Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Two New Things Today!

Whoa!  What a full on day today has been. 

Today, I attended the welcome luncheon for new staff at my workplace.  It was a little daunting to say the least.  Preparations started at 8 am – ironing my outfit, washing my hair, packing my bag so I look professional and dedicated, cleaning off the scabby bits of last week’s nail polish, filling out the forms I was sent last year to be brought today... A lot!  I was so nervous about being late that I was ready early for once (I’m notoriously poorly organised and run late for everything).  Once I started driving, I figured out that it was the first time I had ever driven the route to my workplace I had only ever seen it on the map before.  This may or may not have led to minor panic on my part, thinking I wasn’t going to see my turnoff!  But I made it.  In fact, the journey took only 10min.  I’m sure in peak hour it will be more, but wow!  That was a nice easy drive!

The luncheon was alright.  Lots of new staff, so that’s going to be a relief.  I didn’t get to meet my direct supervisor, she was away, but I did meet my line manager, my department manager, and many of the other managers including the executive manager – Eep!  He knows my old manager – so I hope I do well.  Tomorrow is a whole staff professional development day.  And then Thursday, Friday I, and the other newies will continue to undergo specific training and go over policies and procedures relevant to our positions.  How not fun.


My second new thing for the day was the dance class I went to this evening.  Beginnners class, but actually really small.  There were only 5 of us students, when in the intermediate class immediately beforehand there was probably closer to 30.  I haven’t danced for 5 years because there just was nothing available where I lived, so this was extra exciting for me  : )    Turns out, I remembered many of the basic steps and positions and I didn’t manage to pick up any bad habits in my absence.  : )  Also, weird fact, the dance teacher here in Bris, is acquainted with my old dance teacher from where I went to uni.   And the teacher thinks I may actually be better suited to the intermediate class, where it’ll challenge me, rather than go through the painfulness of beginner’s classes again.  Reality of life: Sometimes, people catch onto things faster than you and you feel frustrated that you can’t do it.  Beginners’ classes are often full of these people who struggle and struggle and just can’t get there.  Poor things.  Just need to breathe it out, try it again slowly, and laugh about it.


Anyhow, it’s late enough for me and I’ve got a full day of work ahead.  Am I packed?  Yep.  Am I ready? Nope.


P.S.  Did I say I went to AquaA yesterday?  Because I did.  And it was hard work.  And still so much fun. : )

Monday, 21 January 2013

I Bought a Fridge!

Well, aren’t I just as pleased as punch. J  Since I moved here, I haven’t actually had a fridge, I’ve just been subsisting on food that doesn’t need refrigeration.  For instance, did you know it’s possible to buy long-life milk in popper sized amounts?  Brill!  But now that I have a fridge, and it’s warming up as we speak, or cooling down as the physics may be, I’ll be able to stock up on some salad ingredients.  Vegetables come at me!

By the way, I didn’t end up going to Aqua Zumba on Thursday. L  I got caught up with some work I was doing and when I looked up it was already 6!  The class started at 6pm, in a drive about 30min away.  So no Aqua Zumba on Thursday, but I am going to AquaAerobics tonight. I swam some more on Saturday, 600m, getting a little faster.  Can’t wait til I can swim 600m without stopping, so then I can add another 100.  Brag, brag, brag!

I also start one of my dance classes tomorrow night.  Excitement plus!

Bonus round: I have gone down a kilo already since I weighed myself last week. J  I have been trying really hard to watch what food choices I am making and counting calories.  (More on that in a later post).  So I don’t know whether it’s the food, or the swimming I am doing, probably a combination of both, but I’m on way to getting fitter and healthier!

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Splish splash

Well, I had better not keep you in suspense any longer and I’ll tell you what I was rushing off for on Monday evening.  Still water based, just not swimming laps…

Aqua Aerobics!

Yes, as daggy as it sounds, I donned my togs and went down to the pool to do aqua aerobics.  Monday was the second session this year. 

