Monday, February 28, 2011


Today I'm feeling my age + 20. Physically I'm not in a good place and here's a bit of the low down as to why.

Yesterday's long run of 1 hour + 40 has left me really tired and sore. I can feel all sorts of aches through my hips and legs. I ran again this morning (in an effort to have Fridays as rest days and do my long runs on Saturdays instead of Sundays) but was slow as I gauged how much pain I could run through. I managed 40 minutes but my total distance was woeful due to lack of speed. Anyway I did the minimum required time so I've got to be happy with that.

I've also had a headcahe that has persisted all through yesterday and today as well. Panadol hasnt helped, nor has drinking lots of water yesterday. Not sure what its about but here's my theory:

Last week wasnt so good on the eating front. A change of routine with lots of different foods including sweets and alcohol more often than usual left me feeling a bit blah by the end of the week. My guess is that I became quite dehydrated. My vege intake also plummeted and you have the recipe for feeling physically less than optimal. Then add a nice long run to the mix and voila, the body has declared "I  CANT DO THIS!"

I'm aching like mad from the waist down, my head is thick and foggy and I feel like I need a good detox LOL. I guess on the up side, I can say that I have absolutely no desire to continue eating like that. Just having my usual breakfast and lunch has me slowly on the road to feeling better soon, I can tell.

Lets hope my theory is right and this is temporary and I handle my next long run much better. I have a "Recovery Week" (light training) this week so that should help too. Now pass me some more Panadol and a foam roller to release my sore ITBs.



Wednesday, February 23, 2011


A. Age: 40 something
B. Bed size: King - we like our own space
C. Chore you hate: Cleaning the oven
D. Dogs: not for us - we have a crotchetty old cat.
E. Essential start to your day: fresh lemon juice in a big glass of warm water
F. Favorite color: red or purple (depending on my mood)
G. Gold or silver: gold
H. Height: 5'7" (171cm)
I. Instruments you play: totally not musical

J. Job title: Manager blah blah blah
K. Kids: One gorgeous 8 year old boy
L. Live: Adelaide, Australia
M. Mom's name: Julia

N. Nicknames: Maggie, Mags
O. Overnight hospital stays: Zero to date.
P. Pet peeve: Whingers and people with a "victim" mentality.
Q. Quote from a movie: Life is like a box of chocolates ... Forrest Gump (cried my eyes out)
R. Righty or Lefty: Righty.
S. Siblings: Zero. Its all about me, baby.
T. Time you wake up: 5:00 a.m. on weekdays, later on weekends.
U. Underwear: yes always

V. Vegetables you dislike: raw celery - I'd rather die of hunger than eat it LOL
W. What makes you run late: too much to do, too little time.
X. X-rays you've had: teeth, back
Y. Yummy food you make: baklava cigars, lasagne, home made burgers, lobster thermidor (a rare treat) I could go on and on...
Z. Zoo animal favorite: lions

Monday, February 21, 2011


It hasnt taken much soul seraching for me to be clear about what I want and why I want it. I just needed to be sure that my decision was coming from a place of due thought and consideration as opposed to a flight of fancy, caught up in the whirl of impulsiveness.

In January of this year I made a commitment to myself that I would get my eating under control and get my weight to a level that I was happy and comfortable with. I worked hard to get my thinking right, my headset positive and have my plan of attack pretty clear in my head. Then I got on with it and DID IT. Every day I made choices and decisions that supported me getting to my goal. It almost came naturally. It certainly didnt feel like I was struggling or feeling deprived.

Then two things went wry and I slipped slightly off my course. Firstly I became complacent and started to relax a bit too much with my food choices. You know what I mean cause we've all done it "a little bit of this" or "I've done lots of running so I'm sure this wont do any harm" or just having that bit too much of something that tastes really good. After several weeks of being very focussed I became less focussed and .... complacent.

