Figuring out the why

Well today is Weigh In Wednesday… or as it has been rebranded – Weekly Checkpoint Wednesday. I’m not jumping with joy today although I probably should be. I lost 300gms. The number itself is not jumpworthy but the fact I lost anything at all given the week I have had food wise probably is. But I’m not jumping. I’m disappointed in myself. I have eaten myself stupid this week. Not just at the 3 social events I’ve had where I ate (and drank) way more than I needed to either. What most disappoints me is what is happening at home. Boredom and unpreparedness are my worst enemies. Monday I had a morning with Nanna which is never fun. Stupid thing was I thought it was Tuesday morning that i had her, so when the reminder went off in my phone for her appointment it threw me totally out of sorts. I did grab a healthy breakfast before i ran out the door but that was it. My laziness over the weekend also meant I hadn’t done the weekly shopping, so after finishing with Nanna I stopped off at Coles on my way home… but by then I was hungry. I should NEVER shop when I’m hungry. Especially when i have been craving crap, namely red rock deli chips, for days. Result was I detoured down the crap aisle and specifically bought chips… AND chocolate. Then I ate the bloody chips in the car on the way home. The whole large bag! To top that off when i got home, instead of making myself a healthy lunch i ate an entire block of chocolate. I can’t even blame TTOM! It’s total self sabotage. 1800 cals of self sabotage. That was the “lunch” my body was supposed to draw the nutrients it needs to fuel me for the afternoon from.

Now my body is an absolutely amazing machine. Tuesday night I went for a run. My body, fuelled by total rubbish, ran 9.3km in 1hr and 4 min including running up stairs and some decent hills. My body is a miracle. I am in awe of it. 9.3km!

That run felt FANTASTIC. Even whilst I was doing it! Well ok it was mainly the last 1km which was downhill which felt fantastic but still it felt right. Feeding my face chips and chocolate did not feel right. It felt wrong. Why then did I do it? Why is it that sitting here now writing this post I want to do it again? Why 8 months into this journey have I not learned this lesson?

I need to figure out the why. I need to start being totally honest. The nutrition slippage hasn’t just happened. It’s been going on for a while now. It’s been pretty bad almost constantly since my birthday. (result being I am only 200g lighter than I was 3 weeks ago).  The only reason my weight isn’t up I think is because I seem to have found my running mojo. I need to control the food. I have a sneaking suspicion that all the compliments I have been receiving lately may have something to do with it. My family and friends have really started to notice the loss and are telling me I look great. They are telling me they are PROUD of me. Is that it? Do I not think I deserve pride and praise? Am I self sabotaging to prove them wrong? I mean I’ve been proud of myself. I guess though, the pride I have found in myself has not been about the weight loss. I have been proud of achieving distances or times in my runs. I have been proud of finishing challenges I thought impossible. The weightloss though doesn’t feel like an achievement. In all honesty I sometimes feel guilty about it. It’s been easy. Shit now I’ve said it out loud I realise there is a lot of guilt associated with that. Weightloss is not meant to be easy right? If it was easy I should have done it years ago… or never let myself become a 98kg 156cm blimp in the first place. But really doing the 12WBT the weightloss part is easy. Follow the program (food + exercise) and the weight comes off. Simple. But yet not so simple. My head is my biggest enemy.

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I need to convince myself that I am worthy of praise. Worthy of people’s faith in me. I need to believe it is ok not to be invisible (note to self write blog on invisibility). I need to learn how to live in this new slimmer but still far from slim body. I need to value what it can do enough to fuel it right. I know this in the logical part of my brain, but obviously there is another part of me that is still struggling with these concepts or else I would not be eating enough to fuel a Romanian weight lifting team! I feel like I am letting people down. The amazing pink ladies (12WBT inner westies) who on a daily basis inspire me with their amazing achievements. I present this front to them. I pretend I am in control. That I’m smashing goals. But I’m not. I’m stuffing my face. I’m lying to them and to myself. My family who are so proud. My friends who show so much faith in me and who bought me such thoughtful gifts for my birthday for this new body. I am letting them all down. But mostly i am letting myself down. I just don’t know how to stop… and I’m SCARED, I’m so scared I will go back to that fat unhappy blob. I don’t want to do that. I want to be the fit, healthy PJ everyone else thinks I am becoming. I just need to fix my head

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*Edit: Sorry if this post is rambling. I find just putting thoughts on paper can sometimes help me.

