Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Running

When most people stand up straight, their knees & feet point forward. Not me. For my knees to point forward, my left foot has to turn out 15 degrees & my right foot around about 45. This little anomaly was the bane of my life when I was a child. Grandma always said they should have put me in leg braces when I was born. I spent my primary school years wearing black chunky school shoes with wedges hammered to the underside to help correct my gait.


My primary school was very small. In fact when I was in grade 6, the school had its maximum number of students ever. 42. My grade 6 had 7 kids in it (my sisters grade had 3, until the other 2 were kept down, then she was the only person in her grade!). We did not have a school uniform, most of the kids wore runners & I of course was the only one in "proper" school shoes. Not only was I teased about those, I was also teased about the way I ran. My right foot, instead of flicking up to my butt & back down again, did a lovely circle out to the right. I was called a spazz, spazzo, retard etc. I certainly did my best to avoid all running sports!
By the time I reached High School my gait had improved somewhat, but I do remember being asked by one of the girls why I ran funny! Apart from a bit of tennis & a year of hockey, I consciously avoided running.


I finally wore holes through my last pair of orthotics in 1995. My podiatrist advised me that unless I took up running (& only if it hurt) I no longer needed to wear them. I have spent years trying to concentrate while walking, on placing my right foot straight & not on the angle like a duck & I guess this this in conjunction with years of the orthotics have rendered my anomoly less obvious!


Most of my exercise until 18 months ago, involved walking & yoga. Since then I've done some group fitness classes involving running (depends on the size of the aerobics room as to the velocity!). My friend K who I was training with last year, decided to take up running. This of course meant so did I. At first I really hated it. I Huffed & Puffed & moaned about how hard it was. It did get easier, like most things: as my fitness improved, I could run faster & for longer without feeling like my chest was going to explode.
Sometimes K would make(?) me run on the road - that I really, really disliked (& still do). Apart from the surface impact, running on the footpath, next to a road that is a main arterial ( 3 or 4 lanes each way) was not appealing at all. I much rather the softer impact of the treadmill & the limited number of spectators!!! **K has taken up competitive sprint running after retiring me (or should I say me retiring me) as her training partner!


Since starting this blog & getting back into training, I have only walked, mainly due to lack of fitness. Last week though, I got the urge to give running a crack. Drum Roll Please................I've run for 20 minutes straight Sunday, Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday this week! I have been slowly increasing the speed each day. I used to run on level 10: I started on Sunday at 8.5, last night ran 10 mins at 9, 5 mins at 9.5 then 5 mins at 10. :-) Whooo Hooo


I am trying change my mind set in relation to exercising, as I have been finding it too easy to talk myself out of it, using work & any number excuses not to go out & do something. 20 minutes out of a whole day is not much to ask for & I'd be pretty lame if I talked myself out of 20 minutes! In reality it's more like 40 or 50, by the time I change, 5 minutes there, back, warm up & cool down - but if I focus on that 20 minutes of intense cardio per day, soon enough it will become a habit.


I must say though, I really am enjoying those 20 minutes, or put another way, those 5 songs! Rage Against the Machine "Killing in the name of" x 2, Jet "are you gonna be my girl" & Metallica "holier that thou". The Rage song involves a lot of the F word, but the other words challenge me not to give up & stop! It takes a lot of effort not to sing out loud & by the end of the run I am grinning from ear to ear! If only everyone else could hear what I was listening too!


20 minutes. 5 tunes. How can I deny myself that?



I did try it last night, then demanded the other half tell me to not dream it & just do it.



So I did it!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Who Was I Kidding?

Needless to say I've not even attempted a push up, let alone one before breakfast this week!

