Boot Camp, Leaps of Faith & Sucking Marrow from Life

Obstacles of Course - Mental or Physical?

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life…                                                                                                           – Henry David Thoreau from his work Walden: Or, Life in the Woods

I went to Boot Camp and Discovered that I am capable of so much more, I am capable of pushing through fear and self doubt. Capable of working hard for 4 hours at a time, in heat and with little sleep. I sucked the marrow out of life this weekend and loved it!

This past weekend I went with my Step into Life Group (outdoor group personal training) to a Scout Camp Site in Mt Martha. The brief was 4 hours training Saturday afternoon, backed up with another 4 hour session Sunday morning. Over the weekend we carried a metal “rifle” pole  and ran in lines, got punished with a lot of pushups, went through a obstacle course (twice) then put together a “structure” with ropes, water containers, wooden poles, logs, tires all joined together and carried it as a team. We played capture the flag, ran hills in the heat, worked out on sand at the beach, ran relays and more push ups and sit ups…. well you get the picture.                                                                             It was hard work… But as I say, all things that are worth achieving are hard!

Two moments over the weekend stood out for me – the first was conquering something I was afraid to do last boot camp….the Fireman’s Pole. The pole was in the obstacle course, basically you climb a structure, then put your legs around the pole and slide down… sounds simple, but I couldn’t do it last boot camp and I was so scared this time. But with the help, guidance and support of my team I slid down that pole like it was covered in butter! Then celebrated with a decisive fist pump and a big YES!

The next moment was the Leap of Faith…. With the first day and the first 4 hours over, we had some free time before dinner, so 4 of us headed down to the beach.  One of my friends said he knew of a spot just down the road, and that it was not just any beach – It was jumping off a cliff into the water! I thought that it sounded like fun, so down we went to the beach walking down the cliffs to where there were quite a few groups of people (mostly young guys in their 20’s mind you) were jumping off the cliffs into the cool water. It didn’t look high from a distance but standing at the edge was a whole other matter.

My friend went in, (he jumped and didn’t die so i knew it was safe 😉 – No seriously we did check the depth before jumping in… After he was safely in the water  I went down to the edge of the cliff ready to jump – It was here that I FROZE. Yep, there I was with guys in their 20’s around me saying “comon, you can do it” and I was completely frozen. I wanted to jump, but just couldn’t do it I was paralyzed with fear. So I moved back from the edge, shaking and disappointed in myself.

My next friend jumped in – she did a great job and then I decided to have another go, So I moved to the edge, the problem was every time I looked down into the clear water, I just froze… I then decided to focus on my friends faces – stop thinking (and psyching myself out) and just take a step out. And that is what I did – jumping 3.5 – 4 meters into the clear cool water below.

It was a rush as I took that leap off the edge. Facing a fear and pushing through it was awesome – not being stuck on the cliff looking like a sook was good too! I hit the water and popped up to the surface quickly, and it was all over!   After all 4 of us had jumped into the water we swam for a while, and then my friend got out climbed the cliff and jumped the off the 10m cliff – Awesome to watch and his efforts were out of my league!

I remember that my parents used to say to me “if your friends jumped off a cliff, would you follow?” – If they asked my that today the answer would be ABSOLUTELY 🙂

Cliff Diving was not something I would have considered 12 months ago, I loved the jump (in the end) but more than that – I was living life and present in the moment, not eating dip and chips in a corner somewhere, wishing I was living life with everyone else!                                           I had the strength to climb the cliffs down to the spot, the confidence to jump, and the strength to climb up out of the water and climb the rock face back up to the top. That was a great feeling and realization as to how much life has changed for the better…

On Sunday after a beach workout (think lots of sand running and dragging stuff) we had to run 4km back to camp mostly up hill. The last hill was a killer, it was a hot, hot, hot morning and I managed to ran most of it, with a few quick walking breaks along the way… But every time I stopped to walk a bit, I had to keep telling myself – “You are fitter than this” “You can finish this – keep running” – It was a great feeling to finish it – working hard all weekend right to the end was great. Even the DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) today is good pain – It is good because I know that I worked really hard to earn it.

