Friday, September 28, 2012

The times, they are a-changing

And speaking of time... it's time for the next Blogger Challenge entry, hosted by the lovely Noni;

If we want to transform ourselves we can't expect it to just happen - we have to make an effort and make changes in our lives.  This week's challenge is about the changes you have made to your life - whether you have been on this journey for three weeks or three years - or anywhere in between.

1.  What do you think were the three most important changes you have made so far?
All three of mine centre around nutrition.  Menu planning, shopping list and a once weekly shop.  For the first time in my adult life I feel in control of my food choices, and strangely enough, a lot more confident in the kitchen too.

Flahead fillets on stir-fried asian greens

2.  How have these changes to your food, exercise or mindset impacted on the rest of your life?
In every single way.  I'm more calm, centered and under control in every situation.  A lot more upbeat too.  The daily grind of coming up with something to eat had well and truly worn me down.  Now that "the man" has completely embraced our nutrition changes, it makes everything so much easier.

The JFDI mentality has an access all areas pass too.  I just get up and do things now, instead of sitting back waiting for someone else to do them.  And it doesn't even phase me (most of the time at least!)

3.  What did you have to do in order to make sure these changes happened?
When I first began I used to look forward to my weekly planning and shopping sessions.  then, as motivation waned, I began to resent it again.  One weekend I just didn't make the time - made 1,000 excuses to not do it - mostly out of spite, and as a result, my week was chaos.  Just wasn't worth it and didn't make a point to anyone other than myself.  Lesson learned, I now just suck it up and get the job done.

4.  What difference have these changes made to your body transformation?
The week I cracked the sads and didn't plan resulted in a gain of over a kilo.  I've worked too damn hard to let it slip, so this experiement demonstrated the importance of planning and eating good food.  If I eat well, the scales play nice.  When I get a little slack, the results are there for me on a Wednesday.  And there's no use making an excuse or justifying it.  You've just got to do what you know HAS to be done.  No excuses.  East well, and within your calorie range and you'll lose (or maintain) weight.  It's THAT simple!

5.  Have these changes been hard or easy for you to make?  Why?
Hard is a difficult thing to answer.  I've been so freaking motivated and in reality, have slipped up on very few occasions.  Does that mean it's been easy for me?  I don't know.  Has it been hard?  I don't know that either.  Hard for me, no.  But is that mindset related?  Probably.

6.  Would you recommend others make these changes to their lifestyle too? Why?
OMG YES!  I wasted 25 odd years in various stages of being overweight or obese.  If I live to 100, which I highly doubt, that's one quarter of my life.  So many missed opportunities; parties I didn't go to coz I would have been the only fat one.  Experiences I missed out on because I didn't have anything to wear, or didn't have the confidence to try.  And the days, weeks that I was completely house-bound with crippling back pain - ALL related to my weight.  Why would anyone want to do that to themselves? 

Now I live.  And until you've ditched the weight, or whatever other factor it is you've got holding you back, you would have no concept of what it is to live.  To truly be free of that self-hatred.  It's an amazing feeling.

Snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef last week (holding some sea creature the guide handed round)

7.  What do you think the next thing is going to be that you will have to change?
My wardrobe (lol).  Even my shoes are too big!  In fact, and this seems beyond reality to write this, some of my size 10's are getting VERY loose.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Weigh in - R3 - Weeks 4 & 5

Playing a bit of catch-up this week, because last week I was sans-scales while we were sunning ourselves here...

...which is a post or 12 at a later date.

I can't say I followed the meal plan or counted calories for the whole week, and despite a few guilty moments, mostly following a massive plate of something completely yummy, I didn't think too much about what I put in my mouth of an evening.  Breakky and lunches were spot on though.  A girl can't be bad allll the time!  We arrived home late Sunday night, so the first chance I had to assess the damage was Monday morning...

Current Weight: 68.6kg
Last week:      67.7kg
Week's loss:    +0.9kg    
So far:        -28.4kg

Could have been much, much worse!!

Two days of cleaner than clean eating gave me this result today;

Current Weight: 67.5kg
Last week:      68.6kg
Week's loss:    -1.1kg    
So far:        -29.5kg

So I've come to the following conclusions;

  • This lifestyle is completely sustainable - for the rest of my life
  • Sugar is the devil (as is bread, and ice-cream)
  • Nothing is ever as bad as you think it's going to be
  • My body responds incredibly well to this program.

Life is good (although I really should still be walking along that beach, hand in hand with the man of my dreams!)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sugar, sugar

As of this afternoon I can no longer say I've been six weeks

because of these...

Damn you Beta Raspberry Bullets coated in 100% real milk chocolate!

This bag of yumminess (which has always been my poison of choice) propelled itself into my hands at Coles all by itself.  All I was doing was picking up some Basa fillets for tonight's cajan fish stew, and thump, there they were, in my possession.

Unfortunately that's not how it really went down.

