One Week Down

Well, Sunday afternoon has arrived; the end of the first week of my 12WBT Odyssey 🙂
In a way, I wish I could report that I have turned my life around already.
I’ve read countless reports of calories burned, calories counted, muscles awakened and muscles aching.
I feel a bit ashamed actually.
I really have taken it a bit easy.
I want to believe that I’m not the only one; there must be hundreds out there like me and maybe some who stopped before they even got started (that thought did enter my mind on Monday morning…. butwasquicklydispelled).
It’s certainly not that I’m not enthused or motivated about my 12WBT.
I am.
I do however, seem to be easing myself into it, compared with some.
(Comparing yourself with others can lead to vanity or insecurity – it is no good!)
(I think I’m leaning more towards insecurity right now.)

So, the first week; what HAS changed?
Well, I haven’t accompanied my husband on any of his ‘snacking’ forays.
Not one piece of that Cadbury Dream (more like a bloody nightmare!) has passed my lips.
I asked him to buy the smallest white chocolate bar he could find so I could grate it and make it look like parmesan cheese on my ‘spaghetti and meatballs’ cupcakes (see yesterday’s post).

All the white chocolate I needed
Less than a teaspoon, not a FAMILY BLOCK!

Big mistake – he came home with a family block, just as I feared he would.
He’s obviously having trouble letting go.
Family blocks to him literally are ‘family’.
He has an unbreakable bond, an unconditional love.
For him ‘chocolate is thicker than water’.
That block of chocolate sits prime position on the middle shelf of the fridge, mocking me, like some evil step child.
But it is not my problem.
I have changed.
That chocolate is not my problem;
I have a willpower muscle and I’m prepared to use it (even though today is supposed to be a rest day).

So, there’s one transformation.

Let’s see… what else?

Well, this past week the alarm has been set for half an hour earlier than usual.
I’m up, dressed in ‘something-resembling-what-people-who-are-serious-about-exercise’ wear and ready to crunch them abs at 6am sharp.
Every morning I have a little chat with myself, something along the lines of ‘JFDI’, but a little more long winded and perhaps a little more pleading, begging, cajoling, threatening, berating and a lot more time consuming!
Honestly, how much self chatter needs to go on before my brain shuts off and I remember the war cry
Obviously there are lots of us out there and we need to hear that loud and clear and well,
just flippin’ well do it!

OK, so I haven’t touched chocolate and I have arisen early, silently mouthing the magical words.

I’ve been present for the half hour workout video.
I know it’s supposed to be an hour.
I can complete 20 minutes – max!
I have a goal now.
To complete half an hour of my ‘fitness blender’ workout.
The name itself conjures up images of my body being put in a blender, literally, and that is exactly what it feels like.
Blood and guts everywhere.
It is not pretty…… yet….
But I will do my half hour by the end of 12 weeks.
I will be like the little robot man in the video.
I watch him. He is devoid of emotion. I see no struggle on his face. He doesn’t seem to be in any pain and I hear no panting; just the countdown from five then ‘start’ then the countdown from five then ‘rest’.
He reminds me of the bad guy on ‘The Terminator’. He never waivers. He never FAILS. He is invincible!
I am going to be like him in precisely 11 weeks.
Oh yes I am!
(I wonder if he likes champagne…)

I have also stuck to the menus.

Middle Eastern BBQ Beef Kebabs and Tzatziki
We forgot the handful of baby spinach and wholemeal pita bread…
so I will show you how we made up for it later!

Ummm, apart from Monday night dinner at Mum and Dad’s.
I no doubt, drank my calorie allowance before we even sat down to eat, continued to drink up my calories whilst we ate a gorgeous diet-friendly main course (Mum is so thoughtful like that), followed by one of her ‘new recipes’ for dessert.
She loves to treat us to gourmet desserts.
It’s her specialty.
This dessert did not disappoint.
I think it would be called a sago pudding.
I think my calorie count before I even began dessert was probably somewhere in the high one hundreds/low one thousands.
All thoughts of my ‘transformation’ went out the window.
Dad ranted on about how he didn’t agree with diets, how we all drink too much to bother, how his everyday activity probably burns up enough calories to allow the regular consumption of about 200 cans of beer.
And so it goes – Monday – calorie count? FAIL.
I didn’t even know what was in that dessert in order to plug it into myfitnesspal.

