Category Archives: 2015 Goals

2015 in Review

Hello readers!

As part of the goals I set myself each year, I like to report back in my last post of each year to see how I’ve progressed and what I could have done better over the year. As I am aiming to start 2016 with a more focused approach to the blog, as well as writing more of a variety of content, the way I approach these goals for next year will be changing. However, here’s what I learned from 2015 in line with the goals I set:

-I have learned that health is a priority. This year, I’ve started to discover that my health is starting to stop me from doing things that I used to be able to with no problems. Any ideas I previously had about doing extended travel are pretty much impossible now due to my health, so I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that I will have to do shorter overseas trips than I normally would hope to do. I also cannot really drink alcohol anymore (or as much as I could when I was younger) due to how much it mucks up my health in the days after. My levels of tiredness and fatigue have really increased, meaning I struggle to stay up late and attend social events. I’ve seen more specialists than ever this year, and after trying out an insulin pump sensor (where the doctors could not figure out why, even though I was taking all the right steps, my blood sugar levels still weren’t as good as they should be), my doctors have started me on Metformin. They hope that taking this will help my blood sugar levels stabilise, and help in dropping my insulin levels. I’ve always been afraid of needing to be on more medication than needed, but for a chronic immune disease I have to be accepting that this may be the case. My health has come in the way of a lot of things this year, but I have been reminded this year that I am still a strong, capable person and should be thankful for the health I do have.

-I have learned that it’s good to be flexible with plans for the future. I went into 2015 with no idea of what I wanted to happen with my career, plans for saving up for a house, my husband’s job and much more this year. Most of 2015 was pretty rough for hubby and I in relation to these: hubby made the decision to leave his career of teaching due to the lack of permanency and more (which I won’t go too much into on here), so he is currently trying to find a new job for 2016. His goal is to find something that allows him to pursue his passion for writing – whether it be part of the job, or outside of the job (ie. it’s a job where he doesn’t take the work home, and he has time to work on hobbies at home). It’s been quite a journey seeing his focus change over the year, but after what’s happened this year I can completely understand and support his decision. As a result, we’ll hopefully be closer to our goals of saving up for a house (something we’d never be able to do if he stayed in teaching). At the same time, I’ve spent the year trying to figure out where I wanted to be going career-wise, and have ended the year starting a one year secondment with a fantastic, supportive, positive team. This role will help me cross-skill and give me a chance to see what other opportunities are available, and it’s the perfect place for me to be for 2016. I’m really proud that I’ve taken the step to think outside the box and be more flexible in where I could be going for the future – stepping out of a permanent role for a year to try something new is quite a big change for me. However, I feel that it’s really going to help be establish myself career-wise and figure out the direction I’d like to take for the future.

-I have learned that being healthy is more important that trying to reach weight loss goals. After all the health issues I’ve had through the year, I managed to put on about 2 kilos this year. This was pretty tough for me, however in hindsight I really did have a lot on my plate in the year health-wise which would make weight loss and visual progress impossible. Looking at progress photos from where I started my journey in 2014, however, there’s still a massive difference thanks to muscle and toning. Nevertheless, I really struggled this year with the expectations of the gym to follow their meal plans and programs against what my doctors and health needed from me, as well as not seeing much physical changes in my body from exercise. The realisation that I need to get my health sorted before I can try and actively pursue weight loss was absolutely vital for me this year. Due to finances and needing to afford new medications for 2016, I have stepped back from following the gym’s meal plan program. Instead, I will be going into the new year making my own meal plan to follow: a hybrid of the plan I was on at the gym, filled with the required amounts of food and nutrients my doctors and dieticians have recommended, and taking lots of inspiration from Japanese bento lunches. My hubby and I are aiming to make ourselves more bento styled lunches and eating more organically (more grains, meat, fruit and veg and less processed things) in the new year. I also need to start not drinking soft drink anymore – something which has crept up again on me towards the end of this year. So, in focusing on getting my diabetes blood sugar levels in control, hopefully having less insulin as a result and following my own meal plan, I hope to get my health in order so that I’ll then start seeing some progress at the gym.

