Monday, December 16, 2013

Giving only what I can

I've been sporadically posting elsewhere since I really don't really feel like documenting a lot on here.

It's hard to believe it's been a little over 5 months since I took fingers to keyboard and started having a dialogue with myself on this old blog. It's gone through several incarnations and quite honestly I don't know if it will survive and make the final cut in my own rites of passage.

You see, when I started here I was young. It was a different title, even varying from the Lunchbox Assassin to the well known Lucky Lettuce. I used to write poems. I used to write prose. I talked about time warps and memories, boys and the boulevard. It's been TEN years, this blog has lived.

I ended my very first post in the world of blogging of 2003 with "People never cease to amaze me, and I never cease to embarrass myself. It's the way of my world." I like to think people still amaze me, but more so in how terrible they can be these days and I'm pretty sure I still embarrass myself on the regular.

What was I doing 10 years ago today? Let's see...

I actually wrote a poem - ha!

...and how am I today?

"Fantastically well
I am certainly not fine by far
But you could say
I'm close to spectacular" (OutKast)

Spectacular spectacle
live to tell
buy some Korbel and turn down the lights
its bright in here
but not my mind.
Sure I could say I'm fine but I'm delusional
institutional and not feeling very refined
redefined
just out of my mind
thanks to the last week.
Twas my last tweak but
blessed are the meek for they shall
inherit the earth--
but is it really worth
the cost of depravity?

I mean THIS is the city
we eat sleep breathe fuck and grown in
give in and grin in,
wait in line and try to get in
good graces with.
Switch places with me
have drinks with me
find a shrink with me or
I can be your Freud
to avoid
and we can both get repeatedly annoyed
while emotions sit on the fence.

I forget the pretense
it could have been happenstance
but for this little lyrical lap dance
virile and verbal tap dance
I was always in the lead.

I've got weeds growing in the back of my brain
and you could call me insane
but who YOU tryin' to get crazy with ese?
Nothing I say is less than loco
un poco good Samaritan
un poco going off the edge again
but that's just the way it is today
that's just MY way
and YOU just read into it

Oh, the memories. This reeks of the Lido, champagne wishes and boulevard dreams. It's got a sprinkling of depravity, drugs and a little bit of crazy. Sounds about right. It also proves my point that anything and everything said is really just open to interpretation. It's not what I put out there, it's what someone reads into it. Still true these days, and not always for the better.

I'm much more different now. I'm different than I was 6 months ago, let along 10 friggin' YEARS ago. I spend my time drinking wine still, but hellishly tracking calories, logging fitness routines and bemoaning my waist size more than anything else. I have another blog for that now, thank you very much.

I miss my family time back when it was actually normal. I miss my mind, back when I felt normal. I miss feeling spontaneously hopeful or giddy like a school girl on crack after running through a Japanese grocery store. I miss simpler times. I miss my uterus once in a while, but not that much. I miss being able to only have mild anxiety when entering a car, instead of instant paranoia now because of the accident. (I miss being to have a pain free run because of that too.) I think it's the holiday season that makes me think of the past, keeping memories close and flashbacks of paths I used to walk in. Another reason why I'd like a lobotomy from Nov 1 to Jan 1.

I hurt a little easier now. I hold grudge a lot longer now. I'm not as forgiving as I once was and maybe that will change. I need to work on looking back on experiences with gratitude instead of comparison or judgement. I am going to focus on myself as I have been. I am going to examine my relationships and take what I can get, offer what I can give and let go of the rest.

A new perspective is what I need, since my current one is not so rosy. Not sure when I'll be back but I know it will take a while to figure out.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Frankenbelly

It's been six days since I acquired my 6th scar on my belly. This latest surgery/event in the Chronicles of Why Does My Body Hate Me can be attributed to an umbilical hernia. Those are lovely. These are mostly prevalent in babies and pregnant women or heavy lifters. I am none of those things.

No one can be sure if it is accident related, the jolt, the jostling of a 40+ mph wreck on the system, but it happened and it's over. I noticed after a particular long day at work and a hot bath that my belly was still hurting from our road trip to SoCal. It was the same tingling and pain I had grown accustomed to after a run or a hard workout post hysterectomy, but these twinges kind of surprised me. They hung around and didn't get any better. It wasn't caused by any activity either.

