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...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Failure

I'm talking about a different kind of failure today....

I love lifting heavy, it makes me all warm and fuzzy. (Truthfully, it makes me hurt like a mofo, so there's obviously an element of masochism in me ....but let's not go there.)

The thing is, it's a bit of a challenge when you train alone. Yesterday, I was doing my 4-rep sets of bench press and decided that I really need to up the ante, because I've been stuck on the same weight for ages... 35kg was no big deal on the first set, so I whacked on another 5kg and tried 40. Hmm. I knew I still had more in me. Set three: 45kg - got two good reps out, then on the third really struggled to get it up (so to speak). I actually thought I was going to be stuck under the bar. I was willing my elbows to straighten up and finally got the bar high enough to rack it. Damn. That was close.

On set four, I dropped back to 42.5kg and juuuust managed my four reps. I know I could have got a fourth out at 45kg if I'd had a spotter. I may have to rearrange my training times and do my upper body workouts at home when Bike Boy's around to spot me...

Still, 45kg for three reps - that's the best I've ever managed on BP. And I just figured out that's ninety-nine-point-something pounds. 100-pound bench press? Just around the corner, I'm sure.

Love this sideshow "strong lady" pic:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Stop thinking, start DOING


It’s important to know what you want. It’s important to have a plan to get there. But at some point you have to stop thinking, stop planning, stop MAKING EXCUSES and start taking some action, or it's never going to happen.

Think - > Plan - > Act

It’s that last one so many people seem to get stuck on. Just freaking do it.

Ready, set, GO!

Monday, August 24, 2009

One of those days (weekends)



One minute you think you're doing OK, the next: WHAM! You're down. *sigh* Looks like this may be a loooong road....


I'm not wallowing though. As per my previous post, I'll be back up again. But I accept that it just might take me a few goes.

Where are those damn super-powers when you need 'em?

Are you going to get back up?

Thanks to the lovely Chef Sara for posting this video on her Facebook page. It was just what I needed right now.

I might be a bit down, but am I gonna get back up? Hell, yeah!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Book meme



Got this from Facebook…. Anyone care to play?

The BBC believes most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here... how do your reading habits stack up?

Instructions: Copy this onto your blog. Look at the list and put an 'x' after those you have read. Tag people if you like...I'm too lazy....

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen x
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien x
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte x
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling x
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee x
6 The Bible – x (some of)
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte x
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell x
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens x
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott x
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy x
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare x
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier x
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien x
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger x
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot x
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell x
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald x
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy x (tried, gave up….)
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams x
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh x
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck x
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll x
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame x
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy x
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens x
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis x
34 Emma-Jane Austen x
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen x
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis x
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hossein
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden x
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne x
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell x
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown x
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery x
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy x
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood x
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan x
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert x
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen x
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth x
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon x
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens x
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley x
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night - Mark Haddon x
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck x
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold x
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding x
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens x
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett x
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce x (part)
76 The Inferno – Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray x
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens x
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White x
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom x
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton x
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad x
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams x
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute x
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas x
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare x
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl x
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

63/100

Why have I never read Nabokov’s Lolita? Or Dicken’s Bleak House?

Of course, if I’d put the list together, I’d have included some different titles, among them: Christina Stead’s The Man Who Loved Children, Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones (hilarious!), Peter Carey’s True History of the Kelly Gang, Miles Franklin’s My Brilliant Career, and just for light relief, something by Kathy Lette.

Anyway, play along if you like. :o)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Outsmarting fate



This post is only about a year overdue….what can I say? This time last year I was in the middle of building our nightmare dream home and prepping for my first figure comp. Better late than never…

In July last year, I trotted along to the FitGenes training course, so that I could add genetic testing to the services I offer my clients. It was a fascinating and eye-opening experience, and I came away really excited about having cutting-edge technology on my side to help clients really nail the results they want.

DNA technology has come a long way in recent years, with the result that at $385, these tests are now simple and affordable. Here’s the what, how, why and who all explained for you:

What is it?

The test looks at 15 genes, relating to fat loss, lean body mass development, recovery and nutrition. You receive a detailed report to help you understand your results, and you can get further advice and assistance from a qualified fitness professional who has completed the FitGenes training course.

