Living, Loving and Sharing Life …

My Journey to Fitness Diary Entries: 2nd February – 23rd February 2014


Hello dear friends, if you’re reading this, you have found the FEBRUARY entries of my diary of my Fitness Journey for 2014. I will be adding to them as the month goes on … drill down to get the latest entry. It is only ONE of the New Year Resolutions I made for 2014. The others are displayed on ‘My Gym Journey Diary’ tab on the top of my blog. 


Sunday 2nd February 2014        A Decadent Day

Just a quick note to say that I’ve had a very decadent day at home today. I do hope I feel a lot brighter by Tuesday to go back to exercising at the gym. Possibly the hecticness of Christmas and the New Year has caught up with me as I feel decidedly off-colour.

I imagined there would be ups and down on this fitness journey but when they actually come, they are hard to take. Still, I have decided to make my Sundays in the future a day of rest. It makes sense when I am really busy for the rest of the week. Resting doesn’t mean doing absolutely nothing, it simply means taking time out to read or potter or visit family for an hour or so … no hectic running around. Time to re-create.

This morning I sat on the couch and read the Sunday papers for the longest time. It sure felt wonderful. Oh well, it’s time for bed so I must be off. I only hope I can sleep not like the last two nights of tossing, turning and thinking far too much!


Tuesday 4th February 2014                       Five more Days to Face My Fears

Geoff and I decided last night that we’ve had a bit of virus and that’s why we were both feeling a little off colour and tired! Still, today I felt well enough to go back to the gym with Pat but I did take things a little slower than usual and I felt better for the movement.

We met an older lady at they gym today called Nina who has always smiled at us when we’re there but today she introduced herself. She says she is determined to get fit but I was bit concerned about the length of time she is exercising. As we left we worked out that she had been there two hours (and us only 45 minutes ha!) and she was still going strong as we said goodbye.

Pat and I discussed this and decided we don’t want to make the gym our whole lives and have no time for our children, grandchildren and other things we like to do. Both of us are involved with our separate churches and we have other things we are involved in. So, no 2+ hour sessions for us! We will leave Nina to it I think.

I spoke to my son Dan on the phone last night as he was heading off today to America to check out some gyms over there. He asked me how I was feeling about the Challenge starting this Saturday. I told him I was petrified! The truth is I wonder if I have the strength to do what needs to be done. I don’t want to come undone and overdo things.

I know this seems crazy to others, but perhaps I let my age and my past ill-health colour my judgement too much when it comes to exercising. I want to be open to getting fit and strong. This is my fourth week of exercising so I feel pretty chuffed about that and don’t want to push my luck too far. Maybe fear is the problem?

Fear … as in ‘fear of being fit and strong.’ But why would I feel fearful? And wouldn’t I want to be fit and strong? Sometimes one has to get rid of a ‘weakness mentality’ so one can move on to believe that it is possible to be strong. I so want to do this and I’m willing to make the changes necessary to do what needs to be done. I think I’ll mull on this awhile and be open to hear God’s voice telling me what I need to know.


Friday 7th February 2014

By the time Thursday came I felt quite good about going back to the gym … all my fears seemed to dissipate and I was back on the wagon again! Oh, it’s quite a ride and I am well aware of it.

I came to the conclusion that I would feel worse before I felt better. You know about the theory of your body rids itself of toxins when you begin to exercise, and left it at that. No more deep and meaningfuls.

In any case, I caught the bus up to see both sets of grandchildren yesterday and stayed the night with my daughter and her girls. They love me coming up! I’ve had no time to dwell on anything anyway so that’s been good.


Saturday 8th February 2014                                        The Challenge Begins!

(I shared this post on my main blog on 8/2/14 and I have repeated it here for the sake of my diary).

Well, it has happened: I have begun the official 9 Week Angels Demons Challenge at the gym this morning! I cannot believe that fear didn’t overtake me and cause me to run for my life. It could have … but it did not. I am far too tenacious to give up dear friends. Or perhaps I am just a stubborn old woman who doesn’t want to give in very easily just because she is in her late sixties?

