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Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Worries

Hmmm, how have I been? Exercise has been great! I've been every day since I got the month pass, working out for an hour+ each time. Food, not so much. I'm trying to pinpoint why I've binged twice this week and the only reasons I can come up with all relate to work. I'm still very worried about the China paperwork and the possibility of it not coming through, if I miss this arrival date I don't know what happens. Maybe I'll have to go to another city, one that has arrival dates for whenever my stuff come though? I hope not, I chose Nanjing after some consideration and wouldn't want to change it now. In my current job there have been some problems with the other admin person and my dad is planning on confronting her on Friday, which I'm really not excited about witnessing, but I leave myself on Tuesday so I just have to hold on until then. I'm trying not to get on the scale at the moment, I hadn't seen the swoosh from the exercise last time I tried it and I was finding it a little demoralising. I'll try and give it another week or so, but I really need to start eating with more control.

I got my new ticket reservation, let's just hope I can use it this time. Some slightly exciting news is that I called up Turkish Airlines and they told me I have 30kg (66lbs) instead of 20kg (44lbs) for my baggage allowance, which is going to make packing a year's worth of stuff a little easier. It's not as much as the Americans get (2 pieces of 23kgs each), but when I went to Japan I only had 20. I think it's kind of unfair that Europeans don't get to use the piece system in situations like mine, whichever route you take China is a bloody long way.

Friday, 20 January 2012

I'm here, I'm here

I had a bit of bad news this week regarding China, my application to the Labour Bureau was rejected for some reason, so Disney have to reapply for it. This means they've had to push my start date back by two weeks. I know it's not their fault but I'm quite pissed about it, I was ready to go on the 9th and now I'll have to wait until the 23rd. It also means the awesome seat I some how managed to bag on the plane (bulkhead aisle, nice and roomy for the legs) will now be lost, and I won't be paid until six weeks after I get there instead of two (because I'm now arriving after the 15th of the month). I finish work the end of this month regardless so that's income I'm losing, along with practical concerns like the fact that I'd canceled my mobile phone with the Feb 9th date in mind and things. I'm also worried now that the second application won't go through, meaning it'll get pushed back again. I don't want to have to change cities because I missed the arrival slot for a particular centre.

Aside from that the week has been OK. I've made it to the gym every single day this week, so that's good. I saw a drop on the scales right after I started (nothing massive, just a couple of pounds) but nothing since. That's pretty normal for me though, whenever I start a regular exercise routine it takes my body a bit of time to adjust before I see the results on the scale, so hopefully I'll see a bigger drop on the scales at some point in the next week when my body finally catches up.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Saturday

Had quite a quiet day. I got up and everyone had gone out, so I got in the car and went the gym. One of the girls who works there approached me after I had been wandering the machine area for a few minutes looking at the pictures for instruction and asked me how my workout was going because I looked a bit lost (I WAS VERY LOST - gym machines are quite intimidating things to approach when you don't really know what areas you should be working out). She showed me a few machines and gave me some recommendations on what sets/reps I should be doing and lots of other official sounding stuff. I ended up doing 5km on the recumbent bike, followed by a selection of the weight machines, and finishing with 10 minutes on the cross trainer. It was only 10 minutes because it nearly killed me. It's much harder than the recumbent bike, but in a good way. I'll have to build it up bit by bit.

It's been a busy weekend for Disney info. I got emails about my travel itinerary and the first few weeks of my training. Still waiting on the employee license and invitation letter so I can get the visa stuff though. I checked seatguru.com and if the plane I'm going on is the one I think it is (this one), by luck of the draw I have somehow scored an awesome aisle bulkhead seat for the flight. If you check that link in the brackets my seat is 26C. That will definitely make the second flight of 10+hr more comfortable. I'll be going from Birmingham to Istanbul, Turkey, have a layover there for 3 and a half hours there, and then a 10hr 25m flight to Shanghai, with an hour transfer from airport to hotel. One thing keeping me on the straight and narrow with the gym right now is that I'm scared I'm going to be too big for the seat. I just want to have a comfortable journey (or at least, as comfortable as you get on a plane for hours). If my weight ends up being an issue it's going to be mortifying.

Friday, 13 January 2012

And.... breathe.

Well, I did it. I went the gym.

