Thursday, January 31, 2013

A big fat hot air balloon

To continue on the theme of Wednesday's post and to keep it brief to avoid extra negativity on my part - this is how my abdomen has felt for the past two days:

= worst bloating of my entire life
I will be back with fun dresses and informative posts as soon as my belly decides to be nice to me again. Can't blog when all I want to do is hug a water bottle and not move lest all my organs feel like they are being squished and pinched. It also makes me walk like an 85-year-old.

(Bright side - somehow I can work with bloating better than I can with cramping. Bloating is super painful when I move or "hold on" too long but if I just sit in one spot with a heat pack I can usually manage to distract myself effectively enough at work.)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Ok, so if you read this blog regularly, you know that I am going to go into a bit of detail every now and then about stuff that people don't normally talk about. Today is one of those days.

This morning I am PMSing so bad. I'm so clumsy and irritable. I'd love to stay home from work if I could just because I feel like crap. Normally I would be at work by now on a Wednesday morning as I get up at 5:30 am to go for a run and usually get into work by 8 am.

My period started yesterday for the first [proper] time in 10 months. It's not fun. It's heavy (despite the tranexamic acid I'm taking every 6 hours), I'm bloated and I've got a bit of general back pain and also some random pulses of uterine pain. Bloody hell it sucks. Thankfully I don't have the severe pain that I'm used to on my period. I'm hoping the surgery, exercise and diet changes that I have made are partly to account for this.

Funny thing is, now that the pain isn't there so much, I am noticing all the other crap that goes along with having your period even more. It makes me even more angry about this article I read the other day. It claims that PMS is a myth, which is completely untrue and it is a huge misinterpretation of the scientific paper that it comes from. You know what? Periods make you feel like crap. Maybe not for all women, but for most women, that is the truth. I think that generally when you feel like crap you tend to be a bit more irritable, independent of the cause of that thing that makes you feel like crap. I don't need a newspaper or scientific journal telling me that I am internalising everything from the rest of the month to be expressed at this particular time of the month. That is crap and it is minimising women to a level of low emotional maturity (what's new?). It's called hormonal changes and phases of your cycle and this "debate" really needs to be kicked out the window once and for all. It's like when my original gyne told me that my depression and anxiety was nothing to do with the Mirena I was on. Well, guess what? I had the Mirena taken out and *boom* no more extreme depression and anxiety. *Newsflash* hormonal changes cause mood changes.

Women don't need another person telling them that the pain they feel is not real.

As a side note - since I had the Mirena taken out, I have had less constant pain and more randomised sharp pain (at any time of the month)/back spasms. I think I can actually deal with that kind of pain much better.

Men experiencing contractions??

Over the weekend I came across some interesting videos...

This first one is from one of my favourite Australian TV presenters as he is put under simulated labour.

This video is of two Dutch Men who host a TV show and put themselves under labour-like conditions for 2 hours (make sure you turn on the subtitles, unless you happen to be fluent in Dutch.)

Obviously men will never be able to truly feel the pain of childbirth, as even this exercise stimulates different muscles, but it is an interesting exercise anyway. (Well, considering men don't have uteruses... (uteri??) they can't stimulate those muscles, plus all the other stuff that goes on...)

It made me think, if these men were so cocky before and thought that labour would be easy and then came out the other end questioning whether they would put their wives in that position, what would happen if everyone experienced the extreme pain that can come from endometriosis? I would hope that it would mean that women would not be told that it is "all in their head" or that they just have a low pain threshold and need to "harden up" and "deal with it". I have never experienced childbirth (no secret babies around here), but I have had contraction-like pain. During this pain I have ended up in many of the same positions that these men adopted when in extreme pain during the experiment.

Not many people have seen me in this state (and thankfully this kind of pain has been very rare since my surgery) and that is part of the curse of endometriosis. I look totally healthy and normal when I'm not in extreme pain, particularly as I have learned to cope with day-to-day pain. So I end up looking like a sook. It's not so believable that you have something wrong with you when others can't see it or experience it for themselves.

I found both these videos through this article.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Couch to 5k Week 4

So. I have the dreaded shin pain. Drat.

