Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Chapter 21: Picture of Health

It was weigh in day.  Kipwil  went through the pleasantries with Cyril De Scales and found she’d   lost 400 gms, even with her 2 slip ups through the week.  She was now only  1 kilo off her goal weight and 3 kilos off the weight she was when she met her Hubba Hubba.
It was a beautiful day outside so Kipwil was contemplating whether she should go to the Workshop or do a workout in the glorious sun instead when she heard a noise coming from the viewing room. She investigated and found there on the screen was Queen Mish, clearing her throat.
“ Kipwil! Long time no see!  How’s it all going?!” Queen Mish  said, her enthusiasm  glowing brighter than the rainbow pulsing light of the screen.
“ Great!  I’m feeling strong, I’m doing heaps of different exercise, I still can’t do a situp but practise will make perfect!  Hubba Hubba has brought a new team member in, Randy.”
“ I’ve met Randy, and I know you two will be carving up the countryside in no time! “ Queen Mish laughed. “ I’ve come to ask you to do something for me today though Kipwil.  I need a picture from you…..NO not the picture Sergeant JFDI asked for!” Queen Mish laughed, seeing Kipwil’s face of reluctance, “ no, this will be a picture you paint or draw yourself.  It will be YOUR picture of health.  The tools you need will be at the river bank, ok?”

Ok said Kipwil, smiling back at Queen Mish.  This will take some thought she said to herself, as she got ready to go down to the river bank.

When she got there, she found an artist easel set up overlooking the river, with paints and brushes of all kinds, pencils, charcoal and pens all laid out.  Everything she could possibly want was there.  Kipwil sat down and looked at the blank canvas and thought  Health, picture of health.
And she picked up a pen to begin.
After a few hours, Kipwil’s picture was complete.  She carried at back to the viewing room to show Queen Mish, who appeared as soon as Kipwil pressed the communication button.

“ Queen Mish, I’ve made my picture of health.” Kipwil held up the canvas.

“ Kipwil, I love it.  Tell me about what it signifies to you.” Queen Mish asked, her eyes taking in every aspect of the painting.
“ The sun is rising high because to me getting healthy is the start of a new life.  I have climbed a mountain because to me health is a series of challenges that must be overcome, personal challenges and other challenges.  Climbing the mountain takes strength and determination and me changing my health is requiring that in bucket loads!  But see?  I’ve made it to the top….I like to think the mountain is called Mount Motivation.
In the foreground, you can see people riding bikes, swimming in the river here, playing ball, whatever they are doing they are having FUN!  And that was the secret I discovered to getting healthy and changing my lifestyle.  It will be hard work some days, and it will be difficult to meet the challenges but if you also have FUN doing it, it becomes easier and easier.  Like swimming, I am learning to swim with a friend and while it is hard, it’s fun too because we have good laugh.  Bike riding with my kids is fun too.  Going on a bushwalk is fun because I spend time with Hubba Hubba and the kids and get a workout at the same time.  And if it IS hard, or I feel hungry or sorry for myself, I need only remember that it is just a momentary thing, to remember the fun I had doing it yesterday or last week….or tomorrow! 
“ Ultimately, ” Kipwil went on, “ I want to LIVE life, not just watch it.  I want to be able to do whatever this life has in store for me, see new places, do new things….but unless I am healthy both physically and mentally, I will only ever be an observer, wishing ‘what if.’

“ Thank you Kipwil” Queen Mish said. “ Now this picture will go into a gallery with other 12WBT artworks on the same theme.  If you’d like to see them, here is the address of the gallery.

And with that Queen Mish blew Kipwil a kiss and a wave and the screen went blank.
Another loss and so close to goal!  Will Kipwil ever be able to do a sit up?  Find out what happens next!

Many thanks to Kath from Couragetostart for this blog challenge, Picture of Health

Monday, 26 September 2011

Chapter 20: Weekly Mail, a new team member and blogging challenges 2 &3

The thump and murmurs from the front door told Kipwil her next delivery of nutrition recipes and exercise plan had arrived.  The team all surrounded her as she brought the envelope into the kitchen to open.  Nanny Nutrition was at the fore, collecting and organising the fluttering recipes and inspecting each one, Sergeant JFDI stiffly saluting each day's workout and Weekly Surprise darting here and there impatiently, only to announce the surprise this time was to come up with a snack recipe and share it with other 12WBTers, keeping within the 100-150 calorie budget.

Kipwil had finished the meeting and greeting of the recipes and exercise plans, had completed her weekly surprise task and was sitting, sighing with a touch of boredom, when Hubba Hubba walked in.

" What's up babe? Thought you were going to the Workshop?" he said as he helped himself to some breakfast.

" It's school holidays and my class has been cancelled.  I've gone for a walk, I don't know, just a bit BLAH today. " Kipwil replied absently, sighing deeply again.

Sergeant JFDI, marching sternly through the room stopped when he heard Kipwil's words.

" SOLDIER, ATTNTION!  THIS REQUIRES DISCUSSION!  TO THE YARD AREA! QUICKMARCH!" he said in his best parade ground voice, quivering almost with the effort.

Kipwil hauled herself up out of the chair and slumped her way to outside, where Sergeant JFDI was waiting. To her surprise, he was sitting down and motioned for her to join him.

" So soldier, you have been for a walk so you were still motivated to exercise.  I ask you, what motivated you today?"

Kipwil thought for a moment. " I guess knowing I have 500 calories to burn each day gives me a mini goal to achieve.  And I do like exercise which surprises me.  Plus if I want this to become a habit, I'm going to have to go every day whether I want to or not aren't I, to develop that habit.  I want a stronger, healthier body but only I can do that, noone can magically make THAT happen!"  was her reply.

" What have you learned this week?" Sergeant JFDI went on in a gentler but still commanding voice.

" I don't want to say!  I'm so ashamed!" Kipwil started.  She swallowed and said in a small voice " I cheated yesterday Sergeant.  I had a beer tasting and 5 course meal.  I intended to just taste and not finish everything but once the alcohol made me a little more relaxed, all my good intentions went out the window.  And I felt so sick last night with too much food! So I guess I have learned I have a choice.  Have a drink and be especially wary since I know now that my resolve disappears or just don't drink if I am serious about maintaining this lifestyle change.  Alcohol makes me weak, mentally and physically."

"A hard lesson to learn but I am proud of you for confessing to me.  I am certain it will not happen again in the near future, you sound like you have learned a valuable lesson. It helps to have a support team, a cheer person.  Who is your cheer person Kipwil?"  Sergeant JFDI said encouragingly.

" Thats easy peasy," Kipwil said smiling," my biggest cheer person would be Hubba Hubba, closely followed by Sonny Jim and Girlygirl.  Mermaid Mel is behind me and helping me learn to swim and there are countless others here in 12WBT who help support, advise and comfort.  Hubba Hubba is behind me all the way, he has been adjusting his life so I can work out with you Sergeant, he has been making the tools available that I need and is always encouraging or praising my achievements, even when I haven't recognised them myself!"

Kipwil was starting to feel better in herself.  She had fallen into the trap of negative thinking again and Sergeant JFDI was helping her to re focus her mind on the present and the future and not the past.

" What is the one thing you think you cannot do but really want to do? " Sergeant JFDI persisted.

" One thing? Well, I want to get over my fear of water so I can swim 100 metres. If I can swim 100 metres, I'll be able to enter a triathlon but unless I can swim, I won't be able to.  I want to be confident in the water, I want to be able to swim without fear or spluttering. I want to be not so afraid in ALL areas of my life I guess."  Kipwil replied after a thoughtful pause.  " These questions are hard Sergeant, but I know what I have to do now."

"Hard?  This will be hard Kipwil.....I want you to go and bring me a photo of yourself.  The photo that you saw and thought, my life can be better than this.  I can be better than this. " Sergeant JFDI ordered.

Kipwil stared at him.  "Really?"

" Now" the sergeant growled.

