Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Storm damage closes gym

Would you believe it? Foiled again! No 25 points for me tonight. Mind you, I can do with a guilt-free break. I've got a candle party to go to. It was going to be a rush with my workout, shower, and then getting there, but a girl's gotta take every opportunity to go shopping.

This morning I did the gentle cardio session that I planned. The most interesting part of the session was the walk to the gym, as there was hail everywhere. We had a massive storm last night, and the evidence was all over the place this morning. Where the hail had melted the pavements were green with leaf litter. The leaves were torn to shreds. Street lights weren't working. There were already workers out and about cleaning up the damage.

I did the "fat burner" session on the treadmill at level 6. Started off at 6 km/h but dialled it back to 5.6 when my quads started complaining. Those walking lunges are a killer!

I had intended to start work early this morning, which involves getting a taxi. I walked down to the rank to discover it was full of hail. Not a cab in sight. I'd not noticed the hail on my way past earlier, as the street lights were all out at that corner. I wandered off towards a couple of other taxi ranks, to no avail. The walk did give me the chance to see more hail everywhere, and I still managed to get back in time for my regular bus.

The gym is supposed to be open tomorrow. I'm not sure if we'll be doing the long run. I guess it will depend on the weather. I'm hoping that it's fine. Whatever happens, I'll go early and do the weights session I missed today. In the evening, I have my slim session, and I'm hoping Body Jam will be on. I should be able to fit in a cardio session too.

Tuesday, 27 February 2007

It rained!

All those nerves, all that preparation, and it all came to nothing. I was awake early and ready in plenty of time. When I walked to the gym, it was raining! Would you believe it? It was getting heavier as I got closer to the gym so I was pretty sure that we wouldn't venture outside, and we didn't.

It's hailing as I write this. I have the blinds open so I can watch. On my way home from trivia tonight, there was crackling thunder and frequent lightning. I was glad that I was indoors before the heavens opened.

Back to the aborted run. Marianne and I combined our personal training sessions anyway and did boxing with Leanne. It was a great workout. We ran around the room where they do the classes, then skipped, rebounded and did step ups for 2 mins each, then got into the punching. We took turns holding the pads, which I've never done before. It's not as easy as it looks.

After we'd done the basic punching, Leanne had us running across the room, punching 10 times, running back and doing 10 pushups. We did this four times. I don't think I've done 40 pushups in a single session before! Then she had us do an interval run for 10 mins at 6 / 10 km/h. After that some walking lunges (which I hate with a passion), dips and stretches.

It was great fun doing the session with Marianne as well. I found it motivating as I tried to keep up. I certainly worked up a sweat! Unfortunately, I don't really know how many calories I burned, as I accidentally turned off my heart rate monitor when I pulled on the gloves. Still, I figure it was heaps! It will be even more when I start to feel sore tomorrow.

This evening I had planned some gentle recovery cardio, but I ended up doing some running. I didn't have a lot of time, so I did intervals, 6 / 10-10.5-11 km/hr for 20 mins then ran at 8.5 km/h until I reached 3 km. I got there in just over 22 mins, and then walked until I hit the 25 min mark before cooling down and stretching. A quick shower and I raced off to triv.

Our trivia team has not been going well, although we managed to win our first prize in ages last week for coming 7th. This week we rocked. We won the main prize by miles. We were seriously good, to our amazement. There was a new quiz master and they were very slow, which probably worked to our advantage, as it gave us time to think. I hope they get quicker, as I ended up coming home half an hour later than usual.

Tomorrow, I'm planning to do weights tomorrow evening. If I can get there in time, I'll see if I can get a vacancy in the 5:30 spin class. There's no point booking, because I'll be relying on a lift to make it there that early and they are chancy at the best of times. In the morning, I think I'll do that gentle cardio session I've been promising myself. At the moment, my legs are feeling tired, so it's probably a good idea not to push it. If the legs are up to it though, I'll try to fit some running into the cardio session.

Monday, 26 February 2007

Into week four of the challenge

It's getting easier to get to the gym in the mornings. That's a relief, as I have another nine weeks of this to go. I'd hate to think I had to struggle every morning! Mind you, I still didn't get there until 6:30. There were clothes to iron and all the other things I should have prepared last night and didn't.

I did a cardio session as planned this morning, 20 mins of aerobic training at level 6, 5.6 km/h. Everyone around me was running which had me wanting to run too, just to show them I could, but I stuck to the plan and ignored my ridiculous competitive streak.

I managed to get myself onto the bus this morning, which meant that I got the extra 15 mins of walking that I do as part of my trip to work. I'm sure the people at the bus interchange think I'm crazy, walking around and around the interchange, but I don't care. I do find that I have to remind myself every once in a while that people don't pay attention, and that my fellow travellers probably haven't even noticed my "manic walking".

This walking is a habit I got into when I was doing the Global Corporate Challenge. My brother, Jim, is responsible for it, as he told me that he'd read about the concept of "stealing a workout" by not wasting time that would be spend waiting. I used to have a ten minute wait between buses. I now get off a stop early, walk to the interchange, and then use the rest of the time walking up and down the platform. All up I walk for about 25 minutes on my way to work.

This afternoon, I did the weights session as planned, and followed it up with walking to the supermarket. All in all, I burned about 600 calories in exercise today. The heart rate monitor is terrific. The machines at the gym seem to always say I've burned more calories than I have. I'd be at a loss to know why I wasn't losing weight if I trusted them. Mind you, the fitter I get the harder I have to work to get my heart rate up there.

Tomorrow, I'm doing the run with Leanne and Marianne at 6 am. It looks like we'll be going a fair distance, so I hope I'm up to it. Leanne's going to take her footpod so that we'll know. In the afternoon, I'll do some gentle cardio I think. After that, I'll be rushing off to trivia, and exercising my mind.

Oh, I didn't eat much today. I was hungry just after lunch and made myself wait a while, and then I forgot. I cooked myself a healthy dinner, and discovered it had next to no calories. Well, not compared to meals I used to eat. I made a turkey stirfry. I trimmed the fat off the diced turky thigh I bought. As I was checking each little piece out I had a quiet chuckle at myself. I'm not into cooking, so for me to be taking such care with preparing food is quite amusing. Mind you, it was worth it. I trimmed off over 50 grams of fat and was left with about 300 grams of lean turkey. I used to buy the turkey mince, but I think I'll do it this way from now on, unless I mince it myself. A mincer is on my list of things to buy, simply because you don't always know how much fat you're getting in mince.

Anyway, dinner was delicious. I had cheesecake for dessert as I had the calories left. I haven't hit the 1200 calories mark yet, so I'll be having supper too. Luckily I have some healthy snacks left over from the playstation afternoon. Oh, I took the chocolate into work and my workmates are kindly demolishing it for me so that I don't eat it myself. They are very thoughtful.

