Friday, December 27, 2013

Well it's getting awfully close to the end of 2013 and I haven't achieved my goal ... what to do!
A small part of me thought I should fast, or go on some  crazy shake diet to get me over the line but the reality is that I'm 3.7kg off goal and there is only 4 days to go!
So let's not think crazy thoughts or do crazy things.
Truth is, that this is a life change for me, not a quick fix. So to depend on a quick fix to get me over the line is just silly and would be a shallow victory.
The reality is that I got to 94.6 in October, by the end of the challenge matter of fact. So in my head i had 8 weeks to lose the 4.6 and get myself into the 80's.
Now that should have been achievable really, but I dropped the ball.

First a week on holidays, seeing mum and the family, then my birthday and a few dinners out, then flat chat ... I kid you not working from the minute I woke to the minute I hit the hay again at night.
Hubby took over cooking for the kids as I was just so focused on building up my stock levels for the shop.

X-mas is always my busiest time of year and generally the time and energy put into other areas of my life get drawn into focusing on work.
I can't say it's the best way to manage it, just the only way I've figured so far.

So that all adds up to 2 months of neglecting my regime.

Food choices have suffered ... some days I had ice cream for lunch or lindt balls, just cause that's all I could find in the fridge!
Exercise has suffered ... as I daily had to make a decision to devote time to exercise or work and work won.

This of course has left me feeling a little disappointed in myself.
I have learnt enough this year that I could and would and should have coped better under these circumstances.

But in the end, I didn't achieve my goal, my health has suffered and I gained 2kg. No biggie in the grand scheme of things and now that Xmas is over, things have slowed down and I'm back on track.

Back at gym, eating well again and have already got to 93.7. so I've lost the extra 2kg plus some.

What this has taught me, is that you don't have to fall off the wagon and give up.
You can cope the best you know how through a tough spot, then when life can get back to normal, resume your spot in the driving seat.

I have learnt that when on auto pilot I sink back into old habits, I have also learnt that when balance comes back and you take the reigns again It is much easier to recover from 4 or 8 weeks off the beaten track then it is to recover from a year or 5 years of having given up.

It has taken me this year to lose 22kg and whilst I could have done better, 22kg is still pretty phenomenal and I do not want that to creep back on.
If i can catch it at 2 kg and get it back that is much better then trying to recover from 10 or 15 or the whole lot.
And ... my goal this year was to get under 100 kg.
I did that and it was no small feat, so I have to be happy about that.
The goal I didn't achieve was the second goal i set for the year of getting into the 80's.
but that's o.k
I have learnt sooo much in 2013 about myself. about my strengths and weaknesses and most importantly that the key to success is consistency.

That's it.
nothing more, nothing less.
If you want to be healthy, look healthy, feel healthy, then live a healthy life consistently.

Merry Xmas and Happy 2013 peeps.
For 2014 it's onward and upwards.

This year was just the beginning of my journey, the road is long and I'm so eager to continue travelling it to better health and well being.
Jay x

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Holidays ...

Well it's that time of the year again, school holidays.

Whilst I do enjoy seeing the kids more and being able to go in slow mo for a bit, I have found from the last two term breaks that the break in routine does not serve my weight loss routine too well.

Last time was a 2.6 gain from memory ... so this time I am adamant that I can get through the next two weeks without a gain.
I know it's not my food ...surprisingly ... that lets me down. It's the incidental activity. The constant movement of school drop off morning and night and running around in between to get things done for work and home.

So my plan is to maintain my gym efforts, whether it be a class or weights/cardio session and pick up a walk each night. A 50 minute walk to maintain the calorie loss I would get from doing the school walk every day.
That probably sounds a bit mental, sorta of over thinking it all, but this for me is a life change to get to goal and beyond and every time I have a set back it knocks me for six mentally and physically, so I'd rather find 50 minutes each day to go for a walk with my family then go through the struggle of losing a month from gaining then working it off.

Add to that an impending holiday for my birthday and I have all the motivation I need.
All my family are in Queensland, Mum, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunties etc ... and by November it will be a year since I've seen any of them. Timing is not great with work stuff happening and money is always tight but it's been too long in between drinks so to say and some things you just need to make time for. To replenish your soul a little.

So we plan on going up for a visit in Nov, which gives me about 8 more weeks to push this to the next level and get to my second goal for 2013, of being in the 80's.

