12wbt Blogging Challenge – Motivation

This is a tough topic – because essentially for over eight years it was a struggle to get motivated.  There are complicated reasons behind this – it has a lot to do with the chronic illness I was diagnosed with in 2003.  This illness saw me live through prolonged bouts of clinical depression.  There were days, weeks and even months when just getting motivated enough to get out of bed when there was nothing physically wrong with me (apart from the physical symptoms of depression) was impossible.  Eating well and getting exercise were almost impossible in that state of mind. And the really frustrating thing in hindsight is that eating well and exercising would have been two of the best things I could have done to overcome the depression.

As I have said in other places in this blog, after l stopped being a WW leader in 2006, I tried a lot of fad diets and gimmicks. Some which made following “Size 12 in 21 Days” for a whole twenty-one days seem sensible.  Any of those attempts at dieting could have seen me lose weight, but I rarely stuck at anything for more than a week and if I lasted more than two days I was bound to be cheating. It was as if I didn’t really care – but the whole time my heart was broken, and with each failed attempted I felt more hopeless.  That coupled with the clinical depression meant I just kept getting bigger, heavier and more unhealthy. My unhappiness and hatred of myself just made it all the more harder to get going and get motivated.

The turning point was my visit to Solar Springs with my mum for the weekend in 2011. I booked the weekend as a gift for her, to thank her for all the support she gives me with my children, especially before and after school. I just went along for the ride. But the weekend of healthy eating, some exercise and a little pampering had a big impact on me. Instead of all the negative feelings – I was feeling positive about myself. I did enjoy eating clean, healthy and natural food. I did enjoy exercise, and the endorphin rush that came with it, and just because I was 160kgs didn’t mean I couldn’t exercise. The trainers in the small group sessions emphasised working at your own ability and how you could replicate what we were doing at home. And, maybe most importantly, the pampering (hot stone massage, facial, hydrotherapy bath) made me realise I was worthy of being looked after – even by myself!

So my motivation sprang from there – from a very positive experience. Instead of feeling bad about myself and wishing I could wave a magic wand and start my life over, I began to feel good about myself. And I had a goal which was achievable and easily measurable.  When you go to have your spa treatments, you wear a bathrobe supplied by Solar Springs.  You are meant to slip it on and then wait in the lounge area for the therapist to come and collect you for your treatment.  Well, at 160kgs, the edges of the bathrobe were more than thirty centimetres too far apart for me to wear in a public area. So I went along to the treatments in my track suit pants and tshirt, not very glamorous at all.  So I decided when I returned in 2012 I was going to be able to fit into the bathrobe, and maybe be able to wear it in the lounge while waiting for my treatments. I had a positive goal to strive for – great motivation – as opposed to something negative about myself to run away from.

Then in August, after having shed five kilograms in three months, I decided to join 12wbt for Round 3 2011.  I figured if anyone can motivate me Michelle Bridges can. Hmmmmmm. Except she doesn’t believe we should rely on motivation to be successful. I was confused at first, I spent nine years as a WW leader motivating my members to want to lose weight.  Or did I?  The first nine weeks of following 12wbt principles saw me lose over 14kgs, and learn a lot more about weight loss, nutrition, exercise and motivation than those nine years of being a WW leader.

Since August my motivation comes from the thinking and action I take as part of the preseason tasks – the preseason tasks I do every round.  The preseason tasks I revisit when I need some “motivational magic”. My success on the 12wbt program – just over 45kgs in ten months – also helps keeps me motivated.

Last week ou task was to come up with an inspiration board.  I suffered badly with “paralysis by analysis” the whole week.  I kept procrastinating about what I should include, what colours should predominate, how many images I should have, how many quotes. And the really silly thing was that I was planning on making a digital inspiration board – so I could have very easily played around with all those aspects until I was happy.  But instead, at 5pm last Saturday, I got serious about putting something together.  A big lesson in how trying to be perfect never pays off.

So it’s not the best inspiration board ever – but I think it shows well what motivates me at this point in time.

