Eska Alikai classic singlet (the best tees ever – the kind where you ought to buy back-ups. They’re on sale, too, but please don’t get to them before I do), Witchery ponte leggings, Nike Free 5.0 trainers.
It’s been a while. I’m still training. I’ve stopped clean eating (I mean, I went and ate a whole pizza after these photos were taken) and it’s also been 18 months since I first stepped into a boxing gym. 18 months. My quads have officially doubled in size – or at least it feels like it. Oh, and I also I took up Bikram yoga eight weeks ago.
I know, I’m about five years late to the Bikram party but it has taken me that long to convince myself that it’s perfectly normal to contort myself in a 40C room for 90 minutes alongside clammy, half-naked individuals who have no qualms about dripping sweat on your towel. There was also a small part of me that felt Bikram wouldn’t challenge me like boxing does. Ha, how little I knew…
I was losing motivation to train at the start of the year. I went from working out four times a week to two, if I was lucky. I was recovering from a back injury with the help of my physio and my boxing training started to plateau. In 12 months, I had reached the point where there was nothing else for me to really improve on – or more to the point, nothing else I felt motivated enough to improve on. And with my work schedule getting busier and busier, it was just so hard to find the time.
When I quit my job, I knew I couldn’t keep up with the $240-a-week clinical pilates any longer, so upon the advice of my physio I decided to give Bikram a go. At the quarter of the cost, I figured I had less to lose. I’m a wimp once the mercury dips to below 10C; I find the heat much more tolerable. But being inside a torturous hot room sweating out of every single pore (I wish I was exaggerating) was an experience unlike any other.
Some poses claim to cure gout and insomnia…and I may be better convinced if I wasn’t married to a pharmacist, so whilst I don’t completely agree with some of the Bikram posture benefits, practising it has physically been the best thing I’ve done for myself since I took up boxing. The best. I can’t even begin to describe how quickly I started to see results, how flexible – really flexible – I became just after a few classes, how much my skin felt amazingly smooth from just one class, and how much it has actually complemented (and made me appreciate!) my boxing training.
I’ve been balancing two Bikram classes with 2-3 boxing sessions a week, which helps to alleviate the sedentary working-from-home curse.
And after two months of Bikram, I still don’t know if I like it, let alone love it. It’s not for everyone and it’s bloody intense – give me a pair of boxing gloves any day. And for that, I will eat my hat. It’s one of the most challenging workouts I’ve ever done but I find it incredibly heart-opening, oxygenating, awakening. I didn’t know what sweat was until I sat inside a Bikram torture chamber, but I think I’ve always been drawn to testing my inner limits. To realise how far I can go from the point where I thought it was the end has given me a reason to keep going. And if I had a choice between being sore or sorry, I’d probably be sore every damn day.
Photographs by Jamie.
Downtime is a word I haven’t used in a while.
It’s been around six weeks since I quit the day job and although I’ve been so lucky to take on a few more projects (which – don’t get me wrong, are so rewarding and so exciting), it has left me updating my blog at midnight, in bed, in my PJs. I’m looking forward to sharing some of my upcoming work with you, though, starting next week where I’ll be spending a few days in Melbourne to shoot something I’ve been planning for months now.
In the meantime, though, when it gets all too much and when I can steal a couple of hours for myself, I discovered all I need is a slice of carrot cake, a cup of tea, an hour before sunset, and my own company soaking up the languid haze of the late afternoon in forgotten corners of my favourite cafe.
Daniel Wellington Classic Sheffield watch, Scanlan & Theodore navy shorts, Witchery shirt, Celine Trapeze bag.
I feel like I’ve been so absent from everything this week; the past few days have been characterised by a never-ending cycle of deadlines, late nights, coffee, coffee, deadlines, coffee.
I had a meeting yesterday morning so I retreated to the simple classics in my outfit; a minimalist timepiece, a relaxed-fitting button-down, and a pair of navy cotton shorts. Because sometimes all you really need are the classics and the refined essentials to convince yourself you’ve got your shit together.
P.S. One last spot has opened up for this weekend’s blogging workshop. I was up until 3am yesterday prepping for it which can only mean that it’s going to be pretty awesome (whilst I, on the other hand, will be a tad sleep deprived). A delicious lunch + drink will be served, as well as tons of amazing freebies and blogging resources! If you missed out on a ticket (because they sold out fast!) and keen to come along, just click here.
To those who were lucky enough to secure a spot, I can’t wait to meet you all this Saturday! Argh, what to wear though?
My latest post for Vogue shares my personal view on how to create a beautiful and inspiring workspace.
Because, um, working from my bed in my pyjamas wasn’t quite cutting the mustard anymore.
One of the things I looked forward to most after giving up the day job was the prospect of sleeping in. Tossing aside the bed covers in my own time. Drawing the curtains to see the first light. Making breakfast – a proper breakfast. And spending the rest of the day decidedly make-up free, and hair undone in an awkward abandonment.
The only thing I’ve yet to master is being home at the right time to catch the postman. Four weeks and I’m still doing this silly dance with UPS.
Breakfast, however, is starting to come together. The question of whether I can buy avocados or smoked salmon and still come under the weekly grocery budget remains unanswered, so this week it’s all about the oatmeal, bagel and waffle breakfasts. I started my Tuesday (because – let’s be real here – starting things on Mondays never happen) with an apple, almond and coconut oatmeal bowl. I didn’t immediately warm to the idea of combining apple with oats but this was surprisingly really good.
It feels silly to post a ‘recipe’ to be honest, because all I really did was warm up a bowl of oats with milk in the microwave, then drizzled over it with honey. For the topping: I sliced half a Fuji apple (word to the wise: slice it thinly if you’re going to be Instagramming this…), then grabbed a handful of almond and coconut flakes (the more, the merrier!).
I also took the chance to refresh my home with new bowls and serving plates from Country Road. The Dias oakwood oval plate (above) is a favourite as it’s served so many different purposes already. Over the next two weeks, I’ll be capturing my #countryroadstyle homewares (and accompanying breakfasts) on Instagram (because, $1000 gift card)! The best part is, you can take part in it too.
Conversations with April prompted me to revisit a series of photographs from a road trip I took along WA’s south-west a few months back. It still amazes me that these photos were taken on the same afternoon (except for the Yallingup Bakery one) before and after the storm clouds rolled in.
As I sifted through these photos and devoured all of its sombre shades of greys and blues, it made me realise that this is the only place in maybe the world where summer is as photogenic as the winter. And that change – of the impulsive, heart-stirring, spontaneous kind – is always, always, a good thing.
Photographs by Michelle and Jamie.
A quick hello before the weekend’s up.
As I prepare to rush to the airport tonight to bid my best friend of half my life bon voyage (she’s booked a one-way ticket to embark on a maybe permanent life/career move to Canada - and I’ll be bringing along the Kleenex tonight, no doubt), you can catch up with the fun I’ve been up to lately over here.
Mondays have otherwise become my favourite day of the week since giving up the day job. There’s something so fresh, so brand new, so promising and anticipative, and so hopeful about Mondays.
Life right now is veined with simple gold: omelettes and cleanskins for dinner. Milo in my old clothes. Drunk tulips on my desk. Sleeping in on Monday mornings. Apple pie on Tuesday night.
The past few weeks of hitting the pause button have taught me something about happiness maybe being a beautiful alchemy, and an epiphany that’s always been half in shadow but come to light quicker than I had expected:
That even though I’m lying awake at 3am thinking about how I’m going to pay the mortgage at the end of the month; I’ve actually never been happier.
Because there’s something so simple and empowering about not missing what you can’t have, and never craving the life you once had.