Saturday, 31 March 2012

Inky pinky ponky..

Wouldn't it be fun to exercise like you did when you were a child? I have been watching how effortlessly my children round around, jump, climb, kick balls and so on and have so much fun while they do it. They aren't exercising, they are playing.

I am wondering why, as adults, we lose this ability to just have fun and do physical activity simply for the pleasure of the activity we are doing. I know actually a lot of people do do just that. If you play a sport, or you dance or actually...cough...splutter....ENJOY running....then you are lucky, because I am pretty sure there are a lot of adults who see exercise as a chore or a method of torture.

It's got me thinking. What if you could do a class where you had to leave your inhibitions at the door and release your inner child? Perhaps the class might get you to run around playing tag or bullrush. Perhaps you would play hopscotch. Maybe you would jump elastics (anyone else remember doing that? -jumping over elastic tied around ankles, while chanting a rhyme?) or skip rope, not by yourself like a boxer, in order to exercise, but while two others turned it, in order to have fun.

What if the next time you went to the class it was 'sports day' and you had to do sack races, obstacle courses and egg and spoons. And the next time was 'school disco' and you just were able to dance your heart out (or if you were a boy run around the room and slide on the floor). The next time you might play rounders or t-ball. Oh it would be so much fun and so liberating.

When my boys were little and I took them to those indoor playcentres, I always secretly enjoyed going in with them with the excuse that they were too small to go round themselves. I would always come out feeling puffed out and like I had used every muscle in my body. Now I can't quite get away with that, nor keep up with them. So I end up going down the slide alone, looking like a saddo grown up having a play by themselves.

When we bought our boys a trampoline for the garden I was gutted to discover that I was over the weight limit for it... but now...guess what? I am light enough to bounce away to my heart's content. And quite often if the neighbours were to look out of their windows they would see me jumping away while my boys are at school/preschool.

Perhaps it is that I don't want to grow up or get old. I don't know, but what I do know running around and playing with my boys is helping my heart in more ways than one.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

If I didn't laugh, I'd cry

Being inspired by my previous thoughts on eating junk only when I allow my children to eat junk I have come up with a few new diet ideas following the behaviours of my children....

Watch out WW you might have a bit of competition here ;-)

The too busy to come to the table diet.
-Get engrossed in some form of playing, be it lego, playmobil or whatever and totally ignore any calls to come to the table for food.
-Take so long to come to the table that food has gone cold, complain that it is so and refuse to eat more than a couple of bites.

The can't sit still diet.
-When at the table be so fidgety and distracted that you have to keep getting up and leaving the room to go to the toilet, get a tissue, change your fork/knife/spoon, get a drink of water
-Do this so frequently that food goes cold, complain that it is so and refuse to eat more than a couple of bites.

The be naughty at the table diet.

-When sat at the table for food shout your head off, say as many toilet related words, make as many obnoxious loud noises as you can so that you get repeatedly sent for time out.
-Do this so frequently that food goes cold, complain that it is so and refuse to eat more than a couple of bites.

The refuse to try anything new diet.
-When faced with a food you have never seen before, refuse point blank to let it go anywhere near your lips.
-After being presented with said food about 20 times and plucking up the courage to try it, make yourself gag on the first mouthful and refuse to eat any more of the meal.

The fill up on fruit diet.
-Just before a meal is due, nag and nag and nag for food.
-When your parent has had enough and says "eat some fruit then", repeatedly help yourself to the contents of the fruit bowl.
-When meal is ready announce that you are not hungry and refuse to eat any of it.

The snot diet

-This one needs nor deserves no explanation

The eat oh so very slowly diet
-When food is presented on your plate announce that you would like to cut it up yourself with a grown up knife and fork.
-Proceed to take 3 and a half hours to do so, oh so very precisely, until everyone else around you has lost the will to live.

The multi-tasking diet-On the odd occasion that you are allowed to eat infront of the TV become so engrossed in what you are watching that you sit with food in your hand, mouth open but never quite putting it in.

The food fight diet
-Instead of eating the food that has been lovingly prepared for you, throw it about a bit.

The cover it with sauce diet

-When a perfectly tasty meal is placed infront of you insist on plastering it with so much sauce that it becomes inedible.

The one bite diet
-Exactly as it says on the tin: Take one bite and only one bite out of every bit of food that you are presented with.

Exercise plan to compliment any of the above diets.

-Run around the house like a lunatic ensuring you bump into every piece of furniture, jump onto every chair head first and then roll around on the ground wrestling. Be sure to exercise those lungs by shouting as loud as you can while you do it.

Ahhhh good luck with those, mealtimes are a laugh a minute in our household.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Those who matter don't mind and those who mind don't matter

I have been deeply affected by the Biggest Loser (Australia).... I have never watched it before but I am addicted to this series and there is something one of the trainers said a while ago that I have been mulling over in my mind.

