Sunday, September 30, 2007

Legs, take THAT!

When I got up this morning, I was in a can't be bothered mood - driving to the gym for my leg workout just wasn't appealing. So instead, I did a workout here in the garage. I don't actually have a lot of equipment, never having had the space for it, and what I do have has to be portable so that I can take it with me when I train clients outside the gym.

As I mentioned last week, I've been having trouble hitting my hamstrings effectively. They're comparitively weak, and one of the major causes of my ongoing back problems. So I needed something that would get them really working hard, but also something that called for minimal equipment. This is what I came up with:

Warm up - 5 minutes on the spin bike, followed by a couple of sets of body weight squats.

DB squats 3 x 8

Step ups with DBs 3 x 10

Lunges 3 x 10 - body weight only, since going heavy on these seems to aggravate my SIJ problems.

Single leg Romanian deadlifts 3 x 8 - I only used weeny 4kg DBs for these, as the technique is tricky enough without lifting mammoth amounts.

Lying fitball leg curls 3 x 10, slo-o-ow

Then onto abs with some fitball crunches 3 x 12 - again, nice and slow

And to finish off - planks on the fitball (see below) 2 x 60 seconds



For once my quads aren't completely wasted, but I'm hearing some pretty serious complaining from my hammies every time I stand up from my chair. Looks like I did something right!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Come out, come out wherever you are!

Schmutzie and some pals had a brilliant idea: to encourage all blog lurkers out there to de-lurk. So October 3rd has thus been declared The Great Mofo Delurk 2007.


The Great Mofo Delurk 2007


If you have 7 billion hits a day, but only 3 people ever leave comments, and you've been wondering who that person from Upper Kumbucta West is and wishing they'd say 'hi', here's your chance to give them a poke. Go visit Schmutzie to get the code and add a button to your site.....

Shouldering the burden

My OOS flared up in a BIG way last weekend, which resulted in my going slightly insane on Monday and Tuesday (my husband will probably disagree with my use of the word "slightly"). My right arm kept going numb but somehow still managed to ache and throb with pain. Constantly. Plus my neck joined the pain party and I couldn't turn my head all the way to the right - which made driving kind of challenging. Add in lack of sleep, due to waking up umpteen times during the night with a dead arm, and things were getting a bit fun-sucky. Try saying that 3 times quickly.

On Tuesday my osteopath inflicted some excruciating pain on me, but I walked out of there feeling a lot better. The upshot is that my infraspinatus and teres minor are all screwed up and are squeezing a major blood vessel, which is causing the arm numbness. My wrist flexors are also in a bad way, and my trapezius and several of my neck muscles are not too happy either. It's going to be a long road to getting this sorted out - there'll be no overnight fixes, unfortunately.

My posture is generally pretty good - actually, compared to the majority of the western world it's outstanding. But I still tend to let my shoulders roll forward, thanks to spending a large part of my day sitting over a keyboard. So, I'm now using a rolled-up towel, wedged between my shoulder blades, to remind me to SIT UP STRAIGHT, GODDAMMIT! Very high-tech, I know.... I'm also using my spiky butt ball on my shoulder, doing some wrist flexion exercises with a thera-band, and trying to remember to do some prescribed stretches several times a day. As well, I'm backing off a bit on the chest training, and putting extra time and effort into my back exercises. Ice and heat are helping, and I've been staying off the computer as much as possible.

All that plus my good friends codeine, paracetamol and ibuprofen have made life bearable once again.

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

Yesterday I got over myself and went to the gym, then took the kids factory outlet shopping. Even little boys can understand the joys of retail therapy.... The Baby bought the iPod Nano he's been hankering after and The Middle Child stocked up on groovy brand-name surf wear at ridiculously reduced prices. The best part? They paid for it all with their own money. :)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Food....yum!

FINALLY, I've added a new recipe to my Good Food Blog.

Hey, things have been more than a little busy, you know!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

D.I.Y.


This morning Bike Boy and I did something very brave. We went shopping for furniture at IKEA. It’s something we’ve carefully avoided our whole lives, but we’d searched everywhere else for the items we needed with no luck. This house we’re renting doesn’t have a linen cupboard. How can you build a fricken house with nowhere to store your linen? And let’s not even START on the inadequate clothesline….

