Hello and Welcome!

I am, and always have been, a notoriously bad blogger. But I'm back to give it another try, one more time.

I seem to have rediscovered my "pep" in recent times, and I'm ready to try some new things, and get back into the things that matter to me... at this stage, this chiefly involves getting fit and losing weight (again!)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

12WBT: Days 27 - 30

At a time when I thought this would be starting to get easier, I'm actually starting to struggle. Trying to eat at 1200 daily is becoming hard, I'm becoming overly food focussed and hungry. I'm having days where I go over and then days when I try to catch it up and go under. Today I am officially drawing a line in the sand and saying anything over or under to date is closed, and we start afresh at 1200 today. It's too easy to get too obsessed with the numbers, and I am most definitely heading down that path at the moment. Time for a slight deviation to get back on course with the stuff that actually matters, focus on the big picture.

Day 27, super Saturday. The day started with 7am elite squad trampoline training, the Olympic coach is *different* and I'm glad I don't train with him all the time. I'm sure he's quite brilliant, but he's also quite annoying in many respects. At least I can say I tried it out! I did manage to do a few pretty good Level 6 routines, but no work on Level 7. That's OK, I haven't done any complete routines for a while, good to mix it up.

After bouncing and coaching, it was off to the gym for the "Rowers Revenge" SSS. 10 minutes on the cross trainer, followed by 15 minutes of interval hill sprints, and then 3x circuits of 300m rowing/15 push ups/300m rowing/15 dumbell squats/300m rowing/15 mountain climbers. I thought the hill sprints would do me in, but the rowing circuit was the tougher part. A good hard workout, I was happy with that.

After a break for some lunch, I met up with a friend and we went for a walk rather than a ride. We did about 6km walking and talking, a lovely way to spend an afternoon.

Day 28, another 7am start, this time to tackle the Mt Lofty climb. Damn that's a nasty mountain, but it's a great challenge. We got up the 3.9km climb in 47 minutes - I could have gone faster, but my walking companion was struggling a bit. In the good old days I could beat 40 minutes up, I'm pretty sure I'm not capable of that just at the moment. Hopefully I'll get back to it though. The reward for the climb is a nice jog back down, that feels much better!

Day 29, it was a public holiday, and a group of 12WBT challengers had arranged to meet up at a Scouts property to do the Challenge Hill obstacle course. It was a really fun way to get some exercise, mix up the training, meet some new people, and challenge both your physical and mental strength. There were climbing challenges (which were hard for those with a fear of heights), rope challenges over water (for those with a fear of crossing water), and the enclosed space challenges (for those with claustrophobic issues). Some of it was hard, some not so much, but we had fun. My upper body is still killing me two days on, so it must have been good!

Day 30, early morning run to start the day. My body was agonised from mountain climbing and obstacle coursing, so I scaled back my expectations to a slowish 5km. It hurt and it was hard, but I got around (with one small tumble on the main road, how embarrassing) in 31 minutes. In the evening I did my regular step class, back to a lower step but with the more jumpy/higher intensity moves.

I came home to a bit of a disaster, which meant that I didn't get a lot of sleep, and my upper body is still suffering greatly, so the planned Day 31 pump class did not eventuate. I'll jump back on board and get on with it from here. It is also weigh in day, and I had a loss of 600g. That might be artificially low, because I ate dinner at 10pm, but then again it might be right. We'll wait and see what next week brings, hopefully more consistency, less hunger, and less emotional turmoil...

Thursday, June 6, 2013

12WBT: Days 24, 25, 26

Man this has been a long week. I am soooooo tired, I really just want to sleep, sleep and sleep some more.

Wednesday (day 24) - early morning pump class, same weights as Monday, challenging but manageable.

