Happy Thanksgiving to all. Today is the day over here in the USA that we should be thankful. I am definately thankful for many things, some things that I don't even realise at times. I have to say that most of all, I am thankful for my friends and family, both here and abroad. I have many friends around the world, spread out across all different continents and all different countries and even though we struggle to get to speak to each other thanks to time zones, I love and care about each and every one of them. I miss my family back home in Australia and although I don't get to spend this holiday season with them (this will be the second time away from them at christmas) they know that I love them and care about them, that they mean so much to me, and I know that even though they are on the otherside of the world, they still care (dad shows that by the random emails I get from him, or the fact he just shipped half a cake around the world). But I am also thankful to my friends over here in the USA. The ones who are closest to me in location, though sometimes I don't think I show enough appreciation to them. I feel like a workaholic most days and sometimes I just don't have the energy or time to see them. I want them to know that I am thankful to have you as friends, that you do mean a lot to me and that without you, my life here in the USA would be super boring. So with that little bit of holiday thanks, I allow you all to return to your regular routine today of Turkey, Pie & Football... and imagine this in my best ever american accent "Happy Thanksgiving Ya'll"

A very scary thing happened this morning at Bootcamp that kind of gave me a wake up call. I have been working so hard to lose all the weight lately that I think I may have taken things a little to far to fast. I am down a good 15-16lb since I started less than 3 weeks ago. that is a HUGE amount to lose but in that time frame, it is way to much way to fast. I have been pushing it way to hard lately and this morning things caught up with me a little. It has been cold the last few days, mid to high 20s (Fahrenheit for my aussie friends, think Negatives for Celsius) and that is not a good thing for this Aussie boy used to the warmth of Queensland. My hands feel it the most and even on Thursday after being trapped at the bus stop for almost an hour with my hands in gloves, I couldn't feel them in the 28F temps. This morning it was around 26-30 and during bootcamp I wear wearing my running gloves (older pair) and usually for a 30 minute run my hands get cold but it is not to bad. I think a combination of the pain in my hands after 45 minutes, very little food or water lately and my body took it all as to much. First I started to struggle lifting a 3 pound weight. Yeah that is like less than a bag of sugar. I kind of knew then something wasn't right. My hearing started going funny and I started getting dizzy. I immediately stopped and tried to stand still, before I knew it I had managed to safely sit on the ground and grabbed the water from my bag. Thankfully I could feel the bottle enough to get the lid off so I could drink but otherwise it would of been bad. My trainer (Cassie) came over to check on me and told me to get my stuff and get in the truck straight away to warm up. Though I probably would of tried to push through it all and finish the session off (so close to finishing) I did what I was told. I got in the truck and cranked the heater right up. My body was obviously struggling big time to recover but I started warming up enough to at least start driving home. This wasn't the smartest thing to do either because about 2 minutes later my hands started to go through absolute agony. I was in excrutiating pain as my hands warmed up and I have never felt that bad before. By the time I got myself home, I just left most of my gear in the truck, grabbed my keys and my phone and my wallet and ran upstairs. Heater on the in the apartment (which is rare for me) and jumped straight into a hot shower (not before hitting the coffee machine to get that going as well, something warm for my hands I guess). Within 15 minutes I was doing better and within an hour after having some breakfast and some coffee and plenty of water (about a litre) I was back to normal. What am I going to take away from all of this. Obviously the fact that I pushed to hard and to fast. I need to take my time, so to hell with the weight loss this weekend, going to take it easy, and get back into it Monday but not has hard. I will probably still go for a run tomorrow, but at least I will make sure I rug up first. Part of me wants to keep pushing it, but that is a very very very dumb idea. I need to get this loss done gradually and if it takes a big longer, it takes a bit longer. I would rather not have another experience like this. With the temperatures as well lately, it kind of leads into the fact that this is going to be a damn cold winter and I a feel I am going to be in for a rude shock. Time to perhaps get a damn warm jacket?

It has been quite a while since I had a good rant on the blog, so for those who don't like rants, move on please, see you in a few days time. For now though it is time to rant away! I recently saw this article on USA Today come through my twitter feed. it pretty much mentions that Expedia staff in the USA don't take all their Vacation time. I mean seriously.. what the fuck. American's barely get any leave over here as it is and they apparently don't take it all. I do know what it is like to feel like I am attached to the office at times, I seem to work almost 7 days a week at times with just about every day working through my work emails from home. I am usually working on my emails before I head to the office in the morning and sometimes late at night from home. The old saying "Work to live" over here is a little bit confused cause you definitely seem to "Live to Work". I don't quite get why americans only get 2 weeks leave (roughly 10 days) and there are barely any public holidays during the year that are 100% guaranteed (only about 5 or 6 really). It's a tough sell compared to Australia where you get 20 Days leave and a boat load of public holidays (though most of them I worked anyway). I don't see how you couldn't take all of your leave though, either your saving them up (which is hard enough to do as well as they just don't accrue that fast at all) or you are WAY to involved in your work. A little to much working not enough spendy spendy? Although I would love to see Americans get more leave for several reasons (not just so I got more myself) but to be honest it would make my work life easier as well, purely cause struggling to fit a 2 week vacation to Australia and visit every city known to man is a bit of a challenge, more time would make it a lot easier. But sadly I can't really complain all that much, life over here is pretty good and I have it fairly good here compared to back home, but yet there are things I wish I could get more of (leave obviously, money as always) but yet, those are the sacrifices that I made when I came over... /end rant

