A slightly delayed update

There’s a distinct possibility that I wrote this post on Friday and forgot to hit publish. Oops.

 

I’m 6 kg down. Booyah!! That means I lost 450 grams between Monday night and Thursday night- and I’m really really happy with that. If I can keep that up, I’m going to keep kicking goals in a major way! I think the major factor this week has been an extra high-intensity workout on top of what I normally do. Sure, I ate an icecream sandwich on Tuesday night, but besides that my eating’s been great. Add onto that an extra workout and it seems my body is very very happy.

It really confirms what I’ve known all along, but haven’t been actioning- that changing my diet is a huge contributor to weightloss IF (and only if) I do the right exercise along side it. Every time I add an extra day of exercise my weight drops at a greater rate, so the lesson here is that I really need to keep that up. These new exercise sessions with colleagues at work are going to make it a lot more simple to get my extra high-intensity workout in each week- I don’t go as hard as I might with my PT, but by the same token I also work a lot harder than if I go to the gym by myself.

So, 6 kg down, and another 7 kg (ish) to go 🙂

In other news, today I registered for The Stampede, which is an obstacle course/mud run similar to Tough Mudder. I’m registered for the 10 km event, which is a bit scary- I can’t even run an entire 5 km fun run, after all!! But I’m assured by those who have done it before that you don’t run for long patches at all, and you then spend time standing around waiting to have your turn on the challenges/obstacles. Besides which, it’s the obstacles I’m doing it for, not the running! Being able to do those obstacles (or most of them, at least) is really going to be a measure of how far I’ve come since I started with my PT, especially in terms of my dodgy shoulders.

It’s also proof of how far I’ve come mentally in the last 12 months or so. I’ve gone from having very little confidence in my body (for good reason!) to feeling capable and ready to give stuff a shot. I also know where and when to push myself, and how far is too far when it comes to preventing injury in my shoulders.

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Progress and goals

Today marks Day 3 of Week 8 of the Challenge. Week 8- where have those last two months gone?! In some ways it feels like I’ve been doing this forever, and in other ways it feels like it’s been a very very short time.

As of Monday (two days ago) I have lost 5.5 kg since the challenge started, which I’m pretty chuffed about!! I do look back and realise that I’d lost four of those kilos in the first four weeks, but then again, I did get sick in there which really threw me off. I’ve had a last 7 days in terms of weigh loss and exercise- my food’s been a little bit out, with some fish and chips and cake making its way in, but exercise seems to have well and truly made up for that.

Over the weekend I did a 16km walk- not the longest I’ve ever done, but certainly getting up there. I was hurting by about the 7 km mark, and it definitely got worse as the k’s went on, but my recovery was a lot better than I’d anticipated. Sunday I was stiff but not ridiculously sore, and by Monday I was fine. I’d worried that the sore muscles would carry over for longer and I’d be left with a sub-par performance during PT sessions later in the week, but it just didn’t happen.

Today I joined a fitness group at work for the first time. I’ve been hearing about it and receiving the calendar invites for a while, but I just hadn’t got around to going. It’s free and run by a colleague who figures that if she’s going to be working out in her lunch time she may as well be running a bit of a group session for her co-workers. I was definitely apprehensive about it heading in- exercising in front of people I know is always a stress point for me, as is putting myself into new situations where I will need to push myself physically without really knowing what I’ll have to do and if I’ll be up for it.

I was up for it. We did running warm-ups, and I was fine (albeit my usual slow plodding self). We did pyramids, doing one burpie then running, then two burpires then running etc, and I was fine. We did the same with push-ups and, for the first time in my life, I felt like I was doing correct pushups, all the way to the ground, and I didn’t feel like the weakest person in the group (I was on knees, but that’s ok. I know I’m working up to full ones, and they’ll come soon). We did a range of body-weight exercises tabata-style, doing 45 second exercises then breaking for 15 seconds. I could do all of the exercises, I knew how to modify them so I could do them safely for my shoulders, and I didn’t slack off and stop before the end of the reps.

I have come a loooooooong way in the last 12 months with my fitness. That I could do today’s class and feel good (maybe even great?) about it is proof of that. Now that I’m eating right and putting in the extra hours exercising each week, I’m starting to see results in my body rather than just feel them. While I still feel that I’m not losing much weight off my hips, I know my arms are slimming and so is my face. I can see that . And I do that know despite not being able to see it on my hips it is slowly happening, because my clothes are fitting better.

