Thursday, June 28, 2012

Starting to re-surface

sick_in_bedBronchitis.  It is not pretty and has knocked me for six!

I’m officially taking this week off exercise.  I just can’t imagine doing much of anything useful, my body aches, my bones and joints ache, my head aches, my lungs ache.  And that is now that I am starting to feel a bit more human!

I have a doctor’s appointment on Friday (was meant to be a pap smear and general check-up) which will let me know if I am clear to start back with my exercise in time to do a fitness test.

I am really disappointed.  The second fitness test is usually a time for celebrating the successes of these first four weeks.  Instead I will only be celebrating the fact that I can manage to get out of bed and maybe even make it to the gym for a workout!

I hope this doesn’t set me back too far from my goals.  I will be going through my pre-season tasks again quickly and re-evaluating what I will be able to achieve knowing that this virus might affect my lungs for a while yet.

For now, I need to give my body the best chance of a full and quick recovery with lots of rest, and good healthy clean eating!

Monday, June 25, 2012

In sickness and in health.

It doesn’t matter how well you plan, the unexpected will happen.  And that includes sickness.  I’ve come down with a nasty nasty chest infection.  I went down on Saturday afternoon with the fever peaking that night.  Sunday was spent asleep and feverish, and today I am tired, worn out, coughing, headachy and sore all over.

How do healthy people cope with sickness?  I missed my planning day, I didn’t have the energy to cook, I couldn’t stomach a full meal but needed nutrients and fuel to keep my body going.  Normally when sick I turn to convenience foods.. icecream is a favourite as it soothes my throat, chocolate provides a quick energy hit, takeout is easy option as I recover. 

But not this time.  Because I was already planning and am now organised, I had soups and frozen meals ready to go.  I have kept water beside my bed so I could stay hydrated.  I was ready for the unexpected!

I need to cut back my training but my nutrition is clean.  Even though I have not kept track of calories so I can’t say if I went over or under calories.. I listened to my body and ate when hungry, kept my hydration levels up, and rested.

And the best thing is that I didn’t even have to think about it.  There was no choice or decision making involved as everything was there ready.  Hubby reheated my soups as they were there and easy, my water was available, and even my snacks were already prepared! 

Organisation really is the key.  If you are organised, you can beat anything!

Friday, June 22, 2012

What a difference a day makes!

cannonballSo you might remember yesterday’s post.. the one about having a down day, feeling flat, etc.  And remember the one from just before that.. about riding the wave?   Well, I need to take my own advice!

The wave is coming back up and I am left feeling fantastic!  I went to bed at a decent time last night, woke up and get dressed and ready for the day by 8am and off I went for the day.  I was productive at home, getting a bit of housework done this morning, and at uni where I was able to get some much needed lab work done.  I even got through a few tasks I have been procrastinating about!

Today I am on top of the world and conquering those nasty thoughts that tell me to eat things that make me feel bad and to skip my gym time.  I know that eating well and going to the gym makes me feel fantastic, even when I don’t to go.  That negative voice inside me doesn’t like that at all – feeling fantastic makes that negative voice go quieter and one day, it will go away for good.

I will remember never to listen to that negative voice again.  It is my choice and just because I don’t feel it, or I feel lazy or a bit flat.. I can still choose to go.  I don’t have to listen to my fear.  It won’t stress me out, it won’t drive me crazy, it won’t be ‘too much’.  In fact, the opposite will happen.. choosing to do what I know I want to do will make me stronger, less stressed, happier and capable of doing even more.  That is because what I want is what is best for me.. good health, the right way!

I know the wave will go back down again, that I will flat, anxious, and blah and not want to go to gym while making myself feel worse by feeding myself crappy foods.  But this time I am more aware of it, and I have a plan.. no more excuses!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Mental Health Day

stress-management-for-kidsI’m having one of those days.  I am tired, anxious, flat, depressed, headachy, nauseous, sick.

I just feel like so blah. 

I’ve eaten crap food, stayed up late, skipped gym.

