Time to Change – Day Fifty-One

There’s something incredibly gratifying about having Mondays off.  I’ve always thought this, although after having it as one of my permanent days off at my old job, I’d started to take it for granted.  Today was my first Monday off since starting my new job, and I’ve fallen back in love with it again.  I think it’s the fact that you know you’d normally be at work (and everyone else is) and you have a free pass to sleep and watch daytime TV and do anything you want.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I dislike having Saturdays off, but it’s just so…ordinary.  On top of that, the shops are always busier, the parks fuller, your friends busier.

Needless to say, I had a great day.  It wasn’t anything unusual, but I found it so relaxing.  I had scrambled eggs for breakfast, then spent a couple of hours catching up on everyone’s blogs.  I had crackers and vegemite for lunch, and sultanas.  Then I had a long nap, which was made more relaxing knowing I’d normally be at work.  Ahhh, such a great feeling.  After I woke up, I decided to stop procrastinating and do some more cleaning in preparation for the inspection on Thursday.  I did a couple of loads of dishes (I let them get way out of hand, I admit.  Dishes are my least favourite chore and the dishwasher that came with the rental house I’m in is a weird brand and does a shitty job).  I then made dinner – Lite n Easy Lasagne.  Once again, I was interested to know how this would go, as microwave lasagne is normally pretty average.  It turned out okay.  Not as nice as my previous two meals as the lasagne was a little soft and soggy (as expected without any oven baking), however it tasted nice apart from that.  It was also the lowest in calories of the four meals I’ve had thus far, which was a pleasant surprise.

While I was cleaning and eating dinner, I was also catching up on Bones.  I had the first three episodes of season ten waiting to be watched, and it didn’t fail to disappoint.  I’m not going to post spoilers, but to anyone who has seen it, I think you’d feel my pain during episode two.  So emotional!

After I finished dinner, I headed off to the shops for groceries.  I wish I still got enjoyment out of going like I used to when I first moved out.  Now it’s just a chore, made worse now I’m trying to eat well as there are so many delicious, wonderful options there that I have to walk past.  Kudos to me, my self-control was pretty good.  I did get one naughty thing, but as long as I eat it in moderation, I think it’ll be fine.  Six months ago, it was “spot the healthy food” in amongst the junk in my basket, now it’s the opposite, which is a great feeling.  Plus, now that I’ve got my dinners organised, I’m not spending too much money there any more, and I’m there for less time.  That’s great as the less time I’m there, the less tempted I am to stock up on stuff I shouldn’t be eating!

Once I got home, I put the groceries away, did another load of dishes (seriously, they just never end!) and then sat down to watch the Block.  For the Aussie readers out there, Suzi is actually the most annoying person on TV right now, amiright?  I then washed my hair in preparation for work tomorrow and watched the Biggest Loser.  It’s funny, two years ago I was so anti-reality TV shows and now I watch all the main ones.  I guess they’ve just become so popular and mainstream and normal that I let myself get sucked into it.  That being said, these are what I see as “actual reality” shows (as in, while some of it is probably scripted and planned and refilmed, a lot of it isn’t), instead of “unreality” shows such as Jersey Shore, the Kardashians, Real Housewives, Idol etc.  Those shows I will never buy into or watch, as it’s so fake and scripted it bothers me just watching the ads.  I mean, I get why people watch them…they’re easy to get sucked into, and they’re funny, and it’s so completely different from normal life that it’s morbidly interesting.  I just don’t want to support shows like that.

Tomorrow I’m back at work again, but only for four days this week as technically I worked six last week (I say technically because one was a public holiday that I didn’t actually work, but because I got paid, it is treated as such).  I’m so excited, I love four day weeks.  They always go by so fast.  Sure, it means I don’t get my beloved Monday off, but I think I can deal with this arrangement!

Anyway, time for me to call it a night and hope I can sleep okay.  It was really hot today and my room always struggles to cool down after them.  I have a pedestal fan I can use if I need to, but it’s pretty loud and annoying so I avoid it where possible.  I don’t think I’ll be able to avoid it tonight though.  Oh well, it beats sweating half the night!

