Category Archives: Type 1 Diabetes

Week 10 Update, 2015

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Wow…we’re almost a quarter of the way through 2015! I’ve had a rather busy week sorting out health issues and planning for the future. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

– So, last week I mentioned how I was planning to use this year to figure out what the hell I was doing. Well, I have some progress to report. Over the past week, my husband and I had a bit of an epiphany regarding plans for the future. I will not go into specific details here (because I don’t want to reveal any plans until they actually happen – if they happen), however I can say that for the first time in a few months, I haven’t felt this calm and at peace overall – especially about making a decision which could potentially impact the direction we’re both going in. Everyone who I’ve spoken to about this (which is very few, as we’re keeping it private unless it actually goes ahead) thinks it’s an amazing idea and for us to go for it. It’s really exciting finally having some direction which seems meaningful and with long-term benefits, and I have a great gut feeling about this too. I haven’t felt this excited and at ease about a decision with massive change involved for such a long time! I hope I have some fantastic news to share with you related to this in the near-future, however it’s something we’re going to start working on this year.

– I also visited the hospital for my regular Diabetes Clinic check-up this week. Unfortunately, due to my NLD playing up, my type 1 diabetes has also been impacted due to my lower activity levels. While my HBA1C was the same as last clinic, it still needs to be at least 1% lower. Also, I’m still struggling with entering my insulin into my pump correctly (especially when snacking, where I’ve been entering it manually rather than having to test my sugars every time I eat). This is mainly because I’m self conscious about having to check my sugars all the time, as well as accessing my pump in public/at work. If I use a manual setting, while I can use the pump button sounds to enter in my insulin (meaning I don’t need to go into a bathroom to access my pump to read the screen), it means my food and insulin is not being recorded accurately. Also, my carb counting needs improvement, and I’ll be needing to start measuring out my food in detail to ensure I’m entering correct amounts into my pump to correlate with my blood sugar levels. To help with this, I’ll be downloading a few apps recommended by the clinic. If they’re any good, I may review them on here. For my next clinic visit, I’ll be seeing a Professor who specialises in diabetics with insulin pumps (whom all the diabetes doctors and clinic staff rave about), so this will hopefully be a good thing for me.

– Over the weekend, I managed to see an amazing concert with my sister. My sister and I grew up learning classical music together, and for my birthday she purchased us tickets to James Morrisons’ A-Z of Jazz with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. I have always loved Jazz, and seeing it performed by James Morrison, as well as his jazz band (the best jazz musicians in Australia), and the Sydney Symphony was absolutely incredible. I miss seeing live concerts, and as such, my sister and I have decided to keep ‘gifting’ each other tickets to concerts we’d like to see. In the meantime, I’m hoping to plan to see an opera soon, as well as some Shakespeare and ballet.

– There isn’t too much progress to report regarding my leg. I will be visiting the dermatologist this week to see if the current bandages have been helping. I haven’t been able to go back to the gym yet as I haven’t received clearance from my doctors. However, as I’ve been able to up my step intake without much pain, I’m hoping I’ll be able to start back next week.

– I have been writing more content for the blog, which I’ll be posting up later this week. Sorry for the delay – I’ve had to rest up and have had a few appointments and social events in my normal blogging/writing time.

And that’s another week to report 🙂 Thanks for reading!

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Week 7 Update, 2015

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Hi there! So, I’ve had another week of needing to take it easy due to my leg. However, I have a few updates from the past week:

-So, an update on the status of my NLD. The doctor was so concerned last week about seeing such little progress in the wound healing that I have an emergency appointment with a dermatologist tomorrow, where I may need to have a small procedure done. This dermatologist is the same one I saw when I last had my condition flare up…and I haven’t seen him for almost 3 years now (yeah…it’s 2015 now, so that makes it closer to 3 years). So, that shows how long it’s been since I had issues from this condition! At the same time, however, I’m dealing with a massive amount of stress related to being unwell and things outside of my control which I feel is unfair (sorry, I can’t go into detail on this point). Anyway, my NLD, while not worsening, has not gotten any better from last week, which is very unfortunate given the high amount (and intensity) of antibiotics I’ve been on (I’m still on the strongest ones they can give me before they have to hospitalise me to take hospital-grade antibiotics). It’s going to take a long time for me to start feeling like I can do everyday things without this condition getting in the way.

