The year of being tenacious

So, here we are half way through January 2015 and I am yet to be at the start line of my second half marathon and I am yet to see the scales say a number under 100kg. There are a number of reasons, non-running related injuries and silly excuses which resulted in me arriving at this point.

But I will get there. I have no doubt I will get there. How do I know?


I know I can be determined. I know I can be resilient. So, I figured the thing I had to be was tenacious.

So, in November two things happened which led be to believe in my own tenacity.

Firstly, I signed up for a Virtual fun run – a fund raiser for the IMP (Indigenous Marathon Project). I signed up for a cumulative marathon. My intent was to run the 42.2km within a calendar week during the month of December.

Secondly,  I fractured my little toe on my right foot. In the kitchen. Getting my breakfast ready before work one day.

Verdict from my GP? No running for at least 6-8 weeks, but walking is fine.

So, I just figured I would make the Cumulative Marathon a walking one. My donation and support still counted. I would still get my special piece of bling. I was determined.

Or so I thought.

I arrived at Sunday 21/12/2015 not having walked one 1km towards the 42.2km. Not one. Silly excuses. No determination to speak of at all.

Then on Sunday 21/12/2014 I decided to meet up for an RMA get together and walk while the others ran the almost 7km of the Bridge to Bridge walk in Leonay/Emu Plains/Penrith.


And I did it!

It wasn’t particularly fast – but I kept a reasonably steady pace. I didn’t notice any pain from my toe. And I had started the virtual cumulative marathon.

I was very happy.


On Monday 22/12/14 I set off to walk 9km along my favourite local running route.

I ended up doing 9.31km.

It took 1:41:51, and my average speed was 5.5km an hour.

I had now done 15.9km in total.

I was determined to finish the 42.2km by 31/12/14. Which was in fact the end date of the virtual fun run.


On Christmas Eve at 6:34am I set out to do about another 9km. At 52:40 I realised I had completed 21.1 of the 42.2km. Celebrated that with a Walkfie*.


I ended doing 10.7km that day.

And I decided to be really determined and complete the last 15.7km by Sunday 28/12/14.

Totally doable. And after all I was determined.

I planned my next walk for Boxing Day.

(Because Christmas Day I planned to do the Santa Virtual Fun Run – but that’s another Blog Post. Because it wasn’t done – for reasons not related to this particular post.)

And I had an idea. On Saturday at my home parkrun which is almost perfectly flat I would try doing some short running intervals in the 5km.

I woke up Boxing Day and walked to our bathroom, to get ready for my walk.

And I was in excruciating pain. Unbearable. I could barely walk. My right ankle hurt. My calf hurt. My shin hurt. My heel hurt.

I couldn’t possibly entertain the idea of going for a walk. It got a little better over the course of the day. But I spent as much of the day off my foot as possible.

On Saturday I woke up, excited about heading down to the parkrun at Penrith Lakes. And there was a shooting pain up through my heel, and overall the pain was worse than it was on Friday.

No parkrun for me that day.

It was then we decided to google the symptoms.

It wasn’t good news.

We concluded that it was something to do with my Achilles Tendon. We weren’t sure exactly what the level of injury, but we figured ice and rest was the way to go. And calling my GP on Monday morning.

My fitbit total for that day was 751 steps – I think that sums it up perfectly.

I was still determined to get the Virtual Run completed by 1/1/15.

Surely it would be better with a couple of days rest and ice?

It turns out I needed to be more than determined.

To be continued …….

*Walkfie – the walking version of a Runfie – 77noni

Runfie: A photograph that you take of yourself before, during, or after a run to share your runner’s high, your latest running fashion statement, or to show off some form of badassery. – From the

This princess has ballet flats, not glass slippers

This princess has ballet flats, not glass slippers

As a child I was a big fan of traditional tales from long ago, as well as the modern Disney versions. As an adult primary school teacher, traditional tales still fascinate me (as do all aspects of children’s literature) because of how they can help children in many ways socially and academically.

So can the tale of Cinderella give me insight into my 12wbt journey? You might think at first – no way, Cinderella has a fairy godmother who makes life better for her with the wave of her magic wand.

But when I think about it – what is Cinderella doing in her day to day life?

