Friday, April 28, 2006

Of course, I blame my sisters!

Oh, I don't blame them for any of the important, existential stuff!

I'm just choosing to blame them for the fact the report I was supposed to write last night is still a jumble of words in my head, instead of an email in P's inbox.

Auckland sister and Wellington sister popped round for a couple of quiet gins last night. And we did only have a couple of gins, and they were only here for about an hour, but somehow by the time they left I had quite lost the impetus for report-writing.

And now I think I'll choose to blame my blog-sisters for the fact I'm still not writing my report. It's 4am and an ideal time to get it out of the way, but I've been surfing blogs instead.

But I really can't find anyone to blame for the fact I've had another out-of-control (food) week and have just recorded my second gain in a row.

This isn't a major crisis. But it is a small, lost-my-focus crisis. And it threatens to become more if I can't click onto whatever is causing it.

I spent some time yesterday thinking about switching back from NoCount to the points plan, or signing up to use the WW online tools. But that's not the answer. I have all the tools I need and I know how to use them. There's a mental switch somewhere that's sitting in the 'Off' position - I just need to work out how to turn it back on.

Now, maybe I could blame a server crash for my missing report...

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Okay, I never thought I'd say this, but I'm pretty much over these short weeks!

We have had: a four-day week, followed by a four-day weekend, followed by a four-day week, followed by a two-day weekend, followed by a one-day week, followed by a one-day weekend, and now we're in a three-day week which will be followed by a two-day weekend!

It's not that I don't like the extra days off, but my increasingly enfeebled brain is struggling to remember what day it is.

I came on here to update my exercise plan, just like I do every Monday - damn, today's Wednesday!

I just realised I didn't send out an email reminder for tonight's rugby meeting (even more confusing because we moved it from the usual Tuesday to Wednesday), so we'll probably only get about three people there - but I'll still have to turn up.

Remembered just in time to put the wheelie-bin out last night. That COULD NOT have lasted another week, as it was full to the brim with pizza boxes and fizzy bottles - school holidays always see a marked increase in the consumption of these things at our house.

Of course, my brain might also be addled by TIS - testosterone inhalation syndrome! I'm used to having extraneous boys lolling about the house, but yesterday was a marathon effort.

Yesterday, our house was the site of the Great ANZAC Day Poker Tournament. A dozen teenage boys squished around our dining room table, playing poker - for over nine hours!

I fed them all Eggs Benedict for lunch (I know, I'm such a soft touch - I even make the hollandaise sauce from scratch), then tried to leave them to it. But, when you live in a townhouse, escaping the noise all those boys can make is impossible. I guess one saving grace is that they don't drink when they're playing cards, because there is money at stake. I hate to think how much more noise a dozen DRUNKEN teenage boys could make!

By the end of the afternoon, Mark and I had had enough, so we went out for dinner and a movie. Only five or six of them were still going when we got home, and they were basically packing up. Still, I'd rather they were having fun at our house (and there wasn't too much mess), than out on the streets getting up to who-knows-what.

On the subject of movies, Sione's Wedding is one to see. Pretty light-hearted, but the great depictions of Samoans (by Samoans) had me absolutely HOWLING with laughter. I don't know if there is an Aussie release date for it - but if there is, get along to see it.

And, of course, today's post wouldn't be complete without a HUGE congratulations to the lovely Philippa, who has reached goal weight. Phil, you are one amazing woman.

Monday, April 24, 2006

It is clear I have learned nothing!

I have been a blogger now for almost a year. It's something I really enjoy doing, even if I do fade from the scene at times. And I have 'met' so many wonderful people here (and a very small number of complete twits!) - people who are funny, inspiring, entertaining, intelligent, caring - all the things we look for in new friends.

But despite this massively rich resource of support, sometimes I think I really haven't learned a thing.

Let me tell you about self-inflicted unnecessary pressure...

A couple of months back I rejoined WW to help me lose my last 10 or so kilos. Instead of being an At Home member, I now actually go to meetings. At that time, the entry forms for Slimmer of the Year were on display. "Hmmmm" thought I, "I could do this". With a closing date of 12 May, I had about 8 weeks to lose 10kg.

See, I told you I've learned nothing!

Up until now, I've always set myself goals - be under 100kg by Christmas, be under 80kg in time for the duathlon, that sort of thing. Some of the goals I've reached, some I haven't. But they were my own personal goals and deadlines - it felt great when I reached them, but I could also handle it when I didn't.

Suddenly, here was this new possibility - and let's be honest, I was tempted by the prizes and the potential brief flash of fame. So I decided that my goal weight was 76kg - the top of my healthy weight range and that if I was really strict with myself I could blitz the entry deadline.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Up till then, my plan was to get to 76kg and THEN decide what I wanted my goal weight to be. I didn't want to take months to lose the last 10kg, but I knew it could take a while.

