Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday weigh-in: 78.9 kg; down 0.1 kg


I was absolutely exhausted on Friday night and could barely keep my eyes open for the finale of Britain's Next Top Model. On Saturday morning I slept in until 10 am, but still felt very tired all day. I slept so heavily on Saturday night that I didn't hear or wake when my daughter was feeling sick and called out, and my husband got up to get her a bucket just in case (she didn't throw up, and was fine in the morning). I missed it all. But this morning I woke much refreshed and I think I have caught up on some sleep.

We went out in the morning and bought my Pandora bracelet and my first charm: it has a lovely little rose motif. On the drive to the shops I felt undeserving, that I hadn't done enough to earn it. I never feel like I have done enough. But now that I have it on my wrist I feel quite proud of myself and I love the charm.

Aiden's best friend Finn had his 5th birthday party today. It went from 11 to 1 so I was expecting some kind of lunch to be served; and we had been at the shops all morning (we also bought Jasmine some clothes) so we hadn't eaten since breakfast -- I was hungry. But there wasn't any lunchy-type things at the party other than one plate of sausage rolls and one of sandwiches -- it was all the kind of things I would serve at an afternoon tea-time party -- so not the best environment for a hungry dieter. I had chips and cake and lollies and cheese as well as fruit and a sandwich quarter. Then 2 minute noodles when we got home.

On the up side, Tim said he was going for a walk so I went with him; leaving the kids at the party. Half an hour of exercise and a nice chat with my husband away from the food. We were discussing whether to move house or renovate. It was the only exercise I got this weekend, so it was good to get out in the sunshine and fresh air and move my body for a little while.

My weight is much the same this week.

photo from the Pandora website

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The rewards of virtue: bling!


Big news first -- I just completed my 'exercise five days a week for a month' challenge! I have officially earned my first Pandora charm (and of course I will have to buy the chain to put it on). There are still three days to go in October, but I am calling four consecutive weeks a month. I don't really have time to go shopping today -- so tomorrow morning it is. Then start working towards my next one.

I was still feeling all PMSy this morning and it felt like everything was wrong. I got up early to work but the kids got up too (as they have started doing) even though I was as quiet as I could be. I don't need silence to work, but it helps; and if I am going to try to work with the kids playing nearby I might as well just extend my work day into the afternoon after picking them up from school rather than dragging myself out of bed early! One benefit of everyone getting up has been that we've been getting to school on time every day for the first time ever; but getting up an hour early is not worth that. Especially since I don't actually get a whole hour of work done.

Other silly things this morning included not being able to find a shirt in the four baskets of clean clothes that need to be put away, and realised just as we were about to leave the house that I hadn't made the kids lunches yet. So it was a bad start to the day.

When I got home from the kid drop-off I took a while to get to work, but finally got some editing done and then forced myself out for a walk. I drove to the nearby lake (not the one I have mentioned before with all the public buildings, this is a local one mostly surrounded by a thin strip of bushland and parks) and walked for half an hour. When you add walking the kids to and from school (so actually, since I haven't picked them up yet, I haven't finished my exercise for the day) this takes me up to more than an hour walking.

I have complained a bit lately that exercise doesn't make me feel good, but that isn't true of walking. I have very tense muscles with RSI problems, and a brisk walk loosens me up and makes me feel both relaxed and invigorated. So I guess there is an exercise that makes me feel good (still no endorphins, but nice all the same). After the walk, feeling much better and less crampy, I worked out that I have earned my bracelet and felt even better.

I am still not in control of my eating or my weight, but I AM in control of my exercise.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Early mornings


Time to catch up on the past few days. Tuesday morning was so cloudy and gloomy that I didn't realise that it was morning, and didn't get up early even though I was awake. Got to the gym well before Zumba so decided to use the treadmill and elliptical machine instead, and was able to get home and started work earlier than usual; and I also worked a bit in the evening. I have so much to do for the next couple of months that I am a bit stressed about it, but just need to keep chipping away. Food intake was reasonably good, but had a bit of an afternoon tea blow-out that included biscuits, cheese and chocolate as well as the two peaches I had originally planned for.

Wednesday is my day with Aiden. I got up early and did some work, then went to BodyPump, the library, haircut for Aiden, bought a present for his best friend's birthday, and grocery shopping. He had a bit of a runny nose and was a cranky and teary in the afternoon so we spend an hour cuddled together on the lounge watching a cooking show and I dozed off.