Our trainer Dave put in a great deal of work over the weekend for us to have a fun and challenging time! Thanks Dave! – Plus a big thanks to all my friends and team mates who without encouragement from I wouldn’t have slid down a fire man’s pole, or jumped off a cliff !

While they might not be completely new learnings, this weekend I came away with the following being reinforced;

*I am capable of more than I think, and then some more on top of that too!

*Real friends encourage you to achieve and break down your own barriers.

*I enjoy spending time with people who love living life.

*I will continue to live deliberately and suck the marrow out of life and every moment possible.

Thanks for reading (especially this long post), Till next time,

Lin xox

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Does Real Lasting Change Start SMALL?

Enjoy it one small bite at a time!

All difficult things have their origin in that which is easy, and great things in that which is small , Lao Tzu.

We often over look or diminish the small changes in our lives. We wonder why we aren’t able to maintain the massive changes we initiated at the start of the year (i.e NYE resolutions)… We try to change much in a short space of time, not allowing our brains to really fully adjust to the “New” state of play.

In reality there is no new state of play, there is only a radically altered playing field that is foreign to us. I believe that when we try to change things quickly, most of the time our thinking and processing are not able to keep up. We try to do it all at once, many times I have thought and voiced the idea of  “All or Nothing”, and I can think like this, but in reality and upon reflection, it is small consistent changes  that have impacted on my habits the most and have given me the best outcomes.

Here are some examples of small changes I made;

I began walking 5km about 3 times a week, after a few weeks, unwittingly I increased this to every second day, after a few more weeks, I increased it to everyday…. Then over the coming weeks I increased the distance to 10km every day…. I did not start out at 10km every day – I allowed my body and mind to adjust slowly over time… Building the habit, increasing the frequency and the intensity. Had I said at the start, “I will walk 10km everyday” I doubt I would have developed it into a habit….(In fact I know it wouldn’t have because I had tried that before) But I did over time build it up… And it was only on reflection that I realised that this was what I did, originally I didn’t have a plan, I only liked getting out and walking on the beach and because it made me feel good I did it more often. The walking lead to running, short distances lead to long distances – but all of this was over time and done gradually.

Recently I have been moving to a more protein focused diet and reducing my carb intake. I started with the focus on one meal a day, moving from breakfast, to lunch, to dinner…a friend said start small with breakfast,  very smart advice; I am still working on this change in diet – but am making small incremental changes over time that will hopefully add up to healthier habits in the end.

———

Now that I have less weight to lose it doesn’t come off as easily – I now understand the pain of losing that last 5kg – It seems like a small number, and it is hard to move… I used to be able to move 5kg quite easily (but that was when I had a lot to lose). Now I am down to the thin end of the stick 😉 – where it is all about the small changes, the small choices. It is where choice builds on choice. I need to remember that I can divide this number into smaller numbers, look at it as 1 kilo at a time, essentially breaking down the job into smaller jobs – take those first steps and make the small incremental changes.  Because I know that if i am true to myself they will add up to a healthier me.

Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.
Lao Tzu

And while this blog is about losing weight, and reclaiming my life, I think that these principles can be applied to most areas of our life where we want change. Finances, weight, fitness, career progression, study etc.

Someone once said, “take a bite and then chew like crazy!” – I say  “Bite off a little, and enjoy it one mouthful at a time so you don’t go crazy”

It is about taking stock of the situation, being honest with ourselves and not getting overwhelmed by the reality – then – breakdown the problem into SMALL changes that overtime will allow us to enjoy the greater journey of overall impact.

Till next time, Lin xox

Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.                                              Henry Ford.

Food Day Tuesday; You’ve Lost that Focused Feeling.

My Net Diary App - A great tool

This Food Day Tuesday is a bit about what I am struggling with at the moment – FOOD.        Having a Lap Band does not prevent you from consuming too many calories. With the lap band you can cheat it. You can eat ice-cream, chocolate and drink calories and eat mushy food. I feel am close to slipping into this arena…

I have lost that focused feeling… That feeling where I feel in control and the actions of tracking my food intake with my calorie app on my iphone.

That is over.. Starting now – not tomorrow – now… I will be tracking every last morsel that goes into my mouth again. I will re focus and use the tools that I know work… All this being said – I haven’t gone mental and completely lost the plot… I just feel that I am not being true to myself and my new lifestyle and goals. I have been eating a little too frequently things that I should not be.