-Unfortunately, I’ve had to do less than 5,000 steps a day thanks to the leg and bed-rest orders from the doctors, and no Curves Complete gym still. I’m really disappointed that I can’t be active, and am worried I will end up in a plateau again with no results. However, it’s so damn important that I make sure my NLD has calmed itself down before I try to exercise, and I understand I have to take it easy. My Fitbit friends will have it easy challenge-wise for the next few weeks, it seems…

-Having to have bed rest means I’ve had some time to think this week. I’ve been thinking about the direction I’d like to go in for the future, and also the things I’d like to learn how to do which will make me feel happier and more productive as a person (in relation to work, everyday life, blogging and hobbies). After some thought, I’m thinking that once things have settled down a bit for me health-wise, I may think about going with a plan I’ve had for a couple of years now, and get some qualifications in Graphic Design via TAFE Online. I really want to gain the skills in graphic design hobby-wise anyway, and it will be helpful in my career too. However, I am then thinking about also adding on some extra practical qualifications in web development/interactive media/gaming development to further open up opportunities in the future. Several of my friends I studied with at university have gone on to add a TAFE qualification to their list of academic qualifications, with massive success in paving out their future opportunities. So, I’m really eager to keep this thought active and a possibility once I’m feeling ready to tackle some practical study.

-This week, I took the plunge and did something that potentially could change future opportunities for me. I’m deliberately being vague on here as I don’t want anyone getting any ideas (it could end up being nothing), but I wanted to make a note that I was quite brave and courageous this week.  I’m normally terrible with anything related to change, be it positive or negative, but I “bit the bullet”, so to speak, and have done something new. Who knows what could happen as a result!

-While I’ve had to really limit what I do this week, there’s one thing productive I have been able to do whilst resting my leg: resin jewellery! This week, I’ve been experimenting with some new molds (I have tried out my first few bangle molds), and I’ve experimented again with adding glitter to molds. I’ve seen some really good results with adding glitter after first doing a thin layer of resin in the mold and letting it set overnight. This doesn’t work as well with molds that have a rounded face, as the glitter does not settle in place, however the molds with a flat face look awesome! I’m planning to spend some time after work this week and on the weekend experimenting more with glitter, and maybe trying a glitter bangle. Hubby and I also bought ourselves a Dremmel for Valentine’s Day (I’m just as happy as he is about it!) as I can use this to help sand and polish my pieces. I’m hoping on the weekend to start learning how to “finish up” my pieces, so I can start giving some to friends to try out, and then eventually selling some to some willing victims, haha 🙂

That’s about it for the week in passing, though I’m hoping I’ll have some time to catch up on writing for the blog. It’s funny that when I had time to rest my leg, I ended up not spending time writing for the blog as I was too focused on taking it easy. Oops. Anyway, thanks for reading!

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Week 6 Update, 2015

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Hello readers!

Here’s my update for the past week. It’s a bit all-over-the-place thanks to having to deal with ill health due to one of my chronic illnesses flaring up, but it’s still a week of progress. Read on for more:

-As you may have seen (if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook), my NLD (for those playing at home…that’s Necrobiosis Lipoidica Diabeticorum) ulcer scars decided to re-open themselves up over the past few weeks, which resulted in me becoming quite unwell with a nasty infection. I thought I should post up an update on here about my NLD for those who were interested (thanks for your concern!) I’ve been seeing the doctor every day since last Thursday so they can check the progress. The antibiotics weren’t working as well as they hoped, and the plan was to send me to hospital for a few days if they didn’t see improvement on Saturday. Luckily, we have started to see some gradual progress on the ulcers healing up, however I’ve been told it will take a long time for these to heal and that I should expect to be in pain for a while. I’ve been very lucky to discover a group on Facebook for those who suffer from NLD, and I’ve now spoken with people who have the condition either better or worse than I do. This is so important for me to see – it is clear that my NLD is in the stages of becoming worse, as I’m currently experiencing pain on a daily basis from it now. It’s been really great seeing that others are going through a similar experience and how they’re coping, especially when there is no known cause or cure and knowing that treatment options can vary for each individual (it’s a bit of a guessing game to find the right treatment to prevent future ulcers from appearing). Many people have asked me exactly what NLD is (I’ve been self-conscious about admitting that I have another rare, non-curable medical condition, so was just calling it a “leg injury” or just an “ulcer”), so I may write a blog post about it in detail in the near-future to explain it better. But yeah, I really wanted to say thanks for the messages of support and encouragement 🙂

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(I put this pic up on my Facebook, and laughed for a solid five minutes).

-So, naturally, due to my NLD flaring up, I’ve had to take it easy at the gym this week. I won’t be going back to the gym until I’ve gotten the all clear from the doctors, so will probably do a weigh-in and coaching session later this week. My meal plan has been all over the place thanks to being unwell, and also because I’ve felt a bit ill in the stomach for the past few days (maybe because of the antibiotics? I dunno). So yeah, I had to focus on my health and resting my leg, which meant little exercise. I even had to quit the Fitbit challenges I was in, which was pretty disappointing 🙁

-As I’ve had to rest up, I’ve managed to make some great progress with learning to make resin jewellery. This week (you would have seen on Instagram) I’ve learned how to make my own silicone molds by using a rose ring I had in my collection. I then cast this mold with some red-pigmented resin (my first time colouring resin properly), which turned out a lot better than I expected! Tonight, I set up some red-pigmented resin and have set 2 rings and a bangle. I’ve also partially set some geometrical shaped molds (for jewellery), where I’m hoping to try out adding some glitter before filling the remainder of the molds with resin. I am absolutely loving using resin and making molds and casting resin. There’s something about it that feels really challenging (in a good way), productive, rewarding and relaxing for me. I already have some eager friends wanting to purchase some pieces when I’m ready, however I will make a disclaimer here that I’m pretty certain my pieces will be basic at this stage, and won’t be very detailed to begin with (therefore will be quite cheap, understandably). I’ll never have the same quality and finish as some of the amazing resin jewellery makers I follow on Instagram and Etsy, as this is just a hobby on the side for me and I don’t have the technical knowledge or experience/time to make such intricate pieces. Anyway, watch this space, as I’ll definitely keep you updated on what I’m learning! I’m so happy about spending more time doing the things I love and filling my time with hobbies!

-This week, hubby and I had the absolute pleasure of catching up with some old friends (my friend and her epic other-half. She has been loyally following my blog here since I started it, and is someone I count as a dear friend). This friend is one of the very few people from my school days who, after many years of us not being in touch and not being able to catch up much, is able to pick up from where we left off last time. Anyway, hubby and I had such an amazing time hanging out with these peeps, and our nerdy conversation flowed for hours…it was hard to get us all to shut up and the only time it was quiet was when we were basking in the glory of our epic burgers for dinner (haha…if you haven’t tried Grill’d…DO IT). It’s hard to come across genuinely awesome people that you feel such a connection with from the get-go, and these guys have made us so excited about potential catch-ups in the near future. You guys know who you are, and I thank you so much for such an epic catch-up in the midst of a pretty crappy past few weeks 🙂

That’s about it for this week’s update (sorry it’s so illness-orientated). As always, thanks for reading!

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“It’s not a Tamagotchi, damn it!” The 10 things that can annoy every Diabetic with an Insulin Pump.

