Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Push yourself. Otherwise, how do you know what you can do?

I'm really focussing on my comparative advantage at the moment - and that is exercise. 
I am loving it.  I am running, I am doing resistance/strength training, I enjoy sweating and hurting and pushing myself that little bit further.  Lately, I've taken on a couple of physical challenges and as a result, I have felt a tremendous sense of achievement.
I can't recommend pushing yourself highly enough!
Last Saturday, as a bit of a mini milestone during the 12wbt I decided to challenge myself and walk up Tower Hill four times.  Tower Hill is a local dormant volcano ( I love that it is dormant, not extinct.  At any time, she could go up like Vesuvius.  How exciting!) and in the crater is a short, but challengingly (is that even a word?) steep hill.  Great place to work out the legs and lungs. 
Last time I did three trips up and down, with an exercise circuit at the bottom to  keep things interesting (and by this of course, I mean painful).  So this time my plan was to do 4 trips up and down with a circuit between each lap.

I posted my little plan on our local 12wbt crew facebook page and was so excited that 8 of us turned up bright and shiny to tackle this challenge.  Thanks to Carol, here are some photos...
Oh, we're all very chipper before the workout!

Part of the climb - and Casey looking just that little bit too energetic.  Alison (L) and I (R) looking bemused!

Part of the walk up Tower Hill
We all managed our 4 trips up - some walking, some running - and the only real drama was when the lovely Carol had a close encounter with a brown snake by the side of the track.....Crikey!  We also got through our ciruits (of 10 burpees, 10 push ups, 10 squat jumps and 6 Turkish get ups) without too much whinging.... everyone clearly had their brave, big girl undies on. 
For a couple of our number 4 climbs was not enough, so they did an extra round.  And Debbi had ridden her bike to our workout (and survived a stack on the way) so, obviously, had to ride the 15km-ish home, including a steep climb up out of the crater.  I was so inspired by them, I felt I could do my run when I got home (week 5 of the couch to 5km, 18 minutes of running).
Later that afternoon, I unapologetically lazed on the couch watching Hawthorn beat Adelaide (and secure their spot in next week's AFL Grand Final) and revelled in that special type of exhilirated exhaustion that comes from really pushing yourself physically.
The second physical challenge I've been involved in lately is an atrocity known as Mean Abs September.  Now, I'm not sure who propagates this torturous material, who dreams it up and says let's get gullible folks to participate in this, but whoever it is I need to thank them whilst simultaneously shaking my fist at them.  Here is the schedule for Mean Abs September:

Mean Abs September started out innocently enough on the 1st with a leisurely 5 crunches and 10 second plank.  But today (the 26th) things have escalated to 173 crunches and a 1min 45 second plank.  But here's the funny thing - I've been able to do it all.  I thought at the start I might have to do the plank on my knees towards the end of the month, but no - each night is only 5 seconds longer than the night before and I manage to stick it out.  It has really helped me get stronger.  I've been doing it with my hubby and Thing 2 who is really the driver.  He's so enthusiastic and motivating, and I can't let him down by not doing it each night.  Thing 1 lounges languidly on the couch nearby, watching on with a look of bewilderment tinged with pity - but she has proved to be a very good plank timekeeper.
So there are a couple of thing I've been up to lately that have helped me feel fitter and reach some goals.  What about you?


Thursday, 6 September 2012

The whole truth...

Right!  Well!  This is a distressing post for me to write, so I need your help. 
At the start of each paragraph, I will direct the reading voice in your head to adopt a certain accent*.  It will make the whole thing seem lighter and more pleasant. 
Please humour me. 
(*Anyone seen that hilarious sketch on Little Britain where the boys of Kelsey Grammar School have their teacher enliven their reading by making them read in different accents??  It's so funny - unfortunately I couldn't find it on youtube to share it with you.)

But firstly, a bit of perspective....  no one has died.  No one has even been injured physically or hurt emotionally.  So to the extent that this is a distressing post, it is really only distressing to me!!

Shall we get on?

First Accent:  American (take your pick of New York accent, Southern, mid west - I'm not fussy, just as long as you do it.)
It's week 2 of Round 3 and I weigh 102 kg.  So that means that since May, I have not only not lost any weight overall, but I have put it on.  About half of what I lost in Round 1.  *shakes head*

Posh English (think Her Maj, the high voice might be good too)
All that effort to lose weight in the first round, all that talk about changing and learning and doing.  I just lost my way and started to believe I couldn't do it anymore.  I don't know why, but I just disregarded my health and my goals and listened to my excuses.

Italian - the Godfather  (stereotypical hand gestures please)
So I'm in a bit of a pickle in terms of disclosing this in a public forum like this one.  Do I need to castigate myself, flagellate myself, hate myself, berate myself to some sufficient level of pennance.  

