Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Can we just start today again?

Tonight was not so great.

Not-so-great moment no 1: Bike Boy gets a flat tyre on the way home and his bike pump is broken. So I have to go rescue him, making me 10 minutes late for my client appointment. My FIRST appointment with a new client. Did I mention my pathological fear of being late?

Not-so-great moment no 2: Whilst carrying a box full of dumbbells out to the car, I manage to very inelegantly fall downstairs, badly bruising both knees, one elbow and twisting an ankle and wrist. Way to make a great first impression!

Not-so-great moment no 3: My low fuel light is on in the car on the way home, so I pull into a petrol station and find that everyone in my suburb apparently needs to fill their car right NOW. So I continue on to the next petrol station and find queues of 3-4 cars at every pump. What? Was there some announcement on the news that petrol is going up to $200 a litre tomorrow or something? I have a client at 5:00am tomorrow, so filling up in the morning isn't really an option. *sigh* So I wait. And wait. Finally, I fill my car and go to pay. And I wait again. And wait some more. Just my luck that the service station attendant is a half-witted teenager who obviously only started in the job today, since he has no idea what he’s doing. After waiting for over 5 minutes while he tries to figure out how to do an EFTPOS transaction, I tell him to forget it and pay cash.

Meanwhile through all this waiting, my knees are throbbing and I just want to get home and stick an ice pack on them.

Good thing I don’t have to train legs again till Friday.

Yikes! Look at the time.....I'm off to bed.

Big thumbs up to the bastions of bureaucracy

So one procrastinates and delays and prevaricates and FINALLY lodges one's tax return with only a week to spare. And less than a week later, VOILA! One's refund appears like magic in one's bank account. :-)

*skips around singing money, money, lovely money!*

Sunday, October 29, 2006

It fades the cows too!

You gotta love those crazy Queensland politicians! Peter Beattie cracked me up this week with his announcement that Qld will not be introducing daylight saving, because it would increase the risk of skin cancer.

Say what?

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Aww, poor love

Bike Boy: I must be very, very wicked.
Me: Er, why?
Bike Boy: Because there's no rest for me....

One of life's mysteries

Why is it that it's only when you buy new sports shoes that you realise how completely crap your old ones have become?

Look how white my new cross trainers are! :-D

Oh dear.

I just discovered that Green & Black's make an organic, chocolate and hazelnut spread. With no hydrogenated oils in it.

Um....hope they don't start stocking that at my local supermarket.

Friday, October 27, 2006

The N word

I’m mortally offended by Amanda’s (slightly tipsy) allegation yesterday that whilst snapping photos of cheese-in-a-can at the stupidmarket, I may have succumbed to the allure of the rows and rows of gleaming Nutella jars arranged below. I shall make allowances for the fact that she was overcome by post-exam champagne bubbles and say no more about this smear on my character.

…..Except that I SO did not buy any!

Just to explain: I have a serious addiction to this chocolatey-nutty spread. It started off innocently enough when I bought a jar last year to add just a spoonful to my protein shakes – this was a tip from a fellow BFL-er and it sounded good to me. But little did I know that you can’t stop at just one spoonful. This is how the insidious stuff works, you see – you have just a little and it tastes so unbelievably good that you have to have a little more…..and then a little more….. and before you know it, you’re hooked. This led to the shameful experience that has since become known as The Nutella Incident. It’s too painful to drag it all up again, but let’s just say that first spoons and then fingers were involved and things spiralled ever downward until I was having my Nutella with peanut butter chasers. Oh, the shame and degradation!

Eventually I knew the only answer was to go cold turkey, so The Baby was given custody of the jar and told to hide it from Mummy and not to hand it over, no matter how much I begged. He and his brother courageously finished off the evil stuff and I haven’t bought a jar since.

It’s a well known fact that this product is extremely addictive – just ask Sara. She can tell you all about the way it’s promoted as a health food in Italy *gasps*. Is there no limit to the depths to which the peddlers of this stuff will stoop? And Shauna shares my problem, as evidenced in her blog entry The brown stuff.

Look, I know it’s full of evil, nasty trans fats. I’ve tried reading the nutrition panel to put myself off, and yes, it’s faintly disgusting. But when I look at the smooth, shiny brownness inside the jar, none of that matters. And God help me if I actually catch a whiff of it…..

Hi, my name is Kek and I’m a Nutella-holic. It’s been 375 days since my last spoonful.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Weird Food Part I

The first in an occasional series on strange things you can find on the supermarket shelves....

Excuse the cruddy (and tiny) photo, it was taken with my phone. I was on a foraging expedition the other day, allaying my fears of the potential catastrophe that running out of food at the office would bring. So I was strolling around the supermarket in search of nuts, strawberries, protein bars, baby spinach, cans of tuna, chocolate (how did that find its way into my basket??), when I spotted this cheese-in-a-can. I gather that one is supposed to squirt this orange paste that vaguely resembles cheese onto salty crackers or something.

I have to ask: Who eats this stuff? And could it get any more processed?


Two points I need to make here:

1) You get some odd looks from other shoppers when you start snapping photos of food at the supermarket; and

2) I absolutely did not buy any of those jars of Nutella that can be seen in the photo. Honest. Can I help it if they put the health foods in the same aisle as the sandwich spreads?

Eek! Those dreaded before photos!

I've had a lot of new clients start recently and while they have different goals, backgrounds, personalities etc, they all have one thing in common - they hate their before photos. The comments accompanying the photos are, without exception, completley negative. "Gross", "yuk", "I feel sick when I look at them".....stuff like that. And they all say that NOBODY is ever going to see those pics.

