Bloggers’ Challenge – Week 2 – To reward, or not reward, that is the question….

The reward of a thing well done is having done it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

I am a primary school teacher, so I spend an awful lot of time every day giving out rewards – both verbal and token. I can claim stamps, stickers and certificates on my income tax. It’s an integral part of my job to provide extrinsic rewards to others, in order to recognise their achievements and encourage them to go on doing their best.

So in this week two challenge, I’m asking you, my fellow bloggers to think about how important rewards are for you on your 12wbt journey. Do you think they are a necessary part of the journey? Do they hinder or help?

Awards are so unnecessary, because I think we get so much out of our work by just doing it. The work is a reward in itself.

Natalie Portman

Question 1. (For everyone doing the challenge)

What are your goals for this week?

What is/are your main goal/goals for week four of the twelve weeks?

What is/are your main goal/goals for week eight of the twelve weeks?

What is/are your main goal/goals for week twelve of the twelve weeks?

What is/are your main goal/goals for one year in the future?

Now you’ve answered the question about your goals, there are three ways you could respond to this week’s Bloggers’ Challenge. Remember though, there is no right or wrong, what you believe is right for you is right for you. This week’s challenge is about exploring how you think about this and considering what is the best thing for you to do for yourself.

So, do you agree with Natalie Portman and Ralph Waldo Emerson? Or not? 

If you do agree……..

2. Why do you think extrinsic, or external rewards, for achieving goals on the 12wbt are not an important part of the journey?

3. If you don’t reward yourself when you achieve goals – do you still recognise your achievements somehow?

So, if you don’t agree with Natalie Portman and Ralph Waldo Emerson, then here is your questions 2 and 3.

2. Why do you think its important to reward yourself along the way as you achieve your goals as a  12wbt?

3. What rewards do you have planned when you achieve the goals?

And if you both agree and disagree with Natalie Portman and Ralph Waldo Emerson, then you can answer both question 2s and 3s.

Remember, your answers can be as long or short as you want them to be. They can be answered in sentences or in point form. You can add photos too if you want to illustrate your point of view, or share how your journey is for you visually.

If you’d like to join in with the challenge then create a post on your blog to answer the questions – or just the ones you’d like to answer. 

Then copy the link for that blog post – not the link for the entire blog – just this one post. Then paste the link in the Linky Tool below. Everyone who wants to – whether you are writing a blog post for the challenge or not – can then click on the links in the linky tool to read all the responses to this week’s challenge.

 

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Following Dory’s Advice

I have always liked to swim, but have never been very good at it. Two months ago I started adult stroke correction lessons. Best thing ever. I’m not about to break any world records, but the 25 metre laps at the pool at my gym aren’t quite as arduous as they once were.

Miss G inspired me to dive in with enthusiasm. She has been having weekly swimming lessons for years – and for quite some time I never though she would master freestyle. Two months ago she was promoted to mini squad – so she swims lap after lap for an hour twice a week. It is a pleasure to watch her swim – it seems so effortless. And absolute proof that if you never give up you’ll get there in the end.

So why stroke correction for me right now? The Triathlon Pink on October 6th 2012. To complete the short course I have to swim for 100 metres. So I need to build my stamina and confidence in the pool.

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So I found myself looking at the pool yesterday afternoon while Miss G was doing heroin squad laps. I try to swim another two times a week besides the stroke correction lesson. I’ve got give weeks to build up to swimming four laps of the pool without stopping. I took the photo above for the #fmsphotoaday challenge – yesterday was “far away” – and from my perspective right now 25 metres seems very far away.

So I got in the pool and started swimming two laps of freestyle and two laps of backstroke. (I had never swum back stroke until two months ago. My plan was to swim for half an hour, just doing as many laps as I could, and try to swim more than 25 metres backstroke without stopping.

When I started I was sharing the lane with someone swimming just a little faster than me. Then she got out and another swimmer got in the lane – he was very fast, and could swim at least three laps while I swam one. Up until yesterday this would have put me off, because my mind would have started saying I wasn’t good enough and there was no point trying – I would never be that fast.

But I kept going – and surprised myself at the 26 minute mark that I had done 18 laps. And then I realised another two laps would mean 500 metres – half a kilometre of swimming in half an hour. I had never swum that far before. Ever.

And even after all the effort I had put in for the first 26 minutes, those last two laps were the easiest – probably because I really believed I could do it!

I didn’t manage to swim 50 metres without stopping last night – but I really think on two weeks time I will be.

And I was very pleased with the calorie burn for half an hour.

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So I’ll be ready for the swimming leg. The 1 kilometre run doesn’t worry me. But the be riding leg – well that’s another matter. And another post soon.