How does it work?

It involves a simple DIY mouth swab, with the sample sent off by mail. The test results are received, also by mail, within 3 weeks.

Why would I choose to do this?

Having the opportunity to find out whether your genes are normal, or whether they carry a variation – either positive or negative – gives you the opportunity to enhance your health, physique and/or sports performance by making some simple lifestyle changes.

Contrary to what some people seem to think, a negative variation doesn’t sentence you to a future of ill-health and premature death. You have total control over your lifestyle choices – whether or not you smoke, whether you eat well or poorly, whether you exercise, and so on. If you know where your genetic strengths and weaknesses are, you can make informed choices regarding your health and fitness. There are many insignificant-seeming changes that you can make that will have a huge impact on how your body performs.

Who is it designed for?

Don’t think that this is just for elite sportspeople – anyone can benefit from genetic profiling. If you want to get better results from your fitness program or improve your sports performance, this is ideal. But it also suits those who want to lose weight, or who just want to be healthier. Following the smart and scientific approach beats trial and error by a wide margin.

My own results were a mixed bag – some I expected, but others surprised me, and busted a few long-held beliefs I had about myself. Just to quickly summarise, this is what fate and my parents dealt me:

I have good body fat metabolism (so all that excess weight I used to carry? That, I have to take full responsibility for). I also have a low risk of developing Type II diabetes.

Within the lean body mass development category, I got a mixed bag, and scored a “poor” rating overall. Among other things, I have a low risk of osteoporosis (good), but some cardiovascular health warning signs and poor lactate transport.

My recovery rates as “Good”, however, I do have a negative variation in a gene that’s involved in antioxidation, so any help I can get with beating down free radicals would be a good thing.

On nutrition, I scored “average”. I have some issues with removing toxins from my body and also with free radical removal.


I’m not going to blather on forever about all the specific genes, what they mean and detail the training and nutrition protocols plus lifestyle changes that I need to implement to minimise any negative tendencies. In actual fact, I was already doing about 90% of the things I need to do to maximise my potential. Go, me!

I’ll just mention one small and simple thing that has a big impact for me: increasing consumption of B vitamins (especially B6 and B12) and folate, plus upping my quota of antioxidants is vital to improve my body’s ability to perform its detox functions and fight off free radicals. What that means is that I must eat plenty of fruits and veggies to minimise potential negative consequences. Pfft. Easy!

(And here’s a fascinating fact: Certain types of fruits and veggies are especially helpful in combating particular genetic tendencies – for example, four smallish serves of broccoli per week is known to reduce the risk of some types of cancer by something like 40%)

For a small cost, I really think that this is a fantastic opportunity to take control of your life and your health and to maybe find the key to some of the things you’ve never been able to figure out when it comes to performance or fat loss results.

I also highly recommend this book for further reading: It's Not Just Your Genes

Want to know more? Email me.

Must be love

When your beloved wants to cheer you up because you're feeling down and you're sleep-deprived (and it's his fault anyway) and you had a total FAIL in the training and nutrition department, what does he do?

Well, he takes you out for dinner, pays you lots of attention, and presents you with a very special gift. A new book:



Can't wait to get stuck into this!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hmmph!

I was going to let fly and go all Ranty McRantster about what a completely crapola day I had, with the snoring and the lack of sleep and the rain and the traffic and the total incompetent nincompoop at the petrol station who got her head bitten off for her troubles (heehee), and the deadline at work that I forgot all about and then it turned out that I spent two hours getting all anxious and tying my guts in knots about nothing because I already freaking DID IT two weeks ago and somehow erased it from my memory, but meanwhile I'd already eaten my own weight in chocolate....

But I'm not going to bother, because my sweet, lovely husband took us all out for dinner tonight and showered me with attention and now I feel all better.

Bloody hell. It was a really good rant, too.

Did you know....?

"That the best ear plug can only eliminate 33 decibels of noise and that the average snore is between 60 and 90 decibels, so while earplugs may seem like a good solution, you still have a lot of decibels left over."**

"...that you can hear through your jawbone. So even if you've got your earplugs in and they're great, your jawbone can pick up noise vibrations. There's no way of stopping the snoring if it wants to get in."**

BTW, a "large orchestra" emits sound at 98 decibels. Busy street traffic only rates 70db.

