Monday, August 15, 2011

Getting It Done. Gently. Week 2 Wrap-up and Update

Current Weight: 78.2kg
Waist: 106cm

This week was not a good week. In fact, I think in some ways it was even worse than last week.

I found that without constant organisation in regards to planning out my food and having the right foods available, I started to crumble into my grab anything, eat too much, crave crappy food habits again. Add to that the fact I avoided the pool this week (two reasons; I killed my back again at work on Monday/Tuesday and by the time it was better I needed to shave my legs again... who could be bothered?), I'm surprised I managed to even maintain last week's work, let alone loose a tinsy tiny, not even really countable bit of weight.

So what is going wrong?

Well, things got busy last week, there was a few days of unexpected interruptions at work and the back pain interfered with my sleep, so things were harder. But reality is that I just stopped being consistent.  I have always struggled with self-control. Its the thing that drags me down.

There is a famous experiment where children were placed in a room with one marshmallow. They were told they could either eat that marshmallow now and get no more, or wait until the scientist came back and they would get two marshmallows.

I was the kid who would really stick it out, I mean really, til the almost bitter end... then I'd just eat the first marshmallow, because hey, "One marshmallow in the hand is worth two possible marshmallows when that guy comes back" ...right?

If there is anything that needs to improve in my weight loss system, its not my knowledge, or my understanding of how the body processes food, the value of good nutrition or the benefits of exercise... No, for me, its learning to say NO. Pure and simple, even when its just me saying it to myself in the grocery line. And not booking a 5pm physio instead of a 6:20pm one just on the off chance the fruit shop that sells the chocolate dipped strawberries would still be open!?! Who does that?

Self-control.  Prayin' for that!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Did you know you can freeze...?

"Oh Lord Girl, your freezer looks amazing." ~ Why thank you, but its not mine - its from

A few days ago, I was chatting to someone about an apple sponge cake I had cooked that had turned out rather well. I mentioned that the apples were frozen.

"Hold up.  You mean pureed?" The friend asked. (Okay, they didn't say "Hold up.").

No, no, they were just chopped and frozen.

She looked incredulous. She didn't know that. I looked incredulous. I thought everyone knew that.

It was awkward.

But it did make me think for us busy working and non-working wives, there are some extreme freezer shortcuts that you can take to make life much, much quicker.

For me it started because I was always throwing so much food out as it spoiled. For the two of us, it is a balance between buying smaller quantities of, say, tomato paste, at ridiculously inflated prices (why do you have to pay more for less??) or buying the bigger jar and throwing half of it our because we can't get through it. Not ideal.

What you need: an ice cube tray (or two) that you don't use for ice - you can buy cheap ones at the dollar store, ziplock bags, freezing containers (I use tupperware Antarctica or rock n' serves), glad wrap.

Right, so here are some things you can freeze that you might not know about.

Tomato paste, fruit purees, vegetable purees - freeze in ice cube tray and then place in ziplock bags. An awesome system we use at Kindy for bubbas who are starting solids is to freeze stacks of cubes of different types, like say pumpkin, rice, cooked meat, etc, and then when you need a meal for a bub, create a combination of cubes and reheat. It works a treat and makes feeding stacks of bubbas in one day just a tad easier. I use this for pumpkin puree at home to make pumpkin scones. E-asy.

Cut vegetables - we eat capsicum, just not stacks of capsicum. So I chop the whole thing in one go (one takes and extra minute or two) and freeze the rest in ziplock bags for use in stir-fry and pasta bake. We do the same with onions, broccoli, carrot, beans, cut corn (you can apparently do it on the cob too, but I haven't tried that), and even canned beans like four bean mix or kidney beans that have been washed of all their brine and then transferred to a ziplock bag.

The secret is that the less moisture goes into the bag before freezing, the less things clump together and stick. Now I can simply tip a bit of veg into a pasta bake or whatever and I don't have to use the entire bag.

The apples. Yes, just chop them into cubes and whack into a freezer container. If you don't have any, wrap a few layers of glad wrap to protect them from freezer burn.

None of this stuff would be ready to eat fresh after this, you understand. Its for use in cooking okay? It's not going to taste the same. Its just supposed to make life easier. As much as pre-cut vegetables can...

So tell me - what do you freeze for later?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

These moments...

These are the moments that make a marriage... 

Lemonade, pizza, snooker and bookshops.

What makes your love? 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Embrace the Camera 11th August 2011

Lunch Date in the Park :)
Embrace the camera - go to Emily's Blog for more :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Do You Pinterest?


I'd never heard of it. Until I did.

And its addictive. And fun. And pretty.

So it turns out that it is Point-my-readers-towards-things-that-will-help-them-waste-countless-hours-week.

