Friday, 21 February 2014

Introducing...Operation Home Run

Usually when I do a 12WBT round, I spend some time in the last few weeks preparing for the next round.  I try and focus on getting pre-season done, and at the very least map out my goals and upcoming plan.  So by the time the round starts, it’s a fresh beginning and I
have some exciting things in place to look forward to and can hit the ground running.

When I was doing Round 4 though, I was so completely focused that sometimes I’d come up for air and realise I had nothing ready for the next round.  I knew this was the case and I just let myself be aware of it.  I was so focused on Operation Birthday that I purposely didn’t plan ahead for the February round.  To reach my Operation Birthday goals, I knew that I needed 120% attention and that meant having tunnel vision of the current round and not splitting focus.  I put everything on the back pedal with it.  I made no goals for the following round, did no pre-season, I didn’t even let myself sign up to the next round until after my birthday.  I was so aware of this and just told myself I’d deal with it when it came along.  

I told myself I’d do Round 4.  

And then when that finished, I would do the February round. 


Which is how, including adding on the whirlwind of the last few weeks, I’ve found myself in Week 3 with no goals, no pre-season done, no preparation, off track etc.  I’m proud of myself though because I haven’t let it derail me.  I’ve just accepted how things are and as a natural progression, albeit a few weeks later, have moved on.

Its taken a little longer also because I’ve been dealing with PFB (Post Finale Blues, an actual condition).  It’s inevitable and happens after every finale.  Particularly this latest one for me.  A crash was always going to come, I even estimated when it would hit!  I was way off in my estimation though as it surprisingly hit me immediately after finale.  Like at the end of the actual day – BAM!  It took a good week to get through it.  I also struggled because health and fitness wise, things have been SO epic for me lately, that I didn’t know where to go from here!  A lot of people asked me at the end of the festival “so what’s next?” and this question freaked me completely out.

I’ve processed it all now so I can more eloquently understand why it scared me so much.  It’s because the question felt so final!  Having people ask you that makes you feel like something's finished.  What do you mean what’s next?  I’m still going!  I’m not even close to my goal weight yet.  I have a marathon to run.  Soooo much more.  I aint done yet!  Nowhere near.  I think I knew where I was going but because I was so focused on last round and hadn’t planned the next one, people’s innocent question made me doubt what I already knew, and doubt myself.  There was nothing to question.  It took me a little soul searching and time, but I realised what I already knew.  What next?  Umm, I keep going! :)

So...I've worked it all out.  My new Operation needed no consideration.

Operation Home Run.

That's what I'm doing!  I am now on my way to my goal weight and it's close enough for me to actually aim for it.  When you start out and you're 141kg, your goal weight is not at the forefront of your thinking.  That comes later.  And for me, that time is now.

Step #1 was for some reason me suddenly deciding that I NEEDED a DEXA scan.  Like
There's always time for a gown selfie
right then and there.  I've been putting off getting one done for over a year, partial laziness, partial financial.  But last week I decided I need to get one immediately.  For those not in the know, a DEXA is kind of like an X-ray that shows your bones, muscle and fat, and measures how much each weighs.  It then gives you a ton of stats and explains realistically where you should be, based on your own body, not that of an outdated BMI chart...

There was a time where I chose my goal weight based on whichever eating disorder had it's grips of me at the time. If I described the levels of my obsession and the extreme numbers I chose back then, you would think I was a little crazy. Booking a DEXA marked an end to that 16 year old mentality I've held onto by a futile thread for all these years.  The information in DEXA scans is dictated by the biological make up of our body, muscle mass, water composition and a whole stack of stuff I don't know the first thing about. It's sciencey / factual stuff. All I know is that it's not created by a semi anorexic 16 year old girl who will do anything she can to get to the number she decided upon in drama class with only an emotional basis to guide her. Nor is it made up by some adult Who. Doesn't. Understand. and who just says I'm big boned. This is factual stuff and I decided I was ready to listen. I was starting afresh this week - but I couldn't start afresh until I knew where I was going. I need goals and focus to go on. I told myself that I'd take onboard what they said and accept it maturely.

