An overdue update…plus a comment on last night

Talk about being idle! I have just not managed to put my fingers to the keys to keep the blog up to date.

The last month has been inconsistent to say the least. My exercise has been sporadic and this week especially my eating has been atrocious. I am seriously bingeing for the first time (or maybe it is just I recognise it?). I continue to eat because it is there and nearly challenge myself to finish off whatever it is tempting me. Part of the problem is I haven’t been to work this week with Little L getting sick. When I am not working, my exercise frequency drops off and then I eat more. Of course the awful germs have been kindly shared with me, so I am not too sorry to not be at work. My lungs feel like they will come out my mouth with every cough and to be honest, my work is nothing I am passionate about, so I don’t really miss being there, but I have so much work to do!

20130210-201749My boss is under extreme pressure at the moment and I am feeling significant guilt for not being there to ease the load. This part time gig was always planned to take some of the load off her, but I really haven’t had much opportunity. Although some bits I have managed to take off her plate, there is also lots of stuff I just can’t manage to help out with because all the details are in her head, and I am just not there enough. She doesn’t have time to brief me properly so she just keeps it all to herself. It worries me for her and my other half who is under similar pressures.

So Little L is 22 months now and is only having one sleep when at daycare. He is a mess with one sleep and although he probably could have gone to daycare some of this week, I just know he would be home again next week without some proper rest. So I have been putting him down for two sleeps all week. He is going down easily and not even too bad at night. So it seems to be working. But again, I am feeling guilty, if he is well enough to be in care – then he should be! But then I feel better knowing he is likely to be fully recovered by next Monday to start in care again.

Anyway, with this week off, then school holidays starts, crikey, I don’t feel like I am ever in the office. I will really have to be on my game to get the healthy eating and exercise down for next week for my shift of school holiday care with Little D.

I have been seeing my trainer irregularly and have not been to yoga for about three weeks! 20130403-103639 I am missing the yoga terribly, I am not looking forward to the slow progression back into it. But work for Big D is really out of control (where he comes home late and may be working at home until 1-2am each night) so it is hard to get away to make the class times. He leaves the house any time after 7am so my options for classes really are limited morning and night. It can be frustrating, but I am trying to keep my attitude in check.

Even though my training has really not been what I would like. I am trying to do it without a fixed program (ie no 12WBT for a bit (I was getting bored)). I really want to be driven by my own goals and desires, not by a timeline that has an imperative based on how much money I have spent! I have been looking around to see if there is anything else I can do locally that might give me more satisfaction, including swapping my Personal Trainer. I really want someone who is engaged with me, takes the time to know me and helps me to develop physically, mentally and with my knowledge. I have found a boxing coach locally who I really want to see, boxing is absolutely one of my favourite training options and I would love to do it properly. So I hope I can make some times to get to his classes and maybe use him as my PT?

Without wanting to get caught up in all the Political crap – I just want to say I am saddened by the removal of Julia Gillard last night. Sure, she didn’t get to the top job in the first place in the best way, but she was there post-election in 2010 having negotiated Labour’s way into Government. If Labour think rewarding Rudd for his conniving behaviour is the way to remain in power I think they are kidding themselves (or the Australian voters are as dopey the media portrays us). All this talk from ‘people on the streets’ in the media about how popular he is I think is bollocks, as is the talk about her ‘lying’ about the carbon tax – consider the circumstances of the govt, it wasn’t just her decision. The sooner this current batch of leaders is over the better. Personally I can’t stand listening to Rudd or Abbott.


Culture and some workout stuff

I took Little D to see the local production of ‘The Sound of Music’ yesterday. Although it felt like it went for a LONG time (mostly because she found it hard to sit still in a tulle dress that wasn’t the best choice and the lady in front was getting annoyed at her) Little D really loved the ‘movie’. She found it hard to get her head around the stage thing – ‘I can’t see the screen’. This was one of my Mum’s favourite movies so we always watched it when it was on the TV. You know, a Sat or Sun daytime movie. Mum would be ironing and we’d be floating around watching it with her. In turn, it is one of my favourite classics. 220px-Sound_of_music

One of the things that impressed me is that all of the people in the cast, in the orchestra, doing the sets, lights, costumes etc, etc probably did it on their own time. I can’t imagine the man hours that went into its production, they should be very proud. It was great to see a full house at the Albury Entertainment Centre, people getting behind the efforts of the local theatre group.

