Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Week that Was.. Christmas is just one day!

Christmas 2011 004 copy

Christmas Day!  It is just one day but it seems like it provides an excuse to indulge for weeks before.  And then afterward we have to find a way to ‘stop’ which isn’t always easy.  We get into bad habits, lose our good habits and momentum.  We get used to making excuses again and our willpower muscle loses form.  But it is now over.  I will not dwell on the mistakes of the past, except to say that I will looking at some better strategies to handle Christmas next year!  First one being to arrange appropriate childcare for the monsters!

I will keep this post short.  It is mostly to say that I forgive myself for the weeks leading up to Christmas and the few days afterward.  I am not perfect and I acknowledge that I did things incorrectly – but it is okay.  I am not a bad person, I do not need punishing.  It just is what it is.  I learnt some valuable lessons – I need to arrange childcare for the kids in advance, I need to plan my meals, and I need to go shopping.  I need to JFDI, set my alarm in the morning and I need to deal with my poor sleeping habits at the moment!

So what is the damage done? 

57.15kg  - 28.7% fat!

It’s not pretty but it should be fairly easy to lose: easy come, easy go!  Oh Yeah, I am confident today! 

Seriously though, I am thinking that the first couple of kilos should drop off fairly easily as I know I am bloated with water weight.  I had better go do some measurements for today though!

Bust (naked): 86cm

True Waist: 77cm

Waist (the fat bit): 87cm

Hip: (the fattest bit): 95cm

Thigh: L – R 52cm –50cm

The only measurement I am worried about is the fat bit of my waist – measured at the belly button.  This is the really bad part of my body – it is out of shape, makes me look pregnant, and represents visceral fat (the worst kind)!

So lets bring in the New Year with positivity!  I will achieve a loss on the scales this week, I am eating normally (healthy normal) and exercising regularly.  The weight is coming off already!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Goal Setting: An art unto itself

flat-stomach-185x114It really does seem so.. inconsequential really, to actually sit down and write your goals.  I mean, what difference does it make?  I know I don’t want to be fat anymore, I don’t want to be unhappy or feel lazy and slovenly.  Why do I need to write that down?  It is just so, well, corny!

But it is the secret to success.  Your goals are those things that make you crawl out of bed at 5am on a cold winter’s morning to train for a race that is 3mths away!  It is what drives us to sacrifice in the short term for long term gain – but that long term gain needs to be firmly in our sights!  We need to know that we will get there and if we don’t even know where there is… well.. it is easy enough to get side-tracked by that yummy chocolate donut!  But with your eyes on that prize you probably wont even notice the donut!

So what do I want?  I want to be lean – I have defined myself as small for ever. I was always tiny and it is so much a part of my identity that I don’t feel like myself, I feel like I am wearing a fat suit!  Even right now, I feel the bloating and stretching as something that is covering me rather then within me. 

Pictures speak a thousand words: Visualisation is a powerful technique for training the mind and I plan on taking advantage of that.  When I imagine this goal in my mind, I see a midsection as pictured above – I see a defined waist, I see not so much a 6pk but a flat stomach with some definition to the musculature underneath.  I love the elongated belly button rather then the deep cavernous bottomless pit that currently exists!

Specifics:  It is great to say I want to be lean, but what exactly is lean?  How will I know when I reach my goal?  I’ve been looking at this for a while and I pretty much reckon I have it pinned down to a number.. 48kg.  That’s a BMI of 20 for my height.  I would like my body fat to be around 20% and my true waist around 65cm (not sure on that last one as I don’t know what is possible!).

I want to be strong and fit as well.  I don’t want to lose muscle mass while I lose fat so I need to maintain that strength that I have while returning to my cardio.  I want to do weight training at least twice a week for muscle maintenance.  I want to be able to do five chin-ups and get a full minute in of proper push-ups (and get that 50kg bench press at some point!).  I want to do abdominal workouts 4 days a week to ensure my core is stable and to be able to do a sit-up.  I want to run in a 10k race in close to an hour, and bring my 5k race time down to 25mins.

And mostly I want to be able to balance my family life, my PhD work, and my health!

Nest blog I will look at getting those goals down onto a time line!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Life Makeover: Sleep

sleepWe all need it, 8 hours of sleep a night, but for some reason I am finding it difficult to give up each day to sleep.  I am staying up later and later and it has totally ruined all that I have done so far.  I wouldn’t even mind if I were productive in these hours but I merely read forums or watch tv.  Even then, that would be fine if it were the only time I got to do those things, but I am doing them during the day – it is holidays! 

And I think that is the problem, I don’t ‘have’ to get up to take the kids to school.  But want to wake up to go for a run in the mornings, I don’t like being tired – I am not doing anything with the kids because I am simply exhausted from going to bed at 3am, and waking at 7-8am.  I’m putting off getting dressed and ready in the morning so it is near lunch time before I am doing anything productive.  I get a bit of cleaning done but even then, because I haven’t gotten dressed, I can’t complete things – taking the rubbish out, hanging out washing, sweeping out the front, etc.

I’m not getting to the gym (I can barely function let alone workout), am only just keeping up with the habits I have laid out so far and not at all with the ‘eating dinner at the table’ habit!  So at this point I have to stop and take a reality check.. I need my sleep!

I’ve done a fair bit of research on sleep in the past, the layman type research anyway, and have learnt that one of the best ways to get into a good sleeping habit is to simply set your alarm and wake up at the same time everyday, no matter when you go to sleep.  At night, go to bed when you are tired, a warm shower a while before hand is good as it mimics the bodies drop in temperature, warm milk as well – there are proteins in milk that help to induce sleep.  I think tidying up my room might help as well and honestly, I really need a new mattress!  But I will start at the beginning by setting my alarm for 6am.  I think that is a good time to wake up each morning.  I will have the time to go for a run, come home and shower and dress, and have time to get the kids ready for school and get some housework done!  Bedtime would have to be 9pm –10pm to make sure I am getting enough sleep! 