In today’s workout my colleague talked about setting fitness goals. I have a couple. I’m a little hesitant to put timelines on them, but I have a rough idea in my head. Here’s the three that are currently at the top of my mind:

  • I’ve lost 5.5kg. I want to lose 7 (ish) more to hit the weight that my PT and I discussed as being a good healthy weight for me
  • I want to do full push-ups with legs completely extended (no knees)
  • I want to dead-lift 60 kg (currently sitting somewhere around 45 I think?)

If the skirt fits… (and it does fit)

Some time, about 12 months ago, I bought a new skirt. I bought it to wear to work- it’s a pencil skirt, which is a miracle in itself- my body doesn’t tend to lend itself to the pencil skirt design. They never (ever!) fit. But this one did, and I bought it. I wore it a bit at first, but I found that it tended to ride up a fair bit when I walked, so  I started to not wear it as much. Slowing down on the wears inevitably meant that I forgot it existed, until one day a few months ago when I came across it in my wardrobe and put it on.

But what was this? The zip was hard to do up. The front of the skirt was tight across my stomach and hips, and the lining was a bit too snug for my liking. it was harder to walk in, and it kind of felt like I was wearing spanx. As much as I hated to admit it, this was just another sign of the weight I’d been gaining.

Consequentially the skirt was relegated to the ’emergencies only’ section of my wardrobe- the place from where clothes only emerge if I’ve forgotten to do laundry for a few too many days. Tuesday was one of those days. My washing basket was overflowing, and I’d worn everything else in my wardrobe that was work-appropriate already. It was time to pull out the skirt. But low and behold, when I put the skirt on, it actually fitted. In fact, it’s a bit loose at the hips. It still rides up when I walk, but I’ve accepted that as just part of the damn thing’s design.

Having the skirt fit is a small victory. It means I’m back(ish) to the size(ish) I was about a year ago (yay), but the reality is that I was not happy at that size. I was heavier than I should have been, carrying excess weight (fatty weight), and I was unfit. Since then I’ve worked hard to built strength, and that’s built muscle, and that’s why I say I’m back to the size I was a year ago, not the weight. Regardless though, I’m still too big and I’m still too heavy. I’m still carrying fat in dangerous places, and I’m still trying to break some bad habits… but I do fit into that skirt again!

Review: Raw Trader

I thought I’d try something new today and give a review a go. There’s a new cafe just up the road from my work that, as soon as I heard about it, had me pretty excited. It’s called Raw Trader and you can find it at 10 Sutherland Street, Melbourne. Raw Trader is, in their own words, a cafe specialising in organic, vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free and paleo healthy desserts and treats.

raw trader chalkboard

I’ve been there three times now, trying different parts of the menu each time. There’s no set list of desserts on sale here- they have different items for sale each day, depending on what’s they’ve made and what’s fresh. They’ve only been open for a couple of months, so I suspect that as they get to know which of the desserts are crowd pleasers we’ll see some items appearing more regularly.

The first thing I should say about their food is this: I haven’t eaten refined sugar now for nearly 7 weeks, and it’s fair to say that my tastebuds have changed. Raw Trader’s food is delicious, but don’t expect their passionfruit mango cheesecake to taste like normal cheesecake- it’s going to be a lot less sweet, and it’s going to taste a lot more like cashews than your average cheesecake. That works for me and my tastebuds- it mightn’t work for you.
But it’s still delicious. In fact, their food very much tastes like the kind of raw dessert you could (should you choose to be bothered), produce at home. When I visited with my mum she was a bit off-put by that, but I really like that I don’t have to buy, soak and blend expensive organic nuts, cocao and dates in order to get a raw dessert fix.

Price-wise Raw Trader’s really quite reasonable too. Considering you’d pay in excess of $7 for a giant piece of mass-produced Mars Bar Cake anywhere else in the city, their cakes and bliss balls (ranging raw trader slicefrom $4 – $8ish) are definitely not too expensive. Given how rich these foods are, their portions are very generous too.

When it comes to drinks, Raw Trader offers a very drinkable coffee blend with standard milk offerings as well as house-made almond milk. My first coffee with the almond milk was really exceptional- creamy, rich, sweet- but my second tasted really sour. Maybe I got an off batch of milk? I’m not sure. They also offer great looking smoothies, although I haven’t tried them.

Despite all the positives about the food, the one other thing I would say about Raw Trader is that right now their service is pretty poor. It’s a small space, and word’s certainly got out about it already, so their standard two staff never seem to be enough. Drink orders get mixed up and food orders are forgotten right now- I think they’re going to have to step this up in the future to stay with the very competitive Melbourne cafe culture pack.

raw trader counterBut despite what I’ve said about the service (and it really hasn’t improved at all in the three visits I’ve made), I will continue to go back to Raw Trader and I highly recommend that anyone that’s in that area of Melbourne drop by for and Almond latte and a Bliss Ball. The food is really good, and it’s really nice to have a cafe in that area of the CBD doing what they’re doing.

