Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Hold the zombie pills, thanks



Magnesium is an interesting supplement. And by interesting, I mean FREAKY.

I've added it back into my supplement regime as part of my quest for a better night's sleep, along with the evil tasting hops-and-valerian mixture. Sleep has improved, but so has the weirdness and clarity of my dreams.

Last night's efforts included: 1) zombies; and 2) some tall skinny dude, all dressed in black, who reeked of evil. He had some connection with a beauty salon where I was too late for my manicure appointment, so then had to buy clothes instead. As you do at beauty salons. Then for some reason, I went to his house... and the rest has faded from memory now. All I know is that it was weird and disturbing.

So. Magnesium. Hmm.

Of course, it might also have something to do with the Buffy DVD fest that The Baby and I have been indulging in over the past few days. Due to the many hours of vampire- and beast-slaying that goes on in there, our parents' retreat has been renamed. It's now known as the Slayertorium.

Maybe I ought to spend a few days watching shows about puppies and rainbows....

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

All over, red rover



Q. How do you know when Christmas is officially over?

A. When the ratio of leftover pudding to fruit and veg in your meals starts to tip in favour of the healthy stuff.


It's definitely back to normal time for me. This morning I got up at 8:00am (which is still actually a sleep-in), grabbed a band and a medicine ball and headed around the corner to the park. I ran, I lunged, I squatted, did rows, step ups, overhead presses and push ups, and I did not see another soul.... except for Bike Boy as he rode past. I love it when it's all peaceful and silent.

I kept it short, since I'm still nursing assorted injuries, and tacked an extra-long stretching session onto the end of my workout. I'll be back to the physio next week when they reopen - meanwhile I'm spending some quality time with my ice pack.

In spite of the painful left shoulder, right and left forearms, and my old friend the sacro-iliac joint going all spazzy on me, I'm feeling really good and looking forward to the New Year.

I have some work to do on a program for a new online client, but once that's out of the way and the Christmas decorations are all packed away, I plan to resume normal blogging. And I'm looking forward to it.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bring on the celebrations!

It seems the Chinese herbal thingummies are working. Whether they're responsible or not, the level of insanity has decreased significantly anyway, so I'm feeling pretty optimistic. The hot flushes have reduced to just a few a day and they're shortlived and mostly very minor - sometimes I'm halfway through one before I even notice it.

During the last several weeks of rampaging hormones and restless, sleep-deprived nights, keeping my beast locked down was increasingly difficult. It actually made quite a few successful bids for freedom before I caught it and slapped it down. And of course, poor nutrition choices and lack of training only added to the stress and drama, both physically and psychologically.

All I can say is: thank goodness that's over. (And cross my fingers and hope things don't get quite that bad again.)

Now that my brain is functional again, maybe I can finally catch up on those blogs and emails.

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

So...I'm well into the Christmas planning, although this year I'm taking a slightly "whatever..." approach to the day. We're hitting the supermarket tonight armed with a list, and I'll be cooking a couple of desserts and doing some cleaning on Thursday, and that's about the extent of the preparation. Relaxed is my theme for once, instead of OMG, it all has to be PERFECT.



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

School obligations finished last week (thank GOD) with both kids finishing up with really good reports. The Middle Child received an academic award for topping the class in Music Industry. He came second in the class for Music Performance, so my plan to keep all his old crap to sell on eBay when he's a famous rock star is shaping up well.

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

I'm thinking about goals and plans for next year. This year didn't turn out quite as I planned, but I'm not feeling any sense of failure at all. I'm actually pleased with my ability to use some common sense and change direction when the need arose.

If I'd attempted to keep on with my original plans in the midst of all the crap I endured, I suspect I'd have been in a much worse place right now.

Instead, when life threw shit at me, I canned the competing goal altogether, scaled back my personal training work and took some positive steps to get my head and my body sorted out. The past six months haven't been fun, but they haven't been all bad either. Most importantly, I'm confident that I'm stronger and better equipped to face up to problems in future.

And I'm looking forward to next year.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Phew!


Thanks to those who made suggestions for saving my sanity. I actually found something at the health food store yesterday that seems promising, which is based on traditional Chinese herbs - in pill form, thank goodness. Coincidence or not, last night I only remember waking up four or five times. That's a major improvement on the twenty or more nasty overheated interruptions to my sleep the night before.

Some research suggested that hops help with hot flushes, and of course they also happen to be good for inducing restful sleep. Bike Boy suggested I take up beer-drinking, but I think not... Instead, I found a vile-tasting liquid that contains hops and valerian and I'm giving that a go as well. Good thing I don't shy away from swallowing nasty potions; this stuff is BITTER.

The thing with black cohosh is that there's a small risk of serious liver problems, and since I already have impaired liver function, I'm not prepared to take a chance. Up until yesterday, it seemed that every remedy I looked at contained that stuff. Bah!

I'm giving this a go for at least couple of weeks, plus making sure I drink my water (thanks Linda), take my fish oil (thanks Sara), watch my caffeine intake (boo!) and try to avoid biting off anyone's head.

If things don't improve, I'll go see my doctor. As someone wise said to me: life's too short to suffer needlessly.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Ask the internet

If anyone can suggest a sure-fire remedy for hot flushes, that doesn't involve black cohosh as an ingredient, you will have my undying gratitude.

If I have to put up with one more week of this, death may begin to look like an attractive option.

Back later.....

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Let the shopping begin!



My self-imposed clothes shopping boycott is coming to an end as 2009 runs out of puff. Yes, it may seem as though I'm jumping the gun, but these purchases still don't count, because:

a) I bought them on eBay, and they are preloved bargains, which everyone knows isn't even real shopping. The Billabong jeans are sensational, in perfect nick and look like they've been worn maybe once or twice. I haven't received the rest of my buys yet, but pants, shift dress and a silk skirt are on their way. Hurry up, Australia Post!

OR

b) I used birthday money to buy them. If it's not my money, it clearly doesn't count. Today I picked up a pair of black pants for work and a striped short-sleeved shirt while I was at it. And I still have vouchers from Rebel Sport and Lorna Jane to spend.

Excuse me while I adjust my halo.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Hellooooo!



It's been so long since I posted on this blog that I don't even know where to start. I've been: a) busy; b) exhausted; and c) more than a little mental.... consequently, I've not had time or inclination for blogging. I actually did start two blog posts over the past couple of weeks, but never got them finished.

So, by way of some sort of update, here's a summary of the past few weeks. Among other things, I've been:

- Having weekly physio treatments on my shoulder, neck and thoracic area. The past couple of weeks my tennis elbow flared up again, so my physio went all Spanish Inquisition with the torture and stuck needles in me instead of just his thumbs and elbows. Good thing it's improving.

- Getting my second head removed. I have a nice neat scar in the middle of my forehead now, instead of a lump. It's healing up well and I'm confident that it'll be unnoticeable in a year's time.

- Decorating the house for Christmas. New (gigantic) tree and sparkly bits everywhere. Even Buddha got all festive.

- Getting (unwillingly) moved to a different team at work. Bloody budget cuts, grrr! I'm back in an area where I'll be doing some field work. Ugh. I started there last Monday, and on Wednesday put in a 12-hour day in the field. Good thing I'm used to 5:30am starts. Also good that I can claim some extra allowances. And flex time.