We had our first general staff meeting in a long time on Wednesday, which I chaired for the first time, & also cooked bacon & egg toasties for. Now I work with these people every day, but it is quite different when you have to stand up in front of all of them at once & speak! There are between 10 & 12 of us at any given time, but that still makes me nervous. Most of the topics were administrative & I was really worried I would sound just like a nagging wife!!!! I consulted my Diploma Admin text book (knew it would come in handy :-) last week to remind me about writing & keeping to the agenda & generally how to manage & lead the meeting well.


I actually got up before the alarm went off at 4.45am yesterday morning, as I still had a few final bits & pieces to sort out. I thought the meeting went OK, but felt I was a little shaky in places & probably didn't make enough eye contact. But, last night the Boss Man (AKA the other half) told me I did a really good job! Well, that knocked my socks off! He's not a man of compliments & usually only comments when I get something wrong. He said I sounded strong & positive, not shaky or nagging, so I am really really happy! I was so tired by the end of the day though, I chose a nice hot bath over exercise. I was quite stiff from being tense leading up to the day, so not such a bad option.


I did make it to the gym Tuesday night & am about to finish up here & hit it again - perhaps I'd better try a few push ups! Loving the Metallica J sorted for my Pod while on the tready!!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Weekend

I had a visitor this weekend. My cousin J from Sydney is working in Melbourne Monday & Tuesday & arranged to come down Saturday arvo to hang out. We visited a couple of friends in the afternoon/evening, & eventually made it to Fitzroy around 11pm, wandering past a couple of places I used to live & had a beer in the pub I used to work in. We had intended to see a band, but I am a little out of the loop these days, not knowing most of the bands in the gig guide, so we ended up at a bar in Brunswick Street & spent several hours catching up on each others lives & rabbiting on a fair bit due to the number of drinks we'd consumed by then. We had a really fun night appart from having to move from the beer garden to inside after a strange man sat on our our jug of beer, then tried to "swoosh his scent" towards us with his hands (well, that's what he said he was doing!!!!) & wouldn't leave us alone!!! hehehe


Sunday was spent sorting out some stuff on my computer - I am technologically challenged, where as J is a technology whizz; watching movies; cooking & generally chilling out.


Other than walking around Saturday night, my exercise as been non existant this week! I made it to Pump Monday, cycled Tuesday, Wednesday I worked til 9pm on a tender (long story with 3 closing dates on the documentation that we didn't get until after the 1st closing date! - not happy Jan); Thursday we had dinner out for a friends birthday at the Steak House Docklands (not enough time between dinner & work to exercise). I had the most devine Angus Beef steak, possibly the best ever! Friday night caught up on domestic chores (weekly supermarket shop, house work & humungous basket of ironing) so no gym then either. Saturday morning I had work commitments, took Rosy to the Vet for her annual shots & checkup, then it was time to pick up J from the Airport!

Rosy sitting on my desk



I jumped on the scales yesterday morning, although I am sure dehydration was the factor in the number (67!), will check later in the week & see what the real figure is! Although despite the lack of exercise I have made "better" food choices & drunk a lot of water.


Tonight I am on phone duty (the other half has gone fishing for a mate's 40th birthday & we run a 24/7 business) so I think I will pike on going to Pump as it is too hard to answer the phone in a group fitness class (unless you know the instructor well & she knows what is going on!). I could walk on the tready, but I think I will stay in & do some core stuff, push ups & a Yoga DVD at home in front of the aircon instead. Last year I was able to do 3 sets of 10 push ups on my toes - I am lucky to do one at the moment. Hmmm might start doing push ups in the mornings............

Friday, November 16, 2007

Flat................

Is what my bike "Chrystal"'s rear tyre was, 40 minutes into our ride on Thursday night!!! We road along the freeway bike track to Keilor Park, down in to the crater, along the creek then up the mother of all hills back up to the freeway.


For those Melbournites who know the Teddy Whitten Bridge, next time you go over it, look down. We pretty much rode straight up a gravel track from the base of the bridge where the creek is! Well, truth be told, I walked the majority of the way up! I don't like hills nor gravel at the best of times! I was huffing & puffing by the time I reached the top; but was chuckling thinking of Diet Girls recent posts on hill walking & bike riding : -)


I still got an hour of exercise in; the Man rode back to the Ute, loaded his bike on & drove around to the rendezvous point to pick me up! I had walked pushing my bike to said point.


