Vego update – one week later

Today marks one week since I decided to stop eating meat and it’s been an enlightening 7 days for many reasons:

  1. Other peoples reactions – I haven’t told many people but if it comes up in conversation I mention it. No one has told me I am doing anything unhealthy or wrong or had a strong opinion about it, however there have been a few comments about “what aren’t you eating this week” that made me realise I have tried and not stuck to a lot of diet related things lately, and have obviously talked about those changes a lot.
  2. We talk about “diets” far too much – I decided when I stopped eating meat not to really tell people so I would be discovering if it was right for me without being influenced by other people’s views.  It has only been a week and I have ended up telling quite a few people as so many conversations turn to diets.  Are we all so unhappy we are permanently trying a new diet to achieve some ideal body we have in our heads.  Is anyone just genuinely happy with life and doesn’t need to constantly think about what they are and aren’t eating?  It’s sad when I think about the beautiful women I connect with each day whose wonderful brains are absorbed with obsessing over food rather than happiness and ideas that could change the world!
  3. Meat is expensive!  I did a massive grocery shop on the weekend with lots of new ingredients to support my new way of eating and trying new recipes.  My trolley was a lot fuller than I expected, so from past experience I was estimating $200-$250 worth, but was comfortable paying that as I new most of the ingredients were pantry staples that I needed for initial set up.  My bill was only $166 and that included a bunch of flowers for myself, expensive gluten free bread and my favourite luxury goats feta at $13 a jar.  With no salmon or chicken or steak like I normally brought, I can see this lifestyle as good for my budget as well.
  4. Takeaways don’t really feel like an option.  Previously if I’d had a long day and couldn’t be bothered cooking I would get a burger or curry from Uber Eats, but since I no longer eat meat it’s just easier to have cheese on toast if I can’t be bothered cooking.  There is a delicious vegan burger place in Melbourne, but it isn’t on Uber Eats which helps, plus being so new to vegetarianism I don’t yet know the good vegetarian options at takeaway places to know if the order is worth it (definitely not a bad thing for the wallet or waistline).
  5. I’m a pretty awesome chef!  I have become far more adventurous in the kitchen and  have made some truely delicious meals.  I am using so many more spices than before and cooking a lot more Mexican and Indian style food. Everything has been so easy and flavourful, and really easy to freeze so I don’t have to cook as often.
  6. I don’t miss meat. There hasn’t been a single point where I have craved meat or thought I was missing out on something because I didn’t eat it, unlike other “diets” where stopping eating something made me crave that thing uncontrollably until I caved and generally binged on it.  I think my decision being made based on what meat is to me, rather than some diet or health fad (so the fact I don’t want to eat animal flesh or be responsible for killing an animal) is making a very large difference in the success of my new lifestyle.
  7. It helps you be more decisive – given there are generally only one or two options on a menu that are vegetarian, it’s pretty easy to order, and you get forced to try new things as a result, which is never a bad thing.

If anyone has any great recipe sites or advice from when they started their vegetarian journey, I’d love to hear from you.




When I was young I was so passionate about animals I wanted to be a vegetarian but my parents never allowed it.  As I got older I became more concerned with people liking me than what mattered to me and I didn’t want to stand out.  I then married a man who lived on meat and 3 veg and my cooking style adapted.  I then got involved with other men who focused on their protein intake, all through meat sources.  I have then continued that mindset on (without the training to back it up obviously), but recently I can’t stop thinking about whether that’s the right thing for me.  My aunty even called me out at Christmas reminding me how passionate about being a vegetarian I was when I was young, how was I now such a carnivore?

I’ve met a couple of people since I have been in Melbourne who are vegetarian for ethical reasons and I instantly respected and was intrigued by them, but the concept of doing it myself still felt too hard – I’m not sure why.  Is it because it would mean I was different and some people wouldn’t accept me?  Is it because I really like meat?  It is because I wonder what would happen if I met someone and they were a big carnivore and that stopped us falling in love?  All seems like pretty stupid reasons.

