Monday, October 29, 2018

Back at the gym


Wow, I didn't realise it has been more than two weeks since I've posted. Is that the longest ever? Just keeping myself busy.

Jasmine had her first State Trial for acrogymnastics and did really well. Third overall (second in Balance, fourth in Dynamic) - through to the State Final in December! All the worries about her inexperienced new partner were needless.

I ummed and ahhed about joining the gym after my free trial, it seemed difficult for my fitness level and if I get a job I probably won't be able to go. But a week at home, bored and putting on weight, changed my mind! (74.0 kg yesterday) So I joined up on month-by-month basis. Yesterday I did a Body Pump class for the first time in years and it was fine (with very light weights) and today I did Zumba again - definitely my favourite. My legs are pretty sore!

I had the blood test and as expected I am not intolerant of gluten. If anything, I felt better while eating it! Maybe the extra fibre? I put on weight though.

I've been spreading out my last few Duromine, one every few days. I have one left. It will be a challenge keeping my eating under control, especially as exercise makes me hungrier. But I won't miss the dry mouth!

Monday, October 15, 2018



I weighed 72.5kg yesterday, same as last week. I have my blood test for gluten tomorrow, so this is my last bread day. Except I might have it for breakfast tomorrow before the blood test, so that will be a half-bread day. I don't intent to give up bread/carbs entirely but eating four slices a day for a month has been more of a trial that you would think. I don't think I react to gluten, but I have been feeling heavier and more sluggish than when I eat mainly unprocessed/lower carb foods.

Jasmine and I were sick yet again over the weekend. It was a weird one, on Friday afternoon my heart rate went up over 100 even though I was sitting quietly, and stayed up for a couple of hours. I could feel it racing, and I felt trembly and weak. I was a bit worried. I blamed it on Duromine, although it's never had that effect before. But the next morning Jasmine's heart rate was over 110, lying in bed, and like me could feel her heart racing. Her normal rate is very low because she is athletic and fit - around 55 I think? My normal is an unfit 80. (We both wear fitness trackers, which is how we know our heartrate.) For both of us the heartrate went down and the illness moved on to headaches and tiredness for a couple of days. Clearly a virus.

I was supposed to start work yesterday, but I emailed them on Thursday (again me contacting them, should have been the other way around!) and they had no news, they still want me if the freeze lifts but in the meantime I should keep looking for other work. Lucky I'm not desperate for work/money! Nothing much else around at the moment, except Library Assistant jobs (below my training, but I'd do it for the experience) who want people who can work evenings, which I can't. Or jobs right over the other side of Sydney, with an impractical amount of travel time.

On the weekend I signed up for a 5 day free pass at my local gym, and received the confirmation by email. I didn't go on Monday because I still felt a little unwell, and they called me to ask when I was coming in! Now that is proactive. I went today, to a Zumba class. It was exhausting but fun. I am very unfit. I used to do some Zumba many years ago, all the routines were different of course. I am good at picking up choreography though. My old gym went more hip-hop, which I didn't like, this one was all Bollywood and Latin which was great. The gym has all the usual Les Mills classes, Body Pump, Body Step etc.

I has poured rain pretty solidly for a couple of weeks (all school holidays) and the garden has loved it after a long dry spell. I think columbines look like little fairy dresses.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Nothing to say


Again, I have very little to blog about this week. I forgot to weigh myself on Monday but I was 72.5 kg yesterday, down a bit. We are all feeling well again, but it's been pouring rain nearly every day these school holidays so we haven't done much. Tim has taken this week off. Jasmine has lots of Acrogym holiday practices. We've continued with the board games. Yesterday we went and saw "The House with the Clock in its Walls" which was good. I'll let you know when I have something else to say!

Oh, and I haven't heard anything about that job. I was supposed to start next week, I have to assume they can't hire me because of the hiring freeze, but I think it is very rude of them to not check in with me occasionally even if it is without any new info. I was the one who contacted them a couple of weeks ago!

We have organised someone to put a shade sail over a portion of our pool, but haven't heard back from either of the people who were supposed to give us quotes for some other work. I was only able to get those two to even come out and look. It's been around three weeks. Not having much luck with Sydney tradesmen.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018



Jasmine had her Spring Cup on the weekend for Acrogymnastics. It's the first competition of the year, a small invitational, with the State Trials starting in three weeks and the State Finals at the start of December. We were a bit worried this year, she did so well in level one last year but she has a new younger partner this year for level two (they compete as pairs or trios, Jasmine is the 'base' doing all the lifting and Becky is the 'top' - her partner of last year grew and is now a 'base' herself). But we needn't have worried - they came first in Balance routine and second in Dynamic routine - first overall! There were about nine pairs in her class, the State Trials of course will be much bigger. 

We are all sick... again. Tim came home Friday with a hacking cough and runny nose, I started to feel ill Sunday afternoon, Aiden yesterday. Jasmine has a sore throat but otherwise is ok so far. It is so annoying, I feel like we've hardly had a well day this winter season. The germs go round and round. 

My weight was much the same this Monday, 72.8 kg I think. 

I'm two weeks into eating four slices of bread a day to see if I react to gluten. So far it seems like I don't (which is great!). I've had stomach pains twice, both times after eating more heavily processed carby foods - 2 min noodles, and chocolate biscuits. My mouth ulcers flared up once, almost immediately after eating half a packet of Mentos (chewy fruit-flavoured lollies). The inside of my cheeks felt shredded. I've always associated it with eating sugar. I'll keep going with the bread, although it doesn't really fit with my idea of an ideal diet, so I can have the blood test and be sure, but it seems like it's not gluten. 

