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!)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Lots happening

I haven't updated for a couple of days, but it's not through having nothing to report. Exciting news first - I'm booked to go on a cruise on 13 May 2011, hooray! I've been on a cruise before, back in 2008, and I loved it like nothing else I've ever done in life. I actually had a massive struggle to readjust to life on land after we came back - there was something about seeing lots of different places but coming back to the same room every night that made it feel like a lifestyle, and this was my new home. Alas all good things must come to an end.

However, we're going again! Last trip was longer, and went around SE Asia. This cruise is a 12 day South Pacific adventure, departing Sydney, 3 days pure cruising, 3 ports in New Caledonia, 3 ports in Vanuatu, 2 days cruising, and back into Sydney. I have always wanted to see crystal clear water, where you can see to the bottom and see fish swimming around in it and stuff. This is going to be just the place to do it.

Now what does all this have to do with a diet and exercise blog I hear you ask? Well everything as it turns out. Last time I was on a cruise, I weighed 71.8kg and felt fab. I don't really care if I weigh the same as that this time, but I want to be the same size and fit back into all those beautiful dresses I had for the dining room. I also want to be as fit as I was then. Now running on a treadmill on a rocky sea is not necessarily the easiest thing in the world, let me tell you, but it can be done. On one trip to the gym, I ran 4 miles on the treadmill while rocking away. It's an awesome workout because you've got so much extra to do to keep balanced, great for the core muscles. I want to be able to do that again!

So in giving this lots of thought, I was wondering if I have enough time to get into the same shape as I was last cruise. The only way to figure this out was to take a massive plunge and do 2 things I didn't want to do: get on the scales, and log back into my old Calorie King profile and see what the timeframe was like last time around. The scales part sucked, coming in at 95.3kg. Blah. The CK part wasn't as hard as I thought, in the past I've found it hard to look at all these check ins in the 70's and 60's and not feel depressed. But now I have a goal in mind, it was just a really informative trip down memory lane. And the good news is that it can be done!

On 27 September 2007, I weighed in at 99kg. On 14 May 2008, I weighed 71.8kg - 27.2kg down in 7 1/2 months. So here we are at 1 October 2010, needing to lose 20-25kg in 7 1/2 months (I say 20 - 25kg, because I want to retain muscle mass and appropriate hydration, last time round I started to do some pretty stupid stuff just to see a better number on a scale, I'm a little older and wiser these days).

How are we going to do it? Duh, diet and exercise :o) The diet is cruising along pretty well at the moment, so it's just a matter of keeping that up. The exercise could do with a jolt, so that will be the focus of the planning for now. I got up and went for a run this morning, even though I really really didn't feel like it, so that's a good start. It was 5.5km including a 750m walk at the beginning (up a big mofo hill, if I ran up that I'd be too dead to go any further). It was pretty tough going in sections, but overall I can definitely see improvements. I was running at about 9.5km/hour too, so the pace is also picking up.

On the back of some encouragement from Jess (thanks!) I'm going to enter some fun runs. The 10k Glenelg Classic is on 14 November, the 10k Christmas Frolic on 12 December, and the 7k Resolution Run on 9 January. I think I'll enter all of those. I can't do 10k right now, and I might not be able to by 14 November either, but there's only one way to find out. I haven't been able to find a schedule of fun runs for 2011 anywhere yet, I'll have to keep hunting and see what else I can book in.

There are going to be 2 mega obstacles in my training and weight loss plans between now and May 2011. First of all is a trip to Bali between 19-29 November - in the past this has been a diet disaster, but mainly because I used it as a binge fest. I'd be buying massive chocolate bars from all the convenience stores and wolfing them down at every opportunity. At least that won't be happening this time, seeing as I can't do chocolate any more. But we're staying at Febri's, which is just across the road from Discovery, which contains the best bakery in the world. The blueberry bread at Bread Talk is to die for. I'll just have to roll with that and try not to overdo it, but there's no way I'm going without altogether.

The second obstacle is, of course, Christmas. Again without the chocolates, things will be improved, but I'm bound to eat too much. Hey, we have pancakes for breakfast, it's tradition (and my sister in law is pregnant, so she's not going to care about calories this year, damn it). Oh well, if Christmas day itself is stupid, I'll just have to live with that. If I can avoid a damaging lead up and craziness with left overs, it should be ok. Fortunately I'm not a drinker (except when in Darwin, but then there's nothing else to do up there...), so calories are saved on that front.

I'm feeling so freaking happy right now it's insane. I've got my mojo back, and I've got heaps to look forward to. Awesome!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I read a blog yesterday afternoon (while avoiding doing the big project that I really just can’t be arsed with, but that’s another story) which has really resonated with me. Lyn over at Escape from Obesity is talking about when she stopped caring about herself as a person, and how that translated into her battle with her weight. There is just so much truth in this connection in my experience too, that I can’t stop going over and over it in my mind.

