Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Week Three - Hello World!




I'm SOOOOO excited right now, I just HAD to come and give you guys a really early "update" bloggy post - and let you in on one of the MOST FUN afternoons I've had in aaaaages!!!

So initially, when the Week Three "stop hiding" challenge came out, I was VERY nervous...  but you all pulled rank, told me I was being silly and that I could do this standing on my head.  Well, aside from the fact that I'm not THAT flexible (...yet...) I had ALOT of reservations about it all.  My anxiety levels certainly went up with the prospect of having to initiate conversations...

Off I trot on Monday to work - and first port of call was a quick stop at the petrol station to fill up the old jalopy.  Talking to the attendant there, a lovely middle-aged lady with bleached blonde hair...  she pulled a hair off her shoulder and our conversation re: hair loss and "malting" came about.  Us long-haired girls know how that one goes, so that was an easy one in the scheme of things...   But I did have a giggle to myself driving off, hair loss and hair colouring products.  Fab Monday conversational skills Aim... SO right up there with interesting topics!!!!

Gearing myself up for my Pump class last night, I got the tummy butterflies again... I was on the hunt for another victim!  (hehehehe).   Now, I don't really know what the go with the gym is just yet - but I hit a complete and utter FAIL.   Aside from the gorgeous instructor (who I technically already know, albeit in passing, so I guess she doesn't count entirely?!) - I couldn't get anyone to lock eyes and engage contact!!!   Running around the room after, and I'm like a crazy mosquito trying to lock onto someone.... flying around in circles and getting nowhere fast!!!!  ARGH!    I even stalked a lady and her daughter out the door on my way home, but then she took a phone call and my best efforts were thwarted...   FAIL.  Big dirty FAIL.  

So you can imagine my upset this morning, DAY TWO, off I run to the gym for a "take two" and my RPM class, thinking that'll bring about some new opportunities..  The instructor (also my PT) and I were merrily having a convo...  again, a non-counter for the challenge...  but do you think I could find anyone else?!!!    GAH!!!!!   (insert sad face here!)


I came home and plonked on my chair, vented my frustration to my 'support group' - who promptly gave me some pointers and advice!   Can always count on my girls for a pep-talk and cyber-cuddle!   xxx


SO picking myself up from that, I went off on my merry way for a client meeting - to discuss a design job for her...  and spent bulk of the next 1 1/2 hours talking about my weightloss, my challenges, my eating (and cooking!) and all things "Amy"...  !!!!    Oh, and then some stuff about the job she needed me to do, hahaha!    Now technically, I already know this gorgeous lady...  but
  1. My weightloss mission has only just gone public for the wider community, so conversing about my weightloss in the past was a huge NO-NO....  least of all with a client, when it's supposed to be professional!!!
  2.  My clients do NOT give me monster hugs when I arrive AND when I leave, and tell me repeatedly how gorgeous I am!! (bless!!) 
  3. ... and she's reading this right now, so Yvonne, thank you for a FABULOUS chat today!!!   

Driving away from that, was feeling really quite confident and thought it was time to up the ante...  Oh yeah baby, bring it on!!!    So, where do you go when you want to mercilessly run into new people....

I WENT TO THE SHOPPING CENTRE!!!

I walked into one of the boutique women's stores...  snooped around....   Up to the counter I go, with two $5 singlets!!  (Score!  PS: these were REGULAR SIZING!  WIN number ONE!)  The gorgeous young sales girl on the counter looks at me (someone I'd ordinarily avoid - too pretty and intimidating!!!)...  I flash that grin (that you all think would win anyone over, hahaha!) and she smiles back - conversation initiated!    SUCCESS!!   Abridged version: "Have you been busy today" (says me)..  "Oh, not really - but it just picked up in the last half hour," she says.  "Ahhh good old Tuesday!" (I reply)...  "Yep, always a bit like that!  You have a lovely afternoon!"   

Feeling mighty chuffed, after fighting off the urge to dry-retch [over-thinking what you have to say or do is BAD BAD BAD!!! Only causes more anxiety!]  - I walk into the next shop!

These boots ARE made for walkin'!
Oh good lord, it's a shoe shop....   Well, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.... !   If I have to buy shoes, just so I can pass this challenge, then fine.... !!!!  BLC, look what you made me do!  

A GORGEOUS pair of boots and another pair of run-arounds later....    SUCCESS again, when I was talking to the lovely girl on the desk!    Talking about the "I love shoes" recycled bag she put my purchases in - which is rather fitting, given my latest design project was for a women's footwear company.... there was much conversing to be had! 

...moving on!!


I try this tactic out in two other boutique stores to follow - big flashy smile and much service at hand!   What shocks me the most with that is I had a bit of a Julia Roberts moment...   You know that scene in Pretty Woman, where the snobby sales girls won't serve her when she goes shopping down Rodeo Drive...  Then when she "transforms" later, she goes back in to rub it in, with her multi-purchased bags on her arms...  "Big mistake... HUGE!"...  Yeah, you got it?!!   WELL THAT WAS ME!!!!!   (minus the being a hooker part, bahaha).  

I gave up going into boutiques or 'normal' women's fashion stores YEARS ago - apart from the obvious where I couldn't find anything to fit, and would always leave depressed and broken... bulk of the time, I'd simply never get served!  They simply wouldn't acknowledge me!   So today's little mission into four boutiques, one after the other, and each one of them a resounding success - I AM JULIA ROBERTS!!!!!!   WIN TWO!!!!

Oh but wait...  I haven't even got to the good stuff yet.... !!!!

SO feeling rather elated at this point in time, I head off into ANOTHER women's boutique - and I've found IT!  The first two, the sizes were still really small "things to aim for"...  The next was regular but not my age group - "things to age into"  (haha)....   but then I found IT!

I walked into Crossroads - ohhhh it was "just right"....  Sizes 8-22. In the past, I'd have avoided this shop too, I still didn't fit into anything in there...    SO, pulling the gorgeous things off the rack, I'm spying them with a great big question mark hovering over my head.  Do I dare.... ?!   I don't really want to get myself upset here, after all, I really only intended on walking into the supermarket this afternoon... !!!

WHO DARES WINS!!!   I pulled a skirt, a trenchcoat and a top off the rack, and headed for the changerooms...  (another old NO-NO - absolutely LOATHED having to go try on clothes, refused to do it, would buy things in the hope they'd just fit)....  Given that these days I don't actually know what size I am, was kind of a necessity!  It's one thing to buy "cheap" at Kmart and then just grin and bear the fitting, it's a whole other thing going into a boutique retail shop!

WIN, WIN, WIN!!!!   Everything fit - everything!!!   I was wearing a standard size 18 trenchcoat, a size 22 small fitted skirt (non-stretch!!!), and the shirt was TOO BIG!    In utter disbelief, I head out for another round, and find myself in Medium tshirts and then I spotted the denim skirts....    I LOVE denim skirts - I live in them.  They've been my staple for YEARS - it's what I'm comfortable in.   As I've shrunk, I've progressively dropped in denim skirt sizes too - I have quite the collection now!!!

Happy happy happy!!
So the one I was wearing - it was a "miracle" fit when I found it on the rack at home on the weekend (put aside for "later"), this one I couldn't fit into a few months ago, and here it was barely sitting on my hips!  A brand label, size 20.   I picked up a new 20 in the shop...  tried it on.  Perfect fit, with room to move...   Dare I test it again?!    YES!!!!  

SIZE 18!!!!    I'm wearing a fitted size 18!!!!     Oh my gosh, I nearly let out a shout of joy, and had to contain myself behind the curtain when I was wearing a brand new size 18 denim skirt and a totally hot size M top!!!    Who the hell was the girl staring back at me in the mirror?!!!    She looked like she was about to have a seizure of some sort - the insanity look on her face was priceless!!! 

