Saturday, 30 January 2016

Roll on, February!

Is it just me or do we seem to have lost a ridiculous number of People this month: Lemmy, David Bowie, Joe Cocker, Alan Rickman, Glen Frey, Dan Haggerty, Abe Vigoda, and Rene Angelil amongst them. Many, many others - a quick search showed me almost 150 since the end of December 2015! Not to mention so many others that don't make these sorts of lists, the average, the ordinary, the everyday.

January has been that kind of month, apparently.

This week I was feeling more 'off' than usual, making some silly mistakes at work, and feeling utterly exhausted even after nights of solid sleep. I'm glad my iron tablets arrived yesterday! I hope they do the trick and I'll be feeling better in a few days. It's not that I feel horrendous (I wouldn't have gone to the doctor if I hadn't wanted to do an exercise programme), but I know that once my iron levels are back to where they should be, I will feel fantastic compared to how I feel right now. I mostly just feel drained and very fatigued.

However, my period seems to have FINALLY stopped - pretty much 4 months to the day it started - so that will help immensely. I start my no sugar programme on Thursday, and that will help even more. I'd like to say I'm going to start the exercise programme in February, but I'm not sure that's wise until my breathing regulates - right now, walking up small hills and into a strong wind leaves me gasping, so extended, vigourous exercise seems foolish.

My work colleague is doing VERY well with the diet progamme she started at the beginning of the month and is down 4lbs since the beginning of the month! She's pleased, but is a bit frustrated that it's not more and that she was up 1/2lb two weeks ago. I told her to just keep this in mind:

My new programme starts on Thursday and I'm really looking forward to it! There's a programme on TV at the moment called "Sugar Free Farm" which takes 6 celebrities (British ones, and I'm only vaguely familiar with one of them) and puts them on a farm in Hampshire for two weeks with NO SUGAR: no fruit, no alcohol, no honey, no sweeteners, no sugar, etc. - nothing that sweetens food in any way.

It could be argued that putting them into a situation like this where they have everything at their fingertips should make it a doddle (hee hee - I love that word = easy), but on Day 3, one of the girls needed medical attention (!!). The withdrawal symptoms vary in degree, but seem to consist of headaches, irritability, and exhaustion among others. I think the severity and duration of the symptons depends on the amount of sugar you usually ingest. I'd consider myself pretty hard core.

The expert walking them through this is actually one of the experts on the panel for my no sugar programme, and is what prompted my interest in the show. I also have access to a forum to talk about things during the process - there are about half a dozen ladies or so who have done this once or even twice before, so it'll be interesting to pick their brains as we go along.

I'm planning to diarise my journey from Day 1 to Day 56 to keep track of how I'm feeling before, during and after the initial 8-weeks. I want to capture the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of this. The programme really focuses on fructose, so the first 4-week block eliminates even fruit! The second month re-introduces it slowly with items like berries, which are very low-sugar, but high in antioxidants.

I can't say I'm not nervous, especially after watching the show!

It was a mixed bag, money-wise.

Rent         £450.00 30.9% £450.00 £-  
Food       £250.00 17.2% £226.28 £23.72

Mobile       £18.00 1.2% £27.00 -£9.00 
Petrol       £40.00 2.7% £-            £40.00
Toiletries      £10.00 0.7% £3.71 £6.29
Medical       £-           0.0% £8.44 -£8.44 

Eating Out   £25.00 1.7% £14.90 £10.10
Car repairs  £20.00 1.4% £60.60 -£40.60 
Car Ins.       £27.43 1.9% £27.43 £-  
Donation       £10.00 0.7% £10.00 £-  
Car Tax       £12.68 0.9% £12.68 £-  
Train Pass   £72.20 5.0% £72.20 £-  
Treat      £20.00 1.4% £24.96 -£4.96

Misc.      £40.00 2.7% £285.00 -£245.00

CC Debt      £100.00 6.9% £100.00 £100.00

Savings       £55.00 3.8% £66.90 -£11.90
Retirement   £55.00 3.8% £55.00 £-  

I'm proud to say I tracked my spending every single day in January, although not proud of the fact that I think there were maybe two days where I didn't spend anything. Still, that's what tracking is for, n'est ce pas?

The mobile phone bill was a bit of a shock and I still can't quite figure out what I did that garnered me the extra cost, but I've just received my new bill and it's back down to just under £18, so it's all good.

Medical was unexpected, but necessary and it could have been much worse. This was the cost for 200 tablets, which should last me about 6-8 weeks. I'll likely be ordering from the same place when I need more because if I order direct from the business I can save 7.5%. Not much on such a small amount, but every little bit helps. I've added £10 to my budget from February for that.

Car repairs - I've increased this amount to £30 as she's an older car and the driver's side door lock has already gone again, so will need repair sooner rather than later. Again.

My treat - not awful, but again, I've increased it to £25 a month which is a bit more comfortable.

But look at that Miscellaneous line! £80 of that is for my no sugar programme, but that's still a ridiculous amount. I've increased the amount there to £100, to cover myself.

But despite all that, I HAD MONEY LEFT OVER in my envelopes and from a little bit of snowflaking and deposited £190 back into my account today!! I did a little bit of envelope tweaking and am beyond thrilled. I split it evenly between my savings accounts.

Oh, and Jane and I are going hiking in Ireland this year!

And that's about that. 



its me, sam said...

I can't wait to read about your no sugar adventure... And hiking in Ireland! That will be amazing... I was wondering why your iron was so low... but 4 solid months of having your period... That will definitely do it! I'm super happy that I had an ablasion done almost three years ago... No more periods... I still get some symptoms before hand, but no mess... Has your GP suggested anything like that yet?

Northern Living Allowance said...

Hi Sam - thanks! I admit to being both very ready and very nervous, but am going to take it day by day, week by week. It's all I can do! As for the iron, etc., my GP has said to get an initial 3 weeks of iron in me (400mg per day!), then 200mg a day for 4 months. Once the 3 weeks are over, I can go and see her and we will discuss the extended periods, so nothing in particular has been suggested at this point. I imagine I could mention ablasion when I see her, but the NHS is a tricky sea to navigate, so I think I just have to wait and see for the moment. I'm hopeful that the iron, along with the no sugar programme will really help for now. xx

Jane said...

My grandmother had a saying - " a green Christmas fills the cemetery"! I think there's some truth to that! Many of those folks weren't very old either. I'm excited about the sugar challenge and love the idea of that tv show - can you imagine how irritable those people are going to be with each other - should be a hoot!

The Asian Pear said...

IRELAND!! AHHH!! SO much envy!!!

Northern Living Allowance said...

HI Jane - it seems there's truth behind sayings like this! I don't remember a January like it, actually. Sad! And you're right, no one very old. I'm getting nervous to start this no sugar but I KNOW it'll be a great accomplishment. Eeek! xx

Hi Pear - I know, right?!?! So excited and pictures will be shared at the end xx