So on to Tuesday.
More entertaining.
This time I tried to be good. I did, really!
We had dinner guests (should I be thinking red flag for these things?)
I cooked Mish’s Penang Curry.
I’ve cooked this about five times already.
What an absolute winner. I could live on the stuff!
Then there was the rice, the fluffiest white bread known to mankind (brought by my friend) and now for the real clanger – some kind of baked toffee cheesecake (another kind friend).
Am I for real?
I shouldn’t be telling you all this.
Let’s just write off Tuesday as well – FAIL!

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.
Stuck to the menus almost religiously.
(Still doing my morning workout remember!)

Dessert – maybe not good
Half a sheet of mountain bread (35 cal) smeared with homemade lemon butter (? cal)

Then roll up and enjoy…

The pizza on Friday night was a winner.
A couple of glasses of bubbles probably weren’t.
But I had done my workout and I didn’t snack (and was beyond starving), so surely I had a couple of lazy calories lying around.

Friday night pizza.
Truly delicious – a keeper!

Saturday, as stated yesterday was a white wash.

Sunday, today, has been lean on calories, lean on activity, but far from my worst day.
I have a husband who barely moves away from his computer on the weekend.
He has applications to do, work emails to catch up on and a book to revise.
Talk about EXCUSES – his, not mine!

So all in all, there have been some ups and downs.
Some successes and some pretty impressive FAILS.
There have been changes, however small.
I can say, I have reactivated muscles which have lain dormant for about 20 years.
Seriously, I think the exercises, as feeble as they are at this stage, are having an effect.

I know the 12WBT works.
It’s up to me whether I give my absolute ‘all’ or I just give ‘bits’.
I will reap what I sow and I am happy with that.
I’m a little bit afraid of becoming some kind of gym junky or fitness freak, but all indications are that that is unlikely.

I’m enjoying it all.
I still have 11 weeks to be transformed and I’m still motivated to believe I will be.

Week Two of the Odyssey?
(don’cha love that saying?)

‘Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power’


First things first

I would have to say, I constantly think about losing weight and toning up.
I’m not what most would consider ‘fat’, however I am 47 years old, have barely exercised over the past 20 years and certainly, with just about anything I wear, conscious of having to ‘suck my stomach in’, of lumps and bumps in places they shouldn’t be and generally just being ‘displeased’ with what I see in the mirror.

So, the 12WBT pre-season warm up?
I was reading the updates on facebook and thinking ‘Wow! Some of these girls are keen!’
People were losing 4/5kg before they even started.
I was amazed that they weren’t taking it easy, psyching themselves up mentally whilst still enjoying their last days of idleness, of freedom, gorging on their favourite ‘naughties’ and simply enjoying the last of their ‘pre 12WBT’ forbidden ‘everything’.
Well I was..

I did do a couple of things that I thought showed commitment.
I did the psyching bit and I hunted down a workout bench on Gumtree.

My gut and the workout bench

I cleaned out the fridge – oh yeah – that was a cleansing in more ways than one – stinky and shocking and very satisfying. Thanks Mish, I loved that bit – yep, out with the left over cream cheese frosting we were ‘using up’ on crackers – shockers!! Can you believe, as I washed it down the sink my husband was still scooping bits out with a biscuit? He will kill me for telling 🙂

‘Wet’ cream cheese in the background!

I planted a little herb garden, my main inspiration being the price of all the fresh herbs I stocked up on from the shopping list.

