Hinchinbrook Shire...

Calling the citizens of the Hinchinbrook Shire!

How about a coffee and a bit of conversation! – who would say no to a free coffee right? I’m currently writing about Ingham but I would love to make it more personal. I would love to hear your stories about the Hinchinbrook district’s history!

Contact me via Facebook or WordPress and we will make a time to sit down for a chat!

Who wouldn’t love this place!

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you probably know what I’m all about by now. Help me to build a platform that surrounds the Hinchinbrook Shire with a bubble of positivity and make our whole community flourish again.

Once people realize that changing the world is difficult, they begin to give up on those dreams they had. They let those dreams wash away and replace them with “realistic” goals that other people give them. Maybe you’ve even experienced this yourself. Let’s start today with a pledge to move past “knowing” and into doing. Because knowing may be cool, but it’s doing that will change the world.

I no longer ‘feel’ that those around me see me as “Amy Aquilini – The quad bike accident survivor.” I am now Amy Irvin, Aquo – Nice to meet you! I have been through the hard yards to be at where I am in life today, so now my next mission is to take on the world. The people that know me know that I can’t keep still!

“Maybe I can’t change the world, but I can affect the people around me; and if they in turn do the same, and affect those around them, then together we can change the world.” —Aaron Sheppard

It’s no longer about us – it’s about our kids! Let’s change the world for the better!

Aquo Xx

Hinchinbrook Shire..., Our People

Life as a confident country girl…

I was born – and have lived (bar from a rebellious stage when I left high school and said I was never coming back) – and vow to die in the small country town of Ingham. Sorry to disappoint the haters – but do you really think I was going anywhere without a fight?

Who is Aquo

My two sisters and I were raised to be very confident, very outspoken, not afraid of anything young ladies. Six months of the year mum was a single parent (due to the sugar cane crushing season) and we didn’t have dad there with his old ‘Don’t make her do something she doesn’t want to do’ line so we all become our own versions of strong. We have the queen of Ice Queens, The queen of survivors, and the artistic flare of the family !

Lene, Aquo & Maddy – Aquo’s 21st @ Mission Beach, May 2013

Still to this day when mum wants me to do something I’m not keen on I pull out my ‘my dad said I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do’ line – I’m 27.

It’s really important to teach girls from the time they start to understand the world that no matter what, they are strong. Raise your daughters to be independant and not be the victim of anything that comes at them in life. Growing up will still be a challenge, I suffered from terrible anxiety through school. But as they get the hang of being a young woman, they will come out the other end with a set of balls as big as a bull!

Look at the set on this one!

No but seriously – give your daughters the best tools to become the strongest, most confident version of themself and she will go far in life.

When people ask me how I’ve come as far as I have I say – ‘Well, I wasn’t going to roll over and die. I was given a second chance (Or third or forth, I’m like a cat – 9 lives but we will talk about that another day) so I’m going to tell my story to my whole town, and if I get to tell the world – great!

People need to discover their own superpower. Mine is my strength, my honesty and lack of filter all fall into it but I’m strong. No – I’m fucking strong! You go through what I have in my last 6 years and let me know how you go! And no, that’s not a challenge – so settle down.

I want to become a public figure who promotes my town to ensure there is a town for my boys to grow up in. Ingham is a beautiful place and it would be a shame to see that all fade away.

There comes a time in life when you need to stop requiring validation from others and simply start living your best life.

According to the ‘culture trip’ there are 11 Inspiring Australian Women Who Changed History… I want to be the 12th Australian woman to change history!

Here’s a list of those wonderful ladies!

Wilhelmina (Mina) Wylie (1891-1984) and Sarah (Fanny) Durack (1889-1956)

Edith Cowan (1861-1932)

Evelyn Scott (1935-2017)

Maude Bonney (1897-1994)

Jane Foss Barff (1863-1937)

Faith Thomas (1933-)

Louise Mack (1870-1935)

Nova Peris (1971-)

Elizabeth Kenny (1880-1952)

Gladys Elphick (1904-1988)

Elizabeth Blackburn (1948-)

I would love more than anything in the world to become number 12. I would love more than anything for the list to read:- The 12th Amazing woman who changed Australian history – Amy Shannon Aquilini – Irvin (Aquo)!

