Monday, 19 December 2011


Well everyone, here we are: the final check in.

Thank you to everyone who participated, I hope this challenge was helpful to you and motivating. If you made your goal then don't forget to post a picture in your awesome new item of clothing! If you didn't make your goal then congratulations for the attempt, keep going! As for me, I'm finishing this challenge slightly heavier than I started (doh!) but things could be worse. Even if I didn't achieve what I wanted to here, I got to read a load of new blogs and get to know quite a few new people.

Can you all believe it's less than a week until Christmas? Where did the time go? Are any of you making new year resolutions?

I've had a couple of people ask if I was planning on doing any other challenges now that this one is over; the answer is no, I will not be hosting another challenge. I've enjoyed hosting this one, but with me going off to China in February I don't know how my internet access is going to be n the weeks before I get set up in my new apartment, so I can't guarantee I'd be able to put weekly links up. If anyone has any other challenges in mind though, please let me know! It would be fun to take part in one I think.

Alrighty then, here's the last link!

Friday, 16 December 2011

Shopping good.

Oh. My. God. you guys, have you tried the BADgal mascara by Benefit? I spent far to much money on make-up today and I don't care because look what it does:

My sister bought some a few weeks ago and has been raving about it, but it's pretty expensive and I like to use waterproof mascara, so I didn't think about it too much. Then I saw pictures of my sister wearing it and got super jealous of her pretty eyes. It's like magic!


Monday, 12 December 2011

Week 12 Check In

How is everybody doing? I'm still buried under a mountain of paperwork, and will probably have more coming. My exam for book-keeping is tomorrow, but I'm not hugely worried about it. I've gotten a first class pass in all my mock tests, so as long as I'm careful on the day there is no reason I can't get a good mark. My log in for the TEFL-C modules I need to do to get my visa have also come, so that's more work to focus on. It's busy busy busy here.

My step-mother got out the car a couple of weeks ago and asked to borrow some money, it didn't matter how much so long as it was a note. I gave her a tenner and she held it up between her and the tiny thin crescent of the new moon and shook it. Apparently one of the thing she grew up with was if you shake money in front of the new moon, your money will grow as the moon grows? She's from Ukraine and I like hearing these occasional titbits of information like that. So I smiled and did it too, then thought no more about it. Then last week I got a letter form the tax office telling me that I'd overpaid my income tax and here, have a cheque for £140! The Government wanting to pay me money feels a little like someone handing me a unicorn, but it definitely came at a good time as I am broke at the moment.

Weigh in is the same, but I'm still on the tail end of TOM, so that might be it. I stopped eating after 19:30 5 out of 7 days, and will try and make that all 7 this week. The weather has been bad so that really cut down my exercise, only one walk this week. Hope everyone had a good week, let's all pull together and make the last week the best shall we?

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Red Tape

I had an upswing in weight the other day which didn't go away, I had broken out in spots too so I assumed it was my confirmation of non-pregnancy come to call, but it was touch and go whether I was going to avert the Big Freak Out when things were taking longer than I expected to resolve themselves, but fortunately for all (except my various aching body parts) I have now been proved right.

My visa paperwork has started! Oh happy day. My recruiter sent me eight (8!) things to fill in so that he can process the invitation letter & employment license I need from China so that I can actually start applying for the visa here in the UK. I remember Japanese red tape being bad, but in reality they were soft - SOFT I TELL YOU - compared to how I think China is going to be. I've asked them to send me details on whether I need a pre-medical check in order to apply (the requirements are different depending on the country you're going from). I think I do and that will be time consuming if I have to get referrals etc. However, I know it's compulsory to have a medical check in China once I get there, so I might get lucky and be able to skip it beforehand. Fingers Crossed!

Bleurgh, it's been raining all day and gale warnings are in effect (up in Scotland they have 100mph winds!), so after work I'm going to raid the freezer and see if there is anything in it that will negate my need to go to Sainsbury's (it's my turn to cook tomorrow). There's also a possibility of a little snow tonight/tomorrow. Apparently my new computer has arrived (yippee! Dad got it me as an early Christmas present as my laptop was glitching) so I'd much rather be indoors sorting that out.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Week 11 Check in

Oh the things that I've had going on this week!

On Friday I failed my driving test. Again. I was thrilled. But that was the only bad news for the week so that's something. I did well in my mock tests, scoring in the 90s both times so I'm quite well sorted for that I think, and the big news is I was offered the job in China with Disney English!

On a sidenote, it was the easiest, fastest recruitment process I've been through in a long. long time. There were some technical hitches with getting my application submitted, but once that was done on Sunday night, I got an email Monday morning inviting me for a Skype interview, had the interview Wednesday, and was offered the job at the end of the interview. It was kind of shocking! When I went for a temp retail job over Christmas I had to do an online application and aptitude test, a phone interview, and a 4 hour group interview to get in.

At the end of the Skype interview the recruiter lady said 'Well, I think you'd be fantastic in the role and we'd love to take you to the next stage', and I thought 'oh, yeah, they must do a face to face in person as well' (which I had been expecting). Little did I know the next stage was 'so what time frame are you looking to leave in?'. When I told her January onwards would be fine, she said I had a choice of three cities leaving in February (Choices! I was expecting to find out when I got there), and I called her back a few days later with my choice of Nanjing. I'll find out which of the two centres I'm at when I arrive, but apparently they try and give a choice in terms of which city where they can. It's such a surprise that it can be do easy after the year long application for China, and the hoops I've had to jump through for even basic part time work here in the UK.

So yeah! I'm leaving February 9th for Nanjing!

The news has left me feeling quite buoyant, and hugely motivated. In terms of my eating and weight loss, I've been completely on track since I heard the news. I don't want to be this weight when I go out there, and that has given me a big motivational boost. I've put myself on a 7:30pm curfew for eating and it has helped ENORMOUSLY. I eat so much at night, to just say 'no' and be able to stick to it has been of great help to me. Typical that it happens all of two weeks before the challenge finishes! There is a chance though, that I could finish this challenge under my start weigh (something that that was looking depressingly unlikely for me a week ago).

This challenge hasn't really worked for me I'm sad to say, but I think I went about it the wrong way mentally. I was hoping the challenge would motivate me because I was struggling, when really I needed to be motivated to tackle the challenge. It's a shame I haven't done better being the host and all, but it has kept me from losing it completely when times were bad. A couple of weeks ago I briefly saw 240 on the scale and it made me want to cry, a clear 10# over my start weight. Today, after 4 days reasonable eating and no night junk, the scale said 231.8 and I'm thankful for it. Some of you have done so well on this challenge, I wish I could have been a better example to you. I hope someone out there decides to do another after this finishes, I think perhaps I'd make a better participant than host. My motivation appears to be back so I think I'd do more justice to the next one. If I can get away with maintenance for this challenge then that's something at least.

So how did you all do this week? Last week's sign ins were a bit sparse, I'm guessing due to Thanksgiving. If you've had a foodfest over the holidays, please please please don't be embarrassed or ashamed to sign in. It's trying again that counts and we'll welcome you with open arms, don't give up just because Christmas is coming, I'm proof of how fast things can change.