Time to Change – Day Sixty-Four

First off, I know I’ve been away for awhile.  I could say I was too busy but that’s not really true.  Honestly, I just haven’t been in the mood to write.  It’s not writers block…I had plenty of stuff I could have written on, I just had no motivation to do it.  I wasn’t going to force myself to do it because I know that’s a surefire way to burn myself out all together and I really enjoy blogging generally, so I didn’t want to risk that.  I’ll try and write more this week!

Anyway, it’s been so long since I wrote that I feel like I don’t know where to start.  I left off getting ready for an upcoming wedding of one of my best friend’s sisters.  The wedding was really nice, outside in a Heritage Listed property in it’s fancy gardens.  The only issue I (and most people) had was that where we were sitting was in direct sunlight, so it was kind of uncomfortable squinting to see what was going on.  Oh, and there weren’t enough seats, which is kind of weird.  Both things that the venue would have been in charge of, I’d assume, so they probably should have known better and pre-planned to accomodate it.  The reception was held in the same venue but in a hall.  They used wooden Scrabble pieces to spell out people’s names (which was really cute) and had a little bag of custom lollies with their names and their wedding date on them.  The food was really nice too, though in typical Wedding fashion, was really small.  I had prawns as an entree (three of them), duck for main (one small leg) and creme brule for dessert (this was the biggest meal of the three, and the first time I’d had it.  It was nice).  I was worried the whole day I’d get a headache, as big outings like this generally trigger them (I have no idea why) and I’d forgotten to pack painkillers.  Right on cue at about dinner time, the first symptoms had started.  I think maybe my blood sugar was low, and the champagne wasn’t helping, because once I’d eaten dessert the headache went away pretty quickly.

It was awesome hanging out with two of my best friends, and we all looked so dressed up and mature.  Mature isn’t something we really pride ourselves on when we’re together though, so after dessert we headed off to the closest Pancake Parlour to eat a proper meal.  I love Pancake Parlour.  Sure, everything is full of sugar or fat but it tastes so amazing!  Plus, several of the shops are open 24/7, which has come in handy a couple of times in my life.  It was a great day, all in all, aside from the fact it was held on a Sunday night and I had work the next morning.  Surprisingly, despite going to bed hours later than usual, I pulled up okay.  Win!

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My favourite meal from Pancake Parlour – Chocolate Chip Pancakes!

Speaking of food, my diet once again flew out the window this week.  I started buying lunch again and while I could have found a lot more unhealthy options, the stuff I bought still wasn’t great.  I don’t even know why I started buying lunch, as I’d packed food.  It’s a slippery slope though, and once I started, I wound up doing it every day.  My diet over the weekend hasn’t been much better either.  At least my dinner’s (aside from last night) have all been Lite n Easy ones, so I didn’t go completely crazy.

My diet properly starts again tomorrow, to coincide with my starting work at my real store, after training up for over a month at a different one.  It was sad saying goodbye to everyone there, and they all had such nice things to say to me considering I’d only been there for a short time.  I even got flowers and a cake!  I doubt I’d have gotten that at my old job after five years.

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It’ll be really weird rocking up to a new store and team tomorrow.  I mean, I knew it was coming but I’ve gotten so used to the team at the other store.  I’ve met a handful of people from my real store but given how many staff are going to be working there, I feel like it’s going to take my a long time to meet everyone, and even longer to remember their names.

We aren’t opening officially until Tuesday week, so in the lead up to that we’re doing dress rehearsals and dry runs to get a feel for the store and make sure everything works correctly and flows like it should.  I’m glad they’ve included this (even though I initially laughed at it) because it means I’m not jumping directly from one store to the other and had to try to adjust straight away.  I had a bit of time to work out the differences (and there’s going to be a lot of them) and to settle into the new team.

As it’s in the city, I know my step count is automatically going to be higher than it has been while working in a shopping centre, so I’m just going to make sure I eat healthy and hopefully my diet will get back on track.  In preparation, I bought myself a lunchbox and a big glass water bottle.  While I’m sure the new store will have fridges and a water fountain (hell, they’re even giving us access to a free squishy machine in the back room!), I know if I rely on that stuff, I’ll be tempted to leave my lunch in the fridge and go buy food instead, and I’ll forget to drink water.  If I’m lugging it to and from work, I think I’ll be more inclined to eat it.

