A month goes by, all work no play. No weightlifting either! :(

Blimey, this last month has whizzed by. It’s been great earning a lot more money in my new job, but man it’s been tiring.

I worked 12 days straight during this month and it really whacked me, seeing as though most of the days were 12hr days too.

But now that I’m out the other side as it were, I can look back at a great month for money earning and for learning. I’ve learnt so much about my new job during this last month that I’m really starting to get to grips with it.

I thought that delivery driving was pretty easy, but when there are numerous finding address issues, oversized and overweight parcels, traffic issues, parking issues, customers not being in when they say, customers saying they haven’t received parcels when they have, on top of all the internal procedures I have to follow due to the high value of some of the parcels I deliver and it all adds up to a hell of a lot to learn.

So much more than I thought there would be that’s for sure.

But to make it all that little bit easier, I know that I’m earning nearly 100% more than I was in my previous job. Which is what I’ve been telling myself every day for the last month.

I don’t know for real yet what my actual month to month wage will be because I’ve been on a training wage for this last month, which means my wages have been topped up by the company.

This is one of the reasons why I joined this particular delivery company. Simply because no other delivery company offered this, nor the potential wage earnings either.

I can see that as long as I do my job, I will be able to earn what I’ve been told. But it might mean doing 12hr days five days a week one week, then six days the next week.

If that’s the case then in a few months time, I’ll be re-evaluating whether I want to stay here, as I know that elsewhere I can work much fewer hours for only a little less pay being a HGV driver.

I’ve decided to give this job a good three full months, or until my 40th birthday in July. And then I’ll make a definite decision after that.

I don’t mind doing 10hr days fives days a week, but when it creeps up to 12hrs every day, it starts getting a bit too much, even with the added income.

We’ll see how it goes.

Aside from work, I’ve not had the time nor energy to do much else. Until this weekend that is.

This weekend has been amazing in that I’ve had 3 days off for the first time in months, and have finally been able to get into the garden and do some tinkering with stuff, which has been good.

I’ve played video games, watched plenty of football and generally just lazed around the house and I’m feeling pretty refreshed for all this lazing around, which is great!

One thing I’m not really happy with since starting my new job is not doing any weight lifting what so ever.

Lifting 100-200 parcels of varying weights from 1kg to 35kg every single day really does tire you out more than you think.

Most evenings for the last month, I’ve got home feeling drained and physically exhausted.

I did a tiny amount of exercise for a few days over the first few weeks, but since then I’ve been so whacked physically every evening, I’ve just not felt like lifting anything other than my fork to shove food in my mouth!

One bonus of being so active in my new job is that my belly fat from Christmas has well and truly gone now, which reminds me, I need to take some measurements tomorrow morning.

Due to the lack of weight lifting, my lovely muscles have shrunk too, most noticeably in my back and chest.

Anyway, I’m not too worried, I know I can put the muscle back on soon enough, I just need to start lifting a little every other night and my body will soon adjust and I’ll be back working out properly a few times a week soon enough.

I do need to eat more food though to gain any muscle, as I think I’ve found the balance of what I’ve been eating to what I’ve been doing physically each day. But now that I want to start lifting weights again, I’ll need to add in some more food somewhere in the day.

I don’t feel hungry first thing in the mornings, so I’m still having my protein raw milkshakes, and then when I’m out driving, I take a small lunch with me as I don’t feel hungry whilst out delivering either.

So I need to come home, do some form of weight lifting and then shove a load of food in my face as I definitely feel hungry in the evenings. Well, as long as I’m home before 8 pm that is.

I start at 7 am and have been getting home mostly around 6-7pm. But some nights I get home gone 8 pm and just don’t feel hungry at all. I look back on the day and think to myself, I’ve literally had fuck all to eat, how am I not hungry?

Then I look in the mirror and at my physique and understand why. My body has been feeding on the excess body fat I’ve had, as well as the muscle.

So I need to sort out the weight lifting and the eating now that I’ve gotten used to the job physically.

Oh man. There was me thinking I’d gotten through the tiring days. The next month is going to be a right bitch.

Oh well, suck it butter cup!

Until next time…

WeeMike

New job, new beginnings and all that.

Not posted a diary entry for a whole month. Not felt the desire to write anything down, it’s been a productive month though, I’ve finally got a new job, whoop!

Ironically it’s not a HGV driving job, but it is a local delivery driving job, Well, I say local. The company is local, but the delivering isn’t, but that’s fine. As long as I can get to work within 10 minutes then I’m well happy.

I actually applied for the driving role before I got my HGV license, but then forgot about it as I was informed that they weren’t recruiting any more drivers at the moment.