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”

Week 1 – Round 3 – Bloggers’ Challenge

1. Describe myself in less than fifty words.

I am 47 years old and have struggled most of my life to keep my weight under control and be healthy.

Then a year ago I took a leap of faith and signed up for my first round of 12wbt.

My focus changed from trying to lose weight – to being as healthy as possible. My eating, thinking and exercising all changed as I began to take care of my health for me.

And now a year later I’m 50kgs lighter, and down 60kgs from my heaviest weight.

But I still can’t stick to word limits.

2. This program is called a transformation. When I signed up for this round (my fourth round) what was it about myself I wanted to transform?

I want to transform myself into a runner. I want to run all the time like I did in the sprint for the finish line in the photo above. I want to increase my fitness – so that I can run the 1km time trial in under 5:30. I want to be able to run 10km in about an hour or so. I am doing the 10km Fun Run training this round so that I can achieve those goals.

3.  What is it about myself I am happy with right now?

I am happy that I am more determined than ever to achieve my goals while taking part in the 12wbt.

I am happy that although I have some ways I go in terms of my weight loss, I no longer have to shop in Plus Size stores or departments. (Although I must say the sales assistants at BeMe in Penrith and Emu Plains are just lovely, and I will miss them.)

I am happy that I believe I can achieve anything I set  out to achieve – including running a half marathon.

4. The aspect of this program I think will present me with the toughest challenge.

Getting enough sleep. I am going to set an alarm to remind me at 10.00pm each night to go to bed. I am determined to be close to my goal weight at the end of this round – so this means getting enough sleep each night is vital.

5. What is it you look forward to the most in the next twelve weeks?

Being able to run again like I did last century.  At the moment it usually takes a lot of mental effort to keep going. But I know once I am fitter, and have been consistent with running three times a week, my mind will enjoy the time I am actually running a lot more. And I will regain that sense of freedom I used to get with running when I was younger.

6. I’ve now completed  four days of the Round 3 program.

The thing that has surprised me the most is how much I miss training even after only four days. I hurt my ankle on Day One – and it has meant running, Zumba and BodyPump were not really possible during the last few days.

7. What I want to see, think and feel when you look in the mirror on Sunday 18th November 2012.

I want to see someone who is almost at their goal weight.

I want to think about how I have done all I can do to be a woman of my word.

I want to feel proud that I’m the best version of me I can be at that time in my life.

This post is my response to week 1 of the 12wbt Bloggers’ Challenge I am hosting in Round 3 2012.

If you’d like to join in with the challenge then create a post on your blog to answer the questions – or just the ones you’d like to answer. 

Then copy the link for that blog post – not the link for the entire blog – just this one post. Then paste the link in the Linky Tool below. Everyone who wants to can then click on the links in the linky tool to read all the responses to this week’s challenge.

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Introduction to the 12wbt Blogger’s Challenge – Round 3 2012

Welcome fellow bloggers to the 12wbt Bloggers’ Challenge – Round 3 2012.

This blog is for everyone, whether you are a seasoned blogger, just started your first blog this round or sitting there thinking about starting one right now.

Each week I will post on this blog a topic for you to write about, related to 12wbt of course. You are welcome to join in with the challenge every single week – or whenever you can. If you are reading this and its already week 2 or beyond, please don’t hesitate to jump in right now with this week’s challenge – or if you can – catch up on the ones you have missed.

I will post the challenges each Wednesday. I will post in the 12wbt forums that the latest challenge is ready, update my 77Noni status on facebook and send out a tweet when the weekly challenge is ready.  The weekly challenges will all be available in their own “archive” in a link list on the right hand side of my blog, right below my tickers.

It is up to you exactly how you respond – there are certainly no expectations for the number of words or anything else for that matter. I envisage each week there will be a series of questions – and its up to you whether you respond to all of them or just some of them. It’s your own personal response to different aspects of the journey. A way to get to know yourself, and your fellow bloggers, a little better.

There will be a linky tool at the bottom of each challenge, so you can provide a link to your blog post for that week. It’s a great way to get to know other bloggers on their 12wbt journey. I have participated in Blogging Challenges in the last three rounds – and have always enjoyed reading other members’ points of view on the weekly topics. (I have to come clean here and admit I have never been good at posting every week of the challenges – so that’s my goal this round – to not only set the challenge each week – but write my response as well!)

And of course, as you click on the links to your fellow bloggers’ responses, don’t hesitate to leave them a comment and encourage them to keep blogging.

So, everyone is welcome, don’t hesitate to join in with the challenge. It can be especially useful for those times you have the urge to write and express yourself, but you’re not to sure what to write about.

Are you ready for the challenge? Are you ready to think a little outside your comfort zone? Are you ready to share how you are transforming your thinking as well as your body?

