Friday, March 11, 2011

Tis a Pity She's a Whore...

My last two weeks have been a real mixed bag. Last week I lost 400g (71.8kg) and remained at 37% body fat. I hit the gym pretty hard, but then spent the weekend in Melbourne to see my partner's very talented sister perform in a play. It was called Tis a Pity She's a Whore, so I came out declaring all the men were self-centred, murderous bastards, with the moral being don't trust any of 'em, but her singing (she's a trained soprano as well as glorious actor), left me wet-eyed and all goose-pimply. Loved it!

The downside of the weekend was the eating. I was mostly good, but I can't resist going to have churros whilst in Melbourne, and my partner's aunt makes a wicked trifle. So the weekend started badly and kind of got worse - delayed by Tiger for over an hour meant in the Canberra terminal that has no viable food options, thus we arrived starving and unable to eat at a decent place, so McDonalds was the only option (blech!). Although I thought I did well the rest of the time mostly healthy eating and I even managed to restrict myself to just once glass of wine the entire trip. Frankly the weekend was much more relaxed that I'd hoped for, it was awesome to just chill out with good friends and family. I didn't get to see a few friends as a result, but at least we weren't exhausting ourselves trying to fit everyone and everything in.

It all read on the scales this week, and it was measuring time as well - gained 700g, lost 1% body fat, lost 8cm (mostly around my hips strangely) and gained 1cm around my abdomen. *sigh* It's been up and down and I'm back in the 72 range yet again. Sometimes it feels like I'll never break it and sustain it. That said I have been feeling weirdly bloated and yucky, which my food couch said could be water retention, and thus explain the weird results. Go figure. Oh and I've been sick for the last week with a horrible cold, but couldn't take the time off work because it's been so hectic. So that was fun.

Bright side, the last two days have been great, I'm giving myself today off and going to push myself again over the weekend. I've also made a bargain with myself - if I spend the entire week without eating one unhealthy thing, then I can buy myself a present (maybe a massage?). I'm totally on track for that... and even though a lady just came around today offering easter eggs for sale, I will stand firm!  ;o)

The healthy eating is definitely where I'm letting myself down, but it's so hard to be organised and make the food, hell even to get the washing done, with these constant weekends away. I feel like I'm wearing thin. Thank God this weekend is a long weekend, I plan to do absolutely nothing, except clean, grocery shop and go to the gym. And next weekend will be my last away for a very long while - I spend 5 days in Sydney over next weekend for work purposes, and then that's it. Hallelujah!

I discovered the points system yesterday and defined that there are 5 tasks I must complete every week (Group PT - 25pt; Group Food - 25pt; PT - 50pt; Slim - 50pt; Weekly Challenge - 100pt). The catch is the weekly challenge is usually a killer and you can only do three things a day to get points. Being so busy means the Couch to 5k will be impossible for me to do 3 times a week, so I've decided to do what I can, but not sweat the weekly adherence. I've also been eyeing the individual rankings at the gym - the top 5 highest points earners get their names up there. This week they range from 540 to 640 points, and the competitor in me kind of wants to see my name up there. I'm going to try that the week after the return from Sydney when I've got a full 7 days to work on it, but in th meantime I want to try to beat my best score every week. Sort of run my own little competition if you will. So far I've had 400pts in Week 1 as my highest, and I'm going to beat that this week!

They're also starting up the first bootcamp of the year, which I get 50% off of thanks to a motivational exercise for the Beach Bod Boost last year. So for obvious reasons I'm tempted and freaked out. I don't want to order load myself, particularly with work being so very busy, but it could be just what I need to get focussed. That said it's not the exercise that's letting me down so much, more the food. But it'd be so cheap as well... Do you see the problem? I need to wait for the info night to see what it's all about.

I'm also having a team identity crisis. I love the Green Team trainers, but I missed it this week thanks to the cold, so did a later Yellow session instead, and I loved it. It's a much smaller team, so the girls all knew each other, were very friendly and we had a blast. It was one of those situations where we encouraged and pushed each other to new heights, which is what it should be about after all. I'll have to think on this further, but I'm kind of embarrassed to have to ask to swap again, I don't want to be one of those 'difficult people'.

