Spring…

What a marvellous day today… I woke up at 8am – unheard of for a shift worker, and unlike myself I could not get back to sleep. So remembering that it was the first Saturday of the month (and coincidentally the first day of Spring)  I toddled off to the farmers market up the road to make the most of the glorious blue skies, and get some bread, pesto and delicious tarts… Don’t worry they were lemon tarts so goes towards the fruit count right. 😉

Well after that, and buying some fresh flowers for the house, my house mate Lynn and I (yes same name different spelling) set about planting all our new plants for the balcony. Seemed fitting it being the first day of spring. We had to make another trip to Bunnings Hardware for 2 more bags of soil though…we did add up all the pots litreage and got a bit more but apparently you have to compensate for soil compacting – lesson learnt.

As smart as I am I decided to finish the job in bare feet. And after I (klutz) bashed my foot into a 10kg bag of pebbles, and then the steel rail that holds the air conditioner unit in place, I realised that my feet were the colour of the ace of spades… Not to worry I found the perfect solution, a scrub with the ex-boyfriends toothbrush – cathartic and practical.

When we finished the planting we topped the afternoon with some lovely green tea and the citrus tarts on the balcony (pic above)… Just before heading to work… Bring on Spring!                                                                                                                             ( Ps; Sorry about the quality of the photos, just used the iPhone before work.

Keep Smiling, Lin xox

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The “Boyfriend Cake” Flop

I haven’t posted this for tea and sympathy, It is more about being true and honest in this blog; and my journey. That being said, sometimes, some cakes, well they just don’t work out.

The ingredients you thought were there at the start, turned out to not be the true ingredients that you thought you were working with. Fortunately I realised this sooner than later. In my case the BF couldn’t keep up appearances or subterfuge any longer, the cake was cracking at the sides and had turned into a fruit cake – a fruit cake that was full of alcohol – bringing out a very different man to the guy I first met.

So after a few less than ideal conversations and being spoken to with anger and disrespect I ended it. He wanted to gloss over the issues and said I was stubborn, I said that being spoken to with contempt by seasoned drinker with anger issues was not something I was willing to compromise on, he could call that what he liked – but we would not be getting back together.

Saying goodbye wasn’t hard actually, I felt strong and know that I am worthy of more – Honestly the disappointment came in the form that he wasn’t the right guy and back to square one; but I do believe that I am happier single than in a bad relationship. So my focus is on continuing to live and love life, taking a break from dating and just enjoying every moment.

Testing all this stuff out has been tough, maybe tougher than losing the weight (mmm, maybe not) but I am proud that my self-esteem is strong, and that I continue to learn more about myself and relationships across all areas of my life. Being true to who I am is really the best feeling.

Have a great day, I know I will,  till next time – Lin xox

The Boyfriend Cake…

I haven’t posted in quite a while, sorry about that. There have been many many things going on with life and to be honest up until my tonsils came out 1 week ago, i really had limited energy and used every moment of it to just get by, sleeping enough to recuperate and go back to work for my next shift. Sounds a bit doldrum like – but it is the truth.

Something funny happened a few months ago. I was still (in a much slower capacity) dating and had met someone online that I thought I would give a chance at a real life date. So we met up… and it is still going well, almost 3 months in now and I would suppose that he has the title of boyfriend (BF seems like an odd term at my age) Honestly he has done pretty well at being around sick Lin for the last few months, and in recovery stage post surgery as well!

But navigating a relationship at this age and stage of my life is quite different to other stages of my life, and it is different again to dating. Whilst dating I had in my head that I wanted to be in a committed relationship, but the reality is different again to the expectations, and with that comes a lot of personal reflection and self assessment.

I am learning that a Relationship is essentially expectations of self and others, negotiating these expectations and understanding that time will impact on the trajectory of the “us” that springs forth.

I am a fairly forthright person and believe that truth in love and kindness is what is needed (with a good pinch of timing) but it is a bit like baking a cake, there is a recipe (proportion / ingredients) and a lot of mess that makes a good cake and time will tell if the cake is going to rise to the occasion. The same goes for us I suppose. It is fun, messy, tiring, exhilarating and yep the cake is still baking… But I will sit back and enjoy the process, and enjoy getting to know the me and the him in the “us”.

Till next time, Lin xox

Carnie Wilson & Lap Band Surgery – Options

Carnie, front & centre in Wilson Phillips.

