Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Back on track

I know it's not exactly a long-term study, with a large number of participants, following sound scientific principles, but I'm convinced: After two days without ANY wheat at all, I realised when I woke up this morning that I had almost zero back ache. And no stiffness anywhere, to speak of. Even after spending most of the night on the couch, trying to avoid Bike Boy's loud snoring.

Just as well - I fully intended to train my arse off this morning. And I did. :o)


I found a new gym too - it's closer to home, costs only 20c more than my usual haunt, and the skank factor is way, WAY lower. It has shiny new equipment, it's clean, the guy on reception actually speaks instead of grunting, and there seem to be a lot less meatheads hanging around.

On the minus side, it's not open 24 hours a day (6:00am opening is a little late for me...) and they close on some public holidays. And neither of them has such a thing as a stability ball or BOSU. I couldn't even find a medicine ball this morning to sub for BOSU tricep pushups. Sheesh.

Still, I think it'll suit me much better most of the time. I don't think I'll miss the cockroaches either.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Facing reality

Post-comp mind games can be interesting to deal with, even when you're relatively sane, reasonably comfortable with your body and pretty well prepared. There's a whole lot of stuff going on inside your head, some of it subtle, some not so much, including:

- the old "Comp's over, I can eat anything I want now" trap;
- the fairly confronting mission of intentionally gaining body fat (never done that before...);
- plus a huge sense of anti-climax, which is common after any big event that you've planned for, worked towards and looked forward to for some time.

I expected all of those things, but I didn't expect to have such a difficult time dealing with them. I'm not sure why I thought that I'd be different to 99% of competitors ....perhaps that's my superwoman complex shining through. Of course, I also didn't plan for almost three months of stress and massive disruptions to my life immediately following achieving my major fitness goal for the year. If I ever even hint at building another house, somebody PLEASE have me committed....

Christmas added an extra degree of difficulty to staying on-track, and as I said the other day, I was quietly glad when it was over. There's a lot to be said for getting back into a normal routine. I'm not waiting for the New Year; I've already begun as I mean to go on. Food's back to normal, I'm tracking in Calorie King again, I've reinstated my evening walks, and this morning I was out of bed and on my spin bike reasonably early. Getting sweaty before breakfast felt soooo good!

I also had to face the scales, which I haven't done in a while. I wasn't particularly nervous about it - my clothes still fit and I look fine. Not as lean and hard as I'd like, but definitely nowhere near fatty-boombah territory. And although there's a small layer of extra squishiness, I know that much of it is fluid and I have no fears about getting rid of that in fairly short order. I hazarded a guess before stepping onto the scales, and was expecting to see a number in the 59s, or maybe even a 60-point-something. I held my breath (because everybody knows that helps), stepped up and the numbers flickered and settled at 59.0 exactly.

That's not so bad - it's 2kg or so over where I really should be, but given that there's been plenty of Christmas indulgence and a lot less activity than normal, I'm not unhappy.

Now all I need is some serious work in the gym and a bit of nutritional discipline. Losing a little flab and fluid is a minor side issue - the big plan is to build me some muscle! Watch this space.....

Friday, December 26, 2008

My aching back

In the midst of my non-blogging phase, seems I had a birthday. I'm not quite sure how I got to be 48; I still only feel about 28 most of the time. Mind you, lately I've been so stiff in the mornings, I briefly wonder whether I'm actually 98? My lower back in particular gives me grief when I wake up, and although it eases off during the day, things are definitely not as they should be.

I've been pondering the reasons behind the increase in lower lumbar aches and pains, and I've come up with the following:

1. Not enough training. My body is used to being pushed pretty hard most of the time and doesn't like it much when I have an extended period of (a lot) less activity.
2. Not enough flexibility work. *ahem* OK, make that zero flexibility work.
3. No treatments by my osteopath or my physio for the past few months. Um, been busy.....
4. Too much wheat. While we've been so busy, quite a lot of convenience foods have made their way into my meals. Which basically means bread, bread, and more bread.

