Monday, July 30, 2012

It's a date

This is completely bizarre, but it seems I have developed an intolerance to DATES!  Naawwww.  I love dates.  How can those deliciously sweet, yummy morsels carry so many bloody allergens?

I knew something was a-miss last week when I struggled to get through boxing circuit.  Usually after I get through a session I'm pretty much on top of the world, but last week - flatter than flat.

Perhaps I was coming down with something?  Half of Melbourne has had the flu that I've somehow managed to avoid.  Yep, I can push through that.

On the treadie at gym on Thursday I just had nothing.  No interest.  No breath.  Nothing.  I tried again later in the day with the intention of a 7km run.  Got 1km in and it started to rain, which was my saving grace.  I just wasn't feeling it at all,so turned back.

Friday at work- back to back to back meetings where I managed to throw down a quick snack (dates, almonds and strawberries) as my lunch.  So tired and lethargic.  Meetinged out and after a 14 hour day was ready for a nanna nap.

Saturday I was due at running coaching.  Couldn't lift my head from the pillow.  My chest and back were aching and I had a stupid cough.  Okay - maybe I'm sick.  But I don't feel "sick",just exhausted and drained.  Maybe I'm not eating enough or my body has had enough of being in calorie deficit?

Sunday - blah.  Manage to go to work but shivered through it.  Seriously, it was as though someone was running ice cubes along my bones - from the inside.  Still I had to work late and get the media side of my job out of the way.  I'm sitting there in 20 layers of clothes with a pen in my mouth and then it hits me that my lips feel strange.  A few minutes later I'm struggling to breathe properly.  This REALLY doesn't feel right.

I ask the girls on the local FB group if anyone has had anything similar.  They're all "get your ass off to a doctor".  I don't like doctors.  Yes, I know I sound like a 5 year old. And there's no longer the lure of jelly beans either.  Too many cals.

Then my throat starts to swell up and my skin is all of a sudden VERY itchy.  I feel as though I could pass out.  And then the penny drops.  Mould.  I have an extreme reaction to the stuff.  And dates are susceptible to it's formation.  Ipso-facto, I'm allergic to dates.

Just to be a good girl I go to the doctor anyway today for a check up.  She orders the usual blood work.  Tells me to stop eating dates (D'oh), puts me on an anti-histamine to open my airways up again and she'll see me in a few days.

There's a whole unopened packet of dates in the fridge.  I want them.  I'll miss them.  I am in mourning.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

How rewarding!

It's blogger challenge times again - this week the topic is everything REWARD related. Last round I went full on into 2.5kg increments of self-indulgence.

It worked pretty well at giving me something to strive toward.  "Chunkability" the act of breaking something mammoth and overwhelming down into manageable chunks.

In fact, it worked a little too well, and by the time I got to 75kg, I realised that I had more flabby bits that needed to take a hike.

It's a strange feeling exceeding a goal.  Especially when it's a goal you had doubts you could achieve.  So I've set a new goal; to stay below 70kg for the next 8 months (at least).  And to break it into chunks, I've come up with a new series of rewards;
Each reward is due and payable on the first of each month.  I ran out of room to include my April reward, and it's the most special of all.  I get to change my surname :)  Some days I feel I could burst I'm so happy :) :) :) :) :) :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Weigh in - R2 - Week 8

Happy happy happy dance...

Current Weight: 69.8kg
Last week:      69.9kg
Week's loss:     -0.1kg 
So far:         -27.2kg

I'm still in the 60's, and still on the decrease.  A tiny 100g decrease with a disclaimer.  We ate very late on Tuesday night.  10.30pm type late, which usually results in a less than impressive reading the next morning.  I think my lack of consistent exercise this week may have more to do with it if truth be told.

