Sunday, July 22, 2018

Port Macquarie


I think I'll save this morning's weigh-in until the end...

We spent last week at Port Macquarie on holiday. We hadn't been there before, but had to find something at short notice as we weren't sure which week Tim could take off work and our usual places were booked out. Actually we haven't been away longer than a weekend since moving to Sydney nearly three years ago! Installing the pool took all our money and attention. Port Macquarie is four and a half hours away (plus stops for lunch etc), north of Sydney, just far enough that it doesn't book out as quickly as the closer tourist spots. Population of about 45,000. It was lovely! We were so lucky with the weather too, 23C nearly every day - in the middle of winter! - clear and sunny.

Sorry a lot of the photos are so glary, the sun was so bright! The beaches were really interesting, lovely golden sand with outcroppings of sculptural rocks.

On the first day we went for a long walk, two and a half hours (there and back) along the beaches and through little sections of bushland. We could see the spouting and splashing of whales not too far out. We got as far as the rainforest café but I was too tired to face the rainforest walk, we had lunch and walked back. I was exhausted!

The kids and Tim collected 'staves of power' - walking sticks that they retained for the whole holiday. I think there was the Staff of Awesomeness, the Staff of Light and Dark, and the Staff of Art. I had a 'poking stick' on the first day but preferred to walk unencumbered.

The kids had a dip in the hotel's heated pool in the afternoon - very brave of them as 'heated' barely took the chill off. There were plenty of other children in with them. The adults wisely all sat in deck chairs and stayed warm.

There were several restaurants within walk of the hotel or else we drove five minutes into town. The food was really good everywhere, hardly a disappointing meal. I had dessert most nights but usually shared with Jasmine. We bought some supplies and had breakfast in our rooms most days. Also plenty of snacks - like the Haagen-Dazs ice cream!

On the second day we drove back to the rainforest area and walked around the 1.3 km raised boardwalk, it wasn't very inspiring. Just scrubby Australian bushland in winter. We weren't far enough north for the pretty stuff. We went into town for lunch and walked along the shoreline, there was a long series of rocks painted by locals and/or tourists - often recording visits to the area. One had dates every year back to 1993.

Later the kids played on the beach opposite our hotel, sandcastles and gymnastics and paddling freezing feet in the ocean. I perched on one of the rocks and enjoyed the fresh sea air.

The third day started cloudy so we went to mini golf - the clouds cleared pretty quickly and I wished I'd taken my hat! Another bright sunny day.

I had slept really well the first night but then had two bad nights so had an awful headache. Tim thought it might be withdrawal (from Duromine/phentermine) but that didn't seem likely to me since it had been more than a week since I'd taken any. Wouldn't withdrawal happen sooner? I slept fine after that so it was only one bad/grumpy day. 

More beach play in the afternoon, and into town for dinner where we found this wall. My angel daughter:

Saturday was the only colder day, max of about 17C. In the chilly morning we had a good walk along the shore in town, and went to the two (very small) local art galleries. Many buildings had these weird graffitied koala statues in front of them - the rainforest walk had several. I checked the website and there are 62 in all, every one painted differently by a local artist as a sculpture project to celebrate the iconic Australian animal.

We thought about going horse riding, or to a movie, but ended up deciding to go whale watching in a boat. In terms of seeing whales up close, it was amazing. We zoomed out to where two 10-metre long humpback whales were dawdling along, they head north this time of year to warmer waters to have their babies before heading back to the chilly south for better feeding. One did some lovely water dancing for us.

Well, actually all the splashing was not for our benefit. The guide explained that all the breaching and tail slapping is by the females to summon the males. And it worked! In about 20 minutes we had six or seven arrive, with dolphins who apparently like to ride the bow waves in front of the whale's snouts (noses?), jostling for position. They were all around and under the boat. 

Unfortunately by that point Jasmine and I were in no position to enjoy or even watch what was going on. The sea wasn't particularly rough but it was a small boat (12 passengers) which rolled and yawed a lot as we putted along keeping alongside the whales, so by then Jasmine and I were both miserable with seasickness and making use of the bags provided. Urg. At least I had been ok for the first bit, I think poor Jasmine was slightly queasy right from the start and it just got worse and worse. She never got out of her seat. The last half hour was horrible for us both. 

Also it was freezing cold out on the open water, even in the heavy waterproof ponchos provided, and I was terrified when we were going fast to and from the whale area (I am not good with speed or heights/depths) especially when the driver put in a few extra zips and curves for fun. So overall I was very glad to get back to land! I felt ok as soon as my legs stopped trembling. At least Tim and Aiden had a great time. And we certainly saw some whales!

On our final morning we had breakfast at a café right on our beach.

Then we went back to a little tea shop where I'd fallen in love with this cute set the day before - you can't tell in the photo but it is impractically tiny - the teapot probably holds one normal cup full and the six cups each hold a mouthful! But fun for sipping the choc-mint tea we bought there. I just had to have it. There is a teeny goldfish in the bottom of each cup, revealed as you drink. I plan to bring it out as a joke, next time I serve visitors cups of tea. Or they might be a good size for nuts, blueberries or other small foods.

