“It’s been a long time, been a long time yeah yeah”


Over the years, I’ve shifted away from this little blog because I decided that I didn’t like the narrow focus I’d constructed for myself. I was all about the FITNESS and the FOOD and the DIET and once I got engaged and started moving around the world again, I didn’t know how to blog about other stuff. So I abandoned this space and moved on to other blogs that died slow, sad deaths too. 

I lost the ability to be honest and true in my writing. I started writing for everyone else, for an audience, but, if I’m being honest (which is the whole point of this post), I never started blogging for everyone else. I started blogging for myself. 

Where am I now? 2014. Married, living in Melbourne, Australia, trying to get pregnant, starting a new job shortly just as my husband is planning on starting his own business. There’s a lot on my plate and I need my own space, so here we are. I doubt I even have any readers anymore, but if anyone finds me here, welcome to my little corner of the world. I can’t promise coherent posts or a coherent message. You’re not going to get sponsored reviews and posts coming out of the wazoo. There’ll be some worky work stuff, some meal planning, some how-the-hell-are-we-going-to-live-on-one-salary stuff, some damn-I-hate-fertility-treatment stuff. But one thing I can promise you is that it’s going to be HONEST and REAL. 

Here’s a coffee and a comfy chair – welcome.

Advertisements

Body in shock


This week has been my get-back-on-the-wagon week. So I’ve filled it with tons of water-drinking (punctuated with one beer on Friday that left me bloated for 24 hours), lots of veggies (punctuated with some fries to accompany the afore-mentioned beer) and some exercise.

I say some exercise because as much as I’d would have liked to have hit the gym 5 times this week, I didn’t for the following reasons:

  1. I didn’t really want to.
  2. I had uni on Monday and Tuesday nights so I only got home at 8pm.
  3. I visited my lovely friend Kate in hospital on Wednesday night.
  4. I didn’t think it was that smart to go hell for leather in the first week in case I would’t be able to move for weeks afterwards.
All those excuses, I mean, reasons didn’t stop me from actually exercising though. In the past, they would have. I would have gotten to Thursday and thought, well, this week is a loss, I’ll start again next week and then next week would have been exactly the same. This is why I’m carrying around an extra 15 pounds.
So on Thursday, I went to the gym and had a 45 minute session with my trainer, who left me with very tight quads. On Saturday morning, I walked for 30 minutes to pilates and had an hour pilates class and then walked home. This left me with very tight abs and a body that craved sleep all day.
Today, I’m sore and I’m still tired. But it’s a good tired, or least that’s what I’m telling myself. I’m not going to try do more next week because my obligations are the same and my time is finite. But I’ll get to the gym on Thursday and I’ve already booked into a pilates class on Saturday so my body may not be as much in shock next time.
And despite everything I tell you and all the whinging I do about my sore muscles, I like this feeling. I like feeling as if I’ve done something, as if I’ve shocked my body out of complacency and I’m actually moving forward. Sore muscles are great (but don’t tell The Boy, since I need to keep whinging to someone :))

Staying motivated even when the results aren’t obvious


Logically, we all know that the weight won’t drop off the minute we walk into a gym, or choose the first healthier meal. We know that the weight crept on and it will more than likely creep off too. We know this but we still want to see results NOW. Scratch that, we want results yesterday. We want to look in the mirror and see a svelte self; we want the numbers on the scale to start descending immediately. We want it all.

Compounding this is the fact that the first week of being on track – be it exercising or eating better, or both – we usually see results. We lose a lot of excess water weight and we feel quite virtuous. So, we step on the scale and voila, the number is lower. This is good, we think. This is easy. Why didn’t I do this years ago? This was me last week – I was down a pound and thrilled. All it took was making a few different decisions, like avoiding chocolate and moving more, and amazingly, I lost weight. Easy.

And then week 2 hits.

We gain it back or don’t lose anything else. Our body betrays us. And we remember why we didn’t do this years ago – because it’s not that easy. It’s bloody HARD actually. This week, my scale deserted me. It stood on the other side of the bathroom and laughed at me. It stayed the same and then, slowly, went up and up. I’ve gained that pound back and more. This week. I exercised more, I drank more water, I ate as well as I did last week and I gained weight. My skin has broken out, the weight hasn’t shifted and I feel like crud for it.

This week, I realised why weight loss is not easy peasy; why staying on course is not a given. It’s easy to stay focused when you’re losing weight because you’re getting a constant reward, but it’s when you’re not losing weight that you need to be even more focused and motivated. It’s when you’re not seeing the results that you need to remind yourself why you’re doing this. It’s not to look fabulous (although that could be one reason) but it’s to be healthy, to be strong; to feel great. It’s to be here for many years more.