“If you Hold on for one more day, things will go your way”…I am not sure if you remember Wilson Phillips, the 3 daughters of two of the Beach Boys who had the hit “Hold On”… Well I remember them, mostly because I identified with Carnie who was overweight.  Carnie, has an amazing voice, unfortunately received more notoriety for her size rather than her ability to belt out a tune. I remember when she under went gastric by-pass surgery in 1999 and the press that she received.

Carnie did great with the by-pass surgery, and I remember thinking after she lost her weight that surgery might be an option for me… However I just could not get my head around this type of surgery,where the stomach is basically bypassed and the food you eat doesn’t get absorbed properly. You do eat smaller portions, but the permanent change by chopping up and rearranging the digestive system scared the crap out of me…

I knew that Carnie put on some weight after the birth of her children, and now I read that she has recently had lap band surgery in January (see link below). After having a lap band put in 4 years ago (and losing over 175 pounds in the process) I know the change it has made for me, and, I am glad that it is helping Carnie get her weight down again, but this leads me to a sticking point I have with weight loss surgery…

Why is the least invasive option not explored first? I know for some people’s life style Lap Band won’t work, they will try to cheat the band… But why is there such a propensity especially in the USA to go down the path of organ altering permanent surgery first? Lap Band does take a little longer to get the weight off, it is not easy, but it can be reversed and removed and with no damage to the stomach or digestive system (barring complications). The other reason lap band should be a well-considered 1st option is that it is adjustable and can be tightened and loosened depending on life circumstances and need to lose weight or maintain. Therefore if you get pregnant and need calories, it can be adjusted, If you hit goal, it can be adjusted… If you are not feeling restricted it can be tightened a little…

I feel for Carnie, honestly one of my biggest fears (apart from birds) is putting weight back on…  But I am scared when the weight loss industry and surgeons take the most drastic surgery option as a first step, and sell this options to desperate people as the quickest and easiest way forward. Lap Banding has its issues too, but cutting the stomach out, bypassing it and taking food straight to the intestines should surely not the very first surgical option given to patients today.  I do understand that Lap Band has come a long way since 1999, and that maybe for Carnie it was rightly not a first option… But why do the stats in the States still show that gastric bypass is still the top choice?

Are we providing people with all the options first… The truth is no. It seems that it is up to the obese “consumer” to do all the research and surgeons offer their “service”, like picking a product off a shelf. I have an issue with this. I did my research, that is the type of woman I am, but desperate people are often “sold” a solution rather than their HEALTH treated with CARE…

I am lucky, I got a great Surgeon who did go over all the options with me, listened to me, I was, and, still am cared for by him, but not everyone is as lucky… I would like to see the weight loss industry, whether diet, exercise or surgery overhauled. I would like the industry to stop selling to people, and start caring for people, But honestly, I don’t expect to see it in my lifetime – there are too many desperate people and too much money at stake.

Till next time, Lin

Carnie Wilson Undergoes Lap-Band Surgery – E! Online.

The issue with tonsils – Advice needed

My tonsils are inflamed and toxic, they are actually poisoning me, and are now resistant to antibiotics . I have seen an ear nose and throat surgeon and have a surgery date for the 1st of August to have the buggers taken out.

My issue is at the moment, every time I push myself to exercise, do my long runs and training sessions, I end up getting sicker. My Doctor has advised me to stop stressing my body and ease off my training… This is difficult and is upsetting me. I want  to do a half marathon in 3 weeks that I have entered, but every time I push myself I get sicker and taking 3 – 4 days to get better;  The tonsils get worse, I find it hard to swallow and I get a temperature and headaches that don’t go away..

It seems like a no brainer, stop pushing myself… But that is what I do now – I push myself, I love the feeling of pushing my limits, long runs and proving I can do it…

I am really unsure about continuing my running training at the moment, or if i will be able to compete in the half marathon… this makes me want to cry a little…

To all my runner friends out there, Any one got any advice here? Should I keep going with some 10km & 15km and then push it on the day? or stop and take a break on the long runs until the tonsils are gone???

Till next time, Lin.

When the going gets tough

Remember that 80’s song that Billy Ocean sang, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going, when the going gets rough, the tough get rough… Argh Billy, you are the best who would have thought that your cheesy love song would get me through my tough run this morning. Thanks mate 😉

So let me tell you a little of my latest training run. I was supposed to meet up with my running group on Sunday morning, but with work it didn’t happen… This meant that I had to squeeze the run in sometime and soon. I decided that After my Sunday night shift I would go out and pound the pavement for the 14k that I missed. I got home from work around 2:30am and was out the door roughly 15mins later. It was cold – super cold actually with the mercury hitting 2 degrees Celsius (or 36 Fahrenheit)  it was close to freezing out, but there was no wind so it wasn’t unpleasant, plus I knew that within the first 2km I would warm up enough.

