Thursday, February 28, 2013


Yesterday was Weigh-In Wednesday. 69.6kg (a 400g gain). Happy to say that this morning 300g of that has gone. But my weight loss has stalled somewhat. The post fun-run thing has kicked in. It's almost as if I'm too scared to run. My hip hurts and although recovering, my groin hurts. My holiday starts in just over a week. I don't know why, but I'm just not freaking doing it.

But I'm eating OK (not following the plan 100% but not going over). At least this thing has taught me how much I can eat and I'm making better food choices. I've lost 10kg and that is a huge achievement. I like how I look in the mirror a lot more now.

I've read some stuff on the interweb lately where women are trying to deal with body image - more specifically, the fact they are overweight. This is such a huge issue. And some of it has bagged out Michelle Bridges and the 12WBT program. Apparently we are all  being sucked in by media and this chick who uses plastic surgery to achieve her look. If you believe what you read.

There is a large campaign to not view your self-worth through the lens of media-constructed ideas of beauty. That we need to accept every body is beautiful.

I have mulled this over.

Yes, I agree, your size or your weight should not be connected to your worth as a person. Losing weight is not magically going to make you happy. If you are overweight, it does not automatically mean you are lazy, ugly and stupid. There is a hell of a lot more to life than a number on the scales.

But... Ultimately, being overweight is not good for your health. It means you are consuming too many calories, whatever way you cut it. It means you are at risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease. It means you have fat sitting on your internal organs. It means you are not really looking after yourself.

So when I look at photos of me looking like this:

I know I've lost 10kg and can "run" 10km. But - I need to lose another 10kg. I still have rolls of fat around my middle and therefore in my insides. Those legs are working too hard lugging all that extra weight around.

So. I'm going to get off this keyboard and onto my rowing machine. I might be too scared to run and further aggravate my hip, but I can do something cardio related! This journey isn't over just because I reached a couple of big milestones! This is the hardest thing about this journey - it just never "ends", does it? I know I'm not the only one out there dealing with this - the forums are full of people like me who "fell off the bandwagon" or "lost motivation". 

But we just have to keep on putting one foot in front of the other, don't we? Because I do not accept this body yet - I love it for what it has achieved, but I also love myself enough to keep going.

How do you feel about your body?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Seth, mate, actually it goes the OTHER way!

Some dude called Seth Godin waded into the Gifted world this week. According to Wikipedia (the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom...hang on - that was the Encyclopedia Galactica), Seth is "an American entrepreneur, author and public speaker" and knows a bit about marketing and advertising and how the Internet is impacting the economy. Oh and he wrote a 30,000 word manifesto about education and what it's for, which I freely admit I haven't read in detail, but which, upon scanning, I mostly agree with (perhaps that's another post for another day).
Seth also has a blog. And earlier this week he wrote a little, inconspicuous post entitled "Actually, it goes the other way" which I will reproduce in full: 

Wouldn't it be great to be gifted? In fact...
It turns out that choices lead to habits.
Habits become talents.
Talents are labelled gifts.
You're not born this way, you get this way.

