Thursday, November 29, 2012

Weigh-in Blues

Yesterday was Weigh In Wednesday. After last week, I had been checking my weight to see if the loss was real - I went up to 77.6kg on some days, so I wasn't hopeful that I would achieve my previous week's weigh-in of 75.8kg, let alone lose.

And the scales verdict? 75.8kg. Which is good - I hadn't put any one. But bad - because I haven't lost any, despite working super hard and eating super good. It's a bit freaking depressing, if I'm being totally honest.

But not as depressing as getting on the scales this morning and seeing 77.6kg staring back at me. Seriously, I know I need to do a poo, but nearly 2kg???? Really?!

I think (and I'm being quite serious here) that my scales are bupkis. Shite. Crappy. I might have to fork out some more for some new ones.

You know what I'm going to do? I'm not giving up - although I do admit to having a little "woe is me" cry during my workout this morning (it was humid and I was hot, sweaty, but the HRM was showing little increase in calories burnt). I'm going to keep on going on with my running, toning and following the nutrition plan. I know it will make a difference in the long run and I will see those scales move downward (even if they are new scales and even if it is slowly). I AM going to do this!

What brand scales do you use?
How do you pick yourself up after a gain or no loss?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Just Freakin' Do It!!

I have to be honest with you - this exercising thing 6 days a week is hard.

Every morning I wake up and start to think things through - I had a bad night's sleep, I have my period, I could do my workout after work, it looks like it might rain. Any excuse will do!

But the one fabulous thing I have got out of this 12WBT is Just. Freakin' (or substitute your F-word of choice). Do. It.

Don't think. Just do. Don't justify, excuse, plan, imagine, whinge or wait to feel "motivated". Just do it. Hey - those Nike people really know what they were on about!

Just got up this morning after a shocking night's sleep/awake and wanted a sleep-in. But instead I JFDI. Sweated buckets in this humidity, burnt 300 calories and got my legs, arms and abs all set for another round of DOMS.

Just Freakin' Do It. JFDI. Love it.

Monday, November 26, 2012

ADHD - the reality

I've been a bit absent here of late - been working a lot at the library, we are making some REALLY BIG decisions (which I may share if they look like becoming a reality), and I've been overhauling my lifestyle to be serious about losing some weight (check out my other blog if you wanna).

But last week (or was it the week before?), Video Boy had his checkup with the developmental paeditrician. All is going well - he has grown 6cm in 6 months!! I kid you not - the kid is turning into an adult before my very eyes. He has put on 3kg. And things are going well with his medication, which seems to be having the desired effect and helping him concentrate on his schoolwork and settling him down in many way. He is on a low dose for his body weight, and we will have to pay attention (ha! did you get my little ADHD joke?) to the effectiveness of his medication as he grows (even more).

I wanted to include this post and not shy away from this aspect of our homeschooling lives, because I not only do I want to demystify homeschooling and gifted kids, but I also want to demystify the controversial topic of ADHD.

I can't tell you the number of negative, thoughtless comments I come across from otherwise well-meaning people that belittle and demean this very real, very impactful condition. Things like "change your kids diet, and then they won't have ADHD and you won't need to drug them". Things like "labels are hurtful to children".

Things like this:

I think those comments and jokes come from a place of ignorance, rather than any malice, and for sure, there are some aspects of our modern lifestyles that could do with a bit of questioning, but I wonder if they would stop and think for a second how the parent who has researched and read and journeyed and consulted with doctors and has "drugged" their child might feel. I also get the feeling those comments perhaps come from a place of Facebook and YouTube research, rather than from peer-reviewed scientific information.

You see, although for us the drugs do not make a momental difference in Video Boy's everyday behaviour and we don't need them to keep our sanity intact (unlike many other families), they do actually have some benefits that help him and without them, he would struggle in many areas and perhaps not be achieving as much as he is. As he commented to the specialist: "I don't really notice the difference when I take them, but I do notice if I haven't."

Those drugs allow him to focus on work he doesn't find intrinsically interesting (maths, writing, comprehension, etc). They allow him to gather his thoughts and hold them in his head, instead of watching a dust mote float by. They minimise his reliance on the emotional centre of his brain to do his executive functioning - this means less tears, less stress, less anxiety. They allow him to manage risk better and make better decisions and to delay gratification (a very useful thing heading into the teenage years!). They allow him to make the most of his (not inconsiderable) gifts. They allow him to start to reach his potential in one piece, physically and emotionally.

