Oh my poor neglected little blog. I've hardly paid any attention to you in well over a week. I guess I've just been out there living and enjoying life. Yes I have indeed and its been great :-)
On the first weekend in October we had a bit of a family celebration for my niece's 3rd birthday. This involved a day down south riding the Cockel Train from Goolwa, eating hot cinnamon donuts in Victor Harbor, having fish and chips by the beach in Port Elliot, oh and then ice creams too :-) On the public holiday Monday we had a one of the longest lunches I've ever hosted. My mum and dad arrived around 11.30 am and my ILs went home after 8.30pm. Needless to say, Tuesday's run was done at 11.30 am once some recovery had been undertaken.
I then had the following week off work as it was school holidays here. Oh bliss!! I enjoyed a hot stone massage and a facial, hosted an all-day play date for Mitchell and a friend, went out for pizza, garlic bread, wine and ice cream with Peter, pottered around home, taxied Mitchell to a friend's place for another play-date and then had one fun day with my boy. We had lunch out, played 20 Questions and Hang Man, saw Grown Ups 2 and laughed til we cried (well I did!!) and just had a great time together.
I even unleashed my inner Nigella and outdid myself with not one, not two but THREE culinary delights over the weekend. On Friday we had a Peking Duck Salad (courtesy of Taste.com). On Saturday it was Michelle Koen's chicken with asparagus and prosciutto which got a big TEN from Peter and last night I made a Korean dinner: Korean BBQed beef and fish, potato pancakes with dipping sauce, fried rice and stir fried veges. And the best bit is there are plenty of leftovers for dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow.
I have trained regularly maintaining my running program every 2nd day and I went back to doing some more hardcore upper body work and managed to give myself some fierce DOMS including shoulders. Who'd have thought that??!! I've NEVER had shoulder DOMS. I've also had some pretty awesome runs (and some not so awesome).
But the icing on the cake has to be that after all this fun and food and wine, my weight has settled back to exactly where it was about 2 weeks ago. No crash dieting. No crazy exercise. Nothing sinister. Just a bit of balance with a few green smoothies last week and watching portion sizes and BAM, I'll have my 64 1/2 kilos or so. Thank you very much :-)
Yesterday saw us send our boy off to Queensland as an 'unaccompanied minor' to spend the week with his grandparents. So for this week we are kid-free. We both left work early to get to respective appointments; me to the chiro and Peter back to his knee doctor. By the end of last week my neck was extremely sore and my shoulders were aching badly as well. Whilst that settled down over the weekend, my lower back decided to flare up in pain instead. I'm sure it all boils down to work and being chained to a desk and computer all day. Its a shame that this is what pays the bills and affords us a lovely lifestyle. However, everything comes at a price.
Peter's knee op doesn't appear to have fixed his problem so he was back for round two of whatever it might take to get him better. Recent bone scans showed serious wear in both knees and knee caps tracking out of alignment. Yet one knee hurts far more than the other despite the scans showing two identical knees. He is grumpy about having limited options for exercise. I'm struggling to find exercises that wont aggravate my lower back and neck/shoulders. I've been told to lay off the squats with the bar across my shoulders :-(
So having got those whinges off my chest, I'll re-frame things into a positive mindset.
For several months I've been successfully managing my lower back pain and have needed very few chiro treatments. I may be in the midst of a minor relapse right now but it is temporary and I know that it will pass. My general lifestyle habits help me to manage this condition and they will continue to do so in future. One of the things I can improve on is to minimise my sitting time out of work so that might be a mini goal for October :-)
Even with a sore back and/or neck and shoulders there is so much I can do to stay active. On my daytime runs through my neighbourhood, I often pass a man in a wheelchair sitting idly out the front of his house just watching the day unfold. He always helps me put things into perspective. I may be tired, hot, sore or feeling a bit down but that quickly changes to feeling mighty fine and lucky that I can do the things I love.
Yep, I'm lovin life even if it isnt always perfect :-)
Well who'd have thought that the last day of September would come around so quickly? Where has the month gone, I ask? Well its gone with Father's Day being celebrated and then 2 weeks later, Peter's birthday. I started my Running For Fat Loss program and have completed 12/28 runs so far. Saturday's run was Fartlek training which I enjoyed because I could choose my high intensity intervals. I threw in quite a few - some shorter , some longer and made the session count. Its a shame that yesterday's 350 workout followed by a 35 minute walk just didn't cut the mustard as far as intensity goes. I struggled to get my heart rate up and keep it in my training zone. Me thinks that tomorrow being a new month and all, it may be time to mix things up a bit and replace the 350 with something else. I shall scour my fitness mags for something inspirational.
Apart from a silly upward spike over the weekend, my weight has gone down a bit and September saw the skinny jeans come out of hibernation. Now THAT felt good, I can tell you. I've also been comfortably wearing some of my smaller pants and skirts but haven't tested the summer black dress for work and the boyfriend jeans yet. Plenty of time to conquer those. After all, you've got to enjoy the journey as much as the destination :-)
Without being all strict, obsessive or neurotic, I've been eating pretty well lately and have been commensurately feeling good for it. Interesting that if I have a bit of an indulgence of say cake AND ice cream (yesterday was just the weather for it) then my body subtly lets me know that wasn't such a good idea by sending along an annoying little mouth ulcer this morning. Just a gentle reminder that one or the other is ok but I'm better off not having both LOL.
I have no big earth shattering goals for October other than to keep going as I have been. Sure I need to keep my training interesting and effective but half of it is done for me so its just the other half that I need to work on. Keeping a balanced and positive headspace, choosing to be happy and grateful and not sweating the small stuff should see another great month ahead.
Do you have any big, hairy arsed goals for October or are you on Content Street with me?
1. I make my family's lunches (not weird) and every time I put spinach leaves on Peter's sandwich I think of Michelle Obama (VERY weird).
2. I was a smart kid (often top or 2nd in my class) but I couldn't do mental arithmetic - not even the basic, easy stuff. If I couldn't see the question written down, my brain couldn't compute the answer.
3. I love medical shows and used to watch RPA (in all its gory glory) whilst eating my dinner in front of the TV whilst Peter made sure he was never in the room when it was on (wuss!).
4. Crowds and large gatherings bring out my emotions and I'll often get teary for no real reason.
5. As a kid I used to be terrified of crossing bridges. I wonder if in another life I had died in a drowning accident after falling off a bridge.