-I learned that keeping up the things that you’re passionate about is vital (and that exploring new interests is also vital). This year, I feel that I’ve let my hobbies go to waste – I haven’t actively given myself enough time for the things I enjoy. I’ve only really given myself two sewing projects (one where I only need to hem the dress before I can report on it on the blog), but I just haven’t been inspired enough to finish it off. My resin jewellery adventures went on the backburner once Summer ended last year, while I also barely managed to read any of the books I had in mind for my Goodreads 2015 challenge. This year has been rather serious in nature as a result, focused on sorting out finances, health and jobs. I feel I would have gotten through this year much easier if I had given myself more time to pursue my creative outlets. As we get closer to 2015, I now have my Shamisen – something I intend to share with you as my musical outlet. Hubby and I are also aiming to revamp our sewing area, so it is much more accessible and easy to use (I think one of the main things which makes sewing uninspiring for me is how messy our sewing area is!) And once financial plans are sorted, I’m hoping to get back into resin jewellery and maybe complete a workshop to bring myself up to speed. I really hope I can get these hobbies back on track, as I’d love to share them with you.

-I have learned the value of studying a course relevant to my employment and one that is very versatile for the future. I spent the first half of the year trying to figure out whether I wanted to get back to study: the course I was completing last year came to a halt when it was cancelled and all the distance classes on offer disappeared as a result. With my Asian Studies course no longer available, I decided to re-evaluate what I wanted to study. I have a love of learning, and I can see myself studying so many different areas in the future. However, I never really pursued academia related to my career – this year, I decided to branch out and make this happen. In starting a postgraduate business degree, I felt quite nervous: I was from a humanities background, and unsure as to whether I could be as concise and factual as a business degree required. However, my first subject was a fantastic introduction for me, and I can see just how relevant and useful this is going to be for me. I received a distinction for this subject (in fact, I was two marks off a High Distinction), and considering I completed this subject in my own time around full-time work, I’m suite proud of the result. I am hoping in the new year to try and do two subjects a session with the support of work, which would mean that I could potentially finish my Masters degree with a double major by the end of 2017 – years in advance of when I would complete it if I did it all in my own time. Studying a degree directly related to my career (which could also help me branch out into other areas if I decided to do so in the future) has been such a confidence booster for me this year.

– I have learned that I need to stop writing about certain parts of my life on the blog just to “have content” each week. As a result of this, I’ve made a conscious decision to stop talking about my job/work on the blog. Work is work. Last year, I felt that even though it was something I could provide an update on for the blog, it shifted my focus from using the blog as my creative outlet. Also, as I’m trying to differentiate myself from my professional/career through this website, I don’t see as much value in providing updates. I’m starting 2016 in a fantastically positive and supportive space for my career, which likely means I will have more energy and enthusiasm to working on some of my goals surrounding hobbies and outside-of-work pursuits.

Overall, I think that for 2016 I will continue most of the goals I had listed for 2015, but rather put them as overall goals. I think giving a year limit for the goals makes them unrealistic and makes the blog too rigid in the content I’d like to share. So, these goals will be more of a reference point for me to keep in mind when sharing ideas on here for next year onwards, but I’ll also focus on just writing and sharing more on here, and not being afraid of stepping outside the box of my usual content.

I look forward to sharing 2016 with you! Happy New Year 🙂

Week 44 Update, 2015

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So, as I mentioned last week, I’m keeping these weekly updates short and only with progress reports on selected areas. Over the past week I’ve had some pretty good progress health and exercise wise, so here’s my update!

I have been so focused on channelling any negative feelings and frustrations I have into exercise. Over the past few weeks, a combination of both feeling unwell and feeling crap emotionally led to me to barely getting to the gym. However, my gym coach reminded me how helpful the gym is to me: I have a chance to let off some steam and to put all my energy into exercising, whilst always feeling so positive and refocused afterwards. So, based on the advice of my coach, I set out to meet some exercise goals last week. I’m pleased to report that I stuck by every single one, and even exceeded one of my goals: I managed to get to the gym 4 times a week, do over 10,000 steps 5 days in a row and walk every day in my lunch break at work! Even though I had a very busy week, and had days where I really wanted to stay at home and watch Netflix, once I got to the gym and completed a workout I didn’t regret my decision. I managed to even get an extra surprise, as through the week’s solid efforts I managed to somehow lose 1.2 kilos in the process.

So, in light of the above, I’m yet again reminded about how powerful exercise is for having a healthy mind and for relieving stress. Even if I do a small walk, and complete a pretty dismal workout at the gym, the effect it has on my ability to stay positive and cope throughout the week is incredible. I’m definitely aiming to keep this up, and just monitor how exercise helps me maintain a positive attitude and lifestyle.

That’s my main update for this week. I have some exciting things happening related to Dungeons and Dragons, streaming on Twitch.tv and my music, but you’ll have to wait to find out over the coming weeks. Thanks for reading 🙂

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Week 43 Update, 2015: time for a break

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Hello readers!