All weekend I’ve been rekindling my love for SimCity 4.  I know a lot of people think it’s terrible (and parts of it definitely are) but overall, once you get used to the interface, it’s fun and interesting and full of challenges.  I initially played it when it first came out, but got frustrated with their unreliable servers causing the game to drop out and not save sometimes hours worth of progress, and eventually gave up.  I briefly got back into it when the expansion pack was released but that didn’t last long either.  It had been so long since I played it, I initially struggled to remember where everything was (there are so many menus and buttons) and had to google where to find things.  Eventually though, it all came back to me and I started playing properly again.  The servers seem a lot better now (so it should, the game has been out for two years now!) but online isn’t as fun any more because it doesn’t have many active players.  Luckily that isn’t an imperative part of it so it was still fun.  So much so I lost about twelve hours (probably more) of my weekend to it.  That’s also another reason why I didn’t blog – I knew I should, but I just couldn’t switch off the game.  I found ways to make heaps of money so it was a lot of fun spending it all then trying to juggle the repercussions of it.

The other part of my weekend was spent watching YouTube tutorials on how to use my hair straightener to curl my hair.  It’s something I’ve been wanting to learn forever (as my family friend/hairdresser used to do it to my hair and I’d never managed to replicate it).  I had moderate success with it after watching the tutorials, though I’m still not great at it.  I’ll practice it a bit more as I think I want my hair done nicely for the store’s grand opening.  I’ve got a week and a bit to get it down pat!

I don’t think much else is new.  I’ll definitely update you on how tomorrow (and the rest of the week) goes, both with the new store and my diet! 🙂

Time to Change – Day Fifty-Six

Tonight I’m writing this as a redhead.  And it feels great!  I have a wedding to go to tomorrow and the original plan was that I’d go to a salon with my friend (who’s also coming to the wedding) and we’d get our hair done there.  Time got away from her though so that fell through.  I was a bit bummed as I’ve wanted to get my hair coloured for awhile and I finally had the money to do it.  A few years ago I’d always have my hair coloured (I’d been red, blonde, dark brown and even multicoloured for awhile) but then my friend stopped doing hair colouring (she was the one I’d aways go to because mates rates are the best) and so I stopped.

The wedding seemed like the perfect time to get back into it, so I decided that I’d just buy a box of hair colour instead.  I’ve only ever tried this once before, and although the results were okay in the end, it hurt like buggery when I put it on to the point where I had to wash it off early.  Luckily there weren’t any side affects and it stopped hurting after it washed out, but needless to say, I was a little nervous trying it again.  Although it was kind of a last minute decision, I still took the time to do a bit of research first.  I decided I’d try Revlon as all the reviews seemed good (a lot better than most of the others I’d looked up).  Anyway, I headed off to my local supermarket, feeling nervous but excited as well – I was finally gonna have red hair again!

I get to the isle full of boxes of hair dye.  I scan over them, expecting to see Revlon.  The supermarket app said they had them in store (I checked before I left).  After standing there awkwardly for a good couple of minutes, it became clear that they didn’t stock what I wanted.  Great, I cursed, now what?!  I got my phone out and frantically started googling the brands they did have.  I already knew L’Oreal was out as I’d read really bad things about it…which was annoying because literally half of all their hair dye stock was that brand.  After what felt like an eternity (not helped by the lack-of-reception) I decided I’d try Schwarzkopf as this seemed to have decent reviews too.  The box said for long hair, I’d probably need to use two kits, so I grabbed both and headed home.