6. I have Egyptian feet in that my second toes are longer than my big toes (not THAT weird but interesting).
7. I love liver and if I never ate chocolate again I wouldn't be upset (MEGA weird!).
8. I have a precise step by step method for drinking a cappuccino which includes licking off any chocolate that has stuck to the rim of the coffee cup (but I swear if I never ate chocolate again, it wouldn't bother me).
9. I've been a homeowner since my early 20s and I still hate gardening. For all the people who told me that will change when I have my own place I say "Wrong!!".
10. I got a kick out of sharing this weird (and wonderful) side of me.
This morning I nailed my 20 minute tempo run after feeling quite nervous about it. All it took was a bit of logical thinking to identify what sort of a not-easy-pace I could maintain for 20 minutes. It was never going to be really fast (like my 3 minutes fast pace) but it had to be at a run pace + a little extra and I think I nailed it. In fact, during my last 5 minutes when it was feeling REALLY hard, I swear I could feel the fat just melting off my thighs LOL. I then added 20 minutes of walking to clock up a total of 45 minutes and finished with 'Celebration' by Kool and the Gang playing to me. Yep in myself I was having a little celebration :-)
I'm loving the structure of my running program and the fact that its keeping me accountable and takes me out of my comfort zone. Previously I would never have got up and thought "I'll run as fast as I can for 20 minutes and see how that feels." No, I just repeated my easy steady state runs day in, day out, varying the total time but little else. I think the program is also delivering on its name "Running for Fat Loss" as evidenced by my skinny jeans now fitting. I must test my Boyfriends and see if they're ready for their first outing.
I think Peter's diet is slowly dying off. Smaller quantities off food and the subsequent reduction in fibre intake have left him feeling heavy, sluggish and unhappy. I was gobsmacked when straight after dinner last night (we'd had BBQed calamari rings with Greek salad) he asked if there was anything else to eat and then went on to request a toasted ham and cheese sandwich so that he wouldn't feel weak and light-headed. I hadn't realised that my meagre rations were having such a bad effect on him. I shall be feeding him better from now on that's for sure. And I wont be too sad when things go back to normal for him.
This weekend my beautiful friend Kerry Ware won overall at the Adelaide NABBA/WFF body building show. I'm sure this has been a goal since she first started competing in 2007. And I know just how hard she has worked for this honour.
I met Kerry through body building. In 2007 we were both training for our first shows and Josh Dickinson was our coach. On his website forum I could see that Kerry was also from Adelaide and it was Josh who suggested we meet each other. So we did and we hit it off immediately. Finally, somebody to talk to about diet, training, suffering (LOL) and all stuff comps that no mere mortal would understand. It was no surprise that we never bothered to talk about much else.
It was only when I put a picture on my blog of my family at the Royal Adelaide Show that Kerry saw my boy Mitchell and lo and behold we found out that we BOTH had adopted children from South Korea. Go figure!! We also determined that we had already 'met' during the adoption process when she and her husband spoke at a group information session that Peter and I attended.
I'm going to take some delight in saying this as I know its something I'll never be able to say again but I beat Kerry that year:-) She placed second to me. LOL she could wipe the floor with me now during her off season let alone when she is in top condition. But all jokes aside she has worked really, really hard to get where she is right now and I'm honestly delighted for her and proud of her.
As for me, well most of you know my history and post comp was a really tough time. I went through some bad times battling with my Binge Monster, the Metal Monster and various other issues. A lot of my angst and struggles were played out right here as I had nowhere else to take them. Too many times I felt like I was fighting a losing battle, feeling like I'd never break free of the rut I was stuck in. But I never gave up believing that one day I would.
Life plays out in interesting ways. It appears that six years later we've both achieved something we've been working really hard for, albeit they are quite different things. I just know that we are both in a good, happy place. Would I choose her path over mine? Well I never say never because you don't know what you might want to try in future, especially when you're in a new league - the 50s club. But for now I'm happy being me with the life I have :-)
There is a lot to be said for getting to the end of your training week, knowing that you really gave it your best. Whether it was my 350 workout, any one of my runs or my 2 weights sessions, I know that I got the most out of each and every session.
Irrespective of what the Metal Monster says when we next meet, I'm just damned happy with where I'm at right now. And it goes deeper than just fitting back into the skinny jeans or enjoying my new jeans being looser. Its about feeling good, being happier, more confident and generating that out the world. Its almost like I swallowed a magic pill when I turned 50. One that said "hey, it'll all work out and you will be where you want to be."
We were awoken at 3:20am by the sound of torrential rain. It persisted for quite a while but I eventually got back to sleep. I woke up just before my 5:00am alarm. More rain. Decision time and after a brief deliberation I decided to get up and do today's scheduled run. I certainly didn't want to run 2 days in a row knowing the 2nd day would be a hard session. I also knew that scheduling the run for later in the day was almost a guaranteed fail. So out I headed lucky that the rain had stopped again.
Five minutes in and there was a sprinkle but I could stay mainly under shelter so all was good. The rain stopped again. I did my 40 minutes at a steady pace, arrived home, stepped inside and 2 minutes later..... torrential rain.
My run is done and tomorrow is a legs rest day which will be very welcome. I love having a plan and then sticking to it :-)
Today my hammies are NOT happy. It was leg day this morning and I achieved a new PB on squats working my way up from a light warm up weight to what was quite heavy for me and belting out 2 sets of 10 at the heavy weight. I shall call that 'progress'. Then it was onto static lunges (or some call them split squats). Again a little extra weight on the dumbbells had me working hard but I could tell my glutes just wouldn't engage :-(
Finally it was stiff legged (or Romanian) deadlifts. Feeling ambitious I increased my weights only to find my hammies were like lead ropes and getting any stretch in them was really painful. But I persevered and on the 3rd set there was some relief and I was able to go lower down. My 4th set was definitely my best. I wrapped up my workout with 3 1 minute planks held on the toes. Noice!!
All I can say is that after tomorrow's 40 minute steady paced run, I'll be hangin out big time to rest my legs. They need it and I need it if I'm going to nail Friday's 10 minute fast intervals.
Da skinnies are in da house as of last night. Yes last night I tested my skinny jeans and by jove... they fit. Just to clarify these are not your traditional skinny legged jeans (which my tree trunks can NEVER fit into) but they are a size 11 bootleg styled jean that is not made from denim with any give or stretch in it. You either fit into them or you don't because they don't stretch over your bigger bits LOL. I tell you, this just about warranted a squeal of delight followed by a little happy dance :-) The boyfriends have not been tested yet.
