Thursday, 23 August 2012

Still feeling under the weather

This week hasn't seen me travel to the gym, because I've still been a little under the weather.  Sore throat and runny nose.  Still coughing the smallest amount, but that's getting better. 

So instead of going to the gym, I've been taking the opportunity to at least go for a walk.  The weather has been warming up this week, with a possible storm tonight or tomorrow.  Given that I've been working a little later this week, stepping in to consult or work with other areas because so many of our staff are off sick, I've been walking in the evening, which hasn't been all too unpleasent. 

On Tuesday, I walked 7.3 km and tonight was 6.8km.  I probably am not going to make it to my 100km mark by the end of the month.  In only seven days, I'm not going to be able to walk 45 km!  But I still want to keep going and walk as much as I can.  In fact, if the weather's fair tomorrow morning, I want to walk to work. 

I actually thought of this on my Tuesday walk.  Last year, I didn't have a car and I was walking or riding my bike to work as my only form of transport.  This year since my car has been fixed, I've been driving everyday and I know that hasn't helped my activity levels.  So I decided that I would walk on Friday.  I'm also going to try to make it a regular thing.  Monday to Thursday is inconvenient to walk, especially if I plan on going to the gym as soon as I'm well.  Carrying my gym bag as well as my work bag would just be really awkward. 

So, that's it for today.  Hope to update again soon!


Sunday, 19 August 2012

One Busy Week

Hello!  Haven't meant to not update for so long, it's just been a long busy week.

First off, I did finally make it to the gym.  Both on Monday and Tuesday.  As predicted, I couldn't keep up with all the exercises, but I modified where I had to and kept trying no matter what.  What surprised me though was it wasn't all as bad as I thought it was going to be.  I was expecting to have returned to my initial levels of fitness from before I kicked off this weight-loss thing the first time.  I found out not so.  Well, okay, small fib.  There were one or two points on both nights I wasn't pushing myself all the way I could have, but I felt by doing so, I was restoring my energy stores to do the next activity.
Monday was circuit class.  Warm-up: push-ups, crunches (with legs straight up in air), hip flexor thingys.  Then an exercise that made me feel like I was a recruit from an army movie.  Or maybe a football team! Lying on our mats, we had to wait til Jeremy made the call and we had to jump up and run on the spot as quick as we could until he told us go down again.  Repeat.  Definitely got me warm!  About halfway through, felt like my legs were moving super slo mo. 
Circuit included:
  1. Jump-step crossovers on the high step
  2. Passing a swiss ball from our hands to our legs and back, making sure our hands/feet returned to the floor each time;
  3. clean and press with a barbell;
  4. leg curls using the swiss ball;
  5. lifting a medicine ball above our heads and placing it against the wall, then back to squat;
  6. butterfly press on a swiss ball (seeing a theme here yet?);
  7. small medicine ball above our heads, slammed to the ground, squat to pick it up, lay back on the bench, reach above our heads, stand up, repeat (I have no idea how to explain that simpler)
  8. upside-down rowing using a horizontal bar;
  9. and push-ups. 

And the timing we were using to go between exercises was some one was running back and forth up the middle of the room carrying weighted sandbags, one at a time.  I am bad at running, my biggest weak spot in fitness I think.  But at the same time, when I am fit, running is actually enjoyable for me.  Anyhow, in this activity I usually find it hard.  Luckily I volunteered fairly early on to run it, because I would have felt I was keeping everyone waiting, or on their station for way too long as I am slow.

Tuesday was the Tummy Butts and Thighs class.  I don't like I like it as much.  At least, this week I didn't enjoy it.  I may have still been tired from the previous night's class, or it may have been because Kelly wasn't there (she's been sick all week).  Whatever it was, I didn't have fun like I did in Monday's class.  I still worked hard where I could though.

I didn't blog after either of these two days because I was wiped out!  It was tough enough to get home, shower, eat and make lunch for the next day.   I did start to write a blog entry on Wednesday, but I ran out of time. 

Didn't make it to the gym again in the week; Thursday saw a late event (til 11pm).  Friday I had intended to leave work early to go for a walk, but then I got distracted.  I did walk later that evening, however, it was to get an icecream after dinner.  :( Not the best move. 

