Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fitness Update!

Here is an update! 

I have been working out as part of a group fitness program for 6 weeks now. 

I have just started to loose some weight (now 2kgs from the beginning of the challenge - which isn't a lot, but given everything going on with my family and the addition of PCOS, its pretty good start!) - but I have lost cm everywhere!! I will have my half way measurements to post shortly. 

I have been enjoying getting out in the mornings and doing new things like boxing (sooo hard but great!) and fitball (hilarious!) as well as lots of cardio/running and interval training.

Here is this week's fitness plan:

- Monday 6am Strength/Boxing
- Tuesday 5:45am Cardio/Outdoor Interval Training
- Wednesday Rest Day
- Thursday 6am Fitball/Core and Stretch
- Friday 6am Shunt Cardio/Weights 6:30pm Zumba Class (I did this with friends a few weeks ago and loved it!)
- Saturday 6:15 am (90 mins) Outdoor Boot Camp 9am Dance Teaching (2.5 hours)
- Sunday Rest/Quiet walk

Hmm... looks from that like I'm some fitness nut gym junkie! Not the case. I am usually always last in the running, shuffling along at the end of the line. Back row struggling to figure out the coordination! I have always danced but these movements are all so different to dancing!! The biggest thing is that I am enjoying it! Even the hard stuff. I'm loving being outside and pushing myself.  

So what am I working towards?  Well... there are a number of things:

1. Stabilising my weight:
I have let my weight fluctuate dramatically over the last 5 years and its wrecked havoc on my health and PCOS symptoms. 

2005: 60.5kg
2006: 70kg
2007: 78kg
2008: worked to bring back to 72kg in time for...
2009: Wedding weight 72kg
2010: July - heaviest ever weight of 83.5kg

As a percentage of my lightest adult weight - I put on over 30% body weight in 2 years. The effects of this have been enormous. My PCOS symptoms have become more pronounced, and I am a very good candidate for Type 2 Diabetes right now. But its not about getting back to my 2005 weight.
At 60.5kg, for my height, I was quite underweight and suffered low blood pressure, dizziness, headaches and constant muscular and back pain as I had very little muscle to protect my skinny frame (and at the time I thought I was huge!! Isn't silly how we berate ourselves!). So I have no desire to be back to that unrealistic weight. 72kg is my current goal and one that I will be able to maintain. 

2. Honour my husband by being the woman he fell in love with.
Now, before I get flamed for that sentence, can I please point out, that my husband loves me even more today than he ever has. He has always been 100% supportive and appreciative of my no matter what the size or shape of my body and he has seen me at every weight above. He has never 'weighed in' on what weight I should be, but supports my goal to be healthier to support my PCOS and to hopefully avoid a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes. I want to honour him by having the energy and vitality that I had when I was not overweight.  

3. Lessen the symptoms of PCOS and infertility
Its not something I blog about much, but one of the effects of the PCOS has been infertility.  Along with trusting that God has a plan for our family, I have been pursuing the 'natural' methods of dealing with PCOS such as cleaning up my diet, eating more LowGI wholefoods and loosing weight. I am hoping this will also help with cycle regularity and hirscitism. 

So... I don't want to look like this: 

At my heaviest

At my skinniest (58.5kg in 2003)

But healthy like this:

At our wedding!

I am going to slog it out hard over the last 5 weeks of the challenge and I will post a photo of my progress!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Challenges Update!

After a very busy week visiting family and celebrating the life of my dear Grandfather who went to glory last week, I am back into the swing of things. 

I am working on Courtney's challenge to create a harmonious home.  This week, the focus is on music. I thought I'd break our usual habit of sitting on the lounge and eating over the coffee table (yes, I know), and set the 'big' table, complete with my week 1 challenge candle. I popped on my ipod for some quiet background music.

We said grace.

We started to eat.

There was a sense of peace in the house

and then...

"Hun, do you mind if I put the news on?"

I stopped myself from laughing out loud!  Oh well, I tried!  Maybe tomorrow!

Do you ever plan something to benefit your spouse or family and then realise it might not be something that they value? 

I had a little more luck with my declutter challenges this week.  I started with my bookshelf. Here is the 'before':

Yes, there are books stacked on the floor. And everywhere else!  I pulled out everything and wiped it down, one shelf at a time. I have a large number of children's books that I use for work that have been in the wrong spot for years. I wanted them lower so the books I use all the time (my Christian books, exercise books and reference books) were at a more logical height. Doing one shelf at a time (that is, taking out what didn't belong and stacking in what I wanted there before moving on) made it a much easier process than pulling everything off and getting overwhelmed!