I was super worried about the mess I was going to make, so I grabbed a towel and an old shirt and headed into my bathroom.  I reread the instructions several times, paranoid I’d make a mistake.  When it comes to hair (especially on the eve a of a wedding), you don’t want to mess it up.  I slowly worked through the steps, then started mixing the red goop through my hair.  It smelt unbearably awful, and made my eyes water.  Next time, I’ll probably try to set up a work station outside so there’s good ventilation.  I mixed in as much as I could, which turned out to be about one and a half packets.  That was probably accurate as one kit does up to shoulder length, and mine is only about an inch or two longer than that.  I then realized I’d forgotten to buy a shower cap at the shops – D’Oh! – so I decided to try using a plastic bag instead.  It kit of worked, although wasn’t tight enough to hold my hair in place, so I put a towel over that and it seemed to be okay (although I looked ridiculous!).

I was so worried the whole time my head was gonna heat up and start burning like it did last time, but it didn’t happen which was fantastic.  I only had a little tiny stinging sensation and I always get that, even when my friend used to do it.  After half an hour, it was time to wash it out.  I’ll admit, I didn’t read the instructions properly, although it didn’t really matter.  The kit comes with a tube of special conditioner, and if I’d have read that part of the help sheet, I would have known to leave the shower running after I’d finished washing the dye out.  It asked me to towel off my hair, then put the conditioner in it, then rinse it out again.  No harm done though.  I’m glad that was the worst mistake I made, because it means I did pretty well!

As my hair is prone to frizziness, I never use a hairdryer as a rule, as that is a surefire way to dry it out even more.  Because of this, it means I have to wait for it to dry naturally to see the full effect.  It’s almost there, and it’s looking pretty good.  My hair started out fairly dark, so I knew it was never going to turn out bright red like the box.  It’s now sort of a dark red, kind of purple, which is fine.  I’d have liked it brighter but this isn’t a terrible colour.  The main thing is, it appears like I got it pretty well covered and it isn’t patchy.  No wait, the real main thing is, I’m not allergic to it!  If I was, there’d be no wedding for me tomorrow.  Pretty happy considering what a potential disaster it could have been.

Anyway, I’ll rewind a little because I didn’t blog yesterday.  I had my last day of work for the week and had to work til 8pm, yuck.  That’s the latest I’ve worked since my previous job, and I can’t say I’ve missed it.  That being said, the time went pretty fast and I had some lovely customers so I ended Friday the 13th on a high.  I had my cheat meal for the week for dinner as there isn’t a freezer there for Lite N Easy (plus, I didn’t really want to eat that on a 30 minute break anyway), so I bought some greasy, delicious KFC instead.  If I’m gonna have a cheat meal, it may as well be something amazing!  I’d skipped lunch in the hope that all the extra calories wouldn’t be quite so bad…though let’s be honest, I probably ate two days worth in one go.

Today I ate pretty well to make up for it.  Light peanut butter on light wholegrain saladas (yes, they tasted about as interesting as they sound) for breakfast, I skipped lunch because I was out (I’ll go into that in a second), then had an early dinner of Lite N Easy Shepard’s Pie, and a couple of mini custard tarts for dessert.  For the day I only went over my calorie limit by 100, and that was because of the dessert.  Overall, an okay day.  The shepard’s pie was nice too, I’d definitely order that again.  Packed full of veggies so you can see you’re eating healthy food!

Okay, so the reason I skipped lunch was because my mum and grandma came over.  My grandma had surgery about two weeks ago (I mentioned previously she’d been diagnosed with uterine cancer).  She had a hysterectomy and seem to have gotten it all, so that’s all fine.  As I predicted prior to the operation, her memory is very fuzzy around it (she’s in the early stages of dementia and gets confused/forgets things a lot).  One second she’s with it completely, the next she’s repeating a question she’s literally just asked.  Normally, other than being an annoyance, it doesn’t really hurt anyone, but the issue is that about 80% of the time, she forgets she’s even had an operation.  She’s also had some complications so the doctor has put her on a strict diet while she recovers, and she can’t eat a lot of food groups.  Of course, she can’t remember that either, so my mum and uncle have taken turns to look after her.  It’s not easy as in some ways she’s like a naughty three year old, always getting into things or doing things she shouldn’t the second she’s alone.  She doesn’t mean to do it, she just forgets she’s not supposed to.  She needs to constantly be reminded not to lift things, to watch where she’s walking, to slow down.  She’s over the worst of it as it’s been a couple of weeks, but she’s definitely not out of the woods yet.

