Recently there have been lots of insights and realisations in all the best ways. In some ways, it feels like things are finally all falling into place and I feel like I’m being myself in a way I never have before. At 45, if I dwell on it, I wonder what took so long, but realistically I do have some understanding of that and am just happy to be here now.

Many years ago, I mused to my then husband that I didn’t always feel like I was a ‘real’ woman. Apparently this was insulting to him as a man or some such thing so I heard the message loud and clear that I shouldn’t think these things, or at least not speak them out loud. And I didn’t. For a long time.

The thing is, I don’t tick a lot of the boxes that would mark me in our culture as being feminine. I hate wearing make up and finally stopped doing so several years ago now. I much prefer pants to skirts or dresses and I don’t particularly care for doing my nails and other such things. Because of things like this I mostly just felt like a ‘bad’ or ‘failed’ woman. I just wasn’t good at it, I figured.

Over the past several years, I have done a lot of reading and learning about gender and have spent time with and listened to various people who are transgender and/or non binary. Listening to and reading other people’s stories and processes is really helpful in many aspects. I thought about why I felt the way I did and if maybe I wasn’t actually a woman. Tried those ideas on for size. But they didn’t fit me.

One thing I have learned is that all those superficial things, like make up and clothing, are not what make us any particular gender at all. Honestly this was fantastic news to me. I have realised that while I might not be super into fashion, makeup, and other things that are seen as synonymous with femininity in our culture, I actually resonate deeply with womanhood and know that I definitely am a woman. The term ‘lady’ on the other hand does not resonate at all, and makes me feel really uncomfortable and detached if it’s used toward me.

A couple of weeks ago, I did a singing masterclass with Clare Bowditch. The song in the clip above is one of the ones we worked on that day and sang in the evening at our concert. The lyrics speak to me deeply. Her voice and harmonies are beautiful too. It was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life and I’m so glad I had the opportunity. And so glad that I had done all the work stemming from the IE course so that when it came up I grabbed at it.

~ B


It’s the end of another year and another decade. There was a time that I would have written a list of resolutions that I would then dutifully follow out over the coming months, but I’m not that person any more. The changing of the dates is an ideal time to reflect nonetheless.

10 years ago, I was still married, but about to embark on the counselling that enabled me to value myself enough to leave. When I think of who I was back then I barely recognise myself. I was so hard on myself and always setting myself goals to be better. None of them made me or anything else better though.

2015 was the last year that I made a new year’s resolution. It was to learn more about Indigenous people in this country. I started with following @IndigenousX on Twitter and went from there. As it turns out, this is and will be a life long process. It’s probably the best and most beneficial resolution I ever made too. As Australians, we generally know so little about the people who were the custodians of this land we call home before we came and destroyed everything.

2019 has been a year of highs and lows. We lost our dog and my best buddy Massie and my precious nephew Jedi. They were the hardest parts for sure.

For myself though, it’s been a year of growth and consolidation. Haha, those terms make it sound so business like, but that’s not at all what I mean.

After Massie died, I spent a weekend on my own by the beach. I wrote some thoughts at the time and looked back on them yesterday. In less than 6 months I have grown a great deal.

With my son growing up and becoming more independent, along with having worked through all the ‘stuff’ that comes up when you really heal your relationship with food and your body, I’ve started thinking about what I want the rest of my life to look like.

This world is not in a good state right now, and most countries, including ours, are run by people who seem determined to keep it that way. As individuals, it can often feel helpless but I think that the most important thing will can do is build community. Support each other, help each other and reach out.

I’ve realised, as I get to know myself after releasing past demons, that I am very much a ‘people’ person. I met an older woman on the bus the other day and she liked to talk to people and encourage others to accept people who are different to themselves. She wasn’t pushy at all, but just really friendly, kind and welcoming. That’s the kind of person I hope to be too.

With much of the country on fire right now, and our leadership determined to at best ignore it all, it’s going to be more important for us all to come together and help each other.

