Tuesday, September 27, 2011

30. w.c. Saturday 23.07.11 to 38. w.e. Friday 23.09.11

I have been totally hopeless with my week/year in photos and I aim to do better!

So to catch up I have done a collage of photos from the past 8 weeks. Once again it is all about cats and food.

Week 29 – w/c Saturday 16th July, 2011

Saturday (16/07/11) ~I managed to go to the gym first thing on Saturday morning. Then I grabbed a quick Flat White and Brioche for breakfast before racing home to get showered and changed. I met up with Chev at Sylvia Park and we went shopping and then had coffee and a bite to eat. We did not end up seeing a movie as there were only 4 choices. Had a quiet night at home and fell asleep while reading. No photo.

Sunday (17/07/11) ~ I got to have a sleep in and then went grocery shopping. Popped potato bake in the oven and met Steph for rescue kitty photo shoot at Raewyn’s. Then we zoomed over to the North Shore for the Scooby mid-winter birthday catch up. It was great to see everyone and we got home just after 7.30pm. I tidied the apps on my iPhone and Mark’s iPod after seeing Steph’s organised iPhone4. I then read until I fell asleep.

Monday (18/07/11) ~ I had lunch at Ironique in Mt Eden and got quite excited because they had Coconut Cake; although the pink icing was off-putting. Went to Raewyn’s for kitten cuddles; Casper and Lenee are so cute!!

Tuesday (19/07/11) ~ After watching The Food Truck Mexican episode I decided to try Mexicali Fresh; absolutely divine. In my opinion it was a little on the expensive side, but very, very tasty. I made the effort to walk there to get some exercise.

Wednesday (20/07/11) ~ I think that I was off work with the flu? No photo

Thursday (21/07/11) ~ New library books. Exciting!

Friday (22/07/11) ~ Cannot remember. No photo

Dogs and Cats

I think it is fairly obvious that I am an animal lover from the pictures I post of our cats and the volunteer work that I have done with cats over the past 5 years.

Normally, I try not to read animal stories as they just make me upset. However, sometimes I think it is important to read them so that I can get angry and spur myself into action.

First, there was the story of the man in Glenfield having dead cats in his freezers and also numerous cats living in disgusting conditions. He claims he is an animal lover. I claim that he is a cat hoarder and while he thinks he is “doing right” by these animals, he is being more cruel by keeping many in cages surrounded by their own excrement and others that were sick etc. Apparently, there were complaints made nearly a year ago but nothing was done. Why?

Secondly, I read the story about the two dogs that were killed by a “cross breed” dog. Once again the blame game is happening and unfortunately it would appear that the dog is getting the lion-share of the blame. I feel absolutely gutted for the two dogs that were killed and their owners; I cannot even imagine how terrible it would be and how helpless they felt. I feel angry at the owner of the other dog; she should have had it leashed and it would appear that she did nothing that would suggest she was apologetic for the situation. This to me speaks VOLUMES about the situation. Once again the dog is going to get the blame when it is obvious that the owner also needs to take responsibility for her actions and potentially the lack of training and discipline. She even kicked her dog. Seriously?!

I have to insert a disclaimer here…while we had dogs when I was younger I do not know dogs as well as I know cats. But I do have some thoughts…

There seem to be more and more attacks by dogs and calls to ban particular breeds of dogs. I noticed some comments on the Paw Justice Facebook page yesterday about people that do own larger dogs and cross breeds i.e. pit-bull/bull mastiff and have no issues at all. It would seem that these dogs have been raised by owners that know how to raise a dog the right way. I have read more and more blogs written by Ashley Owen Hill who founded Lucky Dog Rescue in the US. Here is her latest blog about bait dogs. After reading numerous blogs by Ashley, I am beginning to doubt whether viciousness in dogs isn’t so much about the “breed” of the dog, but more that care (and time) has not been taken to train and raise the dog. There are instances where badly treated dogs still want to be loved by their abusers….actually they just want love.

