Saturday, 30 March 2013

It was never about the Diet Coke

I've said it before and I'll say it again.

Sometimes I do stupid things and I don't know why.

Who decides to put a stop to a supersonic Diet Coke addiction on the Easter weekend?!
(ex) Diet Coke loverrrrrrr
Seriously - I don't make things easy on myself, do I?

Well, that's what I have done.  I am no longer a Diet Coke drinker.  I don't drink that stuff.  "Diet Coke?"  "No thanks."

It's been 8 hours and 2 minutes......................

I won't bore you with the ins and outs of my addiction - if you're interested you can read this post: My name is Kate, and I'm a Diet Coke addict  But just take it from me - I've been hooked for years, and up until 7am this morning, I have been drinking around 6-8 cans or bottles of Diet Coke a day.  It's been an addiction in every sense of the word.

Ever since my first 12WBT finale weekend, I've been aware that maybe this is something that I should consider stopping.  When you throw yourself head first into a complete health revolution
with a group of people doing the same, it's inevitable that they are going to have some
Last Diet Coke in the car
kind of opinion on your addiction to aspartame poison. :)  There's been many a sidewards glance across the dinner table from fellow 12WBTers, and many times I've physically hidden Diet Cokes from them - once I actually put a blanket over a carton of Diet Cokes in my car, just to avoid a lecture!  I know this has all been out of care - not that it makes it any easier to order in front of them! :)  It's not just 12 weekers though.  My family and friends are very intimate in the knowledge of my addiction.  So many of them do a shy little grin when I go to visit: "I bought you some Diet Coke."  Bless them.  Anyone who's been inside my car with the 10 cup holders can see the evidence themselves.  One of my friends felt the evidence once when the dregs of one 'empty' can dribbled on her toe when we were on our way out!  (Sorry, Leisa). My earliest memory of Diet Coke was going out for breakfast with my Auntie.  It was years ago and she was (is) my cool, closest to my age, Broadway actress, understanding, big sister type Auntie.  She ordered a chocolate chip muffin and a Diet Coke.  FOR BREAKFAST!  Awesome!  I'll have the same, thanks!  I knew she was cool!  Since then, over the years, that one Diet Coke has developed into a full blown habit.  The cool factor of course
Bye bye Diet Coke :(
lasted for that day - the addiction it turned into was something a lot more.  But my Aunt and I, we were the Diet Coke girls - we loved the stuff.  Interestingly enough, she gave it up a couple of years ago - something about a health problem - something I never bothered to ask more questions about - of course it wasn't ignorance.... But that's how it's been.  I drank it at 4:30am when I woke up, in the car, with every meal, before I went to bed, constantly at my desk, every time I went out for 'coffee', instead of alcohol - it was my coffee and my vodka, my food replacement and my right arm.

On Tuesday night this week I was out at dinner and somehow I made a promise to a friend, Ruth.  That this morning, at 7am, using parkrun as an event to mark this, I would stop drinking Diet Coke.  In essence, I was stuck on this goal that I had procrastinated for so long and this night I made a decision.  Well, to be more accurate,
a promise. #whydoesruthknowmesowell?!

So that meant 3 days of OD'ing on my last Diet Coke carton, prior to 7am this morning.  People were awesome in the lead up - a whole stack of 30+ers -- amazing women -- have made pledges to also give up soft drinks, specific food, and cigarettes today.  One of my workmates is giving up sugar this weekend - and another is trying to decide what he can stop just so he can join us in quitting something!  People have been lovely and supportive and it was a really nice lead up.

However..on Thursday afternoon I posted on Instagram a photo of my last Diet Coke bought from the work vending machine.  My friend Sarah commented on the picture, just an innocent, normal comment, but it sent me spinning.  She asked WHY I was doing this.

The handshake that sealed the promise!
Hmm yeah...well it's all nice and exciting until someone asks why! :)

I seriously stopped - I was stumped.  I DIDN'T KNOW!  "Because I promised Ruth" didn't seem to be a valid response.  Nor was it, of course, withstanding.