I started having shin pain on session 1 of Week 4 and on session 2 of Week 4 it was bad enough that I went to the physio that day. She told me that shin pain is common with people who have not recently (or previously) done high impact exercise, particularly around the week 3/4 mark. This is because the old bone is breaking down and becoming new, stronger bone. At this time there is an increased risk of fracture and so it is vital that it's taken seriously.

She told me that most of my pain seemed to be due to my extremely tight calf and shin muscles and prescribed some stretches to do twice a day. However, my bone is also quite tender so I also have to dial back my running regime and do 1 minute intervals (1 min run, 1 min walk, 1 min run, 3 min walk). It's a bit frustrating to have to do that (I was up to 5 minute intervals!!) but I really don't want a fracture. I've also been told to only run on soft surfaces, steer clear of coffee and alcohol (which I was doing already for other reasons). Along with all the rest she also did some seriously uncomfortable massage on my calves and I'm going back to see her in a week.

This means that I haven't finished Week 4 of the Couch to 5 K challenge today as I would've if I was on my regular routine. I will probably end up needing to take 12-15 weeks to do the challenge instead of the prescribed 9 according to the app, but if I don't have to stop running that is all that matters!

It's only since it's become painful to run that I have realised how much I am totally addicted to running at the moment. I got so grumpy today without my 5:30 am workout. I think the fact that it makes me happier is motivation enough to keep going.

So today, since it rained and I couldn't get out and run, and with my housemate's XBOX absent (no Dance Central 3!), I searched youtube for some great workout videos. This is the first video that came up, and it really works quite well! Not super cheesy, plenty of variety and it definitely gets your heart-rate up if you get into it. No excuses for me today!

Friday, January 25, 2013

ActewAGL Women & Girls' Fun Run/Walk

Coming up on Sunday the 3rd of March is the Women and Girls’ Fun Run/Walk. This is a 5k event where you can run or walk (hence the name) and any money raised supports the Ovarian Cancer Awareness Foundation and the YMCA of Canberra Runners Club.

I have registered a team on behalf of the Canberra Endometriosis Network (CENTS). We are entering this event to spread awareness of endometriosis, and if we are really lucky and get the largest team of runners, then no matter what results we get, we will get $500 to go towards endometriosis research. Even if we don’t succeed in having the largest team, I’m sure a few women will learn about a disease they never knew existed and maybe some women will finally have a name for the pain and fatigue they have been feeling.

So if you live in the Canberra area and wish to sign up please go to the registration page, select “Join Existing Team” under Registration Type, and select “Canberra Endometriosis Network” as your team. If you join as an individual you will not count when they count up everyone’s names to pick the winning team.

Feel free to invite your friends/family/neighbours/co-workers to join the team, the more the merrier. Anyone can join, you do not need to have endometriosis to join the team. It's all about awareness and getting the word out. Unfortunately this event is limited only to women, so no brothers/boyfriends/husbands/fathers/sons/male friends allowed. Sorry!


When: Sunday March 3rd, 9am
Where: Stage 88 – Commonwealth Park

Entry Fee:

Before 8th February: $25
After 8th February: $30

For more details and to register please go to:

If you or someone you know has endometriosis and they are interested in joining the Canberra Endometriosis Network, the facebook page is here or they can contact the group at the email (Or just give them my email – – and I’m happy to talk to them.)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Couch to 5k Weeks 2 & 3

Some pics I have taken on my early morning runs.

I've been going really well with the Couch to 5k challenge. Sometimes it's hard to get myself out of bed at 5:30, but then I get out there and it is totally worth it. I've been running bridge to bridge around the lake while my neighbour does bootcamp. I've also started playing ultimate frisbee and the netball season starts up again next week. So in the interest of keeping my motivation going and letting others know that you really can do it - here are some of the ways I've been able to achieve what I have so far.

Tip 1: Prepare yourself.

If I had started doing this amount of exercise at any point last year I would've crashed and burned. I just didn't have the energy! I think the only reason that I have been able to achieve this much is because I was able to rest up so much over the Christmas break, while at the same time easing myself into it by walking a lot more. I think it also helps that I have been able to remove a lot of stressors from my life recently and going off hormonal treatments has made a world of difference for me. But we're all different - try to work out if there is any stressors you can remove from your life and if there is anywhere that you can squeeze in incidental exercise.

Tip 2: Have a motivational buddy.

