Monday, April 30, 2012

Run.......for your life.....

Yesterday I did something that 6 months ago would have been impossible. Yesterday I did something that not long ago people would have laughed out loud at the very prospect.

Yesterday, I ran in my first ever 10 kilometre fun run.

To me, I have just accomplished a miracle. For the past 10 years I have done very little in the way of exercise. I was busy, making and bringing up babies. No excuse, I can tell you now, but I used it all the time. I sneered at the thought of physical exertion of any description.

Coffee, Cake and Couch....that was my motto.

I don't know what changed. Maybe deep down I knew that I was unhealthy. Perhaps I knew that to continue this lifestyle would lead to my own self-destruction.

Maybe it was my Dad getting sick at the end of last year that made me realise that we are not all immortal. That I am not invincible. That I need to take care of myself to take care of my family properly.

I want to be a good role model for my children. I want them to realise that their Mum and Dad are healthy, fit and accomplished people.

Toward the end of last year I had started running/walking a short distance but had slacked off over Christmas.

So in January I started...

Wake at 5:30am, running gear on, dog on his lead, off I go.

That first day was hard, I swear I barely managed a kilometre. I huffed and puffed in the early morning sun. The dog pulled me along, almost dragging me.

I finished, exhausted....but strangely euphoric. Strange, that euphoric feeling. I hadn't achieved much and yet it was there, shimmering gently under the surface for the rest of the day.

The second day was much as the first, but at the end that happy glow again.

Day three, why am I liking this so much?

The end of week 1- hard
week 2 - still hard
week 3- 2 kilometres, no stopping.......... I tell you now I could have conquered the world that day.

As the weeks raced by, I ran further and faster. I clicked over 5 K's easily. But I struggled to get to 6 and then 7.

Then, one day the dog stopped dragging me, I started dragging the dog.

The day I ran 8 kilometres without stopping was amazing. I felt on top of the world, like I could achieve anything.

It was on my 10th week of running that I finally reached my goal of 10 kilometres.

I ran it easily several times before my ultimate goal of the 10km fun run.

Yesterday was hard. There were a lot of people jostling for position. The wind was strong. It felt far and difficult.

My head kept telling me, 'you can't do this, you can't do it' .......I can and I will.

Running towards that stadium was amazing, I knew my husband and children were there waiting for

As I ran in they yelled and cheered and I felt unstoppable.

I finished in under an hour. Which is my best ever time. But in all honesty I was just happy to finish.

The rest of the day was an exhausted, happy blur.

Last night as I tucked my gorgeous Mr 5 into bed, I was all geared up for the rain of compliments he always gives me if I do something great.

'So what did you think of Mum running in a race today?' I questioned.......
'Well, Mum I really didn't want to tell you this but it was kinda embarrassing'

Ummmmm, OK.

'Why?' I asked

'You run funny' was his prompt reply.

Thanks mate......the perfect end to my perfect day.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Healthy-ish Chocolate Chip Cookies

One of the many things that I seem to do at the beginning of each year is to give my family's eating habits a bit of a kick up the a***. I start to freak out that we are not healthy enough and then I give our whole pantry/fridge a make-over.

    Anyone familiar with my obsession with food would be aware that I love creating, making and baking sweet treats. I would bake up a storm at least three times a week and then we would eat it all. Of course our meals were always quite healthy, but these were also put under the microscope and given a bit of a shake up.

I really went to town on the sweets though. I haven't stopped baking, it is one of my favourite hobbies after all, I'm just giving our treats a bit of a healthy kick.
This recipe was tested out on friends only last week and was given the big 'thumbs up'. Now they are not 100% healthy, but I have substituted several ingredients to make them healthy-ish.

Healthy-ish Choc-Chip Cookies

3/4 cup rolled oats

1 cup SR wholemeal flour

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

¼ cup butter, softened

¼ cup canola oil

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 large egg

I tsp vanilla extract

1 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Grease and line two baking sheets.

Process oats in the food processor until fine. Transfer to a bowl and add flour, baking soda and salt. Beat butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add oil, sugars, egg and vanilla and beat until smooth and creamy. Add dry ingredients and beat together on low until combined. Fold through the choc chips.

Drop a teaspoonful of dough onto the baking sheets one at a time, 2 Cm's apart. Bake for 15 minutes or so. Cool before transferring to wire racks.

Monday, April 16, 2012

How To Be A Good Parent......

The year is 2012, which means several things. It's 20 years since I settled permanently in Australia. It's 8 years since I first started dating my husband (then boyfriend obviously) and it's 10 years ago that I became pregnant with my eldest daughter.


10 years ago today - the date memorised, I peed on a stick and those two little blue lines appeared. I remember it as though it was yesterday. A rush of emotions; disbelief, shock, trepidation, fear and joy....pure, simple, unadulterated joy. I had always been one of those people that hurtled toward parenthood, that made the decision very early on that 'When I grow up I wanna be a Mummy' and here I was pregnant...with my first baby.......all of my dreams, hopes and aspirations collided at that point.

Right from the start my focus was on my baby. I was obsessed about proper nutrition, exercising gently and even 'educating' the tiny little person growing inside me. I was one of those people that put headphones on my burgeoning belly and played Mozart...cringing now at the memory.

I read everything......and I mean everything about healthy pregnancies. Problem is that pregnancy is the easy part, it's when little bubs emerges that the 'real work' begins.

So, here I was tiny babe in arms and a big, bad world that I had to bring her into. Scared shitless doesn't even begin to cover it. But, in my typical obsessive style I did everything I could to become the 'Best Mum Ever'

Every waking moment, every second of every day was spent with this lovely, little person. I was devoted to the extreme. I cuddled her every time she cried, I freaked out at every little scrape and bruise, I obsessed over every little scrap of food that passed her lips.....poor bloody kid.

With my second pregnancy I relaxed slightly, I craved hash browns, eggs and bacon and ate them. I didn't read nearly as much. I rescued the poor child from listening to classical music.

When he arrived I was a bit more laid-back. I didn't carry-on about every squeak and whimper. He grew and thrived without me freaking out.

And so to child three. As you all know by now, relaxed doesn't even begin to cover it, she eats dirt, licks the dog, enjoys the cat's biscuits, plays in toilet water and thrives. Absolutely thrives.
She's independent, feisty and intelligent....they all are. But it surprises me that my parenting has changed so much, from obsessive to laissez-faire and everything in between.

What have my children taught me over the past 10 years? To be a good parent. To relax and enjoy. To care and love........To be the 'Best Mum Ever' for my children.

My greatest accomplishment!!!!