Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Well today went back to "normal" - whatever that is. I felt under immense pressure and still quietly stressing about a couple of things (just how many EOFY reports can we possibly do??!!) but I stayed calm, balanced and smiling for most of the day.

Subsequently I ate less again and didnt have any of those "OMG I just need food for comfort" feelings. I also journalled this morning sort of retrospectively for yesterday but didnt feel it was really crucial. To be honest, its difficult to make it a priority when on most days I feel good.

It was nice to get an email today from a friend on a similar journey, confirming that there is a long road ahead and it wont always be a straight line and I wont just glide along it, glitch free from point A to the end. But we both know that its a road well worth pursuing and yesterday, for me was a nice step forward.

So on that note, I'm off to make a peppermint tea and enjoy a couple pieces of almond bread with it. Moderation and no all / nothing thinking being the key things to practice.

One day til EOFY comes to a climax. Bring it on, I say.

:-) M

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Well there is no denying that today was a tough day and my post tonight will be about food, thoughts and coping because they all tie in together for me right now.

I know I go on about it but EOFY is a full-on stressful time (but I wont bore you with details). I've stayed pretty relaxed about it and have pretty much rolled with the punches but today I felt overwhelmed, under great pressure and annoyed about stuff. So there were lots of negative thoughts and feelings dominating my mind.

To compound this less than ideal situation, today my food just didnt satisfy. I ate breakfast and sat there wondering "is that it?" Totally not satisfied until I made an extra slice of toast and had it with natural peanut butter. Then because there was a specific issue that took up so much of my time today, I missed my morning cappuccino :-( I ate half of my pear which was woody and tart. Didnt enjoy it, at all :-( Lunch was ....meh  ... no satisfaction there either.

So all this is leading towards the "I want something yummy to eat - mainly for emotional reasons and not true hunger." How else can I deal with these feelings? I'm craving comfort in some form. Now because I'm at work there are a range of things that are not feasible due to meetings, phone calls etc.

So I made a conscious decision to have a packet of salt and vinegar chips and enjoy them as my daily treat. I savoured the crunchiness, the saltiness and the sharpness of the vinegar AND I MOVED ON to the next problem to solve.

Later in the afternoon when I was hungry I decided to have a Bakers Delight scone with a cup of tea and again I enjoyed every mouthful. I could have felt like "bad girl, you used food to cope" but instead I chose to see this as not cheating, failing or being naughty.

Both of these situations are a major breakthrough for me and my all / nothing personality. Previously I would have devoured the chips and then proceeded through an eating frenzy of anything and everything - after all once you've blown it, you may as well do it properly.

And as I type tonight I can honestly say that my choices and decisions today sit well with me. I'll not be freaking out or stressing about the scales. I'm not going near them. Tomorrow I might eat less, or I might eat similar. All I'm keeping in my mind is that my one and only goal is not to binge in an out of control eating frenzy.


Monday, June 27, 2011


My dad turned 76 recently. This was taken at his birthday dinner. (He doesnt believe in dressing up LOL).

Miss R is one of my bestest ever friends. We caught up for lunch on Saturday.

I'm ready to head out for lunch. I was feeling pretty good so I got Peter to immortalise it on film (well on flashcard actually).

This pic is my favourite. We went to a 60th on Saturday night and I was feeling invincibly sexy (LOL). I swear I havent dieted for 2 weeks nor gone anywhere near my scales and I FEEL SO GOOD.

This weekend just past has been one of the best for a long time. It got off to a good start with an early arrival home on Friday and me knocking off my share of the housework. Not fun but a bloody good feeling knowing its not waiting for you over the weekend.

Dinner was a 97% fat free seafood pizza from a local takeaway. This one is SO yummy as its pretty light on the cheese so its ALL about the seafood and they dont scrimp on it. We skipped the garlicky cheesy bread and just enjoyed a bottle of red wine with it. SUPERB!!

On Saturday morning it was studio training for me so I hit back, shoulders and tris which is undoubtedly my favourite weights session. Then I hopped on my crusty old exercise bike for a 30 min cycle while I enjoyed some reading. A quick grocery shop and then time to doll up for lunch with one of by closest and dearest friends. Well after a very long catch up and a bottle of sav blanc later we headed out for coffee and some retail therapy to really make it the perfect day.