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Image from: https://www.etsy.com/listing/96309366/fingerprick-pod-wearer-1-pen-ink?utm_source=Pinterest&utm_medium=PageTools&utm_campaign=Share

 

  1. You will be asked “Is that a pedometer/pacemaker/pager/tamagotchi?” *facepalm*
  2. Your pump is/was worth more than pretty much everything you own. I remember when I first got my pump in high school and then realising it was worth more than my first car (which I had just bought)…you feel quite nervous having something so valuable just attached to your skirt. I know health insurance in Australia has made pumps way more affordable now, but around the world these beeping machines are still very costy.
  3. You have to ensure you put the pump cap on before hugging your significant other (if you’re not wearing much….) otherwise the scratches the pump site leaves on them will cause unnecessary and awkward questions from others about your antics.
  4. Forget wearing any tummy-revealing outfits in summer (such as a bikini etc) but NOT because it doesn’t suit you (I completely agree that anybody is welcome to wear a bikini, regardless of your body type, if you love yourself and have the confidence!) It’s because of the rashes and scarring of old set pump sites and how irritated they become when the teeniest bit of sweat is nearby.
  5. That moment of panic when you take out an old pump site and blood goes everywhere. Sure, you see blood everyday when testing blood sugar levels, but there’s nothing like having a burst of blood come out of your stomach from nowhere. Try to avoid doing set changes near carpet, or white kitchen counter-tops (I speak from experience, oops).
  6. Feeling like a badass at an airport when having to get special clearance to get through security without going through the x-ray machines….Oh wait, did I say bad ass? I meant pain in the ass.
  7. You can’t really be spontaneous when having a pump. Do your friends want to throw you into a pool? Nope, not happening. Does your significant other suddenly initiate some intimate time? Oh wait…you have to awkwardly take off your pump first. Road trip? You’d better make sure you have enough insulin juice for the trip? Bed time? Nahhhh you need to do a set change first. It makes any spontaneous action attempted by others awkward as you have to prep, regardless.
  8. You’ll never be able to carry a small bag anywhere. If you like to travel, at least 1/3 of your luggage will be taken up with pump supplies (usually double the amount needed for the trip), a spare insulin pump and the myriad of documentation you need to prove that you’re not a terrorist (true story: I travelled through a regional airport in Australia which had absolutely no idea what my pump was, and thought I was trying to do something illegal. Which was annoying.)
  9. Wearing pumps under clothing can be hard. Pumps can be quite heavy, and if you’re only using the band of your undergarments to keep the pump in place, there’s potential for wardrobe malfunctions and accidently dacking yourself. Again, true story.
  10. You find yourself carrying strange things with you on a daily basis for pump maintenance. For example, I always carry AAA batteries (the pump’s battery of choice) and a stack of 5-cent coins (the coins are the perfect size and type of metal to open up the pump’s battery compartment without damaging it).

While there are a lot of annoying things about having an insulin pump (which I thought I’d share on here so you can see the humour), the positives definitely outweigh these things. Since getting an insulin pump in late 2006, I’ve been able to live a relatively normal life. I also can call myself a part cyborg, which is pretty cool. 🙂

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Week 4 Update, 2015

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Hi everyone! Sorry for the delayed post: as it was Australia Day yesterday, meaning that I didn’t do my weigh-in and coaching session until Tuesday (today), I thought I’d wait to post this week’s review. I also had a horrible day today thanks to anxious thoughts and lack of sleep, so this post is a couple of hours late anyway. Sorry! Lots of epic things have happened over the past week at least, so without ado, here’s my update:

-First thing first, I have started an epic Youtube series with my wonderful husband, where I’m guiding him through the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time game. This game is what I’d classify as the first video game I ever played, and the one that inspired my love for the Zelda culture and gaming series (I like to think that I have a specialised knowledge on the culture in the Zelda gaming series). Our series of the “Let’s Play” of this game will include both of us discussing the culture, philosophy, history, video game design and techniques and pop-culture references as we go. If you’re keen to watch, access the link HERE. I hope it’s entertaining and enjoyable 🙂

