Friday, 30 November 2012

Taking it for granted...

I've been MIA for a while, but it was for a good cause...after wearing glasses since I was 13 years old, I am now spectacle-free.....

Yep, I took the plunge and had laser eye surgery.

Noooooo....  not laser guns, all safe. Stand down.

It is a very quick process for all I had to be there for hours.  After a final test for my eyes, I was given some Ativan to take which put me to sleep.  I was woken for the procedure, given anaesthetic eye drops and a clamp was attached to my eye.  Look at the green light and within 20 seconds all done. Same with the other eye.

I was on the medication for 4 days after the surgery, and antibiotic eye drops 4 times a day, plus lubricating drops and Vitamin c.  I slept a lot due to the medication.  I had 'bandaid' clear contact lenses applied to assist in protecting and healing for those 4 days and had to sleep in plastic shields which made me look like a very unsexy wasp.  But I could SEE!

It is incredibly liberating being able to see. For those of you with good vision, you might not realise this. Sight is something we take for granted.  But let me put it to you this way, as 10 things I've noticed with no glasses.

1.  I can shave my legs in the shower and SEE what I am doing.
2. I don't have to have my nose touching the mirror to be able to put on makeup.
3. I don't have to carry a case with my prescription sunnies in, nor do I have to change glasses everytime I go from indoors to outdoors and vice versa
4. I can go swimming at the pool and be able to see my kids at all times!
5. I don't have little indents on the sides of my nose from my glasses
6. I can run without them fogging up on a cold or wet day
7.  I can watch TV in bed.
8. I don't have to clean my eyeballs so I can see
9.I can have a good "pash on" without having to take them off ;)
10. I don't have to worry abut my eyes being knocked off with some extreme dancing.

My eyes are good.  I'm off the antibiotic drops and on to steroid drops 4 times a day and regular checkups for the next few months and then done. It is amazing.

Every time I look at something it feels amazing. Knowing I can do so much more without as much inconvenience is amazing. Mind you, I've been off any exercise for about 2 1/2 weeks which is driving me INSANE and I cannot wait until I can be up and at it at the Sussan Womens Funrun this Sunday. I've had to watch my nutrition levels to keep on par and have done successfully, even still losing a little bit more weight. And for someone who is go go go all the time, I've had to learn patience....

A bloody hard virtue but one nevertheless.Although I don't see why " Hurry Up, coming through" can't be a virtue too LOL

The compliments have been many. Working in a kindergarten meant the children were totally thrown by me without glasses and a lot of questions about what shop can I buy new eyes from. Massive street cred from the boys when the word laser was used. Parents have said I look younger, so different. (Hmmm not sure how to take that one....)

So, finally, with my new eyes, here's my to do list for this week...

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

The true meaning of transformation


  1. A thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance.
  2. A metamorphosis during the life cycle of an animal.
As we fly down the last week of round 3 2012 of this fabulous program, it is a good time to reflect on what has changed.  And, some wise people have encouraged me to look at what I have achieved, look at the differences in myself, rather than what I think I lack, which puts me in a spiral.  Perfectionistic attitude anyone?

So I did. I dug out my diaries and notes and looked.  I didn't have to look hard.

 I did my first round in 2011, about this time.

That's me.  A sad fat blob. I was miserable.  I had the weight of the world on me, I thought nothing will ever change.  I was too scared to do anything new and often scared to do anything on my own.  Couldn't even go to the pool with my kids because I was too scared to get in the water, and didn't know how to swim. Inside, I felt I was always in the wrong, that people were talking about me, like I had few friends and the ones I did have were just doing it to be nice. Often a favourite fantasy was to live in a house surrounded by dense forest that noone could get through and in there I would live, hidden away, not having to deal with anything.  I spent my time walking with my head down, looking at the floor.  My diary entries I read were like from a starnger and they broke my heart. The poetry I wrote all through my teen and adult life until then makes me cry for that person.

