The Five Week Challenge – Week 3

Bruceguy

This week was absolutely huge for me. From Monday forwards, this is the first week I have felt like everything is exactly right – nutrition, exercise levels, and motivation levels. The weather was stunning and most days I woke up to perfect blue skies, which made me get out and walk.

Friday April 22nd –

workout220416

6km today, running and walking. I’m feeling more comfortable running now.

Saturday April 23rd –

230416workout

Today was a struggle from the start. Over two and a half hours we waited for my parents, with whom we were meant to be taking a drive. By the time we got back, my routine was so far out of whack.. and I was in a mood. I did end up doing my 5km but it was just a slow walk today.

Sunday April 24th –

240416chookwalk

Today, we did a chore – chook pen clean out. I also took a pitchfork and a hoe, and broke up all the ground. Fitbit recognised this as exercise. Then I got on the treadmill for my 5km. Then I did the food plan for the next 2 weeks, and then the grocery shop, plus cooked an awesome dinner.

Monday April 25th –

250416a7km

7km today. Quite a miracle considering my entire right side is very sore after yesterdays CHOOK HOE event. The plan has been – along with Sephyroth – to ramp up by .5km each week until we get to 10k. Winter is coming, which means bushwalking, so we may not be doing this particular walk as often in coming weeks.

Tuesday April 26th –

270416b8kmwalk

As mentioned yesterday, winter is coming and I might not get to do this walk so much in coming weeks. Today the weather was gorgeous so I decided to go back and do it a second time.

One of my favourite things about the TomTom Cardio Spark is that you can set goals and it buzzes you when you get to 50%, 90%, 100%, plus 110% and above. Yesterday I set the distance goal of 7km, and today I figured, why not do that again?

Wednesday April 27th –

280416b8kagain

Today the weather was gorgeous so I decided to go back and do the walk a third time, starting at the other end.. But, why stop at 7km? Why not just do 8. Plus all the beach stairs I could find.

Thursday April 28th –

280416b8kagain

Today the weather was still gorgeous so I decided to go back and do the walk a fourth time, Today my goal was 6km. I ended up doing 8. More walking on water, only 2 lots of beach stairs today.

Total = 41km for the week.

Hard work is so pretty! ;)

exercise, Jervis Bay

Challenge Me, Fitbit?

12outof12

Recently Fitbit did an update and added a new box to the dashboard. The concept of this box is to try and get 250 steps an hour. I thought this was a great goal for me!

customisefitbit

You can customise this to suit yourself, as well. I especially like it at night time as a reminder to get up and move because once I have done my exercise for the day and made dinner I can often “forget” to do anything more. I customised mine to involve 12 hours a day, and I set alarms for 45 minutes past the hour. When that alarm goes off, I get up!

250 steps is around 200 metres on my treadmill. This takes me about 2-3 minutes.

Fitbit

The Five Week Challenge – Week 2

gauntlet

Another fitness week! This is more for my own records and to put all of this together in one place, so you can feel free to just skip past this post.

Friday April 15th –

part1

Todays workout was in two parts and was different to the normal. I did 1k treadmill, 10 mins elliptical, 1k treadmill, 10 mins elliptical, then 1k treadmill. There were also some floor exercises for abs. YAY. Above is part 1.

pb806

This is my personal best for a 1km since getting back into exercising. 8:06 – sorry my treadmill quite uncooperative, with the photography! Above you see todays first km..

part2

And here is part 2. 552 calories burned total.

Saturday April 16th –

656kmvincentia

Todays 6.5km walk brought to you by the Volkswagen Polo, plus Psycho Killer by Talking Heads which was the last song that played in the car before we got out, and thus, played in my head the entire 77 or so minutes.

vincentia

Plus, I took a couple of pics, for you. Cloudy day, warm-ish, excellent for walking. YAY CLOUDS!

Sunday April 17th –

workout170416

Todays workout brought to you by The Village People, specifically U can’t stop the music – Queen, specifically Don’t stop me now – plus my chicken Rosie who decided this music meant she should make a run for it into an offlimits area! This was a super tough workout involving circuits between the elliptical and the treadmill.