Week 2 is when you need to support yourself and everyone else who’s on the course with you.

So this week, I’m still making good choices. I’m still going to get to the gym 4 times this week. I’m still going to drink a riduculous amount of water so I stay hydrated. And hopefully, my body will catch onto the plan and start doing what I want it to do.

I am focused because this is not a sprint. This is a marathon. This is for good.

 

Things I’ve Learnt


1. Buying books about weight-loss and exercise does not actually make you lose weight or exercise.

I know, it’s bizarre, but it’s true. I’ve been buying books about weight loss and exercise and all these healthy recipe books and not actually opening them. Or opening them, reading them and not actually, well, putting them into practice. So I really shouldn’t be surprised that I’m not actually losing weight. But it annoys me none-the-less.

2. Eating 6 meals a day does not help you lose weight when those six meals are all the size of a dinner plate.

Again, bizarre but true. I’ve turned into a snacking machine and I’ve stopped listening to my body. Or rather, I’ve turned every murmur from my body into a “I’m hungry!” signal. And every snack is not really a snack. For a while I was eating breakfast at home, then breakfast at work, then a morning snack, then lunch, afternoon snack, after-work snack and then dinner. For your information, this is not a surefire way to lose weight. Or even to maintain your weight. I don’t recommend this diet.

Unless, of course, your aim is to gain weight. Then it’s highly effective.

3. Living with my parents is not a good way to lose weight.

My mother, bless her, loves to cook and loves to please people. So every meal time is a production in many ways. We may not eat starters with every meal (thank goodness!) but there’s veggie sides and salads and dips and sauces. And if that’s not enough, she’s offering leftovers in the fridge or other dips or snacks or … It’s neverending food.

Then she bakes and of course offers us something to test, or the crumbs or the leftovers. And it’s so yummy that it’s tough to say no. I know I should have more willpower but it’s not an easy task I tell you. I’m not blaming her really but it’s hard work!

But there’s a solution! A family friend is going away for 2 and a half weeks and has offered us their place in exchange for some dog-sitting. So our own place for two weeks + a built in reason to exercise everyday = awesome! And my mood has shifted already.

Oh, and things are happening on the Work front too. The Boy will hopefully have an offer coming through soon – they’re busy doing the whole background and reference check thing right now, so fingers crossed it comes through. And me, well, I’m in demand which is good and confusing but I think I’ve made up my mind. More later!

A letter to Hollywood


Dear Hollywood starlets,

I don’t care what your publicist tells you to spout to the world. Perhaps it’s true that you’ve had the body of a 12-year old all your life (I’m looking at you Shenae Grimes) or you have a super fast metabolism. Perhaps you really do enjoy eating salads everyday and have no sweet tooth at all.

And perhaps pigs fly out there in Hollywood.

We all know that you diet and exercise and work frigging HARD to get that 12-year old body that shows no curves and acts like a clothes hanger. We know that the pressures you face in your day-to-day worklife are enormous. And so we know – as much as you deny it – that your eating habits are not like most.

Almost every female star in Hollywood who has been associated with anorexia claims and denied them fervently has eventually admitted to them years down the track (Portia de Rossi, I’m looking at you) so how is it still the denial of choice? Why do female actors feel the need to be seen eating all the time and even seem to be going as far as to schedule interviews over indulgent lunches, ensuring that their eating habits are featured in the pages of glossy magazines?

Personally, I respect actors like Julianne Moore who have come out and admitted that staying slim in Hollywood is hard work and eating granola bars for lunch is awful but she does it to keep working. I respect people who admit that they exercise for hours on end to get that toned I-was-born-like-this look. I respect them because they admit that this is a product of their professional lives. In the same way that I maintain my computer skills and professional development, so they maintain their diet and exercise regime in order to stay professionally active. It’s in their job description.

Because when they admit that, I know that my lifestyle does not accommodate for that and it’s not me, it’s them. That, theoretically, if I decided to work out 3+ hours a day, I could look like that. If I had a personal chef, personal trainer and personal assistant to handle my, well, personal life, I could do it. It’s a funny little thing that makes me feel normal instead of ridiculous when I look in the mirror.

Yes, there are people who are naturally slim and have androgynous bodies. There are people who are active all day and who can eat dessert every night without feeling any ill effects. I’m not saying that every person who is slim and not trying to be is lying. But not everyone in Hollywood is like that. In fact, I’m sure if I tried, I could find statistics disproving the number of “naturally slim” actors vs. the proportion of naturally slim people in the world.

So to all those Hollywood stars and starlets, admit that you work hard to look like you do. Give the rest of us a fighting chance to feel normal and to admire your hard work instead of wondering if our metabolisms are crap and our bodies just hate us.