I've been trying the tactic of reminding myself whenever I want some junk food how much walking/exercise I'd need to do to burn it off.  I discovered it takes 118 min of walking to burn off two pieces of pizza.  Given I usually down 5 slices in one go, that's a lot of walking.  Even if I was doing weights training, I would still need to work for 50min for the two slices.  Ice-cream is 31 minutes of walking.  I only walked ten minutes to get my ice-cream.  Bummer.

However, today I walked some more!! I've been slacking a bit on my walk 100km challenge, but I still feel I can do it, I just have to walk some everyday.   I was in bed with flu and ache yesterday, so I didn't go walking, but I went for a great walk today.  I actually didn't want to stop.  I got to about 50m from home though when my knee started to feel a bit of pain.  I guess 2 hours is my limit.  Yes, I did say 2 hours!  I couldn't believe I went so far and walked for so long!  Admittedly, I did stop for about 5 minutes along the way because there was an echidna in my path.  I thought it was absolutely fascinating!  I've only once before seen one in the wild, so it was beautiful to see it waddle its way right up to my toes.
Not my little guy, but a good example of the colouring

But, minusing that 8 minutes break, I did walk for nearly 2 hours and I think I kept up a decent pace all the way along and didn't slow down and dawdle.  And that two hours did lead me to add another 10.62km to my total! Hooray!  I am of course feeling a bit tired for it now, but I'm still glad that I went on the walk.  My legs felt like they had been used and exercised.  That's what I was missing the other day when I went for the short walk with Imogen.  It's what I often feel I'm missing where I live because the ground is so flat.  When I lived in another city, when I was studying at uni, I was living in a hilly area.   Anywhich direction (or even suburb) I walked in, after an hour, my legs felt exercised, because of the hills.  I really miss that feeling here where it is so flat. 

And that about wraps up the week!  Measurement Monday tomorrow morning, and I bought a digital scale on Wednesday afternoon so I can't weight (hur hur) to try it out.  I really wanted to open it straight away, but I was determined to make Monday mornings my routine.  Breakfast is prepped, I've brushed my teeth, I'm going to bed!


Monday, 13 August 2012

Another week done

So, here are my numbers for this week. 
WEEK 3 - (New) 13th August
97 kg
85 cm
116 cm
104 cm
114 cm
Thigh (R)
74 cm
116 cm
Upper Arm (L)
37 cm
36 cm

To be honest, I know they are still large, but at least, I was kind of expecting them to be.  Last week, when I didn't go to the gym on Thursday, it threw me off balance.  Where I had been treading so well, I slid down pretty quickly.

You may know that when the you are tired, your body craves junk food.  Fat, salt, sugar, all the stuff that is a quick boost of energy.  I am definitely one of those people who it noticeable happens too.  On Thursday, I did miss the gym, but I didn't go for a walk like on Tuesday.  I had to do grocery shopping.  By the time  I got home, it was after 8 and I did not feel like cooking any good food.  Instead, I succumbed to not one, but TWO microwaveable pasta packs.  To which I added cheese.  That was all the trigger I needed to continue eating foods that were highly processed or high in salt or sugar.  As a result, I think my measurements are a true reflection of the amount of salt and sugar I ate on Thursday night, Friday and Saturday.  By Saturday night, I realised I hadn't eaten anything good in two days, and I was able to turn myself back on track. 

I think I need to keep up the exercise.  When I exercise regularly, I eat well.  I don't know if it's a conscious thing, where I because I'm exercising, I don't want to undo all my hard work, or a subconscious reaction where my body is craving good, clean, healthy food to keep up the energy stores.  It's something I've noticed in the past.  I just need to make sure I keep moving and keep exercising. 

I have a late night at work today and tomorrow, meetings running until 5.30pm, but I'm keeping my gym bag ready and packed and in the car so that I can go after work.  Tonight, Kelly and I are going to go to Circuit for Life.  I hate it, but it's good at the same time.  A mix of strength exercises (medicine ball lifts, kettlebell swings, tricep dips, chin-ups, etc) and cardio (rower machine, burpees, shuttle run, starjumps, and so on).  When I was going in April-May, I really enjoyed seeing how much I improved, just over three to four weeks - to the point where I could actually start to do burpees!  I'm by all means, the slowest, unfittest person there, but most everyone is encouraging.  And there's always something that I find easy and can do multiple of, like squats, or something that I challenge myself to do the most of.

