Where to now? My goals for the next 12 weeks and beyond.

I’m not scared of growing old, I’m just scared of not

achieving everything that  I want to do.

Melanie Laurent

So I finished a half marathon – which was my major goal for Round 1 2013 of 12wbt. I finished it – but not quite in the manner that I wanted. (There’ll be a blog post about that soon.) So, there are less than two weeks left of the current round, and my next 12wbt round – Round 2 2013 – starts in 20 days, so I have been doing some thinking about my future goals while doing the preseason tasks.

My goals are focussed on me getting to my target weight – by my 48th birthday in July I want to be really, really close. I also want to be able to run the 14km of the City2Surf on August 11th in a much better time than my walk/jog effort in 2012.

So for the first four weeks of the round I have two goals.

1. My weight will be close to 92kgs.

2. I will run the 7km of the Sri Chinmoy Centennial Park event in 50 minutes or under.

I have two goals for the end of Round 2 2013.

1. My weight will be 80kgs – and that will mean within 5kgs of my target weight of 77kgs.

2. I will run the 7km of The Bay Run in close to 45 minutes.

So how do I keep the feelings of being scared and overwhlemed at bay? I mean I haven’t been under 90kgs since 2003. The last time I ran a 7km fun run it took about 56 minutes. How do I get from where I am now to the point to achieving these goals? I think there are three steps.

Step 1 – Take a deep breath. These goals are smart – specific, measureable (all I need is a tape measure and set of scales), achievable, realistic and time based. It is okay. I can do this. And the world won’t end if I don’t make these goals. The point is I have something to strive towards, and as long as I work towards them each and every day I can consider myself a success.

Step 2 – Reflect on how far I have come in the last 18 months of doing the 12wbt.

Q11743So, here I am in September 2011. I am in the purple top taking part in the Parkinson’s Unity Walk. The 5km took me about 1:00:00 and it was a huge effort to push myself to walk that fast.

This event was during the preseason of my first round of 12wbt – I weigh about 152kgs in this photo.

That feels so long ago.

And looking at it makes me realise if I could pick myself up and move forward from there, I can achieve what I have set out to do in the next 12 weeks.

20130103-234455.jpgAnd here I am just over a year later finishing a Sri Chinmoy 7km event at Iron Cove . I finished that fun run in 53:28. I came 83rd out of 85 females in the under 50 category, finishing about 25 minutes after the person who came first. But I still felt like a winner. It took some determination at times to keep pushing – but it certainly was a lot easier than walking 5km in an hour 14 months earlier.

This photo was taken during my fourth round of 12wbt, and I probably weighed about 103kgs. But I am wearing a Lorna Jane running singlet – size large – and feeling pretty good about that fact.

This also feels like a long time ago – since then I have been able to run twice that distance as a training run in about twice the time.

And looking at that I know if I could transform like that in one year, I’ve got what it takes to achieve my next set of goals.

Step 3 – Think about what it will take to move forward from where I am today. If it’s broken down in the basic behaviours, its obvious to me what could happen in one month, two months, three months, six months and one year.

This means I will have to…..

MAKE NO EXCUSES!
Follow a 14km training plan.
Plan my workouts every week to fit in with run club and work commitments.
Get to bed at 10:00pm at night.
Plan and organise food every week.
Continue to eat clean following 12wbt approach, and plan nutrition before and after long slow runs.

I can do these six things. I have to remember as I make my choices each day, that each choice will bring me closer to achieving my goals – or further from my goals.

Today I know that there is still work to be done,

but along the way my I am achieving my dreams.

Candace Parker

So, by April next year I want to be maintaining my target weight and be able to run the half marathon at the Australian Running Festival in about 2:30:00.

If I stay on track with the 1 month, 3 month and 6 month goals there is no reason I shouldn’t be able to be at my target weight and running across the finish line at the half marathon feeling triumphant.

If it is to be, it is up to me.

“The fullness of life lies in dreaming,

and manifesting, the impossible dreams.”

Sri Chinmoy

A Walk in the Park – Not!

Mr G and I traveled to Perth the Friday before last for the Round 2 2012 Finale Workout and Party. As we live just outside Sydney, we decided to make the most of the flight and stay for a week and celebrate our second honeymoon. When we got married in 1997, we traveled on the Indian Pacific to Perth, and then stayed in Perth and traveled around the South-West Corner for two weeks before flying back to Sydney. So, after all the turmoil of the seven years following my diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder we figured we could treat ourselves to a romantic getaway after the finale.

On the Monday and Tuesday night we stayed our Rottnest Island, were we had visited on a day trip on our honeymoon.  On the Tuesday morning, we hadn’t decided exactly what we were going to do for the day, and breakfast wasn’t being served for another hour or so, so Mr G suggested we go for a walk, and I added that I could do a training session on a beach like I had the afternoon before.

