I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Once in a while, you get a fabulous NSV (non-scale victory) come along which just reminds you WHY it was so worth 'waking up' a few years ago and deciding to get your act together (from a weight and fitness POV anyway!).

This week at work we've got 50 gingerbread houses to make. 50 might not sound like much to you, but we are talking about 550 separate pieces which need to be rolled, cut, baked, and then assembled. This is without making the dough itself, decorating the houses, wrapping them, etc.  Physically, the dough making is pretty hard work but it's the rolling and cutting which is most demanding on one's body. It's heavy work, it's extremely demanding on your hands, arms, and chest muscles...and bloody hell, it's WAY more work than you think it is when you first embark on said experience. It's not just rolling, it's kneading all the bits back together again, lifting the trays back and forth all the time, and so in. In short, it's a pastry chef's idea of hell.

These houses are also fairly large, so there is the added bonus of only having 4 roof pieces fit on each tray, and if you're rolling the dough out - the MOST you can get out of one roll is 7 pieces (possibly only because I have long enough arms to roll it out that long...the average was more like 3-4 pieces per roll out.) We needed 100 roof pieces - which is one hell of a lot of kneading and rolling...and we're not using any machines for the rolling bit of it, so that's a HELL of a lot of physical labour right there. That's not counting front door, back door, side walls, tree pieces...

Anyway, it became clear early on that the person who was going to do a vast portion of this couldn't physically do it - she'd broken her wrist not that long ago, and she's not as tall as I am so bending over the bench and rolling that far was none too easy. Since I believe the buck stops with the boss, and I didn't want to place unreasonable physical demands on an employee like that, I took over the job and have spent something like 18 hours getting these pieces rolled and cut. By the end of the first day, I thought I would get home and my arms would ache, my chest would ache, my back would be throbbing, my feet, hips and legs would be in agony, and I'd be able to do nothing but lay on the bed and beg DH to end it all for me.

The NSV is that I'm now at the end of the rolling and baking...and NONE of that is true. My arms, chest, feet, etc all feel totally fine. I am tired (but it's mostly mentally) and my body can feel that it's had demands put on it...but basically, I'm fine. I don't feel like I am going to die. I don't feel like my arms and legs are made of lead. I don't feel shitty AT ALL. What...freedom (!) that is!

By the end of this week, when all the houses are done (and I've probably got RSI in my wrists from the damn piping!), and all the other orders are finished, and I've hosted dinner for 13 people on Friday night, and I've answered a bunch of work emails, and done a whole lot of Mum/Blogger/Business Owner stuff...I'll probably be pretty wiped out. But I will STILL BE STANDING and that, my readers, is the BIGGEST NSV of all.

68 kilos and 2-and-a-bit years ago, no way in hell would I have been even able to stand up after such a week...and no way in hell would I have been able to even contemplate taking over the rolling job in the first place. I would have given it a red hot go, but no way would I have been able to do it, in the time I've done it, without suffering a whole lot of physical and emotional consequences.

Please may I hang onto this feeling of victory for a good long time. NOT being exhausted feels pretty damn fantastic.


Jewel said...

Oh honey I can't wait to give you the biggest hug ever, love love love this post... xxxxx

Claire - Matching Pegs said...

That's fantastic!

It sounds like so much hard work, but Gingerbread houses are just so lovely.

My Uncle brings one to our celebration every Christmas.

I feel a little like this each week when I do tennis coaching with two other parents that I know. So far (thanks to the running and careful stretching) I am yet to injure myself during a tennis session - which is a little different to the other two. I may not have lost much weight, but it is a good feeling that my body is working really well.