Tag Archives: friends

Spring has sprung

2 Sep

springToday is the second day of spring. As far as I could see it was a lovely day. I was indoors for most of it, busy at my desk with no view of the outdoors. The view from my window is a grim, grey and very boring brick and cement wall.

Yesterday, the first day of spring, I did a 23km walk. Now I can vouch for the fact that yesterday was a lovely day given that I spent 3.5 hours of it, in the afternoon, walking, walking, walking. Thank goodness I had arranged to meet Ruth for the Lake Ginninderra portion of the walk. Its so nice having company sometimes.

Actually, I didn’t realise how much I get in the zone, so to speak, when I’m doing one of my training walks. A couple of friends were out on their bikes yesterday, saw me from a distance and were calling out to me. But because they were behind me, I had my earphones in, and I was focussed on walking I never heard them. It wasn’t until I felt a bike slow down very close to me did I look up and see who it was!

The walk went ok. It was only the last 4km when Ruth and I went our separate ways, that I was finding it hard. I had slowed down because I was tired and the soreness was starting to settle in. It always feels harder when you’re on your own.

So 3.5hrs later I was home – actually it was probably closer to 4hrs later as we did stop for a cold drink and a sit down near the end. All I felt like doing once I got home was put my feet up and not move again. However, I had to have a shower and get ready as we were going out to dinner that night. At least I had walked up an appetite!

Dinner was with friends, Ruth & Mr B, and the Hares (who I had seen earlier when they out on their bikes!) at the Copa Brazilian Churrasco in Dickson. Due to a booking stuff up at SubUrban/Belluccis, we decided to try this restaurant and it proved to be a great choice. It was a lot of fun trying all the different barbecued meats on offer – from seafood to chicken to lamb to pork and to beef. Not a place for vegetarians! Mr CJ and I had been to a similar restaurant, Carnivore, in Singapore a few years ago.

Today was a rest day. Which is a good thing because I am really tired. I can’t believe walking can take that much out of me. I’m running walking on empty


Short & sweet

31 Aug

Sort of describes me! 🙂 Hehehe!

However I’m referring to today’s entry.

Up early for a 10km walk before breakfast. I couldn’t manage more than one lot of 30secs of jogging every kilometre today. Some days are better than others. It was very chilly this morning so I was wearing several layers. An amazing sunrise greeted me but I didn’t see the sun again until later in the morning.

Morning tea and lunch at the War Memorial cafe with wonderful friends. Truly I am blessed with great friends. I heard about the awesome run along the Birdsville Track by the amazing Steve. Over 500km in 8-9 days. Imagine that…getting up and running between 60-70km every day for just over a week. Mind boggling.

Weather-wise, it ended up being a beautiful day. I’m hoping tomorrow is the same as I have a 23km walk to do in the afternoon.


Tequila sunrise

28 Aug

“It’s another tequila sunrise…”

I’m not referring to the Eagles’ song, a 1973 song written by Don Henley and Glenn Frey, and recorded by the Eagles. It was the first single from the band’s second album Desperado. My dad loved the Eagles and so I heard this song a lot the year it was released. However don’t get me started on Neil Diamond’s Hot August Night album released in 1972 – my mum’s favourite. This was on high rotation on the stereo and to this day I can’t listen to a Neil Diamond song from that album without gagging. I am definitely not a Neil Diamond fan.

Tequila sunrise….it’s an indirect reference to the cocktail made with tequila, orange juice and grenadine and which it gets its name from the way the grenadine settles in the bottom of the glass, giving the impression of a sunrise. It was the drink of choice for a period of time during my misspent youth and to be honest, I don’t think I could even face one now, let alone drink it! Too many memories and not all of them good! Besides its so sickly sweet.

It was the sunrise this morning that reminded me of the Tequila Sunrise cocktail – funny how little things like that can bring back all sorts of memories. It was a gorgeous sky, just before the sun popped over the horizon. It was a bit chilly but my random 30 sec jogs soon warmed me up. I think I am improving on these short jogs though I still can’t do more than 30 secs. However I can string a couple relatively close together, with only short walking breaks between, as long as it’s done on the flat. I’m finding that jogging up or down hill still doesn’t work for me.

Had a lovely lunch with Ruth at Shorty’s – a new bar/cafe in Civic where Milk & Honey used to be. Had a great cappuccino even it it did have chocolate on the top 🙂 Both of us had the chicken skewers on corn tortillas with avocado, lettuce, tomato and mayo. Wasn’t the most elegant dish to eat as my tortillas disintegrated when I tried wrapping the filling to eat them.


