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HE STORY SO FAR . . . 

9th May 2017

Hi. I’m Marina. A 48 year old mum with four fabulous kids and a fairly happy husband. We have a bunch of chooks, two dogs and a carpet python around here somewhere. The two oldest kids have flown the coop, and after having a steady recovery from a back injury over a year ago I have some spare time to take things to the next level. 

You see through my recovery, laid up, I had the time to look at my life. Time to consider what it was I actually wanted and what I wanted my future to look like. It was an interesting process, especially when I realised in the middle of all my health chaos, I was going through menopause!

Suddenly a whole lot of random and weird symptoms I had ben experiencing could be linked back to menopause and hormones, and not my back injury and nerve damage. It started to all make sense. The heart palpatations, the burning feet, the tinny tongue, the blood pressure drops, cramps, aches, pains, migraines and more. No hot flushes though, which was nice.

So I did my research, appalled at the info available about Menopause and what I should just expect and accept – and I flipped my lid. The straw that broke my patience and tolerance for the information I was reading was that I would lose my libido.

Now I have friends who call me Prude, because I’m not one to share what goes on behind closed doors with hubby, but I’ll be blowed if I was going to accept a boring bedroom simply because I’d run out of eggs! I knew enough about hormones and women, from caring for new mothers for thirty years, that this little bit of information may not apply to me, or have to apply to anyone really. So I called the brainstrust. My girlfriends. My contacts, which included a few fabulous women who look after ladies and their plumbing and libidos.
I have to say, doing tuckshop duty and learning how to do a proper pelvic floor muscle exercise is pretty cool. I’m all up for multi-tasking lol.  
 

From all the stories I heard and research I did reading studies, not just opinions, I realised that Menopause is a moment in a woman’s life where she get’s to pause, reflect and plan.

The future needs to be funded, or it will be limiting.

My body needs to be in good shape to age well and that means a few changes have to take place NOW! Prevention is SO much better than cures.

SO that’s what my makeover is all about.

Setting up our financial future so we can travel and spoil our grandkids.

Getting our bodies into shape so we continue to be resiliant and flexible.

THE NITTY GRITTY

Health wise, I need to continue to see Magic Malcolm who has taken my back recovery along in leaps and bounds, getting my muscles back to where they should be. It’s a process moving slowly. But I need to commit to seeing him more regularly, now I’ve had a bit of a break. 

I am guessing I am about 120kg. I’ll jump in the scales somewhere this week and find out the real number. I’m no short stuff, but even at 172cm, that’s way too heavy. I feel like an oompa loompa most of the time. My belly fluctuates with my pain levels – more pain, I blow up like a blow fish. 
Not moving much and being in pain has been the main contributing factor to my weight gain, and the fact I keep putting bread in my mouth! And too much. It’s been my soft pillowy blanket. 
I don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t gamble – this is my ‘life softener’. Food. So now I will find softness somewhere else and release the need to hide from emotions. 

So my diet will have not so much an overhaul, but will reduce the white fluffy stuff and replace it with more nutrient dense food. 

You see that is where so many of us gain weight, because we are feeding our bodies when they are hungry, but we are just filling our stomachs, when what we need to do is to fill and feed our NUTRITIONAL hunger, which is what drives our appetite. Sure have the chocolate, but ensure that your greens are going in too.

When we feed the nutrition our bodies needs, they function better. If you are experiencing a brain fogginess,  increase your Omega 3’s and watch the difference. It’s incredible when you adjust a few nutrients, just how much your body will react. Energy increases, clarity becomes part of every day not just a few days a month, and your skin and muscles will thankyou. You become more resilient on many levels. You know what your body needs, your eyes tell you, your mouth salivates when you are near great food. No more restrictions on great food if it means a greater benefit for your body. 

I also need to be committed to my skincare. Hormonal fluctuations have meant blind pimples have come up and my skin has become ‘thicker’ and needs more regular exfoliation and moisturising.
I’m working on it. And neck exercises which have my kids laughing. Often.  