My neighbour has been a total saviour when it comes to motivation to actually get out of bed at 5:30. I know if I don't get out of bed and go running that he will probably come throw rocks at my window. If that failed I'm sure I wouldn't hear the end of it for quite a while. Definitely the easiest way to stay motivated.

Tip 3: Don't push yourself too hard.

Go at your own pace. Fitness is not a race, it's a way for you to have a healthier, happier life. If you find yourself struggling, repeat some of the workouts on the app (if you're using it) or just keep whatever pace you can manage. The quickest way to end up injured/fatigued is to push yourself too hard. (As a side note, for me at the moment I have struggled with wanting to push myself too hard with running because I feel like I can do it, but I try to keep to what the app says to avoid injury.)

Tip 4: Just do it!

You have to actively make time to do this - and for me that means getting up at 5:30 at the moment. I know if I waited until later in the day I would have a thousand excuses. That means that I haven't been blogging so much and I also haven't been able to read as much as I would like, but I know that exercising is better for my overall wellbeing and makes me happier than spending time on the internet or staying up reading.

Try to exercise as consistently as you can. Although I have had two visitors (sleeping on my floor no less!) in the last week, I still got up and went running at 5:30. I could've easily said "So-and-so is here, I shouldn't go." but I didn't. For me, if I let myself fall for one excuse, I will continue to be able to make up any and every excuse not to do it. I even dropped a pole on my toe on Monday night resulting in a very painful visit to the doctor where they drilled my nail. But I still got up on Wednesday and went to the lake. I figured that I would walk if I couldn't run, just to keep up the routine. Note: I'm not saying run if you have injuries - you should definitely follow your doctor's advice.

Note: Don't be too hard on yourself if you can't manage as much as other people can - we're all different, and those with chronic illness often cannot achieve as much as healthy people. I wrote a little about this here.

Sunday, January 20, 2013


It has been H-O-T here in Canberra recently. On Friday we had the hottest January day on record (41.6 C) and the Adelaide girl in me loved it. Everyone else was complaining like mad.

Growing up in Adelaide has left with me a wardrobe full of clothes suited to high temperatures and no time to wear them. I bought this top at an op shop quite a while ago now but I bring it out whenever it is stinking hot (so I haven't worn it in two years...). It is so comfortable and I love the print. In the last few years I have really warmed to 90s style. Back in 2000 I remember thinking that I couldn't understand why people liked floral dresses (my least favourite print at the time - my how times have changed!) or anything high-waisted (again, this is about 90% of my wardrobe now!).

Isn't it funny how your tastes can change? Other things I used to hate but now live in - knee-length boots (I thought they were ugly in high school), tights (when I was a little kid I hated how they were always falling down and you had that annoying crotch halfway down your legs that made you waddle) and jeans (when I was about 8 my girl scout troupe changed our uniform so that it was strictly blue jeans with our girl scout tops. I was devastated.). Actually, even when I came round to liking denim/jeans I thought light denim was gross and I'd only go for really really dark blue denim!

Top: Op shop
Shorts: Sportsgirl (3 or 4 seasons ago)

PS you can tell when a certain one of my housemates takes these photos because I always end up jumping

PPS I like to think that I look sort of like Carrie from SATC here. (And I know I'm about 10 years late, but was anyone else upset that [spoiler alert but you really should know this by now] she ended up with Big instead of Aidan?)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Summer porridge

I found this recipe on Pinterest late last year and have been addicted ever since. It's so easy and delicious - two important things for all great breakfasts. Most of the ingredients you can buy in bulk, reducing cost and meaning less trips to the supermarket. It keeps me full until almost lunchtime, and the recipe can be tweaked to add a bit of variety. I've adapted the recipe a bit so that it has less dairy in it, since I'm trying to reduce my intake despite my love for that food group.

(As a side note - before this, I was having Up & Go's for breakfast (for non-Aussies - it's basically a milkshake for breakfast). Not the healthiest thing in the world, but it was all I could muster when I was feeling fatigued. So that's an indicator of how easy this recipe is. It's also handy to be able to take it to work and savour it at my desk in the morning.)

my basic ingredients

  • chia seeds (I get them from my local health food shop, but good supermarkets also tend to stock them - this is part of what makes this brekky so filling)
  • natural yoghurt (currently obsessed with the honey & cinnamon version of five:am yoghurt but I use that as an afternoon treat instead because of the added sugar)
  • rolled oats
  • rice milk/goat's milk (instead of soy/cow's milk - I'm experimenting!)
  • berries of some variety (expensive but worth the flavour)

optional extras

  • cocoa powder (so good for a bit of a treat, a teaspoon or so will do)
  • honey (again, if you want something a little sweeter)
  • apple/mango/banana/whatever fruit is in season
how you do it

step 1: combine ingredients in a container

step 2: put container in fridge

step 3: sleep and have sweet dreams of the yummy breakfast you will have the next morning.