As I have read more and tried things to improve my weight situation I haven’t read anything telling me to not eat meat, but the emphasis has been on eating more plants for health benefits and only eating organic, grass fed, ethically treated animals.  And that really gets you thinking about the impact you are having on an animal suffering just so I can have a steak.

I have 2 cats, I am shortly getting a puppy and I sponsor a snow leopard.  I love animals more than humans most of the time, and would never think of killing and eating them, so why is it ok for other animals?  The actual eating of their flesh is a concept I can’t get out of my head lately and it makes me feel sick every time I look at a piece of chicken or steak, so maybe now’s the time to stop and see what happens.  I made two amazing curries in the weekend, one was vegetarian, one only had a small amount of lamb that didn’t really add that much to the dish, so it’s actually not that hard!  What would I really be missing out on?

It needs to be about me and what feels right to me.  If I met the love of my life and he didn’t respect my choices, he can’t be the love of my life can he!

I won’t be telling my family and friends.  I normally tell people far too much then get influenced by their opinion, so this time I’m just going to cut meat out and order the vegetarian option, and probably no one will even notice. I can tell people when I am confident this is the right lifestyle for me.

Day 1 today – wish me luck and let me know any tips!

One step forward, 5 steps back

I feel like I am really struggling at the moment.  I started the year so well, focused on my goals and had great routine, and now that I’ve let those routines slide a bit I have gone further backwards than I would like, especially mentally.

My mind can’t stop bringing up the conversation I wish I’d had with my mother when she commented that I needed to go on a diet.  It was a month ago!  Why can’t I let it go? Why do I even care so much about what she thinks?  Is it because I have grown up never feeling wanted by her and that just reinforces the stories in my head that I’m not good enough to be loved by her?  Realistically should it even matter to my personal happiness if she likes me or not?  No, it shouldn’t, but how to make that happen?  The fact I have identified this as part of my issue is hopefully a really good start, but now how to get past it.

I am heading back to NZ in a couple of weeks where I will catch up with people I haven’t seen in a year or more.  I am now even more self conscious about my weight gain and am getting quite a bit of anxiety about the visit – I think my mother mentioning it to me shows that people notice, so I am worried everyone else will judge me like she did.  One part of my mind is saying “you’ve got 3 weeks, lets go on an extreme diet and exercise every day and we could lose 5kg before then”, another voice “3 weeks isn’t long enough to really change anything so we might as well just eat what we want and just deal with it”, or “if you haven’t done anything about it now, lets just eat that chocolate and start again tomorrow”, plus “even if you managed to stick to an extreme diet and lost 5kg you’d still be fat, so why bother”, a more practical voice is saying “just accept you are this weight and buy/make some bigger clothes so you’ll feel more comfortable – just wear a lot of things that  draw attention to your boobs and no one will notice” and then another voice speaks up and tries to be positive with “if anyone judges you or doesn’t like you because you have put on weight, they are not the sort of person you want in your life”.  My brain is a very crowded place right now!

I had hoped to go back some big success and show I made the right decision and life was working out perfectly.  Perhaps I should focus on what my definition of personal success is.  I have been in Australia 2 1/2 years, I have a fantastically successful job and even got a promotion last year as they value me and the work I am doing so much.  I have a large wonderful group of thoughtful friends who obviously like me for me, not for what I look like or how much I weigh.  I have been on 3 amazing overseas holidays since I have been here (trips back to NZ don’t count). And I’ve just bought an apartment a block from the beach.  For some stupid reason I can only focus on the physical me as a rating of my success and the fact I am still single – why do these things rate so highly in my self worth calculator?

