Wednesday, 10 February 2016

I miss being as buff as I was when I was doing Crossfit, but I really don't miss Crossfit! Well, that's not true.. sometimes I miss it and then I remember burpees and front squats and thrusters and I don't miss it so much anymore.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Reducing my waste footprint

I've been meaning to write this post for months but haven't gotten around to it, but this article in The Age today about the plastic count in the ocean has reminded me to get on to it. It estimates there is 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic floating on the ocean's surface. That doesn't include plastics further down in the water column, on the bottom of the ocean floor, or washed up on beaches.


The amount of rubbish that ends up in the oceans really saddens me. Although in places like Australia we attempt to prevent rubbish from entering the oceans to a certain degree, in other places around the world I've traveled to, they have amazing beaches but they're completely ruined by all the rubbish.  I know that a lot of these places don't have the technology or money to spend on preventing rubbish from entering waterways, but just the sheer lack of understanding or concern by so many people around the world about where rubbish ends up really bothers me.  I still see people here throwing rubbish out of cars or dropping cigarette butts on the ground, despite all the education campaigns and money we have to spend on preventing actions like that. I guess no amount of education will change the behavior of selfish assholes who think about nothing else but themselves.

If you really want to be depressed, Google 'The Great Pacific Garbage Patch'. It is so fucked up what we're doing to this planet, fundamentally I think we've screwed it up beyond the point of repair, not just in relation to rubbish but in relation to climate change as well. I've been studying Masters of Environmental Science for a couple of years now and it really doesn't give you much hope for the future when ALL of your lecturers express the opinion that we're well beyond the tipping point and, barring some kind of cull of the human population, we're all doomed.

But, instead of being completely depressed about it, I have been trying to do what I can to reduce my own waste footprint so that less of what I consume ends up in the oceans or stuck in landfill for many many years to come.

Warning:  In the next section I'm going to mention periods, if you don't wanna hear about that then maybe look away now, go look at memes of grumpy cat or something. 

The first thing I've done in the past few months to reduce my waste footprint is to switch from tampons and normal pads to using a cup and cloth pads. What is a cup you may ask? It is a re-useable silicon or rubber cup that you use as you would a tampon, however, the beauty of it is that you just need one of them which will last for years, so you don't have to be constantly buying and disposing of tampons. If you think about how many tampons and pads you will use in your lifetime it's quite scary. I started my period at 11 and will probably have it until I'm 45 or so, that's 30 odd years worth of using approx 15 tampons a month, that's a LOT of tampons and wrappers that end up in landfill, not to mention all the raw materials that are used to make them. There are other types of cup that are made of rubber or other materials but the cup I went with is the Lunette, it looks like this (I have the blue one):

It was actually quite random that I ended up trying one, I remember at a party earlier this year someone had mentioned that someone they knew had received one as a gift from a relative and we all thought it was totally weird and gross and who would want to tip blood out of a cup every month? But one afternoon when I was supposed to be studying I got all crazy about reducing my waste footprint and for some reason it was the first thing I googled and now I would have to say that switching to a cup is hands down the best decision I've made for my health in forever. I love it.

It's so easy, you don't have to think about it all day because they can stay in for 12 hours (depending on your flow). I only have to change it once a day and you can even use it overnight, although I haven't done that yet.  Yes, you do have to deal with blood if you want to use one, but I actually find it cool because you get to see what's going on down there. That might sound hippy dippy, but I had no idea it was so varied and that there was actually so little of it! The other thing is that because you only have to deal with it about once a day, you can just do it when you're home, so you never have to worry about emptying it when you're in public. That said, it's really not that hard.

I've only had a minor leakage issue once, but it's just a matter of re-positioning it and you're good to go. I've had way worse issues with tampons. The other thing is that because they're not absorbent, they don't dry everything up. They're fine for using when swimming, during crazy crossfit workouts, basically everywhere. They're also great for travelling because you only need to bring it, not an entire bag full of tampons.

I could go on about them for days, but if you're keen on trying one then I highly recommend watching these two videos, there are others out there but these two in particular I found really helpful:

Cups are not for everyone, if you're squeamish you might struggle, if you're not cool with sticking your fingers up there you might struggle and some people might just struggle for anatomical reasons, but, for me, I think they're fantastic and I encourage everyone who is curious to give it a try.
I'm not so sold on cloth pads yet, they're kind of like wearing a nappy because they tend to be really thick, I think I'll just start using the cup overnight instead.

End Period talk! 

The other thing I've done is to switch away from liquid soaps and body washes which come in a plastic container and back into using bar soaps that come in paper slips. I've also switched from using facewash that comes in a plastic bottle to using a bar of tea-tree castile soap and I'm about to switch from using shampoo and conditioner from plastic bottles into using bar shampoo and conditioner, ie. like the ones from Beauty and the Bees:


The only reason I haven't switched yet is because I still have some left that I'm using up.
I'm also trying to buy grocery items that are in glass, cardboard etc. rather than plastic, although for some things it seems impossible. I also try to buy in bulk rather than buying heaps of little containers of things.

So those are some of the ways I'm trying to reduce my own waste footprint. I also pick up rubbish in my street when I see it and I'm trying to find a group to join that cleans up along the beaches, but I haven't had much luck with that. Really I should just go and grab a rubbish bag and some gloves and do it myself.

