Month: February 2012

12wbt – The Blog Hop Overture

OK, I have NO idea if this is going to work, but gotta try. In case there’s a miracle hanging around, it’s HELLO from me, Amanda a.k.a. Symphony and many thanks to Kate at for the idea, the organisation and the instructions!

I’m joining 12wbt from the UK. I’m in the 40-50 category and all too soon to be joining the Geriatric Category (September lol)! I’m a Personal Trainer, I specialise in outdoor group circuits and kickboxing. I’ve got 4 healthy and usually gorgeous kids (boy, do they have their moments)!!! I’ve joined this programme to encourage myself to think a little more about ‘me’! I spend so much time looking after everybody else and not really very much time at all on a less important me! Now it’s my turn. I’ve got some huge goals coming up and am battling a few injuries which could put paid to all of them but I’m hanging onto hope and today had a major breakthrough with my first 5 km run in 4 weeks, so I am totally stoked – and all just in time for Day 1, Week 1, Round 1. Please catch me on my blog, on FB, on the forums and regularly kick my ass into gear. No time for slacking and I’m relying on 12wbt-ers to get out the cattle prods! Huge, huge positive thoughts and motivational vibes being sent in the direction of all 12 wbt-ers! It’s going to be an amazing 12 weeks!! Let’s go for it! xxx

This is a Blog Hop!
My Shoebox Life: Twas The Night Before 12WBT. . .
Me and the 12WBT @ The Blue Bus
Week One – WBT – Oh! I Get it!
Say Goodbye to Fatty Boombah
Wherever the day takes you
12WBT Fitness Friday –Im in! @ From F**ked to Fab
My 12 Week Body Transformation Journey
Flat to Fab: Doing the Blog Hop
Its only the Beginning!
12WBT Fitness Friday – Blog Hop Kick Off
Lost almost 50kg & on my way to maintainance!
Making Rae Lean: Hopping into 12wbt
Move that ass
Get Moving Princess
12wbt – The Blog Hop Overture

p.s. Sorry – NONE of the links work in wordpress. Grrrrrr. Don’t know how to fix this (can’t understand the instructions Doh!!) xx

Happy days are here again, la-la-la-la-lah …

Oh yes! Happy days indeed! Gosh, you just don’t realise how much you miss something until it’s not there any more. The last month has been such a battle with my knees, it’s been really hard, but worth the time I’ve taken being so strict on myself – absolutely no running for two weeks and then a really slow build-up of run-specific training – and finally, this last week I’ve enjoyed something more than walking! Started on a treadmill crawling at a walk and pathetic jog and alternating minute on, minute off. The next time I did the same, until I felt brave enough to try 2-minute runs. A couple of times later, I increased a little to 1 minute, 2 minute and 3 minute runs with 50% rest or jog each time – for half an hour. Lastly, I mixed it all up and kept going for 5k (jogged the last km). Today – joy oh joy – I got outdoors again to run. Stuck to grass, no concrete – fave music playing and I took it really gently, once again doing run/walk intervals and running the final km – just up to 5 km, but it was 5 km of HEAVEN!!! Oh, it feels so good!! My knees are holding up and for the first time, gently gently, I feel like I’m on the mend!! WHOOP! WHOOP!

And just in time, too …….  today is the day before Week 1 of 12wbt officially starts. Tomorrow? Fitness test – should be interesting. I’m excited. Nutrition is good, with the occasional glitch, but generally good and weight is holding just fine, so I’m really pleased. Lots more energy since I got my food intake back under control. Just need to up my workout intensity and somehow, somehow get to grips with my kickboxing combos. THAT is going to be my greatest challenge!

For now? I’m sitting here grinning. Pathetic calorie-burn for a run this morning but worth it’s weight in gold. Looking forward to Day 1 Week 1 and wishing everybody taking part in the next 12 weeks’ programme endless motivation and positivity.

Let’s get working out, everyone!

And we’re off …

And it’s all looking GOOD!! Interview yesterday was interesting – mostly information-gathering. Formal interview to come (she hopes!). More later on that …

For now, though, well, things are looking up (and it all ties in perfectly with 12wbt kick-off). My wonderfully amazing acupuncturist cheered me up no end yesterday when I was whining because my knees simply can’t decide which one is the troublemaker! You know what he said? He said ‘The switching of ‘trouble’ from knee to knee is a GOOD sign – because it means they’re trying to find a happy medium between them, which in turn means that the problems are FIXABLE!’ Whoop! Whoop!