I don’t have all the answers, or even any answers at all, but I do know that we are stronger together.

I hope that 2020 is a better year for those who have had a tough one.

~ B

Trying out my new keyboard

My old MacBook Air hasn’t been getting much love for a while now. I use my phone for nearly everything so when I have turned it on, it’s been flat. It’s also really old and really slow. But I really don’t need another laptop. I don’t study formally any more and I have a work laptop for work.

So I’ve invested in a bluetooth keyboard that I can use with my phone and honestly, it’s pretty great so far. I can sit it on my lap like I would my laptop and it has a little slot for my phone and all. Yeah, I think this should work.


So it’s been 2 years since I last blogged and in my recent post I used a bunch of tags that I had used in the past, but something has changed. Previously I had only a very small number of followers but those that did follow were genuinely interested and would interact on occasion.

After my return post a few weeks back, I received a bunch of new followers, every single one of which had weight loss bullshit as the main theme of their blog.

So I guess blogging here has someone succumbed to the ridiculous side of Instagram where number of followers seems to be more important than quality content and building of community. People follow without reading in the hopes of getting a follow back.

To be honest, it put me off and I wasn’t sure whether to continue blogging here or not. The thing is, for a few reasons, one of which I will elaborate more on at a later date, this is something I want to do right now. Primarily I want to write because it’s something that helps me process my thoughts, but I also know that I have got a lot out of following other people’s journeys and if anyone finds what I write interesting or useful in some way, then cool.

So, this is a short one really just to say that I am back and I will keep blogging. And if anyone is *actually* reading this, intentional weight loss is bullshit, harmful and has nothing to do with health. I am absolutely, unequivocally and staunchly anti diet and fat positive so if you’re looking for weight loss tips or someone else to follow your diet or ‘wellness’ blog, you’ve come to the wrong place. For anyone else, I’ll be back soon to talk more about aphantasia, intuitive eating and other random bits as they come up.

~ B


Close your eyes and picture that you’re on a beach. What do you see?

I don’t see anything, just blackness.

Until recently I thought that was everybody’s experience. I was always confused when, in meditation or similar, people said to picture things. I thought they were being metaphorical though I did wonder what was the point in it.

It turns out aphantasia (the inability to form mental images of objects that are not present) is a thing that approximately 1-3% of people experience and I am one of them.

I’m happy to have learned it’s a thing because it explains a lot. Lots of little frustrating times when I just didn’t ‘get it’ and I couldn’t figure out why. So many times in life that you’re asked to describe what you see when you think of something. I always thought I was doing something wrong.

Having a word and an understanding of how my brain works is pretty freeing. It’s interesting how often ‘visualising’ comes up and now instead of feeling confused I just know it’s not a thing I can do and either come up with a substitute or move on.

I’m still figuring out exactly what this all means, but I’m definitely happy to know and understand finally why all this visualising talk just never made sense to me.

~ B

2 years on


How funny that I have been thinking about blogging again and when I log in I find that it’s exactly 2 years since my last post.

I have recently realised/remembered that I enjoy writing and it’s my favourite way to process stuff. Making the time to sit still to do it is the biggest issue but I need to make that a priority. I have written a journal/diary most of my life.

2 years on I would consider myself quite an entrenched Intuitive Eater. I’m still just as grateful at having come across the concept at the time I was ready to hear it.

I’m several sizes larger than I was when I started and that just is. The only time I have any kind of negative thoughts about that aspect of it all is when I think about what other people might think. Most days I don’t worry too much what other people think but I’m still human and some days are harder than others.

I took this photo the other day and I liked it because I was feeling happy. Later on I thought about how much things have changed. That’s the thing with doing this kind of work, often the changes are so incremental that you don’t necessarily notice them. But it wasn’t that long ago that I would have focussed on my ‘weird’ smile with the crooked teeth and the fat chin. Now I look at a picture like that and I just like that it represents who I am and that I’m okay just as I am.