At almost 5pm I said my goodbyes and headed home for beer o'clock and time with Peter. Then we had some of the best news ever - that a dear friend of ours who's been living in Queensland for about 3 years is coming back to live in Adelaide. I cried tears of joy on so many levels (thr main one being totally selfish LOL).

That night we partied at a 60th with work colleagues (my ex and Peter's current) and had a great night. I managed a few glasses of bubbly and was seriously ticking over. The red dress picture is priceless. I bought that dress a year ago and have always felt / been too fat to wear it (its 100% clingy). Whilst I havent weighed myself recently, I just KNEW it'd be ok and I think it was. I know I felt good in it - not self conscious at all.

Yesterday was all about my boy - chess club in the morning - he came 1st in the under 10s and then his strings concert in the afternoon where he played a solo (the theme from The Wizard of Oz).

I couldnt have asked for a better weekend - oh and the cherry on top was Lara Bingle being booted off DWTS (yes tragically I love that show). There were other little bits and pieces that just added to this but I wont bore you with all of the nauseating detail.

I can sum it all up in a few words - LIFE IS GOOD (irrespective of the EOFY pressures because the things that matter the most are all ticking along beautifully.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

I WONDER .....

In my quiet and reflective moments I wonder what my body / weight would be like if I never binged again?

If I ate mindfully choosing foods I loved and kept the "treats" in moderation, what would my body do?

If I moved regularly but never flogged myself? If I rested when I felt I needed to and pushed harder when there was energy to burn and it just felt good to go for it?

If I stopped stressing out about getting enough protein and idolising green vegetables?

If I used my eye to look at my naked body and say "hey, you look ok" instead of weighing, measuring , recording and analysing?

If the Binge Monster finally realised I was a lost cause and he left the building?

What would my body / weight look like?


Wednesday, June 22, 2011


This morning I donned 3 layers + a very stylish beanie (LOL) and headed out for a 40 minute walk. It felt good despite a little pain in my legs from yesterday - a combination of DOMs and my hip and glute issues. The temptation to stay in bed was strong but my determination to keep moving was stronger.

I seem to have fallen into a nice calm pattern of eating that focuses on mainly healthy foods balanced with a daily "treat" - being something I wouldnt normally have when I'm trying hard to lose weight. I'm indulging in more variety and letting go of some of my old rules like dinner should be lean protein and green veg on most nights (yep old habits die hard). In fact last night's dinner was minestrone soup (courtesy of Mr Campbell) with a grilled cheese on toast and a glass of red wine. Just perfect seeing I wasnt ravenously hungry but could use the wine to chill out after work.

There've been many times when I've wanted to hop onto the scales but have stuck to my resolve to stay off. I dont want to get bogged down in the numbers because for now my main focus is to find a way to stop binge eating. Its that simple.

So despite work being very busy and stressful at times, I havent turned to food for comfort, escapism or whatever other excuses I could previously muster. And by lifting previous restrictions and going easier on myself, I'm feeling better within myself and so the positive spiral has been established.

:-) M

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Still thinking about things on the training front and rather than stress about "I should do this" or "I should do that", I've decided to set myself one simple goal:


Thats something on 4 days of the week and more if I feel like it (which I probabaly will). But if my schedule gets tight on the weekend then I can miss a day and thats ok. Unless I start doing work at home again in the evenings, I should be ok for my morning sessions. Anyhow I dont want to miss them because even though its hard getting out of bed in the colder weather now, I do feel so good when I've completed my workout for the day.

Today I ventured into my studio and did another piss arse legs session. I say piss arse because my legs are not strong and I'm still dealing with all sorts of pains but my goal is to slowly work up from the baby weights to something half respectable - not to impress or anything but to get some strength back into my glutes and even my quads.  Yes I was doing this a few weeks ago but then I hit a bit of a slump and blew off my training so progress has been slow.

Anyway, enough micro-deatil and now for some bigger picture stuff. My thoughts today have been around goals and ambitions and I'll keep the focus on those relating to health / fitness.

Apart from 2 biggies that really meant something to me (competing in 2007 and doing the HM in 2010) I've found most other goals have left me a bit frustrated, disillusioned and motivationless (hows that for a cool new word??) When I look at why, I now realise that my goals have clearly fallen into 2 categories. There is the one where the outcome is something that challenges me and I "just have to do it". The motivation comes from within to achieve that goal and I'll usually do whatever it takes to achieve it. They are the good get-your-arse-into-gear-goals that make a difference.

