Monday, October 29, 2012

Running and eating


Sunday was another quiet day, no exercise at all. Played with the kids, did housework, relaxed. I have no excuse for not fitting in some exercise, I had all day.

Yesterday I had another training run scheduled, and this time I was determined to actually run as much as I could. I was busy in the morning -- including getting some inserts for my running shoes to try to minimise the shin pain problem -- and by lunchtime it was too hot to be exercising outside, so I waited until Tim got home and went out at 7 pm. I'd just had dinner, but that didn't seem to be a problem.

I can't really comment on whether the shoe padding helped as I was running on grass at the oval, I didn't have much shin pain but I don't think I generally do on grass. I ran each straight of the track and walked each curve; and after every lap I moved in one lane so they got slightly shorter each time. I did pretty well, I think. I tried to "run", not "jog" -- I think I need to remove that word from my vocabulary -- and keep my head up and stride smoothly and everything else. I did eight or nine running segments then walked the rest.

It was supposed to be a 45 min session, plus 5 min warm up, but I headed home a bit early. It was starting to get dark; and after the guy practicing his longjump into the sand left, and the last dog-walker disappeared, I was all alone in the gloom which got a bit scary. I did one sprint in a homewards direction then back to the safety of civilization and well-lit streets. Overall I was pretty happy with the session.

Our weekly D&D game had been moved to Monday this week so yet again I was faced with a table full of junk food. And I went to town on it. I provided watermelon and did have some of that, but I also had jelly snakes and chocolate and Burger Rings. Burger Rings and Twisties (two of my favourites) are the worst kind of chip for me because they are so highly processed they are super high GI. I shouldn't have them at all. (Potato chips are better, and corn chips like Doritos are the best in terms of GI -- of course they are all just as fattening.) This morning I guesstimated how much I'd had, and (not including the watermelon, which I fogot about) it all worked out to nearly 1000 calories and, worse, about 125 grams of carbohydrate -- mostly high-GI. I try to keep it around 30-45 grams of carbs per meal/snack. I tested my blood sugar last night and it was 9.0 mmol/L which is bad. And that is even after some great exercise, which helps lower my blood sugar. I can't keep doing this to myself. Last week it was 10 point something. People bring stuff, but I don't have to eat it.

My legs were a bit sore after the run, I think running is pretty hard on the body. And when I got up in the night to pee my ankle was hurting again. It's still sore this morning, and I've got the ankle support back on. Maybe running just isn't the right exercise for me? I'm still determined to do this race on Sunday, then we will see.

picture of burger rings by Kaptain Kobold

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Chocolate croissant and not much running


Yesterday was a bit of a day off, exercise-wise, just the half hour total walking the kids to and from school. I did shopping and various other errands, a tradesman came, then a friend I haven't seen for a while came over for afternoon tea and a chat.

Today was mainly a quiet day at home, with a BBQ/kids' birthday party at a park at lunchtime. I took a cheese and tomato sandwich instead of eating greasy sausages, but did eat plenty of snack food. Then I went for a 40 min walk.

My calories and fat/fibre/etc balance has been really good for the past few days -- until today. A bit too much party food, and way too much saturated fat. Chocolate croissants aren't entirely healthy -- who knew? I was going to have some icecream for supper but after adding up my calories for the day, didn't. I'm certainly not hungry. But one thing I noticed was that the sugary high-GI party food made me want to keep eating junk all day.

I'm a bit worried about the race which is a week from tomorrow (apparently the same day as the NY marathon, which BitchCakes is running in for the first time, mine is a little shorter at 3.4 km), my "running" training is mainly walking still. I'll get to the finish line eventually, but whether anyone else will still be there is another matter.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Weigh-in Wednesday: 78.8 kg. Or 78.3 kg.


Yesterday I did the newly habitual step on and off the scale a few times and then take the average or the most common number, whatever seems most appropriate at the time, and just accept that it isn't very accurate. I ended up with 78.8 kg. When I went to the gym later, I used their scales (after breakfast, after BodyPump class, no shoes) and got 78.3 kg. I like that number better. Not that much better though. I've exercised a lot these past couple of weeks and my weight just bobs up and down over a 1 kg range. I admit to binging a lot during my 5 day nightmare TOM.

Anyway, I did the BodyPump class and increased the weights a little on two tracks. I had been putting off doing that until I was doing weights regularly, but that hasn't happened so I decided to go ahead and increase anyway. As usual, the only muscles sore the next day are thighs and glutes, from the squats and lunges. I also did a short session on the rowing machine, and then in the afternoon I played PowerUp Heros on the Kinect. Also walked the kids to and from school, while they rode their scooters. Quite an active day, and no desire to binge eat at all!

Today I was scheduled to do some walk/run intervals so I drove to the lake. Since Floriade was over, I decided to park over the other side of the lake at the National Library, where I always used to park. Today the car park was full. The next public car park had a locked gate. I drove on to another spot and found another car park closed off with signs saying "authorised access only" but with a young family getting out of one of the two cars in the otherwise empty space. I moved on and found another car park beside the lake, further around from where I usually walk, this one had paid parking instead of free. I hadn't expected to need money on my walk, but I did have an emergency $2 coin in my pocket. The ticketing machine ate it. I decided the universe was against me, and went home.

After a restorative cup of tea and then an early lunch, I used the XBox Kinect to play PowerUp Heros again -- a really good workout with lots of punching and kicking -- but I couldn't get past the second boss Malignance X, so I swapped to Just Dance 3 and got my groove on. I was dripping sweat with 10 mins before I had to pick up the kids. I still had my training run to do while they were at gymnastics, so I wanted to keep my sports bra on (my shoulder stiffness means I can't put on a normal bra without assistance) but I didn't want to go up to the school and then to gymnastics all red-faced and sweaty. I compromised with an awkward shower with my bra still on. It took some contortions, but I did ok. Enough to feel a bit fresher, anyway.