~ B




Intuitive Eating – Update

IMG_4225I’m now on the last module of Christy Harrison’s Intuitive Eating course, so it seems a good time to reflect on where I’m at and what I’ve learned. I love that the course was self-paced and I could take as long as I wanted to work through and think about each module. It was certainly about more than food, just like the book. It was about really getting to know yourself and getting in touch with your intuition.

For me, the course has definitely met and exceeded any expectations and hopes that I had.

Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch promise in their excellent book that when you become an Intuitive Eater that one of three things will happen. You will lose weight, gain weight, or maintain your current weight. In my case, I have gained weight. I have no idea of the numbers as I don’t weigh myself but I know how clothes fit and I’ve definitely got bigger. Learning to accept this has been a big part of the course for me. But I realise that following the tenets of Intuitive Eating is actually the way for my body to reach its set range, and I can’t tell my body what that range is. That’s just not how it works.

I’m sure that there will still be times when the weight bothers me because I live in this society where we are constantly bombarded with the message that our weight and size determine our value. Like many others before me, I call bullshit on that. But between podcasts, Facebook groups and following a heap of awesome body positive people on Instagram (some time soon I’ll share links of all my favourites) I know that it will only be a temporary glitch and that I’ll get through it and move on. Even though I probably meet less societal standards of beauty than I have at any other time in my life, I feel good about myself and the way I look in a way I never have before. Considering we’ve recently moved into an apartment with a lot of mirrors, including in the kitchen, this is great news!

I don’t think I have any more ‘Honeymoon Periods‘ to deal with. I want to eat balanced meals most of the time and if I feel like chocolate, or a donut, or ice cream, I have it and I don’t feel any guilt about it. It really does make you crave it much less when you take away all restriction. I feel so at peace with many foods that I never could have imagined I would. I’m enjoying cooking and thinking about preparing meals more than I have possibly ever.

As for Intuitive Movement, this has been an interesting process for me. Initially I cut right back on what I was doing fitness-wise as I knew that I had a lot of body composition and weight loss thoughts in my head when I was exercising. I wanted to look strong and fit to be a ‘good vegan advocate’ seeing as this is the message that is so prevalent in the vegan movement.

I did yoga for 2 months, which I did get benefit out of, especially as it was an extremely body positive and accepting class that I joined. A lot of the focus was on having the right to take up space in the world, which was a message that I needed to hear and absorb. But I eventually realised that yoga is just not something I love to do. I can see why other people do, but it’s just not for me.

I’ve cut back on my running compared to what I used to do and am enjoying it much more. I’ve taken the pressure away to be faster and go longer every time I run (another thing I thought I should do to be a better vegan advocate, ugh) and just get up and run as much as I feel like at the time. And it’s so much more fun once you take away the expectations and just enjoy it.

Lifting weights is something else I enjoy but I had to let that go for a while too. I had to wait until those voices in my head weren’t pushing me to focus on all the wrong things. And I love to lift weights because it feels awesome. I honestly don’t care what response my body has in terms of composition because I just love the feeling. And my partner’s kid is a personal trainer and can give advice so I don’t have to sift through weight loss and body building crap to find the information I need. I made the mistake of googling something on it this morning. Won’t do that again.

And how has veganism fit into this whole thing? Honestly for me it’s not even an issue. Animals just aren’t ours to exploit and I could no more eat a chicken or a pig than I could eat my dog. Which is never under any circumstances in case that wasn’t abundantly clear 🙂 And the same goes for eggs and dairy as the harm is at least as high there. To say that I am restricting my diet because I am vegan is like saying that I am restricting my diet because I don’t eat dogs or humans. Technically true in a sense, but completely irrelevant in reality.

Something that has been reiterated during the course and in various podcasts has been the importance of knowing one’s values and living in line with those values. For me this has to unequivocally mean being vegan in the same way that it means being unequivocally feminist and anti-racist and body positive.

