Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Indoors on the first day of spring


There was a teachers' strike today so my kids were at home and I decided to have a break day instead of trying to book them into the busy creche at the gym. We didn't go out anywhere, we just had a very lazy day of TV and computer and the kids playing inside. Not very inspiring. I feel a bit guilty but the kids have been quite happy. Under the label of TMI; after two days of cranky PMS my period started today leaving me feeling tired and unmotivated. But I know I'll be all good tomorrow. The weather is still lovely (first day of spring today) so I might go for another lake walk after Zumba tomorrow. And then writing in the library, that went well last week.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Carrots and whips


I chanelled my crankiness into BodyPump today, powering through. I didn't wear my heart-rate monitor because it was annoying me, so I don't have any stats.

Then I took Aiden to get his haircut and did the grocery shopping. Home about 1.30 pm, all tired out and ready to sit in front of the computer for a while.

Yesterday at the gym I was watching perky thin girl; today at the shops I noticed all the obese people. People for whom it looked like a struggle just to walk. Dull unhealthy skin and shapeless clothes. Which is a more effective motivation: the carrot or the whip?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Less Zumba than usual


My morning was coloured with PMS, I was feeling a bit stressed and cranky. When going into the gym, there was a woman in front of me -- tall, tanned, slender & fit. I don't usually get all envious about other people's bodies, but I was feeling out-of-sorts and this perfect woman was stalking me! Ok, so she was actually always ahead of me so if anything she could claim I was stalking her; and it was totally logical that when both going into a gym we would both go to the reception desk, the change rooms, and then to the Zumba class; but I was getting sick of seeing that perfect bottom perking around in front of me. Practically at eye level, given our difference in heights.

I only had a few minutes before class, but I couldn't bear sitting alone with Ms Perfect in the group exercise room, so I got on the treadmill for five minutes. Instead of walking at a comfortable pace, I walked then jogged then sprinted -- trying to pound out my crankiness. I think it helped. I would have run longer but my shins were hurting.

I went to Zumba and started off well, but then I realised that I hadn't really left enough time between the class and meeting a client. I needed to wash my hair and do makeup and then drive into the city and probably park a few blocks away from the cafe. I decided to leave 15 mins early, but I couldn't stop stressing about the time. It got so I was messing up steps because I was thinking about that instead of what I was doing. So I ended up leaving 30 mins before the class ended -- halfway through. I am glad I did, because I ended up only being a few mins early for my meeting and my client was already there.

Although we met at Koko Black -- a chocolate shop -- I only had a cup of tea so that was a small victory over my inclination to eat the whole shop. I probably would have ordered a piece of cake or something but I knew my client was probably going to pay and I felt a bit uncomfortable ordering more when he only got a coffee. I wasn't hungry anyway, but if I was alone or with friends I most likely would have eaten something regardless.

And I confess I had three chocolate biscuits when I got home.

This time of the month is a real struggle for me with motivation and with eating healthily and in moderation. I have already booked Aiden into the creche so I am definitely going to the gym tomorrow. But Thursday is a teacher's strike so I think that will be a day off. They just had a student-free day last week! It's ok for me, but what about people who have to go to a regular job? Very inconvenient for them.

photo by rainyfoxy

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Treadmill and crosstrainer and BodyPump, oh my


I had time for six minutes on the treadmill before my class, and then I did BodyPump. I am going well with the 1 kg weight on each end of the bar; the only track that really hurts me is the shoulder one where you lie on the aerobic step and do bench presses. I think I will drop back to an empty bar for that one. For other tracks, my muscles could do more but my joints can't.

Stats for Pump: 46 mins, 97% zone 0, 3% zone 1, 80 cal, average HR 89, peak HR 112. I don't know if that calorie count is accurate. It is based on my heart rate, which doesn't go up much for Pump, but I would think I am still burning more calories than if I was sitting in front of the TV. Aren't I? will probably say its about 600 calories per hour. Oh well, it's all guesswork anyway.

Then I decided to do some cardio and got on the cross-trainer for 12 minutes, including 3 x 30 second sprints. Stats: 12% zone 0, 20% zone 1, 49% zone 2, 19% zone 3, 53 calories, average HR 129, peak HR 154. I was exhausted and dripping sweat after that, but didn't want to have a shower straight away because I would still be hot and sweaty when I got out. So I got back on the treadmill for another 15 mins to cool down. I went down to the Club Pink tea room and had a snack and a rest, then my shower -- and I was still pink in the face after that!

Total calories burned at the gym: 173.

I had to pick up a book I'd ordered from the Uni co-op bookshop, so I went there next. The only parking spot I could find was a 10 minute walk away. So, an extra 20 minutes exercise. Easy on the way in; but on the way back to my car I was carrying my huge 4.5 kg dictionary up three flights of stairs. More weight-lifting!

