Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Two Years Later....

So yesterday was certainly another milestone.  It's been two years since I took my first steps into changing my life.  I've done so much and come so much further than I ever expected, I'm still catching up with it all!

From a couch potato who had all but given up, the last two years have seen me:

* Lose over 50kg's
* Complete the City2Surf
* Complete a Triathlon
* Go snow skiing
* Try snorkeling
* Start riding my bike to work
* Appear in a magazine
* Appear on TV
* Try various types of exercise from running to weights and everything inbetween!
* Start studying to become a personal trainer
* Shop in clothes stores that I never would have looked twice at!
* Find a lust for life that I thought was something I'd never experience

And that's not even a complete list, just a summary of some of the highlights!  Not including all the things I still have planned and all the possibilities that anxiously await me!

I truly never thought I could come so far from a size 26 to a size 10-12, shopping has never been so much fun or exciting.  Yesterday I tried on five pairs of boots and they all fit my calves! The little joys, the feeling of empowerment, the sense that anything is possible, I wish I could bottle it to give it away.  I wish for anyone sitting there on the couch thinking it's so impossible that they truly believe that it is possible, they just have to get up and try.

I used to worry that life was passing me by, and well you know what, IT WAS!  No more, I relish every new experience, every new experience conquered, every new experience that brings another goal or another experience or a brand new person into my life! 

Two years ago I would have thought two years is such a long time, but in living in the moment and pushing forward with every new thing, every new opportunity it's gone by in a blink of an eye.  So don't waste it, Live it, Love it, in the words of Nike... Just Do It!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Snorkeling Fun

It's still a novelty for me when I get to try something new with no fear.  Well I suppose I mean without any added fear about whether my weight will hold me back.  Whilst I can swim well enough to not drown, being overweight for a long period of time (for me) meant staying away from water including the idea of a swimming costume or pretty much anything to do with the beach unless I was able to remain fully clothed.

Nowadays though, swimming has been added to my routine as I learn to freestyle properly, try a Triathlon, and visit the beach.

Last Saturday I decided to try Snorkeling.  Having nabbed some vouchers with a friend, we decided we better quickly use them before the weather really really turns! :D

When we arrived we were offered wet suits, which because they day had turned cooler than we had hoped we agreed to.  It must have been the highlight of the whole experience, just trying to get into the damn thing hahahahaha, there we were jumping around tugging on this contraption, nearly wetting ourselves in laughter, if the day had ended it there it still would have been a good one! :D

Once we were finally zipped in, we toddled off down to the beach... more fun ensued in getting our fins on due to the wavey water.  I'm not gonna lie, it was pretty choppy and it was hard work and lots of salt water was swallowed, but once we finally got the hang of it, it was pretty cool, and when you pass over a rocky area with fish you suddenly feel like you are in the middle of the TV, if you've ever watched TV that show stuff underwater!  We were grateful not only for the warmth of the wetsuit but their bouyancy made it marginally easier to navigate the waves once you relaxed. 

I'll definitely be in for giving it another go, hopefully on a day when the water is calmer (or maybe I'll just have to hoof it up to Queensland!)

Something I'm really looking forward to is getting back onto a horse I haven't ridden for years and miss it very much (I used to have my own pony as a youngster).  So that will be something I definitely get a go on soon! :D

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fantasy to Reality TV

When I was overweight, I spent alot of time lusting after before and after stories from people who had successfully lost weight.  I would imagine what it would be like to be that person standing in one leg of her oversized old pants.  I would imagine what it might feel like to be that fit person they had now become imagining all the exciting things that you'd be able to do, that maybe you never thought possible.

But for a long time it lived as a fantasy in my mind, part of me thinking I wish it would happen to me but I just don't think it's going to. 

Then one day I woke up and enough was enough and took a step and followed it through with another step until I'd walked an entire set of stairs and beyond.

Then last Thursday I lived my fantasy, I was that girl standing there in pants, that many people might think are fake, but all the people who know me, know are really my old pants that I did infact fit into.  And there I sat talking on the TV.

Watching it I reflect and re-live all the amazing achievements I've made over the past 23 months (yep I'm one month off my two year anniversary).  Snow skiing, City 2 Surf, Fun runs, Rock climbing, Weight lifting, and even a Triathlon, this once overweight girl who almost gave up on life, now rides a bike to work.... even in my wildest dreams I think I've exceeded more expectations than I ever thought possible!

If you missed the episode you can see the video here :

To feel that your own life is worth living and a joy to live is worth so much and I wish that for anyone who feels it's all to hard to get started. It is possible, start with one step and you may be surprised but so grateful to find yourself at the top of a mountain!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I am a Triathlete

I didn't realise it had been so long since I'd blogged.  I have a couple of half started blogs that I never got round to finishing which would be part explanation.