Trying not to cry - from freaking over-zealous JOY - I take my finds up to the counter.... and strike up ANOTHER conversation!    "You have some seriously gorgeous stuff in here!!"  (says me, with far too much enthusiasm, hahaha)...  "Ohhh yes, I spend way too much money on the clothes in here - we get a great discount for staff, but it's SO hard not to spend all my wage on clothes!!!"...  "I used to work in a shoe shop, I feel your pain!"   "OH, so glad someone else understands!"  (insert laughter here!).   SUCCESS!!!!!

Happy dance, happy dance, happy dance!!!   Shoes, skirt, top - NEW OUTFIT!!  WIN!!!

So off I pretty much sprint to the supermarket - total crazy joy right about now...   Barramundi fillets at $12.99 a kilo - another WIN!!   (laughing at my necessity to tell you that...)...  BUT it was yet ANOTHER conversation point - the lovely older lady at the counter says hello, and I flash that smile and ask her to wrap me up two fillets, individually please...   I say "my gosh that's great pricing, can I be a real pain and get you to wrap up another one for me!"...  she laughs and says "you sure you don't want the other one aswell?!"... "YES!"...   (insert more laughter here!)...   Super chuffed with my fishy purchase, I whip around the rest of the supermarket, smiling at anyone who even dares make eyecontact with this lunatic right about now....   SUCCESS SUCCESS SUCCESS!!!

Get to the check out - engage conversation with the teenager serving...  She starts off with a "how's your day been.."  "GREAT THANK YOU!"  (yes, I really WAS that insanely upbeat at that point in time - definitely calls for caps lock, hehehe!)  - and then hits me with her next question "how's the weather outside?"... and I reply that it's quite nice out there, and we further discuss weather and how winter isn't too far away, etc etc....    THEN I SPY THIS stuck to the register!!!


Talk about having to refrain myself from falling on the floor in a fit of laughter!!!!   SO SO SO funny - here I was trying out my best "talk tactics" with "all walks of life"....  and here she was with a sign in front of her with the starters!!!!!    I found this HILARIOUS, and asked her if I could take a photo - explaining that I was doing a challenge that revolved around social skills!    She just gave me a bit of a blank look, thought I was nuts (I mean really... who wouldn't at this point?!)..... so I paid up, and ran away, hahahaha!!!

On such an UBER HIGH right now...  I was SO sure I was going to fail miserably at this challenge - it's one of the hardest things for me to do, initiate conversations and talk so easily to people.  Definitely OUT of my comfort zone....  but I definitely don't give myself enough credit!   Now, technically all these wins today came about when I pulled out the purse and they're "supposed" to be so nice to you - but I think I've passed today's challenge with a resounding DING DING DING success, even if I do say so myself!!!

.....  Oh, and my other mini-moment.... realising I actually spent all that time going from shop to shop in the Centre: browsing, buying, talking, smiling... and NOT wanting to vomit from mild-anxiety.   I usually avoid them cuz I can't handle the crowds, always look at the floor, and quite often feel dizzy and ill because of it all...  That's a HUGE first for me to do all this with such JOY!!    WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN!!!!!    So very proud of myself right now!   

... as for my barramundi dinner... delicious!!    So overly excited, I've given myself a headache... hahaha!

Au revoir!!!   xxx

Monday, March 28, 2011

Week Three - Stop Hiding




Commando Steve said: "Amy, for this challenge I want you to break out of your shell. You’re clearly a bubbly, sociable person – but are you so confident without your computer screen? Each day this week I want you to approach someone different and strike up a face to face conversation with them. Online chats and forum posts won’t count towards this challenge.

You’ll get extra kudos for speaking to people from different walks of life - someone from your Zumba class you've never spoken to, the guy at the coffee shop, an elderly person, a bus driver, business person or backpacker. Too easy? Well, I also want you to include a potential love interest in there too. It’s time to stop hiding and get out there!"  (click here for original post)


* * * * * * * * * *

I'm nervous guys... very very nervous... !   I know most of you would assume that I'm quite a 'talkative, social' person, but the reality is very, very different!  I'm naturally quiet, I get terribly anxious when I need to meet new people (least of all talk to them), and my conversational skills are appalling!!!   It's not for lack of wanting to fix it, it's just something else that is in transition aswell...

You see, it goes a little something like this....   When I was young, I was quiet and shy - always have been!  Can't remember a time when I wasn't....   HATED having to answer the phone, least of all converse in person, socialising with friends was hard, and oh my gosh.... don't even get me started on school presentations!!!  (YUCK to public speaking - I would nearly cry!!!).   Add an increasing weight issue to that problem over the years, and another 20 odd years of being insanely self-conscious, and my "social skills" are atrocious!!!

When I was going through my "worst patch" in my early 20s, I'd literally taken myself out of having to socialise and talk to people - it was all 'too hard'. It was far easier for me to be a recluse and talk to my walls than to extend myself into an area that I was simply far too uncomfortable.  I had nothing to back it - the confidence didn't exist and when I felt like I was worthless anyway, clearly what I had to say was worthless too, right?!   (no, not right, but I couldn't see past that at the time....).

Having successfully removed myself from humanity, you can imagine how hard it was to try and reintroduce myself back in a couple years ago, when I made the choice to change my life. It was one element that I knew I'd have to push myself to work on, continually....   It's also why I felt so "at home" in the BLC forums, when I found a 'voice' I otherwise didn't have in the real world.  And ofcourse, when I went solo with my business, it DEMANDED that I step up and start communicating - it would simply fail without me driving it.

So began the task of "self-talking" my way into talking!!   "FAKE IT TIL YOU MAKE IT" became the mantra of choice - I would literally have a conversation with myself in front of the mirror before I'd go and talk to my client... trying to preempt what I'd need to say, and sway myself away from wanting to revert and hide in the corner...   I would go over and over basic phone-answering skills in my head - so I could avoid the anxiety attack I'd have when the phone would ring (and I'm STILL bad with that).  And ofcourse, smiling and laughing (great "space fillers") became my backup - let THEM do the talking, I'll just smile and nod...!!!!!!  (don't laugh - it works!).

And ofcourse, that doesn't even begin to cover the issues I have talking to the opposite sex...  O.O

This being shy business is a HUGE disadvantage for a girl like me - my lack of confidence and inability to talk or make eye contact makes me appear like a bit of an "Ice Princess" - aloof, nasty, unapproachable, unfriendly... and I'm actually not that way at all! I have ALOT of time for the right people, and it hurts when I've always been so isolated from everyone because of my inept social skills...  This has GOT to change... it's a necessity!

YES, I DO hide behind the words on my screen - it's become my "communication of choice" as I've been transitioning with my weightloss and trying to figure out who I am and how I fit!  It's my outlet to the world, where I can talk and laugh and socialise... but it DOES have its limitations.   There's only so much 'reality' to be drawn from a social life based on a computer... and as I've found, you're still effectively "alone" in the room....

I DID laugh when I read this challenge though - I KNEW how hard this one was going to be for me!  It's something I struggle with on a daily basis (particularly as I now work for myself at home - the cat doesn't exactly hold much of a conversation himself, hahaha!)...   SO the thought of having to proactively go out and seek a conversation was somewhat daunting...

I KNOW you guys think I'm "Little Miss Chatty" - clearly I have no issues with voicing my opinions and conversations here online - but when it comes down to the face-to-face side of life, I have a LONG way to go.... ! This week's challenge is definitely going to test me, and I'm VERY nervous at the prospect!  It takes alot of energy for someone like me to focus and "prep" a convo - I even get nervous talking to my friends and colleagues who have known me for years (and where's the 'danger' in THAT?!!!).  It's an irrational fear and something I'm always working on - and probably always will...

SO bring it on Week Three!  Let's see what the shy girl over here can do THIS WEEK!!!

