Sunday, February 27, 2011

Feelin' hot, hot, hot!

And not in a sexy way.

Today was a strength/toning day for me. My partner was out for the day working on our old house (fixing it up for sale), so no chance of getting to the gym. It's another hot day. So I did Michelle Bridges' prescribed outdoor workout, while the kids found joy in this, recently reclaimed from the old house's garage:

Sorry for the poor-quality photo, snapped it quickly with my phone.

Today was my first time doing burpees, oh my GOD they are horrible. Must've looked hilarious to passers-by too (we live on quite a busy street).

Verge find

My favourite season is coming up. I can hardly wait! Autumn, you ask? Of course not ... bulk rubbish collection in my neighbourhood! ;)

It's not for a few weeks, but some keen souls like to get in early. On my run yesterday morning I spied this:

I had to bring it home! It's missing one foot strap, but the pedals are both there. I have yet to get batteries for it and work out if the computer is working. If not, I'll probably still keep it in the backyard and use it without resistance for warm-ups or light cardio (no laps of the backyard here, what you can see in the photo is about all there is!) Well, it has to live in the backyard or on the front veranda anyway, no room inside. These retail at about $400, so if the computer does work, that's a real score.

I reckon I burned a few calories dragging the thing the four blocks home, too.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Red flags

I think I should just put a huge red flag over this entire WEEK.

1. It's stinking hot and will be all week.
2. My brother's birthday is on Tuesday.
3. I have to do a secret shop on Tuesday.
4. My son's birthday is on Wednesday. (He'll be five! When did he get so big?) I have to bake cupcakes for him to take to school, and he's requested fast food for his special dinner.
5. My work deadline is Thursday. I work from home compiling a family events calendar. Generally the night or two before deadline is spent frantically editing with one hand and stuffing food in my mouth with the other hand.
6. There's a school cake stall on Friday for which I also have to bake.
7. We're having my son's birthday party on Saturday, for which I have to bake and prepare food for 30 children.
8. Then it's a long weekend.

Also this week I need to liaise with a plumber, an arborist, make a doctor's appointment, try to make some decisions for the upcoming pre-start on my house renovation project ...

I am STRESSED. I hate weeks like this. I can do it; I have to. But it's going to hurt, and my usual fallback in these situations is FOOD. Wish me luck!

What's the plan? I HAVE to get my exercise in first thing, even if that means getting up at 5am when I went to bed at 2am. There's just not going to be time most days to do it later, and it's going to be too hot. The food, well, I can't promise I won't eat any cake, but I'll try my hardest.

But it's too hot!

I could so be rocking this excuse right now.

This is the 5-day weather forecast:

Forecast for Saturday
A mostly sunny and humid day. Light E'ly winds becoming light to moderate
W/SW'ly in the afternoon.

Precis: Very hot. Humid.
City: Max 38

Sunday Very hot. Partly cloudy. Min 25 Max 38
Monday Partly cloudy. Min 26 Max 35
Tuesday Sunny. Min 24 Max 37
Wednesday Very hot. Sunny. Min 24 Max 38
Thursday Sunny. Min 24 Max 37
Friday Partly cloudy. Min 25 Max 37

It's already been that way for the best part of a week.

And you know what? It IS a pain. I can't do outdoor workouts during the day, or even in the early evening. Luckily, I get my walking in because I have to. I run early in the morning, when it's still yucky - humidity this morning was 91% and it was already nearly 30 degrees - but not so bad that I'll die of heatstroke.

I can do indoor stuff after the kids go to bed or, again, early in the morning.

Besides, surely, SURELY, I am burning more calories than on cooler days, the amount of sweat that's coming off me!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Weigh-in Wednesday

Another 1.8kg gone! I'm so unbelievably stoked.

Rewriting my goals too, I think a half-marathon is completely attainable this year. I'm aiming for the City to Surf one at the end of August.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Day 1, 12WBT!

A good and a bad day.

Bad because I have my period (yes, I do say the word 'period' on the Internet, half the world's population experiences them so I don't think I really need to say 'my monthly friend' or something. I have also been known to say the word 'vagina', so watch out!), a cold, and started having horrible back pain after taking the kids to swimming lessons this evening.

Good because I stuck to my eating plan, and did some of my workout plan. Luckily today was core/stretch day for me, as I switched the days around, so doing stretches actually helped my back. Now I'm having a cup of green tea with peppermint, instead of eating, before I make the kids' lunches for tomorrow and go to bed. I have my fingers crossed my back will feel okay in the morning so that I can run!

My Michelle Bridges DVDs finally arrived in the post, so if I'm feeling good I might do one of those during the day as well as the run in the morning.

Two days until weigh-in, and I'm not expecting to lose much due to bloating and a couple of bad food choices over the weekend. But I am going to stick to the program, and I am going to lose more. I've hit 5kg lost already, so my next goal is 10kg, at which point I buy some new clothes!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

I just f***ing did it

I ran 10 kilometres! I haven't done that since I was 16.

