Thursday, 22 August 2013

Let's call a spade a spade.

This came up recently in a facebook conversation.....a blog article on supermarkets and their marketing ploys geared towards over processed fatty, sugary foods made mention of the fact the check out attendant was obese.  What hope does she have? wondered the writer.

And while some of my friends raised a valid point, the attendant's weight may be due to other health issues,  it was their statement this is too "judgemental" on the person.

So the following is my opinion....

Why has it become such a sin to say if someone is overweight?

Statistics and studies have shown that Australia is now the most overweight nation in the world. Surely we can't ALL be suffering medical issues or hormonal imbalances that cause this?

Over the years, I see noone has had any hesitation in frowning upon smoking and changing laws to reflect this.  SMOKING KILLS yell the posters and ads.  Well so does excess fat.

It is important to point out here, that a person's size is no indication to their body fat. A 45kg woman may have more body fat percentage than a 70 kg woman. Size or weight is not an indicator of harmful body fat.

It is time people accepted responsibility for their own health. Regardless of what we tell ourselves, we choose what we eat. We choose how to spend our money. I COULD spend $2 on a cheeseburger at Maccas....or I could spend $1 and get 2 apples, or a couple of bananas.
 This is American but you get the idea!

We have handed over our choices to the food companies and the supermarkets. We have chosen instant gratification with food over preparing meals. If we had to take the time to bake tim tams, would we eat the whole batch in a sitting?  Or would we pace it out?

How easy is it to roll up to a drive through and order dinner, and receive it in less than 5 minutes?  As opposed to going home and chopping vegetables and cooking?

Which leads me to another  spade.....we have become LAZY.

Nobody moves much anymore, or exercises. Nobody wants the bother of cooking and the resulting cleaning up. It takes up too much 'free time' which we spend doing what?  Facebooking?  Watching TV?

I cook dinner at home after work, as do many of my friends. Most of our meals involve a prep time of approximately 5-10 minutes and a cooking time of about the same. Literally, within about 20 minutes to half an hour of walking in my door, I can have dinner on the table. That's not so's fresh, it's hot, it's delicious. Sure I have washing up to do, but then I'm not contributing so much to landfill with all my packaging...(tick smug environmental box here LOL) and really, if I timed myself doing the dishes, it would be 15 minutes or less.

It's time for us all to wake up and THINK for ourselves. To take the time to educate ourselves on buying and eating fresh unprocessed foods, and moving and doing more. It's not rocket science....and it's not hard. I've used every excuse under the sun myself....I have no time, I don't like it, it's too hard, it's too expensive but when I started I found all those were just that ...excuses.

I do have time, I just thought I didn't. I do like it, I was just not used to it so thought I wouldn't like it. It's not too hard, I just thought cooking would be hard (because I watch too much Masterchef), besides there is a HUGE amount of information to tell me how to cook something. It's not expensive, it is quite often cheaper than buying fast food and over processed meals from the supermarket, plus the savings in medical costs (commonly treating high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc)

You also don't need a gym to exercise, go out and walk, even if its a few laps around the back yard. Do pushups/situps/burpees in the ad breaks of television, just MOVE more.

Hiding behind the 'judgemental' card is not going to change the situation. We make value judgements about people, including ourselves, all the time, whether we are conscious of it or not.

 I'm not advocating going out and calling people fat. But I AM saying, let's not hide our heads in the sand. Deep down we know what we are doing to ourselves, it's time to take responsibility for it. It's not good enough to expect others to have the responsibility for our health, or to blame the fast food companies for making us ill and obese. Noone is forcing us to eat what we put in our mouths or to cave in constantly to the children who have seen one too many kids meal ads on TV.

It's time to wake up and face what is real.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Flying solo

So my first week of flying solo has gone...not so well, with circumstances out of my control.

I've switched back to doing weights as my foot is still not healed enough to run.  It's having a nice long rest while I lift heavy things for the next 12 weeks.

I am loving the weights.  I love how my mind feels when I run, but I love how my body feels when I lift.

Using a Lean and Strong program from 2011, I am concentrating on form and not rushing through the sets. Even so I was surprised to see most of the workouts this week were less than an hour.  Due to a staff meeting on Friday afternoon ( my gym time before school pickup), I did a double workout on Wednesday before work and finished in plenty of time.  I'm sure this will change afterwards and my legs were SMASHED that day....but all for good cause...and I am starting to feel strong again.

