What on earth is Operation Skinny Cow?

Operation Skinny Cow was born after a few of us in Blogland decided it might be nice to lose some weight and/or get a bit fitter. We decided it would be even nicer if we encouraged each other along the way.

You can read about how it started in this post.

If you want to be part of the fun and add your own posts to this blog then send an e-mail to Emily Sue at reachingforgreen@gmail.com and she'll set you up as an author.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Weigh-In Wednesday (Manda)

Last weigh-in (pre-Christmas): 71.6
Today: 72.2
Change: Up .6

Like I said. It could be a lot worse!

This time next week, I'll be on beach mission. The aim is to not pig out on lollies the whole time (as they're likely to be more available than anything else) and to drink lots of water. Won't have much control over the food available, but will be active all day...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Exercise update (Femina)

Since starting my C25K plan I have put on half a kilo. I'm telling myself this is muscle... although in reality it could also be Christmas. There was food. Quite a lot of it. Mmmm.

Yesterday I completed Week 2, Day 2 of C25K.  I'll do Day 3 tomorrow or Thursday, and I haven't yet decided if I'll go straight to Week 3 or do another couple of days of Week 2. I've been able to do the program as written but it was a real struggle so I think another couple of days of it might be good before stepping it up to the next level.

I don't want to run more than three times a week as I have a slightly dodgy knee and I'm scared of injuring it so I've been trying to find something to do on a couple of other days each week. I have ZERO upper body strength and therefore swimming would be perfect... well, except for the fact that I don't know how to swim. Tricky. However, I remembered a dusty set of unused DVDs on my bookshelf, bought during a brief period where I thought about exercising.  The DVDs are Jillian Michaels' Beginner Workouts and (now that I've finally watched them) they're great.  Unlike many other DVDs, they really are designed for beginners so she teaches you how to do the exercises properly, notes things to avoid and gives you alternate exercises if you can't manage some of the cardio stuff. I did the 'Frontside' workout because it's mainly upper body stuff and I can feel it after only one session. Heh... actually not even one session - I could only manage 30 minutes of the 40 minute workout, but that's way better than nothing at all.

Also, Jillian Michaels (trainer from the US Biggest Loser) is awesome. Awesome, I tell you.

So here I am... running (well, jogging) and actively seeking out something to do on non-running days. Yeah... I'm starting to scare myself.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Changes (Manda)

So... it's been Christmas. The scales might not look great on Wednesday.


I have been exercising in the mornings. It has been great! Doing DVDs with my housemate (Denise Austin, who is American - and everything you imagine when I say the A-word, complete with frequent use of the word "tushie" - but who is encouraging and whose DVDs are a great workout system for us) and even went for two jog-runs.

I'm doing lots of small sessions, rather than gearing up for a big gym trip that doesn't always eventuate. For example, this morning I ran for 10 and did weights for 10. Better than nothing by a long shot.

The results so far: As I said, the scales might not be wonderful when you take into account the other half of the equation (eating): I overate all Christmas (and the two days on either side of it), including half a gingerbread roof for dinner tonight. Pay more attention, Manda!

But on the other hand, I have developed muscles in my shoulders for the first time in my life!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

In which Femina discovers muscles she didn't know were there...

Those of you who read my blog know that I recently decided to start C25K, which is a running program designed to get you from being a couch potato to running 5km (or 30 minutes), all in 9 weeks. It's pretty good and I know a number of people who've done it and are now keen runners.

I'm doing it on a treadmill, which is probably a little easier than outside. I've been advised to set the treadmill at the lowest incline to better approximate the outdoors. I'm not sure how to approximate dogs chasing me, cars whizzing by, uneven cement tripping me up and various other outdoor hazards. Maybe I'll leave those for now.

Anyway, so today I have just finished W1D3 (Week 1, Day 3), which means I have completed Week 1! (You're meant to do the C25K sets three times each week.) Only 8 more weeks until I can (hopefully) manage a half hour run. On Week 1 you alternate 60 seconds of jogging with 90 seconds of walking so I can't even imagine jogging or running for a full half hour but I guess I'll get there.

So, no weigh in today, just an exercise update.  I feel GREAT that I'm managing to achieve each day's C25K exercise goal... but boy, I'm feeling it! Apparently there are muscles in my legs. Who knew? It's not like I've ever used them before.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Too Much Daily Bread (Givinya)

Remember my friend whose suggestion got me thinking about doing this walk to and from school?  She's an ideas gal.  She (although I cannot BELIEVE this) struggled with her weight in the 15 years since I saw her last (I've only re-connected with her since moving back to my childhood town this year.)  In a recent magazine article she wrote, she confessed that her doctor looked at her and said "the O word."

At first I thought the doctor was suggesting a more exciting time in bed.  It does, after all, burn calories.

But she was, in fact, referring to the word "obesity."  And I couldn't believe it.  She looked great when I saw her 15 years ago, and looks the same today!  I'm thinking this is a girl with some weight-loss suggestions!

One of the steps in her action plan was to limit herself to 2 slices of bread a day.  Ack!  I knew that people say that overindulging in bread is their main pitfall, but I've always been a bit "pooh-pooh" about that.

Then I started to realise how many slices of bread I was eating each day.  My word.  Two slices a day was worth a try.

I started trying to limit myself to 2 or 3 slices of bread.  And I sometimes did okay with that.

Now that is not my only Bread Problem.  Until I left home to go to Uni at 17, I had hardly ever tasted white bread.  I remember gagging on its soft white slipperiness once when I was about 8, because I'd only ever eaten wholemeal bread.  I was proud of that!  Boo to white bread: sometimes I call it "duck food" and sometimes I call it "colon packing."  Now that I've married a man who responded to a similar not-white-bread-eating upbringing by eating heaps of it to make up for lost time, that's all I eat!  Why?  Gurk!

What if, I thought, what if I bought myself an expensive loaf of something very grainy, very filling and very healthy, stored it in the freezer, and ate 2 slices of it a day?

Now THAT was a great idea.  Frozen bread is great in the toaster, and frozen bread is fantastic for sandwiches.  And look at this!  When my poor family is eating this for lunch:

I am eating THIS!

I truly am the lucky one!!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

I might not die (Givinya)

So in this conversation with this friend who said that anyone can lose weight, she also said something I thought was absurd.

She said that next year when Nat goes to school, I'll be able to walk him there and back. And because I will be pushing a double stroller, it would be excellent exercise up the hills there are in both directions.

I thought she was mad.

But she isn't. She is just a Mum who happens to run half-marathons, and has never experienced grinding sacro-iliac dysfunction pain upon walking down to the corner and back again.  Or occasional blacking out due to blood pressure medication.  Or Lazy Wretch Syndrome, which I seem to suffer from most of the time.

So I told my husband and he thought it was a great idea and went about proving that a man who has never given birth and who gets as much uninterrupted sleep as he pleases every night and who doesn't have to push his body through 12 hours of non-stop servanthood under the rule of some tyrannical dear sweet children can indeed do the walk.

But I started thinking.  He told me about a short-cut that eliminated the long grinding hill I was worried about.  And I did some calculations and worked out it is only about 1.2 km (unfortunately without any 'loading' for the hills) making it sound EASY.

Let me cut and paste from my blog entry today, telling you about my progress on this walk:

First Walk:  Nat was asleep one afternoon and I took Anna-Lucia and Joseph in the double stroller.  I walked down the hill, through the forest, down the next hill and across to the roundabout.  I could see the school from there, and found that immensely encouraging.  But the children were beginning to cry and I was concerned I wouldn't make it home if I bit off more than I could chew, so we turned around and came home.  Uuuuuup the hill!  I lived.  Great work, Me!

Second Walk:  We didn't go further, but it included more challenges.  Nat was with us and didn't want to ride his bike (a) down the hills, in case he went too fast and got out of control, or (b) up the hills because they were too steep.  So it was quite pointless him even having his bike, but he flatly refused to go without it.  Joseph wasn't dressed warmly enough and when the breeze turned into a wind, he got quite cold and grizzled a lot of the way home.  And Anna-Lucia saw Nat on his bike and moaned 75% of the way, "I neeed my biiike!"  Those words must have been said over a hundred times.  When I replied that it was a bad idea because she couldn't even push the pedals, she said, "You can push me with a broom!"

Then she demanded to get out and walk, tripped over the stroller wheels, scraped her knee and OH! the DRAMA!  A bleddercut on the knee!

And although she sat down and would not budge two houses from home and Nat decided he couldn't possibly push his bike up the last little bit, I did make it back, alive, with three children, one bike AND my dignity, which is an important factor in the longevity of this Mad Walking Idea.

Third Walk:  This morning I was awake early and once Joseph and Anna-Lucia were awake too, I decided to try the walk again, this time unencumbered by a 4-year-old and his bike.  I dressed the children warmly and took off.  This time we made it all the way to school and back.  Oh my!  The hills!  But I made it, I made it!  Alive!  It only took me 25 minutes (do remember that this is sans Nat).

I can do this.  We have five more weeks to practice before school starts.  By then, I hope to be pushing the double stroller up those hills a little easier, and I hope to have Nat a little more independent on his bike.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Weigh-In Wednesday (Femina)

Last week: 72.8kg
This week: 74.0kg

Uhh... right. Okay then. I'm a little baffled by this since I have spent the week eating well AND I used my treadmill three times, but there you go. Just one of those things, I guess, and I'm sure it will sort itself out next week (just in time for my Christmas blow-out). My weight tends to go up and down daily so monthly trends are more useful for me anyway... thus, I'm not concerned yet. If this happens every week then that will be a different story! :-)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Weigh-In Wednesday (Femina)

Last week: 72.8kg
This week: 72.8kg

Given the ups and downs of the past month, weight-wise (and emotionally, to be frank) I'm pretty happy with this. I'm also happy to be weighing in BEFORE today's Seniors' Christmas Lunch at work, where I get to be an honorary senior and eat lots of delicious food, and also BEFORE I go to have dinner with friends tonight. Yay, timing! Hehe.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Copy Copy Copy (Givinya)

Okay. Here goes:

Before pregnancy: I can't remember exactly, possibly 68 or 69 kg? I was getting lumpy and dumpy and I was not fitting into my jeans well.

During pregnancy: I did lose some fat from my upper body, and only went up to 74.4 kg.

After Joseph: 64.0 to 65.0 kg. Fitting into jeans better, but eating an enormous amount. Mostly healthy foods, but probably too many choc-chip biscuits.

Goal: 60.0 kg, unless I get there and decide that 58.0 or 59.0 would be healthier. (A BMI of 22 [58kg-60kg] has suited my frame better over the years and made me feel healthier than the current BMI=24. But hey wow - it's currently 24! That's supposed to be good! So why do I feel like a blancmange, and look so appallingly jubbly and rotund over the belly - and I'm not talking just baby stuff - there's too many muffins in my muffin top! I feel I shouldn't be complaining about BMI=24, but it's not suiting me one little bit!)

I was talking to a friend yesterday. The essence of my question for her was: at what point does a girl with a body shape like a barrel (thinnish arms, shoulders, neck, and from the knees down, but with an embarrassingly rotund middle) get some expert weight-loss help, e.g., from a Program?

Her reply contained the idea that anybody can lose weight - they just have to want to. She said she has known people who say they want to lose weight but they never do, and these were the people who never really wanted to.

Excuse me?

I'm sorry, but I just don't buy that.

I have never ever been able to control my weight. When I was having revolting panic attacks and unable to keep food down for weeks on end, there was nothing I could do to increase my weight. And now that I am shaped like a barrel, I have found that despite eating a healthy diet and swimming 0.5 km regularly (back when I was free to do so!) I am completely unable to decrease my weight.

My weight does its own thing. And at the heart of this not-checking-in-with-Skinny-Cow thing is my total lack of belief that trying to lose weight will be worth the time I spend on it.

Hence the choc-chip cookies.

Accountability-copying (Manda)

Good point, Fem.

Last post (months and months ago): 71.8
Last week: 71.6
This week: 71.6.

Is it a plateau...? or am I maintaining well?

Only time can judge...

Weigh-In Wednesday (Femina)

Okay, here's the thing... when I did Weight Watchers I weighed in every week. Some weeks I lost weight, some weeks I gained weight, some weeks I stayed the same. Whatever happened, the accountability of weighing in every week really helped me. I didn't even hang around for the meetings most of the time; I just paid $15 (I think) to weigh in and leave. An expensive way of doing it but it worked for me.

So, I've realised that's what I need to do. Weigh in here every week even if I've eaten nothing but chocolate for the past seven days... and even if I'm the only one doing this and the only one reading it. It's not about public humiliation; it's about being in a routine and being accountable.

Today's weight: 72.8kg
Last time: uhh... no idea. I forgot to check before starting this post.
Goal weight: 64kg

See you again in a week! :-)