Playing out, not working out


I’ve semi-stolen this idea from Mizfit, and I love it, so I doubt she would really mind!

One of my Health Month rules is to get 30 minutes of activity in 4 times a week – any sort of activity at all. I’m trying really hard not to start the year with an all or nothing mentality, because I find that usually falls by the wayside and I end up beating myself up about it.

We arrived back in Auckland at midnight on Tuesday night and by the time we got through customs etc and got home it was 1:30am. No way in hell I was going to be up for my 7am pilates class. Even with the best intentions, I would have most likely hit snooze fifty times and slept in. So I didn’t register, instead I picked a class for Thursday and accepted that if I wanted to get moving on Wednesday, it would have to be something else getting me grooving.

Enter our Nintendo Wii which, until New Year’s Eve, had been sitting in a plastic bag under the couch for months. We have no Wii Fit (although I’m dying to get one  *hint hint*) so I loaded up Wii Boxing and went for it for almost an hour. I played some games, did some of the training exercises, tested my fitness (I’m 80 years old according to the Wii. Screw you, my coordination sucks) and was huffing and puffing like mad. It didn’t feel like exercise so why are my muscles so sore??

And that’s what I love about playing out, not working out. I wasn’t thinking about my heart rate or calories or anything. I was determined to beat the damn computer and master the idea of dodging and weaving without getting my Mii knocked out.

Apparently I’m weaker on my left side since that’s the side that aches more.

Thursday I was aching and sore but I went to pilates and experienced a different instructor to my usual. As a result, my abs are in pain as well today, taking the total aching body parts to, well, my entire body. I barely slept last night since every time I turned over, I woke up and I’m groaning like a mad woman today every time I need to move at all.

I love it.

(And if anyone has a Wii Fit they’re not using, I’m happy to take it off your hands!)

Keeping Busy


After all the excitement of the past few weeks/months, I’m at a little bit of a loss. I came home to no work on my plate and not much to keep me busy. All my projects finished up nicely (ish) before the wedding and it was lovely to be away not really worrying too much about work at all, but now the email is quiet, the bank account emptying and the boredom mounting.

So, in the interests of keeping my butt off the couch and my brain from melting into oblivion, I am getting back on course with the whole healthy living thing. Yeah, that. Remember when I used to exercise, like, ALL the time? And eat right? And think about muscles and weights and running a 5k one day? Yeah, I know, it was a long time ago but I’m getting back there.

I picked up some awesome deals thanks to Grab One and Groupy, the New Zealand Groupon equivalents and this week, I set about using them. First up was a voucher for three box fit personal training sessions at my gym for $49 – which is about how much one session would cost alone. So I booked in for that. Next up was a great voucher for some reformer pilates sessions at Peak Pilates, which is a brilliant Physio and Pilates chain right up the road from me (literally actually, it’s 2 minutes away!) which would usually cost somwhere around $200. So I signed up for that.

I had my intro class on Monday and I’m hooked. They worked one-on-one with me, looking over my posture (not good thanks to that whole right leg being longer than the left) and went through a bunch of important positions and moves, correcting me along the way. I really enjoyed the attention and knowing that I was in no danger of getting hurt by doing things wrong. That’s what I hate about the big classes where you’re one of 20 people and the instructor has no way to correct everyone.

And then I had my first actual class on Wednesday. At 7am. Yes, it was tough getting up for it. Yes, I contemplated staying in bed. No, I don’t regret it at all. I am OFFICIALLY addicted. The class was small – they always are a max of 5 people but there were only 2 of us – so we both got tons of attention. I knew I was working my muscles hard and properly and I felt it. It was an hour class and we worked every part of the body. I’m so not a morning person but this was a great way to wake up. Of course, I was so paranoid that I was going to oversleep that I woke up at 5am and then every 20 minutes after that. But no matter, I booked in again next week and once my 3 sessions are finished, I’m going to sit down with the budget and work out if we can afford me doing more. Because I might be in love with pilates.

But that was not all I did on Wednesday. No no. I had my first box fit session and Mae kicked. my. ass. My heart rate rose right from the get-go and did not drop the entire time. I guess 2 months of no exercise at all means you’re one unfit, puffing billy at the gym. We did sprints. We did speed pyramids, with “rest periods” of wall sits – apparently the gym wall needed a lot of propping up – and then more speed pyramids. We did crunches and jumping jacks. We also cursed Mae out repeatedly. And booked in for next week and more hell.

So today my body is aching, but in a good way, a way I haven’t felt for a while and I’m loving it. Because seriously, my brain might be turning to mush while I’m out of work, but my body certainly will not.

Happy Thanksgiving to my U.S. peeps and enjoy the turkey!