Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Weight Watchers


I've decided to stop struggling along alone and have joined Weight Watchers. Whatever I have been doing obviously hasn't been working and I need help. I'll be going to meetings (on Friday mornings) and tracking my food with ProPoints.

I get 26 ProPoints per day plus an extra 49 per week plus more when I exercise. I am still exploring the site and haven't been to a meeting yet so I'm not sure if they have specific exercise recommendations.

I am committing to this fully for 3 months, after which time I will decide if it is working for me. It is 1st February 2012 today. The Christmas/holiday period was challenging, but the upcoming 3 months shouldn't have any major hurdles -- Valentine's Day and my husband's birthday are just one day each.

I will still earn Pandora charms for weight loss, sticking to the plan each month, and regular exercise; plus I will come up with some specific Kinect goals like getting a score of 12,000 on JustDance3 (I think that is a "perfect" score which might not be possible -- maybe 11,800 or something?) or a platinum result on intermediate or advanced on KinectAdventures.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Late weigh-in: 79.5 kg


I thought I weighed myself yesterday but I don't seem to have written it down anywhere. I was a bit distracted. But on Saturday I was 79.5 kg and today 79.4, so I am going to assume 79.5 for my official weigh-in.

It has been a hectic couple of weeks. Just about all of it was fun holiday stuff, but busy none the less and OMG lots of food. A week at the beach, then my dad visited for two nights, then the very next day the next lot of houseguests arrived: a total of seven slept here. Then yesterday was my daughter's 8th birthday party followed by a family BBQ lunch here and the last guests left just after 6 pm Sunday evening. I was so tired by then I wanted to weep, and I'm still feeling pretty exhausted this morning. But it is daughter's actual birthday today. We'll do something quiet, like go to the movies.

Last night in particular I was eating in search of some energy, shovelling in left-overs from the party and BBQ. Not healthy or sensible.

I did get in some exercise this weekend, though. Lots of Kinect. We did the dancing and adventure games and then my brother-in-law brought his new game Power Up Heros which involves kickboxing moves. I reckon a couple of hours of vigorous exercise on Saturday. I was pretty sore afterwards!

Time to turn the page on the past (yet again). I'm a bit divided about how to deal with my bad behaviour. My strategy so far has been to argue that there is no point beating myself up after the event and that guilt and misery doesn't help me to do better. But as Dr Phil would say, "How is that working for you?" Do I need to be tougher on myself? Give myself a stern talking-to after a binge? If it was a rare event I think it would be best to just forgive myself and move on. But my episodes of food debauchery are not rare at all.

I haven't been wearing my charm bracelet. It still only has two charms on it, nothing new for months. It has seemed more a reminder of failure than a motivator. But I just went and put it on. I will see and feel it on my wrist and remember to be good.

I am back to 79.5 kg, where I started. I don' think I can lose 4.5 kg (10 pounds) in a month to reach my original goal of 75 kg by the end of February; 4 weeks from now. I have lost January, so I will reset to end of March -- half a kilo per week.

I am so tired this morning that I feel very discouraged. I don't even know if I am up to exercising today. But I will put healthy food in my mouth.

Thursday, January 26, 2012



I've done an hour of exercise with the Kinect for the past two days. Exhausting but fun. Food intake not so controlled. Gradually losing that holiday kilo.

Nothing much to say today so I'll give you an anecdote from my recent holiday. While the kids were in a fun four-hour session of Kidz Club at the hotel, Tim and I wandered into town and decided to get a massage. The masseuses were Asian, and there were some communication problems. We had a couple's room. Tim had asked for a shoulder & back massage (as listed on the menu), so was a little puzzled when told to strip down to his undies. They ended up doing his whole body, so not quite what he had asked for, but still ok.

Mine was more confusing. I asked what the reflexology massage involved. I was given to understand they would massage my hands for the half hour. I love hand massages, so this seemed ideal. Then there was some talk of using a "stick". This sounded worrying. What were they going to use a stick for? I've had many massages, but generally of the remedial painful physiotherapy kind, and no-one has ever used a stick. They saw my concern and told me they wouldn't use the stick if I didn't want it. Ok, great. I was told to take off my shorts and lie face up on the bed. My shorts? To massage my hands? The masseuse explained they would do my calves a bit as well. Hands and calves seemed an odd combination, but ok ...