I had never before ever done aqua aerobics in my life.  Whenever I heard the words aqua aerobics, I always sniggered to myself, thinking it was the daggiest thing ever.   Coupled with the fact that I don’t really enjoy being in water, I never ever thought I would do it.
Oh how wrong I was...
Ohmagourd! Aqua Aerobics is best fun eva!!
Seriously.  So. Much. Fun.

I went along not really knowing what to expect and I was really surprised to see how much I enjoyed it.  And I’m so glad!  The teacher, Bronwyn, is super fit.  She has these skinny little arms and legs – that are all muscle!  She reminds me of an English teacher I had at high school who was big into aerobics like that.  Bronwyn is also really good at pointing out the different intensity levels available for each exercise and is always quick to point out if you have a back or knee injury (that’s me!) what variations she wants you to do.  She has good taste in music too.  This week was some remixes of ABBA and towards the end, a techno/club song I remember from when I was 15.

I was trying to explain to my friends on Friday night what it was like, but I don’t think I was doing it any justice.  A lot of the moves are your regular aerobics moves – just underwater.  The trick was to stand in water deep enough to chest level (that’s the deep end for me), to really increase your resistance, and thus, how much your body was working.  We did star jumps, leg kicks, Jackie Chans (high side kicks), knee repeaters, squats, punches, running on the spot, ab work, arms, playing the bongos…. Okay, so that one’s not your typical aerobics move, but it works great underwater!  Trying to play them fast is so hard!

One of the other things that’s really hard to do, is to keep yourself from drifting up the pool.  Trying to keep your heels planted on the ground, your arms underwater, and do the moves quickly is tough!  But I took that as a challenge.  I decided I would use that as an opportunity to really work my core – clench those abs!  As a result, I feel I might have worked harder than I did the first week.

And the other ladies (yes, it’s all women) in the class are good fun as well.  Some have been coming for a while, some like me, are new this year.  Unfortunately, it seems the girls who are closest to me in age – they look to be 26 – aren’t interested in being friendly.  But after the class, I overheard a woman (who I don’t think was there last week) talking about another class on Thursday night at a different pool, and when I asked her about it, she seemed happy to talk to me about it, so yay.   : )   The Thursday class is Aqua Zumba.  According to this woman (whose name I didn’t catch) it’s a lot of the same stuff but it’s also a bit different, and with different music.  It sounds interesting, and I think I’ll give it a go.  I can only go for 2 weeks anyhow, because after that my dance class starts up again, and it will have priority (and how!). 
So my monthly challenge of swimming every day is going to be side-tracked slightly into swimming every second day, because I don't think I'll swim the days I am doing aqua aeorbics.  Hmmm, unless I swim some laps before hand, say, for 1/2 hour and then stay on for aqua aerobics?  I wonder how that'll work for entry pricing?  I might have to make an enquiry later on this week...

Monday, 14 January 2013

2013 – New Year’s resolution time

So, what else has been happening since I moved?  Well New Years of course.  And new years and new beginnings is when we traditionally make resolutions.  And here are some of mine for this year. 

·         Consistently complete a food journal – including calorie counts.

·         Attend dance lessons twice a week

·         Walk to work at least once a week

·         Lose 20 kgs by the end of the year

·         Maintain work-life balance

I’ve managed to make a head start on some of these already and have plans in motion for more as the year progresses.

A few days into the New Year, I decided that I would try out some swimming.  I've always hated swimming, hate being wet, I even have short showers so I don’t have to be in water for very long! But given that my legs and feet have still been giving me grief, I knew that it was only going to get worse, the more weight I put on.   And especially after moving house, I found my feet and ankles just swelled up.  It was remarkable – I actually developed cankles.  There was no pain, no heat or inflammation, so I put it down to simple fluid build-up.  Swimming seemed like a good way to increase my circulation and start up some low/no impact exercise.  So I found a local council pool and went along. (After I spent a day shopping, in order to purchase togs, towel, goggles and boardshorts. I really haven't been swimming in ages).  

