She Goes Everywhere……Places You Should Visit.

Hellooooo…..anyone still out there?  While it has been some time since I have posted anything on the blog I have still been busy exploring, working, and getting involved in this little community out in the middle of the Pilbara.  I thought I would do a quick update via a picture post to catch everyone up on the highlights.  At a later date I will hopefully share a little more about my trip to the Blue Mountains earlier this year, as my family and I had some great adventures there.  I am also knee deep in my next hitlist with lots of exciting things planned for the future.  In the meantime here is a little snapshot of the places I have been exploring over the last three months and which you really should add to your travel hitlist!

Mt Nameless, Tom Price

Exmouth, Western Australia

Great Ocean Road, Melbourne.

Numbat Trail, Swan Valley and Hyde Park, Perth

Pannawonica, Western Australia

There is no place like home.  I am in full training mode again with the Red Dog Relay coming up and my next big, scary goal is a half marathon trail run in the Margaret River region.  Here are some pictures of Pannawonica while out and about.

Ok now we are all caught up!!  Have you been to any of these places?

A Few of My Favourite Things

It is that time of the year, coming into the silly season, when we may be trying to be a little organised and purchasing our Christmas presents in advance.  I thought I would try and help a few people out with some of my favourite things that I am loving at the moment.  Please note that this post is not sponsored in any way (I wish!) I just really like these items.  Sharing is caring right??
  1.  Contigo Water Bottle

I have been on the lookout for a great water bottle for ages now and have really struggled to find something that suits me.  I have tried metal bottles where the paint starts to flake, bottles with pop tops that start to crack and leak, screw tops that take forever to unscrew (well it feels that way when your rest period is up and you haven’t even managed to unscrew the lid because your hands are shaking and your brain isn’t working due to lack of oxygen…no? Just me?), bottles with straws and fiddly bits that you have to clean, and bottles that won’t give up the water no matter how hard you suck!   Yes, I have been a little frustrated with the search and may be a little picky.  I was having a bit of a moan and a groan about it and was venting that the last good water bottle I had was the Contigo water bottles my mother had bought me that lasted for years and years (thinking back I had this bottle for about 8 years!) until I dropped the bottle one too many times.  Why I didn’t think of this sooner I don’t know, I will blame a busy life and just grabbing bottles to try because they were in front of me when I thought of it.  Anyway, I am sorry I strayed Contigo but I am back to stay.

Contigo Cortland Autoseal Water Bottle Purple 720ml

I found that Everten Kitchenware Online store had a great range and great prices for the Contigo Water bottles.  They were quick with delivery too.  Just be warned you may end up buying more than the water bottles….so much good stuff on their website.

2.  Running Bare

For an active woman you can’t go too wrong with a cute sports top.  For the most part I have been really happy with the fit of these sports tops and I love the cute designs.  As a Mum of four boys I love splurging on really cute, girly designs.  I also love shopping the sales and they usually have a great sales page!

3.  Chobani Yoghurt – The big pot

Strictly speaking this is not a great Christmas present, I can’t imagine my kids would be too excited to receive this in their christmas stocking, but this post is all about my favourite things of the moment.  This is definitely one of my favourite breakfast or post workout snacks, eaten with a great muesli and fresh fruit…..delicious.  I have only just noticed the big pots and love the coconut and vanilla flavours.  Yum!!

4.  Capriosca Swimwear

My love of chocolate and food, plus having twins didn’t help the matter either, leads to the ongoing search for swimmers that can hide a multitude of sins.  At the end of the day, I don’t want to be sitting on the sidelines while everyone else is having fun in the water whether that be at the beach, pool, river, gorge, or water adventure park.  Being comfortable joining in these activities is made so much easier when you are comfortable in your swimmers.  Capriosca Swimwear is made to fit women of all sizes, from size 10-26.  They have a variety of styles and colours and I love that they have pictures of their swimwear on women of all sizes.  The price ranges from $99-$189.    I first noticed this brand on Sequins and Sand website and I bought a navy one piece bandeaux style swimmer like in the top picture (on sale now for $55).  I have to admit that I am eyeing off the other two styles as well!  If you flicker between sizes I would choose the smaller size as I found they are generous in their sizing.

