Health

Two weeks of freedom?

As I sit down to write this blogpost I’ve had a really long tiresome day. Having barely slept last night I could only think of my bed when I was at work but now that I’m home, and it’s actually time to sleep, my head is a bit too filled with random thoughts to really settle down and snooze. So instead I’m just going to write down what’s going on inside this messy brain of mine today and see if that will help me clear it.

We have a midyear evaluation at work and I had mine today. I tend to get the same comments every evaluation: you’re not professional enough and you lack some communication skills. So far I’ve taken the criticisms as they come but there has never really been a follow up to them. I tend to get told that I’m a bit blunt which may come across as me being bitchy at times but I don’t really see it that way myself. It may come with the fact that the moment I step foot into the office people start asking me questions within two minutes of me sitting down. I get a bit annoyed by that sometimes because I really would like the first ten to fifteen minutes of my work day for myself to make a planning, look at what kind of mails I have and just settle down before the questions are fired. I’m already not a morning person by any means so stuff like this just tends to get me irritable, which I then show in my answers to people. It’s not something that is completely concious but it happens nonetheless.
My manager has offered me to work with me on my professionalism and my communication skills and I’ll gladly take any chance to grow as a person at work. I’m just seriously curious what exactly I should do to make strides and grow, but I guess I’ll see in a few weeks when we have our first “session”.

In other news my dad and his girlfriend departed for Spain this afternoon to enjoy a two week holiday over there, leaving me alone in the house untill the 28th. I have to say that I’m kind of happy to have this time to myself because I was getting irritated a lot by them lately and I just really needed some space. I do hope that I can use the coming two weeks to start getting into the habit of going to the gym again. My weight has been bothering me for a very long time now and now that I’m able, for two weeks atleast, to spend my time the way I want to I kind of want to use to start setting up a gym routine again. Working out is healthy and even though the first few weeks tend to be tough I also know that it gives me energy and stamina, which translates into a better mood overall for myself. I may use the topic of gyms and workouts for my blogposts the coming weeks but that is yet to be seen.
For now though I want to reserve some time on the weekends, probably in the morning, and weekdays after work to go to the gym for 30 mins – one hour. I realise that I have to start from scratch again but that’s okay. I’m not setting the bar extremely high for myself. I just want to make sure that I’m going again and build a steady rythm of getting myself to go before actually pushing hard for weight loss goals.

Tied into the whole gym thing I also want to cook healthy for myself these two weeks. I have one pizza in the freezer for emergencies but as far as I’m concerned I want to cook myself healthy meals every day if I can. This probably means a lot of rice and veggies since that is what I enjoy. I’m also stocking up on stuff like yoghurt and fruit so I can take that as a snack during the evening/weekends instead of candy or crisps and I want to make sure I’m taking fruit with me to work every day. I have a new backpack incoming and an insulated lunch bag which means I could cut myself some fruit in the evening and put it in a plastic container in the fridge so that it can go into the insulated bag in the morning, keeping it more cool and fresh than it would be otherwise. I could also try to do something with the yoghurt that way but for now I’m a bit hesitant because it’s dairy and already kind of sour so I don’t really want to take it with me where it’s not properly cooled, because I probably can’t taste if it’s gone “sour” that way.

As far as games are concerned I  want to cut back on time on those and spend that time on my gym stuff and some other hobbies instead. I am probably going to tackle Trine 2 with a friend and I will still be playing WoW probably on a daily basis but that will probably be it. During the weekends I will have a bit more time to do some more and branch out to other games like FFXIV or a single player game of my choosing but for the week nights it’ll be WoW exclusive.
I want to get back to reading my book and tackling an embroidery kit that I’ve started a few years ago but never finished. I also really want to build one of the Toy-Cons from the Nintendo Labo kit I scored for cheap a while back, probably the motorcycle one since I can use that with Mario Kart for fun and giggles. I will make pictures during my building process to post for my blog so definitely stay tuned for that!

At the end of the day though my plans for the coming two weeks are hopefully a foundation for a change that is more lasting. I want to step away from constantly gaming and work on my health. I also want to pick up some of my old hobbies and make myself less reliant on my PC/PS4/Switch for enjoyment or relaxation. The biggest thing is that I want to start having a more structured life where I am more calm and capable of getting things done. As for right now I feel like I’ve gotten off my chest what has been going on in my head, which means I can close down the house and get ready for a good night’s sleep.

