Thursday, October 2, 2008

DomestiGals Welcome Caz!

Hello ladies! We are so excited to bring you another fabulous guest writer, Caz from Cherry Blossoms and Vodka. (First of all, how fab a name is that?!) Caz blogs about - well, let us quote her: "my new life in Australia, adjusting to 'the real world' out of uni, sports, shoes, and nights with too much wine. I live to snowboard, and want to see the world before I'm 30. Plus, if you ask nicely? I can say the alphabet backwards, really, really fast."

Enjoy the fabulosity that is Caz!


DomestiGals Sue and Jen

First guest post ever!! (Can you tell I’m excited?!?! Because I am. Fo’ realz.)

So there are many things I have in common with the DomestiGals, thus prompting quite a few potential posts to run through my head in the past week. I could write about living as an ex-pat and getting used to being the Canadian in Australia… but I kinda feel I’ve done that to death on my blog. I could write about AB’s and my life as “domestic partners” and our back-and-forth decision to apply for my de-facto spouse Visa (although I’m more like Jen in that I totally want to be a Bride!!! Just in 5 years. Maybe.) I could write about my plans for eventual grad school, but considering I JUST graduated in May, I have a long time before I plan on an MBA and have done nothing more than poke around at my dream schools on the internetz.

Instead, I decided to share my plan to jump back on the fitness wagon, and how having all the knowledge in the world doesn’t necessarily make it easy. Here it goes…

As I mentioned, I recently graduated from university. I graduated with a degree in Human Kinetics actually. Which means that for the past 4 ½ years* I have studied fitness, health, and sport. I know every muscle in my body; I know the biomechanics of eating an apple, or climbing a ladder (yes, these were actual exam questions, and yes, we totally mimed reaching out and picking up an apple and biting into it, or stood up out of our desks and climbed imaginary ladders.) I know the medical consequences of smoking and the treatment for type 2 diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure) and acute myocardial infractions (heart attack). I took classes on fitness training for everyone from sedentary senior citizens to Olympic athletes. Basically, I know pretty much everything and anything about being physically fit.

Somehow** I still managed to gain the Freshman 15. And the Sophomore 10, and the Serious Relationship 20… ok maybe not that much, since I pretty much refuse to step on the scale, but let’s just say that 6 months after high-school graduation I could no longer fit into my prom dress. And I’ve just kept gaining weight since.

Recently I’ve realized that all this weight I’ve gained, has stuck around for 5 years!! 5 YEARS PEOPLE!!! It’s been 5 whole years that I’ve hated my body, dreaded wearing a bikini, and ‘attempted’ to lose weight.

Actually, I lie. It’s been a lot more than that. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always thought of myself as ‘fat’, but only the last 4 years that I really have been. And now I’m no longer in university. I can no longer use the excuse that drinking 12 beers in a night is the norm, and that the reason I ordered pizza at midnight was because everyone was stoned. I don’t live with 5 other people who always provide a more fun activity than going to the gym, and I can’t use studying as an excuse to eat an entire box of Smarties. Mmmm I love Smarties! Did you know there aren’t Smarties in Australia? Or the US? Just M&M’s. They’re missing out. /end tangent.

While I’ve started many weight loss attempts before, they always got derailed when fun parties and communal dinners got in the way of gym-sessions and salads. And after one night of bad eating and the inevitable hangover breakfast I always say “screw it all.”

Basically? I have NO willpower. And I know it. I am the QUEEN of making up excuses to skip the gym, or eat more than I need to. I WANT to lose weight; I just don’t want to give up all the yummy things I eat. I KNOW HOW to lose weight; I’ve just been lacking the discipline to work out when going out is more fun.

But this time? No excuses. I’m no longer in college and I can no longer keep eating and drinking like I am. Unfortunately, it’s time to grow up. I know the consequences and I can’t plead ignorance or lack of knowledge. The upside? Is hopefully I’ll be physically fit, no longer be anxious about team sports, and have a wicked new body to showcase. Maybe for once in my life I’ll actually feel comfortable in it.

The plan: Starts Now. Ok it actually started 2 weeks ago, but then I had a week of vacation with Red (the skinniest girl ever, who eats more junk food then I thought possible), Grand Final weekend –the first big BBQ/drinking weekend of the summer, and the bad news about AB’s Nan and so diet and finding time to exercise were the last things on my mind. I’m back on the bandwagon this week.

• I’ve joined the gym nearby and worked out a schedule for going right after work. (Once I’m home at night, you can never convince me to leave again!)