While lounging in the tub and soaking my tired back and bones one night, I actually took the time to navel gaze and saw the fleshy pea sized lump in my belly button. I immediately felt my stomach clench, heart rate go up and a hot flash ensue. Anxiety, my dear old friend, how have you been?

I frantically searched online for causes and self-diagnosed hoping it was either a hernia or something lame, but not a tumor or some cancer springing from my loins. After a talk with an advice nurse, a few consults and visits, surgery was set for the next Friday. Meh. Here we go again, I thought. While some people are racking up their race bibs or medals, I'm growing a collection of hospital bracelets. FML.

I was just getting back into the swing of the gym...again. I had been given a FitBit Flex by the Spartan so I could start tracking my steps, calories and sleep to get a good baseline to build my poor battered body up again. Car accident be damned, I was going to lift things and get my sweat on and be strong. Now I'm sidelined again for 6 more weeks. SIX WEEKS! Good bye muscle mass, good bye cardio levels and good bye to the dreams of losing that weight I've gained at a normal pace.

The first weekend of forced rest was good for my body though. My back feels better, my ribs haven't popped out (seems to be a weekly occurrence) and I've been able to sleep. My skin looks great from all the water and vitamins, but if only taking a crap wasn't tantamount to moving a goddamn pyramid with your mind. Thanks, pain pills.

I'll be finding new ways to release stress and I guess it's high time I get back into yoga. It may be the only thing I can do for a while after I'm cleared to do so. Water aerobics, walking and yoga, this is the life of a 60 year old woman -- a fit 60 year old woman, mind you -- but this is what turning 36 has reduced me to this year. I guess it wasn't time to rebuild just yet. You're still in recovery, says the body.

With the ritual of back sleeping, a Frankenstein scar under my navel and limited movement, my days are not too exciting at the moment. Just gotta get over this hump. And buy stock in scar cream.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

It's my birthday eve!

On this eve before my 36th birthday (when did we get so old), I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching. Per usual, I have my resolutions to not body shame so much, hate my appearance or status in the physical fitness realm, but it’s hard. It’s hard when you hit middle age and suddenly you get to have a hysterectomy, lose a job you love, realize you can’t go home, fight your own hormones and then get hit by a car right when you’re at that point you start to feel normal again. Adhesions and stitches and rib popping, oh my!

One would think I should change my name to UNluckylettuce. It’s just been that type of year.

I remember two years ago, waking up totally hungover from an awesome night of dancing and drinking but plenty of self hatred and thinking “I’m going to make this year different. 34 will be a rebirth.”  Guess what, I did and it was. I worked hard, I lost weight, I trained for a half marathon, I got a tattoo, I started lifting weights and I made changes in my life and body and relationships.

Over time, I had some setbacks. Everybody does. Our bodies dictate the way we live, not our minds. I wish it was the opposite, but from my own personal experience, the whole “mind over matter” thing doesn’t work for me. Trust me, I’ve done enough positive thinking, meditation, wishing, praying and self-affirmation or motivation to last me a lifetime. I chase Cosmo’s moon, bend over backwards, rest in savasana and tell myself anything is possible. It doesn’t change my scar tissue, my nerve damage, my recent car accident injuries or anxiety. I just work with those issues now instead of drowning them out in wine and drugged daydreams.

I have a greater understanding of my body now. I know its limits more so than ever. I know frustration and aggravation and impatience as well. I also know that I need to work on nurturing, acceptance and the process in order to move on. Life is truly a journey – and I’ve come to realize that there is no end point. At this time in my life, there is no “size I’d like to be” or “number I’d like to weigh” , “position I’d like to have” or “restriction I can be proud of.” I just want to live and accept myself for who I am at this time. I think your late 30s are about that journey.

I may be 30 pounds heavier than last year. Fuck me that sucks, but it’s not for lack of trying. There are some things you just can’t fight and takes time to heal. I will eat the food, lift heavy things, enjoy my days and work out when my body allows me. Exercise is not a punishment, it’s a privilege.

I may have a job that I don’t love per se, but the people I work with are lovely, I get recognition and I don’t hate going to work every day. I’ll achieve my goal of holistic health educator one day – I’ve learned you’re never too old to start over if the passion is there.