Oh Seth. You had me until "wouldn't it be great to be gifted?". You waded into the Gifted waters, but you are out of your depth.
You see, mate, it's often not great to be "gifted" (unless that gift is being a gifted swimmer or footballer, but in the case of James "the Missile" Magnusson or Ben Barba, not even then, on reflection).
It's not great to be so far to the right of the bell curve that no one "gets" you, except maybe your mum. It's not great to feel different from all your age peers. It's not great to have to deal with the expectations of being "really smart". It's not great to deal with the heightened nervous system that has you feeling everything so intensely and questioning everything so thoroughly.
And don't even get me started on exceptionally/profoundly gifted kids, twice-exceptional kids or God forbid, EG/PG 2e kids!
Seth, it turns out you aren't really talking about "Gifted", just "gifts". Everyone has "gifts" - those areas in life which we are good at, have strengths at, be better than other people. Might be speaking in public, might be swimming, might be pretending to be someone else. But "Gifted" - that's a whole other ball game! It has NOTHING to do with choices, habits, talents and skills. It has EVERYTHING to do with what you were born with.
Sure, we can work hard, persist, develop strengths. But I'm telling you - I can run until I collapse, and am never going to be an Olympic runner. I'm not going to "get this way" in running, despite all my best efforts. I am not and never will be, a "gifted" athlete.
And, try as they might, flashcards and all, some kids are never going to be cognitively fast, or connect the dots or think outside the square. I'm sorry Seth, that is gifted - it is wiring and it is why our intellectually Gifted kids need something else educationally. 
Hopefully our Gifted kids find their passion, develop good habits, work hard and develop their talents. But it is never about the Product. Gifted kids and their education is about dealing with their very different wiring. It is about helping them through the maze of childhood and adolescence in which they don't fit and getting them through to adulthood relatively intact and maybe, just maybe, happy! And if we are super-lucky, someone may one day invent a cure a cancer, but it's not a given.
So, I'm sorry,Seth, maaate, buddy, pal. Whilst you may know a lot of stuff about a lot of things, and even have some great ideas and are lucky enough to live in this day and age where technology can help you disseminate these ideas via a range of media, your ideas about Gifted are off the mark. Maybe you got your terminology a bit mixed up. That's OK - happens to the best of us. But me and a few other people who blog about gifted are here to make sure that those words and the baggage they carry are made clearer.
Now, my little blog and Twitter account may not be as big-time as yours, Seth. But it's big enough that I can add my voice to the outrage and rectify the situation in my corner of the world and I'm joining in with a lot of others in the gifted world:

Monday, February 25, 2013

The ecstasy and the agony...

The ecstasy:

I can see that I do pronate a fair bit and my Mizunos work hard!

But yay - no heel-striking!

A smile for the camera!

Nearly finished!

The agony:
Friggin' hell it was hot.

And really, really hard work.

And since that day, I've not run at all. AND I've pulled a muscle in my groin and it really hurts (I did this trying to sit cross-legged on the ground - obviously I am too old for that now!).

I want to run but I don't want to exacerbate an injury. I need to get back into a routine (any exercise, I'm not fussy right now). I can see an eery sense of history repeating and I don't want that. What's Mish say? JFDI...

Friday, February 22, 2013

Interest-led learning - holiday style!

One of the (many) things I love about homeschooling is that we can take the State-mandated "curriculum" and twist it around to suit ourselves. Love maths? Lots of opportunity to delve deeper into the "thinking mathematically". Love english? Get stuck right into  writing narratives or expressing yourself through the spoken word (aka: drama).

Did I mention we are going on HOLIDAYS? We are! Just two short weeks until we board the Diamond Princess to sail off into the sunset and into Asia. So, I do what any self-respecting homeschool mum would do - I tailor just about all our learning around our trip (because I'm excited!!).

Mapping skills - Mapping the World By Heart

Using Google maps

We watched a great documentary about Qin Shi Huang - China's first emperor and the guy who got all those Terracotta Soldiers and the Great Wall (not self-centred at all!!!).

Research skills

Calculating (or daydreaming?)

Constructing time lines (to scale!)

Measurement, representing historical events

Ancient China timeline

Reading up on Japanese history

Origami folding

Following instructions

Working together

Turtles holding up the world!

Even a trip to the dentist is educational!!

We are also looking at foreign currency exchange - there is a world of resources out there on consumer maths and being an informed consumer - this is just one from ABC TV's Behind the News (great videos on huge range of current topics):

We are also trying to squeeze in some language practice time learning Mandarin!

Lots of wonderful learning opportunities and I haven't had to pay for any of it :-) It all comes from the internet (lapbooks) or the library!

Oh, and I need to add in what a wonderful day we had "not going back to school" and meeting up with homeschoolers from the South Coast to northern Sydney - a nice chance to catch up with Helena from Respect. Love. Learning again:

It surely is a wonderful life - full of wonder, joy, learning, love and we're going on holidays!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wednesday Weigh In!

Alrighty. So if you recall, last week (Week 1 of Round 2 of 12WBT) saw a gain and sadly had me back in the 70s, after scraping into the 60s at the end of Round 4.

This week, I've eaten well (95% of the time), done a 10km fun run, walked the dog and done my toning. What happens when you stay consistent?

69.2kg!! 152.6 lbs
Woot! That's 1.5kg gone from last week! I'm sure a lot of the weight gain was fluid retention from the birthday weekend wine - and a good incentive to stay away from the stuff!

