A Travellerspoint blog


Hungry (finally?)

Each weekend Charles and James spend several hours in the kitchen preparing my meals for the following week. I get to make breakfast, they then provide 3 meals each individually packaged in it's own red box. If it doesn't come out of a red box I don't eat it. We have been doing this for about 3 weeks now (we started this before the competition began), and so far I have struggled to get through more than 2 of these boxes. This is a good thing you might think, but their concern is that I'm not getting enough protein to build the muscle that will power the furnace we are building.
Tonight I'm famished. When I got home there was no one else in the house and I'll admit that the idea of hoeing into a hunk of cheese did cross my mind - after all who would know? I resisted. Disappointed that I allowed the thought to cross my mind but happy that I managed to say No to myself.
Chalk up a win to me.

Last night I got down to the gym early for my session with Charles so warned up on the treadmill and spin bike, then joined Charlie and the rest of the group only to have it pointed out to me that the session started at 18:30, and not 19:30. Rather than being 5 minutes early I was 55 minutes late. Oops. So in return I did 100 kettle bell squats (10Kg), 100 frame squats (like a bar but goes round you) with 30Kg, 60 kettle, 60 frame, 20 kettle, 20 frame, 10 kettle, 10 frame, followed by 20 minutes on the cross trainer doing 1 minute on 1 minute off intervals. Then just for good measure Charles joined me for the last minute and wound the resistance to maximum. Suffice it to say I was sore this morning (something that has been happening less and less recently). Interestingly Charles and I were talking after the session and he commented that I was training as much as was reasonable (about 12 hours a week) and then next step was to raise the resistance, weight, repetitions and reduce the rest period, I guess I'm going to be getting used to being sore.

So the first 2 weeks are over, we are 25% of the way through, exercise is going well, eating is going well and some weight is coming off. How much I have no idea, Charles is keeping that from me and frankly it's just a number at the moment. The only numbers that matter are the ones at the start and the ones at the end. Everything else is irrelevant. That said I'm sure that if I did put some weight on Camilla would find a way of letting me know!

Tomorrow is the start of week 3, and it begins with a group exercise on the beach at St Kilda. The only reason I'm going is to get the points, I'd rather be giving the 1000 Steps another go, or trying out the 'Glasgow Fireline' - a new and little known track similar to the 1000 Steps but not as popular by a long way. However this is a competition, and we are in it to win, so off to St Kilda we go. It's also an interesting week as Charles is going away for a week and James (my other trainer) is madly revising for exams. It's going to be a challenge to push the intensity on my own. With them around it's easier to raise the bar, as they make me push harder. So much so that last Friday in my 90 minute session with James I found myself reverting back to behaviors I last experienced when I was in the Army. I said nothing that I didn't need t say, I switched off and just did what James asked with maximum effort, focused on a spot on the wall during rest periods and concentrated on my breathing. I did feel good afterwards.

Time to go and indulge in my 3rd red box of the day.

Posted by peter.dudley 18:40 Comments (0)



I (we) all knew that this challenge was not going to be easy. Last week around Tues PM and Wed AM, I found to be difficult, just lacking a little motivation and drive. Now (Mon PM, Tues AM) it's becoming more of a challenge. We (James & I) worked hard last Fri, I did the 1000 Steps twice on Sat, and Charlie pushed me on the treadmill on Sun. Camilla & I then went straight into a Body Balance class. I had Sun PM, and Mon AM off, but knew that Mon PM was going to be a challenge mentally. From a physical perspective, whilst the muscles don't necessarily hurt each morning, it does not take too long for fatigue to settle in when I start to exercise. Even when I walk to the Gym (it's only 500m away - yippee!) by the time I get there the muscles are reminding me 'Hey, we had a serious workout only 12 / 24 / 36 hours ago'. Getting up this morning for the HIIT session after a double (Weightlifting and Boxing) on Mon evening was difficult, very difficult. I went as I don't want to let myself down, nor Camilla, nor the rest of the team. But that still doesn't make it easier.

I expect losing weight over an 8 week period to be the easy part, the difficult part is keeping it off. The program put together by Charlie and James has focus on just that. I need to change the way I approach exercise and food. I am an addict. I'm addicted to SUGAR. The eating program has virtually no carbs in it at all (actually more then the initial phase of the Atkins diet), and I'm putting the mental challenges down to the body fighting back and saying 'I want carbs', well sorry body, but it aint happening. The sooner we get this understood the sooner we can move forward together. In the mean time I need to not give up, keep to the eating regime and follow the program put together by Charlie and James. I some respects I have the easy part, I don't have to think too much, they have done all that for me. On the other hand, it's me and only me that can actually lose the weight, no one but me can do that.

