Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Countdown

In a week we will be starting a work competition to do 3 things a)cut out sugar (argh!!!!) b)sleep at least 7hrs per night (given so many of us are shift workers this will be interesting) and c) move continuously at least 20 mins per day. I'm feeling good about b and c not so good about a. At least its a competition so I can get my competitive streak out. But I really don't know how I'm going to cope, its not just sugar, its no dried fruit, no smoothies, no fruit juice, theres a whole big list of things we're not allowed to eat. I don't know what I'm going to eat. I told my workmate the competition website has a dessert that is ok to eat but its loaded with fat (half an avocado, coconut cream, cocoa powder etc) and she told me I'm not allowed it because its fatty. Well I'm not sure what I'm going to be eating if I'm not allowed fat or sugar, and only 2 pieces of fruit per day. I asked if I could still have my green smoothie each morning and the question has gone to their dietician to see what they have to say. I don't really agree with traditionally taught dieticians though, they are too versed in the agriculture departments food pyramid, designed to get us to eat lots of bread and pasta which isn't that healthy. If it actually was a healthy food pyramid, vegetables would be on the bottom as the "eat most" especially greens, followed by fruit, nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, maybe after that dairy and eggs, I'm not sure what would be on the top as "eat least" but still healthy - maybe processed food. When the calorie equation was created in 1918, most processed food hadn't even been invented, it seems to wreak havoc on the human body, and maybe we just all need to get back to food as close as possible to the way nature made it. Well will see how I go next month.

Queen Charlotte Track

I had great hopes of completing the Queen Charlotte track over the last few days, but sadly the 2nd day proved too much for my legs and I was forced to beg rescue from the water taxi coming to collect my bag (and as it turned out, me!) I just knew I wouldn't cope with walking another 20km when I could barely stand up straight.

I started very well at Ship Cove where Captain Cook stayed a few times to fix his ship, it began steeply uphill the down the other side to Resolution Bay, then up again for ages and around (finally) to Furneaux Lodge, a beautiful place I'd heard about from this couple who had gotten married there. I arrived 5 minutes before the boat picking me up was due to depart at 3pm then they nicely deposited me across the way at Camp Bay, where I stayed with a lovely and inspiring 83yr old lady who has been visiting all corners of the world over the last 17 years, but not the normal places you would think an old lady would go, no she went to Burma, Cuba, Mexico, Kenya, Mongolia, Bali, the Trans Siberian Railway, and Croatia among others. She is so gutsy, I was very impressed. Having a hot shower at her place was even more amazing - all the tramping I've done I'd never had the good fortune of a hot warming shower at the end of the day, it made such a difference to my achy muscles.

The next morning I got up early, dropped my bag off at the wharf for the water taxi to collect, and headed off for a gruelling day walking along the ridge line of some mountains. It was sunny and warm, blue skies and beautiful. I managed the first 12km in good time, to the first campsite, stopped for lunch and headed off again. The second 12km was super hard - slippery, muddy, full of rockslides waiting to happen and steep up and downhill. I did take a half hour detour up a steep hill to Eatwell Lookout which was amazing!! Stunning 180 degree views of the sounds all around me, green blue water and lovely hills rising up everywhere around me in the distance. I got quite drained the further along I went not knowing where I was, it took about 3hrs to get to the 2nd campsite, where I only stopped briefly as the sun was rapidly descending and I didn't want to get caught out in the dark. It was another 2hrs from the 2nd campsite going up and down - I was so dejected to see the 6km to go sign, ages later I saw a 1km to go sign, which made me very happy, I was freezing cold by that stage, it was about 6pm. I got to the hostel not long after that - really nice family home, the man showed me where I was staying, my bag was waiting in the room for me, and urged me to go get warmed & freshened up before sorting out payment (so nice!). I felt quite sad that it had taken me so much longer than the "estimated time" to get to the end, I was feeling very sore, especially my shoulders, ankles, and all up and down my legs. I went and asked the hostel owner if he could call the water taxi for me to come get me, he said he'd check on me in the morning & see if I still wanted to do that.

In the morning I was feeling better, but I knew I wouldn't manage 20km, especially after listening to the other backpackers stories about how steep and long it was. I got dropped off at Torea Bay Wharf where there was a nice shelter for 3hrs of sunbathing, journal writing, pondering, singing & photography & snacks before the boat came & collected me (I was very relieved to see him). Back to Picton and off to the hostel to check in and have a rest for the afternoon, before my ferry ride across to Wellington and flight home the next day. It was a great experience, and I was surprised to learn that the rest of the country was experiencing gale force winds and storms, while I was enjoying sunshine and blue skies. But I definately want to go back when I'm fitter and finish the parts that I didn't do. But I would not do the section from Camp Bay to Torea Bay ever again (despite how beautiful it was) once was enough for a lifetime I think.

Monday, March 31, 2014

9 great walks

A week or so ago I finished my 9th great walk, the Heaphy Track. It was brilliant! Great weather, lovely sights, awesome people. I got to see black fantails for the first time (only found in that part of NZ) as well as rifleman, silvereye, giant carnivorous snails (they eat insects) and blue ducks (whio) it was amazing. Everyday the scenery changed, and it was all gradual up and down, nothing too strenuous. Long though.

