Thursday, February 25, 2010

What a week!

What an amazing week I have had! Look where I am off to this weekend;
 I am in the process of changing so many areas of my life, primarily my career path. I have been a teacher for the last 20 odd years and am ready for change. I don't want to go into school Admin, having done relief roles and know that is not an area that I can imagine myself doing, there aren't too many pluses in this role, you usually only see the children with behavioural problems, Teaching staff when they have an issue, parents with a similar agenda etc. So when I was offered a role this year as a Key teacher/literacy/numeracy advisor working with small schools along with some of the city school part-time I thought, Yes this is the best of everything I love: working with children that need support, helping other teachers. liasing with staff and travelling. I LOVE it, its such a great job, even have a Government car with a corporate petrol card (for work purposes only of course).I do this on Tuesday, Wednesdays and Thursdays.To cap it off I have also completed my training this week as a Weight Watchers Leader. I was so lucky to met a wonderful lady who is in charge of the Eastern side of Australian WW and be trained by her and our Nth Qld and NT area manager who are the most passionate, lovely ladies I have had the honour to meet. They have such an amazing gift for presenting, knowledge of their product, wonderful strategies, and most importantly a passion for helping people achieve their lifestyle goals. This weekend I am fortunate enough to be flying to Townsville where we will have a leaders session on Sunday looking at new changes coming up at WW, and the latest in nutrition.
Townsville is such a beautiful city. I have plotted out some lovely walks I want to do, have some serious shopping planned and am looking forward to going out for dinner tomorrow night some some other leaders.
Heres a photo of the Strand where Townsville have made the most of their lovely coastline and built some great walking tracks, swimming areas and playgrounds.

Friday, February 19, 2010

yummy pancakes

I can have my favourite Sunday breakfast and not compromise on my points for the rest of the day by having these yummy pancakes from a recipe that has been floating around the WW forums for awhile. The whole plate serve comes out at 4 points. How good is that!
Lemonade Pancakes (3 points for pancakes alone)
1/2 cup self-raising flour (only points are in the flour)
1 egg white
few drops of vanilla essence
diet lemonade (no measurement, gradually add until consistence seems right)

Mix all indgredients together and cook in frypan on high heat.
I have added 1/4 cup blueberries and 1/4 banana

:) YUM, YUM, YUM. :)

I had my hair cut yesterday, the big chop. I love it, although it has taken a bit of getting used to when I first glance in the mirror. Even better my husband and kids love it. All the people are at my meeting this morning were so complimentary. I did an induction for a new member who I have known for about 18 years and haven't seen for awhile(at least a year). Anyway I was chatting away to her like I normally do and could see she was giving polite responses, and then when she went up to pay, I heard her ask one of the weighers who I was. Ha ha, she hadn't recognised me at all and came running over full of appologies.

And yes, I look very tired here, had a very late and big night last night at my husbands companies awards dinner. New Size 10 Portmans shirt though! Lol

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Vaniety sizing

In my new role of Key Teacher/literacy/numeracy advisor I travel a lot to small schools and schools in remote areas. Hence I get to hear a lot of ABC National. Today they ran a very interesting session on sizing in womens clothing and labelled a practise currently used by many major womens clothing chains as vaniety sizing. Major chains are labelling clothing with smaller sizes on labels so feel better about yourself and buy more. The reporter said that seeing a smaller size on the label not only wanted to make you buy more, but continue to buy at that store as it made you feel better. Myer was one of the chains mentioned, and its not an illegel practise. This explains the inconsistencies in shopping where you can come home with three different outfits in different sizes, or convince yourself you aren't getting any bigger because you are still buying the same size. It also talked about the fact that people are getting bigger and some stores are catering for this such as Sportsgirl who now have a size 16 where they never used to carry the bigger sizes. So size does matter????? Nah, as long as you feel good the lable size shouldn't make any difference, BUT it DOES! I remember the first time I fitted back into a ten I wanted to wear teh label on the outside and let everyone

