Monday, December 31, 2007

Reflections and plans

Woot! New Year’s Eve…..time to look back and bask in the glory of the year that was. Er…yeah.

Actually, 2007 was a bit fun-sucky a lot of the time. But I’m not going to dwell on the negatives – I’m all about looking forward. So, here’s a quick summary of some of the events of my year and then I’m moving right along…..


The good:


We sold our tiny little house that was bursting at the seams with – well, with us – and signed on the dotted line to buy a little piece of suburban paradise, complete with kangaroos, frogs and various other wildlife. And of course, plans are afoot to build ourselves a McMansion, starting real soon.

Business-wise, things were great; I had some fantastic clients, who worked really hard and I was excited to see them achieve some great things - including Peta's well-deserved Body Blitz win.

I had the good fortune to 'meet' Liz online and late this year made the very wise decision to sign up with her for some online coaching. In a few short weeks, I've seen some huge improvements in my posture, my strength and fitness are on the way up, while the scales are heading nicely downwards.

In April I made my annual pilgrimage to Sydney for Filex and the chance to catch up with my fitness pals, including Selina, Debbie and Jay. Plus I finally met one of my heros, Lindy Olsen, in person - THAT was a highlight, for sure! Oh, and I also learned some stuff while I was there. :)

On the family front, things have been great. The kids all did well at school, with Number One Son passing his first year of uni and The Baby finishing primary school. And they're all happy and healthy, which is the important thing.

And to top it all off, I got through Christmas without gaining mega-kilos, and without depriving myself of anything I really wanted. My weight this morning is precisely where it was 3 weeks ago, before all the celebrating began. Go, me!

The bad:

Selling our house was not a lot of fun. Keeping your home in a spotless state in case prospective buyers came by, whilst still living there, is a REALLY big ask when you have 3 kids.

Moving house joins my bad list – it was over 20 years since we’d last moved, and I’d obviously forgotten just how bad it is. And we still have to do it one more time. Ugh.


The really, really ugly:

I spent a good 4 or 5 months wallowing around in a fog of depression, which saw me taking one step forward and about five steps back in terms of fitness and body composition….. Training and nutrition were a struggle, and on top of that, I was really battling with constant pain from various recurring injuries and underlying postural problems. Winter was just one big fun-suck. :(


BUT, after all of that, I'm not only still standing, but I'm coming back stronger than ever. ROAR!! :) I've also learned a few lessons about taking a more balanced approach to life. Let's hope they stick. I’ll just add that Bike Boy deserves a medal for surviving my craziness, but all he gets is my undying love - luckily he seems pretty happy with that. Awww.....


So onto 2008! And I have some big plans. I’m still formulating them, but just a few of the things ahead of me include:

A brand spanking new FitBodies personal training studio, along with the new house – yay! I’m going to have fun fitting that out. :o)

Phat Camp in March. Can’t wait!

Maybe another trip to Filex….I don’t really need the CECs but there’s always something new to learn and plenty of inspirational people to meet (or to just hang around and stare at, all kind of slack-jawed).

The continuation of my quest for improved fitness, increased muscle and the resolution of my postural problems, ably assisted by Liz. Competing is also back on the cards – but we’ll see how I shape up over the next few months before I make a final decision on that one.


So, a happy New Year to all – I hope that 2008 brings you everything you desire. But I'll let you in on a little secret: your heart's desire is unlikely to just drop into your lap. You have to work for it…..




Cheers!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sure, I need to improve my flexibility

....but not this much!

Bread - and a bonus recipe

A question about wholemeal tortillas on Raechelle's blog got me thinking about the different kinds of bread there are, and which ones are better in terms of nutritional value. Everyone loves a wrap, but our options are pretty limited. Wholemeal tortillas seem to be a common thing in the US, but I've never been able to find them here, so I've had to come up with substitutes. Sometimes I just use white tortillas, sometimes I use the corn ones, but I'm always on the lookout to see what else is available.

I've tried multigrain wraps - I don't recommend them unless you're keen to break a tooth - gluten-free wraps (yikes! tough as old boots!) and all kinds of mountain breads. None of them has really worked well. The one thing I've found that's sensational, and not bad in terms of ingredients, is wholemeal chapatis. They're soft and roll up easily, and I usually find them at Safeway. I can't think of the brand though.....

There's a recipe for them here. I haven't tried it but it sounds simple.

As an alternative with quite a lot of flavour, one of my favourite Indian foods that's easy to make at home is besan flour bread. We got the recipe years ago from an old Women's Weekly cook book, and it's one of my favourites:

1 cup besan flour[1]
2 cups atta flour[2]
1-2 tbs vegetable oil
2 small fresh green chillies, seeded and chopped (optional)
¼ cup chopped coriander leaves
4 spring onions, chopped
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 cup water (approx.)

Sift flours into a large bowl, add oil and mix through with fingertips till well combined – the mix should be slightly crumbly. Stir in all other ingredients except water and mix well. Stir in enough water to make ingredients cling together. Knead dough gently on a floured surface until smooth. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.

Divide into 12 portions, roll out on lightly floured surface to rounds about 16cm in diameter.

Heat a non-stick frying pan and spray with cooking spray. Cook bread rounds over medium heat until golden brown underneath, turn and brown the other side. Repeat until all rounds are cooked.

You could try using different herbs, seeds and spices for variety.

Note: this recipe actually uses ghee, but to make it a little healthier, I’ve substituted vegetable oil. You may need to experiment a little with the quantity of oil.

[1] Besan flour is made from ground chick peas and is available at Indian grocers and some health food stores. You may even find it at Coles in the health food section. It has a nutty flavour - if you like chick peas, you'll love this!
[2] Atta flour is commonly used in Asian cooking, so should be available at Asian or Indian grocers. If you’re unable to get it, substitute plain flour.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Just relaxing


Ah, holidays! I'm really loving having TIME to do things..... or do nothing, if that's what I feel like. It's especially great to have plenty of time for training, and not have to jam it in before/between other commitments.

And it's extra-nice to have time for a walk in the evening, instead of being in a mad rush to get everything done because I have to be in bed by a decent hour so I can get up at the crack of dawn to fit my training in.


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Bike Boy has kicked off his New Year training early, deciding to give Afterburn a go. He was a bit worried that our equipment wouldn't be heavy enough for him, but after doing the first workout yesterday, he's decided that it's quite adequate, thanks. Yeah, those high-rep supersets are pure evil.

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I was dithering over whether to order The New Rules of Lifting for Women, but after reading Skwigg's review, then LizN's post yesterday, I've decided I just have to have it. I can't resist a good fitness book.

If anyone's considering getting it, Amazon works out much cheaper than the Aussie recommended retail price. I ordered an extra book that I've been meaning to buy for ages, and even with Amazon's criminal shipping charges added on, the total works out cheaper than if I'd bought just the one book from a shop here.

We get SO ripped off on books! Grr.....it makes me mad......

Friday, December 28, 2007

So, what did YOU get for Christmas?

Me, I got lots of lovely things, including this:



I've wanted to try those for ages. I think maybe New Year's Eve might be just the right opportunity.

What else did I get? Books, CDs, a pretty bracelet, a foot spa, some luxurious bath sheets, a bright pink hooded sports top, cash (always welcome) and from Bike Boy, a gift voucher from my favourite local day spa/salon. Now I just have to decide what to spend it on. Deluxe facial? Hot rock massage? Body wrap? Decisions, decisions....

