Thursday, November 30, 2006


Once again we are being hammered by a northerly - I'd guess the gusts keeping me awake are in excess of 130kph. Damn glad I'm not flying anywhere today!

Had a presentation followed by drinks and nibbles yesterday afternoon. I decided not to have any wine at all (I think it was a case of don't start or I might not want to stop) and there was a lovely platter of fruit, so I managed to ignore all the mini spring rolls, squid rings, wontons, etc.

We have our lawn bowls evening today, so I'm not planning to be quite so virtuous again.

Week One Day Five summary

Breakfast: two pieces of soy and linseed toast with plum jam and banana
Lunch: vege fritatta with a side salad
Dinner: tomato and bean penne with mozarella
Snacks: none apart from my usual daily two flat whites, which I keep forgetting to list, and some grapes and watermelon from the fruit platter
Treats: WW butterscotch ice cream
Slips: none
Exercise: 30 minutes aquajogging

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

And back home again

Flew back from Auckland last night. I was starving when I got to the airport at 5pm - I'd been racing round like a mad thing all afternoon, so I hadn't had a bite to eat since lunch. Airports are notorious for having only shit food (usually dripping in grease) for sale, but luckily I managed to get a banana and a bottle of water at the cafe.

I'm home for over two weeks now! My next scheduled trip isn't until the 14th of December, so fingers crossed no unscheduled ones will come up! Next week will be the first whole week I've been home since the beginning of August.

I've decided to add some emotional stuff into the Brutal Honesty Campaign. Each day in Week Two will include my thoughts on things like 'Why was I fat?' and 'Is my life better now?'. I've always said I'm not too good at the self-analysis thing, and this could be part of the reason I haven't made it to goal. Because I still have things to deal with.

In the meantime, just the food and exercise summaries...

Week One Day Four summary

Breakfast: cereal with soy milk
Lunch: Caesar salad (scrummy, but probably too many fat-soaked croutons)
Dinner: Grilled lamb rump, golden kumara, pumpkin and peas - and mint sauce, of course
Snacks: two nectarines, some baby carrots, a banana, a pear
Treats: glass of wine and five of Mark's Starburst lollies
Slips: a second glass of wine...
Exercise: 45 minute walk in the morning

Monday, November 27, 2006

Okay, Monday's aren't so bad

Had a good day today. Good flight, nice weather, satisfying day at work...

Week one day three summary

Breakfast: cereal, soy milk and banana
Lunch: kumara and spinach salad with bacon, a yummy juicy pear
Dinner: an absolute RIOT of steamed vegetables (broccolini, asparagus, carrots, sugar snaps) with smoked chicken (well stripped of skin and fat), a nectarine
Snacks: another of the yummy pears, some nice fresh dates, baby carrots
Treat: Aspero rice snacks
Slips: absolutely none!
Exercise: walk to the gym and back (20 brisk minutes each way) and 30 minutes upper body and core resistance

Go me!

Monday again already?

6am Monday, sitting at Wellington airport again.

Had a lovely, lazy Sunday. Better not have to many more of the lazy variety, though, or the house will still be a shambles when the family descends for Christmas!

I feel a list of pre-Christmas domestic necessities coming on...

My plan for coping with the season's festivities seems to have written itself this year, as part of the Brutal Honesty Campaign. Basically, stick to the plan all week, but allocate one event that becomes my 'free' day.

Summary Week One Day Two

Breakfast: yummy homemade bircher muesli with soy milk, a nectarine
Lunch: mini pizza (tomato paste, herbs, mushrooms, WW cheese) and salad, yoghurt
Dinner: chicken and mushroom pasta (I make sure I have no more the 60 grams of dry pasta)
Snacks: frozen boysenberries, banana (only $1.49 a kilo in NZ), celery, apple
Treats: Jarrah hot choc, luuuuuuvly glass of Pinot Gris
Slips: a couple of teaspoons of icing sugar on the berries, one of Mark's crackers on cheese
Exercise: 40 minutes resistance, 30 minutes really hard-out aquajogging (which I can really feel this morning)

Two days away - these can either be really good or pretty awful eating-wise. Trying for the former, denying the possibility of the latter.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Pretty in pink

I had a lovely pedicure yesterday and now I have pretty pink toenails - all ready for summer shoes, so summer better bloody well hurry up and get here.

