the wanderer returns

He came home!

The day after I'd leafleted the neighbourhood and the morning after I cried myself to sleep fearing we'd never see him again, our daft wee cat turned up with a big whinging meow at the bedroom door. Such a relief. I've no idea where he'd been, he was hungry and covered in scratches and scabs but thank goodness he's home and safe - and grounded!

I let the cat traumas take over my life for the last week or so. What with Higgins' absence and Alfred's constant care, medication and vet visits, everything else had been put on hold and that included exercise. There was a lot of walking around the neighbourhood, but not a lot else.

There was some VERY good news in all this though. Despite all the stresses and anxieties, for once I didn't emotionally eat. I stuck to the plan religiously. I think the main thing that got me through is that I'm not doing this alone. Hubby and I are on the same eating plan. I'm doing the shopping and preparing both of our meals; what he eats, I eat (albeit slightly smaller portions). Tempation to veer from the program feels so different when it's not just me I'm accountable to. It's made such a difference. I've shared healthy eating and diets with friends before (and bloggers of course), but for the most part you're still on your own with your own actions. It's always great to have someone to share the stories and let off steam with, but when it comes to the food and daily grind, in the past I've only ever been responsible for myself. This feels completely different and I really rather like it.

Another thing that happened last week in the midst of all this cat-nonsense, is that I met the lady I'm going to be home English tutoring. I meant to write about it but had to rush straight home to take Alfred to the vet, then that was the night Higgins went missing. My new student is from Eritrea and has only been in Australia for two months. To thank me for volunteering my time to teach her, she and her sister treated me to a traditional Eritrean Coffee Ceremony and meal in their home. The whole experience was amazing, enriching and incredibly humbling. Being so new to this, I'm still quite nervous about the lessons themselves but I felt so very welcomed it most put me very much at ease. After all, what's not to love about turning coffee into a ceremony? They're my kind of people.

if it's not one thing...

|'s the other!

Alfred is home after his operation and hobbling about. The injury was a lot worse than the vet had originally thought, but after a weekend living in a makeshift kitty-hospital in our bathroom, he's starting to walk again and the vet is really pleased with his progress.

However, our other cat, Higgins, is now awol and hasn't been seen since yesterday. I'm already totally frantic, he always comes home for dinner without fail. Only exceptions were one time when he was stuck on our neighbour's roof and another time when he managed to get himself trapped in an empty half-renovated house a couple of doors down. He's a total homebody and quite the wuss, he'd never stay out if there were any way of getting home.

It's only been a night but I'm honestly an emotional wreck right now. I don't do optimism very well. I just can't tell myself everything's going to be OK and allow myself to relax for fear of having let my guard down to the alternative outcome. I don't know why I do this, it's just as much of a rollercoaster whichever way you look at it. I don't know why I so often chose to fear the worst. It's definitely all part and parcel of the same issue I have with goals and dreams. If only I could get a handle on my emotions.

One day.

In the meantime I just want my daft wee cat to come home.

busy being good


For once my few days' absence is not attributable to a slippery slope slip to a downward spiral. Nope, I've just been rather busy, and busy being good n'all.

A lovely girlfriend of mine was visiting from overseas. Just about every waking hour was filled with shopping, sitting in cafes, shopping some more, sightseeing, shopping a little more, interspersed with ever more frequent cafe coffee breaks. Despite getting caught out in the worst hail storm and flash flooding Melbourne has seen for many years, it was the very best of times. I talked so much I lost my voice (hubby would say this is hardly surprising, but I think he rather enjoyed the mini-break himself - from me, I mean)

I'll admit that I had fretted a little before her arrival about how I'd be able to keep up my clean eating and exercise, but I'm glad to say I took the sensible option and told her upfront. We ate well and she even joined me in a combat DVD on Saturday morning. So great to share that smug "we deserve everything we eat from now on" feeling.

Now it's back down to earth and the regular routine. Well almost routine. Today's going to be a difficult one in terms of pantry picking and emotional eating; our furbaby Alfred has an operation this afternoon to try and repair the skin and tendons on his leg after coming a cropper yesterday. We're not sure if it was a car or what caused it, poor wee kittyboy. My plan of attack is to distract myself as much as possible, eat only pre-planned meals and snacks and keep drinking so much water there's constantly something reassuringly near my mouth. Get well soon Alfred.


Yesterday I had lunch with my most lovely friend Miss Milo. It was a fabulous highlight to an otherwise underwhelming day.

