Sunday, 29 January 2012

Excuses, excuses....

As part of the Michelle Bridges 12 week body transformation pre-season, one of the tasks is to have a good hard look at yourself and identify and call some of the excuses that you've been using for not eating well, not exercising, generally not looking after yourself.   This calls for some brutal honesty after some soul searching.... I have pondered on this for days, especially because I realise that once I've identified one of my excuses I can no longer use it as an excuse......! 

I have come up with a list of excuses I have had on pretty high rotation for a while now:
1.  Jane, you're too fat to ever make a difference, so you might as well just enjoy yourself. (yes, I honestly think like this and use it as an excuse to eat what i like)
2. Jane, you can't do it because you're too lazy and, frankly, you're a bit dumb.  (yep, I think like this sometimes too.  Amazing isn't it - you'd never talk to your kids or your friends or loved ones like that, and yet some of us have this as part of our self talk).
3. It's too hard. I have never 'succeeded' before, why would this time be any different?
4.  I'll never look any good anyway even if I do lose weight.
5.  I will have to give up so much, I will never enjoy myself,
6.  I am a working mum with 2 kids so I don't have time to eat well and exercise hard regularly.
7.  This is the LAST time I'm going to do this (usually involves Milo) or eat this so I might as well go for it.

Any fans of cognitive behaviour therapy will recognise that these thoughts need to be challenged and held up against reality.  (Also it's quite Biblical - checking out whether our thoughts are really truth.)  And, guess what, when I look at these excuses closely, they are a load of absolute bollocks!!

 So here are my responses to my favourite excuses above:
1.  Nonsense!  Any reduction in weight will improve your health and, anyway, how much are you really enjoying yourself as you eat whatever and look and feel like the side of a house
2.  I know I'm not lazy.  i work hard and I do my best.  I am well organised.  So naff off and don't be mean to me again thanks very much.
3. "Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination are omnipotent."  So said a long ago US President Calvin Coolidge who must have been quite a wise chappy despite being a Republican.  You really only fail when you give up trying.
4.  You will not be a 20 year old again, but you will certainly look better than you do now.
5.  I will have to forgo certain things - and certainly obscene quantities - however, the payoffs promise to be far more rewarding.  They may just be worth the sacrifice.  I'm prepared to find out.
6.  The old hoary chesnut about not having enough time is just not holding water (sounds like a mixed metaphor, but you know what I mean).  I can make time, I will make exercise time part of each day, even if it is in two short blocks rather than one longer block of time.  Organisation to ensure that there is healthy food available at all times will also help me overcome this excuse.
7. Clearly I've been lying through my teeth to myself with this one and I just have to call it and say 'Jane, you're so busted on this.  Step away from the tin of milo.'

There are other excuses too like it's too hot, it's too cold, i'm too tired but these don't seem to bother me as much.  The excuses I am really focussed on are the ones in my head. 
Here is another blog post regarding fitness excuses and how to bust them, which may be interesting:

So that's my excuses out in the open and how I am committing to dealing with them over the coming months. 

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Eating like a grown up.

The Nestle MILO Logo

Well, it's time to get a bit personal and own up to some foibles which are holding me back in my quest for fitness and weight loss.  One is Milo.  That's right, Milo.  Some people have sophisticated vices - red wine, for example, great cheese or european chocolate.  Not me, no.  I'm slave to drinking chocolate. 

I love a rude milo - you know where you have mainly milo and very little milk?  I also eat it out of the tin with a soup spoon.  There.  I've said it.

I remember reading a column by Michelle Bridges in the Age where she watched aghast as a meeting set up included not a plate of fruit, not even a plate of biscuits, but....  lollies.  A big bowl of them in the centre of the table.  She went on to wonder why these people were still eating like children or teenagers.  It hit a nerve with me because I wonder the same thing about myself.  Honestly, the quantity of Milo I can consume in one sitting is frightening.  I would NEVER let my children do what I do, I monitor their intake very closely - so why do I not do what is best for me?

So this is one of the things I'm going to learn to let go over the next couple of months.....  I know there are chocoholics out there, people who love their Maccas or pizza, or a lazy Tim Tam or 14 with a cup of coffee.  I know I'm not the only one, so when I find out why I'm doing this and how I can modify this behaviour, I'll be sure and let you know. 

Friday, 13 January 2012

Heart Rate Monitor/Calorie Counter

I don't really go in much for gadgets or appliances.  So I am very surprised to find that I have
a) bought a heart rate monitor, and
b) LOVE my heart rate monitor.

One of the challenges of the 12wbt is to workout 6 days per week.  On 5 of these days you expend 500 calories and on 1 you crank it up to 1000.  So a heart rate monitor which also shows you how many calories of energy you have used up is a fantastic tool.

I must also say that I was so impressed with Polar, the heart rate monitor people.  I ordered mine on a Monday evening and it was delivered on Wednesday morning - so quick!  They also gave 12wbt members a very generous discount which was fantastic.. 

But crikey - you have to do a fair bit to shift 500 calories.  Today I did a Jillian Michaels 30 day shred workout (180 odd calories burnt) then went for a 4km walk/run to bring me up to the 500 calories... Phew.  That's not mucking around.  I am beginning to understand just how much hard physical work there is involved in working food off.  This will definitely help to check what goes in.

