Tag: R U OK Day

How I feel today.

This post was inspired by Fat Mum Slim’s September Photo a Day challenge, but also by R U OK Day.

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About the photo: Yep. That’s one dodgy selfie right there. It would be so embarrassing if I actually admitted to you how much effort went into that one mediocre – and heavily edited due to no make up or hair styling, my insecurity and a frumpy hoodie outfit – shot. Do you like my sexy light switch? Anyway, today’s prompt was ‘How I feel today’. And I am so glad to be able to say that I feel OK. In a good way. I’m very lucky. I held up that sign to let you know that if you’re not lucky enough to feel OK right now, there is help out there and that I care. R U OK day (which is today) is about getting people to check in with those they care about and starting conversations that keep us connected with the aim of preventing suicide. If you’re worried about somebody or want to raise awareness, visit the R U OK site for some great resources. If you’re worried about yourself, please do seek help. You can call Lifeline on 131114 or reach out to someone who will listen. I hope somebody asks you this question, so you’ll feel safe enough to speak up. I promise you that SOMEBODY cares. I care.

So, I just want to ask…are YOU OK?

I’ve decided to look after myself. 

I’ve been feeling rather frumpy, overweight and just plain bloated and tired lately. There’s nothing like trying to look after a toddler when you aren’t even looking after yourself – hint, it’s hell. I was eating so much crap and even my latest attempt at exercising regularly wasn’t making me feel much better. So I’ve had to tackle my diet. Get back to basics. Not so much junk. More fresh food. I have to get serious. I don’t want to feel grumpy and lethargic. I don’t want to lose my motivation to leave home because nothing fits or flatters me. While my weight is important – to be in a healthy range and at my best I need to lose almost 10kg (ouch it hurts to admit it publicly) – I do not want to focus just on what I’ll look like. It’s all about health. I’ll always celebrate special events with food and family. I don’t mind indulging in a little fast food treat on a Friday. I just want my good food deeds to outnumber my not so good food decisions by a million percent. I am not a mathematician, but you know what I mean.

So today, for the first time in almost a week, I feel normal. I had a healthy little pita pizza with avocado and an egg on it last night (YUM) instead of something heavy. A big side salad of spinach and tomato. And I feel NORMAL. I feel OK! My tummy doesn’t feel like it’s bursting at the seams. I have a little energy. My mood is better. If that’s what ONE meal can do, then imagine my whole lifestyle being better. IMAGINE!

I have always struggled with food and (since the Little Mister) exercise. I’ve always used food as a reward or a comfort. I’ll be the first to admit that once we got back from Korea and Japan, I really let myself go! It’s time to take charge yet again.

I can’t make excuses…oh, if my life was different, I’d go to the gym ALL the time or I’d have a treadmill at home which would solve all my problems and because I don’t have a treadmill that’s a legitimate reason I’m not doing better for myself. I can’t say that it’s because of this or because of that. It’s all up to me and while there will be challenges along the way (sometimes it truly is hard to exercise the way I’d like or to find the energy to try new healthier recipes), I have no reason I can’t still TRY.

I know my mental health is so much better when I exercise and eat food that is good for me. That’s enough motivation above all else. I’ve got to stop putting myself so far down the list. I give the Little Mister all the healthy things I can, I keep him active. I would go to the moon and back to make sure he’s happy and thriving.

I need to tell someone I need time to go clothes shopping, so I can feel good when I walk out of the house (I have been wearing the one worn out dress over and over and over lately – it’s that or hoodies with jeans). I need to take time to exercise, even when I don’t feel like it. I need to eat healthier, even when the Little Mister isn’t with me (my worst overindulgent moments).

I accept that my body has changed and that it will never look like it did (or bounce back like it did) before I had the Little Mister, but I can work with what I’ve got and look after it. Working towards a far away weight goal is just overwhelming, so I’m going to work on feeling good every day. Making choices that make me feel healthier each day. It’s a start.

My bikini body may not be ready for summer (or ever), but I can make sure I’m in good shape (fitness and health wise) and living a full life. I’m lucky to have all that I have and I don’t want to waste it.

So, help me out. What’s your favourite healthy recipe? Something that makes you feel satisfied without that deprived feeling? Do you find yourself in a similar place to me? Have you been here before? Any tips on getting back into it? x

R U OK?