Anyway, we faced today’s shopping expedition with great trepidation because, as everyone knows, “Ikea” is Swedish for “divorce”. But, you know what? I'll just gloss over the pay parking, the crappy signage, the whole one-way system, and the traumatic loading bay incident. We walked out of the place with a desk for the kids’ computer, which fitted very nicely in my little hatchback – PLUS they’re delivering the other (huge) stuff we bought tomorrow. That’s SUNDAY. They deliver on Sundays!!

But then…..uh-oh..... THEN the whole family had the dubious pleasure of dealing with Bike Boy assembling flat pack furniture. He was sick , he was grumpy, it did not go well. I’ll just sum it up with the following mathematical equation:

Sick husband + flat-pack furniture = extremely unpleasant experience.

And we have more assembly-required items being delivered tomorrow. God, perhaps I’ll just go out for the day.

I’ll sum the whole ugly experience up with these words, courtesy of Deborah Conway, who says it way better than I ever could:

It doesn’t work that way
This one fits in, that one slots in there
It doesn’t work that way
She says round holes, he says square pegs
They’re gonna put those legs on backwards,
And when it falls apart, they can say
It just didn’t work that way….

You’re not trying hard enough, she said
I know that you’d much rather go to bed
And after everything we’ve done
I’m not listening to one more of your lame excuses

It doesn’t work that way

This comes naturally to me, he said
All those years spent hiding in the shed
And after all that we’ve been through
You must know I do resent this interference..

He’s from Mars, she’s from Venus
That’s some space to come between us
We’re hoping love gonna intervene us
as we go step by step in Swedish

We must be almost finished here, she cried
But what are these bits, left here on the side?
Now let me make this clear, I got the hammer here,
You’re going to D.I.Y.

It doesn’t work that way
This one fits in, that one slots in there
It doesn’t work that way
She says round holes, he says square pegs
They’re gonna put those legs on backwards,
And when it falls apart, they can say
It just didn’t work that way….

Weekly report

My first weigh-in was this morning. Yes, I know, it hasn't been a whole week yet, but I always weigh in on Saturday, I'm all freaky about it - almost superstitious, even. Hey, leave me alone, it's what I do, OK? We all have our quirks.

As expected after (almost) a week of eating like a sane person, and following on from the excesses of the past couple of weeks, I'm already down 1.6kg. You gotta love that initial fluid loss! :)

I need to squeeze in some cardio today - Saturdays are always so busy!

God, is that the time?

Friday, September 21, 2007

All going to plan

As predicted, I have some pretty major DOMS happening today. OUCH! Strangely, my legs are mainly feeling it in the quads and glutes, not the hamstrings. I have issues with hamstring exercises - I simply can't do lying machine hamstring curls, as they aggravate my lower back. So I usually stick with compound moves like various kinds of lunges, plus I throw in some one-legged fitball leg curls. But those just aren't doing it for me....methinks it's time to get back to good old Romanian deadlifts.

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

Sara wrote an interesting post today, about weight loss maintenance and realistic goals (and frozen credit cards, but that's a whole other story), which reinforced in my mind some things I've been pondering all week. I got on the scales on Monday morning for the first time in...oh....ages, and as expected, I'm considerably heavier than I want to be. But watched the numbers flicker and eventually settle, and I didn't have my usual freakout, accompanied by an internal dialogue that goes something like "I'm a fat pig, I'm disgusting, how could I let this happen, oh no, oh no, oh nooooooo!!!" - you get the idea. Instead I looked at the number in a detached kind of way, considered the muscle I've gained over the past 18 months or so, figured out roughly how much fat I need to lose, and worked out how much that translates to per week over a 12 week period. I then stepped off the scales, got dressed and went for a walk.

