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Friday, August 31, 2007

How was your August?

Last night I walked the mile to Noddie's carer's house so we could have an "adventure walk" (any impromptu walk, really LOL) back to the Sharing Park for our traditional Thursday swing. Just like that. Without even thinking about it. Hard to believe it's just four weeks since I was crying about my ugly, weak ankle. It's still ugly - but much less swollen now, and I have faith that the vitamin E oil will help with the scar - but weak? Not any more. Combined expertise (surgeon and physio), diligence (mine) and good luck (thanks Mum and Dad for the fast-healing genes!) have changed everything. I just heard it start to rain so I belted out down the back yard, tore the washing off the line and sprinted back in - all without even thinking about it *beams*

The rest of this post is even more all about me than usual, so feel free to go and do something keen and inspiring and write about it in your blog (which I will then read and benefit from. Mwahahaha).

It's the end of August.
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I'm happy with some of the numbers.
Swimming - 22/23 = 95%. Good
Exercises - 19/26 = 74%. Could be better
6 glasses of water/day - 25/26 = 96%. Good
Thesis - 17/16 = 106%. Pleasing
AFD's 5/16 = 31%. Needs work. I did grapple much more with this issue rather than pretending it wasn't there. The total volume was way down even if the frequency wasn't. I'm not giving up.
The other numbers - weight and measurements - despite daily exercise, were not pleasing. 900g lost in a month. 9cm off my body in 4 weeks. Hmmph *scowls* It's no mystery whatsoever how this has happened. It's because I have been scoffing 'extras' - morning tea, Noddie's crusts, second helpings, takeaway, dessert....WTF? I never eat dessert - like a deranged combine-harvester.
Now the plan is this.
Next month I will continue to track the same 5 things, including daily exercise bike in the "swim" row.
I have written messages to myself on our fridge, next to the pantry and over the stove. TBUS! FTF!
Think
Before
You
Scoff!
and
Feel The Feelings!
LBTEPA will become the poster-girl for "Mindful-Eating-R-Us!". I will!

Apart from that, it would be really cool if my final ethics approval would arrive and I could start recruiting subjects and maybe even get some data to analyse.
So how was your August?

More anon, my friends.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

La Bella Luna

Last night I heaved myself from the couch o'sloth and the World Champs to go and bring in the washing because rain was forecast - and walked out into a fairytale.

The plum blossoms were ghostly against the clear dark sky.
J had mown the lawn and its scent mingled with the perfume of the lavender hedge.
The pond trickled a happy background to the sounds of the night street.

The moon was out.

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I've never seen anything like it.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Beautiful Sunday

On Thursday my thesis course coordinator advised me that since we are still waiting on final ethics approval I should seriously think about applying for a long extension. This would be granted without question, and it would mean I could produce a reasonable piece of work rather than the half-arsed cobbled-together piece of rubbish that would result if I tried to crank the thing out within the original dates. BUT it would mean my work would miss the cutoff for Masters' applications for next year. I'll be 105 before I qualify anyway - part-time = LOOOONG TIME - so the very thought of ANOTHER year just turns my stomach. BUT I want to do my Masters' at LaTrobe (where I currently study, which is 5 minutes from my house), and I won't get in unless I do a good thesis. F%$# F%$# F%$# F%$# F%$#, eh?

Not to worry. This long weekend has been declared a thesis-free zone, and maaaaate, how I am enjoying it.....

*yawn...* I'm just up from another nana nap in Mum's lovely peaceful spare room. Gosh it's been a gorgeous weekend - golden, golden clear warm days.
Noddie and I had a very pleasant trip down on the train - no train-stopping button-pressing action this time!
So far it's been non-stop coffee with Mum at a cafe overlooking the river, shopping for exceptionally fetching primrose-yellow tops, detective stories on the sunny front verandah, walks to the playground and zooms down the wormslide with Noddie, afternoon naps and early nights. Crazy stuff, but you know I'm an on-the-edge kind of girl.
I'm an official convert of the Total Immersion method of swimming. Since buying the book two weeks ago and mucking around with the drills, I have reduced my strokes for 25 metres from 22-23 to 18-19. Huge.

Now don't forget to while away your Sunday/reduce your Monday morning productivity by checking Ironman live every five minutes to see how my friends Geekgirl and SB (race numbers 1540 and 1539) and Mary (race number 2051) are going in Louisville. Send them wishes for fortitude and good luck, cos I think covering 3.8km in the water, 180km on the bike and a marathon will need both.

Now I must be off to get Noddie out of the bath while simultaneously thawing out a coral trout in the sink (don't ask).

More anon, sybarites!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

F.C.E.T.

LBTEPA is away today. Thus I, her Faintly Cranky Evil Twin will be writing today’s post. I’d chortle evilly but I can’t be bothered.