Once I have walked up to the school and back this afternoon, I will have done 2 hours exercise today. My legs are pretty tired and sore, which is great!

While at Uni I had pepperoni pizza for lunch. Not so healthy, but yummy. And I only drank water.

Even though it is still winter (for 2 more days), I got a bit burned out in the sun yesterday. So did my daughter, we are both lily-white. Except when we are red. From now on it's hats and sunscreen.

photo by pasukaru76

Saturday, August 27, 2011

More sunshine


I am determined that this is the week I am going to start losing weight. It is clear that even lots of exercise isn't enough. Over the past 6 weeks, since I returned to the gym, my weight has fluctuated between 79.2 kg and 80.9 kg; which could be explained just by daily fluctuations. Today I weighed-in at 79.9 kg -- one kilo less than last week but exactly the same as two weeks ago. Obviously I need to rein in my eating if I want to actually lose some fat.

I did formal exercise on five days last week, which I think is pretty great. On Friday I had a rest day, and yesterday I didn't go to the gym but I spent about three hours house-cleaning, which I think was a pretty good work-out. I needed that rest, my body was getting very fatigued. I have my mojo back today.

Today I had a health check, which actually just involved weighing and measuring me. I didn't write it all down (it's all on file at the gym) but I was 79.9 kg and my waist measures 102.5 cm. My BMI is now 34.58, which I am actually happy with -- I am "overweight" not "obese"! [Edit: according to the Wikipedia article on BMI, between 30-35 is still obese, just obese category I not II, also known as seriously obese, which I used to be. Obese III, above 40, would be morbidly obese.]

I got on the treadmill for 10 mins: 92% zone 0, 8% zone 1, 20 calories; and then did a BodyAttack class, which I haven't done before. Some of it was the same as the first half of the 50/50 class that I missed due to my health check. Bascially aerobics, with lots of running and jumping which I had to modify a bit. Stats: 45 mins (I didn't do the last track which was floor work I can't do), 38% zone 0, 45% zone 1, 17% zone 2, 147 calories, 111 average HR, 136 peak HR.

After what seemed like a long time, I checked the clock to see if the class was nearly finished -- I was drenched in sweat and exhausted. The clock said 10.30. What? Only half over? That couldn't be right. I was half convinced that the clock had stopped on 10.30 days ago. But I looked at my HR monitor, and it also said that it had been tracking me for 30 mins. Arg! I dragged myself through the last 20 mins.

A food-related victory -- my husband suggested Kingsley (fried chicken) for our picnic lunch and I said no! Go me. He rarely suggests fast food, it is usually me, and I don't think I have ever resisted before.

We went to the lake and walked for about 20 mins from our parking spot to the Carillon (bell tower) to listen to the recital while we ate our sandwiches and salad. The kids were riding their bikes so it was a fairly brisk walk. Then Tim and I lay on the picnic blanket in the lovely late-winter sun while the kids played around us a bit before we walked back to the car to dump the picnic paraphernalia and the bikes. We walked through the park to the kids playground where I read for a while before we headed home. In all, about an hour walking and lots of much-needed sunlight.

I feel like I've done lots of exercise today and eaten quite healthily (only one cupcake!), and also spent time with family and replenished my vitamin D stores. A lovely day. Now I get to play computer games until it's time to cook roast lamb... mmm...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The lake


Yesterday I went for a long walk around the lake. Canberra is a planned city, and the middle section of the man-made lake has many of the public buildings on its shores; the National Library (pictured), the Art Gallery, the War Memorial, and the Carillion (bell tower). Also sweeping lawns and rows of trees. It was a lovely day for walking and a beautiful area. I parked at the library then walked along the path to the Russell St bridge, over that, back along the other side which is mostly lawns and park areas, then over Commonwealth Bridge and back to the library -- where I then sat for an hour writing my novel.

Although it was only walking, I pushed myself to go quite briskly so it was an hour and a quarter of decent exercise. My legs were tired at the end, and my feet very hot and a bit sore even though I was wearing sneakers.

Today I took the day off exercise; after five days in a row I was feeling a bit fatigued. In actual fact, I spent quite a bit of the morning in unintended gentle exercise; walking around the shops and the university where I had some errands. My mother is visiting for the weekend, so I need to do some cleaning this afternoon, too. Surely scrubbing the bathrooms counts as exercise!

photo by Pierre

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

People watching


My knee felt ok this morning so I went to BodyPump after putting Aiden in creche. I was very careful of the knee -- really foccussing on my form. I did plenty of squats (without weights but going very low, I felt it more than usual so I think I did well) but no lunges. Most of the class didn't impact on knees at all, which was good. It feels just a little stiff -- like the muscles or tendons around it are too tight -- and I am going to continue to take care.

