12WBT Inspiration Board

Inspiration, eh? 

Perfect timing really, as it’s a great excuse to revisit my goals (especially in light of last week’s efforts, or lack thereof). 

While I’ve never put an inspiration board together before, I actually enjoyed this week’s challenge more than I thought I would.

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Conquer it

The little guy that looks so determined to get his cheese was actually an image I had on my notice board at work a few years back. He reminded me to never give up, and to never lose sight of what I was trying to achieve. Plus, he’s pretty cute.  I currently have a few reasons for digging him back out again now (more on that maybe at another time), but the one that I’ll share here applies to the comfort zone (the fear, oh the fear!).

It’s called a comfort zone for a reason – all cosy, warm and familiar. It helps to make sure I don’t look silly or embarrass myself, and it helps to ward off failure. 

It also stops me trying new things, making new friends, becoming more involved or pushing myself.

So this one was a top-of-the-list goal for me, and my little helmet-wearing, cheese-stalking friend is who I will again look to for inspiration.

He didn’t let me down last time.

Achieve it

This one was easy. I want to be fit, and more specifically I want to run.  Without stopping to catch my breath every few minutes would be great, but  ideally I’d love to run 5km by week eight (eep!). 

So, running lady with your stretchy pants – do your best.

Live it

I love this little mantra – it really does help me see what I want for the long-term.  It’s about a permanent lifestyle change and not just a 12 week program.

So…here’s to living (and loving) the clean, mean and lean lifestyle!

Master it

I considered ‘Improve it’ for this cooking-related goal – I’m already making progress and improving each day.  I also considered ‘Accept it’. As in ‘accept that you are a bit crap at cooking and just stick with the easy stuff’.

Then I realised that I am starting to really enjoy learning about techniques, methods and wot-not (technical cooking term, trust me) and love the meals I am producing each week – failures and all.  

More on the failures here.

Maybe I will never master it all, but I’m determined to give it a red-hot-go.

Believe it

What’s an inspiration board without my trusty ruby slippers?  This one also ties into the little determined mouse, and when self-doubt rears its head (“click my heels – are you crazy?  I could never do that, what if I fail?!”), it’s a reminder to believe in myself. 

Enjoy it

I love music, and I love to play guitar and ukulele.  I’m inspired by music, and by people who play / sing / have any talent whatsoever. 

Let’s just say I’ve lost my music mojo and haven’t played in a long time (around the time of the weight gain…coincidence?).  I want to enjoy this again – there really is no better feeling – and to find time to also enjoy the other things in life that make me happy.

Do It

Simple really.  Don’t quit.  Easier than it sounds?  I guess we’ll see…

  

Do ALL the things!

I’ll just say up front that I love Allie Brosh. I’ve spent countless hours being entertained by her wonderfully weird sense of humour, and being inspired by her honesty and openness.  Like many followers / fellow admirers of Allie, I still regularly stalk check in on Hyperbole and a Half hoping for an update or news on how she is.

The internet meme inspired by one of Allie’s blog posts reminded me somewhat of my own lead-up to this round of 12WBT and the reality that came after…

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Yep, that was me a week ago. Determined to be hyper-organised, to rise and shine with a bounce, and to attack my 2nd round of 12WBT with gusto and give 100%.

In my first round I mainly stuck to the treadmill and the ‘at home’ exercises.  I averaged 4-5 days a week (up until I injured myself), but didn’t really try new things or get involved in group activities and gym classes.

This round, things would be different!

I ordered Mish’s DVDs online, bought new workout gear, visited the forums to get some tips / inspiration, and even set up a special alarm on my iPhone.

I was ready…

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…and speaking of forums, I was also determined to become more involved this round. I admit, I was a bit of a lurker last round. I really did want to reply to others and become involved, but confidence got the better of me (what could I offer?).

Nearing the end of the round I was still a Newbie so posted a few things just to make it up to Member status – mainly helping with technical questions (updating tracker, finding the snack list, updating tracker…that kind of thing).

So in an effort to step out of my comfort zone, this was going to change as well…

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I was pretty good at following the nutrition plans, and sticking to my 1200 calories. I love the meals, and even got a kick out of shopping for groceries each week. My trolley looked so healthy! (I secretly hoped fellow shoppers would notice, and we’d give each other a subtle nod at how nutritious we were being).

I would try different things, and not just stick to my regular, tried-and-tested favourite breakfasts…

Make ALL the Recipes!

So here we are…..

The end of week one.

Here is where I’m meant to write that all of the above has happened.

The reality is that ‘ALL the things!’ I had planned kinda fell by the wayside.

The DVDs are unopened, my new shorts still have their tag on them, and I’ve not eaten a 12WBT meal in the last 2 days (excluding breakfast).  I have increased my forum visits and postings, and guess this is a work in progress.  (Maybe that’s why I’ve started this blog – baby steps).

I think some of it was the ‘almost-at-goal-weight’ thing creeping in. People are starting to notice and comment, and somehow it feels OK to take the foot off the accelerator.

Stupid subconscious mind.

Having said that though, my main (big, huge) mistake was definitely the ‘all or nothing’ approach.

do all the things?

Talk about pressure / high expectations for the first week!

I never did that in my last round – I just got on with it.

No bells, no whistles, and certainly no ‘I-will-follow-this-100%-and-get-it-right-from-day-one-or-else!’ mindset.

