Tuesday, 3 January 2012

I'm Baaa-aaaccckkk!!

OK – so it’s been a long time between drinks (or words anyway).
I have been a bit all over the place these past couple of months.  There’s been so much happening – I have hurt my knee (badly), my youngest daughter appears to have some sort of auto immune disorder and my weight has started to creep back on.  Add to this Christmas, a birthday, New Year and another birthday looming!  It’s just been crazy.
Now I thought about just giving up, I really did.  But to tell you the truth I have chosen not to because a) I would be very embarrassed to fail in front of everyone! And b) I don’t want to.  That was a bit of a revelation that one was – I don’t want to.  When on earth did I ever become so determined?  Since when has cutting a new path around a brick wall appealed to me?  Sheesh, there really has been some changes going on in my head and I didn’t even notice!
So this brick wall; what is it and how do I get around it?  It is the weight I have gained and the injury to my knee.  To get around it is going to be tough.  However, I have been doing my research and have found something that may help.  My physio thinks the using an exercise bike would help.  Now we all know how much I love bikes (….NOT!!) and exercise bikes aren’t much different.  Sitting riding one for hours on end does not thrill me at all.  Getting my knee better does.  Losing weight does.  Getting fit does.  The ‘does’ beat the ‘does not’.  So how do I make this work……
First of all I need a bike.  Our budget is tight and is extra tight right now thanks to Christmas and 2 little girls having birthdays.  So I have 2 options.  I hire one or look for a second hand one.  Hiring is cheap initially but expensive in the longer term.  So I have been looking for a second hand one.  No luck yet but will keep searching.  Once I have said bike, then what?  Do I just sit and ride to nowhere? No, this is where I think a certain thing called the Tabata Protocol comes in.
What is the Tabata Protocol I hear you ask.  It is an exercise protocol that only takes 4 minutes and uses ‘High Intensity Interval Training’.  Tabata was founded in Japan by Izumi Tabata. He conducted tests on two groups of athletes. He compared moderate high intensity training with high intensity interval training.  The results were that the athletes training in high intensity interval training improved their aerobic systems as well as their anaerobic system. The athletes who did the moderate high intensity training only improved their aerobic system and had little to no increase in their anaerobic system.
Apparently it is great for kicking weight loss off and the bonus is that it only takes a few minutes. Less than 5 actually.  I guess you need to add a warm up and down to that time but even so, it is very quick, very high intensity stuff.  I believe I can do it and would be able to maintain doing it, especially if I saw the results it claims I will.
This is something that is used in gym classes around the world.  It is often incorporated in the higher intensity classes.  But for me, for now, I want to just do it quietly, at home, by myself.  And until I can track down a bike I am running on my little rebounder.  It’s not too bad – I think I would work harder on a bike though.  When I’m running all I can think about is my knee and how I can protect it.  I’m sure this means I am not giving 100% to the run….
Oh and the other big news from me – I am ditching Weight Watchers.  I still believe it is a great system and I will continue to use my cookbooks and live by the basic premise of the programme.  But for the really big people, who have a lot of weight to lose and a lot of emotional baggage with it, it isn’t the best programme for us.  It’s too easy to slip up and to justify it.  You have extra points to cover you.  And making fruit and veg ‘free’ doesn’t always work either.  I may revisit it later when I have lost a bit, especially when I am near goal as I do believe it is a great ‘life’ system.
So where to from here for my food?  It’s calorieking.com.au
This site is so much like Weight Watchers it’s incredible.  I understand the basic premise and I have had no trouble adjusting to the site and how to navigate it or anything.  What I have been is shocked!  I put in my food for today and came in over my calorie allowance.  In Weight Watchers I was under my points total.  So when you have a lot to lose and major changes to make it helps to see just where the majority of your calorie intake lies and where you can cut back.
Hopefully between Tabata and Calorie King I will see some losses really soon!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

The shrinking water baby :)

OK - so I went and tried the aqua class at the AIS.  It was good.  And then I went again last night.  It was good again.  Yay!  I have paid my $60 membership and will be going yet again tomorrow morning.  I'm really glad I found this option.

At this stage I plan on making it to 3 aqua classes each week - Monday evening, Wednesday and Friday mornings.  The membership also lets me use the gym and do other classes but for now I will stick with these 3.  Then I play netball one other day and I will find something to do on the weekends.

Best of all - it's working!  After putting on 3kgs over the 10 weeks I wasn't really doing any exercise my scales have started to move back in the right direction....DOWN!  I have lost 1.5kgs this past couple of weeks.  So I am now at a total loss of 10.2kgs.  Another 1.8kgs and I'm back to the 12kgs I had lost before I tore my calf.  And I'm hoping to make it to 14kgs gone by Christmas - that's my 10% goal.

So my food for this week needs to be tight.  I got up early today and made some yummy soup for lunch (Hearty Chicken & Root Veg) and put the slow cookoer on for dinner (Slow Cooked Balsamic Lamb Shanks).  Tomorrow it's Haloumi Salad for lunch and Corn Chowder for dinner.  Just have to watch the snacking and all will be good.  Hopefully I will say good bye to another 500gr this week.

