Friday, February 24, 2012

The show comes to town

What is it about the local show that gets us excited?
Smelly animals; loud rides; ridiculously rigged sideshow games; dubious carnies yelling at us, taking our money; expensive showbags full of bits of plastic crap and melted chocolate....

But the atmosphere! It takes you back to when you were a kid and you could win that teddy. When you could ride around and around and around and never vomit. When the noise, the smells, the people were fascinating, exciting. When dagwood dogs tasted like heaven and fairy floss was the best invention ever!
Fairy Floss Macro
Image Credit

You guessed it. This weekend we're off to the show. I always think 'it's too expensive', 'it's not worth it', but then I remember how much I loved it when I was a kid.
I must admit, I do like to wander around, looking at the stuff in the pavillions and the funky animals all dolled up, but I'm not so keen on the food any more, and the way that the sideshow games are designed to rip you off really upset my sense of fairness and honesty.

But we'll do it, and we'll probably have lots of fun too.

Do you like the show?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

12WBT Blogger Challenge Week 1

Hi all,
As you know, I'm taking part in the 12WBT. So far so good. I'm also taking part in a blogging challenge, which is good because it gives me something else to write about (I've been a bit blocked lately, in case you hadn't noticed!)

So. Here's week 1, which is an introduction. For those of you that know me, not much will surprise you. For those that don't, welcome to Good-yeah. Hope you enjoy reading about my new journey!

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.  What makes you, you?

Firstly, I'm probably not someone that would be described as a shrinking violet. I'm friendly, sometimes loud, and generally project an air of confidence well beyond what I actually feel.
I'm one of those busy people, always doing something or other, mainly because I'm also one of those people that finds it hard to say no. Which is part of the reason I'm where I am today.
I'm 38 (eek!), with one son, Oliver (8), and another son, Samuel, who passed away two years ago, aged 13. A horrible time that I would not want inflicted on anyone, but it spurred some personal growth. Hence the blog (and the weightloss crusade).
Anthony (40) and I have been together 17 years. At the moment, he works from home and does the morning school runs. I work in education, currently coordinating a massive change for the lucky teachers of the ACT (public) education system. My new tag line is: 'don't shoot the messenger', which should give you some idea of how my job's going...

2. Why did you decide to do the 12WBT?

Good question! I've talked before about my need to lose weight, but have never been a fan of The Biggest Loser or Michelle Bridges. Still, my friend (and others) said great things about the program, and I liked the idea of a community of people all dedicated to the same goal (but not locked in to weekly weight watchers meetings - I like the flexibility of online programs). The last time I lost a lot of weight, it was with the support of an online group too.
So I joined up, and have found that the community is fantastic. Very supportive and encouraging. Well worth it just for that, but the exercise plans and food ideas are good too.

3. What are you hoping to achieve through the program? 

Well obviously I'd like to lose weight, but it's more about setting up some new, better habits. I think the mindset lessons will be most helpful for me.

4. Why have you decided to blog about the 12WBT? What will be the main focus (eg, food, exercise, a bit of everything?)

Well as my regular readers will know, I've been blogging for a while. Mainly about the grief journey I went through after losing Sam. With more than two years passing, the grief has changed. Which means that the focus of my blog has changed too. I'll probably blog about all kinds of things, the 12WBT being just one of them. A big mish-mash of blogginess!

5. How will you be exercising this round? Gym, home, outdoors or a mixture? 

I'll still be doing my beloved Sh'Bam, three days a week. I've always loved the dance stuff, but group fitness is so motivating. It really gets you going. I'm also doing a second class on Saturdays (core strength based - aargh!) and then on the other days, weights at the gym or outside at home, plus walks, bike rides, whatever I can fit in. I'm lucky that once I get into it I actually quite like exercising. It's funny, at the moment I crave it - looking for excuses to get moving!

6. What is your greatest strength that will help you? 

Well, some would debate whether it's a strength, but for me, it's stubbornness.  And a little pride. I've told so many people now that I need to succeed. I don't like to look weak, or fail in front of people. Wait, maybe it's not a strength...

7. What are you afraid of?

I'm afraid of 20-odd years of failed attempts to lose weight, and the baggage that comes along with that. I'm afraid that I'll give up, despite the stubbornness. And I must admit, I'm a little afraid of the person I'll find under all that weight. It's been a long time since we've seen each other.

8. What are you looking forward to the most over the next 12 weeks? 

Again, the community. I love the support you get online. We're all committed to the same goal.
I'm also looking forward to trying new things, and getting stronger.

9. What is your downfall? Food? Exercise? How will you overcome this? 

I wouldn't say there's a specific food that's my downfall (it's all food, really!). Though I do have a weakness for ice cream. But I've discovered a 'no added sugar' ice cream. Which is nice with strawberries, so I can make a compromise there. My past history tells me that if I try to cut something out all together, I'll crave it more. So moderation is the key. That's how I'll overcome it.
My other downfall is feeling like I'm missing out. I tend to rebel against that. That's why I've set some goals/rewards that focus on me. One of my upcoming goals is to train as a Sh'Bam instructor (if I can find the $$ to pay for it!). It keeps me motivated knowing that's coming, and I know I'll feel so successful and confident when I do it! It's something that's just for me. So if that falls through or  through self-sabotage I don't end up doing it, it might derail me. Stay tuned folks - might need some kind words...

