I’ve been waiting a year to do this……

 

This is me one year ago. I was just approaching the finish line of the 2011 City2Surf. My time was 3:12:11.  Master G was there by my side. It was tough going up Heartbreak Hill, and every other small incline after that was sheer torture. I weighed 155kgs. My training regime consisted of walking on the weekends, one or two Zumba classes a week and two or three thirty minute Curves sessions a week. I was eating in excess of 2400 calories a day. I was in a better place than I was a year before that – but if I knew if didn’t do something to improve my health, I was risking more than heartbreak.

The good thing was the next day was the first day of Round 3 2011 preseason for 12wbt. My life changed completely from that day. Well, it was already starting to change from the moment I decided to sign up the Tuesday night before. I knew I was not going to be trapped in this body for much longer. Little did I know just how much my body, and my mind, was going to transform over the next fifty-two weeks.

So, I’m about to go to bed so I am well rested for the City2Surf in the morning. I was aiming to be running the whole 14kms tomorrow, but my running training has had a few setbacks. So my plan is to jog the first 5kms, and then do a walk and jog combo for the remaining 9kms. My goal is to finish an hour faster than I did last year. So, hopefully there will be a tweet from me saying as much at about 11:20am.

As well as shedding almost 50kgs in the last 52 weeks, I am much fitter and stronger in body, mind and soul. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in 2003, and some of the years between the diagnosis and 2008 were very bleak indeed, as I spent most of that time in a clinically depressed state, with brief episodes of manic upswings in mood. The Black Dog Institute was a great support to me in those years. But still, even as recently as six months ago, I was ashamed of having a chronic mental illness and I was reluctant to be open and honest about it with everyone I knew.

A few months ago Michelle Bridges announced that the charity she was fundraising for in the City2Surf was the Black Dog Institute. After shedding many, many tears after realising I really shouldn’t be ashamed of having an invisible illness, I decided I would fund raise for the Black Dog Institute as well. I know that the funds I raise will contribute to someone else with Bipolar Disorder or Depression finding the path to wellness as I have.

If you would like to help out please consider donating to this worthy cause. You might like to sponsor me fifty cents for every kilometre I jog and walk tomorrow. That would be a $7 donation, and it would help to make a difference.

Here is the link to make a donation
http://www.fundraise.city2surf.com.au/leonie_gray_0

I look forward to updating this blog with my finish time from tomorrow and the photo of me at the finish line. And the great thing is, even if I don’t finish in under 2:12:11 – the fact I have never given up will make the result worthy of celebrating.

 

 

Preseason Task 3 Set Your Goals

My ultimate goal, and reason for signing up for the 12wbt in August 2011 is to be 77kgs again, which is about 7kgs under the top of a healthy BMI for my height.  When I achieve that I will be a “comfortable” size 12 again.  As I write this I am 130.9kgs and a size 20/22ish.  So I have to be careful that I am not overwhelmed by the task ahead of me.

Starting this journey in August 2011 I was 155kgs and a “comfortable” size 26.  At my heaviest I was a 165kgs and a barely fitting into size 26.  So, how does one go from my starting point to where I want to be?  Its simple.  By breaking it down into manageable steps and focusing on the things I am in control of – that is, my behaviour, and not worrying about numbers on the scales and clothing tags.  If I care about my health, change my behaviour to demonstrate that I do care about my health and well being than the numbers will happen.

This is a computer simulation of what I look like now at 130kgs.

Right now I have started the c25k program and have completed a whole two days.  I can barely swim one 25m lap of a pool.  I can do these pathetic push ups from the knees but my nose gets no where near the ground. My core strength is better and I can do some more advanced forms of sit ups and hold a plank without shaking from the knees.  I can do a 1km time trial in about ten and a half minutes.  I can not ride a bicycle, but I desperately want to learn, and have a lovely friend who is willing to teach me.

