Friday, February 29, 2008

Diet or lifestyle?

My fat loss efforts have been going well – not exactly a cracking pace, but that’s fine with me. I’m enjoying my food and having plenty of variety – except when I get lazy, and then I tend to repeat the same meals quite a bit. In the past I’ve followed restrictive diets, where even fruits and veggies were limited to only 3 or 4 choices, carbs after lunch were definitely O.U.T. and the stupidly small amounts of food left me constantly hungry. And did I mention crabby? Sure that works for a while…as long as you can stick to it…. but I’d rather enjoy my food and know that I can have a treat when I want it, and settle for slower but steady fat loss.

‘Treats’ are a funny thing. Over the years, I’ve developed an aversion to a lot of the stuff I used to love. I really dislike donuts, mud cake, hot dogs (and almost any kind of sausage), and the list goes on. Every now and then I'm tempted to try one - and BLAH! I still love chocolate and wine – and I have those in small doses. Mainly though, I try to have something most days that is nutritionally sound, and really sends my taste buds into a frenzy – that way I don’t feel the need for treats of the junky kind.

Over the years, I’ve refined a few old recipes and discovered some new ones that fit this criteria well. Some of my favourites (by the way, these are nearly all sweet foods – surprise, surprise!):

- Pancakes – with blueberries, strawberries, banana….sometimes I make them with buckwheat flour, sometimes they’re extremely simple with just oats and egg whites and a little vanilla whey.
- French toast – I love this made with raisin bread, especially the gourmet variety.
- A simple mix of yoghurt, quark, berries and maybe a few nuts. Unfortunately, I just can’t get quark any more – the one I used to buy got taken off the market. I suspect that was because I was the only one buying it. *sigh*
- Raisin toast with ricotta and strawberries
- High protein banana bread – haven’t made this in ages, but I feel a baking urge coming on…..
- Muffins (or as Sara calls them, ‘pruffins’) of various kinds. Sticky date, blueberry, apple and cinnamon – all full of fibre, fruit and plenty of proteiny goodness. Again with the baking urge…
- I also have my favourite curry and pasta dishes, which have barely been amended from the original recipes. Maybe a little less oil, a lot more veggies, and definitely less pasta.

My point is, you don’t have to eat ‘diet food’ to get great results. And that’s another issue altogether – so many people have an attitude about healthy food. They glare resentfully at their tuna salad or cottage cheese and fruit and think “I’ll eat it because it’s good for me, but I won’t enjoy it”. And of course, with that mindset, they don’t. They also never last long on their ‘diet’ because they feel constantly deprived. Two things are required – first, they need to get a bit creative with their food. And then they need to change their attitude. You have to see your food as something that can be healthy AND enjoyable.

You can’t stay on a diet forever, but you CAN adopt a healthy approach to eating for your entire lifetime. And when you try something new and you don’t like it? Persevere with it – you can get used to anything if you give it a chance. I could make a long list of foods I didn’t like only a couple of years ago and now they’re staples in my meals. Not just because they’re good for me, but because I actually like them.

**********

Oh yeah, the fat loss thing? I'm down approximately 9-point-something kilos since I started acting like a sane person back in September. And I'm feeling pretty comfortable with my body again, so YAY!

Still plenty of work to do on the muscle-gaining front, but there's definitely progress, AND a plan in place....

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

So there!

Office admin girl (clapping her hands annoyingly): Everyone! Everyone, the boss has called a meeting, he wants you all over here, NOW.

Me (looking longingly at my half-eaten lunch): Uh. Can I finish my chicken first?

OAG: Well, it's important.

Me: So's my lunch.

OAG: What's the big deal? You'll be eating again in a few minutes anyway. You're always eating. *flounces off*

Me (muttering): That's so I'll have the muscles and the energy to kick your butt if you ever get between me and my food.

Feeling fugly


On Monday arvo I developed a small but nasty patch of eczema on my jaw, something that hasn't troubled me for several years. It has now accelerated from the itchy and annoying stage straight to hideous, weepy and scabby - do not pass Go, do not collect $200.

If you're looking for me, I'll be the one wearing the paper bag.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Feeling suicidal?