- Becoming a demon eBay trader. I sold the kids' school textbooks and bought most of the ones they need for next year. I also sold some unwanted household bits and pieces, and I have some clothes on offer (with bids pending) at the moment. Best of all, I picked up some bargains for myself: Billabong jeans for $6, and a dress and pants for $14.

- Sorting out kids school fees, books and stationery for next year. I now only have to buy three textbooks, one graph paper pad, one compass and one protractor before the start of Term 1. Organised? You bet!

- Working on the landscaping plans and quotes. We've narrowed it down to a landscaper we're happy with, but need to make a few changes - not to mention some cutbacks to shave a little off the price - and we expect to have it done in February.

- Making arrangements for the family Christmas Day do, which is at our place this year. My sisters have been assigned various dishes to make, we have the turkey in the freezer and the alcohol in the garage, Bike Boy has been brewing beer, and most of the rest can be done in the week prior. I'm taking the relaxed approach.... I also have the Chrsitmas shopping under control; I've just got a couple of things to pick up and then have to figure out what to give my own kids.

- Dealing with some nasty hormonal stuff. A month of hot flushes hasn't been a barrel of laughs. Apart from being unpleasant and inconvenient, it's been interrupting my sleep pretty badly. *sigh* I really don't need this just now.

- Initiating Operation Mop-up after the freak storm that hit my part of Melbourne last week. We were unlucky enough to be in the narrow band that had a trillion millimetres of rain and hail dumped on us in the space of 15 minutes. The stormwater system couldn't cope and spouting overflowed in both directions...so we had water running into the roof cavity and making its way out through light fittings and fans. Indoor water features were never part of my decorating plans....

There's more been going on, but it's mostly pretty uninteresting. Oh, except I did have a birthday this week. Now I have vouchers and cash to go shopping with. :) When I can brace myself to brave the feral Christmas-shopping crowds. :(

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Warning: Proud parent moment ahead

The Middle Child took part in the Kool Skools project a few months back, and we were chuffed to hear his band do their thing on a professionally recorded CD. These kids have talent.... and that's not just parental pride talking. Seems it was worth putting up with the frequent doompa-doompa emanating from his room, because he plays a pretty mean bass.

Last night Kool Skools held their 2009 awards presentation, and his band was one selected to perform. Because we're bad parents we didn't get much notice and had other things to do, we didn't go. The function is supposed to be broadcast on some obscure TV station anyway, so we figured we could record it and watch edited highlights.

Turns out we should have gone - his band won an award for best metal track. They even got a cool framed award thingy. Only one though. They're going to have to work out a shared custody arrangement between the four of them.....



He wouldn't let me take a photo of him with the award, because: "Mum! I'm in my stupid work clothes!", but I snuck one of him in his room anyway. There is a face hiding behind that hair somewhere.



This is totally crap quality video (I filmed it from up the back of the school gym, over the heads of a hundred or so Year Nine kids) and the sound is pretty ordinary, but I'm going to inflict it on you anyway, at least if you're game to click on the play button.

This, folks, is what an award-winning track sounds like:

Friday, November 13, 2009

Where have I been, did you ask?



Raechelle commented that she was wondering where I'd been....

Well, I've been busy doing this and buying this and renovating this....and this.... and obsessing over this.

:o)

I've also been doing a lot of work on retraining my wayward subconscious, with the help of a psychologist. And while that's been very successful, I haven't really felt much like blogging about it. It's all still a work in progress.

There are things I want to talk about, but I can't seem to get the words out in any way that makes sense just yet. So I'd rather write nothing than bang out a rubbish post, just for the sake of it. I'll get it all sorted eventually and I'll share, don't worry. Probably more than you wanted to know. LOL.

I am feeling reassured, having been informed that I'm (officially) not crazy. Yeah, that's always good to know.

More, please!



If one more person says to me "Ugh! This hot weather is AWFUL. I wish it would cool down" I might just smack them in the head.

We have just suffered through a LONG, cold, wet, windy and completely miserable winter, and I am thriving on the sunshine and high temperatures. 30 degrees is just about perfect in my world.

Yes, some rain would be nice, but I'm enjoying being able to go for a walk, take clients outdoors and not be spending squillions of dollars on gas for heating our giant-sized house.

Winter makes me cold, depressed and crabby. Sunshine and warmth lifts my spirits, and I don't have to wear twelve layers of clothing (and that's just to bed!).

So if you're thinking of complaining to me about the heat, just shut it, OK? You've been warned....

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Still standing

I headed off to Flemington today for my annual Oaks pilgrimage with my bestest friend. We used all our fingers and calculated that we've been doing this for 16 years now. Apparently some old biddy was interviewed on the news the other day who'd been going to the Melbourne Cup for 50 years. We plan to try to top that record, even if we're tootling around in motorised wheelchairs.

I employed my newly developed laid-back attitude and pulled an outfit out of the wardrobe last night. Which happened to be a $700 Anthea Crawford silk dress and coordinated satin jacket from 2005... I figured that at that price, I need to wear it approximately 97 more times to get maximum value from it. A quick rummage amongst the stuff on the top of my wardrobe shelf and I had a hat and shoes to match. No handbag though, dammit. I remember now, I chucked my pink handbag shortly after we moved here.

This morning I made sandwiches and packed them with some bottled water, got dressed and made up and only had a minor hissy fit about my hair, which would not do what I wanted it to, and another about the black handbag that I was forced to carry, which matched nothing in my outfit. Then Jeeves (a.k.a. Bike Boy) drove us to the station and we were all set.

This photo isn't from today, but could have been; the wind was completely feral:



I lost the grand sum of $2.46 on the tote, which I consider a resounding success. We sat in the sun by the entrance and watched a parade of fashion disasters go by, which was highly entertaining. We drank champagne - Yellowglen at $32 a bottle is bloody highway robbery, but what are you gonna do? And we ate our sandwiches, drank a couple of hot drinks and kept ourselves nice.

For those who aren't quite sure where the lines are drawn in the fashion and behaviour stakes, there's some good advice here. My best tip: if your skirt is likely to be mistaken for a belt, it's too short. No seriously. I swear I saw a couple of headbands being worn as skirts too.

We left before the last race, and last year's debacle with the trains (see below) was thankfully not repeated, so Jeeves collected us from the station and had us home in time for dinner. Which he also cooked.



All up, it was a relaxing and fun day. I left my phone home (oops) but it turns out, I can live without it for a day. Who knew? And I don't have sunburnt boobs, blisters on my feet or vomit in my hair, so I'm calling it a success.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Hello, there!


This week has been a bit of a turning point for me. Somewhere amongst all the stress and sadness and mixed-up crap in my head, I lost touch with my body. Not that my body and I are actually separate beings or anything (I'm not nuts, OK?)... But I was so overwhelmed by the noise in my head that I stopped noticing the messages that my simple old physical self was sending out.

Let me tell you, that's not a good place to be. Things start to get really messed up if you stop paying attention to your basic human needs for too long.