Number 4 is a big revelation. I've known for a long time that a lot of wheat makes my digestive system get all snarky. It also makes me lethargic and horribly bloated. But this recent increase in pain gave me another lightbulb moment and I've realised that there's also a correlation to lower back pain and general joint stiffness. One more reason for me to keep the ubiquitous grain to a minimum.

This nutrition stuff is a constant learning curve. You think you've nailed it, then you discover something new. Huh, seems you can never know everything. This is just one more reason to stick to unprocessed healthy foods most of the time.

Somebody smack me if I start making toast and Vegemite a staple part of my diet....

The calm AFTER the storm

Boxing Day is one of my favourite days of the year. I love Christmas, but it can be a bit manic. All the planning leading up to it, the shopping, the cooking, the cleaning (if the celebrations are at our house...). Then the day itself, the rushing around to spend time with various relatives, the food, the drink, the over-excited kids, the food.....

The day after Christmas is always calm, and relaxing, and a chance to just kick back. It's also the beginning of getting back to normal. I love celebrating, but I also love my routine. What can I say? I'm a creature of habit.

So today, while the kids were still sleeping, Bike Boy and I got up at 7-00am (ish) and got on our bikes. Melbourne has FINALLY turned on some fabulous weather: sunny, with not a breath of wind; pleasantly warm, but this early in the day, still cool enough to make exercise fun and not a horrible, sweaty chore. So we tootled off up the main road, and it was a rare pleasure not to be constantly overtaken by enormous trucks and speeding idiots - because not only is it a public holiday, but all the so-called NORMAL people were still in bed, sleeping off their Christmas hangovers.

My husband can be a very patient man at times, which is lucky for me, because I'm completely retarded when it comes to grasping mechanical stuff. Although I've had my Sub-zero for some time, I've barely ridden it, thanks to a combination of a stupidly busy schedule and some really appalling weather. So I'm still trying to get the hang of the gears, which are a lot different to my old Avanti. I was getting frustrated and feeling incredibly stupid, but Bike Boy just patiently called out instructions (Left-hand silver lever! Right-hand black lever!) and kept his pace nice and slow so as not to lose me.

He did make one smart-arse comment about it always being difficult when one of the kids gets a new bike for Christmas..... yeah, hardy-har-har!

So Christmas is done and dusted, the house move is all over, and although we still have a lot to do around here, I'll be back to normal eating and getting training out of the way first thing each morning. I'm hanging out for some routine and structure! I'm also planning some kitchen experiments, and I intend to blog quite a few new recipes.

Today I have a hankering for asparagus and broccoli. Funny how that happens after a day or two of indulging.....

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Lucky 13

While most sane people are gearing up for Christmas, in OUR family, today is all about celebrating The Baby's birthday. He wasn't too keen on getting up early this morning to go to work with Dad, but I'm sure he had a good time once he got there....

I had to attend the office today too, although my morning consisted of:

- Checking my emails since Monday (quick scan and delete - nothing important there!)
- Updating my time sheets
- Setting my Out of Office Auto Reply thingy and changing my voicemail message to advise that I AM ON HOLIDAYS AND WON'T BE BACK TILL THE END OF JANUARY - SUCKER!!
- Admiring everyone's offspring - it was like a creche in there today! I almost kidnapped one little cutie, but then thought about the disturbed nights that looking after a 12-month-old involves and thought better of it.
- Touring the office and shaking everyone's hand (or kissing them on the cheek, depending on how well I know them....) and wishing them a Merry Christmas.
- Buggering off to the supermarket for a few supplies for tomorrow, the bakery for a birthday cake, the bottle shop for some more essentials and just soaking up the Christmas shopping ambience and crappy school-kid busking in the main street.

Official finish time was 12:00 noon. Yeah, that's what I call a good working day.

And there'll be birthday cake later. Woohoo!


I actually can't believe that my baby is a teenager. I didn't feel old when Number One Son got his licence, or started uni. But this! This makes me feel positively ancient. Thank goodness he still likes cartoons and Lego.....