Video Boy has Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder. It is part of who he is. I don't want him to feel ashamed about this or the fact that he takes medication that helps him manage better. Much in the same way his contact lenses help him see normally, the Ritalin helps him think and process normally. 

That is our reality.

Do you have kids or know kids with ADHD? 
What about twice-exceptional (gifted/learning disabled?
Do you have strong feelings about not giving young kids medication?
Have I made you stop and think (even just a little)?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Dom, dom, dommmmmm....

Ow. Owww!!!


My legs (and to a certain extent my arms and abs) hurt. A lot. I struggle to sit down on the toilet. It is painful to get back up to standing. I can't laugh or sneeze. I have a big, nasty case of the DOMS.

The what? Well, now I'm all 12WBT, I know what DOMS stands for - Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.

Oh yes - it is sore! And delayed - after my "total body toning" on Tuesday morning, I had jelly legs and arms for the morning. But Wednesday morning - OMFG!! I rolled my bod out of bed (and yes, those of you who are paying attention will also be yelling at the screen "and I supposed those wines had nothing to with it???"). Wine hurts your head, but that muscle soreness is from sumo squats and 50 billion lunges!

I'm still sore today. I'm walking like an old woman. But I got up and did my "sprints" around the oval anyway. 10 minute warm up and then 2 sets of 2min and 2 sets of 1 min sprints. Well, running faster than normal, which for today is sluglike!

I'm going to get a heart rate monitor
and see if I'm burning more than 200 cals!

My first 2 minutes was interrupted by a call from my husband enquiring why I didn't take the dog (who was at home in bed with him whimpering and carrying on) with me. All I could do was lug my ass out of bed and onto the oval - forget about the dog! I'll take him on my "long run" on Saturday. And tomorrow has a 15 minute jog, so I'll take him on that too.

Oh - apparently it hurts to cough too.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Week 1 - Wednesday Weigh-in!

First up - a confession. I've been following the nutrition and exercise to the letter but came a little unstuck last night. We have some huge decisions to make, and we succumbed to the stress and bought wine. And I drank more than one glass. And this morning running seems a bit out of the question.

But. I will get back on that horse today. Back into the nutrition. I will try to run this afternoon after work, even though I usually do them in the morning. This was just a blip.

OK - so our first official weigh in day! I was a bit worried that I'd undone all my good work. But the scales said 75.8kg. Woot! So happy with that! And inspiration to keep putting one foot in front of the other :-)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Bring It On!!!

Yeah! Kirsten just wanted to join in on the baring-it-all fun!! She can be my own personal cheer squad.

So tomorrow is the first day of my first round of the 12 Week Body Transformation begins!! Bring it on, baby!

I've printed out my "nutrition plan" for the week. Been shopping - check out my super cleaned out, super healthy fridge:

Got my exercise plan - so excited to take my running to the next level and even excited about the all-over-body workouts! (yeah - I say that now - just wait for my whining and complaining about sore muscles!). All set for my tempo run tomorrow morning!

Pretty excited about this. Bring it on!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Measuring up!

I thought I was putting it out there, keeping it real with my weight measurements on display on the left hand side (<------look, over there!). And you will note that I've lost nearly 3kg and am below 170lbs again, since I decided I'm going to do this Transformation thingy.

 But it seems I can be doing a little more...

So, in the interests of being totally honest, and keeping myself accountable, here are the Pre-season measurements we are required to do:

The scary one is the waist! To be healthy (ie: not at risk of heart disease and cancer and all that really bad stuff), women are supposed to be below 80cm. Got a bit to lose and totally kidding myself if I think I'm OK. I'm not OK.

And the other big thing we had to do was a "BEFORE" shot. Preferably in two-piece swimmers (ie: showing as much flesh as decently possible) and holding a current newspaper or magazine so you can't cheat and use a fat photo from 2 years ago as your starting point. OK. Here goes. Are you ready ('cause I'm not!):

The only good thing about that photo is that 12 weeks from now I'll be looking a whole lot better. 

OK. I'm going now before I die of embarrassment.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Only Way is Up!

Alrighty! Only a FIVE days to go until the start of the 12 Week Body Transformation!! I'm getting pretty pumped and have already made quite a few changes to my lifestyle.

With hubby's support, we are going alcohol free (eeek!) until Christmas. We just don't seem to be able to "just have one glass". Ever. And this is frequently nearly every night of the week. That's like a billion extra calories that this old bod just doesn't need. Plus we have a lot to do, and hangovers do not make work easy. So. Forget Oct-sober, we are just doin' it.