[Capriosca Swimwear Metallic Navy Bandeau One Piece]

[Capriosca Swimwear Black and White Underwire Onepiece]

[Curvy Swimwear Bandeau Onepiece in Watercolour]

5.  The Active Christmas Gift

Christmas can be a tricky time trying to work out suitable gifts for the family without breaking the bank and trying to avoid giving presents that inevitably end of broken within a month (or is that just my family of boys?).  The other difficulty most families face if you have to travel, is transporting the gifts back home!  For my family,  we generally spend one year with my family in Queensland and the alternating year with my husband’s family in Wollongong. I now make the request from the family we are not visiting to purchase us an Active Gift, or a gift that involves us getting out and doing something as a family.  For example one year we visited Taronga Zoo, or another time we were shouted lunch while we visited the National Parks of the area.  A family pass to Bounce Inc (or whatever branch of the Trampolining Playgrounds you may visit) is another great gift idea.

Getting my game on - Dodgeball against 4yr olds.

Getting my game on – Dodgeball against 4yr olds.

This year we have been booked into Trees Adventure which I am very excited about.  I will let you know how we go!!  I don’t know about you but I love getting these gifts that we can experience as a family and have the memories of it that will last forever.

 

What are your favourite things of the moment??

 

National Girlfriends Day – 1st August

I recently found out about a campaign by Oscar Health Insurance Company to help promote National Girlfriend’s Day. My first question was who was Oscar Health Insurance?  I learnt that they are an American company who are very proactive about promoting good health and preventative medicine.  For any American readers you can find out a bit more about their insurance plans here.  The other question was what was National Girlfriend’s Day?

“National Girlfriends Day is annually recognized on August 1, as girlfriends get together around the United States and celebrate the special bond of friendship through women.

Girlfriends, some of them may even be your daughters, mothers, sisters, cousins, lifelong friends, high school friends, college room-mate etc., are the ones that are there for you.  These friends are the ones that you want to spend time with, share your secrets with, cry on their shoulders, go shopping with, get a pedicure with, and drink a glass of wine with!”

GFriend

Now this is not a sponsored post or anything like that.  I just felt that it was a really great concept and relevant to all of us and so I was quite happy to promote it with a special blog post.  It is a great reminder to grab a girlfriend, go for a walk or plan to do something active together.  Follow it up with a coffee or a glass of wine and make the decision to look after your health, stay on top of your regular health checks and make sure your friends do to.  Oscar Health Insurance have also developed a Women’s Roadmap to Health which is a great resource for staying on top of those all important health checks.

roadmap

Do we really need much of an excuse to catch up with our girlfriends, sisters, family?  I know I will be catching up with my Mum and sisters on our annual girls trip away and will be enjoying our time together.  Here’s hoping you all catch up with your nearest and dearest for a great weekend!!

Surviving the School Holidays – Exercise Hitlist Style.

As explained in a previous post I am not one of those awesome parents who get super excited by the school holidays.  I LOVE that I don’t have to make a gazillion lunchboxes and I love that I don’t have to rush around making breakfasts, finding socks and homework, and trying to get four kids out the door by 8am.  The downside is that they can drive me absolutely stir crazy!!  I have learnt through trial and error that the best way to survive the school holidays is to loosely stick to the following basic rules:

  • Have a plan and be a little organised.  Arrrggghhh, my 20 year old self would be horrified to hear me say that, meanwhile my super organised older sister is probably sitting there reading this and nodding smugly to herself.  OK I admit it, there is merit in planning ahead so jump on the band wagon and develop a super school holiday program for your family.  I often check out the local library, the local shire website, PCYC’s and leisure centres for their school holiday activities as they are often reasonably priced and sometimes even free.
  • Start with 1 or 2 big ticket items and plan your schedule around that.  For our family that usually involves a camping trip somewhere or a day trip and entry to a special Museum/Exhibition/Carnival or Show.
  • Plan to completely exhaust them every couple of days.  Trust me on this, you want them so tired that they don’t have the energy to talk back, whinge, or fight with each other and they are also more than happy to stay at home and vegetate the next day.  This is where I get them outside and make the most of local bike and walking trails, beaches, swimming holes and National Parks.
  • Even if you are only having a quiet day at home, spin it for all its worth.  For example if you want to hang out in your pyjamas til lunchtime and put a movie on hoping to keep the kids distracted so you can enjoy a coffee in peace, then this is what I would tell the kids when they ask what we are doing today: “Well you lucky kids,  we are going to have a Pyjama Party.  How bout we set up a theatre room in the twins room, you can choose two movies, I will get some awesome movie food ready (read usual morning tea put on fancy plates and add microwave popcorn) and we can enjoy a quiet day!!”  And that, people, is how it is done.
  • Invite others to get involved in your plans.  It turns a simple afternoon at the park into an awesome playdate, with minimal effort, no cost, and no fuss.  It may just save someone else’s sanity over the holiday period and with my hubby still doing FIFO a little bit of adult company goes a long way!!