Somebody kill me now....



**source: Rob Simon (Businessweek article)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I'm on fire!

Yesterday I took myself off to the gym and got stuck into a hard and heavy leg and shoulder workout - the best kind, in my opinion. Yes, I know all about periodisation and mixing things up, blah-de-blah-blah. But low reps and heavy weights have always been my favourite kind of weights workout.

After taking over a week off from training, getting stuck right into deadlifting more than I weigh seemed like lots of fun. There was lots of muttering along the lines of: Yeah, Baby! and: Is that all you got? and a bit of jumping around and air-punching too. And yes, I was training alone - it's a good thing the gym's mostly deserted at 8:30am.... :p

The fun had faded considerably by last night though, when my old friend DOMS began to catch up with me. By this morning, there was lots of grimacing and groaning. I still faced up to Coach Troy first thing though, managing to get through Dropping the Hammer without actually crying. Although I did flap my hand at the screen and gasp "Pass!" when it got to the iso-squats. (Shush)

Now? I can't decide if my traps and delts or my glutes hurt more. I think it may be a tie. Whatever, I'm off for a date with my heat pack.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Egg-cellent!

I was running low on eggs, so I grabbed an extra carton from the supermarket yesterday. I'm not all that fussy about my eggs, so I picked up whatever was on special, which happened to be Sunny Queen Cage Free Eggs.

This morning I opened the carton and stacked them in the egg compartment in the fridge door, and discovered this:



Happy eggs!

Recessionista update



Remember my vow to buy no clothes at all this year? I thought I'd give a quick update on how that's all going...

We're halfway through August, so that's almost two-thirds of the year gone, and while I may not have managed to buy NOTHING, I haven't done too badly. Here's the extent of my sins:

April - I simply could not resist two Lorna Jane hoodies at bargain prices at the Fitness Expo. In my defence, I had actually worn out my favourite LJ hoodie (would you believe the fabric is transparent in places?), winter was imminent and the grey/navy one was sooooo warm. As for the hot pink velour job ....what the hell, I bought two so I'd have a spare!

August - I finally got around to getting me some Skins compression tights. Hey, with my crappy recovery genes, these are practically medical equipment, so I'm not even counting them.

Also August - Last week I picked up a gorgeous bright lime green 3/4 sleeve fine knit cardigan to go over my favourite LBD. This wasn't planned, but I needed something for Dad's funeral. I think I can ignore this one too; exceptional circumstances and all...

August again - I replaced my disgustingly worn-out black ankle boots and after two years of fruitless searching actually found a pair of black pumps that I can wear for the entire day, and that don't look like your Nanna's orthopaedic shoes. Footwear was exempted from my no-shopping oath, so these don't count either. Oh - also, they were factory outlet bargains, and the boots had an extra 30% off in their end of winter sale.

Other than that, I was driven to replace some undies that had seen better days. I went into the Bonds shop and walked straight out again: who in their right mind pays $10-14 for a single pair of cotton-poly blend hipster knickers? Good old K Mart came through with three pairs (in pretty colours too) for $12.99. I stocked up. :o) Again, underwear was exempt.

So, once I disregard all the stuff that doesn't count, I've bought the grand total of ONE item (that'd be the extra hoodie).

Don't argue with my maths, you won't win.

I think I deserve a gold star. Also? I've rediscovered a lot of nice things in my wardrobe.....

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

I would post a photo of my new shoes, but the most useless corporation in the world, Microsoft, has "helpfully" installed some crappy Windows update on my laptop that appears to have completely disabled my camera software. *sigh* I shall have to wait for Bike Boy to return home and rescue me from my own technical incompetence.

Moving on

Friday went off well. The funeral was a fitting tribute to a good man. We had an unusual beginning to the service, drinking a toast to Dad with shot glasses of Glenfiddich. The mourners were probably a bit startled by the idea, but they all joined in readily. I was pleased to be able to say my piece without becoming overwhelmed by emotion - I must have had a flashback to my old amateur acting days or something. The show must go on and all that.... And Mum was very happy with it all, which was the main thing as far as we were all concerned.