Speaking of shopping lists!
I usually shop every day.
Yes, I know, it’s ridiculous, but I can’t help it. There’s something about a fully laden trolley that frightens me.
It yells ‘domesticity’.
It screams ‘money, money, money’.
It whispers ‘organisation’ in my ear; ‘planning and discipline’ and also mutters ‘boring housewife’.. over and over again.
For me, everything about filling up a family sized shopping trolley is everything that I am afraid of being.
I don’t know why.
My mum never did ‘THE. BIG. WEEKLY. SHOP.’, even though there were six of us.
I don’t know why about that either.

So, cutting to the chase, I did ‘THE. BIG. WEEKLY. SHOP.’ using the convenient shopping list I could print out that related to the menus for the WHOLE WEEK!
(By the way, I got one of those ‘shallow’ trolleys. There’s no way I’m getting a ‘family sized’ one for two of us).
As I collected up almost a whole market garden worth of fresh vegetables, it occurred to me that some of them would be past their expiry date by the time I came to use them.
I put some back, thinking YAY!! I will have to pick up some groceries during the week!

As it turned out, we didn’t quite get through all that I had bought.
I did return once or twice to the supermarket for a couple of things like the meat.
I don’t think overall that I spent any more than I normally would shopping every day.
That’s what everyone has been telling me forever and I know it’s true.
I just have never felt good about ‘weekly shops’.
Maybe it’s something to do with ‘living in the moment’.
I’m not a hippy or anything.
I just find it hard to plan anything, other than the afternoon of the day I am in (if that).

Here’s the fridge in complete shock, full of VEGETABLES!?

Oh, I almost forgot.
I bought a Zumba DVD set.
Hmmmm, I do wonder what I was thinking.
Everything I read online raved about how amazing Zumba is – how you can lose a dress size in 10 days; before and after pictures galore.
What I hadn’t realised was I probably needed to have been learning some of the steps prior to commencing on Monday 19th.
So Sunday 18th sees me rolling out the DVDs, gyrating and jumping around like a mad woman and realising I am approximately a million miles away from the Britney Spears routine for Baby One More Time (the Zumba inventor taught her that, you know?).

So, fairly rapidly I worked out that I was going to have to drop the Zumba lessons and find something more immediately ‘active’ than learning the ‘regaetron stomp’ in preparation for the awesome, sexy mother I was thinking I would be on the dance floor.
I didn’t have the right shoes either and I remembered I was usually drunk when I did that kind of dancing.

That Monday night I googled ’30 minute workout’ and I found ’30 Minute At Home Abs & Cardio Workout – Fitness Blender Cardio & Abs Exercises’.
What a killer!
Lucky for me there are two rounds of 15 minutes each.
Guess what?
I can do one round (just).
Then I struggle through about five minutes of the second round..
Then I go out to my workout bench and do two sets of Mish’s tricep dips.
I don’t want the workout bench to be a waste of money, although the cat does like to sit on it and survey her kingdom.
Actually, I use it for a couple of other things and I so can’t wait to have the energy to do Mish’s Jumps – Over the Fence!!
At my current fitness level though, after I have jogged on the spot for a minute it would be dangerous to me, the cat and the fitness bench to attempt any kind of jumping.
Don’t even talk to me about those burpees.
(my husband asked me what burpees were and I showed him, then I did a burp and said that must be why they are called ‘burpees’.
Burpees? Please explain.)

OK, so that is it, I think, in sharing my preparations for the commencement of round four of 12WBT.

The first week of round four finishes tomorrow.
I will share my ‘successes’ and my complete ‘fails’, of which there are equal number when I next blog.
I know there are girls who did the SSS thing today (Super Saturday Something), trying to burn off 1000 calories.
I think I consumed 1000 calories at my nieces 16th birthday.

Spaghetti and meatballs cupcakes
I know this is wrong….