Lightbulb moment – my biggest critic really is myself! If I can’t love myself how will I ever be open to someone else loving me?  I have downloaded some self love meditation type apps as I realise no matter what I do or what plans I put in place, until I value myself I will never stick to those plans, prioritise myself and what I need to do nor will I ever be free enough mentally to be truely happy. Before writing this post I tried Louise Hay’s app for the first time.  The last part of the “love yourself” affirmations turns your camera on so you say the affirmation to yourself – all I could see was my faults when I looked at my image staring back at me – I have A LOT of work to do!

Does anyone have any suggestions on what they have tried, books they have read, etc to help them truely change their relationship with themselves?



The last week has been a bit of a whirlwind, overall I have been on the biggest high, but with that my focus on my health has taken a complete back seat.

Last Wednesday I broke my non drinking detox, beautiful sunny weather, great friends and traffic preventing my friend attending our planned bootybarre class contributed, as did seeing an apartment I fell in love with so I just wanted to talk about it and be excited about it.  Thursday I was still buzzing about the apartment and my brain was so full with ideas and plans I missed my morning walk to focus on my finances and do more research on the building, I walked home from work but still my brain was too full and distracted.

On Friday my big boss finished up at work and he took me for a wine so I could get some good feedback and career advice with him, then we carried on when some other people from work joined.  Again I was talking about the apartment and was on an amazing happy buzz (plus he had given me some great feedback and confidence boosts), so four large wines later…

Saturday I had an early appointment, then went to the apartment to do measurements to make sure it was what I wanted, then talked to the agent about making an offer.  I then went to my bimonthly wine club.  This is the second one and it was so much fun sitting in the sun with great people, great food and a selection of Rose wines, and making new friends.  I had an amazing time, but ate, drank and smoked far too much, and when the wine finished we moved on to spirits and margaritas!  All up, just wayyyyyy too many calories!

Sunday, unsurprisingly, I was hungover.  I met an old colleague over from NZ and ate sliders and chips.  And both days still no exercise, but mentally I was full of confidence and hope and I felt really valued and liked from so many great social interactions.

Monday I put an offer on the apartment!  As I was waiting for it to be officially accepted (they needed to go out to see if there were any counter offers) I had my weekly partner catchup at work, but only had one wine.  And I got it!  So in a couple of months time I’ll be living in my very own apartment.  No longer paying someone else’s mortgage and I can make the place truely mine and get a puppy!

Tuesday night I had a big work celebration reflecting the first year of my project and all the success we’ve had.  It was fantastic to celebrate with all of my partners, work colleagues and stakeholders, and there was free champagne, so I had my fair share, more cigarettes (yuck!  why do I do that!) and a burger on the way home (but it was vegan so surely not as bad as it could have been).

Yesterday I was a bit dusty in the morning so slept in instead of going for a walk, and ate way too much crap during the day.  Another hectic day at work and not being home to be organised took it’s toll.

By the scales today I am back up to 70. It could be worse!  I am being hosted at the tennis for most of today and off to country races tomorrow (it’s a public holiday in Australia), which is going to lead to more alcohol. I am having an absolute ball and am feeling amazing at the moment, but my size is always playing on my mind, I avoid photos and am so disappointed in myself when I see them due to my weight.  I am just trying to be kind to myself and get through this disruptive time, but truth is, my life is always disruptive.  A lot of my job revolves around entertaining, and I love having an active social life so I feel valued, and a lot of that contains food and alcohol.  I really need to master “drinking sensibly” but I easily get carried away when I feel confident and happy around others.

Does anyone have any good tips on what’s worked for them to have balance with alcohol after being a binge drink for most of their life?

And tonight I drank…

Tonight is the first night I have drunk alcohol all year.  And it didn’t lead to good things.

I was going to go to the gym this morning (the first morning all week as I have been so preoccupied with house hunting I haven’t slept well, so have really struggled to get up with my alarm at 5:45am, but I have done other exercise), instead I went for a 5km walk along the beach as it was such a lovely morning.  I listened to music and daydreamed about getting my dream apartment, meeting the man of my dreams and him helping me move, then moving in a few months later and of course proposing and us living happily ever after.

