Clash of the 2 Tonnes…..Week 8

So by now we should all be well on our way to a slimmer, healthy Team ACCL…shouldn’t we….ahem…shouldn’t we????

8 glorious weeks on and just what is it about dieting and women that makes it sooo hard to actually set out and do what it says on on the tin and actually lose some weight…or even just inches?  That would be equally as good!

So far it is definitely Team Blue that are winning in the slimming stakes….(still can’t type that word without thinking chips and onion rings…STAKES..flippin STAKES….not Steaks !!!!)  Boss Connors is winning by a mile…..he has even had to buy new jeans as he was in danger of the others slipping far lower than even fashion will allow….not a good look on your more mature fella !!  Through gritted teeth I can now report that he has lost a further 5 3/4 lb this week! that’s a whopping 40lb overall since starting his Lighter Life diet of gruel and birdfood bars…quite an achievement….immense willpower needed to eat that shite for so long!!  The added bonus is that he appears to have stopped snoring at night according to his sleeping partner 🙂  she has not had to vacate the bed in the middle of the night – result! so is it win win win?  What have been the downsides??  From my own point of view i’m none too keen on that glint in his eye when I pass something to him…..i’m sure that he is seeing my arm as a Chicken drumstick?!  Visitors to the office do not realise the risk they are running…God only know’s what tasty morsel he is visualising….roast tatties on legs all around the office???  The halitosis was a passing phase….cruel, harsh…yet thankfully swift…watering eyes in the office were not down to the chill in the air 🙂 !!

Meanwhile back at Team Pink…..

Sally is still using the larger wall to measure her success by…which cannot be a good sign…can it???  The dog walking continues but she is convinced that she is just becoming a solid mass of dog walking muscle ever increasing in girth no matter what passes her lips.  Giving up the alcohol alone she felt would shift a few pounds….special K and soup being her main food intake…she should be a mere wisp of a thing by now…??  With the ever increasing murmur of “it must be my age” she is going in for one final push to see if she can re-gain some ground and get back to the smaller wall! Go Sal 🙂

Dee…..back off the “piste” (and the alcohol 🙂 !!) …has been easing herself back onto the diet wagon gradually …embracing wholeheartedly as of yesterday…. and is back to the torment of consuming vats of Tomato soup and crunching on Rivita’s like she is a gerbil hybernating for the winter.  According to yesterday’s weigh-in she has already dropped 2lb, by doing nothing….2 2/4lb of her ‘holiday’ weight still to shift, should be no problem for our star player though…..she has the determination of Rocky Balboa (and the upper arms to match 🙂 ) ….scary Mary!!

Now me (sorry to do this to you!) ….me and my 1 pound….you know the one….now you see it…. now you don’t…..I am absolutely determined that I will win this epic battle and the 1 pound will be shown a clean pair of heels as I race away from it like a streak of lightening.  If i’m really honest although in the first week I was full of enthusiasm I have somewhat taken my eye off the ball and all this winter malarkey is not the best time for me to think about salads or any kind of lighter option (well, not without a massive dollop of mayo 🙂 )….glasses of red wine and bags of onion rings have enticed me, trance like into a position of submission.  But no more….as spring emerges…so shall I….gonna re-calibrate my diet mode and go for it one more time….this time next week I fully expect to be…what shall we say…1 Pound lighter!

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Free 120 Min Health Check

When I was made redundant (thankfully) from my last job which was within a Call Centre environment, I was just a tad pleased that I would no longer be crawling under desks to try and resolve IT issues for members of my Team. The daily cries that computers had ‘frozen’ or would not turn on at all had become a bit too predictable. The predictability would be not only attributed to the cries but also to the causes and I was quite adept at bringing the system back to life. My healing hands were aided by being able to spot “Charlene” who would inevitably have plugged in her heater, for the winter, or her fan, for the summer, only needing to unplug another plug to do so….happily oblivious that it belonged to a colleagues monitor or base unit!! Another of the more amazing faults to be found would be as a result of the number of items being stored under a desk and in fact rammed into floor sockets….discarded sweets, chewing gum, hair accessories, the odd shoe, Cardigans, pens, elastic bands by the dozen and paperclips are to name but a few….deep joy!  Now it is my firm belief that every office is more or less the same in this respect. However….there are other reasons why our Data Cabling may be lacking in some way and causing all sorts of problems to a lean, mean fighting machine business and how quickly its system is running.

