dealing with narcolepsy, wedding planning, a law degree and some new fitness goals…

love eyes

It is incredibly beneficial to receive support from people who are going through the same thing.  This has been equally true of both the 12wbt forums and the narcolepsy forums that I have joined.

There are 2 narcolepsy forums on facebook that are particularly active.  A common theme in one forum is often people venting because they are frustrated with their partners attitude, lack of support or understanding.  It must be really difficult to live with someone who is constantly tired, who avoids social situations and who wants nothing more than to lay in bed and sleep all day.  This is surely compounded when you add the additional responsibilities of raising a family.  Everyone is human, and it seems that some people deal better with this situation than others.  I hadn’t fully considered the effect narcolepsy can have on your relationship before joining the forums..

Babyo.. You rock!

You see the thing is, I am so lucky.  My wonderful fiance is honestly the best thing that has ever happened to me.  I tell him this constantly, but I don’t know if he really understands.  He never ever complains.  He sends me little text messages all day to see how I am doing.  He sends me messages about an hour after he leaves the house, I know he does this to check I am awake and haven’t fallen back asleep.  He messaged me yesterday when it was hot to ask how I was doing.. (I tend to get a lot sleepier when its warmer).  I never ask him to do these things, he just does them.  I spent all day studying the other day (exams are fast approaching)… after a long day at work on his sore knee he didn’t flinch, he just made us dinner and came in for a kiss and to tell me he loved me.

I am so conscious that I am so lucky.  I read so many stories from people with unsupportive partners. People with narcolepsy who have partners who whinge and complain about them being tired all the time. People doing the 12wbt who have partners who complain about having to eat healthy dinners and to accommodate exercise routines.  I feel bad for them, because my fiance is just so great.  He is my best supporter.  The worst thing he has ever said about my narcolepsy is that sometimes, he really misses my company when I am off sleeping and something fun is happening.

Some days, (when I am being a grumpy little tired so and so)  I really don’t know why he puts up with me.  I can never truly express in words how thankful I am for his consistent insistence that we were meant for each other.

So basically this post is just a little update to tell him how much I love him, how grateful I am for his constant unwavering support, friendship, love and understanding.  You are the best babyo! x

1 Comment »

Let er rip..!

This week I lost 1.1 kgs.. so in the last few weeks that means a total loss of 3.4 kgs.  I wish I could tell you this was a walk in the park.  It was not.  I was tempted often and yet I largely managed to resist temptation.  I have completed a measly, pathetic grand total of 2 exercise sessions in the last 3 weeks.  So, my laziness has proved one thing for certain.  Diet is King!  I keep hearing “It’s 80% diet” and I think – pish posh.. Never will I pish posh this concept again.

I’ve now lost 7.3 kgs since deciding to do Round 3 of the 12wbt.  In all honestly, I’m rather chuffed with myself.  So much so that yesterday when getting ready for work I took a look at a lovely Ted Baker dress that I bought in London a few years ago.  It has become a permanent fixture in my closet for all the wrong reasons.  It was one of those “ok so it doesn’t fit me now but I’m going to lose weight soon so it will fit me soon and it’s a bargain so I will buy it now because.. did I mention I am going to lose weight” yeah. . it was one of THOSE purchases…

It has never been worn.

Until yesterday.  I actually slinked into that baby.. yep.. Mr fiance man was asking if I needed help with the zip.. No, no I did not need the usual assistance required to smoosh my extra bits of skin into and around the material!  No, there was no little wiggly dance around the bedroom hop hop hopping technique to shudder the chubby bits downwards so they squished into the dress.. it just went.. ZIP !  And away I went.  Feeling like a million bucks.

My lovely little say-hello-in-the-morning-at-the-train-station-man had a brilliant reaction.  “Wow!  You look amazing today, what is the special occasion?”  Beaming, I tell him about my weight loss and how chuffed I am that the dress fits.  Life is good.  I’m so pleased with myself I happily update the facebook page for the Bikini Girls 12wbt group sharing my delight with them.

ooh la la

I get to work, and smugly plonk down at my desk with a big smirk on my face.  And what do I hear..?  A tearing sound.  I look around.. surely.. no!  I stand up and feel my bum.. and feel a nice new tear in the back of my never been worn Ted Baker dress. I promptly sit back down dismayed.. yet another ripping sound.  I hurriedly stand up again and rush myself off to the bathroom to inspect the damage.  It is NOT pretty.  Thank GOODNESS for lining in dresses.  I could kiss whoever invented this.  However, if they are in any way associated to the dodgey slap happy stitching present in the rear of my supposedly expensive dress.. well… A massive tear from the bottom of the zip right down to the split in the hem.. super obvious.  Peachy.

