A Profound Change and Peace of Mind- My Life Transformation

I am in Spain on a bit of vacation. I am absolutely loving it. After this last year and half everyone of us needs it.
I have my AirBnb so not meeting people, got tested before and will be tested again in few days.
I am extremely tired and I think that I would need more than just one week, but it is for sure better than nothing.
I feel so blessed that I can afford this. And with that thought started more thoughts.
Thought on how I take on life today. How, since I decided to take charge of my life, my life has profoundly changed.
How I am in such a different spot than I have been and how I have not really noticed the change and how I see life until now. I have had my fair share of testing my newfound attempt to peaceful living and harmony and I can honestly say that I am blown away with how I have been reacting.

As most things that could go wrong, has gone wrong, but my reactions to them has been quite fantastic. Things I have implemented during last year and half have shown to give results.

I Want You to Panic!

i want you to panic text on paper against wooden background
Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

We sat on the bus, my daughter and I close to Prague Airport, 45 minutes away from home. 45 minutes until check-in closed. My daughter will be away for really long time, so we needed to check-in manually as there was a piece of luggage involved.
I looked for my phone.
Nowhere to be found. NOWHERE. I panicked for a bit. Getting angry and upset. How the hell am I suppose to be away a week without a phone.
I had one day of work which needed to be done, people to contact and some Geocaches to be found, just to mention some of the impediments not having a phone. I was so angry and felt the stress building up.
And then! Like a bolt.
My old cues to make me panic were not completely engaging. They stopped actually. It was strange. It stopped from escalating because:
New thoughtprocesses were there!
Just buy a new one. You get a new phone and a new sim card and problem solved. You have for the first time an emergency fund and this is when it should be used.
For an emergency.
I felt the anger and stress come right off. I have not thought about this unplanned purchase really at all, as it has not affected my plans over my trip. It has not dipped into my travel budget nor has it left me stranded.
It was a hick-up and now it is gone. 2 years ago, this would not have been the case. I would have eaten myself up inside. Hating and punishing myself. Talking bad about myself to myself.
What a “small thing” as an emergency fund can do. What peace of mind!

The Rest Which Followed

I ran about 10 KM out from the city, with the intention to take the bus back. I had misunderstood the information given and I was not able to leave with the bus. I needed cash, nearest ATM was about 5 KM away.
Just to start walking.
For a split second my first thought was to cry. Cry and Cry and feel that this was impossible to manage.
Then I reminded myself that I RAN the 10 KM out, and WALKING 5 would probably not be the end of the world.
Again the panic subsided and I was all good to go.
I found the ATM inserted my card and nothing happened. Nothing at all.
A man behind me told me that you should not insert the card, just use the contactless way.
Card was gone gone.
Again no panic. I knew I had some food at the Airbnb. I knew that I could walk the rest back home and I knew that I could transfer money from one account to another, having the money in a day or two.
Not at one point did I panic about it
2 years ago. I would have gone under. I have profoundly changed and gotten really peace of mind. I have, what they say, really transformed.

What Do I Dedicate the Change To?

purple petaled flower and thank you card
Photo by Giftpundits.com on Pexels.com

Many things but I can see few clear reasons why I am dealing with these debacles so much better than I would have done in the past. Again can I see that there is not one answer. Not only about one part of my life, but in many.
My holistic view is working out.

  1. My Emergency Fund.
    It is insane how this is helpful. I messed up NOTHING financially by forgetting my phone. No scandals. No Panic. No skipping meals while on holiday to pay this phone. Nothing.
  2. Physical activity and moving in general.
    I have way more energy than I had about 1 year ago. I was lethargic, out of breath just thinking about moving. Annoyed and angry as I was in horrible mood. Physical health has put me on such a great trajectory with my mental health. The mind clarity being active is something I neer intipicated.
  3. Not drinking alcohol.
    This is a topic I have not really touched yet. But I will. It is not that I never do it, but almost never and cutting it out from my life to almost nonexistent has been such an improvement of life. Hangover anxiety is a past memory. Forgetting my phone being hungover would have killed me. Not entering the bus hungover would have killed me too. My tolerance to shit happening has increased imensly. Also being mind clear, makes less shit actually happen.
    1. Cutting away drama!
      Not talked about this either, but will. You live the life you want to have.
      You shape your life.
      If I do not want drama, I have to leave drama behind. If I want peace I need to look for peace. It is that simple. Not easy but simple. All my actions need to transcend this. This is something I have worked on last year. It has helped me a lot.

      I am in no way finished and I am in no way perfect. I get anxious and panic. My mind plays tricks with me on a regular basis. What I did realize though these days is that I am on a very good path. The work I have put in is coming back. Imagine where I can be in another year!

