Thursday, March 29, 2012

Still off the wagon

This week was meant to be better in terms of exercise. So far I have only done one walk and one cross-training session at the gym. Seriously I am a SLACKER. I think I am getting a bit ho-hum with cross-training at the gym which means it is time to change things up a little so I remain excited about the gym. Or I could just work harder and challenge myself.

Things to try in the next few weeks:
  • RPM – going to brave the wilds of the RPM room and get stuck in and burn some serious calories
  • Group Fitness – I am going to bite the bullet and do a few aerobics classes and may even try Body Attack
  • Resistance training – write up a program for resistance training as I have not done any this year and do not want to waste the good work I did last year. Resistance for me will also include step-ups (unavoidable) and probably skipping to keep my heart rate up

I went shopping this morning for some healthy snack and breakfast alternatives after being inspired by late night texts from a friend. She encouraged me to give cottage cheese another go. Honestly, the thought of cottage cheese reminds me of doing Weight Watchers as a teenager (((shudder))). However, I bit the bullet and tried some garlic and chive cottage cheese on corn cruskits. Not bad. It is pretty low fat and it is another form of protein which I think I need.

You can also see the other goodies that I bought in the photo above. Can I just say that the Collective Dairy yoghurt is beyond amazing; it is out of this world. You have to try the Summer Coconut before it is all gone!

I also got some Ceres Tamari roasted Almonds. The problem is, is that they are so moorish and fairly high in calories. So I have decided that this weekend I will attempt to make Roasted Pimentón Chickpeas from The Curvy Carrot website. I figure they are lower calories and a good source of protein.

Just got an email with the photos of me from The Dual; yuck! I am contemplating buying one to throw darts at...or as inspiration for next year!

There is a set of killer stairs that I walk up and down during my nightly walks. I am pleased to say that on Monday I managed to walk them without my heart rate going above 167bpm. This is something to be celebrated as normally my heart rate can hit the low 170’s. Quietly patting myself on the back. 

I am quietly dreading the end of daylight savings. It means that I need to get home earlier to walk while it is still light or walk home along the road. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

My dad

There is a moment when you read someone else’s blog about their dad passing away and you realise how lucky you are to still have your parents. Then you realise, as the tears start to fall, how it hits too close to home.

My dad has always been so strong. He had never broken a bone and had only had one major surgery.

Then a few years ago he had a major bowel bleed and was rushed to hospital. By the time I got there he was doing okay. I left and returned later to find him in ICU. He was so frail and there were so many wires. I actually stepped backwards away from the bed in shock. I just wanted to run away. This was not my dad; this strong, proud man. I clearly remember how I felt but most of all I remember Mark stepping in behind me to lend me his support and love. I will never forget that moment as long as I live. I love you honey.

Since the bowel surgery he has had numerous operations to remove melanomas from his face. He also fell and hit his head. He had a hernia operation and I remember him calling me in tears about the aftermath. Throughout the whole time he has managed to maintain his sense of humour. Even as I recall some of the things he has said to the doctors and nurses I am grinning.

He now needs a hip replacement. Even though we knew this would be hard going for him (he’s nearly 84) life just threw us a massive curve ball. His heart is failing. He needs heart surgery before he can have his hip replaced.

I know that we are all getting older and our bodies start to need repair; but seriously I definitely was not ready for that.

So now we wait. We wait for a letter to arrive to tell him when he can see the specialist. What I hate is that I have no control and I cannot help.

My advice is to spend the time with your family and friends NOW because you do not know what is around the corner. I do not want to waste one more day on things that can wait until I have phoned my parents, talked to my sisters, caught up with a friend or cuddled my nephews and nieces. I want to be present in their lives.

I actually think that Belinda has summed it up perfectly in her blog.

Life is short. I love you mum and dad.

Monday, March 26, 2012

2012 Project 52 – Week 12

18th – 24th March

On Saturday 24th March I completed the 10km Dual on the stunning Motutapu Island; it is tucked in behind the mighty Rangitoto and the views from the top of the hills are breath-taking (literally and figuratively). 

I have not been over to Motutapu in years and it was a beautiful, sunny day. Through the pain and sweat I could definitely appreciate the beauty that surrounded me.  

Rather than rewriting it all here; here’s the link to my fitness blog post that I wrote about the experience.

10km Dual on Motutapu

I thought I had fallen off the exercise wagon the previous week, but last week I definitely fell off and I fell hard. We only made it to the gym twice and then I did the 10km Dual on Motutapu Island.

