Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Completely blank

I thought I should post an update, so you don't have to keep coming in here and going "Vain cow, she's still got that bloody photo up".

But I can't think of anything to say.

Will let you know the results of my first week of NoCount tomorrow.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Relaxed or exhausted?

Here's a pic of me from the weekend in Taupo. I'd been up for well over 24 hours at this stage! It's not the most glamourous photo, but it is very 'me' and - LOOK - I've got collar-bones!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Quick update

One thing I discovered when I went to WW on Wednesday - I'm 174cm tall, not 176cm. I choose to believe this is due to a previous mis-measurement, rather than old-age shrinkage! Luckily I don't need to change my goal weight of 76kg.

After just two days of following NoCount, my home scales show a loss of 1.8kg. Much of this will be due to the fact that I am back to my earlier discipline with regards to sneak-eating! This means I get to show a 2.2kg loss on my side bar this week - I was expecting a couple of big losses due to the change in programme, so if I can get a couple of weeks like that I'll be more than happy!

Early impressions of the new programme:
What a relief to not count points all the time.
Only being able to have fruit and veges as snacks actually seems to make planning the day easier.
We are late dinner eaters in our house (often not eating till 8pm or later due to everyone's sports commitments) so I need to make sure I don't have my lunch too early and that I have a snack when I get home from work so I don't get too ravenous.
After dinner is still going to be tough for me - it's a danger time for sneak-eating. Last night I solved it with a couple of nectarines and some WW jelly. Some nights I'll use a couple of my 21 points to have a treat, but I want to keep that to a minimum for the first couple of weeks.
Looks like I need to plan well - at the moment I'm planning each day the evening before.

It's early days, so it will be interesting to see how my opinions change.

Today's weigh-in means I now have less than 10kg to go!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

First meeting

Well, I have rejoined WW and went to my first meeting yesterday. It's a city lunchtime meeting, so was pretty busy. Not enough talking in the discussion for my liking - I'll have to stir things up a bit! Rather like the leader, though. An Englishwoman with a nicely understated sense of humour and obviously well-read - was I the only person in the room who got the Katherine Mansfield reference? I'm such a snob!

I have decided to give No Count a go to see how it works for me. The basic premise works like this:
You have three meals a day, at which you can eat 'freely' from a restricted list of foods. 'Freely' really means in moderation, not to the point of feeling like a puffer fish.
Outside those three meals, you can snack on fruit and vegetables only.
In addition, you can use 21 points a week for foods outside the list - e.g. that white bread you can't live without, your chocolate treat on a Friday night.

I think this can work for me because:
Portion sizes are so automatic after almost a year of counting points I think there is little risk of me making my meals too big.
I like the fact the list of foods is basically whole foods and no processed foods, and therefore my overall diet should become even healthier.
There are essentially no 'treat' foods - the way I am at the moment I think I'm best to keep right away from those things, rather than try and stop after 'just a little bit'.
The 21 points gives me enough leeway to eat out a couple of times a week, or have a few drinks at some stage.
If I know I've got a really busy week coming up I can switch back to tracking points for a week if I like.

So, I'm going to try it for 4 weeks - long enough to get through the first couple of weeks of losing just because it is something new, and to form a habit if I want to keep going with it.

Interestingly, though, no other women at the meeting are following No Count. A few had tried it and didn't find it worked for them. The leader did say the uptake had been lower than they expected. I feel it would be quite difficult to do it as your first experience of WW - the control of portion sizes and learning to stop eating when you are full seem a bit difficult to learn quickly. After all, the lack of those controls is the reason why many of us are overweight.

My WW weight yesterday was 87.8kg. I'd weighed at 86.9kg at home in the morning, so I imagine our scales are fairly close. I am going to continue using my home scales to track my weight in the sidebar, but will report my 'official' weight each week when I let you know how I'm going on the new programme.

Another new experience...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Entirely at random

It is currently not safe to leave me alone in the house with a container of ice cream and a spoon. In fact, I could manage even if the spoon wasn't there.

My supposed 15km training ride is actually 19km. Rode it last night (in a brisk northerly) in 1 hour and 5 minutes. First aim is to get it under 1 hour.

My man is in New Plymouth this week - that should mean a new tee-shirt for me!

Jake being captain of the dragon boat team this year has unexpected benefits at home. After five races on Saturday, leading the starts and making the reach calls has left him with no voice. So he can't sing in his frightfully toneless voice for a while. Although he has managed to record himself singing 'Living on a Prayer' and set it as the ring-tone on his phone!

Will I ever get over the feeling that the Hurricanes will break my heart again this season, even though they're looking so good?

It's a good idea, when locking up your car and leaving it in the carpark for the day, to also close the driver's window.

