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Reflections on maintaining

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I have to admit it - I have had a bit of time away from daily food tracking.
I was camping with the family for a few days, plus what with the race, and having this cough . .
The scale is saying all the right things - I am at my ideal weight.

Reflections on staying at goal

1. Camping (we were remote-ish) is ideal for weight management - especially when you are sick on the day you pack, so forget to put in wine, chocolate etc. No shops to just nip down to to satisfy a craving.

2. I seem to be able to satisfy myself with just a taste more often now days. We went out for lunch last week - and I ordered a burger and fries. (I know - not a healthy choice, but you have to splash out occasionally). Previously I would have guarded my fries from scavengers - but this time I dished them out happily amongst the family, only leaving a few for myself. And I really enjoyed them. A treat shared is a treat enjoyed in my book!

3. I need to commit to some non-scale measuring. Either the dreaded tape measure or I am thinking about getting a physical assessment, including body fat %. Happy with this weight (I think) but do want to do something about a less than lean mid section.

4. I feel like I am at the point where I can track only a few days a week. When I am at home, cooking all my meals etc I can restrict myself to the lower end of my calorie range, which gives me a little room to relax on the weekends. This is not a licence to go crazy - but know that I can go a little over and still be OK. If my weekly weigh in (or the tape measure) tells me otherwise, I know what I must do.

5. I need this cough to go - I am hoping to do another mountain bike race in April, but at the moment I am not getting in any training.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FROGGGY13 3/1/2012 1:37AM

    It sounds like you are doing great! Your sharing fries means you've really got the essence of maintenance; I personally am not there yet.

I have stopped tracking for some time now and am still on the right track (in fact, I'm trying to figure out how to stop losing). At home, I pretty much eat the same thing, and we eat in restaurants so rarely that it is a non-issue. The only food unknown is when we visit friends or we have them over for dinner, and they bring yummy dessert or appetizers.

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    I have been thinking a lot about maintenance and how to go about calorie ranges while there. I have thought about eating at my lower range to make up for the times I may eat out with friends... as it seems to maintain me now (have unexpectedly tested this theory more than once during weight loss) during those couple times where I eat out once or twice and stay within ranges otherwise..... It is very interesting to know how others approach this.

Thanks for your insight.

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MSSUNBUG 2/29/2012 8:32PM

    I've found maintenance way more complicated and difficult (emotionally and logistically) than I found losing. I appreciate your sharing how you're navigating it--other forms of measurement, finding a middle ground with tracking and with eating during the week vs. the weekends--all great ideas!

Hope you feel better and recover from your cough!

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The big race

Monday, February 20, 2012

Last Monday I woke up with a cough - 5 days before Saturday's 50km mountain bike race. I have been training for this since I did it last year.
I was pretty concerned, because my daughter had a cough for a week at that stage, and it was not showing any sign of being better.

So I did almost no exercise the whole week, and tried to look after myself - but woke up Friday morning still feeling pretty bad.

My husband and I left home, and dropped our kids off to my parents for the weekend. Mum kept making comments like "Don't do the race, just enjoy the day off without the kids - coffee, the paper". By this time I was coughing at least twice a minute, so starting the race was looking less and less likely.

I put a status update on FB and SP, and got some lovely supportive comments from people. "You have worked so hard, so there is much to celebrate already". Brought tears to my eyes.

Friday night we are at Forrest for the registration - picking up our t-shirt and our race number. Of course, this was all very exciting. I had pretty much decided I was going to start the race, and just see how I went. If I felt fever-y or was struggling to breathe I would just pull out. The race started with 10km up a road before the twisty single track started - so I knew I could just turn back pretty easily.

We pitched our tent and after checking our bikes I was in bed at 8pm. I think I slept about 2 hours in total - coughing the night away.

Next morning was all excitement - up at 5.45 for a 7.15 start.
Not good to start a race with pain killers & throat lozenges.

I started in the second wave - and almost right off the bat our group got directed on to the wrong course. So much for being able to turn around if I felt like it! I had no idea where I was, so just followed the wheel in front.
The interesting thing was that once I started riding, I did not need to cough! Maybe it was the breathing, or concentrating on something else. Occasionally I felt I needed to clear my airway, so gave a hacking cough - which surprised a few riders. I can't imagine what they thought.