I'm actually curious and a bit excited to see what lies beneath the layer of insulation I've added over winter. Last year, when I completed a predominantly fat loss program and succeeded in getting my weight down to 49.9kg, I was very happy with my size, in terms of how I looked in clothes. But parts of me were a bit saggy and scrawny. So I've worked on building muscle to fill out some of those bits, and hopefully, I'll see some improvements when I'm a lot leaner in a few weeks' time. I'm ultimately aiming for around 54kg, which I think will see me looking lean but not scrawny. Who knows though? I might be happy at a higher weight...

Being a naturally pear-shaped kind of girl, I tend to lose almost all the fat from my upper body when I lean out....which is great for arm and shoulder definition, but not so good for filling out your bra... I'd be perfectly content with a B-cup, but at low levels of body fat, I descend to a measly A-cup. Or less. :( Here's proof:

On the plus side, I don't end up with pancake-butt syndrome. I suppose you just have to work with what you've got....

Anyway, the point of all my ramblings is that I'm doing OK here, not 100% happy with where I am, but not having a meltdown either. I'm just plodding away, a day at a time, and I'm quietly confident that I'll be right where I want to be in 3 months' time. Sara's keen to be reacquainted with her triceps - me, I want my biceps really popping again!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Finally!

This morning after I dropped the kids at school, I headed straight to the gym. It’s been a scarily long while since I’ve been there, what with all the upheaval that’s been happening in my life. You know, packing, moving, unpacking, getting sick….not to mention the surgery, shoulder injuries, stress, stress and more stress…. that all piled up over the past few months. There’s been very little fun happening. In fact, there’s been an awful lot of fun-sucking* going on. But that’s all over now.

I’m pulling myself up by my bootstraps and moving on. The upheaval’s over, life’s (kind of) back to normal, and I NEED to get back to my usual lifestyle. Apart from anything else, some lard-busting is really in order. So I’ve thrown together a new training program, and I’m focusing on eating well, drinking my water, taking my fish oil and glutamine - and after only a few days, I’m feeling better already. Even if I did sleep badly last night and wake up all grumpy this morning.

Anyway, the gym….today I trained chest, hamstrings and abs. I know I did good, because I had a hard time working the clutch on the drive home. Those backward lunges off a step are killers! I’m having trouble getting up from my chair, my legs don’t want to support me. That'll teach me to wag my training sessions! Tomorrow's DOMS should be a barrel of laughs.

Cardio at the moment is just walking, since the nasty virus I had last week has left me with a residual cough and really annoying asthma. But I expect to get back on the spin bike shortly, and maybe even do some running again before the end of the year. OK, I'm not promising anything on the running....

Running or not, the new and improved, happier and more positive me is going to achieve some good things over the next 3 months or so. Watch this space!


*Fun-sucking (v): The act of sucking all of the fun out of a situation.
Related forms: Fun-sucker (n): a person who indulges in fun-sucking, a party-pooper.

Origin: Modern English, from fun + suck.

NOW they tell me....

Seems yesterday was International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

And I missed it - Damn!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Spilling the beans

Since she's already outed herself, I can now stop biting my tongue and announce that my anonymous client who won the Body Blitz competition is none other than Batty F. Can I hear a big WOOHOO!! please?

If you were lucky enough to see her before and after photos on her old blog before she took them down, you'll know what a great job she did. If not, oh well......you'll just have to wait till late October when the mag comes out, to see the pics in print. Take my word for it - she's one hot chick!

If she hadn't just started a new challenge today, I'd turn up on her doorstep with a celebratory bottle of champagne to share with her......aww, too bad, no champagne for you, girlie! ;)

Seriously though, this was a really stunning transformation and just goes to show what you can achieve with consistency and commitment. And not too many chocolate binges. :p

Saturday, September 15, 2007

R.I.P.

After I rang Bike Boy about the fridge, he apparently had a conversation that went like this:


Bike Boy (hanging up the phone): Huh. I just got some really bad news from home.

Colleague (looking concerned): Oh no... What's happened?

Bike Boy: The beer fridge died.

Colleague: Man, that is tragic!

Bike Boy: But you don't understand! This fridge, we've had it for 22 years, it was a bargain factory second and it had a Guinness tap on the door.*

There's a brief moment of silence.

Colleague: We'll understand if you need to go home.



