Saturday, January 31, 2009

So this is normal?

I seem to have found some renewed focus and this week has just got better and better in terms of training. This morning, I really smashed my upper body at the gym (having a little trouble typing now...), and then when I'd finished, I decided on the spur of the moment to do a little posing practice. They have nice big mirrors there, much better than my skinny full length mirror in our bedroom. My next competition may be a while away, but it's never too early to improve on your posing. Maybe I'll take my shoes next time - it's just not the same in cross-trainers.

I had a couple of moments where I had to stop and think: how do I do that pose again? But not once did I feel self-conscious. Boy, is THAT progress. I don't actually feel like I'm just pretending any more. I wear my ANB Competitor tank top with pride. And a bit of attitude.

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I swear my shoulders and back have grown. Hamstrings maybe just a little too. Even Bike Boy has noticed, so I don't think it's wishful thinking.

Might post a photo in a few weeks, when I've ditched the last teensy bit of this excess weight I've accumulated. Almost there....scales have dropped a kilo in the past week. And I'm doing almost ZERO cardio. Good nutrition, Baby - that's the key.

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Upside of a heat wave: I'm getting through a LOT of water at the moment. More than 7 litres the past couple of days. There's a theory that lots of water helps lactate transport and my body is totally crap at that particular function, which is why I'm always hit with DOMS within 10-12 hours.

Yesterday, I upped the ante on my leg workout - more weight, more effort, and I was expecting mega-soreness by last night. But it didn't happen. This morning, I have some moderate DOMS, but that's all. Yay for that. I'm still chugging down the water - let's see what happens with my upper body tonight/tomorrow.

Downside of a heat wave: The new gym is next to some undeveloped bushland, and something fairly large has died in there (I'm guessing roo or wombat).... and this hot weather is making the putrid aroma of decaying animal waft across the car park.

Nice.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Is it hot in here?

I'm sure everyone's droning on about how HOT it is in Melbourne at the moment. When people whinge about the heat, I usually roll my eyes and think It's summer, Dude....what were you expecting? But this is a little out of the ordinary.

Yesterday hit 43.8C at the closest BoM weather station to us. That's 113F on the old scale - if anybody else is old enough to remember Fahrenheit... Not a big deal as long as you're not:

- stuck in a non-air conditioned office or house
- travelling by train (Someone explain to me why these train problems happen every summer and yet it's "unexpected"?)
- in a suburb that's blacked out (again with the contingency plans, people!!)

We've been lucky - our power has been fine, although we did have a burst water main a few nights ago and had to turn off the pump on our evaporative cooling for a few hours - and Bike Boy, who catches the train to work, is still on holidays.

So I've spent the last couple of days mostly indoors, gone to the gym early and survived quite well, apart from having to park my car in the full sun yesterday, because the usual dozens of undercover car parking spaces were all taken. By the people who are TOO CHEAP TO PAY FOR PARKING EVERY OTHER DAY. Aargh!! Does anyone know how hot it is inside a black car at 4:30pm when it's been parked in the full sun all day and it's almost 44C outside? Me either, but it was VERY unpleasant.

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Today I dragged my feet getting to the gym and arrived well after 8:00am. It was already stifling in there. The guy on reception told me it was dead there yesterday arvo. Hardly surprising.

I got through my leg workout no probs, and was very grateful that I didn't have to do cardio today. Ugh.

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My strategies seem to be helping. I've had no trouble at all sticking to good nutrition, training is no drama, and I've been sleeping better - and a bit longer. I've taken all my supplements, every single day, and water consumption has been easy-peasy, given the heat. I think I hit 7 litres yesterday.

The scales were NOT my friend early in the week - not because of what they showed, but because they decided not to work. At all. The batteries ran out a couple of days before and I'd changed them, yet they still kept telling me the batteries were low. I was mighty cranky about it, so Bike Boy came to the rescue and volunteered to pull them apart, give them a clean and see if that helped.

He turned them over, found that the little switch that lets you select pounds, kilograms or stone(s?) was kind of part way between two settings. He flicked it back to kg and voila! The damn things work! D'oh!

Anyway, my threat of throwing them in the bin must have made them decide to play nice, because weight is tracking downwards very nicely. Or maybe it's that eating well and training thing..... ;o)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Recipe alert!

I had a hankering for muesli today, and I'm sick of the bought ones - they never have exactly what I want in them. So I came up with my own wheat-free muesli.

Weight Training 101

Some good advice:

When you've had your arm stabbed for blood tests the day before, don't try lifting your max weight on bicep curls.

Stoopid!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Gooooood fats!

