Sunday, 30 September 2012

All shawls

These shawls are super easy and lovely to crochet. The beauty of this pattern is it can be made with just about any yarn/hook, and Doris Chan provides examples of the different outcomes in her pattern.

I made one for myself in red and purple, and realised that by crocheting around the edge I had effectively bound the piece, so it doesn't stretch that much (I'm sure all experienced yarn workers are going "duh" right now, but it honestly didn't occur to me). It has come in handy when I've gone to the movies, or been caught under the icy air conditioning at work, or even just snuggling up on the couch at home. It's surprisingly warm!

The blue one I made for my colleague, Lynette, who has just gone on maternity leave. I thought it might be good to drape around her shoulders as the seasons change from cold to hot and back again in the space of 24 hours, especially when she'll be up at ungodly hours of the night feeding. I finished it a few weeks ago but only just got around to blocking it today.

Didn't ever think I'd get into making shawls, but after this one I'm...(no she's not going to say it, is she?) hooked (Yes I went there. I am a consummate dad joker).


red shawl - Bendigo Woollen Mills Rustic - Radiant, Lincraft Cosy Wool - purple

blue shawl - Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 10 ply - junior navy and blue denim

Pattern: All Shawl by Doris Chan

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

having said that...

I just did my week 4 fitness test and measure up and I killed it!

So even some bodily training has made a difference. Okay. Not giving up, but going easy on myself - something is better than nothing.


I've never been much of a goal setter/keeper. Some people are able to set goals and then stay on track, no matter what, to reach the goal. I might set the goal, work at it for a few weeks, and then fall back into the 'who cares' state.

I'm starting to feel that with 12WBT. I'm sticking to the nutrition plans as much as I can, though finding it hard with things like church meals or being away for work. Even so, I'm managing to stay within the 1200 calorie allowance most days, and seeing the weight slowly come off. I am finding I am getting hungrier than I did at the beginning of the program, but there haven't been any major blowouts. So hurrah for that!

It's the exercise that is just not sticking for me. I joined the gym, and the times when I've gone have been great, even though mostly I find it hard to do an entire hour's workout. But days like today, when I wake up and hear the traffic screaming past the house, I just feel like retreating further into my shell. I'm not ready to get out into all that yet! Maybe I should just go back to attempting to work out in the living room on days like that.

I know they're excuses, and part of the whole 12WBT is to change your mindset, to challenge and eliminate excuses and just do it. Thing is, while the amount of content in the program is comprehensive and the videos and forums are intended to encourage and fire you up, most days they have the opposite effect on me. I feel so far away from wanting to do the work to get healthy in the way that Bridges is prescribing.

The main thing that is disturbing me is the self focus. That sounds a bit ridiculous, because the whole point of any kind of diet or fitness program is to focus on yourself. But I'm spending much more time thinking about food and fitness than I am reading my Bible. I'm thinking about body transformation much more intently than I am thinking about spiritual transformation. It just doesn't sit right with me. As a Christian, the focus is all wrong.

I want to be healthy and fit so that I have the energy and stamina to do the work God has given me to do, not as an end in itself. My best moment would not be to have a completely flat stomach and to be able to run up a hill. It will be to hear God say to me on the last day, "well done, good and faithful servant" and to know I have lived as he wanted me to.

And obsessing over weight is so counter to what he wants for me too! My self worth is not to be tied up in how I look or how the world perceives me, it is tied up in Jesus. Besides which, I have been made in the image of God, whether I'm big or small, and how can I hate that?

I am going to print 1 Timothy 4:7-8 out and stick it above my mirror:
... train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

In the meantime, the jury is still out on what I think about 12WBT as a whole. But I'm not sure the mindset lessons are taking me where I want to go.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Loss of a joy

I have to say, I'm not really feeling it today. It's a gorgeous day, and I should be raring to go, pulling on my shoes and getting out amongst it. But I feel exhausted and kind of sad and like I just want to hide in my room with the curtains drawn until the day is over.