Although I think we're screwed in the long run, I do think there are things all of us can do every day to reduce our impact on the planet.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014


I survived the Uni field trip! It was a LOT of work, basically from 8:30 in the morning until 9pm at night with specific activities/lectures/field work and then, because we had to write a 2000 word essay by the end of the 5 days, working on that during the evening, until 2:30 or so one of the nights. I really didn't get much sleep and am exhausted this week as a result.

Apart from the crazy amount of work, it was fun. The people in the class were all really nice and some of them were very funny. Our little project went okay, although we got totally different results from another group who was looking at the same thing (nitrate levels in farm dams), so I don't know how accurate they are.

We got our 2000 word essay done and handed in though, so now we just have to write individual essays on the data we collected at the camp. That will not be fun, I haven't done that kind of data analysis since I did my honours project back in 2003! I am going to have to drag out the stats text book I think, or just look up "Stats for Dummies".

Here is a picture of my group. We made a selfie stick out of part of our quadrat, works quite well! Our group was a complete mix of backgrounds, everyone was from a different country. It was good, I learnt a lot about Egypt, China, Indonesia and Malaysia and also a bit about Muslims, which was great, given all the rubbish in the news at the moment. One thing I learnt, which myself and the Chinese guy (neither of us are in the least bit religious) thought was crazy, was that they are supposed to pray 5 times a day. 5! Such a time commitment, they deserve props just for that I think.

The camp was at the Melbourne Uni agricultural college, which was quite cool. I spoke with one of the farm hands at lunch and he said that they used to have hundreds of students all the time but now they barely get anyone through at all, so lots of things are a bit run down. There are a lot of facilities up there though, it would be great to work out of. We even got our own little rooms which was cool, I was dreading having to be in a dorm. The rooms had desks too, which is lucky, given the amount of work we had to do.

I'm going to do a separate post about my current weight issues, but the food up there really wasn't diet friendly at all. Breakfast was cereal, toast, yogurt and fruit. Lunch was a bread roll, cake, a biscuit and fruit. Dinner was a choice of something like roast beef, chicken kiev or fried fish and then dessert.  We were starving though so we ate it all.

It was a good experience all up. The highlight was a guest lecture from someone who worked at the local Catchment Management Authority, it really made me want to work in the environmental field.  I really wish I hadn't got myself stuck in my current job rut and had tried harder to get a relevant job after I finished honours, but realistically that was a horrible time in my life, so I don't think it would have happened much differently. Honestly, if my current job was just in Department of Environment or something like that instead of Dep of Education, it would be bloody perfect.

So anyway, I just have this individual essay due at the end of October and then I'm done with Uni again til March, woot! The subject next year should be my final subject for the course too I think, exciting, although I have to get the right average to actually get Masters, otherwise I think I just get a Graduate Diploma or something like that. Anyway, I guess I should spend less time on the internet and more time reading "Stats for Dummies".

Saturday, 20 September 2014


Wow, looks like I haven't blogged in over year and I'm still struggling with the same crap I was in my last post! That's a bit lame really.

I guess lots and not much has happened since then. Work is the same old, I've been temporarily promoted to a manager role so I'm now just better paid and more stressed. I'm definitely looking to get out of there though, I've wasted far too much of my life doing something I really don't have that much interest in and not doing what I am really passionate about. As ever though, there's a lack of jobs in that field, but I'll just keep looking. I will have to take a significant pay cut to move jobs into the environmental field though, so it's tempting to just try and stick it out until my higher duties ends next year, which will also be around the time that I finish uni, so that might make it easier to get a job too.  We shall see.

So I'm still studying, 4 years so far I think. I've only got two more subjects to go though, so the end is in sight (half way through 2015). The subject I'm doing at the moment is good, it's environmental impact monitoring and we're off on a 5 day field trip next week to Melbourne Uni's Dookie campus, which is an agricultural campus near Shepparton. We get to do monitoring projects on a farm, so it should be fun, although there's a 2000 word essay due at the end of the 5 days which will be less fun. Either way it's got to be better at being at work.

My life lately has pretty much just been work and uni. I've really been struggling to make it to Crossfit, I have been working late and then getting home late so I stay up late to try and get some study in and then I can't get up early enough to get there, or there's meeting at 9am which means I can't go etc. etc. I'm trying to turn it around now though, I'm hoping now it's lighter in the mornings it will be easier to make myself get up and go before work and I'm also trying not to stay at work too long too as well. Plus I'll be on Uni holidays after the end of October too, so that'll be a huge help. I went on Thursday this week and my abs are still too sore to cough now! That's the price you pay for non-attendance.

I guess one thing I did this year was going overseas, that was fun. Glenn and I went to the UK for a wedding, then Amsterdam, Germany and the Czech Republic. I highly recommend the Czech Republic, it's gorgeous and has delicious and cheap food and beer. The wedding was heaps of fun, at Kew Gardens in London.

One thing that happened last year that's still affecting me this year was the breakdown of a significant friendship. Lots of things had happened over the years and it had probably been a long time coming but it just fell apart quite suddenly, mostly through my own doing I'm sad to say.  It felt kind of like a breakup and really the only way I've been able to deal with it is by avoiding that person as much as possible until I get over it, which is quite difficult when they seem to go everywhere and hang out with everyone. I guess I'd like us to be okay with each other, or at the very least I'd like it to not be difficult and stressful and awkward to see them, but it's certainly not there yet and it's meant missing out on quite a few events.