Monday April 18th –

180416restday2

Todays “rest day” slow walk brought to you by episodes 18 and 19 of The Good Wife which I am hate watching now, and Skye from Tinykittens, I am watching and waiting for her kittens to arrive. I got on again for another 16 minutes later, just to get some extra steps in and watch the last of episode 19.

Tuesday April 19th –

190416pbtimea

I don’t know why my iPhone hates me. Every time I think I will walk a little slower, it plays yet another tune of awesomeness that makes me speed up or even run. And today it made me have a personal best ever time! 7.45 for the first 1k, and then this great time for the 5k.

Wednesday April 20th –

aquajog200416

Todays workout brought to you by umpteen annoying boy children at the pool, plus 5 annoying girls. I set a goal of burning 800 calories aqua jogging, and I very nearly did a u-turn in the carpark when I saw this busload of boy children being lectured by one of the adults. But then I thought, piffle, ain’t gonna let no noisy kids stand in the way of my exercise! :) YAY WINNING. There is two tracks – the above one for the jogging and one to follow for the cool down —

cooldown200416

Thursday April 21st –

210416aqua

Todays workout brought to you by new water shoes! Yay 713 calories burned total. I’m showing you a different screen today.

Another highly active week. Weigh in at the end of this week was 83.2.

Week 1 is here.

2016 Goal, exercise, Fitbit

Chooky Chore Day

chooks1

The time of year is upon us where we do the regular chook pen clean out. This year we added the task of turning over the “soil” – by now most of the actual top soil has been washed away by the rain. What is left is pretty hard packed, and just underneath it is mostly clay. It has been in the shade for most of the day for a few weeks now, and moss was growing on top.

chooks2

You know your girls have plenty of better stuff to do and sunnier places to be when they allow two tomato plants to grow from seeds to over a foot high, right in the area where their seeds land every day. I took them from the middle of this area and planted them in a pot. Sorry, I did not get a pic of them! Too busy doing. We’ll see how they do.
chooks3

The coop and run were cleaned out, and allowed to air a little. Then fresh sand was placed inside. We used to use zeolite and rice hulls but both of these have become difficult to source locally recently. Sand is a good compromise, because it is easy to scoop the chook poop out of.

chooks5

For most of the time while we did this job, the chooks were in their leaf pile far away from us, chasing bugs, crickets, and HOPEFULLY centipedes if they find any, because there was an incident where one got inside and was found after midnight thanks to Happy the cat, chasing it around The Other Half’s office. Then a couple of days later, one was on the front porch.

chooks4

Then the two game hens arrived to check out our progress. Shortly after this photo was taken, I turned all that mossy area into turned over soil, and got myself a lovely blister on my palm as my reward. Then I was spraying some essential oils around the feet of the pen – to prevent ants and other pests climbing into the coop – and managed to get some of that inside the blister. The pain was very painful!

chooks6

Now it is over to the girls, to beat this dirt into submission. I’m not sure how enthusiastic they will be unless some bugs magically appear in this area, or the sun suddenly reroutes itself and shines here again. We’ll see how they do over the next week. :)

Chickens, country life

The Five Week Challenge – Week 1

gauntlet

I’m involved with a fitness group on Facebook – long story best told another time. Recently the gauntlet was thrown down for a five week challenge – a freeform, choose your own challenge type of deal. After consulting my doctor, I picked –

500 calories burned *or* 5km walked

I thought I would do a weekly check in here on the blog, though we’re in week two of the challenge already now. So here are the things I did in week one, along with my comments! :)

Friday April 8th –

080416

Tomorrow is already tomorrow, in Australia! Todays 5km on the treadmill. I will usually take a shot of the treadmill, or a screenshot of the Cardio Spark stuff from the pool, but I had done this before I knew about the challenge. Time was 52:54 – the extra time is water breaks while I pause the treadmill. I can’t drink and walk, lol. Todays walk was an interpretative dance set to episode 11 of Billions.

