebook, did I feel any better because I had ranted about it? No it just seemed I was waiting for the next thing to feed that angry fire. I can't imagine I was a great person to be around, someone who sucks up that much negativity , why would you ?  Was it anybody else's problem?

 Oh and then there was Michael, Oh my, how he  put up with that discussing attitude and poor behaviour , I have no idea,  other than he must really love me, that he stuck around !!!! Up, down, up, down. Angry, sad, miserable and a little bit more anger mixed in just in case you didn't know I was pissed off  and that had EVERYTHING to do about how I felt about myself.

Once again,  I hear myself saying .......  it's the weight, if I am under 100 kilos then I will be happy, like there is some magical happiness meter, that says, congratulations your numbers now read 99.9, and with a flick of a switch, you are now automatically happy, and cured because you made it.

I was doing Weight Watchers for years and could never get past the 10% milestone, it seemed, I would reach it, then boom go the other way because I felt like I had "done it" without realistically looking at exactly where I was at, I still sat morbidly obese !!!!

I adored my weight watchers leader ( I had been with her on and off for 8 years) but when I decided to leave for 12wbt, I gave her a bunch of flowers to say thank you for believing in me but I promised that I would come back and see her at Christmas time, I wasn't giving up, I was just changing directions.

So at Christmas I walked into the complex after the meeting had finished and she couldn't put it all together, could see it was me but I was 27 kilos lighter, something she had never seen.

Once we got talking she could not only see but hear that everything had changed about me. Not the body but the mindset and attitude that comes with it !!!!!

Over the years she watched, all my boys go through surgery, Taj looked like he had to have a full chest reconstruction and for 18 months Michael struggled with a massive goitre that gave him a limited airway passage to breathe, and in that he had a cancerous node,  ( the thyroid surgery completely removed the cancer, but it was hard knowing that he had that embedded in him too)  , Michael's dad got prostrate cancer and won that battle, and we had Simone's first suicide attempt. She said, " Anthea, you always had something major happening and it always stopped you, I felt so sorry for you and I just wished all these things would stop happening to you", but look at you now? I could hear her sympathise with me.  I hear Michelle Bridges saying, spin so much bullshit and excuses everyone around you believed them too, even yourself  ............   WOW and that's exactly what I had been doing before 12wbt. The evidence was clear, this is how I had been living.

I said, "Lynn, that's the point & the difference with me today .......  This is LIFE !!!!  There will always going to be SOMETHING no matter how big or how small, it's how I want to attack that and make that my reason to keep me heading in the right direction.

I started 12wbt because I needed a great distraction from Jenny dying and Simone's erratic life. I didn't go in with a goal, I just wanted to stop putting on the weight and I just didn't want to be sad because of my weight anymore and I just wanted to be under 100 kilos, because isn't than when happiness kicks in and all my problem's fade away?

I reported my progress to my 3 friends through texts every week and I reported to my Facebook world every 4 weeks. Still looking for people's approval, still trying to stay relevant, but I actually like it  ......  showing off and receiving so much encouragement and support, so I should be I'm working bloody hard at it!!!

As I went through my first round, I was hearing Michelle Bridges saying, you need to set goals and mini-goals. I was doing this but I had the only measurement to me that made complete sense, was my happiness.

I felt very pressured if I didn't say, well I want to be X amount of weight by a certain date and I will not stop until I hit my healthy BMI. (don't get me wrong these are soooo important to a healthy body and great goals they just weren't mine) . I was beginning to feel putting the number goal was like setting up that 10% weight loss goal from weight watchers that I could never achieve. What if my goal was to just find a complete balance of happiness and a healthy functioning body regardless of the number? Am I failure because I'm not saying I've made it when I've hit a number?  

At the beginning of this round, as well as my Dexa Scan I felt like I was in a great space, I had a mixed previous round with school holidays but once the kids were back at school full time I could push the pedal to the metal and rip through it again. I can't tell you how much I loved my new routine, mixing it up and heaps of gym work, because my body felt so strong and amazing, but then my knee reared it's ugly head. I figured because I had lost all this weight, my knee was no longer an issue.

My knees have been deteriorating since I was 21, having played so much squash. I was playing state squash in Melbourne 5 times a week and after matches couldn't change the gears in my car, the physio said that day, you've played your last game of squash, because you won't be walking in 20 years ....... I wished I had kept his number because he had an amazing crystal ball.