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

Learning to Run

Anyone who knows me knows I have never been what you would consider athletic. Sure, as a kid I was fit, did every dance class known to man and tried my hand at numerous sports, but apart from dancing I never stuck with anything for more than a few weeks especially if it involved running. I hated running. I was crap at it and I hated anything I was crap at. The only time I recall getting any sort of solace or comfort from running was when they told me our first dog had to be put down, and I ran down the street with him back to the car because I couldn’t bear walking. Since then I havent done any running voluntarily… until 12WBT.

Round 1 saw me attempt the couch to 5k… for a few weeks. It helped. As did all the running drills I did in bootcamp etc. I stopped the C25K mainly because I was doing all sorts of other exercise and it didn’t really fit in. By week 8 of 12WBT though I had improved in my running enough to run 1km without stopping for my fitness test. I was pretty happy about that!  I had planned to run during my holiday but that didnt end up happening, so I was a bit worried about whether I could repeat the performance for my fitness test in Round 2.

Thankfully I did! My time wasn’t as good, but that wasn’t the issue. I just wanted to run the km again. It’s very much a mental thing for me. When I start puffing an panting my brain tells me I should stop. I have to keep making deals with myself to go further. This time though it was a bit different. Sure I was puffing like a steam train about 50m in and I knew I wasn’t going to do it easy, but I also had the knowledge that i have been able to complete it before, and that as bad as my breathing sounds (passers by give me concerned looks – probably thinking I’m about to keel over), that as long as it doesn’t get any worse I can keep going. I even had some left for a sprint at the end! Funnily enough, as hard as the jogging part was, the sprint part actually felt good! My legs strode out, my arms pumped, I felt strong! Don’t get me wrong, it was only very short  and I wouldn’t have broken any Olympic records, but for that few seconds I could actually tell why people enjoy this running thing.

I therefore decided to join a group of inner westies for a Couch to 10km training session. When the alarm went off at 5.30 on Friday morning, I didn’t let myself procrastinate. I was up, dressed and out the door before I had the chance to think about the fact that I had just voluntarily cut short the first proper night’s sleep I’d had in a week. It was cold and dark when I met the ladies near the bay and I was a little intimidated when I saw that most of the others were regular runners – some had even done marathons! Luckily the lovely Carol was there (my partner from my first ever bootcamp). The lady who had organised it, and her husband are both runners and had set out a course for us with  cones. We’d run to the first cone, then walk back, run to the second cone, then do a combination of walking and running back to the start. We kept this up for the whole session. Cheri, the organiser ran with Carol and I (how that girl can hold a conversation while running i have no idea!). She was a great motivator and didnt make me feel like I was holding people back at all. By the end of the session we had walked/jogged 4km. Most of it was jogged! I even had enough left for another sprint finish and once again I got that awesome feeling for that few seconds of sprinting.

I’m planning on attending these sessions every Friday morning if work permits. I’m really looking forward to improving how long I can run for. A little part of me is also looking forward to extending the length of my “sprints”… who knows, maybe one day I’ll be able to actually run (not just jog) the whole 1km! Miracles happen right?

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Getting back into the swing of things

This morning was week 1 round 2 weigh in. As it was only 2 days since my “start” weigh in I wasn’t expecting much. I nearly fainted in the bathroom when I saw the result though – 2.5kg down! Now in no way do I think that is 2.5 kg of fat, but I am very happy. Happy because it means I didn’t really gain as much weight as I thought while I was on holidays, and happy because I am only 400g over what I was when I left Australia a month ago. I should be able to drop that this week and continue the weight loss.

There have been some other consequences to the holiday lifestyle I was living and not all of them are pleasant. My skin is awful at the moment. I’m covered in zits, my skin has lost it’s glow, I look grey and pasty. Hopefully a couple of weeks of clean eating and drinking plenty of water will fix that. I’ve also got jet lag for the first time ever. I’ve slept only about 8 hours in the last 96 and 4 of them were last night! I’m exhausted. My immune system is low (lack of fresh fruit and veggies while away I think) so I picked up a cold on the plane. Add TTOM and I feel generally crap. House looks like squatters have moved in as I’ve had no energy to do anything.