I'm currently 94.6 and week 8 into the Maxine's challenge, so whilst I don't entirely think I can get into the 80's in the next four weeks for the end of the challenge, I reckon I'm in with a good chance to get there before I see mum again.

Oh mum won't care, she'll love me any ol' way but I think all mum's want us to be healthy and happy and since I saw her last I have lost 19.9 kg and feel so much more energetic and motivated about life. So I think she'll shed a happy tear for sure ... and there is something special about hanging out with your clan and feeling like you belong to some crazy mob that know you inside out and love your guts out flaws and all. Ahhh it will be good.

So happy holidays to one and all, enjoy the slower pace, but don't take the foot off the pedal.
Jay xx

Monday, August 19, 2013

Achieving goals ...

Well I'm week 3 into the Maxines challenge and it sure has proved to be a challenge.
As I had guessed ... it was going to be the nutrition I struggled with as I'm pretty on top of cardio and weights already.

Here's a snippet of my brain space for the challenge so far. It's been a big learning curve ...
Week 1 struggle:
Firstly struggling with thoughts of deprivation and feeling as though I was being punished by not being allowed to have treats.
Week 1 epiphany:
Eating like this is actually a gift to my body and my brain ... not a punishment. Realized this after 5 days of eating well and then breaking the plan to eat a burger and chips, I had such a sluggish day the next day almost as though my body immediately struggled to process all the crap. So the gift is in giving good fuel, so the motor runs efficiently.
Week 2 Struggle:
Thinking about food constantly, from meal to meal ... checking the clock far too religiously to see when my next meal was.
Week 2 epiphany:
I am not living in a time of famine. Food will not run out or disappear if I stop thinking about it. Time spent doing things to distract myself from thinking so much meant I had a super productive week.
Week 3 struggle:
If I have a little treat here and there it won't matter.
Week 3 epiphany:
If I can still be losing weight and moving forward with an 80% effort in the kitchen, then imagine what I can achieve if I put a 100% effort into the kitchen!

So that brings us to today. My plan this week is to be ultra spot on with my food choices so I can see how much of a difference it makes to not have a little treat here and there  ... day 2 and so far so good but movies and dinner out tonight, so Lord give me strength.

On an AWESOME note ....

I cracked the triple digits and currently weigh 98.6kg.
Week 1 of the challenge helped me big time, giving me a loss of 1.9 and putting me under. Now all i need to do is keep at it, stay motivated...and just keep swimming, just keep swimming.
It has worked for me so far, so I'm hardly going to give it up anytime soon.

An exciting notion is that I have already achieved the goal I set myself all year to achieve, so time to set some new goals.

In 2013 I would like to get into the 80's .... there, I said it out loud.
We have 19 weeks of the year left and even at my slow pace of .5 a week that should get me to 89.1 which is the lightest I have ever been in my adult life. To get there this year would be fucking awesome ... pardon the french!

I'm excited, I'm revved, I think I can.
Jay xx

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Challenges ...

Geez we have many challenges in life don't we.

Sticking to a healthy eating plan and exercising seem to be the first things to go when challenges arise, well that's the scenario for me anyway.

It's as though I feel I'm being antisocial if I refuse to eat bread, drink wine and scoff dessert faster then the speed of light, when people are over. Add to that the times that routine goes out the window for school holidays.

I've had the kids home for two weeks and despite my best efforts to still go to gym every other day, eat well and walk daily ... I managed to put on 2.3kg. A pretty nasty amount considering I was still really active.

I was mighty pissed at that shocker when I weighed in. I was ready to throw in the towel and spent a full day burying my head in the sand and refusing to be nice to anyone!

The next day I decided my best tactic would be to pretend I never had that weigh in.
To carry on as though nothing happened, But ... to give it 100% and try and get myself back into it.

A lovely friend reminded me that its 80 percent food choices and 20 percent exercise.
So rather then kill myself at the gym I really nutted down and focused on my food.
I decided that rather than calorie count I would eat clean for the week.
So lots of protein, veg and fruit and eliminate the white stuff, soft drinks and sugar.

It has most definitely done the trick as I had got myself back up to 104.2 and after a week of honest hard work in all areas I'm now 100.8 ...
Woohoo so close to getting under the big 100.

It's been a real eye opener proving that it is my food choices letting me down. My exercise has stayed the same ... so yeah totally about what goes into my mouth.

