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This weekened was our “mini milestone” event. Mish suggested ideas such as a long run, bike, or swim; 100 burpees or doing 3 classes in a row. Lucky for me, my “mini milestone” was already in the diary for this weekend. All I had to do was show up!

Saturday was the Wellington Dragonboating Festival. For the last 8 weeks, my team has been practicing in the wet, windy, dark and cold evenings, so we were really looking forward to our first ever race day.

Team Icebreaker ready for action

The races were great fun! We came solidly third in all of our races (five boats per race) – which got us into the Corporate Social Final. We were pipped right at the end by 3 100ths of a second to come third (again, groan!) but were stoked with our Bronze medals. Not bad considering 8 weeks ago none of us had even been inside a dragonboat before!

Just a nose in it!

After the 5 races, I was SHATTERED. Harry worked out that I had burnt 585 calories. Not bad for a day on the water.

Exhausted & happy

The alarm buzzed at 6.30 again this morning (who said weekends were for sleep ins?!) and we headed over the hill to Martinborough for the Round the Vines 10km run. Seeing as my last serious run (apart from a couple of practically leisurely 5km jogs) was the 7km Round the Bays, which almost killed me, I was rather nervous about this race. I told myself to just use it as a practice event, enjoy it, run when I could, and walk if I needed. Time didn’t matter, all that did was that I got to the end – one way or another.

Jase and I before the event

It was a scorcher of a day, and the event kicked off at 10.30am. Jase and I ran the course together, and allowed ourselves stops at each water stop, of course sampling the local wines as well! It was so so hot, and whenever I could I threw a cup of water straight over my head to try and keep cool.

Sav Blanc? Don't mind if we do!

The course was absolutely stunning, we ran along flat roads, gravel trails and roads, and along grass – even between the vines. Because it was such a gorgeous day, it was a really beautiful run.

Vine running

The last 2km REALLY hurt – I could feel my hip flexors straining, and blisters forming underneath my toes. Jase helped me push on, encouraging me the whole way to the final stretch where I put on a sprint to the finish line.

We completed the run in 1 hour and 10 minutes, 16 seconds. STOKED! Considering there was a bit of stopping, a bit of wine tasting, and lots of huffing and puffing – to finish in 1hr10 was great for my first 10k. Things can only get better from here. 816 calories burnt too, thanks Harry.

Happy to have made it to the end

As a reward, we drove to the Lake Ferry hotel for a cider in the sun 🙂 Seems to be my post-race treat!

Tired, happy and with cider = win

I wonder what event I am going to find to do next? Maybe it will be in Canada – who knows!

Every 4 weeks we are to take a fitness test to see our progress. Jane and I got together again today to try and beat our Week 1 results.

Here are my week 1 results:
1km Time Trial: completed in 5minutes 35seconds
Pushup Test: completed 44 full pushups on my toes
Abdominal Strength Test: reached stage 5
Wall Sit: completed 2minutes 05seconds
Flexibility Sit & Reach Test: +15cm beyond my toes

Here are my week 4 results:
1km Time Trial: completed in 5minutes 23seconds
Pushup Test: completed 50 full pushups on my toes
Abdominal Strength Test: reached stage 5
Wall Sit: completed 3minutes 05seconds
Flexibility Sit & Reach Test: +12cm beyond my toes

So – I have shaved 16 seconds off my run (and it was WINDY today, so I am hoping my next test is even better), I managed to crank out 6 more push ups (my focus for the next 4 weeks is to better my form – BUM DOWN, GET LOWER), I managed a whole MINUTE longer on the wall sit (and I think I have more in me for next time!)…unfortunately I lost 3cm on my flexibility but I think this is purely from having tight muscles from seeing my trainer this morning. Must stretch more!

Jane and I conquering the wall sit

Harry told me I had burnt 175 cals doing the fitness test, which is great on top of the 362 cals I burnt with my trainer this morning.

Total for today: 537 cals.

Harry is such a stud. I kept checking him out last night – a sneaky glance here, a quick look there. I’m sorry, I just couldn’t help it.

