On Monday morning, I had my Healthy Cooking on a Budget course at Balla Balla Community Centre in Cranbourne East. This week we made a lentil and pasta soup, macaroni  and cheese, foccacia bread with rosemary and a risotto. On paper, it seemed like a lot of dishes to cook in two hours but thankfully we shared duties as a group and it was easier to manage. We learned a lot of different skills including kneading dough, cutting vegetables, frying and using chicken stock. It actually feels good to be able to make my own simple meals and not spend a fortune on the ingredients. Plus it’s much healthier than buying packaged foods. http://www.ballaballa.com.au/progra…

On Monday afternoon, I started working through Lesson 4 of my online Wellbeing course through the MindSpot Clinic. This lesson focused on dealing with the behavioural symptoms of anxiety and depression which include avoidance and safety behaviours. We tend to avoid things due to fear and low energy. By using the technique of Graded Exposure, the symptoms can gradually be reduced over time. There’s also a really helpful guide on assertive communcation which is something I still find difficult to do at times. http://www.counsellingconnection.com/…

On Monday night, I had my strength training session with Luke Davey at Breakaway Fitness. I was feeling a bit run down probably due to the sudden change of weather but unless I’m sick to the point where I literally can’t get out of bed, then I’m gonna keep living my life. I recently learned that UFT – CrossFit Fountain Gate will be closing in a couple of weeks and all the personal trainers will be moving to UFT PLAYgrounds in Berwick. Of course the one thing that was dwelling on my mind was the possibility of bumping into my former personal trainer Nick Bradbury again.

For the record, I have forgiven him and moved on. However, part of me has been worrying that he still has unresolved issues towards me and that bumping into him will be awkward. But Luke has assured me that everything will be fine and I trust him. I genuinely want to get along with Nick and let go of everything that happened last year. I hate conflict and I’m way too old to hold onto stupid grudges. I’d rather make peace and love.

I had a pretty good session tonight. Once again, I was overthinking a bit especially when Luke asked me what I did in my spare time. I hesitated so much worrying that he’d think I’m a boring person but upon reflection, it’s simply not true. I enjoy reading, doing art, shopping, going to the movies, yoga, meditation, coffee dates with Mum and of course fitness classes.

The truth is that I still get really hard on myself in moments like this and honestly I do try my best to keep myself actively busy and productive during the week. Of course, sometimes my depression and anxiety can interfere and therefore I tend to procrastinate due to lack of motivation and low energy. Sometimes getting out of bed is an achievement for me. But I do try and do activities every day. https://www.facebook.com/breakawayf…

WARM-UP…Tonight’s warmup exercises included hip opening stretches, weighted squat holds, weighted butterfly hold and weighted glute bridges. I was struggling a bit with my squat holds due to my hips being really tight and not quite finding the right position to hold myself in but otherwise the rest of the exercises were fine.

DEVELOPMENT…Tonight I got to do weighted back squats again, doing 5 rounds of 5. I’m slowly learning to keep my chest lifted and my weight evenly placed into my heels. Otherwise, I think I’ve improved heaps since I last did them.

WORK-OUT…Tonight’s workout involved 3 rounds of the following exercises: 200m rows, 10 ring rows, 10 wall balls and 5 burpees. Luke set a goal time of 12 minutes for me. My performance tonight was a mixed bag. I smashed the rowing machine and was finally strapping myself in and out without being a klutz. I made the ring rows more difficult than they needed to be but eventually got through them.

My wall balls were all over the shop. I’ve never been that great at throwing a ball so it was really inconsistent and difficult to catch at times. My burpees however have improved tremendously. I feel a lot more confident about doing them now than when I first started doing crossfit training. Overall, I did pretty well and finished the workout in just over 10 minutes. The fact that I’m trying and not giving up is proof that I am good enough.

