Monday, February 21, 2011
Yesterday for once I went beyond my plans for the day - in one area at least. I not only moved the pieces of cut up tree trunks round to the front yard and stacked them neatly in preparation for making another small garden bed round another of the cut down trees (storm damage mid 2010), a red flowering eucalypt, I did more still. I was feeling great after that huge workout - some of the pieces were about 18inches in diameter, 2 feet long, and HEAVY! Lifted them (safely and carefully, learned long ago I'm no Superwoman)and carried them the 100 feet or so without any trouble whatsoever, when I was completely unable to even lift them a few months back.
Not only that, I was feeling so energized I decided to dig over the ground surrounding my newly regrowing tree, to check on the shape I wanted the garden. It was just going to be small, but then I looked at all the logs, all the shapes, sizes and thought 'nah, go bigger...' so I did. I extended my small garden area in the corner of the yard to one with more than enough space to accommodate the width of the eucalypt, planted a young golden connifer which is also going to take up a lot of space, and made room to plant all sorts of things in front, behind, between...
After that, it seemed silly to stop so I spent over 2 hours changing one log for another till I got my edging looking the way I wanted it. It's made up of large pieces of trunk, medium pieces of a smaller tree trunk, branch pieces of varying size, some V shaped pieces, and I didn't want it to look neat and tidy, I wanted it to look almost as though the pieces had fallen there and a garden had just grown there behind it. Finally, with endless trips to varying locations along the front fenceline to check its appearance, I succeeded. I was still on such a high, I spread the remaining 2 cubic yards of mulch from the tree branches which weren't worth keeping for anything but as firewood. That was too much of a waste of a resource, so I paid to have it all mulched - 6 cubic yards in all - they were large, old, beautiful trees before the storm hit.
I came inside totally worn out, but feeling sooooo wonderfully pleased with both the garden and my efforts, and made the decision to get myself properly in shape (or as close as possible, can't work miracles with this 56 year old body, but I CAN do my best for it). I am 8 pounds from my goal weight, and my body needs toning. I want to get more in shape than I am, want to push myself to do better for my body and my future health. I want to do more varied exercises. I needed a Challenge to do so, cos its only with set-time Challenges I seem to do my best.
I have just returned for another Winter 5% Weight Loss 8 Week Challenge, and went looking for another workout based Challenge. What I found was the Official 28 Day Bootcamp Workout Challenge. Not one to start something before finding out all about it, I checked the team introduction, checked the workout explanations, found out it wasn't the killer, inflexible workout for the incredibly fit super athletes I had imagined it to be. Instead, it is flexible enough to allow me to set my own cardio activities, there are 10 minute Bootcamp Workout Videos by Coach Nicole, and I did the first one of them before signing up, lol, just to make certain it was for me.
So, at the end of these 28 Days, I will still have 4 weeks to go on my 5% WeightLoss Challenge, but hopefully I will be much fitter and toned (oh how I need to be toned - I want to get rid of all those wobbly bits, thank you!), and may just do a second run at the 28 Day Bootcamp program, this time taking the exercises it contains to a more intensive level.
I know, a lot of effort between now and reaching Day 28, and a lot of dedication required, but I AM GOING TO DO THIS THING AND DO IT WELL! No more hoping to achieve, wishing I was fitter, I have to work towards achieving my goals. This is the rest of my life I'm dealing with here, and whether or not I can extend it any, I can at least put in enough effort to make darn sure I am as healthy and fit as possible.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Ok, maybe some of you will find the following two things helpful at some future time, maybe not... all I know is that I will, which is what really matters, lol. One thing I discovered out of pain and desperation while trimming the grass growing up through the fence, the other I woke up suddenly realizing this morning... obviously my brain has its own thing happening while I'm sleeping.
My knees were really giving me grief cos of the OA while I was kneeling on the ground trimming the grass by hand from against the fence. I'd filled the garbage bins with it, didn't want to use it for compost, cos there are some weeds in there with it. Brought some of those much hated plastic supermarket bags, and as I trimmed, put the cut offs into the bag. When it was full I tied it and began to work on filling the next bag. Malachai (my sometimes cat) was 'helping me by trying to tear open the filled bag, so I decided to put it under a kneel so I wouldn't have to re-bag the contents. Istant comfort, and almost pain free knee. Tried the same with the next bag and the other knee. Same result. I managed to fill another 8 bags in total, almost pain free comfort.
BRILLIANT IDEA #1- Plastic bags filled with weeds/grass and tied make great kneelers while working in the garden, even with very painful knees.
