Saturday, November 17, 2012

The day I ran a half marathon. & How I stopped being fat.

About a month ago, I ran a half marathon.

Me, weeing my pants in fear and excitement,
just before taking off for a 2 hour and 20 minute run. 
That’s 21.1kms. I ran it without stopping, without walking. Sure at times my run was slow - possibly slower than my power walking abilities, but I never stopped until I crossed that finish line. 

You see, this time last year, I was fat. I wasn't technically obese or even that huge in the scheme of things, but the amount of excess fat that I was carrying on my small frame meant I had high blood pressure, no energy, and very poor self esteem. You don’t need to look obese or unhealthy, to be fat.

To be honest I don’t remember the exact moment that I decided enough was enough. It was more like a combination of things. My grandpa saying I had put on weight (even though he meant it as a compliment). Having to buy a size 12 pants. Being constantly exhausted. Looking fat in photos. I had had enough.

This was me when I started actively trying  to lose weight.
So I started counting calories and working out for a minimum of an hour a day, 6 days a week.

Yeah I hear you. “That's all well and good for you, I can’t do that, I'm too busy. I have a job/kids/blablabla.” One of the most successful weight loss champions I know has SIX kids. PRIMARY SCHOOL AGED KIDS!

If you want to do it, you will do it. You will get up at 4:30 or 5:30 if you need to in order to get your workout in before work. You will pre-cook all your meals on a Sunday so that you don’t have to cook during the week and you aren't tempted by takeaways. You will do it.

I used the Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation and in 1 round (3 months) lost 14kgs (30lbs) and went on to lose more. I don’t know exactly because I don’t know how heavy I was at my absolute highest weight, but I think I've lost in total 20kgs (45lbs).

This was me when I finished. 
 Needless to say, Michelle Bridges is my home-girl. 

Mish and I. Total girl-crush.
I did 3 rounds with her but didn’t end up losing any more weight in my next 2 rounds (I didn’t need to). I made an amazing network of like-minded friends and became addicted to singing the praises of health and fitness to anyone who would listen. I also became a bit of a foodie and learned how to eat delicious, filling meals without breaking the calorie bank. 

I would be more than happy to give people more specific information if they want, but the basic math of it was this:

1200 calories per day INTAKE
500 calories per day OUTPUT

I started running purely to reach that 500 calorie output mark every day. Running is the quickest way to burn calories. I couldn't even run for 1 minute without feeling like I would die when I started. I did the Couch to 5km Program and built up from there.

Eventually I could run 5kms.
Then 7kms.
Then 9kms.
Then 12kms.

Then I did the Run For The Kids in April of this year and ran the 14km course.

Then I signed up for a half marathon.

It was as quick and as simple as that. I decided to do it, and one year later, I was fit enough to run a half marathon. I’ve never been a runner, never been athletic, was always the one to be picked last in P.E. Very uncoordinated.

I always said I would never be a runner, because I never believed I could be, until I was.

Friday, November 16, 2012

5 things I will never do when I have kids

I have a confession to make. I'm a mummy-blog whore. I love reading blogs by mums, especially the humorous ones.

Frequently stalked blogs include:
Crappy Pictures
Good Golly Miss Holly
And a new addition to my stalk list:
Shit I Don't Tell Most People
(DISCLAIMER: None of these bloggers asked me to link their blogs, not that they would need to since they have thousands of followers and I have 1 - but I love my one follower! Actually one of those bloggers IS said follower.)

Please don’t ask me why this is my preferred blog genre. I swear I've TRIED to prefer beauty and fashion blogs but they bore me. I've trawled cooking blogs and all they did was make me hungry. I’d call myself a wannabe mummy blogger except I'm not really at the stage of my life where I have a burning desire to push out kids. That said, I would like them one day.

Despite this, I often feel the need to write posts about motherhood even though, well, I don’t have anything to say. So today I took a glimpse into the future and decided 5 things I will never, ever do when I have children.

1 - Not use drugs (when giving birth, obviously).

If I have to push something that big out of a place that small I am getting all the drugs they have. I might even bring some of my own from home just to be safe.

2 - Put a BABY ON BOARD sticker on my car.