Habit: Wake up at 6am no matter what!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Kitchen Makeover: The Ultimate Goal

finish2cqphysioWe cannot have direction without a goal.  A finish line gives us a path to move along, something to strive for, and a place to stop and rest.  Without a finish line, we wonder about aimlessly, expelling energy but never really going anywhere – or worse, jumping from path to path and ending up going round in circles!

The easiest way of getting where we want to be is to emulate someone who is already there.  Do you know someone who is healthy, someone who you admire?  What does their kitchen look like?  How do they organise their food?  What are the basic healthy kitchen habits of healthy people?  These are what I have seen or read about that I feel would be essential to living the healthy life that I want!

  1. Simple: KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid) is the premise for everything in my life.  Frankly, if a system is based on a complicated and intricate web of ‘have-to-do’ items, them is fraught with potential failure.  I need for my kitchen to be easy to look after, easy to work in, and my meals easy to cook. 
  2. Clean: Perhaps the most important aspect of a healthy kitchen, is that it is clean.  You cannot have a healthy kitchen if it is dirty messy, or just plain gross!  I want to be able to walk into my kitchen for each meal and have a clean slate to work from!
  3. Healthy:  And by Healthy, I mean fresh!  Fresh food, healthy food, overflowing from the cupboards and fridge!  You cannot eat healthy food if it is not there already!
  4. Organised:  All the above things require organisation to work.  To keep things simple we need to know exactly what we need so we can get rid of superfluous items.  We need to stay on top of the cleaning tasks, and we need to plan our meals and shop regularly.  By staying organised we can keep our kitchen simple, clean and healthy!

Now, to break them down further into tasks that I can set and achieve for myself:

    1. Simple
      • Storage containers need to be minimised
      • Appliances need to be minimised
      • Cooking equipment needs to be minimised
      • Cleaning equipment needs to be minimised
      • Recipes need to be simplified and fast!
    2. Clean
      • Cupboards need to be emptied and cleaned
      • Fridge needs to be cleaned
      • Pantry needs to be cleaned
      • Drawers need to be cleaned
      • Sink kept shining and clean everyday
      • Dining table set and ready to use every meal
    3. Healthy
      • Recipes need to be healthy
      • Shopping needs to be done regularly
      • Fridge needs to be kept up-to-date
      • Storage of leftovers and fresh food needs to up-to-date
    4. Organised
      • Meal Planning with Shopping Routine
      • Cleaning Routines
      • Recipes organised for ease!

It is easy to see from that list that there is a lot of cross-over happening.  I basically need to clean out my kitchen, tossing what I don’t need, organising what I do need, and setting up a routine to keep things clean and organised.  So easy!  Not!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Kitchen Makeover: Stage three

The family that eats together, stays healthy together!
my bday 009Okay, so that is not the exact phrasing of the quote but, it is true none-the-less.  It is no surprise that research supports the fact that eating at the table is important, not only for family harmony, but also for our health.  Families that are overweight are more likely to not own a dining room table, or at least not use it – preferring the comfort of the couch and the television while dining.
We do usually eat together as a family at the dining table but I have noticed that that habit has been wavering (a lot) of late.  Take out is moving in, and the tendency to not clean up after dinner with it.  So now that my sink is getting cleaned each night, and I am planning my meals, if only for a day at a time, I think the dining table has to make its come back – right now!
To make this work, we need to work in two habits..

1. Eat at the table for every meal**

2. Clear the table after every meal

**Note to self:  This means:
  • No eating at the computer or while watching television
  • No eating in the car while driving (if you get take-out, either eat-in or take it home and eat it at the table!)
  • No eating on the phone
  • No eating at my desk
  • No eating in bed while reading or watching television
From that list, this is a pretty major change wrapped up in a deceptively simple little habit!  I think I will focus on the habit itself rather then the ‘do not’ list as it seems a lot less daunting!
I am expecting I will love the follow-on benefits from this.. it is lovely to sit with my family at the dinner table and to see that my children are eating healthy meals (if somewhat less healthy mine!).  It is a great opportunity to catch up on the day, especially as my boys get older, and to work out some plans for the family!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Week that Was…

Good things happened this week.  I felt on top of things (some of the time) and achieved great results at home, in the lab, and in the gym!  I need to move forward a bit now and increase my expectations of myself when it comes to nutrition!  My birthday is now over so there is no ‘red flag’ until Christmas Day! 
This week I began my ‘new life’ and so far so good.  I’ve been checking in on the 12wbt forum each day, I’ve been shining my sink each night, and now have my ‘on the fly’ meal planning board – aka the fridge – clean and working for me!
What I haven’t mentioned is that I have also been going to the gym everyday this week!  While it was the last week of school, I trialled a schedule where I did a shorter workout (30mins) and fit it in after dropping off the kids.  Provided I dropped the kids off at 8.30am, I could get to the gym, do a 5mins warm-up, a few sets of strength exercises and then get to uni for 9.30.  When I start back at it next year (when school starts up again) I will need to take work clothes and a shower cap so I can have a quick shower and get changed once I am done! 
This is part of my goal.. to get my training down to two segments: a 3-5km run in the morning, and then 30min at the gym.  Only problem is that I usually wash my hair each morning – if I do this I will have to wash it at night.  Huge change of routine there!  But it will leave me more time in the morning to get ready – making lunches and getting housework done!  I do like this schedule though so I will work to make it happen!  I’ve got the gym part working, now to wake up and run each morning! 
Time to set my alarm to 6am!  Eeeek!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Kitchen Makeover: Stage Two

The Fridge!!
9th december upload 093
My sink is under control!  I have cleaned my sink each night before bed – too easy!  The follow-on effects are great as well.  The area where I make my breakfast (and the kids lunches) is clean each morning so my day is starting off on the right foot and I am in a good mood!  that makes me much more inclined to eat a healthy breakfast!  So it is time to move onto the next mission!  The fridge!
The fridge is where all our fresh food is kept – how can we be healthy if our fridge is not healthy?  Not only can an unhealthy fridge be a breeding ground for germs that cause upset tummies, it can also mean we are wasting foods and, of course, we are less likely to eat our healthy fresh produce if it is going icky in the fridge after 24hrs!
So today I have a mission:

Clean the fridge!