Getting a DEXA was going to be one of my goals for sometime this round, but on Friday I decided that I needed it NOW.  I managed to book one for Monday and WOW.  It was AMAZING.
First time I have ever been recommended/regular/NORMAL!

The coolest thing that came out of it was hearing that my body fat percentage is currently in the 'Recommended' range for a female of my age.  I HAVE NEVER BEEN IN THE RECOMMENDED RANGE FOR ANYTHING, EVER!  This made me so happy.  Not because I was already 'there', but because, for one of the first times in my life, I felt normal.

I was at the higher end of the range, but that's ok.  Higher end of the range is still in the range! :)  I also got told I have really strong bones.

Here's my scan (it's a little confronting and I hate the way fat looks so squished up on the scans! I've seen my friends scans and this is normal, but still, it's embarrassing!
My DEXA scan

  • The blue is bone, the red is muscle and the orange is fat.
  • Yes I DEFINITELY recommend getting one done. I wish I had done one 50kg ago for comparison!
  • The company I went to was awesome & the lady I had was great and really explained it all and even explained things further on the phone when I rang back later with a question (for those in Brisbane, it was Body Composition at Morningside - awesome).
  • I thought they'd give me a goal weight but they didn't. Instead they gave me: my total kg's of bones, my total kg's of fat, my total kg's of muscle (including blood / water / everything else) and my total kg's of everything BUT fat. 
  • The lady didn't try and coerce me into choosing a safe goal weight of anything annoying.  She just gave me the facts and said that I can decide, and that it just depends on what my goals are.  
  • My lowest recommended weight is 22kg heavier than my goal weight...
  • I don't agree with this - I know my body close to the weight they suggested and it is certainly not my goal weight.  In saying that, I still took it all in.
  • Check out my leg muscles ;)  Cathy said I have runners legs :)
As I had preempted, it was a little overwhelming to listen to, let alone accept what I was being told.  They told me what my weight was without any fat. So basically my bones, muscles, blood, water, organs, you name it - everything except for fat - and a weight for that.  To give you an idea, my goal weight I've been harbouring up till now is 3kg lighter than that amount.  So imagine my body, take 3kg of bones and muscles away, then take away every single gram of fat, that's what weight I was trying to get to.  No matter how lean I want to be, we all need fat to survive, so my goal weight immediately became defunct.  If I wanted to get to this goal weight, I would have to lose muscle mass and bone density in order to do so lol - because everything in my body ASIDE from fat is already 3kgs heavier than my goal weight.

It was so interesting.  And to be honest then left me with a confusing decision to make.  I thrive on numbers so I needed one!  I can change it but I needed one for now!  I've already changed my goal weight once since starting this whole thing.  Changing it again was scary!

I spent the next 2 days gathering advice and thoughts.  I spoke to many friends.  I spoke to friends who are my height and compared our weights - which is something I don't usually do.  I researched runners - and whether distance runners generally lose or gain muscle mass.  It's one thing for me to estimate a prediction of fat loss, but who knows what my muscles will do?  I asked the Dietician who was a guest speaker at Marathon School.  I studied the DEXA scan results.  I asked running groups advice.  I studied photos of me from years ago when I was a lot lighter.  This was going to be the most informed goal weight anyone had ever made lol.

Finally, I have settled on a new goal weight.  I'm not completely happy with it, it scares me and was hard for me to accept.  But I'm trying to not be 16 - and instead be realistic and smart.  To be completely honest there was a 5% decision component which was derived from my inner 16 year old AKA stubborn set in my ways self.  But that's ok, I can deal with that small part.