Bruised toenails

18 Aug

I have a problem. A very painful problem. The toenail on my big toe is so sore. Looking at it, it’s looking quite red in the upper half of the nail so I’m guessing there’s a bruise underneath. It hurts to walk because of the pressure exerted on the toe when I take a step.


I never really anticipated problems with walking. I have a long history of running injuries but walking?! I mean, come on, it’s walking for crying out loud! Hmmm, I think I’m going to have to review my thinking regarding walking – it’s a bloody tough gig. 🙂

So what do I do with a very painful bruised toenail? Suggestions gratefully accepted as I have another training walk to do on Tuesday.

This afternoon I walked 22.6km – my longest walk to date. It took almost 3 1/2 hours, with an average pace of 9.11min/km. Ruth walked with me around Lake Ginninderra, which is where we saw Kathy out on her bike. We had a chat for a bit before Kathy headed off and we continued on. There was a really strong wind blowing which sometimes made it tough going, but gee it really helps having company. That, and the lure of coffee! Which we had at Black Pepper, before I headed off home and Ruth to the mall.

Now to hobble off to bed 🙂

20130818-202431.jpgTomorrow 🙂

Attitude is contagious…is yours worth catching?

20 Jun

Have you noticed that if you are around someone who is pessimistic, negative and has a ‘can’t be bothered’ attitude, that after a while you begin feeling tired, drained and negative yourself? Negative people drag you down. Conversely hang around someone who has a positive outlook, is optimistic (without being a Pollyanna) and up for a challenge, and you feel so inspired and want to do more.

A positive attitude to life, healthy eating and exercise can make a world of difference. I know that when I feel positive and inspired that everything seems so much easier – whether that’s following a healthy eating program, going to the gym or just not eating crap. And doing all of these things helps to maintain a positive attitude so it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I try to associate with people who are going to pull me up, not drag me down. I’m very fortunate that I have so many positive, healthy and wonderful friends who continually to inspire and amaze me, and make me want to become a better version of me.

This morning I had my second weight session for the week, focusing on my hamstrings, shoulders and back. There was no running today – my next running session won’t happen until Saturday. You can’t rush these things. But there have been no adverse effects from yesterday’s attempts so that’s gotta be good.

And yes, I do have to admit that when I first wake up in the morning and peer at the clock, my initial thoughts are along the lines that I don’t want to get out of bed or go the gym, especially now its so chilly. I am human, after all. 🙂

But because I have prepped all my gear the night before, ie my gym bag is packed, I have my program so I know what I’ll be doing when I get to the gym, my clothes are out ready for me to get dressed…I really have no excuse to get up and go. And I do know that once I get to the gym, or go for an early morning brisk walk, or go to the pool (well ok this takes a bit more convincing in Winter) I will feel so much better and then once I have completed the session, I am glad that I made the effort to go. Sometimes you really do have to fake it until you make it. And exercising first thing in the morning is a great way to start the day…once I make that decision to get out of bed!

There were no more breakfasts or lunches out today, thank goodness! It was lovely to catch up with friends over a meal but eating out can be such a minefield. Now, though, I can stick to my program and know what I am eating, calorie and ingredient-wise. Today I had baked beans and avocado toast for breakfast, left over chicken tikka curry with cauliflower mash for lunch and beef moussaka for dinner. Perfect meals for the cold weather.

But right now I have to make time to listen to Michelle’s latest videos…for a positive attitude top-up!

A day in the life of a 12WBTer

19 Jun

5.30am: weigh in day so I was out of bed and getting on the scales before having my regulation black coffee to kick start my day. Woo hoo! Lost 500g. That makes a total of 2kg lost since I started the program. Performed a little happy dance 🙂

6am-7am: workout time! This morning I had a cardio session and I was going to introduce some running. Omg this was going to be a big thing for me after 5 weeks of no running. Deep breaths!

I began with a 5min warm up walk on the treadmill before moving to the xtrainer for 10mins. On to the bike now for 10mins and then…this was it…10mins on the treadmill. Now I had to start trying some run intervals. On the treadmill screen I had the running track graphic and so I decided to alternate between 100m walks and 100m slow jogs. I had been instructed to run at the same pace as my brisk walking pace ie 6.5kph, so I certainly wasn’t setting a blistering pace! There were no problems with the running. Then it was on to my final 10mins on the xtrainer before finishing with 50 push-ups and 4 x 60sec planks.

And that was all I had time for before hitting the showers before the inevitable change room rush and scrum.