I've had a shite week at work.  We're on leave next week, which will be joyous, but the preparation to go away is adding to what already feels like an overload of responsibility. On Saturday night I'm hosting an awards dinner for around 600 people.  The speaking part doesn't phase me, but I feel so totally out of control and under-prepared for it.  I've delegated (not something I'm good at) almost all aspects of the event to my staff.  And it's not that I don't trust them - anything but.  But come Saturday night, anything that goes wrong is my problem.  And not being across everything makes me jumpy.  I'll be incredibly relieved when it's over and done for another year!

At work, we do a weekly online video that gets around 1,000 views.  Not channel 10 type ratings, but still significant in my little part of the world.  It's something that's never been done in my field before.  It's something that puts me in the public eye.  It's something that gives people the opportunity to pass judgement.  This morning (it's Thursday - and therefore my pseudo-weekend) I was woken up before 8am by a phone call that was very unpleasant. A "client" had taken exception to something that was said on this week's video and demanded that it be removed.  Got a bit personal, and I didn't enjoy it.

My day ended pretty much the same way yesterday.  A member of the public took exception to a different comment in the same show.  In fact, took it incredibly personally and threatened to sue me for slander.  (Did not even mention this person mind you).  So the last work task for me yesterday was leaving this person a phone message humbly apologising for the distress that I caused.

As a result of the overflowing positivity (that's sarcasm by the way) with which this week's video was received, I made the decision (at 7:45am) to delete the damn thing.

This has pissed me off no end.  I'm annoyed to be dealing with such narrow-minded negativity.  And I'm equally annoyed to have had to surrender on the back of other's bad behaviour.  The more my own life and mind-set is changing, the harder it is to accept the narrow views of others.

So feeling completely overwhelmed and out of control, I gave up on the one thing I can control - ME.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Weigh In - R3 - Week 3

Ahhhh the 67's.  I must really love this number coz I've been there for weeks now.

Current Weight: 67.7kg
Last week:      67.2kg
Week's loss:    +0.5kg    
So far:        -29.3kg

At times during the week I dip below the magic mark, but Wednesday comes around and 67's it is.  Being in maintenance phase, I'm cool with that.

A Tuesday night meeting, lack of water, eating dinner at 10pm and less sleep than normal have probably all had a hand in this week's +500g. Wonder which one of these had the biggest impact?

Lately I've been listening to my body a lot more.  It tells me all kind of interesting things, but sometimes it speaks total crap, like; "I don't want to go for a run this morning".  So I have to trick myself into thinking we're off for a walk, and then a run just randomly breaks out.  Ha ha me - fooled ya!

Being strength day tomorrow, I have no doubt that I'll come up with all manner of b.s. excuses for not going to gym.  But tomorrow IS the day.  I've scoped the workout, and I know I can do it.  It's just the act of doing this workout at the gym - in front of people that gives me a raised heart rate.  increased heart rate = higher calorie burn.  Woohooo!

I WILL go to the gym tomorrow.  I WILL go to gym tomorrow.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Wrapping up week 2

Great week.  Top week.  Here's a glimpse...

These four images pretty much sum it all up.  I eat clean, I train hard and the scales do what they're meant to do.  It's not the most flamboyant of lifestyles.  In fact, to some my life would be pretty bloody ordinary.  Today I'm going to celebrate that exact fact.  Here's to ordinary...hip hip, hooray :)

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Am having a relationship with herbal tea right about now.

After cutting sugar from my diet a few weeks back, I was on the hunt for something to drink that didn't taste like a draino cocktail.

Enter T2...

In place of my morning coffee (or two) I have;

In the afternoon I used to have one (often more) of those Chai Latte sachets, but instead...

And after dinner when the munchies hit, I stop them in their tracks with a cup or two of this;

The peppermint tastes sweet as, it aids digestion and it keeps me from raiding the lolly jar.

If you've ever thought that loose leaf tea was a pain in the rear end - I was with you on that.  But we discovered these natty cups (also from T2) which have a removable diffuser and cute as lid that keeps your tea warm while it's brewing away.  Then you tip the lid upside down and it becomes a dish for the infuser to sit in.  Genius!

By knocking out 2 coffees, 2 chai latte's and 2 cups of tea (white with one), I'm eliminating around 250 calories per day, 1,750 per week and roughly 7,000 calories per month.  And 7,000 calories = 1 kilo of body weight.  Adds up, eh?

What have you knocked from your diet that you NEVER thought you would ever give up?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Weigh In - R2 - Week 2

It's been a good week - a great week even.

Red flags were waving like crazy with catered work events, long lunches, meals out galore.  I've stayed away from the crappy menu choices and ordered seafood at every opportunity.  Water to drink.  Even yesterday when a cold beer would have gone down a treat.  And I can honestly say that I only made one dumb food decision in 7 days, and that was grabbing a left-over mini quiche from the fridge as I left the office famished at around 7 last night. D'oh!

