Sunday, June 29, 2008

Crash!

Yesterday sucked, all day till around 4:00pm. I woke up feeling like absolute shite - just exhausted and cranky, and I could NOT figure out why. I'd slept OK and had nothing to be stressed out or annoyed about. I was also FREEZING (*ding!* Little hint there....). It was a pretty cold day yesterday, but as usual I had the heating cranked up to "Tropical", so that wasn't it.

I had an outdoor training session to do, and that sucked too. I had no energy at all, could barely lift my feet off the ground. I must have looked ridiculous with my pathetic attempts at sprinting...and jump squats - ha! I probably got a whole 10cm off the ground with my leaden legs. I layered up for the cold: a tank top, a long-sleeved t-shirt and a light hoodie. I was halfway through my workout before I stripped off the hoodie, that's how cold I was.

I came home and was all pouty about my crap workout - but as Bike Boy pointed out, sometimes you have bad training sessions. The thing about that is, it lets you recognise a good one when it happens... :o)

After blogging about the low blood sugar thing, I figured I really should have some extra food, but I didn't want to blow my calorie limit. Weight has not been dropping this week at all - on Thursday, I was still sitting on 56.0kg, precisely where I was on Monday. So I weighed up reaching my weight loss goal vs feeling human again, and decided I'd have a protein bar. A yummy choc-cherry protein bar. Which did precisely nothing.

So THEN I was cruising past the lollie aisle at Coles when I went to pick up the Middle Child from work, and I somehow tripped and fell into a bag of M & Ms. Oops. Funny thing though - a short time later, I felt warm for the first time in a couple of days. Plus the crankiness had even subsided and I felt normal again. I had a short nap on the couch, and woke up feeling great.

Hmm. This proved my theory about the carb depletion/blood sugar thing. I shot off an email to Coach Liz, and the revised plan is to add some extra post-workout carbs, plus cycle my calories a little and see if that helps.

I may not make my weight goal tomorrow, but at least I won't have killed anyone.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

My Life in Pictures

I've seen this around on a few blogs lately, but spotted KatieP's creation today and thought I'd have a play with my Flickr account, which I hardly ever use.

So, this is my hastily put-together life in pictures:



These are the questions (photo answers left to right, starting at the top row):

1. What is your first name?

2. What is your favourite food right now?

3. What high school did you go to?

4. What is your favourite colour?

5. Who is your celebrity crush?

6. What is your favourite drink?

7. What is your dream vacation?

8. What is your favourite dessert?

9. What do you want to be when you grow up?

10. What do you love most in life?

11. What is one word that describes you?

12. What is your flickr name?


Shelley, did you spot the Koko Black image? :p

Another food post

Yes, I'm still on the subject....and no, I'm not obsessed. Just working through a few things. :o)

Here's the deal - after a couple of months of maintenance, my body isn't all that happy about reducing calories. I've coped OK so far, and I was actually a bit surprised that my hunger levels have been quite low. I only get seriously hungry just before the time of day when I'd usually have a meal, and that's normal anyway, whether I'm following a weight-loss plan, or eating a lot more.

BUT... here's the bit I'm trying to figure out the right answer to: I'm having some pretty nasty low blood sugar symptoms in the late afternoon. It's taken me a while to realise it - not because I'm thick (well, not very), but because when your blood sugar gets too low, you're incapable of thinking straight and realising that YOU NEED FOOD, DUMMIE.

When I was a teenager, I used to see it occasionally in my grandmother, who had type 1 diabetes. She was a pro at eating the right foods and getting the timing perfect, but now and then something unexpected would happen to delay a meal and she'd have a hypoglycaemic reaction. First she'd get all lethargic and quite vague, then she'd get really crabby, and finally she'd be making no sense at all and if someone didn't force some sugar into her right away, she'd start to convulse and would eventually lapse into unconsciousness. Scary. Luckily my mother always knew exactly what to do...

That's an extreme example, but I've also witnessed Bike Boy's blood sugar bottom out after a long, tough ride. He's snippy and sooo tired and lethargic, and he bites my head off if I suggest that perhaps he needs some carbs, because he's HAD gels and Powerade and he SO does not have low blood sugar. If I can persuade him to actually eat something like a slice of white bread with honey and a small glass of fruit juice, he comes good and feels a million dollars within about 10-15 minutes. Then, of course, I make him follow that up with a low-GI carb and some protein, to stop him crashing again soon after.

Now, none of this makes it any easier to self-diagnose...so yesterday when Bike Boy suggested around 5:00pm that I was carb-depleted, I had a light bulb moment. Of course, that was after I got all indignant and argued with him....

He's dead right though - these are my usual symptoms
- Extreme fatigue.
- Lethargy, then drowsiness - I actually dozed off on The Baby's shoulder a few days ago while watching TV.
- Feeling cold - no matter what I do, I just can't get warm.
- Crankiness - which doesn't even begin to describe how bad it is. I morph into the Queen Bitch from Hell.
- Inability to concentrate. Or think rationally. Or behave at all like a sane person.
- Emotional instability. More than usual, I mean.

I haven't gone low-carb. My macronutrient ratios are exactly as they've been for the past 4 years or so: 40/40/20, more or less. So I can only put it down to the reduction in food overall.

The solution? Maybe I need to re-jig my meals a bit. I tend to have a carb-heavy breakfast and morning tea, partly because I enjoy it. But it's also because I train early most days, and I feel as though I need that pre-/post-workout fuel. And I wake up hungry most days, then find I'm hungry again by 9:30, and carbs satisfy me far more than protein or fat. Then there's also the habit thing - breakfast foods are traditionally carby. Cereals, porridge, toast, pancakes.