"Hi, I'm Amy!  How's your day been..?" ......   *just breathe*.... !!!!

;)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Week Two - Amy's Food Evolution



Hello food lovers!!!  :D

French toasty goodness...
Well, as this FOOD CHALLENGE draws to a close - time to do a little reflecting...  I can't tell you how much of a relief it is though..  I do believe I'm in sensory overload - my stomach has gone into delectable shock - and I was very much fearing the scales were going to reflect the fact that all I've done all week is EAT!  hahaha!


WHAT AN AWESOME CHALLENGE!!  
Since last Monday's challenge announcement, I'm proudly boasting that I've sourced, produced and eaten 17 brand spanking new dishes this week (plus another 2 to follow today if I can summon the energy, hahaha)!   I'm really shocked that I managed to push through this one and come out the other end with such an array of fab food - the variety and the flavours I've had within the week, wow... just fabulous!!!   The fact they came from my own hand is just a total shock!   I'm a novice in the kitchen (I can burn hard boiled eggs for crying out loud!) - but it just goes to show that ANYONE can rustle up some healthy, delicious food if they set their mind to it!

SO, in light of the challenge, I DID venture down the path of a few 'key' ingredients that I've never really tried before - the lentils, tofu, kangaroo and liver (ohhh that dreaded liver suggestion) definitely came into play!

Amy's Kangaburger - delicious!!
My Kangaburger, for one, was JUST BEAUTIFUL - and sat at 385 cals for the meal (PERFECT).

The Tomato & Chickpea soup was nothing short of delicious - and Kell's Bircher Muesli was just a FIND!!!  (though she did keep telling me how fab it was prior to me actually trying it..!!!) 

Mmmmm potato....


My savoury Lentil & Ham Stuffed Potato was MAGIC and I love the fact that with just a bit of imagination, you can turn an "old favourite" into something new and exciting - like the french toast with the berries & yogurt on top (totally changed the flavour with the topping, crazy!).

OHHHH... and the Liver casserole... let's not forget this one!  The source of MUCH contention and discussion!!!   Yes, I shuddered too initially - but proved to be one of the biggest eye openers of all!  Sitting at about 300 cals for the serve - certainly drove home the message of the challenge in its entirety...

Shiver me Livers!
We are VERY lucky in this country to have the array of food that we do - not to mention THE QUALITY.  We're lucky to have the CHOICE to eat what we want to eat on a daily basis, and the means to feed ourselves in the manner that we do.  We take that for granted on a daily basis - and really shouldn't stick our nose up at "alternatives" (like the liver!) that may very well be someone else's staple diet...    The liver dish happened to be one of the cheapest meals I produced - but packed so full of flavour and benefits - no wonder it was something that families lived off (and/or 'survived off') before we got so overly precious about the cuts of meat in our dishes!!!

I take my hat off to those who continue to adapt their food palette and try new things...  It takes a dash of courage and a bit of imagination sometimes - but is definitely something we should try more often!  Cooking doesn't have to be a 'chore' by any means - adopt the attitude of those who love it so much - and you'll understand why they adore it!  It's exciting finding new discoveries - it's liberating to formulate a masterpiece - and it's a sensory indulgence for the whole YOU (not just your tastebuds, but on all levels - the colours, shapes, textures, combinations, flavours, aromas.... everything!!!)

... and coming out this side of Commando's Challenge, I can now appreciate food and variety on such a new level - and agree wholeheartedly that "boredom IS our biggest enemy"...   Don't let yourself fall into the trap of going about everything in the same old way (food included) - "do what you've always done, get what you've always got".  We're creatures of habit, for sure, but by breaking it up, trying something new and embracing CHANGE - it'll be the force that continues to drive you forward!!!

So my "Food Evolution" will continue...  after all, we DO have to eat, and we all know how much I like to eat... hahaha!    ... and I'll say it again, food is NOT our enemy - it's our friend!!!

For all my new easy and delish recipes, check out the Aim to Change website!


 IN OTHER NEWS...

86kgs GONE!
Well this Food Challenge business was like a full-time job the past week, let me tell you!!!  I felt like all I'd been doing all week was slaving over a hot stove and eating!!!

So, ofcourse I was VERY nervous coming into weigh-in this morning..!!!  

HOWEVER!  *drum roll please*....

I pulled a 1.6kgs loss this week (WOOHOOO)

AND hit my 85kgs lost mark (again WOOHOOOO!).

Double whammy celebrations!! 

Now onto Week Three...  let's see what the Commando has in store for me this time!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Week Two - Food glorious Food!






Commando Steve said: "Boredom is the dieter’s biggest enemy. So this week, Amy, I dare you to shake up your eating habits. You’ll need to eat like it’s all new, trying different recipes from The Biggest Loser Club and new healthy takeaway options. Sound easy? There’s a catch. I also want you to introduce at least one nutritious food that you specifically avoid. Liver? Lentils? Whatever it is I want you to post about it on Facebook."  (click here for BLC Challenge page)



Nom nom nom nom nom.... !!!
Ohhhh a challenge that revolves all around food - ohhhhh the humanity!  (yeah, I'm "really suffering" right?!  hahaha!)

Now, me being the "foodie" that I am - lately I've been delving into all sorts of culinary (and often comical) discoveries - some good, some not so good...  so this challenge has become an extention of my kitchen prowess of late...

.... and I'm ABSOLUTELY LOVING IT!!!

Given how unnatural my presence in the kitchen used to be (aside from the constant fridge and cupboard raids of the old days) - and my lack of coordination, patience and 'creativity' on the food front, I gave up years ago thinking I was anything more than a "meat and veg" style cook (I could burn hard boiled eggs for crying out loud!).  Plus, add insult to injury with being dealt a hefty serve of serious laziness - "can't be bothered cooking for one - easier, cheaper and quicker to go get takeaway".  HA!  Who was I kidding?!  I mean seriously...  come on Amy!!!   Excuse Queen reigned supreme!

Given my "no fast food takeaway" stance when I started with the BLC three years ago, it meant I had to get back in the kitchen (ugh!) and learn how to prepare my meals. Also meant I had to learn how to shop, coordinate menu items and read labels... 

... and you know what - I totally SUCKED at it in the beginning!  A complete and utter novice when it came to understanding food and nutrition back then, and no idea how to "budget cook" for one....

I was off to a SHOCKING start - I was buying way too much, had no natural sense of ingredient styling (what goes with what) and because my tastebuds and eating style were "under construction" - half my menu items still came out of packets - I really had no clue!

Ofcourse, the more I used the diary and understood calorie values in foods, the more I could start adapting - and trying different brands, or reading the labels and discovering what worked better than what. Following the BLC's basic menu, and structuring my eating to accommodate "most of the food groups" with anything I actually recognised (hahaha... shouldn't really laugh at that, I was only game enough to eat what I knew about..!!)... I still struggled to get my head around FOOD in general. Juggling my work schedule, shopping and avoiding total laziness in the kitchen were still my biggest issues.  Frozen "healthy dinners" and easy-to-make sandwich lunches were a really big hit for ages while I was in that transition mode!!

... but then I'd fall into the trap of "eating out of habit" - I had my 'staple' items I'd buy all the time. I could whip around the supermarket IN MY MIND and know exactly what I'd be pulling off the shelf - because it fit in with my schedule, my calorie allocation and budget and I didn't have to think...

BUT - just as per the purpose of this weekly challenge - "habit eating" gets VERY VERY boring after a while.  You stop enjoying the food - you end up looking elsewhere for something different, and quite often, end up sabotaging yourself or falling off the wagon because you get hooked on the next "easy substitute" instead!  I had to remind myself, often, that part of my commitment to this new lifestyle was actually eating REAL FOOD and ensuring I ate my three meals a day (plus snacks) - irrespective of how tired or bored of it I was... "Don't complain Amy, just DO IT!"