That was the closing chapter, and I'm not going to dwell on the sadness any more here - I have to deal with my emotions and only time is going to help with that. Meanwhile, there's no need to drag everyone else down with me.

So this week marks the start of getting back to normal. Yesterday I made the decision not to train, after suffering through another disturbed night, but I did eat well. That's a big improvement on just about any day last week.... And after a few occasions where I indulged in a drink or ten, I'm off the grog again. That should be easy to stick to, since we've gone through everything we had in the house, plus some. LOL.

Today I've been to the gym and trained legs and shoulders, and I'm about to take advantage of the brilliant sunshine and get outdoors for a walk. After that, I have some work to do - emails to reply to, programs to update - then I'll be off to do the school run and fly through the supermarket on the way home. My plan for this evening is to prepare some food for the next couple of days, then settle down to watch a DVD with The Baby.

All nice and normal, just how I like it. Give me three or four weeks and I'm sure I'll be back to feeling like this:


Saturday, August 15, 2009

I feel like....

Being yelled at by Coach Troy today....

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Normal creeps back


The past few days have flown by, filled with a seemingly endless list of tasks, meetings, discussions, decisions, phone calls.

Yesterday, I stayed in my pyjamas till lunchtime, scanning photos of Dad to be used in a slideshow tribute at the funeral service. A lot made me smile, a few had me laughing out loud, a couple made me cry.

When I ran out of photos, I made myself go get dressed and then sat down to answer client emails, check food logs, and do some program updates. Other people's lives go on regardless, and being busy is a good thing. I also got together with one of my sisters to work on what we want to say at Friday's service. We feel the need to talk about Dad's unique personality, but neither of us wants to stand up there alone, so we've decided to do it together. Chicken? You bet.

Today, I've answered my client emails, hunted out and ironed shirts for my boys to wear on Friday, folded the mountain of clean washing that's accumulated over the last week, and will shortly be heading out to help Number One Son shop for a new suit and to pick up a few grocery items.

Training has been non-existent - my workout last Thursday seems like months ago now, but it's not even a week. Nutrition has been more than a little off-plan, but today I'm feeling ready to rule a line and make more of an effort. I'm hankering for a Paleo pancake, and if I never have to look at another biscuit (or cup of disgusting instant coffee) again, it'll be way too soon...

I hear my training mojo quietly knocking at the door too, so tomorrow morning I think I'll head to the gym after I drop the kids at school. I may even get in a quick session Friday morning, but I'll play that one by ear.

I know that life will get back to normal, but I'm trying to ease back into that a little now. The thought of my pants being uncomfortably tight when I head back to work next week is pretty strong motivation. :o)

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Coping

Wow. Bloggers and Facebookers are awesome. Everyone's kind comments really are appreciated.

We're getting through the days. It's exhausting - there are so many things to think about and organise, and the funeral won't be until Friday. But we're remembering a lot of good times and even finding the funny side now and then.

My Dad had dementia and had been in a nursing home for the past four years. He was quite physically well, and hated sitting around idly - I think retirement was actually some kind of hell for him - so the staff would find jobs to occupy him. He loved to be helpful, and was also an old-fashioned kind of gentleman, so if he was asked to do something, he just did it. He swept floors, he carried things, he even washed a car for one of the girls not so long ago.

The staff loved him, and the smokers would take him outdoors with them for a puff. There were a couple who were really close to him and would ask for (and receive) a kiss on the cheek daily when coming on or going off their shifts. As for Dad, he mostly thought he was on holiday somewhere - he particularly liked the motel he was staying at, the staff were really nice. But some things didn't fit, even in his muddled mind, and he'd comment on them, sounding a bit puzzled. He'd often remark to us that it's usually a lot warmer up here this time of year. He never seemed to find it odd that we popped in to see him, or that his mate of 40+ years would call in on Wednesdays for a game of cards (and usually an argument), while he was away up north.

I suppose if you have to be delusional, being on holidays is about the best delusion you can have.

It's been sad watching him decline, of course. The times he didn't recognise us became a lot more common than those where he did. But he still appreciated a hug and a kiss and we're sure that most of the time he realised that he should know us. He was too polite to ask who are you? and would just chat about the weather or comment on something in the room, or roll out one of his many habitual phrases. You're looking lovely today was a favourite. It made me smile, even though I'm sure he said the same thing to the girls who cleared away his plate or made his bed. If you took him a Cherry Ripe, or some Old Gold, he'd rip into it with gusto, but would continually stop to offer it around to everyone there.