Week 1 of my R4FL program had 4 steady runs of 30 minutes each. I was up early for Saturday's run and it felt quite exhilarating to be out in the early crisp air. My session went for a little over 50 minutes due to some added walking. Yesterday I did a modified hour of power comprising of a 350 Workout followed by a 35 minute walk to rest my legs for today's run.
So I had checked RK and the workout was displayed as 3:3 intervals. I flicked over to the detail of the session and it said 3 mins fast:3 mins slow and showed a total of 5 intervals. "Ooh a nice short but hard session", I thought to myself and off I set at 5:20am this morning. I also decided to run it around my block to avoid intersections and possible traffic. I walked the 5 minute warm up and then hit the first fast interval. Holy cow! 3 minutes is a long time to run fast but I pressed on eagerly awaiting change to the slow interval. Fast interval 2 came around too fast (LOL) and I was off again feeling the pain in my lungs. Slow interval provided some relief but I was jogging them and not walking. Then it was time for the (I thought) last fast interval so I gunned it and gave it everything I had. No point not emptying the tank and I recorded my best interval split of 5:55 mins/km. I was smokin!! Until the trainer came on with "next interval 3 mins steady." Huh??? What do you mean next interval?? There is no "next interval". But alas there was and in fact the total intervals were 5 of each. Needless to say my last 2 fast intervals were anything but :-( I did however do my best considering I had emptied the proverbial tank on the 3rd interval. I even added 7 mins walking to the end to rack up 42 mins in total.
My lungs are still telling me they worked extra hard but they will be ok. Wednesday's run is 40 mins steady which should not be a problem then on Friday its 10 mins fast:5 mins walking x 2 repeats. SHOOT. ME. NOW.
This week marks the first time in a long time where I'll be exercising on a Saturday. My R4FL (Running for Fat Loss) program requires running every second day and I have a 30 minute steady paced run due for tomorrow. Now that's going to take some dedication to get my arse into gear early enough to fit it into what is normally a very busy schedule.
Add to that Peter's birthday also being tomorrow and I've had to pull out all stops in being super-organised ahead of time so that everything flows. Here is my plan for the weekend:
1. Leave work early today, pick Mitchell up from school and head over for a chiro appointment to get my sore neck fixed.
2. Arrive home at a reasonable time and prepare an awesome birthday dinner for Peter. I have fresh oysters which I will serve kilpatrick and fresh (1/2 dozen each to share). Then I'm making prawns thermidor (Lobster is too exxy right now @ $80+ for a meagre 1/2 lobster). He's going out for a work colleague's birthday drinks so I have the place to myself to cook to my heart's content which I love.
3. Enjoy wonderful dinner and a good bottle of wine with Peter and do birthday presents tonight so he can indulge in his favourite Haighs chocolates for dessert. I considered making coffee and walnut cupcakes for dessert but quite frankly we are not short on sweet temptations at home right now.
5. Saturday afternoon: lunches for my boys, casual lunch out, grocery shopping, unpacking, continue washing, cleaning, deliver Mitchell to mum's for a sleep over.
6. Quiet pre-pre-dinner-drink and relax with Peter at home before heading out to a local pub for a pre-dinner drink and then to one of our nice local restaurants for dinner.
7. Sunday: pick Mitchell up from mum's, hour of power, domestic chores (eg. weekly lunches), maybe a coffee out, family dinner at mum and dad's for Peter's birthday. Collapse in a heap and wish you had an extra day to recover from the weekend :-)
Let me preface this post by stating that I no longer diet. Yes I watch what I eat and consciously make healthy choices most of the time but I don't agonise over calories, macros, the old "I want to have XXX but I shouldn't" mentality and lots of other dieting behaviours. The more relaxed and 'go with the flow' I am, the better things go for me. There are always swings and round- abouts, ups and downs but they seem to even out more easily these days.
So its with some trepidation that I have stepped up to support Peter in his weight loss efforts. CalorieKing has been back in my life this week, although I feel that our relationship must end soon. We are not a good match as it seems to bring out obsessive behaviours in me and is a big time guzzler to boot. I think it'll be gone this weekend.
I'm now more conscious than ever of the meals I prepare and their serving sizes. No longer do I eagerly request 2 large salmon fillets at the fish shop. They have been replaced by 2 small - medium ones :-( Last night I was preparing chocolate chip cookie dough for tonight's post- dinner sweets (mum and dad have dinner at our place on Thursdays and we always have a small sweet treat available.) Before I baked them I asked Peter if he wanted me to delay baking them until tonight to reduce the temptation of having them in the house. (A quick check of his calorie tracking app showed that he had enough spare calories *insert sarcastic snigger here* to have said biscuit so I happily baked.) I don't even want to mention the sadness I feel at having introduced 2 more alcohol free nights each week :-( :-( (That one warrants 2 sad faces, not just 1.)
In fact I sit here on Thursday after a week of super-healthy eating and I can hear my stomach calling out "Enough!! Send some junk down to save me" as it gurgles and churns from the barrage of vegetables its been subjected to. Tomorrow's lunch might just be a chicken / cheese and avocado foccacia. Yuuuum!!
Has anybody lived with a husband/boyfriend or partner that is/was dieting. I'm not talking hard core comp dieting (coz that's in a realm of its own) but just general, every day 'I need to lose 5 kilos' type of dieting. Let me elaborate on what is a big part of my life right now.
I mentioned in a recent post (no I'm not linking to it) that Peter has gained some weight lately and he's not happy about it. This is a good thing (not being happy about it as opposed to gaining the weight) as he's quite conscious about not getting too heavy and unfit which we are both very prone to. So he's on a mission to drop said weight in time for summer. We're talking 3-5 kilos and for him its all about the number on the Metal Monster. He's very old school and believes that its all about cardio. He hates weight lifting and only makes pathetic attempts at it every so often. For him its as simple as the number on the MM being ?? and he's happy.
I'm loving that he's taken control of this endeavour but this has manifested into a small obsession with the calorie tracking app (I think he uses My Fitness Pal) and a constant barrage of questions such as " how much do you think XXX weighed?", "what am I having for lunch/dinner?" or "how many calories do you think were in ??? (something he cant find on his app)?". This is the easy bit.