So instead of hanging out with friends, this year I've been spending more time at the farm with my dad, which has been really nice. It's also a good time of year up there at the moment, not too hot and all the cows are calving, so there's cute calves running around everywhere. Another good thing that's happening is that my brother's wife is about to have a baby, so that's something exciting to look forward to. She's due on Tuesday actually, so it will probably happen while I'm up at Dookie.

Another thing that's happening is that Glenn and I are vaguely talking about moving in together, mostly to see if we can do it, cuz if we can't then we should probably break up!I think the biggest issues will be hours (he's a night owl and I'm in bed by 11) and cleanliness, I'm not super clean but he's grotty! I think we might get a cleaner. My lease doesn't run out until March or April, so there's still quite a bit of time before we really decide what we're doing.

So there, that's what's been going on. Lots and nothing all at once! I'm going to try and keep posting on here, mostly to keep sane, but we'll see how that goes after the last couple of tries!

Oh and I totally failed that 90 day food challenge from my last post btw! (and probably another couple of challenges after that too).

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

1st week review

In order to keep myself honest with getting my eating etc. back on track I am going to post weekly updates, this is the first.

I've actually signed up for a 90 day fitness challenge which started on the 1st July, I had joined when I posted my previous post about getting my eating and exercising back on track, but I hadn't received all the info for the challenge so I wasn't sure exactly what it was all about. It's basically a 90 day eating and exercise challenge with online resources and a Facebook group for support, there seems to be about 150 people signed up for it, all women as far as I can tell.

The meal plan is basically just paleo, so it fits with my previous plan, and instead of being a specific meal plan with set recipes, it's just a meal formula which you can apply to whatever you like, eg. Xg meat, Xg green veggies, Xtsp good fats and Xg carbs (post workout). The exercise is 5 sessions of weights/strength work a week and a few sessions of intervals on top of that, all the exercises are on the website and have associated videos. It's really for people with access to a full gym, but it's not too hard to work out substitute exercises for the ones that I don't have the equipment for. I'm also swapping two of the days for Crossfit so that I can keep doing that as well.

So far it's been really good, the people in the group seem to be really nice and everyone is really supportive. I joined because I felt like I needed a bit of extra guidance and support because what I was doing before wasn't working and so far I'm glad I joined this challenge. As you'll see from my photo below, I certainly haven't been perfect the last week, but it's a 90 day challenge, so I have a while to get it all perfected. I've found that the stickers on the calendar are actually really  motivating! I really strive to earn the stickers and today I went out for dinner with a friend and was really vigilant with my eating, mostly because I wanted to get the damn food sticker!

So as you can see from below, I did pretty well with exercising last week, I only missed 1 session that I should have done (eg. did 4 instead of 5), eating was bad though and I only had 3 perfect days out of 7. Tuesday was a friend's 40th birthday so I went to Mexican for dinner and had margaritas and Fajitas, but the rest of the day was good. Friday was good until dinner when I had wine and some chips, Saturday and Sunday were a bit of a write off, which then continued into Monday (leftovers). Today, however, was perfect :)

Stars = Workouts, round stickers = perfect eating/drinking

So my plan for the next week is to get a few more round stickers on there, and make sure I get my 5 exercise sessions in. I have a few social engagements on the weekend though which will be a real challenge, and honestly, I think it's unlikely that I'll have a perfect day, but I will aim to eat properly, even if I do have a few drinks.

I weighed myself last night and was down 600g but those scales are rubbish, so I don't really believe it!

Monday, 1 July 2013

Getting my mojo back

So according to my blog, I haven't posted since 27 April, that's ages! The lack of posting kind of goes along with feeling down and stressed and crazy for the last couple of months. Work has been super stressful, Uni really really sucked last semester, I'm struggling to get to Crossfit regularly without a car and I've just been generally quite low for ages. On top of all that, and maybe because of it,  my eating is out of control and I've put on 5kg at least lately and am feeling fat and ugly and frumpy. 

I had this whole woe is me post written on Friday, but fuck it, the only person who can change my situation is me, no one is going to swoop in and do it for me, no matter how much I might want that to be the case. 

So I'm going to sort my shit out and get my eating back on track and try to improve my self esteem and self confidence so that I can truthfully believe that I can get another job and actually apply for some when they come up. I don't imagine this will be a short process but it will be worthwhile. 

To encourage myself I've given myself a couple of prizes for reaching goals. My short term goal is to lose 5kg (essentially to be back at 75kg) and the prize for that is getting to buy a new pair of shoes, my long term goal is to lose 10kg and the prize for that is getting to spend $200 on clothes. I have also initiated a sticker system on my calendar and for every day that my eating is good, I get a 'well done' sticker and for every day I meet my exercise goals, I get a gold star. Sounds lame, but I think visual encouragement is also worth trying!

Getting a new job will be a reward in itself, so no rewards for job hunting.