Then out of the blue in the middle of Feb I received a phone call asking if I wanted to come in for a chat and then within two weeks I was accepted for the role and I’ve just finished two weeks of my five weeks of training.

I won’t name the company I’m working for, but anyone who has been or is a delivery driver in the UK will probably know who it is, or will realise who it is most likely in future posts.

I’m still training. And whilst I’m training it’s difficult to fully evaluate the role as my wage is subsidised by the company. But from what other drivers who get on with the job have told me, it is a very good wage, you just have to be a hard worker and get on with it.

I’ve just completed two weeks of classroom training, learning about the company, it’s procedures and it’s future aims etc. Plus I had a few days out with a driver to watch how it’s all done, then I had 3 days out delivering some parcels myself.

It’s been a steep learning curve, but a good one and now I’m eager to get going on my own route so I can get to know the area’s and then quicken up my delivery times so I can deliver more and hopefully get paid more!

I’ve read some negative comments about the company online and from what I’ve experienced so far, a lot of it is from ex-drivers who don’t want to put the effort into the role.

Sure it’s hard work, but any delivery driving role will normally be a 10-12hr day, five days a week, sometimes a sixth or seventh day too, but the difference with this one is that you get paid very well for it.

They don’t expect the drivers to work seven days, but they do expect you to do some six day weeks, which is fine by me. I want a job that I can earn enough to pay off my debt. Once that’s done I’ll go from there.

Until that time, I want the work and I’m happy to work six 10-12hr days a week for it.

At the end of the day, there are a lot of people who work longer hours and for less pay than I should be getting. I say should, because I don’t know I can definitely earn what I want yet, I might be shit at my job and have to find another one pmsl.

Enough of that, lets see how my first week out on my own route goes next week!

The last month has been great sleep and health wise. It’s amazing how great I feel energy wise and mentally too.

Getting regular 6+ hrs of sleep, during the night, in one stint has enabled me to start feeling healthy again. I’ve been eating proper meals, not snacking on crap and overall I can feel my body and mind thanking me for it every day now.

I’ve not got back into a regular fitness routine yet, but I’ve made sure to keep pretty active and do something bodyweight wise every day.

Yesterday was the first time this year that I’ve touched a weight. And I just did a simple lightweight ten rep set of 50kg squats, along with some chin ups and some push ups and I felt great doing it.

I’m going to gradually increase what I do weight wise whilst I’m learning my new delivery route over the next 3 weeks and by then I should be back to some decent weights and workouts and really start to feel like my old self again.

If only I’d changed jobs sooner!

Until next time…

WeeMike

Life seems more difficult when you choose your own path.

So the job search is still ongoing. Which is a good thing, there are jobs for me to apply for. But I’m stuck between choosing a job I actually want.

Only a handful of times in my life have I taken a job that I didn’t want.

Generally I’ve found jobs that I could see myself in for years on end, but often I’ve left for one reason or another.

I’ve tried to run my own business a few times. Each time I’ve closed the business down. I could call it failing, but each time it’s been for reasons that I’ve chosen myself, not for outside reasons.

I would love to run my own business, or even be self-employed again, but all the business I want to do require start-up money, which I don’t have.

And that’s been the issue with the businesses I’ve started in the past, I’ve not had enough money to do the things I wanted to. Plus, ultimately I’ve not had the desire to go and find solutions to the lack of money.

So the businesses were closed, and I moved on and back to being employed by someone else.

But I’ve always chosen who and where I’ve gone to work. I’ve had options of higher-paying jobs, too many times to count, but I’ve generally gone for the job that means I can lead the lifestyle I’ve wanted to outside of work.

The things I usually enjoy the most don’t require a lot of money, they just require my time, being at home or at least not at work.

Until recently I’ve not known how much power that has given me throughout my life.

Which brings me to something I read this morning on Medium.

It was a post called ‘When you’re feeling lost…..do this

James Altucher is someone who’s writing I’ve been reading for a while now and most of his writings make me ponder my own life and journey I’m on, which I really enjoy.

One thing that stuck out for me reading this today was the following paragraph.

Always choose who you deal with. Who you give power to. This is the way of reclaiming power over your own life.

It wasn’t until I read this that I realised that this is what I do and then I started thinking about how differently my life would be if this wasn’t the case.

Then I stopped thinking about that, it wasn’t a pleasant few minutes, ha!

Anyway, long story short. I’m going to continue being picky about what job I end up in next.

It will be driving, that’s a given.

