Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Wednesday weigh in...

Pinned Image

Just a little update...  I have now lost 3.9kg since the start of the 12wbt (we are in week 3 now).

And may I just say, I'm absolutely rapt to the back teeth about it too.

This morning, I weighed 103.3kg.   Still - let's be frank - not worthy of normal size font, but maybe once I'm in double figures??

Because that is where I am heading.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Some little Chrissie things....

I know I'm harking back to Christmas (see what I did there? ha ha) again, but I just wanted to show you these gorgeous little things from the Bahn Thai project in Chiang Mai Thailand which is an income generation project for people living with HIV and AIDS. They're little figures from a Nativity Set made out of papier mache. 

The three wise men

Now, I'm not sure how Biblically sound the elephant is but he is very Thai and I love that they included him too.  It would appear he is unimpressed.

Hope you are having a lovely day.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Blogger Challenge Week 2...... Positivity

It's Friday again, and that means Whirlsie's blogger challenge.  This week the challenge is to write about something positive about the 12wbt -  something you are taking up,  what you are giving yourself and what are you learning.   This of course is in contrast to the things you normally associate with making a healthy lifestyle change - what you have to give up, what you can't do anymore, blah, blah, blah.

I have been quite open about my struggles with unhelpful thoughts, but believe it or not, I am quite a positive person.  I love how just being positive about a situation can change how you feel about everything.  For example, I weigh 104.1Kg as of this morning (yep, squeezed in a sneaky mid week weigh!!).  I can either be despondent by this number and let it tell me how hopeless I am to have let myself get to that weight or how hard it will be to lose all the weight I need to to be in a healthy weight range.  Or I can say good on me, I've lost 3+ kilos and I'm obviously making some good choices and there's every indication that I can keep doing that. 

In both scenarios I am in exactly the same situation, same weight, no variables except the positive or negative slant I put on things.  With a negative slant everything becomes hopeless, difficult and beyond reach.  With a positive mindset I become empowered and hopeful.  No difference in physical situation - poles apart in terms of psychological well being!!

Here are my 3 favourite positives from the 12wbt so far, remembering that it is only Day 12..... 

  • I have learned that I can be patient for the weight loss and fitness I want and that I can be consistent and disciplined  in order to achieve them.

  • I've been given amazing support by so many people I don't even know.  Honestly, the forums, blogs and facebook comments add immeasurably to the 12wbt.  I have been encouraged and been able to encourage.

  • I've given myself a whizz bang new set of bathroom scales, a beautiful set of kitchen scales, a fab watch/heart rate monitor and new work out gear!!  (I was sounding a tad tooooo earnest, so I thought I'd sling this one in.  Can't wait until I can give myself nice new clothes or Lorna Jane work out gear!)

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Dear Brain, why so unhelpful.....?

I am not really sure what goes on in my brain, especially after this afternoon when I took my daughter out of school an hour early to go to an appointment that is actually not until tomorrow.  Good grief - I haven't done something like that since I was pregnant and could blame that well known affliction 'placenta brain'.

But my brain seems to have too much time on its hands, because it has the time to frequently bombard me with negativity.  Couldn't it be working away on a plan for peace in the Middle East, or discovering a cure for HIV/AIDS instead of lambasting me with thoughts about how hard my weight loss process will be and questioning me on whether I really think I can do it?

A couple of years ago I had an episode of depression (one of several over the years) and I found mindfulness exercises very helpful in dealing with everything that was going on in my head.  I want to stress that I am no expert in this field but I want to explain my understanding of this valuable strategy.  Mindfulness is an exercise where you think and concentrate about something right here and now  - for example, your breathing.  When your brain throws in an unrelated thought, as it inevitably will, you simply acknowledge the thought and then bring your mind back to your breathing.  Sounds simple enough, but it takes practice. 

Mindfulness can help you acknowledge your thoughts but not ascribe any value or influence to them.  For example, you can visualise a negative thought (eg 'you can't do this, it's too hard) as a car going past your house.  You see it come and then watch it go.  Or you can simply say when your brain suggests that you are a big fat idiot - "thank you brain for that thought" and go back to your breathing, not allowing the thought to change your focus.
It sounds like a cliche, but if you are focusing on the here and now - which is the aim of mindfulness - you can really experience every minute of your life.  For example, if you just take a minute right now to concentrate on all the sensations you are experiencing, you will find heaps.  You might feel how soft and comfy the seat you are sitting on is, how your clothes feel on your body, how tight you have tied your runners up, how heavy your watch or jewellery is, the sound of the tv in the other room, the sound of the shower running, the magpies outside in the backyard, the smell of garlic from your earlier cooking.....  You are really experiencing this moment and when you are doing this, worries about whether your will succeed can't get a foothold.

