This princess has ballet flats, not glass slippers

This princess has ballet flats, not glass slippers

As a child I was a big fan of traditional tales from long ago, as well as the modern Disney versions. As an adult primary school teacher, traditional tales still fascinate me (as do all aspects of children’s literature) because of how they can help children in many ways socially and academically.

So can the tale of Cinderella give me insight into my 12wbt journey? You might think at first – no way, Cinderella has a fairy godmother who makes life better for her with the wave of her magic wand.

But when I think about it – what is Cinderella doing in her day to day life?

She is consistently doing the hard work day in day out. No excuses. No whining. No whinging. She follows the JFDI principles every day of her life.

And then there is a red flag moment she gets to go to the ball and meet Prince Charming – but there are conditions, and in not meeting those conditions things go a little wrong.

But the next day – what does she do? She goes back to work being consistent – get life isn’t over because she made one mistake.

And then the years of consistent effort and lack of whining pay off, and she lives happily ever after with her prince.

So, what’s the moral of the story for me as a 12wbt member?
Don’t make excuses.
Be consistent.


An Interview With 77noni

Do you have any regrets?
I don’t believe in having regrets, only situations I can learn from in the future. However, the fact that at 165kgs in May 2010 I found out about 12wbt, and between then and July 2011 keep deleting the emails inviting me to join is something I wish I hadn’t done. But rather then be too regretful, I’m just glad I read that Women’s Weekly article that August night. Michelle Bridges’ obvious passion for what she did made me realise her program was the way for me to go. And within eight weeks of following her principles I had shed fourteen kilograms. So, I don’t regret not joining Round 2 2010 – but I’ve learned not to let opportunities pass me by because I think I’m not capable.

When in your life have you felt most alone?
When I’m clinically depressed I feel very alone – even when surrounded by my loving family and supportive friends. I have Bipolar Disorder (I was diagnosed in 2003) and the lows for me seem very low, as I have the euphoric highs to compare them to in my mind. In 2008, I was lucky enough to be treated by Dr L in the public health system – and apart from two brief relapses of depression I have been well since June 2008.

What has been the happiest moment of doing 12wbt?

Sliding down the slippery dip with friends at the Thredbo pool. I had never been on a slide before, and my lovely friends coaxed me to put the mat on the top of the slide and let go of my fears. I think this photo says it all.

(picture to be inserted soonish)

Who has been the kindest to you on this journey?
October 2011 Michelle Bridges was at Australia’s biggest health check morning. During the course of the morning she led a Body Attack class. I was about 140kgs and I am about 182cm tall. At the time I was recovering from a sprained ankle and was very much at a Beginners fitness level. Then Michelle Bridges asked the group to do a one legged standing quad stretch. I wobbled all over the place trying to execute the balancing stretch – when a hand reached out and supported me. It belonged to Ms B, a fellow member of the 12wbt Sydneysiders. Not only did she manage to do the stretch perfectly herself, but this petite dance teacher helped me to balance and do the stretch.

(Ms B went on to be a winner of Lean & Strong Round 3 2012.)

What is your earliest memory of doing 12wbt?
I made up my mind to do the 12wbt on Tuesday night in August 2011. On the Saturday Master G and I headed in to the city to stay the night before doing the City2Surf on the Sunday. That morning I requested to join the 12wbt Sydneysiders Facebook group. On the way in on the train I took Michelle Bridges’ Crunch Time cookbook – as I was determined to start eating better on the Monday. I freaked out when I saw the vast majority of the dinners had no pasta, potatoes, bread, rice or couscous. I remember snapping the book shut in horror thinking I could never ever eat an evening without one those goodies on my plate every night. Then I thought – what’s more important – a nightly fix of carbs or getting rid of the weight?
That evening after dinner I started posting in the Sydneysiders group and told them I was walking the City2Surf the next day with my son. I received encouraging comments, especially the next day when I told them I had bettered my 2010 time.
And the next night, did I miss the carbs, hell yes, especially as the family were eating them. But it got easier – and now I don’t miss them at all.

What is your proudest 12wbt moment ?
There are lots of moments which made me stand tall and proud. Getting to the top of Mt Koscziosko, finally completing a 1km trial without walking and finishing my first 10km fun run without walking. But the proudest moment of my 12wbt journey was being a finalist for Round 2, 2012 and being up on stage, receiving a medal and words of encouragement from Michelle Bridges.


What does your future hold?

Being healthier, fitter and happier – because despite the clinical depression, I didn’t start 12wbt unhappy – just not as happy as I could have been.

Specifically, in my future I will be running the Half Marathon at the Australian Running Festival in August, followed by the Gold Coast Airport Half Marathon in July and the Blackmore’s Running festival in September. In July and September I will be aiming to run a personal best time.

I am also going to learn to ride a bicycle once and for all so I can enter a Triathlon.

This weekend I am trying kayaking for the first time. I also want to try stand up paddle boarding and indoor rock climbing.

When I get to goal, which will inevitably happen, I want to learn to ride a horse properly and go on an overnight trek in the Snowy Mountains.

Much better than sitting on the couch watching everyone lap me.

Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink


It is so important to be well hydrated – both for helping to keep your body functioning well (because a well functioning body is able to lose weight better), and also, because to be able to train at your best the water is vital.

I learnt the second one the hard way recently.

