Monthly Archives: July 2014

2014-Week 30!

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Hello again! Time for another update, it seems 🙂

-Curves Complete is going relatively well. We’re getting new equipment at the gym from this week (today will be the first day I get to use it), and I’m looking forward to hopefully working harder at the gym because of it. Over the week, the staff are going to monitor whether we’re using the machines correctly, so it will be a good review to see if there’s any machines I could be using better.

-On the same note, I wanted to clarify why I’m making such an effort to get “healthier”. The main reason is for my future: to ensure I will be in the best health possible, have controlled diabetes and to be happy. A huge part of me is also doing this for my (future) family. One day, I want to be able to be an active, healthy mum who is a positive influence and role model for my (future) children. Actually, my “getting healthy” initiative is also to ensure I even will be able to have a family: type 1 diabetes makes pregnancy a huge balancing act, where your blood sugar levels have to be perfect for the majority of the time to even have a successful pregnancy (it’s pretty bloody scary). I don’t think people realise how hard it can be for type 1 diabetics with pregnancy. Before you all freak out- this isn’t something I’m thinking about doing at present, or for a while, but it’s a goal within the next 5 years or so; therefore I have to work on my health to give my (future) children the best future possible. But overall, I want people to know that I’m not just committing to a gym to try and lose weight: I want to make future Rachel a healthy and happy one.

-I’ve actually had some crazy diabetes levels this week…hypos (low blood sugar levels) out of nowhere. I’ve been having some overnight, after the gym, even when I wake up…and a couple of days where I’ve had several. It’s so draining and exhausting, and I’ve been pretty out of it most of the week. I’m waiting to get some updates from my doctors as to if my insulin levels need to be updated since going back to the gym, but it’s just been really strange to have so many hypos. It’s hard because I have to stop everything I’m doing to treat these, and it really feels like it inconveniences everyone when it happens. But, I guess you can’t help it if it’s related to health…

-In all honesty, I’ve had a really crappy week in passing regarding finances. We’ve had so many bills to pay off, leaving us with very little money over the past month. In fact, we’ll be like this until we return from our honeymoon. But really, that’s life. My tax return estimate is also way lower than what I was hoping for, which was a little bit unexpected. I hate being worried about money (something that really is out of your control in the end), but it’s been stressing me out big time. I’ve had to really scrimp and save this month compared to normal (which has been a good learning curve, in all honesty); for example, I have been wearing my hair in a ponytail to work not just because people think it looks good…it’s because I actually can’t afford to get my hair cut. I’ve also run out of some of my make-up for work, so for the past week I’ve been having to combine different products I have in my cupboards to try and give myself some “coverage”. Going without coffee and/or a drink at work has been tough too, and I’ve had headaches most of the week because of caffeine withdrawals, plus I’ve been having loads of hypos at work (so I’ve had to make sure I bring extra food with me as there’s no way I can afford to buy it at work). Learning to completely cut costs (going without drinks at work, those takeout meals when we’re feeling lazy etc) has been tough, to be honest (I’m guessing mainly because I’m been blessed with not having to “do without” much thanks to a very generous and supportive family). I feel bad and really shouldn’t complain though, because there are so many people out there who have it worse off: they don’t even have the “luxuries” of a roof over their heads, a semi-brand new car and a overseas holiday to look forward to. I’m just not used to having to budget to the extreme, and with unexpected bills this week, we’ve had a harsh reality check.

-In contrast though, I am so thankful for family and friends who have helped us out with the above; whether it be making the effort to come visit us (so we save petrol), or socialise on the cheap. We’re trying to be very tight with our budget for the honeymoon to even be possible, so this has helped out big time for us. We really appreciate that others understand our saving goals, and that they still make the effort to spend time with us. Thanks to all who have helped!

-I’ve had my first week of study in my Masters come and go in the blink of an eye, and I’m already behind. Having so many hypos made studying hard as I was exhausted. However, I did manage to watch all the lectures and do all of my readings. I still have to complete and submit my weekly summary, watch two videos and answer questions on the readings though. I’m really hoping I’ll be successful in receiving some sort of Study Leave allowance through work, as I’m getting worried about already being behind in study.

