Monday, February 28, 2011

Help for Christchurch


I know we've all been digging deep recently to help our fellow Aussies affected by floods and cyclones, but please if you possibly can, dip into your pockets again and give a little something to help our Kiwi cousins.

Christchurch is a small city by world standards and as such, has limited resources. Emergency funds have already been stretched to the limit by the September earthquake, and now this latest and far more serious quake has left many folks destitute and in need of all the help they can get.

Remember, it's not just those who've lost their homes and belongings, but many, many people who don't have jobs to go to because their city workplaces have either been destroyed or are off-limits due to the danger of further collapses.

Whether you can contribute financially or not, if you're a blogger you can still help by posting a link to the global appeal website, which is here: http://www.christchurchearthquakeappeal.govt.nz/

Even if you don't have a blog, please spread the word by posting the link on Facebook or Twitter.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

ABC

This meme is doing the rounds, and since I'm feeling a bit (mentally) lazy, I thought I'd hop on board.

A. Age: 50. But if I feel 35, does that count?
B. Bed size: Queen
C. Chore you hate: Ironing.
D. Dogs: Nope. We lost our last four-legged family member four years ago and have no plans to replace him.
E. Essential start to your day: A long black.
F. Favorite color: Aqua, teal or anything bluey-green.
G. Gold or silver: Gold
H. Height: 160 cm (that’s 5’3” for you non-metric folks)
I. Instruments you play: Piano, but I haven’t played for about a million years.
J. Job title: Personal Trainer. I prefer to keep my other job title to myself – it’s a dead giveaway about where I work.
K. Kids: 3 beautiful boys. Well, men really…they’re 23, 18 and 15 and all taller than me.
L. Live: Melbourne, Australia
M. Mum's name: Jill
N. Nicknames: Kek (betcha didn’t know that!)
O. Overnight hospital stays: Hmm. Tonsillectomy, meningitis, relapse of meningitis symptoms, three babies, oophorectomy (that’s removal of an ovary), hysterectomy. Eight. I think that’s the lot. I’ve lost count of the day surgeries. Wait. I forgot one: a stay in the mother-baby unit at our local private hospital because The Baby was such a godawful kid and would NOT stop crying.
P. Pet peeve: Mess in the kitchen – crumbs not wiped up, suds left in the sink, crap on the bench, dirty dishes abandoned. You get the idea.
Q. Quote from a movie: “What do you call this, love?" when Bike Boy puts dinner in front of me. (From The Castle). And "It's the vibe of the thing, Your Honour" from the same movie runs a close second.
R. Righty or Lefty: Righty.
S. Siblings: Three sisters, two brothers… we didn’t all grow up in the same house though. Blended families, eesh. Complicated.
T. Time you wake up: Just before 6:00am most days
U. Underwear: Bikinis. Boy legs always seem to crawl up under pants and I can’t stand bum floss.
V. Vegetables you dislike: Silverbeet.
W. What makes you run late: Faffing around online. Oops.
X. X-rays you've had: Nose, chest, foot, umpteen of my teeth, plus various types of scans of pretty much every inch of my body. Brain MRI, chest and abdo CTs, mammograms, more ultrasounds than you can poke a stick at.
Y. Yummy food you make: Lemon tart, black forest cake, choc-mint cheesecake, hummingbird cake, raspberry-Frangelico tiramisu cake . Anyone see a pattern here….?
Z. Zoo animal favorite: Monkeys.

Feel free to play along.

Friday, February 25, 2011

On shaky ground

I'm sadly behind with blogging this week ...it's been ridiculously busy in my world and I'm feeling a bit overloaded, so I've let myself off from my daily blogging commitment for now.

Unless you've been off visiting another planet, I'm sure you're aware of the tragedy this week in Christchurch, NZ. My thoughts are with everyone there, but especially my good friend Sara. I was very relieved to know early on that she was safe (thanks so much for the text, luv - you saved me a lot of worrying. xx) and she's one of the lucky ones with all her family safe and her home undamaged, apart from the loss of some replaceable items.

You can read her first-hand account of the scary experience here and here.