STATE SQUAD at age of 14

I'm just pushing this body to limits I've NEVER been too. I would pull up tender every second week, I would need to rest it for a few days, then once it felt good, bang back into it. I was doing 500 -700 calories burn a day  & my full SSS and felt FINALLY I was back in the pocket where I feel complete bliss. I go back onto the bmx track this time not walking it but running it, up and down those hills, with an extreme heart rate and a quick burn and I did 1000 calories at 1000 steps which felt magnificent I spent 3 and a half hours running the outside tracks, I did the stairs once, but the track up and down 4 times. If I could bottle up that feeling up I would. I felt sooo incredible. It felt like this peaceful magical place that I had been missing out on, it was a complete high like a drug, I left alive for the very first time.  My weight didn't budge but I just don't care anymore ...... well not care, I don't obsess and worry about it.

It seemed every 4 weeks would be the off week, and the fitness test impossible with running, squatting and stretching the knee is just so bad but I listened to this body ( funnily enough I just don't care to tell anyone yet, not Facebook and not my friends) 

I  rested enough to get myself right to do Run For The Kids. I initially wanted to do the 15km course and with the amount of walking I had been doing, it looked like I was going to do well with it, but with the consistent pain I was in, I thought lets do the 5.5km instead. So I changed the length, and my husband was thrilled, it was such an amazing day,

Before & after the race with Michael and meeting up with one of my gorgeous best friends Lisa.
I ran 80% of it,  not fast, but I ran and I felt like I had ticked off my  "goal" box. Doing this 12 months ago with 38 kilos on would have never even been a consideration but here I was, just doing it and feeling free.

My "official" time is 45.46 for the 5.5kms, it's a PB because it's a first for me.   

With Easter coming up, I have never been so excited the first Easter that I can say, lets go hiking, lets go for a drive, lets live life, lets be a fun family because I don't feel limited by my weight but on Thursday night I did one too many quick turns on my left knee and I just haven't recovered. It's made me think, of  Michelle Bridges, is this all my excuses coming into play because I feel I've been carrying this knee for ALONG time now ?   And I have worried that because I can't do all this physical work that I am use to doing, am I all of a sudden going to pile it all on again?

Then I've had a really good think about it. I think "excuses" is telling yourself and giving yourself permission to go and eat 4000 calories and saying, it's okay and acceptable to continue your own self destructive behaviour and blaming everything and everybody else but yourself.

This is a genuine reason, I just wished I had recognised it earlier than trying to push through it with explaining to myself that I could make it better.

So this Easter my knee kept collapsing with every step I made, literally , I could not put my pants on, shoes on, just sooooooo much pain, so I iced, elevated and rested for 4 days until I could get to my regular doctor. Who sent me for my X-Rays.

(It was when I took this photo I could see the difference and the top of the leg is doubled, I thought, hmmmmm, O-kay I not only see it, but I really feel the pain now)

X-Rays have revealed that the arthritis has rapidly increased in the joints and my right knee, the good knee has tripled the amount of arthritis in 2 years.

My bone has thinned behind my left knee cap and I have lost all the tracking behind the knee cap so it has no support. The X-Ray only gives the indication of bone damage and structure, not the ligaments and tendons, so I am beginning physio to strengthen the muscles and I see the surgeon on the 7th Of May, who I suspect will send me for a MRI, but he will tell me exactly whats going on.

Until then I need to suck the pain up with osteo panadol and very limited exercise on my legs. My doctor looked me in the eye and smiled at me, to make sure I was hearing her ..... NO MORE IMPACT HIGH INTENSITY EXERCISE !!!!  Slow movement in the water but nothing else but make sure it's 6 panadol a day and make that appointment with the surgeon ...... please.

So I took the film to my neighbour who is a radiologist, who pointed out all the shading and it's not good. But I guess it is what it is. I have my ears opened, I have heard. I don't like it. This has nothing to do with weight loss anymore of course that is still so important,  but this is about protecting my body so I am walking !!!!

Michael has been AMAZING !!!!!   During Easter he did an overhaul of the kitchen and removed all the crap that has crept in and he made me rest and ice. All through Easter he looked at me in bed and reminded me, your body is not burning calories like it's use to, so you need to be careful about what you eat now.  Today he looked at me and said, enough, you are clearly miserable go to the gym, NO equipment other than arm weights.