Overall some ups, some downs, and a lot of decisions to be made, but my state of mind still needs to be worked on - concentrate on the positives, celebrate my achievements and remember to give myself a break. My new mantra  ;)

Friday, February 25, 2011

I want to get off now

No not the exercise or the whole lifestyle change I'm attempting. I want to get off the emotional rollercoaster I didn't realise I've been riding for over 6 months, until my mum's rather telling phone call yesterday. Having 3 people separately tell you that you're being to hard on yourself has to make something twig right? And I've been noticing that I don't really take any joy or satisfaction in my hard work and/or achievements lately, which is definitely not normal. Literally, every time I do something it always feels not good enough.

It's taken some time and a writing buddy, partner and mother to point it out. Luckily Mum knows me very well, and as it turns out I've been putting a lot of stress and pressure on myself. I have a slight problem with perfectionism inherited from dear Mum, and if I choose to, can pretty much drive myself nutty... been doing a pretty good job of it too.

Here's what's happened since I last wrote - last night I did another round of C25K and weights (1 hour all up) then built a fruit and vege mascot in the Group FS (still no books to follow, our trainer seemed a bit lost as to what to do with us, so it was literally 15 mins and then home). Went home and talked to Ben about the day's sudden revelations, thankfully he has broad shoulders. Dinner with the girls the night before went really well, I stuck to all my goals and spent 3-4 hours talk talk talking away.

Here's where I'm at now - today I'm taking a break from the gym (done 3.5hrs this week already), I'm going to rewrite all of my goals and be kinder to myself, I'm going to readjust my thinking and stop the negative internal voice inside with positive vibes all the way. Part of this will need to involve a personality trait I've had since I was a kid, which is basically to bury myself on my own planet for a while. According to Mum even as a 5yo I'd only play with other kids for so long, then I'd walk away and go spend some time alone. This same trait drove my besties in high school round the bend. I've always liked my alone time, but lately I haven't been able to relax enough to do it, my mind is constantly running and jittery to the point where even reading a book (my all time fav thing to do) has been impossible. That really should have tipped me off to my issues right? Ah well, hindsight and all that.

I feel like a bit of an idiot for not realising what I was putting myself through, but that's the past and there's nothing I can do it about. I need to focus on how I'm going to fix this, which is basically living more in the now and focussing a lot less on planning and the future. My plans for the weekend will involve catching up with my writing bud, submitting a short story to Winds of Change, some relaxing exercise (so not too strenuous, though I still might decide to nix that too) and dinner with friends. Besides that I'm doing SFA - vegeing out and doing all I can to relieve the built up stress, by getting back in to reading and my Wii (can't include the traditional packet of Tim Tams this time, but it'll have to do). Later I'll set aside a whole weekend of doing SFA, but this is a definite start. The sense of relief I get from typing those words is a pretty good indicator that I'm on the right track. I'm not sure when I'll write next, but wishing everyone on the web a weekend of reconnection and happiness.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Knack Knack Knackered

Another intense gym session - got my arse kicked by Michelle (Personal Trainer), did all three weekly challenges and ended up shaking like a leaf. Luckily I was allowed to get off work at 3.30 to make my 4pm PT session and got home at 5.45. After stretching I flopped on to the ground in the lounge with a handful of grapes and water. Which is where I'm currently writing from.

Somehow I have to find the energy to go shower, get ready and walk in to the city for dinner with two gal pals. If it hadn't been ages since I last saw them I'd be tempted to bail. Definitely feel like the hour today was a lot more intense than the hour yesterday. And I've discovered that concentrating on why I'm doing all of this is a good way to keep myself motivated. At the end of the day I really enjoyed the PT session, Michelle was tough but really encouraging, and any time my muscles take 5 mins to unclench I know I've had a good work out. She took my through two of the shorter challenges - step ups for 3 mins followed by checking of your pulse (I had a horrible heart rate of 154 at the end of it, 'very poor' for my age bracket) and as many crunches as possible in a minute (32 - above average for my age bracket, woot!). So some good and not so good news, but this is why I'm here after all.