So, my "rules" aren't anything particularly crazy, it's more about consistency, because that's where I am seriously lacking. Here they are though:

- Exercise 5x a week (at least 2 of these Crossfit)
- Avoid sugar (not including fruit) unless it's a super special occasion
- Only eat starchy carbs after a workout (good incentive to workout!)
- Can only drink alcohol 1 school night a week and have to drink sensibly on weekends, or at least avoid super sweet drinks
- Try portion control instead of counting calories
- Get more sleep
- If eating out, choose sensibly (don't eat out too often either)

So that's about it, nothing crazy and no particular eating plan or template. I'll see how it goes, there might be further tweaking if it doesn't seem to be working, but I honestly think that any sort of change will help at the moment.

Starting measurements

Weight: 79.9kg (I don't trust this though, my scales seem to be about +/- 3kg)
5cm above belly button: 85cm
Belly button: 91cm
5cm below belly button: 99cm


That weight is scary scary, that's like what I used to weigh before I started Crossfit and everything. It's still a whole lot lighter than my heaviest weight (107kg) I guess, but it's definitely not good and it really sucks because none of my clothes fit right, so I feel gross in everything. I guess feeling gross is good motivation to do this properly though. 

So there you have it, I'll try and post once a week at least to keep track of everything. 

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Crossfit and chia pudding




21 15 9
Overhead squats (training bar and 5kg - so approx 12kg)

10 mins 36 seconds


10min AMRAP
10 front squats (15kg?)
10 toes to bar
4 or 5 rounds I think 4


1km row (800m run for everyoe else)
3 rope climbs
15 tricep dips
X 5

46mins 17seconds.

Freaking long workout!!

I managed to get halfway up the rope about twice, woot! I think I'm bit too heavy to hold my own body weight by my arms while I try and re-position my feet, but I'm definitely 'getting it' more than I was before.


Super fun WODs today, I love the Olympic lifting so this was awesome.


Every 90 seconds - 1 x power snatch, 1 x full snatch x 2 (so 2 of each)
@ 15kg, the small weight was just due to the squat on the full snatch, it was way too light for just the power snatch but you've got to work with your weakest movement.

Repeat the sequence 7 times, so 14 of each total.


10 x Power clean and jerk (30kg)
21 x Kettlebell swings (16kg)

I was the first to finish for once at around 12:36.


Tabata row (so 20 second on, 10 seconds off x 8)
I got a total distance of 816m, which was crapper than last time when I got 826m, however, for the first 3 rounds my rower was on a crazy hard resistance and I had to get one of the trainers to change it back to what everyone else was on.

Chia pudding

So, this week I discovered the magic that is Chia seed pudding. You can read all about Chia seeds on Sarah Wilson's blog, or Mark Sisson's take on them here. For the pudding you basically take an amount of Chia seeds, a sweetener (I used honey) and mix with some kind of liquid and leave in the fridge for a couple of hours. I used coconut milk because it's all I generally have in the house, but almond milk seems to be popular for this and may make it turn out more 'puddingy', coconut milk solidifies when you put it in the fridge so I think something less solid would probably work slightly better. I tend not to buy almond milk because (at least the brands we get in Australia) it is full of crappy weird ingredients, but I might get some just for this pudding.

The texture of the finished pudding is kind of like rice pudding, but without all the carbs. It's really delicious and I think it'll become a staple in my house! The recipe I used was a bit of a mash-up but it was inspired by this one initially. I also added cocoa powder because I can't go past chocolate flavoured things!

Pudding before

Pudding after

The other thing I ate a lot of this week was paleoified Larb Gai, so easy and so tasty.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Crossfit this week and mackerel

Crossfit soon, but first I have to express my sadness that Aldi no longer seems to stock tinned mackerel.. beautiful, tasty, delicious mackerel :( It was my favourite afternoon snack EVER and now I can't get it anymore. I've been to a couple of Aldi stores and there's no longer even a space on the shelf for it, so I think it's gone for good. I need to find a replacement or suck it up and pay Coles/Woolworth prices.

One of my other favourite foods just seems to have come back into season, brussel sprouts!  I bake them in the oven with oil, pepper and salt and then put balsamic vinegar or lemon juice on them when they're done, I also often do broccoli this way too. They are both amazing. 9 year old me would be disgusted.

Dangerously, I discovered this ice cream on Friday. I wanted to get the salted caramel Connoisseur one, but they didn't have any, sadly, this is a pretty good substitute! I don't usually keep ice cream in the house, so this is a dangerous discovery.

Friday (last week)


5 x 5 back squats (35kg)
Max handstand push-ups x 5 ( got to 46 in total).

There's a Russian girl in my class who has only been going to Crossfit for 4 months who can already do back squats at 60kg! Insane. I don't think my squatting will ever be that good. She also just 'got' double-unders as well, whereas I have to skip in between each one, no fair! She's also bigger than me, so it's not a size thing, I am just clearly weak and unco!


20 metre 10kg plate lunges
15 x burpees
20min AMRAP

I got through 4 rounds, hate lunges, hate burpees, enough said.


No idea! The website says backsquats.. but that means 3 lots of backsquats in a week and a bit.. which seems unlikely. I'll have to check my book.



500m row
35 double-unders
X 5



1 min wall ball
1 min chin-ups
1 min rest



5x5 back squat @ 35kg

I was trying to get proper depth here for once and I was kind of getting there. It's freaking uncomfortable and I feel like I'll never get back up again but I did.