So I did, I hobbled and the pain is just constantly there but it's the oddest feeling.  I am use to spending 3 hours at the gym burning my calories and not coming out until I do. I missed my squats, I missed my 45 minutes on the cross trainer, I felt a bit better  knowing I had at least done something but I also feel sad because I know I miss the sweat and the rush. But it's a whole different type of sad, it's not poor me, it's an acceptance of the path has deviated.

There is no doubt I have swapped one addiction with another, I am no longer addicted to food, I am addicted to exercising and pushing as hard as I could.

So for now I have to hear and remember those doctors orders.

I also can't help but think about Jenny. She was in so much pain, did she complain? No, she was gracious, I have no idea how because I am hurting. I think of that conversation about my big fat morbidly obsess body and thinking, I need to get healthy because if I get cancer, how can I ever know when I am moving in a body that is hurting everyday because of all this extra weight I am carrying ?

This may have been the natural course of my body, bones and the arthritis but imagine how I would have coped if I was over 120 kilos and a shitty negative self image and self destructive behaviour with no consequences attitude because that's exactly how I was living before 12wbt.

Thank god, I kept going to get those kilos off when my body wasn't injured. Just like I explained to my weight watchers leader Lynne, there's always going to be something that's going on in our lives, I am just really happy that I kept forging through those first 2 rounds to loose the weight I did, that I have that supportive husband who understand how important it is to have good nutrition and also understand how important exercise is to my mental state too.

Yes am hurting, I am in extreme pain, and sometimes I  feel miserable, I am missing exercising like I have been accustomed too, but I've done this before, but on a whole different level. My life was take away and junk food and zero planning and no realistic goals and I had too adjust a new lifestyle  (THAT I LOVE)   and I just can't ever do THAT again !!!! It's a whole different sort of pain when I was 120 kilo !!!!

What if I never had that conversation with Nina on the side of the pool deck about 12wbt?

What if I never realised that the weight could mask something bigger like cancer, like Jenny's lung cancer started as "a sore back"  therefore I needed to work bloody hard to get me into a healthy functioning body?

I shudder to think where I would be, I would still be in denial and unhappy but most of all I would not have the tools and the mindset that tells me I am going to be o-kay because it's all up to me, to make it happen, which is all 12 wbt.

I think one of the greatest things about 12wbt is the SSS. When I did that 1000 calorie burn for the first time and it took me over 3 hours, it gave me a whole new perspective on the worth of the calorie.

There is no doubt that 12wbt has made who I am today but I have had the most amazing support with fitness friends, with the D30 group, with my own support network and more importantly within my 4 wall with my husband also becoming aware of how important this new life is.  So next round when I am not doing 12wbt, ( because I will have had surgery) I know I have taken everything from 12wbt and it's changed me completely !!!!

 I have never been happier, and it's not because I'm under 100 kilos . It's actually the way I feel about myself  and the way I treat people around me and that's all because I am happier with who I am in my own skin, which no doubt has been affected by the weight loss not THE AMOUNT I have lost .

I don't worry and dwell about the small unimportant stuff anymore, and my phone bill is cut in half because I'm not on it complaining all the time. I don't look at Facebook to feel validated & important anymore.

I will still continue my gym and assessments and reviews every 4 weeks, I am still concentrating on my Dexa Scan. I just won't be doing it under the 12wbt official.

But I've reached my measurement,  that is important to me, I've found my happiness.

Weight wise I still see my goal weight measurable to my Dexa Scan at 69-72 kilos and I will get there, I'm just not racing in the "weeks" to get there and my knee ( and my doctor)  has told me so too, I am taking a detour first to get these knee's stronger, again, can't say I like it but what else can I do?  Go eat cake and pizza?     

HARDLY !!!!!!!!!!  


Make that body stronger and healthy so when that big "something" comes, you have the right tools and mindset to get through it in a positive way.

Friday, 5 April 2013


I will always maintain that no matter shape or size you are ....... ugly on the inside is always ugly on the inside. Anyone can change their appearance by loosing weight but if you are a  negative, ugly, nasty, unkind person .... well that will always remain.

