Thursday, February 23, 2012

One year on....

Yesterday was the anniversary of a devastating earthquake that hit Christchurch, New Zealand at 12.51pm, Tuesday the 22nd of February 2011.

It's been a day of tears and remembrance.

When the quake struck, I was dying to go to the bathroom - I was on the third story of our work building in Victoria Street - loading in ads for a client. I had about ten to go and I was about to finish the one I was working on, hit the toilet and then go out and get food. Next thing, I'm getting the shit shaken out of me, and somehow I am on the floor, fingers trying to dig into the carpet to hold on. I can hear everyone yelling and the noise of things flying and breaking around us.

This plant actually broke over my legs, I had a crazy bruise for weeks afterwards.

This was my desk, everything on it landed on top of me, including a heavy metal file thing, that bruised my arm like crazy. I was driving home and couldn't figure out why my arm was aching.

When it stopped, I was too scared to turn around as I thought surely the front of the building had collapsed. I couldn't understand how I was still on the floor. The Account Manager came up behind me and started patting my shoulders asking if I was okay. I had to catch my breath before I could respond. As I got myself under control, I realised we were all in shock. And, I still needed to pee. I found my cellphone on the floor, and stood up. I got a call from my mum, and one from Andrew. They were okay. Andrew told me to get home and he would come as soon as he could. I knew it was bad, but I didn't realise how bad. We weren't sure what to do so wandered around making sure each other was okay and had our bags, phones and keys ready to go. I tried to call our Wellington office, thinking it must of been the Alpine fault. I couldn't get through.

As I went to put the landline phone back it rang, giving me a huge fright - and I answered, not in my usual chirpy manner but in a scared little kid voice 'Hullo??' 'Oh hullo,' said one of our directors... 'Is Bernard there?' 'Yes,' I replied, 'but we've just had a massive earthquake'. 'Oh, okay' he responded.

I found out later that he had been trying to organise a conference call and wasn't really listening to me - and there were a few people on the line - they then realised it was serious as they could hear the aftershocks rattling our building, and Bernard told them one of the girls had a few cuts on her legs as she was in the kitchen and all our glassware had smashed. (Never have cupboards that don't have doors!).

We decided it was time to get the hell out of there - but I still had to pee. I asked one of the girls to open the bathroom door, I couldn't get my fat body through as the mirror had fallen behind it making it barely passable for a skinny person. She did that, and as I went to go in, another wicked aftershock hit and I fell over again. Rather than risk it, I decided to just hold on and go when I got home. However, getting home turned out to be a bit harder than expected.

Walking to my car, I saw everyone out on the street. Some were covered in blood, some were in shock - everyone was sort of milling about, unsure about where to go and what to do. I seemed to be the only one moving - and when I got to my car, the car park was still full. There was a lady leaning against it, so I asked if she was okay. She told me she'd come up for the day from Timaru with her husband, and they had taken her parents to the casino for lunch. She told me to drive safely and she hoped everything was okay at home.

 On my way to the car - building damage.

I'm not sure what I was thinking walking so close to this....

Once in the mighty Mu (Daisy is her name), I tried to head my usual way home only to be turned back. Buildings were down, said the lady in the safety vest - you'll need to go down the one way system. Traffic was bumper to bumper, and there were no lights working. People were starting to walk. I had the radio on More FM, and I was listening to Stitchy, telling us to look after ourselves and get home as soon as we could. He was trying to stay on air, but then he said that he had been told to leave the building as it was too dangerous to stay. The radio went off air, so I searched until I found talkback.

That's when I found out that people had died.

I burst into tears. Stuck in bumper to bumper traffic, realising that while I knew my mum and future husband were okay, I had no idea about my friends and the rest of my family. I had the window down, but all I could taste was dust.

 I lost it when I saw this garage - I couldn't understand it

This is liquefaction in action, you can see here, the silt coming up from underneath us.

As I got closer to home the traffic started thinning out a bit, but the closer I got the more worried I was about my dogs and the house. It appeared every brick building was in pieces, and then this was at the end of my street....