She massaged my feet. And calves. And the fat bit just above my knees. Didn't go near my hands at all. Of course I worked out that she meant she was going to use her hands to massage me, not massage my hands. This translation had not occurred to me because for me, the use of her hands was just a given. Apparently not, when there is an alternative of using a stick. And Tim's masseuse apparently used her elbows a lot. You live and learn. Presumably she thought I knew that reflexology was a massage of the feet.

It wasn't as horribly painful as most massages are (Tim's was), but she did tear the skin at the base of both little toes while pulling my pinkies around.

Last massage I had was in China, where even though my Chinese sister-in-law impressed upon them that they needed to be gentle with me it was still the most painful brutal massage I have ever had and I couldn't lean back in a chair for days afterwards.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Post-holiday post


I just spent a week at Surfer's Paradise, a beach town in sunny Queensland. We couldn't decide between two hotels so spent three nights in each. In the first we had a two-bedroom apartment with full kitchen and laundry, lovely resort pool and indoor heated pool, one block from the beach and two from shops and restaurants. In the second it was more motel-style inside (but still a separate kids bedroom), two whole blocks from the beach, but with fantastic kids facilities of water slides, adventure playground, and kids club childcare service so Tim & I could go off on our own. We also went to two theme parks: Seaworld (dolphin shows, aquarium, jet ski trick show) and Wet&Wild (giant terrifying water slides and a wave pool). It was a lovely holiday with narry a flaw aside from a bit of sunburn.

Health-wise it was never going to be ideal. I didn't do any exercise other than walking around and splashing in the pools. We ate at restaurants twice a day and had ice creams most afternoons. On the other hand, we only had entrees twice and dessert once the whole time, and apart from ice creams we rarely ate anything between meals. I tried to eat whatever salad or vegetables were on my plate and bought some fruit to keep in our room (Aiden ate most of that, but I did have some grapes.) I only had one alcoholic drink a day, some juice and lemonade but mainly water. I think I was pretty moderate, considering.

I weighed myself this morning; 80.2 kg, up exactly 1 kg (2.2 pounds). I was actually pretty pleased with that, I feared a several kilo gain.

The rest of this week will continue to be a challenge, we have a constant stream of visitors and/or houseguests for the next six days culminating in Jasmine's 8th birthday party. But I will be in control of shopping and cooking so I have no real excuse. I will prepare mostly healthy food; and if I serve snacks I don't have to eat them! Finding time to exercise will also be tricky, but I will manage it. I always feel extra determined and motivated after a period of unhealthy living, I think my body is starting to crave real food and exercise.

photo by anthony cramp

Monday, January 16, 2012

The next two weeks


I'm going to be really busy with social activities for the next couple of weeks (I'll blog more specifically afterwards) including lots of restaurant dining, houseguests, card parties etc. Lots of food-centred events. It will be a challenge and my goal is to be moderate. I don't expect to stay under my calorie limit five days a week, but I won't go overboard either.

On the other hand, there is no reason for me not to be active and I still intend to strive for lots of exercise! I didn't exercise today but I am feeling much better and I'll get back into it tomorrow.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Sunday weigh-in: 79.2 kg; up 0.2 kg


I have some kind of stomach bug with, well -- you know, the usual effects. Not pleasant.

I haven't been exercising much and my weight shot up earlier in the week when I had pizza one night for dinner and pizza leftovers for lunch the next day. For some reason, pizza seems to have that effect more than anything else. It's been creeping down since then, but not enough to get me back down to last Sunday's weight.

* Lose 0.5 kg (4.5 kg in 9 weeks)
No, see above. Not on track this week.

* Exercise five days a week
No, I exercised three days this week. Today is not looking good either, the abdominal cramps continue.

* Stay under calorie limit five days a week
I doubt it. I haven't tracked for the past few days, but my comfort foods (even when sick) have included chocolate biscuits and icecream and plenty of bread. Also the pizza. So we'll call that a no. I stayed under on three days that I'm sure about. Do calories still count when they come up again or go straight through?