Finally the long drive home. It was a great holiday, but I do love home! And my own bed.

Tim is back at work today, the kids return to school tomorrow.

So this morning I weighed 73.2 kg - up 1.7 kg from last week. No surprise there! I did a lot of eating over the past week. Lots of walking, too, but not enough to offset the calories. I'm back on Duromine today, hopefully the break of over a week will help trigger a reset so it works for me again.

I received my TAFE transcript in the mail, it's not my actual Diploma but it says I've passed everything (which I knew of course) so at least I have proof I can show potential employers. Still hoping to hear from that 'perfect job' this week and get an interview.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Nightmares and hunger


So this Monday my weight was back up to 71.2 kg (same today), regaining what I lost the week before. I've been hovering around this same weight for about three months now. Definitely time to take a break from Duromine (phentermine). It's clearly not doing anything/much anymore - except maybe helping me maintain - and my body needs a break from the dry mouth and high blood pressure. If/when I start it again later hopefully it will work again. I'm not sure why my doctor is so keen for me to keep using it - expect for the maintenance - when at the moment the negatives seem to outweigh the positives. Duromine isn't magic, it's just an appetite suppressant, it's still probably doing that a bit but I often eat for reasons other than appetite!


My goodness Monday again already. Well this morning I weighed 71.5 kg, up a little. After a couple of days with no Duromine I definitely got a lot hungrier - actual hunger with my stomach making lots of grumbling noises - and I have been eating more. So I guess the pills were still suppressing my appetite before. It’s also the middle of winter which makes ‘comfort food’ more appealing. I’m hoping the hunger will settle down.

The other change is that my peri-menopausal night sweats and bad dreams started up again, as they always do when I stop Duromine. Better sleep was one of the best things about the medication. Usually without the Duromine I have one episode a night, three or four nights a week, where I have a weird frustrating dream and wake up drenched in sweat. And that happened Saturday night. But last night was so much worse. Really horrible bad dreams all night, usually they are just frustrating but these were everything from being scarily followed at night, fighting off aliens on a space ship with both sides getting heads blown off, having to deal with a really horrendous blocked overflowing toilet at my Grandma’s house, and finally my son getting dismembered in a car accident - that was so horrible. Seeing his arm lying on the road. I can deal with the hunger and no weight loss but these dreams made me want to go back on the pills! But my body seems to have a history of ‘catching up’ on all the missed night sweats whenever I stop Duromine, hopefully it won’t last. Does that mean my brain somehow ‘needs’ to process these dreams/thoughts as soon as the medication stops blocking them, just like my body wants to catch up on eating more?

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Too firm


The website for my TAFE now says my Diploma was 'published' on 30/06 and the transcription done 02/07 so I should receive it soon! I'm thinking about joining a recruitment agency, there are a couple that specialise in Library and Information Services, but was waiting to get my Diploma. And maybe I'll wait to see how the two jobs I've already applied for go. I know the first one has spoken to my referees. The second one (the one I super really want) closes for applications today, not sure how long they will take to review the applications and call for interviews. I should look back and see how long they took last year when I applied there for a Library Assistant job … ok they took about two weeks from when applications closed to let me know I didn't get an interview, they later called and offered casual work which I couldn't take because it was evening. So I should wait around two weeks before starting to wait anxiously for a call.


On Friday our new mattresses were delivered. Ours seems a lot firmer than it did in the showroom, and we aren’t thrilled about that. But I assume it will soften a bit with time (not too much!) It has a swap guarantee if you don’t like it, but they don’t let you swap in the first week, so they must be used to people panicking and sending mattresses back unnecessarily!

Tim’s and I were both sick during the week, but seem ok now. Main symptom was extreme fatigue. I’d sit down and not want to get up again for hours. But I felt all perky today and full of energy. I walked up to the shops with Jasmine to buy a few things, then we made dessert for tonight (lemon cheesecake). Family came over in the afternoon - and this week everyone came. House full of children! So loud but in a happy way. Most stayed for dinner (and cheesecake 😆). V knows I’m trying to lose weight and asked if Sundays are my ‘cheat’ day. I was too embarrassed to say I have lots of ‘cheat’ days! I only said that I prefer to call them ‘treat’ days instead.

V is a bit overweight herself, she was playing on the floor with the kids and Emma said ‘you look like you have a fat tummy’. She just laughed, but when Ping came in V said ‘your daughter just said I have a fat tummy’ and Ping said something like ‘oh sometimes she’s too honest!’ Honest?! I can see where little Emma gets her tact from!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018



When family came over on Sunday, I wasn’t doing dinner so it was just the boys for Dungeons and Dragons, but as usual my brother-in-law brought five-year-old Emma. It was clear she wasn’t her usual self. She lay on the lounge, coughing and whining for daddy, and watched TV for three hours. I was quite angry at Nick for bringing her when she was obviously sick - both for her sake and for ours - (of course I didn’t actually say anything to him, I avoid confrontation like the plague, or apparently even more than I avoid the plague) and guess what, now I’m sick. Not happy!

Oh well, I can’t argue with the timing. I got to enjoy my birthday.

