About Me

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I am the 45 year old mother of Josie (17), Jacob (14) and Fergus (11) and the wife of Mark. We live in Newhaven on beautiful Phillip Island with various animals including our dog Charlie. I am a recently trained teacher (third year in the classroom) who is busy juggling family, career and my journey to lose weight and be healthy. I have so many balls in the air . . . hopefully, one day I might catch one . . .

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Something has clicked . . . I hope!

Well two posts inside of a week--been a while since I've done that! But I'm really excited because I think I'm getting my groove back . . . yahhh! I have been telling myself that I really need to get back to tracking. For over a year, I was pretty religious about tracking. On school days, I usually eat the same sort of stuff and don't have much of an opportunity to eat anything else other than I what I bought to school (except for morning tea days), so what I've always done is track at the end of the day, then if I'd ticked all my boxes and had enough points left I'd have dessert or a glass of wine or something. The problem is that I often find that now I only get twenty, I often find that I'm already over by the time I write down my points grrrr! I do remember those glorious days of 25 points when I could hardly manage to eat it all!! Anyway, since school's gone back, I've hardly been tracking at all, which is SOOOO naughty. I DO know that tracking has been one of the keys to my success. Anyway, I was reading on Getting the Buzz Back's blog the other day about the need to focus on "baby steps" in order to get back on track and I thought to myself, what baby step is the most important for me? When I really thought about it, I decided that tracking is the most critical thing, so I decided to really zero in on tracking this week. Then I was reading Oopzadaisy's blog and she was relaying how she had set the goal to only have 3 treats a week and that struck a nerve with me too. I have a treat--a ww eclair or an icecream, or a glass of wine, or a muffin bar, usually EVERY DAY and at 20 points I just can't afford it anymore, so I decided to follow Oopzadaisy's lead and aim to have no more than 3 treats a week. That's enough baby steps to focus on for one week. One thing I have done differently this week, is that I've been entering my food the evening before. Then I know if I have only 1.5 points left for the day, if I have a few cashews when I'm packing my vego son's lunch, or a piece of bread when I'm making dinner, then I've used up my points for the day. And the amazing thing is that then I stop and think and decide, no I don't really want cashews now (they are HIDEOUSLY high in points) and I've actually been able to stay on points for 3 DAYS! This is the first time for ages. The small amount of weight I've lost (about 2kg) thisyear has been totally due to exercise.

The funny thing is that after being successful for 3 days, I feel really motivated and in control again. Not really rocket science, that I guess . . . a key component in motivating students is to helpf them to feel successful, of course. I do have a few important things coming up this weekend, catching up with old friends for pizza and a games night tomorrow, but, hey, I think I'll take tuna and lentil salad . . . do I really want to waste points on greasy take away pizza, especially because I make much nicer pizza myself at home? And on Saturday night, it's my baby girl's birthday party. Not a baby anymore, I'm afraid--it's the big 18th. How did that happen, I wonder. But still no excuse to eat.

Now I wish I had have gotten into the groove again a little earlier, then I might have been 75kg for our Bali trip, but ahwell. Getting the buzz was also saying about how goals connected with a date don't really work for her, and I'm a bit the same. It just makes me feel like a failure. But at this particular moment, I really feel like I will get to goal . . . some day, some time. And I need to remember that at least I've been maintaining my weight loss which is pivotal to long term success, I guess. So, apart from the fact that I haven't marked or analysed the stack of maths tests in front of me, or assembled our first term portfolios or planned my maths lesson (I AM SUCH A PROCRASTINATOR!) it's all good!!

Funnily enough, I'm not worried about gaining too much on the Bali trip. A few years ago, I went to Bali and didn't gain any weight, so I know it can be done. Generally portion sizes are quite small in Bali, I often choose Indonesian dishes which are generally healthy . . . an omelette and fruit platter for breakfast . . . fresh seafood for lunch. It's not really a hardship to eat sensibly. Importantly, I don't really drink much when I'm there. I'm not really a cocktail girl, as I find them to icky sweet (I do make an exception for a well-made Margarita, however!), and mainly I drink wine. In Bali the imported wine is very expensive and the local wine disgusting (IMO, anyway), er not hard to resist, I mean. So I mainly drink beer. The local BINTANG is quite low in alcohol and very refreshing, but I can't drink stacks of it, because I have to wee too much! Anyway, I'm confident I can have a great time and not do too much damage.