With the kids safely in their gymnastics classes, I set off for my training run. I had finally remembered to transfer some more CDs to my iPhone so I had some new music to choose from (Tina Cousins today). It wasn't a great day for running, there had been a severe wind warning and although I'm sure it was worse elsewhere it was bad enough where I was, pushing into a headwind with dust being whipped into my eyes. And my shins started hurting on the first running interval. I ended up doing five of the eight intervals then just walking the rest, my shins were so sore. Not a good sore, like you can argue exercised muscles feel. A "am I doing serious damage?" kind of sore.

I'm having some serious doubts about the whole running thing. I'm mainly doing it because lots of other weight loss bloggers have said they never thought they would be a runner but now they love it. I want to give it more of a chance that I have done so far, and at least complete one 5K. This evening I read up on shin pain when running but there was no consensus of what causes it or what to do about it. I don't think it is overtraining, the main quoted cause, with three short running sessions in the past two weeks, and it hurt the first time from the first moment. My shoes aren't that old, but I will get some extra padding inserts anyway to see if that helps. The most likely thing is my running style, which is probably just all wrong and puts too much pressure on my shins. I'll keep working on it. Only a bit over a week until my my 3.4K, my first race.

picture of PowerUp Heros from iconicimage

Monday, October 22, 2012

Fun run and golf balls


Well, I just registered for the fun run. It is actually 3.4 km, and I have only 13 days to prepare. My training isn't going that smoothly so I don't feel ready at all, but I'm going to do it anyway.

My goals are 1) to finish and 2) to run as much as I can. I do not expect to run the whole thing.

Yesterday I woke with my shoulder aching -- my right shoulder, which I injured 12 years ago, not the left which was only damaged two years ago. The right rarely hurts now except when I am sick or overuse the computer. I haven't been feeling well the past few days and I assume it was a combination of that and sleeping on it wrong. It washed out my plan to do BodyPump and I just did some gentle walking.

Today was a run-training day. Luckily my shoulder was fine but I still wasn't feeling great this morning so I put it off until after lunch when I was feeling much better. I had to walk/run 2.41 km. I found the instructions a bit confusing, previous sessions of this length were "slow run or brisk walk" and as I can't run far yet I just did the brisk walk except for the first day when I did my own run/walk intervals. But then I had an training session with actual planned intervals so I felt like I shouldn't be doing them on the other days. But it was confusing doing so many walking sessions -- I already know how to walk. Then today's session said "If you can't run the whole way yet, run as much as you can". So that sounds like I should have been putting in my own running intervals all along. And I haven't been. Only a week and a half into this and already I feel off track.

Ha. If I can't run the whole way yet?! Not even close.

I went down to the local oval, using half of the walk there as a warm up then doing a little run, but I was only a quarter of my way around my first lap of the running track imprinted on the grass when I saw a golf ball in the lane. I nudged it gently off the track, to next to another golf ball. Huh? Why would someone leave golf balls here? A couple of metres further on there were another half a dozen. I looked around and saw a woman standing over in the shade with a golf club, some distance away. "You worked out what I am doing yet?" she called. At the time I though she said it in a friendly way, but now I wonder if she was being a bit snarky because I was in her way. "I was wondering why there were golf balls all over the place," I laughed, moving on.

So the running track was now out of the question, with golf balls flying around, and I moved onto the footpath and wandered around the suburb. But it was far from ideal, running on the path makes my shins hurt (which is going to be a real problem in races and I don't know how to resolve that) and quite often I didn't even have a footpath; I had to walk on unmown grassy nature strip or in the gutter along the side of the road. I got in three little running intervals all together. Not a good session at all.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Lots more walking, a possible first race


I did two short walks on Friday and spent a lot of time reading more about prediabetes, this fairly recent book (Diabetes & pre-diabetes handbook, Brand-Miller et al, 2007) was all about how low-GI is more important than anything else in blood glucose management. Very informative, but there is so much info out there I'll be interested to see what the Diabetes ACT people have to say. When I had gestational diabetes in 2006 they did emphasise low-GI, so I think that is the current guideline. It changes every couple of decades as the scientists find out more about how the human body works.

The other thing I did on Friday was start a really detailed food diary, handwritten instead of just using CalorieKing, with columns for protein, carbs etc. The guidelines are for 15-20% of calories coming from protein, 20-35% from fat with less than 10% from saturated fat, and 45-65% from carbs. Also 25-35 g of fibre (part of carbs). I did well on that first day, around 1600 calories and close to those percentages but with not nearly enough fibre.

Yesterday Tim & the kids went off camping for the weekend. I could have gone, of course, but camping really isn't my thing. I like my comforts! Tim's brother and father were going too, and turned out my sister-in-law went even though she is about 5 months pregnant. But I didn't want to, so I didn't. By the time they left at around 10 am I was feeling quite unwell, headachy and stomach cramps. I wasn't actually sick, just a very difficult TOM (I've had issues since I was a teenager and used to have sick days home from school every month, the pill usually helps but not these past few days) but apart from walking up to the school to vote in the local elections I didn't get out of the house.

I watched the last Harry Potter movie on DVD and had a good cathartic cry over Snape, always my favourite character. My dad called on the phone during the most intense scene and I had to choke back my sobs.

My calories and nutritional balance were looking ok until after dinner. I was lonely. I turned to my buddy saturated fat. And had nearly 1000 calories worth of crackers, salsa, camembert and chocolate. Not so healthy.