She is consistently doing the hard work day in day out. No excuses. No whining. No whinging. She follows the JFDI principles every day of her life.

And then there is a red flag moment she gets to go to the ball and meet Prince Charming – but there are conditions, and in not meeting those conditions things go a little wrong.

But the next day – what does she do? She goes back to work being consistent – get life isn’t over because she made one mistake.

And then the years of consistent effort and lack of whining pay off, and she lives happily ever after with her prince.

So, what’s the moral of the story for me as a 12wbt member?
Don’t make excuses.
Be consistent.


An Interview With 77noni

Do you have any regrets?
I don’t believe in having regrets, only situations I can learn from in the future. However, the fact that at 165kgs in May 2010 I found out about 12wbt, and between then and July 2011 keep deleting the emails inviting me to join is something I wish I hadn’t done. But rather then be too regretful, I’m just glad I read that Women’s Weekly article that August night. Michelle Bridges’ obvious passion for what she did made me realise her program was the way for me to go. And within eight weeks of following her principles I had shed fourteen kilograms. So, I don’t regret not joining Round 2 2010 – but I’ve learned not to let opportunities pass me by because I think I’m not capable.

When in your life have you felt most alone?
When I’m clinically depressed I feel very alone – even when surrounded by my loving family and supportive friends. I have Bipolar Disorder (I was diagnosed in 2003) and the lows for me seem very low, as I have the euphoric highs to compare them to in my mind. In 2008, I was lucky enough to be treated by Dr L in the public health system – and apart from two brief relapses of depression I have been well since June 2008.

What has been the happiest moment of doing 12wbt?

Sliding down the slippery dip with friends at the Thredbo pool. I had never been on a slide before, and my lovely friends coaxed me to put the mat on the top of the slide and let go of my fears. I think this photo says it all.

(picture to be inserted soonish)

Who has been the kindest to you on this journey?
October 2011 Michelle Bridges was at Australia’s biggest health check morning. During the course of the morning she led a Body Attack class. I was about 140kgs and I am about 182cm tall. At the time I was recovering from a sprained ankle and was very much at a Beginners fitness level. Then Michelle Bridges asked the group to do a one legged standing quad stretch. I wobbled all over the place trying to execute the balancing stretch – when a hand reached out and supported me. It belonged to Ms B, a fellow member of the 12wbt Sydneysiders. Not only did she manage to do the stretch perfectly herself, but this petite dance teacher helped me to balance and do the stretch.

(Ms B went on to be a winner of Lean & Strong Round 3 2012.)

What is your earliest memory of doing 12wbt?
I made up my mind to do the 12wbt on Tuesday night in August 2011. On the Saturday Master G and I headed in to the city to stay the night before doing the City2Surf on the Sunday. That morning I requested to join the 12wbt Sydneysiders Facebook group. On the way in on the train I took Michelle Bridges’ Crunch Time cookbook – as I was determined to start eating better on the Monday. I freaked out when I saw the vast majority of the dinners had no pasta, potatoes, bread, rice or couscous. I remember snapping the book shut in horror thinking I could never ever eat an evening without one those goodies on my plate every night. Then I thought – what’s more important – a nightly fix of carbs or getting rid of the weight?
That evening after dinner I started posting in the Sydneysiders group and told them I was walking the City2Surf the next day with my son. I received encouraging comments, especially the next day when I told them I had bettered my 2010 time.
And the next night, did I miss the carbs, hell yes, especially as the family were eating them. But it got easier – and now I don’t miss them at all.

What is your proudest 12wbt moment ?
There are lots of moments which made me stand tall and proud. Getting to the top of Mt Koscziosko, finally completing a 1km trial without walking and finishing my first 10km fun run without walking. But the proudest moment of my 12wbt journey was being a finalist for Round 2, 2012 and being up on stage, receiving a medal and words of encouragement from Michelle Bridges.


What does your future hold?

Being healthier, fitter and happier – because despite the clinical depression, I didn’t start 12wbt unhappy – just not as happy as I could have been.

Specifically, in my future I will be running the Half Marathon at the Australian Running Festival in August, followed by the Gold Coast Airport Half Marathon in July and the Blackmore’s Running festival in September. In July and September I will be aiming to run a personal best time.

