Monday, 30 April 2012

Blogger Challenge - Reflections

Thanks to Whirlsie for the 12wbt Blogger Challenges that she's posted faithfully each week!  I'm pretty much sticking to the script for this one and answering  most of Whirlsie's questions....

1. How are you feeling about the 12WBT program now that you have almost completed it?

I feel like I can't wait for the next round to start!  I'm looking forward to reflecting on what I've learned and achieved in this 12 weeks and to start re visiting the mindset lessons that I know will be reinforced in the next round of the 12wbt.  If I'm honest - and let the latent perfectionist lurking within have a voice - it will give me a chance to continue to get healthy and fit and maybe do it "better" more often this time?? 

2. Looking back on what you wrote in week 1, did you achieve all that you were hoping to?

Ha!  Snort!  That's hilarious...

Pinned Image
I had originally planned to lose 17 kilos and be able to run 5kms.  I must admit the weight loss goal was somewhat arbitrary, but it sounded good at the time and I know some people do lose that in one round.  My final weight loss will be around 10kg which, while not 17kg (!!), is something I'm really excited about and it represents to me 12 weeks of (mainly) making deliberate decisions to look after myself and be the best version possible of myself.

With my goal to run 5kms, well I hurt my knee on the VERY FIRST DAY of the 12wbt and have not been able to run since (although I did sneak in a run for each of the 4 and 8 week time trials.  I managed to cut my times both times, but regretted the run each time because my knee was extremely painful afterwards for several days).  My physio says my knee will take another 10 - 12 weeks to come good, so I now plan to start running in round 3!!

3. Did you find that blogging was beneficial to your 12WBT journey? Will you continue to blog once this round is over?

I have LOVED blogging and I think it has been very helpful in my "journey"....  It has kept me honest and it has provided me with a place to reflect on some of the mindset lessons I've been learning. 

But the best thing has been joining a community of bloggers - I have met some wonderful people through this blog.  I've read their blogs and been inspired and challenged.  I've had supportive, encouraging comments left which has been so uplifting - and even knowing that someone is actually reading my thoughts is just unreal! 

I will definitely keep writing this blog at the end of this round - just you try stopping me!  I'm going to do round 2 of the 12wbt, so I'm going to keep coming clean on the Wednesday weigh ins and write about the lessons I'm learning.


4. Did your exercise go according to plan or did you have to change it around compared with what you wrote in Week 1?

My exercise did change due to my knee injury, but I was able to still improve my fitness in all the categories which are included in the fitness tests each 4 weeks.  I was a bit disappointed that I couldn't run, but found that walking up hills (either on the treadmill or outside) really gets the heart rate up and helped improve my fitness.

I think I am lucky in that I really enjoy exercise.  Always have.  It's the eating that I have the trouble with......

5. How did your greatest strength help you this round? Was it as you thought it would?

I thought my greatest strength would be making a commitment to do this for the 12 weeks and to give it my best.  I made this very sincerely, very earnestly.  This has really helped at times, because I have struggled with the eating for much of this round and my little mantra of 'being a woman of my word' has helped me to refocus countless times.

My hubby, my friends and my new friends from blogging, forums and from the 30+ 12wbt crew facebook group have also been a source of strength.

6. Did the fears that you outlined in Week 1 come to pass? How/how not?

One of my fears was making a complete git of myself by failing - again.  But funnily enough, I now don't seem to care if I've made an ass of myself or not.  I do have times when I feel like I'm failing but so far I have managed to learn from these.  I reckon as long as I keep trying my best, I will reach my goals and will not fail.

7. What is the most valuable lesson you have learned from this program?
I have a couple.  One is to celebrate the small wins.  So often we can be so hard on ourselves - I could spend so much time focusing on the fact that I did not lose 17 kilos that I miss out on celebrating the fact that I have lost 9.5 kilos and plan to continue that trend. 

When I acknowledge my small victories (be it saying no to something I could eat because I know it won't help my overall cause or whether it is doing my first Spin class) it really provides a positive focus, builds confidence and gives me the impetus to continue.
The second valuable lesson I've learned is to be organised.  When I am organised and know when I am going to exercise or have meals properly planned out - all goes very very nicely thanks very much.  However, when I revert to my preferred position of flying by the seat of my trousers that's when things can go pear shaped (and obviously I mean that in a very literal sense).
10. Will you be coming back for another round of the 12WBT?