Luckily every dawn is a new day and I was fine this morning. (Tim texted to say the kids were having a great time but he had one of the worst nights sleep ever, I'm so glad I didn't go! They will be home soon.) I got out for my training walk, supposed to be 45 mins plus warm up and cool down, I did well over an hour. Up and down hills too. I planned where I was going to go, but after a while turned off onto an interesting-looking path that wound around a suburb I hadn't walked in before, so that was nice. I definitely need to ramp up the intensity of these training sessions though. And do some weight-training in between -- back to BodyPump on Monday.

While out walking I saw a sign about a 3 km (or 6 km) fun run/walk that is on two weeks from today. Will I be ready for 3 km? I guess I can just walk as much as needed. I'll just check the date with Tim before I sign up. But I don't really see any barriers. My first race. How exciting.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Climbing a mountain.

Thursday night:

After writing that last post about how I need to get serious, I said to myself: there is no reason why I can't do some more exercise right now.
Myself: But I've done some, and I've got more lined up at 4pm. Don't wanna do more.
Me: I'm just sitting around wasting this special time I've created. It's really important. Get out there and exercise some more.
Myself: Awwww....

So I changed into my gym shorts, slapped on some sunscreen, and went out to tackle Mount Painter. As Canberra is up in the mountains (little mountains, Australia doesn't have any other kind), we have a few peaks nearby that aren't really that much higher than the surrounding houses. Mt Painter took me about 50 minutes from here, there and back. After a short downslope near home it was a gentle uphill the rest of the way through a couple of suburbs until I got the walking trail. I say walking trail, it was more a sheer cliff. But I scrambled up and through the gate at the top into the "reserve" land.

Can I just say that lots of stuff isn't fat-person friendly? I am about 20 kg (45 pounds) overweight, so I am obese but not, like, morbidly obese. I've seen lots of people bigger than me and I'm not sure how they cope. I can't fit into a kid's swing in the park, I have to wear my iPhone strap on my forearm because it barely fits on my upper arm (surely even a muscular man would find it too small), and this little gate into the bushland was a tight squeeze.

Anyway, I was up there on top of the world, behind the houses and above all the streets and noise. And I chickened out and came back down. I really don't like being alone in an isolated place, it scares me. So I didn't get to the peak a few hundred metres through bushland.

As soon as I got back it was time to pick up the kids from school and take them to gymnastics. This term they both have 90 min lessons on Thursday, with a 1 hour overlap. So I sat with Jasmine for the first half hour then went for a walk then sat with Aiden for the last half hour. During my walk I went the couple of blocks to the small lake. Unfortunately they were doing landscaping on the foreshore, meaning I had to detour around construction sites, but once past that I got to the bit of lake that they had finished landscaping and it was really nice. I don't walk around this lake much because only a small section of it is next to civilization, but this was a nice safe bit. The rest of the lake is heavily populated with families on weekends but a bit lonely during the week. As I said before, I don't like wandering around in an isolated area, no matter how safe our city generally is. I've only heard of one person being mugged by the lake, but I just wouldn't feel comfortable, I'd spend the whole time trying to look behind me.

Back near the gymnasium I picked up a prediabetes book I'd requested from the library. I'd lost my library card and the lady was quite concerned about me having to pay $3.20 to get a new one -- in fact last week the librarian had encouraged me to go home and check again before getting a new one. I guess $3.20 can be a big deal to some people who use libraries.

When I went to take the kids home, I found we were parked in. This happens all the time in the gym carpark, but most people are only there for a few minutes dropping off or picking up. We sat in the car and waited, but no one came out. We were all tired and hungry and trying not to get cranky. After about 10 mins we went back into the building. There were only about six parents still there, and none of them seemed to own the black car squeezed up behind mine. So I asked at reception and it turned out it was a coach's car. Which meant I would have to interrupt a lesson -- this late in the afternoon it was all older, more advanced students. One guy who was leaving insisted I had room to wriggle the car out, the receptionist asked "are you sure?" (no! not at all!) and he said yes yes, I'll guide her out. So we went out to the carpark. I couldn't see how it could be done so I gave him my keys and asked him to do it. It would have been interesting legally if he'd hit another car, who would be responsible? But he didn't. He went forward and back and turn and again only three or four times and got it out. Very nice of him.

It was very late by this stage and we got take-away on the way home. I tried to make decent choices; a roast chicken instead of deep-fried pieces and I only had a small portion and measured out some chips. No second helping. Quite restrained.

I walked more than two and a half hours today and I'm tired. I think I did pretty well. Of course there is a little voice (always the little voice!) that says walking is nothing you should have worked harder, made better food choices, been a better human being in every way. But no. No. Today I did well.

picture of Mt Painter from

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The evils of salad dressing


After yesterday's rest I woke today all refreshed and ready to push myself! ... ah, actually no. I wanted to take another day off! My feet & legs weren't sore anymore, but it is that TOM and I just wanted to sit around and feel grumpy.

But it was a training day so I eventually managed to bully myself out the door. The schedule called for a 2.4 km steady slow run or brisk walk. There is no way I can run for 2.4 km so I decided on a brisk walk in a big loop of the suburb. To be honest, I bribed myself with a promise that I could stop at the corner store near the end and buy a little packet of Doritos and make nachos for lunch. A small serve, not too much cheese. Not healthy at all, but it got me out the door.

It was cool and cloudy this morning, it looked like it was going to pour down rain any minute, so I kept my jeans on instead of changing into gym shorts. Of course the moment I got out the door the sun broke though the clouds and it became quite warm. I got a bit hot in the jeans but it wasn't too bad -- after all I was just walking -- and after I got going I rather enjoyed my time outside.

When the little voice told me the workout was over I was about midway between the corner store and home, a couple of blocks each way. Strongly influenced by the fact that I really needed to pee, I ditched the idea of nachos and just went home.

