Friday, November 29, 2013
Well I'm pleased to say I've actually had some work to do this work - the first of my freelancing career. It's been good to get my teeth into something but I was rather enjoying not having deadlines or doing things I didn't like at all! Still, I'm really not complaining because I still get to decide my own hours and place of work, and of course the money coming in is pretty essential!
I've eased off the exercise from 5 times a week to 4 recently. I think I probably could still stick to 5 even on weeks when I have work, but I'm happy to be flexible. 4 seems to keep things steady (depending on how much I eat of course), 5 just bumps them along a little bit more.
For the first two weeks I did Blogilates.com videos, and for the last two weeks I've been doing Fitnessista.com workouts. The plan is to spend the next two weeks on straightforward barbell/bodyweight workouts but I'm sorely tempted back to Blogilates. I find her quite irritating, but she does make me burn!
Sadly, after several weeks of real optimism from P, I can see him slipping back again this week and it immediately made me panic and question everything. I'm taking a step back though and seeing it for what it is now - 2 steps forward, 1 step back. It was never going to be plain sailing, but it's very easy to forget how to deal with the harder times when things are wonderful. I didn't really say much about the wonderful times of course, because I was too busy enjoying them, but they were definitely there for a while!
More on that another time though. I'm off to spend the afternoon in a cafe now, pootling about with a few easy work-related things. Nothing too stressful for a Friday afternoon of course!
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
One of the things I looked forward to leaving when I quit my office job was the constant cakes, biscuits and sweets everywhere. If I work from home I have control over what I bring into the house for snacking on. If I work in a cafe I might treat myself, but I can make that choice based on current hunger and willpower.
But what about co-working spaces? These are fantastic places I've discovered to work with other freelancers, chat about all things work and play, and generally get some human contact with people in the same position. But what I hadn't really banked on was the inclusion of food as a social oiling tool.
At least in my old office the biscuits generally sat on a shelf somewhere and it was purely my willpower that really had an effect on whether I ate them or not (and putting a blanket 'no office cakes/biscuits' rule in place for myself made a massive difference). However, in co-working spaces the chocolates and jelly beans are brought along as a sign of friendship, a caring, sharing culture. It's exactly this culture that I want to be a part of, but then how can I refuse the treats?
My answer so far is to try and get a balance. While I know that I don't have to force them down my throat, in our society being offered a cupcake that someone else has bought is a sign of friendship and inclusion. My current aim is to build up those friendships so I'm going to swallow the slightly bitter (though oh-so-sugary) pill of eating those things proffered to me (and of course taking things along myself, which also need to be sugary treats for now). I just have to eat around those for the rest of the day, and try to savour how good they do actually taste, to make the most of them.
Do you think we'll ever remove food from social signs of caring? It's so widespread throughout the world, I'd imagine in pretty much every society. But maybe one day (in about a million years), we could get to a place where food can be declined without any hurt feelings: it's simply there if your guest/friend would like it, and if not, there's no offense felt in that?
I guess for now, I'll just stomach the yummy chocolates when I have to! :-p
Saturday, November 16, 2013
Well I didn't make it an actual goal to blog every day, but it was an intended aim. FAIL! But the reason I haven't is that I've been so busy getting on with everything else in my new lifestyle, and keeping on track of my actual goals. These are:
Walk 6000 steps per day
Workout 5 days a week
Eat lunch away from the computer/TV twice a week
Dress up nicely 3 times a week
Get out of the house 4 days a week
That probably sounds a rather odd set of goals, but for my new freelance lifestyle they're pretty critical, and have made a difference already (I'm on track with all but the first).
Dressing up nicely and getting out of the house is about not becoming a slob who doesn't ever get any fresh air and is entirely unpresentable. This could be running errands (not so nicely dressed) or working in a cafe (looking halfway decent I hope) or going to meet actual real live people. I like plan my outings around the rain, and the coming snow this week :-)
Eating away from the computer is HARD! It's hard to persuade myself to do it, and it's hard to sit there and concentrate on food while I do it. This is a very useful goal as I'd definitely slack otherwise. I said I'd push it up to 3 times a week but that will have to wait until twice is not so difficult.