-JD

Time to Change – Day Fifty

Wow, fifty days since I set my mind to dropping weight.  Unfortunately it hasn’t gone as planned, and although I’ve lost a little bit, it’s nowhere near where I thought I’d be right now.  A lot of that is just me losing focus, though like I’ve talked about over the past week, I’m starting to regroup and get back on track.

Today was the start of my weekend this week, as I had to work yesterday.  I had a lot of plans, but in typical first-day-of-the-weekend fashion, I spent a majority of the day napping.  I skipped breakfast (I know, that’s not a good start, I have no excuse other than time got away from me and I couldn’t find the effort to make anything).  I headed off to my local nail salon to get my nails redone.  They usually last me between 3-4 weeks if I stretch it, but counting back, this particular refill only lasted two.  The main problem that I have is on one particular finger, whenever it gets slightly too long, the nail catches on absolutely everything.  I don’t know what it is about that finger, but it’s basically like gauge of when I need to get back to the salon, and the finger was hurting like crazy so off I went.

I have a wedding next weekend so I knew I had to pick something that would go with the dress I bought.  Plus, I’m always trying to avoid typical pink/red colours.  I figure if I’m paying for someone to do them, I don’t want them to look like I could have done them at home.  I know that even if they were pink, they’d still look professional, but it’s just a thing I have.  I can’t explain it.

Anyway, after seeing the girl get it next to me last time, I decided to go with a orange-coral colour.  When I first saw the girl getting it, I liked it but thought it wasn’t really my style.  As the time approached where I knew I’d have to get my nails redone, I started seriously thinking about the colour (I like to go in there with some kind of idea of what I want or I’m there for half an hour trying to decide).  I still wasn’t sure, but I decided I was going to try it.  I knew it would look nice with the dress I was going to wear to the wedding, plus I wanted to try to do something a bit out of my comfort zone.  I was used to having a normal colour topped with sparkles (which I still really like), but I’d done that for awhile and it was getting a little predictable.  When the girl had finished up, I was really happy with the colour.  Surprisingly happy.  I thought I’d be okay with it, but I wasn’t sure I’d love it, and I really do!  Plus, the girl sitting next to me saw the colour on my nails and changed her mind and decided she was getting the same colour instead of black which she’d originally requested.

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My favourite part about the polish is what it looks like while in the UV machine though.  I wish they made nail polish that glowed like this all the time!

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Apart from my trip to the nail salon, everything else has been fairly boring today.  I found some awesome new blogs, then fell asleep on the couch.  Tonight, I’m planning on doing some cleaning in preparation for the bi-yearly house inspection that’s happening on Thursday.  I’m having Lite n Easy Chicken Parma for dinner.  We’ll see how that goes.  My friend thinks it’s nice and the previous two meals I’ve had were really good, so hopefully this is too!  I’ve eaten pretty well today if you ignore the fact I didn’t eat breakfast.  I had saltanas and Savoy crackers with peanut butter for lunch.  My calorie count should be well and truely under today, which will make up a bit for yesterday’s cheat meal.

Oh, also worth mentioning, I jumped on the scale this morning (something I haven’t done all that frequently lately) and I’m almost back to the weight I was before I fell off the wagon.  Looks like my fortnight of not caring didn’t hinder my efforts too much, which is great.  I really think now that I’m eating portion-controlled, healthy meals for dinner (the main meal I had problems with), I will start losing weight steadily and not just in dribs and drabs.  I hope so, anyway.  It’s hard to find motivation when the scale stays the same!

Hope your day was just as relaxing as mine!
PS a big welcome to all the new followers from the past 48 hours 🙂

-JD

Time to Change – Day Forty-Eight

Today is being written of as another good one.  It’s funny that the days slated to be the most boring of the week have become some of the best.  Don’t get me wrong, even the best training sessions in the world are still classroom-based and at least moderately sleep-enducing, but this course (can three days be considered a course?  Hmmm) was definitely one of the better I’ve done.  So far I’m very impressed with the quality of the trainers my new job employs.  World’s apart from a large portion of the trainers at my old job.  I suppose it also comes down to the content as well, and I have found both three-day “courses” I’ve attended so far at this job have content worth learning.

