Friday, June 30, 2006

Exercise obsession

I've had a huge week of exercise. This is what I've done (not counting when I take Moose for a walk).

Saturday - gym: half hour cardio and half hour resistance
Sunday - gym: half hour cardio and 45 minutes resistance
Monday - gym: 15 minutes cardio and half hour resistance, plus one hour aquafit session
Tuesday - gym: half hour cardio and half hour resistance
Wednesday - one hour deep water aqua
Thursday - gym: 45 minutes cardio, plus one hour aquakick session
Friday* - gym: half hour cardio and half hour resistance

I've now tried all the aqua sessions offered at the local pool, except pregnancy and Fifties Forward! The cost of these classes is covered in my gym membership. The two I enjoyed the most and felt I got the most benefit from were the deep water and the kickboxing ones, so I'm going to try and work in one of each most weeks from now on.

Using the pool is so different in winter compared to when I was training in summer. Then I'd just get out of the pool, wrap a towel around me and head home for a shower. No chance of doing that now!

*Normally Friday is my rest day, but I missed a gym session on Wednesday and needed to fit it in to meet my challenge of six sessions this week. I missed a session because I had to take Jake to the hospital with stomach pains in the middle of the night. After blood tests, chest xrays and morphine they'd got on top of the pain but couldn't find anything wrong. Appears to have been a one-off thing because he's fine now. We got home at 4.30am - he slept all day and got to miss school, I got three hours sleep and was only an hour late for work! I suppose it makes a change from going to the ER with rugby injuries.

Despite all that exercise I only lost 100 grams this week, but I'm figuring I added a fair bit of lean muscle.

Forecast for the weekend doesn't look too bad, so I may be able to fit in my 50km bike ride on Sunday.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Answers to some questions

  • No, I didn't do the half-marathon yesterday. The weather was actually almost perfect - very cold, but no rain and only a gentle breeze. I went down and cheered on a couple of guys I knew who were doing the run, then raced home to watch the All Blacks game (truth be told, that may be the real reason I didn't do it; have to watch the games live).
  • Yes, my eyes are that blue. I don't wear coloured lenses.
  • Yes, I'm pretty sure you do still sweat while doing aqua kickboxing. I didn't go bright red in the face like I do with normal kickboxing, but I did have this somewhat repulsive clammy feeling while in the water - guessing that was sweat!
  • No, the imminent onset of the empty nest is not tempting me to have another child. Get over it people! I'm 41. I'm waiting for grandbabies.
  • Yes, I was expecting to be in Sydney this month. Not happening for all sorts of reasons. Vague discussions about November. You'll be the second to know.
  • Yes, you can touch the bottom in aqua kickboxing.
  • Yes, I was overweight for a long time. I am now the lightest I have been since before I had Jake, but was seriously overweight for 13 years.
  • No, this is not the thinnest Mark has ever seen me. We had a brief 'fling' when I was 20 and size 12. Didn't get together till six years later, when I was a solo Mum and about a size 16.

Anything else you'd like to know?

Friday, June 23, 2006

Cauliflower consumed

On one of those stupid self-assessments work used to make us do, I identified 'eating my cauliflower' as one of my major weaknesses. I know this make no sense, so hang in there for the explanation...

I really disliked cauliflower as a kid, but I would always it eat first when it was dished up in a meal. Why? Because that was nowhere near as bad as eating it at the end, when it was cold and flabby!

It's a principle I should apply to my work more often - get the thorny issues out of the way as soon as you can, because the longer you leave them, the worse they'll get. And the more they'll weigh on your mind because you're avoiding them.

So, I decided to take the same approach to my Winter Exercise Challenge. Get the one that was freaking me out the most out of the way.

Bring on the new form of exercise.

Earlier this week I had successfully completed the buying of a new bathing suit. So last night I employed the 'don't give yourself time to think about it' technique for getting to the pool.

Left work at 5pm. Went to the supermarket. Did a full week's shopping. Went home. Unpacked the groceries. Put dinner in the oven. Talked to The Jock about his day for long enough to show I care. Got into my bathing suit with warm clothes over top. Drove to the gym. Got there with 5 minutes to spare for the 6.30 class!

(Can you tell I live in a small city?)

And it was great. It was an aqua kickboxing class. Talk about hard work, but so much fun. Only eight of us in the water, so there was plenty of room. By the time I got home I had that fabulous well-worked muscles feeling. And was in bed by 10.

So, that's the first of my challenges out of the way. I'll try the other types of aqua classes over the next couple of week (they're free, covered by my gym membership) to see what they're like - particularly keen on the deep-water one.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Get your own identity, girls!

This particular piece of frustration has been brewing for a while...