With those tips in mind this is how my school holiday program turned out…..

School Holiday Program

So there you have it, a guide to surviving the holidays especially important when you have four kids, a husband that works away, and no family for 5000km.

I would love to hear any other great suggestions for surviving the holidays with kids.  Let me know in the comments below!

5 Reasons to Love Palm Cove

I have been dreaming of a holidays lately and it brought to mind one of my favourite getaway locations.  Palm Cove in Tropical North Queensland.  I love Palm Cove.  I think everyone needs to spend a relaxing weekend here.  In recent years I have been twice and it has not disappointed either time.  Here are 5 reasons why everyone should book a getaway to Palm Cove (this is not a sponsored post I just really love it that much).

1.   Well firstly there’s this view…..

Image Credit

2.  It is easily accessible for a quick getaway weekend.

It is only 20 minutes from Cairns Airport and 25 minutes to the Esplanade in Cairns.  From Palm Cove to Port Douglas, gateway to the Daintree, it is only another 40 minutes along one of the most magnificent coastal drives you will do.

IMG_2707

Palm Cove

3.  There are a range of accommodation options to suit every budget.

Last year we had a group of four and we stayed in a 3 bedroom apartment that was about a ten minute walk from the beach and restaurants.  It was lovely.  The walk was really picturesque and a nice way to wind down after a lovely dinner out.  If you want to read a little more about our accommodation and trip last year head over to my sister’s blog post on Palm Cove – Bell Girls Weekend 2014.  Her photos of Palm Cove are beautiful.

This year we were a little closer to the beach, at Hotel Grand Chancellor, only a short 5 minute stroll across the wooden boardwalk over the mangroves.   We paid approximately $245 for two nights accommodation.  The rooms were a little dated but very comfortable and surroundings were quite pretty.

 

There are plenty of beachfront accommodation options for those wanting a really glamorous weekend away, and more modest options for those still wanting to treat but without a huge dent in the budget.  There is also Palm Cove Holiday Park which offers camping and caravan options only 30m from the beach itself and looks fantastic.

3.  The food and dining options are great.  

Whether it is a fine dining experience you are after, a casual affair, feeding the family, or the self catering option, Palm Cove has it all.  I can recommend Vivo Bar and Grill for a delicious dinner and The Rising Sun Bar and Bistro for great coffee, good food, and a huge chocolatey, turkish delight brownie.

I have to admit that my favourite place for breakfast, lunch, and lazy afternoon cocktails was Chill Cafe.  Coffee was fantastic, breakfast and food was delicious, and staff very friendly and helpful.  The view was just perfect and everything came together to provide the perfect combination of holiday relaxation at its best.

 

4.  Great options for fantastic day trips.

I would definitely recommend a trip to Port Douglas.  It is a little more ‘touristy’ and is resort central but the markets are great and good for a spot of shopping.  Food and entertainment options are great too.  Port Douglas also has a lovely, quaint church that is beautiful to have a quick look around and a few lookouts and lighthouses were also worth a quick look.

If you have never been to Cairns, a trip to the Esplanade is well worth it and maybe a trip out to the Islands and The Great Barrier Reef.  On the previous girls trip we also spent the day shopping in Cairns and you could also catch a movie.

The hubby and I also decided to check out Cairns Botanic Gardens and try the Red Arrow/Blue Arrow walk which is known to be the fitness challenge hotspot for the locals.  Now we were on holiday and hubby refused  so we decided to just do a taste test and complete the 1.3km Red Arrow walk and not the 5.4km Blue Arrow track.  Just a reminder to those that haven’t been to Tropical North Queensland in summer….bring lots of water and be prepared to sweat!!  The good thing about the track though is that it is mostly well shaded which keeps it a lot cooler.

