Saturday, October 8, 2011

Week 6: The Great Chainsaw Massacre

Farmboy decided today would be a great day to do some pruning in the garden. Only problem is his idea of pruning and mine differ in many ways. He uses secateurs and a little lopping saw, I use a ... chainsaw... I mean when you've got a garden the size of ours with the growth we get you've sometimes gotta take drastic measures.

So, armed with tracksuit pants. long sleeved top, riggers gloves, mesh mask and chainsaw, I mounted the quad bike (with trailer and chipper attached), drove down to the offending plant (read gigantic tree like shrub) and tackled the buddleia that had been taking over a large part of the garden. 1 1/2 hours and much, sawing, lopping, dragging and chopping later we now have a buddleia stump....

Farmboy hard at work.

.... and half a garden of rubbish that it'll take Farmboy a week to clean up he he he... I just make the mess I don't clean it up. Hey he's got a quad bike and a trailer it's not that hard a job. Unless of course the weather decides to take a turn for the worst (which it did just after we'd had lunch and the big cleanup was underway, torrential rain for over an hour). Oh well Farmboy will just have to try again tomorrow.

From one single plant to half a garden of rubbish!

It's gonna take a while to move this lot.

I'm really not much of a gardener, I mean, I can name most of the plants in the garden but I'm really more of a garden appreciator than the hands on type. Farmboy and I can take no credit  for the layout or beautiful plants that are in the 1 acre of garden that surrounds the house. The majority of it was planted over 18 years ago. We've just tried to bring the garden back from the brink (read completely filled with blackberries and elm tree suckers when we moved in) to something resembling a garden with some kind of plan to it.
More gardening that needs to be done.

I love seeing the spring arrive in our garden, it's filled with  rhododendrons, azaleas, camelias, bluebells, daffodils, lots of other spring bulbs and flowering trees and shrubs. Still one positive part of this mornings chainsaw massacre was the burning off of quite a few calories, that's gotta be good for me... right.

I love taking photos of the garden
at this time of the year.
How's this for a camelia with class.

Spring bulbs. 
More spring bulbs.

The Magnolia has been fabulous this year.
So for the next few weeks I can see us out in the garden taking drastic measures with some plants and less ruthless ones on others. Or maybe this year, I'll just leave it all up to Farmboy.

Nah, not gonna happen, he doesn't know a rose from rhubarb, and pruning has never been his strong point. I'll just leave him with all the mess to clean up as usual.

Quote of the day:
My neighbour asked if he could use my lawnmower and I told him of course he could, so long as he didn't take it out of my garden. - Eric Morecambe

Tip of the day:
Gardening is great exercise and yet it doesn't seem like it (according to my CalorieKing software 1 hour of weeding burns up 482 calories), just don't forget the hat and gloves to protect you from the sun and Jack Jumper Ants (my nemesis).

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Week 6: Artistic changes

End of another week and yet another weigh-in. Again unsure if things had really changed during the week, But after stepping on the scales and once again opening my eyes (which had been clenched tightly closed) Yay another kilo gone. I've now lost 6 kgs in the past 5 weeks. For me this is a revelation, I can actually see the changes in my body. So I thought I'd explain the changes in the terms of varying art styles.

So to begin, this is me to start with, a rubenesque woman, at least that's what I tell myself! (Although I'm really too short to be truly rubenesque)
Truly did my bottom really look this big?

This one is possibly a bit more flattering
and slightly closer to the mark?

So after 5 weeks, some actual real exercise and my healthy Herbalife diet my body is changing, I've lost 29 cm of body fat, and I have the beginnings of a waist!!!! I haven't had a waist in YEARS! I'm now more Renoiresque in shape, a bit like this:
Still too tall to be me but a bit closer to the now me.

My goal is to continue losing a kilo a week, not forever of course just until I'm happy with my shape and overall health. I wouldn't mind looking a bit Van Goghesque at all:
This is more the me I want.
So long as I don't end up Picassoesque I'll be happy!

Ok this is really NOT the me I want!

