Monthly Archives: January 2011



I have just watched Glee, new series and I can say unabashedly that I LOVED it. Lots of great songs – from Evita to Train to Amy Whitehouse and Florence and the Machine. And so tongue in cheek as well. Though Rachel makes me cringe a bit.

I also watched the Biggest Loser last night – I suspect the contestants played up some of the bad eating, but people actually actually eat that amount of shit. It was sad about the lady who had the heroin addict father who used to send her out for $2 worth of chips because they didn’t have much money (the poverty/chips part bore similarity to periods of my childhood, but happily Mum wasn’t a heroin addict). What was even sadder was the barely contained …. I dunno….discomfort of the Commando. He aint no therapist. A bit cruel putting the girls with him.

Still – he is a bit of eye candy, I feel more so that Shannan 😛

I confess I laughed a bit when Tiffiny (that is how it’s spelled) cried after her binge…….FFS it isn’t arsenic, lady!

I have a soft spot for Michelle though, she seems the most genuine. I have met her in Person (Kathryn will attest) at a Women’s Health shindig.

Today, I stayed in, with the heat. I went for an easy cardio workout / weights  today. Then I hired some DVDs – Easy A (really good, actually) and Amelie (which I have not seen before but apparently it is quite uplifting).

I sorted out the work situation with my new boss and the Prof, so everybody is happy, and I can stop worrying about making everybody happy. More importantly, I am happy with the situation.

I have been able to wake up and get out of bed at around 7am/7:30, which was a near impossibility a couple of weeks ago.

My mood is good, even though I am Pee Em Essing – I am craving carbs – after dinner I had strawberry cider and some Valrhona chocolates that I had since Christmas, unopened. I did not even eat all of them. I am not feeling guilty about it either – I had smoked tofu and vegies on rye bread for lunch (a bit yurky, to tell the truth). I hope I have eaten all the cravings away!

Tomorrow, I think a swim is in order, my knee is a bit dicky at the moment.

P.S. I have had go in and out of my mind a few times the thought of doing a triathlon. I have a bike (though don’t ride it much), I can swim (not very fast) and can run (ditto)…any tips?

Comfy run.


I got up at 0730 this morning, go me (especially good after getting to bed at midnight). After brekky and some quality pissfarting around, I got out for my run at about 9:15am.

I took Louise and Em’s advice and did not take the garmin, just a wristwatch. My only goal was to run for the duration of my playlist, about an hour and 6 minutes. Given that it was hot and my ITB was tight, I let myself drink and stretch as much as I needed to.

It was quite nice out at Princes Park, lots of runners out before the heat of the day. There was also a breeze which I was grateful for, but that may have slowed me down a bit. There was lots of shade.

My pace was really comfy, easy on the legs and breathing.

All up 1 did the trip to prinny plus 2 and a bit laps of prinny, probably about 7.5 km including loo, drink and stretch stops. It felt good, and I probably had another lap of prinny in the heart and legs, though it was getting a bit too hot for it. After, I went food shopping and went home and gave my ITB/butts a good flog with the foam roller and had a good stretch.

GOOD ON ME for getting out there. (And good on the TW girls for being out walking today- 6am start, I heard from Sara).

I should well and truly be good for QOTL next week, hopefully it is not as hot. The plan is to go out easy and pick it up in the last 5 km. A PB may not be out of the question, but I will just do my best rather than putting pressure on myself.

Hubby, formerly very recalcitrant about exercise, has been very keen about going out walking and taking the dog recently. He is actually trying to pick up his exercise. He went for a walk with the dog this morning, poor little things came back very hot, particularly the dog. She had to be dragged out for some water to drink. Staffies don’t much like the heat.

Am feeling good today – worries settling.

Some random thoughts (mostly positive).

