It’s all about Perception

Weigh in morning Wednesday I didn’t have high hopes. My body had told me I needed to back it off a bit so although I had done 5 days of exercise I’d gone a bit easier than usual and instead of a Super Session on Saturday I’d done a (most enjoyable) belly dancing class and only burned around 350 cals. Couple that with not 1 but 2 red flag days where calorie counting went out the window and I figured I would be lucky to get away with no gain. Surprisingly I still managed to lose half a kilo so I’m absolutely thrilled with that! Just goes to show that this program has really helped bring my metabolism back to life.

There have been a few things happening on facebook lately which got me to thinking…One lady posted that she has been getting lots of compliments about her weight loss but can’t yet see it in herself. Another lady put up a family photograph that had been taking and explained how horrified she was by how she looked it and how much she hated the photo. I looked at the photo and the first thing I noticed was the way her young sun was hugging her with a total adoring grin on his face. To me the photo radiated love. Obviously her son has no problem with the way she looks, all he sees is his wonderful mummy who loves him and takes care of him and whom he loves and adores with all his heart and probably thinks is the most beautiful woman in the world. She looks at the photo and sees only her excess weight. Myself and others look at the photo and see only a loving family.

The same feelings came up with the lady who cant see her own weight loss. I’m the same, I can see the results on the scales, I know logically that having lost almost 20kg there has to be less of me and I have to look slimmer. I get compliments from my family and friends on how good I am looking. However when I look in the mirror I don’t see a slimmer woman… I see the fat.I see the rolls on my stomach, the wobbly thighs, the bingo wings. Don’t get me wrong, I KNOW I’m fitter. Its much easier to see the fitness improvements. I can run longer, I can lift more, I don’t get puffed easily anymore. All that is easy to recognise. But the shrinkage? I still can’t see that. Even when I’m working out its hard not to focus on the tummy flapping up and down!

So maybe it’s time to look at ourselves through someone else’s eyes.  Maybe we should try to see ourselves the way our loved ones do… or even how complete strangers do. Others don’t focus on our flaws. We do that. Why are we harsher on ourselves than anyone ever would be? So for this week that’s going to be my personal challenge. I’m going to try and see myself the way my 4yo niece sees me – The super fun, energetic, adventurous aunt who can keep up with her and isn’t afraid of anything… not even fat. Who knows, she may be right. It’s all about perception 🙂

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I’m living in the 70’s!!!

70s

Turn on the Lava Lamp, it’s time to ditch the leg warmers and pull on the psychedelic  flairs, kicking the 80s to the kerb. In the words of Skyhooks I’m Livin in the 70’s!!! The stalled weight loss of the last few weeks is a thing of the past. The last few weeks I’ve been knocking on the door of the 80kg benchmark, and this morning I smashed right through it! 1.6kg loss for the week  means the weight is starting to shift again and I’m oh so happy! The 100g loss of last week did play with my head a bit, but thankfully not enough to bring on a binge. Quite the opposite actually. I was tempted to under eat, but that doesn’t work either. It was a tough time but I reached out and got some fabulous support and a reminder of how far I have come. So I’ve committed (publicly) to eating every single one of my calories every single day. I’ve also started taking a magnesium supplement as I seem to have a permanent case of DOMS the last few weeks which is making everything seem hard. They seem to be working and I’m looking forward to smashing out some more calories tonight at kimax. Have a great week everyone!

 

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Bumps along the road

It’s been an interesting few days for me. The long weekend saw me on massive highs from fitness achievements. I’m still on a high really. Tuesday I had an overnight trip to Canberra for work, meaning I wouldn’t be able to weigh in as usual on Wednesday. I decided to weigh in Tuesday morning before I left. POP that burst my bubble! Down a measly 100gm. At first I was disappointed. I guess I was expecting a good number to go with my great weekend… I really wanted to get into the 70’s this week. I figured with all the calories I’d burned over the weekend I was OWED that much. My inner teenager started foot stomping and sulking. Then I remembered everything else I have achieved this week, how awesomely my body had performed, and then honesty kicked in and I remembered the 2 red flag days with the less than stellar food choices made. (read all calorie counting thrown to the wind). So ok maybe a 100g loss isn’t so bad after all. Yes it means I didn’t get under 80 this week, but I’m 100g closer and I’ll get there next week… or the week after. Either way I know I WILL get there. Ok full blown tantrum averted. Off to Canberra.