Running has been very slow and I’ve just about managed a couple of very easy run-walks in the last five days. I’m determined to take the time to build up properly and hopefully not re-injure. I had a fab session in the gym this morning – 5 x 500m on the rower (and knocked 7 minutes off my previous time … yup! That’s ‘minutes’ …. p.s. my previous time was quite a while ago lol) – and I was really chuffed with that result because it still shows I’m getting stronger with age!!! Ha Ha  Straight after, I did a short pyramid but it was nicely effective …

5 reps/10 reps/15 reps/10 reps/5 reps each of King Squats/Press-ups/Burpees/Inverted rows

And then …. wait for it …. and then …… I did a full 5k on the treadmill!!! Whooweeee!! Now, don’t get too excited, I didn’t run it all, but I certainly ran more than I walked – and I ran the whole final kilometre AND … AND … AND … *excitement* …. my knees haven’t complained since! Progress!!

OK – after all that excitement …. I came home and 12wbt has more or less officially launched!! Measurements requested, photos (??), menus and workout plans for next week are now printed off …… so much to read and take in. You’ll notice I haven’t mentioned the fitness test? I think I shall remain in denial until Monday.

It’s quite frustrating, I already want to start NOW!! The workouts look fantastic – and secretly I AM looking forward to the fitness testing because I’m always testing everyone else and never myself so it’s great to have that push! (See? That is EXACTLY why I’m doing this). I can’t wait to get started but I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll be doing intermediate level rather than advanced … only Monday will tell hehe

The menus are interesting because they are so different. I have to admit that it doesn’t look like an awful lot of food (although I’ve been keeping to 1200 cals the last couple of weeks so I must be eating the same amount). There’s quite a bit that doesn’t appeal to me, but also loads of recipes and meal ideas that I’d never have thought of and will definitely try. The breakfasts are intriguing too (my fave meal of the day). One thing I notice, though, is that the food is rather light and ‘summery’ – probably because for Oz it’s seasonally appropriate (I think you’re all basking in sunshine). Wraps and salads simply don’t appeal quite so much when it’s -10 degrees outside your door LOL  Methinks I’ll be sticking to my homemade veggie soup (steaming!!) for lunch – or my own fave florentine lunch (spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms and poached egg – yum yum yum … with slice of rye bread).

OK! Nearly midnight so need to get to beddy-byes. Hoping I don’t wake to a foot of snow outside (unlikely – it’s too bloody cold!) … but kids could be off school because it’s snowing up on the Downs. That could seriously affect my plans for my 1k time trial – need to do it either tomorrow or Sunday, I think. On Monday I’ll be able to do the rest of the workout and tests in the gym. I shall report back anon.

From 1 k to 100 k in 4 months – can it be done!!! Watch this space!

Pre-Season Organisation Task

Right! It’s here – time to get seriously organised. I’m getting a bit scared now, although I’m not sure why because there is nothing hugely frightening about the task. I’m already a planner and a Queen of List-making. I have so many notebooks lying around where I plan weekly meals and my shopping and I have workout log books and running log books, training plans and lots of mini goals …. so why the nerves? Actually, at the time of writing I’m thinking that maybe I’m nervous today generally because I’ve got an interview coming up in a couple of hours and there are so many questions hanging over it …

Will I get it/Will they want anyone as old as me/How can I make myself stand out/Am I prepared enough/Do I really know what I’m doing/What if the job times don’t suit/What if, as usual, I come away knowing there were a thousand answers I could’ve given to those questions and I couldn’t think of any ………………….. *cue SCREAM, FOOT-STAMPING, FRUSTRATION* ….

So … I took a couple of hours to really think about this task and commit to paper and fortunately, I did this yesterday, because today I can’t think past one o’clock!!  (see, people just don’t employ 50-year-olds, do they!)

Ahhhhh!! Stop! Getting distracted again …. The task required 4, 8 and 12-week goals but I’m setting out my goals for Week 1, too …

Ready? Steady? Let’s go ….


Take time to understand the whole plan and what’s required

Sort meals and shopping

Stick rigidly to the training schedule for the week – print off workouts ready for each day

Watch out for knee trouble – build up to 5k by 17 Feb

18 Feb Boxercise course – Enjoy and plan snacks for red flag train journeys!!

Plan reward for successful completion of ALL goals! (that birthday massage voucher?)