I have already blogged about needing to feel some discomfort...that to get results it has to get tough....yada yada yada I accept I well and truly grab that one by the big, fat horns....

What has affected me this week is the need to let go of needing other people's affirmations and approval. You have to stop caring what other people think. The red poppy-eye woman trainer...Michelle? was saying that to one of the over 30's women.

To quote somebody obviously more gifted with words than my title says: "Those who matter don't mind and those who mind don't matter"

Sometimes I feel so self conscious I may as well be a painfully shy teenager again. I have days where I go over and over and over a throw away comment that someone has made, analysing "what they really meant by that". I sit here and wonder why I only have 3 followers on my blog....FOLLOW ME why don't you?....(please?? and don't hate me for shouting....)

Whenever I have attempted to lose weight in the past, I have had in my mind and as my goal, what other people will think of me when I have done it...

Age 13: "If I lose five pounds then Sally and Catherine will want to be my friend" (beeotches)

Age 16: "If I lose half a stone then Nicholas will ask me out" (ooohhh Nick, you heartbreaker)

Age 19: "If I lose ten pounds then I will be able to wear a size 12 dress to the summer ball and snog loads of blokes" (turns out drunk students aren't that fussy anyway...ew).

Age 22: "If I lose a stone I will actually look like I belong on this course (Yes I have a Masters' degree in exercise and health science but that is a whole nother blog's worth of embarrassment to be covered in the future)

Age 26: "If I lose twenty pounds I will be a beautiful bride and everyone will turn and gasp at my gorgeousness as I walk down the aisle" (there were a few gasps...possibly because my boob fell out of my strapless dress....actually it didn't but that would have been funny)

And so it goes on....UNTIL NOW...I am coming round to the thinking that it actually doesn't matter what other people think. I am my harshest critic and even I need to be kinder to myself. I am trying not to worry so much about the perceptions of others. I am not there yet but am certainly better than I was. So right now this is what I am thinking:

Age 36: "If I lose two stone I will feel fit, healthy and be able to do ballet properly because my legs will not be too fat."

Any other compliments, affirmations, approvals will be welcome but not necessary.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Double scoops or double standards?

This is the conversation you might have overheard in my kitchen this morning:

"Can I have some chocolate?"
"Please? I really want some chocolate"
"No not now, maybe later"
"No stop asking, it is not chocolate time"
"I really WANT some chocolate"
"I'm not discussing it anymore, it is breakfast time, not chocolate time"
"I hate you, you won't let me have chocolate"

This is a typical conversation (if you want to be so civilised to call it that) that often occurs in our household. It's not just between myself and my husband either... Just substitute the word 'chocolate' for 'biscuit', 'crisps', 'muesli bar', or whatever you fancy. It is like groundhog day.

But it has got me thinking. Children have very little control over what they eat. (Well in this house anyway). I allow mine choices between healthy options or try to make healthy versions of 'junk' foods. We do eat rubbish like McD's once in a while and I do bake the odd cake but generally I try to ensure they have a healthy balanced diet. If there is any junk to be had it is usually on a Friday, on the weekend or on a special occasion. And even then they have to eat something healthy first to counterbalance it!!

I am pleased to say that they like to eat their vegies and don't really eat much rubbish. Consequently they are fit and healthy. However there seems to be a BIG double standard going on. They aren't allowed junk everyday, yet it seems that I can have it whenever I fancy it. I control pretty much every morsel that passes their lips, but I can't control myself.

At the playgroup we go to, the children sit and have fruit for morning tea. The adults have biscuits or a slice of cake. The children see this, they are fully aware and they protest at the injustice of it...even those who are a mere age of 1 or 2. Something about that doesn't sit so well with me. (I have been known to either forgo the biscuit or sneak one to my son, but sometimes I just wait until his back is turned and gobble it up. Some mums are happy to just eat it infront of their children and explain "it is just for mummies"....fair enough, that is their choice).

After pondering this issue I have realised that this sort of thing occurs quite often. For example, when we go on a long car journey, my husband and I sneakily eat sweets to pass the time while the boys munch on fruit, breadsticks and raisins.... When we go out for icecream, they are allowed a small, child's scoop while we have a massive double scoop. The more I think about it the more instances I can see it occurring.

Now I know that is what we are supposed to do, to guide our children into healthy habits as well as maintaining our responsibility for keeping them safe and healthy. But what about ourselves? What has happened to the responsbility and control to maintain our own levels of health and safety?

So I am going to try an experiment. From now on, I am only going to eat non-healthy food when my children do (and only then if I have the points available and if I really want it). If I am not comfortable or happy to let them have a biscuit, chocolate, or whatever, I will not have it either. If I want to eat a sneaky bite of cake or handful of sweets or spoonful of ice-cream, I will have to call them into the kitchen and give it to them too.