Saturday April 9th –

walk090416a

Here is my today walk. This is the first time we’ve been out to walk at Husky/Vincentia since February or so, was so nice! I SEEN dolphins, a beach mouse, beach birds, cyclists, children eating cheesecake, and a skateboarder gondolier!

Sunday April 10th –

100416restday

Today’s “rest day” was brought to you by the season premiere of Deadliest Catch. As I wanted to go a bit slower for the rest day, I did some testing of my treadmill and discovered that the numbers do relate to km/hr. EG 4km/hr = 4.0, 5km/hr=5.0, 6km/hr=6.0

Monday April 11th –

11041656k

Todays workout brought to you by Wahlburgers, TICDA and Sephyroth sending me a message that said “6k 59:55” plus, too legit to quit.

Tuesday April 12th –

workout120416

Todays workout brought to you by – ep12 of Billions which is a show you should be watching if you are not already – Nutri Ninja which made a most awesome post workout shake YAY – and you all here, who make me want to push myself and documentation accordingly!

Wednesday April 13th –

130416walk

Todays workout brought to you by – Deadliest Catch s12ep3 – Neelix over at Tinykittens who birthed some kittens today yay! – and the letter E, for exhausted. I really pushed – possibly slightly too far today. Tomorrow – Aqua Aerobics and I plan to burn 600 calories in the pool to allow for a slightly calorific dinner tomorrow.

Thursday April 14th –

aqua140416

Above you see the Cardio Spark track for Aqua Aerobics.

aquajogging

Above you see the Cardio Spark track for Aqua jogging. What I was doing was, running up and back the pool (50M total length of running) to get my heart rate up to 160 or so, then walking to cool it back down, then running again, etc.

140416aqua

Above you see the Cardio Spark tracks once Fitbit pulls them into itself. There was also a warmup while I waited for Aqua class to start, I burned 50 calories there, YAY.

Todays work out brought to you by swimming through a flabby armed spanking machine AKA Aqua Aerobics, school holidays where the kids have forgotten the pool exists THANK YOU JEEBUS, and Honey and Mustard Chicken which I wanted to make sure I had burned those calories before I even cook it, lol. 812 calories burned!

At the end of the week, we got a Fitbit Aria scale, and it gave me a number I had not seen thus far. 84kg. That is 11.2 lost since 1 January. Happy moments!

See you next week, for week 2! ;)

exercise, Fitbit

Adventures With Protein

wheypb

Did you know that in Australia, you can visit your GP and ask for a “wellness plan”. This will mean you are given X number of bulk-billed visits to a dietitian, and an exercise physiologist. For non Aussies, bulk billed translates to completely cost free to the patient.

For the first two months of 2016, I was doing pretty well on my own. I lost 10kg. After my diverticulitis adventure, I was struggling a little and I got stuck at 85kg for over a month. Part of that was the enforced “none at all” and then “just a little exercise” directive I was given.

Part of that was struggling to replace some of the foods that I was using to help me lose weight – eg nuts are mostly out other than softer nuts like macadamias and pecans, anything with seeds are mostly out eg tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, cucumber. I ended up replacing these better foods with things that were around the same amount of calories but much less nutritional value, like hot cross buns! I won’t lie, I love a hot cross bun.

Lunches were the most difficult to fix, because I was mostly having the same thing every day and it involved tomatoes. I’m someone who likes to stick to something, when I love it and it works for me.

So my doctor recommended the wellness plan option, and scheduled an appointment with the dietician, and the exercise physiologist – hereafter known as trainer, because that is too long to type, lol.

The weekend before the appointment we happened to be at Shellharbour and I wanted to visit the health food store there and get some advice about protein. I usually steer clear of these places because my experiences with them have been Not Great, Bob. Usually the ones around here are staffed by muscly, burly blokes who are not the brightest bulb on the tree. And this place was no exception to the rule. I’ll now recreate the discussion for you.

Me – “I want to get some protein. Just protein. I don’t want anything else in there. No stevia, no sweeteners, no extras. Just protein.”

