Time to Change – Day Fifty-Two

Today was my first working day of the week, so I suppose that pretty much sums up how it went.  No, but honestly, it was average.  Since my car playing up on Saturday, I’m paranoid every time I have to drive it.  I mean, I know the occasional stall is hardly worth getting stressed over, but like I discussed previously, I know nothing about cars, so when something goes wrong, my brain goes into meltdown and I panic.  I can feel my car isn’t running like it should, but because I’m the only person who drives it regularly, I’m sure anyone else would think it’s nothing (like my dad).  Plus, on top of that, it seems to be sporadic in when it happens.  Yesterday it ran okay, this morning on the way to work I could feel it threatening to stall and not going into gear properly, on the way home it was fine again.  Very frustrating, mainly because I feel like even if I took it to get looked at, they probably wouldn’t fix it.  Meanwhile I’m expecting it to break down at any moment.

So yeah, that’s how my morning went.  I woke up, rushed around getting ready because they wanted me at work extra early today because there were a lot of changes happening, I ran out of time for breakfast so ate a donut instead (it was my one splurge at the grocery store and I knew I shouldn’t have grabbed it.  At the time I promised myself I’d eat it appropriately and in moderation.  Yeah, right.), got stuck in peak hour traffic (worse than normal) and on top of that, expected the car to crap out at every intersection and round about.

Stress.

Once I got to work, I started to calm down a little.  Everyone was in good moods, I got a free hot chocolate and I started to relax.  The day got a bit better from there.  It was busy and hot in store – as always – and at times I felt like I couldn’t catch my breath between customers, but I didn’t get yelled at and I learnt some stuff I’d previously not even bothered trying, so I think that made the chaos more bearable.

I finished the day slightly earlier than everyone (I have a good roster for the first couple of days of the week!).  We were supposed to have a work meeting that night, and honestly, I wasn’t going to go.  Don’t get me wrong, I know they’re important and in my last job, I think I missed maybe two or three meetings in five years, including when I was casual.  When I was in management, I got really annoyed when people didn’t show up for them.  However, I made a promise to myself as I started this job that I wasn’t going to let it burn me out, I wasn’t going to get taken advantage of, and I wasn’t going to hang around if I wasn’t getting paid.  This fell into the latter.  I don’t mind hanging around without pay occasionally, or if I think it’s going to be very beneficial.  The reasons I had not to go were solid: this isn’t my home store, I wasn’t getting paid (my shift finished at 5:45, the meeting wasn’t due to start until 6 and would most likely run until 7:30, and I live 45 mins away), I could find out all the information I missed tomorrow (although I think I heard a large portion of it this morning anyway), we had a meeting a fortnight ago that I attended without pay, and I’m just a trainee.  I know I’m a very advanced, competent trainee, but I don’t have set targets and I still ask for help a lot.  All this lead me to the conclusion that it wasn’t worth over 3 hours of my time without pay.  That’s what it comes down to…although I may not have had plans, I need to start valuing my downtime more.  I never did at my old job and it consumed me.  And for what?  I was still continuously overlooked for promotions and treated poorly.  I’m not suggesting that will happen again at this job, but I just need to work smarter, instead of burning myself out.  If I was getting paid then I probably would have gone to it, but given my new store is paying me out of their hours, there was no way they’d cover me for a different store’s meeting, even if everyone at that store was getting paid (I’m not sure if they were or not).

I got home earlier than I normally would have, caught up on some of my recorded TV shows and had dinner – Lite n Easy Beef Tortellini.  Once again, a really nice meal, though probably not quite filling enough.  This is the first one I’ve felt that about.  That being said, I’ve been hungry all day.  It’s been one of those days, really.  I ate crap for breakfast, healthy for lunch, snacked on little chocolate bars that were up for grabs at work, then ate dinner and another donut (they’re all gone now, thankfully, so I can’t be tempted by them any more!).  I really didn’t do too well with my healthy eating today, but I’m trying not to let it bother me.  It’s a process, I have to keep reminding myself of that.  Some days are going to be bad and full of weakness, and some are going to be great.  It’s all about breaking habits, and it’s a gradual thing.  Some people might be able to go cold turkey, but I can’t.  As long as slowly, there are more good days replacing bad ones, then it’s working.  I’ll get there.  I just have to really focus on making each day better than the last, and making better choices.

After dinner, I had a long soak in the bath and caught up on everyone’s latest blog posts.  I love reading everyone’s updates and stories.  There’s so many talented people on here!

After I got out, I finally finished washing the rest of the dishes that had piled up, and I cleaned up the mess that had gathered on the dining table, mostly just stuff I’d neglected to put away.  When I sat down afterwards, I realized I was still hungry.  God, how is that even possible?  Still, I knew I needed to snack on something or it’d just get worse.  I decided to have Savoy crackers and lite peanut butter, and that seemed to do the trick (finally!).  I really like this snack, so I think I’m going to try to replace some potentially bad choices with this option in the future.

I’m back at work early tomorrow, but get to leave the same time again, which is awesome.  I’ve got my inspection Thursday, so I have to finish cleaning tomorrow night.  I think I’ve spread it out over the last few days well though, so all that’s left is vacuuming (there was no point doing it earlier than the night before as my dog sheds continuously), cleaning the sliding door window (again, no point doing it earlier as my dog jumps on it with dirty paws when I get home each day) and wiping down the stove and benches.  I also have to tidy up my room and bathroom but that can be done Thursday morning.  Otherwise, my house is pretty neat as it is, thanks to the work I’ve put in.  Like I’ve mentioned previously, I hate cleaning, so for me, this is quite an accomplishment.  Now I just have to try to keep it this neat!