Here's hoping the aftershocks settle quickly. I still think she needs a nice holiday in Australia to recover from the trauma. ;)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dumb(bell)founded

I just came across yet another "tone up without any effort" gadget online. This one has escaped my notice up to now, I suspect because it's not available in Australia. Although, for all I know, it could be the biggest thing in infomercials here - after all, I don't watch daytime or late night TV, so how would I know?

Anyway, you have to check out the Shake Weight, just for laughs. The video is annoyingly slow to load, so I didn't bother watching the whole thing, but check out these claims:

• Shake Weight Utilizes New Workout Technology Called
Dynamic Inertia, which can increase Muscle Activity to nearly
300% compared to a Standard Dumbbell.*
• Scientifically Proven Results
• Get Incredible Results in Just 6 Minutes a Day
• Designed Specifically For Women

And it comes with not just a DVD, but a deluxe DVD!

Look! Scientifically proven results! And in just 6 minutes a day! I can't find any mention of the scientific studies this claim is based on, but I'm sure the manufacturers are telling the truth. After all, how could you doubt that shaking a dumbbell weighing 1.1kg would give you "strong sexy sculpted arms you'll be proud of"?

To make sure you really get outstanding results, you could wear your toning shoes and put a rubber band around your wrist whilst using your Shake Weight.

Meh. This Youtube video is far more entertaining than the official website one.

Monday, February 21, 2011

MIA

I'm going to be babysitting for a couple of days - well, parent-sitting, actually. Mum had hip-replacement surgery last Wednesday and as usual, has demonstrated remarkable recuperative abilities and is due to be discharged this morning.

She was out of bed and starting on some physio the morning after the op and shuffling around on a walking frame by Friday. On Saturday she'd graduated to crutches and was doing laps of the hospital ward. This being her third joint replacement (both hips and a knee), she knows the drill with rehab and will no doubt be off crutches and managing with a walking stick within a very short time.

Meanwhile, since she lives alone, my sisters and I are taking turns to stay with her to help with day to day tasks that are tricky to manage on crutches. Plus, she can't drive for the next six weeks, so will need help with shopping and other errands as well as getting to medical appointments etc.

I'm taking the first shift and spending Monday and Tuesday with her, so may be a bit absent online, depending on wireless internet speed which can be a bit unreliable. Be good while I'm gone, OK?

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

For Debstar: I liked Black Swan. People seem to either love it or hate it, but I'm a fan.

I thought Natalie Portman was excellent, not just for the impressive job she did with the dancing. It certainly wasn't a happy, uplifting kind of story and you could tell from a pretty early stage that it wasn't going to end well. With an obsessive, nutty mother (played very well by Barbara Hershey), I think her life was destined to be a train wreck.

Dark and disturbing pretty well sums it up.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Back off the weight, Hercules!


*This post is especially for you, Liz


You see some amazing things at the gym. Occasionally, it's somebody doing an impressive well-designed training session that makes me think "Wow. He/she's serious about their sport, and obviously has a good coach". More often though, it's somebody demonstrating the more-is-better mentality that seems to dominate amongst the bulk of gym-goers.

This past week has provided some head-shaking bemusement (or should that be amusement?), as I've witnessed the following outstandingly stupid feats:

1. Tricep push-downs with the pin near the bottom of the weight stack, requiring the recruitment of shoulders, chest, abdominals and hip flexors to move the weight. Here's a tip, dude: Use a lighter weight, stand tall, keep your elbows locked to your sides and try using your triceps.

2. Kneeling cable crunches, with all the movement initiated from the hips. I dunno, getting your forehead to touch the floor by flexing your hips might seem impressive to this guy, but I'm not sure what he thinks he's achieving.

3. Seated cable rows, pulling the weight by adding some momentum from hips and legs.

4. That old favourite, barbell biceps curls using hips, back and everything else to get that weight up. God forbid you should use your BICEPS....

The point is, if you have to use your entire body to move the weight, it's too heavy. You might be impressed with yourself, but you're not effectively working the muscles you think you're targeting.

I'm not about to tell them though; I don't want to bruise their egos. Or risk having a dumbbell hurled at me. I just quietly go about my business, lifting my piddly little weights, paying attention to posture, technique and tempo, and knowing that I'm hitting exactly the muscles I'm aiming for.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Feeling groovy

Today I seem to have found my fitness groove without the slightest struggle. I love days like this - especially since my week so far has been a bitch.