When it's my time to go beyond this life of mine, I want to be remembered as a kind, caring, thoughtful person.  Will they say at my funeral ......  and it's really important for you to know that she currently weighted 88.7kgs and her measurements were ........  well  ...... NO.  It's your overall health that's important not the shape you see in the mirror but geez it's gotta help,  if you are living a healthier and happier lifestyle before your time is up.

I was a very spoilt girl growing up, my father as I have mentioned over compensated by not being there emotionally by giving us money.

I was raised by him with the rule of  ....... rights with responsibilities, we had the right to do anything we wanted as long as we were responsible. At anytime I would have somebody over to sleep, male or female, they were to stay in my bedroom and I had to look after them, feed them, and make them feel welcomed in our house.

At the age of 14 my best friend was Michael, he was my squash partner, we toured around the states playing squash, he was just my friend, no different to a girl ....friend. Michael and I surfed and played squash for years together and not once, was it anything else, my best friend just happened to be a boy. It would take me another 5 years to discover the other meaning of  "boys".

If there was a party I wanted to go to as an underage drinker, I could drink, and my father would buy me my alcoholic beverage, he would buy me 2 UDL's. He would drive me to the party, drop me off and would pick me up at the time I told him. Sometimes I said," there will be drugs smoked here, I might have a cigarette but I won't do anything else, can you pick me up at 12? " Just as I had promised I would only drink the 2 cans for the night, and sometimes I would just give away a can and walk around holding the other because I just never really got drinking, I stayed true to that commitment I made to him and there he would be picking me up at 12.

I was to NEVER go home with someone I didn't know, and if I ever got separated from people I went out with,  I was to call at whatever time it was and get him to pick me up and if my plans changed I was to always call and tell him.

Never did I ever do anything beyond these very wide boundaries ......  I had the right to do anything but I needed to be responsible therefore I never disrespected this great trust he gave in me, I never wanted to disappoint him. Funny how with all this space I was given, I always respected his worries, his thoughts and his opinions too. If he asked something of me, I just did it without question because the communication ran both ways and I always respected he was my father and what he said, went.

I went to an all girls school in Geelong and watched many girls get pregnant, and they would "sneak" out,  then be grounded for a lifetime because they disobeyed their parents. I just didn't get it. Why would I ever piss off my father?
Because of this trust he installed in me, I just never knew how to tell him that one night when I was 7 years old, while he and mum were having their "cards night" after baseball,  I was molested and sexually assaulted by an 18 year old boy, nephew of the people who's house they were in. I figured as long as the adults were o-kay, then I guess this was ..... well whatever it is.  I was 7,  and nothing made sense other than I know this is wrong.

My mum in her madness of the childhood she lived told me, " if anybody interfered with me, we would become retarded'. You have no idea , how many times when I sat in class and I didn't understand a maths equation, I kept thinking, Oh that's because THAT happened , so I told NO ONE !!!!!  For a really long time.

So when we are at high school in a very sexually charged up school girls are talking about boys, I just don't get it. How can that ACT be even remotely nice? Even thinking about it,  I would feel sick in the stomach.

Around about this time in High School, my mother wants to embrace her Aboriginality, and wants to become a performer. So we are dragged into this very well known acting group, who want to act out The William Buckley Story, where we are cast as the Aboriginal tribal people. We went out camping through the bush together and we made huts out of bark and we were taught traditional tribal dancing from elders, which was the most amazing experience. I was cast as a lead actor, as a blind boy and had to work very closely with  the male "actor".

We did many scene together and were alone a lot of the time. We spent months and hours together. For some reason I just felt awful in the guts about this male actor, he would rub me in the most inappropriate places when we were alone and because we wore very little attire I just felt terrible, but again I had this in my head, someone interferes with me, I am stupid.

So I begin a very different type of friendship with another actor, she is the most gentle, caring, beautifully talented person I have ever met. I ask her to come and watch over my performance & rehearsals ( I am actually just asking for another adult to be present because I DO NOT TRUST him ) 

She becomes my everything, it's a lot more than a friendship it's something I have never experienced before, she gives me this amazing strength of okayness, she becomes my protector and she is a lesbian. I totally dote and adore her, and I'm in love with her. Our friendship is just something I still can't explain, it's like she was just there to make me feel loved again. I would often spend week ends at her house, have breakfast and then walked to school as she lived only a couple of blocks away. I would often sit there and just have these amazing conversations about the week end we had just spent in Melbourne with all these famous people, at the set of neighbours, quite often over breakfast with her flatmate Rachel.

