Why average is terrifying…

I’m not even going to apologise for not writing recently.

You know the deal by now:

  • I now have 3 kids – aged 9, 5 and 9 months. YIKES.
  • I adore working
  • So much so that I am back working four jobs (2 of which are my own small businesses)
  • I’m married to an equally hard-working shift worker who also works full time with 2 side roles

Life is flipping bedlam.

Really.

I struggle with writing for my own blog because I still struggle with so much on so many levels. I see reminder/flashback posts of what I was doing 2/3/4 years ago and think – wow, this morning I was chuffed that there were clean undies in the laundry basket, enough fruit to pack lunchboxes and I got out of the house remotely on time to get kids to school and myself to the office before I was noticeably late.

And by comparison to other days recently, that’s a fecking high point. Really.

But that’s normal right? A mum of 3, who works a lot, but also wants to hang out with her kids, who would also like to train 3-4 times a week and eat food that didn’t see a microwave more often is going to have those days. Those days where I fail on at least 2 of those points.

So why is it such a worry? Why am I so worried about people think I have an average life?

The truth I think is somewhere in the fact that my blog is still my imaginary friend. I still like to think that I’ve got a wicked privacy lock on here and it’s just my thoughts spilling across a keyboard for me to read at some later day.

And I hate that there is no adventure.

No ticking clock.

No grand achievements.

Me. I hate that. Not that I feel other people will be surprised or disappointed that I’m not a jet-setting superstar with abs and designer sunglasses.

Just the slow march of family life (which I love), of chipping away at work (that I love) in a calm and serene little island home (still love it).

So my options are: become more settled with an average life OR find a way to build a sense of adventure back in. On no free time, little sleep and other things to be spending large amounts of money on (so no selling up to live in a caravan for a year!).

It’s what I’m pondering today. Just being your average Sailor Vee.

What’s on your mind?

Thanks as always for being out there, my imaginary friends xx

SV

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CHAPTER ELEVEN: It’s not you. It’s me. And a baby I’m not telling you about.

8th November, 2015

So, there was always going to be a down-side to not screaming the news of this pregnancy from the rooftops the very second I found out.

You see, it’s not just you out there in the blog-iverse that had to wait. I’ve not really gone ‘public’ with the news of Baby #3 at all.

At nearly 15 weeks, I’ve just gradually been telling the people close to us. Like literally, our parents. And the staff at the gym.

We are not (GASP!!) facebook-official.

baby

Of course, by the time you are reading this, we will be. But this is my coping mechanism for now, so just bear with me.

I have a sizable bump, but also a massive list of food reactions that people KNOW make me bloated and puffy. So people are generally too kind (or mostly afraid) to say anything.

BUT

I’m in this sort of limbo where I’m not actively trying to hide being pregnant, but also not feeling ready to have it all over social media. Most of that is my own anxiety, the just-in-case of something not being right. Part of it is the selfishness of having a pregnancy to ourselves and not having to answer a million questions about when he/she will be here, if I will find out the baby’s sex and if it was planned.

People are lovely. They ask questions because they care and are interested. Everything will be okay and I will be able to stop being worried soon. I’m getting okay with it. I’m literally a ticking clock of when it will all be public knowledge and on fb and instagram and I’m sure it won’t be anywhere near as scary as it feels in my head.

The tricky part at the moment though is the messages. Facebook messages, blog emails, text messages.

Stuff like this:
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chat

To be kind to my friends, these are NOT the real conversations. Just exactly the same as the real conversations without their details in them.

And yes, I have entirely neglected to reply to any message like this.

Damn you facebook and your seen.

It’s not that I’m mad at you. It’s not that you’ve done anything wrong. I’m just being a little bit weird about it.

I promise I’ll get back to you soon.

It really isn’t you. It really is me. And the Blueberry I’ll tell you all about later.

Cheers,

B

xx

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CHAPTER TEN: Alright, Alright, Everythings gonna be alright

Today I am 14 weeks and one day pregnant.

