If it don’t work, try again #day27

Look, to be honest, it hasn’t gone exactly as planned.

But hey! I am willing to amend the initial #30daystoabetterme into a more successful working unit.

So I think I am at Day 27 and have identified some issues with my current (and let’s be honest – trial run) #30days plan:

a) I keep forgetting what day I am on
b) Details of what I should/should not do have been slightly sketchy and so I have been managing (read, changing) ‘rules’ somewhat flippantly
c) I have had migraines for basically the last 15 or so days. This has been difficult.
d) Said migraines were probably due to the PT training I allowed some students to push me through, and consequently threw my neck out. Not their fault at all, I have always known: Exercise=Migraines.

a victim of my smoothies

Anyway, that said – I feel like there have been MASSIVE gains from this trial-run of a health and well-being kick:

  1. I have decreased my alcohol intake EASILY by about 75%. (not joking, I was basically an alcoholic. Still probably am, but have worked hard to lessen my dependency on drinking as reward.)
  2. I have been seriously eating healthier. (Granted, the smoothies and fruit filled days have fallen away throughout the month but I can blame the migraines for a lack of organisation and at least I can say that I have gone to the school canteen once – as opposed to once or twice a week for some fried snack to get me through Period 5&6.)
  3. I have been CONSCIOUSLY MINDFUL, MOST OF THE TIME, of being positive, brave, helpful and healthful. All you need to know is that my colleague noted “I haven’t heard you complain about Teary Tuesdays for ages!”
  4. I have FELT GOOD. (besides the migraines, obviously.)
  5. OOH! Two more things – once again, whilst this fell away towards the end, I have DRASTICALLY DECREASED my coffee and sugar intake. I used to have 2 coffees a day (with 2 heaps of coffee and 1 of sugar) and maybe a Tea with 1 spoon of sugar. I have had some coffee over the last week, but with 1 heap of coffee and LIKE THE END OF THE SPOON of sugar. When I have tea at home I have been having a slice of lemon in there, no sugar, and at work I have been having half of a Stevia packet.

healthy vegan pizza

I have become a little bit overexcited about the prospect of further #30daystoabetterme program. I REALLY like the idea of putting my energy into a certain aspect of my life for a full month. There are so many things to focus on!

My ideas so far are:

Having a CAR-FREE (as much as possible) month. Embracing public transport, and my bike.

Having a month focusing on things I love but never give time to, e.g. music, reading.

Working hard on my charity. This is something my life just does not allow me time for and is probably one of the biggest burdens on my soul because I want it to be so much more than it is. (friendsofvinaus.com) ūüôā

Ok – the big one: A PLASTIC FREE MONTH. (oh no you didn’t!!??) Oh yes I did. A grand plan for some time. This needs actual planning, prep, and the hubby needs to be briefed and on board. But I’m keen!

I could go on forever – a month without Social Media, a month focussing on friends and family, a month of volunteering, a month of ACTUAL EXERCISE, a month of being creative, a month of studying, a month of learning a language, a month of writing my novella, a month of poetry…

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Give me your suggestions and/or JOIN ME! It’s gonna get good.

Cheers for the read. ūüôā ‚̧

sunshower and rainbows

Movement and Meditation? More like, Migraine Management!

Well! What a frikken last week it was. #30days and all that – I lost 6 days to migraines and woke up wondering what the hell had happened.

Somehow, it is #day18. I still feel good. I had a glass of red with my partner’s colleagues last night, and it was fantastic! But you know, I had one, and I really enjoyed it. I didn’t need any more than that.

[“Hi, can I have a glass of Red that is more than a few years old?”
… Bartender looks at me for a few seconds and starts reading bottle labels…
“I’m not elitist or a wine snob – I just get migraines!”]

Otherwise, I’ve fallen off the smoothie/juice wagon as I was indisposed with the tearing, crunching, smashing, stabbing that was going on in my head. Lucky the hubby was quick off the mark of an evening with toast, Nurofen, Paracetamol and water when I walked in the front door, put down my school bag and burst into tears.

