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.

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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Round 3 2012 – Bloggers’ Challenge – Week 3 – Time May Change Me

Success will never be a big step in the future, success is a small step taken just now. ~Jonatan Mårtensson

Week 3 – Time may change me, but I can’t trace time

If we want to transform ourselves we can’t expect it to just happen – we have to make an effort and make changes in our lives. This week’s challenge is about the changes you have made to your life – whether you have been on this journey for three weeks or three years – or anywhere in between.

1. What do you think were the three most important changes you have made so far?

2. How have these changes to your food, exercise or mindset impacted on the rest of your life?

3. What did you have to do in order to make sure these changes happened?

4. What difference have these changes made to your body transformation?

5. Have these changes been hard or easy for you to make? Why?

6. Would you recommend others make these changes to their lifestyle too? Why?

7. What do you think the next things is going to be that you will have to change?

Some people dream of success… while others wake up and work hard at it.  ~Author Unknown

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 skip a question if you don’t want to answer it – though I would say ask yourself why is it difficult to answer! 😉 You can even add your own question. 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.

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.

There is a problem with the Linky Tools website at the moment – once you have completed your post either put a link to that post in the comments for this post or on the forum thread on the 12wbt website – as soon as Linky Tools is running again I’ll link up all the blogs. 🙂

 

 

 

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.

 

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

FOOD!

I am sure that word has your attention. 😉 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 – I 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 – but 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.

Going to the movies, crying and realising just how brave I have become.

Today Miss G celebrated her 11th birthday with four friends. Its almost midnight and they are not asleep yet – who thought of the name “slumber” party for goodness sake? The celebrations started earlier this afternoon when I took the five girls to the movies to see the Pixar movie “Brave”.

I loved the movie for lots of reasons. And of course I got emotional at the climax and the ending. (No surprises there really, I can get emotional watching ads for disposable nappies.)

But the thing that really got to me was something that was said in the final moments.

Our fate lies within us.

You only have to be brave enough to see it.

Here I am on a Sunday morning in July 2010. Mr G has brought me breakfast in bed – looks like Nutella on toast. (And let me tell you there would have been more than one slice.) I don’t even have the energy to sit up properly and eat. When I heard that quote this afternoon, it reminded me how long I was in denial about how my lifestyle was affecting my health adversly. It made me think about this photo and my attitude to my health. And how I was blaming the psychiatrist’s comment to me way back in 2003 for my weight gain, and my inability to shift the weight. How I was blaming the medication for my weight gain, and my inability to shift the weight. How I was blaming the chronic illness with the bouts of depression for my weight gain, and my inability to shift the weight. How I was blaming the ineffective diets I was doing half heartedly for my continued weight gain, and my inability to shift the weight.

Are you seeing a pattern here? I was digging an early grave with that spoon I would eat the Nutella with out of the jar. My fate was not dependant on the four things above, it was dependant on my choices. My choices to eat in an unhealthy manner. My choice to lie around in bed or on the lounge as much as possible rather than being active. My choice to be negative about what the future held for me.

My future was bleak because I was in such serious denial about my behaviour.

Looking back now, it seems as if I was scared of being successful. It was easier to be a failure. It was easy not to be brave. It was easy not to change.

So a little more than a year after that Nutella photo was taken I made the decision to be brave. I made the decision to take control of my fate and my health.

And now here is a photo from May 2012. That quote from the movie also got me thinking about this photo too.  Its about 5.30am and I am just about to leave one weekday morning for the gym for either a RPM or BodyPump class. The day before this tshirt arrived in the post. My new 30+ Crew shirt. And its a size 18! I was very pleased to be able to wear it the next morning. And instead of getting Mr G to make me Nutella on toast that morning, I got him out of bed early to take this photo. (And a couple of others!) Iwas feeling very brave indeed, and by now I knew that my fate was up to me. And I realise now I was no longer fearful of being successful. It is fun being successful. It is empowering being successful. There is nothing to be fearful of. And don’t you just love what the back of our crew shirt says.

I can. I will. JFDI

To me the back of that shirt embodies the lesson I learnt from the movie today.  With the support of Mish and my fellow 12wbt members I have learnt to be brave and understand that I can control my destiny.

So Miss G may have been the one celebrating her birthday today – but I certainly got a very special gift. I realised I’m no longer fearful of success.

 

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