Could This Be The Start?

Hmm, woke up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat, I know it wasn’t alcohol related so I hope it was just the massive amounts of roast lamb I ate for dinner, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it wasn’t.  Not sure I like where this is going… surely I’m too young for menopause??!

Anything else I should be on the watch for?

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Back Fat & Booze

One of the “joys” of getting older is watching my body change… it’s doing stuff that I’ve never had to deal with before and I’m not happy about it.  Yeah, yeah, I know, age gracefully, be thankful that I have the chance, so many don’t, etc, etc… trust me I get all that but seriously, why can’t I just stay the shape I was?

I’m pretty lucky, I’m one of these people that have until the last few years been able to eat pretty much what I want and as long as I move a bit my weight doesn’t change a lot.

However, it was brought home to me by a young bra fitter recently that there’s been a change I really don’t like.  I was feeling a bit frumpy, as you do when you reach a certain age and decided that a new bra would cheer me up (why I thought this I have no idea. LOL).   So I trotted off to brand name underwear chain to get fitted.  All the bra’s I tried on provided me with a very sexy (NOT!) and unwelcome extra roll of fat poking out from under the arms and around the back.   “These don’t fit” I confidently tell the fitting assistant “They’re too tight, look at that bulge, let’s try another size”.  She casually looks me over and says “Nope, right size, don’t worry about that, everyone has them” she says in the comforting the old lady tone that only a retail sales assistant can carry off.

My first thought was – hey, I’m not everyone young lady! followed swiftly by, when did this happen to me, I’m not an extra roll of fat kind of person??!!

But you know what, I am now.  Years of booze (and brie)  have added an unwelcome layer of padding to my body.  It’s crept up gradually and I never noticed until I wasn’t happy with what I saw.

So, my existing bra’s aren’t uncomfortable because they are old, they are uncomfortable because I’m inhaling too much sugar and sitting around feeling hungover and sorry for myself.  Right then!

You know what, I’m tired of being tired and not being the best me.  So, 2019 is the year of “YES”, yes to opportunities, yes to new experiences, yes to no booze for the year and yes to recovering me.

PS: day ten no booze and I feel great… day ten is when the happy comes back… day 15 is where I forget what it’s like to drink and crack, so I’m on my guard!  

 

It’s Been A while, Oh And I Broke Someone…

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Nearly two months since I wrote. How that time has flown by.  I’ve got lots to say but nothing at the same time if you know what I mean?

I was going to talk about Christmas craziness*, but it’s not – it’s going to be just me, the cats and Crazy Cat Boy at home for a quiet day.

Then I was going to talk about the whole no booze journey and how it’s going for me, but I’m not – There’s been a few drinks here and there, nothing to write home (or a blog) about.

Oh, I know what I can tell you!  I’m the last straw!  That’s right,  you heard it here first good internet peeps, I pushed someone over the edge!  They actually cited me as, and I quote, “Too Demanding”,  the task I’d given them was the “last straw” and they quit their job of over 10 years.

Hmm, I sound terrifying I know!  But the reality is far from that.

Regular readers might remember that my organisation had a big event** last month, one I’ve been working as the key Project Manager on for a while.  Part of the three day event was a side function that ran for one day and included our suppliers exhibiting.  I’d been working with the relevant Sales Manager for my client who seemed…. disinterested shall we say in the details.  Sales Manager takes off for leave (as they are justified to do) and leaves very vague instructions for his staff member around the responsibilities for the side function.

Not unexpectedly I call a meeting with this staff member to see how things are going and where we can support (keeping in mind we’d actually done all the heavy lifting already on the event – all we really needed was someone to run it on the day).  They seemed fine at the meeting and we progress with phone calls, emails etc, all is moving in the right direction until 1 week out I get a call from the big boss… “Sales Manager got back today,  XYZ quit, apparently it’s our fault.”   

Our fault? Nope, not even remotely.  XYZ had a lot on, it’s been a very, very long year in our industry, more so than normal, and he was working in a high pressure sales environment with an understaffed team.  XYZ has a small child who is unwell and a massive prospective new customer that was keeping them on the road and away from home.  Add to that an overworked and under pressure sales manager above them and it all became too much and he marched in with a resignation letter and then marched straight out of the building.  Dramatic, but not very practical in my book (Hmm, perhaps I really am a hardarse)

The big boss was concerned that I might feel bad about the situation, but I don’t.  I know that it wasn’t me – in fact once the smoke had cleared XYZ went to the boss and said as much, they were just overwhelmed.

I do hope XYZ gets another job soon that will allow them to enjoy what they do again and that they find peace. I’ve been in a situation where a job is literally killing me, it’s not healthy.  I’m not sure what their personal situation is, I do hope they had the Fuck You Money to do this without putting their family stability at risk.