The results are in....

Current Weight: 67.2kg
Last week:      68.3kg
Week's loss:    -1.1kg    
So far:        -29.8kg 

...and I earned that 1.1kg loss!  I'm training hard, sticking to the plan, and pushing myself further than ever before.

What I'm most chuffed about is the toning that's going on.  It's not a saggy, soft 67.2kg.  In fact, if I stopped exercising for a couple of weeks, I know I would drop another few kilos. But that would be purely lost muscle, and I'm quite enjoying feeling and looking strong.

I'm also pretty happy with the improvement from last week to this week in my running pace.

Week one 5km splits;

Week two 5km splits;

Really looking forward to the Week 4 time trial - I reckon my first number will be a 4.  Don't care if the other two are 5 and 9, I just want to see that magic number appear.

New goal: Seeing as I'm 44, I will run the week 12 time trial in 4:44 (or less).

I wrote a massively long post on Monday in celebration of two milestones that ended up being too raw and personal to publish, but for the record, Monday was;

  • 10 months since my back surgery (and the start of my transformation), and
  • 8 years since I walked out of an unhappy marriage (the true start to finding my self-worth).  

Both have had a massive impact on the person I am right here and now, and both took a fair amount of bravery to even admit that change was necessary.  Isn't that the hardest part?  The facing of fears and doubts?  No regrets + no excuses = :)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

I've got the music in me

You know when you're out running and a certain song comes on your ipod and you just get into a zone and run the crap out of it?  Your "power song"?

Here's mine;

Coz I'm a lame-ass techy, I've discovered that this song is 82 beats per minute.  And that 82 bpm (x2) will have you running a kilometre in around 5:21.  How do I know that I hear you ask?

I've also discovered that jog fm is available as an iphone app which can run (pardon the pun) in the background while your tunes are playing.  It picks your pace, scans your playlist and delivers you songs of a similar bpm so you can keep your legs pumping at the same pace.

As my running is improving it's time for a new playlist aiming for a warm up at 8 min/km, joggy bits at 82 & 164bpm for a 5.5 minute pace and a couple of new  power songs to push me just under 5 min/km.  It'll be daggy eighties stuff, but I'll be loving it :)

Care to share your power song...

Saturday, September 1, 2012

New round, new Blogger challenge

How I love a Blogger challenge! This round is being hosted by the VERY inspirational Leonie who I have followed since I began this program.  Check out her blog here - it's a great read!

On to this week's challenge;

1. Describe yourself in less than fifty words.  
Here's the ABC of me;
Mother of two
Quietly confident
Under control
2. This program is called a transformation. When you signed up for this round what was it about yourself you wanted to transform?
This is my third round in a row - so it's less about transformation now and more about cementation (I know that's not a word, but I'm going to run with it).  I want to make sure that these habits stay for life and be the best version of me possible.

3. What is it about yourself you are happy with right now? It can be related to your mind, body or soul, and of course there may well be more than one thing you are happy with.
At the age of 44 I can honestly say I have never been healthier, more stable minded, thinner and generally happy that I am now.  I've worked hard to lose this 30kg and I'm really proud of myself and the new lifestyle I've forged.
4. What aspect of this program do you think will present you with the toughest challenge. What are you going to focus on to ensure you feel successful at the end of the twelve weeks? How is your answer to number 3 going to help you overcome this challenge?
I wanted to do Lean & Strong this round but I'm SUCH a chicken in the gym. It's something about looking stupid if I do it wrong, or not knowing what to do, or feeling out of place.  I will work on this throughout the 12 weeks and get to a point of "comfort" in the gym.
5. What is it you look forward to the most in the next twelve weeks?
I love the food.  I love the exercise plans.  but what I look forward to the most is the friendships that form as a part of this program.  I've met some AMAZING (and I know it's an over-used word, but they truly are) chicks through 12wbt which has been an unexpected but delightful bonus.
6. You’ve now completed at least three days of the program. What has surprised you the most about how you’ve coped with these first days in the twelve weeks?
I'm surprised by how much harder the exercise program seems this round.  I've REALLY had to work at it and have been in DOMS city for days after.  My mindset has also been a welcome surprise - I'm just getting on with the workouts instead of thinking up imaginary reasons why I can't or shouldn't do them.
7. Can you describe what you want to see, think and feel when you look in the mirror on Sunday 18th November 2012.
The end of this round pretty much co-incides with the 12 month anniversary of my back surgery and therefore the start of this weight-loss journey (that has become so much more!).  I have a MAJOR work event on the 18th.  The kind where a room full of people have to listen to me talk for a few hours.  I want to look into the mirror and see a calm, centered and bloody hot chick smiling back at me and ready to lead the delegation into the next 12 months.  I want to reflect confidence in myself personally and professionally.  And when I do, when I get through this event and meet the challenges that will come head on, I will truly know that I'm ready to continue this without 12wbt.