When you don’t meet a challenge have you failed?

Recently I took part in an 80 day fitness challenge.

The idea was the exercise/move every day for 80 days in a row. Before you think that the idea is insane and rest days are important, one of the options was stretching, which worked well for ‘rest days’. It was also a fundraiser for a wonderful woman raising money for Cancer research.

I went into the challenge full of enthusiasm and had planned out a countdown of days. It looked intimidating, but totally achievable. I enjoyed moving every day, and at the beginning of the week I would set out my days and what movements I would be doing. I used YouTube a lot and am so addicted to “The Fitness Blender” and all their workouts. I got stuck into the kettlebells and the DOMS were feeling good. By about day 25 I started to feel stronger, and better. The online support group was great, and it was good to go in and celebrate movements.

There was an element of nutrition that came into it, such as introducing more fruit and veg, which I eat anyway, and trying to cut back on alchohol..bonboooong.. THIS one may have definitely was my demise with seeing complete improvement.

We planned a trip away for the weekend for my eldest, who turned 8. That’s when it all headed south (literally). I believe it was around day 52. We spent the weekend away and I didn’t make it a priority. That‘s basically what it comes down to. Poor planning meant that I neglected to do any movement, thus disqualifying me from the challenge.

Now..there are two ways this could go. I miss a couple of days, pick myself back up and keep going with moving every day (because I genuinely enjoyed the feeling!) Or…. drop it and forget all about it. Going back to old habits and neglecting what made me feel good. You can guess which one happened. I fell apart. All the planning, all the moving. It stopped. Do I regret it? I don’t regret it, because I feel it’s a genuine lesson. I think the lesson I needed is to keep small goals in mind. Not grand ones. Think small, achieve big. I was able to go for 52 moving EVERY day. That is HuGE. To me, that is an achievement I should celebrate. So.. I am celebrating the fact that I was able to meet part of a challenge, and whilst I didn’t complete it to get a ‘medal’ at the end, I know that I’ve learned an extremely important lesson to me.

Starting today, I am going to plan one week ahead. No further. I will write out my workout/moving plans and stick to them. I will celebrate small victories and although the bigger picture will always be hanging on the wall, I will choose to look at the snapshots that will create good habits, and allow me to continue on a journey of life, love, health, and everything in  between.

Do you have any favourite YouTube workouts? Do you have a secret to motivation? Is it motivation, or is it planning?

Our Friendship Goes The (Running) Distance…

I have a little sister, her name is Lola.. Oh wait..hang on… wrong opening line!!

Actually, I have a little friend, her name is D….. and I lub her very much!

D and I have been friends for a little while now (thank you social media!) and we have a common interest (among many) of running. She introduced me to the wonderful, supportive, online group Operation Move and I haven’t looked back! Recently I flew up to see her for a visit, but also because she had convinced me to sign up for the Tour De Tambourine 10K run! Talk about crazy!!!

Flying to Queensland, I got off the plane and was immediately wrapped in a warm blanket of lov…..no, not love…it was humidity!! Oh My!!! That stuff is thick..and sticky!! Not used to that at all, but yay… Queensland.

Leading up to November, D and I had undertaken a 12 week training program with Operation Move, but had completed the training a few weeks before. Both of us were a little struggling with fitness, and decided we’d just spend this run as a fun run, not for any record times. This is why I think, and want to absolutely stress…. running with friends makes it fun!!!! I know that running can be a wonderful, individual time out from anybody (mostly the kids), pushing yourself to get your pace and fastest time, but running with a friend (my first time!) was soooo much fun!

tourdetamboWe picked up our race packets (so easy!) and I was so surprised that it had MY NAME on it!!! I was so bloody excited that I forgot I’d be pushing through 10k the next day!!!!

tambofriends

You know how running can be a mind game, and there is no “only” about it..if you do 1km, you do 1km, no matter how slow you go?! Well the lady who took our photos asked what distance we were doing and I made the mistake of saying “Only 10k”…both her and D corrected me, that it’s not just “only”….. remember that… no matter the distance, it counts! She also said to us “The Journey is Now” … that was really sweet. All the hard work we put in, and maybe the work we didn’t, now mattered! Not much else to do, we relaxed and drank coffee… a staple in our diet… and friendship!

We had a yummy Indian dinner, go check out the restaurant Masala Shanti if you’re ever there!

Race Day Ready …. lucky for the band aids in the cars first aid kit! I have a tricky little toe and without band aids I’m not sure I’d have a toe left …hah. tambostuffHow good does the Operation Move shirt look?? So incredibly honoured and proud to be able to wear it. This wonderful, online group of women prove every day that you can be all shapes, sizes, and ages to succeed, just by Moving!

tambocoffee

Mandatory Pre-Race Coffee It’s good for the lungs…seriously!