I was supposed to have freestyle trampoline training on Wednesday night, but I wasn't well at all. I went to the club and coached intermediates, and at the end of the session had a temporal lobe seizure. I have a mild-ish form of epilepsy which is largely controlled as long as I look after myself, particularly with getting enough sleep. I have been sleeping a decent amount (7 hours or thereabouts a night), so I'm not sure what brought this one on, but it's not pleasant. I waited long enough for the symptoms to subside (stopped seeing spots in front of my eyes, hearing something like the ocean crashing in the background), and then drove myself home to rest. I had my dinner, but still had this weird "empty" feeling, so I had a bad night on the eating front. I ended up at 1,600 calories with some peanut butter on crackers, a protein shake and a bar of Atkins chocolate. It was more food than I needed and I should have stopped, so I am disappointed on that front. On the flip side, I didn't eat the whole jar of peanut butter, or the whole box of Atkins bars, and 1,600 calories isn't a disaster, so I'm owning it, feeling pleased that I'm making progress with controlling my compulsive eating, and moving on.

Thursday (day 25) - my planned fitness test and gym cardio for the morning didn't proceed as planned. I still felt tired and had a headache from the seizure, so I decided to give myself a temporary break, and defer the session to Friday. This isn't super ideal because I'm not having a full rest day, but Wednesday morning to Thursday night is pretty much a rest day, right?

By Thursday night I was feeling OK, if still a little tired, so I went to trampoline training. I did pretty well, did some nice double backs and 1 3/4 fronts, but freaked myself out on the damn rudi again. I'm a little frustrated that I don't seem to be making much progress at the moment, but trampolining is like that sometimes.

Friday (day 26) - the fitness test day. I don't know what it is, but I sleep horribly the night before I'm going to run in the morning. For goodness sakes, I was only running a 1km time trial, but I just DREAD it in advance. I love to be able to run, but I physically hate doing it. Suck it up Princess.

Fitness test results;

1km time trial - 5:25. I struggle over 1km to pace myself. In retrospect I should have gone out harder, hopefully I will improve this time when I do it again in 4 weeks.

1 minute push ups on knees - 38

Plank hold - 1:40

Wall sit - 1:10 (I've done better than this, I think my legs are fatigued. I hate static hold exercises though).

Sit and reach test  + 18cm

Not too bad. Everything other than the wall sit now puts me in the "advanced" category on the 12WBT scale, but I'm going to stay with the intermediate program, because I feel like it's challenging me enough, and I'm only following it loosely anyway. I feel like I need to be lighter to be able to follow the Advanced Lean & Fit program, I just don't have the strength to do multiple reps of push ups on my toes etc, but with training and with a reducing in the weight I'm pushing up and down, I'm quietly confident this will happen with time.

On the food front, Wednesday was a bit of a mess as I said, Thursday was stellar, I wasn't suffering from hunger pangs at all and I ended up way under at about 980 calories. Not something I would do repeatedly, but given it followed a high day, on the law of averages it will even out. Friday is still a work in progress, but I've been hungry all day which is annoying (I'm also bored, so I'm trying hard to differentiate the signals). I will keep fighting the good fight, and hopefully go to bed early to avoid late night munchies. I have a big day planned for Saturday anyway (elite squad training with the Olympic coach, eek, gym session and then a leisurely bike ride with a friend), so an early night is definitely in order.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

12WBT - Days 22, 23

Another week already...

Monday's start with a pump class, and the weights went up for most muscle groups this week:

Warmup  5kg
Squats  17.5kg
Chest  10kg
Back  10kg
Triceps  7.5kg
Biceps  7.5kg
Lunges  mostly body weight, lots of the little suckers though
Shoulders  5kg

I will probably be at this level for a little while, because it is definitely challenging me. The squats might go to 20kg fairly soon, but I don't think I'm ready to move further on any of the others. My shoulders never seem to improve which is a bit depressing. I've got really broad shoulders which look like they should be strong, apparently not!

Tuesday (day 23) AM - 5km run. Awesome run... well actually it hurt a lot, but an awesome time (for me anyway), 29:03, hooray! Nearly 1:30 off last week's time. My heart rate got to 170 for the final stretch, which is damn high for me with my ridiculously low resting rate of 38 and I felt a little bit like I was going to throw up, but I made it. I'm now at a bit of a cross roads about whether I keep working on speed over 5km or whether I start to add some distance. Part of me wants to do the City to Bay in September, which is 12km and would require some distance training. Another part of me doesn't want to get up any earlier for distance training haha. We will see what the ensuing weeks bring.

