Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Still Going

Positive Monday was followed by Steady Tuesday. Sensible eating and a nice stretchy Balance class after work.

So why do I currently feel bigger and none of my formal dresses fit??????? Argh!!!!

Sorry - that was last minute angst over dress choices for a wedding tomorrow evening.

2 days of healthy eating do not a miracle make, but I have been doing the right things, so there's no point getting in a huff about it. Plus, trying on dresses straight after dinner is probably not ideal timing.

Dress selected, gym kit unpacked and slung in the washing basket - time to get some quality shut-eye.





And stop being so bloody impatient!!!

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Monday, 29 July 2013

Positive Mondays

One thing with knowing I'm going to be going away this winter is that I have come to several conclusions about how I want to be when I go. I want to be fit and healthy. I want to be comfortable. I want to feel good in myself. And in my clothes. I want to feel confident.

In other words, I want to be happy with my weight.

I would like to be where I was the last time I went skiing, or close to there anywhere, as I felt great there. My existing ski gear fit well, and it would be easier getting the other stuff I need, as I'll have more choice. I felt more balanced and energetic ... which meant I was better at throwing myself down slopes and pushing myself. And I was happy and confident - not that I'm not a happy, confident person now, but I felt GOOD.

The excellent news is that I have time to make my best effort and put my best foot forward before I go. And having had a relaxed, thoughtful weekend I was feeling very positive about putting that food forward starting this morning.

I've eaten well today, and hit the gym after work to try out my trainer's latest program. I feel positive - today can be the last day I'm at this point in my healthiness journey - I can feel better by tomorrow and every day after.

I know that nothing's ever easy, but a little work never hurt anyone, right? And a little motivation and positivity go a long way.






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Sunday, 28 July 2013

Full Of The Joys Of ... Summer

It's amazing what a good night's sleep does for you. This morning I feel full of beans and happy and energetic.

Started the day right with a slice of fresh watermelon, followed by some raspberries and full fat Greek yoghurt with coconut. Delish.

Off to see my daddy now as a friend is heading to the same town and kindly giving me a lift.

Happy Sunday!


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Lazy Saturdays

The best kind of day in my opinion: the longed for day off. A day of total peace and aimlessness.

A lie-in, a lengthy shower and time to put myself together in casual clothes and potter in front of the dressing table mirror. Delicious home made soup, bread and butter in my local coffee shop, followed by raspberry flapjack. Hours spent reading with my feet tucked up on the table rail, and browsing the Internet for Winter kit (I probably can't really afford yet).

Running through the rain to the supermarket to buy actual food for my sadly empty fridge. Dinner, chat to flatmates, bed.

Heaven is carving time out of an over-packed schedule, just for yourself.

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Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Working It Out

Wow - even with the temperature cooling down a little after that MEGA thunder storm on Monday night it's still overly hot and humid. I must drink more water to stop my head banging, which I suspect is purely down to dehydration.

Hetty kindly asked after what I'd be doing whilst in France this season .... which is to say what work I'll (supposedly) be fitting in between skiing, eating yummy French food and, possibly, drinking. The truth is that, fingers crossed all the paperwork comes through ok and nothing changes, I have totally landed on my feet.

Being that I'm barely domesticated myself, the thought of me looking after an entire chalet of guests is laughable - they'd be foraging for themselves by the second week. So with chalet hosting out of the equation as an option, I looked at what the other possibilities were. Repping was one - but I wouldn't be able to promise I wouldn't swear at the guests or hit a child over the head out of sheer frustration some days. So I looked at behind the scenes roles.

My original plan was to see if I could apply my existing skill set (such as it is) to something season-y, and I've landed a beaut of a job. I'd found out that a few companies have finance staff in resort to keep things ticking over, and by chance I stumbled across an old job advert from a couple of years ago for a finance administrator role that sounded perfect. I didn't see it in the current years listings though, so set about researching to apply for an assistant resort manager role instead. Then just as I was about to apply, up popped the finance role on the job site I was looking on - they were recruiting it after all!

One application later, I had a phone interview lined up with France. That led to an interview in London and a job offer a week later. I never did do any other applications!

So I'll be spending this winter putting together the chalet accounts for my resort with the records my hosts give me, accounting for the reps' sales for the week, organising lift passes and ski school for the guests once the orders are taken on transfer day and banking the cash, and helping out a bit with transfer day itself and maybe some apr├Ęs ski for the guests.