*Yes, my man takes his home brewing very seriously.

Who?


I got word last night that one of my wonderful online clients has been selected as the monthly winner of the Women's Health & Fitness magazine Body Blitz competition. She'll be featured in the November issue, which should be out late October some time. I'm so thrilled and excited for her - she worked her butt off for 12 weeks, and her results are proof of that.

Who is it, you ask? Ahh, that will be revealed a little later on....or maybe you'll just have to wait for the magazine to be published. :)

Powerful stuff

Yesterday morning the power went off at 7:00am. We rolled our eyes and complained (OK, I complained. A lot.) and just made do with instant coffee (ugh!) instead of the real, aromatic, delicious thing. Bleuch! Then everyone headed off to work and school, and by the time I dropped kids off, spent an hour at the osteopath, went to the post office, Medicare, the supermarket and then scoured the shops for appropriate gifts for Bike Boy's birthday, it was almost 12:00 before I got home. And the power was STILL off. Gah!

So I ring the power company hotline and the nice young man asked a lot of questions, tippy-tapped on his computer keyboard and informed me that there was no power outage at their end. Hmm. Following his instructions, I traipsed out to the meter box and gazed at a whole row of identical-looking switches. Um. No fuses. No wire to mend. This isn't what I'm used to... He asks me "Is the safety switch in the up or down position?" I locate the switch labelled "safety switch" and - oh! It's pointing DOWN, while all the other switches are pointing UP. Uh-oh. I flick it to the up position and it clicks straight back down. Double uh-oh.

The nice young man instructs me to turn off everything in the house, reset the safety switch, then turn on one appliance at a time, until I find the thing that's causing the circuit breaker to go nuts. Do you have any idea how many appliances there are in an average house? I'll tell you - 173. Or at least it seemed like it.

I turn everything off, reset the safety thingie and then stop and think. Hmm....which appliance is most likely to be the cause? I'm guessing something that draws a lot of power, and possibly something that's a bit old? Let's try....the beer fridge in the garage. I switch it on and BINGO! Unfortunately I don't win a prize, dammit. Instead, I get to transfer everything from the freezer into our other freezer in the kitchen. My hands end up with frostbite and I have several things left over that just won't fit. *sigh*

I ring Bike Boy to break the news. He requests that I put a 6-pack of beer in the (working) fridge for him, for when he gets home. He's very calm. He hangs up. I think he cries a little.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Lazy?

Nope, just busy, busy, BUSY at the moment. Oh, also still sick, but getting better. The Baby isn't too good still, and as for Bike Boy....he thinks he has the horse flu.

Anyway, I'm really far too busy for writing or taking photos, but here's something worth checking out: Sara's Jetlag mini quiches. And while you're at it, go read her blog post on free meals/cheat meals/splurge meals, call them what you will....

Honestly, why bother thinking up things to write? - You can always just link to other people's literary brilliance and go have a nana nap. *yawns*

Monday, September 10, 2007

Ugh!


I was quiet yesterday, wasn't I? Well, that's because I spent most of the day IN BED, and the rest lying on the couch with a blankie and the DVD remote. I'm seriously thinking of putting my kids up for adoption, the germy buggers......except I'm sure nobody would take them.

Anyway, first thing this morning I rang my GP to make an appointment for myself and The Baby, since we're both in imminent danger of dying from sore throats, coughing, fever and general grumpiness. But guess what? I couldn't get an appointment! Nooooo, you have to know in advance when you're going to be sick, so that you can ring and book an appointment days ahead. I couldn't even get in to see one of the other doctors at the clinic. It's MONDAY....how can all the appointments be taken already at 9:00am on Monday? *sigh*

So I rang the local 7-11 clinic instead. That's what Bike Boy calls them - you know, the ones that are open all the time, even on Sundays, and they bulk bill and you don't have to make an appointment, but you usually DO have to wait for hours. And hours. And half the doctors are nincompoops and have no idea how to talk to people. Or perhaps they're just overworked and stressed from working stupid hours for ridiculous rates of pay. Anyway.... we managed to get in to see a surprisingly nice AND competent doc who decided that both of us not only have the bug from hell, but a nice infection brewing in our lungs too. So it's penicillin all round. Bottoms up! *chink*

I'm supposed to take it easy, rest and recover, you know the drill. And yet somehow I still have to get my work done. While taking care of a sick child, who apparently likes to lob into my bed at 6:00am with a raging fever, a hacking cough, and an asthma attack for good measure, and whine "Uurgh, I feel sick, Mummy". Which of course translates to: You're my mother, weave your mother magic and make me better at once.

