My day on a plate, and a wrist band and an iPhone

Yesterday was a day with two red flags!  Eek!  Breakfast at McDonald’s with the family and then lunch out with Miss G (ten) and Master G (13).  Now I can tell right now you’re thinking – have a healthy Mish breakfast before you leave home.  Cut a healthy sandwich and put that in your backpack.  Well – I want to share in the treat with my family (since when did I really regard the Golden Arches as a worthy treat???) and I was packing snacks, and water bottles etc in my back pack so didn’t have room for a sandwich too.  However, I can no show you that I survived this Red Flag day on just under 1200 calories.  Don’t believe me?  Then take a look.

The reason for McDonald’s?  We had an early start – had to have Mr G to Drummoyne by 9.00am on a Monday.  So kids weren’t ready to eat when we left.  And I really wanted a coffee (a big coffee) and Mr G wanted a hot chocolate – yes full cream!  And we wanted it quick, the clock was ticking.

My choice is a tall McCafe cappuccino made with skim, a plain English muffin and vegemite.  Miss G nearly had kittens when she went back to the table with Mr G while I was waiting for the hot drinks, and she unwrapped the plain English muffin and thought that was all she was getting.

My question – what happened to the Uncle Toby’s Oats they used to sell?





A quick snack in the park near the Spit Bridge before we begin our walk.










Time for a snack break on the walk.  I wasn’t really hungry, but I figured a little hit of protein wouldn’t go astray.  This is about 10g of pepitas.








And here is the walk we were doing – and no we didn’t get air lifted out at the 4.5km mark.  This when we stopped for a breather – or a snack break, and the Master G and Miss G wanted to know how far we had come.  I’m glad they did – as the iPhone was almost out of power – so I switched runkeeper off as we needed the phone to rendezvous with Mr G in Drummoyne later in the afternoon.  We ended up walking right around the coastline to Manly Cove ferry wharf to catch the ferry back to Circular Quay.  Its a fabulous walk, and if you live in Sydney and have never done it let me assure you it is well worth while.  If you’re visiting Sydney put it on your list of things to do!  The first half has a lot of ascending steps when you start at the Spit Bridge end of the walk.  But your efforts are compensated.  Won’t say anymore than that!





Lunch for me was a Sushi lunch box with lots of lovely salmon.  As you can see I only just remembered to take the photo for this blog post that I had in mind.  And I was a little bit shaky, would seem I really needed the carbs!  IMy guess is this Sushi Box is about 330 calories.  And honestly, I would have been satisfied with something a little smaller.








It was at that point that Miss G asked what the time was – and I realised that what I was looking at was my heart rate not the hour of the day.  So I quickly took a photo of my calories burn for the walk, and then told Miss G the time.  So, the HRM was running about fifteen minutes longer than it should have at the end, and I don’t think I stopped it on our first snack break, but I think I did stop it on the second one when Master G and Miss G were playing on the beach which is along the walk.  Honestly, I’m not worried, as I’m sure I did 2000 calories in a little over two hours of walking.  I’m not eating the calories back, so it doesn’t really matter that I was forgetful.

Remember that I weigh in at 133kgs last Wednesday – that’s half the reason I could achieve a burn like that.  The other reason is that I am able to successfully maintain my heart rate at 80% of the maximum for the entire time I am walking, with occasional spikes to my maximum while I’m going up stairs and really pushing myself.  I like to keep the readout on the heart rate while I’m training – it helps me decide when I think its hard work whether I’m being a sooky la-la or whether I can push myself a little bit harder at that moment.  I only look at the calories at the end.


A well deserved coffee on the drive home from Drummoyne.  Mr G was desperate for a Frozen Coke from McDonald’s.  Well that’s my excuse anyway.










Dinner – a 12wbt recipe. Crumbed Fish with Smoked Paprika Sweet Potato Wedges.










So the total calories for the day with two Red Flags?