But it will be for a company that I want to work for, not just one that provides a monthly wage to pay the bills. I just can’t be too picky as I’ve still got those bills to pay at the end of the month haha!

Until next time,

WeeMike

When you want something bad enough, you’ll find a way.

It’s been a pretty good two weeks back at work after the Christmas holidays. I’ve stuck to my fitness goal of doing something every day and I’m feeling great for it. I’m not sure what’s changed mentally, but I’ve just been able to mentally overcome the obstacles that I couldn’t late last year.

Well, I say feeling great. Feeling as great as I can having to still get up at stupid o’clock. Which broke my record for early starts last week when I had to get up at 1:30 am.

It wouldn’t have been so bad had I not stayed up to watch the football till 10:30 pm that night! I did make up for it a little in the afternoon once I had finished work, by getting another 3hrs sleep, so it’s all good. Although I did have a banging headache all day and night, so maybe it wasn’t ‘all good’.

Hey ho, it’s nearly coming to an end. Although I haven’t got a job yet, I’m confident enough that something will come of all the applications I’ve been putting in, another 5 in the last few days and also the temp agencies I’ve come across have plenty of work it seems.

I just feel like I’m more eager to finish the night work than I am to find something else to move on to, which is stupid as I can’t afford to do nothing. But I’m happy enough that I can do most jobs that I’ve seen advertised by the temp agencies, so it should be all good.

I’ve spoken to a few people this week, or should I say they’ve spoken to me. And they’ve been more concerned than I have at me not having something lined up before I leave my current job.

I think for me, I know that I can find something quite quickly by going to the temp agencies, but also that I have plenty of experience of leaving it late in the past too. It’s how I used to change jobs years ago before I stayed at the farm job for 7-8 years, so I’m fine with it.

Anyway. Back to my fitness. I’ve stuck to my short bodyweight routines of 5 x chin ups, 10 x push ups and 15 x squats and done 2 rounds every other day and the days in between I’ve done a 20-minute brisk walk on the treadmill with my 18kg weights vest on.

It’s been nothing herculean but it’s been keeping me active and burning a few hundred calories so it helps my fat loss. Which has been going well I think? I feel like my stomach has shrunk a little, it already feels less jiggly lol. I’m not taking another measurement until the end of next week, but I do feel that I’ve lost some body fat.

But most importantly I’m finding myself getting home from work and despite feeling lethargic I’ve still gone and done something exercise wise, so I’m really happy about that.

I guess that right now I want to lose this excess body fat more than being lazy and eating rubbish food. Which funnily enough, even though I am eating more consistent, I haven’t really changed much, I’ve just made sure I’m more conscious of actually eating what I need to every day and making sure I log everything so that I can visually see I’m doing what needs to be done too.

Onwards and upwards as the saying goes.

Until next time…

WeeMike

Doing some form of exercise every day and IIFYM.

This is my new year’s resolution for 2017.

Doing some form of exercise, every, single, day. And If It Fits My Macros it’s going in my face hole.

At least until I get my fitness levels back to a decent level (for me) and my body fat (waist size) down to where I want it.

I’ve decided to take some measurements for the first time in a while, after all, if I don’t know where I’m starting from, I don’t know how far I’ve got to go.

Or something motivational along those lines 😎.

Anyhoo, here’s where I’m at today…

Weight: 75kg

Waist: 36 inches

Chest: 41 inches

So there it is, I officially have the fattest gut I’ve ever had. Strangely enough, I’ve got my 2nd largest chest measurement I’ve ever had and yet I’m not the heaviest I’ve ever been.

Anyone would think fat takes up more space than muscle! 😉

I’ve stuck with just my stomach and chest measurements only as they’re the stats that tell me where I’m at the best.

I’ve taken my scale weight just for reference purposes, I don’t actually care what I weigh, and it doesn’t matter to me, it’s my measurements that do matter.

This is especially important when you’re weight training. I’ve noticed a lot of people who are trying for fat loss tend to focus on scale weight.

It works, to begin with, as the body loses water weight and some fat pretty quickly. But then that levels off, and if you’re doing some form of muscle building exercise, then the muscle gain starts to even out the water/fat loss. Then these people get demotivated that their diet isn’t working and quit.

I think I’m going to weigh myself and take some measurements every 2 weeks, to begin with, then just stick to the measurements and only weigh myself once a month after the first month.

So this week I literally just did one round of 5 x chin ups, 10 x pushups and 15 x squats per day, every work day.

Today is my day off, and I’m doing a 30 min walk on the treadmill with my 18kg weights vest on as well as the one round of bodyweight exercises.