Hopefully, that's the last we'll see of the 70s. And my BMI is now 25.7 - still just in the Overweight range, but ever so close to Normal!

I'm so proud of the 10+ kilograms I've shed. I've been consistent, not silly, however I still have few more to go judging my some of my photos from last weekend:

Rolls of fat begone with you!!!

It's interesting, because when discussing (my obvious) weight loss, some people feel the need to say "oh you can stop now" or "don't go getting all skinny on us" or similar. Well, that's just annoying, people! Because this week I picked up some interesting blood results back from the tests I had just before Christmas - my Fasting Glucose Levels were 5.6 - which by some standards indicate Insulin Resistance or Metabolic Syndrome, especially coupled with my high blood pressure and waist circumference of over 80cm. It's not drastic yet, but I need to keep working on this - not just my weight, but my health too. Luckily all my triglycerides and cholesterol levels were OK :-)

I think those comments come from a place of denial, maybe guilt. I certainly view all my previous excuses about my weight as just that - excuses. This healthy lifestyle CAN be done, it should be done. Sure it involves some choices - less wine, no thanks to chips etc. But that short term "pain" is a hell of a lot better than long term insulin injections!

Other milestones that don't involve the scales this week are my "tight" jeans shorts getting loose:

The things I subject you to!!

And I blogged a while ago (on my homeschooling blog) about putting my "too small" clothes away. I found the bag in the shed after a big cleanup on the weekend - and lo and behold, my size 12 shorts fit me!!! I couldn't do them up 4 months ago!! 

I have a ways to go before I go and buy a bikini and get back to the good ol' days, but if I keep on being consistent, that just may be a goal that's in sight:

That's me in the orange bikini circa 1988!!

Next "mini-goal" is to get to 66kg - that's as low as I got in 2009 when I did bootcamp when I was teaching (but I wasn't starting at nearly 80kg then!). Next week should see me a tiny step closer!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Husky 10K Fun Run Wrap Up!

I did it!!!!

I finally have enough energy/time to sit down and post about my big 10K Fun Run on Saturday!

The days in the lead-up to the big day were filled with sore DOMS legs from toning on Tuesday, feeling very under the weather with a sore throat and fatigue, so I just took it easy, took my vitamins and took a little walk around the block.

The day of the race dawned sunny and steamy. Big storm clouds threatened the horizon. When I went to pick up my husband from work, it was a stinky 30C:

It was so hot and steamy that as I did my housework, I sweated buckets. I wish I took a photo of my bra which was nearly sweated through, but I took pity on you and thought better of it :-) I drank heaps of water and even a coconut water to make sure I didn't dehydrate myself. I had wholemeal toast with banana for breakfast and chicken and pesto pasta salad for an early lunch.

The check-in was at 2:30pm. As we drove there, the heavens opened! 

Hubby was not looking forward to standing in the rain for well over an hour (I bet he was wishing he married a faster runner at that point!). We met up with my partner-in-running-crime Tracey and her fabulous kids who had just competed in the kids triathlon.

We look nervous! What on earth have we signed up for???
It was sprinkling and then raining as we gathered in the start area. There were some very serious looking athletes there and only a few weekend-warriors. We didn't want to be up the front, but I was afraid if I was at the very back I would stay there for the whole race! 

Not a flattering shot - still have a few kilos to go!

That looks better - check out those clouds!

The rain magically stopped, leaving high humidity just as the starters pistol fired!

In both my fun runs (such experience!), the early pace has been fast. And I tried to balance keeping up and not going ridiculously faster than what I'm capable of.  Trace and I just wanted to be able to run the whole thing (a tough ask given the conditions) or failing that, finish!  I soon found my place at the back of the pack, as runner after runner past me, and I felt totally out of breath and stressed! Turns out my pace for that first kilometre was (fast for me) 6:03 min/km. 

Racing down the main drag.
I tried to settle down into a comfortable pace. I turned around and was relieved to find at least a couple of people behind me. Tracey had settled into a comfy pace just in front of me - I watched her bouncy little ponytail most of the race! 

Me at the far right, Tracey to the left in white. Someone else forgot to get a  babysitter... 

