Sunday, 30 March 2014

Just keep on Swimming

In the past four weeks I have rekindled a long lost passion for competitive swimming.  I've sat on the sidelines cheering my little one on as she starts her journey in the world of competitive swimming for the entire summer season.  Wishing, wanting to get in the water and race.  Training, not so much.  If only I could race and not train that would be awesome, except I have quickly learnt that it is no where near as easy as it used to be.  If you can picture a 30 something woman, a little more top heavy than she used to be, actually a little more bottom heavy too.  Lung capacity a dismal failure, what lung capacity, swimming as fast as she can, only to touch the wall in a heaving mess, struggling to get enough oxygen back into my lungs, wondering who's stupid bloody idea was it to get back into the pool again.

I make it sound like torture, and even though I have felt like I'm dying (okay slightly over dramatic) some days.  I have really enjoyed it.  Just feeling that rhythm of the stroke as you attempt to swim as fast as you can.  I talked myself to swimming at my daughter's club nights, with all the kids, eek, the first three weeks I turned up for club night only, it felt good to be on the block again, well except for that first one, just had "please do not belly flop" and "goggles please stay on" going round and round in my head.  Thankfully neither occurred and I swam reasonably well.  Managed to push out a 100m butterfly the first week.  Not at the speeds of the good old days but it wasn't too shabby and the kids didn't leave me for dead, so felt pretty pleased with myself.  Well besides the fact that holding a conversation after each race was impossible, minor detail.

I have since signed up for membership with Swimming WA and Masters Swimming WA, meaning I can compete in both competitions.  I have also registered for two competitions coming up next month, the first one with Masters WA and the following weekend a country meet with my daughter in Geraldton, looking forward to sharing that experience with her.  When I make these decisions I most definitely jump in with both feet, that's for sure.  After the last few weeks club nights, I sadly came to the realisation I really need to train if I want to swim in competitions, can't have the glory without the hard work.  I would love to train with the masters, unfortunately I can't make it to any training sessions due to other commitments, so have been going down with my daughter when she trains.  Her coach is my mum, so I just jump in her lane with the little kids, well except for the fact that the head coach usually moves me after a while, no hiding, thankfully I still manage to keep up with the big kids, well mostly. So after 30 years my mum is finally my swimming coach, tell you what that just seems so bloody strange it is not funny.

My other adventure back into the swimming world is finding a pair of bathers that I can wear without needing the support of a bra underneath them, which is what I have been doing up until now.  One club night the referee spoke to me about wearing two bathers, had to quickly inform him that it was in fact not two pairs of bathers, and unless he wanted to see me arrested for indecent exposure the girls definitely needed to be contained in a bra under my bathers.  The joys of mother nature blessing you a lot later in life.  Knowing that when I do finally swim in a competition that I would no be able to use my bra/bather combo I have been on the look out for a pair of sports bathers that are capable of support and containment.  If they look good that would be a bonus too.  I've settled for the fact that all those cute funky designs and thin straps are not for me.  I did however find a pair made by Rival swimwear in a wicked jade green colour that seem to fit the bill.  I have tested them at training during the week sans bra and they seem to hold up or in figuratively speaking. 

I am a bundle of emotions for the coming weekend, excited, nervous, happy, scared.  Really just looking forward to swimming and competing again.  It is most definitely in my blood.
Me, circa 1980s

Monday, 3 March 2014

Oops, I did it again

To steal a line from Brittney Spears, oops, I did it again indeed. 

I have had one of those weekends were all good intentions went out the window and I went straight to bad choices.  I have had a weekend filled with pizza, takeaway Chinese, McDonalds and chocolate and chips.  I know it is a one off but it is not something I do very often.  It just seemed to compound on itself and once it started, the bad choices kept on rolling. 

I am making it sound like every meal was a bad choice, it in fact was pretty much just dinner.  I was slack, I didn't prepare anything for dinner, or if I had I just couldn't be bothered cooking what I had gotten out to have for dinner.  Preparation is most definitely the key. 