      Where are you in your transformation journey?





1 Year Anniversary of My New-found Life and Transformation


This was me exactly one year ago. I was just in the life-changing decision to start doing something with myself.
I was dead tired of myself and my whining. Every single time I met with my friends it was the same story.

“I want to lose weight. I am really getting too big. I just cannot go on like this. I just have to lose weight.”

But this went on repeat. Over, over, over, and over again. I was so sick and tired of hearing it.
I was also so sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.
Because no matter how much I smiled, and how much I said I did not feel bad.
I. felt. Bad.
All. The. Time.
Something just had to change.

16 May 2020

What Made Me Change?

Not only did I feel bad all the time, but it also hurt constantly. If I sat, it hurt. If I stood up it hurt. If I walked it hurt. If I laid down it hurt. The photo above is from my first hike of 2020. I remember it so vividly, as I walked 20K steps and I was crying coming home. Everything hurt.

Not only that.
I knew that I was not well as my blood vitals did tell me that. Everything supposed to be high was low, and everything supposed to be low was high.

I would wake up with massive headaches and my uvula swollen and hurting, on an almost daily basis. I knew I was snoring, and I did fear that I was suffering from sleep apnea due to the really swollen face and aching throat.
It was more than just few nights when I was a bit scared of going to bed. What if the sheer weight on my chest would be too much and I would suffocate.

I would have a strange feeling in my head as if wind was blowing in it. Still to this day do I not know what that was. High blood pressure or something else. For sure something was off.
I would get winded really easily and I remember getting my step counter and really struggle to get 5000 steps in, as it was just too much for me.

Joints and ligaments were hurting. I was constantly tired. I was constantly hungry. I was scared of falling, I did not want to break anything.
It just had to stop.
One day I just had enough. I was 35 not 75.

July 2020- I had already started losing weight here

Transformation to a Healthier Life.

The start was really hard. I got a trainer 3 days a week that I paid a small fortune for. My best spent money ever. I was now accountable, not just to him – as at that stage I could not be accountable to myself. I did not know how- but also to my money.
A single mom in a raging pandemic, not knowing if she would have a job or not, paying for such nonsense. I just needed to not waste one single cent.
And that I did not. I kept that word to myself.

It is funny how I thought 10 sessions with this trainer would solve it all. Somehow I really did. Silly me!

II just saw it as a lack of regimen and that I needed to work out few times and life would magically transform itself to pink sky and rainbows.
After 2 months of this idea I started to realize that I was way wrong and it was more than just few sessions with a trainer that I needed.
Neither the dietist really did it for me. I knew what I needed to eat, that was not the issue. I just ate anyhow, regardless of the knowledge.
That is where the idea of a holistic viewpoint grew stronger and stronger.

My body and health is the product of all stress, anxiety, bad thought, old coping mechanisms, memories, traditions and habits. it was not just about getting on a diet and run 3 times a week. It was about honoring myself and creating a better life- in general and overall. A overhaul of my life and its inventory.


Test of My Transformation and Finding Support In Myself

I went to my GP 2 weeks or so ago. Probably more.
My vitals are back to normal, except one part of my cholesterol but it is so marginal that he said that it is deductible.
I am no longer deadly tired, at some few occasions have I woken up with my uvula swollen. My daughter tells me I do not snore any longer, at least not to the extent I used to.
I smell better, why I do not know. Maybe I am not leaking, from you know where, as I used to.
I have better skin, sleep better, eat better, and my mental health is totally 180. My work on all the mental parts has been huge. From eating few medications due to mental issues I take occasionally one medication.
It was 2 weeks ago I went for a hike and I did about 30K steps and I knew I could do some more.

I am not going to lie though, It has not been easy. It was not simple either. It was difficult and hard. It IS difficult and hard. There are still so many parts that are missing.
It has not been easy for my friends. The change I am doing, and everyone will not support.
Many times have I been tested in my conviction to my transformation. Tested to see if this is really what I wanted. Friends pushing to peer pressure to not do what I was on my path doing. I have slipped up. I have done things I really have not wanted. Just as “Old” Manka would do. Give up. Give everything to the instant gratification monkey. Not looking into the future. It is not their fault. It is normal but it would have been easy to just throw my hand up and give up but the positive feelings has so far been winning over old pathways and habits.
It has been sad to feel that I have not been supported but in that, I have reached out to others. I have reached out to myself and that push and accountability I so desperately needed to get from someone else- I gave myself.

I give myself!