I tell them all that they won't feel the same about the before photos, once they have an after photo to put next to it. And that they will probably be showing everybody those photos that they hate so much right now. They never believe me. So - here's proof. This is me in early 2004, when I'd lost something like 15kg already and thought I was looking pretty damn good.....until I saw the photo:

I weighed around 69kg here. I saw this photo and I swore that nobody would ever see it. I even hated Bike Boy seeing it - which of course was completely stupid, since he could see the actual in-the-flesh me any time he liked. But then, I never claimed to be rational.

But now I look at it and I really have no feelings about it at all. No loathing, no disgust, nothing. It's just how I used to be. The only things I feel are satisfaction and pride at having moved such a long way from this.

And I'm posting it on the internet. Who'd have thought?

Lowering standards

I think I'm going soft in my old age. See, I was brought up in the belief that you went to school every day unless you were genuinely, seriously, on-your-deathbed sick. My parents had ( and still have) a strong work ethic, which they instilled in each and every one of their children.

I've followed the same pattern with my kids. Over the years we've had quite a few conversations that went something like these:

Kid: Mu-u-um, I've got a snotty nose and a sore throat.
Me: Your temperature's normal, so tough - you're going to school.

Kid: But Mu-u-um, I'm tired after that late night we had.
Me: Suck it up - off to school with you.

Kid (on the Monday before Melbourne Cup Day): It's not fair Mum, half my grade isn't coming to school today. Can't I stay home?
Me: Just because their parents are irresponsible slackers, doesn't mean you get a day off.

It's worked out well, actually - Number One Son is so conscientious about his job, he would never miss a shift. He even got sent home once because he went in dripping snot and germs everywhere. Uh, yeah - his job involves food handling. Bleurgh.

Anyway, last night was The Baby's big school musical production, Kids at Sea. He had two roles - he was a sailor and a roc(k) bird. He's been rehearsing this thing for the last 6 months, staying after school, practising at lunchtimes, and really putting in some effort. This week has been hard on him, with a full dress rehearsal all day Monday, the first performance Tuesday and then an encore last night. The show finished around 9:30, then he had to get changed out of his costume, find us in the huge crowd of parents, get home and bask in the praise of his grandparents. By then it was 10:30, which is pretty late for a little feller, and he was pale and droopy, as kids get when they're absolutely buggered. And I heard myself saying these words: "You can stay home from school tomorrow". What the....?

Is it true that you get less strict, the more kids you have? I fear it is so.....Number One Son is frequently heard to say "It's not fair! You never let ME do that!"

I figure that it's partly to do with mellowing with age, but mostly that by the time you get to the third kid, you're just too tired to argue any more.......

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

One of life's two certainties

The 31st October is looming and we all know what that means.....yes, it's the cutoff for income tax returns to be lodged. Well, it is if you're doing it yourself. Who needs a tax agent? Not me - I'm a big girl and I'm quite capable of doing my own tax return. Well, kind of.

Every year I say that I'm going to get my return lodged by the end of July and (almost) every year I leave it till the last possible moment. So last night was the night - I had the electronic return all completed, except for my share dividends. No I'm not some rich capitalist (I wish!), I just have a nice little parcel of shares I got as freebies when I was an employee of a big corporation in a previous life. Anyway, I had my February dividend statement, but couldn't find the August one. I'd made a few half-hearted attempts to find it, but I'd obviously put it in A Safe Place. And you know what a big mistake that is!

So last night I was forced to sift through months of papers waiting to be filed. OK, years, actually - it seems I'm a hoarder. Well, you never know when you might need a phone bill or a birthday card from 2002.

After a couple of hours of frustration and much swearing, I admitted defeat. But I had a brilliant idea - I rang my sister, who had also worked for the same organisation and who had received the same share allocations as me. I'd just get the dividend and franking credit amounts from her statement thingy. Brilliant! Or it would have been, if only she hadn't sold some of hers in the last couple of years. Damn.

So then I figured that if she just gave me the dividend price, I could get my calculator and figure out how much I got paid - and there must be some method for working out imputation credits. Surely. Company tax rate or something? Only it turns out that her filing is just as behind as mine and she had no idea where the elusive piece of paper was. THEN she says "can't you get the information off the website?". Website? They have that stuff on the internet? Seriously?

So I go to the website and find a link that says "shareholder centre". Well, blow me down. I find the right page, enter my holding number and name and some other stuff and whaddya know? They have ALL MY DIVIDEND CERTIFICATES ONLINE! Who knew this?

So my 2006 tax return is finally lodged - and with 7 days to spare. Next year I'm determined to get it done in July. But of course, that will never happen....

Saturday, October 21, 2006

But I'm bo-o-o-o-ored!

I've been out training clients, or sitting at the computer working my butt off all day today. Meanwhile, Bike Boy's been busy shopping for meat and other essentials, cooking up a big dish of lasagna for the rugrats' dinner, screwing a good price out of Telstra on a fancy new phone for me with Bluetooth (whatever that is....) and other important stuff. Number One Son has been out working all day....or drinking beer, I'm not sure which - he seems to spend equal time doing both. And the Middle Child rode his bike over to his mate's house for an afternoon of X-Box games or something. That left The Baby bored, crabby and apparently with no choice other than to annoy the crap out of his parents by constantly whining "I'm bored!" or standing 2 inches behind me, breathing down my neck.

So after I completed and emailed another program to a client, I decided to take him to the shops, just to shut him up. He got to browse amongst all the electronic games and consoles, books, toys and other such delights. He also got a cookies 'n cream ice cream AND a new book. And while we were there, I picked up a new lingerie set - very noice too...all pink satin with black stripes. But more importantly, I was VERY excited to discover that K Mart had these:

I have been desperate to get hold of some of these little mini EasiYo containers. So-o-o cute! And a bargain price. And if anyone hasn't tried the ice cream, it's divine! And full of all those good bacteria too, so you can feel absolutely guiltless eating it. Plus the big containers now have a flip top thingy, so you can pour your drinking yoghurt without making one hell of a mess.

