Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Can’t believe that Round 3 of 12WBT is over. I had great intentions of blogging my way through it, but all that kind of fell by the wayside.  So much for my inner writer.  Never mind – if it meant that I focused on the job at hand, then so much the better, I think. 

So .. the verdict? Oh. My. God. I cannot believe what I have achieved! I still keep thinking I’m going to wake up from a dream and find myself back the way I was.

Officially – from week 1 to week 12 I lost 9kg – 11.7% weight loss, and I hit my healthy weight range with a BMI of 24.7. From when I signed up – a couple of weeks beforehand -  to today, I’ve lost 11.5kg!  (Far out, I lost another 1.5kg this last week! – 66.5 kg this morning!)

I’m actually still quite nonplussed. I set myself very modest goals –  I was quite prepared to take it slowly but surely, to make sure it was sustainable.  Well, to use some MishBridges terminology – I smashed them!  I’d aimed for losing 10kg in  6 months, and I’ve done it in less than four.  (I said at the start that I only had to lose 10kg to ‘look ok’ – so I’ve done that, and I was right about the looking ok bit! A few more to put myself safely in the middle to lower part of my healthy BMI range, and I’ll be on Cloud 9.)

I can’t go anywhere without people who I haven’t seen for a while (or even a week!) commenting and complimenting me!  “You’ve got a waist now!”

I feel fantastic – and.. *ahem*.. my husband seems to think I feel fantastic too. He doesn’t recall me ever being ‘like this’… I have actually been a tad lighter (the last time was 13  years ago before I got pregnant with Zoe), but I daresay I didn’t have the muscle tone as I wasn’t doing the same amount of consistent exercise.  To say that it has rejuvenated our marriage/relationship would be an understatement.

What is probably more amazing is what I’ve managed given the injuries I had – starting out with the torn calf muscle, then smashing my little toe. Since I did that job on my toe I haven’t been able to run at all… (First fitness test I couldn’t run because of my calf. Second one I jogged it in 6 mins 31. Then, the toe.) I am nearly there.. had a go the other day.. it still hurt a teeny bit (and it was my dodgy lower back that felt iffy.)  Given that I’d decided to avoid running because of my back and hips, any jogging that I do achieve from here on in will be awesome. (I’m sure it will be a whole lot less stress on my back carrying less weight!)

I’ve also taken the abs and arm stuff a bit more cautiously (than Mish or any personal trainer would probably have me do) because I’m much too paranoid about my lower back, and my joints.  (A year ago a GP had me on daily panadol osteo for what she reckoned was the start of arthritis, and I’ve needed regular chiropractic visits to keep my back manageable. I ditched the panadol earlier this year and am taking Glucosamine and Fish Oil, which seems to be working!)

So I’ve still got toning work to do, but I’m getting there.

So, pics… as I put the BEFORE photo out there, I’ll put the BEFORE/AFTER shot here.  I was probably a little bit disappointed with it, as I didn’t feel like it reflected the change I felt with clothes on! It doesn’t show the fact that I’ve just about run out of clothes to wear (particularly pants and shorts) because they’re all falling off me. (Himself says ‘use a belt!’ – but I just can’t bunch them up that much!)


Put it this way – I’m now happy as Larry to have my photo taken with clothes on!! LOL.

This was taken two days ago at Ms 12’s year 6 graduation assembly. (She was a bit emotional about it!!)


The big thing about all this is that it’s a change for life – not just for 12 weeks. A few more kilos to lose to get myself into the middle of my healthy weight range –  more toning, as I said - and then, maintenance. But it is all totally doable, because I’ve had an even bigger tranformation in my head than I have physically.  Such a different approach to both what I put in my mouth AND consistency and effort in any exercise I do. 

Unlike many who did 12WBT, doing ‘mega’ days of physical exercise wasn’t something new to me..  and nor was the experience, and even enjoyment, of getting that endorphin hit (and feeling bloody good the rest of the day). But now – due to ensuring I do something pretty much every day, I’m getting that buzz every day, and I’m feeling so much fitter and stronger.

Did I mention I feel fantastic?! I’ve noticed that now when people ask ‘how are you?’ my automatic response now is ‘good!’.  (A kind of surprised ‘Wow! I actually feel great!’) Before this, the answer would have been more likely to have been ‘meh.. ok...’

So, do I continue this blog?  Perhaps I will simply to keep myself accountable for my daily exercise/training. (Resolution to blog/write more!) Christmas and the beginning of holidays will throw up challenges for me. Apart from the food thing, I have to find a replacement for my three swim squads a week!

But you know what? Armed with all the 12WBT mind tools, I can and will JFDI ! 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


This was done by another 12WBTer. Am printing it out to pin up to remind me.



Wordle: 12wbt

Thursday, November 25, 2010


This morning my dear old incremental scales flickered a 69.5 at me, before settling for 70. Dammit! Well, actually I wasn’t disappointed because only yesterday for Wednesday weigh in, I was happy as Larry to have stayed on the 70.5 that I registered on the weekend (with my stealth Sunday rendezvous with the scales.)

I am getting there… slowly but surely.. and I have a few intermediate goals that should serve to keep me focused.

As 12WBT is coming into its final weeks, I know that many have moved into top gear (in line with Mish’s program).. but I confess I’m not quite doing that.  I decided early on that what would work better for me was to go for more for long term, sustainable lifestyle change than in the figures at the end of this arbitrary 12 week mark.  Given my various injuries, niggles, and random attacks of the lurgy, I think I’m doing pretty damn well.   With my history – lower back issues, joint issues – I’m paddling my own canoe down this river.  I am upping the ante with the exercise – p’raps not quite at ideal 12WBT pace, but definitely ‘upping’ it.

I’ve started riding my bike to swim squad on Mondays.  (It might not be a tri – but it’s a bi-!)

I tried Zumba last week, and fell for it big time. Loved it , loved it, loved it! So that’s an extra cardio for Wednesdays!

Last two Saturdays we’ve ridden our road tandem – over 60km. (So that’s double what I’ve been doing on my single!)

I’ve been gradually building up abs and arms – with the Tight Toned Terrific DVD but I’m not risking stuffing myself. Been there, done that, not going there again.  Lately I’ve only managed that once a week – I do want to double that.  I know the gym might give me quicker results.

I’ve already upped my swim squad from twice to three times a week. Before 12WBT I felt guilty about doing that extra class. Now I don’t!

Anyway – where was I? Intermediate goals.  So, breaking through that glass ‘floor’ (as I call it) into the 60s is the next thing. Depending on which BMI scale I use, a 69 (at my height) should put me in my healthy weight range.

And then – if I can crack the 68, then I am light enough to ride on the middle seat of our triple tandem!


Obviously that’s not me in the photo.   (Gah, you don’t want to see the one of me taken at the same time. Stomach flab ahoy!) The only time I’ve had a ride on our triple was the day Himself put it together. He was concerned about the flexing with my weight.  :(  So he and the girls have ridden many kilometres on it – while I have ridden the front of another tandem with whichever of the older two girls drew the short straw. The last time it was ridden was nearly 2 years ago (when this photo was taken) on our 9 day ride down the east coast of Tassie.  This year we discussed selling it – but before we made such a difficult (and disappointing) decision, I wanted to know exactly what the load limit for the middle seat was. Because even as the older two move on,/move out/lose interest in doing tandem rides with their parents, it would be ‘hell cool’ for Him, me and the youngest (now 12) to ride together.

So! 150lbs – we finally got an answer from Co-motion (yay for Facebook pages). That’s 68kg. And that’s … within sight!! (And then I’m heading below that!)

I am SO going to ride on the triple!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Well that’s a bit how it feels.

I was really getting into it by the weekend.

Friday night swimming, the stars were all finally in alignment. The stars that govern the status of my body parts at any rate. Nothing in particular playing up.  Left knee? ok.  Right knee? ok as well. Arms.. ok. Little toe a bit weird, but ok to kick.  Let’s go girl.  So I took it up another notch from what I’d been doing for weeks and week - and bloody smashed it out. I kept up with the guys, and finally got my heart rate right up there. Felt great. (And a girl who hadn’t been there for several weeks noticed, commented – even estimated I’d lost about 10kg. She was a bit over, but great for the confidence that it is that noticeable.)

Saturday morning we got up at stupid o’clock, drove 10km down the road (past the worst of the roadworks), then rode the tandem 10km into the community ride start (6.30am.)  By the time we got back again (with a break at the end of the community ride for coffee) we’d clocked up 67km – 2 hours 22 riding time. And Himself did notice the weight difference.  Well – carrying 6-7kg less weight is a pretty big difference on a bike. (When you think about it, it has to help with being able to swim a bit faster too!)

In the afternoon we walked up and down the stairs numerous times, carrying up verandah posts, and tools, and we finished putting the posts on the deck.

I wasn’t doing the “tri” this weekend. I can’t run yet – the toe still isn’t that keen on walking in shoes. But I was planning to ‘bi’ it with another ride up to swimming on Monday, and then to possibly ride to swimming again on Wednesday. 

Even if I can’t follow the exercise plan to the letter because of my various injuries and ailments, I’m still upping the ante. I’m even figuring that I can even ride to my mowing job on a Tuesday in future too, now that I’ve got petrol stored there with the mower.