Stay positive, think ahead, plan for Week 2 earlier rather than later



February:  18th – possibly (Boxercise Instructor course)

March 9th – 12th – Luxembourg weekend

March 18th – Mothering  Sunday … who knows what the kids will have planned lol

April 5th to 12th – Holiday w/ in-laws and no control over food!

April 15th – Marathon …. Dinner is likely to be BIG (but think I’ll have earned it?)



Monday –  Fitness (SSS?) – GYM

Tuesday – Fitness – Outdoors

Wednesday – Toning + Karate – GYM

Thursday – Fitness + Kickboxing – GYM

Friday – Toning – Outdoors

Saturday – Kickboxing (erm …. Rest day? Not quite, but can’t organise it any other way)

Sunday – Light fitness, core and stretch – Outdoors


Online shopping as always (that way I’m not tempted walking down aisles!). Thursday afternoon is when I plan the family meals (kids’ meals and OH and my meals if ‘alterations’ needed, e.g. kids hate lentils so salad instead etc.).  Shopping arrives Friday morning. I’m not planning ‘cooking days’ because I hate freezing and defrosting (don’t ask me why) … I cook from fresh every day and count myself extremely lucky that I have the time to do it.


4-week milestones:

Weight loss:  4 lbs/1.8 kilos

  • Tick off 4 weeks COMPLETE of 12wbt
  • Running goal:  10k-15k LSD
  • Rowing goal: 500/400/300/200/100 in under 6 minutes
  • Kickboxing:  Combos sorted and learned
  • Pilates: Try not to die of boredom *yawn*

8-week milestones:

  •  Weight loss: 6 lbs to date = 2.7 kilos
  • Be proud of Easter holiday nutrition-handling without offending in-laws
  • Be proud of exercising EVERY day in Geneva
  • Running:  2 x ½ marathon LSDs
  • 8 weeks of 12wbt ACCOUNTABILITY (expecting a few tough days …)

12-week milestones:

  •  Weight loss maintenance
  • GO FOR IT attitude for last 4-week stretch
  • Steady running and BRIGHTON MARATHON
  • DON’T RUN AWAY FROM THAT DAMN FINISH LINE (my usual habit which is not going to beat me this time. It WON’T!!)
  • REMEMBER: The road continues on the other side of the Finish Line
  • JFDI
  • CRUNCH TIME …. READY OR NOT READY FOR ULTRA?? (2 weeks to go …)
  • Kickboxing … BLACK BELT GRADING … hmmmmm!  Am thinking … November!
  • SIGN UP FOR ROUND 2 to consolidate, regroup, refresh, smash some new goals!


There are no problems, only challenges

Ooooo it’s getting close to kick-off and I’ve had a much better week than last week. The challenges (did I tell you that I am NOT doing ‘problems’ this year??) are being tackled and I’ve managed to turn my mindset around and it’s going well.

Challenge No. 1 … No running?  Well, after going nuts not being able to run for supposedly two weeks, I ‘almost’ made it to the end, but the pull was just a little too much but I’m ultra proud of myself for not leaping onto a treadmill and attempting a 5k. Nope! I’ve been soooo good. On Thursday, I did a very gentle 20 minutes of Run 1 min/Walk 1.  On Friday I did 5 x Run 1/Walk 1 followed by 5 x Run 1/Walk 30 secs. Sunday I went for 15 x Run 1/Walk 1 … and yesterday (Monday) I did 10 x Run 2/Walk 2.   Knee report? Fair to middling! No swelling in left knee. Right knee is constantly niggling (which doesn’t bode well for marathons and ultras – Argh!) – but it’s not any worse at the end, so I’m going to continue with the run-specific resistance training and building up my runs now. We’ll see.

Challenge No. 2 … How to burn 500 cals?  Up to now I’ve been working out and simply checking out my calorie burn afterwards. With 12wbt looming very large now, though, I decided to do a more calorie-specific workout yesterday, so rather than thinking that I’d just have to work harder or longer to get to those 500, I wanted to see what I could do most efficiently to hit the 500 without ‘dreading’ it. Psychologically, that’s going to work much better for me. Well, Whoop! Whoop! I was actually really pleased (and relieved) with the result. Steady 30 mins on the x-trainer + 25 mins spin and a gentle jog brought me to just over 500+. Now I have a plan – Yay! I can increase the pace on the x-trainer, throw in a 2k row or a few 500m sprints, step up some intervals on the treadmill and I now KNOW that I can get those 500 done in less than an hour. For me, that’s a vitally important piece of information, so I’m happy.