The perks are looking pretty good - because there's no office in resort I work from my staff accommodation - i.e. my bed. In my pj's. Because my flat is accommodation is essentially my office, I'll be sharing the managers' flat with one or two other people and I'll have my own room - no shared dorms or bunk beds for me. I'm assuming they'll have to provide wireless, a laptop and possibly a phone as well. I'll also get my return travel, food, lift pass, equipment hire and winter insurance thrown in.

I have no set hours, so as long as I meet my weekly deadlines, when I work is up to me. I'm told that once I've beaten my hosts and reps into submission and established a routine, I get quite a bloody lot of free time (although the first couple of months might be quite hectic - which is fine because my ski legs will be useless and the snow potentially not that great to start off). With all that, who cares if I get the same crap wages as all the other seasonnaires. All I need is beer money!

I'm under no illusion that it's not going to be hard work and that sometimes I'll wonder what the hell I'm doing, but given my current job and lifestyle, I'm hoping that this will basically be my usual job with less stress and politics and much better scenery. And potentially more sleep. Ironically.

Talking of real life, I met up with my trainer again on Monday. A whole new set of weights and strength exercises, all focused on my core (and some ski fitness too) and interval cardio training to round it out. She's good but evil - I hurt in some unexpected places this morning!

Last night was tapas night with the girls - home-cooked potatas bravas, paella and lots of nibbles. Cava and sangria to drink ... and banoffee pie to finish. All delicious, but I felt horrible afterwards. It was far too much rich food, so I'm detoxing today and have stuck to minimal portions of basic food - watermelon, some noodles and chicken and sweet potato for dinner.

And apparently, not enough water.


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Saturday, 20 July 2013

Destination: La Plagne

Whoooooop!!!  I now have a destination to look forward to this winter: following a phone call from France on Friday afternoon, it's looking likely I'll be based in La Plagne for 5 months of skiing snowy goodness!!

Raaaaaaah!







Since La Plagne is made up of around 10 different villages, I don't exactly know which bit I'll be based in, but imagine (hope) I'll be fairly cental. 

This is excellent news, as it means I have the full run of the whole Paradiski area over my time there (my kindly employers provide a full area ski pass as part of my package), so hopefully I might even come back a better skiier than I arrived!

Either way, I suspect I'll have this expression on my face for most of it:





Funny enough that was taken in the La Plagne area too - just over the mountain in Montchavin in 2010.

Anyway - enough of snow-related things - it's definitely summer still here!  Heat is still killing my appetite (although I seem determined to fight it lol), and I'm a few lbs lighter than I was.  Sadly, it's also killing my will to move at all .... ahem .... I'm a little lazy right now.

Time to get off my lazy ass now though, don my lovely new silky loose shorts from French Connection, some sandals and a bit of warpaint and head out to toast a friend's exit to Australia for 2 years.  Oh, the things we must do in the name of friendship!

Hope you're having lovely relaxed weekends!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Heating Up

Wow, is this weather scorching at the moment!! (Yes, I know, how terribly British of me to commentate on the weather.) I would love it lot more if I had more time to enjoy it, but work is taking up an inordinate amount of my time at the moment, resulting in my finishing on the wrong side of the divide between and 9 and 10pm last night. Boooooo. Sadly, it looks like it's only going to keep going like this for a good while longer yet.

In between that glumness though, I'm finding a little time to appreciate the finer points of the British summer. Sunday night was a lovely relaxed BBQ with some friends, which was a welcome chance to cool down outside, as we have no outdoor space with our own flat. It was a glorious veggie feast followed by a bit of retro Viennetta - how 90's! There may also have been a few rum and gingers.

Tonight, I resolutely left work (nearly) on time to hit up some yoga - the added heat is definitely a boost there as I found myself gloriously deep into some of the stretches and feeling surprisingly strong. And sweaty. But most of all, calm and energised afterwards.

I love the heat for another good reason too: it suppresses my appetite and leaves me gulping back water and fluids like there's no tomorrow - maybe I'll even be a little lighter when it finally cools off!!

How do you cope with the heat? Or what's your favourite aspect of the summer?


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Sunday, 14 July 2013

Lazing

Today I shall mostly be lazing around and enjoying the fact it's a lovely sunny day and I am, for once, NOT BLOODY WORKING.

Wow, these 6 working day weeks are fun!!!

I may even find time to throw a few more things out in the effort to continue The Great Declutter, since I will have to box my life up for around 6 months this winter!

Or I may lie on my bed and read all day.

Undecided.

