August 2019

Ok, so this is my blog for August 2019 and all I can say is that things didn't exactly go to plan!

August 2019 - Goals

I thought that I would attempt to put my goals for August front and centre, and then I can see when I manage to achieve them, and what I need to work on. These are personal goals and aren't just focused on the gym (just so you know!):

  • Work out more days this month than not
  • Don't beat myself up when I don't work out
  • Get my research chapter across to my dissertation supervisor
  • Work on my dissertation
  • Get the job that I want - achieved Friday 16th August - GO ME!

August 2019 - Significant Events & Overview

Ok, so if you know me, you know that August 2019 was a difficult month for me because my MSc Psychology Dissertation (11,000 words) is due in on 6th September (although I have an extension to 20th September), so this month has been seriously trying!

I've been attempting to design and publish my first website (www.tinytech.tips) to give help, support and pointers for how to spend money on technology wisely and where to cut things completely as well as in depth support on how to use Trello Business as an individual (which is seriously lacking on the internet and YouTube). So that website was created to fill the gap in the knowledge base and provide useful and meaningful information to help people who might be having a bit of an issue navigating the wonderful world of technology! Feel free to check out that site if you think you might find value in it and share it around if you think it would be beneficial to anyone else!

Also this month, I applied for and got a job that I've sort of already done before, but due to a restructure, I was unable to stay. So that was wonderful and groovy and just the best! I was so worried going into the interview because the people who were interviewing me already knew that I could do the job because they were my line managers when I did it previously. So it was all down to how well I performed at the interview, I was so nervous! I couldn't eat, I couldn't do any uni work, I literally couldn't focus on anything! I wanted to go back to this job because I love the team, I did really well in the role the first time, I love the role and the building and the managers and all the things! And because I wanted it so badly, my heath suffered and so did my fitness routine. You'll notice that I didn't work out much around that period and also that my physical and mental health suffered, but I'm all better now!

Also in August, I added a section on the Plus Size Princess Project to my existing website, and although it was published, it was hidden. I did this to save money (we're all about saving money on both my websites) and to make sure that I only had one place that I needed to pay attention to. But I decided that it wasn't going to work, and thus, created this website. I'm considering buying my own domain for this Google Site (free again) and the one that I want is £10 for a year, so I'm thinking that I might invest in that as well. Yes, I don't need it, but the reason I removed the PSPP section from my other website was so that traffic would be organic to both, because they are both so very different in terms of content (although I will be talking about Trello a lot on this site as well - obviously!). Yes I would like people to visit both, because they're both specific to individuals, but I don't want people to have to go through pages and pages of Tiny Tech Tips to get to the PSPP, and I don't want visitors to think that it's click-bait to get them onto a website that isn't PSPP. So that's why I decided to create a new free Google Site. Also, the kind of YouTube videos and blogs that I want to write are significantly different, and I don't want people in the TTT blog wondering why I'm talking about plus size life & fitness and vice versa. So I figured that I would split the two, so that I have separate creative spheres for two of the most important areas of my life, and also so that it would be easier for people to find what they wanted and read that, rather than having to search through pages to find the section that they want!

August 2019 - Blog

Sunday 25th August 2019 - Dissertation Update - 25 days left!

Wednesday 21 August 2019 - Important Announcement

Wednesday 21st August 2019 - Hopefully not a waste of a day, but it could be!

Hubster is taking D to the hospital for the day, so I thought I would write a short entry about yesterday and probably a wasted today!

D's friend went into hospital yesterday, so I didn't get to bed until almost 11pm. Of course, that knocked on to getting up this morning, as in I got up around 10am, so I'm already on the back foot.

But while I was upstairs in the loo (why is it you have your best ideas on the loo?!), I remembered that I had 3 pillows spread around the bedroom that I hadn't sorted out yet, so I went to the airing cupboard, got out a load of old and unused (mainly pink) pillow cases, and made them look a little more presentable. The reason for this is that on Monday we're getting rid of our sofa and getting a single bed in it's place. I've wanted day beds in the lounge FOREVER, but we can't afford them at the moment, so when a family member said that they were getting a new bed, we earmarked the old one for the lounge. But we don't have enough pillows and cushions to fill it and make it look like a day bed rather than a random single bed we've acquired! So these pillows were up in our bedroom doing nothing, not any more! So they're all covered and waiting on top of the unit in the lounge for Monday.

I'm still not sure how we're going to get the single bed into the lounge, let alone get the sofa out, but I'm sure The Men will have a few ideas, probably involving a chainsaw or two!