I don't know who will happen by this post. I can't believe the fact that I do have some loyal readers (Thanks!!), in spite of the fact that I'm one of the world's least reliable bloggers, but if you do happen to read, please let me know what you think about my hair colour . . . Because we have had a simply glorious summer, I've gone quite brown, inspite of my number 30 sunblock and hat! Last time I had my hair coloured, I had a few foils put in and went a bit lighter to do something different. Usually, because my hair has an inclination to go frizzy I usually only wash my hair every 4 days or so, but this summer I've been swimming several times a week, my hair has really faded. I'm having my hair done next week before I go away (I have quite tragic regrowth happening!) and I can't decide if I should stay lighter (I'll be swimming and in the sun in Bali, obviously) or does it look too fake (haven't been this light since I was about 3) and should I go darker again closer to my more natural colour (whatever that was!)

Here are some pics . . . would really value your opinion!

This is the "blonde"ish me at my cousin's wedding last weekend with Mark and my brother. I've been pretty much estranged from my brother for more than 5 years--this is only the third time I've seen him in that time. I'd had some champagne, so it wasn't that difficult. Maybe we can get to the point where it feels "normal" again, who knows. Probably he wouldn't be thrilled about having his pic on my blog, but it's the best example of my hair, so bad luck! BTW the wedding invitation said "Come in colour ", if you're wondering.


And the "darker" more natural me (I think!)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Catching up and looking back . . .

It's been a while and I have been following my favourite blogs but not spending much time commenting or blogging, I'm afraid. I popped over to the lovely Leanne's blog the other day only to find that she had actually given me an award--how amazing! So I thought I better go blog something. I'm not quite sure how one goes about "picking up" a blog award or passing it on, so I will have to look into that. Meanwhile, Thanks Leanne! If you haven't visited Leanne's blog yet, you should. Only 2kg to goal--how amazing! A Slimmer and Healthier Me

School has been really great this year! I have a beautiful grade and it has given me faith in my decision to enter this profession and that I actually am a good teacher. Last year people kept telling me that every now and again you get a group where the dynamics just don't work and you just have to do your best and survive the year. I tried to believe it but deep down I just kept thinking I'm really just not up for this job. Anyway, fate dealt me a different hand this year and my grade although getting quite big (26 and it's only term one--eek) are just delightful! I spent all summer going through my behaviour management plans in my head, thinking when this happens . . . I'll do this, etc. But it just hasn't come to that. I talk . . . they listen and learn . . . it's just so easy. Of course I have spent a considerable amount of time trying to set "the tone" of the room, explicitly stating expectations, etc. And it's worked! We're all learning beautifully together. What can I say "3/4O's the way to go!"

Well I signed up for various Goal End Of Month challenges that I didn't really do, I signed up for the Lose 8kg by Easter Challenge--haven't persisted with that one (sorry, guys). Started taking pictures for the 100 day challenge . . . but haven't blogged that either. I guess I just have to admit to myself that I have no staying power anymore. I'm not going to do challenges for now. It just makes me feel that I'm letting everyone down. I have all but stopped losing weight, although I did make the under 80 milestone, finally, just. I seem to be able to maintain my weight, but I just can't seem to do the extra bit I need to do to actually lose weight at the moment. The other awful truth is that I've grown complacent as I feel great and I'm forever being told how great I look and I think I've lost the hunger to actually get to goal at the moment. To my amazement we were doing a touchy feely thing at work where we all had to write something positive about each other on a piece of paper. I was amazed by the feedback on my paper. As lovely as it was, I was not surprised by comments such as "Literacy Queen" and "Master Chef". However, "Great taste in clothes", "Looking Great" and "Fitness Fan" took me back a little! Did someone write on the wrong paper??

