Tag Archives: swimming

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


Upsy Daisy Day

8 Jun

Did you know that it is National Upsy Daisy Day today? No? I thought as much.

This day is a day set aside to encourage you to face the day positively, and to get up ‘gloriously, gratefully and gleefully’ each morning.

National Upsy Daisy Day, an “unofficial” National holiday (US) was created by Stephanie West Allen is 2003. Her desire in creating National Upsy Daisy Day was to make humor, laughter and a positive attitude part of the Upsy Daisy Day way.

To be honest, I can’t say that I got out of bed gloriously, gratefully and gleefully this morning. No sireee. Mr CJ was working this morning so got up at his usual time and brought me a coffee before leaving, at 5.20am. However, I didn’t have to get up for another hour as the pool/gym doesn’t open until 7am on weekends. This gave me an hour when evil CJ tried to convince me that I didn’t need to swim today.

That just a gym workout would be enough…

In fact, maybe a walk later in the day might be enough…

Despite the fact that today is my SSS.

Truly, I’m better off waking up just before the gym opens, have my coffee, get ready and go. No time for thinking. No time for evil CJ to think up lots of reasons why I don’t need to go.

So I used the 10 minute tactic this morning: show up, do 10 mins and if I’ve had enough, call it a day. It was really the swimming that I was resisting. I was okay with doing the gym workout. But true to form, once I got in the pool I forgot about the 10 min rule and completed my swim session: 1km.

This was followed by 6 x 25m of pool walking in the shallow pool.

Up in the gym I alternated between bike and treadmill: a total of 20min on the bike & 25 min on the treadmill. In between there were lunges, squats, push ups, bridges, SSS twisting crunches and planks. Total time in the gym: 1hr 04.55min.

Continuing with the new food/recipe challenge, I made kale chips this afternoon which were delicious. And tonight for dinner, with the lemon & chilli marinated pork and roast pumpkin, I am having roasted Brussels sprouts with toasted almonds. 🙂

So all in all, I think I had an upsy daisy day! 🙂

“Everyday is a gift and if we remember that as we rise each morning, it will help us carry a good attitude throughout the day, whatever the day may bring us. Life is full of challenges and bumps in the road, it is our attitude that helps us over the bumps and through the challenges to move onward with a smile.” – Upsy Daisy Day, National Day Calendar


Down, down, and staying down….

5 Jun

Weigh in day today and I’m 900g lighter. Woot! Finally some decent movement in the right direction. If I had one of those big red hands (as seen in a certain supermarket ad) I’d be doing the down, down, and staying down dance! In 4 weeks the total loss is 1.4kg so all’s good. 🙂
And I’d like to say that being 900g lighter made me glide effortlessly through the water this morning in my swim session but no such luck! However, they did have the bulkhead in place so we were effectively swimming in a 25m pool. This initially did my head in during the warm up, trying to count laps – so many of them! But I soon got into the swim of things (hehehe!) and had no further problems with counting. My only problem was being careful not to bump into the bulkhead as there was no line on the bottom of the pool to indicate that I was reaching the end. Bang, crash, thud, ouch!

Next I was in the shallow bath…er…pool, to do 6 x 25 m of pool walking. The reason I called it a bath is because it’s so warm. I couldn’t swim in it – I would overheat very quickly. It was a bit tricky this morning as I had to navigate my way around women with kickboards or foam noodles, a man with a snorkel, and a group of women socialising – they were having a nice old chinwag.

Home, and I completed 5 sets of 10 reps of push ups, bridges (did some with my feet on a chair – that’s progress if you hadn’t realised!) and dips.

All of this before breakfast!

I met my awesome friend Ruth for lunch today. It was actually a belated birthday lunch as Ruth’s birthday was a couple of weeks ago now. We had lunch at Gus’s – an institution in Canberra. It was the first café to have outdoor seating and I think he actually broke some laws in doing this. In the 18 years I’ve been in Canberra I have never been here so I decided today was the day. And it was great. I had a very filling egg white omelette with smoked salmon and toast and Ruth had a sweet potato and pumpkin soup with basil pesto toast which looked delicious.

They tried to tempt with dark chocolate at work this afternoon but I didn’t even hesitate before saying no. I was quite content to eat my apple and almonds. 🙂

Food for thought:
“Waste not food! 1 in every 7 people in the world go to bed hungry and more than 20,000 children under the age of 5 die daily from hunger. “ – World Environment Day website

The week that was: review of week 3

2 Jun

I can’t believe that it’s been almost 3 weeks since I started this round of 12WBT. It used to be said that to form a habit takes 21 days. However there seems to be a shift in thinking lately that it takes anywhere between 26 – 66 days depending on the habit you’re either trying to make or break.