And so yesterday I woke up, and began Operation Home Run!  Aside from my very well thought out new goal weight, this is my basic plan:
  • My new goal date is Wednesday 2nd July.  This is a few days before I run my first full marathon.  Am I planning for another epic week, or what? :)
  • Operation Home Run has Stage 1 and Stage 2.  Stage 1 is the rest of this round -
    My new 'yellow dresses'
    there's only 9 weeks left - because I have taken my sweet time to start!  And Stage 2 will be the next round.  I plan to hit goal by Week 9 in the next round.
  • I have a new 'yellow dress' - I now have Operation Size 10 Red Dress and Operation Size 10 Pink Underwear.  We’ve had the yellow dress, the blue dress and we still have the green dress (when I can get around to updating it!) so it only seems right that we have a red dress to complement the rainbow. I bought the red dress ages ago, like 2 years ago at least, specifically for an ultimate goal dress. It’s not exactly my favourite style, but I liked it, it was a little more expensive than I normally spend on dresses (I am such a cheap clothes person) so it felt special, it’s RED and it is Size 10. It’s now time to do an operation to fit into this. When I bought it, I decided that I would have a special night out when I reach my goal weight, while wearing this dress, and I still intend to. The underwear set I bought when I won a Triumph voucher through 12WBT in my early days from a weekly challenge. Instead of buying something I could wear at
    A long way to go!  Week 1
    the time, I bought a goal set: Size 10, pink. I’ll share my weekly progress in the red dress…and no, I won’t be sharing the pink underwear photos. :)  At the moment the dress doesn’t even go around me. And the underwear, I am so stoked they go on! Like the bra does up! Size 10 actually does up! But of course ‘doing up’ and ‘fitting’ are two separate things…lol let’s just say they will be brilliant before photos. So I will keep the pink underwear photos to myself but will do the regular red dress photo thing on my Instagram and on here.
  • I'll have a new goal sticker chart and have restarted my Rewards jar at empty (as I have spent Operation Birthdays money!)
  • Still to do: pre season, my training plan, fixing up my inspiration wall, redoing my Rewards chart.  I have this amazing Rewards list - of things I get when I get to certain goals.  It's so good but it's also so out of my budget that I can never afford to actually buy myself the rewards!  So I'm going to do a more realistic one.
  • I've semi prepared the rest of the weeks food to start off with, but on the weekend I plan to do a decent sized cook up and get back into prepping my meals on a weekly basis.
  • And, I've set my weekly mini milestones / personal challenges!  I have 3 to carry over from last round.  And even though it's already Week 3, I am still going to fill in those weeks, so I had better get moving!  My weekly challenges:
WEEK 1: Get my 1st DEXA scan.
Done! :)

WEEK 2: Girl In Blue
This is carried over from last round because I didn't get to it.  Basically this one is finding a police, fire or defence force etc. fitness test, and aiming to get to a fitness level where I would pass the test.  Just for fun!

WEEK 3: For: Me
Another carried over goal.  This is a nice one...I just have to do something for myself.  I have no idea what yet, but it will be good!

WEEK 4: Butterfly immersion!
I can't believe I didn't think of this earlier!  My friend Bron went to Cairns last week and went to a butterfly sanctuary!  She sent me a video of her in there, with butterflies landing on her, because she thought of me.  I so want to do this!  I just have to find one a little closer to home.

WEEK 5: Run the Gateway twice.
There's a long bridge here in Brisbane called the Gateway.  Actually there's two of them.  I've run over one of them once before, so just for fun I want to run it twice.

WEEK 6: Fly Like A Bird and Glide Like A Swan
Another one carried over from last round.  I've explained the deeply emotional story on earlier blog posts, but basically this goal is to go to a theme park and go on a ride and not flood it.  Because this happened to me years ago and I haven't been on one since. :(

WEEK 7: Buy togs.  Wear togs.
So a few months ago I went away with some 12WBT friends for the weekend.  We stayed in a place by the beach, that had a pool, sauna and spa.  And this is when I realised, that I don't own togs (swimmers)!  My friends went to get changed and I just was there in my just never occurred to me!  I mean, I've owned them as a kid, and I did have some boardies years ago, but really, I don't own togs.  141kg people don't own togs.  (Well, I didn't).  I'm so nervous to do so, so this is why this is a goal.  And you will note the second part to this goal - I have to actually wear them, too!

WEEK 8: Beach workout.
My friend Courtney does beach workouts and they sound so cool!  I've done boot camp on the beach etc. but one day I want to drive to the beach like her and do a workout like she does and then go for a swim in the ocean to cool down!

WEEK 9: Iceskating
This is one Court thought up.  I love it!  I haven't been since I was a kid - can't wait!