  • take everything out and toss anything out of date or obviously unhealthy!
  • take out the shelving and drawers and wash them, let them dry while wiping out the inside of the fridge (a bit of lemon juice in the water is great for killing germs and getting rid of smells!).
  • Put it all back, wiping the bottom of jars, but lets try some organisation. 
Organisation: The things you want to eat more of need to easily accessible and visible!  You can buy fridge organisers which are great for holding sauce bottles and spreads to keep them together.  And lastly, look at how you are storing your fruits and vegetables in the fridge.  I am trying out some vege bags to see if they help keep things fresh, but I am more inclined to try and make sure I eat it all so I don’t need it to last as long!  And don’t forget to do your research… look up how to to best store your favourite fruits and vegetables, and invest in some containers to keep your leftovers in!
At the moment I am struggling with a fridge that is way too small for my family, it is really only big enough for a family of two, not five!  So my goal is to get a new fridge in the New year – not an easy task given the Christmas spending period is upon us, we need to pay for some repairs at our rental house, and the costs of heading back to school as well!  So this week I am going research fridges and work out which price bracket I need to be in to get what I want!

My new habit for this week:

A “What’s in the fridge” board!

a.k.a. Family meal planning on the fly!
The idea is to grab a white board marker and, provided you have a nice white fridge, you are free to write all over it.  You can write what is for dinner, what leftover’s need to be used, what fresh fruit and vegetables you can eat or have planned!  Each night, after I have cleaned the sink, I can go through what we have and work out what to do for breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner.  I can get out what needs to be defrosted and put it in the back fridge so it can defrost slowly (and without risking food poisoning!).  My leftovers can get used, and the boys and hubby will know what to grab from the fridge without opening it twenty times before deciding there is nothing to eat!
So my tasks are complete and I have added a picture of my '”What’s in the fridge” board!  I will update with how it goes at the end of next week!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Thought for today: What is the attraction?

Why is it that 5 teaspoons (or even half a cup) of milo with my milk seems so much better then the 3 teaspoons which is meant to go in there?
A properly made milo tastes delicious, is a little high in sugar but with the milk, is a pretty decent snack in a normal healthy diet.  So why do I feel the need to overdo it.. spoil myself, reward myself, have a treat… by doing something over-indulgent.  Why can’t the normal milo be enough of a treat?

Mindset Lesson:  Enjoy things as they should be.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Kitchen Makeover: Stage One

Let’s start with the kitchen sink…
So what does the kitchen sink have to do with losing weight?
There is a certain group of people, myself included, who have never quite grasped the concept the housework.  In this day and age, it is often a life skill that is looked down upon and many even brag about their ineptitude at basic cleaning.  And the issue for many a person (especially one who cares for a number of people) is washing up. This is how it goes.
  • Busy day at work
  • Cook Dinner
  • Too tired to clean up so leave till the morning
  • Rushing to get to work.. leave cleaning till the afternoon
  • Get home from work
  • See the pile of dishes
  • Clean up
  • Too tired to cook dinner so call take out or cook something ‘easy’
  • Way too tired to clean up
  • Begin cycle again.
Sometimes we love to cook, have the ingredients we need, have a great meal plan, but if our kitchen is not clean – if we have do that work before we even begin to cook – we are setting ourselves up to fail.  Now this concept is not unique.. many years ago I joined a website:  It is a fantastic resource for anyone who has housework issues and the first thing they suggest is to ‘shine your sink’.  I recommend you head over there for more detail but I will repeat the basic concepts here.
If our sink is clean, we can wash up.  If the dishes are washed, the benches are most likely wiped down – the kitchen is ready for you to prepare your healthy meals.  So the first step we have to take to a healthy lifestyle is getting that kitchen sink under control by creating good habits.
My challenge is to create a habit – thirty days is all it takes to cement a change.

Habit:  Shine my sink

– each night before bed, no matter what.  It should only take 5mins, and it doesn’t even matter if I don’t wash up!  Just get my sink shining and keep it that way.
Note: to ‘shine’ your sink, give it a good scrub, making sure you clean the icky bits around the edges of the drain, the faucet, and the sink itself.  Rinse it of thoroughly, dry it off and then spray on some window cleaner to polish it up!
So here we go… the first steps to changing my life.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Today I start my new life.

I started a new life all those years ago when I had my first panic attack which led to agoraphobia.  Today I start my new life without agoraphobia.  Where do I start?  Before my agoraphobia I was a different person.  I drank.. a lot, I used recreational drugs, I sought the approval of everyone (the wrong everyone) and in the process gave up my safety, my self respect, and eventually.. my mental health.


The question is now.. Who am I after fighting agoraphobia for 15 years? Am I a different person?  I can’t say that I “found myself” over that time, that there was some epiphany where I suddenly realised who I was and what I wanted.  I have aspects of myself that stayed.. my drive to achieve in science and my sense of respect for those who seek education and self-improvement, and in truth, my essence is still there.  I am the sum of my experience.  I am still the same the person, but I have chosen a different path.  I have chosen to accept the fear, to accept that some people will not like me, to accept that bad things will happen and that is okay.  I am important to me and to the people I love.  I have decided to be a person that I respect.  I didn’t have to '”find myself” – I just had to choose to be myself.  And I have say – I like me!

So now is the time to let me shine.. really shine.  I hope you all have some sunglasses because I will be blasting you all with shining rays of awesomeness!  Look out!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Day 3

Just a quick one today as I am super tired!


  • cup of tea
  • Vive breaky drink and fruit muffin
  • chicken and salad
  • bodywise bar
  • tammar valley yogurt
  • curry chicken and corn cous cous
  • hot chocolate
  • grilled cheese on toast (one slice)

Exercise:  5k run!

I dont’ know how I am going calorie wise, but I know I am doing okay as I am feeling hungry before I eat!  Always a good sign!

Weigh-in day tomorrow.. here’s hoping for a good one!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Day 2 of 42.. 40 days ‘till my birthday!

