The Year that Was 2012

To look back upon a year it is often hard to remember what you did, how you felt and just how far you have come, especially when you have mothers brain (yep blame the poor child for my lack of memory). Thankfully in this era of gadgets, social media and mobile apps it can help to trigger my memory.

The year started with some very vague ‘gonna lose weight and get fit’ resolutions, just like every other year.

January my trainer starting me on running in our regular weekly session – hell but I wanted to try.

When February came around and I had my 39th Birthday I think a bit of impending OMG I’m 40 next year hit me and I wanted to achieve more than just lose weight and get fit, I needed some goals. So apart from wanting to be able to run, I wanted to be able to do a Triathlon like my trainer had been bugging me about.

I was not in a great state mentally, my relationship with my husband was not all rosy, it was not all bad either (probably difficult to be perfect when you are comparing it to my daily half hour of Bold and the Beautiful). I had not been diagnosed or medicated for anything but I was a little bit sad a lot of the time which was very unlike me. I had seen a counsellor a few times which helped, basically I talked (a lot) and she listened and gave me some non-judgemental guidance on how to turn negative thoughts around. It’s not something that is easy to tell people, but it should not be taboo to talk to a professional, without which I would say was a potential trip to the loony bin. We seek out professionals them out in all other aspects of our life so why not our mental health.

Exercise also became an outlet as did my reconnection with music once I figured out my gadgetry. I went from running/exercising with my Android phone for GPS/distance, Ipod for music and Heart Rate monitor and managed to get it down to HR monitor and phone with music/GPS on it.

Some people will say why all the gadgets, I am a numbers person, I need to know my numbers which is why I have enjoyed my Indoor Rowing for the past 6 years, it is all numbers in front of you and you can constantly adjust to improve your time/speed/distance. So I wanted the same from my running and cycling. We have all this modern technology so why not use it.

I know that exercise has all the medical benefits of improving your heart, lungs blah blah blah, but I was also enjoying the improved mental state. I am pleased to say that this year and my exercise has improved my ‘head’ and I am back to my happy self (most of the time).

So continuing on with my training and goal of doing a Triathlon, I won’t bore you with all the details of how I got to be able to run you can read about that in my Couch to 5k post but it was a big achievement to do and if I can do it anyone can, you may do it slower or faster than me but just keep trying.

As the year cracked on so did my desire and panic about doing the Triathlon, I had bought myself a new bike, I went from a super cruiser heavy weight to an ultra-light racing bike with the skinny wheels and those hanging down handles (yes very technical I know but upon researching bikes I realise it was like learning a whole other language, I don’t have time for that). I loved the new bike, once I got used to it and again plugged into my music would enjoy going for a ride. I have not really ‘trained’ for the bike, I just get on and ride, I assumed that all other training I am doing would improve my cycling as well.

The 1 thing I left til last was my swimming; it is such pain to swim, shower, wash (long) hair, style hair, get ready for work not in the comfort of your own bathroom and if I didn’t get it done in the mornings then I wouldn’t do it. Not to mention I found it boooring, no music to keep me company. I started back swimming in June 2012 and only did 1-2 swims each month, my goal was to just get through the swim leg of the triathlon alive, awesome goal setting. So I would dive in the pool, swim 300m and then go, ok I’m alive, do a few more laps for ‘training’ purposes and call it done. I am pleased to say I can now do 500m no problems (not fast) and a training session usually consists of 1500m before I get bored, I have been swimming in Ocean pools, indoor heated and outdoor heated Olympic pools and 1 time in a harbour. My next challenge is to do some Open Water swimming to train for any Triathlons that may not be in the luxury of a Harbour and certainly very very few are in the “Princess” comfort of an Olympic pool.

So to look at my milestones this year:

Running – I could not run more than about 200m without stopping to walk and have now done numerous 5k training and even a 6k training run. Even managed to do some treadmill running which I vowed I would never do.

Swimming – I used to swim 50m and stop every single lap for a rest, can now swim 500m non-stop, probably more if I tried and can do 1500m in a training session.

