Tuesday, August 31, 2010

12WBT -20

First day at a new job.  My head doth hurt like something that hurts a lot.  Why is it that the first day at work is such a mentally draining one?  All I can be thankful of is that I wasn't tested at the end of the day on everyone's name!  Working in town now means that I can go for a lunchtime stroll down to Darling Harbour and the surrounds - the traffic is a bit of a pain though as it slows me down (almost as much as people do - haha).  What's worse, though, are all the fumes.  Could be worse...

Wifey and I went for a walk.  Not a very strenuous one but it was good to get out and get some fresh air (though not 100% sure it did Wifey good).  It was a leisurely walk around the reserve and some of the neighbourhood.

Last night's dinner: Homemade vegetable soup.  Lots of veges and a bit of pearl barley & rice. Scrummy.

The Book of General Ignorance fact: A chicken has been known to survive for two years with its head cut off.

12WBT -21

What a lazy day.  Wifey was crook so we just sat around feeling sorry for ourselves ;)   With her being a teacher - and a diligent, dedicated one at that! - she doesn't take sick days.  We had to rest up so she was back on deck this week.

Last night's dinner: Mmm, stir fry.  Nothing but vegetable goodness.  And a small bit of boiled rice.

The Book of General Ignorance fact: The ostrich lays the smallest egg for its size (1.5% the mother's weight).  The little spotted kiwi lays the largest egg for its size (26% the mother's weight).

12WBT -22

Saturday.  Funny day, really.  Wifey had to go and get a haircut...that leaves me with a few hours of freedom.  Sadly, freedom on this particular Saturday meant doing the housework.  I know that people say it's exercise.  Really?  Exercise?  I guess there is quite a bit of movement - especially when you're like me and move things from one spot to another...and another...and another...just to put them back where they were to begin with...

We decided to be lazy in the afternoon and went to the movies - went and saw the kiwi flick, Boy.  It was funny as.  Brought back a few memories of when I was growing up 'back home'.

I'm sure we did other things, especially given it was a warm, breezeless, sunny day.  I might've gone out and done some weeding...in fact I did.  How can I be certain?  Because I clearly remember seeing some buds coming up on the lemon tree and thinking that it could be a good crop this year (as opposed to the one we got last year - we were thinking we'd ended up with a lemon...haha ;) ).

Last night's dinner: Didn't have dinner because we had a big (and bad) lunch.  Oopsies again.  Bloody weekends.

The Book of General Ignorance fact: The biggest thing a blue whale can swallow is a grapefuit (their throats are about the size of a salad plate).

Saturday, August 28, 2010

12WBT -23

What's with the daily entries?  Sheesh!  You'd think I love the sound of my own voice, wouldn't you?  I mean, I like the sound of my own voice in principle; it's like when you hear your voice played back to you - I don't like that ;)  

I've decided to do the daily entries just to make sure I'm keeping on top of the program.  If I felt I could be more sporadic, I would.  Alas, that's not the way I roll.  If I don't do it daily, then there'll be something that stops me doing it later.  Usually one of two main things - I forget the silly password to the site (believe me, it happens more often than I'd care to admit!) or, more commonly, I forget what's happened over the last couple of days.  Once I hit about...13...I think 'old timers' started to set in.  By the time I hit 21, CRAFT was well and truly established.  Someone once laughed at me for saying that but realised I was quite serious when I'd be telling a story and mid-way through forget what I was talking about.  True story.  Ish ;)  I'm not quite that bad, but give me a few weeks of reduced junk food & more exercise - lol.

Was going to go for a walk in the morning...BUT (yes, here comes the excuse), I remembered that I had a doctors appointment.  They're evil beings.  This one took blood AND gave me two shots in the arm (which has been a bit tender since...but only when Wifey's around and I can try to get sympathy ;) ).  I mustn't complain.  I'd rather have the shots than end up with something fun like Yellow Fever or Typhoid.  I did end up walking around a bit afterwards, just not the kind of walk I like - where people don't just stop in the middle of the pavement for no apparent reason.  Call me fussy (everyone else does) but I prefer to be in my 'zone' when out walking - not stop/starting all the time.  Just sayin'.

Wifey and I were talking about exercise.  I'm nowhere near as ready for it as I should be.  At least I know I have her support in it all.  We're going to come up with a schedule to attack it - building exercise into our everyday routine.  What do they say?  It takes 21 days to make a habit and only one to break it?  Something like that...  Our plan of attack is to make it fun!  (I have a sneaking suspicion that Wifey is going to be treating me like a kid - make it fun & he'll do it ;) ).  The new routine will begin on Monday.  We were also talking about the goals I have for the 12WBT program - getting me ready for when pre-season task 3 is unlocked.  Am looking forward to documenting these...and checking them off, too.