I am not going to focus on my lack of exercise last week but rather my achievement on Saturday in completing the Dual.

About 2 minutes into the start of the 10km I realised that I had NOT fully understood what I was getting myself into. My legs were burning, my heart rate was up and I was gradually falling to the back of the line.

But I did not give up.

I made it to the first water station at 2.2km and thought “there are only 7.8km left; how bad can it be”. Oh it got worse! I knew that there were going to be hills, but did not prepare myself for the almost vertical downward climbs over farm land. It took intense concentration not to roll an ankle and I ended up feeling like a mountain goat.

There were parts when I just wanted to give up, but I did not. At one stage with about 3-4km left I was talking to my legs and saying “you have got this, just keep taking steps as this will bring you closer the end”. I am amazed at what the human body can deal with. I am proud of what my body was able to do. Proud because at 148kg I was probably the biggest person competing and I still managed to finish without injury and not have a heart attack.

I know that I am definitely fitter than I was in November as there is no way I could have done this walk then. I managed to complete the walk in 2 hours and 52 minutes; not ideal but still under 3 hours. I know that had I been walking on the road I would have done it in just over 2 hours.

Aside from my own inner voice/strength there were a couple of things that really got me through. One was thinking of close friends who are doing so well and are committed to their journey. I thought of you both a lot. The second was the inspiration quotes, photos etc. from a Facebook page that I have just started following Fitness Goddesses. Unbelievably, their quote on Saturday (NZ time) hit the nail on the head regarding what I felt; so it was timely that I read this straight after the walk.

I will definitely be doing the 10km Dual next year and I will be fitter, stronger and I will definitely do it in a shorter amount of time.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Lost the Exercise/Eating Plot

I would credit this quote; but I do not know who said it.

I feel like I have lost the exercise and eating plot. Last week was not that bad in terms of food, but seriously the exercise started to taper off.

I was determined that this week was going to be better with exercise and eating. It is now Thursday and I have fallen off the wagon BIG TIME.

I have all the excuses in the world. Want to hear them? Just kidding.

At the end of the day there are no excuses that can justify my actions. I make my own decisions whether they are right or wrong. I cannot look back at what I have or have not done. I can only move forward. To quote Nike “just do it”.

So things that will help:
  • Do not even buy high-GI, high sugar/fat food
  • Having some healthy snacks available to curb cravings i.e. fruit, prunes, seeds and nuts
  • Buying a waterproof jacket to walk in; can I get waterproof covers for my shoes?
  • Using the fitness DVD’s or wind-trainer if it is simply too wet to walk
  • Keeping up-to-date with the laundry so we have towels, gym gear etc.
  • Getting more sleep

Now for the too much information (TMI) part. I have PMT and it is making my scratchy and uncomfortable in my own skin. Last night I was yelling (like a Banshee) and stumbled and just about fell through a window. Serves me right…right?

I am craving sweet shit every single day. Obviously, I am lacking something if I want chocolate morning, noon and night. I checked the cravings list and it could be magnesium?     

The good news is, is that it is finally sunny and not raining. This makes me happy!

What would you do/not do as a job?

When the recession kicked in a few years ago and people started losing their jobs left, right and centre it got me thinking about my work and career.

I love what I do and given that I used to tidy up product on shelves in the supermarket when I was about 5 years old; my job certainly makes a lot of sense. I also ‘merchandise’ my books by author and by the number in the series. Actually, this possibly speaks more to my OCD than anything else!

What jobs would I consider if there was not a similar role (to the one that I am doing now) available? Honestly, I think that I would do almost anything. If it meant having to work 2-3 different jobs then I would do it. When looking for jobs there are some definite factors that I would take into account.

Location - I would not work further than Mt Wellington as I spent 5.5 years driving from West Auckland out to Manukau and I would never do that again. I do not particularly want to move out of West Auckland.

Type of job/company – I could never be a Butcher, a telemarketer or work for a freezing works. I would never work for a company in direct competition to my current or previous company. I love the children of my friends and family however I do not think I could work with children; ironic given that I wanted to be a teacher.

Otherwise, I am pretty flexible:
  • I would love to work for a New Zealand owned company
  • I am happy to do cleaning; commercial and/or domestic
  • Happy to pick up rubbish in public areas
  • I would love to work with the road crews; I am obsessed with holding the stop/go sign!
  • I would happily work in hospitality, customer service, administration, retail or for a supermarket
  • Working in a video or book store would be my ultimate job

With the current job climate in NZ and the world….what would you do/not do?