Do I just pick myself up, dust myself off and keep on trying??
Scottish if you will
I am choosing to do the latter.  I hope this doesn't seem as though I'm just papering over what I have done or saying it's okay.  Just that it's better to be positive than to ... well, not.  But boy, this has given me perspective.  I have learned that it is really difficult to get into a healthy mindset and I am going to do everything I can to stay in it now my head is in a good place. 
Eastern European (think 'is Don, is good')
I have learned that any weight loss or fitness gain should be celebrated - really truly.  So many times I have been disappointed with 0.5kg weight loss but you add a string of them together and it soon adds up to decent weight loss.  I think I can be very hard on myself and I want to try not to be.  But I don't want to be too soft on myself either.  It's a tricky balance.
Back to normal
I am doing well so far on Round 3 and will be working very hard not to repeat my mistakes.  I did not put on all the weight I had lost, so that is a positive.  I've kept up, indeed stepped up, the training which I love, so that is a positive too. 

So that's it, that's where I am at the moment.  I feel better for sharing this and wish I had done it at the start of Round 2 when the rot set in.  I'm a bit of a slow learner it would appear!
did you do the accents?


Monday, 27 August 2012

Woman of my word...

Today is the start of Round 3, 2012, for the Michelle Bridges 12 week body transformation....  I am very excited to be starting another round and to see what becomes of me over the next 12 weeks (and beyond).
So here is my commitment to myself, my hubby, the beautiful women of the Warrnambool and Surrounds 12wbt crew and, of course, Michelle (with whom I exchanged a warm and personal handshake via video).

I commit to following the 12wbt program, eating clean and training hard, in order to lose weight. But I also commit to trusting the process, being consistent and not getting caught up and derailed by numbers. I commit to focusing on my thoughts - to challenge my negative thoughts and excuses and to replace them with positive ones. 
I commit to being a woman of my word.

Pinned Image

Thursday, 23 August 2012


Sometimes I like to say 'right' very loudly and forcefully to myself in an effort to urge myself to get cracking on whatever needs to be done next. 

"Right", I'll say forcefully and loudly to myself, "let's get out of bed..... now."   

Five (or twenty) minutes may or may not pass.  "Right.  Let's get out of bed....  NOW."

Okay, so it works better in some situations than others.  But right now I'm using it now in the context of getting going on Round 3 of the 12wbt - as in:
Right! Round 2 might not have gone so well, but let's put that behind us and really take the bull by the horns for Round 3.

(Now the word right looks all wrong...  do you ever find if you say a word or write it over and over you start to question whether it is, in fact, right?  Or maybe it's just me....)

I'm so glad I've signed up for Round 3.  I hummed and hawed about whether to or not, but in the end, I just need the impetus of the program starting again to get me fired up and ready to lose weight again.  I just needed the 'right, let's actually, deliberately and properly do this' rev up.  (Plus I'm a runnist now of course,  so obviously I really want to do the running program.)

So bring on Round 3.  Over the next couple of days I will be redoing my goals and commitment and working out exactly what I want to achieve in the next 12 weeks, something I spectacularly avoided doing for Round 2. 

{And I have decided this will be my official mantra for round 3.}


I also had a freak fish sauce accident tonight which ended with a very sore finger, a broken nail and fish sauce all over the kitchen (that stuff is really fishy).  I know that little snippet of info doesn't really fit in with this post, but I just felt compelled to share it.  You're welcome.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Learning to run.... again.

I've got to be honest - this round of the 12wbt has not been a knock down, out and out 'success' for me because I haven't been a woman of my word.  Simple as that really.

I really appreciated Camilla's post "awkward much?" over on her blog - it seems I am not the only one who has had a challenging experience this round.  One day I hope to be as brave as Camilla and share some actual numbers at the end of the round.

Or not.

But I have been really pleased with my training.  Yes, I call it training unselfconsciously now.  I now feel I belong in that Spin or Pump class and that I can hold my own in the gym.  And get this - I have even started wearing those clingy tight pants and sleeveless running tops in the gym!!  I always thought I would wait until I was slim and nicely rippled to do that.  But then I thought - bugger it, I may be waiting for a while.. 

I must admit it's not pretty, not a look I'd normally recommend for the larger lass - but I just feel better and move more freely, while any jiggly bits seem to be held firmly in place.  Something like

Nike Pro Core II Compression and       Nike Luxe Layer and it makes me feel the part.  It's noice, it's different, it's elegant.

Anyhoo, I hurt my knee in February and after months of it not getting better was advised to not even do walking for exercise.  So this round, my cardio has been limited to the rower, bike and cross trainer.  But guess what?  You can so improve your cardiovascular fitness on these machines.  You can get that heart rate up, hurt like the blazes, sweat like there's no tomorrow and leave the gym feeling completely depleted and yet oddly pleased with yourself. 

But knowing that I hadn't really grabbed this round by the horns - and with my knee really improving - I thought I might start the Couch to 5K program a bit ahead of my plan to start in Round 3.  And it's going well so far.  Admittedly I am onto day 2 of week 2, so this post may be a tad premature...  but I am feeling the benefits of the cardio work I've done for the past two rounds and am able to run comfortably (for a full 90 seconds mind you) at a speed which I am happy with.

The beauty of the Couch to 5 K is that it builds up quite quickly.  I've done it before and before you know it, you are actually a runnist. 

My running goal is to run a 6km fun run in January with hubby, Thing 1 and Thing 2.  And run it in a decent time.  And possibly beat one of them (let's be honest).

Monday, 13 August 2012

There are worse things than being fat....