Written September 1999

When you look at her face
All is calm, serene.
The face shows Happy.
But the eyes are the window
To the soul,
Eyes she keeps hidden
For fear someone discovers
how truly deep the fear goes.
Noone knows
How close she is
to ridding the world of her presence.
Why would anyone notice?
The children barely know she is alive....
Her employment would merely
be annoyed,
" Another staff member down"
Her lover?
Could merely move on 
Without her weight dragging him down.
Would it really make a difference
If she were dead?
Would it really matter if she remained alive?
We will never know.
For she lacks the courage
to Live
Or die.

But then, on a whim, or a last ditch chance, I joined 12 WBT.

This really should be called something other than BODY transformation.  For me it was truly a whole life changing experience. I followed the plans to the letter....which gave me a feeling of control.  And the numbers began to go down.  I found exercise made me feel GREAT and became something to look forward to.  It gave me a purpose and I could feel it in my body and mind that I was getting stronger. Yes my body changed....but somewhere along the way, my whole way of thinking, my way of seeing life and myself changed completely.

I faced many of my fears..... for example, a friend offered to teach me how to swim. Those lessons were hard, so hard.  So many false starts!  Even now to put my head in the water I struggle with my fears but....I DID IT. I learned to swim, not gracefully or fast but enough to enter a tri-pink triathlon.  That still to this day is one of my greatest memories....swimming in a triathlon.
I ran in funruns and found I was getting faster and faster. People were commenting on how good I looked, I began to grow more confident in myself and dared to think I WAS good enough.
End of Round 2 2012
 I WAS succeeding. I WAS wanted!  I looked up from the ground when I walked.  I tried new things and set goals.  Even my ridiculous thinking had changed...I had a morbid fear of using the phone to call people in case they were busy and I interrupted them, I avoided it at all costs. Now I can call and not feel like hyperventilating.

My self talk went from hateful vicious words to positive.  When I got tired running, I could hear Mish's voice in my head egging me on supportively.  Eventually I noticed the voice in my head sounded less like Mish and more like mine.  It was my voice shouting " Just one more Km, Just one more Km" when I ran my first half marathon in 2 hours 19 mins.  But it was Mish that created the environment for it.
The cream on the pie was being up on stage as a finalist in round 2 2012.

Now this round I have struggled. The old thinkings came back and crippled me, although nowhere near to the extent my whole life as I remember had been.
  I felt like I failed because I wasn't a winner, and didn't recognise ( although I certainly felt it) being a finalist was the hugest and most magnificent honour I could have imagined.  I didn't take pleasure in what I could do in the gym. I didn't believe it when people said I inspired them. All I could see was what I could not do or be.  The ridiculousness of this hit when I said to my ever patient, very loving and supportive husband that I was useless because I can only deadlift and squat 60 kgs.  What the????? A year ago I couldn't deadlift a bag of sugar!  And now I'm doing more than 10 kgs over my bodyweight?  Mental slap to the head.
But a year ago, I would not have been able to change that thinking. The tools and the sense of achievement in setting goals, even small ones through the program, have step by step transformed my muddy blackened mind into something as hard and as shiny as diamonds. The discipline behind JFDI and taming the inner labrador, exercising that willpower muscle also caused me to be more disciplined in my thinking....attacking the negative and replacing with positive thoughts. Taking the death wish that seemed to be my answer to everything and giving me a hunger and a yearning for life and everything in it.  For the first time in years I can smile and really FEEL it inside.
Now I know someone people, if they have managed to read this far, have already rolled their eyes. Some might think I'm still being pathetic.  But I can honestly say now....I DON'T CARE. This is me. This was me.
It could have been you.

So I want to take this opportunity to say thank you, although those words are nowhere near enough what I feel.  Thankyou to Michelle Bridges for creating this program, for the mindset lessons, for showing that even she isn't perfect and for setting up the forum.  Thank you to the people on the forums for their support, their friendship, their advice and their willingness to share the things that they go through.  Thank you for your strength. Thank you for the feeling of belonging.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Week 11...the end is in sight :(

Only one more week before my time with 12 WBT is over.  Only one more week before I stretch my little muscles and fly by myself.  I look forward to the challenge.

Menu plans.

Again, good food, good preparation and happy family.  We even had a BBQ and used the char grilled steak with avocado and corn salsa to serve to our guests, with great success.  Fantastic to be able to physically show others how good the food is!