On the other hand I've made thousands of goals to do this or do that, but their purpose has been to spur me into action and to provide the motivation to do whatever. And without fail a good 80 - 90% of those have just fallen by the wayside and not had that effect at all. Unless the desire comes strongly from within me, making a goal statement, for me is pretty much useless.

Maybe thats why sometimes I achieve more by just letting go of the pressure to achieve and going with the flow. I'm a firm believer that on the whole I make good choices and decisions that give me good outcomes and I dont need a set of defined goals to drive me each day. (And yes that is SO against all the stuff written by the majority of self help gurus out there, but hey, its ME).

:-) M

Monday, June 20, 2011


Well despite being crazy EOFY busy at work, I've hit a bit of a middle-of-the-day-slump and have decided to hop on and update my blog. I'm sure it'll inspire me to work hard for the rest of the day LOL, especially as it may just clear my head of budgets and the like.

It seems like bloggers are finding or declaring their eating manifestos / secrets to success or short term wins lately. I love reading about these things and find myself nodding my head or just smiling to celebrate their successes. I feel its a bit premature to declare my personal wins or successes even though I'm pretty happy with where I'm at and how I'm feeling and seeing things a little differently to before. Now to just get some weeks under my belt like this and I too will write more about it. Its just that I feel like I've only done 2kms out of a marathon so its a bit premature to put it out there.

Speaking of marathons ...... NO I'm not contemplating one at all. In fact I've been thinking lots about running / not running / walking / other training etc and am slowly coming around to the (obvious) fact that maybe running isnt for me right now. WOW I've said it (gasp). I thought I'd have a meltdown if that was to be my fate but slowly commonsense is prevailing and I'm finally able to ask myself "why do I run when it causes me so much pain" (both during the run and even worse in every day life). There has been little enjoyment in my running lately yet I have soldiered on waiting for my mojo to return. As I write this my left glute is plagued by constant sharp shooting pains and no matter how much I try to relieve my ITBs they (especially the left side) just hurts constantly. I'm sick of it.

So when I get my mojo together I'll start a bit of self rehab and rethink what my training will be in the meantime. Sadly even walking fast causes pain but I might have to just suck that up. Down the track it may be that 1:1 physio / pilates is my only chance of fixing this for good (and seriously draining my bank balance LOL).

So here I am contemplating not running, not feeling that endorphin rush, that runner's high, that sense of achievement at the end of nice long run. It does sadden me a bit yet on the other hand I long to live pain free.

Decisions. Decisions.


Thursday, June 16, 2011


Not sure why but I started the day as a real cranky pants today. I was impatient, short-tempered and just grumpy. On the way to work I took some time to have a coffee and write in my journal just to dump some of my thoughts onto the page. Dont know if it helped or not but arriving at work I kicked into top gear and just got on with the squillion issues, problems, tasks awaiting me. There was no time for any "woe is me" bullshit today LOL.

When I think back over my day - how busy it was and what I achieved, I think WOW!! I really must practice acknowledging my successes instead of focussing on my shortcomings. This doesnt come naturally to me as I agonise over the stuff I think I'm no good at - which tends to be more than your average person agonises over.

Today's training was a little different as I did a shorter faster (well sort of) run instead of my usual 40 - 50 minute session. I'm definitely a long and slow girl but my body's not coming to that party so I'm trialling something different to see how I go. I'm still tweaking my training as my routine changes slightly from week to week but I can afford to do that now with no events on the horizon.

I'm eating happily most of the time but acknowledging that my approach is somewhat of a trial and error and this early stage wont necessarily be all sweet smelling roses. There will be days / times when all I can smell is the manure and I just have to believe that the roses will grow through.

Time for bed now (tsk tsk this is too late for me)


Wednesday, June 15, 2011


For anybody who knows me well, you'll know that I HATE winter and would prefer the scorching heat of summer any day but even I admit that I love the following:

1. Rain on the roof when I'm snuggled in my warm bed.
2. Our gas heating - programmed to come on 20 minutes before we get home.
3. Wearing jeans with boots.
4. Wearing scarves.
5. Slow cooker meals.
6. Red wine.
7. The occassional glass of Benedictine - as a REAL treat.
8. The first hit of cold air on my face when stepping out for an early run.
9. Winter fruit - pears are my favourite - but only hard ones please.
10. My birthday in July.
11. Admiring the green countryside and

12.. Counting down til summer (I just had to get that one in LOL)

What do you love about winter?


