Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Urgent Couriers and Auckland City Mission

Last week I got my Christmas cracker from Urgent Couriers (*happy claps*); this cracker is for their “Santa Needs Help This Christmas!” campaign in conjunction with the Auckland City Mission. I know that Christmas is still 59 days away however you can start getting your workmates organised now.

What is it?In December the Auckland City Mission will:
• Provide emergency food to thousands of families
• Celebrate Christmas dinner with 1600 people
• Make Christmas special for thousands of children

They can’t do it without your help!Become a Santa’s Helper and encourage your workmates and customers to donate food, new presents and financial gifts for the Auckland City Mission Christmas Appeal. In turn, you can make Christmas special for thousands of Auckland families and their children.

*This is proudly supported by Urgent Couriers who will drop everything that you need for your office collection and then pick up the donations in December*
To give you an idea of things to donate, below are the products that are commonly included in their food parcels:
Canned Baked beans 440g
Canned Spaghetti 440g
Canned Sweet corn 425g
Canned Fruit (as available)
Canned meat
Peanut butter 380g
Flour 1kg
Tea bags (30 sachets)
Rice 1kg
Salt (small packet)
Canned fish
Milk powder 500g
Sugar 500g
Jelly packet
Pasta 500g
Soup (tin or packet)
Weetbix 375g
Toiletries bag: soap, laundry powder, razor, toilet roll
Cereal (i.e. Cornflakes)
Canned Tomatoes
Sauce Mix
Canned Beetroot

For Presents my suggestions would be $2 Shops as they have some quite cool toys and things i.e. bucket and spade for the beach etc. Also, you cannot go past The Warehouse for some good deals.

I know that people are stretched at Christmas and it should not really be about material things; however food is a necessity and also many of these children deserve at least one present on the day. It could be as simple as everyone in your company adding an extra can of food to their weekly shop.

So send @urgentcouriers a tweet or contact them through their website and get your Christmas Cracker today and start collecting! I am sure you could get your friends together and start collecting too!

Not in Auckland; then find your local food bank and find out what they are doing.

Eating my feelings and my mind

Last week I had a few conversations about sabotaging my weight-loss journey and eating my feelings.

I know enough about healthy eating and exercise to write my own book. I have read books, blogs, watched television, tried Weight Watchers and Sure Slim, done Body for Life etc. So it is definitely NOT my lack of knowledge about these things that is preventing me from losing weight.

As I watch more of the Biggest Loser Australia; I have realised that there is a lot of mental and emotional ‘fog’ that I need to sort out before I will seriously start to lose weight. Perhaps I need to go and see a counsellor for a few sessions to point me in the right direction.

Like a lot of people I do eat my feelings. I eat when I am happy, sad, angry, bereft. I enjoy food and I do not ever want to be in a position where I do not enjoy food. Last week I had a chat with Shona over an Oreo Shake and Chocolate Cake with ice-cream. Shona asked me if I would ever consider “surgery” and I said no. I explained that I do not really want to go down that track, as I am positive that I can get my mind right and do it myself. Then we talked about how we had both just made food choices that were not that great and therefore sabotaged ourselves. My personal trainer Arlene asks me why I sabotage myself constantly.

To be honest; I do not know why I sabotage myself. There could be any number of reasons:
- Deep down I do not want to weigh less and be fitter and healthier
- I am starving and make a bad food choice
- I need to get my head “fully” in the game
- I want to support people’s businesses and other than buying their beautiful food I cannot think of other ways to help support them

Over the weekend I had an epiphany! I realised that I eat my feelings because I do not tell people how I feel when I am sad or upset with them. I push down those feelings with rage, tears and food. This leads to resentment and a very emotional Ness. I then dwell on all the things that I should have said; things I should have felt strong enough to say. I often hold onto these feelings of sadness or anger for months or years and by that stage it is too late to say anything to that person.

For about 20 years I have not really spoken up when I have felt hurt or disagree with someone. I used to be a lot more strong-minded and in some instances I still am. However, there are still miles to go for me to become a whole person that speaks up rather than staying quiet. Deep down there is the feeling of being ‘disliked’ if I say something when I feel hurt, or if I go against the grain with my opinions. Also, I am completely freaked out about getting into a debate where I feel that I cannot “hold my own”. Over the years my confidence has been eroded and I am left with virtually none.

Twitter has taught me a lot about people and I have watched a lot of debates when people have differing opinions. It is refreshing to me to see some debates that rage while not becoming “personal attacks”. I have even begun to dip my toes in the water a little and express my own opinions.

