Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Planning to fail


Last night as I was worrying about my diet and my husband's health, I was thinking about writing some plans on this blog but then thought, "But when I fail again that will be embarrassing." When I fail again. True, I've often laid out diet plans here and then haven't kept to them, but I can't let that stop me from trying again! Or making myself accountable by talking about it.

My resolutions this year were to drink more (water), exercise more and stick to my pre-diabetic guidelines of limited carbs. My track record so far isn't great, but it's time once again to turn it around.

I officially signed up for the Verti-cool challenge and I've done my exercise for today (an hour of Dance). I've eaten very healthily and drank lots of water. I can do it. I just need to keep it up.

Pre-diabetic husband


A week ago, a couple of hours after dinner, I tested Tim's blood sugar. I'd never done it before and had no reason to believe he had any blood glucose problems, he had full blood-work about a year before. He isn't overweight and he exercises a lot, but he does have high blood pressure (almost certainly caused by work stress and currently controlled by medication). The meter came up with the figure 10.1 mmol/L. Around equal to the highest I've ever had.

I was worried, but he had just eaten a couple of apricot delight. They couldn't have got to his blood stream yet (I think) but I figured he might have had sugar on his finger which would have skewed the test. I decided to test again after a high carbohydrate meal.

Tonight we had lasagne and then a big serve of ice cream for dessert. I calculated it was approaching 90 grams of carbohydrate -- which is twice what my dietitian suggested I have. I tested Tim. 9.7 mmol/L. I tested myself. 8.3 mmol/L.

His blood sugar is worse than mine.

Obviously this was not a proper test under the strict conditions they use for diagnosing diabetes, but it is indicative of a problem. Blood glucose for a person without impaired glucose tolerance should never go over 7.8, regardless of how much carbohydrate they eat.

I think we can assume pre-diabetes.

I am shocked and very worried. He has gone from very healthy a couple of years ago to suddenly very high blood pressure and pre-diabetes. High blood pressure is a risk factor so that comes into it, but diet must also play a part.

I control his diet.

I do all the shopping and all the cooking. Apart from the occasional restaurant meal or snack while out with the kids, he only eats what I provide. What have I been feeding us to get us both into this state?

My biggest challenge is to lose weight. His will be to manage his carbohydrate intake. He is a real carb addict; he loves sugary sweets and bread and pasta. If I serve a meal with meat and vegetable and no starch, he will go and have a couple of pieces of toast with honey afterwards.

We both need to do this. Diabetes is scary, but it isn't too late to reverse the process.

When I had gestational diabetes, I stuck to my diet because it was for my baby's sake. I've struggled to stay motivated for just my own health. But now I have two of us to look after again.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Putting it off until the perfect moment


My exercise has been a bit inconsistent lately but for some reason I am fairly confident I can get that back on track. Yesterday afternoon I did an hour of Just Dance 4 and my husband joined me after a while. It was kind of funny in that it started off with me getting much higher scores (on dances that neither of us had done before) but as he warmed up and I got tired things changed. His score got closer, then on one dance he just beat me by a nose, then the next one by more, then finally by a lot. He has much better stamina than me, and my ability to follow new choreography goes sharply downhill when I run out of energy.

Anyway, I am not at all confident about my management of food. I was thinking today about when to start tightening control. Not right now, obviously. It is Jasmine's birthday tomorrow and so she got to choose the menu and activities for the day; French toast for breakfast, lunch at the food court and treats at a movie, lasagne for dinner with Vienetta ice cream for dessert. Her wish is my command. Then I can't start a diet straight after that because her party is on Saturday, with family staying for the weekend. I'll start after the weekend. In fact, the kids finally go back to school next Tuesday, so that would be a perfect day to stop eating junk and get into a routine.

Except that we have our regular D&D game and supper on Tuesdays.

If you let yourself think like that, there is always a great reason to delay taking control of your life. Valentine's Day in a fortnight, must eat chocolate! Then my sister-in-law's baby shower. Easter -- more compulsory chocolate! The Canberra Show. My cousin's wedding. Husband's birthday. There is something every couple of weeks, with regular Tuesday binges to fill in the gaps.