Last night's dinner: Slipped up yet again...had hotdogs (with limited cheese...but perhaps too much mustard). 

The Book of General Ignorance fact: The largest living thing in the world is a mushroom - by virtue of its 'root' system (mycelia).

Friday, August 27, 2010

12WBT -24

Oh boy.  The second pre-season task was unlocked.  I think I might've said in yesterday's entry that I didn't want it to be too confronting.  CRAP.  It was.  I liked Michelle's email saying the video should be watched without distraction - the best piece of advice ever.  I started it with some background music (as I love to have background noise) but had to restart it with the music off.  That's almost unheard of.

Having to document excuses...and solutions.  Hmm.

I'm good at coming up with excuses.  But solutions?  Actually, when sitting down thinking about it, my excuses are so bloody lame!  It's kinda embarrassing really :(

Internal excuses:

1. Gyms are for fit people NOT fat people.
2. I'm not letting people see me exercising.
3. People shouldn't have to see me getting sweaty.
4. I eat because I'm bored or stressed.
5. Simply, I can't be arsed!

Internal excuses - solutions:
1. Who said I have to go to a gym?  We have some equipment at home; we have a bush track at the door and a reserve down the street.  Besides which, gyms HELP fat people become fit people - I don't need to be wearing the tightest fitting clothing or be competing with guys on weights.

2 & 3. Why shouldn't people see me exercising or getting sweaty?  Doesn't that mean I'm trying to take care of myself (finally)?  Isn't that a good thing?  Of course it is!  Besides which, I know I believe the world revolves around me, but that doesn't mean that just because I'M out in public that everyone is looking to see what I'm doing!

4. Bulls**t!  I eat because my current eating patterns are crap.  I don't eat brekkie (even though I know I should) and I've only recently started eating lunches.  Getting up 10mins earlier in the morning will give me time to have brekkie (and to throw grazing snacks in with my homemade lunch).  If I am bored or stressed, then I can still eat, but eat healthy snacks - not a bar of choccy or packet of crisps.

5. What does this really mean?  Of course I can be arsed!  It's a case of mind over matter.  I did the City2Surf this year (even though when I woke up that morning I couldn't be arsed doing it).  I've signed up for this program.  I'm signing up for two more fun runs this year.  Y'know what?  I can't be arsed using this excuse any more!

External excuses within my control:
1. Work takes over my life.
2. When work isn't taking over, study is.
3. 'The Biggest Loser' or 'Masterchef' is on tele.
4. I only prefer exercising in the mornings - Wifey prefers the evenings - and I'd rather snuggle up in the winter mornings with her.

External excuses within my control - solutions:
1. Work takes over my life because I CHOOSE to let it.  Starting a new job next week means I am in an easier position to make a change so that it doesn't.

2. Study is only a temporary thing for me.  All going to plan I will finish my thesis this year.  Until then I will dedicate one day of the weekend to study, starting as soon as I get up (given I can't sleep in beyond about 6.30am on a weekend...).  Study will not be able to take over as I will get into a (flexible) routine.

3. Neither show is on tele at the moment.  I therefore have no excuse.  When they are on tele, they can be recorded and watched before going to sleep (the ads can be skipped and so can the boring parts).

4. Winter is nearly gone.  No excuse there.  Compromise with Wifey.  One week we'll exercise in the mornings, the next week in the evenings OR a couple of evenings & a couple of mornings each week.  Adds a bit of variety to the program, too.

External excuses outside my control:
1. I'm a fussy eater.

External excuses outside my control - solutions:
1. It's not being fussy.  I have reactions to eating seafood and nuts.  This does make life more difficult but not impossible.  There are always substitutes (grains instead of nuts etc).


I'm 100% sure I use more excuses that these.  These are just the 'big' ones I often cite.  I should ask Wifey what she often hears me say - the list will no doubt grow substantially then!  Am I ready to hear them?  I think I am.

Went for a short (20min) walk - didn't end up doing anything else.  Wifey's been well busy with work of late and she was home at a semi-reasonable time last night so we just chilled together.  Even though it was just sitting around talking, it's important to have this time.  With people having busy lives, I believe we should take time out, ignoring external influences, and just talk - mainly shite in our case, but not exclusively.