Firstly, I better say categorically that the title of this post is in no way designed to imply that being fat is good and we shouldn't try to lose weight and get fit, if that is what is needed!!  This is what I am trying to do and will keep trying and trying to do.  For as long as it takes. And it will take time (but that's another blog post). 

Obviously it is important for ongoing health to be a healthy weight - and fitness is an absolute must.

But I find it is easy to beat myself up for being fat.  It is as if I categorise 'fat' as a personality trait, rather than an objective physical measurement.  So often I feel ashamed of being fat and at times, it affects how I feel about myself and how I relate to others.   

I still experience some self loathing when I fail to achieve the weight loss I have set for myself, as if my poor character is proved by this setback.  If I eat wrong, I tend to think I'm a bit of a failure and obviously, there's really no reason to keep going, you drongo.

However, one of the things I've learned since embarking on my weight loss endeavour has been to not give up.  I have managed to keep on going and not to fall completely into old habits or regain the weight I have lost.   But it is so easy to put pressure on ourselves to lose weight, be 'normal' and in my thinking anyway, it follows that somehow I will be a better person all round (please excuse that pun...).

But is being fat the worst thing that we can be as a person?  Would you rather be a fat work-in-progress than a complete and utter, utter bitch for example?? 

I am reminded of a beautiful quote from author JK Rowling:

I'll leave that with you, but it certainly helps me put my health pursuits into character perspective.  And with that, it takes some of my self imposed pressure off, which can only be a helpful thing - surely.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

My Olympic delusion....

Each time an Olympic Games rolls around, I get quite excited.  I love to watch the different sports, I love to hear the stories of the athletes and I don't care if Australia wins 100 gold medals or none (well, maybe not none).  There are just so many things to get excited about.

But one of the things I get most excited about is indulging in my favourite Olympic pastime - delusions of personal Olympic glory.

I subscribe wholeheartedly to comedian and broadcaster Richard Stubbs' theory - which I like to call the Theory of Olympic Self Delusion - that there is really only several months of pretty intensive training between him and an Olympic berth.  I'm pretty sure the theory holds true for me too.  My main concern is to pick just one sport in which to excel. 

The ageing process has only heightened my delusion.  The older I get, the more convinced I am that it's nearly my turn for Olympic glory.  So it makes sense for me to look to older Olympic athletes for inspiration.

One of my favourites of London 2012 is the 37 year old gymnast Oksana Chusovitina who was competing in her sixth Olympics.  That's right, her sixth.  Six times she's represented her country in a sport traditionally dominated by pre-pubescent girls, some of whom may or may not have been hormonally enhanced to ensure they remained that way. 

Now I admit that Oksana didn't rise from the couch six months ago declaring boldly that she'd like to have a crack at artistic gymnastics and would her hubby mind holding the fort while she did a spot of training.  She's obviously been at it for years.  But the fact that she's there at all at her age gives me great comfort that if I did feel like becoming a gymnast, I could.  In fact,  I would probably be excellent at it and it is highly likely that I would even win a medal for Australia.

Australian rower Drew Ginn is also 37 years old and rowing in his 4th Olympics.  He's already got a couple of gold medals and won a silver this time.  In rowing.  In a boat.  With other people to help him row the boat.  I've used a rowing machine at the gym.  I'm sure it's not much different in a boat.  How hard can it really be?  You get to sit down the whole time and there's your teammates taking some of the load off.  All that puffing they go on with at the end of the race?  Must be some sort of gamesmanship. 

Then there is American swimmer, Dara Torres, who competed in  Beijing at the age of 42.  Now, I can swim.  I've been doing it for ever, so I'm pretty sure I'd be handy in the pool if I chose to step up for Olympic selection.

But I must admit that my age leaves 37 and even 42 behind.  I'm now looking to older and older Olympians to emulate.  Topping the list of my all time favourite older athletes is sprinter Merlene Ottey who competed in seven Olympics between 1980 and 2004.  She is now 52 years old, and this year was still sprinting competitively, anchoring the Slovenian 4x100M relay team in the European Athletics Championships.

I've also noticed that older Olympians seem to congregate in the following disciplines:
- shooting
- archery
- equestrian, and
- marathon.

The marathon, now there's an event for ageing athletes.  Endurance over raw strength and speed.  Could just be my finest chance for the glory I feel will inevitably be mine.  So I'm off to fire up the Couch to 5km app so I'll be ready for Rio.   If hope springs eternal, so too, it appears, does delusion.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

The thief of joy.....

This is a just little friendly reminder - mainly for myself - do not compare yourself to others. 


In any situation.

During this weight loss journey I've very publicly embarked on, I have to admit that at times I have fallen into the diabolical comparison trap.....

As I wallow around the 10kg loss mark I know others who have, over the same time period, lost around 30kg.  Or I compare my up and down mindset to those who are consistently focussed and seem to be in control.   Or I look at the people in the gym and despair of ever being as fit, strong and able to wear nice gym gear as them.....

And how do I feel when I conduct these comparisons?  Is it an edifying experience for me? 

No.  I just wind up feeling inadequate, demoralised and diminished. It makes me feel like I haven't done enough, been good enough or persisted enough. 

It makes me feel like I am a bit of a failure.  It makes me think maybe losing weight just isn't for me, that maybe I'm just someone who can't do this.