Motivated by the results of my good honest effort, I have decided to enter 'Maxine's Shape up Challenge'
A few of the girls at gym are doing it and whilst they are all skinny minnies doing it to try and tone up, I'm doing it just so I can set myself a 12 week challenge.

See if I can stick to a nutrition plan and exercise guide for just 12 weeks. Maybe if I prove to myself that I can do that, then maybe...just maybe, I can stick to it for life.

Little steps...

I'm pretty excited about the challenge and the positive changes it will bring and I've booked and paid for my personal training starting with Lisa next week, so the timing is perfect.

Wish me luck.
Jay xx

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Personal training.

Just a quick midweek post to express my wowness 
 at the awesomeness of personal training.
I had my first freebie session with Lisa at gym today. 
She is the the instructor I have for my group fitness classes Pump and cycle.

Image via: here

 Because I get to see how motivational and supportive she is as an instructor I totally jumped at the chance when she announced she was taking on PT too.Well I'm broke ... so I jumped at the chance of a free session and when we get our tax returns I'll be investing in a few blocks of PT for sure.

Leading up to the session I got my usual butterflies in the stomach and almost talked myself out of it. I told myself I had pump the night before and cycle in the morning so I'd be tired already. But I just had to silence the little devil on my left shoulder and push through the butterflies so I could try something new and then decide if I was up for it or not.

Image via: here

Well, I'm glad to say I'm up for it.
We focused on resistance. Core strength and compound exercises. All the things I am struggling with at present.
Each round we started light, then went heavier, then heavier, then heavier till I could do no more. It was actually really awesome to see how far I could go, cause if I was doing it on my own I'd set it at one weight and do 2 sets of 12 and walk away. I was sweating, huffing and puffing and I walked away with my limbs trembling ... but I felt so bloody alive and hopeful for the future.

Wish I could bottle that feeling.

Lisa was able to push me, but still support me. She could see my limits and knew when I could get two more out. She made sure I used good technique and didn't hurt myself, but most definitely gave my body a bloody wake up and shake up.

I walked in to the session so worried I would embarrass myself by being such a wimp or die from trying too hard, but neither of my silly scenarios played out instead I walked away knowing that this is what I want and need to continue to the next stage of my fitness.
So, so glad that I don't have to go it alone.
Jay xx
Me walking home from Pump class on Tuesday.
Such a cold winter night, but refreshing after a hard workout.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Switching off the auto pilot ...

Well I've maintained my resolve and had a really good two weeks of eating well and exercising 6 session per week.
My weigh in day today has me at 102.9kg. Giving me 2.6kg off for the last 2 weeks. Pretty awesome. I'm chuffed.

 Image via here

I'm so glad I didn't let the minor gain from 2 weeks ago drag me down. If anything it made me stronger and more stubborn to get it off for good.
I have been having more and more thoughts about my food. Of course ... my whole day is thinking about food glorious food. What I can have what I cant have. Eat clean, go more protein, cut the carbs, cut the calories.

There is so much advice out there, it just makes it all so bloody overwhelming.
So one week I'm low carb high protein, next week I'm clean eating ... Don't know if I'm Martha or Arthur.

I know that in the grand scheme of things all of these programmes and eating plans are good, so even though I'm switching around and not really settling on one it's still progress. Not like I'm flicking between bad habits and good, it's all good. but maybe I should settle on something, just so I can stop obsessing about food so much.

I like all the principles of clean eating: no white stuff, heaps of fruit, veg and protein, only the good carbs etc etc ... but as you can see there ain't no sugar in there. Throughout all diets actually a reoccurring theme for our current times is that sugar and refined carbs are bad. Used to be that fat was bad, but now we all know about good fats and bad fats. Well with sugar, there are no good and bad. Just bad.

When I think back to weight watchers days, there appeal is that eating is about balance. You can have the odd chocolate bar or glass of wine so long as you eat in moderation. A whole block of Cadbury Turkish Delight is prob not a good thing but 4 squares is not going to undo all your hard work and at the same time you still get a little treat for the day.

I had a little sit down chat with Lisa today, planning some forthcoming PT sessions and she said 'you can exercise till your black and blue but if you go home and eat shit your wasting your time'.

Harsh but true I think.

I know that I'm getting fitter, and my heart muscle is grateful, but really ... I'm going to gym to lose weight!
So it's what I needed to hear. I need to stop kidding myself that going hard at gym is gonna make me the 80kg person I want to be.

