Sunday, December 25, 2011

yeah but that's what you do...

feeling a litte bitter today. i ran the furthest i ever have (22km) and posted it on facebook and did not get one comment. i know putting it on facebook is a bit braggy, but i was proud. and it was hard.
if i'd got a new job or baked an amazing cheesecake and put it on facebook i would have had a million comments by now.
my legs won't be stiff tomorrow either. because i'm good at this. because i do it lots. but each run i do is still an effort. an effort to find the time. to run and not walk once (dennys don't walk). to choose longer and longer runs. to go out in the rain, or the failing light, or the early morning. none is an easy choice.
someone at work was telling me his family did the mark webber challenge. 6.5km. i said well done. then mentioned i had just run 7km in my lunch break. "yeah but that's what you do" he said. damn right i do. more than he does the ad hoc and incredibly slowly paced fun run (54 mins was his time). but no accolades because i make myself do it all the time. and people think it's easy for me. well maybe it is, and maybe it isn't. i might be fitter than them but that's because i keep doing it and doing it. and it's not because i'm denny and it's what i do. it's because i work hard. harder than they do. hmmmph.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I wanted to see if I could run 21km non-stop so I did - and I did! 2:12, 5 laps of Risdon Brook Dam. 2 days later, I can walk again! It's all good.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I've just finished a leisurely 10km run on the mountain with a friend. I say leisurely because we did it in 65 minutes; my usual time would be about 55mins. But she doesn't run as fast as me. I have to say however, that running with slower friends has a few great advantages:
- they think you're really fit (and tell other people) even when you know you aren't
- you can easily chat and pass the time whilst running in a nice, steady rhythm
- you feel great afterwards
Feeling great afterwards would have to be the biggest benefit. Usually, when I run by myself or play a hard game of sport I feel kind of rotten afterwards. If the activity has been in temperatures over 20 degrees and/or has involved much sun exposure I feel worse, and often get a headache. I also end up with a red, flushed face that stays that way for hours - not a good look at work.
I don't understand this as it's usually exercise that I feel comfortable with at the time and have done a million times before, so it's kind of annoying. I don't particularly push myself either - ie I'm not panting noisily or vomitting at the end, it's just a little too much somehow. And yes I do drink enough water - not that I should need to for a simple 5 or 6km.
I run with the slow people at work at lunchtimes because the fast ones are all men and do 20kms on the weekends - not suitable training partners. There seems no middle ground. The ones I go out with are happy to run the 5km-6km all the way without stopping and like me to go along to push them a bit. It works for me to because I get exercise without really feeling it.
However I wouldn't say that it was improving my fitness at all...
Maybe I should stick with the simple stuff during the week and push myself a bit on weekends?
Other options are to run early in the mornings (but I feel dead tired halfway through the afternoon) or early in the evenings - but that's a tricky time family wise.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Cathy has recently blogged about how there aren't many women participating in the individual sports she is currently pursuing. I understand how she feels. At my Tuesday lunch-time Touch Footy there is only one girl that plays - me - and usually about 13 guys. On Thursday I filled in on a lunch-time Futsal team (that's indoor soccer) - and the same scenario. Me and 7 guys. Why is it that only guys are organising and playing these kinds of things? Is it because all the women are too busy getting eyelash additions/extensions - (at last count there were at least 5 people at work sporting the Bambi look). YAWN. Admittedly, you do need an experienced background in sport to be able to join in these activities (and men that are nice enough to let you play and not smash the ball into your face when you are goalie), but all that is showing is that not many girls are getting that either. And you have to put yourself out there - I only get to play by piping up when the guys in the office are asking other guys to play. They've been a bit surprised and say Oh, do you play Touch/Soccer/whatever, and then I have to say - well no, not really, but I know how to handle a ball and I can play sport. Usually my defensive skills are enough to get me through. But it would fun to have some other girls come along too. Where are you?

Friday, October 21, 2011


I have started playing lunch-time Touch Football on Tuesdays and it is REALLY FUN. Every Tuesday at 12.45 a group of people meet at the Cenotaph. Someone brings some witches hats and marks out a field. Two teams are formed randomly, and then they play for the next half hour at which point "Next goal wins!". I haven't played much Touch Football in my life but I have played lots of large ball sports and it is easy to pick up.

Every other player is male, but as they are mostly my age and older they include me and don't do that only-pass-to-other-men-because-she's-a-girl-and-probably-can't-catch thing that often happens in "mixed" sports. I'm used to that anyway, and even if I can't get in on offensive plays I can usually do enough defending to prove myself.