Then we move into "XXX is not good calorie value". "If I have YYYY I get better value for my calories" and I end up trying to cater for the YYY. For example I make some really yummy applesauce and fruit muffins from Tosca Reno's Clean Eating cookbook. I work out that the calories are ??? and I think that's pretty good. But no, apparently they're not good calorie value. Apparently fruit scones are better calorie value (personally I think his app gets a few things wrong but who am I to argue with the expert). I offer to bake a batch of date scones which is greatly appreciated (and lets face it they are dead quick and easy to make). I go the extra mile and use Natvia instead of sugar and proudly calculate the new calorie value ONLY ITS MORE THAN THE APP SAYS AND THEY ARE NO LONGER GOOD CALORIE VALUE. GRRRRRR.
FUCK IT!!! Eat the f*cken scones (or eat a carrot which is exemplary calorie value!).
*sigh* Every day I pray that the 3 to 5 kilos will fall off and life can go back to normal. Eat what you enjoy and not too much. Make mostly healthy choices without obsessing over calories and move at least 5 days of every week. But no we need it far more complicated than that.
PS This is written with a little tongue in cheek and literary license (just in case you thought I'd turned into a heartless bitch of a wife LOL)
It was interesting to read on FB last night how many bloggers are struggling with their blogging. Whether it be from sheer contentment with life and therefore little to angst over, apathy/loss of interest, a chronic shortage of time or just taking a break to change direction, there seemed to be a mini avalanche of bloggers declaring a serious lack of drive and interest.
I must admit, I have felt pretty much the same lately. After declaring that I'll be launching a new blog, came the realisation that on the weekend I need to devote some serious time to setting it up. Then the weekend rolls around and I'm mega busy on Saturday and frankly I'm filling my Sundays with stuff I just love to do. Blogging just hasn't been making the cut. During the week I manage 1 or 2 posts during my lunch breaks (if I'm lucky) but then days go by when its totally neglected.
So therein lies the question: to blog or not to blog? On the one hand I've got an idea for a new blog and I toy with the possibility of growing it to have a large readership (BTW I have absolutely no idea how to go about that, but one can dream). Then I look at my motivation for my current blog and I ask myself "what were you thinking??"
Hence I'd love to hear your opinions on this. If you're here reading this, what brings you here, what do you enjoy reading? If you're a blogger as well, how do you get over these hurdles, or do you quit when the joy/drive/interest is no longer there? I sometimes think, if you're going to do something, do it well or not at all. But then that may be too harsh as I certainly have other areas of my life that are not products of this motto.
Gosh last week was all over the place. On Fathers Day I missed my hour of power workout AND ate WAY more than I needed. The start of the week was pretty normal and then from Wednesday onwards I was quite out of sorts after my boss dropped the "you're acting Director while I'm on leave next week" bombshell on me. Eek, I wasn't expecting that.
On Thursday morning during my upper body workout I was pressing a 16kg barbell overhead when I heard a definite crackle from my neck. Hmm, not a good sound, nor a good feeling but it was my last rep in my last set so I just pushed on to my next exercise and finished my workout. Needless to say, my neck stayed pretty sore and I skipped doing weights on Friday morning but got LOTS of incidental exercise walking from my city carpark to the show grounds and back with Mitchell as we had a day at the Royal Show.
Yesterday I was back into my running with a RunKeeper program which will structure my training over the next 8 (I think) weeks. I've chosen 'Running For Fat Loss' in the hope of shifting 2-3 kilos so I can rock a LBD I have for work in summer AND to fit properly into a new pair of boyfriend jeans I bought in London. Silly me bought them in a snug size 10 but they need to be loose and slouchy. The good news is that 2 or 3 kilos should do it. Yep, I've seriously adjusted my beliefs and standards about my weight and I can tell you its VERY liberating.
This morning was 350 Workout day backed up with 10 hill climbs on the spin bike. I love starting the week with a great sweat fest. Oh and even after a topsy turvy week of missed training sessions and some less than stellar eating, the Metal Monster showed a drop to a number that I'm quite happy with. I just need those boyfriends and that LBD to look good and I'll be the proverbial pig in shit :-)
I guess life will not always be kind, easy and wonderful but we can still make the choice to focus on the good and positive things and give thanks for all we have.
Peter is working hard to shed some kilos gained from a combination of the holiday, my birthday celebrations and then periods of inactivity after 2 operations in 3 weeks. He has taken control of his eating my using an on-line logging program and for once he's concerned about how much sugar he is consuming. Previous attempts of me raising this were met with a surly "I don't eat much sugar" so I just let it go. Now's he's seeing it on the screen daily and he's looking for ways to reduce his consumption. My job just got a whole lot easier. Its also great to see him slowly transition back to exercising after a big whinge that the walking he was initially allowed to do "was doing nothing". Er, reminder time, that walking was rehab, not exercise. Like oranges and apples, 2 different things.
As for me, I seem to have really found my groove on many levels and I'm feeling pretty amazing. My runs are coming along nicely with an especially crackin session on Sunday where I had great energy levels and my pace was the best it had been for some time. My times are now 5 minutes walking, 30 minutes jogging (or running as on Sunday), then another 5 walking and the rest is jogging or running for a total of 1 hour. This works a treat for me but I'm slowly increasing the time of my first jogging stretch. The other stuff I'm loving is this routine:
Monday: 350 workout + a little extra bike cardio
Tuesday: 45-50 minute run (with walk intervals)
Wednesday: Leg weights: squats, static lunges and stiff-legged deadlifts, working on increasing my weights
Thursday: same as Tuesday
Friday: Upper body weights (aiming for heavyish sets)
Now that's good and positive and I'm truly grateful for it.
On the same day that I posted my good news about Peter's successful operation to remove his melanoma, he was pretty down in the dumps when we met to go home after work. He'd heard from his best friend, D that afternoon. D was calling to tell Peter that his cancer had returned. He'd had testicular cancer a few years ago and was thought to be in remission. But his last blood test showed that further tests were necessary and having had them he's now been diagnosed with bowel cancer. He'll be having a section of his bowel removed this week and will then need 6-12 months of chemo. He's the same age as Peter, wife, 3 kids (the oldest now a young adult, the youngest a little older than Mitchell). He runs his own business so for him sick leave doesn't exist.
We're both sad, worried and angry but trying to be optimistic.
Apologies its been a while since I've been able to blog. Its been a bit topsy turvy and hectic in my world but here goes my update which will explain things.