Moroccan prawn pita
SO, three years later, and ALOT of 'habit retraining' in the meantime.... it was only a couple of months ago that I started to look at even more variety in the menu.  I needed to "revamp" the eating so I could really kick my body back into gear this year, and help get through the rest of my mission.

Let's face it, as soon as we start doing the same things over and over, the body gets FAR too used to it - food and exercise alike - and I've already sat through my fair share of plateaus through the years, I don't want to see another one anytime soon!!


Change is good...  BE THE CHANGE!  
(
...it's not just my clever mantra for no reason, haha!)

This year I vowed to add much more freshies, drop bulk of the packaged, and add HEAPS more variety to the menu. ... and not to mention "spicing it all up" (I've never really used spices, aside from salt and pepper, haha!).

Crumpets with fried banana,
strawberries, ricotta and honey
The Commando's Challenge couldn't have hit at a better time - I'm SO ready to open up my kitchen repertoire and feed this body in lots of new ways - and getting to share all these crazy masterpieces is just FUN on top!

I created a new recipes page on my webby for those that want to try some of these healthy (yet super tasty) morsels... and inspire your inner MasterChef!!   aimtochange.com.au/recipes

This cooking business is NOT a hard thing to do (despite years of me thinking it was) and has actually become quite an integral part of staying in control.  What we eat plays a HUGE factor in weightloss - after all, you can run yourself ragged with butt-busting workouts til you pass out, but if you keep stuffing your face full of useless nutrition, you might as well not bother at all...    

FOOD IS NOT OUR ENEMY!  It's our fuel source - it keeps our bodies moving and deserves to be respected!  FRESH FOOD is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G and nothing really quite compares to something cooked from scratch... and with love!!!   Nothing out of a packet really measures up?!

My shopping and eating behaviours now reflect the self-respect I have for my body and my attitude adjustment towards food - I've never been so in control of what goes in my mouth as I have been lately - and the scales are VERY much showing the effort!  (nearly 6kgs gone in the past month - awesome!!)  Eating CLEAN and MEAN will ALWAYS work in your favour!!

Here's to even more delicious discoveries over the course of the week...  I'll keep posting them up on the BLC FB page for your amusement and dribbly delight!

... and I WILL be testing out a few new ingredients I've avoided in the past.  It's lentils tonight... and as per Commando's cheeky inclusion, there MAY be a liver dish in there at some point.. if I actually get THAT brave, hahaha!

BON APPETITE!   xx

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Week One - weigh in

Happy Sunday to you!!  Well.... WOW.... What an insane week it's been!!!  SO much has happened this week, so let's recap and get into the nitty gritty... !!

I'm still reeling from the launch of the Challenge and all the support and excitement it's generated... it was COMPLETELY overwhelming at the start of the week, and I didn't really know whether I was coming or going most days!!  (haha..)   I was juggling two major project deadlines on top of the launch, AND the new exercise routines aswell - admittedly, got a little stressy, and the poor body didn't quite know what hit it!

BUT by Thursday, things had started to calm down again, and the routine was reverting to normal... and I'm really pleased to say that overall, it's been one AWESOME FIRST WEEK!!!

 LET'S CRUNCH SOME NUMBERS

Now, I'm freaking CHEERING for what I saw on the scales this morning, and let me tell you why...

I'm female (in case you hadn't noticed... hahaha)  - and the past few days, I've been riding the "Bloat Boat" interconnected with the "Retain Train".... ahhhh yes, you ladies know exactly what I'm saying here dontchya.... ;)

Yup, good old body timed it perfectly for my first official weigh in, and sneaking a peak on the scales the last few days, and seeing a 2.5kilo GAIN that had progressively crept on, I was thinking today's report was going to be pretty dismal...   (I ALWAYS gain between 2-3kgs - I've NEVER managed a loss during TTOM).

SO this morning, I was absolutely CHEERING when I clocked in an 800gmer!!!!   Say what?!!!  Tell me again Amy.... 800 GRAMS!!!  

Not only does this mean the "gain" I'd managed to accumulate was off, but that means this week's loss is actually really significant UNDER that crazy fluid retention!!    (.... lordy, bring on next week already!!!).   Add to the fact that in the past few weeks, I've unexpectedly dropped a whopper 5 kilos - I certainly wasn't expecting much result ANYWAY!  My body simply doesn't ordinarily perform like that!!!

SO, given the circumstance, and my being female...  I wanted to talk about keeping things in perspective - particularly given how lucky we are to have to deal with this TTOM stuff!!   (.... am sure my male readers are gonna LOVE this.. hahahaha)!!!

I've seen SO MANY WOMEN on the forums fall into the trap of being dismally upset by a "false gain" - throw in the towel and chuck a wobbly...  myself included!  (it nearly happened yesterday morning, when it dawned on me that EVERYONE was gonna know about my gain, hahaha... and I'm supposedly a "seasoned pro" at this?!).  

I wanted to point a few things out...
  • Fluid retention is NORMAL for women - if you monitor your losses and cycles, you'll actually start noticing patterns and body rhythms.  As I mentioned before, I usually gain between 2-3 kilos within a couple of days...  and again, within a few days it's GONE.  
  • Just because you're female and it's TTOM, it's not really a valid reason to sit on your butt and shovel chocolate down your throat is it?!  Considering it's a "false gain" and your body will naturally dispel that fluid, WHY add insult to injury and make it harder again to lose those kilos from an over-exaggerated indulgence?!!  The losses thereafter are ALWAYS reason to keep your eyes on the prize - and your food intake as normal as possible!!
  • Women's hormones GO CRAZY - the upset, angst and insanity comes from our hormonal imbalance at the time - and then add a dash of 'emotional overload' on top, I'd hazard a guess that bulk of us use THAT as our scapegoat, yeah?!  Keep your head in gear and your eyes forward... it happens, learn to deal with it, then move right back into gear thereafter!
  • Scales are fickle and DO NOT measure your real success.  So there's a gain on the scales, and you feel bloated, sick, sore, anxious and generally crappy....  if you CAN'T handle what those scales are going to tell you - DON'T USE THEM!!!   Come back to it next week. 
  • For those poor women who suffer horrendous cramping and pain, I salute you!  I'm VERY lucky in that I'm one that doesn't - so can still get out there and do my exercise (albeit less strenuous than usual).  Just look after yourselves, listen to your body... gentle exercise (walking, swimming, stretching) will make you feel like you've retained your control - but if you find yourself too "icky" to get through these things, then take take time out.   BUT limit it - a few days, not a few weeks off!!! 

Also wanted to show you guys just how hard I worked this week, and why "NUMBER CRUNCHING" doesn't always measure up!!!   .... again, it's about learning to keep your perspective, and your goal on the prize!


So according to my Diary entries here, my In/Out daily average was -1577 cals.
My weekly negative balance was -11,043 cals

Now, if you go off "formulas" and "if you just do this, you'll lose this..." tallies, I should have clocked in well over a kilo loss this week (and I sure as hell earnt it!!!).   BUT that's where you need to keep a level head.   Too many factors (like retention) will influence the figures - our own unique physiology WILL influence the result.

I've lost count of how many posts I've read over the years where people are absolutely beside themselves, angry because they didn't get the results they were "told" they'd get by following their program to the letter.   Whilst you're definitely NOT ALONE in your frustration, that's just how it goes unfortunately, and no reason to give up!!!

It's also why I'm not so phased losing half a kilo a week (and am forever telling people NOT to put a SAD FACE or downer on their "small losses")  - every loss is RELEVANT - and consistency will ALWAYS pull you closer towards your goal!   There's no certainty in anything we're doing - our bodies are SO unique and will do their own thing, in their own time, in their own way... who are WE to criticise that insanely amazing piece of machinery, just because of a "formula driven expectation"?!!