I am also going to learn to ride a bicycle once and for all so I can enter a Triathlon.

This weekend I am trying kayaking for the first time. I also want to try stand up paddle boarding and indoor rock climbing.

When I get to goal, which will inevitably happen, I want to learn to ride a horse properly and go on an overnight trek in the Snowy Mountains.

Much better than sitting on the couch watching everyone lap me.

My choice to ride the waves or sit on the sand

A preview of the post for January 2nd I will finish tomorrow morning.

Who inspires me?





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. 🙂




Things i understand better after doing the city2surf today

1. Our minds want to give in long before our body actually does. And i just love my heart rate monitor – quite often when i thought i should have a break from jogging and power walk a glance at my heart rate on my HRM would tell me i had plenty in the tank and should keep jogging

2. If you set shorter term goals its much easier to achieve a bigger audacious goal  Last week I walked and jogged the relatively flat 7kms of the Bay Run in 58:59. I really wanted to try and do the 14kms of the very hilly City2Surf in two hours today. On the bus on the way into the cityI started to think my two hour goal would be impossible, given the differences of the terrain. I realised instead of thinking “must do 14kms in two hours” I started thinking in terms of one kilometre at a time – and what time I would have to try and do each kilometre in to stay on pace with my big goal. It wasnt impossible to set out to do each individual kilometre in under nine minutes – and when I broke down the big goal that’s all I had to do

3. You can train with a head cold – that is, an illness above the neck. Note to self – get a spi-belt so you can carry extra tissues next time you do a fun run.

4. If you don’t give up you will achieve your goals


12wbt Blog Challenge – Week 1

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.  What makes you, you?

I am 46 years old and married to Mr G since 1987.  We have two children, 13 year old Master G and 10 year old Miss G.  I have a 29 year old step-son Mr G junior, who has two delightful daughters.  I am just one month younger than Mr G junior’s mother, so I am old enough to be a step-grandmother.  My mother, Mama,  lives in a granny flat on the first floor of our house.

We live in the Blue Mountains, about an hour and a half west of Sydney. I am a full time primary school teacher in South Penrith, and really love working at the school.  All I ever wanted to do since I was four years old was be a teacher, so I count myself fortunate that I can do what I love to do every day.

I was diagnosed with a chronic illness in 2003, and unfortunately I let that illness define who I was for many years.  Until 2008 in fact, when a new specialist helped me to turn my life around.  As a result of the illness, I gained over 75 kilos from 2003 to 2007 – because I made choices which were not healthy, and the illness made it hard for me at times to realise just how bad the choices were.

I was a Weight Watchers leader from 1997 to 2006 and thought I knew everything there was to know about weight loss.  It wasn’t until I started following the Crunch Time cookbook and doing the preseason tasks in the Round 3 2011 preseason that I let go of all the guilt associated with gaining the weight as a former Weight Watchers leader, and realised I had an awful lot to learn about the science and psychology of weight loss.

During the between round times and the Round 1 2012 preseason I have rediscovered just how determined I can be – and how much I love a challenge.  Many thanks to all the members of the 30+ Crew Eight Week Challenge for helping me find the real me after all these years.

2. Why did you decide to do the 12WBT?

I found about about the 12wbt just as round 2 2010 was about to start – a friend in a yahoo group – who may well be reading this – hi Kelli 🙂 – posted about it.  I went straight to the website and signed up to get the email when the next round started.  Stupidly, when the emails came I hit delete.  I had two negative thoughts. Firstly, how can I transform this morbidly obese body in just twelve weeks.  Secondly, how can some one who has never been overweight know anything about the psychology of losing weight?  (I was brainwashed by ten years of Weight Watchers membership.)

The emails kept coming and I kept deleting, believing I was beyond a transformation.  Then in August last year Michelle Bridges was on the cover of the Women’s Weekly, and the article inside brought me to tears one night.  This is an excerpt from that article,

After 20 years as a personal trainer, she finds herself in a growth industry — literally and metaphorically. And spurred on by what she calls a desire to “help people live their best lives”, Michelle is on a mission, taking on the national obesity epidemic one waistline at a time.