Bike – New bike, much faster and easier to go longer distance, my cleats and I are having a love hate relationship. I don’t train for the bike, just get on and ride. Biggest ride was only 24k from memory, I just lack the time to do more. Mostly my bike ‘Juliet’ and I are happy together.

Indoor Rowing – Held onto my State Championship title in the 500m and 4 minute distances and at last glance I still held my World Rankings of 22nd and 4th respectively (the Rowing year has not finished yet). See more about that here.

Weight Loss – I dare not go there but I will, I have to. So according to my weight tracking app and cross referenced with my own spreadsheet, it would appear that I started the year 2012 at around 110.5kgs, I dropped down to about 105-106 at my lowest throughout the year but finished it off after the Christmas binge at 109.8, however I am please to report that the Christmas Kilo’s are coming off almost as fast as they went on and I am really trying to eat well.

Goals – when I actually put my Goals out in Blogland in August 2012 I had already started working towards them, but never fully believing that they will all happen and like anything need to be tweaked.
No.1 was the work, life, workout and family balancing act. I am hoping I have done that Ok (I won’t profess to being mother or wife of the year), perhaps I should ask Miss 3 and hubby to comment on this.
No.2 was the Pink Triathlon, read about it here, but in short I DID IT!!.
No.3 was the National Indoor Rowing Championships, my training was not optimum for this event, too much focus on the Tri but I had a good crack at it, read about it here.
No.4 was the Mud Run a 7+ klm trail run with mud and other obstacles, heaps of fun, I finished it, read about it here.

Full length photo taken in Dec 2012

Full length photo taken in Dec 2012

I am pleased to say that apart from my weight loss goal I have achieved all my others, through many ups and downs that life throws at you and battling my own emotions and insecurities.

I must say I have never had as many compliments as I have had this year regarding my appearance and I appreciate every single 1 of them. I know with all my training I am changing body shape, however it is sometimes hard to receive a “you look great, how much weight have you lost” compliment when you have lost only a miniscule amount or nothing. Weight loss is something I hope to seriously tackle this year (yes I’m saying it again like I have for the last 20 years).

Happy New Year to all my friends, family and followers and I hope 2013 is your best year yet. Set some goals, you never know what might happen.

The Week that Was – short and sweet

So to follow on from a fairly good week of exercise last week and with the interruption of Christmas and Boxing Day eat-a-thons, here is my week in short.

Monday – did a little swim in the lake, practicing open water techniques, for which I have no idea, in the afternoon I got back on my bike with cleats and had a much more confident 17k cycle.

Tuesday – Christmas Day – eat drink and be Merry

Wednesday – Boxing Day – eat drink and be more Merry

Thursday – rolled out of bed whinging about how bloated I felt, then when I stopped feeling bloated I ate some more.

Friday – back on the exercise wagon, short cycle to Ocean pool to meet up with a training buddy and my Personal trainer, 400m swim, 3k run (with hills), 400m swim, skim chai latte and short cycle home. Felt great to get such an awesome workout in before work.

Saturday – no exercise.

Sunday – 3x 500m in the ocean pool, came home and ate some more.

Can anyone see a pattern here? Although I managed a few good workouts, I am pretty sure they were voided by the eating. Evil chocolates are taunting me. I am hoping that with the New Year I will click back into being good. I am on the downhill countdown to the BIG 4 0 with about 6 weeks to go and although I am confident I am fitter and will complete my fitness goals (slowly but surely) I really want to see double digits on the scales – 99kgs here I come.

The Week that Was – Boom Crash Bang

I haven’t done a weekly wrap up for a few weeks, lots of other stuff going on with the That’s Life 4 Week Body Blast and my Triathlon etc. This week I was very productive even with a clogged up nose.

Monday I was still too sick to do my normal weekly PT session.

Tuesday I managed to drag myself to a Bosu class (I have done this for the last 2 weeks) really enjoyed it, I could feel my sore abs for days after and then I also did my weights circuit, a good hour of training. I also did a stack of gardening and I don’t care what anyone says that landscaping business is hard work. Weeding, pruning and planting vegies.

