Level Up Your Life: Origin Story

2020 began with the best of intentions but then bushfires, floods and global pandemics happened …

I turned 35 last week. And now, here I am. Still sitting in the dark waiting for the storms to pass…

In my darkness I’m reading Steve Kamb’s ‘Level Up Your Life’, so in the spirit of active participation, here’s my origin story:

Charlie lived a humble existence as a nerdy Complaints & Resolutions Specialist. Like other supernova origin stories, the hero struggled with being human, notably taking care of herself and lacking enthusiasm, motivation and direction. However, as the prophecies of old foretold, change was coming. Thanks to the deep breath of inspiration, self-discipline and the amazing tutelage of the ridiculously good-looking, clever, and modest mentor Steve, our hero transformed, creating AlwaysChum to protect the lives of her loved ones. Although our hero lives out an ordinary life by day, at night she is an absolute badarse, known for her epic eye for design, amateur hiking adventures, and one time even swam with dolphins.

How can you change the world if you can’t change yourself?

Credit: Bitmoji


Food Log

It’s nacho your problem, but that’s what I had for dinner. Sometimes you just crave the crispy crisps and hot melted cheese amongst the jalepeno’s and salsa. I feel like it was deserved having had coffee for breakfast and Boost juice for lunch.

Sleep Log

Sleep = 7 hours

This morning I woke up by myself at 4.30am and then snoozed until the alarm went off at 4.50am. It was at that point I shut off the alarm, and reset for 5.20am. Blissfully sleeping through my workout time. I’d spent most of the evening watching television but had pulled the lid down when my iPhone app reminded me it was time to sleep. I’m pretty sure I was out like a light.

This was aided by installing f.lux on my Macbook. It’s a software program that adjusts the lighting of the screen according to the location and time of day. I’ve also started using the BedTime App on my iPhone, this way I can ensure I get enough sleep by adjusting my ‘bed time’ according to when I need to wake up. For example, tomorrow is the weekend and beginning of four weeks annual leave, so I have adjusted my wake up time to 7.30am.

Activity Log

As mentioned before I skipped the morning work out. But made up for it in the walk to work. I’m thinking I might need to reevaluate where I disembark the tram as the morning stroll along Collins is getting easier each day. Step count is at 8,254 today.

Tomorrow Goals

In addition to the plethora of work I have to do for my thesis, I intend to complete a full work out and go for a walk up to the lake and back.


Edited version of a speech made by Arya Stark in GOT.

Arya is a bad ass! Anyone who watches Game of Thrones knows this. From a young age this little warrior stuck her finger up at the social expectations, instead turned and faced the trials and troubles of the world, with one attitude: Not today!

This image yoinked from Elle, completely encapsulates the warrior princess that is Arya. Having just watched the latest episode I am so proud of her whilst being completely and utterly traumatised. She is a modern day hero for all young females.

So tomorrow, when I don’t want to wake up and do my work out, I will ask myself WWASD?

To the Daily Log

It was an active Monday. I managed to crawl from the bed around 5am and get one set of strength training in, with my new weight. I felt the burn. Having left the house early, I power walked to the highway, snoozed 20min on the tram, before disembarking and powering my along Collins Street. The FitBit is still out of action and my iPhone doesn’t want to play, but I estimate it to be about 5,000 steps. My post work walk was cancelled due to obvious reasons. If not obvious, look above.

Since 11am AEST (when it aired in the U.S.) I have avoided social media like the plague. It made for a very long commute home. On the plus side, my Apple TV / AirPlay decided to work today, so we got the wide screen experience.

The stress, anxiety and heart wrenching anticipation called for Macca’s. So I indulged in a burger… and justified to myself, it was okay because it was grilled. I was very hungry also. Breakfast had been the Chia Pod, and Lunch a Weekend Warrior from Boost. So despite being naughty I was well within the calorie targets, just not on par with the Paleo lifestyle.

Tomorrow Goals

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. Tomorrow will be the longest day, work then uni, then home to study. Food goals remain the same, chia pod for breakfast, boost juice for lunch and dinner will be a cheeky Nandos or super food salad from the salad bar if it is still open when I leave the office. Steps goals will be achieved as I’ll be walking from SouthWest corner of the CBD to the NorthEast corner.