2021 Hike

I have a long way still. There are more kinks and stuff I have to work on to get where I really want to go. I need to push myself again, a little bit more and not feel so comforted in this change. I need to continue doing more. I have stagnated some the last 3 months, as I feel it is pointless. Pandemic lockdown has not added positively to the motivation.
I still have things that block me and keep me away from reaching my full potential.
But this year has taught me that I can do it. I am doing it. I am full of accountability and I can do it without the external locus of control but my internal.
I am stronger inside myself than I thought. remembering that hike last year and this year they were just so different. And how this coming year is quite exciting!

Hill practice run! first of many to come!


Who Is the Person Behind the Blog You Are Reading?

This could be a really tedious and annoyingly boring post. Imagine listing up your entire life in order of your life. Telling all the little in and out of one’s personality and life.
And then. And then. And then.
Not planning on doing that 🙂
Let us do a few Questions & Answers and see if we can get to know each other some.

Where are you from?
My passports are issued in Sweden and Czech Republic. So I guess somewhere along that line.

Where do you live?
I live in the Czech Republic as of now. I moved here about 12 years ago, not really knowing I would stay for this amount of time. I had a plan to stay few months and that would be it. My father is Czech so there was some meaning of moving here. I did venture out to Bolivia for about 3.5 years, so I have not lived in Prague for 12 years. I moved with my husband and child to Cochabamba, Bolivia but returned 3 years ago.

Married, Single, Mother, what?
As mentioned, I was married but it did not last. Two people wanting to be right and not give in is a hard equation for a lasting relationship. We made a child, my, not so, little daughter. She is here with me now. I also have 5 sisters, brother and a mother.
They all live in Sweden though. I have Czech family but we met way too seldom.

What do you do for a living? 
I work as a teacher, and more specifically an English teacher. Yes, what a shocker right. Expats in Czech republic that is what we all do. I work mainly with companies and business English. I am a certified Agile Coach, but I never really hit it off with that. I like many principles of it, but honestly, I just think going to the same place, work with the same for 8 hours a day would bore me.  I also do translations and some proofreading.

What do you like to do when you are not working?
This is something I am discovering at the moment. I am not so sure. I have had a feeling for a long time I am not doing anything. I used to read, sew, create with arts n crafts. Cook. But last years I have not done a lot of things. I have had a feeling that I lost all these things since I got divorced, as life changed from stability to instability and all I did was to just survive. There was no time to have real hobbies, I could engage with.  I am finding out that I really love exercising and the time I spend doing this is quite a lot. Just today I built a plan for what to do today, reading about what muscle group I am using for each exercise. It is really interesting!

What do you like eating?
This is also something I am discovering at the moment. I have eaten just about anything always. Never really thought about how I feel afterward or what it does to me. More the merrier so to speak. I have noticed that I do not enjoy eating late at night, as it leaves me feeling stuffed. Coffee over tea, but herbal tea is quite nice too. Which I never thought I would feel. I enjoy savory over sweet. However, I do not like too much salt, as I used to. It was my go-to thing. Add salt and it is good. I enjoy the taste of each item, and I prefer not adding too many flavors to it.

What is your plan in life?
I really want to come to a point in life of financial independence. I want to be able to work, only because I want to and not because I have to. I want to work on my writing skills, to be able to publish a book I have been working on for a long time. There is this idea that is growing, that I want to work with people like me. Obese or overweight who want to change their lives. On all levels. I want to have hobbies, I enjoy doing and learn how to play the piano.

What is one strong attribute you have?
That I just do not give up. Ok I panic, and cry, and feel life is utterly unfair and why oh why do I have such a hard life. But after that I set myself up to work and I just do it. What needs to be done, I do.  Okay, then I might come back to the giving up phase and crying phase, but I end up just doing it anyhow. I have learned over my course of life that almost everything is doable. You just need to find the way. I very often freak out during the way, douting everything but one just needs to keep one. If one door does not open, find a different door, to the same room.

What is one negative attribute you have?
This is a tough one, as I do not have many.
Has no one ever said. I have, at least in my head, many. To point out just one is hard. And that might sum up a negative attribute I have. I talk down about myself and focus on bad things about me. How mediocre I am, how many things I have failed for no other reason than just myself. How I have all these bad sides which no one likes. We become what we think about ourselves, so I just giving this negative gift to myself.

Well ladies and gents. Those were some questions and answers from me, to me. I hope you have enjoyed it. Who are you, who reads this blog? Tell me, would be interesting to hear 🙂

My Fully Funded Emergency Fund!

As some might have understood by now, I think finances are a really important part of life.
I believe it is imperative to have my finances in order to be able to keep my emotions in check and therefore not do the emotional eating things I have going on.
I have struggled a great deal with my finances, and about 1.5 years ago I decided that enough was enough and decided to make changes for me to get some financial stability, stop living paycheck to paycheck and ultimately reach financial freedom. You can read more about it there.
Today I am celebrating a big milestone for myself.