Whatever the reason, I turned up for the weigh in at 9.30am with my gym buddy Pat and  not knowing what would happen to us next. What would I do without Pat? Faithful friend and member of the family by marriage; always there to encourage or just share the journey.

It turns out I have lost 1 kg since I began at the gym four weeks ago. Now that’s the good news … do you want the bad news? The bad news is that I failed at some of the exercises which indicated how fit I was! But then again, I knew this would happen and it was the reason I was there in the first place.

This is spot on ... even with the word CRAP!

This is spot on … even with the word CRAP!

When Pat and I arrived, a lady came up to us and said “Oh thank goodness there are some women doing this Challenge who are MY age!” We laughed. Oh, so we look like old dears do we? She went on to say that she was told: if the mother of one of the gym owners (me) could do the Challenge so too could she … as she is the same age as me.

I felt myself growing to 10 ft tall as she spoke! It turns out that Pat and I are “Legends.”

‘Legends’ for having a go … for trying in our older age to become stronger instead of weaker. And it became apparent as I did the test exercises to determine my fitness that it would take a lot of work for me to become stronger! Pat seemed to be able to do push-ups and ‘burpees’ whereas I couldn’t even manage to raise myself one iota. In the end, the personal trainer Cathy, said to me: “Theresa, come with me, you will need some special care.”

And dear friends, that’s when it all got too much and I cried.

Someone had understood and had taken me aside to do some special exercises to help me move to where all these other people already were. With her help, I was able to complete different tasks; ones that were more suited to someone who’d had chronic fatigue and was recovering from it, like I was. How blessed I felt.

Another time, Cathy took us to get our photo taken for the Challenge. She gave us the option to leave our tops on or take them off so you could see the folds of fat underneath … and so we could also compare ourselves in nine weeks time. I said I would keep mine on (I was feeling rather old and a little embarrassed) when my courage rose up and I said “No, I want to be able to SEE the difference” and promptly took off my shirt which left me with my (nice ample) bra on! Pat also obliged.

I couldn’t however, resist a cheeky remark to Cathy: “Well, I never thought I would be posing semi-naked in front of a young boy photographer when I signed up for this. Who do I complain to?”  And with that, we all fell about laughing.

Who thought that subjecting yourself to torture could result in this much fun?

Another time, a rather tall man came up to me and said “hello there”. I looked at him and said “Do I know you?” He laughed and as he did I realised he was Pat’s pastor from her church … someone I know quite well. “Oh Pastor Mark, I didn’t recognise you out of your official pastor clothes! But then again, I just had my photo taken in my bra and gym pants, so I can’t talk about how anyone else looks!”

Yes, it was rather a topsy-turvy morning dear friends … but oh, how pleased I felt with myself as we completed the 11am Nutrition Seminar to officially finish the first day of our 9 Week Angels Demons Challenge. What a challenging time it had been! 

It had been a morning of fear … and of laughter … and of tears … and just occasionally I’d had a glimmer of hope that I would be able to lose weight, get fit and strong and therefore go into my older age with a lot more courage. I have made a commitment to the younger generation of my family to do the best I can, to stay healthy, get fit and have the energy to journey with them for as long as God gives me strength to do so.

I have a feeling that today I have had the Angels … not the Demons, sitting on my shoulder reassuring me that I can do it. Hard work perhaps, but not impossible. And, as I get up and walk with sore limbs and aching body to go and get my dinner ready, I feel most grateful that I survived the ordeal!

Also a special thanks to Cathy, who appeared like a Guardian Angel from heaven and treated me with so much gentleness and understanding, that it made me cry.


Wednesday 12th February 2014                            Soldiering on and catching buses …

I’m back at last after a busy few days since I started the 9 Week Challenge on Saturday. Well, I did suffer after Saturday with more aches and pains than I thought possible! Today four days on and with another trip to the gym on Tuesday, I am now doing okay.

