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.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Ouch. Ouch. Oh, and... ouch. (Emily Sue)

C25K is going well and deciding to redo Week 5 was a great idea. On Tuesday, Australia Day, I did W5D2 - that's the one with two 8 minute runs and a 5 minute walk in between. During the 5 minute walk I felt a tiny twinge in my left ankle, but didn't worry too much because it was only a small pain and kind of understandable since I'd just run for 8 minutes straight. I finished the walk and launched into the second run. Once I started running I couldn't feel the ankle so assumed all was fine.

You know what they say about assumptions, right? Indeed.

So, I'm nursing a stuffed ligament and unable to exercise at the moment. The doctor said I could swim or ride a bike. Swimming is out since I don't actually know how, and bike riding is out for now because it would involve a fair bit of ankle movement which, frankly, is way too painful... even today, four days after I injured it. I am, therefore, sitting on the lounge with my foot up, watching DVDs.  NOT conducive to weight loss or fitness. Sigh.

And ouch.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Congrats to ALL

Hip-Jen wrote this as a comment on a post but I thought it deserved its own post:

"And people, I'd love to congratulate us all for getting back into Operation Skinny Cow with enthusiasm - even if the results are a mixed bag for now.

We've had so many posts in the last week. Well done, Cowgirls!"

Indeed. Well done to everyone! This is about making an effort and giving each other support, and that's what's been happening for the last few weeks. We totally rock. :D  Let's keep going!

Manda would love to share some good news...

...It's just that there isn't any!

I've been away on camp.
I ate a lot of food.
I ate a log of sugary food.
My tummy is bigger, and my bum is bigger.

But - at least I'm still exercising. I did a run and a DVD today, a hi-lo class on Saturday, a small run and weights last week... so it could be worse.

Plus: I'm getting shoulder muscles, and did my first ever on-my-toes push-up!

I'll weigh-in on Wednesday... it's not looking good though...

C2272S (HJ)

I've been following Emily Sue's efforts in the C25K programme. I think it must help to have a goal and incremental steps that push you, but don't actually kill you.

I have now got myself a goal. Near Kuala Lumpur there are the Batu Caves, which we are visiting in April. The brochure says that they have 272 steps. That's alot of steps.

When I was being interrogated by the nurse prior to surgery she used the "Can you do 4 flights of stairs" test to check whether I was fit or not.

Obviously I am not.

And four flights is only about 64 steps.


So, I'm in training. As well as attempting 3 x 30 minute rows a week (which I have actually been doing for two weeks now), I have to work up to 16 x our internal stairs. Precisely.

Initially I thought it was 17 times, but I was counting the 16 step treads, not the 17 risers. In a little mathematical fluke it turns out that 272 is actually 16 x 17, so it still works out an even number. However, I'm working on being able to do 20 x internal stairs so that I'll know I'm right for the day in airless cave conditions.

At the moment I can do 5. And then sit down for 5 minutes with my feet up. But hey, I've got 10 weeks 'til we go, so I should be able to make this. Each week I shall increase the number by 2 sets of stairs, thereby hitting 17 by week 7 and 20 for week 9. (And then I'm going to have to work in hotel staircases for the week we're away before we get to K.L.) This is what I call my C2272S programme.

I will also need to push up my walking, because that is also something we'll probably be doing alot of.

So, my plan for this week (which actually started on Saturday):-

1. Row three times (yep, already did Saturday and today, so that's on track)

2. Walk three times (better get into that, because the LBD hasn't seen my walking shoes for weeks)

3. Do 5 flights of stairs at some point during the day every day (already did that yesterday - when I first realised that I needed to train for stairs - and today I did 2 lots, plus an additional three individual sets incidental to doing some washing downstairs)

Did you notice my total lack of any sort of weigh-in? Sort of bounced. Back to a nasty number. I'd love to say it was because I did heaps more exercise than normal and built muscle. It wasn't. I had a few eating incidents.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

You know your fat when (Swift Jan)

You burn your tummy ironing a shirt.

Oh dear.

Two steps forward, one step back (Emily Sue)

Last Tuesday I did Week 5, Day 2 of C25K. Well, I sort of did it, but wasn't totally successful. It's now Saturday and I haven't done any exercise at all since then. The 'exercise 5 times per week' thing has long since fallen by the wayside (as has the healthy eating, most of the time) and now I'm just barely managing the 3 sessions of C25K. This is the week where it gets serious - Week 5 ends with a 20 minute, non-stop run and I know I'm not ready for that yet, even though technically I'm supposed to be since that's Day 3 and I did Day 2 on Tuesday.

So, today I decided I need to start Week 5 again and actually get serious about it this time.  I've just done Day 1 (still sweaty and everything) and it wasn't easy. I certainly managed it better than I would have two weeks ago but I still had to push myself to finish, which just confirms for me that taking a step back and repeating a week was the right decision.

Anyway I just wanted to post this because I've been posting a fair bit of "I'm running and losing weight and I feel fantastic and the world is totally rosy!!" stuff... and while it's partly true, it's not the whole story.

Also, for dinner last night I had toast with honey followed by three Choc Wedge ice creams...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Is it Wednesday already? (Givinya)

I'm not having much luck with scales, party for the reason that I outlined in my comment to Swift Jan in the post below, and partly because it doesn't appear that the numbers are decreasing despite the fact that I'm feeling happy, healthy and fit.

So, if the scales are to be believed, I'm still above my goal weight.

If the evidence of your eyes is better, then you'd see that I'm looking pretty fit and healthy until I turn side-on and then you'd see the spare tyre that's giving me grief.  I believe that after having children, I can't expect to have a supermodel-tummy. 

In fact, supermodels who have had children say stuff like, "Yeah, that last 5kgs were really hard to lose - I had to really work at it."  Which means there's not a whole lot of hope for me, without my personal trainer, chef-prepared menus and without five child-free minutes a day in which to even walk the stupid dog.

But without the spare tyre, I could fit into my skinny jeans.  See, there's motivation.

Right - to business.  I've been having fun with my New Approach To Bread - keeping to 2 slices of Grainy Lawson's bread a day has been awesome!  The white-bread blowout of Saturday was not greatly satisfying, and I don't have cravings to go back there.

But I have a new challenge: SALT.  My blood pressure is taking a little hike upwards, and while I sort my medication out (I have essential hypertension following pre-eclampsia in my first pregnancy) I thought that decreasing my salt intake wouldn't be a bad idea.  After all, if I started limiting salty foods, I'd find that the fatty foods would also be limited.

I need to know how much is too much.  I found this out on The Vitamin Update:
"An amount of about 500 mg a day is considered adequate to maintain the body's salt concentration. Intake should be no more than 2.4 g of sodium per day which is the amount found in around one teaspoon of salt. ... In Australia, the recommended intake is 920 to 2300 mg per day."

500mg sounds like it's ideal but unattainable - otherwise why would they concede 920-2300mg?

And The Better Health Channel had this:
"The National Health and Medical Research Centre’s (NHMRC) suggested dietary target advises that Australian adults should aim to consume no more than 4g of salt a day (or 1,600mg of sodium) in order to prevent chronic disease. ... Nutritionists recognise it may be difficult for many people to reduce their salt intake to the ideal level, given our current food supply."

The average of 1600mg might be a good starting point.  I need a figure in my mind when reading nutrition information.

I thought it was kind of 'Nutritionists' to acknowledge that it can be hard to eat well, "given our current food supply."

Again from The Better Health Channel:
Heart Foundation advice is that all Australians should at least reduce their salt intake to less than 6g of salt a day (approximately 2,300mg of sodium a day) as a first step towards reaching the recommended levels. This is approximately 1½ teaspoons of salt.

Okay, so if I find 1600mkg is hard, I'll aim for 2300 to start with, and go from there.  I'll let you know if I'm anywhere near this (because I am already following many of the healthy eating tips on both those pages linked above) or if I'm not, and how hard it might be to cut down.

Dunno if I am ready (Swift Jan)

Hi all,

It's been a REALLY long time. Sorry.

I'm still not sure if I am ready to jump in yet. I think that when I am ready I want to REALLY knuckle down & lose the kilos. I dont feel like I can do that during the school holidays. But, soon school will go back & maybe then I can deal with all this.... horribly ugly flabby bits.
I have never been this big in all my life and its, well its terribly depressing.
Here's a confession. The day before Libby was born the anaethetist weighed me. He had to. I didn't want to. I really didn't want to. But he had to..... the scales said 3 numbers. yep thats right 3 numbers :( Ok so after Libby they are back down to 2 numbers again, but they are high. Its humiliating & I hate myself for getting here.
It seems so incredibly daunting to need to lose close to 40kgs. Thats so much. I think I might cry.

So you might see me around these parts again a bit more regulary in the coming weeks. I'm gonna need lots of encouragement.

Finally something happening! (Emily Sue)

Five weeks of running and it's finally starting to pay off.

Last week: 73.4kg
This week: 72.7kg
Difference: 700g loss

I did my very first run OUTSIDE yesterday, which was scary and a bit harder too. It was two 8-min runs with a 5-min walk in between, only I did a 9 min run and a 6 min 40 sec run... then my body refused to run one more step.  Next time it's a 20 minute run with no stopping, which terrifies me somewhat.

Also, I've stopped craving chocolate all the time. I've gone from a chocolate bar 5 times a week (yes, really) to one every 10 days or so... not because I'm restricting myself; just because I haven't felt like it. Bonus!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Too Much Good Cheer? (Rhubarb Whine)


Where was I?

Oh yes, just slipped under an '0'.

Well, I am just sitting on the 5 that's under the '0'.

Which is very good but very sslllooowwwwwwww....

Do you think tim tams, wine, cheese, chocolate, cheese, chocolate, champage, pate, chocolate, cheese and wine have anything to do with that?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Blowout Weekend (Givinya)

I was doing so well.  Then I went to the birthday party of 2 small friends.  My indiscretions include:
  • larger-than-necessary meals
  • white bread (just my little rule, not an indiscretion if you like it, okay?)
  • party food
  • party food
  • party food
  • spinach & feta filo triangle for lunch
  • minimal exercise.

Not too bad I guess, but I feel so totally Off The Wagon.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Here we go down, down, down (HJ)

Okay, so here's to some success. 300 grams of success. Which isn't bad when you consider lunch yesterday or morning tea the day before and the fact that I have good ice-cream in the house at the moment.

Or the fact that I rowed on Saturday, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday morning this week, so I must be makin' muscle.

My trendy eXcell spreadsheet is having conniptions, though. I only weighed last week and didn't enter the value, so the poor little computer is having to work out everything in negative numbers as I've set up the whole thing to report, well, you know, weight loss. And this week (because I didn't put in last week) is a significant increase on all three charts (compared with last input values; compared with my original first grade weight loss; and compared to where I started.) Ouch.

But it is a start, and as usual, if I've had a little success I can build from there.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Weigh-In Wednesday (Emily Sue)

Shortly after starting the C25K running program I weighed myself and saw 74.4kg. That's the heaviest I've been in about 10 years, and it was the week after I started exercising so you can imagine how thrilled that made me. There I was, finally committing myself to a proper training program, and then... that number. Boy.  I thought at first it might be one of those two day weight spikes - you know, where your weight just goes up for a couple of days for no obvious reason - but it stayed up around there for nearly three weeks and it's only in the last week or so that it's started to come down.  My current weight, at least for the past two days, is 73.4kg, so I'm calling that a 1kg weight loss even though it's over three weeks.

I'm now halfway through Week 4 of C25K and I'm continuing to be amazed that I can actually do it. Week 4 looks like this:

Brisk 5 minute warm up walk
Run 3 minutes
Walk 90 seconds
Run 5 minutes
Walk 2 1/2 minutes
Run 3 minutes
Walk 90 seconds
Run 5 minutes

That's pretty hard core for someone who could barely manage the "run 60 seconds/walk 90 seconds" sets of the first week. I'm running at quite a slow pace still (between 6kmh and 7kmh, depending on whether I'm at the end or the beginning of the workout) but speed isn't important. I can build up to that later if I want.  The important thing is... I'm doing it, and I am just totally STOKED about that.  Although there were walking bits in between, I have still run for 16 minutes twice this week. That's awesome.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Femina's identity crisis

For those who don't know, I have changed my blog address and changed my blog identity at the same time. Femina is now 'Emily Sue' (not my real name... and I suspect I'm far more amused than anyone else by the hick, hoe-down name) and I'll be blogging here under the new identity too. I'll leave my old posts as is because it's way too much trouble to change them all. :)

I don't want to talk about it! (HJ)

This week I've been inspired by Femina.

She has demonstrated attention to the duty of her exercise progam, despite the fact that she's not that sold on exercise. I've been empathising with the latter part of that statement and trying to ignore the former.

However, just as if I were a flighty and untrained young horse refusing a fence she (being better motivated and more disciplined) has given me a lead over the unattractive obstacle that is 'starting to exercise again'.

So I'm entirely thanking her for her example and how it has resulted in my having rowed 4 times this week, walked once, and having done one row for next week first up this morning.

But (and there's always a butt - in my case a larger one than this time last year), having decided that I didn't want to get on the scales, curiosity got the better of me during the week and I couldn't help myself.


Can't work out if it is my heaviest ever, because my heaviest ever was worked out on different scales. I don't want to think about it too hard.

What's worse is that it was an additional 100g this morning.

SO, 10 kg to 'stalling weight' and that's about all the goal I've got the energy for at this point.

*Big sigh from Jen*

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Run run run (Femina)

So, I'm still doing the C25K thing. Tonight I'll finish Week 3 and then on Saturday it will be on to Week 4... the week that terrifies everyone because you jump from 3 minute runs to 5 minute runs. Hm. We'll see how that goes.

Finding the motivation to exercise has been a bit harder now that I'm back at work, as is finding the motivation to eat properly and not just have cheese on toast for dinner. I'm still working out whether I would rather exercise at night or in the morning. My head says in the morning but when my alarm goes off my body gives my head a smackdown and tells it to mind its own business. Unfortunately I also don't really want to exercise when I get home from work, so... yeah, still working that one out.

Aaaaand... I'm still heavier than I was when I started. Okay, it's probably muscle gain but boy, it's very discouraging to do loads of strenuous exercise and put on weight.  Sigh. I'll just keep running...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Keep on Walkin' (Givinya)

Before Christmas, I stepped on the scales and saw my first 64 number - 64.9kg!  I ate more than I should have over Christmas, and then I spent a fair bit of time with various in-laws.  They have these waistline-killing things - one is called "Morning Tea" and the other is "Afternoon Tea."

We have our own version of MT and AT at our place, but it's not quite as waistline-killing as the MTs and ATs you have at my in-laws' places.

They are all skinny people and have NEVER needed to worry about their weight, any of them.  They eat SMALL helpings of healthy main meals, probably because MT and AT fill them all the way up.

They drink cordial, tea, coffee or juice.  And they eat cakes, sweets, slices, muffins and cupcakes, usually with icing.

Drat them.  The reason I don't have that stuff in the house is because I have no restraint.

And umm, In-Laws, just because it's all home-baked doesn't mean you're consuming LESS sugar and butter.  No siree Bob.

So the other day I got on the scales and saw another 67-ish number (sigh).  Then today I get on the scales and see 64.9 again!  Greatly encouraged, I went for a long walk with the naughty dog.  (To school and back, unencumbered!  11 minutes there, 10 minutes 48 seconds home!) 

When I got back I had a shower, and with the water I sweated out and the clothes I'd discarded, I was sure I'd weigh less but the scales said nearly 3 kilos more!!


Yes, Hip-Jen's psychotic free scales are determined to remove the last shreds of my God-given sanity.

Smoochy Girl came to join me, and we had another weighing-in session similar to last time.  Her weight remained steady, while mine fluctuated every time it was my turn to step on the scales.  By the way, she used to be  9.4 kilograms, and now she's 12.  Humph.  Weight gain is exciting for the little ones.

So what do I know?  That I am not gaining weight as quickly as my little girl (good.)  That I might be possibly 64.9ish kg.  Or 67ish.  Or 66ish.  Or something.  But not 74ish, like 6 months ago, but then, losing weight after a baby is hardly an achievement.  For me though, not gaining like a blimp while breastfeeding is an ahcievement, so I will feel happy about that for the time being.

A note about the bread:  I am loving my new approach to bread!  Most days I'd have zero or one slices, and on the days I have two I am SO GLAD I have my heavy grainy bread!  I love it!

Now I am back after the Christmas Food At The In-Laws' Debacles, I can get back into the things I was loving before Christmas - my grainy bread, my walking, and my healthy eating.  And not having rubbish food on the house!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Thanks, Femina and Manda (HJ)

This morning I rowed.

I only did 15 minutes...

On the easiest setting...

and I didn't really push it at all...

but I rowed.

I'm not game to get on the scales, though...

I think I'll leave it a week...

But I rowed.

The problem with not getting on the scales is that I can't see the damage...

This helps me ignore the weight gain...

Which is really not what I need...

But, hey, I rowed.

Good things happen when I row.