On Sunday 13th March 2011, I became a Triathlete!  Whilst not on my goals list this year, a spur of the moment decision led to registration of the Trishave Women's Festival, I decided on the Enticer Distance which is a 250m swim/10km bike ride/2.5km run.  Whilst the main objective was just to finish I have to readily admit I am more than stoked that my time was well under the hour at 51:25.

My splits were:

Swim: 8:38, Bike: 27:42, Run 15:04
31/49 (30-39 age category)
66/118 (overall)

The swimming was my weakest point (expected) yet still I managed to not come quite dead last (unexpected!).  I made up great time on the bike, overtaking quite a few bikes quickly.  The run was relatively average, and feeling the pinch of the compounded effect of a swim and a bike ride, leaving not only my legs but my whole body feeling .... heavy! :D 

So the photos from the day are up and not a single one of me, lucky I had wonderful family and friends cheering me on, see my montage from Trainer Nate, who ran his own mini marathon after me capturing me at each leg, transition and finish line! :D  I know my sister also got a front one of me on the finish line and some mucking around ones afterwards, when she gets round to uploading them! hehehehe

So what's the verdict.  Well I want to improve my swimming that's for sure, and the Sprint level (500m swim/20km ride/5km run) is considered the competitive one to be entering, so it's likely I will at the very least endeavour to build up to that level, and give it a go.  But there's no rush.  A triathlon was not on my goals list for the year (well it's ticked complete now but you know what I mean)!  I still have a half marathon to do as well, so yes I will likely try again, but it doesn't have to be next week, my main aim would be to increase my swimming capacity to enable me to freestyle the entire way.

In the meantime, my local Crossfit gym has started morning classes, Tuesdays and Thursdays, so along with Saturday mornings I'm giving that a whirl, whilst I finish off my next 6 weeks of swim squad and I'm going to try to throw a yoga class in there as well.  This should keep me pretty active for a while! :D
Stay tuned for some of my Crossfit excapades, this morning I deadlifted 70kg.  I'll be keeping records of my achievements so I can see what improvements I make.  Remember the main goal is chin ups (unassisted!).

So it's mid March and the year is flying by so quickly but looking back to the beginning of the year I feel I have achieved alot of what I had planned and wanted to do.... fun runs, a triathlon, rock climbing to zumba.  What is that you want to achieve this year, and what have you done about it so far?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Full Circle

One Year ago on Australia Day I took my first steps into the "Fun Run" arena.  I didn't go in lightly either despite there being a 3.2km option I decided to 'go hard or go home' and went with the 8.2km option.

For anyone who has never visited Menai, here's the thing about it... it's hilly as all *&^#!! :D

Last year when I attempted the run, I was a good 20kg's heavier than I am today.  I was proud to say I finished last year, but I certainly didn't break any records, in fact I buckled into walking on the first hill, not even 2km's in! But finish I did and despite finishing so far to the back of the pack they'd run out of certificates by the time I came in.... finish I did, with family there to cheer me across the finish line.  

This year whilst there was no-one other than strangers to clap me across the line, I did finish in time to receive a certificate and a cool looking drink bottle too! :D In fact, I'm happy to report I cut 13 minutes off my time from last year, and managed to run well past that first hill that buckled me previously.

I followed up the run with a lovely bar-b-q with family and a Trivial Pursuit win! Top day all round! 
The riding to and from work is going well, the new bike is great.  Today I decided to go exploring on her, and managed to clock up almost 15km.  So am getting there building up some distance!

So that's two fun run's under my belt and January is almost over.  What are you planning for February?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bike woes to Triathlon possibilities...

So recently I introduced Lexi... my new bike, Lexi didn't make it home from the bike shop in one piece!  (oops I suppose I should explain here I didn't get her from the bike shop, I just took her there to get her checked out). Her back tyre popped and I had to carry her for a kilometre.  Let me tell you I am grateful all those body weight exercises and all those times I was forced to carry a kettlebell above my head or I never would have made it. :D

Needless to say the bike shop were so insistent that she was not suitable for my needs that they said if I bought a bike from them they would minus the cost of the service on Lexi from the new bike.  On top of that a new bike comes with free servicing for the first year.

I spoke to some people at work and became most concerned when one of the girls mentioned how she'd started on the wrong bike and started getting alot of neck problems.  I realised I either made the investment so as to not damage myself (remember this is supposed to be something good I am doing for myself) or I went back to driving to work!

I have to admit the guys in the bike shop were super lovely and once I gave them my price point they stuck with the entry level road bike, whilst they didn't try to sell me a more expensive bike, they did explain why they didn't recommend a cheaper bike.  They showed me how to take the front wheel off quickly and easily to fit the bike in the car, and told to me to drop in if I had any worries.