Since The Jock and his mate announced their intention to do a gap year in England next year, their girlfriends have FLIPPED OUT! To such an extent that both the boys are now single - not because the girls have given them the flick, but because the boys can't be bothered putting up with the sh*t anymore.

Do these girls seriously think the guys are going to base their life decisions around where their high school girlfriends are going to be next year? And, more importantly, why aren't they making plans of their own? Why is their identity wrapped up in who their boyfriends are and what they're doing?

I really thought we were starting to 'breed out' this sort of thinking from our new female generations. This is more basic than obsession over body shape/size/hair colour. This is women continuing to think they are somehow less important than men. Are we some sort of sub-species?

On a lighter note, we now have two teenagers running round single after a couple of years of being 'off the market'. Parents of Wellington, lock up your daughters.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Chook look

Perhaps a bit more info on my exercise challenge might be in order...

The swimming one:
I haven't swum since the triathlon in February - and there was no actual swimming then, either. I know this is great exercise, but I'm not very good at it. So, time I improved!

It does mean I need to buy a new bathing suit though - the last one was bought for 90s' Sue, not 70s' Sue. So I dropped it in the charity pile on Sunday.

While still on a wave of enthusiasm, yesterday I went shopping for a new one. I think you've all realised Wellington is in the middle of a cold spell (if you haven't realised, you haven't been reading - I moan about it all the time!).

When it's 8 degrees with a windchill factor of 5, bathing suit shopping does seem a bit odd. The main problem was, even in the warm shop, I was still cold. And then I basically had to strip naked to try these damn things on! There was something about the sight of all the squishy white flesh that looked like a recently plucked chook. I just couldn't get into the swing of it.

Of course all that means is that I just have to go shopping again.

The new machines at the gym one:
I use very few of the machines and do lots of exercises using weights and the Swiss ball. Time I expanded my repertoire, so I'll experiment on weekend mornings when the gym is quiet.

The finding a new form of exercise one:
I don't currently do any sort of group exercise. It's a bit like the last frontier of my comfort zone. I have no issues with exercising in public. But I do have the commonly-shared morbid fear of making a dick of myself in public.

However, I guess if I do make a public penis of myself, I can just call into play my talent for laughing uproariously at myself!

As I'm investing in a new bathing suit, I might try the aqua class at the pools that's based on kickboxing.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

My winter exercise challenge

So, looks like the half marathon walk might not happen. My girlfriend has pulled out and I've decided I'll only do it if the weather isn't too crap. I'm not so into it that I'm willing to do the whole hypothermia thing.

Instead, I'm setting myself some exercise challenges for the next six weeks. I'm not putting specific dates on any of them, because some are weather-dependent, but I want to do all of them before the end of July.

They are:
  1. Walk the half-marathon course
  2. Ride 50 km
  3. Have two weeks where I go to the gym six times (like I used to)
  4. In one week, swim for half an hour, three times
  5. Try a new form of exercise I've never done before - maybe a group class?
  6. Learn to use six machines at the gym I've not used before

I'm hoping this will make the doldrums of winter a little more interesting, as well as pushing my fitness levels a bit further.

Friday, June 16, 2006


Bloody hell! Was expecting to at least maintain, but I've gained.

But it's all good. These last 10 kilos may be taking forever, but I'm not letting it get me down. I know I could lose it quicker if I was really fanatical about my eating etc, but I'm pretty happy just cruising along and slowly (so slowly) getting the weight off. At least I'll have had plenty of practice for maintenance! And of course I have been sick this week...

A wet and cold weekend in store for Wellington. The rugby sideline is going to be such a fun place to be tomorrow (not), especially as I'll have Jake sulking alongside me because he's not allowed to play for a week.

I'm going through some advance empty nest syndrome at the moment. I was expecting Jake to be at home for at least another year while he was at university, but he and a mate have just announced their intention to go to England for a year. I'm all for the gap year concept, but not sure how I'll cope with the reality of my baby leaving home. Still, no firm plans yet. My food bills will certainly drop!

Thursday, June 15, 2006


The boys got well and truly thumped yesterday (36-7) and deserved it - worst game they've played all season! Some days they just don't seem to want to bother. Still, they'll finish the round in the top 5 which assures them a place in the championship round and the points don't carry forward, so there's hope yet.

Jake played his guts out, as usual, and it really showed by the end. Pulled calf muscle, a neck strain and he took a head-butt (accidental) to the mouth. Don't worry, Mum, he's fine; just getting the teeth checked by the dentist today. It shows the value of mouthguards - he would have lost some teeth otherwise.

I'm back at work today, probably feeling about 90% right. I've done no exercise since Sunday, so I'm feeling very sluggish, but I'll take the dog for a walk tonight. My eating has been so-so but I'm not too worried about it.