I truly, honestly, didn't know.  I spoke to some friends and they gave me some good reminders.  I spent an hour or so on Google last night and read about aspartame...phenylalanine... blah blah blah.  To be honest?  Nothing jumped out.  I just glossed over it.  I was still going to do this though!  I'd put it on Facebook!  I had to now!

But I needed a real reason.  It would never last unless there was a pretty damn good point for doing this.

Last Diet Coke from the work vending machine
My issue was - I know that it's bad for me.  I've been told why.  But do you know what?  I don't know that.  It's like when I quit smoking.  I knew that was bad for me, sure.  But could I see any effects at the time?  Not really...a few...but nothing like the gross pictures and scary stories you hear about.  It was the whole immortal teenager syndrome - I can't see it, so it won't happen to me.  I had to have faith that what I was being told - that smoking can kill - was true.  Fortunately I had the faith and I quit!  But I guess I am the type of person who needs pretty punchy reasons to do something.  I have felt no ill effects from drinking Diet Coke!  None whatsoever!  (Ok, my bank balance takes a slight knocking).  But really?  I've happy in my own little Diet Coke doesn't hurt, it doesn't make me sick, it doesn't give me yellow teeth or cause me to cough my lungs up....

I guess I had to treat it like when I quit smoking...just trust that when I'm told it's bad for me, that
7am today - it's time!
it's true.  Even if I don't feel any effects right now. But something wasn't sitting right.

Up until last night / this morning, I still didn't know exactly why I was doing this.  The promise to Ruth and the public statement on the 30+ Facebook page weren't enough to hold this up.  Yet I still decided to do it.

At 6:55am I finished my last Diet Coke.  I ran parkrun.  And then I was officially a non Diet Coke drinker.

The reason I did this, and the reason I have been crying on and off since 7am this morning, was something else that I have pieced together since last night.

I've got this friend who has been so supportive of all of this you see...she's smart and she's lovely and I respect her a lot more than she probably knows.  She said to me last night that she suspects that my addiction may be emotional rather than only physical.  <Insert-head-strong-no-way-is-this-emotional-what-are-you-talking-about-as-if-it's-emotional-teenager-rant-here>  But, ummm, that was it!

After I allowed myself to be honest and rationalise this, I realised that, that was the exact point.

Yes my addiction was physical and it's been a pretty good 'everything' replacement for so long - and giving it up I'll get headaches and withdrawals but I'll get through that.  But the real fear factor
Courtney and I at parkrun.  Court gave up Coke Zero too!
was this was my one last 'thing' left! Years ago I stopped drinking alcohol.  I still drink occassionally - but it's no longer a thing I turn to, I just enjoy it now and again.
Last year I quit smoking.  I no longer turn to cigarettes.
And of course I have been curing myself of emotional eating - I no longer turn to food.
And now I can't turn to Diet Coke??

What am I supposed to turn to now?


That's it!  That is why this is so big.  And that is why I had to do this.

It's just Moment #357 of this journey that I am on.  

I didn't cope well today.  I'm embarrassed to say that I turned to food.  But just for today.  I felt lost and naked and like I needed something to fill that void.  That was until I realised that I have a void!  Now that I realise this, I have to be brave and let it go.....

I've been sitting here reassessing my goals and reflecting on where I have been.  Alcohol,
Throwing the last can in the bin...
cigarettes, food, my beloved Diet was never about the Diet Coke or any of the other stuff. :) It was about me using and overdosing on stuff when really I need to be turning to myself.  Getting rid of each of those things, one by one, is all part of making me the best, healthiest and happiest person that I can.

My journey is about this girl below: raw - with no addictive poisoning overconsumed products to mask her anymore.

And very exciting.

Just me now.

Friday, 29 March 2013

I'd rather roll in mud

Have you ever tried any of those crazy fad diets before? The Grapefruit Diet? Apple Cider Vinegar Diet? Cabbage Diet? Cotton Ball Diet? (I wish I was kidding- Google it). A girl I worked with once was a Breatharian...she only 'ate' air and water...and the occasional mini Mars Bar...........