In case you're mystified about what you actually DO with wild hibiscus flowers and can't be bothered clicking on the link to find out, here's a hint:

Patience is.....WHOSE virtue?

Not mine, obviously, because I've only been out to the letterbox seventeen gajillion times to see if my copy of Shauna's book has arrived yet. It hasn't.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Recipe alert!

I made the world's best dessert as part of my contribution to yesterday's family lunch. As my Christmas gift to you all, I'm going to share it with you.

If Raspberry-Frangelico tiramisu cake sounds like your thing, go check it out!

By the way, I had one slice and made sure that the leftovers stayed at my sister's house. I'm not stupid.....

What to do with the crappy paper hats and stickers from your Christmas crackers:

.....give them to your youngest cousin, so that he can demonstrate what a total fool he really is.


Monday, December 24, 2007

Hip, hip, HOORAY!

Today is The Baby's birthday. He's only just beginning to realise that having your birthday on Christmas Eve pretty much sucks. Like when relatives can't be arsed sending your present so it gets here on time, because hey, they'll be in town on Boxing Day anyway, and they can save the cost of the postage. *sigh* I've done my best over the years to reinforce to ALL our relatives that his birthday is just as important as everyone else's. Seems the message doesn't sink in with some folks....


We got him a guitar. Yeah. That makes..... *counts on fingers* ......SEVEN guitars in the house now. He's too busy playing Star Wars Lego with his brother to have done much with it so far (You should hear the space-guns and explosions noises coming from the next room). I expect a couple of rellos to rock up today with more graft for him, and Bike Boy plans to take him to Macca's for lunch. I'll pass on that one.


He's 12 today. Only one more year till he's a teenager. Yikes!


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As for my day, I'm about to head off to the shops (briefly) to return some DVDs, buy a mango and some mascarpone, and then I have a date with Coach Troy again. Tomorrow is a rest day from training, but I'll see if I can persuade anyone to join me for a walk after lunch......


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Merry Christmas to all!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

5 things that make me happy

1. It's after eleventy clock and I'm still in my pjs.


2. I just got an email from lovely, lovely Amazon.co.uk to tell me that they've shipped my copy of The Amazing Adventures of DietGirl.


3. I have the entire rest of the day to do my workout. There's no clock ticking, nowhere I need to be and nothing I absolutely have to do. Except my workout, of course.


4. All my Christmas shopping is done and I have no reason to go near the shops over the next few days. Well, maybe the supermarket tomorrow, but I'll go REALLY early before all the lazy arses are even up.


5. The torrential rain has finally stopped and the sun is shining. Probably temporarily, but still.....

Friday, December 21, 2007

*Squeal!*

Yes, yes, I know....this is my third post today. So shoot me - I'm on holidays! Well, apart from that one program I have to finish....

Anyway, I just had to post quickly because this afternoon, just when I was all hot and sweaty from going a few rounds with Coach Troy, there was a knock on the door. It was the postman and he had A PARCEL for me. Eeeeeeeeeeeee! I literally grabbed it out of his hands and jumped up and down. The guy couldn't run back to his van fast enough - can't imagine why.

Why was I excited? Well, apart from the fact that I love getting parcels, this particular one contained (among other things) some Sana Direct vanilla whey. I love this stuff! So of course I had to instantly make myself a post-workout iced coffee super-shake. Mmm.....delish! It's like heaven in a glass. With added caffeine.




*Disclaimer: I would like to reassure readers that I was in no way paid to pimp Sara's products. I don't need to anyway - they're just fabulous. Don't believe me? Go order some - quick, before it all sells out!

Do you feel it?

I recall that when I was a kid, the excitement and joy of Christmas started early in December and just went on and on.....but then, maybe that's just one of those slightly wrong memories that you have as an adult looking back on your childhood.


Over recent years (decades?), it seems to take a lot longer for that old Christmas spirit to hit. I wander through the shops, unaffected by decorations or ridiculous "must buy" gifts on sale. Then one day, I realise that it's snuck up on me and hey, I'm feeling Christmassy! Bike Boy thinks I'm hilarious about Christmas and birthdays, and he likes to ask regularly throughout December: so, are you feeling all Christmassy yet?

It seemed to be completely evading me this year. I finished the Christmas shopping a week ago, all the presents are wrapped, the tree is long since decorated. We even took The Baby for a walk around the neighbourhood a couple of nights ago to check out the lights and decorations, but....nothing. Then this morning I drove over to the office to take care of the admin stuff I forgot to do on Wednesday, and everyone was relaxed and smiling (and leaving early in most cases) and wishing Merry Christmases and Safe New Years all round. Then I walked across to Safeway to pick up a few things, and nobody was frowning or snarling or being cranky. And I found myself humming the Christmas carols they were playing and smiling to myself and then when I walked out with my shopping bags, to be hit by a blast of hot and humid December air, I laughed out loud. Because I realised that today's the day. I'm officially all Christmassed-up. Yay!

It's a little late, sure, but I'll take it.

I may even go write those damn Christmas cards I've avoided up till now. Later though - right now I have a date with Coach Troy.....

P.S.

Dinner was GREAT - we had a fun night, the food was delicious, and I stopped before the button on my pants gave way. All good....

Here are my tips for not overdoing it at a restaurant:

- If water isn't provided, ask for it. Lots of it. We went through two large carafes and I drank most of that. It really helps to slow down the alcohol consumption AND the food as well.

- Make sure you get vegies of some kind. There were four of us and we shared a number of dishes, and I insisted on one of them being a salad. Nobody else touched it, which was fine by me, so I ate just about the entire thing. Again, it helps to fill you up and stop you eating too much other stuff.

- Order foods with lots of flavour. That's pretty easy when you're eating Indian. We had lamb in a spinach sauce, beef vindaloo, a chicken and mango curry and another beef dish that was really peppery. Plus some raita, some naan and rice. And some other stuff I can't remember. With all the spices and delicious tastes, you don't need to stuff yourself silly to feel satisfied. I literally had only one bite of some of the dishes, and that was enough.

- Ensure you have good company, so there's lots of conversation and plenty of laughs. That means less concentrating on the food. :)

- Finally, do a little internal check every so often. Ask yourself: have I had enough? Do I feel satisfied? And I don't mean in a Mr Creosote better-bring-me-a-bucket kind of way. Just stop and listen - we all have that little intuitive 'thing' inside us that tells us we've had enough......even if the voice is so quiet that you don't usually hear it over all the chewing and swallowing. It takes practice to do this when you've been used to eating till every scrap of food is gone, but you can learn to do it. I did.

Best of all, I don't have a horrible food hangover this morning - that's such a good feeling!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas cheer, part II

Just to clarify, in case I gave the wrong impression....... my version of moderation doesn't involve stuffing my face every single day with whatever I feel like. Cos that would hardly be moderation, now would it?

I might have one largish macadamia cookie for morning tea, instead of my usual yoghurt and fruit. Or maybe a couple of wines with dinner and those Lindor balls afterwards. :p Or yesterday's lunch of seafood chowder, followed by turkey with a red wine jus, mashed potato and vegies. The rest of my meals are just good wholesome food, same as I'd normally eat. I don't feel deprived, because I'm having the things I enjoy.

Today's treat will be dinner at an Indian restaurant. There will be wine, but it won't be much, because I've nominated myself designated driver. Smart, see?