As dog attacks become more prevalent in NZ it is evident that some things need to change radically and very soon. So, while I do appreciate that all dogs in NZ need to be registered, I think that better checks need to be in place to ensure that dogs are not just going to owners with no experience with dogs. Or at least get people to go on mandatory dog training courses. Also, the public should not feel afraid to report owners who may not be doing “right” by their dog/s.

I have a huge issue with free animals on Trade Me. They have tightened their controls over the sale of live animals, but I still think that many traders go unchecked. I am sure that many pets go to loving homes, but there are still those that probably do not. Again, it comes back to my belief that no animal should be re-homed without being desexed first and if you have to get the new owner to cover that cost then so be it. If you let your animal have a litter of puppies, kittens etc. then it’s your responsibility to stop the breeding cycle and then get your own pet desexed especially if you are selling them to people that you do not know.

A few years ago I removed 2 female cats and about 11 kittens from a family as they had to move and could not take them with them. Apparently, letting these two cats get pregnant was their “thing” to do at Christmas. These female cats had never had a life of their own and had, had multiple litters. It was just not fair on them. Then this family just re-homed them to whomever. At the end of the day there are so many deserving animals that need a home so why add more.

What is the answer?

Summer is coming…

I have been meaning to write a quick blog about the change of seasons since I read this lovely “autumn” blog  from Jessica (‘How Sweet it is’). Jessica’s was the first of many blogs that I have read about the Northern Hemisphere change of seasons from summer into fall. I did not realise just how many American blogs I read until most of them started talking about fall “colours” and recipes with pumpkin!

I adore spring. I think it is something to do with new life and renewal. I also love the smell of fresh flowers especially freesias; ours had started popping up in August. It also means that we are well on the way to summer; long days, hot nights and beach days.

This year I have decided to just enjoy summer (despite the humidity that is characteristic of Auckland) and in preparation for a lovely long, hot summer I have decided to take 4 weeks holiday. This means spending more time with family and lots of time at the beach. I am craving the holidays that I had in my teens and am determined to make the most of it.

This morning I read Jenna’s blog and I got really excited about summer. For me, her blog sums up the easy-going summers of my past.

So I am going to LOVE summer because it means:
Golden sand
Sparkling ocean and white surf
The smell of strawberries in the sun; actually all berries and stone fruit
Icy vodka and soda with a twist
Healthy doses of vitamin D
No shoes
Zucchini and tomatoes from our garden
Long walks
Music on my iPod
Relaxing with family and spending time with my nephew and nieces
Playing on the back lawn with our cats

What are you looking forward to?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Music I Want and Cannot Get

A few months ago I heard Natasha Bedingfield’s song ‘Strip Me’ at the end of a movie. I loved it and raced to my iTunes account to download it. Unfortunately, that song and album ARE NOT available in New Zealand. Not impressed. I have requested it from the library to see if I like it enough to buy the whole album. I am still waiting for the CD. I was a bit annoyed, as I buy 90% of my music through iTunes and the rest on CD. I just wanted 1 flipping song!

I had forgotten about the Bedingfield saga until last night. I was watching ‘Drop Dead Diva’ on DVD and there were a couple of songs played in the background by an artist called Jessie James. She is an American Country-Pop singer and I loved her songs ‘My Cowboy’ and ‘Blue Jeans’. I raced to iTunes only to find that she has one song available in New Zealand and it is NOT the one that I want.

I was furious. I went to Google and came up with an MP3 version of the album on Amazon. #Excitement!  I added it to my Amazon cart and filled out my address only to have Amazon tell me that MP3 purchases are NOT available to people outside the USA.

Potentially I can use my sister’s Amazon account (she lived in NYC) or her Australian or US iTunes accounts. However, it still does not solve the problem that most people would not have this option available to them.

So what the hell do I do? I cannot get my music the way that I want and if I order it on CD it’s going to take a few weeks to get here. I am all about instant gratification re: music so I am really angry as I want the songs NOW!

I love you iTunes but NOT when you limit what I can buy because of the country where I live I hate your guts!

On a side note…Lisa wrote a good blog about NZ TV networks and piracy. Many people have had enough in little ‘ol New Zealand.