Good? Positively yummy, in fact!

I forgot to add flax seeds to my fruity pancakes today, and when I logged dinner, I was seriously light on fats. I also needed some extra carbs and there was plenty of calorie wiggle room to come up with something. But what?

I hunted around and came up with this:

1/2 a banana, left over from the pancakes
25g of walnut pieces
A tablespoon of peanut butter
A spoonful of fat-free yoghurt
A tablespoon of sugar-free syrup

The only thing that would have made it better was chocolate sauce to replace the syrup and ice cream instead of yoghurt... :p

That little feast upped my fats by 24g, and left me feeling nicely full. It's also inspired me to try a new version of my waffles. Maybe tomorrow.

Recipe alert!

I know Shelley was disappointed with the tuna salad (sorry Luv, I like tuna!), so here's today's effort to hopefully make amends: spiced chicken salad #2.

It's pretty simple, but hit the spot nicely. :p

Sunday, January 25, 2009

How old ARE you?

This was funny, almost made me spit water all over the keyboard....

You know that "Real Age" test thingy? Well, I took it today, just for fun - it's been a while since I last looked at it. And I realised that their idea of good nutrition is pretty dodgy (food pyramid, anyone?) - apparently my nutrition is poor because:

I eat more than one serve of red meat per week. OK, let's put this in perspective: I don't eat sausages, hamburgers, fatty cuts of meat, or processed meats like salami or ham on a regular basis. I do eat lean porterhouse or fillet steak, Frenched lamb cutlets and some lean pork cuts. Yum! Also some heart-smart mince now and then.

I also have a haemorrhagic disorder that puts me at high risk of iron deficiency. I've been there and never want to go back again, so I'm very careful about my nutrition and the easiest way to maintain my healthy iron levels is with two or three serves of animal carcass each week. Supplements are NOT an option. The side effects are miserable, and more so for someone with IBS.

I don't eat enough grains. Yeah....when my diet was largely grain-based, I was fat, tired and my IBS was totally out of control. Switching some of that stuff for fruit, veggies, dairy and starchy veg like potatoes and beans has made an enormous difference. I also add whole oats, rice and an occasional serve of wheat. This lot recommend 6-11 serves of grains and cereals per day. OMG.

There was also some stuff about lacking calcium and some vitamins, which they couldn't possibly know, because they don't ask the right questions.

Anyways, all that nonsense aside, this is the bit that made me laugh.... In the Fitness section, the verdict was that I'm pushing myself too hard. This is what it said:

If you are not getting the results you want with exercise, talk to your doctor about how to safely improve your workout.

Judging from your answers, it looks like you burn more calories per week from exercise than we would recommend in order to help you grow younger (about 3,500 calories each week). In fact, your workout is at the level of an athlete. So if you’re considering working out more often or more intensely, talk to your doctor first.

You can probably hear the thunk! as I fall off my chair laughing yet again.

I'm working out at the level of an athlete? Yep, that would be because I AM an athlete, you twits!

Bwahahahaha! By the way, why on earth would you talk to a doctor about training? Last I checked, they don't actually cover fitness training in medical school. My GP is involved in masters athletics, but even she doesn't give me exercise advice. She knows I already have an expert looking after that side of things.

If you want a bit of fun, or just a very general overview of where you're at, go ahead and take the test. Just don't take it too seriously.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Yum.... or odd?

I was halfway through eating my lunch today, and enjoying it too, when it occurred to me that it was probably kind of weird by most people's standards. This is what I was munching on:

A big serve of mixed greens - mignonette, oakleaf, radicchio, rocket and of course a good handful of baby spinach
About half a cup of sliced cucumber
A can of tuna - 180g worth
A tablespoon of sunflower seeds
A splash of caramellised balsamic
And... 3/4 cup of diced pineapple.

PINEAPPLE? Hmm....

I had kind of a carby morning, so I thought I'd redress the balance with protein and salad for lunch and throw in some good fats too. This was what I came up with, based on what was in the pantry and fridge.

So - what's the consensus: Is it delicious or just really, really wrong?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Fair weather ahead

The fog that's enveloped my brain for several weeks seems to have lifted, the thunderous moods have subsided and I'm hoping for a reasonably lengthy period of sunny temperament now.

I've pieced a few things together, with the help of my GP and the very knowledgeable Miss Liz (who also gave me the shove that prompted me to make an appointment with the doctor in the first place. Handy to have a coach who's smart AND a pharmacist...), and I now have some strategies in place that will hopefully see me back on an even keel.