But no, despite all the months of claiming this was a lifestyle change and my health and fitness were more important than my weight, I was seduced into deciding I could force the weight off in a rush.

And the result - several weeks of yo-yo-ing (how the hell do you type that word without it looking ridiculous?) weight as I tried to force myself into this unrealistic expectation.

It's okay, I'm over it

After this attack of brain fever, I have come to my senses. I know that the weight will go - if it's a slow, steady loss, that's better than obsessing about every item of food that passes my lips. And much better that beating myself up for every slip-up. And I know (have always known, but chose to ignore briefly) that the weight-loss is just practice for maintenance.

My lifestyle now needs to reflect what my lifestyle will be in the future - not one of self-denial, but one of balanced and enjoyable eating.

Besides, I can always enter Slimmer of the Year in 2007!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Don't forget the old stuff worked

I can hear this concerted yell around blogland!

"What are you, nuts?"

I know, you've spent all this time getting rid of your old ways of thinking, eating and (not) moving. And now I'm telling you not to forget the old stuff?

But I'm actually talking about the old stuff from when we started losing weight, not from before that.

Phil got me thinking about this with her post about doing yoga again.

Do you remember those great feelings you got when you first started to see results from changing your lifestyle?

When you got to the end of the week and felt like a champion because you'd stuck to your eating plan EVERY SINGLE DAY? (Instead of feeling relieved because you cheated on your points all week and still managed to lose 200 grams.)

The first time you walked up the big hill in your neighbourhood without stopping, or made it all the way through that exercise DVD without hitting the pause button and putting your head between your knees so you won't faint?

The first time you went out for dinner, ate only two courses and didn't feel cheated?

Remember how good all that felt?

So, in that spirit, last night I went home and did the WW Exercise for Success DVD.

FLASHBACK TO A YEAR AGO (sorry I can't do the wobbly-screen thing they used for flashbacks and dream sequences on The Brady Bunch)
The first time I did this workout, I could barely breathe after the warm-up, although I did still have enough puff to yell at the TV "That was only the warm-up?". I used to just do the warm-up, one of the the four workouts, then the cool-down.

I did the whole thing - warm-up, four workouts and cool-down. And it wasn't easy. I did the high-impact version of everything, used the coffee table (it's very sturdy) for my step-ups instead of just one step on the stairs, and used 1.5kg hand-weights instead of 400g cans of food. This is still a great work-out. And a great feeling seeing how much more I could do than a year ago. And today I can really feel it - and, yes Phil, tricep dips do work!

So, there was a point to all this rambling...

This is not just about getting back to basics. Find something you did when you first started on your journey, something that was a major achievement for you then, that you don't do anymore. And go and do it! Recapture the euphoria you felt the first time you overcame that obstacle.

And reflect on what an amazing person you are.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Success and compulsion

The duathlon was great! I really enjoyed it and almost ran the whole thing. I ran the first 3.5km leg, blitzed the bike and then ran most of the second 1.5km leg. I had to walk about 200m in the middle, because I had a bit of a dizzy spell.

And I came in under 1 hour - 59 minutes and 12 seconds, to be precise. The lovely Karen has emailed me some great photos, including one of the look of delight on my face as I looked at my watch at the finish line.

I think one of the things that made it so much fun was doing an event that hadn't consumed my life for 3 months beforehand. I'd been training for it in a vague sort of way, but I actually have enough basic fitness now to just rock up on the day and not disgrace myself. Ah, how things have changed...

So, events haven't become a compulsion, but Easter may be another matter!

Despite my high-minded intentions, I spent most of the weekend in an orgy of food-indulgence. This included chocolate, ice-cream, chocolate, Eggs Benedict, chocolate and more chocolate.

It was a weekend of eating reminiscent of the Sue of old. But what has changed is that it won't be a trigger for me to carry on like this for days, weeks or months.

I slipped up and ate badly for a few days. The world hasn't ended. I will spend the rest of this week eating healthily (not starving myself, not fad-dieting). By the time I weigh in at the end of the week I will hopefully only show a small gain. And in a week or two that will be gone and I will once more be moving toward my goal weight.

I'm less confident about knowing what triggered it. I'm used to having chocolate in the house, as I still buy it for Mark and Jake. I think it was just the amount of chocolate, combined with having so much free time and feeling I deserved a treat for doing the duathlon. I'm by no means perfect in my usual eating, but to go off so track for several days in a row is unusual.

Still, there's no point in berating myself too much - that's likely to lead to further self-destructive behaviour, rather than help me deal with it.

I hope you all had a nice Easter. If you feel like you may have over-indulged - you're certainly not alone!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Update time

The broken nose wasn't mine (or Jake's). Our friend Jacob, who is the Head Prefect at school, had his nose broken in a game in Napier on Sunday. As soon as his head slammed into the back of our fullback's head, I knew his nose was broken. There's a quite different sound to head-on-nose, as opposed to head-on-head. A sort of crunchy, cartilage sound. I got to him just after he hit the ground, and the bridge of his nose was over by the corner of his eye! Not pretty! So I hauled him off to hospital. When we left our boys were losing 11-0. They won 28-16, so I clearly missed the best of the game.