If you look very carefully, you may notice Shawn Phillips' abs over there behind my stack of EasiYo products......mmm, the man is just gorgeous. Of course, I bought the book for all the fab training info, and not to perve at black and white pics of a hunky guy. *ahem*


Just for the record - I am NOT a runner!

This week has been extraordinarily busy for me, and it's been impossible to fit in cardio, apart from a walk on Moday. On top of my workload, I've had Bike Boy away interstate, late school pickups, and by the way, that rain we were promised all week didn't arrive till Friday, so did I mention that it takes 2 hours to water my garden? ....Well, it does if I do it properly.

So, I had a couple of clients who wanted/needed to do cardio sessions and I thought it would be a good idea to join in. You know, extra motivation for the client to have me working alongside them instead of just yelling at them, plus I get to do some exercise as well. Win-win, see? So on Thursday I had an outdoor session at a park and I walked, jogged and (ugh!) pop-squatted with my client and THEN made her do wind sprints....which I thought would be great for me to do too. What was I THINKING?

Friday I took a client for an outdoor session at a local athletics track....man, is that a great place to take clients! I forgot all about it till recently - we used to use it for our high school athletics days. So I did almost the entire session with her - forward running, backward running, running with knees high, then heels high, more pop squats, jump squats...you name it. And then more wind sprints.

This morning, my quads are a little unhappy (pop squats!) and my hamstrings have turned into concrete - no stretch left in those babies at all. And weirdly, when I run, I always get sore adductors - what is THAT about? I must have some really weird running style.... So I'm moving with all the grace and speed of a 95-year old today.

But....I got my cardio done and I really do feel good about that - it's the part of my training I always manage to wriggle out of somehow.

This morning I'm doing some fitness tests on a client, including a 2.4km run test. Yeah, I think I'll sit that one out.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Loving your body

This morning, I was doing my blog-surfing catch-up and, thanks to Debstar, I discovered that yesterday was Love Your Body Day. Huh, that one completely passed me by. Must have been well-publicised....not!

Anyway, then over on Skwigg's blog, I came across another link to the Dove Evolution of Beauty video, which I'd already seen, but which is well worth another look, and which ties in nicely with the whole "Love your body" theme.

And that brought to mind a great article at stumptuous.com, entitled "Why don't you look like a fitness model?".

I remember when I was overweight, often thinking that when I lost weight, I'd do *insert fun or ambitious activity here*. And that's been a common theme I've heard amongst those who are losing weight - or who want to - or who are in some other way unsatisfied with their bodies. Of course, you can't just put your life on hold until the excess kilos have magically evaporated. Nor is life necessarily going to be better once you reach your ideal weight - although shopping for clothes will undoubtedly be a less frustrating experience. All of your emotional issues will still be there, your real or imagined character flaws, your lack of money, dissatisfaction with your job/marriage/friends/house/whatever. Unless you take action to improve those things too.

I'm still guilty of disliking my body - or parts of it - at times. Mostly though, it serves me well, and I think I should appreciate it's functional qualities more and focus on how it looks a little bit less.

I like the idea of a Love Your Body Day. I think we should have more of them.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

For Deb - an explanation for the foreigner ;-)

Cockie: abbreviation for Cockatoo (n.) Parrot, esp of genus Kakatoe, with erectile crest.

And here's a picture:

Monday, October 16, 2006

Thieving buggers!

I’m sitting inside, tap-tap-tapping away at my keyboard, when I hear a ‘clunk’ outside. I turn my head and look out the window, but …nothing. I go back to my work and a few seconds later there it is again. ‘Clunk’. Again, I look and again see nothing. This goes on for a while, when I suddenly realise what it is.

I go outside, look up through the clear roofing over our deck, and see two white blobs sitting in a tree branch. Bloody cockies! They’re picking almonds off the tree, biting through the soft green fruit and eating the unripe nut out of the middle. Then they drop the fruit to the ground…or onto the roof. Hence the ‘clunk’ I keep hearing.

They’re extremely early this year – usually they wait until the nuts are almost mature before they strip the tree, in about December. The drought must be seriously affecting their other food sources.

Since Bike Boy wasn’t home, it was up to me. I picked up one of the discarded fruits off the ground and hurled it into the branches, startling them and making them fly away squawking. Of course they’ll be right back. But I feel better.

The evidence.....grrr. I'll have to get busy with the broom again. That counts as cardio, doesn't it?

Strong, sharp beaks? You betcha! They just bite clean through the fruit....

There are still SOME left on the tree. Not for long, I'm sure.

Oh, my aching butt!

Looks like the lighter but super-strict squats yesterday did the trick - today I have the sorest backside I've had in a long time. The shoulder workout was obviously a good 'un too - my delts are only sore if I poke 'em, but my traps are killing me every time I move! Yikes!

All hail the conquering hero!

Bike Boy made it around the bay yesterday, although he was a little peeved that it took him 2 hours to get across the water (queuing for ferry tickets, waiting for the ferry, getting ON the ferry, the actual trip, queuing to collect bikes and get OFF the ferry.....). But he enjoyed the ride, and felt so good at the finish that he decided to ride the extra 20-odd kms back to where he left the car in the morning, instead of taking the train as planned. See - crazy!

So he got home in the dark and was excitedly showing me all the numbers on his little bike computer gadget thingy - how many hours he spent riding, how many kms, average speed, average heart rate, highest speed, blah, blah. Well he was excited by it all anyway. He loves his electronic friends, computer, Palm organiser, bike thingies, mini disc player, electronic metronome, heart rate monitor (hang on...that's MY HRM!). His other nickname is Inspector Gadget.

