Monday, February 17, 2014

My Journey To Wellness (...So Far)

Since living in Melbourne, I have been trying to keep up my physical health and exercise despite not having the motivation of an instructor to keep me going. Morning runs have become my thing (or at least I'm actively trying to make them my thing). All I need is headphones blaring music and the MapMyRun App, and I'm ready to go. 

I originally started my Journey To Wellness in the latter part of 2013. Taking it very slowly (as changing lifestyle habits such as diet and exercise was extremely foreign territory for me), it wasn't long before I saw progress: muscle definition in places I'd never seen it before, and even my appetite; I was more willing to try new things, and more determined to stay away from the bad stuff.

It was much easier to maintain this lifestyle change before I moved to Melbourne. I'd go to exercise class with my sister three times a week, I'd always pack my lunch for work (a sandwich and an apple), I would naturally make sure a drink bottle was always handy, and I'd made a decision to cut soft drink entirely from my diet (which I made everyone in my family aware of so they would snap me out of those former habits when they creeped up in weaker moments).

But now, in Melbourne, I'm not part of any exercise classes, my lunch is whatever I feel like, the fridge is never far away so I don't fill up a drink bottle, and soft drink is often back on the menu. Despite falling back into some former habits, I've really come to realise that these actions do not define you. And more importantly, you know your own body. I'm happy, and still well on my way to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and reaching my goal body shape, however I'm not going to cut out completely the things I love anymore because it's just so boring. Yes, I have a sometimes-love affair with McDonalds, I drink soft drink with dinner (and some days even lunch), and there are more days than some when I'm ready to give up exercise for good and binge eat for Australia. I'm only human, after all.

So, tomorrow, I'll get up and go for a run. I'll probably drink some soft drink during the day and I know there's cheese and biscuits waiting for when I'm feeling indulgent. Despite what it may seem, I've still got my wellness journey firmly in place: I am conscious of what I'm eating, and I exercise appropriately. That's just me. Maybe your journey is different. The best thing to remember is that it's called a journey for a reason It's not a strict diet that promises fantastic overnight results if you limit yourself to cabbage soup and lemon water. It's not setting you up to fail because a bump in the road is part of the process. Be your own motivation.

Monday, February 10, 2014

What I Failed To Mention About Moving

Utilities suck. Electricity, in particular, sucks. SIX DAYS we went without power. It was horrific, no hot food, showers under torch-light, endless amounts of boardgames to pass the time (even Chess, yep, that's what it came to in the end), charging our phones in the car, and the overwhelming frustration (that was often only projected in either tears, yelling, or kicking something) felt after every phone call to our retailer and/or supplier when they told us that something else had gone wrong. 

A Timeline Of Events... 
FRIDAY: Power was originally organised to be switched on today. One day prior to our big move. 
SATURDAY: Moved in. No power. Supplier tells me our retailer didn't notify them about switching us on. At this point our retailer is closed, so we have no choice but to wait until Monday. 
SUNDAY: We wait. At this point we weren't fussed as we were confident we'd be switched on tomorrow plus we had heaps of unpacking to do anyway. 
MONDAY: I am told by our retailer that someone will be here today to switch us on. By about 6pm I am worried so I call the supplier to check on the order and again, like Friday, they have no idea who I am. 
TUESDAY: Fed up with our original retailer. Call another retailer and ask them to do the job today. The agree and say we'll be switched on my lunch time. 2pm comes and I call the supplier. They tell me that the job from our first retailer (the one we had since decided to scrap) had been "found" as it was apparently lost somewhere, and that is going ahead, and the job we had arranged with the other supplier had been cancelled because you simply can't have two orders for one premises. So we decide to continue with the original retailer because at least we know now someone is coming to switch us on. At 10:30pm I ring the supplier to get an update (by this point I'm ringing every half hour) and they say a technician came out, rang the intercom, no answer and so he left. UM HELLO THE INTERCOM IS RUN BY ELECTRICITY SO OF COURSE THERE WAS NO ANSWER YOU MORON. Yep by this point came the extreme frustration projected in tears. I think I even sobbed in my sleep that night. 
WEDNESDAY: We can't take dis shit no more. I ring the original retailer and tell them to cancel the order with the supplier. Ring the other retailer and have them arrange us to be connected again today. Am told it's all good and it's going to happen. I ring the supplier a few hours later and am told the retailer incorrectly filled out the supply order and I have to get them to change it! This happens three times!!! I am crying again. Now the ombudsman is involved. Now people are starting to care because they're calling me and telling me that someone is coming, it's going to be switched on, that they're actually sorry. At 7pm we are switched on. The lights work, we can finally eat a warm meal. All past frustrations are forgotten. 
THURSDAY: Wake up, electricity is still working and we are counting our blessings. AND THEN AT 2PM WE ARE SWITCHED OFF AND I FIND OUT THAT OUR RETAILER HAD ORGANISED THIS FOR SOME UNKNOWN REASON. I ring, fuelled with anger and exhaustion from the previous days, and by this point everyone I speak to from both the retailer's office and the supplier's office, all know who I am by my first name. We are switched on within three hours after this, and no one can tell me exactly why we were switched off because the retailer maintains that they didn't send anything to the supplier to state they wanted us switched off. The supplier maintains they did. The ombudsman maintains that the supplier doesn't do anything that a retailer doesn't tell them to do

And that is the last of it (for now at least). I am expecting a call from the Ombudsman to continue the complaint and intend to receive some form of compensation from either our retailer or supplier (or perhaps even both) because we deserve it. The main thing I have learnt from this ordeal: Electricity isn't a luxury but a necessity, and far out, if you speak with confidence, and have a team of people on your side, not even the prick of a guy on the other end of the phone will mess with you.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Look What I've Been Up To...

