Health kick start Version ∞ + 1.2

Here I am again, at the beginning (ish) of another attempt to be fit and healthy. I took at look at my ‘Goalified’ category and found that the first time around I did this was back in January of 2009. That’s the first time in my archives anyway. It also had the same title as this except it was version ∞ + 1.

It was strange to read back the few posts I did mention it (there are probably more I didn’t categorise/tag right) and see that I basically still have the same problems:

  1. Snacks are to delicious
  2. I allow myself to get to a certain weight and then decide to do something, until I get lazy again
  3. I like all the ‘bad’ foods.

This time around they were all involved and I did hit that alarm bells ringing weight and decide ‘enough is enough!’, fortunately this time around Jarrod decided the same thing. We realised we couldn’t spend each night sitting on the couch watching TV shows eating massive bowls of icecream concoctions we made up ourselves anymore (it was a sad, sad day indeed). Even if that’s what we really wanted to be doing. But we wanted to be strong, fit and healthy a little bit more.. oh and no longer have to wear our ‘fat pants’.

This has probably been the reason I’ve been able to keep going with eating healthier and increasing exercise. I don’t have to sit on the couch watching Jarrod eat a block of chocolate while I have nothing and give in to it all. We’re in this together and sad about our lack of Carbonara together – I think that really is the worst; Cream, bacon, cheese and pasta all in a meal together? I can’t imagine not wanting it twice a week.  We’re learning to eat less and eat more nutritious and filling things.. even though I did just eat a row of Smarties chocolate, the difference is we now eat a row, not half a block.

One thing to I have to get used to is having less high sugar alcoholic drinks, I don’t think it’ll be hard but it’s just amazing how many calories they pack in and, how awful they really do make you feel. On Friday night I had a few cans of pear cider at after work drinks and not only did it total about 700 calories it also made my stomach feel queasy, bloated and overall not good. The last time I remember feeling that way was a few weeks ago when we had a Maccas splurge and just wanted to die afterwards. I haven’t gone back to Maccas since, which is probably a good thing because my lunch totalled more calories than I’m meant to have in a day.

One amazing thing I’ve found is that I don’t really crave snacks so much as I used to, we have a bunch of chocolatey goodness in our cupboard that has been there for weeks. If chocolate is open I usually can’t resist, now I can’t remember how long ago we bought it. 

I’m hoping to keep this updated, as a sort of accountability, so I can look back in 6 months and say I finally did it this time. I’ll also be posting any healthy or alternative recipes (like my potato and bacon pizza) I make to help other people out as well.

Moving toward debt free

At the beginning of this year I didn’t take much responsibility for the money I had or where it was going. I would put the bare minimum on my debts and spend the rest on things that didn’t matter.

I never had a lot of money and just figured that is how life was, struggling to get by, nearly everyone I knew was living pay to pay so that must just be how life just is, right?

Fast forward 8 months and of the $16k in debt I had, I am down to my last $4k and have gone from 2 credit cards and a loan down to 1 credit card. And you know what? It wasn’t really that hard

Here are the things I’ve learnt along the way:

1. Know what you owe.

This is huge! Before I started focusing on getting debt free I never paid much attention to the interest rates or interest going onto my debt each month. I checked the minimum payment and did what I could to pay that. It turned out that I was paying about $250 a month in interest alone and my repayments were barely even covering it. Basically I was one of those people that credit providers love, the ones that pay all interest and nothing else forever.

2. Look for alternatives

Do you have a high interest credit card or loan that is weighing you down? Try looking around for a low or no interest balance transfer credit card. Once I took a look at my cards I realised I was paying around 16% interest for each and on $16k that is quite a lot of money so I researched around and found a card that as 2.99% for 24months! That seemed like a reasonable amount of time to get that all paid off!

I went from paying roughly $100 a month per card in interest to paying $10 a month, in the end I only had the card for 5 months, I paid less interest the entire time than I would have in a month with the old provider.

3. Don’t take the first option

Look around at your options, just because you’ve been with a bank for 10 years doesn’t mean you have to stay with them or, if you do make sure they work for your loyalty. Recently I paid off the card I mentioned above and called to cancel it. I mentioned that I had some more money I was interested in transferring but their interest rate was too high. They provided me some options which were ok but not what I was looking for, once I declined these options they mentioned that “oh, by the way we have the exact thing you’re looking for” yeah, they held out hoping I’d take the 7% option before offering me 0% interest for 9 months.