I’m not going to wish I was someone else or have someone else's life either. I compare too much. For example, I was inundated this past weekend with babies and motherhood. All positive experiences, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t affect me at all. I’m just on a different plane than most women. I’m not going to think any less of myself bc I can’t have kids, or am not destined to be a mom or have relatives/babies within in reach that depend on me daily or that my life revolves around. That just wasn’t in the cards for me and I’m ok with that.

I see the silent questioning arise in eyes of relatives or friends though that see me “of age” or close to the end of the birthing spectrum and wonder “What about you? Hmmm?”. Of course these people don’t know about my surgery but it doesn’t matter. I think any woman in a relationship of many years starts getting the hairy eyeball in terms of marriage and/kids. Whatever, eyes on your own ovaries, bitches.

This coming year, I’m not going to hide or apologize for who I am or my desires. If someone misreads my intentions be it at work or in my personal life, then they have misread me. I aim to be nothing but transparent bc ain’t nobody got time for that facade shit. 

This past year has taught me a lot. It’s taught me about myself, my support system, my allies and enemies. It’s taught me about resilience, losing faith and gaining hope in humanity. It’s taught me about family, both blood line and earned. I'm very thankful for the people in my life that I can turn to for a good cry, laugh, venting or drink (or 15).

I realize that I have a lot going on internally and I do what Cancers do best: internalize. I know I need to work on my interpersonal relationships. “I’m a complicated communicator,” per Liz Phair. I spent this past weekend in southern California and Lana Del Rey’s song “Driving in Cars with Boys” sort of played on repeat in my mind, and I felt weird. As a 35 year old woman, I’m singing a song and relating to it like a 16 year old girl.

The Spartan and I drove through Malibu and I played it on the stereo. A little bit of lyric goes a long way in a car, and it made me reflect.

“I spent my whole life driving in cars with boys,
Riding 'round town drinking in the white noise
Used to talk about where we be and where we go.
Now we know, baby, now we know
I spent my whole life wasted in bars with boys
Playing rock'n'roll dancing in the loud noise
Used to talk about where we be and where we go.
Now we know, baby, now we know”


Do I know now? I’m not so sure. I avoid bars now, but I live for white noise.  I know I’m going to wear my red lipstick and stumble into trouble this year though. Just to keep sane. Happy birthday to me.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

I Guess I'm Sturdy


ford cmax crashCatching up on sleep seems to be hard to do. No matter what I do, even going to bed at 9:30 pm doesn't seem to alleviate my tiredness when I wake up.

My head and back ache with a consistent fury I have not known before - even from the world's toughest workouts or classes I've taken. I don't think I've fully accepted or marinated in the fact long enough that the crash I was in was pretty bad. I mean, the car is totaled. I had three air bags deployed in my general direction and folks ran out of their homes because the crash was so loud.

The fact I walked away I attribute to my fine, sturdy stock. There was no broken glass, only the crumpled front end of our brand new car. Stay-Puft (as we lovingly called our Ford C-Max Energi) sacrificed his life for me. His little head light dangling out like a loose eyeball, the entire front bumper hanging off like a sad lower lip and the entire crushed driver's side making him looking an angry, snarled beast on the street.

I just remember the horn honking...non stop. Once I was hit and stopped, turned the car off etc, the horn just kept going. It was just a constant reminder that the car was saying "I'm hurt"..."over here"...constantly. I know the neighbors hated it, but tough shit. Some folks managed to get it to stop but it was without my permission, so that sort of pissed me off. I was shaking so bad I could barely take photos, let alone make sense to talk to anyone. I was so hyped up on adrenaline that who knows--even to this day-- what sort of injury may emerge. I won't go into details other to say it was 100% NOT my fault and I really didn't enjoy sitting on a curb by myself for over an hour while waiting for a tow, the police or anybody to help me out. I guess since I wasn't bleeding in the street, my accident was not a priority. The other car (a big ass truck) managed to drive off. Thanks for buying us a new car, dick. We didn't need one because we had one, but hey, we get to look forward to new car smell all over again...

When I had seen people after the accident, they kind of just approached me with a gentle apprehension, like if they hugged me I may crumble. Um, hello -- if this body didn't crumble from a 40+ mph collision, a hug won't hurt. My brother coughs it up to my heft Russian stock. He's been known to put his head through windshields, fall off bikes and punch walls with no bodily consequences.