Christmas day itself shouldn't be a drama. I'll follow the same approach as last year, which is to have whatever I feel like, but NO PIGGING OUT. I mean, come on - who feels good after they've stuffed themselves silly? The uncomfortably tight waistband, the indigestion, the falling asleep after lunch (and some bloody relative always takes a photo of you sleeping with your mouth open and a little string of drool trickling down your chin), not to mention the guilty feelings.....

Nobody enjoys that, so why put yourself through it? I prefer to get up on Boxing Day (or New Year's Day), knowing that I had a good time, but with no regrets.

Be nice


I picked up a bargain Justin Timberlake CD & DVD combo the other day, and I was having a great time singing along with Sexyback in the car, when I picked Bike Boy up from the station.

Bike Boy: Hello
Me: I’m bringin’ sexy back……hello…..doo-doo-da-doo

Pause

Me: Uh…so I don’t s’pose you really want to listen to Justin?
Bike Boy: I'd rather not
Me: Hey! You be nice to Justin. Justin and I came and picked you up, after all.
Bike Boy: …..

Christmas cheer


So when you're aiming to improve your physique, and part of the plan is to reduce some body fat, this time of year can really mess with the plan, right? Uh...not if you don't let it. I've tried the being strict approach before, and apart from being doomed to failure, it sends you INSANE by the time New Year rolls around.

So, what's the alternative? Just go with the flow, and have a no-holds-barred, big long free day that lasts a week (or two), then worry about the weight gain later? Well, hardly. Here's my approach:

Moderation.

That's it. Nothing earth-shattering, just being sensible with portions and making sure that I still have lots of water, plenty of veggies and a decent amount of protein each day. Stopping at two or three drinks, instead of the entire bottle. Having a small serve of a decadent dessert, but not going back for seconds (tip: eat it sloooooowly). Enjoying a couple of Lindor balls with coffee after dinner - not the whole box.

Over the past couple of weeks, I've had wine, chocolate, dips and snacks, a two-course restaurant lunch, dinner with friends, a dessert or two, and I'll be out for dinner again tonight. I've also continued to train hard....although I have missed a workout or two, thanks to being super-busy and/or extra-tired.

Is it working? You betcha. My weight is holding steady, my clothes still fit and I'm feeling great.

M.O.D.E.R.A.T.I.O.N. .......give it a try.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Hurrah!!

I am officially on holidays from my stuffy part time office job! Words cannot express my happiness. The past couple of weeks have been a bit too jam-packed with stuff for my liking, so some extra me-time is going to be greatly appreciated.

Except.....I forgot to turn on my email out-of-office auto reply and my voicemail before I buggered off for a fabulous lunch. Then there was no time to run back into the office before I headed home (Yes, I went home straight from lunch - it's not like anyone would miss me) to pick up The Baby from school. Which means that I'll have to pop into the office tomorrow or the next day to take care of those little housekeeping tasks, drat it!

Anyway, I'm really looking forward to having extra time for training and sleeping. God, my life is so exciting - bet you wish you were me!

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I had a 'moment' tonight when I realised that the middle child has suddenly shot up, seemingly overnight. I hate it when they get taller than me! He thinks it's pretty cool.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Yum....

I found this on the supermarket shelves the other day:



I can't resist chilli chocolate.

Friday, December 14, 2007

That's the spirit!

I called at our small local shopping centre this morning to pick up a few things. No, I wasn't going to LiquorLand, thanks for asking.

I stopped to smile at the sight of a toddler posing for a photo with Santa, and was very pleased to hear Santa rip out a hearty Ho-ho-ho! Seems this particular Santa has taken no notice of this total bollocks.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

What century is this?

This morning I was super-organised - my workout was done, breakfast out of the way and I even had the washing machine going before I left the house to drop the kids at school. From there I headed directly to the shops to finish my Christmas shopping, arriving at 8:10am, before they were even open. Do you know, it's NO trouble finding a park at that time?

I grabbed a coffee, then successfully raced through Big W, Target and Angus & Robertson, but was foiled in my mission at the post office by the 7,000 pensioners queuing out the door. Drat! I decided to skip that particular errand, and forged onwards.

I was planning to head into LiquorLand next, but it seems our archaic liquor licencing laws don't allow bottle shops to open till 10:00am. Tuh! How's a girl supposed to get her drink on at 9:30 after a hard morning's shopping? .....What? .....WHAT? It was very inconvenient!

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Edit: I just looked up the liquor licensing laws, and it seems that 9:00am till 11:00pm are the allowed trading hours for bottle shops......I suppose that particular Coles is just S.L.A.C.K.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

How to rustle up a (reasonably) healthy family dinner in 10 minutes flat

Tonight I got home at 5:45pm, loaded down with: urgent groceries, picked up at lunchtime, stocking-stuffers (also picked up at lunchtime), dry cleaning and various other crap. Bike Boy is (once again) in Adelaide, Number One Son is working, so it's down to me to provide a delicious, nutritious meal that will appeal to starving and slightly feral children.....and FAST.

Luckily my beloved was prepared for just such a situation (or possibly a nuclear disaster, judging by the stuff we have stockpiled) and had left me a packet of beef tortellini in the fridge. Here's what you do:

Put a big pot of water on to boil, turn on your computer. Switch on the air con (has nobody else noticed how stuffy it is in here?), get changed into favourite trackie dacks and Phat Camp t-shirt. Ahhh....that's better.

Water's boiling - open the packet and tip tortellini into the water. Stir, go check email. Check the stove, turn down the heat, set the timer for 5 minutes. Slice a few mushrooms, rummage in the fridge and find a bag of baby spinach and a jar of Leggo's stir-through sauce.

Delete spam, send a quick reply to a friend who wants to organise dinner next week. Ding! Time's up - drain the pasta, spoon into bowls. Stir sauce through, add a sprinkle of parmesan and place bowls in front of ravenous children. Throw mushrooms and spinach* into my bowl, nuke for 1 minute, stir and eat. Yum!

Leave dishes for the kids to clear up and go do some 'work' on the computer.




This may not be the most unprocessed, natural meal I can make, but it's definitely one of the fastest and nutritionally, it's not bad....



*My family think it's odd that I add spinach to one or two meals almost every single day. My theory is, it worked for Popeye! *flexes biceps*

Monday, December 10, 2007

Ready, set, GO!

Shauna has set a scavenger hunt challenge over at her blog The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl. There are even prizes on offer, and there's still time to enter, so hop to it!

The items you need to "collect" - photographically anyway - are:

1. A bicycle
2. A bald man
3. Elvis
4. Greek yogurt
5. A wedding dress
6. The letter D
7. The letter G

OK.....here we go:



This is a bicycle.....well, a bit of one anyway, with me on it.


My very own resident bald man, doing what all good Aussie men do so well - cooking snags on the barbie.



A young Elvis, and he's even on a bicycle (do I get double points for this one?)

Or, if that won't do, then how about the Elvis Love Me Tender bicycle:


I know, I know, that's seriously weird.

Moving right along........

Greek yoghurt, out of my pantry - this one was EASY! Geez, gimme a real challenge next time. (I'm kidding, Elvis was a toughie)


Next, a genuine 1980s frothy lace, exploding-meringue wedding dress - with me in it. Aww, kiss-kiss!


This contest entry was proudly brought to you by the letters D (actually two for the price of one here, smack in the middle of Freddo).....


.......and G (as in good old Aussie Vegemite):


Right. That's me done. Now we wait to see who will win ....... *bites nails in suspense*

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Mmmm....still busy

So, what am I occupying my spare time with? Uh....spare time? What's that? Let's see......