Secondly - and this is the greater of the two evils ... I became obsessed with the scale readings. I'd hop on 2 or 3 or more times a week lately. This just doesnt work for me and all was good when I'd weigh weekly and then forget about it. You see I'd become all numbers obsessed which is SO NOT what this is about. Yes I want to see a lower number on that damned machine but at the end of the day its about the following:

feeling good about myself because I'm taking good care of my physical self
feeling calm because I'm not torturing my mind and body through destructive behaviours
feeling light and fast(ish) on my runs which increases my enjoyment of running
knowing that I can approach my wardrobe in the morning and not have to look for the fat clothes
enjoying shopping for new clothes
setting a good example for my son about healthy eating and exercise
and on a totally vain note I admit I love it when people say "wow you look good for your age"

So I know its truly time to refocus and recommit. And I do it with sincerity and a renewed sense of purpose. My original medium term goal is to run the HM at 60 - 62 kg and this is what I'm committing to working towards. It feels wrong to give up whn I'm only half way there.

Will I reach my short term goal of sub 65 by the end of February? I'm not sure as its only a week away and I'm not prepared to do anything drastic or stupid to achieve it but I'll focus on eating well and doing my training and we'll see what MM does in return.

Geez I feel good now. Putting yesterday behind me and charging forward again ..... WOOHOO ....sub 62 or bust LOL.


Sunday, February 20, 2011


Frustrated by what appears to be a lack of progress on the weight loss front I decided to have a "no-rules" Sunday today. Yep I ate what I wanted including some sweets. It'd be fair to say that I'm well carbed up for tomorrow's sprint training.

Whats been on my mind all evening though is where I want to go from here. Before my indulgence today and some on Friday night I was sitting comfortably in the 65s. I got there fairly easily and it seems to be one of my set points (I remember this also from previous weight loss efforts). So is 65 where I want to be, where I'd be happy to be? Or am I prepared to up the ante, tighten up my nutrition and aim for a lower number? My Feb goal was to be sub 65 by the end of the month. But how do I feel about that now?

Hilary's blog had a great post about refocussing and recommitting and when I read it I went "yeah." But a voice inside my head says "think this through before making bold statements and declarations." So thats what I'm doing.

Not sure what this week will bring except at least one major change to my life. On Tuesday I start a management course run by one of the unis here in Adelaide. I'll be attending 6 x 2 day blocks and there'll be a significant work based project as part of the assessment. It'll be strange to be a student again. I havent studied for a very long time.

So on that note I'm signing off and mulling over where I am, where I want to be and what, if anything I need to do to get there.


Friday, February 18, 2011


I truly have a love / hate with the weight loss journey. I mean, its so frustrating and slow and boring (oops sounding like Katie now LOL.).

This week the damned MM has danced all over the place AND I'M SICK OF IT!!!

Ok I admit that getting to this place is largely my fault. Although I am a mature, intelligent, patient and easy going person - seeing the numbers on the MM going up/down/up/down DOES MY F****N HEAD IN. So, note to self: Stay off the bastard after you've done your weekly weigh in.

Some people swear by the daily checks and can totally accept and live with the usual fluctuations. I'm not in that camp. When I've made a damned good effort with my eating and training I EXPECT to see the numbers drop ..... SIGNIFICANTLY.

I think I'm frustrated too because I'm close to achieving my Feb goal but the journey to it is not a straight line.

I know I'm being childish and a bit silly but tonight I needed to rant and tomorrow I'll be ok.



Thursday, February 17, 2011


... on my run this morning. I wanted to run at a good pace to bed down a slightly faster pace as my new norm. I'm really conscious that I've lost some speed between last year's HM and now.

But my left hamstring wasnt going to cooperate even after it was well warmed up and stretched at the 25 min mark (the stretch made it temporarily worse). I managed the hour but my distance was pretty woeful and I didnt finish on the usual runner's high. Instead I was just relieved that it was over. I iced the offending area which felt pretty good but it wasnt for long enough with so much to get through before work.