Yes.  My word, yes.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Lest we forget...

Anzac Day 07

This week I have lost 0.4kg.  All I can say is that it is better than putting on 0.4kg.  I now weigh 97.7kg and have lost a total of 9.1kg.

What a strange week I've had.  Still struggling to get back to proper eating and exercise since Easter.  And I finally had my knee properly assessed.  I have a small cartilage tear and there is also a little pocket of fluid which is making it painful.  So I'm advised not to even do walking for cardio exercise for another 10 - 12 weeks.  *shoulder slump*

I am going to have to get in the pool, on the cross trainer, rower and - depending on pain - the bike.  A bit more of a challenge.  I can do some weight bearing stuff, but not the distances and times I've been doing.    My running ambitions are now on hold until Round 3.

I also hopped on the scales last Friday to find I had put on 1.3 kg.  In two days.  I weighed 99.4kg. 

Did I respond with dignity and determination?  No I did not.

Did I resolve not to let it get me down?  No, I let it get me down.

Did I look at it impassively as an interesting blip in a woman's cycle?  No, I panicked.  I am ashamed to say that I sought solace in the Milo tin* and flirted with throwing in the towel.

* Not literally, obviously. A Milo tin is not very big.

Somehow, though, some of the principles Michelle has been trying to teach me kicked in.  I managed to cling on by my fingernails and upped my exercise.  I managed to make some good eating choices and lo and behold, that 1.3kg came off and then some.

But I am a bit chastened by my response to this challenge, that my response to putting on weight is to immediately start eating the wrong things and to wallow in self pity.  This weight loss thing is such an interesting process and obviously about much more than weight.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Payoffs, time lag, small victories & top 15%...

Twice a week during the 12wbt, we have mindset lessons from Michelle Bridges in the form of short videos or live feeds.  They always challenge me and give me something to really ponder, or indeed a good kick up the pants.

Last night's was particularly thought provoking....  Last night we were thinking about payoffs.  What are the payoffs of sticking to eating well and exercising?  Well, for me they are:
  • losing weight
  • getting fitter
  • getting strong
  • improving my mental health and strength
  • improving my long term physical health
  • having a crack at things that once made me uncomfortable
  • becoming a better role model for my kids
  • and getting to shop in 'normal' sized shops for nice clothes and looking good in them.
The payoff for staying as I was and not making any changes:
  • I get to eat what and how I want.
Hmmmmmm.  Which payoff should I go for?   I can't have both, I can only choose one....  Decisions, decisions....  What to do?  It seems ridiculous that I have ever chosen the second over the first.  So much to gain, so little to lose (obviously I'm not talking about weight here!)

So why is it so difficult?  If we logically set out the benefits and joys of being healthy and fit against the benefits and joys of being fat it would be a no brainer to pick health.  Why then does anyone choose to continue along an unhealthy path?

One of my theories in my own case is because of the time lag between being fat and reaching a healthy weight  - which I think of as a magic place with sparkly fairy dust, soft sunlight, perhaps some lovely music in the background.  There's snow and it's free to ski.  Even my hair is long and shiny there and moves in slow motion as I turn my head to the call of my beautiful well behaved children.

(Cue sound of needle scratching on vinyl...)

What was I saying?  Oh yes, I can start to make positive changes in nutrition and exercise, but because I have a lot of weight to lose, it can feel overwhelming.  I feel sometimes as if I will never get to a healthy weight.  The time between implementing healthy changes and feeling the ultimate benefit seems to be so vast that I find I can lose heart.  I can convince myself that I am getting none of the benefits of either payoff.

I guess that's where it is important to celebrate little victories, to notice small changes and to heed mindset tweaks.  I have not yet lost enough weight that lots of people are noticing, yet I do already feel the benefits of being lighter, smaller and stronger.  I've already passed a couple of milestone achievements which have given me a sense of celebration and confidence.  I guess I just need to keep my mini goals small, focus on the process of each day looking after myself and be patient. 