That first day I went swimming, I decided to take it at my own pace and just see how far I could swim.  I hadn’t been swimming like that, in laps, for over 10 years.  Well, to my surprise I swam 600m.  To clear things up – I did not do this non-stop!  I’ll take this opportunity to point out I had to stop after every lap to catch my breath.  Each lap was 50m.  I should also point out that I swim breaststroke, so it’s not technically as aerobic as freestyle.  I was still very surprised though to find out I could swim that far.  I may not ever be a fast swimmer, but I may turn out to be strong swimmer.  J

Since that time I have gone swimming again 5 times and each time I have swum 600m.  I think I will try to keep it up when I start work again and swim in the morning before work.  That way I’m not getting in the way of squad training in the afternoons.  In fact, last Wednesday, I signed into a swim correction class, so I could make sure that I was swimming properly and not going to pull any muscles from bad technique.  The coach was actually really impressed!  She was very happy to hear that I can swim 600m as a beginner and even gave me a sample training program in order to pick my fitness up:

Staying with the 600m for now,  I should start with a 100m warm-up of kicking – no arms, to get the blood pumping.  Then, try to swim 100m breaststroke without stopping (2 laps).  Then one lap, rest, one lap, rest, then try to swim two laps without a break.  Then, because I’ll probably need it, swim the lap four laps with a break at each end.

The coach is confident that if I keep going everyday – which is probably going to turn into every second day, once I start work and dance – I’ll soon be able to do the whole 600m without breaks at the end of each lap.  Once I get to that point, I should start to increase my distance bit by bit.  I think when I’m at that point I’ll make another appointment with her and get another training program. 

So, so far, my swimming adventure has been going, well, swimmingly ;)

And it’s not the only fitness adventure I’ve been having…  I’m about to head off now in fact.  :-D

I’ll post again soon,

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Breaking the wall of silence

Okay.  All’s been quiet from me in the last four months and with it, a definite lapse in my weight loss and health efforts.  This hasn’t been entirely without reason mind you.

As those who’ve read my past posts know, I hated my town.  It was a dead-end, middle of nowhere town and I was really, really, really unhappy living there.

In early October I got notification that there would be an opportunity for me to transfer elsewhere and in a different role to what I had been doing.  Worked my arse off (I wish!) and I got confirmation in November that I was successful. 

That left the rest of November and early December to try to organise a place to live (not so easy when you aren’t currently in the same place you are moving too, don’t have the chance to see any places, or real estate agents don’t contact you back); carpet cleaning, pest sprays, etc for my current residence; removalists; a full clean of my unit for the final inspection (which I did myself); buying furniture and a fridge for my new unit; packing up all my stuff at work; on top of still working fulltime, meeting and dealing with clients and finishing up all the required reports and evaluations!!  Mental! o_O

I moved up to Brisbane, state capital of Queensland.  A CITY.  I cannot emphasise enough how fantastic this is for me.   Before living in my last town, I thought I was a country girl at heart.  The last five years have proven to me I am not.  I need a city.  I need to live somewhere where there is opportunity to do things, to go places, to meet people. 

It happens to be exceptionally fortunate that I was able to get to Brisbane. 

For starters, almost all my friends from university have ended up here.   My mum (as much as she drives me nuts) lives only an hour away.  Brisbane happens to be quite hilly, so when the weather cools down I’ll be able to go walking again. 

And my favourite part?  Being a city, I can take advantage of things I haven’t had access to in years.  Multiple choice of gyms.  Shopping centres.  Hobbies and interests.  Bushwalk trails.  Nightclubs  ; )  In fact, I’ve already signed up for two dance classes.  I used to dance a fair bit at uni, but that wasn’t available at my old town, so I stopped.  The first lessons start in the last week of January. 

It’s been three weeks since I’ve moved and in that time, I’ve had Christmas at mum’s, New Year’s fireworks along the river bank, a few exploratory walks of over 6km each, and gone out clubbing with friends, twice.

I am so happy I moved.  I cannot get over how much fun I am having.  I haven’t even started work yet, we don’t return for business for another week yet.

But I honestly feel this is going to be such a good start and a good place geographically, physically and emotionally for me.