Sunday, 25 February 2007

Quick Run today

I didn't have a lot of time to get to the gym this morning. For various reasons outside my control, I ended up doing a 20 minute run on the treadmill, which was all I could fit in before being picked up. Yes, you guessed it. I could have fit in a much longer run! It seems to always be the way .. you rush madly, and then spend time sitting still.

I ran at 8 km/h for 20 mins, which I was happy with. All the usual "let's stop now" stuff going on in my head, but it's not as hard to ignore now. With the walk to and from the gym, I ended up doing 40 mins of exercise.

Today was a lot of fun, a barbecue followed by a bush walk (more exercise) and then dinner out with some good friends. I do enjoy the weekend!

Next week, I'm doing a long run outside on Tuesday and Thursday morning. I'm planning to do the Body Jam class on Thursday night. This means that I will be doing weights on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I'll also be trying to get to an RPM class on Wednesday, and do some alternative cardio at some stage during the week. I'll do the weights in the evening, as that gives me more time, so tomorrow morning it looks like I'll be doing a cardio session. I'd better get my gear ready tonight, as I've been too busy over the weekend to get everything done.

I have to squeeze my slim session in on Thursday, which is annoying. They have all these people signed up for slim, but not enough staff to see us. Oh well, all I really want is to collect the points for the session. I don't pay real attention to my weight at the gym. I'll be weighing myself on Sunday morning.

This weekend I'll be going to the Yarraville gym. That's going to be a challenge to fit in, as I have to do some serious shopping for my winter wardrobe. I've given away all last year's clothes, and Canberra is a COLD place. I have a team of people going shopping with me in Smith Street Collingwood. It should be a blast, even if my credit card takes months to recover.

Saturday, 24 February 2007

Tiring day today

I'm exhausted!

This morning, I headed to the gym at 9:00 so that I could get a cardio session in before the RPM (spin). Everything was going to plan, up until the RPM class. There was some sort of management problem, which meant our trainer couldn't attend, so the team decided to do the group fitness session instead. We figured we were better off with the team bonding than the extra ten points from the cycling class.

We headed off on a walk / run. We probably ran about 1.5 km around the lake. They were travelling more slowly than I normally run, so I did it easily. We got to the end of the running section, and then Krissi had us doing hill sprints, three of them. They weren't as bad as I thought they'd be. Krissi explained how to do them, so I was running on my toes and pumping my arms like pistons. It certainly made it a lot easier.

After the hill sprints, we had a coffee and a chat. Krissi told us about the local cross country club, which was a timely conversation for me to have. They do a run on Tuesdays at 6 pm during the warmer months. It's going to clash with Triv, but I can see that I'll be going along from next week. Not planning on going this week, as I'll be doing my first long run with Leanne on Tuesday morning. Not sure how exhausted I'm going to be from that. Also have to work out how I get my points for Tuesday evenings. Hmmm. This is a little complicated.

We have decided that this week's group session will be a long run on Thursday morning. Two of the team put their p/t sessions together then and go running, so they are going to let us all come along. If they go at the same speed they did today, then I should be ok. Apparently they run for about 50 mins. I think they have a break in the middle for hill sprints. I survived those today, so I should be fine.

Looks like we might do the 5K Canberra Marathon Eve fun run as a team too. I am so pleased I did this fitness challenge. :)

Something really strange happened today, well strange for me, even though it's happening a bit lately. I was leaving the gym this morning, and Krissi was talking to Steph, who's worked on the desk for ages so has seen my transformation from fat and unfit into less fat and less unfit. Krissi was telling Steph I was inspiring. I find it strange to be considered inspiring, especially by people who are fit, healthy and bursting with energy. I see myself as this person who let herself go badly. Sure, I'm getting myself back on track, but I'm so used to being seen as a fat person that I find it hard to accept that people are viewing me in a positive light. I think I'll have to learn to get used to it - it's an extremely positive thing which I want to be able to embrace instead of feeling a bit of a fraud.

I've been working hard to keep recognising all my small achievements. I've learned that focussing on the big goal is good, but that it's important to enjoy the journey and to be proud of what I've done. I'm so happy to be able to run now, that I think I'm bubbling over with it when I talk to people. I was absolutely delighted that I was able to handle the running today so easily.

This afternoon, I had a few friends over for a playstation afternoon. It sounds like a kids' thing, but I've got the dance mat and eye toy play 3, and the games are a scream for adults as well as children. I'm feeling very tired now though and I've got aches in places I didn't know I had muscles!

Tomorrow, I'm off to the gym for another run. I have no idea how far or fast. I'll see how I go.

Friday, 23 February 2007

Another good day

This morning's run was excellent. I decided to up the speed a little, so I did 5.6 / 10 km/h today. Being the 'it's new, I won't be able to do it' type, I only dialled in a 15 minute session, as that made the intervals one minute. I figured I'd be able to survive for one minute, and if I was still able to run after 15 I could do the rest manually. While I was doing the first 15 mins, I was doing the maths in my head, and realised I could run 4 km in 30 mins if I kept up the intervals, and did one more 10 than 5.6, so that's what I did. It clocked over the 4 km at 30:02.

This evening, I got to the gym earlier than expected, so I decided to do two workouts for double points - one weights and one cardio. I did them, then found out that the gym had decided to count that particular combination as a single 'other' workout! If only I'd known! If only I'd been like some of the others and done the double workout before they'd tightened up the rules. Mind you, as I was doing the two workouts, I was thinking that I'd have called it one workout in the past, so I figure the gym has a point.

Seriously, I was quite happy with the work I did, although I did have to rush the weights component because the Pink team were taking over the weights area. It looked like they were having a great workout with their trainer, Michelle. When I realised I was going to run out of time, I made sure I got one set of dips in. It looks like I'll be fine with these. Now I just have to work up to getting my feet further away from the bench.

I decided that the treadmill would do me for my cardio session tonight, so I did 20 mins of fat burner and 20 mins of straight walking. It was a great calorie burning day, and my net calories are in good shape. I might treat myself to a Belgian Chocolate dessert.

Tomorrow should be another good day. I'm going to do an RPM class at 9:30 and then a group fitness session. If I manage to get to the gym when it opens at 9:00 I'll do a cardio session, as I figure that the gym will count that session. If they don't, it won't matter, as it will help to improve my overall fitness.

In the afternoon, I have some friends coming around for a playstation afternoon. I have a dance mat and an eye toy, so it will be a pretty active afternoon. I'm sure it will be a good day.

Thursday, 22 February 2007

The best laid plans ..

Everything was going really well until I went to get my Body Jam pass. The class wasn't on as the instructor was sick! I hadn't thought about external influences being able to take me off track. They did offer a replacement class - Body Attack or Body Pump, but I decided to wimp out and head to the supermarket. After all, good eating is part of my overall progress.