Miss 3 very pleased with “HER” garden. Gardening is definitely a great workout.

Wed I didn’t do any training but did go and see an Exercise Physiologist under a Medicare Healthcare Plan, he specializes in Triathlons and running. We discussed a training plan to improve my running speed and overall fitness. He is designing me a program to suit my goals and coming for a run with me to check my running technique; I am looking forward to seeing what he has in store for me.

Thursday I did some swapsie training with 1 of my Mothers Group friends (we babysit each other’s kids for an hour so we can each do some exercise), for my session I went for my first swim in my Wetsuit at the local Ocean Pool. I had very mixed feelings about it, whilst the water was warmer, the restriction was difficult to get used to, also the added buoyancy of wearing a wetsuit made me feel a bit nauseous (I get motion sick very easily). With my head still a bit clogged up I thought that swimming would be good for me.

Friday I arranged to go for a run with lady whom I met through my Personal Trainer and is now a fan of my blog. As it turned out Hubby had a late start that morning so I got up VERRRY early and did a 6am “Stretch and Strength” class, it was Yoga type moves and I really enjoy it which surprised me as I had never done anything like that before. I went to meet my friend straight after the class for a run. The run was difficult for me because my head was soooo stuffed up, stupidly I had not taken any tissues with me, I had nothing hiding in any pockets. I managed to run most of the way, then walked when my head felt like it was going to explode and then run again. Still happy with what I did, could have been so much better with just a couple of tissues.

Saturday – no exercise.

Sunday – I planned a bike ride from home to Port Kembla to Seascape Café to meet my MIL (mother in-law) and FIL for breakfast. Hubby also drove to meet me there with Miss 3. This was my first ride with Cleats and clip-in pedals and I was a bit scared. I had been practicing a little with my pedals and shoes on my Spin Bike and thought I should just get on and go. The ride was very scenic (I live in a beautiful Bulli NSW) and I rode most of the way with the beach beside me and some awesome music in my ears. 1 minor downfall to riding by the beach is the wind and I was riding straight into it. I sucked it up and tried to pick up my pace. I estimated the ride was about 20k but it turned out to be almost 24k. On the final stretch and I mean with less than 1k to go, I had to cross over Railway lines and opted to take the pedestrian path, well I didn’t realise that the pedestrian access has a chicane that is not very bicycle friendly and I hit a really tight curve just a bit too fast and tried to reach out and grab the railing to stop myself from falling. EPIC FAIL I stacked it and fell sideways off my bike landing on my butt (plenty of padding there), my elbow and gave my head a good whack on the ground, thankfully with my helmet on. As I fell my feet unclipped from the pedals, so I quickly scooped myself up, looked around, phew nobody saw me, not a car in sight, then I freaked out OMG there was no cars in sight and nobody saw me, what if I was more seriously injured. Anyway very luckily that was not the case, so I jumped back on and cycled to my final destination. Bruised elbow, bruised ego and cracked helmet (better than a cracked head).

My fractured Helmet – I’m so lucky it was the helmet and not my head.

As if that was not enough for one day I did another stint in the garden, planting more vegies with Miss 3 helping me water them in and hosing me in the process, she gets such a buzz from my screams.

So there was my Boom Crash Bang day and relatively good week of training considering the stuffed up nose I had.

* Sidenote: I woke up a bit stiff and sore today (Monday), I can feel a trip to the Chiro coming this week


I did it I did it, I completed my first Triathlon, here is my story.

The 2 nights leading up to my Triathlon I had great difficulty sleeping. If I woke up in the middle of the night, either of my own accord or by Miss “Almost 3”, I would have great trouble getting back to sleep. I had so much doubt in my mind. Would I be able to do it? What if something went wrong? Will my ankle hold up? Will I look fat in Lycra? Well I know the answer to that last 1 is “yes” but I had to ask the question.

The picture I was reluctant to publish, but this is me wearing Lycra. The suit was really good for the event, just not good for hiding the lumps and bumps.

