Bringing it together - Part 2

I felt a bit like a scatter brain recently and the one or the other self doubt sneaking through the back door into my mind: Who will want to read what I’m writing there? Do I do what I’m doing the right way? Are the exercises working? Am I spending too much money? … Probably just the hormones talking, or probably time for a little review – meaning: A list!

A bit of time:check – won’t be enough, but enough to get started

Cappuccino: check

Sitting comfy: check

Here it goes:

  • Time Management
    • Grooming
    • Sleep
    • Website
    • Work
    • Shopping/Cooking
    • Housework/Garden/Pets
    • Reading
    • Sport
    • Training Course
    • Husband
    • Social Life
    • Telly consumption
    • Flexibility
  • Eating Habits
    • Sweet Binges
    • Food Units
    • Hormones
  • Shape
  • Health
    • Glasses
  • Fashion
    • Glasses
    • Avoiding Frumpiness
  • Incredible Ladies
    • The site
    • Hard Core Content
      • Exercises
      • Nutrition
      • Health
      • Lifestyle
    • Afternoon Tea – Ipswich Ladies
    • Training Club
    • Recruiting
    • Promoting

Follow up on:
Wrap up:

That should cover almost every aspect of my life, so let’s get started to fill it in.

Time Management

The new weekly schedule works fantastically well. I only did one amendment: I’m getting up at 5AM now, you'll see why.

I was a bit worried to commit to such a crisp schedule at work – with 40 something people getting used to me being around at certain times, one would like to get that right the first time round. I did a lot of thinking before I announced it and it turned out not only to be beneficial for myself but for my colleagues as well.

This little timer I created is just great. It's one of my hand crafted inventions from a folder the wrong way round and sheets of paper to flip. I have a strip of paper to click in, indicating when I'm having my lunch break.

Every morning first thing, I adjust my leaving time and best of all: After I have left everybody knows it. No guesswork anymore whether I'm just on the loo, at home or both.

Nobody plays with it and while some posters which are hanging in the same area look ripped because people tend to lean against them - my little planner looks like the day I made it. It really seems to be a valuable asset for everybody.
  • Grooming
    Since I’m getting up that half an hour earlier I’m feeling more comfortable with this. It’s just nice to be able to enjoy a shower rather then rushing through everything and feeling groggy before the day even started. So basically all the shaving, pedicure, hair care takes place in the mornings now, and I feel pretty good when I go to work. And I booked me regular facials again – a bit of pampering for the ol' girl: 'Expensive but Good'.
  • Sleep
    Since I get up that early I skipped the evening telly sessions after the gym. I’ll have my protein shake and then go to bed straight away. This way I actually get more sleep than before.
  • Housework/Garden/Pets
    And this half an hour allows me to get a lot of the housework done in the mornings what leaves more time for the pets in the afternoon. Garden we will have to see. I only did a bit of maintenance at the weekends. The horrible summer actually worked for me. Gardening was not a lot of fun this year anyway. So altogether:
    Success! Be vigilant when the next garden season starts.
  • Shopping/Cooking
    Works well with the new schedule. Wouldn’t want to have it differently anymore, and because things became so simple Detlef is taking on the dinner preparation more and more often.
  • Website
    Love it, and the amount of time I have for it and the length of the slots is great.
  • Work
    Working out well and colleagues and boss seem to be happy. No complaints so far. Having my next 1-2-1 tomorrow, though. But I have to say: These review sessions with one of our seniors are highly inspiring for me and usually I'm coming up with some new thoughts afterwards.
  • Reading
    Would like to have more time for that. Usually take something to read with me to the hairdressers. Probably I will have more time when I finished writing the 'hard core content' like training and nutrition for the site.
  • Sport
    Going well. The timing works. Since I do the shoulder training during my lunch break of the long working days the leg training started to kick in. When I had both together in one session it was just too exhausting to do both well. Now that is resolved.
  • Training Course
    Decided to skip. Too expensive and too time consuming at the moment. I need to focus on the site. And if somebody wants to know something about training: I can tell them anyway – as a friend. Only difference is that I can’t advertise myself as a professional trainer and I can’t make it my business, what was not my intention anyway. But we still can have the Training Club.

    Additionally I realised in the meantime that I love writing. So I’m thinking about a writing class one day rather then a personal trainer class. Success? Future will tell, but I’m feeling very comfortable with my decision.
    So for the time being: Success!