Speaking of overall progress, I'm not sure that progress is the word this week. I had my weigh in today and I weighed 0.5 kg more! I'd be upset, except that (a) I had just had a bottle of water while doing my cardio session, (b) I know I'm eating well and exercising hard, and (c) my clothes are getting looser. I know that the scales don't mean anything today. Amusingly, today's weight was the same as my "official" early morning bathroom scales in Melbourne weight. That doesn't happen often.

This morning I did light weights. I didn't do the whole session, as I ran out of time, but I was happy with what I did do. I think I'll put weights into the evening sessions from now on, so that I don't keep cutting them short. This evening, I did the mixed cardio, although I only did 5 minutes on the rower. I did a 40 min session all up, including the elliptical trainer, the stepper and the treadmill.

I then walked to the supermarket and did some much needed shopping. Not sure how washing powder and toilet paper are going to help with making sensible food choices, but they needed carrying home, which is all exercise.

Tomorrow I'm going to run in the morning. No idea how far now .. I'm thinking that half an hour is my base time and an average of 7.5 km/h is my base speed. All I have to do is keep improving on that. In the evening I'm having a pedicure with Kerry, so I'll have to make sure I only spend half an hour at the gym. I figure I'll do some cardio, but I don't know what. I'll try to mix it up.

Oh, and I'm going to book in to do an RPM session on Saturday.

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Exercising to plan

Amazingly, I managed to follow the plan. Not that it started out well. I didn't get to the gym until nearly 6:30. After my intention to be there early, it seemed events conspired against me. I was packing for the day, and couldn't find my cycling nicks. RPM without cycling nicks just isn't going to happen for me. After looking through my drawers twice, I remembered where I'd put them - a totally ridiculous place but it seemed like a good idea at the time. Cycling nicks safely located, I was then unable to locate the sports bra I wanted to wear. I ended up wearing a damp one - this excessive exercise clearly results in excessive washing. I found the bra this evening, in the washing! The obvious place for it, not.

My mind was doing its usual good job of trying to convince me that anything except running was a good idea. Right up until I ran the first fast interval comfortably, it was working on me to do something else. I ended up doing 40 mins at 5.6 / 9.5, which was a total distance of 5 km! Yay! 5 km! I didn't expect to feel so good after I got past the 32 minute mark, but I did it comfortably. I was a little all over the place during the second last fast interval but I managed to pull my form back together and run it out properly.

There was a flurry of emails about the Black Team group fitness sessions today. The rock climbing looks like being on a Monday. I'll have to cruise along a little late as it starts right after my personal training session, but at least I won't have to give up trivia. Another session that is pretty exciting for me is the Women and Girls' 5 km Fun Run on 1 April. I'm not sure that I'll be able to run it, as I'm doing the Relay for Life the day before, and I'm going to be running my two half hour relay legs, but I'll see how I go. The Relay for Life is the reason I decided to set a goal to be able to run for half an hour - I walked it last year - so I'm absolutely determined to run my laps this year. That's why I've been working hard on my running over the past few weeks.

Having managed to do more than I though I would this morning, the thought of RPM this evening seemed a step too far. I came up with all sorts of activities and reasons why, if I got there late for the 5:30 class, I'd not be able to stay for the 6:30 class. Although I cut it fine, I ended up getting to the gym in time for the earlier class. Better still, someone had cancelled so there was room for me in the class. The empty bike was up the front. I normally try to hide down the back, so I gritted my teeth and sat up the front. I survived the class, and I think I'm doing better. It certainly seems easier. That said, I'm really tired tonight.

After the RPM I walked on the treadmill for a while. I did the first 10 mins at 5.6 km/h and realised that I wasn't working hard enough. I increased the speed to 6.0 km/h. I thought about running, but I decided that it was probably a silly thing to do. While I was there, one of the staff was showing some new people how to use the cardio equipment. I noticed that they all held on when they used the treadmill. I held on for a year and a half before Leanne managed to encourage me to let go. It's hard to believe that I'm the same person.

Now that I've started planning my exercise I'd better plan tomorrow's. I think I'll do my weights program in the morning, some cardio before and after my slim session, and then the Body Jam class to finish off the day. That is a good day's points in the fitness challenge, and a bit of a change from what I've been doing. For the cardio, I'll aim to use the cross trainer, the stepper and the rower. The challenge this week on the Bloggest Loser is to do something different than usual at least four times this week. I figure that using the different cardio equipment has got to count for one of the four times.

Time for bed now. I'll definitely sleep well tonight.

Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Recovery Day

I was at the gym before and after work, but I took it a lot easier today. I did two "Fat Burner" treadmill sessions. The morning one was tougher than the afternoon one - 30 mins at 6 km/h on level 8 as opposed to 20 mins at 5.6 km/h on level 6. I made sure I stretched well after both sessions.

My day ended on a good note. "Here for the Beer", the trivia team I play with, won a prize for coming 7th. We haven't been doing too well the last few weeks, so it was good to finally get a top 10 finish.

At the start of the fitness challenge I thought I'd not miss a single trivia night for it, but Black Team might be going rock climbing on Tuesday week. That one I have to do. I was thinking yesterday that I'd really like to do that after watching them try it on Biggest Loser. I hope it comes off. Normally, I'd avoid doing something like this, but I have more confidence in what my body can do nowadays. I am sure I'll have fun.

Tomorrow, I'm planning to do an interval run in the morning. I'm going to see if I can push my time past the 32 min mark. I'll have to get myself organised in the morning so that I'm at the gym when it opens. In the evening, there's a couple of RPM classes. I usually can't get to the 5:30 pm class on the bus, but I might be able to swing a lift. The other class is at 6:30, which might be possible. I'll have to see how the rest of my day stacks up. If I don't do the RPM class, I'll have another go at some different cardio.

This working out what I'm doing in advance is getting to be a habit! I'm now starting to write my plans down so that I can see if I follow through. I guess we'll know tomorrow.

Monday, 19 February 2007

I did it - ran for half an hour without stopping!

I've been pleased all day! This morning I managed to run continuously for over half an hour. I ran 4 km in 31m 40s. Because I'd been getting to 4 km with the interval running, I split the difference and headed off at 7.6 km/h. I aimed at getting to the 4 km mark by 32 mins because I knew I could cover the distance in the time.

Physically, the run wasn't a problem, but mentally it was a challenge. I ended up being late to the gym, which would normally mean a shortened workout. Fortunately I didn't let myself fall for that one, deciding that if I missed the bus I'd catch a cab. I'd had a tiring weekend, so I had the "why don't you just walk today?" conversation with my old self. I managed to overcome that argument too. Ten minutes into the run I was telling myself "anything better than 12 mins is a victory". (I stopped at the 12 min mark the last time I tried to do this.) I had the same conversation at 15 mins and 20 mins. At 20 mins I gave myself a good talking to, telling my old self that I was strong enough to run for half an hour. I'd done it a number of times running intervals, and I wasn't running any faster on average so I would be able to do it. I was determined to make the 4 km mark. By the 25 min mark I knew I wasn't stopping, and the rest of the run was pretty easy. In fact, I could have kept going, apart from the whole "get to work, save this for your next goal" conversation I started having with myself.

