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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Blogging Challenge Week 5 (Yep, two weeks late!)

FOOD!

I am sure that word has your attention. ūüėČ For this week of the blogging challenge Jayne has asked us to think about how our food habits have changed since starting 12wbt.

What were your old food habits like?

What were you like before embarking on this journey to become a healthier version of yourself?

How did you feel?

Before joining 12wbt I know I would have like to have thought my eating habits were healthy. But I was kidding myself. As the Commando said to Graeme in the 2012 The Biggest Loser, “You don’t get to be over 200kgs by eating salad!” ¬†

I have battled with my attitude to food most of my 47 years.  Through the preseasons tasks I have completed over the last three rounds I have come to realise part of the problem is I see it as a control thing. While other aspects of my life are out of control РI can choose to control what I eat, which meant eating whatever I wanted whenever I wanted.

I went on my first diet at the age of twelve. It was 1977.   I clearly remember though, on our first day of high school we were dismissed at lunch time. So we raced home, changed out of our new uniforms and went straight to the local take away shop and bought ourselves a big feed of fish and chips. After weeks of feeling deprived, and feeling empowered by starting high school, we felt we were taking control by having whatever we wanted. We were in control. We could choose. And we chose something unhealthy. And this led us to decide to abandon the diet we were following. Probably in itself not a bad thing with the benefit of hindsight in 2012 Рbut for years I told the story of my first dieting failure at the age of twelve.

From 1997 to 2006 I was a Weight Watchers leader. ¬†Not¬†surprisingly, I thought I knew everything there was to know about weight loss. ¬†But, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing when combined with an unhealthy attitude¬†towards¬† eating. I certainly learnt more about eating clean and having ¬†healthy attitude towards food in my first nine weeks of following the “Crunch Time Cookbook” and then 12wbt principles than I did in nine years of leading.

In the weeks before I joined 12wbt I was having “diet” food from a well known company delivered to my door. ¬†I was eating the 1800 calorie per day program – and – eating extra¬†because¬†I never felt satisfied. That combined with the fact that I was not exercising more than three times a week meant my weight loss from¬†October¬†2010 to August 2011 was 10kgs. Most of the foods I was eating were processed and high in sodium.

And I felt terrible. I had no energy. I was tired all the time.

I was bursting out of a size 26 – and wondering where on earth I was going to find clothes to fit when I needed size 28.

My doctor weighs me monthly.  This time twelve months ago she was still encouraging me to have lap band surgery. I was morbidly obese. All the tests showed no problems, but we both knew there would be a time when I would begin experiencing serious health complications. It felt terrible that my doctor felt there was no hope for me except lap band surgery.

And despite my thinking that eating whatever I liked was being in control of my life – I felt like I had no control over my life.

I often felt uncomfortable because I had eaten way too much at one sitting.  I also had terrible digestive problems with a type of reflux. This was worse whenever I was laying down.

Was there anything you struggled with but have over come?

The first thing was not having starchy carbohydrate based foods every evening. When I first looked through the Crunch Time Cookbook during preseason of Round 3 2011 I closed it again and thought “I could never do that! Is Michelle Bridges serious?” And of course, I did it and continued to do it.
I decided during my first preseason I would give up alcohol for the twelve weeks of the round. Not just because each glass would use valuable calories ¬†and the fact that having alcohol in your system affects what your body chooses to metabolise. I mainly chose to give up alcohol¬†because¬†after a couple of glasses I know I have a¬†tendency¬†to not worry so much about what I am eating. I am now half way through my third round and the only time I have chosen to drink alcohol during a twelve week round was during my Thredbo weekend. (Well you can’t visit an alpine region and not have schnapps!¬†And¬†of course a glass or two of bubbles.)
I tried to give up Coke Zero and Diet Coke and Pepsi Max during my first round in 2011, but my resolve didn’t last long. My reason for drinking it was that if I had a “sugar craving” it would satisfy it. I decided on the 27th December, 2011 I would give up¬†artificially sweetened drinks. ¬†I decided going “cold turkey” was the best option for me. The first few days were tough, especially when I was buying petrol, as it was a habit for me to grab a bottle when I filled the car with petrol. By the new year the “sugar cravings” were gone, and I have since found out that the chemicals within¬†Diet¬†Cola¬†drinks actually¬†contribute¬†to such cravings.
Now chocolate – that is something I am working on. My current strategy is to break off two squares and get Mr G to hide the rest from me.
Hopefully soon I’ll be writing a post about how I can break off two squares and put the rest in the cupboard and not think about it again for a couple of weeks.
I don’t know when, but I know for sure it will happen.