Instead of heading for the beach we went to the previous day – Mr G suggested we try another road as it headed towards a different lake. “There’ll be a beach there,” he said. There wasn’t. There was a sandy gravel road. We had walked as far as we could without risking being late for breakfast, Mr G likes to be first in line for the buffet 😉 – so I agreed to stop and do my TABATA training session.

It was devised by a friend who has just finished her PT training. It involved five different exercises, including sit ups and mountain climbers.  I explained, carefully, to Mr G that the TABATA involved me doing each exercise in eight sets, each set lasting twenty seconds, with a ten second rest in between. And a thirty second rest in between each exercise. All he had to do was keep count of the number of sets and operate the stopwatch on my phone.

 

 

 

 

The sit ups were the third exercise. While resting on my back in between working times I looked up at the sky and thought what a view to have during a workout. The Mr G came in to view, and I thought what a great shot for the photo a day challenge I’m doing this month. So, next rest I took the photo, the title “Hero”. Very appropriate I thought. Here he was supporting, encouraging and helping me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The mountain climbers were the second last exercise. When  is doing the first set I counted a very high number. When he called rest I said that was a very long twenty seconds. “Twenty seconds – not twenty seconds – it was thirty seconds,” said Mr G. I asked why he did that. He said all my working sets were thirty seconds long. I lost my calm, cool composure 😉 and said they were supposed to be twenty.

His response, “Suck it up princess and finish them all as thirty second sets!” So this is the face I made him pull to show how mean he was to me! Mr G – the apprentice tough trainer!

I felt I really deserved the breakfast that morning!

Bloggers’ Challenge – Week 2 – To reward, or not reward, that is the question….

The reward of a thing well done is having done it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

I am a primary school teacher, so I spend an awful lot of time every day giving out rewards – both verbal and token. I can claim stamps, stickers and certificates on my income tax. It’s an integral part of my job to provide extrinsic rewards to others, in order to recognise their achievements and encourage them to go on doing their best.

So in this week two challenge, I’m asking you, my fellow bloggers to think about how important rewards are for you on your 12wbt journey. Do you think they are a necessary part of the journey? Do they hinder or help?

Awards are so unnecessary, because I think we get so much out of our work by just doing it. The work is a reward in itself.

Natalie Portman

Question 1. (For everyone doing the challenge)

What are your goals for this week?

What is/are your main goal/goals for week four of the twelve weeks?

What is/are your main goal/goals for week eight of the twelve weeks?

What is/are your main goal/goals for week twelve of the twelve weeks?

What is/are your main goal/goals for one year in the future?

Now you’ve answered the question about your goals, there are three ways you could respond to this week’s Bloggers’ Challenge. Remember though, there is no right or wrong, what you believe is right for you is right for you. This week’s challenge is about exploring how you think about this and considering what is the best thing for you to do for yourself.

So, do you agree with Natalie Portman and Ralph Waldo Emerson? Or not? 

If you do agree……..

2. Why do you think extrinsic, or external rewards, for achieving goals on the 12wbt are not an important part of the journey?

3. If you don’t reward yourself when you achieve goals – do you still recognise your achievements somehow?

So, if you don’t agree with Natalie Portman and Ralph Waldo Emerson, then here is your questions 2 and 3.

2. Why do you think its important to reward yourself along the way as you achieve your goals as a  12wbt?

3. What rewards do you have planned when you achieve the goals?

And if you both agree and disagree with Natalie Portman and Ralph Waldo Emerson, then you can answer both question 2s and 3s.

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 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 – or just the ones you’d like to answer. 

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.

 

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“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”

Week 1 – Round 3 – Bloggers’ Challenge

1. Describe myself in less than fifty words.

I am 47 years old and have struggled most of my life to keep my weight under control and be healthy.

Then a year ago I took a leap of faith and signed up for my first round of 12wbt.

My focus changed from trying to lose weight – to being as healthy as possible. My eating, thinking and exercising all changed as I began to take care of my health for me.

And now a year later I’m 50kgs lighter, and down 60kgs from my heaviest weight.

But I still can’t stick to word limits.

2. This program is called a transformation. When I signed up for this round (my fourth round) what was it about myself I wanted to transform?

I want to transform myself into a runner. I want to run all the time like I did in the sprint for the finish line in the photo above. I want to increase my fitness – so that I can run the 1km time trial in under 5:30. I want to be able to run 10km in about an hour or so. I am doing the 10km Fun Run training this round so that I can achieve those goals.

3.  What is it about myself I am happy with right now?

I am happy that I am more determined than ever to achieve my goals while taking part in the 12wbt.

I am happy that although I have some ways I go in terms of my weight loss, I no longer have to shop in Plus Size stores or departments. (Although I must say the sales assistants at BeMe in Penrith and Emu Plains are just lovely, and I will miss them.)