Anyway, where was I?  Today’s training was focused on tying up lose ends for the previous two days, as well as introducing us to a few more sales tools we’ll have at our disposal.  I love sales tools.  The more they can throw at me, the better.  I’m lazy in every sense of the word (hence the weight issue), and sales tools save me time and energy.  I’m seriously excited my new store is going to be bursting at the seams with them.  I can’t wait to get in there and mess around with them and put them through their paces.

We also learnt about an existing product that I hadn’t really learnt much about yet.  It was really good to have to broken down and the differences thoroughly explained, as I really feel like I can now see the benefits for customers and I can properly sell it.  It’s not a product that was offered at my old job, and one that is very underused and not spoken about at the store I’m working at now.  I don’t blame them for not teaching me, as the product isn’t something you’d sell (or even mention) to some customers, but I really want to start talking about it more now I know about it.

We wrapped up the training with a pep talk and group activity led by my new store manager.  As I wasn’t interviewed by her and I haven’t worked in store with her yet, I only really know her by face and name.  She knows who I am well enough to say hi in passing (she may or may not remember my name).  It doesn’t bother me, given she’s now a store leader of 90 odd staff (at least 20 of them newbies), but it was really nice to hear her story and how she wants the new store to run.  She’s really big on store culture and making it a focus, which I think is fantastic as it would be really easy for a store that big to fall into a mess of cliques, chaos and gossip.  None of that leads to a workplace anyone wants to come in to each day.

She seems really friendly and down-to-earth.  I’m looking forward to getting to know her a bit better.  I’m also hoping to let her (or someone else who can address it) know that I’m looking to be trained up in other areas.  The new store is full of people who specialise in things.  I’m not really picky about what to be trained in (the more, the merrier!), I just don’t like being seen as “just another full timer”.  I know I just started so for the moment I’m trying not to let it bother me, but I know pretty soon I’m going to start getting restless.  Coming from management in my old job, it’s tough to feel like you’ve taken a step backward.  I’m trying my best not to look at it that way, as this new store is going to be world’s apart in every way from what I’m used to, but ultimately I have been demoted.  I’m not expecting to be given management for quite awhile so being trained in different areas will have to do.  Anything to keep the job interesting.

The best part of today was being let out at 3pm. So good!  We were rostered until 5 so an early home time is fantastic.  I’m currently sitting (not standing!) on a train which is full of empty seats.  I was expecting to battle peak hour madness so this is the best feeling.

The weather is still pretty miserable but no storms or tornadoes today (touch wood).  If it doesn’t look like it’s going to rain when I get home, I might take the dog for a walk.  I walked to the bus stop today so my step count will be pretty good either way but I feel bad for the dog being cooped up all day.  No promises though, the sky is pretty grey and I really don’t want to get caught in a downpour with my new phone.

Today I ate about as well as yesterday.  Chocolate snacks to keep away the headache (more successfully today than the previous two days!).  The same breakfast and lunch, with the exception I swapped an apple at lunch for a banana.  Tonight I’ve got Lite N Easy Butter Chicken.  I’m a little nervous because I’m not a huge fan of Indian food a lot of the time, but it looked good in the picture so I’m going to try to be open minded.

I best wrap it up here.  My stop is fast approaching!  Hope you had a great day too 😊

-JD

Time to Change – Day Forty-Seven

Well, today was definitely better than yesterday!  I’m feeling pretty good right now about everything.  I’m even feeling wide awake, unusual for this hour.

I had my second day of training in the city.  Unlike yesterday, the trip in was wonderfully uneventful, aside from the fact it was raining so I had to drive to the bus stop.  Not a huge deal, though it did eat into my usual step count a little.  I arrived in the classroom right on time, and only one other person was there, so technically the 15 or so others were late.  After the dramas of yesterday, that made me feel awesome!

The training itself was okay.  It wasn’t as interesting as yesterday overall, but it wasn’t totally boring either.  It was more revolving around sales and customer service techniques that I’d learnt at induction, but it was a good kind of refresher.  On top of that, there was a lot of group work so I got to know my future workmates a bit better, so that was cool.