My app lovingly tells me my tiny human (whom I’ve nicknamed Blueberry) is the size of a house mouse. Nice.

My precious rodent.
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We did the road-trip yesterday to tell my parents and The Captain’s dad and step-mother. We did the trip to his Mum last weekend. So the parents are informed.

There is a bump. I’ve been slack and not taken enough photos of it, but here is last week’s update.
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Today is the first day of my second trimester. I feel like I can breathe a little more. Not a lot, because I know well enough that terrible things can still happen, but a little. And that’s a relief.

Still not being facebook-official about baby but letting people know as it comes up in conversation. I still get panicky about announcing anything but I’m getting calmer.

It’s gonna be alright.

B xx

CHAPTER FIVE: The Two Week Wait that Isn’t What I was Expecting

20/08/2015

Yeppers. I’m not chiming in here with excited pics of positive tests or ridiculously cloying birth announcements (don’t think for a second those posts and pics aren’t mentally planned and perhaps Pinterested away),

There is this evil time of month for every woman trying to fall pregnant. Well, at least one of the evil times, depending on your level of desperation.

For some, I understand the arrival of a period is pretty heart-breaking, but I have been dealing with that okay. It’s a full-stop and a restart button for your cycle and I’ve been okay with that.

For me, the hardest part is the 2WW – the two week wait. It’s that gap between when you may possibly have conceived and when you can find out if you are pregnant. In previous months, this is where the crazy was at it’s peak. It’s where I was peeing madly on sticks for the entire 14 days just longingly, desperately hoping for 2 lines. And it made me feel a bit psycho seeing 1 line each time.

This month is feeling different. I don’t FEEL pregnant. I’m pretty sure I’m not actually. So this 2WW is different. I’m not waiting on a positive. I’m not waiting on a baby. I’m just waiting on that restart button. Start again. Try again.

I’m not sure if the fact I’m chilled out about this is a sign that I’m calming down or if I’m already losing hope.

hope

B xx

A beach I don’t remember….

I very rarely write about being a younger person with disordered eating. Partly because everything I knew and taught myself about hiding and being ‘succesful’ with it I learned through reading the forums, blogs, accounts and memoirs of other sufferers and survivors.  Their grim stories of ‘I was so unwell this is what I did’ became my plans. Their ‘at my worst I weighed xx’ became my goals. Awful but true.

Frankly though, I just don’t like talking about it. And I don’t need to.  I’m a decade past my last incident and am confident that I am okay.

Sometimes though, the world forces you to look back. To remenber. And for me, to be grateful.

I had an amazing friend at uni. Smart, funny, artistic and beautiful.  As friends we get along more like sisters. As teenagers that meant we drove each other crazy,  borrowed each others clothes and occasionally liked the same boys. And she happened to save my life that year.

Living with me is not fun. Never has been. Likely never will. Ask my parents,  sibling, the million flatmates, the Captain and my boys. But this year was particularly rough.

I would sometimes freak out so badly thinking I was so awfully fat that I couldn’t leave the house. I journalled obsessively and was a psycho about my privacy. I once got myself so upset about my body that I tripped out and stayed barricaded in the bathroom for quite a few hours, most of that in a cold shower.

She doesn’t ask questions,  my friend. She’s just there.

As the year went on; I started to get sick. Not the obvious skeletal sick,  but the worn-down slow-fade kinda sick.

She didn’t ask questions,  my friend. She told me to get in the car.
I was too tired to argue.

To this day I can’t really explain what happened next.

I think she kidnapped me.

I remember a winding road that made my stomach lurch.

I remember a small country supermarket with strip fluroscent lighting that gave me a panic attack so bad I had to wait outside for her, gripping the roof of her car praying for my heart not to explode.

And then, peace.

It was a tiny cabin. With books to read and cushions in the sunlight on the floor.

She still didn’t ask questions, my friend.

She did make me drink really strong blue Cottee’s cordial for the first and last time in my life. But somehow, the calories didn’t matter.