I knew it was a doozy when my doctor who has the "oh, just put some ice on it and use ibuprofen" mentality, actually gave me some pain killers and referred me to a physical therapy CLASS, which is lame. You don't even know what has occurred or what state my spine is in, but sure, go to a CLASS where someone is going to manipulate my body or teach me self care for post-crash recovery for an undiagnosed soft-tissue trauma. Again, I swear my medical providers run things backwards over there at Kaiser. Thankfully, I have an appt. with a specialist on Friday, after which I will be seeing an attorney. Good times.

Until then, obviously no working out. Yet another gloriously painful wrench thrown into my fitness wheel. I joked that at least I had fewer innards to injure now. The important thing is to take care of my body and listen to it. All the creaks, pains, aches and tightness are telling me to basically nap. All day. Too bad I have a life and a job that won't allow that. I'm running the emotional gamut here, and I've come to hate that street one block over from home. It's the same street I got mugged on, so hey - at least I keep things consistent. Too bad there is no avoiding the street since it's a major thoroughfare - for foot, bike or car traffic.

Thank god for the kindness of strangers who made sure I was ok that day and the neighbor I called who didn't hesitate to help me out. Of course all I could think of immediately was "Boy, is superintendent's gonna be pissed!", and damn, I had eggs in the backseat. (Only 1 broke!)

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Taking up Space

Another day, another dollar spent. I haven't been flexing my writing muscles at all, but will work on that. I've been too busy eating food and lifting weights and hibernating. I decided to not focus on whining and writing or guilt myself for not updating the blog. In time, things will become and feel normal again, but for now, not much to report. A friend told me a pseudo fitness/weight loss blog is boring anyway. Personally, I love those stories, but I figured who wants to hear about my daily struggles with what to eat for lunch or how sore my hammies are?

I'm working away in corporate America. The soul sucking 8-5 job and routine of work, gym, eat, sleep has been the norm for a few months. Things are going well, there may be some office role restructuring but I seem to fit in just fine and no one has kicked me out. I can't wear the big girl pants yet since waistbands STILL hurt and I'm only known to shop the clearance racks at Anne Taylor Loft, Lands End or Banana Republic. I wear my cheap dresses from Marshall's and try not to get "too casual". I'm still the girl in the office with a hoodie though. However, I must make a proactive choice in NOT spending less than $20 on shoes anymore. I had a fashion faux pas when the entire sole of a cheap pair of espadrilles fell off one day at work. I may be poor, but I can't look it. I was walking around with what looked like a giant rubber tongue flapping off my heel down the carpeted hallways. Horrified - if not for the imagery but the flopping sound it made.

I'm in month two of meeting with my trainer and speaking of poor, I think I have to curtail my frequency of seeing her. My introductory/coupon offers/freebies are up and the amount for regular, real sessions is not justifiable. I make much less than the majority of folks who attend my gym and let's be honest, I am only a member bc my job subsidizes 90% of the cost. I mean, the mayor and his WIFE work out with me. I don't even own a pair of Lululemon pants. Not a single item from them!

My trainer could probably sense my gentle pulling away because she worked me out harder than ever before, probably in our entire time of training since April. To say I got the pukey feeling or saw stars is an understatement. At least I know I can do real push ups now! NOT on my knees - a feat I couldn't even do before surgery.

I think I can sustain seeing her for 1-2 x a month, but weekly is out of the question. A good ass kicking every so often and a check in to see where my strength and endurance levels are at is very helpful to me though. Her body weight strength training exercises and manner of pushing me aids in my end goal. I also love the fact that she sees me at the gym every day even when I am not meeting with her. She knows I am trying and committed. She's kind enough to razz me when I'm lifting weights or helps me adjust my form when I squat or lift the wrong way. This also means I can't hide from her if I decide to give up the costly personal ass kicking attention as well :-/ I'm trapped!

I've been teaching myself and learning more so on my own though, in terms of beginning weight lifting. I've come to the conclusion that massive amounts of cardio do nothing for me (nor should it) and I can't run anyway. If it's not my innards being jostled, a burning sensation behind my belly button, an ache in my side or now pain in my right foot, running just finds a way to cripple me for days at a time. I never loved it to begin with and while yes, it helped me lose a majority of my weight last year, it just won't work this time around. I'll still jog here and there and do a few 5ks when I'm up to it, but my new love is weights. I incorporate about 40 minutes of strength training into my routine and do cardio for about 20-30 minutes 3-4 times a week, interval training. I kick it up when I need to, but it's not my focus. Body re composition is. I mean, my insides were torn up and taken out, I can't just continue on the same path with the same goals and same actions. I am not the same.

