Sunday, September 30, 2012

12WBT Blog-A-Day Challenge #30 – Excuse Me While I Take a Moment andToot My Own Horn!!

Last day of the blog-a-day challenge!

Fitness test improvements after 4 weeks:

1km time trial - 4:56 compared to 5:41
Wall sit - 2:56 compared to 1:30
Reach: improved by 6cm

I can do 2 x group workouts (2.5 hours) in a morning.

Weight wise I lost 2.4 kg in preseason, since the program started I've lost another 2.8kg which is 4.3%! Assuming I measured correctly I've lost 6cm although I'm now disappointed at at how my jeans sit :(

So I now hope to maintain if not put a little weight back on. It'll be based on appearance rather than a magic number!

Other achievements - I've largely stuck to the program which as a foodie I'm impressed with :) I've also designed a group workout and ran 2 sessions.

I've also completed 1 of 3 fun runs improving from approx 7 min kms to 6:15ish. The next hurdle will be distance and then pace for the third.

In terms of my 12wbt goals I can tick off my 1 month goals "Run 4km without stopping. Participate in at least 1 group training session.". Done! :)

It's been fun doing this blog-a-day challenge and seeing others' posts.

Erin's post over here:

Saturday, September 29, 2012

12WBT Blog-A-Day Challenge #29 – Highs and Lows

- meeting fellow 12wbters in my area for a fun workout on Saturdays
- losing the weight I wanted to
- getting fitter! My running time and endurance is improving and if I can do 2.5 hours of group workouts now I must be getting fitter
- getting to run a couple of small group SSS

- days of mega grumpiness
- I haven't done a week of exercise to the letter yet. Whilst that isn't necessarily a bad thing I do need to make sure I do enough strength training
- the amount of time I seem to be spending in the kitchen - meh! Too much
- my sleep not improving with more exercise

Erin's highs and lows over here:

Friday, September 28, 2012

12WBT Blog-A-Day Challenge #28 - 3 new foods you have added to your diet since starting the 12WBT.


Since starting the program I've found that I can enjoy more pumpkin.  Previously I only ate pumpkin if it was mashed with potato or I'd have a token piece with my roast.  Now I can have chunks of it in a curry and enjoy eating it.

(as a side note how awesome is that pumpkin carving?!!)

Wholegrain bread

I've always been a white bread girl - so I was pretty reluctant to try a grain bread.  I usually really hate wholemeal bread let alone grain bread.  However I found Helga's Wholemeal Grain bread.  Super tasty - so hopefully it's also good for me :)  It definately doesn't feel like a chore eating it!

Lindt 70% cocoa chocolate

I've always been a chocolate fan - often having a bar out of the work vending machine!  Week 2 of the program saw this chocolate introduced as a night time snack - and I learnt to make the most of 2 blocks of this chocolate.  They are bigger blocks than say Cadbury's family block.

Benefits of high cocoa chocolate are here:

I have tried 80% (different brand) which is a bit more bitter but I still enjoyed it. 
Erin's post:

12WBT Blog-A-Day Challenge #27 – Check Out This App!

It’s day 27 of Blog-A-Day Challenge and today’s question is: what is your favourite health/fitness app?

Currently I'm using My Fitness Pal a lot for tracking calories.  I'm not sure though if I'll keep using it once the 12 weeks is up.  It is awesome though that the app is free - and it allows you to add any missing food (though all the 12 wbt recipes are generally in there already so its super easy if you only eat what's in the program :)).  The iphone app also has barcode scanner functionality which is awesome!

However my favourite app is the Nike Running app.

It has a really bad rap in the app store - but I use it to track my runs. On completion you put where you ran (ie. what terrain), your mood, and it uses local weather information and time to store that against your run too.

Where it really becomes awesome is if you remember to ever visit the website.  You'll see a replay of your run (showing your pace), and it tracks achievements and stuff.  Here's a sample:

Another app of note is Jillian Michaels new ipad app "Slim Down".  Whilst it requires a full subscription to her site to get a training program.  It allows you to track food, look up calories and follow a workout plan in the one spot.  I'll keep it in mind after the 12 weeks is up :)
Erin's post is over here:

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

12WBT Blog-A-Day Challenge #26 – My Favourite 12WBT Recipe

Today's post is about our favorite 12wbt meal.

Argh?!! I have to choose??

My favorite is one I modified slightly. Char-grilled Beef with Avocado & Corn Salsa. My modification was to wrap it in whole grain tortillas. As jase isn't an avocado fan I figured it would be a bit lacking otherwise. Just tasted super fresh and easy to make (despite making a bowl of filling for me and a separate bowl for jase!)

Honorable mentions go to:
- banana muesli shake which is great before a workout
- avocado toast with basil and tomato
- boiled egg with Vegemite soldiers

Erin's post over here :

Must go back and make it again - was yummy had forgotten about it!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

12WBT Blog-A-Day Challenge #25 – My least favorite exercise

Without a doubt Burpees! I would do these with a personal trainer years ago and just want to throw up!! I've never been keen on them since.

For some reason the sprawls we do as part of boxing don't seem as bad although maybe I'm just distracted by someone yelling sprawl and then yelling at me to get back up!!

Erin's post includes an awesome video - wish I could do them like that :)

Monday, September 24, 2012

12WBT Blog-A-Day Challenge #21 – My Favourite Hobby

Out of order but hey just spotted some funkiness in my numbering and yep I'd missed a day.

Ummm hobbies...

I don't think my puppy would count as a hobby rather than a lifestyle change :)  Having a puppy does take up a lot of time though!! Here's a nice close up of Yoshi.

My other biggest hobby is probably photography. I tend to do it a bit sporadically - the last time I was ok was when there were fireworks at the docklands.  My first attempt at fireworks not in auto mode and was happy with my results. Did have to contend with people shuffling into the side of my frame - grrr..

Go check out my google+ images if you want to see more photos :)

Hopefully that link works for everyone.

Erin's blog about scrapbooking is over here:

12WBT Blog-A-Day Challenge #24 – Great Advice

Whoops - looks like I missed a day in my blogging so it'll be out of order !