I have not been looking at my portions and adding up the calories. I know that this can be dangerous. Nothing has really changed on the scale yet… But I know that being mindful and aware of the food that is going into my mouth is important. Saying NO to my own wants and desires where food is concerned is important. One thing that I can do now, that I couldn’t do years ago – is throw food out – so If I do succumb at the supermarket and buy something like a tub of ice-cream and then realize I will eat the whole bloody tub in one sitting, I can throw it out before I get too far into it. Better in the bin than on my butt 😉

I need to learn to say No again – like I just did to a glass of wine offered by my house mate Lynn (who is awesome). I need to remember that feeling of control. I need to plan, implement the plan, measure my actions, review what I am doing – adjust and continue. This also includes measuring my calories burnt from exercise.

So here is the plan of attack;

*Track all my calories on the My Net Diary App.

*Track all my exercise on same App.

*Meditate each day to focus my mind

*Tracking my sleeping patterns and trying to bring them back into some semblance of routine. (This is difficult with shift work)

*Be gentle to myself and not mentally berate myself.

*Eat out less and make better choices when I do.

So I thought that it was important to share my struggles at the moment, I have gotten a bit of feedback from people congratulating me on all my good work – this is always great and always welcome 😉 – but if i didn’t share the tough times this blog would be a sham and I would only be presenting a false front… So if you have any feedback or any other suggestions to improve my plan of attack they are always welcome..

Till next time

Lin xox

Crispy Bacon & Face! – Summer Running Tips…

Red Faced - Burnt and Embarrassed at my own stupidity!

Saturday morning started off perfectly… It was a blissful start to the weekend, I met a friend for breakfast at the beach cafe and overlooking the water we caught up. I ate a delicious corn fritters, with crispy bacon and sipped chai lattes.

Then pulling out our books or in actual fact our kindles, (I do love my new kindle) we sat reading and sharing the best bits of our books… Perfect morning, weather was just warm, slightly overcast and the plan was after the 3 hour breakfast to go home, change and head out on a run.

So that was what I did. Went home, got changed and while it was still just warm and overcast I headed out… Rookie mistake for summer running #1 – I forgot to put on sunscreen and clear zinc…For some reason it didn’t occur to me – I am not used to running in the afternoons, and prefer night or early morning before dawn.

So out I headed, into the overcast Melbourne weather down to my beach path to run.

Before I started I decided to try for 8km today rather than the 6km I thought of earlier in the day, my rationale was if I was not going well at the 3km point I could turn around and shorten it to a 6km run.

Recently I have been struggling to run in summer, my heart rate has been topping out causing me to stop briefly, so I set my Garmin watch to just show my heart rate, and ran to keep it stable rather than focus on time, it was a pleasant run, it was warming up and I was working up a great sweat, at the 3km run I felt great, strong and ready to take it to the 4km turn around. Then the clouds cleared and it got warmer, It was just before the 4km turn around that I realized that I had not put on my zinc or sunscreen… There was not a lot I could do about it now, as I was just as far from home as I was close.

I didn’t feel like I was burning (I found out later I was), and my heart rate was climbing, but still under control, so I turned at 4km and headed back. I ran back to my start point at Mordi beach, then very hot – hopped straight into the water to cool off… It wasn’t enough, the damage had been done, and despite feeling great about completing the 8km I was headed for trouble .

Getting home I noticed that my nose and forehead were a little red. I had some water, quick shower and nap before heading to work at 6pm. I woke redder than I thought I would, and continued to crisp up as the night went on, Initially at work I felt sick, but after 2 hours felt better – that is until 1am – I was sicker than I have been in a long time, couldn’t stop being sick and had to call my parents to come pick me up and drive me home….

My work colleague believed that I had heat stoke and that despite all the water I was drinking my body (face, neck and chest) were still cooking and had become redder as the night went on.  I was crispier than the bacon I had for breakfast.

So now I am at home, it is Sunday night, I have had to call in sick and I am trying to sip water – sit in the air con and give my body time to recover… my face is puffy and red and I am very grateful for good friends who will deliver Gatorade and Icypoles 🙂 which have made me feel a lot better!