While we were on holidays a woman approached me to alert me to a mole that was on Peter's ear. She had sat behind us on a bus, caught up with me after we got off, asked me if Peter was my husband (as he had already raced off), told me she was a nurse and she was concerned about the mole on his ear. I reassured her that it was checked regularly and it was ok but as a precaution I urged him to have it checked again when we got home. So during his knee op recovery I took him to see our GP again.
So lets cut to the chase here. GP sent him to a specialist later that week. A biopsy was taken. By the end of the week the verdict was through: its a melanoma - it needs to come out. Next specialist seen within a week and I'm expecting a surgery the week after. But no, the op is scheduled for the NEXT DAY. Holy crap!! I'm under the pump at work with a major project deadline looming AND an office move that I need to pack for and I'm going to be away for a day and half as a I do the taxi to/from the hospital and then stay with Peter for the next 24 hours due to him having had an an anaesthetic.
I work miracles to schedule everything in to the best of my ability and sure enough the next day at 6pm I'm taking Peter home from his day surgery op. But this is a nasty op (unlike his knee which was almost a non-event) and he has a bad weekend and I don't allow him to go back to work on Monday. In the meantime we have moved offices at work and I have a room full of boxes to unpack and all things work related have to go on hold as I take the golden opportunity to have a much needed clean out and tidy up.
I'm glad to say that this story has a happy ending. A week after the op he has a follow up appointment to remove stitches and he is given the all clear. They got all of the cancer and no further tests or treatment are required. Look it was only a week of living in doubt and deep down I thought it would all be ok as the melanoma was small but neither of was counting our chickens til the surgeon confirmed that. Geez it was great to have the weight lifted from our shoulders!
Now you can see why planning for my new blog took a bit of a back seat. On the work front my new office is looking good with only a mammoth pile of filing to tackle. Having a big clean out has been like doing a major detox. Its hard work along the way but geez you feel so much better at the end of it.
But the most important thing is that the op was successful and we can go back to living normal lives again and for that I am truly grateful.
On Sunday afternoon, armed with my trusty copy of 'WordPress for Dummies' I set up my new blog. Its not ready to go live yet but its taking shape. Getting my head around so many new things on WordPress was a slow and laborious process but I will persevere as my goal is to be ready to launch next weekend.
I sacrificed Sunday's hour of power for a breakfast catch up with a dear friend. She has a one year old and the days of us meeting for breakfast before work are a nigh on impossibility for her. So we've shifted our catch ups to a Sunday when everybody is far more relaxed and we have time for a leisurely chat. She missed my 50th birthday but we made up for that with a glass of champagne with our eggs and bacon. How spoilt was I?? Oh and BTW, green eggs and ham (scrambled eggs with a drizzle of pesto served with Kanmantoo bacon) is to die for. If you're ever in the Adelaide Hills give Tranquilo Restaurant a go.
Other than that the weekend was pretty stock standard routine: ice skating, grocery shopping, spending a couple of birthday vouchers, cleaning and making nice dinners. Lately I've become more interested in cooking from scratch so when Peter asked for cordon bleu for dinner he thought he'd get the usual bought chicken cordon bleus that we've had before. But no!! I bought veal cutlets and made them from scratch. I even made a small one for myself thinking that if it was too much I'd only have half. Well, pffft, it was so delicious I ate the whole friggin thing.
Ok time for me to sign out for today. Talk again soon.
Wow things got busy after I last blogged. Urgent meetings scheduled for lunch time, back to back meetings, little time to stop and smell the roses as is the often usual grind of office life. I have however been a bit spoilt this week with Peter home recovering from his knee surgery. I haven't cooked a dinner from scratch thanks to being well organised on the weekend and Peter trying his hand at making a slow cooker chicken curry.
This has been the last week of 5.30am starts and next week I'm back to 5am. Aaaargh!!! Its been SO hard getting up early on these cold mornings after that nice long holiday break. Every morning I seriously consider giving it all up until I finish my workout, feel great and then remember there is always pain before the pleasure. I haven't achieved anything earth shattering in my workouts however yesterday I changed my 300 session and pulled up sore again this morning :-) Feeling pretty good about things in general, today I managed a decent 39 minute walk/jog with only 2 x 5 minute walk intervals. I would have made it 40 minutes but the rain had come in quite heavily and I was close to home so it was a good time to end it.
Exercise this week has been:
Monday - 300 workout + spin bike hill climbs
Tuesday - 35 minute walk/jog
Wednesday - mixed cardio on rower and spin bike
Thursday - 300 workout (different to Monday) + spin bike sprints
Friday - 39 minute walk/jog (with longer jog intervals).
My goal for this weekend is to get onto Wordpress and have a play trying to set up my new blog. Wish me luck as I am a somewhat challenged IT user and I found Wordpress rather daunting last time I played with it. However I will arm myself with the '... for Dummies' manual so all should be good.
Blowing my own trumpet here but I'm pleased to say I have taken the first step towards setting up my new blog. Admittedly it was a "Mac Use for Dummies" lesson with Peter but its a start. Things got away from me a bit on Sunday and I didn't make it down to our local bookshop but in the meantime I can practice my 'Mac skills' and play around a bit on Wordpress. The blog ideas are all there, I just need the vehicle to share them.
I've also had another small win today and that was getting out for a walk at lunch time. I packed my sneakers and set out at noon under glorious blue skies and a mild temperature. Who'd have thought after this morning's rain? It was just 25 minutes but nevertheless it was great to move and breath the (fresh?) city air. Add this to my 300 workout and spin bike sprint intervals this morning and I'm satisfied with this level of exercise/activity considering I have no specific goals right now.
Well actually I tell a small lie because my one goal is to not gain any weight after my holiday. I've eased back on the treats and eating breakfast out every day last week. This year I've even decided to forego my annual birthday dinner at Mum and Dad's. Whilst I absolutely love Mum's roast chicken and her home made vanilla slice, the birthday dinner always results in 2or 3 pieces of cake being eaten and then more pieces being taken home for the next day or two. After my eating tour of Europe, I can honestly say I'm caked out and would rather NOT disappoint Mum by not being interested in it after she has slaved for hours to make it. She was ok with that. There is always next year :-)
I have been at work for 3 days now. On the up side, the mental stimulation has helped me get over my jetlag and I'm enjoying sleeping through the night now. For two days in a row I have gotten up at 5.30 to do some form of exercise. Whilst I'd like to call it 'training' so I sound more hardcore than I really am, right now that would be a bit misleading. A 300 workout with some spin bike hill sprints and an easy walk/jog this morning hardly qualify as 'training' so I'm settling for 'exercising'. Its better than what I have managed since I've been home which is close to nothing.