I have put a lot of hard work in the last couple of weeks, making the right choices and getting back on track.  This weekend has just been a little speed bump and I am not going to let that speed bump be my undoing.  I ate it, I owned it, I tracked it.  Tomorrow is a new day and the slate is clean. 

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Breaking habits

I never realised how much of a habit I had created for myself.  The last two nights have been an absolute test on my will power.  With returning to work, that need to snack straight after dinner has just escalated.  I finish what is on my plate, put the plates in the sink in the kitchen and then immediately open the fridge and pantry looking for something a little extra.  Something sweet.  Anything really. The urge to eat something has been so strong lately, it has been scary.  It scares me how quickly the pull comes over me and how much internal fight it takes to resist it.  I know this habit was formed over night and I am not going to be able to stop it over night either.  There is a long road ahead and I know it is not going to be easy.  So far so good and I haven't succumbed, it's just scary how close I get to giving in whilst standing in front of the fridge.  I can do this, I will do this!!!

Whilst I'm breaking habits with my eating I also need to start creating new habits with my exercise.  I keep using the girls as an excuse and even though their schedules have taken over my previous scheduled gym sessions, it is not an excuse.  I need to recreate my schedule, plan new gym sessions and get my backside back into gear.  Yesterday I did diddly squat and this was a night that I used to have a previous gym session.  I need to get a workout back into this day.  Tonight I did a quick 15 minute workout of situps, pushups, some core stuff and burpees.  Just a little something before we ducked out to dinner.  Something to make sure that I wasn't going to have more than two days with no structured exercise, not just incidental exercise. 

Wednesday was another night that I had scheduled and in an attempt to keep at least one of my girls getting to bed at a decent hour I have cut back.  However I am now thinking that I can still fit a quick trip in to the gym after my eldest gets picked up for swimming training.  Throw in some rowing/treadmill interval training, quick intense but effective session.  Thursday I have decided to rejoin Gladiator school on a casual basis so I can attend this session, nothing else on at the gym in the morning tickled my fancy.  Friday through to Sunday was a bit of a gamble to what exercise I squeezed in. 

I really feel to insure I'm moving everyday I need to get on the treadmill in the morning.  So far I have sucked majorly in getting out of bed in the morning and have a tendency to constantly hit snooze when I even try to attempt it.  I know nobody is a morning person and it is just a case of just bloody doing it.  I need to find that mindset and get moving.  Something, even just a quick 15 minutes in the morning.  A run, some intervals or even just a walk.  I, Katherine, starting Monday will get up when the alarm goes off and get up and move.  No excuses, just frigging do it!!!       

Monday, 24 February 2014

A swim and a half

On Saturday morning I set the alarm for 4.45am and found myself at the pool, well before the sun was up for a little event called the Virtual Rottnest Channel Swim.  The swim is 20 kilometres in total, I was in a team of four and our swim was broken down into 500 metre lots, we needed to complete ten 500 metre swims each, a total of 5 kilometres per person.  The difference between the virtual swim and the real thing is that I'm not having to deal with stingers, currents, waves and all other sorts of sea life. 

I was a little worried that I may have bitten off a tad more than I could handle.  I'm not as swim fit as I used to be, far from it, sadly.  Training was a little hit and miss before hand, I managed to get down at least once a week before the event.  Unfortunately since the new year has started and the kids have returned to all their sports, I have not been able to continue my registration with the Aussi Masters Swimming Club, something I was looking forward to doing again but just not realistic when I can only get to one training session every three weeks if I am lucky.  This event would be my one and only with the Masters group until some kind of miracle happens and my schedule clears up.  

I took this photo just before I was about to jump in for my first leg.  Wearing our token hot pink Rottnest caps (which I have since regifted to my daughter).  A mixture of excitement and anxiety.  Just not knowing what to expect.  But just maybe a little bit more excited and just wanting to get in the water already.

