Saturday, May 31, 2008

Result: A+

Huh. I completely forgot. Yesterday I saw my doctor for my test results.

The CT scan shows "no significant change" to my liver lesions, which is good news. Other than "It's a miracle, they've all disappeared" (not likely), that's the best news I could get. There's nothing new anywhere else either, so yay for that.

Blood tests were all good too. Even my iron and haemoglobin were good - considering what I've been through over the past 2 years with the hysterectomy, not to mention umpteen procedures to treat my nosebleeds, I should hope so!

I had a chat to her about my low blood pressure and the dizzy spells I was having and she agreed that they were most likely the result of dehydration and/or loss of salts through sweating. Plus the amount of water I drink daily is probably diluting my sodium levels anyway. The last few weeks I've been liberally sprinkling salt on my food, not to mention going nuts with the fish sauce and soy sauce, and whaddya know? No dizziness, and my BP has come back up to my normal 105/65 -ish. I've now got the medical all-clear to go as salty as I like - I can afford it. OK - hand me those potato chips! (I'm kidding.....) ;o)

The doc couldn't stop smiling the whole time I was there, and she kept saying that it was great to see me looking so WELL. You have to understand that I first saw this doctor when I weighed about 80kg and was struggling with asthma, low iron, constant exhaustion, I had some dodgy but unexplained liver function issues and just generally felt like crap. She sees a lot of patients with multiple chronic problems and most of them unfortunately don't do a damn thing to help themselves.

I will never, EVER take good health for granted again, as long as I live.

What did I do to make you hate me????



This morning I was calling Liz many, many bad names. Why, you ask? She seems like such a nice lady.... Ha! She's a fiend. I'll tell you why.

First, I had to go to the gym to do my chest and arms workout. That was hard, but I'm OK with hard. Then I had to stop at the park on the way home and do Liz's Urban Warrior workout. It was a nasty, nasty mix of sprint intervals, high-knee running and other favourites of mine, along with such gems as (OMG!) tricep pushup burpees, inverted rows on the play equipment and (yikes!) criss-cross superhero pushups ....at least I think that's what they were called. There was a lot more, but the finisher - THE FINISHER - was 6 passes across the monkey bars with 30 second rests. *gulp*

I made it across once, took my rest, then started the second pass, cursing under my breath. I got to within 3 rungs of the end before my hands lost their grip and my arms just gave out. That was IT. I picked up my water bottle and my resistance band and stomped off back to the car.

Boy, I love a relaxing Saturday morning.

Friday, May 30, 2008

D'oh!

I've found training quite hard this week - not that it's normally easy, but you know what I mean. This morning, after I struggled through my back and shoulder workout, I jumped on the elliptical and found that I could barely maintain a lousy 60rpm.

I was having one of those sooky conversations with myself - of the "this sucks" variety, and all I could think about was how tired my legs were *moan* and how hungry I was *whinge* and that I really, really hated that elliptical machine with a burning, passionate hatred. I amost wanted to take to that thing with a sledgehammer, but that would have taken too much effort and I just didn't have the energy.

Then I ran my mental checklist to try to figure out what was going on:

  • Food - yep, all OK, and definitely enough of it.
  • Water - no problems there, I'm easily getting through 4+ litres a day.
  • Rest and recovery - uh-huh.
  • Sleep. Um......

I'm getting up at 5:30, sometimes 5:15 to fit my training in. Let's see.....5:30 less 8 hours would mean I should be getting to bed by.... oh. 9:30. Really? *ahem*

So I figured my poor bod was telling me it wasn't too happy and I should just go home and eat my porridge.

And get to bed earlier.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Athlete? Who, me?

If you haven't checked out Lindy Olsen's website yet, and joined up for the members-only extras, you really, really should.

You should also take a look at the featured athlete (scroll down to the Features section on the main page and click on the Athlete Spotlight tab). You never know who you might see there....

:o)

Athlete. A.T.H.L.E.T.E. If I say it loud enough and often enough, I might start to believe it..... That's one more weapon in my kit for the upcoming inner fat girl smackdown!*


*Tickets on sale soon - stay tuned for details.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I'm STILL not on a bloody diet!!

Michelle's post yesterday about people's funny attitudes to healthy eating was prophetic.

This afternoon I was in one of the kitchens at the office, draining the water out of a can of tuna for my afternoon snack, when someone I barely know came in and said Oh, so you're still on your diet then? I have never discussed dieting or weight loss or anything related with this person - we just happen to work on the same floor and have often been in the kitchen at the same time, preparing our lunch. Mine usually consists of something home-made, and involves at least some veggies. His is usually out of a can or a packet.

I showed remarkable restraint by not punching him in the face, and replied with a smile that I don't DO diets, I just prefer to eat healthy food most of the time.

He looked a bit bemused by the idea. Whatever.

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

Just for the record, this is what I ate today:

1. A huge bowl of porridge with vanilla whey and skim milk. And coffee.
2. Yoghurt, strawberries, Protein Crunch and a handful of Crunchola cereal. And coffee.
3. A big chunk of chicken breast, rice, broccoli, carrots and spinach (boring, but I wasn't feeling inspired this morning). Green tea.
4. Baklava and coffee
5. Corn thins, tuna and tomato
6. Chicken Balti (One of Patak's pre-made sauces - those are brilliant when time is short) with tomato, onion and spinach and some papadums.