Tomorrow is a rest day before I attempt 1 hour + 30 mins on Saturday. I'm trying to ignore the warning bells going off deep in my subconscious telling me my body cant handle this volume and intensity of training. Instead I want to believe that all runners experience periodic aches and pains which are only temporary. I will be ok. As long as I'm sensible and committed to the other aspects of my ongoing rehab, all should be well.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Yesterday I finally had a very long overdue massage to release the aches, pains and tightness through my lower body and back / shoulders. My masseure Mr F inflicted the cruelest torture and pain on me. It was EXCRUCIATING!! I came out feeling like I had just gone 10 rounds with Ali with no wins under my belt. I chugged down water galore to flush out the toxins and went to bed early as I was shattered by 9pm.

Today's training was 8 x 80m sprints followed by a 3km time trial. Well my hammies were still sore and tight so I was a bit worried as to how I'd go. The start of the warm up was slow and painful but luckily by the 8th sprint repeat I knew I was about as good as I'd get.

I ran my 3kms pretty hard and was ahead of my split time goal at the 1 km mark. I kept believing that I'd smash the goal Pat had set for me. I felt good and was convincing myself that I was now running harder for longer.

Alas I was 4 seconds off beating Pat's goal (by 1 second). In the end I'm still happy with that run. The slightly uphill leg at the end did slow me down a little but its not like I was 20 or 30 seconds over my goal time. My hammies held up and I managed an awesome pulse rate and calories burned.

I'm still sore and tight but hope that things settle down over the next few days. Tomorrow's run is one hour but at an easier pace. Then Friday is my rest day. Oh and Metal Monster decided to nudge down a little more this morning which always makes me feel that little bit better :-) I have 800 grams to go to achieve my February goal of sub 65.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011



This morning I met again with the Metal Monster to see if there was any change in my 500 grams off and then back on. Well there was, albeit a small 200 gram loss. Which got me thinking about the numbers.

I've been losing quite steadily and usually with a reasonable weekly drop. And I sort of expect it. After all, I'm running heaps with either long runs or sprint sessions. My diet is pretty good and I've been keeping my treats well under control. Add to this the absence of binge eating and you could say my ducks are pretty much all in a row to achieve success on the weight loss front.

So the 200 grams was a bit of a disappointment which got me reflecting over the week just gone. Hmmm dinner out on Wednesday night included a shared bottle of wine and dips with pita bread; a slight change to my breakfasts with baked beans in place of eggs on some days; Saturday night dinner for my SIL's birthday started with cheese and crackers (usually avoided these days) and although the meal was healthy I did probably eat a bit too much. Then I finished the night with dessert served with not one but two scoops of premium ice cream (rationale being that I needed the carbs for my long run on Sunday). Finally everything I ate on Sunday was sweet based (French toast made from Burgen muesli and fruit bread; an apricot /almond sate ball - sugar free but lots of natural sugar from the dried fruit - and then honey mustard chicken with balsamic roasted veges for dinner). So reflecting on all that I've reviewed my opinion to "Wow I'm glad I lost 200 grams."

All this drives a really clear lesson home. In the words of one wise mentor (hello Liz!!) "You cant out-train poor nutrition." Not that my nutrition has been THAT poor but its obviously not been as good as other weeks. Add the age factor** to this and the result is a go slower on the weight loss.


All this leads me into the next instalment of Magda's Musings (sadly quite neglected lately).

Where weight loss is the goal, the math doesnt lie. You can absolutely love and accept yourself. You can declare peace with all those body parts that you previously hated. You can get into a positive headspace and adjust your attitude accordingly. But at the end of the day its your eating (and to a lesser extent exercise) habits which will determine whether you get leaner, or not. If the changed thinking results in changed action then you've struck it. But if you only change your thinking and attitude and dont follow through with changed actions then a rocking body will likely stay well out of your reach. The math doesnt lie.