I don't know how many people I bored with my "hey, I ran ... without stopping" conversation, but they kindly listened to me. I'm really lucky to have people around me who are so supportive. Either that, or it's impossible to shut me up!

Tonight I had my personal training session. We went through the rest of my new program. The session went really well. Leanne pushed me to achieve stuff I thought I couldn't do, which is pretty much standard. I was doing the pec fly with the 5 kg weight! Sheesh!

I managed to do a set of dips. I don't know why I was so concerned! Well, I do. I was convinced I'd collapse and hurt my arms. Landing on my tail bone also has me concerned, as I broke it once when roller skating. How I could possibly think that I'd break my butt from that distance I don't know. Mind you, fear isn't always rational.

After my p/t session I did another half hour on the treadmill. 20 mins of aerobic training followed by 10 mins of just walking. Now, I'm feeling really tired, so I'll be heading off to bed to do the "rest" part of the get fit program.

I'll skip running tomorrow, and see whether or not I can repeat the 4 km effort (plus some extra) on Wednesday.

By the way, I'm still feeling really pleased with myself now. I love achieving these goals. Now for 5 km!

Sunday, 18 February 2007

Hot in Melbourne

It's been a really hot day and I'm a little sunburnt.

I decided to pass on the run around the creek. I found myself not sleeping last night and this morning, trying to work out how I was going to manage my clothes for today. One of the problems with having lost so much weight is that I don't have a lot of clothes. I didn't pack enough gym clothes for two gym visits and a run, and I didn't pack anything suitable for wearing in today's heat. Anyway, part of the solution was to skip the run. I didn't skip the gym visit as I earned points for that.

I headed off to the gym for my strength session, and it all went well. They had a lot of the same equipment, which made it easy for me to do part of my program, but the space was much more crowded. There were lots of people at the gym this morning. It's interesting being at a different branch of the same gym .. so much is familiar and so much is not.

After my shower, I decided to go with the jeans even though they were forecasting temps over 40. They looked better with my sleeveless top. If I hadn't been desperate for clothes, I wouldn't have been seen dead in this outfit, because I felt like my stomach looked enormous. However, I know that people go out with all their flab hanging out, so I gritted my teeth and decided I could survive the day. When I picked up Michael, my sister, Lynda, told me I looked better and better every time she saw me. I decided that maybe I was imagining the size of my stomach. Of course, maybe she was being kind!

My niece decided that it was going to be too hot, so Mike and I headed off to get Simon. The three of us met up with Erika in town and ventured off to the Chinese Museum to the start of the parade. Well, we thought it would be the start of the parade. It just seemed to take forever to start!!! I managed to get sunburnt. Now, a tan will make me look healthier, but I'm not sure about peeling skin. Thank goodness we were wearing hats! The kids had sunscreen on, thanks to their mothers.

Michael and Simon were thrilled to see the dragons. Erika and I were amazed that the people inside them didn't expire from the heat. All in all, it was a successful excursion.

All I have to do now is pack all my dirty gym clothes and hope that airport security don't decide they need to check something in my bag. They did last time, which was slightly embarrassing, as I had to take all my washing out of my bag to reach the suspicious electric beater that I'd bought.

Airport update

Fortunately, no need to unpack my bag, although the guy on the scanner did look at it carefully.

Weight loss update

Weighed myself today on "the" scales, and I'm 0.4 kg heavier than my lightest weight recently. I was a little disappointed, as it meant that I'd put on more weight in January than I'd thought. However, from now on all my progress is going forward rather than recovering lost ground. I certainly feel good in my clothes.

Oh, those shorts that I thought wouldn't fit me - they fit me. They look really good. I'll have to get out the other size 14 shorts (I did some optimistic shopping before Christmas) and see if I'm into them too. Yay!

Saturday, 17 February 2007

Busy day today

I planned to run this morning, but I didn't realise I'd be running around all day. Now that I have all this energy, I seem to be fitting more and more into my time. As I was rushing from one thing to another today, I was thinking "How did I ever manage to fit everything in before?" I think the answer is that I didn't!

This morning, I was up early to go to the airport. Dad picked me up at Tulla just after 8 (he's so good to me .. never a complaint, even when the flight is late). I was at the hairdresser's at 9 and back home to do my betting at 11. We have a family punting club and it was my turn to bet today. I had a few collects, but I fell short of the target (win the club's money back + 5c), which means that the torch is passed to the next punter in line. I then raced off to Fernwood at Yarraville, where I did another interval run (4 km, 32 mins at 5.6 / 9.5) and collected my 25 points, then dashed across to Highpoint to meet Erika.

Fortunately, Erika was quite happy to watch me eat, so we sat down and chatted for a while, while I demolished a yummy mixed plate from Kamil's Kebabs. We then hit the shops, in search of a warm outdoor jacket for me. I've realised that there's only six weeks to the Relay for Life. It was freezing last year! Knowing that I'll need a warm coat that fits (I've been giving all my clothes away as I go through the sizes), we set off in search of the perfect jacket. It had to be a little tight, as I'm back on the losing weight trail and I'll be a size smaller by the end of March. (Listen to the complete confidence of that statement!)

Erika found me the perfect jacket in Kathmandu. I've never shopped there before because I was convinced nothing would fit me. Imagine my delight when Erika discovered a fabulous ecofleece jacket on sale ($85 instead of $190) that fitted me. I tried the Large one on first, then the Medium one. I was making a decision between two different jackets which were two slightly different shades of red, when Erika said to another shopper that it was a shame that they only had the blue in Small. I thought, I haven't tried that on, so I did. And it fitted me - snugly, but it fitted! I don't know the last time I bought something with a Small size label on it. In fact, I don't remember doing that in my adult life.

Well, I was on a roll. I bought a pair of size 14 shorts that were also on the sale rack. I'm almost into size 14 and they were a terrific shade of purple. We then went to Target to look at jackets and we came across a swimsuit sale - 70% off. I'm off to Burleigh Heads for a week in May, so swimmers are on my shopping list. I bought one pair that fits me now (my fitness challenge team mentioned swimming as a group activity) and two pairs a size smaller, to wear in May. All three added together cost less than one pair!

I then spotted a top as we walked past Autograph that I knew would look terrific on my sister, Janet. In the store I found another one. I couldn't make up my mind between the two, so I bought them both for her. The cashier asked me if I wanted to sign up for an Autograph card, and I was so delighted to say that I was sorry but I'd just lost enough weight to not be able to shop at Autograph any more. She realised that the tops were for my sister, who has a card, so she gave me the 10% member discount. Wasn't that kind of her?

It's the second lot of kindness I experienced today. I left a book on the plane when I disembarked. I was really disappointed when I realised what I'd done, as I'd only bought it this morning. Before I could phone the airline to ask if they had found it, Izabella, from Virgin Blue, called to let me know that it was safely at Baggage Services. I'll be able to pick it up on my way back to Canberra tomorrow evening. That's really good service.