• Start going to 6:15am classes Note: before this happens AB needs to teach me how to drive the manual car. Because while it’s a 2 minute drive, I know I won’t get out of bed to walk the 10 minutes. 6:00am is an acceptable wake-up time. 5:45 am is most definitely not.

• Keep running the 4.7km loop around work. Do this at least 3x/week***.

• Make plans to incorporate exercise into my weekends. Don’t let AB’s love of couch-potato-ing convince you to stay in. It’s gorgeous out so explore the city!

• Try the Cycling classes. I need someone to kick my butt. Plus needing to cancel 24hrs in advance will keep me from wussing out at the last second.

• Measure out ½ cup portions of pasta and rice, and then fill out the rest of the meal with veggies. I am terrible at eyeballing portions, and I loooove carbs. Sure they’re almost always whole-grain, but I could seriously eat 2 cups of pasta if I let myself.

• Eat soup first. I’ve been on a miso soup kick, and the hot broth totally fills me up so I am satisfied.

• Make lunches in the evening to take for work. Bring enough food, and don’t bring cash to work.

• Get over things needing to be fair. Life’s not fair, and AB will always be able to eat 2 cups of ice cream every night without gaining weight. I can’t. He is a very skinny boy with a very fast metabolism and while I can physically fit as much in my stomach as he can, I shouldn’t be able to. Buy his 2-litre tub of cheap ice cream, which he will eat in 4 days. Buy the yummy, 500ml, expensive stuff for me, and save it for as long as possible.

• Go shopping even when AB hates to. Make sure there are always salad fixings in the fridge. Wash and dry the lettuce immediately, so I’m not too lazy to do it later.

Obviously, I’m going to work each of these goals into my life as it comes. Starting out all at once is one of the easiest ways to burn out. I want to develop habits people. Things that stick with me, no thinking required. I know I won’t lose all this weight overnight… It took me 4 years to gain it after all. But I want to be healthy. I want to be able to run 10km in less than 60 minutes (I’m at 72 minutes right now, and I could do it in 60 min 6 years ago.) I want to be comfortable in a bikini, and I want to have more than “such a pretty face”, I want to just be “pretty”.

The advice that’s worked the best for me so far? Make better choices EVERY time. Don’t let one bad decision wreck the rest of your day, or week. Start over the VERY NEXT time you’re faced with the healthy and unhealthy possibility.

*yes it took me more than 4 years… shut up, I went travelling, I didn’t fail anything!

**By somehow, I mean joining the Ski and Snowboard Club and spending about ¾ of my university career drunk. Or hungover and curing it with greasy food and more beer. While snowboarding is athletic, it’s not athletic enough to counteract the 80 Jagerbombs we bought one night (between 10 people!).

***I ran yesterday and my leg still hurts today. While it often hurts when running, it always goes away the second I stop. Must consult ze internetz on possibilities of what could be wrong***

*** While I never condone diagnosing medical conditions online, I have taken many, many anatomy and physiology classes. If I had my textbooks here in Oz, I’d look it up in there. Alas, anatomy textbooks weigh about 50lbs each, and I decided I’d rather bring shoes to Oz then textbooks. I am knowledgeable enough to determine what is crap and what isn’t. Plus, if it continues to hurt, I’ll totally go to the doctor.****

**** Ok I’m lying, I won’t because I don’t have medical insurance here. Shhh… don’t tell my parents. But that’s a whole other can of worms, so please spare me the lecture!*****

*****Must stop using *’s now.


Jenn said...

I love the honesty here, and she's got some great tips, especially about no letting one slip up ruin your week. Just get back on track. It's consistency over time not perfection. :)

Also, Cherry Blossoms and Vodka is a WONDERFUL title.

well-intentioned heartbreaker said...

totally awesome sweetheart!!!

i jumped back on the exercise bandwagon this week too. i always considered myself a workout-aholic, until recently when i was like, oh, i didn't run this past week. or last.. or uhm, this entire month?

hahah, so i'm right in there with you, trying to get back into the swing of it all, and trying not to count smarties as a 'good lunch!' anymore. (smarties are so good, i so know what you mean).

anyway, thanks for sharing your plan and little secrets. you're a gem. and good luck with everything! i'm sure you'll rock it!

OH. and just so EVERYONE KNOWS - caz is NOT fat, as she claims to be. and she's drop dead gorgeous. and has the best skin in the world. just, fyi. because clearly she's too hard on herself. =)

DomestiGals said...


What a gorgeous post! Jen and I are so lucky to have you a part of the DomestiGal community. Thanks for all the gems you provided in this post.