Oh I almost forgot my other happy surprise this week......I ordered a new denim skirt.....in a size 20!!!!  I triple checked the measurements and I definitely fit in a 20 on the size chart.  And considering my current skirt is from the same brand and is a 22 that falls off me I shouldn't be all that surprised.  But it's still nice to be buying clothes in smaller and smaller sizes :)

So I have to thank the Lovely Leanne (blog is here) for her advice - "If you hit a wall, find a way around it".  I hit my wall, I was feeling down but I cut a path and got around it.  I feel so empowered and happy.  Thanks Leanne, you rock!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

The emotional roller coaster

Well, what a few days I have had this week!

As you all know I love to work out with JT.  He's a great guy and a good trainer.  However, JT himself has been on an emotional roller coaster ride for the past couple of months too.  He has a gorgeous new girlfriend, and then his job was in jeopardy and then it wasn't and then his girlfriend moved from her home town to here and then they moved house and it's all been very stressful.  During all this our sessions have been a bit hit and miss.

Last Saturday they had a house warming for the new place.  While we were there I asked about training and I got a very short answer.  It was basically 'No more'.  I am honestly not really hurt by that - I knew he wouldn't be around forever and given all the circumstances listed above I knew it was going to be sooner rather than later.  I am disappointed, I definitely work much harder when he's there than when he's not.

So that meant I faced a decision about what to do.  I could give up - easy option, I like it!  But no, I can't do that and I don't want to do that.  So what can I do on what days......I looked at the gym timetable (I pay for the damn membership I might as well use it!) and I can do a class on a Weds and Fri morning.  OK that's a start!

Wednesday comes and I very nervously go into the gym.  Of course everyone is lovely and friendly and I did all right in the class - it was called 'Freestyle' and was aerobics meets ballroom dancing.  I enjoyed and for 45 mins I kept up.  At that point I was pretty dead physically but mentally I was shattered and I couldn't get the hang of the movement.  But I bumbled along to the end.  Not too shabby.

And then came the headache.  Followed by two days of pain in my knees and hips.  My knees even hurt to touch :( So I'm thinking this is not the way to go for me right now.  So some more research is required.  What can I do??  I know!  I love doing aqua classes.

A bit of net surfing and I found the timetable for the gym at the Australian Institute of Sport and they have a pool!  And they run all sorts of classes including four different aqua classes!  Yay!  So I called to ask about membership.  I braced myself.  I waited for the exorbitant price to come..........$60.  'A week?', I ask my heart sinking.  Oh no!  'No', she said, 'that's per month'!!  OMG!  That's cheaper than my current membership and I pay extra to use the pool or do an aqua class with that.  This includes full use of the gym and all classes including aqua! I am amazed. And excited.  Perhaps I have found my answer.....

So this Wednesday I'm going to go and try the aqua class and see how it is.  If I like it I'm going to suspend my other membership and try this place for a month.  If all is good then I'll stay there.  They have spin classes and boxafit classes so I think I'll find something I like there.

Aside from all this, I have done well with my food this week which makes me feel good.  Tomorrow's weigh in will be the test.  Hopefully there will be a minus instead of all the pluses I've been having!

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Thank you Connie Jackson!

So who is Connie Jackson you ask?  Connie is a lady that lives in Tennessee and at her heaviest she weighed some 630lbs, that's around 285kgs.  Connie decided that she had to change and had radical bariatric surgery where they removed around 80% of her stomach and bypassed two thirds of her large intestine.  The stomach is obviously to not allow her to eat very much and the bypass was to stop her body absorbing fat (apparently that happens in the large intestine).

In 3 years she dropped 410lbs or about 185kgs.  This left her with masses of loose skin.  She decided to have it surgically removed.  The first operation saw about 25lbs (11kgs) of skin and fat removed from her waist.  The piece of flesh was around 5' (which is as tall as my eldest daughter, Julia!).  They then pulled the skin up and stitched her back together.  The scar goes all the way around her body and she was in physical pain for months.

Then she had her legs done.  Cuts from her groin to her knee and about 10lbs (4kgs) per leg taken away.  And this is where it gets bad.  Apprently people who have been morbidly obese have difficulty with blood flow to their skin due to the distance, area and fat involved.  These opeations often have complications due to the lack of blood flow.  Sure enough poor Connie ended up with gangrene and had months of therepy along with skin grafts.  She now has massive scarring and is less than happy with her result.

She then flew to London to have her arms and breasts done.  The surgeon there refused to operate, much to Connie's disappointment and disgust.  The surgeon felt that her body couldn't take more surgery and that due to the stomach and bowel surgery she was now very malnourished and that would make recovery too difficult for her.  The programme was called 'The Shrinking Woman' and I watched it on the Bio channel on Foxtel.

Thank you Connie for showing the world your story - you have had a big impact on me.  Firstly I am inspired to keep at the weight loss thing.  I DO NOT want to end up weighing that much.  Secondly, I will keep at the exercise in order to avoid as much loose skin as I can because there is no way I would contemplate those surgeries.  The risk is just to high and for what?  What the world considers aesthetically pleasing?  I'd rather be ugly and alive thanks.