A friend (one of the D&D guys, who is quite fit and not overweight but who does binge in a major way on chocolate at Tuesday supper) is currently doing a low-carb diet in solidarity with his wife. I am not against low-carb diets per se, but their take on it seems quite odd to me. They are having very little fruit and vegetable, from what I can make out, and I think that is very unhealthy -- but I might be wrong about the vegetable, they might just have restricted choices. But more oddly, they have one "free" day a week when they eat as many carbs as they want. From all that I have read (and experienced) of low-carb, the first week or so is the worst as you fight through the withdrawal and cravings. So they are in a continual cycle of cravings, loading up on carbs just when they are nearly through the worst. I put this to my friend and he just said that it's just a short-term weight loss strategy, not a lifestyle change, and he is not trying to wean himself off carbs. This didn't seem to me to address the issue, but I let it go. That family has such different ideas about so many things, compared to my family, that I rarely understand their reasoning behind choices. If they are happy doing their diet, who am I to argue against it?

I had a dream the other night, or rather early in the morning after Aiden had crawled into our bed for a cuddle then left again. Bob, the trainer from the US version of Biggest Loser, was trying to put me on a really weird and restrictive diet that I cannot now remember the details of. He was eating something that looked like a sausage but was apparently made of baked beans (or it might have been one huge baked bean) with a chutney made of charred eggplant (I obviously got the eggplant chutney from the previous nights episode of MasterChef). He was very insistent that his way was the only way to lose weight. I was nearly in tears as I argued with him. I laid out for him my idea of what a healthy diet was:

A small amount of lean protein with each meal.
Unlimited vegetables.
Fruit for snacks.
2-3 serves of low-fat dairy a day.
Lots of water.

If only I could stick to that! I think I woke up before I talked Bob around to my way of thinking.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Australia Day weekend


We are having a long weekend for Australia Day. The actual day was Saturday, there was supposed to be fireworks but I assume they were cancelled due to an evening storm. We certainly didn't go out in it.

I spent all day yesterday shopping for Jasmine's birthday presents, she turns nine in a couple of days. School holidays means it's hard to get out shopping without her there, so it was very last minute but I knew what I wanted to get. The morning went well but then I spent about three hours running around semi-industrial suburb Fyshwick in the heat looking for a nice student desk. I didn't think my specifications were too onerous; white to match her other furniture and with a bookcase hutch. But each furniture store (I went to nine or ten) had an average of two desks and I think I found a total of four that were even vaguely close to what I wanted. We bought her bedroom suite when we moved her out of the cot when she turned two, and they no longer make that style. I remember at the time wanting to buy the matching desk as well but Tim felt a two-year old wouldn't need it for a while. I guess we were both right.

Anyway it won't be delivered for three weeks so I took a photo which I will put in with the cute pink swivel chair I bought. I'm sure she'll like the other things I chose.

I forgot to/didn't do Parkrun again. Quite an inactive weekend, unless you count walking from shop to shop for more than five hours.

My weight this morning was 79.1 kg. Ironic that I maintained over Christmas and while we were away at the beach, but am gaining now that I'm just sitting at home all day. Maybe not that ironic. There is a clue in that "sitting at home all day".

Friday, January 25, 2013

Secret eating


I don't always say everything about my struggles with my weight on this blog because my husband reads it and I'm ashamed. I generally love that he reads my blog but it does mean that it isn't an anonymous space for me to admit to all my failures. However, I think it is very bad for me to keep things secret so I'm going to talk about my uncontrolled eating.

My worst food triggers are anything chip-like. Fat+salt+crunchy. Twisties or Doritos or even savoury crackers. Even if I don't like the flavour (for instance salt and vinegar) I will eat it anyway. If it is in the house, I can't seem to resist. And I am well aware of this. Yet I still occasionally get deluded into thinking I can handle it.