I went to work and had a pretty successful day including lunch with friends, then I walked home to check out my dream apartment and my friend Chris joined me.  It wasn’t as amazing as I had hoped having been tenanted for a few years, so needs some love, but if I could get it for the right price and with a bit of work I could be very happy there I think (I’ll check it out again on the weekend with a measuring tape). My Bootybarre friend then got stuck in traffic so we all decided to go for wine instead/it was a lovely night and all I wanted to do was have a couple of wines and connect with friends and feel loved since I have been a hermit for so long.

It was a great night and we talked about my possible apartment and lots of other things. But I had half a beer and 3 wines. I got home and poured myself a sparkling water, went to get some food then then my fat ass proceeded to knock the water over.  When I went to get a towel to sort the mess out I slipped on the water and caned myself on the floor.  I didn’t feel that drunk, but I definitely wasn’t sober.  I proceeded to clean up the mess, then got really upset and in a real downer looking at Facebook and seeing lots of baby announcements.  I should be excited and happy about a potential apartment of my own, then getting a puppy, but all I can think is how sad I am that I am still alone, I’m coming up 38 and the chances of me having a family are getting slimmer by the minute.  I rejoined the dating app Happn this week, and while I have had a few matches, I haven’t had a single message, so my self esteem is really taking a hit.  Add to that I got thigh chaffing on my walk home today, and all round I am feeling very sub average, fat and alone.

Had Chris suggested he come home with me I would have taken him up on the offer (which has happened many times in the past, and sober I know is not a good idea), but he didn’t.  All round my confidence is shot thanks to wine, happn and my thighs being too big.  I have a lot of drinking events coming up in the next week, and while I would like to say I just won’t drink at them, I know that is very unrealistic.  The one thing that I can do something about and that should change is getting back off the dating apps – if I haven’t had any messages in a week, there is something either wrong with me, my profile, or the app – whatever the cause, it’s not helping me feel any better about myself so it needs to go.  Lets hope next wines don’t lead to falling over or tears – especially as some are work related!


Something has changed – soul baring time…

I’ve been a yoyo dieter my whole life.  Any time I start a new “diet” or “healthy lifestyle plan” (another word for diet) I spend most of my waking thoughts thinking about what I am going to eat next, working out what I need to do so I can have some chocolate or “treats”, berating myself for no doubt “falling of the wagon”, then completely falling off the rails and eating the entire contents of my house, ordering takeout, then wallowing for weeks on end and not doing any exercise until I try again.

This time things feel different.

In 2016 the guy I was living with in a pretty unhealthy flatmate situation, moved in with his girlfriend.  We had been living together for about 6 months (this time, we were in a relationship a year prior to that, and he moved to Australia 5 months after I did it just worked out that we live together) and with his influence we had a really great lifestyle health wise (apart from the obvious mental health mindfuck of living with someone you are in love with who doesn’t love you back!).  We trained together 6 days a week and ate really cleanly.  As a result I had the best body I’ve had in my life.  I was 57kg, toned and fit size 8 jeans!  Unfortunately looking back I can see I was only in those good habits in a bid to impress him and make us seem so compatible he would see we should be together.  Ironically he is now married to that girlfriend and his life has had to change drastically as she can’t eat most of the food he is used to and their lifestyle doesn’t allow him as much time for training.  But you change for love obviously.

The last couple of months of us living together was terrible.  I didn’t want to be home when he and his girlfriend where there and I felt so desperately alone and unwanted I would go out and drink far too much and end up sleeping with someone I shouldn’t have, just to feel wanted.  I had only been working for a few months and didn’t have a very good social circle or support network yet and I hated my job, so all round life wasn’t amazing.  He and I would fight constantly, and I’m sure he was very happy to move out as it was a terrible toxic environment for both of us.  It took a lot of time and healing but we are still friends now.

