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!)

Sunday, March 11, 2012


I know, I know, I've been missing forever. I'm not going to explain why (I actually have no good reason at all), I'm just going to jump right in to what I have to say today.

I had a breakthrough today. I finally understand that my body is not weak; my body is strong and capable, but my mind is weak. I let my mind make excuses to say that I can't do things that I physically am very capable of doing. I need to work on ignoring the "can't", "won't" and "don't want to" impulses of my brain, and just do it (insert Nike swoosh here).

I haven't been running. For ages. Probably a whole month, I'm not sure. I have been doing other stuff, and there has been some running in my "other stuff" - like when I go up Mt Lofty, I run the flat bits at the bottom, and I run the whole way down. But I haven't been doing any dedicated running sessions at all. I've been through periods like this before, and the longer I leave it the harder it is to convince myself to get back out there. And usually the first session back hurts like hell... hence the putting it off.

Anyway, today I finally hardened the hell up, and hit the streets. The Garmin cracked the shits on me (well the battery died, but that's the same thing really), but it was possibly the best thing that could have happened. I still wore my Polar, but I used it for heart rate not time, and I ran just for the pure joy of it. I know I sound like a knob, but I actually did really enjoy it. I used the Polar to make myself stay in my target HR zone of 150-160, and took the focus off splits per km and all the other numbers stuff that I obsess so much over. As it turns out, all the "other stuff" I've been doing has been keeping my fitness level up to a reasonable level, and I was pretty comfortable running along, despite the long hiatus. I felt some pain in my legs from time to time, but that was a good reminder to concentrate on my form, stop heal striking, keep the legs in alignment, that kind of thing. I'm sure my legs will be a little sore later from my first return to running, but on the whole I was stoked.

I toyed with the idea of not mapping the run at all, and letting it just "be", but I decided I needed to know the distance to post it up to our lovely Operation Fit Body group on Facebook. It mapped out to 5.13km, which I did in 31:15 - this works out to 6:05 mins/km or 9.8km/hour, and it's a faster pace than I had been doing when I was obsessing on the Garmin numbers and killing my running mojo. Go figure. So I'm living in smug town today, and also living in hope that I can overcome the mind battles of not wanting to get out of bed, and not wanting to run, and getting back into the habit of just getting out there again regularly. Stay tuned.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Progress is being made on the fitness front. It's great. This week has been a bit all over the place in terms of exercise plans - working late, catch ups with friends and a couple of CBF moments meant things didn't go quite according to schedule. But the great thing is that I managed to move other stuff around and fit plenty of exercise in.

All up, I've done 3 runs, 1 weights set, a Sh'bam class, a Body Attack class, a bike ride and a walk. 6 hours 20 and 3,200 calories. Not bad!

I'm running a regular circuit which is just short of 5km for most of my runs, and my speed is slowly but surely increasing. I'm around the 9.7km/hour mark at the moment. On Friday I did a different route which was nearly 6km, and took 36:40 to complete. I certainly felt the increase in distance, but I handled it pretty well. In some respects I'm impatient to improve my speed and endurance, but on the other hand I'm quite happy with the progress I've made so far, given I've only been back into it for a few weeks.

I did my first bike ride in, well, months, today. A cycle commute to and from the gym. It was only 7km there, but there was 150m of ascent in there, the gym is waaay up the hill. I struggled big time on the way there, it's amazing how some forms of fitness (like running) can be feeling good, but something different is just plain painful. The way back was much much better, I found my "cycling legs" again I think. It did help that it was downhill overall of course, but I extended the route and did 12km up and down some hills to get the legs turning over. It will come back in time.

On a non-fitness related note, the exciting news of the week is that I've booked a solo trip to Bali for April. I've been to Bali many times, and I adore the place, but I've never done it alone. I am so ready to have some "me" time away from the demands and obligations of my daily existence, I cannot wait. In some respects I may end up getting a little lonely doing the trip alone, although I will undoubtedly meet people along the way (I'm staying at Kuta Townhouses, which is a largely Aussie haunt). But on the whole, I'm quite content in my own company, and I'm busy making plans for tours I might like to do, places I might like to shop, and massages I might like to have. You might here a bit about Bali in the next few months, it's occupying my thoughts somewhat :)

Happy Saturday everyone.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Happy Monday

Happy Monday everybody! I guess you don't hear that a lot. More Happy Friday's than Happy Monday's.

But today is Happy Monday for me, because I had my first weigh in for the new year, and I'm 1.8kg down for the week. If only that rate of loss would maintain, I'd be done and dusted within 3 months! Alas I am more of a realist than that, but it's still an awesome start and I'm pumped. My work pants also feel looser, and I feel better about myself... and that's what it's all about after all.

