Day ?.1 – Maintaining Holding Pattern….

So, here we are. You in front of your smart (or android/old school) device. Me in front of mine.

The sad realisation hit me tonight – I have run out of cereal, and my shake powder is yet to arrive. What to do, what to do? I do realise, in the world that we live in, this is a relatively inconsequential event. Solving my protein powder dilemma will not solve world peace, global poverty, or the possible extinction of some obscure gnat species.

But this is my blog. So I can allow myself the indulgence of assuming that the world has tilted slightly on its axis, purely because of my dilemma.

Now, in my absence from blogging, I have not completely absconded from the world of healthy eating principles. (This does not mean I have employed the principles, just that I have been researching them. And by that I mean buying books on super foods and the wonderful world of 'green' smoothies. Some of these books I've even flicked through.)

It seems everybody worth noting (in the healthy eating arena) has recently written a book on green smoothies. There are literally HUNDREDS of recipes for different concoctions, some with self-explanatory names and some with names only a mother could identify. But many of them agree that kale is the new black (or green, as the case may be). I have yet to try it – somehow the bunches of green, frilly leaves appear alarmingly large. And I wouldn't want to waste money buying said bunches, only to watch them wither and wilt in my 'drawer of good intentions' (the crisper). I guess I could always eat it…

Good news, tho'…… I have located enough chocolate protein powder to keep me going (albeit a little more chocolatey than I would like). Still, as my Great Grandmama used to say, “needs must when the devil drives”. So, my chocolatey, banana nut breakfast drink awaits me at the other end of my night's sleep.

Sweet dreams!!

 

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Days 3.3 – {Insert Red Cheeks Here}

Well that's been quite some break I've had……. Months and months of inactivity on the blog front. I feel quite – well, I don't know exactly. Ashamed, in a way. Feeling a bit like I've let my followers down.

Mind you, there hasn't been a huge life-event or grave illness to explain away my absence. I just got out of the habit of putting my fitness journey 'top of mind and priority'. And just dealt with the humdrum instead. Months and months of it.

However, before I slide into total relapse, I'm giving it another shot. I know that the Isagenix option gave great results, so I've got some products winging their way to me as I type. I have REALLY missed those breakfast shakes! Cereal is great, but I still seem to get sluggish and I can feel that midsection is in mortal danger of expanding once more.

Not. Gonna. Happen.

So, see you all again soon. Hope you haven't missed me too much (ok, well maybe just a little).

Ciao!!!

 

Day 3.2 – Heading for tranquility…..

So I decided that there was no time like the present to go in search of a great massage place. One with muted lighting, melodic music, and professional shop fit out. And clean – lack of hygiene is a clear deal-breaker for me.

I drove half an hour to a shopping centre that is a little more up-market than the local mini-mall, and checked out the options. You can kind of tell that a massage centre is not for you when they have sheets hung from the ceilings to create cubicles. Hey, if I'm going to experience pain, it's probably not good for business for their other clientele to hear me scream…..

However, as I approached the last option I noticed a person with a Hockeyroos tracksuit walking out (the Hockeyroos are Australia's National Field Hockey Team). She was smiling, which I took to be a sign….

I checked the prices, and discovered that the head and shoulders massage was going to set me back quite a bit more than one of the sheet-cubicle places, and I could almost hear my mother saying “Well, you know, usually you get what you pay for”. They had private rooms for the massages, muted lighting AND gentle music. Even better, they had a gorgeous poodle puppy at the reception desk (sitting quietly behind the counter). What could go wrong?

A short time later I was ushered respectfully into one of the rooms, and a sweet-faced, tiny slip of a thing left me to arrange myself. I also explained very carefully that I was in a lot of pain, and really needed a gentle touch. I believe my last words to her were actually “Please don't kill me……”

Now I won't give you a gasp-by-scream description of the entire massage (all 45 minutes of it). Let's just say that I've discovered that behind the sweet face of any masseuse lies a Heartless Helga. One that feels like she is actually inserting her elbow right into your collar-bone. And, as you lie there feeling her fingers work right into the shoulder socket, you send a silent prayer to the God of Massage in the vain hope that the crackling feeling you experience as she works is not, in fact, your tendons snapping out of place (to be irreparably stretched or shredded).

I'm thinking one of the reasons these places do such a roaring trade is that – once the massage is over – the blood rushes out of your head and you're left with a dreamlike state where you hand over your money, stumble to the door with a vague 'yes, it was wonderful' and wobble off down the walkway wondering whether the toxins that you've supposedly released have suddenly flooded your pain sensors so that you don't feel pain. You don't feel anything, really. In fact, your brain appears to be floating somewhere 2 foot above your skull!!