I took myself off to the gym a little late but luckily it wasn't too busy. I was momentarily peeved to discover that my ipod battery was flat, but I just tuned out whatever was going on around me and got on with it.

First up was some prehab exercises (and yes, I still get odd looks when I do my wall pushups and external rotator band thingies, but stuff it - I don't care!). Then I got down to some upper body work. I'm still lifting piddling weights, but I'm good with that...In spite of the girly weights, I managed to trash my back and biceps quite effectively.

Then I took a deep breath, stepped onto the treadmill and tried some gentle jogging intervals; just one minute walking/one minute slow jogging. I couldn't keep the smile off my face when there was zero pain. By the time I got through twenty minutes, I was grinning like the cheshire cat. I did have one twinge on about the fifth interval, but it wasn't the usual ITB pain, which kind of pulls diagonally above my knee, from the outside of my thigh to about the mid-front. This was a sharp twinge in the middle of the joint, under the kneecap. I crossed my fingers and prayed a little, and after a few seconds it disappeared.

I tend to land quite heavily when I run, with my feet making quite a bit of noise, so I paid attention to my footstrike, being sure to land a bit more lightly and allowing my ankles to flex well and absorb more of the impact, and thankfully there was no more pain.

Usually I have a major mental battle over cardio, having to argue with myself pretty forcefully to complete more than a few minutes, but today I decided I was going to do twenty minutes and there was just no way I wasn't going to finish.

I moved onto some glute stretches, some self-myofascial release through my glutes and a good total body stretching session. I'm looser, have a nice endorphin-fuelled sense of calm, and am actually pretty damn self-satisfied. Smug, even.

:)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Freebies


When Bike Boy brought home my new phone (which I still love like a fourth child), he handed me a printed sheet of paper with a smug grin. As part of the deal - the deal that cost us ZERO, mind you - T3lstra were giving away a free movie ticket every week for a year. My husband knows how much I like a trip to the movies!

So after registering online and waiting, waiting, waiting.... I finally got my first ticket this week and I'm off to see Black Swan tonight. Next week, maybe The Fighter. Or something light like How Do You Know? Definitely NOT Hereafter, thanks to Debstar's grim review. And 127 Hours may be a little too gruesome for my liking.

I doubt there'll even be 52 movies over the next year that I'll want to see, but I'll make sure I squeeze in as many visits to the cinema as I possibly can.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What doesn't kill us

It's been a challenging week. After a couple of weeks of good progress on both the rehab and training fronts, plus a nice big drop on the scales, this week I feel as though I'm going backwards.

First of all, my ITB pain flared up over the weekend. I don't think Friday's oh-so-gentle leg and ab workout was the cause; more likely it was the extreme physio session I endured on Thursday night. At least I hope so.

As a result, I did zero training on Saturday and Sunday. Instead, there was a lot of sitting around with an ice pack. Monday, I got up and did twenty minutes of Pilates. Tuesday... oh boy, Tuesday! I woke up with a headache, a stiff neck, a creaky and painful lower back, and a bad attitude.

On top of that, the scales are being stubborn, hovering around the same number as last week and then this morning, deciding to add an extra 500g. Yeah, thanks for that...

I'm not going to sulk about it though. It would be nice if rehab always progressed in a steady upward curve, but I know from past experience that in reality it's often more like two steps forward, one step back. So I'm treating this week as just another (mental) challenge to be conquered.

I've had Melissa pay me a visit last night and un-kink various muscles (which may have contributed to the weight jump this morning - I'm pretty sore through my back, shoulders and glutes), I've done a short aerobic workout on the bike this morning, and I'll just stick to my nutrition plan, which I know will do the job. I won't tempt fate with any leg training this week, but I'll work in a bit more walking on the evenings when I'm free and over the weekend. The scales will have to catch up eventually.

Onward!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Speeding by

The Baby is fifteen now, but he still loves to give me spontaneous hugs a dozen times a day, still tells me he loves me, and still gives me a kiss goodbye every morning when I drop him at school.

And he may be taller than me, but I just now woke hime up for school and realised that his cheeks are still little-boy soft and smooth and soooo kissable.