First day of the Brutal Honesty Campaign went pretty well. I quickly realised (once more) how nice it is for everyone else when I have things under control - I'm much less likely to be bitchy when I feel happy about how things are going.

Week One Day One summary

Breakfast - cereal, banana, yoghurt
Lunch - pasta, tuna, tomato, capsicum and a banana
Dinner - gold kumara and chicken salad
Snacks - banana, apple, a salad made with celery, fennel bulb, capsicum and bean sprouts, two trim flat whites
Treats - trim iced coffee, WW butterscotch ice cream
Slips - a few spoons of fruit mince while I was clearing out the fridge!
Exercise - 30 minutes upper body and core resistance, 30 minutes aqua jogging

Probably too many bananas - need to eat other fruit or veggies instead. I have lots of those lovely miniature capsicum - so sweet and juicy, they're a lovely snack

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Time to do it right again

I really need to work all this stuff out. My weight is creeping (leaping) up and there's no way I'll be at goal for Christmas. But I can't let that be an excuse to continue on the way I am at the moment.

The way I am at the moment? Practically no exercise, complete lack of food-discipline, sliding down the self-pity spiral that just leads to more of the same. I've gone back over 80kg - how could I let that happen!

So after I finished my plate of fish and chips at the local last night (and, yes, they do make lovely salads there and I could have ordered one), I realised two things:
  1. That was disgusting
  2. I need to stop doing this to myself.

It's four weeks till Christmas and I'm going to use that time to establish the good habits again.

The plan is:

  1. Every Saturday morning, write the plan for the week. This includes setting my exercise plan according to how my travel works that week, and checking what social events I have to work around.
  2. Write my exercise plan for the week in my diary - the one that rules my working life
  3. Post every day and actually TELL everyone whether I'm sticking to the plan - something I've never done before

And because I like to have a name for these things, it's the Brutal Honesty Campaign. Because my main problem is that I'm just not being honest with myself. I still have to work around my knee injury, but it has to stop being an excuse.


SATURDAY - 30 minute upper body cardio, 30 minute aquajog. No social events to work around (except resisting the lolly jar when I get my pedicure)

SUNDAY - 45 minute aquajog. Nothing social

MONDAY - go to Auckland. 45 minute upper body cardio

TUESDAY - 45 minute walk in the morning. Fly home

WEDNESDAY - 30 minute upper body cardio. Big presentation followed by drinks and nibbles. Allow myself one glass of wine and only 'nibble' if I can find something healthy

THURSDAY - 30 minute aquajog. Taking clients to play lawn bowls, with plenty of food and drink - this will be my free day, but only in the evening - good eating up till then

FRIDAY - rest day. Sports department shout at school in the evening (you know, thanks to all the volunteers who make school sport happen!) - limit to one glass of wine. There'll be a BBQ, so hope for an edible green salad and some sort of meat that isn't full of fat.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Wellington Bloggers' Picnic

I'm sorry - I've been so slack with blogging and now it's just over a week till the Christmas picnic.

So, the plan is: Harcourt Park in Upper Hutt, from about 11am on Sunday 3 December. I hope some of you can make it and I won't be sitting there eating strawberries and sipping champagne on my own.

If I'm out that way over this weekend I'll take a photo of where we'll be.

You may have guessed by me being MIA that life has been very hectic. Continued weekly trips to Auckland, my fabulously busy social life, blah, blah, blah.

No improvement on the knee, so I'm booked to see a specialist in a couple of weeks. Consequently my exercise is erratic, my eating is erratic and my weight is erratic.

More of a catch-up soon!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Sleepy Sue

Suddenly the last few months seem to have caught up on me. I'm bone tired and can't quite get over it.

Never mind, only five weeks till Christmas and then I can have a couple of weeks off (I hope!). Those five weeks will be busy, and of course the weekends are all pretty full at this time of year.

Looking forward to a nice quiet Christmas and New Year, though. We aren't going away this year, apart from the motorbike races in Wanganui on Boxing Day. Christmas dinner is at my place, but it's not a big family gathering - looks like there will only be around 15 of us.

I am definitely planning on easy food - ham, barbecue, lots of salad and finger food, and some of our famous family desserts. And plenty of wine. Two of my sisters will be there, and cooking is what we do (along with planning and drinking champagne) so it will all be easy and lots of fun.