Isn't the weather just gorgeous in Melbourne at the moment!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Lindt Chocolate......................

Today the supermarket had a display of Lindt Chocolate blocks at the 8 items or less checkout. I love Chocolate, especially Lindt Chocolate. I am pleased to report that I resisted, made it back to the office (after going to the bank via the supermarket) & ate a Banana instead! Yay me!!!
I failed abysmally with exercise over the weekend, but did OK with food choices, considering the social outings. Made it to Pump last night, the instructor launched the new release. Some tracks were quite challenging & some were easier than expected; I will have to adjust my weight on Wednesday I think : -)
Tonight we are off for a bike ride in the lovely sunshine. I love daylight savings!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Weekly Round Up


OK, still struggling with the profile photo, but will continue to work on that over the weekend. At least you can see what I look like now (see below).

Exercise:
Saturday: 20 min walk gym tready followed by Attack
Monday: 30 min walk gym tready followed by Pump
Tuesday: 14km bike ride, federation trail (with the man)
Thursday: 12km bike ride, Maribyrnong river track (didn't notice what it was called!) from Sunshine towards Ascot Vale (with the man)


I need to get some more weights in next week - I had planned on doing Pump then Balance on Wednesday night, but got held up at work.

Food:

I aimed to keep away from food type carbs at night, which I did successfully.
Ate lots of salad, veggies & fruit & drank at least 2 litres of water everyday.
Still need to watch my portion sizes & plan to work on that next week.
I am still enjoying a rather large glass of red wine most nights with dinner, although it is a carb (liquid!)!!!


Emotions & Motivation:

Have been working my way through a series of meditation CD's over the past month. I kept falling asleep listening to the first two discs, which wasn't a bad thing I suppose, but I wanted to do them "properly" before moving on to the 3rd disc. I started on the 3rd this week & am finding it really good. It is all about witnessing your thoughts without judging them; then letting them go. I am still falling asleep before the end, but I think this will be a really good exercise for me as I tend to dwell on things & sometimes find it hard to let them go.
Motivation has been quite good, especially with the man wanting to cycle with me - we have committed to Tuesday & Thursday nights. He refuses to set foot in a gym, so daylight savings has arrived just in time! It is really nice to do some exercise together.
Generally Speaking:
We have a fairly busy weekend ahead. I am out for dinner with some girlfriends tonight to celebrate a birthday involving drinks & dinner - will try to choose something healthy to eat as I am sure I will have a few drinks!
Saturday arvo we are heading to friends to whom we are god parents of some of their children, to hang out/play with the kids (12, 10 & 4), before heading out for dinner with their parents! Indian I believe - need to keep away from coconut milk curries, rice, bread & fried stuff!!!!
Sunday we are heading to friends for lunch & the man has some plumbing work to do for them. She is (supposed to be following) weight watchers, so hopefully lunch wont be too lardy! I will try & take her for a walk while the boys work!
Jumped on the scales this morning, looking closer to 68 now than 69, not sure the weekend will help, so wont get too excited yet.
Thanks to Brooke for the lovely comment & being my very first reader!! Mwah!

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!


TRYING TO ADD A PHOTO TO MY PROFILE!

At the moment I am trying to add a photo to my profile. The instructions tell me to post a photo to my blog first, so here I am.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Well, I guess I should start at the beginning.

I started reading blogs around 5 years ago for weight loss inspiration. Not having my own blog, I did feel a bit voyeuristic reading about other peoples lives, while they knew nothing of mine. I started to reach out & interact with some of the people who's blogs I was reading, & before long had made a few friends (Brooke, Beckie, Phil)

Encouraged by Brooke, I decided it was time to start my own blog. About 6 months ago. Got side tracked & a bit scared I suppose of putting myself out there, & of course have been trying to compose the perfect first post in my head...................... which of course is impossible! So here it is, my first post.