Anyway, 250+ kms cycled in a day - not a bad effort. He celebrated with 1/2 a pizza, a couple of beers and a good stretching session.

He's just a little bit tired today - he decided to sleep in and go to work late. Funny about that.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


I found 3 fun runs before Chistmas that might suit me. The problem is, when I decide to do something, I never do it by halves, so now I want to do ALL of them.

There is one that I won't be doing.....the Big Rivers Nude Fun Run. No, I'm serious, it's there on the Cool Running event calendar. Apparently it's at the River Valley Naturist Resort in Echuca. The blurb says: Plenty of sunshine, help our local CFA, enjoy our BBQ luncheon after the Run. All ages welcome — 4km Walk & Run, and 8km. Run. Bring all your friends and come for the day, or better still, come for the weekend!! I wasn't actually game to go look at the website....

Think I'll stick to fully clothed events. All that wobbling might be a bit distracting. I'm getting the giggles just thinking about it. Geez, I'm so mature. Besides, it's on my birthday, so I'm sure I'll have better things to do that day. Like: open presents and eat cake and...um...open presents. :-D

Go baby, go, go....

OK, I did it! I put on my running gear and I actually did it. I dragged out my Adidas clima-cool shorts and top with the reflective stripes - I figured that looking like a serious runner can only help with the mental attitude, right? And I found my runners wa-a-ay back under the bed, amongst the dust bunnies. I think the last time I wore them was in May. Oh. Really? It's been that long?

And my podiatrist would be happy - I even wore my orthotics. Only because they were in my shoes already, mind you - I hate those things.

I got to the bit where your lungs start to fight against you mighty quickly - now, there's a sign of my lack of fitness. But at least I know from experience that the "Oh my God, my lungs are going to explode!" feeling only lasts a short time and you just have to push through it.

So it was only about 2kms and it was a snail's pace 16 minutes or so, but still, it's a start. I did pick up the speed at one point, when I spotted a group of about 7 or 8 guys standing around in a front yard up ahead.....Well, you don't want to be running embarrassingly slowly when there's an audience, do you? Even if they're total strangers. A girl has to have standards.

Think I'll find me a fun run to train up for. Just a nice 5 k-er. Maybe the running bug will bite me again. *goes off to search for running events*


Oh yeah, I had Garbage playing on my MP3 player. Hence the title.

What's your excuse?

I was having a slightly blah moment just now (why's not important), when someone just reminded me of Jared Horomona, Body-for-LIFE Inspirational Champion in 2001.

I remember looking at Jared's photos and thinking "well, he could have picked a better background - the car's a bit distracting". Then I read his story, and discovered that he was using the car for support - because he has cerebral palsy and can't stand unaided.

You can read Jared's story here.

His acceptance speech was apparently only 3 words: "What's your excuse?"

OK, I'm going for a run. Now.

Dam-it! (pun intended)

Aargh! We've just been upgraded (downgraded?) to Stage 2 water restrictions! Aargh!! The stupid dams are only 44.8% full, and it looks like being a dry summer, so the government has hit the panic button. Of course, they could have switched all the city park watering systems over to recycled water years ago. And fixed all the fountains so they recycle the same water. And maybe stopped Citylink from using OUR DRINKING WATER to stabilise their stinking tollway tunnel. And perhaps built the Thomson Dam where it would actually catch some water. And oh...a hundred other water-saving ideas. *sigh*

I really noticed this weekend that all the usual green bits around our area are looking decidedly brown. In October. Usually the parks and open spaces are nice and green for at least another month or so.

Looks like we better get that rainwater tank we've been talking about. And instal the grey water recycling kit that's been in the laundry cupboard for the last 2 years. I'm sure the plants won't mind a little detergent.....

Top 20 foods

I was thinking about antioxidants and vitamins and so-called "super-foods" for some reason today, and that reminded me of a newspaper article from last year, which listed the 20 Healthiest Foods. For some reason, I copied it at the time, so here's the list:

1. Avocado - vitamin E, B6, panthothenic acid and of course EFAs.

2. Berries - Vitamin C, fibre (the little seeds you don't notice you're eating), vitamin E, folate, antioxidants.

3. Rosemary - anti-clotting properties, antioxidants and anti-cancer properties as well. Plus, as Hamlet knew, it's good for your memory.

4. Oysters - Zinc (a dozen contains about 10 times as much as a biggish steak), iron and iodine.

5. Garlic - helps control blood pressure and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of cancer.

6. Asian greens - fibre, Victamin C, beta carotene, folate, antioxidants. Some also have quite a bit of calcium.

7. Tomatoes - vitamin C and lycopene (good for all sorts of stuff, including prostate health).

8. Nuts - protein, fibre, zinc, iron, calcium, vitamin E, most of the B vitamins, EFAs and arginine. Seem to lower blood cholesterol too.

9. Broccoli - Vitamins C, E, folate and beta carotene, potassium, iron, fibre. Plus sulphoraphane, which appears to protect against cancer.

10. Oats - protects against heart disease, full of soluble fibre, and also helps protect against bowel cancer.

11. Oranges - vitamin C, beta carotene, bioflavonoids.

12. Extra virgin olive oil - helps reduce blood pressure and prevent blood clots. Also has 35 antioxidants.

13. Wheatgerm - Vitamin E, most of the Bs, iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium, potassium and EFAs. Protects against heart diease, diabetes and some cancers.

14. Muesli - not the fatty commercial ones, you need to preferably make your own. Contains protein, vitamins, minerals, EFAs and fibre.

15. Chickpeas - protein, EFAs, fibre, vitamin E, all the Bs except B12, iron, zinc and calcium. And if you sprout them you get vitamin C too.