My fully funded emergency fund!

What Is a Emergency Fund?

It seems like the word emergency fund has a different meaning for different people.
I will tell you what is my meaning for it.

The term “emergency fund” refers to money stashed away that people can use in times of financial distress.

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/e/emergency_fund.asp

At first, I thought of an emergency fund as monthly income and I just could not understand how I was going to save up to 4-6 months of monthly take-home pay, that would take me year to save up monthly take-home pays.
I have really left that notion and put different definition to the word.

Emergency means just that, it is an emergency. What do we do when in an emergency. We need to make sure that our basic needs are covered for. Not the extra charcuteries or nicer coffee.
For me I decided that these four things would be my base of my fund:

  • Housing
    • Food
    • School
    • Transport

I went thought my budget tracking for the past 6 months and looked what my cost had been for these categories were.
This amount is what I needed to save up to create my emergency fund.

Why Do You Need a Emergency Fund?

For me, emergency fund will not be used for leaving for vacation; buying clothes; getting a bike or whatever things you can imagine.
These are saved for in my sinking funds. Read about my sinking funds here.
Emergency fund is exactly for what is sounds like.

Emergencies.

Emergencies will come. That is the only thing I really know. Flatmate moving out; job getting canceled; health problems or something else unexpected happening.
These are the reasons I was so focused on getting the fund, funded. I have had quite a lot of emergencies happening to me and I have felt like one step from total disaster.
Money can not bring you happiness they say, but I am for sure more calm and happy with the knowledge that I have this money on my bank account.
I have gained such a calm knowing that I have what I need to live OK for 6 months without any other extra income.

6 Months. No other money coming in.

I struggled to live from one day to next, in the past. I am so relieved now. Such a weight lifted from my shoulders.
It also gives me a freedom to say NO. I do not need to say say anymore to everything that comes my way, workwise. I can pick in a different way, as I do not need it to survive today.
I am surviving already. I wish for everyone to have this feeling. I wish for everyone to have this security and the best thing is: if I can do it, anyone can.

Am I Done with My Financial Journey Now?

Not even a little bit.

I am a freelancer and that comes with benefits but as with everything also some drawbacks.
One of them is my pension. I will basically not have any, unless I work for it myself.
No state coming to rescue me.
I will need to work to get it myself and I am not planning to be a poor pensioner. I am not. I have done poor, and I am planning a different future.
As I am single, I will also need to have a look in the mirror regarding housing. I know I will not be able to rent, once I am a pensioner and I know I need to do something regarding that. For that I need money.

I am not only thinking about my future though. I really want other people to have it good, and I want to be able to give more than I am able to do now.
I want to work improving other single parents lives. I need to have enough to be able to give and share so that others who are not in the same situation can seek help somewhere.

I have plans and these includes money, so my financial journey has just begun.

Photo by Anna Nekrashevich on Pexels.com

January Review- My Way to Financial Independence

As mentioned several times before. Money has been a huge source of stress for me the for a long time.
This changed this past year.
I made a very conscious decision year and a half ago to change my situation and to work toward financial freedom. It has helped me tremendously!
From being a basket case whenever I have just been thinking about my financial situation, and the feeling of hopelessness to where I am today.
I can do this.

I have decided that I will reach independence and that is it. Not in a week. Not in a year. Not in 10 either. But I will. I will live safe and comfortable. Actually I already am. Budgeting had really helped me with that. I already chose what I want out of life and my budget is just helping me reaching it.

How I start and go about my budget


So at the beginning of my financial month I posted about the start. Let us now have a check how things actually went.

As I wrote I do not go filling in my budget as I go. For each income I receive, I spread them out in my budget and how I want to spend it.
Even if I know I will get the money, I do not add it into my budget as I have learned from the past, that even if you are expecting the money something might happen and it does not come.
So I only add it when I can see them deposited into my account.
Then I assign that money into my categories. I always pay my needs first, and once that is covered I cover my half needs and the last my wants.