I found BodyPump a little bit easier than in the past, just like Monday. Again, I was able to do all the lunges -- so it wasn't a fluke! Yay! I actually did some power lunges ON THE STEP! And I do a lot of the shoulder work now (modified a bit and generally without any weight, but still) and I stay for the abs track and do isometrics -- basically just clenching muscles rather than actually doing crunches. I am not quite ready to lift heavier weights, but will experiment with that soon. I have some sore muscles now -- but only when I poke them.

Usually everyone starts BodyPump surrounded by different weights plus their Step and mat and training towel ... and gradually sheds things as they go. For instance I use a 5 kg weight for my squats, holding it on my chest because I can't get a bar up onto my shoulders; I put it away straight after that track as I don't use it for anything else. Everyone knows the routine of what you need when; and there is usually time to put something back on the rack between tracks while other people are changing weights on their bar or whatever -- not like my BodyStep class with the water Nazi not letting you leave your place. Generally most people put their Step back after the tricep track because you don't need it again. But after half the class had put theirs away (I had put back the bricks under mine but not the actual Step yet) the teacher said we needed it for the lunge track. I did the power lunges from my low Step -- you start on it then step back and down into your lunge. Then I put it away, along with most of those who hadn't already got rid of theirs. Rather belatedly, the intructor then told us that we needed the Step for our shoulder track to do push-ups on. A room full of people retrieving their Steps. I didn't bother, I do wall push-ups anyway. Finish that track. Put the Steps away (for the third time, for some people). THEN the instructor mentions we need the Steps to help with our sideways crunches in the abs track! Arg! Sense of timing, woman! Maybe she thought it was funny. I didn't get my Step back, I don't do crunches, but I don't think anyone else bothered to get theirs back either. The only people still using one were those who don't put their equipment away until the end anyway.

Last night we had D&D with the usual supper of junk food. Look away, nothing to see here.

This morning I got up nice and early, fired up the computer, did 15 mins of work, and went back to bed. It is "that time of the month" and I feel tired and bloated and yuck. I feel rather doubtful that I will get to the lunchtime BodyStep class, but I did make myself walk the kids to school which was a small win.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Change of plan


After complaining last night about having to get up so early for my new plan of going to the gym before everyone else got up, Tim came up with a novel suggestion. If I got up an hour early (instead of nearly two hours early for the gym) I could do some work then, and then go to the gym at my usual time of 9.30 after getting the kids squared away. The primary benefit would of course be that I don't have to get up so early, with a knock-on effect of not having to go to bed so early, but with a secondary benefit of having a break in my working day -- important for my RSI. The only down side is that there is more intense cardio at 6.15 than at 9.30.

After a very disrupted night (my shoulder was very sore after all the driving and sleeping on a narrow futon on the weekend, and also Aiden woke 2 or 3 times), I was lying awake anyway so it wasn't too hard to get out of bed early. I only ended up getting half an hour work done but I will get up a little earlier tomorrow; and it worked out well.

BodyPump was kind of weird today, not from any change on the gym's side. I was zoned out for most of it, I guess from tiredness. When lying down doing the bench presses I felt practically asleep, despite the fact I was still lifting the bar up and down as per shouted instructions. My brain was tired, but it seems my body wasn't -- it had been a week since my last Pump class and squats had been getting really hard but today they were almost easy. I have noticed before that I do better after a short break. But the biggest astonishment was when I realised that I had got through the entire lunge track without a break! This is the first time ever. Even if it was an easier track today or something, usually I have lots of breaks -- maybe up to eight rest stops in that one track. Today I was bobbing up and down like a robot, in some pain but no more than when exercising other muscles, and then the track was over! Maybe shutting the brain off actually helps. I think my technique is getting better too.

I planned today's food last night and stuck to it and I feel good about that. It helps that we bought a tray each of mangos and nectarines from a roadside stall on the way home yesterday, so I had snacks that were tasty and nutritious. I am feeling more hopeful and better about myself today. I need to learn not to pin all my self-worth on how my diet/exercise is going, but I will enjoy it while it lasts.

photo by Tatters:)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Weekend of fat and salt


I had a fairly debauched weekend -- food-wise at least. We drove to Sydney yesterday for a friends 40th party. On the way I had chips for afternoon tea. Then at the party I had a couple of glasses of wine and some snacks but tried to focus on catching up with old Uni friends rather than the array of food. I nibbled on the fruit platter quite a bit, which was pleasingly heathly yet delicious. I did have various other less-healthy tidbits too.