So they came over to my house this afternoon, and we went to the local display village to show grandma the builder I’m building my house with, and to walk through their display homes.  Mum’s idea, not mine, as firstly, the display homes generally look nothing like what I’ve picked, and secondly, grandma isn’t going to remember any of it anyway.  The first display home (as expected) looked nothing like the house I’ve chosen.  We weren’t even going to go into the second one as it was double storey and massive and even less likely to be like mine.  When we walked in we were pleasantly surprised – the flooring was exactly what I’d chosen (well, the majority anyway – it had laminate timber flooring in the colour I picked, the bathroom tiles were pretty much the same and the carpet was only slightly lighter) and the benchtops and kitchen cabinets were almost the same too.  It was really cool to see my design choices in real life, and even cooler that it was put into their biggest, flashiest display home.  Looks like I picked well!

After that we headed up to the estate where I’m building.  I haven’t been there in ages, but that’s because each time I did, there was always roadworks and traffic and although there were always big machines around, they didn’t seem to be doing very much in terms of progress.  I assumed it was probably going to be the same thing again.  The title date had already been pushed back three times, and I was expecting to see nothing again.  Instead, they’ve done heaps!  There’s actual roads now (albiet unsealed ones) and proper concrete roundabouts and gutters and even some driveways!  The lots weren’t marked out yet (which kind of sucked) but it was still so cool to finally see the estate taking shape, and having a rough idea of where I was going to be living soon.  It’s so exciting that it’s finally processing and soon enough, not everything is going to be in writing or drawings, it’ll be in real life!

Tomorrow I have a wedding to go to.  It’ll be interesting, mostly because I’ve only ever been to two other weddings before in my life and they were quite different from each other.  This is bound to be different again, though I’d expect it’ll be probably closer to the first one I went to.  I’m going with two of my closest friends so it’ll be a bit of fun.

Hope your weekend is just as exciting!

PS thinking of anyone involved directly and indirectly with the Paris terrorist attacks.  Stay strong.  They can hurt people but they can’t break spirits.

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 soh12119004_10153175685076570_739979882010388096_nThe Sydney Opera House and Melbourne Cricket Ground lit up for Paris, as many other landmarks around the globe were too.

“When the city of light goes dark, the rest of the world lights up for them.” #PrayForParis

Time to Change – Day Fifty-Four

Today I had training in the city.  Training I’d already done twice before.  Despite that, my day went okay.  I woke up extra early to finish cleaning in preparation for the inspection that was happening today while I was at work.  I then got ready and raced out the door to the bus stop.

The morning was a bit crazy, as I’d gone to the normal building we usually have training in, to find nobody there.  After asking another colleague who was already with the trainer where he was, it turns out they were in a different building up the road (the building, it turns out, where I had my original interview for the job all those weeks ago).  I wasn’t the only person who made that mistake…it seems like half group did.  By the time everyone finally found their way to the right address, the session was already 15 minutes behind.  What a mess.

Anyway, we had one of the trainers that I’d had through my induction and he’s really good (and kind of cute) so that was fun, despite the boring topics that I could practically recite in my sleep.  We had a lot of laughs and, best of all, got let out over an hour early.  I love love love getting out early as it means I’m not crammed into a peak hour train, and I get home quicker.  So much win!

I also got confirmation that I’m going to be at my temporary store for another week, which I’m really happy about as the manager there already told me if I was going to be with them, he was changing my roster to 9-5 every day, instead of the obscure late shifts I’d been given.  So happy!  I hate late shifts so this works out fantastically.  Plus, I’ve come to really like the team there so spending another week with them is going to be great.

My food for the day was pretty good.  After all the early morning cleaning, I ran out of time for breakfast so I grabbed a Boost Juice on the way to training.  I accidentally ordered a large one instead of small, but only managed to get through about half (which is why I wanted a small one in the first place!  Whoops).  I had banana bread for morning tea…probably my worst food choice of the day, but I think that makes today a good one.  I could have done a lot worse!  For lunch, I got dragged out to the local food court (I’d bought lunch but I didn’t want to carry it around with me).  I’ll admit, I was extremely tempted to buy fast food.  It all smelt so good!  But my colleague insisted we eat healthy (luckily) so we got yoghurt instead.  I also got a diet coke, but I couldn’t even manage to get through half the bottle.  I really am turning a corner!