I was bored while working on that fenceline, kept looking ahead, counting how many fenceposts I still had to reach to finish, kept looking at the time, and the music on my Ipod wasn't distracting me at all. Ok, the job wasn't all that hard, or so bad, or so long, but it was boring. At times I even found myself doing a garden version of pushups against the steel fence, while on my knees, although I had to stop enjoying myself in that way when an elderly lady had some concerns for my health, imagining I was having heart trouble for some reason, lol. Kinda embarrassing, but if ever I do have heart pains while gardening I'll know how to signal my need for help.
THAT MAY WELL SERVE ME WELL IN SOME FAR DISTANT TIME, BUT IT IS NOT MY SECOND BRILLIANT IDEA.
I went to bed last night feeling really pleased with the way the yard now looks, to the point where I stood outside in the dark, checking out the perfection of my fence line by the light of the street lights... ok, I need to get out more, I know. I slept soundly all night (thanks Better Sleep Challenge) and woke this morning wondering why on earth I hadn't thought before of going to the library and borrowing a 'book on cd', to transfer to my Ipod to listen to while working. It would have made all the difference. I have been known to become so involved in listening to one in the car that I kept driving past my destination, then turned round and went back again to where I was meant to be just so I could hear the end of the 'book'.
BRILLIANT IDEA #2 - Use you Ipod/mp3 to listen to books on cd while you are working on a seemingly never ending task, or when lacking motivation to exercise.
Ok, warned you they weren't of earth shattering importance, but hey, they will help improve my enthusiasm for all things active, so maybe they may just help some one else. Then again, maybe not... Whatever, I know I'm going to go borrow some books on cd to put on my Ipod, and I'll finally have a use for those pesky plastic bags which have been multiplying in my bag holder even though I never use them myself - friends seem to feel the need to bring me things, or return something I've loaned them in said bags, probably in an attempt to rid their own homes of them.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Ok, they say we learn something new every day, and I just learned today's lesson outside.
For weeks the grass growing between the corrugations of the fence has driven me crazy, cos I knew I was going to have to get down on my hands and knees and trim it using some small garden clippers, which are the only things able to do the job.
Did I do it? No. Was I happy about not doing it? No.
So, yesterday came the crunch. I decided it was making the entire yard look untidy so I had to make a start. I decided half yesterday, half today was manageable, cos I'd have to do it all kneeling down, almost prostrate on the ground in order to be able to see and clip the runners of the grass growing up behind the bottom railing. Due to OA in both knees, I have trouble kneeling, so better to do it over two days and be able to walk normally afterwards.
Yesterday I did the first half, about 50 feet. Following that I went for a walk to get my knees (and the rest of my legs) working as they should. Today I finished the second half of the fence.
How did I feel each day, knowing I'd done what I set out to achieve? Great! Was I sore and aching? Yes, somewhat. Was there any justification for delaying trimming it for as long as I had? No.
Seems to me its all too easy to get bogged down in the negative aspects of any challenge that comes our way, rather than focusing on the positive aspects, especially the great feeling of satisfaction we get from tackling something, not giving in when the going gets a little hard, and from being able to walk away when its finally over, and looking back at what has been achieved simply through effort and determination not to quit.
Just hope I remember that next time I'm faced with some sort of challenge...
Friday, February 18, 2011
Well, after the motivation of the last 5% Challenge getting my scales moving downward, and maintaining the momentum since, today marks the first day of this my second Challenge.
What are my expectations? Of myself, to eat wisely and well, to exercise regularly, to report daily, to support and encourage others. Of fellow Spirited Underdogs team members and other teams' members - to keep the momentum up, to work as hard as possible to achieve their goals, and to put in the effort required to help our/their teams up there in the Challenge board top 3 teams.
My goals? Personal - To do everything according to Spark principles to achieve goal weight by the end of this 8 week Challenge. Other participants - exactly the same - to achieve their 5% or other goal weight via exercise, nutrition.
Reasons? I want to have completed my weight loss journey, to know that I have the power within me to achieve anything if I dedicate myself to finding the way that works best for me, and continuing to do so even when I am not finding the going easy. I want to look good for my daughter's wedding in March, only a few weeks to go. Last time my sister and eldest daughter saw me I was overweight. looked decidedly unwell, could hardly move due to arthritis, was depressed and didn't care at all what I looked like.
These next few weeks will be the icing on the cake, and I will prove to myself that no matter the depths we have to struggle up from, it is possible to find our way to the surface, bask in the glory of the sunshine of renewed self-confidence and self-love. Those two things were missing in my life for so long, but now they are back in full force.
UPDATE - I just weighed myself after posting this blog, and after losing another 2 pound this week I only need to lose 8 pound to reach my goal weight - 8 weeks, 8 pounds.... seems this was meant to be, doesn't it?
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