I wrote down my stats but they are in my bag, something like 48 mins (I forgot to turn it on for a while so that doesn't include the warm-up), 99% in zone 0, 1% in zone 1.

I enjoy people-watching in the gym. When I am in Club Pink, the women's only section, I am pretty average in terms of age, weight, and athletic ability. Up in Club Lime, where I was today, it is much more mixed. When I used to go in the before-work timeslot last year the classes were full of young toned fit people. Daytime classes have a big variety. Yesterday in Zumba there were a couple of women who had absolutely no sense of timing. Good on them for trying, but funny to watch.

Today there were two young men in the class who had never done BodyPump before (the instructor always asks). They were quite unfit and weedy-looking and had very light weights, which was sensible and not stupidly macho, but at one point when we switched to hand weights the instructor suggested 2.5 kg for the women and 5 kg for the men. I thought that was silly. There were a couple of men in the class with very heavy weights but also fit strong women. And there were flabby women like myself, and these new boys who were using weights as light as mine for most of the class. I don't think the instructor should have based it on gender at all.

Aiden and I then went to the library then did the shopping. We got home at 1 pm (cheese rolls for lunch at the shops), but I wasn't as tired as I often am other days after being out for hours with Aiden. Hopefully I am getting slightly fitter? This morning I was actually wondering if I need a day off exercise, having done four in a row now, but I seem to be doing ok. The weather is lovely today, I am thinking of a long walk tomorrow around the lake if it remains fine and sunny.

Monday, August 22, 2011

More about knees

I mentioned to a friend that I had hurt my knee at Zumba, and she told me that a friend of hers had just had knee reconstruction surgery (I don't think it was a Zumba injury) and her doctor told her that Zumba is causing a rise in the number of knee reconstructions he is having to do. Hmm. I am not about to stop doing Zumba, but I consider myself warned. I will be careful.

Let's twist again... not quite so much


I went to Zumba this morning and had time before the class to do six minutes on the treadmill.

I made the effort this morning to cook soft-boiled eggs for breakfast -- I had one and a bit with buttered toast and was very full. I still felt a bit overfull by the time I got to my Zumba class so I don't think it was the best breakfast for me to exercise on. The search for the ideal breakfast is not over.

Near the end of the Zumba class my left knee started to hurt. We had been doing a lot of jumping and twisting and swivelling, with many new steps that I was struggling to keep up with, so I slowed down a lot for a couple of tracks. The knee continued to get worse to I left one track before the end of the class. It is still a little sore, four hours later, but fine to walk on. I am just resting it for the rest of the day. I wasn't able to do the stair-climbing I'd had planned.

My stats for Zumba: 52 min; 131 cal, 58% zone 0, 36% zone 1, 6% zone 2. Av HR 103, peak 139.

I planned my meals a bit more today -- hence the cooked breakfast -- and I had a healthy and delicious warm lamb salad for lunch. Lots of finely chopped, lightly dressed (balsamic and sesame oil) salad with thinly sliced lamb on top. This is something I sometimes cook for dinner for the family and is quite involved as I roast and peel the capsicums and cook the lamb fillet and shave cheese over the top etc. But I'm at home, I have the time.

It's nearly time to pick up the kids and I'm not sure where the day has gone. Apart from going to the gym and making a healthy lunch, I haven't achieved anything. I read a short story, had a very short play of a computer game, and went through all the emails still in my in-box and filed most of them away or deleted them. That's about it. My focus is exercise at the moment, but I still have plenty of time to be productive in other ways. I don't want to waste my days and just sit around -- I wasn't even doing something fun!

My leg muscles are aching a bit, they really start to notice three days in a row of exercise. I get tired, I think that is why the day is frittering away without me noticing. I am still building up stamina.

I consulted with the reception desk at the gym about booking in for a health check. Unfortunately the information given over the phone was correct, they don't offer health checks at any time I want to have one. She did mention that they do weekends, so I ended up booking in for Sunday morning. I will miss my class, but if things go to plan I will have already done 7 days in a row so I think skipping a class will be fine. Even if I have another day off before then, I can still use the gym equipment after my health check. And maybe I can lose a little weight before then!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Lots of exercise


Feeling like a champion today. I had planned to jump on the cross-trainer after my BodyPump class but I got there so early today I was able to do 20 mins before my class! I used weights on the bar for the whole BodyPump class. And then after the class I did another 15 mins on the treadmill. I am awesome.

Cross-trainer stats: 20 min; 11% zone 0; 88% zone 1; 1% zone 2; 67 cal; av HR 114; peak 126.

BodyPump stats: 45 min; 93% zone 0; 7% zone 1; 82 cal; av HR 89; peak 119.

Treadmill stats: 15 min; 100% zone 0; 28 cal; av HR 94; peak 100.