I did at least get the shopping done and so have eaten well for the last couple of days. I’m already starting to feel better. I can’t undo all the damage over night but I know I’ll be back to the new/old me very soon. Haven’t managed any exercise yet (prioritizing sleep and recovery) but will do my fitness test after work today.

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Desert musings

I’m loving Morocco – the people, the sights, the smells (well ok not all the smells). Food is a bit better here although its still mainly bread and sugar for breakfast. Exercise wise though things still aren’t going to plan. There isn’t as much walking on this tour as I would like. Apart from a 2.5 hour walk through Casablanca on my own (I got completely lost hehehe) and a fabulous guided walk through some of the 9000 alleyways in the Fes old town souk it’s been mainly on the bus. Starts are fairly early (6.30) and I don’t feel comfortable donning running gear and running around the streets or even around the desert at that hour. Am looking forward to getting a run in around Kensington park when I get back to London. My body is starting to object to the lack of exercise too. Sooo bloated!!!

Will hopefully post some more photos from Marakesh. I really am fortunate to be here. It’s gorgeous! Haven’t found scales but will do some measuring when I get a chance.

Too much of a good thing

The view from the top of St Pauls in London

The view from the top of St Pauls in London

Marching with the Grenadier Guard Band

Marching with the Grenadier Guard Band

View from the top of the tallest tower while walking the walls of Dubrovnik

View from the top of the tallest tower while walking the walls of Dubrovnik

with my gorgeous friends at the "Big waterfall" in Plitvice National Park

with my gorgeous friends at the “Big waterfall” in Plitvice National Park

I’m currently halfway through my travels and have been having a fantastic time. I managed to keep things pretty well balanced while I was in London I believe – I kept up my morning training with pushups, situps, squats, and biceps ticeps and spent my days walking, exploring the city and climbing everything in sight – including all 500 steps in St Paul’s Cathedral. I was really pleased to be able to do it all with no ill effects – no jelly legs after the steps, no having to stop to catch my breath etc. Sure my feet hurt by the end of the day but I was able to do so much more than I have done on previous holidays thanks to my improved fitness. In the evenings I enjoyed socialising with the friend I was staying with, enjoying a couple of drinks and a nice meal guilt free.

Once I met up with my Sydney friends and joined the tour for Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia though the balance went out the window. Here I was with my old drinking buddies. We hadn’t seen each other for 6 months so the first thing we did was go out for a drink and a nice meal… and I feel like we haven’t stopped since! In no way am I blaming my friends for this – each one of us has been living a much healthier lifestyle prior to this trip but it seemed once we got together it all went out the window. It has been great to see them though, and they did notice my weight loss which really felt great. I feel like I have put on weight this week though. Hard to tell exactly without scales but I just don’t feel as light as I used to.

Partly I think it has to do with the style of tour we are on. Usually if I do a tour, I do a small group one which utilises local transport and involves a lot more walking and carrying of your own bags. This trip though is a larger one, with it’s own coach. Bags are picked up from your hotel room and delivered to the room in the next hotel. The bus picks you up at the hotel door and drops you off at your next location. Yes there is a walking tour in each city for about an hour, (not fast walking at all though and a lot of standing around – a good pace for the majority of the tour who seem aged 60+) and yes I have managed to do some walking in our “free time” but it’s still been way more sitting than moving. I’m actually missing exercise. I even found myself doing planks on a bench while we had a toilt break at a service station yesterday!

Food wise we have been trying all the local cuisines – very heavy on the meat, breads etc and very light on the vegetables.All washed down with copious amounts of the local vino. I think I’m drinking less than I have on previous trips – 2-3 glasses most days but its still a LOT. We are all craving veggies. Last night we went to a restaurant recommended to us by a taxi driver that serves traditional Slovenian cuisine and for the first time we had veggies that weren’t massively over cooked or drowning in butter. It was heaven!!! I’m really missing eating clean, as much as I am enjoying the new taste sensations I’m experiencing.