Caesar salad! Excellent idea. A bit calorie laden, yes, but lots of crisp cos lettuce and a bit of salty bacon and a perfect soft-boiled egg... not too bad, right? I love Paul Newman's creamy Caesar salad dressing. I didn't read the nutritional label. Well actually, I did glance at it to check the carbs and they were very low so it seemed like a good choice, a fine choice. I didn't look at the calories. I meant to have one tablespoon. You know when you are trying to drizzle something out of a bottle and it goes nothing ... nothing ... nothing ... half the bottle? I scraped a lot off and even washed a few pieces of lettuce but still ended up with a lot more than I had planned. I guesstimated 2 tablespoons. And after lunch I plugged everything into CalorieKing.

A whole head of baby cos lettuce, excellent. Bacon; well I knew that would have calories, ok. Egg, fine. Bread, hmm should have had a bit less bread maybe. Oo, forgot the olive oil that I tossed the bread in to crisp it up. A few more calories there. And the 2 tablespoons of creamy dressing OH MY GOD 218 CALORIES!!!?

Yeah, not so good. 218 calories just for the dressing, on an already quite high-calorie lunch. Maybe I need to pre-track.

I mentioned that I got that email yesterday from Diabetes ACT saying I should manage carbs and watch my blood sugar levels, well last night was D&D supper. I didn't think I had too much; two TimTams (chocolate biscuits with chocolate cream enrobed in chocolate) and a few apricot delight (about 50% dried apricot and the other 50% probably sugar). A couple of hours later I was feeling kind of light-headed. Could have been just tired and I have no idea if high blood sugar has a dizzying effect, but I went and tested my blood. 10.4 mmol/L, which I think is the highest I've ever seen it. Higher even than during the glucose test after 75 g of carbs!

I've calculated around 45g of carbohydrate, mainly sugar. Did it go up so high because it was a different time of day to the fasting test? Or because I had supper only about two hours after dinner? Or because I tested a bit less than 2 hours after starting to eat supper (about 1 hr 45 mins) instead of exactly 2 hours?

Or am I getting worse already?

Now there is a scary thought.

It is two months since my glucose tolerance test. I haven't lost any weight -- I've crept up by nearly a kg. I have good intentions every day and fail to follow through. This is so important.

I called Diabetes ACT and I've organised to go along to a couple of information sessions soon. I hope that will be of some help. But I know what I need to do, and it's me that needs to do it, not them. What will it take to make me take this seriously enough to be consistent?

This is it. I am serious. Now.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Wednesday weigh-in: 78.6 kg


My weight has been hovering between 78 and 79 kg for a few weeks now, no change there.

The soles of my feet were still a bit sore this morning. One friend suggested that I get some extra padding for inside my running shoes, my husband thinks I probably just have to toughen them up a bit. Maybe both? I'll get some inserts, and more pairs of wicking socks, and try to build up foot stamina. I used to get sore feet after about 3 or 4 km, now I'm up to 7 or 8 before the soles start to feel abraded.

My legs were also very sore (in a good way, like I'd worked the muscles hard) so I decided to have a rest day. Just half an hour of walking. And I had plenty of non-exercise things to catch up on. It's kind of funny/sad to think that three days of two hours a day is enough to exhaust me. I've had 22 hours a day when I'm not exercising to rest. Nevertheless. That is my level of fitness right now.

So I read and rated six short stories that had been submitted for publication, reviewed one book that I read a while ago, finished filing away papers from when we did our tax return on the weekend, folded some of the mountains of laundry etc.

I had written to Diabetes ACT (my state - stands for Australian Capital Territory) about whether or not I had to count carbohydrates, since my doctor didn't bring it up and my dietician friend said I didn't need to since I wasn't injecting insulin. I wasn't sure though; if I was diabetic I would have to but why not for a pre-diabetic? Today I got a response that recommended I do.

 "Slightly increased blood glucose levels will not cause the micro- and macro vascular complications seen in diabetes, but it stimulates excess insulin secretion that can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes."

Good to get that cleared up. I am going to go to an "Introduction to prediabetes" information session they are holding in a couple of weeks.

I've been making a better effort at tracking the past few days. So many things to work on.

Monday, October 15, 2012



I had been looking forward to doing my interval training today out in the lovely spring weather but when I woke up a bit sore this morning (from BodyPump yesterday, maybe there is a reason 5 k training is only every second day!) I started to feel a bit scared that I wouldn't be able to do it. The brief was to run for 1.00 minute eight times with 1.30 walk in between. Could I even run (jog) for a whole minute? I had no idea. I probably had done it, but eight times in a row?

After taking the kids to school I faffed around at home for a while, putting it off, but finally drove to the lake around 10.00 am. Warm day with a lot of cloud cover and a little breeze, perfect. Had my iPhone, hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.

After a 5 min warm-up walk RunKeeper beeped and I started on my first run. Quick short steps, trit-trot-trit-trot. There was a sculpture of Whitlam, a politician, beside the path a bit ahead of me and I thought it was about the right distance. I wasn't far off, I was nearly there when the beep notified me my minute was over. That wasn't too hard. I could do that eight times, surely. I worked on my running rhythm and style, taking slightly longer more relaxed steps. Third interval was hard. Fourth interval was really hard. I'm sure this would be ridiculously easy for anyone used to running -- a minute at a time?! So slow it was barely faster than my walk! Ha! But it was hard for me.

Fifth interval I somehow suddenly hit my stride. It felt much better. I could have gone further instead of slumping back to a walk. And the final three intervals were the same. Not easy, never easy, but they felt much right-er than the first four. I did my eight intervals without stopping. So I just have to learn to keep that up for 30 mins straight ...

I was 2 km around the 5 km lake loop and kept walking, having the occasional drink from the bubblers (public drinking fountains). The breeze was blowing seeds off the trees, each one buoyed up by a wisp of white fluff. It was like walking through a warm blizzard. I got back to my starting point feeling strong.