The discrepancy between calories burned as stated by my HR monitor and the equipment is huge. I burned 67 cal on the cross-trainer but the machine said 94, and I burned 28 cal on the treadmill but the machine said 80! The equipment must base it on someone which a much higher percentage of muscle.

I didn't get my heart rate up very high but I moved and moved and I am proud of myself. I'm going to see "Jane Eyre" at the movies this afternoon, making the most of these days I have to myself.

Back on the cross-trainer


I woke in the night with a horrible earache, but this morning both it and my sore throat were gone. Feeling all better. As I didn't get out of bed until 10 am, I missed my 9 am 50/50 class -- but I went to the gym this afternoon and used the cross-trainer and the bike.

My stats: 53 min; 61% in zone 0; 34% in zone 1; 5% in zone 2. All of the higher stats were on the cross-trainer -- I have to go uncomfortably fast on the bike to get my heart-rate up. Hmm, who said I should be comfortable while exercising? Anyway: 117 cal, 106 av HR, 130 peak HR.

Before starting, I weighed in at 80.9 kg, my highest since I started the current plan. A little bit would have been because it was 3 pm and I usually weigh myself in the morning; but mostly because I have been eating so badly for the past two weeks and not exercising nearly as much as I had planned. I'm not sure what is going on with the eating -- I have been ravenously hungry all the time. This would be reasonable if I was exercising hard; but I haven't really been. I've just been hungry, and eating lots of junk.

Today is the start of a new week and I will get back on track. Gym every day, healthier food choices, and not eating in the evenings after dinner.

Friday, August 19, 2011

In which I whinge about my sore throat

Saturday morning:

Yesterday I woke feeling quite tired and yuck (so what's new) but also with a bit of a sore throat. If I hadn't already had two days off this week I probably would have given myself permission to skip the gym, but NO! It took a lot of willpower but I bullied myself into going, mainly with the foreknowledge of how guilty and miserable I would be later off if I didn't. And then my Zumba class was cancelled! Arg!

I got on the bike but my shoulder (the left, torn one) started hurting after about 10 mins so I didn't last much longer than that. And I went home.

As the day went on my throat got a bit sorer and the gland on the right side of my neck swelled up a bit and was sore to the touch from the outside as well. But nothing serious.

This morning I feel much the same as yesterday afternoon. Sore throat, tired, but only slightly unwell. Not sure what to do about exercise. My daughter clearly has a cold. My class today would be at 12.30, BodyStep, the most strenuous one of the week. I am thinking about going for a long walk instead. Is that piking, or sensible? This has been a bad week for exercise.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Student free day -- for teachers not for me



Today is a student-free school day so I have both kids at home. My plans for the day included putting them in creche and doing a BodyStep class (high intensity cardio!), then letting them have a swim in the heated kids' pool in the same building.

I lay in bed for an extra half an hour while the kids watched TV (getting up briefly so Tim could help me with my bra before he went to work), then after breakfast I noticed Tim had forgotten to put the bins out. As I was organising myself to do it, he called to tell me he had forgotten the bins (no problem) but also that he had found my keys in his pocket when he got to work. What the? He must have put them in his pocket when leaving the house, but why? He's never done that before. And my keys are always in the same place, sitting on top of my handbag, not somewhere he would usually mistake them for his.

The consequences are that I can't go to the gym or take the kids anywhere else -- no car keys and no house keys. It is also raining, so we can't even go into the backyard. Bummer. It's going to be a long day.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

In which I lift weights while feeling blah


After my pleasant afternoon yesterday things went downhill. The kids, who usually play beautifully, fought all afternoon leaving the four-year-old in tears three times. I eventually had to separate them; him out on the trampoline and her in her room. I felt tired and grumpy and headachy for the rest of the night.

Still out of sorts this morning. It was Aiden's day home with me so I put him in the creche for an hour while I did BodyPump. I used 1 kg weights (one on each end, obviously) on most of the tracks and it went ok -- it is not my muscles that are the problem so much as my lack of shoulder rotation. I was feeling very uninspired and sluggish, but luckily Pump only requires a bit of determination and no perkiness. I don't think I could have Zumba'd or Stepped. I didn't bother to wear my heart-rate monitor but I actually think I got my heart rate up a little bit while using the extra weight instead of just the bar.

It is pouring rain today, thank goodness for lovely day yesterday for my walk.

Took Aiden to the library to exchange books and DVDs and then we did the grocery shopping. I was completely exhausted by the time we got home. I still feel quite blah and hope I am better tomorrow. If it was a completely different time of the month I would suspect PMS, but it can't be.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Writing and walking

more Tuesday

I felt quite grumpy and out of sorts all morning -- not sure if it was guilt from not going to the gym or having caught whatever my husband had. In retrospect, I think I wasn't sick, just a bit tired. Anyway, I went to my writing date -- at McDonald's of all places, it has free wifi not that we actually needed it to write -- had some lunch then sat and worked on my novel alongside four other would-be novelists. I got a thousand words written, which was great.