Today has gone well.  I took my lasagne for lunch with some salad, cooked the satay chicken for dinner and went to Taekwon-do (and did it even!).

That means that todays goals are met.  It was an interesting start to the day as I lost my handbag this morning!  I had to go to the shopping centre and pick a few things up and then come back home to hunt for my bag.. which had the keys to my office in them!  My sister called and we chatted for a couple of hours, during which time I found my bag, so it was almost lunch when I got to uni.  Unfortunately, I had three cups of tea while on the phone, and a muffin too, but for being off schedule it could have been worse! 

I was really tired heading off to taekwon-do and was even a bit panicky at the start (I was fretting over the frozen coconut cream which had separated.. I was worried I would get food poisoning!).  But once I got into it I was fine.  I am learning the moves pretty easily, I just hope I don’t look like a dufus!  Looking forward to next week!


  • cereal and milk
  • 3 cups of tea
  • 2 muffins (Ange’s breaky muffins – 120cals)
  • Nat’s lasagne and salad
  • satay chicken and vegies
  • hot chocolate!

Exercise:   Taekwon-do class.

Plan for tomorrow. 

I will be using the leftover chicken to make a salad for lunch, and I might even try making the curry chicken cous cous in the magazine I read for dinner so I get that chicken used up before defrosting something else!  For my exercise, I will be doing a run in the evening after dinner (so I had better keep it early and light!).

Sunday, October 30, 2011

My Mini Six Week Challenge

So I have done the numbers and it is 6 weeks today until my Birthday.  Six weeks until I go down for Nicky’s christening.  Six weeks until school holidays start!  So there is my target date.  I know it won’t take that long… it should only take 4 weeks max, but week 5 is the conference in Brisbane so I would rather keep that as a back-up week!

Goal:  Reduce body fat% and Get myself down to a ‘bikini ready’ 50kg or less.

How:  I will do taekwondo on Mondays with kids, Run on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and do Strength training at the gym on Wednesday and Fridays, and a long run on saturday afternoons.  I will swap around as needed, and reserve the right to play around with what I do!  Main thing.. 6 days of training a week.

I will keep my food to unprocessed, natural food as much as possible.  I will cook one meal per week that I can freeze portions of.  I will bake my own ‘snacks’ and I will do fruit and vegie shopping twice a week.  I will plan my meals – dinners and using leftovers for lunch.  And I will allow myself to fill up on vegies, salads and fruits.

My first goal is for Day 12: when I leave for the gold coast I would like to have reached 52.0kg.

Next goal is for Day 31: when I fly down to Brisbane for the conference I would like to have reached 49kg and be in maintenance mode!

Final goal is for Day 42: for my birthday, I would like to have a nicely defined stomach to show off to everyone in a bikini!


So Day 1.. How is it going?


  • Cereal w/ light milk
  • Tammar valley yogurt (snack sized)
  • 3 muffins (Ang’s breaky muffins recipe)
  • Omelette (1egg, 2 egg whites, mushroom, 3 cherry toms, handful of spinach leaves and some cheese)
  • nat’s lasagne for dinner
  • salad

No exercise today as it is rest day!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

I am struggling

Okay, so struggling may not be the right word as that implies I am putting in effort to overcome an obstacle.  In reality, I am just not putting in any effort to the health side of my life right now!  The obstacle: changes in my workload at university.

Life changes.  And the last few weeks I have made some big changes in my commitment to my PhD.  I have had a lot of lab work, and I have a presentation coming up soon to prepare for.  I am trying to put in a good amount of hours and balance family commitments as well.

My schedule at the moment (for a weekday) looks like this:

7am:  Wake up, get dressed, do housework, get kids ready for school, breakfast, shower etc

8.30am: drop of kids at school and head to uni

9am: uni work

2.30pm: leave uni to pick up kids, housework etc

3.30pm: do uni home work (sometimes head back to office)

5pm: cook dinner

6pm housework/ crash in front of tv/ gym or taekwondo.


The problem is that Dave isn’t getting home till as late as 6pm some nights so I am really feeling the pressure of being ‘on’ all day.  I am not used to it!  But I am adjusting and feeling better about my workload.. I should be able to introduce a good 1hr workout each night but I need to work out what I want to do!  I am missing my gym sessions and my running.. not enough to peel my arse off the seat, but enough to think about it!

In winter I had been heading to the gym around 4ish, before dinner, but with Dave getting home so late I haven’t been able to.  Heading to the gym around 6-7pm just feels a bit odd I guess, I am tired and don’t ‘feel’ like it.  But I had better get my head out of my ass and just do it.  The kids have Taekwondo on Monday nights too, at 6pm, so I need to work out what I am doing there.  Dave was meant to go and watch them while I go to the gym but he wants to stay home – so that means I am sitting on my ass for 2hrs.  The other option is to get up there with them.. which I have done once, but it is costly to join up! 

But aside from the gym, my main problem has been food.  Take-out and lots of it.  I am tired and not prepared so am taking the easy option. Dinner and lunches seem to be an issue, and I have started to skip breakfast too!  Not good.  And we wont’ mention late  night snacks on sweets and alcohol as well!  Yup, all the wicked sins are in there!

So now I have laid it all out there, I guess the next step is to ask “Where to from here?”.

1. Meal plan.  It really is the only way to start.  I need to know what I am eating and when, and make sure I have what I need without the last minute run around.  I have lots of nice, quick and easy meals thanks to 12wbt so I need to access those and use them!

2. Drink plan.. water water water.. no more coke zero!

Okay.. off I go on my plan.  I will try and update this blog at least once a week with a progress report!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Week 4: Friday

Well I just keep on keeping on this week!  Powering through my workouts and eating good healthy food!

I’ve woken today with the scales giving me a 53.5kg, another few 100g down.  I spent two hours at the gym in the morning – 325cals doing a bit of boxing with Nat and some weights (and a fair bit of time chatting and setting up with Nat!).  I also did the TaeKwon-do class with Jayden because Cam was a bit tired tonight.  That was hard work!  So exercise was pretty awesome!  Food wasn’t quite so great but my portions of crap were small and I was able to stop!