Tomorrow looks like being another hectic day. I want to run around the creek. I'll have to do that early to beat the heat. After that, I'll head over to the gym to pick up my 25 points. I plan to do a strength training session. I'll then dash off to Werribee to pick up my niece and two of my nephews. I'm taking them to see the Dragon Parade in Chinatown. We're meeting Erika there at 11:45 am. It was her suggestion (a) to go, and (b) to bring the kids. I wouldn't have thought of it. Thank goodness she did! Janet kindly suggested that I remember hats and water. You can tell she's the experienced aunty of the family.

I have to drop some stuff off over at Lan's, so I'll see if I can do that on the way to get the kids. I didn't manage to get across to see Sandra's new house, so I'll have to do that the next time that I'm down.

I love having the energy to do all this stuff!

Friday, 16 February 2007

Easy day today

I took it easy at the gym this morning. I was feeling a little stiff this morning. I didn't think the body jam had been that energetic, then I remembered that I'd gone slightly crazy on the cross trainer the day before. No wonder my back was feeling it! As I was planning to do my strength training this evening, I went for a walk. 6 km/h for 30 mins. It was nice and relaxing. Mind you, I'm still stunned that I can walk that fast. In fact, I walked at 6.4 km/h for part of the walk, but I found that wasn't really comfortable. When I started at the gym, 4.8 km/h used to wear me out!

Found it a bit of a struggle at work today. Not sure if that's because I've been exercising so much, or if it was just one of those days. Anyway, I was glad it was Friday.

This evening, I did the strength training as planned. Wow. I'm planning my sessions. This is a new development. I enjoyed the session, and headed off home, determined to keep up the good work next week. Not only that, I'm planning to get to a Fernwood gym over the weekend and pick up some more points for my challenge. I'm notoriously bad at exercising when I'm in Melbourne, but I'm feeling more motivated than usual. I do want to run around the creek on Sunday, even though I won't get any points for it! Hopefully I'll manage to fit it in. The weekend is looking pretty busy already.

Thursday, 15 February 2007

I've just discovered Body Jam

I had the best fun tonight. I went to my first Body Jam class. Since I joined Fernwood I've avoided the classes .. too unfit, too fat, too self-conscious, etc etc. Lately, I've been thinking I should give them a go, and tonight, I finally did.

It was terrific. It's a dance workout, for those who don't know. I didn't know what to expect, but I was fit enough for the class even if I had next to no coordination. We were doing all these moves that you see on tv. I carefully positioned myself where I couldn't see any mirrors, and got into it. What a blast! I love dancing, even when I'm hopeless at it. I'm going to try to get there next week.

This morning, I did an interval run on the treadmill, and covered 4 km in 32 mins. I did the first 15 mins at 5.6 / 9.5, then did 5 mins at 8, followed by 1 min at 6, and then did three lots of 2 mins of 8 / 1 min at 6, finishing off with 2 mins of 8. I stopped as soon as I hit the 4 k mark, as I had a bus to catch. I made the bus by 2 mins, so that was a good decision in hindsight.

I'm finding it amusing that I'm keeping track like this, but I have this idea that it will be interesting to look back at this, particularly as my running improves.

I felt really good during my run. It seems to be getting easier all the time. Either that, or, as a friend of mine has suggested, my brain is banging on my skull with each step and I'm losing my sense of feeling.

Today, I had my slimplicity session. I was looking forward to being weighed, as I've had a great week as far as my food is concerned. I'd been eating really well, and my net calorie count was on track to lose 1 kg. I wasn't sure if the high weight loss the week before might have affected this week. To my delight I lost 1.2 kg.

I'll weigh myself on Sunday in Melbourne, and update my ticker then. I keep track based on our bathroom scales at home, rather than on the Fernwood slim sessions. My weight sounds better that way, as I weigh myself first thing, whereas my slim session is usually after 6 pm.

I also joined up in the Biggest Winner competition at work. It's going to be run over 5 months, starting at the beginning of March. The organisers are all people I know, so I want to support their efforts. It will be motivational for me too, as I have a goal to lose 20 kg this year.

I'm glad I'm doing this fitness challenge. Not only am I getting fitter - I'm broadening my horizons. I've used a wider variety of cardio equipment and I've managed to get to a group fitness class. I've started talking to more people at the gym. The whole thing has been great for me.

Wednesday, 14 February 2007

Kicking goals today

It took me a while to get to the gym this morning. I just wasn't organised. I planned to do a treadmill session, as I'd run the day before. I'm being careful not to overdo the running. I think I've been very lucky with my knees. When I joined the gym, they were starting to hurt just a little all the time. I think I managed to get fit and lose weight before I did any permanent damage to them.

Anyway, I arrived at the gym, a little late but full of beans. The gym has been working hard to make itself a friendlier place, and the Biggest Loser competition is helping with that. Another thing that's really helping is that the management seem to be making more of an effort. When I got there last night, there were hearts all over the place in recognition of Valentine's Day. Today, when I opened my locker, there was a rose and a heart shaped chocolate there for me. It was a pleasant surprise, and I appreciated the thought behind it.

As for my workout, I did the planned aerobic training session on the treadmill. Only 20 mins at 6 km/hr, because I was late and I wanted to stretch and make my bus. All objectives achieved with 10 mins to spare. I am getting much better at this!

I felt great all day .. all those happy exercise hormones kicking around in my system. If only I'd believed the "when you exercise you have more energy" line years ago! Work felt productive and I headed home, looking forward to getting to the gym. Even I find it hard to believe that I'm looking forward to all this exercise, and I'm the one experiencing it. In my previous life I could have represented Australia in bludging.

This evening's session was a change for me. I have realised that I can't keep doing the same workouts on this challenge. I'm being careful about the running and I'm having rest days between my weights sessions. For the past two years I've studiously avoided the cardio machines except for those times that Leanne has taken me through an intense cardio session. Tonight I bit the bullet and hit the machines.

I did 10 mins on the cross trainer and 10 mins on the stepper, both at level 4. I started on a low level, because I wasn't sure how I would go. I followed up with 10 mins on the treadmill. I figured I'd earned a session on a machine I liked.

To my total amazement, I did really well on both machines. Obviously my dread of them is a hangover from when I tried them right at the beginning of my fitness journey. Now that I'm fit, they aren't as daunting. I'll have to make them part of my repertoire now. I also burned good calories - 270 in a half hour session.

I'm finding the fitter I get the easier it is to be fit. Of course, those people who already knew this are saying "that's obvious" but it just wasn't obvious to me. I never believed that this would be fun, and it is. I'm so glad I undertook the challenge, because it's pushed me up a few levels.