I went to half an attack class (it started late, and I had to leave early to get to Dragon Boating training)…and after 36.29 minutes Harry told me I had burnt 391 Calories. Sweet, I was pretty stoked with that!

Harry and I then got wet together (mind’s out of the gutter people!) – I had dragon boating training so I thought I would give him a whirl there. In 69 minutes of training (including the warm up) I burnt 450 Calories.

TOTAL for Monday: 841 Calories.

Oh, Harry, you are SUCH a star!

In Mish’s video post this week she discussed motivation – and how we shouldn’t NEED it – because then we can turn around and say “I’m just not motivated” and suddenly – that’s an excuse for not working out.

I love Mish’s top tips, and I thought I would share them with you.

  • ditch the “I need motivation”
  • remember that consistency is the key
  • strengthen your willpower muscle by saying NO regularly ie. No thanks, I don’t want that glass of wine
  • adopt the 10min rule – just say “do 10mins, and then if you REALLY don’t feel like it, you can stop”
  • JFDI! Take the emotion out of your workouts

Funnily enough, I had been busy thinking about various motivators, and I was going to post about just that – all the things that are motivating me right now. However I watched Mish’s video and have been trying to come up with a different term than ‘motivation’…so…let’s go with “things that drive me to move more and eat less”…

This week it’s these things:


I was so lucky to meet up with my bestie Natalie last week, as she was home from London for a visit. While we were out at lunch, she popped the question (I know, so romantic, over a glass of wine – hehe, anyone would think it was ME getting married, that’s how excited I am). I feel so honored to be part of and share their special day. 

Natalie and I

Of course, there will be photos. And dresses. And people looking at us. And I do NOT want to look like a heffer squeezed into a dress. So…this has become another huge motivator for me – I wanna be a hot slim bridesmaid!

2) Hellllllllllooooo Harry! I have mentioned Harry, my new Heart Rate monitor before – but I am in love. Seriously. Head over heels. I can’t wait to strap him on to my chest (right under the boobies, he loves it there) and glance lovingly down at his little numbers on my wrist… Harry is the number 2 reason I am moving more and eating less.

3) Almost every hour today I have needed to pee. Seriously, I am like a yo-yo – up and down and up and down to the bathroom and back. And this is the culprit.

When buying Harry in the weekend, the lovely young sales man must have seen me gazing longingly at the hot pink drink bottles behind the counter. Maybe I drooled a bit, I don’t know…but when he offered to throw it in for free, I nearly jumped for joy. I had been looking for a new drink bottle, one that MADE me want to guzzle water non stop. After reading Kez’s post about drinking more water, I had been trying my best to get some clear goodness as much as possible. Today, I have already filled my awesome hot pink bottle up 4 times! FOUR! That’s 2 litres of water right there….

…no wonder I have been a piddle pants all day. Gotta be good for ya!

4) Looking good in a new dress.

It has been so long since I purchased any clothes (saving for the OE and not fitting anything properly is a bit of a downer in the shopping department) – but while I was away on holiday last week I came across an Annah S. store. I kind of wandered around while the others tried things on, thinking “I don’t have money for any of this, and none of it will fit anyway”.

Right when we were about to leave I spotted the Tiger Dress on the sale rack, and thought…hell, no one is looking, I may as well give it a whirl. I came out of the changing room and all I heard was “OH MY GOD YOU HAVE TO BUY IT”. I admit, I thought it was AMAZING. I loved it. It would be ~perfect~ for the upcoming wedding we are going to in Rarotonga.

It's super cute - right?


I couldnt do it up. No matter how much I breathed in and squeezed, and the shop assistant heaved – that zipper wasnt going to do up. I was so so close.

I sadly put it back on the rack and left.

The next morning I was still thinking about the dress, and how gorgeous it was (and how it was reduced from $290…total bargain!)…and so Jase came back to the shop with me to give his opinion. He told me to buy it. He said “you will fit into that in no time, you just have to lose a couple more kilos and that zip will slide up”.

So I bought it. It’s the most crazy insane thing – I have never ever bought something I DONT FIT that has cost that much money before. But…it’s a massive motivation for me! I MUST FIT THIS DRESS by the end of April.

I know - SO close!