This morning I got to do my outdoor cardio workout, including the dreaded suicide runs. It was actually not ALL that bad.....although running into the howling wind added several degrees of difficulty.

The workout was a lovely mix of running intervals of different kinds, finishing off with the suicide runs. I went over to the local park and ran around like a crazy woman, to the consternation of drivers passing by. There were a couple of moments where I thought my lungs might just explode and my heart burst out of my chest, but apparently I'm a little more robust than that, because I'm here to complain about it. :o)

I did get the giggles at one point, when the thought occurred to me that I'm probably the only 47-year-old woman for miles around who thinks thrashing herself into a heaving, sweaty heap is a good way to spend a Sunday morning.

When I got to the end of all the interval stuff, I was supposed to do 10 minutes of easy running. But my legs had other ideas, having somehow transformed from flesh and bone into wet noodles.....so I walked it.

Dinner's served!

Look what my husband made me for dinner:

Nonya spatchcocks with lime pickle and chilli jam



Accompanied by stir fried bok choy and straw mushrooms


Aww, he made me veggies - that MUST be love!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Assorted crap

I posted already today, but Blogger did something stupid and lost the lot. BOO! I shall try to remember what it was I had to say.....I'm sure it was of earth-shattering importance. Or maybe it was complete shite. Whatever.

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

Today I had the choice between folding a HUGE mountain of clean washing.....OR....going to the gym.

Betcha can't guess which choice won the toss.

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Bike Boy arrived home yesterday (after I'd had my looxury facial) and said:

Wow. You look 10 years younger.......which would make you 14, right?

That man knows how to schmooze.

**********

True story: Today at the gym, just as I was contemplating skipping my last set of lat pulldowns (I was TIRED today, OK?), my MP3 player moved onto the next song, which was.....Justin Timberlake's Sexyback.

Did I quit? Hell no! I added 10 pounds and powered through those suckers!

***********

The start date for our house is set - next Monday. We discovered last night that we now have a water meter installed on our block. I never thought you could get excited about a water meter....but apparently you can.

**********

Word of the day: Floordrobe. Anyone who has teenagers won't need an explanation of this one.

Hint for everyone else: it's where teenagers keep their clothes, clean, dirty or somewhere in between.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A summary of my day

The kids had curriculum day, my mother has pneumonia and needed to be chauffered to various places, I had a client to train, piles of work to do, the washing is threatening to take over the laundry, there were phone calls that needed to be made, business to be done at the post office, my training to do and meals to be managed.

The washing's still waiting, the work is waaaaay behind, the kids got sausage rolls and chips for dinner, but amazingly, everything else got done. Training was top-notch, food was on track. And I spent an hour this afternoon having a luxurious facial.

I'd give that effort an A-minus.

Monday, February 18, 2008

You want me to do WHAT?

OK, it's definite - Liz really IS trying to kill me.

My workouts this week not only include those blasted T-pushups, but also a sadistic exercise called bench jumps...... AND something entitled 'suicide runs'. SUICIDE runs????

If anyone wants me, I'll be hiding under the doona.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Something fishy?

Salmon lovers, get ye over to my food blog, pronto! Last night's dinner was delish!

:p

Spitting image

How can you sternly chastise your child for being mean to his brother, when he's looking back at you with your own face?

*cough*

I was lying in bed, half awake this morning when I registered a smell that started to niggle at me as just wrong. It took a couple of minutes until the brain fog cleared and I realised what it was - smoke. And not cigarette smoke, not burnt toast smoke, but bushfire smoke. You know, the aroma of gum leaves and dry grass burning. Uh-oh.

We now live about 500m north of a State park and maybe 1km west of a big bushland conservation area. And just to the north of us, in spite of the property developers' best efforts, there are still hectares and hectares of farmland - sheep, some horses, the odd herd of goats, but mostly pretty big herds of beef cattle. So the smell of smoke rings alarm bells, big time.