Sunday was worse. Bacon at my mum's for breakfast, a biscuit for morning tea, McDonalds on the road on the way home. Then when I got the leg of lamb out to roast it for dinner, it looked ... green. Not all over, but any green on your lamb is a bit off-putting. I called in my husband to have a look and then we both scanned the internet, which gave conflicting advice. The meat didn't smell bad, and it was within its use-by date, but I have had bad experiences with lamb before. In the end it wasn't worth the risk and we threw it out and ordered pizza.

Tomorrow is (yet another) fresh start. Yay for tomorrows! I am going to get up early to go to the gym, and try that for a week. That means an early night tonight.

I expect a weight gain overnight as my body retains water to deal with all the salt I ate today, so I will try not to freak about the scales in the morning.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Early weigh-in: 79 kg; down 0.8 kg


Somehow my exercise schedule had morphed into a endless run of BodyPump with hardly any cardio. I need to redress that. I went to Zumba yesterday instead of swapping it for BodyPump as I had been doing lately and I quite enjoyed it; especially as the instructor asked the class if we had any favourite tracks so I got to ask for my Bollywood one. Dancing that one is fun, not just exercise/work and I wish they were all like that! I only have one other favourite (an Irish sort of themed one). I am there to get fit, but it helps if I enjoy it.

I won't have the chance to get to the gym this weekend so I went for a walk this morning. I may not be anywhere near any weight-loss goals but I am determined to get my first charm for a whole month of exercising 5 times a week! Only a week to go on that one. I did some window shopping both in person and on line and have decided Pandora is definitely the way to go.

I am staying at my mum's house tonight so I weighed myself a day early, back down to 79 kg. Better than up.

I am really struggling to get my work done while going to the gym nearly every day. I only have school hours four days a week, so an hour at the gym plus showering and travel time really takes a big chunk of my day. If I add anything else, like shopping or getting a hair cut, I barely get any work done at all. So I am seriously considering doing the early morning classes -- 6.15 am. Urg. That means getting up at 5.45. On the positive side; I've been waking nearly that early anyway (and just wasting time tossing and turning), it will probably be light and not too cold now we are well into spring, and it will get exercise out of the way very first thing. I will go back to having four whole days (school hours) to get some work done. Oh, but I hate getting up early!

It would mean two Pump Classes, two Step, and one Attack. Plenty of cardio there. I might need a rest on the weekends.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

In which wonder who is stealing all my endorphins


I haven't been posting every day because nothing has been different or noteworthy. I go to the gym most days, I start out each day trying to eat well but end up stuffing myself with chocolate and half a block of cheese, and I feel a failure. Nothing new there.

I did seven days of exercise in a row this time but my knees have been hurting a bit (one of the reasons I didn't cycle much on Sunday) so the last two of those days were just walking. And today was a day off. I spent the morning looking for a dress to wear to all the events coming up and eventually managed to find one I don't hate myself in so that was a win. I don't look anything like how I want to look, though. The struggle is to find clothes I don't look terrible in; not to find clothes I look great in. That just isn't going to happen. I looked about eight months pregnant in one dress that had looked lovely on the rack.

I also got my fringe cut today (bangs in the US), which I only mention because of something that happened in the salon. I was walking past a brand new salon which had only opened yesterday and they were handing out discount vouchers outside -- I really needed to get my fringe trimmed so decided to go in. I was the only person in there so had two staff ask me if I wanted tea or coffee and then a woman massaged my hands the whole time the other woman was cutting my hair. Nice. Anyway, the hair-cutting lady went off and brought back a spray bottle to wet down my fringe and the hand-massage lady stopped her from spraying me, saying that that bottle held cleaning fluid! Glad that didn't go in my eyes. I think the staff need to get up to speed about what product is kept in what bottle. I don't think I will be going back.

Both children noticed the "haircut" when I picked them up from school, even though it is only a change from pinning my long fringe back for the past month or so. Husband didn't. Oh well.