SO - keep it in perspective!   That's my little bit of wisdom and experience I'm imparting on you for the week! You put in the work and you WILL be rewarded over time, don't try and cut your corners because of impatience or frustration...  

I have NO DOUBT that after all the training I've put in this week and how bang on par I was with my food intake (and the negative balance thereafter) --- not only do I FEEL fantastic right now but I've pulled a 'first' with squashing the monthly retention on weigh in!  Next week is going to be FANTASTIC!!!

IN OTHER NEWS

Launched my brand new Aim to Change website last night!!!  www.aimtochange.com.au   Go check it out!  :D

OHHH - and here's something I really wanted to shout out - BLC's "OPERATION: TEAM AMY" - has ALREADY clocked up an accumulated 17kilos(plus) lost for the week!!!   ... and not everyone's weighed in yet!    God you guys are ROCKING IT!!!

Anyone else who wants to throw some challenges on their plate and get involved - join us on Facebook or the BLC forums!!   :) 

Bring on WEEK TWO!!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Challenge - week one




Commando Steve said: "Amy, you've carried the burden of being overweight since you were a young child. Over the past three years you've had time to reflect on your relationship with food and how you came to be 188kg in the first place. But now I want you to focus forward. Tell me what life will be like for you in 2012. Will your dreams be accomplished? How will it differ from the way you live today? Compare it to your life when you first joined The Biggest Loser Club. Here's one of your early forum posts from the vault. 



WOW. What a challenge…  You’d THINK it would be fairly easy to pluck out some ‘dreams’ and send them in, but it’s one of the hardest things for me to do…  

I’ve been procrastinating on this one for a few days – my excuse being the job deadlines I had going on which demanded attention – but that was just an easy excuse so I didn’t have to think too much!  I knew this one was going to upset me…  and I knew it was going to read like an essay because it’s one of the biggest issues I’ve had to work on – so forgive the length of this one… !!!!


I read that ‘early forum post’ the other day – and it hit me quite bluntly just how broken I truly was.   I don’t often “revisit” my old photos or entries on this subject, because I know how much I was suffering at the time and it just upsets me too much…  It’s still very “raw”.   To read the sorrow in my words – that person three years ago is SO different to the person I am today, that I pain for the girl that was so ridiculously broken back then. 

I know that early on in the process, that I was desperately clinging onto hope that I could somehow get my life in order – and I guess spruiking ‘positivity’ on the forums was my way of trying to get that message into my own head – through helping others, it actually helped ME process my own thoughts and motivations, and made me push harder to break through my own demons.  It’s like that saying, “Fake it til you make it”….and wow, boy was I faking some fabulous positivity there!!! 

I was absolutely riddled with self-doubt and (like a total hypocrite) just wanted to be that happy girl that I seemed to emit to everyone else…  but most of the time I was just broken, and trying desperately to do something I thought would just fail (like everything else) because I really didn’t think I deserved anything else anyway?!… 

Even in the ‘safe haven’ of likeminded BLC members, I was STILL so ashamed of my size – it was a VERY long time before I admitted that I actually had 100kgs to lose… (well and truly into my mission before I started admitting to my real numbers).  In that early post, I’ve confessed to just half of it…   I was so ashamed. I couldn’t face the reality of the task ahead….  And there didn’t seem to be anyone else who had numbers like mine ahead of them?!    Always envisaged I was the only one… or IF there were others out there, were they also too ashamed to confess to these daunting, overwhelming and heartbreaking numbers?!   I really didn’t know….

SO I pushed on, forced my own “positive spin” down my own throat and tried to do this the best I could – trying always to push for just another ‘good day’ ahead…   One day at a time – one foot in front of the other – five kilos at a time!   The 50+ers section on the BLC forums was born later that year – and I started the “Mini Five” thread after that – which really made me feel like I had a place in the forums, and my weightloss (and the overwhelming task ahead) started to take shape into something far less daunting, and much less shameful – just pitching for one little chunk at a time…

Given my stance on trying to get through this just one day at a time, I’ve adopted my own mini mantra “Always Forward”  - and I did chuckle when I read Commando’s Challenge saying it was time to “Focus Forward”.   Be still my heart, that’s exactly what I try and DO!!!

… and it’s by far - THE HARDEST - thing for me to do….


Having fought years of self-hatred and having no value for myself left, I gave up believing I actually HAD a future years ago.  I don’t want to upset anyone or bring the tone of my reflections down too much, but this is what makes my success REAL and what’s driven me to push so hard for the last three years…   It’s the crux of the issue.

As far as I was concerned, a future was just something everyone else had – I didn’t even WANT a future…. and I had no idea if I could actually HAVE a future...  All that self-doubt at the beginning of my ‘mission’ was plagued by the fact that I’d already given up on my life years before – and the only reason I was still “living” was that I couldn’t actually go through with what I’d wanted to do. Eating myself into the grave was an easy (and cowardly) substitute….

When I joined BLC, I’d actually had enough – I HATED that attitude and I despised the person I’d become. I’m not a horrible or nasty person – but those thoughts and emotions (in my mind) were nasty and spat in the face of the few people who DID care about me. I couldn’t do that anymore – I couldn’t do that to them...  It was time to get real… but I knew I had one hell of a job ahead of me, and some seriously distorted demons in the head, who weren’t going to make this easy!

Again, back to just facing one day at a time…

If I’m honest – and let’s face it, I clearly have no issue with being brutally honest with you guys (haha) – my ‘dreams’ and future visions were few and far between. I guess most people grow up thinking things will just fall into place as they go along – school, uni, career, partners, marriage, babies, houses, travel… you get the jist?!    I was watching everyone around me experience all these life transitions and adventures, and yet I was stagnant… and seemed to be getting left further and further behind…  which just made it harder and harder to envisage ANY possibilities of a future ahead…

Hitting rock bottom, and not believing I was worth ANY of those beautiful things, I gave up believing in a ‘future’ – and stopped dreaming in the process…   After all, I was “day dreaming” all these beautiful things that were simply non-existent in my world – and wondered why I bothered thinking of them at all, when all it did was break my heart?!   Trying to be happy for someone else’s success or “happy moment” cut like a knife EVERY time….. and still does…! 

A gorgeous forum member sent me a message the other day – after she’d read my old post (found here as part of the challenge) – and asked me if I’m ever “bitter and jaded” because of everything that’s happened – which I had to laugh!!   As much as I go on my big “happy happy” rant on the forums (often), yes I DO have my bitter and jaded moments, and yes I DO have times where I just hurt (terribly) trying to understand and overcome some of these challenges that I’ve been thrown in my life.

That’s part of my transition – having to deal with these emotions and the old haunts – that’s the mental side to this weight loss business that takes a whole heap of work!!!  Number-crunching and sweat sessions aside, the mental hurdles I’ve had to face and overcome are far harder than anything else I’ve done to date – and there’s NOTHING out there that can prepare you for that!!  

It’s also THE BIGGEST SUCCESS I’ve had so far – being able to change my thought processes around, and encompassing a new lease on life that resonates from my heart through to my head – and know I actually DESERVE this now.  My drive, enthusiasm and positivity are now finally REAL!!!   I AM that painfully annoying optimist that I’ve always wanted to be, haha!

NOW wanting to actually HAVE a future is my greatest achievement ever… 80kilos lost is just a number…! 

SO, now that we’ve got that part out of the way….  (and I can stop being so melodramatic and tearful)….  Let’s put some goals up on the board!!!


What’s my plans for 2012?