  • healthwise cereal with no fat milk
  • cup of tea x3
  • Figure protein shake
  • Jen’s lasagne
  • Skinny cow icecream
  • stirfry (no noodles)
  • handful of salt and vinegar chips
  • half a chocolate muffin
  • hot chocolate
  • vita-weat crackers (5)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Week Four: Tuesday

Today was a good day.  I posted earlier about my boxing class but there is so much more to today!

I not only did the boxing this morning, I also went back in to the gym this afternoon for my legs/shoulder workout!  I don’t know how many calories I burnt today, but I know I burnt some, and I increased my health and strength!

Food today:

  • oats for breakfast
  • cuppa tea
  • turkey wrap with cranberry sauce for lunch (100g of turkey)
  • bodywise bar
  • wholegrain bread with 2 tablespoons of lentil bolognaise
  • Cujan chicken (100g) with sweet potato
  • hot chocolate!

It has been a good day!

I was 54.5kg this morning.

Standing my Ground!

There is no mystery here.. I love boxing!  I love the feeling of power and strength that comes when you punch something so hard your knuckles scream!  I now have a standing appointment with Nat on T day mornings to do the stand your ground workout! 

I feel powerful and strong today!

I have made good choices!

I have achieved my goals!



Started with some kicking


Shaping up to the bag!

Kickboxing.. my knees are killer sore!  I am positive I will have bruises!

I love to punch things!

..and I love that it pumps up my arms!

We have quite a few pictures so I am thinking of doing a slideshow to music for the day.  Stay tuned!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Just decide!

me-swimMake the decision and just do it!  You know you can do it, you know you want it, so just do it!

And today, that is what happened!

I don’t know how I went on the calories, but my night-time battle is looking good! The gym was great as well.. everything is looking positive!  So here is a quick log of what I have done today:


    • weightwatchers oats
    • 2 cups of tea
    • bodywise bar
    • rice, vegies and bbq pork (small container)
    • milkyway and 1/2can of pepsi max
    • Tammar valley snack yogurt
    • lentil bolognaise with cous cous
    • cup of hot chocolate
    • tin baked beans


  • 5min on cross trainer
  • superset: 6kg dbs chest press/ 25kg lat pull down (3x12)
  • superset: 20kg bb chest press/ 20kg bb bent over row (3x6/3x12)
  • 30kg cable crossover (3x12)
  • 18kg adjusted weight assisted chins (3x6)
  • 30kg reverse mid-cable fly (3x12)
  • AMRAP push-ups (4 toes/ 8knees x3)
  • abs circuit 3x(10 sit-ups, 10 double crunches, 20 pulses)
  • stretch

For my mind, I also watched the week 4 video.  Mish mentioned the will-power muscle though I think there is a more in-depth video coming.  I love thinking of will-power as a muscle that needs training.  I started working out my will-power muscle today and it felt good.  Amazing actually.  I chose to cook something for me rather then go get takeout.  I can make that choice again – it wasn’t too hard. 

I am meeting Nat for boxing in the morning.. my arms will not be happy but I will be!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


From Wikipedea:  A mulligan, in a game, happens when a player gets a second chance to perform a certain move or action.

That is what I need Michelle.. a do-over for the last 2 weeks!  I haven’t done the fitness test, kept to the meal plan, or done the exercise.  I haven’t even participated in the weekly surprises, logged into the forums, or watched any videos.  My weight has stayed pretty much the same – maintaining is never an issue, but I still have more to lose!

My goals.. 48kg, and to work towards a 5km run in October (28th) for a PB.  Let’s face it.. I’m vain!  I want to look hot in my bikini for summer and have a flat washboard stomach – muscular, not skinny.

It is time to make decisions to support that goal – and that comes down to diet.  Plain and simple.. the skinny is in the food. 

What have a done today to help achieve my goals:

  • Went for a 3km run (25mins);
  • Had the Chicken Involtini for dinner;
  • and blogged!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Week 2: Wednesday

Today was not good.


That is all.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Week 2: Tuesday

Today was very busy!  I had my haircut at 9am, and then it was off to the park with the kids!   I did awesomely food wise, except that I was late home and ended up getting takeout for dinner (a seafood basket from Red Rooster!).  I also skipped the gym due to the lateness of the day.  It was an unavoidable consequence of school holidays – some days I will need to be at the lab until late in the day so I can get my results!

But lesson learnt.. I need to make sure D is on board with cooking dinner or that I have a spare meal in the freezer ready to cook.  Let’s not mention that I had some lasagne in there already that I could have eaten, or that the Pork was already defrosted!  I should have taken my yogurt with me and I could have eaten that during a break instead of hanging out until 7pm to go home with nothing to eat since midday!  It won’t happen again, and was my official treat meal – I didn’t have my afternoon tea so I am hoping that the meal didn’t come to much more then the 450cals to keep to goal!

Otherwise food was good:

  • Breakfast: oats with a cup of tea
  • MT: Bodywise Bar  120 cals
  • Lunch: Egg and lettuce sandwich w/mustard
  • Dinner: Seafood basket (only 1/2 chips) plus a coke zero
  • Other:choc o’lait with skim milk added.

I didn’t have much water today either which explains the headache!

Housework wise, I got my dishwasher run done this morning and a load of washing out, but never had a change to bring in and fold.. hopefully will have some time for that tomorrow!  Right now I am pretty smashed so heading off to bed!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Week 2: Monday

It is school holidays, which means some major schedule re-shuffling!  I made it out for a quick shop this morning, and then took the kids to the Zoo and then Maccas for lunch.
I’ve done okay food wise so far today after lasts nights total blow-out!  I mean seriously, who eats 3 magnum ice creams AND a drumstick ice cream as well??  There was no need for it.. I had dinner all ready to cook but because I had ‘blown out’ and had a bit of popcorn chicken from KFC that morning, I seemed to just let it all just go to shit!  I just wanted it so bad!
But anyway, it is time to move on. 
  • Breakfast: oats with a bit of honey; cup of tea
  • Morning Tea: Bodywise Bar
  • Lunch: Jen’s Lasagne serve
  • Afternoon Tea: 3 chicken nuggets, yogurt, cup of tea
  • Dinner: Pan-fried Fish
And then it will be off to the gym for my workout, a small protein shake and then off to bed nice and early!  I can do this!