Love the chicken rice paper rolls for lunches....a little fiddly to make but once you get the rhythm it's all good.  Kids love them too and makes their lunch boxes just a little more posh HA!  The spaghetti and meatballs was a good dinner as well.

We ended up having visitors stay for a while with us and ate out.  I was able to put into place what I had learned about choosing foods, sauce on the side, portion sizing etc and stay on track.  It DID mean I wasn't able to try the kangaroo with quinoa and capsicum salad but I'm planning on doing that next week.  I never thought I would LOVE eating kangaroo so much!

  Sorry Skip...

Exercise Plans.

Due to different things that overwhelmed this week, I've missed my running training time this week :(  and really missed it.  Running has become something I enjoy so much, for all I struggle to breathe with it!  I was able to smash my personal best for 5 km in the Lara funrun last week....from 30 mins down to 26 minutes!!!!!  I was flying!!! Not as much as my kids....who ran 1.6 km in the kid dash.  Mr 11 yr old came 4th with a time just over 3 minutes (Cue shocked face here) and Miss 8 managed a very respectable 6 minute run. I met up with other 12WBTers and fellow gym ladies and the morning passed with sweat, puffing and endorphins.

In terms of weights I'm still chugging along.  I'm struggling with one thing though...the newbies in the gym who use equipment then leave it lying around so you don't know if it's still in use or not!  So had to compromise on some of my weights, not being able to use what I would have liked.
  Mentally I struggled this week too.  I feel like a failure, very down and slipping back into the " look at the ground I'm worthless" mentality. I know this is a problem for me and something I need to strengthen but I'm lost how to go about it. Very wary of counsellors/psychologists after 2 very bad experiences plus, I feel I am the problem, I should get myself out.....I just need to know how.  But until then I will soldier on, it's no excuse to give up.  Feelings are transient and who knows?  I feel like this now, but in a week or two I could be back to chirpy after a rest or a stern self talking to. My new mantra is NEVER GIVE UP, taking over from JFDI.

Personal bests for this week....
Reverse flys  10kg
Incline dumbbell bicep curls  8 kgs

The final DEXA scan

This week was the due date for my comparison dexa scan.  I was a little nervous and then the results came in. Little to no change.  To say I was crushed is an understatement.  Rarely have I ever felt so low, it was all I could do not to burst into tears at the thought of so much hard work, until I had nothing left in the tank, all the DOMS, all the healthy eating, all the work and mental work I had done to stay on track....all for nothing.  I sat on the train on the way home and thought it would be easier if I was in front of the train rather than on it.

Some excellent advice and brilliant support from the Lean and Strong Facebook forum helped set me fairly straight on what I can do in the future. And that the results are not as bad as I see, just not to my expectations. To be honest, I am still devastated. But I won't give can it improve if I do? The results of the scan are as follows....
After 77 days
Bone 2.168    now 2.172  up 0.004 ( so yay no osteoporosis)

Lean  36.923  now 37.549 up 0.626

Fat     10.654 down 10.578  down 0.076

Body fat percentage  21.42%  now 21.03%

This places my fat free mass in the acceptable range  and my fat mass in the lean range.  Technically I need to lose 300 gms of fat to be in the athlete range which will be my goal.  As it turns out I increased my calories on advice, adding protein rich snacks but what that did was even out what I burned and what I ate.  As close to a balance as I could get it apparently, considering I wasn't quite sure what I should be doing! So onward and upward.  I may not be in the next round but every 12 weeks I'll be measuring and making sure things stay on track. So my last words to you this week are a timely reminder to myself.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Making the Impossible Possible

You can sit on the couch, watch Biggest Loser on TV
You can blame it on genes or on your family.
Blame it on hormones or the impossibility
Whatever it is, you think " Don't blame it on me'

But you know you have feet, a heart and a brain.
You have a mind to decide if you'll stay the same.
You have free will, it's BURSTING to be free
It's all of those things that made me Me

So I got off the couch and I worked through the pain.
I never gave up, I even ran in the rain.
I am now lifting weights, I climbed mountains and swam
These things also make me who I am.

I do it every day, no matter what.
I believe that I CAN and not I cannot.
I face all my fears and do it anyway.
These fears are small once you smash them Mish's way.

