Monthly Archives: July 2011

More gratitude


This week, I am thankful for:

  • doxycycline. I still have a cough but it is clearing up
  • having a friend who is a GP who listened to my chest and made the appropriate noises of sympathy.
  • my iPod, as always. And youtube
  • all the things I have to do that shake me from my occasional torpor!
  • Getting the job in the clinic
  • Having a great running group, even though I got sent home today for coughing all over everybody.
  • The prospect of travel. Some people use alcohol and drugs to escape. I just escape.
  • All your comments from an earlier post.

Another good product of all of the navel gazing I have been doing – I have figured out what nurturing myself really means.

It means treating myself as I would a good friend, or the way a mother treats a beloved child.

This means saying nice things to myself, spending quality time with myself, feeding myself nutritious and comforting food, finding novel ways to bring out the best in myself, not expecting too much of myself, patting myself on the back and reflecting back on mistakes in a manner which is not self-castigating.

(mini)Life stocktake….



4 years to the day since I sat my Physicians exam.

That was an almighty exam, preparing for that set me on a course

  • that would lead to my depression
  • which lead to my running, this blog, and all of youse 🙂
  • that would also lead to a promising career that I love

So it was a momentous day, really.

My work/study life has just taken an interesting and busy turn. I have been offered a session as a physician in a specialist clinic at a leading hospital, the work is related to my PhD, and I have (of course) taken the position. It is major kudos, particularly for a junior consultant, and one trained outside the specialty of this clinic.

I will need to start my clinical trial soon, and I have to write a rebuttal for this. I want $600K for the project, and I gotta show them how much I want, need it.

I have also been invited/made to do a few presentations, which I will need to work on, too.

I know my career won’t keep me warm at night, but I need to put in the work to get it exciting. I have taken full advantage of the “lull” in the work to concentrate on …ahem…personal issues.

There are one or two things I am doing just because I feel I should, because I would feel guilty if I don’t, but they are very draining and take a few precious hours out of my week. They are important, yes, but draining.

I also need to take time to “pad the cilla cave”, to do those things that lift my soul. As a very beautiful, wise friend (she knows who she is) told me, the most important relationship I have at the moment is the one with myself.

So I am going to take a hiatus from the draining, important things to nurture the things I really need to do at the moment.

I am also off to Europe in September. I am presenting a paper in Spain. I am also going to London and Iceland. I have always been fascinated with Iceland. The Icelandic Kronor is not worth the plastic it’s written on, so it will be cheap (for Scandinavia).

So, there are lots of exciting things coming up. I have a lot of pain, but also a lot of excitement. I have a growing sense of excitement, and want to embrace my future, even though, at times, the prospect is frightening.




I have done sweet fanny adams all day.

My chest sounds like an old person’s (and I speak from knowledge)

Thank you all for your nice comments. They have made me feel much better.

I think I am like a little rubber ducky. Can’t drown me, at the moment.



Things that have gone shit today:

1. I have a chest infection. It hurts to cough, like my trachea is about to burn. I am coughing up green stuff. (I got antibiotics). It got worse during the day.

2. A tough day at work with nobody throwing me a FREAKING bone.

3. I don’t have enough money to pay the cleaner (bills bills bills)

4. My mum, who has given me far more pain than support recently, rang me up and asked me to “take” demerit points off her so she would not lose her licence.

5. I found “the dress” fallen apart on the bottom of the cupboard.

I am sitting on my couch sweaty and snotty.

Any person who would like to annoy, harrass or give me further shit can please feel free to fuck off.

Anyone who would like to offer gentle yet realistic encouragement can please feel free to do so in the form of a comment.

The dress.


I just took a holiday. My maiden voyage, as it were. I was going to some shopping meccas.

After Dubai, I arrived in Singapore.

I felt impatient and a bit reckless. So, when I got there, I showered up, dressed up and went out shopping. I hunted around. I walked past a shop and eyed a dress in a window. I immediately walked into the shop and tried the dress on. It was 25% off. It was not something I would usually buy, not particularly practical, but it made me look and feel amazing, so I bought it.

I wore that dress every night I was in Singapore. It was gorgeous, and I loved it. It was long, silky, and in shades of burnished red, pale olive and turquoise. It made me feel attractive and sexy; it turned me into a new woman. I walked taller and with a beguiling sway in my hips.

The dress was beautiful, but there were times that it did not fit right. I had to nip it in at the waist with a belt, had to adjust the straps. No matter, it was beautiful, I thought.