Saturday night we had Ms 17’s Year 12 formal. I felt pretty ok in the dress.  One hell of a lot better than I felt going out 8 weeks ago. It’s actually the first time in a long, long time I’ve actually felt comfortable dressed up. (And I got a couple of unsolicited comments too – and then more once I put that photo on facebook. And they all help!)



It was an alcohol free event – being a school function. Hah – at least I didn’t find it as hard as some to be drinking water. (There were jugs of soft drink on the tables as well – which ended up diluted with ice and yuck. I did have a couple of sips – because just water does get a bit boring after a while.)  The food was pretty ordinary. I didn’t have any dessert.  And I was bloody hungry by the time we got home.

All progress, right?

Problem was on Saturday my throat did feel a bit scratchy.

Then Sunday I woke up with a very definite sore throat – which developed into a full-on head cold by Sunday afternoon. My nose was running like a tap – I had to walk around with a tissue or hanky plugging it. I gave up, left the family to bicker over the cleaning up of dinner, and went to bed. Had a crappy night’s sleep, but then slept through (only vaguely aware of people getting ready for school and work) till 11am.

Needless to say I didn’t do any exercise on Monday then.

Today I feel better than I was- I went and did my mowing job. (Thankfully it was quicker than normal because they’d finally marked the lines). But I’m coughing a bit. I’m definitely not “better”.

I swear, every time I get my mojo really happening, either I injure myself or get sick.

(And to top it all off, I’ve got a dose of thrush. TMI, I know.. but sheesh…)

Sunday morning AND  yesterday morning my weight (on my scales) was 71. This morning it was 71.5.  I’m guessing weigh-in Wednesday is going to be a disappointment yet again.  I’ve been at this weight before (years ago) and really struggled to break through that 70 barrier, and I’ve been teetering around this 71/71.5 for a couple of weeks now.

I can only pick myself up AGAIN (once I’m good to go), and keep chipping away at it. At least I’m getting lots of lovely comments from friends who are noticing that I’ve definitely lost weight.  And I can remind myself that, due to my various niggles, lower back issues, etc, I was quite prepared to lose weight gradually.  And I’m still a month ahead of goal.

Plus of course there’s all the 12WBT twitterati mutual support, which helps keeps me going each day.

Friday, November 12, 2010


It’s been a bit of an up and down week. I was on top of the world just before last weekend.  When was it – the Thursday or Friday last week? – the scales gave me a 71.  That new ‘low’ put me on a high – which then pitched me into this stupid rollercoaster ride up and down all week. 71.5 on Tuesday. 72 on weigh in day, Wednesday. Then 71.5 again on Thursday. (So, stuff it, I went with the 71.5 for my stats…) 

Oh, I know I should get better scales – this half kilo increment thing is doing my head in a bit.  But apart from finishing the ‘journey’ with these - imagine if I bought a new set, and they didn’t match these ones? In the wrong direction?!  Never mind that Himself doesn’t see a need to buy new scales when these ones work just fine! (It’s a finely tuned thing, the purchasing decisions in this house – probably making no sense to the outsider looking in. Let’s just say I feel quite keenly the fact that I don’t bring a regular income into the house, so I tend to ‘weigh up’ (no pun intended there) what I can buy without consultation or ‘approval’ – which is actually a lot of things. And what will cause more than raised eyebrows because he thinks it’s not necessary…)


Clothes are starting to be too big for me – to the point where I don’t have as much choice of what to wear! Bit of a dilemma – I intend to lose another 7 kilos, so it’s crazy to buy too much. But I do need clothes!

And after trying on the wretched outfit I bought (under duress) the weekend before Week 1, there was no way I was going to feel happy in it. So I went shopping today with Ms 17 for something different to wear to her Yr 12 formal -  and I found something in Target. AND a size 12 even…  (I actually brought home two of them, but will take one back.)

Just to illustrate the difference 8 weeks has made -


Not exactly fashion week photoshoot material  – with the bedroom floor mess, and a dagging around candid pose - but it gives an idea of how far I’ve come, and what a difference 5-6 kg makes.

I’ll get a proper one on Saturday night.  Though I tend to dorkiness (as you can see) when I try to pose for a photo.

The miracle is I can wear the sandals with my still-sore toe.  I was a bit worried about that, but they don’t affect it.

My stars, for the first time in a looooong time, I’m almost looking forward to getting dressed up and going out. 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

And on the 18th day she Rested.

NOT a Super Saturday here, thanks to the weather this morning. Rain and strong winds – not the kind of weather to get up early to go riding. And we had planned to go on the tandem, and do extra k’s as well. Oh well – next week.  (Or not – Himself is going away for work all week and won’t get back till Friday night – he might not feel like getting up at 5am on the Saturday!)

So I ended up having a rest day, as it rained on and off all day. (In the afternoon we tried to get going on verandah posts, but  the rain came in again and kyboshed that.)

I guess a rest day is allowed. I realised that I’d done something every day since I smashed my toe on the 19th October!  OK, so the next day I just swam laps for half an hour. And the day after was just a pretty slow hobbly walk up the beach. But as I listed in my last post- otherwise something EVERY day.  Since then:

Wednesday – swim squad.
Thursday – Tight Toned Terrific DVD + mowed the yard
Friday – swim squad

I *have* been rewarded on the scales.  I’m very chuffed. Fitting back into blue jeans that I’d busted out of. Another friend commenting. Feeling oh so effing good about myself! I mean, I’ve managed to lose kilos despite my toe.  I’m on a roll here!

To the point where I feel paranoid that not having burnt off any extra calories today will result in a spike back up again.

I shouldn’t get so hung up about it – particularly as I'm already not following the program to the letter. I’m doing what exercise I’m capable of, and what fits into my daily life. I’m not counting calories super closely either, but, geez,  I must be getting pretty close to the mark. [Why am I not being more careful with the calories? Because I feel that I need to do this in a way that I’ll be able to continue doing for the rest of my life. And I know that there is no chance that I’d be able to keep up counting calories forever… so what I’m doing is re-educating myself with regard to nutrition and general calorie intake per day, and basically trying to set myself up with a sustainable (by Tracey) lifestyle.]

I guess it’s a good thing that I’m feeling a bit blah about missing the exercise today, because I shouldn’t have any problem getting back into it with passion tomorrow.

(Was bloody good to have a long sleep in this morning though!)

So anyway, I did submit a recipe to this weeks Surprise challenge. I would SO love to win something!

Tracey’s Lemon Chicken Stir Fry  (Dinner)
Serves 2
(299 cal per serve)

I created this recipe as a substitute for your typical Chinese takeaway Lemon Chicken. For the few extra cals tossing in the wholemeal flour, and using a tablespoon of olive oil, helps to give it that ‘battered’ look but without the batter! Plus it helps to slightly thicken and caramelise the lemon juice. It’s an simple recipe but all my kids and my husband love it.

210g chicken breast or tenderloins, chopped into bite size pieces
1 tablespoon wholemeal flour
1 tblsp olive oil
1 green shallot, diced
150g green beans (topped/tailed and chopped into 2-3cm lengths)
small carrot - julienned/shredded
90g broccoli chopped into bite size pieces
12g Fava nuts (Roasted broadbeans - 1/2 of 25g snack pack)
Juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup)

Toss chicken pieces in flour to coat. (put both in a clean plastic bag and shake till chicken evenly coated)
Heat oil in non-stick pan or wok – stir fry chicken pieces till golden, remove from pan.
Add shallots, beans and broccoli stir fry a minute or two, add carrots strips and fava nuts. Stir fry a minute.
Return chicken to pan, mix – then add lemon juice. Stir well till coated. Serve.

Serving options:
Add ½ cup steamed basmati rice (111 cal)


I always like to add a bit of colour to my stir fries, and a nutritionist once told me to try to add some ‘orange’ to every meal, so I’ve added the carrot here - but you can obviously substitute any veggies you want and play around with quantities and calories.  (It’s yum with broccolini.) 
I have this great ‘julienning’ gadget for carrots that shreds them into really thin but longish strips which are more appealing than just grated carrot, but way thinner than julienning with a knife. (Carrot is great added to salads that way.)  You possibly don’t need as much as a whole small carrot even - add just what looks right artistically!!)


I added the fava nuts to replace calorie laden cashews or almonds which you often find in chinese dishes. They are roasted broadbeans – the same brand as those chic nuts Mish recommended in the ‘snacks’ video – just be careful, as they have more cals than the chic nuts.  Half a 25g snack pack is still worth 60 calories, so you might like to substitute a ¼ cup of pre-cooked brown rice instead (30 cals) – I think brown rice has a slightly nutty flavour.

[I forgot to add the fava nuts when I made it up last night as a ‘Serves 2’ test run and for the photo - but when I used them the other night they got the thumbs up from the household food critics!  NB. I had actually come up with this recipe before 12WBT, but 12WBT has taught me how to adapt it to meet the calorie criteria! A few weeks ago I had never heard of chic nuts or fava nuts!]

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I’ve not had the mojo to blog much lately, have I? I wish I could say that has meant I’ve not spent much time on my backside at the computer, but the truth is I’ve just not had the attention span to do much more than twitter. I guess I’ve settled into a routine where the 12WBT twitter network support is what gets me by each day… and I love the regular ‘chats’ I have with a few fellow ‘travellers’ – supporting each other through our ups and downs.