And… here are a few sayings I have found through the years that I wrote down that have helped me dig my way out of the darkest bloody hole you have ever seen! I don’t think they are famous quotes – but I apologize if they are and I haven’t referenced them!

  • Be that strong girl that everyone knew would make it through the worst!
  • Being a strong woman is misconstrued to be evil and ugly – (I want to change that!)
  • Nothing is more impressive than a woman who is secure in the unique way god made her. (I want to be her!)
  • Don’t be the woman that needs a man, be a woman a man needs. (Be your own outgoing self!)
  • Be the goddess who honors her body as the sacred temple of the spirit of life. With each inhale as a prayer of gratitude. (My 1st fave quote ever. That’s why I exercise like the crazy person I am!)
  • Don’t depend too much on anyone in the world because even your own shadow leaves you when your in darkness. (My 2nd fave quote ever! Relating to my darkest time yet!)
  • May your coffee be strong and your heart be grateful! (I love this! There is nothing better in life than that deep breath and exhale after your first sip of coffee in the morning – not even sex! but – sex is pretty good)

Today isn’t a great day for me, I woke up and couldn’t drag my ass out of bed, slowly slowly I got up as my husband was going out the door but I see it like this – I’M STILL HERE! – That is my running song! It gets me so pumped!

I may be sitting here typing as my baby is asleep in the bouncer but I feel I’ve been productive. My kids are fed, they’re clean, I’ve got dinner defrosted and will have it on the table by 5.30pm so no matter when hubby gets home dinner is ready for him to eat. Usually I stop what I’m doing and we sit down together and discuss the days happenings, but if there’s something pressing – i’ll go handle that and the household moves on.

When I lose concentration I’ll go make a coffee and play with the kids. I have all my apps linked to all my devices so if my 2 year old wants a cuddle after a big day, we sit down and put Blippi on tv and i’ll work away on my phone or tablet. Tonight after we have all had a shower I will put our clothes in the wash. Then the kitchen is cleaned and just before I TRY switch off for the night the clothes get either hung up or depending on my day (and how much of a head-f$#k it was) they will go in the dryer.

So guys – that for me is a lazy day, those days where you don’t want to do shit! (and on that note – i’ll go do a 30min sesh of weights… brb.) So I did that and a million ideas come to me while I was working up a sweat but now I sit back down you think I can remember any of them! See I don’t know if it’s scaring from my TBI (traumatic brain injury) or mum brain… but I think every person in the world would benefit from using the app ‘Elevate‘ to exercise their brain so that humans can get back in the lead of the race between humans and computers! or… at least try!

Aquo Xx

Aquo's Speel

How I rebuilt my body – Aquo 2.0…

So there was this one day back in early 2015 where I was so down on myself while still in recovery from my accident. I had come leaps and bounds since that fateful day, but I was the biggest fat ass! As my brain was still healing, I slept a lot, most of the time with Sons of Anarchy in the background to drown out the outside noise. Because of my impulse post accident, I would fixate on certain things that would attract me, my 2 biggest – hot guys, mostly NQ farmers with dark features andddddd Sons of Anarchy!

I got up to the larger size of an 18 which is the biggest I have ever been in my life and I was so unhappy. At the time I was living at mum and dads and had a lot of time on my hands as I was still in the recovery process of my journey. I decided it was time to do something about my weight and how I felt about myself, because no one can change that but you, you have to want it, and I wanted it so bad!

So i went and bought a $99 exercise bike from Big W and as I would watch tv in my room I would get on my bike. I would ride for 20 minutes at a time. I would do this a few times a day and after a few weeks I found my clothes fitting better. I thought “Well this is a nice change, I’ll keep going.”

I set up a little gym on the deck outside of my bedroom with a set of weights, a fit ball, my bike and my walker. I started off doing hour sessions once a day, 7 days a week. I have always been bad at over doing it, but I felt better training 7 days a week, I think it comes down to how your body rests, and at the time all I was doing was training and resting.

