Winners of the Up & Running Fall 2012 course giveaway

The mighty Random Number Generator has declared the following winners in the Up & Running Fall giveaway…

  • #72 – Leigh
  • #5 – Natasha
  • #69 – Anne
  • #41 – Japple
  • #10 – Super Sarah
  • #111 – Annika
  • #49 – KateC

Congratulations folks… check your email soon for a message with all the lowdown.

If you missed out this time around why not join us next week? The 5K Course starts next Monday 3 September and the 10K Thursday 6 September – we'd be dead chuffed to meet you at the starting line! Just think eight weeks from now you could have the smug and wholesome glow of a triumphant 5k or 10k runner… ahhhhh 🙂

WIN! A place on the Fall Up & Running 5K, 10K or 21K Course

Crikey, we're rapidly rattling into the last third of the year! That means it's time for the final Up & Running Courses for 2012.

Our 5K Beginners Course starts on Monday 3 September and the 10K Course starts on Thursday 6 September, each running for eight weeks. Our 12-week Half Marathon course is self-paced, so you can start any time that suits you.

We're just wrapping up our Summer courses and I've got that "don't want to leave this party" feeling again. So many hilarious, courageous and feisty ladies, and not afraid to share their fears and doubts either. I always finish each Round feeling like I've learned a little more about life and the workings of my wacky brain. More pieces of the puzzle come together. There's such power in a shared experience. So if any of you Summer lassies are reading, thank you again for coming along!

Here's a sample of feedback from the Summer:

"I wonder if you will ever know the true impact you are having on women all over the world. The running is the tip of the iceberg. The support you both provide is always spot on, whether it's a virtual hug or a no-nonsense 'get on with it'; the Forum is the most incredibly supportive women helping each other; Julia's running plans are amazing and work! From all of that comes not only the ability to challenge your body, but to change your mind, improve self esteem and feel proud of a body that has always been hated. You are literally changing people's lives. Thank you!"
– Alice, UK

"Just finished my real race a little while ago. Shauna & Julia you guys are the best support and coach ever! Thank you for the empowerment to participate in these races."
– Brenda, USA

"Brilliant course, you two, really, really brilliant. Was never bored, never quite knew what was coming next which probably helped. The folk on the forum all doing the same thing, and talking about what worked for them and what didn't was really good. I have been on the Runners World forum before, but didn't really end up talking about running much, and everyone is doing something totally different to everyone else, so this really was fab.

When I did my 'teach myself to run for 30 mins' thing many moons ago, I never felt like a runner, I felt like someone just doing a bit of running, but this course actually has made me feel like a runner: I follow a plan! I actually see improvement! I skip in front of builders!"
– Donalda, Germany

Fancy adding a flourish to your Fall? To celebrate Round 6 of Up & Running I'm giving away six free places, on the course of the winners' chosing.

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post, with a valid email address so I can contact you if your number comes up!

  • Entries close 9PM GMT Monday 27 August.
  • There will be five winners and they have their choice of 5K, 10K or Half Marathon course
  • As always the winner can gift the prize to a friend, so you can enter if you choose not to run but know someone who would like to!
  • Winners will be randomly selected.
  • Winners can be from anywhere in the world. Remember the Courses are for women only.
  • Winners will be announced Tuesday 28 August.
  • Please include a valid email address in your comment so we can contact you if you win!

Bonne chance!


Up & Running

Self-acceptance and weight loss: A call for questions

Just a month from today I'll be at the Fitbloggin conference to join the lovely Karen Anderson and Mara Glatzel to faciliate a discussion revolving round these juicy questions:

Are you afraid that self-acceptance means you'll never lose weight?

Does self-acceptance mean giving up?

As magnificent Mara beautifully put it today, it's all about…

Self-love and the desire to change.

Digging yourself utterly + completely and wishing for a little more out of your life.

I've puzzled over this topic many times these past couple of years. There's a desire to feel at peace with myself and my body, but at the same time there's things I want to change. Is this possible? Am I really a nutty dieter hiding in self-acceptance clothing? Am I some sorta self-acceptance sell-out if I want to lose some pounds? Am I throwing in the towel if I don't change a thing? Can't I have a foot in both camps? And what the heck does self-acceptance mean anyway?

It's a big, sprawling topic and the more Karen, Mara and I get Skyping about it, the more intriguing cans of worms we open. I think it could make for a really juicy discussion!

We are mere facilitators of the chat – so we'd love to get your thoughts and questions to help us shape it. We've noticed it's a topic that many folks in the blogosphere have pondered, so whether or not you're attending, please feel free to share your thoughts. Again I quote Mara…

  • What questions do YOU have about self-acceptance?
  • What has always irked you about conversations about self-love?
  • What feels too good to be true, and what do you need clarified?
  • How might you need to be better supported in order to be your best, most loving self?
  • What do you really wish people said out loud on the topic of self-acceptance?

