Evil Easter Bunnies…

If I could photoshop I would have made his eyes look evil to reflect his true character.. Actually if you look closely he does look like he is hiding something.

Have you heard the bad news…. It is about the Bunny… We used to be close, I was once so fond of him; but he is abusive and I am sorry to tell you – a little evil.

Sure, he looks cute, with his little red bow and bell. He is all shiny and gold, with a teenie tiny nose, And by God if he doesn’t just taste like a tiny piece of heaven… all creamy, velvety, smooth; so very smooth. OK enough of the food porn… Back to the point of the post.

I got back to my training classes this week – Cardio on Saturday morning and then a fitball session – Whilst there; the amazing Dave (our trainer) decided to educate us on the Evils of Easter. Dave (being the good trainer he is) tells us that the bunny to which I refer *cough Lindt cough* has a little secret, for the 200gm size bunny – he packs a big 1086 calories, that is pretty much your whole daily intake of energy for the day, all sugar, all going straight to storage (also known as fat cells) Yikes! I couldn’t believe it, surely Dave was wrong,  But I looked it up, and if you don’t believe me I have added the calorie king link below.

Sure I know it is Easter, and the phrase Easter Scrooge was bandied about yesterday in relation to Dave, but these little treats add up friends… A bunny here, an elegant rabbit there, a chocolate creme egg or two, and then there are the hot cross buns, best I don’t get started on those; someone is likely to take a contract out on me…

Some might call me a kill joy – Yes I have eaten a few eggs this Easter (a big basket of free eggs at work didn’t help) but it is over – I have cut myself off… Most people will get their stashes of chocolate today – I dare you to add up the calories of your collection, remembering that you have to burn 7700 calories to lose a kilogram of fat…I think It is easier not to eat it in the first place… I burnt around 400 calories in a one hour cardio session yesterday… So Lindt you can keep your bunny, have him back – for around 3 hours of hard work – He’s just not worth it…

Enjoy your Easter, till next time – Lin xox

CalorieKing.com.au – Food Data. Nutrition information about your favourite food. fat, fibre, protein and more.

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The Best Medicine (is half an hour)

23 and 1/2 hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health? – YouTube

Seriously, Watch the link above, it is a great watch; I love an easy to follow, informative animated presentation – and I am not going to write about the ins and outs of the video – Just watch it, it is better than any summary I can write. Surprisingly  it does touch on a post  I wrote a while ago in relation to TV and health…But If you don’t watch it the premise is that one half hour a day is the best medicine for us, it’s free (ie walking) and will save us our health and hip pocket!

I just got the big thumbs up from my surgeon this week to go ahead with exercise. I had reconstructive plastic surgery of a tummy tuck and arm lift 6 weeks ago. He let me know I can get back into everything: slowly building up my running and weights… I did my first 2.5km run back after 6 weeks off this week – I Loved it, I went without my Garmin running watch which calculates distance, pace, heart rate etc. I went just for the love of running and not looking at numbers allowed me to relax and let my body go at its natural pace whilst I continue to recover and build up.

Exercise for me is not just about losing more weight or weight control. For me exercise just makes me feel really bloody good! I am addicted and get a bit of a high off it 🙂

Exercise has improved my quality of life and improved my overall fitness. It gave me my life back, and I would much prefer to live a 21 -23.5 hour day (giving the balance to exercise) than ask for more hours in a day – Honestly there ARE enough hours in a day; and I am willing to bet that a large majority of people who would ask for more hours would end up giving those hours over to their TV habit anyway. 😦

We cannot change the clock to give us more time (unless you have the DeLorean with a flux capacitor in your garage), but we can change our priorities, our lives, families and communities by becoming healthier. Every minute counts, and it is up to us what we do with them.

Till next time

Lin xox

“Not Running”

going a little crazee!

I think I am going a little stir crazy.. Yesterday I woke, tired exhausted and grumpy. I knew that after being out for dinner two nights in a row to see my friends, (one who just flew in from the UK) I was due for a day home. I started off quite enjoying the day, I got up, dressed, and then onto the net for a look at some of my favorite sites,Esty and Pinterest (I may be addicted). I chatted to a friend on the phone…And then, I got restless…

It was a lovely day outside, some friends had posted on FB about their training for an upcoming event (tough mudder), I was super jealous and my brain just wanted to chuck on my running gear and head out the door; my body on the other hand was still on strike.

I was driving my housemate (Lynn) mad, by saying I would rest, and proceed then roam around the apartment like a nutter; cleaning out under the laundry sink, cleaning out my bedside table, throwing away junk, and counting up my spare change collection ($70 was a nice little bonus). I would return to sit on my bed and write between these little outbursts, but I was really just wanting to burn off all this mental energy.  Exercise is a great way for me to unwind and do this, somehow on a long run I can turn the music on, let my legs pump away and allow the thoughts of the day wash past me, running exhausts me physically and aligns my thought patterns, it has become the feel good drug for me, it replaced food… I do not like the feeling of not running,  not cycling or not working out at Step into Life classes. It doesn’t feel right…

Before surgery I thought that I would struggle with this; the being stuck at home, not moving, not being as active as I want to be… Honestly it scares me, not exercising and or being active feels too much like my old life. This coupled with the fluid retention, swelling and exhaustion; well it is not a great combo…

But then this morning (after another fitful night sleep) I awoke with a little more energy, each day is one day closer to a full healthy recovery and running, that is what I need to focus on; I also felt like I could perhaps start to go for short walks, I checked with my surgeon House this afternoon after a minor procedure to remove some more fluid, he said YES to walking now. So it is all systems go from tomorrow; Slowly of course 🙂

Till next time, Lin xox

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

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

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