I get excited to see what I can lift when I get to the gym now. I am the girl showing nipple in the "men's section" aka the free weight section of the gym. I take up space. I don't touch the 3 or 5 lb weights. Give me the 10, 12, 15 pounders and bars. Goddamn these truck driver arms, but I'm going to tone them. The Spartan has been taking monthly shots of my progress and while it is slow as molasses, I see some definition beginning. My shoulders scare him. Hell, they scare me, but they will be the beasts that save someone or myself one day.

I have not come to embrace myself yet (that is a long way off) but I am no longer restricting myself either. I'm not going to fool myself into thinking one particular, exact way of eating will save me. I am going to eat what I want, when I want it and fuel myself. I've been eating a hell of a lot cleaner these past few months, taking supplements, vitamins, getting rid of my frozen meals or processed deli meats and replacing them with vegan protein powders, powdered peanut butter even! Don't get me started on how I want to make sweet love to Chocolate PB2.

I figure if I stay consistent and treat myself right, I'll lean out eventually. It's going to take months and months and I know my dream of being "beautiful by my birthday" will forever let me down, but maybe by Christmas all those old pants will fit again.

I may try to work on a new writing project as well, offline for a bit. After being in LA a few weeks ago, my dear friend suggested that perhaps that's part of my problem these days. I just don't write. I don't have a plan. I have no grand scheme laid out for my job, career, love life or life in general. I honestly don't know WHAT I want to do or what I CAN do...I gotta start somewhere. Time to revisit those grad schools and holistic nutrition courses I fell in love with when I was jobless. That dream is alive and I'm sure if I can work hard enough I can achieve what I want. The idea of more loans makes me gag, but so does making crap money at a job I don't really even like. I'd rather be barely breaking even doing something I enjoy, right? Right. Wise words from my friend. Sometimes I need a little more ass kicking than usual.

This month Brimley will go to an A's game with us for their annual Dog Day. I am obnoxiously giddy over prancing my pooch around a field. I'm off to LA again in July for a wedding, my birthday and who knows what else.  Fall is rapidly approaching with two more weddings on the list and a possible trip to Boston in September. I doubt this year will be the year I get to Alaska to see the bears or Cabo to drink my sorrows away and gain a tan, but we're not even a full 6 months in to 2013 yet, anything is possible. I'm just taking up space right now.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A year later...

I couldn't even stick to a weekly blog for the 2nd week, ha! A few days late, but at least I'm getting a post in.

I was pretty emotional last week. What with a bad hair cut (I was NOT ready to go super short again) an initial "fitness evaluation" and the year anniversary of Lupe's Eviction, I cried several times and was all over the map.

It's not hard to believe a year has gone by already - I feel like the process has been long and not a day goes by that I don't feel some sort of angst, regret, disatisfaction or confusion with my body from the damn surgery. I'm making it a point not to dwell on things, but the effects seem to be lingering. Now that I have passed this benchmark, I hope I can really start making progress and put this all behind me.

I signed up for an evaluation at my gym and thankfully met with a woman who could understand where I was coming from. First thing she asked me was if I was committed. "Hell yes!" I said. She asked what I ate for breakfast or during the day and was impressed. She asked what I LIKED to do in terms of exercise. I told her what I USED to do, since right now I don't like anything because of the way it makes me feel.

I told her I used to run, but it makes me hurt now. I used to take boxing classes, but the ab work is something I still can't do. I used to love body pump but haven't been able to sustain myself through a full class yet. I used to do Bikram, but budget and time constraints have me slacking off on that. I told her I needed something new, since my body catches on real quick to repeated spins on the elliptical and doesn't really change much. I told her about my thyroid and how it's normal. I told her I kept my ovaries so according to my doctor I can't blame hormones. I told her I live with a vegetarian so red meat or carbs don't come into the home a lot. she said she likes a challenge. "Well, that's me!" I exclaimed.

I went through the embarrassing physical challenges. My wall sit time was 60 seconds, which is pretty good, but I should aim for 2-3 minutes. My sit ups were laughable. Mind you, I have not even attempted a sit up in over a year. I could barely do 15 in a MINUTE. My knee push ups and bicep strength were in the excellent range. I knew that, since I have steadily been lifting since the summer to not get flabby. I want definition though, and sexy delts.

