Showing posts with label Workout. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Workout. Show all posts

Monday, April 6, 2015

Small drop this weekend, and free PT sessions

I did hit a new low this weekend - it's been a couple of weeks since my last record low of 77.1 kg. As reported previously I'd been bouncing between about 77.4 and 78.2 since then, so last week I did a 4:3 fast, which meant fasting for three non-consecutive days. I just wanted to give it a try, though I have read that it's not necessarily any more effective than a 5:2 fast.

I did drop this weekend but only to 77.0 kg which is a new low but only by 100g.  That brings me to 169.76 lb, so I'm still just dipping into the 160s and I really want to get a bit further entrenched. I'm not sure 4:3 necessarily helped much in that regard, though one week may not be long enough to truly evaluate how well it works. Still, I am thinking I'll either return to 5:2, or stay with 4:3 but eat something on fast days. On most IF programs, women can have up to 500 calories on a fast day and men 600 calories. I tend not to eat anything at all. It's easier for me to have nothing than to have a little. I'm a volume eater, I like to feel like I've had a meal when I eat. So if I do go that route, I think rather than spreading it out over two or three small meals, I'd save it for an evening meal. Anyway, I haven't really decided yet, we'll see how I go tomorrow.

I got in two 5k runs over the Easter weekend - I really wanted to try for 7k again but didn't have enough time due to holiday plans, but this week I'm going to give it a try again. On the two 5k runs I did, I knew I could have made the full hour again if I'd had the time and really didn't want to stop short but that's the way it goes.

I got a call last week from Vision Personal Training - you may recall I met with them in July last year and their program sounded like something I'd very much like to try, but the costs were prohibitive. Well they are under new management and are getting back to people who enquired but didn't join to offer four free training sessions. I agreed to stop in and meet with them this Wednesday, and then if it sounds good I'll schedule the four sessions after that. Why not? Even if it's still out of my price range, it can't hurt to take the four free sessions even if just to get some new exercise ideas to try. Anyway, I'll be sure and let you know how it goes Wednesday.

Daylight savings time ended here so it's brighter when I wake up now, but will soon start getting dark when I leave work. But now that I have my treadmill I need never miss a run again. I'll check in again soon. Hope you all had a lovely Easter.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Holding steady, and a big hike today

Just holding steady this week, bouncing between 77 and 78 kilos (169-171 lbs). I'm going to be mixing up my fast days next week and attempting a 4:3 fast rather than 5:2. So that means 3 days fasting. I'm finding it much easier to fast on weekdays when work keeps me busy rather than on the weekend, and I just want to give it a try for a week and see how I go. If it's too much then I can go back to a 5:2 but just keep them weekdays.  We'll see how I go.

Today we took a huge hike - we've been looking for interesting new trails to walk lately, and this one through Mt Keira ring track looked very scenic. We didn't know until we got there just how challenging it would be, at least the first half ... they recommended hiking boots and now we know why. Still, it was great exercise with lots of climbing and negotiating through thick vegetation in a rainforest setting. These are not my pictures, they're from a state conservation area website, but this is the area we hiked. But the vegetation was much thicker in many areas than what you see here, and there were pockets of mud to traipse through as well. It claimed to be 5K but it felt like more than that. It took about an hour and a half so it was definitely slow going in some parts.  Still, quite lovely and scenic. (Click photos to view larger.)

Not much else to report this week, it's been great weather this weekend so we gotta enjoy that while it lasts. Daylight savings time ends in another week or two -- mornings have been darker, and once the time changes it'll start getting darker sooner after work as well. Won't be long until winter is here -- hope you all have a great weekend.

Monday, March 16, 2015

I ran 40 minutes? What was I thinking?

I assure you I wasn't thinking I could actually do it. But as increasing my speed wasn't working so well for me, today I decided to try increasing my run time instead. I had no delusion that I could actually run 40 minutes, even with a one minute walk every ten minutes. I thought I'd keep it at 8kph and go as long as I could. Surely I could get through the first three sets ... I'm already running 30 minutes.

When the fourth set started I remember thinking I would try to get through three minutes ... then my music ran out and I wondered how I'd keep going because I sure didn't want to just watch the timer for seven minutes. So I focused on the part of the display that features a loop of dots that light up one by one to mark your distance. Once around the loop is 400 meters. So I watched the dots light up and did not look at the count-down timer until it got 1/4 of the way around. That made it much easier and before I knew it I'd finished!  I ran 40 minutes at 8kph with three 1-minute walks in between. And I felt freaking awesome!

You don't know what you're capable of until you try. All up I went 6.8 klm, about 1.3 klm of that was walking so that means I ran 5.5 klm. I can finally say I ran 5k.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Put a stop to limiting beliefs

I started learning to run because I never believed it was something I could do; I wanted to stretch my boundaries, face my fears and give it a go. It wasn't easy and I had to start with my own shorter intervals as one minute was too hard back then, but I eventually completed the C25K program. Once I ran at 8.2 kph, but on average my speed was 7.8 kph. When I restarted the program this year I was running 8 kph for the smaller intervals but as I had to run for longer periods I worried I couldn't do it. I didn't believe I would be able to run at 8 kph for 20 minutes or more, so I'd been setting it for 7.6 the last few weeks.

