Saturday, February 28, 2015

Canberra Show


Today we went to the Canberra Show, where the country comes to the city! Canberra is about a tenth the size of Sydney where I grew up and the agricultural show is proportionately smaller, but still fun.

There was wood-chopping;
a petting zoo (these are alpacas, isn't the baby one adorable!);

jousting is new to the Show this year, we all loved it;

motorbike trick riding (you can see the guy level with the trees in the middle of the picture, probably just finishing a somersault or something equally dangerous);

and Flyball which I think is an Australian sport. Each team of four dogs runs in relay over the jumps to the far end to fetch a ball then runs back to his/her owner. The height of the jumps is based on the shortest dog, so you often have a team with one tiny dog bounding over jumps and then the other three big dogs hardly noticing the jumps are even there. I'm always amazed that the dogs don't get distracted by all the other dogs all over the place, but mostly they are very motivated to get that ball and bring it back!

There are also sideshow games and rides at the Show but we don't bother with those much. We did look at some cows and sheep and various stalls selling wine and honey and windchimes and "magic" pens (we bought some of those) and sour candy and patted a baby crocodile and made a police badge and looked at local artwork. The kids got a showbag full of lollies each, which they will have a couple of pieces a day from for the next few weeks. This year I didn't buy a showbag but I did have a packet of cheezels and some chocolate as well as pizza for lunch. We were there five hours and I got a lot of steps in!

It was really hot as usual but we had a little storm just before we left and being sprinkled with cooling rain was lovely. Great day, I love the Show!

It wasn't exactly a healthy day, I'll get back into my daily reporting tomorrow.

Sleeping and napping


Ok, sleep update. I used both the CPAP and my night-time meditation app last night and went to sleep quite easily. No suffocation feeling at all, and I think listening to the relaxing voice helped distract me. I woke and had to take the mask off about three hours later because the sweat was stinging really quite badly. I had spicy tacos for dinner, can jalapenos come out through your sweat? It felt like someone had rubbed a hot chilli under my nose. Also the mask was hurting my nose a bit. That always happens when I start over with the CPAP, it's like getting used to new shoes. The skin has to toughen up in the right places. Anyway, it was a really good start and I am hopeful of getting back into the habit of using it for longer each night. I can try, as I have in the past, padding around my nose with folded tissues to stop the sweat irritation on hot nights.

I have designated Saturday as my rest day from exercise and I took that without any guilt today. I felt wiped out. Tim takes the kids out to their various sports but I have no commitments on Saturday, so I could just sit around and nurse my sleep deprivation headache. In the afternoon I slept for about two hours on the lounge. I really needed it! Tim made dinner and I basically had the whole day off.

We have a fun day planned tomorrow, which I will talk about after the event.

Report card:
Diet: Ok.
Exercise: N/A
Water: Good, finishing my last glass now.
Sleep: getting better.
Mental health: Good.

Friday, February 27, 2015



Yesterday I didn't exercise and I ate some chocolate marshmallow biscuits. "Some" being a number between one and ten. Steps under 3000. I was just so tired. At least I got immersed in writing and added quite a bit to my word count. But otherwise the day was a write-off.

I told myself to stop being an idiot and just use my CPAP already. Yes, I hate it. But how long do I have to be non-functional from sleep deprivation before I'll give in? Well, it seems I got to that point. We've had a cool change so I can't even blame my resistance on the heat. Sleep apnoea isn't my only sleeping issue, but it's one I have a specific tool to deal with.

So last night I made sure the machine was all clean and ready, and put the nose pillows on (only covers my nose, but I have to keep my mouth closed or the air goes in my nose and straight out my mouth which feels weird and unpleasant) as I got into bed. And felt like I wasn't getting enough air. I've felt like this before, especially when I first put it on and pressure is still building up, and particularly if I am still breathing a little more heavily because I've been moving around. I pulled the mask off and waited until my breathing settled down, then tried again. And got that horrible feeling of suffocating. Drowning. Heart rate rising in panic. Need air.

I checked that the mask had air flow, I checked the tubes weren't tangled, I waited until I was relaxed again, I tried five or six times, in different body positions. Same every time. So I gave up. And I was exhausted again this morning.

I am not claustrophobic at all and I don't have problems with something covering part of my face (except when it is hot and sweaty), but I have had this issue before in a milder form that I got past. The sleep doctor adjusted the settings so that the air pressure would ramp up quicker (it starts slow because some people don't like the feeling of air blowing up their nose and want to wait until they are asleep before it blows hard - not me) and that helped. I don't know what went wrong this time.

At lunchtime I was just so tired that I decided to go and have a lie down and listen to my relaxation app (and hopefully have a nap) and I decided to give the CPAP another go. And I had no problem with it at all! Breathe in, breathe out, easy. Slept for about 20 mins, unfortunately the daytime meditation wakes me up at the end of the program (I can turn that off but forgot to), and woke feeling much better. 20 minutes can't make up for weeks of bad sleep, but I felt less exhausted and much calmer and happier. I probably stress about not sleeping a lot, so I feel better now I have a bit of confidence that I can get some more restful sleep in coming nights.