This is going to be a short post because……

it is already 10.56pm, and I want to get up for a 6am RPM class at the gym in the morning.

This morning when my alarm went off at 5am I went straight back to sleep. ¬†Eeeek! Woke forty minutes later when Mr G’s alarm went off. ¬†Luckily, still made it in time for the 6am BodyPump class.

I am going to turn off the computer shortly, because I still have to

* make my lunch for tomorrow.

* get my breakfast ready, as I shower at the gym in the morning, go straight to work, and eat breakfast at school.

* pack my gym bag.

If you’re going to JFDI, you do have to be ready!

What I Ate Wednesday 25-1-12 Total Calories 1121

Breakfast

Banana Bruschetta

297 calories

12wbt recipe

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morning Tea

McDonald’s small skim cappuccino

71 calories

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lunch

“Sushi Bay” Sushi Train – three items – total calories 311

Miso Soup – 91 calories

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuna and Salmon Sashimi – 160 calories

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seaweed Salad Battleship – 60 calories

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Afternoon Snack

Popcorn – had some of Master G and Miss G’s popcorn at the movies

I estimate about 171 calories worth Рwhen I thought I had had enough I told Master G (the keeper of the popcorn) to smack my hand if I took anymore.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dinner

Spinach and Mushroom Frittata

271 calories

12wbt meal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

You can run but you can’t hide

During Round 3 2011 I only had one Red Flag day – and that was on the Saturday of week 12. ¬†So I didn’t really have to worry too much about Red Flag days.

Now from the first day after Round 3 finished to Boxing Day – there were many Red Flags for me. ¬†But I have to admit I was a little slack and didn’t worry too much about them. ¬†I tried to make good choices when I could – but for those two and a bit weeks I really loosened the reigns. ¬†I don’t believe in regrets, but I know for sure I won’t make those kind of choices in December 2012. ¬†No regrets, just learning and moving on.

So yesterday was my first Red Flag day of 2012. Once a year Mr G and I take the kids to Jamberoo Recreation Park.  For our family it means eating out all day Рyes even breakfast.  So I decided to track all my calories and do my best to keep it close to 1200 calories.

Breakfast – wait for it – McDonald’s – eeeeek! ¬†We’re on the road early and we live more than 20 minutes from the nearest McDonald’s – so its a special treat for the kids. ¬†Now, I know I could have eaten breakfast at home or taken in an apple – but I made the choice to join my family for the treat. ¬†I was hoping to have the porridge and a skim¬†cappuccino. ¬†But the¬†porridge¬†is no longer on the menu. ¬†Second choice was the yoghurt – sold out – yikes! ¬†Considered the hotcakes – especially as there is now the “healthy option” with the hotcakes – berries and yoghurt. ¬†Can’t remember the exact kjs – but not much better than the regular hotcakes with butter and syrup for 662 calories. ¬†Settled on an Egg and Bacon McMuffin for 297 calories with a skim cappuccino for 71 calories.

Next stop is the petrol station. ¬†Old habits die hard. ¬†While paying for the petrol I pick up a packet of what we call “jelly lollies”. ¬†Now in the past I would have bought two or three packs – but I just settled for one pack of Snakes. ¬†Further along the journey I open the pack to share with the family. ¬†Instead of just shovelling one in my mouth, I decide to check the calories first. ¬†EEEEK! ¬†Bit of a shock, after all they are fat free! ¬†Decide to indulge in two – and only two – during the journey to Jamberoo. ¬†Total calories – 50!

Lunch is next. ¬†We discovered a food outlet at Jamberoo which is a well kept secret. ¬†It’s called “The Loft”. ¬†They have a few salads and wraps on offer as well as the usual suspects. ¬†They also have beer and wine. ¬†I had decided to make it a treat meal and indulge in a nice cold beer. ¬†Haven’t enjoyed a beer since August last year. ¬†I chose to have a Caesar Salad with chicken. ¬†So beer = 105 calories and salad probably = 370 calories.