Hope everyone's week is going okay, catch you later.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Glamour puss

I'm taking the sensible route with this flu. I had yesterday off and am staying home again today. I already had Wednesday booked as annual leave, so three days off should do it. I still do a fair bit of work when I'm home (TG for laptops), so things don't fall into complete disarray when I'm away.

Of course, I have chosen the best time to be off - the weather is vile. We don't have snow like the South Island, but the forecast 'high' for today is just 9 degrees, so home is a great place to be.

So, what's with the 'Glamour puss' title? Well, you can imagine how glamorous I look! Trackies, big sweater, slippers and a nana blanket on the couch.

When I watch movies, I'm more likely to be jealous of how women look in sloppy-joes than in evening dresses. Think of how Meg Ryan still manages to look good when she's sick in You've Got Mail. I could never work out how women can dress like that and still look good! Apart from the lighting, make-up and great camera angles, of course!

Yesterday, I was slopping around the house in my sick-girl clothes and I suddenly realised I actually didn't look like a walking couch. Okay, it wasn't a sexy look, but at least I looked better than I would have a couple of years ago (which is the last time I got sick). I'm pale, I have bags under my eyes and my hair doesn't even rate a mention, but I'M NOT FAT!

And why do I have a day off tomorrow? Rugby, of course! My lovely Rongotai boys have a traditional against St Pats Silverstream; not to be missed.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Sunday night

Enough of the vanity post, time to move on.

I'm feeling pretty gross, having finally succumbed to the cold/flu that's doing the rounds. Going in and out of the swimming pool complex all weekend hasn't helped.

Pushed myself to go for a walk this morning. It's two weeks till the half-marathon, so I really needed to do a long walk, cold or no cold. Managed 14km, so not too shabby.

Computer screen is hurting my eyes, so I'll give in to self-pity and catch you all later in the week.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Good for the ego, better for the soul

No rugby for Jake this weekend, but he does have an underwater hockey tournament all weekend: regional qualifying for the national tournament in August.

Why is this good for the ego? Underwater hockey sits firmly in the 'not a real sport' category, so tonight's games are the first ones I've been to this year. I had lots of Mums raving about how good I look - they haven't seen me since last August, when I'd lost 30kg. Now I've lost 54kg.

But why is it better for the soul? Because one of those Mums looked pretty fantastic herself. She says that not only have I inspired her to lose over 25kg, her teenage daughter has lost even more.

That's the best compliment I've ever had!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Wee small hours

4am and I'm wandering around the house unable to sleep...

Club Day went pretty well. The weather was kind to us, although some of our game results weren't. Ended with three wins and four losses - the losses included Jake's game where they went down 11-10. To be honest it was a real bugger to lose that game and the boys were really down about it.

I did 23,000 steps, with no planned exercise!

No rugby next weekend as they have a mid-week traditional the following week. No rest for The Jock though, as they have a three-day qualifyig tournament for underwater hockey nationals.

My friend who is staying the weekend is having a really crap time so far! They went visiting in Levin yesterday. Her seven year old fell off a flying fox at the park - his face is very bruised and cut and his wrist is fractured in three places. That sort of thing is hard enough to cope with, without being away from home as well!

Well, I'm off to try and find another hour of sleep - it's more likely to be found in bed than in front of the computer screen!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Busy weekend alert

Here in NZ we celebrate Queen's birthday a week before the Aussies, so it's a long weekend for us!

Lots of things planned - have to take full advantage of the last public holiday until Labour Day at the end of October. Winter always feels like a long, dreary stretch from now till then.

My dear friend Rosie and her two boys will arrive from Christchurch today to spend the weekend with us. Tonight we'll just have takeaways with a few other friends and have a general catch-up (champagne and gossip). Little do they know this will also mean they'll get roped into making trays of sandwiches and chopping up 10kg of onions (for reasons which will become clear shortly).

Saturday is always all about rugby for us, tomorrow even more so. We have Club Day at the college. All seven of our teams are playing at home, we give player of the day awards to every team, we run a fundraising BBQ all day (hence the onions) and every team has an after-match function (hence the sandwiches). The big game of the day is the 1st XV (Jake's team) against the Wellington College 1st XV - always a lot of feeling riding on this one.

Of course 'keen Mum' here is running the rugby committee this year, so I'll be at school all day helping out. It will be interesting to see how many steps I rack up tomorrow!

Hoping for a quiet, moochy sort of day on Sunday - brunch by the beach and a long walk would be nice. On Sunday night Rosie and I are going to the 40 year celebration of the journalism school at Massey University (previously Wellington Polytechnic). We were there together in 1983. That's right, folks, I am a journalist by training - although it's a long time since I've done that sort of work.

Nothing planned yet for Monday. By then I'll probably have a plenty of loads of washing to do!