The whole situation was a timely reminder to keep an eye on my own stress levels and mental health.  So I encourage all of you at the end of this long year, wherever you are to take stock of how you feel in your head and your heart and make changes to keep yourself healthy and happy as we head into the silly season and beyond.

 

*Even my dear SIL seems to be taking a realistic approach to the silly season this year… the fact that she’s 7 weeks booze free is probably helping there I should imagine! Go her, it’s a great thing to be doing for herself.

**In case you are wondering, I did the lead up, the event and post event stone cold sober, much to many peoples deep and abiding confusion.   Trust me, it really was the only way I got through.  If I’d been dealing with lack of sleep and hangovers, I’d have done more than quit my job!  LOL

How did I get F%^&*ing old?

Ok, its’ been a weird week good internet peeps.  I should have been launching a couple of promotions, putting the finishing touches on my next quarter campaign and looking the very picture of health as I get ready for my first 100 days booze free to end.  But am I? Nope, I’m writing this from bed, my bed, which is a nice change as last week a Cold, that’s right, a Cold put me in hospital!

What The Actual Fuck?!

I thought I was at least experiencing something sexy and serious like stroke, but no, simply the mundane. I couldn’t see properly, which turns out is an issue as you cruise down the freeway at 100 km and then try and negotiate city traffic on a week day.  To say I made a strategic error going to work on Thursday is an understatement.

The lovely emergency department Dr (who was quite cute and well dressed for a 12 year old…. god he looked  young!) ran through all the tests, CT, MRI, bloods, you name it, they did them all (they came back negative for anything serious) and then announced that they were keeping me in for observation overnight. The head Neuro guy came in with his prep class (more well dressed 12 year old’s who’s name tags all inexplicably read “Dr”) the next day… I’d started to make very strong “my preference would be” type statements about them letting me go home, so I think they decided to call in the big guns to exert some authority over me.  LOL.  He proclaimed that I was free to go home and that as we age our eyes tend to turn and this coupled with my “compromised immune system”, eg, case of the sniffles (FFS!), can manifest in blurred vision and it should sort itself out.

So that’s my life now is it? A couple of sneezes and I become some sort of house bound invalid?  Bloody hell, this is a bit shit right?  I’m supposed to be celebrating 100 days booze free tomorrow and instead I’ll be trying to muster up the energy to shower!

Got to tell you, I didn’t see this coming.  I’m grateful that I live in a country where I could pull up at the hospital emergency department and within a few hours find myself having undergone a battery of expensive tests and tucked up in bed for the night and it won’t cost me a thing*.  We are very lucky here in Australia to have such a fabulous system of public healthcare.

 

*It does cost via tax, but I’m ok with that, I think we should have a system where we can offer the very best healthcare to all, especially people who can’t afford it.  Not that I’ve used our public medical system like this before, I’ve never been admitted as a public patient. In fact the last time I was in hospital I was 22 and having wisdom teeth out.  I must point out that I’m kidding around, the 12 year old Drs, while looking like mini hipsters, knew their stuff and were very thorough and professional.

 

Sugar Made Me Do It

lemon cake

I’ve talked about how Crazy Cat Boy is helping me with my 100 Day Challenge but what I’ve not talked about is how I’m helping him achieve some goals of his own.  His goals are DELICIOUS!

We were given Poh Ling Yeow’s 100 Great Bakes cookbook last year for Christmas and he’s picked out a number of fabulous (and rich items) that he’d like to make.  First it was the decedent vanilla slice, which looked nothing like the vanilla slices of my school canteen days!  Mmm, the cream patisserie, for a woman who doesn’t like custardy things was divine.   Then this weekend gone it was the Lemon Curd Meringue Sponge cake… light, fluffy cake, zingy lemon curd all encased in the lightest chewiest meringue you’ve ever encountered.  Tonight will be puff pastry with leftover curd, Chantilly cream and meringue, coz, you know, food waste is such a crime against the environment (and my jeans it’s turning out).   Next weekend it’s the cinnamon scrolls, can’t wait!

Now here’s the kicker it’s been cold out here in wine country and it’s bloody dark in the mornings and I’ve been particularly slack around getting on the bike in these conditions.  This combined with the intense amount of sugar that I’ve been inhaling (I had lemon sponge for breakfast yesterday – don’t judge me, lemon is fruit and cream is just not runny milk!) and not only are my clothes feeling a bit tight but the wonderful head hits pillow out like a light sleep that I’ve been experiencing since not drinking has GONE.