The question is...if you did one of these diets, how did that pan out for you? Did you last on it for a reasonable amount of time? I'm guessing that unless you possess a weird penchant for cotton balls (!) that these were just passing phases, something that you thought you might try? Did you stick to these things?

I was never a person who tried these weird diets. Prior to 12WBT I did Weight Watchers. And I
Boot camp location
tried the Reboot Juice diet for 1.5 days. That's about the extent of my diet reaches. I did however once try the Grapefruit Diet. I went out and stocked up on grapefruits. I'd never tried one before. But the diet called for it, so off I went. This was going to be The Best Diet Ever.

Grapefruits, I immediately discovered, are gross! Have out tried one before? Don't. They're tangy and taut and...yuck. That Best Diet Ever lasted for about a day. I was never going to stick to it. Being on a grapefruit diet when you hate grapefruits is like buying a purple jumper when you hate the colour purple. Why bother? You can pretend all you like but you're never going to wear it.

The same goes for exercise...

A few weeks ago I was sitting, forlorn and messed up after another cycling event that didn't go to plan. I've done a few cycling events or sessions, and I think every one of them has seen me at various points between crocodile tears and pretty impressive and dramatic near breakdowns. So I sat there, after another one of these torturous times, and one of my friends said to me: "You don't like cycling."


Of course I do! I do I do I do I do!

I do...

I don't. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I hate it! I actually hate it! I liked it once, years ago, but now...I think I just liked the idea of it. Learning this fact about myself was so refreshing. I hate cycling! I don't look forward to doing it, I'm really, really bad at it, I end up sobbing each time I do it. WHY ON EARTH did I continue to torture myself for so long by pushing myself to do something I hate? This does not make sense!

While this thought has been settling, coincidentally, last week ended up being a bit of a "Try All The Things" week. I have about 2-3 months worth of temporary gym memberships that I had won or been given. I decided to activate the first membership and start getting into gym classes. Apart
from a few classes I did about 10 years ago, I've never been a gym class person. Until now! I decided I would probably love classes now, so I scheduled in a few into my Amazing New Training Program for last week.

First up was Body Pump. It was shit! Seriously - I was so bored! And I only burned 100 something calories. I actually had to keep turning my head because I was rolling my eyes so much and I didn't want to be rude.  I couldn't help it - it sucked!

Next up was RPM. It was shit too! I nearly walked out halfway through. The only reason I didn't was out of respect to the instructor and I didn't want to disrupt the class. Again, I only burned 100 something calories. In a one hour cardio class! Pathetic.

The next morning I tried Body Jam. Same thing. Bored - too slow - 100 calories - waste of my time. I actually did walk out of that class halfway through.

Boot camp oh yes
I gave one more last ditch attempt to love the gym by trying out Body Attack. Admittedly I did enjoy it more than the other classes but really? I didn't love it. Not enough to sign up for a gym membership.

That night I was at my usual boot camp. I was lying on the ground of a football field, which was muddy and wet, looking up at the night sky with rain falling into my face, struggling to hold a weight above my head, getting yelled at. And I grinned. THIS IS WHAT I LOVE. I don't know what that says about me, that I prefer to be yelled at in the rain while rolling around in mud than prance around with 100% Lorna Jane decked up girls in an air conditioned gym!

LOVED this
Last week I also finally got back to dancing. That's a long story for another time but essentially I made it as a goal for 2012 and it's taken me this long to find the right class and to get the courage to go. When you're 141kg it's easy to find excuses not to go... But last week I found a class, I went and I loved!

I found this mega cool, indie dance school. It's like a secret underground hub where this unreal amount of kids converge like in an American teen movie. I felt like I was a part of this underground dance revolution...and this was before the class even started! And...the class is called "Musical Theatre Jazz." I KNOW!!!! It is perfect for me. I am unco and I didn't burn a heap of calories but that was absolutely not the point. I can tick off this goal, it's helping me with my theatre life and most importantly, I LOVED IT.

I also started my running training! Another thing I loved! Love my run coach, love my running buddy, love running.

