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 obligatory resolutions post…

Wow, fourteen  days into the new year already and I haven’t even mentioned resolutions yet! That must be some kind of record!  But, of course, I do have some. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t make some kind of resolution for the new year! And obviously they can’t possibly be official until the whole world knows about them. Or at least that part of the world that reads my blog…
After years and years of setting myself vague and probably not even achieveable goals (“be a better girlfriend”, “learn social competence”), this time I decided to go with things that I might actually be able to stick with. So here goes:

  1. Eat more healthily! This doesn’t mean giving up chocolate and cheese (mmmm, cheese!) and all the other yummy yet fattening stuff that I love. But I do want to make an effort to cook us healthier meals… ones that contain actual *gasp* vegetables. (To be fair, I’m not actually that bad to start with, but I do want to start making more meals in which vegetables are the main component rather than an afterthought). I’ve already got off to a good start on this one, as our meal of “vegetable ratatouille” from the other day will testify. Mmm, doesn’t it look delicious! And it was, believe me. I’ve got a whole load of other healthy recipes to try out as well. Last nights effort was roasted aubergine – basically aubergine stuffed using the bits of itself that I chopped out of the middle and yellow peppers with chunks of (low fat) goat’s cheese sprinkled over it. Sorry, no pictures of that one!

    Vegetable ratatouille
  2. Think before I speak! A large proportion of my problems come from me opening my mouth without engaging my brain first. Whether it’s an argument with my boyfriend, a sarcastic comment that came out sounding really, really bad (entirely unintentional!) or another instance of me interrupting someone without even realising… if I could just control my impulse to just say whatever pops into my head immediately many things would be so much simpler.
  3. Improve my translation style. I am a pretty good translator (even if I say it myself). My texts are generally correctly translated and read pretty well. But I quite often receive corrected texts back from my proofreaders in which most of what’s been corrected isn’t actual mistakes, but matters of style (using a different, nice sounding word, phrasing a sentence slightly differently…), and I have to admit most of the time their version really does sound a thousand times better. My goal for this year is to get at least one person to comment on how well one of my texts read, rather than just saying it was “fine”.
  4. Visit my friend in the Netherlands! I’ve been meaning to go and see her since she moved there 3 years ago, and now she’s planning on relocating to the USA I really need to get my act together and go see her! (I’ve actually started arranging this one as well. We’ll probably be going there in February, so I can use up my remaining holiday from last year before it gets taken off me).
  5. Keep up with my blog. I went through several periods of not blogging last year, mostly because I was busy actually having a life. Unfortunately this means I have no record whatsoever of some of the things I did last year. Obviously I still remember doing them (for now!), but I do like to have a written record that I can look back over occasionally. This year I really must try harder with that!

And that shall do. Five resolutions is enough for one year, don’t you think?