Hitting the sub 70 mark has made it easier to come up with incredibly plausible excuses for not breaking a sweat. It's winter.  I'm tired.  I got home late.  I've had a crap day. I could have easily ditched boxing in favour of a warm house, a warm meal and a total veg out watching the Masterchef Finale.  Good thing Judy was waiting at the gym for me.  Accountability at it's best.  And we had a great workout which always lifts your mood.  The man had dinner pretty much ready to dish up when I walked in too.  (I really MUST learn to ditch the guilts over not being home before him)

So as some extra motivation I'm going to sweat for an hour a day this next week;
Wednesday:    Boxing circuit @ Cardinia Life
Thursday:       Cardio session @ Casey Race
Friday:            Lunchtime walk / jog
Saturday:         Run coaching session
Sunday:           10km walk around Berwick Springs Lake with the man
Monday:          Strength session @ home
Tuesday:          Body Combat @ Casey Arc

Then, keeping my nutrition tight as well, I may even see an 8 as the second number next weigh in :)

Friday, July 20, 2012

10 reasons to run

I came across this article in last Sundays Herald Sun "Body & Soul" suppliment about running.  I'll admit, I was one of those walkers who thought that running was stupid; running would cause injury; running was too hard, but now I'm a fair convert.

And here's why...

1.  You Lose Weight
If you want to shed kilos pick up the pace.  In 30 minutes, a 60kg woman burns about 287 calories running at 10kph and about 96 calories walking at 5kph.
2.  You Live Longer
Running 1.5 to 2 hours per week can increase  Women's lifespan by 5.6 years and Men's by 6.2 years.
3.  You decrease your risk of cancer
Breaking a sweat on a regular basis will slash your chances of developing several types of cancer; Colon cancer by 40 to 70%; breast, prostate & lung cancers by 30 to 40%,
4.  You boost your immunity
Regular moderate exercise reduced the risk of the common cold and uppoer respiratory tract infections by 20%
5.  You strengthen muscles
After the age of 30 we lose 1% of muscle mass per year.  Running strengthens your legs, back & abs.
6.  You reduce your risk of diabetes
3 hours of vigorous exercise a week reduces Women's risk of type 2 diabetes by 46%
7.  Improve your sleep & boost your energy
150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each week improves sleep quality by 65%, and you're also less likely to feel sleepy during the day.
8.  You lift your mood
Running elevates mood and can ease depression thanks to the release of feel-good endorphins.
9.  You strengthen your bones
Running can increase bone density and reduce your risk of osteoporosis.  load-bearing exercise gives your bones the signal that they need to be strong to withstand the force you put upon them.
10.  You reduce your risk of blood pressure and heart disease
Running regularly improves your cardiovascular health by increasing the elasticity of your arteries,which in turn reduces your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.  Those who run for at least an hour per week have a 42% lower risk of coronary heart disease than those who do not run.

And if it wasn't after 11pm I'd be off for a run right about now!


Thursday, July 19, 2012

A day in the 12wbt life

I was on cloud nine yesterday after reaching the 60's at weigh-in and I must have been glowing, or walking tall or whatever, coz a few people at work asked me about what I've been doing.  It's not like they had just noticed - 27kg doesn't dissappear over night.  But it's not really the type of conversation you have with the scary boss lady!

As I began the whole 1200 in 500 out conversation, I stopped midway as it doesn't do the program justice to talk in such a black and white way.  It's not easy to describe how life-changing this is.  People not on the path or not yet ready to change wouldn't see it the same way.  There's one word I keep coming back to; discipline.  Not in a particularly regimented way.  It's having the discipline, or self-control to make good decisions.  We all know what we should and shoudn't eat (although 12wbt has opened my eyes in this area as well).  We all know that some form of daily exercise has benefits beyond just weight control.  The only difference (in my opinion) between those who do and those who don't succeed is a strong sense of choice.

And let me tell you - once you have mastered this in your personal life, it flows like a torrent through your professional life too.

And as usual, I've gone off on a tangent...

Back to the intention of this post.  Here's an insight into a day's worth of nutrition on 12wbt, or in other words, what I ate yesterday;

Breakfast: Porridge with banana and strawberries with a sprinkle of LSA mix
Snack: 2 dates, 5 strawberries and a pinch of sunflower seeds (with a herbal tea)
Lunch: Chicken & Broccolini Laksa
Snack: Body Science lo carb protein bar (with a herbal tea)
Dinner: Chicken with creamy mustard sauce (plus a while heap of veggies; oven roasted cherry toms, steamed beans and asparagus + 1/2 a cup of sweet potato & ricotta mash.

Sure, it's disciplined eating, but man oh man do I feel good!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Weigh in - R2 - Week 7

They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, so;

Need I say more?  No, but I'm never short of a word. 

