Writers Block

I have not written in a while mainly because life got in the way…

New jobs (2 to be exact), a trip home, a trip to Ireland, friends got married and one visitor from home. Its been a crazy half a year. I am finally settled into my role at work and slowly gaining my me time back.

I worked hard at developing some great habits of self care and being present (mindfulness). I have let them all go the last couple of months. I am slowly building it all back up. Over the next few months I really want to put my time back into my exercise and mindfulness. A lot of my energy goes into work and will continue to but I need to make sure I take that step back so I do perform well at my day job.

Do you ever feel sometimes life takes a hold of you ?

Goals for September:

  • Keep writing, even if no one is reading it it really helps me unwind after a long day
  • Exercise more often, I have already signed up for a PT session once a week
  • Get back out more in the outdoors and take the camera
  • No phone before bed, try reading instead
  • Get into work earlier, usually can get a bit more done if I am in earlier
  • To not stress the small stuff and just work on focus

Werk It

Earlier this year I decided to move on from a company I loved to work for. The ladies on my team were a extended part of my Australian family. I felt like I had exhausted my role and it was time to leave. It was a scary and tough decision to make. Over the last two months I have really learnt a lot about myself and how brutal the working world can be.

I took a job in a smaller company as I wanted to experience a smaller working environment. I did feel confident and took charge of my role straight away which was really reassuring. What I was not prepared for was the office politics in this business. The stories I was hearing were unbelievable and I don’t know if everything was true as I know there are always two sides to every story. It was clear to me though the management in my department was just non existent. You felt completely unsupported in a very messy business and just more and more mess was always developing.

I started to watch the clock on Sunday and count down the hours until I had to go to bed and then the hours until I had to get up. I stopped exercising, getting out of bed was the hardest thing to do and my mediation just went out the window. I didn’t realize how lucky I had been in my old company for 3 years. I never ever had a awful dread in the pit of my stomach every night before bed, but I did now. I did have a lot of tears but MK gave me some tough love saying if I am that miserable you have to sort it out….so I did.

The week before we went home for our 3 week holiday I updated my CV, contacted every recruiter in my area of work I knew and started to apply for jobs online. This week was crazy I had two job interviews during the week then I had 3 rounds with one company the morning I left to go home. I literally got back from my morning of interviews came home got changed gave MK a kiss and grabbed my suit case and was straight to the airport, it was such a blur. I was feeling better though cos I was working on changing my future. I landed in Doha to a email saying I had got the job I wanted. I could not be happier to start my holiday knowing I was not going back to such a toxic office.

Lessons I learnt from the past few months:

  1. Do research (lots of it) on the company you are going to interview for
  2. Make sure the person leading the interview will be the manager you report into
  3. Don’t feel pressure from recruiters and use ones you know and trust
  4. Be confident in what you know – I realized I know more then what I thought
  5. Believe in yourself and take control of your future
  6. Personally I am more suited to Global structures

Blue Mountains Ruined Castle

Over the July long weekend we stayed in Sydney to save some pennies and to do a hike. As you all well know we are training for base camp trek in September. We have already done a few hikes over the past few months. The hike we did this weekend was to the Ruined Castle via The Golden Staircase.

The hike is located in the Blue Mountains just outside of Katoomba. You can actually hike to the Ruined Castle from Katoomba. We started from the Gold Case Staircase car park. It took a hour and  half to drive to the starting location. Setting off a bit later then planned in the morning  the car park was full when we arrived. We ended up parking up the road about 1KM from the carpark. The road down to the carpark is very bumpy and has huge pot holes I would not take a low car down this track, we saw a few people struggling with their cars. The weather was suppose to be dry during the day… do not do this walk in wet weather with the steep inclines it gets slippy.  Be careful and please read all the information provided on the NSW National Park website (link at the bottom of this blog). It had rained the day before making the ground still a bit wet.

The start of the walk takes you 800M down the Gold Staircase. This path is steep and has steep inclines and steps to tackle. There is a railing around most of it but there are parts without so please be careful. MK did slip on our way down as one of the rocks was slippy but luckily he didn’t slide anywhere. The views as you go down are beautiful ,I didn’t get my camera out as I was to busy looking where my feet where going. Once at the bottom of that section you walk 3.5 KM to Ruined Castle. This is a easy path its flat most of the way and no sheer drops. It goes through a rainforest type environment, it looks like how you would picture a enchanted forest as a child. When you reach the Ruined Castle camp site there is a toilet. After the campsite its a 600M steep incline up to the Ruined Castle Rock. There were lots of walkers on this path and on top of the rock . The rock was extremely busy with people having there lunch.

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We completed 10KM in 3 hours but I would advise 4/5 hours as we did not stop for lunch and were rushing to get back. Lucky for us as we got back to the car the heavens opened, so we missed the downfall. If you are a experienced hiker and good with heights you would enjoy this walk for sure. Below is the link to all the official information you need to complete this hike.

