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.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Going Down (HJ)

I made it to just under the horrible number I don't want to think about, much less talk about. (Like 0.1kg under, but hey...)

I've increased my rowing to 15 minutes about 4 times a week because I think it's time for a challenge.

I'm not having to put my bike down to first gear for the long slog up the hill from town anymore, and I've been doing about three trips into town each week. I'm not up to much more distance than that (2km) or for that matter riding to two things in the one day. But it's a start.

But last week my challenge was to go up and down the stairs 5 times 3-4 times a week. Different muscle set and for me going up has always been really hard work. It occurs to me that if I want to get to the monastery at Meteora or to the top of Mt Nebo to see where Moses got to watch the Israelites cross the Jordan in June/July this year I will need to improve my ability to go up. Or at least, I will enjoy the trip more if I do.

So, the plan is to be able to go up & down the internal stairs 20 times in a row. This week I've increased it to 6 times and I'm surprised I'm not dead. Or having weird heart-y things.

So I must be getting fitter, right?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Give or Take (HJ)

I haven't been really keen to post.

This might be because as of the end of semester I'd almost beaten my best weight ever (if I was a cow heading for the sale yards, that is). I didn't want to talk about it.

But it does give one a certain amount of motivation when they look in the mirror in some of their clothes and realise that the pregnancy rumours are going to be up and running again (if they aren't already) if one doesn't DO SOMETHING.

So I'm trying to get more active. I like food. I like lots of it, and some of the lots I like is not necessarily healthy.

So I will begrudgingly exercise in order to be able to eat moderate amounts of whatever the heck I want. Yes, I will continue to have healthy breakfast. No, I don't need a huge amount of lunch. Yes, I will try to have fruit and/or yoghurt for dessert.

But there will be occasional cakey-things. Or hot chips. or ice-cream. Or cheesecake.

I've been doing 10 mins rowing most mornings (oh, how the mighty have fallen), and I rode my bike three times this week to things I would normally take the car for.

I have been Zumba DVDing a couple of times when I have time, too.

I was walking the LBD a few times a week, but the bike riding is leaving me pretty worn out, so I've been slack this week.

Anyway, apart from the fact that I didn't write down the number representing the zenith of my weight-gain, it appears that in the last two weeks I've lost a kilo. Give or Take. Possibly as much as 1.3.

But then, one of the nannas at mainly music asked me if I'd lost some weight. I didn't really think one kg would make that much difference.

Maybe I'm building muscle!

My body can do stuff (ES)

So I've been pretty consistent with exercising every morning. I miss a few days here and there but I'd say I average at least 5 days per week (at the unholy time of about 5.45am). I don't appear to have lost any weight although I'm not 100% sure my scales are accurate. Yesterday I did the get-off-get-on-again thing and somehow gained a whole kilo. Did it again and gained another 500g. Kept doing it out of curiosity and managed to lose all that "weight" again in small increments over 5 minutes or so. Very strange, and it's the only time the scales have ever done that. I tested it again this morning and it was completely consistent, but of course now I don't know if the consistent weight it showed me is my ACTUAL weight. I think I might go with measurements instead.

A few months ago I finally got my act together and saw a podiatrist, who expressed great horror at a number of problems with my feet and ankles. She prescribed orthotics, which I have been wearing and noticing the difference. The pain in the side of my knee, which had been waking me up at night, has pretty much gone. I thought this all boded well, so a few weeks ago when on the treadmill I increased the speed to a jog. Not a good idea, as it turns out - I was limping within five steps because I had shooting pain in my knee, in a different spot from the previous pain. This is not unexpected because my knees and ankles are still getting used to behaving like normal knees and ankles instead of wobbling all over the place. Still, disappointing.

Earlier this week I decided to give jogging a go again, to see if the knee has improved. To my delight, I managed half a minute of jogging without pain. I've been testing it out each day, doing bursts of 1-2 minutes of jogging. And it's been fine, but the really great thing is that I am able to jog at a much higher speed than I've ever been able to do previously. When I was doing C25K before I usually jogged at a very shuffly and slow 6.5kmh, reducing to 6kmh when I got tired. I walked at 5-5.5kmh. Now I am walking at 6-6.5kmh and jogging at 7.5-8kmh. This is HUGE for me. I think I have jogged at 7.5kmh just once before, and I managed maybe 30 seconds. Now I'm doing 2 minutes at 8kmh and I'm still feeling okay when I finish. I cannot tell you how thrilled I am about this. I said in a previous blog entry that I'm concentrating on health and strength... and I think it's working. I am actually feeling fitter and stronger. How great is that??

Monday, November 7, 2011

Prepare to be amazed ...

Today I did it! I swam 50 laps, that is 2.5km!!! The first 10 laps were killers as usual, laps 22-24 were depressing because it was still hard going and I knew I wasn't halfway yet, but sometime in the late 20s I settled into my strokes and breathing and it became easier.

I have added two more laps into the set that I repeat. They are non-flippers laps, the trickiest for me due to my tiny inadequate feet. My set of eight now looks like
1. Kickboard & flippers, tread water for a minute at the deep end
2. Kickboard & flippers
3. Freestyle, girlpower only
4. Breaststroke, girlpower only
5. Freestyle, flippers
6. Breaststroke, flippers
7. Freestyle, hand paddles & flippers
8. Breaststroke, hand paddles & flippers.

So you see, my swimming is greatly flipper-assisted. But I like it that way.

Today after four sets (32 laps) I just kept powering up and down with my flippers. I took them off for a few laps but by then the exhaustion was showing and it was a bit too much. I needed two kickboard laps to rest a bit.

I powered past 40 laps and began to marvel at how I was now swimming personal bests - every lap was the furthest I'd ever swum! I was so relieved when laps 46-49 were done. And can you imagine how I felt on Lap 50? Woo hoo! It was exhilarating!

I guess now I need to find time to go and buy my reward!