Friday, 31 May 2013

Round & Round the Mulberry Bush……..

Surely we all remember this from our childhood?

Round and round the mulberry bush
The monkey chased the weasel.
The monkey stopped to pull up his socks
And Pop goes the weasel.

This has been my week, perhaps my last 6 months really and after a big one today hopefully my life will resume a little normality.  Only difference is there was no weasel involved, it has just been me running around in circles it seems (in a professional sense) and it is time for it all to stop.

So in light of my week being a little indifferent I thought I would adopt the idea for every Friday that another Blog I read (Dear baby G)puts out there called FFS Friday.  This is a bit of fun and just lets everyone know what sort of week I have had.  I will call mine the Friday Fist Pump.  I only hope there are more Friday Fist Pumps than Non Fist Pump moments.
Now this may be a massive flop, but we will certainly find out soon enough. 
This week has been busy to say the least, but they all seem to just get busier. Both work and at home, so I am sure to have a few gripes and wins as well.

I managed to string 3 days of solid exercise together last weekend after beating my chest cold…. FFP

Had my first decent run in a couple of weeks in preparation for my half marathon in 8 weeks time….. FFP

Hurt my back cleaning the kitchen on Sunday afternoon.  NFP…….Throw in a FFS as well

Allowed my inner saboteur to come out on Monday and Tuesday with a few wines, undoing my nutrition for the couple of days….  NFP

My wife decided to foster a cat for a period of time so our 4 munchkins can see what it is like to have a pet they can interact with......NFP

Said cat has decided it wants to meow at 1am on the first night ending up with my 4 year old in my bed.......NFP

With my sore back, still managed to get to my son’s football training and run around a bit with the boys.  Love being involved with his football and teaching the boys about my favourite sport….. FFP

Cat has decided that he wants to claw at our carpet for fun because my wife hasn't got a scratching post.......NFP

Have month end at work this week which places everyone under extra pressure from the bosses wanting as much cash in as possible.  Joys of month end not….. NFP

Set up my new bike on the trainer at home last night and smashed out a spin session sweating out a few kilos alone…..  FFP

Managed a weights session after the spin session to round out my work out……FFP

Found out we have an company interested in sponsoring us for our Perth Ride as part of our efforts to ride in all 6 Ride to Conquer Cancer rides this year…….Huge FFP

Have been nursing a headache basically for 2 days.  Dull thumping pain that won’t go away…….NFP

Was woken up at 5:53 this morning with a 4 year old stating he had wet the bed WTF!!!!! …..NFP

Managed the last 2 days to be spot on with my nutrition and back in the game……FFP

So looking back over the week, there have been a lot more FFP (Friday Fist Pumps), than NFP (Non Fist Pumps) so it hasn’t been that bad of a week.  I am looking forward to a good weekend of exercise, rain, hail or shine as I need to smash out some kms for my half.  Just remember that we all have bad moments through out our week, but we need to look at what we are doing in a positive manner and reflect on the good things.  All wins are exactly that.  Use them to keep you up and simply learn from the negatives.
Most importantly start living life and enjoying and have a great weekend.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Do Not Be Afraid

Those of us that are old enough and grew up watching The Wonderful World of Disney will know this little fellow.  For those that were not so lucky he is Jiminy Cricket.  I found the below pearls of wisdom today that fit in exactly with what has happened to me over the last 12 months.

“When your heart is in your dream no request is too extreme”

Whatever we want in life, whether it be career, holiday, new body, healthier outlook, it will not be achieved unless you commit to it and put your heart and soul into it.  Basically the two quotes above run parallel with each other.  The first one says that all you have to do is make the choice or decision to want something.  Make a wish and then strive to make it happen.  Without making that conscious decision to act or want, we will never get there.

For me, this was 12 months ago.  Yes I have always said that I only ever signed up for the 12WBT to support Julie and try to lose a few kilos myself, but it makes no difference what the reason was, it was still a conscious decision to act.  That was my wish.

Now, having a wish is fine, but you don’t get anywhere without the action.  You need to have a plan and be able to implement that plan.  As Mr Cricket says “No request is too extreme.”  This is of course only going to work if you are 100% committed and prepared to put your HEART and SOUL into achieving it.  You see this all the time from successful people.  They achieve their goals because of their single mindedness and dedication.  They make sacrifices along the way have the end goal in sight all the time.  These people aren’t just wealthy business people or top line sportsmen and women. 