So try it and see, try it like me
Now I no longer watch, I'm the one doing it , see?
I'm the one that's blazing a trail through all obstacles
I took the Impossible and made it I AM Possible.

Expect the Unexpected

Today dawned beautifully.  I had a day off, a few errands to run, a quick bit of housework and the day was mine to enjoy.  Gym time was planned for this evening and I thought I'd sneak in a CX class at 11.

BUT THEN.......the phone rang.  It was a friend asking if I wanted to meet up for coffee.  Sure , what a wonderful surprise! Plus, I could take care of those little errands straight after coffee since we were meeting so close to where I needed to be.

An enjoyable hour followed with ginger and lemongrass tea, lots of chat and a LOT of laughter. What a great day.  All the errands were quickly dealt with, no queues!  What a wonderful surprise!  I put in our TAB tickets from the Melbourne Cup and walked out with $40....what a wonderful Surprise!  It was a HAPPY, beautiful  ZIPPIDI DOO DAH type of day.

I walked back to my car and there...that's when the Bluebird of Happiness doo dah'ed on my shoulder.

My poor WonderWoman car!

But wait!  There was the Bluebird embarrassedly and apologetically cleaning it's doo dah off my shoulder....the person who hit my car had left a note under my windscreen wiper.  There are good people in the world. :) Insurance is sorting everything out.  It meant cancelling the rest of my relaxing day but at least, it is fixable. All except my calendar.

I missed CX class. But is that an excuse to not workout?  Today didn't go as planned, should I have a meltdown and take to my bed?  Someone accidentally hit my car, should I scream at her when she came over just so she knows how inconvenient it is?

No. Because through 12 WBT I have learned the art of self discipline, and the ability to be flexible.  I have learned that things don't always go to plan but there is always another day, another hour even to change it.  12WBT taught me I have a CHOICE in how I eat, how I treat my body and how I think and react.

Having the car in for repairs for an indeterminate amount of time is more than inconvenient for those of you who know my flight plans each day. And this week is particularly busy with in laws coming to visit and various long awaited functions to attend tomorrow night and Saturday. Slotting in gym looked like a herculean effort as it was and now, I have to find extra time.  It all seems too hard like I can't do it. Like I want to throw my hands up in the air and give up. Cue dramatic scene.

Enter Choice....stage left. 

I could choose to have a hissy fit and give up and spend all week doing nothing.  Feeling bad and guilty because I'm doing nothing.  And spreading that bad feeling all around me.


I can take a minute.  Accept this is going to be trickier than I first thought, put into practise another tool I learned through 12 WBT and PLAN
And you know what? The plan is good, functional and fits everything in I need to.  It may not be quite what I wanted but it's still doable, once the big picture is broken down into smaller views.

We can plan and organise all we like, but every so often a little doo dah will pop up and throw you off track. You can plan to eat clean for the next week....and walk in to work to a birthday party with a chocolate theme and maltesers raining down. 
You can plan to hit the gym and find that apart from the trick knee playing up again, the power's gone out at the gym and nothing's working. 
You can plan a dinner party for 6 and have 5 struck down with gastro before they arrive and you are left with entree, main and dessert sitting at the table with you lit by a single lonely candle.

What matters is HOW we deal with the doo dah....what choices we make. We make choices constantly every day, every hour, every MINUTE. Everything becomes a choice sooner or later. The trick is recognising the opportunity and making the right choices for us.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Week 10 reflection

Week 10.  So many of my friends have said time has just flown and you know what?  It has. Only 2 more weeks until end of round. 2 more weeks to reach your goals or to re evaluate. 2 more weeks until I go it alone.

Menu Plans

Yum yum yum yum yum!  Loved the Greek lamb salad for lunch!  And of course, the major favourite with EVERYONE was the Meatloaf!  Miss 8 was particularly partial to the fried rice also, which turned out to be quite handy to cook up ahead of time and portion into containers to eat at Mr 11's cricket game.  I had noticed, because his game went from about 5pm until 8pm, I was starving and snacking at the game....and the potential for overeating was huge.  But now, the plan has been put into place, to make our own 'takeaway' meals.....some of the salad meals or ones that don't need to be eaten hot, and it's proving successful....there's food envy at cricket now too!