Needs Vs wants and that odd half need
  1. Needs- The first I add money into. These are the expenses I need to pay to cover expenses which I cannot chose to pay or not.
    This is such as Rent. Phone. Health insurance. Social insurance.
    I cover these things absolutely first as then I know I am done. In worst case scenario I have at least roof over my head and if I get sick I can get well.
  2. Wants- These are the things I want to pay for. The things I do not need to cover my life but to add that little fun in life. The ones which makes life fun to live. These are things such as Clothes. Bags. Phones. Books.
    All the fun fun fun things.
  3. Half- needs- so what is this about then? Well these are the things that I might not have to do or maybe not always want to do but a little bit of them both at the same time.
    Food is not something I maybe want to do, neither is it something I maybe have to get either every month a lot of as I do have quite a big pantry and freezer.
    Savings are maybe not either something that I do want to do every single month, but I do it anyhow. Workout is the same. want tor need? A half need 🙂
savings- what i do to get rich

OK maybe it is not right now to be rich but for a future independence for sure. I try to manage it that way so I can save about 30% of my income. More than that is not really feasible as I do want to live as well. I enjoy to go for walk and have a coffee of a hot drink. That is all we can do, and I do not plan to skip it. unless I do not reach the 30%.
I did great this month with this, and my emergency fund is almost fully funded. I was able to put in some 10k(czk) into it and I am extremely happy.
House payment- which is for a down payment is still empty but I want to get my emergency fund full before I add into this category.
Sinking funds- Not really savings in the long term but more for the short term and this is not really into my financial independence but I somewhat count them in here anyhow. They help me live stress-free so anything that does that, goes for me.

the real independence building

This month was the first where I actually planned for and executed my new plan. I have officially started investing in stocks and signed up for a retirement plan. I know. I am 35 and I have had nothing like that.
The plan was to live for free in the flat we purchased in Bolivia and much further than that we did not come in our retirement plan. And anywho, that plan failed miserably. Finally did I feel I had enough of saved things and steady income to be able to really do something.

When is enough?

I am extremely happy with January- February result. So when is it enough? When will I feel independent and safe? I ask myself this very often.
I do not know. I am constantly scared that something will happen and I will be left living on my savings and then it is not long before it goes away.
Therefor am I looking into how to save more and better.
I have a number in my head, that when I reach this I can start relaxing and not stress out over losing work or how to survive.
It is 1 000 000 czk. Then maybe. I will aim for this. I need to work hard and be focused but I will reach it.
And now we erase this and start all over for Feb-March

What is your goal?

Sinking Funds and How They Helped Me Overcome Stress

Sinking funds work like this: Every month, you’ll set money aside in one or multiple categories to be used at a later date. With a sinking fund, you save up a small amount each month for a certain block of time before you spend. – Dave Ramsey

One huge stress factor in my life has been money and my finances. I might not have had the best ideas of finances but I did get by. Then I got married, for our standards today young at 25, we put all money in one basket so to say. We had the advantage that we earned quite some money so the idea if budgeting and tracking was not needed we felt. We were able to live like we wanted and felt like.
Funny thing is that that money that we so harmoniously shared at the beginning of our marriage, turned into only one persons possession once the separation was clear. Not just the money, but what we had use the money for- acquiring of a flat, furniture and our life.

I was not that lucky person.

I was left with absolutely nothing. Zero. Null. Zilch. All my financial stability was taken away from me, from one second to another. From having a flat, a car, furniture, and food in the fridge I was left with a flat that had a borrowed mattress, pillow and duvet. A cup and a instant coffee, sugar, kettle and a spoon.
This was it. For a long time I lived on without anything.
More than once did I need to ransack my bags, and pants, and check under the sofa to find few coins for bread and transportation for my child and myself to work.

Needless to say, I struggled financially after the divorce. And it created a huge stress and burden on me. Knowing that my daughter had to witness her mother in tears and stressing out, from the fact she needed to eat as there were no money, still makes me sad.
The shame of not having enough money to send her to school with the required equipment. Not knowing if we would be able to pay the rent or not. If I could have her living with me as I had no money for basic needs.
The thing I should have done I stopped doing and what I should have stopped doing I started doing. I did what I do best in stress. Eat. My weight started creeping up.

Starting Back from scratch again

I was able to return to Europe a year and a half after the divorce and the situation was not very well either. I had arrived with 4 suitcases and a scattered life and needed to restart again. But I was able to start to work on my finances after some time here. I sorted out a proper job that eventually could lead into better earnings. Slowly but surely did I go from bad to better situation. I did not need to live from day to day in my life anymore, but I could start live at least paycheck to paycheck which for me was a great improvement.
Living from one day to another is not a great way to live, then a month to month is considerably better.


But even though it was better, it never really improved on a real scale though. Even though I had better job, and better income. It was always something that happened, which drained all the small savings I had started. Always one emergency away from chaos. And as it was all together in one pot, I was never really sure about what I was actually saving for.
Beginning of school year expenses, yearly ticket with public transport, winter seasons and its clothes. And let us not think about Christmas and birthdays. I had a bit of a financial chaos back home as well. Would it never stop? There were quite some times when I did think I would need to surrender and just give up. One thing I am expert in doing when in stress is what?- EAT
And eat I did.