It can be easy to miss a signal if you're not used to looking for them. It's not like a giant billboard appears in front of your face saying: Oy! I need a few days off from training. Or a clown with a megaphone yelling: Dammit, woman! Will you stop with the running around at a psychotic pace and get some sleep!

You need to be paying attention to notice the signs and figure out what they mean. So this week I've given myself permission to have the week off from training. Not that I've been going hell for leather lately anyway, but psychologically, PLANNING time off from training is a lot different to MISSING training because you're too tired or too busy or emotionally drained. It might seem like semantics, but trust me, it's a huge difference.

I also decided to make a big effort to pay attention to my hunger. Not surprisingly, since I'm not training, I'm not as hungry as usual. (Wow, big revelation there!) My big bowl of oats and whey for breakfast has amazingly been holding me over till lunchtime. And once or twice I haven't needed an afternoon snack either. The usual time rolls around and I ask myself "Am I hungry?" If the answer is no, I keep on doing what I'm doing, checking again in an hour or so. It's been interesting.

On top of all that, I've made a big effort with sleep, pulling out every trick I have to ensure an undisturbed night and I've been managing eight hours on a regular basis. Of course, my body would choose this week to drop a heap of fluid, so I'm usually up at 3:00am or so for a pee. *sigh* I'm looking on that as a positive.

My body is thanking me by being less tired - although I'm SO ready for bed by 9:30pm - and by fitting into my pants more easily (yay!). But the real payback is a sense of calm that's persisted all week.

I'm heading into the weekend feeling pretty relaxed and refreshed, and I'm looking forward to putting together a plan for next week's training. I have the week off, so there's going to be no stress involved in fitting that in. Can't wait!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Something tells me I need a holiday...



As I was walking through the lift lobby on my way out of the office this arvo, I swear the sign next to the lift button said "Are you wearing your underpants?"

I had to do a double-take and discovered that it was one of our many Big Brother security notices, and actually said "Are you wearing your building pass?"

Good thing I'm off work for the next nine days. Maybe my brain will regrow in that time...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mission accomplished

The party went extremely well, in spite of my not doing my usual insane over-achieving thing and running around frantically handmaking all the food and decorations and weaving extra chairs out of raffia. I made a conscious decision to NOT work myself into a stressed-out mess for once, so the planning went something like this:

Friday: Wander down to the party supplies shop to meet my sister and buy a pack of frozen finger food, plus a slab of chocolate cake. Cut up cake, put it in the fridge to defrost. Stick everything else in the freezer. Have at least seven phone conversations with my sister, checking on final details. Have a few wines.

Saturday: Train a client, answer some emails, faff around a bit, then finally start cleaning the house. Lose interest part way through and hide stuff in the laundry. Have a few wines.

Sunday: Get out of bed eventually, have breakfast, coffee, more coffee, and then get dressed and drive to Coles for the extra things we need. Decide NOT to make a batch of mini scones because we already have enough food to feed a small army battalion. Wonder if it's too early to have a few wines. Decide that it probably is. make some sandwiches, arrange food on plates, rearrange the furniture to accommodate 70 people.

After that it was a blur of greeting hordes of people, many of whom I hardly knew or had never met, heating finger food and handing trays to the nearest child - they were all on waiter duty - and giving umpteen people the grand tour of the house. And there may have been a few wines consumed, but I'm not telling.

Not changing the subject or anything, but how gorgeous are these little cakes from Paterson's?





And they were just as delicious as they look. Especially the chocolate ones, filled with mousse. Mmmm.

Oh...and Mum had a lovely time, and she didn't have to do a thing. :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Plastic surgery



I've been joking a lot lately about the second head that I'm growing - No, I'm not turning into a Zaphod Beeblebrox lookalike or anything, I just have this lump in the middle of my forehead that won't disappear.

My GP diagnosed it as a sunspot thingie and froze it with liquid nitrogen back in July, but it stubbornly hung around. So today I consulted a plastic surgeon, who agreed that it's probably a solar keratosis.... although there's a very insignificant risk of it being a skin cancer. Anyway, whatever it is, of course he's desperate to get busy with his scalpel. So next month I'm off for a day procedure to have it cut out.

Turns out, I'm lucky it's kind of a horizontal shape, since that means the scar will sort of fade into the lines on my face. *ahem* Not that I have any of those. I'm also lucky that it's smack-bang right in the middle of my face, rather than to one side, as there's no chance of ending up with wonky eyebrows.

Sheesh. This guy's a plastic surgeon; you'd think he'd be able to smooth OUT the wrinkles, lift sagging eyelids, tighten things up....you know, generally make me more gorgeous. Or does Medicare not cover that? Hmm...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Wassup?

Lotta thinking going on here, not much talking blogging. I still haven't got everything figured out (and am starting to think I never will), but I'm in a much calmer and happier place over the past week. Living your life in a constant state of anxiety isn't a lot of fun. It seems I've been suffering from Last straw syndrome (I just made that up, by the way). There's a blog post in that, for sure.

In other news... yesterday I took my kettlebell for a test drive at the park and in 30 minutes smashed myself silly with a few simple moves and lots of cardio intervals. Got some funny looks from neighbours and passers-by too. Hehe.

Business is keeping me occupied, got some great clients who are hitting goals all over the place. Love it!

And I have 6 days to get my Mum's 70th birthday party happening, and so far I've done...zero. LOL. Well, one of my sisters and I have made some very preliminary arrangements to go food and drink shopping on Friday night, and I'm remarkably unstressed about it all. Cleaning might consist of hiding mess in cupboards on Sunday morning.

Later.....

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Top score



I had a stack of regular blood tests done recently and went back to my GP for the outcome. She scrolled through the results on her computer screen, saying Iron: normal ....thyroid: normal ....liver function: a bit off, but normal for you ....blah, blah, normal .....normal ....

Oh! Your cholesterol is very good ....WOW! Your HDL cholesterol is EXCELLENT, really high. Um. Yeah, that's outstanding. Good for you!


I felt like I just topped the class on my exams. :o)

Of course, it's all due to my Sana fish oil capsules.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The best medicine



Today's training (made up as I went, no plan at all this morning):

Weights -

Bench press 4 x 5
Lat pulldown - medium grip 2 x 10, wide grip 2 x 10 (I've backed the weight right off and am making my lazy lats and lower traps do some work. The minute I load up the weights, my shoulders head towards my ears. My physio will kill me if I keep that up)
Seated rows supersetted with three-point pushups, 3 x 10

I started to do some biceps/triceps, but the tennis elbow that I've noticed developing in my left arm decided it really disliked DB bicep curls today, so I abandoned that idea. Sometimes you just gotta listen to your body. Stupid body.

Cardio -

I did a workout that's perfect for those with a short attention span...
10 minutes on the elliptical, varying speed and throwing in some reverse intervals
10 minutes brisk walking on the tready at incline 4
10 minutes on the spin bike - some speed, some seated hill climbs, some standing hill climbs, with short recovery intervals in between. I finished off with some one-legged drills.
Back on the treadmill to cool down.... but then I decided to add some walking lunges and some side shuffles too.

Total training time? One hour.

***********

To top off my great workout, I had a woman at the gym tell me that she wished she had a body like mine. Now that's what I needed to hear, when I'm feeling particularly flabby and frumpy. It's always interesting to see yourself through someone else's eyes.

