Sunday, November 16, 2014

Changes, changes, changes

I have not been active for a while due to massive amount of changes that we were dealing with!

It has been almost 2 months since I started living in Ireland and working in Google and am slowly feeling very good here. Beginnings are hard though. If somebody tells you that they are not - they are lying :)

I do not recall feeling like this when I started working in P&G and moved form Gdańsk to Warszawa back in 2004. I guess that worrying comes more with maturity and family responsibility. I learned a lot about me though and about how I make decisions in the last few months. 

What I found that helps is to have a plan of transition. I just finished reading The first 90 days by Micheal Watkins and I highly recommend this book if you are preparing for a role change in the same or different companies. It really helps to outline the process of what you are going through and how to plan for it. I intuitively did this by myself, but I missed a few things that the book recommends. 

The initial weeks really feel like you are drinking from a firehose - hence I had barely energy to pick up my computer to do anything else than watch series and fall asleep. The breadth of new information that you have to take in in short amount of time is really challenging to keep up with.
But after a few weeks - it starts getting better, much better. It also is helpful once you get some basic things out of the way. 

At the beginning - you question if you have made the right decision. You feel set back by years, as you do not have a car, you do not know anybody, culture is different... basically you feel like you just lost everything you worked for and you start from scratch. I talked this with many people here, as well as with my friends and the good news is: Everybody is going through this! So you get the support you need to go through these "panic" attacks. They are gone soon though :)

I start feeling now more rooted - we got the car (C4 Grand Picasso!) and we secured a house to rent from December 2014! 
Both are exactly as we wanted and I am very happy those two big milestones are out of the way.
House is wife approved and as the old saying goes - "happy wife, happy life" :)

I will write separate posts on both of these adventures and how they compare to what I have known from Poland.

I also started a journal with notes on my observations of differences between style of living in Ireland and in Poland. I'll try to share some of these thoughts as I go - maybe you dear readers will find this helpful for your own careers and changes.

And work is great - it is almost exactly how I pictured it. There will be big challenges ahead to keep me motivated and Google is .. well Google. You really cannot complain on working in the #1 company for employees. I love the fact though that P&G and Google are much more similar than one could imagine. However if you want to learn why - you will have to meet me over Guinness :) 

Enjoy the Sunday - I am off for a run and some good Veggie food from a nearby restaurant.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

I am speechles...

Words cannot describe the flood and abundance of emotions I felt on my last day in P&G. 

Friday the 12th of September 2014 will long live in my memories as one of the best days of my life. 

I did reminiscence about the day I started in P&G in 2004.
Below is a shot made after the last round of interviews at @P&G HQ in Poland 

And here is my badge shot 1 month later. 

WOOT - was I slim :) 

But the biggest and most touching moments came in the evening on the farewell party. 

The number of people, the kind words, the movie you guys put together (including reaching out to my future boss @ Google!!), the presents (GOPRO! and a notebook full of warm thoughts and wishes) has made me feel very Special. This day, your friendship, will stay in my memories and hearth for always. 

Both Monika and I were blown away by this. 

And I am today still literally and figuratively speechless (my vocal cords are dead and I sound like a professional ;) alcoholic).

As promised - the new gadget will be put to good use (on this blog as well) recording the adventures in Ireland and beyond.

P&G - Over and out. 
and - feel free to grab my clean desk on Monday! Window seat!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

back from vacations - diet results....

I'll again cut to the chase - here is the email I recived from Fitbit after I synched when back in Warsaw

Yes - I managed to lose additional KGs even though I was 2 weeks in a clay hut.
Overall during the 2 weeks I lost 3 kgs and the overall diet got me 15 kgs less so far.

Of course we did not behave.. :)

Beer almost everyday :) (sometimes - Cherry Soplica) and a looot of fishes from grill.

However - we did not break the main rules - No bread, No flour, No fat. Juices and salads as 90% of daily intake.

We ate Lot's of veggies - Thank you Tesco Lesko! Not to mention I shared the hut with a multiple Iron man -  

Jacek Machata who took me for a few runs (for him more like walks) 

When I came back I jumped on the withighs scale and was positively surprised.
I got the lowest I had been since 6 years.