Kipwil went inside and sorted through her photos.  She found the one she had taken while on cruise, the one where she looked pregnant enough to be asked when she was expecting.  She shivered a little remembering the embarrassment of that moment, then returned to Sergeant JFDI with the photo.

" Sergeant, I want to be different.  I want to be healthy, fit and strong.  I don't want to grow old feeling tired all the time, puffed, not able to keep up with the kids.  I don't want to miss out on ANYTHING my life has to offer but if I continued the way I was, I would miss out on the best I could be.  I only live once, I have only one life, and I've wasted enough of it."  Kipwil said quietly. " Seeing this picture is seeing someone who was waiting for someone to do it for her, someone to make it all better, someone who was too scared to look after herself.  I don't want to be that person any more and I will work hard until I get there."

" Good!  Now how do you feel?" Sergeant JFDI said with conviction.

"I CAN DO IT!  Thanks Sergeant, I was getting myself down but I feel much better."

" Glad to hear it babe!" said Hubba Hubba, " I have someone I'd like you to meet."

Behind Hubba Hubba was a beautiful blue bicycle shyly rolling to a stop in front of Kipwil.

" Hi, My name is Randy, short for Random.  Sonny Jim named me.  Hubba Hubba thought I'd be able to help you out." he said a little squeakily.

" Hubba Hubba!!!!! THANK YOU!!!!" Kipwil flung her arms around him squeezing tightly and planting a huge smacker on his cheek.

" My pleasure babe, I thought if you had another option, it might help keep you interested and something different is always fun" Hubba Hubba said choking slightly but laughing.

" Come on Randy, Let's RIDE!" Kipwil called out and with Sergeant JFDI following closely Kipwil and Randy took off as smooth as butter and as fast as the wind.

A new team member in Randy!  What paths will Kipwil find with him?  Will her motivation stay intact?  We'll find out more in future chapters. Until next time!

Thanks to makingmyselfepic for the week 2 and 3 blog challenges.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Chapter 19: Seduction

Kipwil had been a busy girl between work, the Workshop, family and social life.  She was finding some great opportunities for unexpected exercise: the Kinder excursion included a bushwalk and a bit of weight training carrying a child with scraped knee off the rocks, waiting for her children Sonny Jim and Girly girl to finish cricket and hockey training meant Kipwil could use that time to walk or run around the ovals, or find a bench and do step ups and tricep dips.  Walking everywhere meant Kipwil could keep social engagements and her trick of asking for a vodka, lime and soda but hold the vodka meant her liver was much healthier and no one was any wiser.  Kipwil could find an opportunity to improve her health everywhere and took advantage of as many opportunities as possible.

On this day, Kipwil was restocking the pantry with Nanny Nutrition at the markets.  She loved shopping with Nanny, checking for goblins and listening to Nannys constant fussing over ingredients and the shopping list.  Shopping was a pleasure that Kipwil lingered over, and she still loved seeing the amount of fresh fruit and vegetables in her trolley, compared to a trolley full of cans and boxes full of goblins screaming how good they thought they were..... " NO ARTIFICIAL COLOURINGS" yelled a goblin sporting a preservative hat. "LOW FAT" shouted another, dripping sugar out of every pore.  

But on this particular day, Kipwil was standing alone waiting to be served.  Nanny Nutrition had gone to chase a wayward shopping list who had disappeared somewhere in the cereal aisle.  Kipwil waited patiently, thinking what meals she could cook with the glorious food in her trolley when she heard a voice.  This was not just any voice but a voice made of golden syrup, of dripping molten chocolate, of toasted marshmallows oozing over chocolate chip biscuits.

" Hellllo beautiful.  what a GORGEOUS job you have been doing.  You deserve a reward and I am just the person to give it to you."  the voice purred deliciously.

Kipwil looked around and saw a slim fairy slowly fluttering to her left.  She was beautiful.  Long dark hair gnetly flowed around her head, her eyes were a deep blue, like the blue of the oceans, her white skin glowed softly like starlight.  She wore a shimmering dress that clung to her, made of the iridescence of butterfly wings.

" Who are you?" Kipwil asked, entranced.

" Names are never that important.  Why don't you take one of these?  You've earned it, look at you, so strong and beautiful." the fairy said, holding out a flower made entirely of rich, smooth chocolate.  The scent washed over Kipwil and she inhaled deeply.

" It's been sooooo long" the honeyed voice continued, " go on, just this one, noone would know.  You've been such a goooood girl."

Kipwil closed her eyes.  The scent of the chocolate had filled her head and she could almost feel how good that chocolate would feel and taste in her mouth.

" No. No thank you" Kipwil said finally, a little shakily.

" Oh, go on." persuaded the fairy fluttering closer, offering the chocolate flower up to Kipwil's lips." Just...... one....... taste......"

Kipwil closed her eyes again and turned her back.  Her voice was very small when she finally said " No thank you."

The fairy was fluttering gently around to face Kipwil again when Nanny Nutrition suddenly burst on to the scene in a flurry of shouts, flapping skirts and flying pieces of untoasted muesli.

" OOOOO! Get out of it you!  We don't want the likes of you around here!  Scat!  Get out!" Nanny scolded, slapping at the beautiful fairy.  The fairy hissed at her and flew just out of reach.  Nanny hurried Kipwil through the check out, casting dark looks at the scowling fairy and only when they were some distance away did Nanny and Kipwil stop.

" Nanny!  Who was that!" Kipwil exclaimed still wondering what was going on.

" Oh love, she's a nasty piece of work.  And now she's found you, she'll be back, you can count on it.  I'm proud of you though for saying no to her, what was she trying to give you? " Nanny replied, patting Kipwil on the hand.

"She was offering a chocolate flower.  Nanny I'm sorry, but I wanted it so much. I could almost taste it and I did nearly take it.  If you hadn't come along..."

" But you still said no, pet.  That piece of baggage is called Seduction.  She'll be around again, and she wants you to fall into her web.  She's not a real fairy, oh no, but a shape shifter. Her true form is a spider, disgusting to look at, all bloated, hairy, all claws and teeth.  She lives with the goblins and lives off 12WBTers motivation and will of others.  If you had taken that flower from her, she'd have had you, you mark my words!  It'd be one now, two tomorrow and soon, excuses not to exercise and to go back to goblin riddled food.  She takes away your will to live in 12WBT and you'd leave us.  And I don't want you to go!" Nanny finished, starting to sob messily into a handkerchief.

Now it was Kipwil's turn to comfort Nanny. " Nanny, thank you.  Now I know, I will be on the lookout for her.  You saved me.  I will be more careful in future, I don't want to leave her or leave you or Sergeant JFDI or Weekly Surprise."

Kipwil was deep in thought the rest of the trip home.  She was starting to realise she needed to be strong not just physically, but mentally.  She needed the strength of mind to fight off Other Self and now Seduction.  When she got home, she told Hubba Hubba and the children about what happened at the market.

" I'm glad Nanny Nutrition was there" Hubba Hubba said when she finished. " You've come too far to fall down now.  Remember that.  I can see the change in you, even if you can't and I will be here still supporting you.  We all will be."

" Kipwil hugged her family hard.

" I'm lucky to have all of you.  So many people don't have this kind of support.  I can't thank you guys enough."

" Yes you can " said Sonny Jim.  " Come and kick the footy with me"

 Kipwil laughed.  " Alright, let's go!" she said, " But you have to teach me!"

Another trap to watch for in 12WBT!  What other dangers lurk for Kipwil?  Will she ever find out who the Catchya gnomes are?  Look for the answers in upcoming chapters!.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Chapter 18: A surprise and a weigh in.

Kipwil had been enjoying her week so far.  She had walked with friends, chatting so much she wouldn't be surprised if the talking worked off more calories than the walking!  She'd done her Body pump class and her gym circuit, she'd even had her swimming lesson with Mermaid Mel.  Nanny Nutrition was delivering up the most delicious meals and Kipwil was looking forward to breakfast on Wednesday....a delicious berry smoothie that was thicker than a thickshake and so flavoursome!