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Have you ever been in Struggletown (like really really trying to hold onto sanity) and not had the words to tell someone about it? Have you ever felt like talking to those close to you might make them feel burdened with your problems, so you hold onto them tight? Have you ever been scared that you might be considered to be whingey and mopey if you tell people what you’re really going through? Scared you’ll bring everyone down? Annoy them? Or have you held secrets about your well being close to your chest and not known how to express them or feel safe doing so? Have you ever felt that crushing fear of being vulnerable? Putting your heart out on your sleeve?

I have. Many a time. Let’s face it. I’m Kez and I am sh*t at asking for help. I am sh*t at telling people the deep, dark stuff. Truly. You wouldn’t think it. I’m such a bloody chatterbox and I am generally quite in touch with my feelings. I can talk about feelings quite well (mostly in writing or in counselling) but there’s only so far I can go when I am truly having a rough time. It’s not that I don’t trust anyone, far from it. I get scared that I’m going to be that high maintenance friend. That drama llama. Oh, yes. That Kez. She’s got *whispers* issues. All the time. Or sometimes I’m scared that if I say it out loud, I’ll be judged or worse, hurt even more.

I’ve often been known to use my smile to cover my vulnerabilities. Lots of positive talk. A bounce in my step. I wonder if anyone would even think I don’t have an awesome life? I mean, I do. It’s just that when it’s less than awesome, I wonder if anyone can see past my facade. Ironically, sometimes I even cover up my own feelings/struggles by helping others with theirs and neglecting my own…yeah, I know. I promise that’s not what I’m doing while writing this post. PROMISE 🙂

Sometimes in life, you just hope that someone will reach out and ask, “Are you OK?”

Just check in with you and take the fear away.

Well, they asked me if I’m OK so they must want the answer. Maybe it’s OK to tell them the truth. Maybe they don’t see my feelings as a burden after all.

It can feel like such a relief – like you’re able to breathe out again. It can be the start of a rewarding journey back to yourself (or the rest of the world) or it can resolve the horrible feeling of a problem eating away at you. Perhaps when the burden is shared, it lessens.

September 12 (that’s tomorrow) is R U OK Day. It’s something I really believe in and I am so glad it exists. Here’s the little blurb directly from the website:

What is the R U OK? Foundation?

The R U OK? Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to encouraging all people to regularly and meaningfully ask ‘are you ok?’ to support those struggling with life.

R U OK?Day is our national day of action on the second Thursday of September (12 September 2013), and dedicated to reminding people to regularly check in with family and friends. We also have Resources for You to use throughout the year to help you ask ‘are you ok?’ regularly of family, friends and colleagues.

You can visit the website here – you can find advice on how to ask someone if they’re OK as well as inspirational stories about people who dared to ask the question – and those who had the courage to answer them.

You just don’t know if you might be saving a life, by asking such a simple, compassionate question.

While R U OK Day might only be one day, it can inspire you to think about how to ask those you care about how they are throughout the year. I know that this campaign has given me the courage to ask the question many a time where in the past I might have chickened out. What if it’s none of my business? What if I’m intruding? What if I’ve imagined this person’s struggle in my head and I’m going to make a fool of myself? What if asking the question makes the other person run away from me? What if…I get a truly honest, heartbreaking answer and I don’t know what to do about it?

The R U OK Foundation says we just need to listen without judgement – we don’t need to fix everything or have all the answers. Starting the conversation in the first place can be very valuable.

I promise that the times I’ve had to dig deep to take the step of asking someone if they were OK, I have never regretted it. Just listen to your gut – if it’s telling you to ask because you truly care – and don’t ignore it. That person might have needed you to ask that very day. So, you get knocked back? That person still knows you care, even if they’re in too much pain (or even denial) to realise right away.

I have not been asked to promote R U OK Day (although would be very open to it in the future) and have nothing to gain by posting about it. It truly is something that I believe will make the world of difference to someone who is struggling. I’m sure we can all relate on some level as either the ‘asker’ or the ‘answerer’. While I have quoted the R U OK Day Foundation on this post (as clearly as possible), the opinions in it are mine only and I speak from personal experience.

I want my readers (regular or first time visitors) to know that I really do care about your well being.

So I’ll ask the question, which I mean from the bottom of my heart and truly care for the answer.

Are you OK? What’s happening for you right now? How are you feeling?

You can privately message me on Facebook, email me, DM me on Twitter or leave a comment on this post (you may use an anonymous username if you prefer – your email address is never published). Anything you tell me privately will not be shared and will not be judged. I just want you to know that I’m listening.

I hope that you will ask the question tomorrow too. It could be the start of a very important conversation.

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