Something had to be done though. It could not be like this for the rest of my life. Always living in this angst world. There just had to be a way.
You might say Universe provide, I just say luck or that I was actually opening my eyes for a solution. And the solution came in the shape of a blog post. I came across The Financial Diet

Getting my first sinking fund in order

Right around November, people start saving rapidly for Christmas, Hanukkah, etc. But what if you had been putting $15 or $20 a month away, for a no-sweat holiday season? This, in essence, is the value of sinking funds. Minimize the stress you feel about large, predictable expenses through small, long-term savings goals.

This is exactly what I read. And it hit a cord inside me. I did budget to some degree but then those yearly expenses came. Or the unexpected expense that comes with a broken phone. Anyone that knows me can testify that I am expert on this field.
So why not try something new.
I started my first sinking fund to fund Christmas 2019. My plan had been to leave to visit family in Sweden and I had stressed about the idea, of how I would afford it. So 4 months ahead I started to, quite aggressively, put away some money.
I hit the goal and we went for a Christmas trip up to Sweden. It was a strange feeling as it was the first time I did not totally stress out about what we spent. I knew I had the money and it would not affect next month.
Maybe I was onto something.

  • I decided to continue that fund for Christmas 2020. And every month I put away 500 Czech crowns– 20 euro. In the end it was 6000 which would more than cover the expenses for my girl and I.
  • In the end of February my yearly ticket was up. I needed to get a new one. I had to get a small loan for it. I knew what my next Sinking fund would be for Transportation pass.
    I added 250 czk every month and by the end of this month I will get a new yearly ticket, with money over which will be my base for next years ticket.
  • My daughters birthday would come, as it does every year somehow in the past I would always get so surprised by it, by the end of October. Why not get one for that too? So again, an amount of 500 CZK over the course of 8 months, did end up with quite something.
  • I went freelancer last year, and income tax would be paid by me once a year. Even though it might not feel too much fun to remove an amount every month, 500 CZK was not that much compared to 6000 in one go.
Life with sinking funds vs without


I keep adding on Sinking funds into my Bank app. I have free accounts and it makes it all so much easier. The money are clearly divided and I see exactly how much I have, or need. To have a big chunk of money with no destination was so intangible for me. How did I know if I had enough money for everything?
I did not.
Now it is all so clear.
I just received an invoice for my freelancer address which I had totally forgotten about. I had the money but needed to play with my budget to be able to pay it. I needed to deprive myself from something this month to be able to get that big payment made.
I directly opened a new fund and will put a small amount every month so I will have it covered next year. This way I do fund all the things I want to have money for and want to do by a little every month nd without depriving myself from living during I save.
Some funds are long term goals and I only put in money once in a while or when a short term goal has been reach, not to send too much money to the sinking funds either. Dentist and house payments are not needed to add to every months whilst Summer vacation 2021 get a bit more attention now.


In many ways, even though it feels bad to say it, 2020 was the best in my life. I overcame the adversity with money. I have not been this financial stable since before the separation. This has reduced my anxiety immensely. And no anxiety means less overeating. No overeating means no weight gain.
I stress so much less. I stress over other things yes but my financial stress is decreased by the handful. I know that slowly but surely all those goals and needed payments are getting funded and I will have the exact or more of the amount needed.
That has had an immensely positive impact on my mental health, where I can sleep at night and I do not stay up wondering how I will be able to get that extra money.
And what I do when I am stressed is to eat. Over eat and overfill myself. I still sometimes do today, but at least not because of my anxiety over my upcoming invoices.

January Has Come to and End- How Did I do- Life Transformation

I am a Agile Coach, not working as it but have certification in it. I really got hooked on it, as it is so structured and as my life was fundamentally unstructured it was great for me.
One thing I really like in Agile is the idea with retrospectives.
So what is a retrospective? Simply put it is this:

What went well?
What did not go so well?
WHAT CAN I DO DIFFERENT TO MOVE FORWARD?

You obviously need to have a look at your sprint plan and what was the stories that you planned to have finished.
So that is what we are doing today! January sprint is over today so let’s have a look.

So what was the print plan?

What was the plan of the month?

  1. Read on average 1.5 books
  2. Working on my self-love
  3. Keep putting my health first– meaning mindful eating, and work out a min of 5 times a week.
  4. Working on my Czech, a min of 4 times x 30 min a week.
  5. Keep budgeting and adding investing.
  6. Learn something new or improve an a skill, ideas such as an instrument, drawing, handicraft, sewing, on the amount of min 30 min per week.

WHAT WENT WELL?