When I look back on the past – what 10 days or so? .. since I last blogged – I think I’ve managed to do something exercise-wise every day.  (No wonder I was so flipping tired this afternoon!) At the risk of being boring as hell, I’m going to go back through my Twitter profile, just to indulge myself. (One of my goals was to get into the habit of exercising every day.  I’ve not completely managed to follow the exercise plan to the letter, but I’m here to tell you that exercise + better eating = weight loss! [More on that later though…]

A week ago I could jog 1km. Today I just managed to walk carefully + cautiously up beach and back. 1.7km total. Doubt the speed burnt cals.  Thurs 21st Oct

Off to swim squad, hopefully I can kick a bit today. Had a test ride on my bike, didn't hurt toe too much, so will give riding a whirl in am
Bed time - up early to go riding. Hoping the toe holds up. It's a bit weird tonight after swimming. Am an idiot, didn't strap it in the pool  Fri 22nd Oct

Rode this morning - 31km. Toe held up ok (bless my bike shoes), slight twinge if I stood on hills, but all up ok. Improving on av speed too.  Sat 23 Oct

Stealth Sunday weigh in - down a kg! In fact, down 1.5kg from Wednesday's aberrant weigh in! Woop, woop, woop! @12WBT Recharges me!!!!
About to hire canoes for Ms 12 + 3 friends for her little birthday 'do'. So I'm going to get a kayak for the hour! Sun 24 Oct
(Then I spent the afternoon going up and down the stairs in our three storey house carrying tools and verandah posts!)

We then had a day of no internet – but the Monday I did my usual 1 hour swim squad.

Nearly 2 hours shoving a lawnmower around touch field - some parts thru lush grass. Toe is sore, and I'm stuffed. #willhavetodoforexercise 
When I say touch field, I mean SEVEN touch fields. Tues 26 Oct

Thank you Oh Scales for staying true to Sunday's reading, and reversing last Wednesday's aberration! Officially down 1.5kg then! @12WBT 
Swim squad done. Now to decide what to do tomorrow. Not sure the toe can take a workout dvd... @12WBT Wed 27 Oct

Lost mojo, need a jfdi kick up bum.
Go for a ride, go for a ride, go for a ride... JFDI Tracey...!
Rell12wbt: @trace12WBT go for it!!! You will feel so good when u get back...that was me last night after my JFDI run :)
@Rell12wbt - mind you, i think it's about to rain! that'd be typical... oh well, it's only water
Rell12wbt @trace12WBT I'm cheering you on from here!! The rain will not stop you GO FOR IT!! :)
@Rell12wbt - rain starting already... + heavier stuff on way. gah, maybe I should just try and do dvd instead.
No, I'm GOING.
Rell12wbt @trace12WBT GO GO GO!!! See you when you get back :) 10min rule remember...
@Rell12wbt - 45min ride, 16.8km - then did 3 x 5mins of TTT dvd (chest, triceps/biceps, + abs) + stretch.  Thurs 28 Oct

(special shout out to Rell for keeping me honest that day!)

Just done my hour swim squad, yeeha... #endorphinhit @12WBT Fri 29 Oct

39km total bike ride. (1 hr 42mins) That takes care of Saturday exercise. ..  Sat 30 Oct

Sneaky sunday weigh in - down another kilo #omg #halfkiloincrementscales
Just did 2 hour, 30km MTB ride. Adrenalin must surely burn off extra cals, eh?! Sun 31 Oct

Now to do Ms 12's paper run, ..[1 hour].. and then swim squad this arvo.
We did 2.3km in our swim squad just now.
#buggered Mon 1 Nov

90mins of pushing a mower. Got to have burned some cals and done something for my butt! 8 hours ago

So I’ve not managed to do much in the way of toning, but I’ve nailed the ‘exercise every day’ bit.  I’m not following each week’s nutrition plan to the letter – it just doesn’t work for me catering to the whole family – but I’m definitely keeping to the spirit of it, and I’ve changed so much about what I do and don’t eat.

I haven’t had a wine, beer or soft drink since the program began.  I’ve had the occasional bite of a cake or slice or something – but that’s where I’ve stopped. Instead of stuffing my face! I have had chocolate – one or two little squares of dark chocolate which I’ve hidden in the freezer. (If my older two girls find it, I’ll have none left when I’m desperate!)  This approach has appeased the choc monster within and stopped me from pigging out on a whole bar.  I guess we have to pick what we can and can’t do without, and factor it in to a calorie count.

In the past I wasn’t a big fan of vegetables – now I’m lapping them up, and I’m happy to have them instead of rice, pasta or potatoes with a serving of some sort of meat.  So there’s the occasional dish I’ll have spaghetti or pasta with – like a 12WBT-ifed spaghetti bol that I made, and so I just reduced my portion size. 

I have so much veg and salad in the fridge, I’m struggling for space!

I’m fitting back into clothes I’d busted out of – so I’m pretty happy right now. My little toe might still be preventing me from jogging (and it was throbbing after my mowing stint this morning), but I’m working around it. And it is, slowly, getting better.

I’m feeling good about my body, and it’s helping my .. confidence.. in other areas – if you get my gist….  *ahem*.

I’ve got the top end of my BMI healthy weight range in my sights now… and I’m confident that I can get there.

I’m feeling fitter and healthier than I’ve felt in a long long while- but I also know that (especially once this toe heals properly) I can up the ante with the exercise.

So anyway … I’m steeling myself for weigh-in vagaries in the morning… After that post-mini milestone letdown on the Wednesday afterwards, I’m expecting anything. The important thing is that I know that even if it does, I’m still on a very definite downward trend.

For the 12WBT stats page I’m sticking to Wednesday figures. But I’m reserving the right to boost my confidence by recording other new ‘lows’ on my ticker thingy.  My starting weight for that was the week that I actually signed up to 12WBT (rather than just before Week 1, Day 1) – and so that means that – as of Sunday at least – I’ve lost 6.5kg! Just about half-way to where I’d like to be, but already smashed my (admittedly conservative) 3 month goal.

Got to be happy with that.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Well, I was actually getting on track. A good week on the scales last week – down to 74kg - so when you ignore the previous week’s blip, it was a 1kg loss over 2 weeks. (And 4 – 4.5kg overall since I signed up to 12WBT.)  Onwards and downwards, tally ho!  I was happy with that. Fitting into clothes I’d grown out of – and people starting to comment.  And yes, more focus on the doing than the writing about it.  (Although perhaps I’ve just spent more time on Twitter than doing anything else..)

I had some scepticism about the Mini Milestone for last weekend, because I don’t feel like I need to prove anything in that department. With me it’d be more of a milestone to NOT stuff my face after a big lot of exercise.

So I decided that I should embrace it anyway – for that reason if nothing else.

Saturday I got up early (Himself was away playing Touch), and went in to the Community Ride.  I forgot my bike computer, but it was the same route. 31km over around 90mins, with the breather in the middle at the headland.  I felt like I rode a bit better than the previous week, but it’s hard to tell.

Then in the afternoon, essentially, I bit off more than I could chew, and chewed like buggery. (An old family saying, that one.) And I dragged @chookling (aka Amelia), another local 12WBTer into it!  We decided on a hike – up in the hills behind where I live.  Perhaps 20km was a bit ambitious. As was the route that I came up with – some of which I hadn’t covered before…. 

I deliberately put big hills in there.



That part I had walked before – though there seemed to be more sections like this than I remembered!

We had left nearly an hour later than planned – and at the top of this trail I did suggest perhaps we could revise the route. Amelia said she was ‘up for anything’ - or words to that effect..  whatever, it served to make me not want to be a wuss!

Well, wusses we weren’t.

Crazy we probably were…

We negotiated fallen trees on the track…  (that’s chookling)


About 10 mins past this.. I suddenly realised that I’d lost my sunnies – my bike riding glasses no less. So we backtracked, and fortunately found them amongst all that foliage.

We then headed down sections similar to those we had climbed earlier. Only with loser screed. Like ball bearings. I went *thump* on my hip and elbow. (Drawing blood on the elbow – I only later discovered the bruise on my hip.) And I tore the map I was carrying in my hand. (Later Himself asks why the hell I didn’t take the map case – my answer was that I actually didn’t think I’d have to use the map much.)


We got down to this creek, but then couldn’t find the track that was supposed to lead downstream.  I think we ended up further upstream than I intended. After rooting around the banks for a while, we cut our losses, got our feet wet, and walked up a track on the other side.  It brought us out on a more major forest road, which I recognised from past mtb exploits. I knew where we were – the problem was that we were even further from home than I wanted to be.

That road eventually led back to the highway, but by that stage we’d been out for more than 4 hours, and it was after 6pm!

In desperation I called home, and got my daughter (who doesn’t yet have her licence) to call a friend who did. And the $10 I insisted on paying this friend to drive us home was worth every cent.

By that stage my hips were decidedly wonky. I’m not quite sure how I made it through the evening – making up chicken burger patties for dinner, but getting the girls to do the rest. I’m pretty proud of the restraint I showed with eating – normally after flogging myself to that extent I’d become a gobbledok!

Thankfully I pulled up ok on Sunday, muscle-wise. I was just bone weary, so I gave the exercise a rest, and was pretty restrained with the food. Again, a significant achievement.

Monday I was back in the pool for swim squad, and I also spent an hour mowing lines on touch footy fields.

Tuesday, and karma or something has slapped me in the face again. How’s this for a bitter irony?…  I went upstairs mid-morning to change into some ‘workout gear’ (having been in daggy painting gear painting primer on verandah posts) so I could do the Tight Toned Terrific DVD.

And I smashed my toe – my little toe – into the timber leg of the bed.


I expected it to ease off – but it didn’t.  It kept throbbing. No way I could do the DVD.  I had to go to town to pick up a birthday present for Ms 12 (it’s her birthday today)… and after hobbling through the plaza in pain, I went over to the nearby medical clinic, and got in to see a doctor – as I thought I might have broken it.

He reckons it’s just badly bruised…. so the usual – ice, compression (ie. keep wearing shoes), elevation, etc etc. REST.



So as you can imagine, I’m not a happy vegemite.  (To the point where I keep dissolving into tears of frustration – and, yes, just sheer self pity..) 

Of course this coincides with a major ‘red flag’ event -  a birthday in the house..  Last night was the birthday girl choice family dinner, as the older two will be out playing netball late tonight.  BBQ’d sausages (I bought a range, and only got lean ones for me…), snowpeas, carrots. Pasta for them. (Sweet potato mash for me.)  I had a couple of bits of this cheesy tortellini I’d had for her for ages – she’s such a pasta freak.   And there was a cheesecake and honeycomb icecream.  I had a teeeeeeny bit of that…

And I paid for it this morning on the scales. Back UP half a kilo. Yes, yes, the scales are 0.5kg increment ones. But on Sunday morning they were flickering onto 73.5 (before settling on 74), and this morning they were a definite 74.5. 

Not what I needed.

Tonight we are taking Ms 12 and her friend out to the local pizza place for dinner.  She was very upset that she’s had to spend all her birthday at another school as part of the school debating team. (So she wasn’t even going to see her best mate.) Hence the meal out…. hence… putting myself in a difficult food choice situation.

And wondering how the hell I am going to burn calories off today.  I can go to swim squad, but I can’t kick (AGAIN, FFS…), and it’ll be hard slotting in between all the faster swimmers if I try to do laps with a pool buoy.  I can’t turn up and swim laps after that class for half an hour because I have to pick Ms 12 up from this debate day at 3.00. My only option is to head up there earlier and hope that I can get a bit done.

Otherwise I don’t know what the heck to do.

Not happy Jan.

Monday, October 11, 2010


I want the t-shirt!

So I’ve just watched the Week 4 video. As always they make a lot of sense. Of all the tips, though, JFDI is the one I most need to take on board – not only with the weight loss/exercise, but with the rest of my life. I have quite a few tasks that I’ve been prevaricating around for ages… so, with the resolve I’m getting out of 12WBT, I really must apply it all to everything else.

Meanwhile things are going ok.  I’ve not fallen off the wagon with the food.. Still maintaining the willpower with wine and beer, cake,  chocolate bars etc.

I do have one little thing I do – I don’t know whether it’s WWMD approved, but it works for me. I have a block of Cadbury mildly dark chocolate, broken up into single squares (around 25 calories each – I looked it up.) And they are in a container, hidden (from the kids) in the back of the freezer.  Every few days, I might have ONE, and it totally satisfies my chocolate cravings.  Perhaps the ideal is never to have a piece of chocolate cross my lips ever again, but I don’t think that’s doable for me. This stops me from having a binge attack. Honestly, every time I go through a supermarket, or stop at a servo, I realise how often I’ve made that impulse ‘I need it’ chocolate bar buy in the past.  This way, 26 calories gets it out of my system for another few days.

I did get a bit out of whack with the exercise program last week. On Friday (rather than Thursday) I did the Tight Toned Terrific DVD – this time with my Ms 11. It was cool to do it with her. Could have done without the comments from the peanut gallery (aka Ms 15), but she’s going through that slightly obnoxious ‘image is everything’ teenage girl phase.  I managed a bit more of the push ups AND the abs – so, slowly but surely I’m building up. Just ever so paranoid about stuffing up my back yet again– so slowly but surely it will have to be.

communityrideBSaturday morning we got up early and went into town for the Community Bike ride.  I did 31km in the 90 mins we were out. (Total climb 286m)  Not breaking any average speed records, but I worked at it. 

I know it doesn’t mean much, but I plotted the route on – so I’ve put the picture in – just to break up the screeds of wordiness of the post!

It’s the standard B group ride – we start (at the top there) in the city centre, then head south to Sawtell Headland. Stop for a breather, then head back a slightly varied route, which includes a few hills, and a detour around a path that overlooks the harbour.  I tend not to stick with the group – I don’t really like riding in a pack. On Saturday I rode all the way with another friend, and I really enjoyed it.

My darling OH did 10km more in the same time in A group.  When we talked about how I went up the hills (I’m a bit of a hill slug – slower than this friend, who is a bit older – in her 50s, but as I said to her “I think I’m carrying around 20kg more! And you have pocket rocket legs!.) DH said to me “Yeah, you ARE pretty slow up the hills.”  Great encouragement, huh.   I guess we all know who carries us up all the hills on the tandem then.

I can only chip away at it.

The rest of Saturday I had to deal with my nemesis – that seemingly insatiable appetite after I’ve done a decent ride, and which has been the cause of my weight gain over the past five or six years despite doing all this crazy riding.  Finally, thanks to 12WBT twitter support and suggestions (when I went online and whinged!) I had some fruit and yoghurt (and some muesli). I realised I hadn’t had the fruit with my breakfast like normal.  I’d only eaten some Special K with yoghurt for breakfast at 5.30am (No way can I ride 30km on an empty stomach.) Then 2/3 of a slice of that banana loaf with coffee after the ride.  Some risotto and salad leaves for an early lunch – and by 3pm I was going crazy, even after a few of those seaweed rice crackers with avocado. 

As I’ve quipped numerous times, my milestone events should be all about controlling the eating, and the urge to stuff my face with carbs and sugar after numerous hours on the bike - not necessarily simply upping the ante with exercise challenges.  Hopefully I didn’t go over my calories on Saturday, but I sure as hell managed the cravings with better intake than I normally would have..

So I don’t know if 90mins counts as a super saturday, but that was what I did. So I figured I hadn’t completely earnt a rest day yesterday, and despite the rain (more bloody rain!)  I took myself out for about 45 mins walk/jog on the beach, decked out in my very attractive, stripey ‘thermal top’ (ie. my polypropolene top..)  My hip was a bit iffy, but I threw in jogging stints anyway – and upped them from the last time – because I’m actually itching to run.

  I’m super happy with my new shoes - myshoes

Well, I feel like a dag in them, but they feel sooooo good. I swear they are making the difference with actually being able to jog a bit.  They are ASICS trail running shoes – which fits the bill for the sort of running I would choose to do, as long as my body lets me.  I’m not sure about the comments I get about them:  “Nice shoes” can mean a few things. Like “Oh my god, those shoes are a bit lairy aren’t they?”

Anyway… I’m keeping it ticking over.

Today I’m back at swim squad, after the break over the school holidays.  I am really looking forward to smashing it. My calf has recovered almost completely over the break, so I should be ready to kick butt again. AND not to stuff my face with cookies, or toast with butter, when I get back!

12WBT – a change for life – and all I have to do is JFDI.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


I decided to give the walk/jog thing a miss today. What’s the opposite of positive reinforcement? That’s what I was getting for my efforts to teach myself how to jog – carefully – along with a good hard walk.   Pfft. Plus my hamstrings were feeling it yesterday afternoon. Not a bad idea to give them a break.

We had sun today! So I pulled my road bike out of the shed, and decided to go out for half an hour at least. In the end I did about 57mins – and I went round the block a couple of times at the end just to bring up the 20km! (Casually, to get rid of the lactic acid, you know! – you’ve seen them on the Commonwealth Games!)

I pushed it more than I would have done pre-12WBT, so I hope I burned a reasonable amount of calories. Got wet – the rain just won’t leave us alone. But then it came out sunny and muggy again, so being wet was quite welcome.


In the absence of a HRM to measure calories “smashed”, vital stats were: Trip distance: 20.16km, time 57mins, av speed 21.14kph (there was a hill!), max speed 52.7 kph, Total climb 249m, total descent 249m (there’s a good little hill when you come back along that bottom road.)  Road rage incidents:1 Downpours:1. Dropped chain: 1.   Punctures? (my usual anxiety): 0.  Feeling smashed? – yes.

I did feel like I’d exerted myself a heck of a lot more than on my walks.

Fingers crossed the weather will be good for Saturday morning, even if the thought of getting up in the dark at 5am isn’t appealing. We’ll drive into town and do the Coffs Coast Community Ride – a great local initiative started a few years back. Cyclists of all levels assemble at 6.30am in the city centre, and head out, in groups according to their ability. Ride for 90mins, then meet back for coffee.   Lately our preference has been to ride our tandem into town to meet up with everyone at 8am. Much more civilised! Plus we actually do 46km (averaging about 28-30kph) – so we actually ride more than if we do the ride itself (plus we don’t have a carbon footprint!) But the highway between home and town is now being upgraded, and despite the 80kph zones, there are lots of concrete barriers, and parts now with no shoulder whatsoever. We’ll have to have a think about it for next week, but school holiday traffic rules it out this week.

I tend to convince Himself to take our single bikes when we just do the Community ride. We’ll ride in different groups, but I don’t enjoy riding the tandem as much when we are amongst the more serious ‘roadies’ in the ‘A’ group, especially the women who look down their nose at me. (They don’t ‘get’ the tandem – and have feminist hangups about being ‘in control’, so their attitude makes me feel like they think I’m just a passenger on the back.  Little do they realise that if they (being stronger cyclists than I am) were on the back of a tandem instead of me, they would really smash it.)  …

I have ridden in ‘A’ group – there were times in the past when we would get up early, ride our tandem into town for the 6.30 start, and then smash ourselves riding in the A group (which, with boys being boys, would often involve some sprinting, with a few of the other (guy) riders coming to appreciate what an awesome draft you can get on the back of a tandem hooning along a slight downhill at more than 50kph.)   We’d get back, have coffee and food, then back up for the 23km ride home. Sometimes we’d total 90km – all before 10am. Strangely enough I usually felt like a zombie the rest of the day, particularly when I had to stand around in the netball canteen till 3.00!

Well, this Saturday won’t be quite so mammoth! Although it would count as a Super Saturday, wouldn’t it?

The major change since 12WBT is that I won’t be getting my usual fried egg on toast at the cafe.  (Or worse! – used to be bacon and eggs on toast!) I’ll take along a piece of that banana cake, and stick to a coffee. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010



Found this t-shirt today. It was rather provident – and timely-  I think.

(So I’m using this for the #BestVersionOfMe comp for 12WBT Week 3.)

Got Ms 17 to take a few photos.

Then I went out for a run!

(OK, so I can’t exactly say that…yet…  I went out for a good hard walk with even more jogging bits. I’m building it up, gradually and gently, so I don’t bugger up my hips and back.)

It’s also notable in that it’s a size smaller shirt than I’d usually pick up (from Big W!) – and … I actually look ok in it! First bloody photo of me in a long while that is actually kind of OK.

I think that’s a sign.

And even though I was in a funk about the weigh in this morning, I DIDN’T RESORT TO COMFORT EATING!

That is being a much better version of me!


I have other words in my head, but I’ll try to keep it G-rated. 

No loss this morning on scales. That’s from last Wednesday.

From when I snuck on the scales on Saturday, it’s back up 0.5kg. F*** it.    The numbers are probably less – damn 0.5kg increment scales.  Who knows – it might have been still an under 0.5 kg total loss… (But when you sneak on the scales in between time, you confuse things.  Still, when it showed 74.5kg on Saturday, it was a great incentive…)

But today I feel like shit.

*deep breath*

Reality check time.

I’ve got carried away with my own “success” after the first few weeks. “I can still lose without getting too hooked up on the calorie counting.”  Appears I can’t…

I think .. I know… that the past few days I’ve got a bit loose and free with the ‘healthy’ snacks…

And that frigging banana cake.  (Even half slices have calories.)

I’ve been fudging the lunches – eating leftovers.

I haven’t managed to do the intensity of exercise I was doing either, I guess. With no swimming squad in the school holidays, that’s my most intense workout out of the picture.

Doesn’t make sense, though, that when I can finally move better with my torn calf muscle pretty much better… this happens.

That when I’m finally breaking out into some jogs.. this happens.

That when I managed to do something every day… this happens.

That when I DON’T have two days written off to a raging head cold where I succumb to eating bits of chocolate caramel slice and two-minute noodles… like I did two weeks ago -  THIS HAPPENS.


Have to look at the positives.

I’m managing some jogging – that’s good. I can’t do more jogging, too soon- I’ll wreck my back and hips, and I’ll be set back far more than 0.5kg.

Likewise the pushups and abs and stuff.  I have to attack them at my own pace, even if it’s slower than ideal 12wbt/personal trainer type pace.  I’ve been there, done that with a personal trainer, with the weights, and it backfired. (Didn’t help that her motivational techniques were crap too…)

I’ve still improved heaps with the food intake. Every time I go to the supermarket I realise how often I’d slip a chocolate bar into the trolley…and then into my mouth. *scoff scoff scoff*  [It’s just easier to be virtuous with the food when you are rewarded on the scales…]

I WILL NOT now go and eat chocolate to console myself.

I WILL go back to making myself salads for lunch, and not having leftovers like pasta and lentils…

I’m still doing well, considering I had a torn calf muscle, my back and hips are a crock, I get weird soreness in my arms, my knees often play up on me…

(Two nights ago I could hardly get to sleep because my left arm, sort of around/under my shoulder, was doing its inexplicable pain thing again, and my neck, on the right side, was suddenly and unaccountably sore… I very nearly came downstairs to sleep in the recliner lounge…)

I’ve missed our bike riding with this stupid weather…  (Seriously – 300mm in 3 days?)



I’ve still lost about 3.5kg since signing up. (“4kg sounded so much better though… *sighs*)   

This is just a bit of a plateau…

Monday, October 4, 2010


oct2010 We’ve had around 250mm of rain over this long weekend. This was what the radar looked like earlier today – a public holiday Monday – for which we had grand plans to make some more progress on the renovations.

Himself is spewing at his wasted days off work.

<<  (We live right under that lower ‘yellow’ cell.)

And it just hasn’t let up all day…  (even yesterday we got that bit of a break in the afternoon when I went for a walk)..

With a long weekend comprehensively stuffed like this, normally I would have slothed around and probably eaten myself silly with ‘comfort food’.

Instead, I’ve been really controlled with the food. And, even if I’ve pretty much hung around the computer most of the day, I’ve just done the Tight Toned Terrific DVD.   A ‘fitness’ (as opposed to ‘toning’) workout for today is just totally out the window, really. (Holiday time so no swim squad, which is what I’ve usually got down for Mondays.)   I’ll just have to make up for it tomorrow. Weather bloody permitting.

It’s a bit of a challenge doing a workout DVD on a day when the family are hanging around home.  I put it on a laptop, and carted it around the house, trying to find space. Our bedroom on the top floor has a heap of room, but my shoes squeaked hideously on the floorboards….  So I came down to our ridiculously large kitchen, and did my best there – after instructing Himself – sitting at the dining room table - not to laugh at me, and not to make comment on Michelle’s instructions and commentary.  And then I went back upstairs again to do the floorwork – but didn’t get away with it without Ms 17 happening upon me and making smart remarks.

This DVD is still a challenge for me. With the cardio, I’m a bit better than totally low impact, but I’m still wary of my recovering calf muscle, and my stupid knee joints.  And, of course, the stupid back and hips.  When I ‘jog’ too hard, I can feel it in my hips.. so I’ve definitely got a goal to (carefully) work towards there before I can really say I’m doing it at full tilt.

I’ve still got to nail the timing in some of those cardio sets too.  I used to pride myself on being coordinated with stuff like that, but I rather seem to have lost that skill over the past twenty to thirty years!  Bonus brain workout! Keeping dementia at bay at the same time perhaps?

And those bloody push ups, and the abs… well, a long way to go there – but I managed to progress a little bit more today…  It’s rather demoralising knowing that I’m ‘pre-beginner’ level with abs.  But, I’m going to just chip away at it. One day I may actually be able to do the first ab exercise she does…

So.. anyway… I’m feeling all endorphin-y now, so I must have done something. And that something is a whole lot better than what I used to be – on a rainy day holiday Monday like this.

If anyone would like some rain, you can HAVE IT.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


So the rain that put me off bike riding yesterday morning? That was nuthin’! Stats for Coffs showed nearly 100mm overnight – though I’m not sure whether we’ve had as much up here (23km north.) But it sure as hell was heavy in the early hours of the morning, and this was what we woke up to  - at this rate I could start swimming laps in our backyard!

After skiving off riding in the rain yesterday I was agonising over what to do instead. Even if I didn’t smash out a Super Saturday, at the very least I had to do something.  I hit on the idea of going and swimming laps at the local pool. I had to time it with picking Ms 17 up from a friend’s place – and when I rang I found out they shut at 4.00 instead of 5.00 – but I got there in time to do about half an hour.  What the heck, you’re going to get wet anyway, I thought – and it was better than mooching around home cursing myself for not riding.  I pushed it reasonably hard – timing a lot of my laps, and throwing in some drills, and some kick and scull (I can kick again!!!) – so I had that dancing endorphin feeling afterwards.

I very nearly made a date to meet up with ‘@chookling’ to go walking at 7am this morning (it would have been great to have met up with a fellow 12WBTer!), but the ‘heavy showers’ predicted for the morning put me off and in the end last night I called a raincheck on it. Just as well I think. We would have needed a snorkel! Next Sunday!

It has poured most of the day here – but in a bit of a break I managed about a 4.5km walk, doing most of that headland/beach walk that I did the other day. It was high tide too, so the beach walking was in pretty soft sand.  I broke out into a few jogs here and there when tracks took me UP, so I feel like I’m building myself up.  I stretched when I got home too – but then got carried away with trying some abs and some pushups.  Now I’m paying for it, with my lower back feeling decidedly dicey…   I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself in that department.

The big change to my pre-12WBT life is that I’m consciously making an effort to do something every day. And even if it’s just walking, I’m pushing it more than I used to. I’m going for ups, so I’m definitely working myself harder than my usual flat beach walk in the other direction.