Noe for circumstances out of my control.....well, after 3 weeks of a bad cough getting progressively worse and seeing 3 different doctors, I finally have a diagnosis.

The first doctor told me I had a bad cough and if I couldn't breathe then I should not cough so hard.

The second doctor gave me some general antibiotics and told me not to cough so hard.

I then taped an episode of coughing on my phone.

The third doctor heard about 5 seconds of the tape and immediately took action for whooping cough....throat swabs, nose swabs, bloods and some serious horse pills and steroids to take, thankfully which now, after 2 1/2 days of medication has taken the choking and most of the 'whooping' away.

And all this gym, no workouts for at least 5 days.....and I have to say, while I really want to go do something, I feel so weak and tired from interrupted sleep and unwellness, as well as restricted breathing, it's an effort to do anything.

I would not wish this on anyone, it feels as if I am drowning from the inside, and I dread the next cough and the struggle to get air in. Everything aches with the effort of trying to not cough and then, ironically, coughing. I could look at it as a great core workout LOL.
And the not so great could last another week, it could last another 3 months.

So for this next week at least, it will be more about keeping an eye on nutrition rather than exertion. I have set myself times to eat as I have next to no appetite, and formulated a meal plan to make sure I get what I need. And rest, rest, rest.......It's not the best start to my next 12 week period but it's no reason to quit.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Finale part 2...workout and party

After far too little sleep, Troy and I got ready for the days workout, held at the Adelaide showgrounds....after the obligatory gun shot of course...

A quick breakfast later and we were on our way.

It was a gorgeous day....for an indoor workout. The registration process was quick and we were in the room.  I was so excited I popped out a little cartwheel....totally suprised myself AND my husband.

There was a wall of sponsor stands selling so many different things....wish there was a oneactiv sports wear stall.  A stage was in the centre of the room, ready for Michelle's workout, the fashion parade, a yoga demonstration and a 'form' demonstration as well as the finals for the fitness challenge.  Around the sides of the room were various fitness challenges....planking, pushups, shuttleruns and so on.
This greeted us as we walked onto the grounds

Getting ready for the pushup challenge.

Troy and I both tried the pushup challenge....I managed 45 full depth pushups in 60 seconds which I was pretty happy about, considering I had done far less strength work this round than before.

The yoga class demonstration was heaps of fun.  I appreciate yoga and while my balance is fairly good, my flexibility is not. Yoga can be hard work.  Proud of Troy who popped out a beautiful crow pose amidst the falling bodies of the rest of us LOL

Beautiful shot of my tutu bum, with Troy to the right.

And then...the big moment, Michelle Bridges came and put us through a fantastic workout...just brilliant.  I really wish I'd been in her fitness classes before she became famous, they would have been BRILLIANT.   That woman can tuck jump like a demon....and smile the whole time.
 High fiving the Queen herself

Reverse planking, part of the workout

All too soon it was over and far from feeling tired, I felt like I could take on the world...GO ENDORPHINS!

Ahem....didn't stop me having a nana nap before the big party that night though :)

And now the party....I had my fabulous dress from Ebay which cost around $30 but looked like a million bucks. It was a corset type dress, requiring Troy's patience to lace me into it, but totally worth it. Popping on my top hat ( I love a good hat) we walked the red carpet at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

Man, my husband is a good looking man!

Those who have read my blog before will note, yes, same shoes for every Finale party since 2011.

A curtain of lights greet us as we walk in, just fantastic.

The party was great, awards handed out for the most inspirational people and some of those stories were amazing.  My favourite would have to be the lovely lady from NSW who raised $26 000 for a family.  The mother was struck with cancer and then when her baby was 2 months old, suffered a stroke as well. Just heart wrenching.

It was a great opportunity to catch up with old and new friends from all over Australia...
Wandering entertainers


Troy and the Lean and Strong Pirates, including 2 winners of the Most Inspirational award.

The night flew past....and like Cinderella we were all packed off before Midnight, loot bags in hand filled with fantastic products...lindt chocolate anyone? Unlike Cinderella, a large number of us ended up in the cocktail bar at the Sebel to continue on.

Eventually though, considering we had to be up at 5 to catch our flight home, the party had to end. As the buzz went , a little bit of sadness crept in.  It was over. My last finale party for a while, my last round for a while.  Can I keep it going by myself? Do I have the self discipline and self determination?