I flung open the front door to be greeted by a thick haze of smoke and a nasty strong wind blowing from the north. No sign of any glow in the distance, though. Having lived in Melbourne all my life, I know that our geography (big flattish area, ringed by hills) and weather patterns create an effect where smoke, smog etc can collect and hang around for days or even weeks - and may not even originate from around here. So I logged onto the CFA's website to discover that the smoke is coming from Mathoura NSW, which Google Maps tells me is north of the Murray, not far from Echuca.

Looks like a bad couple of days ahead for air quality - better break out the asthma meds. Ack! My throat is starting to burn already.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Highlights of the week

1. Number One Son got us a stupidly, ridiculously enormous discount on a spanking new flat screen TV, thanks to his part time job. The little boys were very, very excited. Bike Boy sat in front of the cricket all Friday afternoon, slack-jawed and practically drooling into his Stella. Me? I lolled around on the couch this arvo, watching mindless DVDs. We are well pleased.

I knew I had children for a reason.

2. At last! Progress on the house construction. This is more than good. :o)

3. Fat loss continues - I've even passed another scale milestone....but after the wine and M & Ms I indulged in tonight, that may just have been temporary. Oops. In my defence, they were the new dark chocolate M & Ms. I mean, they're practically a health food, right?

Woohoo and Boohoo

On the WOOHOO!! front:

Our building permit FINALLY came through! No thanks to Yarra Valley Water for holding things up, because, uh....apparently, they didn't know where they put THEIR OWN DAMN SEWER on our property! (Here's a clue - it will be in the 2-metre easement along the back fence. Morons.) Or perhaps it was that nobody in the whole organisation could find the right button to push on their computers to pull up the diagram and email it to the building surveyor dude, anyway. How incompetent can you get? So, thanks a lot for making us wait 74 days (but who's counting) and delaying the start of construction. Sheesh.

Anyways, this all means that our house will finally be starting real soon. Maybe even next week. I'm not holding my breath waiting though....

**********

On the Boohoo front:

I heard on the news yesterday at lunchtime that Mackay has been declared a disaster zone. My first thought was OMG...I hope Selina's safe. So I tried and tried to call her for about the next 4 hours, but no joy. Apparently the phone lines are out anyway, which in no way made me feel OK.

Finally, I sent her a text - which she probably won't get for days - and then dropped in on her blog to leave a message. That's when I remembered that (D'oh!) she's in Brisbane at the moment anyway.

Phew.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Living dangerously



One thing anyone who knows me learns very early is: don't mess with my food! Touch my whey protein, my blueberries, or that piece of leftover frittata I'm saving for lunch, and you risk grievous bodily harm. And don't even LOOK like you might go near my chocolate. THAT might involve disembowelment, or slow roasting over a hot fire. Whatever, be assured that it would end very, very badly for you.

OK, you get the picture. So imagine this conversation last night:

Me: Right, so tomorrow I'll take the boys to school. Then I can swing past the newsagent and grab the paper, and I'll have time to drop into that cafe and sit and read it over a coffee before meeting my client at 9:00.
Bike Boy: *yawn*
Me: Then, I'll head straight to the gym for my workout. Hmm. That means I'll have to take a snack with me, because I won't be home till lunchtime. That's OK, I have a protein bar in the pantry.
Bike Boy: Um....
Me: What?
Bike Boy: Er. There was a choc-mint bar in the pantry. I ate it this morning.
Me: .........
Bike Boy: Well, I thought you bought it for me!
Me: Since when do I buy you girly Slim Secrets bars?
Bike Boy: Well, it was with my steak bars, so I thought hey, great, you've bought me this nice choccie bar thing. I felt like something sweet.
Me: YOU ATE MY BAR??????

**********

I got back from the gym at lunchtime today, and was greeted by my husband, holding a large bunch of flowers. And a replacement bar. What more could a girl want for Valentine's Day?

He's forgiven. This time.

Exercising your mind muscle


If you've ever done a Body for LIFE challenge and tried Bill Phillips' 20-minute aerobic solution, then you'll know just how important strength of mind is when it comes to getting through a serious cardio interval workout.