When I began this journey way back in September 2008, I was really reluctant to set a goal weight, because I figured every kilo, I was a kg better off than when I began. To a degree I still feel like that. Even if I never lost another gram, I am still so much better off than the old 112.5kg me. But on the other hand, if I look and feel so much better now than I did--how great will I feel when I'm actually have a healthy BMI rather than celebrating having gone from morbidly obese to just overweight?? The problem is it's getting trickier. I turned 46 and then the same week went fractionally under 80kg--and in one fell swoop, I lost 2 points at once. So now I have to eat 20 points and I've been totally crap at sticking to 22!! So I think I really need to raise the bar exercise wise. I've been slowly getting back into going to Curves 3 or 4 times a week and I think I need to try and walk the dog or swim AS WELL. All summer I have really only been walking or swimming and in the winter only going to gym--so I really think to give me an edge I have to do both.

We're off to Bali in two weeks . . . yippee!! More about that later. I'm disappointed that I won't be 75kg as planned, however, nothing I can do about that now. Will try hard for the next two weeks to lose a kg or two to give me some leeway for while I'm away. Recently, I met this lovely lady who has a personal training business. She is not-threatening at all and really good fun. I met her socially through our swimming friends and told her that in term two I'm interested in becoming a client. I'm hoping that might help me push myself a little harder in the exercise stakes.

Well my birthday was way back in January . . . but I did have a hoot and I wanted to put up some pics. We all went out for breakfast as a family, then that evening I cooked up a big paella for some really good friends. My dear mother bought me an entire summer wardrobe as a birthday present--ladies in Melbourne the TS 14+ Factory Outlet in Abbotsford is well worth a visit during sale time. I made our traditional family birthday cake--the coffee chocolate mudcake found here. I recommended this recipe to the legendary Chris H of Diet Coke Rocks fame and was so proud when she blogged about it, but she is right when when she says it's not weight watcher friendly! I tried to make it a little less deadly by just topping it with a dusting of icing sugar and strawberries instead of the ganache topping. I chose to put "Lost Count" candles on, rather than 46 candles. We all got a bit silly changing the letters around to spell different words . . . I'm afraid you can spell some quite disgusting things with the letters in "Lost Count" . . . think about it. Anyway, I really did have a happy birthday.

With our good friends Ann Marie and Sue and Ray (who incidentally I have apparently inspired to join WW Online--Sue has currently lost 10kg and Ray 8!! How good is that--I wish I could inspire me to lose 10kg!)

And just a little look back over the years . . .

If you're interested in really seeing how truly fat I was, click on the pictures. I must make sure I never go back . . .

Saturday, January 30, 2010

I DID IT!!!!

After watching my husband compete in swim run events all over the peninslua and Bass Coast, I finally decided enough's enough and had a go myself. The "Channel Challenge" is a huge, local event whereby competitors (this year over six hundred) swim across the 500m Channel between San Remo (the main land) and Phillip Island, then do a 2 k run back over the bridge to the post office and finally the finish line outside the local pub (when the event was run 25 years ago with 57 competitors, the publican said he would sponsor it, provided the race finished outside the pub). It's always a great day and for the past 9 or so years, I've stood on the bridge cheering Mark on, saying to myself "next year, I'll lose weight and have a go". And I finally did!

I've been training by walking fast over the bridge and doing a bit of pool swimming and since January I have been swimming with Mark and a group of local people who call themselves "The Turtle Smugglers". This is because originally when the group began they were middle aged men who looked like they were smuggling turtles up their jumpers rather than budgies in their togs! They do a 1.6km swim at a local beach 3 times a week. The first time I went, I could only swim half of one way but gradually I worked up to being able to go down and back to complete the whole 1.6k. Very slowly I might add. Most people had practically packed up and gone home before I finished, but I did improve heaps over the weeks.

The lovely thing this year that it was a real family affair with our oldest son competing for the third time (even though technically he's not old enough to enter!) and our daughter joining in too. Here we are outside our house on the walk into San Remo.

Luckily, our youngest Fergus didn't compete so we had someone to watch the bags!