Life is a not-very-exciting roller-coaster at chez LBTEPA this week. No massive ups and downs, just little undulations of mood and event. Little victories, little failures, little things I feel proud of and little ways I disappoint myself. How vexing that despite trying hard for two whole weeks I haven’t completely reformed all my bad habits and lost 10kg! Or even 1kg *pouts*

But still.
There are far more red crosses (yes! I did it!) than circles (nup, blew it off) on my chart. This month I’m tracking swimming, physio/core/upper body exercises, drinking water, thesis writing and AFDs.
I’m making better (not outstanding, but better) decisions about drinking wine – and that’s the key word, people, decisions.
Work people have asked me how I can bring myself to get up early every day and swim. My answer: it’s hands down the most reliably pleasurable part of my day. Mmmmmm...swimming....also I am feeling like the Beanbag Queen (as in that's what I most closely resemble) at the ‘mo, and my daily splash reminds me that I can reverse the slide. Of course I don’t tell them that. Must preserve the Endurance Athlete mystique, you know....
I’m thrilled at how well my ankle is recovering. Clearly, obsessive punctiliousness (is that a tautology?) pays dividends – in three weeks the range of movement and strength has increased beyond my wildest expectations. I have no doubts about finishing the Father’s Day 5km on Sunday week. I’m going to ask the physio tomorrow if I can get back on my exercise bike *wriggles in excitement*
I forgot to tell you – ethics approval for my thesis has arrived. Pending amendments. After three months’ wait. Leaving 9 weeks to recruit, collect, analyse, write up and submit. If the amendments get through promptly. Woot.

This week has been such an “Act As If” week – Act As If I’m disciplined, motivated, cheerful, organised. And let me tell you, as strategies go, it’s worked a TREAT. Really. I’m sure the effortlessness will return soon. It WILL.

I’m so looking forward to our trip to Mum’s this weekend. Noddie and I are going by train on Friday morning and J is driving down after work. We both have Monday off so we can just kick back, read the papers, eat too much....nice.
Speaking of which – it’s nine years tomorrow since J and I had an outrageous one-night stand (let that be a lesson to you, girls – these things can go horribly wrong) - and the happy switch on my life turned on again. Bring on the sushi!

But enough about me.

Go NOW, RIGHT THIS MINUTE and heap encouragement and praise on Simlin, who is running his first marathon, and Geekgirl, SB and Mary, who are toeing the line at IRONMAN LOUISVILLE on Sunday!! It’s GG’s and Mary’s first Ironman. I could not admire any of these people more for their big dreams, and their indomitable efforts to make them come true.

More anon, strivers

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Life's good

I'm in the study banging my head on the bastard thesis.
It's been a very long day. Noddie is Over Tired, has the sniffles and is way off her game; J and I are a little fragile after a late one with friends last night. I can hear J finishing the last of the dinner party dishes.

He's singing to himself.

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Saturday, August 18, 2007

not far from the tree

It's been a quiet week in Lake LBTEPA

Not much going on other than the usual Friday swim, get Noddie up/fed/dressed, make beds, clean kitchen, fold washing, go to the pool with Noddie, lunch and vegie shopping at the market, grocery shopping, drop stuff off at the op shop and physio, force Noddie to have quiet time, walk to the Sharing Park*, watch Play School, make Noddie's dinner, organise the bath - type stuff.

Oh, and we bought Noddie some new shoes.
She chose them herself .
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Heredity is a scary thing.
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More anon, bon vivants!

*The Sharing Park is at the end of our street. J and I named it when Noddie used to shout at other children children for going on 'her' slide.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Sofa so good

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucketooh aren't I just sooo funny?

Plan FTF is going interestingly well – "feeling the feelings' seems to be ‘unblocking’(ewww! airy fairy psychobabble! eeewwwww!) lots of things. Tired angry scared things, wafting off to the universe and leaving me the better for their absence. Overall I’m just feeling happier and more calm. If I practice hard, who knows, maybe it will last.
I’m noticing particular times I think about a nice glass of red wine – organising Noddie’s bath and dinner (hunger, frantic-ness); after she’s been put to bed (phew…); when I sit down to work on the bastard thesis (freakout!). Recognising they are just feelings, not imperatives, makes it easier to do something else instead.
Blog-divas Mary and Lisa have made lists of 10 things that they are grateful for/ happy about - Mary is actually doing a list every day for the next 14 days, so she’ll have one for each mile of her Ironman on August 26th! Tell you what, why don’t you nip over there and tell her she’s a legend? I’ll wait here.
Back now? Hi again!