This was pinned on the 30+ 12wbt crew facebook page and I think it's a fantastic reminder that I am on a long term journey, there will be ups and downs, ins and outs and that I will learn a LOT of things along the way. 

But I will reach that healthy weight one day.

And as if to remind me that all is well, to remind me of the changes that I've already made and to focus me on continuing I received an email from Michelle today to say I am in the top 15% of 12wbt participants in terms of body weight lost and in fitness gains.  I am really thrilled and proud.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Weighing & what went 'wong'?

What went wong?  Wong? 

Well, I just liked the alliteration - and my love of language and words extends to different accents and even how different 'speech impediments', like a lisp, sound....

Consider the following - to be read in the hushed  and reverential tones of a posh, yet almost accent-neutral, BBC commentator.  Perhaps on the day of a royal wedding:

"And awwiving now at the Abbey, Lord Fwederick Fothewingham, 9th Earl of Wochester....  Lord Fothewingham is accompanied by his wife, Lady Woberta, elegant in her Philip Tweacy hat and understated Victowia Beckham fwock.  Lord and Lady Fothewingham are now moving into their pew in the Abbey, stopping bwiefly to gweet the Pwime Minister and to chat with sevewal of their fellow guests."

Royal Wedding

A little 'digwession' there, all in an effort to explain my heading.  Good grief.

Anyhoo it's weigh in Wednesday again and I have lost another 0.5kg. I now weigh 98.1kg and have lost 9.1kg since the start of this round of the 12wbtIs this good?  Or did something go 'wong'?  (It was laboured, but I got there in the end).

 I'm oscillating between disappointment and feeling happy with my achievement. 

  • bit sad that I have had trouble getting back on track after negotiating a week of Easter eggs and eating out.
  • Milo and I had a bit of a reunion this week.  I know, I know.  You should never go back.  But it's familiar and easy and I like it, god damn it!  It did leave me with a bit of self loathing to be honest.... and even Milo said it left him feeling a bit depleted (little joke there for you.  depleted... ha ha ha).  But I know in my heart we're not meant to be close.
  • feel like I have missed an opportunity to lose more weight.  As someone who's got a lot to lose, I am often quite impatient for the weight to be gone and so I kick myself if I don't lose weight more quickly than I think I should...
Happiness regarding achievement:
  • I have lost weight 10 weeks in a row.  That is a great feeling for me.  That tells me I have continued to try and be consistent with this program and that I have not thrown in the towel at any time.  It also tells me it is sustainable and is being absorbed into just being part of my/our lifestyle.
  • I have lost another 0.5kg.  But I have also moved below the 50% mark as far as body fat goes.  First time I've gone under 50%.   (By the way, can that be true?  Is half of my person made up of fat????  That is very unsettling.  Oh well, slightly less than half now).
  • My mind is a lot stronger than it has been in the past.  Any slight setback would have me giving up completely and putting on more weight.  Something has clicked in my mind and I don't think like that anymore.  For someone who is reasonably intelligent, I can't believe how dumb my thinking has been at times.
  • I have been to pump and trained on the x trainer this morning, so feeling fit, active and strong.

{I've made the decision to go with feeling that this week's result is a positive and look at what I can do better in the week/s ahead.}

Monday, 16 April 2012

What I've learned from our dog & gratuitous puppy photos...

I have shown you our dog, Banjo, before.  He is mainly Jack Russell (we think) and to say he sucks the marrow out of life is to understate his approach to living.  Banjo is - as dogs tend to be - hopeful, positive, fun loving and just plain loving.

Recently, he injured his eye.  Eventually, he needed to have the sore eye stitched shut and had to get around in one of those plastic ruffs (like this one - this isn't Banj although it looks a bit like him) for a whole fortnight.


If you lose one eye, it changes your perspective and judgement of where things are....  If you are a dog and you have one eye stitched shut and you wear a big plastic collar - you are even more hampered because you have no idea of the space the plastic ruff takes up and you bang into stuff all the time. 

All the time.... 

But was there any whinging from the dog?  Was there any self pity?  Was there any 'I'm not going to chase the ball today because of my poor sore eye and unfashionable plastic ruff'?  Was there any lack of enthusiasm for going out walking?  Was there any lack of love and adoration for his family?  Was he snappy and snippy because he was in a bad mood?