10. If you had to pick one word to motivate you over the next 12 weeks, what would you choose?

Health. That's what it's all about, isn't it?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

It's still tough

Well, Sam would have started year 11 this week. It's been a bit hard seeing all his friends go off there, and wondering how he would have done (brilliantly no doubt!)
I still miss him terribly, we all do.

Next month, on his 16th birthday Anthony, Oliver and I are going for a balloon ride. Anthony got a voucher (for one!) for his 40th last year, so Oli and I decided we'd go with him.
The Samuel that I knew would never have gone up in a balloon (heights, slightly dangerous situations etc), though who knows? Perhaps he would have developed some more daredevil tendencies?
Either way, it will be a nice way for us to mark Sam's birthday.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Going Public

Folks, I'm on a diet.
Those of you that know me well might roll your eyes and say 'again?', but I'm just gonna ignore that...

If you've ever been even a little bit overweight, you'll understand just how taxing it can be on the soul. I've already told you something about my lifetime of struggles, and I probably will again. Once again, if you have some experience, you'll know it's tough. If you don't, you'll have no understanding of just how hard it is. People that have never had a problem with their weight don't get it. They think we're lazy pigs (yes, I am generalising here, I'm sorry, but it happens to me all the time!), and some of them even try to sabotage us: 'come on, you know you want this chocolate bar...'

And yes, I have done it before. But I'm not going into all that now. Because today I'm committing. I'm 'saying it out loud'.

A friend from work and I have been 'casually' dieting for the last few months, giving each other little bits of inspiration, motivation and encouragement.
A few weeks ago, she told me she was joining Michelle Bridges' 12 Week Body Transformation. At first I thought I'd leave her to it. I'm not a big fan of her work or anything (The Biggest Loser in all its unrealistic weightloss glory drives me crazy), plus it costs money to do! While I've tried lots of different diets etc, I generally don't pay people to tell me to diet.

Still, she started telling me about the things that were happening on the site, and it really appealed to me. A community of like-minded folks, all in the same boat (yes, a big boat -boom boom!), with some sensible advice (so far!).
So I joined up. I figured that in some of my darker days I would easily spend $20 a week on junk food. Heck, it's only 4 take away coffees when you think about it...

And it's been very good so far. I'm a little dubious about the calorie limits, but so far impressed with the level of support, and some of the great 'mindset' tasks that we have been set during the pre-season (the actual program doesn't start until mid-February).

One of the most recent tasks was that we needed to 'say it out loud'. We need to commit to losing weight and tell people about it. Seems simple enough, but I reckon it's a great idea. Accountability goes a long way, especially for someone like me that does not like to fail. Especially publicly.

So here they are, my goals for the coming year. Out there for anyone who wants to see. Scary!

In 2 weeks (around the start of the program): I will have lost another kilo. I've already lost 13 since October last year, so this will make 14.

In 3 months (around the end of the program): I will have lost a total of 20-25 kilos. I will reward myself with a nice haircut.

In 6 months (around July): I will have lost a total of 35-40 kilos, bringing me pretty close to where I should be. I will reward myself with some new clothes, maybe a facial. I am going to 'sponsor' myself $20 per kilo, so I'll have a bit of spending money!

How am I going to do this? Well, for one, I'm not going to go crazy. I've been doing Atkins, and while I definitely notice the difference low carbs makes to my digestion (and my weight!), it's too restrictive. I just know I am going to rebel if I try and stick to it.
No, I'm going to be sensible. I'll eat mainly good foods, but occasionally I have some chocolate, or a couple of beers. Not every day, but occasionally.
And I'll exercise. I've already got my three Sh'Bam days, I'm just going to add a couple of walks. And if I do it with Oliver, even better. He loves a walk or a ride around the lake. Last weekend, we even went walking up a mountain (Anthony came too of course!). It makes it so much easier when you're doing stuff you like doing. And I like walking in the bush.

I'm also hoping to train as a Sh'Bam instructor. I might never teach a class, but I like the idea of doing the training. I love the class, and I do OK at it. I think with some lost weight and more confidence, I'll get even better at it. I let this goal slip to my lovely Sh'Bam instructor the other night; she's already signing me up for the course!I did two classes in a row on Monday and survived it, so i reckon it's even possbile!

Of course, all of this means that I can't fail, because I'm just too stubborn to do that!

So here's what I look like at the moment:
Oli and I on top of Booroomba Rocks, last Saturday (28/1/2012)

I know, still a little way to go, but then again, this is what I looked like on the same day last year:

In 3 months, I'll post another picture. We'll see how it goes.

Wish me luck everyone! And please, ask me how I'm going. Keep me accountable. This year, I'm actually going to do it! It's all about habits, and that's what I'm going to be building. My friend says that habit is much more important than motivation, and she's right. So here's to good habits!