Tuesday PM - step class, with a little run to and from the gym as a result of parking down the hill again. I reallllly struggled in this class for some reason. I had my step at high and was doing higher impact moves, I think I might have gone too hard too early. My shirt looked like I had jumped in a pool, I was completely soaked. My legs were also struggling in some of the moves, so I guess the harder work in pump and a fast run had taken it out of me. Oh well, some days you're feeling it, some days you're not, the important thing is to just push through it anyway. And that I did.

Nutrition wise, things are still going strong. This week's recipes (of which I've only tried a couple, but there are more pre made and awaiting eating) are heaps better than last weeks. I had the weirdest lunch for Monday and Tuesday, I was quite apprehensive about it, but it was amazing, I loved it... 3 small rice cakes with 15g peanut butter, 1.5 boiled eggs mashed with a dash of curry powder, topped with grated carrot and sliced cucumber. Sounds odd, tastes sensational. I could do without all the idiots at work analysing what I'm eating though. Seriously, bugger off, it's none of your business.

Today is weigh in day, and I can report another 1kg has bitten the dust. It is also mini milestone week, meaning you redo your measurements (and fitness test, but I haven't done that yet) to see how much size you've lost. On the 12WBT measurement list (which to be honest I find a bit odd, because you only measure one thigh and one arm, but there you go) I've lost 20cm in 4 weeks. That's pretty awesome. Only 3cm off my waist which is annoying but typical for me, but 6cm off my thigh. 6cm! That's bloody heaps!

Onwards and downwards we go.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

12WBT: Days 16 - 21

Wow, time is getting away from me. I've had a draft called Days 16 & 17 sitting here for half a week with nothing in the body of the message. Oops.

So, training...

Day 16 - awesome 30:30 run in the morning which I mentioned last post, plus a really great step class in the evening. I've been feeling exhausted in that class of late, but I smashed it out, had two risers and higher-impacted some of the moves. I also had to run half a km or so to the gym thanks to stupid roadworks, I pulled in on the side of the road where I could and ran from there or I wasn't going to make it on time. That actually felt really good, so I'm might try to do that again in future!

Day 17 - commuter ride to and from work, 15km to work, 20km home with a little deviation. My new helmet is awesome, and it would want to be for $230 :) The ride felt strong, and I'm definitely getting better (finally) at clipping in when taking off from lights! My speedo wasn't working though, so I have no idea about pace etc. The bike shop fixed that on Friday when Delilah went in for her first service.

Day 18 - early morning pump class. Like, really early. OK so it's only 10 minutes earlier than my usual one, but it's also at a gym 10 minutes further away, so it felt like I was getting out of bed in the middle of the night (no exaggeration at all, clearly). It's the same instructor as my Tuesday step class and I love him (a very great pity that he's gay...) and the class is a million times better than the pump at the other gym. Not sure if it's worth those 20 minutes more out of bed in the morning though. PM session was a very light bounce session, no coach so it was freestyle, and I wasn't feeling it at all. I exercised my gums talking more than I did my body bouncing.

Day 19 - light morning gym session, roughly following the "stretch and tone" 12WBT session for the week. I burnt 250 calories or so, mainly from the cross trainer 15 minutes at the start. Better than nothing (actually it's better than what I burn in pump when I come to think of it, hmm), but on the whole I'm not sure it was worth getting out of bed for.

Day 20 - elite squad bounce session... it was brilliant. The first time I have felt good on a trampoline in AGES. My timed bounces were nearly a full second ahead of anyone else in the squad (which is actually quite a lot when we're talking 18.5 seconds in total), but still .3 of a second below my best. Damn it, I need to beat 19 seconds! I did some drills, and some rudi's and double backs, and they all felt really good. Huzzah.