-Also, the readings for the subject I’m currently doing (Gender in Asian Societies) have made me a little sad/disappointed about being a female and the inequality that is still present in society. I will admit something that may seem profound and a bit crazy: I feel that my career will grind to a halt when I decide to have kids. This is because I’ve seen it happen to so many females before. This is why I feel I need to try so hard and want to advance as far as I can career-wise, because I have this terrible gut feeling that it’s going to be so hard to progress once I’ve had kids. Yes, I understand that priorities change once you have kids, and work tends to not be as important, but I’m concerned that I will lose opportunities once I decide to have kids. There also still seems to be a lack of authoritative roles for women, which is concerning. Maybe it wasn’t a good idea starting with a subject about gender…oh well.

-I’ve started playing some Zelda again in the 3DS game A Link Between Worlds in an attempt to relax and get some gaming time in between everything. I had been stuck at the “gale” dungeon for ages, but finally figured out where I was up to: it was a situation where I hadn’t played for ages and forgot where I was up to/where I had to go. I’m now up to the alternate world, which is awesome. For some reason, it feels like this game is “easier” than other Zelda games before it. However, it has some pretty epic music behind it! After receiving a pressie from the hubby of a Zelda sword/shield pendant collection, I’ve been really wanting to play some Zelda. I’m aiming to work on my games in A Link Between Worlds and Skyward Sword for now.

And that’s about it for this week’s update! Thanks for reading 🙂

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2014-Week 29!

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Hello again! Time to write about what’s happened over the past week then 🙂 I’ve just got a small update:

-I’m starting my Masters degree TODAY. OMG. I’ve been so excited, yet nervous about it all of last week. However, my fantastic Business Coach has helped me in making an awesome place in fitting my study in. We examined how much time I really have available for things, and in examining this I remembered that while work is a big part of my day, I still have a lot of hours remaining. Currently, these hours are really me vegging out at home/going to bed insanely early/watching pointless TV. So, I’ve been able to plan out that I’ll do a little bit of study each day (and have Wednesday nights off!). I’m just doing the one subject, however around my busy work/gym/life schedule, I’m guessing I’m going to become mega busy and (unintentionally) less sociable. So…apologies in advance to people that I won’t be able to catch up with as much.

-There are some days (particular over the past week) where I wonder if I’m going in the right direction. If where I am now is where I’m meant to be career-wise. If I should be jumping in and taking risks and going after what I really want to do…wait…what do I really want to do? I dunno, there’s days where I feel like the work I do really doesn’t matter, and I really wonder if I’m capable of doing more. Or if I should be doing more. Did 15 year old bright-eyed me think that after working hard and being told I’d go far in high school, I’d end up in what is generally a 9-5 admin desk job? I feel like I’ve let so many people down in not doing something spectacular, high-earning and something that gets my name out there. Maybe it is just reality hitting me: that it’s hard getting work and making a career for yourself once you finish uni (unless you take spectacular risks). I don’t even know if I’m talented enough to dream big anymore, or what I am dreaming for is “big” enough. Hard to explain in vague terms, I know.

-I’ve had a rather dreadful week regarding my medical conditions. I’ve had a hypo nearly every morning this week, and some after I’ve gotten home from the gym. I also had a “coeliac attack” after accidently eating some gluten (looks like I won’t be able to get takeaway pizza anymore….). In summary, having a coeliac attack and diabetic hypos at the same time is NOT GOOD. You don’t want to eat anything as your stomach is sick, yet you HAVE to. Because of all the hypos, I’ve been emotionally unstable and so, so tired. The reasoning behind all the hypos, I think, is because I’m back into my full workout swing, and my insulin levels overnight now need to be reduced. Anyway, I’ve been feeling horrible about it, because it means I’ve had to eat more, therefore won’t help with my Curves Complete plan progress.