No, there was none of that.  Because he is a dog and because he lives in the moment and because he is thankful for every bit of love, food, exercise and fun that comes his way.

I admire Banjo's character and forbearance and hope that I could emulate his patience and positivity if I were in a comparable situation.  I realise I could learn a lot from that little canine, bless him.

And here are a couple of photos of our new puppy, Archie - just because he is little and cute and not yet getting into much trouble.  He is a little Jack Russell and playmate for Banjo.  I also firmly believe he will be a partner in crime for Banjo.  But for now, we will just enjoy his utter, utter loveability.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Week 9 Blogger Challenge - Support

In order to make big changes, we need a lot of it. 

Have a think about life changing experiences you have had - and the biggest I can think of is having our first baby -  and the support you needed to make it through.

Crikey - my life and that of my Matie were irreparably altered with the birth of Thing 1.  We were absolutely clueless. 

Pinned Image

Neither of us would have survived  - and Thing 1's chances would have been iffy at best - without the support of family, friends and our Maternal Child Health Nurse!!

And so it is with this weight loss and fitness lifestyle on which I have embarked.  I have needed support to convince me to try again to take control of my weight, to convince me that I can do it, to convince me I can keep doing it and to show me how other people are doing it.

I've said it before, but for me, one of the best things about the 12wbt is the amazing support that is available through the 12wbt forums and facebook pages and through all the blogs participants have been writing. 

I have received support through reading and learning about others' experiences. I've received helpful comments and encouragement from people I've never met, but who are doing or have done what I'm striving to do.  I have also been so supported by friends and family as I do this.  

This is a big call, but I can absolutely say that this support, along with the mindset lessons learned through the 12wbt, have made all the difference to me on 'my journey' - more than the nutrition and exercise lessons.  Support is that important to me.

So with that, I would like to thank the following people for their support for me during the last 9 weeks:
- my Matie (aka hubby)
- Thing 1 and Thing 2
- my friends L, T, K, J among others
- my ugly stepsister S (no, she's not really my stepsister)
- my new friends Linnijane and RDub who support and inspire me
 - and ....
Triumph triaction Extreme Moulded Bra Michelle Bridges

... my Triumph sports bras who help support my girls during our furious exercise!
This post is part of Whirlsies Blogger Challenge.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Wednesday = weigh in

I am stoked.  I have lost another 0.5kg this week - a week which may as well have been one big alarm bell and red flag rolled into one.  I am down 8.6 kg overall and now weigh 98.6kg.  Rapt.

Hopefully, you will have enjoyed a nice break over Easter and had a change up from normal routines.  I certainly did. 

I went away with my little fam to visit other family members and friends and just have a lovely, relaxing break.  We visited the Red Hill market (I love the Red Hill market - if you ever get the chance, have a wander there.  There are so many lovely things and clever people)... We went to a lovely traditional service at a beautiful old Presbyterian church on Easter Sunday.  We had a spot of lunch in China Town.  We visited a great uncle in hospital, friends with young kids, friends with older kids, baby cousins, uncles, grandparents - and most of our footy teams won!!  It really couldn't have been better.

I had little control over what food was available for most of the week.  And, typically, there was a fair bit of chocolate around too! 

But with a bit of planning and - dare I employ this abused cliche -  making some 'good choices',  lo and behold another bit of weight has been lost this week. 

This does my confidence no end of good and I'm looking forward to be back in charge of my food and exercise this week.

How did your Easter go?  What did you learn about yourself?

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Why 'One Life'?

I want to share why I called my blog 'One Life'.

When I went to register the name - which was meaningful to me and, I felt, quite natty - I found that I was not that original.  There were about a million other blogs called 'One Life' already in existence.  It meant I ended up with the poorly thought through janie-d for my URL which really doesn't really strike me as that significant or convey anywhere near the meaning that I'd hoped for!!

Anyway, why did I call my page 'One Life'?  I have a lovely friend who I will call B.  She is sunny, energetic, confident, brave, hospitable, cheeky, game, intelligent, unsentimental, and accomplished to name a few of her character traits. 