Now.. WHAT does one do in this situation?  I consider if I can somehow get my hands on one of those hundred little sewing kits I am constantly pilfering from hotel room offerings.. can I sew it back?  It appears not, apparently my butt is not quite as tiny as I was imagining?  Blast.  When I sit down the dress goes taut.. and clearly puts a strain on something in this godforsaken poorly designed outfit.. Because surely to GOODNESS it’s the design here.. right? Not my massive bum cheeks or wide hips that are causing this conundrum…

So.. I think of what I can do, I like to think I can be rather resourceful at times.  I have stapled hems that have lasted for years.  Sticky tape has saved me on many occasions, I can bulldog clip and paperclip material left right and centre.  However, this massive tear in my arse region is causing me some major concern.

I text the fiance…  I update the facebook Bikini Girls group with my situation.  I text my ex-work colleague who left last week who is the only person I have really bonded with at work.. I berate her for ever leaving me alone to face these kinds of disasters without her help.

Everyone is amused.  To be honest, even I am slightly amused.  Until I realise its 915am and its inevitable that at any moment my boss will call out and summons me into his office involving a 10 metre strut past all my colleagues.  Someone will notice.

I consider fainting.  I consider just walking out.  I consider running to the bathroom and waiting for the fiance to bring me new clothes.  Bless his little heart, with no prompting from me, he offers to drive the hour journey to my work with an alternate outfit.  He blames the sitting in the cupboard and re-assures me that my bum looks lovely and the dress was actually loose on me.  Design flaw he claims!

Just zipping out to pick up a new frock

I wait until the only guy in our office goes to the kitchen and I frantically call the girls to my desk and work up the courage to tell them of my situation.  They are completely wonderful about it.  “It’s happened to me”.. “but the dress isn’t even tight” “Its a design flaw a design flaw” “you’ve had it hanging in the cupboard too long”.. Im skeptical, but also most grateful for their gushing re-assurance.

So, I model my sexy new modified outfit for them all and we agree that the best plan of attack is to belt to the shops.  So I do.  In peek “fancy business man meet each other for coffee for morning meeting time” I run down Brisbane’s Creek Street and through Queen Street Mall like a possessed woman, I give new meaning to the term “walk of shame” of course I get stopped for what seems like an eternity at every intersection.. which is when I switch to my fake it till you make it mode where I am totally oozing confidence and pretending that the flapping gape in the back of my dress is the latest fashion trend..

I calmly waltz into Portmans, point at my bum and wave my tooshie in the air at the staff.  Everyone laughs.  Bugger it, if you can’t laugh at yourself in such a ridiculous situation what can you do?  So, I buy myself a new outfit (I’m considering it a weight loss treat) and I’m back at my desk within 35 minutes.  I model my newest outfit for the office and everyone agrees the trip was a success.  I’m not quite sure my bank account or my self esteem really agree with this summation just yet.. but what the heck.  I got to wear the hell out of that Ted Baker dress for a good 2 hours!

So, if you see a new trend starting where slits and rips are cut into the bum of otherwise sombre looking corporate dresses.. well.. you can safely say .. you saw it here first kids!!


1 Comment »

Je Comprehends..

Many years ago, an ex boyfriend once said “God isn’t fair to girls, the first place you put weight on is where you don’t want it (like your bum and your thighs), and the first place you lose weight is where you do want it (like your boobs).”  Everyone in the room had a good little chuckle at the irony of it all.

I must confess.  I was confused.  I was about 19 at the time.  The concept of “putting on weight” had, quite frankly, not made itself known to me at that stage.  My boobs were a reasonable size (no complaints) and I fit into all my size 10 clothes with room to spare, I preferred a Size 9 jeans when I could get them.