Then I just had time for a half-an-hour walk around the lake before picking up the kids. It was a beautiful day outside, sunny and warm for late winter, and I saw about eight different kinds of birds including black swans, ducks, and bright red lorakeets (a type of parrot). I walked as fast as I could, so that my legs felt the burn. I feel a bit better having at least got some exercise today. And some sunshine.

photo by Gary Sutherland

Temporary setback


Yesterday evening Tim called to say he wasn't feeling well and could I pick him up from work as he wasn't feeling up to riding home. As soon as we got home he went to bed. He was much better this morning and went to work. But when I was getting dressed I had a wave of dizziness -- one of his symptoms. I hesitantly made the difficult decision not to do to the gym. I've been alternating between feeling guilty, and feeling a bit weak and dizzy and thinking I made the right choice.

My plan is to stay home this morning, then assuming I feel well enough I will go to my writing date at lunch time and then go for a walk. It's looks like a lovely late-winter day outside.

I had a series of frustrating phone calls with my gym this morning. I was trying to book in for a health check with the women's only section Club Pink -- mainly so they could measure my various body parts -- but it turns out they only do health checks at the same time as they have classes; 9.30 and 12.30. But I go to a 9.30 class every day and don't want to miss it; and don't particularly want to go back at 12.30 just so they can measure my arm fat. She also mentioned that there was no-one available to give me a health check today as the instructor would be running the zumba class (which I was planning to go to at that stage). Well hello, of course she can't do both simultaneously! How do they expect this to work? I had hoped to do the check straight after the class, then both she and I would be free. But no.

The kids have a student-free day on Thursday so I got transferred to the front desk and booked them into first session creche. Then I realised that Thursday is the one day I don't have a suitable 9.30 class, so I wanted to go to the 12.30 Step class. But, aha, a 9.30 slot I wouldn't be in a class ... I rang back Club Pink to book in for a health check on Thursday morning. But ... computer says no. She couldn't even tell me why they couldn't do that time.

So ... I asked to be transferred back to the front desk so I could change the creche time to the later session for my Step class. No-one answered and eventually the call was picked up by Club Lime, the big gym upstairs. They took the message that I wanted to change my creche time, but I have no idea if it will actually get written in the book downstairs. I will check when I go in tomorrow. All very frustrating.

I don't want to give up a class to have my health check, but it would be great to have some figures other than just my weight for later comparison. They do body fat percentage and water percentage and body measurements as well as looking over your exercise plan and teaching you to use equipment and all that stuff.

Maybe next time I am in Club Pink (Friday) I will discuss my options with the receptionist face to face with the appointment book right there. I might have to give up next Monday's Pump class and do the treadmill/bike/free weights afterwards. They suggest having a health check every 6 weeks (and then make it very difficult to get to one!) but I haven't had one for many months.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

It's all about me


I just had an awesome "me" day.

I dropped the kids off at school and childcare, then went to the gym and did a BodyPump class. I added weights for a couple of the tracks, but I still have to be very cautious as my shoulders (especially the left) have a restricted range of movement. So most of it was done with just the empty bar. It is still good stretching and toning.

My (non-cardio) stats were: 60 mins, 93% in zone 0, 7% in zone 1, 114 calories, average HR 93, peak HR 118.

I've had a stiff neck and sore lower back for a few days -- I think from all the extra computer work I did recently, not from exercise. So after the class I got in the hot spa. It was very bubbly, but most of the jets were on the floor in the middle of the spa, so not very useful. After a while I changed to the kids pool, which has a submerged seat at one end with spa jets directed into the small of one's back -- presumably for parents watching their kids. The water (warm) seemed freezing after the hot spa! But the jets were awesome. I sat for a long time getting an intense massage on the sore spots. After all the spa-ing my neck and back were feeling much better.

I went home and had lunch -- home-made chicken soup leftover from the weekend -- then went to see the Glee 3D concert movie. I was by myself, and there were only seven other people in the theatre. So not very popular. It was okay, I enjoyed the actual concert parts and the glimpses of backstage but was rather bored by the extensive coverage of fans saying things like "My favourite is Brittany because she is so pretty." I kept mental track of the favourites and they were all named except Mercedes and Mike. What a downer for them -- imagine being the only ones out of a dozen stars (or more, I think Blaine was mentioned the most and he isn't even in New Directions) who aren't anyone's favourite.

Then I had enough time to do a quick grocery shop before picking up the kids. Now I get to play World of Warcraft before it is their turn for computer/TV time and I have to make dinner. Awesome day.

As expected, there is plenty of junk food left over from the weekend. I put away, for D&D night, a bag of chips, 2 bags of lollies, 2 packets of biscuits, and a bag of chocolate bullets. I have left the opened things in the cupboard -- only a few nearly-empty packets of biscuits. I had a handful of crispy m&ms at the movies (not from the weekend, left-over in my bag from the last time I went to the movies and forgotten about) and one Tim Tam while having afternoon tea with the kids.

Three days in a row of exercise! Go me! And I had toast for breakfast this morning, so that is going well too. I am not nearly as tired today as I was all weekend.

Sweat is fat crying


Despite a houseful of guests, I went to my 50/50 gym class this morning. It's half aerobics and half Step. It had previously been my favourite class; but now, although I still enjoy it, it has been passed by a full class of Step, Zumba, and even BodyPump. The main reason for this is that I find the aerobics portion is not ideal for my current limitations. There are bits I just can't do, which is frustrating. But it's still good.

My stats were: 60 mins, 12% in zone 0, 72% in zone 1,and 16% in zone 2. The reason for the slower heart-rate was partly, as I said, that I can't do it all so sometimes have to just do something less jumpy than the rest of the class; but also because I was so exhausted from yesterday's class (and probably from looking after house-guests) that I was dragging myself through the moves. I found it all really hard. Two high-intensity cardio days in a row is punishing at my level of fitness. I'm glad I have BodyPump tomorrow -- weights not cardio.

To continue: 216 calories, average HR 117, peak HR 137. I weighed myself at 79.9 kg, a bit up from yesterday. Sunday is my official weigh-in day, so that is today. I imagine the extra weight is from all the junk I have been eating this weekend (or just a daily fluctuation). The trick will be to stop eating all the junk -- all the guests brought lots of junk food and alcohol with them and we haven't gone through half of it, I assume the rest will be left behind when they go home in the morning. I need to save it for next Thursday's D&D night. Or just throw away anything that is too tempting, like the chips. I can probably resist the alcohol, biscuits and lollies. I only ate half of my dessert tonight so there is delicious raspberry chocolate mousse in the fridge as well.

I had a nap this afternoon while most of the others went for a walk. I was just too tired. I only got to rest for an hour; then I got up and made the dessert, got dinner started, repacked the dishwasher, put the washed clothes in the dryer so I would have something to wear to the gym tomorrow, hand-washed my heart-rate monitor strap... it has been a busy weekend, and the evening isn't over yet.

I'm thinking about using the gym's spa after my Pump class tomorrow. It is included in my high-level membership, but I haven't used it yet. Might be nice for my sore muscles. The kids will be at school -- I have the whole day (until 3 pm) for whatever I want! There are a few movies I want to see, too, after I have done my exercise each day.

The gym instructor said an awesome thing in class, she said she got it from her instructor: "I want to see you sweat! Sweat is fat crying!" I love that.

I showered at the gym today (I usually go home) but of course I had taken my winter clothes to change into and I was still so hot even after my shower that it was torture putting my thick shirt on. My face was still so bright red that it was a bit embarrassing to pop into the shops on my way home. I was at the checkout when my father-in-law walked past -- he didn't recognise me at first glance! I looked like a tomato. Hopefully this won't continue to happen after I am fit; Tim used to get red too after exercise but he doesn't any more now that he rides an hour and a half every day on his bike.

I must be jumping a lot more in class than I used to, because I have noticed recently that my bosoms are bouncing a bit uncomfortably. I have never been particularly large, and I wear a sports bra, so I have never had this problem before.

My nutrition focus this week is going to be breakfast. As I have mentioned before, I struggle to eat something healthy -- or anything at all, although I always do -- at that time of day. But yesterday I had a banana, and today I had Sustain cereal, so that is a good start.

I leave you with the reminder that sweat is fat crying.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Let there be light

Saturday Night

I have been tired all day from the exercise this morning (get used to it, body!) and have also been stuffing myself with delicious food at and between meals, so I am all lurgy and ready for bed. Up tomorrow morning for the next one!

I am posting again because I wanted to tell this little anecdote from the gym this morning. The class was in Club Pink -- the smaller, all-female part of my gym, Club Lime is much bigger and a lot of the classes are there upstairs -- and we ended up with 11 people which pretty much filled the room. When I got there, just on time, the lights were still off in the room. So eight or nine women were standing in the semi-dark beside their aerobic steps, waiting for the instructor to arrive or someone else to take action. I put down my water bottle and towel then walked back to the door and flipped the four switches that turned on all the lights. Go me! I was kind of amazed that no-one else had done it.

Oh, and I weighed myself, I was 79.6 kg again. I don't think I mentioned that before. Back to where I started 4 weeks ago. Time to pick up the pace.