Hiking is getting easier for us and our legs are not hurting the next day either which is a great sign. Our hiking boots are getting warn in and no blisters which is another good sign. I have a fear of heights and I have been working to conquer this and control my fear. If you read the Mt Kosciusko blog you will know I froze when I had to climb over a snow bank…well I made sure on this hike I fought through all my fears and had no wobbly legs. I am extremely happy with how I handled myself on this hike as I was way out of my comfort zone height wise but kept a good strong grip on my fear.

information on the walk CLICK HERE

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What to do this weekend (Queens Long Weekend 2018)?

One plus to living in Sydney is there is never a long weekend to far away. The June long weekend for the Queen’s Birthday (we don’t even have this off in England) is just around the corner. I am staying in Sydney for this long week… I decided to put a list of some of my favorite things on this weekend.

Vivid: The light festival is still going over the long weekend. The bridge, the opera house, circular quay, the rocks, the botanical gardens and even more will be lit up with huge displays. Take a night to wrap and wonder around. Also have a go on the hands on exhibits in the rocks.

China Town: The China Town markets are on the Friday night. Go for dinner in one of the great restaurants and if you are feeling brave try out one of the karaoke rooms in China town. Recommendation for food would be the Noodle King.

Lunar Park: Go and be a big kid at the theme park on the harbor. Looking over the lights of vivid as you go on the Ferris wheel or play in the big fun house. There are the old fairground games as well if you are feeling lucky and want to win a big stuffed animal. There are lots of places to grab something to eat as well.

Cockatoo Island: It is your last chance to catch the 21st Beinnale of Sydney art festival. Catch the ferry over and wonder around the exhibits before having a hot drink taking in the city skyline views. There is a really clever mirror exhibit which is very trippy.

Watsons Bay Hotel: This long weekend the famous hotel is holding a Rose brunch. Grab a few of your girlfriends and head over to watch a winter sunset while sipping on some Frose.  Brunch and bottomless rose for two hours….a great way to spend afternoon with the ladies.

Merivale Bars: For all of June Merivale are offering 49% off drinks every day between 5PM-7PM. Check out their website to see were your closest bar is!

Newtown Chili Festival: The event is being held in The Bank. The day will consist of chill BBQ’s, chill cocktails and a chili eating contest. If you think you are brave enough. You will be warmed up that day for sure with all the chili activities planned.

Farmers Market: Inner West has a new farmers market. There will obviously be delicious food on offer throughout the market but they will have live music playing as well. The market has a pasta making demonstration this weekend. They run every Sunday 8AM -2PM and all of the market is under shelter.

Blue Mountains: Hiking in winter is possible. Jump in the care and head up to the mountains to do a bit of hiking. Some great trails to look up would be the Grand Canyon Loop and the Ruined Castle hike. Always prepare for hikes and make sure someone knows where you are heading and don’t hike alone.

To Ski or Not to Ski

Taking a break from Nepal blogs this week and decided to talk about snow.

Winter hit this weekend, the sweat pants came out and the summer wardrobe was packed away. Not going to lie, it was very nice leaving the house Saturday night not in a ball of sweat from blow drying and straighten my hair in 34 degree heat.

Only 5 hours from Sydney in the Snowy Mountains they have already received there first sprinkling of SNOW! I have been skiing twice in Australia and both times it has been with the same company…Oz Snow. Both times have been such a blast. Its a great weekend with friends and minimal organisation on your part.

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This year we have friends going again and its so hard to say no…but we have to do some hikes and think about our month off in Nepal. It is amazing how hard a two lettered word can be …no! Personally I know I could go but then later down the line I would really be struggling to hit my goals money wise before we head out in September. It is a no ski zone for us this year. We both would really love to go to New Zealand but we have no holiday for a while, so that will have to be a trip we do in the future.

Link to my to blog on my Ski Trip 2016.

Never fear we might be seeing snow in a few weeks. We have booked our weekend to Jindabyne at the end of May. We are hoping the weather isn’t to bad and we can complete the 20KM Mt Kosciusko hike. The original plan was to go up on the June long weekend but that is the opening weekend of Ski season and accommodation was pricey to say we were not skiing. By bringing the trip a few weeks forward we have saved over half on accommodation. Full blog of our weekend in the Snowy Mountains will be up a week after our trip. I am actually excited to experience the other side to Jindabyne, see what it has to offer and to get a decent mileage hike complete.

Snow boots out, winter jacket and woolly hats at the ready!

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Nepal Health

Last year I wrote a few blogs about me loosing weight and how I was trying my best to be healthier. The posts kind of died out because my weight just stayed the same and did not move. Even when I gave up booze for a month my weight did not budge. At the start of this year after we booked Nepal I started to work out a lot and still was seeing no results. I thought I was going mad and people would think I am not really trying…but I was. It was really knocking my confidence.