B lives with her hubby and four kids in the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast on 10 acres of hilly, rainforesty land.  She runs her own business. She invests.  She makes people feel at home at her place.  She usually has several projects on the go at any given time - landscaping, restoring something, travelling somewhere....

To the best of my knowledge, B has never sat on the couch with a tin of Milo and a soup spoon to hand.  She is a healthy, fit, slim and active.  She is positive and a woman of action.  I'm thankful she is my friend.
My family were visiting B and her family last year, enjoying a break from winter in Victoria.  At one point I said to B that I didn't know where she got her energy and drive to do all the things she does and to keep planning to do more.

Typically low key, she just said, 'well you only get one life, dont you?'

It really got me thinking:  it's true.  You do only get one life, why wouldn't you pack everything into it that you can have a crack at and why would you waste it with regrets or fear or anger or inaction?

I decided there and then to do something about my weight and my fitness which I feel has been an impediment to me getting on and doing other things I want to do.  While it was another five months before I was completely ready to start my 'journey' - that one little throwaway comment started the ball rolling.

{Thank you B.  Better go and let her know I'm writing this blog, losing this weight and thank her for her input and impact on the process.}

View from Mt Coolum after a fantastic climb by B's family and ours.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Big font & little happy dance...

Well, all I can say is 'YAY'.  This morning I weighed 99.1kg, having lost 1.3kg this week.  My total weight loss is now 8.1kg.  So pleased with my own self!!

Never weigh yourself while wearing shoes!
Via Pinterest

No more hiding with tiny font for me!!  I'm out and proud now!!  Getting under 100kg is a huge goal smashed - I've always found it difficult to set a weight goal and actually get to it, so having done this is wonderful and gives me lots of confidence to just keep going.

Onward and downward I say.  Next goal - 10kg lost.

Bit of a red flag week this Easter week.  Like many others, we are heading away and staying with family and friends, and getting out and about.  It will be lovely, but I will not have as much control over cooking and what food is on offer.  So it will be a great test for me to keep up my exercise (I'll take my HRM and some workout dvds with me) and to eat in small portions. 

And I have already decided to only eat small amounts of very good quality, lovely, yummy, real Fair Trade chocolate.  I do love chocolate, but find that a lot of Easter eggs are not really the nicest of chocolate anyway, so I'm going to make sure I waste my calories only on cocoa's finest!!!

{How did you go this week??  And how will you survive the choc-fest that is Easter??}

Monday, 2 April 2012

There's no getting round it, you just have to do it...

Whirlsie's Week 7 blogger challenge is about how people often lose a bit of enthusiasm and momentum after several weeks of going really well with changing their eating and exercise patterns. 

In order to get over this little slump - or as I prefer to think of it, this slight wilt, which I certainly admit to experiencing - it might help to look back at why we joined the 12wbt in the first place.  Or to focus on what has been achieved so far. 

I joined because I was fat, very fat as it turns out (bit of denial was going on, let me tell you).  I had not had any glimmer of hope that I could redress this from any other weight loss thingy I had tried.  I used evey excuse in the book for why I couldn't lose weight and for why keeping my snout firmly in the metaphoric Milo trough was a good idea. 

Ridiculous, I know, but there it is.

So far I have lost nearly 8 kilos, and lost quite a few cm from all over my body.  Clothes fit better, some are even loose. 

But the best thing is I am so much stronger physically and mentally.  I feel fitter, but I also have more self control.  For example, a lot of my cardio sessions involve a while on a steep gradient on the treadmill.  My mind will say things such as 'let's just stop, we don't really need to do this today, you're tired, let's just take it easy'.  (I've spoken about my unhelpful mind before).   But I just say 'no mind, this is good for you/me/us.  Pipe down', and I get on with it.  Usually.

So my little tips for those struggling a bit - and it is all of us at some stage or other - are:
  • ask yourself if you would still like to be as you were when you started making these changes?
  • focus on the positives by looking at what you have already achieved and know you can achieve more.
  • and make your peace with the concept that if you want to lose the weight and get fit, you actually have to eat well and do the exercise.  It's that simple.  If you want the results, you have to actually, properly, deliberately and consistently do what it takes to achieve these goals.