Category Archives: Working Out

Walking for a Cause

Has it really been two weeks since last I posted?! Sorry guys, life has gotten a little hectic around here. I have been frantically sorting out birthday and Christmas presents to send back home in time, working like a dog, fitting in daily walks and trying really hard to eat clean. 3 out of 4 ain’t bad, right?!
But in the spirit of improving my health and well-being, I have decided to take part in the Emma & Tom’s Christmas event this year! Include ‘Christmas’ in the title and I am pretty much there. Maybe even with bells on, I haven’t decided yet.

The event takes place on December 11th at beautiful Albert Park. It is a running/walking event – so clearly I will be walking. But this year I have decided to push myself and go for the 10km walk. I don’t know about you guys, but this is kind of a big deal for me. I have never done a 10km walk before – having only competed in a couple of 5km walks in the past.

The first one I did in January 2010 – I took part in the Molenberg SUB Stride to Ride Series (which apparently isn’t a thing anymore, cos I can’t find a link for it) hosted by Sarah Ulmer – it was my first ever walking event and although I did like no training whatsoever, I managed to come 2nd in my age group! I would have come first if I had realised the lady ahead of me was in the same group – she was pretty far ahead, but if I had known we were both aiming for first, I would have kicked her arse! I did come away with a nice Bendon sports bra/underwear set and got to shake Sarah’s hand for my efforts though.

I take walking seriously
I take walking seriously


The second walk was in July 2012 – a group from work was fundraising for Kids Under Cover as part of the Run Melbourne event. Again, I went for the 5km walk option. Only this time I walked/gossiped with a co-worker and I had a sore foot at the time, so wasn’t going for any records here. I don’t even think I raised that much money to be honest, either. Epic fail.

At the starting line.
At the starting line.
I walked 5km and all I got was this lousy medal.
I walked 5km and all I got was this lousy medal.

So this time around, I am aiming to do the 10km walk in under an hour an a half. I can usually do 5km in about 40-50 minutes, so I’m hoping I can keep my swift pace for the full 10kms. Side-note – I am a naturally fast walker. No matter what I am doing, or where I am going, I walk like a gal on a mission. I actually can’t help it, and feel really uncomfortable walking any slower. Hoping to use this to my advantage, and this time I actually do want to raise some money for the Peter MacCullum Cancer Centre and make good time in my event.

I will totally be donning a naff Christmas t-shirt and maybe even a reindeer headband or something, and will also be bringing a gift or two to place under the tree for the brave children and their families currently fighting cancer.

I would love your help in fundraising and have set up a page here for anyone who can spare a donation.

Thanks guys!


This Week I’m Loving…

This morning I feel lucky to be alive, folks!  I don’t recall having a bad dream, or dreaming about swimming, but I woke up at 4.30am gasping for breath and gulping down as much air as I could.  I totally felt like I had just drowned in my sleep.  My partner is at work, doing a rare super-early morning shift, my nerves are completely shot and I’m too scared to go back to sleep, so I figure, what better time to write a blog post than now?!  It’s 5.30am, I am really tired and inwardly freaking out that I’m about to ‘kick the bucket’, so please excuse me if the rest of what I’m about to write doesn’t make a whole lot of sense!

Has this happened to anyone else though?!  Any reassurances would be much appreciated.  Maybe it’s time to go to the doctor for a check up?!  God knows it’s been a while.

Onwards and upwards – you’d think after nearly dying and all that my list of loves would be quite profound and heartfelt, but I’m struggling to keep it together as it is, so the best I can give you is from the list I jotted down yesterday morning – not life-changing stuff, but I hope you enjoy!

Garnier BB Cream – It has been a while since I gave my thoughts on any beauty products, but this one has totally changed my routine!  I am definitely a liquid foundation gal and while I have loved the Covergirl Clean range in the past, the last one I got smells very strong, is super runny and made my skin look very shiny in the oil slick rather than soft and dewey kind of way.  So for the past few weeks I have been using powder foundation and although the sheen has reduced, the coverage is not as good as liquid foundation and my pores look HUGE.  Enter BB Cream.  I feel like I am always a step behind everyone else with this kind of stuff because I have heard rave reviews about BB cream, but never tried it until now.  This stuff is amazing.  It totally evens out my skin tone, reduces my pores significantly and provides a really nice base for my powder foundation.  It doesn’t really cover my random spots and I’m too vain to wear it on its own (although you totally could), but I will definitely keep using this one.

Wonderbook: Book of Spells
This kid is having a ball (Photo credit: PlayStation Europe)

I am a huge Harry Potter fan and almost fell over in excitement when I saw this advertised at our local gaming store over the weekend.  I know the series is over, but anything that can keep the magic of Hogwarts alive is fine by me, so I am really looking forward to its release.  Basically Playstation is bringing out a new series called Wonderbook, the first being the Harry Potter Book of Spells.  Who knows what else they’ll come up with?!