Well, I'd better eat breakfast and dash off to work, or else I won't get everything done in time by this afternoon.


Sunday, 12 August 2012

Still no Gym

Hi all, quick update. 

For starters, thank-you to the people who've jumped on board with me and have chosen to follow my blog.  It makes me feel a whole lot more motivated to know that there are people watching me and offering advice and support.  

I still haven't made it to the gym yet!  Thursday, I was so caught up finishing a report before I went, that when I emailed it, I realised it was ten past six - I missed the gym!  However, didn't go for a walk like on Tuesday, because I had to go grocery shopping.  Again, I analysed my spending and I spent $33 on food that I could have done without.  However, I spent more money on stocking up on good food, so maybe this is a good idea to keep analysing and watching my spending. 

No exercise, Friday or Saturday, although I could have gone for a long walk Sat, but I didn't.  I also didn't eat very well from Thursday onwards, mainly from coming back late enough from grocery shopping that I didn't feel like cooking.  So I ate 'convenient' foods, but not healthy ones.  I didn't start eating properly until Saturday night.  Outlines for me that I need to start planning my food and writing it up somewhere I see it.  And reminding myself that I have perfectly good food already sitting in my fridge.

Today, I got back to the swing of things with eating healthily (a salad for lunch - go me!), drinking plenty of water, and go for a walk.  A medium distance walk of 4.63 km.  Added onto my tally and I'm going to need to get my butt into gear if I'm going to meet this 100km challenge!  Nearly halfway through the month, and still not halfway.  Better get cracking!  But not now, as it's late and I am getting up early in the morning for my Monday Measurements.


Tuesday, 7 August 2012

All geared up and nowhere to go

So, if you read my previous post, you know I had planned to go to the gym today.  I was packed; I was ready:  locked up at work, hopped in the car and was ready to roll.  Turned up at the gym, pulled into the carpark… very few cars.  Was it the time of day?  Was it because it's winter?  Hmm…
Walked in, desk girl greets me with a big smile.  "Haven't seen you in a while".  "No, no... got lazy".  "Are you here for the class?  It's not on tonight!" 


I have mentioned (more than once I think) that it’s winter right now.  And that means illness.  So Jeremy, who runs all the classes, had to cancel.


I was so ready to go!  Kelly was going to meet me and ….. No class.  I even joked to Danielle (the reception girl) that it's not allowed to work like that.  I finally got myself all geared up to go for the first time in months and the class wasn't on.

Even though it was past dusk, I decided I really wanted to exercise.  So I quickly drove on home, threw on some trackpants and a jumper and headed out for a walk.  It was much too dark to go the route where I ran on Sunday, but I still decided to go for a long walk.  I was making good pace too, under the streetlights.  There was one section of the footpath that went behind houses and was unlit, so I slowed down there.  Overall, I added another 4.18km to my 100km challenge.  Hooray!

So, I'm going to keep everything packed and ready, sitting in the car, and will go for Thursday to the gym.  It's Fitbox.   Some cardio, some boxing techniques.  I've only ever gone twice before.  Once earlier this year, and once two years ago.  It's a tough class, but I'm going to do it!


Monday, 6 August 2012

Week 1 - Not according to plan

Hmm, well, I have said that I want to get back into the swing of being fit and losing weight, and yet, I haven't committed to it as well as I could have.  I've been the chicken in the bacon and eggs analogy - involved, but not committed. 