I had forgotten how ordinary I feel when I don’t sleep and can’t believe that I normally operated like this.   I blame the sugar.  The only other option is that we’ve been going to bed a ridiculously early time since I’ve been on the challenge, perhaps I’ve caught up on all the sleep I’ve missed over the years in the past 60 odd days.  Yeah, I know, it’s unlikely.  LOL

As addictions go I think sugar is right up there, just writing this after my second day of no sleep has my mind is wandering through the contents of the pantry to see what in there that is sweet is readily available to sooth my craving.  I might have to address this one at some point.  But until then I’ll continue to support CCB in his endeavours… the sugar and love made me do it!

PS: In case anyone is wondering at nearly 70 days in I feel more “awake” now than I have in years regardless of the sleep issue. I’m thinking this 100 days might need to be extended.

Challenge Accepted!

barney

One of my fav TV characters of all times is Barney Stinson from HIMYM (How I Met Your Mother), his catch cry of “Challenge Accepted” always makes me smile, usually because it was attached to something that was never meant to be a challenge.

Well for the next 100 days “Challenge Accepted”* is going to be my catch cry as I take on Belles 100 Day Challenge – no booze until August 1st this year.

Crazy Cat Boy is concerned that this means “no drinking on your birthday” and I’m ok with that.  The next three months possibly could be make or break with me and what I do in my professional life for the next eight years that I plan on being full time.  I need all the focus and energy that I can muster up to make these next moves, and wine needs to be off the table to get me there.  I’ll check in with my progress regularly and I know I can get there, as of today it’s a 97 day challenge as I’ve already done 3 sober days.

What will be the challenge you accept?

*Ironically Barney usually uttered those words in a bar, beer in hand!

Pop, Fizz, Glug, Glug….Crash!

wine

Yep, that was me falling off the wagon in spectacular style.  Coming into my third Friday night sober with 15 days under my belt, the wheels came off.

We’ll just have a quick drink before dinner, like responsible adults.  Yeah, right, we all know how that ended don’t we?

I don’t remember going to bed.  I do know that three bottles were involved; the evidence was there for all to see the next morning.

Speaking of morning, that wasn’t pretty.  We were looking after the neighbours animals and the dogs are inside overnight and must be let out early (6.00 am early!) so they don’t make a mess IYKWIM.

So, feeling dreadful, I dragged my sorry, bloated arse out of bed pulled on my walking gear (if I had to get up, I may as well exercise) and set off to see if I couldn’t walk off the stupid.  It was lovely day in wine country, kangaroos, kookaburras, the odd lorikeet, hot air balloons floated serenely through the dawn sky.  I appreciated NONE of it as I just tried to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  Talk about enjoying life, not!

I managed my usual 8km and decided that bacon and eggs would sort me out.  Crazy Cat Boy had made it from snoring in bed when I left to sitting vacantly on the lounge watching TV.  “I don’t drink any more” he announced to me as I flopped down beside him.   “Yep, me neither” I replied.  Mind you, we’ve both said this before, numerous times.   Talk about slow learners.

Breakfast was duly consumed.  I lasted until around 10 am and then went back to bed.  I thought a lay down with a book would help, nope.  In my hungover state the poison in my body meant that trying to focus on words actually made me feel nauseous.  Great.  I’ve done so much damage to myself with one decision that I’ve lost the ability to read.  God help me if there was an emergency and I had to drive – well, I couldn’t anyway; I’d be over the limit still by my calculations.

Three days later my one consolation is that while I threw away 15 days of feeling on top of the world I know that I must have been doing something right if my body* reacted that acutely to something that only a few weeks ago it simply would have shrugged its shoulders at and gotten on with the day.  I’m lucky; I’ve clearly come to my senses in time that my body will heal itself relatively quickly.

So, if you are still thinking about stopping/cutting back, learn from my mistakes and give it a red hot go, you won’t regret it.

* Physically my hair felt like straw, my face was blotch and yuck. Mentally I’ve been sad and kind of listless, only just starting to feel happy again now on day three.

Do I Have A Problem?

wine-glassI’ve been worried about this for a while…

Alcoholism runs deep on both sides of my family.  A maternal aunt spent most of her adult life in an assisted living facility due to brain damage from alcohol and dad is a functioning alcoholic.

I’ve always known that I had the capacity to develop a serious problem with alcohol.  I develop patterns and habits quickly. This is great when it comes to work, I’m one of those people who employers talk about when they ask for someone who can “hit the ground running”, however it also means that sharing a couple of bottles of wine a night with Crazy Cat Boy also becomes a pattern fast.

It scares me that I can easily drink a bottle of wine and not feel any real ill effects the next day.  That isn’t normal drinking, is it?  No, don’t bother answering that, it isn’t, I know that.

Am I a drunk? I don’t drink every night, but when I do I get drunk and I’ve started falling asleep in front of the TV (or is that passing out?), I don’t drink on my own, but I’ve got a build in drinking buddy in CCB, I don’t fall down drunk in public, I don’t skip work due to hangovers, but I am less productive and tend to waste time on those days.