But, as the way things go, before the nice comes the work.  And Wednesday also happened to be weigh in day.  Kipwil was not expecting to have lost a lot of weight, being so close to goal weight, so it was with an air of resignation she approached Cyril De Scales, who was admiring his physique in the bathroom mirror.

" Morning Cyril", Kipwil said yawning.

" Good Morning Kipwil!", announced Cyril De Scales cheerily," and what a beautiful day for a weighing it is!  Now you know the drill, I'll close my eyes and remember, please PLEASE do NOT stamp on me, there is never any call for stamping.  Most unbecoming to you and most uncomfortable for me!"

Cyril took up position on the floor and squeezed his eyes shut in a very gentlemanly way.  Kipwil carefully tiptoed onto the scales and gently lowered herself, closing her own eyes as she did.  What if I've gained?  What if I've put it all back on?  I hadn't eaten much off the plan except for Sunday night at the Italian restaurant......what if....?

Kipwils thoughts were interrupted by  Cyril clearing his throat.

" Ahem, ahem," he began, clearing his throat, " Kipwil you have lost precisely 1 kilogram since your last weigh in. Congratulations."

Kipwil hurriedly hopped off Cyril and was pleasantly surprised. Another kilo!  A whole kilo!  The hard work IS paying off then. And to think, said Kipwil to herself, I'm still in the learning about it part, wait until it's a habit!

Kipwil skipped out to Hubba Hubba and told him the good news.  Together they went to see the stats board in the viewing room.  But when they arrived, there was another surprise waiting!

A message appeared on the communication screen for Kipwil and Queen Mish.


" What's this?!" said Hubba Hubba reading the message.

" I don't know, I saw some gnomes taking pictures while I did that run with the Hill of Heroics.  Maybe this is them.' Kipwil answered.  "Let's wait and see."

They were soon rewarded with a photo of Kipwil running her heart out.

"Looking good babe!" said Hubba Hubba laughing.  The next picture came up.

" That's me on the Hill of Heroics near the top!  Pity you can't actually see the slope much." Kipwil exclaimed.

The screen went on and on, showing 9 pictures in all.  As each picture was shown, it folded itself up neatly and deposited itself in an album that appeared on the screen.  The album was labelled " Kipwil's Fun Runs".  A message flashed on the screen when the pictures were finished.

"This album is your to peruse at your pleasure. Many thanks and we will see you next race.  -  the Catchya Gnomes"

"That's a bit of a bonus! Although I'll have to ask what a catchya gnome is" said Kipwil to Hubba Hubba.

" I'll say, " said Hubba Hubba, " now lets get some breakfast"

So what do you think of Kipwil's pictures?  What other surprises are in store?  Something is ALWAYS happening on Living Life with Kipwil.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Chapter 17: Week 2 delivery or Old habits die hard

A murmuring on the doormat woke Kipwil gently fromm the most delicious dream she was having, she was swimming in a pool of chocolate, diving for Maltesers and standing under a waterfall of M and M's.  It was raining pina coladas and Kipwil caught a glass in each hand and was just about to sip when....


Kipwil sighed as she tried to grasp onto the fragments of dream and go  back to sleep but the constant sound kept her eyes open.  Hubba Hubba didn't appear to have any trouble sleeping through it though!

She walked out to the door to see Nanny Nutrition, Sergeant JFDI and Weekly Surprise standing over the golden envelope.  Nanny was wringing her hands and patting the golden envelope in turns, Sergeant JFDI so stiffly at attention every atom was quivering with the effort and Weekly Surprise was was clapping hands and jumping up and down in anticipation.

" Morning team," yawned Kipwil," What's this?"

"Oh dear," said Nanny Nutition, " I do think it is the next week's recipes, fitness plan and surprise."  She paused while Weekly Surprise let out a little squeal. " I think you'd better open it quickly dear."

Kipwil bent down and picked up the wriggling envelope and shuffled into the kitchen, followed by Nanny Nutrition, Sergeant JFDI and Weekly Surprise.  She sat down at the table and carefully began to slit open the envelope.

Out tumbled a jumble of recipes, all falling over themselves and blinking in the sudden light.  Nanny Nutrition bustled over.

" Right then, right then, line up please, and let me look at you. Hmm....yes, yes, you all look in order, lunches you look particularly attractive this week, well done!  Now off we go, follow me and I'll pop you where you will be staying." ordered Nanny Nutrition, leading the recipes into their folders. " Kipwil dear, I'll be right back with todays breakfast, just as soon as I get this lot in order."

" No worries," smiled Kipwil.  Nanny Nutrition always made her want to do something COMPLETELY naughty but Kipwil just couldn't do it to her.

Returning to the envelope, she pulled out a printed note addressed to Sergeant JFDI.  He saluted and took the note, which read



"YES SIR!" was Sergeant JFDI's response. " Kipwil, I will see you at Body Pump in the Workshop. Bring your best game."

" Yes sir," said Kipwil in return, ripping off a salute that would make a general cry.

" OOOO me me me me meeeeeeeee!"  came an electrified voice, leaping about beside Kipwil's ear.

Kipwil jumped startled as Weekly Surprise dove into the envelope and burst out in a shower of rainbow light, glitter flying everywhere and a brass band playing in the background.

" OOOO it's EXCITING!!!!!!" Weekly Surprise exclaimed, " It's a NUTRITION TEST!!!"

A test?  How is that exciting? Kipwil thought.

" You can win a prize!!! And for every one you get wrong, you have to do 10 pushups.  But you'll get them all right won't you!" sang Weekly Surprise

" Well, let's get to it, and do it now!" Kipwil said readily.

Weekly Surprise asked Kipwil several questions on calorie intake and nutrition.  Each one Kipwil answered correctly and was rewarded with seeing Weekly Surprise turn cartwheels around the room, shooting out stars as she went.  Kipwil answered the final question........and was INCORRECT!!!

"oh no!" said Weekly Surprise, " Now it's PUSH UP TIME!"

Groaning,  Kipwil got down and did her 10 pushup punishment, while Weekly Surprise counted down and unsurprisingly launched a massive celebration at the end.

" Thanks Weekly Surprise", said Kipwil as she got back up. " I think I'll find Nanny Nutrition for some breakfast now"

" COOL!  I'll see you later then" squealed Weekly Surprise and fluttered messily into her envelope, trailing streamers from her hair.

Hubba Hubba came into the kitchen and seeing the trails of glitter and stars put two and two together and came up trumps.

" Got your new plans then?" he said wryly.

" Yup, and you are just in time for breakfast.  I'll go get the children and we'll eat together." smiled Kipwil and began her new week.

What does this week hold in store for Kipwil?  Wait and see!

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Chapter 16: Hill of Heroics

Today was Sunday.  Kipwil, Hubba Hubba and the children all rose early and tucked into Nanny Nutrition's strawberry bruschetta for breakfast. Today was a BIG DAY for Kipwil.  Today, she had signed up to run in a fun run. Sergeant JFDI encouraged ( ahem, ordered really, but as nicely as he could bellow) Kipwil to challenge herself and run 12.7 km, the longest distance offered. Now the time had come, the day had dawned and Kipwil was feeling very VERY uneasy about the decision.

" Sergeant JFDI," asked Kipwil anxiously after breakfast, " do you think I can do it?  What if I can't run it?  What if I take too long?"


Hubba Hubba piled the children in the car and hurried Kipwil out the door.  On the car trip to the race, Kipwil tried to focus on the music on the radio and not on the mounting sick feeling in the pit of her stomach.  The children were chattering the whole trip, excited they had pom poms to shake for the runners, to encourage them further.  Kipwil sighed and turned back to the window.