After coaching, I made my way to the gym with very little enthusiasm, but I was fine once I got started. The same program as last week, and I have improved quite a lot in that time which is inspiring. Each circuit was taking me 7:30 to 8 minutes to complete last week, and it was down to 6:30 to 7 minutes this week. My arms still gave out on the last few reps of push ups, but I only took a break once during tricep dips because my hands were slipping, and I got through all the bench burpees with no rests. The downside is that I only burnt 358 calories. Damn you to hell, low heart rate. The girl on the other side of the gym doing the same program as me was complaining that she only burnt 700. Grr. I added 20 minutes on the treadmill and cross trainer, got myself to 550 calories and called it quits, I was done. It would have been close to 1,000 calories for the day, it's hard to know what you burn in a trampoline session because you can't wear a monitor. It's hard work though.

Day 21 - rest day, blessed rest day. I ended up running around like a headless chook though, I went to the markets in the morning and bought loads of fresh veggies to replenish my dwindling supplies. The recipes I had chosen for this week were quite labour intensive, so it took me all day to cook everything, and I was well and truly over it. I was also having a hungry day, and for a while I just had to get out of the kitchen and think about something other than food. I ended up about 30 or 40 calories over the 1200 for the day, but I'm calling that a win, because I was ravenous ALL DAY, and it could so easily have turned into a binge fest.

I'm actually starting to dream about going to the shops and buying a block of top deck and eating it all in one sitting. Who am I kidding, I've been known to eat the whole thing before I even got it home. I know I should be repulsed by that behaviour and never want to do it again... but the truth is, I actually miss it. I really hope that mindset changes sooner rather than later. I'd love to think that one day I'll be able to have one row of chocolate or one Freddo frog and feel satisfied. To be honest though, I don't see that in my future, I think my relationship with food is just too "broken" to have that sort of outcome. It's a bit sad and depressing, but that's reality for you.

On the food front generally, I have been struggling but continuing to win the battle. This week's challenge is to stop saving calories for night time. I can have a Vitarium drink with water for 10 calories on the way to bed, and that's all I want to leave for after dinner. That scares the hell out of me, but I want to try it.

Alrighty better get to work. Oops, almost forgot to post last week's weigh in... 1kg down. Pretty good for a week 2 weigh in for me, usually I follow the good week/bad week pattern. Fingers crossed that week 3 is a goodie :)

Monday, May 27, 2013

12WBT: Days 13, 14, 15

And we're over the two week mark, woo hoo! As with most things in life, in some ways it feels like I've been on the plan forever, in other ways it feels like those weeks have gone fast. To be honest, I wish we were 10 weeks down the track and I could just have the results without the hard work... but then the learning and growth (mental growth, not physical growth I hope!) is in the journey, not the destination. Despite having been down this weight loss and fitness road more times than I care to count, I can still feel myself learning and changing as I go along this time. Maybe some things I knew before and had forgotten, maybe some things are new. But it's good to learn and change as time goes by, so that's definitely a plus.

Two big lessons for the time elapsed thus far -

  • You can get by and not need to eat anything that stands still long enough on a reasonably small volume of food. It doesn't kill you. In previous endeavours, I have been lured in by the low-everything high-chemical alternatives to real food, because it meant I could eat a lot of volume. I thought that would make it satisfying... it doesn't. No matter how many kilos of chemical laden excuses for food you shovel down, you are never sated. Eating small portions of real foods that have real fats and real proteins and carbs in them is a much nicer way to live. And the food (usually) tastes a lot better too. I'm by no means perfect in this regard, I haven't managed to kick the diet soft drink habit yet (although it is reduced). I'll work on that in due course.

  • Hunger doesn't kill you. It's just a sensation like any other, and you don't have to give into it. What makes it hard is that you can "cure" it by eating something, unlike other body sensations like muscle pain, which you feel but can't do a whole lot about. But hunger doesn't HAVE to be cured. Sometimes it can be felt, acknowledged and ignored. I'm not talking about starving yourself, but eating to a balanced nutrition plan, albeit quite low calorie. It's doable, even if you do have to flex the willpower muscle on a fairly frequent basis.
Back to the weekly summaries...

