The upper end of “normal”

*This is the post I had actually planned to write today… the one from this morning was just an added bonus, hence the two posts in a day thing*

The observant among you have probably noticed that I don’t live in the same town where I work. Every day, I get up at 6 a.m. so I can take the (stupidly early) train to work. At first, I bought monthly tickets, but that got annoying after a while so as soon as I passed my probation period, I ordered the BahnCard 100 from Deutsche Bahn.

Deutsch: BahnCard 100
The BahnCard 100 (Photo: Wikipedia)

There are three versions of the BahnCard – BahnCard 25 gets you 25% off train tickets, BahnCard 50 gets you 50% and the BahnCrad 100… well, can you guess what that one does? Correct! It allows me to travel on any train within Germany for no extra charge. The card itself costs a small fortune, of course, but it comes with CityPlus, which allows me to use opublic transport within any town that participate in the scheme. As both Karlsruhe and the town I work in have CityPlus, with my BahnCard I’m covered for the trams as well. After working out that buying three monthly tickets (for the train and both tram networks) I would only be spending €15 less than the monthly price of the BahnCard 100, my choice was clear.

The other thing that comes with BahnCard 100 is a bonus scheme. It used to be automatic, but recently they’ve changed it so you have to opt in. Non-BahnCard holders can join the scheme as well – they just have to order a separate bonus card. Basically every euro you spend (either purchasing a BahnCard itself or travel tickets) equates to one point for the bonus system. And once you get enough points, you can go to the Bahn website and exchange them for things. There are various “prizes” (for want of a better word) available – everything from train tickets and reservations to wine gift sets and iPads.

Elbling wine
Mmm, wine! (Photo: Wikipedia)

A few weeks ago, I received a letter telling me some of my points were about to expire, so I decided it was time to claim a prize. I went on the Bahn website, looked through all the options, and eventually decided to order myself a set of scales – the kind that promise to analyse your body as well as weighing you. They duly arrived on Saturday (when I was not home!) and the neighbour who had taken them for me brought them round on Monday night. Being a man, and therefore a sucker for anything with buttons, Jan wanted to set them up for me immediately. So into the scales went my age, height and the amount of exercise I do, and onto the scales I stepped.

Percent Symbols - Best Percentage Growth or In...
(Photo: SalFalko)

My weight was pretty much what I’d been expecting (and no, I’m not telling you what it is!), so no surprises there, although I would like to get it down a bit. Then came the fat analysis part. Body fat proportion: 30%, said the scales. jan, who was holding the little booklet looked that up. “It says you’re normal,” he reported. “20% to 32% is the normal range for women in your age group.” I went and had a look. He was right… 30% is normal… but the upper end of normal. I’m only 2% away from the “Overwieght” category… just like my waist to height ratio puts me at only 0.02 away from being overweight. Eeep!

I’ve said it before, I know, but this time I really do need to get serious about shifting some belly fat! So far, I still look pretty good in most of my clothes, but seeing that I’m only 2% away from an unhealthly proportion of body fat actually kind of scared me, so I want to put a stop to the weight gain before I actually am fat! I’ve been doing quite well on the exercise front recently, so now all I need to do is ditch the junk food (would now be a good time to admit that I treated myself to a Magnum after work two days in a row? What can I say… I was hot!), pay closer attention to my portion sizes and make a real effort to cook nice, healthy meals containing actual vegetables!

diet ecard

Coincidentally, while I was planning this post, The Pink Rachael introduced her new weekly series, Weigh-in Wednesdays, so from now on I shall be linking up with that. I’m hoping to get at least a centimetre or two shifted before I go to England and have to appear at a christening in – gasp – a pretty frock!

The return of Friday letters

I have to briefly interrupt the Ireland so that I can bring back Friday letters. What? No, I can’t wait alll the way til next week 😉

07-07-07-02 Pretty pink postbox
Pretty pink postbox (Photo credit: MyAngelG)

Dear self. Well done on managing to do some exercise every day this week. Now you just have to keep it up for another three! Oh, and give up the junk food…

Dear weekend. I am sooo glad to see you! It’s been a long and tiring week. I hope I get a chance to catch up on some sleep in between all our plans!

Dear Ireland. I miss you already! Definitely hope to be back some day…

Dear Germany. So, we got sun today (after it having rained since Monday) and on Sunday more good weather is forecast, but tomorrow when I have a daytrip planned you’re sending yet more rain? Thanks for that…

Dear Deutsche Bahn. I have to admit, I love your bonus program! Some new scales (for weighing me, not kitchen scales) are winging their way towards me even as I type thanks to the points I collected by purchasing your BahnCard!

Dear England. We booked our flights last night, so I shall see you in three weeks for T’s christening!

That’s all from me. Have a great weekend everyone! More Friday letters next week (and tomorrow, even more from Ireland. I hope you’re not sick of hearing about our holiday yet…)

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Why I could never go freelance

My replacement BahnCard arrived on Friday, so yesterday I was actually able to take the train to work as normal instead of working from home, as I had been for most of last week. I was actually quite pleased to get back – despite the advantages of working from my own home (one of them being the opportunity to sleep for a whole extra hour but still start working earlier than I usually would. Lie ins. Bliss!). Sitting at home, all alone, just isn’t the same as being surrounded by colleagues. Admittedly the person I share an ofice with is on holiday this week, but I still have people popping in to ask me for help with a particularly badly written English text, and of course there’s always the tea breaks. A tea break all alone in your own kitchen seems pretty pointless to be perfectly honest. And after spending all of Thursday and most of Friday at home, by the time I signed off from work’s system I was suffering from cabin fever! in fact, I phoned Jan and asked him if he would meet me for food somewhere because I just had to get out of our flat! If I ever did go freelance I would definitely have to rent an office somewhere that I could go to at the beginning of each day and escape from once work was done, otherwise I think I may just find myself going crazy!