After he moved out I didn’t replace him.  I got a new job (the one I’m in now) which paid me a lot more so I could afford to live on my own again.  The job I got was possibly the best opportunity I could imagine for my career, but that came with a huge amount of stress and pressure I put on myself.  My work/life balance went out the window, and back came a lot of caffine, booze and emotional eating to get through.  I was working very long hours so exercise also went out the window.  I achieved fantastic things at work, but every other area of my life suffered as a result.  I put on over 10kg, I was going on dates from dating apps when I had very low self-esteem, the guys were never right but I drank enough that they became attractive, and half the time went home with them when I shouldn’t have. This is a similar pattern to when I was a teenager where I slept with guys in the hope they would like me – it never works out!

2016 was the first time I realised I needed help and I went to a therapist.  In hindsight he wasn’t the right fit for me, but I didn’t have the self confidence to leave him.  I got some good things out of our sessions and the Australian mental health plan paid for a lot of it, so when my 10 sessions were up I didn’t go back.  I fought my way to the end of the year and successfully launched my project.

In 2017 career wise I was smashing it.  But I had little to no support so continued to work very hard at the expense of everything else.  I put on more weight and started suffering a lot of anxiety and depression as a result of how self conscious my weight gain had made me.  I didn’t go on dates and still spent a lot of time binge drinking in an effort to escape the pressure of work and meet new people as I didn’t have the confidence in myself to meet people outside of a work environment.  I decided to give therapy another try and went to one recommended by a friend.  She was fantastic, and it was through her that I realised so many of my limiting beliefs and self destructive behaviour are because of my relationship with my mother, which I had never realised.  Through her I became a lot more confident myself, a lot happier in general and put to bed a lot of the issues I had from a very traumatic breakup with my ex-husband (a story for another day).  I was all round a better person, but that still wasn’t helping with my weight situation.

Later in 2017 I decided to try hypnotherapy as I hoped that could stop my overeating and self destructive habits.  It wasn’t the instant fix I’d hoped it would be like when people quit smoking, but the therapist did some amazing work that built on the themes I had identified with my previous therapist.  In one session we did some hypnosis visualisation type work where I said to my mother everything I’d always wanted to say. I’m not sure what it is about being under hypnosis that pulls out thoughts and ideas you didn’t know you had, but some incredibly powerful things came out of that session including the fact because of her I believed I didn’t deserve to be happy or have someone love me and have the life I dream of, I will just need to settle for what I can get. Wow!  How long had that been in my subconscious!

We also did another session on my self destructive drinking and trying to get to the bottom of why I do that.  Ultimately it comes down to wanting to be liked and fit in.  Again some of the mother conversations and issues came into that.  My whole life Mum would tell me she didn’t have any friends and no one liked her, I was so desperate to be liked and have friends so I wouldn’t be like her, as a result I was drinking too much to fit in since I don’t have the confidence to fit in when I’m sober!  In this session Athena joined me, which I really love as she is the goddess of strength, wisdom and crafts, and she gave me the gift of a compass so I can always remember to take my own path and follow my direction, not that of others.  My whole life I’ve been so desperate to fit in and gauge my self worth on what other people think of me, and I truly believe this session was the start of breaking that for me.

During this I was also doing Dr Libby’s 9 week weight loss course. I cut out gluten, caffeine, dairy and was meant to cut out alcohol, but “couldn’t”.  I only lost a couple of kg during this course, and put that straight back on afterwards with too much overindulgence at Xmas parties,  but I learned so much and had so much better energy and sleep and that is the basis of the changes I am making now.

I think the other thing that has really clicked everything into place where I feel a fundamental shift in myself is as a result of my parents visit.  At the time my mother’s attitude to me really upset me and put me in quite a funk.  But now that I have had time to digest everything, all of the therapy etc is making so much more sense.  I can see how so much of my behaviour up until this point was because of the stories I have in my head about whether she did or didn’t want me, whether or not she loves me, whether I deserve happiness or not, and seeing her this Christmas and seeing what she is like with a clear perspective, it’s no wonder I felt the way I did. I actually feel sorry for her as she can’t see the effect she has on other people with her ideas and language and she believes these ideas herself, which is so limiting.