-This weekend, my amazing husband also showed me how to make resin pieces using some silicon and latex molds. We used some of his miniatures to cast some resin, and I found it a relatively easy and quite therapeutic process (as I get to have my craft on). As a result, I am feeling ready to start making my own resin jewellery pieces. I am hoping to sell these, therefore please let me know if you’d be interested in helping me out with my craft hobby. I am aiming to make a lot of sparkly and fabulous nerdy jewellery items, including:

-Zelda Triforce earrings, necklaces and brooches

-Doctor Who Tardis glittery earrings, necklace and brooches

-Star Trek Sparkly and glossy insignia badge brooches

-Glittery heart earrings and brooches

-Glittery star earrings and brooches

-Glittery geometrical  earrings

-Resin rose earrings, necklaces and brooches

-Japanese inspired pieces

At first, I think I’ll start out with offering to sell these to friends via Facebook until I feel that I am confident/ready to sell on Etsy. I’m hoping to buy some supplies to get started this week, and will share what I’ve made on Facebook and here. Hoping I’ll have some amazing things to share with you 🙂

-This week, I’ve had to yet again make health a priority. Unfortunately, due to a combination of things including the warmer, humid weather, my ulcer has opened itself up again. It’s making it incredibly painful for me to walk or stand for long periods of time, especially if I’ve tried to walk lots the previous day. As such, I’ve been trying to rest my leg. I really need to see a specialist for it again, however unfortunately finances and not being able to arrange time to do so is making it near-impossible at the minute. Regardless, I decided to focus my energy on doing something else to help out my health this week in trying some more yoga. As a natural stress-head, I’ve heard wonders about the value of yoga again and again; even in the very easy stages of just learning to breathe and stretch. This week, I’ve managed to do little 10 minute stints of yoga in the morning or evenings throughout the past week, and a 30 minute meditation yesterday. I feel this is helping me relax, refocus and not stress as much, and it’s something I can do while I can’t be doing mega step amounts each day. I’m definitely going to try and give myself at least 10 minutes a day to do some basic yoga!

-Even around a buggered-up leg, Australia Day parties and needing to rest, I somehow still managed to lose 200 grams. It’s not much, but it’s enough for me to feel accomplished and that I’m progressing down the right path in making myself a healthier person. I’m continuing to make good food choices throughout the day, however I tend to get a bit distracted at home, when I’m bored or around tempting food choices. Pretty good effort considering everything that’s happened this week!

-Argh, I haven’t managed to get up-to-speed with my reading goals. However, as an alternative Ray and I have managed to start looking at other forms of media on a regular basis…in the form of gaming videos/streams. Over the past week, we’ve found an amazing duo of guys who run an awesome gaming stream and company, and I am aiming to do a great post about them in the near-future. It’s been awesome to spend time with gamers, watch some epic gaming and connect with peeps around the world.

That’s about it for this week! There’s a lot more I could have written, however as I’m a bit fragile anxiety-levels wise, I thought it would be a bad idea. Here’s hoping this week is more positive and filled with crafty things and lots of gaming. I’m not sure what my post later this week will be about, so feel free to check back later this week for what could be a random (or awesome) post. Thanks for reading 🙂

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Week 1 Update, 2015

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Welcome to my weekly updates for 2015! I’m so excited about sharing this year with you all, especially as I’ll be posting a whole variety of things on here 🙂 That being said, these weekly updates may be slightly shorter to ensure I give myself enough time for writing up other posts. Anyway, without further ado, here’s my update of what happened in the past week:

  • This week, I celebrated my birthday, therefore am now officially a quarter of a century in age! On reflection, I’m at a really good place in life for someone who’s just turned 25: I’m married to my soulmate and living in wedded bliss, I have permanent employment in an area of work I really enjoy, I’ve been able to travel so much (especially over the last 5-10 years), I’ve been able to pursue my hobbies whether it be music, study, writing and more, I’ve had (and still have) some amazing friends and family to share life with, and I’m about to start saving with my husband so we can own our own home in the near-distance future. I’m so thankful for being on this great earth for 25 years, and am happy with where I am. I can’t wait to see what my 25th year will bring!
  • I’ve really been thinking about some of my goals for this year, especially in making/keeping some epic friendships of the female kind (particularly in women I find inspirational or very encouraging). Over the past week in particular, I’ve either taken the initiative, or acted on opportunities to take a step in this direction, and am booking in some great catch-ups/social events with some amazing ladies. I feel so driven to not only find, maintain and keep friendships with people who motivate me, but to also motivate and encourage them in turn (hopefully). As I’m now married, and the gap between people of my age who are in a different stages of their lives deepens (they’re still partying hard or still in high school mindsets etc), I’m so determined to start putting in mega levels of effort to have an amazing circle of female friends (sidenote: don’t get me wrong, male friends are epic too. Thanks to my husband, I have a great number of these now! However, I’ve always struggled to have a stable and consistent group of female friends, and really yearn to have this).
  • Today is going to be my first day back at the gym and the first day back on the Curves Complete program. I’ve used the past week as a relax/recharge/mental health for myself, therefore did not follow the meal plan, nor do amazing step results. As I’ve been on a plateau for some time now (even after working my butt off for the last few weeks of the year to change this), I (and my gym coaches) decided to have a break over Christmas and the New Year. Something I will address this week, though, is my coaching. I’ve been finding it a bit difficult at the gym lately as I haven’t had the same coach each week for my Curves Complete sessions. As such, I’ve received differing advice and varied levels of goals, which has made me feel less motivated and consistent in achievements. Don’t get me wrong; all of the coaches are fantastic, but I’m meant to have the same coach each week. It’s especially important for me to have a coach which understands all of my health problems, and has seen me at the gym since the start, so I’ll be seeing if I can get the same coach each week and if this will help with my progress.
  • I’ve managed to read two books since the start of the New Year: Amanda Palmer’s The Art of Asking (highly recommend, especially for those of my dear friends who are pursuing the arts and their passions) and Sophia Amoruso’s #GIRLBOSS (recommend-ish, especially if you are wanting to own your own business/make a hobby your business…not as inspiring for those attempting to climb the corporate ladder). My reading patterns lately have shown I currently am on a binge-reading session of autobiographies/non-fiction written by strong women. It’s made me kind of question myself a little bit, though. Some of these women were already achieving greatness and success in their early twenties (even being courageous enough to go straight after their dreams)…yet what the hell am I doing?! I’ve been struggling in determining my success levels and value in a career path/academic path lately, so these books, whilst being very motivating also are a double-edged sword in making me feel slightly inadequate and unsure of what I should be doing. However, I have been motivated by these books to keep going after my pursuit to focus on my hobbies and passions this year, such as this blog. This week, I’m aiming to read Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl.
  • This week, based on the revamp of my site, I took the plunge and decided to share my blog with my Instagram and Tumblr followers (hello to you all!). This blog used to be purely for myself as a journal to record my progress each week, however I then decided to open it up to my Facebook friends. As I received feedback and encouragement, I then decided to open it up even more and made it available to public view, and have now shared it with all social media sites I am active on. This is a massive achievement for me, as I am usually quite a socially awkward and anxious person. Thank you to everyone who has continued to motivate me to write on here and stay positive! Some individuals I follow on Instagram and Tumblr have amazing blogs and websites themselves, and I hope to do a feature post on my favourites soon. In the meantime, if any fellow bloggers would love to connect, please let me know, as it would be amazing to be part of an online community of bloggers who motivate and encourage each other (rather than so many who try to troll and bring fellow bloggers down).