UPDATE:  I had a mini protein shake (teaspoon of protein powder and half a cup of milk) before heading to the gym.  Got through the lower body workout no problems, and have had a chocolate milk (choc o'lait) before bed.  I am tired now so it is off to bed for this little chooky!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Preparation for Season 3: Week Two

001 copyThis first week didn’t go to plan, probably due to a significant lack of planning!  I had my confirmation presentation on Wednesday, and public speaking is a big deal for nearly everyone.  I think I can forgive myself as I hadn’t had to time to begin the good habits I really needed to be in place for times like these!  So that is my goal this round… to get those habits firmly in place so ‘red flags’ are easier to deal with!

The week didn’t go too bad really, well, until Wednesday night when I decided to celebrate.  A little too much celebration has taken place – late nights and alcohol, take out as well.  I don’t feel too great to be honest, tired, and my belly just feels.. off. I had a huge shock this morning when I weighed in at over 54kg – I was 53kg on Wednesday! But I know how to make this program work.  I just need to JFDI, so today I did.

  • Breakfast: egg on toast (220cals)
  • Morning tea: Bodywise bar (125cals) and berry muffin (150cals)
  • Lunch: Beefy Salsa and couscous  (350cals)
  • Afternoon tea:  Yogurt -Tamar valley (150cals)
  • Dinner:  Jen’s lasagne (300cals)

And if I get hungry later.. I have my small tins of baked beans.  I’ve had three cups of tea as well.  It is nearly 5pm and I am not yet hungry for the lasagne so I think my couscous meal is a good filler!

110g of lean beef, 1/4 jar of doritos salsa dip, a pinch of taco seasoning, 1/4 cup of couscous (w/ 1/4 cup of water and a pinch of a stock cube) – very easy, very yum, and around 350cals I think.  I know I have gone over 1200 calories for the day, but I have made good choices about what I am eating.

The best thing is though, I cleaned out the fridge and got my shopping done for my meal plan!  That means I actually have half a chance of following it! I’ve just started with planning my dinners – lunches tend to be a bit erratic and although I have ‘options’ I don’t want to be confined to certain meals on certain days.  I can have either  leftover Lasagne, an egg and lettuce sandwich, a nicoise salad, or whatever other leftovers I have!  Snacks shouldn’t be too much of an issue either…  have my vita wheat biscuits and Cruskits, Bodywise bars, yogurts, and baked beans.  And breakfast will be my standards oats or special K with fruit.

I am feeling really positive about this week – but for now, tonight is what I need to focus on.  Tonight I will do my best to set up myself for great hot body for summer!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Measure Up!

Yup, that time again!

Not quite so scary this time though!

round3 start copy


Chest:  83

Waist:  81

Hips:  88

Thigh: L/ 48  R/ 47

Weight: 53.0kg

Gear up!

I love this task!

Okay, so I am already a gym member, have a punching bag out the back, and my iPhone with Runkeeper for keeping distance for runs, but I love to ‘gear up’ for each round!

So the picture to the right:

  • Halo headbands
  • Polar FT4 HRM
  • Lorna Jane pants and slogan shirtwater-bottle
  • Nike running shoes
  • Adidas running belt

Not included in the pic but essential none the less:

  • BPA-free water bottle
  • Hat suitable for running or outdoor sports
  • Sunscreen (good quality!)
  • A good pair of sports socks
  • gym towel (still need to get a good one of these!)

Other things I have bought for classes and just for fun:finale 003

  • boxing gloves and bag
  • gel seat cover for RPM
  • Gym bag (I have the Lorna Jane rustic bag which I adore! – see below)
  • and a running skirt.. just coz they are awesome!


cookiemonster 002

CQPhysio Spring Classic


race day 017So it is my first race of the season, and remembering back to 12mths ago, I started the 12wbt with a goal of a sub 30 5k race.. which I acheived by the end of the round.  Here I am 12 months on and competing in my first race since I hit that goal in October 2010.  I haven’t been training for running, I’ve done a round of lean and strong and the only running training I have done was a 3km run 2wks ago, and a 6km run on wednesday!  I went into this race thinking that maybe I would be around the 30min mark.. I astounded myself however and took to running like a duck to water.  Once I got my feel for it.. I ran!



I came in 30th overall, 9th female, with a PB of 28:57mins!  I am stoked with that!

race day 002The event was a fantastic one, the organisers are a new business “Human Race Events” who are trying to bring a bit more for the massive running community in Rockhampton.  It was great with proper ‘chip’ timing, race shirts, water bottles and even a stubby holder in the race pack.. free muffins at the end of the race and a coffee supplier there as well.  There was live entertainment too – fantastic singer and band!  They had trophies for the winners but I would love it if they could organise ‘finisher’ medals – I reckon there would be a lot more ‘newbies’ turning up for it!race day 005

One thing that was interesting.. last night I had been looking at doing my first aid certificate and while Nat was getting her foot iced with the Ambulance lady, I mentioned that I was trying to contact her yesterday to see if she would do her first aid with me so I am not all alone.  Now the ambulance ‘officer’ said she was a member, you volunteer for a minimum of 20hrs a year and that qualifies you for free first aid updates and training!  So now I am like ‘a door just opened right in front of me’ – like fate put me on a path and led me right to the front door!  Now, do I have the balls to open it!

race day 020

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Look how far I have come..


On the weekend before I head into my 4th twelve week challenge, I would like to take a moment to look at how far I have come! I joined the pre-season smack bang on 60g and was just under 58kg for kick off.  I started round one in 2011 just 2kg lighter then that having put back on the weight I lost.  Another 4kg disappeared in round 2, and now I will lose another 3-4kg to get to my goal.