How weird does it still feel, as a previously sedentary Mum, to be talking about pyramid runs, fatigue training zones and the best piriformis stretch with your teenager?

I think I might re-join WW (haven't been part of the At Home scheme since about September, although I have continued to follow the programme). This might help me with the motivation I need to lose the last 10 kilos and I can have a good look at No Count as well. Any thoughts on this, folks?

Monday, February 20, 2006


What a great weekend that was - the relay was a smashing success!

Our walkers/runners started at 11pm on Friday and finished the 160km at 4.37pm on Saturday. It was an amazing effort by everyone and lots of fun as well.

I didn't do a leg - just stayed at the motel making sure everyone was fed and watered, awake in time to go out on the course for their leg and rubbed down when they got back! Didn't go to bed at all on Friday night.

A very relaxed week food-wise after my triathlon has led to an upward creep in my weight; nothing I'm particularly worried about. I can't imagine the weekend will have helped much, as I ate whatever I wanted to - staying up for 36 hours means you constantly crave carbs.

So, it's Monday again (coming to work was a bit of a let-down after the weekend), and I'm trying hard to bring my eating back into line - and back into the exercise this week too!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

So, what's next?

Well, I've had a few days of basking in the glory of what I've done - thank you all for your kind comments and emails. I still can't quite believe how much I enjoyed the triathlon.

So, what's next for me?

I need to shift my focus back to controlling my eating. This has been meandering around in the last few weeks. As I've said before, I think I was saved from gaining weight by the heavy training load I was carrying. So back to careful planning and tracking.

This weekend we have a team of 25 people (workmates and clients) taking part in the Great Lake Relay in Taupo - 18 legs of walking and running around the lake - it's about 160km.

I'm Camp Mother, so I'm not doing a leg, although I am a reserve. Instead I'll look after the base camp and all the meals - because, after all, surrounding myself with food is such as sensible thing for me to do!

One thing I've learned from the triathlon is that I'm more motivated about exercise if I have something to train for. So my next goal is a duathlon on Easter Sunday. I'm still not absolutely sure I'll be in town for this, as I may be on tour with the rugby boys, but I'm training for it anyway. And as I'm on the rugby committee I should have some influence on when we go away!

This duathlon is a 3.5km run/10km bike/1.5km run. It's based around our lovely harbour, so we have that small miracle in Wellington - a flat course! This will mean a quite different training regime from the last one - and no swimming, hooray!

Starting next week the training will go something like this:
1 x 15km ride per week
1 x 7km run/walk per week (building towards being able to run the whole thing)
1 x 3km run per week (working on improving my time each week)
1 x 'brick' training session - run/ride/run - starting with short distances and building each week
That will take care of my cardio and I'll do 3 or 4 days a week at the gym and see if I can throw in some kickboxing occasionally as well.
My 15km ride will include the actual duathlon course - I can ride to it from home.

There we are then. I have two main goals - do the duathlon, and be a 70s' girl when I do it. Just over eight weeks to go.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

1 hour 3 minutes 5 seconds

Well, the weather didn't improve. It was too rough to do a proper swim, so we did about a 100m run in thigh-deep water. Cold, very cold.

Then 500m along the beach (I ran most of this), up a steep hill (I didn't run) then 1.2km to the bike transition (ran the whole thing).

The bike course was pretty tough - pouring with rain much of the time and a VERY strong northerly. The uphill section was straight into the wind. I do recall a burst of laughter from some spectators as I screamed 'Bitch!' at a gust that almost stopped me completely. The second time around I had my cadence going better and didn't find the hill so hard.

Unknown to me, at this stage the weather was so bad they were talking about cancelling the race halfway through - prompted by the fact that the marquees and finish line were being blown away!

Then it was back into transition to drop off the bike and finish with another 2km run. Most of this was flat (alternated running and walking), finishing with a bit of off-road - up a steep track (ran), along the ridge (ran), drop back down (walk) and then across the park to the finish (ran).

Now the really surprising bit - I had a lot of fun doing this. The weather was vile and the ride was hard work at times, but it really was enjoyable. And the sense of achievement at the end was overwhelming.

It's hard to work out how good my time was, considering most of the swim was dropped, but I'm happy with it anyway, especially given the conditions. This is the time I took on my watch, as the official times aren't on the website yet. Update later in the day - official time was 1 hour, 2 minutes 39 seconds. 586th out of 1100 finishers.

Big thanks go to lots of people for their support - family, friends, colleagues, blogland (especially blogland) - because everyone has been so positive.

Huge thanks to Mark and Jake - for getting up at 5am this morning, for their support and encouragement.