I’ve also stayed home instead of going to uni and working, and relying on hubby (who is on holidays) to pick up the kids from school.


I need to break the cycle.  I need water, sunshine and rest. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Surf’s up guys! It’s time to ride that wave!

PP0291It is week 3 already!  And the one thing you notice on the forums this week is that many people hit a slump!  The thrill of starting has worn off, the reality of how long this will take is sinking in, and old habits are starting to creep back in.

It takes 28 days, or 4 weeks, to change your habits and well, week 3 is ‘hump’ week!  We are nearly at the top of that wave, it is time to stand up and ride it, or slip back and wait for the next wave.

For those of you who, like me, struggle this week more so then others, it is time to go back and watch that mindset lesson on riding the wave!  Remember that this feeling of apathy, fatigue, fear, or whatever it is holding you back.. it will pass!  Not being motivated, not ‘feeling like it’, not being the right time.. they are not reasons to give up!  They are the reasons you need to hang in there, to keep going! 

Acknowledge where you finding difficulty but find solutions!  I am finding apathy a huge problem for me and so I am looking for ways to fix it.  My affirmation is a great start – it helps to keep me focused.  As does remembering that someone, out there, is giving it their all and will get results and I don’t want to be the one, in twelve weeks time, regretting that I didn’t get my act together this week.

Know what you need to do and do it. It isn’t hard to stick to the program once you work out what you need to do.  I need to print off my exercise plan each week and stick it into my book, I need to go to the gym each day (even when I don’t feel like it).  I need to plan my meals each week, do up the shopping list, make up some meals in advance, and prepare snacks the day before.  These are now my goals.  These are my baby steps!

I’m focusing on the ‘doing’ with a clear knowledge of where that doing is taking me!  When your goal seems far away, when motivation is a memory, it is time to just focus on what is right in front of you – your next baby step!  JFDI!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

2 weeks down..

That is right, two weeks done and dusted and I am still in the game. First week was a bit hodge podge with exercise with a PT session on Wednesday throwing out the rest of the week, but I still did the SSS.  This week has been squeaky clean exercise wise – super proud of myself for sticking to it.

I have done okay with sleep up until last night when I got the ‘stay up till 4am’ bug happening.  I’m avoiding my uni work for some reason and I just need to JFDI – starting as soon as I have done this post!

Nutrition has been an issue.  Not so much because I am eating bad food, but rather that I have not been able to plan properly this week due to budgeting costs so my lunches and snacks have been random. 

I am still unsure of exactly how many calories I should be eating.  Part of me says I should do 1200 while trying to lose weight, another part says I need to build muscle so should be doing closer to 1800 and the other part says, 1500 is a reasonable deficit and more achievable.  I am thinking that 1500 is a happy compromise!

Activity wise, week 2 bought forth the Inspiration Board challenge which I have to admit to loving!  I was able to have a go at a few things in Photoshop that I would never have been able to otherwise!  So here is the result:


I am pretty happy that I have got my goals on there, and that my affirmation is there in plain sight.  There is plenty of room to add more as well which is great!  What is also great is that I didn’t go into it thinking ‘I want to win the challenge’ but rather just enjoyed the challenge for what it was!

Results wise, I had a nice loss this week with a half a kilo gone on the Tuesday (Wednesday morning I missed weigh-in) so I am not expecting a loss at all this coming week.  Mind you, I would be stoked if I can keep up with 500g each week for a 2kg total in the first four weeks (and then 2kg in next four weeks, and 4kg in last four weeks for a total of 8kg!).  I get so excited just at the thought of the scales hitting under 50kg.  That would be AMAZING! 

But better still is the thought of getting back to the shape and size I am in my head. I still see myself as skinny and find photos of myself quite shocking!  But soon reality and fantasy will meet and I shall be live my dream!



Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The best laid plans..

This week I have been trialling an iPhone app called “DietTracker”. 

I downloaded the free version as it seemed ideal to me.. take pictures of what you eat throughout the day, add the calorie estimates when you get home and can jump on Calorie King for five minutes! 