30 x squat clean and jerk (we do them without the split, unlike this attractive gentleman) @ 20kg, time was 8:26.

20kg is way too light for the jerk part, but my squats are so rubbish that 20kg is all I can do and have some semblance of form for 30 reps. I think I just need to do them every day in front of a mirror to see my form and make sure I'm doing them properly, hitting the right depth and that my knees aren't caving in when I come up, which is what they usually do. So many things to think about!

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Crossfit Friday, Tuesday and Wednesday

I have actually been going to Crossfit despite not posting, work and uni are both crazy right now, so there's been little spare time to do things like blog posting, although I have to admit there's been a lot of other procrastinating, like building crappy Swedish furniture and rearranging bits of my house.




21 15 9

Deadlift (55kg)
Handstand push-up (to 3 ab mats)

(21 deadlift, 21 HSPU, 15 deadlift, 15 HSPU etc).

My time was 8:09.

This is one of the classic named Crossfit workouts, so I've done it before. The last time I did it, I had a better time (7mins something) but I only did 45kg on the deadlift, so I consider this progress!


1 min push-ups
1 min chin-ups
1 min rest

x 4

This sucked, I hate push-ups!

WOD 3 

Tabata of mountain climbers and rowing

Tabata is 8 intervals of 20 seconds all out intensity and 10 seconds of rest.

Ugh mountain climbers, seriously, is there a less graceful exercise? I hates it and I always get yelled at about my form.



5 rep max power clean.  Used to love these, totally sucked on form today so only did it at 30kg and just tried to work on getting them right. Still managed to bruise the fuck out of my clavicles.


15 power clean (25kg)
25 burpee

X 3

Time was 11 mins something, maybe 11:36?

WOD 2 

Tabata rows (836m accumulated total, apparently the most out of all the girls)
Tabata Sit ups



2km row - 8min 36 seconds

WOD 2 

1 min plank
1 min hollow hold
1 min rest

 x 3

WOD 3 

15 chin ups (red band)
30 slam balls (15kg)
45 double unders

x 3

The double unders were nasty.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Back on the horse

Image from here

So, lately I've been really unmotivated.. really really really unmotivated, both in exercising and eating well. I think it's been mainlydue to work being crazy and being back at uni, and exercise and eating well were just the first things to fall by the wayside.

For an example of just how slack I've been, this morning was the first time in the last 4 weeks that I've gone to Crossfit! Crazy. I think part of the issue with going to Crossfit has been the lack of transport, it's so much harder to be motivated when you have to get up at 5:50am and get a bus and a tram to get there and the snooze button has been getting more of a workout than me.

I can definitely tell the difference, I've put on weight, I'm losing what little muscle definition I had in my arms and bad eating habits, such as bingeing, are starting to creep back in. My brother's wedding is on Saturday and I had to go and look for a dress this week.. that was quite a depressing experience. So, as of this week, I'm back on the horse. I'm not doing anything crazy, just trying to get back to good habits, specifically, going to Crossfit a minimum of 3 times a week, trying to do other exercise on my non-Crossfit days and trying to eat properly  (paleo but not militant paleo) and not overeat.

So far, so good. I've been eating well and I made it to Crossfit this morning.Now to keep it up. I think I'll start blogging again (AJ - about 5mins before I read your post on blogging, I decided to get back into it! Weird coincidence). I think it help keep me on track and keeps me accountable to some degree. So, sorry to bore you, but it's going to be food and Crossfit posts again.



Every minute on the minute for 10 minutes, do 3 power snatches.

I only did  20kg and I could definitely have done more. I wasn't really sure given I'd been off for so long, but next time I'll do 25 or 30. I should check my book and see what I was doing it at before I stopped going.


21 - 15 - 9

Over head squat

(21 OH squat, 21 burpees, 15 OH squat, 15 burpees etc.)

Ugh me and overhead squats do not mix. Well, squats in general. I was using a training bar and 2.5kg plates, so I think that's about 10kg? Lame.


100 sit-ups

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Crossfit, Fitbit stats and random updates


Sadly work has become crazy and I've moved away from my nice window corner desk, so no more blogging at work, so as a result I'm waaaay behind in updating. I have been going to Crossfit, but really intermittently. Since I've moved house and become car-less, I need to develop a new routine for going so that I don't have to think, I just do it. Last week I went twice and this week I've gone twice already so far and will either go tomorrow or Friday, so I'm getting back on track. I start Uni again on Monday though, which means I'll have to make up a lot of time at work so that'll throw another spanner in the works but I'll try my best to fit everything in.

 I have been riding my bike to Crossfit and then riding to the station to go to work on the train, but it's a major pain in the ass. I'm rubbish at riding and after Crossfit it is particularly difficult!! The last two days it's been raining in the mornings so I've gone on public transport, which is actually way less hassle. There's a bus that connects with the tram, so it doesn't take very long at all and means not having to deal with peak hour traffic on the bike. It's a bit lazy of me, but it is a lot less stressful and means I get to work a bit earlier too so I might do it more often.