I haven't worked out today, and I probably won't manage it because of parcel arriving for M while she's going to be out and drop offs and pick ups from the hospital. But that's ok, things happen, life happens, and I'm not going to beat myself up when I can't workout because real life suddenly pops up and ruins everything!

Quick site update - I bought the domain yesterday from Google Domains for £10 for a year. Did I need to buy it? Probably not! I seem to have gone from collecting email addresses to collecting domains (although I only have 2 at the moment, and they're both very specific). But I'm happy that I've got the domain for this site for a year for £10, then if this blog doesn't take off or something happens and I can't carry on doing it, then I've only spent £10, rather than the larger website hosting options which can get mega expensive really quickly when you start adding in all the things that you 'might' need but because you haven't dipped your toe in, you don't know! So I decided that I was going to just have a quick domain and see how it goes. I've also hopped onto Blogger and created a post that links to this website, so hopefully if anyone Google's Plus Size Princess Project, if they click on the Blogger site, they can find the website that way. Think I might make another one for Esme's Tiny Tech Tips as well, that might help people to find the site easier

Tuesday 20 August 2019 - Time for a New Plan!

So I'm getting used to the whole getting up at the crack of dawn, actually way before that! But I can't seem to 1. get up even though I wake up to the alarm and 2. go and work out.

I think that this is because at the moment I'm all over the place with uni work, I'm trying to work on this blog and my other website and trying to get a million and one things done and I get side tracked so easily. So I haven't worked out for a week, and that's really not like me!

I think I need to give myself a little more grace (#graceoverguilt), and just try and get up to the alarm at 4.45am and be content that I've managed to do that. Because there's so much turmoil at the moment, I think I need to concentrate on one thing and get that in the bag before I start adding anything else and then feeling bad that I can't do it!

So I think this week, I'm going to concentrate on getting up and moving to my alarm at 4.45am and cracking on with uni work (which I should be doing now!) and not worrying about anything else. I'd love to be able to work out in the morning, but I just don't seem to be able to do it. I'm hoping that if I take the pressure off myself, then naturally I'll want to go back to working out.

Life happens, things don't always go the way we planned or would like them to go and we have to adapt to that. Physical and mental health gets in the way of even the most seemingly easy tasks, and we have to approach it with 'plot twist' when things don't go to plan. There are 134 days left in this year, and I know that just because I'm in a bit of a funk right now, I won't be in this space for the next 134 days, and that's ok.

Monday 19th August 2019 - I've made some tough decisions

Today was tough for me, I had to email my next University and see about deferring my MA Continental Philosophy until September 2020. It's going to cost £2,115 a year for 3 years, and by taking the job that I love, we simply won't have the money to be able to fund it. There's no way with just the income from that position that we can afford my next qualification. I would dearly love to be able to do it, but if we can't afford it then there's nothing really that can be done to change that! I can't magic £6,345 out of nowhere, no matter how much I wish I could. Even paying for it monthly over 12 months, which I'm not sure they even do, I can't find £176.25 a month to pay for it, so I've emailed them to see if I can put it off to next September, and even that isn't looking likely at the moment. I know that there is a possibility that I won't be able to enrol in Sept '20 either, so that's already in the back of my mind, but if I can't then I can't.

For the last almost 9 years, I have been a non-medical helper supporting students through the Disabled Students' Allowance from SFE. I've had some amazing students and experiences in that time, but SFE moved the goal posts a few years ago, and suddenly I was no longer qualified to do the job I'd been doing for ages. The only reason that I'm doing the MSc Psychology that I'm doing now is because SFE decided that non-medical helpers needed Level 7 in Psychology and Graduate membership of the British Psychological Society, so I enrolled in 2017 and I'm now 95% finished (just doing my dissertation on vaping motivation to hand in on 20th September). Well, SFE appear to have moved things around again and even with the Level 7 & BPS Graduate status, it seems this isn't going to be enough. I love working with students, don't get me wrong, but I don't know how many more hoops I can jump through to get their approval for a job I've been doing for almost a decade! And if they've changed things around this many times, you can bet that these aren't the last changes they're going to make, and I agree with all the changes, really I do, but could we not implement one lot before they change to something else? I've done everything that I could to carry on supporting students and to be qualified to give the support, getting £11,000 in Postgraduate Student Loans to fund it, and now I can't even use it because I only did it for my job, I have no interest in DClin, or becoming a Psychologist or anything like that, it was a means to an end and the end was being able to carry on doing my job. Because I got a PGSL to fund MSc Psychology, I can't have another to fund the MA Continental Philosophy, which is a course I've wanted to do for about 5 years. But these things happen and there's literally nothing I can do about it!