What I have learnt about summer running –

*Always, always always wear sunscreen and clear zinc – wear a hat or visor if hats make you too hot.

*Listen to your body – Run to a heart rate marker not time, – you still run hard and workout, some days you can’t do your usual pace and this is ok.

*Be smart about the time of day you run… If I must run during the early arvo – loop around water bottle stops or stop along the route more often to hydrate.

*Make sure I am adequately hydrated before the run.

*Still walk out to cool down stretch out after the run despite being hot.

*Re-hydrate after the run and cool down quickly if over hot.

*If you feel sick – rest – (don’t try to stay at work, no one wants to throw up in front of colleagues, and no one wants to see that)

Well till next time, I am off to watch the tennis and keep hydrating..

(A Very Crispy) Lin xox

The Law of Attraction

What am I choosing to attract in my life?

One of the best things about losing weight is feeling better about yourself; inside and out. It is the journey of feeling better on the outside that has changed dramatically for me, I have  started to make changes in how I view myself; and I have noticed that other people now view me differently too.

When I was walking everyday after I had the lap band in, I walked at night so no one could see me easily. At my heaviest I used to get people (particularly young guys) hang out of cars and yell abuse at me during the day, when I was walking up the shops, crossing the lights – Believe it or not but  near my highest weight I once had an apple thrown at my head when I was out walking at night..                                                                                                                       It was devastating & demoralising – I did not feel good about myself, Inside or Out.

I was speaking to someone the other day about the idea that we (as in individuals) shouldn’t care about what other people think about us. He challenged me when I said this, and suggested that the idea may be flawed in some aspects. He then suggested that we are social beings, we live, work and exist in community and what we say and our actions  impact each other…. Given this he suggested it is logical that we care about what other people think about us, it is a normal part of life. We care about what family and friends think of us and we don’t want people to think poorly of us. He is a well respected Psychologist and I got what he was suggesting, and agreed with it…

The fact is as much as I didn’t want to care about what other people thought about me, I did care that people yelled abuse at me, I did care that apples got thrown at me from cars; I did care and It hurt.

I sometimes still think that people see me as that fat girl, and It is an idea that I have to challenge on an ongoing basis. People don’t treat me like that fat girl anymore and I am starting to train my brain to actually “see” myself as I am now. I have gone from guys throwing insults and apples, to being whistled at on the street, or being flirted with in a bar – A very different experience, and something that is hard to get your head around.

I have noticed that the better I feel about myself, the more confidence I have, the more I smile, flirt and generally have fun with life and people. Confidence is an amazing feeling – and while I don’t have any delusions that I am some sort of super model (I do have curves for a start 😉 ), I feel good about myself and this is nice for a change.

Basically I liken it to the law of attraction – the idea that “like attracts like”… I am more confident, happy and loving life and therefore live a life like this. I now attract people in my life that are confident, happy and loving life.

I am sharing this because I think looking back I was not that person, I was not happy in myself and perceived other people who were successful as a threat to me.

The law of attraction for me back then was “I feel crap, and will attract crap in my life” –  I viewed life and people negatively.  That is no longer the case, I view life more positively now, and will continue to embrace life and understand that confidence begets confidence, it is this cycle and knowledge, that I believe, will help me to keep hold of the gains and progress that I have made.

Till next time,

Lin xox

Ubound Fitness (Who Bound, I Bound – Can Ubound?)

Maybe Calvin Harris should have sung "Bound" instead of Bounce, cos this is FUN!

Monday night I stepped out of a Comfort Zone and into the world of following a trainer lead fitness class (akin to an aerobics class) and even with my mad lack of co-ordination I really surprised myself and enjoyed it!

I didn’t just go to any fitness class – It was a UBound Class. A What Class? Well that was my reaction when I first heard the name. Turns out that UBound uses mini trampolines and creates a cardio and toning program over an hour. This worried me a little at the start – because even though I work out, and am fairly fit – I have a serious lack of co-ordination at times and am clumZEEE ! (I have been known to trip over flat ground people)

So despite this, some of my friends back in the eastern burbs have been going to a local class, and I decided that given I was going to be in the area, I would go,,catching up with friends and burning calories at the same time… Win win!