I wish I could freeze time.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Digging deep

I finished reading Geneen Roth's Women, Food and God yesterday. It was interesting, and I'm keen to read more of her work. What was even more interesting though, was this:

The book prompted some soul-searching and got me sifting through thoughts, emotions and old wounds to get to the bottom of the reasons why I spent so many years struggling with my weight. And I realised that I'm actually OK; that I now have a pretty healthy relationship with food. More than that, I'm mostly happy with myself, my life, my choices.

I really could have used this book in late 2009, mind you, when things temporarily got really messy and messed up inside my head. Hopefully, I learned some lessons from that and won't fall so badly next time life gives me a truckload of lemons all at once.

Funny thing... much of the advice she gives directly parallels some of the exercises my psychologist set me when I was struggling so badly in '09. Overeating/bingeing is usually avoidance behaviour - something to distract us from the uncomfortable emotions we're feeling. I know I found this to be quite difficult to do at first, but tuning into what you're feeling and just naming the emotion without attempting to "fix" it, is a huge first step in overcoming destructive behaviour.

We waste so much time and energy doing everything but the thing we need to do, all to avoid getting uncomfortable, when uncomfortable is often the way forward.

I still have a way to go on my journey, but I know now that every single step I've taken over the past seven years - even some of the backwards ones - has brought me closer to peace, acceptance and ultimate happiness.

There you go. A bit of D & M for a Monday morning.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Recipe Alert!

Warm lamb and pomegranate salad, over at Good Food.




Yes, I know I didn't blog yesterday. (FAIL! And so early in the year...)

I thought about blogging. But instead, I spent the day out socialising and the evening reading and watching the final episodes of The Wire with my beloved. Time well spent. :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Clawing my way back

A good night's sleep and a bit of a sleep-in till 7:00am seems to have restored my brain power somewhat. :)

Since I have the day off today, I was under no pressure to rush through things at the gym. I did my upper body workout and was pleased to manage three sets of ten elevated pushups (hands on a bench). I've been really struggling with standard pushups and have a "thing" about doing them on my knees (I know... stupid pride *rolls eyes*). Elevated pushups somehow seem more legitimate to me; don't ask me why. Anyway, achieving that small feat has given me confidence that I'll be back to standard pushups reasonably quickly. Then I'll probably be moaning that I can't do decline pushups.... LOL.

I did some upper body prehab exercises, then got a tennis ball into my extremly sore left glute and did some glute stretches before I picked up the weights. After finishing trashing my upper body (not that hard these days), I started thinking about what lower body exercises I might be able to manage, and since I had plenty of time, decided to give it a go. This is what I came up with, working around my very sore ITB, which my physio attacked with sadistic enthusiasm last night:

Five minutes on the elliptical - 2 mins forward, 1 min backwards, 2 mins forward

Superset
X-band walks, 10 in each direction x 2
Wall sit 30-45 seconds
(3 repeats)

Superset
Glute bridging 60 second holds
Clams 12 x each side
(3 repeats)

Glute stretches

Superset
Kneeling stability ball rollouts, 30 second holds
Stability ball prone leg raises x 12
(3 repeats)

Then more tennis ball torture and glute stretches, plus a good long general stretching session.

It still feels like a namby-pamby workout - especially since the guy next to me was having a blast doing plyo stuff with a step and all sorts of funky stability ball moves that I can only dream of at the moment. But I had a good burn going and I'm pretty sure I'll be complaining about my sore bum tomorrow.

:)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I've got nothing

I'm completely uninspired tonight and struggling to come up with a post. I do have quite a few topics I want to write about, but they all require way too much brain power, and frankly, I'm too tired to make the effort.

I must need a day off.

Why don't you take one, Kek?

Great idea - I think I will. Thanks!

Don't mind me talking to myself. Back to what you were doing. Go on, scoot!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

On the up and up

Things are progressing nicely in my quest to rehab my dodgier body parts and reclaim my fitness. I had my third session with Melissa last night and the improvement from week to week is pretty amazing. As well as working more magic on my neck and thoracic region and getting into my glutes (can I just say: OUCH!), she's taken to doing some incredibly painful things to my feet - which has resulted in an amazing increase in ankle flexibility and a huge reduction in creakiness and pain that I wasn't really aware I even had in those joints. That's going to pay off when I get back to squatting....