I rub shoulders with a lot of these people quite often.  Why would I be hanging with this sort of people you may ask?  This is because they are normal people like you and me, only they choose to set big goals and chase them down.  These people are those that have lost 75kgs in a couple of years, or never been able to run and have then run marathons.  Some of them have gone out and done triathlons only 7 years after having 22 screws and 3 plates inserted into their left ankle from a car accident.  You don’t need to have the big job title, 3 degrees, massive bank account or a bag full of Olympic medals to be driven and successful.  You just need to put your heart and soul into your desired goal and go for it.

This is where it becomes tough for people.  We are all brought up to fear failure and the backlash that comes with it.  We would rather give in before we fail than listen to people tell you “I told you so.”  But those that do achieve don’t listen to this talk.  They expect to fall down along the way, it is part of the journey, but they get back up and keep powering on towards the end goal.  This is something I have learnt in my time whilst winning my battle with the bulge.  It hasn’t always been easy, if it was everyone would do it.  I know that, but I haven’t always understood it.  I have seen countless numbers of people give up or get down on themselves because of a poor food choice or bad weekend.  These are just those times that the naysayers are waiting for.  So what!!  Just because of a bad choice or a big weekend, does that instantly mean your heart is not in your dream anymore?  No, it just means we need to refocus and get back in the swing.  Yes it is tough to block out the comments from others and sadly not everyone is strong enough or confident enough to do so, but it is important when you make a decision to set a goal, whether weight loss, work or financially related, be prepared to have some setbacks, but be even more prepared to power on to the target.

This post today is just as much for myself, as it is for anyone else reading it.  I have had a few ordinary weeks with food choices.  But my dream is still to lose the weight, get fit, achieve my goals, but more importantly get my life back.  This is happening more and more every day.  No one could have predicted 12 months ago that within that timeframe I would have ridden a bike 200kms or run a half marathon.  These things don’t happen without having your heart in it.  These things can be done, you just have to set the goal no matter how big and shoot for it.  You just never know what might happen.

And a quick thank you to everyone that reads this blog.  In 11 months it has managed to have over 18000 views.  Never did I imagine it would have that many people coming back to look at it.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Just The Kick in the Ar$e I Needed

My last blog post mentioned how I had been feeling a little flat and not really with the program so to speak.  Well let me just say that not only did I have a flat, but all four of my tyres were flat this last week as well as my spare.  I couldn’t even find the jack and tyre lever to try and change it up.  What the hell has happened to me?  Seriously, do I need any more reason to get off my slowly shrinking arse and get moving than having a half marathon in 8 weeks. 

Obviously the above highlights that my last 7 days have not been flash.  That is an understatement of massive proportions.  I have indulged in lots of wine, had pizza with the kids on Sunday night, some fish and chips, potato chips, and numerous other crap foods that I could find.  Now not all of my food choices were bad, but they were certainly undone by the other bad ones I had consumed.  Add to that, I only trained 4 times in the last week.  Two of these sessions were rides on my new bike, one was a group workout in our garage on Saturday morning and then the other was a weights session with Julie yesterday.  Now looking at that you would say that is okay, 4 sessions when it should have been 6 is not that bad, but it is way behind what I would normally do.  I have not run for almost 2 weeks, which is due to the fact that I have not been well, but I need to get out there.  Thankfully my chest cold is gone and I can start to run again.  I think this might be the only way I can get the mojo back.

So another Wednesday has come around, which is weigh in day.   I was already aware this was not going to be pretty, but there is no point getting worried or stressed about it.  Own it, Man Up, Take Responsibility.  The result was that I put on 2.2kgs.  Not good, but in the grand scheme of things, no big deal.  WTF!!!!!!!  I can hear everyone screaming at the PC now.  But just hang on there, hear me out.  This is actually a good thing.  It is a wake up call, warning and kick in the arse all in one.  I would like to think that this drop in my guard is not due to complacency, I am all too aware of the need to keep up the work and how it can bite you in the bum if you let it go.  Christ knows I have done it in the past when I have lost weight.  I also think this is the best time for it to have happened to me.  This gain means that I am now over 100kgs again and that is something I said I never wanted to see again.  It is more shocking for me than getting down to 95kgs and adding a kilo or so.  Now I see the 3 digits on the scales, which is horrible and sad, but not the end of the world.