On the downside it didn't take long for my neck and shoulders to be sore from hunching over a keyboard for most of the day. That and sitting on my arse all day and I realise just how much happier our bodies are when they are moving. Well mine is anyway. Next week I shall aim for a lunch time walk, weather and workload permitting, at least on some days. I cant beat walking 24 kms around London in one day and then a lazy 10kms around Budapest on another but I can just aim to move more.
Last night marked the end of my birthday cake leftovers and whilst I love, love, love cake, I can honestly say I am well and truly over it now. I admire Peter who is off work recovering from a knee op and managing to eat cake for morning/afternoon tea and dessert. That's two serves a day. Medal-worthy if you ask me. Yes I know it can be frozen (the cake that is) but my problem is once its put away it never gets taken out again. So I shared the love giving it away to my in-laws, parents and work colleagues. I consider that a win-win as do my arse and thighs :-)
My goal for this weekend is to get my new blog underway. It may take a while to get it up and running because a lot has to happen behind the scenes but I'm vowing to take the first step(s). I shall report back on this next week and feel free to send a cyber-slap if I fail to meet my goal. And thank you to Liz for prompting me to do this. Yep sometimes I work better when given a push or a prod.
Well that's enough from me for today. I'm finishing up at work soon, picking my boy up from school, taking him out for coffee (me) and a biscuit (him) and then home to chill out with my incapacitated husband. Maybe the dinner fairy will magically produce something nice for us later.
Well hello to anybody who might still be out there in Blogland and remotely interested in my blog. Its been seriously neglected of late with June being a very busy work month leading up to my holidays in July followed by my 50th birthday celebrations on the 21st. Phew. I feel tired just thinking back over all of that.
FB friends will know all that I've been up to including my gastronomic tour of Europe where 'indulgence' became my middle name. I have eaten more cake over the last month than I would normally eat in a year and I admit that I enjoyed every minute and every mouthful :-) Balance that with tons of walking and the cake being a meal as opposed to an added extra and I managed to pull up looking somewhat ok for my 50th birthday celebrations, instead of the oompah loompah I thought I might turn into. Sorry I have no pics here that I can share but will see what I can do for future posts.
For some time I've been thinking of updating my blog and taking it in a slightly different direction. I have lots of ideas in my head but with my home PC about to die and blogging from work (as I'm doing now) not being a long term option, I'm struggling to bring it all together. First I must face the daunting task of learning to use a Mac and then see if I can manage Wordpress. Oh, so much change! But I guess that's not a bad thing.
Anyways, today is all about short and sweet. I'm saving the deep and meaningful words of wisdom for my next few posts because of course now that I'm 50 I qualify to write such stuff. Well I like to think so.
I'm not going to beat about the bush .... I REALLY don't like Mondays. Plus some are worse than others and today has started with a bit of a struggle. You see, I had a GREAT weekend with lots of going out, eating out, having wine ... you get my drift. Even though I didn't 'pig out' I still ate more than usual and am feeling just a little 'blobby' today. This will right itself in a couple of days and I'm not stressing about it coz I know all that good fun comes at a price :-)
However today has been a bit of a struggle as I woke up with a niggly lower back, an aching right hip and a sore left knee. What a combination, hey??!! I was already in 2 minds as to whether to 300 it today or just do a more traditional leg workout and was leaning towards just going hard on legs. However this combo of ailments was not a good place to start and I could see me slipping into a bit of a 'woe-is-me' state of mind if training legs was going to be problematic. So I switched things around completely and worked back, chest and core instead. I went as high as I could on my weights and certainly gave it my best because I could and I wanted to start the week on a good note and not one of defeat and feeling miserable.
My gut instinct is that my body is not liking the long runs. I've never had knee problems but in the last year or so they are just starting to niggle. Yesterday's hour of power no doubt upset my left knee and God only knows why my right hip has decided to give me grief. I don't suppose being almost 50 has anything to do with it??!! (Goddam body, its too early to start letting me down, you hear!!) Peter has suggested that I run shorter times but at higher intensity and whilst I know he's probably right, my heart just loves the long slow jogs that I'm currently doing. I truly get into Runner's Zen and find its my most enjoyable training session of the week.
So I'm not sure what this week will bring but I know it will not be defeat morphing into slothdom. My goal is 6 consecutive days of training (at least 40 minutes each time) and then a rest day on Saturday. Then my next week starts with Sunday's hour of power :-) which may be modified to a shorter run followed by some rowing.
Finally on Saturday night we had dinner out with some friends that we don't see very often and my GF commented that I had definitely lost weight. The Metal Monster isn't telling me its very much at all but maybe a few kilos down coupled with a ton of feeling good about myself translates to generally looking awesome. Well that's my theory and I'm stickin to it LOL.
It feels so good to get to a Friday knowing you've clocked up a pretty good week. My training has been solid (even though Monday's 300 workout could have been harder) and and I've been really happy with my eats too. I've been waking up with a little spring in my step just from looking and feeling better. I've nailed 3 pretty decent runs and finished the week off with another 300 today but with some of the weights increased. I nailed it in less than 20 minutes so maybe its still too easy. I also threw in a shoulder/bis and tris session as those muscle groups have been a bit neglected for a couple of weeks and then wrapped up today's session with 2 x 60 second planks, another exercise that I've been ignoring of late.
Yet it never ceases to amaze me how a few simple positive actions usually breed a few more positive actions and strung together they have this amazing effect of changing my whole perception of myself. I tell you at times like this I wake up genuinely believing that I'm a lean, mean athletic machine (LOL!!!). I have this really positive vision of how I'll look and feel on my holiday and I just aint letting it go. What's that saying?
I reckon there's another line that I've missed but you get the drift, I'm sure. More and more I'm appreciating the power of a positive mindset and the difference it makes in everyday life.
I have a busy weekend ahead but happy that its starting with a quiet Friday night at home :-). Tomorrow I'll be doing my usual time in the icebox followed by lunch out with my Mum (its her birthday today) and then watching The Great Gatsby. In the evening we'll be going out to dinner with a couple of friends that we rarely spend time with. I get a bit of 'me-time' on Sunday when Peter spends the afternoon with the boys. Hopefully the weather is kind and I can nail another hour of power run on Sunday. If not, it'll be studio training which is never as much fun.