So for my first run since finishing C25K I decided to start at 8 kph and see how long I could go before reducing my speed. I thought just get to 15 minutes ... then it became just till the end of this song. Before I knew it I had five minutes left and thought I might just make it after all. And I did! Why did I doubt myself?

How do you know you can't do something if you don't try? Limiting beliefs can really hold us back. What might we accomplish if we only believed we could? I don't know, but I'm thinking I might just stay at 30 minutes for awhile and try increasing speed by one point each time ... who knows, in a few weeks I could be running at 9 kph! One of my treadmill programs had me doing a few intervals at 9 kph for three minutes, and it was quite challenging. Why can't I work up to that for longer runs? I'm going to find out by giving it my best go. Wish me luck.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Down 52.4 kg (115.52 lb) ... the stall is truly history!

First, a weigh-in ... this morning I got a new low of 77.9 kg (171.74 lb)! That is down 1.1 kg (2.43 lb) from my last update, and that's after a night out with friends including dinner at the club. All around me there was pizza, chicken parmesan drenched in cheese, hot chips (plank fries), bruschetta and other appetisers. I very much enjoyed my grilled rump steak with salad and steamed veggies. Yum!

That brings my total loss to 52.4 kg (115.52 lb)! I am so happy to be moving again I feel like I'm walking on cloud nine. I've not only completed Milestone 10 on the Happy Scale app ... I'm 10% into Milestone 11 (of 12). The finish line is within sight!

I'm moving my fast days to Tuesday & Saturday this week. I'd rather be eating on Sunday since I usually do my grocery shopping and cook a big meal to have lunch leftovers through the week, so I'd rather fast on Saturday.

As for exercise ... I've completed my second round of C25K but this time I was 25 pounds lighter and completed it in 8 weeks instead of the 12 it took me the first time. Having the treadmill was great, I didn't miss a day due to weather and I could ensure a constant pace. I can watch scenic run videos, or my favourite music videos to help the time pass more quickly. I love that!

So now I'm trying to decide what my next goal should be ... I may run for half an hour but it's not 5k for me. It's more like 4k. I can run 8 to 10 minutes at 8 kph but for 20-30 minutes I tend to run 7.6 kph. So where should I focus next?
  • I could continue to run 30 minutes for a while trying to increase speed,
  • I could try the programs on the treadmill (speed and incline intervals), or
  • I could not worry about my speed and just build my endurance, possibly moving up to the 10k trainer to do longer runs.
I'm not sure yet but I may just alternate the first two options for a week or two and see how we go.

Definitely still doing Callanetics on the days between running and I can both see and feel my body changing. Hubby feels it too ... he can't keep his hands off me! Don't worry, I'm not going to over share here, lol. I'm just saying it's nice to drift off to sleep while someone gives you a relaxing massage, and he'll stop and caress my arms, hips, waist, thigh or backside and say how much smaller, tighter or firmer I'm getting. Between running and Callanetics I am seeing and feeling amazing changes in my body and I love it. My new jeans are getting loose!

Well, off to break the fast ... I'll check in again soon.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

New low weight! IF is working, and so is Callanetics!

I'm still doing 5:2 intermittent fasting, with Thursday and Sunday as my planned fast days. It's much easier than you might think, and I like it heaps better than the daily fast with an 8 hour eating window. I'd heard it gets easier each time you do it, and that does seem to be the case for me.

Now before I give this week's results, let me remind you there's only been one fast day since I last updated you because I did it a day earlier last week, and this is the week I would normally start gaining water weight. But happily, I weighed in at 80.1 kg (176.59 lb), beating my previous record on 14th December of 80.2 kg (176.81 lb) by just 100 grams. I'm down 0.8 kg (1.76 lb) from last week, for a total loss of 50.2 kg (110.67 lb).

I've been working very hard over the last few weeks to break this stall and it seems to be working! In fact, if I lose just 1.18 kg (2.6 lb) more I will no longer be obese - very much looking forward to that!

Fasting and running are definitely helping with the weight loss, but I am really loving the way Callanetics is working to tone and tighten everything up. I remember years ago when I first did Callanetics I took pictures at the start and then once a week for the next several weeks - you could definitely see a difference, everything looked higher, firmer and tighter, my stomach and saddlebags were smaller, too. I didn't take pictures this time, but I can feel it happening, and others are noticing as well. It's amazing how fast these exercises work! I have had comments in the last few days, both from my husband (who said my skin is tightening up for sure) and people at work (one said I look skinnier). That just confirms what I've been feeling myself. I can tell that my body not only feels stronger, but firmer and tighter as well, even under the chin. I love that!

So I'm still getting in my three C25K running sessions each week (last night I completed week 6 day 3, running 22 minutes straight) on the treadmill. On the following days I'm walking about an hour on average and also doing Callanetics. That leaves Sunday as a rest day, but I often get in another walk then as well.