I have come such a long way since then, not so much on the scales, but in my fitness and my lifestyle.  I have so many better habits now.. just simple things like only ordering the wrap at a takeout and not the chips and diet cola that go with it.  I have to laugh though.. I found it so hard, at first, to justify not ‘saving’ money by buying the chips and drink – wake up girl.. you are spending less and saving your ass from all those extra calories and chemicals!  I’ve also easily adjusted to natvia instead in my tea and not having carbs for dinner!

I know I will do better this round..  I will see big changes in my health and habits and truely succeed!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Aiming High!

My goals for the next 12 months:

1 Month Goals

Benchpress 25kg  and lose the last 3kg (ie. 50kg or less))

Currently benchpress 15kg in 3x 8 reps, increase by 2kg each week.

I will need to stick fairly closely to the meal plan for this first four weeks, but should be okay to increase my cals to maintenance after that.

3 Month Goals

Benchpress 40kg loss 5kg (ie. 48kg)

I will keep increasing by 2kg each week, but I need to organise a spotter for these days.  I will make sure I am getting plenty of protein and vegies for good muscle building in this time too!

6 Month Goals

Maintain strength, build up running to 10km runs regularly.

I haven’t really thought too much beyond this round outside of maintaining both my strength and cardio fitness with a good balance.  I will build up to 10km runs over the Christmas holidays and go from there!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Excuses.. Yes, I have more!

Internal excuses
1. I'm scared.

Feel the fear and do it anyway. Get the doctors appointment and get started with getting proper treatment!  Once I get used it, I am fine!  It is just that initial busting out of the comfort zone that is difficult.  But I know I can do it, so just do it!

2. I'm tired

Go to bed early, and set the alarm to wake up in the morning at the same time every day!  The last three days I have been waking consistently at 6:50 so I might try 6:40am for the rest of the week and see how I go!

3. I haven't eaten

Get organised and plan your food! This is a huge part of why I have not done as well as I could have in previous rounds.. I need to organise my meals and get some good food habits going.  I don’t want to be bloated, dehydrated, or hungry during a workout!

External Excuses – controllable

1. Phone not charged, equipment not ready.

Get your stuff organised and ready to go - keep a routine for water, charging the iPhone and keeping my gym clothes clean!  I have been doing excellent with managing these things with a simple good routine!  I now have my routine up on the fridge so I know what I need to do without thinking!

External Excuses – not so controllable

1. Work, study, or other commitments getting in the road

Stay on top of your commitments at work and keep organised.  Damage minimisation is the key here and a good balance is essential to maintain focus in all the aspects of my life!  If the kids are sick, work from home, if it is raining, head to the gym.. just find a way!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Creating an Upward Spiral!

It is time to reverse the flow of my life from downward spiral to upward spriral!  I am crawling out of the hole and getting a foothold back in my life (or grabbing hold of the steering wheel as Mish would say!).

So this is day three of my new life and I am rocking it!  I am waking up and instead of jumping on the computer, I am hanging out washing and getting the kids sorted, and breaky dishes washed.  I am planning my day out, working out what I need for dinner, and all that before I even leave the house.  I have been making great progress at uni, slowly but surely getting things done, keeping on top of the kids stuff, and even getting to the gym.  My food hasn't been so great - but it is getting better.  Having a 'start day' seems to make me feel like it is okay to wait.. it's a great excuse!

Anyways, I need me beauty sleep - no more staying up late for me! 

Oh. I ran 6km tonight - first big run in ages!  Feeling good!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Rock Bottom... Da Dum!!

 Oh Yeah!  I think I am there.. that magical place known as "Rock Bottom".  Well, at least I hope that is where I am as I sure don't want to get any lower.  Oh.. hold on.. Dave just passed me the last Vodka Mudslide.  I think I just dropped a little lower!

It has been one of 'those' weekends.  I just slipped a little, and then slipped a lot, and then made excuses and justified.  I justified it all so well that it meant I could indulge a little more.. it was my 'last hurrah' afterall.  My diet this weekend has been awful.  And it shows.  I have two pimples that popped up (excuse the pun) this morning, the bags under my eyes are horrendous, and my gut is bloated beyond belief.  I am so glad I am not taking photos today as I would be ashamed for Mish and Co. to see how quickly I have let myself go.

It's not even that I went over calories, but I have just eaten crap!  And kept on eating when I was full, and then having some more.  Eating with intent to harm.  Chocolate, alcohol, chips, fried crap, and take away noodles.  I don't even feel guilty about it, slightly ill though, but not guilty.  I guess that is a good thing, food shouldn't be something to feel guilty about, but by gosh, I wish I felt repulsed or something.  It would make it so much easier to change!  But I can see it more clearly now - I can see that I NEED this.  Not just for my food habits, but for my family.

I need to get organised in all aspects of my life.  I have been getting progressively lazier and lazier over the last year or two.  Spurred on by the comments from people about how wonderfully amazing I am to be juggling so many commitments.  The truth is that I am not juggling them at all, just swirling them around the table so at the right angle it looks like I am juggling them.  I am failing at everything.  My kids are playing too much computer and fighting with other all the time.  The house is a mess.  My uni.. well, who knows how I manage to get by with how little I actually do.  It is impressive that people think I am doing okay when to me, I am so obviously not doing okay!

So today I made some steps to change.  I tidied up the kitchen and have done up my basic routine.  I need to stick to it now.. for a month.  Then it will be a habit - and unbreakable!

It is time to accept, change, and re-build my life!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Base measurements

gym 001I figured I had better get in and get some basic records started for my lean and strong journey this round!  So off to the gym went this little black duck!

  • 3x 400m rows/ 400m sprints
  • The row I can do in 2mins, the sprints were at 10km per hour
  • Bent over row (20kg)
  • Chest Press (15kg)
  • Tricep (10kg)
  • Shoulder Press (10kg)
  • Dumb-bell Bicep curls (2x 5kg)
  • Squats (25kg)
  • 15 sit-ups; 1min plank; 15 twisting crunches
  • plus a bit extra on abs and another 400m sprint at 11km/hr for fun!

gym 002

It felt so good to get back into it!  I am gonna be killer sore tomorrow though!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Preseason Task No. 1: Introduce Yourself!

