365 Day Blog challenge Day 101 – February in Review #365daychallenge

Days without chocolate/sugary treats 59

Days without fizzy drinks 55

Days attempting exercise that isn’t walking 1 – Exactly the same as last month so major fail

Footsteps logged  233950 (up 11,840 and with 3 less days in the month)

Total weight lost 2lbs (Total lost 15lbs)


365 Day Blog challenge Day 100 – 100 Day Review #365daychallenge

Wow I’ve managed 100 blogs in a row. That’s quite the milestone and 100 days into my 365 daily blog challenge. I’ve been thinking about a review of the last 100 days and any changes I can spot. I spoke yesterday about a lot of them.
When I started I worried about what I’d be able to write and if I could keep it up. By focusing on me and the changes I want to see I’ve found the content comes easy. I was worried I’d have an over reliance on memes when I got stuck but I don’t think I’ve done that very often.
I’ve been able through daily writing to really look at my behaviours and see the changes I want to make and actually do them. I think there’s also a level of honesty in the blogs that wouldn’t be there if I had simply kept a journal. It’s easy to lie to yourself but less so when someone else is to read your notes whether that is 5 people or 5000. You never know who may have similar issues or looking for similar answers. So by lying you’d not just be fooling yourself but others too. It’s not always been pleasant to see my negatives in black and white but it has helped to start the process of change.
I’ve also learnt to see the big picture. For example I’ve lost maybe 2lbs this month after last months excellent start. Past life me would have seen that and given up, probably eating several of those giant share bags of chocolate whilst doing so. Yet looking back over the daily blogs I can see my foot steps are going to be higher this month than last month even with 3 less days. I’m still chocolate and fizzy pop free. I’ve had some amazing feedback at work. I started my Flirtology and conversations. 2lbs is disappointing but looking at the big picture I’ve achieved an awful lot over the last 3 months and seeing it written down stops my negative thinking.
I’m looking to the next 100 days. I’ve had a chat with my manager today so there’s lots of development action to happen. I’ve got more conversations to have with people. I’ve more sugar to avoid and steps to walk and I really should get my act together and do some proper exercise. Plus I want to challenge myself by going to some new places. I’m quite excited to see what changes occur this time

365 Day Blog challenge Day 99 – I Will Survive #365daychallenge

The title of this blog came about after a question was raised in one of my FB groups: What was your biggest achievement in February?

For me it was simply surviving. February has the anniversary of 4 deaths. It’s also the time when 3 years ago my debt problems were at their worst, my house was falling down around my ears and I nearly lost it. It’s also the time a few years ago when my health was at its worst causing me to give up a job I loved.

So the month usually hits me hard. Last year I had to move my annual leave forward as I needed some me time to deal with everything. Up until the end of last year my normal method of dealing with anything was to eat. Big share bags of sweets to myself every day, pizzas, cake and so much more. I ate away pain

This year I tried to brace myself for the moods swings and I pretty much managed it. I found support from my management line that I’ve not had in many years. I have my friends and family to talk to.

I had a few biscuits. I had a weird urge for some Tunnocks teacakes (marshmallowy biscuits). I also had a pizza and some fish and chips. I did spend a lot of money on food but I still haven’t bought any chocolate or fizzy drinks so while I still have things to work on I didn’t resort to many of my emotional eating foods.

I kept up to my footsteps, I practised my conversations and visibility. I’ve practised mindful eating and I tried to get my sunshine in whenever the weather was good. I’m really proud of myself for not falling onto the worst of my bad habits.

I’m looking forward to March. I’ve only one death anniversary (at the end) but spring is on the way and I have my new habits to continue. I’ve proven to myself I don’t need my negative behaviours now and that I can deal with whatever stresses me positively.

Here’s to even more achievements next month.


365 Day Blog challenge Day 98 – I Can’t, I Can #365daychallenge

Many moons ago when I left my abusive husband I was left with a house that needed a lot of work. I remember rolling up my sleeves and putting up skirting boards and dado rail on the walls, building door frames and re-tiling a bathroom wall amongst other things. With a little help from my step-mum I taught myself to wallpaper not just the walls but the ceilings too. I even laid a few carpets.

But over the years the I Can’t mentality has crept in. In a conversation with my friend yesterday I mentioned seeing an old sideboard in a charity shop that would look great if stripped down and re-varnished and would also need a couple of new handles. The unit was only £20. Then straight away I said oh but I’m not good at that kind of thing.

She, quite rightly, called me on this and I thought about all the things above I have done before. I’ve no idea where this fear of failure came from with DIY. Once upon a time I’d relish the challenge. Now twenty years on my house needs a lot of work again. I laid out this massive plan for my garden yesterday, some of which could be done for myself but also made me think about how deep down my imagination for interior (and exterior) is still there.

So today after doing the boring household jobs I’m going to re-seal the kitchen work tops and a couple of windows where the sealant has come away (the cat likes to pick at it) because I know that I CAN do these things. I’ve done similar before. If I can stick wood to a wall I can make sure my sink is sealed. And then next week I’m going to do the same to the bathroom.

I’ve a huge list of things that need doing but as with everything else I’ve let my self esteem issues ruin my confidence and stop me achieving even small tasks. BUT! not anymore. I’ve proven I can do many things in just the last 2 months. I’ve proven I can do the DIY 2 decades ago. I’m going to take control of my house and stop the negative thoughts as soon as the job needs doing. Me and my friend talked about challenging each other when the I Can’ts kick in. I need to do the same to myself when I look at a job and think it’s too hard when really I’ve shown myself in the past it isn’t. I’ll have the house I want and deserve in no time.