Not one of my best gourmet days, but definitely plenty of food. And satisfying.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wow, things are moving FAST!

This is exciting news: I haven't even set foot on stage yet, and already I have me a sponsor! :o)

No backing out now; I'm a Sana sponsored athlete....



Monday, May 26, 2008

I've done it now!

Right. The decision is made. Competition date will be Saturday 4th October. And Sunday 5th October. I may have finally lost my marbles, but yes, I am planning on doing back-to-back figure comps.

There's no backing out now. Sara is even flying across the Tasman to support me. She's already emailing me motivational little pep talks, such as:

Now don't you worry, you'll be fine. It is absolutely normal to tan yourself the colour of a bronze statue and parade mostly naked in front of judges and a captive audience. Everybody does it.

Well, I feel much more....TERRIFIED now. Thanks, luv.

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

I enjoyed catching up with Lindy Olsen yesterday - it was a great opportunity to get a few tips from a world champion. And she's such a nice, normal kind of gal too. :o)

I also got to meet the lovely Lia, which was a treat. I'm looking forward to seeing them both again at the All-Females in July.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Almost half a lifetime


As Sara pointed out in her comment on my last post, today is my wedding anniversary: 23 years of wedded bliss, or something approximating it.

So far, we've had a good day. I headed out the door at 8:30 this morning to go hang out with Lindy Olsen, while Bike Boy did his thing and went for a nice 60km training ride. Now he's having a snooze while I catch up on a couple of things I need to do. Not much togetherness, but maybe that's the secret of a long and happy marriage.... ;o)

We'll make up for it tonight with a special dinner we have planned. And a bottle of champagne that's chilling in the fridge.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Losing weight for dummies. Er....make that complete idiots.

I'm feeling a bit irritated tonight. I was browsing through the latest Women's Health & Fitness today (yawn) and came across thier latest Body Blitz winner. OK, so she lost 6kg or so in her 12 week challenge. But strangely, in the after photo, she was fully dressed - jeans, long-sleeved jumper, the works. Yes, she did look a bit smaller, but her shape doesn't seem to be dramatically different. So I looked a bit further....

Training? Mostly cardio - apart from 2 Body Pump classes per week. Food? Carbs, carbs, carbs, and more carbs. There was some protein in lunch and dinner, but I bet it wasn't much. *sigh* thinks I, When are women going to get it?

THEN....something else added fuel to the fire. I spotted a new protein bar at the supermarket yesterday. Nature's Way Slim Right - choc-almond or something. The numbers in the nutrition panel looked pretty good, so I grabbed one. This morning I tried it and.... ugh! Artificial flavour. Bleuch! Won't be buying those again.

I just did a Google search and discovered that these bars form part of a weight-loss plan. It's sold through pharmacies (warning lights and sirens begin to go off) and includes a 'diet'. Here's a little gem of wisdom from the website:

Foods that should be avoided until your weight loss goals are achieved include:
Pasta, Bread, Potatoes, Noodles, Rice, Cereals, Cakes, Biscuits, Fast Food, Pies, Pastries, Crackers, Crispbreads, Rice Cakes, Corn Thins, Potato Crisps, Corn Chips, Sweets, Chocolate and Alcohol.


Hmm, Really? Apparently I've been doing it completely wrong all this time.

I read further and discover that a recommended lunch or dinner choice includes 1 small handful of Pistachios with Salad or 2oz Low-Fat Cottage Cheese with Salad.

Oh dear. That's not a meal. That's not even a snack. It's maybe a side dish.....

And I can't find any reference to exercise.

How on earth are fitness professionals supposed to get the right information to women, when these big companies are bombarding them with complete and utter crap? *stomps off in a bad mood*

Breakfast passion



I have 4 standard breakfasts that I tend to eat week in, week out:

- Porridge with vanilla whey and skim milk (my usual, about 5 days a week)
- Blueberry or banana protein pancakes
- Scrambled egg whites with spinach, mushrooms and multigrain toast
- French toast

Those are all great, but this morning, I felt like something different. I was inspired by Debstar to grab some passionfruit at the supermarket last night, and there they were, staring at me from the fruit bowl. So I came up with the following concoction:

40g of muesli (Nu-Vit's Mega High Protein Muesli*)
1/2 cup of thick natural yoghurt
About 10g of Ladybird Protein Crunch
1/2 a teaspoon of Xylitol
The pulp of a decent-sized passionfruit

Yum.


*I picked out the peanuts. Raw peanuts. Ick.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Doing the (caffeined-up) happy dance

The Saeco service guy just rang. Our coffee machine is fixed. WOOHOO! I'm off to pick it up after lunch.

There may not be much sleep happening in our house tonight.

Ouch!


I got an emergency appointment with the osteopath last night. I've kind of put off going, because my usual girl ran away and left me - she's apparently gone travelling or something. Very rude - how dare she do that when I need her? Anyway, the replacement girlie I had last time was not that good. I'm sure she was OK at her work, but she was way too tentative for my liking, and I didn't feel like I got much out of it.