7.30am: finally…breakfast! Today I had oven roasted tomatoes on ricotta topped toast. It was also meant to have basil on it as well but my basil has withered and died in this cold weather and I only had coriander in the fridge. Oh well, it tasted fine anyway.

8.30am: work.

10.30am: tummy grumbles were telling me that it must be morning tea time. Ignored the half empty packet of Tim Tams on the table in the middle of our bay, and instead had corn thins topped with extra light cream cheese, chopped almonds and honey. Water! I must remember to drink more water. In this weather it’s so easy to forget even though I do have a bright blue water jug on my desk. I can hardly miss it!

12.30pm: meeting Mr B for lunch at Gus’s. Only problem is that I hadn’t anticipated it being so busy. The only tables available were outside and the heating wasn’t great. But I had no choice. I was hoping that the pumpkin soup I ordered would warm me up, along with long black. The soup might’ve done the trick if it had been a lot warmer than what it was – it was a bit of a disappointment. Thank goodness for good company!

4.30pm: feeling a bit peckish so I had an apple. This would keep me going until dinner…hopefully.

5.30pm: a brisk 10min walk to the car. It’s so cold even though I’ve got on a warm coat, scarf and gloves, as well as tights and boots.

6.15pm: start cooking dinner. Tonight we have Chicken Tikka curry with cauliflower mash. The chicken thighs had been marinating in a mixture of tikka curry paste and natural yoghurt since last night so it was just a matter of browning these in the frypan before adding chicken stock and coconut cream. I had doubled the recipe but now I realise I needn’t have doubled the stock and cream – too much liquid. Oh well, I’ll know for next time! There was enough left over for lunch tomorrow so that’s lunch sorted.

7pm: finally sit down to dinner. The curry was very mild but tasty nonetheless. And I’m not sure whether Mr CJ actually noticed that the mash was cauliflower and not potato. He didn’t comment anyway, and ate the lot!

7.30pm: pack the gym bag for tomorrow morning’s weight session. Put on a load of washing.

Now: doing my blog entry. Then I’ll have my nightly treat – a Jarrah hot chocolate. Maybe some knitting. Then off to bed. 🙂


Halfway there

17 Jun

Week 6 – we’re halfway through the 12 WBT program. It’s going so quickly.

This week was off to a flying start with a brisk 5km walk at 5.30 this morning. The reason for the early start was that I was meeting friends for breakfast in town at 7.30am.

So it was on with the many layers to keep warm and then out the door – with my polar HRM on to record calories burnt and heart rate, the Garmin GPS in my pocket to record the number of kilometres covered, my phone in the other pocket because that counts steps, and my ipod shuffle for music! Nothing like technology to record all sorts of details! Love my gadgets. 🙂

After my walk I still had 50 push ups and 4 mins worth of planking to do (this week’s challenge involves doing 40mins worth of the plank over the week) before I could have a shower and get ready for work.

Breakfast was great. I love catching up with friends Ruth and Liz, and this morning we met for breakfast at 2Before10 café. I had poached eggs on gluten free toast with pickled cherry tomatoes, rocket and pesto and it was delicious. Several cups of coffee later, and having caught up with all the news, it was off to work. The lifts have been playing up (there is only 2 in our building) so it meant I had to use the stairs – no excuses. Since my hamstring injury I have been avoiding the stairs but I think now it’s time to return to using them again. It doesn’t seem to bother the hammie and it beats having to wait for what seems forever for the single lift to show up.

Last week’s challenge involved getting to be early every night. How did I find it? I actually felt so much better for getting to bed early during the week so I am trying to continue with that. On weekends I tend to stay up later but that’s because I get to sleep in on Sundays. Anyway I’ll see how I go. 🙂


Super Saturday

15 Jun

It’s been a super Saturday in more ways than one today. Yes, the SSS happened this morning, with more intensity than usual because I was having my good friend Ruth around for lunch and I needed to burn a few more calories than normal. Mind you, there was also a lot of running around cleaning, dusting etc once I got home from the gym to make the place more presentable!

Now don’t be alarmed! I haven’t fallen off the wagon. No siree, lucky Ruth was being treated to a 12WBT-themed lunch to prove that you can entertain while on the program.

The menu:
Entree: Salmon and grilled vegetable terrine with ricotta

Main: minestrone with lentils & zucchini with toasted seeded wholegrain roll

Dessert: mini chocolate fudge cakes with icecream

To drink: water flavoured with lemon juice and at the end of the meal, a cappuccino (courtesy of my Nespresso machine)

It was a lovely afternoon 🙂

And a quick shout out for this morning’s breakfast, French toast with banana, berries & maple syrup. It was soooo good and especially appreciated after my SSS this morning.