I am so flat out with my life and thinking I am busy I don’t have any hobbies or interests outside of work, kids, exercise and the home! I am sure this isn’t unusual, but I really admire those who contribute so much to the community, either volunteering with sport, charity or wherever. I keep wanting to do more, but find making the commitment just a little tricky. I tell myself I am busy, but really – am I? Possibly not on the scale of some people, but I still find myself running around like a crazy person. Perhaps just to unorganised – perhaps a discussion for another post.

I did manage to get in my SSS Saturday morning before everyone else crawled out of bed. As usual, having followed the workout program, I was 600 cal short of the 1000 cal goal. That was frustrating, then I ran out of time to do it all again or go for a run to top off the workout. So I just took what I managed and left it at that.

My Friday session with Scottie wasn’t one of my best. He got me to start on the rower to knock out 1000m in under 4min (I think). Which I managed with slightly jelly legs at the end. He then put me on the bike to complete 4 km keeping the rpm at 100kw (is that the right measure?). This was awful and for the first time found myself unable to meet what he asked me to do. Now, I am always ready to tell him he has to be kidding when he explains what we are doing, but I just put my head down and get on with it. But on the bike, I could have just stopped and asked for burpees instead (now THAT is saying something!). He took pity on how long I was taking, stopped at 4mins rather than 4km and took me out to do some weights. Of course there were burpees interspersed with ab and arm exercises. We then finished with the heave beam, doing leg raises and finally heaves. Funny, I had been thinking of heaves as a fitness goal, but hadn’t verbalised it, now I think we will be finishing with them all the time – awesome (not sure if that is heartfelt or sarcasm).

I may need to adjust my program with either five or six days training, but having my rest days during the week. I am still finding it hard to get to bed early enough to get out of bed before the kids are awake. When Big D is home late, I feel a bit rude going to bed as he gets in the door. I am finding myself so knackered by mid week it is easy to not get up to workout pre-dawn.  As an indication of how little attention I am paying, by the end of the week I don’t even remember what workouts I have done! So I have a new stick on weekly calendar for my fridge to help me plan and then take note, very cool. Will show you soon.

Here is to three weeks until the end of the 12WBT Round 1, a nutty workout with Michelle and catching up with my best friend. I am working on 2kg in 3 weeks. Wish me luck!

Gripes about The Biggest Loser

After Alex visited my blog this week I had a read of her blog ‘Try a Little Harder, Honey‘ where she was talking about ‘The Biggest Loser’ (thanks for the pic too Alex, it is on my bathroom mirror now). Now Alex has a little workout where she does specific exercises for various parts of the show – you know burpees for tears, plank in sympathy with the contestants, squats for a product plug etc. I like it. Though I generally have found myself sitting on my backside telling them to get a grip or cheering on those who just get on with the job.


I have a few gripes with the Biggest Loser. I have been watching it since the start, also keep an eye on the US series when they are shown. Most of my issues have been with me for many seasons now, so here they are in no particular order:

  • I think the formula is wrong – this whole lose the most weigh concept is flawed. Do you remember Chris Garling? He won season two (I had to go searching for all this) after being secretly trained by the Commando. But when he appeared at the finale he looked terrible! I think he had stripped too much weight rather than go a healthy weight. If anyone saw the ‘Excess Baggage’ that was on Channel nine a while ago. They used a whole set of parameters to measure improvements. Now forgive my ailing memory but it included a fitness test, body composition and a measure of their efforts for the week. That sounds much better and in support of a healthy lifestyle, rather than lose the greatest percentage.
  • The women rarely look like they have been provided or have correct underwear for exercise? Now some of the women have seriously big boobs and rarely are they contained when the contestants are running or on a bike. You watch some of the challenges and these poor women are working their guts out and look to be doing themselves a serious injury. I find it disappointing that they don’t make a point of ensuring the puppies are restrained and even making it a teaching point for the audience. Given Michelle was a the poster girl for Triumph sports bras.
  • Back a few seasons ago of Loser they had a Friday night ‘masterclass’. I really wish they would bring it back, it really gave some great tips and insights into how the contestants are coached to live in the house. I am sure that quinoa took off after it featured on the show. I think this was a real loss to not have these sessions the next year. It meant the show could have a real impact on its audience by teaching about food, correct exercise etc.
  • There is much talk in the weight loss world and on the show about self sabotage, also about keeping those who stand in the way of your progress, away from  you. So why do they insist on games, twists and turns in the show that are detrimental to their progress? I would prefer less scheming and game playing and watch people get a grip on their lives, beat their demons, kick some arse in training sessions and learn something than have some of the antics in the house. You know the ones – where people are forced to order from takeaway menus all week, or only eat one colour all of those sorts of things. I think it is detrimental to the contestants and often demeaning.
  • Perhaps my biggest gripe is the lack of technique correction when the contestants are exercising. The other night Amber was doing shoulder shrugs as an excuse for pushups. They were rubbish, but no one told her it was crap and she needed to do them properly! People can be seen on the rowing machine with atrocious technique, chain flapping, uncoordinated arm/leg action – it drives me nuts! Michelle makes a point with her snip tips in the 12WBT to show people how to do it, but there are lots of clips of awful technique in the show. I know you only seem a portion of the work the contestants are doing, but I don’t think it helps people watching when they are demonstrating terrible technique.

Now I know pretty much all of the women who watch the show reckon the Commando is pretty good and I have to say, I count myself as one of them. Having done LOTS of PT under Commando types during my 20 years in the military, I think he has softened up in his old age! But I can’t help but smile when he shows the old PTI tendencies (Physical Training Instructor) on the show. Once a PTI, always a PTI.

I am always keenly interested in the workouts and love watching Michelle, Shannon and Commando as trainers and being trained. You can’t help but admire them, each so different, but strong in their own special way. I love their drive and passion, they are inspiring to me. I hope to find passion like that for my next career.


A stolen Easter and catch up

I can’t believe we are at week 8 of the 12WBT. Weigh in day today and I had a small loss, I am really happy with that, but I think the fact that Little L was vomiting over Easter and I felt more sympathy for him than I would have liked, worked in my favour. Who would have though there was a silver lining to an Easter stolen through illness!

We had planned to go to Canberra and go shopping for Easter, which didn’t eventuate due to sicky boy (Big D ended up getting the bug too), but only yesterday did I realise how much I needed to go shopping. In trying to find some civvies to wear to work, I realised I don’t have anything that fits me! Nearly all my clothes are too big for me, even jackets. Now if that isn’t motivation to work hard and get this program under control – nothing is!

I have taken to writing on my mirror to remind me what I am doing.

I have taken to writing on my mirror to remind me what I am doing.

I did the lunchtime circuit at work today and it was great, 30 or 40 min of strength/cardio circuit and then I jumped on the treadmill to get me up to 550cal. I was really happy with that. Essentially they had a square of benches and mats with each square having four exercises on the station. You started with 10 reps of the first exercise, then moved around the square to the next exercise, doing all four sides then run two laps then do all the second exercises. It was an overload circuit so all the first exercises were arms, second was abs, third legs and fourth? I can’t even remember! But it was GOOD. I was beating the blokes that started with me on our station – it always makes me laugh how men feel completely threatened when a woman can match them!

I remember in my training always struggling with my PT (physical training). It was so much hard work, during my time at one institution it was common for my nerves being so distraught at the prospect of PT I would get the runs. In fact, many of my friends felt the same. It was such a daunting prospect to turn up to PT, when you knew you were going to put put through the ringer. I tell you what it doesn’t leave me with much sympathy for people vomiting or crying on The Biggest Loser!