Last night's dinner: Met up with Wifey for lunch (and it was a very substantial one at that!).  By the time dinner came around, neither of us were hungry.  BAD THING!  We picked...  On the plus side of this, there's less in the way of junk in the cupboards (not that we had that much to begin with).  We decided that, as we are both well partial to cheese, we would not buy any more of the treat cheeses (smoked, brie, camembert...).  Was easy to make that decision last night.  Will be interesting how the first weekend goes...

The Book of General Ignorance fact: You're more likely to be caught in a hailstorm in the Western Highlands of Kenya than anywhere else.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Recipe: Kumara & Lentil patties

Serves: 4
Prep: 15mins + 30mins to chill
Cooking: 40mins
  • 800g kumara - peeled, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 2 tblsp vegetable or olive oil, plus extra to shallow fry
  • 1 medium brown onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 400g can brown lentils
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tblsp milk
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • Mixed green salad, to serve
  • 250g low-fat sour cream
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tblsp chopped coriander
  1. Preheat oven to 200degC/180degC fan forced.  Place kumara on large baking tray.  Drizzle with 1tblsp oil; season with salt & pepper.  Roast for 20mins or until golden.
  2. Heat 1 tblsp remaining oil in large frying pan over moderately high heat.  Add onion; cook and stir for 5mins or until soft.  Add garlic and cinnamon; cook and stir for 2mins or until fragrant.  Transfer mixture to a large heatproof bowl.  Add lentils and kumara; mash coarsely.  Season with salt & pepper; cool.  Shape into 8 patties.  Place on large plate.  Cover with plastic food wrap; chill for 30mins.  Make sour cream dressing (combine 250g low-fat sour cream, 1 clove crushed garlic & 2 tblsp chopped coriander in a small bowl).
  3. Place flour on plate.  Whisk egg and milk in a shallow bowl.  Place breadcrumbs on a separate plate.  Coat patties in flour; shake off excess.  Dip in egg, then coat evenly in breadcrumbs.  Pour extra oil into a large frying pan to 3cm deep.  Heat over moderate heat (oil is ready when a cube of bread crisps without absorbing oil).  Shallow-fry patties, in batches, for 2-3mins each side or until golden brown.  Serve with dressing and salad.
Tips: chilling patties before crumbing makes them firm and easier to crumb.
Recipe from: Recipes+ (Dec 2009, p.49)

We used spinach leaves for the salad with a wee bit of balsamic vinegar drizzled on top.  Also, serving with mango chutney & plain sour cream worked a treat.  I think adding some chilli would deffo add to the flavour - if you enjoy chilli, that is :)  These would work well as smaller patties served as a side to a light indian dish.

12WBT -25

Y'know what?  For someone who feels he's rather quiet & reserved, I seem to be able to talk a lot - no, A LOT, of rubbish on this blog...and I'm only three days into it - still another 110 days or so to go.  When I first moved to London I had a blog for the family & friends back home - "ramblings of a madman".  At the time I may've been thinking of a quirky title.  Hindsight would say that it was the tooth, the whole tooth and nothing but the tooth and perhaps I couldn't handle the tooth ;)

Today I did some measurements.  Not happy, Jan!  Even though I know I'm a better size than I was four years ago (when I found jeans that were 40" were verging on uncomfortably snug), I'm still not impressed with myself!  Since the measuring tape was out, I figured why not get the camera out too.  Before, during and after piccys could be interesting (not sure interesting is the correct word to use here...petrifying, perhaps?).  We'll see...I might even pop them up on here to scare the living bejeebers out of people (yes, little kiddies, if you eat crisps & sweets, drink lots of fizzy drinks, prefer sitting in front of your televisions & computers rather than going outside and running around, THIS is what you'll turn into *cue evil laugh*).  Ahem, yeah.  I might be a believer in scare tactics ;)  As Wifey and I are thinking of starting a family next year, this could be good ammo in the future - haha.  Seriously though, the thought of starting a family in my current shape does not sit well with me.  I don't want to be a fat dad who doesn't get out and about with the munchkin.  Along with my increasing vanity with age (I mean, who doesn't check their receding hairline and for grey hairs every morning in the bathroom mirror?), this is one of the trigger factors for wanting to do this program and help me drop some kgs (and tone up).

The only exercise I did was to go for a walk at the mall...from the station to the mall, via the post office, around a couple levels of the mall and then back to the station.  Not really exercise...oops.

Was excited to read that the next pre-season task is to be 'unlocked'.  Hooray!  I think...  Will reflect upon it on the morrow.  I hope it's not too confronting...