My fluid intake has also been a bit low.

Hopefully I feel better tomorrow. I'll track today regardless of what I eat, I need to stay in the habit.

Friday, January 13, 2012



You may remember that back in October my jeans fell apart and I accidentally bought a replacement size too small, having blocked out the memory of going up a size the year before. I put the small ones in the drawer and sewed up the seam of the old ones. It is summer so I've mostly been wearing shorts, so I've sort of gotten away with it while hoping to lose weight. My black jeans also fell apart. Finally two days ago my blue jeans ripped again, beyond repair.

Despite being in the middle of summer, in Australia, we've had a really cold snap and I was back in warm clothes (even a cardigan one day -- don't tell me climate change doesn't exist!). I cobbled together my black jeans enough to get me to the shops.

Why not just wear something else, you ask?

I have plenty of T-shirts and pretty tops, but for the bottom half my entire wardrobe (in my current size) consists of:
* three pairs of gym shorts, not for public viewing
* blue jean shorts for hot weather
* grey work trousers that I wear to meet clients
* one dress that I wear with leggings

That's it. That is my entire wardrobe. I've only been buying things when I absolutely have to, because I'm going to lose some weight soon, right? Silly to spend money on clothes that I'll only be wearing for such a short time, right? Well, the months and years pass with me still this size.

I can't wear skirts or dresses because my thighs rub so painfully together. I like my work trousers but I can't wear comfortable sneakers with them.

So this morning I went and bought new blue and black jeans, in my current size. But I wasn't very happy about it.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Not a great day


This is not turning out to be the best of weeks. This morning, a few minutes after breakfast, I suddenly felt extremely nauseous and then threw up. I've felt ... not really sick ... weak and tired and a bit dizzy all day. I had a nap on the lounge in the afternoon. Cancelled the kids' playdate with friends. Stayed home all day. No exercise.

You'd think that it would be easy to stay under calories when feeling ill, but unfortunately the kind of food that doesn't take much/any preparation is the processed high calorie kind. 2-min noodles for lunch. And home-delivered pizza for dinner. Greasy, urg. Not what I felt like eating, but neither did I feel like cooking. Tonight's planned dinner would have required too much work. Nothing much delivers around here. So pizza it was. At least the kids enjoyed it. They were so good all day, playing together. They always are, they are great kids.

It is nearly 8 pm and my husband still isn't home which I am not too happy about, considering he knows I am not feeling well and it means I have to get the kids to bed myself. But it is his second last day (in a very demanding job) before he takes two weeks holidays so I am sure he has good reason. I will try to be understanding and not cranky. He is working hard to support us. But some days I would rather he earn a bit less and we see him more often. At least the blood pressure medication is working and his blood pressure is back to normal.

I am tired and stressed and feel like I have wasted a day when there was so much I should have been doing. Working, exercising, gardening, making the kids' school holidays fun, housework... I got a new client today so I am now booked out until half-way through May. I have made sure I blanked out the April school holidays and I will let nothing interfere! I am too accomodating and worried about clients being unhappy if I take too long. But I just have to be up-front and risk losing their business. My kids need me too.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Eating away the boredom


I started the day well with an hour exercise on the Kinect, also practiced guitar and helped Jasmine with violin. I had a peach and a nectarine for breakfast. I sat down to do some editing but couldn't muster the mental energy. Healthy lunch.

In the afternoon I took the kids to an indoor playground that we went to last week. I sat for 2 1/2 hours and read. The one I am reading at the moment is big and slow and not very exciting. I was bored. I enjoyed a hot chocolate, which I had planned for, and later ordered nachos which I had not. I shared with the kids but it still wasn't very healthy. However, by eating a small dinner I have stayed under calories for the day so a big win there.

It was an especially good achievement because by the time we got home from the playground I was exhausted (yes, by just sitting reading -- maybe being bored is particularly fatiguing) and I really really didn't want to cook dinner. I was sorely tempted to order pizza and even looked at the home delivery menu. But I thought about how I really didn't want to eat more greasy food today and how I didn't want to have used up both of my diet-free days by Wednesday. I was strong and made a fresh tasty dinner.