I finally went to the doctors in March and had my bloods done. Everything came back fine which is good but still no answer on why my weight was the same. The doctor explained to me I might have over stretched my stomach ( sorry not the best visual) and a way to get it to shrink would be to go on a Low Calorie Diet using Optifast. Basically I have two Optifast shakes a day, a piece of fruit, one small coffee, water and a 400 calorie meal. Optifast have a range of low calorie shakes, soups and deserts for you to pick from. I have had the chicken soup which I love and it breaks up having two shakes a day. With the shakes I have had the coffee, mocha and chocolate flavor. In all honesty they taste the same very chocolaty. I think the key to doing the diet well is just becoming organised…always have your shakes on you and water to keep you going through the day. It soon becomes habit.

The hard parts for me are working in a office there is always a biscuit tin or a cake floating around but having Nepal as my goal and thinking about that is helping me resist temptations. I also talk to Mum once a week about our diets (she is also on a health kick) and we give each other support to keep going. It really does help having that open conversation because when you have a weak moment one comment from someone can just keep you on the right track.

This diet at first sounded impossible but I was determined to do it and to get myself ready for Nepal (also to just be healthier for the future).  I have given up drink until Nepal and eating out as lets face it not much room for booze and takeaways in a 400 calorie meal.

I am now 3 weeks in and have shifted some weight which has given me such a confidence boost in myself taking on Nepal in September. The first week was the toughest for sure. I didn’t have much energy and food just seemed to be everywhere. Once I had my routine down with the shakes it became easier and easier. I have told my friends about the new diet I am on and how I cant drink and they have all been great. My friends, family, work team and MK have been so supportive with it big thanks to all of them! Especially MK as he has to deal my hanger sometimes …

Over the last three weeks I have seen my mind set with food change. It has shifted from constantly craving it to seeing it as just something I have to do during the day like a task. I have also gone from working out 2-3 times a week to 4-5 times a week, focusing on my stamina. I am doing a 7KM walk twice a week and swimming up to 2KM twice a week. On the weekend we have started to do our hikes as well. I feel like I have more motivation and I am sleeping better. On a weekend I have no hangovers to deal with and my bank account is looking great. I think I spent about 80% of my money on food and drink! Now I have more money to buy things or put towards Nepal.

I have taken the lead and organised a few things with friends which don’t revolve around food and drink. Date night has changed to we are getting out into Sydney and doing things we haven’t experienced yet. I think I will be discovering a whole new side to living in Sydney.

Being open about what I am doing with my friends has been great and talking with girlfriends about all the body hang ups we have makes me realize everyone is going through a similar thing. I watched the movie ‘I Feel Pretty’ and its a great movie. I think every women in the world has felt like Amy Schumer does in the opening scene.

I am sharing the journey of me getting ready for Nepal but I really wanted to share this side of the journey as well because I just feel so many of us are trying to loose weight and are not seeing the results. Don’t give up and if you are not seeing results go to the doctors, see if they can help you find a way to lose weight and become healthier. I will update on my progress with Optifast in a month.

If anyone has any questions on Optifast or just wants to have a chinwag about weight and being a woman just send me a message. Lets support each other and not bring each other down!

Nepal Booked!

This year MK and I decided to not go home but to go on a trip. We both work full time so the maximum time we could get off was a month. Our work have given us both a month off in September…now we just had to decide on a destination.

I am 30 MK is 30 this year and we both had one thing in common on our 30th Bucket List…to do Everest Base Camp Trek. In September we will both be 30 and will be spending a full month in Nepal and yes you guessed it… we will be doing the Everest Base Camp Trek.

The next step was to find a company to book the trek with. There are around 75 companies which offer the trek. I found it extremely overwhelming and had been warned not to trust Trip Adviser when it came to reviews (apparently a lot of the reviews are from staff members). I turned to a few friends and family who have already been on the trip for recommendations and read a few travel blogs on what to look out for when booking with a company. It did cross our minds for a few seconds to do the trek on our own but as we are not experience hikers we decided against that option. In the blog posts I read I was shocked at how much of the money from this business never made it in to Nepalese hands. I also got a few tips on what should be in the trips itinerary and to check to make sure the company is a registered trekking company in Nepal. I decided that we would use a Nepalese company. I would recommend reading a lot of blogs so you feel confident in what you want out of your experience. I found AME Treks (Adventure Mountain Explore) online and found there Facebook page. To make sure their reviews where honest and true I actually messaged a few people from the Facebook page and had a chat with them about there experience with the company. Everyone had great things to say about AME Treks so I sent them off a email. After a few email exchanges and a look at the detailed 15 day trek itinerary we paid the deposit and locked in the trek. We are now 4 months out from this epic challenge and over the next 4 months I will continue to blog on how we are preparing. Along with the trek we plan on doing Safari in Nepal and traveling around to a few places. I have just started to look at what we can fit in and where we can stay.

This for me will be the biggest challenge I have set myself mentally and physically. I am not slim or that fit but I have been working on myself the past month and will continue to work on myself to make sure I am the best version of myself on that mountain. Over the next few months I will blog on how we are affording the trip, what we are buying and how our training is going. Its such a exciting time / nerve racking time. I know we can do this and achieve out goal of reaching the Base Camp.