Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Week 1 Done and Dusted

So round 4 started with a bang last week with my 2.9kg weight loss.  This was a huge start, but how was I going to maintain that?  Julie and I had decided that we were going to give it everything this round, red flag days and all.  How was I going to do this?  Looking at the 10K running program I have decided to follow I was thinking that there was not enough on that for me to lose the weight I wanted to.  I needed to step it up. 
So after reading another blog written by the wonderful CoCo Girl, where she mentioned how she was planning out her round for food and training, I decided that I needed to do something similar, food was not an issue but lack of planning with training was.  I looked at what training I was doing and if this actually was enough in my mind to achieve my goals.  I decided it wasn’t but what was I going to do to step it up. 

For the last 2 rounds I have usually done a workout a day which only consisted of burning 500 calories or over.  I decided that this needed to change and I also needed to mix up the training to hopefully shock the body and move some of the kilos.  The weekend started with a 3.9km run prior to our usual garage session.  Nice way to start the day with the sun shining and the runners puffing.  We then did a 6 station tabata circuit, which had all of us huffing and puffing and finished off with a little bit of boxing.  All done and dusted by 8.30am before the heat kicked in.  Thankfully Sunday was a little cooler and I was able to get out for a bike ride.  I had planned on going for at least 50kms which would have taken me approx. 2 hours, but after 16kms I noticed I had a buckled back wheel and needed to turn and head home.  So at the end of my ride I had only completed 35kms and burnt 1200 calories.  This normally would be something I would be happy with, but this time I was hoping for more.  I decided that after dinner I was going to go for a run.  I managed to run 3km in just over 18 minutes, which is my fastest time for that distance.  I was stoked with this especially when my legs were feeling a little heavy after the bike ride and the previous 2 days running and tabata.  To think that 24 weeks ago I couldn’t even run 1km non-stop in my time trial (time of 7:14) and now I did 3kms at an average 6:02 per kilometre.  I am pretty confident that the next time trial in a couple of weeks’ time I will be able to go under 5 minutes.

Last night I had to drop my daughter off at ballet and wait around for 90 minutes, so it was a perfect opportunity for me to go on a long run.  My training said I was only to go on a 2km tempo run, but I had done that Sunday night so to speak, so I thought I would make the most of this opportunity and do some extra.  Well the first 2km was okay. My legs were heavier than I had hoped or expected, but as this was my 4th day of running in a row, not at all surprising.  I managed to make it to 3km and wanted to keep pushing but I was not feeling great in the legs and my calf problem was starting to come back.  I wanted to try and push it out to the 4.5km mark which was the turn around, but I also did not want to overdo it and get an injury.  I stopped running at the 3.4km and I was gutted.  Gutted because I had chosen to stop, gutted because my body was telling me enough is enough and gutted because I was not going to get the workout I had hoped and ultimately not lose the weight this week I had hoped for and was working towards.  I walked a little further to the 4km mark and turned around and on my way back I made sure I ran in bursts.  I was not going to walk all the way back, that is not me anymore, but I did not want to overdo it either and pick up an injury which would stop me running for a period of time.
At the end of my run/walk I had covered 7.9 kms in just over an hour.  Not bad when you consider the first 3kms were done in just under 20 mins, with a total calorie burn of 780 for the night.  I have now realised that my body can’t sustain the running every day and that I need to ensure that if I want to do double sessions on any day that I am mixing it up more and that my running is allowing my body rest from the previous session and not to overload it.  It is not easy work carrying 111kgs around at any speed but putting extra pressure and stress on the joints everyday will only do me harm.

Julie also gave me a dose of reality when she told me that it doesn’t matter if I don’t drop the big number I want this week, it will happen and I need to just keep working and be patient.  I know she is right in this regard, but I also know that she has the same mentality as me in that she wants to see the big numbers and gets disheartened when it doesn’t come.
It seems that there needs to be more planning in my planning so I have thought about exactly what I am going to do each week.  I can’t wait to see what the scales show me in the morning.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Looking Forward & Being Inspired