Half way through the day and I had to pay for the full version ($1.99) because the free version only records three meals (morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea in my case) and is therefore pretty useless!

I love that it automatically assigns a meal as ‘breakfast’, ‘morning snack’, ‘lunch’, etc and you can manually enter a meal you skipped or add notes on other items you had eaten.  '

It keeps a tally of your calories as you go (provided you enter them) so a quick estimate is good. It is also forcing me to remember the calorie value for foods I eat as well! 

I have noticed, over the past few days of using it, that I am a heavy night time eater.  Possibly because I have not been keeping ‘normal’ hours.  I’ve been staying up quite late at night which is hindering my progress.

Time to make a choice.  I need to choose to go to bed early and wake up early and not accept any other option. 

So that is how it will be from now onwards!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Why I will succeed.

1. I know where I am going!  I have set my goals and although they are broad, they are all strength and flexibility based.  They include: a handstand, butterfly stretch, the splits, pull-ups, bench-press and squat 40kg and 50kg respectively, full sit-up, sub 60min 10km and I’m thinking I need to put ninja jumps in there too!  Even my 10k run is a strength based exercise as I am working on improving my speed while maintaining my endurance!.

2. I’ve looked at where I’ve been.  The past holds many clues for us.  Particularly what excuses and beliefs have been blocking our progress.  Past behavior is the biggest predictor of future behavior so you need to know what you are up against and PLAN for it.  There is no point outlying our excuses if we don’t come up with an effective plan to combat them!  This is not a once of exercise either.  You need to do this regularly because you will make mistakes and you need to see what went wrong!

Example:  I’m too busy and don’t have time.  To combat this excuse I will set aside and hour each Sunday for planning, and 10mins each morning to go over my day and set my priorities.  I will make nutrition and exercise a priority.

3. I’ve made my commitment.  I believe this is the hardest one.  It is easy enough to talk the talk.  You can say you can do something.  It’s easy.  But sit and close your eyes, imagine yourself doing exactly what you are saying you are going to do.  Imagine those worst case scenarios when you just don’t want to wake up, when you need to compromise on something, or when you need to ask for help.  You need to make sure you are fully aware of what you are committing to.  Write it down!  Write down where the line is as well.  Write down that you will not go to the gym if you have a fever, if the kids are particularly sick (not just a cold), or if you are injured, have a an assignment due the next day.  This will stop you from feeling like a failure if you can’t do something.  Similarly, plan for a treat meal!

And now you really need to commit, heart and soul, to it.  Every single day for the rest of the 12 weeks.  Every day you need to wake up and see that goal, see your commitment, stay focused. 


Friday, June 8, 2012

Some other goals...

Not everyday will be perfect.

pizza dat 001But everyday is an opportunity to learn.

Last night I crashed and burned in a serious way.  I had it worked out in my head.  It started with ‘I will order the good choice pizza’, and then as I ordered I ‘had’ to order a regular pizza to get in the voucher, but the regular pizza turned into the ‘prawn, bacon, and feta’ pizza but I was only going to have one slice.

Until the pizza turned up an hour later and I was so hungry! 

I don’t know how many calories I ate, too many.  And I thought it was funny enough to comment on a Facebook group of former L&S participants.  Thinking I would get the usual ‘haha’ response that I get from people when I fail, the normal ‘oh yes, you’re not perfect, of course you failed’ type response.  But no.  These wonderful people were disappointed for me, they encouraged me to stop and to get back on track.

I see now I had just lost my way, jumped over onto the ‘second best is okay’ path that I am used to.  I was reminded that I am not aiming for second best.  I am aiming for the best me that I can be.

I was also reminded that I am not in this alone.  That people do care if I succeed or fail.  When I let myself down, I am also letting down other people.  I’ve never felt that before.  It’s a nice feeling!



Thursday, June 7, 2012

Keep steering the ship to stay on course!