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

This morning's run went well

All that trepidation and it ended up being fun. Who would have thought it? I met Leanne at the gym just after 6 and we headed off on our run. I managed to run for the first 8 mins without needing a breather. A short spell walking and we were back to running. One more walking spell on the way home and the rest was running. I thought I'd have to stop again, but it seemed to get easier the closer we got to home. We ended with a short sprint, just to prove we had some energy left. I use the pronoun "we", knowing full well that Leanne could be running rings around me. It's a great feeling being able to run hard at the end, and I've started doing that on my treadmill runs too.

We run from Canberra city centre across to the park beside Lake Burley Griffin. At the moment, getting to the lake and back takes up my full p/t session. I suggested to Leanne that if she had any other clients who were running, maybe they'd like to combine sessions so we could go for a longer run. Can you believe it? I suggested it!! Anyway, Leanne enthusiastically jumped on the idea and we're doing that in a fortnight.

For those of you who understand these things, we covered 3.2 km in just under 25 mins, at an average speed of 7.5 km/h. Leanne has a footpod, which I think is cool. Being an IT person, I love gadgets, but I think I have to have more kilometres in these legs before I take that step.

After the run, to get points for an "other" workout, I walked on the treadmill for 20 mins at 5.6 km/h and then stretched for 10 mins. All up, I covered 5 km in about 45 mins. This effort is from a woman who, when she joined Fernwood two years ago, couldn't run across the street!

In fact, I was thinking about that very fact this morning. I thought I was going to miss my bus connection in Woden, and took off running down the platform, with my backpack and handbag, running comfortably, breathing well. I would have burst out laughing if I hadn't been so intent on catching the bus. Back when I couldn't run, I would say, quite seriously, "There's no way I'd run for a bus!" Now that I can run, it's like I'm happy to take every opportunity to chase buses down.

This afternoon's gym session was strength training. After the other day's disastrous effort, I was a little apprehensive. The various exercise stations I wanted were busy, so I started with chin ups. I did a lot better than I had done with Leanne the other day. I was determined not to give up, and I got through both sets of 12. Afterwards, I remembered that she'd told me I could increase the counterweight for the second set. It's a pity I didn't remember it earlier. One thing I love about using the chinup machine is setting the counterweight at a lower weight all the time. When I first started using it, I was a good 25 kgs heavier.

I managed the leg curls and extensions without any trouble, and then braved the Smith machine. I'd given my left knee a bit of a twinge the last time I'd used it, so I'd avoided it. Anyway, I got through the two sets, even though I took them slowly and carefully. I was watching my knee like a hawk to make sure that I didn't twist it. I then tried the pec fly that beat me the other day. I dropped the weight down to 3 kg, and I was able to manage the exercise. I should be doing a bigger weight, but I thought it was more important to work on technique today. I was proud of myself for giving it a go, when I'd already decided I was going to wait for Leanne. I piked on the dips though, and I did the shoulders and arm exercises from my old program.

Afterwards, Michelle, one of the trainers, said to me that I'd had a really good workout. It was great to hear her say that. I used to always worry that the trainers would think I was doing a terrible job. Sometimes I'm ridiculously self-conscious. Anyway, it's great to get that positive feedback.

After my workout I dashed off to Trivia. That was fun, but our team did not shine.

Oh, I haven't really mentioned my eating, but that's going really well. I am enjoying my food and I'm keeping my calories in the "weight loss" category. I'm really looking forward to weighing myself when I'm in Melbourne on the weekend. I've noticed a difference in my body shape again this week. It's always weird when it happens, but it's exciting too.

All in all, a great day for the fitness challenge. I scored lots of points, kicked some fitness goals, and ate healthily.

Monday, 12 February 2007

At least I was exercising

This morning I got to the gym, but it was a very ordinary exercise session. I did some strength work on my legs (curls and one leg extensions), some chinups and then tried to do a new exercise Leanne showed me last week, a pec fly. Well, I just couldn't do it. I dropped the weight down from 5 kg to 4 kg and still my left arm was going everywhere. I'll wait for Leanne to show me again, so that I don't hurt myself.

I ended up quitting my workout. I rationalised it by telling myself I needed to catch a particular bus. Unfortunately, I know when I'm kidding myself. I was in such a slack mood that I nearly rang Murali for a lift but I decided to get off the bus an extra stop early and walk. I ended up with a good step total for the morning, so there was a bright side.

This evening I got back to the gym. I walked on the treadmill for half an hour. I did the aerobic training program at 6 km/h. I'm running with Leanne tomorrow morning, so I thought I'd better not run tonight.

I've been feeling really apprehensive about my run with Leanne. I am self-conscious about running in public. Before Leanne managed to get me outside, I was convinced that people would point and stare and that the pavement would crack up as I ran on it. It hasn't been that bad, thank goodness, but I find I only run outside on my own down in Melbourne.

I'm glad the day of the run has finally arrived, so that I can get it over and done with. We would have gone ages ago, but Leanne's been sick, the weather has been too hot, etc etc.

I've also got to choose a race to train for. I would like to do a 4km or 5 km fun run fairly soon. I just have to get up the courage to officially say "I'm running in that." It will happen!

Sunday, 11 February 2007

Sunday morning run

I decided to run for half an hour this morning. I was hoping that I could run for the whole time, but I found myself dropping back to a walk after 12 mins. I set off at 7.6 km/h, and was running well, but my mind just clicked off after 12 mins. I walked for 2 mins at 5.6 km/h, and was able to run again, so I finished off the session by running for 4 mins, then walking for 2 mins, until I'd reached 4 km. That took me 33:44 so I decided to keep going until the 35 min mark before I started my cool down.

I was really happy with the outcome, as I ran for a total of 26 mins. I would have been able to run a little longer, but I didn't want to (a) overdo it; or (b) leave my visitors waiting for me longer than we'd agreed.

It was terrific having visitors who understood that it was important for me to get to the gym. Mind you, they walked me part way, and then headed off to have breakfast at McDonalds. As Jim said, I was able to head off to the gym feeling pleased with my myself.

The boys then spent the morning playing with the EyeToy. Deb, Jim and I headed off for a coffee. We wandered around the food festival for a while and then went to Dobinsons. It's great that the kids are old enough to be left on their own, and they were more than happy with what they were doing. They were still going strong when we got back to the apartment. I don't know where they get their energy.

We finished off their visit with lunch at Sammy's Kitchen, which would have to be my favourite restaurant in Canberra. I love the food, the service is brisk and efficient, and there's always a happy buzz in the place.

I'm going to spend some time catching up on Biggest Loser. I was too busy during the week to watch it, but I've taped it and hope to be up to speed before this evening's episode. I find the show inspirational.

I'm also going to be looking at Celeste's blog to see how she did in the fun run. I aimed for 4 km today, as I knew that was the distance she was running. It made it easier to keep going after I hit the 30 minute mark, having a specific goal in mind.

I'm enjoying reading other people's running stories. I feel as though I've discovered a whole new world, and I'm very happy to be part of it.