I have been contemplating this week since round 4 started about what I want to achieve and how I am going to get there.  Many thoughts have come and gone but the obvious one is my weight loss goal.   Yes I want to get to my goal weight and I would love to be back in the running for the top 20 which would mean I have lost a considerable amount of weight, but is this all I want out of this round and this journey.  I started to write another blog post yesterday and never got to publish it due to work commitments, but I am glad now that I didn’t.  After getting in early this morning and reading a couple of other posts and then having something sent to me at work, I was moved by something that I know others will have seen already, but it really struck a chord with me, which we will get to shortly.
Our first weigh in was on Wednesday, yes only 2 days after the start of the round.  Bit weird I hear all the newbies say, but who am I to question the guru. I jumped on the scales to find that in 2 days I had dropped 2.9kgs.  How on earth did that happen?  I don’t know and to be honest I don’t care, I am just over the moon that it has happened and what a start to the new round.  So off to a cracking start and with a 2.5% weight loss I am on the right track for what I want.  But what do I really want? 
Long term I have so many dreams, goals and aspirations that I don’t know when or how I am going to fit them in, if they are in fact possible.  What I do know is that I want to be fit, healthy and happy.  Well happier than I have been in the past.  I have a wonderful wife and 4 amazing children, so how could I not be happy.  Well I suppose it comes down to being happy with yourself as I am sure many of us on this journey can relate to.  I want to be able to walk into a room every time and not wonder if anyone is looking at me because of my weight or making snide remarks when you walk out.  This is changing but it will take time.
Some of my goals that I have been putting together may not be happening in the near future, but these are my big goals. I will list them below but my short term goals are achievable if I put myself out there.  Obviously I am hoping to get to my goal weight of 90kgs or less within the next 3 months. If it doesn’t happen, it will soon after, so no pressure.  I also want to start swimming as part of my training.  This is something that will certainly take me out of my comfort zone.  I can swim, but I am far from being a strong swimmer.  I want to continue my running and finally crack the 10km non-stop barrier.  This will happen this round I assure you.  The most I have run at present is 8.54km so not far off, but I aim to take part in a fun run in March so this will be happening.  After that I have some long term goals, which I have been fortunate enough to convince some fellow 12wbter’s to take part in some to some degree.
In October 2013 I will be riding in the Sydney Ride to Conquer Cancer (2 days, 200kms) then myself and a friend will jump on our bikes and ride from Sydney to Melbourne down the east coast which will be approx. 1200kms and to finish this off we will be joining our team mates (some of them 12WBTers, Julie Leitch, Dayna Manser, Mel Morris, Cass Dixon, Julie Hovenga, Casey Mason) to take part in the Melbourne Ride to Conquer Cancer.  This will have me completing over 1600k’s in 16 days to raise money for Peter Mac Cancer Hospital.  Anyone else interested in taking part let me know.
My goal after that is to compete in a 70.3 half ironman in Feb 2014.  Hey, nothing like putting it out there.  I suppose the reason I have divulged this on my blog was due to a link my wife sent me this morning which she had seen on CoCo Girl’s blog.  How did I miss it?  Please see the video below if you have not watched it.  I had goose bumps watching it and even a little teary I will admit.  This has inspired me to achieve my goals and I hope it helps others.  If Ben can do it, the rest of us have no excuse either and it just proves that the sky is the limit.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

On My Way!!!!

I can clearly remember, as a teenager, the words of the worst band to ever come out of Scotland, the Proclaimers, “I’m on my way from misery to happiness today, Uh Huh, uh Huh.”  Well after the weekend’s events in Sydney and catching up with some old 12wbt friends and meeting some new ones, watching how well some people have done and how far we have all come, I have come home with a lot of energy and been reinvigorated to ensure that I smash out this next round.  I might also add that having to stand there and watch those lucky 20 people be on stage left me feeling a little lost and wishing it was me up there again, but you know what, I didn’t deserve it this round and they all did.  If I want to be back up there I better pull out my finger and do the work.

So, why am I suddenly quoting the Proclaimers?  Well their lyric is exactly where I find myself.  Not that I was miserable, that is something that has certainly not been the case the last 24 weeks, but I am determined that at the end of the next 12 weeks I will be more than happy with what I have done since today.  I have made a commitment to myself and to my wife as well as to some of my training buddies that I am going to smash this next round.  I will step it up and I am even doing the 10K running program.  Now I have every confidence I can get that ticked off half way through the round, it is all about learning to run properly and improving my speed.  I also want to smash the weight this time and see if I can get to goal weight.  This will mean dropping around 25kgs this round.  Yes this is a huge ask, but doing my sums I need at least that to get on stage.  So if I am good enough to get there I will be at goal.  Either way I am a winner.

This weekend was huge.  It was an early start for us and we flew in to Sydney for some crappy weather, which was not enticing.  We were fortunate enough that a friend we had not seen for ages was also in Sydney, so we caught up for lunch (burger and schooner at a pub in the Rocks), so I hope Michelle doesn’t read this post.  After that we went off and did the Bridge Climb.  What an amazing experience.  To say I have stood on the top of one of the most iconic structures in the world is unbelievable.  We were up there for 3 hours and whilst it was windy, thankfully it did not rain.  Mother Nature held that off just until we finished then she opened up on the twilight groups.