I am more than half way to my ideal weight with 1 week of diet to go! All of this in 5 weeks with more than a bit of add-ons :)

That means - that as long as I maintain off of the really bad stuff - everything will be allright.

And boy, oh boy - how I enjoyed those grilled fishes :)

The plan is to get to 70% of the goal weight in this week and later continue eating healthy, introducing fishes and veggie proteins fully. 

Thanks for keeping your fingers crossed!

Back from vacations!

and we are back from vacations!

I had used my paternity leave (2 weeks!) and we went with family and friends to the polish mountain side called Bieszczady.

We have rented a house made of clay in a small town called Baligród.

The place was AWESOME! 
Here is how it greeted us:

The full set of pictures that shows you how beautiful Bieszczady are can be found on my Google Plus.

We have done a massive amount of walking and sight-seeing. 
I mean massive! and both our Kids have been with us all the time. I am sooo proud of Kinga - who at the age of 3.5 y has managed to walk even 14+ kilometers a day on mountain ranges going up 300+ meters and walking it down.  That's my girl!

This is the first time I was there so I dug up a reading list about the location to learn more about it's history before we started exploring. And it is quite grim but interesting. 

The place has been "cleared" by UPA (Ukrainians) during the IIWW. more than 120K people have been brutally killed inc. kids and whole villages. Reading about this genocide really made me appriciate that I live in XXI century 70 years after the war. 

The genocide caused this whole area to get as empty as it gets. Forests and vegetation have taken over villages and most of the areas we visited look empty and not touched by humans. Amazing sights:

Overall - this was one of greatest trips I have had in a while - great sights, a lot of excercise and wonderfull time with family!

Ping me if you want to learn more about the places we have seen.

Monday, August 11, 2014

we have a new home in Dublin!

well.. At least for initial months :)

We have decided to move right into the city center, 2 minutes walk from Google offices. I feel like I am going back in time to my first home @ my parents - where I had 2 mins walk to school. This time only kept growing, with each new school / uni / job.

The apartment building called Skyline Alliance South Dock is located very close to the center of the city. It's got 2 bedrooms, so we can accommodate the full family.

This is only temporary though. We will look for a location outside of the center, some nice house with garden and max 30 min DART/bike commuting distance.

For starters - it will be great! 

Now off to searching for the car. Thanks to some contacts from my first school  - Tomasz Waliwander (did I mention I am going back in time..) and other people kind enough to offer me Ireland car guide in a nutshell, I know where and what to look for. 

Tomek actually suggest I get a nice used luxury gasoline car.. Like this Lexus.
I thought about Ford S-max 7 seater.

I think we will go really dirt cheap and practical with initial car, not knowing what to expect. I'll get this started right after the move. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Progress update on 30 day challenge - the diet!

It's been almost 2 weeks now that I started a fasting diet based on fresh and cooked vegetables (the list is like 15 positions, but mostly green salat variations as well as coli-flour, carrots, tomatoes as well as cucumbers) and yes - Pumpkin.

There are also very limited fruits (apples, grapefruit and lemon or limes permitted as well) - just in time for #eatapples campaign :) 

I'll cut to the chase: 12 days in I am 5 kg less! Belt is 2 holes tighter and I overall feel great! My withings scale says most of this is coming from Fat reduction. Hurrrayy!

This stuff works and I hardly feel hungry. I was very skeptical at the beginning but sometimes you just have to try when somebody you trust is recommending something vs. over-thinking it. 

This diet is based on self-healing abilities of our own bodies. The detailed how to is described by Polish Doctor Dąbrowska in her two books (Przywracac zdrowie żywieniem and Cialo i Ducha ratować żywieniem) but from what I can tell it is very close to the China Study. I just got the book and will compare it to Dr. Dąbrowskas veggie diet. - thanks to Ola Hallmann for recommendation!

The point is to give body enough nutrition and micro-elements/vitamins to be healthy but force it to go into fasting mode. In that mode it starts using all of the old deposits of fat, protein and other elements that you are not supplying with food and starts a self-healing process at the same time - shedding old skin, old layers of internal digestion systems, etc. 