When I was younger I was constantly asked if I had hollow legs, I ate and ate and ate.. finishing everything on my plate, and on the plates of my brothers and sisters, boyfriends, friends.. I wasn’t fussy.. if it was edible.. I would snap it up.  My favourite snack was either pizza pockets or jacket potatoes.  I’d layer the spud up with cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise and other things that make the now weight conscious me raise my eyebrows and think of calories and measurements and treadmills.

I am the Queen of “No, No, I don’t need new clothes, I’ll lose weight and fit into those jeans I haven’t worn in 2 years”.. Pre 12wbt, nothing fit, my wardrobe has been reduced to the same 4 items of stretchy dark coloured clothing on high rotation.  I’m convinced I look skinnier in black.  Most of my underwear is tight and uncomfortable, I look at some of my bras and wonder how they ever fit.  So, before starting 12wbt I reluctantly bought a new sports bra.. a size 14 much to my dismay.Image

I just put on my “new” bra… and it doesn’t fit anymore! It’s too big..!  Conundrum ! !  Do I cheer that I lost weight?  Or do I feel dismayed that my boobs have shrunk?

I finally understand what my ex was saying all those years ago.. I’ve lost weight from the one place on my body that I was happy to have as a big bouncy blubbering mess.. my BOOBS!

Hopefully my bum & thighs catch on soon…


1 Comment »

12wbt blogger challenge #1

1. Describe yourself in less than fifty words. What is it you want us to know about you? (Of course if you need more than fifty words, consider using a picture)

I turned 30 this year and am half way through my law degree.  I turned my life upside down 2 years ago when I decided to “gamble everything for love” and move back to Australia from London after meeting my wonderful boyfriend (now fiancé).  I have recently been diagnosed with narcolepsy so my blog documents me coming to terms with that whilst also following my 12wbt journey.

2. This program is called a transformation. When you signed up for this round (whether is your ninth round, first round or somewhere in between) what was it about yourself you wanted to transform?

Over the last few years I have become increasingly tired during the day.  I now understand that this has largely been because of narcolepsy.  I  have slowly but surely done less and less exercise as each day I felt more zapped and lethargic.  I started the program weighing in at just under 80 kilos.  My goal is to get back to 63 kilos and to become more active generally to improve my health and the way my body deals with narcolepsy as well as being a happier person on a day to day basis.

3. One of the phrases Michelle Bridges says that has struck a chord with me is that we should be striving to be the best version of ourselves. To me that means we don’t have to change ourselves completely in order to have a successful transformation. What is it about yourself you are happy with right now? It can be related to your mind, body or soul, and of course there may well be more than one thing you are happy with.

I love generously and stand by my convictions.  I am determined and driven and love life.

4. What aspect of this program do you think will present you with the toughest challenge. What are you going to focus on to ensure you feel successful at the end of the twelve weeks? How is your answer to number 3 going to help you overcome this challenge?



I really honestly think they are evil.  I feel heavy and horrible when I do them and often come up with very creative ways to get out of them.  I’d also much rather do cardio than tone, but I know toning is important.  So, my challenge will be to JFDI when it comes to those exercises I don’t wanna do.

I have great motivation this round, I am getting married in June next year in Koh Samui, trying on wedding dresses the week after the round finishes.  Nothing like the biggest day of your life to spur you on!

Always in the background is a desire to improve my lifestyle generally and to be able to explore ways that a PWN (person with narcolepsy) can still life a full and productive life to help other people who are living with the same condition.

I think my determination (and my stubborn side) and love of life will help me achieve my goals.

5. What is it you look forward to the most in the next twelve weeks?

Making new friends, achieving my goals, all those little “wow” moments where you are proud of the little things, the running a bit harder or faster or doing more pushups than you did the week before.

6. You’ve now completed at least three days of the program. What has surprised you the most about how you’ve coped with any challenges so far in the twelve weeks?

Ok so I’m a little late in getting this blogging challenge completed – it is now Week 3 (as opposed to Day 3!) So far I’ve been impressed with my ability to say no to temptation  food moments, especially to things I love like cheese!  And I have been surprised by my motivation skills, kicking the butts of new 12wbt friends.  I just need to kick my own butt more often!

7. Can you describe what you want to see, think and feel when you look in the mirror on Sunday 18th November 2012.

Conveniently the end of this round co-incides with the end of Uni exams for the year.  So, I’ll be smiling because I only have a year to go of my degree.  I’d like to see a happier, more awake me!  Looking better than I have in years in my bikini! I want to think: I can see this girl looking fabulous in a wedding dress in 6 months time!