 

Canberra ended up being one of those days where things just didn’t go right. Not just for me either. My team were stressed and grumpy too. Unfortunately none of it was due to anything I could fix. I was so relieved when the day was over. Instead of doing what I knew I should have done (the at home workout in my hotel room) I went for a bit of retail therapy. I did get some cute new boots that I needed, but I didn’t really burn any extra calories or build my strength. Then the team and I decided that pre dinner drinks were in order to wind down, so I stopped off and bought nibblies to go with the wine. So I spent the early evening, eating and drinking copious amounts of red wine. By the time we decided to head off to dinner I wasn’t really hungry, but I went anyway. More drinking, more eating. Including dessert. I think the inner teenager might have snuck out again and decided that since I haven’t lost any weight I may as well stuff my face.

IDIOT! By the time we left the restaurant I was feeling really ill. My stomach was one giant cramp. It felt like it would explode out of my body at any second. I couldn’t even fit a sip of water in. It was awful. The walk back to the hotel I was in agony. I can’t believe I used to have nights like that regularly and think nothing of it. The pain was awful. If someone had offered me a stomach pump at that point I would have grabbed it with both hands. As none was available I did the next best thing. I purged. This is not a behaviour I condone in the slightest. Its not one I’ve ever really indulged in. Generally speaking I can only make myself vomit if I am actually sick. This time, it was a case of knowing I needed to sleep but that the way I was feeling there was no way I could sleep. So I did it. And it relieved the pressure in my stomach. It meant I could sleep.

The upshot of all of that, is not that I’ve found a new way to eat what I want and not gain weight. The upshot is that I have realised that I no longer WANT to over eat. It is no longer pleasurable. I don’t care how nice the food tastes, if I eat too much of it the pain is so not worth it. What’s more I don’t have to weight days until I see the results on the scales as my consequence. That pain is almost immediate (just not quite immediate enough to stop me getting there).  Bulimia is a very real and dangerous condition and it’s not one I want to move towards. My heart goes out to anyone who battles this.

So yeah there have been a couple of speedbumps along the road this week, but you know what, my body is a 4WD all terrain vehicle. I’m going to drive right over these bumps and continue on my journey. They will not stop me. I WILL reach my destination. All they’ve done is slowed me down a touch… and sometimes you need to slow down to allow yourself to absorb whats going on around you.

SHOUTING IT FROM THE ROOF TOPS

Just a quick post because I am bursting with pride and excitement… I JUST RAN THE WHOLE BAY WITHOUT STOPPING!!!! That’s 7km!!! Previously my best distance was 1 km so this is a HUGE improvement! It wasn’t fast (8 – 8.5 min per km) and I did get overtaken by loads of other runners and one speedy power walker but who cares? I JOGGED FOR 7KM! I didn’t plan it either, I just started running across the iron cove bridge like I always do, and when I got to the end I decided to keep going… and going… and going. Unfortunately that meant that i had to tackle the hill right at the end to get back to the starting point on the bridge, but let me tell you once I got that close NOTHING was going to stop me. Up the hill I went and sprinted the last 15m or so to the line on the bridge. Shared the moment with another fabulous Inner Westie who had never run that far either. SO PROUD OF US!!!!! To run the bay non stop was my goal for the end of the year and I just SMASHED it!!!! I feel like I can do anything 🙂 The scales can take a long walk off a short pier this week because I have achieved what I thought was impossible.

Fantastic weekend

What a weekend! A few weeks ago I signed up to do a walk with my local 12WBT group. I didn’t really look at what was involved other than to check I wasn’t working and had nothing else on that day. I thought it would make an interesting change from bootcamp for 1 week and be a nice social event. A few days beforehand I had another look… “18km”… ok I thought. I’ve done 14 around the Bay, an extra 4 should be fine… “suitable for intermediate to advanced fitness”… ummm I know I signed up for intermediate this round but I really think I’m more “beginner to intermediate” what have I signed up for?… a bit more reading…. “allow 5 hours”…. hang on what!?!??! Its 18km. I can walk at 6km an hour… surely it should only be a little over 3 hours?… people were also mentioning stairs. Fair to say that by the day of the event I was a little nervous. Determined, but nervous. One of my ‘fears” is of holding other people up. I hate being the slowest and having other people have to wait for me because I’m the fat one, the unfit one. Correction WAS the fat, unfit one. I’m a lot fitter than I used to be, and 17kg lighter. I decided to ignore the fear and just do it. I know the people in this group. They are supportive. They wont mind if I’m a bit slow, they applaud anyone for giving it a go.

