Sunday, April 25, 2010

April 25th Australian Time: ANZAC Day

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old; Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them. Never forgotten, always in our hearts. Lest We Forget

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Two posts in one day!

Lulled by how quiet she'd been for so long, I forgot to stay away from the quarantine area.

First, it was a whispered comment here and there as I passed by the door.
Then, like a cook does to frogs in a pot of cold water, she began to slowly increase the heat.
Eventually, she was murmuring a running commentary.

Under cover of this white noise, there was rattling of the cage walls whenever my attention was elsewhere.
As sure as night follows day, poking and prodding of the security system came next.
Seeing me passing by on such a regular basis, the guards began to lapse in their vigilance.
All too soon she had befriended them and she could come and go as she pleased.

Content for the moment, she revelled in her freedom, tagging along quietly in my wake.
Soon, the whispering began again.
Gentle nudges, blowing in an ear, pointing out pertinent sights, all of this and more followed as each success emboldened further efforts to guide me into seeing and doing only what she wanted.
Like any experienced rider, the accoutrements were all fitted into place in good order, then she mounted up.
And kept a firm seat.

Until today.
Somehow the bit was between my teeth and I ran with the unexpected freedom of it all.
With every drop of sweat that formed, her grip on the reins loosened.
With every inhale and exhale, she became closer to being unseated.
With every successful completion of a new activity, my confidence grew.

When I came to a halt, glorious in my rosy glow, my legs a tremble, and sucking in a well-earned drink, I realised a weight on my back had indeed come unstuck.

No wonder I've been dragging lately. I've been piggybacking LSED* everywhere I go!

I've known for years now that my confidence is bolstered by my strong body and good health. I didn't truly realise a major part of my self-concept relies on my good health and strong body. First the antibiotic reaction, then the birth aftermath, no wonder LSED was able to get out of her cage after I'd shoved here in so tight she could barely move.

Don't get me wrong, I've enjoyed my increasing fitness with the activities I have been doing, but like so many things--with LSED's help, no doubt--mostly all I could see was how far I'd fallen from my previous abilities. Step-Aerobic-type exercise has been out of the picture for years now. Chances for nearly instant gratification for small challenges has been almost nonexistent also.

Ever since the first trimester of my pregnancy I've felt like I was going backwards instead of forwards. I'd worked so hard to improve from the antibiotic and there I was having to curb myself while my body did this other completely amazing and wonderful thing all on its own.

But now! I feel like all those painfully tiny steps I've been taking for so long have finally come together to be a noticeable and quantifiable progression forward.

As for LSED? She's gone into hiding. Looks like I'll need to keep building my strength and stamina for the upcoming hunt and recapture! {grin}

*For the latecomers, LSED = Low Self Esteem Demon

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Wake Up To Yourself.

Ever have one of those moments where you feel like the universe/god/whoever is giving you a big kick in the pants to say "Wake up and pay attention!"?

The last few months I was doing well; exercising regularly, not sleeping great but certainly sleeping better than I had in months, eating properly and then as the wedding approached, came, then went, I kinda slacked off a little. I didn't have my usual daily naps while away on vacation, plus then we got sick so I was sleeping even less. I ate a little more than I should have and didn't walk as much as I'd planned to.

The positive side of this, the scale only shows a 0.8 lb gain since February.
The downside of this, I'm exhausted again. Not quite as bad as in January, but I've undone some of the good work I did earlier this year.

I also sort of blew off the sleep study I'm supposed to have done. The week before we left for vacation I called to make sure the doctor's office faxed through the referral to the sleep specialist...but I didn't call to ensure it had arrived. I figured, if it was meant to be, it'd arrive. Besides my sleep had improved so much that surely I'd lose enough weight soon enough that the apnea would disappear, right? So, I could wait till we got back to set up the appointment.

We got back, and I put off calling.

And delayed some more.

And shrugged off Alaskaboy's suggestions to call.

Then on Saturday we received a card in the mail.

Years ago as we were first starting to get to know one another, J, a friend of Alaskaboy's mysteriously stopped talking to the whole group of friends. Alaskaboy and I have some theories on why, but we never found out the real reason. J, refused to tell anyone what was going on despite numerous attempts to find out.