I haven’t spoken a lot about “my journey” in this blog, mainly because I’ve been trying to block it out for fear that thinking about it will bring back the binge demons. As time goes on, though, I’m gaining confidence that I have defeated that particular monster. Anyway, my background – I was an overweight child, an overweight teenager, and an overweight adult, all to varying degrees. I was a gymnast (well a trampolinist to be precise) from the time I was about 8 until about 16, so that kept the weight slightly in check, although I was very very large compared to the typical skinny minnies you find in gymnastics circles. When I quit the big training program, and kept eating like an elephant, I sort of became an elephant. I think I maxed out at about 120kg when I was 19 or so (at 165cm, not the best look). I got down into the mid-90's through my early twenties, rebounding up and down somewhat.

And then about 3 years ago, I made a big resolution, and really stuck to it. I went from 102kg to 67kg in the space of about a year. I exercised like a crazy person. My calorie intake was at a healthy level, but it was full of processed crap - because the processed crap had calories labelled and I could measure the intake. I lost the weight in an unrealistic and unsustainable way. My whole focus in life was on diet and exercise, I cut off connections with a lot of friends and family and lived within myself. I also thought about food every waking hour, which is enough to drive anyone to distraction.

While life was going along without too many major speed bumps, it all fitted in ok. But next to come were some major speed bumps - my dad (who I lived with at the time) developing Alzheimers, my mum falling into depression, me having a car accident, and having a big bust up at work and moving to a new department. This was a lot to deal with, and my completely useless flipping brother did nothing to help, so everything sort of rested with me for a while. Somewhere along the line, this translated into quitting the exercise, binge eating on anything likely to gain maximum weight in minimum time, and just giving up on myself.

I guess I didn't realise just how much I had given up on myself, given up on life, until I sat and reflected on it after reading Lyn's blog. I was going through the motions, and as always keeping myself pretty guarded, so general acquaintances would never have seen the state I was in. Truth be known, I don't think even my closest loved ones knew how low I was. It's all the little things that add up to just not looking after yourself - I stopped using face creams, stopped moisturising, some days even a shower was an effort. I stopped experimental cooking, stopped going to movies. Getting out of bed was a daily grind, and doing anything other than flopping on the couch after work was a miracle.

Well this is depressing. But what is not depressing, is that I have come through it, I have survived, and I am a stronger person for it. I don't know what has snapped into place, or why, but I am certainly glad it has. I have a will to live, a will to improve myself, a will to find joy in the little things. Yes I still have challenges to face, we all do. Dad still has Alzheimers, and naturally it's getting worse. I'm still living with it, but I'm not grieving it. We've all learned to cope better with what we've got to work with, and life is going on. I'm going to make the best of it.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Things I have learnt today

  1. Never bring home a barbecued chicken when you're famished. It smells and tastes way too good.
  2. A step class from 2 days ago can have a real lasting impact on your calf muscles.
  3. Deep heat is a friend to my calf muscles.
  4. Shoes with heels are not a friend to my calf muscles.
  5. The calf muscles ease up when they get warm, or when your attention is distracted by other pain. You know, like when you can't breathe running up a hill. Suck it up and work through it.

As you may have gathered, I've eaten too much tonight. However, I went for a run this morning (and increased the pace and distance - 4.5km at an average 9.2km/h, so that was great. I also went to a cardio box class tonight. It was the first time it was offered on the program, so there was a lot of technique and introductory stuff, but it was still a big workout. I wouldn't say that I loved it, the instructor is a bit of a bitch, but I'll give it another go before I write it off.

I had a really crap day at work, not that anything went wrong, just that I didn't really do anything. I have seriously got to find my work mojo, stuff is piling up around my ears. Here's to getting in to that damn big project tomorrow.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Another weekend gone

How do these weekends keep slipping by so fast? I'm sorry this one is gone, but there are two things keeping me chipper this Sunday evening.

One, the boss is away this week, and will not be ringing - he's doing an 800km bike ride from Adelaide to Geelong. I wish him well for the big ride (especially as it is for a charitable cause, in memory of a friend who passed away from leukaemia a week or so ago), but I'm also REALLY happy he won't be on the phone this week. We get on well, but I'm ready for a week's trial separation. He can be quite demanding, and having some time to get stuck into a big project without side projects from him is something I am very much looking forward to.

Two, next weekend is a long weekend, the first one since June and I am hanging out for it. I am 150% sure that I'm not working this long weekend, not even a little log in from home for a couple of hours like I usually do. I need the break, and damn it I'm taking it.