To de-stress a little I arranged for Miss “Almost 3” to go to my Brother’s on Friday night for a sleep over with her 3 cousins, whilst hubby and I got a hotel room right where the triathlon was being held, walking distance. We had a very rare relaxing grown-up meal and I was alcohol free and in bed early.I got organised early and headed off to the marshalling area, as I was walking over I saw the start of the kids (under 10yrs) Fun Run 1k event, I was so inspired by the kids, 1 little girl was either exhausted or scared running towards the crowd and the Event Marshalls got her moving and helped her and it brought a tear to my eye and a giant cheer from the crowd.

All set up for transitions before the event.

It was a bit daunting not knowing what to expect with my first Triathlon; however once in the arena the organisers were very helpful and guided me to where I had to go. There were over 700 competitors in the Long Course event which involved 300m swim, 9k cycle and 3k run. What amazed me was that there were all shapes and sizes ages and abilities and to be honest there were some quite large ladies. Before the event I asked Hubby what he was going to yell out to cheer me on and he said “Run Fatty” which I thought was amusing, however once I saw the variety of competitors we both agreed this may not go down well.

With my Facebook friend Christine who I only met IRL a few months ago because of our like-minded goal of doing a Triathlons.

I was very pleased to run into a friend of mine who I met IRL a few months ago from a Facebook Group so we stuck together and headed to the briefing poolside. The swim was in an Olympic pool, zig zagging around buoys to complete 300m, at the start you could dive off the side of the pool, it was staggered at 2 second intervals however once in the pool everyone seemed to bunch up, the water was really choppy. Before I got in I noticed that plenty of people were doing breast stroke, back stroke and doggy paddle and some even stopped at each end to catch their breath. I don’t propose to be a great swimmer however I managed to mostly keep my head down and did freestyle the entire way, even though I was very slow, I was happy with my result when I got out.

Pounding out the swim.

I had no real plan of attack, however once I got out of the pool everyone was walking to the transition area, I decided there would be no harm in running a bit, so I got moving and ran what felt like an eternity to get on my bike. The bike leg is my favourite, I feel like it is more of a cruise, with more of a muscle burn than a lung burn. The first lap of the circuit my legs felt like concrete stumps struggling to get moving after the swim but the final 2 laps of the course I felt better. The weather was a bit drizzly so I was really really careful on the corners not to wipe-out. I really enjoyed the cycle.

Exiting the bike leg to hit the run.
Oh look I’m winning ………….. oh no I’m not, but I am still smiling.

I jogged my bike back off the road and parked it ready for my nemesis “running” leg. Because of my sprained ankle I had not run for 4 weeks until 3 days before the event so my running fitness was not as good as it should have been. I took the extra second to put on my Lorna Jane sweatband “Never Give Up”; it is funny how looking at that can truly inspire you. The first part of the run leg was horrendous, straight up a long gradual hill, legs still getting the hang of running after the cycling. I wanted to quit almost straight away, I just thought to myself, don’t keep up with everyone else and I shuffled along at my own pace. I had to tell myself I could do this, the first 1.5k just felt so long, but when I hit the turn-around I was a relieved to know it was half over and managed to find a spring in my step for the last half. I ran most of the way, only a few walk steps after the water table to have a quick drink and about 20 steps up a hill near the end, I picked up the pace again to run up the long gradual hill which was just before running back into the Athletic Centre where the finish line was, it felt like I was finishing a marathon, running down the straight of the athletics track towards the finish line, once I shuffled into the arena I had my trainers voice in my head which said, “leave nothing in the tank” I sprinted the last 150m to the finish line, even overtook some people.

Sprinting down the home straight.

I freakin’ finished, I was still in disbelief that I had done it. I was a little teary after the finish until I found hubby and gave him a big cuddle (he gives great hugs).

To be honest when I got the idea in my head earlier this year to try to do a Triathlon I had so much doubt I never really thought I would do it and I seemed to have a stack of obstacles thrown at me in the last few months, with a never-ending cough, full on sickness, 2 funerals with friends and family, hubby away for a few weeks and a badly sprained ankle, I think these things were sent to test my dedication.  Once I registered for the event I was not going to let myself down.