Perhaps it's time for a change. I'll see if I can come up with some higher-protein meals that I can still look forward to, that will allow me to have extra carbs in the afternoon. The last thing I want is to be thinking *sigh* time for breakfast. Better eat it, it's good for me. After all, breakfast IS my favourite meal of the day.

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

While on the food subject, I'm skipping my treat meal today - going to save it for tomorrow now. I actually had 2 tiny squares of a 35g Lindt block this morning, before my workout. That added up to less than 9g of chocolate. LOL. It did seem to satisfy the urge. And it appears to have reduced the nasty case of SOL I was suffering from too.

Shelley taunted me in the comments with tales of Ghirardelli chocolates, bought from San Francisco, so I went and Googled. They have a gift basket of their famous Squares, in assorted flavours - 120 of them. They suggest it's perfect for the larger group, or corporate gifts. Like hell!! If I got hold of them, they'd be mine, all miiiiiine.....my precious ones.....



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

And on the topic of treat meals (I've never liked the term "cheat" meals - who's cheating? Not me!), I'm fascinated and amazed by the foods that different people class as "cheat" foods. Some figure competitors eat things like: bananas (or other fruit), yoghurt, muesli, potatoes and call it a "cheat" food. Seriously? I eat those things all the time. Huh.

Treat foods for me are things with little or no nutritional value - chocolate, ice cream, lollies, cakes, fatty, greasy takeaways, stuff like that. A little honey, barbecue or sweet chilli sauce, or some light coconut milk won't kill me, and makes my food taste much better - so I work those things in pretty regularly.

You don't have to cut out fruit, or dairy, OR eat boring, plain food to shed fat. Thank God.

Not up to scratch

I mentioned in my post yesterday how I've often in the past bought myself a food treat, something "special", and it hasn't lived up to my expectations. Perhaps that's partly because I build it up in my head to be something fantastic, and after all, it's just food....

Mostly though, it's because I'm a bloody good dessert cook, and most of the stuff you get in cafes is mass-produced and just nowhere near as good as my home-made versions. I've learned, after many disappointments, never to order the lemon tart on any restaurant menu, no matter how grand the place is. The fact is, MY lemon tart is a little piece of heaven on a spoon, and every time I've had a slice somewhere else, I've expected it to be as good as mine, and it just never is.

Same goes for chocolate mousse, creme caramel, chocolate cake, tea cake, scones, cheesecake and many more. It's no pleasure to eat something mediocre, when you've already had the creme de la creme.

So why don't I just make my own treat meals? Uh....that's because it's impossible to make one serve. And if you think I'm having an entire lemon tart sitting in my kitchen taunting me, you belong on the crazy train. I only make those things for special occasions, when I know there'll be plenty of people to eat it and there won't be any leftovers. There are NEVER any leftovers.

Bike Boy used to complain that I never make scones on a Sunday any more - then I pointed out to him that he can have the scones and a fat wife, or do without the scones and keep the new, improved, streamlined version. He's stopped complaining.

This is part of the reason why I have a hard time with treat meals - I have to try to find something that's really good, that I absolutely love, and that won't disappoint. So I stick to things I can't make - like top-quality chocolate, or fancy single ice creams.

I'm still trying to make up my mind about today's treat.... Maybe I should set up a poll and have people vote?

:o)

Friday, June 27, 2008

It's a girl thing

Me: Hmm, I'm glad you bought me a grey bike frame.
Bike Boy: Why?
Me: Because I can wear any colour clothes I like without worrying about whether they clash with the bike.
Bike Boy: ........
Me: What? WHAT??

What do you choose?

The last couple of days, I've been having lecherous thoughts - about food. Seems I've been severely tempted by enticing, delectable sweet treats everywhere I go. The supermarket, the coffee shop, the petrol station, everywhere....aargh! Except that.... when I really look at them, they're usually not so tempting.

This afternoon I took The Baby with me to the supermarket to grab some odds and ends, and he was dropping very unsubtle hints about getting something nice while we were at the shopping centre. So we went to the Coffee Club and while he ummed and ahed over exactly what to have, I glanced into the display case to see:

Brownies
Choc-chunk macadamia cookies
Home-style melting moments
Apple slices
Caramel slices
Cheesecake
And more.....

I was hungry, it was over 3 hours since my lunch, and I thought that maybe I might just have a treat meal now, instead of waiting for the weekend as I'd planned. I considered the apple slice - at least it has fruit, so there's some kind of merit in it, but that's really not my 'thing'. I looked at the cookies and brownies, but all I saw was a big pile of sugar and fat. The caramel slice? I've fallen for that before, bought one and found that it's not as good as my expectations. I wavered...will I? Won't I? And then I dragged out my current mantra: I choose not to.

Choice. That's the whole point: nobody is stopping me from eating those things if I want to. I'm in control, I make the choices. And while I could have any of those things right now, this minute if I wanted, I choose not to.

So I ordered a hot chocolate with marshmallows and a huge shortbread for The Baby, while I settled for a long black. My snack could wait another 20 minutes or so till I got home, I wasn't about to faint from hunger. As we sat waiting for our order, I saw the cheesecake again, and thought Mmm, that might be nice. But the moment had passed by then, and it was too much trouble to go and order something extra when it was just an impulse thing.

Now I just have to decide on what to have for my treat meal tomorrow (or maybe Sunday). I have some Lindt Orange Intense chocolate in the pantry, and there's a Hokey Pokey Cornetto in the freezer. Or do I want something entirely different? Hmm....

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Twisted sister

Today I headed over to the park at lunchtime with my training buddy. Those gusty, almost gale-force winds we had today? Ha! We never even thought about cancelling.

He was keen to get a good thrashing, and I gave it to him. We jogged and sprinted, did high step-ups, lunges and pushups, some dips and about a billion other fun things. Then I casually mentioned that I had a great routine to finish off with. The poor dear never even suspected a thing...he obviously hasn't wised up that when I say "great" or "fun", I actually mean Torturous or Your LEGS are gonna fall off, Sucker!

