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?