Actually, when I first started the meal plans way back when, I got teased at work. But I ignored them even though I was feeling pretty damn annoyed, I persevered and now, I've noticed the other girls are bringing in healthier lunches. One even told me " You're rubbing off on me Kristine!"  I've had them look at my meals with food envy, with it looking and smelling so delicious all the time.  And I'm not ramming the menu down their throats, I answer questions if they ask and they have watched and done the rest themselves. Just goes to show, when food is good, it will change people's minds for them without any 'preaching' or effort on my part!  Plus makes me look good ;)

Exercise plans

Loving the gym although not loving GOING to gym.  Why is it so hard some days just to get out the door and into the gym?  I know I love it when I'm there, I feel good, but some days, I'd rather stick a needle in my eye thean wak out that door.  Still do it though....can't find a needle :)

Regardless of my lack of desire to GO, I have plenty of desire when I'm there.  I got immense satisfaction actually yesterday. I went to gym later than usual so Troy couldn't go with me, I was flying solo.  While I was getting organised in the weight room, there was a man making jokes to the woman who was working out with him....but they were put down jokes along the lines of " You're a girl, you won't be able to lift that" and the reasons why as she was trying to do walking lunges with a 10kg barbell. She was laughing but I was inwardly offended. 

That was what I was thinking! 

So being Friday I set up for my circuit of rear deltoid raises, squat jumps and sumo squats. I pleasantly excused myself to him so I could get the weights I needed.  I could FEEL him looking at me, I'm only little, 49 kgs and 154 cms tall.  I could almost hear his stupid head saying " Playing with the big boy weights now are we?"  I set personal bests for those jumps...15 kgs plate for the jump squats and to add a little flair, I jumped onto the bench as well.  Then 25 kgs for the sumo squats, all bottom halves.  Then after those 3 sets, straight into the shoulder press.....with the 'big boy barbell'  17.5 kgs coupled with a one leg french press of 12.5kgs.

Was that enough?  No, I wanted to prove a point, because I'm quietly narky that way. 

Mr Muscles was huffing and puffing (to my offended little mind, overly much) doing squats on the smith machine. Miss ( or Mrs?) Walking lunges was waiting.  When he finished I asked if I could use the machine. ( what's a few extra squats that aren't on the program?)  " Sure" he said and went to take his weights off.  "No no, leave them they'll be right" I said and added another 10 kilo plate each side so I was doing 60 kgs. And popped them out...with effort certainly and intense focus, but not grunting and huffing, out-squatting him without a nasty word by 20 kilos all up.

Maybe he needs ovaries and a uterus, then he can spend more time lifting people up instead of putting them down.

So now you know what a nasty spirited person I can be with a smile on my face....let's get to personal bests.

Not many this week but there's still some improvement, some helped along by righteous anger LOL.

Bicep curls with barbell   17.5 kgs
Reverse Flys                   9 kgs
Walking lunges with kettlebells  16kgs
Side lunges with dumbbells  12.5 kgs
Squat jumps  15 kgs
Sumo squats   25 kgs
Standing shoulder press with barbell 17.5 kgs.

SSS challenge

Well now, I'm ahead of myself because that is tomorrow....I'm running in the Lara funrun (5 km)  along with my children who are running the 2km kids dash.  I did a training tempo run today but not as hard as I'd like, being careful to save my legs for tomorrow....managed a 3km tempo run in 15 minutes which is about 20-30 secs slower per kilometre than I have run at my fastest. The rest of the run was a 3 k warm up and 3 k cool down with the running club.

Note to myself in slow motion....ANYTHING can look good in slo-mo!

 I never imagined I would love running in a group so much.  I'm one of the slowest ones there  but hey, there is no judging, no impatience and it's run so everyone can take part at the own pace. I can see and feel the improvements through being pushed that little bit more and through the different training we do.  For instance, Tuesday night, we did Harrison Drop downs I think they were called.  Basically it was decreasing distances in runs but at increasing pace for each distance.  By the end I was stuffed well and truly but runninng faster than I thought I ever could.  So worth the feeling of concrete legs in the car!

This week I'm giving you homework.........