Friday, August 12, 2011

And we're off


Half of our weekend guests have arrived and Tim had dance this morning, but I still managed to get out to a BodyStep class. My face is still bright red an hour later -- it was exhausting! Really good. I hadn't really done any cardio since Tuesday last week -- since then I'd only done a short session on the bike and a Pump class -- so I'd lost whatever endurance I'd gained from my first two weeks of exercise; but I can't do much about that now. I'm just starting from here.

My stats were: 50 mins; 17% in zone 0 (including abdominal work on the mat which I did some of between waiting for the room to stop spinning, and stretches at the end); 26% in zone 1; 41% in zone 2; 14% in zone 3 AND 2% in > zone 3 (lets call that zone 4, shall we). That is amazing. Average HR 125, peak HR 162. Remembering that 163 is my 'keeling over from a heart attack' point, I think I worked pretty damn hard. 205 calories doesn't really seem to reflect it.

On the nutrition side -- I have just ordered pizzas for our lunch... Oh well. I love cooking, especially for visitors, but I didn't want to have to cook 4 main meals over the weekend for lots of people, so I have gone for 1 fast food takeaway. Here on in I will be making all the food, including desserts of course. And snacks. Lemon cupcake, anyone?

Ready, set ...


Well, still no exercise; but on the upside I finished my last project! I am now free to exercise! Four weeks devoted to fitness. Of course I am not going to exercise all day, but I plan to get lots in.

I got another client last night, I had to tell him he'll have to wait for 2 months. He didn't seem to mind.

My plan is for four weeks of exercise (plus writing my novel, doing some work for a regular employer, catching up on the housework, reading every Australian fantasy novel published this year for the Aurealis Awards, reviewing books, proofreading as a favour, spending some time with the husband and children, and thinking about my nutrition), then three weeks for a client, then two weeks school holidays, then this new client, then my regular employer gets very busy at the end of the year so I will have to give them some time if I don't want to get fired -- which I don't care much about as I am getting plenty of freelance work now but it is nice to have little jobs that only take a few hours to fill up the gaps between the jobs that take a month.

This weekend my husband's family are all visiting, but I am going to go to the gym once each day anyway between all the cooking and chatting. From here on, nothing will stop me! I've had four days with no exercise and I am already feel the effects -- I'm not sleeping as well and my RSI is playing up. I am excited about getting stuck into it.

Breakfast will be my first nutrition project. I have always struggled with eating breakfast, I have to force myself. I can't face cereal first thing in the morning (although I like it for supper), never have time to cook, and sometimes find fruit a bit acidic -- so after a couple of days of effort at eating healthily I revert back to cruskits with butter and vegemite. I have no delusions that this is anything other than biscuits with extra fat and salt on top. Not good.

Last year, when for two weeks I was getting up before dawn to go to the gym, I would lay out breakfast the night before. I think either a banana (unfortunately about $13 a kilo at the moment instead of $2) or peanut butter on cruskits. Maybe sometimes a muesli bar. I didn't want to eat at 6 am but needed it for energy so forced it down in the car on the way to the gym. It seemed to work ok.

Maybe toast would be better than cruskits. Some nutritional value at least.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Deadline horizon


Deadline getting closer but work finishing line still far away... no exercise today. Probably not tomorrow. That sucks.

Nose to the grindstone


Two days in a row without exercise, and I might not make it tomorrow either. Arg! Today I had my 4 year-old son home with me, and I left it too late to book him into creche -- they were full by the time I called yesterday afternoon. Tomorrow, the deadline for my project will be getting very close. If by some miracle I finish it in the morning, I can go to the 12.30 class; but I expect I will be working all day. Oh well, it is nearly over.

My husband's family are visiting for the whole weekend, but I am not going to let that stop me do at least some exercise. Then on Monday -- pull out the chocks and I am away.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Lunge consequences


I had a hot bath last night to relax the muscles but my thighs are still sore today after all the lunges and squats yesterday. I have been working away at the computer all day, and every time I get up my legs stiffen up and I have to stagger around the house. Pretty good, huh!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Pumping weights


After spending the entire weekend working, I felt able to make time for the gym today and went to a BodyPump class. I haven't done one since I tore my shoulder at the end of last year, and I have missed it -- it had become one of my favourites. I did it today with only the bar -- no weights on the ends -- very careful of my shoulders. It was a bit tricky, and my left shoulder doesn't have anywhere near full movement back yet, but I could feel the blood and qi flowing around the damaged areas renewing and healing them. I think, so long as I am careful, BodyPump will be really good for me.

I weighed myself first, back down to 79.8 kg after the water-retention horror of a few days ago. Not too bad, considering I didn't exercise much last week and had fast food twice -- pizza and fried chicken -- (with left-overs the next day's lunch both times, so does that count as four fast food meals? I guess it does).