Pat and I thought we would be very kind to ourselves on Tuesday and went about our workout very calmly and quietly not pushing ourselves too much. Recovery time we decided. Yesterday, the personal trainer Cathy, phoned to ask me how Pat and I were faring and she has agreed to see us together next Tuesday morning so that she can give us a program suitable for us two older ladies with our special needs.

When I phoned Pat and told her, she was so delighted. I was concerned that she was going to pull out as she felt she was being pressured too much on Saturday. All is well again now though.

I will miss our session at the gym tomorrow as I have an opportunity to go on a nice day of retreat up in the hills of Brisbane at a Retreat Centre. In fact, it is the very place where I spent my two years of Novitiate training to be a nun! I told Pat she might like to visit the gym on her own as I have to leave here at 7am to pick up a left to the centre.

Yesterday, I caught five buses in all and have had enough exercise with bus steps to last me for several days. But the upshot of it was I caught the bus to Alice’s new school and then we took the bus from there to see where she was going wrong in changing buses at a certain point along the way. It turns out she was getting out at the wrong stop and therefore couldn’t catch her connecting bus!

She was most grateful to Grandma for my efforts on her behalf. So nice to be appreciated! And I will be pleased of a rest day tomorrow after the hecticness of yesterday.


Friday 14th February 2014                        Blaming things on Valentine’s Day!

It’s Valentine’s Day today but it doesn’t mean too much to Geoff and me, however, he did take me out today for morning tea to celebrate. Gone are the days of roses and candle lit dinners … now I want to be able to see my meal and not worry about flowers dying!

588826I had to skip going to the gym with Pat yesterday as I left home at 6.30 am to go on my retreat day with a friend. I did make sure I walked up and down bus steps just so I wouldn’t feel too guilty though.

Pat sent me a message saying she missed me working out with her yesterday … not the same on your own it seems. I would feel exactly the same and in fact, I will be without Pat at our seminar session tonight and you can blame it on Valentine’s Day! Pat double-booked and said she would baby-sit for her daughter Melissa and husband Garry so she doesn’t want to disappoint them and cancel it.

Geoff said he will come with me so I will have some company at least. The seminar is about recovering after a work-out which should be very interesting. I want to pass on the information to Pat even though I don’t really feel like going tonight. I was exhausted yesterday and sitting quietly at the Retreat was the best thing I could have done. It was wonderful.

Tonight will involve some cooling down exercises I believe … not too hard at least.


Sunday 16th February 2014                            Pushed beyond the pail … modified

Just wanted to report a little about my latest efforts at the gym. I hardly slept on Friday night due to absolute terror about starting Week Two of the 9 Week Challenge at the gym with what they called a ‘Warrior Class’.

The name of that class was enough to send me reeling. After four hours sleep, I duly turned up at the ungodly hour of 7am! As the trainer explained what would be happening I nearly left immediately. However, I took a few deep breaths and decided to at least try some of the things that were certainly out of the league of a very unfit person.

I needn’t have worried as Megan (the trainer) saw what was going on with me and came over and offerred modified versions of all the exercises that we had to do! Pat joined me in these modified versions but she was much better at it than I was. By the time the hour went by, I felt as if I had been ‘shaken but not stirred’ and was almost dizzy from the exercise.

All good. I recounted to one of the personal trainers who has helped me before, that I was able to walk down a spiral staircase at my daughter’s house with two mugs of tea –  no holding on to any railing. Considering I could only take one mug down at a time previously, I understood that the exercises I’ve been doing to make my legs stronger have succeeded. How wonderful it felt to know this!

And there are others things too. I’m not puffing and panting when climbing the stairs at the busway any longer. Somehow, I felt bulletproof and empowered when I came home from the gym. I even did most of my housework before my energy suddenly disappeared and I decided it was time to take a break.