Then I hit him with Alwyn's pushup/jump squat finisher. Is it sick and twisted to enjoy that look of pain on people's faces? Cos I'm just wondering...... :o)

Of course, you realise that I did the whole workout too..... and can I just say: that 'finisher' is a nasty little routine that had me uttering words that would make a wharfie blush.

Got a "Plan B"?

After a worrying and disrupted couple of days, I went into the office yesterday, set up my laptop, put my lunch and snacks in the fridge, made a cup of green tea and sat down to read my emails. And found a message reminding me that we had a team lunch booked for that day. Damn! Forgot all about that. I hadn't planned for it.

The old me might have had a freak-out. Eeeek! Lunch out? At a restaurant? What am I going to eat? What if there's nothing suitable on the menu? I know better now....I just shrugged, figured my home-made lunch could stay in the fridge for tomorrow, and that there'd be something I'd be happy with on the menu, and looked forward to some time away from the office.

The restaurant was mostly Italian - pastas, woodfired pizza, chicken parm and so on. But I spotted something that took my fancy: Scotch fillet, served on a bed of garlic mashed potato, with some onion and a little red wine jus. Mmm.... I knew this was one of those places where you have to order veggies on the side, so I added a garden salad to my order.

It was delicious - the steak was a bit on the huge side, the mash was an enormous portion, but other than that it wasn't a bad choice. So I ate about a third of the mash and all the salad....then the steak was so good I ended up finishing it. :p I drank water (still sticking to my "no wine" rule), skipped dessert and had a black coffee - I was quite satisfied anyway, in fact I was probably a little fuller than I usually like to be.

Then I did a bit of compensating with the rest of my food for the day, because I had less calories left than usual, my protein was getting close to quota and carbs were well down. I skipped my afternoon snack, mainly because lunch was late and I just wasn't hungry untill dinner. Dinner was a Chinese pork dish, and I scaled back the meat portion, but had my usual amount of rice and veggies. Then after dinner I had a slice of raisin toast with a scraping of jam. Yum.

In the end, calories came out fine, ratios were a little off, but nothing drastic.

Balancing the unexpected or out of the ordinary is possible, even when you're aiming to lose weight. And if you don't get it just right, so what? You haven't "ruined everything" or "blown it completely" with one meal, as people often believe. And tomorrow's a whole new day.

Actually, Skwigg wrote a great post about blowing it (or more accurately, NOT blowing it) and the importance of getting a mental grip. Go read it.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Look! Look what my husband bought me



OK, for the non-cyclists among you who are scratching your heads, it's a bike frame. A very nice, very light, part-carbon, Sarah Ulmer SUB bike frame.

So what do you DO with a bike frame that you bought off eBay? Well, you sort through all the bike bits (gears, brakes, wheels, you name it) that you have stored in the garage, and with any luck you have all the right parts to build an entire road bike. Which he does....almost. We need a front fork and one or two other odds and ends, but he'll track those down.

So the finished product should look a bit like this:





It'll take him a while to get the final pieces and then put it all together and adjust it so it's just right, but I can wait. In fact, I'm quite happy to wait till winter is long gone....cycling in the freezing cold and howling wind really doesn't appeal. Gee, I bet that's a surprise.

A night at the zoo

I had an interesting night last night. I got to spend almost 6 hours in a human zoo (a.k.a. a public hospital casualty ward), while Bike Boy was examined, asked the same questions by 17 different people, sent here, sent there, stuck with needles, attached to monitors and trundled off for x-rays.

How did we get there? He had some weird palpitations and other stuff going on in his chest, and was concerned enough to go see a doctor, who told him to get his arse to casualty. The doc can't have been too worried - after all, he didn't go Oh my God! and call an ambulance. We were resigned to a long wait before even seeing anyone, but it seems that casualty staff don't muck around with those kind of symptoms. I'd barely settled us in the furthest corner from all the coughing, bleeding, vomiting and generally disgusting inhabitants of the waiting room, before we were called in to see an actual doctor.

At almost midnight, they decided that he'd be admitted overnight so they could keep him hooked up to monitors and stick more needles in him, so I took off home for a few hours sleep. The upshot is, he's fine(ish), they couldn't really find anything wrong with him. So he was allowed home just before lunchtime today, to wait on a letter advising appointments for some follow up tests.

So, what does one do for all those hours of waiting around while the patient undergoes every test they can think of? Well, I was equipped with my laptop, so I answered client emails offline, did a couple of program updates, and caught up on some reading. I also ate a quick meal before leaving home, and had the forethought to pack a just in case protein bar. And of course I had my trusty water bottle with me, so vending machine "food" and drinks weren't even tempting.

Then this morning when I headed back for a bit more waiting, I was armed with my little cooler bag, packed with two decent snacks and two bottles of water for me, and some food for Bike Boy, in case they hadn't remembered to feed him (they had). I stopped on the way to grab the newspaper and a couple of magazines, and I was all sorted.

Organised? You betcha. No excuses, I've got a big goal and I'm going for it.

Just for Debstar

...and anyone else who's more than a little bit crazy, here's a nice easy workout from the master of torture himself, Alwyn Cosgrove:




Are you game, Deb?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Over the hump!



So Friday was the winter solstice....I thought it was always the 21st or 22nd June? According to Trivial Pursuit, anyway. Perhaps it depends on whether it's a leap year or not. Or something.

Whatever, it means that the days start getting longer from now on - so, can I have a big HURRAH!!?

I hate winter.

***********

Since this is a definite cause for celebration, I thought we should do something to mark the occasion. Never mind that we're a couple of days late. I was thinking maybe some special foods for dinner, something like that. Alright, so I was hoping that chocolate would be a compulsory part of the deal, so what?

Anyway, I Googled winter solstice and found that the ancient Romans used to hold the ritual of Saturnalia at this time. I read a bit further and discovered that it involved cookies (mmm!) and robes (yay! dress-ups!) and..... oh. Sacrifice.

Maybe we'll just have Tandoori chicken for dinner instead.

Can you break your butt?

Because yesterday - ouch! I woke up with something not-right going on deep under my right glute. Whatever it was, it was painful, requiring drugs, some tennis ball therapy and some heat. I suspect it was a tight muscle (probably my piriformus) pressing on my sciatic nerve.... whatever, it's gone now. NOW, I just have normal soreness, as you'd expect after the past few days' training.

**********

Saturday was busy, but went extraordinarily well, food-wise. I stayed well away from the Kryptonite and today I feel lean, energised and all fired up. Which is always better than tired, puffy and blah! My super-powers are intact - yeah!

**********

This last week my weight has dropped just a little, but suddenly my pants are a lot baggier, my fingers feel thin, and I can see the outline of my abs (yay!). It's amazing what ditching a bit of fluid can do. And Bike Boy tells me my butt is lifting.... woohoo! Now that's something to celebrate!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Up, up and away!

.....Or should that be DOWN?

I am in the zone, the switch is on, I'm totally rocking it.... whatever you like to call it, my nutrition is so on-track this week it's positively frightening. Weekends have been a little... shall we say... hmm - less than perfect lately? But this weekend - THIS weekend, that's all changing.

One treat meal shall be had: tomorrow night's dinner is the plan. And not a drop of alcohol shall pass these lips. None. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Nada. I know perzacly where my weaknesses lie. Wine - that stuff is my Kryptonite!

I have a confrontation with the scales booked for Monday morning, and those suckers are going DOWN.

Holy glutes of fire, Batman!

I had a rest day yesterday. I was planning to go for a nice long walk first thing, but woke to the sound of pouring rain (yay for the drought....boo for my walking plans), so I stayed all snuggled up in bed for an extra hour. Mmm.

I felt refreshed, renewed and energised for most of the day. Today, I paid for that day off. My training program dictated that I do a half-hour spin workout AND Cathe's Butts & Guts. Scary stuff....

I got up at 6:00 and did the spin portion, then had breakfast, got kids organised, did the school run and some errands, before heading back home for Train-till-your-legs-fall-off Part II. So, with legs not quite recovered from the Suicide Thrasher workout on Wednesday, plus an added dose of bike-induced spaghetti-legs, I faced up to Ms Freidrich and her torture. Did I think this was hard the last time I did it? Pfft. That was nothing!

My bum was BURNING way before I even got to those evil Firewalkers. And towards the end of the workout, I had to start taking breaks mid-set. And some of those floor exercises, the ones I can usually do (almost) easily? Ha! just call me Quitter!

Right now, I'm not sure my legs can manage to lift me out of my chair. I might just stay here for a little while....

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Good nutrition isn't rocket science

I don't often blog along the lines of What I Ate Today, because....*yawn* But Liz recently posted about the sort of food she and her clients typically eat when preparing for a figure competition, and that got me thinking about all the comments I hear and read about how difficult it is to be creative, or how boring and restrictive food is when you're following a fat-loss plan.

Listen up people - IT'S NOT THAT HARD. Yes, I've had a few years to fine-tune the way I eat, but I have no special education, no access to resources different than anybody else. All you need is to be interested enough in the topic of good nutrition to do a little research and maybe experiment with some new foods.

So, in the hope that this might be the least bit helpful to somebody who isn't sure what they're "allowed" to eat, here's my what I ate today (and yesterday) food log:

Wednesday:
1) Oats, vanilla whey, banana, skim milk, honey, black coffee
2) Slim Secrets bar, green tea
3) Chicken, spiced baked pumpkin, rainbow salad, rocket and mixed crunchy sprouts with a little sweet chilli sauce, green tea
4) Yoghurt, Protein Crunch, mixed berries, Crunchola
5) Balsamic chicken with caramelised onions, smashed potato (with extra olive oil), broccolini and carrots, peppermint tea

Cals 1500
Protein 40%, carbs 39%, fat 20%
(yes, calorie King lost 1% somewhere there…)

Thursday:
1) Oats, vanilla whey, mixed berries, yoghurt, sweetener, black coffee x 2
2) Banana-buckwheat pancakes with peanut butter and syrup, green tea
3) Lemon-garlic lamb steak, baked sweet potato, broccolini, carrots, green tea
4) Yoghurt, Protein Crunch, mixed berries, Crunchola, peppermint tea
5) Roasted Portuguese chicken with peri-peri sauce, baked sweet potato, broccoli, carrots

Cals – 1475
Protein 40%, carbs 41%, fat 19%


Boring? Nuh-uh. Time-consuming to prepare? Nope. I take lots of shortcuts: cook double quantities of most things, batch-cook my chicken breasts 6 at a time, buy some pre-packed salads and individual frozen veg from the supermarket, just to name a few. And most importantly, if I'm going to be out all day, I pack all the meals I'll require the night before. That takes me 5-10 minutes, tops. And it leaves no room for error.... or temptation as I walk past that bakery at lunchtime.

Check out my food blog for more ideas.

I'm in love!

I was negotiating the cruddy traffic in the cruddy rain this morning, and thinking about my next meal (what? That is SO normal....breakfast was at least an hour and a half ago...) when I had a flash of gastronomic brilliance.

I'd made some banana-buckwheat pancakes last night and packed them for my morning snack. Or as we hobbits prefer to call it, second breakfast. So I was fantasising about these sensational pancakes (as you do), when I realised that they would be even more super-dooper sensational with the addition of peanut butter and maple syrup.