In the Bible in Galatians (just googled it ) it says that we shouldn't compare ourselves to others  because we'll either be:

a. pretty pleased with ourselves and possibly become completely up ourselves; or

b. dismayed and disgruntled with our lot and our life. 

Instead, we should just do the best we can in our own unique circumstances.  Instead of comparing our achievements to others' - we should look at what is possible in our own life and our own journey, work hard and then enjoy our own achievements and victories.

Well, I'm really trying to take that no comparison mantra on board.  It's really liberating because it frees me from some of my own unealistic expectations, and allows me to celebrate my own little wins.... 

I hope you're keeping the thief of joy at bay, too - but in your own individual way ;)


Thursday, 19 July 2012


A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be selected as one of the blogs of the round for the Michelle Bridges 12 week body transformation.  I was, frankly, completely chuffed with the honour.

But adding to my chuffededness - there was a lovely prize attached which arrived last week, on the door step, in a parcel addressed to me and me only.  Here's what was in it. (Thanks to Thing 1 for the lovely photos.)

A little tea infuser and a selection of beautiful organic teas from Tea Tonic in very pretty little tins...

There are some absolute ripper flavours like relaxation tea - which is green tea with lavender - a beautiful berry tea, a dark chocolate and black tea flavour and GLEW tea (which has ginger, lemongrass, echinacea and white tea).  Apparently, the GLEW tea keeps you from coming unstuck, and let's face it we can all use something that does that.

I have been trying to become a herbal tea drinker this round of the 12wbt - I thought it would be a much more mindful and, obviously, healthy alternative to my penchant for a rude Milo of an evening.  This beautiful prize was just what I needed to properly convert me.  There is something so lovely about drinking tea; the way you have to wait while it steeps, draws or brews (or whatever it is it does) and then the sipping of the delicate flavours.  So different to scoffing a Milo..... And the best bit?  No self loathing afterwards!!

But wait... there's more.  I also received a beautiful pack of Dermaviduals skin care products.

I'll be honest - with skin care, I often feel like I'm shutting the gate after the horse has bolted.  I feel like I'm in the mode where you try to stop things from deteriorating further!!  So I'll give any new moisturisers and face creams a red hot go and search dilligently for any signs of improvement to my skin.  The dermavidual products are lovely so far - let's see if they can work miracles.

So I want to say an enormous thank you to those who nominated me.  I really was moved by your support.

I want to say thank you to dermaviduals and Tea Tonic for supplying these lovely prizes. 

And, of course, I want to say a massive thank you to Michelle Bridges and her awesome crew who have dreamed up, and then made a reality, a program like the 12wbt.  When I started the 12wbt, I thought the program was all about weight loss!  Silly me!  It's about so much more than that...

It's about health, it's about overhauling how we think about ourselves and our potential to reach our goals.  It's about working every day to be the best possible version of ourselves.  It's about support from people you've never met, and meeting new friends with similar goals.

Writing this blog, actually having readers, being nominated and winning a prize....  these things have been a bonus that I never thought would be part of my 12wbt journey. 

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Playing catch up.....

It's school holidays here in Victoria and I want to know who the bright spark is who decided to schedule them in the darkest, coldest and wettest time of the year.  Honestly!  Thing 1 and Thing 2 are delightful children generally and I love them both so much my heart swells thinking about it.  But day after day of rain and mud and children at a loose end can strain even the most resilient of mother/child relationships!

Perhaps I should have had more children so Thing 1 and Thing 2 might have had other Things to play - or bicker, fight and run amok - with.  Damn!  Why didn't I think of that earlier?

But the upshot of the holidays has been that I have not been near the laptop.  As a one laptop family, and with children who are 'sooo booooorrrrred', it's the path of least resistance to let them have first dibs on the computer to quiet their discontent.

So I would just like to catch you up on my 12wbt comings and goings over the past week or so.  Firstly, I have lost and put on weight again.  Still hovering around my start weight.  While my exercise has been fine and I have really enjoyed making the effort to do it, you can guess where I have fallen down.....

..... yep, nutrition, food, eating, making sensible choices, planning ahead and organisation.

I have had patches of brilliance with regard to eating cleanly and mindfully.  That has buoyed me.   But I need to be consistent.

The holidays have been a wonderful excuse which I have used to its fullest extent.  Home with the kids, cooking has been an warm, inside activity we can do together.  Away for a few days with family and friends, I used the fact that I didn't have complete control over the menu to pretty much go open slather.

Are you as bored by my lack of knuckling down as I am?  I hear myself each week posting about how I'm going to turn this around, how I am going to introduce little strategies to help me.  I've waxed lyrical about how I'm going to respond to the challenges this round is throwing my way.

But the truth is I have not been a woman of my word.  I have said I would do one thing, and then I have done another.  That is not the way to live life to the fullest. 

This blog is a way for me to write and rant and get my thoughts out of the swirling mass in my head; to try, by editing and rearranging, to make some order and sense of them.  And try as I might, there is no other way to spin what is going on with me.  I am just not doing it.

A very wise woman on the 30+kilos 12wbt Facebook group asked the question today in response to another 12wbt'er having struggles with food - "What is it that you are feeding?"

I will try and work out the answer to that very pertinent question and get back to you.