And as for the exercise, I'm flying! I think I'm also eating a bit cleaner as I'm at home without junk food so much, but I'm definitely more active. I do quick lower/core/upper/full workouts on M/Tu/We/Th, then Friday is a lovely stretching session and Saturday is my favourite zumba class to get in some cardio.
And actually I'm quite scared at how fast the fat is disappearing now. After 2.5 years of hanging onto the belly fat, it's finally starting to shift quite dramatically. I'm really pleased that the new lifestyle is working so well but I'm surprised it's been so sudden. Or perhaps it's the change which has made it sudden and it will all plateau out. I don't actually want to lose too much more (the belt I bought online arrived and is too big now!) and that means when I have less time to spend working out because jobs with short deadlines have come in, or I want to eat a little more junk, I can do that without too much worry.
I chose 6000 steps as my goal instead of 10,000 as this is on top of exercise and I just want to do more than I did at the office. It's entirely doable on the days I get out, but a lot harder on those I don't. I've had one or two complete slacker days of 2/3000 but I'll take those as my average is still over 6000.
And that's the update! I'm going to keep these goals for the next two weeks and see where I've got to there. I have a whole list of things I want to try and change so once I have one goal under my belt, it'll get swapped out for another one. Always onward and upward...!
Tuesday, November 05, 2013
One of the goals for my new lifestyle is to eat 2 meals a week mindfully, without watching TV or doing something on the computer. This is a biiiiig change for me. I'm starting small and will hopefully build up from there.
I was a little panicked as I sat down to lunch: What will I do?! Won't I just rush through it so I can get back to the computer?!
I can't say that I was entirely focused on the act of eating for the whole time, but I did bring my mind back to it every time it wandered so that I could slow down, focus, and try to chew a little bit more. I'm sure my stomach problems are not helped by the way I gobble food down.
And you know what? It was actually quite relaxing. It's very quiet here today and I just listened to the silence and took a bit of time. I am now in the strange position of being time-rich (and everything else-poor) so I have to switch the way I think about everything. In the coffee shop yesterday I forced myself not to worry that the queue was moving slowly because it doesn't matter anymore. Such a mind bender for me!
One other thing I noticed when I finished lunch was that I immediately wanted 'a little something extra'. Having examined this thought I realised I wasn't hungry, and if I had already brought that something to the table, I would still want an 'extra' extra. There's something about sneaking in something else at the end of a meal which really pulls me in. I'm glad I've identified it, but now I'm off to the shops to buy milk, and a small packet of crisps for my something extra. What!? I'll deal with how to deal with that thought tomorrow!
Monday, November 04, 2013
Monday morning, and it's finally here: the new start I've been waiting for!
Of course I had a lie in for my first ever Monday morning as a freelancer. Well I couldn't not, could I?! Certainly not planning to be that lazy every day of course.
Today and tomorrow's mission is to sort all the random notes, thoughts, readings, papers and ideas that I've had over the last few months. There are piles of these everywhere: on the computer, on the table (which will become my desk), on the floor, in drawers, and of course in my brain. Time to finally sort them into sort of order, a plan of action.
[Pretend this is a 'thinking' emoticon - why isn't there one??]
But before that I need to get a workout in to get things going. I will be making lots of spark goals for my lifestyle too and I think one of those is to start most week days with a workout of some sort. My Fitbit One arrived while I was away and I love it! Saturday was easy to get loads of steps at zumba, but yesterday it forced me out for a walk, and then some extra random dancing to get to 10,000. That's exactly what I wanted it for. And even better, it syncs with spark so I can start tracking again without too much hassle.
And I haven't even mentioned my lovely holiday in Amsterdam! We got some of the storm over there for the first day and there were quite a few showers but plenty of cafes to duck into. I had thought I'd want some time and space to myself but I had a great time just being with P. He became really relaxed by the end and I saw the man I fell for again. It's hard to see him go back to his horrible job today because I know all relaxation will be gone by tonight, but I'll hang onto that wonderful holiday of proof that he's still himself in there.
Best crack on... this organisation won't get itself done, and I'm not sure how harsh my new boss is yet!
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