Sheeeeit. Cain’t git in mah pants no more.

I was doing SO well.

That’s what happens when your long holiday lazy summer turns into permanent lay-a-bed-loucher-lady year.

Truth: haven’t been to the gym since September. Another truth: I’ve been laying about, watching A LOT of Netflix/ Stan. I’ve become very sedentary. More truth: I’ve been enjoying a few too many sticky buns, carbohydrates, sweet things and alcomohol. Still more truth: I actually don’t mind the way I feel physically – I’m not too tired, I’ve got enough energy (I think), and I can still walk the dog. I’m healthy. But dang it. My pants don’t fit anymore. And I’m NOT BUYING ANY MORE CLOTHES.

This is why I must get me back to the gym. Because it’s too expensive if I don’t go. Also, I discovered a double chin and my bras are getting tight. My boobs are my bellwether because they are the first thing to go when I lose weight and the very last thing to grow back when I’ve put weight on everywhere else. They are telling me it’s time. This is me below:


Beached on the side of a mountain. Bellwether Boobs. That’s me.

I just want the weather to cool down: it’s so STEAMY here right now. I’m so sick of sweating even when I’m not moving. Truth be told I hate sweating even when I AM moving. Ugh.

I’m doing it. Come Saturday morning, I’m off to the gym. Just watch me. I can do this. (might need iron supplements and magnesium…and a big kick up the whatoosie.)

*Saturday edit: I never made it to the gym. Sad face.




In which I explain how I am on my way from A to B (A=misery, B=happiness)

Well, I will walk 500 miles and I will walk 500 more. Sorry. Ear worm. But it’s kind of true.

I am determined not to feel shitful this week. Because crap weekend and all. Exercise makes me feel better. So today is my over-sharing post about exercise, food and that little demon called indulgence.

Now that I have all this free time I’m getting to the gym 3 times per week. I feel fantastic afterwards and not sore anymore. I hate going but my personal trainer (not too expensive, it’s only 30 mins a week) also takes hour-long group HIIT classes, and I like the way she trains. So I’m weighing myself once a week on a Saturday morning (ugh, hideous), and I am slowly beginning to lose the weight again. I’m dropping between 500gms (1 lb) and 900gms (2 lbs) per week which is normal for me. It’s slow, it’s boring, but I’m starting to feel strong again and wanting to push myself a bit more.

As the weather heats up I will add a couple of swim sessions to my week – they seem to help me drop weight quite fast and I never feel sweaty afterwards although I do feel deliciously tired, and the pool is essentially empty between 8.30 – 9.30am. And if I can make it to even one yoga session I will gain flexibility. So I am hoping my week will start to look like this:

Monday: cardio and weights, then swim.

Tuesday: Personal training session, then cardio

Wednesday: cardio and weights, then swim

Thursday: HIIT session

Friday: swim then Yoga?

Saturday: HIIT session

Sunday: are you kidding me?

At the moment cut out Monday and Wednesday and you have a clearer picture of my ACTUAL week. I know I’m wanting to exercise more because on Monday morning my body is telling me to get moving. I have to exercise in the morning because I hate the evening heat. Better get me moving early before I overthink it.

However, despite all my good exercise intentions, my diet is a little horrible. I’ve been trying to reduce my food intake from about 2000 cal to 1500 cal – which is a perfectly reasonable amount of food for someone who is weight training and also trying to reduce a dress size or two. This is not so easy. I’m getting very hangry (angry hungry) while my body adjusts to the new portion sizes and I’m not always able to contain my eaty moments. So last night, for example, I ate a cup of home-made macaroni cheese as well as 2 lamb chops and a salad. Plus 2 glasses of white wine (I know, what was I thinking?) and some licorice bullets. Now, one of the above has to go. I’m thinking I need to reduce my wine intake again. And maybe my licorice bullets. And perhaps the lovely delicious carbs. According to my diet diary I was 222 cals over for the day.