  • Our dog Candy is bringer of joy to everyone – me, Ian, the hopeless drunks out front of the Edinburgh Castle Hotel, staff and people walking past cafes where we all have breakfast. A whole bunch of little kids came to pat her out on a walk, and she patiently sat, panting, even when a naughty little boy kept trying to hit her (fully deserving of a bite from the dog, I felt). She is the best dog ever.
  • I am feeling better
  • I want Andy Murray and Li Na to win the Aus open – time for the UK and China to have their time in the sun.
  • Ironic that the US is a major supporter of Hosni Mubarak – Democracy and human rights are clearly only important when they serve America’s purposes.
  • Another week off next week – may do some drawing and cleaning out my closet/study. Plus must get handover from people about upcoming jobs.
  • I am feeling stronger, the proper Sassy is starting to rrrooooarrr again. Then it will be a RRROOAAAARRRR.
  • I am loving Sia’s “We are born” album- was in the city and her songs were playing everywhere. Very upbeat.
  • I fully recommend Milkwood cafe in Brunswick – small cafe, but friendly staff, great food and coffee. They even gave the dog a bucket of water to drink from. Two non-opposable thumbs up from Candy dog.
  • Am reading a book called “Birds Without Wings” by Louis de Bernieres. Slow to start but am getting into it.
  • I am feeling more capable.
  • I have been avoiding the inside of the gym – mostly walking and running. My ankle is a bit sore, but doesn’t give me any trouble while actually running, only after.
  • My sleep is still a bit disturbed – drug side effect, probably. I need to start getting into the habit of getting up at work times (ie 6:30/7am) instead of sleeping in. This coming week, hopefully I will try and right my sleep.
  • I feel a bit anxious and fidgety – drug side effect
  • I feel less guilt and shame (and dare I say it, hopeless) – also drug side effects.
  • I would like to go for a run tomorrow, but it will be 40 degrees……. should I get up early? Don’t think I can do an hour on the dreadmill.
  • Why is there only crap on telly nowadays? I can’t stand it. Though the upcoming “Biggest Loser” series is alluring in a train wreck kind of manner, should be amusing to see the trainers noshing up on things other than egg whites, chicken breasts and greens.
  • HOW THE FUCK is Snooki famous? (Though surprised to read that she was studying to be a Vet.
  • We went out last night for my brother’s girlfriend’s birthday. Quite nice pizzas for central Lygon st! And there is a nutella pizza. Lots of very self-assured young Law students who know everything (Kat is a Law student). They are super fashion forward and own designer handbags and shoes bought at full price! And How? (they max out their credit cards)
  • I really don’t mind paying the Flood Levy. Really. We pay taxes for little things like hospitals, education and welfare. It is good if helping out our fellow Aussies is not just discretionary.
  • High school 15 year reunion in October. Should I go?
  • If Philippa is reading this, hurry up and post your training logs! I wanna read it, girl (and miss you babe!)
  • Tony Abbott, as usual, SHUTTUP!
  • My thoughts are with Alicia – I think I mentioned her in a previous post. She had cancer and reading between the lines on her FB status, it would appear that she has metastases in her brain, as she is having seizures. She may not have very long to live. God/Allah/Buddha bless her. If there is a heaven, may she find paradise there.

Four seasons in a day.


I woke up at 4 o’clock this morning, got up and had a read, then went back to bed. Had to be up by 0730 to meet the prof, my PhD supervisor.

Met him and told him about my job. He cracked it a bit, saying that I should not be doing  “so much work” (I am doing 3 sessions, taking a pay cut from my current job). He did the “I ate gravel for breakfast, you should too” line, and implied (but not said) that I should be devoting myself entirely to the PhD.

I explained my situation (the small matter of the mortgage, the fact that I did not get a scholarship etc). He settled down a bit. I was glad I was able to stand my ground. He backed off a bit, just “claiming” me for Thursday morning. In the end, he agreed to it, and the meeting ended on a positive note, stating that he was “very excited” about my project.

Even though he settled down, I was still very stirred up – I do not deal with these confrontations well psychologically, particularly in my current state. I also had a bit of a panic about whether I could actually mix the work and the PhD. I went home, had a sulk, had a cry, then had a nap – I was tired from my early morning waking.

Woke up and felt a bit beter. I even braved running group. It is the first time in nearly 2 years that I have done running group.

The advanced and beginners group was amalgamated, and only 3 people rocked up including me. I was upfront about my slowness. We jogged to the park – a warm up pace for the others was a good-going pace for me!

We then did a Mona Fartlek – 2x 90 seconds fast then slow, 2x 60 seconds fast then slow, 4x 30 secs fast then slow, 4×15 secs fast then slow. Yeow, it was hard, but I did not walk.

Then we caught our breath and did a lap around the park – 1km in 6:47 – not bad, given my legs weren’t fresh.

I felt a lot better after the run. I even had a moment of clarity – I realised that the prof needs me more than I need him – as far as I know, I am the only one with a medical background (as opposed to a science degree) doing a PhD with him, therefore the only one doing clinical research, and he is trying to get his centre established as a centre for excellence (involves getting more$$$) for which my (all clinical) research is a part of the plan. I also need to keep my skills up – first and foremost, I see patients, and taking me away from that would be like clipping my doctor-y wings.

I hope I wake up feeling better tomorrow, ideally not at 4am.


The Minx Effect.


When get down like this, one of the things that I want to do is escape, to be somebody or somewhere else.

It sounds odd.