I don't measure the ingredients out anymore, but I would say that you fill the container 1/4 full of oats, then follow with the same amount of yoghurt, a few teaspoons of chia seeds, a splash of milk (enough for it to soak up), and add as much fruit as you want. If you want specific measurements check out the original recipe. They also have bunches of great ideas for other ingredients to include in this recipe.

Make sure you leave room for the mixture to expand overnight.

Tip: I've found that I've been able to make this recipe up to 3 days in advance before it goes bad.

Next up I'm going to try adding spices like cinnamon and cloves to it, and branching out and using other cow milk substitutes like coconut milk. I'm also planning on trying to make it with quinoa or quinoa flakes.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Diary of a Mirena Removal

*Warning: depending on how sensitive you are, this post could potentially offend you with its detail about bodily functions. (That sentence actually makes it sound worse than it is, but yeh, just warning you. It's mainly written for the sake of other users of Mirena IUD - if you are family/a friend of mine that doesn't have endo or a Mirena, you probably really don't want to read this.)*

Surprise! As I mentioned in my plans here and here, I got my Mirena IUD removed on the 4th. I ended up booking an appointment with my GP to get it removed instead of waiting to see my gyne on the 24th since I just couldn't bear it anymore. (FYI, my gyne had already agreed to take it out at our last appointment but he didn't want to do it just before Christmas in case I had some strange withdrawal symptoms that might ruin my holiday).

Before my GP removed it, I did a lot of asking around to see what to expect. I didn't find much information - only information on what it would feel like to get it put in (which was done under general anaesthetic with my laparoscopy for me so I have no idea what it was like). So here is my experience so far:

2 mins: Oh my god that hurts like !@#$*&^$*&(). If that's what it feels like to have a small plastic device removed from your uterus I do not want to know what its like to have a baby removed from there. I'd like to be able to describe the pain but I don't know what to compare it to (it's nothing like any endo pain I've ever had), so I won't. However, it's nothing I can't handle with a bit of deep breathing (quickly followed by panadol and nurofen). The terrible cramping passes in about two minutes. Doctor gives me a certificate for the rest of the day off work if I needed it.

2 hours: Feel quite dizzy so I've left work and gone home (beginner's tip: don't schedule the removal for the middle of a work day if you can avoid it). I also had a sharp pain in my right side near my ribs for a little while, but a heat pack fixed it. My lower abdomen now feels really strange, like my uterus is shrinking. Probably not, but that's what it feels like. I've got a heat pack on my belly so that helps a bit. I end up napping for a little while and the dizziness eventually goes away...

5 hours: Feel pretty much better, the dizziness has gone away and I'm feeling pretty good physically. No more weird shrinking feelings. No bleeding yet either.

36 hours: Slight spotting, but that was happening before I took the Mirena out. At the moment, I still feel really good physically, but I'm still an emotional rollercoaster. Half the time I feel like I'm on top of the world, and the other half I feel like I just don't want to do this anymore. It's like being a teenager all over again. So basically, if it turns out that the Mirena is indeed causing my depression/anxiety, it is not an instant cure to take it out.

~45 hours: The bleeding comes on so fast I feel like I've wet myself. Doesn't hurt though - no cramping. The blood is really black and quite clotty. There wasn't any warning either - I had some light spotting. Emotionally I'm feeling pretty good.

~4 days: Still bleeding, but thankfully haven't had too much cramping. Also, it's not a huge amount of blood, it just tends to come in rushes like I described before. And big clots. That's fun. I had some cramps towards the end of the day yesterday that seemed like they were going to be quite bad but I nixed them with a Panadol/Nurofen combination (and a nice swim at the river).

~7 days: I stop bleeding and things seem to be fairly normal. Haven't had any terribly low moods since the first couple of days, but we'll see how that goes...