  1. I did read a book- Good Omen.
  2. Have said no to people I do not want to deal with anymore and work I do not want to be a part of.
  3. Kept the min of 5 times as week. I have done a mix of work out, to my ability in this lock-down world we are living in. I did my fastest and longest run so far.
  4. I did work on my Czech in various books and have spoken at home as well.
  5. I am budgeting, tracking and I added etoro so now I am investing too, which now is divided between two stocks and one cryptocurrency.
  6. I did work on an SEO course.

WHAT DID NOT GO SO WELL?

  1. Had hard time to make the time for this. I read on my phone and I did not like that so much.
  2. I made the task very vague so I find it hard to really see what I need to do in order to work on it.
  3. I cannot really say anything that did not go so well. I have done the best I could do with my abilities in this situation.
  4. I could have been better speaking at home. I do not leave the home very much as we are in lock-down so there are not so many other places to work on it right now.
  5. I have done all what I can do at the moment.
  6. This one I could have worked much more with. The SEO course was quite shit, so I cannot say I learned anything new. I could have worked on sewing and drawing which is free as I have the tools.

WHAT CAN I DO DIFFERENT TO MOVE FORWARD?

  1. Bring the book in my bag as I do not like reading on the phone. Add 30 min before bed. I do enjoy reading.
  2. To make it clearer. What does really self-love mean? I need to rework this plan in general.
  3. That I can do much more than I believe. I can measure more for the future.
  4. 30 min 4 x a week is really doable so I think I will just leave it like this for now and make no changes for following month.
  5. Make a clearer plan in how I want to invest and how much. Write it down so I can see what I am actually investing in and for.
  6. This one is my absolute worst one. I can add much more time. I do a lot of brainless scrolling where I could work on something new instead.

In general I am quite happy with the month. I am quite excited of what February will do for me.
How are your plans and resolutions going so far?

I Challenge You 2021!

95 Kilos Before Weight Loss Front Picture

This is me- Lock Stock and Barrel. 95 Kilos and a BMI of 32.

When I do think about it, I do get stress out. I have to remember that I have lost quite a lot already and I am on a amazing path.
I started last year in May, this health-weight-fitness-life journey I am on. It was a great year, as I lost 20 -at least- kilos.
I went from thinking I would die in my sleep to feeling full of energy.
But- That was 2020.

This is 2021!

And I challenge you 2021, who will win- You or Me in this journey of health-wealth-life?


Theses photos were taken January 15th and just like last year, I will take photos every 2 weeks, but these ones are the start of this year. The bar of which I should work away from, hence me showing them.
I want to work towards being accountable on all fronts and I think to put it out there can help.

I have a blog post about what and how I will reach my goals. – read more here
This is just an accountability post to show you all how I look like right now and then we can have a look by the end of the year, how I will look like.
Yes and I do know it is not all about looks but truth to be told I want to look better too. I have the health plan embedded in this, but showing how my blood sugar is decreasing or how my oxygen is increasing, will most probably not be so interesting.

So- Lock Stock and Barrel. Here I am 2021 let’s see what you throw at me. I challenge you!

  • How will you challenge 2021? Let me know!

Fat to Skinny and Back- Body Dysmorphia- Is This What I am Suffering From?

I have been an extreme weight pendulum for almost as long as I know.
The first time I shed a substantial amount of weight was in my teens. I think I was 13 almost pushing 100 kilos and over the course of one summer got myself down to the higher 70s.
That was all regained in few years.

The next time I was around 18, leaving high school and again I started around 100 kilos and got myself down to a really low number in the higher 60s. I am 174 so for me, that was a really low number.
All regained in few years.

Now I had had a baby and for the first time had I crossed the 100 kilo mark, and beyond. I vividly remember standing on the scale showing 105 kilos thinking it must just be something inherently wrong with the scale. It went most probably even higher because after that I did not stand on a scale again for a long time and I know for sure I gained some. Before losing it and I shed quite a bit.
Same story again- regained it all.

My Incapability to See Me and Myself In a Body

And now I am here again. 116 Kilos and pushing for a weight loss. I desperately need a different outcome.
The weight gain has to stop.
30-40 kilos up and down cannot be healthy in any sort of way. The fluctuation and stress it causes the body cannot be good in any way.
On no scale can I claim that I have a healthy relationship with myself, nor my body.
Why is that?
I am trying to understand my issue, and fix it. I deeply believe that this is more than just an issue with eating too much. Which obviously is an issue, but this fluctuation is due to something more.
I need to fix something, for this to work this time. Understanding what is wrong and how to heal or deal with it is the key to my success.
I am not calling it a holistic view out from nothing. I have to transform into a being that is more in line with herself.
I really enjoy analyzing myself, and I constantly do it. I have discovered one thing.
I cannot see myself.

Do not get me wrong. Of course, I can see myself, I do not think I am some sort of vampire who does not have a reflection in the mirror.