1179 calories


The Giant Staircase

I have lived in the Blue Mountains for more than 15 years and I have never done this particular bush walk before.  And to be honest, I’m not in too much of a hurry to do it again – though I will do it again when my fitness levels have improved.  In fact, I have challenged myself to walk it again this time next year – with a “few” extra stairs for good measure.  I have been encouraged by someone who did the walk with me last Thursday to give it a go over Easter this year.  Maybe.

The walk starts at Echo Point, Katoomba – near the Three Sisters.  After a short walk down a track we hit the staircase.  About 910 stairs down into the valley.  Some of them sandstone, some of them steel, pretty much all of them narrow.  When I get to the top of the staircase I realise why I may never have attempted this before.  Me and my stomach just don’t like heights.  Can you see my white knuckles? (I’m the one in the middle – clutching the handrail as if my life depended on it.)

To add to my dislike of heights is the fear that I am going to do my ankle an injury on this walk.  The steps are quite narrow and uneven.  So why am I going through with this you ask?  After all I could have turned back at the top of the stairs.

For me this journey with 12wbt is all about moving out of my comfort zone and challenging myself.  I knew I was in no danger – the worst thing was I felt bad that I was holding the group up because I was so slow.  There were times when going down the stairs I wasn’t having the most fun of my life – but getting to the bottom of the staircase was a wonderful feeling.  I proved to myself again that I can do anything if I set my mind to it.  And it proves that having the support of other 12wbt members is invaluable.  (It also helped that because of my fear of hurting my ankle, my eyes were pretty much watching my feet all the way down – which meant I wasn’t overtly aware of the heights involved!)

The other reason for doing it was to gauge the improvement in my fitness over time.  It’s what Michelle Bridges would refer to as a milestone event.  As I said in the first paragraph in this post I will be doing it in the future – and I know through consistency in my training I will be stronger and fitter – and the stairs won’t be half as difficult for me as they were last week.  This is us at the bottom of the staircase.  I was so relieved to get down there!  The challenges you may take on as part of this transformation will vary from this particular one – but positive feeling you get when you have achieved it is worth all the effort.

And my final reason for doing this – six other 12wbt members were doing it, I was on holidays and I only live 25 minutes away – how could I say no?  The picture on the left show s the seven of us at the bottom of the staircase – official photographer was the partner of one of the members in the photo.  The companionship and encouragement helped me through this challenge.  And the chance to have lunch and coffee at the end of it all was pretty good incentive.

But the walk isn’t over yet!  We then headed along the track towards Scenic World.  It is about 2.5kms to Scenic World from the bottom of the Giant Staircase.  The plan was to catch the Scenic Railway back up to the cliff top.  It was a great walk along the track – and I have never done a bush walk at such a fast pace! It took one hour and fifteen minutes from the top of the staircase to the Scenic Railway platform.  I burned 543 calories in that time – so I was very happy with that.  Three of us took the railway back up to Scenic World – but just before we came to the platform we came across the Furber Steps.  Five members of our group chose to take the stairs back out the valley – and then walk the two and a bit kilometres back to Echo Point.  Given my jelly legs – I didn’t even give that option any consideration.   I really admire their tenacity and their willingness to take that option – one day in the future I’d like to do it too.

I am so glad I did it.  However, the next day my thighs were really sore – and walking up and down stairs (or ramps) was excruciating.   Needless to say I didn’t do a workout on Friday – but I pushed through the lingering soreness on Saturday to do a 5.5km walk, a Sh’Bam class and an hour workout on cardio equipment – it was SSS afterall!  And actually getting some exercise on the Saturday did help to relieve the soreness.

So, if you plan to do this walk next time you’re in the mountains my advice is don’t do it alone and take plenty of water.  You can park at Echo Point (about $12 for three hours) or for free at Scenic World.  The trolley bus operates a shuttle between Scenic World and Echo Point ($2.10) and the ride back up on the Scenic Railway is $11 – you pay at the top.

My thanks to Jayne for the photos – I was way to scared of my phone falling down a cliff to take any photos of my own!