Fatigued

Winnie the Pooh in Stormsong Valley!

I like this picture. I like that Blizzard put Winnie the Pooh into their game with all his friends. Its one of the many easter eggs of Battle for Azeroth. But it’s not my topic for today. Rather I’d want to talk about fatigue on multiple fronts. A type of fatigue I’ve been noticing a lot lately and which I want to talk about to get it off my chest.

The past three years I’ve been working for a big Dutch retail company at their headquarters. I started out as a simple Data Entry employee and most of my days were literally entering Data from paper into a system. Along the way my role shifted to less entry work and more organizing work. Yet the 8 hour screen days stayed. Right now I’m in a role where I am a direct link between a part of the commerce department and the data management department. Even though my screentime has been reduced a bit and has been replaced by meetings I still feel like I’m a slave to the machine so I try to take a lot of breaks away from staring at a screen all day.
The funny thing is though that as gamer when I come home from staring at a screen for approximately 8 hours each day I then spend my evening staring at a screen again. And this is causing me some fatigue issues. I just can’t bring myself to spend so much time infront of screens anymore. I’m trying to stay away from any and all screens the moment I get onto the train home untill after dinner. This means my eyes and my brain can rest a bit and I actually do take that time, which is about 1-1.5 hours to lay down and rest. I feel like I need to reset and restore my energy for the rest of the evening like that and if I don’t I notice that I get headaches and sleep worse at night.

This fatigue is also causing me to start to dislike gaming in general. I just can’t seem to bring myself to play anything on certain days, mostly because my brain subconciously steers me away from the screens. There is a screen overload, especially when you factor in smartphones and tablets, and I’m pretty sure as human I’m not supposed to treat my body or my eyes the way I do it now. I’m lucky that I don’t have to wear glasses yet and that I know when to take breaks away from sitting down too long or in a wrong position. I’ve never experienced RSI or any discomfort in my shoulders or neck due to sitting the wrong way. But I do experience fatigue and tiredness when it comes to screens and instead of powering through it I think I need to learn when to step away and do something else. I’m trying to start a workout routine where I just spend time at the gym or at home doing some light workout for about an hour. It’s a nice way to empty the mind and to not put strain on the eyes while also keeping my body used and it’s most definitely better for me than sitting on my butt 24/7.

Does this mean that I’m going to give up gaming completely on some nights? Maybe I will. I’m not really sure about that yet, maybe I’ll restrict myself to only playing for an hour. Maybe by the time I finish my workout I’m so tired that I just want to take a shower and go straight to bed. I’ve done this before where I’d go to the gym and get home around 21.00, take a shower and something to drink and then just head straight to bed. Other nights I’d have a bit more energy and I would game for an hour or so before giving up and closing down shop for the evening. When I did this though I felt less fatigue when it came to staring at screens but also less fatigued when it came to gaming itself. I wonder if I get back to that routine I will have more joy from gaming aswell. I guess we’ll see in the near future. For now though I will probably spend one of two evenings less on a game filled night and more on recharging my batteries and making sure I don’t ruin my body and my eyes too much.

Ticking Off Goals

I’ve been really busy over in FFXIV the last few weeks. Not only did I complete a ton of my relic, I managed to level both my Warrior and Dark Knight to 50. My goal of not having any battle classes below level 50 has been obtained! It was also the first time going through the Warrior story proper which means I’ve seen a few new things. The same goes for Dark Knight. I really enjoy these sidestories and I can’t wait what the quests from 52 untill 60 have in store for me. My focus will now turn to leveling my Machinist. She’s level 58 so I’m only two levels away from the current level cap. It’s an enourmous help that Machinist, Bard and Ninja share half their gear so those will probably be the first three classes I will focus on in Stormblood.. Together with Astrologian.

Next to leveling my tanks I’ve also been doing some Palace of the Dead on my Summoner for fun. I finally cleared up untill level 100 and upgraded my Astrologian weapon to a Kinna one! I’ve grinded my way back up after to 19/25 by running some level 1-50 stuff. It’s really not that bad and a nice distraction from the relic weapon farm. With a three day weekend inbound I will probably see PotD a lot as I level my Machinist and probably my Summoner after. I’m not sure where this enormous need to level suddenly comes from, maybe it’s because I don’t want to be majorly behind in Stormblood anymore. As of right now I have 4 jobs at level 60, one at 58, two at 52 (since I’m leveling summoner I’m automatically leveling Scholar) and the rest at 50. I hope to have atleast my Machinist and Summoner to max level before Stormblood hits. With the addition of Samurai and Red Mage I will have 8 classes at level 50 then, of which four share gear (Monk and Samurai/ Black Mage and Red Mage) so that helps aswell. All my tanks share gear aswell so the odd job out is White Mage, which apparently is getting changed for the worse in Stormblood.