Things got a bit desperate this week - my lower back was not playing nice and my right shoulder was giving me hell, plus my right arm was doing that thing where it wakes me up umpteen times a night with a bad case of pins and needles. Ouch.

So I rang and asked who else they had and made an appointment with another new girl. The minute she laid hands on me, I knew she was going to do the trick. Man, she was strong! No pussyfooting around here.

I've had this odd sharp pulling sensation in my upper back for a few weeks now. It comes and goes, and is worse when the right shoulder is tight. It was right between my shoulder blade and my spine, and OUCH, it hurt! She poked around in there for a bit, made me lie this way, sit that way, move my arm here, turn my head there. And she went AHA!

Seems my 3rd rib is not quite where it ought to be. Oh. That would explain it.

I've been told to be careful in the gym for now and she'll do some more work on it in a couple of weeks. Careful? I suppose that means 60kg rack pulls are out for now.

Good thing they're not on my current program.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

12 weeks vs life

There’s no doubt that the key to successful weight loss is to approach it as a permanent lifestyle change – unless you want to get to your goal and then rapidly regress to the place you used to be. And nobody wants that, obviously. But does a permanent change of habits exclude 12 week challenges, such as those promoted via the Body Blitz and Body for LIFE competitions?

Actually, there’s no reason why you can’t use a 12 week challenge as just one part of your new way of life. If you choose a challenging yet realistic program to follow, and can maintain your focus long enough to see it through, you can achieve some fantastic results in that time. Trouble arises when people set their sights on a goal 12 weeks down the track, and see that point as the time when they’ll be “finished”. ALL their focus is on that magical 84th day, and when it comes, assuming they’ve been committed and trained hard and eaten well, they’ll be feeling great. They have their photos taken and immediately heave a sigh of relief, thankful that the deprivation and grinding hard work is over. Phew.

They usually celebrate by eating everything in sight, and probably downing more than a few drinks too. Then they get back to normal. Normal? Uh-oh. If ‘normal’ to you means sitting on the couch most of your spare time watching TV, while chowing through bags of potato chips and blocks of chocolate, eating takeaway every time you’re too tired/busy/stressed to cook and feeling relieved that you don’t have to look at another veggie, you’re in for a rude shock. You can’t go back to your old habits: not unless you want your old body back.

The way I see 12 week challenges is that they can be a great way to kick-start a lifestyle change. You can choose to go a little harder than normal, then ease into a long-term, more moderate program. I also find it psychologically useful to break my year up into shorter blocks, setting goals and deciding on the activities I’ll do to achieve my goals for each block. 12 weeks is a handy time period to use. Looking ahead years into the future and thinking about how you will eat/train and so on to maintain or improve your new physique forever and ever and ever can be mind-bogglingly daunting. Looking ahead 12 weeks at a time though – that’s achievable, I can do that.

It’s rather like the way athletes plan their training. Sure they have long-term goals, but they periodise their training, breaking it up into 3 or 4 cycles each year, depending on whether they’re actively competing, or in the pre- or post-competition phase. They only have to focus on the goals and results for the particular cycle they’re in at the time.

You can have all kinds of other goals along the way – you might work towards a particular event, maybe a fun run or triathlon or an endurance walk, for example. Having something other than the scales and tape measure to think about is important if you’re really going to make being healthy a lifetime thing. You can change the focus every 12 weeks if you like – maybe in your first block, you aim to lose weight and work up to running 4km. Then for the next 12 weeks, you could work on maintaining your weight and improving your running time or distance, before moving onto further fat loss and a new athletic challenge. You can make your goals anything you like: typical athletic sports, a team or other sport that you’ve always wanted to try, maybe dancing or yoga. Maybe you want to be the new International Trampoline Champion. Great, whatever, just get moving.

Of course there’s no rule that says you must work in 12 week blocks. There’s nothing magical about that length of time. It’s just long enough to see some good results, yet short enough that most people can stick with it. But if your sporting season is 16 weeks long, or there’s a fun run you want to do in 8 weeks’ time, then make that your timeframe, put together a training and nutrition plan and go for it.

So, 12 week challenges? Getting to the end is hard, sure, and if you manage it, you deserve some hearty congratulations and a small celebration for your efforts. But it’s the weeks, months and years after Day 84 that presents the real challenge. Where are the competitions, the cash prizes, the flashy cars, the wardrobes of sports clothes for living Day 85 and beyond?

The real prize is improved health and fitness, self-confidence and the satisfaction of doing something worthwhile for yourself. Anything else is just icing on the cake. I know what I'm talking about. Winning something is nice. Gaining a new body and a whole new life is something else again.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Just what I need


Lia has mentioned Lindy Olsen's upcoming Bodytune workshop more than once, and I've been um-ing and ah-ing about it for a while. This afternoon, I finally decided to pick up the phone and book a spot. Lindy's one of my fitness idols - and I already know what a genuinely nice person she is, having been lucky enough to spend a little time with her at last year's Aus fitness expo.

So, it's a good thing I have nothing better to do next Sunday...... Uh, except that it is my wedding anniversary. Luckily my husband will most likely be off on his bike, pursuing his own fitness goals, so he's unlikely to miss me for a few hours.