Got to stop now, hubby just came home from work: Cappuccino time!
Feeling better already – not looking all too bad, does it?

I’m back the next day with another half an hour of time: I can hear hubby in the kitchen preparing dinner.

  • Husband
    I think I’m the luckiest girl in the world. During the holidays we had a chat and I explained to him how important this is to me. I mean: He knew that it was important to me, but not 'HOW IMPORTANT'. The whole Incredible Ladies Project is effecting an will effect his lifestyle as well and sometimes it feels more difficult to ask somebody so close to give up conveniences than asking a stranger.

    But now he is catching up on my enthusiasm more and more and helps wherever he can. I will keep a close eye on that, as I don’t want to overstretch it.
  • Social Life
    Rocketing! I started this review before the first Afternoon Tea and I was a bit worried if it would work out. But now two days after I’m thrilled. My head is bubbling with ideas, and I’m very determined to make the 'Activities' bit of the site work. I realise that the more I integrate the site into my life the better the time efficiency becomes. I think it is legitimate to use the ideas I get for the site to catch up with my friends and to make new friends. And by feeding some of the stories back into the site it becomes a forum for them, and a bit of an archive of the 'old days' as well. Although I will keep an eye on what will be published and what should rather stay between us ladies!
  • Telly consumption
    Drastically improved, due to not starting to watch in the first place. Although there is still this clinging to the screen the later it gets. If I would come to grips with that I could gain me the one or the other hour of sleep.
  • Flexibility
    Despite all the scheduling I find that I still have a certain flexibility. There are days where I can skip the lunch/training break without guilt what gains me an hour for writing. Or on some Fridays I work one hour more – leaving at 12 instead of 11 is still great – to be able to leave a bit earlier some other day. It feels well balanced, although it needs determination to keep it that way. Too much of 'shoving tasks around' can easily create a mountain.
    9 out of 10 – it would be perfect if I only would work for 20 instead of 25 hours, but that is a silly thought!

That makes a whopping 9.5/10 for Time Management!

Eating Habits

  • Sweet Binges
    During the last 3 weeks I had four tiny chocolates from a restaurant, and some bread crisps with honey worth 500 kcal – good, eh?

    During the holidays I had such a bad Muffin/Biscotti binge and felt literally sick. Tired, bloated, dull! Than I had a chat with a friend who was diagnosed with celiac disease recently and she had to go cold turkey on everything with wheat, thus muffin/biscotti. And I thought what she can do I can do as well. She got better instantly, it might help me as well. Here I am: Sober for 3 weeks and feeling rather good, although a bit peckish at times.
    Success! Until further notice! As you might know – addictions never go away!

Gotta go. Dinner ready!

And here I’m back again the next day.

  • Food Units
    Working well. As soon as I keep an eye on them I loose fat. Although I still didn’t develop an intuitive feeling on how much I can eat without gaining fat again. My body is just greedy and if I would let it I would be feeding myself 24/7 without break. But grazing with small units without having to stick to meal times takes the fuss out of it.

    This weekend I was at a birthday party of my 7 year old little friend Cathy. And to see this bunch of little ones was interesting. Once they were finished with the food they wanted to move, and one could tell that actually they would have loved to run around and pick some food only now and then from a buffet. It was only us grown ups imposing this 'order' of sitting down while eating and concentrating on the food.

    It seems that food is used to teach children discipline by teaching them that food has to be eaten at a certain time in a certain way - what gives food an utter importance. This is all okay when you go to a restaurant or a family dinner, as those are occasions. But I think it would be more important to teach them to listen to their bodies which will tell them whether they are hungry or not. Children are smarter than we think. They are able to understand the difference between the two. They will learn that one behaviour is for daily life and the other one is for social experience.

    Who on earth invented these rules in the first place? As with so many other rules it seems that these eating rules are not in place because they make sense for the individual they are applied to, but to make life easier for the people who are applying them. But sometimes that backfires.

    I remember that as a child I was a horrible eater and drove my mum and granny mad. They were running after me with a plate that was kept warm over hot water all day: 'The child HAS to eat Something!'

    No, the child doesn’t! The child just didn’t feel hungry.

    And how is hunger supposed to happen if whenever one is not alert enough somebody is stuffing food into ones mouth. When I got into school things changed. I became a greedy eater. Apparently the few hours without food eventually made me hungry and I couldn’t stuff myself quickly enough with a tendency to overeating. What made my parents worried as well.