All too soon, they arrived at a large park in 12WBT.  Beautiful trees and lush green grass beckoned, the river sparkled  a little further on.  But Kipwil didn't see all the loveliness.  All she could think was 12.7 k, 12.7 k. I can do this. One foot in front of another. over and over and over again.  A smiling woman approached and handed Kipwil a piece of paper with some pins.

" Here's your race number.  Good Luck!  The start line is over there, and Queen Mish will send you on your way." she said, and moved onto another newly arrived racer.

Kipwil hugged Hubba Hubba who wished her luck and high fived the children who were already shaking pom poms at anything that moved.  She slowly took her place and waited with hundreds of others to begin her race.  Queen Mish greeted the racers and spoke a few words of encouragement but Kipwil could barely hear her for the blood pumping in her ears.  She had no problems hearing the countdown though ...5...4....3....2....1  GO!!!!!  or the hooter signalling to everyone that the race had begun.

The course ran alongside the river under the cool of a row of ancient trees, before crossing a footbridge, travelling along the opposite side of the river and then heading up the Hill of Heroics. This looped back to the start again and the 12.7 Km runners had this course to run 3 times. Three times...easy, I can do it. Kipwil thought, conveniently glossing over the fact she would face the Hill of Heroics three times as well.

The crowd of runners soon sorted themselves out during the first lap, into the streakers who soon disappeared into the distance, the plodders and the 'I'll give it my best shotters'.  Kipwil found her rhythm in the plodders and just concentrated on keeping moving and moving forward.  Her first lap up Hill of Heroics surprised her, she powered up and the relief at the top and downhill run was sheer pleasure, almost enough to make her laugh out loud!  She was enjoying the run, the sun , the shade, the feeling of being strong.  She passed Hubba Hubba and the children who clapped and cheered as she pounded by onto the start of  her second lap.

Kipwil took the time now to see the river, how beautiful it was, and watched the rowers in their long boats as she ran.  The water pixies were stationed at several points along the course, flying out cups of cool fresh water for all the runners and tipping it over the runners who were feeling the heat.  Kipwil could feel a sensation like she was robotic, like her legs had just taken over and she could run for miles and miles and miles.  The second attempt on Hill of Heroics saw Kipwil power up again and then, because she was feeling so good, she started to increase her speed.

All around her poeple were starting to fall back, some would just stop, their faces a mask of pain and defeat as they began to slowly walk.  The Hill of Heroics defeated many runners with its long slow ascent that sucked the energy out of muscles and the sun began to beat down harder and hotter. Kipwil strengthened her mind and accepted a sip from a passing water pixie, waved at her children and continued on to her third and final lap.

The path was much clearer now.  Everyone was feeling tired but were still determined to continue.  Kipwil's muscles gave up screaming their messages to her long ago and a delicious type of numbness crept over her legs and made the robotic feeling stronger.  Kipwil smiled as she ran, feeling hot, sweaty but knowing the end was in sight and she will DO THIS!

And then came the Hill of Heroics.

Kipwil had been steadily increasing her speed during this lap, lengthening her stride and controlling her breathing.  She started powering up Hill of Heroics, overtaking another runner easily and focusing on the next runner to overtake.  Then a most unexpected thing happened.

Kipwil was about halfway up the Hill of Heroics and feeling strong when suddenly she felt weak and wobbly, like a feather that could be blown away.  She felt so sick, she was so afraid she would embarrass herself and throw up in front of everyone. She struggled on, her mind screaming at her to stop, give up, it doesn't matter, you've done enough, you deserve a rest.....

And that's when Kipwil saw the Other Self shimmering in front of her eyes.  What Other Self was saying sounded so good, she WAS nearly finished, she has done enough, she deserves a rest.  Kipwil's weakness grew and grew as she considered each statement.  But then, she remembered where that thinking took her last time.  Squaring her shoulders she shouted " ONE FOOT IN FRONT OF THE OTHER! I WILL DO THIS!!!"  and increased her speed, leaving the shimmer of Other Self spinning in her wake before it finally disappeared.

Kipwil strode out strong and hard and turned the final corner.  She drew up every ounce of strength she had and sprinted towards the finish line, vaguely hearing her children screaming and cheering and others around her clapping.  She burst through the finish line and found herself bathed in a golden light.

' Well Done Kipwil", said Queen Mish, appearing in the golden light." You have done yourself proud. And you have run a good race, in a great time.  You have completed the race in 1 hour and 19 minutes and are 288th to finish.  Now go and relax and celebrate."

The golden light lifted and Kipwil saw her children and Hubba Hubba standing there, arms out wide for hugs.  Kipwil hobbled over, clutching a bottle of water a water pixie had thrust into her hands.

" Good job Babe, you did it!  Your last lap was much faster than the others," said Hubba Hubba squeezing her gently.

" Mum that was great! I want to run a fun run too, can I?" Kipwil's children went on.

Kipwil smiled to herself.  I did it, I really did it she said incredulously.  Just wait until I tell Sergeant JFDI!

A success for our heroine!   What will happen next to our lovely lady?  Stay tuned.....

Friday, 16 September 2011

Chapter 15: Swimming Lessons with Mermaid Mel

While sitting watching the sunset after a run through the forest, Hubba Hubba asked," Babe, how's your swimming lessons going?"

" I haven't told you anything about them, have I!", exclaimed Kipwil, " I'm so sorry.  They are going pretty good I think."  And she continued telling him all about it.

When Kipwil was writing her goal map, one of them was to learn to swim.  Kipwil was so afraid of putting her head in the water, so afraid of drowning that she often had nightmares about it.  This had in the past stopped her from swimming with her children or even taking them to the local pool, she was so afraid she would drown or they would drown.  She had ensured all her four children had swimming lessons and they were like little fish, diving, streaking through the water, spending long minutes completely submerged (which made Kipwil panic!) but herself, no such luck.

If you remember, Kipwil wrote her goal map near the river in 12WBT and she saw how much fun everyone was having in the water.  She remembered she left Nothing Ever Changes to try new things, to learn new things and swimming?  Well swimming was not only good for the body but Hubba Hubba has said it was one of the most relaxing things he does to get and stay fit and healthy.

That day, Kipwil walked down to the river's edge, and she saw a mermaid on the bank, absolutely rolling with loud shrieks of laughter at something a fellow 12WBTer said.  Her laugh was so infectious, Kipwil found herself laughing loudly too.

" Oh!  Hello!", said the Mermaid, gently flapping her tail in the shallows," I'm Mel, do you want to come and join us?"

Kipwil gratefully sat down, introduced herself and listened to the conversation.  It appeared Mel knew absolutely everyone in this area of 12WBT, their family lines, which football team they played for, what school they went to.  She'd lived here all her life and taught many of the 12WBTer children how to swim.  Over the course of that afternoon, Mermaid Mel and Kipwil became fabulous friends and spent a lot of time visiting each other, always laughing and chatting until dark.

Kipwil broached the subject of swimming lessons one afternoon by message.

" Mermaid Mel, do you reckon you could teach me how to swim?" the note read itself out to Mermaid Mel in her river home.

Mel sent a response immediately. " Of course!" her note bubbled, " How about this Sunday at the river!"

Kipwil agreed and counted down the days until Sunday, not in excitement but in a little fear and nervousness.  At last Sunday dawned and with a kiss, Hubba Hubba sent her on her way.

" You'll be fine Babe, " he encouraged her.

Kipwil met Mermaid Mel and looked sideways at all the people using the river, swimming lap after lap so easily.  She felt extremely self conscious but took off her overclothes to reveal her swimmers and slipped into the water with the mermaid.

Mermaid Mel was extremely patient and took a lot of time explaining what they will be doing and how. Kipwil started with a kickboard and kicked a lap with her head out.  Gradually, she'd dip her head in with Mermaid Mel's encouragement and flick up gasping for air.  By the end of the lesson and after trying many different tactics, Kipwil was kicking with her head under water!  Mermaid Mel clapped and cheered.