Four times over the past couple of weeks I've bought a  packet of something to have a snack in the cupboard in case we had visitors or the kids had friends over, but then surreptitiously eaten them all myself over the course of a couple of days. The latest was today. Dad has just been here visiting with his partner and we usually sit up late playing cards; I'd bought a packet of chips and some chocolate and some things for a cheese platter to have for supper. After the kids were in bed I decided we didn't really need that much food, especially as dad had mentioned he was on a bit of a diet (one that still lets him have a bottle of wine a day, obviously). I told Tim that I was feeling a bit out of control with food and could he please hide the chips. He suggested that we wait and see if we ate them that evening, if not he would hide them from me until the next suitable event.

Turns out dad is finally starting to feel his age and he left almost immediately. He says 2012 is the year he went from being middle aged to being old (he is 72). So we didn't need any of the supper. I didn't bring it up again with Tim. I'd made an effort to get them out of my reach, hadn't I? Not my fault if if failed. One effort was all I had in me.

I've had almost exclusively carbohydrates today and I feel like crap. I started with my warm oats, then the kids and I went shopping. I often get us each a treat when we go shopping together, and today I decided that the way to avoid binging on the family-sized chips at home was to have a small packet of exactly the same product. So I wouldn't feel deprived. WRONG! Then lunch was a bread roll with butter and vegemite (ie fat and salt). More carbs. I was feeling pretty groggy by this stage and had a bit of a nap.

By mid-afternoon I was obsessed with the thought of those chips. I love chocolate, but I can have a square or two then stop. A tub of ice cream would take me a year to get through. Peanut butter seems to be an issue for some people, but I don't get that at all. It's just something to have on toast occasionally or make satay sauce with. But chips?

When the kids were out in the backyard I sat on my bed with a book and the chips and shovelled them in. Listening between each mouthful in case the kids came in. Shoving my pillow on top of the packet and quickly wiping my mouth and fingers when they did come in. Not really enjoying, but not stopping. Quite disturbing behaviour.

Later I poured the rest of the chips out of the packet into the bin. Only way to be sure.

I cooked dinner about an hour later than usual because of course I wasn't hungry, and then I still only ate half of mine (and that was a lot more than I wanted).

I guess the only solution to this is to not have it in the house. I already knew that. I think the voice on one shoulder tells me I am strong enough to resist; and the voice on the other shoulder reminds me that if I do fail, well, I get to eat chips. I look forward to the inevitable fail. I can't listen to either of those idiots!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

400 steps!


After going to the library yesterday, I came home to an email asking me to meet someone at the library the next day (today). So we went a bit early before it got too hot and tackled the stairs leading up to the library from the park. 25 stairs in total with two short landings. I did laps of jogging up the stairs then walking down the long shady ramp; which is totally not race conditions of course, I won't get a break every 25 stairs then. Jasmine sat on the stairs and read (about a mouse running a marathon, ironically enough, as she was the only one not exercising) and Aiden accompanied me part of the time and cheered me on when he needed a rest.

I hadn't really planned how many I would do, but I ended up doing all 400. It was surprisingly easy. I barely noticed the first 100 stairs then my heart rate started to go up, I was sweating after 200 and a bit tired after 300 but really 400 was barely a challenge. It took me 19 minutes in total, and a lot of that was the walking down the ramp.

I need to either run down the ramp to keep my heart rate up or maybe run down the stairs (I'm a bit scared of tripping and falling). And speed up my upwards jog.

Pretty cool that I know I can easily go up 400 stairs though, I am not going to collapse during the race.

For some reason stairs is just something I can do. Many exercises that other people would think easier than 400 stairs would be much harder for me.

Monday, January 21, 2013

This & that


Whining on about being sick is very boring so I will just briefly mention that I caught my little boy's tummy bug, albeit in a lesser form, so I haven't exercised for a couple of days (again). Not sure yet about today. And I'll move on to another topic.

After touching briefly on a harrowing moment yesterday morning. I had just got out of bed and was holding a retching Aiden over a bucket in the loungeroom where he had been slumped watching TV. Red. Lots of red. And organic looking lumps of pinky red. Oh my God. Until I questioned his big sister who told me he'd just eaten a red plum. Sometimes relief from fear is the most wonderful feeling in the universe.