And Bike Boy rang from work to say that he feels rather like dog poop too.... Great. Just what this house needs - more sick people!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Things that drive me crazy #1

When I'm attempting to have a nana nap, and a blowfly the size of a small budgie keeps dive-bombing me.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Cooking 101

A little gem of wisdom from Bike Boy:

"You know, if I wrote a cookbook, the instructions would go something like - simmer for 3, or perhaps 4 bourbons."

I have a feeling it would be a best seller.

“Home is the place where it feels right to walk around without shoes”

*looks down at feet* So....going by that definition, I guess I'm home now. :D

The Baby and I paid a last visit to our old house on Wednesday, to do a final check of cupboards, drop off extra keys and just get all sentimental. It's really weird, walking through your house when it's all empty. And clean.





That's it. Done and dusted. Time for a new chapter.

Settling in

Soooo, emails are almost all up to date, we've created some sort of order in a couple of rooms, and even space in the double garage for cars. Well, one car - you gotta put your excess crap somewhere. Anyway, I feel as though I can stop and take a breath now. *breathes in* *and out*

The house is actually nice - much bigger than our former home and of course, there are no 20-plus-year-old bits that need repairing. There are a few shortcomings, such as no linen cupboard, and a clothesline that you could maybe fit a dozen hankies on, not to mention stupid placement of power and TV points. But on the plus side we survived the move, we have an adequate roof over our heads, the sale of our old house settled yesterday, we have an appointment with the builder at the end of the month, and the kids safely negotiated the bus home yesterday. So all is good.

This afternoon I found 45 minutes or so to explore the neighbourhood a little, and I offer these slightly dodgy photos, taken with my phone, for your viewing pleasure:

The view across the street to where we'll be living sometime next year. (Yes, there will be a house, we don't plan to dig a burrow in a pile of dirt...)

There may not be many houses here yet, but the landscaping of public spaces is well underway. This path leads to the wetlands:

Whaddya know? There's actually wet in them there wetlands!



Also really ugly power lines. But hey, you can't build under them, so you may as well do something useful. I'm sure the ducks don't mind the visual pollution:


I crossed the road and ventured into the neighbouring park/conservation area, and was so busy watching out for crawly things amongst the grass (it may be a little early in the year for snakes, but you can never be too careful) that I almost didn't notice the group of roos eyeing me off suspiciously.

Yes, they could be rocks, tree stumps or clumps of grass. You'll just have to take my word for it that they're marsupials:



And here's some non-native wildlife, grazing on what's left of the farmland at the end of the street:


This concludes our tour of the neighbourhood for now. Stay tuned for further riveting instalments. Who knows, I may even take the camera next time.


Edit note: I should clarify (specially for you, Chris, and anyone else I've confused).... we're renting a house in the same housing estate where we're building. In fact, from our front porch, we look across the creek and onto the street where our land is. Those builders won't be able to get away with a thing!

Hurrah!!

This morning, while I was attempting to answer the 3 kajillion emails in my inbox offline, so that I could send/receive excruciatingly s-l-o-w-l-y via dial-up later on, guess what happened? Go on, guess!

OK, I'll tell..... broadband just magically appeared. POOF! Like that. There I was, working away and suddenly emails started going ping! and dropping into my inbox.

I actually cheered out loud, I was so excited. AND, I even did a little happy dance. :) And I stopped cursing Telstra and my ISP, because you know, shh, they might hear and take it away again.....

I'll be back eventually with some sort of a proper post. Right now, it's back to those emails!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Reporting in

We've moved, we're here, we have no broadband. AARGH!!

Dial-up sucks. That is all.