The people that play come from a few different workplaces around town. Apparently it started about 10 years ago with mostly Hobart City Council office workers, but since then other people have got involved.

Anyway, I had a great time this week, got a great workout, and broke my little finger in a great intercept. I break my little finger about once a year, so that's no big deal...yet. My right-hand little finger is pretty wimpy and weak and the end can't take much pressure. I did get a bit concerned after the 2nd or 3rd time I broke it in a year and got a bone density test, but turned out all was fine. Just a weakling finger.
For about 6 weeks, I upped the ante on my exercise, as I had been a bit lazy.

I went from this:
pump no lunges
swim 30
weights - gym
swim 30

40 min walk Battery Point
walk to St Canice from work, pump no lunges
Boot Camp


Boot camp/Pump

Boot camp

Alum Cliffs run/bball practise

to this:

Battery Pt BC
Swim 1500 and run Sth Hobart
6km bridge run and squash
6km bridge run
Swim 1500m
Boathouse 9.4km
Swim 1500m/Upper Body Pump
Jog with JB/45 min Pump minus Shoulders/Abs/Lunges
15min airwalker, Pump/CX30, 4.5km run
Sth Hobart run
1500m Swim, bball practise
5km walk, squash, Pump
Sth Hobart run
Battery Pt Hills, Upper Body and Abs
Bridge run 6.3km, squash
Run with Scats (5km easy)
Weights 4x heavy/Swim 1500
Trugs and Pump
South Hobart run
Swim 1500m
Battery Point Hills
B'ball, Pump not lunges
Bridge run
Swim 1500m
Weights and Pipeline 6km run with pram

but then for the first time in a year, to this:

Swim 1500m
Sandy Bay Run with JB 7km
Battery Point Hills, walk town-4 St Canice
Swim 1500m

Sandy Bay 6km, B'Ball

Now, I wouldn't like to speculate that the increase in intensity resulted in the consequent illness, but I'm sure that it DID contribute because I was feeling a bit tired and run-down. And all that exercise, while great for my fitness and muscles, made me feel too tired to participate in lots of other fun stuff, like blogging or reading or even watching tv without falling asleep. It kind of sucks because exercise is supposed to energise you, not unnaturally fatigue you (this happens whether I'm exercising every day or 3-4 times a week). I like to exercise, but I've found that a 5km run WIPES ME OUT for the rest of the day and I'm not sure why. 5km in anything over 20C also gives me a headache for the rest of the day, no matter how much water I drink.

Anyway, this month I'm striving for balance. More exercise than August. Less than September. Yeah.

And oh yeah, my weight didn't really change in either August or Sept. Because more exercise = increased food intake.

Friday, August 19, 2011


i've been reading a lot of this blog: faithfitnessfun. i'm not really with the faith side much, but i like to read the fitness/fun posts. they're really good.
in my own fitness news not much to report - have fallen into a general pattern of swimming tuesday morning, playing squash wednesday evening, basketball thursday, and a weights session or two at some stage in the week. and a walk or a run. sometimes basketball training on saturday. it works. it's still a struggle to find the time, but i manage it.
ok so this isn't a very inspiring post and i really want to devote more time to my blogs so i will try really hard to get back here with something useful to say soon.


Friday, June 17, 2011

it seemed like a good idea at the time...

I'm always on the lookout for non-boring, healthy breakfast alternatives. I like raw muesli, but I'm not big on cereal or dairy (unless it's ICE-CREAM). My research over the years has turned up some good websites like simply breakfast and mr breakfast (try the baked cranberry oatmeal).

for breakfast i generally eat rolled oats and apple, microwaved with a bit or water and cinnamon (optional extras include almond flakes, sultanas, maple syrup or brown sugar). i also have a smoothie most days of the week. at it's healthiest, it contains soy milk, spinach (you REALLY can't taste it), frozen berries (usually raspberries) and chia seeds (they're really good for you). sometimes it has chocolate powder, sometimes it has low-fat low sugar plain yoghurt. i like my smoothies THICK and i don't really like bananas.

the other day, i saw a new breakfast idea - a hot chocolate that sounded great. milk (or in my case soy milk) heated up with chocolate powder, raspberries, and oats, then blended. sounded perfect.