For some people having a gain can be devastating and enough for them to drop it all, throw their hands in the air and walk away.  What I am trying to get across here is that it isn’t like that.  I have had a crap few weeks, packed on a bit of weight, but I am not done with my attack on the fat.  There is still plenty I have and want to achieve and by me getting back on the bike figuratively and physically, I will smash these few kgs and more.  We all have periods in our life where things get away from us, we drop the ball in certain areas, whether it is diet, exercise, mindset or all of them together, but the only time we have truly lost the battle is when we give up altogether.  You can lose a battle so to speak, but you can certainly win the war by making sure that all is not lost and we get back on track.  This is exactly what I am doing.  Today starts the new round for me.  The last 2 weeks have been wasted for me really.  Being sick didn’t help but I will not use that as an excuse for eating poorly.  There are no excuses for making poor food choices in my opinion, not when you have the right food there to eat.

I now have 10 weeks until the end of the round.  I have decided that my goals for this round are not even weight or scales related.  I am purely focusing on my fitness goals and I know if I can nail these then the rest will fall into place.  I was speaking to a friend last night and she asked me how close to goal weight I was.  I told her I don’t care.  I have a half marathon to run in late July, then a 200km bike ride in August.  If I am training correctly for these and preparing properly, the weight will be gone and I will be super fit.  Of course I will still be weighing in each week, but the focus won’t be on the scales like it has been in the past.  This has been part of my problem I think, that I was consumed by the numbers and how much weight I had lost and % lost etc, that I forgot about the most important thing.  ME!!!!  I also need to be happy with what I am doing, the reasons why I am doing it and the results that come out of it.  I am not training for weight loss anymore, (yes I still have 13-15kgd to lose) I am training for events.  This is something I have never done before and is a complete change in focus.  I need to be looking at training plans, carrying them out correctly to get the results I want and weight loss and toning will be a wonderful by product of this.  Of course, nutrition and mindset are vital parts of this but they will be considered parts of the planning and execution to get me to the finish line.

I appreciate this is a bit hotch potch, but I am hoping some people that have been and may be in this position in the future really do understand that one bad week is really only that.  It isn’t the end of the world and you can come back from it, just make sure that it doesn’t turn into a bad month or more.  Gaining a kilo or two is nothing in the grand scheme of things. Don’t let it get you down.  There are people battling cancer that would love to have that as their biggest worry.  Keep it in perspective, find out where we went wrong and fix it now.  If you are pissed off or frustrated, take it out on yourself in your next workout.  It will all depend on how badly you want it and for me I want it more than anything.  I guess my next workout will hurt somewhat, but so it should.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Now I know what Flat Stanley felt like!!!

This week has not been one that I want to repeat or been proud of.  I would like to say it has been a post finale hangover, but that would not be true.  That would be an easy excuse but I am not allowed to have excuses.  I will say that this week has left me extremely flat and not really giving a toss.  Not what I should be saying when it is week 1 of the new round and I should be up and at it rearing to go and reach new heights and smash out the workouts to reach my goals in the coming weeks.

Well guess what?  This could not be further from the truth.  If I was any flatter, I would make Flat Stanley look fat.  Why has this happened?  Well I believe a large portion of it is due to me being sick.  I started to feel unwell at the finale workout and it got progressively worse.  I have a chest cold, which sees me coughing like a dog whenever I get cold.  This is prone to happen at 6:45 each morning when I get out of the shower and into the cold air.  Just what Julie enjoys listening to, me bark for 10 minutes and hoping not to wake the kids up.

So between my last weigh in of round 1 and this week, I let my hair down, indulged in a few too many wines and crappy food.  This I own, not making any excuses for or looking for any sympathy (don’t expect any either) and the results were a gain of 2.2kgs.  No big deal in the grand scheme of things and I am not stressing, just means a few extra weeks work before I get to where I want.  This is after all a life journey not just a 12-24 week sprint aka The Biggest Loser.  What is more alarming for me is that I have done basically no training.  I have been for 4 runs in 2 ½ weeks and done 1 group training session.  In each of those I have had issues with my chest and breathing.  None of this excites me at all.  The last thing I want to do is prolong this illness and jeopardise my half marathon in 9 week’s time. But, and it is a big but, I have not even got off my arse and done a weights or toning session.  I just can’t muster the determination and will to JFDI.  This is so unlike me as I usually will go into robot mode and do something.  I feel a little bit like the lady below, very flat whilst everyone around me is bubbly and bursting at the seams.  Sorry for the boob reference, but it is amazing what pops up on google when you type in certain phrases.  Naturally I had to include that.