So I made a quick detour to the supermarket and grabbed a jar of natural PB and a bottle of sugar-free syrup and continued on my way. I swear, I waited a whole 15 minutes after arriving at the office (no, honest!) before I whipped into the kitchen, heated those babies up, spread some PB on them and drizzled syrup over the top.

Then I sat at my desk and ate them slo-o-owly, making very loud Mmm-mmm! noises and pulling ecstatic faces. Or maybe I just looked a bit demented. Meh. Whatever.

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

I discovered a way to enhance protein pancakes and make them lighter and fluffier. If you whip the egg whites and fold them into the rest of the batter just before cooking, you not only get a light-as-air pancake, but you increase the volume of the batter and end up with MORE on your plate for no extra calories. Fooling the eye is half the battle, after all.

Genius!!

A grain of salt required

I've pulled up OK today - legs are only a little sore... just "the usual", really. I'll wait and see if Attack of the Killer DOMS strikes a bit later on before I get too cocky though.

I actually loved my workout yesterday - even while I was doing it and thinking that I was hating every second. I just like to grumble for a bit of comedic effect. Coach knows that (at least I hope she does....). Who wants to read blog entries that go ...la-la-la, my workout today was a piece of cake - ran 300km before brekky, then outswam a couple of sharks at lunchtime before abseiling down a 700m sheer cliff.... Pfft, tomorrow I'm doing something CHALLENGING...?

The thing that I love is that I CAN do this stuff. I can easily remember a time when I wouldn't have even managed the first set of suicide runs. Walking up a flight of stairs would have had me puffing and gasping. And I know many people my age or younger who have joint problems and other issues that mean they can never do plyo squats (lucky buggers! Nah, I'm kidding) or even a decent run.

So, whilst I'm pissing and moaning about cardio routines that come with instructions to do it till you die, I'm actually very, very grateful for my health, strength and fitness - even if it's not quite up there with Olympic contenders.

My efforts are actually not too shabby for an old chook.

:o)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

When in doubt, read the instructions

Today's workout was chest and arms, plus a lovely cardio workout entitled "suicide thrashers". I got my weights session done first thing, but had to leave cardio for later on. I thought I'd do it at lunch time, and carted my workout clothes, runners etc into the office with me. The weather forecast looked grim and I was secretly hoping it'd pour with rain so I'd have an excuse to postpone my torture..... It didn't.

So I got changed and set off for the park. I had my bottle of water and my bright orange safety cones to mark out my distances. But I realised when I got to the park that I'd forgotten:

- my iPod
- my heart rate monitor
- my workout instructions

All of which were in my bag, in the shower room back at the office. Oops. Oh well, I'd just have to manage without music, and I forget my HRM about half the time anyway. Luckily, the workout was so scary, the instructions were burned into my brain.

It consisted of suicide runs (oh, joy!) interspersed with a slightly cut-down version of one of Alwyn Cosgrove's nasty routines - the dreaded Leg Matrix. Instead of 24 reps, I "only" had to do 16. I paced out my distances and set out the cones, took a deep breath and got started. The runs were horrific, the leg supersets brutal, and there was barely any recovery between each combo. I was gasping like a landed fish and I thought my heart might actually explode out of my chest. I didn't need my HRM to tell me I was working hard. I got some really odd looks from passers-by too, especially when I got to the jump lunges.

The only part of the instructions I wasn't sure on was how many repeats I was supposed to do. I thought it was 6......but I got to 5 and my legs decided that was it - I was DONE.

I crawled back to the office, showered and dressed and then checked the instructions. And discovered that it was meant to be 3 repeats. Only three. *cries a little*

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Getting better all the time

- My day, that is.

In spite of my unscheduled early wake-up call, everything else about today has gone right. I got my weights session out of the way early, squeezed in my cardio session in between clients, picking up kids and grabbing some supplies from the supermarket, and food has been A+ all day.

I also actually had nearly 8 hours sleep last night, as it turns out. That's what happens when you act like a nana and toddle off to bed at 8:30pm....

To top off a great day, I was in my PJs at 5:00pm. Who doesn't love lounging around in their jarmies while it's still daylight? :o)

***********

Oh, and I came up with a new version of lamb for dinner.

I invented something with pumpkin and tuna for lunch too, but it didn't quite work out. Tasted great, but looked like mush. Back to the drawing board...

Doncha hate it when...

.... you actually have the opportunity to sleep till almost 6:00am, but your STUPID GODDAMN INADEQUATE GIRLIE-SIZED BLADDER decides that you need to be awake at 4:45 anyway?

And then of course you can never get back to sleep.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

That's the way (uh-huh, uh-huh) I like it...

I was short on time this morning, and just couldn't fit in both my weights session and cardio in the time I had at the gym. So I opted to do my chest & arms workout there, and then improvise something later on for cardio.

I headed over to the park, and this is what I came up with (feel free to try it if you like):

Warm up: Walk to park, jog one circuit

Drill #1:
Full squats x 20
Half squats (bottom half) x 10
Half squats (top half) x 10
Full squat x 20
Squat and hold 15 seconds x 3

Jog a circuit of the park

Drill #2:
Ab plank 60 seconds
Mountain climbers x 50
Pushups x 15 (should have been 20, but give me a break - I just trained chest and arms!)
Bicycle crunches x 20

Jog a circuit of the park

Drill #3:
Step-ups x 15 each leg
Walking lunges x 20 (this was too easy, should have done 3 passes)
Full squats x 15
Skier lunges (side to side) x 20

Jog a circuit of the park

Drill #4:
V-sits x 20
Basic crunch x 20
Reverse leg raises x 15
Plank - single leg 15 seconds each leg x 2 (60 seconds in total), then staying in plank position, "walk" feet out to the sides and back to the centre x 20 (switch the leading leg after 10)

Walk for 10 minutes to cool down, stretch and then have someone call an ambulance.