All in all, the verdict is pretty darn positive for this Intuitive Eating stuff. In the picture above I am in the city eating a Vego bar which is a delicious fair trade chocolate bar. This is me now. Happy and eating what makes me feel good. I consider myself to be an Intuitive Eater. I feel fantastic physically and mentally. I think my mental health is better than it has ever been at any other point in my life and my physical health certainly isn’t suffering. I feel happier than I’ve ever been and I look forward to what comes next.

~ B



Veganism has protected me


I went vegetarian as soon as I realised it was an option in life to not eat animals. It took me until I was 14 because I was always the kind of kid to just do what I was told. It was never about health or weight for me but because I didn’t like the idea of eating animals. Even though it took me nearly 2 decades to realise the harm of eggs and dairy and go vegan, it was always about the animals. The motto of Edgar’s Mission speaks to me with this – ‘If we could live happy and healthy lives without harming others… why wouldn’t we?’

As I continue to work through this Intuitive Eating journey, I realise just how much being vegetarian and then vegan has actually helped me from getting as far into the whole diet world as I could have otherwise. I read so many people’s stories where they talk about going through the whole list, Atkins, low carb, high protein, paleo, gluten-free, vegan, raw etc. For so many, vegan is just another diet. It is true that if you really understand what veganism is, it’s not a diet at all, but it is so often presented that way, even by animal rights activists much of the time, that you can’t blame people for seeing it that way.

The thing is that I did pick up and read about a lot of diets over the years. I even wrote to the Atkins guy after reading his book asking for ways to make it work while not eating animals. I didn’t get a reply. For most of my adult life, the diet of the day required less fruit and at least some meat or it just didn’t work. I couldn’t live with eating animals so I didn’t do it and just figured I’d have to make do.

Don’t get me wrong, I was still conscious of amounts of food and ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods, etc and still had incorrect ideas about weight and its correlation to health and the importance of keeping it ‘under control’. I still had the ‘diet mentality’ in my thoughts regularly. But I didn’t get as deeply into it all as I would have if there was a strict diet available that lined up with my ethics. I just figured I’d have to sacrifice health and weight because I couldn’t deal with harming animals for my food.

That is until the last few years when the whole ‘plant-based diet’ has been the basis for many of the diets everyone is talking about. Therefore, I went from teetering on the edge of having the diet mentality control my life to diving deep into the hole in the heart of it. I’ve never been interested in going 100% raw which many vegans seem to do at some point. I considered it, but there was no evidence of it being better when you factor in that there are plenty of foods that release more nutrients when cooked. McDougall, on the other hand, got me completely sucked in. There’s a lot of sense to what he says, and I tried to ‘ignore’ the fat shaming and focus on weight as a priority. It didn’t work. It messed with my head.

Thankfully just as I was starting to be sucked right in, that episode of Rise and Resist podcast where Lacy recommended the Intuitive Eating book came into my ears and I haven’t looked back.

Being vegan has brought a lot of wonderful things into my life, including heaps of amazing humans and some wonderful non-humans, like the beautiful calf pictured above (seriously, look into his face and tell me it’s okay to steal his mother’s milk and send him to slaughter!). Protecting me for most of my adult life from the full effects of the diet mentality is another thing to add to the very long list.

~ B

The honeymoon period

img_4100When you are in the first stages of Intuitive Eating, there is what people call a honeymoon period. Because you are giving yourself permission to eat anything you want as much as you want, initially your body reacts with excitement due to the former restrictions and wants to eat ALL THE THINGS!

The funny thing about the honeymoon period is that its length can vary and it can even vary for different foods. In my case, I have definitely experienced varying lengths of honeymoon periods.

There’s a business called Doughnut Time that has a branch not far from my work. They make at least 2 different vegan doughnuts each day and they’re particularly tasty.

When I first started the Intuitive Eating program, I went and bought myself a doughnut a few days in a row. This was part of making sure my brain was truly convinced that I could have one whenever I wanted to. If I felt like one, I had one. Within a few short weeks I have realised that on most days I just don’t feel like a doughnut. The excitement disappears when there are no restrictions. In their book, Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch refer to this as habituation. The other night I shared one with my partner as they had a new flavour we hadn’t tried before that looked particularly delicious. I was quite satisfied with half and have no idea when I’ll want another.