I wish I was one of those ‘other’ girls; the ones who will have their photos taken at the Round Four Finale with Mish and go up on stage and compete in the fitness challenge thing.
I’m not sure what it is.
Maybe I’m shy.
Maybe I’m rebellious.
Maybe I’m scared.
But I do wish everyone well and I am truly in awe of the achievements of so many – yeah, I think I’m scared, because I totally know I don’t have their devotion, discipline, enthusiasm, willpower, strength, determination and, and, and.
I have seen amazing things and I just don’t think I can be that amazing.
But I will lose the weight I need to and I will be real about it all and I will have fun doing it 🙂

‘Willpower; the forgotten muscle’

A bit of background

The time has come to blog again, I think.

Over a year has passed since I posted on our Momiji to Mitsukoshi blog and I have no idea why.
It all started with the trip to Japan, or ended, I should say.
I had planned to blog everyday, but once I had finished my homework, downloaded photos to facebook and written lengthy lovenotes to my beloved, there was simply no time to blog.
So I’ll let that one go for now and get on with my latest adventure!


It has also been a year since I slowly let my Dukan dieting fall by the wayside.
The only remant was our daily oat bran ‘gruel’ for breakfast.
Yep, we diligently consumed the same thing every morning, except on Saturdays, believing that the only thing between us and obesity was this magical gruel made of skim milk, egg white and oat bran, with a handful of whatever fruit (naughty, naughty) we had lying around, topped with yoghurt.
I still don’t know what the benefits of the oat bran are.
All I know is that we are like new people now that we aren’t faithfully cooking up our porridge every night, burning the pot and leaving it for scrubbing next time we were back in the kitchen for more than one minute.
It was a rountine that had grown old and tired – a bad habit almost and it was high time we made some changes.
When I say changes, there were a couple of things that needed to come under scrutiny.
First of all, let me point out that the 12WBT has been called ‘life changing’, not just the promised body transformation, but a transformation of the mind also, leading somehow to a whole life transformation.

So, what happens with people like me, who really love their life, give or take a couple of not so healthy habits and feel very comfortable with the way things are right now?

Well, it’s the ‘right now’ bit that is the problem I guess.
Right now I am not dangerously overweight.
Right now I don’t have any health issues.
Right now I don’t really have to worry too much about what I consume, within reason.
Right now I enjoy ‘relaxing’ with some tripple brie and a glass or three of sem sav.
Right now I can still hide lumps and bumps fairly successfully under the right, carefully chosen clothing.

You get the idea right?
Right now everything is OK – not fabulous, mind you, but I survive, I manage, I’m not doing too badly for a 47 year old…

Only problem is, there are niggling little problems.

A month ago I could barely walk, with back pain.
I lived on nurofen for a month and miraculously, whatever the ailment was, has disappeared.
My fitness level is a big fat ZERO. I simply do not exercise.
I went for a walk about a month ago, on a day when I had had enough of my back and decided no matter what pain I was in, I would walk along the river.
That was it.
That is the only exercise I have done since I can remember.
It is difficult to get out of bed; I have no energy.
I have no body confidence; I’m loving the floaty, kaftany fashion right now, but what happens when that fashion passes and just looks daggy.
How will I hide those blubbery, wubbery bits?
My age demands that I start making choices that will help me in the future, not lead to regret.
There was a time many moons ago when I could get away with a black coffee and a B & H Special Mild (that’s a cigarette, for anyone born after 1987) for breakfast.
I’m not proud of it, but it demonstrates how things change.
It demonstrates how things must change!

And time for change it is!

The changes I want to make will be beneficial and they will impact not only me, but my husband as well.
I am happy about that.
He is ever so slightly more health conscious than I am, but will struggle saying goodbye to his not so healthy habits.
I know he will be up for whatever exercise or food I suggest, but probably be a bit sad when I don’t bring home his family block on a Friday night – something like losing a loved one!

So, there is a brief outline of where I am positioned at the beginning of my


I plan to share the journey and my thoughts (and maybe opinions).
I am not going to win any prizes for what I know are going to be small achievements in comparison with what I have seen and what I believe others will achieve.
I’m not very competitive.
I hope I can be helpful and encouraging.
And right now I feel like blogging.

Signing off for now…
all the love in the world…

“It takes a positive thought to replace a negative one”