She didn’t force me to eat. She took me for a walk along the beach and when we got back, there was food. And I wanted to eat it. Because I wanted to be able to walk it again tomorrow. I wanted to be better.

I got to walk along that beach again today.

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She never asked questions.  Not then. Not in the forever since then that she has continued to be an amazing positive presence in my life.

I am incredibly grateful. And lucky.

SV

******* This is where I stopped writing for a few hours toying with the idea of deleting this post *******

This is the other reason I avoid writing about my experiences.  If this post feels like it trivialises eating disorders or over-simplifies recovery – I don’t in any way mean it to.

My friend is not the magical unicorn. She did not cure me with blue Cottee’s and a walk on the beach. What happened there was she happened to know me well enough to see a crack in the wall I was building. It very well could have backfired. But for me, it was a start. I might add, the start of the next two years of relapses and fighting myself and learning to be okay.

If you or someone you know is struggling with disordered eating, I really recommend having a chat with these guys;
http://thebutterflyfoundation.org.au/%ef%bb%bfneed-help-now/

All my love in Health and Strength,
Bella

The blog post in which a tabloid magazine perpetuates body shaming…

New Idea LOVES to highlight a story in a way that makes us want to kill someone. Or at least hate them. And if they are working hard, they can make a reader hate someone AND themselves at the same time.

This week, it’s Sally Brouwer, a fitness mum of triplets who apparently preaches…

“Laziness is why we’re obese,” says controversial mum of three Sally Brouwer.
Do you agree with her, or is weight a far more complex issue?

New Idea Sally Brouwer

If that isn’t a desperate call for trolling and likes/comments/fury on their website and facebook page I don’t know what is. But all activity is apparently good activity in an age where print media is fighting hard to prove it’s not completely obsolete.

In this glimpse of the article, it is PAINFULLY obvious how hard they are working to provoke a fat/thin debate. They make her almost totally un-likeable. By letting her air views of disdain about those “struggling with your waistline” and statements starting with “If all mums took the time to look after themselves…” spaced with photos of her competition-ready six-pack abs – the magazine is cleverly making mums feel bad about themselves and their bodies and in turn many will feel angry towards Sally and hers.

Body shaming in the media is rife. And wrong. But damn, it sells copies and generates activity on the internet. Who is winning in this scenario?

The thing is – aside from the disdain I have for being manipulated by the media – I disagree with Sally Brouwer’s comment that “laziness is why we are obese”.

I have lots of fitness friends. Some who have come back to fitness after being athletes in the past. Some who arrived at fitness from being unfit, skinny, uninterested or just not motivated. But the ones who ‘get me’ are the ones who’ve come from the places that I have. To come back to a fit and healthy body from obesity is a totally different game.

It’s no secret that one of my favourite fitness friends is Cathy Sheargold, who posted this amazing response today.

Someone who has not been obese will never truly understand it, laziness has nothing to do with it. We all wear our pain in different ways, my way had me weighing somewhere over 150kgs.

If anyone tells you that dropping weight is simple math they’re wrong.

I think that’s why people quit so often – no one tells them that the biggest journey will be your heart and your head. No one tells you that each kilo holds some old pain that we store away. No one tells you about the tears.
So we get to the tears and then we think – ‘well, I’m crying so obviously I should quit.’
A lot of people do quit and they head to straight to the tim tams to hide that old wound again – directly onto their thighs.

I love how Heidi Scott Wilson put it:

“My journey I best describe as unrolling a roll of hand towel. I had to take off one piece of towel (kg) at a time and with every piece (kilo ) there was a different emotion i had been protecting that I had to battle. Not all fat people are lazy i know i wasn’t i just had that many layers protecting me from the past . It took 67kg for me to get to the hard core of that roll and work out who I really was because i had been hiding for so long.”

 

Pretty much that.

Even today, Coach Joe will at times pull me up on something I say and remind me it’s a “former fat-kid problem”. Our bodies and mindsets are different to those that have never experienced obesity and they always will be. It’s very much a ‘takes one to know one’ issue that people who have never felt that personal burden (in every sense) just can’t understand and in my opinion – should be wary on commenting on.