I can’t remember exactly how long it took me to drop my first dress size but I remember it taking a while. Once that happened I signed up to Tweak Fitness and trained 3 times a week, sometimes 4 with a Personal Trainer (PT), for 30 minutes at a time. I would push myself almost to the point of being physically sick. When I fell pregnant all my doctors advised I stopped any exercise as they were unsure as to how pregnancy would fit me after a massive accident. It was hard, but I still ate well.

When my son was six weeks old I was back at gym, lucky babies sleep so much! I was also walking 5km after he woke of a morning, every morning, anywhere from 5am to 6am, I was brave enough to do a few sneaky 3am walks, only during the cane season (because at that time there’s heaps of people up going to work). After a few months I turned that walking into running. I eventually would walk a km or so and do a 300m sprint, changing to this made the weight slide off. I would give myself Sunday as a rest day and I gave myself a cheat day once a fortnight, but instead of eating shit for an entire day, I would allow myself one naughty thing. One of my trainers once told me, “If your body has been craving something all day, sleep on it – if you wake up and still want it, have it – don’t feel guilty, then return to living a healthy lifestyle.”

Exercise and nutrition go hand in hand, I slowly slowly changed my eating habits and after I had my son in 2017, I went proper health freak, which at times, gave my husband the shits because of what I wouldn’t cook anymore. But portion control also played a part in me being able to loose so much weight. Before I made a switch, I would easily smash a plate of dinner the size my husband would. I did a lot of research on nutrition and asked my PT a million questions, I attended a few nutrition seminars at my gym (which I loved)! I slowly tried many different approaches (many which failed) but eventually after many months I found what does & doesn’t work for my husband and I.

Changing our eating habits defiantly paid off for me! I lost over 30kg from when I had my son in June 2017 till when I fell pregnant late August 2018 or there abouts. I think the biggest advice I could give to anyone out there (remembering I’m not a PT or anything!) is YOU have to want it more than anything! you wont do it for a partner that tells you your fat (trust me, I’ve been there), you need to want to do it for yourself. My husband would stop me all the time and tell me how he didn’t care what I looked like, and I had the same response every time – “I know. I’m not doing this for you, I’m doing it for me!”

Yes, attending my PT sessions helped me heaps! but you don’t need a gym, or any exercise equipment at all to start living a healthier lifestyle. I read this book – Head First Health Fast by Leanne Hall, it was the kick in the ass I needed to get my head in the game. This was about the time where my husband lost it with the ways I would try to make our favourite meals by substituting certain ingredients with healthier alternatives – like raw sugar with rice malt syrup (my personal fave!) I was getting creative and some things I would make would fail, but the most part is successful. I have always had a passion for cooking, which we will defiantly talk about on a later date.

Things I have resorted to to stay motivated include reading some really awesome books before bed, I will add a list below for your convenience. I wasn’t afraid to message my Personal Trainer and let them (I have had about 5 or 6 from 2015 to present) know I’m finding it hard to stay in the game, I would always receive some inspirational advice, articles etc that would keep me focused. One thing I would not do was team up with anyone for gym or with exercising, if they said ‘not today’, I would cancel and I didn’t want that. Because of my struggles with chronic pain I had to postpone many, many sessions, but I would always make them up. It was so bloody hard but I did it!

You really do have to want to change for yourself, it won’t work if your doing it because anyone tells you your fat, your unhealthy etc. That’s just going to make you feel worse! A massive part is to start by trying to improve your mental state – start changing the way you see things from a negative to a positive and it will help you in a massive way to keep your head in the game.

Pages I follow:-

tweak Fitness

Sharny and Julius

Women’s Health and Fitness

Fitness Education Online

The Healthy Mummy Fitness

Books that have helped keep my head in the game:-

Happy Healthy Strong – by Rachel Finch

Head First Health Fast – by Leanne Hall. This book is amazing! I will so be doing an article on this.

A really awesome book & dvd set – You Can Heal Your Life – by Louise Hay – I will be doing an article on this aswell, it has helped me through so much!

Remember – you need to find systems that work for YOU! If I was able to do it, so can you!

Aquo Xx