You know where you want to be and you’re taking steps to get there!  Of course you will reach your goal!  Right?

Not always!  Sometimes the winds of life can set ship of course, just by the slightest amount but this can mean we end up so far away from reaching our goal!  We still might end up in a nice place, but then, we might not!

Don’t get me wrong, there is no problem with changing our goals as we get closer and realise the potential options on the horizon.. goals we didn’t even know were possible!

But we don’t want to go off course by accident and end up missing any goals!

Or even get so caught up between two goals that we fall short of both!

There are two main points I want to make:

1.  You need to make sure the path you are on is taking you toward your goal and that you are not wasting energy wobbling between two choices; and

2.  You need to make sure you stay on that path by keeping regular tabs on where you are heading by checking the landmarks along the way!

An example?

I am seeing a lot of Lean and Strong participants trying to do running, training for a half-marathons, or just jumping on the treadmill for hours because they think they should!  Now, everyone is different but really.. why do lean and strong and cardio when you could just do lean and fit and get exactly the same result without putting so much pressure on yourself? to carry on the ship analogy, you are zig-zaging between two paths so that you travel four times the distance to end up not hitting either of your goals.  And to then try and do that on restricted calorie intake? Your ship is going to run out of steam before you even get to goal!  Choose a goal, choose your course and go with it. It is only three months!  Why not commit to one goal for this three months and see what can achieve? 

example number 2…

We weigh-in each week.  Why?  To make sure we are on course!  For the lean and stronger’s, the monthly measurements are a much better indication but you know what?  You can do them more often provided you are aware of potential fluctuation in bloating and fluid retention, particularly in the tummy area!

But beyond measurements we also need to review our diet and exercise habits for the week.  I’ve noticed in the cold weather I am turning to hot drinks more and more!  Usually tea, hot chocolates, or Caro!  Those 45cal Choc’o’Lait drinks are great, but I had gotten into the habit of adding milk so I am now adding a touch of cold water instead.. tastes just as good!  My tea and caro however… 80-100ml of milk each time is not good!  This is something I need to keep track of.

I haven’t been keeping a proper food diary either which I had planned to do.  So I will start that up now.  Even if I just write down what I had and not stress about calories!



Sunday, June 3, 2012

Rocky River Run 10km 2012

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         What better way to spend the eve of the Michelle Bridges 12wbt then at the annual Rocky River Run!
I am not a morning person, and my training runs are always in the afternoon.  Not that there were many training runs!  Last Sunday was my first 10k in over a year, and my last race was way back in September of last year!
I’ve been doing a bit of running lately, just not actual training.  Luckily though, some of that running has been doing intervals on the treadmill!  It seems to have paid off though with my general speed greatly improved!  My last 5k race I scraped in under 30mins – just!  And now here I am waiting to find out if I managed to crack the 1hr for the 10k.  But back to the beginning of the story.. back to 6:30 am when I woke up this morning.
I did not wake up feeling 100%.   I managed a cuppa tea and about half a bowl of oats with honey but honestly, I was so nervous my tummy was doing strange things!   But I was pumped and ready to go.  Hubby took the shot above while we were waiting for race start.. chewing my bottom lip! 
rocky river run 008I saw Kama and said hello, and then saw Camilla and Mel up on the starting line.  We were chatting away when suddenly the start siren went!  Bit of a jumpy start!  I had to fiddle with my phone to try and get it started – didn’t work!  I lost Camilla and Mel in the starting rush so after 5mins I pulled out my phone again to see if I could get my music going.. and off I went!  
I was way up the back of the pack at this stage and feeling a bit rough.  I held it together with my music keeping me focused on pushing myself.  I spotted someone ahead and just aimed for that shirt with the goal of overtaking.  I could see the main pack way ahead.. I was going to catch them!  About 3km in I hit my stride, my Runkeeper announced I doing 10km/hr as my pace and I was stoked, I might just make 1hr!  The battle at this stage was ‘don’t wear yourself out’ ‘you need fuel for the end’, ‘don’t push yourself too hard’.. but I was doing okay.  I was pushing my speed but it was maintainable.  Runkeeper kept me at a steady pace between 9.5 and 10.5km/hr for the rest of the race. 
The last 3k was hard.  It was getting harder and harder to pass people, except for those who were starting to drop to a walk.  There were a few moments when I was moved to tears.. between the music and the hormones… the song ‘I choose’ by Stan Walker came on and at that moment.. it meant a lot!  I chose to push through, for me.  Because I need to love who I am, and I deserve to be the best I can be.
So I just kept running, and running, and running.  My feet just kept moving.
The last km had a lot of uphill, and we had the 2km group merging in with us, along with the a few bottlenecks – the first being crossing the railway bridge (1m wide) and I got stuck behind a guy with pram. 
It’s insane though.. I have never crossed that bridge before.  It fills me with fear and dread – anxiety, images of my children drowning, panic attacks – yup, I have a bridge phobia.  But you know what.. I didn’t even think about.. I was running and that was all that mattered!
I made it to the end though.. smiling when I realised my hubby was there to take a picture.  This was the first race that I had family there for and I appreciate it and love them all the more for it!
So here I am, waiting and waiting for my time.  My PB for a 10k is 1:15mins but that was just a training run.  So this time will be my official first Race PB for 10k.
Updated with my Time:   1:01:55 (place 62 in womens 10k)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Ramblings: Rewards and Punishment