I only realised tonight that I said that I would start again last week.  I had the plan of daily exercise and everything.
Brutal honesty time:
Did I follow it? No
Did I make any effort to eat better?  Only a little
Did I meet the daily exercise target? No
Did I do things that helped or hindered my effort?  Hindered. 
I went to bed late, didn't stay adequately hydrated, forgot to take any iron supplements, ate badly - no where near enough greens. 
Did I weigh-in or take measurements so I could get a better idea of where I am at and where I need to get to?  No
Did I do things that sabotaged my efforts? Yes

So, I don't even know where my official Week 1 (new) should go, because I had planned for it to be last week, a nice start being the beginning of August, but somehow I let all that slip.  Maybe having my weigh-in time during the middle of the week wasn't working?  So I decided to try it out for Monday morning.  Monday morning will be before two gym days, and after my weekend.  Accounting whether I had a good weekend or not.  So, that's done.  Monday for weigh-in and Measurements.  There we go, catchy title: Measurement Monday.  Starting now, I will have Measurement Monday, and this morning's will be week 2.  I still think I'll take both my weight and measurements each week.  You can see my this week's results in the table below - and also in 'results' tab up top.

Additionally, yesterday morning I did some other exercise! I didn't even think about it until just now.  When I got up yesterday, I rolled straight out of bed and onto the floor so I could do some sit-ups.  I managed about 30.  I probably should have pushed myself to do 40, because if I had done 40 sit-ups once, I know I can convince myself to do 40 again.  And when I was on holidays, I managed to do 40 of them.  So, going to keep on trying and keep on working on that too.

This afternoon, Imogen and I went for a walk again, but I'm really disappointed I went because it was a really short walk.  Only 2.8km.  And it seemed that Imogen was dawdling.  We started off strong, but after 1 km, Imogen just slowed right down.  Maybe during the week doesn't work for her, and we should stick to it being a weekend activity.  I only went for a walk today because I hadn't packed for the gym and had nothing prepared for dinner when I got back.  So I made the decision of food first, exercise second.  But now, I'll have food that I can bring with me to work to eat in the afternoon to energise me before going to the gym with Kelly.  Good food too, like steamed broccoli.  So, in lieu of a good long walk, I instead did some squats, to make my legs feel like I had worked them out.  I managed to get to 20 squats.  My legs are a sore now, but in a good way.  I hope they don't feel too sore tomorrow!

So, now, week 2 results.  Have to be honest.  I'm not sure what to make of them.  When I weighed myself 2 weeks ago, the scale was sitting at 96kg.  Not so this morning.  I'm really debating whether I should get digital scales just to have some better accuracy.  My other measurements aren’t all that bad however.  Certainly not as large as the numbers were when I first started back in April.  I don't know what's going on.  I take my measurements first thing in the morning and I'm in front of the bathroom mirror, to make sure I'm measuring at the same spot each time.

WEEK 2 - (New) 6th August
99 kg
116 cm
101 cm
116 cm
Thigh (R)
71.5 cm
115 cm
Upper Arm (L)
37 cm
36 cm

Oh well.  I'll just use these numbers as motivation while at the gym tomorrow!  Feel the burn baby.  Speaking of which, I suppose I had better pack my gym bag so I have no way of getting out of going. 


Workout buddy is back!

Hey hey!
Quick update. Kelly, who was here in May for work experience is back for 8 weeks (until the end of the quarter) on an internship.  This is good for many reasons. Apart from Kelly being dedicated to learning the ropes, and open to suggestions to get the most out of client sessions, and being an all-round cool gal, she is a fitness-junkie.  She normally runs for fitness, but as it is so cold Kel's not too keen about running at the moment. Additionally, being here on training, means she's putting in longer hours at work and not getting outside before it gets dark. 

But! She's keen to come along with me to gym sessions.  We've made plans to go along tomorrow evening, to Tummy-Butts-and-Thighs.  It's what Kelly came along to last time, so she does know what to expect.  And it's a good one to wean myself back into going.

I know I do well when I get into the habit of going to the gym.  It's once I skip a session or two that I really start to let things slide.  In fact, I could have gone many times in the last two weeks, but I've just put it off, or justified in some way why I can't (not enough water/food/sleep that day.  Need to prep for next day's work.  Haven't packed gym bag, etc, etc).  I think it's the first one that's the hardest.  Once I go to one session, then it will start to feel normal (and less anxiety-inducing) to keep going to another and another.

Bring on TBT tomorrow!

-Sunny Duckling

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Ego and endorphins

An update regarding my walk that I got back from around an hour ago.