If any of you have contemplated a similar problem, I'd appreciate hearing how you worked through it.

Friday, 6 July 2012

An homage to my legs....

Fat baby legs!
These are not my legs, but there are similarities.  Source: Pinterest
My legs and I have had a love hate relationship since, as an impressionable 13 year old, several events converged on me in a perfect storm of body issues:

a.  I started to read magazines like Dolly and Seventeen (so sophisticated) and I realised that my legs were not like the legs of the girls in those mags at all.

b.  Someone at school casually mentioned, as we sat sunning our legs one lunchtime, that my calves were huge.  Exact word used, I can remember the incident very clearly.

c. A family member, in a way that exuded pity, told me that I had inherited my legs from a line of the family notorious for having legs shaped like those normally found on a piano.

Never mind that I was very athletic and those legs had taken, or would take, me to state championships for gymnastics, netball and several track and field events.  Never mind that they got me from A to B every single time I asked them to.  Never mind that the rest of me was not a source of pity or wonder, but well within the realms of normal. 

Kim Green - Australian netballer and owner of a magnificently strong and athletic pair of legs

I really spent a lot of my teenage years (and beyond probably) hating my legs.  Really truly...  how negative and what a monumental waste of my time and energy. 

Now I am a 44 year old - doing the 12wbt to build my fitness and shift a lot of weight.  My legs are now a source of awe for me.  I am not even joking. 

At the start of the 12wbt, I could only do a wall sit for 18 seconds.  A few short months later, I can sit against a wall for minutes, pretty much willy nilly.  My legs have adapted to Spin classes, to doing squats while lifting extra weight (not just my body weight), to rowing and to all sorts of resistance on cross training machines. 

My legs are not going to win any prizes for being long, slender and shapely.  And I have come to the conclusion that I am never going to look good in skinny jeans, even when I am skinny.

Source: pinterest

The sad thing is that I've taken so long to be okay with that. 

So, legs, I love that you are both there and that you both work and coordinate so well together.  I hope we can move forward into a future where I look after you and you take me lots of exciting places. 

I'm glad I've reached this point of gratitude for my legs while they are still operating so well, and I can fully appreciate and enjoy that fact!

Friday, 29 June 2012

the highs and the hard yards.........



This week I had such a fantastic surprise.  This blog - yep, this little ol' blog - was nominated and chosen as one of the 10 blogs of Round 2 for the 12wbt...  I am beyond chuffed.


I am chuffed on so many levels! 

One - because of the lovely people that nominated One Life (and their beautiful words in doing so). 

Two - because I'm in company with some fantastic other blogs (for example, have you checked out 'Fit & Happy, Not Fat & Hippy'?)

And three -because for me blogging was one of my goals when I first started the 12wbt.  I had always wanted to blog, but didn't really have the guts to get cracking with it.  Well, the 12wbt made me examine all my goals (not just health and fitness goals) and so I started One Life as a tool for my own accountability and an outlet for what I love to do.  Having readers has been a bonus.  Having comments left has been a bonus.  Being nominated for this recognition is amazing. 

{Thank you Mish and crew.}

But after the highs, I'm afraid I have to report on the lows.  This week I put on 1.1kg.  That's right.  Put that amount of weight on in one week.  I'm always astonished at how fast I can stack it on.

I cannot begin to explain what is going on in my head.  But I know I have been focusing on the wrong things.  I have been focusing on weight, on numbers, on how I can get those numbers down.  And when I do this, it's like I go into some mode that is intent on countering any effort to reach those lower numbers.

So I had to stop and have an honest re-assessment of my goals.  And what I found, when I asked myself, was that I want to be lighter and weigh less but without really giving up the crazy eating.  

"Self." I said sternly, yet kindly. "Self, do you really want to stop eating Milo with a soup spoon*?"  "No." Came my eventual reply.
"Well, then, Self."  I continued.  "Is it any wonder that our weight has been going up and down on much the same spot for the past 7 weeks?"
Again my response, sotto voce, was, "no."

*Milo with a soup spoon is my code for all the poor eating I do whether it be Milo with said cutlery, or too much butter on toast, or picking at stuff while I'm cooking such that I basically eat a meal's worth prior to eating the actual meal....

So my revised goal for the rest of this round is to eat well, train hard and see what happens to my weight, to not try too hard and certainly not to focus on a particular amount of weight that needs to come off each week.  I am committed to really cleaning up my eating and to make the right choices.  How am I going to attain this goal?

  • by stopping every time I feel like picking something.  I have decided to keep a little journal with me in the kitchen and write down every time I feel like eating something
  • by being really HONEST with myself about what I am thinking and eating
  • by concentrating on looking after myself and doing what is good for myself (rather than looking at the numbers on the scales and saying, oh i need to lose 1.8kg this week to keep up...)
  • by celebrating small victories
  • and by jfdi with training.


Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Motivation and other 'ation' words: the semantics of weight loss and lifestyle moderation.

This is part of Jayne's Round 2 Blogger Challenge. 

I am afraid that this heading sounds like something that belongs in a peer reviewed academic journal, but I am really trying to examine what gets us going and what keeps us going - be that in a weight loss endeavour, in training to run a half marathon or just in cleaning the oven.