As for my Ninja Anima relic. I’m on the Light grind stage right now and I’m pretty sure I’ll devote a few evenings to just farming A1S to get to the second to last stage of the relic. Unfortunately for Ninja it’s a downgrade looks wise. The Spurs just look amazing compared to the Lux… Oh well.

With Stormblood inbound in only two weeks I will have enough to do ingame… And outside of it. I caved and picked up a Switch after I got a call that my pre-order came in. I had been thinking of just calling it off and waiting to get it since I have a ton of WiiU games to play still but in the end I decided to get it. I’ve not regretted this for a minute. With Shovel Knight and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe I’ve spend quite some time playing already. These are both games that I want to get the max out of so I’m not really planning to get anything else anytime soon. Even though Arms looks really good, it comes out on the same day as Stormblood early access and I know myself well enough that I will be playing FFXIV over the weekend.

As much progress I’ve had in my games, I’ve not had a nice streak IRL. My health still isn’t what it should be. I’m tired a lot and my asthma is giving me a hard time. Especially now that I’m back to working full days again I notice that my days off are spent mostly in bed recovering. My body is just kind of done at the moment and I can’t do much more than just give in to it’s need for rest. I’ll have a checkup this Tuesday where they will look at my lungcontent and if I need to stay on asthma medication for a longer period of time. I really hope that isn’t the case but I’m fearing the worst. Next to my health problems I’m also seriously struggling with uni and the project I need to finish. People are not sticking to their word and things are being stretched out way more than I thought they would be. It has gotten me stressed out… which in turn exaggerates my already serious health issues. I’ll be so happy when I’m done with all that stuff so I don’t have to worry about that anymore ever again.

All in all I try to stay positive. I’m in a nice FC on FFXIV, I’m going on vacation at the end of the month and my work contract got extended till January. If I can just finish up this Uni business I will just have to deal with my health… and how to live with asthma.

Health Issues part 3

My third health issues post in a very short amount of days. Damn we just keep on going don’t we?
Today I spent about 4 hours in the hospital after my doctor saw some weird values in my blood. Long story short: my mum’s side has issues with blood cloths. Two of my uncles have been treated for ones in their legs, my mum died of one when she was 45 and I have atleast one aunt who has had multiple strokes. So yeah, blood is an issue in my family. Apparently they can tell by a certain value in your blood that you may or may not have these same issues. The value in my blood indicated something was up, but not really what. So the thing to do was pack my things and move to the hospital where I would get a CT scan to see if anything serious was up.
I can tell you, being in a hospital with nothing to do but wait is seriously annoying. Atleast I got lunch there otherwise I would’ve been extremely hungry aswell. After all was said and done it appears that my lungs are clean and I don’t have anything major life threatening health issues… But I still feel off.

I’m still out of breath easy. I still start coughing whenever my asthma medication wears out. I personally think I’m having a rather intense allergic reaction to something which is causing me to feel this way, but only time will tell. For now I’m still at home sick, giving me ample time to game and do other things that I’ve been neglecting.

Speaking of games…

I’ve been getting back into Destiny next to FFXIV.  It took me forever to get on top of that stupid mountain, but I made it and got the SIVA fragment as reward, plus this nice screenshot. I worked my way up to 390 light on my Warlock so this in theory makes me ready to raid. Now I just need to find a group to do said raid with.
I know this week is Iron Banner and I think I want to dip my toes in that aswell, just to get the ranks and see how the gamemode is. I’ve missed out on a lot of things in this game so I’m working very hard to try to do and see everything it has to offer before Destiny 2 launches. This mostly includes finding all the collectables, doing Crucible, doing strikes and weekly missions and try to clear as many quests from my log as I can on the Warlock atleast.
I’m also leveling my Titan and Hunter up so I can clear their respective sections in the Age of Triumph book. And earn some of the trophies I’ve been missing still. But most of all I’ve been having fun with friends, and that is what really matters at the end of the day.