I want to be fitter, stronger and healthier every week. I want to prove to myself that nothing I want is impossible. I want to stop beating myself because I make a mistake or if I am not perfect.  I want to be able to do a burpee successfully. I want to take at least half an hour off my 2011 City2Surf time in 2012, and fundraise for the Black Dog Institute in the process.  I want to learn to ride a bike. I want to ride a bike on Rottnest Island when Mr G and I visit there on our second honeymoon after the Perth Finale.  I want to enter a Triathlon, and finish the event. I want to enter the Gold Coast half marathon in 2013.  I want to enjoy summer with my family. And I want to wear a fabulous frock to the Perth Finale, which I haven’t had to buy from the Myer Plus Size department.

I want to be the best version of me.

And when that doesn’t motivate me at 5am when the alarm goes off,  I don’t lie in bed waiting to feel motivated. Instead I do what Mish tells me to do.

Size 12 in 21 days

The last ten days I have basically been lying in bed willing my body to get better.  Last Tuesday the doctor diagnosed me with a “very bad viral infection” and to come back on Monday if I was no better. I started to feel a little better over the weekend – and even ventured outside the house – but Monday morning felt worse than ever. I was diagnosed with a secondary infection, resulting in bronchitis. More bed rest. More missed training. So not happy.

So my focus for my 12wbt journey these past ten days has been to be very, very strict with my calorie intake and to work on being as positive as possible with my mindset.  I feel I have achieved that – Wednesday weigh in saw me down 0.9kgs, despite spending most of my time in those seven days horizontal in bed – wonder how that affected my BMR?

When I wasn’t asleep, I kept busy hanging out in the forums and my 12wbt facebook groups – with daytime television on in the background.  There were so many ads, infomercials and interviews on the televsion about losing weight. I had almost forgotten what a big “industry” it is and how it thrives on peoples’ impatience and desire for a quick and easy fix.

It reminded me how way back in 1993 during the school holidays I was watching the Bert Newton Show on channel ten (way before “The Circle” and before “Mornings with David and Kim”) and he was interviewing Judith Wills whose book “Size 12 in 21 Days” had just been published in Australia. At the time I was probably a size 16-18 and probably very close to 100kgs, but I was sucked in with the idea of shedding twenty odd kilograms in three weeks!  I think the interview was barely finished and I was on the way to my nearest Dymocks.

Day one and two of the diet were “detox days” consisting mostly of salad vegetables and fruit salad – and from memory it would have been amazing if there 600 calories to eat each day!  Just crazy! Mr G actually tried it too and he fainted at work. Absolutely crazy!!!  But I stuck with it – I was obsessed with the idea of being a whole new me in nineteen days time.  I got to day 21 – and low and behold I wasn’t a size 12! Who knew?

And her advice if you didn’t quite make it in the 21 days? Go back to day one and start again! Eeek! Can you guess what I did? Closed the book, put it on my bookshelf and went back to my old habits.  The food allowance in the program was unsustainable and the goal the title encouraged me to go for was unrealistic for me.

I just wanted my body back and I wanted it back pronto, without any real effort.

At 28 years old it was the first time I had failed at dieting – from the age of 12 I had been a very successful yo-yo dieter.  But this one had me stumped.

And why did I fail? Becuase I didn’t shed twenty plus kilograms in twenty-one days?

I failed because of a few reasons. My goal was unrealistic. I was “too busy” to do the exercise recommended. The food plan was unsustainable.  I didn’t do any work on my mindset.  I saw it as a short term thing – I only wanted to work at it for twenty-one days, so I could then revert to my old habits. And I was just impatient.

It’s taken me a lot more than twenty-one days to get from 165kgs to 109.8kgs, and of course there is still some way to go to get to my goal of 77kgs.

I have no doubt I will get there. This is not a diet, a fad or a gimmick.  This is my way of life now.

I eat clean.

I train mean. (Well, when not slowed down by multiple infections below the neck.)

And everyday I’m thinking a little leaner.

And – gee I’d like to be 77kgs by the time I turn 47 next month, but I no longer expect miracles to happen in twenty-one days.

Give me twenty-one weeks though, and just let me show you what I can do.