10 things for which I am grateful.
1. It’s getting light in the morning by the time I get home from the pool

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2. The jonquils are out – which means it’s nearly SPRING!
3. My new togs.
4. The woman who wears her pjs to the pool every morning (and doesn’t appear to bring any other clothes – does she wear them home as well? In daylight?)
5. Finally seeing some coherence in my thesis.
6. You - my supportive and thoughtful blog friends.
7. If you mix Velish into pasta sauce your 3yo will suck it up like a super-sopper and ask for more. Mwahahaha!
8. My car heater on these lovely clear – but frosty – mornings.
9. The new desk-tidy in my study. Mmmmmmmmm…tidy……….and mine is blue.
10. Thinking about the souvlaki I am going to have for lunch.
Now, why don't you have a go?

More anon, accomplices!

Monday, August 13, 2007

PLAN FTF

*WARNING: LSAP (long self-absorbed post) AHEAD*

How many times can I say it? – you people are the BEST. I do appreciate your thoughtful responses and shared experiences enormously. They have certainly informed my New Plan (‘cause you know I do like me a plan….)

This might sound a bit defensive but I want it out there – I have never even been close to drink driving, OR not being able to look after Noddie. I am a self-critical catastrophiser so I have been worrying about what might happen if I continue along this path. A long time ago I read a post on a weight loss blog where the writer (in the middle of a huge weight-loss journey) had found herself irritated by a colleague who was stressing about having 5 pounds to lose. Bah, 5 pounds? she thought. Try having 50 pounds to lose – and then she thought.…what if I’d started worrying at 5 pounds? What if I’d said here’s the line, that’s enough? That’s my thinking about this drinking issue. It’s a small-ish problem now, with the potential to become very serious if I don't do something about it. The line is here.

Now the plan is this......
F.T.F.
Feel. The. Feelings.
Ooooh, profundity, so early in the day! But what does it all mean?

I was particularly affected by Angel and Jeanne asking me to look at why my drinking is creeping up, and what I am using it for. It's clear to me that I often use it – and other, possibly more socially acceptable, yet equally inappropriate-when-abused activities (Hi ebay! Hi rice crackers!) – to avoid my feelings. Agitation, anxiety, anger, frustration, fear – why not put something in my mouth? Hey presto - instant calm! Instant finally-getting-one-f%&*ing-second-to-myself! Instant comfort!
I am always inspired by the magnificent Duane. He has written that since he stopped medicating himself with food he has cried more than he has in the last decade – but he’s also happier than he has been for ten years. In his honour I tried an experiment yesterday. Whenever I felt edgy or tense, I sat with it for a moment and puzzled out what the feeling really was. Named it. I experienced it instead of making myself tired pushing it away. If it was illogical I challenged it (why on earth would J be angry because it took longer than I thought to drop Mum at the station? And if he is, so what?). And I felt better. Every time. All day.
That’s the plan for now. Whenever those ‘trigger feelings’ hit, I will take the time to FEEL them. That way my actions will be my choice rather than mere reactions to unpleasant stimuli. I’ll see where that takes me.

I promise the next post will be chock-full of amusing anecdotes about the inadvisability of teaching your small child the words ‘flatulence’ and ‘inevitable’. And possibly ravings about how much I enjoy driving my car now I don't need crutches any more...and swimming........... mmmmmmmmmmm swimming.......and a picture of my chart with more boxes crossed off....
You have been warned.....

More anon, lab rats!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Seriously, folks

This post breaks the cardinal LBTEPA rule ‘cheerful follows whiny’. This isn’t a cheerful post, but then neither is is it complaining or sad – actually, writing it (this is the third draft, I’m such a perfectionista LOL) has made me feel quite cheerful! So there you go.

I need your help, my friends. This is probably the most personal thing I’ve ever put into my blog. I need to cut waaaaaaaaaaaaay back on my drinking. It has crept up and up over these last few months; since I got out of the cast and life has become harder and more painful it’s got to a point where I’m a bit worried about it. This feels very shameful and I’ve been putting off writing about it – my protestant teetotal background talking. But I want to get it back under control. It’s a bad habit at this stage. Habits can change. A hard day with Noddie, yet another day banging my head on the thesis train wreck, being unable to do something I wanted to because my foot is too sore – these things do not need anaesthetic!
I don’t have a plan yet, but I have a goal. I want to go from at-least-a-couple-of-glasses-almost-every-night (my stomach turns thinking about posting that, but it’s the truth) to about twice a week. Star stickers and crossing-off boxes on my chart have proven ineffective strategies. I’ll think of something.

This issue sort of symbolises the way I feel my whole life is going – making excuses and letting my standards slip. I used to be proud of my self-discipline, and now I’m not. Even under the circumstances – yes, this has been a hard year – this has gone too far. I hope letting you guys into my shameful little secret will give me the kick up the backside I need.
...........
no, that’s really not right. Having you all on my side will give me the motivation I need. So thanks!

More anon, drinkers-in-moderation!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Cheerful my lardy posterior

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You'd better thank Duane for tagging me as it means I will not be writing about how fed-up, slack, lazy, stupid, undisciplined, fat, unmotivated, sore, disorganised, unpleasant, whiny and cranky I am feeling today. A lucky escape for you.