Now I've no idea if I have explained that coherently, but this strategy is really helping me with the thoughts I sometimes have about my ability to adhere to the 12wbt.  It helps me to defuse those situations where my brain is trying to convince me I need to get a soup spoon out of the drawer and head for the Milo tin. 

If you are at all interested, head to Dr Russ Harris' website and have a look at mindfulness explained MUCH more succinctly and fully......  Remember:

{you can't believe everything you think}

Thursday, 16 February 2012

12wbt Blogger Challenge 1...

Over at Nutritionally Yours, Whirlsie has devised a series of blogger challenges because frankly none of us have got enough to do!!  I jest.....  between webcasts, weekly videos, new recipes, weighing and measuring food, looking up the calorie value of food, hopping onto facebook, forums and blogs, making time for exercise and going to bed earlier I feel like the 12wbt has taken over my life!!

There seem to be lots of blogs by people who are doing the Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation - and I for one find it really inspiring and encouraging to read and see how they're getting on and to learn some tips and tricks from others' experiences.

But back to Whirlsie's challenge - this week's is to write about why we are trying to make a 'happier, healthier version' of ourselves by answering a series of questions posted by Whirlsie on her blog.  Here are my responses:

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.  What makes you, you?
Normally I'd like to answer this question through the medium of dance (thank you Magda Szubanski).  However, that will not suffice here so I will try to answer in words.  What makes me me.... This is tricky.  Obviously it's the combination of my make up, my family and those around me, where I live, my culture, background, oh you know - everything.  Basically, this is what I like to think about myself - that I am a responsible and respectful person who loves my family and friends.  I'm fairly laid back and I'm not too precious about anything.  I love to laugh and be silly.  I embarrass my kids with my operatic genius.  Oh yes, and I love food. 

2. Why did you decide to do the 12wbt?
Here's one reason:

Here's another:

So basically, I needed to lose weight but I wanted something sustainable, that I could live with in the long term and that was going to help me address the negativity in my head around my body, the way it looks and the way i treat it.

3.  What do you hope to achieve through the program?
I plan to lose 17.2 kilos to put me under 90kg during the 12 weeks.  I have no idea whether this is achievable for me, but I know many people have achieved those sorts of losses in previous 12wbt rounds.  I also plan to be able to run 5km by the end of the 12 weeks, along with being a lot stronger all round.  But perhaps the biggest thing I want to achieve is to address the negativity I have about my body and examine the way I think about eating well and losing weight.

4.  Why have you decided to blog about the 12WBT? What will be the main focus (eg, food, exercise, a bit of everything?)
I love to write, I am a gas bag (ie I think I have something to say!!) and I can type really fast (thank you year 9 secretarial studies).  And I have been wanting to blog for a while.  So this gave me the opportunity to reach one goal (to start a blog) while helping me reach another one (getting fit and healthy). 

My plan is to blog about the 12wbt process, lessons I learn and changes I make.  It is also a way to put what I am doing 'out there' and it makes me more accountable for my actions.  But I also want to blog about pretty things, food, and anything else that makes me happy!!

5. How will you be exercising this round? Gym, home, outdoors or a mixture?
I am going to mix it up with gym, classes, DVDs at home and outdoors.  No using boredom as an excuse to stop exercising...

6.  What is your greatest strength that will help you?
I really think the commitment that I have made to Michelle, to myself and to my beautiful husband especially will provide me with the strength to do this.  That and the support of some wonderful friends who have taken such an interest. 

7.  What are you afraid of?
I am afraid of failing - again - and feeling hopeless, and making a complete goose of myself.

8.  What are you looking forward to the most over the next 12 weeks?
Obviously, I'm looking forward to losing weight and feeling fitter and healthier - and stronger both physically and mentally.  I'm looking forward to following others as they do the 12wbt too and to seeing great results from them.  I'm also looking forward to the challenge of doing things I haven't done before (like blogging)!

9.  What is your downfall? Food? Exercise? How will you overcome this?
Exercise is something I really enjoy, especially the challenge of being able to do more, go a bit faster, do a few more.....  My downfall will potentially be:

How I am going to cope with this is by remembering my commitment, being organised and choosing wisely. 

10. If you had to pick one word to motivate you over the next 12 weeks, what would you choose?


Thanks Whirlsie for thinking up this challenge!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Weekly weigh in...

Each Wednesday is weigh in day on the 12wbt.  Get up, have a wee, lose the clothes and hop on the scales is the routine for first thing Wednesdays. 