I am sick of being tired all the time. I think I have been constantly tired for nearly nine years now. It made sense through pregnancy, breastfeeding, and young children waking through the night; but why now? I talked to my doctor about it a year or so ago and had some blood work done but it only showed low vitamin D (for which I took supplements) and high cholesterol. I thought regular exercise might help but it hasn't. I eat plenty of red meat so shouldn't be iron deficiency (and that should have shown up on the blood work anyway). Today I had a nap on the lounge in the afternoon, I just couldn't concentrate on work.

Of course it could still just be that I am not getting enough sleep. Last night, for instance, we both went to bed reasonably early (10.20 pm) -- Tim usually goes to bed much later than that but he was very tired as he has been working long hours. Anyhoo, I woke at some point after an unpleasant dream. I tried think nice thoughts and go back to sleep, but the same dream kept starting back up. It wasn't anything about real life either, I suppose it was an anxiety dream but I have no idea why. I worked on rescripting it for a happy ending but tossed and turned over it for a long time and kept waking. And then Aiden woke us around 6.30. If I had slept for the eight hours I was in bed, presumably that would be enough. But I wasn't. I have never been a good sleeper, but as a child I just remember a lot of trouble getting to sleep -- not the frequent waking I am experiencing now.

Sleep, or lack thereof, has been shown to have a significant effect on weight. It comes third on the list, after diet and exercise. It think it has its own effect on the body, but it also affects behaviour. I know that when I am tired I can't exercise at optimum intensity, maybe resist exercising at all, and I also turn to food in a search for energy to keep myself awake. (Other things in the top ten list include medication and living in a temperature-controlled environment -- we no longer need to burn calories to heat or cool our bodies.)

So what do I do? I already exercise regularly. I go to bed at much the same time every night. I don't read or watch TV in bed -- sleep and sex only. I don't drink caffine after mid-afternoon (and only tea, I don't drink coffee or cola). I try to have the room at a comfortable temperature -- not too hot. What else is there?

I am not blaming my obesity on my poor sleeping skills. I am just saying it doesn't help.

On to the next bit of my tired rant. Yesterday I was talking to my friend Caroline who was raving about the endorphin rush she gets from exercise. A lot of people seem to get that. My husband does. I don't. Caroline questioned if I exercise at a high enough intensity to get the endorphin release. A fair question in regard to some of my work-outs, I don't always go all-out. But sometimes I do. Particularly on the weekend, when I do group classes that leave me feeling weak and limp. I feel like I give everything. But no endorphin. Just exhaustion. And sometimes depression. People say "I feel so good after exercise!" I don't. Just tired. Maybe it comes eventually. Maybe 14 or 15 weeks isn't enough yet. Maybe I am a sad freak of nature. Maybe my continuing poor eating habits are sabotaging my body's ability to sleep well and feel good from exercise.

But come on, my diet isn't that bad! I'm talking about butter on my corn and a few squares of chocolate every day and fast food maybe once a fortnight. I don't have McDonalds three times a day or anything like that. I eat fruit and vegetables and dairy and protein and even a few wholegrains. Just a few too many indulgences as well.

I'd better go to bed before this rant gets any longer, or I will even start to bore myself. Onwards to tomorrow and a better frame of mind.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The bike ride

Sunday afternoon:

We went out to a nearby bike track. It took a long time in preparation; Tim had to take the front wheels off my bike and Jasmine's so that we could fit the three bikes in the car and boot (no chance of fitting Tim's as well), and the kids ended up squished in with the frame of my bike. We need a bike rack. Then they all got put back together at the track. Pushing my bike through the car park, it felt wrong -- like the brakes were a bit on. Tim had the first ride and agreed and fiddled with it for a while but couldn't fix it. It was ridable, but hard work.

The bike park has a few different areas including a little kids area and long hilly tracks and BMX stuff; but we stick to the sealed loop. It's kind of like a skinny oval (1.2 km around) with a wider bit at one end so that you're not doing a hairpin turn, and a much wider interestingly wavy loop at the other end. When I went up to the sign to see how long the track was, I could see from the map that from the air the track is actually in the shape of a penis and testicles. Long shaft, bulbous head, two testicles. Who designs these things?

Anyway, while Tim was running along beside each child in turn as they practised with no training wheels, I set off. Riding a bike is still very scary for me. It's hard to remember the confidence I had as a child. I did one lap with a stop in the middle -- going quite slowly and even braking on the gentle down slopes. I had a rest and admired the kids' improvement then timed myself on a full lap. 9 minutes to do 1.2 km; that is only 8 km per hour. Kind of amazing that I wasn't going so slow I tipped over -- that is how Jasmine still rides. Oh well, I can only improve.

