Wow - it's all go round here! I've been meaning to jump on here for days to chat, but somehow it's the 6th of January already. I have a feeling this year is going to pass in a flash!
First, since last time I checked this was a diet and health blog, let's talk about that. By the time I managed to get near a scale again on my return to Bristol, my final check in after Christmas saw me back at 13st 1.2lb. I wasn't entirely surprised as I didn't eat spectacularly well over New Year, so a few lbs on was expected. So, in keeping with New Year's Resolution No.2 (keep healthy eating - maintain the weightloss or lose some more), I thought now would be a good time to start tracking my eating again - I started again on Wednesday, and the scales this morning show me at 13st 0.8lbs - not a big move, but in the right direction.
I'm just going to keep my weightloss goals to a lb at a time at the moment, and I plan to do this by eating moderately and consciously, and moving. I know - revolutionary, isn't it?
The moving part is coming from my HM training, which is now into it's 3rd week. At least that's got pretty much all my "moving" requirements covered for the next 9 weeks or so! Which come to think of it, was probably at least half of the idea when I signed up to the damn thing. This week has seen a 45 min run of epically windy and rainy proportions on Tuesday, and a faster 30 min blast round the harbour last night. I've been enjoying testing out my new winter running kit, which is proving great so far (more on that in a different post I think), and the runs in themselves have felt pretty easy - my breathing's been good and my legs have felt pretty strong. I had a bit of an ache in my foot last night, but I suspect my legs / muscles were just a bit tired from the longer run the night before. My pace is slow at the moment, but seems to be slowly increasing.
One thing I find hard about the training plan is trying not to panic about the long runs to come. I have to remind myself though that the runs so far have been ok, and they've been slowly increasing in length. The last 3 in particular have felt strong, and this weekend's long run is only an extra 10 mins on the longest so far. It's just taking it one run at a time.
Talking about healthy outdoor pursuits - I've finally bought a surfboard! It took me quite a while to find what I was looking for, in the right condition and at a price I was willing to pay, but I found one, and hopefully (cross your fingers), I'll be going to pick it up this weekend. Unfortunately, it's all the way over in Colchester in Essex, so I'll be using my precious day off this weekend to drive right across the country - yay.
I feel a little guilty that I'll be spending my whole day driving, as that eats into the only day this week that I could have seen Chris. On the other hand, he surfs too so I'm sure he'll understand. It's still going well (I think!) - I managed to catch 24 hours with him on New Years Day and over the Bank Holiday, although we were both so shattered (he'd just got back from snowboarding that day, and I'd just got back from London) that we pretty much spent most of that time sleeping or vegetating on the sofa. We headed down the coast for a bit on Monday, planning to go for a walk on Exmoor, but the weather was so miserable, that we ended up having fish and chips in the car on the sea-front at Ilfracombe (cue lots of jokes about us being a proper old couple) and then went for a short walk at Lynmouth up towards Watersmeet only to have it go dark and then get soaked in a sudden downpour. Better than nothing though!
As for my final New Year's Resolution - No. 1 (make some serious headway on my debt and learn to live within my budget) - I seem to be doing ok so far this month. I'm keeping a close eye on my expenditure, and should be on budget this month, as long as I'm sensible the next 2 weeks. I made an extra payment on to my debts in December, and will be able to do the same again this month. Last year turned out to be a year of standing still money-wise. My debts didn't get any worse really, but neither did they get any better - all that money on interest and I still hadn't done much with the balances. These two extra payments should put me ahead of that neutral position and on the beginning of the road to paying them off.
One of the hardest decisions I had to make last year, was to give up my lovely warehouse flat and move to a houseshare. It was the easiest way for me to cut my living costs drastically and allow me to get on with my debts. It was hard because I felt like I was taking a giant step backwards with my life, but it was the only thing that would allow me to move forwards. It then led to all manner of stress and heartache as flatshares fell through and I found myself, technically speaking, homeless for a while. Of course, I was never actually homeless, as my friends would never have let that happen, but it wasn't a great period. Finally though, the new house is coming together. After nearly losing the second house I arranged, twice, (problems with the tenants moving out because the chain on the house they were buying kept falling through), it's all finally going ahead, and I have a moving in date of 7 Feb. In the meantime, I'm still staying with Hannah and Cassie.
Moving house has allowed me to completely restructure my budget to something that I can actually afford to live on, and will allow me to make over-payments to my debts every month, and that is something that feels great. It's very satisfying watching the balances descend, and being the geeky accountant that I am, I totally have a spreadsheet with all my budget and forecasts in :o) The main thing though, is that money put to my debts is completely guilt free - I have to remember that when I pine for a holiday that I can't really afford.
So that's life around here - bowling along at a cracking pace, but hopefully all into shiny new territory. I feel pretty positive at the moment, even if it is all a little hectic, especially with work being crazy!
I think Jo summed it up best - "well, look at you - it's the start of a New Year and you've got a new man, a new house and you're paying off your debts!".
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