Week 1 lessons –

This has been an interesting week.  For the most part, I’ve done really well food wise.  As I mentioned before, I’ve decided to stop having cow’s milk and wheat wherever possible.  That has been surprisingly easy.  I’ve replaced tasty cheese (for the non-Australians amongst us, tasty cheese is like cheddar) with goat’s milk feta and drastically cut down on the amount I eat.  I switched out normal bread for gluten-free mixed grain bread which is surprisingly delicious.  I’ve also added loads of vegetables to my diet.  I know it sounds absolutely feral, but I used to go literally a week or two without having a single vegetable.  (How gross is that?!)  Now I’m eating them every day.

After doing this for most of the week, I did slip up twice and have things I shouldn’t have.  One night, I went to Maccas (McDonalds for the non-Aussies) one night.  I used to love that shit, but honestly I was less than impressed with it.  Sure, it tasted okay but I wasn’t doing my happy food sway when I ate it.  On Friday night, I ended up caving into my kryptonite: Pizza.

This is where it gets interesting.  From the first bite, I was like, “Ehh…so what?”  It was just your average local pizza shop pie – nothing spesh whatsoever.  Usually I would be in full happy food mode with that.  This time, I ate it simply because I had committed to it for dinner and I ate half as much as I usually would.  I just wasn’t feeling it.  That’s right, folks: Just one week of avoiding cow’s milk dairy and adding greens broke my bad pizza cravings.  Don’t get me wrong.  I still LOVE pizza!  But now, if I’m going to do it I’m going to do it right.

Some observations this week:

  1. When I caved and ate cow’s milk cheese and wheat-based bread, it felt like someone had beaten me with a frying pan.  I was SO physically exhausted most of the next day, and my lower back was screaming at me even after just a short walk.
  2. This is going to sound gross (and I apologise for that), but I’ve noticed that the general taste in my mouth has changed.  It’s hard to describe, but I’ve noticed it.
  3. I don’t know if this is a side-effect of Point 2 or what, but I’ve also noticed that my cravings have curbed way back.  I’m generally only hungry at normal meal times now, and I’m eating a fair bit less than I usually would.  This is (you should excuse the pun) huge for me.

As of this morning, I’m down 1.1kg (2.42lb).  On Friday morning, I was down 2.1kg but I made some bad choices since then (the pizza and I had some hot chips last night – so bad!) messed it up again.  Still, I’m really impressed with how much simply changing my diet has helped me.  I’m going to start adding exercise into the mix this week.

Hubby and I just got back from our weekly grocery run, and I’m pretty proud of how it went.  Usually five minutes into it, my back would be screaming at me.  Not today!  It didn’t start getting sore until we were at the car ready to leave.  I’m also REALLY proud of the food choices I made.  Hubby caved in and got himself a few bad things, but I did exceptionally well.  I got enough bananas and frozen fruits to make a month’s worth of breakfast smoothie packs.  Out of sheer curiosity, I worked out how much it costs me to do a month’s worth of breakfast smoothies when I got home tonight.  The grand total: $3.50 per smoothie.  Not at all bad!

There’s a bit more going on with me than the health stuff, but I’ll form my thoughts around that and post at some stage.  For now, it’s time to cook a nice dinner for my man.

How much is TOO much?

I’m originally from the USA.  While I have lived here for over a third of my life, I find that some things are a continued learning process.  Case in point: Your career.

Growing up, I was taught that you should always keep your personal life completely and utterly separate from your working life.  You go into work, do your job and you get out.  Period.  You may make “friends” in the office, but you heavily restrict what you reveal to them – never going into any sort of detail about your family, friends or beliefs.  I remember that my mother would never even attend work social functions, always making some excuse or another as to why she couldn’t go.

This is what I was taught to do, but I have since discovered that this is definitely not the norm in Australia.  Not only is your attendance at work functions expected, you simply cannot succeed without making friends with your colleagues.  And I don’t mean work friends – I mean going out to dinner and drinks, honest-to-God friends.  Obviously you still want to steer clear of office politics (which is kind of crazy because if you get personal, you’re automatically in it to a certain extent), but people actually become wary of you if you don’t participate at a social level in the workplace.

The same goes for when you’re seeking a job.  Employers no longer want to simply find someone with the right skills – it’s all about cultural fit.  “Why do you want to work for this company?”  “What unique perspective can you bring to my team?”

For the most part, I find this refreshing.  It’s so much more fun at work if you have someone you can relate to and banter with.  It’s also a lot easier to brainstorm and come up with amazing ideas in a cohesive team that has your back.  But at the same time, I often find myself feeling like I should revert back to how I was taught to conduct one’s work life.

This goes tenfold while looking for a new job, as I’m doing right now.  For example, I am very interested in applying for a position at a specific not-for-profit organisation.  One of the things that interests me about this role is that I have a first-hand understanding of a key social issue they work in and, therefore, empathy with the people they work with.  I believe this perspective would be a valuable asset to my application and while I want to highlight it, I can hear that pesky little American voice in my head yelling, “Too much information!  Don’t reveal that much of yourself!”  And I am genuinely scared to reveal this piece of information, even in a cryptic fashion because it will ultimately lead to questions whose answers you cannot evade.

So where do you draw the line?  How much IS too much information in this day, age and culture?  I’ll be damned if I know.  Until I either know the answer to my own question or, in the very least, know how much I am comfortable revealing in this instance, I’m going to take a break.  It’s about time for a cuppa anyway.