16. Salmon - Omega-3s, protein, iodine.

17. Sourdough bread - it has to be the real thing though, not the ones with sourdough flavouring.

18. Mangoes - vitamins A, C, folate and fibre, antioxidants

19. Tofu - protein, B vitamins, potassium, iron and calcium, plus isoflavones. Protects against heart disease and possibly some cancers.

20. Yoghurt - must contain live bacteria. Good source of calcium, protein, possibly prevents food poisoning bacteria or cancer cells getting a toehold.

So there you go. What are you doing still sitting there? You should be shopping....

Mmm...lazy Sundays

Well, as lazy as they get for me these days. I slept in till 7:40am, so woo-HOO!! I made my favourite buckwheat protein pancakes for brekky and ate them with strawberries, blueberries, a big glob of yoghurt and SF syrup. YUM. All good fuel for my shoulder and leg workout. And yes, a gym workout still counts as a lazy Sunday activity. For me, anyway - I love heaving those weights around. Hey, it's my idea of fun, OK?

I actually backed off the weight on my barbell squats just a little, so I can concentrate on technique. And I was well pleased with my butt-almost-to-the-floor form. Boy, am I going to feel those tomorrow! :-) I'm only lifting around 32kg, but that's because I'm completely paranoid about my back giving out on me again, so of course I'd rather go too light than risk another injury. The weird thing is, I can lift the same amount on leg extensions, so that just makes me feel like I'm being a wimp with my squats. Oh well, better to be safe than very, very sorry.

I did some strength and fitness testing on a client yesterday, so we have a basis for comparison to see how he's progressing in a few weeks' time. And that made me wonder about my own progress. I know I've built some muscle, and I know I've gained strength, but it's hard to make comparisons when my training program is different to what I used to do. Maybe I'll do some strength tests myself shortly, and compare them with the results I got about this time last year.

If anyone's interested in fitness testing, the Sports Coach site has some great tests to choose from, lots of which don't require any fancy equipment. I think I'll stick to the 1-minute pushup and 1-minute situp tests, and maybe the 90 degree arm hang test, if I can find a suitable bar to hang from. I'll have to get Bike Boy to be my timekeeper - I'll report on the results when I get around to it.

As for cardio-vascular fitness testing.....it's probably best to just avoid that till I get some running happening again and make some major improvements in that area. Hmm, maybe I'll start today and go for a short run later. Maybe.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Tomorrow's the big day

Tomorrow is the big Around the Bay in a Day bike ride. No, not me, I'm not doing it - I'm not completely crazy, ya know. It's Bike Boy, of course. So, he'll be getting up at stupid-o'clock and heading to the city to join the throng of around 8000 crazies who are willing...hell, even eager...to cycle two-hundred-and-something kms around Port Phillip Bay.

So how do you ride AROUND a bay, I hear you ask? Easy-peasy, you take the ferry from Queenscliff to Sorrento (or the other way around, depending on which direction you're riding) to get across the narrow bit of water at the bottom. This event is also about the only time you can ride a bike across the Westgate bridge. Not that you'd want to...it's bloody windy up there.

Bike Boy's been carb-loading for the past few days. Insane amounts of pasta, mountains of bread, piles of fruit, bowls full of cereal, tubs of yoghurt, huge glasses of flavoured milk. And dim sims, pizza, chicken schnitzels (he ate two last night - with a whopping great pile of chips. And gravy) and God knows what else. He is looking a little tubby tonight....but he'll come home tomorrow night a lot thinner, with very flat-looking muscles, in spite of all the Gatorade, Power Bars, gels and other such stuff that he'll be consuming along the way.

Of course, I think he's completely mental. But I salute him.

More about me

Ho-hum, it's Saturday night and I'm sitting here working. Oh OK, I'm really blog-surfing, but hey, I swear I can actually feel my brain starting to shrivel if I spend too long working on training plans and the like.....

Anyway, I pinched this from fluffie-bunnie-blog:

1. When you look at yourself in the mirror, what's the first thing you think?
Er....are we talking about a fat day or a thin day?

2. How much cash do you have on you?
$115.30. And I've been shopping today. How did THAT happen?

3. What's a word that rhymes with "TEST"?

4. Favourite planet?
People have favourites? OK, Pluto...wait, that's not a planet any more, is it? Poor Pluto. Then Mercury - I like hot weather. :-D

5. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your mobile phone?
The Honda service place.

6. What is your favourite ring on your phone?
Um. Don't have a fave. I really should download something cool.

7. What clothes are you wearing?
*sigh* My uniform - black trackpants, white polo with my FitBodies logo.

8. Do you label yourself?
Yes. No. Maybe. I don't really understand the question.

9. Name the brand of your shoes you're currently wearing right now?

10. Bright or Dark Room?
Depends on my mood.

11. What were you doing at midnight last night?
Sleeping, of course.

12. What did your last text message you received say?
'Please pick up bread & milk on the way home.' How boring.

13. What's a saying that you say a lot?
"How's the serenity?" - usually when the neighborhood dogs are barking, and every lawnmower in a 2km radius is in use, AND the neighbours are having a screaming row.

14. Who told you they loved you last?
My 10-year-old, just before he went to bed tonight.

15. Last furry thing you touched?
Do husbands count? If not, my client's Jack Russell terrier this morning.

16. How Many Drugs Have You Done In The Past three Days?
Well, none. Unless I include Seretide (asthma preventer)

17. How many rolls of film do you need to get developed?
None of course, my SLR went digital a while back.

18. Favourite age you have been so far?
I'm always happy whatever age I am. Oh, except those awful teenage years. Ugh. Never again.

