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.