Well, my blog is looking a little sad and worn at the edges. I’ve found over the past 6 months especially that the direction of my blog has been one I’m not proud of. Writing content has become more of a chore than a hobby, and my content each week is pretty much the same.

So, I’m going to be taking a little hiatus to figure out the direction I want this blog to be going in. I will keep writing an update each week in the meantime; however it will be very brief and not too crammed with information. This will be to help me refocus, and to not just be writing “for the sake of writing”.

Thank you to those who had stuck by me and read through each weekly update – I’ve really appreciated your support. In fact, it is one of the main reasons I want to figure out the direction of the blog: so that you’re getting the very best content I can deliver, as well as more inspiration and positivity.

I’ll see you on the other side – thanks for reading, and I look forward to sharing the new direction of the blog!

Mrs Ginger Fox

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Week 42 Update, 2015

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Ahh Week 42 of the year: the week of the meaning of life (you’ll get it if you’re a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fan. If not…go watch the movie, or read the book). Well, it’s not really the week of the meaning of life per se, but it’s been quite a busy week! Here’s what I’ve been up to (with a warning: nothing too exciting has happened this week, but it’s important for me to stick to giving a weekly rundown):

-Well, I’ve managed to maintain progress with the gym this week. That’s pretty much all I was wanting this week, given how much was out of my control health-wise in the process. My gym really reminded me that making sure my health is stabilised is more important than seeing progress: once my diabetes starts behaving itself, I’ll start to see more progress. Fixing my health takes priority, always.

-I have spent most of last week (up until this Monday) with the Continual Glucose Monitoring device attached to me, which has resulted in almost 6 days of 24 hours of recorded blood glucose levels. I’m in the process of sending a batch of reports to my doctors which I downloaded from my pump (yep, the pump can connect to the computer via a transmitter device USB dongle), which will hopefully help figure out the best insulin levels for me to help stabilise my crazy blood glucose readings of late. It’s been pretty interesting seeing how my levels change over 24 hours – overnight, my levels dramatically drop after midnight. I had some false readings recorded on the sensor – over the weekend, the sensor tried to convince my pump I was having some hypos, whilst my normal blood tester showed otherwise! The representatives from the insulin pump company have provided information to me about prices and how to purchase supplies for the sensor…however, at around $400 a month, it’s pretty much impossible at the moment. After seeing just how much the sensor can capture, which will massively help my doctors sort things out for me, I’m so hopeful that the government will help subsidise the costs of insulin pump sensors. It makes so much sense – it would literally help save lives of so many Type 1 Diabetics who pass away due to undetected low blood glucose levels at night, and it’s helping Type 1 Diabetics like myself to improve our blood glucose control – helping us have longer, healthier lives and less risk of long term complications from diabetes.

-With my major essay out of the way, I have one reflective report, and two weeks of discussion posts left until my subject is done for this session. It’s been a bit of a relief that the workload for the subject has been very manageable, especially around my health troubles of late. Anyway, the good feeling I have about the subject will be validated (or not) in the next week or so – once I receive the result of my assignment weighted 45% of my final grade.

That’s all I have to share for this week, for now. Thanks for reading 🙂

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Week 41 Update, 2015

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Hello! Yes, another late post – sorry! I’ve had a crazy-stressful week, with some unexpected medical stuff and a major assignment due in. Now that most of this is out of the way, I’ve finally got time to sit down and write an update…so, here we go:

-I guess I have to be honest – I’m still not doing fantastic about the run of bad luck we’ve had lately, and am finding it pretty hard to talk about it general (except on here, I guess). What’s been hardest for me is seeing how upset my hubby is, and it’s going to be hard to change that until he is able to figure out what he’ll be doing work-wise next year. The feeling of helplessness about the situation is weighing us down, especially when he clearly deserves to be happily and permanently employed in whatever field he decides to follow. I’m still finding myself getting upset every couple of days about how unfair and disappointing it’s been, and that we don’t know what is ahead next for him/us. This could place so much of our future on hold, which we were so ready to start going after next year. We’re trying to find happiness in the simple things, but it’s so difficult to remain positive when careers are a massive part of life, and it’s so uncertain for us at the moment. That being said, we are fortunate to both have steady wages for the rest of the year, so we should be thankful. It’s just a very emotionally exhausting time at the moment. That being said, the love we have for each other is stronger than ever, even through all of this, and we’re so lucky to have each other’s support as we deal with this rough patch in hubby’s work situation. This is making us so strong, and we’re thankful that, no matter what happens, we have each other.

