Bad body image recovery



Decades ago I went to 2 nudist beaches to change my bad body image which I thought caused my cravings and inability to eat HEALTHY, not realising I had undiagnosed diabetes!

Magda Zsubanski

When I  watched   Magda on Ch. 9 Current Affair call herself a fat, single, lesbian who will go to Bondi Beach no matter what they think of her.  I remembered when I went to Obelisk NUDIST beach at Mosman with two close friends. This was with the view that by exposing myself, my negative attitude about my body image will become changed to a positive one. As a result I anticipated that my compulsive emotional eating would be healed. I’ve been fat, I’ve been slim and like now inbetween. I’ve also been to Lady Jane nudist beach at Watson’s Bay.

My brother and me
My brother and me 1984

My Intellectually disabled brother Apollon came with me in the next visit because he was in my care for the weekend. He was such a cool type and didn’t show any shock  at the sight of a beach full of nudists. He’d never seen me without clothes, so as I discarded them I asked him to take his clothes off too and he did so without a peep out of him (I had bathed him before so I’d seen him naked). We had a splendid day and in the car I asked him what he was going to tell Mum about today and he defensively said “nothing!”. But when I got him home to our mother he burst out in a prudish tirade about how we had gone to a beach where people had no clothes and I made him take his off too! Mother was so disgusted that till his death I was not permitted to take out my brother without her in order to protect his morals! His confession was due to our parents teaching us not to lie even by omission otherwise when they’ll inevitably find out it would be worse for us. Mum was puritanical about her son’s experiences and he knew she wouldn’t approve so he played it safe and confessed all, out of fear of her wrath when she found out. He also acted embarrassed just as she would expect of him. He was safe and wouldn’t have to face the “why didn’t you tell me?!😍

Nudist locations
nudist locations

Nudism is very popular and includes whole families enjoying the amazingly freeing experience of not covering up in a safe place. After all, in some Indigenous villages it is natural. Some beaches permit topless women but it doesn’t feel comfortable enough for me unless all are nude including the men. I found this out when two clothed guys stopped to talk with me at a NUDIST beach and so I asked them to either take their clothes off or go!









Firewalking identified my weak spots

Affie firewalking 1993
Affie firewalking 1993

As I procrastinated before the final major task of my decluttering I remembered how firewalking identified my strengths and weaknesses. My firewalking facilitator friend Jussta convinced me to walk on fire in 1993 and this lead to doing it on 12 different occasions, the last one at an Anthony Robbins motivation workshop in Sydney. As a result I discovered that you need to wait until it feels like the fire is calling you and then you walk on it. Also that I’m capable of doing whatever I set my mind to do (no matter how daunting) and that in the last moment I can lose the momentum to finish, so then I have to push myself a little bit more.  The evidence was on my first firewalk I  got to half a meter before the end and paused which meant I got a blister. In all the next firewalks I kept that in mind and no more burns. Here I go one last push as soon as I get the call to tackle this step of my decluttering!

When a cat appreciates technology










Ruby my assertive cat (almost to bully level) often shows her appreciation of technology as humans show Love💜. This same affection she has exhibited towards my heater here, robot vacuum cleaner, carpet steamer and portable computer. Tabby Mae also shows affection for my computer. Although I suspect Mae goes to great lengths to compete for the stool on which the computer sometimes sits on, to the extent of  pushing it off, breaking its electric cord ($89 replacement)💥


WTF where is the cheese?!

WTF where's the cheese
WTF where’s the cheese

My miniature Chihuahua Pepi got diarrhea and after tests the Vet Andrew at Randwick Vet prescribed a balance of protein, rice, carrot and green beans without his favourite shaving of cheese for awhile. Well the time came when he rebelled and wouldn’t eat my ground concoction without cheese shavings.

see, it needed cheese
see, it needed cheese

He stood his ground and the look said “what’s this shit?” And I ignored him until he continued with “WTF where’s the cheese, I’m not eating without it”. So as anyone knows Chihuahuas are fussy eaters and Pepi hooks into my guilt so easily. “OK just a little cheese or you’ll get sick and the doggie doctor will say naughty Affie!”.