Mrs M (my mum, otherwise known as Mama) recently treated me to a night at the Outback Spectacular on the Gold Coast, in South East Queensland. My first round of 12wbt (Round 3 2011) was a completely dry round – not one drop of alcohol passed my lips.

Since then I’ve allowed myself to indulge in moderation. Well at the Outback Spectsculsr (which I highly recommend by the way) I had three glasses of red wine with the meal. Not what I would class as a huge amount really – but much more than I have been used to since starting 12wbt, and compounded by two things. I didn’t alternate each glass with a glass of water and when I got back to the hotel I cracked open a mini bottle of red because “I felt like it”. Now, that’s certainly not moderation!

Mrs M and I loved the night, and we both wept during the tribute to Phar Lap, as my father Mr M – who passed away in 1992 – was a jockey and loved horses all his life. And as you can see by the photo it was one of the highlights of our weekend.


The next morning I planned to do my weekly endurance run, at the time I was training to do a ten kilometre fun run. The long run for that week was an eight kilometre run. Great I thought, the Gold Coast, unlike the Blue Mountains where I live, is relatively flat. So I got up, drank my normal two glasses of water before getting dressed, and headed out the door.

I took a bottle of water with me, but wasn’t wearing a hat. It was October, and in Sydney at this time it wasn’t really that hot and I wasn’t accustomed to wearing one.

When I completed the eight kilometres it was well over twenty-five degrees Celsius. Much hotter than I was used to running in. As you can see by the look on my Shredder Face at the end.


It was a lovely run, very picturesque.


So I jogged 4km out from Sea World Resort towards Southport, then turned and headed back the way I came. When I had gone five kilometres in total I suddenly felt like I had hit a brick wall, and I felt as though I was going to vomit – which is unusual for me.


Even though my legs were not sore and I wasn’t out of breath I could only manage to walk the final three kilometres back to the hotel. I very nearly threw up in the gardens of the Palazzo Versace! That would have been awkward!

With the benefit of hindsight – and the medical knowledge of another 12wbter Ms P, I realised I had been severely dehydrated. A combination of not enough water the day before, all the alcohol in my system, the lack of a hat and not being used to the warm conditions.

I live and learn every day.

Why do I do it?

Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to unite in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language that they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. NELSON MANDELA

In her book “Running to Extremes” Lisa Tamati has included this quote on the dedication page. For me, the final sentence in the part of the quote I have written above speaks to me in terms of my running. As someone who lives with Bipolar Disorder, taking up running has had positive effects on my mind, body and soul.

My stepson – Mr G2 – and his family gave me a Dymocks book voucher for Christmas last week. And it didn’t take me long to decide that LisaTamati’s book would be something the voucher would buy for me – I’ve been wanting to buy the book for ages.

I haven’t started reading it yet. It tells the story behind the Extreme Marathons she has participated in – including the La Ultra – 122kms non stop over two Himalayan mountain passes. There is also lots of tips and advice too for runners.


The blurb on the back says the question she gets asked more often than anything else is “Why do you do it?”. The book is an attempt to answer the question.

But I thought before I read the book I would answer the question about myself.


The top ten reasons I run.
10. It’s a great calorie burner.
9. I like to compete with myself and try and beat my personal bests.
8. I want to be able to outrun a bear if the need arises.
7. I love all the cute singlets made from the high tech fabrics
6. The endorphin rush after is a fabulous feeling.
5. I love the atmosphere at the start line of a fun run.
4. I love the feeling when I cross a finish line at a fun run.
3. My body feels powerful.
2. I feel empowered when I run.
1. I feel free of all my cares when I run


So, I’ve rediscovered a passion I held last century. I am in training for my first half marathon in April 2013, and so far enjoying the training immensely.

I also love reading. I love nothing better than a marathon reading session. So, I also bought “The Hobbit” and “A Game of Thrones” with the voucher. Because I need something to occupy my mind on my weekly rest day.

My choice to ride the waves or sit on the sand

A preview of the post for January 2nd I will finish tomorrow morning.

Who inspires me?





What can you do with a drunken sailor.

What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.

So it’s New Years Day 2013. Millions of people around the world are making resolutions to diet and exercise hard to achieve a weight related goal.

I used to be one of them. But since starting 12wbt I have decided I can’t just make resolutions about changing things in the short term to meet a specific goal. I have to commit to making sustained lifestyle changes which will see me being healthy in mind and body for the rest of my life.

So today, my family and I visited the Bundaberg Rum Distillery – an iconic Australian company, producing an alcoholic beverage made from sugar! And I indulged on the tasting after the tour, and treated myself to some take home beverages. So my choices today are not necessarily going to help me get to goal – but they are not going to prevent me from achieving my goals in the time frame I have set myself. It was a special indulgence for New Years Day, not an everyday “treat”.

So I could go into a panic and say I’ve ruined the week and I’ll start again on Monday. Not a good idea. One day of over indulging is not the end of the world. Six days of over indulging would see me move further away from my goals, not closer.

So tomorrow morning it’s back on track with week 2, day 2 of half marathon training. A fast run. Because what I do in the next six days will count for more next Wednesday than what I chose to do today with my family.

And no, I didn’t actually drink so much that I got drunk – unlike the suggestion in the title, and for a few reasons my fully didn’t celebrate New Years Eve in a big way – our celebration was New Years Day.