We got the place. We moved in.

Yep. Life rocks. Now we cook our own dinner. Wash our own clothes. Go to bed whenever we want to (and that includes a substantial rise in the number of naps I have per week). And what's best...? We don't work! Well not yet anyway. All is right in the world, no 6am wake up, no dauntingly long eight hours of staring at a computer screen to look forward to, no mindless banter with people you have to pretend are your friends! Ahhh, bliss. We start Uni in about a month and I'm more than excited. I've waited what feels like forever to start learning and writing again. I already love everything about Melbourne. So much culture. So many opportunities. And everything is in close proximity! Even what is considered travelling a "long" distance is really only a max. twenty minute drive! I'm pretty much overflowing with happiness. I can't even bring myself to care even slightly about the tyres that persistently screech with confidence right outside despite what hour of the early morning or late night it is. Nope, not even the slamming of doors or the belting of music in the next room could phase me.

Some other things that have happened (prior to the move):

  • I got a scholarship. Yep. Thanks Deakin Uni, that's $7,500 per year for the duration of my course that I don't have to worry about. Ahhhhh so blessed.
  • I got my red P's. I neglected to really commit to getting my licence in high school but hey a few years late is better than never?!
  • I finished up working. Yep the day before I left for Melbourne was my last day as a full time worker for hopefully a few good years. Lesson learnt: When you're eighteen with dreams of tertiary education and lifelong wealth and happiness, working full time in a mindless administration position that generally goes to any brainless halfwit isn't the best way to spend a year.
  • I finished up boot camp after four months with approx. 5.5kg lost and a bunch of motivation to continue gained. It's amazing what seeing a little progress can do to keep your mind on the right track.

Anyway, here are some happy snaps from my Instagram of our time so far in the new place.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Welcome January

Happy (belated) New Year! Can you believe it's Jan 2nd already? Christmas was only last week! Where did all the time go?

Anyway, today was day one of twenty nine days remaining of full time work left before I move away for University study in Melbourne. It was certainly strenuous (to say the least!) trying to get myself out of bed at 6am, my attempt to re discover my early-bird working routine failed miserably, so I'm thankful I have twenty nine days to perfect it! (not really, I'd rather be sleeping any day!)

This month is really jam-packed because of the move and trying to fit in day trips to Melbourne in between working, which is great because I love keeping busy. On that note, next week I re-begin my fitness regime: two one hour intense sessions twice per week at a fantastic fitness class. I'm excited because over Christmas, I seriously ate for Australia. I had given up a lot of fast food and soft drink for about three months and so treated myself, multiple times ...per day. It was worth it though, I enjoy being able to splurge every now and then, however now I'm feeling it, and my body is paying for it. Today on my lunch break I had my normal sandwich-apple-juice combo and it was so bland and boring, I'd really gotten used to salty snacks and deep-fried meals. I used to really look forward to a healthy and convenient school-like lunch! It's going to take some time and suffering to look forward to eating that again. Sigh!

Also, with the last month of work, and thus, the last of the flow of regular income, comes my last attempt at budgeting and attempting to save as much as I can from the last few pay checks I receive. I'm putting away substantially more than what I did all of last year, which I'm capable of doing if I don't go looking in Sportsgirl or scrolling through Modcloth. I have a few outgoings this month (phone bill etc), but I'm sticking to my guns! Save, save, save! Hopefully I continue to have this strength (or ideal of strength) saved up when I'm walking through the shopping plaza on my lunch break! Today I already nearly blew it when I saw a nice dress...

So, what does January, and indeed, the rest of 2014 hold for you?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

House Inspection

Last week, my boyfriend and I began the first of many back and forth house inspection trips to Melbourne before the big move (hopefully) at the end of the month/early February! It is so exciting yet so nerve racking. All the months we have spent anxiously waiting whilst we work and save, thinking moments like these would never come!

We arrived in sunny Melbourne mid morning and headed straight to our first appointment. As we arrived into the street, I was instantly intrigued. All brand new apartments, semi-quiet area (the hustle of traffic is always humming slightly), walking distance to University and other amenities. Perfect, I thought. 

As we inspected the inside of the property, I wasn't disappointed. Clean, white and spacious. Energy efficient appliances. Great view of the area, and the city nestled in the skyline. After deliberating and ensuring that the property adhered to our specifications, we requested a rental application immediately.

Here are some snaps from our trip:

Who knew rental applications could be so time consuming?! I'm sending it off to the real estate tomorrow and hopefully we hear good news within the next week or so!