[Year 10s – “Miss! WHY WEREN’T YOU HERE ON FRIDAY?!”
“I’m sorry, I had a really bad headache and stayed home.”
“Well then you know how bad it was.”

“Still no coffee Miss?”

This week was meant to be Movement and Meditation Week but that sort of got a bit lost, however, I HAVE been really trying to wind down in bed before I sleep – concentrating on my breathing and making sure my neck is nice and straight, and propped up well on a pillow.

The exercise might have to wait. When will it get warmer?

Self-promotion, Migraines, and Fighting all the Cravings. Days 3 & 4.

*Just so you can picture me right now, I’m sitting up in bed with a Staffy across the doona. I am watching Naked Dating. And thus finding it really, really hard to write.

I think you realise that you are too comfortable with alcohol when you ritually look forward to your ‘reward’ glass of wine upon arriving home. I know that sounds pretty terrible… but i have surely realised that¬†‘reward’ drinking is too usual a thing in my life. What gives me comfort though, is that with each AFD I have (Alcohol Free Day), the stronger I feel mentally. When the little voice inside my head says “YO JACQUI!” (yes, that’s what the voice in my head sounds like) “YOU CAN HAVE A SMALL DRINK TONIGHT. BECAUSE YOU’RE DOING SO WELL!”

For a few seconds I think, hey, I could have a drink, just a little one. Because I AM doing so well.

And THEN –¬†I realise that it has been but three days. How can I not go without alcohol for THREE DAYS?

And so, by defying the little voice in my head who is trying to make my want for alcohol sound reasonable, I actually reinforced to myself that I am stronger than the weaker-willed version of me who existed but 3 days ago! I realise that when there is strong enough incentive I can overthrow my laziness, my vices, and the ease with which I justify lifestyle choices in my mind.

Each day this week I have prepared smoothies and lunches for myself. I have also – and I know this sounds ridiculous – set out my clothes for the next day so that I am not running around in the morning trying to find something to wear. Being more organised, and more healthy, equates to a better, happier me.

Another¬†interesting element of Day 3 was that I took the opportunity to promote myself, and show off the work I do in the classroom. This is not a common occurrence in teaching. Rarely do teachers watch each other work, and having someone observing you teach can be a hugely terrifying experience. This week I said yes to allowing a senior teacher video activities in my classroom, and interview my students as well as myself. Needless to say, it WAS hugely terrifying. I was nervous and stuttering away, but my students held the fort and were amazing. They talked about our work in Japanese, and the video¬†will be edited up and shown to all my colleagues on curriculum day. To hear a colleague say “You¬†must be a really¬†good teacher Jacq!” made me so chuffed (as Mum would say), and made facing the fear of my face on a screen, the fear of peer review and the fear of being ‘found out’ as a shit teacher all worth it.

I am basically trying to live by Cinderella’s mantra. (Have courage, be kind.) Damn I loved that movie.

Wednesday was also PT day, where a bunch of Year 11 Sport students order a bunch of teachers around in circuit training. Felt good, but unfortunately was hit by a post-exercise migraine pretty quickly. All I want to know is, who invented Burpees?

I don’t want to bore you much further, but overall life is bloody great. I even had a cup of tea without sugar and didn’t feel utterly disappointed.Ministrone risoni! Thanks Hello Fresh!

DAY1 – No Coffee and No Wine


Coffee is part of my day. I know I am one of those teachers with coffee breath, whose strong coffee makes the first two rows of the class smell like a cafe. I DON’T CARE. Sometimes when I’m frazzled in class, Period 1, I tell my class to “hold on a minute”, reach over my desk, grab my Keep Cup, take a sip, and with an overly dramatic “THAT’S BETTER”, return to what I was saying.