I am hoping this will make me think before I snack as well as make healthy choices for myself in the same way that I do for them. (Rather than completely dissolve my standards and turn the kitchen cupboard into a free for all..)

Of course there are going to be exceptions such as evening meals out or the odd glass of wine, and some of that is the pleasure and freedom of being an adult. But I am going to try it as a general principle and see what happens.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Who was I trying to kid?

I have had an amazing realisation.....

To some it may sound like stating the completely obvious, but for me it has been life changing....

Are you ready for this astounding, catalystic (is that a word?) epiphany?

Well it is this: in order to lose weight you have to suffer some discomfort.

Yes that is it...Not really that gobsmacking is it? But accepting this, embracing this, has really changed the way I see weight loss. You have to feel a bit hungry. (Wow!) For exercise to really work you have to break a sweat. (You are kidding!) Have you seen The Biggest Loser? They work them into the ground and starve them. That is why they get such great results. It is agony. Now I neither wish nor need to lose 6 kg in a week although it would be fantastic but I have actually learned something from this somewhat addictive programme.

I used to whinge and moan and feel hard done by that poor little me had to go on a diet and couldn't eat whatever I wanted to eat. I saw exercise as a chore and didn't really put much effort in. Of course my efforts saw little results. You get back what you put in. Why was I so afraid of being hungry? Its wasn't even like absolutely starving, haven't had a meal for 3 days hungry. Just a little peckish. Yet I couldn't bear the thought of it.

Why did I think exercise was really easy for thin, fit people but tormentuously difficult for me? Marathon runners are fit and thin but it hurts when they train. They get tired and out of breath too. It's about time I face up to the fact that if I want results I have to EARN them. No one is going to hand me weight loss on a plate, there is no easy simple quick solution, no matter how much it costs. Now that my mindset has clicked into this I am wondering what all the fuss and tantrums were about. I was kidding myself and making it so much harder, expecting it to be easy.

So this is truly IT once and for all. I will never do this again...because I won't have to. This time it is (I am) going to work.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Run run as fast as you can...

…you can’t catch me, I'm the gingerbread man. Well actually I’m not ( really?) but I did bake some today. And two accidentally fell into my mouth. Oops. Damn that baking. They smelled soooo good. Before I knew it….chomp chomp…mmmmm.

I counted them though. They took the place of the two glasses of wine that I didn’t drink last night. But now I have no more extra points left for the week and barely any exercise points either.

For those of you whom have never done Weight Watchers, basically you have an amount of points for the day. A weekly bank of points to use as you wish (booze, choccies, cake, extra daily points) and you can earn extra points through exercise. Just calorie counting really. Oh and if you have never done weight watchers, go ahead, take a drink ;-)

Anyway, I hurt my knee on Thursday when I was out for a run/walk/run. That meant I didn’t want to push it so I didn’t do any exercise yesterday. Apart from chasing the gingerbread men down the street before they came to a grisly but oh so tasty end.

I have 2 days till weighing day. I am not very good at sticking to my daily ration of 26 points. I need a bit of a buffer and I really don’t like using my exercise points unless I am desperate. I guess I am desperate. I don't know if I can use all my exercise points and still lose weight.

I NEVER thought I would say this but I was really annoyed that I couldn't exercise. I also NEVER thought I would be gutted that I couldn't go for a run...(walk/run). I have always said, "I don't do running." and "I am not built for running." Whatever. I am not built for ballet either and I still do that. I am not built for running because I am too fat. If I run more I will get less fat and then be built for running. And yes I do have to wear 2 bras to run in but so what?

On Thursday, before I hurt my knee (by slipping on wet pavement) I was really enjoying myself. I was alternating running with walking and I was plugged into my ipod. I have some fantastic motivating choons that really get me going. It was pouring with rain and I was really really loving it. Wierd. Anyway. My plan is to phase out the walking bits and in a few weeks/months/years time be able to run the whole time. I never thought I would sit in my house and be gagging to go for a run... (walk/run).

So rather than eating the gingerbread man perhaps I need to preserve him. Stick him up where I can see him. My role model. I can be the running gingerbread man. Also, that way, maybe then I will also become a bit of a fox.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

I have never...