:o) Can't wait!

More mind games

Over the past 7 or 8 months, I've put in some hard work, been pretty damn good with my nutrition and I know that I've made great progress. I'm wearing smaller clothes, I'm definitely fitter, and I'm a lot less twisted and bent than I used to be. But some interesting mental stuff is happening too...

I keep having moments where I'm surprised at how I look. Just this morning, I turned a corner in the gym and caught sight of myself in a mirror way on the other side of the room. I actually stopped and stared. Do I really look like that? Where's the out of balance, over-heavy bottom half I've always had? And are my shoulders actually that wide?

You'd think that after years of training, and given how far I've come, that I'd feel super-confident. But most of the time, I've still felt not quite good enough. It's like I perceive gym-goers as belonging to one of two groups of people: the lean, fit and athletic ones; and the slightly flabby, can't-quite-keep-up, below-average types. My inner fat girl keeps classifying me in with the latter group. It's like I've tried and tried to be one of the others, but I just feel as though I'm faking it. Inside I'm still the girl who always trailed at the back in PE when the class was made to run around the footy oval.

Lately though, I see my reflection in the mirror, nod to myself in a kind of satisfied way, and feel like: Yeah, I actually belong here. Then I just get on with my workout.

That inner fat girl of mine is a lying cow - one of these days I'm going to give her SUCH a smackdown!

Note to self:

When a magazine photographer is in the general vicinity, one should NOT place oneself next to Melita Jagic. Being that close to a buff goddess makes one look white and pudgy.

Damn!


Monday, May 19, 2008

Rapido enchilada pollo

I love Mexican food. Even if I have to make it myself to get it just the way I like it.

(You'll have to excuse my very bad Spanish - I'm sure I got it completely wrong)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Tim Tam Crush-crush

Further to my "I'm not on a diet" post.... in case you're wondering what I might eat when I have a treat, read on.

Bike Boy and I were at the supermarket this afternoon, doing the *yawn* grocery shopping. And I remarked that I planned to have a treat tonight. I cruised along the ice cream freezers, picking up Cornettos, Magnums, and various other frozen delights and putting them back. I couldn't decide - I wanted something...well, SPECIAL. Chocolate, thought I - that's what I want!

But in the chocolate aisle, again I was indecisive. Lindt 85%? Some Lindor balls? A Peanut Slab? Hmm....

So when we got to the checkout, I still hadn't decided. I was unloading veggies, cereal, canned tuna and so on and still pondering. Then I had a brainwave (or perhaps it was a mini-stroke; who knows?). I finished unloading the washing powder, toothpaste and paper towels out of the trolley and told Bike Boy I'd be right back.

You know those Tim Tam Crush bikkies? Well, with a name like that, they're really just ASKING for it, aren't they? I grabbed a pack of those, a small tub of premium vanilla ice cream and this is what I came up with:



You smoosh up two Tim Tam Crush biscuits (I chose the toffee nut ones), chuck them on top of a couple of scoops of ice cream, and add a little toffee sauce (just happened to have some in the fridge). Mmmm.......

The REALLY good thing? You only get 8 in a pack of those Tim Tams, so assuming you're making dessert for 4, temptation is completely removed once you've had your indulgence.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Attention fish lovers!

I have two fabulous new fishy recipes over on my food blog.

You can take your pick from my Linguine Marinara, or Jill Duplaix's Salmon and Potato Salad. Both are yummy!

Seriously, you could serve this up to posh dinner guests and they'd be blown away. Unless they don't like fish.... in which case you'd have a big problem.

Friday, May 16, 2008

I'm not on a diet

I have to credit Claire with the inspiration for this post. How often does some ignoramus spot your tasty yet healthy meal, or hear you refusing alcohol or dessert and ask: "why are YOU on a diet?"

My other favourite *rolls eyes* is when I have one of my not-so-infrequent treats, like a glass of wine or a delicious piece of chocolate and I get told "You can't eat that! What about your diet?" Uh...diet? What diet? And can't? Just watch me!

So, in honour of those of us who are NOT ON A DIET, I'm starting a meme. It's a simple one.

Rules:

1. Post a photo of one of your favourite healthy meals.
2. Title the post I'm Not on a Diet
3. Link back to this post.
4. Tag 5 other people. :o)

Who knows, the idea of eating (mostly) healthy meals voluntarily because a) you like to feed your body good food, and b) they taste way better than processed crap, might even catch on.

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

Here's mine:


Linguine Marinara. And a spinach and rocket salad with olive oil/balsamic dressing way in the background there. Yum!

I tag:

Sara
Raechelle
Liz
Linda and
Claire


P.S. I'll be posting the recipe on my food blog soon.....

What's the salary and is super included in the package?

Sandra Sully on the late news: Blah, blah, police shooting....blah, blah, police sources described the man as a career criminal.

Me (to Bike Boy): So, what qualifications do you need for that particular occupation? Is there a TAFE course?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

FINALLY

The Melbourne MDC results were posted late this afternoon. I am not happy with my net time. 25:16. Harrumph! That's a tortoise-worthy pace of about 6:31.