This is the second time I've touched below the 70kg mark.  The last time was on my birthday a few weeks ago.  Normally, when I hit a low point, it is immediately followed by a largeish spike.  And that was no exception.  So now I'm under it again, the challenge will be to keep going and get to this mark on my night time weigh.

I've re-set my weight loss goal for the final time.  67kg is where it ends.  That magic little number will get me to 30kg removed - still freaks me out a little tiny bit!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Reflect & Revise: Blogger Challenge Week 6

The lovely Jayne over at On a mission to prove anything is possible has set us another great task this week; to look back over our past 6 weeks and identify what's working for us and identify and little tweaks that need to be made to ensure our success for the second half of this round.

Have you been doing your 6 days of training?
Most weeks, yes I do bash out 6 sessions each week.  I actually feel more tired if I don't sweat each day, and I definitely find it harder to keep on track with my nutrition if I've been slack with my exercise.  Some days I'll only get to around 250 - 300 calories burnt, especially on strength days.  And on those REALLY bad days when everything conspires against you, I'll still make sure I at least ride the exercise bike for 20 minutes, whack out 150 crunches and 40 pushups.  It really is second nature now.
How has your nutrition been?
I'm really proud of my nutrition.  I still plan the week ahead and cook from the 12wbt recipes.  The last couple of weeks I've been playing around with more protein, particularly for snacks.  I'm SOOOO interested in the different food types and the effect they have on your body.  When work settles down a bit (September) I'm going to start some form of informal learning on exercise nutrition.
What needs to change?
I have let a small weakness sneak back in of late.  It's a controlled sneak rather than a snowball rolling down a hill.  My weakness has ALWAYS been lollies.  I've been able to turn a blind eye to the fact that "the man" has them on hos pantry shelf - at least I WAS.  It's nothing like the bag a day I used to poison myself with.  Just a small handfull a couple of times each week.  I'm not sure that I'm okay with this.  I can justify it in that I'm in maintenance phase but still losing weight.  But really, do I need that crappy stuff fueling my body?  The answer is's like my only vice.  Okay - lollies must go!
Is there anything you want to do differently going into the next 6 weeks?
I want to get out of bed earlier and go for a walk before work each morning.  I miss walking.  I especially miss walking around Albert Park Lake at lunchtime. 
What are you committing to?
Starting Tuesday (I work VERY late on Sunday nights) I WILL walk first thing in the morning.
The first week of September I WILL begin some passive research and reading on the topic of nutrition, specifically for exercise.
What are your goals?
Weight:   67kg
Exercise:  To try a new class every fortnight.
Nutrition:  Ditch the lollies, try a protein suppliment.
Why you want to do it?
Weight:   Really, it's just for me to say I've lost 30kg.  Total vanity and brag fodder!
Exercise: It's important for me to stretch my comfort zones mix things up a bit to stave off boredom and to see how far I can push myself.
Nutrition:  I've always been interested in natural health and have noticed that different foods respond in different ways.  I think it's imprtant for me to know the science behind it all.
How will you get there?
Ditch the lollies (ha ha).  I just have to keep on the same slow and steady track.
What is your ultimate goal if you have one?
I want to continue to live this amazingly purposeful, healthy life for a long, long time.  To still be able to travel to remote locations in my old age.  In fact, I want to slow the ageing process as much as I can.  I'm having too much fun to get old :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Weign in - R2 - Week 6

Today's weigh-in is brought to you by Duracel, the makers of the little round 2032 batteries scales need to keep alive.

Current Weight: 70.9kg
Last week:      71.2kg
Week's loss:     -0.3kg 
So far:         -26.1kg

As a serial weigher (and proudly so), imagine my distress when all signs of scale life were distinguished.  Yep, in seven months I managed to completely drain the battery.  It was strange not being able to weigh in at all for a couple of days.  I went from thinking "yay, I can eat whatever I want and it won't show on the scales" (I know, dumb, dumb, dumb) to "Michelle is going to come after me if I don't weigh in soon".

And it came at a particularly bad time!

On Saturday, my first number was a 6.  The next a 9.  Then a .  And then a 7.

Blown away much?

And that was my last reading - RIP battery.  I'm then second guessing myself; I've read of chicks who get an awesome reading, only to find their scales died the next day.  Apparently they give false readings when they're at the end of their life.  So is my 6 a real 6, or a battery failure induced, artificial low?

But we don't go and get a battery straight away.  Oh no.  We have to prolong the drama (I swear I'm Nina from Offspring), and the wondering.