Saturday, 10 February 2007

First group fitness session

Black team had their first group fitness session this morning. Krissi, our trainer, had talked us into going to the RPM class, and then going for a walk near the lake, followed by a coffee. I was looking forward to the challenge as well as to getting to know my team better, although I really don't like RPM. It ended up being a great morning, and I'm really glad I went along.

I've done a few RPM classes, and have improved each time I've gone along, but I find it a tough workout. As a result, I don't tend to get to class often. This was my first RPM of the year. Today, I felt like I did a lot better than I had before, and I'm sure it's because of the interval training I've been doing. I don't know what I'd do without my cycling knicks though. Those seats are hard!

I felt a real sense of achievement for getting through the class and then we were off on our walk. It was good to get to chat to people, and Krissi made the walk interesting with an activity down by the lake. Coffee was a good opportunity to do some bonding. By the time the morning had finished, I'd burned 684 calories, according to my heart rate monitor, with more exercise to come with my visitors.

I met up with Jim, Deb and the boys at the Canberra Centre. There's a multicultural festival on in Civic, and the aromas of all the various foods were simply terrific. Luckily, I'd been sensible enough to eat a snack while we were having coffee.

Deb, the boys and I went to the park for a picnic lunch, while Jim headed home to start cooking dinner. (How good is that?) There were people filming, which was interesting to watch. Afterwards, we dropped the boys off with Jim and they spent the afternoon playing EyeToy games. Deb and I headed for the shops. I've managed to rack up over 22 000 steps so far today. I'll sleep well tonight!

Almost time for dinner now .. the Osso Bucco smells delicious.

Friday, 9 February 2007

Busy social life

It's funny. I thought that being on this challenge would mean that I'd be spending all my time at the gym, and I seem to have found myself a social life that's keeping me busy. It's been one of the benefits of being fitter and healthier - having the energy to do things after work. The walking challenge last year lifted my fitness up another notch. When it was over, and I didn't have to go for a walk to keep my steps up, I found myself arriving home from the gym, having dinner, and then thinking "now what?" I had all this energy and nothing to do. A social life fills that gap perfectly. It also ensures that I don't fall back into old habits of sitting in front of the television or the computer for hours on end.


Yesterday, I was at the gym early. I did the Aerobics Training option on the treadmill at 5.6 km/h, level 6. It had me sweating, as it's all uphill. In the evening, I had my slimplicity session and I did another session of interval training. Since Monday, I've managed to lose 2.6 kg, which is amazing. I am sure it's fluid. I hadn't been watching what I was eating closely, even though I was writing it down. I'd say that I had eaten more salty foods than usual. On top of that, I drank about a bottle and a half of water during my p/t session and my treadmill run. Even though I know the weight loss is mainly fluid, I am really pleased. I felt more comfortable in my clothes at work and it's good to know that it's coming off.

After the gym, I went to dinner with a friend. We went for the takeaway option, sitting outside and watching all the people walk by. I had a chicken kebab and really enjoyed it after my workout. I was even prouder of the fact that I didn't eat any chips or bread, even though they were offered to me. It's getting easier and easier to make healthy food choices.

It ended up being a late night, and I didn't manage to get online to post an entry.


This morning I did a weights session and this evening I repeated the Aerobics Training session at 6 km/hr, level 8. I felt a real sense of achievement, as I was sweating hard during the workout. I feel like I'm really making progress with my fitness.

I realised at work today that I wasn't feeling sore at all. I had been concerned that I'd be overdoing it, which is why I've been keeping the treadmill sessions to 30 mins and not overdoing the running. I think, maybe, that I'm a lot fitter than I thought I was.

On the social front, I went to Kingston for lunch today with a friend. I ordered a calamari salad, convinced that it a healthy option. When it arrived, the calamari had more batter on it than I expected. There were fried noodles, which I hadn't expected. With the salad dressing, it ended up being quite a high calorie meal. It's just as well that I'm doing all this exercise!

This evening, I went out for drinks with Melissa and John after I'd been to the gym. We organised it on Tuesday at trivia, and had planned to go to the Uni Bar. Mel got there early, discovered it was packed, and so we ended up at PJ O'Reilley's. We had a lovely time, sitting outside and chatting for a few hours. They were laughing at me, because I've been telling people that I'm happy to spend time with them socially, provided that I get to the gym. I'm sure that they saw the funny side when I pointed out that I'd done the exact same thing to them tonight.

I have visitors arriving shortly. My brother, his wife, and their three boys are driving up from Melbourne for the weekend. Fortunately for me, Jim and Deb are also keen on health and fitness, and they will encourage me to keep up my exercise effort over the weekend. I also won't feel guilty about heading off to the gym for the group fitness session tomorrow.

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

Still going strong

Day three and I managed my two visits to the gym. It took some organising this afternoon, as I had been invited to dinner by David and Helen. Fortunately, David kindly dropped me near the gym early, and I managed to get a visit in before heading out to his place.

This morning I was better organised, and managed half an hour on the treadmill before showering at the gym and catching the bus. I did the aerobic training program, which involved walking up and down hills at 5.6 km / hour. It certainly kept my heart rate up and I felt like I'd really put in a good effort.

I did my usual walking on the way to work, and felt great when I got there. A little tired physically, but mentally refreshed.

When David mentioned that dinner would be at around six I had a moment's panic about getting in my afternoon session at the gym, but I quickly realised I had plenty of hours up for the week, and could afford to leave work at four. Because David dropped me near the Canberra Centre, I finally went and bought some new running shoes. It's about time. I've covered a lot of distance in my old shoes.

I did another interval run on the treadmill this afternoon. I increased the intensity and was running comfortably for 15 mins (5.6 / 9.5). I eased up for the next 5 mins (5.6), then went back to an interval run (5.6 / 8.0) for the next ten minutes. I felt great when I finished.

Dinner at David and Helen's was fabulous. Helen knows that I'm working hard on my weight, as is David. We had grilled salmon and a mixed salad, with cheese and nibbles beforehand and a lovely fruit platter with a fruit dip to die for afterwards. Great food, good conversation. It was a terrific end to a lovely day.

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

Off to a good start

Day two, and I made it to the gym before and after work, as planned. Not only that, but I was leaving the house with no intention of coming home before 10:15 pm, so I had to pack my work clothes and another set of gym clothes. I wanted to be at the gym when it opened at 6:00 am but all sorts of things held me up. I was pleased though because I made it there by 6:15 am. I wasn't sure how long it would take me to get showered etc at the gym, so I did an interval run for 20 minutes, warmed down, and then stretched. I was walking out of the gym at 7:00 am so it didn't take as long as I expected.

The run was really comfortable again, so I'm going to have to push myself harder now. My knee was fine, which is great after the warning signs last night. I am sure that if I hadn't gone to the gym when I did, that my knees would have been ruined from carrying so much weight. When I get these twinges, it reminds me that I've really made a positive difference to my life by getting fit and losing weight.