Disclaimer: If you are thinking about getting a Mirena IUD for treatment of endometriosis or use as contraception, please don't let my experience or the horror stories on the internet put you off. I think that it is a wonderful tool to be used in either of these situations, and some people tolerate it very well and it's pretty much like magic for them (I have a few friends this is true for). I just think it is important to be aware of any mood/anxiety changes along with any other symptoms while using the Mirena IUD, and, as with any other medication, that the pros and cons are regularly recognised and considered. In my case, the anxiety/depression that was potentially due to the Mirena had become too much and I needed to remove it for the sake of my sanity/career/life/poor friends/family/housemates that have had to deal with me lately.

If you're thinking about getting a Mirena put in, or you already have one and are experiencing unusual depression/anxiety, you can read more about my experience with the Mirena here. Also, for the those in their first six months of having the Mirena in - we're all different, but by my 10th month (which is when I got it taken out) most of the symptoms I had (bleeding, breast tenderness, change in breast size) had settled out.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Among the gum trees

While at Lisa's for Christmas, she took me on many tours of her country town, including visits to a few of the pretty murals done by locals. The hot weather made it the perfect occasion to wear this altered vintage dress. I think I fit in quite well in the leafy surroundings.

Dress: Fash & Treasure markets
Belt: op shop
Hair bow: Lisa's (The Thrifty Challenge)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Musings {9-01-13}

It's hot around these parts. Apparently, the last time Canberra had this many days in a row over 35 was before I was born. I'm personally loving it, although we've had some pretty severe wind today which was similar to conditions that were around when we had some massive fires ten years ago. So far it looks like everything will be ok, hopefully it continues that way. I'm grateful for all the volunteer firefighters who risk their lives and for our excellent bushfire warning system in Canberra. Even though I have lived more than half my life in Australia, I have managed to avoid having to worry about bushfires until now. (Canberra's not called the "bush capital" for nothing.) So I'm glad that the ESA is around to keep me informed.

Current obsession: Salted Caramel Icecream             
I have fallen in love with Maggie Beer's Chocolate & Salted Caramel Ice Cream and Connoisseur's Murray River Salted Caramel Ice Cream.

I'm planning on trying out this recipe, which claims to be the best salted caramel ice cream recipe ever. If anyone has any good salted caramel recipes please send them my way!

In case you missed it (since I forgot to put it up here) - my guest post on The Secret Life of Samara.

Couch to 5K update: I've been getting up at 5:30 to go running around the lake while it's cool due to this scorching weather. For a night owl, it's actually been kinda nice having that extra time in the morning.

I wrote to Cosmopolitan, Cleo & Madison magazines about having an article about endometriosis in their March issues... haven't heard back yet, here's hoping!

I had my Mirena removed on Friday. I'm currently writing up a diary of my experiences with that which I'll put up on here later.

This vlog series and this website that goes with it has made me a bigger fan of Amy Poehler than I was already. I didn't think that was possible. (I've also recently discovered a love for Parks & Rec).

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Shireen's Story

Today I welcome Shireen to Your Own Kind of Girl. She blogs over at Endometriosis: my life with you about her experiences with having endometriosis. She has had a really rough time with endometriosis, trying out pretty much every single treatment and unfortunately, they have all failed so far. She is having surgery tomorrow and I am hoping and praying that this surgery gets rid of her endo and allows her to regain a normal life for a 28-year-old.

I always had terrible periods from the outset. And I mean terrible. I would be at school and flood without warning. It was so embarrassing but luckily the one time it caused a real problem was the one time my friends were absolute stars and helped me out. Without going in to details that is. I always thought this was normal though and it wasn’t until I started to have pain during sex when I was 21 that I realised there was a problem.

I went to the doctors in early 2005 thinking that the issue was related to the Yasmin pill that I had been on for a while. The doctor informed me that he didn’t think a contraceptive pill would cause problems like this and that it could be a number of things such as an ectopic pregnancy, cyst, STD or endometriosis. I was sent for a variety of blood tests along with STD checks and everything came back clear which is when the doctor presumed it was endometriosis over anything else.

I was referred to my local hospital to see a gynaecologist shortly after this and had a laparoscopy in August of that same year. The results were clear. I had endometriosis. That’s when my world fell apart.