-In light of our dampened spirits, I made it a priority to get outside and exercise last week. I managed to get to Curves three times a week, and have a decent lunch break walk for all my working days last week. I’ve maintained my progress, which is a miracle based on all the stress I’m currently feeling. Exercising really helps me to take my mind off things, or even get it out of my system (even for an hour or two). Now my studies are almost at an end for the year, I’m hoping to resume my normal exercise regime of four times a week, and finally start back at my yoga.

-Earlier this week, I got an unexpected surprise. My diabetes specialists have wanted to put me on a Continual Glucose Monitoring device (CGM) so they can see my blood glucose levels over a 24-hour period. The CGM device is inserted under my skin (like my pump) on the opposite side of my stomach to where my pump is located. The CGM then constantly checks my blood sugars and sends it directly to my pump, where it is graphed and insulin levels adjusted (so, rather than just relying on my blood glucose checks I use my fingers for, we’re getting a crystal-clear view of my sugars for 24 hours over six consecutive days). I am very lucky that I received this device free of charge to try thanks to the efforts of my doctors and the pump company Medtronic. I have always been scared to try out a CGM, as even though it has massive benefits, I was so worried about having something else attached to me. Something else to worry about, and which would make me stick out. Plus, another needle/insertion to not get freaked out about. Anyway, after inserting the CGM with the Medtronic representative, I was really surprised – it was much easier than inserting my insulin pump site! So, I’m glad I finally got over my worries about it – yeah, it means I have more devices on my body, but as hubby says, I’ve “gained more cyborg parts”. Haha.

So far, it’s been a bit of a roller-coaster. I have to pretty much check my levels every hour or so (with preference especially for overnight…goodbye sleep!) for 24 hours as the device calibrates. For the first 12 hours, the device was inaccurately recording I was having hypos, so I was on a mission of monitoring my levels closely. Overnight, the device had an error due to loss of signal, which seemed to result from me accidently bumping the device in my sleep. However, this morning it seems to be monitoring my levels with no issues. It will take some getting used to (and I’m so tired), but I can definitely see the benefits of having a CGM.

However, if I wanted access to this device on a more permanent basis (and for diabetics during pregnancy, it is advised that they wear a CGM for their entire first trimester), it would currently cost $250 a month: something hubby and I could not afford. However, it was discussed on the television show Q&A last night that the government is currently assessing whether this could change to be more affordable in the next budget. However, on the show, Type 1 Diabetes (the auto-immune disease I have) got confused with Type 2 Diabetes, and as a result many audience members and watchers were incorrectly asking why funding should be allowed for a condition caused by obesity and poor diet choices. I’m glad I wasn’t watching, as I would have been infuriated – it’s ridiculous how the media yet again misinterprets Type 1 Diabetes to the general public. Anyway, enough on that – when hubby and I want to have kids, this is something we definitely want to have access to, so as to ensure I have a successful pregnancy and healthy children in the future – it’s pretty much vital. I hope the government can look past the misconceptions of diabetes as a whole and see the benefit and ease of mind this device will bring to so many sufferers like myself.

-As I write this paragraph, I am about to review my final draft of my major assignment for my business class. This case study on social enterprise is worth 45% of my final grade. While I’m surprised about how well I’ve been going so far (I’ll admit – I’m only a few marks off a High Distinction average at the moment), the weighting of this assignment is enough to make me worried. Luckily, I haven’t gone *too* far over the word limit, but have the issue of making sure I haven’t used too many references  (something TurnItIn wasn’t happy about for my last assignment). Anyway, with this class the lecturer discussed the weighting of components of our class work last week, and I was surprised at how in-class participation and discussion was not graded. However, the lecturer assured that while it didn’t have its own grade, it would be considered when giving out final grades. I’ve tried really hard to contribute in class (even though I’m nervous about it most of the time), as well as put in the time each week to contribute to the online discussion boards. So, it’s great to hear that all of the work will *hopefully* pay off. I’m eager to see the timetables for next semester (starting in February) to figure out which subject to do next: currently, I’m tossing up whether I’ll get my compulsory introductory accounting class out of the way, or if I’ll undertake the core class I’m most excited about, which focuses on organisational behaviour. We’ll see once the timetable comes out next month.

-In light of all the stressful situations hubby and I have had to experience over the past few weeks, we’ve started putting more effort into our hobbies – particularly relating to gaming. I have helped hubby set up his podcast (add link) related to his Dungeons and Dragons setting, and we’ve started back with streaming on my channel, doing a casual play-through of Skyrim. Seeing how much happiness and energy these give us after all the bad luck lately has reminded us that it’s important to give yourself time to do the things you enjoy. It’s pretty much commonsense, but we really needed that reminder.