My motivation to do something about my weight was fairly straight forward.  I am obese.  I was more obese (when I started my 12wbt 'journey' in February) than I am now .  Frankly, I did not like the way I looked or felt and I was also starting to be concerned that I would end up immobile and chronically ill with hypertension, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, you name it.

I love feeling fit and strong. I used to hate that feeling of getting down on the floor with the kids only to realise how hard it was to haul my massive carcass back up. I often had to lean on the furniture to manage it. It was slow and it was not graceful.

Now I can just hop up and down, no worries. I don't want to go back to feeling weak. That is why I will include resistance training as part of my life from now on.  But is this motivation?  Or is it incorporation of that behaviour into my life?

There are other 'ation' words which I have turned to in my quest for weight loss and fitness.  For example, there are things and people that fill me with inspiration.  This may be because, by their achievement, they have shown me what is possible.  For an amazing example, have a squizz at this:

Or I may be inspired because the accomplishment of someone else in circumstances so difficult puts things into context and perspective for me to say, "Pfft,  not eating too much and doing a bit more training?  Easy peasy lemon squeezy."

Via Pinterest

Then there's determination.  This helps but I have found it is not a long term thing.  For me, determination comes and determination goes as my eye catches something shiny that makes me lose focus. 

From via Pinterest

The same can be said for perspiration.  Yes, I enjoy a good workout, but it's not enough to make the total lifestyle changes that I need.  A nice warm shower...  all that perspiration is down the gurgler.  And while I know this smacks of desperation I have also tried supplication:  "Dear God, if I could just lose 30 kilos overnight, I would never ever let myself get that way again.  Amen".    Apparently God doesn't work quite like that - how mysterious. 

To paraphrase Mish, motivation is good to get you started, but it's consistency and tenacity and personal integrity that will change lifestyle and form good habits - weight loss and other health and wellbeing benefits will come as result of that.  As far as these things go -

{I'm a work in progress}

Thursday, 21 June 2012

weigh in time already....

Just a little update - lost 1.5kg this week. 

Yes, that is all well and good.  But last week I put on 1.3kg, so since the start of Round 2, I have lost 0.6kg.  I would like to be losing weight a little quicker than that!!

So, time to put my JFDI* on and stop going up and down within the same 2 kilo bracket as I have been doing for the last 6 weeks.  I don't quite know why, but I have found it really hard to get back into the mindset that I had going on for the majority of Round 1. 

*JFDI is 12wbt speak for going into robot mode and just getting on with what needs to be done.  I have to admit I have not always been a fan of this little acronym and I have thought it a bit jingoistic in the past.  BUT there are times, my dear reader, when it speaks very clearly to me.  This is one of those times. (By the way, I am sure you can work out what JFDI stands for.)

Here is what I am going to do:
  • revisit my goal and ask myself if that is really what I want and if I am truly prepared to do the work it takes to achieve that goal.
  • revisit my commitment to achieving that goal
  • keep an eye on my excuses, some of which I am finding are still on high rotation and are, frankly, very convincing (well, they're tricking me anyway).

weighing scale

Monday, 18 June 2012


During this past week of the 12wbt we were given the challenge to look at inspiration and to make an inspiration board.  At the risk of coming over all Oprah, I found that it was a really uplifting exercise and it was about much more than losing weight or aiming for a particularly gorgeous bod. (I am realistic after all.)

I had the best fun doing it because it really made me look at what makes my heart sing, what challenges me, what warms me, what I'm aiming for, what gives me joy, what motivates me and what my vision of a beautiful life looks like...

I made my inspiration board on pinterest.  Here's the link if you want to have a bit of a look:

Here are a couple of the things that inspire me.

Obviously, I'm trying to lose weight and get fit.  So pictures of people doing one legged wall sits, for example, inspire me.  Or this one.... which combines my ambition of being able to run far enough to employ fartlek training, with my enjoyment of juvenile sniggering.

from Pinterest
But I also had a bit of a perspective check doing the board.  One of the people I am truly inspired by is Aung San Suu Kyi who is the leader of the democracy movement in Burma.  Since 1988, she has been under house arrest in Rangoon on and off for 18 years.  She has seen her sons only a couple of times during that time and she was unable to be with her husband as he died of cancer in the UK.  She has sacrificed a lot for a cause and a country she believes in. 


I just have to eat less and exercise more.  It's not hard. 
Living imprisoned in a different country from your family, with the expectations of everyone who wants freedom for Burma riding on your shoulders is hard.

It's been fantastic looking at the inspiration boards of other 12wbt'ers....  Here is a particular favourite from the beautiful Golden Girl.

{And a little inspirational message to leave you with and don't let anybody tell you any different.  Sorry it's a bit small!}

roald dahl - redefining lovely

Friday, 15 June 2012

Week 2 Blogger Challenge - Exercise

Thanks to Jayne for the Blogger Challenge this round.....  Click here to see this week's responses.

Ah, exercise. 
Or training as Michelle Bridges calls it.  (I love that.... makes me feel like an ath-a-loit!)

Me and Usain - fine examples of training athletes.  (Source:
I actually love exercise.  Always have.  Love the challenge it provides of doing a bit more, going a bit harder, pushing through a bit of discomfort.  If weight loss were about exercise, I would be a healthy weight and have no trouble keeping there.