I've been running consistently and am up to Week 4, Day 2 of Ease into 10K. Now up to 4 x 8 minutes of running, with 1 minute walk breaks. Over the 5km mark for each workout too! Woot!

Been eating cleaner too - oats and berries for breakky, salads for lunch, protein/salad for dinner. Except for last night where we had the "Last Supper" of Cheaper Tuesday Dominoes. Confession: I really enjoyed it! But we do have the Thin and Crispy crust...does that make it a bit better?

OK. So this morning was the "Before" Fitness Test. I thought I could do under 8 minutes for a 1km run - I just had to follow my LuluLemon socks advice:

I was pretty sure my abs are crap, ditto push-ups, thought my legs may be OK for a squat test and I know my flexibility is pretty good in the stretch and reach. So here are my starting, benchmark figures:

I was very happy with the 7:13 for the 1km! Goal is now to get under 7 minutes and into the sixes! Anyway, that puts me into the "Intermediate" category for cardio-vascular fitness - woot!

24 lady push-ups. I did about 27, but the last couple were so pathetic I didn't count them. Surprisingly this also puts me in the "intermediate" category for upper-body strength and endurance. Who knew? My goal is to get to 30 in a minute.

No great surprise to know that my abdominal strength needs work. This is what I could barely do without lifting my feet off the ground:

I thought I'd do OK on the wall sit after all the running and I have good leg strength (compared to my arms or abs). But apparently 59 seconds or less is "Beginner" status and I managed a measly 42 seconds. I'm sure I can do better (and it sure felt like longer!).

I got 10cm past my toes in the sit and reach test - apparently this is +10cm (not -10cm, I've changed that now). I know from past (way past) fitness tests I can get to nearly 20cm! Anyway, this is more than +6cm past my toes, so I'm Advanced for flexibility, baby!

We get to revisit this every 4 weeks, so it will be interesting to see how things progress (well, for me, anyway).

The only way is up, baby!
For you and me now...

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Out and about - art and nature

OK, so I've been meaning to get to letting you know about a couple of homeschool "adventures" we've been on lately (which do not include my little bout with gastro...that's a whole other story).

First up, the kids went to a local artist for a Digital Photography/Art workshop. This will probably be an ongoing thing and we'll get there when we can, or at the very least use what we learn at home.

The general concept is a homeschool group of kids (aged about 10-13) getting together to take digital photos, dress-up, have fun, edit and publish. Video Boy was less enthusiastic than Wombat Girl ("I'm not good at taking photos" says the boy who has never really actually taken any), but he got into it after a bit of encouragement from me and seeing what the other kids were doing. He enjoyed using the iPad apps to play around with his photos...

I can't wait to see what else they are going to come up with!

And the next day they went adventuring. Again with other homeschoolers. This time in the bush. Back to nature. Out in the wild. Without their mother.

Did you hear that? I sat around all day, drinking cups of tea, talking to other homeschool mums and having fabulous, interesting conversations while my kids were off doing things without me!!! Unless you homeschool, I don't think you can appreciate how fabulous that was.

It was even fabulous-er because (unbeknownst to me) they were have a fabulous time. I was concerned they might not enjoy it, but I needn't have feared. They LOVED it.

Making fire, games, senses, plants, animals, cordage - they were dirty, tired and happy by the end of the day and can't wait to do it all again!

The guys over at Bluegum Bushcraft are very cool - Lee seems to have a knack of relaxing the kids into it, relating to them, mentoring them. The kids, and therefore I, are pretty happy campers:

Unfortunately since then, I've left vague instructions to "do Khan Academy" before rushing out the door. The kids are missing me and I'm missing them, and thank the stars they are largely "ahead" of the curriculum! But this work gig shouldn't last too much longer and things can get back to "normal". If normal includes art workshops and bushcraft days, that's even better!

Sunday, November 11, 2012



Was browsing through the 8th Annual Homeschool Blog Awards and voted for Deb at Not Inadequate the Funniest Homeschool Blog, because, well, she is the funniest writer evah! (go vote for her!).

And then I was perusing some Blog Designs because Erin at Seven Little Australians and Counting (who, BTW, has a lovely new header and looks pretty nice herself) (go check her out).

And I had some vague recollection that last year (or year before?) I was nominated in Best New Blog category, which obviously I'm not anymore ('cause, yanno, I'm super-experienced now!).