I was surprised how many bible study books and devotionals I had multiple copies of. Here are a few other surprises I found: 

  • A folder (that I thought was long gone) containing every bank statement I had ever received for an account from kindergarten to the end of university!!
  • Three years worth of sermon notes from university bible lectures. I thought I would look at them again some day, but I realised that without the sermon context most of my notes don't make any sense! They also had pictures of birds and elephants and stars drawn all over them... to help me concentrate I guess... The whole folder went in the bin!
  • 4 years worth of subscriptions to a Christian apologetics and theology magazine. While this might 'one day' be useful to me, it will 'right now' be more useful to people who borrow them from our church library. 
  • 20 or so Bible study leader books (copies!) which would be far more useful to our churches current youth and children's ministry than to my book shelf... 
  • 4 bibles that don't belong to us!  Going back to their rightful owners!
I also found 6 items that would be useful for other people I know so they have been bagged up to be passed on as gifts too. 

So.... 50 mins later (yes, I was astonished how quick it really was!)

Oh how I love challenges that make me focus on getting things done! 
The second week of the challenge (I'm a bit behind) is to look at the master bedroom. I have only recently reorganised the bedroom, however this week is our churches annual spring clothing collection for Anglicare. So I took the opportunity to go through my cupboards, and despite having only recently sorted my clothes I still found some items I no longer need. Mr. Awesome has agreed to go through his clothes later this week. I will report on his progress! 

It is wonderful not to be so tied to our things that we hoard them. Giving things away to be used by someone else (rather than just sitting around!) is a great feeling! 

What 'one day' things could be more useful to someone you know right now?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Declutter, Beautify and Create Challenge!

Yep, I'm all up for challenges at the moment!

So here is yet another that I have joined!  

I am committing to the 10 week challenge to declutter, beautify and create in various spaces around our home. As the end of the year is approaching, and it is spring here in Australia, its time to clean the cupboards out!

I will be sure to take some before and after pictures for you. Want to join me on this challenge? Please do! You can link up on the Sunflower Schoolhouse page!

Here is this week's challenge:

Week 1
Front Hall Closet and Extra Closets
  • go through your front hall closet and any hall closets.
  • get rid of as much clutter as possible
  • organize what’s left
  • make your closets look more beautiful
  • is there anything stashed in there that could be used to make a Christmas gift for someone? (pull it out and put it aside)
  • share your ideas for frugal decorating and organizing
  • tell us what you are getting rid of
  • write a blog post and come back and link it up next week
  • include before and after pictures of your hall closets if you can
My Personal Goals For Week 1
  • Our hallway cupboard doubles as our pantry. So this week I will post pictures of how I have created 'sugarless' spaces for the food I can eat, and 'sugary' spaces for Mr. Awesome!
  • As my pantry is 'up to date', I am also going to focus on my bookshelf (one of 4 bookshelves in our house!), and apply the same principles here!. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Today is week 1 of the Making Your Home a Haven Challenge

Here is the challenge from Courtney's blog: Go buy an extra large candle and light a candle everyday in your home.  Each time the candle catches your eye, say a prayer for peace in your home

In Courtney's post, she speaks of the 'slow pace' we are to create in our home.  I nearly fell off my chair. Our home is far from slow-paced! 

Today is a public holiday in our city and rather than lounging round, I was up early (thanks to daylight savings!) and made a long list of things to be done today. I set about doing them, and when I had run out of tasks I could do on my own, I woke my husband and enlisted his help (and in reality I could have done those things by myself too!). THEN, after all that was done I sat down and too exhausted to finish the last two tasks, allowed my husband to finish them for me!  Hardly the restful, content woman I want to be for him! 

So I have lit my candle, and while he is out, I will try to finish a few more things so that when he comes home we can spend time together, and just rest! My prayer is to be a source of rest for my household, not the generator of stress!

Are you lighting a candle today? What will your prayer be?   

Menu Plan Monday


I don't regularly take time to plan ahead for meals, but this week I want to make sure that I have things organised as there is a lot going on in my family that I don't have control over.

Here's this week's menu plan:

Monday: Mini-Roast Beef with roast potatoes and vegies

Tuesday: Beef and cheese wraps with Lebanese bread and salad

Wednesday: Out of house night for me so cold sliced beef sandwich. Mr. Awesome is having soup and crusty herb bread from the freezer

Thursday: Slow cooker chicken drumsticks in a cacciatore sauce using sugarless tomato sauce

Friday: Chicken and pasta (leftovers!)

Writing it out might actually help me stick to it! 