Wow, that was a lot on that topic! Moving on. This morning I drove Tim to work (finally back at his normal office, his work at Parliament House finished yesterday) then had breakfast in a café before doing the grocery shopping. The bacon and eggs was lovely (I ate about half of what they served) and for the first time ever I tried the grilled tomato they always put on the plate and it was really nice! Super intense tomato flavour. I wish I had tried it before I got full, as it was I only had a few bites. Next time I'll definitely eat the tomato. Usually I give the tomato to my husband if we are breakfasting together in a café.

After my nap I had a good writing session. Chapter One is coming along nicely.

I was happy this afternoon because I found out that a magazine I accidentally subscribed to - and didn't like at all - was being discontinued and they wanted to know which of their publications I would like instead. So I'll actually get one I enjoy reading instead of that rubbish. (They might have been willing to do that before, but I never got around to contacting them. They made it easy.)

I went for a walk with Aiden while Jasmine was in her ballet class. Around 45 mins.
My steps should be up to 9,000 by the time I go to bed.

Report card:
Diet: Good today.
Exercise: Good.
Water: Poor again. Maybe not pushing myself towards 12 glasses was a bad idea, because I only made 6 again today unless I guzzle some more before bed.
Sleep: Poor, but with hopes for tonight.
Mental Health: Was poor, better this afternoon.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Taking those extra steps


I felt so much better today, even though according to my Fitbit I slept less than 4 hours out of all the time I was in bed. Still, that is nearly 4 hours, right? Regardless, I had more energy and alertness, at least until evening, which is all I ask for.

So I did an hour of Fantasia and then a half hour walk, and this evening did a few laps of the lounge room to get me over the line of 10,000 steps. And I learned how to take a screenshot of my iPhone.

I made a couple of phone calls I wasn't looking forward to. One to the crematorium about picking up mum's ashes (after finding out how many thousands it was to have them put in the crematorium's rose garden - too many), and then one to a hotel about changing my reservation because my brother rang last night to ask me to change which weekend we visit to help go through mum's stuff. The hotel receptionist was a bit dubious at first, it was supposed to be non-refundable, but then I played the "my mum just died" card (she did ask why I needed to change) and she was very nice and changed my reservation straight away which was lovely. I felt really weird and uncomfortable about it, even though I was just being totally honest, because I am not good at any sort of confrontation. But got that done and out of the way when I'd been dreading it.

Tim has been working ridiculous hours these past couple of weeks, we are hoping tomorrow is the last day but who knows? Then he goes back to his usual office (he is a lawyer) with only semi-ridiculous hours. He had the car today so we couldn't get to Jasmine's dance class but it was nice to have an afternoon at home. We usually do fine with one car because Tim rides his bike to work but he's needed it a bit more often with this location and hours. One day we may get a second car, especially if we move to Sydney eventually, they don't have the extensive bike path network we have in Canberra and there is a lot more traffic and it's a much bigger city.

Report card:
Diet: Good. I'm trying to reduce my carbs a bit, the starchy ones at least. Still eating plenty of fruit. Especially grapes, which are amazing right now.
Exercise: Great. An hour and a half, and extra walking to finish my steps.
Water: Poor. Managed 7. My problem is that I know I don't have to force down 12 glasses so I assume the 8 will just happen easily by itself - in actual fact my natural inclination is about 4 glasses a day. Including tea. So I still need to make an effort to drink the 8. Work on that tomorrow.
Sleep: Better. Well, I felt better.
Mental health: Good. Thinking about my mum a lot, but doing ok.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Chaotic day


Another horrible sleep, but at least we have had a cool change so it might be better tonight. Today, though, I was very tired and unmotivated. I didn't want to exercise (and find it hard to believe that just a couple of days ago I was thinking about joining the gym to push myself) but I did half an hour of Fantasia and called it enough. I did the grocery shopping, which was exhausting in my current state and left my legs and back aching. I foolishly ate in the food court, and made about the worst choice possible. Fat with a side serving of salt, essentially. Then slumped at home while I pretended to be working on my writing.

My friend Caroline and her kids came over after school and we had a cup of tea and a chat, then Tim called and asked me to pick him up as his bike had a flat tyre. He had a few hours to come home for dinner before he had to return to work at 8 pm to meet with the committee again (damn politicians). So Caroline took all the kids to her place and I picked up my husband. We got home to find the plumber's truck in the driveway, he was here to replace that hot water thing. He hadn't called first, lucky he just got there.