And then I went around again, to achieve my personal goal for the month of walking 10 km straight. I started to need to pee after the first lap, but Floriade had just finished on the weekend and there were fences all around the park while they dismantled stuff so I had to go a fair way. After that brief stop I was suddenly tired and sore. And my feet started to really hurt. I wasn't bothered by the tired legs, but the balls of my feet were so sore that I was trying to walk on the outside edges of my feet for the last kilometre. Not so fun. I used to get sore feet doing 5 km walking, now at least I get to about 8 km. Presumably the wicking socks are helping. But that last bit was miserable. They are still quite sore now, a couple of hours later after a shower, but at least I can walk.

The school day is nearly over and I haven't got anything done! Except exercise. I've got my exercise done today.

Back to school


My run training is every second day, so this morning I went to BodyPump for a bit of cross-training. Due to my shoulder issues my ability to do the moves varies, but today was a good class. We did my favourite tricep track -- the one where you lower the bar to your ribs then curve it up to your forehead and back again, I can't do tricep dips and there were none of those -- and my favourite lunge track if I can be said to have such a thing. It included lots of power lunges interspersed with squats, and I much prefer that combination to the lunge tracks where you are just in one spot dipping down and up until you want to cry and throw your water bottle at the instructor.

Then I got on the elliptical for 30 mins but I had used most of my energy already so I only went 3.9 km in the time. I went home and had an early lunch, even before showering, I get so hungry! Healthy food though.

I had a busy afternoon with a longish drive to exchange Aiden's junky scooter for a good (more expensive) one, grocery shopping, dash back to pick up the kids from their first day back at school, then Aiden's haircut. It was a lovely day outside and I would have liked to be out in it but I'll get to do that tomorrow. I have plans!

Another good day with food, quite a lot of it but good choices. And my first mango of the season, yummy.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

First training run


I did my first training run today. (Well, "run" in the broadest sense of the term.) I was a bit confused as to whether I was supposed to do it today or tomorrow as the information differed on different pages of the site but decided to start today and the program accepted that when I selected it on my iPhone. We were busy this morning and then it turned into a warm day so I waited until 4 pm.

I did a 15 min brisk walk first, then started the session. It consisted of a 5 min warm up followed by an easy 2.41 km at my own pace. I assume 2.41 km makes sense in the original miles of the creator. I was told by a friend to take it very easy at first, but after all I know that I can walk 2.41 km, or 5 km, or even 10 km. I needed to do more than that. I figure my best previous attempt was 5 km around the lake when I jogged about every 5th 100 metres.

I walked to a nearby oval that has a 400 metre circuit measured on the grass and did laps. I'm not sure exactly how much jogging/running I did but I slow-ran every straight and walked around the curves. I started off thinking I was running half, every second 100 metres or so, but it was probably more like a third. I'm happy with that. My calves were burning by the end of each run.

I realised quickly that my jogging/running style (as I've mentioned before, I don't think anyone calls it jogging any more, it's a slow run nowadays) leaves a lot to be desired. I slump forward and watch my feet. So I made a conscious effort to straighten up and look forward. When I got home I looked up running techniques and an upright form is definitely recommended.

The amusing bit was near the end. I was listening to music but RunKeeper would interrupt every so often saying how far I'd gone and my pace etc, so I knew I didn't have much further to go. Another run, another walk, but it still hadn't told me to stop. Another run, another walk. What the? Surely I'd finished by now. I'd actually decided that it wasn't going to give me a "done" cue and I was walking off the oval fiddling with my iPod when it finally told me the workout was over. And I realised that I hadn't taken into account the distance I had walked during my warm up. I had to do warmup plus 2.41 km.

I was tired and hungry when I got home but managed to not eat everything in sight, I just started making dinner. My calories have been great today.

I'm really feeling it in my back and legs, so I guess it was a successful first training run!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Chocolate volcano

more Saturday:

I didn't mention the chocolate volcano in today's blog, and that felt like cheating. When I made the mixture for chocolate fondants yesterday the recipe said it made 6. I guess my little ramekins are smaller than the chef's because I made 9 -- and I'm glad they weren't bigger because they were extremely rich and very filling. His way, they would have 50 grams of chocolate and 50 grams of butter in each one, plus the eggs and sugar etc. Not that I'm arguing that mine are much lower in fat! But for Christmas I am going to look for even smaller ramekins and make the 12 I need from the recipe instead of making a double batch.

So, you make them ahead of time and chill them before cooking, and I cooked 5 yesterday when dad was here which left 4 for tonight. I knew they weren't very healthy but it would be a waste to throw them out, right? Hmmm. The second time I was better at judging when they were ready -- the recipe says 9 minutes which is completely ridiculous, even with our hot oven they were still almost completely liquid at that stage -- and with raspberries cascading down the sides and the chocolate middle oozing out they are like little volcanos, hence my name for them.

I started tracking my calories today and did pretty well, until it came to that damn chocolate volcano which I estimate to be about 600 calories. Ouch. Lots and lots of saturated fat, too. These are not even a "sometimes food", they are a "once a year food". The smaller Christmas ones will be about 450. Um, plus ice cream.

No, I am not trying to look thinner by making everyone around me fat! I promise!

Family walk


After seven days with no exercise (arg!), today we went out for a family walk around the lake. It had been a nice morning but by the time we got out after lunch the sky had closed in and there were sprinkles of rain. We set out regardless, Tim & I walking, Jasmine on her new razor scooter and Aiden on his bicycle. It's too small for him (he's getting a new one on his 6th birthday in a few weeks) and it looks a bit comical. He's fast though! The scooter he chose yesterday was a cheap one plastered with Ben 10 regalia but it's a piece of junk and I'm going to take it back and get him a decent one that doesn't rattle and wobble. Jasmine's is much better -- luckily they had a pink one in a studier make.