-Speaking of Curves Complete….I will embarrassingly admit that I cried at the gym last week. I’ve hit a plateau, it seems. I have not been able to lose any weight for a few weeks now-I’ve maintained weight, though on the plus-side I’ve lost body fat and centimetres still. I guess what made me feel terrible is that I’m not seeing the numbers on the scales getting lower. My gym coaches assured me I was being too hard on myself, but I guess I just have really high expectations for myself. That being said, I’ve been told that right now, I’m gaining muscle (hence the plateau in weight loss), and after a few more weeks should start losing weight again. I still feel really good overall, and can feel more muscle (if that makes sense).

-I really need to focus on actually giving myself time to do the hobbies I enjoy. Most of the time I’m exhausted from work/gym that I end up crashing in front of the TV. However, with study commencing for me this week, I’m hoping to really make sure I’m giving myself time to do valuable things, and the things I love most. This includes reading, sewing and music mainly. I know it’s probably bad to “schedule” time to relax, but I am working so well with things being scheduled recently, so I might as well make sure that I’m giving myself enough time to de-stress and do something I enjoy.

That’s really all the updates I have for this week (nothing to exciting…).Thanks for reading 🙂

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2014-Week 28!

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Hi everyone! Ok, I’m hoping I’ll have this post up nice and early this week (in contrast to last week’s lateness). Here’s what happened over the past week:

-So far, my week has been pretty uneventful regarding exercise. After losing the 2.5% body fat from the previous week, I’m eagerly awaiting more results, which I’ll find out about today. I’ve sort-of just maintained weight over the past few weeks (while it seems that I was gaining muscle/losing body fat, as I still lost 6.5cm!) So, some loss in numbers may be god. It’s probably weird to admit, but I can *feel* the results. I can feel more muscle, and I’m feeling much more toned. Ray is definitely noticing the changes in my body too, and it’s great he’s letting me know as I wouldn’t realise that it was happening, haha. I’m still needing to do more walking (it’s hard in the bloody wind….in fact, my walk home from the gym has me walking against the wind, which I think should burn double the calories…in a perfect world, haha), and I’m needing to drink more water. Otherwise, I’m getting back into the swing of exercising regularly, and it’s so easy to notice all of the benefits; my diabetes levels have been amazing, I feel more energised, it’s a great stress release etc.

-I’m trying to decide if I will change the domain name (web URL) for this blog, and maybe give it a new theme. Now I’m married, the blog title isn’t as relevant (as I have a new last name which doesn’t have “new” in it). I’ve recently changed my Instagram name to something I feel is more suitable to me, and more anonymous (and more fun!), so I’m thinking about claiming that as my new website name. I’m going to think over it during the next week, and see what I can do. Now I’m a wife, I feel it’s time to update the blog anyway…

-I have to admit something: shopping is extremely good for my mental health. Back in the day, when I was a struggling uni student, I discovered the joys of having a credit card. Any time I was stressed, I would go and buy myself something. However, you can see how bad a habit that would be, and I ended up in quite a bit of trouble (well, nothing that being thrifty and budgeting couldn’t fix). Now that we’re on a very tight budget (with things like honeymoons and house deposits to save for), I’m realising that while I can’t go on luxurious sprees, it’s important to get myself something small, yet special each fortnight. Of recent, it’s definitely been a thrill for me to purchase a new Erstwilder resin accessory each fortnight; they’re cheap, amazingly pretty and cute, and add a little something special to outfits. I’m finding even a tiny purchase like that does wonders to me feeling less stressed, and I’m looking for even cheaper options too, such as purchasing vintage brooches on eBay and the sort. It’s very important to acknowledge the things that make you feel good and calm you down, so I’m adjusting my “habit” to fit my budget.