The really hard part was doing the third challenge by myself. Three lots of 10 minute sessions on two different cardio machines with one minute breaks in between, and you couldn't do it on the bike. So I did the cross-trainer, the rower and the treadmill. And it killed me, but I tried really hard not to let myself slack off. Anyone who knows what it's like to have a personal trainer over your shoulder versus doing it alone will know how hard that is. Ultimately the point was to push yourself as hard as you could go and record the level you were at and the distance you did. Am I convinced I did that? Not completely, I was feeling sick/over tired after the PT and I let that get in the way. But ultimately I'm 90% happy with how I did.

Food is doing better too. I ate pretty good today, though I'll have to concentrate hard on not sliding back tonight while I'm out. No alcohol, no dessert and no pastry! Something that include salad is my other proviso. Anyway, the partner is back and over my shoulder reading this, so I better say hi and get in the shower. Ciao for now.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Once more into the breach

After a weekend of weight gain debauchery tempered with lots of swimming, running and a bit of table tennis on the coast with friends (hey, it was all in the cause of helping a friend celebrate her birthday!), it wasn't too surprising when Tanya (Slim Coach extraordinaire) told me this morning that I'd gained 100g. I could have fallen in a funk, and for a few hours I did, but I picked myself right back up and hit the gym hard tonight. One and half hours of pain, and I'm so dopey from fatigue right now I can barely type, but geez did I feel better afterward. The vague sick feeling I'd had all day vanished, my energy levels shot up and I came home happy and talktative to a pleasantly surprised partner. A wonderful partner who'd prepared us a fab and fit dinner of kangaroo and salad. Nom! Then he caught me in my good mood and forced me to do chores, but oh well.

To be honest all the activities on the weekend left me feeling like I'd poisoned myself, so I'm all set for a full on health hit. Amazing that it no longer cops the abuse I've been known to deal it with as good grace as it used to, but much better for me in the long run. After all, if crap food makes me feel crap then so much the better.

Some of you (if anyone reads this blog besides my loyal writing bud) might wonder why I'm only writing now. Honestly I was all set to get myself in gear on Monday when the gym text me to say it was closed for the night. Apparently the offices above had decided to do some lacquering, and not only did they think it wouldn't effect the gym, but they also didn't see any reason to wear masks while doing it. Sometimes I think Darwinism acts too slowly  ;o)  Instead of lazying about though, I did a lot of the non-weight related goals - writing, prepping, etc. It was great.

Right now, yes I am 72.2kgs and my weight continues to yoyo around in the 72 range, but I'm finally feeling prepared to tackle it and make it do as I want it to (basically to go down God dammit!). I think I've passed the stage of just being fatigued by exercise, and now getting to the part where it leaves me feeling happy and more energetic than I started. Don't get me wrong, there's still a slide in to fatigue later, but it's not as steep or sudden. Now it's time for ovaltine, a hot hot bath and bed. Peace out.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A trip, not a fall

After my post yesterday it all ended pretty badly. I got so intensely hungry that I got sick, to the point where my concerned partner made me toast and ovaltine when we got home. It picked me up until we got to the trivia at the Hellenic in Civic, where I promptly scoffed yet more carbs in the form of a bread roll with butter while waiting for my dinner. I was hoping that the 'Lemon, Oregano and Garlic Chicken' would turn out to be the healthiest option, but I ate way too much of it. There were two very good points though - I said no to alcohol (had 2 LLBs instead) and ate as few of the chips as I could bring myself to leave on the plate. Thankfully my partner then ate the rest so I couldn't keep going back for more  ;)

Our usually high ranking trivia team came in at a dismal 5th and we got home at 9.30, which led to my baking until 1am. Ridiculous I know, yet somehow the 6.5 hours sleep wasn't that bad, but we slept in a bit and had to race out to work without breakfast. Arrival at work led to immediate morning tea prep (aka not eating the breakfast I'd packed for myself) and I ended up with a latte, one of those mini-cheesecakes I'd made the night before and two choc biscuit stick things.