This time I was able to accurately measure the lake distance with RunKeeper, just over 5 km which is perfect. I don't have an precise measurement because it started raining much more heavily just as we were nearly back to the car so I cut diagonally across some grass and did exactly 5 km, if I'd walked back to my starting point it might have been another 200 metres or so. With one short jog near the end we did it in 61 minutes.

I've signed up for RunKeeper beginner 5 km training, I'll be doing their suggested program from Monday. Starting with a 2.4 km easy walk/jog. I think it's an 8 week program; then I'll try the local Saturday 5 km friendly race!

The kids will be back at school on Monday, I'm completely well and so is my ankle, no more excuses.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Visit from dad


My dad is visiting for a couple of days, as he does 3-4 times a year now that I have kids old enough to play with. My parents divorced when I was six and dad took us out every second weekend (plus holidays on his parents' farm in summer) and he was definitely the "fun parent". Mum is the responsible parent. I'm surprised they made it until I was six, really!

Anyway, I find conversation a bit of a struggle as we have so little in common. Seems odd seeing he is my dad but we just don't have any of the same interests. I am a geeky reader type, he likes sport and beer. He saw my favourite show "Big Bang Theory" when he was here and kept asking if the boys on it were "poofters" (offensive Australian slang for homosexual). He comments on women's bra sizes in front of me, which I find very inappropriate. Lest you think he is an uneducated lout, he is very smart (accepted by that smart-people guild, Mensa -- so was mum) and has university education. He grew up in the country though.

All this is not to criticize, just to point out we have very little common ground to talk about. We both do our best. But it is kind of tiring.

He is an outdoorsy type but the cold rainy weather (yesterday was the coldest October day here in 40 years) spoiled all my plans. We went to a toy shop where he bought the kids scooters and then up to an observatory where it thankfully wasn't raining and we were able to enjoy the great view until we got too cold. But the rest of the day was pretty slow.

Christmas will be at our house this year and as everyone has a bit of a travel they stay here for several days. It is great fun to have all the cousins in the house but it takes a bit of planning. I tried a new dessert tonight that I might make on Christmas Eve: chocolate fondant -- sort of warm individual chocolate cake that you leave gooey in the middle -- but I didn't get the gooeyness quite right. Oh well, that's why I did a trial! I worked out afterwards that each one had about 35 grams of butter in it. 7 teaspoons of butter. Urg. No wonder I feel a bit gooey myself. They weren't that big, but very rich, and I plan on looking for smaller molds for next time. Yummy with vanilla icecream and raspberries.

Back to my guest - we'll play 500 (card game) tonight. One thing we have in common.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wednesday weigh-in: 78.9 kg


I really didn't feel like writing but I thought I'd better do a quick catch-up before I go to bed.

My weight is slowly but surely creeping up and there is no mystery why; I am eating too much, and of the wrong things, and haven't exercised in five days. I have no excuse at all. I spent most of the long weekend playing the new expansion to WoW (computer game). Yesterday my little son wasn't feeling well (which isn't an excuse for me not exercising, I could have done Kinect at home) and now today I'm feeling sick. Which is an excuse, but only works for today.

The eating is influenced by school holidays, taking the kids out to the movies and various other things; again that isn't a good excuse. The only reason I eat too much junk is because I put it in my mouth, chew and swallow.

I have made a few abortive attempts to track food, I rarely get past breakfast. And every day I vow to drink more water and fail.

I can't make promises about the exercise -- I am sitting here with my back aching and my legs aching and wanting to just go to bed and sleep, hoping I will feel better tomorrow -- but I WILL get back on track with food. I am in control of what I eat.

Good night for now.

Sunday, October 7, 2012



No time to write. Busy playing World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria while my legs atrophy.

image courtesy of Blizzard entertainment

Friday, October 5, 2012

Judging distances


I did BodyPump this morning, kids in creche. My weights for Pump are around a quarter of those for similar movements when I am using the weights machines -- but on the machines I'm only doing about 3 x 20 seconds with short breaks -- in Pump I'm doing 3 or 4 minutes straight! It's a different animal entirely.

After a quick shower and putting together a picnic basket (and eating a banana and some cheese and a couple of squares of chocolate, as usual I was starving after exercise) we set off for the War Memorial which had school holiday activities. The kids made a bookmark and a red paper poppy (significant to our soliders) and explored a replica helicopter and a submarine. Then it was off to the lake where we met Tim for a picnic lunch -- his office is only a block away from the shore. It was a lovely sunny day. We tossed a couple of bread crusts to a lurking crow, and to our surprise it took each one to a different tree and apparently buried it at the base, tossing extra dried grass on top. Saving it for later? Surely ants or something would get it.

I'd decided that the kids and I would walk to Floriade from the picnic spot which was further down the lake than the area between the two bridges where I usually walk. I guesstimated that it would take us around half an hour. Tim walked with us for a while then turned back to return to work. It took us an hour to walk the 3 km. Although Aiden can beat me in a 400 m race he can't keep up that pace over the long haul. At one point I said we could turn back if they wanted but I had offered them an icecream at Floriade so we pushed on with only minor compliants of sore feet. I was more worried about sunburn in spite of our hats and sunscreen. Jasmine and I are so fair. As the song says: "One's like snow, the other's more like milk." Aiden had a bit of trouble with his hat, there was a strong wind off the lake and a couple of times he had to go running after it.

We eventually got there and enjoyed our icecreams. I accidentally jogged Aiden's arm and caused him to drop the last sixth of his, but he fought back the tears. I wasn't going to buy another one when he'd eaten most of it. We wandered around a bit and patted some reptiles -- a couple of pythons and a goanna which is a huge lizard, its handler said it was really very cuddly -- had a drink and taste-tested some things and I got the kids a sour lolly rope, they saved some for daddy, and gave the flowers themselves almost no attention. We also re-applied sunscreen at the Cancer Council stall.