Leonie smile

Swifter, higher, stronger

The 2012 Olympic Games are in full swing and watching the athletes competing and performing at their best is more than just inspiring.
Watching the female Triathlon yesterday made me want to be able to ride a bike and enter the Triathlon Pink even more than before.

And then it got me thinking.

How I have proven to be swifter, higher, stronger this past week?

This morning I entered a 7km fun run – The Bay Run around Iron Cove Bay. I completed the 7km in 58:59, and burned 761 calories doing so. I completed the 7 kilometres in a walk and jog combination. I didn’t quite jog the first two kilometres without stopping – because in the last 200 metres or so of the at first two kilometres is an uphill section leading up to the Iron Cove Bridge.  I jogged up as much as I could, walked up the rest of the hill and then resumed jogging straight away. The thing that really surprised me was when I looked at my Runkeeper statistics for the run the last kilometre had been the fastest – by a matter of seconds – of all seven kilometres. It is making me think a lot about what I may be capable of as a runner. At the end of the run Ms L appeared. Ms L is a member of the Sydneysiders and one of the 12wbt members who inspired me to learn to ride a bike and enter the Triathlon Pink.

In January 2012 I started doing Sh’bam classes as part of my regular SSS. When I started I took all the low impact options, didn’t always use my arms and was forever looking at the clock wondering how many tracks were left. And even doing the low impact options I’d always be wondering how much more there would be of each particular track before I could stop and get a drink.  Yesterday I became aware of a huge shift. I do just about all the class with the high impact options and all the arm movements.  Each track finishes before I am ready to finish – I could easily keep going with another round. I’m not looking at the clock wondering how many rounds to go. And I leap as high as possible each time there is an opportunity to leap. I know I do not look like an elegant dancer, but I feel like one. This is me at the end of the Sh’Bam class last week, and the end of my SSS, exhausted but energised. And wearing my first piece of brand name workout gear bought through a non-plus size store.

Yesterday when I was getting ready for the gym, all my not so baggy gym clothes were in the wash. My options were my size 26 clothes (I’m currently an 18 on the bottom and 16 on top), or putting on the workout clothes I bought online months ago from a US website when they were sale. When they arrived they looked like Barbie doll clothes and I doubted I would ever lose enough weight to fit into them. I put them on and felt very self conscious. Mr G didn’t understand what my problem was and why I felt uncomfortable looking down at myself. I explained I felt like a size 26 wearing something that didn’t fit me. He said I was being silly and I looked fine.

I got compliments on how I looked at the gym from my friends, and the Sh’Bam instructor Ms P said I looked like I was ready for summer! Very chuffed. When I got home I asked Master G to take a photo – intending it to be part of a video log. I posed for a sensible photo, then posed for a silly one. This is the silly one.

 

I couldn’t believe it was me when I looked at the photo. Where did the biceps come from? And then I realised for almost a year I’ve been working hard at steadily increasing my weights in BodyPump, and then at the beginning of this year I started weight training in the gym once a week. I started BodyPump with 2.5kg on the bar. I now squat with 20kgs on the bar, and do the Bicep and Tricep tracks with 10kgs on the bar. This photo proves to me I am stronger in body and mind. I am a better version of the person I was this time last year.

And it makes me wonder how much swifter, higher and stronger I’ll be able to be this time next year.

And, what a different person I’ll be in four years time as I’m watching my television while the athletes are competing in Brazil.

 

Blogger Challenge – Week 4 – Mini Milestone Week

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE LAST FOUR WEEKS

Since I spent the most part of two weeks in bed (doctor’s instructions) then so knocked about by the strong anti-biotics for another week that my training schedule was not what it could have been, this one will not be tricky to answer in less than one thousand words.
1. Week one I burnt 6656 calories – and loving it! In fact, it’s higher than that because I forgot to bring my HRM strap and transmittor to a Zumba class.

2. The Sunday of week 1 I entered the Sri Chinmoy 4km event at the Bay Run – didn’t do as well as I hoped, but a lot better than my last Sri Chinmoy event last September. I also went to “Pain in the Domain” outdoor circuit and “Pain in the Park” boxing workout that day too.Total burn for the day was 2318 calories. (Part of the 6656 total.)

3. Being named one of the official bloggers of the round by Mish in her Wednesday email last week. (And of course the fabulous prizes I’ll be getting soon.) I am absolutely thrilled by this – and of course humbled at the same time.

4. Time trial on Saturday Week. Not only did I take ten second off my preseason time, but I didn’t cough up a lung, my legs didn’t feel like they were going to explode and I didn’t have to convince myself to just keep going that little bit further. And I can say I didn’t shuffle, I jogged, and it felt good.

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.

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