Sunday, 24 January 2016

Can you believe it's almost the end of January already?!

Here we are, heading into the last week of January. Already! Where does the time go?

So what are my finances doing this week? I'm officially marking January down as a 'What NOT To Do' month (ahem) as far as spending goes. I did not do at all well. 

My 'misc' column is ridiculous - well over £200 MORE than I'd budgeted. This will be adjusted UP in the coming months, so that I have wiggle room - FAIL

I've had to add an amount for medical - £8.44, which in the grand scheme of things is not much. I'll have to budget this amount for perhaps another 3 months - NEUTRAL

I'm within my budgeted amount for groceries. Not by a lot, but it's definitely a positive  - GOOD

The month has gone by really quickly! I get paid on Friday and can start my budget fresh. My no sugar programme starts on Feb 4 and I'm really looking forward to it. I've been making a few of the recipes over the past week or so and my cousin enjoys them too, so I'm hoping it's sustainable and that I can encourage her by not beating her over the head with anything, but with visible results instead. She's not at all a fussy eater, so it's easy enough in that respect, particularly if the meals are quick & easy to make. I'm planning on keeping track of the changes I see & feel on a weekly basis. I'll be making notes on everything: physical, mental and emotional. 

The programme has an online forum with people from all over: the majority are from Australia/New Zealand - the programme originates in Australia - but there are a few of us in the UK and the US, too. A few have done the programme before, so will be able to talk us newbies through the withdrawal symptoms (of which there seem to be several and which come on in varying degrees).

I had a doctor's appointment two weeks ago and got a bloodwork and chest x-ray referral, so those have been done. I am probably one of the laziest people around, but the past year or so has really seen me gasping for breath at even the lightest sustained activity, so I went to get checked out (ostensibly for this exercise class I want to start next month). I went for a chest x-ray last Tuesday. No word on the results there just yet, but if anything unusual shows up I'm sure I'll get a phone call.

The blood panel, however, showed that I'm anaemic. Just how anaemic, I'm not sure as I didn't get numbers, but the doctor said I needed to start taking Ferrous Sulphate 200mg tablets twice a day for three weeks, then once per day for 4 months and that should bring me back to normal. That's a LOT of iron! I don't feel awful (not as awful as I was feeling in London, at least), but I imagine I'll feel better once I start taking it. As this is, in all likelihood, stemming from the onset of pre-menopause (and my months-long periods), the next step is to work on that. I hope that isn't code for HRT, because I'm unlikely to agree to that although I will take advice.

Firstly, though, I'd like to get my breath and energy back so that I can do walks and exercise without feeling like I'm going to keel over. There's a 'hill' I walk up every morning on my way to work and by the time I reach the top, it takes me two blocks to recover from the climb.

So one thing at a time.

My sister and I are currently looking for a holiday let around the New Forest. My mother has decided to visit during the two most expensive holiday weeks of the year (Easter break), yet wants a 'cheap' place to stay with room enough for about 6 people so visitors can come to her, rather than her going to them. A good idea as it means the cousins and their kids can come for a visit, but it's definitely not cheap. My sister did at least manage to dissuade her from making it a surprise for me, as she'll be here over my birthday. Am I looking forward to it? Not particularly. And I'll just leave that there.

I'm looking forward to February - a new budget, a new eating plan, perhaps a bit more focus, clarity and energy. And an extra day! :)


Saskatchewan Savings said...

January was an expensive month for us too, lots of unplanned for things crept up. I'm looking forward to the fresh start in February.

I know from first hand experience that once that iron gets in your system (its takes a few weeks to actually start building up your levels) you will feel a lot better! A few years ago I was exhausted all the time, no energy, my hair was falling out, horrible headaches. Turns out my iron levels were extremely low from several years of not eating properly as a vegetarian (aka not making sure I was getting my iron from other foods). I hope you start to feel even better once your levels start going up! :)

Jane said...

Once you get your iron stores built up a bit you should hopefully have more energy. And losing the sugar will definitely help. You're doing all the right things Annie. I'm getting a little tired of making juice for breakfast and lunch. I've been starting to nibble on things but trying to keep it healthy by choosing nuts and raisins.

The Asian Pear said...

I can't believe it's end of January either. Time flies! January was tough for me too. I was totally overbudget.

I've cut sugar out before. I must admit it was hard for the first few days. If you stick to it, after a week or so, you start feeling much better and it gets easier.

Northern Living Allowance said...

Hi SS - thank you! I'm hoping this will be quite dramatic. The only signs of any problems I have are being lethargic and the breathing trouble. I'm glad I went to the doctor and I certainly hope this is going to make a considerable difference. x

Hi Jane - Yes, I hope so. I think everything is coming together quite well - I got my tablets yesterday and start the no sugar programme on Thursday, so I've got a good feeling about February! I don't blame you for getting tired of juice - sometimes you just need something solid, so I think nuts and raisins are a good choice. xx

Hi Pear - I know, right? Where has the time gone? There's a show on here at the moment called 'Sugar Free Farm' in which the expert guiding our group of 6 celebrities is actually one of the experts on the no sugar programme I'll be following! I've watched the first episode (of 3) and am a bit worried - one girl needed medical attention after only 3 days! Eek! But I've warned my work colleagues that if I'm out of sorts and there is uncharacteristic behaviour, it's not them, it's me! Withdrawal can be hard, but I absolutely believe this is the best thing for me right now. xx