I'm sure I've been given good advice but not a whole lot springs to mind when I'm trying to think of something.  One thing that does is related to my pandora charm which is a ghost (you know like a friendly pac man looking ghost).  It's a reminder to not fade away into the background - related to an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  I tried finding a suitable image - didn't really - so here's a "hot willow" instead :)

It's easy to kind of fade into a group of people and not speak up when you have something else to offer but it's important to not fade away like a ghost.

Erin's piece of advice is over here:

Sunday, September 23, 2012

12WBT Blog-A-Day Challenge #23 – My Dream Workout Partner

Playing catchup again. Today's blog post was if we could pick someone to work out with who would it be?

For me it'd be a draw between Jillian michaels who has overcome heaps and has such a kick - arse attitude, and bob Harper. For those not in the know - they're the original biggest loser trainers ( used to be hooked on this show :)). Both look awesome and would give me a killer workout. I love their workout DVDs and they'd pale in comparison to an actual in person training session :)

Although in reality I'd probably be super star struck! I'm really enjoying the Saturday workouts that have come about because of this program. It's great meeting new people in my area who I hope to continue staying in touch with once the 12 weeks is up!

Erin's dream workout partner is over here:

Here are some eye candy photos :

Imagine these two watching over your workout...

12wbt blog-a-day challenge #22 - whats in your gym bag

Well as I work out at home I don't really pack a gym bag. Currently in my gym bag is a small orange towel, boxing liners, boxing gloves and bottle of water.

Maybe more interestingly my car was packed on Saturday with the following for the group workout I planned:
- towel
- boxing liners
- boxing gloves
- 2x water bottles
- 2 x kettle bells
- 2 x mats
- 2 x tops ( in case my first workout was too intense ;))
- spare jacket
- 2 x 5 kg plates
- mystery card set
- another set of exercises
- skipping rope

Maybe not so interesting but that's what I was carrying around. :)

Erin's bag:

Week 4 re-testing and milestone workout

So I decided to double up on workouts for my sss - week 4 milestone and go meet the Inner Westies. They were doing their fitness tests so I thought I may as well do it too.

1km time trial - 4:56 - beating 5:21 from Wednesday and 5:41 from week 1. Stoked as I wanted to stop running at 300m :) helped having Nikki standing at the finish yelling :)

Pushups - 6,19 vs 5,21 vs 6,25. Still work to be done

Abs - still level 3. No surprise.

Wall sit -2:56 vs 2:20 vs 1:30. Helped chatting to the girl next to me (I'm so bad with names).

So after the fitness test we did a tabata style workout until 8:30 when I headed off to the other park for workout #2.

I got to design the workout which was fun. After our warmup we did a mystery "card" activity. So group would do the designated activity as each person took it in turns to go do 4 stations before returning with the new card. After 2 rounds of 10 people we moved onto a "plank-limbo" exercise. Then shann's killer butt track and stretching.

From the 2 workouts and the drive inbetween, 3 hours and 967 calories burnt. As well as meeting new people and having fun with my regular crew.

Good finish to my slack week :)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Back to my goals!

"My commitment is to stick to the 12 week program following Michelle Bridge's healthy eating plan and exercise routine and I am committed to do the work to get me there."

It's time to get back on track! With my weight-loss so far I can feel it weakening my resolve to follow the program. I'm close to what I wanted to weigh so I've started making portions a bit bigger, having not so healthy snacks. Worst of all I haven't done the exercise program this week. Its bad as I had a really good run at the fun run on Sunday and felt like I was improving! I'm not sure where that enthusiasm went!

Monday - didn't check my alarm, slept in. Didn't exercise after work as I had two dinners to prepare (Monday and Tuesday night).

Tuesday - did a walk/jog with the puppy "tick". No cardio circuit though.

Wednesday - slept awfully. Woke up feeling meh. Got up but then went back to bed. Figured I'd work out at my boxing class. Mid afternoon headache formed so I chatted to my boxing buddy and decided to take the night off. Got home and did my measurements and fitness test so small tick.

Thursday - again alarm not set. Slept in until way late. Got home and relaxed.

So the plan is Friday morning - do run OR a yoga video. If I do a yoga video then Saturday morning I should run pre SSS. Though we're trying to buy a car which might come through tomorrow and need to be picked up Saturday. Which might throw a spanner in the works.

I think maybe because I'm not committing to the workout - I'm leaving myself the choice that it becomes "I'll do it if I feel like it". If I had a home gym I'd do the lean and strong program but I don't and I don't see at home variations for some of them. So I should just suck it up and keep going with the intermediate. I don't even think I've done a full week of circuits. My "adapting" to make it suit me I think is limiting what I could be doing.

Next week I commit to getting back on board with food and exercise. 8 weeks left so let's do it properly!!

Week 4 weigh in and progress

So we're now in week 4 - and the program definately works!

So assuming I didn't stuff up my measurements - I've lost 6cm (I found it hard to figure out where to measure so its possible I'm not entirely in the same spot.  Maybe I should have photographed where I was measuring each 4 weeks hehe.

My fitness test results:
- 1km time trial.  Completed in 5:21 that's 20 seconds quicker than last time
- Pushups (1 less on toes, and 1 less on knees than last time - I did have a neck related headache lingering so it probably wasn't the best time to test my arms - I also haven't been doing a lot of arm work apart from my boxing classes :))
- Abs - same as last time.
- Reach - supposedly 6 cm further than last time.  I say supposedly as I really couldn't hold that distance.  It was more like 6.5 but I'm not sure how legit it was so pulling it back a bit :)
- Wall sit - an extra 50 seconds (so something like 2:20 against the wall) - and OMG agony when I tried to get off the wall. Hehe when I first wrote this sentence I put minutes instead of seconds - that'd be pretty extreme :)

So I think that's advanced apart from my pushups and abs?? Something to work on for next time.