My publicly-stated goal was to finish sub-26. Which I achieved. But I really, REALLY wanted to do it in under 25.

Yeah, yeah, I know, I was sick (and I have still got the festering throat thing. Ugh). And there were those 3,597 other people I had to dodge around (So 1,390 of them were never in any danger of being overtaken by me, but still....).

I shall just have to train harder for my next run. Grrr!

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

My Phat Camp tops finally arrived yesterday! Yay!

Now I'm just waiting for my Stretchalicious pants.... in Size 1. Is that the most ridiculous size you ever heard of, or what?

They're the ones Jen's wearing in this pic:


Cute!!

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

Speaking of parcels, today I got an Amazon order. It's Randy Pausch's The Last Lecture. If you didn't go view the video of this amazing guy when I posted the link last time, you really should.

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

Yesterday morning was definitely chilly. According to the BOM, it was 4C. We got the same again today - Bike Boy even had the first icy windscreen of the season. Brrr! From now until about October, I shall be going to the gym in multiple layers and doing a striptease as I progress through my workout.

Once again, it was a magnificent afternoon though - blue sky, sunshine, autumn leaves and a lovely 22C.

But the early mornings have knobs on. Tomorrow I get to sleep in till 7:00, have a leisurely breakfast and THEN head to the gym at a civilised time. Mmm, I love not having to rush!

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

In case anyone thinks I'm being a bit sooky-la-la about my run time, I was beaten by a couple of 70+ year-olds. By a large margin.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

And also

It was FREEZING this morning. I got out of bed at 5:20am to get ready for the gym, and I almost yelped out loud as the cold air hit my skin. Then I realised that my throat is still sore -worse than ever, in fact. It's only sore in one spot, as if there's some hideous festering thing there. Which there probably is. Eeuww!

I seriously, SERIOUSLY thought about climbing straight back under the doona.

Of course my conscience got the better of me and I got dressed and went to the gym anyway. In a t-shirt, a long-sleeved top, a hoodie and a nice thick jacket.

It's not even winter yet - how on earth am I going to survive?

Waiting.....

No, I do not have my time yet. Slackers! How is it that Canberra, Sydney and Hobart results were up on Monday, Adelaide and some others got added yesterday and there is STILL no sign of Melbourne?

I shall be surreptitiously checking the internet at the office today to see if they've updated. About every 5 minutes.

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

Looks like I've dobbed myself in for a 5km run on June 22nd. Uh....I hate running. So does this mean I've gone nuts?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Hurry UP!!

I'm still waiting for the times to be posted for the MDC. Canberra, Sydney and Hobart were up yesterday, but still no sign of Melbourne.

This morning I remembered how to retrieve data from my HRM (technology is not my strong point...) and these are the stats:

Time - 24:39 .....which of course, is wrong. And if those folks doing the data entry stuff would only HURRY UP, I'd have the correct time by now.

Here's the fun part though:

Max HR - 219
Average HR - 175

Who said I wasn't working hard enough? *looks around* Uh....oh yeah - that would be me.

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

Here's an interesting fact: The last time I did the 4km MDC, which was in 2006, I clocked a completely appalling time of 29:12. It's not that I wasn't trying - as I told Coach Liz yesterday, it was little wonder, since I'd spent the previous 4+ months doing nothing but fast walking for my cardio. Actually, it was amazing I even managed to run the whole distance.

Yikes. I'm never letting things slide THAT much again.

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

Oh - and I swear the course is harder since they switched directions. It used to be a flat start for about 100m, then up a nasty big hill for maybe 500m(?) Then it flattened out and was mostly gentle downhill gradients till the final flat stretch to the finish line.

They moved the start/finish and made us go the other way. So OK - you get to run DOWN the big hill at somewhere near the 2km mark, but you actually spend a lot of the course on gentle uphill gradients. I'd rather power up a steep incline near the start with fresh legs and get it over with, than face the physical grind and mental challenge of constant piddly uphill stretches.

Monday, May 12, 2008

That explains a lot

Seems I was actually sick on Saturday. You'd think the sore throat, upset tummy (I'll spare you the details of that particular symptom), woolly head and just being really, really cold and lethargic all afternoon/evening would have been a clue. Nup. Apart from the throat, I put everything else down to other causes. Low blood sugar, IBS flaring up again, some not-so-great food choices the previous night.... I might be a bit thick, but I get sick so infrequently that I think it just didn't occur to me that a virus was to blame.

Then last night Bike Boy came down with all the same symptoms. Oh.

So I suppose that means that actually showing up for the run yesterday was a pretty good effort. Maybe I shouldn't be so disappointed in my time after all.

Speaking of which, I wish they'd hurry up and post the results!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I made it!


I got through the run, sore throat and all. Luckily my back decided to be nice and I woke up this morning almost free of pain. One less thing to worry about.

My carefully laid plans worked out exactly - I know the stupid trains don't start running on Sundays until too late to get to the event, so I was up at 5:45, and out the door by 6:15 to drive to the city. It's a dream run at that hour on a Sunday.... I also knew Fed Square's car park didn't open till 8:00 (thank you, Internet!), so I headed straight for the Arts Centre, which has a 24-hour car park. From there, I just had to cross St Kilda Rd and I was at the muster area, ready to rock and roll by shortly after 7:00. Race time 7:45 - perfect!