Bonus screenie of my warlock in a silly snowglobe hat:

Setting a Baseline

So I went in for the first session with a personal trainer yesterday. Initially it was only meant to be an intake conversation but due to him having enough time, and me being there anyway, we decided to do the first session right then and there… And boy was I sore all over. Today the muscle aches and pains seem to have subsided a bit, except for my shoulder area which still hurts quite a lot.
To establish a baseline for me to work from he needed some info about my age, weight, height and ofcourse the resulting BMI. I’m on a BMI of 28 which means I am overweight, but not obese. It’s not the worst out there but ofcourse I want to be closer to 23 or 24 which is more or less ideal. After talking for a bit, establishing what I wanted from him and why and how, we started doing some exercises so he could see “how I move”. I found this to be a bit of an odd term, but now I understand it completely.
Basically it comes down to seeing how I use the muscles in every part of my body and from there see which are the problem areas that need the most work. He asked me what personally bothered me the most and for me it’s the area right below my shoulderblades. Due to excess weight hanging in the front I always need to “compensate” my stance with my shoulders and I definately noticed when he started poking and prodding the area there. Next to that we found out that the muscles in my left leg are much stronger than in my right and that I have “core muscle” problems, like most people that sit all day do, which means my back, butt and hips are much too weak to offer proper support. What was also an uncharacteristic issue was the fact that the muscles in my calves are always tensed, even when I’m not actually tensing them. He was unsure what caused this, but it would explain why I often get pain in my calves when I walk for a while.
All in all I think I had a good evaluation and we ended with doing some exercises that train about 70% of the muscle mass that is a problem area for me. Now that I’m sitting at home though I can really feel the fallout of this “light” training, and although pain and soreness is usually a good sign, I worry if I’m able to get out of bed tomorrow!
My next training appointment is in a week and then we are really going to establish a routine for me to follow that optimizes both muscle growth (and thus make it so I burn more fat) and fat reduction at the same time. No this doesn’t mean I aim to get ripped, but muscle mass makes it so you burn more calories during the day. Which is good when you want to lose weigh

Catching up on Pokemon
So I’ve been playing a lot of Pokémon Blue lately but I also have other games in the series that I have left unfinished. As you can see in my widget bar I am trying to finish atleast Alpha Sapphire right now, but I’m quite lost as to where I should go. I am 6 badges and about 12 hours play in and I know I need to teach Surf to one of my Pokémon so I can advance and start working towards getting Kyogre. I’m kind of bummed though because I already picked a Water Pokémon as my starter, which kind of renders Kyogre useless. I could reset if I wanted to, but with all the promotional Pokémon I have obtained over the past two years I really don’t want to, so I’ll just chug along the game and not use Kyogre in my team I guess.
I know there are ample guides online for almost every game in existence, I prefer playing without them though. I like figuring stuff out on my own, even if it means not 100% completing a game. It’s how I’ve always done things, the trial and error way. However in this case I think I’ll look up an Alpha Sapphire guide and retrace my steps a bit, just so I can advance in the game and the story again.
I really want 2016 to be a year where I actually finish off games, instead of just expanding my collection and not touching half of the things I own. So I’m working towards a lot and use guides and tools a bit more to help me along the way. Ofcourse I want to do most of it on my own, but sometimes a little help is needed. I’ll keep you guys updated on how my playthroughs of various games go! It might not be a separate topic for me to write on, but I will include it in some of my posts.

Girly Gamer Time

game-mania-mew-pokemon20

I spent a big part of my day roaming around Amsterdam, picking up various things from various stores after visiting my uncle. My main goal today was to get help with my taxes.. Which was impossible since the program I need isn’t able for download untill March 1st. So my uncle showed how everything works using the old program and now I should be ready to do my own taxes. If all goes well I get quite a sum back from the government, which will go nicely towards being able to buy my own place to live.
Once I left my uncle’s place, the first station on my journey was Game Mania (big Dutch gamestore) because I needed to pick up a Mew for my Pokémon game and I had pre-ordered a special Disney Infinity figurine: Yoda with a light up lightsaber! There will be a Disney Infinity themed post coming soon where I will show off my light-up goodies. All I can say for now is that it looks seriously cool and I’m very happy with my purchase.