Another thing that has surprised me this last couple of weeks is the fact that I have no desire to weigh myself.  Most people that read this will know that I am a serial weigher.  I love to see where I am at and how my hard work is paying off.  I don’t get hung up on numbers though.  This last 2 weeks I have hardly been on the scales, no interest in it.  Why is that?  Am I over it?  Do I need to set some other goals? I must admit, I am still taking notice of the wins I am having with my clothes.  I wore a pair of jeans last week that I have only had for 4 weeks and were tight on me when I got them.  Now I don’t even have to undo them to pull them down.  Need to remember to wear a belt though now.

I have been that blasé that I haven’t even completed my pre-season tasks this round, nor have I done my fitness test and I have not added a before picture.  This is not all to do with my current illness though, it also adds to the feeling of being down which is weird and concerning and worse to me than what I experienced post finale when I was on stage. Part of it is due to me knowing that I am not going to be in the running anymore for any prizes, if in fact they have any this round.  Yes that is a selfish, silly outlook, but last round I did hope I might be able to push for something without expecting it and fell short.  Now that I don’t have enough weight to lose I am not in the running.  It is of course not all about the transformation prize, but it was a nice goal to shoot for if you have the chance and if that motivates you then I don’t see a problem.  I am disappointed with the changes that it seems they have made to the program. No weekly surprise winners, reduction in numbers of finalists, reduction in number of prizes etc.  It seems as though there is a big focus on reducing costs and maximising profits, where previously there was a feeling it was about the members of the program.  For me this program is still something that I love, 12WBT has given me my life back and I have made some amazing friends out of it, so for those things I will be eternally grateful and I would encourage anyone to join up and make the most of it. But there has been a huge change in the overall focus of the program with tv ads, radio ads and also internet ads.

So, where do I go from here?  I need to get my mojo back.  I need to get back to the old me and start training again within my limitations (illness or not), which means don’t do any cardio, well running at least, until I get rid of this chest cold.  I can and will do weights at home.  I have enough equipment to do a full workout and I will throw in some core.  I will go home tonight, rug up and get out in the pergola and do some weights and core.  There is a group session at my place tomorrow, with a new PT coming around to put us through our paces and show everyone correct techniques in both exercises and boxing.  I will do what I can.  I might have to miss my early Saturday morning run though, which will be hard as I enjoy running with my Warriors buddies each weekend.  

I am also picking up my new bike tomorrow, aka Bruiser, so I will be keen to get out on a ride Sunday morning too test him out.  Yes it is cardio, but it is not as hard as running and I can slow down and coast if I want to. So hopefully this will help me get back on track.  I need to be in full flight even if it is to motivate and keep Julie honest.  She wants to have a huge round this time and I need to be there to support her.  If she sees me being flat, lazy and blasé what will stop her from joining me and I don’t want to sabotage her round.

I need to get healthy in both mind and body and come back in the next few weeks and get jiggy with it.  I hate being sick, but I hate feeling lazy more.  This used to be the old me and to hell with going back there again.  That fat lazy bastard is done and dusted and I want to run………

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Group Therapy - Why I Love It!!!!

This last week after finale has seen me very flat.  I came e down with a chest cold and this meant I was not a happy camper all week. Coughing and barking like a seal (more like a walrus) is not fun for anyone, but add to that I went back to work, which also hasn’t been fun and it adds to the downer.  I did nothing training wise, and I wasn’t very good with my nutrition. Wine, chips (hot and cold) as well as a few other naughties were consumed, which I know I will pay for later. 

Knowing that I was not in a good headspace, I decided that I needed to go back to the one thing I new worked for me.  Group Therapy.  Yes I attend weekly sessions of group therapy that allow me to be with like minded people and just get it all out of my system.  So I had Julie schedule the appointment for me and I knew that once this had been done I would be back.  No more dark cloud or finale hangover, just a fire burning in my belly to get out there and smash it out and hopefully get to my goal weight this round and rip my half marathon time a new hole!!!