1 Comment »

The race against me

Good morning!

On Saturday as promised, I woke up early and met my future bro-in-law down at the local park for a 5km run.  The run is organised by a group called park run, I strongly recommend giving it a go if there is one in your local area.  Everyone is so friendly, the event is so well organised, its free, and they have even organised for a coffee cart to come down so you can socialise afterwards.  You get a barcode when you register and at the end of the 5kms you scan your barcode and then they upload your times to their website, you even get your PB tracked and everything.  I didn’t register in time so my details are not in the system but I am listed as #48 here.

Ok so, at first glance not such a glowing result.  48th in a pack of 59 people leaves me straggling in my awesome shuffle style somewhere near the back with the old ladies and the injured people.. ok I will confess, there were some old ladies who were flying past me.  However, on Saturday I was very firm in my head that you have to start somewhere, and it is just a race against me.  I’m only trying to beat my time, burn my calories and make my body feel better.  I was hoping for something under 30 minutes, instead I finished in 34 minutes. But that’s ok, the only way is up right?


I do feel sorry for the lovely lady “Susie” who finished just behind me.  I pretty much dragged Susie most of the way, why is it so much easier to encourage a stranger or friend rather than yourself?  Poor Susie was just behind me for the first 2kms or so.  We’d both stop at different times and pant and puff walk for a bit and then keep plodding, eventually I turned to her and said come on, let’s run together.  So we ran side by side for the next  few kms.  When she went to stop I urged her on, and something about it kept me going too, when we got near her family (her kids and their grandparents were cheering her on!) I’d say come on, lets fake it past them and make out like we are not finding this hard.  Eventually she fell behind again but on the last hill I was doing my panty-puff-shuffle-dawdle thing and she came up behind me and said ok it’s your turn now, let’s run together.. and off we went pushing each other up the hill for the home stretch.  It was a lovely moment of camaraderie between two strangers, I could almost hear Chariots of Fire playing in the background.

It made me miss my friend Mel who is constantly saying that she wished I was still down in Sydney to train with her.  We still manage to do a great job of kicking each others butts via Skype and text though so all is not lost.

I’ve actually really enjoyed communicating with people via this blog so far, whether it be for narcolepsy or 12wbt.  There is something encouraging in the thought that you are not doing it alone, not to mention that your little posts into the world wide web are actually being read by someone.

I’m also part of a lovely little forum post on the 12wbt site with a group of ladies where we sometimes refer to ourselves as the “Bikini Girls” we all have upcoming weddings to attend in tropical locations (whether it be our own or a friends) or upcoming holidays that will involve donning a bikini at some stage so we have sort of  banded together and are motivating each other, following each other on My Fitness Pal etc…  Oh the wonders of modern technology.

Now that I have the “wonder drugs” I’m starting to catch up on Uni again which is such a great feeling.  I still don’t feel like I’m quite “there” yet with Uni and fitness and a set routine but I am getting there.  Interested to see how “Weigh in Wednesday” goes because we have had guests the last few days and the tendency to over indulge in BBQ food and unhealthy portion sizes is always great.  I was not as naughty as I normally would be, but I certainly could have been better.  So we will see what the scales have to say about it in a few days time.

Keep :-)lin!


1 Comment »

A matter of opinion

The funny thing about starting anything new is that everyone has an opinion.  I recall reading somewhere that when people were trying to make you feel bad about your weight loss goals you should just smile and say “thank you for your support”.  Bringing the focus back to them and their behaviour seems to work.

I know there are thousands of programs out there, I have explained the one I am doing, Michelle Bridges seems to know what she is doing and I am committed to her program.  I find it really interesting that the first reaction from people isn’t “good on you, I hope you succeed, what a wonderful goal”.  Instead people would rather put their two cents in about why such and such a program is better and why your attempts will fail.  So I’m staying firm and holding my ground and not listening to the blockers!  They can suffer in their jocks when they see me fit and healthy!

Yesterday was SSS (Super Saturday Session) I must admit I have been feeling a little “blah” about exercising these last few days.. Quite frankly I am very over burpees and am surprised at what I will do to get out of doing them!  Anyway, yesterday I ran the furthest I have ever ran in one go in my life.  Instead of the usual run around the lake I stopped the car about 2kms away adding an extra 4kms to the run so around 8kms in total.