However I have noticed that I’m not picking at food between meals, I’m trying to differentiate between head and stomach hunger (ie kicking the emotional eating habit) and most of the time I’m satisfied with less on my plate. It does help that the weekly menus offer up tasty options and for someone who loves variety, this program offers plenty of variety.

Not that I’m anywhere near perfect, no way, not by a long shot. Ask me again in 66 days! 😉

This was how week 3 panned out for me:

Monday – froze on my early morning walk. Note to self: wear more warm clothes! Dealt with a social event with amazing restraint. Diet coke anyone?!

Tuesday – apparently I’m an elite athlete according to a health check I had today! On the serious front, my cholesterol ratio is improving. This has been a long time coming. Had my weekly physio appointment and there has been some teensy improvement – I have been given the go ahead to use a recumbent bike at the gym!

Wednesday – lost 300g! Discovered that lentils and I have an uncomfortable relationship. Underwhelmed with dhal.

Thursday – weights session and 5 mins on the recumbent bike! Amazing how little things like this can make my day! Busy planning next weeks menu and exercise program.

Friday – a hungry day. The grumbling gremlins made their presence felt in the afternoon. Drove me crazy. But I didn’t attack the charity chocolate box (just thought about!)

Saturday – my version of a SSS – swim, pool walking, bike, treadmill and weights. The grumbling gremlins hung around again today. Deployed my secret weapon. I also made and ate an awesome chicken, roasted eggplant and capsicum roll with ricotta & baby spinach for lunch. Did the final 50 push-ups for a total of 300 for the week (two weeks now).

Sunday – rest day. Loved the smoked salmon cases with salad for lunch. Very fancy schmancy!

Week 4 – bring it on!

Those fancy schmancy smoked salmon & tomato cases with salad

Weigh to go!

29 May

Wednesday. That must mean its weigh in day. As Michelle says, get up, get nude and get on those scales! Today a 300g loss. 🙂

Then it was off to the pool for a swim, some of the laps sans pull buoy, and then 4 x 25m power walk in the small pool. I powered* up and down the pool this morning doing my laps. I think it was the feeling of swimming unchained from the pull buoy ie freedom, that powered me this morning. The walking in the small pool went ok and there was no pain during or afterwards. Once I was home I did my 25 push ups before breakfast of a boiled egg and avocado toast.

Hunger levels have been up and down today. As long as I occupy myself I usually forget that I’m feeling hungry. The cool temperatures in the office aren’t helping because it’s when I’m cold that I feel hungry. The dahl, which I had for lunch today, was slightly better than last night but I’m still feeling underwhelmed by this dish so I won’t be rushing to make it again anytime soon. Besides its given me a godawful bellyache. It must be the lentils 😦 We had lamb kofta for dinner tonight, I had natural yoghurt with mint with mine and Mr CJ had his kofta tucked into pita pockets with hummus and lettuce. They were delish.

Something thing Michelle mentioned in yesterday’s email was that motivation is a complete crock! In fact she says that it’s a myth and like a bad boyfriend – never there when you need it. It’s not motivation that’s required but consistency. I think this is so true. If I was to wait to be motivated before doing an exercise session there would be many a time that nothing would happen. In the mindset video I watched tonight Michelle talks about the art of not thinking and just DOING (ie don’t get into justification mode), the ten minute rule (ie start the session and if after 10 minutes you still don’t feel like it, then you can give it away for the day) and my personal favourite, if all else fails, JFDI! For me, this works every time.

*powered – not as defined in the Oxford Dictionary as “move or travel with great speed or force”. In my case it means move or travel at a pace that has ever so slightly picked up. From slow to a little less slower!


There will be no pronking today!

26 May

Meaning: 1. To stot, to leap straight in the air with the back arched, bringing all four legs off the ground. Gazelles and springboks are most widely known for this behavior, but horses, sheep, and goats (especially playful kids) do it, too. 2. To prance, show off, strut. (alphaDictionary.com)

It’s my rest day so there’ll be no prancing, showing off or strutting today! And I can’t leap straight in the air, back arched, bringing all four limbs off the ground. Just saying. 🙂

It was heavenly to sleep in this morning. I may have briefly opened one eye at 6am to glance at the clock and then gratefully closed it again, rolled over and went back to sleep.

Week 2 in review:

Monday – it was back to the pool as part of my cardio, with the proviso that all swimming is done with a pull buoy – till death do us part (or at least until the physio gives me the go ahead to start kicking again). It was also the start of the 300 push-ups challenge. I had opted for doing 50 push-ups a day.

