Monday, 13 June 2011

Lean Times

And so ends another pretty-much-on-track day.  Don't these posts get boring quickly?

My day got thrown a little out of whack mid-morning, as I'd forgotten I was giving blood at 10am, until I was walking to work this morning.  So at 10.10am, I was lying on the couch at work, with a needle in my arm, squeezing out a charitable pint for others.  Oddly, my donation took longer than normal today, and stopped altogether at one point, which is really unusual for me.  Then when they took the needle out, I'm not quite sure what happened, but I very quickly heard the words "errrr, I need another swab", so apparently my body decided that now was the time to catch up with the bleeding.  Tsk!

Anyhoo - donation done, but post-donation biscuits aren't really an option in our bloodmobile - you will have them with 2 cups of squash or you're not allowed to leave!  In my case, I got given extra biscuits on top of that - I don't know if I was looking particularly pale or something, but extra Custard Creams it was!  So that threw my plans a little for today.

As did my lunchtime workout.  Normally, I wouldn't plan a workout after a donation (as per their advice), but Monday is my Body Balance class, which is something I can easily knock back and take at an easier pace as required, and my back was feeling a little crunchy after Friday's uber-Circuits class, so I planned to head along, but be careful.  Except that, when I got there, I'd handed my gym card over to be swiped before I noticed that little sign on the desk say "Monday's Body Balance class has been cancelled due to a shortage on instructors and will now be Fitball with Sian".  Not that I have anything again Sian and her Fitball class, but I've been before and it is death so I figured it probably wasn't the best thing to attempt in my blood-deprived state. 

So please be proud of me, dear readers, I grumped my way back to my desk, ditched my gym bag, switched my heels for my trusty Birkenstocks, and took my ass out for a much-needed walk in the fresh air for the remainder of my lunchbreak.  30 mins walking is better than nothing, n'est pas?

Other than that, I've stocked up on meals for the rest of the week on the way home from work, planned my proposed exercise for the rest of the week (spin, running club, lunchtime run with Liz and circuits respectively), and I look to be nicely on track for the kind of week I generally aim for (and often miss):  a week when I only use half my activity points that I've earnt.  Whoopla!!

Other than that, I spent a bit of time today looking at my budget and recent expenditure, which is usually a fairly depressing subject for me.  I have managed to make a bit of progress on this, this year, but nowhere near as much as the £5k I wanted to pay off my debt by the end of the year.  It's all a bit tiresome, as for various reasons, it proving very hard to make any significant headway. 

I always knew this first bit, getting started, would be the worst, but it's still somewhat demoralising, as it's all a bit 2 steps forward 1 step back.  No sooner do I manage to scrape together enough to make a lump-sum payment, than I get hit with the winter's electricity bill, which wipes it out.  I just get my budget looking in better shape, and make enough repayments that my minimum payments fall below the threshold at which I can start affording to make (tiny) extra payments here and there, and the credit card company ups one of my minimum payments by £100 a month.  I find a way to transfer a big chunk of balance to a lower interest card I have and the credit card company screws up the balance transfer, over-charges me interest and reduces my credit limit by £6k, only to tell me that although it's a mistake they can't undo it.

It's enough to make me scream.  Or sometimes cry.  Occasionally, sitting in the corner and rocking looks like a good option too.  But I know that, like any diet, it'll never be as tough again as it is now, if I just keep working at it.  My salary will only go up.  My balances will (eventually) go down.  At some point I may be able to get a loan through work and transfer the debt to a lower interest rate.  There should be a bonus early next year from work.  And in November, my lease is up on my current rather expensive, albeit gorgeous and highly convenient, flat, and I'll have to option to move somewhere cheaper or share.  It's just a matter of hanging in there and doing what I can.

And what I can do is maybe start to make a few more tough decisions.  I've allowed myself too many meals out, and expensive drinking sessions, along with weekends away, recently.  It's the usual story, you start vigilant, have some sucess and then start to get complacent, and before you know it, the budget is humped and you've still got two weeks of the month left.  And the credit card which you stopped resorting to months ago, has suddenly got £400 extra on it.  So it's back to basics again, and I need to be a little more ruthless (tangent - I've always wondered this ... why can't you be ruthful, if you can be ruthless???  Anyone?). 

Back to less drinking.  Being more organised taking food to work.  And questioning the big plans for weekends.

I'm off to debate my leaner life - money and food both!

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