I have never been someone who enjoyed exercise before, but now that I'm really committed to doing it regularly, I actually look forward to it, especially Callanetics. I know I probably sound like a commercial here, but it just feels so good! I turn on Pandora's 70s Lite Rock channel and slowly work through all the moves. I know the routine by heart so I don't need the video anymore, and the music sets the mood - it almost feels like yoga and meditation. Callanetics are slow, pulsing movements that work muscles deep inside the body (and you will definitely feel it) - but it's also slow, relaxing movements and deep stretches. I just really enjoy this workout.

Here's an article that will explain it better if you're interested, and below is a brief excerpt:
"The exercises are based on repetitive contractions in a very small range of motion. These minute movements, called 'pulses', work deep down into the muscles. Instead of contracting then releasing the muscles and repeating this pattern, the Callanetics method encourages one pulsing into a deep contraction. The exercises do not put any strain on the cardiovascular system, or any pressure on the joints, since there is no bouncing kind of movement involved."
I highly recommend this program. I use the original workout developed by Callan Pinckney. There are newer variations out there, but I stick to the original. I modify just three of the moves to ease pressure on my knees, but I do all of the exercises. It takes an hour if you follow the original video workout, but once you know the moves you can do it on your own and I find it takes me about 40 minutes.

I'm about half way through The End of Overeating by David Kessler and it's really good, though I've been doing my own research and eating healthier for long enough that most of what I'm reading doesn't surprise me. It does anger me, which is the reaction I believe Gwen had when she read it. Even today, Valentine's Day, I was waiting at the 7-Eleven while hubby was paying for petrol and through the front window I saw posters for the latest extreme, sugar-filled Slurpee flavours and heart-shaped Krispy Kreme donuts, while on the shelves I saw nothing but chips and other junk food snacks. Is that all they sell? I saw families coming out of the place, young children and all, munching on this junk.

In years past, on whatever diet I was on at that time, I would see something like that and feel deprived. Why can't I eat those things when everyone else can? Today I just felt angry. Angry that you can't go anywhere these days without being bombarded by garbage food and angry that for so many years I let that garbage control me. I felt powerless to say no. I've reclaimed my life and my power, but I know there are others still where I was then that are still in the control of this garbage and it really angers me. What kind of future are we setting up for our children? Instead of an occasional indulgence, this junk is now part of every day lives. What a shame.

Anyway, off my soapbox and on with improving my life. I'm looking forward to seeing a kilo weight in the 70s next week -- fingers crossed!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

First week of 5:2 fasting and I'm down 3.75 lb!

I couldn't be happier -- I did switch to 5:2 intermittent fasting this week, so I fasted completely for two days. They do say you can have up to 500 calories on a fast day but I find it much easier to eat nothing. So I had nothing at all but calorie free beverages on my fast days, and mostly water at that. The results? This morning I weighed in at 80.9 kg (178.35 lb) which is a loss of 1.7 kg (3.75 lb) from last week, and puts me close to the record low I was at before Christmas (80.2 kg or 176.81 lb). But hey, I'm back in the 170s and that makes me so happy!

For workouts, I got through week 5 of C25K on the treadmill, and that means yes I did the full 20 minutes straight run on Friday. I had great music and a scenic video playing and the time passed quicker than I thought it would. Hubby bought me this great iPad holder so the iPad sat above the treadmill display -- no more blocking the display or risking it falling off while I run! I loved it. If I get bored of the various scenic videos I've collected on my playlist, someone suggested watching a TV show while I run. It would have to be a mindless comedy I think, as it would be hard to concentrate on anything else while you're running, especially on a longer run like this one.  But I might give it a try.

In addition to three C25K runs on the treadmill, I had three big walks outside this week (6.7, 7.8 and 5 klm respectively) and three sessions of Callanetics, so I've definitely gotten in my workouts and I'm feeling it, but in a very good way.

The fasting wasn't so difficult, really. I chose Thursday and Sunday for my fasting days. Thursday went very well. I worried it might be difficult at work but the distraction of being busy definitely helped. I didn't really get hungry much. Hunger does come in waves, you're not starving all day. In fact I got hungry at about the normal meal times throughout the day. A bit in the morning when I would usually have breakfast, then again about noon, and dinner time, but it passed and I felt fine.

The weekend came and we were busy on that big 7.8k walk Saturday morning, after which I had to rush off to an appointment, so I didn't get a chance to eat in the morning. By the time I got home it was about 2:45 pm. I thought to myself, it's nearly 3pm and I haven't eaten yet. Why eat now and fast tomorrow when the day is half over and I've been fasting anyway! So Saturday became my second fast day. It was not harder per se, as in I didn't get hungry much. But later in the day I felt a bit tired and just the tiniest bit lightheaded. I reckon that's possibly due to having my second fast day so close to the first one. So I do think it's probably better to space them out with at least two eating days between. I'll do my best to stick to Thursday and Sunday this coming week. I don't think I would do well fasting two days in a row, though some people do the 5:2 that way.