Challenge No 3: … How to survive Pilates class …………….. The jury’s still out *yawn* lol

Challenge No 4: … Interview today at 1 p.m. ……………..  (the editor refuses to comment)

Mantra for the Day: I’m good at what I do, I’m good at what I do, I’m good at what I do …

Rollercoaster Week!

Up, Down, Stress, Screaming, Upside Down, Excitement (ok, let’s not push it!), Round in Circles, Relief, End up back at the beginning.

Rollercoasters! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! I’ll jump out of a plane any day, but please don’t ask me to get on a rollercoaster! Ever again! This week has come close to the feeling I get when I see a rollercoaster, although at least on the playground ride I can shut my eyes.  I tried to shut my eyes sometime Wednesday, tripped over the dog, bashed my elbow on the bannister and tumbled down the step. Nope! Closing my eyes wasn’t going to work this time.

(Can I just pause here to say that I have just this minute BLOWN MY CALORIES????)

Now … where was I? Oh yes. Trying to say goodbye to this week and look forward to the next one. In retrospect it wasn’t that bad – or perhaps I’ve already changed my perception and I’m forcing myself to look at the positives and attempting to use the negatives as mini trampolines which I can spring off in the hope of landing on a positive?

Ok, enough with the crap analogies. The crux of it is that my business is currently swirling down the plughole. My youngest son is desperately struggling to keep head above water at school, which worries me constantly and tears at my heartstrings since his perception is that everything’s going ok – and then his heart breaks when he fails all his exams. He doesn’t cope well (Asperger’s). And I could list another truckload of negative stuff but then that would be really depressing. And did I mention that I’ve just blown my calories – again??

On to the positives because I need to land firmly with both feet on a positive. Here goes …

I have an interview for a job at a gym on Tuesday.

I’ve started tracking what I eat again and yesterday was a good day. Today was great up until about half an hour ago, but I’ve typed it ALL into MFP. Do you think MFP will crash if my daily calories go into five-figure numbers?

I’ve reduced my Exercise cals on MFP to something slightly closer to what my hrm told me. Kickboxing for an hour this morning gave me 398 calorie-burn. MFP tells me I should’ve burned 480 in only 45 minutes!! HUGE difference. Am being honest and going with my hrm.

I’ve started running – if extremely tentatively. I’m worried about my right knee – but am building at a pathetically slow rate and am determined to keep it at that pace, even if I have to put off some of my running goals until next year! I WILL return to running. It’s just going to take a little time. Patience, Amanda, Patience!

I AM getting ready for lift-off at 12wbt. My nutrition is back to healthy, I just have to control the chocolate consumption – a few more days like yesterday will do it!

My little lad will be fine. I just have to work out some different ways to help him.

Rebecca thinks ‘Bedlam’ is a really nasty man who was on the Brighton trains this morning, which is why I had to drive S and K to the airport earlier. I never thought she’d fall for it … but she did! Bless her! How can you be grumpy surrounded by such innocence and delight? (note to self: explain about ‘bedlam’ to Rebecca before I forget lol)

Caitriona WILL get selected for NYT this year. She WILL!

Chris WILL get offered a university place.

Rebecca WILL! She just will!

Me too!

I will, too!

Pre-Season Kitchen Clear-Out Task

OUCH!!! I just received a very hard *smack* from Mish and I never even saw it coming, although I should’ve guessed, – my fault for watching the task ‘video’ too late. See, I saw the ‘makeover’ headline and guessed more or less what it was about and I’ve put it off for a few days … The last two days have been BA-A-A-A-A-D, to say the least, so it didn’t surprise me too much when I went to clear a few things out of my fridge and realised my aim for the dustbin was severely off … they kept landing in my mouth!! It was the sight of the cream egg wrapper on the counter that finally finished me off. I knew then that things were re-a-a-a-a-a-l-l-y bad! Time for a change of mindset!!

Came up to the living room and watched the video. It all makes perfect sense, of course. I mean, if the cream egg hadn’t been in the fridge I can honestly say that I would NOT have donned hat, coat and gloves and trundled off to the shop to get one! What I CAN say, though, is that there is still chocolate in the fridge. Chocolate for the kids. Will I eat it? No! ‘And how do you know that?’ you ask. Well, because I’ve have now moved on from this lousy start to February. Enough is enough. I am taking control of the ‘bad’ and moving forwards again – and once I have my head around something, there’s no stopping me (my friends can all vouch for that .. When Amanda gets in the zone, nothing gets in the way)!