So, anyway, I'm in quite high spirits this evening. The weekend has been a good one all round really. On Friday night I went for a run from the office (seeing as I failed to drag my butt out of bed in the morning). It was an awesome run - I had forgotten how rewarding it is to run on relatively flat terrain, compared to the killer hills around my house. I covered 5.75km or thereabouts, and didn't need to stop to walk at all. It wasn't a very fast pace, about 8.6km/h, but I felt great that I could cover that distance, so the speed will return in time.

After the run and a bit of recovery, I headed for home, had something quick for dinner (I think it was a vegemite sandwich of all things... perhaps I need to revisit "balanced diet 101" and "refueling the body with protein". But I was hungry and it was quick. Meh.) I then got stuck into my baking. I love to bake, and I haven't done any for a month or more, so I've missed it. It was a bit of a test for me, because I usually spend as much time eating the ingredients and various batters as I do cooking. I won't say that I didn't eat any of the raw materials, I probably downed 500 calories odd, but I certainly didn't binge out, and I didn't eat any of the final products. I'm proud as can be - something has finally snapped into place in my stupid head, and I'm over the binging. Weird (but awesome).

On Saturday I got up a little later than planned, but made it to the gym for the step class. I love step, I'm not massively coordinated (but not completely unco either), so I have to concentrate to follow and remember the moves. This is great for me, because then I focus on something other than the pain in my legs or how much I'm struggling to breathe. It was a good class, and I hope I can fit it in semi regularly. I didn't stay for body bar, because I was buggered, and I didn't want my legs to pull up so sore that it put me off schedule for the week ahead. Small steps.

After a quick call into the supermarket, I returned home and continued the baking feast while watching the drawn grand final. Very little taste testing today too (except for a damn cheesecake I made, it was devine. I had 3 spoonsful and then gave myself a stern talking to, put it in the fridge and didn't touch it again). All up, I made a dozen melting moments, 2 dozen triple chocolate cookies, 2 dozen neiman marcus cookies, 15 cinnamon and sultana muffins, and 14 miniature cheesecakes. I knew it had been too long since I baked, I wanted to make everything! The good news is the whole lot has now been delivered to willing recipients - a lot of it to mum and dad's, and the rest to my friend Lou and her family.

On Saturday night I went out to dinner and watched a movie with my best mate Lou. She's been really sick for several months with glandular fever and other nasty viral things, but she appears to be coming through the worst of it now. I haven't seen much of her while she's been sick as her main pastime has been sleeping, and she hasn't been up to visitors. It was brilliant to see her again, and I realised how much I've missed her. I like to be a hermit at times, but it's great to have friends who know you inside out too. We met at school when we were 9 years old, went right through high school together, then went to uni together too. I half lived at her place in uni holidays, we were pretty much inseparable. So yeah, good times. I had lasagne at the cafe where we had dinner - possibly not the best choice, but not a tragedy. I had the calories saved, so all is well.

Sunday saw me up bright and sparky at 6am, ready for mum to pick me up at 6.15 and head to the markets. I was pretty bleary eyed after getting home after midnight, but it's a good way to start the day nonetheless. We were there for ages today, lots of trash and treasure stalls to look through, and we got some cute stuff for my niece Lara. We got our lovely fresh vegetables, then retired to my place for coffee and scrambled eggs. Mum left about 10.30, and I got on with some chores around the house, made my lunches for the week, made a stir fry for a couple of dinners (which came in at a beatifully low calorie count I might add), and stewed some apples for a sweet treat or two.

Late in the arvo I went round to mum's place, and took those stinky dogs for a bath, it was finally warm enough to wash them. Kali was very badly behaved and barked at other dogs, and also scared the crap out of someone when she lunged wildly at them walking past with their staffy. Kali is a massive black German Shepherd, so she looks pretty scary. She actually wants to lick the dogs she's barking at, but from the dog owner's view I'm sure it looks like she wants to eat them. Very embarrassing, I think we'll need to get Bark Busters back for a refresher course. Bazil the Pug was not at all amused by the bath, but there's only so much fuss a dog that size can kick up (thankfully). They smell much much better now, but the hair they are dropping everywhere is insane. Glad it's not in my house! I stayed on for dinner at mum's (roast pork, delicious), then made my way home.

So here we go with the goals for the week ahead:
  1. Make some major progress on my big work project
  2. Eat at 1500 calories, give or take
  3. Stick to the exercise plan - 3 runs, 1 circuit, 1 boxing class, 1 body bar class, and anything that else that fits in with the weekly regime
  4. Do a small housework job every night after work/gym so I don't have to waste the long weekend cleaning the house
  5. 7 hours sleep a night

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Deep and meaningful

It's time to get all deep and meaningful for a Friday lunch time.