Saturday morning saw us all heading to Queens Park for a workout with 1000 other 12WBTer’s and gave us the opportunity to meet some new people we had only spoken to on the forums and facebook groups.  I finally got to meet Carol, Lynn and Casey from Warrnambool and surrounding areas that I have been following via twitter and their blogs.  All three are lovely ladies and it was great to meet them.  After the workout we all got our photos taken in our groups with the Guru and I was also fortunate enough to meet Lise Simpson (one of the trainers and 12WBT support crew) whom has followed me through the last 2 rounds.  It is so nice being in a place where people of all ages, shapes and sizes are all wanting the same thing and happy to be there.  I also got to meet a lovely lady whom most know as Lima Fox.  Leanne was one of the first people I spoke to when I signed up and she has been so supportive following my journey. Just a pity she isn’t doing this next round, but we will keep in touch.

Next was the big night.  Off we went all dolled up (well Julie not me) for the party.  It was a fantastic night, which gave me the opportunity to meet more people that I have only spoken to (Angela Wallace, Leanne Molloy) who are both legends on the forums.  There were a couple of people in the top 20 that we were keen to cheer on and even better when both Casey and Sarah won awards.  What a great night.
Sadly the next day meant a sore head of sorts and a full day without a hotel room to rest it, but what better way to fix it than to go to Manly beach and have fish and chips!!!  After that we had a quick visit to a pub then the airport and promises to each other that this was our round.  I am going to go hard, I have my goals and I am hoping that I can drag those around me along and they can also drag me along with them as I know they will be working just as hard.  Our Saturday morning sessions have just been stepped up a notch I think and could become interesting.

Watch out for the skinny man after Christmas.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Another Round Down.....

24 weeks have passed since I started with the Guru and started transforming both my outer self as well as my inner self.  I have learnt so much along this path that sometimes I forget how far I have actually come and only look at the recent results.  As I have documented in numerous blogs, yes I know stuck record comes to mind, that I have not been as prolific with the weight loss this round and the numbers have not been as high and even that I have hit a wall mentally, I have been able to look back this week and take stock of what I have actually achieved.  This message hit home for me only this morning when I was talking to a couple of senior managers and one of them blurted out, “Oh my god, you are half the man you used to be.”  Now I have seen this guy in passing a number of times over the last few months, but I suppose he has never really stopped and looked at me.  Not sure why, I am a pretty hot specimen now, even for straight guys!!!!!

The simple fact that he had noticed this shows me that whilst I only lost (I know I shouldn’t use that word) 9.3kgs this round, I have lost a total of 33.8kgs in 24 weeks.  That is an amazing amount of weight to lose and as this manager put it, try getting up and carrying 2 bags of cement with you each time you go to get a coffee or to a meeting.  When he said it like that I thought holy cow, that is heavy and I now feel amazing for not carrying that weight.

Add to this, my measurements were also down on last round, but I still managed to lose 25cms in total all over my body.  Add that to last rounds 86.5 centimetres and I have now lost 1.115 metres off my body.  I was a size 46 in jeans when I started my first round, I now fit into a 38 (just) but this was something I thought would never happen.  I was just happy to get into a size 40 now I am looking at 36-34 when I get to my goal.  I have gone from XXXL in shirts to looking at XL at biggest.  This is just incredible.  Yes my weight loss slowed this round, I was not as accountable and the intensity was not there, but even with all the little blips along the way I still managed to lose weight.  In the past I would have given up and packed it back on.  Not anymore, the new Greg is determined that one stumble will not cause me to fall over.  I will be back up and at it with a vengeance.  I have been extremely lucky that Julie is doing this with me and whilst we have both had issues at times we have been extremely supportive of each other.  We are determined that round 4 will be a big one.  We have also been very lucky that we have made some very good friends in the Western Warriors group that now train with us on Saturday mornings and I have found a couple of run buddies that are my pace.  Well 1 of them has been injured, but we are waiting for her to get back into it so we can have some good Saturday morning trots.