On the other hand, I have had a much longer honeymoon period with chick’n burgers.

There’s a great chain of veggie fast food here called Lord of the Fries. They do burgers, hot dogs, fries, etc and are fully vegetarian. Everything on the menu can be veganised, all their sauces (including their delicious Belgian mayo!) are vegan and they have vegan cheese as an option. There are 4 of their stores within an easy walk of my office and I’m a fan of their chick’n burger.

When I started Intuitive Eating, I consciously gave myself permission to go to Lord of the Fries for lunch whenever I felt like it. What I didn’t realise for a while though is that I had only given myself pseudo-permission or partial permission. While I thought I was being free with my permission I found that after I had already been twice in one week, I was thinking that I should get something ‘healthier’ as that was enough for one week. These thoughts undermined the permission I thought I’d given myself and I was still feeling restricted even though I’d consciously said okay.

Once I realised this is what I had done, I had to be very clear to give myself unconditional permission and go every day for a chick’n burger if that’s what I felt like that day. I ended up having one every day for a week. The restrictive thoughts kept wanting to come back but I accepted them for what they are; a relic of past dieting and cultural messages and noticed them and then let them go. I’m confident I have now finally managed to convince myself that I truly can get a chick’n burger any time I want and I’m starting to notice that I genuinely am wanting them less.

I’m not sure the chick’n burger honeymoon period is quite over yet, and I may still go through a few more honeymoon periods with other foods I haven’t hit yet, but for now I’m feeling pretty chill with where I’m at.

The key is though, you must give yourself full unconditional permission or it just doesn’t work.

I’m sure grateful to Christy’s course for helping me get to this point and I’m excited about where it will take me next

~ B

Intuitive Eating


This is on my pinup board these days. I am even more sure of Intuitive Eating and its role in changing my life for the better than when I first read the book a few months ago. I found the stars while clearing out stuff and put them there because they’re pretty 🙂 In the past those same stars have been ‘earned’ for eating ‘right’ and exercising. I’m glad that stuff is in the past. Now I get stars just because. And why not?

I’m so grateful to Lacy from Rise & Resist for recommending the Intuitive Eating book on the podcast. It was just the right thing for me at the perfect time. Following McDougall along with other things was really messing with my head and I was starting to realise that for my mental health I had to stop having so many rules about food. I thought this would mean I would have to deprioritise my physical health but turns out that’s not the case at all. Once you start reading the science behind Intuitive Eating and Health at Every Size you realise this whole thing is actually better than any kind of restriction.

One of the first things I realised is that despite never consciously going ‘on a diet’ I’ve spent most of my adult life caught up in the diet mentality, mostly under the sneaky pseudonym of ‘healthy eating’.

I knew that reading the book wouldn’t be enough to make the change with all the diet culture that was so ingrained from the past and that we are all continually bombarded with. So I’ve been listening to lots of podcasts on the topic and also signed up for an online course. I’m currently somewhere around ‘challenge the food police’ at the moment 🙂

It’s a slow process and I know I have a way to go but I’m already feeling so much better mentally and physically and I’m really looking forward to eventually become an Intuitive Eater 🙂

I’m also accepting that my ‘set point weight’ is not what I’d always strived for/thought I should or could be. This is challenging, mostly because I hear others’ voices about it, but also really freeing.

There’s a reason nutrition is at the end of the process. Not because it doesn’t matter but because if you focus on it too early it is too wound up with restrictive/dieting thoughts and will send you backwards. I know that I’m definitely not in a head space right now to focus on nutrition at all. These women know their stuff 🙂

On my run the other day I listened to Rise & Resist and it was so great to hear Holly and Lacy reflect on Intuitive Eating 12 months in. Holly’s even going to do an Olympic lifting comp without tracking calories or macros, but just sticking to IE. So inspiring!

~ B