Not much riding for all that hassle getting the bikes there, maybe we will stick with the bike tracks near home for a while. But it is a nice spot.

photo by billhd

Sunday weigh-in: 79.8 kg; up 0.6 kg


Obviously miserable desperation is not an effective weight loss strategy, as I have gained weight again this week. Have decided to try eating less instead.

I was feeling very bleak after I weighed myself and crawled back into bed for a while, but then I got up and went to BodyPump. I didn't do the cardio class as well; partly because that would have involved getting up earlier, partly because I knew my regular instructor wasn't going to be there, and partly because we planned a bike ride for this afternoon so I think I will be getting plenty of exercise today. We didn't go on a bike ride last Sunday after all because the weather turned horrible. I am determined to master this bike-riding thing eventually!

I have been half-heartedly following the CSIRO diet but with lots of extra "indulgences" but I am going to go back to counting calories. Eating so much meat and almost no carbs is a bit restrictive if I want to have something like pasta. I will still use a lot of their recipes as they are generally tasty and low fat, but also have other things.

photo by Technopal

Half the weekend gone already


I made it through BodyStep again today despite the water-Nazi instructor. Man, that is a hard class. I was thinking today about how it is the hardest thing I do on a regular basis -- just shows how easy my life is!

I had a disturbing dream last night where I had chosen assisted suicide (no idea why) and they were going to hang me but when they put the rope around my neck I cried out "I don't want to die" so they took it off again. But the weirdest thing was that what stressed me most was that I hadn't chosen to live so much as chosen not to die, if that makes sense. It had been a very negative and cowardly decision (not wanting to die) rather than a positive life-affirming decision (wanting to live). I wandered in and out of sleep for the rest of the night worrying about it.

As usual the Step class exhausted me so I didn't do much for the rest of the day. Now it's Saturday night and I feel like I have wasted half the weekend.

photo by stopherjones

Friday, October 14, 2011

More of the usual


My dad was here visiting Tuesday and Wednesday. He used to be so active and sporty, but he is over 70 now with some heart problems and high blood pressure and he needs a lot more rest than he used to. We went to the zoo and whenever the kids and I watched an animal for more than a minute he sat on the nearest bench. And he sounded out of breath quite often. It was a bit sad and scary. He eats plenty of vegetables and isn't overweight but still has meat three times a day and at least a bottle of wine. He is on a million types of medication but washes the pills down with wine, which is worrying, but he isn't about to stop.

Anyway, I don't leave him to babysit so I didn't get to the gym those two days, but I went yesterday and today with the kids in creche. Today was BodyPump, and when we got to the tricep track I learned that it was to be the same one as Monday -- the one I can't do any of. I didn't feel inclined to run from the room crying again, and didn't want to sit there waving my arms feebly for the whole track as I tried to approximate what we were supposed to do, so I took a radical approach. While everyone else did tricep dips and then stood lowering hand weights behind their heads, I lay on my step with my bar and did the moves I can do! There are essentially two moves; lowering the bar to your forehead, and lowering the bar to your waist. I did that over and over in time to the music, following the instructors shouts to "two and two", "three and one" etc. And it was fine. I used my lighter weights as I am used to only doing about half a track then struggling with the bits I can't do; today I did the whole track -- my way.

So what if I wasn't doing the same thing as everyone else in the crowded room? Why would they care, and why would I care if they did?

I had a bit of a wardrobe disaster in the afternoon, but not that kind! My jeans had worn through on the inner thigh seams (from my legs rubbing together) and I desperately needed new ones. Clothes shopping with kids is never fun, and it's still school holidays, so I decided the easiest thing would be to buy a pair exactly the same as my old ones. I tried them on in the shop and they seemed a bit unflatteringly snug, but the salesgirl assured me they stretch half a size with wear. She pinned up the legs (I am only 152 cm -- 5 foot -- so all my trousers get shortened) and sent them off to be tailored. And I came home and checked the old pair of jeans waiting to be thrown out. They are a size larger than the ones I bought today. Bugger.