However, the big mistake I will never make again was choosing a Tonic Water. ¬†I was thirsty, but didn’t want to guzzle my beer to quench my thirst. ¬†So I decided to get a bottle of water to do the quenching first. ¬†There was no Sparkling Mineral Water (my favourite treat) and no Soda Water. ¬†But I spotted the Tonic Water. ¬†I knew it wasn’t calorie free – but how bad can it be right? ¬†75 calories bad – that’s how bad. ¬†I love the taste of it, and thought because its not overtly sweet it must be low in calories. ¬†Seriously – its not that far off the Light Beer I had! ¬†Won’t¬†be doing that again.

The day so far: Breakfast 368 + Snack 51 + Lunch 550.

Afternoon tea time came and I have to admit I was tempted by the icecreams the others were having and the “healthy”¬†gigantic¬†Honey & Oat cookie. ¬†Pleased¬†to say I resisted and just had another regular size skim cappuccino. ¬†71 calories.

On the way home Mr G and kids just had to have a Frozen Coke from McDonalds.  Not in the least tempted by that.  But normally I would have a Coke Zero.  But I am committed to no more of that for me.  So I happily settled for a green tea and bottle of water Рnot Tonic  Water!  2 calories.

It was getting late Рand no one felt like preparing dinner when we got home Рso the decision was made to eat out.  I voted (and my vote carries a lot of weight) for The Coffee Club Рsince the kjs are on the menu I could make the best choice possible.

I was tempted to go for the Grilled Salmon and Vegies – one look at the kjs for that changed my mind. ¬†Its surprising how the foods we associate with being healthy choices can sometimes be so high in calories. ¬†I opted instead for the Greek Salad with Smoked Salmon – 284 calories. ¬†I did indulge though – remember I didn’t know about the Tonic Water surprise yet – Mr G ordered garlic bread and I had one piece. ¬†110 calories.

So, the entire day added up to 1,436 calories.  236 calories over what I really should have.

But here’s the good news for future Red Flag Days. ¬†Take off the Tonic Water and¬†Garlic¬†Bread and I’m only 51 calories over. ¬†Substitute a Sparkling Mineral Water for the Snakes and I’m exactly 1200 calories! ¬†I would not have been hard to forgo those three items. ¬†And then I would have eaten out for an entire day, feeling satisfied and indulged and not gone hungry and still stayed within my calorie quota.

So I learned that by making careful choices on Red Flag Days I can enjoy eating with others, stay healthy and stay on track.

When I got home РI logged onto http://www.myfitnesspal.com and entered everything I ate and drank.  This was actually the impossible task I had set for myself for the day from the 30+ Crew 8 Week Challenge.  In the past on other diets if I had a Red Flag Day I would just pretend it never happened, bury my head in the sand, run and try to hide.

But the truth is you can run and hide. ¬†You are what you eat. ¬†And if you are honest with yourself about what you are choosing you are going to be further ahead than if you pretend the “bad days” don’t count.

So how can you benefit from my experience yesterday?  Be aware that you can eat out all day for 1200 calories or 4800 calories or more.  Its your choice.  And be aware that most of your Red Flag Days will probably only involve one meal.

I’m not so worried about Red¬†Flag¬†Days anymore. Luckily, as my next one is one Friday. ¬†But, I’ll be dealing with that one a little bit differently after my experience yesterday.

And I won’t be drinking Tonic Water. ¬†I will be remembering that by saying no to somethings, I’ll be saying YES to something far more important to me.

When is your next Red Flag Day?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I may not have burned 1000 calories, but I sure had a Super Saturday!

Today was the day for¬†Outdoor Fitness Fun with Michelle Bridges – part of “Australia’s Biggest Health Check”. ¬†I considered not going¬†because¬†of my¬†sprained¬†ankle. ¬†I considered not going¬†because¬†of the overcast weather, and the forecast for showers. I am very glad I made the 75 minute trek to Leichhardt Oval 3.

It was quite overcast when we arrived but the weather held off. ¬†It was great actually seeing Mish for the first time. ¬†After¬†she had been there for a while, someone “official” came over to us and asked us would we be in the background – exercising – while Mish was interviewed live for the Sunrise weekend show. ¬†How could we say no???