What I mean is- I cannot see how small or big I am. I just cannot.

I vividly remember how I used to ask, my now ex-husband about people and their bodies, to get a reference point.
Am I as big as her? What about this woman? Is this the size I am, what about that?

He would, understandably, get annoyed and thinking that I was just trying to tell that I was I was fishing a bit too often and much for compliments and wanting remarks about my incredible weight loss.
I was not; I honestly could not see my own body and how small it was. I just saw myself as fat and big.

This would shift though. At one point, I would realize that I had actually lost the weight, I was not pushing 100 kilos anymore. The notion had finally sunken in. Then when I started gaining weight came the same issue but opposite way.
I could not see my body again. Now my body was small. Now my body was skinny.
10 kilos extra on scale was an incorrect scale. I was still skinny. 20+ still skinny. 30+?
Yes you are right still- ok not skinny anymore, I had realized there had been some gain but not how much. I would look myself in the mirror and see a skinnier person.



I vividly remember the moment I realized I was not the smaller size me anymore. Like really realized it.
I was in an intimate situation with a man where I proudly proclaimed my victory over weight gain and how I had lost 30+ kilos.
I clearly remembering his surprised and really unbelieved eyes and the doubt in his voice.
– Aha OK, right.

That was it. The words and the doubt threw me off my pretend cloud and dropped me down in reality. I was fat again, and boy was I really fat. The scale had pendulum to 116 kilos and the gain was a true horrible fact.

This is not the first time though. Looking back, all my gains and losses has been like this. Me not realizing that I am losing or gaining. I cannot see my body for what it is. It is the same now. I know I have lost 20 kilos, but I cannot see it. Because I cannot see it, I dismiss all evidence that this is the truth.
And as happened in the past it will hit me, and from that moment I will identify as a smaller person, and I will not see the gain, that will creep up. And the never ending cycle is a fact.

Body Dysmorphia and What It is

” Body Dysmorphia Definition- Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), or body dysmorphia, is a mental health condition where a person spends a lot of time worrying about flaws in their appearance. These flaws are often unnoticeable to others. People of any age can have BDD, but it’s most common in teenagers and young adults.”

I have been reading about Body Dysmorphia- read more here– and leaning towards this. I do not think it fits me really, as I do not obsess about it. Neither is it only about flaws. When I am smaller- I am really loving it!

So what can it be, that make me not able to see what I actually look like? I do not know. I will need to look more into this though as I really think this is what needs to be healed in order to be successful for the long run.

If you have suffered or are suffering from the same. Let me know what you did or are doing to heal from this.

What Will You Do; 2021?

Soon the year is over. Really soon. In many ways this has been such a strange and weird year.
– The year of Corona.
I would lie though, if I said it has been a bad year for me. On a personal level this has been the best year in, like forever.
This year I started so many important changes and I have started a Journey I am pretty proud of. And I want to continue like that. One thing that has really helped me this year, has been lists. Amazingly helped me. Amazed me how small lists has helped me so much. The order it has made in my head has helped me to bring order in my life and with that reduced stress and with that made me make better choices and with that helping me to lose weight.
So I will continue with this, and bring you along with it.

  • Reading used to be a big part of me. It was basically all I wanted to do. The last 12 years it has been really little of this and 2020 I was able to mange 10. I will up it 50% and make it 15. I want to have “Self-improvement” “Financial” and the rest just “Novels”. I am quite excited about it!
  • In line with the type of books I want to read, I really need to work on my self love and acceptance. I am not perfect. I have certainty not been perfect and I will not be. I can work on accepting it and doing my best and striving to improve my best. But be happy and fine with anything. Love myself as I am, with flaws and everything.
  • I need to continue this trajectory of moving and working out. I am starting to see and feel real difference. Energy level, mental health level and physical level. I am happy I started this year, and I will continue no matter what. I want to particularly learn how to make a hand stand. I want to be able to run 5K in 30 min and 10K in just over the hour. I do not think that any of these are impossibilities. I want to keep the moving to about 5-6 times a week.
  • Life is about balance, it is so important. Life is about learning and continuing to improve ourselves as humans. I want to take this into account and work with it. To be able to grow I need to push myself and that is what I will do. I want to take on new hobbies and skills. Adding 30 min a week for new learning is a doable idea I think.
  • 2021 is the year I will start to invest, as in money. Money might not buy you happiness, but after my divorce and living in Bolivia without anything, I also know that not having money is not happiness either. I Need to have some cushion, if 2020 have taught us anything I think is this. Nothing is forever and everything can change in a blink of a moment. Financially I need to be prepared for this.

These are my goals and intentions for 2021. What do you have planned for 2021?