On Friday morning, Mum and I went down to Springvale Botanical Cemetery to pay respects to my late Grandma Mrs. Yvonne Margaret Dixon. We dropped into the on site florist and bought a couple of bunches of mixed flowers plus a small balloon and a tiny teddy bear of a stick. At the burial site, Mum played several songs on her phone from Glen Campbell, Elton John and George Michael whilst placing the flowers and gifts inside the plastic vase containers. It was a beautiful tribute, letting her know that she’s gone but not forgotten.

On Friday afternoon, I treated Mum with an early Mother’s Day present…lunch at the Cafe Vita et flores (Springvale, Victoria, Australia). We shared some scones, coffees and chicken salad wraps together, sitting near the wall-mounted fireplace. It’s been a really tough year for me financially so I really couldn’t afford to buy mum a lot but I can tell that she appreciated it. http://cafevita.org.au/cafe/

On Friday night, I went to see the new Alien film entitled Alien: Covenant at Village Cinemas Fountain Gate. Part of me was feeling conflicted at the fact that I had nobody to go with despite trying to put the interest out there. My social life has been rather dull and non-existent lately and so this has really impacted negatively on my mental health. It may come across as me being an attention-seeking sad sack but the truth is that I’ve been lonely and independent my whole life mainly because I’ve been forced to be that way. I really don’t have many friends who want to hang out with me socially and that’s my reality.

Alien: Covenant takes place 10 years after the events of Prometheus (2012) with the crew of the colony ship named Covenant being pre-maturely woken from their cryosleep. After discovering a ghost transmission from an unknown planet, the crew decide to investigate the source of the signal and see whether this planet is worthy to build a new civilization of human life. On the surface, the planet seems uninhabited and yet contains similar Earth-like conditions including a water source, weather systems, mountainous terrain and vital food crops. But naturally, nothing is as it seems.

Director Ridley Scott (Prometheus, Alien) takes us down a familiar road here in terms of the human vs. alien fight scenes but he manages to deliver plenty of gore and slow building dread leading up to those pivotal moments. The connections between this film and Prometheus are well handled with the concepts of creationism and the origins of life being further explored here. We also find out what happened to Dr. Elizabeth Shaw from the previous film.

Michael Fassbender reprises his role as the synthetic android David and he also plays the cloned counterpart of crew member Walter. This is very much the stand out performance as he manages to make each character very distinct. Katherine Waterston delivers a strong performance as Daniels which mirrors the female lead of Ripley from the original Alien film. And there’s also a brief cameo from Guy Pierce playing Peter Weyland in the opening sequence. Overall, a really solid entry in the Alien franchaise.  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2316204…

On Saturday morning, my parents and I met up with my Aunty and Uncle at the Rochester Car Show. I’ve never really been interested in cars so I was worried that I would get bored quite easily. Quite a few blokes were rocking black leather bikie jackets and looked rather intimidating so I stuck close with my family. They had a large collection of classic cars and bikes on display from Ford Falcons and Mustangs to Porsches and Harley Davidsons. They also had a jumping castle, sausage sizzle, pony rides and even camel’s milk samples.

On Saturday night, we hung out in the outdoor living area designed by my Uncle Warren. It featured a plasma TV, wall unit, outdoor dining setting, fold out chairs, a BBQ and plenty of beer. We lit up some fire pits with logs, twigs and fire lighters before the temperature dropped and settled in for the night, watching an AFL game between Collingwood and GWS before putting the Suicide Squad DVD on.

On Sunday afternoon, we celebrated Mother’s Day by having a buffet lunch down at the Kyabram Club. For $25 a head, we certainly got our money’s worth. There was soup, roast vegetables, roast lamb, roast pork, chicken nuggets, chips, calarami rings, slices of pizza, apple crumble, ice-cream, pavlova, fruit salad, chocolate mousse and cheesecake.

Today was completely guilt-free for me though I was being mindful about not overloading my plate on each serving. Despite getting over being sick all week, I’m glad that I was able to take time off work and spend Mother’s Day with my family.

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