A compliment, on top of a big rush of endorphins was just what the doctor ordered today.

Friday, October 09, 2009

AND.... I got new toys!!

So guess what I spotted in K Mart (apart from mens' flannie pj pants for the boys for $2.50?).


KETTLEBELLS!!!



Can't wait to test these babies out! Might go back and get the 20-pound one too....

The cure


The ability of the human brain to forget stuff never ceases to amaze me.

I've been dragging myself around, feeling awful - actually, "awful" doesn't begin to describe it. I don't think the English language even has a word for how bad I was feeling. Anyway.... The LAST thing I felt like doing was training. That was scaring me a bit because it rarely happens, and definitely not for any prolonged period. But I'd think idly about it, and just go blah!

I managed a few odd workouts here and there, but simply didn't have the desire to do anything on a regular basis. Then yesterday, I had a new client to train and her goal is to improve her running. I needed to see where she was starting from, so off we set last night for a short, slow run. I was actually a little fearful that I wouldn't make it - can't remember the last time I ran - but we did a nice slow and steady 20 minutes around the neighbourhood and surprise! I didn't drop dead. In fact, I could have kept going for quite a bit longer.

My client commented to me that she probably would have walked from about the ten-minute mark if she'd been on her own, and I laughed and admitted that I probably would have too.

We finished up with some strength work and stretching, discussed her training schedule for the coming week until our next session, and said goodbye. I sat down shortly afterwards to eat the home-made pizza Bike Boy had made, and was chatting away to him..... and it occurred to me that I was feeling HAPPY.

Endorphins. How on earth did I forget how those things make you feel? Stupid brain.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

The big plan

I love, love, LOVE daylight saving. But I hate the first week after it starts, when my body just goes: WTF, Dude? You expect me to get up at 4:15am? Are you SERIOUS??

It seems I always take a week or so to adjust to the shift in time. It's like having jetlag, only without the fun of having been somewhere warm and tropical. *sigh*

It sucks extra-bonus big hairy ones this year, because it happens to coincide with a few days of severe sleep deprivation for me, due to a whole lot of ridiculous circumstances. I also have raging PMS. Suffice it to say, "cranky" does not begin to describe my mood just at the moment. And of course, every little annoyance is being blown completely out of proportion, resulting in some pretty ugly meltdowns.

Last night I decided that it was best if I just shut myself in a room alone, away from everybody else. Much safer that way for all concerned.

My aim for today is to get through my trip to work, my day at the office, my trip home, another client session and then a couple of hours of family time without leaving a trail of bodies in my wake.

This sums up my carefully planned strategy:



Yeah. I think that'll work.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Dear Politicians,

What IDIOT decided that daylight saving should begin the day before the kids go back to school? Hello??? Obviously not a parent who has to get their little darlings out of bed at 7:00am after two weeks of sleeping in, and what effectively amounts to a change of time zones the day before.

I know you people like to keep the participating eastern states all aligned and everything, but a little consideration for the different school timetables might be in order here. And since Qld is already out of whack, what difference would it make if we here in Vic were too, for a week or so?

Signed

Pissed-off Parent

Monday, October 05, 2009

Training tip #39

When you're demonstrating how to do inverted rows on the Smith machine to your much-taller client, and you've set the bar quite high because she's a beginner, DON'T FORGET THAT IT'S THERE just above eye-level and smack your skull on it as you step out of the way.

Ouch.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Wimp!

Yesterday, as planned, I did a workout while I was at the gym, and I decided to train legs. Today I can barely move. My legs don't really want to work at all, and my upper back has (strangely) decided to join in. I really need to work on my squat technique when it comes to holding the bar in place. I don't think my traps should be working that hard...

So, what was this mega-challenging workout that I did, that's generated such a severe dose of DOMS? Nothing much, as it turns out. Only this:

3 sets of 5 heavyish barbell squats (50kg)
3 sets of 8 suitcase deadlifts. Can't remember the weight, I think 12.5kg?
3 sets of 8 single-leg glute bridging.

That's what you get for taking a break from training....good thing I wasn't all gung-ho about it and kept it short and simple.

Blog drama



I read a lot of blogs, although I may not comment on most of them. There just aren't the hours in my days to get too involved, but I love to see the different ways people approach life's challenges. I've learned about numerous new things and given many a try. Some have been brilliantly successful (Body-for-LIFE, PN, Spinervals DVDs, to name a few), some an utter disaster (I am NEVER doing Afterburn again...yikes!) and there are others that I simply have zero interest in trying (anything involving fasting, detoxes, cleanses or the like are high on my list there!).

But the point is, it's all information, it all feeds into the computer known as my brain, and gets processed and filed.... and in the end, everything has an influence on the way I think. One of life's little jokes is that sometimes, something that you once thought completely ridiculous and would never, ever do, turns out to be the best thing you ever tried. I've had to eat my words more than once in that respect...

What's my point here? There's been a bit of drama in blogland the past couple of days, and this is my take on it. Magda already stole my thunder, as far as one of the main points I was going to make is concerned. As I commented on her post: without tone of voice, facial expression and body language, it's easy to take written words the wrong way. A well-intentioned comment or question can be interpreted as negative criticism - I see it happening all the time (BTW, if I'm ever tempted to become a moderator on another forum, somebody please slap me!).

I've been watching with interest as a few bloggers have done an almost u-turn from where they were a short while ago. Not only Shelley and Katie, but several other high-achieving ladies who I admire, are stepping out in completely new directions. I don't necessarily want to follow in their footsteps, but it's turning out to be bloody fascinating to observe so far. And I like that they challenge the status quo, even when that includes many of my pet theories and core beliefs. We humans have a tendency to get defensive when people question what we do or why we do it, but surely open and honest discussion is a good thing?

I have to say that in spite of claims to the contrary, I've not seen any negativity. At least it hasn't seemed that way from my perspective - I've seen only questioning and searching for answers, and overall looking for a better way of living life. I'm pretty sure that's a common human theme....

Anyway, I'll just add that Shelley is a gem. I've been very lucky to have known her now for almost three years, since I first "met" her as an online client* back in late 2006, and since then as a friend. She's become someone I look up to in many ways, and she has the biggest heart I've ever come across. She's rescued me from my own misery more than once with kind words and good advice. There's nothing like a timely email, text or call from someone who's been there and knows what you're going through when you're feeling like utter crap.

I don't want to try everything Miss Lift-Heavy-Shit Shelley does, but I'm fascinated by some of the things she's finding on her journey of self-discovery. Some make me raise my eyebrows, some make me nod my head in agreement, but it's all interesting in its own way. And boy, watching somebody grow and overcome their own self-imposed limitations is inspiring.

Anyway, all this debate/argument/drama has highlighted something else for me (yes, I love to find the lesson in everything): The next time that somebody questions why I've taken up juggling carving knives while riding a unicycle, or whatever my latest adventure may be, I'll make a determined effort NOT to get defensive and tell the person to sod off. Instead, I'll try very hard to consider their opinion and enter into a discussion on the subject.