I've also made a big effort to work some rehab exercises into my training and to do a little of an evening. The result of all this is that I'm getting back up to speed with my training much faster than I expected.

I got through an aerobic spin session on Monday with no complaints at all from my leg, and am back to doing a fairly "normal" upper body routine at the gym too. I'm keeping weights light and concentrating on good form though, aiming to recruit some of my weaker and lazier muscles, rather than to demonstrate impressive feats of strength.

I've knocked out a couple of half-decent elliptical workouts, got plenty of walking in, and am still doing my Pilates routine a couple of times a week. I'm paying more attention than ever to stretching and that's beginning to pay off as well.

I had been feeling a bit down about my loss of strength and fitness over recent weeks - I know it will return, but who enjoys starting over? However, there was some consolation in discovering that my abdominal strength hasn't diminished - even though everything else has gone to the dogs.

At this point, I'm feeling very positive and actually quite pleased with myself. A couple of consistent weeks on both the exercise and nutrition fronts will do that. :)

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Bookworm

I got to exercises my inner bookworm over the holidays, getting through a small stack of novels (all OK, but none really worth mentioning except the final in the Millenium trilogy).

I've been moping around with nothing to read for almost two weeks, and yesterday decided to call into A & R on my lunchbreak, determined to find something to fill in the ten minutes or so I can manage to stay awake when I climb into bed each night. I was thinking of a novel, but this caught my eye:



It's been a hot topic in the health and fitness world over recent months, so I thought I probably should find out what all the hoo-ha is about. I'm finding it interesting so far, although there are a few things that have annoyed me.... I'll share my thoughts on it later in the week, after I've finished the whole thing.

I also spotted this:



I first heard of Geneen Roth from Sara quite a few years ago, and I know that she has a lot of fans amongst the former food-obsessed. Somehow I haven't actually read any of her books, so I thought it was about time I rectified that situation.

I should be set for reading material for the rest of the week.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Magic numbers

I thought I'd clarify my comment the other day about the (more or less) 1200 Calories I'm currently consuming daily.

It wasn't a deliberate choice to reduce my food intake to that level. I didn't pick 1200 and think: That's the magic number that will see me lose X kg per week. I simply reduced my meal portions to what I would normally eat when aiming for weight loss, cut out the empty calories from alcohol and snacks that I don't really need and tuned in to my hunger signals to determine how many meals I needed.

I logged my meals as I went and was a bit surprised to find at the end of each day that I was sitting at around 1200 Cals. I didn't then think: Hurrah! I have Calories to spare. What else can I eat? Instead I thought about whether I felt satisfied and discovered that I did. I've had no urge to eat anything extra (and only once felt like a drink).

On the no-alcohol decision: I'm usually happy to have a glass of wine once or twice a week, but after a long holiday where I indulged a little lot too much, I figured I'd benefit from drying out a bit during February. ;)

I'll continue to pay attention to my hunger signals and I expect I'll be increasing my food once my training gets back to something like normal intensity and timespan.

On that note, today I'll be facing up to Coach Troy - but I won't be trying Bending Crank Arms, or Enter the Red Zone or some other leg-smashing workout. I'll be starting off with some Aerobase Builder and will see how that goes before I attempt anything more strenuous.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

You can lead a horse to water...

Now that the rain has (more or less) stopped and I'm no longer glued to the BoM website, Twitter updates from Victoria Police and the SES, or news sites and TV channels covering the crazy flooding here in Melbourne, I can turn my attention back to more normal things.

Last week's post questioning people's knowledge of nutrition basics sparked quite a few comments, so I thought I'd explore the subject a little further.

I honestly think that things may be different in the U.S. - my reading and TV viewing seems to indicate that a lot of folks there really don't know the first thing about healthy eating, and that many people don't actually know how to cook from fresh ingredients. I may be way off the mark, but it's the impression that I get.

Here in Australia, we have no excuse for not knowing how to eat reasonably well. Even if they're unaware of the finer details, it would be a rare Aussie who doesn't know that for good health, we need to eat lean meat and fish, fresh fruit and veg, whole grains and unsaturated fats. And that sugar is not something you ought to be eating on a regular basis. I'd also be surprised if they couldn't reel off a decent list of foods that fit the good-health bill.