It was such a wild time, performing and getting standing ovations , being in awe of another human being and just living in a moment. After the show finished I still saw my girlfriend and we had regular contact but it just all of a sudden stopped and then she packed up and left. I was lost, what on earth has just happened? I was so happy? In a world that made no sense, a family that was sooooo dysfunctional, yet this was my happiness ????? Why oh why was this ripped away from me? Why can't I just have some stability and love in my life?

So back to school I went, not knowing where she went, then we had a performance group come through school and boom there she was, and when I saw her we just hugged and cried but she then explained, " this is it Anth, I have no idea when I will see you again, I said yes to this schools performance because I at least wanted one last time to explain that this is the way it has to be".

Here is Ushers Numb again ..... I only believe in what I feel, and she felt right to me !!!!

I would see her perform on tv show and also regularly on Steve Vizard up late show. She would always sing me Annie Lennox songs and I guess that's another reason why I have such an attachment to Eurthymics.

I somehow muddle through Year 12, with mum going off the rails and my family in a mess, I just didn't seem to have my own place in the world. Still wondering, when this lesbian thing will kick in ???? Surely in an all girls school somebody has to find me attractive. Through this terrible time, I'm finding so much comfort in food, the canteen and a wage goes hand in hand. I pile on the weight, no ones watching, no ones really caring about me and this was my comfort, I also have this truly deep rooted feeling that if I am "attractive" then I might have to explore boys and, yuck, just yuck.  Being fat and unattractive and invisible sits pretty okay with me. I'll leave all that to the popular girls.

Haley is no longer at school so I have a spare seat next to me on the bus, there's a girl with short hair, her name is Danielle and she's just started back at Geelong Grammer, I'm not sure if she remembers me but we use to go horse riding together in primary school and we use to hang out together too, but then she left suddenly for Melbourne. I pray and hope that she sees the vacant seat next to me and she does. From that moment she is my friend, without Haley for the past year I am just lost, but Danielle brings this intelligence and self confidence and finally I think I have found my lesbian crush I have been looking for.

Every week end is spent with Danielle, she is a few months older than me, so she drives the car to school and we hang out together a lot more, I have ZERO confidence, to express an opinion, that's just impossible but we smoked and drank coffee together, I would watch her study, make her coffees and just love being on her farm, just another escape from my messed up family life. Dan goes to nightclubs every week end, and has perfected the hair flick,  god she looked so good when she danced. She taunts me all week after I turn 18, now am I driving you night clubbing? Oh god the thought, terrifies me, public place, I have no confidence and I am soooo overweight and there is nothing attractive about about me !!!

God somehow ......  I have no idea how she did it but I finally go out dancing, and Depeche Mode, Come On Eileen, I just can't get enough seem , to be the songs that drag me onto the dance floor because of her extreme confidence she would pick one guy out in the whole nightclub and usually hands down the most attractive guy and wham work her magic and she would be kissing them by the end of the night. I just couldn't believe the confidence one person could have. 

One night when driving home, she asks, why do you not "pick up Anth?" I reply, "Why would anyone find me attractive?  Besides if something like that happens to me, I'm already damaged goods". "What on earth do you mean?", Then I told her about my molestation, she was dumbfounded, and in a whisper she knew too because she had gone through the same thing, hence why she had to leave for Melbourne, yet it gave her false confidence and she was masking her pain in a whole different way, she choose the rebellious sexual lifestyle, I choose to hide behind food and no confidence.  Eventually I got bored with going clubbing and only watching her go off with ANOTHER new guy. So I would kiss a random guy here gosh maybe 3 in total?  But afterwards, I  would go and vomit in the toilet because I would hate it !!!!!!!  It totally discussed me !!!!! Not only was I discussed, so was she, " Anth, seriously set some goals, these guys are not attractive, you need to start wearing your glasses or buy contacts ". So I met her half way, I bought the contacts and kissed no guys.

So this lifestyle of smoking, drinking, partying, playing enormous amounts of squash, surfing and occasionally working was pretty damn fine when your 18 and legal. Dan ,would see me wear the same clothes every week end and then say," I don't think you realise how much weight you've lost", but I need to get you a make over. So we go into Myer and buy my first pair of Levi's 501's. I remember her bringing in the sizes and I say NA, I'm not a 16, "shut up and put them on", as only Dan could and they are too big on me. So a size 12 , I am, then a body suit, are you kidding me? That's putting it out there, but I guess I just have to trust her.