Well, it was only recently that I put on my “brave hat” and ventured off to see a surgeon about my saggy skin issues, to see what options I had.  Having been the size I had been, and having to deal with what I’ve got ‘left over’ is just too disappointing in my eyes, and surgery is well and truly on the cards for next year.  … I may have to sell a kidney first to afford it, but it’s GOING to happen!!   In light of that meeting, dropping down to 90kgs (or under) is a HUGE incentive for me – as the Surgeon pointed out – that would reduce the surgery time by a good couple of hours, and make his job easier and the results of his work even better!   BIG, BIG reason for me to really work and get my numbers down even more!

Next year I’m also planning on travel – no idea where or when just yet – but I’ve never been on a plane (too scared I’d never fit in a seat, and never had the opportunity to go anywhere)… so this is a MUST DO on my agenda aswell!  Even if it’s just a small adventure somewhere, I NEED to do this for myself…  I owe the ‘dreamer’ in there a holiday or two!!!

I may or may not also leave my humble little Bathurst and try for something bigger on the career and lifestyle path too!  Bathurst has been my ‘safe zone’ for the past 14 years – and whilst I love living here (it’s an easy place to live) I’ve been living here on my own since I was 17…  and I’ve never really been anywhere else, or pushed for more?!  I missed out on all the social scene of Uni and my 20s, and the lure of something a bit more ‘exciting’ is pulling me towards somewhere else now…   I WANT to go out and have fun and do all those things I’ve missed – maybe even try for an exciting job in the big city, or re-establish my business elsewhere?!  Not sure yet, but there’s definitely a flicker of an idea in the back of my head with that one…!!!

I’d love to speculate there may even be some romance on the horizon – but I’m not going to start rumours that don’t exist… hahahaha!  (I’m teasing, I know…)   That’s very much a topic I avoid cuz it’s embarrassing to me – but you do have to laugh.   My bestie said in an email yesterday that my turn will come with all of that… but we’ll just wait and see shall we?!  (now I AM back to day-dreaming…blush!)


Apart from that, I have lots of other crazy challenges up my sleeves too – like I want to climb the Harbour Bridge (am I insane – I’m scared of heights?!)… I want to jump out of a plane (I pose the question, should I do that before or after my surgery – don’t want to waste $50grand if the parachute doesn’t open?!!!)…  I want to go snorkelling on the Barrier Reef…. I want to dance with dolphins…  I want to do a ‘hot lap’ in a V8 Supercar right here on my beloved Mt Panorama (preferably with Craig Lowndes, he’s a legend!!)… 

Then there’s the more ‘sane’ short term challenges – like wearing a pair of “real jeans” for the first time in my life…  or wearing a dress for the first time since I was a kid (bought off the rack – not homemade)…  maybe even wearing a pair of swimmers in public WITHOUT a shirt or shorts to hide the body!   Lots of possibilities and “dreams” to come… and I’ll be crossing them off one by one as I go!    .. and some of them may very well be a lot sooner than next year!

OHHHH and that’s not to forget the fact that in 2012, I WILL hit my ultimate goal weight!!!   … I’m just not entirely sure what that is just yet?!   Haha…


ALWAYS FORWARD!

Amy  xx   :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Challenge Update - 15 March


OH MY GOSH.... to say I'm OVERWHELMED would be a huge understatement right about now! Since our Challenge launch on Sunday, I've had SO MANY messages of support, you guys have just blown me away with your generosity of spirit on this one! 

The BLC forum is just buzzing with excitement about this - and I'm SO pleased to see so many jumping onboard my crazy conga line to come and do this with me!!!   (be still my heart, you guys make me feel SO loved!!!).   All the messages on the Biggest Loser Club Facebook page and on the forums are just unbelievable...  so much love!!!


Well it all officially started YESTERDAY - DAY ONE 

I know... such a poser!!!  hahaha!
As per the Challenge exercise schedule -
I had a body pump class and a walk on for the day. My pump class at CityFit was in the afternoon, so I decided in my infinite wisdom to get that walk done before work, bright and early on a Monday morning!

EEK!  I instantly remembered why I've never been much for early morning exercise (least of all on a Monday, haha)... when I forgot how to move my legs when I walked out the back door!!!  

Decided I'd change that walk into a session on the cross trainer instead (literally two steps in front of me) as I wasn't sure I'd have made it much further without injury!!  (hehehehe)  Hopeless...!!!!  

Now, considering how much I LOVE my devilish CROSS TRAINER 'normally' - those first five minutes were PURE HELL.  I am seriously NOT a morning person - and my body was clearly still asleep too!   Started to warm up thereafter, and then I cranked it up and went into interval mode (as I do) and hit the balance of the session.  

45mins, 15kms and 620cals burnt later...  Session one down!


BODY PUMP was next on the agenda. I've only done four weekly classes in my very modest "gym history" - but Pump has become one of my favourite activities to date!!  Have always loved working with free weights, but never knew what to do with them properly - so adding a class like this to my repertoire has been AWESOME!   I LOVE muscle!!!  (it's everyone's best friend)... and I'll avoid any remarks here about rippling abs, guns and to-die-for thighs.... oh my...!

My current bar weights are about 4.5kgs (either end) for bulk of the session - while I'm getting used to it. KILLER on the triceps that one, and I do chuckle when I see my poor arms wobbling like jelly trying to hike that thing over my head (for a reverse curl thingy..!!!).  Am aiming to add heavier for the legs sessions, but don't want to over-do it on the poor old knees (which are already feeling that added load, particularly with all the lunges and squats thrown in too) - so that's definitely a "listen to your body and adjust accordingly" issue there. 

Either way, I'm LOVING that I can now kneel with the rest of the class (which I couldn't do before - it's a new "body discovery" recently) and be able to do girly knee-based push-ups with all these other fit people by the end of the class!  Can't wait to see even more progress on those and increased numbers on that bar as the weeks fly by!!!

55mins and 300cals burnt....  here endeth Manic Monday!


DAY TWO!

Spin baby, spin!
My very first RPM CLASS!  ... and I was SO nervous!!!!   I was having visions last night of me falling off the bike OR my knees just buckling under the pressure...

How wrong was my head?!  ... and must I over-analyse and preempt failure with EVERYTHING?!  haha!

RPM WAS AWESOME!!!!   That 45-minute session KICKED MY BUTT - and I loved every minute of it!  (yep, even when the gorgeous instructor was yelling out "just ONE MORE HILL... right after THIS ONE!"... right when I was about to die... hahaha!)

It shocked me just how well I did with this class - I mean, I've used a stationary bike here at home for years - particularly at the very beginning where it was my best friend for my poor knees... That bike was the reason I COULD get some exercise in, initially, when everything else hurt so much.   And, as I progressed and shrunk and "lightened the load", and ventured into new exercise methods, that humble bike got left by the wayside for a while....  

If you already follow my blog, you'll know that it was only very recently that my bike made a comeback to the exercise scene - as a bit of a change up of routine - but I've never really done anything remotely like this RPM class with it before!

.... and I think I'm in love...  AGAIN!  hahaha...  (am I too easy to please?!!)   RPM will definitely be going on that agenda in the future - that class made me sweat something shocking (and I'm to the point now where I really have to work hard to get that going!!)  - my heart rate hit a max of 174bpm (probably when I was about to die on that wretched "hill" stint) - which for me is FABULOUS!!!  I'm lucky to push mid 160s with high intensity stuff now, and it's really hard to keep it up there, so I KNOW I got my money's worth out of this session today! 

45 minutes and 720cals burnt!  WHOOP!!!


CURRENT STATS

I realised when we launched the Challenge that I haven't actually put my starting figures anywhere!!!  OOPS!!   So here they are!  Official starting figures for Sunday (after another 400gms loss) - am currently 104.2kgs.    Double figures here I come!!!!   :D

OHHHH and check out my Shout-Out on Commando Steve's Facebook page today!  Made me blush....(*swoon*drool*convulse*)  hahaha!

Looking forward to tomorrow's sessions - it's my all-time favourite coming up!!!  ZUMBA!!!!   ... oh yeah, conga line time FOR SURE!!!