I'm lacking a real sense of direction and set of distinct goals at the moment, and I feel like I'm drifting in a pool of "maybe's". I know for sure that I want to lose weight and get fit. Everything else is in maybe-town.

Maybe I'd like to get into running, run a 10km fun run, run the city-bay next year, run a half marathon next year.

Maybe I'd like to get into triathlons.

Maybe I'd like to get into distance cycling.

Maybe I'd like to fly to the moon.

The trouble with all of these options is that they require planning and dedication and commitment. By flitting about trying to do a bit of everything, I'm not going to be able to give it what it takes.

I've also just been reading some blogs of other people who have defined goals in distance running and triathlon, and I realise just how unprepared I am to take up that challenge myself at the moment.

I know how to eat to lose weight, and I know how to train to get generically "fit" - I've done that before. But I have absolutely no idea how to eat and train specifically for performance in a particular field. I will need help with that, and help costs money. I will be prepared to pay for it, but not until I'm completely convinced that I've chosen a direction and I'm working towards a defined goal.

And so my conclusion is thus... this journey is going to be a staged process. Stage 1 is to lose a pile of weight, with no specific endurance training goal in mind. Whatever my chosen path, I'm going to need to be a whole lot lighter and a whole lot fitter than I am right now.

I don't care so much about my weight as a number - I don't currently know how much I weigh, and frankly I don't want to know. The scales make me crazy and obsessive and often self destructive. I want to be a fit and toned size 12 again. I got down to a 10 a couple of years ago, but I looked awful, drawn in the face and the bones of my chest visible (despite still having a pot belly and chunky thighs, grr).

I'm going to get lighter and fitter by trying a bit of everything. I will do cardio and weights side by side, and make sure I don't lose muscle along with the flab. I'm not sticking just to running for cardio - I'm going to do step classes, and boxing classes, and I might try to get into a routine of cycling to work once a week again too. On the weights side of things, I'll mix up the classes and try some body bar, some circuits, and whatever else floats my boat.

This won't be a rapid process, it never is. By the time I'm a lighter, fitter version of my current self, chances are that I will have a better idea about what type of exercise I'd like to focus on next.

Ladies and gentlemen, I think we have a plan. I feel better now :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I didn't get to do my blog update last night, and it will have to be a quick one this morning, because I have a crap load of work to get through today.

I went to mum's place for dinner last night, but it was a bit drama filled. My aunty was there, and told us the sad news that my cousin was in hospital suffering a suspected miscarriage. We waited for ages for any news, and eventually got something that falls into neither the good news nor bad news category I guess - she did indeed have a miscarriage, but she was carrying twins. One twin has survived and looks healthy and normal. The doctors even told her that she can go on her planned trip to Melbourne tomorrow for the grand final. It's hard to know how to feel about it - it's sad that one of the babies died, but it's wonderful that there is still a baby to come (and they didn't know it was twins anyway).

On my own personal front, I didn't make it to the gym this morning, my legs and butt are not up to it yet. I got up early and did some stretching to hopefully ease it off a little, and with any luck I'll be able to sneak out for a walk at lunch time and loosen things up a bit. I've been thinking about whether I'll do some exercise tonight to make up for this morning, but on the whole I think not. If I tighten up the legs again, it will just stop me going for a run tomorrow morning. And anyway, I've got some other stuff to do tonight at home, given the weekend is starting to fill up again already.

The food front is still going strong. I felt like I ate a lot last night, but I still came in at 1500 calories for the day amazingly. Eliminating the chocolate from my diet has made it so much easier to control the calorie intake, it's amazing (OK well maybe it's not amazing to sane people, but it's been a revelation for me).

I am putting myself through endurance testing at the moment though - I collected various baking goods from mum's place last night. I buy up my chocolate chips and cooking chocolate etc, then I take it to mum's for safe keeping, so I can't eat it! I'm visiting a friend who has been quite unwell on Saturday night, and I've promised to take some baked goodies with me. And my dad has put in a request for cookies and cake. All the ingredients were on the bench in my house last night, and I wasn't remotely tempted to touch them (although I did get home pretty late, but still...) Tonight will be a new test, because I'll be home for longer before I go to bed. The massive test will be on Friday night or Saturday afternoon when I get baking. I LOVE to bake, but I also love to stick my fingers in what I'm baking. I need some strategies to minimise the damage - suggestions anyone??

Right-o, time to get into it.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Not much happening

Sometimes I think my life must look like groundhog day to the general observer. Today would have appeared to be such a duplicate of the day before that it would be indistinguishable from an outside perspective.

