365 Day Blog challenge Day 132 March in review #365daychallenge

Days without chocolate/sugary treats 90

Days without fizzy drinks 86

Footsteps logged 279550 (up 45,600 from February)

Total weight lost to date: 18lbs


365 Day Blog challenge Day 131 Show me the Money #365daychallenge

I almost forgot to write today. I’ve been a bit distracted by having the day off work. I’ve had a really positive financial two days. Yesterday I received a letter telling me one of my smaller debts has finally been cleared. I now only have 3 left as part of my debt plan. They’re the largest of everything I originally had but I have exactly 24 months left before it’s all over (less if I can increase the payments at any time). It’s a great feeling though knowing that things are ending

Then today I looked at changing my mortgage rate as the current one is coming to an end. If I take a 2 year deal it will end a couple of months after the debt plan does. Looking at the proposed payments I save £56 per month. What’s not to like?? So that starts at the end of April. The savings will make a big difference to the money I have for the month. I can start to look at a few treats.

I’m coming to the end of the first third of the year of trying to change my life. I’ll comment on my weight tomorrow but I’m talking to more people. I’m practising talking to strangers and raising my profile at work. My money is looking the healthiest it has been in a long while. I think the positivity breeds more good news and good luck. I’m grateful for everything that has happened and I feel like life is moving forward in the way I want it to.

Looking forward to see where I’ll be at the end of the next 3 months.

365 Day Blog challenge Day 130 Take a Break #365daychallenge


In a few hours (I’m writing at work again) I finally get to break up for some annual leave and have a week off. I definitely need it as I’m exhausted. It hasn’t helped with unprecedented snow, multiple colds and coughs and this month an increase in the amount of travelling I’ve done for work. When my annual leave renews in June I need to look at how I break up my leave. I seem to leave it too long between breaks and then end up tired. On the plus side in June I will have been here 10 years and get an extra week added to my allowance.

I know it’s different in other countries. I was told many years ago by a Japanese penpal that he thought Brits were lazy because we had so many days off (he didn’t last long as a penpal!) but I think that thought came from their own allowances. They, as a nation, have a lot less than we do. Ours is generous although mainland European countries have even more than we.

Having less annual leave allowance doesn’t make you lazy though. I think it’s good for your work life balance. No one wants to just work (ok some people do but why???)

I’ve so many things lines up for next week. I’m meeting some friends I haven’t seen since before Christmas. People have such busy lives, it’s nice to take some time, catch up with friends and just relax.

I’m hopefully going to paint the cupboard but I’ve been saying that for a year and haven’t done it yet. I’ve my penultimate assignment done for my current uni module. Oh and the dentists but I’m trying not to think about that one.
Mostly I’m going to relax though and try and get my energy levels back up, do some walking and get some fresh air and Vitamin D.

We all need that little bit more now and again than a weekend.

365 Day Blog challenge Day 129 Big yourself up #365daychallenge

I had my end of year meeting at work today. For us we have to write 300 ish words stating what we have done over the year. There’s a set of benchmarks to measure yourself against while you do it.

Tomorrow I have to re-write mine because I missed huge chunks out of it. While I said how well my day to day work went I didn’t say how I achieved some of the work I’ve done. I’ve had to deal with difficult stakeholders, manage some terrible expectations and shmooze some data analysts to get data from them. I simply said I got a commission and did the work!

But I aslo missed off how much I’ve supported my colleagues in between my own day job to enable them to meet their targets too. For me I would always try and help someone but it can’t be happening enough for it to be put as an industry’s key work objective.

But it made me think how much do we sell ourselves short? Some of the problem finding I’ve done on commission has led to major changes within the benefit system. I should be standing up and being proud of that. Shouting my name from the rooftops to say look at me I’ve helped fix some major issues.

Instead I wrote some notes about helping a colleague then deleted them as ‘not important’.

So more challenges! Time to start bigging myself up. We often, in the civil service, will point someone out and say how did they get their job. They’re useless/don’t do much etc etc. Actually what they do is let people know they exist and write some competencies saying how wonderful they are. That’s my 2018/19 work task then. If I want to develop and move up the ladder I have to start doing that myself.