Tuesday last week

Wod 1

400m row (run for the others)
20 double unders 

x 5

18mins 37 seconds

Wod 2

5 x 8rep max deadlift (50kg)
5 x max dead hang chin ups (red and yellow band - 6, 5, 4, 4)

Thursday last week

Wod 1


50, 40, 30, 20 10

Double unders
Ab mat situps

17mins 54 seconds (150 of each)

I had mad ass-crack rash after this and my abs hurt so much that I couldn't sit up from lying on the couch for about 4 days, I had to roll off the couch, uber graceful! 

I was the last one to finish because I completely suck at double-unders and they wouldn't let me do less than the prescribed amount!

Wod 2

9 x burpees
9 x chin-ups (Red band)

16 mins total, every even minute do burpees, every odd minute do chins

The burpees were the slow part, 9 doesn't sound like much but it's 8 rounds, so 72 of the fuckers. I wasn't making it through all of them after a few rounds before my minute was up and it was back to chin-ups!

Tuesday this week

45 pushups
30 chin ups
500m row
60 toes to bar
60 box jumps
1km row
90 kettle bell swings
90 wall balls
1.6km row

This was a brutal workout!! I only got up to 50 wall balls before I had to leave for work, that took me 47 mins to get to that point. It was a crazy. My shoulders are so sore today. 

Wednesday this week

Wod 1

5 x 5 rep max dead lift (60kg)
In between each set accumulate 50 strict chin ups total.

Wod 2

5, 4, 3, 2, 1 - Rope climb
18, 15, 12, 9, 6 - Sandbag shoulder throws (the bit at the start) and Overhead squats

So, 5 rope climbs then 18 sandbags then 18 overhead squats, 4 rope climbs, 15 sandbags, 15 overhead squats etc. etc. I'm still on the damn training bar and 5kg in plates for overhead squats, I just suck at them. The sandbag throws were horrible! You bash your shoulder with it every time, ouchies.

I still can't do rope climbs at all either, it really pisses me off!!! Goddamn rope. It didn't help that I didn't wear a long sock and I copped some sweet rope burn, oh yeah.


About a month or so ago I bought a Fitbit, which is essentially a souped-up pedometer. It records steps, time asleep, calories burned and elevation (so going up and down stairs, hills etc). It syncs with Myfitnesspal to track calories and it's got this cool web interface with graphs and all fun stats. It also sends you a weekly update so you can see how you went for the week. I've posted an example of that below, ignore the calories, I didn't record them all that week so it's out of whack. 

It's been really interesting, I seem to walk a lot which I guess I knew, but I didn't think I did 10,000 steps so often but it seems I do, I guess I always go for a 30min walk at lunchtime and walk to and from the station every day. Apparently it underestimates Crossfit workouts because it doesn't estimate for weight lifting etc. It definitely makes me more conscious of activity levels, how much I'm sleeping and calories burnt, although that said, I still go over my calorie limit regularly!! I guess if I stuck to my limit it would definitely help me lose weight. 

Hi Emma H., here are your weekly stats.
04/02/2013 to 10/02/2013
Sat, Feb 9
Mon, Feb 4
7,052 steps
17,430 steps
35.70 km 
5.10 km
12.52 km
24 floors
2,279 cals
2,607 cals
15952 cals burned
4706 cals eaten
-3500 plan deficit
0.0 kg
74.9 kg
hrs 21 min 
0hrs 18min

Last week's badges

Other stuff

I got some new shoes for Xmas (but they only arrived in February), they're New Balance Minimus and they're for barefoot style running. I've read a lot about it online and that style of running seems to help some people who have knee issues when running, so I'm hoping that it might help me, once I've got the running style down. You have to work up to it really slowly, so start only doing a few minutes at a time to strengthen the muscles you need to use for that style. So far so good, but I've only been a couple of times since I got them a couple of weeks ago.

Sweet shoes!

I'm still paleo, although I have to admit I've been a bit lax lately, but have been keeping gluten-free at least and have even been getting gluten free pizza if Glenn orders pizza on the weekends, instead of just going with whatever he gets. My weight hasn't changed in ages which is annoying, but I only have myself to blame. I've kind of lost motivation at the moment, work is stressful and I can't really be bothered with a lot of things. I'll get it back I'm sure. I also bought a Nigella Lawson book recently, which was a huuuuuge mistake. So many delicious, non-paleo things to try! I really shouldn't have bought it, it's been responsible for a lot of off plan meals lately but they are delicious!

Breakfast after Crossfit is the best part of my day!

I recently made some salsa verde and it was freaking amazing and so very easy! I had it with fish on paleo tacos and on my breakfast a few days in a row. I highly recommend it, it would go well with any kind of meat or fish.

Fish tacos paleo-style. So good!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Crossfit Tuesday, new goals and other random stuff

Goals and things

I've made some goals for myself this week, my first goal is to get back into my regular Crossfit routine, even if that involves 6:30am tram rides! Related to that, I'm going to try eating more carbs and see if that helps my motivation for everything.  I've been eating pretty low carb during the week for a while now and I started thinking that maybe that's why I have been completely sucking at workouts and have had no motivation to go.

I seem to remember doing my best at Crossfit when I was doing Leangains, which was a whole lot more carbs than I am eating now, so I am going to try for 80 - 100g carbs a day for a few weeks and see if that changes anything. It'll probably mostly be sweet potato, so I might get bored of it, but I'll see how it goes. I'm also going to really try and get 8hrs sleep, because that never happens and is a big factor in weight-loss (and also my ability to get up at 6:15am!).

