A b*tch of a week

Well, the heading says it all.

Because of two things – two pretty big things.

I won’t go into detail about the first because it is not relevant to this blog but the second is about my weight. Not my body but the number on the scales. And it has left me questioning.

I am talking as a woman here, because I know this issue applies to the vast majority of women no matter what their size. And after chatting with men about this blog, it affects them too (p.s. I really appreciate your frankness).

Let me start by saying I do believe in good health – regular exercise, a nutritious diet and a well balanced life. However, for the purpose of this post, I am specifically talking about the way a single number makes one feel. No matter how you look at it, that number on the scale is purely emotional.

I am confident about who I am. Fact.I’ve had a well rounded education which has resulted in a huge variety of interests. I am a good person, I work hard, I believe and have faith in people, I can see the positive side to things, I stand up for what I believe is right, I can have and am good fun, I try to treat people well, I am passionate about life and I don’t break the law (generally…I have been known to park in no parking spots but I have paid the $100 to repent my sins; several times). My weight doesn’t define who I am. I see who I am as so much more than a number on a scale. It is a number that hasn’t affected me for years. And for some reason, today, it really affected me. Affected me so much I shed a few (hmm plus some) therapeutic tears in the shower after finding out that after a week of flogging myself for a week, I lost 100grams. Good thing I didn’t have that glass of water otherwise I would have put on weight!

Firstly, when did my mission to increase my fitness turn into a quest to shed the kgs? It is a welcome side affect but NEVER the main motivation. And secondly when did a number dictate how I felt? When I saw that number, I actually felt like s*it. I was shocked and stunned. The most disturbing part, is I felt really confident with how I looked and felt before getting on the scale. How did that feeling turn around so easily and quickly? That revelation also upset me.

I’ve increased my exercise levels to improve my fitness for the naked swim. I can feel my muscles growing (my thighs are seriously hard) and I can go harder for longer – in the gym! No matter how sexy the lifeguards are, I really don’t fancy needing to be rescued while in the buff.

This experience proves to me that doing this swim is more important than ever. For me. And if others benefit from it, great. I am passionate about this issue anyway, but again today has vastly increased my appetite to spread the word and help raise awareness of positive body image.

There is something very seriously wrong with defining someones worth by a single number on a scale.

So what is going to change as a result of today? I am going to continue focusing on my health and happiness. I am not going to weigh myself in the foreseeable future. It doesn’t do me any good. Even if I do lose weight, it shouldn’t validate how I feel about myself. I will be able to tell progress with fitness levels, how I feel, and how my clothes fit.

I am also going to endorse another project which is currently being run by an overseas blogger called “Smash The Scales”. When I read it, I agreed with it – passively. But after today, I am going to actively push it.

Tonight, as I write this there are still so many unanswered answers in my head. But, I went on to have an amazing lunch (ironic, I know) with someone I hold in the highest esteem and we discussed our lives and our passions. And it made me wholeheartedly happy.

 

 

Some dresses to dream about…

I have been ‘window’ online shopping for a big chunk of this evening and OMG there are some amazing dresses/outfits out there for women – particularly those with curves.

For those who don’t know me, my taste is generally expensive – this lot is NO exception!

I am scrolling through these dresses and my breathe is literally getting shorter and faster….and no, I am not having a heart attack!

Here is a very small selection of wants!

Enjoy…

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Lafayette 148 New York, Evelyn Dress (via Saks.com)

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Lafayette 148 New York, Roland Jacket (via Saks.com)

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Lafayette 148 New York, Surplice Dress

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Marina Rinaldi, Alabama Colorblock Sweater (via Saks.com)

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Marina Rinaldi, Diadema Woven Dress (via Saks.com)

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Fuzzi, Tulle Printed Dress (via Saks.com) 

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Fuzzi, Ruched Dress (via Saks.com)

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Fuzzi, Croc Print Tulle Turtleneck (via Saks.com)

Progress report for The Skinny Swim

As many of you know I have decided to swim NAKED for charity on the 23rd February down at Cobblers Beach in Sydney.

You may also be aware that I am incredibly nervous.

But, I wanted to say thanks to all those who have supported me since the announcement and give you a little update on how things are tracking. So, firstly a massive thanks to Blackmores for donating $1000 for the National Trust of Wildlife and Parks but also the amazing support I have had from individuals within the company. Not only has the company supported me, but the people are cheering me on from the sidelines. I even met with one of their naturopaths who gave me some great advice and product to help my body repair after the work outs at Vision Personal Training Mosman. I will definitely do a post about my experience at Blackmores HQ – if only I worked in consumer PR because damn! that is one cool place and organisation.

Back to Vision PT Mosman. These guys were the first to support my quest and I have been AMAZED at how much I have enjoyed the experience. Frankly, I hate gyms. Boring. Dull. Guys with huge muscles who only look at themselves in the mirrors while they slap their biceps and give themselves a sneaky smile.