Soooooo hahaha today I introduce Chloe....  I have to admit the first ride on her was suprisingly smooth, I popped her into the lowest gears up hill and she just kept gliding.  So no excuses I have to ride her to make her worthwhile! hahaha  On the weekend I will take her for a longer ride to really test her and me out! :D

Monday, January 17, 2011

Introducing Lexi...

I'd like to introduce you all to my latest acquisition... and workout buddy.... here's Lexi! :D

So for those of you who are out of the loop it goes like this.  Last year I borrowed a bike from a friend to see if I'd get any use out of it.  The aim was to maybe ride the bike to the pool and swim and ride back, I've yet to do that! BUT I discovered that the ride to work is 15-20 mins.  Even though I live close to work by the time I get in the car, park the car, walk from the car park and so on and so on well it's longer than it takes to ride, with no additional benefits and extra costs such as petrol and parking. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Fun run fun...

Seems I was a little hasty with my results for my fun run... not to worry the results are even better now!

Time: 35:40 (average was 39:46)
91/227 total finishers (59.91%)
48/161 female finishers (70.19%)
45/152 adult female finishers (70.39%)

The photos were great, not pretty but great action shots for sure.  Because there were considerably less people hundreds compared to the thousands from City2Surf and the Sydney Running Festival, they were able to really capture everyone.  I forgot all my pretty photo rules though, chin down, smile, all that jazz, but hey hahaha I was running and you can definitely see that! :D

I'm still surprised when I see photos how small I look but that's definitely a good thing right?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Exercising the week away

So it's been an exercise fest, and boy am I feeling it today!  Last Thursday night I tried Bikram Yoga with the girls.  Now I guess what you need to know about me first is I've never been a big fan of the heat, and well as I grew in size I grew to hate the heat more and more.  Often the heat would make me sick and headachey and well in dire need of lots of ice-cream preferably eaten whilst sitting in a cool bath.... ahhhhhh!

To exercise in the heat well that is a whole different kettle of fish, but granted I have to say that as I've lost weight, while I still don't adore the heat, as long as I keep well hydrated I find I can tolerate it better.  But doing Yoga in a hot room, not right up there on my high list of things to experience, unless you get an email from a friend saying wanna try it and you stoopidly don't check that it's "that" one before committing! :D

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The little joys

I still surprise myself.. often.  Here I am riding a bike into work... I feel the wind in my hair and my bag on my back, I'm still a little nervous in traffic, but I'm lucky it's only a short ride deviod of any really busy roads, and I can hardly believe this is me, I'm that person, riding a bike to work.  I'm that person who got up at 6am and went for a run!  I'm that person who can hardly believe those smaller clothes sizes actually fit, no longer finding change rooms the nightmare they used to be.

But I still know that feeling of how insurmountable it can all seem, in the larger scheme of things 20 months has flown by unbelievably fast.  Yet looking down that barrel at the beginning just the idea of a year seemed so far, such a long road to take.

I spent so long wishing, and all that time had I just been doing... I would have been here sooner.  Wish wish wish, here's the kicker, it's all in the do, do, doing...!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

All or Nothing...

My first fun run for the year is this Sunday.... oops I'm not really prepared, in fact I had forgotten to register... but I checked it out yesterday and they were still accepting registrations.  There are two options a 5.5km and an 11km.  I chose the 5.5km to start because I wanted to do the run for speed rather than distance, how I'm going to go with that.... is anybody's guess!  BUT I'm doing it and well frankly... that's the main thing here!  No use wimping out on the first one right!

And that is kinda the point here today.  Something, is always better than nothing.  I used to be that kind of all or nothing dieter, you know, I had to do everything perfectly or I'd "ruined" it (really because it wasn't that one chocolate bar that ruined it, it was the candy shop I consumed AFTER that one chocolate bar that ruined it), it wasn't that one day I missed training, it was the weeks and weeks after when I didn't get off my arse for love nor money unless it was to head to the kitchen.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Back to work

So Christmas is now over, New Years has been celebrated and it's time for reality to set back in. 

Today it is back to work, it's still quiet not everyone is back yet.  There's plenty for me to do if I can be bothered! ;P

This morning I went for a run, I haven't done too much running over the last few weeks so I expected to conk out pretty quick, but I did OK for about 4km, further than I expected, the entire circuit was 5.4km.  Last year I borrowed a bike from a friend and toyed with the idea of riding to work, as I discovered it would be about a 15min bike ride to work, it takes me about half an hour door to door if I drive including parking and then a 5min walk from the car park, etc (which seems ridiculous seeing work is like well 15mins away!).  So this morning I just decided to go for it, and off I went.  I mean truly the time it takes me to drive in, park and walk from the car park to work I could actually walk my bike route in the same amount of time.  It's a pretty good route too, not too much road, and where there is road relatively little traffic, which makes me more comfortable, not to big on riding in the traffic!