I’m happy about that. I can feel the tide turning. I leapt off that ramp, had a reasonably soft landing (see blog of a few days ago), got up and proceeded to slip on a large pile of poo and land in it face downwards! I am now up, bathed, shaved (erm …?), dressed, shoulders back, head held high and I do believe I can see the start line over there!!

I’ve been back to the fridge! The kids’ treats are in a tupperware on the bottom shelf. The kids’ Coco Pops are still in the cupboard. See, I don’t eat that kind of stuff so it’s not a problem for me. If I was dying, you’d be hard pushed to get me to eat chocolate cereal – Eugh!! Should I give it to the kids? Well, that’s a whole other blog post, but I can’t see why not … because they will also eat porridge another day, a fruit smoothie another, an omelette for breakie the next … so why shouldn’t they eat kids’ cereal occasionally, too? Moderation! That’s my rule for the kids. And yes, they have chocolate on Friday and Saturday evenings!! They also have biscuits for snack – with a piece of fruit. One of my proudest moments was my brother laughing in total ‘awe’ one evening because all four of my kids were ‘fighting’ over the tomatoes and cucumber!! So I rest my case! Coco Pops can stay!

As for ‘my’ fridge? Well …. now I am going to allow myself to freely gloat. Or perhaps this is just testament to what Mish says … weight loss is 90% nutrition! I don’t have much weight to lose and, in fact, I am already in a healthy weight range and my weight loss goal is choice, not necessity … and PROBABLY because I can happily say that every single item on the ‘should-be-in-your-cupboard’ list is ALREADY THERE! The Pantry Essentials list is complete – without me even having to go to the shop. Yes! I’m chuffed with that! Because I lost 3 stone (approx 18 kilos?) a couple of years ago and … I guess this is how! My pantry is full of good stuff!

Signing off now … almost time to go kickboxing and get beaten up some more (but with gloves on lol).

My cheek is still stinging from the punishment for eating that cream egg. That’s it! It won’t happen again, I promise!

Not a good start …

At 11.10 p.m. last night – 31 January 2012 – I’d have a wonderful day. I’d spent the day reassessing my business and personal goals and had one of the most constructive days in a long time. I took so many positive steps and toddled off to bed feeling extremely upbeat and looking forward to February. At 11.30 p.m. I realised I’d left my phone downstairs. Upon retrieval I noticed I’d missed two calls. The two voicemails put paid to any positivity. I went to sleep with a heavy heart and woke up practically in tears.

1 February. My daughter tells me it’s the 33rd day of the year and since it’s a leap year, that means there are exactly 333 days left in 2012 – and I tell you what, if they’re all like effing 1 February I would like to opt out NOW, thanks very much!!

So what can I say? It’s been complete and utter shite, there’s just no other way of putting it! But far be it from me to hang my head for the WHOLE day (just half will do … and only when I think I might get some sympathy … ;0) … so I did in fact pick myself up from the depths of gloom and take myself to the gym. I’ve heard lots of talk about Body Pump and there was a BP class scheduled so I signed up. Erm ….. the jury’s still out, I’m afraid. Not quite sure what all the buzz was about. Maybe down to the instructor? I mean, I liked what was done and the sequences were fine and I was obviously using the right weights for me because I was definitely feeling the burn … but I hardly broke out into a sweat! Very disappointing. Came out of the class having expected to be exhausted and ‘pumped’ (pun intended)? Instead, took myself to the rower for some interval work to get my heart rate up (it didn’t go above 90 in the entire BP class!). The positive point in my day came when I decided to break my promise not to run for another week. I just needed to at least feel I was getting closer to be able to run again …. so I hopped on the treadmill. What I did was completely and utterly pathetic – 10 times 1 min run, 1 min walk – but I didn’t dare do anything else – and initially I was just going to do 5, so in fact I’m quite pleased with the result. Knees stayed intact. My right knee ITB didn’t twinge at all. My left knee was close to complaining but I gave it a very firm talking to and I think it knew by the tone of my voice not to bloody try it on today …. It shut up! Result!

Erm … 377 cals burned. Pretty miserable but let’s not push it. Karate tonight and that’ll bring it up to 500 provided I don’t get thrown out of the class for being so bad!!

February 1st = Nulles bloody points!

Hope to God tomorrow’s better.

p.s. Yes, there HAS been chocolate!

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