What doesn't kill me makes me stronger.

Archive for the category “2012-2013”

Submitting Writing

As usual, one of my projects for this year has been about writing more. (Not that you’d know it from D4D of late, but that’s different, more about having time than anything else)

Anyway, I’m doing more along the way, but also trying to send it out into the world, so I’ve submitted bits to a couple of competitions recently.

Nothing major, and if I’m honest I don’t expect anything to come of them. But at least I’m writing, and making the effort.

Stone Down

In other news, I’ve now lost a stone in weight this year.

That puts me on a weirdly OCD number (ending with two zeroes) although still at the high-end of “Functioning fat fucker”, with a way to go.

I’m happy with the progress though. I’d like it to be quicker (wouldn’t we all?) but at least it’s progress.

Slow Progress

This year, as I’ve said before (and on many occasions) I’ve been working at getting more exercise, with an aim of losing some weight, improving health, and all that standard crap. At the same time I’ve been keeping track of food intake and so on, which has been interesting rather than overly useful.

I’ve been doing fairly well for a start- I’m tending to average walking about 3-4 miles a day, including at least a mile round the village every day. I started off just making sure I did it even on days when I wasn’t in the mood, or when the weather was vile (and lord knows we’ve had plenty of those so far this year) so that I could establish it as routine, and thus have even less excuse when the weather was good.

It’s slow-going though – which I’m not happy about. I’m eating less than the ‘recommended’ calorie count, and I’m doing more exercise. But weight has stayed fairly stable.  As it is, I’ve lost half a stone this year – which is better than it could be, but it’s still hard to monitor when it takes so sodding long.

This week has been different, because of stuffing my back last weekend (which is improving, but still insanely sore in the morning) I made the decision to lay off the walking etc. as much. It’s about halved from the usual, and I’ll actually be glad to get back to it.

Anyway, there’s been progress, it’s just been ridiculously slow. Next step, once I’m back to not hurting (pardon the pun) will be to get back on my bike again and do more work on that score as well. Maybe that’ll help things progress. We’ll see.


Fitbit Flex – Taking Steps

It’s now been a couple of months since I got the Fitbit Flex, and it’s been pretty interesting.  I didn’t buy it to boost my fitness, or any of that other rot – I just wanted to see how much I do walk on any given day, keep track of it, and also to look at how I sleep. (which I’ve written about before)

The sleep monitoring is quite useful – although I do wonder about how it affects me subliminally. (of which more later in the week)

For the walking / pedometer, it shows I’m currently walking about 3 miles a day. Not brilliant – but equally, not at all bad. I started this year with the intention of getting out and walking more, and getting into a routine of doing so. (This actually started back in November-ish, but has been more fixed since January) I try to make sure I walk around the village (a decent mile loop) most days – although I still sometimes fail to do so when the weather is truly vile – as well as walking more when I go to the local cinema etc.

The Flex helps me keep track of that, and it’s been useful. There is a certain satisfaction when it buzzes away on my wrist, letting me know that the daily target (currently set at 5,000 steps a day, approx 2.5 miles) has been achieved. And weirdly it does get into your head – I find myself thinking “Oh, well if I park there, it’s a longer distance to get to the shop/cinema/whatever, I’ll be closer to that target” and similar.

If nothing else, it’s a useful tool for just keeping track of exercise through the days and weeks – but also as a minor kick-up-the-arse for actually getting out and walking more.

Year End

Here we are, at the end of 2013. It’s been an eventful old year, what with one thing and another.

In no particular order – and probably leaving out a load of lesser stuff – my 2013 has consisted of…

  • Having Mondeo kill itself in the outside lane of the M1 – always an interesting experience
  • Renting a Renault Megane for two weeks – the shittest car it’s ever been my displeasure to drive
  • Buying the Saab as a replacement for Mondeo, and it’s done well so far.  Handing back the Megane was also an absolute joy
  • Countless meetings all over the country
  • Completing my bankruptcy period – it stays on the record for four more years, but it’s discharged now
  • Being made redundant from the job I started the year with
  • Going back to contracting and
    • getting the first job I applied for – indeed, they offered it to me at the interview, and wanted me to start immediately
    • And the second – although it turned out to be shit
    • And indeed the third – on that one they offered after phone interview, without even meeting me
  • Forming my new company, which will start trading from mid-January
  • Sorting out an ISA savings account – which actually has some money in it!
  • Continued writing, and getting some ideas out onto keyboard/paper – time will tell how successful that stays
  • Been able to purchase some stuff I didn’t have in the new house – like a proper bed-frame, etc.
  • Caught up with friends, some of whom I hadn’t seen in far too long
  • Attended two weddings – and another one’s already booked for 2014

All told, it’s been pretty busy, somewhat hectic, highly changeable, and not a bad year at all. Sure, things could have been better/smoother, but when all things are considered, I’d say it’s been a positive year.

The Last Year

Since this time last year, my plans were simple – well, the main goals were, anyway.

The plans, laid out on my last birthday were

  1. Weigh Less
  2. Write More

With those simple plans, I actually did OK over the last twelve months – and got a lot more stuff done besides.

For weighing less, I’ve lost just over a stone in the last year. Could be better, could be worse. I’ve monitored my food intake etc. over the year, and kept track of health/exercise/etc., but it’s not been as good as I wanted it to be either. Something to be continued with over the next year, anyway.

For writing more, that’s kind of worked and kind of hasn’t – it depends on what you class as ‘writing’. I’m writing more on D4D, and I’ve written some other pieces along the way (or at least started them, although I’ve also locked up on a couple when they’ve not worked out) so again, successful, but could do more.

I do feel that this last year has laid a lot of groundwork for the next year – I’m getting back into the swing of things, building up my own plans and routine, and generally feeling a lot more prepared for the coming year than I did this time last year.

Having Time

With the job change, I’ve just regained about 2½ hours a day. My commute has gone from 45-50 minutes each way to 20-25, which gives me the best part of an hour straight away.  However, I was getting to Cambridge 45-60 minutes early, and leaving 45 minutes late in order to avoid the really slow/shit traffic on the dire sections of road.  So that’s another 90-105 mins regained too.

With that time, my primary aim is to get back into doing something healthier, the cycling, maybe some workout stuff as well. That’s the plan, anyway.

However, despite the new workplace being a lot closer, I’m not planning to aim (yet) for cycling to work and back. Even the shortest route is a ten-mile journey, and some of the roads are pretty dodgy.  I might explore a bit, see how things, go, but for now that’s firmly in the “see what happens” side of the list.

When all’s said and done, I’m just glad to have the time back, alongside having a better contract that’s making me happier too. I don’t mind idiot commutes (as regular readers know anyway) when it’s a job I’m enjoying, and when I’m happier with how work is coming along. When it’s a shit job though, the crap commute just exacerbates everything, makes me even less happy, knowing that I’m wasting even more time, that the entire thing is just a faff, and one I can’t be arsed with. It also turns out that when I’m down about my work, it also has a lot of knock-on effects on other bits of my life, as well as my self-image/ego/whatever, which I plan to write more about for tomorrow.

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