With the Week 3 SURPRISE out, I really have no idea how I would be able to put that into pictures.  Like I said last post, I’m not exactly fitting the mould of 12WBT pinup girl. I don’t think I’ll bother. I already spend enough time obsessing about this program, I really can’t justify the time – even if I’d love to win a HRM.


The other change in me is that I’m now (and still) happily monitoring what I eat, albeit without getting too bogged down in exact calories. I’m finding myself looking at things the girls want to eat, and tutting to myself about the calories!  What do you do when your 17 year old daughter moans about the only bread in the house at the moment being multigrain. “I hate multigrain – the seeds get stuck in my throat!”?!

I made that banana cake yesterday. It’s been a hit here. Very moist compared to other (possibly “healthier” recipes I have), so you don’t actually need to lather it with butter. I guess that could be the aim. I am still wondering about the sugar and butter in it. But I’ve sliced up one of the loaves, wrapped them individually and frozen them. They’ll be a great snack to take with me on our Saturday morning rides when I need to avoid ordering “bad things” from the cafe!

I used a chicken recipe from the recipe index last night – cajun chicken or something – only we had it bbq’d. It was a bit dry (and I also sprayed it with olive oil) so it would have been even drier done in the oven.  The sweet potato wedges were good – even Ms 17 ate some, and she usually doesn’t eat orange sweet potato! (“It tastes good with the chicken” she said.)  I also did some normal potato wedges for them.  God my family can eat!  “Can I have some more chicken?”….  It’s hard to have leftovers in this place!

Tonight I’m sending Himself out to bbq again – some pork chops. Going to try the carrot puree I noticed in another recipe, and do lots of steamed veggies.  The rest of them can have pasta, but I’ll pass.  I’m not missing it – which again is a big change from a mindset entrenched in the idea of having to include a carbohydrate – rice, pasta or potato – in every meal.  So entrenched, the family will think their throats are cut if they don’t have one of the above with their meal.  Baby steps, huh…

Himself reckons he’s lost a bit of weight himself (ha) since this change of meal plans.  I don’t know whether to be pleased, or bloody annoyed, because he sure as hell isn’t restricting himself in other areas like I have to.  Beer, wine, munchies… still on the full fat yoghurt… and he’s not even playing as much sport at the moment with his Touch in between seasons….

Hmmmpf. What can I do? It’s patently obvious he has a better metabolism than me, and I have to get over this “It’s not fair” mindset.

Meanwhile I’m loving my breakfasts… it’s hard to decide which one to have each morning!  I’d never had Special K before – and I quite like it. The youngest two girls REALLY like it, so it’s disappearing at a rate of knots! But I also love yoghurt, fruit and muesli! And I’m not averse to a bit of porridge for a change.  Decisions, decisions!

Time to do something about dinner! First day of Daylight Saving, and I’m caught out already with it still being light at 6.30!

Saturday, October 2, 2010


As if the whole psychology of (comfort) eating wasn’t enough to deal with, it’s becoming a bit of a psychological battle being a part of this 12WBT program (with all the social networking) not to feel inadequate next to all the newly addicted gym addicts and running addicts.  I wonder if there’s a contrition rate in the program because of that… 

I have to keep reminding myself that I am ME, with my own particular issues, and I can only do what I can, and what I feel is justified with my physical situation, and my family situation.  And, by the same token, while I talk myself up in any way for my own benefit here, my fellow readers shouldn’t compare themselves to me either. We all have our own unique situations.

I look at those going to the gym, and feel guilty that I am not – but I have to remind myself that I’m making a financial choice, and a personal preference choice.  I pay for two swim squads a week each term for myself, and these are MY addiction.  And never mind the expense, I’m not sure where I’d fit in another class during the week!  (OK – 6am I guess.  You know what?  I don’t like gyms!)

I look at what some are doing, and I think ‘Ah to be young and without a family to factor in to your routine..’… (Yet that is a bit hypocritical of me, as a SAHM without a job.)

And I can’t yet run, and so that’s that. Nothing I can do about it, other than chip away at it…

What a psychological merry-go-round I’m on.

Here’s my little tip though.

What Michelle said in one of those videos about the food vs exercise?…..  I’ve just snuck on the scales again this morning, and I have another half kilo (0.5kg incremental scales remember) loss.  Since Wednesday.

If I can lose weight, without running, without going to half a dozen gym classes a day, without counting the calories exactly (but by pretty much following the essence of the nutrition plan, and avoiding all the CRAP I used to put in my mouth) and without a HRM to count how many calories I’ve burnt – then there is hope for any of us!

We may not lose the weight as quick as each other, and we may not be getting the most we could out of this program, but we CAN STILL LOSE.

I still have room for improvement. With my HEAD. I’m rather disappointed in myself this morning. We got our road bikes ready last night, and planned to drive into Coffs to do the 6.30-8am community ride.  At 5.15 when the alarm went off it was raining. Himself mumbled ‘what do you want to do?’ and I said “I don’t want to ride in the rain”.  (The community ride uses some bike paths that can be slippery when it’s wet…)… And, while usually I’ve relied on him to be the driving force, he went “hmmm” in agreement, and we rolled back over, and woke up again at 9.00.  [He told me later he’d been awake since 4.15 and had only just dropped off before the alarm rang…]   Now I feel bad.

I’m not sure what I’ll do for today, but I’ve pretty much written off the week in terms of trying to follow the exercise plan to the letter. So no need to get into a funk about not doing a Super Saturday. I’ll try and get out on the bike later – I need a change from walking. And try and exercise each day over the long weekend.  Next week I can see if I can get closer to the ideal…

I don’t want to go to early morning gym classes, but I’d like to teach myself to get up to exercise early on at least a couple of mornings. It makes sense to get it done and dusted – even if I still can’t cope with the idea of exercising on an empty stomach.

We can all still need make definite psychological shifts from our previous selves – not only in the way we eat, but also in the way we exercise.  We may not all end up as pin-up girls for 12WBT, but we CAN make changes to the way we were operating before- changes that we may well have a hope of maintaining long past the end of week 12.

I did walk with my wonderful Ms Nearly 12 yesterday – Total of 6km down beaches (soft sand walking!) and up and down a couple of headlands.  I broke into a few jogs, but on the way back when I tried, my hips went “Owwwwww”.  And then the last stretch home I started feeling like an old crock just walking. (The beach was slopey, so I wasn’t walking ‘straight’ if you know what I mean. My hip was sore. And the back of my left knee went all clicky… When we got home, though, I stretched well, and I think I’ve had no lasting ill effects.  Total UP was 109m (and I did each uphill at a bit of a jog)– so a bit more than the previous day.  Next time I’ll aim for more… and keep building it up.  I was feeling it, so while it’s not an 8km run (see – I can’t help myself doing the comparison thing!) – it was SOMETHING.

I made the spaghetti and lentils last night. I added some chilli, and next time would add more.  I did half/half wholemeal and normal spaghetti.  You know what – I didn’t mind it.  I’M EATING LENTILS ! What’s more, the family was ok about it too.  As I said to Ms 17 - “Come with me on this culinary adventure!”

All that said, I don’t have a clue yet what we’re doing for dinner tonight!

Friday, October 1, 2010


I’m having a lot of trouble coming up with this milestone thing we have to do.

Since my early 20s I’ve pushed myself to do quite a few physical challenges – thanks to my Other Half, who I have followed (accompanied!) blissfully and devotedly down rivers, up and down gullies, cliffs and canyons, and lately, on two wheels along hundreds of kilometres of roads.  I’ve done canoe marathons. I’ve ridden 100 miles in a day. I’ve done canyoning trips that have taken 12 hours or more.  Sure I could go further, harder – but the concept of building up to, and then doing, a physical challenge isn’t foreign to me.  It’s not that I never liked doing exercise! 

It’s just that in between all these challenges, everyday life got in the way, and I didn’t do as much, and ate far too much of the wrong stuff, and kept putting on the flab.

In my ideal world, sure, I’d like to be able to run. I could do a small triathlon then, even, as I can ride and swim!  I know Michelle thinks just about everyone can run – but I know what my back is like – and the pain of one’s back or hip being out – being pinched – is something that is just plain insanity to push through. 

In my dreams I’d be able to do an Adventure Race (with my husband – without slowing him down so much)… but apart from the issues that my back (and indeed my joints) present me – these events require planning to get away for weekends and of course, don’t necessarily line up with our 4, 8 and 12wk milestones.

This is the sort of thing I would actually love to start doing – rather than triathlons. – I’d happily aim for the November (novice) event, but that’s in Canberra, and I just don’t think we can swing a trip to Canberra then. However I have just told Himself that I’d REALLY like to do one.. next year? Mind you, there are so many other things we’d do given the chance to get away without the kids. Some people go away on resort-style holidays. Our list would include another multi-day tandem tour. Hiking in NZ. Doing the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge.  Oh the things we would do – and none of them would involve sitting around in spas.

With me it’s not about pushing through pain barriers. I know muscle soreness – I LOVE muscle soreness!  It tells me I’ve worked hard. I have no qualms about pushing my muscles so hard, that I can hardly walk for the next couple of days!  I wear it as a badge of honour.

Back pain is different.