Found this on Pinterest of all places, book-marked it and had a good chuckle.  16 Ways I Blew My Marriage.  Simple, honest advise that really should be a no-brainer, but can be all too easy to forget in the ebb and flow of everyday life.  I know I’ll be taking some of this on board.

So the reason we were at a gaming store over the weekend is because we were looking into getting an Xbox 360 Kinect.  We totally got one and it is awesome!  I’ve always been into gaming.  I remember spending literally hours wrapped up in the worlds of Banjo-Kazooie, Jak and Daxter and Zelda on our Nintendo 64 in my youth and have enjoyed these types of games ever since.  Although I loved my Wii back in Christchurch, the Kinect takes it to a whole ‘nother level – you don’t even need a controller, you guys!  Your hands take care of everything.  The main reason I wanted this console was so I could get down with my bad self in the privacy of my own home and although I’m not a good dancer by any stretch of the imagination, Dance Central is fun and sure makes me feel like I could dance battle you anywhere anytime.

Finally, another website that might make you chuckle – It’s Lovely!  I’ll Take It! features some of the worst real estate photos in the world.  How these people thought this would help sell their houses is beyond me, but it least it provides us with some entertainment, am i right?!

Hope you guys all had a wonderful weekend and a special shout-out to my family and friends back in New Zealand – enjoy your long weekend!

Also – I’m sadly not going to the gym today on account of the nearly dying thing, but I did run for 9 whole minutes on Friday – booyah!

A Workout I Can Work With

For some reason I thought I had talked to you guys about the Couch to 5k challenge I have been doing, but apparently I only mentioned it in passing. So I thought I would dedicate a whole post as I am pretty freakin proud of my progress!

So I started this thing six weeks ago and have been super consistent in going to the gym and getting my workouts done-did.  I only slipped up one week and that was because I was in Sydney – remember, I took my gym gear with me?  Well, I wasn’t able to access the gym at all and was too scared to ask anyone, so I didn’t bother.

The app I am using is called Ease Into 5k and basically it does what the name suggests – takes you slowly from not being able to run at all, to comfortably being able to run for 5kms.  I am not a runner.  Never have been, thought I never will be.  In the past, the only thing that would get these legs moving at a fast rate would be a generous dose of Party Rocking or possibly the promise of chocolate.  Just kidding, I totally can’t dance.

So yeah, I tried running once or twice, nearly died/fainted and decided running wasn’t for me.  Except, everyone seems to do it right?!  I started going to the gym a couple of months ago to burn off some muffin top and tone up for summer.  I worked that cross trainer like a boss!  But it seemed that not matter how hard or fast (that sounds wrong) I was pushing myself, everyone else was doing more.  Those smarmy treadmill-users looked down on me in disgust.  So I decided that if you can’t beat them, join them, right?  There was no way I wanted to run on one, though, so I was kind of stuck.  I reached out to you guys and you showed me the light.

I decided that easing into 5k was a reasonable challenge – the workout only lasts for 30 minutes, three times a week for eight weeks – and in each workout you alternate between running and walking.  Even I could manage that.  It really did start me off slow and after the first workout I felt really good, like I had achieved something.  I’m now on Week 5, Day 3 and am running up to six minutes at a time!  Well, let’s be real here – I’m probably not “running”, but I am definitely jogging quickly and my walks are fast – I find it physically uncomfortable to walk slowly.

Although it has been great to build my fitness up this way, I still have a bit of muffin top action going on and my appetite has totally increased.  I feel like now that I am working out, it’s okay for me to eat rubbish on a daily basis now and then so I’m kind of counter-acting the work out, but sugar and I are totally bff’s – there’s no breaking a love like ours.  So this week I have gone to the gym on my “rest days” too, which is cray-cray I know, but also really good.

I’m not going to get too excited here just yet – tomorrow I have to run for 9 whole minutes straight!  Nine.

I’ve Totally Changed

This week I have been lucky-slash-unlucky enough to be selected to attend a conference in Sydney for work!  Lucky because it is a fully paid trip to Sydney (boo-yah!) and unlucky because I am not actually attending the event, just exhibiting which means I am going to have to work damn hard to make it worthwhile: sell, sell, smile, sell and sell some more.  No presh, right?