It’s hard I think though to go around telling everyone how fab you are. Mostly we put ourselves down. I’m bloody good at my job so now I need everyone to know that now. I’ve told you, now I need to tell my employers 🙂

365 Day Blog challenge Day 128 Work Work Work #365daychallenge

Today is a long day of travel and a team meeting. As much as I hate getting up extra early on a morning I don’t mind sitting on trains. It gives me chance to catch up on some reading. I don’t like having to do it as a return journey. Tomorrow is 3 hours to the venue and 3 hours back. I’ll probably be able to finish a whole book! My day won’t end there though as it’s my dads birthday and I’ll have to nip in and at least say hello and leave a card.

So this is a blog post that’s not actually a post at all, just some filler so that I can meet my daily challenge!

I didn’t factor when I started this that there would be days when work would take over not allowing me to write something more meaningful. I thought there may be days like Xmas where nothing much would be posted but didn’t think about getting ill and not wanting to do anything or being at work for far too many hours. I was more worried about writers block.

So I hope that you are having/ have had (depending on where you are in the world) a lovely day and I will be back tomorrow in a very happy mood as I’ll be 2 days closer to some well deserved time off work!

365 Day Blog challenge Day 127 Easter Eggs #365daychallenge

At work we have a fun question of the week on our internal intranet that’s sparked a bit of a debate this morning.  What part of the Easter egg is your favourite; the egg of the extra contents. It got me thinking about my quest to give up sugary treats this year. I’m currently on Day 85 of no chocolate. I’m class that as chocolate bars, most sweets and the majority of biscuits. Every so often I have the urge for some sugar and have something from a ‘list’ of treats that may have some chocolate coating. For me that’s been working well. Because I have my list and it’s full of things I don’t normally eat it’s meant I haven’t given in and binge eaten everything when I’ve been down or emotional.

In the past I’ve tried to give up sugar and chocolate and usually tied it in with Lent (even though I’m not particularly Christian or religious). The downside I can see now is that gave me the opportunity to ‘reward’ myself with junk once we got to Easter and so I’d go overboard. Stopping this time for New Year means that I’m now in the habit of not having chocolate, the cravings subsided a long time ago and I can go in the supermarket without thinking that I only have a few days to go before I can over-indulge.

I’m not missing it. And that in itself is a nice feeling. Easter was always going to be a bit of a test as it’s the first real time that there has been chocolate everywhere on offer but so far I feel like all the hard work that I’ve done over the past few months is paying off. I am thinner, my health is improving and I’ve learnt how my body feels when it has sugary pollutants in it and I can look at all these previously tempting sweets and not want my body to go back to how it used to feel. I feel in control of my eating habits rather than them controlling me. Those are really powerful feelings to have.

I’m going to continue to count. I don’t check every day, mostly it’s at the end of each month as I take stock of where I am at (I only checked today for this blog post). I like to see the number of days increase and no there is no turning back. There is still work to be done on my food habits but I think over the first three months of 2018 I can definitely say I am winning:)

365 Day Blog challenge Day 126 R ‘n’ R #365daychallenge

I’ve spent a lot of time telling other people to rest and take time for themselves lately and yet I’ve come to realise I’ve not taken my own advice.

I mentioned the other day that I just keep getting one cold or flu bug after another and I think my immune system needs some rest. I now think I personally need some rest. I was going over my footsteps for the last few weeks and I’ve rarely gone below 9000. I’ve a couple of mad days at work next week including one with some really long travel. Then I can have a week off.

I’m really looking forward to it even if I have booked lots of things to do. Mostly those things involve sitting around in cafes with people I haven’t seen in a long time.

I wanted a day to myself today to rest which didn’t get off to the best start as I had to get up and go with my mum to a craft trade centre. I was hoping to spend the day in my PJs. On the other hand she’s taken away a blouse I need amending so I suppose I got something out of it. Once I got back home the PJs came on and I’ve been sat on the couch reading ever since (breaking off when I remembered I needed to write this blog)

I don’t feel guilty about taking time for myself. I just have got in the habit of pushing myself I forgot about my own self care a bit. So from now until the end of the month I will still count my steps as that’s a challenge for 2018 but I won;t get hung up over it, I won’t be pushing myself to do that little bit further. I will be coming home and relaxing. My body needs a break and I intend to give it one