It may well be that over the years the infrastructure of a business has been built piecemeal as technology has developed alongside the needs of the company. Equally when a business is first born the Data Cabling that is installed may not be sufficient for the growth of the Company some years down the line. Cables and wires do suffer from wear and tear, they can become crushed, bent or even stretched which will weaken the strength of the signal. Perhaps the initial installation was not a fantastic job? Perhaps humankind has played a part in its demise….we do have a habit of moving things around!!

Now do these pictures remind you of anything that you are working with?

When we are feeling run down or unwell…not up to speed….we see a Doctor, but when do you give your network a Health Check?

The Secret of our success……

Drag your heels on the way into work on a Monday morning? Long to get out of the rat race?  With the sniff of spring just around the corner and the distant allure of summer beckoning…..Are you thinking of long golden beaches and warm sun on your face?

I was sat here the other day reflecting over last year (yep, boredom sometimes has me doing that!) and it got me thinking about our company “jolly” to Grenada last May.

Working hard can have its rewards, with last year’s Brand Rex promotion we won 4 tickets for a week long, all inclusive, holiday to Grenada, staying at the closest thing to paradise, the 4 star luxury Hotel  ‘La Source’,  in the heart of the Caribbean.

Our motley holiday crew consisted of Eddie “Pops” Connors, Wayne “The Boss” Connors, Steve “straw hat” Lawrence and me…Faye “where’s the cocktail” Cannon  🙂  ….. yes, you could say a rose amongst 3 thorns……it just had “relaxing break” written all over it !!!

We arrived bleary eyed at Gatwick early on the Thursday morning, I thought i’d packed everything but the kitchen sink, only to arrive and see that, judging by the size of the boss’s case, he must have actually packed it!  Now who says women can’t travel light?!

Duty Free was a whole different experience for me, travelling with 3 men….. and 3 wallets that remained firmly shut!  Whilst I was eyeing up the gorgeous merchandise in the stores, the boys were walking along, eyes upwards, completely oblivious to the bargains on offer, checking out the cabling in the ceiling…..discussing how it should be improved….bring on the blue skies….please!

I won’t bore you with details of the flight, just to say we all had the onset on DVT by the time we arrived and were happy to be back on terra firma! It was at this point however that I wish i’d paid more attention to Eddie’s bag at Gatwick as he’d forgotton what it looked like!  Watching the carousel parading bags in front of us, not knowing which one was his, having to check all the luggage labels was not the best start to the jolly hols!  Onwards and upwards things were about take an upturn as we then managed to get a chauffeur driven limo to the hotel, which apparently wasn’t for us! We should have joined the rest of the Brand Rex mob on the coach!  Suffice to say that everyone knew who we were after that! We weren’t to know……  🙂

We are a team and the boys looked out for me the whole week, I had to draw up a rota to stop them fighting over who applied sun lotion to my back…..! no fighting taking place over who should make sure I got back to my room safely when I was looking slightly green after consuming one too many cocktails …… they were free 🙂 … what’s a girl supposed to do?

The Motley Crew

The Motley Crew... Pops..Burt..Milky...The Boss

The hotel was fantastic, the people of Grenada are so friendly and can’t do enough for you!  I think it would be fair to say that I consumed my body weight in food and drink…daily, and flopped on the sun lounger for the best part of each day, disturbed only by the treatments on offer.  Full body massage one day, hand and foot massage the next, I was pampered within an inch of my life! Now that is something I could definitely get used to!

Brand Rex laid on excursions every day, we went on a Catamaran cruise where we stopped off at a private beach for a BBQ lunch.  An island tour which took in all the sights of this beautiful island, it is famous for it’s spices (nutmeg, mace, cinnamon) so we visited a spice plantation and a nutmeg factory…. then it was  back to the hotel for more chillaxing, food and of course drink, in fact the only ‘stress’ was trying to decide what to eat….. so much choice and very delicious, nom nom!

Who threw that coconut?

The week went far too quickly and before we knew it we were being bussed back to the airport…sadly no limo for the return journey – gutted! had to join the riff raff 🙂 .  Edde’s bag was labelled within an inch of it’s life and sunburnt smiles ready to embrace the comforts of the return flight…..just the joy of holiday snaps to look forward to!

It is with sad acknowledgement that I recognise there will be no Brand Rex jolly on the cards for 2012 but going to go all guns blazing to give it our best shot for 2013!

Clash of the 2 Tonnes – Week 7…….