We all want different things and we make our choices accordingly. For some, having that peace and acceptance of themselves is paramount and thats ok. Some want a ripped, super fit look 24/7 and are prepared to put in the hard yards to achieve it. I salute them - but thats not for me.

You all know that for decades I struggled with yoyo dieting / strict diets / binge eating and round after round of weight lost and regained. It literally drained so much out of me until I finally realised that dieting wasnt the answer to long term weight loss and maintenance. But what was the alternative? I looked into intuitive eating and although there was lots about it that was appealing, deep down I knew that it would not help me to achieve a reasonable weight that I was happy with. I'm a carb lover AND I just dont get the "2 bites of something I love and stop because thats enough."

For me there is something in between. Something that doesnt resemble a diet where I stress over macros, calories and swear off certain foods. But something that has more discipline than what would be my intuitive choices given a free reign to eat what I wanted. A middle ground where I make good choices and take ownnership of my decisions, keeping in mind that the math doesnt lie.

So there you have my take on this potentially hot topic. I know there is a vast range of opinions based on different personal experiences and I'd love to hear them.

Cheers all


** Irrespective of what science says, there is a definite slowing down of weight loss as you get older. Just ask anybody over 45 and they'll confirm that the weight doesnt drop off like it used to in our 20s and 30s. You have to work that little bit harder for it.

Monday, February 14, 2011


30.58 kilometres run over 4 days of training (includes 2 shorter distance sprint sessions)

2090 calories torched on runs, Zumba and one easy walk

500 grams lost early in the week .... and then regained this morning. (Metal Monster obviously having an idiotic moment)

There's nothing like a check of the numbers to make you feel good ... or bad.

After emailing Pat with my time trial results and feeling pretty good about how well I thought I ran them, I decided to check my corresponding times from last year's training. WTF I'm slower now than I was then. Talk about feeling deflated and wondering if I can possibly beat my last HM time. Not happy Jan!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Well as I expected things have settled back to normal following Tuesday's arrival of TOM. I had no problems doing a 50 minute run on Wednesday and I certainly didnt have any problems taking a rest day today. LOL. Tomorrow's run is: warm up jog of about 10 mins; 8 x 80m sprints with walk back to start recovery then 4 x 1000m with 1 minute standing recovery. Pat's given me my time goals so the test will be on. I suspect there'll be a good torching of calories yet again which suits me just fine.

Not much else to report. Life is pretty much cruising beautifully which probably gets a bit boring to read about. I have a couple of different posts that I want to write but during my lunch break is not the time to turn my mind to them.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Today has been a tough day. I've had a sore left glute which then developed into leg pain similar to what I had at the height of my injury. This is stuff that seriously worries me.

But then TOM arrived (a week early again) and with it some pretty severe period pain (I rarely get any these days). Ah that explains why everything between my waist and knees hurts. So no panic yet as I'm sure that once TOM settles in the pains will go.

Maybe thats why I was SO hungry on Saturday. I dont suffer from PMT so its hard to blame it for a range of stuff that us girls deal with. Food was all good today and no desire to seek comfort or commiserations from crappy junk.

Training today was 6 x 500m time trials with a 1 minute standing recovery. My first 5 trials were fairly consistent in times. But the last one was SO SLOW you'd think I was running it with one leg :-( My time was embarassing. Now Pat will set my goal for my 4 x 1000m trials on Friday.


Monday, February 7, 2011


When I began my current plan to eat better in order to get leaner, as usual it followed a period of some indulgence or “relaxed holiday eating” as I like to call it.

In the first few weeks the bloat disappeared quite quickly as did a few kilos without a huge amount of effort. As my body balanced itself out I found that I wasn’t overly hungry and therefore ate accordingly as it felt “right.”