So – to wrap up this weekend rant:

  • Don’t hate Sally Brouwer because she is fit and lean and looks a certain way. Fit Shaming is bad.
  • I would suggest she and New Idea keep their disdain and provocation of those who are overweight in check. Fat Shaming is bad.
  • Understand that the media is manipulating you. Don’t let it.
  • Understand that you are gorgeous.

Have a great weekend. Do what nourishes you and makes you happy.

Bella xx

 

Eleanor on my Mind…

The amazing Eleanor Roosevelt is quoted as saying many very cool things. I get the feeling she was a top chick and I would have liked her very much. One of my favourite quotes of hers is this one:

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So particularly true in my experience.

But the Eleanor quote that it rattling around in my head today is this one:

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My training has been at a bit of a standstill for a while. Between not competing, being sick, getting better, going overseas, being sick – I just haven’t trained with any sort of intensity in a while. And it shows. I miss having defined legs and great glutes. I miss feeling strong.

So today I go back into training properly. No wimping out, no half-assedness. Just setting goals and lifting things. The way it should be.

This of course scares the hell out of me. I’ve no doubt lost a lot of strength. It’s not going to be pretty. I hate not doing things well from the very beginning. I’m setting myself goals for things which I’m pretty sure I’m no good at. Which brings me to another Eleanor moment:

You Must Do the Thing Resized

 

Dang, she sure was a smart lady.

Have a great day Lovelies,

SV

Two Years – Freedom is a cool thing

Can you believe it’s been two years since I sold my company, ventured into the wider, happier world and started this blog?

I’d love to say that I don’t remember that girl from two years ago. The one who felt bullied and devalued and nervous almost all the time. The one whose stomach rolled at the email notification sound on her phone because it was probably not good. The one who felt guilty for spending time with her family? For having a family! But I do. I remember her.

I also remember though, the strange and uncharacteristic moment where I said one sentence that changed the course of my future. Where I (before I believed or even understood it myself) dared to suggest that my worth was not able to be defined by a single other person. That indeed, I even had worth.

But I did. And I do. And I always will.

And two years on – I still have that hard-won freedom. I use it well. I live, love and grow with my family. We travel and laugh. I work – both in the gym as a trainer and in a community centre helping at-risk children and their families with health and wellness – because I love it and it enriches my life.

Life is good.

If you recognise any part of the old me, that girl from two years ago I have just one piece of advice;

Stand up. It may just be the best thing you ever do for yourself and the ones you love.

Peace Out,

SV

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How to be Hot, Rich and Incredibly Happy

 

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Guess what?

Feeling crazy hot, beautiful and positively attractive is not something that is out reach. You don’t even need to buy, take or sell anything to make it happen.

You don’t have to have a bucket-full of dollars to enjoy feeling financially confident.

You don’t have to earn the right to be happy.

You do not need to fight to be afforded peace.

Prepare to be a little bit open minded with me. I’m about to get all hippy up in here.

If I’ve learned anything in the last few years is that the greatest distance between where you are NOW and where you want to be – is the space between your ears.

The-greatest-distance

When we think about wanting to be crazy-hot, pretty or even just attractive – our mind immediately dashes into a dark corner thinking of the changes we need to make. “I’d need to exercise like a freak”, “I’d need bigger boobs/smaller bum/bigger bum/longer hair” and “I’d need to stop eating chocolate – oh hell, I’ll probably need to stop eating!”.

When we think about being rich, our poor little minds shriek again with thoughts of more hours at work, making more sales, getting a better job, doing more study, doing more, being more, making more, having more.

It’s not about forcing it.

What about if we retrained our brains to start thinking about our wealth and beauty in the same way it thinks about our happiness?

