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”.

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.

12wbt Blog Challenge – Week 2 – Positivity

So this weeks challenge is to look at what are you actually TAKING up? What are you giving yourself? Are you learning something new? Taking up a new sport? Giving yourself a social life? 

Where do I start in answering this challenge?  When I first started reading the posts on the 12wbt Facebook page at the end of Round 2 2011 I really couldn’t understand some of the things people were talking about – especially about how the program was about so much more than losing weight. I had 75 + kilos to lose and that’s all I cared about as I prepared myself to sign up for Round 3 2011.  Little did I know how much confidence, determination and self esteem I was going to discover in myself.  Little did I know how much knowledge I was going to gain about myself.  Little did I know how much knowledge I would gain about the science and psychology of weight loss. And little did I know how many wonderful friends I would get to know, who would support me, encourage me and help me to be a better version of myself.

Last night I returned from a weekend in Thredbo with 23 other 12wbt Sydneysiders – there’ll be a long 😉 blog post about it later this week, but in the meantime I’m going to share some of the weekend with you as an example of the positive things about being on this program.

Here I am on Saturday morning with three other 12wbt Sydneysider members.  We’ve just gotten off the chairlift and are getting ready to start the walk to the summit of Mt Kosciusko.  I have never really been good at team sports, always worried about letting the other members down because I’m not coordinated enough or fast enough, and for most of my life, not skinny enough.  I’m really proud to be part of the 12wbt Sydneysiders team though.  I know that my best is always going to be good enough, and that I will get support and encouragement to do better than my best.

After about two hours of walking a moderate grade track, here I am at the top of the mountain. At times it felt impossible and at times I just wanted to stop and lie down on the track.  But instead I would look at my Heart Rate Monitor, and look at my current heart rate and know that I could keep going – that the difficulty was in my mind – not in my legs or my cardiovascular or respiratory systems.  I was determined and willing to push myself to my limits.   Over the last few years before 12wbt I had forgotten how much I love a physical challenge, and what a great sense of achievement it is when you achieve what you set out to do.

And here are some of the Sydneysiders I walked with to the top of the mountain.  It was my legs, my fitness level and my determination that got me there – but I don’t underestimate how empowering it was to walk with these fabulous people.  Just chatting to someone about all sorts of things distracted my thoughts when the current incline looked impossible.  Their encouragement as we reached each milestone helped keep me positive.  And of course, if it wasn’t for one person in particular in the photo – I wouldn’t have even been there.  The generosity of a 12wbt Sydneysider member to share her dream with us was the reason I was even there having “conquered” the mountain.

I had packed my swimming cossie for the weekend – because I liked the idea of going to the leisure centre after the walk to chill out and relax in the pool.  And it turns out another seven Sydneysiders did too.  However, they were also keen to try out the water slide.  I wasn’t I have never been on a water slide before.  Partly because I am such a scaredy cat and partly because I have a fear that I’m just too fat and I’ll get stuck. Before I knew it my friends had convinced me to give it a go.  So I did.  I was so scared!  I screamed the whole way down – and I wish now I had my Heart Rate Monitor on, because I bet it would have been over 200 beats/minute! With the support of good friends I faced one of my fears.

And I love this photo.  I don’t see a woman who is severely obese, instead I see someone who is just so excited to have faced a fear and survived. And I love the look on my friend’s face – sharing joy in your life more than doubles the joy!

So this last weekend I have gained

  • the feeling of being a successful team member.
  • the knowledge I could achieve anything I set my mind to if I am determined enough.
  • the ability to face my fears.
  • the understanding that I don’t have to do everything alone.

Next weekend I am meeting up with another Sydneysider member – and with her help I am going to learn how to ride a bike at the age of 46, after never having done so. (Are you impressed by the absence of the word try in that sentence?) And her generosity of spirit, along with attending a running clinic and doing some stroke correction lessons means I am going to enter my first triathlon in October this year.

I am going to start a new sport – Orienteering – I used to love that at primary school.

I am going to try out Cardio Tennis – I used to love playing tennis as a teenager.

If the opportunity arises I am going to try doing a low ropes course.

And I am going to start making plans to reconnect with my old friends, the ones I’ve been hiding from because I’ve been embarrassed about my weight gain.  I don’t have to wait to get to my goal weight to in order to look like my old self in order to socialise with them again, because I already feel like a better version of myself.

And those are  the positive things I have gained in my life. So much more important than having lost 26kgs.

A shot of Vitamin D and Caffeine

After feeling I was living in the gym last week doing the 100km challenge, I was really looking forward to a change this morning in my training routine.  The Sydney West Facebook group had organised an event – the Nepean River Walk (sometimes known as the Bridge to Bridge Walk).

Another member from the Blue Mountains and I met up with two other members (and one husband) to do the walk at 9.00am at the Coffee Club carpark, opposite Tench Reserve in Penrith.  I was a little apprehensive as it is 7kms to do the whole loop and my legs were a little sore from finishing the 100km challenge yesterday.  But I shouldn’t have worried, once we got going I forgot all about the sore muscles and just enjoyed the company, the views, and the challenge to see if I could make it a 500 calorie burn.