I didn't want to get up this morning. I have a training day for Phoenix today, so I'll have to be sitting around all day, and eating a buffet lunch - all the more reason to burn some calories. So I thought, I'll just go for half an hour. Then when I got out there, I couldn't get my legs to go very fast, so I thought, if I can't go fast, I'd better go FAR. I ran down to the river (which is a couple of kilometres), ran along the lovely flat dual-use path there, just kept running until I was 4.5 kilometres away from home, then turned around. I found the zone, where I can basically run forever at a steady pace, it's all in the head. I even managed to speed up a bit at the end! It took me about 70 minutes, which isn't too bad.

My previous best was about 6.5 kilometres, so this is a huge jump and I'm really proud. Plus almost 800 calories gone by 7.30am.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Doing the numbers

Taking inspiration from Kath @ The Courage to Start, I'm crunching the numbers.

My BMR (Base Metabolic Rate) is 1572. To work yours out, go here.

I will be eating approximately 1200 calories a day.

To lose 1kg a week - I want to lose 11 more kilos in the 12 weeks, so that works - I need a deficit of 7000 calories each week. Simply by eating only 1200 calories a day, that gives me a deficit of 372x7 = 2604 calories.

7000 - 2604 = 4396 calories to burn in exercise.

Incidental exercise:
5 days a week I do the home-to-school-and-back walk twice, even on a very slow day this would be at least 100 calories each day, so 500 calories a week. On Mondays and Wednesdays I walk or cycle to the swimming pool and back for the kids' swimming lessons, that's 1.8km, at least 200 calories each time, so another 400 calories a week. In Term 2, this might stop but it will be replaced with walking to soccer training instead. Another 150 calories for the bike ride to the shops and back once a week.

1050 calories in incidental exercise. 4396 - 1050 = 3346 calories.

'Actual' exercise:
If I allow 1000 calories for a Super Saturday, and allow for a rest day, that leaves me with 2346 calories between the other five days.

2346/5 = 469.2 calories per session! I'm aiming for 500 to give me some leeway all around.

Just shows you how important incidental exercise is, too, I'd have to do much longer sessions if I was driving everywhere. I've always walked this much, the problem is I was eating too much. By keeping that under control, I'm going to do fine.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

We're almost at kick-off!

The Week 1 nutrition & exercise plans were released this morning. How exciting! I'm going shopping this afternoon - I just hope the DVDs I ordered online arrive in time.

I had a terrible night's sleep last night, in fact it hardly involved any sleeping, so terrible that I could not get out of bed when my 5.45am alarm went off to go running. Instead I took Evie to the park after school drop-off, and did a variety of activities with the proviso that we wouldn't leave until my HRM said 500 calories burnt. Done!

I'm sure fellow parents will understand that whatever you do, your toddler wants to do to. Here's what happened when I tried to use the equipment I'd brought:

(Those are only 1kg weights, so she's not going to hurt herself.)

Then I was running around the playground and she decided we were playing chasey. Hehe. This park has free equipment: an elliptical, stepper, twisty thing, seated bike, and a butterfly press.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Weigh-in Wednesday

Another kilo gone! That makes five in total since starting pre-season. The 12 Week Body Transformation officially starts on Monday.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

No-sugar, low-fat apple & cinnamon muffins

I adapted a 'normal' muffin recipe to make these, Emma wasn't interested (but is so rarely willing to try anything new), Evie ate one and Alastair ate three. Heh. They're not bad, if you're expecting a very sweet muffin they will be odd but they're pretty good for what they are. Using whole milk, as I do, it comes out at about 107 calories per muffin. If you use skim milk, it's about 103 calories. Why bother? ;) If you used a non-dairy milk, these could easily be dairy-free.

4 Granny Smith apples (mine were small, approx. 100g each with skin/core)
160g self-raising flour
150g wholemeal spelt flour
2 eggs (I used large eggs)
50g honey (2tbsp for those not using a Thermomix)
180g milk of your choice
1/2 tsp baking powder
a generous sprinkle of cinnamon (good flavour and good for the blood sugar)


Peel, core and slice apples. Cook with a small amount of water, and then puree. I did this all in the Thermomix, but whatever method works for you. A good fork mash would work okay too, if you're short on appliances.

I let this cool because I had to go out, but I don't imagine that's necessary.

Mix all ingredients in the Thermomix, approximately 20 seconds on speed 4, make sure you scrape the sides down. Otherwise, sift dry ingredients, combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl, then mix the two together.

Divide into 16 muffin tins - remember if you make larger ones it will affect the calorie count, if that concerns you. If it doesn't, then go for it ;)

Bake approx. 30 minutes at 180. I found these took a bit longer than my regular muffins, and sank a little in the middle after cooling, but they're cooked.

TIP: grease the muffin tins well, mine stuck a bit probably due to the lack of butter or oil in the mix. Or use paper muffin cases.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


On Sunday, I ran a 3.5km charity fun run and came THIRD! There weren't a lot of people actually running, but hey, I'm going to take the prize and run with it (bad attempt at a pun there).