This morning I weighed 105.5 kg which is an astounding 1.7kg reduction since last Thursday.  I had to hop on again, just to make sure I had read the scales properly.  But while it sounds like a lot to lose(considering that we have only been doing the 12wbt for 2 days) I did get my period yesterday and that always accounts for some weight loss because of how bloated and horrible I feel just before it.  But hey, I'll take that weight loss and keep working to have another loss for next Wednesday morning.

Still can't write the weight in normal size font though.....! 

I worked out some BMIs for different weights yesterday and discovered that I am going to have to lose another 21 kg before I am officially not obese anymore.  AAAAAGHGHGHG..... That was pretty sobering!!  But, instead of despairing and losing heart and being down on myself for getting into this situation in the first place, I am going to concentrate on today, being consistent with eating well and exercising, being patient and in 12 weeks time, who knows what might have happened??  In my mum's words, I'm going to 'keep my chins up' (a little fat joke there for you)!

Starting the 12 week body transformation....

Greetings!  It's day 2 of the 12 weeks and I've done me knee! Yep, went like a bull at a gate during the fitness test yesterday and pulled up gammy.....  I was really pleased with how I went in the fitness test where I came in at Intermediate fitness level - apart from the wall sit which I only managed for 18 seconds!! 

A wall sit is where you sit against a wall with your knees at right angles, back flat against the wall and see how long you can last.  I've also seen it done where you balance on one leg and hold the other leg out straight.  But that's probably not going to be me any time soon.  It measures leg strength.  From my test, it would appear I don't have any!

This is how it should be done (photo from Ola Fitness blog here).

Apart from my knee being a bit sore (I'm taking my rest day today instead of Sunday although it feels a bit early!) I have been enjoying cooking some different recipes and really thinking about what I eat.  First day's workout left me a bit stiff in a few places, but not too bad.  So I can cautiously say that I am doing this - taking baby steps - but just following the program and seeing what will become of me, as per my commitment to do just that.

Thursday, 9 February 2012


Well, today was a big day for those of us embarking for the first time on Michelle Bridges 12 week body transformation program.  We received:

- what we need to do to do our 'before' measurements'
- a Fitness Test program to complete as a benchmark for our fitness throughout the 12 weeks
- what we need to eat for Week 1
- our training program for Week 1
- and more exhortations to take the dreaded 'before' photos in undies or togs from the back, side and front. 

As you can imagine, the measurements I took are not pretty.  Suffice it to say that many centimetres need to come off many places!!  I also weighed myself on my new whizz bang scales which can also measure % bodyfat, hydration, basal metabolic rate and % muscle mass.  I would be more impressed if they would do the vacuuming, because I just really wanted scales to weigh myself on!!  Anyway, the before weight I have to own up to is (drum roll, if you please)...   107.2kg

See, I couldn't even write it in normal font size.  This weight puts me squarely in the obese category.  Well within the parameters of obese.  Baby, I will be lucky if I get to just being plain old unhealthy overweight in the next 12 weeks, that is how ensconced within the boundaries of obese I am. 

I have had real trouble admitting to being obese - I have not really accepted that I am in this category with all it's connotations of unsightliness, lack of physical fitness, slovenliness, laziness, not caring about oneself..... not to mention the plethora of risk factors for horrible diseases that come with this classification.  I have referred to myself as 'technically' obese or watered it down to make it more acceptable to myself, probably so I wouldn't have to face it and do anything about it. 

But no more. 

I will spare you the 'before' photos of me in my massive nanna undies.  There is only so much each of you can take, and some will be reading this prior to going to sleep!!  But I did have the guts (tee hee) to take them and so I am giving myself a pat on the back for doing that. 

I am so excited to start the 12wbt program officially on Monday 13th Feb.  I feel I have really done the 'preseason' work - examined my commitment, got real about my excuses and made what I am doing public.  I now just have to be a woman of my word and do the 12 weeks and see what exciting things can happen in that time.   Watch this space.....

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Little Pickers Wear Big Fat Bog Ugly Harry High Pants Boring Colour Knickers.....

Greetings, just wanted to share a quick little something. 

My beloved Granny, who died when I was 17, was once quite overweight.  She took herself off to Weight Watchers and six months later had lost a lot of weight and was once again in a healthy weight range.  But you know what the biggest thing she learned from Weight Watchers was?  She said the thing she learned that made the biggest impact on her was that:   PICKING IS EATING TOO!

Who knew?  You know when you finish off something from the kids' plates?  Or try a bit of tea while you're cooking it (and another bit and another bit) or lick the bowl and eat the cookie dough when you're baking?  It's all eating......  Amazing! 

Obviously, I am being disingenuous, of course I knew this, but I always pretend that it doesn't count. So I'm making the commitment not to pick at food mindlessly, secretly or wilfully.  The prospect of wearing smaller undies is certainly a welcome one!