Then Tim realised he had left behind his backpack during the struggle to fit his bike in the car. It had a lot of important stuff in it so he had to head back straight away to get it - about 15 mins drive each way which isn't too bad but not a fun way to spent your tiny bit of free time. He took my keys. And then I realised he had all my keys so I couldn't leave the house to walk to get the kids, and also it was starting to storm. Caroline had to drive my kids home again.

Meanwhile Tim was finding out what happens when you leave a backpack outside Parliament House. They call the bomb squad. Oops. At least we know those security guys are doing their job. Tim got home eventually.

After my terrible lunch decision AND eating some unnecessary rice crackers in the afternoon, I was left with no calories left for dinner - I was already over. So I made pasta with cream sauce and bacon. I make no attempt to justify that. I made some very bad decisions today.

Just let me get some sleep.

Report card:
Diet: Terrible.
Exercise: Ok.
Water: Poor.
Sleep: Terrible.
Mental health: Not as bad as you might expect.

It's just one of those days when you're glad that tomorrow is a clean slate.

A bit of shade


Today my exercise was walking, and I made it to 10,000 steps. I certainly didn't feel like exercising at all after another bad night (even though it wasn't as hot, the fresh sheets were neatly tucked, and I'd exercised that day which is supposed to help). But "don't want to" is not a valid excuse, so I went out. It was very hot, but luckily there were some nice shaded bike paths.
Still, I was hot and sweaty by the time I got home from my morning walk. In the afternoon we walked up to the school for a parent/teacher meeting and that was a lot hotter! At least it got me to my step goal.

I changed my mind about giving up Plant Nanny, I just lied to it about how much I weigh so it tells me to drink 8 glasses. But that got me thinking, I've read blogs written by people 400, 500, even 700 pounds. How many glasses of water is a 700 pound man supposed to drink? 50 glasses a day?

Aside from my walking in the heat, I worked on my new novel. No actual words added to the official count, but notes written and a lot of thinking about what is going to happen in chapter one to start the story. I may have fallen asleep while thinking with my eyes closed, but I got some work done before that.

Report card:
Diet: Great, within calories and more fruit and vegetables today.
Exercise: Good. Not high intensity but plenty of it.
Water: Good.
Sleep: Poor.
Mental health: Good.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Five stars and choices


I played some World of Warcraft with my husband this morning, and then did an hour of Fantasia. I was fine, back to 100%. And for the first time ever I got 5 stars in a song! Yay me. That was right at the end of the hour. In the afternoon I listened to my meditation app and had a nap.

I have chosen and paid for my meditation apps after giving them a good trial. I think they are both by someone called Surf City. One is for sleeping; the daytime one I use has a weight-loss element. There is all the relaxing bit then a visualisation of standing in front of a mirror and seeing the person you want to be. No idea if it has any effect, but I like listening to it. And if it helps me slide into a nap, I really don't mind!

I slept very badly last night, tossing and turning. Too hot and the sheets got all rucked up and I don't know what else. My Fitbit says I was fully awake 5 times and restless 20 times. Felt pretty tired and headachy but refused to let it stop me exercising. Did well today in spite of it.

After some deliberation, and a period of not really tracking at all, I've made the commitment to change over fully to Fitbit with my food tracking. It means starting over with programming in favourite meals and finding substitutions for foods it doesn't list, but I'll have everything in one place.

I'm also rethinking my Plant Nanny app, cute though it is. It requires me to drink 12 glasses of water a day, which is the current fashion. Eight glasses is more traditional, and some nutritionists even say that includes liquid from foods. I'm usually quite dehydrated so I did need to increase my water intake, but I've decided 12 is too much. I hardly dare leave the house as I have to go to the bathroom every 20 minutes, it makes going for a walk or even doing the shopping problematic, and no jumping during exercise! And I'm up too many times at night, which is the wrong choice for me given my sleep issues. It's bad enough if I stop drinking early, but usually I'm having my last glass or two too close to bedtime and I have to get up over and over. So, back to 8 glasses and goodbye Plant Nanny (the plants wilt and die if you don't drink to water them and I can't change the 12 glass requirement unless I tell it I weigh 2/3 of my actual bodyweight. Which I considered).

Speaking of sleep, I've decided to put away my CPAP for the time being, since I haven't used it for weeks. Our bedroom has several built in wardrobes and no space for a bedside table, so I keep it on a stool beside the bed, blocking access to the wardrobe. Every time we want to open the door we have to move it, careful not to spill the water in the humidifier. It is a real pain. I can't bear to use it in this heat (that's my excuse anyway) so it is going inside the cupboard instead of blocking the door to it. I can always revisit this decision later.

Now I need to think about how to increase my exercise intensity. Maybe another three month gym membership.

Report card:
Diet: Good. Right amount of calories, could have had some more vegetables.
Exercise: Great. An hour today.
Water: Great. Eight glasses.
Sleep: Poor. But I did get a nap this afternoon.
Mental health: Good.

I have 11 days left in the first month of this dietbet. I can do it!