Anyway, that's my week -- hope yours was good.  I'm off to catch up on my blog reading.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Week 5 of C25K, and changing up the IF

Today was week 5, day 2 of my second round of C25K, this time on the treadmill. I had forgotten that this week they reallly take you up a notch. Previously each week you repeat the same pattern each of the three days. Not this week. I went from three 5 minute intervals, to two 8 minute intervals today, and Friday will be a solid 20 minute run! I am still adding extra intervals to keep building endurance and to keep my total run time at about 20 minutes. I wasn't sure I'd be able to today but I did. But as soon as I finished I was already dreading Friday's 20 minute run. Then I remembered how it was last time. I didn't actually go straight from 5 to 8 to 20 minute runs. I ended up having to repeat the 8 minute day a couple of times first. But this time I think I'm ready -- I'm going for it!

When I did run the 20 minutes last time it was on Anzac Day and I remember using that to motivate me to get through the full 20 minutes. I remember several times wanting to give up during the run as it just seemed too hard. Then I would say no, this is Anzac Day. Today Australia honours its war veterans; now these people knew hard! Running for 20 minutes is nothing! Keep going! And it worked. I made it and I felt freaking amazing afterwards. Here's hoping it goes as well this time.

Now, as for eating, I've decided to go a different route this week with the intermittent fasting (IF). When I've had to fast for medical procedures in the past, I did two days without much difficulty, and I dropped weight as well. Of course I was home those days, not at work. I've decided to switch to a 5:2 schedule, meaning eat normally for five days and fast completely for two days -- I'm trying Thursday and Sunday. So tomorrow will be my first time trying a full day fast while at work. Hopefully that makes it easier, as I'll be kept busy during the day.  Since I technically finished eating tonight at about 8pm, and won't have anything till about 8am Friday morning, it's about a 36 hour fast. I didn't want to fast on a day I'd be running, and on Tu/Th/Sun I've been walking and doing Callanetics. So these seemed like logical days to try my fast.  That's about it for now -- wish me luck!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

4 lb Drop, and my fluctuations since Christmas

So I'm starting to come back to where I was before Christmas. As mentioned previously, I did allow some indulgences and that, combined with monthly weight gain, resulted in a 10 pound increase as you can see below. Half of that was gone by January 3rd, but after a minor drop the next week the monthly weight gain cycle began again.

I have had a lovely drop of 1.9 kg (4.19 lb) this week, and in fact it's not all monthly water weight either -- according to the scale 1.5 kg (3.4 lb) of it was fat and only 0.3 kg (0.7 lb) was water. So once this cycle ends in a few days, I should have another drop. I think the coming week will be the real determiner of whether intermittent fasting (IF) is making a difference. If I continue to drop this week rather than staying in the 80s, I'll truly feel I've broken the four month plateau.  Wish me luck!

Still loving the treadmill, and this week I'll be changing my method a bit. I love using the C25K app and my intervals this week will be 3 and 5 minute runs, but I'm wanting something more interesting to look at while I run. I'm going to run the app from my phone instead of the iPad (with a Bluetooth speaker so I can hear the prompts) which will allow me to watch a virtual run scenic video on the iPad. There are quite a few good ones on YouTube, so that will be lovely.

It's 11:55 am so I have five minutes more until I can eat some lunch, and then I'm off to give blood today.  Hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

5 Days into Intermittent Fasting

I started Intermittent Fasting on the weekend -- it's Wednesday evening so I've done five days so far. I've been doing the 16 hour fast / 8 hour eating window each day, and really it's not been difficult. Hunger does indeed come in waves, and while I'm at work most of the time I don't even think about it much. Having said that I am happy when noon comes and I can have lunch. Now, it is an eight hour eating window but that does not mean I'm eating during that entire time! No, I still don't really snack between meals, so I have lunch and dinner with dessert usually being an Atkins shake or bar.  I workout when I get home.  They say you should do your workouts during the fasting stage, which would be morning for me, but I work and I'm definitely not a morning person so I'm not getting up at 5:30 just to workout. Besides, I've tried that before and I have no energy in the morning. I love working out when I get home - believe it or not I look forward to it!  The treadmill has become my stress relief. :)

I'm on week three of the C25K, but in truth I'm pushing myself a bit more than I did the first time. Firstly, I am doing it on the treadmill this time, so that means I can push myself to go a bit faster than I would outside. I'm also adding extra running intervals. For instance, today was a 90 second run, 90 second walk, then walk a 3 minute run and 3 minute walk. You repeat that twice, so two 90 second intervals and two 3 minute intervals.  At the end of those I add two more 3 minute intervals, mostly because I want to exercise more than 28 minutes. Then I cool down at a brisk pace for a few minutes, then slow down to a more casual walking pace for 4-5 minutes more. All in all it's usually about 40 minutes, but today was 45.

Yesterday I did Callanetics and I'm debating just sticking to those two workouts for now. Every time I try to add strength training in as well it gets to be too much. So for now I'll have two rest nights.  C25K on the treadmill is M/W/F, Callanetics Tu/Sat, and rest on Thu/Sun.