Because if I get you to close your eyes and think about becoming happier – being ‘more happy’, what do you see? I see my kids. And the Captain. And my dog. And us being together. Other than spending as much time with them as I can, there is no demanding thoughts of MORE. I can think about how I’d like to be happier with a smile on my face. Can you think about how to become richer or sexier with the same grin?

The difference is that when you think about happiness, your brain probably tracks first to what you ALREADY HAVE EXPERIENCED that makes you happy.

So think about how beautiful you are. Close your eyes and let your mind track first to the things you really like about yourself. Healthy shiny hair? Eyes the same colour as your amazing Nana’s eyes? Sexy quads or glutes that you can feel growing every session? Whatever these points are, embrace them as your beauty. Think of them first when you imagine yourself and how you look.

Think about your wealth. Think of all the things you have. A home to live in. Ability to access food to feed yourself and your family. Clothes on your back and shoes on your feet. Some additional resources to spend on the’extras’ in life. Want a reality check? If you earned AUD$20,000 or more in the last year – you are in the top 11% of the richest people in the world! The WHOLE world!

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(To accurately check your own ranking, go play on the AMAZING website www.globalrichlist.com)

The key thoughts here are self-awareness and gratitude.

You are already beautiful, you just need to embrace and accept it.

You are already immensely richer than the vast majority of the world’s population and most likely already have a standard of living that most could never even dream of.

And if you close your eyes and think for just a second, you will already know what truly makes you happiest – you just need to make sure you always gravitate closely to it.

So to be hot, rich and incredibly happy – think first about the qualities that we already have. We can all grow and develop. Wanting more is not a bad thing. But the best launching points for stellar achievements are solid foundations and beliefs. You are already amazing.

It’s about knowing.

The truth is that the world, everything you long for, is waiting for you to realise your worth. Your right.

Freedom. Joy. Peace. Happiness.

LOVE.

SV

Is Instagram Killing Your Confidence?

Let’s be honest first up. I LOVE social media. Instagram and Facebook are my usual modes of choice, but really, I find it interesting and as a business-person I recognise its value as a connector and profile building tool. Used well, people have built businesses and even careers by sharing. Or even more importantly, it’s the only way my parents ever have any idea of what the kids and I are up to. It’s a part of our lives and short of the zombie apocalypse, I can’t see it changing anytime soon.

It’s cool, we like it.

However, I’m seeing and hearing more about how it can also shake or break your self image and personal expectations when it comes to your health, fitness, and wellness goals.

#Nofilter? #Notlikely!

A few fitness professionals are starting to show more honest posts, showing the reality (or at least less of the perfection) – not just the professionally shot images or stage-ready bodies, but so many of the ‘Insta-famous’ majority choose to only show their highlight reels. We’ve all seen the selfies in the mirror of six-pack abs, sculpted shoulders, glutes, and legs.  We appreciate it. We aren’t dumb, we KNOW the work that goes into looking like that. The risk is that when we look at them day after day, the quiet whispers in our thinking can start to feel inadequate because we seem to not be able to measure up. I don’t look as good as XXXX XXXXXX in a bikini – therefore I don’t look good in a bikini etc.

For most of these women and men, it is a full time job. My PT clients don’t pay me to spend hours working on myself; they pay me to help them reach their goals. My work in the community centre and in fashion design don’t care at all what I look like. I’m pretty sure my kids wouldn’t care or notice at all! And more than likely, you do not get paid to be in crazy-amazing physical shape either, so give yourself a break if what you see in the mirror doesn’t resemble the pictures on Instagram or on Facebook fan pages.

So my thought for the day is to breathe, and focus for a moment on the thought that while social media can be a wonderful tool and an amazing source of motivation and inspiration, you are only seeing a small and carefully selected portion of people’s lives.  We all get to choose what we share with others for the most part – and not everyone is keeping it real. Which is absolutely their right.

Don’t be negative about yourself up because you don’t look like someone else.  Newsflash: YOU NEVER WILL.  You are unique; there is no one else in the world exactly like you. Own it, be thankful for that fact, and move on.

Just be you. You are awesome.

Peace,

SV

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