By that stage I was beside myself. Driving over the cracks in the roads, being on a bridge when an aftershock hits - super scary experience, but seeing a car in a hole down the end of your street? Insane!

When I got home I realised I couldn't get up the driveway. We live on a back section and our neighbours in fronts chimney had smashed all over the driveway. I parked and bolted up the drive and into the house and ran to the bathroom. Best pee ever. Then I walked back into my lounge and realised what a mess I'd come home to. The power was off, and so was the water.

Our fridge tried to get over to the stove.

I grabbed the dogs leads, and went outside and gave them huge pats and cuddles. Due to the damage in the kitchen I decided that going outside with them and talking to the neighbours would be a better option that sitting inside with no power or water and being alone. My neighbour in front appeared to be in shock, so I told him to hang on to the dogs while I went and got us some chairs and beers - of course, couldn't get into the kitchen to get beers, but did manage to grab chairs. When I came back out Dee was snuggling up to him and Reese was calmly lying at his feet. Animals make great stress / pat therapy.

We waited outside - it was very King of the Hill style, we had the dogs, deckchairs and some booze. My other neighbour tuned up and she bought out her radio. We sat listening in shock. And then we smelt something burning. We found out later that the CTV building had collapsed and was on fire. At the end of my street is one of the main ways to get further into the eastern suburbs. Traffic was bumper to bumper. I managed to get onto facebook a couple of times to post status updates...

'There's dust and silt everywhere a o'

'I'm ok, andrew too mum text me but no response from her traffic jammed dogs ok house trashed but not damaged'

'I can do status updates but not see replies. Still shaking neighbors gave me a coke but other neighbors chimney is all over my drive'

Andrew finally got home, and blocked off the kitchen so we could leave the dogs in the house. I went for a short walk around the block and the shops on Linwood Avenue looked like this. I hoped like hell they got out of that block of shops, especially the people who worked in the fish and chip shop on the end.

We spent half the night in the lounge lying on the couches, listening to the radio in the dark.Our cellphones ran out of juice and the laptop went flat. We had no idea what had happened in the central city and still didn't know if all of our friends were okay.

'Still no power/water in my hood. We're on our wAy to qt's house with our dogs, thanks guys. Ps all wedding whitebait is being eaten as it's defrosting. Stink.'

Our best friends Q&T had picked up their dogs and headed off to the coast - so they offered us their house. The drive out to our seemed to take ages. Once there it was a relief to have a shower, and check my bruises...


The portal to hell in my leg.

Phones charged, messages started coming through.. I could finally see on the TV what had happened to my beautiful city - on facebook I was sharing photos of the missing - some of them had died. And I finally heard that my friends were all okay - including the ones that worked at the Christchurch Press - that partially collapsed during the quake.

It was an incredibly surreal experience. I learnt a lot about myself - that in a crisis, I can keep my head and focus on what I need to do, and I am good at helping others to try and be calm. I am a lot stronger than I think. That empathy for others is not a weakness but a strength, that there is nothing wrong with doing what you need to do and if tears are streaming down your face, so fucking what. 

I feel incredibly blessed that my friends and family made it through this horrible experience. I am sure some of them saw some horrifying things. 

I stood in Hagley Park yesterday, with my workmates, and the people of Christchurch. I listened as the names of the deceased were read. Tears streamed down my cheeks - I recognised the names of the ones I had shared on my facebook page when they were only missing - and those tears kept coming during our two minutes of silence.

We will never forget.