So today I'm 70.9.  Usually when I hit a low point I spring back up by a kilo, sometimes 2 pretty quickly,and then it comes off again more slowly.  Now that I've seen the 6, I want to see it again, and again,and again.  Maybe even at night.  That's when you know you've really made it past a milestone I reckon.

I've got so much to write, but I'll leave it here today; mindset lessons and subtle cyber attacks that sting like a snake bite are all trying to leap from my fingers, but for another day.  Right now, Chicken & Broccolini Laska beckons :)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Food glorious fooooooddddd

Week 5 (goodness me - this round is flying) blogger challenge hosted by the very gorgeous Jayne is all about FOOOOOOOD.  And let's face it, none of us would be reforming fatties if it wasn't for our lust for the yummy stuff.

What were your old food habits like?

Oh dear, I was a shocker!  I had some awful habits.

every Saturday we would drive down to see our new build taking shape and would stop at the bakery on the way home.  EVERY SATURDAY I would have a pie AND some sort of slice FOR LUNCH!!!

every time I did the grocery shopping (on my own) I would also grab an iced coffee AND a bag of chocolate coated licorice my REWARD (a couple of times a week)!

every single work day I would buy my lunch.  Some days pizza.  Some days chicken & chips.  Or pasta.  Or calamari and chips.

we had takeaway for dinner 3 or 4 times each week.  Thursday night was KFC.  We'd get a family bucket - between the two of us (I'm cringing right now).  Friday night would usually be fish and chips.  Fried fish, of course.  Or maybe even a hamburger.

snackage - oh blimey!  Tim tams, chips, coke, chocolate, lollies, ice cream.  In fact, my trolley used to be 90% crap.

And then when you add in dessert, second helpings and no exercise...well...need I say more?

What were you like before embarking on this journey to become a healthier version of yourself?

Great question Jayne.  In fact, I've spent time in the last few days on this topic, and I don't like the answers.  I was nothing.  I did nothing.  I looked forward to nothing.  I found joy in nothing.  I was just going through the motions day after day after day.  I was bored, un-motivated, un-interested. I was stressed out all the time.  Emotional (in a bad way). Lazy.

But all labels aside, I wasn't happy with me.  I hadn't been happy with me for a long time.  I'd changed everything; cars, several  jobs, moved house again and again, left a 20 year marriage.  The only thing I hadn't tried to change was me - my mindset - my inner and outer self - the one thing that had the power to make me happy.

Was there anything you struggled with but have overcome?

I struggled (and to a point still do struggle) with portion sizes.  I tend to choose meals that have loads of veggies and a smaller amount of protein so I get that plateful type of feeling when I sit down to dinner.  And I miss sweet things.  Coke. And my hands look for something to pop into my mouth when I'm watching TV at night.

How do you do it?

Cold turkey.  I made the decision to clean up my act and get the weight off when I was laying in the recovery room after emergency back surgery.  I've rarely gone over 1200 calories a day since then.

What are your new eating habits like?

About 90% of my food intake is fresh produce, compared to the 10% it used to be.  I cook every single night - no takeaway.  We've probably eaten out 6 times in the past 8 months, and what's coming out of my wok is as good as anything I've eaten out.  I savour my mood and really taste it.  And I'm so well prepared now.  I plan the week in advance and stick to it.  Shop once each week. And no garbage finds it's way into the trolley these days (other than the man's chicken potato chips - yuk!)

How do you feel now? What is the difference?  How is it changing your life?

I'm a completely different person.  Truly.  And it's not just the weight.  My mood has stabilised, I'm happier. Much more optimistic.  And others have noticed this too. I'm a better partner, boss, mother, friend. I have confidence again in the kitchen.  Confidence everywhere actually. And I like the person I am becoming.  I say becoming, as I consider myself  a work in progress.

I'm alive.  I have purpose.  It's that simple really.

Why has it been and continues to be worth it?

I'm struggling to answer this one.  Will "I AM WORTH IT" suffice?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Weign in - R2 - Week 5

Week 5 - CRAZY how quickly this round is going. Next week will be the half way point, and whilst my weight loss this round hasn't been massive, it's not as though I'm really trying to ditch the poundage.

