01 Jan

Happy 2016!

I am sitting here, on the first morning of 2016, contemplating the year ahead and sipping on a strong coffee I wonder what this year will bring.  2015 was a year of transition, a year of growth (in more ways than one!) and discovery.

We transitioned from full-time parents to empty nesters… Jacob started his first year of uni, studying Bachelor of Science at ANU and spent his year living on campus at Burton & Garren Hall.  It was a really strange transition – all these things I now longer had to account for as part of my day to day… Jacob has always been a fairly independent teenager, often preparing his own meals etc.  None the less, even now, after nearly 12 months, it feels weird to not have to think about his 5 sets of uniforms for the coming week, making sure he’s got all the food he needs for his lunches for the week ahead, school supplies, trips to  town for his work and social get togethers.  So you could sum it up by saying I gained time, but slowly over the course of the year I found the feeling of extra time slowly dissipated and the spare time was filled with new (or previously forgotten) activities.

That was probably the biggest change for me, but there were a lot of other things that made this a memorable year.  2015 also marked our 20th wedding anniversary… WOW! It’s hard to believe it has been 20 years since we were standing in the Senate Rose Gardens at Old Parliament House, shivering … in March! To celebrate Steve and I went on a cruise through south-east Asia followed by 5 days in Singapore at the amazing Shangri-La Hotel.  

What an amazing journey!  14 days aboard to Pacific Jewel with stopovers in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam and Singapore.  As the departure was from Fremantle I could now say I’ve visited every state and territory (except Norfolk Island) in this great country of ours.  The journey was memorable and we enjoyed every moment of it.  I would love to go back to Singapore as there were many sights we didn’t get an opportunity to see.  Vietnam was amazing, I had a very brief catch-up with an old friend how now owns one of the hottest bars in Ho Chi Min City, Shrine.  You can find out more about it on TripAdvisor.

I also found a lot of kilos this year… and shed some and then found some!  I experimented a log with different diet styles.  Paleo, KETO and the basic low carb.  I read a lot… and I mean A LOT of stuff about low carb eating.  In the end I chose KETO and had some real success.  The biggest factor for me was the fact I never felt hungry AND all my favourite things could be eaten.  Cheese, bacon, cream, avocado, leafy greens, nuts etc.  I did miss fresh fruit and that is the first thing I’ll be trying to find out more about for the start of this year.  

How can I incorporate a daily serving of fruit and stay within my macros of 70/25/5 (fat/protein/carbs)?Tracy W.

I really thought dropping carbs would be a fate worse than death… I love carbs!  I love a good bread, crusty sourdough, crunchy baguettes… /drool.  Pasta and rice were also such a big part my diet and not to mention lollies, ice cream and chocolate.  It took a while, and thinking back it was probably not as long as it felt, about 2-3 weeks to get over the need to have a starch on my plate at dinner. The challenges were work lunches and morning teas.  I love to bake and it’s really tough making yummy sweets and desserts and not being able to eat it.  I’m an all or nothing kind of girl, there’s no such thing as moderation for me when it comes to food =/

Despite falling off the wagon towards the end of the year, I spent roughly 5 months on a strict KETO regime, religiously entering my data in to MyFitnessPal to ensure I was staying true to my chosen macros of 70/25/5. I achieved a loss of a little over 13kgs in this time, never feeling hungry and for the most part very few cravings.  I will definitely be getting back on this little red wagon when we return home at the end of the week.

Another highlight was learning to crochet… this has been on my bucket list for a long time. Pretty much everything I know about sewing, knitting, crafts and gardening I learnt from my grandmother, affectionately known as Mars, who passed away in August 2014.  The one thing she was never able to teach me was crochet.  Mars and I and an amazing friendship, more like BFF’s than grandmother and granddaughter, BUT at the end of the day she was a lefty… haha!  We overcame the challenge of knitting but never crochet.  I spent an afternoon with some work friends learning to crochet and it was love at first hook!  As I often am with new hobbies and grabbed that bull by the horns and spent every spare, waking moment hooking like a crazy person … like a crazy cat lady but crochet!  I learned so much in such a short space of time.

The Christmas road trip was another first for us, never having taken a big trip on our bikes together it was an exciting adventure to plan and prepare for.  How much should we pack? What if it rained the whole time? What if we broke down? What farkles did we need to enhance the experience?  Over the coming weeks I will be doing a write up on the good, the bad and the ugly… not to mention the infamous ABC’s of Touring!

So finish up I want to wish you all a very happy new year and hope you achieve everything you aim for in 2016 and know that if you didn’t, you at least gave it your best shot – at the end of the day that is the most you can ask of yourself.

Until next time 🙂

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