Then began the long walk back to the car. It wasn't too bad, both kids had tired feet (well, so did I) but they didn't complain much. I promised them some of the nougat I'd bought for myself when we got to the bridge at about the 2/3 point and that kept them going. They said it gave them a power boost and both did some sprints after they ate it! I wasn't boosted enough for that, but it did give me a hit of energy. Yay sugar! Tim had mentioned earlier that he often saw rabbits in one spot as he rode to work, and sure enough we saw eight or so there hopping around on our walk back. We also saw a guy on the lake, I don't know what you call the sport but he was on a surfboard-like contraption and was being pulled along by a parachute thing. Looked awesome fun, but also requiring a lot of upper body strength.

We got home after 5 pm after a long but very enjoyable day. Three hours of solid exercise plus extra strolling around, not bad. But I might not have attempted it if I'd known it was so far. I suck at judging things like that.

It's Friday night and Tim's home at a decent hour for once and has taken over kid-wrangling duties and I am looking forward to a relaxing evening in front of the TV/computer and maybe a hot bath to soothe those tired calves.

Oh, and the ankle is doing great. I think I'll stop wearing the support bandage now.

Another long weekend! Yay.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Motivation, or lack thereof


I had an hour and a half at the gym while the kids did their school holiday program Club Gecko session. I really found it hard today, I just didn't want to be there. I did half an hour of weights then moved on to the elliptical, hoping to find a bit of motivation. Nope. I decided that I didn't have to go for a new Natalie record today, but I did have to stay on there for 30 mins. I struggled along for 3.8 km, which is nothing like my best but still further than my first few tries so I guess it wasn't that slow. Then I was done.

Do I feel guilty that I didn't make use of the full hour and a half I had available, and didn't push myself hard? Do I feel proud that I got in a decent workout for an hour even though I really didn't want to? I'm not sure what the appropriate response is here.

After Gecko and an afternoon tea break, Aiden had his gymnastics -- so another hour and a half of exercise for him. He says he isn't tired, poor little mite. The resilience of the young. When we picked him up we saw his last move; he jumped on one of those little trampolines then into a handstand and curled over onto his back on the mat. Incredible for a five year old! Well, I think so. His trainers are very impressed with him, he is in the accelerated stream. But even if he is good enough, I am not going to push him into competition. Competitive sport is so hard on a little body. Or a bigger one, for that matter. But as long as he enjoys it he can have his lessons, next term increased to two days a week.

A new boy started in Aiden's gymnastics class today but went home before the end because he found it too hard. It was a good opportunity to remind both my kids that different people are good at different things, and that is ok.

This has strayed a bit from weight-loss blogging, but it was on my mind.

Perfect steak for dinner, cob of corn, big salad.

Hopefully I'll have a bit more oomph tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Weigh-in Wednesday: 78.7 kg. Maybe.


Yesterday I was 78.1 kg. This morning I got on the scales and it read 79.1 kg. Arg! I didn't believe it. Tried again. 78.4. 78.5. 79.0. 78.7. 78.7.

I just can't trust my scales at all. I think it's because there isn't a flat uncarpeted floor anywhere. The kitchen is the best option (the bathroom floors all slope towards the drain grating) but I don't think it is really level.

It could be argued I shouldn't be weighing myself every day. But if I didn't already know that I can change by a kg overnight I would get an even worse shock on weigh-in day! And I can't not weigh myself at all, I need some measurement of success or failure.

I guess I need to find a scale I can trust and use that weekly or whatever. My old gym had one, surely this new one does somewhere? I'll ask.

Regardless of these issues, I am not losing weight. I want to scream at the world "Why not!" and then I think; well, we all know why. "It's not fair, I've already given up so much!!" Oh, you want to look at your privileged life and say it's not fair, Princess?

On with the show.

I bought extra milk when I knew my brother was visiting. He was here for slightly over 24 hours. In that time he drank about 5 litres (which is 1.3 gallons, apparently, 2 1/2 big bottles) of milk. Milkshakes, all of my hot chocolate, most of my tea bags (he has his tea half water half milk) and of course plain milk. I guess he won't be breaking any bones anytime soon.

Last night at D&D supper I had chips and a couple of cookies. Not a major pig-out but not as restrained as I should have been. The most exciting moment was when Tim knocked a half-full glass of red wine (his) all over me. I didn't react very quickly, just sat there gasping with soaked shirt and jeans and wine in my hair, while others saved my iPhone and the carpet. Luckily in my own home I had plenty of clothes to change into. I threw the others in the bath and have washed them today but have yet to see if it's all come out.

Very salty dinner last night (which may have contributed to today's weight gain), although otherwise healthy, of home-made san choy bow (bau?). Lean pork mince with finely chopped mushrooms, shallots, water chestnuts and baby corn. Soy sauce and oyster sauce and some beef stock. Wrapped in a lettuce leaf. I haven't made it for a few years and I thought the kids would be "euww, what are all the bits" and refuse to eat it but they both loved it.

Today was my first real school holiday day of just me and the kids. We went to Old Parliament House first. They had a kid's activity involving Lego blocks from 10.30 to 12. Aiden loves Lego. The building is part of the Parliamentary Triangle which is on the lake I like to walk around, lots of public buildings. The car parks were full of people going to work plus people doing school holiday things and people enjoying the sunshiney lake. We cruised around five or six big car parks for half an hour or so with no luck, eventually finding a spot under the Art Gallery. I guess art isn't as popular. Then we had a bit of a hike to get there. Then we were given a map of Old Parliament House and walked around in circles until a kind lady showed us the closed door that we should have gone through. Finally we got in at about 11.40, with the organisers saying, "ok, five more minutes then we will exhibit what we have made." Luckily Aiden didn't make a fuss about missing most of it, the two of them quickly built something together and showed it off with everyone else.