I've found in the past that explaining my actions and intentions to somebody else is often an enlightening experience for ME. Often we do things without really considering whether it's the best way, or the right thing at all. So when we're challenged about it, and have to come up with reasons why, that can initiate some soul-searching and there can be a light-bulb moment - it may cement my certainty about why I've chosen the path I'm on. Or it may make me realise that oops, I got it completely wrong. Either way, it's a good thing.


....Got a bit rambly there. Sorry. :o)


* I've always been proud to have played a very small part in Shelley's journey, but I have to say that in many ways, the student out-stripped the teacher long, long ago. LOL.


Edit: For the benefit of those not in the know, I'll just add a couple of links to save you trawling around blogland, going Who? What? What'd I miss??? Check out Liz's posts here and here and ye shall be enlightened.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Now, THIS is progress

I'm slowly, slowly getting myself back to normal. I've spent this past week eating well (not "dieting", bah!), taking my supplements, drinking my water and working on getting enough sleep. I've been busy, but have also made a point of fitting in some relaxation time. I've logged calories, but haven't been weighing myself at all. I've had a couple of drinks (but don't plan on repeating Monday's awful hangover - blah!), and last night enjoyed some lovely chocolate. Restriction and deprivation simply aren't on the menu.

Training hasn't really featured - a couple of walks, a bit of outdoor work with a client, but that's it. I know from past experience that when I try to go from zero to 100% in no time at all, I'm likely to crash and burn, so I've been working on things gradually.

Right here, right now, I'm feeling more relaxed and more balanced than I've felt in a long time. I woke up this morning to bright sunshine, and thanks to some clients on holidays or rescheduling sessions this week, I only have one booked this morning. That one happens to be at the gym, so I'm thinking some kind of workout is in order for me afterwards. I'll wait and see what I feel like doing when I get there - at this point, I have no idea.

Next week, I'll be back to training, but I will be doing only what I enjoy. The fastest way to send myself off-track is to schedule in exercise that I loathe.... Good thing there are plenty of things I like. LOL.

This morning as I walked into the bathroom, I decided that I'd like to know where my weight's at. I've looked at the scales several times over the past weeks, but have had no desire to step on them. There was no trepidation, only curiosity, and the news was no surprise: today I'm sitting at a slightly heavy 60.3kg. That's probably a good 2kg less than I was a week ago.... and the funny thing is that I look nothing like I did at that same weight a couple of years ago. Not quite as lean as I'd like, but nothing to get worked up about.

Seeing that number didn't make me think "I'm FAAAAAAAT" (as has happened in the past), and it hasn't changed my plans one bit. I'll continue doing exactly as I said above, eating well, doing some training: probably four or five days next week, as it's another busy one. I'd like to shave a couple of kgs off by Cup week, which is easily do-able, but I'm not setting any crazy goals like losing 5kg in two weeks. I know better....

At the moment, my main goal is to get myself back to what passes for normal. I'm employing someone to help me with that too, since I'm clearly useless at figuring out what the hell is going on in the darkest corners of my mind.

I'm sure there will be more bad days in store in the coming weeks, but I'm quietly confident that everything is going to be alright in the end.

I can't be there, but....

....good luck to all competing today - and most of all, have FUN with it.



I demand lots of photos, please!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Staying power



I'm slightly startled - and more than a little smug - to realise that today, 2nd October 2009, marks THIRTY YEARS since Bike Boy and I first met.

And here we are, and it only seems like the blink of an eye later....

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Life's good

Things are improving - I still have my up-and-down days, but at least I'm just doing it anyway.

We've had a couple of non-rainy days in a row, so the ground has dried out a bit and I was able to take my early morning client over to the park for some fun and games. I love outdoor training, and the weather was just perfect for it - cool and overcast.

Step-ups, sprints, pushups, squats, some walk/jog intervals, lat pulldowns with a band hooked over the playground equipment, more sprints, dips, x-band walks.... I love the variety. What a fantastic way to start the day! The good thing about these sessions is that I get to have a bit of a workout too.

No gym? No equipment at home? No excuse.

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

The usual Spring rush has really hit with a vengeance. I'm signing up new clients like there's no tomorrow and have almost hit my limit. Onliners, one-on-one clients with all sorts of different goals, and I'm doing a genetic profile consult for someone at the moment too (I love doing these, they really bring out my inner geek).

I love variety in my work too - among others, I have runners, numerous fat loss the-whole-shebang clients, a handful of fitness professionals who want help with nutrition, and a couple trying to overcome health issues. I'm having fun with it, but I'm being mindful of my tendency to take on more than I can really handle, so I've already said no to a few.

I hate to disappoint people, but I do need to take care of ME as well. Gee, maybe I'm learning....

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

I should be at work, but had to wait here for the dishwasher repair guy, so it's a late start for me today. Not complaining....

I'd better run though. Dishwasher's all put back together, so it must be time to go.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

You're not alone



Tell everyone what you want to do and someone will want to help you do it.
- W. Clement Stone

Monday, September 28, 2009

So THERE you are!

Sometimes in the depths of misery, pain and frustration, you find some surprising things.

Strength, certainty and mental toughness showed up today, just when I thought they might never come back. Let's hope they hang around for a play date tomorrow.


“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”
- Arnold Schwarzenegger

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Forward motion

Plans A to E are progressing - some faster than others.

On the keeping occupied front, I've done a major renovation of our outdoor furniture, which I'm pretty proud of. If only the weather hadn't turned all to crap, we might actually be able to use it.... Anyway, the therapeutic value of physical labour can't be over-emphasised. Especially when you get to enjoy the fruits of your labour.

Plan D has been featuring heavily. The Baby and I saw Up on Friday morning, we've been out for lunch, and had a peaceful (and almost bogan-free) shopping experience yesterday arvo while 99% of Melbournians were glued to their TVs watching some sporting event or other. We've also watched a stack of DVDs, and today we went out for breakfast. He's good company - possibly a bit unusual for an almost 14-year-old boy, but he's very sweet and loving and he makes me laugh a lot. :o)

Plan E is all about taking care of myself, so another visit to the physio on Friday helped with that. On another level, Bike Boy and I are also making an effort to get out more and we have plans to catch up with friends a lot more often.

Plans B & C will happen, but it may take me a few weeks to sort those out.

Slowly, slowly.... I need to reign in my impatience and remember that I don't have to achieve everything at once; I just have to keep moving forward.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Finding some answers, but what's the question?


Things are a bit up-and-down. I haven't been blogging much, just haven't felt like it (still reading though, otherwise my feed reader gets eeeeeeek! totally out of control) and haven't been doing much of anything, really. Except working. Blah.

I can't even pinpoint what the problem is, which is really irritating. I like to be able to grab hold of whatever is bugging me and FIX IT, but no-can-do when you don't even know what it IS that's bugging you in the first place.

But I'm not waiting for things to resolve themselves, I'm making plans instead. I figure that I'll just act on them, and hope that: a) they help keep me (relatively) sane; and b) one of them promotes an AHA! moment and I can then find and rip out whatever's festering in the back of my head and get back to normal.

Plan A involves marathon working bees around the house - because idle hands are the devils' playground and all that.