I'm telling you all this in the interest of full disclosure, but I refuse to let this set back bring me down. I'm fully packed to hit the gym this afternoon, and I may well have to go work out for even longer in an effort to work off the bad things I did to myself today. Not a punishment by any means, just an immediate consequence to my actions today. Honestly the disgusting feeling in my stomach has more to do with my caving so easily more than with the food not sitting well, but I can't fall in to a pit here and wallow in it. More than ever I need to get back on the treadmill (in place of the wagon) and just keep pushing myself to stick it out.

I am starting to wonder if I've set myself some unrealistic goals though, what with all the work and leisure commitments I have, but I'm going to wait it out and see what happens. We're going away to the coast this weekend, which I'm hoping will include a lot of swimming and thus more exercise, but it's for a friends birthday, so there'll also be heaps of alcohol that I'm going to have to refuse if I don't want to blow this whole process out of the water.

The group FS is tonight at 6pm, I was going to work out before but now I think I might stay after as well. I have no clue what this session is going to be like, but there's only one way to find out. Maybe they can offer up some tips on avoiding alcohol on fun filled group weekends on the coast?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Dunce cap for cutie

After all my building of goals and getting myself all psyched up yesterday, I somehow lost track of time and missed my bus, which translated in to almost certainly missing my PT session. For the first time ever though, I didn't allow myself to give up, I hopped the next one and prayed it would be faster and earlier than usual. If you've ever taken public transport in Canberra you'll know how delusional I was at that point. So I got to the gym 15 mins late to be told it was too late to do the session. I was ready to call myself some rather feral names, but my trainer came to the rescue and set me up with a new time.

Thus today at lunch I got slaughtered by a trainer that was 7 months pregnant with a very sweet nature, hiding a heart of darkness if my muscles are to be believed. I'm feeling really good about having done it, but I'm definitely stiff and sore. While I was there I got some info on the point system, which I subsequently lost somewhere between the gym and work. It's more the lose of the paper it was on that's upsetting me though - a spreadsheet with some rather important financial information on it  :(

I'm also starting to second guess my move to the Wednesday night Group PT session and the Yellow team as well, considering staying Monday and being Green. Hey, I always loved the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! On the downside I've already bought some yellow hair accessories, and I've also completely mutilated my desk diary and my pocket diary with all of these changes. To be honest, I'm getting thoroughly sick of myself.

In case you can't tell, my current mood is tired and over it all. Though I am trying to cut back on my coffee intake (I love milky coffees, so the not-good-at-all for weightloss ones). Maybe though it's mostly because I'm contemplating the tasks for tonight - baking of cookies, cupcakes and mini-cheesecakes for a work function tomorrow, trivia with much loved friends (though I'm hardly in the right head space) and re-doing all the calculations that I lost with that stupid scrap of paper. To top it off it's miserable, cold and rainy out there. This weather always makes me want to curl up under a thick blanket with a good book and a cup of ovaltine in hand.

There's been some good things too - I had an Aero bar in my handbag for almost 4 days and didn't eat it. That's quite an effort for me, as I love Aero with a passion. I was also presented with some M&Ms at work but I managed to just say no. I'm a little worried with the morning tea tomorrow (and my subsequent baking) that I'm going to give in on that one and eat them. I love to bake, it's a true love of mine and the three recipes I'm doing are stand out favourits, but I think the real issue here is I need to find healthier things to bake that are still delicious - need suggestions! I'm also going to be eating out tonight at trivia. I've already scoped the menu online and I'm thinking the best option is the roast meal with vegetables. Though I may have to talk to my food coach about this next week and see where I can do better when eating out.

I'm kind of impressed with my will power thus far, though there's that little voice in my head saying - 'don't deny yourself something you really want'. It's a bit of an internal argument that goes on, which basically ends with me telling my internal voice to shut up. I do want to still enjoy my life (which includes enjoying food for me), but at this early stage I want to focus on finding the routine I had back in September and getting a handle on, and developing better/healthier eating habits, before I feel I can indulge a little here and there. So for now, I'm making the choice to deny myself the junk so I can shrink my trunk.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

It Begins...

