Safety Reminder

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Its a sad day and age when you've got to think about you're own personal safety when out staying fit and healthy.  Unfortunately I'm not referring to making sure you're adequately hydrate either.  I had a rude wake up call this morning to remind me how important it is to be ever vigilant to one's surroundings.

I was about 2.5km into this mornings run when I was hailed by a driver of a ute.  I was wary of him as he had been on his phone on the opposite side of the road and did a u-turn prior to parking a rolling down his window.  As I approached the vehicle I made sure to stay well away and made eye contact.  He then asked me if I knew the driver of that BMW behind me.  As I turned around to look at the car it made a screeching u-turn on a corner and speed off in the opposite direction.  The ute drive then proceeded to tell me that he'd been watching the vehicle travel behind me for about 2 - 300m while he was on the phone.

I felt sick.  I hadn't noticed a thing!  The driver told me he was staying around 30m behind me, so it was out of my periphral vision and being a fairly new car I didn't hear it.  Needless to say I then changed the direction I was intending to go, as it was less populated at this time in the morning, left my iPod out of my ears and moved a little faster on my way home. Once I got to work I rang the local police station and gave them what small information that I could, I didn't get a rego or either vehicles.

This got me to thinking about what we should all do to minimise our risk of personal attack while outside exercising.   Here's some of my ideas and personal rules, some of which I have gotten way to complacent with:

  1. If possible exercise with a buddy.
  2. Don't exercise before sunrise or sunset unless extremely well illuminated.
  3. If exercising around dusk/dawn wear something that is reflective.
  4. Change up your routine.  This includes the time you go and where you go.
  5. Run facing the traffic.  This gives you more awareness of the traffic and a better chance of getting out of the way.
  6. Take some form of identification with you.
  7. Trust your gut.  If it doesn't feel right, get the hell out of there.
  8. Tell someone where you are going and when you'll be back.
  9. Stick to major routes and roads where possible.
  10. Only use pathways in parks or similar that are well lit and not closed in by bushes.
  11. Don't look like a victim.  Maintain appropriate body language.
  12. Consider taking a personal alarm with you or maybe your dog.
  13. Don't wear an MP3 player.  Or if you find you must have one on turn it down so you can hear what's happening around you.
  14. Be aware of your surroundings
So which rules did I break?  Well I thought my iPod was turned down but obviously it wasn't low enough.  I wasn't facing the traffic as I thought its was only a 400m stretch and I'd be crossing the road again.  The area I was running in wasn't a back street to say the least but obviously it was still rather quite at 6:30am.

Now I'm considering taking Jessy out of retirement and taking her running with me on my shorter runs that are early in the morning during the week.  It might me I have to drop my distances down a little until she catches up with the program but you can't afford to be too careful.

If you have any other tips or suggestion please leave a comment below as you never know it could help stop an attack.


Red Flag Days

Saturday, June 25, 2011

This week is yet to end and the red flags are waving. 

Thursday was my DH's birthday.  Not being content with having a nice dinner out or at his parent's place he decided that he was going to have a "kids" party.  You've got to give him a lot of credit really, as it meant that the girls got to catch up with their cousins and he finished installing some playground equipment at work.  The kids had a blast playing with that and having a game of mini-soccer complete with goals.

But what kids birthday party doesn't come without party food?  Definitely not this one!  DD1 was put in charge of selecting the party fare.  What 3.5 year old wouldn't have a blast doing that!  So as you could imagine there were lollies, chocolate biscuits, mini cupcakes and sausage rolls.  Then top that off with the icecream cake.

For the adults we had a small BBQ once the kids had completed ingesting copious amounts of sugar.  Looking at what I would have eaten at such an event compared to what I did was quite amazing.  I did have a couple of lollies and one mini sausage roll prior to my tiny steak and salad for dinner.  But I didn't go back for my sweets and I didn't have the cake.  I also stay clear of the soft drinks and wine - well someone had to drive home too so that helped.

It is also a custom for a cake to be shared on a birthday at our work.  This occurred earlier in the day and I did have a small slice.  I was pleasantly surprised that the cake on offer was a sponge cake that wasn't loaded with heaps of cream and jam.  It was only a small cake and 1/8 of it would have been well under 200 calories so that became my snack for the day.