See what a teeny tiny way I have to go?!

Oh…and while I was at it, I happened to find the Tortoise Dress, and spurred on by Jase’s raised eyebrows, dropped jaw, and stuttering – I thought, what the hell, let’s be reckless…and I put that on the credit card too. Well…it was down from $260…it would be a waste not to…right?!


So there we have it. My current motivators…ahem…sorry Mish…my current “things that are making me move more, and eat less”.

What are yours?

Mish’s preseason task 4 was about getting the gear you need, and sorting your routine out. Considering it’s week 4 already (and I am only just getting to this task) – it’s lucky I was pretty much sorted already!

Firstly, I am a loyal Les Mills member (oh how I love Les Mills) and regularly attack, pump, RPM, step and sometimes combat. Quite often I will just use the cardio machines as well, and when I am with my trainer Emma, we work out using strength bags and kettlebells and medicine balls and all those sorts of fun things!

Last week was a challenging week. We were heading away to the Coromandel for a week long beach holiday. However I was determined that “beach holiday” wouldn’t mean “exercise holiday” so I packed my shoes and gear, and worked out a plan.

Day 1 – I did Mish’s Week 3, Monday outdoor workout in the park (including the awful Turkish Getups, without a dumbell). I enlisted Jase’s help as ‘workout commando’ and we did a cool little warmup – Jase kicked his rugby ball around the field and I had to run to get it, and bring it back to him to kick again. Good way to make a 10min run fun!

Day 2 – I ran to the marina, along the main road, and back home again which was a distance of 4.8km. To round it up, I ran to the bus stop and back to make it 5kms.

Day 3 – I did my own outdoor workout on the beach. I ran 1km in barefeet along the sand (harder than it sounds), and then did reps of press ups, burpees, basketball jumps, tricep dips, crunches, double crunches, reverse crunches and plank. Repeat x 3.

Working out on the beach

Day 4 – I found the Whangamata Gym! I joined in with the 6 local ladies doing their morning pump class – which was a bit different but I definitely worked up a sweat!

Day 5 – 5km Running Route again

Day 6 – stretching on the beach

I was really proud of myself that I managed to make my workouts fit to my location. No Excuses! Just because I wasnt near my normal gym, didnt mean I couldnt put my shoes on and work up a sweat. Stretching on the beach as the sun came up was absolute bliss (and now I am wondering how I can make that permanently part of my life?!).

Mish also recommends getting a heart rate monitor to monitor your calories burnt, and your heart rate. Purely because of the cost I have been humming and harring over this purchase for weeks now (3 weeks to be exact). Finally I decided to do it. And so, I introduce to you…Harry (the hardout heart rate monitor). He is a spanky Polar FT7. I can’t wait to strap him on and see what he says after my attack class and dragon boating session tonight!

Harry "the hardout" Heart Rate Monitor

I feel totally geared up and ready for week 4! Bring it on!

The 12wbt preseason task #3 is to set my goals. I know I am at the beginning of week 2, but things have been a bit chaotic in the past couple of weeks so I am working through the preseason tasks when I can grab a few minutes.

Back to goals! I have divided them up by 1 Month, 3 Months, 6 Months and 12 Months.

1 Month Goals (to 31 March)
Lose 4kg = be 70kgs
Run a 10km = Round the Vines in Martinborough (20 March)
Give 100% in all my dragon boating races (19 March)
Submit my UK Visa application by 15 March

How I will get there
Ensure all my meals are FRESH, and be strict on this eating programme
Continue to follow the 12wbt training programme
Run at least three times a week building up to the 10km
Focus on my body positioning and JFDI when in the boat on race day
Schedule in time to get visa application completed this week. Do online application Wed, do biometric testing Thurs. Send away on Friday.