i couldn't even finish it. i probably put too many oats in, and the result was kind of like chocolate flavoured clag (you know, the glue that we used as kids?) it was so thick i couldn't really suck it through my straw, so it also got cold. YERRK.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

sometimes i can be dumb

so things were going well until i dumbly hopped on the scale when i shouldn't have and noticed i'd gained half a kg when i was expecting to lose half a kg. turns out it was probably just a minor fluctuation but of course i couldn't reconcile that with myself at the time so i went off the rails for about 8 days until i actually had gained that half a kg and at least another one on top of that. and it was a miserable, bingy week.

sometimes i am top of this whole eating thing but other times i am still not. at my age!!

finally now the sanity is back.
i am not:
1. dieting
2. binging
3. weighing myself.

and i am:
eating healthily and normally.

sigh. sometimes i can be so dumb.
sometimes i can be so dumb.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Quick update...

3 weeks, and 1.5 kg down. YAY! Still have a long way to go (weeks and weeks), but that's OK, because it's working! (my secret fear always is that what I'm doing isn't working). I'm back at full-time work tomorrow which will be a challenge (less daily activity, and less time to exercise, shop, plan and prepare food) that I will work to overcome.
I'm currently spending an inordinate amount of time buying, chopping, and cooking vegetables. But I have come up with my best salad ever. It has:

cherry tomatoes
fetta (30gm)
chickpeas (half a cup dry roasted in oven with paprika or cumin)
dried tomatoes (nb not SUN dried)
red capsicum
roast pumpkin
and a natural yoghurt dressing (75gm with grated lemon peel and chives)


Wednesday, April 20, 2011


According to Michelle Bridges (celebrity trainer from the biggest loser), the best way to lose weight is fasssst! This is what she says:

The old half a kilo loss this week, 200 grams lost last week, then the birthday party comes along with a kilo weight gain the following week, up down, on off….yawn…

(Personal trainers,) How many times have you heard your clients drone on about the weight trickling off, then trickling back on – I get sick of hearing it, as must you, so they must be nearly suicidal living it!

My message is simple, and it’s the same message that we use on the show – get the weight off FAST. Because the biggest motivation of all – is RESULTS! When their work colleagues are saying to them WOW! Look at you!

And while I can see some value in this, I have to agree this commenter has a point:

what a lot of crap this from a person who does this for a living ok, i want to see her do this working in an office go home cook , wash a child, clean the floor, change nappy make preperaion for the next day, get child to bed. wake up in the morning dress the child off to child care then work and etc etc over and over. my ass these fitness trainers got no idea.... also it isnt healthy to lose big weight in one go but yet they forget to say anything like that...

It'd be great to check into biggest loser camp for a few weeks to ditch a couple of kilos, but entirely unrealistic. It's pretty hard to concentrate on ANYTHING when you are hungry, and MUCH EASIER TO QUIT AND PIGOUT. So unless I get a free pass to fat camp along with the endorsement of my employers and family, that one is out for me.

She also says this, which I have been saying for years...

...personal trainers can’t be pulling out the old “get out of jail free” card that being “muscle weighs more that fat”. Yes, I know that technically this is true, however, as professionals we know that to put on a true kilo of muscle, particularly if you are a woman, will take longer than 7 days!

So when a weight loss client walks into the gym and is asked by their trainer how their weight’s going, and they say they’ve put on a kilo, and the stock response of the trainer is ‘oh well, we’ve been training pretty hard with weights this week, so it’s probably muscle…’

Someone shoot me! If you’ve got a weight loss client who’s not losing weight then it’s because she’s or he is EATING TOO MUCH and not doing the homework you have set for them! And as their trainer, it’s YOUR job to call them on it.

But I disagree with her ideas about starting fitness bootcamps for school kids. I can't see how that would EVER entice them into happy exercise habits for life. In fact, celebrities commenting on health, fitness, and weight loss gets up my nose entirely. Read this great observation...

It happens to everyone...

So I've been following my own advice (below) for 11 days now... so why won't the God of Weight Loss and Fitting into Jeans Comfortably recognise my effort? Well, to be honest, to expect 6kg to disappear in 11 days might be a bit unrealistic and I know it's actually going to take me about 2 and a half to 3 months, but really, it's a bit tedious, especially when everyone else is stuffing their face with Easter buns and chocolate eggs.

Still, I'm taking responsibility for my problem. I gained 5kg over 10 months from prolonged pigouts, and now I'm fixing it. My weapon of choice is WW ProPoints. And I have to admit, following this is 100% better than not having a plan and waking up every morning regretting my increased volume of adipose tissue and accompanying lack of inaction. Followed by another 17 hours of torment & recrimination.