Saturday dawned a little cloudy but with no rain in the forecast. I donned my “Pink Lady” (inner westie top) ready to face the hike. We all met at Taronga Zoo and set off up the hill. I had kind of hoped for a nice gentle downhill or at least flat start, but it was not to be. Start as you mean to finish so off we went. The fitter people in the group set what felt like a cracking pace (probably wasn’t though I just hadnt woken up yet!) but after a while I settled into it and started enjoying the gorgeous scenery around Sydney Harbour. I won’t lie, a couple of bits were hard – some of those stairs seemed to go on forever, and when I say stairs, I mean stairs built for giants. Those things were huge! Overall though it wasn’t too bad. I kept up with the others, and even managed to jog a little bit in a few places (funnily enough during the last few kms jogging was less painful than walking). Speaking of the last few kms, it seems 18kms was optimistic. The walks was actually 20km long. I did it in 4 hours and 34 minutes including some stops for photos, and for everyone to regroup etc. I was so proud when I got to the end. It was my first real “mini milestone” event. My muscles ached but I didn’t care. I just enjoyed the sense of achievement and that I had done it with these wonderful, supportive and inspiring people. Only disappointment was that when we stopped for a short break at the halfway point, I had accidentally stopped my HRM while trying to pause it, so I didnt have the full calorie number to photograph. I do know however that I burned 2274 calories on that walk and that is freakin AWESOME!

I was a tad concerned about how doing the walk Saturday might effect my fitness test on Sunday. I pulled up WAY better than expected though. A little stiff in the hips and glutes (stairs grrrr) but otherwise fine. Whats more I SMASHED my fitness test:

Time trial – 15sec faster,

pushups – 10 more on my toes and only 3 less on my knees so huge improvement,

plank – 28 sec longer

flexibility – improved 1cm

wall sit – 6 seconds less but after the effort my quads put in yesterday I am not disappointed in the slightest with that effort!

Yep overall I’m calling that a great weekend fitness wise 🙂

Some of the people on the Taronga to Manly walk about 1/3 of the way through

Some of the people on the Taronga to Manly walk about 1/3 of the way through

So proud of this. Burn baby BURN

So proud of this. Burn baby BURN

Week 4 weigh in and mini Milestones

Yesterday was the all important (or really not so important) weekly weigh in. I had hoped to get into the 70s but it wasn’t to be. Missed it by 500 grams. Am I disappointed? Hell no! I have lost 17.5kg this year  or almost 18% of my bodyweight and that is AWESOME. People are even starting to notice and to comment positively on how I’m looking. I got complimented by the two women at work who are NEVER nice to me! Whats more they seemed sincere.  More importantly I feel fantastic. I seem to have a better relationship with exercise this round. I’ve accepted the fact that I prefer to be around other people when I’m sweating my butt off. I also like variety in my workouts. So now my schedule looks like this:

Mondays: Cycle or RPM class

Tuesdays: outdoor 12WBT toning session with the gorgeous girls in my local area, or kimax class if its raining for morning shift weeks and body pump class on afternoon shift weeks

Wednesdays: Kimax on morning shift, Body combat on afternoons shift

Thursdays: Body pump on morning shift, Kimax on afternoon shift

Fridays: run club whenever possible, and Yoga

Saturdays: bootcamp + run/walk or 12WBT SSS gym machines

Sundays: REST

Of course sometimes life gets in the way. eg Last night State of Origin was on and I had plans with friends so couldn’t make my Kimax class. I also worked later than planned. Old PJ would have skipped training all together, and to be honest I did consider that. New PJ however thought any workout is better than no workout, and so went to the gym and did most of the 12WBT cardio gym machine session for the day. I didnt have time for the whole thing but I did do 50 min (skipped final blast and stretches) and burned just under 500 cals. I was so glad I went. I could have finished the session, but I decided it was more beneficial that I go home and have dinner prior to going out rather than eating at the pub. I consider that a successful day – long shift at work, + workout + ate well + enjoyed a great night out with my friends and didn’t feel I was missing out (plus the Blues won so it was awesome 😉 )

Week 4 also saw me doing my measurements. From the 5 areas the 12WBT keeps track of I’ve lost 12cm. Happy with that. Even happier with the extra measurements I keep track of myself – a whopping 25cm gone! Mainly from around my stomach (I measure top, waist and “apron”). No wonder I need new belt holes.