Plan B is to find a new exercise activity I can try; one with a point other than looking good. Anything involving ball skills is O.U.T. (*yawn*), and I detest team sports. I had a momentary flash of brilliance, and thought i might try indoor rock-climbing (yes, I have acrophobia, but hey, everyone needs a challenge), but finding a venue that's less than an hour's drive is proving harder than expected. Still working on that one.

Plan C is to tee up a lunchtime training partner again for some fun at the park. I have someone in mind, but the weather ain't playing nice at the moment, so this is on hold.

Plan D is to take some time out and do some school holiday stuff with the kids - The Baby and I are off to see the new Disney movie tomorrow, for a start. :o)

There's a Plan E too, but I'm still thinking that through.

Now it's time to stop with the talking and get on with the DOING. I might be back later. Or tomorrow. Or not. Please bear with me while I sort out this technical hitch ....we'll be back to our usual programming soon. I hope.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Gym optional

My workouts this weekend have been a bit unorthodox. They consisted of:

- Washing every window on our McMansion.(upper body)
- Weeding the entire back yard - a big job, since we had knee-high milk thistles, marshmallow weed, stinging nettles, and God knows what else everywhere. Four large wheelbarrow loads, in fact. (posterior chain)
- Sweeping three billion cubic metres of dust and crap out of the garage and al fresco room, thanks to the constantly windy weather we've been having. (chest, triceps and abs)
- Moving a delivery of 400mm square concrete pavers from the nature strip to the back yard. (pretty much everything got worked with that!)

The result is very satisfying, but every muscle in my body hurts. Even my fingers. I feel about a thousand years old.

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

I know I'm practising being all calm and serene, but my stress levels went through the roof this afternoon, when The Middle Child needed a parent to supervise his driving and Bike Boy was busy. If I'd had some Valium handy, I might have been tempted to down one before heading off.

Control freaks should never be in the passenger seat when a sixteen year old is in charge of the car.

Just ask Debstar.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Just keep swimming

Maintaining a positive outlook and choosing to be happy is a challenge for most of us. I mean, you can set out on your chosen happy-joy-joy path with all the determination in the world, only to step in the stinking dog poop of daily life that was lying unseen, just around the corner.

So how do you keep your happy face firmly fixed in place when it seems that all around you are doing their damnedest to drag you down? That old saying about not sweating the small stuff is something I'm trying to live by. I'm one of the worst offenders when it comes to allowing life's little inconveniences to throw me all off-balance, but I'm aiming to change that. Because of course, it's not the circumstances that are the problem, but how you react to them.

For instance, getting angry about being stuck in a traffic jam and fuming all the way to work is pointless. It doesn't make me feel better, it doesn't move the traffic any faster, and I arrive at work with my neck and shoulder muscles twisted in knots and starting my day off in a bad mood. I'm sure my colleagues appreciate that ...NOT. So, my chosen approach will be to take a few deep breaths (and maybe yell F*CKERS! just once, for old time's sake. LOL) and then put on some relaxing music and just exercise some patience. I still get to work at the same time, sure, but hopefully feeling less stressed and minus the grumpy face.

I'm practising like mad, because this doesn't really come naturally to me.... Today, the wind is blowing a gale which is messing with my plans to do some outdoor work. Instead of bitching about it, I'm washing sheets, towels etc and hanging them out to flap madly in the wind and dry nicely, thanks very much. :o)

As well as letting go of unimportant crap, I'm surrounding myself with positive words and images, to remind me to just keep swimming.



I thought I'd share a few of the "challenge" quotes I've collected:

Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they're supposed to help you discover who you are.
- Bernice Johnson Reagan

Accept the challenges so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory.
- General George S Patton

Opposition is a natural part of life. Just as we develop our physical muscles through overcoming opposition - such as lifting weights - we develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and adversity.
- Stephen Covey

Friday, September 18, 2009

Think it, do it, BE IT

Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace and power in it.

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I've spent the past couple of days doing some serious work on my mindset, and although it's early days yet, I'm feeling confident of a major turn-around. Thank goodness! I was about ready to smack myself around the head and see if that would help - this is a much less painful alternative.

I've revisited my goals and done a little tweaking, and I've been doing lots of reading on positive thinking, visualisation and goal-setting. One of my old favourites, Burn the Fat, feed the Muscle has been dragged out and is sitting on the floor next to my bed, to send me off to sleep in the right frame of mind. Think I'll add Absolution to my nightly must-read pile too and I swear it's not because of the eye-candy. Mmm ...well, maybe it IS because of the eye-candy, but if it helps, so what? :p




Anyways, I have a list of my goals in the form of affirmations now and I will be repeating them to myself ad nauseum. The idea being that my stubbornly stupid subconscious will have no choice but to get with the program, and the self-defeating thoughts lies that keep running through my head will just get crowded out.

Like Shelley, I'm choosing to have a great day today. So far, I've achieved the following:

- I had a fantastic early training session with a client this morning. This young lady is just starting out on a weight-loss journey and she's going to achieve big things. Her excitement and positivity is contagious!

- I didn't get annoyed and grouchy when The Baby announced, just as we were leaving for school, that he thought he had a class party today and needed to bring some food. I just saw it as what it was: NO BIG DEAL, and stopped at the supermarket, leaving him to walk across the park to school afterwards. Huh. The exact same situation on Tuesday would have turned me instantly into a screeching, raving lunatic.

- I had a SMASHING training session at the gym. Trained legs and shoulders and really pushed myself. I was making some seriously ugly faces during my deadlifts, and loving it.

- In the interests of positive thinking, I have stopped telling myself that I hate cardio. Instead, I'm focusing on the benefits and enjoying the results. So right after my weights workouts, I pumped out a good old Body-for-LIFE cardio session. 20 minutes of awesome HIIT on the treadmill that left me feeling like a wrung-out rag. :o) I haven't done that particular pattern of intervals for a loooong time and it felt fantastic.

- I went straight from the gym to a session with my new physio (yes, FINALLY, I'm acting on that goal, in case anyone remembers it). I'm getting these stubborn shoulder/thoracic problems sorted out once and for all. He got stuck into my horrible traps, infraspinatus, rhomboids and goodness-knows-what else. It was incredibly painful and entirely worth it. I'll be back for more torture next week.

As for the rest of the day? I have some cleaning to do, kids to pick up early from school since it's the last day of term, a quick stop at the supermarket, maybe lunch from Sumo Salad. And then I think I may just do something for ME. A nap, a movie, a home facial? Or perhaps all of the above.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Huh?

Apparently it's possible to be completely, certifiably, loopy-loo, call-the-men-in-white-coats INSANE one day, and then wake up the next (after only five hours sleep, what's more) feeling calm, happy and totally normal.

What is THAT about?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Enough!!

Right, I've just been dragged out of my funk.

I'm fed up with this bullshit, so I'm just taking control and CHOOSING to be who I want to be ....regardless of the fact that the loudest voice in my head right now is telling me that what I want is to lie around feeling miserable. That voice is quite obviously not the slightest bit sane, so I'm going to go right ahead and ignore it.

Arguing with it isn't working - possibly because arguing involves a lot of negative words. No, not, don't, can't, isn't.... I can't do that, I don't want to be this, I'm not going there because...