The new ones may well stretch a bit with wear, but they will also shrink again every time I wash them. They are paid for and are, as we speak, being altered for my height; so I can't change them for a larger pair. I probably won't be able to sit comfortably in them, and they gave me a muffin top. I did hesitate over them at the time, but I was so sure they were the same as the ones I had at home...

I'm guessing I can't wear them until I lose a bit of weight. Yet another motivation. Pity it's not working. Still stuffing my face. Doesn't matter if there is no unhealthy food available; I'll have bread, cereal, cheese, whatever is there that is laden with calories. But I've also been having unhealthy food, especially spending school holidays with the kids. We saw a movie today. 'Nuff said.

After this weekend the school holidays will be over and time to get back into a regular routine. Work. Gym. Parties five weekends in a row.

My little boy turns five next month. How can he be nearly five?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Tears at the gym


I was feeling pretty sad last night about the failure of my weight-loss efforts (and eating take-away probably wasn't a positive move) but this morning was much worse.

It it a public holiday today so I got to sleep in a bit (that wasn't the bad part); Aiden woke us early but then we all went back to sleep. But eventually I got up and weighed myself, as I do every day. 79.5 kg. So as of today, I have lost 100 g since I started exercising about 12 weeks ago. About 1/4 of a pound. I know my food choices are still pretty iffy, but I have been exercising quite a lot. Hours in the gym. 12 weeks of effort for nothing.

Weight lost: NIL
Improved fitness and extra energy: NIL
Sleeping better: NIL

I feel like a total failure, and I'm wondering why I bother to make the effort for no result. I guess the only positive result is that I didn't gain any more weight. Doesn't seem like enough. But never fear, I intend to persevere. Not with any enthusiasm, but with a kind of dogged misery. Having another try at sticking to the CSIRO diet. Continuing to exercise.

I was fighting back tears all morning. A friend called to arrange a meeting and I wanted to yell "Leave me alone," at him. When I was leaving for the gym, my husband said "Have fun." I wanted to scream at him: "Is that some kind of joke?" Like I go to the gym for fun? Just thinking about it makes me want to break something.

I managed to not cry when I couldn't find one of my gym shoes for a couple of minutes. I managed not to cry when the car park was full due to the public holiday and I had to circle round and round to find a spot. I didn't cry when the parking situation and going to the toilet before my class meant I was a bit late and missed half the warm up. But when we got to the tricep track and the intructor explained the moves and I learned that instead of not being able to do half of them (due to my shoulder) I wouldn't be able to do any of them... well...

I tried. I tried to hold back the tears. I tried to gently twist my shoulder back so I could do tricep presses. I had to leave the room. I went into the little reading room and closed the door and cried. Luckily there were tissues. I just felt so helpless and worthless.

I had my cry and went and washed my face then braved the group exercise room to grab my water bottle and pack up my weights. I had missed the bicep track as well and they were on to lunges and after that there would be shoulder work and ab work and all the other stuff I can't do, so there was no question of me staying.

I got changed without showering as I hadn't sweated much in my 20 mins and I just couldn't be bothered, and went and did the grocery shopping. It was really soothing to be able to do that without the kids for once. They are great kids, but it is still easier alone. I feel quite a lot better now, but still not happy.

Tim and the kids weren't here when I got home, I think they have gone out for a bike ride. We had planned a family one for this afternoon -- it is a sunny day for once and I want to finally start riding my bike -- so I hope they will still want to go out again. I will not let myself get worked up about them going without me when I don't know the story yet.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Sunday weigh-in: 79.2 kg; up 0.3 kg


Yes, here I am, still bobbing around 79 kg like I have been tied there. I'm dealing with it.

What I am not dealing well with is my lack of fitness. I did BodyAttack this morning (my 50/50 instructor was away) and yet again I did well for about 20 mins then ran out of energy. I have been exercising for three months now -- not entirely consistently but even in my worst weeks I have exercised twice and quite often a lot more than that -- and I feel like I should be getting better. But cardio still destroys me well before the end of the hour and then I am exhausted for the rest of the day.

I had wanted to stay for BodyPump but I just couldn't face it.

I am actually feeling a bit nauseous right now and a little piece of me hopes that I am coming down with something, because that would at least give me a reason why I still suck. But no, of course I don't really want to be sick. I want to be well and strong and fit. When do I get there?

I wore my HRM but I can't be bothered getting it to write in the stats. You don't care anyway.