There is a hard way and an easy way to do everything.  You wouldn’t be blamed for thinking that the easy way would be, well, easy!  We are, as humans, always looking for ways to conserve our energy (read: be lazy!) so it seems logical that the easy way would be our first choice.  I’m no expert, but I’ve been thinking so here are my ramblings….

The reality is, the human psyche is not built to look for easy, but rather for reward.   This is why we kill ourselves with crap food.  Being fat is not easy, being a smoker is not easy, being late for work every day is not easy, having a messy house is not easy!  But what they all have in common is the reward, the punishment, and an element of effort!

It all comes down to effort verses reward and or punishment.  Chocolate is a reward, and weight loss is a reward.  Obesity is not pleasant, and even indigestion and fatigue are not very pleasant.  We see an immediate reward in chocolate.  We get an instant taste and sugar pleasure buzz!  It doesn’t matter that an hour later we get indigestion.. it is a delayed punishment, it doesn’t matter that we will continue to get fat, increase our risks of infertility, diabetes and goodness knows how many other diseases.  Our brains are designed so that instant gratification outweighs everything – even a slow horrible death from lung cancer, or heart attack in 20yrs time.

Interestingly, if there is an instant punishment (or even slightly delayed severe punishment) for food we develop food aversions quite quickly and easily!  Ever eaten something and vomited not long after?  Even if your mind knows the two are not connected, it can take years to consume the food again!  It’s a great adaptation from an evolutionary perspective.. it’s a basic instinct that stops us from eating food that makes us sick!  I can’t eat bananas after eating one that was not quite ripe and I ended up in bed for hours in agony with heartburn.  Even the smell of a banana turns my stomach!  I still love the taste of them, I just can’t think about eating them!

These are not things that are happening on a conscious level,  and this same psychology is what we see in eating disorders to differing extents.   However, if we are aware of these we can work them to our advantage!  We just need to swap them around!  We need to make good healthy food rewarding – through taste, presentation, and ‘fake it till you make it’ good positive attitude to healthy food.  We also need to consciously make ourselves feel off-put by crap food, notice the lack of taste, that oversweet sickly taste of chocolate, or the over salty chemical taste, or the super rich thick heavy taste of cream based sauces.  Think of the full gross feeling as it hits your stomach and that horrible heaviness that comes from eating too much.  I am sure you get what I mean anyway!

Really think about why you are choosing something.. is it for the sugar or salt hit?  is it just habit?  Does it really taste good?  Does it really make you feel good?  Are you letting your Inner Labrador – the Pavlovian dog responding automatically to food rewards – control your life?