Tuesday, June 14, 2011


A great metaphor for what confronts women in their quest for freedom from emotional eating is the labyrinth. It’s an image with a long and varied history in ancient Greece, India, Nepal, native North and South America, medieval Europe, and elsewhere. As a contemporary symbol, it conveys the idea of a complex journey toward a goal worth striving for. Passage through a labyrinth is not simple or direct, but requires persistence, awareness of one’s progress, and a careful analysis of the puzzles that lie ahead. It is this meaning that we can apply to our journeys. For women who aspire to emotional eating freedom, routes exist but are full of twists and turns, both unexpected and expected. Because all labyrinths have a viable route to the centre, it is understood that goals are attainable. The metaphor acknowledges obstacles but is not ultimately discouraging.

If we can understand the various barriers that make up this labyrinth, and how some women find their way around them, we can work more effectively to improve our own situation. What are the obstructions that women run up against ........

I found this piece in a leadership article aimed at women and played around with some of the wording so that it applied to the journey we face when we work towards emotional eating freedom. It really struck a chord with me as the metaphor was so relevant and applicable to my and many others' situations. The final sentence about the obstacles we face will have a different answer for each individual although many will share the same challenges.

It sort of boils down to each of us having our own individual journey, working out what works for us. I know this has been especially relevant to me and the work I did with my SP a couple of years ago really pinpointed MY issues. Where I fell down between then and now is that I didnt practice what we discussed. I swanned out of there on cloud nine believing that understanding the problem = fixing the problem when in fact knowing and doing are 2 completely different actions with different outcomes. (Duh sometimes my inability to see the obvious just amazes me).

Anyway enough of the heavy analytical shit for today. I'm feeling good and embracing this week as one of positive thoughts, positive actions and positive outcomes. And none of those are based on how much I weigh or getting my headspace right to "diet" again - no matter how pseudo that diet might be.

:-) M

Monday, June 13, 2011


..... I'm doing things a little different. When the dust settled and the the calm returned and logic and commonsense prevailed again I had a bit of a think about what had caused me to get into the negative and destructive slump of last week and a half. It was quite easy to figure out so I'm confident (fingers crossed) that it'll be as easy to change.

Firstly I had fallen back into a diet mentality which had me obsessing with the scale number. Yes I was telling myself that I wasnt on a diet blah blah blah yet on the other hand I was treating the scale number as the be all and end all. I know I'm smarter than that but its such an easy trap to fall into, especially when indeed I was trying hard to lose weight. So when it (the scale number) didnt go the way I wanted it to, I fell back into the trap of a string of negative thoughts and ended up binging.

Secondly I had become really bored with what I was eating. Yes it was all food I like / love but it was boring and "good" and it added fuel to my diet mentality. I desperately wanted to break out, to rebel and when I did, I was out of control.

So a few changes are in order some physical and some mental which I need to work on consistently. To break this "diet mentality" I plan to:

1. Practice the "M" work everyday - MODERATION. Every day I plan to have a food that I would normally consider a treat and therefore avoid like the plague - or eat until I was bursting. It might just be a small biscuit with my cappuccino, a Ferrero Rocher after dinner, a couple of bits of almond bread or a glass of wine (when I'd normally not have any). The key is to get used to having this treat in a reasonable quantity without feeling like one mouthful is too many and a thousand are not enough (I credit Liz  with this clever little saying).

2. I will stay away from the Metal Monster until early July and stop obsessively weighing myself and taking my measurements. This works for some people but not me. Experience has shown that every time I put myself under this type of pressure, it backfires and I end up losing weight and then quickly gaining it back. Every time this happens, it conjures up thoughts of failure and frustration and I dont want to live my life always coming back to those negative feelings.

When I was REALLY honest with myself I realised that as long as I ate well (but not necessarily 100% of the time or 100% "well") and exercised regularly I felt good about myself and was at peace with my body. I didnt need to be ?? kilos or have ??% body fat or look like a fitness model to be happy within myself. And in that mindset of eating well and thereby nurturing myself I found I could tackle just about anything and know that I'd be ok. Its such a great, positive place to be and one where I desire to spend a lot more time.