At the end of my trip, I lovingly wrapped the dress, so it would not snag. I packed it securely in my baggage.

When I got back to Melbourne, I wanted to wear the dress again. I dressed it up with winter clothing, layering a cardigan over the top, and putting some long boots on. It looked good, but not as good as it did in the balmy heat. I had also changed subtly in appearance – more weight was lost, my tan faded, and it looked more and more awkward. It protected me poorly against the winter cold. Strangely,  that just made me love the dress even more, and made me want to wear it in different ways.

It had crumpled a little bit during the flight, and, try as I would, I could not get the wrinkles out.

On a couple of occasions, when I bent over or moved too vigorously, I felt the thread straining and cracking. There were holes in the dress. Though it looked exquisite, it was poorly made.

One day I wore it. I sat down on the ground, as I was feeling a bit down from other things that were going on. RRRRIP. A hole appeared down the side. Not something that was reparable. I was surprised at how little it took to make the dress fall apart. I loved that dress so much, and I was really upset about it disintegrating. I had spent quite a bit of money on it.

I took it off, and regarded the material it was made of. Beautiful silk, but fragile. The hem had fallen down, and there were other, unseen holes in it too. I tried to sew it up, but putting the needle into the fabric made little holes.

The dress still hangs in my closet, and I can’t bring myself to throw it away, but I know I can’t wear it again. I look at it lovingly, multiple times per day. remembering all the good times I had in the dress.  The amount of time spent looking at it is decreasing, slowly but surely. I imagine it in other ensembles, with this necklace, or those shoes and jacket, but know it just won’t work.

I won’t forget that dress in a hurry, but know, through no fault of my own, that it is ruined beyond repair. At some stage, I will have to bring myself to throw it away. Not just yet, but soon.

I know that there will be other dresses, but will choose them more carefully in the future. Because I cannot go around in a flimsy dress that has holes in it. No. I need something that is robust, bright and shows my curves to perfection; something that moves with me, that will keep me warm and comfortable with little extra effort.



A lighter, less introspective post (heave collective sigh of relief)

Did training session with Carol and the girls yesterday.

A pyramid session

Run up and down hill, do 15 squats, run, do 15 squats and 15 lunges each leg, run do squats, lunges and tricep dips. run, do squats, lunges, dips and pushups. run, do squats, lunges, dips, pushups and plank. then descend pyramid.

A great session, felt like playing chasey.

I am feeling it today. My quads and arms are really sore.

I would shake my fist in anger, but I can’t lift my arms.

Even though I am not into the TdF, GO CADEL!

And RIP Amy Winehouse. Sad, but not really surprising, I must say.


If anyone can help me with making up a website with this name, which redirects from, I would appreciate that.

I am tired of being sassy, and everybody knows I am a doctor. Though that is what I do rather than who I am.

The aim of the game: Save Cilla.

I thought I was one of these

Then, recently, I found out I was one of these

I was an egg, that thought I was fancy, but was actually teetering close to the edge of the bench. Then – kerrack.

No matter. Cracked eggs make these, which are fabulous.

You take out a little yolk, put in a little sugar, agitate it, and add some decorations.

On reflection, it has been a shit 6-9 months. Shit as in difficult. I have been to hell and back – the people close to me will know what the issues have been.

A MAJOR overhaul of my life is required. And a cautiously brave new blog.

This blog was about body image neurosis, about expunging calories, about guilt. About some exciting experiences, too.

I have learned that I am more than the amount of calories I eat, the amount of kilometres I run, the pace I run them at, the number on the scale. I have so much more to offer the world than discussion about ways to lose weight.

I am passionate, intelligent and creative, and I need to nurture all of these things, otherwise I am in danger of becoming permanently unhappy.

I need to be true to myself, and be confident that people will still love me. Maybe not the people I thought, but there will be people. I need to balance keeping hope with managing expectation.

The goals will not be about an arbitrary number on the scales, a distance run in an amount of time, but more deeper goals. If I work on them, the lesser goals mentioned will fall into place.

These have been worked on recently, this is not an “I will start all of this on Monday”, they are very much an active work in progress.

So, here goes.

I have plenty of

  • time
  • energy
  • love
  • money

Even though it is plentiful, I need to save them. To ration them, and to learn to return them wisely and judiciously. They need to be an investment, and an investment suggests return on the investment. To not have the return on the investments makes you poor. I have learned this.

I need to spend my money on the basics, and the rest on experiences rather than stuff.

I need to reduce my guilt to levels that are appropriate to what I have done wrong.