Holy shit was I sweating by the end of the walk. Talk about fitness level drop! Only 2/3 months ago I was doing short distance sprints (30-60 secs)  on the treadmill with it on, and not sweating as much as I did

Only 2/3 months ago I was doing short distance sprints (30-45 secs) on the treadmill with it on, and not sweating as much as I did today 😥.

I’ve deliberately stuck to something basic every day, just so that I start off with some easy wins for my first week exercising and being back at work.

This week wasn’t too bad with the early 3 am starts, getting up wasn’t the issue in fact. What the issue was, was the getting to sleep.

I was a good boy and stuck to my new sleep schedule. Every night I went to bed (about 8:30 pm) a good 30-45 mins before I needed to be asleep. But every, single, fucking, night, I was awake for at least an hour, lying there feeling relaxed and not thinking about anything, but yet I didn’t get to sleep that quickly.

It’s not surprising really. Seeing as though I’ve spent the best part of 2 weeks not going to bed that early. I just would’ve thought with being up that early, getting less sleep, being on my feet for half the work day, doing the exercise, that this would’ve tired me out enough to get to sleep quickly, just like before Christmas.

Hey ho, I’m sure I’ll be back to normal soon enough. Although getting the 1.5hrs+ sleep during the day does mean I’m at least getting 6hrs every 24hrs, but the afternoon sleeping makes me feel thick headed, and it takes several hours for it to wear off.

Although getting the 1.5hrs+ sleep during the day means I’m at least getting 6hrs every 24hrs, which is good. But the afternoon sleeping makes me feel thick headed, and it takes several hours for it to wear off.

I’m trying to stick to 90 minutes sleep segments, but it’s difficult when I set the alarm for 2hrs, which should allow me 30 mins to get to sleep, but I take 60 mins and then only get 60 mins sleep because the alarm wakes me up.

I’m not too bothered, to be honest. I’ve got less than a month left of this job, and I will then hopefully be in a more civilised one. Well, that’s assuming I can find one during January.

I didn’t really set myself a realistic goal of finding a new job with the holiday break last month. Most job advertisements died off for about 3 weeks, and are only just now coming back. But I’m optimistic something suitable will come up, even if it just gets me out of the early starts of this job, I’ll be getting better sleep and be in a better place mentally to look for another more suitable job.

Right, one last thing I wanted to write down was about my eating.

After spending the last few months not eating properly, not cycling to work or for fun, and also not consistently doing any weight lifting, it’s not a surprise my body has gone to shit.

So I’ve decided to go for IIFYM. Which for anyone reading this that doesn’t know what it means, it’s “if it fits your macros”.

I don’t like putting terms or names on what I do eating or exercise wise. I just eat and exercise, it’s no more difficult than that.

But I want to log and write about things more this time round, so I thought I’d give things some official names to make me sound cool. 😎

So I’ve done IIFYM in the past. Basically most of the last 15+ years actually. I don’t generally care what I eat, as long as I like it, as long as I feel good, I continue eating it.

Sometimes I’ve decided that I ‘should’ eat more vegetables, or ‘should’ eat a particular food less. But then I’ve become unhappy which spirals into not eating properly at all and not exercising at all.

So that’s not happening again, ever.

Plus, IIFYM is ideal for me wanting to lose a few inches off my stomach and do nothing else with my health, etc.

I don’t want to add any extra muscle mass, I don’t want to be any healthier, I only want to lose the excess belly fat, so IIFYM is perfect for that.

It’s simple to do and means I don’t have to change anything eating wise. I’m just going to keep track of things via My Fitness Pal, and that’s it.

Once I’ve lost my excess belly fat, or at least got it down to 33/34 inches again, I’ll probably stop IIFYM most likely. Maybe I won’t, we’ll see how I feel at the time.

Right, so I’ve worked out my calorie intake for each day, and I’m using that as a baseline level to build my eating back up to. Then once I’m consistently eating that in real food every day and also exercising every day, I’ll then change it accordingly to match my activity levels.

I honestly think the only thing I’m going to struggle with is eating proper portion sized meals for dinner.

Except for Christmas dinner, a farewell dinner for my partner’s in-laws and a pre-Christmas works dinner, I literally didn’t eat a decent sized meal for probably 3 months.

Instead, I spent the afternoons and evenings snacking on shit foods in smaller portions, and therefore I feel like I’ve shrunk my stomach and I just can’t eat big meals now.

It’s kind of a good thing actually because now that I want to lose some belly fat and have a lower calorie intake, my meals need to be slightly smaller.

I just need to make sure I don’t keep any shit food in the house, and then I won’t be tempted to eat any.