Quote of the day:
It is not hard to understand modern art. If it hangs on a wall it's a painting, and if you can walk around it it's a sculpture. - Tom Stoppard
Tip of the day:
Eat vegetables before the main course. Whenever possible, make sure to have an ample serving of a vegetable (you get very few calories for the amount you eat) before eating the denser main course--often meat or fish. You'll need less of the dense stuff to be happy.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Week 5: Feelin Groovy

Today is weigh-in day for another week, I was  a bit apprehensive I mean we had Apprentice Farmboy with us last week and although I made a concerted effort to be good, we went to the Movies (popcorn mmmmm I LOVE salty popcorn, seriously I love salty anything really) and had Subway for lunch.

Up early Friday morning to take AF to the airport and I promised him we'd have Macca's for brekkie, so of course I had Macca's too. So I promised to be good on the weekend, and I was, pretty much, apart from having friends over for dinner on Sunday night (lasagne, I mean hello, who doesn't love lasagne ;-), but I tricked em all and served a lovely tossed salad with it. Then ruined the whole effect with a custard filled pecan danish for dessert.

Mind you I had been very good on Sunday morning, I delivered around 250 pamphlets for my new life as a Herbalife Distributor while Farmboy attended a Swap Meet (for the uninitiated this is a carpark where a whole heap of Car Nerds gather to buy and sell, dirty, greasy old bits and pieces the rest of us would just throw in the bin). Farmboy is something of an expert on BMC (British Motor Company, meaning minis, hillmans etc) as he learned his real trade (Motor Mechanic) on them back in the late 60's. So he was in his element dispensing wisdom left and right and picking up a bargain or two in the process. I think he even managed to pick up a couple of parts for the old Jaguar that's now been under restoration in our garage for 20 years!

Farmboy's Pride and Joy!

So after 1 1/2 hours of wandering around Prospect Vale I eventually limped up to the Casino to wait for Farmboy to arrive. 

All in all a pretty full weekend. So as I said I wasn't sure just which way the scales would go this morning.

I held my breathe, because we all know that makes you weigh less right? Closed my eyes, stepped on the scales and slowly opened my eyes. YAAAAAAYYYYY ... WWWOOOHHHOOOO another kilo gone forever. I'm now down to 94 kilos (Yes I know I've got a LONG way to go but at least I can see it happening now, baby steps please, my first goal is to get down to 90kg). What's more impressive to me is I feel energised, never hungry and I've lost a total of 25cm of body fat, 11cm in the bust, 7 cm in the waist and 7 cm in the hips, to say I'm impressed is an understatement.

So the start of week 5 is now upon us, what will the week bring, who knows but I will endeavour to rise above temptation and stick with the plan. Multivitamins, Florafibre, 2 Shakes a day and 1 colourful meal. Farmboy has threatened garden weeding as a weekend goal, I'm not as convinced , I've always been more supervisor than supervised, we'll see!

Quote of the Day:
The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools. - Confucius

Tip of the Day: 

Monitor your progress – research shows that people who keep a diary of everything they eat and all the exercise they do have a much greater chance of success and are more likely to maintain their healthy new diet over the long term.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Week 4: Wii adventures

So we've now had Apprentice Farmboy (AF) staying with us for 4 days, he fly's home tomorrow, and what have we made him do? Well we've had him feeding out the cows, chopping firewood, riding the quad bike, baking muffins and generally helping out around the farm.

He's visited a real working dairy farm, been up close and personal with one of our BIG cows, had a tour of Launceston (and it's famous Cinema, we went it to see the new Rowan Atkinson, Johnny English: Reborn movie yesterday, very silly but great fun), thrashed me at many games on the Wii (he excels at the whole hand/eye coordination thing, but I've got him beat at the whole cerebral/patience stuff i.e. he beat me at bowling, basketball and dogfighting, and I shot him down in flames at archery!), all in all I'd say he's had an an enjoyable week, I know I've had fun.

AF's arch nemesis!

Farmboy, Apprentice Farmboy and I had a Wii Party tonight there was much laughter and some intense competition and no definite outright winners, at least that's the way I saw it.

Farmboy was not impressed when told if he wants breakfast in the morning he will need to be up at 7.15 as AF and I are off to the airport early in the morning. Still he is partial to McDonalds for brekkie so we'll have to wait and see what tomorrow brings.