I am happy that I believe I can achieve anything I set  out to achieve – including running a half marathon.

4. The aspect of this program I think will present me with the toughest challenge.

Getting enough sleep. I am going to set an alarm to remind me at 10.00pm each night to go to bed. I am determined to be close to my goal weight at the end of this round – so this means getting enough sleep each night is vital.

5. What is it you look forward to the most in the next twelve weeks?

Being able to run again like I did last century.  At the moment it usually takes a lot of mental effort to keep going. But I know once I am fitter, and have been consistent with running three times a week, my mind will enjoy the time I am actually running a lot more. And I will regain that sense of freedom I used to get with running when I was younger.

6. I’ve now completed  four days of the Round 3 program.

The thing that has surprised me the most is how much I miss training even after only four days. I hurt my ankle on Day One – and it has meant running, Zumba and BodyPump were not really possible during the last few days.

7. What I want to see, think and feel when you look in the mirror on Sunday 18th November 2012.

I want to see someone who is almost at their goal weight.

I want to think about how I have done all I can do to be a woman of my word.

I want to feel proud that I’m the best version of me I can be at that time in my life.

This post is my response to week 1 of the 12wbt Bloggers’ Challenge I am hosting in Round 3 2012.

If you’d like to join in with the challenge then create a post on your blog to answer the questions – or just the ones you’d like to answer. 

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 can then click on the links in the linky tool to read all the responses to this week’s challenge.

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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.

 

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.

 

Size 12 in 21 days

The last ten days I have basically been lying in bed willing my body to get better.  Last Tuesday the doctor diagnosed me with a “very bad viral infection” and to come back on Monday if I was no better. I started to feel a little better over the weekend – and even ventured outside the house – but Monday morning felt worse than ever. I was diagnosed with a secondary infection, resulting in bronchitis. More bed rest. More missed training. So not happy.

So my focus for my 12wbt journey these past ten days has been to be very, very strict with my calorie intake and to work on being as positive as possible with my mindset.  I feel I have achieved that – Wednesday weigh in saw me down 0.9kgs, despite spending most of my time in those seven days horizontal in bed – wonder how that affected my BMR?

When I wasn’t asleep, I kept busy hanging out in the forums and my 12wbt facebook groups – with daytime television on in the background.  There were so many ads, infomercials and interviews on the televsion about losing weight. I had almost forgotten what a big “industry” it is and how it thrives on peoples’ impatience and desire for a quick and easy fix.

It reminded me how way back in 1993 during the school holidays I was watching the Bert Newton Show on channel ten (way before “The Circle” and before “Mornings with David and Kim”) and he was interviewing Judith Wills whose book “Size 12 in 21 Days” had just been published in Australia. At the time I was probably a size 16-18 and probably very close to 100kgs, but I was sucked in with the idea of shedding twenty odd kilograms in three weeks!  I think the interview was barely finished and I was on the way to my nearest Dymocks.

Day one and two of the diet were “detox days” consisting mostly of salad vegetables and fruit salad – and from memory it would have been amazing if there 600 calories to eat each day!  Just crazy! Mr G actually tried it too and he fainted at work. Absolutely crazy!!!  But I stuck with it – I was obsessed with the idea of being a whole new me in nineteen days time.  I got to day 21 – and low and behold I wasn’t a size 12! Who knew?

And her advice if you didn’t quite make it in the 21 days? Go back to day one and start again! Eeek! Can you guess what I did? Closed the book, put it on my bookshelf and went back to my old habits.  The food allowance in the program was unsustainable and the goal the title encouraged me to go for was unrealistic for me.

I just wanted my body back and I wanted it back pronto, without any real effort.

At 28 years old it was the first time I had failed at dieting – from the age of 12 I had been a very successful yo-yo dieter.  But this one had me stumped.

And why did I fail? Becuase I didn’t shed twenty plus kilograms in twenty-one days?

I failed because of a few reasons. My goal was unrealistic. I was “too busy” to do the exercise recommended. The food plan was unsustainable.  I didn’t do any work on my mindset.  I saw it as a short term thing – I only wanted to work at it for twenty-one days, so I could then revert to my old habits. And I was just impatient.

It’s taken me a lot more than twenty-one days to get from 165kgs to 109.8kgs, and of course there is still some way to go to get to my goal of 77kgs.

I have no doubt I will get there. This is not a diet, a fad or a gimmick.  This is my way of life now.

I eat clean.

I train mean. (Well, when not slowed down by multiple infections below the neck.)

And everyday I’m thinking a little leaner.

And – gee I’d like to be 77kgs by the time I turn 47 next month, but I no longer expect miracles to happen in twenty-one days.

Give me twenty-one weeks though, and just let me show you what I can do.

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