The Middle Child had a mate sleep last night over as a belated birthday celebration. Rohan is kind of, um...energetic. Yeah. And LOUD. And yesterday I took them to the movies, and we were cruising the shopping centre carpark, trying to find a space (at 1:00pm on a SATURDAY) (In DECEMBER!!!) and The Middle Child says: Oops! I left the Hoyts vouchers at home. Aargh! *holds onto temper* *barely* Then....THEN it turns out that Rohan has left his student ID at home and the movie is rated MA and they won't let him in. *breathes deeply*

We find another movie, I leave them at the cinemas and head off on a Christmas shopping oddessy with The Baby. Let's not go into details, but it was not a fun experience. Everyone was cranky, the shops were all understaffed, nobody had anything I wanted, I had to bribe my youngest child with many, many useless purchases to prevent an onset of whinging, and the highlight of my day was the scoop of moccacino ice cream on the way back to the car.

I also had to forage around at the second hand book sale (total waste of time) and wait for my number to be called *yawn* at the school uniform shop.

Today was just as busy, but mainly because I was forced to do the dreaded housework. Things were WAY out of control and it was time.... My family have been informed that they may NOT:

  • Eat food in the house
    Use the toilets
  • Or the bathrooms
  • Put anything anywhere
  • Walk on any floor that has been cleaned. That would be all of them. So, best learn levitation, thanks so much.

Any trangression will be punished by death.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Woot!

I've been hanging out at the letterbox like 17 times a day this week, because Liz posted my latest DVD order on Monday. FINALLY, it arrived today! Geez, I could have walked from Brisbane to Melbourne in less time.... mmm..... OK, maybe not.

So I now have two new workouts to have *gulp* fun with:

Spinervals Ultra Leg Strength Builder




and some more fun and games from Amy Bento, this time with the BOSU:


I also *might* have got something special for Bike Boy's Christmas stocking.....but since he reads this blog to find out what I've been up to (God knows, we rarely see each other), I ain't saying.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

I love.....

.....a peach so juicy, you have to eat it over the sink.

Photo tag

I've been tagged by Debstar. The challenge is to post the photo that you have on your desktop.

*ahem* Here's the thing: I got a new laptop (OK, so it was months ago, don't get picky) and I haven't actually got around to adding any wallpaper other than the Windows Vista default. *yawn*

But I DO have several image files located on my desktop, because I'm too lazy to file them properly, so officially, I suppose those are "photos on my desktop", no? Look, that's as good as you're going to get, so just shut up.

So I present.......a photo of my extremly crooked self:


Gasp in amazement at the freak! Marvel at how one leg is shorter than the other! (even though I'm cheating and have my right heel raised slightly) See how the left side is all scrunched up, while the right side is stretched!

This was taken quite a while ago, about 18 months or so, but it's the most recent of the pics I have there. It's also the least 'fat' photo of me, amongst the collection ....but of course that had nothing to do with why I chose it.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Oh, and...


I had a birthday the other day. :o) No cake, but there was champagne.

It also happens to be The Middle Child's birthday and he's now the proud owner of a shiny new bass and amplifier. There's been a lot of doompa-doompa-doompa going on in our house.

What did I get? I got bling and smelly stuff and flowers and gift vouchers. And Bike Boy is taking me to see Spamalot after Christmas - that should be fun.

How could you not love this?

Training has been fun this week. Well.... fun if you're clinically insane, anyway.

Sunday I did a treadmill workout, followed by both upper AND lower body, since I'd missed an earlier training session and felt like making up for it. Monday, I took it outdoors. I thought it was going to be a wash-out, but in between thunderstorms I found a window of opportunity. So I had the workmen who were putting in a new subdivision scratching their heads and wondering what the hell I was doing, as I did hill sprints and walking lunges and all kinds of fun things.

Yesterday morning my Spinervals workout was interrrupted by an annoying nosebleed, which left me not enough time to finish it before I had to go.....but I sorted that out by leaving work early, just so I could fit it in before dinner last night.

Today I was up at 5:15 to get to the gym for another treadmill workout, plus my all-new upper body workout. Lucky it was upper body, because my legs don't actually seem to be functioning all that well. Let's hope I don't have to walk up any stairs today.....

Friday, November 30, 2007

And in other news....


Our land finally settled last week. There's been no time for celebrating yet, but I DO have a bottle of Chandon Vintage in the fridge.

I wonder if the neighbours would think it odd to see us wander across the creek, bottle, glasses and folding chairs in hand, then set up camp on the bare dirt while we drink a toast to our new home?


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We're also off to see the builder in an hour or so to sign our names (in blood, maybe?) to a contract promising to pay a scary amount of money for them to construct our very own McMansion. The master bedroom's so big we may need a map and compass to find our way out....

The foundations won't even be dug for several weeks yet, but at last it's beginning to seem real.


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We're in full end-of-year mode with a barrage of notes (and accompanying requests for money, of course) for school outings, parties etc being brought home. 3 weeks and counting!

Karate also finishes soon, and both the younger boys have been graded. The Middle Child is now proudly sporting a junior brown belt, and The Baby is pretty happy with his new green belt.

Must take a photo......


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I've organised my Christmas leave. I finish up on the 19th and don't go back to the salt mines till after Australia Day. Bliss! I'm also actually taking a couple of weeks off from the business. Bike Boy will believe that when he sees it.

You gotta see this!

Sara sent me this - it made me laugh out loud. I spat porridge on my keyboard. Yes, I am classy.

Roll on 2014!

I love that my kids get a free State education. Yeah. I'm just adding up the book lists, the uniform order, the school camps and the materials & services list (because they're not 'fees'....we don't use the F-word; parents might think they're actually getting charged or something...) and it's beginning to get scary.

Because I'm thrifty (I even got a badge for it in Brownies), I usually manage to hand down uniforms, scrounge some second hand books from a neighbour and get a free stationery kit for paying the fees...oops, I mean materials and services levy...early. THIS time however, we're getting ripped off on the uniform front. The school decided to change their uniform a couple of years ago. The transition period ends this year, so next year I have to buy the Middle Child all new shirts and sports uniform and I can't pass any of his old stuff down to The Baby, who's starting Year 7. I also know nobody who has a child in the right year to help me out with second hand books. Dammit!

So, looks like the free stationery kit is the only saving I'll be making this time round.

Still, it could be worse - I could have forked out $300,000 or so over the years for my 3 kids to attend some uptight posh private school and turn out to be complete knobs with an over-inflated sense of entitlement. But then that would never happen. For one thing, we can't afford it, and for another, even if we could, it would make me cringe to be a part of that whole "I'm better than you because I spend more on my child" system.

And by the way, what he said.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Quickie

I've started writing several posts over the last few days, but got sidetracked - I bin busy!

Saturday went well - it was a looooooong day, and I was all hot, sweaty, tired and oh-my-aching-back by the time I got home around 11:00pm. But we had no dramas during the day, our ballot papers balanced and I will get paid for my trouble....eventually.

Sunday, I slept in, trained for hours and hours (well, it seemed like it), folded a mountain of washing, picked up a few groceries, and suddenly it was night time again. Then from Monday, it was back to my usual full-on workload.