And that’s been my bane for months now. Having the shit food in the house. I’m good at not popping to the shops, or via the shops or even getting something shitty while out and about. But if I’ve got shit food at home, that’s it, I get all psychic and start hearing voices in my head from the food telling me to eat it! 😜

Ok, that’s enough of that today, I’m hungry, and it’s time for brunch.

Until next time…

WeeMike

Creating a sleep schedule.

So I got a little anal last night and spent a few hours in the evening putting together a 7-day schedule for my sleep. Well, the schedule includes my work days too, but it was mainly so that I could plan my sleep pattern and try to ensure I get around 56hrs a week of sleep through 90-minute sleep cycles.

Once I started planning the schedule I quickly realised that I wouldn’t be able to get 8hrs every ‘night’ but instead I could get 8hrs every ’24hrs’.

To explain a little here are my hours of sleep I’ve planned for myself based on each 24hr period.

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
9hrs 8hrs 8hrs 8hrs 6hrs 8.5hrs 8.5hrs

It was actually pretty cool to actually see how, with a little planning, I could actually get around 8hrs sleep every day, or should I say every 24hr period.

No matter what I’ve done over the last 12 months, I’ve just not been able to get more than 6hrs straight sleep on a work day/night, and what has done me in is not getting any more sleep during the day on those same work days/nights. Especially when my sleep time has dropped as low as 4hrs on some nights.

In this new schedule, by adding in a sleep period during the day time on a work night that I start at 2am, I have managed to schedule in enough sleep that I actually get around 8hrs sleep each 24hr period, which is great!

As an example: On Sunday I’m in bed for 9pm and I’m up at 2am on Monday and have had 5hrs sleep. Then I’m back to bed for more sleep on Monday at 1pm and up again at 4pm and have had 3hrs sleep. Which then means by the time I go back to bed again on Monday night at 9pm I’ve had 8hrs sleep during the last 24hr period of being awake.

Tada.

I’m going to try and stick with 90-minute sleep cycles as all the sleep literature I’ve read say that most people sleep in 90 min cycles, so that’s good enough for me. 

My actually in bed time is normally 15-30 minutes before I start counting my sleep, so as to allow my brain and body time to relax and get ready for sleep.

Once thing that can, and most probably will put a spanner in the works, will be when the delivery schedule for my work changes, which it has a tendency to do quite often.

This will mean that I won’t have to get up at 2am some days, and will have to work later than say 11am, meaning I also won’t be home to get 3hrs sleep at the same time every day.

And this is one of the main reasons I’m leaving this job in a few months, because I just can’t get a regular work day schedule which in turn means I can’t have a regular sleep schedule.

Anyway, I began this new schedule yesterday and we’ll see how it goes. I do know for definite that this coming Thursday I won’t be getting any day time sleep, as I’ll be travelling up to Manchester for the football haha! 

Until next time… 

WeeMike 

Basic bodyweight exercises and treading water.

It’s been a weird few days off work for me. After possibly one of the best work weeks sleep wise, I got to the end of the week feeling great mentally and physically, the 1-2hrs extra sleep I’ve been getting each day this week definitely helped my moods towards the end of the week.

For most of this year by the end of the work week, I would start to feel a little demotivated and really not want to do anything on my days off, other than sleep and relax.

But this week even though mentally I felt great by the end of it, I just felt like not doing anything on my days off. Well, apart from playing poota games lol.

I did a few rounds of some bodyweight exercises yesterday, and today I did a 15-20 minute brisk walk on the treadmill with my 18kg weights vest on, for a bit of conditioning. I think I’m going to run next time as the brisk walk didn’t really get me out of breath.

Strangely I didn’t feel like doing any weight lifting on my days off, even though I was looking forward to doing some at the beginning of the week.

And today I had a good think about a few things in my life right now and I realised that it feels a little like I’m treading water at the moment.

Not moving on from a job I thought I was leaving and also not moving towards my financial goals, has meant that basically, I’ll be standing still for the next few months.

I like to feel that I’m always working towards something, but now that I’m staying in my current job for a few months, it doesn’t feel like I’m working towards anything particular, which I guess is true.

I need to find a few small things to work towards over the next few months to keep my motivation levels up, and they’ll probably be fitness and sleep related, as that’s about as much as I can plan for at the moment.

I think a few more weeks of getting more sleep during the day time should start to have a more positive effect on my daily moods, and I think I’ll set some conditioning goals as I know what I want to do weightlifting wise.

Anyhoo, enough of that, it’s zombie watching time.

Until next time…

WeeMike