I met my sister and my niece and we did the whole warm-up aerobics thing (I usually skip that), then headed off to the starting line..... well, several hundred metres back from the starting line, actually. There are SO many people turning out for this event now - which is fantastic, all those fundraising dollars, not to mention increased awareness and so on. But they were in MY way! So of course, when the starting siren sounded, we waited...and waited...and then shuffled forward...stopped...shuffled a bit more...and finally started an excruciatingly slow jog.

I left my sister for dead and started dodging between people, and my little niece stuck to me like glue. She paced me the whole way. She even got a stitch and I told her to walk, don't worry about keeping up with me. But she'd walk for 30 seconds, then sprint to catch me again. LOL. I suspect she could have quite easily beaten me if she'd really tried.

As usual, the first kilometre was spent having a mental argument with myself. The old I-can't-do-this/Yes-you-can-and-you-WILL deal. Of course, by the time I ran past the 1km sign, I was feeling fine.

I made it across the finish line and felt pretty good. As for my time...uh...small problem there. I had so many things on my mind at the start, that I completely forgot to press 'start' on my heart rate monitor (can you say "S.T.O.O.P.I.D."?) as I crossed the timing mats. I remembered a short time later, but I have no idea exactly how long that was. So I have two times, one from my HRM (24:something) and one from the clock at the finish line (26:something). My true time lies somewhere in between, so I'll have to wait for the official times to be posted before I know how I did. Hey, at least I remembered to wear my HRM. I was almost asleep last night when I remembered it, and jumped out of bed to rummage in my gym bag for it so I wouldn't forget it this morning.

Whatever my time was, I'm happy to have gotten through it, considering how crap I was feeling last night, and what a battle it was getting around ALL THOSE SLOW PEOPLE. And it really was a great event, if a little emotional.

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

The rest of my Mothers' Day went like this:

We waited for my sister at the finish line - she crossed at the official time of 33:something (probably more like 31 or 32), so that was a great effort for a non-runner who was having her first go at a fun run. She was stoked. Then we collected our medallions and showbags and headed over to Southgate for coffee.

I got home to be smothered with hugs and loaded up with presents (yay!). An iPod shuffle and accessories, plus a CD I wanted. :o) Then a lovely hot shower - bliss! Then it was out for lunch with my Mum and sisters. Bike Boy cooked me dinner tonight and I have not washed a single dish all day.

Now I'm going to go snuggle with my husband on the couch. That'll be a nice end to a mighty fine day.

**********

Oh, and thank you SO much to all those who sponsored me. You're very generous!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Preparations

Being a control freak and chronic list-maker, I've been busy getting ready for tomorrow morning's run.

I have my runners by the door (no hunting through the pile of shoes in the wardrobe at 6:00am) and my timing tag already threaded through the shoelaces. I've organised the clothes I want to wear and I've already pinned my race number to the front of my top. Before I go to bed (early) tonight, I'll place car key, phone and a small amount of cash with my shoes so I can't possibly forget anything.

Sooooo, organisation is just about taken care of. I still have to find my arm wallet to stick my phone, car key and cash in though, otherwise I'll have to brave the queues at the cloak room tent to drop off and pick up my stuff. Hmm, where did I put that again?

Now if I could only do something about my back pain and the sore throat I woke up with this morning, I'd be feeling super-confident.

Friday, May 09, 2008

C'mon!

Just a quick reminder - the Mothers' Day Classic is this Sunday. I'm doing it, so's Linda. Are any other Melbourne girls planning to run? The forecast is fine and not too cold - and it's a fun event, plus one of the best-organised around.

Come on, help fight cancer - let's beat that sucker down! There are events in every capital city, and even some regional ones.

If you can't run, you can donate. Or you could sponsor me.

Score!

This has not been a fabulous week. Disastrous traffic jams eating into my flex time, husband away on business for 2 days, annoying crap to take care of at The Middle Child's school, medical tests taking up more of my precious time, The Abdominal Pain That Would Not Quit, a broken wedding photo frame, house issues still not resolved, and a sleep-deprived and stressed husband. There was more, but I think it's so traumatic, my brain has blocked it out.....

BUT - in spite of all the dramas, annoyances and stress, I did not miss one training session, and I stuck to my good nutrition. I didn't even feel like eating chocolate.

There was one particular moment of triumph on Tuesday during the Great Traffic Drama, when the kids and I couldn't escape from housing estate hell. We were trapped with gridlocked streets at either end. So I took a deep breath, got out of the car and took the boys into a cafe. They got cookies and hot chocolate. I looked longingly at the bottles of wine lined up behind the bar, the chocolate macadamia cookies in the jar on the counter ....and ordered a long black.

Emotional eating? Pah! Take that!!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Maintenance - yippee! ....or not

Weight loss is based on more or less simple principles: Train hard, eat well (but a little less than your body needs) till you hit your weight goal. Then comes maintenance. Once you get to your goal, you just have to stay there. To someone who’s never done it before, that doesn’t sound too hard. If however, you’ve previously lost weight, only to find yourself regaining it, then *sigh* losing it again, then oops, it’s back again, you’ll know that it isn’t actually easy.