Four Friday

I stole this list of prompts from Alice (and Wallace)

To be honest I could actually name one company where I had 4 different roles over the 4.5 years I was there. Instead I will try and be a little imaginative…Business Analyst, Client Services Consultant, Sales Rep and Retail Sales Chick.

10 Things I Hate About You, Bring it On, Easy A and The 13th Warrior

Auckland….so suburbs: Titirangi, Milford, Avondale and Glendene

Castle, Drop Dead Diva, The Closer and True Blood

Reading (Michigan), Fiji, Bali and Melbourne

Twitter, Google Reader, Facebook and Stuff

Cheese, Pasta, Chocolate and basil

St Dominic’s Primary School, Glen Eden Intermediate and Auckland Girls’ Grammar

Home reading, Melbourne, Sydney (hugging my sister) or Rarotonga

"Cheers to the freaking weekend....."

Thursday, September 22, 2011

3 months, 4 days

Jumped on the scales this morning and I am the same weight. I am not sure whether I should be happy about this or not. Suffice to say that my behaviour last week was not conducive to getting fitter and losing weight. We went to a party on Saturday night and I drank WAY too much and then had Hell’s Pizza (which incidentally was gross as I have been spoilt by my sister’s amazing homemade pizza) and woke up on Sunday morning feeling like shittles. I had some toast and a coffee and then ended up going on a food bender with a burger, fries, coke and then party food. So it is AMAZING that I did not put on weight.

After a pretty good workout this morning Mark and I had a conversation and it went a bit like this:
Ness: “we need to go to the gym tomorrow morning too”
Ness: “so we really need to be coming to the gym more”
Mark: “it’s hard to get up in the morning; it’s hard to come at night….”
Ness: “suck it up (cupcake)”

I will let you know if we make it to the gym in the morning (Friday).

Yesterday on the radio during their ‘I Like’ segment:
Female Caller: “I like the new homeopathic diet I am doing as I have lost 3kg in a few days by using the product and also eating 500 calories”
DJ: “500 calories isn’t enough (sic) and of course you are losing weight….when will people understand that it’s about energy in, energy out”
Female caller: “I am burning up my stored fat”

I am not a qualified professional, but I think that she is possibly burning a little stored fat, but also lean muscle mass because she’s simply not eating enough. Even the Biggest Loser contestants eat approximately 1000-1200 calories per day.

So honey how about washing those measly 500 calories down with some Lemon Detox Diet yumminess!

My friend Liz realised very quickly into changing her lifestyle that eating too few calories was prohibiting her weight loss; so she read up more and realised it was about burning more calories than you were eating. 

What sends all your good food and exercise 'train' off the rails?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Turned a Corner

I met with my personal trainer at the gym this morning and at the end of my treadmill cardio session she told me she felt I had “turned a corner” in my training.

Why had I turned a corner? Well this was one of the first times that my  heart rate did not go above 160bpm and it was also coming down faster during the rest intervals. It does not sound a lot to be excited about; but believe me she was! It means that my recovery from my maximum heart rate is getting better and therefore my fitness is gradually improving.

I have been a bit slack with my cardio workouts and while I love the cross-trainer with a passion; my personal trainer has been getting me to do interval training on the treadmill. I hate it. It is really hard. Although I think about how well they do on the Biggest Loser and I just push through. I do not know if other people find this, but when the speed is increased I feel like my legs can barely keep up with the treadmill belt. I have visions of flying off….which would be quite funny although quite painful. Also, I am determined not to hold onto the handles as there are "no handles in life".

A few months ago I did a few interval sessions on the treadmill interspersing running and walking. Trust me…this was a challenge but oddly enjoyable. I can understand the sense of accomplishment that Kate felt when she finally ran solidly for 20 minutes. For those people that run all the time it might seem much, but to people that have not run (or do not run) it is huge.

I need to start doing more cardio so that the Sculpt 6k on the 4th December is a breeze. I also need new walking/training shoes.

When did you realise you had turned a corner in your exercise regime?

I received my first book to review from Penguin! I have already made a start and it is awesome! In addition to the Penguin books I think that I might start reviewing some of the other books I read and really enjoy.