Overall, I am happy to reflect back and look at where I have come from, which was an obese and unhappy man 24 weeks ago, where I am now still a little obese (technically) but I feel like there is a skinny guy kicking and screaming and fighting his way out.  He is almost there and I anticipate that after Christmas he will have found his way out.  That is the same time I expect to have broken through the 100kgs barrier, which will mean I will be back under the three figures for the first time since 1992 and for me that was the start of my 20 years of living in the dark.
I have this weekend in Sydney to celebrate at the finale and then come Monday it is all head down and bum up, except when I am running. That might be a little difficult, but I have grands plans for the next 12 months and that only happens with a fit, healthy and lean ME.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Bring Back the MOJO

A couple of days ago I posted about wanting to get my head back in the correct space and tackle this next round with a vengeance after pretty much wasting round 3.  Yes I have still lost weight, but not as much as I wanted to.  

Both Julie and I decided that this week, after cup day, we were going to get back on track.  Training was still a little hit and miss, but last night saw me go for my first run in a few weeks.  It was only a gentle jog of 3.89 kilometres, but it was my first in a while and I was already going out this morning for a pre planned run with a training partner.  I just wanted to get out and do it.  I had plenty of reasons not to go, it was late (8:20pm) and it was about to bucket down.  I just put on a rain coat and off I went.  I managed to get home with only a little shower, but then the heavens opened up.   Someone wanted me to get out and do it. Michelle must have friends in high places.

First run in 4 weeks.

I went to bed knowing that I was up at 6:30 for a 5km run with Dayna and maybe Ben who was going to join us.  When I walked out the front door this morning it was an amazing morning.  Sunshine, no clouds and not a breath of wind.  No excuses not to go out and enjoy a run.  We managed to run 5kms and then come home and try some tabata training and then some boxing.  

Tabata was new to me, but I enjoyed the concept.  I just need to plan a bit better for our next session and have more exercises to choose from.  That will be my homework and I can see myself doing some solo tabata sessions to improve the exercises.  If you don't know what it is check it out.

SSS from today included 5 km run

I am just over the moon that now I have strung 2 decent sessions together in a row which I haven't done for a couple of weeks.  Not saying the mojo is back but I am feeling a lot better for having done it and I will be working towards making round 4 as big as round 2.  I want to get close enough to goal in the next round so I can look at doing Lean & Strong in round 1 next year.  Best I stick to my word and keep up the training.
My sort of MOJO - Not 12WBT approved

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Motivation. Do You Really Need It?

  A quick check on the internet this morning gave me the below definitions of what motivation is:     
  1. The reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.
  2. The general desire or willingness of someone to do something.

    Reading these definitions tends it seems to fit in with what we have traditionally known as the definitions for motivation, but I beg to differ on this point.  When I started the 12WBT I would have said that my motivation for doing so was to lose weight, become healthy and generally happier.  This would fit in with the majority of those people in the program.  But is that really motivation?  Is motivation only used for positive actions?  This may sound a little askew but stick with me.

During my first round, one of Michelle’s weekly clips was about motivation and how she believed it was not what it was made out to be and it all comes down to mindset (I am paraphrasing here) which I listened to at the time but never really allowed to sink in.  This may have been due to the fact that I was in a really good headspace and flying with my weight loss.  So why am I thinking about it now?  As I have mentioned in numerous posts this round, I am in a funk, not travelling as well as I had hoped or expected and I have been trying to ascertain why.  Normally I would have said (in the past, the old me) that I was lacking motivation, but that is not true.  Surely after losing 24.5kgs in the first round and being on stage at finale I need no further motivation.  Seeing the results and receiving all the positive feedback should have spurred me on to continue.  That is exactly what happened and I came home from Perth determined to mash round 2 fulfilling both of the requirements above and obviously motivated.

This is where I believe Michelle’s words come true.  If motivation is a reason for acting or behaving in a particular way, why would I be motivated to take my foot off the pedal?  Whilst I have still managed to lose weight this round, albeit a third of what I did last round, I have still seen some old habits creeping back in which I am not happy about.  Why would I be motivated to allow this to happen?  I am not and don’t want it to be the case.  My point here is, that it is not motivation that makes us choose a certain path, whether it be to lose weight or to sabotage ourselves.  The reasons for acting in a particular way or supposedly our desire or willingness to do something or not do it are not down to motivation, it is down to the most powerful tool we have to correct these choices and behaviours.  This is probably the hardest battle in losing weight and staying on the right path.  This is all about MINDSET!!!! 

