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Friday, January 20, 2012

I'll be the first to admit it - the last few months have been awful for me, at least fitness-wise.

I had been doing well for a few months. I had cut out soda and had myself down to eating junk food (french fries) once a week. Sunday was my weekly Boca burger with no mayo, add avocado and fries day. I was good the rest of the week. I had even cut out chips and my morning bagel with cream cheese. I was doing well and adhering to a (mostly) vegan diet. It was something I wanted to do so it came fairly easy for me. I was working out near daily and, in some cases, more than once daily. I wasn't seeing much change on the scale (and not much change in my clothing), but I felt great. I felt lighter and was prepping to attempt running again.

Then everything changed.

Ironically, it was shortly after I had updated my profile and had my birthday.

Due to the fact that my boss wasn't allowing me overtime, I was seriously hurting for money. I had agreed to help Phil get through paramedic school and it wasn't cheap so I took out a loan on my car (which I had already paid off). I was OK with this and the payments were pretty cheap so it didn't seem like a big deal. Then it started to snowball. They doubled the cable bill and after fighting with them for a few days, I gave up and decided to cancel cable.

This was a problem. I was relying heavily on OnDemand workouts. They were easy and fun and since there was almost always something new to try, I never felt bored with the workouts. I have a decent sized library of exercise videos, but they didn't (and still don't) have the same appeal to me.

They raised my rent by $300. They claimed the raise was just to put my rent on par with the going rate. Sadly, there wasn't much out there that was cheaper.

Being told my rent was going to increase on November 1 by a significant amount didn't go over well. There was nothing I could do about it. Plus, I didn't get a raise (or a review) when I hit my one year marker at my job. I didn't expect one even though I'm a good worker. It would have been nice though.

I did actually explain my situation to my boss. A $300 increase plus the $200 in loan repayments was a $500 a month difference. Phil was helping me with the loan payment, of course (since it was for his schooling and all), but he wasn't working very often because of school. My boss wanted to help out. So, because they wouldn't let me work for an overtime rate, they decided that anything I went out and did on the weekends or at night would be billable as a freelancer. I thought it was a great compromise, but knew I wouldn't necessarily be making enough that way either.

Because I knew the increase was coming for about a month prior, I made the decision to get a seasonal retail job. I needed the money. Had I known I was going to get offered freelance, I may have not taken it and tried to focus on working, but there was no way I would have been able to know.

My schedule was going to be booked for all of November and December. I knew that, but I wanted to do my best to stay on track.

Then came the car accident. I dropped off some newspapers at a school whose event I covered. They were really excited. As I was driving back to the office, I ended up getting into a car accident - an accident that totaled my car. I was OK and the other driver was OK. In fact, there was zero damage to her car. SUV > Scion tC.

The insurance settlement was quite generous. My car didn't have many miles on it. I was out of work for a year and my current job is only a couple of miles from where I live. But, the settlement pretty much only covered the loan repayment and a down payment on something else. My monthly loan payment then jumped by another $100.

At that point it was clear that I needed to work as much as possible in order to make ends meet. I was technically no longer paying for Phil's school. I was paying for my car.

When November hit, I started to work...a lot. I was putting in my 40 hours a week at my regular job and an additional 20-25 hours at the retail gig. I hardly had time to breathe, let alone workout. I was eating on the go and even though I tried to properly prepare for such an event (stocking my cabinets with Luna/Clif bars and my desk with almonds and oatmeal), I fell off the wagon--hard.

Soda quickly worked its way back into my diet. I validated it by claiming to need the caffeine to get through my long days. I could have had iced tea but soda is just so much tastier. It was diet, which isn't as bad calorie-wise, but sodium/water retaining-wise, it was a bad idea.

Once the soda came, the junk food came and vegan went out the window. I was back to being solely a vegetarian - a junk food vegetarian. Grilled cheeses at In N Out (along with french fries), bean burritos and/or nachos without meat at Taco Bell, veggie burgers (and fries) at Burger King, and bagels with cream cheese quickly returned to my diet. I wasn't saving money, I was spending money. I wasn't doing my waistline any favors. I was a mess.

Throughout the months of November and December, I had one full day off - December 4. I only remember it because it was the one day I was able to relax. Every other day I was either working one or both jobs. Sure, I had Christmas off, but I went home for Christmas, which required me to leave the evening before (after a retail shift), drive for 6 hours to my parents' place, try to get some time in with them, and then quickly make the drive back on the 26th so I could get to my retail shift that evening.

In January I started to get a break, but articles started pouring in. The retail job decided to keep me (I'm still trying to figure out if it was a good idea for me to agree to it - if nothing else, it's a way to try and at least pay for some of those bill increases). They've pretty much scheduled me most Friday and Saturday nights. I've been lucky to get many Sundays off, but that probably won't be the norm for very long. I've had to work every Saturday since the first of the year.

Now, my schedule is a big puzzle. I'm covering soccer again so I am going to need game days off during the season. I didn't think it was right to request nearly every Saturday off from April to October, so I've submitted my request and given them as much time as possible (Saturday during the day). I'm picking up as many freelance articles as I can. I can make as much writing one medium length article as a freelancer as I can working a full shift at the retail job. If I take my own photos (as I like to do), then I make substantially more.

I was given tonight off because the store has been slow, but I have to work tomorrow. During the day, I have to go cover something. On Sunday, I'm not working retail, but I am going to an event.

I don't see an end. I talk about it like it's a bad thing, and it is. It's difficult to get back on track especially after losing control like I have. I do need the money though. After two months of not having Internet, I got it again a week ago. I don't like the mobile SparkPeople app and needed Internet in order to come back (be here on the weekends). I also need it for work. My phone's Internet capabilities are not impressive and while it'll work in a pinch, it isn't helpful long-term.

I need to make a plan. I need to remove soda and bagels. That will probably be the best place to start. Then I need to eliminate fast food. I went grocery shopping today and hopefully that will help, but with minimal time and a wonky schedule, cooking isn't going to be easy. I'm willing to try though.

I'm writing this blog because I need to air it out in a place that will require me to be accountable. I have the other fitness-related blog with Shauna and I post there, but it had been awhile since I visited my Spark blog so it was time.

I will be making baby steps until I am able to adjust to the demands of working two...well I didn't have any self-control over the holidays. It's time to take back the power. I need to fix my food and get workouts in whenever possible. I think the food is first. If I can get out of the sluggish rut I'm in, I'll have the energy (and more motivation) to get my booty in gear. I praise myself for the little things and try not to be too hard on myself when I fail. Again, baby steps. It's the only way I will be able to progress.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Sometimes life seems to jump up and smack us around - our job, I guess, is to learn how to deal with that. I also struggle when stuff happens to get my routines completely off whack but the best thing I've learned is to start again as soon as I come up for air - good luck with all of it and take advantage of whatever you have to deal with the best you can!
    2248 days ago
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