3 Month Goals (to 31 May)
Lose 7kg = be at most 67kgs
Move to Vancouver with $20,000 in savings
Find a gym or event to train for in Vancouver

How I will get there
Stay strict on my eating, even while travelling
Keep up the training – utilise Mish’s outdoor workouts that I can do without a gym
Save as much as possible between now and 11 May when I fly by selling items on trademe, and selling my car
Research exercise options and local events in Vancouver

6 Month Goals (to 31 August)
Lose 10kgs = be at most 65kgs
Ensure my life is low stress, fun and I am making the most of my year away
Learn to snowboard

How I will get there
Do not over indulge in bad food while travelling/ living away. Ensure our meals are healthy and fresh
Run, gym or do some form of exercise three times a week – look into doing 12wbt round two? Possibly the advanced, fit and strong?
Take time to remember where I am, and what I am experiencing
Move to Whistler or a similar resort and take snowboarding lessons

12 Month Goals (to 28 Feb 2012)
Maintain weight at 65kgs (or lose a little more if I feel I need to)
Plan to move to the UK

How I will get there
Keep on top of my eating, exercising and maintaining my weight. Do 12wbt round 3 if I feel it is right for me
Pick events that I can do while overseas
Plan and save for our big shift to the UK

As I have mentioned before, I have been on a weight loss plateau for weeks. It was so hard not to be demotivated about it, to not think “it just isn’t working, I may as well give up”. But I forced myself to stick with it.

So I ate well, tracked my points, exercised like a fiend. I had a terrible WI in last week, and hit an all-time high of 76.2kgs. How? I honestly do not know.

This week, I took it slightly easier. I still tracked all my food, I still exercised when I could, I did my PT sessions…and finally the scales had mercy on me. This morning, I weighed in at 74.0kgs. That’s a MASSIVE loss of 2.2kgs since I stood on the scales at WW last week! Finally, after five long weeks of 200g down, 200 up nonsense, my body has responded with a big number.

Losing 2.2kgs is definitely not a reason to take the foot off the gas and relax –no way, I am using it as encouragement to kick it up even more!

In the last two weeks, I have worked out with Emma – my new personal trainer – four times.

I can’t begin to describe how great this has been, having someone who tells you to do something means you just do it – rather than talking myself out of it, or taking it easy, or half assing it! I have been working up some serious sweats, and it feels great!

Workout number one was:

3min warmup on treadmill at 8.5

2mins treadmill at 10.5
20 x fast squats with 10kg strength bag
20 x squat press with 5kg dumbells
8 x jacknife crunches/pressups with my legs on a swiss ball

repeat 3 times.

Workout number two was:

10min warmup on treadmill at 8.5

2mins treadmill at 8.5
2 mins treadmill at 10.0
2mins treadmill at 5.0 increasing to 8.5
2mins treadmill back up at 10.0

(repeat this x 5  – 2minute runs at 10.0, 2minute breaks in between)

20 x bar squats with increasing weights
8 x medicine ball press ups on each arm

repeat x 3

Box step ups & press with 3kg dumbells
10 x on each leg

repeat x 3

Workout number three was (and I even have pictures!):

10min warmup on the treadmill at 8.5

1 min fast run on the treadmill at 10.5

1 lunge with 10kg strength bag – left leg
1 lunge with 10kg strength bag – right leg

1 Squat/Press with 10kg strength bag

1 bent over row with 15kg strength bag

1 set of mountain climbers (bring your knee up to each armpit) while in a plank position on a Bosu

Increase sets to 200 metres running, 2 lunges, 2 squats etc; 300 metres running, 3 lunges, 3 squats etc; 40 seconds running, 4 lunges, 4 squats etc; 50 seconds…and so on and so on until you get to 10 (1min 40 seconds running, 10 lunges on each leg, 10 squats etc) and then work back down.

In my 45 minute workout, I managed to get right up to 10 sets, and did an extra set of 9 at the end. And I was stuffed!

Workout number four was:

10 minute warmup on treadmill at 8.5

1km on treadmill at 10.5, every 200m increase 0.1 up to 10.9
15 x kettlebell swings at 15kgs
10 x pull ups on a bar using my bodyweight
15 x swiss ball crunch

repeat x 2

1km back on the treadmill at 9.5.

repeat kettlebell, pull ups and crunches x 2

1km back on the treadmill at 9.0

Phew! I am exhausted just reading these workouts – but so so glad to be doing them. Emma is awesome and I am finally making some progress with the weight loss – more on that soon!

