Consistency over complacency

So, I’m about to embark on my 13th round of 12wbt. You’d think by now I’d be at my goal weight by now. That’s 12 x 12 weeks, and then some. But not so much.

And I know why. I allowed complacent thoughts to dominate consistent behaviour. I felt a lot better when I stumbled across this quote….

“I suppose it’s too bad people can’t be a little more consistent. But if they were, maybe they would stop being people.”               Budd Schulberg

 

So I’m human. I’m not perfect. I have pretty much let go of the need for perfectionism, but maybe just a little too much.

My first three rounds I lost about 12kgs each round. That, and the losses in between rounds meant that at the end of my third round I was down to 104.6kg. A 60kg total loss give or take 400 grams.

The next round I was out to run a 10km fun run without stopping. Did that and dropped a few more kilos along the way. In fact a few weeks after that round I was in double figures. I actually dropped down to about 94kg in January 2013. And I started training for my first half marathon.

That’s when the perfectionism got in the way. I was ravenously hungry being 94kgs and doing the low slow runs needed to train for a half marathon, one of four runs a week. So, I allowed myself a few extra “healthy” calories. Not a problem really. Except then I told myself, you’ve blown it now you may as well have that cake or serve of hot chips or hunk of cheese. That’s a problem.

By the time I ran the half marathon in April I was just over 100kgs again. And then the wheels fell off, as I didn’t believe I was really a runner. I stopped running. I doubted myself. Running mojo was non-existent.

And then, a turning point. A 30+ crew member talked about a blogger who posted about herself – both the things she saw as negatives and positives. Soon we were all doing it. And the message at the bottom of the photo says it all. We all put it on our collages. “I’m f*cking awesome and so are you!” It was all about accepting who we are and embracing it and loving ourselves. We were all very active supporting one another as we posted these expressions of self love.

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I took the selfie when I was out on a run as the sun was setting and I felt on top of the world. In case you can’t read the orange text it says:

Was morbidly obese

47 years young

Bipolar disorder

Stretch marks

Dark circles

Runs slowly

Loves to run

LG means Life’s Great
65kgs gone

Half marathon done

So, making and sharing that collage saw a big shift in my mind set last July.

And then once my mindset was all set, other aspects of my life began to unravel. I became ill with a virus. And another virus. My son was unwell. I slipped on a shallot in the kitchen and the x-ray suggested a suspected fracture and I ended up with my foot in a cast. After two weeks of intense pain in the cast I saw a specialist, and he said it wasn’t fractured, shouldn’t have been in a cast and that was the reason for the intense pain.  So, no 10km Run Sydney fun run for me in 2013.

I get the all clear to begin running again after Christmas 2013. At first it was short distances with gradually increasing running intervals and gradually decreasing walking intervals. I went to cheer on some friends at the Sun Run in Manly, NSW at the beginning of February as there was no way I could take on the 7km hilly course.

By the Pink Triathlon in March 2014 I was ready to take on a 5km fun run with no walking intervals. And I did it. I was slow, it took me 41:21 to finish – but I finished and there was no pain in my ankle.

I was all set to run the 10km event at the Canberra Running Festival on the 12th April. And I was still on track after the shallot incident to take part in the Gold Coast half marathon in July. It wasn’t to be. On Friday 4th April I was walking alongside the checkout area of a supermarket and all of a sudden I was face first on the hard floor. I had slipped on what looked like a puddle of icecream (the same colour as the floor), twisted my other ankle and sprained it.

Recovery was slow. Very slow. I wasn’t able to do run and walk intervals without pain six weeks after the injury occurred. Finally, in July (after the weekend of the Gold Coast Marathon) I was able to run 5km without needing to include walking intervals. Between the accident and getting to this point, I was feeling very stressed about various aspects of my life. Instead of looking after my nutrition and being consistent with my training I dropped the ball big time. I was complacent. I made excuses. I kept promising myself tomorrow would be better.

And so, I have come so far in the last three years. But I have realised if I continue with the complacency, the excuses and the false promises I won’t get where I really want to be. I realised I had to choose, between consistency or complacency.

I choose consistency.

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.”
Robert Collier

 

 

 

 

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Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink

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It is so important to be well hydrated – both for helping to keep your body functioning well (because a well functioning body is able to lose weight better), and also, because to be able to train at your best the water is vital.

I learnt the second one the hard way recently.

Mrs M (my mum, otherwise known as Mama) recently treated me to a night at the Outback Spectacular on the Gold Coast, in South East Queensland. My first round of 12wbt (Round 3 2011) was a completely dry round – not one drop of alcohol passed my lips.