I also did my 32km (33km) walk - that was ok :)  I'm not entirely addicted to walking but it wasn't
Warning: walking for 7 hours does this
bad.  The chafing on my arm was bad though!  Betadine & a bandage has helped that somewhat since.  I did parkrun and
ran 10km in the Brisbane Twilight Running Festival (I'm yet to tell you about that one) - but again, running = tick.  Did more boot camps - one along the beach - adore them.  Yesterday I had a bad day - went to boot camp - immediate smile on my face after.


You have got to find what you love!  I can't tell you the freedom I feel now that I can admit to
Love running.  Will run.
myself that I hate cycling and the gym!  I feel so free and like I'm not pretending to myself anymore.  Now hate is a very strong word - I'm not against these things - I will still do cycling in triathlons and there's a few classes I still want to try at the gym just out of interest...
but overall, they are, at the moment, just not for me.

And there's nothing wrong with that.


And what do you hate?  Feel the honest with yourself.  You don't have to love what your best friend loves.  Some of my closest friends are mad keen cyclists and others are gym junkies.  I think that's awesome and if anything I am envious of them.  It's just not for me though.   Maybe one day it will be?  But in the meantime I am going to listen to my heart more and stop wasting my life pretending that I love certain forms of exercise when I clearly do not.  I could join a gym and pretend to be a Les Mills loving, Lorna Jane wearing type as much as I want.  But I'm not going to
This makes me smile
stick to it if I hate it.  When you roll your eyes in the middle of a session it's probably a good sign that it's not for you.  No offence to people who like this kind of exercise - we're just different.  These people may not find any fun in bear crawls up a slope on a poorly lit field.  I get that.

You have to do what makes you draw your breath in, what gets you excited and what makes you want to move.  It's your body.  Stop wasting it pretending to do stuff you know, on the inside, you hate.  Stop crying on your way to boot camp each week if you in fact, prefer to do Xanadu 80's inspired aerobics videos in the privacy of your own garage.  It's ok!  Why are you pushing yourself to do stuff that you hate?  You know you hate it...STOP DOING IT.

Give me running shoes and the open air, or yell and threaten to give me burpees in the rain
any day.

Just don't make me eat any grapefruit.


That's the trick.

parkrun last Saturday

Cool down at run training

Mud soaked shirt before work #noshower #sacrificeimakeeachday

Rest day today


Sunday, 24 March 2013

32km and a whole lot of stats

So I made this challenge for myself for my birthday: to walk 32km. I make weird challenges for myself, don't think about them until the day before then just go and do them. This goal was moreso a personal challenge for me: I've only ever walked or ran 11km before and I thought it'd be a 'nice' representative-y thing to do to celebrate my birthday. #yesimaweirdo

Well finding 6-7 hours free to fit this in proved a challenge - and I have put it off and put it off for almost 2 months now.  Until today.

I did it!

I mapped my walk beforehand and decided to tie it in with parkrun which I had planned to do today. I decided the 5km from parkrun could be included in the 32. I also wanted to try and get a personal best of 35min.-something at parkrun- or at least under 37:30. Yeah good one Kate - try and get a PB amidst a 32km walk? Well, I did it. I walked/ran the 32km and also got my PB. Such a big morning. Here are my stats:

The awesome Bron & Court
32: How many km's I planned to walk/run.

33.11: How many km's I ended up walking/running.

3:10: What time I got out of bed.

4:23: What time I left my house.

10:00: What time I thought I'd get home.

11:45: What time I actually got home.

7:22: Elapsed hours on my Polar including breaks, parkrun & traffic lights.

6: Breaks/times I stopped. Before and after parkrun, 2 sunscreen breaks and 2 "I need to rest" breaks.

1: Number of taxi drivers who stopped and asked if I needed a lift when I was walking in the dark :)

2: Number of girls I saw along the way who I haven't seen since school! 1 was doing parkrun...the other was drunk outside a club :)

5: The number of houses I walked past that I used to live in.

21: Approximately the number of shops/Churches/buildings etc that I walked past that I hadn't noticed before. You see so much stuff when you just walk. Interesting things just down the road from me that I never see when zooming last in my car.

4: Litres of water that I drank while walking.