During the afternoon, the guy who was supposed to inspect my house (and whom I’d been cleaning for the past three days for) told me that he’d forgotten to bring the spare keys and would I be home to let him in later?  I told him there’s no chance of that so he had to reschedule.  Urgh, seriously?!  You had one job!  Bring the keys!  Very irritating as now I’m gonna have to do a big vacuum and whatnot next Wednesday too.  Don’t get me wrong, I actually don’t mind vacuuming, but trying to get all the hair up is a big job…and by next week it’ll be like I never did it.  Living with a golden retriever basically means you live in a house constantly confetti’d with fur.  Especially if you don’t have time (or patience) to constantly stay on top of it.

After getting home, I was really craving junk again.  Fish and chips in particular.  This has always been one of my absolute favourite meal choices, so it was very hard to shake the craving.  I just tried to force it out of my mind, and decided I’d just make Lite n Easy Crumbed Fish instead.  It’s basically the boring, healthy version of fish and chips, but with a bucketload of veggies on the side.  This was probably one of the worst LnE meals I’ve had, though I guess that’s more because my mind was wanting me to tuck into greasy, salty fish and chips and it got bland fish and veggies instead.  Anything would seem bad when it’s put like that!

As I caught public transport, my step count finished up at over 7500, which is really good for me!  And on top of that, because I had a decent day, my calorie count was under my daily goal limit for the first time in a long while.  Hells yeah!

Today I also – finally – got my old blog posts back from MySpace, written back when I was 15-19, all 75 of them.  I’ve only had a chance to read through a few of them (they send it to you in a basic format so it’s absolutely littered with HTML code so it makes it difficult to decipher), but it bought back so many memories!  So many adventures, long-gone worries and friends I don’t speak to any more.  Also, so many cringeworthy things I told the world about back then.  I’ve got a couple I want to share with you, but that will have to wait.  It’s really late and I have work tomorrow.  Stay tuned though, they’ll be coming!
(Side note, if any of you used to post on MySpace, I’d recommend requesting for them back.  So good to have access to them now that the website doesn’t show them through profiles or support blogging any more!  Embarrassing or not, I hate knowing parts of me are gone.)

How was your day today?

-JD

Time to Change – Day Fifty-Three

Before I talk about my day, I just want to say a massive thank you to all the people that take the time to read this blog, comment, like and basically just show their support.  I’ve hit four big milestones all at once: 500 likes, 100 followers, 100 blog posts and 1000 views.  All within the last three days.  I know that doesn’t seem like much compared to other people’s blogs, but keep in mind I only started this three months ago.  I think that’s pretty awesome!  So thanks guys.  Your support means a lot to me!

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Anyway, today went better than yesterday in pretty much every way.  Although I struggled to get out of bed (the struggle seems to get worse every morning!), I managed to get into the car by 8, and thankfully the traffic was pretty good today, unlike yesterday where it was the worst it’s been in a couple of weeks.  I rocked up at 8.45, and despite being rostered to start at that time, I took the time to google ‘is it better to eat an unhealthy breakfast or none at all?’, the verdict being unhealthy trumps none.  So I took another five minutes to grab an apple and cinnamon muffin from the closest coffee shop, then headed into work.  As expected, nobody even noticed I was technically five minutes late (I put this down to the fact that I’m not on their roster so they just trust that I’m rocking up and leaving when I’m supposed to).  The day wasn’t crazy busy like yesterday, so I felt more relaxed and got everything done I needed to, plus I learnt a few things I hadn’t managed to touch on yet.  That always makes me feel like the day was worth it, as I know soon enough I’ll be chucked into the deep end when I start at my “real” store.