It has not been the easiest of weeks this week but with all the the stress and #fml thoughts I have managed to keep things on track. Although I haven't had to walk home in the rain once from Canyon Park (an all to common occurrence lately) I have kept myself in check and on track. Last week I managed to knock myself down by 8lb which is a good amount, yet long term that is not smart nor sustainable. Right now though I have lost a further 4lb and I am at my pre NZ weight, which makes me pretty happy. This isn't the time for me to take a break, I still may be 12lb down, I still have a good 8-10lb more to go. My goal to achieve the reduction back to my "happy" weight by December looks om track, which will make that BBQ in Kansas all the more tastier, as I will have earned it? Your thinking right now, "since when did he say he was going to Kansas?" well to be honest since last week I have been planning it but that's for another time. It does tie in though with my endcif year rush to complete my goals. I have to decide today pretty much which 5k to run before Christmas. I need to do one more to finish off my fitness goals for the year. I haven't decided yet on the Thanksgiving Run on the Sunday before Turkey Day or the Santa vs Superhero 5K at the Seattle Marathon. This end of year run is more about fun than time so no hard training or anything but knowing me that won't happen, I will push myself either way.

It's Monday and as I head to work this morning I have plenty of time to think and look back. Mondays are always a gamble. For me they will either start out good or bad (though they usually never stay good due to work but that is another post entirely). Monday is generally my weigh in day, the day that is either going to make or break my mood. If the weigh in is good i'm happy, if not good, let the self hate begin. It has always been this way and as I fluctuate up and down like a yoyo, it is a never ending cycle of craziness. So this morning I wasn't looking forward to the weigh in, I know I will be higher than I want to be but how much more do I have to lose? It was a tough weekend, temptation was everywhere and I battled my own brain a lot. I got up this morning and went for my run, usual time, usual route, usual hatred of my body as I climbed the first incline and usual question to myself of "why do I do this again?" on the final incline as my body hates me by that stage. I get back and good news, really good news, my week of hard work has paid off, I am down 8lb yes thats right 8 pounds! (roughly 4kg for my aussie friends). I have every right to be happy this morning. I guess all the hard work does pay off and although that is not a maintainable loss rate, it shows me that no matter what if I focus, work hard and stick to it, I can do the things I want. As was said in Star Wars Ep 4 as red squadron flew down the Death Star Trench "stay on target". For me that is going to be a whole new task.

A lot of things have been put in perspective lately, stuff that I never wanted to think about. A friend of mine lost his best mate and room mate at a very young age. It's not my place to go into details, but lets just say that it was out of no where for me to find out and to be honest quite shocking. Though I didn't really know him all that well, I had met him a few times and he was a great person. But that sudden departure just makes you look and think. The Priest today at the memorial said some things that really hit him. He said that the one question most people will ask if they are religious is Why? But that is never a question that can ever be answered well enough to stop the grieving process. What it makes me do is think, think a lot. I couldn't imagine being in my friends position, being put in a position where I need to face the fact that I will never EVER see my best friend again. Sure there may be times that people may think like that, after I left Aus I knew I was leaving close friendships behind, leaving my best friends behind. But there was a chance I would see them again. My friend doesn't have that option, and that hurts, it hurts me to think about if I was in his position. I wouldn't want that myself at all. I couldn't even begin to fathom what life would be like without some of my friends from back home. But it also makes me think that out of all of this, perhaps there is a positive side. Even though there is tragedy, there is hope, hope that this passing will help others see that there are things that can be done, that all the times we think "well why didn't I do that" or "I have plenty of time in my life to do things". It makes me think that I shouldn't let those things go to chance, I need to just do it. I shouldn't let opportunities go past, go to waste at all. I know that I over think things quite a bit, it is a weakness of mine. But in this case, thinking is smart, thinking is something that I know is appropriate at times like this. I need to sit back, think and set my priorities straight. Time will tell though if I take my own advice.

It is now November, o how the time has surely flown by this year. It felt like only yesterday I was at SeaTac on New Years Day spotting by the water tower. It has definitely been a long month in October though, lots of travelling. But today is a new month and a new challenge. I aim to be down to my 175lb mark by the time we have the work Christmas Party. So to start with after my hour of extra sleep (thank you daylight savings ending, I forgot, when I realized went back to bed) I got my internet working again (long story) and after pulling the box out of the cupboard I donned my new running shoes. All $35 worth of them 😀 You have to love the Brooks Outlet sales. When I first bought my new pair after getting fitted they were $90 and heading towards being replaced. This is good news as they would then go to the outlet once the new model comes out. At the outlet they are essentially half that price (around $45). Then twice a year the Outlet has a massive truck sale where they just roll in a truck, empty the contents into the parking lot and they just sell it all till it's gone. Managed to score my shoes from that sale. While visiting New Zealand last month I checked on what they were selling the shoe for.... $240NZD. Yep gotta love a good mark up. Yesterday I also did my first full hour of weights training in almost 18 months. I want to work more on getting some muscle strength back after 18 months of nothing, but that 18 month has certainly cost me. My arms today can barely move, so this is not going to be an easy thing to handle. I will take all of these things and work hard this month to get that weight back down, to get it under control. It won't be easy, it will take time. But I will do what I can to get through it!