August 18th, 2008

Willow

Feel the fear

I put aside yesterday afternoon and evening for some personal time involving personal sorting out and organising.

I was scheduled to cook a dinner that I could freeze for meals for later. I did not. I couldn't find *anything* that remotely interested me ie that was not tomatoey and/or cheesy and interested me. I flicked through a Delia cookbook for vegetarians which looked interesting but everytime I found something that mildly piqued my interest, the ingredients list was so long I just knew it was going to be fiddly.

I was scheduled to bake two batches of muffins. I baked one, so that's not a total fail. And there are bonus points to be collected from a) having all the ingredients at home and b) mixing it up to include ingredients sitting around. I made coconut and pineapple muffins. I've finally gotten over packet mixes (there's something fake in them that is now starting to turn my stomach at the smell of it - powdered eggs? fake vanilla?). Anyway, it turns out it's actually just as easy to bake from scratch, especially if your pantry is organised. So one of the things I am going to do in the next month or so is get it stocked up properly for baking. It's much nicer to pick a recipe than have to get a book and whittle down your options based on the three ingredients in your house. AND I have a book launch to cater for coming up soon! Anyway, it also turns out that baking from scratch yields *2 extra* Texan-sized muffins than a packet mix. And they taste better!! And were technically free since I had previously bought all the stuff for other things.

Finally, I was scheduled to finish my study. Or at least the filing. I dunno. It's very odd but for some reason this is just some kind of a mammoth task. And it shouldn't be. I bought 100 manilla files so I don't have to be creative, I can start new files for any old thing as long is it goes in either the "TPP" or the "Home/Personal" drawer. And then it's *filed*. I suspect it's not the act itself that is horrible but in completing the act I will be forced to move onto the next ones and those are horrible. Sorting through crap I have been packing and moving for 7 years now. Why? I don't know. What's there? I don't know. Do I need it? Probably not. Yet everytime I rifle through the boxes or piles, I just give up and go back to whatever else I can find to do. I suspect that also fixing that up and having a perfectly tidy and organised study will mean that a) I have to tackle TPP/ASif! finances which requires a forensic audit that is going to hurt my brain a lot and b) there will be no excuses not to get back to work on the thesis.

But I'm determined to feel the fear and do it anyway. It just may take me another month or two, at this pace.

Also, what do you do with duplicate National Geographic issues? Do you keep them cause you don't mind cutting those ones up, later? Or is there somewhere you can swap for ones you are missing? I think I am going to end up at some point with a complete set from the 80s to now.
Willow

ATHLETICS!

Are there any athletics fans out there?

Did you catch the men's 10k run last night?!? OMG how great was that race???! I mentioned that I get to barrack for Kenya in the second week of the Olympics so I was having fun! Although the Ethiopians have been dominating this event for years! And also Eritrea has really been up there too the last few times. And then I saw Qatar and I thought WTF? But then the commentator says: "Qatar is letting the three Kenyans run for them" and I'm like ... oooooh!!!

I must admit I am quite getting into the fact that as borders open up and people migrate across the globe, all sorts of countries are now totally represented in events they wouldn't normally be. Personally, I am waiting for the Olympics when every single diver is Chinese. And I was reminded of that watching the 10K last night when 6 of the top 9 or something were actually of Kenyan birth. Didn't matter though cause the Ehtiopians were ON FIRE! OMG. It was something to watch especially in the last 5 laps or so, with the leaders spread out and just all matching each other in elegant style, running almost in time. And they were running 400m laps in about 65 secs and then they put on the moves and Bekele comes out to the front and literally *sprints* the last lap - after running 29 laps in 65secs each. And as he comes down the back straight he is LAUGHING! Omg!! So great!! Such a champion.

Willow

Am I thin yet? I thought I'd be thin by now.

So it seems like a good time to take stock of things, especially as I am just ramping up to tackle another element in the "getting my shit together" program.

We've been training with our trainer for about 3 months now I think and I have also been doing extra stuff at work since the beginning of the year. When I signed up, I thought that I'd certainly be on the way to being at target 8 months later. But it seemed that actually kicking into weightloss took much longer than I thought. And it's been slow going. On the weekend, I was at K's so I weighed myself since those are the scales the trainer is using in my "file". And I was disappointed to find I had only lost 2 kgs. I think the work gym scales say about 4kg. Either way, it's not where I thought I would be by now. (We are having measurements taken next session and that will look at whether I have changed shape, if not weight).

So ... taking stock of things, our trainer wants us to think up our next 3 month goals (bit tough not to feel defeated when I didn't meet my last one). So I was thinking about how I think I am going. I've always said here that the goal was to sign up for lifestyle changes that I am going to adopt and take with me through life. That this was the very last time at this size and with this kind of lifestyle and that there was an understanding that I would be setting in place changes to span the rest of my life. And yeah, that I guess means no quick, sharp movements!!! At the end of last week, I was feeling bad cause I didn't think I'd done that much exercise but then I thought about it and realised that I now consider a yoga class, a pilates class and one session with my trainer as base or a default amount of weekly exercise. And that's a heck of an improvement in terms of lifestyle and attitude from where I was at the beginning of this year. So .. that's progress, at least.

And on top of that. I am fitter than when I started - according to my latest fitness test. I am much stronger and much more flexible. And I can see some muscles in the mirror that I hadn't glimpsed on me in years. I have lost most of my stomach, which is always the very last place it goes on for me. And in some odd moments, I don't hate my thighs (mostly looking at them in downward dog pose!) And I have much less trouble, almost none, with my knees these days.