Imogen rang this morning to see if I was keen to go for a walk again today, as she was out of town yesterday.  When I knocked on her door at 4.30, I got no answer.  Tried again at 5 o'clock and it turns out Imogen had been asleep - oops!  So I tried to convince her that a really good energy boost other than a nap was to exercise.  I tried for about ten minutes to convince Imogen to come along, but nothing doing.

So I went out on my own, on the same route we did the other day.  And after only 15 minutes, I was bored and I wanted to turn around and go back.  I had music with me, but I only own an FM-reciever, so I was at the mercy of what the radio threw at me.  Needless to say, not all of it was the most motivating to keep pushing myself to walk fast.  I was so disinterested and realised that I either should have pushed Imogen more to come along with me, or find some other way to keep me going.

On the route I took, on the other side of the highway, is a new development area.  There hasn't been a lot of development there yet.  Only 2 completed houses, and one in progress.  This new housing development has a long straight 'feeder' road, that the other streets (will eventually) run from.  This road is around 1km long, so a 2 km return distance.  (1.35 mi according  to googlemaps).  It also has no traffic (because no-one lives in the development yet) and has streetlights along one side of the road.  By eye, those street lights look like they are pretty much evenly spaced.

As I was pushing myself to keep going, somewhere, something twigged in my brain to run between streetlight distances, and then walk the next one as recovery, before running the next distance again.

Yes my friends, my brain suggested I do some intervals... and I went along with it.

I'm normally really good at ignoring my brain when it points out things which are good for me.  But I guess, snaps for my lazy side, I knew that running would be faster than walking, so if I ran some, I would finish up my walk sooner.  I convinced my brain that I would be better off running* the distance between two sets of streetlights and use the same double distance to walk, giving me more recovery time.  I'm pleased to say that I intervalled all the way down and back along that road.  Initially, I bargained that I would run* only down to my turn-around point and then just walk back.  But my lazy side battled with the time issue, while my sensible side countered with the "you just showed you could do it on the way down, why pike out now?". 

My sensible side won out, and I ran*-walked back to the top of the road.  And I felt GREAT!  I don't want to brag too much, but I think a got a little taste of what is 'runner's high'.  Although, truth be told, it was probably equal parts ego as it was endorphins. 

That was the second deal with myself, to run back up the road.  I stuck to it and went a little further again, once I reached the end of the road. 
As I was walking back along the path that heads back to the other side of the highway, my legs still felt pumped, I felt pumped from the ego/endorphin boost.  So I ran* a little more.  Just once, and I think the distance was about equivalent to three streetlight spans.  But I ran* again, further than I had initially thought, and further than the second time I adjusted my bargain. 

I felt so pumped and happy about what I accomplished!  : )  I hate to run, have always hated it.  The only time in the past I've voluntarily run was when I was chasing the school bus down the road on the mornings I slept in.  But today, because of laziness, or bordeom, I chose to run.  And I want to do it again.   : D 

So, I think I now know what will be my September challenge - to start a couch to 5K running program.

-Sunny Duckling

*P.S.  I say run, but I think my running speed is probably closer to fit people's jogging speed.  I was still moving faster than a walk speed and my heart rate went up and my breathing was heavier.  Signs that I exerted myself.   :) 

A Step in the Right Direction

(Read this post as if it were written on Saturday - for some reason, it didn't post when it was supposed to).  I meant to post yesterday, but it didn't quite happen.  Friday nights and all.  For me that was a glass of red wine, in front of the telly.

But before I got there, I started my August Challenge in fine form!  After work, Imogen and I decided we'd go for a walk.  I actually was at work and by 4.30 I decided my reports and sales checks could wait until today, so I packed up early and decided to head home as the weather was beautiful and sunny and still a warm day (for winter).  I even surprised the cleaners, who are used to me leaving after them!

Imogen started off with an oft-repeated saying of hers "I know this sounds really bad, but I feel like I want to order a pizza".  I have heard this 4 times from Imogen in the past two weeks.  Annoys me, but I don't know how to tell her, it's not worth it.  I know it's not worth it, and I'm strong enough to just turn around and say 'no'.  Imogen's not there yet.  One aspect which makes it extra hard is we live only about 200m away from the pizza place.  All I can really say is "it's not worth it" but no matter how often I say it, it's not sinking in yet.