School holidays have started, but with us all sick we haven't done much. Today Jasmine rearranged the games shelves (into age/difficulty levels) and pulled out some board games that she doesn't remember ever playing - some I don't remember playing! We used to buy them regularly and have been given quite a few over the years but play on computers more nowadays or play the same few games over and over. The kids and I played two this afternoon, Mindtrap and Dominion (haven't finished Dominion, it said 30 mins on the box but that was a lie!), both good. Still eleven more in the pile to play - we have a lot of games! About 50 currently on the shelves (not including the 11 + 2), and that is after a cull when we moved here. And several boxes of 'Magic the Gathering' cards. The only one I really dislike is chess. I don't have the patience. 

Monday, September 24, 2018

Medieval faire


On Sunday we went to a medieval faire; the whole extended family (Tim's side, obviously, my side of the family are into tennis and.... other sports maybe? Tim's side are into the whole fantasy thing.) We'd never been to one before, but it turned out to be a really big event. The parking stretched far enough away that they had a free shuttle bus to the gate.

I had the green renaissance dress I'd bought recently and a couple of others in the family dressed up, maybe a quarter of the people at the faire were in costume. Tim wasn't dressed up but he tried on chain mail armour there. Very heavy!

There were lots of stalls selling costumes, plastic swords and bows, real swords and bows, art and pottery; demonstrations of blacksmithing and other medieval crafts; and the main arena with knights in armour fighting with swords and pikes, people carrying eagles, madrigal singing, stuff like that.

I wish I could show you but out internet has been incredibly bad for about a week, don't know why, so I can't upload pictures. Or play games. Or just about anything else that takes much space. Need to investigate what is going on. [edit: managed to add photos]

My big regret is that we didn't see the jousting. It was kind of why I went in the first place! But we got there a little too late to see the morning session, and my family wanted to leave before the late afternoon session. Sad face. I didn't put up much resistance, we would have had to wait around more than an hour and we'd seen everything else already, the kids were getting bored and Jas and I had had a bit too much sun, but I wish I had. We would have stayed if they knew how much I wanted to.

My weight had been a bit down all week but on Monday was back up to 72.7kg, reflecting the big weekend.

I did my last volunteering session at Aiden's school library, unless this job falls through (don't know what is going on at the moment) I'll be starting there next term. And Aiden goes to High School next year.

Saturday, September 22, 2018



It was my brother-in-law’s 40th birthday party today, he chose to celebrate in a German restaurant in the city. There were Octoberfest celebrations so it was... exuberant. Three and a half hours of loud oompah music, sauerkraut and pork belly. I didn’t eat that much actually, there’s only so much pork fat a girl can handle. It seemed odd to go all the way into the city (not fun for Tim who has to commute every day) when there is a restaurant with exactly the same menu nearby, that we went to on his birthday last year, and my throat is really sore from trying to talk to people over the noise of the crowd and the music. And a very long time for the little kids to sit and be good. But it was Nick’s choice and I think he had fun.

I’ve been eating the four slices of bread every day (and enjoying it!) and for the first time in ages I haven’t had any abdominal pain! Bit soon to tell, but that seems like it’s not the gluten causing my pain. I have had mouth ulcers, but they have flared up immediately after eating chocolate not bread. So... sugar, like I’ve always thought? Don’t know.

Aiden was home sick Monday and Tuesday, Jasmine on Friday. She still wasn’t feeling great today, but sat through the party and all the travel We have plans for tomorrow, but we’ll see how she is. I’m not going to put her through another long day.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018



I continue to get lots of pelvic/abdominal pain, even though I had my uterine fibroids removed, so I am no longer sure it is reproductive-organ-related. I saw my doctor yesterday (a different one, they get a new female doctor every six months as part of their training) and we talked about the possibility it could be digestive-tract-related. I had not realised until some internet research this week that I have a number of symptoms indicating possible Coeliac Disease or gluten intolerance. Apart from the abdominal pain, I have lots of joint pain, frequent mouth ulcers (which I had related to sugar, but maybe it's gluten), fatigue, and I don't seem to absorb vitamins well from food (eg I have to take Vitamin B12 despite eating lots of meat, and I've had other unexplained deficiencies in the past). I'm not jumping to any conclusions, just looking for answers.

So that the gluten test will be accurate, I have to eat four slices of bread a day for four weeks before a blood test and then maybe a bowel biopsy. Eating bread certainly isn't a hardship, but I do worry that it will derail my lowish-carb weight loss efforts, and if it's actual Coeliac Disease then every bit of gluten is doing my body real damage. I've decided to go ahead with the test because I definitely want an answer about my abdominal pain and other symptoms. And avoiding gluten is considered a bit of a fad (loved the joke that Californians are so afraid of gluten that you could rob a bank with a bagel) but for people with Coeliac it is a major issue leading to serious health problems and gluten has to be strictly avoided. (And even if  a person just feels better without it, why sneer at them for that?)

I had a lovely roast chicken roll for lunch, and garlic bread with dinner. Yum. I didn't have any stomach cramps after yesterday's bread, but I had a horrible sinus headache in the evening and this morning. No idea if it was gluten making my existing hayfever worse (because it encourages inflammation) or unrelated. I haven't been gluten-free prior to this, just lowish-carb, so I don't know if the increase will make a big difference to how I feel.

Access to our front door is currently only up a fairly steep driveway and this is an issue for some older or unwell visitors (like my 100-year-old grandfather, or my father-in-law's partner Jo who has lung cancer and therefore compromised breathing). We're planning to have stairs and a railing added next to the driveway and we've had two contractors come out to have a look. One very pleasant youngish well-presented clean young man who ummed and ah-ed and looked very uncertain about everything, as if he'd never tackled that particular type of job before. And one somewhat older man with work-stained clothes and dirty boots who was casually confident and looked like he built stairs every day. We haven't got the quotes yet but I'd feel a lot more comfortable trusting the second guy!