On top of all that, Number One Son had a misadventure last week......long story, but it involves a wet night, a powerful car (Ours, not his. Of course.) and I suspect a bit of showing off for the benefit of the female friend in the passenger seat. Consequence? Mangled car, but no missing body parts of the human variety. *sigh* It has involved an enormous amount of stress, but we're getting things sorted out now and blah, blah, could-have-been-worse..... *checks for new grey hairs*

On the plus side, I didn't console myself by eating my own weight in chocolate. :)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Madness

It's been a fairly fun-sucky week, for many, many reasons which I'm just not going into right now. And to top it off, I'm spending tomorrow working from 7:00am till around 10:00pm at a polling place. Yes, I've obviously lost my mind, because I said last time I was never doing this again. Of course, I have been doing it for 23 years.....

SO. If you happen to be casting your vote in the electoral division of Jaga Jaga, you might just run into me. If you do, say hi. :) I'll probably be glad of the distraction.

Weird, man!

Sara's been having a spate of hits on her blog, generated by searches for "spiky butt ball". (Seriously, it wasn't me!). People look for the strangest things.....

I haven't checked recently, but a while back these were the weirdest search strings that led people to my blog:

‘photo of girls ass in a superwoman g-string’

what are budgie smugglers’

‘babe hunting’

The second one I get the relevance of, there was mention of budgie smugglers in a post waaaay back. But the others? What the....?

So far, no-one has searched for "ugly elephant toenails". Phew.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Recipe alert!

Bike Boy came home from the butcher/greengrocer yesterday with some treats for me. He thought I might like a change from the usual, so picked up a few things I haven't had in a while; a lovely ripe mango and some alfalfa sprouts among them. So last night's salad, which involved barbecued chicken, got a bit of a makeover from the usual.

Chicken and mango salad, anyone?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Wasted.....in that GOOD kind of way


Today Coach Troy kicked my butt for over an hour with some Aero Base Builder . Yeah, that was good.

I really look forward to my Spinervals workouts, but I have to admit that by the time I'm about 40 minutes in, my mind starts to do that are we nearly finished yet? thing. It was pretty warm early this morning, and I had to leave at 7:30 to go train a client, so again I was a bit late starting. Thank goodness for the air con! I shifted the bike to a slightly different position today so that it was right under the vent. Aahhh!

As for progress, things are tracking just fine, thanks. Weight's decreasing - although there have been a couple of upward swings (Damn that spring racing carnival!!) and so far I've shifted the hugely impressive amount of 'about' 4kg. Which I'm perfectly happy with. I'll do a proper check on Monday, which will be the 9 week mark, for an 'official' weight. I finally remembered to check measurements today and the really good news is that I've stripped 6cm off my waist, and have recorded smaller reductions everywhere else. Except my chest, which has shrunk by 8cm.

Now I need to get back to important stuff, like deciding what's for lunch. Which I'll go make, as soon as my legs start working again.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Congratulations, Kat!

It was great to see a Kiwi BFL buddy of mine take out third place in the recent NABBA North Harbour comp. Kat decided kind of last-minute to do this comp, after being bitten by the bug last year and winning a second and then first place over two consecutive weekends.


In spite of the short time she had to prepare this time around, she did a great job, and walked away with third place.




Kat also happens to be a kick-arse drummer in a punk girl-band that has quite a following. She may just be the coolest person I know. :)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Tagged again!

What IS this, playtime in the schoolyard? All this tagging going on.

This one is courtesy of Cheryl.

FOUR DISHES I LIKE TO COOK.............

Raspberry & Frangelico tiramisu cake
Malteser fudge slice
Lemon tart
Choc-mint cheesecake

Hmm, see a pattern here? I blame it on a gene I must have got from my paternal grandmother. She had a shocking sweet tooth and always said that she’d far rather give the main course a miss and have two desserts instead.

FOUR QUALITIES I LIKE IN PEOPLE...............

Punctuality.
Common sense (which Bike Boy always says should be called UNcommon sense, since if it was common everyone would have it. And clearly they don’t.)
A sense of humour
Loyalty

FOUR PLACES I HAVE BEEN....................

Thailand
Fiji
Tassie
Cloncurry. Yeah, that was an experience!

FOUR THINGS IN MY BEDROOM..............

A suitcase I’ve yet to unpack since we moved in two-and-a-half months ago
A stack of fitness magazines and my book on the floor next to the bed. Oh OK, AND a trashy mag.
9 pillows and cushions. Bike Boy can’t see the point…..
A bottle of water on the bedside table

FOUR DIRTY WORDS I LIKE TO USE..............

Me? Use dirty words? As if! OK, try these:

Bollocks
Crap
Armpit
Bathmat

Those last two are courtesy of my brother in law - try saying them forcefully, drawing out the first syllable.... nice ones to use around kids. :)

It's about time!

I've neglected my poor food blog recently, but I finally found a minute to post up a new recipe. Of sorts.....

Check it out.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Selina is doing a "thing" to raise funds for the National Breast Cancer Foundation. It happens to be one of my favourite charities and I promised to pimp her cause.

So go visit her to see what you can do to help.

Tag! You're it!

LizN tagged me. I have to list five random facts about myself that people may not know.

OK then....

1. I can’t stand strangers invading my personal space. If you don’t know me, or we’re barely acquainted, the boundary is over there, Buster. WAAAY over there. Like, the other side of Bass Strait would be good. Thanks.

2. I see dead people. Not in a creepy Hayley-Joel Osment kind of way, but I do have very realistic dreams about departed loved ones. In these dreams I know that they’re dead, but we’re having a great old time together anyway. I like to believe that they’re paying me a visit. Or maybe haunting me, in the case of my friend Michael – he always loved to take the piss.

3. I like scones with butter and Vegemite. Bike Boy thinks that’s weird. Dunno why, they’re only a kind of bread. Unless you’re one of those people who puts sugar in their scones….why do you DO that? Anyway, I have a reputation in my family for putting Vegemite on everything. I loved it beyond reason when I was a kid. My Grandma used to say that she wouldn’t be surprised if I asked for ice cream with Vegemite. Hello, Grandma? I'm not INSANE, you know!

4. I can keep a lot of figurative balls in the air at once, but when things get completely crazy in my life with more packed into my day than any human should be asked to handle, the first thing to go is housework. Actually, even when I’m not busy, I’ll find anything to do to avoid housework. The daily Sudoko, filing my nails, updating my Facebook* profile, staring at my navel…The thing is, I love my house to be spotless. I just don’t want to be the one to make it that way. *sigh* I SO need a cleaning lady again.

5. I’m a big fan of afternoon naps and I think they should be made law. Bugger education, more affordable housing, shorter hospital waiting lists and handouts for childcare, where’s the policy on compulsory siestas for all Australians? The party that promises to introduce the Rejuvenation for All Australians (Necessary Afternoon Post-luncheon Slumber) Act 2008 (to be known as the NAPS Act 2008 for short) wins my vote!

Hmm, I may have re-hashed some old stuff there, but tough. I must be off, I've things to do…. not housework, though.

I tag: Anyone who wants to play. I've totally lost track of who's already done this meme.

***********

* Facebook is FAB for avoiding housework….you can spend hours doing important stuff like trawling around for HIL-ARIOUS YouTube videos like this one:


Monday, November 12, 2007

I rest my case

Just thought I'd take a moment to explain exactly how much I detest supermarket shopping. See post below.

Here's the thing: I used to quite like grocery shopping, when I had fewer responsibilities, fewer mouths to feed and a hell of a lot more spare time. In fact, Bike Boy and I used to make an outing of it on a Thursday night. He'd push the trolley, and I'd try to stop him filling it up with crayfish and Tim Tams, and actually squeeze a few veggies in there too. Often we'd run into some good friends of ours doing their shopping, and the boys would have a shopping trolley smash-up derby in the car park, bless their infantile little hearts. :)

It was leisurely, we could buy what we liked without having to think about who doesn't eat THAT (this week), or even how much it cost...since we were buying stuff-all in terms of quantity, really, we only bought the bestest.