For the most part, I ate really well today.  I started the morning with yoghurt and strawberries, blueberries and Chia seeds (I made sure I allowed myself time for it today!).  For lunch I had sultanas, an apple and light n crispy shapes – the same as yesterday, as that seemed to work well.  As an afternoon snack I was a bit naughty again and ate chocolate, but as I previously spoke about, it helps me get through all-day training sessions without getting a migraine.

The weather had been miserable all day, and we got a great view of it out the 14th story window. During the afternoon – towards the end of the session – news broke that there’d been damaging storms in some areas and a tornado warning IN MY SURBURB.  I know I have a lot of readers from outside Australia so to you, that might not seem that crazy.  Tornadoes very rarely happen down under.  When they do, they most often happen in warmer climates such as Cairns or Queensland, and mostly happen in winter.  I’ve never heard of one happening in Melbourne, in Spring, in a very non-coastal area.  Especially when there’d been absolutely no lead up or prewarning.  I wasn’t even aware it was set to storm today, much less THAT.

I knew the media had a very good track record of blowing things out of proportion (no pun intended) so I wasn’t too worried.  I’d seen some blurry cam pics on social media of the tornado and while there was no denying it was one (or at least, looked like it), the pictures didn’t show it being near any populated areas.  It’s not to say it wasn’t, I just didn’t want to stress over it, as the media hadn’t reported any damage to property or injuries to people, and they love to report that kind of stuff.

We got let out early from training after we struck up a deal with the trainer, so I was already on my way home by 5.  By then, the rain had completely cleared and it was blue skies and sunny.  I’m sure people think it’s an exaggeration when they hear “Melbourne can have 4 seasons in one day”.  It’s not.  If you had of flown in at 4.30pm today and someone told you there had been massive storms and tornadoes just hours before, you would have looked up at the pretty sky and warm sunshine and laughed at them.  I walked onto my morning train damp and sticky from rain, I got off my afternoon train sweating.  I’ve grown up with this crazy weather nonsense my whole life and I still can’t believe it.

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These were taken within a couple of hours of each other!

Anyway, I digress.  As I got off the train, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I’ve only ever seen tornado damage on huge scales on TV.  Hell, even big storms can leave trees upended and cars damaged.  Instead (as I half-suspected earlier), aside from some puddles, there was absolutely no evidence anything had happened at all.  The station looked exactly as it had 10 hours prior, everyone at the station looked calm and unhurt.  Maybe it didn’t affect this particular area, I thought, just in case I got home to half my house gone.

I looked intently out the window the whole bus trip, expecting at some point to see some damage.  Nothing.  No trees – or even branches – out of place, no construction sites upended, no roads flooded.  Nothing.  It looked like maybe there had been a sunshower awhile ago and that was it.  Very anti-climactic, although I’m not complaining.  I wasn’t exactly thrilled at the prospect of a random tornado blowing through my front door when I wasn’t home.

I was also relieved to see my big Lite N Easy order sitting neatly on my front door mat.  I was firstly worried it might have gotten damaged (or blown away completely) in the weather.  I was also concerned someone might steal it.  I guess the first problem kept the second one from being much of an issue.

I was so excited to open up the box and put it all away, and to pick my first meal.  I was starving and spoilt for choice.  I still couldn’t believe all these options were so healthy.  After filling up my freezer, I decided it was gonna be good old mac and cheese tonight.  7 mins in the microwave and it was done!

I was extremely surprised by it.  Firstly, the portion size was great.  It made about as much as your typical box of M&C, but with about half the calories.  Very filling.  Secondly, the taste.  While I don’t think I’ve ever really had proper home made M&C to compare it with (it’s just not treated with the same appreciation as I hear it is in the States), I can tell you it tastes a lot better than any pre-packaged stuff I’ve had.  “Of course it does”, I hear you cry.  Keep in mind, not only is this low-cal, but comes frozen.  In my mind the risk was pretty high it’d be on par with packet stuff, or potentially worse.  Instead, it was some of the best I’ve had!  If all my Lite n Easy meals are this good, they’ll have a customer for a long time to come.  I don’t want to get too carried away just yet though.  I’ll give my final verdict after I’ve had at least a few more meals!