Current Weight: 71.2kg
Last week:      71.5kg
Week's loss:     -0.3kg
So far:         -25.8kg

 (edited to correct my ordinary maths!)

I will though, admit to being a little disappointed in my 300g this week.  Yeah, I know that any loss is a good loss, blah blah blah.  But I tried REALLY hard this week.  At least I trained hard.  Perhaps a few extras slipped between my teeth.

It's all perspective really.  Would I be happy with a 300g loss if I wasn't pushing to get to the magic 70kg by Saturday?  Hells yeah!  But with a goal on the horizon - a goal that I probably won't reach - I'm a little disappointed.

In the big scheme of things, does it matter to anyone else if I'm not 70kg by Saturday?  Nooooooo.  My original goal by my birthday was 75kg.  Happily that was ticked off ages ago.  So anything below that is, in reality, a bonus.

So I'm going to take the pressure off myself, and just celebrate the fact that these lifestyle changes I've made are here to stay.  That's probably the best birthday present I could give myself.  Hmmm.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Row row row your boat

I seem to do this a lot on here, but it's CONFESSION TIME.  I have NEVER used the rowing machines in the gym.  NEVER.  Made up all kinds of excuses as to why I can't; sore back, too hard, not fit enough, but the truth is, I was intimidated by the bloody things.

Last night after work I made an unprepared dash to gym with the intention of completing Michelle's week 5, Monday, lean & fit program.  Normally I'd at least check it out before I go and semi-memorise the program.  not this week.  So I get there and I check out the prescribed warm up on my iphone (HOW we ever lived without one I just don't know) and get started.  And we're walking at 6kph for 5 minutes.  Cool.

At about the four minute mark I scroll down to the next segment.  It's a 5 minute steady state jog at 9kph.  Cool.

Again, I get to the four minute mark and sus out the next stage.  Gulp!  It's something new.  Rolling intervals on the treadie.  A progressive running drill divided into two parts.  Part one is a pace increase at an incline of 1%, starting at 9kph and increasing by 1kph every minute and dropping back to a resting speed of 6kph in the 6th minute.

Part two is a static pace with an increase to the incline every minute.

We're at 10kph (which is manageable) and a 1% incline.  Cool.

Minute 2 is 3% incline, and every minute increases by 2% until you get to 9%.  3%; cool.  5%; okay not quite so cool.  7%; blimey I'm going to pass out and there's NO WAY I can do 9%.  So I take a 1 minute break back to 6kph, same incline, and then I'm ready to tackle this.  AND...with lungs completely busting, I get it done!

So by this point I'm pretty much spent.  And then I check what's next...ROWING MACHINE.

Double gulp.  I don't know how to operate this thing.  I'll look like a dick.  I'll fall off.  It's peak hour at the gym, blah, blah, blah.

So I just go and do it.  I flip back the damper thingy on the side to 5 (I figure this is the done thing) and press reset on the screen.  Strap my feet in.  THEN realise that you have to put the handle on the little holder thingy so you can actually reach it.  Out come the feet.  Position the handle.  Feet clipped back in.  MASSIVE deep breath and we're off.....

The challenge here is to row hard for 1km, have a 2 minute rest, then go again for another kilometre, trying to beat your first km time.  First km = 5:28.  And it's hard.  REALLY hard.  Legs aching, lungs burning, hands raw, but I'm doing it.  And no-one is standing there laughing at me.  That 2 minute rest felt fantastic!!! The second km started out feeling great.  I had a bit of technique happening and was in a zone.  Nearing the 900m point I'd full on had E.Nough. But I sucked it up, did a quick calculation of my current pace and realised that I was on target to beat my first km time.  And I did. 5:11.  Happy with that.

You'd think that would be the end of the workout right about there, but NOOOoooooooooooooo.

Internal sprints on the treadie, which goes a bit like this;

30 seconds on and 30 seconds off, recovering on the sideboards.  1 x 12kph, 2 x 14kph, 2 x 16kph.

Now, I've never cracked the 16kph mark.  Too hard, I'll fall off, I'm not fit enough, blah blah (sound familiar).  The first set of 16kph, I wimped out at 15kph.  But you know what, I decided to give it a go, AND GOT THROUGH IT.  It may not sound like much to those that have been running for years, but for me this is a MASSIVE achievement and I'm really really proud of myself.

Rowing machine - you're not so scary.  Maybe even a second date coming up soon??