Up early, get in some exercise, go to work for 10 or 11 hours, head to the gym, go home and reheat some food - exact same meal as the previous evening. Then get on the internet, watch TV and eat food all at the same time (I have issues with not being uber-entertained). When you put it like that, it even sounds repetitive to me.

But I like to focus on the small differences. For example, my exercise was different - a run and an orbit class on Monday, a circuit class and a pump class on Tuesday. While I sit at the same desk in my same old office every day, the stuff I do each day is very rarely the same. Yes, it is predominantly accountant-geek work, but it differs a lot in the detail. There are days when I hate my job because of its competing priorities and the need to keep 10 balls in the air at once (while answering 50 questions for staff who could probably figure it out for themselves), but these are also the very reasons that I mostly love my job.

I probably haven't spoken much about my job on here yet. About 70% of my time is dedicated to a financial controller position for a group of hotels in Darwin. Heaps of variety comes through this channel alone - the hotels in the group include some bars, a nightclub and a motel, so they all have their own idiosyncracies and special requirements. Dealing with folk from Darwin has also been a big learning curve, business is just done differently above the Tropic of Capricorn, and we have to learn to accept it. Nothing gets done with much urgency, and all important decisions are made over a beer in the bar. The other 30% of my work is in tax and business services for a small business and individual client base. This was what I used to do full time, and I was completely over it, but I now really enjoy having a small amount of this type of work still in my life.

Hmm, I've been a bit grumpy with my work life lately, but writing it out like that makes me realise that I do still love it. Time to stop getting bogged down in the detail and look at the bigger picture I think.

Right, time to finish off with a goal review for the week to date:
  • Exercise - on schedule, got my circuit and pump classes in this morning and this evening respectively. I took it fairly easy on the weights in pump, while I figure out where my strength and endurance is currently at. As a result, the bicep, tricep and squat tracks were easier than they should have been, and I know I'll need to increase next time. The shoulders and chest tracks hurt (a lot), and my legs were already sore from previous sessions, so I think I'm going to be mildly crippled tomorrow. I'm looking forward to that rest day.
  • Diet - exactly the same as yesterday (well, I did have a different flavoured yoghurt lol). I'm eating at mum's tomorrow, so the calories will be higher for dinner, I think she's doing turkey casserole.
  • Focus at work - much better today, and actually got a few things finished.
  • Sleep - 7 hours again last night
  • Internet usage - still disturbingly high. I don't think blogging is helping with that lol.

Until tomorrow...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Goal check

Well here I am, reporting on progress to date on the weekly plan.

Exercise - success. I went for a run this morning, despite spending a good 10 minutes trying to talk myself out of it. I took a 4km route I've done a couple of times in recent weeks, and I can really see the improvements I've made already, which is very encouraging. I'm running at almost 9km/hour (including some quite unfriendly hills), and managed to run the whole way without dying. Tonight I went to the gym and sat on a bike for 15 minutes, then joined the ''orbit'' class. This is a swiss ball based toning class, which I thought would be pretty easy. Um, no. I suspect the rest of my weekly exercise plans will be in danger come tomorrow morning when I'm unable to walk. Lots of squats and lunges (which incidentally is exactly why I have to do classes and not freestyle it myself either at the gym or at home. I'll use a leg press machine and whatever, but I will NEVER do squats and lunges unless I'm forced to do them in a class. And I know they're good for me... but they hurt!!)

Food intake - not terrible, but could be better. I can't believe I'm berating myself for under-eating, this is an all time first for me. I've eaten all really good, nutritious food, but only 1,300 calories, which is really a bit light on with 1 1/2 hours of exercise. As I've said before, my head is broken when it comes to food, and being a recovering binge-eater makes me hesitant to push more food in when I'm not really hungry. I could certainly eat more, I don't doubt that, but I don't feel that I need it especially. I am theorising that my appetite will really pick up once I'm doing a lot more regular exercise, so I think I'll roll with it for now, and make a conscious effort to increase the intake if I'm struggling for energy later in the week.

When I come to think about it, I guess my intake is low mainly because I'm not factoring in "treats" much these days, so perhaps it's not so bad after all - that crap doesn't fuel the body anyway. There are duel reasons for the lack of treats in my diet at this stage. #1, I've developed an allergy to chocolate. Sob. It gives me a gross rash all over my body. #2, it's the treat foods that have been mostly responsible for binge eating behaviour in recent times (you know the drill, bake a batch of muffins then eat them all...) At the moment I'm coping quite well without the treats in my daily intake - if I don't start on the rubbish, I can't get stuck in a binge-spiral. I'm not naïve enough to think this is sustainable for all eternity, and if I'm out with people or I particularly want something, I'll have it. But for now, I'll have to make sure that's in public, so I can't eat a whole cake instead of just a slice, or whatever it may be.