Jane and I got together today and completed the week 1 Fitness Test.

This required us to run a 1km route and time it, do a pushup test (how many you can complete in 1minute), an abdominal strength test (what level of sit ups we could get to), a wall sit, and a sit and reach flexibility test.

My results were:

1km Time Trial: completed in 5minutes 35seconds
Pushup Test: completed 44 full pushups on my toes
Abdominal Strength Test: reached stage 5
Wall Sit: completed 2minutes 05seconds
Flexibility Sit & Reach Test: +15cm beyond my toes

YAY! This puts me clearly in the advanced category (which I thought I would be anyway). For this 12wbt I will be following the Advanced Lean and Fit programme (with the hope to sign up for Round 2 and do the Advanced Lean & Strong programme).

Bring it on!

Getting back to my pre-season 12wbt tasks (the first one being “introduce yourself”- but you already know me) I thought I better crack the whip and get them done.

For task number two, Mish asks us to list our excuses. Most of my excuses are around food – mainly because 90% of the time I have no problem getting to the gym and working out. Although I do have to admit, that lack of motivation sometimes does hit me – and this is included in my list of excuses below.

These excuses are divided into Internal Excuses (the self talk), External Excuses that I can control (eg. weather, schedule) and External Excuses that I cannot control (eg. crisis at work).

Internal Excuses:

– I’m too tired to get to the gym today
– I don’t have the motivation. I need a friend to go with me
– I am too busy at work to do that lunchtime class after all
– There aren’t any classes on at the right times
– It’s too hard to find something healthy to eat while I am working/ takes too much time to prepare my meals
– I should be doing something else
– I have been trying so damn hard and not seeing any changes, I may as well give up
– This week is too busy with xx social functions on

Solutions to these Internal Excuses:
– Just get the damn shoes on the feet, get out the door and JFDI. Even if it’s just a walk, I know I will feel better having done SOMETHING
– No one can do the exercise for me. I can have support, which is great, but it is only me that can want this for myself. Hook up with gym buddies where I can, but do not let my schedule slip if I am feeling unmotivated. That will only make me feel worse about it.
– Get changed into my gym gear early for those lunch time classes, so I am already to go and have no excuses
– Find classes that fit within my schedule and do those. If none fit – then use the 12wbt gym machine programmes, or do a workout outside. Go for a run!
– Spend time on Sunday nights preparing my food plan for the week, doing the shopping and cooking and freezing meals so they are easy and quick to grab
– Ask Jason to do the washing/ cleaning so that I have time to focus on my food plans
– Don’t give up. Results will come when all the pieces of the weight loss puzzle combine. My body is different to everyone elses and I will see changes eventually
– Social functions – do I REALLY need to go? Will they miss me if I am not there? Or can I turn up late AFTER my workout? Make my workouts a priority
External Excuses – within my control
– It’s not my kitchen/ fridge (living with the in-laws) and there is no space for me to cook/ store my meals and food
– I’m too busy, there are a billion things on right now
– We get home so late (1 hour commute) so it’s too late to start cooking a meal
– It’s too hot/ It’s raining
– We eat out so much for work (lunch meetings, dinners etc) that how can I say no?
– Ask the M.I.L if I can store a few things in the fridge. Choose meals that are quick and easy to put together and require few ingredients. Plan ahead for the week and cook multiples and store in the fridge
– Schedule workouts in my diary at work, block out the time so that no one can request meetings then. Get changed into my gear early so that I can say “sorry, I am just off to the gym, can I catch up with you on that when I get back?”
– Create meals that I can just grab and go for the nights I am late home
– If it’s hot or raining – exercise in the air conditioned covered gym
– Look at menu’s before I go to restaurants and choose what I am going to order. Work out the calories prior. Or just say NO! I don’t need to be at every lunch/dinner!
External Excuses – Outside my control
– I am sick or hungover
– Don’t be hungover in the first place! Reduce alcohol, eat healthily when I am sick to help my body recover faster

So there you have it – those are my honest and truthful excuses, the things that are holding me back and dragging me down. I need to break through the self sabotage and just DO it because these excuses are roadblocks to what I want.

What kind of excuses do you have?

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