 

P.S- please excuse my fairly dodgy phone photos!!

 

Raw Trader on Urbanspoon

Dadspiration

I had a conversation today with my dad. While we were chatting the topic rolled around to diet and exercise, as it so often does. I’ve definitely inherited (learned?) some of his habits and attitudes when it comes to eating and exercise, both good and bad, so it’s very easy to relate to the stories he tells me and to talk to him about the challenges I face.

Today we were talking about celebrating the small wins. We talked about changing tastebuds- he told me he had a lunchtime win the other day, bypassing fast food for a bowl of homemade soup, and I told him about my win at work today.

I didn’t think it was worth blogging about, but talking to him reminded me that that’s exactly  why I set this blog up- to celebrate the small wins, as well as talking through the tough bits.

Today I was at a work function with a fully catered morning tea featuring delicious looking sandwiches, amazing smelling pies and sausage rolls and pies, and an assortment of sweet stuff. Normally it would be the pies that would get me, followed by the sweet stuff (I have serious FOMO when it comes to food- gotta get to the sweet stuff before it runs out!) closely followed by the sandwiches.

Today I had a coffee, then after half an hour of smelling the food (it was lunchtime!) I had one small quarter sandwich because I was starving.

Yes, I had a small sandwich made of wheat bread when I’m trying to avoid it, but I also chose (chose!) not to eat any of the pies or sweet stuff- and I didn’t got back for another sandwich either. I let that one sandwich that I ate ‘go down’, realised that it was enough to get me through to my pre-prepared lunch waiting at my desk, and left it at that.

That’s a win.

The flu, cheat meals and realisations

So, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted here. Nearly two weeks, in fact! There’s a pretty simple reason: I’ve been sick. Blegh. At first I thought it was hay fever, then I thought it was a bad cold, then I suspected it was a migraine… I finally settled on the realisation that I simply had the flu.

Keeping up with the challenge while I’ve been sick has been hard, although not as hard as I might have suspected. After my first day off work I let myself get a little bit to sorry for myself and ended up eating fish and chips for dinner. But funnily enough, sitting on the floor surrounded by greasy paper and cold chips, I didn’t feel better after eating them. Nor did I feel really satisfied after eating something I wasn’t supposed to. So while I’d allowed myself a cheat meal, and I was not feeling (and continue not to not feel) guilty about eating it, it was all a bit of an anticlimactic cheat meal consumption.

I had another moment when I went to my parent’s house for dinner later in the week. Mum had made me chicken soup (she’d even made her own chicken bone broth to use as a stock base!), and it was delicious. But (there’s always a but!) she’d also made a batch of macaroni cheese for a visiting cousin. Mum’s macaroni cheese was my absolute favourite meal when I was growing up. It’s the dish I’d request on my birthday, paired with a chocolate pudding for dessert. In fact, I still love mum’s macaroni cheese, although opportunities to eat it are rarer and rarer these days. So despite having sworn myself off wheat, gluten and cheese for the duration of the challenge, I did eat a small bowl of the magic stuff. It was gooooood.

So I ate fish and chips, I ate macaroni cheese, and I had no regrets. What I couldn’t control though, was when my body would be up to getting back to the gym. All in all I had to take 6 days away from exercise, which bugged me no-end, but I really didn’t want to push my body before it was ready to get back to it. Even once I did get back and have a session with my PT, it was still a struggle. I reckon I was probably operating on about 60%.

So the result of the week of the flu was a disappointing weight gain. I knew I wasn’t going to lose weight, but I figured that because my eating was still pretty much in check I’d perhaps just hover at the same figure I was at the week before. Not so. When I jumped on the scales yesterday, they revealed that I’ve put on nearly half a kilo. I think the most disappointing this about that is the realisation that no matter how healthily I eat, I’m going to have to exercise consistently for the rest of my life to avoid weight gain. The other realisation is that no matter how small, any cheat or treat is going to have an impact. There’s no hiding from it.

Don’t get me wrong- I knew these things already. But at this point my head is saying “I don’t ever want to eat most of that stuff again- it’s just really bad for my body” but my heart is saying “eat the cupcake. eat the cheese. eat the pasta”. This is definitely a case of listening to my head over my heart, but it’s another reminder that I’m only at the start of week 6 of this challenge, and really it’s not just six weeks into a challenge but six weeks into a changed lifestyle. I’m breaking habits and I’ I’m starting new ones, and as painful as some of these realisations are, there’s really no turning back from this point.