" You did it! You are such a good student.  We'll have our next lesson on Wednesday but not here, let's go to my pool." Mel said at the end of the lesson.

And so Kipwil's lessons took on a regular pattern. Mermaid Mel's pool was in a little red cave and was deep enough to swim but shallow enough for Kipwil to put her feet down if she needed to.  It was also beautifully warm, just like sinking into a huge bath. It was so relaxing.

  In spite of the relaxation effects,  every time she went to take off to swim a lap, Kipwil would  panic in her mind, you'll die you'll die you'll die you'll die, you can't do it you can't do it you can't do it chanting like a mantra,  a louder voice would scream out " JFDI!" and would spur her into action.  Kipwil graduated to the point of not using the kickboard and learning freestyle but could swim only about 10 metres before the panic would overwhelm her, the feeling like she couldn't get enough air in, and her fitness would make her stop.

Mermaid Mel was there every step of the way, cheering her on and giving her tips.  Everytime Kipwil would hit the panic button, Mermaid Mel would help her laugh it off and try again. 

Keep practising and I'll get better, I've only just started, I will improve. Kipwil would keep saying to herself, especially when she'd get home after the first few lessons and the stress of the fear built up would make her cry in the shower. Stop being so silly!  she'd say to herself crossly, you like it even though you are still scared and nothing bad has happened!  Mermaid Mel is there.  Have some faith in yourself.

 The sun had all but disappeared over the horizon when Kipwil finished telling Hubba Hubba about Mermaid Mel and the swimming lessons.
" I do still like it, and I will get better", Kipwil told Hubba Hubba determinedly.

" That's right, you will.  You ARE doing well," Hubba Hubba agreed. " When's the next lesson?"

" Wednesday" , Kipwil replied as they started to run back to home.  " And I CAN'T WAIT!!!!"

What more will our Kipwil learn to do in 12WBT?  We'll find out more next time on Living Life with Kipwil.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Chapter 14: The First Week Result.

The family had all been ordered to be quiet so Kipwil could see Queen Mish's address to her people.  She sat before the viewing screen right on time and the screen flickered into life.

"HELLO EVERYBODY!!  Welcome to our very first live feed, or as I like to call it, my Family Meeting!" Queen Mish exploded beaming and looking healthy and happier than ever.

Over the course of the next 40 minutes, Queen Mish answered questions from her subjects and reminded (sternly and repeatedly!) her subjects to complete all their tasks, and not just the ones that were easy. 

"I cannot express how important those tasks are to do.  They are your key! Your key to successful living with me here in 12WBT.  The tasks you think are hard are addressing an area you need to sort GET TO IT!"

Kipwil sat and nodded. Man, some WERE really hard, I'm glad I persisted though because I can recognise so many more excuses and solutions that I put on myself now.

" And finally gang, don't forget to weigh in tomorrow!!!!"  finished Queen Michelle with her billion kilowatt smile again and the screen went blank.

'Well I learned a lot tonight, mostly that I'm not alone in feeling overwhelmed!"  said Kipwil to Hubba Hubba later, as they were getting ready for bed. " But I'll just keep on plodding on, weigh in tomorrow, I wonder if I've lost any this week?"

The next day dawned in the usual way, sun, birds, Nanny Nutrition bossing away to the breakfast recipes in the kitchen and Sergeant JFDI checking the calendar to make sure he was booked in with Kipwil for later than day, before stomping off into the background with military precision.  Kipwil swung her legs out of bed and started for the kitchen when Nanny Nutrition's voice called out to her.

" Kipwil dear, today is weigh in day, have you done your scales yet?"

' Nope, on my way now, thanks Nanny," Kipwil replied " What's for breakfast today?"

" OOO you'll like this one, dear, (sit down you naughty Wednesday breakfast.... no I'm speaking.... I'll deal with Thursday in a minute.) It's apple couscous with cinnamon and yoghurt.  Only 317 calories and just the thing to start you off.  Now off you go and weigh yourself while I speak to Thursday about his  behaviour."  Nanny answered, distractedly clucking away.

Kipwil giggled quietly as she walked to the scales.  She was glad she didn't have a child like Thursday, he seemed more than a handful!  She found the scales, lying, snoring gently on the floor.  She used her toe to nudge it awake.

" Hmmmm, Humph, what,  what is it?  What day is it? " the scales muttered sleepily.

" Morning!  It's Wednesday morning and my name is Kipwil, pleased to meet you properly this time" Kipwil replied quietly but cheerily.

" KIPWIL!  Hello!  My name is Cyril, Cyril de Scales if you please. But since we will be working closely together you can just call me Cyril.  NOT CY!  Never Cy! I was given the name Cyril and that is what it will be.  Now, if you please, I'll close my eyes while you disrobe and step on me.  Gently though, there's no need for violent stamping so early in the morning," Cyril chattered away, in a very distinguished voice.

Kipwil smiled as Cyril tightly squeezed his eyes shut as she shed her dressing gown to the floor and stepped  carefully onto his face.  A slight grunt was all he gave as he appeared to be thinking.  Finally he spoke.

" Announcement. Kipwil, your starting weight was 55.9 kgs.  Your current weight is 52.4 kgs.  That is a loss of 3.5 kilograms which is 6.26 % of your body weight.  Congratulations."

Kipwil stood there stunned, her mouth hanging open.

" You can get off me now", said Cyril a little peevishly.

' I'm what?  How much?  Can you double check that please?  Kipwil stuttered in shock.

Cyril sighed heavily.   After a pause, with much muttering, he said, " No, no change.  The report is accurate. Now could I trouble you to please step off my face and let me sleep?

Kipwil hopped off quickly, dressed and apologised.  Then she went out to the viewing room.  There, etched on her board, was the weigh in result.

I can't believe it, she said shaking her head.  Hearing a noise behind her, she turned to see Hubba Hubba coming in.

" Well done!!! You are a legend!" said Hubba Hubba, lifting her in a giant bear hug.  " I could feel you were changing, you worked hard for it and see the results!"  Putting her down, Hubba Hubba went in to see how Nanny Nutrition was doing with breakfast.

Kipwil sat for a moment thinking hard.

I HAVE worked hard, she thought, so why am I so amazed?  Because I really didn't think it would work.  Well that is a GREAT head start!

Outside, Kipwil could hear other 12WBTers congratulating each other.  Each one was wearing a crown  with their weight loss flashing on it.  Some had lost lots, some only a little and some stayed the same, but everywhere were people cheering each other on, motivating them to strive and continue through to the next weekly weigh in. Kipwil was bubbling up with excitement and was almost dancing on air, she felt so much happiness.  She rushed through her breakfast and ran outside to join in the first weigh in party atmosphere.

What a result for our heroine!  What will happen in the next week of Kipwil's adventure?  Find out more, next time, look forward to seeing you!



Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Chapter 13: The Interview (or Blogging Challenge no1.)

Kipwil was doing tricep dips one morning,  using the coffee table, when the phone rang.

" Hi, it's Katharine Jones here from the 12WBT newspaper, CourageToStart,  am I speaking with Kipwil?" the voice on the other end asked politely.

" Why, yes, yes this is Kipwil, what can I do for you?" was Kipwil's reply.

" I'd like to ask you a few questions if I may, for our newspaper.  Do you have a few minutes to spare?" continued Katharine.

' Of course!" Kipwil said, thinking her triceps were thanking her for this. " Fire away!"

" Ok, great!  The first question is: Describe yourself in 25 words or less."

Hmmm Kipwil thought a minute.  " I would say I'm happy, a bit off kilter in a good way, loving, very social, hard working, a quilter, gardener, kindergarten worker,  musician,  reader, LOVES LIFE!"

" Fantastic, thanks " said Katharine, " now, what brings you to 12WBT?  Are you a first timer or a veteran?"