Everyone else in the world judges people who have a BABY ON BOARD sticker on their car. I know this is true because I judge people with BABY ON BOARD stickers on their car – and don’t even bother spouting to me some crap about how it’s a ‘safety precaution’ and if you’re in a crash the paramedics will know to look for the baby and blablabla. No. Just no. I think the car seat and the screaming baby will probably give that away. I don’t drive any more carefully around cars that have these stickers on them so that’s not an excuse either. If you have one, take it off your car and punch yourself in the face right now.

3 - Put ‘My Family’ Stickers on my car.

Still with the stickers on cars trend (apparently pro-creation gives people the burning desire to announce the fact that they have spawn all over their vehicles), I will never put any of those ‘My Family’ stickers on my car. Nobody cares how many family members you have and they don’t want to have to be faced with your stupid stick figure representation of them when they are stuck behind you in traffic. I hereby give everyone in the world permission to ram the back of cars with ‘My Family’ stickers on them. Unless it’s this one - this one is actually pretty funny…
A glimpse into my future
4 - Name my kid a perfectly normal name and give it a ridiculous, made-up spelling.

This was further cemented today when I was at work and met a Jakeob. As someone with a relatively uncommon spelling (in Australia) for a pretty ‘normal’ name (my birth name is Jaclyn) I already face enough issues with the spelling and pronunciation. If I can’t even get through a day without someone calling me Jocelyn, how is poor Jaeysin (Jason) supposed to get through life?

5 - Listen to kiddy-band CDs

My car sing-alongs included Queen, James Taylor and The Motels and I turned out just fine. I knew all the words to Bohemian Rhapsody before I was 5. There is no way in hell I will put up with tantrums, vomiting and sleepless nights and THEN pile The Wiggles on repeat on top of that – be kind to yourself mummy’s – smash the kiddy CDs and listen to what YOU like. Your kids will thank you for it when they’re older.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

10 Things I Have Never Done

Today, Boyfriend made a disgusting confession to me. 

He has NEVER peed with the door open. 

And I was all like:

In my mind, this is made even stranger by the fact that he has an ensuite so even when he’s in his bathroom it’s not like any of his housemates are just going to wander past. Yet he still closes the door behind him. 

Every. Single. Time.

He claims it’s habit. I claim he’s a weirdo.

It got me to thinking though, and while I am happy to let my dog watch me pee through the open door when it’s just the two of us in the house, maybe there are some things I’ve never done that most normal people have done or experienced.

1 – I have never done my own taxes.

Don’t get up in arms. I PAY my taxes. My tax returns are filed; by an accountant. I wouldn’t have any idea what to do if I tried to do my own tax. I realise this is terrible, but I also realise this will never change. I will never do my own tax returns. Ever.

2 – I have never dialled 000.

I count myself lucky not to have needed to. That said, I HAVE dialled 911.

3 – I have never learned how to dive.

I can jump into a pool. I can belly flop. I can bomb the heck out of everyone on the sidelines, but I have never been able to dive. Swim teachers spent hours trying to teach me, but it never happened and probably never will. I just cannot do it.

4 – I have never been stung by a bee.

And I hope I never am. I’m a hypochondriac and therefore terrified that I might be allergic to bees and if one stings me I will die.

5 – I have never eaten a Big Mac.

I’ve eaten at McDonalds. I’ve sampled many of their menu items. Just never their signature burger.

6 – I have never played beer pong.

Watched a lot of games. Millions probably. Never ever played. Probably a good thing because I have terrible aim and am a lightweight,

7 – I have never mowed a lawn.

That’s men’s business, yo!

8 – I have never cooked on a BBQ.

As above.

9 – I have never done any type of maintenance on my own car.

I probably would if I had to, but my dad always gets in there and fixes everything before I even notice it, so I’ve never had to learn. I don’t even know how to fill up the windscreen wiper fluid.

10 – I have never been late to work.

Not once. Not ever. Not even by a minute. At least not without giving my boss at least 24 hours notice I will be late by X amount of minutes and the reason why.

What are some things that you have never done?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

THROWBACK: Flail Foodie

I never have, nor probably, will I ever, possess any kind of talent, wisdom or intuition when it comes to the kitchen. For a long time, it was always just the room with the microwave in it. The problem with this is, I'm obsessed with food. I love to go out to eat, I like to read recipes, I collect cook books and I seriously enjoy sugary treats.

Since starting a new healthy lifestyle several months ago I'm constantly on the look-out for healthy recipes. Following a recipe I can do, but I can almost never help myself, I just MUST attempt to make it even healthier by using my own variations -this sometimes results in a smashing success. Unfortunately however, it more often than not results in epic failure. In short, I flail when it comes to the kitchen, managing just enough successes to ensure I occasionally get a decent meal.