I was put on a course of Zolodex injections for 6 months – one per month on differing sides of my tummy. I have to admit, as much as I hated the hormones, as much as I hated the exhaustive hot sweats, mood swings and depression, it did help. While I was on it anyway. At the end of the 6 months my gynaecologist referred me to a specialist at another hospital as he could no longer help me.

I met the Prof. in 2006. A tall man who casually sat in his chair and exclaimed “How can someone so young have such bad endometriosis?” on his first encounter with me. He had no explanation for me having this disease. I have no sisters and my mother was never diagnosed with it – though she suffered terribly with her periods also.

The Prof. sent me for an MRI scan as I was having a lot of pain in my bowels also but this came up clear. He then sent me for laser surgery and adesiology in 2007 to remove as much endometriosis as he could and to remove all the scar tissue which had decided to join all my insides together.

I was put on to Decapeptyl for 6 months which was injected in to my bum cheek and during this time I was put on to Livial HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) tablets. The HRT helped tremendously but I still suffered with the same hot flushes and mood swings. Again, the hormones didn’t help and at the end of the treatment I was referred back to the Prof. for further help.

The Prof. told me that my endometriosis was on my left ovary and in the Douglas pouch behind my womb. He showed me all my photos as well. It was a big shock to see what damage the disease had caused to my body. But it did look far better after the surgery. He told me that if things stayed clear like they were straight out of surgery then I should be able to have children. At this time my endometriosis was far better than ever before and though I was still experiencing pain, we decided to give my body time to adjust and settle before we took any further action. For a while I saw the Prof. for regular 6 monthly check ups and was put back on to the Loestrin 20 pill to see if this helped. It didn’t and in time I demanded another course of action.

My endometriosis took a turn for the worse during this time. I was put back on to Zolodex – this time with a side course of Livial HRT – and it was the darkest time of my life. If you’ve ever been put on to hormone shots then you will know what I mean when I say everything was cloudy. Every time I’ve come off a course of treatment there has been a particular time in each instance when I can feel the cloud has lifted and I have become myself once again. But at this point, the cloud was very much there and on several occasions, in my darkest moments, I did think about ending it all. My body was giving up on me. I wasn’t dying (and will never compare it to that) but my spirit was. I fell in to a hole of despair. I would cry constantly. Most times I was brave enough to hold it in until I had time on my own but then I would collapse in to a pile of grief. I wanted so desperately to know the answer to my burning question; over everything else, the one thing I needed was to just know if I could actually have children.

The pain at this time was so bad that I would regularly miss several days at a time off work. Sometimes it was so bad I would curl up on the bathroom floor and not be able to move for hours. Huddled in my tears. I was on anti-inflammatory tablets, strong painkillers and considered having my hot water bottle surgically attached to my tummy. It might as well have been attached for all the times I cuddled up to it. My hot water bottle became my best friend.

The Prof. suggested I have children or a hysterectomy. I said no to both. I wasn’t in a good place in my relationship to have children and was too young at the same time. And a hysterectomy was out of the question. At least without that I had a chance of conceiving. He suggested I give the coil a go. I said no on the grounds of the side effects and the thought of the horrible piece of plastic I would have stuck inside me. I wanted to give my body time to adjust from having had so many hormone treatments. I wanted to be me for a while. In the end he suggested a new experimental treatment of tablets which were usually given to women with breast cancer. I was sent for a bone density scan in 2009 but unfortunately, from years of hormone treatments, my bones had become too brittle to take the new treatment. I was then diagnosed with osteopenia – a precursor to osteoporosis. My only option left was the coil.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Swing, swing

While I was at Lisa's for Christmas I gave her newly installed op-shop porch swing a spin. It was lots of fun and made me want to go out and buy a hammock as soon as I got home... I'm still working on that. This is the perfect dress for spinning in since it's so light and floaty. It's so comfortable and good for summer weather. A couple of the buttons fell off so I replaced them with heart-shaped ones that I found at my local fabric store, and now I love it even more.