I think the only  good thing about this pic is that I'm not heel-striking

I have to say that apart from a few hundred metres or so, it was not an enjoyable run. The only thing in its favour is that it was relatively flat. It was very uncomfortable and my face felt beetroot red for most of the way. The water was for pouring over my head, although I think at one point I must have poured energy drink over my head because my white peak was all orange afterwards! There was some beautiful soul with a hose whom I'm forever grateful to.

The crowd was great, cheering us last few runners on - particularly as we came back to the start position to do lap 2. It was the best feeling to see my hubby, patiently waiting for me to turn up! I handed him my peak as it was just too hot on my head. 

I just kept trying to keep running and not stop. At the halfway point, it was pretty depressing to think I had to do it all again. But our training 10km run is like that, so in some way, I've learned to deal with that. There were only a couple of points (water stations, a little uphill stretch) where I slowed to a walk, but to be honest at times it felt like I was running slower than the girl in front of me who seemed to walk the whole way! I would just catch her, have a little chat (we cheered ourselves on!) and then she took off and I could not keep up.

But I did it. I ran (mostly) 10 kilometres in a race. And I didn't come last - but in fact, even if I did, I still did my best. It wasn't "fast", it wasn't pretty, but I did it! 

The scenic course

Just got slower and slower (but a spurt at the end!) - still a good pace for me :-)

Add caption

So - that's a PB!!! I think perhaps I need to rethink my half marathon plans - not entirely, but for this year. I will continue to work on my weight (much less to lug around!), my fitness and my speed. Next year, I should be able to shave quite a few minutes off that time and move up the finishers list a bit! 

And I have to say a HUGE thank you to Tracey - she and I have done this together and shared a common goal - we ran a 10K! She spurred me on to turn up at dark-o'thirty on Saturday mornings. She kept me running when I wanted to stop. She gave me a ponytail to focus on. And we are going to keep running and keep trying :-)

PS: No bling!!! What's with that? If I run my little heart out, I want a medal - just sayin'....

Random Monday

I have a good homeschooley post nearly ready to go, but because it's actually not ready to go, here is Random Monday (linking in with the very Fabulous Deb, from Not Inadequate).
  • I have an infestation of freaking evil little pantry weevils. At least I think that is what they are after extensive research Googling. I've had them before and one minute all is hunky dory in pantry land and the next - population explosion of little brown bugs. Gross. And the only way to get rid of them is to empty out the entire pantry (and the rest of my kitchen because they are EVERYWHERE) and vaccum and disinfect. Sigh. I've got important things to do - like watch My Kitchen Rules, not spend hours in the kitchen cleaning!
Evil little blighters!
  • I have just run my first 10km fun run! OK, so I came 156th out of 160 finishers, but at least I wasn't a DNF and I wasn't DFL. It was about 24C, but over 90% humidity - steamy!!!! I ran nearly the whole way. I have also lost 10kg in the last 4 months! I still have a few more to lose, but I'm feeling (and looking) much healthier! Check out my other blog for all the gory details (and pics of me in the nearly nude!)
Before the start - wondering what on earth possessed me to enter

  • There are just 18 days until we board the Diamond Princess for our cruise to China. I am just hoping like mad that the maintenance crew get paid better than those on the Carnival Triumph, because I didn't pay all that money to go camping.
At least they have a water slide!

  • I work for NSW National Parks and Wildlife (not very often, but I love it). The NSW Government in their infinite wisdom and desperate need to stay in government, has done a deal with the Shooters and Fishers Party to allow shooting and children as young as 12 to launch bows and arrows at wildlife feral animals. WTF??? Not happy Barry O'Farrell (NSW Premier).

  • I have a "new" laptop (Hubby's "old" one - newer and faster than mine is now mine after he got himself some new-fangled Windows 8 tablet thingy that docks into his big screen). However, Windows 7 is giving me headaches with it's Easy Transfer software. I was all excited because it could transfer all my digital baggage (over 300GB) via the home network. Downside? I left it all day today and it only had done about 15% and reported it still had over 6 days to finish. Umm. I don't think so. So tonight, after finishing up vitally important blog posts, I'm going to try a USB transfer cable. Wish me a speedy moving of virtual house!
Go check out other Random Monday madness over at Deb's place!

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...