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So overall, a good day.  Due to driving to the bus stop my step count was under 6000, but I think that can be forgiven since apparently it’s tornado season in my area.  I punched in all my food into MyFitnessPal and basically broke even, so I’m not complaining.  If it wasn’t for the chocolate I’d be well under!  Still, I’m not complaining.  This is the healthiest day I’ve had in about a fortnight and I feel like I’m slowly getting back on track!

-JD

Time to Change – Day Thirty-Five

I can’t remember a time where I’ve appreciated a weekend more.  At least, not in the past year or so.  I can’t believe how tired work makes me.  I guess it’s just trying to learn so many new things at once (coupled by the way the shop heats up so by the end of the shift I feel sweaty and sticky and horrible) but it still surprises me how draining it is after doing a similar job for so long.

Yesterday was another good day.  Aside from maybe an hour, I worked independently and fairly confidently.  Everyone is super friendly there and are all really easy to talk to and ask questions, which is really helping.  I wound up putting through two contracts and had three add-ons for the day.  The add-ons I’m especially proud of as I feel confident in selling them and processing them now, which I’m happy about as I feel like without knowing that, I’m dragging the store down with the contracts I was doing.  Plus, I feel like it’s another big thing I can tick off my ‘Need to Learn’ checklist.

I was practically running for the exit at the end of my shift.  I was so pumped to be heading home for a relaxing couple of days.  I had a long sleep in this morning, then went out to lunch with my best friend.  It was nice to catch up, and I got some extra steps in walking around the shopping centre.  I came home, tried to tackle my overflowing TV shows that had been piling up all week, then had a long soak in the tub.

I also decided to bite the bullet and update my Facebook details to reflect my new job.  I know this may sound mundane and not worth mentioning, but it was a big deal for me.  Initially I wasn’t going to change it until after my probation (that’s still my plan for LinkedIn) but the original reason for me not updating it is so the people who threw me under the bus at my last job didn’t know where I was working.  Well, that lasted a whole 3 days now that I’m working two shops away.  Plus, I don’t have any of them on Facebook anyway and my profile is set to “Friends Only” for everything.  On top of all that, in the week I’d been working in store, I’d had quite a few people spot me and come in and say hi.  I figured it was about time everyone was let in on the change so I didn’t have to tell them individually.  I just hope updating it doesn’t lead to issues down the line (my new job doesn’t know I got fired), but I’m 95% it’ll be fine.  I deleted anyone who I thought might be an issue prior to doing it.  I feel better for updating it, as it felt weird having my profile still saying I worked at my old work after how it all ended.  I didn’t really want to be associated with that place any more.  I’m trying very hard to close that chapter and this is another step towards it.  Plus, now I’m slowly adding people from my new job, I was worried it would be confusing to them if it isn’t accurate.  Can you tell I’m an overthinker?

Tomorrow is housework, a walk and grocery shopping…after another long sleep in, that is.  I can’t seem to even make a dent in my sleep debt but I’m going to give it a good crack!

After I go grocery shopping I’m going to get back on my healthy eating plan.  It’s been a terrible week with what I’ve eaten and how little I’ve been exercising and I need to get my focus back.  I refuse to fall off the wagon completely.  This is just a bump in the road.  I need to keep it up so that in the future, I don’t have to look back and wish I did.

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-JD

Time to Change – Day Thirty-One

Sorry I’ve been a bit slack in updating this.  It’s a lot harder to maintain a daily blog after a full work day and a Foxtel box filling fast with TV shows.  I’ve had an okay couple of days.  It’s my first full week back at work that doesn’t involve sitting in a classroom.  I feel like the store doesn’t know how to treat me.  It’s not their fault, I was always going to be in a different league to the normal newbies.  They want to treat me the same but I get bored and zone out.  I put my own contract through almost without help today (three days into the job) and I know they were all really nervous I’d mess up.  I did okay though – no major issues from what I could see.  The only problem with independence is that they then assume I can do everything and while I’m advanced, I’m not that far ahead, purely because I just haven’t shadowed people enough to witness them doing certain things.  So then it’s this awkward “ready but not ready” phase.  I want to serve customers alone, I hate following people and being treated like I don’t know anything…but I also hate it when they try to give me something to do and I have to admit I don’t know.  I’m sure it makes them think I’m not ready and I should be shadowing.  Urgh.  Who’d have thought having experience could make things so complicated?