5.  It is all about unwinding.

Palm Cove is made for relaxing, for taking a moment out of our busy lives and just stopping and enjoying the little things in life.  There is no rushing or pressure to be dressed ‘just right’, its all about appreciating the people who you are with, in beautiful, unspoiled surroundings.  Great location, great food, great company……what more do you need?

 

My Top Tips for Fat Loss – Results from the 8 Week Body Fat Challenge

As you may remember I was participating in an 8 week Body Fat Challenge with my training partner, ‘Wayne’.  I was being quite consistent updating the blog with our progress in the challenge (good on me) until Week 6 where I suddenly dropped off the radar.  I’m sorry, the tail end of the challenge coincided with hubby returning to a stint of reverse FIFO work.  Yes we moved to Panna to stop the FIFO lifestyle but somehow we are now living remote and hubby is flying to Perth for work??  Anyway…..the end of the challenge also coincided with 2 study courses that were due around the same time so I was sick of being on the computer.  We did still finish the challenge in style and I will give you a quick run down of the results and all the take home tips that you need to know if you are trying to lose some body fat.

Drum roll please…..from a starting cast of approximately 50 people ‘Wayne’ placed second overall in this challenge.  Wahooo – fantastic effort!! More importantly I think she now believes in her ability to improve her health and fitness.  I think she has made changes that will stick, and I think she may even enjoy her new love of the gym!!

Results

When we have a final look at the numbers you will see that for both of us our weight loss is similar to our % body fat lost which is a good thing.  This means that we can probably assume that the weight we did lose was actually fat and not muscle.  You will often see large weight loss results with smaller % body fat losses as a result of high levels of aerobic training and a significant cut in calories.   This is great for short term success on the scales but is very difficult to maintain over the long term.  Muscle is very hard to gain but has so many benefits for weight loss, injury prevention, and general health that we don’t want to lose it.

Even though my numbers weren’t huge, it is still progress that I am proud of.  I would love to know how many people dropped out of the challenge by the end of the eight weeks as weight loss is a difficult thing to commit to.  To help you out I thought I would put together a list of my top tips for sustainable fat loss.

1.  Find a Training Partner

Just trust me on this one.  Don’t worry about what sex they are, how strong they are, or what shape they are in.  You just want to know that they will turn up regularly, have a laugh with you, and that they are willing to get a little sweaty and pull a few of these faces…

2.  Set some goals that are NOT related to weight loss.

Numbers on a scale are too fickle to be all that you rely on to tell your story and give that all important positive feedback that keeps us going.  By all means track your progress but don’t stress about the weekly numbers too much.  Choose something that you enjoy doing.  Your goals may be to run 3km, climb a mountain, bench press your body weight, or something crazy like complete an Adventurethon!!  Dream them and make them happen……then dream some more.

3.  Build Muscle

This is one of the most beneficial things you can do for lifelong health.  To build muscle you need to lift a load that your body can’t quite cope with, forcing it to recruit more muscle fibres to get the job done.  For those new to lifting I would be aiming to find a weight that you can only just complete 10-12 repetitions.  Aim for 3 sets initially and remember that you may not finish 12 reps every set.  If you are hitting 15 reps the weight is too light.  If you have been strength training for a while then mix up the number of sets.  You might want to try heavier weights, completing 5-6 reps only and doing 8 sets of this.  Variety is the spice of life, so mix it up.  Try drop sets, super sets, eccentric loading, isometric contractions……the choices are endless.

A note to the women – if another female tells me that she doesn’t want to ‘bulk up’ just ‘tone’, I will seriously headbutt them!!  Toning is building muscle!  Often that initial feeling that you are ‘bulking up’ is because you may still be carrying extra fat whether because the diet hasn’t changed or your body hasn’t had the chance to burn through the fat stores.  Give it time.  If in 12 weeks you aren’t convinced that you are feeling the best you have ever felt, then stop doing it.  You will lose that muscle pretty quickly.

Image Credit

4.  Stop Eating Crap.

How well you eat will determine how quickly you achieve your results.  It is easy to think that you have to be on some special diet to lose weight.  The media loves to create hype around certain magic weight loss diets and push all these ‘superfoods’ at us. The truth is if we just made small commitments to eating a healthier diet the results will still come, we would just have to be more patient.  You know, like a lifestyle change, not an 8 week challenge.