One problem might be dehydration. I drink before and during class, but overall I am constantly struggling to get enough fluids. It's an ongoing issue with me. I'll keep working on it.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Put down that bottle of water!


I had my usual resistance to Saturday's BodyStep. It is after lunch, and I generally do better exercising first thing in the morning; and I was tired and my body was a bit sore from Pump yesterday (because I didn't stay for stretches?); and it is the most intense class of the week. I was considering taking an easier option like an hour of treadmill. We were running a bit late for the kids swimming lesson and I was quite ready to (oh so reluctanty) miss the class if they had already started. But luckily/alas I got there in time. Yay/damn.

The first 20 mins were great, I had a brick under my step and leapt around like a pudgy middle-aged gazelle. Then I ran out of energy. I blame the nazi instructor who doesn't let us drink between tracks (we are only allowed 2 drinks, I think, throught the whole class). I sometimes defy her, but when you have someone yelling into a microphone for you to come back, don't drink yet, don't leave your step... it's kind of hard. I was dripping sweat and dry mouthed and exhausted. As usual, I dragged myself through the rest of the class without a modicum of pep or vim. And then ate a chocolate bar.

I wore my heart rate monitor but forgot to turn it off until I was in the car on the way home. So it is a bit inaccurate, but I did spend 22 mins in zone 1, 20 mins in zone 2 and 1 min in zone 3. The rest was zone 0. 214 calories. Peak HR 144.

I am very happy that I have exercised 4 days out of the past 5. My eating is still not under control though. I am just so hungry! And when I am not hungry, I still eat anyway. At least I don't have much junk in the house now, but I am pigging out on cheese and buttered cruskits.

I have quite a few family events in the next couple of months; at fortnightly intervals in Sydney (3.5 hours drive away) I have a friends birthday party, a cousin-in-law's birthday, and my cousin's engagement party. Also, back here, we have my boy Aiden's 5th birthday -- and his best friend's the week before. Then Christmas is looming, and holidays away. I wish I was thinner already to show off to family and friends. But getting there slowly.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

BodyPump and Rosy Glow


I was going to go to Zumba this morning, even though I am not that keen on Zumba anymore -- I loved the older style Bollywood and Salsa tracks but now it is a bit of all sorts of things including Swing and HipHop -- but then I discovered that there is a BodyPump class upstairs on Fridays. Yay! I left the kids with mum, took off my heart rate monitor (I haven't worn it for ages; I forget for cardio classes and the wrist band is annoying during Pump) and off I went.

I thought I had a little bit of time so I did 8 minutes on the elliptical machine, but then found the group exercise room was packed! It is a huge room up there in Club Lime, but I ended up right over one edge practically on the carpet of the lounge area. The instructor started while I was still grabbing all my weights and Step pieces and mat, so I guess I didn't have as much time as I thought.

I thought about my bracelet and worked hard, although I didn't do the ab track at the end. When I first started BodyPump I had so little weight on the bar that it wasn't much of a workout for my muscles, but now it sure is! My shoulder has improved enough that I can do 5 kg (total)for a lot of the moves, and that is enough to exhaust me when I have to lift it up and down for a whole hour! I end up as sweaty and red-faced as when I do a cardio class, which is great. I had been staying for the ab track sometimes, but my shoulder was feeling a bit strained so I decided discretion was the better part of valour. It is so not worth the chance of injuring myself again, and ab work is amongst the most difficult moves for me.

My back and thigh muscles are a bit sore, so they definitely did a lot of work this morning. Those squats and lunges! Arg!

I've been drooling some more about my bracelet, I think I will have a look at some when I go shopping this afternoon. When I first looked at them as a birthday present I was attracted to the pink shades (the charm in the picture is called Rosy Glow, apparently) but pink doesn't seem to represent a reward to hard physical and mental labour. I need something stronger looking. Also, although I love pink and wear it a fair bit in summer; I don't wear it much in winter or ever in the evening. I want a bracelet I can wear when I am glammed up! So I am thinking purple. I wear a lot of purple, and it also goes well with black.

From memory, the elaborate crystal charms are over $100, I will use them as rewards for each 5 kg weight loss. But there are also plain silver charms (by "plain" I don't mean boring, I remember a lovely dragon one) which I think were under $50 and look great alternated with the fancier ones. So I am going to set myself fitness goals that are not directly weight-related to earn those. For example, the first one I have though of is achieving a whole month of exercising at least 5 days per week (21 days out of 30 consecutive days).