4.30am on race day

We have a strong northerly. Which I will have to ride into on the uphill sections of the bike course.

Oh, and it's raining.

I'm off to wake up the boys. No way I'm suffering this alone.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Sleepless in Strathmore

Although I sleep much better now that I exercise regularly, I do still have bouts of sleeplessness. I have put up with this for most of my adult life, so I don't let it stress me out and I know I can easily get by on three or four hours sleep.

If I'm lying awake I like to be able to read, but the man is a darkness freak so I can't turn the light on. I often get up and sit in the lounge reading for an hour or so, then go back to bed for some more sleep.

I used insomnia to my advantage when I was studying. Most of my papers were written in the small hours of the morning. In my single days I often used to do housework then too - but vacuuming at 2am soon stopped once I started living with someone!

Right, now that I've revealed what a freak I really am...

This morning at 4am I was stupid enough to go on the internet and pop into one of my favourite blogs - Waiter Rant. So going back to bed for more sleep never happened - just straight into the shower at 6.30 instead!

Mummy skite - my lovely boy (yes, folks, the babe from the fridge) made prefect at school this year.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

5, 4, 3, 2, 1...

The week has finally arrived, now it's just five days till the triathlon. I have a nice light training week, with none of my usual extras added in. I am doing no exercise in the mornings, so my alarm will be going at 6.30 instead of 5.30, to ensure I am well rested. I am not tracking my food this week, just watching what I eat to make sure it is healthy, with plenty of good proteins and carbs.

So, how do I feel about what is coming up on Sunday?

Pretty proud of myself, really. I have no doubts I will be able to complete this course. I may not swim like a fish, and my run is more of a trudge, but LOOK HOW FAR I'VE COME! This triathlon is more about how I got here than the event itself.

This time last year I weighed 132.5kg. A 3km walk on a level course was a major achievement. Walking up the stairs in our new house was a bit like climbing a mountain.

So, on Sunday, I may not be the thinnest or the fittest, but I think you'll be hard-pressed to find someone happier!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Finally, fridge fotos!

First of all, let me introduce you to my fridge.

I love my fridge. As you can, see, it is a very large side-by-side fridge/freezer. The kitchen was basically built around it. It is kept white and pristine on the outside, except for the temperature gauges and controls on the front.

But only three people live in our house - why do we need such a large fridge? Because we have a teenage jock to feed. And, as you will see below, he can practically eat the fridge bare in one sitting...

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Road kill

I'm feeling a bit like I've been run down by a truck at the moment. Sorry I have been absent from blogs this week - haven't even had time to comment, although I have had a few quick peeks.

So, time for one of my update lists...

Had a great day at the races last week. The betting was the usual washout - we never seem to do well at Trentham. But who cares - I looked great (so modest) and got lots of compliments. For the first time the famous Cup Day heat (29 in the shade this year) didn't really bother me; not only am I so much lighter, but I could wear something light and floaty instead of the dress equivalent of a boiler-suit and a balaclava to hide my body! Yes, photo to come. Oh, and I drank an ENORMOUS amount of champagne and got quite silly.

My favourite weekend of the year starts tomorrow - the Wellington Sevens! I just love this tournament. Our little stadium rocks with all the people partying - the costumes are a spectacle in their own right. I take all of Friday off so I can ease into the day - and get there in time for the first game. Unlike many of the people who go, I love the rugby as well as the party, and try to watch every game! One of my favourite things is that the crowd always adopts an underdog country and supports them in full voice! And we're not as mean to the Aussie team as we used to be...

We get an extra day off on Monday, too, for Waitangi Day, so I've got an extra long weekend. Having a few friends round for a BBQ in the afternoon.

Another reason for my run-down-by-a-truck feeling is that I got a new programme at the gym yesterday. He took me very literally when I said I needed more of a challenge. I always find the first few weeks tough - more about the co-ordination than anything.

Just over a week till the triathlon now. PZ (my friend who's doing it with me) and I did a walk-through last Sunday. We very quickly realised we need to stop training in the pool and get into the sea. The water at Titahi Bay was freezing! Although it did wash away the last vestiges of the champagne from the day before.

And a week after the triathlon we have the Great Lake Relay in Taupo. 160 kilometers around the lake, in 18 legs of walking and running. I'm not actually participating (although I think I'm a reserve by default), but I am the organiser (it's people from work and some clients). I'm really looking forward to it - being Camp Mother brings out the Nazi in me!

Yes, it's a pretty busy time at the moment - as this time of year tends to be. Just the way I like it. I've had a pretty average week with the tracking, what with all the champagne and the Chinese New Year banquet as well, but I should still be in for a small loss.

Enjoy your weekend! And for you Kiwi girls with kids - they finally go back to school next week!