It’s definitely a work in progress, but I feel like I can step back and see things through a much clearer lens now and can see the difference between reality and perception a lot better. I am taking more curiosity to my thoughts and decisions and using  lot more “not helpful’s” to stop my negative thought patterns.  I’m also currently spending a lot more time by myself, I’m not as desperate to fit in and be liked, I’m spending time getting to know me so I like me first.  I’m not drinking in Jan except for two functions, and even then will be trying to be a lot more sensible with my consumption and find the confidence to be me without having to drink to shine.  At the end of the day if someone doesn’t like me, that’s ok.  I’ll attract the people who do like the real me, and that’s the only sort of people I would want in my life anyway.

Thanks for reading my novel and giving me the opportunity to get all of this out of my head xx

Blowing my own trumpet

I’ve been back at work since Monday and am really proud of the changes I have made already….long may this last!


One of my goals this year is to make exercise a priorit, which will also help with my other goal of losing at least 10kg, getting confident in myself again and getting my sexy back!  I’ve really nailed it this week:

  • Saturday – Mike Matthews Thinner Leaner Stronger weights workout
  • Sunday – Pilates class at my local gym (a lot harder than I thought it would be!)
  • Monday – Thinner Leaner Stronger weights workout and I walked home from work (4km)
  • Tuesday – 5km walk along the beach in the morning, walked home from work then tried a ballroom dancing class
  • Wednesday – 5km walk along the beach in the morning, walked home from work then a BootyBarre class at the gym
  • Thursday – met a friend for a 6km walk around the Melbourne Botanical Gardens (“The Tan”)
  • Friday – rest day!

That is so much more exercise than I have done in a long time and I am really proud of trying new things (walking the Tan, ballroom dancing and BootyBarre).  This has also helped in my goal to find a social life that doesn’t revolve around alcohol!  BootyBarre and the Tan walk were both catching up with friends and ballroom dancing allowed me to meet and dance with new strangers.


I have made some really great choices this week, so hopefully all of these good habits will show on the sales on Monday:

  • No alcohol
  • A huge increase in my vegetable consumption:
    • A green smoothie everyday – kale, spinach, celery, protein powder, LSA and coconut water
    • A salad for lunch every day including when I went out for a work lunch
    • Vegetables with dinner every night
  • Breakfast every day – a piece of gluten free toast with either avocado and an egg or peanut butter
  •  2L+ of water every day
  • No caffeine
  • No processed food and no sugar apart from fruit and homemade bliss balls

I haven’t felt hungry or missed anything! I feel like I’ve had a really big mindset shift and I feel so focused to finally achieve my dream life this year!

Other great changes/habits:

  • I’ve made my bed every day
  • I haven’t spent any money on food apart from actual groceries (no takeaways and I’ve bought my lunch every day which will really help with the house goal!)
  • I’ve got up with my alarm at 5:45am and either done exercise or worked on my personal development
  • I’ve eaten my lunch away from my desk at work and actually taken a break
  • I’ve left work by 5:30 every night and walked home when the weather allowed
  • I’ve gone to bed before 10:30 every night (and without caffeine and alcohol my sleep has been a lot more solid and restorative)
  • Each night I have completed my skin care routine and my skin is looking better already.  I’ve never had a good evening routine so this is a great achievement for me

With all of these changes I haven’t had as much time for my hobbies such as sewing as I am pretty shattered at the end of the day but I hope this will get better in a few weeks when I am used to it.  My mindset and anxiety levels are amazing this week and I have had really low stress levels at work as well.

How are you going with your new years resolutions?  Are you living the life and the habits you really want?