One scary find was that my blood pressure was way too high. It could have been because I was worked up, freaking out about my number on the scale (I basically have 30 POUNDS or more to lose to be "fit") and my current status. High BP runs in my family and my father has been on medication for years. I get most of my ailments from that side, so I need to monitor it. My resting heart rate was great, so that made the trainer believe the BP number was truer than not. Le sigh.

I walked out of their last Thursday feeling a little defeated, a little optimistic. It's a new beginning, a new journey and process. I made plans to spend the day with Sma on Saturday (the anniversary) and shopped, ate and drank and pampered myself. I got home later that night and cried. I wasn't sure why, I just did. I think deep down inside my body just needed to. I treated myself to a massage on Sunday (easy work out in the am) but took Monday and Tuesday off. I needed it. I worked out 5 days last week and my arms and legs felt it. I also drank too much wine though, so for as many times as I say it, I must start cutting calories with the booze first.


I'm going to see the trainer again this Thursday and we're going to work out. God help me. I made it to the gym this morning too for 30 min on the elliptical and 10 on the recumbent bike. I may do some weights at home tonight, but it's supposed to be 80 degrees when I get out of work. We'll see about that!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Another Post-Op Process

I think starting for April, I will make it a point to at least write a blog post on Fridays. I've started to make an effort to track my workouts and eating again, so why not flex the writing muscle too.

A lot is milling about in my brain. I'm approaching the year anniversary of the Eviction of Lupe. Crazy. Only now do I feel like I'm starting to actually get back on track, physically. It is a long process and it's been a long year. No one really tells you -if you are a woman undergoing a hysterectomy - that recovery just doesn't stop at 6 weeks. It's been a mental and physical journey and not one I anticipate finishing for a while. I have a phone call scheduled next week to talk to my surgeon about some embarrassing effects I've noticed physically too that are new to my body post-op.

I won't go into details here, but let's just say, my innards are not feeling 100% just yet. Working out still tends to hurt me in some way or another and well, the weight keeps adding up. I'm tired of my doctor telling me to join a weight loss class or my gyno saying "lay off the fiber". Something is different and I'm determined to find out what is holding my metabolism up or what made my body reject fiber and dairy when it feels like it. Or why I've gained 25 pounds in less than 6 months. Nothing seems to be consistent except my struggle. I've also searched far and wide for a dietician or some sort of nutritional consultant that isn't bogus, certified in some way, experienced in my sort of situation and close to me. I've come up empty but I will continue to look. Another out of pocket cost that I want to be sure I invest properly in.

I worked out 4 days this week so far, and intend on hitting the gym for a swim and ab work tomorrow. I had a bout of either 1) an epically delayed and extended hangover or 2) a stomach bug/food poisoning Sunday afternoon. I missed work on Monday and completely spaced on my personal training appointment. I was in bed all day after hurling most of my Sunday away. The kicker? I gained 4.4 pounds this week. *long excruciating sigh*

I took my measurements last night as well. I really am at the beginning again. I know everyone has to start or do-over again, but this irks me. I was fine and on the path to wellness this summer. Then fall hit, and it was like my body went into reverse. My inches are the same as they were in May 2011 when I started my journey. I had the notes on my phone still to go back to. A hefty 6 inches have grown around my waist again. !!! I have another long way to go, slower this time. The same 25 pounds haunt me. I'm not even aiming for celebrity thin - just to fit into the pants I bought right before this damn surgery.

I think back to  Richard Simmons and meeting him last year in February. He's on General Hospital this week and I can't wait to watch - as I've recorded it so I can relish in the glory of it all. His words still haunt me when we met though: "You need to write", he told me as he held my face in his hands. It was surreal.

 I feel as if I'm too angry to write, if that makes sense. I keep living in this perpetual state of "I remember"...and it makes me sad.

I remember when I used to write.
I remember when it used to be fun to run.
I remember when my pants fit.
I remember when I could blast through a weights class and feel great.
I remember the high of a 5+ mile run.
I remember looking in the mirror and liking what I see -- briefly.
I remember taking a break from picking myself apart.
I remember picking myself up.
I remember enjoying waking up.
I remember being kinder to my boyfriend.
I remember being more social.
I remember...too much.