Boredom is definitely an emotional eating trigger for me. Any of the sad introverted sort of emotions; lonely, depressed. I don't binge eat when I am happy or busy, and I don't think I do when I am angry. Mainly tired, bored & sad. And PMS.

The diet-free days are a bit tricky. I don't want to have a major binge and undo all my good work of the other days; but on the other hand if I just went over by 50 calories and had to call that a diet-free day I would feel ripped off, like I had wasted my chance. It's a balance.

Also, at the moment I am eating all the extra calories I earn through exercise. I would like to reduce that to maybe half. My calorie allowance is based on losing half a kilo a week, which is my goal, but I am only doing that five days a week. I need to burn a few extra to make up for my diet-free days to make sure I achieve my goal. That means not eating lots more on the days I exercise. Just a little bit more. Knowing I can eat a little bit extra when I exercise is one of my best motivations so I can't take it away entirely!

Monday, January 9, 2012

A day out and about


Good day is some ways, not so good for weight loss. Jasmine will be starting violin lessons this year and we went to meet her teacher this morning, we ended up staying an hour for what was essentially a first lesson plus a chat. I learned a lot too -- important if I am going to help her with practice -- and the teacher had a young son who whisked Aiden off to play on their Wii so a good time was had by all.

Then we spent the afternoon at Questacon, which is an excellent interactive science museum we have been to many times. Indeed, when the kids were smaller I had an annual pass a couple of years in a row and we went often. There are 7 "galleries" of things to do -- all hands-on. Today's activities included seeing how hard it was to lift your own body using various pulley systems, seeing how your eyes can be tricked into seeing a black and white photo as a colour one (that was amazing), and trying to throw a ball straight while you were being whisked around in a circle.

Partly because we were out and about all day, but mostly because I have PMS, I made some bad food choices and am way over my calorie limit. Magnum icecream! Chocolate! Even a few hot chips. No fruit and hardly any vegetables. Also, although I am feeling mentally and physically exhausted (again, mainly PMS), I haven't exercised today. Oh well, hopefully I'll be feeling better tomorrow. And even if I am not feeling better, I need to get back on track anyway.

I've been making good inroads on the huge mound of books I have to get finished by the end of February, but it is taking its toll. And if you think reading is fun and easy (yes, ok, usually it is), try reading 64 books of widely varying quality in six months. I read around 34 in the first four months at a more leisurely pace, but I am approaching the deadline now and the second half has to be disposed of rather quicker. I've been reading nearly a book a day (by neglecting my family and my paid work) and I am now down to 15. I just want it to be over! I definitely won't be judging again for a few years.

I'm feeling very tired and rather down. There is a temptation to write a miserable post about how I should just give up, but I know that I will feel differently in a day or so.

I had quite a nice day, considering. But, ye Gods, there are still about 4 weeks of school holidays to go! How am I going to entertain them every day! Arg!

Questacon photo by CIENTEC

Sunday, January 8, 2012

3 pm slump


I went to the gym this morning and did BodyPump for the first time in weeks. I used to look forward to it, now it just seems like work. And it is hard for me to get to the gym during school holidays. But I need strength training as well as cardio, so I will try to get to a class at least once a week.

I did ok in the class but my shoulder still troubles me quite a bit, it frustrates me that the shoulder holds me back in a lot of the exercises rather than just lack of muscle strength. I need to remind myself of how much better I am than this time last year when I was in a lot of pain all the time. It's a slower process than I would like, but I have improved a lot and it will heal eventually. Probably the most frustrating thing is that I still can't do up my own bra at the back.

I had a bit of a struggle with hunger pangs in the afternoon. I had eaten a reasonable amount of calories, but what I'd had wasn't particularly healthy. No vegetables all day, very low carb, low nutrition (like cruskits). It really makes a difference to the 3 pm slump! I had a big fruit salad for afternoon tea and some other less healthy snacks and managed to last until dinner without eating everything in the house. Then I had fish and salad for dinner and have stayed under my calorie limit for the day which is a real victory. I definitely need to make sure I have vegetables at lunch time.