Most days I manage to keep it at 1500-1700 cals, but I might be cheating a bit on portion sizes. ANYWAY. Last week was woeful. I’m struggling to be as disciplined as I was the first time I lost all the weight. I think it’s because my last diet was very restrictive in terms of carbs and sugars. I can do it, but actually my diet needs to be sustainable in the long term. As I’ve mentioned before, I nearly always eat freshly prepared unprocessed food. My worst diet enemy is my DH, who has a sweet tooth and who can eat crap all day long. I need to be able to have dessert from time to time, or eat pasta, or have a glass (or 2) of red wine. But it’s SO hard to LOSE weight without restrictions. Easy enough to MAINTAIN as long as the exercise stays consistent.

So here is my plan to get from A to B, in the form of diet and exercise.

  • Let’s start with Sober September. Well, not quite because why? but I’m saying it here: I’m cutting down to 1 glass of wine a night! MAYBE I’ll even have a night off drinking altogether. I know! Amazing!
  • I’m reducing my carb intake to 1 meal a day. So if I have my delicious sourdough soy-lin bread in the am, no high GI carbs for the rest of the day. Including (sniffle) pasta.
  • I’m reducing my pasta and rice intake again (but I LOVE my pasta)!
  • I’m cutting out evil ice-cream dessert. Including chocolate bullets. Even when DH just brings them out and flings the packet all over the couch along with the Rocky Road and the chocolate bars. (EVERY FREAKING NIGHT).
  • What shall I add instead? Well, I’ll go back on the nuts and seeds for snack food, and there’s always oranges and apples and bananas and strawberries to enjoy if I need a sweet something.
  • I’m gonna do the exercise plan above and not shirk on the Monday and Wednesday.

I’m on my way from A to B. I’m determined.

Determined to get fit!!!!

This post is for all the diet and health nuts out there. I am a very lazy person. I’m sure I’m not the world’s laziest person – that would be hyperbolic and smack of hubris. So for me to get back on the diet and fitness wagon is an effort.

I’m also not a runner – in the hot, humid Brisbane heat I can’t actually run because I get very lightheaded and puffy and look like I’m going to pass out. Heat will do that to people with low blood-pressure. And I’m an ex-smoker. I don’t think my lungs have ever really recovered. I would love to run. It looks self-sufficient, but I hate getting hot, sweaty and panicky. And I really can’t be bothered with the treadmill – I only go on one to get my muscles warm.

So I must find other ways to exercise. I like to swim. I like to lift free weights. I really like yoga. So last week I got back on the wagon, back on the horse, back on the treadmill.

Mondays and Fridays I see a personal trainer (at the moment until I can’t afford it any more), and because on these days I don’t work all day, I can stay there for more punishment. Last Monday I stayed for a Tabata class. Nearly killed me. Tabata is a regime whereby you do a body weight exercise for 20 seconds, have a 10 second rest, then repeat. 7 more times. Then you have a minute’s break and start the next exercise. Exercises can include Burpees, push ups, crunches, hi knees, lunges, squats and other things. You do this for an hour. When I’m fit it’s not too bad. When I’m out of condition, oh boy. Oh, boy oh boy.

Word of warning, if you do 3 x 120kg leg presses followed by weighted squats and lunges with your PT plus other fun stuff, then try and do a Tabata class, make sure you eat breakfast and be prepared to NOT SLEEP for THREE NIGHTS because when you turn over your body is in such pain it WAKES YOU UP.

On the plus side, I got to my next class on Friday and while I was in no condition to push myself too hard, I stayed and did some more weights, treadmill, seated rowing and stairs. It felt good to work my poor aching quads and glutes. OMG.

Food-wise I’m not faring too badly although I’m still a little generous with the carbs and potatoes. As I keep the diet up I’ll reduce my bread, pasta, rice and potato consumption and up my leafy green vegies and quinoa. Anyone who knows me knows I rarely eat junk food – can’t actually eat Micky D’s because the food doesn’t actually taste like food. Same for KFC and other fast food outlets. And I cut out milk from my coffee (except when substituting it for breakfast) and tea long ago. I hardly ever drink soft drink or juice – I actually prefer the taste of sparkling mineral water. My great weakness is sweet things, and/or hot chips. Once I get rid of the desire to eat these things I’ll do a lot better. But NEVER ask me to forgo my Pinot Noir. Even hubby knows not to ask now.