-Ray and I got to have an adventure this week with his family: we went to the Zoo! Well, Taronga Zoo to be exact. It was incredible, and what made it even more awesome was how excited our nieces were about seeing all of the animals. I got to be a “big kid” for the day and get excited about the animals too! It was a good thing to do in being able to see just how incredible the animals of the world are, which is something I think I normally don’t pay attention to. The seal show and bird show in particular were pretty awesome to watch! Overall, a very good adventure 🙂

-I’ve discovered some new music this week! On our way back from Sydney, we were listening to Triple J, and this amazing band came on. Immediately, their soul sound was epic in my books, plus their lead female singer had an incredible voice. Shazam told me that the band is called Saskwatch, and I’ve been hooked since. I’m planning to get all of their albums, as their music makes me feel so, so happy! I also finally managed to grab Maxïmo Park’s new (ish) album, Too Much Information. I’ve been a fan of the band’s classic “British” sound since I was introduced to them around 10 years ago now (kudos to the person who introduced me to them J), plus they fit the book perfectly in being the type of British alternative band I’m into. However, their recent album seems to be sounding more mainstream and modern, in my opinion (not that I’m calling my music tastes non-mainstream or hipster, haha). I love Leave This Island ever since I heard it in the line-up for the Triple J Hottest 100, however the rest of the songs on the album don’t seem to fit the classic style of music they’ve presented. It may grow on me still though, and they are sounding awesome for a band that’s been around for a while now!

-I’m still on my adventure in accessorising and building confidence in my outfits, taking pictures every day of my outfits for future reference (so I remember the awesome combos!) I will admit though, I did break my rule of wearing colour last week: I wore a black and white striped top, with a black skirt. However, I did accessorise with colour in an Erstwilder ship brooch, blue headband and red shoes. I’m hoping I can keep accessorising in colour if I do end up wearing black/white on some days (let’s face it: with a wardrobe with lots of these monochrome colours, I have to be honest in that some outfits will be based on these). So, I think a good rule will be making sure each outfit has a least one bit of colour (whether clothing or accessory) from now on. I’ve also been loving wearing hair accessories again, particularly headbands. However, the headbands seem to be too small as I’m getting tension headaches from them. So, I’m not sure whether I brave the (slight) pain, or try to find wider headbands (for my fat head, haha).

-I am loving having Instagram (which I’ve now made a widget on the right-hand side of this page, yay!) I’ve found so many inspiring people to follow on there, and love documenting my life in pictures on there. As I rarely use Facebook these days, my main updates are through my blog here and Instagram; hence, both are now joined 🙂

-Now that the year is settling down, I’m going to start my craft (sewing) projects again! This week, I’m aiming to make some 50s/60s style pyjamas as a project. I’m aiming to have this done in 2 weeks, and it’s an easy project to ease me back into sewing. I *really* want to get sewing again on a regular basis, so I’m hoping this will get me started on being excited about the hobby again.

-I am officially starting my first subject (Gender in Asian Societies) in my Masters of Asian Studies next Monday. Eeeek! To be honest, I’m pretty nervous about starting to study again (particularly fitting it around work/life), but it’s essential that I further my study before it’s too late eg. I get too old/decide to have kids, in my opinion. I want to have the qualifications to further my career so that when Ray and I want to have kids, I’m in a position suitable to support us/in a role I’d be comfortable to work part-time if needed. So, there’s so many reasons for me to start this NOW. I’m hoping I can be dedicated and strict in keeping up with study, and I hope I’m capable of receiving passing grades. 🙂

That’s about it for now 🙂 Thanks for reading!

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2014-Week 27!

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Hello everyone! Apologies for the late post-I ended up accidentally leaving my blog entry document at work, and took a day off…so forgot to post earlier this week (sorry!)

Well, we’re definitely half-way through this year…it’s going way too quick in my opinion! Here’s my update of the week-in-passing:

-I managed to do what was (in my opinion) my first intensive week back on the Curves Complete program ie. I followed the meal plan, did enough workouts and walked a lot. While I haven’t lost much weight, at my weigh and measure my coach told me that I’ve lost a whopping 2.5% body fat and 6.5cm in 3 weeks! So, I’m definitely in a period of gaining the muscle back which I lost from being sick, and I actually am feeling a lot more “healthier”. I’m so happy with my progress, as it’s not really about just the weight loss for me- it’s seeing me becoming a healthier person each week! 🙂