The recap for the last week - well, I under-ate really. That's rare for me because I have an elephant appetite. But I'm not concerned about it, because I ate enough to feed an entire herd over Christmas, so a week on the low side is not going to do me any damage. I imagine that will start to even out over the next week or two.

On the exercise front, it was a good lead in week I think. My body is still pretty sore and achey from it all, but I'm going to push through and see how much I can do this week. No pain, no gain after all! Last week I got in 3 runs, 2 weights sessions, 1 Sh'bam class and 1 Body Attack class, for a grand total of 2,750 calories burnt or there abouts.

This weeks plan looks a little like this:

Monday: 30 minute run/weights session
Tuesday: Step and Sh'bam
Wednesday: Weights session
Thursday: 30 minute run/weights session
Friday: 30 minute run
Saturday: Body Attack

I'll keep you posted on the progress. The first run is done and dusted at least :)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

27 Rules of Conquering the Gym

No proper post from me today. I don't have much to say. Everything is going well in diet & weight loss world. I sneaky peeked the scales and they started with an 8 :-) I hope that holds out for official weigh in day Monday.

I found this article and it gave me a giggle. So I thought I'd share it...


1. A gym is not designed to make you feel instantly better about yourself. If a gym wanted to make you feel instantly better about yourself, it would be a bar.
2. Give yourself a goal. Maybe you want to lose 10 pounds. Maybe you want to quarterback the New York Jets into the playoffs. But be warned: Losing 10 pounds is hard.

3. Develop a gym routine. Try to go at least three times a week. Do a mix of strength training and cardiovascular conditioning. After the third week, stop carrying around that satchel of fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies.
4. No one in the history of gyms has ever lost a pound while reading "The New Yorker" and slowly pedaling a recumbent bicycle. No one.
5. Bring your iPod. Don't borrow the disgusting gym headphones, or use the sad plastic radio attachment on the treadmill, which always sounds like it's playing Kenny Loggins from a sewer.
6. Don't fall for gimmicks. The only tried-and-true method to lose 10 pounds in 48 hours is food poisoning.
7. Yes, every gym has an overenthusiastic spinning instructor who hasn't bought a record since "Walking on Sunshine."
8. There's also the Strange Guy Who is Always at the Gym. Just when you think he isn't here today...there he is, lurking by the barbells.
9. "Great job!" is trainer-speak for "It's not polite for me to laugh at you."
10. Beware a hip gym with a Wilco step class.
11. Gyms have two types of members: Members who wipe down the machines after using them, and the worst people in the universe.
12. Nope, that's not a "recovery energy bar with antioxidant dark chocolate." That's a chocolate bar.
13. Avoid Unsolicited Advice Guy, who, for the small fee of boring you to death, will explain the proper method for any exercise in 45 minutes or longer.
14. You can take 10 Minute Abs, 20 Minute Abs, and 30 Minute Abs. There is also Stop Eating Pizza and Eating Sheet Cake Abs—but that's super tough!
15. If you're motivated to buy an expensive home exercise machine, consider a "wooden coat rack." It costs $40, uses no electricity and does the exact same thing.
16. There's the yoga instructor everyone loves, and the yoga instructor everyone hates. Memorize who they are.
17. If you see an indoor rock climbing wall, you're either in a really cool gym or a romantic comedy starring Kate Hudson.
18. Be cautious about any class with the words "sunrise," "hell," or "Moby."
19. If a gym class is going to be effective, it's hard. If you're relaxed and enjoying yourself, you're at brunch.
20. If you need to bring your children, just let them loose in the silent meditation class. Nobody minds, and kids love candles.
21. Don't buy $150 sneakers, $100 yoga pants, and $4 water. Muscle shirts are for people with muscles, and rhythm guitarists.
22. Fancy gyms can be seductive, but once you get past the modern couches and fresh flowers and the water with lemon slices, you're basically paying for a boutique hotel with B.O.
23. Everyone sees you secretly racing the old people in the pool.
24. If you're at the point where you've bought biking shoes for the spinning class, you may as well go ahead and buy an actual bike. It's way more fun and it doesn't make you listen to C+C Music Factory.
25. Fact: Thinking about going to the gym burns between 0 and 0 calories.
26. A successful gym membership is like a marriage: If it's good, you show up committed and ready for hard work. If it's not good, you show up in sweatpants and watch a lot of bad TV.
27. There is no secret. Exercise and lay off the fries. The end.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

So far so good

Here we are on day 4 of OFB, and it's all so far so good. Eating has been very controlled, not a single piece of chocolate has passed my lips. And I actually have some in the house. I also have chips and cookies. I'm not eating any of it. Excuse me while I go and have a pride moment.