However more recently I’ve been getting really hungry and I put this down to few things:

  1. Now that my body is pretty much balanced there is no recent excess on which to draw for those hungry periods. For instance, previously I’d always have an afternoon snack but over the last few weeks I’ve been skipping it as I haven’t been hungry for it. Well not any more. Despite a pretty good lunch the growling tiger is looking for a feed around 3 to 3 ½ hours later.
  2. I’m training really consistently and burning some serious calories. After a light training week and 2 easy runs over the weekend, I still burned close to 1000 calories on those 2 runs. Couple this with no stupid binges or dietary blowouts and you can see that maybe finally my body and metabolism are working like nature intended.
  3. I really hope that my metabolism has hit that “firing well” state. I eat pretty consistently with a little diversion on weekends. My diet is mainly clean but not obsessively so. I eat good quality bread because I love it and it has no negative effect on me. I enjoy skim cappuccinos and a few wines and with them a SMALL serve of some snacky nibbles. Peanuts in their shells are a favourite or Peter and I share a small packet of Grain Waves. Dinners are usually lean and healthy to compensate for the pre dinner snacks. Sugary foods are few and far between and I rarely crave them – although I have invented a superb post long run treat-breakfast which I’ll share in another post.

On Saturday my hunger really kicked in and the hunt was on for healthy snack options. Then it was a case of get busy, busy, busy until 5pm. Less time in the kitchen means less chance of mindless snacking. Also today at work the 3pm hungries hit and I had no planned snacks with me. So out I trotted to the nearest mini supermarket and invested in a banana (still reasonably priced) and a small tub of Greek yogurt. I ate half of each and felt fantastic maintaining that nice sense of calm that I love. As I was waiting to pay for them I remembered many a time when I’d go into that supermarket already feeling quite full and buy up a few rubbishy snacks like potato chips, nut bars or something sweet.

I think back to how much I have struggled on previous “diets” or attempts to lose weight in whatever form I was trying at the time and I feel momentarily sad for all those hard times. But on the bright and positive side, all those times showed me what didn’t work and led me to where I am now. And I’m loving the place I’m in. I’m a runner and I’m 12 weeks from my second Half Marathon. My training affords me the enjoyment of foods I love like bread and other high carb options. I can and do enjoy my treats without any guilt but I know what’s enough and when to stop.

My total loss last week was .9 kg and yet again I’m happy with that. I have 1.2 kgs to lose to achieve my February goal.


Friday, February 4, 2011


Woohoo the Metal Monster and I are best mates again after a nice drop into the 66s this morning. It was a loss of .8 which I'm very happy with considering it hasnt been a full week since last weigh. Maybe this fasting thing isnt as bad as I thought ..... (only joking!!)

My fasting post generated quite a few commnets and mostly of agreement which doesnt surprise me. Whilst it may agree with some people in some form or other, for those of us doing higher volumes of aerobic exercise and / or endurance training, the right food in the right amounts and at the right times is essential. But even with that aside, I'm just not willing to go backwards to a state of restriction and deprivation. It never helped me achieve long term weight loss, let alone maintenance so for me its in the "dosent work, dont go there" basket.

This morning I enjoyed a well earned rest day with a sleep in that was 1 hour and 20 minutes past my usual weekday waking time. Oh BLISS!! I have 2 easy runs over the weekend (40-50 mins and 1 hour) before my training cranks back up next week. Bring it on. After tonight, we have a quiet weekend on the social front which I'll really enjoy. It'll be nice to finish it rested and relaxed with a few jobs done and start the new week on top of things.

Finally as we all travel our individual journeys towards improved fitness and / or leanness I just want to remind us that we are not alone. If you are going through a bad patch, extend a hand and ask for help. There will always be someone there to support you in some way - even if its just lending an ear to listen. Similarly if you are riding the crest of a wave you can help others through your posititve communication and modeling of positive behaviours. This can be really motivating to somebody who is struggling to get on a similar good footing.

So my message is seek help, share, support and strengthen our ties so that we all succeed in this together.