There were echoes of the man he really was, but to us, he was a faded shadow of our Dad, and it was painful to watch. I could never stay for long, and would often be blinking back tears as I left. He would sometimes be confused and would then become distressed over small things, as though he knew that he should know this - his failing memory was obviously incredibly frustrating for him. Deep down, we all wished for a release for him, long before his illness progressed to the point where he would lose all dignity and any remaining shreds of his personality.

This was a huge shock to us all though. He'd come down with a flu-like illness just a few days ago, but was feeling a lot better on Thursday morning, and the staff commented that he was on the mend. Thursday night, he ate his dinner, put himself to bed and simply didn't wake up. There are worse ways to go. He was probably about as happy as he could be - the only things that could have made his evening better would have been a Scotch and a smoke.

I'll have to have that Scotch in his honour. I'll skip the smoke though, if you don't mind, Dad. Cheers!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Loss

My Dad died unexpectedly last night. His body finally caught up to his failing mind, and has gone on permanent holiday.

“Love is stronger than death even though it can't stop death from happening, but no matter how hard death tries it can't separate people from love. It can't take away our memories either. In the end, life is stronger than death."

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Freak of the Week

We have this upcoming "thing" at work, where all the different departments in my office will be showcasing who they are and what they do. A kind of expo for boring accounting types, if you will. I read the emails about it, yawned and thought "Yeah, exciting....NOT"

Then I got dobbed in to help organise my team's participation. OK, whatever. Now it's getting closer, so I've had to put together some info on our team and the incredibly thrilling stuff that we do, round everyone up for a photo, make some Powerpoint slides and so on. OK so far.

THEN, a request comes through for a profile on two of our staff, to be displayed at the expo - a photo and a bit of a blurb about the person. And the boss nominates me and one other girl.

Among the stuffy public servant types, why do we stand out? Uh...she was in the first series of Farmer Wants a Wife and me? I guess prancing around in high heels and a bikini, flexing your muscles seems pretty novel to most people.

Thanks Boss. What is this? Feature the Freak?

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Believe

I was chatting to a new client yesterday and the conversation turned to goals and getting there, and the things that can happen along the way. Yada, yada....

And it made me pause for a moment and look back at this amazing journey I've been on for the past six years (Really? Six years? Wow, where did that time go?).

The thing that struck me is that sometimes you embark on a lifestyle change without actually being aware that's what you're doing. I just wanted to lose some weight. I remember stating that I'd be happy to be an (Aussie) size 14. And wistfully thinking that a 12 would be nice. And I had some vague, wishy-washy health improvement goals too.

Fitness didn't really enter the picture. Drastically overhauling my nutrition? Not really, apart from cutting out some of the junk. Winning a body transformation competition prize? Nuh-uh. A change of career? Hardly. Being able to walk into shops and buy size 8 clothes off the rack? Are you kidding me? Standing on stage - in public - in a costume the size of a postage stamp and a pair of stripper heels? Bwahahaha!! Helping and inspiring other people to achieve their dreams? Who, me?

The thing is, that you can never really know where a big decision is going to lead you. But if you face your fears, find someone or something that you can trust to guide you, then take a BIG leap of faith.... the rewards can be huge. That one little first step may lead you to places you never imagined. You will probably have disappointments and setbacks along the way, but you'll also have moments of great triumph.

And if you follow your heart and are prepared to learn from your mistakes, you will gain so much more than a smaller dress size.

It can be a wild ride, but it is totally worth it.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Great ideas!



Lazy blogging today, people....no apologies either, I'm short on time. So I'm throwing together a few links for your blogging enjoyment:

Having trouble getting enough veg in your day? Maggie over at Mighty Girl has come up with a brilliant solution with her at-home salad bar.

Charlotte has given us the low-down on chia seeds. I'd heard of them, but not really taken much notice. Now I am so getting me some of these little beauties!

And go check out Michelle's awesome-looking figure-friendly pizza base. Yum!