Since then I’ve allowed myself to indulge in moderation. Well at the Outback Spectsculsr (which I highly recommend by the way) I had three glasses of red wine with the meal. Not what I would class as a huge amount really – but much more than I have been used to since starting 12wbt, and compounded by two things. I didn’t alternate each glass with a glass of water and when I got back to the hotel I cracked open a mini bottle of red because “I felt like it”. Now, that’s certainly not moderation!

Mrs M and I loved the night, and we both wept during the tribute to Phar Lap, as my father Mr M – who passed away in 1992 – was a jockey and loved horses all his life. And as you can see by the photo it was one of the highlights of our weekend.

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The next morning I planned to do my weekly endurance run, at the time I was training to do a ten kilometre fun run. The long run for that week was an eight kilometre run. Great I thought, the Gold Coast, unlike the Blue Mountains where I live, is relatively flat. So I got up, drank my normal two glasses of water before getting dressed, and headed out the door.

I took a bottle of water with me, but wasn’t wearing a hat. It was October, and in Sydney at this time it wasn’t really that hot and I wasn’t accustomed to wearing one.

When I completed the eight kilometres it was well over twenty-five degrees Celsius. Much hotter than I was used to running in. As you can see by the look on my Shredder Face at the end.

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It was a lovely run, very picturesque.

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So I jogged 4km out from Sea World Resort towards Southport, then turned and headed back the way I came. When I had gone five kilometres in total I suddenly felt like I had hit a brick wall, and I felt as though I was going to vomit – which is unusual for me.

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Even though my legs were not sore and I wasn’t out of breath I could only manage to walk the final three kilometres back to the hotel. I very nearly threw up in the gardens of the Palazzo Versace! That would have been awkward!

With the benefit of hindsight – and the medical knowledge of another 12wbter Ms P, I realised I had been severely dehydrated. A combination of not enough water the day before, all the alcohol in my system, the lack of a hat and not being used to the warm conditions.

I live and learn every day.

Why do I do it?

Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to unite in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language that they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. NELSON MANDELA

In her book “Running to Extremes” Lisa Tamati has included this quote on the dedication page. For me, the final sentence in the part of the quote I have written above speaks to me in terms of my running. As someone who lives with Bipolar Disorder, taking up running has had positive effects on my mind, body and soul.

My stepson – Mr G2 – and his family gave me a Dymocks book voucher for Christmas last week. And it didn’t take me long to decide that LisaTamati’s book would be something the voucher would buy for me – I’ve been wanting to buy the book for ages.

I haven’t started reading it yet. It tells the story behind the Extreme Marathons she has participated in – including the La Ultra – 122kms non stop over two Himalayan mountain passes. There is also lots of tips and advice too for runners.

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The blurb on the back says the question she gets asked more often than anything else is “Why do you do it?”. The book is an attempt to answer the question.

But I thought before I read the book I would answer the question about myself.

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The top ten reasons I run.
10. It’s a great calorie burner.
9. I like to compete with myself and try and beat my personal bests.
8. I want to be able to outrun a bear if the need arises.
7. I love all the cute singlets made from the high tech fabrics
6. The endorphin rush after is a fabulous feeling.
5. I love the atmosphere at the start line of a fun run.
4. I love the feeling when I cross a finish line at a fun run.
3. My body feels powerful.
2. I feel empowered when I run.
1. I feel free of all my cares when I run

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So, I’ve rediscovered a passion I held last century. I am in training for my first half marathon in April 2013, and so far enjoying the training immensely.

I also love reading. I love nothing better than a marathon reading session. So, I also bought “The Hobbit” and “A Game of Thrones” with the voucher. Because I need something to occupy my mind on my weekly rest day.

What can you do with a drunken sailor.

What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.

So it’s New Years Day 2013. Millions of people around the world are making resolutions to diet and exercise hard to achieve a weight related goal.

I used to be one of them. But since starting 12wbt I have decided I can’t just make resolutions about changing things in the short term to meet a specific goal. I have to commit to making sustained lifestyle changes which will see me being healthy in mind and body for the rest of my life.

So today, my family and I visited the Bundaberg Rum Distillery – an iconic Australian company, producing an alcoholic beverage made from sugar! And I indulged on the tasting after the tour, and treated myself to some take home beverages. So my choices today are not necessarily going to help me get to goal – but they are not going to prevent me from achieving my goals in the time frame I have set myself. It was a special indulgence for New Years Day, not an everyday “treat”.

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So I could go into a panic and say I’ve ruined the week and I’ll start again on Monday. Not a good idea. One day of over indulging is not the end of the world. Six days of over indulging would see me move further away from my goals, not closer.