12wbt Blogging Challenge – Week 2 – Exercise

It’s hard to believe right now that a little over a year ago I avoided any sort of exercise, pretty much as if I was allergic to it.  Thanks goodness for my visit to Solar Springs last year. First thing Saturday morning I ventured into the gym – and hopped on the treadmill, the cross-trainer and rower.  Before I knew it I had a red face, a heart that was beating noticeably, sweaty skin and laboured breathing. But I felt fantastic!

Now, a year later exercise is an important part of my life.

At 6am I hit the gym from Monday to Thursday.  I do BodyPump or RPM. I really enjoy both classes.  Monday nights I go to a Zumba class – that’s a whole lot of fun and a great calorie burner.

Friday is my rest day – just as important as the other six training days.

Saturday is my SSS. I usually begin with weight training in the gym, then cardio in the gym and finish up with a Sh’Bam class.

Sunday is an RPM and BodyBalance class double.  Unless I’m doing a fun run in the city – in which case I will try to get to Pain in the Domain and/or Pain in the Park with Amanda Cole and the Sydneysiders.

And, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays I also squeeze in thirty minutes of c25k training.

One thing I tried last round which I never thought I would was boxing.  I just love it and wish there were more days in the week so I could add it into my regular schedule.

I have also been inspired by Lisa and Jayne to want to give Crossfit a go.  There is even Crossfit box a few kilometres from where I work, but at this point in time I don’t know how I’d fit it in on a regular basis. But who knows what the future will hold.

There is also a Bikram Yoga studio open now in the north-western suburbs of Sydney – I’d love to try that too.

And of course, this October I’d like to be able to enter the Triathlon Pink short course.  The only reason I haven’t signed up yet is because the furthest I have ridden a bike without assistance is about three metres. I am going to do my best to be ready to take it on in October.

And of course I’ll be hitting the Giant Staircase again in July. Looking forward to being red faced, sweaty and out of breath that day.

Jayne’s 12wbt Blogging Challenge – Round 2 2012

This is my third round of 12wbt, and the third blogging challenge I have started. It will be the first challenge I see right through to the end. I am making the commitment right now to see this challenge through to the end of the round.

I am 46 years old, and from 2003 to 2007 went from 85kgs to 165kgs. Until 2006 I was a Weight Watchers leader, and from July 2006 until August 2011 I tried many different things – usually half heartedly – to try and shift the weight.  I ended up joining the 12wbt program after reading an article about Michelle Bridges in the August Women’s Weekly last year.  It has been a decision I have not regretted once in the last nine months. To say it has transformed my life just begins to scratch the surface on what is has done for me.  I feel like I have control over my life again.

I am here for my third round of 12wbt because I know it works and I know by following what Michelle Bridges says to do I will achieve my goals for the round. I started this round at 116.4kgs at an intermediate level of fitness, and my goal is to be close to 90kgs by the end of this round and very close to an advanced level of fitness. It is my goal to begin Round 3 2012 ready to take part in Advanced Lean & Fit.

Preparing for the challenge was as simple as doing the preseason tasks, and as difficult as doing the preseason tasks.  Yes, even though its my third round I still did all the preseason tasks. The kitchen one didn’t cause as much angst for me or my family as it did last August/September though! Setting my goals made me realise just how important it would be to be consistent with my training – the motivation fairy certainly hit me over the head with her wand that night!

So what was the most important preseason task for you?

Happier and healthier – without a doubt!

Its pretty hard for me to believe that this time last year I weighed 160kgs, and probably more importantly, felt I was never going to get below 100kgs.  Some people who are morbidly obese will tell you they are healthy and totally happy with their lives.  That may well be so, I only know what it was like for me when I was morbidly obese.

It wasn’t fun. And I wasn’t totally happy with my life. And I know I wasn’t healthy.

At 160kgs I was

* morbidly obese – look up the word morbid in a dictionary, and then tell me that’s healthy.  It’s synonyms are “unhealthy – diseased – unsound – ill -sickly”.

* unable to bend down and tie my own shoelaces

* unable to paint my own toenails

* out of breath walking up the staircase in my house.

* having a very *limited* choice when going shopping for clothes.

* always dreading the moment my family were given abooth to sit at in a restaurant.