I hope your day was as productive as mine 🙂

-JD

Time to Change – Day Five

Today was an okay day.  Not fantastic but I feel better than I did yesterday and the day before.  I have kept up on my healthy eating.  I know I’m not even a week into it, but for me to have lasted this long and only having one small hit of actual sugary goodness is pretty impressive.  Part of the reason (a large part, probably) that my previous attempts at dieting failed was because I’d reward myself with food.  It’d tell myself “hey, you ate well yesterday, it’s only one bad meal, it’s fine”…and I’d be right if for the whole rest of the week I kept eating healthy.  But no, the next day would come and I’d go out to lunch with a friend and say “well, I’m out to lunch, may as well enjoy it” and again, I would eat unhealthy.  The worst part was, I didn’t even think twice about it.  Oh sure, there was that annoying little voice in the back of my head squealing “you’re supposed to be dieting!” but over the years I’ve become accustomed to tuning it out.

Tying into that, I also used MyFitnessPal…wrong.  I’d track my meals and exercise (what little of that there was).  The thing with that app though, is that if you don’t eat all day then binge on Maccas for dinner, you can still stay under your calorie limit.  Obviously, that’s not what the app is aiming for and yeah, you don’t meet your protein needs by doing that, but it’s easy to tell yourself “the app says it’s fine!”.  I have also used Noom to track meals, and overall I believe it is a better app as it breaks foods down into “red, yellow and green” and tells you how much you can eat of each.  This actually taught me a lot about nutrition that MFP never could.  My main issue with that app (keeping in mind it may have had updates since I last used it) was that it didn’t link up to fitness trackers such as my Jawbone wristband, which I was using last time I tried dieting.  This was a major drawback as it was a real pain trying to correlate your step count with your diet manually.  This is why I’ve gone back to MFP – I have an Apple watch and it links up beautifully, taking into account my steps and working out an overall picture of how my day has gone.  This time around, though, I’m being careful not to cheat.  Just because the app allows for it, doesn’t mean it’s right!

Anyway, I digress.  What was I talking about again?  Oh right, rewarding myself with food treats.  This time around, that ain’t happening.  I’m not having “cheat meals”, which seem to be all the rage and part of every diet plan these days.  I’m not saying I’ll never eat unhealthy, because that’s ridiculous, but I’m making a rule that the only time I’m going to eat unhealthy is when I’m eating out.  Given I’m unemployed and my social life is hardly what anyone would consider raging at the best of times, I think this will work out okay.

I’m still feeling hungry most of the day but it’s considerably less so than yesterday. It’s there but it’s not in the forefront of my mind continuously like it was.  I’m also trying to snack more instead of having big meals, which is probably helping a little.  The cravings are still there, but it’s mostly when it’s bought to my attention – through ads on the TV (“what I wouldn’t give to have those Maccas chips in my hand right now”) and emails (“Oh, Dominos have a promotion, I’ll just have a quick look!”).  I never realized just how successful advertising was.  I mean, I knew it had some success over both me and the general public (otherwise they wouldn’t waste big bucks doing it), but I didn’t fully comprehend to what extend.  It really only takes an image of some of my favourite foods for my mind to jump from the healthy eating train to the junk food wagon.  Luckily, I haven’t let myself give in.  I can eat a pizza now and fall off the diet and stay fat forever, or I can push it out of my mind, snack on something healthy and stay on this journey.  I know which option I’ll be thanking myself later for, and it ain’t pizza.

I’ve been keeping up with exercising, taking the dog for a long walk each day.  Surprisingly, I’m already finding the walks easier each time.  I knew eventually they’d make me fitter, I just didn’t think I’d feel the change so quickly.  Each day I’m doing the track faster, and feeling less horrible at the end.  Another sign that everything I’m doing is working!

-JD

Time to Change – Day Four

Today was hard.  Not in the same sense as yesterday, which was where I felt exhausted and had a migraine…thankfully.  But the cravings started, which in some aspects, is worse.  Being tired and sore I can deal with, but cravings…those have always been my downfall.

It started off okay.  My usual eggs for breakfast, then off to a job interview.  On the way back I noticed I’d become hungry (a lot earlier than the past three days), but I tried to ignore it as it was still quite early.  The naughty thoughts started creeping in – “God what I wouldn’t give for a donut right now” (I don’t know what it is about donuts lately but I can’t get enough of them) – but it was easy enough to push away.  I came home and went on a 40 minute walk, refusing to believe I could actually be that hungry.  After I got back, I ate a healthy lunch, and for the moment it was fine.

By about 2pm, I was starving again, despite having a bigger lunch than the previous three days.  Again, I tried to ignore it, and got on with my day.  Another job interview.  I successfully ignored my hunger the whole way there and forgot about it during it.  On the way home the cravings came back with a vengeance – “I could just swing by Maccas, it’d be so easy!  Or I could pick up a pizza!” – and it took a lot of willpower not to do it, especially when I was stuck in peak hour traffic and my stomach was getting pretty annoyed at it’s lack of attention.

I ate dinner soon after I got home (about an hour ago now) and I’m hungry all over again.  I know this is just my body trying to adjust to not having stacks of calories and sugar, but man, it’s a horrible feeling to be perpetually hungry.  Especially when you’re trying your hardest to be good and not overeat!

I know this is just another step in the process and I’m not going to let it break me.  I just hope this doesn’t go on forever!

-JD