Focus at work - ahem. Next topic.

Sleep - I got a good 7 hours in last night, but if I don't stop blogging, tonight's not going to be so good. Goodnight all!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The weekend roundup

It's been another busy weekend, and I don't think I've achieved half the things I wanted to. Having said that, I have long ago accepted that things come up, things take longer than expected, and sometimes I just need to take some down time and not be productive at all.

So... the house hasn't been cleaned, the pantry hasn't been sorted, I didn't touch the work I brought home to do, and I didn't get to the gym. However, I did achieve the following:
  • got a great day's shopping in with mum on Saturday
  • I found the perfect little corner stand for my iPod docking station in the dining room (and have constructed it)
  • I cooked an absolutely delicious spinach, mushroom and chicken frittata, with 2 serves left for evening meals this week
  • I bought 8 new plants and have put them in the front garden
  • I did all my weeding and fertilising in the front and back garden, and the front is starting to look really nice, I'm proud of it - for someone with no gardening expertise whatsoever
  • I ate well all weekend, not going over calories at all, and did stay pretty active despite not doing any dedicated "exercise" as such

I had planned to colour my hair tonight, but I'm pretty comfy on the couch in front of X Factor and Junior Masterchef right now, so it looks like that's going to be put off for another day. I think it's time to go a bit lighter with the hair, now that the warmer weather is just around the corner.

Now for some week-ahead planning. It's time to try out the new gym and get into a couple of classes. Here's the exercise plan for the week ahead:

  • Monday - run in the morning, freestyle gym in the evening
  • Tuesday - circuit class in the morning, body bar in the evening
  • Wednesday - day off (going out to dinner with family)
  • Thursday - circuit class in the morning, might take the evening off? We'll see
  • Friday - run in the morning, out with friends for the evening

I won't try and forecast the weekend at this stage, it tends to be pretty unpredictable these days. If I can drag my butt out of bed 4 days this week, I'll be a happy camper. I have signed up for boot-ee camp starting 25th October, so I need to be prepared for some early starts by the time that comes around (and I need to be a whole lot fitter and stronger too, so they don't kill me on the track!)

I'm going to sign off with some weekly goals, an idea I am unabashedly stealing from some other friendly bloggers :o)

  1. Eat well - eat at a good calorie level, not too high, but not too low either. I've been undereating a bit recently.
  2. Stick to my exercise plan
  3. Be focussed and productive at work, stop wasting time and just get it done
  4. Get at least 7 hours sleep every night
  5. Spend less time on the internet, more time on other forms of entertainment. I need to read again, something other than facebook and forums.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Blogging at work again

This week at work has been a stinker. Everything going wrong and nothing going right. Sigh. This job has weeks like that, and we just look forward to better times next week. That being said, if I don't get organised and get the crappy stuff finished and off my desk today, I'll still be facing it next week, and that's not tempting. Better keep the blog short today then!

While I'm on to negativity... guess how much exercise I've done this week? None. Nada. Zero. The call of the warm comfy bed has alas been too great every morning this week. BUT! I bit the bullet and rejoined a gym last night, so all this is about to change. It's a much less fancy gym than my last one, but then it's not full of posers and beautiful people either, and it's also less than half the price. I have paid $375 upfront for my 12 month membership, so it's time to get some good use out of it.

The thing I like about this gym is that it has some later group fitness classes, which I will be able to get to, even with my stupidly long working hours. There are classes at 7.10pm 3 days a week, and one at 7.30pm on Thursdays. They also have "Xpress" classes (30 minute circuit classes, a bit like Curves and Contours I gather) at 6.15am 2 days a week. I think I'd like to try that, and couple it with 20 minutes or so of my own cardio. There are separate cardio and pin loaded weights areas where you can do your own thing as well - I plan to use these in conjunction with the classes, but at the moment I think I need the motivation of a class to get me back into the swing of things.

I'd really like to get back into running and cycling properly as well. I have done a few runs in the last couple of weeks, and my shins are complaining a bit (I have had stress fractures from shin splints in the my very distant gymnastics past, so I know not to push through that too much). My theory is that if I combine some running with some other gym work, my fitness and muscle tone will build up again, and my weight will drop, and this will make things much easier on my shins anyway. I can then increase the running side of things at a point down the track.

My plans are all pretty flimsy at the moment, but I'm tossing around some running goals in my head - maybe a 10km fun run in December, but not so sure about that one. I'd like to do the 12km city to bay again in September 2011, and somewhere down the track I'd like to be in a position to do a half marathon. All pie in the sky with my current physical conditioning, but you have to have dreams right? I am also giving some thought to preparing a more general "101 in 1001" list (101 goals to complete in 1001 days), as I have seen on Kylie's and some other blogs this year. My running and fitness goals could form part of that.