That’s all that’s been happening – or has been decent enough to report on for this week. Thanks for reading!

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Week 40 Update, 2015

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Hello from the other side of the long weekend! Apologies – this week’s post was delayed as I decided to give myself some time to relax and splurge on Netflix instead. I’m still working on getting myself into better spirits, and am glad I took some time off to refocus on my goals for the rest of the year. Anyway, here’s what I’ve been up to over the past week:

-In all honesty, I’ve spent the past week or two really coming to terms with hubby’s job situation: knowing that there’s no security, and also that he’ll be spending the next few months figuring out the direction he wants to go to. Two things are clear: we/he need him to be in a more secure role with permanency before we can make our plans for the future a reality. But the second thing is that we want him to be happy in the career path he’s chosen. We’ve spent lots of time talking about all the possible options and outcomes, and it’s now up to fate and what opportunities make themselves available over the next few months. I will yet again reiterate how disappointed I am with the education system and its lack of loyalty and support for good teachers. Teaching is becoming a career so different to what it was decades ago: it’s no longer a secure career, has unrealistic work expectations as well as lack of support and opportunities for good staff. They’re no longer giving jobs to people because they’re good at it – it’s either for the highest bidder, or because of “who you know”. It’s been so disheartening realising this, especially after having a parent successfully be a teacher decades ago – seeing the clear change in the system is so sad. I’m sick of seeing my husband be treated so badly in the system, and really hope the perfect opportunity comes up which will make him happy and show that he is valued in the career force. Because we’re just about fed up with our career situations – some good news is badly needed to help us get out of this slump.

-In light of the above, I’ve been trying to keep myself active. Alas, hayfever, recurring pain in my ribs and stomach and a group assignment for university meant that I couldn’t keep up my normal pace. In returning to the gym this week, I discovered that even with my lack of progress, my weight has kept itself stable. Hopefully, I have recovered enough to get back to my reasonable rate of exercise and walking, as I really feel it helps me lift my spirits.

-This week, I’ve become quite aware (and ashamed) of how competitive I can be towards certain situations in life – especially in comparing myself to other women. Perhaps it’s the society I’ve been raised in, or the influence of others, but I’ve been struggling this week with a little voice in my head that’s comparing myself to other women of my age (related to career, weight loss and similar) and feeling a pang of jealously or a want to view them as competition. It’s made me feel pretty ashamed: I should instead be more supportive of others and their journey! Ultimately, my biggest competitor is (and should be) myself: no one else has the same journey or circumstances, therefore it’s unfair to compare myself to others. As a lover of the pinup/retro fashion scene, too often have I witnessed the snarkyness resulting from women making themselves opponents, rather than supporters. I’m hoping that I can be more mature and focus on helping others and encouraging others – celebrating their success, rather than being jealous.

That’s really all I’ve been up to. I haven’t been very productive activity-wise, but have had a lot on my mind that’s required some time to process over the past week. I hope that once my major assignment is complete next week for my Business subject, I’ll have some time to write some extra posts. I did promise my sewing post reviewing the costume I made a few months ago, and I have a Lipsense review in progress. Here’s hoping I’ll have them ready to post soon. Anyway, as always, thanks for reading 🙂

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Week 39 Update, 2015!

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Well, what a week!. So much has happened, and the past week feels like one of the most emotionally exhausting weeks I’ve had all year. So unfortunately, this update may not be in the best of spirits. I’m feeling much better now, but here’s what happened:

– Last week, we received unexpected news about hubby’s job situation. He was short-listed and interviewed for a permanent role that seemed to be set-up for him, and he didn’t get it. After weeks of being told good and hopeful things about the role, our dreams were crushed on the first day of the school holidays (plus I received some bad family news on the same day – all is relatively ok in relation to this though, but it was a nightmare of a day). We have so many questions about why it didn’t work out. But overall, I’m so angry at the school/education system. Schools system: I’m done. I’m done with trying to figure out why you don’t go out of your way to employ amazing, talented, dedicated teachers permanently – instead, stringing them along on false hopes and temporary contracts and getting rid of them at your own whim with minimal to no notice. These people have a family to support, and futures on hold because they don’t know whether they’ll have work the next term or not. I don’t get it. My hubby is now faced with the decision of whether he continues to try and pursue this school, or if he looks elsewhere or in a completely different career field. It’s been absolutely heartbreaking to witness and be a part of; seeing someone you love, who is so damn talented and passionate about something, but is being held back from opportunities due to the shitty circumstances of employment and the economy.