Today has actually been reasonably productive, but it feels less so because I had a few hiccups on the way. It's odd, because it's a good day, just done badly?

It started with the doctor, I had to start my vaccinations for China. I planned to leave at 9:20, drive the 5 minutes or so to the surgery and be a bit early so I wouldn't stress. The operative word then is 'planned'. What I actually did, was to get outside at 9:20 and realise that we'd had a cold snap in the night that had caused my car to freeze over. 10 minutes later my car has thawed out and I'm ready to go, but now worried I'm going to be late and hoping the roads won't be icy.

I don't really know the way to the surgery, except that it's quite close and I know I've driven around the area during my lessons before. I know the way to the station so I'm fine until then, so my dad gave me some basic instructions and told me not to worry. The first thing I did with these instructions was to miss the first left turn after the station because I didn't realise it came up so fast. I took the second left because I knew it led in the same direction, but that meant I was completely lost after. Dickens Heath (the place my doctor's is) is quite a new housing estate, and once you get in there are lots of little roads and dead ends. To make things worse, the sat nav I'd brought with me just in case is yelling directions at me, but they don't match with the roads because it's new ('Turn left': THERE IS NO LEFT HERE SAT NAV!). In the end I parked because and asked a passerby. I knew I was quite close, but with that kind of layout you could circle for ages. I ended up being 10 minutes late for my appointment, and having to face a faintly disapproving nurse because I have just under a month before I leave so it's a bit late to start thinking of injections (hey! I found out I was going and then we had Christmas/New Year, shit happens nurse lady). She gave me a polio booster thing since my original injection from little school was back in 1987, then stuck me in the other arm for the Hep A/Hep B combo shot. I have to back next week for the second Hep A/Hep B shot, as well as a typhoid shot, then I have to go again two weeks after that for my final combo injection and probably a flu shot. I feel a bit like a pin cushion.

Getting back to my road after the appointment was pure guess work.

After the doctor I went to the gym. It's weird, usually they won't let you on machines until you've gone through an intro of some kind, in this case I just filled in the details form yesterday and gave them the money. Today I signed in and that was fine, maybe because it's only a temporary membership? I did 5km on the recumbent bike (oh bike, how I've missed you!) then I did 3 sets of 12 reps on an upper body weight machine thing, followed by another 2km on the treadmill. I've added a little gym page to the site so I don't have to ramble on about it in detail here if you guys fine it boring.

After the gym I went to the supermarket (the gym is attached to the building) to get some soup I wanted for lunch, and planned to get home, do some prep for dinner tonight so it would be a bit faster (dad likes his dinner early, drives me mad but there you go). Again, the operative word there is 'planned'. What I actually did was get a call from dad in the car park as I was loading the food into the boot, asking where I was because I was meant to be in work 20 minutes ago. Damn! It's Friday, which means I work 12-4 not 1-5. Now I'm not going to have time for lunch - double Damn! I grabbed a banana and an apple when I got home and ran to the office with them, but I'm pretty hungry! I didn't eat breakfast before the doc because I wasn't sure f I should and then couldn't get a proper lunch after the gym!

So yeah, a good 'I achieved things' day, but in the most stressful way possible?

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Thank you

Thanks everyone for your congratulations, it was lovely reading them all! Driving is still terrifying, but it has to be done so I suppose I should just get on with it. So far it's only been trips to the supermarket, which is route I know well. Tomorrow I'm driving to the doctor's surgery to get some vaccinations for China and I'm quite nervous about both getting there and parking. Turns out my parking is terrible, mostly because it's something I was never taught so I'm kind of figuring it out for myself. My car now has a much higher clutch in terms of finding the biting point and stuff, and is much less forgiving then my instructors car if I'm a bit quick lifting my foot off it, so I've been stalling a lot, but I'll get there.