Also, with my new job (which I'm super excited about) I'm going to be working 3 days on, 3 days off (8am-2pm). That means that unless I get really amenable students, it's going to be a headache to organise when I'm at work and when I'm with students and coping with 2 jobs separate jobs, 90% of the time in the same building and 100% of the time on the same campus. Being able to deal with 2 jobs isn't too much of a problem if I'm not doing a qualification, but I've been in education since I was 4, we're talking 36 years and I can't help thinking it would be sort of nice to have a break and focus on other things! I could try and see if I can work the 2 jobs and whether that would work for me, I could see students after 2pm, which is great for days when I'm working, but sort of a sod on days when I'm not working when I have the whole day to be able to organise things and get things done, but end up wasting most of the day because I'm still going to be up at 4.45am and then not getting to work until about 3pm for probably an hour to see one student. So I'm not sure if I want to carry on supporting students in that capacity or not.

I think it might actually be sort of nice to work for 3 days and then have 3 days off with no deadlines or essays or lectures, I won't know what to do with myself.

Ok, that's a lie - I know exactly what I want to do with myself on those 3 days off!

Earlier this month I started watching decluttering and minimalism videos on YouTube and decided that I would organise, declutter and minimise every inch of the house. I've made a start in the kitchen where everything now lives in Chinese tubs with clear labels on them and there are 6 bags of clothes & shoes from the bedroom in the dining room to go to charity! Under our bed there are about 22 of the white and red storage boxes (this is what I mean!) and I have no idea what's in most of them! In the built in wardrobe in our room there's another 6 and there's 2 in the lounge. So, the plan is, to put them all in the gym (because that's the biggest empty space) and go through them one by one and decide what's happening with everything that's in there.

Some of them have my tax returns in them, so they have to be kept but some structure and organisation wouldn't go amiss, like having them in date order! I know at least one of them has acrylic nail bits in it and I haven't had acrylics for about 8 years, so it's probably so old and dried out that it can go straight in the bin!

So I think at the beginning of my 3-on/3-off, I'm going to tackle the boxes around the house and get the crap thrown away and the stuff we're keeping organised. I want to cut the number of boxes under the bed by half if I can, I know there's a lot of crap under there we don't need and I want to get some of the vacuum bags to be able to put my winter coats in so that they're put away nicely, and compactly more to the point! I'm thinking about turning the bedroom around as well, which will be so much easier to do when the underneath doesn't have an entire rain forest of paper stored, stopping the legs from moving!

I also want to be able to work on both my websites without worrying that I'm not doing uni work and seeing about creating YouTube videos for my other site. So it's not like I don't have things that I can be doing on my 3 days off! I'm thinking that the theme for September, after I've handed in my dissertation (and as that's not until 20th, this might not be the theme for September, it might end up being the theme for October!) is to deal with the bedroom and boxes and downsize and shrink all the off-season clothes and generally reduce the clutter that's just been hidden under the bed never to be seen again because we 'needed' it all or we kept it 'just in case' or we 'spent good money on it' (yeah right)!

Saturday 17th August 2019 - New job = new morning & evening routine

Yay! I got the job!

Okey dokey, so I'm changing jobs and that means a major change in my morning schedule and as a knock on, my evening schedule because I now have to start work at 8am!

This is what the day looks like now (yes I know it's back to front, but that works logically for me!):

  • 8am - start work
  • 7:45am - be at work, enough time to visit the toilet, change my shoes and fill up my water bottle
  • 7:20am - leave for work
  • 7am - be downstairs for breakfast and sort out my bag to leave
  • 6:30am - shower & get dressed for work (I'm going to try and get my clothes out the night before so I don't have to waste time picking an outfit in the morning)
  • 5:45am - be in the gym - I know that I've put 45 minutes in for this section even though my goal is 30 minutes, but I've given myself a buffer in case the class is 35 minutes, or it takes a while to load
  • 5:30am - be upstairs, this 15 minutes gives me chance to visit the loo, open the iPad and cue up the workout that I want to do, get dressed for the gym, move the airer if it's in the way and pair my headphones
  • 4:45am - get up, I'm thinking that 45 minutes should be enough to deal with emails and have a coffee, previously I've had an hour and I end up in the black hole that's YouTube at 5am, and I don't end up going up to the gym until later. This is currently set at 45 minutes, but it might end up being reduced to 5am so that I have 30 minutes downstairs to waste with coffee and emails.