Tuesday – an upper body weights session at the gym and meeting the arm crank cycle for the first time. I’m hoping this won’t be a long relationship. The push-ups challenge is going well. I had my physio appointment this afternoon. Some slight improvement in extension but still restricted to walking and swimming with pull buoy.

Wednesday – another swim but I’m starting to find my groove. More push-ups.

Thursday – apart from selecting the wrong weight on the assisted pull ups machine and thinking I’d lost all strength in my upper body before realising my mistake, the rest of the session went to plan. Did I mention push-ups?! It was also the Biggest Morning Tea which could’ve been a challenge as there were GF Florentines and brownies on offer but I wasn’t tempted! 🙂

Friday – strengthening my core by focusing on the plank and its variations. Not feeling the love for fancy planks. I’m not sure if it was the weather but I was constantly hungry and clock watching between meals today. And all I could see while grocery shopping after work were chocolate bars and biscuits calling my name. But I resisted! And let’s not forget the push-ups!

Saturday – my first SSS (was not allowed to exercise last week due to acute injury). And my regular monthly massage in the afternoon. And my final 50 push-ups making a total of 300 for the week. Mission accomplished!


Super Saturday Session aka SSS

25 May

aka So Sore Sunday! (I read this on a fellow 12WBTer’s blog this morning).

So what is this SSS? Its the longer, more challenging and/or intense workout session for the week. Normally today I would probably do a long run including the parkrun as part of it and maybe a swim or cycle session. But life is anything but normal at the moment so it was a case of don my thinking cap to decide what I could do that would qualify as a SSS.

Note there was never the option to say what the heck, I’ll just have the day off!

Not that that wasn’t thought, however fleetingly, at 6am when that damn alarm went off. #%^*+! Time to get up again! Fortunately I had packed my gym/swim bag the night before so there wasn’t a lot to do in the morning – just get dressed and have my coffee.

And what was I doing for my SSS this morning? Well I’m glad you asked.

First, it was a 1.2km swim with pull buoy (we are inseparable!). It was busier than I had anticipated but that might’ve had something to do with the 50m pool being closed to the public from lunchtime onwards. My arms, upper back and shoulders were feeling sore from a week of upper body workouts. It was a ‘good’ hurt but sore nevertheless. Swimming did help work out some of this soreness.

Then after a quick shower and change it was up to the gym for a cardio/weights circuit that went something like this:
Treadmill – 6min walk
1 circuit of 12reps of each the following: chest press, lat pulldown, push-ups, shoulder press
Arm crank – 2 min
Treadmill – 5 min
1 weights circuit – as above, omitting shoulder press
Arm crank – 2 min
Treadmill – 5 min walk
1 weights circuit – as above, omitting shoulder press
Treadmill – 5 min walk
Weights – 3 sets, 12 reps of the following – BB bicep curls, BB shoulder press
Arm crank – 2 min
Treadmill – 5 min walk

That was my version of a SSS. I have to admit that being confined to walking on the treadmill is killing me but I keep telling myself its all for a good reason. Besides, to be honest, I can’t run at the moment. On Friday I was crossing the road when a car suddenly appeared which required me to get across very quickly. I tried to run but it wasn’t great. Yes I could do it if there was threat to life and limb but otherwise it’s not recommended. All in good time. Lucky I’m a patient person, not!

And later in the day I had my regular monthly massage and boy, did I need it. Plenty of tight, sore spots in the upper body that needed work. I floated out of there an hour later.

Tomorrow is a rest day! And a sleep in! Oh joy 🙂


Playing the weighting game

22 May

Today it was the weekly weigh in. I wasn’t expecting great things given that my exercise last week lasted all of two days before I injured my hammy. However I had stuck to the nutrition plan like super glue – there were no little sneaky snacks.

So it was that this morning the scales said it all: a 100g gain! Ok so no big drama – 100g is just a blip on the scales but jeez, given my puritanical restraint on the food front (in fact I should be up for sainthood, thats how good I’ve been) I would’ve hoped for a little more encouragement ie a liitle more downwards movement in the number. It goes to show that while 80% of weight loss may down to what you put in your mouth, there is still a place for exercise in the equation. Yep, that bloody 20%! And my cardio component is sadly lacking currently.

But…I’m trying very, very hard not to get frustrated.

I had my physio appointment yesterday. Some very slight improvement in extension without pain. To my repertoire of exercises I can now add bridging. Woohoo! More ultrasound therapy applied and then re-taping of the hammy. I have a bright pink racing strip down the back of my leg 🙂 Next appointment is in a week’s time. Cardio can include gentle walking on the flat and swimming with pull buoy.

Post-physio appointment ie last night and today, my hammy has been giving me grief 😦

And so I was back in the pool this morning, during peak hour. There were at least 5 swimmers in my line but we managed to co-habit the lane without any lane rage. I do think I swam better today even though I am experiencing some DOMS. There was no sooky la-la behaviour, just a JFDI attitude.