Here Mark and I are getting ready for the race . . . I took some advice from a seasoned triathlete and put baby oil on--which meant I could get my wetsuit off out of the water, but I still need Mark to help me get it on!

A view of the swimmers from the bridge. I'm in there somewhere! The swimmers left in 3 waves a minute apart. The event has to take place on the dead tide just as the tide is changing as the current is so strong at other times. The open men (18-39) went first, then the women, then the senior men and junior men. I was thrilled that there were still plenty of people in the water when I got out.

Jacob did a brilliant time of 16.32 minutes!!

Very flattering, eh?? I decided I wouldn't try to run, but rather "walked fast" for the two km to the finish. I thought I would be at least 30 minutes, so was very pleased to finish in 27.12 minutes! Mark did a personal best time of 17.24 minutes and we were very proud of Josie who finished in just under 21 minutes.

Celebrating our achievement in the final leg of the race--the pub--with our friends Cynthia and Clare. On Australia day (last Tuesday) I lined up to compete in a 1.2k swim in Inverloch, a much more low key event than the Channel Challenge . . . and no run. My training partner Jenny and Mark thought it would be a good thing to help with my nerves and this was probably right as I was completely unprepared for the fact that I would totally panic when the gun went off and everyone started running into the water. I was out of breath before I even started swimming! Then the current was so strong that I couldn't get anywhere! I thought I'd float on my back for a while and ended up going backwards! I struggled to get to the second marker, and I decided to turn back, although at least I could get back under my own steam and didn't have to be fished out by a life guard. Everyone was very kind about the whole thing and I wasn't too upset, but I was just so thrilled to have been succesful today (and not last, even!) as I was really scared that I would panic again. Instead it was a lovely swim. The water was so clear I could see the bottom and it was terrific to see the bridge that I walk or drive over everyday from a different perspective.

I'm disappointed that I haven't posted more recently. I had difficulty getting my photos off my camera so I haven't posted on the 100 day challenge, unfortunately. Have many thoughts and musings on the weight loss thing, too, and would also like to share some lovely photos from my birthday, so hopefully will get around to that soon. Had quite a few drinks bought for me today, then a lovely visit with Cynthia and Clare and I'm going to bed one happy girl. Night, night!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Happy New Year and more of the 100 day challenge

Well I can't believe even though I'm on holidays I haven't got around to posting for more than 2 weeks. While I'm not being a teacher at the moment, my other job of being a mother seems to have kicked in. As I have two teenagers and a "tweenager" this seems to translate to driving people everywhere and feeding them. And it takes a lot of time! Anyway, it's all good, as I do find driving time often equates to talking time, especially where my teenage son is concerned.

I am slowly getting back into the swing of things with my weight management. On reflection, I really didn't try as hard as I could in the last few months. It's one thing to say "persistence rather than perfection", which I think is such a critical mind shift for me. . . rather than the old boom or bust mentality "Oh well, I've blown it now, I might as well keep on eating". However, clearly I have been eating too many points compared to the exercise I have been doing and if I want to lose weight I either have to decrease one or increase the other, or preferably both those things!

On one level, however, I am happy to just be maintaining my weightloss. Hopefully this does mean that I can keep the weight I have lost thus far off forever and never go back to being 100kg+. I will admit that it's darn scary how little I have to eat to maintain this current weight though! Sooo, sooo soo much less than the old me used to eat. Is it any wonder that I got to 112.5 kg in the first place and that I kept gaining 5 or 6 pounds per year for years and years??? Hopefully that cycle is broken forever, now.

I am wayyyyy behind in posting my 100 step challenge photos, although I have found or taken images for the past two weeks. Some of them are taken on my mobile phone and I will need help from my teenagers as to how to get them off it, so here is week 4. I will try and post week 5 before week 6 is over!

Day 22

It had to happen. I finally had to get on the scales which I have avoided all of the Christmas period. I found out I gained 1 kg which is incredibly annoying as it took me most of November to lose that kilo . . . grrrr. On the bright side, it could have been so, so much worse . . . at least I know where I am now.