So it is time for a new Ness that stands up for herself and is not going to be bullied, walked all over or made to feel stink anymore for her feelings or opinions.

Previous Weight: 154.8kg
Current Weight: 153.2kg
Weight Difference: 1.6kg
Initial Goal Weight: 99kg
Work out pledge: 3 cardio and 2 resistance workouts

Friday, October 22, 2010

Core Strength and the Pelvic Floor

*Disclaimer* ~ I am not a doctor or a personal trainer however I have written this blog based on my own limited knowledge after some comments from my personal trainer.

Other than the need to increase my cardiovascular fitness my abdominals (or lack thereof) have always been an issue. I have never had ‘washboard’ abs and for the most part I avoid sit-ups like the plague. Incidentally, I had a trainer in the past comment that I had stronger lower abs than upper; go figure. Sometimes when I do abdominal exercises I want to cry because they hurt. *sigh*

I remember watching a US program a few years ago where a woman had lost a significant amount of weight and was then able to have a tummy tuck. I was surprised to see that under the layers of excess skin that she had an obviously strong abdominal wall. So there are some abdominal muscles under there somewhere!

Strong abdominals are crucial to help support your lower back, spine and assist with good posture. According to my sister they are also important if you want to be a success in a pole-dancing class! Abdominal strengthening can be achieved with exercises that work all the muscles; i.e. Pilates, Yoga, Swiss ball work and Tai Chi.

A few months back I had just finished a workout with my gorgeous personal trainer Arlene. We were doing the dreaded abdominals and she had me squeeze a small ball between my knees. I was going gung-ho and then she said “right Vanessa when you squeeze the ball I want you to focus on squeezing your pelvic floor muscles”. I was “what the hell”. At the end of the work out I asked her why working my pelvic floor muscles would help my abdominals. Arlene explained that if I thought of my abdominals like a box and contained within that box were groups of muscles (lower abdominals ~ Rectus, internal and external oblique and the deeper Transverus). So sitting at the bottom of your core are your pelvic floor muscles which assist in supporting your core.

It is probably best to have a read of research done way back in 2003 around ‘Rehabilitation of pelvic floor muscles utilizing trunk stabilization’ which talks about the “synergy” between abdominal and pelvic floor and have a look on the internet too.

So gals when strengthening your abdominals do not forget about your Pelvic Floor; do exercises in the car at the lights, or while you are cooking tea!

If anyone else other useful information/links/knowledge please, please add them into the comments.

Helpful links:
Core Strength and Core Stabilization Training
Pelvic Floor Exercises etc.
Rehabilitation of pelvic floor using trunk stabilization

Previous Weight: 155.5kg
Current Weight: 154.8kg
Weight Difference: -700g
Initial Goal Weight: 99kg
Work out pledge: 3 cardio and 2 resistance workouts

PS My favourite workout song this week is “Proud Mary” ~ Glee Cast.

Monday, October 18, 2010


When I joined Twitter I was sad.

For some reason I was so down and did not really want to share my sadness with my close friends or family, or burden them with my pain. So I turned to strangers; strangers who have since become some of my closest friends. Unfortunately, I ended up cutting myself off from many close friends and my family. Some of those friendships have gone or changed and some are stronger through people’s perseverance.

I also felt both overwhelming happiness and grief because my beautiful sister and my sister-in-law were both pregnant. I was excited for them both; however I felt sad because they were having children and we were not. Years ago I miscarried at the same time I found out I was pregnant. I understand that miscarriage is a lot more common than we would think and often women do not even really know they are pregnant. Nevertheless, I did grieve and it also made me realise that “yes” I really did want children. Now I wonder if it is even possible and as each year passes my opportunity to have children slips steadily away. I even feel somewhat resigned to the fact that I may never have children.

I joined Twitter not long after I finished volunteering. Giving up volunteering left a huge hole in my life and I gradually filled it with Twitter and writing a blog to try and get my happiness back. I blogged about painful and emotional subjects and I shared these blogs with strangers as I struggled to work through my own issues. I did not share them with friends or family.

Even as I write these words I feel sad; sad because some of the grief that I felt last year is seeping back into my heart.

Last year I felt broken and I had no idea at all about how I was going to fix myself and my life. So I wrote, I delved into my thoughts, I went back to the gym and I used Twitter. I successfully kept my Twitter and “real life” separate from one another; now 18 months later these two parts of me have started to mesh together to form one life.