This blog will be a little about fitness, a little about weight loss & little about life's meanderings.
Please forgive lack of blogging etiquette, spelling mistakes, crap font or any other mistakes I make as I am only learning!!!!!



Weight loss/Fitness History:

I was a skinny kid, the stick figure type, right up until the age of 20. I started putting on weight around then when I bought my first car (no longer walked everywhere or walked to catch public transport), met my partner at 22 (lots of eating out, partying & lots of lardy home cooked meals!), left my hospitality job at 23 for a desk job & didn't own a set of scales (& avoided them). I gradually put on 2 kgs every year, for the next 10. As it happened slowly, I failed at first to notice, then chose to ignore, until I saw a photo of myself at at wedding.



OH MY GOD, SKINNY ME WAS FAT!!! How did this happen! I wasn't morbidly obese, but had gone from 56kg to 76kg, & this was quite a shock for me. I grew up in the country & had not created an exercise habit at all. The only exercise we had as a family was incidental, in the course of our lives & compulsory school sport, excepting the year I played a summer of tennis & in year 12 Mum thought I needed some stress relief & joined up with a local hockey team. Was completely hopeless at both, although my tennis has improved & I quite enjoy it when I can find someone to play with!!!



How to combat the 20KG? Mum & Dad had been attending weight watchers for a while to loose 5 - 10 kgs themselves, so armed with Mums literature, I started eating nutritionally & exercising. This was when I discovered weight loss blogs. I joined my local gym & ate a lot of rice & veg! I would cook up big batches of steamed rice, wok up some veg & then freeze in portions. Before this we would not eat til 8pm & while we always ate a lot of fruit & veg, we just ate way too much & a fair bit of fried stuff (chips are definitely my downfall!).
I would get out a rice n veg in the morning, eat it when I walked in the door at night around 5.30pm, then head off to the gym, cooking for the man on my return. Over a year, this bought my weight down to 65kgs, where I remained reasonably happily for the next 5 years. At the gym I had only used the treadmills & cross trainers - to scared to do weights amongst the grunty blokes & feeling too uncoordinated to do group fitness classes other than body balance (which I love).
One day I made a new friend in body balance & over the next 2 years we trained hard together; she completed her Cert IV & V in fitness & has since gone on to do her post grade nutrition course, runs her own PT business, teaches aqua aerobics, as well as her regular day job. This friend taught me all about using the weights & together we did pretty much every group fitness class on offer!!!
I became her support person when she competed at the INBA last year! I only lost 3kgs in 2 years we trained together, but dropped down from a 12 -14 dress size, to a size 10!!!! I was toned & very fit!!!!! NB the scales do not tell the full picture!!! I was however training at least 2 hours a night & more on weekends, after the competitions were over, I needed a break & unfortunately have not done a lot of exercise in the past 12 months. My weight has crept back up to 69kgs & I have wobbly bits again! OH NOES!
While I am still good friends with this gorgeous girl, her life revolves around her exercise & her partner also spends a lot of time in the gym. I could no longer commit to that level of training as I had been ignoring my own partner & needed to spend more time with him & on the business we run together.
So here I am, inspired & ready to get back into it!
Blog Name

This blog is named after my cat! My partner found her on an industrial site, where they had caught her & were going to wring her neck! She was a stray, short haired, scrawny & malnourished black cat! I took her into the vet to get checked out & to get all her shots; they asked me what her name was & I immediately thought of a painting a friend of mine had given me of a black cat in an alleyway & said AlleyCat!!!! She has since had numerous nicknames, the one that has stuck is Rosy, so that is who I am referring to when talk about Rosy. My nickname is also Cat, so figured the name suits.

OK, here goes..................