I’m back on MyFitnessPal and my calorie intake is hovering around the 1700 mark – this needs to drop by 200 calories for me to lose weight easily. Problem is, the weight goes straight back on if I ease up on the exercise. I’m not an exercise junkie so I can’t maintain my habits very well. SIGH. But I’m determined to get fit and healthy again – need it to maintain my ageing body!

And the weight loss treadmill begins! (again)

Yep, you heard it. In the week since my last weigh in I’ve lost 800 grams. I COULD call this a kilo but then I couldn’t include the breakfast I’ve not yet eaten. So my diet and health kick is working well. And for those who actually care about what I do, here it is in sordid detail.

In October 2012 I had had enough. After a trip to Greece in June that year my weight ballooned out to the mid 70s and I was looking and feeling like a little old middle-aged lady. It was not pretty. I felt old and tired and unattractive. Something snapped, and I made decisions. I went on a year-long health jag. Throughout this time I joined a small PT club. I worked with a personal trainer once a week, went to three exercise classes a week (boxing, HIIT), swam a lot, did some yoga, went on a diet (high protein, low sugar and low GI carbs), and lost all the weight and more that I had put on during my marriage. I was strong, fit, healthy and slim. I felt fantastic and easily fit into size 8 clothes. I think my lowest weight at this time was about 61kgs – I have no idea because I stopped weighing myself.

After Xmas 2013 I eased off a little. Maybe a little too much. I noticed I couldn’t fit into my litmus test pants: a pair of size 8 red jeans. Never mind, I thought, I’ll just go to some more classes. I got more and more laid back about my diet, my exercise and my health regime. I had a PhD to finish, y’all! I got busy at work. I dropped my PT now as it was too expensive to keep up now that I wasn’t going to so many classes. I joined a different gym. Ever so gently, my clothes sizes moved up a notch. From size 8 to size 9, then size 10. Now I was eyeing off size 11 clothes and then, in October last year, I bought a size 12 dress. Dang it. But I was enjoying wine and the good life too much to spend much time at the gym.

Then I bought some easy wear pants and they were a size 10. Cool. I was still ok. And then Xmas 2014. Oh dear. Whoopsy-doo. All that lost weight began to creep on around my waist. Buttons began to pop. Tops began to look frumpy again.

So I made a decision to refocus my energies into getting that spare tyre removed, getting fit and healthy again, and not eating and drinking quite so exuberantly. I have a 10kg weight loss goal. Really, I just want to fit into my old size 8 clothes again.

This is what I’ve done.

A week ago I joined my gym’s latest “8 week body transformation”. Perfect timing. It gets me 8 PT sessions, a dedicated work out class, weigh-in and measurements, a food diary thingy and an end-of-the 8 week weigh-in and measurement. I have some spare time at the moment, so I’m trying to get to the gym at least 4 times a week. Mondays: Boxing class OR something in the AM such as Zumba plus a swim. Tuesday: PT. Wednesday is a day off. Thursday is the dedicated fitness class, a bit HIIT, with body weight exercises and running. Horrible but healthy. I don’t mind doing Burpees or Mountain Climbers or high knees, but I often feel faint during the class because I have low BP. Friday I took off but there IS a boxing class in the morning followed by yoga. Should go. Haven’t yet. Saturday could be a long one if I let it: HIIT at 8.30, Yoga at 10, plus a swim. Sunday Core X and swim.

That’s enough exercise to keep me busy and engaged, and plenty of exercise options. Although no dance. Result: I’m not as UNFIT as I thought I would be and my fitness level has gone back up quite quickly. Phew.