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The way to my heart

Good morning and Happy Valentines Day my lovely readers. Look what I was awoken to this morning. My WDH( Wonderful darling husband) knows what rocks my world. Skinny cap to start the day and he even went to the trouble and used one of the Avanti decorating stencils from a kit the kids gave me for Chrissy to decorate it with a heart. How gorgeous is he!
Valentines Day and love corresponds with the chapter I am reading from "The Biggest Loser Secrets of Sucess"book. I am finding this book so motivating and full of great info. Anyway this chapter is titled "Be your own best friend" and states "It is a fact of life that others will not respect you until YOU love and respect yourself. Part of loving yourself means accepting who you are right now and forgiving any perceived imperfections. Martin Luther King said "Forgiveness is not an occasional act: it is a permanent attitude". If you don't love yourself, other people won't either, because you subconsciously push them away. Learn to be your own best friend. Nuture yourself by pampering your body through non-food activities and be determined NEVER TO SAY ANOTHER NEGATIVE THING ABOUT YOURSELF.
As I have shared before until I made myself a priority and worked upon becoming whole and healthy, I was limiting myself as to what I could give other people.
As lovely as it is to have someone else pamper you on special days,  be your own best friend and take time to pamper yourself. You deserve it.
I love the suggestions on Fly Lady for ideas to pamper yourself: pampering ideas
WORDS ARE POWER! The way we use words determine how we feel about ourselves and dicate our subsequent actions. TBL book suggests writing down some affirming thoughts on cards and keeping them in your purse, attaching them to the sunvisor in your car or on your mirror and reciting them whenever you can.
Two I am going to reflect upon this week are:
I focus on my strengths, I am my own best friend.
I love and nuture myself, knowing I deserve the best life possible.
Never give up, you are worth fighting for, change in life is gradual. I need to also focus this week upon how far I have to go, but upon what I have achieved. Who would have thought how elusive these final phesky kgs could be.
Ok off to pamper myself with a run and then a home pedi and this afternoon I am going to lock myself in the bathroom, light my favourite candle and soak in a lovely bubble bath using my fav Body Shop products and read the latest WW mag. Already for another week! Tonight I am cooking a special Valentines Dinner to let my family know how much I love them. I'm trying Jo's peppercorn sauce as my WDH loves his steak and peppercorn sauce, still working on what vegies, and for dessert we will have Berry Dream from STGTBT 5. Will post recipe if its a hit :)
Have a wonderful day everyone, and enjoy being YOU.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

And today I ate

Doing 6.00am classes at the gym means I have been on the hunt for breakfast ideas I can prepare ahead of time, so as soon as I rush home I can shower, dress,wake the kids and get them organised for school, grab breakfast,clean teeth and be on the road for school and dropoffs within an hour. This is a yum breakfast that ticks all the boxes as I can make it the night before and throw it into the fridge so its all ready to go. Likewise with the sandwiches (yes, I know I have said before sandwiches aren't my favourite meal however occasionally I crave carbs and who can beat a good ol curried egg sanga). The evening meal I marinated the pork overnight and it only takes a couple of seconds to toss the salad together while my Husband cooked the pork on the BBQ so what could be simpler! Even better all are low in points and delicious.
Cranberry and Apple Muesli
Serves 2 @ 4 points a serve
200g skim-milk yogurt
60g rolled oats
80ml unsweetened apple juice
1 small green apple, chopped in small bits(could be grated coarsely)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
sprinkle of cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in serving bowls, cover, refridgerate overnight.

Lunch: Curried egg sandwiches minus the high fat mayo. This is a higher point lunch than I often have however with all the extra exercise I am needing more, and I am still loosing weight.

Curried Egg Sandwiches
Serves 2 @ 5 points

2 hardboiled eggs
1 tbsp low-fat ricotta cheese
2 tablsp low-fat cottage cheese
curry powder to taste
spinach leaves
4 slices of soy and linseed bread

1. Place egg, curry powder and cheeses in bowl and mash.
2. Divide egg mixture between two slices of bread, top with spinach leaves top with remaining bread.

Dinner: This was so good everyone cleaned up their whole plate and have asked for it again! The salad dressing definately has a zing!

Hoisin pork with spinach leave salad

Serves 2(adapt quanties if cooking for more) @ 4 points

250g pork fillet
2 tablsp hoisin sauce
cooking-oil spray
350 g spinach leaves
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
1 small green apple, sliced thinly
1/2 small red onion, sliced thinly
2 tablesp lime juice
1 tablesp light soy sauce
2 cm piece fresh ginger, grated
1 small red thai chilli, chopped finely

1. Spread pork with hoisin sauce. Spray frying pan or BBQ plate with cooking oil. Cook pork. Cover and stand for 5 minutes.
2. Combine spincah leaves, mint, apple and onion in bowl.
3. Combine juice, soy sauce, ginger and chilli in small jug. Add to salad and toss to combine.
4. Serve salad and top with pork.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Gotta love weekends!

We had a wonderful weekend. We went to Airlie Beach for lunch then out to Cedar Creek Falls for some bushwalking and swimming. It was one of those days that just make you think this is what life is about, spending time with the ones you love, being active, being outdoors and having fun.
It also symbolised in many ways how far I have come on my journey. I chose a delicious Thai prawn salad for lunch at a restaurant that makes the best pizzas in the world. I enjoyed my salad, and felt satisifed after eating it. Everyone complained about being very full. Pizzas did look and smell devine though! To be able to do all the walks and climbs is a major accomplishment. As you can see from the waterfall it is a steep climb. To feel comfortable in public wearing swimmers and shorts is a major hurdle. And looking at the photo of my husband and I, I used to be bigger than him!
While we climbed the waterfall, I didn't take up the challenge of plunging in off the ledge, despite how much my teenagers assured me "ït was safe"and so much fun!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Asian-glazed Asparagus with grilled Steak