5.  Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Research shows that strength training and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) appear to be the most effective ways to lose weight and keep it off.  Don’t try and do too much.  I am a chronic over exerciser.  I love to exercise and challenge myself, but the trouble with this is that I do a lot of different training without much of a plan to it.  I love the variety and I enjoy it but it is very difficult to get a handle on what you really need to be eating to satisfy your energy needs when you are exercising like a crazy person and varying it day to day!  From experience, my best success with weight loss is usually when I keep my routine based on strength training.  Generally, I am aim for 4-5 x 45 minute strength sessions a week.  I often throw in optional extras such as a short HIIT session, a jog, and/or a mountain bike ride if my week allows and I am done.  Simple.  Effective.  Realistic.

What have you found to be most effective for your weight loss or health goals?

Workouts and Weigh Ins – Week 5

Little behind schedule for this update and I apologise that I am a little haphazard with my blogging of late.  I’m afraid the blogging will probably continue to be a bit all over the place until I finish all my study stuff due mid May to end of June.  Its also school holidays and I tend to find that I can’t hold an intelligent thought in my head when the kids are home 24/7, all the available brain space seems to be taken up in sorting out frequent debates over who’s turn it is, whether someone can have this, why someone can’t have that, working out how many kids in the house are actually mine and trying to work out where the other kids came from??  I love my kids, but geez they can be hard work sometimes!!

So keeping this update brief and to the point, here is this week in Workouts….

Week 5

Monday – All assignments marked and sent back in the morning so this day was the return to normal exercise.  Kicked it off with 100 Club but it was the start of a new month which meant new exercises.  First one is always tough.  100 Skullcrushers, 100 KB Squat to Overhead lifts, 100 Core Rotations using the Torsonator (new toy), 100 Fitball jack knives, 100 Front Squats (barbell), 100 Med Ball V-Sits (modified version for me on this one), and 100 lengths of the gym.  Managed to hit 100 on a few of these out but it will be tough to break the 100’s for all of them.

Did a bit of swim coaching in the afternoon.

Tuesday – Strength Program at the Gym with ‘Wayne’ in the morning. (Bench Press, Chest flyes and KB rack and press, Lat P/Down and Bent over Rows, Leg Ext and Alt Lunges(barbell).

Time trials for swimming club and club break up in the afternoon.

Wednesday – Walk and rest day.

Thursday – Boxing class followed by 2km run and 2km row.   Kids on holiday and hubby still away……..arrrrggghhh.

Running with the kids in the afternoon followed by a swim.

Friday – Afternoon 100 Club with four boys tagging along..so much fun.  Managed to hit 100 for all the strength exercises but didn’t do many lengths of the gym.

Saturday – 1 hour cardio (Spin bike hills and cross trainer combo)

Sunday – Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate…Happy Easter Everyone.  Run in the afternoon with the kiddos.

Weigh In….

The scales did me no favours this week.  My weight was up 0.6kg and body fat % was unchanged, as in still up the 6% from last week.  I’m a little dispirited with the scales and it is one of the reasons that I hate to rely on them.  I just feel that all the work and effort with eating well is not doing anything so why try so hard??  I’m sure anyone who has stood on the scales and not had their work reflected by the numbers has had these thoughts.  Really, really frustrated.  It has taken me a few days and a little easter chocolate binge to get my head back in gear and shake off the defeatist attitude.  My body is still toning and changing so I am happy with that.  There are a few reasons to explain away these results but if I am completely honest the diet is not quite where it needs to be so I really can’t expect the results I want if the eating isn’t on track.

Total to date:

Weight – Down 1.8kg and 1%BF lost (going backwards need to turn this train wreck around)

‘Wayne’ is continuing to head in the right direction with another great week this week.  Her weight was down a further 0.3kg and BF% down a further 0.9% which is fantastic in one week.

Total to date:

Weight – Down 2.3kg and 3.9%BF lost.

We are working our way through the classes on the timetable this week and this tail end of the week is going to be tough.  Well I am off to suck it up for our second class of the day….ahhh wish me luck!!