Today’s post is inspired by the fact that I knew I had a big day, one where I need to be creative and also hold my own with my boss on a new product that we disagree on. So the sensible course of action would have been to have one glass with the neighbour when she brought over a thank you bottle and then gone to be early.  Did that happen, hell no.  She went home; we finished the bottle and then went and got another!  As a result of that I had a bad sleep and have a mild hangover on top of bad hay fever and I’m feeling crap.

So, should I quit all together?  I know what when I don’t drink I’m calmer, more focused and I look better.  I’m also scared that I’m more concerned about what wine is doing to my hair and skin than my liver and brain, seriously what kind of mess up thinking is that?

Can I quit? That might be the even scarier question.

The Harsh Truth Of Pencil Skirts

pencil skirt.jpgIt’s been a while, but I’m back baby!

Work and life have been busy and I’ve been stuck in a creative rut that there was no need to subject you to!

The work situation is still up in the air due to our Game of Thrones situation – the Iron Throne is still vacant.  The court rumour mill has it while the seat of power is attractive the gold, or lack thereof is not enough to temp an heir into the citadel.

I’m riding it out and doing as much contingency planning as I can.  I like my job but I need to accept that nothing will change in the short term.  So, I’m putting on my big girl panties, sucking it up and getting over it.

I’ve put myself on the wagon wine wise to try and get fit – ok, lose some weight, my new undies don’t fit and I had delusions of grandeur that I could wear a white pencil skirt (to go with my rashly purchased fabulous jacket that matches NOTHING I own).  Until I tried it on that is.  Why is it that white only serves to highlight cellulite? I had a long and depressing talk with myself in the change rooms at Cue a couple of weeks ago while trying to convince myself that with a bit of spanks action I could get away with the sleek white look.  Fortunately for my bank balance the realist in me won, so I don’t have yet another expensive item in my wardrobe that I can’t wear.

Another reason for the temporary wine wagon is that I’ve been reading Sober Mummy’s blog (it’s fabulous, check it out) and some other blogs in the sober sphere and thought that it would be good for me to take a break.  While I don’t drink every day, when I do I drink way more than I should.  I don’t like the path that this habit could take me down so I’m taking action.

So that’s it for me for today.  I’ll be back soon I promise!

Help, My Thighs Have “Hail Damage”!

celulite

I stand before you (well, sit on my tubby arse before you) a 60 odd kg, cellulite sprinkled, pasty white, spotty armed Crazy Cat Lady who feels let down by her mirror.  How did this happen and how can I reverse it in three weeks?

Here is my day of woe began…

I’m working out of a client’s office today so this morning instead of just brushing my hair and pulling on jeans and a tee, I slapped on some makeup and slipped on a new dress, well, that was the plan.

The dress, purchased only 12 months ago does not fit properly.  Not only did it not “slip” as advertised, it actually “dragged” over the hip area and a very visible panty and waist line appeared where it shouldn’t have!

How did this happen (the can of Coke on my desk as I type might be a small give away)?  I thought I was still pretty fit: so I consulted the friendly mirror, the one in the ensuite, not the harsh reality mirror that lives in the main bathroom.

Gulp! The mirror has had a personality change and is throwing up some unwelcome sights under the glare of the double heat lamp.

Not only do my eyebrows need a decent pluck, but there are vast expanses of very white, very “hail damaged” thighs and buttocks that are a lot more wobbly than I’d like to admit.   Not only that, but my arms are spotty and have weird multiple tan lines from different length sleaves and bingo wings!  Bloody Nora!

However that’s not the biggest problem. In three weeks I’m catching up with friends that I haven’t seen since high school  (navigating the whole Facebook friend gauntlet reconnecting with them is a whole other post)and I want to look hot damn it!

So, I’m assessing my options:

  1. Take legal action against the designer of said “slip dress” for wrongful advertising
  2. Surgery – excessive?  Probably, but let’s not rule anything out
  3. Expensive “smoothing” creams and gels – see how desperate I’m becoming, I’m starting to want to believe the hype!
  4. Convert to any religion that needs me to cover head to toe loose clothes – extreme, maybe, but as a short term solution option, I’m game
  5. Spanks – ‘nuff said!
  6. More green stuff, less coke – probably a solid option for my overall health, but I loves me my coke 😉
  7. Less wine – see “more green” above!  LOL
  8. More moving – again see boring health stuff above
  9. Find the Kettle bell – by hook or by crook I’ll deflab these arms.

I know what you are thinking, I really only have one solid option, fake my own death, but I’d really like to catch up with them all so perhaps I’ll try the “health” option…. stay tuned dear reader, I’ll post updates on my painful progress!