Last night's dinner: A couple of crumpets with honey (Wifey was out and I couldn't be bothered doing anything more)

The Book of General Ignorance fact: The driest place on earth is actually Antarctica - due to dryness being measured by the amount of rainfall.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

12WBT -26

Oh boy.  Day two started out as a fizzer.  The sun was shining and I was SO tempted to go out and lie in the hammock (the plan was to only move when I had to pee or move the hammock to make the most of the sun).  There was a problem though...to get to the hammock meant walking past the laptop and the pile of notes that I had to type up.  If I looked the other way (if I can't see the notes then they can't see me...) there was a big pile of ironing (the joys of being the house hubby...only a few more days of it though).  I could've easily left the notes & the ironing where they were and lazed in the sun but no.  

My name's EP and I'm the world's biggest procrastinator.

Look, if'n I'm-a goin' to do this 12WBT I'm-a goin' to have to change my mindset.  Yup, true story!

SO...despite gazing longingly at the beautiful sun beaming onto the balcony, I plonked my bottom on the couch, picked up the papers and laptop and started typing (this was the better alternative to doing the ironing...it still waits).  All along I was telling myself I would be rewarded with a walk in the sun before it disappears (luckily I like walking, so it is a reward).  At 3pm I went off for a lovely jaunt.  Okay, it was only for 30mins, but boy was it good.  It's great walking around in the bush - only minutes away from the hub of the city... (The irony of what I've been working on is definitely not lost on me today - decision-making processes & theories!)

I've decided that rewarding myself is the way to go.  It's like a personal challenge...that I win ;) (Not that winning is important...much...okay, it is...a little...fine...a lot.)  I just have to ensure that the prizes do not consist of chocolate...or cheese.  Cheese is definitely one of my weaknesses (and one of Wifey's too - but don't tell her I said that).  To be fair, neither of us really have a lot of weaknesses that are terribly bad for you.  We don't smoke or do drugs (the odd neurofen is about it) and we very rarely drink.  That's not entirely true.  We do drink a lot.  Just not the alcoholic stuff.  We're partial to a glass of wine, but a couple of weeks ago we tipped two or three bottles out that had rudely committed suicide on our watch (clearly they didn't take too well to being sat around and ignored).  This is a good thing.  

Sadly, I know that I sit around on my bottom too much - at work and at home.  Another thing I'm hoping to change (will be easier now that summer is around the corner...and Masterchef is over! (anyone else find they schedule meals etc around these shows...and when they finish are like stunned mullets not knowing what to watch on tele or what to do with all the spare time?)).  Instead of sitting down after dinner last night, Wifey and I figured we'd give the ol' rock 'n' roll a bit of a practice.  Was only for about 20 minutes as my feet and brain weren't talking to each other.  We then thought that we'd finish off the hour with boxing.  Oh, boy!  Am I so not fit or what?  I have decided that having dinner first isn't the best idea...

Reading Michelle's comment about why she's making us wait a month before starting makes sense to me.  She's clearly got her head screwed on (does that mean that mine isn't?  It was the last time I checked in on it).  I'm now hoping like anything that this initial enthusiasm doesn't disappear on me.  Aww, who am I kidding?  The little surprises (i.e., tasks) will keep me comin' back for more.

Last night's dinner: Sundried tomato spaghetti (ok, pasta in the evening is bad, but there are some things that will take a lot longer to change).

The Book of General Ignorance fact: Moths are not attracted to flames.  Apparently they're disoriented by them.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

12WBT -27 days to go

Okay.  The second day doth begin.

I survived the first day intact.  Not really that difficult to do really ;)

Very surprised at how addictive the forum has become...  What I am liking is that it's not just me with issues.  I've always said that the world revolves around me (there is a strong element of truth in my belief of this statement so wouldn't argue with me ;) ).  Perhaps I've always thought that because my issues have always seemed to be so...individual.  This couldn't be further from the truth - and could lead to an addiction to the 12WBT forums for the next 16 weeks...oh dear!

So...with day one behind me now, I am pleased to report that Wifey (who, I must say, is absolutely supportive of me) had been talking about going to rock 'n' roll dance lessons and finally got up and did it last night!  Why rock 'n' roll?  Easy answer: why not?  Nah, I did it way back in the olden days (when I was in a local drama group) and it was fun.  That I grew up with the music around the house also helped.  I was born with two left feet.  Not in the literal sense!  (Imagine that!  Would you have to buy two pair of shoes and throw away the right ones?  Perhaps the shoe stores would kindly sell just the left ones and keep the right ones for displays?  I digress...)  I've always said that I don't dance.  Ever.  Even at our wedding I was reluctant (but we compromised on a short song...and started dancing after the song started...obviously - we would've looked silly dancing before it started!).  Anyhow, it came up in discussion and after a quick search on the 'net we found a local class.  Huzzah!