Now, that was several hours ago. And, let me tell you, I am quite definitely feelng pain. In places I didn't even know I HAD tight muscles before! My shoulders both feel like they have been pummeled. And I'm almost too frightened to check to see if I'm bruised…

The good news is, tho', Miss N is quite happy with the result of her work. And she recommends I come back weekly to continue my treatment……

 

Day 3.1 – In which a mystery is solved…..

Do you ever have moments where you have been desperately trying to find an answer to what you think is surely not such a difficult question? This has been me for a few weeks. I've been experiencing a seriously painful shoulder – so much so that it's made sleeping on one side impossible.

Of course, I mentioned it to my local doctor and was advised to take panadol. But it was really starting to worry me, not just physically but in terms of an overactive use of Dr Google. I wasn't convinced (as it seemed my doctor was) that the problem was related to the shoulder joint. But I was reluctant to really DO any activity (like doing weights) that could possibly aggravate any injury or condition. I didn't know what was wrong, but I didn't want to make it worse anyway!!

So tonight I ran into an old friend, who also happens to be a GP. And I did that thing that you swear you never do – I asked her opinion. [I did ask if I could ask her first. I didn't want to be one of those people who regale an expert in any field with a list of problems you have……]

Well, I turns out that I am actually experiencing a quite common condition. One that she sees a lot of in her practice. The shoulder pain, and the subsequent shooting pain in my arm, is actually nerve-related. And is a result of the muscle in question impacting on the nerve.

As a result of STRESS!!!

Stress!!! She has suggested gentle massage to relax the muscles, and perhaps an anti-inflammatory cream to help things along….. Sigh…….all this time I've been putting up with the pain and worrying about it, and it's probably made the situation worse!!

Anyhoo, I'm thinking that a lovely massage (NOT one given by Helga the Horrid) sounds just fabulous! I can almost smell the essential oils and hear the relaxation music…..

Must go now. Peace and tranquility await…. Ommmmmmmm……..

 

Days 2.8-2.30 – Hello, remember me………..?

Goodness me, in the blink of an eye 3 weeks have zoomed past! You may have wondered where I'd vanished to. You may have checked to see whether you'd missed a blog post. You may even have thought that perhaps I'd fallen off the wagon….

And what did you hear? Crickets. And plenty of them.

I hasten to assure you that I have not – in fact – stopped my cleanse progress. I have continued on, even tho' I haven't blogged about it. It's been one of those “omigosh-has-a-whole-week-gone” periods. To be honest, the thing that alerted me to the end of the second month of cleansing was the fact that I was nearly out of one of my nutritional supplements.

So, what about my results? I'm so glad you asked! Now, the actual deep cleansing struck a bit of a land mine this month. It seemed like every time I planned one, something would happen to make deep cleansing seem impossible. Why? I'm not sure. Part of me suspects that perhaps there was a small amount of chickening out. However, I'm not about to spend too much of my time deliberating over the whys and wherefores of that (which, in itself, is a departure for me). The old me may have spent a couple of months analyzing the whys (and avoiding the 'do's') until I'd successfully viewed it all from every angle. But that was the old me. Not Kat 2.0!

The measurements are all in, and I'm happy to report that (although I have only released a couple of kilos) I am significantly smaller between the shoulders and the hips. WOOHOO!!!!!! There was even a moment a week ago where I had to whip out and buy myself a belt on the way to a meeting…. I realized as I walked out the door of the house that I was in mortal danger of losing my dignity in public if I didn't do something to ensure that my work pants stayed north of the hip region……

So, I'm back folks! Apologies if you've been missing me. And Cycle 3 here I come…..

 

Day 2.7 – Not-quite-Vogue-Magazine…….

So today we're going to talk about fashion. Yes, that's the 'F-word' that most of we females over a Size 10 aren't terribly familiar with. And guys, I'm sorry if this topic doesn't quite apply to you. But you might like to keep reading for educational purposes……

Plus-size Fashion Inspiration

I'm not sure if I'm mentioned it before, but I'm actually quite tall for a female – 183cm (6 foot) in bare feet. I mention this, as it may have some bearing on my experiences with plus size clothing. But I have several gripes with the clothing that is produced for women (although it may also be a geographic issue – we don't have the range that you can get, for example, in the USA).