' Well, I'm a first timer.  I know I've been lacking in self discipline in my nutritition and exercise but didn't do anything about it when I lived in Nothing Ever Changes.  It all seemed too hard and I was afraid of doing something new, things were so comfortable there. But I found some other people who had been here and they were totally different in a GOOD way and I thought, well, nothing ventured nothing gained. I want to be healthy and fit and enjoy living the life I have instead of just waiting for it to pass, sitting on the couch watching tele. "

"Uh huh, Uh huh, third question, why do you blog?"

' Well I've never blogged before and I thought why not?  My story is just as important to me as anyone elses, whether I just read it or others do.  It gives me a chance to reflect on what I am doing and learning and making sure I stay on the straight and narrow!  But in a fun way.  I love to have fun and I love fairytales.  This will be my fairytale ending to the old me and the beginning of the new me."

Katharine agreed.  " I'm a blogger too" she said. " now next question, who is your biggest inspiration in life?'

' Well, " Kipwil stalled for time while she thought, " I have 3 but for similar reasons.  One is Hubba Hubba my husband.  He is a positive, loving person who exercises and lost a lot of weight a few years ago.  He has the self discipline of the family.  Then comes my grandmother, Maxi.  She could do ANYTHING!  She was learning new things to do right up until she died and wouldn't let anyone tell her she couldn't do something. Last is Michelle Bridges.  I've seen her as inspiration for a long time, she works hard and offers no excuses.  She's not superhuman and feels like just blobbing some days too but she still gets in and does what she has to do and stays happy and positive and supportive of everyone around her at the same time."

" What things bring you the most joy?"

" It's silly things really....I love just sitting near a river, with the birds singing, a picnic beside me and just to sit in the shade and just be.  Or be snuggled up in front of a fire while the wind and rain blow, cuddling my children or Hubba Hubba.  Those are the times I feel perfectly and completely happy."

" What do you think will be your greatest challenge this round?', came the reply.

' Hmmm, good question.  I think making myself go exercise and stick to the nutrtition after the first couple of weeks will be hard.  But the hardest challenge of all , is not having my wine of a night time or a few drinks on the weekend.  It's so much a part of just relaxing after work that I'll have to break the habit and find something else!" was Kipwil answer.

" What are you most excited about in 12WBT?" was the next question.

" The whole thing is exciting!  This is a program with heaps of support and for me, the thought of challenging myself in this environment is exciting.  I have goals!  I have a plan!  And most exciting of all, I am learning to swim as part of this whole thing.  Facing my fear of the water and just DOING IT! THAT is exciting!"

" I can hear it in your voice!" smiled Katharine over the phone," Now what scares the pants off you about 12WBT?"

" Easy one to answer," said Kipwil a little more seriously," but harder to face.  I am so afraid I'll fail. That I won't reach my goals or that I'll slip up and go back to the way things were and this will all have been for nothing.  That fear of failure is not just for 12WBT but afterwards too.  Could I continue on my own? Or will I end up hating myself for not achieving and maintaining my goals? "

" Ok, just two more questions," said Katharine briskly," in 10 words, how do yo feel about exercise?"

' Hate going to do it but love it once I'm there", Kipwil answered promptly.  And that's half the reason I end up not going in the past she thought to herself.

"And finally Kipwil, finish this sentence: On the last day of 12WBT I am going to be feeling......"

' I will be feeling strong.  I will be feeling successful.  And I will be feeling trepidation that I am on my own now."

" Thanks Kipwil, that about wraps it up", Katharine said, " Thanks for your time and I wish you every success."

" No, thank YOU Katharine, " Kipwil replied," and I look forward to the next blogging challenge!"

Any more surprises for Kipwil?  What other challenges will pop up their heads?  Find out more in future episodes of Living Life with Kipwil!


Sunday, 11 September 2011

Chapter 12: The First duty.

The day was a beautifully sunny day for a fitness test, Kipwil's first duty as a 12WBTer.  Hubba Hubba and Kipwil changed into their 12WBT uniform and were almost out the door when a muffled voice could be heard from the golden envelope on the table.

Kipwil opened the envelope, to hear what the Weekly Surprise was saying.

" SURPRISE!" said the slip of paper, trailing more confetti and streamers in its wake. " Sorry, I can't help saying it.  But can I please come to and watch?"

" Certainly," said Kipwil smiling and tucked the slip of paper into her pocket, where it sang 'Celebration' to itself quietly.  " Let's go!"

Kipwil and Hubba Hubba walked to the testing ground.  Here was a 1km course mapped out and a mat to lie on for the floor tests.  There was a handy step for the flexibility test and a sturdy wall for the wall sit.  An enormous clock stood close by, ready to time each event and beside it a microphone.  Weekly Surprise popped its head out of her pocket.

' You need to announce which test you are doing so the StopClock can time you", it said cheerily.

First Kipwil stretched and warmed up.  She could still hear Weekly Surprise singing to itself, it sounded like Happy Birthday this time.  She looked at the list of tests and decided to attack the floor work stuff first. She walked over to the microphone, cleared her throat and said:

" Sit up first, thank you StopClock"

" NO TIME REQUIRED" tolled the clock seriously.

Kipwil lay on the mat.  There were several different levels to reach so long as her heels stayed on the ground.  The moment they popped up, that was the end of the test.  Kipwil wa sdisappointed to see she only managed  the first level, wrists over knees, and that was only just.

 Good Lord, this will be harder than I thought said Kipwil to herself, feeling demoralised.

" Come on Babe, that's only the first one, lets do the others" called out Hubba Hubba.

Kipwil walked over and announced to the microphone " Wall Sit please"

" Time is activated", said the StopClock deeply," Please announce Start point"

Kipwil took her place by the wall and slid down until she looked like she was sitting down. She called out "START" and StopClock began ticking.  She held it as StopClock counted the seconds.  Her thighs were screaming and she slid all the way down in a little heap at 38 seconds.

The next test was the push ups test.. After relaying that to StopClock, he wound himself up to the 1 minute mark.

" As many as you can in 1 minute" he instructed.

Kipwil could hear the tick.. tick.. tick.. of the enormous clock as she put herself into pushup poition, knees down and lowered herself to the ground.  She pushed and pushed, her shoulders planning revenge later (she could feel that!) all the while counting in her head "1 damn pushup, 2 bloody hell, 3 god this hurts, 4 again, 5 how long is a minute?....."
Soon enough the bell tolled the death of the minute and Kipwil leapt to her feet....24 pushups!!!!!!  WOOHOOO!!!!  A little whistle sounded and a shower of sparkles exploded from Kipwil's pocket.

"You were amazing!!!" enthused Weekly Surprise.

" Thanks WS, I'm pretty chuffed myself" replied Kipwil happily.

Then final floor test was a flexibility test.  Kipwil relayed that to StopClock who directed her to a ruler on the step.  Kipwil sat with her feet against the step and leaned forward as far as she could stretching out.  She did this 3 times to get her best 'score'.  She stretched a total of 8 cms over her toes and was again pleasantly surprised.

" Now for the final test" chirped Weekly Surprise from Kipwil's pocket. " The 1KM run, as fast as you can!!!!"

Kipwil lined up at the starting line.  StopClock had told her he would sound a starting bell and would time how long it took her to run that far.  She was ready and focused on the track ahead of her.  The bell rang loud ond true and Kipwil took off!

 She ran and ran and ran, it felt like forever.  Thanks to the runs in the forest, she was the most confident in this test.  She stretched out,  breathed deeply and faster than she was ready for, she crossed the finish line.

"Six Minutes And Eighten Seconds" tolled the StopClock," The Fitness Test is concluded. The next Fitness Test will be in 4 weeks.  You are streamed Intermediate."  The StopClock then burst into peals of joyous chimes, almost drowning out the nonstop music and fireworks erupting from Kipwil's pocket.

"You did it! You did it!  Now your results have been inscribed on your status wall.  Hope you win!!!!", called out Weekly Surprise, leaping about in Kipwil's pocket.