I'm waiting on some blood test results, but the doc seems to think it's more likely severe PMS than any serious winding down of my body in the run up to old crone-hood. At least she didn't throw her hands up and say Listen Missy, there's nothing wrong with you, you're just loony-tunes. Snap out of it! We had a long chat and she took me very seriously.... I'm sure it helps that she's about my age, has kids, and has an athletics background, so she knows where I'm coming from.

She offered some interesting insights into what might be going on and what might have caused it, but basically I need to make some minor adjustments to my lifestyle, no matter what the test results show. That's backed up by Coach's advice, which includes more sleep, more recovery and some nutritional tweaks.

I've been reminded yet again that no matter how much you know about nutrition, training and so on, it's all too easy to slip into bad habits. With my impaired mental function lately, on top of all the upheaval involved in moving house and unpacking etc, I've just not managed to remember to take my supplements. Cooking has seemed all too much trouble. There have been some glaring warning signals that all was not right, and yet I managed to miss them. My skin went all to crap a couple of months back - dry and flaky, plus my eczema flared up on my face and scalp. Did I think about the fact that this coincided with not taking my fish oil and skimping on the good fats in my diet? Uh, that would be a big fat NO.

And that's just one little clue. There were countless others that I missed as well. But sometimes clues are useless. You need something obvious to jump up and smack you in the face before you get what's going on.

So for now, I'm upping my dietary fats - chopped walnuts in my breakfast oats and some olive oil added to lunch so far today - and adjusting my protein and carbs down slightly to compensate. I'm going to bed at a reasonable time and adding some recovery protocols and more rest days. And I'm taking my evening primrose oil, AND my fish oil, plus some L-glutamine.

It feels good to have a plan. In fact, I think I'll make that my new motto: Just stick to the plan. If I do that, I really can't go wrong.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Sucking it up

Thanks for all the comments, ladies - at least I know I'm not alone. :o) I woke up this morning still feeling flat, tired, cranky and a bit blah, but I'm trying to ignore it and just get on with things. I figure I can't just lie around with the blankets over my head. Not for long, anyway; life just goes on, with or without your willing participation.

Today's number one priority was to get to the gym. It's nice and quiet around 9:00am now that most people are back at work. There were two guys in the weights area and one on a treadmill, so nobody interfering with my workout. Probably just as well for them. ;o) So my pulling workout with supersets was unimpeded, and should result in some super-dooper DOMS tonight.

Training is done, I'm all organised for client sessions this afternoon, and as soon as I've swallowed some lunch (chicken and mango salad - yum!), I plan to deal with some emails. I have some programs to write this evening, plus a bit of research to do - and The Baby is having a friend sleep over tonight. Busy day! But it sure beats moping around....

I also have a half-written post about the results of my genetic profiling that I had done back in JULY. *rolls eyes* I'll make an effort to finish that and publish it sometime over the weekend too. It's very interesting....

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mrs Moody

As well as dealing with the aftermath of moving, school holidays, and the usual January flood of personal training enquiries and new clients, I've had an added ingredient to make life really fun: my hormones have just gone completely mental. It's been going on for several weeks and is making me crazy.

I know I'm 48, and that my reproductive system is winding down, but I don't feel as though I ought to be having these issues just yet.... that's probably my Peter Pan complex showing. And quite honestly, I don't have the time or patience to deal with them.

I did a little research and discovered that the following are just some of the symptoms of perimenopause:

Mood swings
Sore breasts
Bloating
Headache / migraine
Hot flushes / sweats
Tiredness – increasing
Insomnia
Weight gain
Forgetfulness
Lack of concentration
Reduced capacity to cope with daily activities
Fatigue
Depression
Fluid retention
Inability to handle stress
Irritability
Period problems and fibroids
Unstable blood sugar
Cravings
Sluggishness in the mornings

Well, at least I can cross off period problems and fibroids - no uterus rules those out. I knew there had to be a bonus to having most of my reproductive system ripped out. But I can pretty much tick the boxes on all the rest. Huh, irritability? That's an understatement. Homicidal tendencies would be more accurate. Bloating? A puffer fish would look more svelte than me at the moment. Sluggishness in the mornings? Even two strong coffees doesn't get me going. And as for mood swings..... all I can say is: my poor husband is a very patient man at times.

Whether this really is perimenopause, or just extreme PMS with really off-kilter cycles (entirely likely, given my past history), I don't know. And it really doesn't matter much - either way, it still sucks.

I think I'll just hide out in a cave somewhere and take my evening primrose oil till this passes. It'll be safer for everyone.