On a final note - dietary. Yay for me! I've been awesome with my eating this week, including a dinner out at a buffet (always a troublesome thing for me, given portion control and binge eating are my main vices in life). I possibly ate too much volume at the buffet, but made all fantastic choices - loads of steamed and stir fried vegetables, plus some roast meat and vegetables, and the smallest of small (like a tablespoonful!) of noodles. No sweets!

I am approaching the eating side of things so differently this time around, and I'm sure I'm much healthier for it. The last couple of days I've barely made it to 1200 calories, and not because of a conscious effort to stay under that limit, I actually think it's too low. I just haven't been hungry for more, which is something I could NEVER have said last time I was "on the wagon" - I was entirely fixated on food every hour I was awake in those days.

I honestly think the biggest difference has been giving up artificial sweeteners and processed crap "diet food". Don't get me wrong, I still use light options of some things (low fat milk and yoghurt etc), but for the most part, I'm using unprocessed, fresh food in appropriate portion sizes. I don't own a microwave, so the temptation for pre prepared, processed-to-within-an-inch-of-their-life weight watchers/lean cuisine type meals is gone. All that Diet Coke in all it's chemical laden glory is gone. A much healthier way of life.

I still think that to some degree, I will suffer from disordered eating for the rest of my life. I'm too much of an "all in or all out" person to ever think I'm going to be any different. But I am actively working on strategies to manage it better, and who knows, maybe some day I'll be cured :o)

OK, time for some work... boo!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Weekend update

Well it's been a few days, but I'm still here and still mostly behaving myself. Perhaps the middle of the morning at work is not the IDEAL time to be updating my blog, but something I'm working on has just really irritated me, and I'm not focussed anyway. Might as well use the time semi-productively.

What to update, what to update... well I was quite slack with the exercise as last week progressed. I ran on Monday and Tuesday, but didn't seem capable (or willing) of dragging the butt out of bed on the subsequent 3 days. I did go for a longer run on Saturday afternoon though. I covered 5.75km, of which about 900m would have been walking. I walked up the big hill at the start (because if I ran up there, I would have been completely buggered before I even began). I then ran/jogged up the less steep section of the hill, and continued the circuit I had mapped out around the neighbourhood. I had to walk for about 150m up a steepish section towards the end, because both my lungs and legs were giving out. I managed to do the last hill on the return to my house though, which was really hard and I was happy I managed to push myself through it.

Running is a bit different now I'm living alone and dog-free. When I was taking the German Shepherd running with me we used to investigate all sorts of back streets, but I tend to stick to the main roads these days, it makes me feel safer when I'm alone. It probably means I'm inhaling all manner of toxic CO2 fumes from all the traffic, but I'm making the best of what I've got.

I had plans to go for another run on Sunday, but it didn't quite pan out. I spent a couple of hours out in the garden, fixing up my pebble path, and I later took mum's dogs for a 5.5km walk, so there was plenty of activity, just not high intensity. The dog walk was harder than it sounds too, because Bazil the Pug is completely incapable of walking 5.5km. This means I have to take the dog pram, and lift him in and out of it for walk sections and rest periods. Walking up some of those hills is a lot more challenging with a German Shepherd pulling one arm and a 15kg pug in the pram you're pushing, let me tell you. It was a beautiful day though, and nice to get out in the fresh air.

As for the rest of the weekend, well Friday night was rather slothful, although I did squeeze in an hour or so of work, and I also called into the supermarket, so a couple of small things done. Saturday morning I did some cleaning and had some tradies around for quotes on roller shutters and a verandah for the house. I haven't heard the damage from the verandah guy yet, but the roller shutters are going to be about $4,500. A bit more than I had anticipated, but living in a 2 storey place means scaffolding for anything upstairs. Such is life.

On Saturday afternoon I went for my run, puddled about at home, then headed for mum and dad's place. I took them out to dinner at Assaggio as a week-late father's day gift for dad. I had been there once before, and mum and dad were both suitably impressed. I had the penne madonna, which is a chicken pasta in rose sauce. Perhaps not the best calorie wise, but I did limit it to an entree serve (which was plenty, but if I'd had the main I'm sure I would have eaten it all anyway). Mum had a tropicale pizza which she very much enjoyed, and dad had a prawn risotto, also judged as very good. Mum and dad also shared a garlic and herb pizza for entree, which I did not partake in, go me! We had skim cappuccino's for dessert, a much better option that the yummy looking alternatives in the sweets fridge.

