A year in review & the new year ahead


Happy New Year Frock Friends!

Thank you so much for reading in 2014, for the emails, comments, Facebook natter and Instagram love.

I’m grateful for this little community we’re building and hope that you continue to find inspiration and ideas here that help you create your own healthy living project, whatever that looks like for you.

I’ve borrowed these year in review questions from my bloggy friend Karin (who got them from Maxabella Loves).

1. What word do you think best summed up 2014?

Change. This was the year of change.

My body, constantly changing with the weight loss and developing shape and muscle.

I changed jobs and became self-employed.

I moved house.

I started blogging; taking my weight loss journey public.

So much change.

2. What did you do for the first time this year?

  • I bought a bike. And rode it.
  • I wore a dress without sleeves and wore trousers for the first time in forever.
  • After much contemplation, I started this blog.
  • I stripped down to my bathers for a photo shoot with New Idea.
  • I wore a size 12 dress.Well, it says 12 on the tag but is more like a 14-16. But I’ll roll with it. I was last in a size 12 in my early teens.
  • I ran. And it was okay. It was more than okay. It felt good.

3. What is one thing that happened that will have lasting consequences?

After 15 years in a corporate career as a marketing and communications consultant I took a leap of faith and became self-employed.

4. Was there anything you wish you’d done differently? Why? How?

No. I don’t think there’s much point in wishing I’d done anything differently.

You live and you learn.

A big part of losing 40kg has been about reflection and learning.

5. Do you have a favourite moment from the year? What made it special?

Hitting 40kg down. It was a major, hard won milestone.

It was special because, well… 40kg!

6. What lessons has 2014 taught you about yourself? About others?

That I am resilient.

My weight loss progress was slow this year (well, slower than the year before); between a new type of pill to help even out the hormonal changes that came with losing the first 30kg (making it harder to lose weight), the challenges I have with plantar fasciitis and the fact that after losing the first 30kg in nine months my body was less compliant about shedding fat – it wasn’t easy.

I also, (sometimes), had a more relaxed approach to my healthy living project; a little too much brunch perhaps. Chris reminded me often on occasion that even though it’s no longer a life or death situation, (as it was when I started at 120.2kg), that I still need to think of it as one to continue progressing, because the lower the numbers, the harder it gets.

What I do try to keep in mind is that while it *seems* as though my weight loss has slowed down, losing 1kg in 80kg is a much bigger loss proportionally compared to losing 1kg of 120kg when I started out.

Despite all of that, and the general ups and downs of life, I kept at it and finished the year 12kg lighter than when I started.

Resilience and will. I learned that I can rely on these.

What I’ve learned about others? That people are more generous with their time, energy and kindness than I would ever have expected. I’ve learned that if you ask for help, you get help and so much more. As my weight has come down so too has my fierce independence and self reliance.

This weight loss and healthy living thing? It takes a village. I’m grateful for my village.

7. How will lessons from 2014 change the way you approach 2015?

I’m approaching the New Year with optimism, an open mind and open heart.

I’ve put in quite a lot of work in the last two years, making epic changes in my life. I think 2015 is the year to be joyous and embrace this.

8. What do you most want to do in 2015?

  • Lose the last 18-20kg. I’m not setting a deadline about when this might happen, but I would like for it to happen in 2015.
  • See the first cohort of people successfully complete The Healthy Living Project, the 12 week weight loss and wellness program that Chris and I created. I’m so excited about what they will be able to achieve with our help.
  • Help and inspire others who desperately want to make a change but don’t know where to start, through this blog.
  • Some kind of event; an obstacle course, a triathlon – I need to do some research. A big scary goal, far outside my comfort zone.
  • Blog a lot more.
  • Continue to develop my strength and fitness, and find out more about what my body has the capacity to do.

9. What do you most want to change about yourself? The world?

I’ve done so much changing already this year. Right now, I’d just like to get used to those changes.

I’d also like to manage my emails better!

The world? It’s a big ask, but if what I put out into the world about healthy living and sharing my story helps a few people make positive changes, I’d be very happy with that.

10. What one word do you hope will sum up what you hope to achieve in 2015?


Not settle as in settle for second best, or settle as in close off a deal.

But to just be. Take a breath and settle into the choices and changes I’ve made.

I’ve been back in Brisbane for two years now after almost a decade in the UK. It’s been a big adjustment. One of the hardest. I still get ‘homesick’ and miss my friends and the life I had there.

In my moments of escapism, I browse Guardian Jobs to see what’s on offer in London.

But that’s not what I want, really.

Brisbane is a great city to live a healthy lifestyle in (and… needless to say, London is not).

I’ve met new people and made great friends through my weight loss journey, both online and offline.

I’ve become self-employed, a goal I’ve had for several years.

I have lovely friends and it’s good to have family around.

I’m winning at this healthy living thing.

So I want to just be. Enjoy the great life I’ve created and the work I’ve done.

Settle in and enjoy it.


Here’s to 2015. I’m excited about what’s next.

What’s your word for 2015 Frock Friends?