Just how I like my cardio - brief, but brutal. Oh yeah!


*There are no rests between any of the exercises - everything is supersetted. The jogging intervals are your recovery breaks. Yes, I DO give this sort of workout to my clients. And yes, I DO enjoy watching them suffer. Muahahaha!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Fun-suckers not welcome!

Things are on the improve. Today I woke up with what felt like moderate DOMS in my shoulders and upper back. I'm thinking that would be from the osteopathic treatment on Thursday night. I felt otherwise OK, so I figured it was safe to go to the gym and do my overdue back and shoulder workout.

That went alright. My delts were on fire by the end of the session, and were nicely pumped up. I lerve lateral raises, only for the fact that I can see all the striations in the muscles as I lift those weights, Baby! :o)

Plus the plasterers turned up at our house yesterday.... the stormwater drains were laid Thursday, the walls that were built to the wrong measurements *rolls eyes* have been fixed and as of this afternoon, all internal walls are plastered. It's starting to look like a house at last.

I swear, the master suite is bigger than my first flat (no, we didn't have poncy apartments in those days, they were FLATS). Actually it could BE a flat if we turned one of the walk-in-robes into a kitchenette..... Seriously. Mmm, that satisfies my Kath & Kim-esque need to be effluent....

I'll try to grab a minute to take some photos tomorrow.

Fun-sucking is officially OVER. Moving right along now....

Friday, June 13, 2008

Just keep swimming.....

This week has been a giant suck-fest. It started off OK with a long weekend, but deteriorated fast. Stress and lack of sleep were not putting me in a happy-happy joy-joy frame of mind. Getting up at 5:00am has knobs on. And then my neck, shoulder and arm decided to gang up together and cripple me.... so by Wednesday I was - hmm, how shall I put it? Sad, mopey, snappy, miserable, cranky. You get the picture.

Training suffered a little. Monday I was at the gym at stupid o'clock training chest and arms. I love that workout. Except for the bit this week where I was lying on a decline bench, doing ez-bar tri extensions and the upper left bit of my trapezius, right between shoulder and neck, decided right then that it needed to have a huge spasm. There I was, hanging head-down with a barbell in my hands, in agony and unable to move, thinking how on earth do I get out of THIS? I waited a few seconds for the pain to subside then, trying not to move my arms, I managed to sit up (thank goodness for all that core training!). I decided that completing one more set was probably a bad idea....

Tuesday was a spin workout, followed by some torture by BOSU. That went OK. At least my LEGS are fine. The arm was not great and I tried to rest it a bit. Tried....hmm.

Wednesday, things were on a downhill slide. Again I was up at a ridiculous hour, and got through my leg workout fine. Actually, I upped some of the weights, so I was feeling good. Until I stepped onto the treadmill of doom..... I was supposed to run for 20 minutes - not exactly a big ask. I got through about 8 minutes and crashed and burned. :o( I'm blaming the cumulative effect of not enough sleep. By Wednesday night I was fed up. I could barely use my right arm at all, I was exhausted, my temper was on a really short fuse and the thought of getting up at 5:00am to fit in my training made me want to puke.

So Thursday I stayed in bed an extra hour and skipped training. I did, however go to the park at lunchtime and do crazy things with my colleague again for half an hour. I also rang my osteopath and got an appointment late in the afternoon. When I took my shirt off and turned around, she took one look at my back, neck and shoulders and said "Oh. My. GOD!" Seems the reason why my traps felt like they had a big knot tied in them either side was.... um, because they had a big knot tied in them either side.

Soooo.... after my osteo worked some magic, and I rested my arm last night, AND didn't get up till after 7:00 this morning, life seems much, much better. I've rearranged training to give my shoulder/arm some more rest, so today was a Spinervals session.

On the plus side, I haven't strayed from my nutrition plan at all. Maybe that 112 days to go thing over there is having an effect.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Bingo!

Lia guessed right in my "whose abs are those?" game.

Yes, they belong to none other than Monica Brant. (Or Peckham-Brant or whatever she's called these days.) Whatever her name may be, she's hawt.



Very clever, Miss Lia!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Quick house update

Cheryl asked for an update on the house progress. Here it is.

Dramas with the frame needed to be sorted out and construction has basically gone nowhere for several weeks while they fart around fixing it. Do not mention the house. Please. My husband's head may explode and guess who would get to clean up the resulting mess?

Also, my right arm is playing really dirty, so I'm pecking away with my left hand, which is the other reason I'm not elaborating.....

I'm going off to sulk now.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Guessing game

Can anyone guess whose abs those are in my competition countdown widget over there on my sidebar?

No, there is no prize for getting it right - just the warm glow of superiority you'll experience.



Hint: they're not mine.

Sure you do!

My lunchtime training partner has bailed on me for tomorrow! He says it's because he has a client appointment (he does field work) that'll have him out of the office for several hours, including lunchtime.

I think I scared him.

**********

Also, you need to go see what I made for lunch today. It was yum. :p

Yes, of course I had protein with it. Duh!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Mirror, mirror

*ahem* Last night I decided to have a tiny glass of wine. Which turned into more than one.... and then THAT led to some chocolate (my favourite 85% cocoa, of course). Nothing too fatal, but not exactly what was in my plan for the evening.

Consquently, I woke up this morning tired, sluggish, thirsty and with a wee headache. After some water, some breakfast and some coffee though, I was good to go. No guilt, no regrets - I don't play that game any more. New day, clean slate and all that. I headed off to the gym.... and I had the most AWESOME workout I've had for ages. Apart from just feeling strong, fit and raring to go, my muscles were popping. Perhaps I've discovered the perfect pre-comp nutritional strategy? Hehe.