Thursday, February 3, 2011


I notice there is a somewhat new trend amongst some bloggers: fasting for weight loss or management. Now I must confess that I know next to nothing about this. I havent read the book (Eat Stop Eat) so I only know what I've read on said blogs.

The idea of fasting doesnt appeal to me at all. It reeks of restriction and a nightmare to manage training around and deal with the negative conotations that it would generate at home (as a family there is a lot of pleasure in eating dinner together at the end of day when we've all been apart.)

However circumstances yesterday resulted in a bit of a mini fast where there was no opportunity to eat dinner. Knowing that this was likely, Peter and I went out to lunch and I had a beef and cashew stir fry which wasnt served with any rice or noodles. Fortunately there were a LOT of veges and I ate the whole serve and felt quite full at the end of it. That was around 1pm and then we had a coffee after 5pm and headed off to an evening at our son's school.

Fast forward to getting home at 8.30 and there was cat vomit to clean up, washing to hang out, reading with my boy, trimming chicken thighs and marinating for tandoori chicken, making breadcrumbs to make turkey burgers, making a sandwich for Peter's lunch, school consent forms to complete and about another 10 or so smaller things that needed my attention.

The cup of tea and maybe some fruit that I was planning to have before bedtime just didnt happen. But I can honestly say that being so busy, I never felt hungry - plus I'd had a good lunch.

Fast forward again to this morning and just before my 50 minute run, my stomach started rumbling. I ignored it and set off knowing that a short run was certainly doable on an empty stomach. Which it was but by geez was my usually slow pace, even slower!!! I inhaled my usual breakfast of a large slice of seed and grain bread with one egg + 2 whites scrambled in a non stick pan.

And then it set in. TIREDNESS like I could barely drag myself around. I had a 25 minute walk to work today and I arrived feeling like I'd run 20 kms. I sat at my desk like a zombie for the first 30 minutes trying to regroup. I was struggling. The only thing I could put it down to was skipping a meal last night and then running in a depleted state this morning. It really knocked me around.

So I have learnt that for me good nutrition is critical for my Half Marathon training and subsequent recovery. Even a meal of lean protein and lots of veges works for a short run (up to an hour) the next day. A longer run (an hour and half) needs a decent serve of carbs as well :-)

So I'll leave the fasting to those who swear by how good it makes them feel. I'm not one of those. If I hadnt been so busy and had attempted a fast I know that once I got really hungry I'd also be irritable, unfocussed and miserable. And life is too short for that.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Here's a quick report on how I tracked with my other Januray mini goals.

End Feb weight goal of sub 65kgs: I'm 2.3kgs off achieveing this so its doable. We do have a very busy social month ahead though so that will be a challenge but it'll come down to balancing out the treats with the healthy meals and making sure I get all my running training done.

The non-negotiable 9: Well I achieved about 7 of the 9 which is pretty good in light of the dramatic events in January. I have NEVER watched as much TV as I did when the Queensland floods were happening. For days I was glued to it. Now I just have cleaning the dishwasher and cleaning the kitchen cupboard and fridge/freezer doors left to do ... sigh

The training sessions: Running training all completed with energy and enthusiasm. (Loving it!!) Upper body weights pretty much to schedule except when further work was happening in my studio. Whilst its not thrilling me to be doing the weights again, I'm sticking with it until I get a moment of inspiration to devise an alternative training plan.

So all up January was pretty good for me. I'm in a good place mentally and I'm happy with my physical progress both in what I'm achieving and how I'm managing my previous back / leg injury. My February mini goals are pretty simple too.

1. Keep developing my healthy relationship with food (eg no binging)

2. Complete 2 upper body training sessions / week.

3. Cross off the last 2 jobs on my non-negotiable list.

4. ... and here's my biggie .... limit my alcohol to 2 standard drinks on the days when I do drink (usually only between Thursday and Sunday) - with one exception and thats my good friend's 50th at the end of the month.

Wish me luck as the last one will be challenging for me.

Cheers all