I keep thinking if I weighed 80kg how much easier would it be to squat or tricep dip off the bench or chest press my own body weight. If there was 22.9kg less of me I could push it so much harder and how would I get to being 22.9kg lighter quicker ... stop eating all the shit.

I love my chocolate, I love cakes and bready delights and when I think of an all or nothing approach whereby I eliminate them completely they suddenly occupy my mind 24/7 so I think for me, I have to allow them a little. A little bit in moderation just to feel I am not some deprived chic on a diet that everyone feels sorry for.

I'll make sure my calories allow for it, I'll portion control and I'll be in charge.
I think that's the most important thing. I sometimes mindlessly eat these things when I'm not even hungry.
I'll just go, apple muffin on that tray, yumm. I do love an apple muffin. Next thing I know I'm eating the apple muffin!
What the ... I've had breakfast and morning snack, I'm not even hungry ...muffin be gone.
See, mental. Not in control. Someone else has my remote control and keeps pressing auto pilot.

So time to take back control. Eat well, eat nutritionally, allow for yummy snacks but be in charge of what they are, how big they are and when they are consumed.

Image via here

Something that I read in one of my brain training books was that as humans we are conditioned for rewards and when we see that apple muffin it triggers the reward center of our brain. From previous memories we know it's fluffy, soft and sweet. We sense it melting in our mouth like a buttery sugary explosion and we want to relive that sensation over and over again.
So if we want to retrain our brain we need to become aware when these objects activate our brains reward response and rather then allowing the normal progression of see treat, buy treat, eat treat, we need to consciously acknowledge the trigger ...say yumm apple muffin, I love apple muffins ... then we need to detour our brain from its hard wired response and say, as much as I love apple muffins, You know what! I've had breakfast I'm not even hungry I'm going to head home and get started on my jobs for the day.

Or insert what ever follow up sentence serves you in your situation. It might even be, jeez I love an apple muffin but you know what I'm aiming to lose 1 kg this week so I'm going to eat an apple instead.

So knowing all these things about how my brain gets it self into auto pilot and just makes it's own decisions I think I have come to the realisation of what my next step in this journey needs to be.

I need to take back control of my food choices and own them.

Onward and upward.
Have a great week,
Jay x

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Getting up and going ...

Well I had a minor set back last week as I had a gain on weigh in day.
I did the usual 'why, why,why, thing even though I suspected I might have a gain.

My suspicions were not because I'd had a bad week, on the contrary I had an awesome work out and food week.
But what I knew was that I'd upped my weights and done 3 pump classes, I was premenstrual and the day before weigh in I was out and about all day so I didn't workout and I didn't drink my water leaving me a bit bloated, retaining some fluid.

My gain was .5 which in the grand scale of things wasn't huge, but a plus is always scary.
It's funny because when I entered my weight into the online food diary I'm using on calorie it always gives you a little summary of your week and mine said 'don't be disheartened by small gains, ask yourself have you upped your weights, where are you in your menstrual cycle and have you been drinking your water?'

 Image and Calorie King site: click here

All the questions I knew the answers to. A nice reminder though, that despite all our hard work sometimes a gain will creep in on the scales.

Once upon a time, reason or no reason, a gain would be enough to make me say to myself that it was not working and it was time to quit. But my resolve is stronger now and a minor setback tells me that i just need to persevere and continue doing all the great things I have put in place for the success of my long terms goals.

I have no doubt that this Fridays weigh in will have me right back on track and to make sure I haven't skipped a beat with my workouts. Saturday was cycle, Sunday was my rest day and today was my 6am start.

Getting up and going in the mornings is so bloody hard, especially during winter. It's pitch black and this morning we were at 5 degrees. Brrr.
But I have set a permanent alarm on my phone to wake me 5.30 every Monday and I tell myself that Monday is the only day I do such an early workout so just get up and get on with it.
I always have to push myself to get up and out that door, but once there I'm warmed up within 5 mins and an hour later I'm walking home feeling so alive and ready for the day, before my hubby and kids have even woken up for the day.

Today and every Monday really, I have burnt a huge 700 calories before the street lights have even switched off and the day has begun.
Such an awesome way to start the day and the whole week for that matter.

Looking forward to weigh in this Friday.
Hope you have an awesome week,
Jay x