I've already dropped a bit but I'm not counting it just yet because I'm still getting rid of the monthly weight gain.  By the weekend I hope to see a much better number again.  I'm told it can take a few weeks or longer of Intermittent Fasting to start seeing results, but I think that's for people transitioning from the Standard American Diet (SAD) so we'll see.  Since I'm sticking to my usual dr Poon / low carb meals during my eating window, I'm hoping to start seeing some good results sooner. I'll check back soon and let you know how I'm going.

Gwen's three-part discussion of Dr David Kessler's book The End of Overeating has convinced me to read it. I bought the Kindle edition so I could dive into it quicker, and I'm already up to Part II - The Food Industry. The first part was certainly very interesting, all about the way sugar, fat and salt affect our brain and behaviour. Why we crave such foods. In Part II it looks like we'll be getting into how the food industry used that knowledge to hook us on their products, thus ensuring we'd come back for more and more. You can read Gwen's excerpts here - Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. Obviously I'm not done with the book yet, but I can see where this would help a lot of people because I spent years thinking I was a worthless failure who couldn't control what I eat. Now at least I know why! My lack of control wasn't because I was weak, in fact much of it was never in my control to begin with. Thanks Gwen for sharing this information, I'm really glad I bought this book.  I'll comment more when I've finished reading it.  That's all for now, I'm off to relax for a bit before bed.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Definitely enjoying the treadmill

Just a quick update as I get ready for work this morning.  It's been raining again, so it's a good thing I got a treadmill for Christmas. And I have been using it, my friends. I used a few of the built in programs, and then decided to put the C25K app on my iPad and go through that. Last week I completed week 1 again, and each day I took things up just a notch. You basically repeat the same workout three days in a row for the first few weeks, but I had no incline the first day, then set it to 2 for the next two days. I also increased my speed on the running so I'm at 9.5 now while I run. I have done 9 for three minutes in one of the pre-programmed workouts, but it will be interesting to see if I can maintain that speed as I get to 5 minutes and longer.

No loss to report this week, but then I'm starting the monthly gain again. Oh Menopause, where are you! I never thought I'd want to see you but seriously, I'm ready now, I am over this rollercoaster ride.  I'll check in again soon.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Here's to reaching goal and having more joy in 2015!

On 14th December I was at a new low weight, 80.2kg (176.81 lb). By 25th December it was 85.6 kg (188.72 lb). Today, happily, I am back to 82.2 kg (181.22 lb). Now half of that was likely monthly weight gain which, as I approach the menopausal years, has increased ... both in amount and the number of days it hangs around. But the rest is because I gave in to holiday indulgences. One person said, "come on, it's Christmas," and I allowed myself a few treats. I reasoned as I get closer to goal I will have to deal with real life and the occasional off-plan food. But I didn't realise how quickly sugar could reignite cravings, and one day turned into five. It's over, it's history, and I won't be doing that again.

My holiday leave is nearly over, too. Being off work has never made staying on track easier for me, but one thing I am proud of is I have continued to exercise throughout my time off, whether walking with hubby and the dog, working on home renovation projects or hopping on my new treadmill. I've done several HIIT treadmill workouts, and I do definitely feel a difference between using the treadmill and running outside. It took a bit to get comfortable enough to let go of the handles and swing my arms whether walking or running. I have done my own intervals and I've used the stored programs. One ran 36 minutes and included 18 minutes of running at different speeds.

When I used the apps to track my running outside I was averaging about 7.8 km/hr, and occasionally just above 8. This program was in three minute intervals starting with walking 5 km/hr, then running at 7, then 9, then 7 again before dropping back down to 5 twice, then repeating the 7/9/7/5 again. It finishes with walking at 1 km/hr which feels like you're not even moving at that point. It was definitely a challenge to run at 9 for three minutes straight - twice! I am certain I would never have run that fast outside. There was a moment I worried I couldn't keep it up and nearly grabbed onto the handrails for a second but quickly stopped myself and kept going. I could see the timer had less than a minute left and I kept telling myself, 'you can do this,' and so I did. So increased speed is definitely a treadmill advantage ... it is easy to just run slower outside. I also liked not worrying about trip hazards.

I found room in the spare room for the treadmill and even carved out a small nook for some relaxation and meditation as well. I am not setting any resolutions as I don't believe in them. But I still have goals for the coming year. Reaching my goal weight is of course still top priority. In one year I lost 100 pounds. In the next four months I mostly stalled but slowly dropped another ten. I may have to re-lose a few of those now but I am determined to reach my goal ... preferably in the next four months, but definitely by my next birthday. The plan is to use the treadmill to do HIIT intervals either using the built in programs or my own. I have downloaded a running scenery app so I have something interesting to look at, and I can use that with the C25K app... that way it can tell me when to change so I don't have to watch the timer, and instead of walk/jog I can do jog/run intervals to create my own high intensity interval program. Getting in regular walks/runs (outdoors or on the treadmill) as well as strength training and Callanetics is the plan. Finding time to meditate is also important to me, and of course so is singing.