And when I got home it was “get down and do 25 push ups stat!”

Well, actually it was one set of 15, have a little rest and then do another 10! And do 3 sets of 12 reps of 2 ab exercises, and 3 sets of 30 secs of the plank exercise.

Loved my dinner tonight: spiced lamb meatballs with tabouli (made with quinoa). And I have it for lunch tomorrow as well.

And managed 25 push-ups with no rest tonight. 🙂 Only 150 to go.

Tonight’s dinner

Me and my buoy

20 May

Well, it’s week 2 of the 12WBT. Let’s hope this week passes without any major dramas. I think injuring my hamstring on day #2 will be hard to beat though. 🙂

This injury means that I have to had to totally rethink my exercise. I can’t follow the cardio program and at the moment I can’t even follow the entire weights program. It also means that given I won’t be expending as many calories as I would like, I have to be super vigilant with my nutrition plan. I am quite chuffed to report that so far, so good. Okay, okay, it is only day #1 of week #2 but I’m celebrating all achievements however little.

My cardio this week will include swimming…with a pull buoy to prevent kicking. I’m also thinking of giving that strange contraption in the gym, the upper body ergometer, a whirl. I’ve always wondered what’s the point of this machine, and well now I get it! It’s a good cardio workout for those with lower body injuries or disabilities. My weights regime will focus on upper body weights. And the weekly challenge for this week is…wait for it…300 push ups. Yup, 300 push ups…on.my.toes. We can do this challenge however we want – 300 in one hit (yeah dream on), or spread out over the week. I’m opting for 50 push ups a day – 25 morning and night. And I will just put it out there now – I suck at push ups. But given my focus on upper body strength and cardio at the moment, I’m hoping this will change!

It really pays not to think too much about going to the pool early in the morning when it’s minus 2 degrees outside as this can really do my head in. I mean, what sane person does this? Well me, for one. It’s been a few months since I’ve been swimming so any gains I’d made from swim training last year for the half ironman have dwindled away. And just to add to the challenge, I would be doing the entire session with a pull buoy – yes, that’s right, my old nemesis! There was many a swim session last year when I cursed this swimming aid. Yes, it does assist with body position in the water but it does rely on upper body strength and balance, and it was the latter that I struggled with last year.

Upper body strength is sadly lacking if this morning’s session was anything to go by. The first 50m was a breeze – I was cruising along thinking that the kilometre session I had planned for this morning was going to be a breeze. But then for the next couple of 50m efforts my arms started to feel like lead weights that just didn’t want to turn over. The bonus was my heart rate was pretty high at this point – that has to count for something. And that was my warm up done – 4 x 50m. Now for the 8 x 100m main session. Things weren’t looking quite so rosy to start with and 800m was looking way too hard. However at about the 300m mark I sternly reprimanded myself: stop being a wussy sook and harden up. I have 8 x 100m to do so just bloody do it, no complaining. And the rest of the session did improve after that. And surprisingly I had no issues with the pull buoy.

The push up challenge started when I got home – I opted for 1 x 13 reps, 1 x 12 reps. I have to say that at this point I have a lot of work to do – those push ups were pitiful. I finished with ab exercises – double leg raises, crunches and plank. I had to change a couple of the exercises to those I could do. Reverse crunches and scissor kicks just aren’t possible at the moment, and even the double leg raises were proving a challenge.

And the remaining 25 push-ups for the day were completed when I got home from work tonight. 50 down, 250 to go 🙂


Splish, splash & a lunch date

10 Mar

Today’s session: swim (7am)

Distance: 1.5km
Time: 37.05min
Session: 300m wu/300m pull buoy/6 x 50m paddles/300m swim/300m kick board

Sleeps to marathon: 35

The first 300m was excruciatingly awful – slow, no technique, just abysmal. Fortunately things did improve, either that or I was going to drown. That’s how bad it was! While I don’t normally get up early on a Sunday to venture the pool, given that I’m on my own for a week, it seemed like a good idea and a great way to start the day….ignoring the first few 100m where I thought I was going to expire.

Swimming on a Sunday morning is quite pleasant, once I get my head around the idea of getting up early. Not too many other people are at the pool and I had a lane to myself. And I felt so good once I’d finished – partly because I had swum 1.5km, but also because I had battled through the warm up, when I felt so awful, and had not given up.

Later in the morning I drove interstate to have lunch with a friend. If I hadn’t been going for lunch I would’ve taken a packed lunch for my trip to Jerra. 🙂 My friend had prepared a beautiful lunch. It was a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey