Week Six

Well I achieved all 3 goals with somewhat depressing results (with the exception of one bottle of water on Saturday) – weight gain!

Friday night drinks proved too irresistible so I only managed 6 out of seven days without cigarettes. Felt lousy the next day so will try to resist the urge with more determination this week.The up side of not smoking is that the water is easier to drink – I associate smoking with coffee and tea so have been replacing these drinks with water instead.

As for the weight gain, the most likely culprit – evening meal carb intake and snacking after dinner so… I need to focus on reducing these.

The 4 treadmill sessions went without a hitch – no knee soreness, so I will be picking up the pace soon. For the last 10 percent (3 min) of each session I like to increase the speed by .5kph – my reasoning – if I can’t pick up the pace a little at the end I am going too fast for my fitness level, and to see how I feel going a little faster so I can judge when to increase the speed of an entire session. I am fighting the urge to go faster too soon, and have decided it’s important to allocate the time and get into the routine of commitment to exercise first – without dreading the thought of having to do it by making it too hard.

Goals for Week Seven

  • 5 x 30 min walk jog sessions
  • Drink 2 x 400ml bottles of water per day
  • Daily weigh ins
  • Monitor evening meal intake to avoid snacking
  • Go for 7 days without smoking

Week Four & Five End

All I can say is thank goodness!

All goals went out the window as my partner’s daughter, her husband and their 2 young children (2 years old and 4 years old) arrived and took over the entire house.

While their stay was for 9 days the prep and the clean up meant the visit lasted for 12 days in reality! Despite the frustration of home being turned upside down. I did enjoy spending time with the grandchildren. It is fun to muck about with them and see how they are developing – we live a good 6 hour drive away so do not get to see them often.

Finding the positives of the fortnight

  • Basically wine and cigarette consumption was way down over the fortnight with the kids around, so we have decided to give cold turkey on the cigarettes another go – today is the first day.
  • The grandchildren were fun to play with and seemed to have a really good time swimming and playing with the dog. It was good to remind myself to stay in the moment and enjoy just messing about with them. I don’t consider myself to be all that great with kids, but for some inexplicable reason, the eldest seemed to prefer me on this visit 🙂 much to the annoyance of my partner – nose was a little out of joint to say the least, he he he! Normally it is the other way round by far – nice to be a favoured one for a while.
  • Realising how much I love my home – it is my haven and I am enjoying having it back to normal!

Goals for Week Six

  • 4 x 30 walk jog sessions
  • Drink 2 x 400ml bottles of water per day
  • Restart weigh ins (scary after so much cake)

Week Three Ends

Firstly, my apologies for my tardy postings over the Christmas period. Everything seemed to go out the window as family arrived and took over the entire house for the best part of 10 days. I still have some cleaning up to do but home will be back to normal by tomorrow if I get busy today.

Week three ended with very little damage considering Christmas was in the mix (.2kg up from the previous week). I got 3 runs in but left the fourth until the last day, and being Christmas day, I had a few glasses of bubbles and any remaining resolve flew out of the window. Managed to average 2 bottles of water a day over the week and finished No need for speed and have started reading Slow Burn.

Week Two Ends

At the end of week two I have successfully completed two out of the three goals. 3 x 30min sessions completed and I am 3/4 of the way through “No Need For Speed”.

As for the wine – well I knew this might be a tough ask this early on so again 2 bottles of wine over the week – not exactly an epic fail but still not where I want to be. Given that this is the week before Christmas I suspect I will not manage it this week either – so I might postpone this to the following week. Considering I used to cringe taking the recycling out for kerbside collection I’m not doing too bad – it’s pretty lame when you find yourself hiding the wine bottles under the plastics and newspaper so the neighbours wont see!

Weighing in seems to be working – I find myself checking in a little more to see if I really am hungry before I beat a track to the fridge or pantry – another 900g down (from last Sunday) so now a total of 1.8kg lost without it feeling like a diet. Still enjoying the evening mint/choc treats.

The first 2 sessions on the treadmill I just walked at a pace enough to develop a light sweat by the end. With the third I used a bit of a walk jog kind of motion which felt good – while it may not be running it feels more like it, a little harder but it was easy to maintain for the whole 30 min. I think I will aim for this pace for next week’s sessions. I am very aware of the need to progress slowly, my knees are certainly noticing the extra movement and because of the extra weight I am carrying – it will take a while for the muscles around them to strengthen again.

Reading has been great for the head space. Left my last treadmill session till this morning and was not feeling terribly motivated, so got up made a coffee and returned to bed to read a couple of chapters before I found my get up and go. Sometimes the hardest part is just putting my running shoes on.

Summary of week two fitness goals for run couch potato run

As for next week I will continue weighing in – with Christmas day in the mix there will be more than the usual amount of temptation around so it really is about minimising damage!

New goals for Week Three

  • 3 x 30 min walk jog sessions – look at adding a 4th session if knees are feeling ok
  • Finish “No Need for Speed” and start reading “Slow Burn”
  • Drink more water (aim for 2 x 400ml bottles) each day – just for the record – I fill the bottles I use from the tap!

One step at a time

Today was the day for my first 30min walking session.

After 2 cups of coffee there was no more reason to procrastinate so it was off to the treadmill. I much prefer idea of walking in the park but I feel rather ashamed of myself and the state I am in right now. The treadmill is private and convenient, I have music and a TV available to make up for the lack of changing scenery and a fan for hot days.

The first 15 minutes were horrible – a very real reminder of how unfit I have become over the past 5 years. Towards the end of the session it started feeling better as I got a tiny glimpse of what I used to like about running – my mind gets to wander (not entirely sure if it should be out on its own but what the heck) – it feels kind of like meditating and then at the end the endorphins have left me feeling good.

One down, two more sessions to go this week, got to make a start somewhere.   🙂

Keeping a food diary makes me crazy

One of the proven ways to help lose weight is the practice of keeping a food diary. I have done this in the past and have found it to be successful via Weight Watchers… BUT have found that it makes me obsess even more about food which drives me nuts.

This time round I have decided to weigh in everyday – read it in an old book by Arthur Lydiard back in the days when common sense was everywhere. I figure the scales don’t lie no matter how much I wish they would, and the point is to look at the weekly trend not the day to day fluctuations. An added benefit is that it’s over and done with at the start of the day.

My theory is that because it is daily I’ll find myself thinking a bit more about what I shovel in my mouth without having to record every last thing! Of course if this is a complete disaster I may have to resort to the tried and true.

Be interested to hear your thoughts on the food diary thing and if you have any tips on how you keep tabs without feeling food obsessed.

Spinach Sauce with Pasta

This is one of my go to dinners when I can’t be bothered with cooking but want something healthy and quick. I usually cook the sauce ahead of time making a double batch to freeze it in cup lots – one cup of sauce is enough for 2 people.

Spinach Sauce

  • Large bunch of spinach (rinsed, stalks removed)
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1-2 tsp chicken stock powder
  • 3 cloves of garlic (peeled, end cut off)
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Using a steamer pot, add the onion, garlic, oil, chicken stock and pepper to the bottom pot, add enough water to cover and to ensure the pot does not boil dry when steaming the spinach. Place the spinach in the top steamer pot and turn the heat on to high. Check on the spinach from time to time – turn it over to speed cooking time. Keep and eye on the water to make sure it does not boil dry. The onions should be cooked and the spinach soft within 10-15 min. Allow to cool a bit then transfer the whole lot to a blender and blend until smooth – add more water at this stage if you think it needs it. Check seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. This should make enough for 4-6 people.

Quick dinner for two

  • 1 cup hot spinach sauce
  • 200 – 240g dry spaghetti
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • grated parmesan cheese

Cook the spaghetti according to the packet instructions, cut the broccoli into pieces and steam. When the spaghetti has cooked, drain and stir through the sauce. Pile into a pasta bowl along with the broccoli and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Yum.