 In these photos Mish is giving us our instructions for the workout we had to do in the background while she was being interviewed.                                         

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rachel (12wbt Sydney Crew) led the exercises – mostly jogging around in circles, push-ups – and horror of horror – burpees! ¬†When everyone else got down on the ground I remained upright and concentrated on¬†avoiding¬†the TV camera, as I didn’t know if I could get back up again with my dodgy ankle.

That done, we got ready for Mish’s first workout of the day. ¬†That’s me there on the left in the photo below – complete with spare tyres! ¬†(Blogger’s note: I can’t believe I’m actually posting an unflattering photo¬†like that.)

¬†After¬†a few words about the event we got underway with the workout. ¬†I kept it low impact because of my ankle – still managed to burn 176 calories in the 25 minutes. ¬†I haven’t got Mish’s DVDs – but I’m¬†definitely¬†getting them now!

 

 

It was such a great atmosphere – can’t wait for the finale now! ¬†During the workout some¬†officials¬†were on the lookout for someone¬†exercising¬†well to recieve a $299 (Rebel Sports price) heart rate monitor – designed for running as it has built in GPS. ¬†At the end of the first workout Mary from the 12wbt Sydney Crew won one.

Then we all got a¬†hula¬†hoop to keep – Priceline Pink in colour, so we could do a Hula Hoop workout. ¬†Well, my Hula Hooping skills have not advanced from what they were in primary school – I think it’s called an epic fail. ¬†I did manage to keep trying for 5 minutes and 29 seconds, with a calorie burn of 33 achieved! ¬†Most of those calories were burned by laughing – I’m sure!

 

 

 

 

And the highlight of the morning Рgetting to meet Michelle.  My plan was to walk over (lots of other people waiting), smile for the camera and say thank you.

Instead I looked at her as she smiled at me and I started to tear up. ¬†She said something like – “There’s a lot of emotion there.” ¬†Then I started to¬†blubber, and she started to talk to me – after checking that they were indeed happy tears.

I told her they were because I had lost 14kgs since the beginning of preseason.  It was wonderful to hear her say congratulations Рand then give me a little pep talk Рand of course I brought up my current ankle problem, and she was very supportive.

¬†I think I got so emotional because it really hit home what I have achieved the last 8 weeks – and it’s the first time I’ve said it out loud to someone besides Mr. G.

And look – she managed to get me smiling again! ¬†I just hope I managed to get the words “Thank you” out!

(Blogger’s note: I know my shirt is a little snug – but I’m very pleased to say it is a size 22, and I have been wearing size 26. ¬†I’ve got some size 24 clothes on lay-buy, I think its time to get them out!)

After this photo opportunity with Mish we went over to the photo tent. ¬†We tried to get our whole group in the shot – we didn’t quite make it as you can see!

So then the photographer suggested we try 3 at a time. This was a much more successful Рthough as you can see the graphic on the cover of the magazine were set up for one person Рnot many people would choose to have a stethoscope land in the middle of their forehead.

It was great being there with so many fellow members of the 12wbt Sydney Crew.  It was nice to put actual faces to the names and profile pics on Facebook and the 12wbt forums.

The¬†event¬†itself was good fun – and there was free bottle of water (with Shannan Ponton on the label), free Forme yoghurt and fruit. ¬†The Men’s Health Magazine had a sausage sizzle – with wholemeal bread – but I stuck with the fruit and yoghurt. ¬†We also got fab sample bags from Priceline. ¬†There were free mini massages and free Heart health Checks, and Mish interviewing the sponsors on stage.

We had a group photo taken with Mish and next thing it was time for Mish’s second workout of the day. ¬†I was deciding wether to do it or not because of my ankle – and I¬†thought JFDI – I mean, how often will I get to do a group fitness class led by Mish – I decided just to keep it low impact again, and stop if I needed to do so.

And am I glad I did.  Not only did I manage to burn 124 calories in the 20 minutes but I also won a Garmin Forerunner 110 Heart Rate Monitor with GPS Рjust like the one in the picture below.  What an incentive to get back into learning to run again as soon as my ankle is ready! Another member of the Sydney Crew also got a Garmin in the second workout!

I got the cute grey and pink one in the middle ūüôā

After feeling a bit blah all week I feel on top of the world now!

I’m not alone on my journey – and I can do this! ¬†Who needs motivation when you can JFDI! ¬†My favourite music from the workout – I think it must be called “Scream if you want to go faster” – going to look for it on iTunes now.

What would you say to Michelle if you met her tomorrow?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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