Her intentions fall to the floor…

Well, I’m at the end of my 12WBT challenge and the weekly blog updates, that I fully intended to post, just didn’t happen. It’s been a busy 12 weeks and things didn’t go quite as planned. I went progressed well for the first 6 weeks. I stuck to the program, was amazed at the amount and quality of the food on the vegetarian nutrition plan, and lost weight. The last 6 weeks haven’t been quite so good.

  • I went to Melbourne for 10 days for a dog training workshop for the course I’m doing (Cert III in Dog Behaviour and Training with the National Dog Trainers Federation). For the most part I ate well, shopped carefully and planned my meals, but I succumbed to the vending machine in the training room on most afternoons.
  • The weekend after I got home I attended a four day tai chi instructor’s workshop in Perth. Morning and afternoon tea were provided  and for some weak-willed reason I just had to partake of the cake more than the fruit. I did take my own lunch, so didn’t fall into the trap of ordering from the menu at the cafe.
  • A couple of days after that workshop I came down with the worst case of the flu I think I’ve ever had. I was pretty much out of action for 2 weeks, but only off my food for the first few days. After that I craved comfort foods: chocolate, toast with butter and jam (Maggie Beer’s Burnt Fig Jam), chocolate, toast with butter and vegemite, chocolate…you get the idea.
  • Since recovering from the flu I’ve tried (and mostly succeeded) to cut back on the toast with not-so-good toppings, but I’m still eating too much chocolate; or more specifically, too many snickers bars – they are a current weakness. I do also have a fondness for Green & Blacks 70% Dark Chocolate 100g which I tell myself isn’t so bad because I only eat small amounts.


So I might not have had as much success on 12WBT as I could have but I’m not too disappointed with my results. I lost 4.6kg (that’s 7% weight loss) and nearly 6kg since the end of March. I haven’t taken new measurements or an after photo. I may do those things later today. The photos won’t be published on the blog, though.

The dog training course is going along fairly well. The first couple of days at the Melbourne workshop were a disaster. I really thought I was wasting my time and (not a small amount of) money. The trainer was terrible and she not only gave us incorrect information, but she failed to set us up properly for training we had to complete as a group through the week. She was more interested in telling us about her family and her life with dogs than training us properly. The poor dog she had with her was terrified of putting a paw out of place. The trainer was proud of the fact that she shows her dogs no affection. Luckily things improved from there on with some really exceptional trainers who made the whole experience really worthwhile.

Skatergirl Jet

Skatergirl Jet

I’ve been having a great time training Anzac and Jet. I have some training I have to complete (and video) for a couple of the units in the course, but the dogs are loving training so much that I’m throwing a few other tricks in as well. Truth be told, I’m loving the training as well so I’m much more focussed on doing that part of the course than completing the theory components and working on the reports and assignments. I do need to find a dog to train in targeting. That’s the first practical (videoed) task that I’ll have to submit. We’re supposed to train a dog that hasn’t been taught to target before, though I could train a different type of targeting than what my dogs know. I must admit I haven’t done much targeting at all with Jet so I could probably work with her for that one.

Princess Jet

Princess Jet

I’m keeping a dog training diary over at Walking With Dogs if you’re interested in reading what I’m up to or seeing some video of our training sessions.

Sleeping after a hard doggy day

Sleeping after a hard doggy day

The next workshop for the course will be held in October so I’ll be back in Melbourne for that, and will probably spend a few days in Geelong as well.

The tai chi worksop was great. It was actually two workshops, each two days long, run one after the other. One of Dr Paul Lam’s Master Trainers came over from Melbourne to teach the Tai Chi for Arthritis and Tai Chi for Osteoporosis instructor courses. I’m going to be teaching Tai Chi for Arthritis for Arthritis & Osteoporosis W.A. I’m all booked to start a class in the marquee at Leapfrogs Cafe in Wanneroo in a couple of weeks. Hopefully I’ll get the numbers I need to make a go of it. I’m hoping there’ll be an article in the local community newspaper this week.

The Master Trainer who conducted the Perth workshops is holding a Tai Chi for Diabetes workshop in Melbourne the weekend before my next dog training workshop so I’ll go over a week early to attend that. I’ll also have time to do friend and family catch-ups in the few days between the workshops while I’m over there.