On returning home and battling to get the 2 sugar charge devils to sleep I went through everything that I had eaten for the day and was impressed that I can have my cake and eat it too and stay under my calorie intake without sacrificing any off my meals.  Next time I'll just plan things a little better instead of winging it.

I'll get to try out my planning skills tomorrow as DH's birthday celebration continues.  In the morning we're off on the boat for a birthday lunch for DH and I believe we're headed for Couran Point.  No problems with food over there as they have a pretty good salad selection.  In the evening we're off to my parent's place for DH's birthday dinner - are you starting to lose track of the number of celebrations for him yet?.  I know my mum is cooking a pasta dish for the girls and will serve it with salad so I have to try and keep the pasta serving small.  I will have a small bit of desert but as I'm using this meal as my treat for the week.

On a different note that DOESN'T revolve around my DH's birthday this week I was slightly disappointed with my loss.  On my calorie deficit the scales should have moved around 1kg but had only dropped 500g.  Realistically it wasn't that bad considering I've been battling a head cold along with TTOTM.  As it was pointed out to me by one of my fellow 12WBT family its 500g closer to my goal.

I also need to get myself prepared for the inevitable plateau.  I know it will happen but I just need to arm myself with some strategies to combat the self sabotaging behaviour that I've encountered before when it happens.


Who let the dog out

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Its almost two weeks ago that our weekly mindset lesson was about "Taming Your Inner Labrador".  Anyone that has anything to do with labs would know all about those beautiful sad eyes looking up at you saying "Feed me, I'm hungry".  But when in comes to a lab you'll find that they have probably already eatten and aren't really in need of food.

While we don't have a lab in our house we do have a German Shepard cross Kelpie called Jessy.  Up until about 18 months ago Jessy could really care less about food, she would usually gently accept whatever she'd been handed and go and hide it in the back yard and her dry food could go un-touched all day.  That was until we had to put her on steroids due to her allergies.  Now if you're looking for her, she's generally right behind you looking for every crumb of food she can get.  If the girls drop food, including vegies, she'll be in there hoovering it up.  We've lost 3/4 of a roast off the kitchen bench that was to be used for left overs, my DH's dinner has been licked off his plate on the same bench (without knocking the plate to the floor too) if I've forgotten to push it to the back of the counter and so on.

So from this I know all too well what Mish was getting at on the topic but I found this week that I was the one that turned into the Labrador.   It was my own fault as I'd been avoiding all sugary processed things and for some reason I decided that one marshmallow wouldn't hurt (didn't realise they were 20 calories each at the time!) as I was getting the girls baby chinos made.  Next thing you know 5 and then 10 of them had disappeared.  They were sickly sweet but once I'd had the hit I wanted more. 

I put the marshmallows out of sight and still I wanted something else to eat.  I can't believe the affect that one hit of almost pure sugar could have.  I just wanted to keep eating.  To avoid eating even more I decided to take the girls out of the house for a walk.  The whole way all I could think of was food.  I wanted more sugar the "Sweet Poison" had invaded me after all my effort.

It took me almost all of the next day to get past the cravings for more sugar.  It would have been so easy to have reverted back to my old habits but I've come so far in such a short time frame.  As of today I've lost 6.7kg from the 1st of May and I've got 4.3kg left to make it to my 12wbt goal weight.  There's no stopping me, I will smash my goal and keep going.  I don't need the sugar or the effect it has on me.


Not Going to Plan

Monday, June 13, 2011

Obviously on our journey to achieve our goals it's not always going to be smooth sailing.  We can try and even out the bumps and stay high and dry the majority of time by forward planning but as Sunday proves things don't always follow that plan.

Our family quite often have a meal with a couple that my DH has known since he was a boy.  They have no grand children of their own and our girls have become almost like their adoptive grand children.  Both M and J dote on them.  The girls can get away with anything they want to at their beautifully clean house much to my horror.  They get loaded up with all the sweet treats, biscuits, cakes etc that their tiny little tummies can handle - and that's before we even sit down to dinner.

M and J are Portuguese and when they were growing up they both lost siblings to starvation.  I can remember J telling me about living on a piece of stale bread and water for days on end. Its something that most people would never be able to understand.   Now to show how far they have come and also because they are being gracious hosts whenever you go to visit them, be it for a coffee or a full meal you can not leave without feeling so sick from over eating. 