I think this is what is blocking me from writing. I remember being optimistic - and that voice felt better to express myself in. The one inside me now? I don't even like listening to. Here's to another process I guess.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Listening to Your Body

Wow, it's really been a month since I wrote, huh?
Just goes to show my life has been barely on my own radar, never mind the radar of public knowledge.
Where does the time go...

February was a blur. It was dealing with a sick boyfriend (damn flu, that I have avoided!), worrying about my 90 day review at work, trying to not blow out my calf again due to running and traveling to LA for Oscar weekend with Portland right after. God, what a much needed but oh too fast break from reality.

I love my old roomie's new apartment in Burbank and am glad she finally left the Lido to move on to greener, more valley like pastures. It was a whirlwind weekend with lots of wine, singing telegrams, bridesmaid dress shopping and the Oscars. A killer allergy attack and a shorter trip than usual due to my new job (blech), meant that I was an exhausted wreck when I got home. No rest for the weary though, bc the following weekend a trip to Portland, OR was planned to meet with old friends for an "Asshole Reunion". I'm proud of that title, because if there's anything I'm not apologetic for, it's being an asshole sometimes. You just gotta do it. It keeps you sane. Define it how you will, but for me it involves loud noises while eating, drinking too much (in daylight hours) talking shit and wearing absurd socks and wreaking havoc in vintage shops. It was the perfect trip.

Since then, it's been a blur. Trying on bridesmaid dresses was a rude awakening to the state of my body. I've been saying that since September things have been awry, and well, they have gone farther. I don't even recognize myself. I also feel like I'm in an "ugly phase". I HATE the way I look. I'm growing out my hair (asymmetrical hair cuts, the horror!) and it's HARD. I have terrible soccer mom/newscaster hair and I'm 20+ pounds overweight. My work wardrobe sucks and I'm always opting for comfort vs. style. I suck at business casual. I basically suck at being me for the time being.

The Oakland half marathon is this weekend. A year ago, I ran that. Sigh. This weekend, I'll have a guest in town and I won't be able to work out, and well, this week's workouts have been less than stellar, but I'm doing them. I'm waking up at 5:15am a few times a week to work out and it sucks. It sucks big hairy dog balls and it's my only choice. After work I am so exhausted, the motivation is low, new gym membership or not. I'm thankful the Spartan joined a gym near me and my work, since I'd never make it there on my own. It doesn't make it any easier though. I hate it, I'm bitchier than the bitchiest bitch in LA before an interview on E! and I'm not pleasant to be around. Maybe one day I'll look forward to it.

I also joined Weight Watchers online again. We'll see how this works out...again. The new points plus program is going to take some getting used to. I already fucked up week one, and it's going to take some adjustment to acknowledge I eat too much or drink too much or don't work out enough. Ugh. I think it will help me in the long run. My thyroid is normal, I'm not on any meds, my ovaries seem to be functioning and well, I may never change, but I can try. I'm getting too old to not make adjustments. I've been listening to my body though, taking things one day at a time. I am pulling in the reigns on workouts and not pushing too hard. I've been alternating workouts, running and weights. I wish I could be where I was, but I'm learning to be happy with what I can do. It's a process. A long process. I'm also meeting with a trainer on Monday next week, so maybe I'll get some guidance and new routines set up.

My cousin is getting married in September in Boston and I want to go. With their wedding in Sept and one in October for a dear friend in Seattle, I want to get my ass in gear the next 6 months and look my best. Some of these family members or college friends I haven't seen in over a decade. I want to feel proud. I'm not married, I'm not a mom, I won't have kids, an uber demanding job or have some debilitating circumstance/distractions that would make me less than awesome or get in the way of my goals. I only have myself to fight or struggle against. While it may be a lot, it's not the worst thing to deal with. At least on most days. Le sigh. I don't have many positive things to say, so I'd rather not say them at all.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Spring Ahead

Hard to believe it'll almost be time to turn the clocks ahead in a few weeks. While I'll be thankful for the longer hours of sunshine, I still wish I could turn back the clock.

I'm still not feeling that great. Still not running, not working out a lot or at full capacity and well, it's pretty discouraging. I am headed to LA this weekend and while I have a weekend of hysterics planned, good meals to eat and great friends to see, I am getting hives just thinking about trying on clothes. I've been here before and it sucks. I am going to try my best and not have an anxiety attack in the dressing room of bridal shops and remember that my goal is to be 20 pounds lighter in October when the wedding party I am in gets the show on the road.