Thanks to the beautiful Shelley, who not only posted something today that really hit home, but also took the time to email me with some kind and helpful words (xoxo to you, Miss Shelley!), I'm fighting back with POSITIVE words and thoughts.

Bugger what I don't want, what I do want is the important thing.

I WANT:

• To be strong and fit
• To be lean and healthy
• To enjoy my training and good nutrition
• To be a role model
• To be happy and content with myself and my life

So, I guess it's up to me then. Little Miss Fricken Sunshine, my arse! THIS is who I want to be:

Attitude realignment required

I'm having one of those weeks where I just don't want to make the effort to get off my butt and train. I hate those. I know I should, and somewhere deep down, I really want to, but my inner couch potato is playing hardball at the moment and all my usual strategies simply aren't enough to beat her down.

I was dressed and had my runners on this morning, but still couldn't (wouldn't) force myself out the door. The bike isn't appealing in the least today and I'm about ready to smack myself across the head with frustration.

Instead, I'm going to go make some protein pancakes, and then take myself out for a walk. Today's clearly a "something is better than nothing" kind of day.

I may not BE Little Miss Sunshine, but maybe if I fake it, I'll start to feel a bit more like her.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Salad love



Sometimes it's hard for others to understand what drives health and fitness-focused people. Why do we do the things we do, and more importantly, why do we feel inadequate (or fat), or as though we've failed (or fat), or like we're never really good enough (or...just fat)?

Those who haven't yet found their own groove - or those who have no desire to change their lifestyle anyway - scratch their heads and cannot comprehend how someone who's lost 30kg, has completed a few fitness events and who helps others to achieve their goals, can possibly feel inadequate. If I vent a little while having a minor down-in-the-dumps moment, this is the kind of thing I hear from most of the people I know:

Pfft, you've got nothing to worry about!
Look at you - you're skinny!
Ah, at least you don't have this! (grabbing the flesh spilling over the top of their pants)
Just relax and have a piece of cake - you can afford it.


Sure, they mean well, but those comments do NOT help. Especially when I've had a really rough couple of months and I'm still nowhere near achieving my small fat loss goal. It may not be a life-and-death matter, but it's important to ME, okay?

So it's a very lucky thing that I do have some solid support from Bike Boy. Take last night for example. I got home about five minutes after he did, and walked into the kitchen to unpack some shopping and my food containers. I was feeling particularly crappy, and he picked up on that (maybe it was the slump of my shoulders and the scowl on my face that gave it away...).

BB: What's the matter?
Me: Nothing.
BB: Yes there is....what's wrong?
Me: I'm FAAAAAT
BB: (wrapping his arms around me) You're not fat.
Me: Yes I am. And I'm hormonal and I'm sick of it and I'm being a miserable cow. And you know what I had for lunch?
BB: What?
Me: (dramatic pause)......A PIE.
BB: A pie? (Laughs at me)
Me: Yes, a PIE. And it was a bloody good pie too. But that's not the point...I felt crappy, and my pants are tight and I feel like a small hippo, so what do I do? I EAT MORE CRAPPY FOOD. Yeah, that'll help....
BB: (Still laughing at me) I'll make you a nice healthy dinner. With veggies and all.

And he did. With a home-made vinaigrette on my salad, what's more.

“A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.” - and a husband is someone who does all of that, puts up with your obvious insanity, reassures you that you're not fat, AND makes you bbq chicken and salad for dinner.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Be careful what you wish for

I know I did it all to myself. I know I wished for a totally kick-arse weights session. I know I whinged about my super-powers disappearing. I know I was all "Yay, DOMS!" this morning.

But I TAKE IT BACK.

Ouch, ouch, OUCH.

Now, that's more like it!

Two things to be happy about this morning:

1. Waking up early and it's DAYLIGHT.

2. Mega-soreness in my glutes, because yesterday my super-powers returned.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Caring....but taking care



Liz’s post today got my brain ticking over on the subject of carers taking the time to look after their own needs.

There’s an interesting thing about the "caring professions"... Liz recounts being told at university that she and her colleagues had to rise above (their own problems?) to treat patients. And I remember that nurses and doctors used to be told that they had to learn to detach their emotions when dealing with patients. Of course that's utter rubbish - in a job that requires caring for others, if you're unemotional, how can you possibly be a good carer?

I’ve worked as a manager and in HR, and I can recall times when helping other people deal with their problems would overwhelm me. At one point, I had the following going on all at once:

• My assistant was caring for her mother in law through end-stage terminal cancer.
• Another woman was struggling to help her husband through his grief over his brother’s suicide.
• A young mother had given birth four weeks early to an apparently healthy boy, who died 24 hours later of a severe heart defect.
• A mother of three who had sustained a spinal injury in the workplace was now pregnant with a fourth child and was battling the worker’s comp authority to get paid leave due to severe back pain.
• One of our admin girls had developed an anxiety disorder and couldn’t leave the house most days.

There was more, but you get the idea…. My job was basically to try to provide everyone with whatever they needed: leave, a switch from full time to part time work, pay adjustments, referrals to occupational health staff, paperwork required for worker’s comp claims and so on… and of course, I usually ended up being the agony aunt as well. By the end of each day, I would find myself feeling burned out and exhausted from dealing with all the heartbreak and tragedy. And I still had my own young family to care for when I got home.

Thank goodness life wasn’t always like that. Some days I only had to sack somebody for stealing or drive someone to the local casualty ward. LOL. I’m not actually kidding….

Anyway, it's a bit of a tightrope act to care and yet not shoulder everyone else's burdens. When you’re a personal trainer or coach and you spend your days helping people to achieve their goals, you can get so focused on being there for everyone else that you can easily forget to care for yourself. Your own needs get pushed aside, especially when you have kids to look after as well.

What’s the answer? I’m obviously no expert, because I have my own issues with occasional bouts of depression and more frequent minor ups and downs in mood. But if I can manage the following, life is generally a lot more fun:

• Separate work and personal time. Harder than it sounds, but there have to be off-limits times when I won’t answer my phone or reply to client emails. That’s usually Sundays, and evenings after a certain time.
• Make an effort to DO something with my family on a regular basis. We used to make every second Sunday a family day and go to a movie, a museum or show, or just to the local park for a picnic and a play. Now that the kids are older, they don’t really want to do that, so we might just take The Baby out. Or abandon the kids altogether and go do something as a couple.
• Grab a couple of hours and do something just for ME. Last week I shut myself away and watched a nice light chick flick.
• Fit my own training in, no matter what.
• Get enough sleep. Need I say more on this?
• Book myself in for some physical therapy – massage, osteopath, whatever. THIS one, I’ve been neglecting. Need to change that.

AND, I have to remember that I don’t have to be perfect myself to help other people.

Anyone got any other brilliant tips?

Friday, September 04, 2009

Is that all you got?

With the emotional challenges of the past few weeks, I've been extremely vulnerable to the slightest whisper from my beast, telling me that I need a sugar hit. Or a glass or two seven of wine. Or the quickest, crappiest snack that I can get hold of, rather than anything that takes a little effort.