These days, being rather time-poor, and having to deal with the likes and dislikes of 5 family members, I tend to suffer from:

a) supermarket rage (like road rage, only the people who cause it are FAR stupider and even less aware that they're not the ONLY person in the universe) or

b) a case of helpless, teary frustration when those bastards at Safeway play their petty supermarket mind games with me and move the mustard. Again.

I think out of 22 pay periods so far this year, I've managed to avoid the odious task for at least 12. There should seriously be a prize for that.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Grocery shopping aversion

Me: I'm going to the supermarket. Anything you want?

Bike Boy: Potatoes. And heat beads.

Me: OK, I'm getting fruit, bread and school snacks too.

Bike Boy: That should see us through to pay day. And you've successfully avoided doing the fortnightly shopping once again.

Me: Yeah. I actually thought about doing it for a minute or so last week. But then I got over it.

It feels good when you stop

Yesterday's workout just didn't happen. By the time I finished with clients and did some important ricotta cheese shopping, it was heading towards lunchtime and it was WARM. The idea of climbing into the saddle and allowing Coach Troy to reduce me to a sweaty, red-faced, heave-up-a-lung mess in those conditions appealed about as much as having my fingernails pulled out with rusty pliers.

So I exercised my right to procrastinate and I put it off till this morning - a much better idea! :D

Today's fun-fest was Enter the Red Zone, which I believe I've mentioned before with great loathing. Did I ever mention that I hate isometric squats? Doing a variety of intense stuff on the bike, then sets of 30+ squats in 30 seconds and THEN holding an iso squat for up to 1 minute? That may well be the definition of insanity. But I nailed those suckers.

Go, me!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Progress....yeah!

Yesterday I saw my physio for some much needed work on my neck and upper back. I can now turn my head to the right - which makes driving a much safer experience for all concerned.

The big news is, there are already signs of improvement in my wonky hips, and I feel less uneven, so that's all good. Actually, I'm seeing improvements in my legs too - my muscles look and feel bigger and stronger, especially my calves. Which is very pleasing in such a short time. All the cycling and Liz's torture ...uh, I mean training program.... is definitely paying off. It's worth all the strange looks I get at the gym, with my bands and balls and funky exercise moves.

My cardio fitness is improving rapidly, I'm increasing my weights and shrinkage is happening at a steady pace. All of which makes me feel great. And none of it is due to starving myself on stupid diet rations either. I'm really enjoying my food - the variety, the quantity, the frequency, the freedom to have what I want.

This morning, what I wanted was some ricotta cheese. I didn't know I wanted it till I called at the wholesale butcher/grocer nearby to pick up milk and had a browse. I spotted a tub of Donnybrook Farmhouse ricotta in the dairy section and just had to have it. I do like to support local producers, after all. I was starving when I got home, so no time for anything fancy - I just threw it in a bowl with some natural yoghurt and chopped strawberries and just a sprinkling of Xylitol. Mmm.

********

I'm just about finished week 8 of my 12 week challenge-of-sorts, so I'd better get out the tape measure and check progress in the next day or two. I'll post an update soon.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Don't quit your day job

Woohoo! I won! Yippee! Yay, me!

What's that? How much did I win? *counts on fingers* At the end of the day, I'm ahead the grand sum of $15.

Yeah, perhaps I'm not destined to be a professional punter.

Had a great day, anyway.... :o)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Preparations


I have a LOT to do tonight. Tomorrow I'm off to the Oaks, and I don't want to go looking like I just climbed out of bed and pulled on the first clothes I could find ....which is pretty much my usual look, come to think of it. Meh. Who can be bothered at 4:30am anyway?

So, the primping and preening is due to start any minute. God knows, it takes a lot longer these days to get myself looking presentable. If I'd been at all organised, I'd have booked a spray tan and a manicure for today, got my legs waxed earlier in the week and had my hairdresser on standby tomorrow morning. In my dreams, I'd have done all that and tomorrow I would disembark at the race course with smooth, glowing, golden skin, a fabulous and obviously professional "do" and people would be gasping in admiration as I walked past in my perfectly fitting designer outfit. In reality, the best I could manage was to actually have my outfit all planned and purchased by last week. Hey, give me some credit for that, I've been busy!

Tonight I'll defuzz legs, slap on a quick moisturising face mask and hopefully manage a DIY manicure. Then tomorrow, I'll do my best with my hair and pray that my hat covers most of it. I plan on having a great day anyway - I definitely won't be spending hours looking in the mirror and wishing I was browner/thinner/blonder or whatever. My lippy might get re-applied once or twice, but after I leave the house, that's as much attention as I'll be paying to my appearance.

Uh....I've just been eating raw carrots and I now have yellow-stained fingertips. That's going to go so well with my pink nail polish.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Go, you good thing!


I love Melbourne Cup Day. First, it's a holiday, always good. And there's horsies and colourful jockeys and fashion to admire on the TV - and maybe even some money to win.

I do like to have a bet, but rarely get the time to think about it these days. So I logged onto my TAB account this morning, intending to transfer some money into it, and discovered to my delight that I had $53 in there. From the Spring Racing Carnival last year. Er....completely forgot about it.

So I've placed bets on the Cup for all the family and I've already donated a couple of dollars on race 3 - I never said I was any good at betting. Maybe I'll have better luck with race 5.

I'm saving most of my bets for Thursday, when I'll actually be trackside at Flemington. Well, up in the stands, anyway. I'm way past enjoying getting sunburnt and jostled by pissed idiots and carefully avoiding placing my new shoes in the puddles of vomit down on the lawn. I'll be one of the civilised ladies in the Hill Stand, with my hat on straight and a glass of champagne in hand.

I'll wave to you all. Cheers!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Who doesn't love a freebie?


You may have read my posts about Spinervals workouts and my love/hate relationship with Coach Troy and wondered what the HELL is she on about? Well, here's your chance to find out.

Bicycling Australia magazine includes a free DVD this month. On the disc there's an interview with Tour de France legend Cadel Evans and some other stuff, but the thing that made me squeal with excitement (thanks for the heads-up, Amanda!) was the 30-minute Spinervals workout. And for freeeeeeeee! Well, apart from the $9-something price of the mag, anyway. But a full Spinervals DVD usually costs over $50, so it's a steal!

I often buy the mag for Bike Boy anyway - it keeps him quiet and out of trouble for hours.

Food, fitness and frustration

On the 3 days each week that I work in the corporate world, I make my lunch in the office kitchen and carry it the 20 or so metres to my desk. On my journey across that vast distance, I can guarantee that at least 3 people will eye off my plate of delicious marinated grilled chicken breast, sweet potato and enormous pile of fresh salad as they pass and say “Gee, that looks healthy!” This comment is almost always accompanied with a cat’s bum expression of distaste. Then they continue on their way (via the lift, God forbid they should walk down two flights of stairs) to buy their usual pie/pizza/fish and chips or whatever.

This annoys the crap out of me. My usual reply is “yes, and it’s delicious too”, said with a smile. Inwardly I’m gritting my teeth and restraining myself from punching them in the face.