Sunday morning saw me at the markets at 6.30am. A bit fresh, but it's getting lighter and warmer. There was lots in the trash and treasure section this week which was nice for a browse. I bought a really cute musical Eeyore for either Graeme or Alan's new baby, some vitamins, some toys for Bazil, and a spade for my place (so I can return mum's to her). We didn't get back to my place until after 9, by the time we'd wandered the general stuff and then bought all our fruit and veg. We had just finished our scrambled eggs when Graeme and Lara arrived for a visit. It was nearly 11 before everyone had gone, so my planned daily run got squashed out. I made a couple of batches of food for the week ahead (Quorn mince pasta sauce, and a soy sauce marinated beef with lemon juice stir fry), and then spent some time in the garden, before heading off to mum's for the late afternoon. Long dog walk followed by tasty roast pork for dinner. I couldn't help myself with the bread pudding and had some - it's a childhood favourite, and it only put me about 50 over in my calories for the day, so I'm happy with that. I was pretty active anyway, so there should be no damage done.

Well this is what happens when I don't blog regularly, I go on and on too much. I could go on more, but not today!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I ate mud cake :(

There's lots going on in my head today, but I'll try to keep it simple. I need to make sure I've still got something to say when my life is going along in a very boring fashion, as it has a happen to do a lot of the time.

I ate a piece of cake at work today. I was initially wracked with the guilts (which is interesting, given 2 or 3 weeks ago I was eating everything in sight and not really too worried about it). It's amazing what a difference a little bit of motivation makes. Anyway, I ate it. About 300 calories worth I think. In reflecting on it, I have both positive and negative reactions to it. On the positive - I ate the cake, then I threw the box with all the little bits and crumbs in the bin, so I couldn't go back for it. I also didn't go off on a crazy binge and eat all the lollies and chocolates which are annoyingly kept in our offices at work. Not so long ago, I would have been 1,000 calories down without stopping for breath. And probably calling at the supermarket for more crap on the way home. On the negative side - I still ate the cake in secret. I waited until everyone at work was well away from the kitchen, and then shovelled it in. I need to get away from that secret food mentality - if I'm prepared to eat it, I should be prepared to eat it in front of others and not be ashamed.

In other news, I went for my second run in two days this morning. It was freezing outside at 5.55am when I set off (well not quite freezing, but only 3 or 4 degrees) - but I still got out there and did it. My distances and pace are both pretty woeful at this stage, but I'm confident I'll be able to build it up again. I just wish there was one direction I could take from my house which didn't result in nasty hills. I ran up Briens Road and actually made it to the top of the biggest hill, which I was really happy with. At that point my lungs nearly exploded and I had to walk for a couple of hundred metres, but an achievement nonetheless. I also had to walk a bit on the return journey, coming up over the large rise at the end. I think I would have run about 3.5km out of the 4km circuit, so it's a start and something to build on.

I think the weather is turning ugly again in the next couple of days, but with any luck I'll manage another run or two this week. I do feel like I have more energy already, so it's definitely a worthwhile pursuit (and will make losing this weight a whole lot faster and easier no doubt).

There's lots of changes going on at work at the moment, and I've got a meeting with the boss tomorrow to catch up on the last couple of weeks of happenings. I usually chase him for meetings to keep us both up to date with everything, but I've been letting it slide recently. He's giving me the irrits (for no particular reason really - he has a lot of annoying aspects to his personality, but that hasn't changed in recent times, but it's suddenly driving me crazy). I can be pretty well assured that he's not going to change, and I went into this job knowing full well what he is like, so I need to find a way to suck it up and get on with it.

It's an interesting thing that I'm suddenly feeling disengaged from my work. This happened the last time I got really dedicated to exercise and weight loss, and ultimately resulted in me changing jobs. I wonder why I can be satisfied with both areas of my life at the same time? This is a rhetorical question for now, but it is something I need to ponder and reconcile for myself.

I'm in the mood to snack, so I'm going to have an early night and get away from temptation!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Return to the blog

Well here we go, trying again. I'm not sure I've ever managed more than 2 posts on a blog before I give it up, which is completely pathetic and at least it shouldn't be too hard to beat my previous best!

My previous attempts have always started with a long and boring description of my trials and tribulations to date. This might be the problem - it's dragging up the past and starting things off negatively. Yes, I have made some bad decisions in the past. Yes, I have let things get out of control. Yes, I have been through some really crappy times in the last couple of years.

While this history is important in defining my position now, and how I got here, it in no way needs to define who I am tomorrow, next week, or any time in the future.

I would love to think that some day I'll be one of those great bloggers who takes photos every day and uploads them into my blog, I think it would be a minor understatement to suggest that is ambitious. Let's start with the basics and see where it takes us.