It's one thing to be strong of body, but entirely another to have the will to push yourself harder and harder, and then, when you know you can't possibly last another second, to reach deep down inside yourself and find that tiny bit of oomph you need to push harder still for that final 1-minute killer interval. Actually, I swear something weird happens to time during that final minute, and it begins to go backwards or something, because I'm sure that 1-minute interval takes at least 10 minutes.....

For me, every cardio workout is a battle. I don't want to do it, I dread it and I begin to look for excuses to quit early, every single time. Especially with running. Mostly I overcome the urge, but a lot of my cardio has been lacking the mental focus (and therefore intensity) that I had back in 2004 when I was doing good old BFL. Until now.

I had to do treadmill intervals today, before my upper body workout, and I was feeling a bit blah about it, as usual. Cardio... *yawn* ...is something you have to endure - just get through it, and then you can move onto the fun stuff in the weights room. BUT. Apparently there's been a shift in attitude in my brain, because I clipped on my heart rate monitor transmitter (which I normally forget), stepped onto the treadmill and thought "YEAH! Bring it on!" I almost looked over my shoulder to see who said that before I realised that, oh, that was just me thinking....

The first set of intervals was hard, and a little negative thinking started to sneak up on me. I can't do this. I'll just do 15 or 20 minutes, instead of 30. That kind of thing. Then I began to do what I used to when thrashing myself with Bill's 20-MAS: I talked myself through it. I told myself that I COULD do it, that I only had to get through this interval, this cycle, only X minutes, and then I could recover. I skimmed over the bit where after that, I had to run my arse off again.....I'm selective about what I tell myself. :o)

So onto the second set and I began telling myself "Only 3 more cycles and I'm done". Three doesn't sound so bad, somehow. By the time I got onto number three, I could say there were only 2 left.....ignoring the fact that I'd barely started the third. No getting technical here. The 4th cycle was almost easy, because the end was in sight. I was watching my heart rate go up and down and started to push myself harder - let's see if I can push it over 165....170.... Is it crazy to compete with yourself?

By the final set, I was feeling great. My sense of achievement was high, the endorphins had really kicked in, and even though my legs and my lungs were tiring, I knew I'd get through it. In fact, I pushed the speed up just a little on each interval, and on the final one I busted my butt trying to get my heart rate to go over 180. Try as I might, I only got it to 178, even though I increased the speed AND went an extra 30 seconds. Oh well, there's a challenge for next time.

It's taken me quite a while to get back to this point of mental fortitude(?) ....strength(?) (insanity?) ....whatever the right word is, I'm happy to be here!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Also

The size 10 black pants I've been wearing to work have been getting looser and looser over recent weeks, but yesterday I realised they were ridiculously loose on me. I mean, clown-pants baggy kind of loose. Not quite the sophisticated professional look I was aiming for.

So last night I went hunting through the wardrobe for something else to wear. Smaller size 10 chocolate pants? Nope, I don't have any suitable shoes to wear with those and it's not quite boots weather yet. Black belted skirt? Hmm, haven't shaved my legs for a few days. Nope, too much trouble. What else? Nope, nope, nope. Too peasanty, too casual, too wintry, a bit tatty, needs a button (where did I put that button?).

Then, up the back of the wardrobe, I spotted my size 8 black pants, the ones I last wore when I was super-thin.

On impulse, I decided to try them on, to see how far I had to go to fit into them. Step in, slide 'em up over the thighs, button, zip. *blink*

OMG. They FIT! Cue happy dance.

The thing is, I'm still several kilos heavier than when I last wore these pants. Which tells me that all the time spent busting my arse in the gym over the past 2 years has not been in vain.

:O)

Calling all fitness freaks!

Phat Camp is getting ever-closer, and the excitement is mounting (well, it is in my brain, anyway...). The Melbourne camp apparently has 5 spots still available as at this very moment, so if you have an insane impulse like Kathryn's, you can sign up and come join us. Better be quick though!

You wouldn't want to miss fun like this:



Or this:

Or this:


Or this:


Or especially this:

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Can you say C-R-A-N-K-Y?

I had great plans for today - I'd get up at 7:00am, have a quick brekky, then head off to the gym. I'd be home, showered and eating second breakfast by 10:00, with washing happening, dishes done and the rest of the day ahead of me to do....well, whatever I wanted.