Things I have learnt so far:
  • I'm still not very good at JFDI - but I've never been a morning person and here I am getting up by 6:30am to do a workout most mornings.
  • I haven't gotten better sleep since starting the program. Though I'm not being overly diligent about getting to bed by 9:30, not reading the iphone/ipad in bed.
  • I get very grumpy at not being able to eat what I want, when I want it.  Not that I had much to lose - but I did want to try eating healthy and follow the program as closely as I could. I'm easing up slightly now - hopefully not too much :)
  • My portion sizes must be too large as I often feel what we're eating on the program is too small. There's a Penang Chicken recipe that's supposed to make 6 serves.  I got 2 dinners and a lunch out of it. (Granted that lunch was 2 big for me to eat.. but hey I got 4 serves out of what should have been 6).
  • It's nice to work out with other people - well I already knew this but having access to various Facebook groups lets you easily find people near you who are interested in exercising together.
  • I now have more recipes that I can add to my repertoire that are good for me (well I assume they're good for me) - I don't feel there's much discussion on why things are on the meal plan.
  • I hate spending so much time in the kitchen.  Granted I'm making dinners almost every night, lunches every weekday and breakfast most days (although I've started taking toast and sometimes an egg to work to have there rather than sticking to all that preparation). I'm hoping to find a happier balance once the program finishes - I miss just getting home and hanging out with the puppies.  Instead of standing in the kitchen as they sit to the side and watch.
  • Buying the food for the program is expensive - but it is replacing expensive eating out meals (most of the time :))
  • There are a lot of calories in innocent looking dumplings!
  • I don't need to work out an hour a day every weekday and 2 hours+ on Saturday to achieve results - I think it largely is related to watching what goes in (calorie, and health wise) and being active in some way.  Although its nice to do a big workout knowing you can stuff more calories in :)
  • Some days when you're sore sometimes its better to rest up.  I pushed through a cardio workout and did ab work when I wasn't feeling over well.  Ended up with a 2 day headache.
  • I'm still not sure I want to run the distance of a half marathon - but lets see how I go with 8kms :)
  • I still hate burpees - the sprawls we do in the boxing class seem marginally easier!

12WBT Blog-A-Day Challenge #20 – My Recommended Read

Today’s task is to recommend a book for others to read and say why you think they should read it.

I enjoy reading for fun.

Recently I read the Dexter series

It's different to the TV series which took me a little while to get over but I was hooked.  Even if they made Deborah sound REALLY annoying.  Although I can appreciate this won't be a series for everyone.

Someone at work currently recommended The Dresdon Files.  So I'm currently reading Book 1 - Storm Front.

The Dresden Files are Jim’s first published series, telling the story of Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden, Chicago’s first (and only) Wizard P.I.

That's right a Wizard ("Yer a Wizard Harry!!" - can't help have that jumping into my head).

Erin's recommended book sounds interesting.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

12WBT Blog-A-Day Challenge #19 – My 5 Must Have Fitness Items

Here are my 5 must have fitness items!
  1. My Polar HRM.  I could have been happy with the FT40 but ended up getting the FT60.  Still yet to see if I'll use their "pick a program" functionality once the 12 weeks is up :) Thanks to the program's sponsor offer of 30% plus free express delivery!
  2. My shoes.  I might have a slight obsession with buying sneakers. After probably 6 years of running (ad hoc fun runs really) in the same shoes - I decided it was time for an upgrade.  I recently went to a place near the Melbourne City Baths and did treadmill analysis to confirm that I need a shoe with support.  So I ended up with these:
  3. Fitness DVDs - am over joining gyms that I don't end up going to, so I enjoy a good at home dvd.  Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels have my favourite ones (although Bob Harper's can feel a bit long - but he has a great yoga workout where you SWEAT!!!). Seriously who wouldn't be inspired by these two?!! :)
  4. Boxing gloves.  Whilst not essential for every workout - am including it as a boxing class or training makes you work hard!
  5. Tunes! Music helps me JFDI! I'd struggle without my iphone or ipod going for a run, and really enjoy the music aspect of fitness classes (except when they pump it up so loud you feel like you should be wearing ear plugs :))
Erin's list is over here:

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

12WBT Blog-A-Day Challenge #18 – My Favourite Workout

My favorite workout used to be 1 on 1 pt session with a martial arts guy. Could switch off my brain and exercise hard. Was also a bonus doing combat pad work with him.

Unfortunately he did a runner from the gym with no mention. :(

Now I enjoy doing a boxing circuit once a week. Includes bag work, sometimes pad work and lots of sprawls. Some classes seem more thought out than others (or the right number of people planned for).

Apart from that stuff - I am getting back into running. Mentally I find it hard. But it's good in that I can do it conveniently!

Here's Erin's post:

Will have to come back and add pictures to all these posts.

12WBT Blog-A-Day Challenge #17 – A Day in The Life…

So I'll follow Erin's format (think i'm a day behind again) - and go through my day tomorrow.

6:30 wake up (assuming I sleep ok and don't reset my alarm to later). 20ish minute walk/jog with the dogs (though bear is limping for some reason). Eat breakfast (reminds me I need to check my planner as to what I'm eating). Have shower (or before bfast) & go to work.

After an annoying scooter ride in get to work. Tomorrow is sale day at aldi so I'm trying to be there when it opens. Might be the last time I attempt this. I'm sure the one near home would have less people interested in the arm band! Eat breakfast if I ran out of time at home.

Work. Typically snack before lunch and after lunch. Some days I've been so hungry on this program. Lunch will be leftover Penang chicken. I really should go buy crickets for my bearded dragon. Finish work (in front of a computer all day).

Come home, cook dinner. Tomorrow is beef stir fry. Off to boxing at 8:30pm - annoyingly late but it's a good class.

Then check if there's any prep for food the next day and try to be in bed by 10:30. Not heaps of time between getting home from boxing.

Erin's post over here:

Sunday, September 16, 2012

12WBT Blog-A-Day Challenge #16 – Everyday I’m Shufflin!

I'm betting my song list will be a bit naff. I put a bunch of stuff I wouldn't usually listen to on it and have been meaning to change it for awhile.

1. Heaven
Paul van dyk

2. Santo Domingo
Rodrigo y Gabriela

3. Human saviour

4. Stainless steel providers

5. Good times theme
Richard cheese

6. Cattle grind

7. Egmont overture
London symphony orchestra
(I have no idea how I got this classical stuff on my phone)

8. Believer
Freemasons feat winter Gordon

9. Da ya think I'm sexy

10. Libertango
Rodrigo y Gabriela

Lots of revco as their discography is on my phone but there's probably only a fraction of songs I'd listen to in full :)

Erin's (old school) playlist:

12WBT Blog-A-Day Challenge #15 – I can’t believe it!