The tour finished yesterday so my friends and I headed up to Lake Bled. On a gorgeous spring day we were able to do a bit of walking in the fresh air including a 20 minute climb up some stairs in the side of a mountain to view a gorgeous waterfall. It felt good to move again although I’m disappointed that I seem to have lost a bit of fitness as my hips are a bit achy this evening. We had a very late lunch so have opted to skip dinner tonight. We are still meeting for farewell drinks though. I think having a stomach that isn’t overly stuffed for a change will be great. I’m not worried about drinking tonight as it is the last time I will see these girls for a while and I head to Morocco tomorrow. I’m not anticipating drinking much at all there especially as I don’t know anyone else on the tour. Hopefully the food there will be more focussed on veggies and a little less oily too.

Travelling really does make me realise how lucky I am. My tour passed through some of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the effects of the war there are still so evident. There are houses that are still in ruins – their occupants have not returned. Other homes have had the internals parts and roof restored but the external walls still have missing render and holes where they have been sprayed with bullets and shrapnel. These families were able to return home but have not had the money to restore the outside of their homes (government and aid paid for essential repairs only). Some homes have been restored completely and repinted in an effort to move on with life but the devastation is still evident. Cemeteries are filled with gravestones of those that died in 1991 – 1995. So many cut short in the prime of life – late teens to early 30s. They had no chance to live long healthy lives. It makes me appreciate what I have –  a home in a country that i love where I don’t live in fear and have never known war in my homeland; a body which while yes overweight, is still healthy and intact and able to take me into a healthier future; the opportunity to make the most of my life; and the financial ability to travel and see sights which both amaze and move me. I am indeed lucky.

I have 2 weeks before I head home. I’m hoping I can move more and eat / drink less in the next 2 weeks. I’m having a great time but missing my new home lifestyle.

Just Desserts

This morning I climbed onto the scales to face the consequences of this week. I’ll be honest… I got lucky. I managed to drop 600g in the 9 days since I last weighed in. It feels disappointing as I’ve been dropping around the 1kg mark every week since the 12WBT program started properly (weight loss was slower for me in preseason). Yet I know it is more than I deserve. My exercise this week has been lackluster at best – 1 x 1hour walk the whole time I was in Canberra. Food… well that was either a feast or famine.

I could beat myself up, or get depressed or give up and throw in the towel completely – you know the “it’s all too hard to keep it up” attitude of the old PJ, but I’m not. Last night I went to bootcamp. The weather looked threatening. I was tired.  No one else turned up. I had a choice. I could go home and plonk myself down on the couch in front of the TV or I could stay and have a private personal training session. Guess which one I chose? Yep, the one on one session. Even when the rain started to come down I didn’t stop.

There is nowhere to hide when it’s just you and the trainer. No ability to have a bit of a rest while you hold the focus pads for your boxing partner either. I worked my butt off. I wanted to give up. I wanted to puke. heck at one point I wanted to pass out. I cried. I screamed and yelled. I swore… a lot. There was no lady in that park last night. I was so angry with myself that I hadn’t kept to my plans while I was away and I took it out with the boxing gloves. (explains why I can barely life my arms this morning). I gave everything I had and then some. In a way it was good for the trainer to see. I mean I always work hard at bootcamp, but when there are a bunch of other fitter people doing the same things it can look like I’m slacking off as my best is slower, weaker etc than what the others do. Last night, he had only me to focus on, he could hear me panting for breath, (at one point he asked if I was asthmatic lol) could see my muscles shake as I struggled to get through the push ups, saw me push myself up again after they gave out and I collapsed. I think I earned some respect. I may be fat. I may be unfit. But I put as much effort in as anyone and no one could argue I could have worked harder last night. By the end of the session I was dripping and not just from the rain.

Unfortunately I hadn’t eaten dinner before bootcamp, and I just couldn’t stomach food after it. Dinner consisted of a protein shake made with skim milk instead of water, and my daily calories were way down. Perils of being ill prepared. If I train at night I need to get myself organised early and have dinner at the nanna time of around 5.30pm so it’s out of the way before training, and just have a snack when I get home.

So yeah it hasn’t been a perfect week. not by a long shot. But I am back on track. I have 2 weeks before I fly overseas. I may not get to the 83kg I wanted to be before I go… or I may get lucky and drop 2.5kg in the next 2 weeks. I don’t know. What I do know, is that I have 2 weeks during which I have complete control over what I eat and how much I exercise and that is a good thing. My commitment for the next 2 weeks is to eat all of my calories every day (but not extra) and to exercise 6 days a week. That is what I have control over so that is what I will focus on.