J recently discovered, through a conversation with DH, that DH likes Chinese food and that the girls (especially DD1) are particularly fond of dim sims.  The next time we went for a meal the table has hardly any room left and is filled with dim-sims, 5 different main dishes, a large fried rice and a large steamed rice.  Then out of the oven comes fresh bread rolls.  Before you look your plate is being loaded up again and you almost feel guilted into eating more even though that's the last thing on J and M's mine.  Just as you think its all over and done with out come a huge creme brule each, chocolate cake and jam doughnuts.  Even before starting the 12wbt I was always worried about feeling ill after leaving a meal at their place.

On Friday J calls up DH and suggests we catch up for a meal on the long weekend.  Being a little proactive DH suggests that we meet at a local cafe for breakfast.  You should see the smile on my face when he tells me!  I'm over the moon as I can control exactly what I'm going to eat - yahoo.

We arrive Sunday morning and start out with some coffee (skinny for me with no sugar of course).  Even the girls get in on the action.

I get through breakfast without a second thought with a poached egg, mushrooms, spinach and an un-buttered piece of toast.  The girls are happy devouring a pancake each even though they've already devoured 2 weetbix's each before we left home.  I'm thinking I'm home and housed and all that's left to do is dash into the shops and grab a couple of poncho's as we're off to the football and it looks like rain.

I leave the girls with DH, M & J and say that I'll catch them at the playground.  Bad move.  DH let his guard down and before he could say a word DD1 had led M into Baskin-Robbins.  They emerge with 2 adult sized icecreams with the cone dipped in chocolate and sprinkles.  Thankfully M had asked for only one scoop of icecream in each.

With the amount of chocolate and the mess they were both making DH started to attack DD1 icecream to try and alleviate the mess while I worked on DD2's.  A few accidental drops of the chocolate and then DD2 actually dropping the icecream, which of course ended in tears, put an end to the mess.  I don't think that I consumed more that 150 calories but it was not something I needed or wanted to eat at 10:30 in the morning.

Oh well its just another bump in my journey.


Can this really be "diet" food

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I'm really enjoying most of the items on the menu for the 12wbt and my lunches are getting some comments when I get to work.  The soups are usually ignored as that fits into most peoples expectations of "diet" food but meals like the smoked salmon and caper open sandwich or Mexican Style Shephards Pie seem to get a second look and then a comment along the lines of "I thought you were on a diet".

I guess its hard to get peoples head around the fact that watching what you're eating doesn't mean that you have to be living on rabbit food.  To me this program is about re-teaching me that clean, healthy and unprocessed foods can be delicious and not depriving. 

I've been on an online group today talking about preservatives and it just dawned on me that in the last 4 weeks I haven't been looking at the labels of what I'm buying.  I got a little worried for a minute and then remember that my fridge is chock a block with fresh fruit and vegetables.   The majority of the pantry staples that I buy haven't changed so I shouldn't be adding more nasty chemicals in there.  So if anything I'm eating cleaner, leaner and more chemical free than ever and it is paying off.

I've cut out everything with aspartame.  No "diet" drinks or food for me.  I'm feeling full between meals and I don't snack most days.  I've re-discovered what it actually feels like to be hungry.  Now that might sound strange to some and to me it would have about 4 weeks ago.  I can tell if I'm actually only wanting to eat out of boredom or habit.  I'm not perfect, and I have slipped up.  For example I recently decided to "clean" the knife after making the girls Nutella sandwich.  The instant gratification was good, I won't lie, and the thought of picking up the teaspoon and digging in was there, but I didn't.  I wasn't hungry, I didn't need it and I did put it away.  Go back just over a month and there would have been a different story unfolding.

Thinking back over the last few weeks and I've got some favourites emerging from the menu.  In no particular order they are:

  • Smoked salmon with ricotta on toast
  • Pannacotta with strawberries
  • All of the different pizzas (yes pizza)
  • Breakfast burrito (even DH loved these)
  • Not so naughty Nachos
  • Caramelised pork
  • Roast Chicken
Panna cotta with Strawberries (Care of 12 Week Body Transformation)
 Next week I'm looking forward to trying Mish's lasange and spag bol.  I adore pasta, and its probably one of the reasons I got to where I was, so I'm really looking forward to these too meals.  So if this is what is considered "diet" food than BRING IT ON!