OK, I'm back now. Thanks for waiting.

Exercise wise is all good too. Monday I went for a run and did some upper body weight work (ouch). Tuesday I did a walk up a hill and a jog back down in the morning (about 4km all up). On Tuesday night I needed some distraction, and I did something that even surprised me... I went to a Sh'bam class. It's dancey, very dancey. And I'm seriously devoid of coordination and rhythm. I'm sure the look of me trying to dance and gyrate along with the rest of the class would have been truly horrendous on the eye. But you know what, I don't care. I didn't know anyone in the class, and I'm not there for looks. It was a great workout - my heart rate was up in the 170's and I burnt 520 calories in 45 minutes, which is more than I do running - and it was actually kind of fun. There had to be something good that came out of me hitting my 30's, I am now very much less interested in what other people think about me and the way I look. This journey is about me, and if I look stupid along the way, so be it!

Wednesday became a rest day, because weeks (or perhaps months) of inactivity followed by a sudden burst of energy took it's toll on my poor legs. But I was back into it this morning, clocking up a 4.5km run, albeit quite slow and painful. Tonight I'll hit the gym for another weights workout I think.

I took some measurements this morning, as I sometimes find that a more useful measurement than weight, especially when I'm doing some strength training. I also downloaded the old CK data from my weight loss in 2007/08, which was interesting. I'm now 90-point-something kg. I have measurements from when I was 89.5kg in November 2007 - my measurements now are 1cm larger hips, 2cm larger chest, same on thighs, but 6cm larger waist. Damn it, I knew I was spongier than my previous 90kg self. I hope this means that the weight will leave my waist first... But I somehow doubt it! Ideally I would like to take 15cm off my chest, hips and waist, and 10cm off my thighs. That's a whole lot of fat. Ah well, we'll get there, one step at a time.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Welcome to 2012

Greetings and salutations, and happy 2012! 2011 was a disastrous year for me in many respects, and I'm not sorry to see the back of it. Having said that, I learned an awful lot last year. I would certainly not want to live that 12 months again, but I think I am a better person for having lived it.

But now, here we are, in 2012. And it's time to take this blog back to what it was originally about - fitness and weight loss. The reason it hasn't been about that for a while, a long while, is pretty simple. I have been neither fit, nor losing weight. Today is the first day of turning that trend around. A good friend and I have decided that 2012 is the year of "Operation Fit Body", the year to get ourselves fit and healthy. We had to start on 2nd January though, we were too hung over on 1st January after all :-)

I have also joined a Facebook group started by one of my old online buddies from when I lost weight successfully 4 or so years ago. It's called 20SIZE12, and is focused around shrinking to a size 12 in 2012. Cool, huh? The group is in fact full of old Calorie King people from when I was a regular. None of us have been using that site for some time, and sadly there are a lot of us who have regained a lot of weight. But we are an enthusiastic group and I feel motivated and excited about taking on this challenge with this crowd again. It has been a very long time since I could say I felt motivated and excited about losing weight - it's a good feeling.

My plan for executing OFB (operation fit body) is as follows:
  • Track calories. It sucks, but it works. I'm not completely sold on whether I'm going to use Calorie King or My Fitness Pal. I'm kinda using both at the moment. I'll see which one suits best and go with that.
  • Running. I haven't run consistently for a good while, and I'm finally at the point where I miss it. I need to finalise a schedule, but I'm looking at doing a few races in July, August and September - a 15km, half marathon and 12km race respectively. I'll ponder this a bit more and lock in a schedule when it's a bit closer.
  • Gym. I want to get back into a regular weights/resistance programme, because I have a sneaking suspicion my muscle mass is going to hell. I actually really like weight training, so this should be the easiest part of the plan.
My starting point as of this morning is 90.9kg. I was surprised it wasn't a bit higher - I seem to remember being thinner than this at 91kg. Hence the thought that my muscle mass is not what it should be, I think I have an extra layer of fat. Ew. This makes the weight loss goal an easy one though... I want to lose 20kg. I have been lighter than that, I got down to around 66kg at one stage, but I looked gaunt and sickly, and it was completely impossible to maintain... I was starving every waking minute of the day. Low 70's, while not in the stupid BMI healthy range, is what I think is right for me.

So here we go. Here's to a happier, healthier year in 2012. One in which OFB sees me drop 20kg, wear a size 12, and hit some big fitness goals. Watch this space!