Speaking of experience, my old workmates have finally caught on that I’m back in the centre again.  I accidentally crossed paths with my old manager as I was buying breakfast, and she obviously told the ASM, and the two of them kept walking past all morning.  Seriously, grow up.  Particularly the ASM, as I worked exactly half a shift with her and so doesn’t know me at all.  From what I’ve heard, almost the whole store hates her, and she can think what she wants about me and my actions, but at least I was well-liked when I was there.  I know it shouldn’t bother me that they’re being so immature, but it kind of does.  A little.  I expected it, of course, but I still don’t like it.  I’m trying to move on with my life and they’re there, dragging me back into the drama.  I’m not expecting them to be happy for me, but I also didn’t expect to have to put up with this rubbish.  I just hope they get over it quickly.  I feel like I’m in a zoo or something.

I’ve been eating…okay.  Better than last week but still not great.  I’ve been having banana bread for breakfast (not great), lite apple crumble yoghurt from my favourite place in the centre for lunch (not too bad)…but then by dinner I fall apart.  It’s my fault, I was supposed to have a gameplan lined up but it hasn’t happened.  I’m going to do it properly from next week, after I’ve gone to the shops and collected food to take to work.  I need to eat a better breakfast, that much I know.  I love banana bread but I know it’s really sugary and not at all as healthy as the name suggests.  I also need to go back to healthy dinners.  Tonight I had fish, but last night I had Maccas…not great.  It’s tough being back in my old stomping ground in some respects, because it’s so easy to slip back into old habits, such as take away on the way home.  I’m going to really try not to let that happen again.  My self-control is definitely getting stronger, but it’s still not great.  I think planning meals out will help me stay on track and not get lazy or let my cravings get the better of me.

Although my weight hasn’t changed dramatically on the scales, I definitely feel like I’ve lost weight around my tummy.  It looks smaller in the mirror.  I’m grateful I can see some changes, because I’m a month in and feeling very deflated that my weight isn’t dropping.  I know I’ve had a rough couple of weeks with my diet but I didn’t think it was that bad, save for a few meals scattered throughout.

I haven’t been going on my walks.  My foot isn’t getting any better and I don’t know what to do about it.  Wearing a brace doesn’t seem to help, wearing supportive shoes isn’t helping, resting it doesn’t change anything and exercise makes it worse.  I don’t know whether to just ignore the pain and go out anyway (and risk making it worse), or continue avoiding exercise and risk gaining weight.  Part of me wants to go out and exercise (especially for the dog’s sake) but I’m terrified of doing more damage as I don’t know what I’ll do if I can’t stand.  I can’t risk anything that will affect my job.  It’s just so annoying it isn’t getting any better!

It was payday today, my first one at my new job.  I’m super happy as it looks like my hourly rate is higher than my old job – I only worked for two-thirds of a payrun and my pay was only slightly lower than a full cycle at my previous work.  So good!  I need all the extra money I can get as I’m building a house at the moment and I know little things are going to crop up as it happens.  Super excited for it to be done though, I hate renting.  Such a waste of money and you don’t have the freedom to do what you want either.  Unfortunately the land settlement keeps getting pushed further and further back so who knows when the construction will actually start.

I’ve got three days left of the week and I’m already hanging for Saturday so I can nap.  I feel like it doesn’t matter how much I sleep, it’s never enough.  I don’t know why I feel so drained…the job isn’t hard or anything majorly different to what I’ve done for what feels like forever, but I’m more tired every evening than I can remember being in a long time.  I guess it’s just a big adjustment coming from three months of relaxation and unemployment…and it’s stressful being in a new environment surrounded by people and systems you don’t know very well.  I’m sure after a few weeks I’ll get used to everything and maybe I won’t feel so wrecked.  Until then, I’m going to savour my weekends and catch as many z’s as a I can.

-JD