-From a positive note to a more negative one: I’m really disliking how much influence money has over the world and our lives. It’s made me pretty bummed out over the past week or so in particular. Realising that we’ll have to work our butts off to even try to save up for a house deposit (while one of us doesn’t have a guarantee of work due to contracted work), and potentially not having much security with very little work being classified as permanent for teachers. Especially for Ray, who is a teacher, and found out one permanent role he applied for had over a thousand applicants. And it’s also tough as well in deciding whether to (hypothetically) stick in a role you’re enjoying (but has a slow progression to the higher salaries you’re aiming for), or take a risk and look for higher paying roles (which most likely would not be as enjoyable). So many decisions…it’s tough, because I originally thought we could wait to buy a house/have kids until we both had secure work. But in the light of how our economy is, the likelihood of both of us having permanent work and our ages, we really may not be able to wait to do the above items anyway. It’s a tough realisation, but I guess we’re a lot better off than a lot of people, and I need to remember that. Besides, the challenge makes it much more rewarding in the long-term, and I’m hoping will make me be more grateful down the track when we have these things we’ve been aiming and working so damn hard for.

-Back to my “confidence” project: I’ve been really making an effort over the past week to try and “dress well”. Well, trying to dress with confidence and adding quirky bits of colour and things to my outfits, while also steering away from safe choices (aka all black outfits). It seems to be working, as I’ve been getting quite a few people commenting on how nice I’ve been looking recently! I’ve also started wearing my hair up in a ponytail to work, something I originally thought made me look horrible and derpy (and I kept for wearing to the gym). Overall, though, I’m finding adding small touches to outfits such as headbands and brooches can really make me feel a lot better about what I’m wearing. I’ve also been missing clothing items from my wardrobe that I’ve either forgotten I had, or didn’t think could go together with other items (and with epic results). And it’s also amazing to mix colours, and even be wearing bright colours. I’ve been keeping a photo log of outfits each day (maybe if I have the guts, I’ll put some up on here!) so I can remember what works well, and what could be changed. It’s really hard to explain what it means, but in simple terms it’s making me happy and feeling much more confident about how I present myself. 🙂 Simple changes can do so much!

-My project in clearing out my wardrobe is going well too. We’ve had a slight delay (in having a rental inspection next weekend), but I’m slowly cutting down my wardrobe (and at the same time rediscovering items I forgot I had!) I’m aiming to sell quite a few items on eBay, and also donate a good portion (hopefully for good karma, haha). It’s been an exciting challenge and a mind-over-matter thing for me in doing this (I’m such a hoarder normally!) but it’s been a rather “cleansing” process.

-I have to admit that I’ve started playing WoW quite frequently (again). Well, not every night….but it’s been my go-to thing for relaxation. It’s very easy to spend an hour or two on WoW just to wind down; you don’t have to think much to be able to get far, yet there’s still challenges to keep you interested. I’ve started a game as an undead warrior, which has been progressing well. Again, I am doing this through a private/offline-ish server, but if WoW ended up becoming cheaper (or free), I may consider jumping online to a private server and playing with some “real” people…if I have the guts, haha.

-In two weeks, I’ll be starting my Masters in Asian Studies. Unfortunately, one of the units I was going to take this session was cancelled due to low enrolments, so I’m a little bit worried about the remainder of the courses. If this is normal, then it could affect the units I was planning to do, and I don’t want to have limited course options. So, I may have to think about whether I transfer into the Master of International Relations earlier than expected, which may end up being my only option if courses are limited by distance for the Master of Asian Studies. I really can’t wait to be studying again, even if it’s only a subject a session. I’m looking forward to keeping my brain active, and doing something that’s significantly going to contribute to my professional career. I really hope I can balance it around work and everyday life, as well as keep myself motivated, especially when undertaking dry core subjects!

And that’s about all the updates I have for now 🙂 Thanks for reading!

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2014-Week 26!