What book or books are you reading at the moment?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

3 months, 11 days

I lost 200g this week. Considering I know where I went wrong I am not surprised. Next week will be better.

I was pretty slack with my exercise last week and only managed 3 workouts. I actually think it was 2 because in all honesty I do not think I can count vacuuming. I thought I would start out better this week and work out on Monday…but I did not get up. However, I did manage 30 minutes on the bike in the evening followed by a healthy tea. Then Tuesday everything fell apart .

We only went food shopping last night (Wednesday) as I was trying to clear out our freezer and cupboards a bit before I bought more. Suffice to say this led me down the path of unplanned lunch and snack options. Realistically I should have done a top-up shop on Sunday afternoon to get lunch stuff.

Today (Thursday) I am doing much better. I had a bucket (kidding) of salad including lettuce, tomatoes, carrot, capsicum, chicken and croutons. It was delicious. I need to make a nice vinaigrette dressing I think.

Last night I watched the ‘Kitchen Vixen’ Nigella make the most amazing tapas and Caesar salad. I am going to try some of her yummy treats including hummus with Greek yoghurt and the most amazing guacamole!! Maybe I could make my own corn chips…going too far??

I have two new recipes that I want to try and have made a list of the ingredients I am missing so that we can grab them on the way home. I cannot wait…one is Garden Lasagne which is vegetarian and the other is Jerk Chicken. I will let you know how I go!

So the plan for the next week is to make sure I always have enough at work for 5, breakfasts, 4-5 lunches and 10 snacks. Increase my exercise even if it’s just an extra 3 times per week. Also, I think it is vital that I have my lunch away from my desk even if it is in our training room, or sitting outside when it is sunny. 

It looks like I will be getting an exercise book to read and review. Excited!!!

What do you have for your lunch at work?

Why Life should have an Undo Button

I was talking to my cousin a little while ago and she remarked that sometimes she says things and then as soon as they are said she thinks “oh I should not have said that”. I said “I wish there was an undo button for life”.

Over the years I have realised that having an undo button for life would make things so much better. It would mean that I could live my life without having to edit-proof a lot of the things that come falling out of my mouth.

I have inadvertently blurted things out to people before and then thought “oh hell…UNDO” only to realise that there is no UNDO!

Since there is no way that we are going to get an Undo button I think it is best that I learn to edit my words before they come out of my mouth. Or try and get the mess that is my thoughts in order.

Do you wish Life had an Undo Button?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Blogs that I Cannot Live Without

I have realised that so many of my blogs are born from anger or sadness. I want to blog when I have happy things to talk about as well. 

I would love to blog about my nephews and nieces but I find it hard to do this without putting a million photos up. Unfortunately, their parents are not really keen about having their photos up online so I tend not to blog about them at all. Perhaps I will find a way around it somehow.

I read a lot of blogs written by New Zealanders, American’s etc. and I love them. They write funny, sad, angry, poignant blogs. I am addicted to reading them and looking at their pictures. There are blogs that make me think, blogs that make me cry, blogs that challenge my own beliefs. These are some that I cannot do without; I love them….they enrich my life (this is not even half of the blogs I read regularly):


Pretty Stuff



Last week I noticed that Penguin Books were looking for bloggers to review books. I was really keen and then I realised that I did not think that many people read my blog #SadPanda. I kind of wonder how other bloggers increase their visitor numbers? Write regularly? Shorter blogs? Have cool photos?

Any ideas?~ Because it's all about me!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Fat Haters

Last night I watched ‘Embarrassing Fat Bodies’ on TV. It was pretty heart-breaking and maybe a little disturbing; but I could not look away. I saw a great deal of tweets about this about how people were disgusted, or it made them want to vomit. It also saw the fat haters come out and add their 2 cents worth on Twitter.

Fat hating no longer surprises me given the fact that I have been overweight/obese all my life and every day I have my own version of ‘Embarrassing Fat Bodies’ to contend with. The horrible comments left on weight-loss blogs no longer affect me that much.  

For the most part I expect that people that are overweight have their own reasons for getting to that place. For me (like many) it is eating more than I am burning. So from a TOTALLY simplistic point of view my energy ‘in’ is way more than my energy ‘out’.