Anyway, I took my time.
Not being highly competitive anyway, I just did the best I could. At the halfway point (which was right at the finish line, so an easy point to pull out) I was feeling pretty good. Straight after this was a long slow uphill, and shortly after I started feeling like I was riding in quicksand - slow and laboured. My mind was going over the race circuit - when would be a good place to pull out, and head home along a road? In my mind I determined a coming cross road was the point. I knew there would be a marshall there - I would withdraw and take the short cut.

But then I got to the cross road, and did not stop, and before I knew it another rider told me we had only 14km to go. I could do this. I knew that there were no killer hills in the last 5 km. The 3 before that would be tough - but doable.

So, I have been taking in pretty easy so far.
I made the mistake of googling "cough + exercise" before I left, and I was worried I might give myself Pneumonia.

But then its 5 kms to go, and I know there are no more big climbs and there are 2 women just in front of me. Now this race has over 800 competitors, but only about 10% women. The competitor in me knew I needed to get in front of these 2, and keep there for 5 more kms.

Which I did - a couple of small inclines at the end and I was feeling pretty average, but I made it to the end.

I was met by friends who had finished before me, and in response to their cries of 'Well done" and "How are you feeling?" - I exploded in a good few minutes serious coughing! I think they weren't sure if I needed the medics!

In Summary

I do not endorse doing an event like this if you are unwell. I decided to see how I went, and it seems to have been OK. I am still pretty sick, but don't believe I am worse than I would have been anyway.

Last year I completed the race is 4hrs 46 minutes when I was 9 kgs (20 lbs) heavier , with a heavier bike and less experience but in good health.
This year I completed the race in 4hrs 38 minutes on a different route (due to being sent off course) and being sick.

My husband had said that he thought I would complete the race in 4 hours - I was hoping for about 4 hours 20. I am quite disappointed that I did not get to have a good stab at it, but I suppose 'them's the breaks'.

I competed in the women's 18 to 39 yrs category - just 3 weeks shy of my 40th birthday.
I came 33rd in my category, but would have come 12th in the 40-49 yrs category.
Something to aim for next year? A top 10 finish perhaps?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    You know what your body can do, and I'm impressed you finished the whole race! emoticon emoticon

Now you know that a little cough can't keep you from doing what you want to do! Must make you feel amazing.

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MADDIEMOM27 2/20/2012 6:49AM

    emoticon!!!wow!!! I'm impressed at the 50km ride, but also that you finished while under the weather!!!!!

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FLOPPYRETURNS 2/20/2012 6:29AM


Congratulations!! You did great and I am so impressed that you completed the whole race. I was cheering for you as I was reading this!

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I've got my grandmother's physique - and I'm proud of it

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I am still getting used to the new me.
When I look down I see a belly and round hips - but when I look in the mirror I see how my body has changed.

The other day it struck me how much I look like my grandmother did.
I am probably remembering her when she was in her 60s, and I am not even 40 yet.
I don't mean I look as old as she did - but I look lean & strong, in a soft way. Like she did.

She was a woman that lived 'moderation' - she did not over eat, or drink much - but enjoyed the odd chocolate ginger or whiskey. She had four children, and lived an active life. She maintained a huge garden, she walked and swam regularly.

I am not a fitness model, or beauty queen - but I don't aspire to be.
Since I have adopted a more moderate diet, I am starting to resemble a woman that I admire greatly. She was not airbrushed - she was a real woman. Strong, active, healthy and content. Not such a bad thing to aspire to.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THETURTLEBEAR 1/31/2012 4:50PM

    That is fabulous! I for one am glad I don't look like my mom's mom, because God bless her but she always looked like a bowling ball on legs!

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FLOPPYRETURNS 1/31/2012 9:11AM

    Your grandma sounds like she was one cool lady!


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FROGGGY13 1/31/2012 2:07AM

    I know what you mean! I would love to look like my grandmother did, to live like she dies, without excesses, and to be doing as well as she is doing now at age 89, physically and mentally.
Isn't it great to have our grandmothers for role models?