So to get 8 hours sleep I need to be in bed at 8:45pm, then settle down for about 9pm, which would give me 7 hours 45 minutes to get up at 4:45am. So at 8:30pm I need go upstairs, get clothes out for tomorrow, make sure the towels are in the bathroom ready for the shower in the morning, and generally get ready for bed and try to be in bed for 8:45pm.

I should be starting the new job in a couple of weeks, so I need to start getting into this habit sooner rather than later!

I've also decided that regardless of whether I'm working or not (because I'm working 3 days on, 3 days off), I want to stick to the same routine, because that just means that I have a full day for uni work, and will keep everything consistent and routine regardless of when I'm working. The thing that the body responds best to is routine, so having the same morning routine regardless of whether I'm at work or not, my body will get used to getting up in the middle of the night!

But it all depends on when I go to bed! It's wonderful saying that I'm going to get up at 4:45am, be in the gym at 5:45 and be ready to tackle the day at 7:20, but if I don't go to bed at 8:30 then I won't get enough sleep and that's not sustainable!

Thursday 8th August 2019 - Sh'BAM #34 30m

Another amazing Sh'BAM session!

Need I say more?!

Wednesday 7th August 2019 - BodyPump #107 30m

So rather than having the same problem with BodyPump #104 for the second time, I decided that I would go straight for another release, #107 30m.

I can honestly say that I didn't enjoy this one as much as #104, and I don't think that I'll be doing it again any time soon. I might come back to it at a later date, but right now it didn't float my boat.

It was great, don't get me wrong, but it's just not my cup of tea at the moment. That doesn't mean to say that it won't creep back in my rotation in a few months, but right now, it's just not my jam!

Tuesday 6th August 2019 - Sh'BAM #34 30m

Again with Sh'BAM #34 30m!

After my cock-up yesterday, I was determined that even if I went past 7:30 I was still going to get the whole routine done!

I'm quite pleased with this one as well because my heart rate was higher than when I last did it (141 compared to 138) so I put more effort in, and also that my 'high intensity' doubled.

Monday 5th August 2019 - I bought a wall planner!

I started a new temporary contract with a local non-profit today, and on the wall they had a wall planner. I'd not really thought about it before but because I was starting to take the gym more seriously in August 2019, there are mid-year wall planners that start in August (for the new academic year) and you can get almost anywhere.

I had a look on Amazon and bought this one for £2.44, what a bargain! I also bought permanent markers, the thin kind, which you can find here for £3.66, so that I could write on the wall planner with all the workouts that I do, so that I can see instantly what I'd done and how far I'd come. (These links will take you to my Amazon Affiliate links - just so you know!)

I know that for some people, having 12 months of empty space can be daunting, however I decided to change my mindset on that and decided to look on each coming day/week/month as an opportunity to fill something in. Doesn't matter what it is, Sh'BAM, Pump, Tai Chi, I don't care, I just want to fill things in as I do them. Not only does this encourage me to to more, but it also shows me how far I've come and what I've actually accomplished.

Monday 5th August 2019 - BodyPump #104 warmup, then #105 without warmup


Man, I was pissed off with today's workout!

I started with BodyPump #104 and got most of the way through the warmup and then it froze on the iPad.

There's a massive gap in the heart rate monitor because I paused the workout to try and work out what was happening. What I should have done was go straight to another one, but I didn't, I reset the iPad, I tried 4 times to get it to load and eventually I went onto another one.

Because I was due at work at 9am, I still had to shower and get ready, so I had to stop it before I actually did my 30m, which miffed me all bloody day!

Sunday 4th August 2019 - Sh'BAM #34 30m

Today is my favourite release so far!

Sh'BAM #34 is utterly gorgeous, it's hard, obviously, but the cool down is so sensual, that you can't help feeling sexy while you're doing it! For those of you who know me, Sh'BAM #30: Fierce was my all time favourite, not any more!

This whole routine is a great workout and I love doing it, I love the energy that I get from it, I love the sweat, I just love everything about it.

#shbamsunday

#shbamgirlforlife

#anythinggoesandeverythingsencouraged

Saturday 3rd August 2019 - BodyPump #104 30m

So, today was BodyPump, I opted for #104 because that's the release that I left the gym with, so I know it quite well. I did the 30m because I know that the 55m is a killer if you haven't done it for a while. Because my daily goal is 30m, I didn't feel the need to do the 55m and get #DOMSFORDAYS, so 30m fitted the bill exactly for me.

So I'm quite happy with this, and it's important to note that just because it's a weekend doesn't mean that you can't start!

Don't wait until Monday, start whenever you like, yes it's true you're not going to get your goals for the week if you start at the weekend, but you'll get your goals for the day, and that important as well.