I've also decided to keep a (private) journal where I'll track my thoughts and feelings as I'm sure there'll be stuff that I dont want to blog about. Yet it'll be stuff that I'll need to work through, trial and see how it goes. My journal will also hold the information from my SP and some key information that will help me with this quest.

Yes I'm tackling my emotional eating problem one step at a time (well there are 3 here but its a manageable chunk, I believe) but I can no longer pretend that its all ok. I'm finally realising that if I want different, I need to do different. Let the new journey continue.


Friday, June 10, 2011


They say when the student is willing to learn, the teacher appears. This morning I was rifling through my pile of newspaper liftouts that held all the crosswords I like to do in my spare time (all 2 minutes of it / week LOL). As I was checking that I had the oldest rather than the newest, I found in that pile, the notes that I was given by my Sports Psyche a couple of years ago. It was like a message from heaven reminding me of all the work I had successfully done with her before being sent on my way with some really positive reassurances.

I took the notes with me today and over a lovely breakfast at one of my favourite cafes I read through them again to refresh my memory of our sesssions. Well needless to say, a couple of really obvious things jumped right out at me and I had one of those "duh smack yourself on the forehead moments" which is probably just what I needed to snap me out of this stupid stupid rut I've gotten myself into over the last week or so. Within minutes it was obvious where I had gone wrong and how easy (theoretically) it would be to fix that.

When I find myself in these situations (you know the crappy negative ruts) it is hard to break out from them but what always makes it easier is a complete change in routine. And thats what I had today (perhaps another small heavenly Godsend). I had booked a leave day so that I could attend a school excursion that would be near my work. So my day was: drop son at school, have breakfast at one of my favourite cafes on the way to work, do a couple of hours work to stay on top of things, join the excursion (and in doing so make my son's day), enjoy catching up with some of the other mums and then score an early dismissal and enjoy it by visiting one of our favourite cafes for a coffee and biscuits.

I found myself eating a fraction of what I've been consuming lately and more importantly I was not obsessed with food and feeding my negative thoughts. Hooray!!

And to think, all week I've been telling myself that now I must eat quite strictly to compensate for overeating. Deep down its just freaked me out and made me feel worse and I couldnt bring myself to do it. Just goes to show, a little self love goes whole lot further than a lot of self loathing and punishment.

Now that its the thick of winter I cant resist sharing this pic taken on our Noosa holiday in January this year. Yes I'm seriously hanging out for summer again.

:-) M

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


........ (because I always am) I'm having a tough time and have lost focus on my turnaround. Historic patterns repeating over and over and needless to say I've done a lot of draining-and-getting-me-nowhere self analysis. I've tried to be objective about it all but thats very hard for a highly emotional and over-sensitive Cancerian. There have been tears, albeit shed in private as I prefer to keep my personal struggles to myself ... oh and Blogland LOL.

Work busyness and pressure is not helping right now either. Although I have proved previously that I can cope without turning to food, in the last week, that hasnt been the case. Oh and red wine in more than moderate quantities is my new best friend. Whilst I dont drink to get drunk, I'm now having a wine more often than usual.

But on the positive side I've decided to do things a bit differently from here on. I just need some time to research and put my plan into place. Deep down I feel my decision is the right one .. if what I want works out. Yes thats all quite cryptic but at this stage there's nothing more to tell.

So there's my whinging negative post. Right now I cant see any silver lining on the clouds but I have a 4 day long weekend coming up and the plan is to focus on me, me, me and rack up some fun and feel good activities.


Friday, June 3, 2011


Sometimes life takes you back to a crossroads that you thought you had past as you merrily followed your happy path. You find yourself back there a bit surprised, a little (or a lot) disappointed and somewhat frustrated. You thought you were on straight path to where you were going.

But life is rarely that simple, that black and white. It's paths twist and turn, go uphill and then down and in doing so make our journeys interesting and challenging.

Where I am now I am faced with another decision about which path to take. I identify my options, I weigh up the pros and cons of each and estimate where they'll take me and I make a choice that I know is right and that I own.

As I travel life's paths and challenges are thrown at me I will remember that I have the tools to deal with them. When I search for answers in all the wrong places I'll remind myself that all the answers I need are within me, within my heart. The mind might say one thing but the heart always knows.