I’m also super excited to get my Mew. It’s one of those Pokémon you can only obtain through special events and seeing as it’s Pokémon’s 20th anniversary they distribute at lot of legendary Pokémon this year. This particular one I had to pick up at the shop with a code. Unfortunately it’s only one code per 3DS so I could only get Mew for one of my games for now. Luckily I have 2 3DS’es so when I go to pick up my other figurine around the 20th I will most likely bring my other 3DS so I can get the Mew for Pokémon X aswell as having it on my Alpha Sapphire game right now.

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Beauty Secrets
Next to being a gamer, I’m also a very girly girl. I like make-up, even though I don’t use it that much, and am especially a big fan of lipsticks and lipbalms. Having chronically chapped lips since a very young age, I always carry some sort of lipbalm around with me, usually a clear one, to keep my lips moisturized throughout the year.
You need to understand that my lips get so chapped that they frequently end up bleeding throughout the winter and that there’s constantly big pieces of chapped skin showing, making it near impossible for me to wear regular lipsticks if I don’t take care of my lips at all.
Luckily for me Maybelline has a line called “Baby Lips” that is a lipbalm and lipstick in one. Some colours are brighter than others and currently I only have the three variants you see above, of which two are pink and one is coral. They do wonders for my lips and make me feel like I can actually wear lipstick to work, without having dried out and chapped lips after. After trying a lot (and I mean a lot) of different lip balms, I can really say I’m in love with this particular brand. I bought my first one in Norway (the white one in the picture) and picked up the two pink ones today because they were on sale. I am planning to go back and pick up more colours now that they are still on sale, since they are €3-4 a piece normally (it’s 50% off now).

So any ladies (and gentlemen, they have clear lipbalms too!) that have issues with chapped lips.. This is the product for you. I almost feel like a commercial, but I feel so much better when I don’t have to worry about my skin, whether it’s on my face, my hands or my lips, that I really feel like this is one of the products in my life that deserves some recognition.
I really think a healthy mind in a healthy body is the best way to live your life, and taking care of how you look and being comfortable with how you look is a big part of this. I might do a few more articles on stuff I use from day to day for myself to make me feel healthier and better. Because a happy gamer is a good gamer!

(Bad) Habits

So I did a little overhaul with my blog today. And I have to say I’m quite happy with the result. I felt like it needed a change (especially my header image) and I’ve always been fond of dark themes over light themes… So I took the plunge and this is the end result!
I hope you all like it aswell, I will probably tweak a bit more in the coming weeks (I need to find out how to add social media buttons without it looking horrible) but for now I think this is the style I want to roll with.

The Heroes Project
Is still very much alive actually. I’ve been getting some games in on Valla today and having a blast fiddling around with different builds for different maps. I really like the Hungering Arrow into Giant Killer build for the Eternal Conflict map. Poking out enemies as they are trying to kill one of the Immortals is a really nice thing to do on Valla and makes her an invaluable asset to the team. Whereas on other maps like the Dragonshrine and Garden of Terror it’s much better to roll with a Multishot build seeing as there is much more teamfighting and teampushing involved and you want to hit as many target as possible as hard as possible.
Then ofcourse there are other things to consider. For instance the type of champions you get matched up with. Is there a healing support? Are you sure he/she can keep you up during teamfights? Will there be warrior (tank) heroes that can take the damage for you? Will you land in a scenario where you will have to solo lane OR where you have to duel a lot? This all influences the build on Valla, more specifically if taking selfhealing talents like Hungering Arrow and Vampiric Assault are worth getting or not.
All in all I’m learning more about playing this champion and getting even more skilled at her than I already *cough* was. Or atleast I like to assume so.

(Not) Going to the Gym
As I may have mentioned before… I’m immensly struggling with my weight for the past 2 years. I’ve gained and gained and gained and it’s gotten to the point that I don’t fit into half of my clothes anymore. It sucks and it’s really dragging me down mentally… 
But I guess I’m also to blame myself. I have a gym membership, but it rarely sees any use. I just can’t motivate myself to go often. I go maybe once a week or once every two weeks and that’s it. Usually I use excuses like having a headache, feeling like it’s too late on the day to go, being to “busy” doing other things. You name it, I’ve come up with it. While in reality I’m just being lazy and really  need to get my act together and go. I will have to if I ever want to fit back into my pants. I’m really out of ideas to motivate myself though. Rewarding myself didn’t seem to help. Setting goals doesn’t really seem to help. 
I just really need someon to kick my ass to go every day. And that seems to be my biggest problem.