Til then, keep sweating guys - and have FUN!!!

-- Amy  xx   :)



SOME EXTRA NOTES:

I have HEAPS of messages and questions coming at me from all manner of sources at the moment - which is just AMAZING and SO very appreciated!!   ..but also a little overwhelming!! Trying to juggle the Challenge, life, my business AND look after you guys too, so bear with me as I try and keep up!!  It's all new...!   LOVE your enthusiasm and support though - THANK YOU!!!!

FOOD - I'll be posting up random photos of some of what's on my menus too on my Facebook Page!  I know I'm being asked what it is I'm eating - and me being VERY MUCH A FOODIE (and would have it no other way) - am happy to share ideas around!  I eat VERY well - if I don't, my body simply doesn't perform (as I've learnt the hard way) - so for those outside of the BLC and its program menus - have a squizzy at some of my yummy suggestions and see if it doesn't inspire your own inner-Chef to come out?!!  

UPDATES AND ANNOUNCEMENTS - are floating around EVERYWHERE!!  Best place to find them is the Biggest Loser Club Facebook page OR Aim to Change Facebook page  ... and ofcourse, right here!!    :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Operation: Go Commando

Yes, yes, yes.... I KNOW I've been holding out on you for the past week (or so!) - but I've had one SERIOUSLY AWESOME scheme brewing behind the scenes here at "Amy Central" - and NOW it's ALL SYSTEMS GO!  So here we go - introducing...

OPERATION: Go Commando

The Team at BLC have thrown me the challenge of all challenges! They were so keen on helping me hit another amazing milestone, that they've thrown down the gauntlet, and I simply could not say no!

Team BLC have challenged me to get into double figures (my elusive double figures!!), down to 95kgs, by the season finale of Biggest Loser Families - and my reward.... I GET TO MEET COMMANDO STEVE!

Ohhhhh yes you heard right!!!   *Faint, drool, swoon, convulse*.... !!!!!   You bet!

Now, whilst you may think this is an "easy challenge" - let me assure you it is NOT! 
I have about 7 weeks to drop 10 kilos - and let me tell you that my body does NOT perform well under pressure!!  I average half a kilo a week, and that just ain't gonna cut it!!

Not once in my past three years have I had a "scheduled loss" - irrespective of how well I've performed, how good I've been and how well all my numbers have tallied up - and never have I had a series of perfect losses in a row!!

To say I'm somewhat nervous about this challenge is an understatement - given that Team BLC have decided to include you ALL in on the secret and there's lots of eyes watching my every move!!!   (EEK!)

HOWEVER - I am one very lucky Miss over here. Team BLC have organised gym access AND a PT at CityFit in Bathurst for me, AND have arranged a program to help generate the results I need!  Challenge aside, how awesome are THEY?! 

... and you guys get to stay in the loop!  There'll be regular updates with my progress, I'll let you in on some of my highs and lows, keep you updated with my other challenges (I have a few up my sleeves too!) - and if you so feel inclined, jump on board and DO THIS WITH ME!   Let's see if we can kick some kilos butt in the next couple of months - together!!  (check out the BLC webby for details!)

So, enough chit chat!  Operation: Go Commando is ON!

Now, I'm off to get myself geared up for a BIG week ahead...  Double figures here I come!!!!

(WOOHOOOOOOOO!!!)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sabotaged... by my fridge?!

Food, glorious food....?!  o.O
Now, I know there's MANY of us out there who have been "sabotaged" in our weightloss efforts in one way or another... and many more of us who desperately try to avoid it in order to win our own wars!

You know what I'm talking about... that glorious (read: evil) birthday cake that shows up in the office and you just can't resist (it'd be rude after all?!), or the surprise takeaway dinner your loved one brings home (thinking they're doing the right thing by giving you the night off cooking), or the surprise 'thank you' chocolates for a job well done...  


And ofcourse, that's not even taking into consideration the SELF-SABOTAGE that we put ourselves through!!!  (oh yes, we've all been there....!)

... But COME ON!  Since when does your FRIDGE need to get in on the act?!!


It dawned on me the other night when I opened the fridge - about to don my 'Masterchef' persona - that something was just not right.

My celery was limp (more than usual?!). The mozzarella had mould. The egg cartons were room temperature.  ... and there was the most funky smell coming out of the vegetable crisper...

Oh yes, the fridge was on the fritz!   The freezer on top was blowing a gale, it was like a deathly Arctic winter up North (without the penguins), and a tropical paradise in the crisper down South (along with the melodic notes of ROT).

NOT HAPPY!!!  The balance of my weekly shopping was now a shade of green that really wasn't healthy....  and all my "freshies" had retired to spend the last of their days in the big green wheelie bin in the sky.

I've since salvaged what I could and relocated it to the back-up fridge (the old one outside) - and I'm now visiting 'Leftover City' - but it won't be until Sunday when I'm off for the weekly shop that I can restock on all those glorious veggies and fresh foods that HELP me stay on track!

SO my fridge and I are now at war!   This kind of sabotage will NOT be tolerated!!!  I know these things are sent to test you - and test me it certainly has - but I certainly won't be backing down in a hurry.  I've since used up the pumpkin for a glorious pumpkin/veggie curry (two meals worth), healthy nacho mix that was freezable, and I'm getting creative again tonight with some zucchinis and eggplant that are at 'critical' status!

.... and I'll deal with that wretched fridge "later"  - when I'm NOT so busy!   We'll be having words....

* * * * * * * * * *

In other news!  Apologies for being a little AWOL lately - been a busy girl, working on a catalogue deadline for a client and running around madly (as I do!) trying to keep a roof over my head and food in my cat's belly!!!

My VERY EXCITING NEWS is not that far away now guys - and I just KNOW you'll be as excited about it as I am!!   Can't wait to bring you up to speed!

Until then, keep your saboteurs in check - make sure your fridge is working!!

:)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mammoth Milestone Moment: 80kilos!

video

You heard right - I've finally hit my 80 KILOS LOST MARK!  

YAY for 80!
81 to be exact, after this morning's shock 2.1 loss!!!  I'm pretty excited by this milestone - I didn't actually think I'd get this far (I mean, I've been saying that every five kilos since my 30kgs lost... !!) - but 80 just seemed WAY out of reach!   It's just one of those numbers that - in my head - just seemed completely unobtainable, and I've been struggling the past month to actually meet it (ALOT of yo-yoing in the meantime - and most of the struggles have been all in my head!).

VERY excited to meet it this week, and in light of having overcome that little mental hurdle and finally shaking hands with this milestone, I've come up with 80 of MY MOST POSITIVE CHANGES to date!   It seemed fitting, given how much HAS changed over the course of the last three years...

