Blood clots and The Pill: my story

Blood clotsIt all started after a night spent curled up on the couch in front of the TV. I turned it off, stood up, and immediately felt a sharp cramping sensation in my right leg, towards the top of the calf. I put it down to being unfit and figured it would be gone by the morning.

The next morning, the pain was worse. I managed to hobble around school as usual for most of the day, waiting for the pain to go, but it didn’t. I was also bothered by the strange sensation of “pins and needles recovery”: that feeling in your legs after you’ve been sitting on the ground for a while and one of them has gone numb, but then stand up and the feeling slowly pours back into them.

The following day was just as bad, but I refused to let a leg cramp stop me from going to play laser tag with a group of friends that evening. As I raced around the maze, I had to keep stopping to catch my breath. I was struggling to breathe. Continue reading


Why this “contraceptive chip” would be great

contraceptive chip microchipIn July this year, a US tech startup called MicroCHIPS announced their latest product in development: a contraceptive microchip. The tiny chip would provide birth control for up to 16 years and – the best part – could be turned on and off via remote control.

Strangely (or predictably?), the immediate response to this news was suspicion. Suspicion that the device could be easily hacked.

I don’t know, when I read the news, my initial response was “where do I sign up for this, right now?” (It’s still in the development and trials stages, so it’s still very unavailable at this stage.)

You see, I think this sounds fantastic. Fantastic for so many reasons. Continue reading

12 Week Body Transformation review: halfway through

12wbt reviewI’m now officially just over halfway through the 12 week body transformation. Plus, I haven’t been updating this much, so I thought I’d post a bit of a review. I guess the first question is, at the halfway point, am I still following the program?


Since the first week, I had elected to use the program as “guidelines, rather than actual rules”. What this meant is that while I didn’t necessarily follow the prescribed workout routines or diet plans to the letter, I used them to guide myself towards healthier habits. I’ve been mostly sticking to the recipes, eating healthier foods, but I still snack through the day (on things like healthy banana muffins or fruit) and if there’s cheesecake in the fridge at work? Of course I’m having free cheesecake.

As for the workout plans – well, the workout plans. Continue reading



no regretsMost people on diets will eat food that they shouldn’t. It’s near impossible to stick to a healthy eating plan and the occasional inability to resist temptation is inevitable at some point. This is traditionally followed by a brief period of self-flagellation and guilt over the consumption of a forbidden food item, followed by a renewal of vows to stick to the plan and only eat celery for the rest of the week.

If, like me, you’ve signed up to any kind of online fitness plan or are somehow holding yourself accountable to someone, this can be extended to posting a confession in the forums or on social media or a blog. Usually along the lines of “I slipped up, my emotions got the better of me, and today I ate a chocolate bar.” The audience is usually sympathetic to the plight of the sinner and they offer up words of encouragement and support, often with a pledge to help the guilty one get back on track with their healthy eating.

Well. I’m not one of those people. Continue reading

Supermarket challenges

supermarket challengesToday I started preparation – in earnest – for the 12 Week Body Transformation, which kicks off on Monday in two days time. This meant organising and doing grocery shopping for my week’s meals, as well as finishing off the fitness test to measure my fitness levels before starting the program.

Grocery shopping is stressful.

Woolworths was packed. We were constantly jostling for room amongst the trolleys and the prams and the people staring blankly at all the different options for museli (that last category may or may not have included us). Slowly the trolley was piled high with fruits and vegetables, lean meats and extra-light dairy products, and the occasional Weird Ingredient like a bottle of fish sauce or a can of red kidney beans.

However, what left us dumbstruck with incomprehension was the peanuts. Continue reading

Where are all the pessimistic exercisers?

Pessimistic exercisersI have yet to start the Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation. The program will kick off in about a week’s time, starting from the 3rd of February, at which point I will finally knuckle down and start doing regular exercise…and also saying a wistful goodbye to delicious things such as Belgian waffles.

However, as part of the program, I’ve been going through ‘pre season tasks’ set by the 12WBT crew. Most of the time this involves watching a video where Michelle talks to camera about the need to organise and diarise your workouts, how to clean out the junk from your pantry, goal setting, and so on. Part of the task also often involves making a post in the forums.

And there’s this attitude that I’ve noticed seeping into every single part of the online dialogue:

Everyone is so bloody positive and optimistic. Continue reading