Thank goodness I signed up for the 12wbt last August, and as I did, became determined to ensure it was going to work. It has been a bumpy journey at times, and as it has made me examine why I made the choices I did and why I continue to make the excuses I do (but I’m pleased to say there are significantly less of those) it moves me right out of my comfort zone. So at times it is hard work. But I have never regretted my decsion, and I know for sure I never will.

Last week I gained 0.2kgs – it was week one of the lastest round so I pouted a little, put the scales away and just got on with it.  I knew I had done the work that would have justified a decent loss, but logically, I also know the scales may not show that at the precise moment I step on them that effort for many reasons. I was so tempted to hop on again during the week. But I resisted, because I know the best thing to do is hop on just once a week.

And I was glad I stayed positive and didn’t let the scales dictate my mood. This morning I got on and I was down 5.9kgs. Yes that’s right – almost 6kgs. I don’t see it as a one week loss though – I really see it as a loss over two weeks.

So that now takes me to 110.7kgs.

At 110.7kgs I am

* categorised as obese – not severely obese or morbidly obese – just obese.

* I can stand on one leg to put on a sock (though I do prefer to sit down).

* I can paint my own toenails.

* I can exercise for  two hours and fifteen minutes in a SSS, burn 1655 calories and not feel totally exhausted.

* on the verge of being able to shop anywhere I like for my clothes, and take advantage of great bargains.

* not worried about where my family is seated in a restaurant.

This morning’s weigh in means I have now lost more then 50kgs.

It means I am only 3.8kgs away from having less than 30kgs to lose to get to my goal.

I am in tears now (happy ones I think) because I realise there really is light at the end of the tunnel for me and there is no need to doubt myself anymore.

Now I know I’ve made a difference

I can hardly believe two weeks have gone past since I was in Melbourne for the finale and I last wrote a blog post. The last two weeks have been a whirlwind (last weekend mum and I went back to Solar Springs – and I’ve got so much to say about that alone) along with being a busy time at school for a teacher.

So I haven’t been lying on the couch and eating for the last two weeks.  I’ve been working on the preseason tasks and making sure I get to the gym every morning at 6am. I did miss the 6am class at the gym this Wednesday – as Master G was very sick and I was the designated parent to look after him, though I did go and do a Sh’Bam class that night instead and really smashed some calories.

The next round is about to start on Monday – and the preseason tasks are just about done and dusted.  Just because this is my third round doesn’t mean they are any less important to my success over the next twelve weeks.  I am so excited about what the next twelve weeks will bring.

I’m looking forward to
* a getting to know you lunch with my local 12wbt group – and doing lots of other great things with the group over the twelve weeks.

* hitting the Giant Staircase again – yes I did it in April after saying never again in January during my first attempt.

* learning to ride a bike.

* doing the City2Surf in August with much better fitness – and doing my up most to j0g at least half of the course.

* going to Perth for the next finale.

And there is so much more I’ll be blogging about over the next twelve weeks, as well as the posts about Solar Springs and my time in Melbourne – complete with pictures.

And how do I know for sure I’ve made a difference?

When I was 165kgs I simply couldn’t get up off the lounge after a hectic night watching TV.  In fact I dreaded the moment when Mr G would switch off the TV, because it meant I had to do an impossible task next.  Each night Mr G  had to help me get up off our lounge.  He always smiled and never said anything to make me feel bad – but I always felt so pathetic that my life had spiraled so far out of control.

Two weeks ago in Melbourne I was with another three 12wbt members who very kindly gave Mr G and I a lift to the workout so we wouldn’t have to navigate the public transport from the CBD to St Kilda.  When we arrived it was still a while before the shenanigans were due to start, and it was drizzling – so we headed over to a coffee shop.  We sat on a couple of lounge chairs to drink and chat. The lounge I was sitting on was about 30cm off the floor, and when it was time to leave I just stood up, with out using my hands and without Mr G counting to three and pulling me up. I almost cried when I realised what I was now able to do – because of course I’ve been capable of getting up off low furniture for quite some months – but in front of other people who understood I was very aware of what I proved I could do. And to think I used to avoid sitting on low furniture in public!

I am now 116.4kgs – and I’m over half way to my goal of 77kgs. Not that I’m counting. 😉

Bring on Round 2 2012!