As I start feeling better, I am finding different ways of escapism, being me but not being me.

One word: Coiffure.

I usually am very control-freaky about my hair, having suffered a number of bad haircuts in my uni days. However, with my usual hairdresser buggered off to Canberra, I went to the local salon, Lady Lola. This, for me, is throwing caution to the wind.

I wanted a hairstyle that said “saucy minx”. Inspired by an article I recently read on Florence Welch, hot ginga of Florence and the Machine, I picked the brightest red colour that my medium brown could carry off. In the light, it looks cherry red. I feel like a new woman.

I got home, put some smoky eye make up on (more minx) and I sashayed off into the city to meet a friend for dinner. More wiggle in my walk. We went to the European Bier Cafe as I had a hankering for fruit beer (had it in England, very much a girl’s drink). I had that and some very average fish and chips which I did not finish (new woman again).

My friend stopped for an icecream for afters, but I didn’t fancy any of the flavours, so went without. It was a tad uncomfortable – usually when I do a less nutritious dinner, I like to do it all out and have a grotty dessert as well (but BAZINGA new woman). I thought, no, I am going out for a pic-a-nic tomorrow and I don’t need the sweets tonight. Plus I don’t want to do what I usually do and sabotage my weight loss.

I caught the tram home, on the way passing the indoor rock climbing place. I might give it a go next week. Anyone wanna come? I am shit scared of heights. More throwing caution to the wind. I am having a bit of a fuckit/reckless period.

The drugs are starting to kick in. I can think properly. I can get out of bed without too much difficulty. Motivation – the first thing that classically improves with the drugs. Mood is starting to follow. I still have my very low periods, but they are a bit less frequent.

Chasing it away.


I went for a run today – inspired by Philippa and the comments from Louise and Em. Though I did take the watch- I wanted to see what my pace would be with a few kilos off me; alas it was a little quicker.

I was a bit bored shitless after a lap of prinny, so I went and did a couple of hill repeats. I did the whole hill (not just the steepest part; the whole hill is about 400 metres long).

I had a mini-revelation.

When I am huffing and puffing and about to spew and just trying to put one foot in front of the other, it pushes all other feelings out of my head. No guilt, no shame, no dread. It is meditative, really. When I am just slogging it out, my mind can wander to negative thoughts, though today, I was thinking poetic/ slightly cliched things like “every stride, I am stronger”, or “I feel as tall as that tree over there, or even that big gum over there”.

I will try to get to run squad on Thursday evening – running with a group will be good, and the push I need.

I just have to take care of my ankle, it gave me a bit of gip at the beginning of the run but settled down. I think treadmill running strains my ankle more than running outdoors. I am icing it as I type.

Ok – hedonistic list:

Sat: went out to dinner at friends house, like a class of 2002 med school reunion. Was good to see everybody. I felt ok around others.

Sun: Did yoga class and was really, really tired afterwards. She works us hard and I probably dehydrate a bit more than I think; it gets humid in the room and I get a good sweat going. Had a nap. Then hubby and I went out to dinner at Grill’d and had the best hamburger ever, then went to the Nova to see Black Swan, which is essentially chronicles a talented ballerina’s descent into madness. I enjoyed it. Hubby hated it, said it was too much like his work.

Today: Run. Spaghetti on toast afterwards – tinned spaghetti rocks. Bought myself a freddo frog at the supermarket and did not devour it on the way home as I would usually do. Now I will shower up and do some things that I have been procrastinating about that need to be done.

Whoa. Time. Out.


I have been a bit quiet lately.

I have been given (ok told to take) two weeks off work by my headshrinker, which effectively brings me to the end of my term. Things have not been going so well on the mental health front, without further details. Thank God almighty for paid sick leave.

At first, I felt like a bit of a retard (actually “fucktard” was what I thought – that is a rather harsh thing to say to myself). Then I thought “great, goal oriented activity!” Time to get the house spotless, everything organised, exercise every day and such.

Then Ian said “Cilla, you are not well, I don’t care if the house is clean or dinner is cooked, I will help you with the housework. You just need to get well”.

That’s my goal. To get well. Better an inauspicious end to being a trainee than an inauspicious start to being a consultant.

Anhedonia, or inability to enjoy things, is a cardinal symptom of depression, and I have been hit hard with the anhedonia stick. Time for some healthy hedonism. Without the guilt (also a symptom of depression).

The house is quite messy, but I will get to it later, with vintage Britney.

Ok, onto the healthy hedonism.

