Tag Archives: #eqnz

Shifting the Quake Weight – update #2

It’s been over 2 1/2 months since I updated where I’m at with my Quake Weight challenges I.  (Please check out my previous posts for context “OK, the Quake Weight has gotta go” and “Shifting the Quake Weight – update #1

My exercise has wavered over this time.  I’ve been plagued with a return of back pain, which I’ve let affect me.  When in fact historically, my back pain has been easier to control when I exercise more.  I think a little discomfort can often deter people from exercise, when in fact, it’s what your body actually needs to help itself heal.  Joints that aren’t moved enough can often stiffen up through disuse and that sitffness can creat more pain – it’s like a vicious downward spiral – one that I have to constantly remind myself of.

I also threw my hat in the ring, so-to-speak, to fight in the charity boxing match the Fight for Christchurch. I love boxing.  I used to do a boxing fitness (non-contact) class every week at the gym.  And in fact I was in that class when the 22 February quake hit and subsequently lost my boxing gloves. And I’d do one-on-one training with the boxing trainer or my PT.  Boxing is great all round fitness and I was really hoping I’d be chosen to fight, as the 12 weeks of training would have been awesome, but sadly I wasn’t.  Judging by the women contenders to date I’m not blonde or model-like in looks.  I may still be the back-up fighter, in case one of them gets injured.  We’ll see

So, I’ve kind of used that as an excuse as well. I thought that it would give me some focus.  So, know I have to move on and refocus again.  And yesterday, my dear PT Gareth, decided it was time for me to get the gloves on during my usual weekly session.  I loved it.  But I realised out out of condition I was for punching in the first 90 seconds of the warm up….it left me gasping and my arms aching.  Not a good sign.  However, my brain seemed to remember what I was supposed to do to throw a punch and my body responded.  However, today is another story and I’m in pain greater than what I experienced the last time I broke a rib.  Sneezing reduced me to tears today and I nearly passed out.  I’m now on painkillers and anti-inflammatories.  A lesson in re-conditioning.  But I don’t regret it.  I really missed getting my gloves on and hitting shit.

But, what you’re really here for are the pics.  So, here they are.  I’m wearing the same jeans in all pics.  And you may notice they fit a little differently around the waist.  That’s because my actual waistline has reduced by a whopping 5cm since the beginning of May. Continue reading

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Shifting the Quake Weight – update #1

It’s been a month since I posted about my Quake Weight and the challenges I (and many other Cantabrians) faced with putting on weight post-earthquake.  (If you haven’t read the post “OK, the Quake Weight has gotta go” – read it first.

It’s been great seeing the post re-tweeted, shared on FB and linked to.  It’s had over 1,000 views. It means that some people have read it, and hopefully some people have taken action.  What’s also been good is the number of people who have asked me how I’m going.  One of the reasons I wanted to go public was to make myself accountable – if other people know what I’ve committed to doing, it’s much harder to hide it.

Now, I haven’t been perfect in following what I said I’d do.  But I’m not beating myself up about it either. But my new gym programme has certainly kicked my ass – quite literally.

I measured my waist today – and I’ve dropped 2cm already.  And I think the change is evident in these pics – less muffin top than a month ago.  So, if you’re still making up excuses for not taking action to improve your fitness/weight/general health – then stop. And just do something!

My stomach 3/5/2011

My stomach 2/6/2011

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OK, the Quake Weight has gotta go!

Hands up if you’ve put on weight since either the September or February earthquake.

Me.

And hands up if you’ve done anything about it.

Yes, but not until last week.

And hands up if you’ve had plenty of reasons why you haven’t done anything yet.

Yup, plenty of reasons, but really, they were just excuses.

And yes, I know there will be a lot of you reading this who know me, saying you yourself “What the fuck is she worried about, she’s skinny anyway”.  Well, my friends it’s all relative and it’s all a matter of how we each feel about our body.  As a massage therapist it’s important that my body is in good physical condition – the burn out rate is pretty high and I don’t want to fall prey to that in a hurry.  Also, with my dodgy (arthritic) hip, I have to keep the muscles around my pelvis strong otherwise my hip aches.  And I’m not getting any younger – it’s the last year before I hit my 40s and I’d quite like to pass for early 30s for a bit longer – vain, yes, but I’m honest. And I got a bit puffed walking 10 minutes to the pub the other day.

So, this is what I looked like in late November last year.  See those abs.  I had a visible six-pack. You could see it when I was standing too, trust me.  And no muffin top.  Also, no visible cellulite on my thighs.

I worked quite hard for those abs.  And those legs, and those arms – and even the boobs were given a bit of a natural lift due to the strengthened pec muscles (true story girls – non-surgical boob job!)