Time to find out.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Finale weekend....Part 1

Last weekend was the Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation finale weekend, held in Adelaide.  And didn't Adelaide know it!

Hundreds of people flew in from all over Australia and the world to take part in a group workout and the Gala party afterwards.  Seeing as how it was coinciding with our wedding anniversary, Troy and I decided to fly down on the Friday and take in what Adelaide does

We took a 'Bums on seats' tour and they were amazing. Gary, our driver gave us a running commentary on everything Adelaide.  The tour was small, about 9 of us in total and during the course of the trip, we found out that 7 of us were 12WBTers.....LOTS to talk about.

Group shot at the first winery, Te Aro
Can you spot the two who were NOT part of 12 WBT?

The wineries were generous and the group VERY merry. We visited 4 wineries in total (I think) and lunch was at a pub. It didn't just centre around wine though, mead, cider and beers were all tried as well.
Have to say though, selfies at the third winery were....interesting.
One too many?  NEVER

Our trip ended with a visit to Maggie Beer's farm shop and the tastings there were beyond description. I would LOVE to go back and eat there one day, everything looked, smelled and tasted delicious. This was the one stop the WHOLE bus insisted we make.

Before we remembered we have to try and fit everything into our bags to bring home....
On the way home, we drove through and around Port Adelaide which was interesting....but getting dark it was getting hard to see, plus I may have had a little nana nap....

Back at the Hotel later (Grand Chancellor on Hindley) we discovered that booking a hotel online may mean you are residing in the middle of the city Red Light district. 
 It was many sheesha bars blowing sweet smelling smoke over the whole area, bars full of life, mounted police having chats, it was like being in the middle of a huge party and the whole city was invited. We ate tapas and drank cocktails at a little bar and spent the rest of the time walking up and down the street just looking. AMAZING vibe.

But, with the workout looming early tomorrow, and us being awake for 18 hours already, it was time to flop into our beds and sleep the sleep of the content.....or exhausted.

So ends Part 1......part 2, The Workout and The Party to come :)

Sunday, 4 August 2013

A new kind of normal.

Another 12 week block is over, another 12 weeks of following brilliant exercise plans and eating delicious meals has passed. While I am not signing up for another round of Michelle Bridges 12 Week body transformation (yet!) until after I hit my goal of running a marathon, I am continuing on what I have learned about nutrition and exertion. As a matter of fact, it's been so long now, i don't think I could live any other way.

The gym has become a second home, the streets and bike paths I run on have become my place of comfort. The food I eat is clean, fresh and minimally processed. The goals I set are challenges and far reaching, but I KNOW I can do them. The thoughts I have are strong, and when they weaken and I turn on myself, it's not so much a struggle to get back to my new kind of 'normal'.

I'm no longer scared about the Big Bys weights room, the top speed on the treadmill and I also know how to FINALLY use this....LOTS of ways...
Normal used to be sitting on the couch watching tv.  Now normal is wondering why I have a couch, I'm very rarely on it.  Normal was where the pizza shop down the road knew my name AND my order. Now, I have no idea who it was behind the counter the other night.

Normal used to be not starting anything because I was scared I'd fail. Now it's bring on all comers.

Normal used to be this.

Now normal is this:

And what was the result from this last 12 week block?  Below is the before and after picture. Not much change but it's still happening.

In these last 12 weeks I have run a half marathon in my best time of 1 hour 59 mins 14 seconds.
 I saw my 9 year old daughter set herself goals just like mum, and smash them.  We climbed all over the Grampians, rode 10km on bikes and ran 2 km together.

I lost 2% of my bodyweight and 19 cms this round....3cm from chest, 5cm from waist, 3.5 cms from hips, 0.5 cms from my arms and 7cms from one thigh alone.  And yet ultimately my weight has maintained, hovering between 49 and 50 kgs. I must be doing something right ;)

I would not change the past two years for anything. My body, my mind and my life has changed so completely. My family are so much healthier and happier.
I have visited spots in Australia I would never have thought of before and loved them.  I have climbed the Harbour bridge, ran along the Busselton pier, ran around the streets of Melbourne and who knows WHAT I'll get up to on the streets of Adelaide next week. You have been warned.

IF you ever wondered what life would be like, or how you would fit it all in, or even how to start.....go to here...

It's easy. It will change your life and you will never regret it.

Find a new kind of normal.