I ate healthy at lunch, aside from a Coke Zero.  I’ve only had two soft drinks in the past two weeks, and while I know they’re bad, I think me going almost cold turkey on them is pretty impressive.  Six months ago, I would have Diet Coke at least once a day, sometimes more.  While I never felt addicted, I know when I initially stopped, I began getting migraines a lot more frequently.  I guess I was kind of addicted.  Since starting this diet journey, I’ve cut back a lot and honestly, I don’t miss it much.  I mean, I still love the taste and occasionally I crave them (like today), but mostly drinking water or milk satisfies me and I don’t really think about it.  The only reason I really craved it today was because two people at work got bottles at lunch and I was staring at them while I was on break.  Like I’ve spoken about previously, advertising is a lot more powerful than I realized.  All it takes is for me to see a logo at the wrong time and I really struggle.  I’m definitely getting better at fighting it and breaking habits though.  Every day I’m feeling stronger and fighting it is becoming easier.

As I left work, I was thinking about the advertising thing again.  As I walked through the carpark to my car, I could smell take away.  It smelt exactly like McDonalds (though I’m pretty sure it was actually coming from the Red Rooster nearby) and all I wanted right then and there was McNuggets and fries.  As I’d just been thinking about the whole advertising thing as this happened, I knew exactly why I’d been struggling so much these past few weeks.  I’m sure subconsciously each night after work I was smelling that smell and my brain suddenly wanted nothing more than my favourite junk food.  That alone wouldn’t matter, however the drive home requires me to drive past my usual Maccas pitstop, and it’s extremely difficult for me to control myself.  Tonight though, I did.  Tonight, despite having wicked cravings, I refused to give into them.  I knew breaking the habit required me to overcome this pattern, and I knew it had to start now.  And you know what?  Once I drove past, it quickly left my mind.  Despite knowing that there are Maccas everywhere – including 3kms from my house – once I went past my usual store, I no longer craved it.  It is all about habits, and I am starting to break this one.  I was extremely happy with myself.  Diet, 1, Junk Food, 0 (not counting the Coke at lunch…if it’s an constellation, it’s zero calories?  I know, I know, it’s still terrible for you.  But gimme a break).

Once I got home, I had to decide which Lite n Easy meal I was going to make.  This is a tough choice for someone so indecisive!  I finally landed on the “tortilla stack”, mostly out of curiosity.  I mean, I knew what they were, but this was one of my riskier choices as Mexican food is full of so many things I’m not generally a fan of.  My mind wasn’t put at ease once I’d zapped it microwave and pulled it out.  There were three kinds of beans, and some green vegetables that I didn’t recognise.  The old me probably would have said “nope!” and make spaghetti instead.  The new me said “fuck it, let’s do this” and I didn’t regret it.  It was delicious!  The beans didn’t have much taste (even the chickpeas were okay and I usually detest the yellow devils) and the sauce/salsa was awesome.  Plus, I really felt like I was eating healthy food.  I mean, I know that’s the whole idea behind LnE, but I could see the beans and veggies.  Needless to say, after five meals so far, I’m extremely impressed with the quality of the food this program offers.  For microwave food, it’s actually really great, and the variety is second to none.  Living by myself, I’d alternate between about four different dishes and that’s it.  There are only so many options that don’t require a lot of cooking (that results in leftovers for days) or crappy microwave meals.  While I know LnE is slightly more expensive than making dinner at home (okay, a fair bit more), I’m okay with the price knowing it’s healthy, it’s quick, it tastes great and it’s convenient.  And no, I’m not sponsored by them.  I wish I was.  Then I’d get it for free and I’d love that.  No such luck though!

After dinner, I spent a whole hour cleaning the house.  That is a long time for me, but I was in a good headspace tonight so it actually felt kind of good.  I vacuumed, and was amazed (as usual) at the amount of dog hair I got up.  Retrievers sure know how to drop hair!  I also cleaned up the backyard, wiped down the windows, cleaned the benches, put away the dishes and took out the rubbish.  I’m so domesticated!

Ha, not really.  But the house is looking pretty damn good.  I think the inspection should go okay tomorrow.  If it doesn’t, I’m not too concerned.  They can’t do very much…nothing is actually damaged, and given that, I’m sure if they find anything I can fix it up.