Hello, my name is Jenifer.

I’m 36 years old, turning 37 on the day of the finale for this round (Yippee!). I have a partner, Dave, who I have been with for nearly 19 years (Oct 28 is our anniversary) and we are getting married on that day the year after – our 20th anniversary.  I have three boys, 6,8, and 12yrs old and they are all ‘special needs’.  My eldest has Asperger’s syndrome, my younger two have verbal dyspraxia.  With my youngest, the problem is has been quite severe and he has only just started talking this year.  Some people seem to give me a lot of credit for this.. they tell me I must be a wonderful mum to cope with them but that is just so not true!  Any mothering talent I have is because they are wonderful kids.  They are not extra work, not really – speech therapy and dealing with the social side of my eldests asperger related behavior has been the hardest part – but I wouldn’t trade them for all the world!  They are the ones who go the raw deal, not me!

Now, wife and mother may be my most important ‘roles’ in this life, but it is only a small part of me.  I have been studying for many years now and have my degree and Honours, in Biomedical Science and am now doing my PhD – I just started this year so it is very much a work in progress!  I love what I do and am very lucky to blessed with the intelligence to be able to do it. 

On top of those commitments, I have one more aspect of my life which presents challenges.. my mental health.  I have a panic disorder with agoraphobia.  I am mostly recovered, in that I can live a normal life without panic attacks, but the shadow is still there.  It comes up as I try to get near the edge of that comfort zone.. the ‘I can’ts’, the ‘What if’s’, and even the ‘I don’t want to’, these happen because sometimes it is just too hard.  I mean, who ‘dreads’ a night at the movies or going out to dinner?  What is a life where ‘having fun’ suddenly evokes fear – a commitment to do something, anything seems to be my trigger right now.  Just in case it is ‘all too much’.

I want to change, need to change, fear the change… but change I will.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Trying to get back into Gear!



I have a confession… I haven’t been on program since the end of Round 2.  The week after I was fine because I was busy and had finale to plan for.  But when I came back from finale I just didn’t get back into my routine.  I am floating in ‘No Man’s Land’: Pre-season.

I feel lost and bewildered.  Unable to grab onto anything solid – a routine is what I am searching for!  I went for a run today. It is not a routine but it is a step in the right direction.  Now I just have to keep making that same step, over and over and pretty soon I will be where I need to be.  So here is to first steps!

And to making that shirt fit me instead of being so tight I can see the fat rolls from here!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Finale Weekend: Going Home!

I had a terrible attempt at a sleep in the next day which set me off in poor form for the day.  I am sorry to say that I spent the day anxious and feeling tired and crappy!

I took my medication early which helped me get through the long wait between check out and the flight!  Nat and I lazed around until noon and then left our bags with the concierge.  We went for a stroll as Nat wanted to pop into a shop that wasn't too far away.  I walked past it accidently but ended up in the botanic Gardens!

I don't know what was interesting in the tree.. I just wanted a picture of me climbing a tree! lol

And come on, this is cool (nothing to do with my medication!)

It was raining when we left Brisbane...

But the plane was soon up above the clouds and we were headed home! 

It was a great weekend and I was so happy to get home!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Finale Weekend–The Big Day!

This was a hard day for me.  I woke up after a bit of a sleep in and Nat had gone out for breakfast – I was left to my own devices! 

finale party 044

I snuggled up in a bath robe, ordered French toast for breakfast and got myself dressed and ready for the workout.  It seemed to take forever, but I enjoyed it.






finale party 055

We got to the finale all ready to rock and we did rock!  I had a blast in the beginner section – I decided to hand out there with Nat for support (for both of us) and I am glad I did.  I wasn’t 100%, the anxiety was getting to me a bit but I did have fun!





finale party 070

I had an absolute ball getting ready.  It took a while though – like 2hrs!  I even put on fake eyelashes!







finale party 087finale party 090






finale party 083

It was a great night!  I met Rob and Michelle, and others from the lean and strong team.  I met Kath and grabbed a pic with her, and with Splash too (she was the overall winner!).


But we were happy to get back to the hotel room and crash!

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Finale Weekend–The Confessional

I had an awesome time, but was it a little too awesome???

finale 010

First stop was Myer!  I had a chicken, bacon, and avocado roll from Sumo Salad followed by $150 worth of clothes (hey, it was cold and I HAD to buy a jacket and the Guess shirt was right near the checkout – it wanted me!).

finale party 028

Night one.. Hokkien Noodles, Nat had the salad and bread roll and I had the chocolate!

finale 013

Later the same night… at the Pig’n’Whistle with Nat and other ambassadors (and the lovely and amazing Aimee who took the picture for me!).  I had the risotto balls with aioli – it was an entree so only a small serve… I swear!   I went straight to bed when we got home (well, right after a hot chocolate!)

finale 020

Breakfast!  OMG!  I only ate half of that… it was waaaaaaay yummy – even the strawberry was warmed to perfection!  I did not use the syrup, but I did add a little berry compote!

It was off to the workout then… almost 450 calories burned off however I am pretty sure I got busted in the line up for photos while eating a Special K chocolaty bar!  Oooops!

We got back to the hotel and decided on having a larger late lunch as we knew there wouldn’t be much to eat at the party…

finale 021

I am pretty sure that it was at least two serves of protein in that meal!  I was able to make it through the night with only a couple of the little canapes served throughout the night!  However, just in case it makes it to the public arena, the photographer at the party caught me eating and took a photo!  I honestly didn’t eat that much!

Now, the next morning I had oats with honey, not quite worth a photo, and then a subway roll before departing on the plane… I arrived home to a delicious minted roast lamb with roasted vegetables and gravy, and finished off my bottle of Moscato to end the night!

The indulgences are over but it was lovely to indulge in good healthy foods, to know when I had eaten enough, and to have the foresight to plan my food throughout the weekend so I wasn’t tempted to binge on the adequately stocked mini-bar!

finale party 031


Yes, that is Tim Tam fingers and a block of Lindt chocolate!