19. Your worst enemy?
Chocolate....or is it my best friend? I get so confused.

20. What is your current desktop picture?
Flowers in my garden

21. What was the last thing you said to someone?
'Night Baby...love you (to Bike Boy, who went to bed super early tonight)

22. If you had to choose between a million dollars or to be able to change a major regret?
Million bucks. Don't really have any major regrets. That I can think of right now.

23. Do you like someone?
Huh? I like many people. My husband, my kids, my family, my friends.....

24. The last song you listened to?
Something by Debra Conway...I think it was Sunday Morning. Must change that CD in the car.


I've had a couple of blah days this week - no real problems, just a lot on my plate and I was feeling kind of like everything was too much for me. And as usual when that happens, I struggle a bit with food and motivation in general. But this morning I had two reminders that my life is pretty fabulous compared to some and my determination and general woohoo-ness has returned.

The first one was an email I received from a friend I made through an online fitness forum. Karen was just writing to say hi, but I was reminded that she has a really tough time of it - her daughter has a serious medical problem that requires constant care, trips to hospital and major worries for her parents. She also lost her sister in law to cancer just recently and has had some other family problems this year. But she trains hard, she mostly eats right, she's studying for her Certificate III in fitness and she just got a job at her gym. She was also one of the Women's Fitness & Health Body Blitz monthly winners in 2004 - you can see what she initially achieved here.

The second was when I logged into another forum and found a link to this article about a really amazing father, Dick Hoyt. I'd seen the video on YouTube before, but didn't know the story behind it. The guy does Ironman contests, pushing and towing his disabled adult son. He ran the Boston marathon pushing his 43 year old son in a wheelchair....in only 35 minutes off the world record. Watch the video - if it doesn't make you cry, you're not human.

So, obstacles? Pfft! I don't have obstacles, just a few minor distractions. These people inspire me....and make me feel just a little ashamed...

No excuses. Just do it.

Friday, October 13, 2006


I just dropped The Baby off at the Blue Light Disco. He chattered away to me in the car, held my hand as we crossed the car park, paid his $10 at the door, went through the turnstile and waved to me. Then he spotted some friends and I just know he won't give me another thought until I arrive to take him home.

He's 10, and he's off dancing and running wild (well, as wild as you can get under the watchful eye of the local constabulary) and having a great time. Probably flirting with girls. Or at least pulling their hair and calling them names.....which amounts to the same thing when you're in Grade 5.

Waahhh! Did I mention he's 10?

Busy bee

Took this shot in the garden this afternoon.

Ah, I love Spring. And my camera's macro setting.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


I was Googling for photos of some exercises to send to an online client, when I came across this absolute shocker:

It actually made me laugh out loud. And yet, she looks so happy with herself. Go figure.


Him: You're very cranky tonight
Me: No I'm not. Anyway, I'm allowed to be.
Him: (Falling on the floor laughing) That makes no sense. First you say you're not cranky, then you say you're allowed to be.
Me: Well, I'm not cranky. But if I was, I'd be allowed.

Makes perfect sense to me...


The lovely Loos-iyanna Sara made this comment about my post Not better yet: I also hate being late. It's a disorder, I think...

I think she may be right. Or perhaps it's an actual disease. Yes, that must be it - and an infectious one, at that. I seem to have given it to all of my children, who leave for school 20 minutes before they need to....

It's no big deal - I mean, when I have to go somewhere, I just figure out how long it will take to get there (say 30 minutes), then add 5 minutes in case I can't find a park, 10 minutes in case there's a traffic jam along the way... wait, make that 15, it might be a really bad traffic jam.... and then I'd really better be 5 minutes early anyway, in case I need to fix my hair or make a pitstop or something, so that means I have to leave home 55 minutes before I'm expected wherever. Oh hell, just make it a nice round hour! And then of course everything goes smoothly and I arrive half-an-hour early.

I don't know why Bike Boy finds that annoying. Why can't he just be ready on time?

My new purchase

Ta-dah!! - New alarm clock.

And it worked fine this morning. :-)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Not better yet!

This morning I woke up at 4:45, crawled out of bed and headed for the bathroom. Washed my face, blah, blah, came back into the bedroom and started to get dressed. And realised that it was light. Very light. I bolted into the lounge and checked the VCR clock and HOLY CRAP! it was 5:25! I was supposed to meet my client at 5:15.....

Anyone who knows me knows that I am never late. And that the thought of being late makes me break out into a cold sweat. I got to the gym half an hour after I was supposed to be there - luckily my client is very sweet and wasn't fussed at all. In fact she'd started on her own, bless her little cotton socks. So, I now owe her a free session - that's my policy if I'm late or have to cancel without notice. This is the first time ever that I've had to actually make good on that promise!

So, by the time we finished, it was almost 6:30 and I really need to be home again shortly after 7:00 to get the kids up and so on. Which left me maybe 20 minutes to do my own workout - the longest one of my 3 day split, which takes around 50 minutes. So I skipped my training session again. :-(

To top it off, when I got home, I had a nose bleed. Great. And I still need to water the garden and hang out washing before I leave home, which I should really be doing about now.

I can feel the stress levels rising......


I'm going shopping at lunchtime - for a new alarm clock.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Not getting better...

This morning I woke up when the alarm went off at 5:30am and decided that I needed an extra hour-and-a-half's sleep way more than I needed to go to the gym today. Huh? I never do that! Well, today I did.... The guilt is under control. Just.

The rest of my day went OK until I got home at 5:20pm....and realised that I'd left my laptop sitting under my desk at the office. I thought about just leaving it till the morning for about, oh, 2 seconds, then realised that a) things go missing form our building all the time and b) I have way too much work to do to be computer-less tonight. SO I drove all the way back, got the laptop and drove home again. It took 1 hour and 45 minutes. I was not impressed.