Monday, July 2, 2018



Happy birthday to me! 48 today. I like to think of it as 'going up a level', i.e. gaining experience, wisdom, skills etc, not as losing something (youth).

Seeing the doctor on Friday seems to have reignited my enthusiasm for losing weight, and despite it being my birthday weekend with restaurant dinner (with cake) on Saturday night and people over in the afternoon (with snacks) yesterday, I have lost weight this week and I am down to 70.3 kg. That is an official loss of 1.3 kg but last Monday's weight was a blip and I consider it an actual loss of 0.8 kg (still awesome) from my long plateau of 71.1 kg. The thing with the treats was, I didn't overeat. I had 2/3 or less of my restaurant meal, half my slice of cake. A few snacks yesterday. I enjoyed what I ate and stopped when I was no longer enjoying it enough to justify the overfull stomach/gaining weight. That is true progress.

I exercised hard for an hour on Saturday, including lots of big arm movements, and yesterday my upper back muscles were very sore! I felt quite proud of myself.

We went shopping for new mattresses for everyone yesterday morning. Our current ones are all pretty old, and Aiden had a few night-time accidents when he was younger... I did research online first to narrow down the choices and find End Of Financial Year sales, so we only went to one store and lay on a few beds instead of traipsing around all day. It will be a couple of weeks before they are delivered. Exciting!

Birthdays in this house always start with everyone piling into the big bed so the birthday person can open her/his presents. Because it was a work/school day, that was it for the morning, everyone had to leave. I made my own bacon and orange juice. I don't usually drink juice, or anything other than water and tea, but freshly squeezed is so good! Perfect for a special occasion. Then I faffed around on the Internet for a while instead of exercising, before going out.

I had thought of buying myself a new handbag, but the only ones I really liked were around $500! Maybe that is normal, I’m not really a handbag connoisseur (I own two, one big one small) but I couldn’t justify it to myself considering I don’t actually need a new one. When I do get one, I want something with a bit of personality. Regardless, I had a good time wandering around looking. I did buy a couple of books and some little pastries to share at home. I had a light lunch - anticipating afternoon tea with the kids and dessert tonight.

Oh, one thing I did that I got a lot of pleasure from, I went to the Lindt chocolate shop and chose myself some chocolates. They have a big display with bowls of all the different flavours of truffle balls and other individually wrapped treats. You can purchase by weight, or you can fill a gift box as full as you can get as long as the lid still closes and stays on, and the gift boxes were on special. I spent quite a long time carefully filling the littlest gift box with mathematical precision - I weighed it when I got home and I did very well! With the discount, I paid a third what I would have by weight. I haven’t eaten any yet, I just like gloating over them.

We already went out to dinner on Sat, so we’ll have one of my favourite dinners at home tonight and a quiet night in where it’s warm. It has just started raining so I think that was a good choice!

I got an email from the librarian who interviewed me a couple of weeks ago, asking me for my referee contact details. So that is a good sign, I am obviously still among the contenders. Hopefully a part time position will become available.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Birthday dinner


I did an hour of sweaty dance exercise this morning - and was tired the rest of the day! But I’m glad I got my body moving. I planned to do half an hour, but I was trying to get five stars in a new song and I couldn’t give up until I got it. I was so close every time - six or seven attempts in a row! I kept thinking I’d get those extra points next try.

It will be my birthday on Monday, so we went out to dinner with the family tonight. The Mediterranean food was really nice, and Ping brought a lovely chocolate cake. But a gift bag with a bottle of Limoncello (lemon liquor, I don’t know why people keep giving me alcohol I hardly ever drink!) got knocked over on the tile floor. I didn’t realise it was broken until I saw the liquid gushing out all over the floor. Both slippery and sticky! The wait-staff mopped it up for me, and took away the bag of broken glass.

I wore a special-occasion winter dress that I’ve only worn two or three times since I bought it about five years ago, but I think it might need to be retired. It was a bit loose and kept slipping off my shoulders. It’s funny how the clothes I thought most flattering when I was bigger now don’t make me look so good! But it’s all relative - I still look better now in a baggy dress than I did then in a well-fitting dress. I like being thinner!

Thursday, June 28, 2018



I put that job application in, and now I'm trying not to stress about it too much. I really hope I get an interview.

I saw my doctor this morning. My blood pressure is not too bad 130/something (still not ideal, but lower than it was) so I got another script for Duromine (phentermine). But I've been plateauing at around 71.1 kg for about 10 weeks now, so we talked about some strategies to get the weight loss started again. Like reducing snack portion size, and walking with weights. I've never tried that, I feel it might be a bit annoying to carry weights, arms swinging, while trying to enjoy a walk. But I'll give it a go. My main issues are that the food portion sizes and eating when I'm not hungry have crept in again.

Another thing I've never tried before - today I got laser hair removal on my underarms. The first of 8-10 monthly sessions, assuming I don't react badly. It hurt much less than waxing! Little hot jabs as each hair was vaporised. Very quick, she just ran the thing back and forth over my skin - didn't need to do individual hairs like I was expecting. It's a small area so it's ideal to try it out. Imagine having smooth armpits forever! It's around the same price per session, but after the full course I should never need it again so it works out much cheaper really.