I am pretty pleased and surprised with myself for finishing and now I know I could probably push myself a bit harder next time.

Finished and pretty proud of myself.

 Update 9 Oct 2012 – So the results are in for the Triathlon Pink I came 681 position out of 774 competitors in the Long Course with a time of 1:09.57, pretty happy with that, I achieved my goal of not coming last, woohoo.

Tri Training – nothing like cramming for a test

I am attempting “photo a day” for Oct and today’s topic is “where I stood”, my thought was – in these shoes, that is where I stood today.

Those that know me will know I can have a potty mouth if it is warranted (more often than not), so those who don’t hold on for the ride.

I arranged with a friend who is also training for a triathlon in a month (not 5 days like me, aaargh) to have a little swim/ride training this fine and sunny morning, I had recently purchased my all lycra tri-suit (the most unflattering garment on the face of the earth) and thought I better test it out before the big day, so not wanting to pay to attend a heated pool for just 300m of swimming I suggested a dip in the Ocean pool at Thirroul a lovely seaside town just 1 suburb away as they have a nicely tiled pool that they pump in the sea water every few days (I think), brilliant I thought to myself and then take off for a cycle.

The water was FUCKING FREEEEEEZING, hence why there was only 1 other crazy in the pool and a few others dangling their toes. I mean take your breath away COLD, unable to swim with face in water COLD, gasping and squealing COLD, people laughing on the sideline COLD…..

Being the greatest friend on the earth I opted not to wear a wetsuit over the top of my all flattering lycra ensemble as my friend didn’t have one and that would be unfair to her …..  who is the idiot now …… MEEEE.

FUCK ME….. I wanted out almost instantly and it took 2 laps (of the 6 that we were doing) to even contemplate swimming with my face in the water, of course it warmed up as we swam or our internal organs started to get used to it and shut down but as much as I wanted to get out every single lap we persevered an then had to swim more than half way across the pool to get out at the stairs, my freezing arms would not have lifted me out.

Upon Googling right now the data I have retrieved is the water Temp at Thirroul on this fine day ranges from 16.4 °C to 19.4 °C, given that we were there in the morning and for drama purposes I am going to say it was on the colder end of the scale and had I have thought to Google last night I am guessing that I would have paid big bucks for a heated pool.

Ok enough of the swearing, oh there might have been a bit more as we struggled to get our limbs moving and dress to get on our bikes.

Then we headed up a hilly route to get in a bit of a cycle, the aim of the day (well for me anyway) was not to do a blistering pace, but to quote NIKE, just do it, I had not practiced these 2 elements together before so I am glad I did. There was 1 “Nemesis” hill enroute that was right at the end of our ride and previously I have had to get off my bike and walk up, albeit I used to do it towing Missy around in a little trailer so it was more difficult back then but I successfully conquered it and plan to tackle it more often. So 11.5km later our training was done and I headed off to the kiosk to grab a Chai latte and bring something home for hubby.

Quick change of topic to food, something I seem to always do is buy some sort of food item with the coffee order and today was no different, I bought a raspberry and almond muffin with the intention of sharing it with hubby. Well not paying attention he proceeded to devour half of it before I mentioned to him that it was sharesies, and in act of “I don’t know what came over me” I said don’t worry you have it, and I was OK with it, no FOMO* at all. *See my previous post about FOMO.

Who is this girl and where did she come from?

* I revised this post and removed over excessive use of F-bomb

The Week that Was #6 – Vague

I’ve had such a mixed up week, I don’t know what I have done. Let me think.

Monday night I did my normal PT session, a hard interval row 6x 1 minute rows going as hard as you can with 45 second rest in between, it doesn’t sound too hard but I dare you to try it.

Tuesday I went to the gym to do my new weights program that has been set for me, 12-15 reps x 3 sets only a 3-5 second rest in between. It was hard at the time but I felt strong afterwards.

A recent family pic with Nanna Nanna on her 89th Birthday.