Linking up for Menu Plan Monday at If you are visiting from Laura's site a huge hello and welcome to Eyes Above. I am working on creating a sugarless lifestyle, and I am no longer consuming fructose or artifical/natural sweeteners including honey. Read more here.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Homemade Sugarless Tomato Sauce

This sauce has a think rich texture and is suitable for using in baked dishes such as lasagna and spaghetti bolognaise. It is suitable for freezing and you can substitute whatever vegies you like to use up left-overs in the fridge. 


- diced or grated vegetables - I used carrot, onion, celery 

- 4-6 very ripe to over ripe tomatoes
- 500ml of gluten/sugar/dairy free vegetable stock
- 1 bottle of passata (check the label for one with no sugar added. There will be a small amount of sugar in the percentage box as tomatoes contain natural sugar. 
- handful fresh chopped basil


  1. Heat a little oil in saucepan, add hard vegetables and sauté until soft
  2. Add herbs and tomatoes, cover with stock, reduce to low and allow to sweat with the lid one for 2-3 hours
  3. Remove from hotplate and allow to cool
  4. Put vege mix into a blender and add 3-4 cups of passata, one cup at a time as you mix, until desired consistency and colour is achieved. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Store in an airtight container for 3-4 days. 
  6. Store in freezer for 2 months in zip lock bags that can be thawed in the fridge overnight. 
A yummy alternative to commercial tomato sauces. 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Mr. Blinky - progress

Hmmm... I'm having a sewing day today! 

But I'm a little confused.  

I am trying to make one of these:

Sew a modern doll accompanying image 

(Pattern Here

But I didn't get his face right.... so I'm back to the drawing board. I tried using calico for the face instead of felt, but it didn't work. I think polar fleece will be too fluffy... poor faceless Blinky. 

I shall post photos of completed Blinky... when he has a face. 

No Sugar Update

After originally stalling on my no sugar plan (see here), I have finally managed to adapt my lifestyle to no fructose and I have been (pretty much) clean for just over three weeks!

So far I can see the following benefits:
- Massive reduction in acne on my face (have had this since I was 11 years old)
- Reduction in bloating (although I still need to watch my salt intake as most sugarless foods are high in salt). 
- My moods and energy levels have stabilised and I no longer expereince the hyperactivity 
- I am not as hungry!  I just don't roam around the house grazing any more!

Now, I don't think that everyone in the world is addicted to sugar. But I know I have been. Several days ago I walked through the lolly (that's Candy for the US!) aisle at the supermarket - not trying to be cruel to myself - the wrapping paper was at the other end! I COULD SMELL THE SUGAR. It literally hit me like a wave!  I have never expereinced that before!  And yesterday someone offered me a glass of dry white wine, and all I could taste was the sweetness! It was totally undrinkable to me.  

It's been unbelievable. I am the person who can eat a block (not a bar - a block) of chocolate on my own in one sitting and not even blink!  And now just smelling it makes me feel sick! 

If you are thinking you would like to know more about giving up sugar, (specifically fructose), there are some links below. 

The I'm Not So Sure But Would Like to Start Cutting Down Info
There is lots more information on Keeper of the Home and Passionate Homemaking. Just search within the sites for 'sugar'.  Please note that both these websites use natural sugar substitutes and honey, as well as processed sugar substitutes like Stevia, which I am not using. I am using pure glucose powder and dextrose powder as I can not tolerate sulphides or phenylalanine. 

The I'm Ready To Go The Whole Way Info

If you would like more info, please comment below and I'll do my best to help you out!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Finding my space!

I just finished reading Lessons in Letting Go: Confessions of a hoarder, by Corinne Grant. I thought it was an excellent read and it made me reflect a lot on my habit of "piling not filing".

Earlier today I was revisiting Elisabeth George's Life Management for Busy Women, and I realised that getting half way was not really getting the job done.  My desk had already been 'tidied' and had gone from something like this: 

To something more like this:

I had chucked out all the rubbish but hadn't actually dealt with anything. The desk was still unusable. 

So when I got home today I decided enough was enough. I resorted all the items and made boxes:

1. Things that don't belong in this room and need to be put away (then I walked around with the box and actually put them away!)

2. Things that need to be filed (then I actually filed them!) 

3. Things that needed to be dealt with.

Then I sat down and dealt with the 'deal with' box!

Now my desk looks more like this: 

Sorry about the lack of actual photos, our camera is playing up.

Now I can actually sit at my desk to do my Bible reading in the morning and can use my desk for what its really for! 

What have you recently finished that you have been putting off?

I am linking up for Courtney's Making Your Home A Haven for the next 5 weeks. Check it out here