Back to the Art Gallery where we decided to have lunch, got lost wandering around the galleries even though I've been there quite often, had to ask for directions to the cafe. Very expensive not particulary good lunch that took a long time to come to the table, but the kids were happy because they got chips. And we had a nice chat. We talked about trying to enjoy life and finding the fun parts of everything, even sitting at a boring cafe table. I have such great kids. Got lost again on the way out and had to ask for directions again to find the car. It was a day of mazes.

Then off to Jasmine's choice, an activity at the Glassworks that I deludedly described as "having to make an insect". When we got there it was a little table in the corner -- they had to draw a picture of an inspirational insect, with the chance of getting it made out of glass if they won. I was ready for huge disappointment, it was just a table with some pencils and paper on it, but they seemed fine with it and were quite excited about the prospect of their drawing getting made out of glass. First we went to watch a guy make a paperweight, that was actually pretty good. Then I wandered around the gallery while the kids did their drawings. Some beautiful items there.

Then we drove home. On the way I nearly went the wrong way down a divided road and they may have heard me swear for the first time -- I almost never swear whether in front of the kids or alone -- but today they would have heard a little "shit, shit, shit" as I wove all over the road trying to get back.

So, sound like a bit of a disaster day? It wasn't. The only complaints were 1) that it was boring driving around and around looking for a parking spot and 2) it was too hot sitting in the car driving home. Both children seemed to have a good day and enjoyed their time out with mummy.  Can I say again I have great kids?

In the afternoon another guy came to quote for new roller blinds for the kids' bedroom windows as we hadn't liked any of the fabric the first place had. At least we had his quote of around $700 for both as something to compare this second guy with. The kids helped me choose some absolutely beautiful patterned textured material. Which turned out to be $1330. Each. Hmmm. (That was a bit funny, actually, because he was saying it was thirteen thirty and at first I thought he meant $13.30 per meter and I thought that even if that was only for the fabric, not the trimming or labour, it was going to work out pretty cheap.) We revised the choices, got a nice non-patterned blind for Aiden for lesss than half the price (his is completely broken and is permanently down and ripped so he really needs a new one asap), and ended up getting nothing for Jasmine who wasn't interested in the lesser fabrics. Her blind is a bit tatty but still functional, and we hope to move house soon anyway.

If anyone is still reading this epic, hi!

Went up and down lots of stairs today and my ankle is a little sore. Bummer. But it's not too bad.

A good Tuesday


After three days off exercise my ankle was feeling great but the rest of me; not so much. I had real trouble sleeping last night, probably I wasn't physically tired but also my back was aching from being so immobile for days.

My food intake over the long weekend wasn't ideal either, with various unhealthy snacks plus dessert last night. Time to get serious again! This is not a drill. This is important. Doesn't mean I can never have dessert again, but it does mean I shouldn't have cupcakes AND choc-chip cookies AND dessert. I have to get my weight down for my health.

My mum & brother were still here this morning so I took the opportunity to go to the gym while they babysat. I did a really intense 30 mins on the elliptical and went 4.5 km, my best yet. It was really really hard though. I was dripping sweat and exhausted. I do the twin peaks hill climb each time on resistance level 5, so I'm going "uphill" a lot. With 10 mins to go I didn't know if I could do any more but just told myself it was all downhill from there and kept going. I'm still quite a way from 5 km in 30 mins, but I'll do it eventually. I'm going a bit further each time. I might be able to do it already on an easier routine (ie no hills) but this is the one I started with so I'll continue with it.

Then I got on the stationary bike and did a slow 20 mins. My main focus on the bike is coping with the pain from my postural and core muscles! The muscle that wraps around my ribs hurts pretty bad when I have to balance on a bike, I really know I'm working it. I barely notice my legs going around. Obviously my core needs a lot of work.

I wanted to finish with the hand pedals but someone else was using the only one so I tried the rowing machine. I quickly decided it was too much pressure on my ankle, I didn't want to risk it. So I rounded off the hour with a cool down on the treadmill.

My family left after lunch. I find having my brother here a bit wearing, he has a psychological disorder (OCD) and he has a lot of annoying habits and a complete lack of empathy -- think Sheldon from Big Bang Theory without any of the charm. That sort of thing is interesting to watch but no fun to live with. He is 44 and still lives with mum; no job, no friends, no life. No fun for him either, obviously. He does seem to like playing with the kids, and tells them very funny stories. He gets that from dad, in fact the story style and voice mannerisms are almost identical which is entertaining especially since dad moved out when Darren was eight and they don't see each other very often.

So, I took Jasmine to a birthday party (I was offered food but took nothing and decided not to stay, I let Aiden have a soft drink) then Aiden and I went to the park for a while. There is an oval marked out with a running track so Aiden and I ran two 400 m races. He won easily both times. Actually my RunKeeper said it was only about 360 m even though I was in the outside lane. I just assumed it was supposed to be 400 m like a real racetrack. I ran about 150 m at the start of the first lap but it went downhill from there. Lots of walking with short spurts of jogging.

I've been tracking today, trying to be sensible in my eating. I've done well but still have the usual Tuesday night D&D supper to go ... sigh. This time I am providing strawberries! And apricot delight. But that is for Tim. I'll offer the rest of the choc-chip cookies too, can't have them lying around here.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Long weekend


I intentionally took yesterday off from exercise but today I totally meant to get back into it, I just let the day get away from me. It counts if I really meant to, doesn't it?

On the up side my ankle is feeling really good. And I will get back to the gym tomorrow before my mum goes home -- she and my brother are visiting.

Otherwise I don't have much to report. Very quiet long weekend in my house.