So the gym owner randomly told me today that he wants me to stop using bands for chin-ups this year, so much for my goal of going down one band this year!! We shall see, I'll give it a shot and honestly I think it's more my hands holding me back than my muscles, I always drop because my hands are killing me, not my arms/back. I've read a few blogs on chin-up grip styles and I'm going to try changing my grip and see if that helps and if not then maybe try taping them. Don't think I really want to give into gloves just yet. Hopefully if all my goals for this week work and I can keep them up, then I'll be in beast-mode by the end of the year!!

This is totally going to be me by the end of the year!
(image from  here)

My other short-term goal is to find a bloody house, I didn't get the one I applied for last week either, not sure what is going on, maybe other people are offering more money than advertised or maybe landlords want the security of 2 incomes versus 1.. or maybe I have a bad reference from the place before this. I would hope not, but you never know, I'm not even sure the estate agent had any idea who was who in that house.

I'm tempted to leave that house off the application form but I'm sure they'd then question the 18 month gap in my rental history. House hunting sux when you work full time in the city and don't have a car, luckily there's been a few inspections after work that I can get to, but it would be much better if I could just take a day and drive around during the week looking at everything and get in before everyone else. Fingers crossed that something pans out this week.

My car got towed to the wrecker today :( Poor thing, she'd only done about 144,000kms, which is pretty low for a 19 year old car. I'm sad to lose her just because the front end was all squashed in, but I like to think that's it's like organ donation, all her parts will go into other cars to keep them going.  Now the long battle to save up for a new car, pity I don't quite have the budget for one of these!

Toyota 86
Image from here.

Now onto Crossfit, I've decided to keep posting my workouts to keep me accountable and see my progress.



7 x hang power-snatch (20kg)
15 x burpees
30 x kettlebell swings (16kg)

x 3

Finished in 16mins and 5 seconds and did my first set of kettlebell swings unbroken, WOO!


5 x 5 push-press, I worked up from 15kg, so it was 5 @ 15kg, 5 @ 20kg and then 5 x 5 @ 25kg (35 total).

I've lost a lot of strength, I had a look in my book and in Feb 2012 I was doing 5 x 5 at 20kg, so I haven't really progressed much, or more likely, I've regressed lately because I've been slack. Oh well, onwards and upwards!

Friday, 18 January 2013

2013 so far

I haven't posted in a really long time, like a lot of things, I just haven't had time or motivation to do it. So far 2013 has been off to a bit of a crazy, unsettled start.

I have worked out that as much as I'd like to think of myself as a free spirit, open to excitement and mystery, I'm really just a creature of habit who hates change.

It really began at the end of 2012 when I had a car accident just before Christmas and my car was completely fucked up, the accident wasn't my fault, a chick turned right without looking and I was going straight with a green light and had nowhere to go but into her car (we were both fine). It's taken until today to get it all sorted out, well, partially anyway, I know what is happening now at least but I still don't have the money from it being written off.

I had my brother's car for a week over Christmas/New Years while he was away, but since then I've been car-less, which is the first time ever since I first got a car when I was 19. It does make life a whole lot harder without a car. The hardest thing for me has been trying to get to the gym, I've had to go on the tram which really makes it that much harder to get my ass out of the house at 6:30 in the morning to get there, so I haven't been going regularly at all. I should really sort my bike out and ride there, although the prospect of doing that at 6:30 in the morning is also really unappealing! It's also hard to see Glenn at the moment too because it involves very long and boring tram rides, if I didn't get motion sick on trams then it'd be fine, I could read or use my phone, but just sitting there for over an hour feeling vaguely unwell is really tiresome.

One of the other things that's unsettled is work, my direct supervisor left before Christmas and they didn't manage to fill the position, I didn't apply because my manager (the one above my supervisor) pretty much hinted at me that there is no way I'd get it (we've had a tense relationship for a while), but then they didn't fill it, so now they've put me in the acting role and my manager seems to be encouraging me to apply for it when it's re-advertised, so not sure what happened there but she's completely changed her tune.

The problem is that the person previously doing it left in December, so there's been no handover, no process notes, no nothing! And on top of that, I'm still doing my old job as well. Luckily it's still quiet at the moment otherwise it would be a complete nightmare. Because it's a far more senior role with a lot more responsibility, I'm petrified of fucking it up and proving my manager right, so everyday is quite stressful just because of that. I think I'm doing okay, but I've realised that I have a deep-seated fear of failure that's hard to get past and has really held me back in everything. Confidence in myself is definitely something I need to work on.

The third thing that's unsettled is trying to find a flat, I've only been looking for a couple of weeks but I'm already over it. I am excited about getting my own place, but not excited about all the crap you have to go through to get there. It's also really really hard to go house hunting without a car, I've been limited to looking when my brother doesn't need his car, or going to places that have open for inspections after work and are near a train station. I've got an application in for one at the moment and I'm crossing my fingers that I get it, it's large for a 1 bedroom and in a good location, I just hope no one beat me to it or has better references than me.

I've kind of lost motivation for everything at the moment,  I'm not sure exactly what is going on but I guess I feel a bit depressed/stressed with all the uncertainty in my life right now. I like things to be stable and I like my routine and I just can't have that at the moment.I need to find my motivation again soon though, otherwise I'm going to turn into a slob, fast.