For anyone on Pinterest (and god, how I wish I had not discovered that life sucking internet black hole of doom), there is a fair chance that you will have come across this recipe:

Looks like a genius idea, especially for the calorie conscious such as myself. Well... kind of. The idea to me seemed excellent in theory, but look at all that cheese the recipe called for!


That's a lot of calories when you consider that your average entire meal should be around 300-400 calories.

Nope, I wouldn't have a bar of that. I could practically feel my ass growing at the mere thought of consuming that much cheese in one sitting. Nope, nope, no, nonono, hell naww.

This is where my genius comes in. Mozzarella cheese might be the enemy in my quest for eternal youth (or at least an ass that doesn't start to sag until well into my 50s), but I do eat cottage cheese like it's going out of fashion. Surely I could just use that instead?

Here is the result.

Flail Cauliflower Crust - 325 calories (including toppings)

What you will need:

1 x Cup - Cauliflower (riced)
0.5 Cup - Cottage Cheese (reduced fat)
1 x Egg
Garlic Salt
Various Toppings


Pre-heat your oven to 230C

Rice the cauliflower. To do this you simply put the raw cauliflower into a food processor and give it a few pulses until it's grain like in texture. You don't want to over process it or it will turn to mush. I found half a head of cauliflower created about 2 cups of riced cauliflower.

Place the riced cauliflower into a microwave proof dish, cover with gladwrap and 'nuke it for 8
minutes. Don't add any water. The cauliflower has more than enough moisture in it to cook itself.

Combine the cauliflower, egg, cottage cheese, garlic, garlic salt and oregano (I also added hot chilli because every food should be spicy in my opinion).

Place mixture on a baking tray.

DO NOT USE BAKING PAPER LIKE I HAVE here. If you do, when you get to the 'grill' step you may set it on fire by accident. I may or may not know this from personal experience.

Use your hands to pat out the mixture into a circle, creating a crust like edge around the outside.

Place in the oven for about 20 minutes, it should be starting to brown.

Remove from the oven and put on your toppings. I used tomato paste, rocket, anchovies, cherry tomatoes, olives and mushrooms. Please note that if you want to use ingredients like mushrooms that need to be cooked through, you will need to pre-cook them before they go on the pizza.

Place under the grill.

This is the point in my story where the baking paper set on fire. Luckily I managed to put it out quick smart and salvage the base. I transferred it to an unlined tray for the next part.

Grill for 4-5 minutes or until toppings are hot.

I left mine in a little too long and it went a bit crispier and blacker than I would like... but here is the final result:

When it comes to the taste test, I'm pleased to say that this was actually AMAZING! The fact that it was overcooked a bit didn't take anything away from the flavours.

This isn't like a traditional pizza base that you can slice and eat with your hands. You do need to eat it with a knife and fork, but it certainly is tasty. I have however heard similar reviews about the original recipe so it's hard to say if this is a direct result of my cottage cheese substitution.

Would I make this again? Yep! I would just avoid over cooking it next time. A great guilt free way to get that pizza taste.

Flail rating - 5/10
Definitely tasty and edible, just nothing like an actual pizza crust, and slightly overcooked (my bad). I would say this recipe was exactly HALF a success!

Once upon a time, this song SAVED my life.

Which I discovered from reading a book called God-Shaped Hole by Tiffanie Debartolo.

Except when I read it, it was called The Shape Of My Heart.

That book CHANGED my life, and the plot centered around the lyrics

If your intentions are pure
I'm seeking a friend 
For the end of the world

The book was a Christmas present from my Aunt. I think she found it in a bargain bin in a book store. I first read it when I was 14. I kind of believe in fate and think that book was meant to come into my life.

I have read it hundreds of times since. I don't have the huge, hardcover copy I once had anymore, but the old paperback copy I found on eBay is dog-eared and well-loved. 

Several weeks ago I went to the movies with my mother. We didn't know what to see. 

I knew nothing about it except that the title was meaningful to me. 

That movie MOVED me and made me think in a way no other movie ever has. 

So in a way, Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World is placing bookmarks in my life. 

It is, at the risk of sounding like a melancholy teenager, at least describing my life.

Do you have anything similar in your life?