Tonight we enjoyed a yummy dish from the Biggest Loser web site. There are some great recipes on there check them out. I also made some pumpkin scones which I'll post tomorrow. Off to watch the master chef eposide tonight.
Asian-Glazed Asparagus with Grilled Steak
Serves 4

Asian spread:
2 tblsp Flora-proactive spread, softened
2 spring onins, sliced
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 small chilli. finely chopped
2 teaspn freshly grated ginger
2 tespn oyster sauce
2 teaspn kecap manis

3 bunches fresh asparagus

2 x 125g fillet steak, grilled (we BBQed)

2 carrots, cut into batons
1 red capsicum, sliced

1. Asian spread: Place marg, spring onions, garlic, chilli, ginger, oyster sauce and kecap manis into a small bowl and mix well.
2. Asparagus: Trims tems of asparagus and rinse under cold water. Steam until tender but still crisp and toss with half dressing.
3. Stir fry carrots and capsicum until soft.
4.. Cook steak to your liking. Serve asparagus with steak and veg. Top with remaining dressing.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The power to transform your body and your life is in your hands

I was suprised yesterday as I was wondering around Bookworld to discover a display stand set up completely with Biggest Loser books. I had no idea there were so many in the series. There was Michelle Bridges new cookbook, Crunchtime and a number of Biggest Loser books offering a range of strategies to successfully lose weight and achieve health. I picked up "Secrets of Sucess"as I love before and after images and stories and find when the motivation is waning these can inspire. Even better there was 20% off all the items.
I loved the opening statement "Your health is your most valuable asset. Beyond looking attractive, the advantages of staying in shape are increased levels of stamina, a heightened sense of well being, and a joy and confidence that shine from within." Absolutely, there is no better feeling than the sucess of achieving health and weightloss. I was asked the other day by a fellow repeat offender(ie lifetime WW member who has restarted program so many times she has lost count. Many attempts I joined her for the ride) why I was succesful this time round, in comparison to previous attempts when I didn't go the distance and grew comfortable or other priorities took over. I thought about this, and the anwser for me was a few things.
1. I realised I wasn't being a bad person, to put myself first. It didn't mean my family, friends or work were less important. It meant that I could become the best person I could be by giving myself permission to say no, that's my time to exercise. I thought I didn't have anymore time to fit anything else in. Wrong, if its important you can always make time. It worked for me to make a timetable up at the beginning of the week, put in givens and then timetable my exercise, no excuses and no change. This worked.
2. I lost focus on the numbers, instead making the best health decisions became priority. I used to find it did my head in worrying about the numbers on the scale, and instead by thinking is what I'm putting in my mouth going to make me feel clean, healthy and taste good and make me healthy helped more. I had a goal of being fit enough to go skiing with my family and gave myself nine months to acheive that goal, not based upon body size.
3. The mantra "No excuses". By repeating this over and over whenever I doubted myself.
4. Going to WW meetings every week. In the past I have thought I have the tools, I have the knowledge, I'm sick of paying all this money to WW when I can do it myself. Guess what this didn't work for me. Without the accountability of someone else seeing the scales, the pat on the back, or the question what would you do differently, the exercise, food, cooking, motivation hints and general social gathering each week it doesn't work for me. I love meeting so many different people from different walks of life, different ages and lifestyles and we all have the same goal.
5. PLANNING, PLANNING, PLANNING. O'k I know I'm somewhat of a control freak so planning is essetial to me. I sit down Saturday mornings and write a weekly menu and exercise plan and shopping list to go with it. Then only buy whats on the list. This helps when I'm really busy so I don't have to think, all ingredients are on hand, I have planned menu around busy nights etc. I make sure I have added up point values and nutritioanlly have a balance of food. We have fish twice a week, at tleast one vegetarian night and I allow a night for entertaining, we may go out, or at home. I also fill all the water bottles at the beginning of the day and make sure I drink the lot.
This has turned into a long blurb than planned, and am so late now, had better run.....just lastly I have to ask you, do you really want to live your best life, do you want a healthy happy future for yourself? Then the power to transform your body and life is in YOUR hands. Its all about choice not chance.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Guns of steel

I started back at the gym today and did my first session of pump. Ouch I am soooo sore but will be very happy if I end up with a bod like this!!!!! :)

I took these photos last year at Pinks final Australian concert in Sydney. If I could be granted one wish for a bod, it would be like Pinks. She is so toned and has so much energy. She looked amazing last night at the Grammy's, not many people could get away with the outfit she wore!!!! Not that I'm aiming for And as much as I enjoy working out to some of Lady Gaga's music, I don't aspire to her wardrobe.:)