I am a “shuffler”, my running style is not pretty… I struggle along, at a pace that is so slow I’m not quite sure it is technically a run.  The poor dog is confused, sometimes walking, sometimes running ahead a bit wondering what is wrong with me.  However, I am also a “stopper”.. I look up and see anything, a tree, a fence, a bend in the road, a person up ahead, if I can get to that thing without dying then I can walk for a bit.  My friend is a “ploddder” she keeps going, plodding along, slowly but never stopping.  So, I decided to combine the two techniques yesterday.  I shuffled, but tried very hard not to stop.  Of course, I did stop, but only at the bubblers, of which there is only 3 on the track.  So really for me this was quite an impressive feat!

I’m still very behind in my preparation for my assessment which is on Wednesday morning.  So today is more study.  It is supposed to be rest day but I think I will smash out a fitness dvd later, I’m quite liking them to be honest (no burpees!)

Tomorrow I have the MWT (Maintenance of Wakefulness Test) which starts at 630am and goes for most of the day. I’m not sure what it will entail, the last test MSLT (Multiple Sleep Latency Test) had me getting into bed for a nap every 2 hours to see if I could sleep at each nap.  Apparently the MWT involves sitting upright in bed with a dim light behind you (not in line of sight) you have to stay awake for 40 minutes and you need to attempt this several times throughout the day.  Honestly, I do not think I will be able to do that, I struggle when I’m actually doing things, but sitting on my own doing nothing.. I don’t like my chances, but I will give it a crack.

I’ll try to squeeze in a workout after that if I feel up to it before heading to the airport with the fiance to pick up some friends.  I am determined to get some sort of fitness in tomorrow!



Did you plan to put on that weight?

This is the question the sleep specialist asked me when I told him that I have put on about 15-20 kilos in the last 6 years.. Boy, did that make me laugh!

It was quite a proud moment to be able to tell the Dr that I have already signed up to the 12wbt and am determined to regain control of my weight.

There was a lot to take in today, I’ll summarise:

  • Nobody really knows what causes narcolepsy;
  • Narcolepsy is basically where you go into REM sleep  (the dreaming part) very soon after falling asleep, instead of a ‘normal’ 60, 90 or 120 minute time period.  Because of this, people with narcolepsy have an abnormal sleep pattern and don’t get as much “good sleep time” as regular people, which makes us feel tired all the time, which is why we have a tendency to nod off at inappropriate moments.
  • At this stage there is no cure, so the symptoms are treated rather than the actual disorder;
  • No more driving for me until I can pass a MWT (maintenance of wakefulness test) I am booked in for this on Monday, if I can stay awake I can have an unrestricted drivers licence (I don’t like my chances);
  • After that, I commence stimulant medication designed to keep me awake during the day;
  • After THAT I go for another MWT and see how the meds are working, if I fail the first MWT this second one may lead to me having a restricted licence which would allow me to drive within 4 hrs of taking medication;
  • We will need to meet with an obstetrician when we decide to have kids to work out whether staying on the meds is a good idea during that time.

All in all the Dr was very positive about being able to help me and very encouraging re my fitness goals.

The Egg Ninja (Photo Source: Flickr Suman0102)

Oh yes, how could I forget the egg story.. I lost the eggs today.. I spent all day looking for them, I was convinced that some kind of egg ninja had crept into the house and stolen the eggs.  Until.. I found them, in the freezer with the bread.. in case you are wondering eggs explode in the freezer.  I’ve heard a lot of people saying that people with narcolepsy do random things and put things in weird places when REM hits them and they are kind of sleep walking.  I was always so pleased I didn’t do things like this.. doo dee doo

I felt quite good today, not too tired, only a little sore from yesterday’s program, today was Toning (Intermediate program).  My new Michelle Bridges DVD set arrived so I dragged the fiance into the lounge room and made him jump around with me.  It was rather hilarious as our lounge room is pretty small but we did it.  The DVD is pretty tough but a great alternative to motivating yourself through the exercises.

I’ve mixed the recipe program up a little so tonight’s dinner was Cajun Fish Stew.  It was delicious!  Tomorrow is our first weigh in day.  Stay tuned for progress!