I've upgraded my EA Sports Active to EA Sports Active 2 (not sure this was a great idea, there's lots more tummy type exercises in this one, and they are MUCH harder, mind you might be the fact that my tummy is the part of me that needs the most work ;-), I love the way it monitors your heart rate so even if you think you're dying you're not really!

Well must get off to bed early tonight (The whole farmboy thing is getting to me you know early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. Well two out of three aint bad.)

Movie Quote of the Day: (from my all time favourite the classic, original Blues Brothers
Elwood: It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark... and we're wearing sunglasses. Jake: Hit it.
Tip of the Day:
100g of frozen strawberries blended into a Herbalife Formula One Dutch Chocolate Shake is DELICIOUS. And it's only 233 calories.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Week 4: I've bin a bad, bad girl.

Start of week 4 and where am I at? Damn I've gained 0.2 kg this week................ hmmm how did that happen? Oh wait, I know, I've been out 3 nights this week. Meeting for work, yummy cheese platter; Dinner out with friends, yummy roast dinner; Stayed at the Casino and went to the Seafood Buffet, oh well, we all have these sort of weeks at times. No point whinging about it just have to get on top of it this week. Mind you I may have gained a little but I still lost another 1 cm from my waist.

I love to play the pokies, and I'm so good at it (read lose so much money here) that the Country Club Casino gave me a free nights accommodation and a free meal to use in September. So Farmboy and I decided to use it on Sunday night and treat ourselves to a night out. We had a very peaceful room on the ground floor looking out to the golf course and a really lovely meal at the Links restaurant. Unfortunately it was Seafood Buffet night and  I LOVE seafood. So I think I may have overindulged just a bit, but seafood's good for you right? MMMMMM...... Cold poached Atlantic Salmon, fresh local prawns, calamari, mussels, oysters etc etc etc, and then of course there was cheese and dessert. You'd have had to have a will of iron to resist it all, and of course I didn't, but I did try to limit the damage to a certain degree. So with all that in mind I don't think a .2 kilo gain this week  is too bad.

So I picked up Cityboy at the airport yesterday morning, did the whole retail therapy thing (mind you how you can call grocery shopping retail therapy I don't know ;-), and eventually got home. Cityboy had a new plaid shirt on that he insists is a real farm shirt, so armed with shirt, borrowed gumboots, and akubra off he went to feed the cows. When Farmboy got home he took Cityboy under his wing and they went out to cut firewood and ride the quad bike. So City boy now has a new name Apprentice Farmboy, or Junior Farmboy, haven't quite figured out which one I like the best yet.

Apprentice Farmboy and his new best friends!

AF (Apprentice Farmboy) and I made 2 dozen muffins (he's a growing lad and needs the carbs), and got dinner prepared. So day one of the great AF Adventure was over. We've arranged for Farmboy to take AF to a local dairy tonight to see how real farming is done. I think he's gonna enjoy that.

Quote of the Day:
The cow is of the bovine ilk; one end is moo, the other milk. - Ogden Nash

Tip of the Day:
Check out the new Australian Government Swap It site for some great ideas on how to start creating a new healthy lifestyle.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Week 3: It's working!

Wow what a week it's been so far.

Weighed myself on Tuesday morning, the end of my second week on the Herbalife Protein Plus Starter Programme, and another 1kg is gone forever. What's even more impressive is that over the past 2 weeks I've lost 4cm from my bust,4 cm from my waist, 4 cm from my hips and 2 cm from my thighs, am I impressed? You betcha!
This is the program I'm using.

We held our AGM at work on Tuesday night, and I knew it was going to be a temptation. My contribution to the 'bring a plate' request is always a cheese platter ( I think I said before cheese is one of my major food weaknesses/cravings, mind you only the good stuff, a really strong vintage cheddar, a beautifully creamy brie or camembert and a smooth bitey blue in particular). So I had my shake for breakfast and skipped lunch (I know I'm not supposed to do that, but hey it's cheese!) So I was able to have my share of the cheese and bikkie fest and still feel like I was sticking to my calorie intake for the day. Besides cheese has milk in it right, milk is full of calcium right, therefore logically cheese is good for me, that's my excuse anyway and I'm sticking to it.
My idea of real food...mmmmmm

I have a young nephew coming over from the mainland (that's what we Tasmanians call the rest of Australia) next week. He had a choice of where to go during his holidays, New York or The Farm, and guess what he chose the Farm! To keep his identity a state secret he shall be known from now on as Cityboy.