This year I will find a way to sing. I was recently approached by a guy I used to gig with to fill in for him a couple of times over the holiday season, but that's not what I'm after. I want to sing just to feel good, just to feel ME. Hubby has the equipment so I want to set up a microphone and amp and practice at home, in my spare room. If I find it leads to something more, great - but the most important reason for me to sing is that it brings me joy. We could all use more joy. So maybe that's the basic goal - to do more things that bring me joy in 2015.  Why not? I hope you will, too.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

I did it! I've reached 50 kg (110 lb) GONE!!

Another week spent tracking everything I ate and every workout, and I'm pleased to say I have finally hit my Milestone - 50kg GONE as of this morning, or 110 pounds. It feels amazing! This has been a long time coming. Those of you who have been following my journey from the start will know that up until August I was dropping steadily week after week. But for the last four months it's been slow going, two steps forward, one step back, etc. So it feels really good to finally pass 50 kg.  I've stayed mostly Phase 1, meaning I do have occasional tomatoes or a bit of pumpkin which are Phase 2 foods, and made it a point to ensure I'm drinking 3L of water on average every day.  And I'm getting in a workout every day as well.  I now have just 12.2 kg (26.9 lb) to go to reach goal.

I'm loving my new walking route, it takes about an hour all up, and there is a steady 23 minutes minimum of incline on this walk, depending how far I go. Most of it isn't too steep, but it is constant. If I take the full route it's an hour and a half, but usually I have a turnaround point that makes it a one hour route. The turnaround point is just a short ways past this amazing, massive tree that I simply must show you. Here's a panoramic shot my husband took today - this baby is massive and has clearly been there for a century or so. It's gorgeous! Click to view it full size.

Anyway, that 23 minute incline portion I was doing walk/run intervals on the way back down. Well Friday I decided to just go as long as I could, and ran the entire length back. It took 12 minutes, and I felt great afterwards. It's been months since I was running for 30 minutes three times a week, and I'm not sure that I want to return to that entirely, but I do like how it feels to run for more than a few minutes. So I think I'm going to keep doing this for the coming week and then maybe try going further before running back to increase it to maybe 20 minutes of running.  We'll see.

Having hit my next milestone before Christmas feels wonderful, so now I've just got to be really careful during the next couple of weeks so I can stay here. The only indulgences I plan to have on Christmas day would be some nuts and maybe an Atkins caramel nut chew bar. A little indulgence on Christmas isn't a problem - but indulging for weeks before and after Christmas I can't do.

I'm still finding it difficult to get in two strength training AND two Callanetics during the week in addition to all the cardio, and I really enjoy both of those workouts so I don't want to give either one up. I may try doing both of them on the same day - they are both muscle workouts, just of very different types. I could do one right after the other, or just do the strength training after work and save the Callanetics for later in the evening. I've always said I find it relaxing and almost meditative, though a great workout, so that might work. I'll check in and let you know how I go.

Anyway, off to enjoy what's left of the weekend while I can. You can find my meals for last week below (click to enlarge). Hope you're having a lovely weekend.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Lost the monthly gain and just a bit more!

OK so the monthly weight gain ended early in the week, so I expected to see a drop this week in any case. I also was mostly back in Phase 1 and eliminated the Atkins bars this week and I was tracking everything I ate.  I'll share that below, but lets get this week's stats out of the way first.

One week ago I was back up to 83.8 kg (184.75 lb) from my low weight two weeks prior, which was 80.8 kg (178.13 lb). But this morning I can say I've dropped the extra weight and just a bit more. So I have a new low weight of 80.6 kg (177.69 lb).  That's a drop of 3.2 kg (7.05 lb) from last week and leaves me 3.69 pounds from being merely overweight (BMI 29.9) rather than obese. Currently my BMI is 30.5.

So I'm going to do the same thing next week, and keep tracking.  I also did plenty of walk/jog intervals and intended to get in 2 strength training and 2 Callanetics as well, but I ended up taking a rest day Friday planning to catch up Saturday evening after the Christmas and birthday parties we had to attend. But there have been some recent changes at work that have me relocated to a new area away from the people I've worked with for years, and there were a couple of things I wanted to discuss with the boss. I had to leave the party early to attend a family birthday party, but afterwards I was stewing about it so I just grabbed an Atkins shake for dinner and headed back to the party. I'm glad I did, I enjoyed talking to everyone and may have even created some new opportunities for myself, which is always a good thing.

So I didn't get in those extra workouts, and this morning I really wanted to do walk/jog intervals so that's what I did. I went for a long walk today, just over an hour and a half, and I took a new route with some nice scenic views and less traffic. This road is a long one and mostly an incline - not too steep, but pretty constant, so it was a good workout.  On the way back I did my walk/jog intervals. This road has very long blocks, and I was aiming to run for 2-4 blocks, then walk for 1-2, then repeat. I would say the intervals lasted about 20 minutes or so, and I really enjoyed it.  Next week I'll be sure to get at least 2 each of the strength training and Callanetics. The one Callanetics I did this week was so enjoyable! Can you believe me saying that about exercise? Well I really enjoy that workout. I've written down the exercises and do them on my own rather than follow the video because they waste a lot of time explaining things and once you know the moves it's easy to do on your own. Plus I got to listen to a nice 70's light rock station on Pandora as I did it. It's a deep muscle workout that gets amazing results, but done slowly so it's actually relaxing and sort of meditative. I love it!