"Even the darkest night will end and the Sun will rise" - Les Miserables (where else!)

Posted by peter.dudley 10:42 Comments (0)


Following a demanding session with James on Friday evening, I did the 1000 steps with Camilla on the Saturday. Exercise is always more enjoyable when you have someone else with you. However the difference in fitness levels is such the Camilla needs to head off in front of me and finishes well before me. For the first circuit she added on a few 100m at the top of the steps and on getting to the bottom ran to the car and back to the start. Imagine my surprise (and delight) when I received a 'bottom tap' as she passed me on the 2nd circuit! I used to do the 1000 steps regularly and at weekends would sometimes do 2 circuits with out too much difficulty. I'm clearly out of practice. It was hard, very hard, but the good thing about getting out rather than being in the gym, is that there is no 'cop out' option, either way (fast or slow) you have to cover the ground. In the gym you just stop and go home.

Initially the rest periods didn't mean that much to me, but now I relish each and every one. Camilla and I sent the afternoon at the Cinema watching 'The Martian' and then in the evening watching 'Gifted Hands' - both great films.

Today (Sunday) dawned, with Charlie well over his tummy bug and back as determined as ever, todays session was a 'Body Balance' session, but not before 30 minutes with Charlie on the treadmill. I didn't know they could go so fast, and at such an incline. Maybe Charlie and James are having a private side competition to see who can push me the hardest - in which case 'bring it on' it can only do me good.

Part of the Accelar8 program point system is earning bonus points each week for fulfilling some task. Last week it was liking a Facebook page. It seems that I have now liked 'Goodlife', Goodlife Wantirna', 'Goodlife Acceler8', 'Goodlife Wantirna Acceler8'. For someone who is frankly not a huge fan of social media, and to quote my children 'whatever', if it gets me the points I'll do it. This week it was to do 20 minutes on the treadmill, you don't have to sprint, run, jog or walk, you can put the treadmill on 1km per hour for 20 minutes and earn the bonus points - whatever. Points earned.

Still not hungry, but it's time to go and have my prawns and coleslaw - thanks boys.

Posted by peter.dudley 13:29 Comments (0)


The end of week one. The Journey so far and this weeks happenings.

Not everything goes to plan.

Having committed to 'The Journey' a few weeks ago, we wanted to have a flying start, so rather than wait for W1D1. So I headed off to the gym and for 3 days worked my butt off, each morning going down the stairs was painful, each step caused my thighs to burn. "Get used to the idea' I kept telling myself, then we had a long weekend (can you believe that we got a public holiday for a football match - kinda like the FA Cu Final, or the Superbowl, Aussie version). So on the Thursday, rather than hitting the gym, I headed out for a long weekend with friends. Friday morning dawned with a thumping head. Camilla had to work the Friday morning but joined us in the afternoon, and commented that it was obvious we had had a big night on Thursday. Still Camilla and I managed a 42km cycle ride on the Saturday, so I was not too disappointed.

Monday dawned and my 2 PT's (Charles and James) presented my with 21 red boxes. My food for the week! Breakfast was down to me. Bacon (60g) Eggs (2), Onion (half), Tomatoes (4 cherry, or 1 large) etc or some natural sausages (which I'm yet to find in the fridge!). I just dice 1/2 an onion, chop up 2 slices of bacon (57g), fry them up and mix in 2 beaten eggs with a shot of Tabasco. Boring, but I like it.

The meals are great, salmon with green salad and Tahini sauce, Chicken with salad, Beef with red beans and sweet potato, prawns and coleslaw. Wonderful variety and I don't have to worry about portion size, the boys have worked it all out for me. They have also put together an exercise program, Monday 18:30 weight lifting, 19:40 boxing, Tuesday 06:00 HIIT, Wednesday 17:45 Spin, Thurs 18:30 Weight lifting, Fri 19:00 Circuit (with James), Saturday 1000 steps (the official D1), Sun 10:30 Body Balance & Session with Charlie. All is looking fantastic. Charlie has also added 2 table spoons of Flaxseed oil each night, and a glass of line and salt in the morning (first thing).