Please remember that while outwardly I may appear strong, inside I am not always so strong. I take things to heart and some words do still hurt me. Every 6 months or so I feel really sad and I need a couple of days to recharge and feel like “Ness” again. It’s cyclic and I am used to it. Usually, it gets sorted with some awesome music and a good cry.

I just wanted to write the way that I am feeling so that I can process it all and move on without having a wee meltdown.

PS Liz (I know you will read this) I am working hard at not taking things personally and telling people when they upset me, but it's hard to change 20 odd years of behaviour overnight :) xx

Friday, October 15, 2010

Put a little extra “somethin’, somethin’” in your trolley

Today at lunch the girls and I were talking about charities. I explained how I thought it would be really awesome if the City Mission were to update their Twitter and Facebook pages on a weekly basis with what they urgently needed that week. I actually remembered a few weeks ago they really needed cereal. The City Mission also has a list on their website of the food products that go into a food parcel, so this is a good guide. The Kits2Kids Facebook “crew” have started doing this and I find it really helpful. It means that if I want to get them some goodies to help out then I know exactly what they need in “real time”.

Perhaps as more non-profit organisations come onto Twitter and Facebook we will see regular updates of what they need sent out to their followers and friends.

Having worked for a non-profit organisation for quite a number of years I know how hard it is to ask for and get the things that you desperately need to keep things going for just another month.

I know that at the moment times are pretty tough and people cannot always afford a monetary donation, however perhaps you can give a couple of cans of food that you can “live without”. I tend to buy bulk things for organisations all at once, which unfortunately led my husband to ask “who are you buying 6 x children’s toothbrushes and 6 x tubes of children’s toothpaste for”. Ummm I did not really have an answer to that one.

So my suggestion is how about adding an extra “somethin’, somethin’” to your trolley each week or fortnight? When you get a box worth of goodies then you can drop them off to the charity of choice. As woman I figure we have become very good about justifying our “secret” purchases over the years…we are stealth-like in fact i.e. “oh honey, this old thing? I have had it for ever”.

At the moment I am busy thinking about how I can help charities without having to put in a lot of hours or time. So being able to donate products is an excellent way for me to help. A few years back I actually gathered a whole box full of women’s beauty products to give to the City Mission for women at Christmas. Last year at Christmas I know that CJLambert actually ordered groceries online through Foodtown and had these delivered directly to the City Mission. I know many website developers and photographers help out non-profits doing work for them to help raise their profile.

This year I think I will do a huge collection of food items for the City Mission and deliver them in early December to help with the Christmas rush.

Note: there are many other charities out there that need assistance and it is about finding the one that you really want to help out. Check out Givealittle on Twitter to.
Please feel free to share your ideas for helping where you can.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Day 30- Your favorite song

It is stink that I have to pick just the one song as a favourite.

Right now, my favourites would be:

'Bathe in the River' ~ Hollie Smith
'Carry on my Wayward Son' ~ Kansas
'Take it Off' ~ Ke$ha
'Dog Days Are Over' ~ Florence + The Machine
'I Like It' ~ Enrique Iglesias
'And I am Telling You I'm Not Going' ~ Glee Cast Member (Amber Riley)

That's all...THE END of the 30 Days of Me Challenge

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Day 29- In this past month, what have you learned

I cannot believe how much I have learned about people and how many similarities there are between us. So many people have been adopted. Many are procrastinators. A few want to exercise more and improve their diets. Most (if not all) love their family and friends. Many are willing to share a great deal of their lives, thoughts, feelings online. Many have had sad things happen in their lives and have managed to grow through the sadness and pain.

I hope people continue to blog after this.

Looking back to the start of this challenge…I would have read through the list more thoroughly and perhaps created my own. There were too many duplicate/similar blog topics, and loads of photos.

So now the 30 things in 60 Days begins.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Day 28- A picture of you last year and now how have you changed since then?

I struggled a little with this challenge as I tend to avoid photographs of myself like the plague as I hate how I look. This is from our trip to Wellington in December 2009 at dusk in front of Lake Taupo.

How have I changed since this photo? I am older and wiser(?). I have learned a lot in the past year from Twitter and people’s blogs. I definitely read more online and am more up-to-date with current events.

I am probably about the same weight and my headspace with regard to health, weight-loss and eating is slowly getting better. I am back at the gym with Mark. I am a little stronger and am committed to finishing my 100 Things to do list.

That’s about all really.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Day 27- Why are you doing this 30 day challenge

I am doing this challenge because everyone else was and I thought it sounded interesting. Also, it helped me with blog ideas when I was a little stuck. I also wanted to finish something!

From here I am going to do my
30in60 Challenge.