Her mantra is that each person is the master of their own destiny. That whatever life has thrown at them, ultimately it’s up to each individual to write the narrative of their life.

I cried when I first read that statement.  I decided that night to join the upcoming round.  The next day I joined the gym.  Eight weeks later I met Michelle for the first time and couldn’t control my emotions – no surprises there really.  How do you begin to thank someone who has helped you to turn your life around?

There was no decision involved in joining Round 1 2012 – its what I needed to do for myself.  I will continue to join every round until I am at my goal weight, have completed a half marathon and then completed at least one round of lean and strong.

Here is a link to a PDF document of the Women’s Weekly article I mentioned above

3. What are you hoping to achieve through the program?

  • To establish for the rest of my life good healthy eating habits.
  • To establish and maintain good exercise habits.
  • To have a strong and confident mindset.
  • To pass on these good habits to Master G and Miss G.
  • To weigh 77kgs again, and maintain that weight.
4. Why have you decided to blog about the 12WBT? What will be the main focus (eg, food, exercise, a bit of everything?)
For two reasons, it is both a diary and a journal.
Firstly, as a diary to keep a record of what I am doing, so I can constantly remind myself about what it is I need to do, and how to go about doing it.
Secondly, as a journal where I think out loud on a keyboard.  Part of my chronic illness has been episodes of clinical depression, and I have found out the hard way that if I dwell on thoughts they can overwhelm me, so its best to get them out of my head and on paper – or a computer monitor.
5. How will you be exercising this round? Gym, home, outdoors or a mixture?
 A mixture – which I think is the best thing we can do for our bodies and our minds.
  • My core will be the gym – I go at 6am each weekday morning for BodyPump, RPM + a swim or a workout in the gym.  My fitness trainer has just devised me a beginners weights program, and I’m surprised how much I like doing it.  I also do Sh’Bam and am going to give BodyBalance a go this round.
  • I also will do a  Zumba class once a week – love Zumba.
  • Three times a week I will go for a run – I’m doing the C25K program, and can currently cover just over 3 kilometres in 30 minutes walking and running.  I prefer to do this outdoors – and with my #runningbuddy – but the treadmill will do – no excuses!
  • I also do a yoga class once a week.
  • Then to mix it up, I will join in with the Outdoor Boxing and Circuits as often as I can with the Sydneysiders Crew.
  • Weekends and school holidays will see me going for bush walks and walks along the Nepean River.
  • I also have DVDs and a treadmill and some weights to use at home whenever the urge hits!
6. What is your greatest strength that will help you?
I am determined.
I had forgotten about that until being a part of the 30+ Crew Eight Week Challenge reminded me of the fact.
That was one great thing I have taken from ten years of Weight Watchers membership.  I had lost 27kgs with Weight Watchers before becoming a leader, and then being pregnant with Master G.  At my first back to goal meeting for leaders in 1998, when Mr G was a couple of months old, the leader of the meeting asked how I was feeling.  I said I was scared of not getting back to my goal weight.  Her words had a big impact on me, she said “Don’t be scared. Be determined”.  She wrote the words scared and determined on a whiteboard, and crossed the word scared out.  I realised then I had a choice about my feelings and my behaviour.
7. What are you afraid of?
Do I dare write spraining my ankle?  I wrote that in the first week of the blogging challenge last round, and then did it twice in ten days a couple of weeks after that! I do know if it were to happen again I would react in a much different way.
With that in mind, I shall say if I am determined I am not afraid of anything.
8.  What are you looking forward to the most over the next 12 weeks?
  • Sweating and watching my HRM as I maintain a high heart rate during my training.
  • Being able to run five kilometres.
  • Lots of yummy food.
  • Finding a yoga class and instructor that suits me.
  • Being able to shop at a regular clothing store by the end of the round.
  • Doing the fitness test – and scoring “intermediate” in every aspect.
9.  What is your downfall? Food? Exercise? How will you overcome this?
A negative shift in my mindset.
I will overcome this by
  • Not dwelling on negative thoughts.
  • Not beating myself up if I make a bad decision.
  • Not putting up with excuses from myself.
10. If you had to pick one word to motivate you over the next 12 weeks, what would you choose?

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