So tomorrow morning it’s back on track with week 2, day 2 of half marathon training. A fast run. Because what I do in the next six days will count for more next Wednesday than what I chose to do today with my family.

And no, I didn’t actually drink so much that I got drunk – unlike the suggestion in the title, and for a few reasons my fully didn’t celebrate New Years Eve in a big way – our celebration was New Years Day.

Happy New Year to Me!

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I think back to the person I was two years ago, or even one year ago and I can hardly believe this is me.

Two years ago I weighed 160 something kilograms, was bursting out of size 26 clothes and didn’t exercise at all. I pretended I was eating healthily and was doing all I could to lose weight and stay in shape.

One year ago I weighed about 140 kilograms and I had recently completed a workout where I burned 1000 calories in one continuous workout for the first time. I was wearing size 24 clothes – bring almost six feet tall, the clothing sizes take longer to change. I was making much better choices in terms of clean eating and portion size, and I had gone five whole days without consuming any artificial sweeteners.

Now, as 2012 draws to end I can look back over the last two years and feel good about how far I have come. I got down to 97.2 kilograms a few weeks ago – choices made at Christmas celebrations saw that creep up a little. I am now training for a half marathon in April, and I consider a 5km steady jog an easy run. I love all types of training – I just wish there was more time in the day to do more. I now where a size 18, 16 or 14 depending on the brand – and plus size stores and labels are a thing of the past. For more than 90% of the time I can say with confidence my eating is clean and I avoid anything processed whenever I can. I decided to cut back on coffee at the end of November – and despite ten days of withdrawals, I am glad I made that choice. When I reintroduce it in February it will be in moderation.

And what will 2013 bring. I am going to make sure that I continue to maintain this healthier lifestyle.

At some point – before my first half marathon – I am determined to be at my goal of 77 kilograms.

I will have run three half marathons – in April, July and September – and do my best to improve on my finish time in each one. I will run the city2surf in about an hour and a half – much less than half the time it took me in 2010.

I will be a size 10 – 12 and really enjoy shopping for clothes.

I will be organised with my food – no excuses for not eating clean and keeping portion sizes honest.

And the really, really good part is that 2014 and beyond will be pretty much the same – but with lots more exciting things happening.

Happy New Year – every day is a new beginning. We write our own personal history one moment at a time.

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A Walk in the Park – Not!

Mr G and I traveled to Perth the Friday before last for the Round 2 2012 Finale Workout and Party. As we live just outside Sydney, we decided to make the most of the flight and stay for a week and celebrate our second honeymoon. When we got married in 1997, we traveled on the Indian Pacific to Perth, and then stayed in Perth and traveled around the South-West Corner for two weeks before flying back to Sydney. So, after all the turmoil of the seven years following my diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder we figured we could treat ourselves to a romantic getaway after the finale.

On the Monday and Tuesday night we stayed our Rottnest Island, were we had visited on a day trip on our honeymoon.  On the Tuesday morning, we hadn’t decided exactly what we were going to do for the day, and breakfast wasn’t being served for another hour or so, so Mr G suggested we go for a walk, and I added that I could do a training session on a beach like I had the afternoon before.

Instead of heading for the beach we went to the previous day – Mr G suggested we try another road as it headed towards a different lake. “There’ll be a beach there,” he said. There wasn’t. There was a sandy gravel road. We had walked as far as we could without risking being late for breakfast, Mr G likes to be first in line for the buffet 😉 – so I agreed to stop and do my TABATA training session.

It was devised by a friend who has just finished her PT training. It involved five different exercises, including sit ups and mountain climbers.  I explained, carefully, to Mr G that the TABATA involved me doing each exercise in eight sets, each set lasting twenty seconds, with a ten second rest in between. And a thirty second rest in between each exercise. All he had to do was keep count of the number of sets and operate the stopwatch on my phone.

 

 

 

 

The sit ups were the third exercise. While resting on my back in between working times I looked up at the sky and thought what a view to have during a workout. The Mr G came in to view, and I thought what a great shot for the photo a day challenge I’m doing this month. So, next rest I took the photo, the title “Hero”. Very appropriate I thought. Here he was supporting, encouraging and helping me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The mountain climbers were the second last exercise. When  is doing the first set I counted a very high number. When he called rest I said that was a very long twenty seconds. “Twenty seconds – not twenty seconds – it was thirty seconds,” said Mr G. I asked why he did that. He said all my working sets were thirty seconds long. I lost my calm, cool composure 😉 and said they were supposed to be twenty.

His response, “Suck it up princess and finish them all as thirty second sets!” So this is the face I made him pull to show how mean he was to me! Mr G – the apprentice tough trainer!

I felt I really deserved the breakfast that morning!

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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