That’s it for the week in passing’s updates, however I will be putting up a post later this week (the first of many) about what is currently on my summer fashion wish-list. Thanks for reading 🙂

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2014 in Review

So, as you would know, I set up this blog (initially) as a public motivation to work towards goals I set myself each year. A place where I was held accountable to report in each week and to monitor progress over the year. It was an added incentive when dear friends and new friends began to read each week, follow progress and provide lots of encouragement, which I’m so incredibly thankful for.

Therefore, without further ado, let’s see how I’ve gone with meeting my goals for 2014:

In 2014 I:

-Will strive to keep this blog updated at least once a week

I’ve finally made writing a weekly habit, with the occasional extra post here and there over the past year on topics of interest. What matters more, however, is that rather than just writing up each post in one sitting, I take the time to plan out each post and report back on the goals I’ve set over the year. Next year, I intend to post (hopefully) at least twice a week, with more than just updates on my goals for the year. 🙂

-Will refuse to be defined by how much I weigh or what medical conditions I have.

This year has brought a lot of challenges regarding how I perceive myself and my confidence. However, I feel this year I’ve definitely become a lot more accepting of myself and my physical/medical state. Whilst both have been the main cause of feeling low self esteem at times this year, I’m starting to see how I can appreciate and love myself for who I am. There’s many worse things that someone can be instead of being plus-sized, and I could be a lot worse of medical-conditions wise. Whilst both are part of what shapes my identity, I don’t solely view them as what makes this up, and don’t view them as a form of setback.

-Will get married, and start to develop a marriage more beautiful than our wedding. We’re aiming for five-ever (as it’s more than forever, hahah!)

Hell yes, I got married. IT WAS AWESOME. IT STILL IS AWESOME. And, whilst our wedding day was exactly what we had dreamed and hoped for, I actually find myself loving married life so much more than the wedding day we had. We also had our amazing honeymoon across Japan, South Korea and China, where we hope to return to in the near-future for more adventures. This year, we started (officially) our “family life” as a connected unit. From sickness to financial worries and working on anxiety and stress, my husband has proved to me over and over again this year that he will always be by my side, and that together we can achieve anything. I cannot wait to see what 2015 bring us.

-Will aim to keep my mind open and constantly learning by reading. I hope to complete a new book at least once a fortnight.

Unfortunately, life around planning and having a wedding, honeymoon and starting postgraduate study means I didn’t get to read a book once a fortnight. A positive from this was that I started my postgraduate studies and am on track to complete a qualification sometime in the next year. However, in 2014 I have found myself instead doing a lot of research in other mediums, particularly through the internet. From academic journals (for study mostly), to discussions via Tumblr and posts on Instagram, I feel I have expanded my mind in not limiting myself to just the printed medium. I have discovered some amazing scholars, thinkers, activists, bloggers and authors this year, which in turn has given me a massive (yet exciting) reading list for 2015. 🙂

-Will no longer be a slave to the “plus-size” fashion industry by staring to make my own clothes (and hopefully learn to sew quite well by the end of the year).

Unfortunately, like the above goal, life got in the way of this goal being achieved. I have, however, been able to start preparing to make this a more realistic goal for 2015. I spent 2014 gathering supplies such as patterns, books and fabric. Over the start of 2015, my husband and I are planning to set up a “craft space” for me, where I will able to make this a reality. In fact, I am working on another creative goal for 2015 (which I will mention when I post my 2015 goals on here shortly). I am thankful that, due to a missed opportunity this year, a huge positive is that I will be able to have some time set aside to work on my creative hobbies.

-Will try to stress less by seeing that very few situations are a crisis.

I feel that I’ve improved my stress and anxiety levels in leaps and bounds this year (outside of work, at least). Well, it was pretty stressful planning a wedding and honeymoon, but especially over the past few months, I’ve become a bit more carefree and realistic about what is worth worrying over. I’ve had quite a few bumps in the road work-wise this year, where I’ve been justifiably stressed and anxious. However, I’ve worked hard to maintain a positive attitude for the end the year, and having hope and optimism for what the new year can bring.