Training day 13 - elite squad trampoline session at 7am (7am is rude on a Saturday quite frankly, but I have adapted pretty well over time). Mostly drills and no double backs or rudi's (yay, although I do need to work on both of them). I did some 1 3/4 fronts and had decent power, so hopefully the body is adapting to the food resources it has on hand.

After coaching the little horrors, I made my way to the gym to do the 12WBT super Saturday session. I actually did the week 3 session instead of week 2 - because week 2 was a repeat of week 1 and frankly I hated that session. Week 3 looked better, and on the whole it was, but holy moley it hurt. 1km warm up on the rower, then 5x a circuit of 8 different exercises, 20 reps of each (bench step ups with weights, push ups, walking lunges with overhead weight, bench burpees, bent over barbell pull ups, tricep dips, barbell shoulder presses and dumbbell bicep curls). After 2 rounds I didn't know that I was going to make it, but I sucked it up and got through. The plan called for 50 minutes on that circuit and I did it in about 39, so I think I did OK. The last few reps of the push ups were horrible though, I was shaking and could hardly get myself up. Damn do my shoulders and chest hurt 2 days on too...

Training day 14 - big fat fail. It was foggy as buggery when I got up and I really really didn't want to get out in the cold with my sore aching body. I eventually got myself sorted, got on my bike, rode up the street, got about 4km along and hit some glass, flat tyre. I took this as a sign that I was indeed not supposed to be out there, turned around and walked my flat tyre home!

Training day 15 - Monday pump! I had trouble getting moving out of bed, so I was running a little late, but I only missed about 5 reps at the start of the warm up :) I increased squats weight to 12.5kg and got through without any dramas (other than my damn shoes slipping on the floor), so I think I will increase that again for next session. Chest and shoulders were tough even at existing weights because of the pain inflicted from Saturday's session. Biceps and triceps are on the verge of going up 2.5kg I think.

And now, because it's taken me a day to put this post together with my scattered brain, the first half of Day 16 training, 5km early morning run. I still procrastinated getting started, expecting it to hurt. It did hurt, but it was waaaaay better than last week. My HRM is back in action, so I know the pace too, 30:30 for the 5km. I'd like to get that back to 30:00 and then add some distance, but I'm still happy happy with that time, given I've shaved 1:10 off a 5k in 2 weeks!

Nutrition wise, I'm kicking ass. Eating at my mum's place a couple of times a week is good for the fact that I don't have to cook those meals, but also a pain in the neck for the fact that her meals are a little higher calorie than my ideal, so I have to cut back during the day to fit it in. I'm doing that pretty successfully though, and I have avoided the lure of all the sweet crap she has everywhere in her house, no desserts, no raids on the chocolate bowl on the kitchen table.

I've had some really good meals off the 12WBT recipe planner, and a few "meh" ones. Yesterday's lunch was the worst thus far, quinoa and pumpkin salad. I could eat it, but it tasted pretty average to say the least. I've got one more meal of it, and I think I'm going to suffer and eat it. I'll wilt the baby spinach before I stir it through the quinoa though, and include a lot less lemon juice. That will help, but I can't see myself ever making it again somehow. It was pretty filling though, so I guess that's one upside.

On the whole, I've been sticking to my 1200 calories like glue. I've been 20 or 30 over a couple of days, but also under on other days so my average last week was 1192. It does get easier over time, although it is slightly depressing that there's no room for anything "extra" along the way. It's not forever though, and truth be known I'm far better off staying away from those "extras" until I'm sure I can leave my binge eating ways well behind me. Weigh in tomorrow, fingers crossed!

Friday, May 24, 2013

12WBT: Days 10, 11, 12

Well here we are, closing in on 2 weeks down, and I am still firmly on track... which makes me very happy and very proud of myself.

This week has been a struggle the whole way through. I've been lacking energy for training sessions, feeling hungry and/or focussing on food more than is healthy, and generally just been feeling a bit cantankerous. I am determined to push through it though, because I know it will be worth it. I'm going to try to get some good sleep in over the weekend, find a bit of time to chill, and keep on keeping on. My mind and body will catch up to the new program and accept it for what it is, eventually. I just hope that's sooner rather than later.