You can follow me if you like. One other person has. And I think they highly recommend it. They've been following me for at least 3 days. Good thing.

image via pinterest

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Another Great Organisation Tool: Cozi

As part of my venture in to the world of Flylady, I tripped across the application, Cozi. Cozi is an online family calendar system and organisation tool, similar to iCal or Outlook Express.

I signed up, and after spending a bit of time setting things up and getting used to the layout, I now have a functional tool to keep track of my appointments, to do lists and schedules.

Awesome is not really a paper guy, and we had tried paper calendars before with only limited success. To get Awesome to read the calendar, which was on the fridge, I would need to put post-it's on the mirror in the bathroom, on top of his work bag, and on the back of the front door. And most of the time he missed them...

So I decided to meet him where he was at. We switched to google calendar and that has been working well. I set up reminders to pop up oh his iphone and iPad. But I was still using a paper diary and that meant transferring things across regularly. Which required a routine, which I didn't have.... Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the new and slightly easier to use features of the Cozi system really suited me, and flylady has a link up so the master lists for her routines automatically link to your Cozi account. Me likey.

Cozi is a free (ad-supported) site, with the option of a paid account with no ads. Joining is quick and easy and you have instant access to your account and calendar. Cozi synchs up with google calendar as a read-only, which worked for me as Awesome's calendar is already set up there. I can see what he is doing, email him directly from the site, and send him a weekly family schedule via email.

Other benefits of the Cozi system are the Daily journal, where you can record a quick snapshot of your day and turn it into a webpage for others to read, either privately or publicly. This would be great if we had kids, or, you know, a life.
There is a shopping list tool where you can create separate lists for each shop you go to. I have set up an Aldi, Woolworths, Costco (oh yes, did I mention I joined Costco? That's another post altogether!) and a general household list of random things. You can set up as many lists as you like, but weeeelll I really hate shopping so I avoid it at all costs.
You can also link all your facebook events and birthdays automatically. This was a most excellent feature for me as I find I say yes to things and forget to transfer them across to my diary... then I have to run around checking emails and sites to ensure I haven't forgotten anything each day.

What I Would Change
It would be good to be able to automatically have your to do lists appear on the daily page on a weekly basis (you can currently have them set up for a certain day, but not repeated, say every Monday). I would also appreciate being able to email the To Do lists to myself each day, but that would prevent me from needing to visit the site, which would mean I wouldn't see the ads, which is how the site makes their money, so I'm guessing that this is probably intentional.

Overall, I have been using this site for a week and enjoying it immensely. Now we will see how long it lasts?

A warning: the site is easy to set up and play around with once you get the hang of it (the help section is awesome), but I have spent quite a bit of time playing with it (because I am a perfectionist like that) and getting it just the way I like it. Don't blame me if you waste a couple of hours organising your life. You've been warned.

Disclaimer: This is not a paid or requested review, simply sharing the love!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Small FLY

I thought I should do a quick follow up post to this one.  It's about my... ummm... well, its about my perfectionism. *Adjusts collar nervously*

Right, so ordinarily I don't like to start a job unless I can do the entire job all in one go and get it right first time... So I wouldn't fully clean the house unless I had people coming over and I would then turn into Psycho House Cleaning Lady. I would browbeat Awesome into two and a half hours (or more) of solid cleaning and full on spit-n-shine craziness. And heaven forbid if there was something out of place at the end of it!

We don't have people over very often.

So... using this new system, the temptation for me was to get the entire house spotless and start the new system from there. But something Flylady repeated over and over really got me. I won't spoil it for you, you can check it out for yourself.  It has to do with starting where you are.

So I have.

And the house isn't spotless. But its manageable, and if I needed to, it would now only take about 30 minutes to get it guest ready - and I'm not so worried about it being *perfect*. I think I'm ok with it just being tidy and clean now...

Woah. Flylady. stop changing my life would ya?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Getting It Done. Gently. Week 1 Wrap-up

One week done and where are we at?

The Vital Stats
Weight: 78.8
Waist: 105
Weight lost: 1.5kg
Cm lost: +2!!

Like all new things, started with a bang. The first day was excellent, I was disciplined and focused. I went to the pool, worked hard, ate well and generally felt excellent ... and just a little bit smug.

By Thursday I was eating chocolate honeycomb pieces and swearing I'd do better tomorrow!
Overall the week has been good - much better than an ordinarily week. But not perfect. Perfect would have been ordering salad instead of creamy chicken and avocado when out with the fabulous lozzz123 from  Science, Spouses and Silliness earlier this week (yes, sometimes bloggers do meet up in real life. And have Italian. Check her out, she is much funnier than me!). Perfect would have been saying no to the piece of chocolate birthday cake at work (which I did) and not eating it (which I didn't). But you know, you can't improve on perfection, so it's better not to start at the top. Right?

My waist measurement hasn't really improved - in fact I've gained. Which is a little weird, but really, all that crazy rich food I ate on holidays the week before had to go somewhere right? The weight is probably overstated a little, I have changed my water drinking habits significantly this week and my weight can change up to 2kg a day with water intake at the best of times. But its heading in the right direction!