I’m a lot better at it than I was, say 5 years ago….back then I was overweight and it seemed I was forever “going on a diet”, struggling to ditch those pesky kilos that kept creeping back on. I’d inevitably get disheartened at some point, figure I might as well give up, and sit around feeling miserable as I watched a lot more weight attach itself to my butt. Then I’d reach the “Gah! That’s IT!” point once more and off I’d go on the diet merry-go-round.

The problem always was that I saw reaching my goal as an end point. There. I’m finished. Phew! And I’d begin to eat ‘normally’ again, and slack off on the minimal exercise I might have been doing. Trouble was, eating ‘normally’ usually meant going overboard on sweet treats, creamy and cheesy dishes and having second helpings of everything. And alcohol. Oh boy, those bottles of wine….I hope nobody ever looked in our recycle bin back then.

I’ve come a long way since then. I have totally changed my attitude to food – I don’t feel that it’s (cue whiney voice) unfair that I can’t eat a block of chocolate every day, drink whatever I like, or shovel food into my gob until I’m fit to burst. I’ve retrained myself to enjoy my healthy meals, and to savour SMALL indulgences. Any binge-eater will tell you that they never actually taste the food they shovel in during a binge. The opposite of that is to make an effort to really, REALLY taste your food. Savour the flavour and you’ll need less to be satisfied, psychologically. As for physically, I had to learn that FULL was waaaay past the point of satisfaction. These days I usually know when I’ve had enough, and it’s a long way before OMG, I’M GOING TO EXPLODE. There is nothing pleasurable about that particular feeling, and my aim is to avoid it at all costs.

So. Now that I’ve reached my maintenance point in terms of weight, I have to stay there. That means keeping my training at lung-bursting, muscle-exploding levels, and adding more food – and who doesn’t love getting to eat more? :o) I’ve only been doing this for a few days, and the funny thing is, I’m finding that adding 100-200 calories a day isn’t as simple as it sounds. I’ve got myself into a nice little nutritional groove over the past 6 months or so, and I have a repertoire of meals and snacks that I know fit my needs well. Now I have to mess with that. I’m surprised to find that I’m having some minor niggles of discomfort about it…. I guess change always does that. I’m not freaked out or anything, and I’m definitely not tempted to binge my way through a packet of Tim Tams. It’s more about being a sad, SAD control freak – I’m used to doing things this way, and now I have to find a new way.

I plan to just experiment a bit and see what works best for me. Upsize some of my meals, or add an extra snack? A bit of both? Swap and change, depending on what I feel like? Hmmm…. Time to suck it and see.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Question:

How does McDonalds justify charging 80c more for a long black than a short black? What, they use 80c worth of hot water?

Yet they give away sugar packs for FREE.....

Enough is enough!



I have decided that today will be a GOOD day. I plan to float through it in a zen-like state, regardless of what may occur. (I can see anyone who knows me falling off their chair laughing as they read this, because: Me? Zen? Bwahahaha!)

Yesterday's disastrous trip home could have been worse. I mean, there could have been a gas explosion and people could have been killed and injured. It was frustrating, but not actually a tragedy. I have some gripes about the poor communication (not to mention my kids getting dumped off the bus halfway home and being left stranded with no alternative public transport...) but in the spirit of the whole zen thing, I'm letting it go.

Back to today. Today, I'm feeling a lot better - the tummy pain has settled to a low growl. Unfortunately, my back is being a bit hard to get along with, but nothing I can't deal with. Training is done, food is going fine, I've been and had my 2-yearly CT scan done (and I had a win there - the gate out of the hospital car park was broken, so parking was freeeeeeeeeeee!) and I even had time to sit at a cafe and have a coffee and read the paper.

For the rest of the day, I plan to get some work done, maybe have a nana nap, go for a walk if it's not raining, and possibly even sit and have a quiet read. And breathe.... breathing is good. In, out. In, out. Ommm.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

You know there are neighborhood planning issues when...

....it takes you an hour and a half to travel what's usually a 10-minute trip home.

Some major HAZMAT incident closed a section of the main road near here and I COULD NOT GET HOME. The traffic jams were so bad, even the buses just gave up and went back to the depot.

That's two days in a row my life has been turned upside down by traffic problems. Sometimes I wish I had a helicopter.

THAT would explain the head spins


I need to do blood pressure checks on a small group of new clients this afternoon, and thought I'd better make sure the batteries were still good in my monitor - it's been a while since I used it. So I set it up and checked my own BP.

It said: 94/39.

Uh.....

I ran it again and got 93/51.

That's low, even for me - I must be a wee bit dehydrated. No wonder my run sucked this morning.

Better...

As Texas Sara pointed out in my last post, WHAT was I grizzling about yesterday? I HIT MY WEIGHT GOAL. Yeah.... *basks in the glory for a minute* My aim was low-57s by Monday, and when I stepped on the scales, there was 57.3 blinking up at me. This morning, that's 57 on the nose. So yippee, yay and all that.