  • Love the word settle in the context you’ve used it. My word for 2015 ‘gentle’ is similar in a lot of ways. Have the best 2015. x

    • Thank you Alysha. Gentle is a wonderful word. I’ve noticed lots of people are choosing words like calm, and relax and peace and enjoy and… gentle! I think it’s great that there is a trend towards everyone just taking time and enjoying the everyday. All the best for your 2015 as well.

  • It sounds like 2014 was a wonderful year for you – and 2015 will be, too!

    I love your word ‘settle’ But if you do ever venture back to London, be sure to let me know! We will have to meet up!

    • Indeed I shall Natalie! I haven’t been able to bring myself to go back for a visit yet – I fear I would not get on the plane and return home… but maybe this year or next 🙂

  • I found this amazing, Emma. You are just bubbling over with joy and conviction – why wouldn’t you want to settle into enjoy such bounty! I hope you reach your body goal this year but, whatever happens, your mind and your heart have most definitely already won. x

    • Oh thank you so much! Most especially for the thoughtful questions you provided! I’m rather used to writing about what I *do* in terms of my healthy lifestyle thing, but writing more personal and reflective posts is new – it was a little tricky but a wonderful way for me to really clarify the year gone by and my hopes for the year ahead. And indeed – with all I’ve done already I absolutely feel as though I’ve won 🙂 Just refining and enjoying things in 2015.

  • Emma, you are such an inspiration! It sounds like 2014 was an amazing year for you, I hope that 2015 is even better and that you reach your goals.

    • Oh thank you so much Sarah! I am still getting used to the ‘inspiration’ thing but it’s feeling good – glad I can be that for people in my own way. 2014 was amazing with a dose of challenges and ups and downs, but I feel like 2015 is only going to be ups and more ups. We shall see!

  • Such an inspiring read Emma. I know what you mean about ‘settle’. I’ve been back in Australia for nearly 20 years now, and still miss friends from the UK. Looking forward to reading more of your stories in 2015

    • Thanks so much Di, very glad to offer a little inspiration. Wow 20 years! It’s a funny feeling isn’t it – a bit of belonging neither here nor there I guess. And of course the proverbial grass is always greener. Looking forward to sharing more stories as well 🙂

  • Chris Chesher

    Like the post Emma. The way you use the word settle makes me think of being at peace with one’s self or just being comfortable in our own shoes. As I know in my experiences life can throw us some hurdles/lessons but it sure is nice to be in good head space. I’m looking forward to working with you on your journey as I know it’ll help my journey as well

    • Thanks Christopher 🙂 Looking forward to a great year ahead together also – and indeed it sure is super nice to be in a good head space. And yes I think being at peace is definitely what it’s about; less flighty and less skittish.

  • Sounds like a fabulous year ahead! I look forward to following your journey x

    • Thanks Nicole, a fabulous year indeed. I was reading your blog last night – your Queenslander is so beautiful! What fun (mostly I guess!) to renovate such a beautiful place to call home.

  • Alana

    I hope your ‘settling’ goes well in 2015 and you have a fantastic year.

  • I love these questions and love your answers. I can’t wait to see what you get up to in 2015. We must be on the same page as I have just literally published a post on Fitness Events in Australia, a brief list of websites that I check out when trying to lock in a fitness event to challenge myself. Save you some of the research (Please feel free to remove link, feel like I sneaking a shameless plug) Beth

    • Plug away! That’s super useful and indeed you’ve saved me some time as I don’t even know where to start looking to find out more about what I could do as a big scary goal this year. I shall start on your page – and I am sure others will find it useful also. Thanks Beth!

  • I’ve just found your blog and I am devouring it! Congratulations on such an amazing weightloss already, I hope you’re proud of yourself and how far you’ve come!

    I’m about to embark on my own personal transformation journey this year – all up I have about half my weight to lose but am focused on the first 20kg for the next 6 months!

    Looking forward to following your continuing journey this year!

    • Hi Rach, thanks so much for your kind words and for reading – glad you can find some info and inspiration here for your personal transformation journey for this year. I also started with half my weight to lose, but as I mentioned, it’s easier to not spend much time focusing on that bit and instead break it down as you have – aim for the 20kg – or even 4 x 5kg and then re-assess from there. Good luck and looking forward to hearing more about your progress.

  • Some great inspiration on here Emma. Reading your blog has made me realise that I really need to get myself a Wellness Coach to help me with my own challenges. So refreshing to see you cover areas of weight, fitness and wellness together (ie not only ‘losing weight’). I hope I can find a coach that is supportive as Chris. Thanks for your inspiration.

    • Thanks so much Grace 🙂 And yes I highly recommend a wellness coach – I was lucky that Chris is a personal trainer AND wellness coach as I’ve benefited from both equally; he focuses on wellness as the big picture – and food/weight loss is only part of that! The other parts are training and fitness, rehab and recovery of the body, sleep, stress management, community and re-framing and rethinking lifestyle. Good luck with it! When you’re looking for someone to work with, ask around for recommendations and try them out – most people offer a free assessment – be picky! ‘Clicking’ with the person is really important.