    Luckily 'child' is grown up now and tries only to eat when hungry – whatever time of the day. Nevertheless I’m still battling the old habits, and I’m wondering if that will ever stop.
  • Hormones
    Definitely peri-menopausal, but feeling astonishingly well. Probably due to VitD+Calcium to help with PMS  and Omega 3 pills to calm nerves. They were recommended by the Truth about Food series of the BBC. I don’t care whether it is a placebo effect or not as long as it works. I’m still greedier at certain times, but I can control it better. Since I skipped the cakes entirely and binned the chocolates with it, I can go past those without almost throwing a tantrum.

I would say during the past 3 weeks the Eating Habits bit has improved from a 5/10 to a 7/10. I will have to see if that can be trusted in the long run and if further improvement is possible.


Still working on the legs, but improving rapidly. I found that my boots are getting tighter rather then wider. Not sure if that is a good or a bad thing. But the progress of the upper body came in similar stages. Building muscle while still having fat - although a lot less already - gives a bit of a butch look. Once the fat went I dropped a dress size and it started looking athletic.

8/10 for Shape. Target: 9/10 by next spring.


  • Glasses
    The one thing that has changed in the past half year and that I don’t want to miss anymore are my varifocal glasses, although it started rather harmless with reading glasses.

    Just reading glasses didn’t work out well as my work involves changing between computer and paper all the time and if people came to my desk I couldn’t see them anymore. It seemed as if by gaining one part of the eyesight back the other part had been taken away. After a while the reading glasses were comfortable with the computer but not on paper anymore.

    After another eye test I decided for varifocals and I got my life back. Eventually I can go shopping without having to dig for the glasses to read the labels and I still can have a chat with someone I meet there.
    Another advantage is that I never forget where my glasses are as the location is determined to my nose.

    This year I got me varifocal transition lenses as sunglasses, and although they are not working well in the car it was the best decision ever to put the money in. They work as backup in case something happens to the others and no changing of glasses anymore when the sun comes out. Eventually the trips to London are fun again. Wherever I am, the glasses do what I need them to do. Hyde Park, shops, museums, restaurants – one pair of glasses: That’s it!
  • Misc
    Generally feeling much healthier than about 2 years ago, and improving. Back pain: almost gone, headaches: rarely, migraine: didn’t have one in ages, varicose veins: not getting worse – waiting for outcome of The Experiment.

9 /10 for Health


  • Glasses
    Since I have the transition lenses which are rather fashionable – to which hubby convinced me – I decided that although horribly expensive I will find a way to invest a bit into different styles of glasses. They suit me and I feel good with them. Why not make a fashion statement then – at least from time to time.
    Getting There!
  • Avoiding Frumpiness
    Last year the fashion situation in the shops was a bit sad for me. All the wrong shapes and skirt length. I got some basic bits but due to still big legs I have to be careful not to look frumpy. It needs quite a bit of accessorising to get that right. So I’m sitting on some decent but not really 'Wow' winter outfits. I will have to spice those up.

    It was the photo shoot with Babul that brought me back on track! Firstly I realised how fabulous I can look, and with what I can get away. Sort of 'Photo Therapy' part two, but the other way round. So I’m going to try to be a bit more daring again.

7/10 for Fashion. Target: 9/10 by end of this winter!

Incredible Ladies

  • The Site
    I’m very happy with the layout and people seem to like it as well. Although very much 'home made' it is easy to maintain and I think that it works. So far I didn’t get a lot of feedback regarding the handling, the menus and the links, though.

    People who are visiting seem to like the content, although I don’t get a lot of hits yet. Detlef has organised some statistics from the log files for me so that I can monitor the hits.

    The weekly publishing day is adding a feeling of achievement in little steps. This feature of the site seems to be beneficial in many ways. I still love writing and I’m still thinking about a writing class if IL leave me some time for it.

    All the hardware and software is in place now. I even got a new chair. I love my new work place.

    Taken into account that the site is only running a good 3 month now and that I was entirely inexperienced in taking on such a huge project:
    10 out of 10
  • Hard Core Content
    Still missing big chunks.
    3/10. This still needs a lot of work
    • Exercises
      2/3 still missing
    • Nutrition
      almost entirely missing. Recipe section will grow over time
    • Health
      Not too bad.
      Hoping to find contributors to write their experience in certain areas.
      Hoping to find a medic who would like to write a column
    • Lifestyle
      Not too bad. My budgeting system is still missing. And the one or the other article might jump up over time
  • Afternoon TeaIpswich Ladies
    Just got kick started, but it seems to work well. At least we have a lot of ideas and over time everybody might find something interesting. An idea that started off as 'Just a bit of catching up with friends' has turned into a planning meeting for further events and even may become a major part of the 'Incredible Ladies Project'. That would be a first step of using the site as front end of a bigger project rather than the site being the project itself.