We headed south from the Coffee Club to the ramp which leads up to the M4 freeway – so we could cross the Nepean River to Leonay.  From there its down to the riverside track along a shady path heading north towards Emu Plains.  There were lots of other walkers, runners, dogs, prams and cyclists along the way.  Its a gently undulating pathway, and its fairly wide.

Before long we had reached the traffic lights at the Great Western Highway at Emu Plains.  From there we crossed the river on Victoria Bridge (unfortunately not as good a view as the bridge at the other end), turned right and headed south back towards our starting  point.

For a relatively short distance we were walking along a suburban street – no views of the river – but it wasn’t long before we were back in Tench Reserve walking along the pathways close to the river.

My legs were getting a little weary at this point and I went from a good steady rate of 150ish beats per minute (just right for my age) that I had maintained earlier in the walk to about 135-140 beats per minute.  So there is room for improvement in my fitness level!  I finished up with a 482 calorie burn for 82 minutes of walking and talking.  Quite pleased with that.

It was quite a joy to realise we were back at the Coffee Club.  It was about 10.20am – so the perfect time to enjoy a cup of coffee – skim of course!  The bottle of water we got before the coffees was nicely chilled.  Just what we needed after a walk on one of the “first” days of summer for the 2011/2012 season.

While we were at the Coffee Club I saw for the first time the kilo joule counts they have on their menu – informative and scary!  Some of the menu items were a whole days worth of calories on the 12wbt program.  It makes you realise how easy it is to put on weight when you regard that type of eating as every day rather than a treat.

I was also shown a shorter way to get to and from the Coffee Club today from the M4 freeway today by my travelling companion.  Coming from the Blue Mountains you turn right when you exit the freeway (so left when you exit if you are coming from Sydney) and then turn right at the next lights.  And then a couple more turns which take you south and west and you are there in no time.  A lot quicker than going along Mulgoa Road via the intersection next to Panthers Leagues Club.

Here is a website with more information.


So my recommendation – JFDI!  If you live in the area its a great way to vary your training routine or of course it can be a regular workout.  You don’t have to do the whole loop – you can walk/jog/run for a certain distance or time and then head back again.

If you’re from further afield it’s worth considering the drive out there on a weekend – you can use the BBQ facilities in Tench Reserve and there is a Regional Art Gallery in Leonay across the road from the pathway.  You could even start or end your workout there.

Do you have a local scenic walk you like to take advantage of in your training schedule?

Finale Workout & Party – Round 3 2011

I had been looking forward to the Finale Group Workout from the beginning of the preseason.

When the day came however, I was feeling very apprehensive.  I had only trained once since the 12th October – and I felt I didn’t really deserve to be going.  Is that a mindset I need to work on or what!

Once I got there those feelings didn’t last for long.  I was so excited and so pleased that I had made the changes I had in the 16 weeks of preseason and 12wbt.  I decided there was no need for me to feel a failure because I wasn’t perfect.

And when you’re surrounded by a bunch of people like the Sydneysiders Crew you can’t help but feel positive.  It was great seeing friends I had only seen the week before, or not for several weeks, or even for the first time.  And a mini-goal was to be wearing the size 22 Sydneysiders t-shirt, and I had achieved that.  I’m forth from the left, back row – just look for the Lorna Jayne headband – she makes them in my size!

And then Mish arrived!  It was really happening.  I think I’m in a slightly different position in these shots – just look for the purple headband.

And look here – proof I was feeling positive – despite the nagging doubts I’d had since waking up that morning.

I was so excited in fact that when it came time to do the workout I forgot to start my HRM – so please, no questions about how many calories I burned at the workout.

It was great to be there with all the 12wbt Sydneysiders Crew and just amazing that hundreds and hundreds of 12wbt-ers kept arriving.  The atmosphere was great!

But, there was one very special person at the workout.

Just to the left of me in this photo is my special guest with his own Michelle Bridges 12wbt shirt.  Yes, my husband Mr G. agreed to come along and share in the day with me – even though the last time he set foot in a gym was 1997, and the only exercising he’d done since was some walking at a leisurely pace.  (I might be forgetting the time he got on my treadmill for five minutes earlier this year?)

So here we are waiting for the workout to start.  He has no idea what he is in for! He thinks BodyAttack is something our kids do at Taekwondo.

I think he is particularly brave – probably even more daring than going to the midnight screening of “Breaking Dawn” with me.

So here we are working out!  And look – I’m smiling and enjoying it!

Mr G. struggled with coordinating his movements to the music.  And he commented later that it was so confusing – they kept repeating moves and changing moves from side to side and repeating and changing again………but he persevered.