I went in with a goal of 1 minute 50s for each leg and I need not have worried.  The first leg took a lap or two to get my rhythm, time wise it was definitely my quickest.  The first couple of 500 legs I managed to keep under the 10 minute mark, they started to creep up and over up after that.  Lap 5 and 6 of each leg really started to feel like I was swimming in clay.  The constant repeating of 1,1,1,1,2,2,2,2,3,3,3,3,4,4,4,4 and so on each lap so I didn't lose count was very monotonous but even if someone was telling me last lap, I'd still be counting as I would have to know how much longer I had to go.   The last two legs I swore I was swimming faster than the time showed but the clock didn't lie. 

All in all it was an awesome morning and six and half hours after starting at 6am, our little team of four had finished the 20 kilometres and had virtually made it all the way to Rottnest.   I felt exhilarated, so much so I celebrated with the most amazing choc caramel slice afterwards, the benefit of swimming with the masters, they can most definitely bake.  I am pumped now to attempt the actual Rottnest Channel swim, all I need to find now is three other crazy people willing to swim across with me and a boat crew.  Would be completely amazeballs if this time next year I can be celebrating swimming across the actual channel, too wicked for words (my shoulders are crying out in protest as I type but who listens to them anyway.)


Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Treat time

Today was my first real test.  I was invited out for breakfast to celebrate a friends birthday at the local Dome restaurant.  They have the most amazing cakes, breakfasts and shakes.  I hadn't planned on being strict with myself, I considered this to be a treat, a free pass to order whatever took my fancy, a special outing.  We all need to treat ourselves once in a while.  I think I might just call those few marshmallows I just ate a treat too.  Whoops. 

Funnily enough the only thing that really appealed to me on the menu was the fruit salad with yoghurt, honey and toasted muesli.  Everything else just looked too heavy and the fruit salad looked so bright and colourful.  I didn't deny myself a shake, except what I felt like was a Chai Chiller which in comparison with the other shakes was a lot healthier and technically not really a shake, more of a ice crush.  I did cop a little flak ordering the fruit salad but OhhEmmGee it was fantastic and I felt great and full afterwards, not bloated and yuck like you can do after eating a big fry up of a breakfast.  A little treat that was not quite so naughty as I had expected.  Score.

Whilst I'm scoring, today marks my fourth consecutive day of tracking, and not just tracking, tracking everything, including those marshmallows above and coming within my required kilojoules.  Fourth consecutive day of making wiser choices and successfully fighting that nighttime binge mode.  Even though I have whinged and moaned about my inability to control the snacking in the past, I really think the combination of a scare with the number on the scales and the blog post a few days ago I'm actually committed to change.  It feels good knowing that I made it through day one and I'm now on day four and my resistance and will power are still holding fast.  Surely that deserves a pat on the back.

Sunday we are celebrating my big girl's 8th birthday with a pool party with her school friends.  I will be serving some healthy options, but predominantly it will be all that yummy party food that eight year old girls enjoy, hmmmmmm fairy bread.  I plan to give myself a free pass on this day. I most definitely have to have a slice of her birthday cake.  Which for the first time ever I am paying someone else to make as her vision was far beyond my capabilities.  Looking forward to that one.  I am swimming as part of a four man team the day before in a virtual rottnest swim challenge, will cover five kilometres individually myself.  Think I'll be pretty safe with one slice of cake.  Would hate to undo all my work for the week the day before weigh in, however I'm not going to stress on that though and let it ruin the afternoon for me.  It's not everyday your baby turns eight.

Next week will bring with it a new set of challenges, I'm back to work after enjoying six weeks off and relishing the life of a stay at home mum, as well as the luxury of being able to go to the gym during the morning sessions.  With my girls schedules after school this year, I have lost my two scheduled night gym sessions from previous months.  I know that is not the be all and end all but for me it was a lot easier to ensure I get the work outs done when I go to the gym.  It's kind of like a date or an appointment I keep with myself, at home I don't tend to have the same drive or focus.  I know I'll work something out, eventually.  I just don't like the limbo stage I'm in at the moment.  I'm going from six weeks of having all the time in the world, to now being extremely time poor and on a seriously strict schedule.  I am pretty certain it is going to come as quite a rude shock to myself and my girls. 

