Sunday, July 29, 2007

Endings and beginnings

What's ended? My job.

While I knew this would happen, because it was a temporary contract, I'm sad about it. I liked the people, I liked the work, and I felt as though I knew what I was doing. I like knowing what's going to happen next week.

So I've started (once more) on a round of phone calls and e-mails while I try to find something new and wait for a paid position to come up. Which I'm sure it will. I hope it doesn't take months this time, though.

Moving on: the serious disadvantage of this job was the commute. I am convinced that commuting is as tiring as using the same amount of time to do anything else, and I was very tired while I was doing this. So while I had many good intentions, I never really managed to get into an exercise routine that went anywhere while I was doing this job.

That is going to change. For the next little while, I will undoubtedly have more free time than I've had for months. And I'm going to profit by it by getting serious about fitness.

I don't like the phrase "to struggle with one's weight". Struggling doesn't sound much fun, does it? "Come and help me, I'm really struggling here". It sounds as though you're expending a lot of energy but not getting anywhere. It sounds like thrashing around and still going under in a sea of frustration.

I don't struggle with fitness. Either I take positive action and become fitter, or I do not struggle. Rather than drowning, I float. I do nothing. I let the tide wash around me. The trouble with floating is that you have no control over where you are going.

So. Enough floating. The weekend before last, I finally bought a scale. It was something of an impulse buy, and in an ideal world we'd have done a bit more research, but I am tired of not getting on with things.

Last week, I went running three times. I lifted lots of weights. I ate sensible things. And between Sunday and Friday I lost two pounds.

I also set myself a mini-goal: I'm going to lose ten pounds by my birthday, which is a month away. I'm including this week's loss, so that's eight pounds to go. My start weight was 187 pounds (38% bodyfat, according to my fancy new scale), and it's now 185 pounds.

Yeah, I know 10 pounds isn't that much. But given that I've been doing all this floating, I need to start with something I'm fairly sure I can accomplish. Without a struggle.

ETA: I tried to post this yesterday, and it looked fine, and then I came back and it had disappeared. Very mysterious.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Four reasons why...

I haven't posted very much in the last week or so:

These two little chaps have come to stay with us for a couple of months. Their names are Snowy and Snuggles, and we’re babysitting them while their owners are abroad. We’ve been talking about getting pets for ages, and of the animals I have lived with before, guinea-pigs seemed the most suitable option: they don’t make me sneeze, they don’t seem to mind living in a hutch too much, and they don’t need taking for walks. Also they’re cuddly.

Although he’s very fond of animals J has never had a pet of any kind, so this seemed a good way to find whether we really have the time to care for guinea-pigs, and whether he’s allergic to them. So far, the pigs have been a joy. They’re young and lively and chirp away to us entertainingly when we pick them up, as well as mowing the lawn for us (well, when it’s not been pouring with rain). And just to add to the excitement, my brother suddenly phoned me up last Saturday and made mewing noises down the phone. This almost counts as normal behaviour for my siblings, so I wasn’t too surprised. Then he announced that his cat campaign, which he’s been carrying out ever since I moved out, had suddenly succeeded when he least expected it: my parents were adopting two nine-week-old black kittens.

Here they are, trying to ooze out of the box in which my parents were taking them home. They are very cute indeed, but also extremely lively. The boy is called Sirius (because he’s black, obviously) and the girl is Cassiopeia, Cassie for short. Or Puss. Or Trouble. They’ve only been home a week and it’s already clear who rules the house.

I have not been exercising terribly strenuously, though, mostly because I have a cough – the kind which makes it hard to draw a deep breath. Although I’m hardly ever ill, I’ve had various little health problems over the last few months, mostly infections. Not major, just annoying: I’d like not to go to the doctor in July, if possible. The last thing was an infected insect-bite on my arm the week before last, for which I had to take strongish antibiotics (and was threatened with an IV if they didn’t work – scary biscuits!) That cleared up fine, but I have reason to suspect the pills killed off all my friendly bacteria as well as the unfriendly ones. I’m alternately eating live yoghurt and vitamin-C-containing foods and hoping to feel better soon...