For more reading about that day as seen through others eyes you can read these blogs:

ThriftyGifty - my beautiful friend Alyna

Knotty - My friend Ian - his wife Sarah (my friend) worked in the Press building and I was terrified she was injured or gone.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wednesday weigh-in

Wasn't as horrible as I thought - 600 grams off, so just over half a kilo. I am 100 grams away from having lost 15 kilos since I started this journey last year. 100 grams!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Motivation Monday on Tuesday (whoops)

I would do well to remember this. I had an incredibly lazy week - Wednesday I flew to Wellington for work, so left home at 6.30am and didnt get back until 10pm that night. So that is a fair call, I mean a day that long there really is no time - I did wander round the airport but probably not enough to count. Thursday was Andrew's last night in the country, so by the time I got out of bed (tired) there was no time to exercise and then when I got home, our friend Ged (who he has gone to the USA) with turned up. So we ended up having a takeaway dinner and a chat. Friday it was up early again to take them to the airport - I stayed and had breakfast until they had to board. Didn't make a very good choice, and it wasn't very tasty so won't be doing that again; then met a friend for lunch; and had a light dinner - but again no working out. While I stayed pretty true to my calories, the food choices I made were not really that great.

Saturday, where we're supposed to smash out a super session, was also a bit of a bust - a friend came round for a walk at 7am then I had to head off to the hairdresser to get my regrowth tended to before I go the US (two weeks, but who is counting!), then I met another friend for lunch, and went home and went to the neighbours who invited me for a BBQ dinner.

Sunday, my awesome friend Sarah (she of the Saturday 7am walk) and I decided to do the St Martins steps. These things are insane. We went up, then walked down around the road, and went back up them again, and then down them. Ow. 

Monday I did a boxing session, and today I did some weights this morning, then after work managed to burn an 400 calories, by adding some sprints to my walk. (as well as some hard core shower cleaning and a vacuuming). Hopefully that will negate the two pieces of pizza I had at lunch. I told myself I could have one, and bought a salad, but it was just so good, I snarfed down a second. I did take a good five minutes to really think about it though - and to be perfectly honest, in the past I would of downed an entire pizza without thinking and ended up feeling sick. I think the adjustment to two slices is a good compromise, and while I know it wasn't the best choice I could make, the reality is I still sometimes want to be able to enjoy myself without feeling guilty about it. It doesn't help that it was a supplier funded lunch that came with a presentation so it wasn't like I couldn't be there!

Weigh in tomorrow could be interesting - I'm not expecting massive movement, but I know why and I accept that. It's been a full on week (dog had surgery, and then managed to open her wounds up again) but I haven't eaten an entire cake like my devil-mel would like me to; (which is how I used to cope with stress), I shut that bitch up with a serious talking to - and a promise of a treat meal on Saturday.

Wish me luck!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Blogger Challenge - Week One

As previously mentioned I signed up for the blogger challenge. Last round I started out with good intentions but I pretty much stopped writing about it half way through. Thing is though, I actually get a lot out my head by just saying it here.

So first Friday challenge questions and answers are:

Tell us a little bit about yourself.  What makes you, you?

I am a bit of a nut. I'm shy, but if there are shyer people around me then I will talk it up. I'm scared, but I put my challenge with my weight on the interwebs for the world to see. I talk too much - but never about the important (or secret) things. I'm a wife (ha) of almost a year (although my husband and I have been together for about 15 years or so) and I live with two beautiful boxers, and two annoying cats. I read - crazy fast reader actually - so even when the tv is on, usually my nose is stuck in a book. Right now my favourite colours are pink and orange - I love to bake. I clearly love to eat.

Why did you decide to do the 12WBT? 

I did round three of 2011 and decided that I actually need to take a year out and dedicate it to myself. The whole year. I plan on signing up for all three rounds this year. I want to lose an entire person off my body.

What are you hoping to achieve through the program? 

The ability to think before eating; that exercise becomes an addictive habit, and of course weight loss.

Why have you decided to blog about the 12WBT? What will be the main focus (eg, food, exercise, a bit of everything?) 

It's a bit of everything. I think its a good way to write out your thoughts that sometimes you need to see written down. Also its keeping me honest.

How will you be exercising this round? Gym, home, outdoors or a mixture?

Outdoors and at home.

What is your greatest strength that will help you?

I think its my ability to make a joke out of everything. Some exercises are just not physically possible in this body but I always come up with a joke and a laugh about it and figure out what I can do. 

What are you afraid of? 