Wednesday I had no intention of exercising as we had the funeral of Nanna Nanna, it was a lovely service and great to hear more about her life. Such a talented woman she will be missed.

Thursday I had arranged with another Mothers Group friend to do some babysitting swapsie’s so we could both do some Tri training. So she brought her 2 girls over and took off for a cycle and then she came back and I took off and did the same, such a great idea given that I was still living the single mum life with Hubby being away. I was then inspired to improve my cycling and headed off to the bike shop to check-out getting clip-in shoes and pedals and I also needed to get a new colour coordinating helmet (gotta look the part), so I found all of these things and then just happened to ask if they had a Tri-suit, you know a flattering Onesie made entirely of Lycra, well they were having a clearance of these and managed to pick 1 up cheaper than I had seen anywhere at cost price (apparently). So, an expensive little jaunt, but not as bad as I was expecting.

Friday Miss “Almost 3” woke up with a terrible cough, which I had noticed she had during the night, so took her for a trip to the medical centre for a check-up, not much they could do for her, just 1 dose of Steroid meds to try and clear it up quicker. No time for a workout before or after work.

Saturday (yesterday) can’t remember what I did but pretty sure there was no exercise involved. Oh hang on, I put my new cycling pedals and shoes onto my Spin bike and had a bit of a spin (not a workout tho) and practiced the clipping and unclipping, I was really bad at it, so there will be a lot more practice and adjusting before I put these on my bike and hit the road.

Sunday (today) I was soooo looking forward to hubby arriving home and was at the airport by 6.30am uggghh, hate the early morning flights, he arrived back safely but was sick and tired so went off to have a nap as soon as we walked through the door. I was going to venture to the Gym with Miss “Almost 3” but she was sooooo feral today I just thought it would be a waste of time. By the time she collapsed on the lounge at 7.30pm I was too tired to even consider doing anything, but I have big things planned for tomorrow’s public holiday.

Goal for this week is to keep up the better food choices and do regular light workouts leading up to the big event on Satuday, my first Triathlon, eeeek, freaking out now, countdown is going too quick.

My #2 Goal – my first Triathlon

To complete my first triathlon in Oct 2012 and not come last. Check out my post on Goal Setting.

How does 1 just decide to do a Triathlon?

Well in December last year I was encouraged to participate in a Relay Triathlon at the local Triathlon Club and I did the cycle leg. I did this on my heavy weight “Cruiser” bike which is an Electra Townie. Simply put it is a slow poser style of bike, it has 21 gears so you can get up and down hills but it is certainly not optimum for speed or longish distances. I even wore a skater style helmet with pink flames on the side, I was definitely going for style not speed. I had to do 14k which was 6 laps of the course and was being overtaken in rapid succession and to be honest I lost count as to how many laps I had done, I also had in my head that it was 7 laps, ie that it was a 2k circuit. Some of the organisers thought I did 7, oops.

My “Cruiser”, built for looks not speed.

Anyhow I came last by a LOT, my poor runner who had to finish off with her leg of the race didn’t even get on the track until most of the other competitors had finished. She was a good sport about it. It was a fun event and a really well run. I remember a lady from the club talking to me before the race, saying watch out you will get addicted to “Triathlon”. I laughed at her. I was truly thinking she was a “nutcase”.

My personal trainer said I should train for a short distance Triathlon event and made me start running during our sessions. From when I started running until the event he wanted me to compete in was about a year. I was thinking “I will just come up with an excuse and not go, but I will humour him and train a LITTLE bit”. And once I started running I began to think that I COULD do this.

I will do a later post about my “Couch to 5k” journey, but let me just say the day I ran my first 1k without any walking was a HUGE achievement and I really shocked myself. Obviously my trainer had a lot more belief in my abilities than I did.

I also had not been in the pool doing laps for a few years and I was shocked that with all my other training I had been doing had definitely improved my stamina in the pool. I jumped in and did 300m (slowly) but I was able to do it non-stop which is the distance I have to do for my Tri.