WEEK 10: Run Mt Coot-tha's loop road
I always have to have a Mt Coot-tha related goal...this one is to run the 10km loop round that goes up and down and around the mountain.  When I did my first exercise stint on the mountain about a year ago, one of the 12WBT girls ran from her car, up the mountain to join us.  I was so amazed and impressed that she could do this.  She was so fit and I was in awe.  So I wanna do it now.  But the whole 10km hilly loop road!

WEEK 11: Find a new mountain to climb
I've done the 3 I usually do, a fair bit.  Time to spread my mountain climbing wings a bit, and find a new one, just for something different :)

WEEK 12: Do a photo shoot
I have a couple of photo shoot vouchers sitting will be time to use one of them.

So there we have it!  Operation Home Run is a-go!  It's been a slow start to the round and I'm not even completely prepared yet.  You'd think I'd just continue what I usually do...but, you know what I'm like by now.  I like to have little fresh starts all over the place.  Over the years, every time I start ‘again’, I spend ages working out the perfect day to start. Mondays are a good one. Start of the week and all that. Thursdays have also been a favourite of mine. I was born on a Thursday so it matches. Since starting 12WBT and having Wednesday weigh ins, Wednesdays are also good. I usually have to like the date of the month too. I like the number 16. And 12 is a nice number too. The month had to be perfect too. May sounds pretty. That can get a bit awkward when it’s October and you want to start… 

I have to have everything ready and perfect. Pristine clean apartments have direct correlation with successful weight loss, did you know that? My life has to be perfect and on track to be able to start this. Buuuuut. The one thing I’ve learnt is that there is no perfect time. Sometimes, Thursday 16th May rolls around, with as Mish jokes, my full moon rising in my Zodiac circle Warrior Princess (?), I have mopped the floors and filed my bank statements, and --- I don’t ‘feel’ it. Times like this are quite inconvenient. Which is why I
dissed this notion a short while ago. 

My life has been a little bit ‘non normal’ for a few weeks, and I have not been working at it. This is fine, I needed this time off. But I need to now get to goal.  As I said, I had my DEXA, made a new plan for my new Operation. Got all ready. Even dusted the book shelf in preparation. Getting perfect and all that, you know. But even with a dusted book shelf, I still wasn't feeling it. I’m having one of those needing hugs rough weeks. In a perfect Sweet Valley High life, being Day 1 of my fresh start, I would have woken up yesterday morning with a smile on my face, a spring in my step and a pre-prepared calorie controlled lunch bag. Instead I was behind schedule, dragging my feet, throwing my lunch together while running out the door, finding my pink crop top has stained my grey work dress and having to change, leaving my socks at home so I had to do boot camp in work stockings, and generally just feeling down. 

But you know what, this is ok. Because I know now that life is imperfect, and I don’t need to feel 100% ready to have my fresh start. I just need to begin. Day 1 of Operation Home Run started yesterday whether I liked it or not. Because I want the end goal. And that’s the important bit. I’ll work the rest out later, that will come. It won’t come though, if I don’t start. There will never be a perfect time. I’ll just make it happen, because it doesn’t matter how I feel on Day 1, it only matters that I start. Be ready to follow my imperfect journey post Operation Birthday. Welcome to Operation Home Run!

P.S. This is completely unrelated to this post but in the craziness of the last week I forgot to share this little news...guess what happened officially at the One Active fashion parade? There's only so many coincidences of fitting into a particular size before you have to accept that that is actually your new (usual, always exceptions) size. :) It happened while standing next to Mish too and I got to share the news straight away. Perfect Moment #67 from my last week.  Size 12 baby!!


  1. Oh Wow Kate! Go you! Try knocking off each of the glasshouse mountains. Maybe start with Beerburum Mountain. You get there via Steve Irwin way, drive to the top and you get a great view of the coast. Such iconic mountains, with different levels of ability xox

    (Its Lisa Quinn)

  2. Good for you Kate. I've taken your lead with this round and giving it an Operation name, sounds more formalized like that. Mine is Operation 70's. I want to get to 79.9 and I will be ecstatic.

    Keep up the amazing work.

    Carol /

  3. As always, loved reading this post! xxx