Plus for the last several hours, it's felt like somebody is twisting my guts and tying them in knots. And I haven't eaten any wheat. Honest. :-(

And Bike Boy has injured his back, necessitating much nagging from me about ice packs and anti-inflammatories - plus a trip to the physio.

Boo, I say! .....Tomorrow has to be an improvement.

Monday, October 09, 2006

WHY were they called "happy pants"?

This is for Amanda, by special request. Bike Boy will probably kill me......

Now, you have to make allowances here: it was 1995, and to be fair, he was bumming around at home, not walking down the street dressed like this. The point of taking this photo was to capture the oh-so-cute 2 year old Middle Child, who heard the strains of Daddy's electric guitar emanating from the spare room (which, you may notice was in the process of being converted to a nursery for The Baby) and ran to his room, saying "Ooh, I have to get my 'tar!" He then proceeded to pull up a chair and join in the musical concert with his very tuneful $5 ukelele.

The pants are pretty funny though...

Dreams, traffic and aeroplanes

Today has not been exactly brimming with fabulousness. It hasn't been a horrible, horrible day either, just one of those that's full of annoying little inconveniences.

First there was the whole getting-up-at-4:30am thing. I got to bed a little later than I planned, and then ju-u-ust when I was teetering on the very precipice of sleep, I had to get up to unload some of the water I'd stupidly drunk during the evening (I never drink much after dinner for this exact reason). THEN I woke up at 1:00am. And 2:15am. And 3:00am. And 4:10am. And finally, when I was right in the middle of a dream about a personal one-on-one training session with Bill Phillips :p the #%*!-ing alarm went off. Talk about lousy timing!

After that my day went more or less as usual, until it was time to head home. I planned to leave at 4:00pm, since I had to pick up The Baby at 5:00, but was delayed and walked out at 4:10. Still plenty of time....until two cars in front of me in Essendon decided to have a collision and block both of the through lanes to the Tulla Freeway, where I was heading. Aargh! So I took a right turn onto some side road, even though I had NO idea where it went, and eventually found my way through to Pascoe Vale Rd, which would take me to the freeway. Except I wasn't sure where I'd come out, so I turned left when I should have turned right. *sigh* Check the time - no worries, I can cut through Glenroy, round the back of Fawkner cemetary, onto the Hume Hwy and still make it on time. "Oops, that was Glenroy St", thinks I as I sail past. Uh-oh. No U-turn anywhere here. Double aargh! So, after driving halfway to Sydney and back (well, it seemed like it) I eventually got to the school at 5:10, to find my anxious son waiting at the gate for me.

Then when I get home, I realise that I forgot to return a DVD that was due back yesterday, so now we owe a late fine. :-( AND Bike Boy rings from Brisbane airport to tell me that his plane has sprung a hydraulic leak or some such, and he looks like being a couple of hours late getting home from his Very Important Meeting.
:-( :-(

....He did text me 10 minutes later to advise that the Qantas Club had just brought out party pies, so HIS evening obviously got better.

Ode to a....computer?

Whilst reading the letters page of a certain government department in-house publication, I came across this little gem. A writer claims that in Japan, impersonal Microsoft Windows error messages have been replaced by haiku poems, and he swears that these are actual examples:

Chaos reigns within.
Reflect, repent and reboot
Order shall return.

Program aborting
Close all that you have worked on.
You ask far too much.

Windows NT crashed.
I am the Blue Screen of Death.
No one hears your screams.

Yesterday it worked.
Today it is not working.
Windows is like that.

Your file was so big.
It might be very useful.
But now it is gone.

Three things are certain
Death, taxes and lost data.
Guess which has occurred.

Serious error.
All shortcuts have disappeared
Screen. Mind. Both are blank.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

What makes a successful challenger?

BFL Goddess Sara has just published a fab new article on her website, giving her 12 tips for a winning transformation. See, she's not just cute, she's very, very smart too!

Anyway, after I read this piece of wisdom, I indulged in a little pondering session about 12-week transformations, and those who complete them and those who just....well...give up. See, I've been a member of several online fitness forums for quite a few years now, so I've had contact with hundreds (maybe thousands) of people doing this crazy thing we call a challenge. And it always surprises and saddens me to see the huge number of people who start a challenge, all fired up with enthusiasm, but by about week 3 the wheels are falling off and by week 5 or 6 you never hear from them again.

OK, some have some pretty wacky ideas about nutrition or exercise to begin with, and won't be disabused of their opinions - you know, things like doing 100s of sit-ups every day being the best way to get a 6-pack. Or thinking that a potato with their dinner is adequate vegies. Some have been given some really crap advice from "experts" who should know better. And some are just plain stupid.

But the majority are reasonably intelligent, have the right information, have bought the right food and a few helpful supplements and know what to do in the gym. So why do they fail? What is the difference between these people and the ones who go on to complete their 12 weeks? I'm not even talking about the kind of results they achieve - just the simple fact that they finish.

I'm told by several reliable sources that of all those who start a 12 week challenge, the number who see it through is a scarily low 20%. And my personal observations tell me that this is probably about right. So what makes a successful BFLer? What is different about those of us who can haul our butts out of bed every morning in the pre-dawn darkness and head off to the freezing cold gym to do our workouts, whether we feel like it or not? Is there some genetic mutation amongst the finishers that makes them pre-disposed to like eating chicken, tuna, broccoli and oats?

Of course it's entirely to do with mindset, and the point that Sara made about believing in yourself. There's also a lot of important stuff around knowing what it is exactly that you want and why you want it. And being prepared to do whatever it takes to get there.

And just quietly, it doesn't hurt to splash around a liberal amount of reciprocation. It comes back to you in many ways...