Soooo, after training chest and arms, and with muscles bulging and veins a-popping, I figured it was a good time to do just a little posing practice. In the middle of the gym. Was I self-conscious? Meh. Maybe just a little, but we don't have a full-length mirror anywhere in this rented house, so how could I waste a perfect opportunity?

And you know what? Nobody who walked past even gave me a second glance. I always TELL clients not to worry about people looking at them - that everyone's too busy admiring themselves in the mirrors. Seems it really is true. Yeah, me included.

It's playtime!


I've been re-reading one of my favourite training books, Frank Forencich's Play Like Your Life Depends On It. Sara put me onto the Go Animal website (which has apparently since been renamed Exuberant Animal) a couple of years back and I ordered the book then.

Rather than clumsily explaining what I think it's all about, here's what the website has to say:

Exuberant Animal is an innovative approach to health and physical education that's primal, practical and playful. By combining the study of human evolution, functional fitness and animal play, Exuberant Animal transforms the practice of human movement into an experience that's exciting, inspirational and intensely meaningful.

Functional fitness. That's the bit I love. Training your body to work the way it's meant to. It's kind of contrary to the way most bodybuilders train, but there's no point looking great, if you feel like crap and can't make your body perform simple daily movements. Me, I plan to be fit and FUNCTIONAL for many years to come.

Anyway, when I get to train groups or pairs of clients, I love to pull out some of the games from the book. It's great to see adults having a really, really FUN time. They're usually enjoying themselves so much, they forget that they're working muscles and joints, and their cardiovascular system. The whole thing usually dissolves into hilarity at some point, so you get a great ab workout too. :o)

Med ball slam-dunk is an example: you need two people, a hula hoop and a medicine ball. One person holds the hoop above head height, and the other has to slam-dunk the ball through the hoop. He/she then squats to pick up the ball and repeat.... only, as they bend to retrieve the ball, their partner runs away and the slam-dunker has to chase them down. I use a stop watch and make them swap roles after a minute or two, by which time they're both pooped.

They don't even realise that they're doing squats, overhead presses, some plyo moves (if their partner is mean enough to make them jump) and some cardio - they're just playing a fun game.

Go and check out the site. There's a lot more fun stuff there, plus some interesting info - not just for trainers either.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Oh, and....

....I'm still having my quinoa porridge with banana, coconut milk and palm sugar syrup for brekky tomorrow!

I'll just have to tweak the recipe a bit.

Bring it on!

Comp prep has officially started. This coming week, my calories get shaved back to 1500 per day. Boo-hoo! Just when I was having so much fun with my food too.

Did anyone notice that this past week's posts have been all about the food? D'ya think perhaps my subconscious has been a little fixated on making hay while the sun shines? :p

I have no problem with 1500 Calories as a daily target - I know from experience I can still eat plenty. The past couple of weeks though, I've been ravenous. And I've pushed the boundaries a bit with my food quantities and treat meals and still managed to maintain without having to resort to drastic compensation the next meal/day or whatever. So I'm taking all that as a sign that my metabolism is FINALLY roaring along.

Anyway, I have a goal to meet (er... that would be getting on stage MINUS the butt-flab and jiggly thighs), so if eating less is a bit tough, I shall just have to take a dose of Suck It Up, Princess and get on with the job at hand.

As Liz says: Let's do this thang!

Waffling on

I hated my waffle-maker yesterday. I still hated it this morning. Then I figured out what I was doing wrong and produced these:


..... and now I love it.

Vanilla-buckwheat waffles - yum! And they're good for you, too.

:p

Saturday, June 07, 2008

New and improved

I was inspired to update my blog header today - only because I'd been thinking about a title change for ages, but had been too slack to do anything about it. I think my new title better reflects what I'm all about these days.

As usual, Blogger proved to be extremely difficult and it's taken me approximately 7,000 tries to get it almost right. I sized the new banner exactly the same as the old one and uploaded, but did it fit? Pfft. Of course not. Was it centred? Hahahaha! So I faffed around with the html code forever: header-wrapper, left padding, right padding...*scratches head* what the hell does that all MEAN? I have no idea, I just play with the numbers till it looks OK. Finally, I got the centre-ing thing pretty close, but - aargh! The banner was too small.

*sigh* Back to Photoshop I went and resized, losing image resolution in the process *sulks*. And it's still NQR.

I'm over it for today. Maybe I'll play with it some more tomorrow.

Friday, June 06, 2008

What to do?


I'm in a quandary. I bought the latest issue of Delicious today and discovered a recipe for quinoa porridge. I LOVE quinoa porridge, but this one....THIS one, is made with coconut milk and a syrup made from palm sugar. And it's served with banana and shredded coconut. Mmm-mmm!

So what's the problem? Well I'm now torn between whipping up this gourmet delight for my brekky, or testing out the new shiny on a vanilla-buckwheat waffle, served with berries and yoghurt.

Hmm, which shall it be?

Since it's Saturday, I think maybe I need to have first and second breakfast.....

MORE food, glorious food!

Today's foodie highlights:

  • Morning snack - I met my mother at a cafe and had Greek yoghurt with warm muesli, honey and fresh strawberries. And a long black, of course.
  • Coles had the entire range of Lindt 100g blocks on special: 2 for $4. The only hard part was deciding which ones to get. I settled on the 85% cocoa and the Orange Intense. Mmm.
  • Lunch was grilled chicken with a Sumo Salad chickpea and pumpkin salad.
  • I also grabbed one of the Aussie Bodies choc-cherry bars. They're a little Cherry Ripe-ish. Yum.
  • I discovered that browsing delis, fruit shops, bakeries etc is almost as much fun as eating the goodies. Almost. I looked, poked, sniffed and all but drooled over all kinds of exotic stuff.

