Anyone for Chocolate

So they say it takes 21 days to break a habit. I’m currently at day 21 of eating no chocolate so things are looking good.

I’ve always had a negative attitude with food starting from early childhood. And as an emotional eater chocolate has often played a large part in my life. When Im bored:chocolate, when I’m tired: chocolate, when it;s raining:chocolate…

I’ve tried to give up many times before during various diet attempts but usually going cold turkeymeans that I cave after just a week. I tried giving up for lent two years ago and I was doing ok until the Easter Eggs went on sale. The pure torture of seeing Percy Pig chocolate every time I went in M&S nearly did me in. By the time Easter Sunday around I had a small stock of chocolate and all the good work was undone in minutes.

But three weeks ago I was sat making my weekly food shopping list when the little voice in my head that says “Go on, eat the chocolate” (you know you have one too!) had a change of heart and said instead – there’s a fruit and nut bar in the fridge, when you’ve eaten it I think then we’re done.

And I ate it and I’m done. I’ve not touched any since. I’ve not craved it. I’ve had bad days when instead I’ve dealt with the issues without binge eating. Don’t get me wrong I’m still not a food saint. I had a week away and had a piece of cake every day (I also walked for miles so I think I earned it) not to mention some Haribos. I’m not sure though what has promoted the food shift, why suddenly it doesn’t matter and the cravings are gone. I wonder if it’s a subconsious thing. I’m working of simplifying my life so is my subconscious taking steps to help? Is that even possible. Or am I just bored of chocolate? Is THAT even possible????

Whatever it is I’m curious as to what happens next? Will my inner self decide it hates diet colas or even cake? I guess we’ll see.

Learning how to write

I’m just about to embark on my 4th (and possibly final if I decide to change paths next year) Open University module; this one will be creative writing. I’ve blogged before and it seems to go down well and I’ve had a go at creating short stories and poems but so far I’ve only shared those pieces with a handful of people. I feel like I’ve got ideas for a few longer novels or novellas but I’m looking forward to building up to writing those with this course.

Reading through the first chapter of the course book it asks people to get into the habit of writing, to try and find some time, perhaps half an hour, each day to write no matter what it is. I did do this for a while but have fallen out of the habit during my ‘Summer of Reading’. It also mentions to experiment with ways which will help get those creative juices flowing. For me I like noise. I like to have music on in the background. The previous three years I spent many pleasant Saturday mornings studying or writing essays whilst my sons radio played in the background. I also found that despite being a rock chick that some of the best studying and writing I have done is to classical and opera. After a recent trip away I’ve also found that guitar music can be quite relaxing helping to prepare the quiet mindset for writing. My goal tomorrow is to go to the local second hand stores to look for some new CDs to play in preparation

The where to write is less easy to pin point. I find I can write anywhere. Many of my blogs have been written whilst on public transport; buses to and from work, trains and the national express. I’ve written sat at the kitchen table, on the couch and even in bed. I’ve even managed to drown out the buzz of the office and get some sneaky short stories in when Ishould be working (shhh).

My inspiration so far has again been diverse. I like to use ideas taken from studying my family tree, I’ve used dreams before including a 4000 word alternative look at Noahs ark and ghosts (I have weird dreams!). Those are my biggest inspirations so far but I’m looking forward to seeing if I can develop more once I get into the course exercises. Maybe I’ll be brave and post some of the things I write. We’ll see 🙂

A little good news story – more universe giving back

I wrote the following post a few weeks ago and there has been a lovely update to add to it

I’ve been on leave from work for two weeks since I wrote the post. I’ve spent this week trying to get in touch with the girl mentioned and struggling. Today by sheer fluke she happened to be on my bus. I hadn’t spotted her (I see very little on a morning. I was not made for early starts!) and until she called me over.

– I’m on my way to work she shrieks.

How fantastic. Turns out she had done what we discussed, keeping her milestone birthday holiday in the back of her mind she went to open up her jobsearch a bit more and joined some agencies for the first time. One invited her  and registered her offering her 2 options to apply for – a job in Wakefield or one closer to home. She picked the one closer to home. On Friday they rang her and told her she didn’t need an interview, they were just going to offer her the job! And could she start Monday

Even better, as mentioned in the earlier post she had mainly been a customer service operative and wanted to move into admin but didn’t believe she had enough experience. The attempt at NLP had been to try and change her viewpoint to a more positive one. She arrived on Monday expecting to do a customer service role to be told it was actually an admin based job. I’ve just written a post about how if you if you think good thoughts, believe you deserve them and can do this then maybe the universe will respond in kind and here’s another story that back’s this theory up.