Now let's get on with enjoying the weekend.

:-) M

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Thanks for coming back with that extra info Gillian. (Refer comments on my last post). Its really helped me to understand your situation better.

Firstly let me say how much I admire and respect junior primary teachers. My boy is in year 3 so his year 1 is still very fresh in my memory. His class of 18 - 20 boys was mighty enthusiastic and energetic and fortunately led by an exceptionally good teacher. I'm sure she had her days though.

Teaching is very tiring work so I totally get what you're saying. I have the "luxury" of sitting at a computer or in meetings for most of my days but that can be tiring too - yet in a different way. And I remember very well how incredibly tired I was in the last 2 weeks of my HM training. Talk about fatigue with a capital F!! I avoided all forms of incidental exercise and movement just to survive and even then I had to take a few extra rest days before the race as I was worried that I'd line up on the day and be too tired to run the distance.

You mention that you'll be 50 on your next birthday. My comment: IRRELEVANT!! (And I mean that in a nice way!!) You seem like an energetic, enthusiastic and driven person that is not shackled by the number attached to your next birthday. OK you / we may not have as much energy as a super fit 20something year old but I'm sure we'd give a lot of others our age a good run for their money.

So here are my thoughts on your tiredness and self preservation:

1. How good is your diet and does it suit your training? In other words, are you eating mainly  clean whole unprocessed foods and balancing your carbs, proteins and fats? Experience has shown me that a healthy diet is paramount to having even remotely reasonable energy levels. I also found that for too long I was stuck in the low carb mentality (a leftover from my bodybuilding and prepping for comp days) and I ALWAYS felt totally flat in the afternoons. Now that I eat carbs at lunch time (eg 1 big slice of grainy seed bread or some brown rice) I feel a lot better in the afternoons. The same would go for dinner time if you were running the following morning. Perhaps pay attention to your dinner by juggling carbs up a bit and see if that makes a difference. Oh and I cant promote enough how important I believe good fats are. Salmon, olive oil, olives, nuts etc should be enjoyed regularly. I must add that my husband swears by red meat for iron. When we eat a lot of fish in summer our red meat intake goes right down and he regularly complains of feeling flat and not having energy. A good steak dinner and rest assured, he's pumped to go again (he runs too but never long distances). Apologies if you're a vegetarian.

You mention that you're exhausted after work and I sympathise. Are you able to take 30-40 minutes to yourself and do something you really enjoy to help you wind down and relax? We spend a huge proportion of our lives running from one activity or commitment to another and there never seems to be time to stop and smell the roses. Maybe that simple act (proverbially speaking) will help to balance you. The other side to this is the sleep factor and getting enough each night. I'm an early to bed person to manage my early starts but if you like to stay up later despite some earlier starts then that may be having a negative effect on your energy levels. I'm not sure what to advise about waking up exhausted other than the diet, relaxation and sleep factors. Thats a really tricky one.

Yet having said all that you may take on baord a suggestion or two and it may make a slight difference but essentially it wont remove your situation. It then comes down to your personal goal (to run the marathon) , what it means to you and your level of commitment to it. I think you already know that it wont be easy. (Hey if it was everybody would be doing it LOL.) But I think thats what makes it so exciting, so desirable, so worth going for. And the harder it is the greater the reward and sense of achievement when you've reached your goal.

Gillian the decision is yours. You can convince yourself that its too hard and you have too many obstacles or you can acknowledge that yes its hard and there are obstacles but YOU CAN AND WILL DO IT.

:-) XX M


Yesterday's post raised this question from Gillian and I thought I'd blog post my answer.

Hi Magda

How do you go getting up early for a run? I seem to have developed a real phobia about getting up early for a run before work. I can get up really early any other day not not then. This is going to become a real problem as I am training for my first marathon next year! Any suggestions?Gillian, this is a tough one because its about habit and mindset.

I have been training at 5am since December 2006 when I started preparing for a figure comp to be held in October 2007. My lifestyle (fulltime work, young child etc) meant it was then or never and I started to form the habit in the nice warm months over summer when it was relatively easy to do. Once the habit was formed (and I did it every working day) it was relatively easy to keep doing it and I still am 4 years later.