I shaved a little cheese on his food and mixed it in and he demolished the meal.

Pepi empty bowl
Pepi empty bowl

Then he looked at me as if to say “see! I told you it needed cheese!” Does anyone else go through that kind of power struggle at feed time?!✊

How retirement can be great

Screenshot_2016-05-16-20-53-10I’m retired and have a burning desire to share how great it is because if I can do it anyone can, just read and see. No more feeling like being on a treadmill until burnout forces me to stop because while enjoying what I was doing I didn’t notice how overworked I became and that my life was speeding by. My quadruple heart bypass 2 years ago forced me to take stock and also notice that some people who felt threatened by a woman getting things done became hostile.


Health gems
Health gems

I made a new plan of action to enjoy every minute of my life. I got naturopathic nutritionist qualifications online so I can have an holistic approach together with the medications for my diabetes. I do all my own cooking as well as homemade yoghurt, sauerkraut and so on. As can be seen further down I enjoy life.


So I’ve got my affordable community housing unit with landscaped gardens where I attend festivals in our back yard. Living with me are my lovable pets: a miniature Chihuahua Pepi,  a Tabby cat Mae and a ginger cat Ruby. Our darling Midnight (black cat) died last year at 15yrs. I’ve got my car, a white Toyota Corolla paid off which I need because I’m disabled and can’t stand or walk for more than 4 minutes at a time, without developing pain.Screenshot_2016-04-23-01-08-59

I’m an age pensioner, so thanks to the government for the privileges I have. Apart from affordable accommodation and fortnightly income, I get for free the best medical care anywhere and hospital care at St Vincent’s Hospital. Also from the Anglcan Retirement Village I have a carer who comes every fortnight helping me change my bed sheets, vacuum, and help with the shopping, all at a reasonable cost. I had a more luxurious life before the global economic crash but life goes on and I manage even though I have ‘Champagne taste on a beer pocket’. I can’t complain when I can afford to go on a short cruise too which I went on for 10 days in 2014. As I love creating art,  I’ve produced a huge oil paintng which was accepted in the Archibald Prize art competition last year and which was also in an exhibit at the TAP Gallery and the Maroubra Art Exhibition.


My day is my own so I can relax or go out to dinner and movies with family and friends. I can go for a first class train trip around NSW for almost free. I’ve paid off an electronic therapeutic bed for my injuries and my medicines are government subsidised. Soon I’ll be able to afford going to plays and opera again. So even on a pension, retirement can be heavenly if a person has the right attitude and knows how to economise. Ever day I think about how lucky I am at this time of my life.💕

Visitors are like a pep pill for a clean up

This cat reminded me of me


Harry and Pepi
Harry and Pepi

I invited my cousin Harry (in pic with Pepi) for Sunday lunch. As the picture about the cat, I had so much to do and no energy (from all my decluttering which is almost finished). But preparing for when visitors come turns me into a tornado. So I hand washed my car, cleaned my home, home cooked yoghurt, eggplant dip, chicken livers with potatoes and okra casserole. Harry brought food goodies for me too and we had fresh fruit salad for dessert. Even limping with sore ankles the energy boost was spectacular. I love our talks especially about our family history. His father and mine who were brothers in a family of 12 (8 males 4 females) whose father came from Argostoli Kefalonia (Greece) and mother from Vienna and settled in Romania; and whose adult children scattered at end of WWII. Some stayed in Romania, others to Greece, Brazil, New Zealand and Australia. Once he was gone I tidied up, then flopped on the lounge with my pets, like the cat in the picture wondering when the next boost of energy will come.💕

Remembering Mother’s influence

Mum some time before her death on a visit with Pepi
Mum’s eulogy photo






On Mother’s Day I again thought of my mother’s  influence on me, even though she was tortured by untreated schizophrenia all her life,which I only found out about when she was in a nursing home, before her death 3 yrs ago.

Mum and Dad in their youth
Mum and Dad in their youth

IMG_4957showcase with Mum and Apollo’s ashes on top shelf.