What’s been especially hard over the past week is realising that we’re both not happy with where we are currently in our careers. He doesn’t have permanency and is struggling with not knowing whether he has work to continue into each term, while I no longer feel challenged or valued and without future opportunities where I am. We just feel like we’re at a dead end in our working lives, and it really sucks.

-After last week, I spent the majority of the weekend trying to recuperate and put myself in a better mindset. Through this, I realised something – change is in the air. I have had this overwhelming sense over the past few days that if I want things to change for the better in some parts of my life, I have to be the one to make the change. So, I’m going to stop being so scared of change and moving forward/on and start taking the plunge in a big part of my life that is really impacting on my happiness as it currently is. I have this great belief that once I make this change, my overall mindset and mood will improve, and I’ll be able to start tackling some of my other goals.. Anyway, I hope that over the next few weeks, I’ll have some great news to report.

-During last week’s bad news, I became sick yet again. Hayfever hit me like a tonne of bricks, and knocked me off my feet from last Tuesday until this weekend. I had to spend all of Thursday in bed (I even couldn’t make my evening class), as the energy had been completely drained from me. As a result, I only got to the gym once last week, and have felt completely sluggish and flat. However, I needed to listen to my body and let myself recover, otherwise (as per tradition), I would have become sicker, for longer. Having a rough week and being sick at the same time is a crappy combination.

-One positive aspect of being unwell is that I actually had time to watch Netflix – I felt too unwell to play video/computer games. So…I *may* have discovered Downton Abbey, and I *may* have become slightly hooked. Unfortunately, I realistically don’t have time to watch as much television as I like, however I have been procrastinating like a boss and churning through seasons of the show (I’ve almost finished Season 2).

That’s about all I’ve been up to after quite a rough week. I hope that I can start working on writing more for the blog – it’s great having such an outlet where I’m aiming to reflect more positively on life. Thanks for reading 🙂

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Week 38 Update, 2015

Lindsay & Austin // Engaged

Hi there! Time to give you an update on what I’ve been up to over the past week:

-Since I went to Diabetes Clinic earlier this month, my doctors have been working with me to try and stabilise my blood sugar levels. It’s been a bit of a guessing game at times (or feels like it is, at least), as I ended up coming out of last week having had eight hypos. There were two days where I had multiple hypos, so I was completely exhausted from so many low blood sugar levels. As a result, I ended up not losing any weight at the gym (in fact, I put on a couple of hundred grams). I really hope we can stop all of the hypos, so that I can have the best scenario in order for me to exercise and see better results – as well as be healthier overall.

-On the note of exercising: some people have suggested certain products or tablets to me to try and “lose weight quicker”. I’ll put it out here: firstly, I’m not exercising with the mindset of losing weight. As I’ve always said, I’m exercising to improve my health and medical conditions – any weight loss is a bonus. Secondly, I’m doing this the proper way, by exercising and trying to eat right: to me, any other way seems like a short-cut with short-term results, and will end up stuffing up my progress for the long term. Plus, I don’t want to be doing anything that could impact badly on my medical conditions – such as the interesting effects of many weight loss pills and products. I just wanted to put this out there, as I’ve had a few people trying to sell me on these “short term fixes”. While it’s taking me a while to see progress, and it’s probably much tougher than just taking some pills, it’s much more rewarding and effective for the long-term for me.

-Last week, I received the results for my first postgraduate business assignment. I was really nervous due to never studying business before, and felt that the result of this subject would help me determine whether I was good enough to keep going with this course. Well, turns out I had nothing to worry about: I was a couple of marks off a High Distinction. This really boosted my confidence, and I’m now working on a group assignment with a fantastic, dynamic group of people. With this subject, I feel I have a lot to prove – this could determine whether I am able to access study leave in the future, and also influence my future career path. But overall, I’m in a really good mindset about my studies: it feels like I’m finally taking the right academic path to enhance my future.

-I’ve spent the weekend trying out the new Lipsense products I’ve received. I definitely think I’m onto a winner, and am majorly impressed with the durability of these products. You’ll see on my Instagram (on the right-hand side of the page) that I’ve been posting up pictures of the product, from when I first put it on to the end of the day. For the test I did on Saturday, I ate, drank, kissed hubby a lot, had a shower, scrubbed my face and cleaned my teeth – after all of this, the product was still on my lips (with a little bit of wear, but understandable given everything I got up to!) I am tossing up the idea of whether I could become a distributor of Lipsense, but it would depend on the demand (how many friends would be willing to purchase through me), as well as whether I’d have the time. It works on a similar basis to companies such as Nutrimetics (which I also was a consultant for years ago), however it is the “in” thing to be a part of at the minute. I don’t want to get into something where the market is already flooded…but if enough friends want to give it a go, I may reconsider and try and sign up as a distributor for my hometown region. Once I get the neutral colour I’ve wanted to try out, I’ll write up a thorough review on here.