There is NOTHING MORE BORING than weight loss blogs so I will leave it at that, and when I have a lovely after picture (check back about mid July) I will publish it for you. In the meantime you'll find me here:

Friday, March 11, 2011


Denny's Top Ten Tips for difficult weight loss.

(It's difficult because it is difficult).

1. Get enough sleep. Otherwise you won't have the mental energy to make the best decisions.

2. Tread the path of least resistance.
  • Don't have crap in your house. Or if you have to, make it stuff that isn't exciting enough to need very often - eg I can't live in a house without chocolate, but if it's 80% proof Lindt, I won't want it all that frequently and I won't each much.
  • Avoid going to places/parties etc that are going to challenge you - or at least plan - eat first, and carry healthy food....
3. Follow a plan. Just trying "to be good" seldom works.
  • Make it a good plan. ie Weightwatchers or calorie counting or Jenny Craig - not a powdered drink for lunch and dinner.
4. Get support. Try to get a friend to do it too.

5. Don't weigh yourself all the time. Leave it at least a week. The scales are dictators of your emotions.

6. Don't let good be the enemy of perfect. So what if you can't run or get to the gym. Just get a 30min walk in somehow. Don't worry about being extreme...

7. Forget about everyone else. This is about you and how you feel. Don't let them tell you what to do or not to do...

8. Keep calm, and carry on, whatever. Mistakes happen.

9. Plan, shop, eat, drink, and exercise.

10. It takes as long as it takes. Don't have unrealisitc expectations.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

fail - no points to me

i went to the moorilla tennis international today and had a really great time watching the tennis. however, as bloody typical in this city, the event was undercatered for (eg the bbq they had up there ran out of sausages before either of the doubles finals had commenced, and the crappy takeaway van there had two lines at least 30 people long each side). i had planned on getting some sushi to take, but i wasn't really organised enough, though to be fair to myself i was looking after 4 children singlehandedly and rushing to get ready for a pre-tennis swim at the aquatic centre.

in years gone past there has been semi decent food available at the event, like wood-fired pizzas or other such offerings, but this year there was only a coffee van and one of those junkfood caravans with hot chips and burgers and other greasy alternatives.

it was VERY DISAPPOINTING. there are any number of decent takeaway options at salamanca market on a saturday morning and i bet there would be plenty of interest from them in catering for the event.

i ended up with a cookie and an "ice-coffee" - coffee mixed with milk and ice.
i have learnt my lesson. i will be more prepared next time.

i like to have something yummy to eat like the other spectators around me, but i also like it to be healthy. i noticed lots of people around me had brought their own food in little cooler bags, i think i will buy myself a smart little cooler bag (the supermarket ones are too big) so i am not at the mercy of the event organisers and can bring along something appealing that i won't regret eating.

Friday, January 14, 2011

time travelling (or my descent into mental illness)

now that i think about it, i am no stranger to sending messages to my past self. sometimes, when i finish a hard workout (usually running, but sometimes swimming), i say to the denny of 20 minutes prior (or 40 minutes, or however long i decide) - "thank you" (for keeping going, you got me there). sometimes i receive these messages before i've even sent them, which is kind of cool (if a little bit crazy). i've been doing this for years.

most of the time, i can't be bothered exercising. 85% of the time, i do it anyway (unless i'm feeling geuinely tired, injured or sick or have done something every day for the past 4 or 5 days). because i know if i let myself get out of it, it will become easier to do the same thing the next time and so on, and so on, until i'm not exercising any more and i have lost all my fitness.

95% of the time, i'm grateful to myself that i did exercise. i can relax for a little while without a nagging conscience. that conscience can be pretty annoying. for example when i'm eating junkfood when i'm a few kg overweight. not nearly so enjoyable when i know i don't have the space for it (on my body, in my jeans).

Friday, January 7, 2011

Sorry – long time no blog.

Firstly, a few features of the Christmas period:

MY IDEAL XMAS DINNER, as kindly provided by sister and brother in law. Granted, it’s not very traditional, but it couldn’t have made me happier. All my favourite things were there. Oysters (very very nearly vegetarian), rice paper rolls, pumpkin and fetta tart, garlic bread, and smashed roast potatoes. And champagne (well, sparkling wine) Followed by raspberry PAVLOVA!

A family trip to Maria Island, where I went biking and hiking (up Mt Maria and Bishop & Clerk) and swimming. It was great! I was relunctant to do the big walks and bike rides but I’m glad I was pushed into it.