You can us a shout in the comments, on the DG Facebook page or tweet me @shauna and you can bust out the hashtag #fitbloggin if you fancy.

In the meantime I'll be obsessively tweaking my Carry On Only packing list to avoid the lost luggage shennanigans of 2011. Also will make sure not to pack salad lest the Sniffer Beagle busts me again!

Back in the groove

A belated Monthly Check-in post for July.

POW! There's been a quiet leap forward in the month since the previous belated Check In post. Last time I mentioned forgetting I wanted to lose weight, from a combination of contentment, complacency and daydreaming. I wanted to light a fire under my butt in a kind and gentle way.

I'm chuffed to say that I've actually been doing all the things I said I'd do to get my focus back! I know, I'm surprised as you are! To recap:

  • automating brekkie and lunch
  • tuning in to my hunger/feelings before eating
  • sitting down properly to eat, i.e. no spear fishing
  • regularly recalling my reasons WHY (head, shoulders, knees and clothes!)

I've also added:

  • getting more specific about what I want and setting some short term aims (thank you Olympic Challenge for the inspiration)
  • dusting off my beloved spreadsheets
  • strengthening up the real-world support network
  • recommitting to meal planning – shopping, organising and preparation
  • using the MyFitnessPal app – I've been mucking around with it on and off since Christmas (so addicted to that bar code scanner!) but now on it daily

All the above has seen a strangely focused yet relaxed/non-obsessed attitude sneak up on me.

What prompted a mind shift:

  • the DietSnaps app experiment – after just three days there was no mystery why I've been a master of maintenance this year. Portions too generous, some mindless grazing and not enough greenery. I won't be using the app in the long term, but it was a fab way to get back into mindful mode
  • a weekend in Paris – the weather was hot and I felt blobby and frustrated by my frumpy wardrobe. It's easier to ignore that discontent in Scottish climes.
  • Confronting the Wardrobe of Doom – tidying up a tangled pile of clothes, most of which don't fit, was another exercise in mindfulness. I didn't feel despair, just a desire to get on with it.

None of the above tools/plans are earth shattering – it's all the same structured mindfulness kinda stuff that I personally find effective. But making the extra effort to stay present, and keep remembering what I want and why, is helping the momentum build. Stay tuned!


A DietSnap snapped snack. Try saying that three times!

Seemed like a good idea at the time…

I've emerged from my Olympics-watching stupor for an update. Aside from cheering on Team GB and Australia in fairly equal measure, I've been absorbed in an Olympic Challenge.

You might remember the awesome Jilanna who I interviewed about her lard busting triumphs last year. She threw out an Olympic Challenge on the Up & Running Forum. Challengers had to come up with a challenge for the duration of the Games:

My hope is that each person’s goal will be specific, measurable and a STRETCH for them. Think of what you are doing (or should be doing :wink2: ) now and then dare to dream a little bigger. 

Initially I thought I'd just sit back and watch the ladies kick arse. But then they came up with so many cool and random ideas, such as:

  • a sugar-free Olympics
  • running 20.12 miles
  • walk 50km in tribute to the 50k Walk event
  • swimming the total distance of the Olympic swimming events
  • running 5k for every Aussie gold
  • cycling one kilometre for every Kiwi athlete in the Games (184!)

And when they started posting spreadsheets and charts… dude, I wanted some of that. I came up with a Podium Challenge:

Week 1 went pretty well – walks and weights done, but only 2 out of 3 morning sessions. That's what happens when you stay up past midnight watching waterpolo and volleyball and highlights of stuff you already saw three times during the day.

The rehab exercises went well (75% compliance) but the bike didn't happen as the sciatic pain was nausea-inducing bad last week so sitting on the bike awful. Back on track now, thank goodness.

What's slayed me is the bloody Dual Citizenship Challenge. Oz and GB are rolling in the Silver! As I write we've won 25 of them!


Tally nicked from Sydney Morning Herald

So that's 500 minutes8.3333333 hours of housework to be done before the torch is snuffed out on Sunday night.

If you're a neat freak like Gareth that may sound totally normal for an Olympic fortnight but it is torture for a grot like me. At least it's meant I finally sorted out my Wardrobe of Doom – that was a good three hours, despite Gareth insisting that "shuffling your claes about" doesn't count as housework. My challenge, my rules!

I'm surprised at how helpful and absorbing the Olympic Challenge has been – in the back of mind I thought I'd written up a recipe for failure. But I'm loving the short-term focus. It's good to be specific and measurable instead of "lose weight" and "heal the knee". There's also the fun of doing it with the other Up & Runners… not to mention not wanting to fail in front of your pals!

Now, back to my dusting…