Well, I had no idea about the way these guys operated. I only participated in their free Saturday morning walks with a friend of mine who is a gym member which is why I chose to approach these guys. But, I kind of love it. With anything for me, it’s about the people. I walk in and people actually know each other. My trainer Kirsty is a gorgeous little gem who works me hard and follows me up during the week to find out how my eating is going because I am too slack to enter it into the system. She has always made me feel so welcome and human – not something I have experienced at a gym before.

Ladies, let me assure you there are plenty of muscly and GORGEOUS men here (hope none of the boys at the gym read this – awkward!), but the arrogance and wanky-ness of it isn’t. You can tell instantly that these guys are great at what they do. The classes are small and have multiple trainers – WTF?! Think of it as the private school education for gyms. My fav is the cross training group session – after the walk club which I miss when I don’t do it. At cross training last week there were about seven trainees and THREE trainers. They come over and force you to work harder, without being douche bags. This works perfectly for me because I can get lazy. The classes are like a personal training sessions, but not. As a result I feel my fitness levels are improving, but still not great. Hopefully on the 23rd, I will be fit enough to swim confidently and as a result not drown.

On the swimming front, I did practice at the iconic North Sydney Olympic Pool and busted out 1km in about 26-27 mins. Not too shabby, but a long way to go. And no, I wasn’t naked!

I haven’t gone down to Cobblers for another naked test run just yet. I hope to do one this week and will certainly let you know how it goes. Oh, and if anyone has any hints/tips/etiquette guides on ‘landscaping’ in nudist areas, all advice would be welcome! I certainly don’t want to be known as Pervy Pip….

If you are able to support (even $2!!) please click here.

Anyway, thanks to everyone for your support. Next time I am naked in public, I will think of ya’ll!

 

 

A favourite year round dress: work, rest, play

I am back in the fashion stakes!

It has been a while since I have posted a style post, apologies! The past few weeks have been hectic but I am so excited to say there a quite a few posts in the works, and some great outfit posts in particular being developed.

Again, my dear friend Linhlan has been my personal photographer – this time we shot around the gorgeous Milsons Point area.

This is one of my all time favourite dresses which I picked up on my latest trip in NYC.

I love the way I feel in this dress – a mix of sexy, feminine but also quite serious. It makes me feel like an empowered woman. It’s made of a very light material with a shorter skirt so it’s perfect for the summer months. But, with the long sleeves it can very easily be worn in the cooler months too.

The top part is fitted with with buttons from neck to navel, whilst the skirt flairs out slightly. This is the perfect combination to accentuate the waist while also showing the natural curves of my hips and ass. It’s also a flattering combination for someone who holds a lot of weight, like myself, around the middle.

It comes with a thin black patent belt which has some silver detail. Not only is this the perfect accessory for the dress, but I have also paired it with many other outfits to highlight my waist.

The black and white houndstooth pattern also makes this outfit a classic which is certainly my style preference. However, the style and length of the dress also makes it fun and playful.

Another reason I love it, is because of how versatile it is. I wear it to work (works for both conservative and funky client meetings), out for cocktails with the girls or a high end restaurant. When building a long term wardrobe these are all things to consider!

In relation to accessories, very little is needed because of the pattern – I haven’t included any in these pics. Less is more!

For shoes I have paired with nude pumps, but I mostly wear with black patent heels (pumps) however stroppy also looks good. I have worn this dress with flats, but prefer the look with heels, particularly as the skirt is rather short as they make my legs look longer.

And ladies, for this shoot I chose not to wear any make up. I know many of you chose not to leave the house without your ‘mask’ but sometimes it can be very liberating.

Enjoy….

P.S. Apologies for the lack luster modelling!

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Outfit Details:

Dress: Calvin Klein, houndstooth pattern in black and white (purchased at Macy’s)

Shoes: Target, Adelle heels in nude 

The man with the crazy laugh: RIP forever and always

On the 17th January 2013 a friend of mine, Si, died of brain cancer. He was (just) 31 years old.

Si was a great man with a crazy laugh and an incredible ability to really live life every single day. No matter who you were, he would greet you with a massive smile on his face and that smile was contagious.

One of my fondest memories with him was in Melbourne, where we both happened to be at the same time. We spent the day sightseeing and making up the most ridiculous stories about different buildings, bridges, and other major landmarks. We literally created history. We would egg each other on by adding ‘funny you should mention that…’ after we had each finished our little story. People would have looked at us as though we were crazy with our shrieks of laugher.

Without fail he mentioned this day to me every time we spoke in the lead up to his death.

Si, your legacy will always be in those who were lucky enough to meet you. We all know you’re looking down on us, wishing us the very best. In particular, I can imagine you laughing that crazy laugh, and cheering me on as I swim the naked swim.