Truly underwhelming: I'd freaked myself out by looking at jobs in the local paper; disappointed myself by purchasing size 20-22 (sob!) PJs in the Target sleepwear sale - only to find they still clung to my belly; picked on nibbles for the rest of the afternoon when I should have recognised the signs of thirst and anxiety, not hunger; and finally, and most disappointingly, ruined a perfectly good ham and made a revolting dinner - which I still ate, why did I do that?

But back to the lovely Miss M. She wisely recommended that I write this post when I said how I'm feeling, blogwise. That is, I'd told her how very selfish I feel now that I'm posting again but still not really visiting other people's blogs. Sure, blogging is a great means of journaling and outpouring, but I used to find the real value was to be found in how it opens the door to a whole community. The support and inspiration received from others was worth countless more than any amount of self expression.

I just don't know where my head is at right now. I want to be an active part of this community, to offer support, feedback and appreciation to others. I used to feel kinship with those who struggled, be inspired by others' successes, pick up tips and fantastic ideas from folks' experience and experiments, and generally feel good to be part of a loving and supportive community. But now, even after 10 days of being good to myself by eating clean and exercising, I'm still struggling to read other people's blogs. It doesn't matter whether they're fighting to keep themselves afloat or rejoicing at the top of their game, I'm getting the same internal reaction. I feel edgy and anxious, self-disappointment, self- hatred even. Above all, I think what I feel is shame.

I thought it was only my friends and family in the UK and Perth I was hiding from. I hadn't realised how much I was hiding from my virtual friends too. Strange really, these are people who don't know my real name, haven't even seen my whole face, and who I've known only a very short time. But in their presence the emotions are very much the same.

I need to deal with my issues because no matter how much writing this blog is, by its nature, all about me; it's only worthwhile when it's also a gateway to you. Has anyone else felt this way? How did you get past it?

don't lose your head


I really hadn't wanted to do my exercise today. But as I settled down to procrastinate in front of the TV, a piece came on the breakfast show about obesity; containing (of course) the ubiquitous montage of headless fatties.

My recurring dread of one day recognising my own torso on the telly was MORE than enough to whip me back into focus. Exercise done.

p.s. something else I've been procrastinating about is to update the sidebar with my current girth since getting back up to 120kg again. Until I can bring myself to do so, I apologise for the false advertising.

*update* simply fixed by removing the numbers altogether, d'oh! why didn't I think of that?

domestic goddess


I think I've been bodysnatched by a 1950's housewife!


Whoever has the real Ani, please look after her. This alien-Ani's having a ball and might not want to leave.

You see, lately hubby's upped his own exercise and has been following a pretty serious programme of weights and cardio. With it comes a nutrition plan, which, until recently, he'd been largely ignoring. At the weekend I sat down with his plan and my fab kikki.K meal planner pad and worked out the week's food for the both of us.

picture borrowed from kikki.K website

I figured out my shopping list and trotted off to the supermarket, filling my trolley with a wide array of food and multi-size food containers.

I realise this may be very run of the mill for many folk, but for me - a non-cook; sure I'll bake a cake from time to time, but meal-preparation is not a task I've ever really enjoyed - this is bizarre and unusual behaviour.

  • awoke at 6am to blend a beautiful mixed berry and banana smoothie to start us on our day
  • dropped hubby at the train station complete with a lunchpack containing turkey, ham & pickle sandwich (made all the more perfect by the delicious homemade sourdough bread hubby was busy creating while I was with the girls on Saturday night) and a handful of pecans for attacks of the nibbles
  • slotted in an hour's exercise before returning to the station to catch a train into the city for my volunteer position, resplendent with my own lunch pack and ham sandwich (no free-food lunch panics for me today)
  • arrived home with just enough time ahead of hubby to pre-make the homemade turkey burgers (using, of course, breadcrumbs from hubby's sourdough) and started prepping veg before it was time again to return to the station for "how was your day dear?"
  • after a yummy, (and very healthy), dinner, it was back to the stove to grill chicken breasts, dice feta and create a salad for hubby and my lunch today. The pride I felt at the sight of his perfectly compartmentalised salad container (salad in the main part, grilled Portuguese chicken breast in another, feta in a wee pot and a snug little space for more snacky pecans), should honestly not be allowed.

  • began again with another fabulous breakfast and even more exercise
  • with Dr. Phil providing background noise, I spent the next short while roasting pumpkin for homemade soup; experimenting with a few spices along the way even (this is getting exotic now) and working up the perfect hunger for my own grilled chicken salad lunch
  • with the soup ready for tonight (more sourdough naturally), all that's left to do is make the tuna bean salad, and more importantly pick out the perfect storage container, for tomorrow's lunch pack.

And the moral of this story?

So long as it involves fabulous stationery and can appeal to my creative (and perfectionist) tendencies, I really can do anything.