I was at the gym at least 4 times a week, including once with my PT, Gareth, and usually a boxing fitness class or one-on-one non-contact boxing session. (Which reminds me, my boxing gloves are still at the gym where I left them during the earthquake)

And what you can’t see from the pics was my cardio-fitness level.  I could play a whole game of touch rugby (when there were no subs) and not be tired at all.  Or spend a whole day up the mountain snowboarding.  I was fitter, stronger and leaner than I’d been in my whole life.

But the most important thing, was that I actually felt great.

Cue the February earthquake.

  • I started smoking – my excuse – I used it to help keep me chilled out.  Bullshit.
  • I hardly exercised – excuse – my gym is still closed.  I’ve joined another one but it’s not as good my old one.  Bullshit.
  • I was drinking more, up to 4 times a week – excuse – again, it helped me relax and the pub was where my friends met up.  Bullshit.  (I still drank on my own.)
  • I was eating crap food – my excuse – comfort eating? Bullshit.

Continue reading

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Making a difference….one person at a time

In the days following the February earthquake I sat at my friends’ house for hours at a time transfixed by the images fed to me via the TV and internet.  I cried at what I saw.  And I cried for all the people affected.  And I wanted to help.  So I cried because I was sitting there, not helping.  But, after the September earthquake I wanted to help too….so I rang and emailed places to find out what I could do using my skills.  And no one was interested.  Turns out that so many people did the same thing that there was no way to co-ordinate all the offers of help.

So I sat and watched instead. Mostly feeling numb.  And sometimes feeling completely useless that I wasn’t doing anything.

And I’m sure that all over the city, thousands of people felt the same. I know lots of people signed up for the Student Volunteer Army again – and did a fantastic job.  I didn’t.  For whatever reason.

I did have the opportunity to spend some time at the Pioneer Welfare Centre with the Emergency Relief Therapists, doing massage for the evacuees and the medical staff and volunteers there. And then I organised an afternoon at the New Brighton Volunteer Fire Station. A team of us provided massage therapy to the fire fighters and the families of those who were not able to stay at home and were sleeping at the station. The highlight of my day was seeing the daughter of one of the fire fighters take over my massage chair and give others massage.

Then, an opportunity came up, via my friend Dan, to work with Telecom and help their staff.  I’d like to say that I think the support that Telecom have provided to their staff across the city has been amazing.  I’ve seen it first hand and it’s genuine caring. Continue reading

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Laugh, cry, shout, hug

It’s over a week since the massive earthquake here in Christchurch.  No need to remind you of that.

And as the people of this beautiful city try to adapt to the new normal, there is more danger lurking.

Stress.

Stress is necessary for your survival and is in fact beneficial in moderate amounts.  However what happened in our city on September 4 and February 22 have put many of us into stress overload.  Your normal coping mechanisms are overwhelmed and the stress can start to have a negative effect on our lives – physically, mentally and emotionally.

Stress manifests itself in so many ways.  Check through the list below.  If you or those close to you can tick more than 5 of these symptoms, it’s likely the stress is starting to get to you:

  • disturbed sleep
  • feeling helpless
  • lack of appetite
  • headaches
  • lack of motivation
  • irritability Continue reading

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Counting myself very lucky

I was at the gym when the earthquake hit, it was terrifying – the noise was like a huge train going past, the sprinkler system burst, glass doors and windows exploded, concrete support pillars cracked, TVs fell, heavy weights were tossed around like toys. I wasn’t concerned for my own safety as much as those around me who were panicking and distraught. I ended up crouched over one of the guys in my gym class, protecting him from any falling debris – he was huddled, cowering, trembling and I felt it was the least I could do to help him.

We were quickly evacuated and as I came down the front stairs, I could see dust rising from across the CBD – I knew it wasn’t good.  I could hear a girl crying hysterically down in front of me, but I couldn’t reach her to comfort her.

For those of you outside of Christchurch, I’m sure you’ve seen all the TV coverage of the devastation – I saw just the tiniest of that first hand, as the gym is on Moorhouse Ave and away from many of the CBD buildings that were destroyed. I did however get the Moorhouse Ave/Colombo St overbridge closed as I could see cracks in one of the main supports and the road separating with each aftershock. I did see people being rescued from a building – alive and well. And I saw the full length of Moorhouse Ave full of silt and water from liquefaction. Luckily my new place is only 30mins walk from the CBD – so I walked home, with nothing but the clothes I wore to the gym. It wasn’t til I got home and saw on TV the extent of the damage, that I realised how bad it really was, and how lucky I was to come out unscathed. Continue reading

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