My goals for the 18th March 2012 are to:

1. Run for 3.22kms (2 miles) without stopping.

2. Start swimming three times a week and sign up for stroke correction classes.

3. Have had my first lesson in riding a bike.

4. Weigh 117kgs.

My goals for the 29th April 2012 are to:

1. Run for 8km without stopping.

2. Be able to swim half the distance of the short course of the 2012 Triathlon Pink without stopping.

3. Be able to ride a lap of the 5km Regatta Centre – stopping allowed 😉

4. Weigh 101kgs.

5. Finish the round 0f 12wbt at the intermediate level of training.

My goals for the end of September 2012 are to:

1. Run 14km without stopping.

2. Be able to swim the full distance of the short course of the 2012 Triathlon Pink without stopping.

3. Be able to ride the full distance of the short course of the 2012 Triathlon Pink without stopping.

4. Weigh about 85kgs.

5. Training at the intermediate to advanced level with 12wbt.

My goals for the end of December 2012 are to:

1. Be training for a half marathon in 2013.

2. Training for a slightly longer course in a Triathlon.

3. Riding a bike for fun with my family.

4. Weigh 77kgs.

5. Training at the advanced level on the 12wbt program and signing up to do a round of Lean & Fit.

I will be healthier and happier.

More determined than ever.

Stronger in mind and body.

Is it going to be easy? No, I am going to have to work hard and do everything Michelle Bridges says I should do in order to achieve these goals.

Is it going to be worth it?

What do you think? 😉

Introducing myself – on a video

Last round when Michelle Bridges suggested we might like to introduce ourselves by uploading a video to youtube it never occured to me that I might do it.  I mean, I feel self conscious enough having my photo taken, let alone videoing myself talking about myself.

It turned out that I was very inspired by the videos of other members I watched during the last round, and the ones I have seen while waiting for this round to get started.  And I am sorry now I don’t have a record of me 20 weeks ago.  But never mind – I have one now.

I had to step right out of my comfort zone to do this, but I am glad I did.  I even bought a webcam this afternoon to do the recording, and then spent over an hour trying to get it to work.  I gave up on the webcam last night, but not the task, and volunteered Master G to be the cameraman.  His hands get a little shaky towards the end – guess that means I may have said too much?

If you want to leave a comment and say hello in the 12wbt forums go to

http://www.12wbt.com/round-1-2012/forums/task-1-introduce-yourself/topics/leonie-aka-77noni

Make sure if you’re part of this round of 12wbt that you introduce yourself on the preseason task 1 thread – and you don’t have to choose to do a video to complete this task.  And most importantly, make sure you welcome a few people and comment on their introductions.  It is a rare 12wbt member who wouldn’t appreciate the support and encouragement.

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?

A new years resolution

Can you guess?

I am going to update the blog at least six days a week – ’cause everyone needs a rest day.  I am mortified that I let it languish for so long.

So why?

I did my indoor triathlon as planned on the 12/10/11 in the morning before work.  Very pleased because it was only 10 days before that I sprained my ankle, and that was the first time I’d been back on a treadmill.  That afternoon, while going to meet my husband and daughter at the very same aquatic centre – she was there for her weekly swim lesson, I fell down outside and resprained my ankle.  I nearly lost all hope at that point.  But I didn’t.  I just gave up exercising for quite a while, and because I felt guilty about that, stopped blogging.  Lesson learnt.  I’ll be on here now to blog about the good and the bad.  And I’m determined this round there will be more good than bad.

And how did Round 3 2011 end for me?

I was pleased in the end.  11.8kgs gone in the 12 weeks.  18.1kgs since the beginning of preseason.  My mindset still needs a lot of work – but I’m in a much better place than I was 20 weeks ago.   And what I experienced is proof that clean eating is so important.

And what does Round 1 2012 hold for me?

Well I can’t really answer that just yet.  But very excited about it since I signed up yesterday.  I started exercising regularly again on Monday 26/12/11.  Loving it!  I allowed myself to change the ticker you can see to the right to reflect my fresh start with exercise.  The preseason task about excuses is going to be an important one for me – because even after my doctor gave me the go ahead to start weight bearing exercise again I kept procrastinating and making excuses.  This round I hope to have that sorted. Is once and for all too much to hope for?

So, what is your New Year’s resolution?

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 – getting 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 – and then give me a little pep talk – and 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 – though as you can see the graphic on the cover of the magazine were set up for one person – not 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 – just 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 🙂

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?