My husband and daughter don't like fish so we don't have it often, and I am not that keen on it either, but lately I've been trying to have it occasionally and I just cook something else for them. My son loves fish. Tonight we had the nicest fish I've had for ages. It was barramundi (I just googled it to see if it is found outside Australia, apparently it is mainly around this area but is also known as Asian seabass or seaperch. It likes both salt and fresh water, and warm weather.), I just baked the fillets in the oven on a greaseproof sheet with slices of lemon on top. Really tender and delicious, I will certainly be cooking it again. Aiden loved it too. I generally struggle to know which fish to buy, because I don't like a "fishy" taste -- this was a good one.

photo by juanwei

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sunday weigh-in: 79 kg; down 0.5 kg


# Lose 0.5 kg (4.5 kg in 9 weeks)
Done! Exactly 0.5 kg. On track for my 75 kg goal. I am not in virgin fat territory yet as I have been hovering around 79 kg for the past 6 months, but it is a start.

# Stick to calorie limit of 1340 five days per week
Done! I only had two days off, and interestingly my weight went up significantly the next morning each time (the only days it did this week). Instant effect!

# Exercise for one hour five days per week
Almost. I did an hour on four days and half an hour on two days. Those two half-hours add together don't they? Well, I was pretty close anyway, considering a sick child. I will catch up later in the month to earn my charm.

I also drank at least six glasses of fluid every day this week, which was great.

I got a good night's sleep last night but I am still not feeling 100%; my head feels very heavy and my back is aching for some reason. I don't know if I'm fighting off some germs. Luckily I have been treating my body well so it is better equipped than usual to resist illness.

Soldiering on


Aiden slept through the night and was much better today (eating but not playing much) but I was still pretty tired from the previous night's lack of sleep. I had another nap in the afternoon but I'm looking forward to bedtime.

I stuck to my calorie limit today, even not having any of the pikelets my husband made for afternoon tea. I did some shopping in the morning but didn't buy anything bad -- unless you count low-calorie muesli bars that I got for when I take the kids out on excursions. Easy and non-squishy, I figured better than buying something when out.

I did half an hour of Kinect Dance and went for a walk after dinner, so that was good too. I suppose the walk was not intense exercise but it was all I had the energy left for and it would have been easy to do nothing at all today so I am quite proud of what I achieved.

I'll look at my results for the week tomorrow at my weigh-in. Time to collapse in front of the TV.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Another day in the sickroom


Aiden was sick all last night and we only got a couple of hours of broken sleep. He slept most of today, only threw up twice but maybe because there wasn't anything left in his stomach. Still, he is keeping down diluted apple juice now.

Lack of sleep is one of my biggest triggers for unhealthy habits and today I gave into that a bit. My mum took my daughter out for a while today and was doing some shopping for me as well but they weren't home when I would usually have lunch and I was tired and hungry, so I snacked on crackers with high-fat dip and then some chocolate. The "snack" was twice as many calories as my planned lunch would have been. I just had clear soup and half a bread roll when they did get back with the food, but I was still approaching my calorie limit only half-way through the day. I would have had to be extremely restrictive at dinner to stay under, and I decided not to worry about it. I had intended today to be a diet-free day originally as mum was going to take me and the kids to a restaurant for lunch, but she couldn't because of Aiden being sick. It feels like a waste, spending a diet-free day on a hurried snack, but that was just how today turned out.

I also didn't exercise today, I am just exhausted. I had two naps while Aiden was sleeping. Life sometimes gets in the way and that is ok, that is why I have my five days a week plan. Hopefully I will get a good night's sleep tonight and get back on track tomorrow. I hope my poor baby is feeling better soon.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Five-year-old vomit machine


A really draining day. My five-year-old son Aiden has been vomiting all day. In the past when he's been sick it's generally only lasted a few hours then he'd get better. Today he started around 9 am and is still puking more than 12 hours later. He sleeps for a while then wakes when the pain in his stomach gets bad. He can't be keeping down much fluid, which is worrying. Hopefully he will be better in the morning, otherwise we might have to think about dehydration issues.