The day after my first 300 and I'm not feeling too bad. I have a bit of DOMS in my upper thighs but Sunday's one hour run would be to blame as much as yesterday's workout. What I did notice this morning on my run (yep I was out there again!!), was just how tired my legs felt at the 30 minute mark. It was like they were waving the white flag - 'WE SURRENDER'. 'Suck it up' I told them and we kept going for another 12 1/2 minutes. Hey, I might be Cliff Young Shuffling but at least I'm out of bed and sweating it out, unlike last week's piss poor effort.
Tomorrow marks the 4 week countdown to our holiday. 4 WEEKS!! I'm in a good place with my fitness and lifestyle but it will be a really good time to reaffirm what I want and why I want it. I see it as a bit of a progress check with some fine-tuning thrown in just to make sure things are running at their optimum. As Kerryn said to me in her comment a couple of posts ago, its so easy to lose sight of your goals and why they matter to you when you're consumed with the day to day drudgery of life. Not that life is a total drudgery but lets face it, how many of us have time to sit around and contemplate our navels? Not many, I'm sure.
Finally I'm going to share an amusing little incident from yesterday. At the end of the day I was walking through Rundle Mall on the way to my car. I wasn't rushing as I usually do, just walking at a comfortable pace. Despite a toughish day, I was happy wirth how it had ended and I was feeling generally good and quite relaxed and happy. I passed a gentleman on my way and for a second we made eye contact and he said to me with a smile "you look really lovely." I said "thank you" and kept walking albeit with my spirits lifted even higher. That evening I told Peter about it. His comment: "Was he a derelict?" No he was actually normal(ish) ... well sorta. LOL.
Having had somewhat of a light bulb moment last week and subsequently changing some key actions, it was a real delight to wake up on Saturday morning feeling AMAZING. And this was despite a nasty dehydration headache that came about from too many meetings on Friday and way too little water being consumed in said meetings. Note to self, TAKE A WATER BOTTLE TO ALL MEETINGS.
The problem was easily rectified with heaps of water being guzzled on Saturday and Sunday. I had lunch out at one of my favourite cafes on Saturday and I ordered a 'winter warmer' herbal tea flavoured with orange and cinnamon in place of a second coffee for the day. Talk about delicious!! As at today I'm safely well hydrated and feeling really good.
After 2 missed Sundays, it was hour of power time yesterday and I managed a 57 minute run (+ 5 mins warm up walk). I followed this up with a pseudo yoga stretching workout of about 15 minutes focusing on lower body and back with a bit of ITB massaging thrown in as well. That combo always has me feeling like I could slay dragons for the rest of the day but I settled on baby sitting my niece and her puppy while the rest of the family did their trekkie thing at the movies. I also managed to cook lamb shanks for Mum's birthday dinner amongst a myriad of other domestic chores.
Finally I've kicked off this week with a 300 workout of my own that went something like this:
Wide squat (DB to floor)/overhead press with 2kg DB x 25 (not too bad once my legs were able to bend enough to touch the DB to the floor)
Seated Row @ 20kgs x 50 (a favourite!)
Squat @ 5kg plate x 50 (going ok, feeling a little smug even)
Push-ups (knees) x 50 (OMG I manged 20 and thought I was going to die. I broke the remaining 30 into sets of 10. It was pain all the way.)
Stiff Legged Deadlifts @ 20kgs x 50 (another favourite)
Fitball Crunches @ 5 kg plate x 50 (I kept telling myself I was nearly at the end and managed 2 sets done as 30 and 20)
Wide squat (DB to floor)/overhead press with 2kg DB x 25. (Home stretch and feeling tired but ok).
This took me about 22 minutes suggesting I could go a bit heavier on some weights. I admit, I was playing it a bit safe so as not to end up totally debilitated with DOMS over the coming days. To round off my workout I hopped on the spin bike and did 5 hill climbs of 1 minute each with a 30 second recovery taking me up to my usual finish time. Happy with the start of my week :-)
Today my over-analytical mind is coming to grips with the mechanics of change. Change as in self development, self improvement and the like. Most bloggers would relate to this as many blogs are about striving to be fitter, leaner, healthier, better at a particular sport or physical pursuit or just a better, more authentic version of ourselves full stop. Many of us are on a journey of change whether we see things that way or not. In fact, life rarely stands still and we are forever changing and evolving.
If you're a regular reader of my blog you'll know that my personal journey is one of letting go of my emotional eating, my ultimate goal being to be free of it for my 50th birthday in July this year. I might write about wanting to be leaner, fitter, stronger or whatever other physical consideration I choose but underpinning all of that is the burning desire to be Binge-Free. Because you see when I achieve that, the rest will take care of itself. I dont need a trainer to tell me that, nor a life coach, nor some riveting FaceBook article backed up by scientific research (beacuse they all are!!). Its just something I know with absolute certainty.
But over the last few months I've been putting the cart before the horse or the chicken before the egg and taking a totally arse up approach which isn't taking me where I want to be. My focus has been all about weight loss and the number on the scale getting smaller. I have placed so much importance on it, obsessed over it and let it take me on an emotional rollercoaster ride. Don't get me wrong, the highs were great (woohoo, weight loss, I love you!!) but as the focus on the numbers got worse I was totally forgetting the real purpose of what I was trying to achieve. And in doing so I was just making it harder and harder to let go of my emotional eating.
I wish I could say that I'm one of those people who makes a decision to change, flicks the switch and just does it but for me that couldn't be further from the truth. For me change is a gradual process of awakening, analysing, understanding and easing into new ways. I usually stumble often, have to pick myself up, dust myself off and get back on the horse .... many times.
This time I have to sort out my horse and cart.
Horse: eat well; exercise effectively and regularly; nurture my body, mind and spirit; be grateful
Cart: Feel good; look good; be calm; be strong.
And the rest will take care of itself.
This morning I took some time to reflect over the last few days (another rough patch) and I realised that things had gotten all arse up and the answer was to shift the focus away from the numbers and back to overall health and wellbeing and let the rest take care of itself. I feel better already :-)
How about you? Are you driven by numbers and tangible outcomes or is that sense of total wellbeing enough motivation for you?
I got this heading from another blogger who'd had a bit of a setback with her weight loss and fitness goals and I thought it was a pretty clever way to flick the switch and move forward. After that I thought nothing more of it until yesterday as I neared the end of 4 days of being totally uncommitted to my goals and plan of action for achieving them. So here goes.