 

Weigh Ins and Workouts – Week 4

Hhhhhuuuuuuuggghhhhh!!!  Ok that’s me taking a huge breath after a really busy couple of days (you try working out how to write down the sound of a big breath??).  Basically, everything you shouldn’t do when trying to lose weight or just before a weigh in I have done over the last 3 days.  I haven’t exercised, I haven’t had a lot of sleep, I have been skipping meals, I’m hormonal, I ate chocolate cake, drank wine, didn’t drink much water, and ate a big, salty, dinner of bacon and eggs the night before weigh in because I had no other food in the house.  Yay me!  My days of chaos started with a last minute request from a Uni back home to do some assignment marking for their little baby Exercise Physiologists.  I was excited to be asked and happy to do it.  You know that saying, ‘Your eyes are bigger than your stomach’?  Well I tend to have that problem in regard to work (as well as the food problem too) where I start saying yes to all these things because I really want to do them and then I am left scrambling to make deadlines! lol  I have recently started participating in a subject at Uni of Tasmania, enrolled in an online course for Better Breathing (run by a physio experienced in training athletes in more efficient breathing techniques and at the other end of the spectrum working with those with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases), and accepted the secretary position for the swimming club.

This week was a little more exciting than usual as the Hubby was running a Junior Rugby League skills session for the first time, we had a Parent Teacher Meeting, and we had the Twin’s 7th Birthday on Friday too.  I somehow thought it would be a good idea to let them have a few kids over for a movie night.  Turns out a few kids for one, a few kids for the other, and a couple to keep the big boy happy turns into 14 boys over for a Boys Night In!!  And then it rained in Panna (Who knew it rained here??).  Next thing I knew, I have a million kids running up and down my hallways screaming at the top of their voices about a Zombie raid or some such thing.   So you can imagine the state of my house after this invasion, but not only that, the hubby flew out early the next morning to visit his family in Wollongong so I was left with the kids, the mess, and 20 more assignments to mark in two days!!!  Needless to say the assignments took priority and I am sure my kids were there somewhere amongst the mess.

Image credit

Anyway my point is, sometimes things don’t go to plan and I was feeling like a hot, porky mess and sure that all my good work had been undone.  In the grand scheme of things it was three bad days and this does not negate four weeks of good behaviour.  I wasn’t going to weigh in as I didn’t want to be disappointed in the results and have them confirm (via numbers) that I had lost any progress I had managed to chip away at and achieve.  But then I got curious….and I wanted to prove the point that the scales aren’t the be all and end all of this journey.  The scales would possibly tell me that I haven’t lost any weight in 4 weeks (according to the numbers), that my body fat had increased, and that 4 weeks of hard work meant nothing as the numbers on that scale hadn’t changed!  Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it??  It tells me nothing about the fact that I feel better, have more energy, am stronger and fitter, and am convinced I look better in my underwear (especially when I suck the belly in)!! 😉

Too much information I know, moving on…..here is the week in workouts:

Monday:  100 Club – managed to complete the 100 reps across the board and quicker than last week too!  Also backed up in the afternoon and made it to a ‘Burn’ class which was a 30min abs and core workout.

Tuesday:  10 x 30sec sprints and Whole body strength workout (Bench Press, Flies and KB rotate,rack and press, bent over rows and lat pulldowns, leg extensions and low squats).  Backed up in the afternoon with the kids for a 3km interval jog.

Wednesday:  4km walk/rest day.

Thursday:  Boxing class in the morning.

Friday:  This is where the good stuff ends…….Nothing.

Saturday:  Nothing…….

Sunday:  Nothing……..

Poor ‘Wayne’ also had a bit of a topsy turvy week.  The body was telling her to back off and give it a chance to catch up.  You have to listen to the body at times and give it what it needs.  So her early week was a bit lighter, backed off the strength and did lower intensity cardio instead.  By the end of the week ‘Wayne’ was starting to bounce back and feel better than ever.

Weigh In Results:

This week we had different scales as the one we had been using in previous weeks died a natural death.  I managed to lose 0.9kg this week, but gained 6% BF??  Hmmmm, I’m a little sceptical as to the accuracy of scales, so many variables.  I had taken limited water water the few days prior to weigh in and the instructor advised that this can play a big factor in the body fat reading.  I think the weight loss for me was possibly a little because of dehydration.