That’s about all I’ve been up to! Thanks for reading 🙂

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Week 37 Update, 2015

 

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Welcome to another week of updates! I feel that yet again time has gotten away from me over the past week. I really wish I had more time to work on my blog and writing projects (to bring lots more different posts here than my usual goal-setting updates). That being said, I’m not getting any less busy, so I need to refocus and try to get myself back into the “funk” of writing a unique, encouraging blog. Here’s hoping I’ll get inspired over the next few weeks.

Anyway, here’s what I’ve been up to over the past week:

-I’ve been gradually getting back into my usual level of exercise with the Curves Complete program; however, I’m still sticking to 3 workouts a week due to some rib pain still being present. Last week I managed to reach the gym and walking goals I set myself. I have had some slight weight gain due to hormones at this particular time of the month, but I’m really hoping I can try and reach a specific weight goal over the next few weeks.

This coming week though, I have an even bigger goal to reach: my 200th workout at Curves. This is pretty incredible for me – this time last year I was reaching 100 workouts. Considering I’ve had pretty much 6 months off due to illness and injury since joining Curves in 2014, I am pretty excited about finally reaching my 200th workout milestone. While I really can’t see much of the progress in my appearance (I’ve lost some centimetres and kilograms, but nothing which I could parade as being a dramatic change), I can clearly see the progress in my health. My diabetes is in the best control I’ve ever seen it as an adult, and I really feel more active. The fact that I’m making an active effort with exercising regularly – even if I’m not losing record amounts of weight, is what makes me feel really proud of what I’ve achieved. I’ve made exercise a habit in my life, and that is such a massive milestone.

-Thanks to the extreme generosity and help of my amazing brother and his wife, my husband and I have finally been able to set up our gaming desktop computer. This is something that occurred based on some gifts we received for Christmas last year, and my husband and I are so thankful. We’re finally able to play so many games which weren’t working on our old/weak-powered laptops, and have a reliable computer to do video editing and streaming. I’m so excited to have a decent desktop computer again, and spent a large amount of time over the weekend playing Skyrim, World of Warcraft and installing the Elder Scrolls Online. Overall, I’m continually reminded of how blessed I am to have such a supportive, kind-hearted family who is happy to help out each other.

-This week, I finally took the plunge and have purchased a product I’ve been wanting to try for a while: Lipsense lipsticks by Senegence. These lipsticks seem to be doing the rounds on all of the Pinup/Retro fashion buy and swap groups I’m a part of on social media. I was a bit curious, as I really want to be wearing lipstick regularly (daily, if possible). I am someone who is a bit of a klutz when it comes to lipstick: I will eat, drink water, talk and, as a result, get lipstick everywhere. The amount of times I have to retouch lipstick (if I try to wear it) has made me really self-conscious about trying to wear it regularly…yet, it’s something I really want to do. Here’s where Lipsense comes in. So many ladies are raving about its staying power, as well as durability through the whole day with eating, drinking, kissing…and no retouches. As a result, I’m going to give it a go and see whether it lives up to the hype it’s caused. I have purchased myself a few shades, and will hopefully work on writing a review on here once I’ve had a bit of an experiment. I will let you know though; I hope they end up being as good as I’ve heard, because this could literally change my life of being too scared of wearing lipstick! 🙂

-I submitted my first postgraduate assignment last week, and am eagerly awaiting the results this week. I’m slightly nervous: I felt that I did a relatively good job on the assignment, but I don’t want to be overconfident either (studying business for the first time ever). In all honesty, I’m worried that I could get terrible results, and I’ll then have to decide whether I hang in there and work extremely hard, or if I give up. It’s tough: being unsure as to whether I actually know what I’m talking about in this new degree, or if I’m a big fake. Here’s hoping the results prove me otherwise, as we have a group assignment next and I don’t want to let the group down. I’m pretty excited about the group assignment, as I have a really great group to work with, along with a fantastic topic.

-To end this week’s post, I will finish on a hopeful note. This week, hubby and I are awaiting some news from his end that will change our future for the better. It will bring us confidence in pursuing our future, and will bring many of our plans for the near-future closer than we think, as well as a hell of a lot of security and hope. I will not reveal any more on here until my hubby finds out more…but we are eagerly awaiting some news and hope with all our might that things will work out how we hope they will.