Beastie would chime in with: "you need it"; "You deserve it"; "You can be good tomorrow"; "Oh go on, it'll make you feel better". All lies and excuses, of course, but I really wasn't in battle mode. In fact, my defences were completely shot, so the minute that crap started up in my head, I'd be figuring out a way to get my fix, even while I was telling myself otherwise.

That's kind of the mental equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and going La-la-la. Ignoring that kind of muddled thinking doesn't make it go away, it just leaves the thoughts festering below the surface. Eventually they're gonna bubble up again and they'll be even harder to resist.

This week really has marked a turning point for me. I've been slowly getting back into my groove, making each day a little better than the last, eating well, doing some training, and seeing the scales reflect my return to sanity. More importantly, yesterday afternoon when Beastie resurfaced from wherever she'd been lurking, I stood firm.

I gave her a good smackdown in GJs when I wandered in to grab a long black and found myself having a mental argument in front of the cake cabinet. Then in the supermarket, when she began telling me that I "should" have a treat because it's Thursday (Hey, it made sense at the time...), and suggested a Tim Tam Cornetto, I actually opened the freezer cabinet and had the box in my hand. Then I stopped, took a deep breath and thought: I don't want THIS, I want to reach my weight goal.

So I put back the Cornettos, pulled out my sword and cut off her head. (Metaphorically speaking, of course. No need for Woollies to call for a Cleanup in aisle 3)



No doubt she'll be back, but every win makes me a little bit stronger. I'll be ready for her next time.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Oh no! Somebody stole my super-powers!

Last night I got home from work late, tired and with a teensy headache. Oh well, thinks I, I won't do that weights workout I planned. And I put on my PJs, answered my client emails and had a quick chat to Miss Liz on the phone, while Bike Boy cooked dinner.

Of course, my conscience got the better of me, and I changed my mind. By the time dinner was done with, I was looking forward to moving some metal. But my body had other ideas. My decline pushups were sluggish, my barbell rows a bit Meh! and then I lined myself up to do some chin ups.

I stood on my step, positioned my hands just so, gripped the bar and PULLED, and.... nothing. Huh? Not one single unassisted rep could I manage. I sighed, grabbed my band and cranked out a few difficult assisted chins. Man, those extra few kilos make a difference!

I shook off my grumpy mood and got myself organised for some bench presses, enlisting Bike Boy's help as a spotter. I'll just warm up on 35kg, says I.... Yeah, right! I struggled through four reps at that weight. By the final set, my arms were shaking and I barely got three out. What happened to last week's super strength?

I've had this happen before, and usually with no obvious reason, so I just figured next time will be better and didn't give it another thought.

This morning, the joy continued. I couldn't deadlift 60kg. I was feeling it with only 40kg. *sulks*

Whoever stole my super-strength: I want it back.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Fotografic Food Fest

What do you do when you're out of blogging inspiration? Bore everyone to death with a what I ate yesterday post, of course.... :o)

Breakfast:

My favourite... protein porridge - 50g rolled oats, vanilla whey and a little skim milk.



Snack:

Banana Paleo pancake (and a few almonds):



Lunch:

Vietnamese chicken mince with rice noodles and green beans. I added half a bunch of broccolini to this today.




Snack:

Vanilla-cranberry cookies and green tea.



Dinner:

Had a Vietnamese thing going on today. Sizzling garlic-chilli chicken with stir-fried veg. And uh....I completely forgot to take a photo. Oops. Cold leftovers aren't going to photograph too well, so I'll skip it.

All delicious, all healthy and very little processed food in that lot.

And as a bonus, I now have lunch ready-made for the next two days, plus two more serves of cookies. So getting through my couple of *yawn* nine-to-five office days should be a breeze. Even if I am surrounded by fundraiser chocolates. There really should be a law....

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Dum brane - werk, dammit!

I am completely and utterly out of blogging inspiration at the moment. I have approximately one billion partly-written posts (or cryptic notes that apparently relate to blogging ideas I've had at some stage or another), but none of them rings my bell today.

In fact, I feel completely flat and uninspired in general this morning, in spite of a solid night's sleep and a big drop on the scales since yesterday. I think a dose of Spring sunshine is required, and then maybe some spiced cranberry cookies and a cuppa.

Yeah. Let's see if that helps.




P.S. Any suggestions or requests for blog topics, let me know. Maybe something will kick my brain back into gear again.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Time to hit it!

The past three and a half weeks have been a constant struggle. (Gee, three and a half weeks? That's all? It seems much, much longer since Dad left us) I've had a few good days and many more not-so-great days on the nutrition and training front. Turns out that some nasty old habits I thought I'd kicked were lying in wait, just biding their time waiting for some fragile emotional situation to show up so they could have a big, no-holds-barred party. And party they did.

Last week I was feeling a bit desperate about everything. I was having a kind of if I can't eat right and train hard, then who am I? crisis. I was telling myself that I'd come through this, that I just had to be patient, but I wasn't really believing it.

Over the weekend I gave myself some time off. Friday I said Bugger it to the housework and to the work I really should have been doing and spent the day out with my Mum. Saturday, I had to make up for that by working all day.... But yesterday Bike Boy and I took a rare day out together and went to the museum to see the Pompeii exhibition. The whole thing was a trip down memory lane. Our first ever date, back in *ahem* 1980 was to see an exhibition of artefacts from Pompeii at the National Gallery. Plus I spent many a Sunday at the old museum in Russell St when I was a kid, and it was fun to revisit the dinosaurs, Phar Lap, the sparkly crystals and rocks (always loved those when I was a little girl!) and the incredible insect display, along with some fabulous new stuff like the rainforest.

Today I feel re-energised and mentally ready to get back on track. Of course, I've also managed to add a totally expected extra 2.5kg to my weight, which I now have to work that bit harder to remove, but oh well.... I should see a decent fluid drop over the next week or so, then I'll just have to chip away at the rest.

I haven't trained this morning, opting for some extra sleep instead, so I may fit something in tonight, or I may choose to skip it altogether. Either way, I'm fine with it. I have a plan, I have my head in the right place and I know that after a bit of aimless wandering in circles, I'm off in the right direction once again.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Perfection

I always thought that when I was older, I’d have all the answers. I’d be enjoying a calm, peaceful life, confidence and the certainty that what I was doing was right. I would be wise, content and settled. The things that troubled me earlier in my life, like binge-eating, weight gain and issues with body image, not to mention stuff like worry over what people think of me, or concerns about not being good enough.... Those would be behind me, I’d be finished with all that nonsense.

The truth is, you’re never actually finished with it. There’s always some new issue or hangup or insecurity to deal with. I honestly used to think when I was in my late teens that at some point you got all that stuff sorted out, and then you’d really be grown up. Ha! Now I understand that adults are not perfect, they don’t have it all together and most are never entirely satisfied with themselves.

I suppose on the positive front, if we ever did become “perfect”, we’d stagnate. But striving for improvement is what differentiates the great from the so-so. Too many people just settle for a mediocre life. They give up and make excuses about their flabby body, their lack of fitness, and their failure to make anything of themselves either in business or personally.

Imperfect though I may be, I figure that as long as I continue to strive for my goals and work on my failings, I can’t lose.

What was the point of this post? I have no idea ....my brain is a little dysfunctional at the moment. I'm just thinking out loud...