There was one classmate who was the complete package, good looking, smart, natural leader and the fittest person I had ever come across. Of course he always kicked my arse in PT, but how I loved having to get in the pool on the odd occasion. He would sink like a rock and I would kick his arse! Oh the satisfaction of beating the consummate alpha male!

I am thinking about going to the 12WBT finale with my sister. I think more than anything I want to do the workout! Am I crazy?

Catch up and weigh in

I am back after a small absence, thanks to a technological issues and as usual time management problems!

Things are looking up, last week I did get to my hot yoga class on Thur, saw my new trainer for a session and completed the SSS on Saturday! All went really well. I am really enjoying the yoga and even managed to take my Little D to a kids class today. My class was a little different where the instructor showed us some fancier poses, she is impressive to watch. I did manage my first ‘hands only’ pose that should look something like this…Image  My attempt certainly wasn’t this graceful, but you get the idea. I did manage to get my feet off the floor, so I was happy with that.

The new trainer (Scottie) was kind enough to treat me to a boxing session on Friday nice and early. It was good to be back. He worked me hard and seemed pleased with my efforts, my previous trainer told him not to go easy on me! Scottie had me doing different combinations than I hadn’t used before and made me chase him around the floor to move my feet. I think the footwork in boxing is the hardest thing. My punches are ok (I think) but my feet are just terrible. I hope we do more of it so I can improve my technique.

Today was weigh in day in what is week 4 of 12WBT Session 1 of 2013. Can’t believe I have wasted at least two weeks of the opportunity. Anyway, after a sad weigh in last week (where I had put on a kilo since my last weigh in) my notoriously unpredictable body (when it comes to weight measurement) has lost more than that kilo this week! WTF? So I can proudly say I have broken the 74kg barrier. It might have been my modified accelerator day yesterday that did it for me. I am still letting myself down massively on the food front, so I won’t take much credit. Who knows, tomorrow morning I may be a kilo heavier!

So I effort have had my first proper ‘week’ at work (all three days of it) and didn’t manage to get in my workout on Monday. I think I may need to make that my rest day, purely because of the mania that hits the house as we all try to get out the door on a Monday morning. Now if I was working a normal military day I would be able to fit in my training at work, but since I do school drop off it is a bit late. Prior to my last pregnancy I was able to train nearly every morning, getting to work a little early and fitting in great sessions in time to be at my desk by 9am.

Today I resolved to take advantage of the lunchtime circuit since I didn’t workout this morning. The PTI (Physical Training Instructor) had us do sets of 20-15-10-20 starting with ab exercises (so crunches x 20, reverse crunches x 20, bicycle x 20) three times through, then go and do 20 of the arm exercises (dips, pushups, rope heaves, chest press and lunges). Repeat with 15, then 10 then 20 again. It was quick (all over in 30 mins) and hard work (450 cals by the time I ran to the car). Although I was disappointed with my pushup showing, I loved it. It is satisfying knowing that I have got myself fit enough to participate well and more than keep up with everyone else. I am looking forward to doing more of them to mix up my training.

On a roll and talking Physical Trainers

Another workout done today while Little L was a sleep (no surprise when he woke before I got out of the house for my planned run). It is barely light here at 6am, so it is getting harder to fit in a run. What is most exciting is that I also fit in my planned Hot Yoga tonight. My first time and all I can say is ‘ouch and invigorating’. Talk about sweat, the room is heated to 34 degrees (I think) and it is much more active than the other classes I took. There were lots of tricep pushups, plank, and whacky stretching. I did my first ‘flip’ (a backwards balance thing that I can’t replicate!) and felt like I was about to break when the instructor adjusted me in a stretch. But I feel great, having done something new, without it being before dawn. Happy me. I am feeling back on the exercise track. Onwards and upwards.

Or for me today, two workouts stronger than yesterday. : )

Or for me today, two workouts stronger than yesterday. : )

Prior to Christmas I was seeing a PT, Matt who was thrashing me for 30 mins every week. I was really enjoying it and seeing some real progress. But since that time, I have been doing all of my own workouts through the 12WBT program. We had been trying to line up a session, but his commitments have changed and he has no time available for me. I had been thinking about canning my gym membership, given I am only using the membership for the PT sessions and not using the gym or the classes at any other time. With the 12WBT  program I didn’t need to get any more of a program from a PT so it feels a bit of a waste.