" Hubba Hubba, I'm in the Intermediate group!  But I did so badly on the sit up test! Do you think they streamed me right?" Kipwil exclaimed

" Again, so hard on yourself," said Hubba Hubba. " So you didn't do what you'd like on the sit up test.  But look at how well you did on the others!  Besides, this is not a competition.  It's just you.  Next time it will be better, just see how much you improve."

He's right thought Kipwil. I do tend to see just the one bad thing and forget about all the good things.  And it's my starting point!  I will have to add to my goal list, I WILL do situps by the next Fitness Test!

Kipwil and Hubba Hubba walked back home, and stood in front of the Status wall.  All her measurements, the Old Me photo and now her Fitness Test results were up in all their glory. After a quick hug,  Kipwil pressed the button to talk to Queen Mish while Hubba Hubba took a still excited Weekly Suprise back to its envelope.

" You've done your first duty as a 12WBTer I see, " smiled Queen Mish.  ' Well done you."

" Thanks", replied Kipwil mentally patting herself on her back.

' Now tonight at 5 pm, I will be addressing all my subjects and you are invited.  And just to let you know in advance, on Tuesday night will be our first lesson in thinking like a 12WBTer. I look forward to seeing you!" Queen Mish said, and the screen flickered out.

' I'll be there!" called Kipwil.

What will be Queen Mish's first message?  And how does a 12WBTer think?  What will Kipwil accomplish in her first week?  All will be revealed in future chapters of Living Life with Kipwil.

Chapter 11: Meeting the Team

Kipwil spent the next few days visiting favourite places in 12WBT.  She loved the forest track to run along, hearing the river gurgle alongside her, seeing the birds beginning to make their nests and to feel the cool shade of the trees and the warm rays of sun alternatively.  It was the perfect place to go and escape from the stress of work and everyday life.  Time had little meaning when Kipwil ran, it slowed like syrup around her and nothing seemed to matter.

Kipwil found work in a kindergarten at 12WBT, she loved the children's view of life and there was always something to laugh at.  Kipwil loved to laugh and could see funny in almost anything.

One day a golden letter arrived on Kipwil's doorstep, a fat little bundle, just begging to be opened.  Inside, were little murmers and mutters chattering away.  Kipwil took the letter inside to her family and together they opened it carefully.

The first thing to fly out was a bustling piece of paper, with a voice not unlike an efficient, take-no-nonsense nanny, full of concern and care but strict.

" Good Morning Kipwil, I am your Nutrition Plan and shopping list.   You can call me Nanny Nutrition. There'll be no goblins on MY watch! As you see you will eat 3 meals a day plus snacks and I do hope you enjoy the dessert menu. Now I shall just file myself away over here in the kitchen so you can refer to me often.  Recipes!!!!! Front and centre please!"

More rustling and giggling childlike voices accompanied a flurry of papers all whirling around and dancing and certainly NOT keeping in an orderly fashion.
" Right, right," began Nanny Nutrition, " I want breakfasts over here, Dinners on the left. Now Tuesday lunch, where are YOU supposed to be!  Right then, go and hop to it quicksticks. Are we all together now?  Everyone got their partners?  Oh Friday, do STOP pushing Thursday, she cannot move until everyone else does.  Right, into the folder please, quietly and sit with your hands in your lap."

Kipwil watched in amazement as all the pieces of paper fluttered themselves into groups of days, all holding hands , trouping into the ringbinder that was on the counter.  When the last one filed itself away neatly, Nanny Nutrition turned to Kipwil.

" I do apologise for their behaviour, they are just so very excited to have a new kitchen to play in.  Now, I expect you will want to shop shortly, just let me know what day you will go and I will accompany you.  I'm VERY strict on goblins and can spot one a mile away."

And with that, Nanny Nutrition filed herself at the front of the ringbinder.

Kipwil turned to Hubba Hubba and the children, her eyes huge and full of laughter.  She opened her mouth to speak but was interrupted by more rustling from the envelope. A sound like marching could be heard, getting louder by the second.

Kipwil jumped as a bugle sounded beside her ear.  A large piece of paper, puffing out his chest, if paper could have a chest, and stood officially at attention beside her head.

" Sergeant JFDI, at your service!" barked the paper.  " Here is your exercise plan for week 1.  Atteeeen HUP!"

Out of the envelope came marching exercise plans in a single file.  They circled the room once and then fell into 3 groups, neatly, silently and without fuss.

"I have been informed you will be doing a mixture of gym classes, weights and outdoor training!  Before you are the 3 sets of exercise plans for each of those areas.  You will be required to use one of these plans to burn off 500 calories each day and 1000 calories on Saturday. 6 days a week, rain hail or shine. NO EXCUSES! ", yelled Sergeant JFDI in his best parade ground voice.  " I will accompnay you on each of your sessions to ensure you complete the task at hand.  We will be great friends!"  And with that he fluttered stiffly down to the 3 groups.

" Okaaay," said Hubba Hubba, taken aback.

" Hmm friends?" said Kipwil giggling, " I'm not so sure just yet"

There was one more piece of paper sitting inside the envelope, trying to hide in the corner.

" Hello?" said Kipwil peering in, " I think it's your turn."

"SURPRISE!!!!", The piece of paper came streaking out of the envelope, accompanied with streamers and confetti and whistles.  " I'm your WEEKLY SURPRISE!"

" COOL!" shrieked Kipwil happily watching the crazy flight pattern of this new piece of paper.

" And your FIRST weekly surpise is....  a FITNESS TEST! "

" What?" said Kipwil a little less enthusiastically.

" We need to sort you into your group for exercise, Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced.  So you need to do the following: a 1 k time trial run, pushups for 1 minute, situp levels, a flexibility test and a wall sit test. If you have all the results inscribed on the chart in the viewing room, you might win a prize! This will be your first duty."  said the Weekly Surprise cheerily before folding herself up and popping herself back into the golden envelope.

" Ok, well THAT was an experience!" said Hubba Hubba, " shall we do your fitness test?"

What happens during the fitness test for Kipwil?  Now she has met her new team, how will they all get along?  Find out in future episodes of Living Life with Kipwil.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Chapter 10: The Final Task

Kipwil leapt out of bed in the morning, excited and nervous all over. Today was the day of the last task.  What would it be?  What did Queen Mish mean when she said " most challenging task yet"?

Kipwil walked into the screening room to see a set of scales, a tape measure and a camera.

Hmmmm, Kipwil though anxiety mounting. I think this means....

" Morning Kipwil! " Queen Mish cheerily interrupted Kipwil's thoughts.  " Today is the day of your final task.  Are you ready?"

" I...I think so", Kipwil replied a little nervously, her heart beginning to thud in her chest

" Great!", Queen Mish went on. " Today is your first weigh in and measurement day and after that, we will take a photo of you....this will be stored in the 'OLD ME' vault"

" erk," said Kipwil a little sickly.  Kipwil avoided cameras whenever she could.

" Come on, you can do this!" Queen Mish encouraged. " This is the benchmark for you to start from.  It will only get better from here I promise, but how far will you know you have come if at first you don't know where you've been?"

Sighing heavily, Kipwil nodded and turned to look at the equipment lying on the table beside her.

" First, let's weigh", said Queen Mish. " I expect you to do this first thing in the morning every Wednesday morning so we can keep track of your progress."

Kipwil took down the scales and positioned herself . As the numbers flicked over and over, she squeezed her eyes shut and tried not to whimper.

" That's not so bad!", said Queen Mish.  " Remember its a starting point, we'll see what happens each week. Now for measurements."

Kipwil waited patiently as the tape measure flew around her, measuring her bust, her waist, her hips and her thighs.  Her eyes remained tightly squeezed throughout the whole process.

" Kipwil, you can open your eyes now, " said Queen Mish, a laugh bubbling up in her throat. " Now for the final step and you have completed the task.  The photo."

oh HELL no, Kipwil thought and with a pounding heart she fled the room.