Mum and Lazaros
Mum and Lazaros Stepfather 



Eugenia was a talented singer and very artistic with anything she attempted whether dressmaking, cooking, art/craft or gardening and so on , which was wasted because of her commitment to my loveable intellectually disabled brother (Apollon who died one year before her in 2012), for whom she felt she had to sacrifice her dreams. She and I were disappointed in each other but having realised the reason for her abusive behaviour at times (due to her condition) made my persistence to watch out for them worthwhile. Even though she continued to say insensitive things to me like Apollon was the centre of her life as she had no-one else to love and be loved by, I still visited them regularly to make sure it was known they had family who monitored how they were cared for. Mum had Dementia with Lewy bodies and towards the end even though it seemed that she may not understand, I told her that I was sorry, sorry for disappointing her and that she had been a good mother for Apollon and me. Then tears rolled out of her eyes and I couldn’t control mine. 😰 In that way I felt she died with good thoughts even though her abuse had left me with emotional scars.

So I’ve looked on the positive side and remembered the good influence she’s had on me:  I’m self assured; preferring to be respectful and successful; community minded; animal loving; survival oriented; artistic and more,  thanks to her as a role model. My loving  father (who loved her to the end of his life), my late caring stepfather and my late adorable brother all influenced my positive survival thinking.

Mum and Apollon
Mum and Apollon

Apollon had the mind of a three year old and was very loveable with the ability to use words from 3 different languages but in the end he became blind, deaf and unable to speak. He died of a stroke due to severe epileptic seizures and Mum, because her advancing dementia, hardly understood he had died at 67yrs. I have Mum and Apollon’s ashes in my showcase.💞



Torn jeans a fashion statement?

I try and I try to understand how torn jeans are seen as an appealing fashion statement. Usually worn by affluent people or celebrities makes me think maybe they’re embarrassed with there success and wealth and need to wear torn clothing so as to not be envied?!
Justin Beiber torn jeans

Wondered why you can’t stop a strong habit?

Stopping destructive habits
Stopping destructive habits

So you’ve had enough and you promise yourself to stop it, give up what’s hanging onto you making your promise useless? Why is it so hard? The mind is extremely powerful for creating good or bad behaviour but you can get back in charge, with or without medication (depending on the state of your health). You are a determined person yet fail each time miserably to keep this promise to self? Why? Why? Why? It could be nail biting, undereating; overeating; picky eating; losing money on bets or spending; staying in an abusive relationship or job; smoking; craving more or avoiding sex; heavy drinking, cigarette smoking, other drug heavy usage; being violent; antisocial; overworking; attachment to people, place and things; and so on. Feeling compelled and out of control even with great good intentions to be free. Reaching out to repeat troublesome behaviours because of the good feelings or the ‘high’ they give us yet trapping us into a vicious downward spiral of unmanagability. This begins with pleasurable results to look forward to which snowballs into serious life threatening compulsion, dependencies, addiction or undesirable serious habits. Even over exercising can reach life threatening proportions. The common denominator is needing the ‘high’ which is quite harmless at first but eventually becomes annoying, and finally the neurotic repetition becomes life threatening. The anchor to this debilitating behaviour is that every time we think about it we tell ourselves how much we LOVE IT and if instead we repeat over and over that we HATE IT even whilst doing it or thinking about it, then recovery begins. That’s why hypnosis and self help groups are so useful to cut the habit, or for reprograming the mind – the message gets through to the mind that we HATE being driven to do what we want to stop.👍

Pets and humans heal each other with love

Mae with her big paw on my leg
Mae with big paw on my leg


Mae cuddling my hand
Mae cuddling my hand





I’m sitting on my lounge and my cat Mae joins me. As I’m distracted by the TV Law & Order SVU program I feel warm and fuzzy all of a sudden because Mae has rested her big paw on my lap and started purring. So I reach over to pat her and she rolls over cuddling my arm and resting her leg over it too. She’s purring with delight falling asleep. As I think about how loved I feel by this feline who can also act nonchalant, it occurs to me that I love my pets a lot. Even my ginger cat who came to me as rough bully is now loving and responsive most times❤