SO here we go....  80 of my most treasured and FUN changes SO FAR... (in no particular order)....
  1. I can now bend down...  no, seriously, I can BEND and touch my toes - no issues!
  2. I can wear non-stretch cotton  - a HUGE no-no before, could never move or breathe if I sat down!
  3. I can actually fit in a Cinema chair now - and not feel like I'm overhanging onto the other side
  4. I wake up and just kind of jump out of bed?!   Seriously!  (except for post-training days where the muscles are really really sore...!) 
  5. ... and, for that matter, I can actually TRAIN my muscles to that point of being really really sore, and still keep going... HA! 
  6. My car driver's seat is no longer pushed all the way back, to accommodate my girth 
  7. ... and I no longer fear using someone else's car because I won't fit in THEIR driver's seat!!
  8. The tape measure I measure myself with actually fits ALL THE WAY AROUND now (with plenty of leftovers - I had to use two sticky taped together before) 
  9. I can actually BUY clothes off the rack now...  at one point I couldn't even buy my sizing - would have to source them from overseas and fluke it if it fit... 
  10. ... and I can actually SHOP in normal retail outlets and find something to wear - and NOT have it cost a small fortune!!!
  11. I don't have to turn sideways to get into my shower anymore, or to get through small doors
  12. ... and I can actually bend down and shave my legs without the rush of blood to my head making me want to pass out!
  13. I actually have shirts that have an "XS" size label on them now, not the 7XL men's I used to have to buy!!!!  (OMG was that a revelation!!!)
  14. My feet have shrunk.... honestly?!  I've gone down half a size in my runners... 
  15. I now take the stairs... they're no longer my most feared method of entry into an establishment!
  16. I now walk in public!
  17. .... longer than just to the end of the block - now do over 9kms a hit!
  18. .... in a singlet top!!!!!  (bare arms were a huge no-no for me 'before')
  19. .... in bright colours!!!!!     Black used to be the only colour I'd wear (and I'm not a Goth!)... not any more!
  20. ..... AND I RUN!!!    My walking circuit now includes running intervals - in public!!! 
  21. I no longer choose the 'large' / upsized option of ANYTHING - small or regular is quite ok with me!
  22. .... and forget "two for one" or "multi-pack" deals too...  A useless marketing ploy that might help the wallet, but never actually helps the hips!
  23. I no longer fear sweating!   I've embraced the fact that in order to train effectively, I MUST sweat, huff and puff and probably look pretty un-co doing it.  STIFF if someone else doesn't like it - I will NOT be ashamed by that any more! 
  24. My favourite snack now is blueberries!!!   (not chocolate, chips, popcorn, lollies, cake, crackers & cheese...)
  25. I can walk down the street now with my HEAD UP and smile at passers by - not eyes to the ground and hoping no-one will notice me... 
  26. Scales are no longer my mortal enemy - they're just a tool and something I use to stay on track!
  27. My number one training tool is my heart rate monitor - it goes EVERYWHERE with me when I know I'm going to burn some cals - numbers make me work harder! 
  28. I'm learning to accept and appreciate compliments - they're no longer something I fear or avoid - and I now say 'thank you'!
  29. I've now worn out FOUR pairs of Adidas runners, hahaha!  My 5th generation pair don't know what they're in for...!!
  30. I've discovered I DO indeed have muscles and bones in both my arms and legs...  I thought they were just filled with fat cells before, seriously couldn't see anything else aside from blubber?! 
  31. I am no longer completely and unequivocally offended by the word 'FAT' - it no longer has the same bearing on me that it used to... 
  32. When someone talks to me, I don't break out in a sudden 'anxiety sweat' the way I used to
  33. I've discovered that I don't actually make people vomit if they hug me (despite my irrational thinking that I did 'before' - truly believed I was so repulsive that I made people physically ill if they touched me)
  34. I actually like cooking!!!  (another revelation!)  Trying new healthy recipes and taking full control of what goes into my mouth via the kitchen and stove, is VERY empowering!
  35. I'm now brave enough to go to the GYM!  (recent success - but VERY proud of myself for that)
  36. I have been "fast food free" for 165 weeks now - and won't be breaking that any time soon
  37. ... and I CAN go into a fast food restaurant and order a water and nothing else!!!  (you should see the look on their faces when I do that... priceless!) 
  38. I am no longer a slave to my cravings
  39. .... nor a slave to my emotional eating issues neither, for the most part!
  40. I LOVE dancing in public now
  41. ..... and am totally addicted to my Zumba classes as a result (my first ever group training session has become one of my most favoured healthy addictions!)
  42. I no longer think I'm going to break the elevator when I get in
  43. I no longer think I'm going to break the chair I'm sitting on
  44. I CAN have a conversation about training and food and NOT want to hide from sheer embarrassment for sounding like a hypocrite because of my size
  45. I am no longer invisible to men...  ?!!!!  o.O   (yeah, I'm not quite sure what to do with that one yet... hahaha) 
  46. I can wear SHORTS!!!!    Albeit, just around the house and during training - but YAY!
  47. I actually have collarbones AND a neck!  They're no longer hidden by copious amounts of fat
  48. I sleep better because I can breathe easier laying down
  49. I am now addicted to WATER as my number one hydration source!   Peppermint tea makes a very close second, but nothing else cuts it! 
  50. I now WANT to socialise with my friends - no longer want to stay hidden away incase I'm just an embarrassment to be seen with... 
  51. I actually don't mind having my photo taken now - full body shots included!  (it's a miracle!!!) 
  52. I'm actually LIKING the new curves that my body is starting to take shape into (SHOCK!) 
  53. I can now eat in public without feeling like a freak with everyone pre-judging me on what I put into my mouth
  54. I CAN say NO to all the treats and temptations that are waved under my nose (for the most part!)
  55. Chips as a side dish are NOT always necessary!!!! 
  56. Grilled fish beats deep-fried anything EVERY time!
  57. I can actually get up off the ground without feeling like I'm about to keel over again 
  58. I can actually KNEEL ON MY KNEES again!!  YAYYYYY!!!   That was a discovery I made in the last couple of weeks - after years of not being able to kneel AT ALL (with horrible pain on top), I could actually DO the lunges, squats AND kneeling poses of my session!!!   (liberating as hell) 
  59. I have an amazing 'support network' of people who understand my fears, tantrums, demons and issues with this weightloss mission - and no longer feel so "alone" or isolated - and I absolutely treasure them for it!
  60. I no longer see food as an "enemy" - just a fuel source that can work wonders when used properly
  61. I am willing to try new things - foods and activities - that will propel me even further forward
  62. .... and in doing that, have already broken down alot of barriers and overcome personal challenges in the process! 
  63. I believe in rewarding yourself for a "job well done" - and acknowledging the effort you've put in to achieve them
  64. Buying healthy food IS worth the price tag!!! 
  65. Sleep is a vital part of good health and not to be skimped on
  66. I now get really excited at the prospect of a big scary challenge...  hahaha!  I know, I'm a sicko...
  67. Yummy foods are nice in moderation - but NOTHING tastes as good as the amazing feeling of power, control and health running through your veins!  (... and it's SUPER sexy!!!) 
  68. I have physically added years to my life - I've dropped my body's biological age significantly
  69. I am passionate about changing my health and helping others find their own courage to instigate amazing changes too - it drives me every day and helps me stay true to my own mission
  70. I've been told I'm AN ATHLETE! Hahahha....  yup, that's still one of the funniest compliments I've had yet... still makes me burst out laughing!!! 
  71. ... and apparently I'm pretty easy on the eyes too?!   (hahahahaha.... again!) 
  72. I've dropped over 43% of my original body weight
  73. .... and 80 kilos is completely INSANE in my head - how I ever managed to carry that amount of weight, I'll never know...   I can barely lift my 18kgs kayak!!!.... 
  74. I smile - ALL THE TIME!
  75. ... and I have MANY MORE happy and positive days than I do down and dreary days now - the tide has definitely turned... 
  76. I now want to LIVE and see what this life of mine has to offer, I want and deserve a future!
  77. I now know I have WORTH and have a huge sense of PRIDE in myself and in what I've achieved (and will continue to achieve)
  78. I really like the person I'm turning into - she's fun, motivated, happy and driven - she's ME!
  79. According to my tarot reading, I am a MAGICIAN - I CAN DO ANYTHING!!    
  80. ... and will ABSOLUTELY see this final 20kilo goal through!  Bring on my 90 mark!!!
... and I'm sure there's HEAPS more floating around here too - but 80 will suffice for now, haha!

80 tastes freaking delicious!!!
Again, a big thank you to all the gorgeous people who help keep me on track - I value your input and support SO much, and I'm SO grateful and humbled by all the people I have cheering me on!  You guys ROCK!

Now focused strictly on getting into double digits...  you'll all know why soon enough... !!!!   ;)

ALWAYS FORWARD!!

xx   :)