-Will persevere at my quest towards being more healthier and in control of my health.

Thanks to my gym, Curves, the Curves Complete program, supportive family and friends and a great team of my diabetes doctors, I have worked very hard to maintain this goal in 2014. Not only do I currently weigh less than I did this time last year, I am also the fittest I’ve been in what I count as my “adult life” so far. My diabetes levels have improved dramatically, which I’ve been trying to achieve for almost 10 years. I also managed to see physical changes to my body, as did others. Whilst diabetes, being quite sick this year and having my NLD on my leg can cause me to plateau with progress throughout the year, I still am in a better place than I was last year. I’m so proud that I’ve shown such initiative and stuck to this goal in 2014. I cannot wait to see what I can achieve for myself and my health in 2015!

What a year! Thanks for sharing it with me, and I can’t wait to share the adventures of 2015 with you all. Happy New Year! 🙂

I am not a Beached Whale: How I’ve started to accept my “beach body”

Today, I did something that I haven’t done for about 15 years (at least). I went to the beach without wearing some form of shorts/cover-up based clothing. Instead, I opted for a retro styled one piece:

We even took a pic at the beach, and no one cared. Added fox tail for authenticity, haha.

We even took a pic at the beach, and no one cared. Added fox tail for authenticity, haha.

This was a massive achievement for me, as I’ve always struggled with body confidence at the beach. Not only do I burn so easily (no joke, hubby and I spent 30 minutes putting on sunscreen), but I’m extremely self conscious about being seen in a swimsuit for many reasons. Firstly, thanks to almost 20 years of needing insulin injections (thanks Type 1 Diabetes) in my tummy area, my stomach is quite weirdly shaped due to what is known as an “insulin belly”: a build up of tissue/fat from so many years of injections. Unfortunately, trying injections and insulin pump sites on my thighs and bum didn’t really work for me, so I had to stick to using my stomach area. So, I’ve never been confident to wear anything remotely close to my skin to the beach, and was luckily able to use my excuse of getting sunburnt so easily as a reason to cover up.

Secondly, thanks to my NLD scar on my leg, I’ve felt very self-conscious about showing this scar around the beach too (even if the salt water is actually quite good for it).

However, the main reason would be due to being plus-sized. Due to my larger frame, I’ve naturally felt scared to hit the beach…thanks to years of teasing and harsh words from others at school swimming events, excursions and parties. Yes, I have been called a “beached whale” before.

Today though, hubby and I decided that we’d give the beach a try. We’re pretty certain that we’ve actually never been to the beach since we’ve been together, and after a hard day’s work at home, we wanted a summer reward. I trawled through my swimwear, feeling pretty awkward and worrying about how I’d look after the past week of eating yummy (but not gym-friendly) food. In the last second, I managed to find a retro black one-piece (brand new) which I picked up on an op-shop run. After deciding to try it on, hubby was very quick to tell me how beautiful I looked and, even before I suggested putting on some board shorts to cover up, that I could rock the one piece. Here I was, getting anxious about what others would think…others who I didn’t even know and would (likely) never see again. Why should I care about what they think, when the person whose opinion matters to me most thinks that I’m beautiful?

So, without further ado, we headed off to the beach. We’re very lucky to be surrounded by beaches within 5 minutes of our place, so we decided to hit a quieter beach (it’s a dog friendly beach, so having cute dogs everywhere was a plus too!). Once we got there, it was evident that because of how long and spacious the beach was, the people who were there were doing their own thing and not really caring about everyone else. We got our own little section of the beach to ourselves, and I jumped in the waves like the big little kid I am.

And you know what? No one cared that I was in a one piece swimsuit that showed my thighs and my body. No one!

I felt confident and happy, and still do. It was awesome, and I can’t wait to hit the beaches again this summer. Hopefully I can bring some friends along 🙂