It's mostly hormonal and it'll pass. It's okay. But I'm struggling reconciling that with the whole 12WBT thing. I really feel like baking a cake. I enjoy baking. I love the process of combining ingredients to create something completely different. I love the textures of the batter and the icing. I love the smell as it cooks, wafting through the house. I love slicing the first piece, still hot from the oven, and savouring it as I eat. Baking doesn't take me much effort, so when I'm down and tired it is still something I can do. There is the satisfaction of having created something that brings pleasure, no matter how ephemeral.

But the problem with being on any kind of diet is that baked goods are generally out, because the baking tends to lead to the eating. So no baking. And none of that joy that goes along with it.

Also, I went to the doctor the other day and he asked me all sorts of questions about my depression. I told him how I had started exercising, which of course he thought was good, but he did say to be careful. That especially when it comes to depression I should be exercising to feel good, not to the point of feeling exhausted, because then it will lead me to not want to exercise, so I won't, which will make me more depressed, which...on and on. How do I reconcile that with a fitness program like this? When all these people are shouting "Just F-ing DO IT!" on the forums, but being told to JFDing it will, more often than not, lead me to feeling worse?

I guess some exercise is better than no exercise, right? So even if I can't do the full training session, following through on the intention and doing some of it is a good thing.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

12WBT: other things

  • I joined a gym - and it has a pool!

  • I am fitting back into a dress that got too tight for me, which coincides nicely with the warmer sunshiney weather. It's nice not to be wearing jeans and shapeless tops.

  • A note on the nutrition plans - I'm sorry, but no. Herbal tea is not a dessert. (I've seen this referred to in other diets as well. HERBAL TEA IS NOT A SNACK! It's herbal tea!!)

12WBT: week 2 weigh in

Hurrah! I lost 1.8kg in the first week of the program! This is exciting, as it means the sore muscles and occasionally growling belly are worth it, and it's all working.

Well of course it's working. My eating habits before this were so poor. I had gotten into a very negative way of thinking, which was essentially "who cares?" Who cares if I have Maccas on the way home? Who cares if I eat that whole container of baklava? Who cares if I haven't so much as looked at a vegetable in three days? Who cares?

I knew I really did care, as the kilos I had lost at the beginning of the year marched back onto my body. A tiny voice was shouting "noooo!" but the "who cares?" voice was much louder (and bossier!).

Yes, sometimes over the past couple of weeks I have been frustrated and just wanted to eat whatever I wanted. But following a program, having everything mapped out for me and not having anything unhealthy I could binge on in the cupboard has meant that the negative, bossy voice has been quietened somewhat. The positive voice pointing out how much better I feel and congratulating me for taking steps to turn my health around is sounding more confident!

(I talk about my 'voices' a lot, don't I? Don't worry, I don't have multiple personality disorder or anything!)

Monday, 3 September 2012

12WBT: yum

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One thing I have been pleasantly surprised about with the program so far, is how filling and delicious the food is! Well, I knew it would be filling, but didn't expect to enjoy the recipes so much, both in the preparation and the eating.

I've never been able to plan my week's meals, I just find it mind-numbing to work it all out and then work out what I need to buy. So having someone else write up the plan, and then exactly what I need to buy at the supermarket is bliss! It makes cooking a joy, because absolutely everything you need is at hand. Although I haven't quite gotten to the TV chef stage of having all my spices pre-measured in little bowls, it's almost as good as that.

It also means I've tried some new things this past week, which always helps keep meals interesting when it comes to cooking. The thing that's good about these recipes is they are super easy and seem to turn out perfectly every time! New things include:

  • Cajun fish stew - I was always a bit scared of cooking fish before, probably because my first attempt at it was a disaster. But this stew was delicious.

  • CELERY - I normally hate celery. Some people wonder how I can hate celery, "but it's so bland and inocuous!" No. It is an evil, weird-tasting vegetable and I hate it. Until now. I still probably won't eat it raw, but added to many of the recipes this week, I haven't noticed it and yet have been smug about getting an extra serve of vegies.

  • Grated apple in porridge instead of sugar and milk - a serve of fruit, no 'empty' calories, and really quite delicious.

Getting used to eating less and not snacking so much is still a challenge, but no complaints in terms of main meals!