Enter the noisy neighbours. Next door is a rented property, and new tenants moved in just after Christmas - a group of young girls. Uh-oh. Every weekend, they seem to have a houseful of boys, with cars parked up and down the street (and on thir front lawn).....which bothers me not. EXCEPT that they all seem to be smokers, so they spend hours sitting outside, talking and laughing very loudly. About a metre from our fence, and perhaps two metres from the bedroom windows. Until the wee hours.

Last night they were making a racket, which quietened down to a dull drone long enough for me to get to sleep around 11:30 or so. THEN about 1:20, I was woken up by the noise. Ten minutes later, Bike Boy was awake too (God, it MUST have been loud! I swear he could sleep through a cyclone). After fuming for about half an hour, I eventually retreated to the couch in the family room, which is on the other side of the house. I may have got back to sleep around 3:00.

Needless to say, I was NOT up at 7:00. In fact, it was almost 11:00 before I arose. I got to the gym at 12:30, wasn't home till almost 2:00 and my whole day is now wasted. Bastards!

I'm plotting my revenge. Any suggestions?

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

By the way, my workout was sensational. Disrupted sleep can't keep this girl down!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Superwoman?

Me: Bloody bus drivers! I was crossing the road at a pedestrian crossing today and this bus tried to drive straight through without giving way. So I stepped out anyway, glared straight at the driver and kept walking. He jammed on the brakes and stopped.

The Baby: Lucky you didn't get run over.

Me: Nah, don't worry mate, I can run faster than a bus.

The Baby: Mum, you could lift a bus!

You're HOW old?

I gave my legs an absolute thrashing at the gym today, which was all good. Then as I was stretching, I got chatting to a very pregnant girl using the leg extension machine opposite me. I was impressed that she was getting in a good weights workout, instead of plodding along on the treadmill as so many delicate flowers *grimace* seem to do when expecting. She told me that she didn't want to lose muscle OR gain a lot of weight, and also wanted to maintain her fitness as well as possible so that she wouldn't have to undo a whole lot of damage after her baby is born.

I commented that she was smart, and definitely didn't want to do what I did when pregnant - sit on your butt, eat everything in sight and gain 30 kg. Somewhere in the course of the conversation, I mentioned that I hadn't even got into exercise at all until I was in my 40s. She frowned and asked how old I was now. When I told her 47, her response was "NO WAY!" Then she says: "My Mum is 43 and OMG, she's.....she looks.....you......47? Really? You don't look it. Wow! You look great!"

I left the gym with a smile on my face. There would have been a spring in my step, but my legs were too tired....

:)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

And the winner is....

Sara guessed correctly - well ONE of her guesses, anyway. No, Phat Camp's not been moved to Christchurch.... sorry darls. But it HAS been moved to the one and only Skanky Gym.

I wonder if cockroach-stomping counts as a workout?

;o)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

You will NOT believe this!

Melbourne Phat Camp has had a change of venue. And you'll never guess where it's been moved to? Go on, guess.

Oh, go on!!!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Snippets

I'm waiting impatiently for some new Cathe Friedrich DVDs to arrive this week. The mail service here is execrable (I've always wanted to use that word) and I may just take to sending the postman death threats if it doesn't arrive soon.

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The Middle Child got a part time job. And a girlfriend. Gah!

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Training continues to kick my butt - although last week I had a recovery week, which was lovely. Somehow I think this week is going to make up for it.... Outdoor Boot Camp tomorrow. Fun! :)

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No progress on the house front yet. There's some stupid red tape with the building permit, with the relevant authority being apparently incapable of providing a diagram of the sewer location on our block. Meanwhile, we're paying rent and interest rates are going up.....

We also had to choose new bricks, since the manufacturer unhelpfully discontinued the old ones. *sigh* Do they not understand that I almost had a nervous breakdown over choosing all the right colours? And now they expect me to do it AGAIN? Seriously?

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My OOS is giving me HELL the past few days. Which is one reason why I've not been blogging. Apart from having been busier than a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest.

I'm off to rummage in the freezer for the ice pack.