This weekend I have a challenge for myself. I’m joining some of the Inner Westies to do the 18km walk from Taronga Zoo to Manly, including a bunch of hills and stairs. It’s slated as suitable for “intermediate to advanced fitness”. Will be so proud of myself if I can get through it all without holding anyone up! Wish me luck

Just cause its short doesnt mean I dont work HARD

Just cause its short doesnt mean I dont work HARD

Positive vibes and the things they inspire you to

Sorry for missing Wednesday’s post – I’ve been without internet at home for the last week grrr. It has been a very interesting week though. Weigh in Wednesday saw me gain for the first time since starting this journey (not counting the holiday weight gain). I was up 200g. Now the old PJ would have been devastated by that, maybe thrown a bit of a tanty and stuffed my face with comfort food. Good thing I’ve changed! I was able to rationalise it in my head, realising that the previous two weeks were abnormally high losses and my body just needed to balance out. I know my nutrition and exercise were good (not perfect by any means but not bad enough to result in a gain) so I just accepted the number for what it was – a number and moved on. 

This week I trialled a new gym. I got a free 3 day pass off their website and used it to full advantage – attending classes on all 3 days. Most important for me was a Kimax class. The Inner Westies (aka the pink ladies) have been raving about these classes and i really wanted to try it out. For those that have never heard of it, it’s basically where you have a free standing large padded cylinder and you punch, elbow, knee and kick it in time to music. It is a GREAT workout and FANTASTIC for stress relief! I was hooked straight up. Forgot to wear my HRM so not sure how many calories I burned but I worked out almost to the point of vomiting so I know I worked hard! What made the class even better for me was the unexpected surprise of having 5 other Inner Westies in the class! We made up over half the room! That sealed my decision that this was the gym for me. The classes suit what I want to do for 12WBT and I can fit them around my shifts (when I’m not running nanna around and on those days I can do the super early classes). For the rest of my trial period I did  a pump and a yoga class. I wanted to see if I would enjoy classes when I didn’t know anyone, and whilst they werent quite as fab as the Kimax class I still enjoyed them. So on Friday I joined the gym. I am a gym member and will be a regular gym attendee. 🙂

Friday was also my second session with the inner westies who are doing couch to 10km. The session was full on, very short rest breaks (20 – 40sec) but I managed to do all the runs without stopping! I was really impressed with myself as the circuits ranged from 400m to 1km in length. I’m not 100% sure but I think in the hour session there was less than 5 min rest. Sure I’m not as fast as the other girls, but I am SO much better than I was when i started this journey (and couldn’t run 50m!). I seem to be getting some of my strength back too. At bootcamp on Saturday I felt strong doing my pushups on my toes and taking the harder options when offered. It was interesting for me as we had a few newbies attend and I could see where I’d come from watching them.

To top off an awesome week I caught up with a few friends last night and was bowled over by all the compliments I received! Everyone was saying how good I’m looking and how the weight loss is really noticeable. I was even told I’m “glowing” from the inside! I felt fantastic. A little self conscious still (I didn’t like being the central topic of conversation for at least half an hour after each new person arrived!) but its nice to have my hard work noticed. We also got to talking about my 40th birthday which is coming up. I’ve been avoiding organising anything as previously when I’ve done so, noone has turned up, or people cancel at the last minute and it turns out really stressful for me. High on the compliments last night (and possibly with a bit of a vodka buzz – calories counted) I decided to put some feelers out and set up an event for my birthday. I was thinking I could get maybe half a dozen people together for a dinner and dancing. Well so far 20 people are attending!! None are family either as I will do them on a separate night. May have to rethink the venue at this rate! I’m completely floored that this many people like me enough to want to attend and celebrate with me.

I’ve also just committed to do the Raw Challenge in September. 6km and 30 obstacles. I’m excited, nervous, scared, thrilled, motivated and inspired all rolled into one. Definitely gives me something to train for! Who’d have thought I would ever even consider something like that! Bring on Sept 28! http://www.rawchallenge.com.au/