Dress: Lemi See, Paddington Markets Sydney
Nail polish: OPI in An Affair in Red Square and Justa' Pinch of Glitter

Couch to 5k Week #1

Tonight I started the Couch to 5k challenge, one of the goals on my bucket list. If you haven't heard of it, it is an app made for non-runners with the aim of turning you into a runner, but at a sustainable pace. A couple of my friends have tried it and had great results, so I've wanted to try it out for ages. I've been meaning to get round to it for ages and finally had the time, energy, and good weather to start today. (Also, exercise, if you can do it, is meant to be really good for endo, so I'm hoping this challenge helps.)
First off, I'd like to make it really clear that I am not a runner. My body was definitely not built for sprinting (I never won any ribbons in high school) and I don't find running very comfortable at all. However, I love walking, and I did fool myself into running for an hour a so a day for a couple of months in 2006 by using interval training. So I'd like to be able to see if I could do a fun run, or even a half marathon (let's not get too ahead of ourselves here by aiming for a full marathon).

My first session, despite a little bit of huffing and puffing on my part, went really quickly. They use an interval method of 1 min jog/1.5 mins walk when you first start, so you always have the hope that they will say you can walk again soon. It syncs up with your music so you can play music while you run, and you know when to walk or run by them saying "walk" or "run" which still works when the music is playing. I hope I can keep it up, because it seems like a really good way to do it, I just have to make it a priority and hope for energy and good weather. It's separated into three half an hour sessions a week, for nine weeks, so that'll bring me up to when it starts getting cooler in Canberra...

enjoying my pumped up pool in my backyard!

On a side note, tonight I also pumped up my new huge backyard paddling pool with a foot pump so I now have thighs of steel. It was nice to have the reward of sitting in it afterwards though (with my homemade tuna/tomato/cucumber salad dinner - simple but tasty)!

Tonight was markedly different from this morning. This morning I was thinking about leaving work because I felt so awful (pain/fatigue/anxiety/etc), I went for a walk and sat in the sun for the better part of an hour on my lunch break. That helped a little, and then I promised myself to stay for just one more hour and try and work out the solution to an error I was getting. It worked, I ended up having a really productive afternoon at work (which distracted me from how awful I felt), and came home to be super productive off of the high I got from working something out. It doesn't always work out that way when I set myself these mini-goals to get through the day, but I have to say, when it does work, it's awesome!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Goodbye twenty twelve, hello twenty thirteen!

I welcomed the new year watching fireworks at the beach with friends in Adelaide, reflecting on what a big year I've had. I felt so happy and content with my feet in the Gulf of St Vincent in the city I grew up in, I spent some time just thinking about how much I have grown and changed this year. It was one of the best new year's I have had, and it gave me a lot of hope for the future.

2012 was a hard year, no doubt about it. I was introduced to the world of chronic illness in March, when I learnt that there was a name for how awful I had been feeling. With that came relief, but also confusion, grief and unease. Throughout 2012 I learnt a lot about control and limits and I think I'm a better person because of it (I'm definitely calmer!) I'm excited to keep learning and growing and I can't wait to see what I'm like a year from today!

Some lists because lists are fun:

Highlights, lowlights and everything in between
  • Being diagnosed with Stage III endometriosis through my very first surgery and hospital admission in March
  • Travelling to the USA (twice), Germany, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia
  • Catching every disease going around until I realised my limitations
  • Spending quality time with my family as my grandma turned 100
  • Mourning the loss of my spunky great aunt Babe
  • I stopped biting my nails after years of trying in July (for those trying to stop - gel nails are how I did it!)
  • Celebrating Christmas with Lisa in her country town
  • Starting this blog
the disco ball installed at a friend's house | lisa & maisy | lisa's fun christmas banner | the christmas drinks i made | the christmas spread

Resolutions (some of them link in with my bucket list)
  • Try the endo diet (mostly cut down on wheat, soy and dairy as much as possible)
  • As much as I can, cook my food from scratch and don't have takeout (this includes cutting down on packaged lollies etc)
  • Keep up the good work with not biting my nails (this is the first year ever that I haven't had to make the resolution to stop!!)
  • Continue to recognise my limitations and give myself the rest I need
  • Refrain from buying a single disposable water bottle all year

homemade caesar salad | my nails

What I’m looking forward to in 2013
  • Seeing two good friends get married in March
  • Getting the Mirena taken out
  • More visitors (Mum, Dad, Laura, Lisa and Ben… now it’s on my blog they really do have to come!)
  • Going on a tour of Google in Sydney (also since it is now on my blog it has to happen...)
  • Trying out the endo diet
  • Taking better care of myself
I hope that you had a lovely and restful holiday season :)

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