The day after my first attempt at stair climbing, total of 80 stairs, my thighs were very sore. Cool! Of course I also ran that day which might have contributed, but that tends to work different muscles. I want to do a few more short sessions over the next two weeks, then the kids will be back at school and I can ramp it up.

I was given some ankle weights for Christmas and have done some leg exercises with them. Quite hard work. Just think, if I wore them all day every day, when I finally took them off it would feel like I was flying!

The coming week's weather report says we will have another coolish Saturday so I plan to do my first Parkrun 5K. I'm considering the Parkruns as part of my training, not an end race, so I'll run/walk it and go from there. I'd like to do it regularly as long as it doesn't hurt my shins running on tracks instead of the grass of the oval. We'll see.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Evil sugar


My little boy Aiden woke this morning with a nasty vomiting bug, poor little mite. And Tim's sore back is worse today and he is trying to lie flat between helping me with vomit clean-up. Not a well household!

I certainly plan to get some exercise in regardless, but haven't yet.

I've been seeing more and more articles about how bad sugar is for us. There was an article in COSMOS (issue 47, Oct/Nov 12) about fructose destroying our livers and giving us diabetes etc, and how Americans average 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day! Mainly high fructose corn syrup. There is disagreement over whether sugar is the enemy or if we all just have to go low-GI. And there was an interesting point that testing blood sugar only tests for glucose and ignores the fructose. Still lots they don't know, about everything.

There was a mention of people on paleo diets not eating carbs, but that even Neanderthals had grains.

Humans are amazingly adaptable. Some people live on camel's milk mixed with camel's blood and get little else. Other cultures have almost excusively fatty meat with no vegetable matter. Vegans go the other way and seem to do fine with no animal protein at all. Maybe there is an "optimal" diet out there somewhere (although I expect it differs from person to person) but even with all the lifestyle dieases we have, we still live a lot longer than the 30 years or so of history.

Regardless of societal pressures to be slender, I know that I am not my optimal weight. Or rather, not my optimal fitness; as perhaps I could be this weight with more muscles, less visceral fat, yet still plenty of subcutaneous fat making me femininely curvy. But as I am I have knee, ankle and shoulder issues; get distressed in hot weather; and have pre-diabetes which is putting me on the path to lots of horrible complications. So, what is the optimal diet for me?

Who knows?

There doesn't seem to be a lot of agreement about it. And even where there is agreement about what is best, some people argue you can -- nay should -- have a certain level of bad food so that you don't feel deprived and can stick to the diet forever.

For lunch today I had leftover roast from last night. Three thin slices of rare beef, one small piece of potato, tiny onion, one floret of broccoli. And half a cucumber. Well, excellent, yes? Natural meat and plenty of different types of vegetable. But most of it had been cooked with oil. Bad? Olive oil. Good? I put salt on everything. Bad. Too much meat (maybe 100g)? Not enough carbs? Too many?Evil potato, even in a two-mouthful quantity? No dairy included. Bad? Good? At least I know there was no added sugar.

Friday, January 18, 2013

The first few steps

more Saturday:

There are 4 steps leading up to my front door. The Verti-cool challenge has 403 steps. So that is just 101 times up my little flight of stairs, right! It is not the same, Verti-cool is straight up; practicing on my stairs means 4 up, 4 down, 4 up, 4 down. But it is a start. And literally right at my front door.

This afternoon I went up and down 20 times; 80 stairs in total. It took me 3 minutes and is a fifth of the race distance. A good start, I think. I could easily have done more except I am cautious of my ankles which have been hurting a bit for the last few days after one dance session and are a bit delicate after my training run this morning. I am being very careful with them. Better to go slowly and not get injured! I have two months to train. I felt my heart rate go up and my breathing get a bit more laboured after about 15 "laps" (60 stairs). Obviously 403 straight up will be a bit more challenging. I feel like I could do it today, but I'll be able to do it a lot faster after two months training! I plan to add 10 laps a day, and of course I am still looking for a much bigger continuous flight.