So, this morning came and I jumped out of bed threw on my duds and off I went.  Met up with the usual crowd and smashed out a 5km run and then back for the Western Warriors garage session at my house.  This is my version of group therapy.  Nothing but sweat, grit and determination from everyone to smash out our SSS and then whine about the DOMS tomorrow.  LOVE IT!!!!

Western Warriors with Michelle at finale workout

Why do I love the garage sessions so much?  This great bunch of people that we have met since being on the 12WBT have become such a huge part of our life.  It is a massively supportive network that bonds together, laughs together and has a fair dinkum blast.  Our group is massively eclectic in that we are of such differing fitness levels, but we don’t care.  There are no judgments being made of people, no expectations, no prerequisites about joining us. Our motto is “The more the merrier”, and we have new people joining us all the time.  Some don’t come back, some ask if they can bring new people along.  It doesn’t matter, we are not trying to build a business here, just burn fat.

Smashing out a group therapy session.

These sessions are designed to be able to fit everyone in.  We have people with injuries, but they are told as everyone else is when you first come, just do what you can.  You know your body and I am not a PT.  There are those that probably don’t push themselves hard enough, those that like to have a chat instead of busting a gut and then those that go crazy.  I have always said you only get out of this what you put in, so if people want to bludge or not put in the work they are only cheating themselves.  Shit, I have even been in that category on the odd occasion.

Well this is a new round, so I wanted to try and mix it up this session and get some people moving, mainly my wife.  Julie is a determined woman when she wants to be, but has sometimes let her leg injury stop her from having a crack at certain things.  This is not saying she is lazy, she certainly isn’t but I just think that she has not done everything she could in the last few rounds in our workouts that she could have.  We spoke about this a few nights back and I told her I want to help her smash this round, because she deserves it.  This meant I had to come up with something new for her.  She broke through last round by being able to do full sit ups and her first push up on her toes.  Now we need to push it out a little further.

Using our new friend the tyres today.

During the week I drove past a neighbours house and they were throwing out some car tyres.  These little beauties found their way into my car and then into my pergola.  Rustic workout gear pieces 1 through 4.  Now to figure out what we are going to do with them.  I also saw on the Biggest Loser on Tuesday night Shannon putting his team through “Death from Squats” which looked like a killer. Beauty, that one was in also.  This was a 15 minute exercise that would entail each person doing 455 squats if they could beat the timer.  I am happy to say that there were 5 of us that got the entire way through it.  Butt is not happy Jan right about now.

We had the tyres, some other exercises and the Death from Squats exercise, which was going to be followed up by some boxing.  Needless to say we had so much fun with the exercises that boxing didn’t fit in today.

Death By Squats. Ouch!!!

This bunch of people are amazing.  Sometimes there are others that take the sessions, but mostly I organise each workout.  No one complains, well not to me anyway, and they all just work their toosh off, in most parts.  This sort of session was just the therapy I needed and has me rearing to go for the next 12 weeks.  I have a half marathon to train for as well as my first of 6 bike rides just after next finale, so it will be busy.

I would also like to throw in here that my cycling group, Vision Crusaders has a campaign going at the moment, in which we are trying to get Sir Richard Branson to ride with us.  If you can click on the below link and like the photo, we would be greatly appreciative.

Our Campaign to have Sir Richard ride with us.

I look forward to hearing the complaints tomorrow about sore arms and legs and I will be one of them.  I feel sorry for the ladies doing the mother’s day classic, but hey, suck it up princess.

Thank you WARRIORS, YOU ROCK!!!!!!!

Monday, 6 May 2013

You’re So Vain, You Probably Think This Blog Is About You!!!!

This blog title was given to me by a dear friend of my wife’s and a blow in from Perth for the 12WBT finale this week after a discussion we had on Saturday night after the finale.  Thank you Heather for the great title and a super weekend.

My wonderfully sexy wife, a little sozzled.