But to the point.  We went for a walk, and it was grand.  We returned in the dark, but that's okay, because we walked 10,171 steps, covering a distace of 8.67 km.  That's nearly 10% of my distance goal.  Hooray!  I feel good for it.  I was tired at the end of it, but I'm glad that I went for such a long walk after work.  If the weather's good today, I will go again for the same walk I think.

Food-wise, still not doing so well.  But my pedometer shows that I burnt 1020 calories from that walk, which when I converted to kilojoules, because that's what all food energy measurement is given in, I had burnt off 4200kJ.  That was enough to earn a prawn pasta marinara at the pizza place.  They don't do salads there which is dissapointing.  But I'm glad that I was able to justify eating the pasta (2610kJ), and it came in a decent sized portion, which I knew I could eat all of and be satisfied with.  Pizza isn't worth it because there are low-cal pizzas available, but my willpower doesn't let me stop eating just two slices.  I can easily plough through 5 slices in one sitting and usually finish the other three before the night is over.  See?  Not worth it.

Unfortunately I have a lot of lollies in my house at the moment, leftover from Thursday's event.  NEED TO GET RID OF THEM.  I feel sick because I keep reaching over and eating them, even though I normally don't have a sweet tooth.  I don't even eat chocolate because I find it too sweet.  If I take them into work and leave them in the staffroom for everyone, I should be fine.  I don't ever succumb to sweets at work, probably because I have told people over and over I have an anti-sweet tooth.  So, to avoid feeling like a hypocrite, I never eat them at work. 

Gracious, I also need to get cracking and make dinner tonight for the week.  I won't have time to cook dinner at least two nights this week, and it means that I have something to take into work for lunch instead of running to the takeaway on the corner for a egg & lettuce sandwich and an apple.  Hey there's a win.  Over the last two weeks, when I've had to run to the shop to get my lunch, I've picked out either an apple or banana to eat with my lunch.  Normally, I'd go for a small packet of chips.  This week has been all fruit.  Yay.

Well, I have house chores to do, so I'd better dash.  I'll post later this afternoon if I go for a walk or not.  At the latest, I'll post on Sunday about my plans for exercise for the week.


Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Monthly Challenge


Because I want to get back into the swing of things, I think I need to start setting myself intermediate goals & challenges, to keep me working towards losing weight and getting fit.

So I decided, not only should I aim to do some exercise everyday, I plan to walk 100 km in the month of August. 

Over 30 days that's an approximate of 3.33 km a day.  Another way to look at it, is if every second day I go for a full 1 hour walk, I'm covering 6km.  I feel I can do it.  I want this on top of going to the gym.

I'm starting with wearing my pedometer at work tomorrow.  I have an outdoor event that is going to go on all day (7.30am - 5.30 pm) and I know I'll be shattered, so I won't go to the gym, but I will go on a walk in the evening.  I may even be able to convince Imogen to come with me.

Imogen is a work colleague of mine who lives nearby.  We both slacked off over the last two months, but on the weekend we went out for a walk, both Saturday and Sunday afternoons.  Over the two days we walked for 1h45m - a total of 8 km.  So, idependently, we each came up with the decision to get back into fitness/losing weight.  Imogen's not much of a gym goer, at least not at the moment, so walking sounds like a plan!  We even discussed cycling in the morning before work - but it's cold and dark at 5.30 in the morning.  It's Winter.  5.30am in Winter is not walking (or cycling) time.  Maybe.  If in a week or two the cold snap passes, the sun will be rising earlier, I might be convinced. 

Am I just coming up with excuses to get out of doing exercise, rather than finding ways to incorporate and increase my exercise & movement every day?  Eurgh.  Losing weight and getting fit is hard.  And it's only like that, because I let myself get so unfit and unhealthy.  If I hadn't ignored the way I was treating my body, I wouldn't be having this issue right now.  I've only brought it upon myself, and I only I can change it.  I want to change it. I will change it. I'm going to change it And I am changing it!