I am oddly looking forward to this one. I think I am naturally competitive by nature.

Occasional 5K training


I'd had some thoughts, earlier in the week, about doing Parkrun today. They have a casual (but timed) 5K by the nearby lake every Saturday morning. I am totally not ready to run a 5K and haven't done any training for it for months, since it got hot, but I knew we were going to have one cool day in the middle of this heatwave and I could just walk most of the 5K. Then every subsequent time would be a new PB! But anyway I then forgot about it and slept in, but decided it was still good weather to do a training run.

I did Week 1 Day 2 of C25K -- it's only my second try at this program but I had done some of a different program before that -- and again I couldn't do the whole thing so I think I'll be on Week 1 for a while! Of the eight 60 second intervals, I did the full minute only on laps 1, 6 and 8. That last one was hard! I really pushed myself. The other laps I only did about 30 seconds of the running interval. You get 90 seconds recover in between and boy does that go quickly.

As well as having a voice in my ear I keep track of how many intervals I've done by changing which lane I'm in, I start in the outside lane and move in one each time. It also boosts my perception of how far I've run because each lap is a little bit shorter than the one before. Everything that helps me get through it is worth doing.

I find myself much tireder after running than I have been after dance.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Hot soup


I don't usually make chicken soup in the middle of summer, but I was poaching some chicken last night (to make vol au vents) and I didn't want to waste all that lovely chicken broth so I added some vegetables and turned it into soup. I took it out of the fridge to heat it up for lunch and noticed a lot of solidified chicken fat sitting on top. Yum! I thought. Can't beat the hearty taste of chicken fat. So I heated it up and had a bowl. And the oily liquid slick of fat on top was horrible! It tasted ... fatty! It's it awesome that I can no longer eat a bowlful of fat! I scooped off as much fat as I could and put the rest of the soup back in fridge, next time I'll skim the fat off.

Burned my tongue on that first mouthful of hot fat, too. Ow.

I started feeling better yesterday afternoon and this time I think I really am recovered from whatever I had, I exercised this morning (JD4) without any problems other that the heat. It is really really hot today and Tim has the car so the kids and I aren't going anywhere! Just back and forth between here and the neighbour-kid's house for them, and here under the air con for me.

I've been feeling at a bit of a loose end these school holidays. The kids have spent so much time with the new neighbour that I haven't needed to entertain them much, but at the same time I can't just go off and do my own thing. I should be writing my novel. Or doing housework. Yeah yeah, don't wanna.

It's so nice to feel well again, and not have every atom of my body telling me to go and lie down. Well actually a nap would still be nice, but only because it is hot and quiet, not because I am sick.

Here's a weird thing. I usually have a very limited (slowly increasing) readership of around 20 but last weekend I wrote very boring post about feeling unwell called "Lots of Napping" that got 80 hits. Why? Does that phrase have an obscene alternate meaning I'm not aware of? Probably people just tracked back from a comment I put on someone else's post, but it was odd. Just that one post.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013



Well I thought I was more or less better on Monday but woke on Tuesday all headachy and tired again. I was determined to get in some exercise anyway and went to the stairs between the library and the park. And gazed down at two flights of concrete in full summer sun. And took the kids home again.

Yesterday I felt worse. Again mainly fatigue, with a bit of headache. I kept having to go for a bit of a lie down. Tim says he been feeling some unusual fatigue too, and yesterday he hurt his back riding to work. We had to go and pick him up after work and I found driving a bit of a challenge. He's still a bit sore today, but as usual very stoic. Not like me!

This morning I feel much the same, maybe a little better. Hopefully I will shake it off soon.

Took the kids to see "Wreck it Ralph" yesterday. Fun movie. I thought the main bad guy at the end was a bit scary -- basically a flying cockroach with a kind of evil clown's head -- but the kids weren't bothered so I didn't go on about it. Clowns are scary at the best of times, let alone nasty ones grafted onto a bug.

Time for a cup of tea and then a bit of staring blankly at the wall, I think.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Verti-cool challenge


I was feeling a lot better yesterday evening and woke up today completely back to normal. Shopping with the kids in the morning and some JD4 in the afternoon when I found out I maybe wasn't 100%. I had to push myself to do a lucklustre half an hour, but at least I did it.