I celebrated this momentous occasion last night by eating dinner in my pjs - barbecued steak, spiced sweet potato and veggies - then going to bed with a hot water bottle clasped to my belly. I slept like a log - didn't even hear Bike Boy get up at 4:30 or whatever time it was - and feel a lot better this morning. I can feel the tummy grumblings just lying in wait though. I suspect by tonight I'll have a full-blown pain party going on again. Boo! IBS sucks.

Here's hoping it remains a grumble for now - I have to fit my training in between clients this morning, no time for being sick!


For the non-Metric players who are too lazy to do the conversion, 57 is a smidge over 125 pounds.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Some days you should just stay in bed

Today is a grumpy day. I slept badly, got stuck in godawful traffic for TWO HOURS, then had to leave work early to go make a school camp payment because the school makes up stupid rules about when you can pay, there are limited places and my boy is on a SCHOOL-ORGANISED EXCURSION at that time!! We wouldn't want him to miss an important educational trip to Wet n Wild, Movie World and Dreamworld, now, would we?

Plus I have horrible, horrible grumbly tummy pain. *pouts* And Bike Boy is going to be late home AND he has to go interstate for a few days, leaving at stupid o'clock tomorrow morning.

On the plus side, I had an awesome training session this morning, I hit my weight goal today, and I'm home and in my pjs at 5:00pm.

Hmmph. I suppose the day wasn't a total waste after all.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Here's looking at you, kid!


OK, so it's not actually Casablanca - but (beef) Marrakesh is close enough.

Chocolate has many uses


I promised a couple of weeks ago that I'd publish a divine recipe involving chocolate, and that I was sure it wouldn't be what you were thinking.....

Check it out - you may be surprised.

Got a couple more up my sleeve too - tonight's dinner is an old favourite. I'll try to remember to snap a photo before scoffing.

Friday, May 02, 2008

It's all relative

Magda asked how tall I am - it's a good question, because weight means very little without knowing how tall someone is. And then of course, having more or less muscle mass makes a huge difference to how you look overall.

So, I'm "only" 160cm tall (that's 5'3" if you don't speak Metric). Good things in small packages and all that. :o)

For me, 57 is a manageable maintenance weight, and one where I feel pretty content with myself. I fit comfortably into size 8-10, which at my height is fine. I've been sitting at around 58 (dip into the 57s.... bounce back up to 59.... we all know how that goes) for quite a few weeks now and I just had to pull my finger out and get a bit serious. Being at maintenance weight gives me a small window of opportunity to build a bit more muscle before I have to start working on stripping more fat for comp prep.

A few facts:

My highest ever weight (December 1995): 93kg. Yikes! I was pregnant with The Baby and he was a boofer at 4.125kg, but when you get right down to it, that doesn't actually make up much of the 30 or so excess kilos I was carrying.

My highest ever non-pregnant weight (June 2003): 85kg, as near as I can figure out. I had a deadly aversion to the scales, so by the time I actually got on them, I'd lost a few kilos already.

My lowest ever weight (March 2006): 49.9kg. Bike Boy thought I was too skinny - and he was right. I didn't think so at the time, but I can see now that I was seriously lacking muscle, in spite of all my efforts over the preceding 2 and a half years. You can't make up for 45 years of sitting on your butt letting your muscles atrophy by heaving some weights around for a couple of years. By the way, I never intended to remain at that weight - the plan was always to slowly gain and then maintain in the mid-50s. I'm not entirely ga-ga!

Right now, I feel good. Not perfect, but happy enough. But I'm keen to see how I look with the extra muscle I've gained over the past 2 years, when I lean out this time.

Weights and weigh-ins

I matched last Friday's rack pull weight this morning. I loaded the bar, positioned my feet, grabbed the bar with a mixed grip, braced abs and.....Huh? Somehow that sucker seemed heavier than last week. My body said "I can't lift THAT". But my mind said "Just shut up and lift".

So I did. For 4 sets of 6 @ 60kg. :o)

**********

After a couple of weeks of faffing around and having a bit too much of a good time with weekends away and so on, I've buckled right down on the nutrition front this week and the scale number is dropping at an *almost* alarming rate. Several pairs of pants are doing that bag-around-the-bum thing too. SO attractive.

I will NOT be allowing any wine to pass my lips this weekend, which should see me firmly in the low 57s on Monday. Right where I need to be.

**********

I'm tracking nicely towards my various goals. The Mothers' Day Classic is next weekend, and I expect to run a reasonable time (for me). I'm a fraction behind on the fat loss front, but nothing fatal. And rehab-wise, things have improved a lot faster than I expected.

Now for that competition goal......

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Inspiration for breakfast

I subscribe to Anthony Fernando's Dare to Dream email newsletters. I happen to know Anthony - he lives in Melbourne and is a fellow Body for Lifer. He has a great website, Dare to Dream, a book, The Oracle's Secret, and always seems to have several other things on the go at once. He's also a really nice guy and his own story is quite inspirational.

This morning I opened my email and found the latest Dare to Dream newsletter. I clicked on the link it contained and watched a short video while eating my breakfast. All I can say is: WOW! YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS.

The Last Lecture.


By the way, if you're not already a subscriber to Anthony's newsletter, get on board! After you've watched the video, there's a spot in the top right-hand corner of the screen where you can leave your email address.