So here's the skinny (hah!) - I've gained 20kgs in the last 4 years after becoming a desk jockey living in a very cold Canberra. I've always been a lover of junk food so the ultra-fast metabolism I used to have was great... until I hit my mid-20s and suddenly my body refused to take my abuse anymore. I'm very good at denial so it took me a long time to face it, but when clothes went from loose, to tight, to just impossible, I got a wake up call. (A few holiday snaps from various angles also helped me see what I didn't want to.)

Last September I started an 8 week program at the gym and it did wonders, I lost 6kgs and 4.5% body fat in the 4.5 months (from 78.4kg, 41% body fat). BUT... since Christmas I've lost all motivation yet again. I'm listless, lifeless and just cannot take joy in any of this lose, mostly I think because I'm not earning it anymore. As well as losing weight, I want to get back the strength, flexibility and general good health I used to enjoy, and it feels like I've done a major backslide in the last two months. My solution to this funk? Join the Fernwood Foxy Challenge and hope to get it all back again.

At the start of the 8 week program in September 2010, I did a lot of reading on goal setting and the likes. One of the ten commandments I came across was to always keep a journal. That worked for a while, but not consistently, and this is where this blog comes in. Fingers crossed it works even better this time!

Now, I'm not claiming to be overweight by any means. I'm taller than average and I've always liked having a curvy body, but right now I'm just not happy with myself and I'm trying to make positive changes to address that. Having grown up poor, in meat and three vege country, nutritional information wasn't exactly a topic of conversation and exercise was a four letter word, so I'm learning as I go. My main goal here is to enjoy my life. So yes while I plan to eat healthier in general, food is all about enjoyment for me and I don't plan on living like a rabbit for the next 12 weeks. What I want more than anything is balance, so I'm not looking at this as a diet, but as a lifestyle change. One which will allow me to incorporate the food and drinks that I love, but at a much more moderate level, always mindful of the impact on my health.

The Foxy Challenge started on the 14/02/11. Unfortunately I missed the information nights due to work and travel, so I suspect I'll be discovering new rules as I go, but basically it includes a 1-on-1personal training session (PT), 1-on-1food session (FS), group PT and a group FS every week. You have to keep a food diary and every time you exercise or get to the gym you have to report what you did to the reception desk. Certain items are worth different points (not clear on this system yet though), and you have to report in on the day you do something or else it's not counted. I have no idea what the deal is with putting us in to colour-coded teams, but I'm in the Yellow team and wearing your colour to your sessions also results in points. I've always been a team player and loved competition, so fingers crossed that this Foxy Challenge speaks to that part of me.

So far I have done a group PT and a 1-on-1 FS. As too many people were doing Monday group PT they started a new group, so I put my hand up to do Wednesday night now instead (I am so not a morning person), and that's happening this week as well. I've got my 1-on-1 PT tonight, as well as a netball game for the social team I co-captain.

As well as my health goals for the year, I'm also working on getting my drivers licence, writing every day, reviewing regularly for a spec fiction website I'm a staffer of, taking part in the novel writing group and working on anthology submissions with my writing buddy. I started adding more here about my partner, friends and family, but I started feeling discouraged, which is so not the point of this. I've got firm goals for this year and I plan on working hard to get it all. Wish me luck!

My goals for Week 1:
  1. Go to every single session I'm signed up to
  2. Get to the gym 3 times a week (not including PT sessions)
  3. Fill in the food diary EVERY DAY
  4. Do the first week of Couch to 5k (3 sessions)
  5. Lose 500g and 0.4% body fat
My overall goals (thus far - my PT may change this a bit):
  1. Lose 6kgs and 5% body fat
  2. Eating regularly and as prescribed
  3. Get at least 8 hours of sleep every night
  4. Start and FINISH the Couch to 5k program (9 weeks)
  5. Smash all of my excuses