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Saturday, 13 July 2013

Forgetful

I've been working recently on trying to only eat when I'm hungry, which I find easier when the weather's hot and I can lose myself in what I'm doing and forget to eat.

Some days it goes the other way though - working in the office on a Saturday and distracted, I wandered round the neighbouring Foodies Festival at lunchtime, pondering what to eat and thinking I wasn't very hungry. I eventually settled on a burrito, but gave up about half way down as I just wasn't hungry.

It only occurred to me after I'd thrown the remainder away that the reason I wasn't hungry .... I only had breakfast 1.5 hours ago.

Doh!!!

Just not with it today at all.

On the upside, I had intended to buy some homemade fudge to take home, but in the heat I was too lethargic and uninterested to bother.


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Thursday, 11 July 2013

News!!!

So it's not quite official, but I would say it's about 80% there:

THIS WINTER I SHALL BE DOING AN AWFUL LOT OF THIS:




AND SOME OF THIS:




WHICH WILL KNOW DOUBT END LIKE THIS OCCASIONALLY:




AND ALL IN THE GLORIOUS SURROUNDINGS OF THESE:




Oh. My. Effing. God.

I've really gone and done it this time!!

I've only gone and got myself a ski season job and a sabbatical from work. I'm going to be living in France!!! For 5 and a half whole months!! In a ski resort!!!!!!

HOLY. SHIT.

At the moment I have informal offers for both, and I'm just waiting for the official paperwork from the ski company so I can wrap everything up and sign on dotted lines. I'm half terrified to do it, and half terrified it will all fall apart, having got this far.

It's kind of liberating to have taken a step this big though! Fingers crossed it all works out!

Laters, party people / skiing gods!!

(Just to clarify - none of the pics above are mine, or of me - they're just an insight into how I'm hoping even a tiny bit of my season will go!)

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Sunday, 7 July 2013

6 Questions

I've borrowed this from the wonderful Sas' website, because after reading her own post, the questions rang very true with me. I'm a little later than the solstice, but it's still very much the midpoint of the year, and that's good enough for me.

One: Did you have a word for this year? How has it manifested itself? If you didn’t have a word, what is the theme that has played out in your life so far this year?
Two: What are you most proud of?
Three: What have you chosen to let go of?
Four: What has been your greatest joy or surprise?
Five: What book, movie, exhibition, tv programme, play, concert, article, photograph, or website has been your favourite find?
Six: What three things do you want for yourself by the next Solstice – 21st December 2013?

*******

One: Did you have a word for this year? How has it manifested itself? If you didn’t have a word, what is the theme that has played out in your life so far this year?

If I had any word for this year, it would be "challenge". And I really feel like I have. I've travelled alone for the first time in my life this year. In Africa no less. For a month. That was certainly challenging, and I genuinely feel like I was a better person for it. As a result of that, I came back and took on all sorts of other challenges - I got on stage and sung in front of 100's of people, I've started learning a language again and another instrument. And I've pushed myself way, way outside my comfort zone with the next adventure I've got planned - even planning and making it happen scared me; the execution is certainly going to be challenging.

Two: What are you most proud of?

Facing the fear and doing it anyway. You hear that sentence all the time, but I really have done it this year and it feels good .... when the fear has passed. In terms of real life experiences, being able to participate in running a free medical clinic for an incredibly worthwhile and deserving community and school in Kenya was the kind of event that left me with a real lump in my throat. As indeed, did the entire week working at the school - beautiful, wonderful people.

Three: What have you chosen to let go of?

Other people's expectations for me. You can't live your life for anyone else, and you're a fool to try. When you stop trying to please everyone else, and focus on what you want, the magic starts to happen.

Four: What has been your greatest joy or surprise?

I'm not going to lie - walking with lions, stroking them and admiring their sheer elegance and majesty was quite simply joyous and awe-inspiring.

Five: What book, movie, exhibition, tv programme, play, concert, article, photograph, or website has been your favourite find?

Life of Pi (the book) was beautiful, Of Monsters and Men were wonderful at Glastonbury last week, keeping the crowd dancing and singing for the whole set, Made In Chelsea is a new guilty pleasure with my flatmates, and I'm haunting the website http://secretsofaseasonaire.com/.

Six: What three things do you want for yourself by the next Solstice – 21st December 2013?

I want to continue to work on my relationship with food, with my health and to be much more injury-free and strong by end of the year. I want to be more at peace with myself. And I want to be in France - living the challenge and biggest adventure of my life so far.

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