One of the saddest parts of the show for me was when she spoke about food.  She used to love food, eating and the social aspect to food.  Now she can't eat more than 2 tbls of food at one time and often that is too much.  She views eating as chore and is often nauseous.  I don't want that for me.  I had contemplated having gastric banding done, which is no where near as radical as Connie's surgery but is still pretty drastic.  I don't want to end up hating food.  It is an important part of our social being and I love the taste, texture, smell and emotions food brings.  I just have to learn moderation.

I also have to learn some self control and self discipline.  I need to exercise more and be more strict with my eating.  I'm not quite sure how to do that.  Food and laziness have been a part of my life for so long.  Food is my comfort, my love.  I eat to feel full.  I feed my friends and family to show that I love them.  How do I change that without feeling like a part of me has been ripped away?  How do I understand that I have love and can feel emotionally fulfilled without having to feel physically full?

Interestingly it's not just my stomach that has to be full for me to feel happy and fulfilled.  I overfill my fridge and pantry.  I get agitated when  food begins to run out.  I hate it when the egg shelf in the fridge isn't full.  I get annoyed when the containers of food run low or out.  I feel good after going shopping and filling everything back up.  There is obviously an issue here.  Wish I knew why I feel this and behave this way.

I'm not sure how to find the answers to these questions but perhaps having the questions verbalised is a start.  I will now begin the search for my answers.....

Tuesday, 18 October 2011


Well I think I need to look at some basics to try and kick this fat old body of mine into gear!

Eating is good, exercise is OK but I don't think I drink enough.  So my aim for this week is to drink more - water and green tea.

Water to keep my better hydrated and apparently green tea is good for boosting your metabolism.  Whether it aids the weight loss or not I'm yet to find out.  But even if it doesn't it's more fluids into my body than I'm getting now and that can only be a good thing, right?

My other challenge right now is to get over being so damn LAZY!  I am avoiding exercise and making excuses.  This is not what I want but I can't seem to stop doing it!  The heat is not helping but that's only going to get worse not better.  I need to get out of this slump before summer hits or I'm doomed!!!

Going back to my post about Faking It, it seems I have forgotten that already.  So no time like the present, I will head off for a walk this afternoon.  We need some noodles for our yummy Chicken Singapore Noodles we are having for dinner so a walk to our lovely new shops is in order.

Right then.  I better go and get this work finished and put on my walking shoes......

Friday, 14 October 2011

Do Not Give Up

So the awesome Kazz has once again given me my inspiration for the next little while.  She has been featured in this week's 'That's Life' magazine in a story about The Amazing Shrinking Karyn.  Go Kazz you are truly a star and your story inspires so many.  I find it has particular resonance in me as the emotional issues we have are similar and the sheer will power to keep going has been one long hard slog for her and in the 7 short months I've been going it has been a real battle.  To keep at it for over 5 years is just phenomenal and I admire her so much.

Today she posted a photo on her Facebook page.  I just had to download it.  I will try to be a techno-whizz and upload it to my blog as it is something I think I need to read and read and read and read.....

So I'm off to see my sister's and my step-mum today.  I will be making cupcakes for my sister Amanda to photograph.  She is doing a photography degree and it is for an assignment.  My challenge in this will be to not 'pick' at the cakes - either the batter, the icing, the lollies for the decorations or a completed cake.  No cake for me!

So far this week I am doing OK on the exercise but food continues to be a struggle.  When I am at work it's so easy.  There is only so much there (which I pack so it is healthy options) and I am busy working so I don't sit and constantly think about food.  Being at home is tough.  This is where the habitual eating has always happened and it really is tough to break.  I am trying so hopefully the scales will be kind to me on Sunday's weigh in.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Back to PT!

Yay!  Meeting JT for a session this afternoon.  So ready to be killed by him.  Never thought I would hear myself say I missed exercising...

So far I have stuck to my plans for the week.  The Spanish Chicken last night was yummy and I enjoyed the netball game.  Tonight is the Veal Rolls and I went a bought some lovely fresh beans to go with it.  Definitely looking forward to that one!

Last night I was chatting to James and we decided it would be great if I set a health goal.  So I am hoping that within the next 6 months I will be able to drop my HbA1c (I explained that one in an earlier post) from 6.2 to under 6.  Under 6 puts me out of the diabetic range.  I will never not be classed as diabetic, once diagnosed that's it, but I can have it well and truly under control and that's what I'll be aiming for.

I am going to list my goals and give them to JT.  That way he will keep me a bit more accountable.  Accountability is so important in this journey and it is something I struggle to be.  When there is no one to actually report to it's easy to make excuses.  And my motto for the next little while is NO MORE EXCUSES!

So my goals for the next month are:
Fitness - get back to being able to jog a kilometre;
Weight - lose 2kgs; and
Mental/Emotional - to plan food and stick to it.

Will keep you updated on how these go......