Thursday, 4 July 2013

Mid-Year's Resolutions

Oh-No! I found this post lurking in my drafts folder. Please pretend it went up on Monday 1st July like it was supposed to! Then there will be another post following...

Okay, so, once again, I stopped blogging for a little while. Okay, a long while. And during the last five months, when I haven’t been blogging, I haven’t been as motivated to get fit & healthy as I could have been. Work here has been a lot busier than I expected it to be. Life too, I guess. And that has meant that I haven't been taking care of myself as much. But, I think I'm starting to get a better hang of my life here and my routines. Balancing out work commitments, life commitments, friend commitments and family commitments. It's been tough, but something I am starting to be better able to do.

The knowledge that I am unfit and unhappy has been on my mind this whole time. I hate being fat and overweight, not fitting into my clothes, people seeing old photos of me and going 'Is that Kathleen?! But she was so skinny!' *sigh*I hate it.

So, I trying, once again, to do something about it.

I’ve kept up with dancing, but I had to cut it back to only 2 hours a week. Tuesdays & Thursdays. And even then, I haven’t been able to go each time because of work commitments. But I’ve been very glad of it, I missed dancing when I lived back in my old town, so I’m certainly making the most of the opportunity I have here. Unfortunately, that has meant I’ve also taken opportunity of the takeaways and convenience foods not 10m from my doorstep, and haven’t been eating well.

But I realise that, and I guess, as long as I do realise that, there’s always time to start over again, right?

And what better time than the start of the month? Especially when it starts on a Monday? In the middle of the year? That’s why I’m calling this my mid-year resolution!  Cheesy, I know. :-S

Now, what exactly are my mid-year's resolutions? Funnily enough, not too different from my New Year’s resolutions.

· Consistently complete a food journal – including calorie counts.

· Attend dance lessons twice a week

· Walk to work at least once a week

· Lose 20 kgs by the end of the year

· Maintain work-life balance
I’ve already started to make progress on these.
From last Monday – the 24th of June – I’ve started filling in my MyFitnessPal online food journal again. This time, I took the advice of Marion (from Great blogger, she has lots of really interesting articles and posts to read. She’s big on motivation, a great cheerleader) and have adjusted my daily target calorie intake. I am aiming to eat at about 1610 Calories per day. At first, it was really hard! But the longer I stick at it, the better I am getting. This time, I’m being much more diligent. I’m carrying around a notebook and writing down what I eat during the day. I’m even going as far as taking it into the kitchen with me and I am weighing out everything I am eating, or about to put into my food when cooking. It’s time consuming, but necessary I feel, so that when I get to the computer, I know the weights of everything I ate that day and I can accurately log how much I’ve eaten. I never really paid attention to the suggested serving sizes that are listed on the nutrition panel. I assumed that because it’s the average, I am also eating the average serve – it turns out a lot of the time, it is not so.

What else? I’m cooking in advance so during the week I can go straight to the freezer to reheat dinner. Lunch can be made the night before or I can use another something I have cooked from the freezer. It means I lose a day of my weekend to get everything ready, but really, I think it's another necessary job. And one I need to stick to far more than I have been. It's a sucky job, but, honestly, if it helps me to look after myself better, then sure, it’s just something I’m going to have to do.

Dancing, I already mentioned above, I had to cut back from 2x2hour sessions a week to 2x1hour sessions a week. I just couldn’t spare the time. I am keeping on going however and not stopping altogether.

Other exercising:
My new year’s resolution was to walk to work at least once a week. This time round, I’m upping the ante, and I want to do it 3 times a week. Overkill? I don’t know. Back in the town I lived for uni, I walked everywhere. Into town (1hour), from town (1 hour), to work (1/2 hour), from work (1/2 hour), from dance (50mins), to uni (40 mins). (Okay, so most of the time I didn’t walk to uni, I caught the bus. My bookbag was heavy!). But the point is, I walked everywhere. I guess I walked more than I ever realised, because when I moved, I stopped walking. It was flat, I was 700m from my front door to my building. What was the point? Something in my mind just flipped and I stopped walking. Was it because I was no longer a povvo uni student, so it just didn’t ‘fit’ in the image of my new town? Honestly, that possibly had something to do with it. Everyone drove. One of the people living in the flat next door was someone I had gone to uni with, and she was working in the same premises as me. Again, 700m door to door. She also drove. The people who lived in the share house down the street, also worked with us, also drove. No-one walked.

Oops, rambling!

Walking. To and from work 3 times a week. It's a 45 minute job each way. Only about 3.5km, but there are uphills both ways. It will be worth it as my fitness improves, I hope to get faster. Hopefully closer to 1/2hr each way. I’ve already tried it a couple of times, where I caught the bus into work in the morning, but walked home. Including when it’s been raining. A constant possibility here in coastal Qld. J I even bought new running shoes to support my feet/ankles more.

It’s not the only exercise I want to do however.

