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 . . .

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!