Him – “Ok, well generally the reason they put those things in there is because protein tastes pretty bad on its own.”

Me – “It won’t be on its own, I will be flavouring it myself. With something like this.” (holds up powdered peanut butter which I already had found and was intending to purchase) “Or with cocoa powder, maybe a little maple syrup if it needs sweetening.”

Him – “Ok, then you could try this one. But I am warning you now, you will not like how it tastes.”

Me – “Is there maybe a smaller packet I could try, to see if I like it?”

Him – “This is the smallest size.”

Ok then, armed with 1kg of Whey Protein, and the powdered peanut butter, I left victorious. Momentarily. Because I really was not sure what I should do with this stuff. However I had my dietitian appointment coming up and I figured she could clue me in.

Of course the first thing I did when I got home was open the packet and taste this stuff. I can now tell you how protein tastes to me. Like absolutely nothing. It has no flavour at all. You could add it to anything and I would say the only thing you will notice is the occasional grainy, gritty texture. Because it does have a bit of a texture to it.

The second thing I did was make a shake with the peanut butter powder. OMG it tastes incredible. And I discovered you can get it at Coles, too! Which is good because I am going to be buying a lot of this. If you like peanut butter or peanuts, you will LOVE this stuff.

So I took these things along with me, plus my MyFitnessPal records for the past 3.5 months along to see the dietitian. She asked me a lot of questions and then she gave me absolute gold in return. Here are the goldest nuggets –

1. Beetroot would work well with ham and cream cheese on a rice cracker, for lunches. It is EPIC, I’m telling you. But she would like me to try and add tomatoes back in, because I had tolerated them fine for 40+ years, plus the seeds are pretty soft.

2. Protein shakes are best to have around 30 minutes after exercise. If I use 1 cup of milk that is a good place to get one of my daily serves of dairy. To begin with I should start with half a serving (15g = 13g protein) and see how that goes. If I feel like I need more, I can work my way up to 30g. The peanut butter powder has 4g protein for 1 tablespoon. So in one small shake, I get 17g protein.

She gave me some suggestions to try with the shakes, eg add greek yoghurt, freeze some bananas and add them in, strawberries and other berries should be fine if my blender is good enough.

Here is the protein shake recipe I am loving a lot.

15g Naked Whey protein powder
1 tablespoon PB2 – Peanut butter powder
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
35g-40g frozen banana – I break them into pieces and freeze.
1 cup milk.

Sometimes I will leave the cocoa powder or the cinnamon out, depends how I am feeling that day. I find the banana sweetens it enough, but I have added a touch of maple sugar once to see what that was like. It wasn’t really needed.

Usually I have my shake between 3-4pm and it leaves me feeling very full. I end up needing less dinner as a result, which is also an epic win.

I was looking for a small cup blender specifically for these shakes because the better you blend them, the less texture of protein you notice. I ended up with the Nutri Ninja and I bought a couple of extra cups for it. The awesomeness I will be whizzing up in this thing is endless!

How Am I Now?

Health wise I am back to where I was at the end of February. I am starting to feel more comfortable exercise wise and I’m ok with pushing myself a bit harder now.

The weight loss has started back on a downward trend, I’ve seen the number 84 on the scales now. My goal is 70kg by October however I am not sure how 70kg will work for me. We’ll wait and see.

My nutrition is a LOT better, and I find I do not want things I used to want. The closest I will get to a potato chip now is Vege Chips – and if you have not tried those, you should.

I’m still a shitty blog friend – and a shitty blogger – right now, and I am still deeply apologetic for that. On the other hand, I am a lot more fit and active than I was back when I was a good blog friend and good blogger, and that is something which is very important to me right now, especially with a general anesthetic for the colonoscopy in my near-ish future. I can’t be sorry about that – it is what I need to do for myself right now. :)

exercise, health, recipes

The Trouble With Me..

pr2

Last you heard from me, I was in hospital. They let me out on the Wednesday as planned with antibiotics, plus strict food and exercise instructions – eg soft foods, ZERO exercise. I think the doctor could see the panic in my face when he said no exercise, and he told me very *very* clearly that right now my body needed to focus on healing itself and any exercise would divert resources away from that healing.