So, I didn't do any vigorous exercise today. I suppose I could conceivably jumped around to the Kinect between cradling my baby's head and cleaning up vomit; but it just wasn't a priority today. I also had a seven-year-old daughter who I couldn't take out anywhere and who had no-one to play with. When my husband got home I went out for a walk in the evening air, timing it exactly between two vomiting sessions. My body was grateful for the movement, but I was very tired after only half an hour stroll. I am just amazed that I turned to exercise rather than food for refreshment of the spirit.

On the food front, I did really well today. I stayed under my calorie limit even though it would have been easy to eat junk for an energy hit or to distract myself, or just because I was too busy to worry about eating healthily. My breakfast wasn't so great, interrupted as it was by the first vomit of the day so that my abandoned cereal went soggy and I had nutrition-free cruskits; but then I had left-over extra-vegetable healthy fried rice for lunch and chicken and vegetable stir-fry for dinner. And a couple of pieces of chocolate. Not a bad effort.

I guess it is finally sinking in that healthy people eat healthy food, at least most of the time. Duh, huh? Pretty obvious. Elle, over on Prior Fat Girl, was talking about how before she started to lose weight she thought that when she reached her goal she would be able to dive back into all the foods she was craving, but now she realises that she can never eat that way again (and doesn't want to). Food is no longer the focus of her day. One day I'll get to that point.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Parenting skills


A very healthy day. I made a sort-of fried rice for lunch with about half vegetables, cut up very small, and half brown rice. Labour intensive, but quite nice. Salad and lean lamb for dinner. Over an hour of exercise on the Kinect, at varying intensity.

In the afternoon I took the kids to "Let's Play", an indoor playground, for 2 1/2 hours. They had a great time and I was able to sit and read. Win win.

When I need a treat, I have a Toblerone "tiny" -- a mini chocolate fix for about 30 calories.

I watched a little bit of a show called "Fast Food Babies" tonight before I found it too frustrating that I couldn't smack the parents. They showed a 19-month-old toddler who had fast food at least five nights a week, unlimited access to a sweets cupboard, and up to six cans of cola a day. I think the mother had some kind of obsessive-compulsive disorder; she didn't like to cook because it was too messy, and spent all day every day cleaning the house. She was thin, her husband was the only overweight one in the family. It is scary to think about the child's future, on that diet.

I'm sure some people would think my kids have too much junk than is good for them -- none at all would be best, I've seen a forum where people were shocked that anyone would ever take their child to McDonald's -- but they also have lots of healthy food, they eat plenty of fruit and vegetables and we have take-away once a month or less. Soft drink is only for parties. I think there is big difference between that and take-away five nights a week.

Monday, January 2, 2012



I scheduled today to be one of my non-exercise and non-diet days of the week as we had friends over for a barbeque lunch to celebrate the New Year and the last holiday day of some working folk.

I had already exercised five days in a row so was due for a break, and also knew I would be spending all morning cleaning (perhaps not vigorous exercise, but tiring all the same); but as it turned out I got plenty of aerobic exercise. Everyone was keen to use the Kinnect games and lots of jumping around was done by all. People took turns so my heart-rate wasn't consistently up, but over the five hours of the gathering I did plenty and will count that as a day "on".

As far as diet goes ... well ... I didn't track throughout the day as I usually do but due to my committment to track even on my "off" days I just sat down and tried to remember everything. It came to nearly 3000 calories. OMFG! Considering my usual limit is 1340 (plus extra earned by exercising), 3000 is pretty dramatic. New clause to my resolution: an "off" day does not mean an "eat everything" day! Two meals with lots of meat (dinner was left-overs) was a large part of that count.

I just remembered a glass of milk with dinner. That will probably take me over 3000.

Aside from that, it was a lovely day. In particular, the exercise was fun rather than work. And it was nice to spend the day with friends and family instead of the everlasting reading I have been doing lately.

I have always liked the quote "moderation is for monks". Nevertheless, I need to be a bit more monkish.