Here's some of the scenery from today's walk/run intervals, followed by my menus for the week. The pictures don't really do it justice, it was lovely.

(You should be able to click to enlarge.)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

4.2k Rainforest Walk, steep but beautiful!

I've definitely been getting in some major walks this week - Monday I walked 1.5 hrs to the mall and back, yesterday was a 40 minute walk, but then today we got in two - a 20 minute walk with the dog this morning then after lunch a 1.5 hr challenging walk to the falls in the Minnamurra Rainforest!

This place is awesome, and that walk definitely has some steep inclines.  The last time I was there was in 2006, after having lost some weight on Jenny Craig. I was probably about 200 pounds or so then but not as fit. There are benches here and there throughout the walk, more during the steepest parts, and in 2006 I had to sit for 5 minutes rest several times. But not today baby, it was definitely challenging but I made it all the way with no breaks! Yes, I sat on the bench once for a photo, but I definitely didn't need to rest. Hubby did once though! I can definitely feel it now in my whole body, mostly the backs of my legs - but it was so worth it, what a beautiful walk.

These massive rocks are estimated to be 200 million years old.

Look at the massive roots on this tree, they're like walls!

Above, hubby and I at the Falls. Below, a short video clip.

From the '' website:

Minnamurra Rainforest

This pocket of subtropical and warm temperate rainforest show what the once-extensive rainforests of the Illawarra region were like with giant roots creeping across the forest floor, thick strangler figs wrapping around trees and raucous bird calls in the canopy above.
     You're likely to see exclusive lyrebirds, eastern water dragons, swamp wallabies and a host of bird species which make Minnamurra their home.
     From the information centre, a 1.6-km elevated boardwalk winds towards the escarpment and across Minnamurra Rivulet, taking you right into the 400-hectare rainforest. The first 500m of this walk provides for assisted wheelchair access.
     If you feel like a more substantial hike, take the two-hour return Falls Walk. While a little more challenging, the walk offers the reward of spectacular views over the rainforest canopy and the gorge carved by Minnamurra Rivulet. The walk concludes with a viewing platform and a rest area at the base of the Upper Falls.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

106.5 pounds gone in under 14 months

I'm still losing very slowly, getting 'monthly drops' rather than weekly like I used to, but I'm doing my best not to let that frustrate me. I've been mixing things up - lot of walking, sometimes jogging, strength training with FitnessBlender and recently added Callanetics into the mix. That, and of course making sure my eating is always on track. I still tend to do a bit of intermittent fasting on the weekends. I'm hoping that winter had something to do with the slow progress and things might pick up speed now that warmer weather is here, but if it doesn't I can assure you I will not use this as an excuse to throw in the towel. Those days are over. I've come way too far to let frustration send me back up the scale again. Nope, I'm going to let my body do its thing and go at its own pace.

Having said that I did get a nice drop as expected this week, weighing in at 82.0 kg (180.78 lb) which is a drop of .7 kg (1.54 lb) from last week and brings my total to 48.3 kg (106.48 lb). Now I'll probably start the roller coaster ride again, as my weight goes up and down a kilo or two from week to week until I get another drop in a few weeks time. That seems to be the way of it these days.  The frustration now is that I need to drop less than 400 grams (.88 lb) to get to 179.9 pounds - getting into the 170s will be wonderful. At 175 pounds I'll officially be just overweight rather than obese so I'm really looking forward to that day. I'll get there.

I really enjoyed adding Callanetics this week - I haven't really done it since the 90s and I really enjoyed it. I remember in the 90s taking progress photos from one week to the next and you could really see a difference in just a few weeks.  So even if the weight doesn't drop dramatically, hopefully things will tighten and lift in any case.  I definitely felt it the next day, too, it's a workout that really delivers, though it's very slow, relaxing and almost meditative while you do it. I like that, as I rarely find the time to actually meditate, much as I enjoy it, and this is an evolution in body, mind and spirit after all.  Anyway, have a lovely weekend everyone and I'll check back in again soon.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

I really felt like a run tonight ... did I still have it in me?

I've been focusing on strength training workouts but as the weather gets a bit nicer (and there's a break in the rain) I've tried to get in a good walk or two as well.  Those Fitness Bender 'weight training for fat loss' moves are definitely challenging me, I can feel it everywhere, but I'm loving it. I haven't actually run more than a few minutes now and then since winter started. But tonight when I got home from work I really wanted to run.

Firstly, just feeling that totally amazes me. I am not someone who has really enjoyed exercise, but these days I find not only do I enjoy it but even look forward to it.  Wow, who'd a thunk it? Since I'm doing strength training tomorrow I thought tonight was perfect to give running a go, but I didn't want to just jump in too hard after this long break. I knew it might get dark before half an hour was up, and could even rain, so I decided to go in a circle around the neighbourhood so I wouldn't be too far from home at any point. I used to walk the same circle when I was a lot heavier and each lap took me at least 15 minutes. Whichever way I go, there is an incline on the return, so since I wanted to try running I thought I'd go down the steepest way rather than up.