I did what I was told, including eating at least one dark chocolate serving a day (“It is ok to eat that, even on liquids only diet because it dissolves” said my doctor, did I mention I like him?) and was finally cleared for exercise on March 10th. I came up with a plan – on the first day I would do 3km, then if that felt ok, I’d do 3.5km, then if that felt ok, I’d do 4, 4.5, then settle in on 5k for a week. It did go ok, at first.

The trouble with me is, if I am going to do something I want to push the limits. On the first day of 5km, I felt like running a little. On the 2nd day of 5km, I felt like running a little more. That was when the pain began to return, but it just felt like a little wind, so I pushed through it. On the 3rd day I promised myself, only walking. I managed two minutes before I felt like running, and that day I felt ok until I got off the treadmill, then I had a lot of tummy pain.

The next day I was concerned enough by the pain to see my (new) doctor. I told her about the 5ks I’d been doing but perhaps I was not telling the story right. She got me to lay down and felt my stomach, then she said “So you’ve been exercising for what, a half an hour a day?”. Me “No, 5km usually takes me just under 50 minutes”. You should have seen how she looked at me, like I was out of my mind crazy.

She said “No, that is way too much for your body right now. You need to cut back to 30 minutes a day of exercise at most”. So I am time limited, and to be honest, it kinda sucks for the following reason – all the shows I like to watch while I exercise are 44-59 minutes long.

On the other side of the world, while I was ill, Sephyroth was experiencing his own health issues. Maybe he’ll tell you more about that on his blog but the quick version is – gallstones. He and I were both on the clear liquids then milky liquids then soft foods diets at the same time. My diet became all about trying to *get* to my 1200 calories a day without eating Not Great foods. That was a bit of a struggle, because a couple of poached eggs over mashed potato and sweet potato really is not a lot of calories, even if you add cheese and butter.

So when all is said and done, I’m down 10kg – 22 pounds – since January 1, which is pretty awesome. I’d like to lose another 10kg by June but at this stage getting the cardio health and fitness is more important to me than the numbers, as I will have a colonoscopy sometime in June. I’m happy with the way I have been adding more running into the treadmill time – I can run for 2 minutes out of every 5 without any trouble now.

qantasyay

In amongst all this, I talked Sephyroth into booking his ticket to Sydney for October this year at the somewhat insane price of under $1,200 return. He’s visiting for three weeks, which is brilliant. He’s smashing his weight loss goals right now, and I am hugely proud of him, as I always am. And he is also doing 5km on the treadmill in about the same amount of time as me, so he will be able to keep up with me when he gets here! YAYOYAY!

I need to learn some patience. I need to learn not to push through tummy pain. I need to learn that sometimes my body is telling me no for a reason. I need to get back to Aqua Aerobics, too. And I need to learn to be ok with not getting my 10,000 steps for a bit.

Plus, I need to return here and tell you the story of what happened, and the family history surrounding this particular illness, which I am not sure I ever mentioned here. I will endeavour to do this soon!

Thanks for all your lovely comments on my hospital post, I really appreciated them. I’m getting back to reading and commenting, so you should see me soon at your places.. :)

health

A Not Good Surprise.

So I’m in hospital. Hopefully going to get out Wednesday afternoon been here since Monday. Writing this on my uncooperative tablet. It is a long story which i will type out once back at the home keyboard. The short story is diverticulitis. IV antibiotics is the reason i am not at home with a cat purring on me.

Good thing my goal was to get more healthy this year, and i will be ramping that up bigtime once back home.

I want to take a second to say thanks for reading my blog. I know I am a sucky blog friend this year and i apologize. Right now i need to focus on me, but i am still reading you all loud and clear. :) I will try to comment more soon.

health

Sunday Selections @Snoskred 9

tiger2ab

A couple more tiger shots today!

tiger1ab

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photography, Sunday Selections, zoo