Day 23

After more than a year of pretty religious tracking, I have really slacked off over the past few weeks, so today I began again in earnest. I know the resolution is not clear, but you should be able to see that I am more than 10 points over!! This is because we went to see Avatar (GREAT Movie, btw. I only went to get out of the house and because everyone else was seeing it and I didn't want to miss out, but I loved it!). Usually I position myself at the end of our family so the popcorn doesn't come my way very often. But this time I wanted to sit between Mark and Fergus, because I thought Fergus might be scared (don't usually let him see M rated movies!) and because, hey, I don't get to go out to the movies with Mark that often. Well for some reason, Fergus was the custodian of the popcorn this time so that meant that I kept passing it back and forth and having a handful each time. Anyway, in the past I have managed to get back on track through tracking EVERYTHING, even if I know I am wayy over points, which is what I have done this week. Hence the fact that I am 10 points over on the first day!
Hmmm, just realised that I took a screen shot of the wrong day . . . this was the day that I had chocolate royals and nougat for lunch, rather than the day I ate a ton of movie popcorn! Ah well, just shows that I'm being honest with my tracking, right!

Day 24

Turtle Swim! My husband swims with a group of Islanders who call themselves the Turtle Smugglers. Originally, this group was mainly comprised of middle aged men, who when they participated in swim/run events looked like they had a turtle shoved up their tee-shirts rather than budgies in their togs, thus the name Turtle Smugglers. I am really keen to participate in the "Channel Challenge" which is a local event whereby people swim 500m across the Channel between San Remo and Phillip Island and then run 2km over the bridge to finish outside the pub. Mark has participated in this about 8 or 9 times and my son Jacob has been in the race twice (and beat his father, but that's another story). This year I would like to participate in the run, swim part, rather than just the third leg--in the pub! So I went with Mark for my first open water swim (I can swim 500m in the pool, pretty much). It was HARD. Much harder than swimming the distance in the pool. I have a long way to go and don't know if I can get there by the 30th January. I'm not fussed about my time, just as long as the surf life savers don't have to fish me out. Anyway, we'll see, but I've made a start

Day 25

I finally tried the WiiFIT! This is my Mii. It was fun. I tried step, yoga and boxing with a little bit of running. Boxing was my favourite.

Day 26

New Years Eve. We went to the Yacht Club with my parents as both our older children had plans. I was a bit sad, to be honest because usually we play board games together as a family but Jacob had a better offer with a party and Josie had to work. After she finished she came down to the yacht club with us, which was nice and she was happy to dance with the old folk which was great. We didn't stay that long after midnight, as I felt Fergus was missing out. I tried to take healthy nibbles like rice paper rolls and sushi and I minimised alcohol points by drinking Jewel champagne.

Day 27

My Adelaide cousins are still visiting and today I took my cousin Paul and his wife Amanda and their two children Jack and Tom for one of my famous rockpool rambles. We all had a great time and found some interesting sea creatures such as hairy mud crabs and brittle stars then we walked to this remote beach which is only accessible by climbing up a very steep headland. It is quite a treacherous beach and we wouldn't let the boys swim but they had fun just laying at the waters' edge and having the waves break over them. THere had been helicopters flying over us while we were at this beach and we found out later that a fisherman had been swept off the rocks in only the next cove and drowned which was really sad but re-inforced to the boys how dangerous such environments can be. Luckily we didn't know about the poor fisherman at the time and had a lovely afternoon and although not strenuous (apart from that climb up the headland) it certainly was an energetic afternoon that would have helped burn a few points, I'm sure!

Day 28

Now that I'm quite good at walking, my normal half hour walk is about 3km which means I'm walking at about 6kms per hour. I find it hard to push myself to go faster or work harder. Tonight I found these little weights and carried these while I walked. They only weigh 1kg each, but boy did it make a difference! When I came back I was quite sweaty! Funny how I used to carry around an extra 30kg, but now just 2kg more feels like hard work.

Well that's my week, or rather one of them. Will try to get last weeks up soon.

I'll finish with a silly picture of Mark and I just off to my cousin's Mexican themed 40th birthday celebrations.

Good Luck to you all!