I also have an account with MyFitnessPal. This free app and account (I know, awesome, hey?!) is a log of all my activities and will also sync with my Apple Health, plus about 30 other health measure apps such as Fitbit (which has a terrible app, don’t use it). MyFitnessPal also allows me to connect with other members, it has an enormous food database, and logs my favourite foods too. I can log my exercise, food, calorie or KJ intake, weight loss and other things. It’s a near perfect app for me. So I calorie count and limit my food intake to 1500 calories per day. This is enough to lose weight when I add up all the exercise I do but it’s not enough to starve me. I’ve stopped drinking alcohol for FebFast and I’ve never really drunk sweet drinks. I’ve cut down on crap food too. And NO dessert any more (sadness).

So, there it is. A three pronged approach. Goal-setting group fitness classes plus PT, a calorie-counting diet, and an app that records my stuff and connects me to a wider community. I’ve done it before, I’ll do it again. Although I have to admit something. It is just as hard to maintain a healthy weight as it is to lose it. I hate feeling sore all the time and I hate not being able to eat Tim Tams. So that’s why I let my health drop a bit.

I have done this before, I will do this again.

I reached my goal weight for Christmas!

Woah, I’m halfway there, woah, living on a prayer… (and sit ups, and bench presses, and circuit, and boxing classes and no bread or sugar). Down 1.5 kilos since my last weigh-in and now sitting at 67 kilos (148 lbs) overall.

I’ve lost 8 kilos since I started my health regime and I’m feeling really fit and healthy. I’m the sort of person who when they go, they go hard, so this health regime has really been working out for me. I hate raising my heart rate, I have to admit, but I’m finding ways to endure new forms of torture in order to get my healthy body back! Swimming has helped a lot.

This week I’ve been relaxing my diet and exercise regime just a little, because my DH got a great promotion and it’s nearly Christmas, so we have a thousand parties to attend. I drank a glass of champagne last night, and had a piece of fruit cake. The other day I ate 4 pieces of dark chocolate. I’ve been drinking red wine quite regularly. But it’s all working out really well. I’m loving the new (old) me.

Here’s how getting fit and healthy have helped me.

  1. I no longer feel like I’m getting frumpy and middle-aged.
  2. I fit into size 8 – 10 clothes again.
  3. I feel more attractive and youthful.
  4. I feel faster and more powerful, both in mind and body.
  5. I’m not getting as overheated as I used to during our hot summers.
  6. I feel like I’m contributing to a healthier old age, with all the weight work helping avert any age-related osteoporosis.
  7. My brain is working better.
  8. I’m feeling like working out is not a “reward” for doing my PhD anymore; it’s a necessity to finishing it.
  9. I’m being more careful and circumspect about my food choices, and eating less, and more healthily too.
  10. I don’t miss sugar or bread at all.

I don’t know how anyone else feels about their weight loss, but I feel that when I lose weight, I go to bed one night and wake up, and there it is, gone. I wake up feeling lighter and thinner than the previous evening. I don’t have any scales, so I can’t weigh myself – I can only go on what clothes fit or don’t fit this week. Anyway, a telling litmus test was that I rummaged around in the cupboard last week, and found a size 12 cotton golf skirt I’d not worn for a couple of years. I tried it on, and it fit beautifully. So I ironed it, wore it and then it went in the wash. Well, I wanted to wear it last night. I ironed it and put it on. It was too big. By far. Now that’s only 1.5 kilos difference. But for some reason yesterday I woke up and just felt: smaller. My thighs felt smaller. My KNEES felt smaller. There’s more definition in my body overall and I can see beyond the back fat now.

I’ve lower than the wedding weight. My BMI is 24.4 and falling. And that’s a great feeling. I’m now at the weight I was 8 years ago when I decided I needed to lose 7 kilos.

60 kilos: here I come!

Pushing past the piking out phase


I nearly didn’t go to the gym last night. I was running late, I was tired and a bit grumpy and just wanted to stay at home and chat with DH and have a leisurely evening meal, and as I sat in the car in terrible (for Brisbane) traffic, I thought, “maybe I’ll just take tonight off and go swimming tomorrow instead”. I nearly turned the car around to go home. But I didn’t. I pushed past that piking out phase and I went to my boxing class. And boy, was I glad I did! As soon as I got in there my mood lifted and I felt happy and cheerful again.