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My Farewell Jan 2009 010

 

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The stakes have been raised in the naked race

It would seem that word has gotten out that I am doing a naked swim for charity.

Well my friends, the stakes have just been raised. Blackmores, the vitamin and mineral company, has generously sponsored me $1000 to complete The Skinny Swim. Frankly, I am in shock. A friend called me just as I found out and I couldn’t stop laughing.

In my initial post announcing my involvement, I smugly said that if I smashed my target (because as if I was going to raise more than $750), I would do the 900m race. So here it is people, I AM DOING THE 900M RACE – IN THE BUFF. Honestly, I am starting to freak out. My fitness isn’t where it needs to be to complete the race and I am also petrified of sharks. Did I also mention the race is NAKED??

As my fitness needs work, some other friends at Vision Personal Training Mosman are giving up their time to help train me. I had my first class today (first PT session tomorrow), and I was pleasantly surprised with the experience. I hadn’t been to a gym where the classes are small and you had individual assistance. I might even enjoy it….

Thank you Blackmores and thank you Vision PT Mosman. I am so proud to call you my sponsors for this race. Not only will this support help me physically survive the race (I hope…), but I am so pleased to see the business community rally around important issues such as positive body image and protecting our national parks and wildlife.

If anyone would else like to donate, no matter what size, please click here.

 

 

 

Naked practice run 1 – SUCCESS!

Today, I got naked. At the beach. Fully, stark naked.

I originally wanted to do my first test run in bikini bottoms, but I couldn’t find any in my size, or didn’t look like a pair of granny undies. So, I had no choice but to go naked.

I have been to Cobblers Beach before with a gentleman caller (sans being a gentleman) and I remember him telling me that there were rules while being at a nudist beach.

1. Don’t overtly stare;

2. You need to get naked, or at least predominantly naked because otherwise it’s bad form and you look like a pervert; and,

3. It’s not sexual, so don’t do inappropriate activity on the beach.

I walked down expecting 4-5 people  in their naked glory. Well, there wasn’t – there was at least 50 people!! Hmmm. The people down there were  mostly men but also quite a few couples. I seemed to be the only single lady.

When I finally found a spot, I put down my towel, unpacked my bags, took off my sandals, got on my knees ready to whip my dress off (I came prepared underneath). Reality hit. Holy mother f*cker – I need to take off my dress and get naked in front of all these people. I kneed the towel for what felt like several minutes but I knew I had to take it off. Rule number 2, I cannot be here wearing a bright pink dress. So, thankfully I had a wave of courage and I whipped it off and fell onto my towel. SUCCESS! I am naked on the beach.

Surprisingly, after a few mins, I was getting into this. It felt nice having the sun on my entire body. Also sounds odd, but I felt very comfortable lying there. I guess that isn’t too surprising because my back and my butt are body parts I like. And I wasn’t moving.

However, as the hot sun baked me, I knew I had to turn over as I didn’t want to burn.  So, all of a sudden just flipped. OMG. This is a big deal!! There I was, facing the world in all my glory. Again, after a while I kinda got into the groove of this. I had my music playing. I had my arms support the back of my head welcoming the experience. This wasn’t so bad. It felt – empowering.

This is a big mental challenge for me, and here I am doing it. Like everything in my life, I have always tried to push myself and this is no different. But, then I realised, I wasn’t completely doing it. I was laying down and everything looks better laying down.

After an hour of flipping back and forth, I decided today wasn’t the day to go into the water. It was hot, and I would have loved to go in. But, sometimes things are about timing and I wasn’t ready. I had made good progress so I was happy. So, I put on my dress, packed my stuff and walked over to the water to help splash off the extra sand off my legs.

Anyone who knows me, knows I am a water baby. I LOVE the water, which is probably why I have never had an issue being in a swimming costume – being in the water comes naturally to me. But, as I was splashing the water on my legs, I was thinking….could I do this…..could I whip off my dress and jump in.

SO I DID!! In front of the entire beach, I whipped off my dress, nothing underneath and I slid into the water. It was AMAZING! The water was crisp and cool over my entire body and as I paddled about I listened to a bunch of people who were talking about the dolphin who visited the beach the day before. It felt civilised.

Knowing my parking had nearly expired, I grabbed my dress and walked up the beach and back to my car.

What an experience. The funny thing was as I walked to the car I found myself smiling at what I had just done. It felt good. It felt liberating. In a really funny way I knew that it was something, with practice, that will impact the way I view myself and my body. And I  knew I wanted these feelings to be my norm.

It is a confronting experience but one I am really pleased to be doing. I highly doubt I am going to turn in to a naturist, however, I can see the appeal and would strongly encourage it to anyone who wants to boost their self confidence and learn how to accept their body.

What is blaring obvious, is every single person on that beach looks different naked. And for me, that’s exciting. How can there be one type of perfect body when we are all different??

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