My experience with clients, friends, family and acquaintances who "can't" lose weight is that they KNOW what they should be eating, but they either:

a) Don't care
b) Exhibit "food amnesia" when it comes to what they really eat
c) Grossly overestimate the amount of food they need
d) Want to eat crap more desperately than they want to lose the weight, at least when face to face with said crap food

Of course d) leads into a whole lot of other issues around emotional/psychological reasons for being overweight in the first place, but that's a whole other subject.

There are finer points of nutrition that many people aren't aware of - if they're not fitness professionals, nutrition scientists or someone with a particular interest in nutrition. And yes, folks do get sucked in by clever labelling.

I once had a client who thought they were doing a good thing in buying bags of jelly snakes to eat on a daily basis, because the bag was labelled "all natural" and "98% fat free". I had to point out the sugar content and explain how the calories in those snakes was cancelling out the training sessions she was doing.

But think about it - even when I went to primary school a hundred years ago, we learned about the value of the vitamins, minerals and fibre in fruit and veggies, that milk contained calcium for our growing bones, that meat and fish provided protein for growth and repair of muscle, skin and so on.... These days kids are taught even more about food and exercise.

Every medical centre has posters on the walls, leaflets and magazines full of information. Maternity hospitals and baby health centres give new parents info on infant and pre-schooler nutrition. Government websites like the Better Health Channel have a wealth of information.

Anyone who honestly wants to know about this stuff wouldn't have a hard time finding it. Knowledge is not the issue in most cases.

So what ARE some of the issues these people face? Anyone care to comment?

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Did we move 1500km north overnight?






Images courtesy Herald-Sun website.

No, these aren't photos of Brisbane. This is Melbourne, after 100+mm of rain dumped on us in the past 24 hours. Major highways and freeways are closed, several railway lines are out of service and parts of Melbourne had to be evacuated last night. Tropical cyclones Anthony and Yasi are sharing the love.....

Apparently there's more to come today. We're good here, just very wet. Thank goodness for living in an elevated area. Many people have serious damage to their homes though, as our storm water systems are simply not designed to cope with this amount of rain in such a short time.

I plan to be back later today with a post. If we don't get washed away in the meantime.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Progress report

Tuesday's post elicited a lot of comments... it seems I'm not alone in my scepticism about claims that people just don't know the basics of good nutrition. I have more to say about that, but not today. Instead, I'm reporting in on my progress with my training and rehab.

This week's efforts have been as follows:

Monday - Pilates and a walk
Tuesday - Upper body and some rehab exercises, plus another damn good working-over by Melissa.
Wednesday - Cardio at the gym. I tested out my leg on the elliptical and there was zero pain (dammit, I was hoping for an excuse to avoid that blasted thing), so I did a mix of elliptical and brisk walking on the treadmill for 25 minutes. I followed that up with 20 minutes of stretching. I also did some rehab stuff in the evening.
Thursday - Pilates and a little walking, plus physio.

I'm easing back into it and focusing on being proud of my efforts, no matter how namby-pamby I think they are. I don't want to push things too hard too quickly and end up aggravating my injuries, or causing a new one.

There are positive things happening with my injuries too. I've maintained the increased range of movement in my neck, and even improved on it a little more. My mid to upper back feels so much looser than it did and best of all, my ITB injury is showing signs of improvement. I managed the stairs at work today with no pain on the descent, and slightly less on the ascent. I'm beginning to feel confident that I'll be back to RPM and leg training in just a few weeks.

On the nutrition front, I've put in a stellar few days without any pain at all. I haven't really changed my usual meals, but I'm paying attention to my hunger and either skipping my morning snack or just having a small apple, because I don't need anything else. I'm also resisting mindless snacking at night and keeping meal servings reasonable.

Logging my food has been interesting - I'm only eating around 1200 Calories a day; rather less than my normal weight-loss quota of 1500 or so. Given my reduced activity, it's reasonable to expect my energy needs to be less than usual, and going by hunger levels, I seem to be spot-on with my food intake. I was very pleased this morning to wake up to my old friend gnawing hunger - that tells me that I'm eating the right amount and that my metabolism is beginning to stir and show signs of waking up from the snooze it's been having over recent months.