Speaking of things I should just get on with - Hi! My name is Thursday's Child and I'm overweight. I finally stepped on the scale and holy cow, turns out it's really easy to gain 10lbs in a short space of time. This may be a bit of a knee jerk reaction, but I emailed my local gym and they said I could have a monthly membership for £34.99, so I think I'm going to go for it. It's a complete cliché I know, joining the gym in January, but fortunately I don't actually need the will power to keep going for the whole year, I just need enough enthusiasm to get me there most days until I leave. I'm not happy that my jeans don't fit anymore and the last thing I want to do is gain a stone right before I leave, which is where I'm heading right now. With me driving now I'm much less active too, so means even if I manage to get my eating back to what it was before it would be harder to see results. If I can even lose what I've gained I'll feel much better (especially as I would be losing it as a result of exercise, which leaves me feeling so much better than losing through food alone), so I figured it was worth the money and I'll have to get over my embarrassment of working out in front of people. Given that I work afternoons I'll be able to go mid-morning, which should mean it's not as busy as early morning/lunchtime/after work.

In fact, now I'm sitting here thinking about it, I may go see the gym people tonight after work so I can't change my mind about it. Especially as I have the doctor tomorrow I could go work out after. Damn, that means I have to drive in the dark! (see, this is my life now).

Thursday, 5 January 2012

EEEEEE!

Sorry I haven't been around to leave comments on blogs for the last few days, but thank you to the commenters and I'll be around soon I promise. I just wanted to get online quickly to say I FINALLY PASSED MY DRIVING TEST THIS MORNING! Third time's a charm. Not a moment too soon either, I was so worried that I was going to fail this one and not be able to take another before China (you have to leave 10 working days between attempts, but then you have to find an available time slot, which usually only has spaces about a month in advance). If I hadn't passed I basically would have wasted all the money I spent doing it this past year because I wouldn't have remembered how to drive after 13 months of not doing it (hell, I can barely go 3-4 days without forgetting everything), and my theory test pass certificate would have been out of date so I would have had to retake that too. It's such a relief!

All I need to do now is actually drive by myself. I'm kind of scared of not having my instructor safety not ready to slam on the brakes if necessary.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy New Year

I hope everyone has had a wonderful New Year, and that 2012 will be even better!

I've been going back and forth on the idea of new year resolutions. Part of me is worried of pledging myself to a goal and failing, but then I know I've put weight on over the Christmas period and don't want it to get out of hand, especially now when I'm having to buy clothes and things for China. There's no time like a new year to get a fresh start, even if the resolution is a little cliché.

I've tried to make today a decent beginning anyhow. I actually logged my meals today, and made a conscious effort to not pig out. Dad had a huge new year party (as he does every year) and the day after is spent with the guests that stayed over, eating what's left of the party food instead of meals. I had quite a few moments when I really had to think 'no, you don't need it' instead of reaching automatically for the Bakewell tart. What I noticed on a lot of those occasions was that it was an automatic gesture a lot of the time, a case of 'I can see it so I'll have it'. When I was actually hungry, instead of Bakewell tart and mini-cheesecakes I went for the leftover vegetable chili, and later a beef/salad wholemeal roll. In the afternoon I went on a short walk with my aunty and her dog before the rain hit. It's not a hardcore 'I'm going to exercise 7 time a week and only vegetables that start with a C' sort of thing, but if I can keep doing what I've done today for another month, I can re-evaluate my plans one I'm settled in my new place. Truth be told the closer I get to leaving the more worried I'm getting about any problems fitting into the seat of the aeroplane, so I have to keep my weight from ballooning (at least for a short time if I can't manage anything else).

Speaking of China, mum got me a Rosetta Stone kit for learning Mandarin and I'm loving it! I tried downloading it once to try it and hated it, so I was really worried that she had spent all this money and I wasn't going to like it. It made me feel really ungrateful, but it turns out that it didn't really work because using my laptop built in mike meant that I was too far away to pick up sounds properly for the programmes purposes, using the headset that comes with the pack makes a huge difference.

I have a driving test on the 5th, but I managed to break my instructors car a couple of lessons ago, so I'm not quite sure what's happening now. I hit the curb while I was driving, but I caught the corner of it (the curb was super high!) so not only did I blow the tyre I actually buckled the wheel! He's managed to get a spare tire on, but it's a space saver tyre, which means you can't go above 50mph on it, so you can't have them on the car during your test. My instructor is trying to get a replacement sorted today (he has another person's driving test tomorrow) but with it being new year, and the tyre size not being the standard for the old versions of his car, he's finding it difficult to find a place where it's in stock. I have a lesson with him tomorrow night, so I'll keep my fingers crossed.