0: The amount of times I needed to go to the toilet. A radiographer recently told me I apparently have some kind of supersonic bladder...

1: % of phone battery I had when I got home!

48:48: My first 5km run time in September.

41: My parkrun 5km run time on Brisbane finale weekend.

38:19: My Mooloolaba 5km run time from last weekend.

35:31: My time today baby!

2: The beautiful girls who coached my running towards the end of parkrun. Today was struggle street.

0: How many injuries I got!

2: How many arms now have a stinging rash from rubbing on my sweat damp shirt & backpack :(

2: The gorgeous friends / 12WBTers who met up along my 32km path and walked some of it with me - actually they walked a lot and I'm so proud of them.

1: Times I thought I might throw up while running.

16: How many times I was thankful my brother has awesome taste in music as I borrowed his iPod as mine broke in the triathlon water incident.

10: On a scale from 1-10 how much my butt, legs and feet currently hurt. Joking, but they are really sore!

3121: Calories I burnt!

91: Photos I took.

38: The number of which were selfies ;)

15: How many minutes it took after getting home to end up in an Epsom Salt bath.


So that's how it was! All done now. I'm not about to go and do that again- that was a special occasion for sure. I am really proud I did it though and of my 35min time.

I have to rest up now...the rest of the days activities involve sitting in my car, at a restaurant and at a theatre so it shouldn't be too strenuous. Which is good because tomorrow is a bit of an exercise filled day: Sunshine Coast Margie boot camp / Mish and Commando workout / 10km Brisbane Twilight Running Festival. Lucky I love it, huh.

Off to pick up my race pack for tomorrow...see ya x

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Neck fat, feeling like an athlete and crying in the spaghetti aisle

So many many things to tell you...random stuff, all out of order...just for something different...

Firstly...I was taking a photo of my back in the mirror the other day...before you think I have a secret fetish for backside selfies, it was just to check how bad my rolls of fat on my back were before I wore a certain top.  Anyway I took this random photo - for my eyes only - until...I looked at it.  I truly didn't recognise myself.  It reminded me of a couple of photos I took last year.  So I found the photos and it made me take note of how our bodies change in different areas.  My neck/chin fat is going...some of my rings now fit on my fingers again...I've dropped half a shoe size...these things are just as valid as the scales.  I thought my green 30+ shirt in the picture looked kind of good when I tried it on when I got it this day...

Back/chin/neck fat comparisons.  Left photos: 2012 sometime.  Right photo: this week

The amazing Corinne
I did the Mooloolaba Twilight Run!  And it was awesome!  It was such a fun event.  The support was amazing.  I felt like I had this beautiful support around me - the spectacular Corinne offered to be my cheerleader for the night - and in the lead up.  She was gorgeous in every way and was like my little pocket rocket of advice and love.  My beautiful friends Cathy and Sarah said that they were going to run with me so I wasn't alone.  Then I had the amazing Katie, Sonya and Lyndall and others there and online helping pick up race packs when I was stuck in traffic.

And then on the actual run, the crowd were amazing!  I haven't been to an event with so many spectactors along the way before!  There was so much atmosphere!  There were even little kids (and adults) putting their hands out from the sidelines along the course, for us to high 5 on the way.  The first time it happened I was thinking it must be a mistake, they must have a friend running behind me.  But no, they wanted to high 5 all of the runners!  To see these little kids faces filled with excitement to touch a runners hand- little did they know that myself, as a runner, was way more excited than them to be high 5'ing THEIR hands.  It was just beautiful and by the end of it I was high 5'ing everyone like I was in the Olympics or something - I felt like an athlete hahaa! :)

Sarah and I sprinting to the finish
It all went well - my foot held out and I actually credit that to me resting it in the lead up.  I was really proud of myself for doing that as I am not a patient 'rester' as you probably have noticed.  Also there were hills throughout the course and I coped fine.  The amazing Leanne helped me with a technique for my breathing anxiety issue and it has been working so well for a month now.  I may have just fixed that issue for good.... We'll see. :)

Anyway all was going ok - Cathy forced me to run on separately to them so I could make my personal best time.  When I say 'forced', let's just say that you do not argue, when in the middle of a 5km event, Cathy Sheargold completely stops, plants her feet on the ground and refuses to move unless you run off.  I will never forget her face. ;)  "Go Kate, go!"