How was it?  I think that I need to be adding a new goal to my initial list - coordination.  You'd think doing the same steps over and over would be easy.  Well, let me tell you it's not.  They throw in tricks - like different moves...and music!  Arrgh.  In all honesty, it was a nice wee workout.  Would've been better had we done more than just the basic steps.  Perhaps next week (week 3 of 6 - we missed week 1, unfortunately).  I can see Wifey and I practicing at home.  I think tonight may be some boxing at home (unless Wifey goes to a class at the gym).

I have the rest of the week off before I start my new job on Monday - that could be interesting.  Not sure how I'll go with working on weight loss then (I have a bad habit of using food to ease my stresses...I guess, in easing stresses it's also creating them).  Oh well.  So long as I'm aware of this...

Last night's dinner: roasted kumara & lentil patties with spinach, corn on the cob & cherry tomatoes.  Portion sizes need to be worked on (curse recipes that make for four and not two...halving the recipe just doesn't look right).

The Book of General Ignorance fact: Mt Everest is the highest mountain in the world but Mauna Kea (Hawaii) is the tallest.  'Tallest' is measured from the seabed whereas 'highest' is measured from sea level.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Starting demographics...

Age: 33 (though prefer to say 26 as it doesn't hurt as much) - won't change during the program

Gender: Male - this definitely won't change during the program

Location: Lower North Shore, Sydney, NSW (with a lovely reserve for training by the water only a couple of minutes away - excuses...fading...fast) - no plans for moving this year

Support crew: Wifey - she's put up with me this long doubt this'll change either

Height: 5'10" (or 178cm) - again, not likely to change

Weight: not sure - clearly too much.  Am guessing around 100-105kgs - this better change, a drop of around 25-30 would make me smile lots, but any drop is clearly better than nothing (and a hell of a lot better than an increase!)

Goals: (in no order)

  • complete City2Surf (walking): 2hr 16mins - something to beat next year!
  • improved fitness level
  • weight loss (as much as I can)
  • improved self-confidence
  • complete a couple of fun runs this year
Edit - this program couldn't have come at a better time for me!  I was at a crossroads - having resigned from a reasonable job in April and spending the last 4 months switching between PhD study and looking for a job, I have only JUST secured a new job (that I'm well looking forward to!).  The program is due to finish only days before we head off to Africa for a few weeks (trekking and such...and snorkelling!).  Throughout the program there are a couple of fun runs that Wifey and I are hoping to do as well.  It's definitely all go :)

    12WBT - pre-season day 1 (-28 days to go)

    Oh boy!  What have I let myself in for?

    So.  The other week, while I was an unemployed bum - sorry, frantically working on my PhD full-time - I caught a snippet of Michelle Bridges on 'The Circle' (I didn't watch it *that* often, but they're an awesome group of chicks) and thought to myself, "Michelle & Shannon do a good job on 'The Biggest Loser' - this could be a good thing to try".  Signed up for the pre-pre-season message and waited.

    Last night I thought I'd pop on to the 12WBT site to see if it was active for registrations and lo and behold - it was (ironically, the email from Michelle came through telling me it was just after I'd signed up).  Signing up was the easy part - even the parting of money was.  Having wifey sitting beside me as I did so was a bonus (yay for the support!).  What was hard was the introduction.  I mean, it wasn't really difficult - I just hate doing them for some bizarre reason (laziness - hey, it's bizarre ;) ).  Anyhow, as I'm a person who likes to win where possible I figured I wasn't going to win if I couldn't even tick off the first 'challenge'.  Fired something off - easy peasy.  I just hope the weight falls off as easy now - haha.

    So.  That brings us to day one.  One month until the 12-week program begins in earnest and boy am I ready for it!  Don't usually like counting down for things as it seems like I'm willing days to fly by (and I'm not getting any younger...no matter how much I tell myself I am) but for this, I'll let it slide.

    Have set up this blog.  Updated my forum profile (which will now need re-updated to pop the blog's URL in).  Uploaded a photo.  Read some introductions and now ready to roll.

    Come on, Mich - BRING IT ON! :D