So, as much as I’d like to set running as my challenge, I don’t think it’s realistic for me over the next few weeks – even by the end of Round 3.  It doesn’t mean I’m not going to try and build up to see if I can, but I’m not keen to put such a time limit on it.

Realistically? A miracle-milestone for me would be being able to do a few situps without f***ing up my back!

However…  in the spirit of all this, I need to come up with something…

A coast walk from Woolgoolga to Coffs Harbour?  Around 24 km by my reckoning.

Mini milestone would be to go halfway to Moonee Beach.

Sand, and headlands.

It would be a good test for this imperfect, recalcitrant body of mine.

Yesterday I felt improved enough to go out for a good hard walk! Instead of my usual flat beach walk (to the north) I headed south over a couple of little headlands, and along the soft sand of the ‘back beach’. I looked for as much ‘UP’ as I could, and even climbed up my destination headland twice.

I plotted it on ‘’ – unticking the ‘follow the road’ option. I can get an elevation profile from it – so that is something for me to use as a comparative measure. (Yes, yes, I know we are supposed to be measuring calories ‘smashed’, but I don’t have a heart rate monitor as yet – and this is free!)


I’m planning this afternoon to go a bit further, and walk up the headland at the other end of the at the next beach along. Ms 11 even said she’d come with me!  I’m still not 100% though – blasted mucus in the back of the nose and throat thing happening… blech…. (Sorry TMI!)


But, you know… when you live right near a place like this, it seems pretty crazy to go walking around the streets! And I’ve actually got state forest – and hills – to the west, where I can do some serious UPs. So even if I can’t run, I can walk UP!

OK.. enough! The biggest danger is that I’m spending so much time mulling over what I should do, I’m likely to not get around to doing it.

I think I’ll talk about the food next time! In short, the Roast Chicken with Lime was well received – and husband is at least impressed with the fact that this program has got me out of my culinary rut! Spaghetti and lentils tonight – it will be interesting to see what they all think of that.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Whenever I hear those well worn jokes about men with ‘man flu’, I slink off into my metaphorical corner – because I am totally WOEFUL when I’m sick.  I blame the distinct lack of sympathy I get around here… though I’d rather not get into a debate about cause and effect….

It’d just be nice if they stepped in and picked up the slack a bit in regard to the kitchen – the meals, and the cleaning up. But noone does. I wondered the other night (in between bouts of sneezing, and holding a tissue to my nose to catch the flow!) if I’d actually have to be dead before they thought to, say, clean up, stack the dishwasher.. do the washing up that never fits.  Without me having to stand there and give stage by stage instructions!

I suppose this all comes from this old fashioned division of labour we have in this house, which has it’s pluses and minuses, I can tell you……


I am feeling much better, although I’m still stuffed up a bit, and I was coughing a bit in the night… So I’m still going to take it carefully. 

On top of the whole cold and cottonwool head thing, my back was giving me grief, and so, after a day of sooking around on Tuesday, I rang to make a chiropractor appointment. Alas, he had gone on holidays for a week! Noooo! I could see his partner, but I’ve opted to wait till Wednesday next week when he gets back. And so I reached out for pharmaceutical help. Hello Voltaren my old friend.  Crazy thing is, it’s worked. It’s as if by easing the pain for a while, my brain gets distracted with other things, and then it forgets to instruct the back to go back into spasm again when the medication wears off.  Something like that anyway. So I’m warily optimistic, and just simply, so relieved.

The big POSITIVE was the Wednesday weigh-in.  After a couple of days of slobbing and sooking (and reaching for some comfort foods – damn my children for making choc caramel slice … I did cut it into mini pieces, surely some calories escaped!… ) I steeled myself for no change on the scales. (I’d have been disappointed with an increase, but no change, I could deal with, I thought.)

My god – 75! Given that I’d snuck on a couple of times since the Wednesday Week 1 (and changed my ticker scale to help my confidence), I had myself confused.  “Half a kilo… well, that’s a bonus!” I thought.  It wasn’t until I actually went to enter the weight in on my 12WBT stats page that I realised that I’d actually dropped 1.5 kg since Week 1 weigh in.  Bearing in mind that my scales, albeit digital, are only in 0.5kg increments, that’s still pretty bloody AMAZING.

Perhaps those couple of days of derailment (and lack of movement) will catch up with me for next week, but for now, it’s given me the impetus to get straight back on track with the eating…   I have to take my return to exercise a bit more carefully..  I went for a short, brisk walk yesterday afternoon (and just my knee niggled – which is just something else in my arsenal of body part issues..) But my back was ok. My calf was ok. My lung capacity is not yet normal, but getting there.

And I swear I’m going to keep away from the scales and the ticker thingy till next Wednesday.

By yesterday afternoon I felt ready to watch the Week 2 video, and catch up with the Live Feed video.

And to get my stupid head back in line in regard to the menu.

Last night I made the Beef and Broccolini stir fry recipe – only the supermarket didn’t have broccolini so I did beans, carrot and some capsicum instead.  (I still have the opinion of the nutritionist I consulted back 12 years ago echoing in my head -  about trying to include some ‘orange’ food ie. beta carotene? - in every meal – so I like to put some variety in my stir fries anyway.)

The kids somehow all disappeared to friends’ places last night, so it was just the two of us.  Normally I’d use more beef than that recipe, but I cut it down to about 250g – Himself has to reduce his iron intake anyway.  And I measured out exactly 1/3 cup myself for the basmati rice. Much, much less than I would normally have.

While he has been slightly bemused with all these new recipes, he is pretty happy with me starting to actually cook with chilli. And he really, really enjoyed that dish! And, so did I. Biggest challenge was stopping myself picking at what was left!

Tonight I’m doing the roast chicken, veggies and lime – and finally sourced some kaffir lime leaves this morning! (Neither Coles or Woollies had them this week, would you believe?!)

And after reading some other blogs about the spaghetti bol and lentils, it hit me that I just had the wrong psychological approach to it. All I have to do is NOT think of it as bolognaise, but as a totally different meal – ie. Spaghetti and Lentils  - and I can totally cope with it. 

I’m not a basket case at all, am I?  Well, I always knew my main issue with the weight was psychological, and to do with FOOD.

fatso As a final source of “inspiration” to get myself totally back on track – we got to see some proofs of photos from the 75km Coffs Coast Cycle Challenge that we did on our tandem the day before Week 1 kick off. The only photos of us? (which I’ve stolen screen captured) Apart from the one below, (stuffing my energy depleted face with a bacon and egg roll… hmmmm), just this godawful one of me.  Those rolls of fat! I might feel very athletic and sporty when I’m riding, and sound very athletic and sporty with all the riding we do, but I sure as hell don’t look it.  And this has been typical of the photos of me on our bikes for the past couple of years….

I’m posting it here as yet another kick up the butt to remind myself of why I’m doing this; it can serve as my official ‘bike riding’ BEFORE shot.

I’ve officially lost 2 kg since this photo…

I am so looking forward to an AFTER shot in10 weeks time.




Maybe by then I’ll also have learnt how to avoid a can of coke and a bacon and egg roll at the end of a 3 hour session as well…





Meanwhile – less ‘talk’ more action required around here. Tossing up between a walk, or attempting some of the Tight Toned Terrific dvd.

I hope everyone else is dealing ok with their own demons. Mostly everyone seems to be really smashing it, and I draw inspiration from every one of you!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


On Sunday we got working on our decking – which was derailed on Saturday because our bike ride used up all the sunshine and it rained in the afternoon.  Not much in the way of exercise happened, except for manhandling decking boards, and going up and down the stairs numerous times.  I don’t know that the triceps and biceps got that much of a workout operating the saw. (Yes, that was my job.)

triton                   decking1

I was already a bit sniffly in the morning – a southerly seems to bring out hayfever in me. By the late afternoon I got worse. Sawdust I thought. Blah.  My usual sinus and hayfever tabs didn’t work, and I had a crappy night’s sleep with a nose that ran like a tap. It’s not easy to sleep when you have to keep shoving tissues up your nose all night.

Yesterday was a write-off. Felt really crappy all day and I’ve derailed, big time, off the 12WBT track. No exercise, and eating stuff I shouldn’t be eating.

It doesn’t help that the menu this week makes me depressed – there are only about two recipes that appeal at all.  Not even the sandwiches. What’s with the sudden obsession with sandwiches all week?

I put up the notion of minestrone soup for dinner on Sunday, and it wasn’t welcomed.

So I bought pork steak medallions (super lean) – which were done on the BBQ. I hope there’s nothing too much wrong with this meal (for myself):

With homemade stewed apple. Pumpkin/sweet potato mash. Steamed veggies.

But last night I made my own Spag Bol recipe. I always make it with the leanest beef mince I can get, and it’s a family favourite. My kids love it better than any they’ve ever had in any Italian restaurants.  To sabotage it with frigging LENTILS would be akin to sacrilege.

I’d put dried chickpeas in to soak the other night – but they’re still there. The water’s gone frothy. Probably shouldn’t risk it.

But I’m getting quite hostile about all these blasted beans and lentils.

Well, that’s the food part – but I’ve also done no exercise for the past three days due to this being sneezy, sniffly, short of breath, headachy, and fending off a sore throat.  Before that, my iffy back was making it hard anyway.