In other news I’m on a continuing quest to find out why I have so much pain in my right shoulder. An injection into the swollen bursa did nothing to alleviate the pain, so I’ve been to see an orthopedic surgeon who has sent me for x-rays and two MRIs and has now ordered another ultrasound-guided steroid injection – this time into the glenohumeral joint. He’s still uncertain about the cause of the pain, so this is a bit of a trial. I have to keep a pain diary after this injection. I also have an appointment with a rheumatologist to investigate the cause of my various arthritis’ (in the words of my G.P.), particularly the pain I have on waking. The shoulder pain may or may not be related.

A vego, over 50, female attempt at 12wbt…

When we first came back to Australia almost 10 years ago I weighed 12 kilos less than I do now. My body fat was probably about 2/3 what it is now. I was lean and fit and fairly strong. I had been spending a lot of time in the gym, I’d had a set-up in my own home that rivalled some small gyms I’ve been in, and I was a bit of a food nazi. I liked the way I looked and I felt great, but food was too much of an issue for me. I had followed a 12 week body transformation program that was very popular back then and had good success – even entering the transformation competition and making friends that I still keep in touch with now. The biggest problem with the food side of the program was the lack of vegetarian options. It was a typical high protein/low carb program which really doesn’t allow much variety in a vegetarian diet. I gradually began to increase the variety of food in my diet (not always in a good way) and I reduced the quantity and intensity of exercise that I was doing. I no longer had the equipment that I’d previously had – though that’s just an excuse, I still had more than enough for a decent workout. I slowly started to put on weight.

A few years later we moved from the remote Northern Territory to Perth. I had great intentions of joining a gym and getting my fitness levels back up there but, what with the daily commute to work and a few other excuses, that didn’t happen. Oh, I joined a gym a couple of years ago – really enjoyed the environment – but that didn’t last as my work situation changed. Once again I’d reduced the amount of home equipment I had, but still kept the essentials. I only used them sporadically. My main form of exercise has been walking the dogs. I’ve gone through stages of walking 7-10 or more km per day, to hardly walking at all.

Over these past couple of years menopause has added itself to the mix. While I haven’t suffered too many of the typical symptoms, I have found weight gain to be a bit of a problem and weight loss to be a struggle. OK, my sweet tooth might also have something to do with that. I’ve tried a couple of the popular weight-loss programs and had success, but once again they were both high protein/low carb programs that are unsustainable for a vego. I’m not even sure how sustainable they are for an omnivore. And I don’t want to become that food fanatic again. I’d lose weight but couldn’t stick with the programs or go back to them after a break. And I wasn’t doing any exercise – other than the on-again, off-again high-volume walking.

There are plenty of people who think I’m thin enough, but I’m not comfortable with the weight I’m carrying and, for me, it’s all about how I feel, about my own perception of myself. I look at photos and in the mirror and I see a fat and flabby person where I want to see a toned and fit person. Agreed, I don’t need to lose huge amounts of weight, but I do feel the need to lose a few kilos and to get fitter and more toned. I carry fat around my middle. That’s definitely not healthy and while it’s not too bad at the moment, I don’t want it to get too bad. It’s too easy too pile it on (especially during menopause) and way too hard to take it off. I’m not quite at my heaviest, but I’m close to being back there so I’ve decided it’s time to take control and stop making excuses. I’ve joined  Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation (12WBT) Round 2, 2013. I’m making this public through my blog because I found years ago, when I did my first ever 12 week body transformation, that making it public makes me feel more accountable. Even if only to myself. Oh, I know all the tips and tricks and could lecture anyone on healthy nutrition and exercise, but follow it myself? Without a defined program and that public accountability it’s not going to happen.

12WBT has exercise plans, vegetarian food plans, video support, forum support and mindset lessons. I’ll have to put in the hard work and it won’t be easy. I have plantar fasciitis, dicky knees, a dodgy shoulder and a back that gives me trouble when I don’t exercise carefully. I’ll also be studying and attending seminars and workshops during the 12 weeks.  I’m in pre-season and my challenge starts in a couple of weeks. Join me for the ride. You might even like to sign up too. Let me know if you do.