With the excitement of my progress I decided that I would do a Triathlon earlier than the 1 my trainer had me earmarked for. I started training (sort of) and thinking about doing this in Feb 2012 and my first event is 6 Oct 2012.

Last week (before sprained ankle) I could swim 300m non-stop (and probably more if I had to), cycle 20k relatively easy (still quite slow), and run 6k non-stop (very slow). The distances that I have to do for my event are 300m swim, 9k cycle and 3k run. I have also done some transition training and managed a 10k cycle and 3k run straight after. I was confident that AT LEAST I could finish the damn race. My goal is not to come last.

I love this “Quote”

So now that I have the “sprained ankle” and my training is limited, I don’t know if I should revise my goal to just “finish” or if I should stick with my original goal. For those who don’t follow me on Facebook I went to Physio the other day and he suggested I not do any running for 3 weeks, so with 23 days until the event it doesn’t leave me any time to train all 3 legs consecutively.

I am still thinking I am slightly crazy to even attempt this but dare I say “WHY NOT”.

The Week That Was # 1

So my first week of this part of my journey has gone pretty well exercise wise.

Monday Morning I went for an early(ish) morning swim, I don’t do 5am like these Olympians but I was able to drop Miss 2.75 off at Daycare at 7.15am and be at the pool by 7.30. I have managed to find myself a swim coach, he hasn’t asked for payment (yet) so I have been lucky. He just gives me some drills to do and leaves me to my own devices and I see him about once month and then practice my drills once (or twice if I can make it) a week. Otherwise I would just plod out 1k get out and go to work. So my warm up was 300m which I did in 8.10, this is the distance I have to do for the Triathlon in Oct so my goal is to get this a bit quicker.

Monday Night at 7pm I saw my personal trainer Ian at Pioneer Fitness and I asked if I could do some Benchmarks that I saw on Shannan Ponton’s 8 week Challenge.*

Pic with Shannan Ponton from The Biggest Loser Australia, so devestated the only shot I got was blurry.

*Sidenote I am a huge fan of The Biggest Loser Australia trainers, Shannan Ponton, Michelle Bridges and The Commando and follow all of them on Facebook.

I started with a 10 minute warm up on the rower and then did a slight variation of the benchmark drills which consisted of:

1klm run                                                                             7min 13 sec
Sit ups in 60 sec (full wrist to knee, not crunches)             25
Push ups in 60 seconds (knees)                                        28
Burpees in 60 seconds                                                      11 (these things are hell)
Concept 2 Rowing Machine 2 minutes                              526m (previous best for this time was 505m)

My aim is to do these again in 8 weeks’ time and see my improvement.

Tuesday Evening I attended my first Contours Woonona class, I joined Contours a week ago because they are going through a revamp and will be re-opening in 1.5 weeks as EnVie Fitness. With the revamp comes childcare and a lot more classes, something that appealed to me more than the current Contours format. With the studio being closed for the revamp classes are currently being run outdoors and in School Halls and Surf Clubs. I went to a Tabata class, as a newbie I wanted to know what I was getting myself into, so I asked the question on Contours Facebook Page, what is Tabata, the reply Tabata is high-intensity interval training session using alternating periods of short intense exercise with less-intense recovery periods. It’s a short intense workout – lots of fun! Alex :)”

Thanks Alex, but “Tabata” and “Fun” are two words that should not be used in the same sentence. You do 8 consecutive sets of the same exercise 20 seconds of exercise followed by 10 second rest, so by the time you get to the last couple of sets your muscles are exhausted. It was about 15 mins of fun (ie the first 3 sets of each exercise) and then 30 minutes of hell. Exercises consisted of squats, lunges, push-ups both normal and biceps, crunches etc etc, most of these whilst holding weights above your heads or doing arm weights in conjunction with the other exercises. Will I go back, of course, from all the Googling I did to research this post Tabata it is a great calorie burner in a short space of time.

Wednesday morning, with aching muscles from previous night’s class, I rested. I did head back to my personal trainer in the evening for session of Indoor rowing, spin bike, weights, running and then a Rowing relay with my 3 training buddies. A rowing relay is a 2000m race with each person rowing 500m and then changing over as fast as possible.