I have wanted a Pandora charm bracelet for some years. Not necessarily that brand -- in fact I rather like the charms for the Amore & Baci version -- but something similar. Tim was going to get me one last birthday and we went and looked at some but I was put off by the price. I can't even remember how much the Pandora one was, I don't think they even had prices on the displays, but the A&B one was something like $400 for the chain and three or four charms. It didn't seem worth the money for not even a full bracelet. It was totally my choice not to get it. But I still see pictures of them and covet.

Today I was reading a Weight Watchers magazine that suggested non-food rewards for weight loss -- like a charm bracelet. Hmm. And later in a different article it suggested wearing a bracelet as a reminder, so you would see it when you reached out for food. I got a bit excited about the whole concept of earning each ridiculously expensive charm. And the Gods know I need some extra motivation. So I discussed it with Tim and I am going to do it.

A bit arbitrarily, I am taking 80 kg as my starting point and getting a charm every 5 kg. I considered my highest ever weight of 83 -- meaning I would only have 1 to go -- and Tim suggested starting with today's weight but I didn't like that idea at all! He did also suggest getting 2 charms each time, so it's not about the money. But 80 is a good round number and it is about what I was when I started the CSIRO diet a few weeks ago. I have 4 more to lose before I get the chain and my first charm. Then every time I look at it I can see how well I am doing.

I will only end up with 4 or 5 charms depending on my final weight loss, but then I can start getting additional ones for special occasions like birthdays, and maybe an extra one every year (or 6 months?) I maintain my goal weight.

It is already working. I was planning to snack on some chocolate this evening but thought about my bracelet and didn't. And then I thought about reheating some soup but thought about my bracelet and didn't. I feel all motivated again. I have mum still here to babysit tomorrow morning while I go to the gym. I can see the silvery sheen draped on my toned and strong wrist now.

photo by cristina photographs

Punyness exposed


I went to Zumba on Tuesday morning and spent an hour at the gym today while mum babysat. There is no suitable class on Thursdays until 12.30, which was too late for my purposes, so I did 20 mins on the elliptical, 25 mins lifting weights in some approximation of BodyPump moves, and 15 mins on the bike. I miss proper BodyPump, it just hasn't worked out this week.

Oh, speaking of which, I mentioned to a friend that I lift 5 kg (total), mainly restricted by my dodgy shoulders but I do find my legs trembling at the end of the squats track. And do you know how much he lifts? Guess. You'll never guess. 140 kg. OMFG. 140 kg. I don't know if that is for a whole hour, but he did mention doing squats and bench presses with that weight. I couldn't even lift that. He has been lifting weight for 15 years or something, but he is not at all bulky.

Mum then took me and the kids out to lunch, and then we went to Floriade (the patting paddock was gone but they had a reptile area which was interesting) and on a lake cruise. It was a cool grey day with intermittant rain -- luckily mostly while we were on the boat which had a roof. We had to walk back to the car in the rain, which didn't bother me at all but mum didn't like it much. Unless it is a really cold day, I would rather walk through light rain than be hot and sweaty on a summer day. Much rather! But different people hate different things. I noticed when we were in China I complained about the heat, but on the rainy days there was a huge kerfuffle about buying umbrellas (which you have to hold up constantly) and raincoats (which is like wearing your own personal sauna). I just walked in the rain, and stopped complaining about the horrible heat for a few minutes!

I am really trying to get back on track with the exercise. I admit that I feel much better when I do it.

photo by popoever

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sunday weigh-in: 78.9 kg; down 0.3 kg


I haven't posted for a few days because I have had nothing much to say. I have been eating a bit better (by no means perfectly) but have hardly exercised at all. So, yet again, I am lucky that my weight has gone down a bit this week.

It is that time of the month where I feel bloated and tired and cranky, so I just haven't felt motivated to exercise. And, despite being well into Spring, the weather has dropped back into mid-winter conditions. I just want to huddle under a blanket at home and read or watch TV.

Now it is school holidays so the next two weeks will be a challenge. But I am determined to get back into my exercise rhythm. Today I missed all the available classes because I got up late, had a slow breakfast, and then found out that daylight savings started today and it was an hour later than I thought! Tomorrow I am at a conference all day. Tuesday then - I have already booked Jasmine into creche.