I’m not starting with me this week…..because, and I’m going be honest here, I’ve not had a good week 🙂 yes, yes, I hear you “when have you ever had a good week?”!!!! I did say at the start of this ‘journey’ that me and diets have a sort of ‘love/hate’ relationship, I hate them and they seem to love watching me and my willpower fail! I’ve decided to start with Dee, seeing as she has had a week skiing in Italy! Obviously she was off the diet for the week, and her fail was, understandably, worse than mine 🙂 Her typical day’s food intake for the week consisted of (get ready for this!!) : breakfast, which I have to admit sounded healthy to start with…..granola, topped with yoghurt and fruit, not bad 🙂 but this was just a breakfast ‘starter’, to be followed up with an eggs and bacon ‘main’ and finished off with a  pain au chocolat ‘dessert’ liking your style, really going for it!! After a  couple of hours on the piste…. elevenses, a mug of hot chocolate with a shot of amaretto (well, why not??!) lunch, usually a panini followed up at 4.30pm with tea and cake (a day on the slopes is a real calorie burner though!) 6pm saw canapes at the bar, Dee claims she never had this though as she was generally in the tub at this time, then dinner, a buffet starter, a soup course, followed by a pasta course, then a meat course, pudding, then cheese and biscuits to round off the meal…….Jeez!! All wine and drinks were free and this too was abused to the max, Dee was well and truly on the pisssste (!) with a couple of (dozen?) nightcaps each night…! Despite the skiing, and we do know that she did some as she has a black eye to prove it (I did check that it wasn’t husband slapping her for being such a greedy cow 🙂 !!)…. Dee has managed to put on 4 3/4 lb 🙂 not 5lb it is important to note…..!

Wayne has the hump this week as he’s only managed to lose 3lb (what is wrong with people? I’d be chuffed to bits!) this was due to his business lunch at the Fishmongers Ball, or whatever it was called 🙂 he had to eat real food and he didn’t even get fish so he was a bit miffed to say the least….. 3 course meal with belly of pork as the main (no, that’s definitely, not fish!) with a glass of wine and a few mouthfuls of port, couldn’t manage a full glass as he was already feeling squiffy! Apparently when you’re on the Lighter Life diet your body slips into ketosis (which basically means your body eats itself…fat first 🙂 ) eating normal food again comes as a bit of a shock to the system, it actually takes 3 days to right itself…plus you get pissed really quickly – just the whiff of the cork is enough…

Sally has practically begged me this week to turn the diet into an eatathon (might do it for a bag of onion rings, always open to bribery….!)  She has practically resigned herself to a career as the ‘ass’ double for Bella Emberg (her words, not mine 🙂 !!) She’s even lined up a bigger wall for measuring her tummy width….

I would like to start by saying that I have not dieted or exercised this week, well, I did do a bit of hoola hooping on Sunday but that was only because I had 2 enormous portions of bread & butter pudding (Oh God, it was so good….!) after my full on beef roast with all the trimmings and was desperately trying to negate some calories……

Well, I’ve reached a crossroads 🙂 this diet thing just ain’t working for me, lost nothing again this week (unsurprisingly!!) so, going forward I need to make some tough decisions 🙂 I have to decide whether to live a ‘slim’ life and hopefully bag myself a man (although, I have a tendancy to choose the wrong guy, so this is probably being a tad unrealistic!) this route will involve hiring a personal trainer, as the truth is I can’t do this on my own! (pathetic, I know..!!) The other option involves embracing the muffin top, giving myself over  to elasticated waistbands and magic knickers for the rest of my life, the upside to this option being that way I can eat all the onion rings I want! Once my boys are off hand in a few years I will just surround myself with cats….! Wayne offered the suggestion that I just find myself a feeder, an option that I find is growing on me by the day……!

So, as a footnote I would just like to say that it’s a good job that ACCL aren’t in the diet business……but we do a mean bit of cabling 🙂 !

We’re not talking stalking….it’s just a follow!

ACCL is slowly building a presence in the world of social media as a way communicating with our customers, existing and new, also as a way of improving our relationships with business partners and employees.

We all have to acknowledge, that where the world is, business needs to follow… Social Media – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google + etc –  is a rapidly growing platform of communication, enabling people to communicate in a way that is less formal and stuffy, providing relevent information but in a more friendly, casual way. The idea is to build an audience and get people talking, honestly and transparently.

Sally and I are the social media team at ACCL and have been on a journey of learning since the end of October – there is a lot to learn…..! Having dabbled with Facebook and the like socially for a while, we are now (trying!) to get to grips with it all from a professional point of view..