Armed with my new toy, I am so up for counting calories expended as I exercise.  I've learnt something already, and the 12wbt pre-season has not even started yet!

Monday, 9 January 2012

Late Christmas Cheer

I know we've just had Christmas, but it's my blog and I wanted to share these with you......  maybe you can squirrel this idea away for this coming Christmas.  Plus I want to learn how to upload photos to this blog.

Anyway, these little rocky road Christmas Pudding treats were great Christmas pressies for friends and neighbours.  They look lovely and, from all reports, taste wonderful.  I had fun making them with my two (Thing 1, my girl aged 11, and Thing 2, my little man aged 9) although they were really just in it for the marshmallows and licking the bowl.  As was I.  Let's be honest.

First, you melt a family block of Cadbury's dairy milk chocolate - this is Fair Trade chocolate which I feel strongly about.  I melt it in the microwave on med power.  Then you just tip in some raspberry lollies (about 2/3 cup).

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Paid Up & Raring To Go

Tonight I paid up my membership for the Michelle Bridges 12wbt round 1 of  2012.  I am excited about joining, I am excited about how positive people are on blogs, forums and on facebook, and I am excited because maybe, just maybe, this will really be a fantastic experience for me and have an impact on my life.  I guess I am also cautious, just in case I don't 'make it' (ie, in case I give up, say it's too hard and go back to life as per usual).  Most often, though, I am excited at the prospect of learning from someone like Michelle Bridges and to see what me and my body can achieve together. 

Why did I join?  Well, I'm fat you see.  There's really no way to sugar coat it (an unhelpful phrase in the circumstance, I realise).  It's unhealthy, it's unsightly and it stops me doing all the things I want to do.  You’d think I’d have done something about it before now – but I have been very adept at denial and procrastination for quite a long time. 

I have had several hints along the way that my weight may need tinkering with.  When my now almost 12 year old daughter was 2, she popped into the bathroom while I was in the shower and opened the door.  Nothing new there, I'm sure anyone with small children can relate to the complete disregard for privacy they have!  Anyway, she had a cursory glance up and down my not insubstantial person and announced in a very matter of fact way, ‘mummy, your tummy fall over’.  Now you’d think that might be a bit of a trigger – even the 2 year old has noticed that things are not quite right with your tum.  But no, I just made a mental note to lock the bathroom at all times if I was in it.  Problem solved.

Then there were the photos of me being fat.  That was easy to explain - everyone has photos where they're not looking their best, right?  A bad angle?  Unflattering clothing? That's the problem, not me! Still, I did begin to hide behind everyone else in photos, or else insist that I be the photographer.  Perhaps there was a problem....

My hubby tried to suggest that I might become unhealthy if I didn't lose weight.   Brave man - it's not an easy topic for a hubby to bring up.  I accused him of being shallow and not loving me unconditionally.  My sisters were not so diplomatic in their encouragement to do something about my weieght problem!  But sisters can get away with it.  So I had quite a few half hearted attempts to diet.  But I never really believed I would reach any of my goals.  And to be completely honest, I never really wanted to change the way I eat.  I'd get a bit rebellious almost - why should i? why do i have to watch what i eat?  nobody else in the whole entire world has to.  poor me.  So I would eat badly, and the self talk would become - see, i knew i couldn't do it.  poor me.  dumb me.  stupid me.  where's the chocolate?

So I'm cautious, yet willing to go all out in this program to learn how to change myself.  I believe I can do anything for 12 weeks and by that stage I will have a glimpse of what I can achieve.  So, wish me luck, join me or let me know your story.   This is my way of having a fair dinkum crack at the one life I've been given.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

The First Post (no military pun intended)

Greetings! It appears I have made a blog page and now I am at liberty to pop my thoughts and words onto the interweb and someday, someone might read some of them.  Sounds good so far.

I have been wanting to blog for a while.... I especially want to document what I hope will be My Year.  Yes, it is time I take control of life, grab it by the proverbials and ram my fist down its throat.  More practically, this means getting fit, losing weight, being more organised and spending more time doing things I really want to do.

I am a bit of a Pinterest tragic at present and lately there have been a lot of pins regarding bucket lists.  I started thinking about what would be on my list.  Getting fit and healthy was one of the things for me 'to do'.  But it occurred to me that everything else on the list (eg, visiting the Maldives before they go under, skiing in the French Alps, setting up a primary health care clinic on the Thai Burma border {not all self indulgence on my list!!}) would only be enhanced by my getting fit and healthy.   So my number one bucket list entry is - get fit and healthy!!

To that end I have signed up to do the Michelle Bridges 12 week body transformation program.   I am so excited - the more research I do about it and the more I look at how people have used the program to really change their lives, the more I can't wait for it to just start.....  So I will let you know how it goes.  I am debating whether to include gory details (such as my starting weight and measurements, and before and after photos) on this page - haven't decided yet.  But I hope that since I am not the only one signed up for the program, or indeed the only person wanting to have a bit of control over their body (!!) I may hear from others and we can encourage each other and be of some help as we make some big changes.  After all, you only get One Life - so you may as well have a red hot go at it.