And that’s all I’ve got this week! Thanks for reading, as always 🙂

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Week 36 Update, 2015

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Hello there! Sorry this week’s post is delayed – I have studying to blame. I’ve managed to just finish writing my first assignment for this session, and finally have some spare time to write up my weekly update. It’s going to be a busy week, so I’m glad I have some time – even if minimal, to catch up with you 🙂 Here’s what I’ve been up to:

-I spent all of Monday at my Diabetes Clinic check-up, with my awesome endocrinologist (the Dean of Medicine for the university in the region, as well as being from Cambridge University), as well as the supportive Diabetes Educator Nurse. I was extremely nervous, as due to being unwell, my diabetes had been all over the place, and as a result I felt my progress towards making my condition more manageable for future plans had come undone. However, my endocrinologist, even after hearing my bad news, was full of positivity and encouragement about how I’ve been going, and is confident I’m still going in the right direction. In fact, my Hba1C is down from 7.9% to 7.5% in the course of three months, which was absolutely shocking to me (I thought, given how many levels I’ve had above 25 mm0l over the past few weeks due to infections/steroids/antibiotics, I’d be doomed!) Considering I was sick for almost a month (of the three months examined), this is amazing results.

The team are also investigating whether they can give me a Continuous Blood Glucose Monitoring Device (CGM for short) to use for a week or so to ensure we can closely monitor my levels 24/7 for a week. This is another device which has to be inserted under my skin and kept clipped onto me like the pump – something I’ve always been scared about doing due to being worried about having too many things connected to me. But, I may finally be confident enough to give it a go if it means I can get my blood glucose levels sorted, especially whilst I’m continuing to lose weight (something which makes diabetes insulin levels dramatically change and need to be adjusted all the time). Overall, the diabetes clinic is really happy with my progress considering how ill I’ve been over the past few weeks. Hubby and I have some work to do to tighten up our carbohydrate counting at meals, but otherwise I’ve been doing a fantastic job checking my blood sugar levels through the day, as well as trying to be more active.

-In light of my recent clinic visit, as well as all of my health issues recently, I’m constantly thinking of how lucky I am to have such a supportive husband who is eager to understand my health issues and to help me. He has gone out of his way to understand how my health needs to be taken care of, as well as researching and working on some projects to help prepare our kitchen/meals better so we are more accurately counting the carbs and sugar levels in our meals.

-As of last week, I’ve returned to the Curves Complete program, going to the gym 3 days a week (returning to 4 days once I no longer have pain in my ribs, which will hopefully be next week). I’ve also started my lunch-time walks again, as the doctors can clearly see the positive difference in my blood sugar levels when I am doing these walks at work. I have also started using the “Calm” app for guided meditation, and have just completed the “7 Days of Calm and Mindfulness” program, which was a great introduction to meditation. Until my ribs are fully recovered, I’m using this app until I can get back to my full yoga routine, however I feel like I will continue to use this app to help me relax before bed, even after I resume yoga.

-Last week, I also completed the 100 day Global Corporate Challenge, which I was participating in through work. Monitoring my daily step intake over 100 days was really motivating for me, even if I spent the last few weeks of the program unwell, meaning I had very little progress. According to the GCC app, I managed to lose 2.8 kilos for the duration of the program, improved my blood pressure and heart health and with my step count intake, travelled from Japan to Peru (virtually). It was quite encouraging seeing the progress of other teams (unfortunately, our team captain only entered ¼ of their steps for the whole program). Overall, it was great to be a participant in the program, and I hope to participate again next year – hopefully when I’m in a better state of health!

-Over the weekend, hubby and I finished watching all seasons of The Great British Sewing Bee. It has definitely left me inspired to get some sewing projects finished, and dedicate more time to developing my sewing skills. Not only will I be able to start developing a unique wardrobe, but I’ll also build my skills and confidence. On my radar, I have a circle skirt from last year which needs to be finished, a dress to hem, and then a new circle skirt pattern to try out on some of my materials. I also am going to try and make some vintage-inspired pyjamas soon. Here’s hoping I can stay on track, and also that I have some epic time management skills to fit this hobby in around study and work.

-My current session of study finishes in November, with the next session not commencing until February next year. As such, I was contemplating if I’d complete a subject via distance in a Summer Session instance, but have decided that I want to take a break over Christmas to spend time with family and relax instead: with all the health issues I’ve had this year, and no holidays, it’s important that I give myself a proper break. I’ll hopefully catch up on some craft projects and cleaning up the house in those months where I have no studies to worry about.

That’s about all I’ve got to report on for this week. Thanks for reading 🙂

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