I'm making sure I keep up my water intake, and I have to say, the 4:00am loo trips are wearing thin.... but at least I know that it's all for the greater good. I've obviously shed some fluid in the past three days, with 1.1kg disappearing almost effortlessly and my waistband feeling looser.

On top of all that, I have killer DOMS in my glutes today. Ouch! I may hate the elliptical, but at least I can feel the benefits.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Priorities

I woke just before 6:00am this morning and my first conscious thought was: Man, I'm STARVING! My immediate second thought was: God, I hope tropical cyclone Yasi didn't wreak too much havoc.

News services were a little frustrating; it was still dark, so damage assessments were wild guesses. And phones and power were out in thousands of homes, so there were no real reports on the human toll. It seems that the city centres may have come through with only minor damage, but reports on suburbs and outlying properties are sketchy.

My thoughts are with all the folks in North Queensland, especially Raechelle and Michelle.... hope you guys came through unscathed with not too much property damage.

I'm off to trawl the TV channels and news websites while I eat my breakfast.


Edit: Thank goodness for Facebook - both ladies and their families are ok. No word on property damage, but at least they're safe.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Deadly habits

I've managed to miss every series of The Biggest Loser so far. Nope, I haven't seen a single episode - mainly because of my general loathing of "reality" TV. So last Sunday's premiere of the 2011 series didn't even impinge on my awareness. Until the next day.

It seems to be the big (no pun intended) topic of conversation on radio and around the office. In spite of having missed the episode, I've pretty much been filled in on the gist of it. And now I'm wishing I'd seen it. Damn. Maybe I'll actually tune in on Wednesday...

Anyway, I was listening to the radio on my way to work on Monday and they were discussing the awfulness of some of the contestants' meals. Frankfurts with whipped cream? What is THAT about? Pies and beers for breakfast? HELLO?!

Yesterday morning, I heard Tiffiny from TBL as a guest on a radio program, and she was asked if she thought the contestants actually knew that the food they were eating was unhealthy. She replied that these people honestly had no idea about good nutrition, that they were completely clueless.

Seriously? I find it difficult to believe that anyone in this day and age can not have at least a bit of an idea about appropriate nutrition. There's so much information out there, we're bombarded with it from TV to magazines to school canteens. Kids are taught the basics in primary school. Even a kindergarten child knows that fruit is better for you than potato chips.

Or am I wrong? Is there really a large chunk of society out there wandering around in a nutrition wilderness? What do you think?

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Fab Feb

Since we've now waved bye-bye to January, I thought I should report in on how I went with my goals actions for the month.

1. Try out five new recipes and blog them. I managed four. I was planning to get creative last weekend, but it just didn't happen.

2. Move my butt six days a week. This one got sidelined while I worked on sorting out my sleep and resulting mental impairment. I did do quite a lot of walking, plus some other bits and pieces, but there were days when picking up the TV remote was about as active as I got.

3. Log my food. Er....I think I did this on a couple of days.

4. Formulate a plan for re-launching my business. This one, I made inroads into, and it's all going well.

At the beginning of the month I had grand plans for all the things I was going to get done on my holidays. I mean, seriously, I had a list of twenty-seven items to complete. Who does that? I must be a little bit mental.

Luckily, sanity returned, and I changed course midway through the month, deciding to kick back and just chill, and to only do the things I wanted to do. No pressure, no stress.

In the end, I managed to do fourteen of those twenty-seven things. I even over-achieved on some (I read four books, not just the two I aimed for). Plus I did a heap of other fun things that weren't planned, including going away for a weekend and doing a LOT of shopping with my birthday vouchers.

Am I feeling like a failure? Am I upset that I didn't hit all my targets? Nope. As I mentioned yesterday, I feel relaxed and almost serene; It's nice.

But with the arrival of February, it's time to turn up the heat again. Not to boiling-hot, but at least to a bit more than just tepid. I don't have any ambitious plans, but I will be logging food, at least some of the time; I will be saying no to alcohol; and I will be back into regular training.

Twenty-eight days should be enough for me to push my fitness up and the scales down. February is going to be fab!