    Apart from 'Incredible Ladies' itself the Tea Afternoons are the best idea so far. Probably a milestone! Huge potential!
    10/10 if it works. Determined to make it work, keep momentum going.
  • Training Club
    Not running yet. May grow out of Afternoon Tea.
    0/10. Low priority at the moment.
  • Recruiting
    I may have three new contributors for the Health, Sport and the Lifestyle section. Would love to have more. Site has the potential to become a 'publishing house'
    8/10. Collect articles, improve recruiting/managing skills.
  • Promoting
    I have MySpace and SoundClick profiles to promote the IL-link. I have flyers at my hairdressers and I’m planning for more flyers in other shops or even letter boxes.

    Google and some other search engines do find IL now, although we have tough competition from ‘Incredible Hulk’ and the ‘The Incredibles’, but getting there.

    I would like to have more ideas on this one and I’m getting a bit impatient, but I think that just needs time.
    5/10. Go on with it!

7/10 for the Site.

Follow up on:

  • Time Management
    • Be vigilant to seasonal changes
    • Try to find time for reading
    • Reduce telly consumption
  • Eating Habits
    • Develop an intuitive feeling for amount and frequency of food intake
  • Shape
    • Get shape to a 9/10 by next spring
  • Fashion
    • Vamp up winter wardrobe by accessorising and be more daring with new shopping
    • New fancy glasses in one years time
  • Incredible Ladies
    • Content: fill in faster
    • Afternoon Tea: Keep momentum going
    • Training Club: low key, might come out of Afternoon Tea activity
    • Recruiting: Collect articles, improve recruiting and managing skills.
    • Promoting: Keep going! Talk to a lot of people to gain experience

Wrap up

It seems that everything is down to the Time Management. If that is not working out everything else is going downhill. Or is it?

That reminds me of what my reviewer at work said three month ago when he wrapped up our session: In the end of the day it's about keeping the balls in the air.

It is such a simple and nice picture: Tasks flying nicely through the air, while one goes up a bit another one naturally gets a bit neglected, but eventually smoothly caught and lifted up again in due time.

Well, if it were so easy. I discovered that balls made out of tasks are interconnected with strings. If you throw one up it might pull another one up as well. But if one goes down it might make another one going down as well. That results in decisions like: Is it enough to throw one ball hard enough to make the other one come up as well? And if so: Which one do I have to chose? And how do I avoid the strings to entangle?

However hard I would try to make Incredible Ladies airborne I wouldn't have succeeded without imposing a well thought through although rather tough time management first.

I have to stay healthy in order to exercise and to develop/keep my shape, as that is a huge part of the content of the Incredible Ladies and I'm my own advert. But at the same time all my nice time management would break down if I would get sick. These downhill slides which I had in the past and during which I couldn't rely on my body just can't happen anymore. So I have to make the nutrition stuff work for me - I see that as my only option hence high priority.

So much to consider. That's when the Reflection Time comes into the game. It is a time out!


Imagine your balls are flying like mad and you feel that you are getting tired and any moment one will hit the ground and you don't know how you ever are supposed to pick it up without losing all the others as well.

How wonderful it would be if somebody would stop time!

You are the only one moving now. You can walk around your balls which are nicely hanging in the air. You can study them from all angles, you clearly see the connections between them and you might even find a few which have become rather useless but you desperately kept them in the air.

You can take the ones out you don't need anymore, you can entangle a few strings. You can give them the right priority in the game and when you are happy, you snap your fingers and you are back: refreshed and in control.

Take Your Time

That's exactly what I did the past three days, and I hope letting you take part might give you an idea how helpful this can be. I know now that I achieved so much more than I thought, and I feel like having grown a bit.

It's not faked. When I started three days ago I did feel like a scatter brain, and you can ask Detlef: I already went on his nerves with my silly questioning.

Now that I know where I'm standing, and now that I have finished this article:

I can go to the gym and enjoy it!

Detlef will be so relieved!

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Copyright 2007
Author: Rika