I'm quite excited about an event coming up in March, the Verti-Cool Tower Race. It is a charity race (Camp Quality for kids with cancer) up the 403 step of the Telstra Tower here in Canberra. The ultimate Challenge participants run up Black Mountain first (the tower is on top of the mountain, Telsta is a telecommunication provider) but I am not ready for that this year!

Going up stairs is one of the exercises I quite like. I've always liked Body Step ("like" being a relative term, of course) and just going up stairs is good too. I've thought about incorporating it before but my problem is I don't have any steps to climb. I work from home so I don't have access to an office building. I know of a couple of outdoor places that have stairs but not so great for training in the middle of a heatwave and also it they are only about one flight high so not ideal for training for a 403 step continuous climb. Better than nothing for cooler days, and the kids could play in the park at the bottom while I go up and down. The gym has one flight of stairs indoors which I plan to use if I can't find anywhere else, but I can't use that during school holidays unless I can get someone to mind the kids (they don't do Club Gecko anymore). I would really love somewhere indoors and at least three or four flights high.

I've already called Telstra Tower and been told their stairwell is not available for practice runs.

I have a bit over two months to get ready -- ten weeks actually. I'll need to get my cardio fitness up quite a bit.

I'm a bit frustrated that I no longer seem to be able to upload pictures to my blog, I have no idea why or what has changed. Telstra Tower is pretty iconic, it looks like a giant spike, and I would love to show a picture.

So, anyway, I'm going to ask around and see if anyone has any ideas about where I can find some stairs to climb. I wanna do this one!

Lots of napping


I did a good hour of JD4 yesterday but this morning I woke up to runny nose and sneezes and headache and, which affected me more, fatigue. I have had a similar thing a few times over the past year or so, very mild other symptoms but debilitating full-body tiredness. I slept in this morning, unusual these days for me, and then spent the whole day lying around on the lounge watching cricket and playing with my iPhone. I didn't even read much, too much effort. All day my body has been telling me "Lie down... lie down and rest..." And we got takeaway for lunch to celebrate/commiserate my husband's last day of holidays so it wasn't a very healthy day all round. At least we are having a cool rainy break between scorchers so resting is quite comfortable. Hopefully I'll feel better tomorrow and get back into my routine quickly.

Ahh, routine. Husband back at work but kids still home for another three weeks so I'm not really sure what that routine will involve. I'll try to take them out somewhere most mornings and they play with the neighbour-over-the-back-fence a lot at either house. I will have plenty of time to exercise.

I haven't been working on my novel, my other NY resolution, but I wrote a short story yesterday so that counts as writing. I try not to be too precious about writing but I do find it difficult to do creative work with the kids interrupting or my husband playing noisy computer games right next to me. I need to find a way around that. Maybe put on headphones!

Friday, January 11, 2013

New dances


Today we went shopping to spend our Christmas money from my Poppa (maternal grandfather), who gave us $50 each. Thanks, Poppa! I bought Just Dance 4 and spent an hour on it this afternoon. It's fun having a lot of new dances. I was planning to just go through every dance first without worrying about my score, but I got 5 stars on the first few first try (there doesn't seem to be easy/hard settings) so re-tried the ones where I didn't quite make it and the most it took me was three goes. My six year old son joined me for several dances. He mostly got 3 stars which I think is very impressive. I still have plenty more tracks to do.

I only have five or six left on JD3 that I don't have 5 stars on and I definitely want to complete that as well.

I didn't exercise yesterday (PMS) but I am doing very well with drinking enough and eating moderately.