Hubba Hubba found her outside a little while later,  sitting in the garden despondently, staring at a bee hovering over the flowers. He sat down beside her and just held her in a huge hug.

" Queen Mish said I'd find you here," he said " What's up?"

" I'm so podgy and fat and awful" Kipwil said tears sliding down her face." I feel disgusting and disgusted with myself and now she wants me to take a picture of me like that.  A picture of disgust."

Hubba Hubba sat silently with Kipwil in the sun for a little while.  They watched the bee fly off fully laden with his pollen before he spoke.

" This is the final step babe. And you've been through so much to get to this point.  Let's not stop. We can do this.  It's just a picture, it's not you. You are not the fat or the flab.  You are amazing and funny and my wife whom I love very much and I would be lost without."

" I'd be lost without you too", sobbed Kipwil into his arms.

" So let's do this.  I'll take the picture if you want.  Who knows?  What you achieve may inspire someone else to change their life and move from Nothing Ever Changes.  You will have helped someone without ever knowing you did or how you did.  Besides, it's not that bad."

Kipwil nodded and said tearily, " You're right. Can you take the picture please?  I can't hide away forever and Queen Mish said it was just to see the change in me over time, hey."

" Exactly" Hubba Hubba replied and smiled.

And that's how Kipwil found herself in the now dark screening room with Hubba Hubba, standing in her swimmers that she never wore without a tshirt over the top, getting her photo taken.  As soon as the picture was taken, a golden light, like a laser appeared and inscribed the following beside the communication screen on a chart:

Weight:   55.9 kg
Chest:     88.5 cm
Waist:     76cms
Hips:       87.5 cms
R Thigh:  44.5 cms
L Thigh : 45 cms.


Kipwil gasped when she saw the photos and burst into tears again.

" Why have I never seen that in the mirror?" She sobbed, a little panic in her voice.

Hubba Hubba held her and stroked her hair. " I love you" is all he said.

Queen Mish's voice interrupted Kipwil's crying. " Kipwil, come here so I can see you."

Kipwil turned her face towards the screen, tears pouring down her face.  She felt so ashamed of herself.

" Kipwil," Queen Mish began gently," no one is here to judge you or to revile you.  All 12WBTers start somewhere.  Some have chosen to share their pictures, watch."

On the screen flashed up photographs of men and women, all sad, all overweight, all looking defeated in their bodies.  Then amazingly, the photos were each replaced by other photos but while the people were the same, they were also different!  They were healthy, shining, glowing with smiles and strength and you could just tell they were adoring life and doing everything they could.  Life was GOOD for them and they showed it in every part of them.
" Kipwil, in 12 weeks, that will be you" Queen Mish said looking straight at her. " You have made the commitment, now it is real and now it will be done.  If you follow my rule, do the hard work and keep to your goals map, you will succeed. I promise you. Do you believe me?"

" yes" whispered Kipwil, then louder " yes, I do believe you."

"Kipwil, your first duty as a 12WBTer is coming up.  I will give you the details tomorrow .  For now, relax and enjoy your family and your new city.  Welcome, my friend, and I look forward to working with you."

And with that, Kipwil and Hubba Hubba were left alone.

What is Kipwil's first duty?  Will she get over the self loathing she felt when she saw the photos?  Stay tuned for the next episode.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Chapter 9: Plan, plan, plan

Kipwil, Hubba Hubba and the children spent the next few days experimenting in the kitchen....porridge with mixed berries and yogurt or egg white omelettes with herbs and spices for breakfast, salads and wraps galore for lunches and stirfries and steamed chicken and vegetables all came alive with the different flavours of the vegetables and spices used.  Tummies felt full all day long, tastebuds were happy and they enjoyed themselves immensely playing outdoors, going for walks and runs and visiting The Workshop now and then.  Everyone felt strong, happy and positive.

Then came one morning when Kipwil got up out of bed, she noticed an enormous calendar on the wall opposite her bed.  I wonder what that is there for? thought Kipwil as she padded out to the screening room to say Good morning to Queen Mish.

Queen Mish appeared as soon as Kipwil had pressed the button.
" Morning Kipwil!  Did you see the present I left for you?" Queen Mish cheerily greeted Kipwil.

" I did!  What is it for?  I can see it is a calendar but the pages are all blank.", Kipwil replied

" This is the second last task, Kipwil.", Queen Mish explained." Our most successful citizens are ORGANISED citizens.  In the envelope behind you, you will find a list of class times The Workshop offers.  This is your task.  Go through your calendar and mark down every time there is a birthday, or other celebration or function that may disrupt your new routine.  This is so you can see them coming up and work around it."

" Ok", said Kipwil readily, " Put down birthdays and other stuff. I can do that."

" Great! Now for the harder need to use the timetable and plan out 6 workouts each week, that will help your body change in a balanced way.  You'll need 2 toning sesssions, 3 fitness sessions and one stretching and light toning session.  Got it?"

" Yep, got it!"

" Then next to get put in is shopping day!  This is where you stock up on goblin free ingredients for your meals. And last but most DEFINITELY not least, you need to plan some milestone activities at the 4th week, the 8th week and the 12th and final week. Mark it all down on your calendar and I'll see you tomorrow!"

Hmmmm, I can plan alright because I'm pretty organised now but what can my milestones be? thought Kipwil as she picked up the envelope and went back into the living area to retrieve the calendar.

For the next two hours, Kipwil sat and planned.  She chose classes, marked in her hours of other commitments and all the functions and other celebrations.  In the end her calendar ended up looking like this:
MONDAY: 8.45 am Walk with friends, 10.30am Body pump class, 8 pm yoga
TUESDAY:  8 pmWorkshop circuit.
WEDNESDAY: 12pm Swimming lesson then 5 K run, 8pm yoga
THURSDAY: 9.15 fatburner circuit 7.55 Zumba
FRIDAY: 7.30 Zumba toning
SATURDAY : 9 am Body attack and Body pump class.

Fortunately the way the classes were Kipwil could adjust and change to mornings or evenings if she needed. She included some extra classes for unforeseen events that meant she couldn't make an earlier class and added some others in because she loved it so much. Kipwil even outlined contingency plans for when she was away on holidays or unable to go to a class because she wanted to watch her terrific children play hockey and cricket.

But now came time to plan her milestones.  Kipwil had been thinking long and hard and decided they needed to signify something to her personally.  So for the 4 week milestone, she opted to walk the 1000 steps at Mt Dandenong.  The steps signified to Kipwil the thousand steps she will have taken to get her life in a better, more exciting place, rather than still stuck in Nothing Ever Changes.

For the 8 week milestone, Kipwil chose an 11 km walk at the Grampians, walking the Grand Canyon and Pinnacle track.  This was a test of her endurance and an opportunity to allow the bush to soothe her mind, fears and worries.

For the last milestone, Kipwil decided to team up with several other 12WBTers and run a funrun.  This not only coincided with one of her goals on her map (so she was feeling very pleased with herself.) but signified the team effort everyone was making.

Kipwil sighed contentedly when she saw the next three months mapped out in front of her.  As she hung the calendar on the wall, the marked out times became blazing beacons of colour, colouring the room with a rainbow of light.  Kipwil smiled widely as she felt the light all around her.  The blazing light gradually faded and left on the calendar, on each planned activity, was a rainbow. I love rainbows! They always make me feel hopeful thought Kipwil.

I know a whisper floated past Kipwil's ear, you have done a great job planning.  So now you just have to stick to it!  Your contingency plans are sound and everything is clear to read.  I'll see you in the morning with the most challenging task yet.  Pass this, and you have successfully met all the tasks required.

Kipwil was a bit apprehensive at the words 'most challenging' but knew whatever it was, she could do it.

" BRING IT ON!!!!!!!" She shouted to the world outside and was rewarded with fading laughter in the wind.

What is the final task for our girl?  Why is it the most challenging?  Will Kipwil go through with it?  Find out next time  in Living Life with Kipwil.