Coffee marks the movement of the day, the passing of landmark moments. I revel in a slow cup of tea (in an actual cup) – enjoyed happily while I sit at my ridiculously messy desk, struggling to find a place to set it down so I just hug it to my chest.

Today there was no coffee and besides a few moments when I was driving the 40 minutes to school where I felt like a little caffeine would have been useful, I survived.

Juice this morning was Oat Milk, Banana and Frozen Berries.

Lunch was pre-made amazingly yummy Cous Cous without the Pumpkin Crescents, recipe from Hello Fresh.

Now I am watching QandA. My favourite show. My favourite show I watch WHILE DRINKING WINE. Tonight I had a green tea and a Borocca too. The craving is there for a glass of red. But I have nearly made it through. And also, my tweet got on TV. I’m not even joking.

Life is good.



I’m going to change myself by challenging myself. Are you with me?

I am a busy person. As most people are. But what am I busy with that I don’t have enough time to look after myself?

1. I am a teacher. My job is my life and my life is my job. I chose that path, and sometimes I love it, other times I hate it. I will not do it forever, just as it has not been my only job.

2. I put pressure on myself. I take on things that will take time. And a lot of my heart. I am generally, a yes woman. I have dreams and I hate the feeling of wasting time. I want to be a writer, but I have no time to write. I want to play music more, but I can’t seem to find the time to play. I run a charity and I place high expectations on myself to do this well, when I am hardly qualified to do so many things without finding others to help me.

3. Social media.

4. I am lucky to have family and friends who I try to see, but still don’t see enough. I am not good at making time to see people, because actually, I like being alone, just with my partner, in my garden, resting, taking it easy from the busy mid-week. I don’t enjoy being out in places where there are a lot of people. But¬†that’s just me. But then the fact that I haven’t seen family or friends builds a sort of stress on my mind. (I tend to feel ‘busy’ with pressure. Do you?)

Anyway. It’s been a busy last year. I got engaged, moved house,¬†planned a fantastically enjoyable and very DIY wedding in 6 months, and just had my honeymoon. My partner and I work hard, and our evenings are pretty much spent sitting on the couch doing work on our laptops. We are not overly active. We aren’t one of those couples who DO THINGS on the weekends. We have even got food delivered the last few months so we didn’t have to go shopping! We hit a bit of a food rut and so Hello Fresh provided us with recipes that were healthy (I am vego/pretty vegan and my partner is obligingly so, most nights) and the surprise of new and¬†exciting meals each week¬†spiced up our diet a bit.

(Sorry, I feel terribly selfish whinging about being busy – I don’t even have kids – HOW DO PEOPLE DO THAT? But you know, I think it’s a different busy when you don’t have to prioritise offspring.)

So – we decided we want to try to have children. Pretty much now. And there’s not really any better incentive,¬†than wanting to make your womb a nice place, to get healthy.

But who knows what’s going on inside your body (or your partner’s)? We don’t know. Noone knows. And I have seen the pain on the faces of people I love when it did not work the way they planned. Sometimes it happens – sometimes it doesn’t. What a cruel fact of life.

SO, at 31 and having no idea what sort of state my reproductive organs are in – it is time to make¬†some changes just to try to be sure. I want to be healthy, happy, calm and full of LIFE! Would you like to join me? I am taking the #30daystoabetterme challenge. OK, I just thought this up today, but the term¬†is TOTALLY all over the internet. I have not coined this phrase it seems. (Not like ‘jawlking’ – I fully coined that – jogging/walking, in case you were wondering.)

It’s happening. And it’s happening tomorrow. Stay tuned.

*I AM¬†kinda healthy now. And happy. But I drink. I don’t sleep a lot. I don’t exercise. I drink a lot of coffee, with sugar. I buy food from the school canteen when I have not planned lunch. I don’t drink enough water and don’t eat enough fruit. But I don’t eat meat, hardly any dairy. I eat a lot of veggies and right now, am in a good state of mind.