I really was skeptical guys. I am an educated person that hardly believes in anything that does not have science behind it. But this to me makes sense. 

As a species - we used to be fasting (forcefully sometimes) in our human history and our bodies adopted to it via coping mechanisms that use up old stuff accumulated in our system. This is why many religions suggest fasting as well as eating moderately on certain days in a week. It just works.

In similar way that exercise makes you feel really good about yourself - this makes your body feel great. 

There are of course tradeoffs:

1) I literally do not have free time anymore due to the amount of food 
processing and preparation work that goes with it. I can estimate this takes at least 2 hrs daily.

1.1) The amount of stuff you have to buy to cook a meal is heeaavyy. It takes a full shopping cart and it is gone in 2 days :). We both eat through 10 kgs of apples and carrots each 2-3 days. See one below with my lovely Kinia helping me out. 

2) For 1 day - I had a massive headache (expected based on the book) 

3) I started feeling cold most of the time (expected) 

4) I had much less power in my muscles. I noticed this when biking to work - I cannot do 15 minutes anymore. I need 20. I still beat the crap of people in squash though using 800-100 kcal a match (basically more than I eat in a day) 

5) I sometimes crave for meat and some milk products. 

6) I had to give up ALL of the following (Wine, Beer, Whiskey, Coca-Cola Zero, Coffee, Earl-Grey Tea and basically anything that is not water). This has a positive effect on finances though :)

and... that would be it! There are much more pros even in elements I had not planned for:

1) We cook together with Monia. I learned how to chop fast (well fast-er) 
2) We really drink cool,tasty, fresh squeezed juices that are super ass kicking good.
3) I feel full most of the time
4) I started looking better and feeling much better. Much more energized and positive
5) I do not need coffee to wake me up. I just wake up. 
6) Sleep quality improved as well. BY a factor at least looking at the data from FitBit. I used to wake-up and move around 20-25 times a night. I do 1,2 now. 

Summing up

The diet is scheduled for 6 weeks. We are third of the way in and I plan to stick rigorously through it for the full 6 weeks and they introduce good quality meat and diary products slowly and well.. remain eating green stuff allowing occasional beer here and there. 

Thanks for the support (both in the office and virtual)!

Now .. How do I go through 2 weeks of vacations now in a hut in polish mountains still on this diet? We will see :)

Keep those fingers crossed.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

30 day challenges - time to spice life up!

Ok... So as we are changing things in my life - I decided to give it a full go and REAALY change things. 

Our move to Ireland will mean:
- New car (we will go for something low budget, but 7 seater, so we can drive around with people coming to visit us)
- New house (we will move from apartment building to regular house!)
- new job
- new friends and collegues
- new environment

I decided that this is a perfect time to also change some of my bad habbits.
Especially around eating and consuming large amounts of coffee (I can easaly have 8-10 full espressos / lattes a day from espresso machine)

Inspired by Matt Cutts 30 day challenges - check out his Ted talk (I am looking forward to be working with Matt in Google) I decided to give it a try..

First - I downloaded an app for iPhone to track it (of course..) and then....

I am happy to report - I started 22 days ago with No Coffee and so far so good! I cut coffee like that from 10 to NULL and have to admit - did not feel like I am missing something. I am feeling however - nicely liberated from an addiction.

I think I will stay coffee free for at least one more month. 

Happy with the progress - I decided that it is time to lose the excess weight I have acumulated in the recent years as well. I am a fairly active guy, I run, I play squash (pretty good).. I bike to work and walk more than 10k steps a day.. but I eat very very bad and beer.... oohh how I like beer.

Making a reasearch into the best 30-60 day challanges, I decided to switch to fruit & veggie diet for 6 weeks (raw foods only) starting tomorrow.

Monika will join me (more out of compassion) for a few initial weeks.

Let's see. 

BTW - I started with Buying a juicer :) Yees - the gadget kind (slow rpm juicer from EUjuicers - Omega Sana) It was recommended by my sister and she really looks good since being on this diet. 

I'll report how this goes :) Fingers crossed!