Number 82 baby
I was going to write a post about how I still feel conflicted about either running with friends or running for my own time...but I won't.  I know I'm a respectful person and would never hurt anyone intentionally, ever.  I'm slowly learning to tell the difference between times when you run with your mate, and other times when your mate says to go for it - go for your own goal and not feel bad.  Friday night was a test of this.  I feel really uncomfortable still, but I know Cathy and Sarah were supporting me by telling me to go.  And then there was Cathy's face...I had no choice but to run ahead..TRUST ME. :)

So I did.  I have never run so fast before.  My heart rate got up to 198.  I was almost at the end and I looked and realised I could smash my goal.  I saw what I thought was the end banner and I went nuts.  I was sprinting like I have never sprinted before.

My insane heart rate
I got closer - and when I got to the banner, I realised that was not the end banner.  There was another one!  It wasn't that far off - maybe only another 40m or so.  But my body had had it.  I don't know what it was - I think I had pushed my body to its absolute limit for a certain distance.  And when I had to suddenly continue on further, even just a little bit, I physically couldn't handle it.

The gorgeous Cathy and Sarah
I have never felt this before, but all of a sudden, I could feel this wave of lactic acid rise - from my legs, up up up up through my body.  I needed to throw up.  If I wasn't so damn close to the end of an event where I was trying to make a personal best, I would have stopped and thrown up - I could barely even run.  My body was shattered.  I had Corinne and friends on the right cheering my name, I had the actual finish banner and cameras directly in front of me, and I had a fairly clear left hand side - where I wanted to throw up.  What did I do?

I kept going.

And I got my PB :)  I didn't end up throwing up but far out I have never felt that 'lactic rise' before!  It was the weirdest feeling!

Tonight's the first night of The Biggest Loser 2013 series.  I am surprised at how overwhelming this is.  Last years series was one big inspiring motivation for me to kick off my own weight loss.  To sit here tonight, the following year, it feels really strange.  My life has done complete back and side flips since the last series.

There's a funny internet meme that I saw today (see picture).  It's true!  I used to sit and watch the show and gorge myself on food - and yep, cry into my ice cream over it.  I knew what they were going through, yes.  But I think the main reason I would cry into my ice cream was mainly because I wanted it so much for myself but I didn't know that it was possible.  As I sit down to watch the first episode of this years series, I've lost 40kg.  I follow 12WBT and do what Mish says to do, just like she tells them what to do on the show.  Last years winner (Margie) is now training me.  And instead of feeling completely alone in empathising with the contestants, I've now found a whole group of friends who 'get it' too.  And we're not just watching it, we're doing it, too.

I went to Coles earlier today and was feeling like I wanted to buy some crap to eat.  I think the biggest reason was habitual.  I was about to sit down and watch The Biggest Loser.  That's what I do when I watch The Biggest Loser.  I buy bad food then cry into my ice cream.

Well, actually, no.  Not anymore.  That was soooo 2012. ;)

I was in Coles - and I had basically made the decision that I could binge.  Bear with me for a second.  

I walked around aimlessly and instead of buying crap, something inside me had changed.  I walked down an aisle to hide my face because I started crying.  I pretended to be really interested in organic spaghetti so that no-one would see the crazy blonde chick crying in Coles.  Why was I upset?  I realised that I don't do that anymore!  I didn't want to buy that stuff!  I don't know what came over me but I left that store without the bucketloads of junk I considered buying.

I'm not there yet but it's overwhelming to think my life is so different to a year ago.

What's that quote again?

"A year from now, you'll be so glad you started today...."

Leaving you with some words that the beautiful Corinne said to me today...this is what I have been learning this past year and continue to do so, every day:

Dream big and work hard - nothing is out of reach with great support xx

At the start line :)

Kate McGee and Sarah McGee

Mooloolaba Twilight run - fantastic event

Fireworks after were special