Thursday Afternoon I headed to a Contours Boxing class, another 45 minutes of hell. The girls in this class who have been coming for a long time were boxing at a blistering pace, putting my speed to shame, arms were so tired after this so I guess it was “Mission Accomplished”.

Friday had a full day of rest. Well as much rest as you can have with a toddler and a full working day. For those who don’t know me or I haven’t caught up with lately, I am currently working Mon, Wed and Friday.

Saturday had a lazy morning in PJ’s playing with Miss 2.75 and then felt a tiny urge to go for a jalk (jog/walk); I could have sooooo easily stayed on the lounge. But I dragged myself out and it was a glorious winter day and had a distance in my head of 6k. So after a little walk to warm up I hit the button on my Runkeeper and hit the pavement.  I made the 3k fairly easily at 4k I wanted to stop, 5k really really wanted to stop, but I made the 6k at a very slow pace, but jogged the whole way. (Definitely would not have called it a run).

Sunday (today) – a very well deserved day of rest from exercise, although we did have a hectic day of family Birthdays. My nephew’s 9th Birthday for lunch and then in the opposite direction with The Outlaws (aka an affectionate name for hubby’s family) birthday celebrations with a really nice family dinner and a very rare occasion that everyone managed to attend. I ate waaaay too much food today.

So to wrap up the week I think my exercise was pretty good and I will try to do a similar amount next week, but my food has let me down. Next weeks’ challenge is to log all my food in My Fitness Pal, I know when I do this it makes me accountable and stop mindless eating and for all my friends on My Fitness Pal, yes I am going to open up my privacy settings on my food diary so you can see how good (I hope) I am going to be, haha. If you want to follow along my user name is mrzcracker.

Who am I?

I am Rachael a 39.5 year old wife and mother of Miss 2.75.

So here I start 6 months before my 40th Birthday, debating whether I am going through a mid-life crisis and freaking out by focusing on exercise and trying, trying, trying to eat better.

I have a wonderful husband, family and friends who support me in everything I do, we have a daughter “Miss 2.75” who is adorable, cheeky, a little bit naughty, super cute and super super smart.

This is a recent photo weighing in at 108kgs. Taken at Cadbury Chocolate Factory in Tasmania, Australia

Fat to Fit and Fabulous by Forty is a blog about my current journey of weight-loss and fitness, my personal challenges, food addiction, insecurities and everything that goes along with being “Double Extra Gorgeous” and just wanting to be “Mildly Extra Gorgeous”, not to mention how the hell I got here in the first place. I am a fun, “CAN DO” kind of person, I will have a go an anything once, and if I love it will do it again and again, I think that is where my addictive personality comes out. I see myself as the “Funny Fat” girl. I have been overweight all of my life, always being the biggest at school (or so I though) and blossoming in my 20’s, excessively blossoming in my 30’s and hitting my biggest after our Honeymoon and then exploding during pregnancy. To give you some idea I am 168cm tall and on my Wedding Day I weighed 124kgs, after the Honeymoon (6-8 weeks later) weighed 132kgs and on the day I gave birth was 146kgs and was 146cm around the middle (coincidence) who knows.

About 8 months after I having our daughter, hubby and I both decided to have “Lap Band Surgery”, we had debated it prior to our wedding but thought we could do it (lose weight) on our own. We were of the opinion 1 in all in (ie both of us should do it or not at all) and he decided against it, so I chickened out as well. But it is amazing what bringing a small person into your life will do, the desire to live longer, be healthier and not inflict your poor food choices onto your “Offspring” becomes a major priority. My parents helped us out financially with the “Gap” costs of the surgery and we were very much supported by both our families.

So here I am about 25kgs down from prior to the Surgery and weighing in at 107.7kgs, I have plateaued for about 12 months going up and down by a couple of kgs over that time.

I invite you to follow my journey for the next 6 months to see if I can achieve my weight loss and fitness goals.