I’m in the city tomorrow for training.  My third round of this.  I did a whole day on the topic three weeks ago at induction, a refresh last week and now I have another whole day on it.  I’m all for learning new things, but I think a third day on the same stuff is a little overkill.  Oh well, nothing much I can do about it.  At least I’ll know all the answers!

I probably should wrap it up here.  It’s getting late and I have a few more things I tidy up before I leave tomorrow…and because I’m in the city, I have to leave earlier than usual.  I feel a long day coming on.  At least my step count will be higher thanks to public transport!

Have a great day tomorrow 🙂

-JD

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 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 Forty-Five

I’m struggling.  I have officially hit the wall.  For me (maybe for everyone, I don’t know) there is always a point where all my good intentions and positive thoughts and motivation vanish.  Sometimes, it happens suddenly.  In this instance, it’s been more gradual, but it’s definitely happened, there’s no denying it.

About 90% of me wants to give up.  Being fat sucks but it’s all I know.  I’m not going to give up though.  I’m allowing myself some time to refocus, as if I don’t I feel like I won’t be able to properly get back on board, then I’m going to get right back into it again.  I need to.

I’m taking it a step further this time.  Since I can’t trust myself to make healthy choices after a long day at work (this has become extremely apparent), I’ve ordered Lite N Easy for the first time in my life.  My friends swear by it, and I think it will really help me, firstly because it’s calorie and portion controlled and also because I don’t have to cook it.  It’s dead easy.  A majority of my issues at dinnertime stem from the fact I really hate cooking.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, when I say I hate cooking, I don’t mean all the time.  If I’m relaxed or feeling creative, cooking is fantastic.  I hate cooking, however, when I’m tired and hungry and grumpy.  I hate it when it feels like a chore.  So I really think Lite N Easy will be good for me.  I’m really surprised about the meal choices too.  That was one of the reasons I’d never done it previously – I was worried they wouldn’t have stuff I like, being a fussy eater.  Instead, they have a huge selection and I feel a little spoilt for choice.  I really hope it tastes as good as it looks in the pictures and doesn’t turn out to be the standard cardboard flavours of frozen dinners.

But what about breakfast and lunch?  I hear you ask.  I did consider going all out and ordering those meals as well, but having a look through the options, there were some that I didn’t particularly like the sound of, and this program isn’t exactly cheap.  I guess there are more expensive options out there, but I didn’t want to spend big bucks on meals I wasn’t going to enjoy either.  I find that during the day – provided I pre-plan and bring food from home – I’m generally okay with my eating habits.  Even if I’m hungry, I’m working so I just have to suck it up.  My plan is to eat healthy for breakfast – either eggs, weetbix or fruit & yoghurt – and have fruit for lunch.  While probably not the most filling of meals, it’s healthy and easy.  As I’ll soon be doing the long public transport commutes to my new job, I know even if I’m hungry by the time work ends, I won’t have the luxury of a sneaky trip through a Drive-Thru any more, which is generally what happens currently.  Plus, I’ll be walking a lot more as part of the commute, so I think I’ll start losing weight again.

Aside from the new focus on dieting, nothing much has changed since my last post.   It’s a public holiday today, so I’m getting paid to sit around at home in comfy clothes and catch up on my writing, which is great.  I’ve got three days of training coming up, which generally I’d be dreading – and maybe I should be this time – but it sounds like it should be interesting.  It’s all about the expectations and operations of my new store, as it’s going to be big and new on a scale they’ve only attempted once before.  I love that I get to work in an environment that is all about embracing the future, and I see it as a great opportunity for experience and – hopefully – advancement.  Plus, having such a huge team means I’ll no doubt wind up meeting some cool new people!

I’m procrastinating going grocery shopping.  I’ve been putting it off since Saturday, and it’s crunch time as I’ve run out of dog food and need to go.  I’m trying to hold out until at least 7pm, as trying to find a carpark there on a weekend or public holiday during the day is crazy.  At least now I’ve ordered dinners for the next two weeks, my shopping trip should be pretty quick and easy!

Have any of you tried Lite N Easy (or other similar programs)?  Let me know what you think!

-JD