Helen Tonetti came into the ACCL offices in October to teach us the ropes, giving us a sound background to build on! The beginning of February saw us attend a LinkedIn seminar run by The Social Media Bureau at a hotel in South Kensington. The main reason for attending the seminar  was to increase our knowledge of LinkedIn as currently although we both have personal accounts, we knew we needed to set up a company page in order for us to showcase our company’s services. Why LinkedIn? March last year saw LinkedIn hit a milestone – 100 million members world wide and growing by roughly a million each week – some serious networking potential….!! Of all the social media platforms available, LinkedIn would probably be seen as the most professional, a great way to interact with other professionals via groups etc. It is a fact that LinkedIn is the preferred social media platform of the professional man…..which, by the nature of our business, is our target market.

We are learning something new every day, it’s definitely a case of trial and error…we’re not always going to get it right first time! Regular blogs and interactions on LinkedIn and Twitter are building our confidence, we have gained lots of great new contacts and anticipate that this will continue – onwards and upwards 🙂

With all this learning, it’s becoming clear just how important the role of Social Media is, every company wanting to move forward should embrace it wholeheartedly – feel the social media love 🙂

Clash of the 2 Tonnes – Week 6……

Come on, give me a break! Another week can’t have passed already??! Seriously, where does the time go? Trust me, it’s not because I’m having fun!! Right, well, again, this week I’ve not stopped shovelling food into my gob 🙂 but in my defence, it has been very cold hasn’t it? and when we are in the grip of a cold snap, the body needs fuel, which has to be in the form of saturated fat, right? No, I’m serious 🙂 that’s how eskimo’s live isn’t it? whale blubber? You never see them tucking into a salad, do you? Mind you, nor can you see how big they are under those layers upon layers of animal fur…!  I have been working out this week, well,  I’m sure the amount I’ve been shivering warrants a work out of sorts?! Also, this morning, I have been bending and lifting valentines cards out of the way of the front door so that I could get to work! took me an hour just to get out of the house……OK, so I’m lying 🙂 a girl can dream!! Actually the only thing that had a work out this week was my purse, I’m slightly addicted to buying keep fit equipment 🙂 only, at present it’s gathering dust on the living room floor, I’m finding it rather offputting to be honest, it keeps catching my eye as I’m sat on the settee watching the TV with my glass of wine and bag of onion rings…! I haven’t lost anything this week (no sh*t Sherlock!) but then I haven’t gained either, and that’s a miracle considering what has passed my lips over the last seven days! Any motivational tips would be gratefully received as I’m really struggling, I feel the only thing that would get me motivated at the moment would be the prospect of a date with Bradley Cooper – like that’s gonna happen…!

Wayne has had another good week (show-off!) down another 4 3/4lb, that’s nearly 2 1/2 stone lost in 6 weeks, not bad, boss 🙂 he’s the only member of #ACCLteamdiet who has actually dieted this week…..! He’s singlehandedly doing it for the team 🙂 I do actually feel that he’s had an unfair advantage this week, he finally moved into his new house full-time on Friday and with temperatures dropping overnight to around -13, his boiler decided to give up the ghost with a loud bang! One of those things apparently, so on Saturday, with no plumber in sight and his partner at work, Wayne positioned himself in front of the log fire to keep warm, unbeknown to him though, the previous owners had shut off the vent in the chimney so Wayne was effectively ‘kippering’ himself, sat in a smoke ‘sauna’ and as we all know, a sauna can take pounds off you 🙂 CHEAT! Wayne finally realised all was not well when he could no longer see his hands in front of him 🙂 his girlfriend returned home to find him looking like he’d spent the day up the chimney, full of soot and smelling like a bonfire… Wayne has a corporate ‘do’ to attend this week, at the ‘Worshipful Company of Fishmongers’ sounds like a load of pollocks to me….!! So he will have to fall of the wagon temporarily, can’t sit there with his vanilla shake whilst everyone else is feasting on delicious fish….just avoid the chips boss 🙂 !!

Dee’s on holiday this week, so if she has any sense at all she’ll be stuffing her face – large! All thought of diets should be completely banished from her brain and I hope she’s thoroughly enjoying all the food and drink that only non-dieters can fully appreciate because next week she’ll be back on the ryvitas and cottage cheese, nom nom!

Sally has had a BAD week, definitely back in the ‘fat’ wardrobe…just temporarily 🙂 She feels much the same as me really, it’s been way too cold to diet…comfort food has been the order of the week, along with comfort wine 🙂   let’s not forget she had a massive weekend last week and as we get older (sorry Sal!!)  these ‘over indulgencies’ take time to recover from, so don’t be too hard on yourself girl!  She’s painting the house over the next few weeks, starting this weekend in the kitchen, lots of exercise involved there, at least the bingo wings will get a decent work out with the roller 🙂 !!