It's a start. And one that I am pretty happy with. Work days are the easiest part as I pack my lunch and only eat what is in the box. I have even let myself eat it in whatever order and at whatever times I choose so I don't feel as though I'm being deprived. But if it's not in the box, I don't eat it (except for the cake). So it's portion control. With only a little bit of control.

The hardest part is the late afternoons. If I have eaten my lunch and 2 snacks already, then at 5pm I'm hungry. Slightly earlier dinner and switching to having my morning yogurt in the afternoon seems to have helped. And drinking more water instead of eating the second I feel hungry.

But hey, I've only been to Maccas once this week!

What do you do to help yourself break bad habits when it comes to food?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Power of A Praying Wife Challenge!

Yesterday I met up with two of the most amazing women in my life to just, ya know, hang.

We are going to take the opportunity to commit together to one month of solid, intentional prayer for our husbands and for each others' marriages.

Wanna join in a bit?

We are using Power of A Praying Wife, by Stormie Omartin, which I have kindly reviewed for you here.  Gets it. It is gooood.

If you are praying with us, leave a note in the comments. We'll encourage you as we go along. We start today with Chapter One: His Wife!

Join Up Below if you have a blog of your own! (I've never used this before so let me know if it doesn't work!).

Friday, August 5, 2011

Learning to FLY...

image from

So earlier this week I started thinking about the house. I'm trying to get the way I take care of my body in order, and that requires routine. But when it comes to the house, I have pretty much always taken a haphazard, do-it-when-I-need-to approach.

Actually, it's more of a do-it-when-I-have-to approach. Whoops.

So when I was reading a post somewhere and a lady said she had caught up on all her washing using the Flylady approach, I was like... ahem! Please share!

I googled Flylady. And realised I had found this site before. And its a tricky one to figure out. For a visual person like me, the layout is busy and the information isn't set up in a sequential way, you have to hunt a bit for what you need. So hunt I did.

I realised that the major emphasis of the system is on having a routine. Ah! I scoff, this will not work for me - I am a shift worker. Routines are the antithesis of getting up at a different time every day...! But I am a little hooked and so I keep reading.

And I realise this isn't a full on, time-dependent routine based system.

Its about doing little things each day that set you up to never really have to do big things. For example, by getting the kitchen reset every night this week, we haven't had an 'overload day' - you know - the day where you have to wash the vegie peeler from three days ago before you can use it again? No? You never have those days? Oh. That's just me...

This week, our bathroom has been guest-ready everyday, it now takes just 30 seconds to keep it that way. The kitchen has been meal prep ready every day. Can. not. explain. how much time that has saved me this week.

And get this, there was not enough dirty washing this morning to make a full load. INSANE!

It takes a bit of getting used to, and me being me, I rushed ahead and did all the baby steps in one go because I couldn't really wait to add one a day. But you might be more sensible than me.

Flylady. It's free, check it out - what have you got to loose?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Embrace the Camera 4th August 2011

Holiday beard and winter scarf. So. Much. Love :) 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Getting it Done. Gently. The Starting Line

The Gritty Details

Start Weight: (gulp) 80.3kg
Waist: 103
Daily calorie target: 1200-1400cal
Daily exercise target: 30 minute moderate plus stretches

Right so there you have it, a very embarrassing look at, well me! And no, I'm not sticking my stomach out on purpose. The keen eye can probably see that my lower back and butt are underdeveloped from a muscular point of view - that's because of the pain I have all the time, I hold myself funny. So the muscles in my core are very weak at the moment too. With the physio's help we are trying to build this up.

There you have it. Let's see what 10 weeks of concentrating can do!!

Getting it done. Gently. Week 1

Today is it. Getting started.

Tonight I will post my measurements, and some completely embarrassing before pictures. Because my blog readers deserve a laugh :p

Before I rush off to work (and yes, it is 6:30am), I thought I'd leave you with my food plan for today, just so you can have a little peek at the torture healthy eating I will be putting myself through for the next 10 weeks.

Breakfast: 1-2 slices of grain and seed bread with natural peanut butter
Morning tea: 1/2 punnet of strawberries (which is like, 4 strawberries ya know).
lunch 100gm chicken and salad on wrap
Arvo tea: yogurt (deviating from the plan slightly here which is no dairy, but need to use up the yogurt
Dinner: 200gm steak with salad

Its not so bad really. It's just a lot less than I have been eating the last couple of weeks!

This afternoon it's off to the local pool for some walking laps. Surprisingly I'm not allowed to swim yet as my back can't handle the slight arching necessary to swim. Go figure. I'm allowed to backstroke but seriously, who backstrokes? I just run into things (walls, people, aqua aerobics classes...)

How's your Monday shaping up?