I need my Crossfit routine back, it was so ingrained before that I didn't really have to think about it, just got in the car and went, now it's a big hassle. My eating also hasn't been stellar, I think I'm still in holiday mode. I need to get back to where I was before Christmas, only eating 3 times a day, no snacks and minimal, if any fruit. I was feeling good then and I think I'd dropped some weight, now, not so much, I think I have an extra roll of fat developing over my ribs.

I have had two diet wins this week though, two nights I really really wanted takeaway, but I had some meat in the freezer and veggies in the fridge, so I ended up cooking really simple paleo meals,which turned out to be awesome and saved me money as well. It really shows that preparation is key, if I didn't have any meat in the freezer or random veggies in the fridge then it would have been pad thai or pizza for sure, but because I had the option to be healthy, I was able to take it. Weekends are always a struggle though, but hopefully I can get to a point where I can pick good choices even if we do get takeaway or eat out. I need to get Glenn on board more cuz I'm so easily tempted into being bad if someone else is!

So anyway, even though I am unmotivated and not making headway on anything, I do have some goals for 2013 which I'm going to put here so that I can check back and see how I'm going.

2013 goals

  • Find a new flat
  • See friends more
  • Read more books
  • Do uni work well ahead of time, stay organised
  • Man the fuck up and get over being scared of everything
  • In particular, stop being scared of failing and just do my best, at everything
  • Pay off credit cards
  • Actually get some savings and an emergey fund
  • Buy a car, or learn to live without one
  • Get more professional looking work clothes
  • Look more professional (hair/makeup)
  • Act more professionally
  • Less fucking around on the internet
  • Give this job a real shot and apply when it's advertised
  • Find a new job if this one sucks
  • Go to Crossfit at least 3 times a week, try for 4
  • Eat Paleo 80% of time, for real and only break it for something totally worth it
  • Make better choices when eating out/getting takeway, there are always better options!
  • Sort out knee issues
  • Climb that fucking rope
  • Go down a band in chin-ups
  • Stop thinking I can't do it and just fucking try my best

So basically, 2013 is the year of letting go of fear, trying my best and acting more like an adult. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Crossfit Monday and American food


I'm finally back at Crossfit properly this week. I was freaking out before the session yesterday because someone (I'm looking at you Amanda!) gave away bits of the WOD on Facebook which made it sound super scary. Luckily though, I'd built it up in my head so much that when I got there and found what the WOD actually was, it wasn't so bad!


18 x front rack lunge (9 per leg) - 15kg
18 x chin ups (2 x orange bands)
18 x box jumps (small baby box)

18min AMRAP

I got through 3 full rounds and was up to the 9th chin-up in the 4th. So that was 72 lunges, 62 chin-ups and 54 box jumps.

I SUCK at the lunges and it is very clear when I'm doing them that I have a dodgy right leg because I just have no strength at all in some of the muscles needed to do that exercise. My left leg is pretty good and stable, but on my right it just feels like half the muscles aren't even firing at all and it's an immense struggle to get back up again! I guess I know what I need to work on, ugh.

For chins I should have just used a red band but the numbers scared me, so I wussed out.


10 x push-jerk (25kg)
25 KB swings (16kg)
400m run (rowing for me)
2mins rest

x 3

I can't remember what my time was.. over 20mins I think. I like it when we get built in rest!

American food

Since this is also a food/diet blog, I figured I'd share some photos of the dreadful diet I had while I was in America! This really is how NOT to eat :)

My first meal in the USA at the Cheesecake Factory in San Fran, this is apparently a salad!
Tacos in Vegas
A burger with sweet potato fries, the fries were gross, my homemade ones are so much better!
Blue drink in Vegas
Another drink in Vegas, delicious sugary margarita! 
Another "salad", from our hotel in Vegas. This was seriously delicious, it had fried chicken, cheese, corn, and salad stuff.

Probably the healthiest thing I ate all holiday, breakfast from the buffet at our hotel in Vegas

Omelette at Venice Beach in LA 

Mmm beer, at Santa Barbara pier

Breakfast at a diner in San Fran, pancakes seem to come with everything

Cioppino (seafood stew) in San Fran

Mmm bagel with cream cheese and smoked salmon in NYC

The most amazing sandwich ever, the Reuben at Carnegie Deli in NYC

Inside the Reuben! Pastrami, Sauerkraut and Cheese. Don't worry, we shared it!

Cheesecake at Carnegie Deli, amazing also!

Scary ingredients in a Starbucks yogurt, High Fructose Corn Syrup is mentioned about 4 times!

Well deserved margarita ($8!!) after walking back to midtown from Brooklyn!

Last drinks - cider at the airport in San Fran :( 

These photos don't show the 3 or so pancake related meals at IHOP, a couple of pizzas, pastas, copious beer in the hotel room and frozen microwave dinners we also consumed!

It seemed to be very hard to get healthy food there, sure you can get salads, but most of them include fried chicken, tons of cheese and masses of dressing. Sides were generally some kind of white carbs and all the food at the supermarkets seems to have twice as many ingredients as here.

Now that I'm home, I'm back being pretty strict paleo (some weekend nights not included!), but more on that in a later post.