Now this is not to say that I am super fit or anything -- just to say that I struggle more with the food side of things.  Which is a shame really, given that weight management is governed approximately 80% by nutrition and only 20% by exercise! 

I like to mix up my exercise, but I mainly go to the gym.  I have recently started Pump classes and I really like the challenge of inreasing my weights and getting stronger generally.  I have a knee injury which means I can't run and I am also restricted about walking, so I like to go on the rower, bike and cross trainers at the gym which means I can get my heart rate right up and get a good work out for the old heart and lungs.  I also have some exercise DVDs which I do on days I don't get to the gym and the dogs are also always grateful for any extra walks they might get to go on.  Love that incidental exercise.

Having kids, and trying to encourage them to be healthy and to incorporate exercise as part of their life, we try to exercise with them too.  This might be a walk along our local beach boardwalk (which, I must confess usually finishes with a hot choc at the breakwater cafe!) or riding the recently opened rail trail.  I do love a bushwalk as well.  So there are lots of options and no excuse to be bored!

Exercise also has added wellbeing benefits in that it helps me sleep well and it helps to clear my mind for some reason!  As someone who has had depression several times - and insomnia as part of that - sleep is something I am really grateful for and I don't take it for granted.  I also often work through little problems or get good ideas while I am exercising, so that's a little added bonus.

{So let's just get out there, move a bit - move a lot if possible - give it time and see what health, weight loss and general wellbeing improvements will come our way.}

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Wednesday Weigh In, Week 2

Not happy, Jan....

That about sums it up.  I put on 1.3kg this week.  Just like that.  Easy peasy lemon squeazy. 

This was a hard post for me to write.  I didn't want to admit that this had happened.

But there you go.  I've often said this weight loss thing is about so much more than weight for me.  And so it proves.

Let's just see how I deal with this week's set back.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Weigh in Wednesday, round 2, week 1.....

Weigh-in daily!
Wednesday weigh ins are here again and in the interests of being open and honest I'll continue to post my results, come (or go) what may!

This morning saw a loss of 0.4 kilos since Monday morning (this is a quirk of the 12wbt, that in the first week we weigh in after only two days.)  So that means I am now 99 kg and that I have lost 8.2 kilos in total.  (Gee I wish I hadn't put that 2kg on in the pre season.....  sigh).

Looking forward to what next Wednesday will reveal...

Monday, 4 June 2012

Pick myself up, dust myself off and start all over again...

Pinned ImageRound 2 of the Michelle Bridges 12wbt officially started today.  Yay!  I'm excited to see the new nutrition and exercise plans and to get stuck into it again wholeheartedly. 
Over the intervening time between the end of round 1 and now, I put on 2 kilos.  Yes, that's right - 2 kg.  Today I weighed 99.4kg.

Normally, I would be gutted by this atrocity and be very severe on myself.  I would plan days of austerity and hunger in order to lose the extra weight.  Then I would not follow through on these plans.

Subsequently, I would then become even harder on myself, to the point of self loathing.  This would most likely be followed by some unwise eating choices which would compound the original problem.  These choices would no doubt involve milo.

Talk about a vicious cycle!

Does this sound familiar to anyone?  Or is it just me?

For someone who can string a sentence together and can appear quite lucid when necessary, it continues to baffle me why I can be tempted to think and act this way.

Well, not this time, buddy.  Not this time, my gentleman.  Of course I'm disappointed that I thought I could relax on my eating and exercise and allow a few of my favourite excuses a free rein. 

{But I did, so there's nothing for it but to pick myself up, dust myself off and start all over again.}

Thursday, 24 May 2012

World Record Workout

I am officially part of a world record breaking cohort of worker outerers (which I believe is the technical term...).  We broke the record for the largest group circuit workout.  I wonder if my individual name will be published in the next edition of the Guiness Book of Records.

Last Saturday as a celebration of the end of Round 1 of the 12wbt, 1165 people took to the Catani Gardens in St Kilda for a massive mass workout with Michelle and her crew.  It was such a happy morning of meeting people, spotting people, stalking people....  I decided since I didn't get a ticket for finale party I had to make the most of this opportunity to meet people I have followed on blogs, vlogs, facebook pages and forums.

It was fantastic to meet my friend Linni who I had 'met' during the round as we read each others blogs and followed each others' journey.  (Check out her blog:  Confessions of a Serial Snacker.  Linni finished top 8% this round - what an awesome effort). 

Linni and me (and her littlest man) after the workout.  

It was also fantastic to meet up with other Warrnambool and Surrounds 12wbt crew members...  We had sporadic get togethers during round 1, but what with one thing and another I didn't get to meet all of them.  So it was great to meet some more of them here.

Warrnambool & Surrounds Crew with Mish after the workout.  Aren't we gorgeous??

With Lynn and Kate after the workout...