What are you looking forward to the most over the next 12 weeks?

New menus, new clothes and seeing my body change.

What is your downfall? Food? Exercise? How will you overcome this?

I'm quite good at procrastination. Also I love sweet foods. So to counteract I plan things, load the DVD the night prior, organise group workouts. The sweet thing I'm still battling - trying for lower calorie treats.

If you had to pick one word to motivate you over the next 12 weeks, what would you choose?


Wednesday, February 15, 2012


I'm 500 grams (almost 1 pound) under the helicopter weight limit. I will be buying tickets on Friday. And then making sure I get down as much as I can before we go! YAY.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Day One again!

So today is the start date of round one of 2012's 12wbt. I am committing to doing all three rounds this year and really focusing on myself - my own health and wellbeing - and looking out for me. I've been hiding in this body for far to long and its time to get rid of the flab and be myself.

I'm also going to make sure to take part in this blogger challenge! 

And that's what I need to keep in mind on my honeymoon too!

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Wednesday weigh in

YES! 900 grams gone this morning. I admit to eating 1470 cals instead of 1200, but that will change next week with the programme starting. Am looking forward to my menu plan which comes out tomorrow.

I got up early this morning to do a workout, but am still stuck by the computer, so that's not a good thing. I'll think I need to get the dvd ready the night before so I can roll out of bed and go straight to it!

Last night when I left for my walk I got the corner and it started bucketing down. It was ridiculous. I text Andrew to tell him so, and he told me to harden up. I said I was hiding under a tree, and he told me to run. So I did. Not the whole way - not using c25k, but every street I ran at least one lampost length. And not the jog I do usually, but a proper run - where I focused on breathing. It was awesome. I think the c25k isn't working for me because its about timing. I end up going slower and slower - where picking a lampost and going as fast as I can while focusing on breathing rather than time, really worked last night.

Eventually I know the C25K will work because I'll be able to run and breathe rather than run and die, but am going to stick to the lampost method for a while. Every walk I commit to running at least one lamp post length on every street. I am determined to be able to run 5k at some stage, but for now I need to work on the technique.

400 grams away to helicopter goal!

Monday, February 06, 2012

Helicopter Motivation Monday! (?)

So I went a bit quiet there, but only because I have been super busy. Last Wednesday I climbed a hill that then turned into a 5km walk and just about died - Thursday I was lazy, Friday even lazier, then Saturday did that same damn hill four times, going a little further each time, thanks to the push from our personal trainer.

Thought I might need a nana nap after that morning, but managed to stay awake, and then Sunday did an 11km walk with a couple of friends - my calves were burning at the end of it. I ended up having a huge nana nap in the afternoon then followed that up with a ten hour sleep. Crazy. Today I was also pretty quiet with another nana nap - I never thought I would be one of those people who sleeps in the middle of the day, but clearly my body needed the time to recover. I burnt a fair few calories and admit to having a sneaky peak on the scales this morning and getting excited - but will wait for Wednesday just in case.

Anyway motivation for this week:

I know you're thinking - WTF? A helicopter for motivation?? But it turns out I am about 800grams (as of this morning) away from being the maxium weight limit to be able to fly into the grand canyon via helicopter on my honeymoon (without having to pay for another seat).

I have been talking about this for ages, and I think I was sabotaging myself a little as I am scared of heights, but I know how much Andrew would love to do this, plus instead of being stuck in car to drive there from Vegas (around a 10 hour trip), we'd only need about 4.5 hours or so. It's a little expensive, but everyone I have spoken to who has done it says it really is worth it. 

So I need to suck up my fear. In 2011 I lived with destruction, death, friends moving away, houses and roads being broken, and being shaken about like a polaroid picture -so to be scared of a helicopter seems, well, a little lame.

I'd like to lose another 5.8 kilos before I go. I know its achievable, I just have to get out there and JFDI.

12wbt Round 1 starts next week, so if you haven't signed up yet and are keen to, visit now! Roll on Thursday when our first weeks meal plans and shopping lists come out!!