So I lost 25kgs and a size 12, I felt amazing but I couldn't careless about, "finding" a boyfriend. For all my junior squash years, I saw boys every week end, and competed with them and against them, I was just their team mate.

All of a sudden they wanted to take notice of me, not because I was Anthea, but because I was an "acceptable" shape, all of a sudden I WAS attractive. I felt it so immensely frustrated,  I was good enough to talk to .......... now, they offered to buy me drinks and wanted to "dance" with me at the night clubs, when once the were happy to ignore me at tournaments for years. It just blew my mind, that these same guys who over looked me for YEARS all of a sudden,  change their behaviour because I change my shape?  I'm the same person, I'm the same person on the inside, same heart, same thought process's but I was now "worthy" of THEIR attention ?

I became more confident and begin to go out with different people and not always with Danielle. I begin going out with my new school friends that I was studying childcare with , I had never been out with these girls. We went to The Eureka, which was a great bar with a dance floor. For some reason Alison, whom I was staying with saw a guy she went to school with and he tagged along with all of us girls. then this song came on .

Omg I love this song, and I dump all my stuff, purse, cigarettes on this poor guy, don't know him but yeah, boys don't dance, so he follows us around for the night, he is not over the top confident with the girls, he has nice conversations and he's interesting, and not really that interested in me, which was actually really nice, because in the body suit and enormous boobs, I seemed to attract a lot of attention.

I drove home and thought about that boy, hmmmmm.  I couldn't stop thinking about a guy that I barely knew, but he was polite, and kind and just really interesting and a bit spunky.

So the next night I did something I just never thought I could ever do, I drove back into Geelong, all by myself and I went back to the nightclub I last saw him, with the intention of seeking him out and only him out and  if I did ......  great, if I didn't , gee it was worth the attempt because for the first time I was flying solo on a thought and a feeling that I had never had before. I knew what I wanted and I was going to at least give this confidence thing ago.

I found him and I hoped I could at least read a sign that perhaps it was worth every little bit of instinct. By the end of the night, he walked me out to my car, and for the very first time it had dawned on me, that every boy I had ever kissed, I never enjoyed. I never said no , I just felt because they wanted it, I had to respond, to them because that's what I thought I had to do. ( it's strange how something that happens to you when you are seven can give you such a mental block, even when you can be so smart in other areas of you life and you are now an adult) . I thought I owed everybody everything because I felt so little for myself .

That walk to the car I stood him in the gutter, because he was tall, I looked at him and I said, " You know it's polite to ask a girl if you can kiss them ........ Do you think you,  you might have a question for me?   He asked ever so cheekily ....... May I kiss you?  And I realised he was the first boy I had ever invited and wanted in my world, it was MY CHOICE to ask, and his choice to say yes or no and it was the most beautiful and amazing friendship, that was developed in the gutter. :) and finally a physical love for a male was created with such a tenderness that I still think wow about because he changed my world once again for the better.

I am ever so fortunate to have had that honesty and openness that was ingrained in me from my dad, because it was not easy for me tell that beautiful boy that I was thinking of another boy 18 months later but I think he knew that Michael had more time with me and our paths were moving in different directions, in different towns, me living in Melbourne and he living in Ballarat.  Hardest decision but also the right decision. Nothing had happened with Michael but I was fighting a very strong attraction to Michael too !!!!

I would remain friends with him, even to a point where Michael would play basketball in Ballarat where he was living and we would have lunch together, then I would be watching Michael playing basketball and my previous boyfriend sitting next to me in the grand stand. The most bizarre situation but it just worked.

Again this honesty and trust and always having the good, right, kind intentions but that's also a testament on the type of person those two males were because they loved me, it worked?

I lost contact with the first boy I ever let kiss me .... probably, for about 15 years but we have just reconnected over the past 5 years and I enjoy our conversations, I am so glad his life has turned out so well because he sure has had his fair share of  heartache but I am so glad he is married to the most divine looking girl ...... I would expect nothing less, and he is living in his own beautiful bubble, which makes me ever so happy.

Sometimes I feel like the luckiest person to be able to still have these amazing friendships , especially the one I share with my husband.

With that one other missing love of my life ...... my actress.