So week 2 has been derailed somewhat.

I hope I can get it all back on track.  But after these last three days, I’m not exactly expecting any downwards shift on the scales tomorrow morning.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


…well, not like some seem to be managing… with all the gym class stuff that I’m reading about on 12WBT blogs and twitter.    (Plus I don’t have a HRM to actually measure calories “smashed”).  But that actual concept has now entered my vernacular – even if only in my head.

Last night at swim squad (once my back stopped screaming at me – about half way through) I really felt up to going hard – harder than I’ve felt able to for ages! 

Part of that is that my joints (that were hassling me for a quite a few months – yes, I’m quite a crock in my old age..) are finally behaving. (Maybe the glucosamine and fish oil tabs are finally kicking in..)  And even though my calf isn’t yet 100% (I can’t quite kick only) – I’m feeling better in the pool than I’ve felt for a long time.  (Maybe not being able to kick so much has given my usually weak arms some added training.)

Throw in the 12WBT psychological approach, and Michelle’s use, again and again, of the term “smash it” has now got me all hyped up to really go hard.  “Smash it, Tracey, smash it…”   All over as simple a concept as going harder to burn those calories. Can’t think why I never thought of that before!

I’m so lusting after a heart rate monitor. Thing is, I still need to control (and count) calories in – and I’m being a bit too flexible, maybe, with the menu.  I’ve had to mix it about so much to cater to the family, AND to my own likes and dislikes, that I’m a bit in danger of losing control.  Even though I’m still not eating junk, I’m possibly slipping in a few too many snacks (healthy as they may be), and of course, those calories still count.

At least the family have had a more interesting menu. I think I was in a real rut with the meals – week in, week out, cycling through the same old things.  If nothing else, they’re getting some variety.

The cauliflower soup ended up being a bit of a hit. “One of the best soups I’ve ever had,” said Himself.  That’s a big call.  He thought it could have been a bit spicier (I toned down the chilli for the sake of the rest of us.. and, as I said last post, he’s getting a bit overboard with the chilli.  He’ll probably leave me one day for someone who cooks hot and spicy food…)  The girls have admitted that despite their misgivings, it was actually pretty good. I think I might have been the only one who was a bit ‘meh’ about it – but I think that was because it didn’t appeal as the only thing I had for dinner. (I ate it early as I had to go to a meeting at the school at 7.00, and by the time I got back I couldn’t help but eat some of the roasted veggie and cous cous I’d left for the others…)

I made the avocado/capsicum/corn salsa thingy last night to go with bbq’d steaks.  I thought it was pretty good, actually… Not sure that the rest of them were as impressed.  At least I was able to schedule it for a night when The Fussiest One (who doesn’t like corn or avocado) wasn’t home.

Tonight I counted as ‘treat’ night, but I just did some marinated chicken breast (cut in half horizontally like I learnt with the Week 1 chicken recipe!) with salad, and mashed orange sweet potato. Had some new potatoes for the others, but didn’t bother myself. That’s because I’ve had one small glass of wine. (I was calling it a half a glass till Himself pointed out that it was more like 2/3.) Now I feel guilty. But I’m also starting to feel those niggles of resentment from being so damn good. If my ‘treats’ can be minimal, and in control, than there is less risk of a big blowout. (Right?)

I’ve had a quick peek at the Week 2 menu. There are a few things that don’t appeal at all, so I guess I’m going to have to get creative. [Actually, I’ve had another look, and I’m a bit disturbed – there are about 2 meals there that appeal… so I’m not quite sure what to do.]

Meanwhile… the exercise factor is going to have to take a bit more care of my back.  Just attempting sit ups fires up my lower back. And I had to pass on a few parts of the Tight Toned Terrific DVD on Thursday, because I could feel my back going on me. This has always been my big problem – I need to build up my abs, to help prevent my back from getting sore – but the process of doing so fires up my back. Catch 22 or something.

That wall brace test in the Fitness Test was a shocker for me. (Yes, I am pointing the finger at that one a bit.) Plus pushups.  The way my back is feeling, I’m not game to attempt the tricep dips at the moment either..  So I’m a bit in limbo with all of that.  Chiro visit coming up during the week I think.

By the time I went to bed last night, the endorphins had worn off from the swimming, and my back was grizzling again. It wasn’t quite as bad this morning; we decided to give our usual Saturday morning tandem ride a miss (mainly because of the school holiday traffic on the highway) and so we went out and rode for about 1 hour 45 on our MTBs.  Probably half of it was road, but we did some  bush tracks – which might reduce our average speed, but they sure as hell bump up my nervous energy.  My legs are sore tonight, but my back feels a lot better (my chiro reckons cycling is good for your back, as long as you’re not hunched over too much).  And I’m tired.  So I’m working on the assumption that I might just have ‘smashed it’ a bit.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


I snuck onto the scales again this morning, basically because I think it was a Thursday last week that I’d weighed in, so I wanted to get a ‘one week’ weigh. 75.5? How can it be one kilo down from yesterday? Well.. I’ll take it. Because it’s the one bright light in the midst of a whole lot of wondering. Ticker scale now shows a 3kg loss. (I hope that doesn’t come back to bite me with an increase…)

Himself told me he was going the other way… I refrained from pointing out that I’d noticed that while I was restraining, I’d been watching him wolf down lots of stuff. (If I was anymore paranoid than I already am, it would have been easy to tell myself he’d been taunting me… NO, I know that’s not true… but still….  Also, he’s in between Touch seasons, so less exercise happening than usual.)


I’ve been looking at the workouts that other 12WBTers are doing each day, and feeling a bit inadequate.

I’m wanting a heart rate monitor – but, honestly.. I just can’t justify it at the moment. Just wrote out two cheques this morning - $180 for the balance of Ms 11’s school excursion, and $135 for the three of us to go to Ms 17’s Year 12 Formal.  On top of the shoes, (and the stupid outfit)… I keep telling myself I will just have to wait.  It would be so cool though!

I looked at the Calorie expenditure chart on Michelle’s official website and wondered how many bloody hours of exercise I really need to do! A one hour session of anything isn’t enough to burn off 1200 calories, especially at the moment when I’m still limited by this stupid leg.  And that’s if I’m managing to stick to that, seeing I’m rebelliously trying to flex it to suit my own lifestyle and family situation. I am sure I’m not keeping to the 1200. Totally my fault, I know. I’m going to have to be a bit more strict with it.

I’m going to do the fitness test next. I could actually sit back and predict exactly my results now.  Can’t run yet, so absolutely BEGINNER with the time trial. Push-ups are rubbish: BEGINNER.  Abs are even more rubbish. Is there a PRE-BEGINNER?  I’ve been trying to do ‘bracing’ exercises to start working them, because that’s all I can do without firing up my back.

OK, the only thing I’m not sure of is the Wall sit.  I think I’ll do ok in the Sit and Reach because I have long arms! *makes monkey noises*

What I want to know is where is the cycle and swim test?!!

It’s quite bizarre.. at our swim squad I might be slower than some of them in my class, so in some of the sets I’ll get way less rest – I might only get 5 seconds to others’ 10-15 seconds. But at the end, they’re saying ‘OMG, that killed me’, and I’m all ‘Hey, that was great!’  I don’t really understand it.  And they’re whingeing about doing 75’s or 100’s, and I’m really quite fine with it.

Our squad is in a 2-lane 25m pool, and sometimes we have up to 8 of us in the class, going round and round. It’s a bit of a pain in the long sets as the fast guys overtake you, so you get less laps, and have to stop and let them pass. It’s been more frustrating lately with my leg, as I try to slot in down the back.  When they do the warm up with fins (and I can’t use fins at the moment) I have trouble slotting in amongst them.  So I have to wear that. But the most annoying thing yesterday was this (triathlete clad) girl who is fairly new to the classes. She was a bit faster than me with freestyle, but, even with my leg, I was better on the drills.  So we were doing a bit of a leapfrog thing…  Me in front of her with the drill sets. Her in front of me with the freestyle. We’d done some shorter freestyle sets.. and the next one was a 200m. The others set off… she’s in front of me at the start of it… and decides to stop and clarify with the instructor what we’re doing!!!  Gah!  (Or “JFG!!!” I wanted to scream! ) So I only got to fit in 6 laps, not the 8. 

And on another set the coach said “have a rest”.. and I said “I don’t want to rest, I want to work hard!!!!”

This is why I know that my swim squad has me working harder than if I was just ‘swimming laps’!!!

Maybe I got a bit carried away yesterday… my calf was a bit sore last night.. but I think today it’s ok.

It’s bloody good for your aerobic fitness, I swear.

I know I keep plugging it, but I did get an article published about my swim squad ‘addiction’:

swimjunkieI’ve been going twice a week for the past eight years.  The coach was saying yesterday how he remembered when I took 45 seconds to do 25m, and now I can hold 25 seconds.  I remember not being able to swim the length of the pool with a pool buoy between my legs (distinctly remember stopping, spluttering, half way down the pool, and throwing it.)  Now I don’t blink if we have to do 200m of ‘pull’.  

I’m going to miss it these next two weeks during school holidays when the centre is closed!

Anyway.. today. Better get happening with the fitness test AND the dvd. And figuring out dinner, when I have to go up to school for a 7pm parent teacher meeting about next term’s Year 6 excursion.