The card came from his mother, who we've kept in contact with over the years.

At the ripe old age of 45, J, had died.

Now, he was a larger man who didn't take care of his health very well, but it also came to light in the past couple of days--at least to us--that he had suffered from sleep apnea.

Ironic, really. In one way, we're pretty sure, my appearance in Alaskaboy's life was partly the catalyst for their friendship breaking up, and yet J's now been the catalyst for me getting off my bum and getting truly serious about getting healthy. Part of the binge on the weekend was due to the shock at knowing J was dead, the rest was my more usual post-holiday and premenstrual stuff. But once it truly sunk in, the binge stopped cold turkey. And then I set about thinking of ways to improve my health as quickly as possible.

We bought the Wii Fit Plus, who cares if it's a little more expensive right now, I NEED it.
I contemplated going to weight watchers for a few months to get the weight to drop off...but I don't have the time or energy for their system, and I want the weight to stay off, not a diet I'll rebound from.
I'm back to watching my portion sizes, eating more fruits and veggies and drinking enough water.
I called the sleep doctor and then called my doc's office to get them to fax through the referral letter a third time.
Not sure what I'll do if it fails to go through yet again.

Any one else have moments where something has made you realise how much you're kidding yourself on a particular subject?

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Wii're a better fit now?

One of the things I had been worrying about prior to our Easter vacation, stairs, proved to be a help rather than a debacle. Both Dr Kay and Alaskagirl have stairs in their homes. Technically, Mom and Dad do too, but since they only lead down into the basement, they're avoidable. Alaskagirl's stairs I could NOT avoid, because the main living area is the middle level and the toilets are on the upper floor and in the basement. Surprisingly, the very few times I peed myself were actually my own fault for not getting up and going at the first urge. Video games and good conversations have always tended to make me hang on as long as possible. That, coupled with the abdominal pressure of using stairs...as I said, my own fault.

What the regular use of stairs did do is give me some more muscle tone in my legs. It's not obvious, but somethings are easier than they were. The scales also show a gain even though my clothes are fitting a little better. All indicators that I'm putting on muscle mass. Hooray! What also helped me to gain muscle, despite my negative review of it last February, was Alaskagirl's Wii Fit.

Some of the games were much easier now that I'm not pregnant. Some were harder due to my new issues of numbness etc. What became more and more apparent as the weeks passed, is that I'm now in one of the target groups the Wii Fit is aiming for. I'm not strong enough or fit enough to attempt even an aerobics video warm up section. I am fit enough to swim a little plus do walking, but I know doing strength training will also help improve my fitness faster. But again, I'm not strong enough to do any affective amounts of repetitions. Enter the Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus.

The Wii Fit Plus has several new games that I can actually do. Games that work my cardiovascular system and my muscles in short bursts that can be increased as I get fitter. Games that I showed improvement on, even during the short time we were there. I still really dislike the negative chatter. I still think the inability to string together workouts sucks. But, hey, at the moment I'm barely capable of finishing the three minute segments, so that's not really a factor. I don't like to admit it, but in many ways my body is now like a beginning exerciser. And as "they" say, every little bit helps.

Since they're hard to find now; are even more expensive than the usual retail price at the few places they are available; and ESPECIALLY in light of the excess almost-one-thousand dollars we hadn't planned on spending during the trip, we fiercely debated getting one. Eventually the pros outweighed the cons, and we ordered a Wii Fit Plus yesterday.

Besides, come Christmas time when we go back, I want to be able to be in the running with the games I was able to play this time, and even participate in fun games I haven't yet been able to play. Competitive, me? Why, yes! Although, I think even the world's least competitive person would find it the slightest bit depressing when their four year old niece, without help from grown ups or an older child, scores better than them!

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Heading Home.

After an extra week here, being unable to fly on our original return date due to having colds, we're returning home this evening.
We're at that weird point where we don't want to go home, but we're also ready to get back to our own home and routine.
Despite the blahness of the cold, it's been fabulous, as usual, catching up with this branch of the clan.
Looking forward to catching up on all the blogs/news that I've missed out on during the last three weeks.

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