Total to date:  Down 2.4kg and 1%BF    Oh well, we will see what next week brings.

‘Wayne’ had a great week this week….down 2kg!! and 0% BF.  Again the scales may play a little part in no BF changes.

Total to date:  Down 2kg and 3%BF.

Most exciting for me are the changes for ‘Wayne’ in her attitude, fitness, and body awareness.  She advised this week that she is just starting to feel capable of doing this.  From wondering ‘when the session was going to end’ in the very first week (I thought I was being gentle on her, hehe) to knowing she can complete it and even looking forward to it.  ‘Wayne’ was comfortable and motivated to go on her own over the last few days when I couldn’t make it, and stated she even felt she could put together a workout!!  Yay for progress in any form.  ‘Wayne’ is starting to move better and train with purpose.  Its happening, she’s joining the club and will love exercise and the way it makes her feel by the time I am done with her and its exciting!!

Remember, don’t let the scales define your journey!

Helloooo from Pannawonica

Well I am finally back in action after quite a long leave of absence.  What have I been up to?  Let me give you a quick summary of all the things that I have been doing over the last five weeks….

  • We packed up our house and prepared it for rental before flying the 5 hours back east to visit family.
  • My husband and I had a lovely couple of days in Palm Cove, kid free, to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary.Palm Cove Collage
  • Stayed with my sister and had some fun on the Blue Sky Farm
  • Beach Holiday with extended family and friends at the lovely Bramston Beach.  My sister has already done a great blog post about that one so if you want to see how much fun we had, read all about Bramston Beach here.Beach
  • Climbed a mountain or two…Baldy Walsh's Pyramid
  • Walked around a lake and of course swam in said lakeLake4.jpg
  • Swam in some beautiful tropical north Queensland locationsJo Falls Babinda Boulders
  • Visited with lots of family and friends
  • Went off road to visit a beautiful little known waterfall 4wd Mackenzie Falls2 Mackenzie Falls MFalls
  • Flew back to the west coast before embarking on a road trip of 1600km to move to our new home town of Pannawonica in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.leaving perth Mesa Panna2 Panna3
  • Visited the dolphins at the beautiful Monkey Mia Monkey Mia Dolphin Shell Beach

It has been a busy, but wonderful four weeks and now we are finally settling in to our new life at Pannawonica.   It is a small town of approximately 800 people with one grocery store, a gym, a school, medical centre, library, post office, tavern and sports club, and a pool.  We can walk from one end of town to the other in about 10 minutes and I have learnt that a ‘Bung Arrow’ is a goanna.  Apparently the locals feed the goanna’s to keep the snakes away.  I have heard that the flies are not so bad this year but even so I have snorted quite a few from my nostrils and have had my husband look at me like I am a creature from another world as I preceded to gag, cough, spit, and splutter in front of him to try and stop myself from swallowing a fly.  Hmmm, such a lady, needless to say I had already swallowed the fly.  The temperature has been mid to high forties this week with the highest being 49oC.  Despite all this I think we will quite enjoy our time here and I have a hitlist already started!! I have a backlog of blog posts that I will get to in the near future including the following:

  • A wrap up of my previous hitlist
  • The best things to do in FNQ
  • Climbing Walsh’s Pyramid
  • Reasons to check out Monkey Mia
  • My new Exercise Hitlist

I will also be trying to add a few more Rehabilitation and Injury Prevention posts in the future.  If you want to hear more about anything else that I have done over the last few weeks or other topics in general please let me know in the comments.

Reflections on 2014

What a year it has been.  I am a big believer in reviewing, reflecting, and making plans to improve, and this seems to be the time of year that lends itself to doing just this.  One of the great blogs that I have come across in my blogging journey this year, Maxabella Loves, has come up with 10 great questions to ponder as the old year draws to a close.  I really loved these thoughtful questions and decided to use them as a way to reflect on the year gone by and plan for 2015.

1. What word do you think best summed up 2014?

‘Transition’ would be the most apt word for our year.  New job for the husband, a big move from Townsville to Perth, living a FIFO lifestyle, all four boys in school (youngest Kindy), first year not working at all (harder than you think), sold a house and bought a new house (actually lived in four different places this year), bought a new car and trying to sell an old car, and trying to work out what we need as a family to be happy.