This weekend I found myself surrounded by hundreds of people (actually a couple of thousand on Saturday night) all out to celebrate their achievements over the last 12 weeks as well as catching up with old friends and some new ones made this weekend.  I was also humbled by the number of people that came up to me during the course of the weekend to introduce themselves and tell me that they read this blog and that I had in some way helped or inspired them.  This is incredible and I honestly did not know what to say.  I still don’t know how to put it into words, but I thank each and every one of you and I am extremely proud that I have been able to impact people in some way to help them achieve their goals.

2 Wonderful Ladies that I have inspired, Natalie and Leah.

The above has nothing to do with the heading of this blog, but I did see the link.  Below is the definition of vain.  As you will see it mentions being proud of your appearance, qualities and achievements, which we all should be, but you will see the word excessively in there, which I don’t believe I am.

excessively proud of or concerned about one's own appearance, qualities, achievements,
proceeding from or showing pride in or concern about one's appearance, qualities.

There are some people that I feel do fit this definition and are very open about it.  Well I did prior to this weekend anyway.  After meeting with one of these people on Saturday night I left the party feeling a little put off.  Why though?  This lady is open about being vain.  She has posted on the facebook groups saying it.  Normally we are not fond of this sort of behavior in day to day life.  But the last few days got me thinking about vanity and how our lives are changing.  Mine has changed immensely.  Never would I have paraded around in front of 1000 people dressed in a mankini and rainbow Mohawk and caveman leg warmers.  I will openly admit that I did enjoy the attention and the fact that I did make it onto the 12WBT facebook page because of it, but that is more about me enjoying the limelight than being vain.

Hate the Limelight

Now to go back to the previous line of thought.  This lady came up to me on Saturday night and was gracious enough to tell me that I looked great.  I was not even aware she knew who I was, but I thanked her and left it at that.  She then moved on when I did not tell her how well she looked.   This was a conscious decision of mine, as I thought that what was what she was actually after.   Looking back, I am sure it was, but what is wrong with that?  I should have told her how good she looked.  It was wrong of me not to.  This lady, like a lot of others has come from a place where we all try to hide ourselves away, dress in baggy clothes, never want photos of ourselves because we feel horrible or that we look horrible.  Now she is proud of what she has achieved and how good she looks.  I am as well, as are countless numbers of other people.

So if you are reading this and you know whom I am referring to, I am sorry. You have done an amazing job, you do look fantastic and you have earned the right to be vain.   The effort and hard work put in to transform ourselves to the point where we can look in the mirror and finally be happy with what looks back at us allows us to be vain.

If I am brave enough to parade around in a green mankini, have strangers come up and ask for photos and then have it splashed to the cyber world, it doesn’t mean I am vain, it means I am confident in myself and proud of what I have achieved and not afraid to share that with the world.

The Guru, with my training buddies - The Western Warriors

I had an absolute blast on the weekend.  Meet some really amazing people, made some new friends and caught up with some old ones as well.  It is an amazing time being at a finale weekend, but my fondest memories will be the responses I got from 2 people that I least expected it from.  Amelia Burton came looking for me.  I had met Amelia in Perth at the finale of my first round when I was in the top 20 and she wanted to have a chat to me.  She could not believe how much I had changed.  She gave me a big hug and some very kind words.  She is a lovely lady.  The second was from a member of the events company that organizes the finale party.  The lady was the person that ensures all goes well for the finalists getting on stage.  As we walked into the ballroom, I walked past her and she came up to me and told me how good I was looking.  I was shocked she even knew who I was, but for a relative stranger to do that means I am moving in the right direction and this is something I should be proud of.  I am by the way, so if that makes me vain, I can live with it.

The amazing Amelia Burton, myself and Di

I think the message I get from this and want to share with you is that this journey is teaching us so much more than how to lose weight.  We are having a lot of wins, making a lot of progress in a lot of areas and this is where we deserve to stop and look at ourselves and like the person we have become.  Be proud of what you do and will be doing.  Enjoy the trip, but don’t be afraid to say that you are excessively proud of who you are, how you look and how you got there.  If this means we all become vain, so what.  We have felt unhappy with ourselves for far to long so now it is time we all start being proud and shouting it from the rooftops if need be.

So “Your So Vain, You probably think this blog is about you!”  You are right, but it is about each and everyone of you and also about me as well.

Never had so many women trying to get into my underpants in one night

Thank you everyone for the awesome weekend, see you when we all hop into the time machine and head back 20 years in Adelaide in 13 weeks time.