I got up super early on Tuesday morning, went for my couch to 5k run at the gym (ran 6 minutes straight at one point – who knew I had it in me?!  I spent a while trying and failing to get iTunes to recognise my iPhone – seriously, sort your sh*t out!  And I got to the airport with plenty of time to spare, but for some reason my name was called over the loudspeakers to hurry the f#@k up and board the plane.  Oops.  I still had 15 minutes until it was due to leave, but apparently it was of ultimate urgency that I got my body on that plane right-this-instant-young-lady.  It was totally awkward and kind of cool.  The plane ended up being delayed (so not my fault) and we sat on the tarmac for like 30 minutes anyways, so I really should have taken my sweet time.

One thing I realised (aside from the fact that I forgot to bring my headphones) is that I have come a long way.  I don’t consider myself high maintenance, although I did pack 7kg worth of checked luggage for a two night stay out-of-town… what?  You don’t do that?… but I do like to take care of myself and make sure I look good when I leave the house.  In fact, the gym is the only time you would see me out in the real world without a stitch of makeup.  But I digress, my point is that I have bought my gym gear with me, but didn’t pack my hair straightener!!  When did I become that person?

Now I’m not entirely sure if it was a conscious decision – my ghd does take up a bit of space in the old checked luggage, and I am going to be standing behind a table of books for the next two days speaking with English teachers and representing my place of work, so it’s totally a hair-up situation.  Although I have been known to be the “pack more than I need” kind of gal in the past, these days I really try to only take the stuff I am actually going to use, so there’s that.

But also there’s the fact that I actually looked up my hotel to find out if they have a gym and made sure that I packed my gym gear, fully intending to work out while I’m out of town.  I don’t know about you guys, but I am so impressed with myself right now.  Do you think that means that I am finally one of those people who actually enjoys working out?!  I guess it has been a gradual thing, but the couch to 5k app has certainly helped me there.  My body responds well to the interval training – a few weeks ago if you had asked me to run for even one minute straight, I would have collapsed and fainted.  But yesterday I ran for 4 minutes, 6 minutes and 4 minutes again with walking breaks in-between and I found it really easy!  There is hope for me yet.  I am half way to the 5k goal, yippee!

If only I could get back on the diet bandwagon and actually manage to lose some puppy fat while I’m at it.

Would you rather have your hair straighteners or gym bag?  Have you ever used a hotel gym before?  And why is makeup so heavy yet so necessary?!

This Week I’m Loving…

That about wraps up another week, friends.  Is it just me, or can anyone else totally not believe it is nearly October?!  September, you came and went too quickly for this girl.  In saying that, I am glad we have seen the sun again and am so looking forward to the Summer!  Bring on a ton of gym sessions and fake tan and I will nearly be ready to face the public glare in my bikini.

In the meantime though, here are the things I covet this week:

1.       My Modcloth order arrived on Monday!  I ordered two dresses and a t-shirt and am actually happy with them all – was even able to wear the t-shirt yesterday – thank you 23 degrees.

2.       The Killers are doing a show in January and we somehow managed to get tickets?!  Apparently they sold out in like 2 minutes.  For reals.  If it weren’t for the dedication of my partner in crime, I fear we would have missed out – which we so were not prepared to do as we missed out on seeing them last time.

3.       I mentioned in my last post that I now have a kick-ass office set up in my apartment now.  It is so great to be able to sit at an actual desk with an actual chair to use my laptop.  Yeah, I know right, but have you ever used a laptop on your lap before?  Not advisable.  So I have a cute lamp and some plantage happening and I am really digging this space.


4.       I am a huge jtb and shutts fan, but over the past few months have gotten super behind on their podcast.  So this week I have downloaded them and have listened every chance I got.  I’m talking at the gym, on my way to and from work, and one day I even listened while I was working.  They have been in my earballs all week and I’m nearly caught up.  The only downside is looking like a complete noob as I giggle away to myself walking out and about in the real world.  It’s a small price to pay, folks.

Joy The Baker Podcast – Get On It

5.       So I also mentioned somewhere along the way that I was doing the couch to 5k challenge?  Maybe?  I can’t remember.  Anyways, so far so good, considering my previous attempts at running only lasted for a minute or so and ended with my nearly fainting and feeling like I was about to die.  Dramatic much?  I am using the ease into 5k app and really like how simple and easy it is to use.  I can listen to my own music (or podcast) as I train, and because it alternates between walking and jogging/running I am not getting the omg-I-am-going-to-die feeling that I would get if I straight out ran.  Also, you dont even have to really think about what you are doing, as the trainer in the app tells you when its time to run and when it’s time to jog.  The less thinking I have to do, the better, so that is a big high-five from me.