So now she has the opportunity to save for that holiday with her friends and I couldn’t be more pleased for her.

When the universe gives back and the positives roll in

I’ve been umm-ing and ahh-ing over my career for ages now. I know I don’t want to be a civil servant for much longer and I also know I want to work for myself but then I get stuck on what I’d do. I did entertain the idea of owning a tea shop and despite having quite a few discussions about it recently I think it’s still a pipe dream until I have savings. So what to do in the meantime and what am I good at? I thought about starting a bead and jewellry making business and while I enjoy making small pieces I’m not sure if I would have the patience to do it day in and day out. For now then it’s just a money making extra.

I’m good at helping people and I enjoy it. So I’ve been looking at life coaching courses or returning to the counselling path I had to give up. Whilst on holiday I saw a course that mixes counselling with holistic practices that looked just perfect but the only place in the country that does it is in The South-West – many hundreds of miles from my home. So then that left the question of what to do next. Thinking about it provided the most extraordinary events

– I wondered what to do about my house. Discussing the course and thoughts my friend, who is thinking of moving, offered to rent it should I move

– Out of curiosity I asked my senior manager how easy it was to transfer and she said it’s a matter of filling out a form and she would happily agree with whatever I said

– That just left funding the course and a move. And into my inbox pinged an email saying there is 2 months worth of overtime available starting now. But I work part time and need to work an extra 5 hours per week before I can get overtime rate. Up pops my senior manager again – Oh just do some bits on a friday for 5 hours & I’ll sign it off. You don;t even have to come into work, you can do admin and emails from home.

It’s like every obstacle I could think of is just melting away. It’s quite spooky.

As if that all wasn’t strange in itself on our holiday my friend and me were discussing the Ruby Wax book Sane New World and how we we would love to have seen her when she came through our county touring the book. Last night at an event we saw a poster advertising her tour and not only was she coming back our way but to our town and in 3 days time! So asking about tickets (as many of the events had sold out) someone had returned 2 tickets in prime seats just that day!

I feel at the minute that I may have picked up some lucky clover or something. But maybe it’s just if you think good thoughts, believe you deserve them and can do this then maybe the universe will respond in kind. In any case I’m buying a lottery ticket this weekend 🙂

Simplifying and downsizing life

I’ve spent a lot of time on my two weeks annual leave from work trying to decide how I want my future to go. I’m a big believer in that if you don;t like something you should change it but I have some big changes to work on and I think they need to be done in stages.

I’ve thought a few times about following a counselling career. My first attempt didn’t work as I wasn’t very strong at the time still not fully healed from my breakdown but by the time I start again (and I will) more than two years will have past. I’ve done a lotof work on myself in that time and am stronger than I have been in years.

I also want to simplify my life. I feel like I have too much junk, too much reliance on technology (although it’s fine in small doses) and am probably a bit too materialistic for my own good. I didn’t use to be like that and much of it is linked to coping mechanisms when depressed. I would shop to make myself feel better and spent too much time on the internet when the crippling anxiety meant I coudn’t face going out. My diet could do with an overhaul too. Lots of things and will be doing them in small doses.

Last week I spent 3 days in Glastonbury, enjoying the quiet and slower pace. It’s so noisy not just in Leeds but also my head. I find it easy to get overwhelmed with everything that is going on. I really want to get back to that purer simple way of living whether that is by making changes at home or by finally fixing my finances and moving to a more peaceful area. Over the last few years I think I’ve stopped being the big city girl and now just yearn for some clear air and a different way of life.

I started by having a huge clearout in my house. The lounge is now full of stuff ready for a car boot sale at the end of the month. I cleaned out my make up box and have thrown away a box full of old foundations, mascaras, 18 lip glosses and several eye liners. I’ve barely worn make up in the past few years yet even throwing all that out I still have more left than I’ll probably get through in a long time. It’s a tiny thing but one that signifies the big changes I want to make. Moving on from the old life to embrace the new one.

I’ve dug out all my loyalty shop cards. Not store credit cards but points ones and free items with so many stamps etc. The pile is over an inch high!!! That suggests an  inability to say no to shop assistants and again another way of sabotaging my progress. Its hard to pay off debts when you get caught in trying to increase your points on the cards. I need to go through them and reduce them.

So some small changes made already, preparing for bigger ones to come. I’m going to finish the latest Open University module then I will put the degree to one side as it’s not as important any more. The boot sale money and savings from not spending with loyalty cards will all go towards financing the counselling training I would rather do. I’m looking forward to an exciting journey x