I am neither a doctor nor a medical professional, but I expect that in some cases medication, genetics and health plays an issue.

I happened to scroll back through the tweets, and one particularly annoyed me. It was basically that it’s clear how people become obese and again it was ‘just’ about food and exercise. I personally realise that this is how I got obese and I am sure most people realise that as well; however there are often deeper things going on. So by just saying “you are fat because you eat FAR too much and do no exercise” is like saying that nothing else is going on for you at all. So the problem will be easily solved by eating less and exercising. Sorry but I disagree. Yes, you can eat less and exercise but you are bound to revert back to learned behaviour if you do not get to the root of the issue.

I remember when I first watched Kepa (you can see his journey here) on TV and his advice was that you needed to get your “head right” first and essentially the rest would follow. Kepa lost 129kg over the course of about 2 years so I think that he knows what he is talking about. He did not have an operation, he just got some help, started to change the way that he ate and eventually starting moving. It was a struggle, but he is healthier, happier and living the life of someone his age. I appreciate sometimes you have to push through to get your head right, but it can definitely be done.

There is my friend Liz who lost 80kg and got fit, well and healthy. I can still remember watching her for the first time on morning TV. I was blown away. You can check out her website here.  She started by not eating enough and realised that this was not the way. She did her research and starting eating well, and exercising. :)

If you have never ever had a weight problem or never been obese please do not feel like you have the right to tell fat people why they are the way that they are. You are only seeing the outside and not what is going on in the inside.

I wrote a blog a few months ago about my weight and the emotional side of things. If you want to see people breaking through their mental and emotional barriers just watch any version of The Biggest Loser.

I strongly believe that we should be supporting families in the community and teaching them about healthier choices, cooking and baking from scratch so that they can teach their children. We should be encouraging schools to grow small gardens so that perhaps children can take this knowledge home to their families. A garden does not need to be a huge expense and I know friends who use their scraps to create compost, to then create a small functional garden. You can also have a look at Kat’s blog here.

I also believe that physical education should be compulsory in schools until 6th or 7th form; with varied activities as not all children are runners. Get your families out for walks or even playing in the back yard. Limit children’s TV, gaming or internet time and just get them moving.

Oh and by the way do not even come at me with the fact that my weight is causing a “DRAIN” on the public healthcare. I have private insurance and very rarely go to the doctor. I am also on track to my weight loss goals for Christmas and next year.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

3 Months, 18 Days

Jumped on the scales this morning and had lost 1.5kg. I know that I can do better than that especially while I am carrying so much weight, but it is a really great start.

I have a Christmas goal of 25kg but even 16kg which is 10% of my body weight (give or take) would be fabulous.

I am still struggling to get up to go to the gym in the mornings though. It is lighter, but I just want to stay in bed. That is NOT going to get me closer to my goal. Last night I changed my alarm tune to the theme from Magnum P.I. I am wondering if I should have changed it to Mission Impossible. Once I am up it is fine, it is just getting my feet on the floor and getting my gym gear on.

I need to be moving more to burn the stored “fat”. So really I should be moving twice a day; six days per week. On the flipside I am eating less and am eating way more vegetables. I cannot wait until summer fruit hits the shelves as strawberries and nectarines are my absolutely favourite fruits.

I have been watching #BiggestLoserAustralia2011 online and that has been pretty inspiring. There are a couple of contestants that are doing my head in and one is a compete whinger. She is actually training with the Commando and even 9 weeks in she is still struggling with the emotional/mental hurdles of spending her life as an obese woman.

Does she piss me off because she reminds me of me? This morning at the gym I walked the stairs and when it got hard I got snappy with my personal trainer and said “I know” when she was offering words of encouragement. I realised that this is what I do. When I am frustrated at myself for being obese and unfit I get touchy and snappy. Normally, I just “suck it up (cupcake)” but every so often the negatively slips out.

So my goal is to get out of bed when my alarm goes off and get dressed straight away. Also, I need to have earlier nights so that I am not so shattered during the day.