365 Day Blog challenge Day 97 – Spreading Joy #365daychallenge

I do love my self help books and in Be Happy by Rebecca Ray she mentions Joy; creating joy, spreading joy, sharing joy. So in honour of that today I am going to do a list of all the wonderful things that have happened this week:

  • It started off bad as I’m still going through that up and down mood swing from death anniversaries however it’s wonderful to know you have the support of your team leader when being a ‘mardy arse’
  • I’m still asking questions of strangers and it’s turning into some amazing conversations. I actually think having the intention to talk to people has possibly changed my body language because people I think are also approaching me more too
  • I practised ‘visibility’. I stood up in front of my full team meeting to offer feedback on a team building exercise. Normally I leave these things to others so I’m not noticed. AND I went and stood at the head of the table to do it rather than read off some notes. MY senior-est manager also singled me out for praise on handling a difficult piece of work and I was given a £25 voucher in reward of that.
  • I had good conversations with team mates; sharing stories and thoughts I normally keep to myself or my closest friends
  • I have really stepped up with my walking this week, beating my target every day
  • I had an impromptu trip to the park to enjoy some (cold but) wonderful sunshine.
  • I put out to the universe I’d like an abundance of money and have so far this week found 29p. I probably should be more specific next time….
  • My acts of kindness was to go with my friend to the hospital for an MRI scan and giving a small child my duck food at the local park to feed the birds with
  • Four of my too small work shirts now fit

I don’t think that’s bad for 6 days (I’m starting from Monday). The power of positive thinking brings wonderful results 🙂

365 Day Blog challenge Day 96 – Technology #365daychallenge

Yesterday our boss sent us a link to a video about how we now live in a digital world where everything is online. Just before he did that I was looking at a meme t about living on a desert island with no technology access. I was thinking yes I could live on the island and it would be wonderful and how I’d be on the side of the rebellion wanting less technology.
Then I took a pause. I was sat on the bus at the time and prior to seeing both of these I had my kindle open (Although I do prefer books I have about 1500 books downloaded on the kindle) before deciding I was going to listen to Spotify on my phone (digital music on there and ITunes replaced my CDs which replaced my vinyl). My bus ticket is a barcode on my phone and if it runs out I can use contactless payments with the wifi on my bank card. I was on my way home to eat a take away my son had ordered online and to watch a TV programme I’d taped months ago.
And all the while my watch was counting my footsteps and calories burned.
When you pick it apart like that I’m not so sure why I was outraged when I saw the video. I actually think now I’ve had a few hours that we don’t realise how much we actually rely on digital products. I remember as a young teenager how excited people were to get a 4th TV channel, now we have thousands of programmes at our fingertips. I also remember rushing home with my best friend to test a CD as my step-dad was the only person we knew who had a CD player and marvelling at the sound quality (before we learnt how easy they were to scratch)
The video was sent via Whatsapp. Again who ever thought that we could watch a video on our phones then send it to a group of people in one go. Then my colleague added in she’d met her husband online. Remember the days when you had to leave the house to meet someone?
And all that is just off the top of my head. There’s probably more technology we rely on if we really sit and think about it. So could I really give it all up and sit on a desert island for 6 months? I’m comfortable with my own company and quiet. It would be harder to pack up my paper books rather  than grab  my kindle (and how would I charge it?). The only music would be from the birds and other animals. And I hate cooking so how would I eat? Maybe I’d be eating a lot of fruit! I still think I’d like to give it a try. When trying to push yourself out of your comfort zone I don’t think we need a Bear Grylls mission in the jungle wilds but rather just hand over the technology for a week or try and live without any social media. That’s probably just as hard. I might try it – the social media anyway. It’s probably good to get away from something that’s so negative at the minute. I think I’m going to try something over the weekend.
What technology could you give up/not be able to give up?

365 Day Blog challenge Day 95 – Self Care #365daychallenge

From the end of January to the end of March I’ve got the anniversary of 5 deaths. It’s also the 3 year anniversary of my (hopefully last ever) breakdown and the near loss of my house. Two years ago I struggled with pain and had to give up a job I loved. I tend to struggle with mood a lot over this period of time.  Last year I was a bit blindsided by this as the previous 2 years before I had pain and anxiety/depression covering up other issues. This year I’m more prepared but still struggling with mood swings. My best friend is also ill and after a diagnosis of epilepsy I’m learning myself about the illness and how I can help. So it’s more important than ever to make sure I practise my self care.
Previously this has been through over eating – sweets, cake, biscuits, cookies, pizza and probably more things I’ve forgotten. Not really good care. I’m very conscious of not eating those things now. I also used to medicate with luxurious baths but after my water bill doubled I’m having to re-think that too.
So how can I care for myself now?
My go to is generally books. I love to read and I find that I can lose myself in a story no matter what the external trauma. It’s saved me many times. I try to go read sometimes in a coffee shop. I’ve found a couple who’s background music I find soothing rather than jarring and that also helps with relaxation.
Or, weather dependent, I’ll go for a walk. Last week I went to the museum.
I know some people go to the gym or run but those things don’t appeal to me.
My friend has been doing a 31 days of self care challenge, answering  question each day. I think I might try it as I’m struggling to think of other things I do to relax and feel good about myself. It will be especially interesting to do over my ‘bleak’ period.
I nearly just gave a list of hobbies but really are they self care or just things you enjoy? I think this one may be more work than I initially thought but something I should think about more as that’s what 2018 is meant to be all about and while it’s good to have more focus on my weight and food, not to mention my personal life I still need to make sure that I take care of what’s inside just as much
What do you do towards your own self care?