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Hi again! Well, another week jam-packed with things happening. Here’s this week (in passing)’s update:

-Man, I’ve been having a hard time getting back into the Curves Complete program. It was crazy windy this week, therefore I didn’t walk to the gym as much from fear of being killed by something like a twig or branch or something (haha, yes really…it was so windy that we lost pailings off our wooden fence…these were securely in place on the fence!) So, I really didn’t want much this week. I also didn’t get to stick to my meal plan much this week because of lack of funds. We ended up not having much money, so I wasn’t able to get supplies to follow the meal plan. Instead, we focused on using up/eating what we did have at home, so that we can start afresh on getting supplies this week. I haven’t lost weight, but haven’t gained any either over the past week. I’m hoping once I’m up walking more and we have the meal plan supplies readily available, I’ll start marking some more evident progress.

-Some people may have noticed that I’ve started culling my wardrobe over the past week or so. I wanted to explain the reasoning behind it on here. Over the past few years, I’ve hoarded items of clothing which “fit” me. Well, they fit me, but they aren’t flattering at all, or I’ve just kept them because they’re “comfortable” and make me blend into the background. It doesn’t do anything to lift my confidence in how I look! This includes so many frumpy black dresses and the like. So, over the past week, I’ve made a commitment to start a wardrobe of items which fit me well and give me confidence. To do so, this means doing a cull through any items that don’t fit this mix. So far, I’ve managed to clear out a lot of items (and I’ll probably do an eBay sale of these), and I’ve also rediscovered some items which I thought I didn’t look good in (but surprisingly, they look really good and make me feel so much more confident!) Once the whole wardrobe has been cleared out, I’m going to start investing in quality pieces for my wardrobe: ones which suit me, make me feel confident and look amazeballs on me. However, the condition will be that for every new item, I will have to get rid of one item. This is to help me finally have a wardrobe that reflects who I am and makes me feel confident about my body and looks. Ray has helped me cut down my Modcloth wishlist to the items that will be the most suitable for my body type and will look best on me, and I now have a good list ready for when I have some savings.

-On the same note as my wardrobe culling, I’m rediscovering how awesome accessorising outfits is! A simple brooch, pretty headband or statement earrings can really brighten up what could be a dull outfit, so I’m going to start trying to accessorise more. After wearing my hair in a ponytail to work (which rarely happens, as I thought it made me look terrible), I received so many compliments from my colleagues, which really shocked me! So, I’m getting out my headbands and trying to wear them again (so far, so good) with different hairstyles, starting with my simple high ponytail. I’m also slowly going to start developing my brooch and earrings collection again, particularly with Erstwilder, Jubly Umph and some quirky pieces. It really can make a huge difference to an outfit!

-Over the weekend, I managed to sit down and play some WoW with Ray. I was hooked to WoW late last year, and kinda got over it by the time Christmas had passed. However, we wanted to have some casual gaming on a Sunday afternoon, and Baldur’s Gate wasn’t working out for us (our computer/server just doesn’t like multiplayer games). So, we brought out the good-old WoW on our private servers. This time was the first time I’ve really had a good game as part of the Horde, and we started a game as Tauren. Can I just say….how beautiful is their starting area!? They have such a great storyline too. I really did forget how beautiful the settings are in WoW, and how easy it is to have a casual gaming session with it. I’m hoping to keep going with my Tauren game, and will probably start an undead game too (Ray thinks they have the best starting area/storyline). Also, I love that the lines between “good” and “evil” really are blurred in WoW…bear in mind I have minimal knowledge on the whole Warcraft series, but I love how there’s no definition that those under the “Horde” are evil etc.

-I’ve been keeping up with reading the “Beautiful You” book, and keeping a journal alongside it. It’s making me identify how much negative talk I have about myself, and how it’s not healthy. Over the past few days, one of the journal entries was about giving yourself a jar, and every time you say something negative about yourself, you have to put some money in the jar. After a week or so, you see how much money there is, reflect on how often you negatively talk about yourself, and use the money to spoil yourself with something that makes you feel good about yourself. It’s definitely a way to recognise how people really bring themselves down. Anyway, the journal is really helping me reflect on my short-comings of confidence, and really focus on how to be more positive about myself and my looks 🙂

And that’s about it! Lots of reflections on being a more confident person, it seems! Thanks for reading 🙂

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