Whats interesting is that the thighs are not burning in the morning. I have no idea if it's the exercise program, the Flaxseed, Line & Salt, my muscles getting better. What I do know is that walking down the stairs no longer hurts - and that's a good thing!

Then Charlie goes down with a HUGE tummy bug (I spare you the details, not it was BAD). Just before the official start. Whilst we had taken before photo's and had a weight in, they were not acceptable to Goodlife as they didn't have the 'Before' label in the photo, it was the end of the week before we were able to redo those, by which time I'd already lost some weight.

It's never a good time to embark on something like this, and so often that's the excuse we use for not starting. To add to the tummy bug, both boys have Uni exams and need some serious time to revise for those. With Charlie falling sick, more responsibility fell to James to deliver. Then we also had Matthews 'Presentation Night' to attend so one session was not going to happen. I suggested doing the 1000 steps on the Wednesday, which Charlie agreed was a good swap, With me also missing one of his sessions I also suggested the 1000 steps on the Saturday. He thought about it briefly, and replied, 'OK but twice', ouch. I trust him and agreed that as part of the challenge I would just do as I was told.

What I had not take into account was the fact that I had a James Circuit session on the Friday. So here I am after have been drilled by James and I have a 2 * 1000 steps waiting for me tomorrow morning. My James sessions are possibly the hardest sessions of the week, as they are 90 minutes long. There are 'double' sessions as well during the week, but I get a break as we transition from one to the other. With James it's 90 minutes of hard effort. I find myself switching off to whats going on and just doing it. James just says 'Steps 10' and I start doing 10 steps up leading with the left foot, then 10 steps leading with the right foot. He says 'Carry' I pick up the 60Kg frame and perform the 'Farmers Walk' to the next station, he says 'Stop', I pick a point on the wall and focus on getting my breath back. You should get the idea.

Having the food prepared for me is great, but for some reason I'm actually not that hungry. I have breakfast, and 3 'Red Boxes' available to me, but find I only eat 2 of them. Being on a diet, you would think that this is a good thing? Apparently this is not the case, the PT's are keen for me to eat all 3 boxes as part of the reconditioning of my body from sugar and cards to protein and fats.

So we have reached the end of the first week, there have been some challenges and frustrations, but these are to be expected/ We have come through them, lost some weight and are ready for W2!

Posted by peter.dudley 22:35 Comments (0)

Money, money, money

Your are going to have to spend it one way or another

A few years ago it was pointed out to me that either way we have to send money on our health, maybe not now, but at some time. And we have a choice about how we spend that money.

Option 1
Medicines, tablets, lotions, potions, doctors visits, specialists visits, hospital bills, surgery.
Option 2
Runners, shorts & shirts, the right foods - pretty much mandatory. Add to this the probability of the occasional physio if you get injured. All the following are optional (depending on your motivation) gym membership, music player & headphones, personal trainer, weights, supplements.

I've had a gym membership for some time, and I've made use of it, but have I made good use of it? Given I'm the same weight now as I was when I started (perhaps a few Kg heavier) I could claim that it has been worthwhile, as I would have been much more heavier had it not been for my regular visits to the gym. Or I could just acknowledge that whilst my fitness might have improved a little (I did manage the 10Km Run Melbourne - twice), the reality is that not much changes.

When I add up the cost of tablets I'm paying for (about $120 Pm), the doctor visits (should be about $200 each 3 months, but cost me $0 due to Camilla being a nurse), that more than pays for a gym membership each month and replacement shoes, shorts & shirts. Since I started The Journey, I have not taken any insulin and am cutting down one of the other diabetes related medicines. By getting my weight and diabetes under control, I also hope to avoid losing my legs (amputation) and eye sight - surgery is expensive even if your wife works in the industry. I don't know too many blind software developers, so this transition will hopefully keep me employed for longer.

I guess the downside is that I will also need to work longer so my pension fund has a higher balance as I now expect to live longer as well. But I'd like to live a long time to see my grand children grow up, and to be there for my children to help them out as much as possible. Difficult if I'm blind and have had one or both of my legs amputated due to diabetes. Not to mention destitute due to spending what little money we have on medical expenses, and being unable to earn a living. Something I am trying to avoid happening as part of this exercise.

So there is a serious financial incentive to lose the weight.

Posted by peter.dudley 10:00 Comments (0)

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