Friday, August 23, 2013

Birthday Lead Up

Gandalf - I LOVE this cat

I love birthdays; always have. I used to do the countdown until my birthday arrived…you know how it goes “x number of sleeps to go”. Unfortunately, for the past few years my birthdays have not been the celebration that they have been in the past. Also, I have been a bit shit with other people's birthdays. 

Last year was probably the worst with a letter containing really shit news the day of my birthday and then two days later my dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Even now I find those words the hardest to write. It is obviously still really raw.

My parents with me on my second birthday (1977)
This year I faced by first birthday in 38 years without my dad. What I wanted to say to my mum the other day (I just could not get the words out) is that I carry him with me in my heart every day of my life; so he is always with me. Forever.

I was really determined to make it a really amazing birthday lead up with the culmination of awesomeness on my actual birthday. This mostly happened.

Months before my birthday I decided that my plan would be to get out of Auckland and try another city for my birthday week. So I chose Wellington as I love it there and a lot of my friends are down there. They did have a few big earthquakes and Mark really did not want me to go and we were also trying to sort out a whole lot of other important stuff. If you know me well, then you will know that I am really determined and earthquakes and stress were not going to get in the way of my plans.

Puppies keeping me company while I work
I stayed with a close friend and her husband and their petting zoo. I honestly do not think that I have had that much fun, talked so much, laughed out loud until I nearly wet my pants and eaten so much and had so many cuddles with puppies. I feel incredibly honoured that they opened their home to me with unconditional love and warmth. All I can say is that I hope I know you both forever. Julia, you have touched a part of my soul with your wicked humour, stunning taste in music, intelligence, compassion, understanding and love. You are in essence my sister from another mother.

I actually think that my brain went into overdrive with the sheer amount of things that I learned in a short time:

  • Difference between Whisky and Whiskey
  • How our gut bacteria is populated when we are born
  • Puppy training
  • Who Keith Apicary is (search him on You Tube)
  • How amazing the ‘Sexy and I Know It’ video clip is
  • Azealia Banks
  • Native Birds
  • Photography
  • How cool the Botanic Gardens are on the cusp of Spring
  • How much houses in Wellington sell for
  • Spreadable Avocado
  • Who my loyalties lie with when watching rugby
  • There are no remote controlled lights

On Saturday a group of amazing women got together to chat and have high tea at the wonderfully decadent Sweet Pea in Petone. This was organised by a lovely, thoughtful woman who I know through Twitter and I have to give her credit as she was meeting me (and everyone else for the first time) which had to be pretty full on!

Sweet Pea - Saturday 27th July, 2013
It was so lovely to see these beautiful women - Lou, Niamh, Anjuli, Mel, Erin, Angela (we share our birthday) and Julia. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for coming along so that we could all catch up and have a great chat/gossip and eat awesome food. I feel really blessed to have all of you in my life through either family or Twitter. You gals are the people that really make Wellington feel like home to me and I pester Mark all the time to move back there. Bring on early October when I am coming back to WellyWood for another epic birthday celebration.

My actual birthday was carnage in the morning. RPM at 6.10am and then by about 11am I had already driven well over 100km. This was interspersed with lovely birthday wishes from friends, family and Twitter. Then mum and I spent the afternoon together having a decadent lunch and then we were the only ones in the Gold Class Cinema watching ‘The Heat’. Then back home for a small rest and then Fish and Chips with Mark, mum and I.

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

Much love, 

Ness xx

Friday, August 9, 2013

Pre-16 Week Challenge

Last Thursday (1st August) I decided to start the 16-week plan that Delane and I had discussed. The great news is, is that in a month I had lost about 2.2kg. Given the amount that I am exercising my food still needs a lot of revision.

By Friday I had decided that perhaps it was the pre-16 week plan when I had a whole bottle of red wine and a truck load of cheese and when I say truck load….it was a lot.

I woke up on Saturday morning feeling pretty good and then realised that my poor liver and gallbladder were really struggling to process the alcohol and cheese; seriously “why Ness, WHY”. I did a killer workout at the Trusts Stadium; first time I have done those stairs since before I went to Korea. I struggled!! It is funny how I can be exercising regularly (i.e. RPM and 1 x Pump class a week) and still get totally smashed by the stairs. Even though I HATE the stairs I am also their biggest advocate as they get you fitter/stronger faster than anything else I have tried. There are 66 stairs from bottom to top and it is a 50m climb. They have helped increase my walking speed for the 9 events I have done this year.

This was the first time I had done this workout with a larger group than the girls at the MMNZ Shake Up and while I appear laid back and confident I am really not good with strangers and internally I am having a full on MELTDOWN. I just hide it well; or maybe I do not. Once I got over the feeling of wanting to go home and die quietly I did really enjoy the group; everyone is at different levels of fitness and people are so friendly. Two really cool things 1. People bring their children and that is so special and 2. My partner when doing shuttles said to me “if you can still talk, then you can work harder”.

It is now Friday and on the eve of the second workout at the Trusts I am deciding whether to go again. It is not because I do not want to; it is just that my body is knackered. I am quite stressed and my anxiety is pretty high at the moment. Since last Saturday I have already done 5 x RPM classes and I had to push through the pain in my calves/hamstrings from the stairs.

I never realised exactly which muscles I used when doing a standing climb/attack in RPM until Sunday morning when I just about cried/vomited from the lactic acid build up and a killer headache. Kids DO NOT try this at home. I have stretched heaps and used the foam roller a lot. I apologised to my body and promised that I would take better care of it. To be honest I need to:

  • Not drink for 16 weeks
  • Be kinder to my body
  • Stretch A LOT more
  • Mix up my workouts
  • Plan meals better
  • NO CHEESE (ahhhhhh maybe I just need to reduce it)

Also, for a birthday treat I went to see my doctor to check everything as I have been feeling really light-headed and kind of spaced-out “yes, even more than normal”.

The results were pretty good:
  • Blood Pressure - normal
  • Full Blood Count - Perfect
  • Cholesterol - 5.2 (should be under 5 however everything else is way down including ratio of 3.2) = Good
  • Thyroid - 2.6 = Perfect
  • Diabetic Profile - 41 (meant to be under 40) = Ok
  • Liver Function = Perfect
  • Kidney Function = Great

Yesterday (8th August) I started the 16-week challenge again and from here I need to weigh myself (it is not really about weight) and take photos weekly and blog my progress.  

Happy weekend everyone!