I wore my heart-rate monitor. As expected, not much action there; BodyPump is not a cardio class. 49 mins (I didn't stay for the abdominal track), 92% in zone 0, 8% in zone 1. Average HR 92, peak HR 120. That one little peak was the lunge/squat track -- it was really hard work and my thighs are still hurting, I don't know if I will be able to walk tomorrow!

BodyPump is going to be a great addition to my schedule, and good variation from all the cardio classes.

One thing I forgot, when doing my forward planning for exercise, is that I can't do up my bra by myself (except for a front-fastening one not suitable for exercising in), my husband does it up for me in the mornings. This means that I can't have a shower after one class and then go to another class a few hours later -- if indeed I ever get the energy to do two classes in one day -- because I wouldn't be able to get a bra on for the second class. This effects two days, Tuesday and Friday, when I had hoped to eventually go to both 9.30 and 12.30 classes. My options are to not shower after the first one (Zumba both times) and then sit around in my own sweat for two hours, or do as I plan on other days -- one class and then a long walk. I think the latter option is better, and doing two classes in one day might not be realistic anyway. We'll see how I go when I start to ramp it up next week.

I'm thinking, as well, that I will definitely need one day off a week, and that will probably be Saturdays when the kids will soon have swimming lessons and Tim has a dance class already. General health and not injuring myself is even more important that weight loss, and my body needs regular rest days. But I am actually looking forward to being able to devote myself to exercise.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Brain working, body idle


I didn't make it to the gym this morning. I woke at 7 am (or rather, was woken by children), knowing that if I leapt out of bed and moved my wet gym gear from the washing machine to the dryer it would be dry in time for my 9 am class. And yet. Stayed in bed until quarter to 9.

There are no other suitable classes today. I should do something else, of course. Go to the gym anyway and use the equipment, or go for a long walk or something. But I am spending the day, like yesterday, stuck to the computer working. It is not good for my RSI, my shoulders and arms are starting to ache. But I just need to get this job done. I already delayed this client two weeks, so it is important to my professional reputation that I finish by the end of this coming week. I would rather put in the hours now than be up to 4 am on Thursday night, or put him off again.

Of course I am worried about losing the little bit of fitness I have gained in the past three weeks, and about falling out of the rhythm of exercising regularly that I had started. And about my RSI flaring up. I am getting out of my chair every hour to move around and stretch for the RSI.

When these next few days are over, I will be able to fully commit to exercise.

As I didn't go to the gym, I have not weighed myself today.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Slow bike to nowhere


I made myself go to the gym today. I didn't have time to wait around for 20 mins (after dropping off the kids) and then do an hour zumba class, so I did 30 mins on the bike instead. My stats were: 100% in zone 0. Average HR 94, peak HR 105. Calories: 55.

Pathetic lacklustre waste of time? No!

I am amazed I did even that much. I have period cramps and feel bloated and tired and yuck. I did pretty well, considering.

I weighed myself too, just out of interest as I knew it would be bad - and it was. 80.8 kg. Up 1.4 kg in three days! All water retention. I also ate pepperoni pizza last night, and all that salt would make me retain even more water. Well, ok, some of it might be pizza-weight.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Swamped by work


I was scheduled to go to the gym today but I was just feeling too swamped by work to take nearly 2 hours out of my already-short working day. I feel a bit guilty, it is the first time in 2 1/2 weeks that I have skipped my exercise (except for one sick day) -- but I got lots of work done and completed the project that was due tomorrow! Yay! I had been juggling three projects at once but have now sent two of them back to the clients. Only one to go, due next Friday, then I will be free to really get stuck into exercise. After all, this 4-week period was originally intended for exercise-when-I-can but with the focus on work. It is still a bit disapointing to break my great record.

Instead of the Thursday/Saturday/Sunday gym sessions I had planned, I will do Friday/Sunday. I hadn't been sure about Friday (tomorrow) but since I have got that job in I can make the time. I will still be working frantically for the next week on the last project, it is a doozy.

I walked the kids to school and it is time to go pick them up, walking again, so I am getting a tiny bit of movement into my day.

Monday, August 1, 2011

More Zumba


I did Zumba again this morning. I really enjoy Zumba; it is more dance than exercise. There are chatty pauses between tracks and the last 15 or 20 mins is toning and stretching so my heart rate drops right down; but you know what? Heart rate isn't everything. I don't use weights but I think the toning is a great start for my damaged shoulders.

I weigh 79.4 kg, same as Sunday.

My stats for today were: 58 mins; 43% in zone 0; 40% in zone 1 and 12% in zone 2. I didn't get up to zone 3 at all. (By contrast, Sunday's class percentages were 8/18/63/11. Big difference!) 174 calories. Average HR 110, peak HR 134.