I realised some time ago that I spent a lot of time with guilt. Guilt is helpful in small amounts, it keeps us human and stops us committing crimes. Large amounts are pathological, and breed resentment (and also depression). So I will try to challenge my guilty feelings, and put them in perspective.

I need to unleash my creative beast, and engage in the process rather than a perfect result.

I was a good painter at school, also good at creative writing. I loved to dance.

Throughout medical school and my training, perhaps out of necessity, I neglected them.

Recently, I have taken some creative things back, but it was more about excelling at them rather than enjoying the process.

Creating, and enjoying the process, lifts my soul.

I need to take pleasure in the basic things, rather than in grandiose goals.

I need to slow down and smell the roses. Not just pause briefly, but really have a good whiff. Hopefully not inhale a petal, or a bee. Also to take notice of the sky above, and the grass below. To say hello to the little old lady who tends the roses, and say “nice roses”.

Here is a rose

Concentrating on the small things and being mindful of them and showing gratitude. Long, regular periods of contentment rather than short periods of euphoria – that is happiness.

Re: the London Marathon – this was about a bucket list, a grandiose goal. It is not now; it has taken on special meaning. The concept of “you have come far, but have far to go”, this is the important thing. It will take consistent work, and the capacity to go easy on myself. That is the meaning it has taken on, and I am glad I coughed up the money to do it.

No, I am not on crack. But I do think I am onto something. More anon.

Run Melbourne – PW.


Last night, I went out to a Clare Bowditch concert with a couple of friends. CB was supported by Lanie Lane, a rockabilly/blues singer. It was awesome.

I got home rather late. I enjoyed the concert, but felt shitola afterwards.

I cried so much I was almost howling to the moon.

I nearly pulled out of Run Melbourne, was nearly a DNS. However, I had my professor of medicine/PhD supervisor to meet up with. My sprightly, fit 62 year old supervisor, who I had invited out to run. His (similarly aged) wife was doing the half marathon.

We had a chat. I looked at his iPod. A person’s playlist is very telling.

I asked him about his music preferences. He said, oh, I like to run to music. I like rock’n’roll. He told me about an iPhone app called Shazam, which tells a person what a song is when they play a bite of it into the iPhone.

I had a look at his music.

He had some Brahms, some other classical. Some Santana. Some 70’s rock.

Then- Pink. Then Taylor Swift. GOLD.

I ran. I started out really well, about 6:45 kms. Not ducking and weaving. I did the first 5km in 34 minutes.

During this first 5 km, I distracted myself by thinking about all the events of the last few months. Then I just concentrated on my breathing, the loud collective footfall of the other runners, the semi-decent weather that Melbourne had put on.

The first 6km were fine. After that, I started to seriously slow. I felt hungry. I wanted to take a nap on the side of the track. Many people were walking. The 7th km was slow. I got to what I thought was the 8km mark, but it was the 7km mark.

I hit the wall a bit, mentally, at that point.

I decided to walk. I went for a pee.

At the (actual) 8km mark, I started running. This was the bit up the bridge near the tennis centre. My legs were jelly-like, but I kept going. I was sloooooow.

At the Wellington st hill, I started walking again. A girl said to me “don’t stop, you are nearly there”. So I opened it up. I found out that it was her first 10km.

I ran like a bat out of hell for the last half a km. I finished in 74ish minutes. Not my finest hour. However, I trained yesterday with a new group, probably did not have enough glycogen in the system, and not to put too fine a point on it, I have been having a shit time generally.

A lesson was learned – if I have feel tired and want to slow down, then all is not lost. This is important for the marathon, but also for life in general.


Is this what it feels like?


I am back at home.

I am sitting in the lady cave, fiddling about with the computer. Having a rest. Feeling my head throb with my pulse.

Doing my own thing. Not really thinking about others. Not in a way which will actually impel me to actually do anything for them.

It feels good. Relaxing. New. Nurturing.

The tables have turned. It used to be him doing the sitting in the room on the computer, me in the kitchen, mind whizzing.

I have.


It is very easy to become consumed with bad things when one is going through a rough time, but I have found some strength and clarity, and focus on the better things my life.

I have

  • Friends to talk with
  • Places to go
  • People to meet
  • A world at my feet
  • A roof over my head
  • A puppy dog
  • Pictures to draw
  • Miles to run
  • Wine to quaff
  • Great food to enjoy
  • A job to do
  • Fulfilling and exciting research to do also
  • Love in my heart
  • Light in my soul