For the rest of the break I'm just going to mooch about. Leisurely trips to the neighbourhood coffee shops, the occasional foray to the sales, long gossip sessions with friends and family. Maybe the weather will co-operate and I'll be able to add lounging in the sun and going to the beach to that list. There are several lovely beaches within 15 minutes walk from our place.

Bring on the holidays.

Monday, November 13, 2006

No longer legless

More encouraging news from the physio today.

Now the acute injury to the patellar tendon has been cleared up, I still have quite a bit of pain in my knee. He was starting to mumble about scans, etc, to look for degenerative damage to the knee.

However, today we worked out that while I was limping about with the original injury, all the muscles around my knee and up the side of my thigh have tightened up. This is pulling my kneecap to one side and causing the pain.

He gave me some pretty painful massage today to start working out the knots and has showed me some very specific stretches to do three times a day. A couple of weeks of that and he's hoping it will be all fine again.

And even better, I can start doing some resistance work on my lower body. No squats or lunges, and keeping the resistance pretty low, but this feels like real progress!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Eat your veges

I was giving a presentation to our sales development group yesterday. One of the props I was using was a plate of cold cooked broccoli and cauliflower.*

As I was chatting to them, I looked at all the food on the table. There was the plate of veges, a bowl of fruit, some double chocolate muffins, a couple of bite-size quiches and some sweets.

Which of these would I prefer to eat? The fruit, closely followed by the vegetables (but not cold!). After that, probably the quiches, the sweets, then the muffins.

And not because I'm being good, but because that's how my food tastes work now. I know I might like to eat some of those other foods, but that I'd probably enjoy them less than anticipated and there's a good chance I'd feel gross afterward.

Aaah, how things have changed!

*The reason I was using cold veges as a prop? It's an analogy that can work well with exercise too.

It's what I call 'eating your cauliflower'. Remember when you were a kid and there was a vegetable you really hated? You knew you should eat it first, while it was still hot. Then it wouldn't taste as gross and the rest of the meal would take the taste away. But often you'd leave it till last, when it was cold and really set your gag reflex going. And you didn't enjoy the rest of your meal as much because you KNEW you still had to eat your cauliflower.

I encourage our people to apply this to their work when it comes to telling clients bad news (job is running late, needs reprinting, etc). The sooner you tell them, the more chance there is to work out a solution. If you leave it, the problem will just get harder to solve and the client is more likely to get pissed off. Plus you walk around worrying about telling them...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

That whole exercise thing

I had a comment from Lynise about how scary the idea of going to a gym is. So I thought I might give a quick run-down on my exercise history...

In March 2005, I wouldn't have known a one-legged calf raise if it bit me in the arse. And as for High Intensity Interval Training? You're speaking a foreign language.

Then where did I start with exercise? Pretty much the same place as most of you - walking. It's 2km around our block and I used to walk that six days a week. It has a decent sized hill, and a couple of times I had black spots in front of my eyes when I got to the top. Interestingly enough, in those early days I would walk no matter what the weather. Now I tend to wimp out if it even looks like rain.

After about a month I bought a WW workout video - the one with the fit-strip. At first, just the warm-up felt like too much for me. But it was great to make it to the end of the workout and to feel the improvement over the next few weeks.

I kept going like this for a couple of months - making the walks longer, adding a kick-boxing workout video into the mix, making sure I got lots of incidental exercise.

And then in late July 2005 I registered for a
triathlon. This was a really big step for me - I don't think I'd ridden a bike since I was a pre-teen, and the thought of swimming 300m terrified me. But I had over six months to prepare and I needed a REALLY BIG GOAL at that stage.

So the next month I joined a gym. Making myself walk in the door was incredibly hard, but the rest of it was actually quite easy. I still weighed well over 100kg at that stage and was really worried I'd get lots of those what the hell are YOU doing here looks. The support I got from my consultant (just a young guy of 23) was fantastic and the other gym-goers were too busy getting on with their own stuff to bother with judging me!

The exercise thing has just grown and grown from there. I love to try new things and one of my proudest
achievements is that triathlon in February. Fitness and weight-loss do go together, but exercise is no longer just a means to an end for me.