I know I can resist the temptation of the work morning teas, the social club chocolate and chip bowls and all those other things that pop up in the workplace.  I know we will eventually find our grove with our routine.  I know I will get the exercise in, what that exercise will be, I don't know for sure yet, but I will do it.   

Monday, 17 February 2014

Small steps and little victories

Day 2 of my back on track and I am going to celebrate my successes from the last two days.  The last two days you say, really come back to me after a week, after a month even.  I have tried to kick start this change over and over and usually don't make it past 3pm before I fail.  Just like we would congratulate someone who has quit smoking after only two days, I am going to congratulate and acknowledge the successes I have had over the last two days. 

I feel the need to pat myself on the back for tracking everything that I have eaten, drank and done over the last two days.  No creative writing was had, everything went on.  By omitting anything the only person I am cheating is myself.  Previously I have been sneaky or just a little less honest with myself, and seriously what is the point?  I know I've done it, I'm not fooling myself and at the end of the week, I can see that I've cheated myself as I'm not seeing the rewards.  If I can't be honest with myself, then I have bigger problems then simply breaking up with my fridge.

Over the past two nights I have not been tempted by the fridge, actually I tell lies, I have been tempted but I have allowed that little voice of willpower to be stronger then that voice of temptation.  This afternoon I probably had my most testing moments.  I was starving after a pretty big workout in the morning and lunch was not cutting it on its own.  I kept going into the pantry ready to raid whatever I could find.  This was after already eating some left over roast chicken and vegies from the night before and some banana crisps.  I eyed the twisties but in the end I grabbed a water bottle from the fridge and sat back down.  Victory one to me. 

Tonight I gave in a little to temptation (aka my sweet tooth) and had a bite size milky way and two marsh mallows straight after dinner, although I would have liked to have turned away from the marshmallows, I tracked them.  I accounted for them and unlike times before I stopped at the two, I didn't devour a handful and then go in search for more food.  Not a complete success but not a fail either.  Small steps.  This is a small step in the right direction for me.

I have no intention of cutting my sweets completely out of my life, I have learnt from past experiences that for me this does not work and I end up binging on these items at one point or another.  My goal is for moderation with everything that I do.  It will be a work in progress, I am a work in progress.  Small steps and little victories.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Step away from the fridge

The fridge and I are best friends, every night after I put the girls to bed.  It calls me over and keeps me company, whilst tempting me with a vast number of goodies.  This relationship while it is fun at the time, always leaves me feeling sick and frustrated and unhappy with myself.  Yet night after night, I find myself succumbing to it's call and the cycle continues.

Now if I was in a relationship with a partner and I was constantly made to feel unhappy and sad, everybody would be telling me to open my eyes and walk away from him.  Stop going back, it always ends in tears, not his but yours.  Simple right, walk away. 

Not quite, its a habit that has been formed out of boredom and emotional eating.  Needing something to keep me company once the girls have gone to bed.  Food is that comfort, food has been that comfort.  Emotional eating is the devil reincarnated in the form of your favourite chocolate bar or a nice big bowl of creamy icecream (nobody ever has a small bowl).  That nagging voice in your head quietening that small voice of willpower, pushing that voice into the corner where noone pays any attention to it and control is lost. 

This morning I told the fridge it was over, no more.  It was hard and I did have a few moments today but I'm getting there.  One day at a time.  Every time I walk past the door and keep going is a victory.  Every time I make that choice and acknowledge that it is not hunger and ignore that nagging, is a victory.   

No amount of exercise is going to keep this under control.  I need to regain control of me and my head.  If I can't find that control, then all that progress I made two years ago was for naught and I'll find myself right back at that, sad depressing, over weight position again.  I don't want to be that person again.  I liked the person I was becoming, I was happy and confident.  I just need to find that person again. 

Today marks day 1 of regaining my willpower and self control.  Today is the first step forward in regaining that happiness and confidence.  I know I can do it.  I have done it before.  I can do it again.  I will do it again. 
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