Jobs I’ve Held
Gym attendant; Tutor; Pool lifeguard; Personal carer; ESL teacher; Training officer; OH&S consultant

Movies I Can Watch Over & Over
The Wizard of Oz
Fred and Ginger movies - so suave, so graceful, so beautifully dressed!
Jackie Chan movies - so strong, so acrobatic, so fast!
Rocky Horror Picture Show
The Full Monty

My Guilty Pleasures
Blogging
Ebay
red wine
driving my car vvvvvvvvrrrrrroooooooooooooommmmmmmm!
I was going to say shoes but I don’t feel guilty about them

Places I have lived (in order)
Melton, Victoria; Ballarat, Victoria; Melbourne, Victoria; Japan; Melbourne again

Shows I Enjoy
Spicks and Specks; Top Gear; Dr Who; Torchwood

Places I Have Been on Holiday
Broome; Darwin; Japan; Cook Islands; Canada; Italy; Vanuatu

Favorite Foods
Pad Thai; fried kwa cheo; Prawns; lasagne; rare steak

Websites I Visit Daily
Google reader – to check up on my friends; theage.com.au; abc.net.au

Body Parts I Have Injured
Ankle; Hip

Awards I’ve Won
Humanities Dux at high school…I guess I peaked at 18……

Nicknames You’ve Been Called
Punk; Podge; Muscles; personal Spousal Unit nicknames that would make you sick so I will give them a miss

Pick 5 Other Bloggers
Wes; Lisa; Dante; Morsey; Jeanne

I'll just go and eat half a bag of marshmallows now so I will feel a bit ill. Hang on, already done that. Hmmph.
More anon, grumblers!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

The Plan

You are all DARLINGS. Thank you all so much (((((HUGS)))))
Now, what you've all been waiting for - the plan! The plan is this:

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I'll swim, lay off the vino a bit, do my physio exercises and 10 minutes of core/upper body work every day, and work on my thesis, and in four weeks I will be well on my way out of this depressing mess. I WILL.

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mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.........

The lifeguards undoubtedly think I'm a complete nong when I jump in and splash around doing somersaults and playing in the bubbles. AND I DON'T CARE.

You can hear Noddie from our room if she opens her window when she's having her 'quiet time' (hahahahaha). I don't know whether she was yelling 'Arr harr, me hearties!' at the dog or the neigbours.

Friday, August 03, 2007

The crying game

Roughly this time yesterday I sat in the car park outside the surgeon's rooms and cried. The cast was off and the surgeon was happy because everything was 'normal" and 'progressing well'. This? Normal? This scaly, wrinkled, scarred, swollen, painful thing, that wouldn't bend? Another week on 'crunches' - progressing well? Another week feeling like crap because I have to ask people at work to carry my tea. Another week without my car (stupid sports clutch). And another week that I can't push Noddie on the swing at the park, when I promised her I'd take her today.
I drove around aimlessly for a little while, bought some petrol, thought about what I'd have for lunch (at 10am). Putting things off. Finally I pulled into the swimming pool car park. I didn't want to go in. I'd been keeping myself bouyant through the whole time in the cast by imagining this day as triumphant, strong, back-to-normal. Now my folly had risen up and slapped me and I was crushed.
But I went inside, on my crutches.
And I took my horrid scar and revolting scaly leg to the edge.
And I jumped in.

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the most beautiful feeling in the world

Mmmmmmmmmmmhhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
It was magic. Magic, I tell you. Mmmmmmmm......

Then I swam 5 x 100m - that's all - and nearly puked. It's going to be a long road back. :(

After the best standing up, no fuss shower ever, I hobbled painfully back to the car and cried again. The Spousal Unit copped it big time when he rang to see how I was, poor treasure - but I did tell him that I knew these feelings of sadness and disappointment and shame were temporary and would pass if I gave myself some time to process them. Not fun, but true.
Later in the day my physio took a look at the mess and described it as 'beautiful' - what is it with these medical people? Swimming is excellent for flexibility so I can do that. Lots of exercises and stretches. I can do that. He wants me on crutches for a week, gradually increasing weight bearing, to make sure I develop a properly balanced gait and not a limp. I can do that. Not all the time, either, just when I'm not at home. I can do that. Back to see him next week to see how I'm going on our 12-weeks-til-running plan.
Guess what I did when I got back to the car? (*hint - more hankies in the wash). And I talked myself down from a large block of turkish delight to a can of diet lemon squash. Woo f#$%ing hoo.

I took Noddie to the park and pushed her on the swing.
Then we all went out to dinner to celebrate and had a lovely time.

This morning my swim was a bit better. The bruising is down and my skin is presentable, thanks to sorbolene and my loofah.

Now, comrades - onward!