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Bicycle madness

Bike Boy went for a wee ride today.....to Frankston and back. For those of you who have no idea of Melbourne's geography, that is a freaking long way. 150km round-trip. Just to show you how far that is, here's a map:

The wonky red X is roughly where we live, and Frankston is circled in red....wa-a-ay down at the start of the Mornington Peninsular.

He came back red-faced, sweaty and demanding one of my super-deluxe stretching sessions. I traded it for a coffee, assuming he was going to brew me up the real thing, which he does so well, but I was gypped - he made me instant! Boy, does he owe me....

He's now taking a nap, the poor love.

The Fridge

I'm a bit of a neat freak. Nobody would ever guess that, since lately my house looks like several cupboards exploded and spewed their contents all over every surface in various rooms. But I assure you that's strictly temporary.....once I catch up on some stuff, I'll get to the tidying. Or perhaps when we get around to extending the house and I actually have somewhere to put the junk.

Anyway, one thing I hate is stuff on the fridge. It drives me crazy. I like my fridge doors pristine, and preferably free of fingerprints too. I should probably never have had children....

Somehow all of this crap has accumulated on the freezer door of late:

It includes Number One Son's work shift schedule, my meal plan (not that I need it any more, I know it off by heart), a flyer and tickets to the primary school musical extravaganza (can't wait for that one....), The Baby's rehearsal timetable for said school musical, the kids' chore roster....which I amusingly titled The Woods Sweatshop Job Roster - THAT went down a treat...and various magnets with phone numbers of my chiropractor, podiatrist and so on.

The fridge door is adorned only by one thing - my autographed Daryl Braithwaite poster, which my friend Kate got for me one night after seeing him perform. Ah...memories...reminds me of the bedroom wall of my teenage years, which was embarrassingly wallpapered with Sherbet posters.

And then there's my favourite fridge magnet, which was a gift from the gorgeous NickiB:

Good thing I can lift a quite a lot....

Cars and shopping

I went shopping with Mum yesterday...had to do something to fill in the 4 and a half hours it took for my car to get its 60,000km service. So we had a nice browse around Westfield Doncaster, and I made a few purchases:

  • A new handbag to replace my old one with the broken zip
  • A pot of Body Shop strawberry lip balm for The Baby, who's always pinching mine
  • An Oh Yeah protein bar for Bike Boy (have you seen how much fat is in those things? I'm not touching it....although they are delicious)
  • Some vitamins and a few mundane grocery items
  • A pedometer - I agreed to join a team at work in the upcoming corporate 1000 Steps Challenge, so gotta have one of these things
  • A couple of sports crop tops
  • A cute top from Just Jeans (stupid name, since they obviously don't sell just jeans) for my eldest niece for Christmas - that's one gift ticked off the list.
  • Some new lingerie from Myer....they were having a huge sale on the Bendon Elle MacPherson range. Good bras make such a difference - I even look like I have boobs. Bike Boy was well pleased. :-D

And Mum bought my birthday present - a new camera bag - although my birthday isn't till December. I'll try hard to forget what it is between now and then, so I can get a nice surprise. LOL.

I didn't take my trusty cooler bag, just figured I'd manage my meals somehow. The first stop was Coles to get a bottle of water. Then morning tea was a protein bar from GNC and a black coffee - easy. Lunch was a little more challenging - shopping centre food is SO crappy in general. Eventually we settled on Japanese food, which wasn't a bad choice.

So the car got serviced and plenty of shopping was done - I'd call that a successful day. I'm just trying not to think about the frightening amount of money I handed over to the nice man at the Honda service place....

The Loot:

Friday, October 06, 2006

Fishy stories

Debstar's recent post about an unfortunate fishing trip reminded me of the last time I ventured out on a boat....with a slightly dodgy inner ear and a raging hangover. Not a great mixture, let me tell you.

We were in Hobart in early 2003, staying with friends, and they took us out on a little fishing trip, down the Derwent River....and out to Storm Bay, on the edge of the Great Southern Ocean. Perfect day, sunny, not much of a swell, but enough for me to get that rolling feeling in the pit of my stomach. And in spite of all my efforts to not look at the horizon, I ended up....you guessed it...hurling over the side of the boat.

Luckily the boat was a cabin cruiser, complete with bed (smelling slightly of diesel, but beggars can't be choosers) so I could go have a little lie down....and sleep for a couple of hours. Meanwhile the guys were scuba diving and picking crayfish off the ocean floor. Luckily my appetite returned by the time lunch was served.

Here's me - not looking my best - with some of the catch:

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

An unpleasant reminder

Sometimes I get a bit complacent and think I can get away with doing certain things, when I really should know better. So over the weekend I ate the following wheat-based meals:

  • French toast (the healthy kind with egg whites and whey protein, of course)
  • A chicken and salad sandwich
  • A thick slice of banana bread from the French bakery (nothing healthy about this – yum!)
  • Toast with my scrambled egg whites
  • Half a dozen water crackers

Most of this was healthy food, and the quantities were within my meal limits, so it was no big deal as far as calories went. By Monday morning however, my intestines decided that they were very unhappy with the residual starch from all this wheat and I spent the entire day having agonising cramps. Not to mention the lovely bloating that left me looking like I was 5 months pregnant. And for the love of God, nobody had better have stood behind me! Hmm, this might also explain why I was tired and lethargic.....

Once again, I’m reminded that when it comes to diet, sticking to what’s good for you is a really smart idea. *sigh* Back to rice, sweet potato and oats this week.

Thought for the day

Some people are like slinkies.....they're not really good for anything; but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

One more...

Olympia pics

Looks like Jen came up with a novel idea for her routine....as usual. How ripped is she? Lookit those quads!

And Adele:

There are heaps more pics at Bodybuilding.com.