Let me preface all this by saying that over the last few months I have come forward in leaps and bounds in managing my binge eating. I've had several weeks and indeed months of not binging and every step forward made me feel that little bit stronger and more confident that I'd finally be rid of this behaviour in line with my goal to kick it by my 50th birthday.
So a silly negative interlude with the Metal Monster on Thursday undid a LOT of good work and I found old habits came back with a vengeance. Friday was similar and then I regrouped somewhat on Saturday. But Mothers Day was to be my downfall and by the end of the evening I realised I had eaten WAY too much and was feeling pretty yucky as a result. Add to this no exercise on Sunday and it was a bit of a double whammy that messed with my head as much as my physical effects.
At bedtime last night I vowed to press the reset button today and leap straight back into my usual good habits. I couldn't afford to wallow in self pity and allow the slide back to regaining the weight I've lost to just happen. I didn't want to lose the fitness I'd gained and psychologically I certainly didn't want to put myself back at square one. Today its about stepping up to the plate and getting through the first few tough days when you feel heavier than you want to be and your emotions can be a bit delicate. But I'm doing it.
I got up before 5am and nailed a 45 minute legs sessions bumping my max squat weight up by another kilo. Geez it was tough but I did it and felt great for it. I've scaled my food back today and am chugging water like there's no tomorrow. I know it will all be good. And as for the Metal Monster, well I made the fatal error of placing too much importance on it. Up to now I've been pretty relaxed about it but on Thursday I stepped on with big expectations and I was let down when in actual fact I should have celebrated and patted myself on the back for a whole range of other achievements. So the silly bugger aint gonna see me for a while as I shift my focus to good habits and positive mindset vs the number looking back at me.
I know that challenges and setbacks are a normal part of life and I've just had my share to ground me, but the key now is to press the rest button and move ONWARDS.
I've been trudging along since my last blog post and clocking up some nice little victories along the way.
On Sunday I increased my run time to 45 minutes broken into 3 x 15 minute blocks with a 5 minute walk interval in between. I absolutely love my Sunday Hour of Power even if the weather was a bit ordinary for it. Then on Thursday I headed out for a morning run despite being in a bit of a feeling-sorry-for-myself mood (more on that later). I set the bar pretty low to start with knowing that even being out there was more than I felt capable of. Well it didn't take long for a 10 minute jog to turn into a 20 minute one and then adding another 10 minutes didn't seem too daunting. By the 30 minute mark, doing another 10 just felt easy so I pushed on for a total of 43 minutes jogging. All at a nice steady slow pace but even that is enough to make me feel good when I finish it.
Buoyed along by my Sunday achievement I attacked my Monday morning leg session with more than my usual level of gusto. I decided to give myself a bit of a squat challenge with a view to going heavier than I have been for a REALLY long time. I started lighter than usual to get a really good warm up and over several sets I increased the weight until I was 2.5 kilos above my 'psychological limit.' It was heavy (for me) and hard but I did it and next week I'll shoot for an extra 2.5 kilos again. Slow and steady will get me there.
So why the feeling-sorry -for-myself mood yesterday? I've been working hard at getting my weight down for some time now. Without getting too obsessive about it, I've been a lot more mindful about what, when and how much I eat and I've been weight training and doing some form of cardio quite consistently for a few months. So why can't the Metal Monster show me the love I deserve??!! Normally it doesn't bother me because it will reflect quite accurately whether I've been eating well or not. So when it DOESN'T reflect that I get a little bit peeved as was the case yesterday. With less than 6 weeks to go til holiday time, I'm keen to get a few more kilos off but at this rate I just don't think I'm going to make it. Grrrrr!!!
But I'll stop moaning about that and shift to a more positive focus because if there is any chance of achieving my goal, then it'll be with a positive mindset and not a whingy-woe-is-me one. So its time to suck it up and get back into it. Onwards, I say.
Just as I thought, time for blogging has been scarce lately. Work has been really busy and with school holidays thrown into the mix my hours have been all over the place. I am very pleased to say though, that I have just enjoyed a wonderful 4 day weekend with ANZAC Day and the following Friday off.
After a week of being quite vigilant with my diet and not going crazy with Mitchell's birthday celebrations, the Metal Monster rewarded me with a dip into the mid 65s on ANZAC Day. I started my long weekend feeling quite invincible :-) We attended our first ever dawn service which I found to be quite moving. Its something I plan to keep doing over the coming years. Later that day I went for my first walk/jog since my foot op in mid Feb. It went ok and I did keep it to just 3 x 5 minute jogs although I knew I could easily have done more. Better to be safe and restrained than sorry. Ironically I passed my surgeon on one of my jog intervals LOL. The rest of the day was pretty lazy which was fantastic as it was quite cool and therefore stay inside and not do much weather.
On Friday I did an upper body weights session with a very sore neck. Luckily it was only half an hour but I didn't like the crunching I was hearing as I pressed a bar overhead. We then went out for a game of mini golf followed by a wonderful lunch out. I had more than my fair share of good fats THAT day (think Atlantic salmon and accompaniments served in more olive oil) but whereas previously that would have had me cringing at the oil, now I embrace it knowing how good it is for my skin and system overall. Plus I don't eat like that every day and its still WAY better than indulging in a deep fried takeaway or something. Salmon rules (in my book).
With my sore neck continuing into Saturday I did a tentative walk/jog but found my sneakers are too worn out and I was getting some lower leg pain. I kept it to 15 minutes again as that was manageable within an overall workout of about 45-50 minutes. The rest of the day was busy, busy with the usual chores and maybe some exciting things on the horizon, maybe not.
Sunday turned on another glorious weather day here and although I was going to train legs a day early, I just couldn't bring myself to hole myself up in my studio so I headed out for a 'short walk' which turned into 45 minutes of walking and jogging with the jogging increased to 20 minutes. I just felt too good to waste my time on a walk and my sneakers managed to do their job for one more day. It was a good day overall and legs got done this morning as per my usual routine.
I have SO many friends who hate exercise and never do any. They will just honestly admit that they have no interest, no desire to do any - its not even about excuses to blow it off. I just don't get it. Being inactive does not make me feel good. Moving out in the fresh air whether it be walking or jogging feels fantastic and I feel great when I finish it knowing I've done something positive for myself. I'm really happy that its now as much a part of my life as is brushing my teeth. Sure I have rest days and the occasional day where I don't exercise but ny norm is 'move at least 30 minutes / day on 6 days / week' and that folks, is my HAPPY PLACE.