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I fear that I am a slow learner

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

In the mornings I quite often take a walk - pushing the 2 kids in the double pushchair. Its a rickety old pushchair - so it is quite a workout.
Most days I end up stopping somewhere for a non-fat latte (70 cal) - and more often than I should I buy a muffin or similar.
Last year I was on a good thing. Only getting a muffin once a week - and sharing it with the kids. Half a muffin = 200 calories. Not ideal - but in a budget of 1860 per day, manageable.

Well, this year I have been having the sweet accompaniment to the coffee a bit more often - and not always sharing it with the kids. All of a sudden my coffee stop is about 500 calories.

And then I wonder why I can't manage to keep to my calorie budget for the day!

Note to self - try to roughly track your food for the day BEFORE your morning walk.
That way, you will know what you can afford (or not)!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THETURTLEBEAR 1/25/2012 5:32PM

    Those slippery slopes can be dangerous!

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KANOE10 1/24/2012 11:46PM

    Good for you realizing what is the problem..Planning ahead will help you so much.
Hpwever, give yourself credit for exercising with two little ones is a great accomplishment. You are doing well.!!! emoticon

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ARTJAC 1/24/2012 11:28PM


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BESTSUSIEYET 1/24/2012 9:32PM

    Planning my meals ahead (rather than tracking what I ate to see how bad/good I did was key for me! Now that you realize how this choice is detouring you from your goals, make a change! HDHAWK's idea of taking a healthy snack with you is great! I have found all kinds of recipes for healthy sweet treats and take them with me to work & on hikes. You can do it!

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HDHAWK 1/24/2012 9:22PM

    Could you take a little snack along to eat in place of the muffin? Make a plan to do something other than buying a muffin to build a new habit. Good luck!

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Commitment - The new me is here to stay

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It took about 6 months for me to lose 11kg (24lbs).

I have been at goal weight (or within 1 pound of goal) for 9 weeks. That's 2 months. Woo hoo!

I really need to celebrate, because there is a big part of me that doesn't believe I can maintain this new me. There! I've said it.

I am still wearing all my old clothes. Some of my clothes are fine (perhaps they were a little tight on the old me?) but some of them are just terrible.

Track pants that I keep hitching up since they are way too loose.
Jeans that sag at the bum - even when just freshly washed.
Skirts that are only just hanging on my hips - 1 more pound down, and I can expect them to just slip to the ground, leaving me in my knickers (also baggy) at the shopping centre.
Not a good look.

Now, I know I need to go shopping - but I am not a keen shopper, so I have been putting it off.
Plus, any time I get without the kids I want to be training for my race next month.
Plus, there is always the worry in the back of my mind. If I buy something that fits me now, then what if I can't maintain? What a waste!

Today - I took the first step.
I dragged the sewing machine out of the back of the cupboard, and took my skirts in.

There is no going back (and no chance of losing my skirt in the shopping centre).

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THETURTLEBEAR 1/19/2012 2:20PM

    Good for you! You will definitely keep this off - it's the new you!

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KANOE10 1/19/2012 6:27AM

    Congrats on your wonderful loss. You can do it. You are maintaining and keeping it off. It is scary to wear smaller clothes. I went through fears when I bought a new size of pants..can I really keep this off. By you sewing and making your clothes fit, you are committing yourself to saying..Yes I really am going to keep this weight off. Have a wonderful day.

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FROGGGY13 1/19/2012 1:31AM

I very much understand what you mean by wardrobe issues. I am mostly fine in the tops department, but my 11 kg loss left me in need of pants. I tried to go shopping, but got so discouraged. A million cuts, nothing that really fit the way I would like to. Here they only have one length of pants, and I am short so I would have to have them altered, something I detest.
Good luck to you!

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    You CAN do it! You WILL do it!!

However, I understand your fear.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FOODIELOVER1 1/18/2012 11:09PM

  emoticon Congrats

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TLBLACKJACK 1/18/2012 10:52PM

    I hope to get to that point!! Good job!

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