When we were at the shops today we had Mexican for lunch at a place set up like Subway -- you chose between taco, enchilada or whatever, then your meat and other fillings and sauces. Tim & I had been there once and liked it, and did again today (steak quesadillas with hot sauce, yummy) but the kids were not at all impressed with their nachos with weird cold runny cheese with bits of tomato in it and sauce that was green even though it was supposed to be mild tomato (tasted like coriander and lime). They like the way I make it, with cheese Doritos, salsa and melted cheese! When I got home I tried to find my meal in my calorie counter app. It didn't have that specific restaurant so I looked at some others. At one, a beef quesadilla was over 700 calories. That seemed too much to me, it was a fairly small arrangement of a folded tortilla with a little bit of beef & cheese plus onion, capsicum, and fresh tomato salsa. I kept looking, and the next entry suggested over 900 calories! Ouch. Then I found one that suggested around 250 calories. What the? I ended up recording 500 as a wild guesstimate.

We missed last week's SYTYCD (US) while we were away and forgot to tape it, and tonight watched the finale with the top four. My favourite Cole was missing! Damn. Got voted off when I glanced away for a second.

Still very hot in Australia at the moment with nearby Sydney expected to have its second hottest temperature ever tomorrow; 45 degrees C. Bushfires everywhere. I've been editing a book written by firefighters involved in some disastrous local fires ten years ago here, so I now have a better idea of what they are going through. I am totally amazed at people who volunteer to risk their lives like that. Keep safe.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

No weight gain!


Again I've somehow managed to avoid gaining weight over a holiday period! This morning I was 78.7 kg, slightly less than before we went away. Not sure how I managed that, but I'm certainly not complaining! My husband said he put on 3 kg over Christmas + the holiday.

Today I've eaten some good healthy food (and a little bit of not so healthy), I've done an hour of intense exercise (in this heat, even under the air conditioner I was moderately close to fainting; so that is good, right?) and I've had seven glasses of fluid. I've tracked. I feel like I'm hitting my goals for the day.

I also called a client, took my son for a haircut and to the library, did the grocery shopping, and booked both children into swimming lessons. On a roll!

One thing I haven't done yet (but will, before bed) is do some writing. I am determined that this will be the year of the novel and that is my primary non-health resolution for the year. I edit other people's novels for a living but never do any of my own writing. I've taken about four years to write the first couple of chapters of the current attempt. But this year -- a little bit every day (just like exercise) and it will get done.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Diamond Beach


I just spent the first week of 2013 having a lovely relaxing time at Diamond Beach with my family. We stayed at a "resort" (I don't know if the owners of the establishment use the same definition of resort as I do, it consisted of reasonably nice cabins with two swimming pools and one restaurant/cafe) about 15 mins drive from the increasingly touristy coastal town of Forster which is about 3 1/2 hours north of Sydney.

Generally each morning we would walk over the dune to the beach -- it wasn't a patrolled one and not safe for swimming but great for sand castles, collecting shells, and running away from the waves squealing -- then after a while back to the more interesting of the two swimming pools until lunchtime. After lunch was inside time away from the sun, then another swim or putt putt golf (mini golf) or the patrolled beach and into Forster for dinner at one of the many restaurants. We had some really great meals. Actually we ate out twice every day but one. I don't think I particularly overate; dessert once a day, a couple of ice creams, a couple of cocktails over the whole period. Still, I have probably gained a little weight, we'll see tomorrow.

Not much exercise, a little walking and splashing around in the pool. The weather was lovely for swimming without being so hot I couldn't leave the air conditioned cabin (this is a pretty narrow window for me) but it was too hot for any real work-out. We were very vigilant about sun screen and staying inside in the middle of the day but you can't spend hours every day in the sun with skin like mine (or my daughter's) and completely get away with it. About half-way through I burnt the tops of my feet a bit which made shoes tricky.

Today we drove home through one of the worst heat waves Australia's East Coast has ever had (luckily our car has good air conditioning). There are bush fires all over the place, and apparently the school oval (only a block away) had a grass fire today, although Tim couldn't find it when he went up to investigate. Some places are approaching 50 degrees C.

It was a lovely holiday, but it's good to be home. I am really looking forward to a good night's sleep in my own bed, and getting back into some kind of food and exercise routine tomorrow.

I can't seem to add the pretty picture of the beach, so you'll just have to close your eyes and imagine it. White sand and crystal blue water and don't forget the frolicking dolphin.