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On the plus side, I was so moody this morning that I wound myself up into a real temper, got all Grrrr and really caned it on the spin bike. My inner two-year-old was having a tantrum the whole time, screaming "DON'T WANNA!" and being all whiney, urging me to just quit, because it was HA-A-A-ARD. But I managed to ignore her and got through the whole torturous 45 or so minutes.

I feel marginally better now. Although I might need a nap later.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Girls rock!

I'm just sending out a huge thank-you to all you wonderful ladies who took a minute to stop by Sara's and Selina's blogs and offer a sympathetic word or two.

I love having friends all over the planet, it makes life fun and interesting. But it really bites when they're going through an extremely miserable experience and you can't be there in person to administer some girlfriend TLC. My usual MO in these sort of circumstances would be to show up on their doorstep with a pizza, a bottle of wine and the biggest block of Green & Black's I can find.

But since that's not possible, rallying the troops from around the Blogisphere was the best I could come up with. So thanks, girls, you all rock!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Sometimes the universe SUCKS

I'm fortunate to have met some great people online, via fitness forums and blogs. Some of them have even come and stayed with me, trained with me, played with me (and one of them has even rubbed Dream Tan into parts of me that she probably wishes she'd never seen).

Something really bizarre is going on in the universe at the moment though, with two of my friends, who I care about A LOT going through some major trauma of the heartbreak kind. I have this insane urge to get on a plane - although that wouldn't work, since they live in different locations. OK, maybe two planes.... and give them both the biggest hug of their lives, a gift pack from Koko Black and a BIG bottle of something seriously alcoholic, and THEN go round and punch the living daylights out of the bastards who've ripped their hearts out and stomped all over them.

Since I can't do that, and I'm feeling totally useless and helpless, I'm asking anyone who has a heart to go show them some blog lurve.... Sara is here and Selina is over here (and she's learned some new words too - aww, I'm so proud!). Off you go - girlfriends need all the support and sympathy they can get at times like these.

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I'll be back with some fitness-related posts very soon. Been a little busy with family stuff, and having a HOLIDAY. :o) Not to mention supporting my girls.....

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Nearly done



We've been in our new house for almost three weeks now, and we're ALMOST completely unpacked and pretty well organised. Moving house always results in a weird mixture of losing stuff and finding stuff, and I have now rediscovered:

- Some jewellery I hadn't seen in a long time. Nothing expensive - hell, it's not even REAL, but still...there are some pieces I like to wear. And now I can. Except that one favourite necklace that's been missing since about May 2007. Grr.

- My chicken fillets. Great. Yeah, I could reeeeally have used those in September-October. Right now, I have plenty of real padding, so they're relegated to the back of a drawer.

- All my photo albums. Uh-oh. A word of advice: Never unpack the box(es) containing your photo albums till you've done everything else. You can lose an entire DAY. Bike Boy was rolling his eyes after about the 17th time I called "Quick! Come and look at THIS!" Aww, but my babies were so CUTE. And Gawd, I was so ...uh.... FAT. And ooh - look at my dark-hair. Sometimes I forget I'm not actually a blonde.

- A big stash of paper plates and disposable cutlery. And another. Oh, and look: more over here. I've calculated that we won't need to buy barbecue or picnic stuff for about - ohhh, forever.

I still have to tackle the piles of stuff in my yet-to-be-fitted-out studio. I'll get to that. One thing at a time....

It's 2009 already?

Happy New Year to all, hope it's a wonderful year for everyone!

Our New Year's Eve has been very low-key, just us at home. The Middle Child had to work, which meant I had to go pick him up at 10:00pm, and if we'd then gone out somewhere, we'd have arrived around 11:00pm. No thanks. As it turned out, it was scary on the roads - not because of the other drivers, but because of the completely pissed and idiotic pedestrians... Remind me never to venture out into Bogan Central, where TMC works, on New Year's Eve again.

I was being a bit nostalgic tonight and fondly remembering New Year's Eve 1999. You know, the big end-of-millenium shebang? We had a few people over and all of us had small children. So I had a brilliant idea - we'd tell the littlies it was midnight at 9:30pm, let them wave a few sparklers around, and then pack them off to bed. THEN the grownups could party on with no tired, whiney rugrats to worry about. My dastardly plot was aided by the TV coverage of the whole New Year's hoo-ha, because at around 9:30pm, it WAS midnight in Tuvalu or somewhere equally obscure.

So we revved them up at about 9:15, turned on the TV and then did the whole "LOOK, it's midniiiight....see, fireworks!! Yaaaayyyy!!" It worked a treat.

Trouble is, the buggers can tell the time now. Dammit.

Anyway, Happy New Year to all bloggers, commenters and lurkers. I hope you all get what you desire in the coming year.