I did a simple out and back track, given the hour of the morning I like to stick to roads and paths that are well-lit and not isolated. After talking to friend that runs earlier in the week, I decided to try a tip he gave me (thanks DW). I have had trouble trying to regulate my pace a little or speed up when I feel myself slowing. He suggested that I visualise myself running just in front of myself, and speed up to beat the me in front… Well I am happy to report that this worked, especially on the 3rd km which is always my toughest.

I often visualise and see the course laid out in my head, play mind games of how far till the next point and visualise good running form, this helps me in a number of ways, to stay distracted, to change posture and not slouch, and to complete the run.

I was running, loving it and all was good, I was enjoying the beat myself game and running at a good consistent pace for me, actually at my best overall pace yet (matching it from last season) Feeling good I turned around at the 7km mark and headed back… it was all good until I started the eleventh kilometre. I completed the 10th well, but then felt like my body hit a wall,, my legs were heavy, I felt zapped and I just kept telling myself that I only had 4k’s more… I was using all my metal arsenal to keep me out there. Fat Lin was screaming at me to give up, and walk a short cut home, But Fit Lin kept trying to hush her and say you have already done 10km what is another 4…

I was on struggle street – Big time… I kept saying to myself, this is tough, my legs were heavy as rock and I felt that I was running through mud (tough mudder is still a few months away) but then, somehow I heard Billy Ocean in my head. I was listening to some Dance music at the time, all my running playlists are hand-picked mind you, designed to pick me up and push me forward. But Billy, oh Billy – you came to the rescue… I heard his little love song and the chorus was ringing in my ears and It helped me push through. It wasn’t the only thing that helped, I also decided that finishing was more important to me than my time. This gave me permission to run at the slower pace (a pace that I couldn’t seem to speed up beyond anyway) and get the job done.

I did make it home, did the full 14km… and even though it was a little slower than I would have liked, after stretching and rolling out I was very pleased that I did not defeat myself and used the mental toughness that I have been building up to get me home…

Now to start visualizing running further again next Sunday… The battle is in the brain sometimes 🙂

Keep running, Till next time – Lin

Rollin’ rollin’ rollin…Running & Injury Prevention.

A little runners joke! – I would love this on a running singlet…

Running is great, learning to run long distances is challenging and can place new strains on your body. As you increase distance your body begins to adapt to running, while this is good for some areas like building cardio fitness and leg stamina, there comes a point where running will begin to shorten your muscles and tighten other areas of tissue.

I was training for my first half marathon last year, when 3 weeks before the event I experienced extreme knee pain. I was running hills at the time and had never experienced this before. I got to roughly 8km and could not take the pain anymore. I stopped and walked back to the car, very despondent about my situation.

I booked straight into see my physio, who went through a bunch of tests, finally diagnosing me with a tight IT band. Basically this band of tough fibres run along the outside of the thigh – from the glute muscles along the outside of the thigh and attach to the tibia just below the knee. It works as a stabilizer when running, and helps the knee to track properly. When this tissue becomes tight it can pull out of alignment and cause rubbing – hence the pain, for me I felt this in the knee.

I saw the physio 3 – 4 times a week for 3 weeks prior to my race last year… This was expensive but worth every penny to relieve the pain and complete my goal. My physio also gave me one piece of equipment that I use all the time now before and after runs to make sure that I can work the IT band out myself and prevent any issues in the future. The magic piece of equipment is my foam roller.

Honestly I have a love / hate relationship with my blue roll of foam. I have a link below that shows you how to use a foam roller for the IT band from the runners world website. Personally I use this dense foam roll in a number of ways to work through my lower body. I use it to release my IT Bands, Hammies and Glute Muscles.

Honestly It hurts like hell to work out the tightness, but I know that it is releasing the muscles and fibres – allowing my body to stay supple and ready for the next run. A few minutes of rolling is a small price to pay for preventing injuries and stopping me reaching my goals. I try to roll out most days, but always after a run, sometimes both before and after plus I stretch out several times over the day and often for up to 15 – 20mins after my extended runs.

So if you are upping your kilometres, or increasing the number of runs you do each week; consider talking to your physio about options for stretches, foam rolling and yoga to avoid muscle tightness that can impacting on running. An ounce of prevention is worth it when you consider the alternatives 🙂

Injury Prevention Video | Runner’s World.

Stay supple, till next time – Lin