Active Journal

On this fake Friday I fell on my sword. Although completing BodyWeight 1A of the Nerd Fitness Workout, the step count was missing in action. Clocked 3,916 steps, most of which were achieved this morning as I marched along the highway trying to keep ahead of the tram.

My inner team player saw me volunteer for overtime at work and as a result, I didn’t leave the city until the sun had set and the suburbs had returned to shadows and anonymous tree rustles. I’m 33 and afraid of the dark. I’m not afraid to admit it.

Food Journal

Breakfast was half a bottle of V8 Vege Juice as I ran out the front door. I was going to skip the latte this morning but I had time and there was no queue. I call that destiny.

Lucky I did, as my friendly Barista kindly informed me that one of my favourite bands are coming to Melbourne in a few months and tickets go on sale this weekend… eeek! Anyway back to the food log.

Lunch was a Weekend Warrior (again!) and Dinner was a bowl of Alpen.

Not the greatest day for food either.

Tomorrow I’ll try again. Should be easier given its a public holiday and I’ll be up for the dawn service.

Plan for Tomorrow

Following dawn service, I shall retreat back to the house for my two boiled eggs and a cup of tea.

Around midday I’ll go for a walk and swing by the juice bar on the other side of the creek for lunch (if they’re open). If no one is open, which I suspect, I may have to do something daring like eat Alpen for lunch, or have more boiled eggs.

Dinner will be the same as lunch. A roll of the dice.

Next time I’ll do that pesky errand called grocery shopping.

Positive Thoughts

So a fellow nerd/warrior posted an idea in a Facebook group of reflecting on three positive things that happen each day. After commenting on the post with my positives yesterday, I thought I would tack a few onto this post as a way of concluding.

  1. I connected with someone (stranger) in a Facebook Group Forum and we bonded.
  2. An irritable thing happened at work, and I was able to breathe and let it go (these situations have been difficult these last few months)
  3. I got to see the sunset over the Docklands.


Shakespeare quote in honour of the Bards Birthday / Death anniversary.

Active Journal

In addition to my inspiration quotes I’ll endeavour to track the progress of my health and fitness journey (as challenged by Nerd Fitness).

I woke up at 5am this morning and did 2/3 reps of Body Weight 1B which includes Good Morning, Standing Wall Walk, One Leg Balance, Wall Slide, and Front Plank. I didn’t make the 3rd rep due to the fire in my arms and that pesky thing called time. Tomorrow I’ll set the alarm for 4:45am. Which means adjusting my sleep time. Which also gives me less time to work on other projects in the evening. I’m a girl that needs at least five hours. But short term sacrifices and all that.

I got in half my morning walk before work, and the full afternoon walk after work thus achieving 7,209 steps. Fitbit says I’ve clocked 88 minutes active time so I’m happy with that.


Food Journal

Breakfast was lightyears ago. It didn’t really happen. Whilst walking to work I had a few swigs of my V8 veggie juice which apparently today I detested so it landed with a thud in the bin by the time I was half way down the highway.

Once I got to work I joined the queue for my skinny latte and that became breakfast. About 30 minutes later a fruit and nut bar ascended from the locker to my desk and into my stomach. Estimated 315 calories.

I was so busy at work I didn’t see lunch time arrive, and when prompted bolted out the door and to the station in lightening speed. Today was a Weekend Warrior from Boost Juice. Estimated 278 calories.

Dinner was a cheeky Nandos. My excuse: I was away for the long weekend and didn’t have food. Real reason: I wanted to walk home along the creek, so going to the grocery store would be going out of my way and I didn’t want eggs. Estimated 500 calories.

I’m not really counting calories at this stage. But to have the day’s total between 1,000 – 1,500 is a good place especially since my active minutes will compensate.


In sad news, my FitBit strap broke over the weekend and while another is ordered, it remains at the bottom of my bag. My wrist, in the meantime, feels naked (except for my Just Strong bracelet).

Thanks for reading.