Now, for those health goals of 2011.

Get more sleep was mentioned on my other blog, but probably my most important task of this year will be rehabilitating my knees. I’ve never had good knees but it’s got to the point where they are so useless they are nearly disabling me. I can’t get up off the floor without pulling myself up with my arms, and I have to go down stairs and hills sideways and groaning.

This will probably involve expensive trips to the physio and lots of exercises but I don’t see any alternative. I have had to quit running over the last year just so I could keep walking, but I don’t want to have to stop playing basketball and squash because I’ve let things get even worse. Hand in hand with the fix knees objective is the improve flexibility one. I feel apathetic about both these ideals but like I said – no alternative.

Continue with weights is another goal. I’ve managed about twice a week (most weeks) over the last three months and I have got stronger, slowly. I don’t like doing weights so if I can just maintain these 2 hours a week I will be pleased. Doing what I’ve been doing is a goal of 2011, swimming twice a week, exercising at least 5 days out of 7 etc etc. Although challenging at least it’s nothing new I need to develop. I’ve managed this so far by careful planning – every week I map out my exercise sessions on a spreadsheet, and each day I contemplate what needs to be done the following day to fit it in. I think ad hoc statements such as “I’m going to exercise more” rarely work without this kind of planning…it’s the same with eating. “I’m going to eat more healthily” has to be translated into a plan which involves what and when and how (food must be pre-purchased/prepared).

Instead of getting caught up in same old same old I’d like more variety in my exercise. For example I could do the dance game on the wii or take the mountain bike for a ride along Old Summerleas Road. I’d also like to get my exercise done early rather than leaving it til last thing at night (there have been times I’ve put on a Pump DVD at 10pm), though this goal is hard to fit in with the rest of the family and also my get more sleep ideal. I have some ideas however.

Basketball goal – practise shooting once a week! Because I’m crap.

Spose we should talk about nutritional goals, and one my biggest here is EAT MORE PROTEIN. As a vego I rarely get enough, which means I rarely get enough Vit B and Iron. I take supplements. Lots.

Vit B, Iron, Vit D (most Tasmanians are deficient), Multi-vitamin and fish oil. I’ll still need all of these, but if I can work some protein into every meal I think it will help. By protein I mean soy milk or cheese or nuts tofu or lentils/chickpeas or chia seeds or linseed or whatever else I can think of. By the way I would never consider not being vegetarian because I just don’t agree with the way animals are treated for this objective at the moment. I was really please the other day when I went to the supermarket and all the free-range eggs had sold out – there were only cage eggs left. Of course I didn’t buy them though. Still, this kind of community culture change has taken SO LONG TO ACHIEVE and this frustrates me. I bought free range eggs 25 years ago when there was usually only one alternative on the shelf. For the last 25 years hens have been suffering. Disappointingly, I know people who still buy cage eggs to save money.
Another goal is pretty run of the mill – snack more on fruit and less on other stuff. Eat more vegies, eat more raw food blah blah. Shop regularly – have the right food on hand.

Writing these goals makes me feel quite proud of all I’ve achieved since I was a teenage, junk-food eating refuser of vegetables. I’m pleased that I eat a really healthy diet and exercise regularly and it’s really just refining behaviours more than developing completely new things. It may have taken me a looong time to get here but this age-wisdom thing really works. I wish I’d had it 20 years ago before my turbulent years of binge eating, yo-yo dieting and general extreme behaviours that probably plague every female between the ages of 15 and 35. Sigh.

Only problem now is my mortality. Apparently, I’m not going to live forever. And neither is anyone else.

All of this is probably very boring for you, the reader, but it’s not about you. Ha. It’s me, writing down my objectives. Failure to plan means planning to fail.

Now, I have some health goals for the kids, too. Mainly related to removing them from their pathways to teenage diabetes. This can be achieved but parental consistency is the key. I know I can manage this but keeping Rob on the straight and narrow will be tedious. He can be quite lazy with regard child nutrition. I will have to prepare lists for him such Useful Snacks for Offspring, Nutritious Ideas for Kids Meals and notices such as If-I-see-Jamie-with-Milo-at-6.30am-any-more-I-will-kill-you.

About Me

My photo
Hi. I'm Denny, a 47 year old mother of 3 from Tassie. I run, swim, play basketball and bushwalk. I love woodfired pizza, icecream and chocolate, and I've been a vegetarian for more than 5 years and can't imagine ever "going back".