This in my opinion is what sets Michelle and her program apart from all other weight loss programs and this is what I am battling with at the moment.  Michelle frequently touches on how we need to work on our excuses, willpower, goals, robot mode, JFDI and why?  No other program makes you face your demons, understand why you are in this position.  They give you the food, the ethos and the books, but they don’t address why you are there in the first place.  If I had not heard this from Michelle I would still be making some excuse and stating that I lacked motivation.  Whilst I am aware of my issues and how they have hindered me this round, I am still trying to work out how to overcome them and get back to the ME from last round.  One of the biggest pluses for me has been surrounding myself with a lot of other 12WBTers whom are all amazing individuals and there as a huge support.  People like Dayna Manser and Bec Green that have been training with us and remaining positive even when I have openly told them I am struggling have helped me realise that it can and will be done and that I can get passed this.  On Saturday we had a workout out that was far from brilliant, but we still had a workout.  It was one step ahead of where I would have been if the old me had been there.  Then I see the encouragement and support I have had from online friends on the forums and facebook with words of encouragement after my 200km bike ride and I know I am heading in the right direction.  Add to this, I was totally blown away by some kind words and an entry in her vlog last week from Heidi Wilson (aka ToughMudder) who said I was one of support people and rocks in this program.  Surely not!!!  This lady is a true champion of this program, a role model for everyone and a winner in all sense of the word, but for some reason she has found me a help in the last 6 months.  Even when I am not travelling well I am somehow helping others, but now I need to make sure that I am doing the same for me.

This has been me the last few weeks

After speaking to my wife yesterday and our recent blow out after our holiday, I want my mojo back.  I don’t need to be motivated as the definitions above explain, I just need to get off my arse and JFDI as I don’t need reasons for my behaviour to define who I am.  I have changed that mindset where I need a light at the end of the tunnel, now I know I can get up and take action, I just need to stop with all the excuses, and that is all they are and get back on the non fat wagon.

Look out round 4, I am going to smash you to pieces.  I want to be back on stage with a swagger and my mojo well and truly in tact.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Milestones……What a week?

It has been a big week for me for a couple of reasons.  Yesterday saw me exit one decade and enter a new one.  Yes that is right it was my birthday and I hit the big 4….0 that is right, I am now in the naughty forties as I have been told.  Not sure it will be any different to the dirty thirties, but we will see, I can only hope it is a little more on the naughty side.  I would also like to point out that according to my 4 year old, I am old now and nearly dead.  Isn’t it wonderful how children perceive things.  The benefit of this though is that I will be a fitter healthier person in my 40’s than I was in my 20’s or 30’s.  Something to look forward to and keep the grim reaper away for a little bit longer.

Weigh in this week saw me lose 1.7kgs which was a nice surprise.  I was not sure how much I would lose but I had hoped after the weekend’s ride it would sizeable, so to have almost dropped all of the weight gained on holiday is a bonus.  Actually, since the ride I have been buzzing.  Not because of what I have achieved, well partly because of that, but more in anticipation of what we will achieve for next year as Julie and I have committed to do the ride again.  I am also thinking about doing the Sydney ride a fortnight before the Melbourne one.  Our team which consisted of 6 riders this year has already doubled and is going to get bigger.  I have been overwhelmed by the kind words of congratulations and also encouragement that have flowed in from people whom consider what we have done to be some superhuman feat.

There have also been those that have commented on how much it means to them that we have done this as they have been impacted in their family by cancer.  This is why I chose to do the ride.  As much as it was a personal achievement and something that allowed me to focus on some physical activity and getting healthier, it was all about the cause and making money.  It is also part of the reason the new team members have joined.  I have been very lucky that we have a few people that have joined this week which are my 12WBT family.  These ladies are all new to riding, just like I was 6 months ago, but they will all be joining our super supportive team for this ride and I am sure they will be over the moon with their achievement in 12 months just like I am.
Our bikes after the ride

I have mentioned in the past how much I have been enjoying exercise since I started this new phase of my life.  Well it became even more apparent to me this week when I found myself wishing I could be outside enjoying the nice weather on my bike when Julie told me she was going for a ride.  Who would have thought that after just having completed 200 kilometres I would want to be sitting on that bike again.  Getting on my bike is a new release for me.  It allows me to get out and go as fast as I choose and not have to worry about anything except the crazy people walking dogs in front of me and thankfully no more magpies.  I have also found myself planning next year’s ride and discussing plans for fundraising and training. 
So in my 40th year I am planning on becoming the lightest I have been in 20+ years.  I am also planning on riding my bike a lot and raising a lot of money for Peter Mac.  This year will be the biggest of my life in so far as achieving what I need to do so I can be healthy, happy and the best version of me.  I believe they say that life begins at 40 so I am looking forward to tackling it head on and if I am going to have a mid life crisis it may mean I have to buy a new bike and not a sports car.  Call me boring, but that will suit me just fine.