Very pleased indeed about it all tonight. And the women taking part in the challenge are so friendly and encouraging as well. I’ve discovered a whole new world out there.


Tuesday 18th February 2014                          Overcoming evil with good

We had a date at the gym this morning at 8 am with another trainer – Cathy – who helped me so much on the first day of the challenge. However, the traffic was so bad we ended up 30 minutes late!

Still, Cathy gave us a routine to complete today: 10 minutes each of rowing machine, cross-trainer and bike.  Considering I had never used any of this equipment before I was able to complete it. However, this afternoon I felt decidedly awful. My whole body feels terrible. What am I doing? I asked myself!

The thing is we keep going back for more. After a good sleep (or a poor one these days) I feel better and off I go again. I am also completing my ‘Fit Buddy.’ It’s a little book that I bought from Go Health in which I list everything I am doing: what food I am eating, how much water I’m drinking, how much exercise I’m doing etc etc.

Now, on the matter of one of my other resolution: to be kinder in my thinking, I think I’ve had a breakthrough! The people who live on one side of us are truly awful neighbours. Small parties all through the night, arguing and fighting and they do not mow and their yard looks like a pigsty.

Geoff was wanting to go and tell them off but I don’t think it will help the problem.  I told Geoff (after one long noisy night that went from 11pm to 5am) that I was going to ‘overcome evil with good.’ I wasn’t sure what I was going to do but I would come up with something after praying on it for awhile.

I came up with making a cake for these boys (I mean men because they are not teenagers) and taking it over to them. Geoff thought I was crazy and told me so! But a very wise older friend thought it was a great idea and it would diffuse the situation. She told me that when you are kind to people who harm you, you actually make them feel ashamed to be behaving the way they are.   Hmmmm … think I might try this one.


Friday 23rd February 2014                                   Hitting the Wall

I share this from my blog post of the same date, as I have been so busy:

There has been many things going on in my life this last week but I have soldiered on writing as if every single thing couldn’t be better! It’s strange how us women know how to do that isn’t it?

Now for the reality …

During this last week, we had word that my husband’s sister  was seriously ill in hospital with a suspected diagnosis of cancer and all her organs were failing. She lives at Hervey Bay four hours drive north of us and we need to go and see her, however there was a problem …

Two months ago, we’d booked a week’s holiday at the beachside town of Coff’s Harbour which is a four hour’s drive south of here. What to do? Really, in the end, as Geoff’s sister’s health deteriorated, we knew that there was no decision to make: we MUST go. Forget holidaying. Who’s going to enjoy a beach holiday at a time like this?

Then on Thursday at the gym, I was feeling really crook but pushed myself to keep going. Instead, I hit the wall when the personal trainer we’d hired pushed me far harder than I needed – at that moment – to be pushed. One push too far dear friends.

And I cried ‘enough!’ I stopped the weight machine I was working on and said firmly to her: “No, I am not going to do this today … I’m having a coffee and going home. I feel terrible! That, my friends, was the very last straw for me. Previously to this little bit of drama, I paid $25 to have a body analysis test at the gym. Again I felt pushed. I protested saying I was feeling too sick … wouldn’t the machine pick up that my body was unwell?” The reply was “No no no no!”

Wrong. Oh yes yes yes yes … it did!

It turns out the machine told me my metabolic body age was that of an 82-year-old. It gave my weight as 4 ks heavier than the three different machines I weigh myself on (one only two days before) and some other information was also completely ridiculous.

My response was: “Well, right this moment, I do feel 82 years of age!” So, I promptly had my coffee and went home to bed where I stayed until yesterday. It seems I have a virus. I felt I had overdone things that morning and made myself worse, instead of better.

Latest news: we’re off to Hervey Bay to see Geoff’s sister on Sunday. Still feel awful but I am soldiering on.


If you wish to read the March entries of My Gym Journey Diary follow the link: or go to the March Diary entries on the top of the blog.


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