After realising that we were not going to be able to find a time slot we can both make, he passed my name onto another PT who I will see next Friday. I only have two sessions left and I want to use them now, rather than suspend the membership and find I never go back. I have seen him training other people and I think he will be good, he is also a little older (no offence, but I don’t think people in their early 20’s generally get some of the life pressures of us older types!). I think I will see how we go and then look at suspending this membership and either just stick with the program at home or join another gym. These guys just don’t have the opening times that work for me, not opening until 8am on the weekend! I like to finish my workout by then, not get started!

The trainer I had in Canberra used to have one hour sessions which I managed at 6am, both Big D and I were seeing her each week (independently of each other). She helped me get through my pregnancy with Little L in good form, where I was still running until around 6 months. The hour session really gave an opportunity for her to talk to us both about the session but also about life in general. At that time there were a whole bunch of issues going on in my extended family and she was so great to talk to. I really miss that, the 30 mins sessions give no opportunity for debriefing about the training you have finished or about discussing progress.

So I guess the search for variation in training continues for me. I will see how these two sessions go with the new PT. Then either buy up some more session or find somewhere else to go. I love the program within 12WBT, but a PT helps to really challenge me and I don’t get to pick the workout. Always, good to keep you guessing!

A personal trainer and a surprise fitness test

I have been seeing a Personal Trainer (now to be known as MT (Matt the Trainer)) since late July at the local YMCA. I thought it would help me to push myself and get some variety in my training. In 2010 I used an awesome trainer in conjunction with the 12WBT and got some good results (for me weight loss was never that successful) losing 12kg over a period of a few months. So thought I would try the same again.

Since starting in July and getting some way to achieving my goals, I then had to take a break for a few weeks (more on that another time). I really only started back into my fitness properly with Round 4 of the 12WBT which started four weeks ago. Now these PT sessions are only 30 mins, but it is a tough 30mins. He SMASHES me. The very first session I did I could have shown everyone my dinner from the night before, so I only went back to see PT on Sat afternoon knowing that I had made some progress with the 12WBT.

I planned to treat the session as part of the Super Saturday Session for the 12WBT, so after 30 mins with him doing a full on circuit (burpees, lunges, med ball smashes, step ups, squats etc, etc) and something like 400cal I jumped on some machines for a bit, using a respectable 800 cal. For a SSS you are meant to be burn around 1000 cal, which I have come nowhere near as yet, but I am determined to do!

So like a crazy woman I booked in another PT session for this morning at 6am, hoping to make the most of this week before going on a little holiday.  What did he surprise me with first thing on a Monday morning? The beep test! Aarrgh!@ Hate it!

The military uses the beep test to provide an initial fitness assessment to ensure recruits have a minumum level of fitness prior to starting training, trying to reduce injuries in the recruits. I hadn’t done one properly since about 1999. So was certainly not impressed! Currently the standard for recruits is 7.5, I am happy to announce I got to 9.1! I will admit here that I didn’t kill myself, but perhaps will go a little further next time.

For the uninitiated the beep test is a 20m shuttle run that gets faster according to the beeps. Crazy people like AFL footballers and extreme nutters get into the 15’s and some higher. But not me!!

Of course that didn’t take long so PT had a whole list of things to complete a fitness test. Obviously he will surprise me with it in the future too. Here is a summary of the test we did and my results (pushups, crunches, situps and plank are all to max):

  • Beep Test – 9.1
  • Push ups max – 39 (32 toes 7 knees)
  • Crunches max – 70
  • Burpees in 1 min – 25
  • Situps with 4kg medicine ball – 62
  • Plank (after all of that) – 1 min

I have to say I am pretty pleased with myself, young MT was also impressed telling me that I am pretty fit with the results. Why thanks young fella! So why is my waist still non existent?!