Last week, I heard that a woman who I don’t know very well – let’s call her Mary – has just returned to work after a long absence due to illness. Turns out she had stomach cancer. She’s now in remission following chemotherapy and (I think) surgery. Mary has always been known to eat a healthy diet, isn’t overweight and does yoga regularly. Somehow, in the minds of many of the stupid people I work with, this translates into some sort of justification for their sit on your arse all day and cram junk food into your gob lifestyle. I mean, look at the logic of it: Mary spent years eating vegies and avoiding trans-fat laden foods and other nasties, plus doing all that tedious exercise, and she still got cancer. So what’s the point of being healthy? You may as well enjoy yourself, eat what you want and be a big fat couch potato.

This is the point in the conversation where I usually begin to bang my head repeatedly on my desk. And where I have to suppress the urge to scream, “You are all complete MORONS!”

The people I work with are a pretty average cross-section of society, and I see/hear this attitude everywhere I go. My approach to food and exercise is a great mystery to most of the people I know. I’m often asked why I do it, in a tone that conveys a complete lack of comprehension. It’s like I come from a different planet or something. The idea that training can be fun, that achieving fitness goals is satisfying and that eating well is NOT boring or in any way a deprivation just doesn’t compute. I find it a huge relief on the rare occasions when I’m with other health-conscious people or fitness enthusiasts, because I never have to justify myself or my choices.

So it was kind of gratifying to see the release of the report this week from the World Cancer Research Fund: Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer. I won’t go into detail about it here - you can click on the link and go read it yourself if you’re at all interested. But it pretty much backs up everything I already knew about eating well, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy bodyweight and how those things affect the risk of cancer. Sara blogged about it already anyway, and I don’t have much to add to her comments.

I did consider printing the report and leaving copies on all the desks around me next week, but *sigh* that would just be a big old waste of trees. I’m sure that the reaction would be oh-so-predictable, along the lines of NZ talkback radio callers, as reported by Sara: From what I've heard, the recommendation that has got people most agitated is no. 5, the only suggestion that actually contains the word 'avoid'. One phone-in actually said 'what? no salami? I'd rather get cancer!'. Just about all of the phone-ins had something to whine about. One woman got completely worked up over the supposed 'fattist' report. She thought that the focus on weight was just another way for society to make fat people feel bad about themselves. Then there was the usual inundation of callers droning on with their take on ' but it's so ... boring/ expensive/ inconvenient/ antisocial/ time-consuming to eat healthy food'

Yeah, I think I’ll save my breath.

On a similar subject, Liz blogged about her experience with genetic profiling – testing to determine certain predispositions and the way your body responds to various factors. The point of the testing isn’t to sit around feeling sorry for yourself because you have a high risk of heart disease/diabetes/whatever (poor me, I may as well eat donuts and watch Oprah all day, because I’m going to DIE YOUNG ANYWAY!) Rather, it’s to help identify ways that you can tailor your nutrition and training to maximise health and athletic performance, once you know your genetic strengths and weaknesses.

I’m seriously considering giving it a go myself. Imagine being able to do everything within your power to give your body its best chance of perfect health. I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t want to do so…..

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Breathe....just breathe.....

I stir in my sleep, turn over and then register that there's a glimmer of daylight filtering through the blind. Brain starts to go ....light....means something...uh.... morning? .....mmm....daylight=not so early.... mmff... whatimeisit? *yawn*....look at clock ...6:15... mmm.... tired....

6:15??!! Omigod, omigod, OMIGOD!! I was supposed to meet my client an hour ago!!!! Late, late, LATE!! LAAAAAAAAAATE!!! *springs out of bed*

*pauses* Hold on....what day is it today? Friday... no, Saturday. *breathes again* First client's not till 8:00am.

Nothing like starting the day with a totally unnecessary case of panic.

Where did THAT time go?


Number One Son is 20 years old today. Twenty. Two-zero. And I have no idea where those years actually went. One minute he was a sweet little 7lb 11oz baby with tiny little fingers and toes, then ZOOM....suddenly he's a fully-grown man with size 12 feet.

To celebrate leaving his teenage years behind, he's off to the races. We actually had the honour of his company for about 15 minutes this morning - long enough for him to collect his birthday loot - before he headed out dressed impeccably in suit and tie, and with his wallet stuffed full of cash, to meet his mates.

He'll have a great time, and finish the day pissed, dishevelled and broke. And possibly vomiting in a gutter somewhere. Just as it should be on your 20th birthday.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Dirty trick

I did a mean thing this morning. I told my 5:30am client that I'd do some cardio with her, you know ...to help motivate her, give her moral support, blah, blah. What I didn't tell her was that we were going to do MY planned cardio workout for today.

So we got on the ellipticals, side by side and off we went. 10 minutes in, she was begging for mercy. Did I ever mention that mercy isn't one of my virtues? We went 30 minutes or thereabouts and she kind of melted off the machine and into a gasping, heaving puddle on the floor. I handed her a towel and some water.

Then I made her do a leg resistance session.

>:D

She actually did really, REALLY well. And let me tell you, if she wasn't there, I'd have been tempted to just quit after 15 minutes myself. I hate those things! So who was motivating whom?

***************

My abs are only just beginning to feel the first twinges of DOMS. I can't wait for tonight till it really kicks in.

That was sarcasm, in case you're wondering.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

NOW I remember

...why I always train early in the morning. Today however, I couldn't do so because:

- Bike Boy needed to use the spin bike before he went to work, since he had to fly off to somewhere exotic this afternoon. Well, Hobart anyway.
- I had to get kids up and organised and drive them to school.
- When we were almost at school, The Baby announced that he'd forgotten his lunch, so then we had to detour to the shops to make sure he didn't starve, meaning I got back home much later than planned.
- AND I had an appointment to get my tax done.

Then the day just got busy and somehow I ended up doing my workout after 6:00pm. It's not pleasantly cool at that time of day. It's downright unpleasant, in fact. Ick.

Today's workout was a new one I just got from Liz this week. It was a leg burning, ab-shaking, lung-bursting sweat-fest.


And by the way, I'm not exactly loving Coach Troy whilst in the middle of one of his torture sessions. Afterwards, it's a different story. I'm growing kind of fond of him.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

You may delay, but time will not*

Yikes! I just looked at the little clock in the bottom right-hand corner of my screen, and it's after 3:00pm? How did THAT happen? Oh right, that would be a) the hour we lost due to daylight saving beginning and b) the extra hours I lost because I stayed up till a stupidly late hour watching T2 with The Middle Child, and then slept in till 10:00. Which is really only 9:00.

It will take me about a week to adapt - my body clock will be screaming NO-O-O-O-O!! when I try to drag myself out of bed at 4:30am, because HELLO?? It's really only 3:30am.

And it will probably take me an extra week to stop saying "but it's really only........ "


*The title of this post is a quote attributed to Benjamin Franklin

Saturday, October 27, 2007

What price health?


I've recently had a couple of people comment to me that they "can't afford" to eat healthy food, because it's too expensive, and that kind of floored me. I've been giving it some thought and while I haven't actually sat down and done price comparisons, I don't think that a tight budget means you have to eat crap.

We've been through some very lean times in the past financially, but we never compromised on food quality. Sure, we weren't eating eye fillet.... but it's amazing what you can do with cheap cuts of meat and a bit of imagination. Chuck steak makes a great casserole, chicken thighs (well-trimmed, of course) a fabulous curry. Fruit and veggies really aren't expensive if you buy what's in season. And grains, beans, potatoes and the like are always cheap. You can also grow an awful lot of veggies yourself, even if you don't have much space - I love me a fresh tomato, straight from the vine! Bulk buys, shopping at markets, haunting the meat section at the supermarket on Sunday mornings when they mark everything down to sell it fast.....there are lots of ways to save money.

