Monthly Archives: October 2010

Knee Jerk Reaction


I’m yet to meet an adult that doesn’t cringe with the memories of their adolescence, regardless of how enlightened their parents were in dealing with their intrapsychic conflict (yes, I’ve obviously thought about this before). I was a rather gregarious teenager when it suited me but I also I suffered from what seems to be the unavoidable feelings of inadequacy that tend to go hand in hand with the period.

I maintain fiercely that adolescence is the most horrific time in ones life, only to be remembered fondly in later years with sentimental notions of skinny dipping in creeks and innocent kisses behind sheds. In reality, what we tend to forget is the girl in the year above yelling “Mooooooo!” and we disrobe and the boy of our dreams coaxing us behind the shed to laugh an “In Your Dreams!” in our face. But don’t pull out the tissue box on my behalf, scrape back the layers a little and I assure you, they’ll be something there for you too. Or better yet, just ask a sibling – they’re programmed to remember your most embarrassing moments!

So it was all this that came flooding back to me, in an unpredictable way when I was at the gym today. Having joined for the sheer fact that I would be amongst fellow “granny-knicker” wearers, I was shocked when faced with a demographic I had not accounted for when joining…the private schoolgirl!

Having not yet successfully evolved into true womanhood, I don’t find myself always able to look on with enough distance for these girls not to bother me. Instead of looking on with a “gee, I’m glad that’s over” sentiment, I found myself today wanting to hide inside the machine I was at that time straddling.

For some reason I haven’t yet understood, I perceive the fake tans, long nails and perfectly tinted hair as a personal attack. Perhaps I’m waiting for them to pull my school dress up as I bend over to fix my shoe.

I should at this time clarify that I wasn’t a bullied schoolgirl, and shamefully probably straddled the line of the bully myself. And maybe that’s why I’m afraid of girls, because I know that if I was capable of producing a “hey you” instead of addressing someone by their name, perhaps someone with a more compromised constitution could do worse to me now.

Perhaps all this is why I hurt my back today. Within three minutes, I let a 14 years old resembling a Whippet coax me into a rather enthusiastic knee-kick-with-hip-twist scenario, fuelled by the beat of Mamma Mia playing loudly from the speakers.

As the Mamma’s and the Mia’s blared out at a steady pace, the increased panting on the station across the room, propelled me into a double beat of kicking and twisting which I’m sure resembled a chubby woman trying to simultaneously stuff herself into a too-tight pair of jeans with matching turtleneck.

I’ve been on the couch, albeit laptop on lap, since my completely one sided showdown, wondering once more how on earth I got myself into this situation. You know, the one where I have all this blubber on rather important womanly bits that just won’t seem to go. Perhaps I should just end it all, throw in the bucket and declare myself “curvaceous, womanly, with more to hang onto”. Hmmmm…

Either way, perhaps a mixed and testosterone fuelled work out environment might have been a better choice. At least then, I wouldn’t hurt myself trying to compete.

Woman of My Dreams


A sneaky stop in an undisclosed suburb miles from home to get hot chips, a drive to the servo for an out of date ice cream, mindless nibbles on parmesan cheese and a blatant refusal to go to gym. Oh yeah, my back hurts, shouldn’t lift anything…

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of Florence Nightingale behaviour, so much so my sister has taken to calling me Florrie. Whilst I have neglected others (namely myself), I’ve been a flurry of activity helping family work, play and give birth.

Needless to say that no one could possibly help anyone in labour but some dashes to and from the hospital definitely left me feeling like I was helping or at least a little bit in control, in a completely out of control situation.

I truly love nothing more than to show the people I love, I care about them. Being of the school of thought that true altruism simply doesn’t exist, I suppose it’s because it makes me feel good about myself; that I am that sort of human being.

But while I’ve tried to control what’s going on around me, I’ve completely lost control myself. Anyone who has read these pages before knows of the instrinsic struggles of mental health problems and a gammy set of ovaries. For that reason, whilst completely in awe of what my sister just did and the gorgeous creation she brought into the world, I’ve experienced involuntary heart jerking.

In fact, the other night I experienced the classic signs of a heart attack – pain radiating into the jaw, a pressure in my chest, and pain in both arms. I went as far as to ask the toolman to call the ambulance but used to his wife’s hysterical nature, a sideward glance from him brought me back to reality.

Ah yes, now I recognised it, I’ve been there before – a feverish emotion-riddled heart strangulation. Did anyone say hysterical?

Sometimes my ol’ cogs turn slowly. Only after consuming all the above morsels with angered enthusiasm, I realised the wheels had officially fallen off. And so today I practiced weight loss 101 and channelled the woman of my dreams; the woman I often dream I will be tomorrow.

You see, I believe there is a secret phenomenon going on all around the world, in the darkness of night, with big girls everywhere. As your head hits the pillow, for the average seven minutes it takes to fall asleep, I suspect these women everywhere fantasise about the next day and how it will change. How they’ll look walking the block, how they’ll look by Christmas and for me, as always, how bouncy and healthy my hair will look (ok, ok, it’s my thing alright)!

Even though my hair looked dry and flat today at the supermarket, I loaded up on all the things I know I need and at home, organised my cupboard and fridge like all good slimmers should. Dry roasted veggies and cut up fruit are in containers in the fridge*, with the hope that they’ll tempt me away from what in the end will only kill me.

And while that heart has tried to close just a little bit again today, I’ve slapped it open. Because that’s the only way love is going to get out…and create the woman of my dreams.

*International Jet Setter Challotte: all containers are recyclable and reusable, no I’m not addicted to one time plastic.