The event was well set up, and a great course. The only downfall, the lack of photographers on the course (We’d even discussed our photographic poses in the week leading up to the event!), and few marshals around the outer parts of the course (Oh, and the lack of bling *sob*) …Apart from that, it was a top notch event. Lots of hydration stations, although the water spraying we got at the end would have gone well throughout the course!!!
Since there were no photographers, it was lots of runfies and selfies!! So Much Fun! Going up

The hills...so many hills!!!

The hills…so many hills!!!

the hills killed, going down the hills..not so much! It was also nice to see other people out on the course from Running Mums Australia who were very supportive of their team mate who was walking/jogging with injury..I swear they clocked up heaps more mileage through doubling back!

The running community I’ve been able to witness really is a great one. As long as you’re out

ONE MORE KILOMETRE TO GO...we can do it (just don't stop on a hill - that was the advice of a pro running past us!)

ONE MORE KILOMETRE TO GO…we can do it (just don’t stop on a hill – that was the advice of a pro running past us!)

there – running, jogging, shuffling, or briskly walking…you’re a part of a super global community! There’s always someone there to encourage you to keep going, and someone letting you know you’re doing a great job, even if you’re internally struggling!

We finally got to the finish line and crossed over at the EXACT same time!!! *all of the smiles*

tambofinish

WE DID IT! …And all we got was a wrist band! I wore the ShIT outta that wrist band the next day! But seriously..we did it!!!

I’m so glad I got to go to QLD and run an event with a friend. No record for finishing. But it was all about the friendship, and going the distance.

I’m so glad that D is in my life. I’m so glad that she is my friend. Although we live in different states, our souls are still entwined.

The End.

Kara-Goucher

I have a Secret

At the beginning of this discovery, I had a goal. There was a goal to lose as much weight as possible, hopefully in the end, 20 kilos. There was also a tee is my drawer that had lived there for a very long time. It’s a ‘South Sydney Rabbitohs Women’s Fitted Tee’ and I have stared longingly at it for the better part of a year, trying it on and seeing it stick to my skin. Ugh. I refused to wear it, because it was horrible and it made me feel incredibly fat. As you know, I’ve lost around 10 kilos but quite often, I struggle with actually realising how much of an effort that really is. I grabbed the shirt the other day and I tried it on, curious to see if it finally fit. The joy I felt as it slipped over everything and DIDN’T cling! I was so excited!  Much to my Bulldog supporting, husband’s disgust, I could finally support my favourite Bunnies in public!!

I took a photo for evidence, and was actually impressed with what I saw. In all honesty, I didn’t even recognise myself. I still have a long way to go (in problem areas) but I promptly posted the pic on my Facebook account to share in my celebrations. From that, I received a lot of, “You look great, tell me how you did it?” and “What’s your secret?” I had to have a little giggle at the Secret question. These types of questions were obviously coming from people who haven’t been following my journey closely.  For those that have, you may already know the secret. For those that haven’t, I’m ready to finally reveal it. I’m about to tell you the secret to my success so far, but I can’t make any promises that you are going to like what I have to say.

The ways to lose weight successfully, according to what I’ve learnt:

You can’t just eat whatever you like

You have to count your calories 

You have to be accountable for ALL FOOD you eat, including the bad stuff

You have to sit up and take responsibility for the things you do

You have to stay focused on what you eat
(it doesn’t mean you’ll be eating rabbit food all day!)

You have to move……

Burning calories is the way to lose it and keep it off

You have to work-out in some form, 6 days a week

(that’s right, I said 6 days. I think this is the one that people will really cringe at. The crux of it is, not a lot of people want to do the work. To me that reads, not a lot of people are serious about changing themselves.)

I have been successful because I have made an effort to move around, jump around, burn calories six days a week. It takes determination and it takes a lot of focus, and me talking myself into it. I am not a morning person and in fact, I love my sleep, however as these results have started showing, I can honestly say that I love losing weight a lot more. I grumble, I groan and I complain to myself about having to do it, but there’s no other way to get the weight off, except for good old hard work. I know you want a magic pill, you want a super duper, awesome machine that you buy on tv, but I have used none of them. Before you turn around and say to me, I don’t have time, know that I have three children aged 1, 2 and 4. Even I have time to work-out. I have a few work-out DVDs and I use work-out apps on my phone. My current favourite is the Nike Training App (super awesome work-outs with prompts, videos and rewards!)

Another secret I’ve learnt is that you can talk to everyone about this journey and how you’ve done it, until your blue in the face. You can preach and try to convert them but……. No one is going to do anything until they are ready. I know that for the longest time I sat and said, “I want to lose weight” but I too didn’t want to do the work. I wasn’t serious about it. I’m serious now and as a result, I am seeing results. You have to commit. Plain and simple. Commit to a better you and it will happen.