My Own Personal Trainer

6.       Last weekend we hired a car and took a mini road trip out-of-town.  We somehow ended up at Ballarat Bird World, which sounded totally lame and we were like the only visitors there.  But, if you don’t try these things you never know, right?!  Turned out to be the best part of the weekend – owned by a lovely older couple, the area is really well maintained and has a huge range of parrots and cockatoos.  We even got to enter one of the enclosures and meet Little Bugg(er) up close and personal.  He was the coolest bird I have ever met in my life and I’m pretty sure we’re bffs now.

I’m Smiling on the Outside, but also Wondering if he’s About to Eat my Face off

7.       Also, this pizza we made last night was the bomb!

Jealous Much?

Hope you’re all having a great weekend and Monday isn’t too hard.

This Week I’m Loving…

Oops so I basically could not be bothered writing anything yesterday, which means my “This Week I’m Loving” is hitting your eyeballs today rather than yesterday.

But, on a positive note, I will just add that my morning workouts are still going well! On Thursday I continued my at-home stretches; Friday I hit the gym; Saturday I took the day off, but did download a workout app, which I plan to use this week. Sunday I was back at the gym and totes watched morning cartoons as I pushed myself a bit harder. This morning was spent stretching at home. I am looking into investing in an Xbox 360 so that I can play those dance games (without having to hold a controller, which let’s be honest, would probably find itself flung across the room or into a window anyways). I think I do need to mix up my home workouts a bit. After flicking through my Women’s Health magazine this morning I came across a nice little 10 minute treadmill routine, which if I am brave I will try tomorrow. 10 minutes is not long at all, and if it helps me get over my treadmill aversion then I am all for it.

So, what things have caught my eye the past week and a bit?

Imagine it in Summer!

The Daylesford Cidery – We hadn’t planned on visiting the Cidery (didn’t even know it existed, to be honest), but saw a sign for it as we drove by. On a whim, we checked the place out and it was beautiful.  They had only just opened their doors for the day, so we didn’t stay long – just long enough to sample their wares, and I must say, I have never had cider like it! They make a traditional still cider in three varieties – sweet, medium and dry. Very nice.

Continue reading This Week I’m Loving…

Working Out is Hard to Do

Gym Cardio Area Overlooking Greenery Category:...
If Only (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, I think last week was pretty much a success!  I got up every day at 6am – weekends do not count, as both Saturdays and Sundays are days of rest….Or hiring a car and road-tripping!  Either way, exercise is optional.  And I totes opted out.

 Monday and Tuesday I hit the gym.  Monday was fantastic!  But on Tuesday I just wasn’t feeling it.  I think two days in a row did not agree with my body, since this whole thing is pretty new to me.  So on Wednesday I did some stretches at home instead.  Thursday I was back at the gym and back in the swing of feeling fabulous.  On Friday I planned on going for a walk, but it was so cold and really dark out (and I have a huge stranger-danger fear walking alone in the day time let alone 6 in the morning!), so I stretched at home instead.

 Over the weekend I did a bit of walking about while we explored a few areas out-of-town (Torquay/Apollo Bay and Daylesford).  It was so nice to get out of the city, but I did get a bit carsick at one point, on account of all the winding roads!  Plus I haven’t really been in a car since January, so there’s that too.

 This week I was back at the gym today and on Monday, while yesterday I tried some new stretches at home and my abs are still aching.  That Women’s Health magazine subscription is finally paying off!

 So my gym routine is pretty blah really.  I’m not a fan of the weights, and have a fear of personal trainers and gym buffs, so I pretty much stick to myself.  I alternate between using the cross trainer, and the two stationary bikes (one is more like a normal bike, but the other has a back to the seat and your legs are more out in front of you.  You know, these ones?).  I pick two machines and do 15 minutes on each, cos I really don’t have that much spare time in the morning.  But I find that a half hour workout is enough to make me sweat, work my muscles and energize me for the day ahead.  Once I get better at this, I will increase the resistance on the machines and push myself a bit harder.  Today I tried a new machine – it’s a step machine where you basically have to step and hold yourself up.  It was okay, I got the hang of it about halfway through the session, and pretended I knew what the heck I was doing if ever anyone walked past!  Apparently I walked the equivalent of 33 floors, although who’s counting?!

 So basically, I am enjoying this new-found energy and although it was tough getting up so early to begin with, I’ve now gotten into the rhythm and I’ve found that allowing myself small treats now and then (yeah, that quitting sugar thing is a work in progress!) definitely keeps me motivated to get out of bed in the morning.

 I’m hoping that my routine is doing something – today my abs feel tighter and I hope that my legs and butt are firming up, but how do you really know, right?  I’m not about to start weighing and measuring myself daily, that’s for sure.  I could probably use some assistance in the general gym equipment area, so now my questions for you are:

 What is a good phone app to use for your gym workout?

Which machines do you find give you the best results?