It was a long way to go for 20 minutes of rugby. Four hour drive up on Saturday, and then back again on Sunday, once the morphine had kicked in and Jacob was comfortable enough to travel. Luckily, I have long since learned not to travel with van-loads of teenage boys (too tough on the sanity), so I had my own car.

Most of our rugby boys were billeted with the team they were playing. Severe culture shock on both sides - our predominantly Samoan team going off to stay with boys from a private school. It's funny to see our big tough 1st XV go all shy when meeting new people. One of the boys came up to me the next day and exclaimed over the fact the house had 5 bathrooms - ' do they shit in a different one every day?' he said.

I got to stay with our very good friends in Havelock North. On Sunday morning I went for a lovely walk around the hill suburbs and through the pretty (and well cared-for) cemetery - which made me think of you, Phil, as you enjoyed our Bolton St cemetery so much. When I got back I had some of the best coffee in the Hawkes Bay - our friends have recently closed their cafe and have their coffee machine in the kitchen at home!

I have my duathlon on Sunday, but I do have to admit to not being particularly fussed about it. I'm sure I will enjoy it, but it doesn't have the excitement of the triathlon, because that was such a milestone for me. I have also been having a lot of trouble with my left knee, so may yet decide to walk instead of run.

My brother got engaged last week - at the lunch they were having to celebrate his Masters' graduation. Very bravely, he proposed in front of everyone, including both sets of parents!

My eating has been pretty good this week - probably guilty of not eating enough, rather than too much, as I seem to have spent most of the time racing from one meeting to the next. Exercise has been a bit slack, but I should be taking it easy in an event week anyway. In case I haven't said this, I'm completely sold on NoCount. I can see why it wouldn't work for everyone, particularly people just starting out on weight-loss, but it's perfect for me at this stage in my journey. It also feels like it will work well for maintenance.

Really looking forward to Easter. I will have to do some work (I usually do in the weekends anyway), but I will make sure I have at least two days with no work at all. Now that's a real Easter treat! And then to have the extra day off the next week for ANZAC Day - absolute luxury...

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Up to my arse in alligators!

Sorry guys, not ignoring you, just irrationally busy. Back soon, with tales of rugby trips, broken noses and the ever-shrinking me!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

What to do about Easter?

Easter really is one of the big 'treat' holidays, isn't it? It has no religious significance to me, but I'm always up for an excuse to eat chocolate!

Last Easter I had just started WW, so I basically skipped the whole thing (and was so motivated then I could do so with very little angst).

But this year I'm going to work Easter into my plan. Because we all deserve some treats and continual self-deprivation is just wrong on so many levels.

So, how to approach this whole hot cross bun and Easter egg thing? Don't tell me it hasn't crossed your mind - especially as the bloody things have been in the supermarkets since Valentine's Day!

Well, I do have a bit of a head-start on the discipline required for this - courtesy of my Mum and Dad. *happy wave to Mum*

The rule in our house when we were growing up - hot cross buns are for Good Friday and the eggs are for Easter Sunday.

So, I will buy one pack of really nice buns from one of the flash bakeries in town. I'll have one for breakfast on Good Friday and Mark can scoff the rest. And I will buy one small but expensive egg in really nice chocolate for me to have on Easter Sunday and the boys can have their usual small mountain of various Easter eggs.

Of course I do have a duathlon on Easter Sunday, so I'll feel awfully virtuous while I'm stuffing chocolate in my gob!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Fresh week, fresh start

Don't worry folks, I'm not about to give up on my healthy journey - but thanks for all the concerned comments and emails!

Last week was just one of those little bumps in the road - call it battle fatigue, I guess.

Saturday morning was a fresh start, and I feel like I've got my focus back again. This is helped by a return to 'winter sports Saturdays'. By the time I go to the gym, get the supermarket shopping done and then go and watch Jake play rugby, Saturday is practically over - no time for sneak eating!

On Sunday I did my full duathlon distance as training - 3.5km run/10km ride/1.5km run. I did it all on the machines at the gym, which made it easier than it will be in real life - although it still wasn't exactly easy! 3.5km is the longest I've run in one go, and then I still managed to run the 1.5km after the bike too. I can really feel it in my thighs today - but I now have some hope that I will be able to run (jog) the whole distance in the actual event in 2 weeks.

The duathlon is my last planned event. I'll be quite happy to go into winter mode for my exercise after that. That doesn't mean I'll turn into a couch potato, but I will plan most of my exercise around indoor activities* and just grab the chance to do things outside when the weather allows.

*Now, now, don't be rude, I didn't mean that sort of indoor activity!