However I think "mindset" is almost more important than the habit factor. In this regard I adopt the following beliefs and standards.

1. Training (of some sort) is a non-negotiable for me (and it just happens to have to be at 5am). I might miss a few days here or there but I've never given it up entirely and then have to reform the habit. My blog sort of keeps me accountable as I publicly declare that this is what I do so I feel bound to live by my word.

2. I am generally a morning person and I dedicate that first hour of the day to "me". Its my time to do something good and positive for myself and I dont kid myself that a sleep in will have the same effect. I tend to wake up easily and once I'm awake, getting up to train is the only option.

3. I pride myself on the fact that I maintain a fit and active lifestyle. My recent medical checks came back excellent and my GP confirmed that my healthy lifestyle choices all added up to make me very low risk for heart disease (and probabaly a slew of other illnesses as well).

But thats enough blowing of my own trumpet.

Your comment states that your phobia is about getting up early to run (but not to do other training). What is about the running that is making you feel this way?

Are you worrying about the volume and intensity of the training? Are you training with or being coached by anyone? When I decided to do the HM last year I was a bit scared about it too so I signed up with Pat Carroll as I'd heard so many good reports about his on-line coaching. It was money (and not a lot!!) well spent as Pat monitored my training progress and mentored me on race day psychology. I did all my running on my own but knowing that Pat was "supporting me" made the world of difference.

Are you worried about personal safety if you have to run in the dark? This is a real issue these days and one I'm very careful with. I was able to keep my weekday runs to an hour or less so I never went out before 5am (but even that is pitch black through the winter and spring months). I did my long training runs on the weekends in broad daylight. When I ran early mornings I'd always have my phone with me. I also never run where there is no residential property or general signs of life and people coming and going. For instance I will never run through a park or gardens or anything like that. Even some areas where there are just shops (deserted at 5am) I'll try to avoid or make sure there are residential streets to duck down should I need to. I try to stay as alert as possible by being 100% aware of my surroundings - and not getting totally lost in what I'm doing. I've been lucky as I've only had one incidence where a car load of youths passed me once and then turned back around and found me again tucked well into my suburb. They pulled up near me asking where there was a public phone but luckily nothing came of that. Ironically it was daylight by then and I was about 300 metres from home and less than 100 metres from a friend's place so had it turned nasty I was confident of making it to my friends place. My only suggestion is to maybe run with a club (I notice a group sets off around 6am in my suburb and about 8-10 people are involved.) Or maybe find a running partner (easier to say than do, I know).

Without knowing what it is thats causing you to fear / dread those early morning runs its hard to give advice. I know I stress about how much I have to "fit in" before work but at the end of the day I also know its about being organised and having a routine and sticking to it - a bit like the robot I was referring to in my last post LOL.

I dont know if any of that helps but if you're willing to share more I'm more than happy to share my perspective on it.




Wednesday, June 1, 2011


I must admit that it was VERY hard getting up at 4.50am today. I lay in bed for a couple of minutes contemplating the benefits of an extra rest day. Fortunately my Inner Warrior spoke to me loud and clear with "haul your arse out of bed and hit the weights girl", so I did.

It was 6.6 degrees outside and probably only a degree or 2 warmer in my studio. At least with leg training you warm up somewhat as you move the big muscles through the various exercises. I'm still on baby weights but am increasing gradually. I must admit though that the majority of my exercises feel quite painful - like a BAD case of DOMS, which I dont have at the moment. I guess I just accept that this is how it is for me now as I'm not in a position to undertake the extensive and expensive rehab that may fix my problem.

To finish off my training today I decided to go for a fast walk as 20 minutes on the exercise bike just didnt have any appeal. Even though I wore gloves, my fingers were like little sticks of ice LOL. But it was exhilirating and quite enjoyable to power through my suburb and enjoy a bit of thinking time.

In fact I was thinking how this turnaround is starting to really bore me. I've become so numbers focussed which landed me in trouble last week when the numbers werent what I wanted to see. I've also become a bit robotic with my food prep and meals eaten - its almost like I'm in a comp prep mode during the week - without the super restricted diet though. The rebel in me played a little fantasy game as I walked from work to my carpark yesterday. As I passed the various eateries along the way I imagined having lunch from each one over the coming days / weeks. If that doesnt scream BORED!! then I dont know what does??

:-) M