Yesterday, my mum came around. We played scrabble. She thrashed me. Then she had to go to work, so I wandered into the city. I went to Earl canteen, which is basically a fancy sandwich bar/macaroon-erie. Then I went to the new Myer, all poshed up and looking quite the international department store. I drooled over some Leona Edmiston dresses. Then I went for a wander about the shops and bought some discounted pretties and some tea from TeaToo. I called up Ian and got him to meet me for dinner in the city, and we had a nice dinner on a great summer’s evening outside at the Melbourne Wine Shop.

Today, after a sleep in, hubby, Candy and I went for a walk and got some lunch. Candy was very well behaved, even graciously let some other dogs sniff her butt (she usually gets a bit tetchy around other dogs). She partook of the dog water left out at the cafe.

Tonight, curry night at my friend’s house. I am a bit worried about being around a whole lot of other people, but once I get into it I will probably be fine. Usually I like social gatherings, now, not so much.

I may go for a run tomorrow. No pressure. Maybe a movie in the arvo. I would like to see Black Swan.

I have lost 3.4 kilos since returning from Japan. Not a worm, I don’t think – probably more to do with eating less and exercising more. My appetite has not been brilliant; this is a new thing. I am not deep-coating my feelings in a thick layer of chocolate. I have also been rather fidgety (drug side effect) and am exercising to help with the fatigue. Mostly I can resist the urge to go to bed. I am neither here nor there about this weight loss – it is needed, but reflects a difficult period of time.

I am a bit better already, less anxious. I can actually pee without difficulty and my mouth is not dry and I am not getting as many headaches. I did not realise how bad this was until now. I am usually not a particularly anxious person.

A few people have said to me “what do you have to be depressed about?”. This makes me feel worse; I feel guilty for feeling like I do. I have a lot of things to be very grateful for, and I am grateful, very grateful, I take nothing for granted. Never have. I have worked hard for it all.

But the illness, it’s a bit like I was a vinyl record playing at 63 rpm, and somebody has switched the speed to 41rpm. Plus a dread, a dread of everything. That is how best I can describe it. The pills work marvellously, but take a few weeks to work at full dose, a bit like blood pressure tablets. They are like somebody putting the record back onto 63 rpm, and taking away that horrible sense of dread.

Maybe take a look at, if you have the time or the inclination.

Oh and PS – if any of you are off on a weekday (or on a weekend), and are up for a cuppa tea, I would love to see you 🙂

Extreme monday-itis.


Well that is what I am calling it. Despite a general upward trend, today, I have had an off day. I will spare details but I did not last long at work. Luckily there was not much going on so I don’t think it rocked the boat too much.

My first instinct (and actually first action) was to climb into bed and pull the doona over my head. Then I thought, well, that is not very productive, so I called hubby who cut himself loose from work, stating that his own boss took time off every time one of her children sneezed. We took the dog out for a long walk and I felt a bit more normal. Actually there are some nice hilly bits around Parkville, which I may take a trot around soon. I pottered around and did some normal autobot things (cooking dinner, doing housework).

I went and got my blood tests done – I have been so tired at times that I was convinced something was up. I slept long periods both days on the weekend.

I am semi-experienced at having these kinds of days. I know that tomorrow is a new day and that I will likely feel a lot better. Or at least functional enough to go to work.

Tready PBs and the spewy feeling.


With the weather like it has been, it has been pretty hard to scrape myself of the couch to do anything, let alone the gym. Forget going outside!

But I have a goal – 10km in 60 minutes and by crikey, I am gonna do it this year.

This means 6 minute kms or more on the tready.

Thursday night, I did (among other things) 10 minutes on the tready, starting at 10 km/hr and slowly ramping it up to 11.1 km/hr. That is about 1.7km in 10 minutes, which is the furthest I have ever gone in that time. Spewy feeling after.

Yesterday, I went on the tready after a warm- up. I did 16 minutes at that speed, at which point the spewy feeling became quite strong. I had a 15 second drink break at 9 minutes. The most I have ever previously done at that speed is 15 minutes. I want to slowly make my way up to 20 minutes (then gradually up to 60). I am over 1/4 of the way there! My left hammy protested a bit at the beginning, and it has been non-ideal conditions. After I was really shaky and could not really do a cool down. But dang, was I proud of myself.

I know tready running is different to outdoors running but I find I can push myself harder on the tready, and a good way to condition the heart and lungs (and legs) to this speed.

The main barrier, I think, is managing discomfort. It is uncomfortable running at that speed, my breathing is faster than I would like. But I tell myself “don’t be afraid” and “you are doing well”. I stop when I have the spewy feeling (yesterday I had it for over a minute, then stopped running.

After, I tell myself “fuck yeah, you did AWESOME”. That is great. Soon 6 minute kms will be my comfortable speed.