Michelle was fantastic.  She was friendly, enthusiastic and made time to high five people and sign stuff and pose for photos all over the place.  After the workout finished, she sat on this stage as group after group came and had a photo with her.  She was gracious and patient and she even teared up a bit as she made a speech after we broke the record for the biggest circuit workout.  I spoke to her and took the opportunity to thank her for creating not only a program with sound nutrition and training - but one which has engendered this incredible support and friendship between participants.  And she said, thank you very much, but really you guys do all the hard work or words to that effect.  She was lovely - check out these photos as evidence....
  Thick as thieves, the pair of us!  (All I can think now is, gosh - I need to keep pushing on with this program and lose me some chin!!  Also, why do I have my mother's 'photograph face' on??)

And this photo cracks me up.... Kellie and Penny on either side of Mish chatting away with her like they were old mates while the rest of us made our way up for the group photo.  This is a classic.

I also got to meet one of my 12wbt heroes - Splash.  This woman is a pocket dynamo and I'm inspired by how she has changed her life.  Here's a peek of what she's achieved in the past year. 

{So all in all, a wonderful morning, and very motivating as I head into Round 2.}

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

A day in the life of the 12wbt - Part 2

I realise it's ages since I posted 'A day in the life of the 12wbt part 1', so I thought I'd finish it off with Part 2!  Just what does healthy food look like?  Is it awful? 

No, the portions are just smaller than what I was used to!

No where were we?  We had done brekky and exercised, so now to show you what lunch might look like on a typical day.  This is one I had prepared earlier and had cold for lunch this particular day. 

Lunch consisted of some mushys, lentils, cumin, yoghurt, mint, spring onions and salad..... all making up a delicious Lentil Loaf.  If lentils aren't your bag, and I know that we all have our likes and dislikes, that's perfectly okay.  Just pick something else that's around 300 calories and packed with nutrition and you'll be absolutely fine.  I happen to love lentils, so I cook this regularly.


  Tea was a chicken curry - rich, creamy, hot  - with crunchy vegies in it.  I always add lots of vegies to things I'm cooking to make sure we're all getting enough of the good stuff.  It also bulks out a dish that can look a bit tiny when you first dish it up. 


So that's what a day looks like on the 12wbt.  Focus on good, nutritious food that will help your body, do some exercise that will build your strength and fitness and sleep well knowing that you are doing what is best for your body and, with that, becoming a better version of your current self!

Oh, and PS...  while we're in the kitchen taking photos, aren't these lovely little measuring cups?  I love them!  My sisters both have a set too so I love using them knowing that they might be using theirs at the very same time.  I also have a set of measuring spoons in the matroshka style.  Very cute for cooking with...

Monday, 7 May 2012

Round 1 Wrap Up...

I have officially completed Round 1 2012 for the Michelle Bridges 12 week body transformation. 

Twelve weeks ago I was a bit tentative, but definitely committed and up for the challenge.  I wanted to see what would happen to me over the 12 weeks. 

I got smaller, stronger and fitter.  I ate better, I slept better, I thought better of and about myself.  I made friends with people I've never met, lovely encouraging and supportive people.  I wrote a blog post at least twice a week and had over 3000 page views.  I did spin class for the first time.  I pushed myself and my kids up Tower Hill three times in a row just for the heck of it.  I did a Les Mills mini marathon of 5 fitness classes in a row. 

Just noticed how many I's are in that last paragraph.  Sound quite up myself don't I? 

But wait!  There's more...  I worked around a knee injury.  I learned that I am not to be trusted with a loaf of fresh sourdough and a slab of salted butter.  I learned to question what I was really afraid of missing out on if I said no to certain food.  I learned that weight can indeed be lost during and/or leading up to 'ttom'. 

I learned that - for me - losing weight is about so much more than weight.  I made a commitment to myself, my Matie and to Michelle and I am so glad I did and that I strove to be a woman of my word.

Here are some of the indicators of what happened to me in the past 12 weeks:

February 13 (Week 1)
May 7 (Finish)

Body fat %
107.2 kg
97.4 kg


Wall sit
18 seconds
1min 45 seconds
Push ups in one minute
28 on knees
20 on toes + 18 on knees
Abdominal strength
Level 2
Level  4

And here is a before and an after photo of sorts.... 

Please bear in mind that I have spent the past decade behind the camera or behind other people in photos in an effort to avoid photographic evidence of how enormous I was.  (That would have meant facing the fact and doing something about it). 

Last year, we took Thing 1 and Thing 2 out of school for Term 3, hooked up our camper trailer and went on a big drive around Australia.  I have just looked back through the photos of that trip thinking I'd find something there that could serve as my 'before' photo.  But no, plenty of photos of lovely scenery, interesting animals, and of my family.  A couple of me trying to hide behind my Matie or the kids - but this one of me with a snake is the only one of me only and even then I'm sharing it with a snake. 

I do have before and after photos of me in my undies - something we do for the 12wbt.  But luckily for you, I'm not game enough to pop them up here. 

Anyway, I can see some differences in my face and around my waist.  Hmmmmm.. Hopefully after Round 2 of the 12wbt the before and after photos will be much more markedly different....

The 12wbt has been a fantastic experience for me.  I am so glad I did it.  I am so glad I'm lining up for a second round too.  I will take all the things I have learned about myself and continue on in Round 2 striving to become an all round better version of myself.

So just to put it out there - my next big goal is to get out of the obese BMI range and into {merely} overweight!  That will take a loss of around 14 kgs.  That's the aim. 

{Watch this space.}