I enjoyed every moment of that boxing class. Even after some hard work hitting things, I felt really strong and fit, and fast. In my boxing class, we have sparring partners and take turns to use the boxing gloves, so there is plenty of recovery time. Our burly-but-intelligent gym instructor (whom I shall call Andrew) makes us keep our heart rates high, with plenty of push ups, crunches and other exercises in between boxing “rounds”, and I love the sensation moving fast, weaving and ducking, and trying to jab/cross/uppercut my poor partner’s sparring mitts as quickly as possible. I could have gone another 15 minutes. So I know I’m definitely getting fitter because I couldn’t have said that 2 weeks ago.

Boxing is GREAT for fitness and weight loss and I always feel fantastic after a solid workout.

So, despite my crappy non-weight-loss week, I am feeling stronger, faster, fitter and healthier. Oh! And I swam one km on Wednesday, too. Sure, it’s only breaststroke, and I’m not going very fast or pushing my heart rate at all, but my upper body is getting a great workout, and probably one of the reasons my upper body is feeling stronger.

And, of course, I woke up this morning and my stomach felt flatter than yesterday, and once again I felt a bit “thinner”. Lighter. So glad I pushed past the piking out phase.



Swear jar alert: bugger, bugger, bugger, shit, bugger, bum! Yep, I slipped this week and IT SHOWED. At my weigh in this morning I hadn’t lost any weight AT ALL.

Damn it. I was mildly disappointed. To say the least. Luckily, I feel substantially stronger and slimmer than last week, so I’m going to chalk that one up to: stop drinking that lovely bubbly stuff, you naughty woman, and get back on that treadmill. Also, as mentioned in the last post, I’ve not been able to go swimming as much this week and I think swimming really helps to burn those extra calories. Plus, eating curry takeaway is a sure fire way to NOT lose weight.

Alternatively, I could be hitting that wall where one’s exercise regime makes one stronger and heavier, but physically leaner. I can see my biceps now, and under all the leg fat I felt thin strong legs! At any rate, I want to get under the 70kgs mark next week, so I’m going to work extra hard and get me to the swimming pool on Wednesdays and Fridays as well as the routine on the other days. And stop snacking on Twisties….

Bailey-the-trainer had me working harder than ever today. As well as my usual routine, which we somehow managed to do in double quick time, he added tricep curls and bicep free weight raises, PLUS lots more crunches. He even tried to get me holding one of those massive exercise balls between my legs to do leg raises, but that was impossible and my inner thigh muscles just weren’t strong enough – I lay about laughing my head off because I just couldn’t lift the bugger. As I said to him: that’s one to try at home in the comfort of my PRIVATE lounge room.

I’ve begun to notice that when I don’t exercise on one day, by the evening I feel tired and shlumpy. Mentioned it to Bailey-the-trainer and he just gave me one of those looks and said: “and so?” Sigh. I’m waiting for the puppy so that I go for a walk every day on top of my usual exercise regime. Ok, that’s an excuse. But really, on Wednesdays I am SO tired after teaching for 9 hours that I can’t think straight. I’ll have to get up early on Wednesday morning for the puppy walk/run…

One thing I am finding hard to do is finding time to eat my second snack. I can fit in a protein shake easy peasy but that second snack after a late lunch is tricky. So this morning, having eaten breakfast at 5.40am, I am eating a second breakfast at 9.30am: a boiled egg, and a very high grain, low gi bread with a mere smear of butter. Total cals: 184. Lunch will be my usual salmon or tuna salad with beans added and this afternoon I’ll have my protein shake, and hopefully speed my metabolism up. Tonight will be pan fried chicken and salad again, and possibly a quinoa side dish.

I can only hope next week will see the weight shift again – don’t want to be going the other way!