When I was 23, we went through another really rough patch as a family.  My sister's ex boyfriend had stalked her and us, for years and finally attempted to kill her. I say finally because  when you are caught in this situation, there's not a great deal you can do, with court orders , unfortunately they can not do anything until they physically hurt you ...... then ....... the police will act. Well that's the position we were put in.

Finally he was sentenced for time in a facility and I even think dad paid money for him to get help. Just to put an end to it all. We were in a pub in Richmond and it was a very serious moment, I thought it was all about Simone and dad and his new partner sat me down and dad had a confession to make to me.

I just had no idea, it felt really serious what had I done wrong ? He then explained how hard he had tried to protect Simone from this creep but felt like he had failed her, yet it was a behaviour that he had repeated and he wanted to apologise to me.

He called my actress all those years ago and told her, hurt Anthea, and I will treat you like a male,  don't hurt her. I was dumbfounded !!!!!!   This kind of talk , I just cant fathom coming from his mouth. I just looked at him, you don't understand dad. I loved her, I needed her, she protected me and she loved me, she was my comfort in a time that nothing made any sense to me .......... all because I didn't know how to tell you that I was molested at 7 years of age.

So finally at 23, I tell him the most awful truth . Not that I was loved by another female, but my innocence and life changed forever over a pack of cards and alcohol for the adults.

His partner just held him as he cried and he apologised but he could have never known because I never told him but once again I am floored at this openness.  He then said, "because I knew this was so wrong, I have found her and I have paid for 4 tickets for us to go to  a performance she is doing Rochford winery, with Linda and Vikka Bull.

So we went, and I knew I had dad's partner, dad and Michael's watching my every move that day. I sat there watching her perform it was gut wrenching and beautiful after she played her set, she moved towards the back of the crowd to sign autographs.  I lined up thinking crap, crap, crap, what If she has no idea who I am?

I didn't even say hi, and she jumped up and wrapped her arms around me, "Oh Anth", she excused herself from signing and yelled, I'm taking a break .......  then she grab my hand and ran me around the back, and she just looked at me. We didn't even say much, but said everything,  it was just a moment of finally putting the pieces together. We sat there holding hands, she had met this most amazing man and was a mum, and was ever so happy. I then filled her in on Dad & Michael then took her out to meet them all.

She panicked when I said, dad was out there,  she looked worried, I said. " No , it's all good,  I know EVERYTHING !!!! Finally my puzzle pieces were together.

It was so important for me to do that, for dad, too. He needed to wish her well !!!

So yes I have lived through some really complicated stuff in my life but somehow I managed to get through them and become even stronger, I trusted my gut instincts, once I knew to listen to them.

I didn't want to be in an alone situation with the male actor because I knew his actions weren't right, that's why I needed my girlfriend - lesson learnt.

I began the most amazing friendship with her, who taught me, you can be loved in the most magical way and it was o-kay to allow that to happen. Love shouldn't have boundaries regardless of your gender.

Dan persisted with me to keep dancing and keep trying new things,  to get out of my comfort zone, get out of the size 20 jeans and wear levi's size 12. She also gave me the confidence to seek that beautiful boy out that night.  When I realised that , I had choices, to say YES to a great boy not  yes to yuck ones and that I had to take the reins of my own life. I had to perhaps make the good things happen.

Dad taught me rights with responsibility and own my own actions. He also taught me, even if you think you made all the decision in that moment it's o-kay to say, I'm sorry , I did the wrong thing.

Those boys from squash, made me see, no matter what size someone is, to look beyond the shape because there are so many other things that make people "attractive" other than a shape and a size and nothing shines more than inner beauty because that will always remain !!!!

But through all of these things,  Ive always hidden behind my weight.  That was my escape from all things real. I think this weight loss process is a WHOLE lot more than just a numbers and formula, and my no means is it that easy.

 It's about EVERYTHING else that has made you who you are and how you choose to cope with things.  I wanted to believe the fat would keep me unattractive for anyone to ever love me, I am always learning about this bigger process of weight gain, weight loss and life, even now I am challenged everyday and my weight.

I have loved 3 times in my life before my 2 boys came into my world.

I hope to teach them all I have learnt and continue to learn, and I just might tell them, the mornings mummy had breakfast with the flatmate of mum's girlfriend ........  Rachel Griffths.