This evening, I decided to do my strength training. I normally wouldn't do it the day after P/T, but I didn't work very hard yesterday. I avoided lunges because of my knee, and chose to do leg extensions and leg curls instead. The leg extensions are great for my knee. I then did the rest of my old program. It felt great, but I'm definitely ready for a new challenge.

I had a great day at work today. I had lots of energy and was in a great mood all day. I didn't start to run out of energy until I was coming home from Trivia tonight. In fact, it's taken a real effort of will to sit down and write today's entry. Mind you, I had to stay up for a while, as I needed to wash some sports clothes. One problem with going to the gym so often is the speed at which I use up my gym outfits. Still, it's a perfect excuse for buying some more .. in a smaller size!!!!

I taped the first two weeknight episodes of Biggest Loser and I have it on in the background at the moment. I can see I'll be watching them again, as I'm not paying enough attention to the screen. The bits I've seen look really interesting. I find watching these people work hard at losing weight inspires me.

Well, off to bed .. so I can get up tomorrow morning and do the gym thing all over again.

Monday, 5 February 2007

Biggest Loser Challenge

The challenge has started. I don't think I've ever seen so many women at the gym. It's good to see that people were keen to be involved.

I've ended up on the black team, and Krissi is my trainer. We're getting together as a group on Saturday morning. A spin class followed by a walk around Lake Burley Griffin. Should be fun.

Basically, the challenge works as follows: You get points for different activities - some activities are worth more than others. You get 100 points for every cm you lose, 50 pts for attending your personal training or slim sessions, 35 points for a cycle class or a Biggest Loser group fitness class, and 25 points for all other sorts of classes / workouts.

Today I ran on the treadmill and had my personal training session so I earned 75 points. I was also booked in to get weighed and measured. Hopefully I'll be seeing those numbers head down soon.

My treadmill run was 15 mins of interval running. I was running along, doing it easily, thinking that it was great that nowadays a 15 min interval run was a warmup .. when I started, getting to 15 mins was a miracle!

During my p/t session, we worked on a new program. It looks like it will be challenging. I strained my knee a little doing the Smith Machine squats .. so will have to be careful when doing them in future. I like doing those. Leanne, my trainer, is really inspiring. She's the one who got me running outside in public. I had visions of people standing, pointing and laughing, and the pavement cracking open as my feet hit it. Running outside is not nearly as embarrassing as I thought it would be.

We're going running for our next session, so we're alternating our sessions between Monday nights and Tuesday mornings. We'll only do that until it starts to get cold here in Canberra. I've been feeling a little nervous about going running again with Leanne, because I haven't been doing a lot of running. Now that I'm back into it I should be fine. I tend to go a little faster when I run with Leanne .. must be a pride thing. It means I struggle with my breathing sooner, so I'm trying very hard to take it a little slower when I start off. I want to run for the whole session rather than collapsing in a heap half way through.

It was interesting talking to the slimplicity coach. She asked me how much weight I wanted to lose in the 12 weeks, and then suggested I aim for a lower figure. It was easier to agree with her than to try to explain that I knew what I was aiming for. I was really disappointed in the slim sessions when I went to them before, so I should have expected that it wouldn't be a great experience. Still, I can survive them, and being weighed and measured is great for keeping on track. What I'm going to aim for is an average weight loss of 1 kg per week. We'll see how it goes.

My other goal is to get to the gym twice a day on weekdays, and on weekends when I'm in Canberra. It will be a real challenge to fit all those gym visits in, but I'm going to see if I can make it work.

Sunday, 4 February 2007

Kororoit Creek

I went for a run this morning around the Kororoit Creek walking track in Deer Park. I ran and walked for half an hour. Before Christmas I ran the whole way around, so I'm aiming to be able to do this again soon. The circuit is a little over 3 km. We're not really sure if it's 3.2 km or 3.6 km, so I tend to err on the side of caution.

I was pleased that I managed to get out of bed and go for the run. I've had real trouble motivating myself to get up for a run while I'm in Melbourne. In early December, there was so much smoke from the bushfires, that I didn't run. Unfortunately, when the smoke finally disappeared, so had my motivation. I brought my running clothes down to Melbourne with me last weekend but avoided getting up for a morning run. Even today I was incredibly tempted to skip the run, so I figure today's run counts double! (I have a theory that if I go to the gym when I don't want to, that it doesn't matter how much exercise I do - it's worth double because I nearly didn't get there.)

I really enjoy running around the creek. When we first moved to Melbourne in 1977 we used to walk along the bike path on one side of the creek on our way to school. The bike path is a small part of the circuit now, and the thistles and weeds have gone, thanks to an improvement program some years ago. 10 years ago, Janet and I started walking around the creek in the early mornings, when all sane and sensible people other than us were safely tucked up in their beds. We didn't see much at 5:30 am, but the walking was certainly good for our health.

In the past nine months I've walked around the creek regularly when I'm in Melbourne, as I was taking part in a walking challenge. When I started to run late last year, making it around the creek was one of my main goals. I was so excited when I managed to do it without stopping. It took me 25 minutes.

I'm now looking forward to being able to run around the creek twice!

Saturday, 3 February 2007

Health goals for this year

I have some health goals for this year, that I set with the help of my good friend Erika.

1) I want to be in my healthy BMI range for my height. The range is 49 - 63 kg.

2) I want to lose another 20 kg this year. That would mean I'd lost half my body weight, which would be fun to say. I don't know that 59 kg will be a good weight for me, but I'd like to get there.

3) I did the "Relay for Life" last year, for the ACT Cancer Council. I walked for two sessions, for 30 mins a session. On the day, I decided that I was going to run my sessions at the next "Relay for Life" which is on 30-31 March this year. I know I can run for 30 mins, so doing it twice is achievable.

4) I want to run in a 10 km fun run. I plan to do this in April.

5) I want to be able to run for 10 km without stopping. It would be great if I could do this by April, but I'm not going to beat myself up over this one.

Fitness challenge

Over the next twelve weeks I'm undertaking a fitness challenge at my local Fernwood gym. Fernwood are one of the sponsors of the second season of Biggest Loser in Australia, and they are running the challenge while the show is screening.

I'm really keen to take part in the challenge for the following reasons:

1) I applied to be on the first season of The Biggest Loser but wasn't successful. At the time I applied I weighed 104 kg. Before the show screened I was up to 110 kg - still 8 kg less than my heaviest recorded weight (August 2004). Watching the show, I was inspired to work hard to lose weight and become fitter. By the time the second season applications were open, I had lost more than 25 kg. To date, I've lost 39 kg over the past two and a half years.

2) I reached a plateau with my weight loss over the Christmas / New Year period and I've found it hard to get started again. The challenge is team based, which suits my personality. I'm feeling really motivated about taking part in the challenge.

3) I have a goal to be able to run in a 10 km fun run in April this year. Getting fit now will help me to achieve that goal.