Hello all

Do you know dear friends, that teaching my granddaughter Maddie (18 months old) how to bark like a dog was the highlight of my day today. Yep, she did it … well sort of. Still, the wooshing noise she made when requested to bark like a dog, was pretty impressive and the lips were formed in the right shape.  And I – the proud Grandma – was there taking all the praise for it of course.

She didn’t cut the mustard with the meowing like a cat though. The puzzled look on her face as she tried to work out how the MEOW sound came out of my mouth was worth witnessing.

Little Ollie (almost two) was doing better at others things like kissing anyone willing – on the lips – and loving every moment of it too. Saying good-byes were his big moment and he should get a STAR for doing everything right in the ‘good-bye stakes.’ Such a darling little boy.

Hervey Bay

Hervey Bay

Meanwhile Isaac (4) had the whole party spellbound as he recounted stories about “Hervey Bay” his favourite topic of conversation at present because we are all heading  up to that beach for Easter. The things  he is going to do at Hervey Bay will probably take twice as long to do as he thinks. The first thing he says whenever he arrives lately is, “Grandma, let’s talk about Hervey Bay!”

Talk of water slides, museums, aquariums, go-cart racing, sail boats on the water, little waves not big waves and a cafe on the beach, fill this little boy with high excitement … I hope he isn’t disappointed.

You see, we were at Pat’s place today – my gym buddy and in-law. It was all family and lots of fun as Pat’s sisters and husbands, daughters and families were present, celebrating the Easter Season together.

It was a little early I grant you but the spirit present made it feel like Easter despite the fact that the rain kept drizzling down the whole afternoon. It never stopped the three children from having a wow of a time! And it never stopped the two Grandma’s from being totally delighted by the grandchildren.

Good food. Good company. Lots of laughs.

The perfect ingredients for a good day. However, Pat and I were still trying to climb down from the high we were on after completing the 9-Week Challenge yesterday. At some stage, I think my son Daniel (who is one of the owners of the gym) had to pull us down and slap us hard!

Oh, I am jesting, but you get the idea. Now to end this post, I must … yes I simply MUST share with you the final story in the 9-Week Challenge saga. The following are entries I made in my Gym Journey Diary these last two days. Thank you for coming on the journey with me. I couldn’t have done it without y’all.

Saturday 12th April 2014                          The 9-Week Challenge ends

The 9-Week Challenge is all over bar the shouting! The things that Pat and I did this morning amazed even us. The people left standing in the Challenge – those who had not pulled out for various reasons – gathered together this morning for the final hurrah … there was high excitement as we came together this one last time. The feeling was of camaraderie as it has been the whole 9 weeks.

Two girls in their thirties that Pat and I have got friendly with – Sue and Gina – have been really fantastic. They are at the gym every day encouraging one another, having their ‘extra things to do challenge forms’ ticked off as they completed each task. Pat and I took one look at those ‘extra things’ and nearly had a fit as we realised they were too much for us old dears. We went back to doing the basics without battering an eyelid.

Hopefully, Sue and Gina will win something for their efforts. They are looking fabulous! It would not surprise me if Pat and I win something for just turning up each time!! In fact, the Personal Trainer Manager told me we are worth our weight in gold just by the encouragement we give to others … I thought that was a lovely thing to say.

Never, at any time, have the Personal Trainers made us feel ‘less’ than those who can do sooooo much more than us!

The opposite is true … they have praised us every time we succeeded in something that was modified to suit our older bodies. High fives all round. Help in how to do the task the right way without injuring ourselves. It never ceases to astound us. I did not feel any discrimination before of the age gap … I only felt caring and support.

Yes, I feel a little sad … yet I am excited that the journey will go on for Pat and me.

Sunday 13th April 2014                                          Looking Back … and Forward

1907611_642821052440032_8288745986714059498_n.1I woke on this rainy Sunday morning to discover that the excitement of Saturday 12th April has died down just a little. It’s hard to believe that my 9-Week Gym Challenge is officially over!

Done and dusted now.

All I am left with is stiff limbs and sore legs as a result of doing the final tests to determine how much better I am after 9 weeks of exercising and eating ‘Clean’ (no junk). It could be such a let-down … but it is hasn’t totally hit me yet. The warm glow and feeling of satisfaction is still with me at this stage.

I have reached the three moderate goals I set for myself. I’ve lost 4 kilos (my goal was 3 kilos); I can walk up stairs easily without stopping to catch my breath and I can get up from the floor without needing  someone on the other end pulling me up!

Wow! I think I am changed forever by taking on this challenge nine weeks ago. Rightly or wrongly I believe ANYTHING is possible now. Pat and I want to work out the best way to continue to keep fit and stay strong for many years to come. The gym will certainly be the main ingredient in the mix.

In two weeks time, we have a Red Carpet Cocktail event to celebrate completion of the Challenge. Dressed up to the nines, we will get a certificate (or something similar) to let us know we did it. Can’t wait. I think I’ll have to get a new cocktail dress for the occasion as all my old things are looking a bit shabby or a bit tight … just haven’t lost enough weight yet to look super-duper for this celebration.

Shopping here we come!

But in the meantime, we have our trip to Hervey Bay on Tuesday for 10 days. At least we won’t have a chance to be too let-down by the Challenge ending. The whole family will be joining us over the Easter period at least, so there will be no time to be missing gyms or thinking of pumping iron.

It will be all eating, drinking and being merry … and swopping iron for swimming, badminton and long walks along the beach with an odd drinking of champagne while we watch the sunsets over the bay.

And guess who will be there enjoying it with us? My wonderful gym buddy Pat, who made it so much easier for me to complete the 9-Week Gym Challenge by her encouragement and enthusiasm. Thanks a million Pat!