Weight   ?   kg /    ? lbs       Bust 126cm / 49.5″        Waist 115cm / 45″          Hips 132cm / 52″

For the finances, we have over $100K of debt that is not building equity. We borrowed to see us through a few crisises and have left over debt from a house sale where we lost money. Lesson learnt. We’ve had a brilliant credit rating, we know how to save and pay off debt and manage it well, though now is the time to clear it completely and create a substantial nest egg for our future. Having me not working for the past few years has had a major impact on us financially. So now it’s time to change all that. 

Outgoings are higher than our income. We are only on one wage at the moment and we have 3 personal loans, a credit card and two lines of credit.
THAT’S CRAZY and it’s time to turn it around. It would make sense to roll it all into one loan, which is what we have done in the past, but we have spread ourselves thin. If you have lots of loans and debt sources, be grateful that they trust you to pay them and then work out your best strategy to pay them off. You’ll find some tips here. 

The only way for us to turn our debt around is for me to bring in an income again. A consistent income. A rather large income to pay down our debt and buy this fabulous house we live in. 

I have put in job applications and called a company I used to work for where I had flexibility in hours, but that also meant flexible numbers coming in too. The great thing is I do have the potential to earn a few extra hundred dollars a week. And I can sit in the recliner if my back is playing up. But I’ll need a new computer to do the job well. 

While I wait to hear what is happening on the job front, the first step is to clear the vehicles and ‘things’ we have around the place that we don’t need.
At one point earlier in the year we had 2 of my son’s cars here, my car, hubby’s Landcruiser and my Dad’s old ute that my whole family love. Ironically, there is only one driver here during the week – me. 

We’ve had a jiggle around and now my son own’s hubby’s Landcruiser, I have one of my son’s cars, he’s sold his ‘spare’ and I’ll be selling my little ‘run about’ to fund restoring my Dad’s car. By the time the ute is done, my second son will have gained his Learners, so he’ll use one of them too.
So we’ve reduced the number of registrations we have to pay, the number of cars to maintain and have less cars to move when I’m mowing. Phew. 

Next up is cleaning up and reducing everything around here. If it doesn’t have a purpose, is broken and not easy to fix, it needs to go. Clutter can reduce your abundance on many levels, it takes up your attention, it needs maintaining and can just make you feel ‘less than’. 

I have had a plant stand ready to sell plants from our front gate (we live on acreage a few doors up from a busy road), but haven’t sold anything yet. I’ve taken cuttings of Rosemary and planted them. Within a few months, I’ll have substantial plants to sell for $10 – 15 !!!
I have about 40 of them, so that’s a rego repayment right there!
Seedlings and herbs are in demand around here and I love growing things, so it’s just one small project to help trickle in an income. We might even increase the number of our chooks and get some eggs down there too 🙂 

In the past I would have picked up the cleaning cloths and organise people’s homes or care for their kids for quick money, but my body is not quite there yet. So this is all very new to me and I’m thinking outside my comfort zone. I haven’t had to apply for work in over 20 years. Usually the phone rings and I am requested somewhere.  

So I have five things to sort out this week. 

1. Get some more income in. Now.

2. Clean out the house and yard and store things better. 

3. Ensure I eat a large amount of leafy greens, so I’ll plant a bathtub with my favourite rocket to save some money and it does taste better straight from the garden. 

4. Clean my car out and put it up for sale. Do some vision work seeing it sold for a great price 🙂 

5. Book in to see Malcolm when I get my income sorted out. 

Well, it’s a short list. Shouldn’t be too hard! 

One of the ways I got through my recovery without going crazy (I’m SO not a sit down and do nothing kinda girl) was to create a few vision products to keep my goals right in front of my face and keep my motivation fresh. I was able to do alot of research and lay out my plans for living a life full of fun, laughter and rewarding experiences. 

We live a simple life, but I have lots of projects I want to achieve. So this helps me to keep things in order. You can read more about my ‘Mum’s Almanac’ here. 
See you next week 🙂