It was Hot on Monday – and It was hotter on the tramp – But the workout (Run by the fabulous Beck) was awesome… There were a few times that I felt that I was not getting all the steps, but my heart rate was crankin, and it was loads of fun. Turns out that the trampoline means there is very little impact, and you work against gravity too! I also learnt that Bounding is different to bouncing – We do not want to bounce people. We want to bound… This means pushing your feet down into the tramp and staying low… Very cool, very intense. If you can’t visualise what I am talking about then check out the You Tube Video. Ubound – Radical Fitness – YouTube.

Overall the session pushed my heart rate to a Max of 195 (very happy with this) and I burnt around 600calories. The abs set was hard core and I am sure it will bring on some DOMS – but then I will know that the workout was worth it… Also only $10 for the hour –  means value for money and I was one happy bounder! If you live near the Bayswater North area and are looking for a workout that will change up your routine, I highly recommend it.  Here is the link to the Open Facebook Group with the details.                                                           U bound at Arrabri Community Centre – Bayswater North

Till Next Time

Lin xox

Food Day Tuesday – Mango Salsa with Pork

Mango Salsa & Pork (sorry for the bad iphone image)

In the Summer Time when the weather is Fine, you’ve got salad, you’ve got salad on your mind! Well Hey I have salad on my mind… and there is no salad like a salsa when it’s hot.

On Monday night I was cooking for a friend at her place, so I needed something quick, easy, and tasty.. I had made this a month or so ago and posted a photo on FB, Jules liked the photo so I thought I would cook it for her.

I love the idea of different types of Salsa’s. A good Salsa is fresh with a zing. In this case the mango and avocado work together with the crunch of corn, capsicum and sping onions, the Zing was proudly brought to you by the juice of  Lemon and Lime… All the players came together to form the prefect accompaniment to the oven baked (slightly spicy) pork.

I got my Pork from Woolworth’s – it is a ready to go vacum pack called –  Butterflied pieces of pork with herbs and spices. I set the oven to 180c and then pan fried the pork sealing each side, then popped it on an oven tray (with some baking paper on the bottom for easier cleaning) & wacked it in the oven for about 30mins (note if one piece is thicker than the other you may need to put it in for a little longer taking the thinner pieces out to rest.)

You could use other Pork, like a cutlet and marinate it yourself…                                     Don’t like Pork – You could also do the salsa with lamb or chicken.                                                                       If you are vegetarian or vegan – tofu would be nice (you could rub a little chilli and lemon on it and pan fry it quickly) add a few cashew nuts to the salsa too. Just make the salsa before quickly pan frying your tofu!

The alternative to cooking in the Oven is the BBQ. I like the Oven method it makes it juicy – the BBQ will do the same if you are a good BBQer – and the trick is again to seal it on the BBQ and then turn it down to cook slowly and not burn or dry it  out.

Now onto the Salsa – While this is cooking in the oven, I grab a big bowl and put the following in..

1 can of Corn Kernels (420g) drained

1/2  Large Red Capcium (or 1 smaller one) (diced into small pieces)

3 Sping Onions, finely sliced (into rounds)

1 Mango – slice off the cheeks, then cross hatch and scoop out of skin with a spoon, chop other bits off the mango as you can (before hitting the stone) into cubes.

1 Avocado – Halve lengthways and then take stone out (with a sharp knife hit the stone, twist and it will pop out) then cross hatch each half and scoop out with a teaspoon.

Juice of 1/2 lemon & 1/2 Lime (or a full lemon if you have no lime) this is important for zesty flavour and also to stop anything from browning.

Stir it all together gently, the avacado may breakdown a little but will add to the citrus dressing. I put a little crack of sea salt over it too. All ready to go!

So when the Pork is cooked I let it rest for a few minutes before slicing it, plate the pork with some rocket leaves (for a peppery flavour) and the salsa – I use the salsa as a bit of a condiment with the pork… Very tasty and ready in around 35mins – Love Summer!        This is quick and If I can say so myself tastier than take away!

Oh BTW  the Packet of Pork (approx 700gm) and the Salsa recipe will feed 4 people

Till next time

Lin xox