Training day 10 - pump in the morning, squat weights went up to 10kg, everything else stayed the same I think? Felt pretty good, I think squats can continue to go up slowly. Trampolining in the evening, just a light session, the gym was full of nutty people and I was beyond exhausted.

Training day 11 - cardio gym session in the morning, and man did that test me out. I'm notoriously crap at running on a treadmill, I find it a whole lot harder than running outside. I'm running about 9.5km/hour ish outside, but I set the treadmill for 18 minutes on 9km at 1% and I was struggling big time. After 2 minutes I was struggling, ridiculous. After that 18 minutes of joy, I did a 10 minute hill HIIT program, which has a total of 4 minutes walking, 2 minutes resting and 4 minutes running (walk to start, then 30 seconds on 15 seconds off at 10km/hour, with the incline rising from 5% gradually to 11%). I felt like I was going to vomit, that was soooooo hard. I stopped 15 seconds short, which is just ridiculous, but I physically could not finish that last interval. Clearly some work to be done here.

Day 11 PM was another tramp session, I was still lacking the power I needed to do anything too advanced, so I did some drills, some double mini and tumbling. A good workout without pushing too far. I'm slightly terrified about elite squad training on Saturday, because the elite coach just doesn't accept "tired" and "hungry" as an excuse for not doing double back somersaults. Help.

Day 12, a blissful day of rest. My body isn't actually very sore, it just feels a bit worn out and lacking energy. Hopefully it will be restored to full vim and vigour for the big Saturday sessions.

Food - rockstar performances. Still saving calories for late in the day, and still struggling to sort out a healthy eating pattern on nights when I'm at the trampoline club and not home until 9:30. And several battles of the hungries have been fought and won. I hope it's not always this much of a struggle. Maybe week 2 is sent to test us, and then things will settle down. I truly truly hope so.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

12WBT: Days 8 & 9

This week is more of a struggle than last week. It's always the way, once the bright new shininess of a new programme wears off, you're left with a feeling of deprivation, hunger and sore muscles. OK, so I haven't quite descended to those levels yet, but I have been battling hunger and a sore body the last couple of days. Fear not campers, for I have not caved!

Day 8 training - early morning pump class to start the week. I increased my weights to 7.5kg for squats, chest and back, and maintained at 5kg for warm-up, triceps, biceps, shoulders and lunges. The chest and lunge tracks were a push, but I got through the rest pretty well. My legs started to seize up later in the day, and were quite sore by the next morning - a combination of pump weights and other sessions no doubt.

Day 9 training - 5km run to start the day. I've sent my HRM in for repairs, so I didn't have a heart rate guide or even a watch to know how fast I was going, which I need to rectify ASAP. I was in struggletown the whole way, my legs felt heavy and I found it hard to get air into my lungs. I'm not sure if I was going too fast for my current stage of fitness, or whether I was just fatigued. I got through it, but it was tough.

Day 9 evening was a step class, and that was tough too. I put another riser under my step for the first time, which probably took more out of me than I realised, but I was sweating buckets and puffing away the whole class.

Nutrition wise, I've been on plan but HUNGRY. Whether I'm head-hungry or physically hungry is an interesting question, and one I'm trying to force myself to think about when I'm feeling like a gobble monster. Probably a combination of the two, because 1200 calories isn't really a lot when you're training a reasonable amount, but I should be able to make it work, it's just going to take some discipline.

In 12WBT world, Wednesday is weigh in day. I was having weird ass dreams all night about standing on the scale and having them show a gain of 5kg or something, but happily I can report a loss of 2.7kg! Doing a happy dance! I've never been one to show big losses, so this is an absolute miracle for me. Admittedly I didn't lose anything for the first weigh in (which is only 2 days in), but 2.7kg over 10 days makes me ridiculously happy. Worth a bit of hunger and soreness? I think perhaps yes!