Finally, there was a stunning sky this evening.

Truly a super Saturday 🙂


12 Jun

I know this might sound obvious but I have muscles! Now this is not a recent revelation – I do know that the human body is comprised of approximately 650 or more muscles (depending what source you reference!) that do all manner of things to enable us to function. However, the reason I know I have muscles is that they are sore! Yes, I have delayed onset muscle soreness. Finally! As of this week I have been able to incorporate leg exercises into my weights regime, and even though I am using itty bitty weights, my muscles are feeling the effects. And I have also increased the weight for my upper body exercises.

Today it’s been an interesting exercise getting up and down from a seated position!

However, DOMS did not stop me from going for my early morning 6km walk today. And having gone to bed early last night (lights out at 10pm), I was…almost…bright as a button this morning at 5.30am! Amazing what 7 hours of sleep can do. This morning it wasn’t as cold as it has been on previous mornings, though I was still dressed for sub zero temperatures. The entire walk was done under the cover of darkness, I walk under the street lights so I can see where I’m going and I’m less likely to fall down a pot hole. There was not another soul out walking this morning. Then once I was home I did a mini circuit of squats, lunges, one-leg bridges, 2-leg bridges on a chair, and push ups, which was interesting given my DOMS.

And how could I forget – today is weigh in day. My loss this week was a grand total of…wait for it…drum roll…ahem…100g! Well at least its 100g in the right direction…down!

Enjoyed a coffee at lunchtime with Mr B. Well I had the coffee, he had a GF chocolate cookie which looked really delicious and oh so tempting. I was debating whether just to have a teensy piece but then I thought if I gave in this time it will make it easier to give in again…and again…and again. So no chocolate cookie for me. 🙂

Dinner tonight was meant to be Asian Chicken Patties with Warm Noodle Salad but it morphed into Asian chicken stirfry! I buy chicken breasts and mince them myself rather than buy chicken mince which can be quite fatty. Tonight, though, I really couldn’t be bothered mincing the breast and making patties. So instead I used diced chicken breast and all other ingredients in the recipe for the stirfry. Pretty simple but delicious.

Anyway I must take these sore muscles off to bed. Hopefully they will feel better tomorrow because, guess what?! I return to the gym to do it all again! 🙂


What a jerk!

9 Jun

Dinner tonight: Jerk fish. Verdict: delicious.

According to Wikipedia (what else!) Jerk is a style of cooking native to Jamaica in which meat is dry-rubbed or wet marinated with a very hot spice mixture called Jamaican jerk spice. Jerk seasoning principally relies upon two items: allspice (called “pimento” in Jamaica) and Scotch bonnet peppers (similar in heat to the habanero pepper).

The 12WBT recipe has dried thyme, allspice, brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger, chilli, oil & onion in the marinade. Once marinaded, the fish was char grilled and was served with steamed chat potatoes and a green salad. It was a really tasty meal.

Now for the week in review. This is a milestone week so there was fitness test to do as well.

Monday – I braved the early morning for another walk but with so many layers on I probably looked like the Michelin Man. Be prepared was today’s motto as I prepped Mondays meals as well as Tuesdays as I was going to the movies after work.

Tuesday – from jelly arms at the gym to getting good/not so good news from the physio to seeing The Great Gatsby, today had it all. No popcorn, pop tops or wine at the movies. Diet Coke and yoghurt & berries I had prepared the day before kept me going.

Wednesday – a 900g loss! A very filling egg white omelette for lunch at a Canberra institution: Gus’s to celebrate (belatedly) Ruth’s birthday.

Thursday – another meal out. This time breakfast with work colleagues at a nearby cafe. Another omelette. No grumbling gremlins today! The highlight? Getting next weeks menu plan in my inbox. Love it!

Friday – challenging my core and my balance on a Swiss ball. These things are best done in the privacy of my own home.

Saturday – another awesome SSS including a 1km swim. Also repeated the pushups and plank tests that I last did 4 weeks ago. Have improved immensely In push ups department! Finally faced my fear: Brussels sprouts. Traumatised as a child but decided to give them a chance. Discovered that oven roasted Brussels sprouts are delicious. Who would’ve thought!

Sunday – sleep in yay! And because I enjoyed the Brussels sprouts I had yesterday, decided to have them again today. This time I char grilled them. Yummo! Definitely worth a second chance if the last time you had them was as a child. I also re-did my measurements today and have lost a total of 3.2cm, mainly legs and hips. Biceps are increasing 🙂

Tonight’s meal: Jerk Fish