Can I summarise my experience with exercise? Well, here goes...
  1. You have to start somewhere.
  2. You don't need elaborate plans and schedules (even though we all know I'm now addicted to those). Just get out and do something.
  3. Any exercise is better than none, but you should push yourself to do just a bit more than you think you can.
  4. What's the best form of exercise for losing weight? Whatever you enjoy, because that will help you keep doing it.
  5. People don't laugh at the fat lady exercising. Most of them are too wrapped up in their own lives to even notice you. The others are probably thinking good on you for giving it a go. And if they think they have some right to judge you - who cares? Your opinion of yourself is much more important than their opinion of you.
  6. Notice and celebrate your progress. Can you now walk up two flights of stairs without puffing? Did your workout pants fall off? Do you actually look forward to your workout? That's great!
  7. Remember that rest and recovery are important too - and treat any injuries with respect. (Okay, you can all tell me to practice what I preach for that one!)

Just flicking back through my blog to find some of these links has reminded me about how intense my focus used to be. I think I need to work on recapturing that.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The legless lament

So, there I was last night, aqua jogging up and down the pool.

On the mezzanine floor above me, I could see lots of gym bunnies on the cardio machines, sweating, red-faced, puffing.

And I was jealous.

Monday, November 06, 2006

A bit more exercise

Thank you all for the compliments about the photos on my last post. Luckily none of you saw the photos of my gorgeous boy after he did a yard glass at his 18th on Saturday night. Not so nice.

I survived my first week of 'legless' exercise and progress is still good. I am now allowed to walk for exercise so long as it's no causing pain (absolutely no running), and I am doing some one-legged squats (just small ones, not all the way down) to start rebuilding the strength in my knee. When I see the physio tomorrow he will give me some more strengthening exercises to do.

So, this week's plan is:
Saturday - 40 minute walk (done)
Sunday - upper body and core resistance (done)
Monday - 30 minute aqua jog
Tuesday - upper body and core resistance
Wednesday - 40 minute walk
Thursday - upper body and core resistance
Friday - rest

Notice how quickly I reduced the number of aqua jogging sessions? Still, it's a good fall-back if the weather stays vile and I don't want to go walking in it.

Food-wise my week (as mentioned) was rather so-so, but I stayed under 77kg, which was all I was aiming to do. Just need to try for a bit more discipline this week.

Some of you may remember this post from last year. Towards the middle of November I worked out a coping strategy for all the Christmas festivities. The calendar is starting to fill up again, so it's nearly time to make a plan for this year.

And, yes, I have nearly finished my Christmas shopping.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Legless Day Six and some photos

Here's a photo of my boy today, on his 18th birthday, looking like he's auditioning for a part on Prison Break. He doesn't like to smile for photos.

And time for a new photo of me. Feel free to tell me I don't look old enough to have such a grown-up son!

Broke the rules a bit and went for a walk tonight. I just couldn't stand the guilt trips from the dog anymore, and it was such a lovely evening. I walked at a very moderate pace and only did about 4km, mostly on the flat. The knee feels pretty good, but I did give it an ice massage when I got home.

So far this week my exercise has been as planned, but my eating has been pretty bad. Just seem to be having a bit of a 'whatever' week. They happen every now and then and don't usually spell disaster.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Legless Day Five

Rest day today, so no amazing exercise feats to report.

I think I might be at a risky stage of my recovery from this knee injury. Most of the time it feels okay now, but then I'll walk down a flight of stairs or stand up after sitting at my desk too long and it will give me a jab, just to say 'Oi, I'm still here to make your life slightly miserable'. I need to make sure I don't talk myself into going back into full exercise too soon.

Home from Auckland tonight. Some sleazy guy tried to chat me up on the plane. I jammed my headphones on as soon as I could and turned the ipod WAY up. Current ipod listening - Natalie Merchant on the plane, still Fat Boy Slim when I work out.

Just settling in to watch NZ vs Aus in the ICC semi-final (that's one-day cricket, for those who don't know). Given that it's in India and a 10pm start, I suspect I won't last long before slinking off to bed. Especially because I'm on my own - Mark is in New Plymouth and Jake has shot off to a mate's place to watch the game. No doubt he'll stay up all night, but he does have two study periods first up in the morning. He's only got another week of school left before they go on study release for final exams (not that study features highly on his agenda). And then my baby will have finished secondary school.

Yes, I am having a wee crisis about him turning 18 and going out into the big adult world.