AND.....I just bought me one of these:


I foresee many, many protein waffles being produced in my kitchen in the next few weeks....

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Food, glorious food!

I got home tonight a bit tired and had quite a few things to get done. Normally, I'd just go answer my email or whatever while Bike Boy cooks dinner, but he's off interstate once again, so I had to cook, dammit! My gem of a husband had made a big dish of lasagne before he went away, so the kids' dinner was sorted at least, but I wanted something quick for myself. Cheesy pasta wasn't exactly going to meet my nutritional requirements.

I had cooked chicken in the fridge, but I'm having one of those I'm so over chicken days today. So I resorted to one of my old favourites - an egg white omelette. 4 whites, one whole egg and as many veggies as I can cram into it, plus a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. Yum. Dinner, done.

Then I sat down at the computer and logged my food in Calorie King....and discovered that I still had over 300 Calories left for the day. Including 50g or so of carbs. Uh...

I HAVE TO EAT MORE FOOD. Gee, what a shame.

I'm loving this maintenance caper.

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

Yes, competition prep is about to begin, which means I will be cutting calories down some, but that's OK - it's temporary and it's a whole new adventure. I can't wait!

And I thought I had a chocolate problem!

Heard about this on the radio today: British man eats nothing but Mars Bars for 17 years.

I make no comment, other than to present the nutritional info for a standard Aussie 60g Mars Bar:

Calories: 275
Fat: 10.4g
Carbs 42.3g
(sugar) 36.7g
Protein 2.0g

Hmm, 12 a day.......? *counts on fingers*

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Whose brilliant idea was this again?

I've had a great week of training so far.

Monday: legs, Tuesday: back and shoulders, Today: chest and arms. Plus some cardio and I threw in a nice 40 minute walk yesterday morning, in the dark and the fog.

Then at lunchtime today, I headed over to the park with a workmate who had asked me to write him a program a week or so ago. I (foolishly) offered to join him for an outdoor session once a week or so, and today was our first one. So we jogged, ran and sprinted, we did squats and lunges, dips and step ups, inverted rows and pushups, more sprinting, more squats, walking lunges, and on and on till 30 minutes was up.

Half an hour never sounds like much, but I managed to completely trash him.... and I was only marginally better off. My heart rate hit 211 - nice workout! But my quads and glutes are going to hate me tomorrow.

Actually, I think HE'S going to hate me tomorrow. :o)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Inner Fat Girl Smackdown: Round 973

I've been cruising along nicely, enjoying my training and my food, working in some small indulgences here and there and generally feeling good about myself. Then somewhere during the last 2 weeks, something shifted. I've found myself battling to stay on track with food on the weekends - it seemed like one little treat led to another, and another.....

As well, I've felt a bit, well..... blah. It's hard to describe exactly, but there's been something causing unpleasant emotions; kind of an edgy, uncomfortable feeling, and I could NOT put my finger on what it was.

Last weekend took the cake. Actually, I didn't have cake....but there was a giant-sized muffin, plenty of wine, some antipasto, toast - I had a thing for toast - and several less-than-ideal meal choices that left me feeling bloated, a bit ill and cross at myself. I knew that part of the problem was the old being-out-of-routine trap. On weekends I do different things, go different places and am on a different time schedule to my usual orderly weekday routine. But there was something else. I've handled weekends fine in the past - I can always take a snack or two in my handbag, or pack my cooler bag if need be (I didn't).

So yesterday I did some pondering on the subject of WHY and I had an Aha! moment. For years, I was an on-off dieter. And as anyone who's done the yo-yo thing would know, when you decide to start a new diet, you feel compelled to have a last supper - a meal, a day or maybe several days where you go crazy and eat huge amounts of all the things that you think you won't be 'allowed' to have for the next however many weeks while you're on your diet.

I think that committing to a competition date has fired up this old pattern. I know, intellectually, that I'm not 'going on a diet' - my calories will be reduced some, sure, but not to starvation levels. And I will still have treat meals - I'm not forever banned from eating chocolate (Oh God, the very thought!) or having a meal out. And I really, really thought I'd erased that old pattern from my brain. But it seems brains are a bit like computers - you can delete a program and install something better, and you think that's that. But sometimes those old programs are still there on your hard drive, somewhere in the background. And if you give the computer the right sequence of instructions, that old program will fire up and start to run.... and probably cause a whole lot of problems with your other software in the process.

So when a particular situation arises (in this case: competition date set, prep about to begin), my brain looks for the appropriate response. It rummages around in the deep, dark recesses somewhere and goes AHA! ....and comes up with the old "fat girl pre-diet binge" program. And I just blindly obey the instructions coming through from my hard drive....

Huh. And I thought I was smarter than that. :o(

The good news is, when I identify one of these destructive behaviour patterns, I can usually deal with it. This time, I'm downloading something new and better and hopefully it will completely override Fat Girl 2004 Version 1.7.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Well, about time!

I must have nagged her enough, because Miss Shelley has started a blog. This girl has achieved some pretty amazing things over the past year and half, and I'm really proud of her for the way she pushed aside her self-doubts and stepped a loooong way outside her comfort zone to get to where she is today.

Go say hi to her in your best bloggerly style!

Ah, I love a good Spinervals workout!

....when someone ELSE is doing it!

I'm sitting here, drinking my second coffee and listening to Coach Troy yelling from the other room: Come on, pick it UP! Go, go, GO!! Get that heart rate up, come on drive it up, drive it up. PUSH IT, PUSH IT.... hehe. It's funny when it's not me he's yelling at.

Bike Boy was planning a nice ride into the hills today, but it's wet outside. So instead, he's making sweat puddles on the floor in the family room and no doubt calling Coach Troy all the bad names he can think of.

I could watch him work for hours.....me, I'm having a rest day. :o)