This morning, I ran about 5.6km and didn't feel too bad, which has encouraged me to aim high and sign up for the 14km HBF Run for a Reason at the end of May. The 4.5km would be like going backwards, after all ;) I'm not too sure how to tackle this because I don't want to get up at 5.30 every morning to get in an hour of running. Maybe I can do that one morning, and do interval sprints the other mornings.

I also have a 6km fun run pencilled in for the end of March.

This week I only lost a kilo, not as much as the previous two weeks, but not bad. That makes 4kg gone overall!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

When were YOUR body image issues installed?

First off, a self-congratulatory pat on the back - after doing Combat yesterday, I went to Attack this morning and I DID IT! I didn't like it quite so much as Combat, and I missed quite a few of the moves, or rather was off-beat, but I jumped and jogged and did jumping jacks, heh. And after that, I ran the 3km home. My legs were burning, but it felt good.

On another note, someone recently bumped a thread on one of my favourite forums (a feminist homebirthing forum) entitled, "When were your body image issues installed?" and I was reminded of my response to that question a year or so ago. Then I read a post in the 12WBT forums this morning, another woman talking about how HER body image issues were installed, and it really resonated with me.

So I'm going to share. This is a public blog, and generally I don't really talk about this publicly, but here you go.

When I was 12 and in high school, I had a crush on a boy, as you do. Another girl in my year, who liked the same boy, wrote me a kind, helpful letter detailing all my physical imperfections and how I could perhaps work on them by losing weight, wearing makeup, wearing coloured contacts, and never smiling because I had awful teeth. Oh, and try not to be so *smart* (Lord knows women aren't meant to be *smart*, that'll make the men feel bad). And you know what? Just try to be less ugly. That one, spiteful action, absolutely wrecked my self-esteem for years.

I wasn't overweight for many of those years - I played lots of sports in high school - but I hated myself and indulged in a lot of self-destructive behaviour, which I probably won't go into here.

You know what? I still look the same (aged by 16 years, of course). I still have pimples, and I did eventually get my teeth straightened out with braces as an adult, and now I smile, and I say f*** you, I don't care anymore.

I am beautiful, no matter what they say. Words won't bring me down. (Christina Aguilera, Beautiful)

Friday, February 4, 2011

A milestone

Today I made it through my first-ever Body Combat class. Group fitness scares me; I tried Zumba once and left halfway through, it required too much co-ordination for my liking and I felt silly.

I couldn't get some of the combinations in Combat, but I found it fun, I think it's much more my style than Zumba. Hopefully I can find something else I enjoy, too!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Pre-season task 5: Say it Out Loud

My commitment is:

To lose 16kg (since starting weight, so 13 more) during the 12WBT;
To run the City to Surf in August; and
To attend one group fitness class per week, so that I can find something I enjoy.

I am committed to do the work to get me there.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Another 1.5kg down!

That makes 3kg in two weeks, and I've also lost 5cm from my waist. Yay!

After Evie's swimming lesson today we went to the playground, and I used the exercise equipment to work up a bit of a sweat, plus some interval sprints across the playground. Poor Evie wasn't sure what I was doing, heh. It made the hills on the bike ride home a bit tough though, oof.

Free exercise equipment near playgrounds in Perth

On my travels I am attempting to take note of playgrounds in parks that have adult exercise equipment near by. If I know a few within easy cycling distance, I can try to make a habit of going there with my youngest after taking the older two to school. She can play and I can use the equipment and do other outdoors exercises.

I live in the inner suburbs, so this obviously is reflected in the list! Feel free to comment if you know of others close by or in other areas of Perth.

Robertson Park, Fitzgerald St/Palmerston St, Perth
Small but adequate playground, a decent distance from the busy road (Fitzgerald St). Four pieces of exercise equipment, two on either side of the playground. Toilets, drinking fountain.

Hyde Park, Vincent/William/Throssell/Glendower Sts, Perth
I included this because the playgrounds are great, but the exercise equipment is spread out around the lakes and most of it is not really close to the playground equipment. It's also very low-impact, I think useful for stretching or older folks more than those seeking to raise their heartrates. On the other hand, the larger playground itself offers a lot of scope for exercise, with low walls for step-ups, benches and poles. Toilets, drinking fountains.

Banks Reserve, Joel Tce, Mount Lawley
Fully-fenced playground, decent range of equipment. One set of exercise equipment next to playground, with another on the other side of a flat grassed area. Toilets, drinking fountains, half-basketball court.

Forrest Park, Harold St, Mount Lawley
Fully-fenced playground, nice and shaded, good equipment. Exercise equipment is a short distance away but in line of sight. There is also a cycle path around the park. In summer it is an off-leash dog exercise area and on winter weekends/evenings is quite busy with junior soccer. Toilets, drinking fountains.

Beatty Park Reserve, cnr Charles & Vincent sts, North Perth.
Small but interesting playground, in the corner of the reserve away from busy roads. Two pieces of exercise equipment close by. Toilets.