I left the house and started a gentle jog down the first incline, then walked when I got to the bottom. Just when it started to go up again I started running until it started getting very steep again. Then I walked and repeated the cycle. Overall I was jogging about half the time, first downhill then uphill. I finished three laps in 27 minutes. The first uphill stretch felt so easy, I thought - I can do this! The second one was a bit tougher, but I still felt strong. By the third one I was thinking, just hang in there - only four more driveways to pass. But I did it. It really felt good!

Weight-wise, I'm just past the usual monthly weight gain, and have returned to my lowest weight again, but I'm very much hoping for a drop this weekend and a new low weight. I'll let you know how I go. It feels like I have monthly weight drops now rather than weekly, as I always go back up again with my cycle, but if I'm moving downward overall, however slowly, that's a good thing. :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

My new strength training workout from Fitness Blender

I've been checking out a few different workouts to figure out what I'm going to do now that I've graduated from the 30 Day Shred -- and I've found it! In fact I just finished it and I really liked it - so much I had to tell you about it before I even hopped in the shower! LOL

It's from Fitness Blender - have you checked them out? This husband and wife team have tons of free workout videos which you can access on their website or via their YouTube channel. Searching from the website is cool because you can filter by difficulty, training type, body focus, equipment needed, etc. I was searching specifically for strength training routines for fat loss and found two or three I want to try.  This is the one I did tonight - it doesn't have a warm-up or cool down stretches so I just did my own, but the workout itself was really good and I enjoyed it.

It worked the whole body and I did pretty well (though I guess Jillian prepared me for this - I probably wouldn't have done so well at pushups before the Shred), but what I really liked was it didn't have any cheesy music or witty banter like so many exercise videos. You get tired of that crap after you've done it a few times! I was really able to focus on the exercises and really get into them.

I've already got a couple more flagged to try out, which is good because it is still raining here. I got really lucky yesterday and got in a brisk 40 minute walk before it started raining again, but I knew I wouldn't be so lucky tonight. Anyway I thought I'd check in quickly - now off to shower and get dinner ready. :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

30 Days are up ... why am I not Shredded?

Well I've completed Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred - yesterday was the last day, and today I took photos and measurements to see if it had made a difference. During the past 30 days my husband seemed to think there was a difference, saying as he could "feel my ribs" more and all. And I felt like it was making a difference, especially as I moved up each level. I improved quickly, and was able to do the advanced move for several exercises. While I'm enjoying taking a break today, I've already looked into some new workouts to try in the coming weeks so I don't lose my progress.  So did it really make a difference?  First I took photos wearing the same clothes I wore 30 days ago, and frankly I was disappointed. (Left is 30 days ago, right is today.) I don't see any difference! Seriously, none at all!

I felt really disappointed after seeing those. Was it all for nothing? Hmm. Well, I also took measurements before starting, so let's compare those next.

28/07/2014    27/08/2014    LOST
R Arm13.75”13.25”0.5
R Thigh    25”24.375”0.625

Wow. Look, measuring yourself isn't easy, and it's hard to tell if you're in the exact same place each time, but the fact that they are all smaller than last time leads me to believe I have made a difference after all.  Overall I'm only about 3 pounds less than the start, and I sure wish I could see a difference in the photos - but I'm happy with the measurements. :)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Down 102.96 lb in One Year

I started Dr Poon on Monday, 19th August, 2013 so I'm counting today, Monday, 18th August, 2014, as the one year mark. Might as well, I've done my weigh-in today, last week being a write-off due to monthly weight gain and having been sick since Thursday. I'm still sick, recovering from a sinus and upper respiratory infection, but slowly improving. So where am I at one year on?

Well today I weighed in at 83.6 kg (184.31 lb) which is down 0.6 kg (1.32 lb) from last week, and that brings my total for the year to 46.7 kg (102.96 lb) gone. Can't be unhappy with that!

Also, it was a long time crossing this marker, but I have finally surpassed Milestone 9 of 12 in the Happy Scale app, which now predicts I'll cross the finish line in January 2015. Let's hope so, that finish line fluctuates with each weigh-in, so it will depend on whether I continue to drop steadily or slow down closer to goal ... that happens to many people, so time will tell. My goal was  68 kg or 150 lbs, so that means I have only 15.6 kg or 34.3 lbs to go.

And where am I at with the 30 Day Shred? Well getting sick couldn't have come at a worse time, and yesterday was the worst day yet in that regard. I was supposed to be starting Level 3, and hadn't missed a day yet despite being sick. Hubby felt I should really give it a miss yesterday and I agreed, but the thought of missing a day drove me nuts. I put the video on just to watch Level 3 and see what I was going to be in for. By the time it was over I was getting changed, moving the coffee table, and restarting the video. I did it, I started Level 3. Like every other time I worked out when sick, I felt better during, and for at least an hour or so after showering, so I am glad I did it. It was my first time at this level so I followed the beginner modifications for everything, just to take it easy, but I did it. Only nine more to go and I will be done with the 30 Day Shred! :)