2. What did you do for the first time this year?

I love to push myself to do things I have never done before, from the small things like driving home a different way, a new walking route, or playing in a different park, to the big things like living in a different state or competing in an event for the first time.  So many firsts this year but the big ones for me for 2014 were:

  • Moved to Perth
  • Survived as a FIFO wife and mum
  • Started a Blog
  • Learnt to kayak
  • Completed my very first Enduro Adventurethon

3. What is one thing that happened that will have lasting consequences?

My husband taking this job with Rio Tinto has been a game changer for our family.  It has opened up experiences that we could never have imagined.  As I announced on my Facebook page earlier this week our adventures are set to continue as we move to a small, remote, mining town of 800 people in the Pilbara region, Western Australia in February 2015.  I am excited for the future and hopeful that this will bring some more happy times for our family.

Panna

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4. Was there anything you wish you’d done differently? Why? How?

There is not much that I would have done differently.  Maybe pushed harder for a residential posting a little earlier in the piece to avoid FIFO?  In saying that we have learnt a lot from the experience.  For me I have learnt how to be a lot more self reliant, I value my husband and family time that much more, and I realised that I missed working and will be looking for something as soon as I can.

5. Do you have a favourite moment from the year? What made it special?

I really have had a great year with many fantastic moments but my top 3 moments would be:

The two weeks with my mother when she helped us first move over to Perth were a pretty great way to start our time over here.  It was exciting, new, and surprisingly relaxing.  There were no expectations, no great plans, and aside from finding a house to rent and a school to enrol in, we had no deadlines and no one else to please but ourselves.  We had fun. (Also great that I got to finish the year with a couple of weeks with my Mother-in-Law).

The perfect weekends when Rod was home and it just worked.  The sun was shining, the kids were happy and healthy, we were just enjoying being together.  Throw in a little outdoor adventure and happy days.

Go camping!  Great way to recharge the batteries and have some quality family time.

We made it out alive, one little torch between us.  Let's be honest, it was a little daunting.  It was cold, wet, and very dark in the middle of the tunnel and you just had to trust that there was nothing nasty waiting for you!!

Rottnest4

Kalbarri was another favourite.  It was a beautiful place, so relaxed, we had the Grandies visiting, and it was just fantastic.

Kalbarri 2 Kalbarri3

Warm up walk to Island Rock which is where I started my run and the boardwalk ended.

I could go on and on but I guess the common theme is spending quality time with those nearest and dearest.

6. What lessons has 2014 taught you about yourself? About others?

The lesson I learnt in 2014 was that your ‘village’ is so important.  It’s not just family, it’s friends, it’s co workers, it’s other mums at school, it’s teachers and coaches that impact you and the way your kids are raised.  With the move I lost so many of my support networks and it wasn’t until I lost them that I realised how important they are.  They help pick you up when you are down, help give you direction, empathise with children dramas, they are the place I can drop in and recharge, or where my kids can drop in and I can really recharge.  So I have learnt to pick myself up and do the best I can.  I found it hard to be ‘just’ a stay at home mum.  There is no real yardstick for success as a parent.  Am I failing if they aren’t always happy?  If they aren’t getting straight A’s or doing well at sport?  How do you measure success as a parent?  Lucky this parenting caper is an ongoing process that I am still striving to improve at.

7. How will the lessons from this past year change the way you approach the new year?

The new year will definitely bring more family orientated activities based on the day to day stuff.  More family fitness, more one on one child time, more balance.

8. What do you most want to do in 2015?

I really want to be working again this year.  I also want to train for an event with my husband so look out for that in the new year.  Also striving for better balance, not so much struggle during the week.

9. What do you most want to change about yourself? The world?

I have really felt like I was the Dictator with the kids this year and would like to not be so cranky with them.  I want to enjoy them more and hopefully with the hubby back at home each night with the move to a residential posting this should be more achieveable.  I am still working on my plan to conquer the world but would definitely like to be a part of something that has an impact on a bigger scale.

10. What one word do you hope will sum up what you hope to achieve in 2015?

PROGRESS

Well that is my reflections on 2014.  I would really like to thank everyone that has dropped in and followed along.  It has been an absolute pleasure to share my journey over the last six months and hopefully as I learn more and try more different things the blog will continue to improve.  Happy New Year Everyone!!

celebrate-new-year

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