We both think its hilarious that I struggle with being able to identify and name my left and right hands, legs, feet – don’t ask me to sing and perform the Hokey Pokey on my own (you get the idea) – but I can keep up with a BodyAttack routine I’ve never done before.  Mr G on the other hand has a brain wired entirely differently to mine – he can read a map upside down and the right way up – but following an exercise sequence left him baffled. Go figure!  His t-shirt was one of the ones designed for an earlier round.  It says on the front “I smashed it up with Michelle Bridges and all I got was this t-shirt…” and on the back “and lots of lovely meals.  77Noni’s No 1 Supporter”.

Here is how 900+ people ready to work out look like.  An amazing sight!  We followed Mish and her crew in BodyAttack moves as a whole group. Then we broke into four groups and rotated around four stages doing two different exercises at each stage – one standing and one on the ground.  Hadn’t done that since the last Pain in the Park way back in September!

After that there were more routines together as one big group facing the main stage and jogging and exercising in a circle – including 900+ people running towards the centre of the circle and back out again.  It was fabulous to be part of a group that broke the record for the number of people in a workout.









JFDI says it all really doesn’t it!

So once we had cooled down and stretched, there was only one more thing to do.  Another group photo with Mish.

In the end I was so glad I went and did the workout.  Next round I’m determined to make sure I do all I can not to be down on myself if the round doesn’t go perfectly.  It’s not about perfection, just about doing better than your best.

And, I’ll make sure I start my HRM – if you’re going to smash it up with Michelle Bridges, you should know how many calories you’ve burned!

So is it your goal to make it to a finale workout one day?

12wbt Blogging Challenge – What brings you joy?

The challenge this week is to name the things which bring me joy – without resorting to that four lettered word – food! 😉

1. The way I feel after exercising

2. Listening to my daughter read out loud.

3. Listening to my son play the saxophone.

4. Going on bushwalks.

5. Indulging in crafty activities.

6. Spending time with friends.

7. Looking at flowers.

8. Watching my favourite movies.

9. Listening to music.

10. Spending time with my husband.




My first Sri Chinmoy event

11th September, 2011

Centennial Park, Sydney – 4km cross country course

Here I am at the start – not my best angle 😉

I walked the 4km – official finishing time was 43:31.

When I crossed the finishing line – well behind the last person – I got a big smile and a “well done” from the official standing there!  Next time I aim to do it faster.  And maybe one day (in 2013) a half marathon???

This was the day before 12wbt started – so I was so primed and ready for day 1 after this.

Shift in Attitude!

Today is Tuesday, so that means an evening Zumba class.  I was looking forward to it all day.  And then during the drive to the class I couldn’t wait to start moving to the music.  I can hardly believe it!   I can’t remember when I last looked forward to doing exercise like that!  Sometime back in the 1990’s no doubt.

The class was great fun – I can’t believe an hour goes by so quickly.  And despite the fact it was 8 degrees celsius outside (and probably inside too) I was working up a sweat in no time.

 So, if you’re trying to find an exercise that is fun and you can join in with whatever your fitness level, I highly recommend giving Zumba a go.

And if you try it and you’re not too sure – try again with a different instructor.  I am doing classes (including the Curves circuits) with three different instructors.  I really enjoy all the classes – however, the classes are different because of the different personalities of the instructors.  But what they do have in common is fun choreography and infectious rhythms.  Its changed my outlook entirely.  So much so, that I am quite disappointed that the Saturday morning class isn’t on this weekend because of the long weekend. 😦 As I drove home I kept thinking, “What will I do on Saturday????”  And then I realised I can do one of my Zumba DVDs.  No excuses for not moving daily.

So, Zumba or no Zumba, find something you like doing – something that makes you smile.  And before you know it you’ll be looking forward to exercise too.

Back in the groove

Just back from a Zumba workout.  I realised just how much I’ve missed it once I got going.  It was a packed class, it was a special class, a fundraiser for a local Out Of School Hours Centre.  Its great when there are so many people joining in.  So glad I gave it a go!

Looking forward to the 9km walk tomorrow.  I have treated myself to some new tracks on my iPhone for my walking playlist.  As long as I can do it in under 2 hours I’ll be happy.   I’ll be using the runkeeper app on my iPhone – it helps keep me motivated to do my best time.


Its a fundraiser for MS – and its not too late to make a donation by sponsoring me – even if you’re reading this after I’ve done the walk 😉


Of course, if you are reading this an hour or so before the start time and you live in Canberra, Melbourne or Sydney its not too late to enter yourself.  In Sydney there are also  5km and 16km walks as well.  The 9km walk in Sydney will go around Darling Harbour, The Rocks, Sydney Opera House and the Botanic Gardens.

Blacktown City Fun Run 2011

Well I didn’t run – I walked a whole 10kms! And I did it in 1 hour and 58 minutes and some seconds.  My aim was to do it in 2 hours so I’m pleased with that.


That’s me in the purple shirt at the 1km mark.


And here I am at the finish line. And I’m pleased to say I can almost manage a smile.