Monday, December 22, 2008

Housework is for nerds

I got a lovely surprise in the mail today - a parcel all the way from KiwiLand. Of course, Sara sent me some fab vanilla whey, which safely made it through the postal inspection service, and she also added some extra pressies. There was a Green & Black's gift pack, which I think I'm supposed to share with Bike Boy. *snort!*

There was also a coffee mug, with the above image on it.


She obviously knows me TOO well.


I'm finally back online properly - except for some intermittent and very annoying dropping out of the internet and/or our wireless network, which appears to be because our home is a HUUUUGE McMansion and we need a stronger signal to reach little old me way down the back here.

Bike Boy has it on his list of stuff to do. The list which is only about three pages long....

I'll be back blogging VERY soon.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Salt Matters

I've half-written three or four posts over the past couple of weeks, but just haven't had time, inclination or enough brain power to finish them off. Tonight I'm exhausted, so I still have nothing sensible to contribute, but I did find something interesting that I can share.

I heard a podcast of an ABC Radio program a while back and I just stumbled upon a transcript of the interview. It's worth reading if you're at all interested in health, nutrition or specifically, high blood pressure. So go read through Ockham's Razor: Salt Matters.

*Tsk* Lazy blogging, I know! *Yawn* I'm off to bed.....

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I hate it when...

....I don't have to get up early, but I wake up at 5:20am anyway. Then I can't get back to sleep because my stomach decides it's breakfast time. You can only ignore those serious "I'm hungry" signals for a limited time.... *sigh*

Oh well, at least I now have my unread items in Google reader down to 173.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Surfacing from the depths

Where HAVE I been? Life has just been utterly, completely crazy, and I've had to take some time out from a few things to stay on top of other, more important stuff. And gee... there's Christmas, racing towards us.....

So, we took possession of our house 11 days ago and we're still sorting out a few minor bits and pieces. The plan was to build our McMansion in 20 weeks - the timeframe was even "guaranteed" by the builder. Reality bit HARD and it took 40 weeks instead. Meh, moving on...I'm bored with the whole thing myself, so I won't drone on about it here. We're moving house next weekend, but the past week and a half has been a flurry of activity for us, with a billion things to organise. Not to mention the many, many weeks of stress-filled activity before that.

Training has had to take a back seat. There are only so many hours in a day, after all, so it's been a bit hit and miss. More miss than hit, really. But this morning, I cranked out a fairly brutal weight training session and I can feel the DOMS starting already. Feels goooooooood!

As for blogging, that's been a luxury extra I've just not had time or inclination for (except for my house-building blog and that's been more of an essential letting-off-steam thing). I've barely even read a blog. In fact, I just logged onto Google Reader to find that I had 283 unread items. Yeesh. I might be a while catching up, so excuse me if I haven't commented lately. Please. Same goes for replying to emails, or Facebook messages. Or forum posts...there's only so many hours in a day, y'know.

Tomorrow things move forward a little, with our appliances being installed and some minor electrical work being done. The next day, our carpet goes in. Then we get to move in. I also get to be without broadband temporarily. Great. Oh, but I can finally put up my Christmas tree. :o)

The end is nigh. I just have to survive another week or so. Then Christmas. Then normal life can resume. Phew.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Do you know the worst part of moving? Apart from the actual moving bit anyway.... That would be the CLEANING part, making everything at the old place all spick and span for the new inhabitants.

I'm allergic to housework; it gives me a headache. And I'm officially OVER vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, dusting, tidying, scrubbing, sorting, picking up, putting away, or anything vaguely like it.

My usual style is more like hiding stuff in wardrobes. Or in bedrooms and just closing the doors. Problem is, that doesn't cut it when you have the agent bringing a tenant prospect through the place. People who might want to live in a house usually like to look in all the rooms. And possibly even the cupboards.

Anyway, I've had it with the mops and brooms. I'm declaring tomorrow a housework-free zone. :o)