In December I did the Tongariro northern circuit, the weather was bad so it wasn't that enjoyable. Probably better than being hot and running out of water though. In January I did the Whanganui river journey on canoes with 3 friends, I loved it, even though the river was running quite high. In february I did the Rakiura (Stewart Island) track and the Kepler track, both in one week. It was a bit of a killer, lovely weather and awesome sights though. We met heaps of cool people and I had a great time.

I got some recommendations from people for other walks to do, so I'm looking forward to starting those next Summer. Yay!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Un-holidays

To some people holidays are about relaxing. To me holidays are about cramming in all the things I've been wanting to do but haven't quite got around to. But this time around, owing to being sick I've been forced to take a chill pill and NOT go do all the things i wanted to do. I went to Nelson but I only lasted a few days before I was missing my own bed and wanting to come home. I felt so sick and lethargic and didn't really want to go anywhere or do anything, what a waste of time. I was annoyed at myself. But now I'm home and sleeping in my own bed which just does wonders, I really don't sleep very well when I'm away. I'm so glad to be back home. Now I just want to relax and not think about all the things I'm missing out on doing.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

To go or not to go

I'm on annual leave, and I want to go away, but I also really don't. I just want to relax at home, but then I don't want to get to the end of 2 weeks and think, what a waste of my time. So I'm thinking I might go away tomorrow, or I might not. Haven't quite decided yet.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Kill me now

This morning at bootcamp I was forced to run 1km, which now that I think about it, isn't actually that far. But running it continuously was he serious!? I so didn't want to do it. I think I must have glared at him in disbelief for ages before turning around and starting. I've had a cold all week and only just came back after 3 mornings away with early shift.

I've been going to bootcamp now for about 4 1/2 months, every morning Monday to Friday at 6am for an hour, on days that I didn't have early shift or wasn't out of town. So thats a lot of hours, and so you would think that it would be quite feasible for me to be able to run that distance, I mean, its not actually that far. But it seemed like FOREVER before I started it, and while I was doing it it just seemed to go on and on and on and on.

But once I finished it, sat down, had a drink and a bit of a rest, and then I was actually quite proud of myself. Hey, I just run 1 whole kilometre! fancy that, who would have imagined that I could actually do that. It makes my long time new years resolution to run 5km continuously a whole lot more feasible. I mean, if I could run 1km then I could probably do 5km right? Well, maybe not all at once. I'm going to miss boot camp when I'm away for the next 2 weeks, but I'm hoping to get to the south island for some glorious hiking next week, so looking forward to it! Hope the weather is awesome, we'll see.

Afterwards the boss told me I was doing good and that he was going to keep pushing me to improve my fitness and abilities. When I told him i was SOO mad at him today he laughed, and said 'Yes, I could see that stubborn look on your face.' Well hes seen it before, and no doubt he will see it again before hes through with turning me into an actual athlete. But I got home and got dressed and decided I could feel some more definition in my leg muscles, not visible yet, but starting to improve, so maybe all this effort is worth it after all.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A week down

Its been a week since I quit sugar, and apart from a few headaches and niggling pains, I'm feeling quite good in general. I haven't been sleeping so good, but that could easily have been due to 5am shifts over the last couple of days. But today and tomorrow are my days off, & I'm feeling really good about life in general. My knee has been hurting since yesterday, I can't figure out why, but I've been giving it lots of rest and massages, so hopefully it will come right. Plus this morning I had a lemon & ginger herbal tea, ginger is supposed to be anti-inflammatory, so I think that will help.

The other day I had a piece of a friends birthday cake, but I decided it was only a small piece, and just to enjoy it and not feel guilty. The main thing I've cut out is chocolate, but I knew that I would crave it for the first couple of weeks, so I made myself some bitter raw sugar-free chocolate, which has been going down a treat. It has the same fatty feeling and meltiness of normal chocolate, but it doesn't make me feel like I'm on a sugar high/low. My mum tried it last night and I had to laugh at her reaction, she was horrified, then spat it out. Funnily enough it tastes sweet to me, not bitter, maybe the sugar fog is lifting and my taste buds are changing. I hope so.

I weighed myself the other day and I had lost a kilo. It amazed me because I've been trying for months to lose weight and haven't budged at all on the scales. Only a week of cutting out sugar (even with a couple of small cheats) and I've already started to shrink. I'm so amazed that all that effort of going to bootcamp for the last 4 months did nothing for my weight, but within a week of cutting out this sweet poison, its already coming off. Bootcamp has been useful for other reasons though, namely getting some muscles and having more energy.

We have a work pedometer challenge that started this week, and I'm the team captain, so I feel that I have to lead by example and attain at least 10,000 steps per day. Yesterday and the day before I got home with about 7 1/2k steps, and so spent half an hour walking in circles around the house to get up to my goal. My mum suggested last night that I just shake the pedometer, but NO! I am very averse to cheating, and that is definately cheating. I'd rather just walk around. Plus its doing my muscles some good, even if my knees are complaining right now.