Running - I've found an oval nearby to my house that ha a running track on it (grass, not that rubber gravel stuff, I forget it's real name) (edit: got it - tartin!) and I've started taking up the Couch to 5K program. So far I've "run" (read: jogged) week 1 twice. I don't know if I'll be ready to move on to week 2 next week, or if I should stick with W1 a little longer until I'm sure I feel comfortable to run the whole time without wanting to give up.

I will say this though, while I hate it right now (I've always hated running) I know that the idea behind the program is that I won't always, and I'll come to like it as long as I stick with it. Music helps too. I've found a few podcasts that use verbal cues and non-techno music. That's going to be helpful a lot. I like the cues telling me when to run and when to change into a walk again. And having music helps to distract my mind from the 'how long? 60 seconds right? I really shouldn't count this out. Just keep listening to the song. Sing along in your head and distract yourself from the waiting for the interval to be over' dialogue that runs through my head. Luckily, I stalked the internet for days/weeks until I found lots of podcasts for Couch to 5K and now I think I have at minimum 5 playlists for each week. So, that means I can redo any week (or day) for as long as I need to before moving on, without being bored, because the music will be different each time - score! Admittedly, not everything is to my taste (Sleazy R'n'B for instance) but is still becomes something different from my own music which I have listened to a hundred times before. That and techno beats. I like techno and dance music (German DJs in particular seem to have the right groove) but the non-descript pulsing beats of Robert Ullreys' podcasts, or Steve Boyett's Pordunner Intervals would grate on my nerves in the long run. (Hee hee!). But, I’m willing to give them a go as I get better. I can see the benefits? Advantages? Of running with the electronic beats, but that’ll have to come later, when I get into a good groove and rhythm.

Losing weight? Well… I weighed myself on the Monday June 24th and I was 107.2kgs. Admittedly, that was during the day, not first thing, so I’m not sure how accurate I should take that measurement. I guess it gives me a new starting point, right? Last week, I only was able to watch my food intake, I wasn’t able to do any exercise at all. However, I guess it was enough to get me started, because this morning I weighed in at 105.2kg. Nice to see a downward number, rather than an increasing one. I don’t want big, fast weightloss though. If I really lost 2kgs this week, that’s okay I guess, but I don’t want that long term. I’d like to think I can get a loss of between 500-600g per week (1-1.5lbs). That’s a slow amount, but a safe amount. I’d rather get slow consistent losses, than a bigger loss that’s going to be spaced out and gappy.  It just makes more sense to me.

Work-life balance?  I’ll get back to you on that one. ;)

If anyone does still read this, then thanks for sticking round!


  1. Hi Kathleen! Well, AWESOME!!! All of this! It's a thought-out plan that is realistic that is going to get you GOOD results that you will love. There is no magical or fantasy requirements in there--which is good. <<And I might have given you good ideas--but you're doing the work to implement it in a logical way.

    When I started eating the calorie amount, which is 1600-1700, like what your are doing now, boy(!!!), was that a LOT less than I had been eating. It was sort of amazing to find out how much I had been overeating. Like you describe above, I had to re-measure, and re-analyze EVERYTHING I ate. I had to find little places to cut--like I never eat a slice of bread anymore, because I never really liked it in the first place. But once you've measured it out and know the calories, it gets quite a bit quicker.

    But with those much lower calories and food journaling, expect those pounds to drop right off. I'm serious. When you consistently eat 1600 to 1700 calories per day, you will get slimmer in a noticeable way.

    Well, how exciting. I can't wait to hear updates on this. :D

    :-) Marion

    1. Hi Marion, you're right, this ended up in spam. I'm so sorry!

      But I read it and I want to thank-you for your encouragement (again!) :) I'm liking my plan too! I am actually starting to enjoy my food journaling and calorie tracking. *Whispers* is that weird?! Kind of? It is. It is weird isn't it? :-P

      But, truly I am. I think it might be down to the fact that because I am weighing and tracking everything that I'm eating, I'm finding myself constantly surprised. I'm seeing how much I eat particular foods or what is much more calorie dense than I realise - bread was one of those things! Or that the 4g standard for a teaspoon of sugar was actually one of my half-teaspoon measures. Definitely makes a difference when you add 1.5 teaspoons of sugar into your coffee.

      It's all a learning process isn't it? And I let the last 6 or so years teach me poor habits, so onwards I go, relearning the good ones!

      Thanks again for your encouragement :)


  2. I do not know why my very big comment to you did not show up, but look in spam to see if it's there. Otherwise, I'll write it up again.

    Anyways, AWESOME. What a logical great plan. :D

    :-) Marion

  3. Sounds like a great set of mid years resolutions (and I'm the same as you - the start of the month, especially if it coincides with a Monday, is a fantastic time for new beginnings!)

    Keep it up; good luck with the rest of this year :)

  4. Good luck with your resolutions! The work-life balance is one that I would completely fail, work seems to rule my life! >:(