I also know that these same people complaining about the high cost of good food have cable TV, the latest mobile phone, a fridge full of beer. There's nothing wrong with those things, but what's more important? Call me cynical....

I know what my priorities are. How about you?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Whee! Whoopee!! *jigs up and down*

My BOSU came today!! I'm so excited, I had to pump it up immediately and play with it.

I got home from our appointment with the builder and THERE. WAS. A. PARCEL. ON. THE. DOORMAT. Eeeeeeee!!!


Oh. Yeah. Did I mention we were seeing the builder today? And it's all good. Contracts and plans coming up in 3 weeks. Thunderbirds are go and all that.

But, my BOSU came!!!
:o) :o) :o)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Ooh, Fabulous!

Kathryn was kind enough to award me this:


The award was created by Ann and Christy and the idea is to pass it on to bloggers who are "fun, cool, and of course, Totally Fabulous!"

Now I get to pass it on to some more bloggers.....I'll think about it and be back with my nominations, once I emerge from this pile of paperwork I'm currently ploughing my way through.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

*#%*!

Today's workout was Spinervals Enter the Red Zone. Was it a good workout? Well, yeah! Was it fun? Uh...let's just say that I was swearing at Coach Troy like I had Tourette's.

Yeah. THAT kind of workout.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Need new scales?

How about something other than the plain old run of the mill white, black or clear glass ones? Maybe something like this?



There are lots more funky designs to choose from at art de toilette.

When....?

To answer all the questions about WHEN I'm likely to be competing (OK, so there were only 2 questions...no need to be picky!), that's a looooong way off yet. My plan is for late next year, but we'll see how I shape up. Nothing's set in concrete, as they say.

My big priority is fixing all my various problems. There's no point looking good if you feel like crap...and even looking good would be a big ask at the moment, with the weird twisty tilt to my pelvis and my screwy shoulders. Seriously, you know that nursery rhyme about the crooked man who walked a crooked mile? The one with the crooked dog and the crooked stile? I think I'd fit right in.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Wazzup?

I've had a few questions from various people lately along the lines of: So, Kek...what are you up to, and where are you at in terms of, you know, training these days?

The answer is a little complicated. Over the last few weeks I've been thinking (over-thinking?) about what my goals are and how far from them I am right now, what kind of training I want/need to do, how the HELL I'm going to fix my ongoing shoulder/arm/lower back issues and about a billion other things. All at the same time. Seriously, you wouldn't want to look inside my brain sometimes, it's like a washing machine in there; all kinds of stuff just tumbling around, getting tangled up. And me just hoping it comes out all clean and fresh at the end. :-)

Anyway. It's been a tough winter, and I've done enough moping and wallowing to last several lifetimes....luckily for me, my family didn't pack up and leave me. But I'm well over all that now, and I'm feeling positive and confident and all that good stuff. But I still just wasn't sure where I was heading. Maybe I should train for a fun run? A bike event? Or just work on cutting some winter blubber and improving my shape? Aargh! My problem is, I usually want to do several things all at once - and chances are, they're completely in conflict with each other.

So I did what I always do when things get all confusing and overwhelming - I wrote a list. I listed everything I want to achieve, no matter how far-fetched, and then put them in order of importance. And then it all seemed so OBVIOUS. Well, the what was obvious, but the how was another story.

These were my Big Five goals:

1) Fix my ongoing injuries and other issues, all of which basically stem from postural problems.
2) Reduce body fat back to an acceptable level - this one's already well underway.
3) Improve cardio fitness (yeah, THAT'S gone by the wayside these past few months!)
4) Add some muscle where needed, always keeping symmetry and function in mind.
5) Compete!

Cutting fat's easy, so's improving fitness. Correcting muscle imbalances and rehabilitating injuries...that's trickier and requires some expert help. As for competition preparation, I've got NO idea there, never having done it before. Besides, since I spend all day writing programs for clients, the last thing I want to do is to have to think about my own. So I decided it was time to call in the big guns and I contacted LizN. I knew that Liz was super-busy, but I was praying she'd have space for me.... I suspect she took pity on me and all my crookedness (or perhaps she just really likes a challenge?) because she agreed to take me on - yay!

It's going to be a long road, but I'm excited! And did I mention sore, after yesterday's workout?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

WH & F helps you get Jessica Alba's body!

That was the subject line of the email I got today from Sportzblitz publications, who produce Women's Health & Fitness, among other edifying magazines. Of course, I immediately thought of several dozen men who'd be very happy to get Ms Alba's body.

Or is that not what they meant?


Sunday, October 14, 2007

*yawn* Is that the time? * blink*

I've backed off from training clients one-on-one over the last few months, only keeping on a couple of regulars and the odd casual. The cut-back was mainly because of the domestic upheaval that was going on, plus my online workload was plenty full-on, thanks very much. But now that we're all settled into our temporary home, I've been itching to get back into some hands-on (so to speak) training.

Seems it's a case of be careful what you wish for, because I now have a client booked for training sessions 3 times a week at 5:15am for the next month at least, starting tomorrow. That means I'm back to getting up at oh-my-God-o'clock on those days.

*sniff* I've enjoyed my lazy weeks of sleeping in till 6:30am. Oh well.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Fame #2

Things are getting exciting in Blog land! Shauna, who writes the fab blog The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl, has been secretly slaving away over her computer for months now, writing a book, which is about to be published! It's due out on the 1st January in the UK and shortly after in Australia and New Zealand. The title of this literary gem is, of course, The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl - what else?

You all should go pre-order a copy now, if only for the graphic on the front cover. Doesn't she look cute in a superhero suit? I'm still trying to convince her to wear it for book-signings. ;-)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Fame

As I've mentioned before, Batty F is the November winner of the Women's Health & Fitness Body Blitz competition. The magazine should be out at the end of next week, but you can go read her story and see her fab transformation right now on the Sportzblitz site.

Girl, you done good. Am I proud? You betcha! I feel like one of my kids won the school captaincy or the big sports trophy. Or something. *sniff* Hand me a tissue, someone.

Show & tell

Most mornings, I drag myself out of bed, pull on some clothes and stumble out the door for my walk half-awake, complete with scary bed-hair. Today, I was somehow alert enough at 6:15am to remember to grab my camera before I left. Hooray - no grainy, crappy phone photos!

So this is the stretch of parkland where I like to walk. It's maybe 500m from our front door:


Note the brilliant sunshine. It's still been pretty cold in the mornings, so I'm used to rugging up before I leave the house. I obviously wasn't awake enough this morning to register that it was actually reasonably warm, and I set out dressed like Nanook of the North...Doh!

I have no idea what this funny pink plant is, but I thought it was purty....

Gum tree....yes, we have lots of those. And rocks. Um...I'm sure there's something more interesting juuuust a bit further along. Let's keep going, shall we?

More pink flora. I'm probably allergic to the pollen this grass seed head is producing, but still....pretty.

Who knew rocks had so many colours in them? There's moss and lichen and so on, but what IS that orange stuff?

Huh. More gum trees. The roos like to hide in here when it's warm.


Just the other side of these trees is a fenced-off conservation area. I'm dying to sneak in there and have a look around. I've already sussed out the gate and I can fit through the gap, easy-peasy. Or maybe I'll just trek down to the river and pop in that way. Somehow I think it's going to be disappointing....