What's one thing that has surprised me since starting the program.

A group of local women get together on a Saturday for our group SSS. I found I was burning 500-600 calories in the session. One week I couldn't sleep and had considered going for a run before the session. So I dragged myself out of bed and did 5km of mostly running. Had breakfast and then went and did an hour forty five minute workout. Never would I have considered a 5km run a warmup! 961 calories burnt.

It actually wasn't that bad and I will do it again :)

Erin's post over here:

Friday, September 14, 2012

12WBT Blog-A-Day Challenge #14 – My Favourite Recipe

Today’s Blog-A-Day Challenge question is: What is your favourite recipe?

I'll take this opportunity to have a whinge about how much time I'm now spending in the kitchen. Granted I'm eating breakfast which I didn't use to do, preparing lunch to take to work which I never used to do, and cooking dinners - sometimes in advance. I do miss my nights where I would spend a lot of it in front of the tv with the dogs.  I can't overly remember what I used to cook - but I think more stir fries will be coming back after the 12 weeks - I can't see how they're not healthy for you.  The one stir fry I've made as part of the challenge tasted pretty blegh.  It was largely meat, vegies and soy sauce.  I often use a different sauce to help prepare it and spices. Maybe that stacks on the calories not sure?  Had swapped rice largely for noodles (like udon, somen, others I can't remember the name of).

As part of the 12 week challenge.  Our favourite meal so far has been the Beef and Red Wine Stew.  When I swap out a fish meal I'm generally replacing it with this one.  Even though it takes AGES to cook - its freezeable and easy to reheat whilst steaming potatoes + beans.

My favourite breakfast so far has been the boiled eggs and vegemite toast (soldiers).  Though I'm still perfecting boiling an egg.  I'm sure it's supposed to be one of those things you can't get wrong.. but recently it's been too runny to enjoy :(

I have enjoyed the meal plan of the program as I'm trying stuff I wouldn't usually - like the vegetarian shepherds pie.  And the lasagna (super easy.. but I'm not sold on using tomato soup as the base.. oh and added vegies to the recipe :)).

I think I'll have to give Erin's casserole a go!

Oh - just noticed everyone else has actually posted a recipe lol
I don't think I'm allowed to post the exact recipe due to copyright blah blah but it's pretty much:

cook mushrooms, set aside
cook diced onion, celery, carrot, garlic, set aside
cook diced chuck steak until browned, add flour + mustard powder
add stock, wine, and onion mixture (I also get a bit lazy and usually just chuck in the mushrooms now)
Simmer for 1.5 hours (I then freeze it)

When eating it I let it heat up for about 30 minutes, and steam potatoes and green beans to go with it :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

12WBT Blog-A-Day Challenge #13 – My Pre-Workout Meal

Today’s Blog-A-Day question is: What do you eat before a workout?

I used to think that you had to eat before you do a workout - but that would prevent from doing what I'm doing currently.  Rolling out of bed and exercising.  I'm struggling with the earlier get up time so there's no way I'd get up have breakfast, wait an hour and then exercise.  Not without getting to work heaps later :)

Previously when I was doing fun runs I'd have a banana - and for my fun run on Sunday I think I'll be having a banana, muesli, almond milk shake at around 6:30 (running at 8:30).  I get about 3 km in to my running currently and then really start feeling it.  So not sure if that's just my lack of endurance or lacking fuel too.

The only time I'm really exercising after a meal is when I do a boxing class at 8:30pm - so I try to finish eating by 7:30.  Am just having whatever is quick to cook that's on the weekly menu dinner plan. So far no adverse reactions :)

Erin is having stuff I've never heard of!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

12WBT Blog-A-Day Challenge #12 – If I could, I would…

Today’s blog-a-day question is: What is something that you have never done but would if you could?

It's hard to justify trips and their expense when there's other stuff to spend money on.  Cars, a new house, stuff! :)  I have done a bit of travel but things that I'd still like to do if someone else was paying for them.

Churchill Polar Bear Experience

There's no guarantee of seeing a polar bear so it's hard to justify the expense.  I have however done the behind the scenes tour in Sea World and loved it - there was just a mesh fence between me and a massive polar bear.  Couldn't take photos unfortunately but as stoked as apparently it's luck as to whether the polar bear will stay out in the display area or choose to come back to see what's going on.

African Safari
(more so than this)

Love animals and love photography.  Hate bugs and camping - so if I went it would need to be one of those luxury tours and a change in my expectation of what luxury means :)

Other places include Vegas and Paris.

In terms of experiences I wouldn't mind doing like a hot lap on the back of a motorbike - I reckon that would be exciting. Also want to see a Volcano so hopefully get to experience that when we go to Hawaii next year.

Last year I went to NZ and got to do some cool experiences like climbing a glacier, and landing on top of a glacier in a helicopter and getting to walk around the top for a bit.  I also did some quad biking (harder than they made it out to be) over I think volcanic rock.  I was getting the hang of it by the end but was glad it was a small group as I drove like a bit of a grandma. Oh I also paraglided off the top of a mountain (one of the smaller mountains.. but still paragliding).  And got to steer for a bit.  I have a video and all.

Erin's wishlist is over here:

A little derailed...

So Saturday morning woke up feeling like I hadn't sleep, and I wanted to get stuff done with my partner who was off Fishing all day Sunday - so I decided to postpone my SSS workout to Sunday and have my rest day on Saturday.

Sunday was a little off kilter as I'd had a late night chaperoning a party full of 15 yo's (for my neice's birthday) and a long drive home which meant that brain was still a bit hyper when I was trying to sleep.  Though I got up around 10am and went for a run.  Did 4km (it didn't feel awesome but probably quickest I've done in a while).  I then thought I'd give the SSS circuit a go that Mish had provided.  Super Step Challenge or something.  I'm not sure I was doing it right as I got confused as to whether I was supposed to do 4,6,8,10,12 with each foot leading (which seemed like 2 x as many steps as I wanted to do).  So I started off not doing each foot leading, but then later tried doubling up so I'd do the rep with one leg leading, and the same amount with the other leg leading. I also moved to a slightly smaller step.  In theory you were supposed to do 3 rounds in an hour (although warmup was 5min run not 4km).  So I got through 1 round, had had enough (it was almost lunch time) and shuffled home (another 2 kms).  Made myself the yummy pancakes and then walked the dogs to the dog park (2.2 kms away). So I was really quite tired later in the day :)

Monday I woke up and could barely walk.  My calves were absolutely killing me. I thought I had done enough stretching maybe not?!  I then decided to push through it and do the Seek and Destroy cardio dvd. Can't say I love the dvd maybe I'm using it as an excuse but there's too many walk side to side and forwards and backwards making the most of your loungeroom (I don't have a big space to work in and don't want to get too close to the tv in case I knock it over being my klutzy self :))  Anyway - I don't feel like I get a great workout.  I also felt my neck and back were a bit stiff and not liking the crunches I was trying to do.  Off to work and discover that the filtered water is still broken.  Ended up going to a different level of the building to get 2 glasses full of water - so I'm already not drinking as much as I have been.  During the day a headache develops - everything is sore!  I try pain killers but they're having no effect.  I end up heading home at 4pm and lying down for a bit.  Not much relief.

Tuesday morning wake up and still have a headache - my usual Osteo is closed so I make an appointment elsewhere.  Couldn't get in until 2:20pm.  Had breakfast, then tried to nap.  Applied tiger balm to my neck and lower back and eventually got back to sleep - finally got rid of my headache.  Had lunch and cancelled the physio appointment. Went for a short walk with the dogs and then back in the kitchen to continue with the mountain of cooking I seem to be doing on this program.

Wednesday morning woke up tired so turned off my alarm and went back to sleep - leading to me getting up an hour later, rushing to have breakfast (boiled egg and toast replaced with banana/muesli shake thing), and rushing to make my lunch (wraps had started going mouldy already so it'll be a sandwich today :/).  Still hoping to make it to Boxing tonight and then a run tomorrow morning. Assuming me headache doesn't come back and my calves ease up.  Should have brought my tiger balm to work and stunk the place out hehe.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

12wbt blog-a-day challenge #11- my favorite healthy snack

Today's topic is on our favorite healthy snack.

So we were told to go find snacks around 130 calories. At the supermarket I found Quakers oat cookies. They fit the calorie bill but am not sure if they have an ok level of sugar. They taste too yummy to be healthy - with 3 flavours. Apple & cinnamon, raisin and umm nut and honey?

Apart from that I've been eating 100g tubs of yoplait yoghurt which again probably has too much sugar.

Erin has a few yummy looking snacks over on her site!

I was excited that mish was suggesting some nights we have 2 pieces of Lindt 70% chocolate - so I now eat chocolate if I'm peckish and have some spare calories.. But it kinda feels wrong.

Monday, September 10, 2012

12WBT Blog-A-Day Challenge #10 – 5 Favourite Quotes?

So I don't have quotes off the top of my head that I live by so off to Google I go :)

“Love the life you live. Live the life you love.”
― Bob Marley

“Be the kind of person that you want to meet.”
― Unknown

“It's not about perfect. It's about effort. And when you bring that effort every single day, that's where transformation happens. That's how change occurs.”
― Jillian Michaels

“It isn't about winning a game, it about fixing what's broken.”
― Bob Harper

“What I hear most often is that people just aren’t motivated to exercise. But here’s the thing about motivation: it’s a crock.”
― Michelle Bridges

and a 6th because it's something that's good to remember :)

“Yelling doesn't get your point across, it only makes it louder.”
― Grant Hill

I also went to google lolcat inspiration and this made me laugh:

Erin's favourite quotes:

Sunday, September 9, 2012

12WBT Blog-A-Day Challenge #9 – are you a strength or cardio junkie?

I don't think I'm an exercise junkie per see but I find it easier to put on a pair of sneakers to go for a run than do a strength workout.

Plus I really struggle with going to the gym and doing a strength workout on the equipment - I find it hard to motivate myself!! I'd much rather be zoning out in a class or doing a DVD workout. Though strength work would probably help my dodgy back issues - so its good this program does both :)

My favorite workout at the moment is a boxing circuit class. Works so much of the body at an intensive level. Plus it's fun just hitting stuff :)

Go check out Erin's blog over here:

Saturday, September 8, 2012

12WBT Blog-A-Day Challenge #8 – My 3 Favourite Blogs

12WBT Blog-A-Day Challenge #8 – My 3 Favourite Blogs

Well this one:
because it's provided me with the incentive to do a blog-a-day challenge, and is inspiring to read too.

This blog is by someone I am in a Facebook group with - and train together in our group SSS sessions.  It's nice to read a blog of someone you also interact with in person as you get a better picture of them :) 

The third is difficult, there's a few that I've been reading adhoc (or as part of the blog-a-day challenge).  I'm going with one of the first blogs I found when starting the program - although she's been a bit quiet recently.  Apart from standard blog posts there are recipes there too.

I really enjoy reading other people's experiences of the program.

Erin's post:

Friday, September 7, 2012

12WBT Blog-A-Day Challenge #7 – My Treat Meal

Saturday night was dinner out for my neice's birthday. Ended up going with 250g rump steak, veggies and chips (they freaked out when I asked for salad instead of the chips). Oh and mushroom sauce. So the steak was ok, the veggies just tasted mushy and couldn't overly tell what I was eating (of course mish told us afterwards that places often deep fry their roast veggies so I probably should have gone chips and salad). I had about 4 chips - they were ok. The ones I left were mushy and blegh! Though I didn't want to eat too many and undo my days workouts :) I also had only a mouthful of birthday cake. Didn't feel sick or anything must it felt like a bit of a waste due to its quality.

I have noticed that if I eat a bigger serve than I should I feel horribly over-full. I also had had yum cha on the Friday for a team lunch. I didn't feel I'll afterwards - just incredibly sleepy!!

Tonight I bumped up the calories of my chicken korma as I wanted some rice with it - and used the 350g of korma sauce rather than 250g. Seemed like a waste otherwise. I'm also enjoying a glass of my favorite wine. I do feel really full but the wine is going down nicely :) I'm at someone's house tomorrow night so hopefully it's not a bad meal!

Erin's blog post:

Inspiration Board

Finally got around to doing my inspiration board :) Hate that pinterest won't let you re-order stuff >:(

Thursday, September 6, 2012

12WBT blog-a-day challenge #6 - 3 weaknesses

Today's challenge is to identify 3 weaknesses and how you are going to turn them into strengths. Trust me to me be doing this one at the end of the day :)

1. The glass is empty!!
I tend to be a little negative and pessimistic at times. I don't really see how this can be turned into a strength. Maybe it means I'm a realist or less likely to be disappointed?? :) I think I need to get more positive thoughts flowing - am hoping my headspace meditation program helps with that, and in general ensuring that there is a healthy balance of positive :)

2. Lacking self confidence
Sometimes I struggle with being confident in my abilities and opinions. I think a strength of this is that I'm happy to ask for help if I need it or need clarification. I'll also put thought into something before getting it reviewed. It would be nice to find a better balance though - linked to a less negative outlook on things?

3. Struggling to let go
I don't forgive or forget easily. I guess a strength could be that I consider friendship as important and trust my close friends. I'll often give people a chance rather than assume they'll disappoint. I'm aware however of how negative baggage is not a good thing to carry around so would like to learn how to let things go effectively. Am hoping meditation gives me a more forgiving, less angry outlook on wrongs - but not to the point where I can be walked over.

Erin's post - go check it out :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

12WBT Blog-A-Day Challenge #5 – My 5 Personal Strengths

Today’s 12WBT Blog-A-Day Challenge question is What are your 5 personal strengths?

I must admit I was a little stumped with this question - I think I was having a bit of a down night last night.  So I went and googled surveys :)

Found this great site:

According to a 240 question survey:
Strength 1: Citizenship, teamwork and loyalty
"You excel as a member of a group.  You are a loyal and dedicated teammate, you always do your share, and you work hard for the success of your group.

Strength 2: Modesty and humility
"You do not seek the spotlight, preferring to let your accomplishments speak for themselves.  You do not regard yourself as special, and others recognise and value your modesty."

Strength 3: Kindness and generosity
"You are kind and generous to others, and you are never too busy to do a favor.  You enjoy doing good deeds for others, even if do not know them well."

Strength 4: Love of learning
"You love learning new things, whether in a class or on your own.  You have always loved school, reading, and museums - anywhere and everywhere there is an opportunity to learn."

Strength 5: Fairness, equality and justice
"Treating all people fairly is one of your abiding principles.  You do not let your personal feelings bias your decisions about other people.  You give everyone a chance."

A shorter survey (maybe 24 questions?) gave the results:
Strength 1: Persistence (perseverance, industriousness)
Strength 2: Integrity (authenticity, honesty)
Strength 3: Citizenship (social responsibility, loyalty and teamwork)
Strength 4: Fairness
Strength 5: Gratitude

So I think the longer "test" is more accurate.  It does make me sound a little like I love everyone, and will give everyone a chance - which isn't entirely true.  I'm easily annoyed and will hold a grudge.  I do like helping people however - so it has been fun doing the 12wbt program and being able to comment on people's forum posts.  Persistence is something I thought I needed to work on.  I'm a classic starter but not finisher.  I even bought Michelle Bridges Crunchtime book AGES ago and didn't read it completely.  I think I got to the part about exercising, skimmed over her meal plan and only recently re-opened it after signing up to the program.  There's actually a lot of good information in there. But I am determined to complete the 12 week program :)

So personally I'd say:
1. Loyalty & Teamwork
2. Intregrity/Honesty
3. Love of Learning (although I can be lazy at times, I do enjoy reading and learning new things :))
4. Modesty/Humility (most of the time I don't like to talk myself up ;))
5. Persistence (though not in all areas of my life - when I set my mind to do something, eg. Complete a 14km fun run, I do achieve it)

It feels kind of dumb making this post - so it's been a good challenge :)

Go check out Erin's post too!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

12WBT Blog-A-Day Challenge #4 – When do You Workout – Morning or Night?

Today's 12WBT Blog-A-Day Challenge question is When do you workout – morning or night?

Now I've never been a morning person.  My partner went through a phase years ago where he was getting up at like 6am to go workout in the gym and do a personal training session.  I couldn't see how he could do it!  No way did I want to get out of bed that early!

Since pre-season I've been trying to get out of bed and exercise and most days I've been successful.  I had a few mornings in pre-season where the alarm got reset and I went back to sleep - but I usually wake up at least once during the night and sometimes struggle to get back to sleep.  I watched Mish's snip tip about where she set the challenge of 14 days - be in bed by 9:30 am (no tv, iphone/ipad), and up at 6am.  I watched it thinking why on earth would you want to be up at 6am?

So my alarm got set for 6am once the program started but I think I've managed to get up at that time once.  Other mornings have varied - but it is kind of annoying if I want to wake up and go for a run straight away and the sun isn't rising until close to 7am. I've only missed one day of exercise after a bad night's sleep - I should have done a light exercise/yoga workout when I got home from work but it was a Friday night and I had dinner to cook and a glass of wine to enjoy :)  The sun is now rising at 6:30am and whilst I'm still not loving it I do enjoy having the evenings to myself - or would if I didn't find myself constantly in the kitchen :/   I have had many an angry thought of a bubbly MB on my tv screen as I do her dvd workout - but eventually get into the groove of it :)

My plan for this week:
- Monday (morning): strength training.  Was going to do JM's Shred with weights but due to technical difficulties I did her killer buns and thighs workout.  I started with level 2 and during the warmup felt maybe I was aiming a little too high - went back to level 1 and that was enough of a challenge.
- Tuesday (morning): cardio.  Took Yoshi out for a 3km run/jog with the added workout of leash training (he has some decent pulling strength on him).  Did MB's cardio circuit - though I had to do cheat Burpees as I can't do 45 hardcore burpees (so I was stepping rather than jumping down into a plank/hands and feet position).  What a workout though!
- Wednesday (morning):  Walk with the 2 dogs. (evening) Boxing class at Derrimuts - sucks that its at 8:30pm but was an intensive class when I tried it last week so going back again.
- Thursday (morning): cardio.  Will either do a repeat of Tuesday or go for a 5km run on my own. 1.5 weeks until I'm doing a 4km fun run.
- Friday (morning): yoga.  Am thinking either Bob Harper's yoga for the warrior or JM's yoga workouts.
- Saturday (morning): SSS.  If I can manage what I did last week - 5km run, followed by a group workout session. This may depend on when I drag myself out of bed.  But will definately go to the group workout.
- Sunday - REST (with probably a walk with the dogs if the weather's good).

This routine works well when the sun's up - but in the middle of winter I don't see myself doing the morning runs.  If I didn't go beetroot I'd probably do them at lunchtimes.  I'm not a big fan of running in the dark as you don't know what dodgy person you could run into.

Monday, September 3, 2012

12WBT Blog-A-Day Challenge #3 – 3 Foods You’ve Given Up For The 12WBT

Today's post is about the 3 most difficult foods to give up since starting Michelle Bridges 12WBT. This is kind of a tough one as I haven't necessarily given them up completely!  I'm also listing 4 instead of 3...

Coke Zero - this is kind of a cheat one as I'd started giving it up before I signed up to MB's pre season.  However I've always LOVED coke, especially coke zero.  I hear the sound of a can of coke opening and I want one!  I went 3 weeks without having one and then had one when I was out at someone's BBQ and it tasted awesome!!  However I think it's now been months since I've had one.  Mentally I still miss it but it's getting easier (mostly).  I never thought I'd drink as much water as I do now.  I always found it really boring.

Chocolate - we have lots of chocolate available to us at work so it was pretty easy to go get a chocolate bar out of vending machine.  Plus the guys who sit next to me at work sometimes share :)  Sometimes if I buy a block of chocolate it can sit there for ages and I'll have a piece every now and then.  Other times I'll buy a box of maltesers and not be able to pace myself very well.  I did havea Koko Black chocolate last week as I bought my dad chocolates for Father's day, but I just had one!  I also had some chocolate on the weekend (as in a mouthful of chocolate mousse cake and some of the chocolate flake bits) - and we are allowed a couple of squares for our dessert this week.  Although I think I went a little overboard as I bought 2 x 100g blocks to make sure I got my squares of chocolate (in case Jase found it and ate it all) :)  Oh and it was on sale.  So I'm not sure this really counts as giving it up :)

Pasta - I LOVE pasta.  The week before the program started I made sure I organised a lunch out at a local Italian place :)  I especially enjoy creamy, cheesy pastas.  I was quite surprised when I had Beef Stroganoff last night which said to use 40g of pasta.  I thought that must have been a misprint - and when I saw to add more for the guys I used 80g.  It was actually an ok quantity.  Whereas I previously would have had a bowl of pasta, and then the meat, etc.. the small amount of pasta just got mixed into the meal and was tasty.  I've even found a brand of wholemeal pasta which didn't taste like cardboard!

Dumplings - I'm adding a 4th as the Coke one I'd given up a little earlier, and this one I haven't completely gone without.  We had a team lunch Yum Cha on Friday which I thoroughly enjoyed.  I'm not sure I really ate less than what I usually do - but at least we didn't have fried dumplings.  I could quite happily have dumplings most days of the week so this program will definately see a reduction in frequency.

Erin's food list is over here:

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Days 5, 6 and 7

Day 5 I fell off the wagon.  Alarm went off at 6:30 - after not sleeping well I went back to sleep and up at 7:30 with no exercise.  That also messed with my breakfast so I packed bread to make toast at work.  Had my oat cookies for my snack.  Lunch was Yum Cha with the work team - I tried to take it easy.. but Yum Cha would have to be one of my favourite meals!! About 3:30 I was hanging for a break so found a coffee buddy and went and got myself a mocha.  I shouldn't have!  Then dinner I made the beef stew (which was supposed to be Sunday lunch).  Probably ate a bit too much.  Also had a glass of wine.

Day 6 couldn't sleep - awake at 5:30.  Got up at 6:30 to go for a run.  Was going to run to the dog park and back which is just over 2.2km away.  I then got to the dog park and figured I'd turn it into a block.  Ended up being 5km (I think sub 7 just..) - got a stitch about 2.6 km in, had to walk at about 3.5km as I felt ill, then just before 4 I enjoying stopping at a traffic light to get my breath.  Managed to get going again and I think ran for the last 1km without stopping even though I wanted to.  I can't quite recall.  But happy with the time.  Would be happier to have been closer to 6 min kms.  Home and made a MB banana smoothie with muesli.  Bit of a break then off to our group workout SSS.  Had a few new faces which was good and lots of laughs.  I think our workout went slightly longer than normal and I burnt 620 ish calories instead of the usual 520.  So that in addition to my run made it 962 cals for the day WOOHOO!  Lunch was out as I'd run out of food (we were supposed to be eating leftovers) - so we went to a cafe.  I got a Mocha, omelette with mushrooms, spinach & feta and 1 slice of sourdough toast. Oh and a side of "home style" baked beans.  Probably not the healthiest  - but could have been worse.  Dinner was my neice's birthday dinner at a hotel.  After much deliberation I got the 250g rump steak with mushroom sauce (bad!) and vegetables.  They refused to do salad and vegetables so I gave away some of my chips, had 4 crunchy ones and left the rest.  The vegetables were a bit mushy and unidentifiable.  I then only had a mouthful of birthday cake (despite it being chocolate mousse cake !!) I did say no to softdrink and wine - and had 2 big bottles of water.

Day 7 again awake about 6.  Felt tired but wide awake!  After 6:30 I must have gotten back to sleep as I woke up again about 8:15 and felt mega head foggy.  Eventually struggled out of bed - and made a bacon and egg roll (in mountain bread!). Also had a mocha.  Then tried to do a whirlwind grocery shop.  Dropped them back home and raced off to Father's Day lunch - where I had another mocha (oops).  Also had a chicken and leek pie with salad (super tasty).  Got home and went for a walk around the block with the dogs and Jase.  We were going to head out to dinner but I didn't buy anything for Jase to cook so he used that as an excuse to suggest eating out.  Then we were both a bit buggered so stayed at home.  Snacked on a few strawberries.  Ended up making the Beef Stroganoff for dinner with mushrooms, green beans, wholemeal pasta (suprisingly a small amount).  This was supposed to be next Sunday's dinner.. but we'll just deal with that later!  I'd usually have a bowl of pasta and sit the meat and stuff on top - the recipe called for 40g of pasta - I ended up using 80g as I didn't believe it (plus it said to give guys more pasta).  Gave Jase a bigger serve than me and I still went back for another spoonful - was sooo tasty.    I think it was Barilla pasta - didn't taste cardboard-y at all!  Managed to put back the apple pie into the box before it made it into the oven for me, but had a hot chocolate. I wasn't left feeling hungry after dinner so I'm guessing I ate more than I was supposed to.  I still think eating in instead of going to the local cafe was a win.  I should have done a yoga workout today to make up for Friday but it didn't happen. I also should have pre-cooked the meatballs for later on in the week. Back on track tomorrow!

12WBT Blog-a-day Challenge #2 - Favourite workout songs

This is a tough one - I've still got to find my favourite workout songs - so here are some randoms in no particular order.

1. "Let the Bass Kick In Miami Bitch"

Really like the beat of it - good to run with.  As recently rediscovered on the Ministry of Sound Running Trax albums.

2. Prodigy - Firestarter

Big fan of Prodigy - love the energy of their music.  Picked one of my favourites.

3. Eminem (featuring Pink)- Won't back down

I really like Eminem - I don't take his lyrics too seriously

4. Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc.

Found via someone else's track listings.  They actually have a few songs that I like but never knew sang/performed them :)

5. Beyonce - Video Phone

Seriously how hot is this chick?? I also like the song Lady Gaga did with Beyonce featured.

OK - I know this was supposed to be 5.. but here's a bonus track.

Bonus.  So this song has been going mental with being shared around the office at work.  Not in English but give it a chance- its oddly catchy.

Be sure to check out Erin's list is over here:

12WBT Blog-A-Day Challenge – Day 1

I'm already running a day late with this blog-a-day challenge!  Today's task - introduce yourself, post a recent picture, and tell 10 things about myself.

My name is Jen, and below is my puppy Yoshi.  I'm an avid food fan who never thought they'd go on a healthy food diet!

Here are 10 random things about me:

  1. I ride a scooter.  Not a wussy 125cc - a 300cc scooter that can go over the speed limit on the freeway! :)
  2. I have always been a cat person until I got myself a Puggle puppy in January and now I'm converted! He was supposed to be a little lap dog but last time he was weighed - 17kg.  He seems bigger than any Beagle I've seen.
  3. I enjoy photography - I have a camera with more functions than I now how to use.  Although am slowly learning.
  4. I LOVE polar bears.  I blame my sister who also likes polar bears.  If I won tattslotto I'd go do one of those polar bear tours in Churchill, Canada - where you go out in a tundra buggy and polar bears potentially come right up to the window! I did go and do a behind the scenes tour at Seaworld and that was awesome.
  5. I used to do a lot of running - especially when Nike were running free training runs from their big store in Swanston st.  I managed to win a cap, a running belt with drink bottle, umm maybe a second cap? Just from lucky numbers.
  6. I'm a software developer - so a little bit geeky!
  7. I love food!  Mexican, Japanese, Steak, Ribs! My favourite foods would probably be Macaroni Cheese & Tacos (not together).
  8. I also love red wine.  My favourite winery is the D'arenberg winery in SA.
  9. I've done a fair bit of travelling.  Asia, America, Europe, New Zealand.  My last overseas trip was to New Zealand - where we drove around the South Island enjoying the moutain scenery, their nice pinots and lamb dishes.  We did some cool stuff like walking up a Glacier, taking a helicopter trip and landing on top of a different glacier, and Quad Biking (harder than it looks!).
  10. My favourite films include Labyrinth, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Princess Bride, Army of Darkness and Office Space.

Be sure to go check the inspiration for this post.

12WBT Round 3 Blogger Challenge

An interesting idea on a blog I follow.  Starting September 1st (yes I'm running a day late!!) you add a new post to your blog each day based on set topics.  Then read and comment on others' posts.

12WBT Round 3 Blogger Challenge

The topics:

Day 1. Introduce yourself, post a recent picture, and share 10 things about yourself.
Day 2. Your 5 favourite workout songs and why you love them.
Day 3. The 3 most difficult foods you’ve had to give up since starting the 12WBT. Have you been able to resist?
Day 4. Do you workout in the morning or at night? Why?
Day 5. What are 5 strengths you have.
Day 6. What are 3 weaknesses you have. How do yo plan on turning them into strengths?
Day 7. What did you have for your treat meals? How did you feel after eating it?
Day 8. What are your 3 favourite blogs at the moment?
Day 9. Are you a strength junkie or a cardio junkie?
Day 10. Your 5 favourite quotes.
Day 11. Your favourite healthy snack.
Day 12. Something you have never done but would love to do.
Day 13. What do you eat before a workout.
Day 14. Share your favourite recipe.
Day 15. What is one thing that has surprised you about yourself since starting the 12WBT?
Day 16. Put your iPod on shuffle, list the first 10 songs.
Day 17. Describe a typical day in your current life.
Day 18. What’s your favourite workout?
Day 19. What at your 5 must have fitness items?
Day 20. What book would you recommend others read and why?
Day 21. What is your favourite hobby? Why?
Day 22. What’s in your gym bag?
Day 23. If you could workout with anyone, absolutely anyone, who would it be and why?
Day 24. A piece of advice you will never forget.
Day 25. What is your least favourite exercise? Why?
Day 26. Your favourite 12WBT recipe.
Day 27. Your favourite health/fitness app an why.
Day 28. 3 new foods you have added to your diet since starting the 12WBT.
Day 29. Highs and lows this month.
Day 30. I want to brag for a minute…

Time to catch up :)

Feel free to comment/share too!