Last round I followed the program as best I could. I aimed to be consistent, and also to be realistic. Sure there were some wobbly moments along the way – I procrastinated at times and could have done things differently, but just doing the program was a huge change in itself and I was happy with my progress. I was also happy with my health and fitness steadily improving. I even reduced my 1km time trial by 1:34 and advanced to push ups on my toes!  Plus, let’s face it – 4 days of exercise per week is pretty darned good for someone who started at a dismal place (ie lots of hand-to-face repetitions and lazing on the couch). Mainly though, I was happy with how my habits were gradually changing and becoming…well…different / better habits.

I know there are people who do follow the exercise and nutrition plans to the letter, and who are also achieving fantastic things (and I am in awe of you). I also know there are others like me who may struggle at times, and who may doubt themselves or take two steps backward before they can eventually move forward. There is some comfort in that (rightly or wrongly), and hey, it does help to know we’re not alone, right?

So for me, it’s another lesson learnt.

It’s back to ‘consistency is the key’ and not ‘all the things!’.

Back to accepting there will be slip ups, and to learning from them and working on them.  It’s back to flexing my willpower muscle and doing the program as best I can, and also to not expecting to get it right immediately and all the time.

Week 2 is the perfect place to (re)start.

All images owned by Allie Brosh (text and colour edited).

How long do you boil an egg for?

Yes, this was a question I asked a friend at work.

Yes, I closed the office door.

Yes, we (she) laughed.

This lady is my ‘go-to-gal’ for all things cooking, and I am so grateful for her advice. Pre-12WBT my partner did all the cooking (and grocery shopping, bless him), but in line with changing habits I’ve donned the imaginary apron, rolled up the sleeves and attacked my new challenge with gusto.

We’ve had some ‘interesting’ meals along the way (undercooked pumpkin, chickpea and overcooked chicken Korma anyone?), but the successes are slowly overtaking the non-edibles. I may or may not also have more photos of food on my phone than anything else. Seriously.

Can anyone say ‘slightly chuffed’?

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Anyway, back to the egg boiling.  My eggs were undercooked. Certainly not worthy of dipping those made-to-perfection-toast-soldiers in.  Turns out 4 minutes for soft-boiled is right on track but apparently I needed to have the eggs at room temperature before adding to the boiling water (of course! How obvious!).

At this stage in our lessons I would normally be scribbling furiously, “aha aha, room temperature, got it!”, but pride got in the way and I just memorised the conversation, said my thanks, and then made notes when I was safely back in the privacy of my own office.

I swear there needs to be a cookbook designed just for people like me.

Methods and prep terms that are obvious to many have me scratching my head, for example:

‘Reduce the liquid’ – Do I tip half of it out?  Do I drain the watery bits?

‘Take care not to split the sauce – O…Kay….Had no idea, so just spent the next 20 minutes in a staring competition with my curry. I won (it tasted yum!).

 ‘Chop the spring onion into 5cm lengths’ – Umm…which bits? The white part, the green part, all of it?

‘Toast the pinenuts’ * – Draws a blank. Asks Uncle Google.

I am kinda proud that I’m learning so much. I love applying my new-found skills, and even baked recently for the first time in about 10 years (I made muffins! Me!!).

Yes, I started out a bit ‘challenged’ in this area, and never aspire to be up there with the best of them, but have also learnt that a good sense of humour goes a long way. Go-to-gal and I have a regular giggle about some of my attempts, and she’s also the first person I share my successes with.

So while others are posting about their weight loss achievements, mindset wins and killer DOMS, I can now proudly say:

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* Used oven method and burnt the first batch.  Since the staring competition was so successful previously, used this method for the 2nd batch and they turned out OK.

Finding my ruby slippers

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I always associated Dorothy’s ruby slippers as a symbol for inner strength, confidence, determination, and well… balls.  You know – the kind of ‘go anywhere you desire and achieve all you can’ type of power that feels pretty amazing (but can also occasionally disappear without warning)?

I also think they’re about the journey – learning, trying new things, experiencing highs and lows and stepping out of your comfort zone. The one we go on just to find out that we already had what we were searching for (or to quote Glinda, “You had the power all along, my dear”). Be it confidence, commitment, willpower or even just a kick-ass attitude!

Sometimes it’s tough.  The times when my own ‘ruby slippers’ have disappeared are usually those times I don’t think I deserve to wear them.  When self-doubt rears its head: “Click my heels – are you crazy?  I could never do that, what if I fail?!”

But then there are times when it’s easy! When you know you can do it, when you’re certain about things, when you tap into that inner strength and just get on with it. These are the times when my ruby slippers (cleverly disguised as ordinary shoes) are a comfortable fit, and I’m having a glass-half-full, rose-coloured-glasses kind of day.

So why the blog? And why some reference to a chick from Kansas and her shiny footwear?  I guess it’s a way of taking a step toward moving outside my comfort zone. Of being accountable to myself, and also a way of thinking things through*.

On some occasions my ruby slippers will go missing, other times I’ll no doubt deliberately shove them to the back of the (virtual) wardrobe just to have an excuse not to succeed at things. Other times, hopefully more often than not, I will find them when most needed – in the shape of ruby pumps, ruby heels, or even some fabulous ruby sneakers to click three times and help me along the way.

*promise to self: do not start future posts with ‘Dear Diary’.