Focussed on my training

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I'm loving my group circuit class at the moment.  Its not that I don't like my other group classes (Pump and Pilates) but I find this class to somehow be a step above the others.  Between the class and 15 minutes on the dreadmill in which I managed to complete the beginners rolling interval for one round I managed to kill 516 calories.

The combination of weights with a couple of cardio elements really keeps my focus during the class and also keeps the heart rate up a fair amount higher than a standard pump class while still using all the major muscle groups.  Add 100 sit ups and legs lifts to the batch and you've got a pretty good workout.

After today's effort I can see that once I start training I become rather focused on what I'm doing.  I've had some issues with my HR strap for some time now.  When I started running in February I was using a Garmin hard plastic strap that started digging in to me around the closure points.  It had given my that much grief that I went out and purchased their "premium" soft strap and a not so cheap price of $89 but I was over the stinging pain after each run when I'd jump in the shower.

Fast forward a few more weeks and the premium strap is still rubbing on the sore spots so I start taping up.  Add another few weeks to the mix and I finish the Mother's Day Classic and buy myself a new running watch as my reward.   Its taken almost a month and I finally think I've worked out the perfect placement of the monitor so it doesn't rub the old scabs and new skin.  Well that changed today.

The first thing that alerted me to any trouble was when I spotted some blood on my shirt after my training session today.  Upon lifting my shirt I find that my HR strap had slipped and left some damage behind.

I hadn't felt a thing during training at all but I'm really dreading jumping in the shower as its going to sting like hell.

Today was weigh in day and I'm happy to report that the downward trend is continuing.  Since I started running in February I've lost 6.6kg and 5.2kg of that has fallen off me since I signed up for the 12wbt.  I'm starting to get comments which spur me on even further.  I need to stay focused on the day to day as my mind keeps wandering off thinking about what things will be like in another 9 weeks time.  I can't get ahead of myself or I might fall off the wagon.  So I'm going to sit back and enjoy the ride one day at a time.


Moving the goal posts

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Well almost 2 weeks of the 12wbt have finished and I've already achieved my four week goals of losing 3kgs (I've nearly hit 5kg) and running 5km in under 40 minutes. I've actually managed to do the 5km under 40 minutes a few times and the latest ones have been outside of any sort of event.

To top that off I ran my first 11km today and 1:26:51 and I finished the 10km in 1:18:41.  That means that I've achieved one of my 3 month goals which was to run 10km in under 80 minutes.

So it looks like its time for me to move the goal posts.  My main problem with this is I don't know where to reset them too.  I don't want to move them too far and then fail but on the other hand I need to move them to give me something to aim at and keep me motivated.

I'm also surprised in the changes in other areas of my health and fitness.  I don't feel that I need as much sleep.  Now that's saying a lot as I can't remember the last time that I actually didn't get up at least once during the night with the munchkins.  I'm not loathing getting up at 5:30am to get ready to go for a run in the dark.  While the biggest discovery of this week is that I can now touch my toes.  So yes it was after a workout so my muscles were warm but I can't remember the last time I could do that.

My attitude towards food and food choices is changing.  DH and I went out for dinner during the week for our anniversary and I didn't have dessert.  I only had a lemon, lime and vodka (instead of 2 - 3 glasses of wine) and I was very careful about my selection of entree and main.

I've got a love for baby spinach and rocket.  I used to hate rocket - or at least I thought I did.  My lunch today was a huge bowl of rocket (about 40g of it) a small tin of tuna and some cottage cheese and I didn't feel like I was missing out on anything.  The girls and I went shopping with Grandma today and we had a coffee - I no longer add sugar and it was a skinny late too.  I didn't even look at the cake cabinet.

Mish has obviously done something spot on with the pre-season tasks.  I've been on the merry-go-round so many times before but I've never actually enjoyed the "healthy" food, and exercising was more of an after thought that one of the first things that pops into my head in the morning.  To give you an idea about my slight obsession with exercise, tomorrow is meant to be my rest day and here I am thinking about what I can do, knowing full well that I'm going to be in a tonne of pain with DOMS.   Hmmmmm, I think I'll do my yoga DVD, at least it will help me stretch everything out and won't be too much workload.


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