And I had a look around the other categories, and guess what???? I'm nominated in the Best Nitty Gritty Blog category!! How cool is that? I don't know who you are or when you did it, but thank you! According to them, this category is for homeschool blogs that are brutally honest and open about their mistakes and failures (guess my Keepin' it Real post qualifies me!). Apparently I make you feel better and I let you know that I'm not perfect! Well, duh! What would you do without me?

So maybe, just maybe, if you had a spare minute, you might like to pop over and vote for Defying Gravity - in amongst that huge list of other Nitty Gritty homeschool blogs. I'm one of the few Aussie ones as well :-) You've only got to 16 November as part of my extensive readership to get me over the line, so head on over - I'll wait!

And hey! There are prizes!! How much do you wanna bet I win the 2 night stay in San Antonio, Texas (transportation not included...bummer)? Or maybe the Branches of Eden DVD examining DNA evidence from a biblical perspective. Mind you, if I win the family registration to the Great Homeschool Convention in Cininnati, Ohio - I'm there (hi Jane!).

But it's not about the prizes! It's the honour! And I'm honoured that someone out there liked my blog so much they took the time to nominate me. Pretty chuffed!

The Homeschool Post

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Keepin' it real...

I know. I've been absent a bit, haven't I? You've missed me a bit, haven't you (go on, humour me).

You know what happens when you suddenly get over-loaded with busy (homeschool stuff, outings, meetups, work, work and more work - I'm suddenly drowning in "casual" work!)? This happens:

My dining table is under there somewhere...

Yep. The housework slides when you take your eye off the ball!

On the plus side, some of that mess is the worksheet-y stuff I left the kids to do while I was at work. Anyone know the difference between Action Verb Predicate and Linking Verb Predicate? I don't - so I will have to do some catch up reading. All I know is verbs are "doing words" and that's done me pretty well for 43 years, but you are never too old to learn something new!

OK. It's Saturday morning and I'm off to the library for 5 hours of borrowing and returning and shelving. I am rapidly running out of clean "work clothes" (apparently you can't wear track pants and t-shirts to work). Our fridge is empty. The house is a mess.

It won't be like this for too long (I hope). Whilst the money is nice, the workload is not sustainable! Hopefully I will be able to tell you about some cool stuff the kids did last week really soon. But I'm cutting me and you some slack while I get through one day at a time. That's real.

Friday, November 09, 2012

I Will Survive!

At first I was afraid, I was petrified...

What a week this has been. I'd love to be reporting in that I've done all my runs, ate cleanly etc. Sunday night I got all my running gear out ready for Monday morning - I had work on every day this week, so I was going to have to get up early and be organised!

But life has a way of bringing the best of intentions undone. I woke on Sunday night with stomach pains and by morning felt like a truck had run me over. It was when my head was in the toilet bowl that I thought to myself "perhaps no running today?"

It was a very unpleasant day, and I bailed out of work; I ditched the after-work tutoring. There was a moment there when I felt if not death, but perhaps a light coma would be nice! Every cell in my body ached and my head felt like it was going to explode. My guts re-arranged themselves with alarming regularity. It was awful.

On the "plus" side, I ate really nothing - except for a bit of vegemite on toast. 

I awoke on Tuesday to feel much better. Fairly washed out, but that horrid feeling had left the building. I was able to go to work. I ate lightly and went to buy some pro-biotic yogurt in those little bottles.

It wasn't until this morning that I was able to feel like running. Well, I never feel like running, especially in the morning, and I always play that little game in my head where I think of reasons why I shouldn't go, but in the end put on my clothes and shoes and then the dog gets excited and there's really no turning back! It's just gotta be done.

Turns out lots of people get up early to run. At 7am my little pathway was a veritable highway of runners. All faster than me (I swear slugs run faster than me) but one nice lady from the local running club uttered words of encouragement to me - at least I think she did, because I can't hear really well with my earphones in. Maybe she was telling me I should run without earphones? I thanked her anyway.

So I keep plodding along. Not long until the kickoff of Round 4 of 12 Week Body Transformation. I've cleaned out the cupboards, diarised my workouts, my work, and things like our anniversary and Christmas. Next up we have fitness tests and measurements...stay tuned for the not pretty!

"...and I grew strong and learned how to get along
Oh not I, I will survive!"

52 Ancestors - Unusual Name

In this week's post, we have been asked to look behind an "unusual name" and I've chosen my great-aunt's husband, Fred...