Have you ever played that drinking game "I have never"? Well if you haven't, basically someone says "I have never..." and states something they have never done. If you have done said thing you are supposed to take a drink. Pretty stupid game, but then isn't that a prerequisite for a drinking game? Anyway let's play now only without the drink because it is only 7.50 in the morning and I have to drive the kids to school.
Ok....lets start..... I have never...... starved myself all day so that I can use all my WW points (or carbs or calories) for booze that evening.... Ok I have actually done that.
Um...I have never....stood in the kitchen/bathroom/laundry room, secretly stuffing food into my mouth, so no one else can see me.... yep done that too.
I have never...eaten 4 chocolate bars in one day..ahem...
.........oh ok maybe 3 and 3 quarters.
I have never...weighed myself more than 5 times in one day....
........ok I am going to be hypothetically drunk in a minute so need to stop...
Just one one more. I have never...eaten tissues or toilet paper to fill my stomach instead of WHAT??
No I can honestly say I have never tried that low calorie option. Anyone else drinking? I cannot get my head around anyone actually doing this, but supposedly it happens. And actually I am sure there are a lot of other eating related behaviours that I am completely ignorant of. For those of you that don't read those high quality gossip magazines, this is apparently what supermodels do to keep their weight down. To me that is eating disordered behaviour and comes as no surprise in that industry. But where do you draw the line at what constitutes an eating disorder?
Most people are aware of anorexia and bulimia but what about obesity? For the most part being overweight is treated as if it is a life choice. You are lazy and eat too much, therefore you are fat. Simple as that. However, I know from reading through some heartbreakingly honest blogs, talking to other WW members and looking at my own behaviours, overeating and being overweight could also be classed as disordered eating.
I would say that not eating food so that you could spend the calories on alcohol is a bit disordered...but probably not a disorder if you have only done it once or twice. Hiding your eating habits from those around you perhaps more shame and pride than a disorder? Eating excessive amounts of a particular food...greedy or needy? Obsessive weighing, well we are probably all guilty of doing that...
But really, if you are stuffing down emotions such as loneliness or anger with unlimited amounts of food, if you aren't dealing with past hurt or trauma and instead self medicating with junk, if you are protecting yourself from the outside world with a layer of fat then perhaps there are some issues to be dealt with. If you aren't loving yourself or your body enough to treat it with respect by not filling it with cr@p, by feeding yourself the best quality fuel that you can afford, regularly exercising and taking time to stop and think what is really good for you, just you, nobody else...then to me that is a bit disordered.
So that is what I am going to work on myself. To stop all the messed up thinking, empty promises, quick fixes and just love myself enough to take care of myself. It might take a while because "I have never" really done that before.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Gettin jiggly with it....

Last year I joined some dancing classes. I love them. It is the best thing I ever did. (Well maybe after getting married, having children and a few other things). I used to do dancing when I was little, like a lot of little girls. Then like a lot of teenagers, I decided I was too busy pretending to kiss boys and talking on the phone so I gave it up... silly me.
As an adult I really missed dancing and got my fix whenever I went clubbing. Then I got too old and tired for clubbing. Every once in a while I would google "adult dance classes" and then get completely scared and intimidated (and not just because of some of the 'adult' content that would result from such a search) and decide I would lose weight first so that I could burst into lessons and wow everyone with my svelte physique and hot dance yes...Anyway of course I never lost much weight and still I yearned for the dance classes...
So last year I took a deep breath and phoned a local dance school. I bit the bullet and went along to try all three...ballet (yes hippo in a tutu), tap (no falling in the sink jokes please) and hip hop funky jazz (if you think its a mouthful to say, you should see some of the moves...) So the classes were great and I wasn't even the oldest or chunkiest there...yes that is the kind of supportive, friendly gal I am...checking out the competition in the elderly and large stakes...everyone was
so friendly, supportive and normal!
Like I said... best thing I ever did ish. Anyway there I was step ball changing away to my heart's content when they mentioned...The SHOW...All the pretty little girls and long legged teenagers get a chance at the end of the year to showcase their so do the grown-ups...sigh...So we practiced and practiced and practiced and I did it...and yes I probably did look like an extra from Fantasia, (I am yet to see the DVD.. oh yes there is cinematographic evidence) and yes I had to have the largest available costume....but I did it... and it was soo much fun!! But I
decided one thing. By this year's concert I am going to be 3 dress sizes smaller. So that I can wear the medium costumes and won't need to sew in an extra panel of material to fit the skirt around my waist (I will have a waist!)

What's more I want to go into one of those dancewear shops and buy those cool floaty funky dance outfits to wear to classes and pretend I am on the set of Fame and right now there wouldn't be much extra material to float if you get my meaning... So here I am...I am doing Weight Watchers, (again!) counting my points, but this time it is different. I feel different to any other time I have tried to lose weight (about every year for the last 20 years). I am into it. I am motivated and I have a goal.

Sometimes you just have to step out of your comfort zone and just get stuck in. Also there is nothing more motivating than lumbering behind graceful skinny young women facing a wall full of mirrors and watching your stomach jiggling with every move. Oh yes aaaand those three classes each week earn me 12-15 extra points and it doesn't feel like exercise! So if there is something you are thinking of trying, I would say GO for it!
My only regret is that I didn't do it sooner.