It may not be quite the weather for ice cream here in Oz, but file this one away for the coming months: DietGirl's instant frozen yoghurt. I actually did my own version the other day, using frozen raspberries and blueberries, creamed cottage cheese and just a little yoghurt. Frozen fruity goodness! With protein. Mmm....

Strange. Did anyone notice a food theme here...?

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Quick update on the positivity challenge: All going well, just haven't had masses of time to sit and ponder things. In fact, things are so generally good that I really haven't needed to go looking for the positives.

Monday, August 03, 2009

See saw-ing again


I've had a lot of stuff going on in my head this week - mostly related to business plans, which are exciting, but time-consuming. And I've been reminded of the need to strike a balance between work and family, something that I continually struggle with. My work-family see-saw seems to tip one way or the other, rarely staying level for long.

Yesterday, I looked around at the housework that needed doing, and the pile of papers on my desk that I really should sort through, and some notes for blog posts that I haven't written yet. And I ignored it all, instead opting to take The Baby to the movies. We had a great afternoon together, and honestly? There was nothing amongst all the important jobs I "needed" to do that couldn't wait another day or two.

I've decided that I need to be better organised and in particular, stricter about separating work time from family time. So, as much as I dislike any kind of rules about what I can do and when, I'm going to make it this week's project to come up with a workable timetable for myself.

I want set work hours, and an actual day off from working. I also need to make it clear to friends and family that just because I'm at home, I'm not "doing nothing". I can't chat on the phone or go out for coffee any time they feel like it. If it's work time, it's work time and they have to respect that.

If I do this right, there should be enough time for socialising, housework and everything else. I hope.

Of course, I reserve the right to break my own rules if I feel the need....

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Bwahaha!!

The weird food stuff is HILARIOUS. Keep those comments coming, folks!

It sure helps me to feel more normal.... :o)

Food labelling and other lies



Food manufacturers aren’t fools when it comes to marketing. They know that if they slap a healthy-sounding label on their product, most people will take it at face value. A large slice of the general population think that a product labelled gluten-free or 98% fat-free or organic or salt-reduced must be healthy. Or at least healthier than the product next to it without the reassuring label.

Understanding food labels takes a bit more effort than just reading the giant coloured sticker on the front of the package. A bag of jelly snakes that claims to be 98% fat free, and/or 100% natural is still a big bag of mostly sugar – not something that any of us needs to be eating on any kind of regular basis or in large amounts. Gluten free chocolate biscuits are no better than the regular kind, in terms of nutrient value. Their sole benefit is to those with coeliac disease – and like everybody else, they should be eating those things in moderation. They contain the same calories, the same amount of sugar and they’re a highly processed food.

There may be some benefits in eating organic foods as opposed to non-organic*, and less fat and salt will probably benefit most people. But if you don’t know what you’re eating overall in terms of macronutrients, good fats, vitamins and minerals and so on, you need to put in some groundwork. Getting that stuff right is far more important than swapping one or two products for substitutes that may well be full of artificial additives, or be higher in carbohydrate to make up for the lower fat content…or whatever.

Get some sane advice on what you should be aiming for in daily grams of protein, carbohydrate and fat, then log a few days’ worth of food (or pay a professional to do an analysis for you) and see how it compares. If you’re nowhere near your targets, it’s time to overhaul your shopping and eating habits.

I’m not about to dole out a heap of advice on how to eat well – there’s plenty of information around on the subject if you care enough to look. And it really can vary depending on your lifestyle, genetics, likes and dislikes and goals. Even I don't eat exactly the same way all the time, swapping and changing things in response to training changes, illness, boredom, or just my body being a bit stubborn. But if you stick to mostly unprocessed whole foods, you can’t go wrong.

And when you do buy a jar or a packet of something, turn it over, put your glasses on, and read the teeny-tiny print on the nutrition panel to find out exactly what you’re buying. You might be surprised.


* In my totally unqualified opinion, the benefits of organic food are mainly related to lack of pesticide residues and less impact on the planet due to less chemicals sprayed around. Also possibly more sustainable farming practices, although I don't know the stats on that. There is negligible difference in terms of macro- or micronutrient values, according to a recent study.

Still, less toxins ingested has to be a good thing. I'd buy all organic food if only I didn't have to also pay a mortgage and put three kids through school.... Yeah, pity about the price tag.