So I've been house cleaning today (my least favourite job, seems like such a waste of time, I mean it's just gonna look exactly the same tomorrow isn't it), after my cleaning burst I took a shower and then glanced in the mirror (at my size you never really LOOK in the mirror, you just take sneaky sideways glances as you pass by ;-) ...... then took another look...... then another, hmmmmm there was something different, what was it? Oh yes I can see it now my double chin has............................gotten smaller..................a lot smaller. In fact I'm beginning to see evidence of a ......... wait for it................NECK........... for the first time in years. I think in a few more weeks I might actually take a deliberate look in the mirror.

I've also been very good with my new exercise routine and am on track with the whole Wii/Sports Active program. So this morning I've been running, sideways lunging, tennising, bicep curling, shoulder raising, volley balling etc etc etc. I'm pretty sure my stamina is picking up and I do feel a little bit of a difference in my arms. Keep this up and I may even have lean toned arms instead of wobbly flabby ones.

Nobody know what the future will bring, we'll just have to wait (or should that be weight ;-) and see!

Quote of the Day:
For the first time ever, overweight people outnumber average people in America. Doesn't that make overweight the average then? Last month you were fat, now you're average - hey, let's get a pizza!
Jay Leno

Tip of the Day:
Try not to get too focused on the whole how many kilos have I lost, it's better to take it slow and steady so that the weight you lose is more likely to stay off. After all, how many years did it take you to put it all on? The other question should always be why am I trying to lose weight, if the answer is only to look good think again, it should really be more about getting healthier.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Day 12 &13: Working on the Chain Gang!

So it's the weekend and what did I do?

Farmboy and I have been busy with more renovation work on the house. Replacing worn weatherboards, sanding, finishing, painting etc, etc, etc.......

I always thought weekends were all about kicking back and relaxing...... not at my house...... it seems there's always one more little job that needs doing. Just goes to serve me right for choosing an old house over a bright and shiny new one. Been there done that before. I don't know, I just think old homes have so much character, don't you?

So Farmboy organised the new timber, and I got into my familiar role Project Supervisor and Foreman of Works. I mean someone's got to make sure all goes according to plan, right? Still now that the new boards are up and undercoated the front entrance to the house looks a WHOLE lot better, and best news of all, all that hard work burned off a few extra calories!

Hmmm, maybe I should get a job on a building site, it sure would help with the waist reduction plans. Mind you, my distinct lack of height would be a disadvantage, it sure has in the past when asked to help push a new stud wall into place, or pass the hammer, drill, saw, nail gun, other house building type tool up a tall ladder to a waiting Farmboy, and only being able to reach up halfway.

I remember when we were building our first home, we were both working full time so most of the work was done after work or on weekends, we lived in a caravan on our block and built the house part time. (I was still thin in those days.) We bathed in a hip bath in a little tin shed (I probably wouldn't even fit into it these days, but that's gonna change!!!), which was fine when I only shared the shed with a couple of field mice, but when the rat came in and decided to call it home, Farmboy was given an ulitmatum, finish the bathroom or else!!

So in the 30 odd years we've been married we've built 2 houses and a unit and renovated 2 houses. Seems like we just get everything the way we want it and then it's on to the next project.

Farmboy hard at work on the renovations.

We did have a bit of a break on Saturday and went to visit a really good friend of ours whose recently had an accident. I did my best impersonation of Florence Nightingale (so NOT my normal behaviour ;-) I made some Blackberry and White Chocolate Muffins to take with me and guess what, I was so good I didn't even eat one!! How's that for willpower. I think it's got more to do with the great Herbalife products I've been using, I just don't feel hungry so I haven't been tempted to be bad. Will have to wait and see how much of a difference this has made this week. I'm certainly not expecting to lose another 4 kg, slow and steady wins the race, that way I should be able to keep it off.

Quote for the day:
It's true hard work never killed anybody, but I figure, why take the chance? - Ronald Reagan
Tip for the day:
A diet is much easier to stick to if you have a buddy to share it with. Ask a friend to help you out, that way you've always got someone to chat with when you're down and to help you get back on the diet horse again when you fall off.