While banks want your business they also want to make money. Be tough, stand your ground.

4. Prioritise

This may sound pretty straight forward but you would be surprised how hard it can be prioritise paying off debt. I used to budget a certain amount to pay off my debt but I’d leave it until last, just in case I needed some money for something. Needless to say I rarely ever put the amount I’d budgeted onto my debt because I always found something else I absolutely needed to buy.

What I found worked for me was to budget what I would need in that pay period and deposit/transfer the money onto my debt straight away, you might have to sacrifice some other things but in the long run more of your money will stay yours (as you begin to pay less and less interest) and you’ll be debt free faster.

Obviously these suggestions are just that, they are what have worked for me but may not necessarily work for everyone. Hopefully though, it will make you think about what you can do to pay off debt and make life easier for yourself.

Have other solutions that have worked for you? Leave a comment and let me know.

And out of the blue she returned

Yes, it’s me and not some spambot. Promise, or maybe I’m an especially good spambot… but probably not. What it actually seems like is that I decided on my return today after nearly 12 months without a peep.

It’s actually been a crazy 12 months, the most productive and life changing I may have ever had and it all started with a book. A leadership book to be precise that my boss (at the time) forced on me to build my leadership, communication skills and confidence. What it did was change the way I thought about life, work and people in general and made me see that I wasting away the life that I had.

So fast forward 12 months and I have a new partner, a new job and a new outlook on life. I used to be the person who could see they were going no where but never took any responsibility for it, none of it was my fault obviously. Now I’ve taken that responsibility and in doing it I’m a happier, better person and working towards a bunch of goals which is something I’ve never had before. I feel like I’ve put on a new pair of glasses and suddenly the world is clear again.

Fortunately, I didn’t have to do it alone and am glad, now, to have those persistent people who never gave up on me to help me along, that being new friends, Mum and the awesomeness that is Jarrod.

So now to the future, who knows what it will bring but here’s hoping that whatever it is, it’s amazing.

Back on the horse or bike…

Or whatever that saying is.

I’ve started my weight loss journey… again. I tend to get back up to approximately the same weight and decide it is time to start losing again. If only I wasn’t so predictably lazy. I am really trying this time, up until 3 days ago I hadn’t eaten a piece of chocolate in a month. A MONTH! And then I did… and it was kind of disappointing. I ruined my record and in the end wished I hadn’t. On the plus side, I think my cravings are gone.

That being said, I’m pretty sure I overloaded on calories last night. Damn work and their bar tabs! And possibly something to do with the irresistable taste of Vodka and Raspberry. Why does it have to taste so non-alcoholic, why?!?

Up until yesterday, I had lost 2.1KG (4.6lbs) in 2 weeks. Lets hope I didn’t break it yesterday.

I have increased my exercise to 3 workout days. One of which is Saturday, which then includes 3 workouts of its own. I’ve also cut out a lot of my diet which makes me a bit sad. Anyone gone through this? I’d love your input on what I should eat. I’ve been getting a bit depressed about the lack of awesomeness in my diet these days. I feel trapped by lettuce most days. Help!

Of Baby Steps and Trends

I’ve made it to my first weight loss goal. I’m going in 5kg (11lbs) blocks and have another 5 of them to go… I’m finding it easier to have smaller goals because at least they come and go relatively quickly. I think I would have given up by now if I was only seeing the bigger picture. Although the reality that it’s going to take around 6 months makes me a bit sad.
It is nice to find that my pants are so big they fall off… kind of frustrating too. I can get pants in a big enough size but not a belt. I’m trying to think of alternatives.

Speaking of weird fashion trends, I think I hate them. Recently I’ve been looking for a new wallet as my old tatty one is falling to pieces (I realised today that I’ve had it for 7 years… can you believe that?) and now as I search for something new all I find is things I don’t like. Right now all womens wallets and purses are long and shiny! I want compact and cool… I wonder if a mans wallet would be right for me? Hmm.

Is there something you haven’t been able to part with and now can’t find a replacement you like? I have the issue with shoes too. Damn fashion changing constantly!