So, in no particular order, here are some of my experiences with female clothing:

  • Style: there's always been a sad lack of style in the clothing proffered for the plus sizes. Somebody, somewhere, years ago decided that the shapeless t-shirt was the most flattering sale for us all. An oversized rectangle shape with sleeves that attach at the shoulder. Sort of like a very Bold T shape. With absolutely no shaping, indenting or flattering cut to minimize the upper arm. The short sleeved versions usually finish somewhere just above the elbow (but long enough to make it seem that your arms protrude like two fat sausages from the shoulder). Lucky for us, there seems to be no end to the available designs of the T-shirt Potato Sack – floral, geometric, plain, striped (curiously, always horizontal), pastel, bright, Hawaiian-style…….. Lucky, lucky us!
  • Sizing: now, although most countries seem to have adopted a fairly consistent sizing protocol, I'm not quite sure who came up with the plus size sizes. If you look at the petites range, they are always made to a shorter length. Not so with the plus sizes. For some obscure reason, the sizing seems to be based on the average height female (who would be, it appears, considerably shorter than 183 cm). As the sizes go up, the only direction that the garments expand in is width. For me, this means that (even if I go up 2 or 3 sizes) there is still nothing that is quite the right length. Dropped waist dresses end across the widest part of my hips. The darts in tops/dresses that are meant to give a little more shape to the chest region, don't start anywhere lower than the under arm and then come diagonally upwards to a position that's about 5cm higher than they should be. And no amount of tugging downwards will put them in the right place (no matter how much of an uplift your bra gives you). Smart pants end in various positions around the ankle. Dresses and skirts are either just on the knee or at a ridiculously (and perilous-for-modesty) high position on the thigh. When you're blessed with legs that are a little more 'solid', the least flattering look must surely be a skirt that is wider than it is long!
  • Cost: I confess I do object to paying more for clothes in the plus size section. Perhaps if they were one-off designs or bespoke items, I could understand it. But most of the clothing offered by department stores is mass-produced somewhere inexpensive. And I have noticed that similar items appear in both the ladies wear and plus size sections – sometimes with the same size offered in both sections. But the plus size piece of clothing is always at least $2 more expensive. I DID get up the courage to ask a sales girl once, why this could be. And when she calmly told me that it was because they had to use a lot more fabric in the plus sizes, I calmly put down the top I was going to buy and left the store. Diplomacy is a lost art, sometimes, isn't it?
  • Range: I'll be blunt. The range of styles available for plus sizes is abysmally limited. Surely there must be talented designers out there in the big, wide world who enjoy designing clothes for people who have more shape than a swizzle stick!!!!!!! Wouldn't it be a great challenge to find styles that were flattering for different figures, rather than making the same styles over and over again? Isn't there the same enjoyment in creating clothes that people will be able to wear comfortably and love, in fabrics that you adore, as there is in creating a material straw? And don't you think there would be a stampede for clothes that were designed for real women? We don't all look like a supermodel (and we can't afford the surgery to remove ribs)!!!!
  • Quality: Now, most of us can't really afford to buy designer clothes for everyday wear. We save them (if we can get them) for special occasions. But I have to say that a lot of the offerings for we plus size women are made with a very limited range of fabrics. They're predominantly polyester or cotton/polyester (and people wonder why we look hot!!!!!). Not for us the wool or woolblends (unless you're talking socks), the tweeds, the silks or satins. Nope, it will be plastic fibers with gorgeously scratchy cheap lace. Business suits with no lining. Seams that start to unravel as you look at them (never mind the first wash – whether or not you use the delicates cycle). Zippers that part company and buttons that fall off on the way to the cash register!

I guess it's a good thing that I'm already making headway on my journey to fit and fabulous, but I also guess that I should start saving now for a whole new wardrobe of clothes – clothes that fit, are stylish AND flattering! My word! I won't know what to do with myself………

 

 

 

Day 2.6 – Just call me Xena….

Well, I’ve gone and done it now. I’ve joined a new gym. It’s cheaper than the original gym, and boasts a healthy menu of classes. Even better (or so I thought) they offer a free boot camp program. My glazed eyes clapped themselves on that prospect, and I found myself gleefully signing up for that too! It’s amazing what you’ll do in the heat of the moment…….

Now, when I thought of doing classes, I felt drawn to Belly Dancing and Bliss Yoga. The belly dancing, because it sounded fun and it’s a girls only class. If I’m going to die of embarrassment, I’d rather it be with sympathetic females around (who’d agree that trying to isolate your rib cage was easier to say than do). Bliss Yoga just sounds relaxing and, as a carer, I need all the de-stressing I can get!!!

Enter the ‘free bootcamp’. I’ve discovered, now that the haze of virtuous activity has subsided, that this will involve classes with super-intimidating titles as “360Warrier”, “Primal Movement” and “Ultimate Conditioning”. Have I signed myself up to Gladiator Training, do you think? The descriptions of the classes are none too comforting either: “train like Beyonc√© or Madonna”, “a smorgasbord for your muscles”, “modified, heart-pumping cardio”…….. And I can’t even use age as an excuse to go slow, because Madonna’s even older than I am!!!

What on earth have I done?

I can almost hear a little voice saying “Go hard, or go home!”. Still, at least I won’t be wearing my glasses during training. So I won’t see the looks of horror on people’s faces as I slowly turn a fetching shade of purple.

However, you never know, one day they may even turn me into a Warrior Princess. Until then, I’ll just be Kat, Warrior Wannabe. I think my roar is more of a horrified squeak right now……