But at the end of the day, the one thing I haven't really tackled yet is diet. And that has to be the next phase that I concentrate on. I managed to quit most of the soft drink I was drinking. And I have mostly switched to skim milk where I was still drinking full (take away coffees etc) and I dropped a lot of the sugar from all but the first coffee in the morning. And I stopped always having cookies and cream ice cream in the freezer!

But it's not enough and so ... ugh. Now I have to look at the other bit of my lifestyle. My trainer is having me keep a food diary. And that makes eating interesting, in that it becomes something that you also start watching self consciously. And I bet a bunch of people out there will tell me that's how it's supposed to be. And I think that makes it even scarier.

It's weird to make a change in a habit. I've done a few this year and it's an interesting process. First you think, but I like doing x. I always do x and it makes me happy. I don't want to change. And then ... you start changing it and you might miss x or be a bit put out that you can't do it or you might feel amiss, what do you do instead??? How will I cope not doing x, which I like. And then one day, you've made the transition and you don't even notice that you haven't thought about doing x in ages. And you realise, that x is no longer part of your life, part of you, anymore. And then you kinda feel weird that it was part of your life for so long. And more than that, you're totally okay, better even, now that it's gone. And maybe, you don't even miss x. (insert a whole bunch of things for x)

So, the hardest thing is going to be looking at a bunch of my eating vices and having to give them up. The one I am supposed to be quitting is muffins for breakfast (note previous post). I'm compromising at the moment by making my own, controlling the ingredients and will eventually move em into more healthy flavours. I'm not a good morning person and don't really like breakfast so it's a tough one.

Instead, I am stealing K's not eating within 2 hours of bed. And so last night, I had dinner and a dessert and then said that's it, nothing else before bed. And that was at 7.30. And it was interesting to watch how many times I wandered into the kitchen after that. I'm hoping that I might get into drinking herbal teas at night - I'd like to be that kind of person (*grins*).

But at the end of the day, I have a couple of goals that I would like to meet by Xmas. I'm not gonna say what they are here. But K and I took this photo at New Years this year and we joked that it was our "Before Photo". And so we are going to take another photo at New Years and see if it can be our "After Photo". I'll blog it to keep us honest.
Willow

Throwing Down the Gauntlet. Maybe?

I like numbers, I've said that here before. And it's one of the main games I play to get through the Last Short Story reading. Mostly I am competitive and so I tally up what I have read, what the others have read, what I have to read to get done, how many I have to read per day to be done by a certain date, that kind of thing.

Today I thought I might need motivation so I tallied to see what had changed since last week - if someone adds something to the spreadsheet, the main way to tell is if your to read tally grows. Basically you can be running to stand still - and mostly that's from April till nowish, if you're reading daily. I'm not.

Anyway. My results showed that sometime in the last week, benpayne cracked the 2000 shorts read mark. Wow. I am in awe. I on the other hand, cracked the 1000 shorts to read mark. I'm not sure I've ever been that far behind before. (I've read 1500 stories exactly)

I wonder if I could take Ben from here? And if me wondering this here has him laughing cause he's probably read all the novellas and has just flash to go whereas I read in the reverse (shortest to longest) order?
Willow

My eyes!!!

Do you think as we battle to fight climate change and more people opt to bike to work, I will be forced to see yet more work colleagues in lycra?!

I'm not ready for that kind of thing, in yellow, first thing in the morning and I'm already grumping by 10 to 5 in the afternoon.

It's just ... awful.
Willow

OOH!! SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!

I just got called to see if I am prepared to sit in the audience for the Channel 9 Debate later this month. Hell yes I am!!! I'm on the standby list now cause I am a professional and they only need 10 professionals in the focus group. *hopes desperately for a professional to drop out*

Since I moved here, I've had a few cool things - Gallop Poll, this ... I get a bunch of stuff I say no to too. But I've taken a ton of surveys and things as well. So cool!
Willow

Aussie Specfic still cutting edge

Courtesy of deborahb

Scorched is a "what if" drama set in a climate ravaged Australia in 2012. Its premise is scarily plausible: Sydney has just weeks of water left in its dams and rain hasn't fallen in more than 200 days

2012 you say? Huh ... where'd I hear that before?

At its most basic Scorched is a 90-minute telemovie scheduled to air on Nine on Sunday August 31. But both before and after its free-to-air debut, viewers can enter the Scorched universe online via Scorched.tv, YouTube and social networking sites.

To supplement the basic show, creators Firelight Productions have developed 120 minutes of short web-only episodes and five fictional websites inspired by characters and organisations that appear in Scorched.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/web/twofaced-tv/2008/08/18/1218911522299.html
Willow

So naughty!!!

So this no eating after 7.30pm is really hard. I can only imagine how much I must normally eat. That's good right? To only focus on this for a while. I tried to limit the carbs in dinner and that was much much harder. Will fiddle with that I think.

Anyway. TV is incredibly boring right now. Although I am glad the athletics finals are in the evening. At least I get to catch some stuff live(ish).

But I've been nicking off to bed by 9,30 these days and relaxing. Which is weird for me. And I'm about to do that now and sneak off with something rather exciting that came in the ASif mail today. That's almost the naughtiest thing I can think of to do!!! I *should* be reading the New Ceres antho submissions. Tehani has read them all and had her say. So it's all down to me and the fact that I read slower and have less attention span than her. And I *should* post on the book that came in to someone who will read and review it faster than me. But I really want that book! I *should* write some of the other reviews I owe. But I really want that book. I *should* check it's not something for Lorraine cause it nearly always is. Or for Alex or Simon.

But right now, I am ignorant and am sneaking off with it to my bed. And you are the only ones who would a) see how naughty that is and b) see the delight in it too!