I am glad I never threw away or got rid of my "fat" work pants from 2011. I am wearing them again. I still own the smaller pair I bought this past summer--THREE sizes smaller. Thankfully the fat pair is still a bit baggy, but the fact that is what my abdomen can tolerate now makes me cringe. I just wish I knew what happened to my body this past fall (besides unemployment blues) that allowed my frame to pack on such girth again.

At least I am eligible for benefits now at work and this week I will finally sign up for the gym across the street. I see March as the month I start all over again. It was the month last year I really, truly kicked ass. I felt like it was a race against time. I had the luxury of a job that was going away and 90 minute lunches and weights classes and was training for a half marathon. I shudder to think if I did NOT lose 18 pounds before surgery what I would look like NOW. Ugh...

When I had my surgery, I really thought I'd be up and running (no pun--well sort of-- intended) within 6-8 months. I think what the forums and other hystersisters say is true though, it really does take a full year of recovery. One.Whole.Year. Goddamn it goes by so fast and yet so slow at the same time. Both internal and external tolls have been taken on my body and even though I have tried, I have not been very nice to myself. No matter how times I am told otherwise, all I can think is I am weak. I have no self control when it comes to snacking. It is my fault that I slid down the slippery slope of tight pants and a bad attitude again. Let's have some pizza rolls and be in bed by 9pm.

I probably pushed too hard in July when I started jogging. I probably should have not attended weights classes in August. I probably should have not been running even though I felt tightness in my calf or a burning behind my belly button a few weeks ago. I felt that doing nothing would be worse.

I'm not the type of person that can just diet and lose weight. "Oh, just eat less" doesn't cut it. I come home from work starving. I get mean. I get worse than hangry. I get anxious and I get nauseous if I don't eat. I need to exercise. I love food too much! If I just let myself "Be", I just let myself go. I wish I could get a food lobotomy.

Swimming classes helped me find something new but I have not been back in the pool since the end of January. I'm still laying off my leg but managed to do an easy jog/up hill walk on the treadmill on Saturday at the gym. I burned about 500 calories in 50 minutes, so I can't complain. Hitting the gym once a week just ain't gonna cut it though. I think once the convenience of hitting the gym for 30 minutes at lunch is an option, I'll get that drive back. I'll find classes I like at this new gym and not worry about rushing to catch a bus at a shady spot, or wait in the dark with all my belongings like open prey.

I'm emotional. This period of my life is like trying to find the right way to be again. I did it once, I can do it again, right? While sometimes I have to drag myself to the gym, once I get on a machine or treadmill I enjoy it. I crank up my music, I sweat and I really feel my body getting into the groove again. Sometimes I am on the brink of tears and I don't know why. Partly I believe it is because it is so hard again. Other times I am thrilled because I am pushing myself again and actually making progress. I know I am doing it for me and my well being.

I'll leave you with this: I must have about 3 different types of yogurt in our fridge right now: plain lowfat greek yogurt, about 12 Chobani yogurt and fruit cups and a middle eastern, thicker yogurt used as a sour cream replacement. Add to that: a recent order of a 90 day supply of hefty probiotics. The Spartan felt the urge to tell me that even though I am in a rough patch right now, at least I have the most multi-cultural colon in all of Oakland.


Monday, February 04, 2013

Decisions

I'm sitting here on my couch, right leg elevated in a compression sock, my calf in a knot and utterly depressed. From the get go, these last few months have been hard on my body. They were supposed to be getting better. I was supposed to be getting better. I was supposed to go slow,  recover and ease back into my workouts. I did. When I felt ill or pushed too hard, I backed off. I didn't back down, I just relaxed and took it easy the next time I worked out. I noticed my body was cranky. I couldn't run as far or as fast. I had pains when I lifted weight, ab machines were torture and the elliptical was my enemy. I persisted. I even looked to lower impact activities like yoga or swimming to keep some level of activity.

Weight crept back on me and I'm at my heaviest once again. The scale says a number that I saw in the summer of 2011 and vowed I would never get back to. Lo and behold, I am missing an organ and a fibroid and I'm that weight again. How's that for an accomplishment?! My stomach protrudes 2 inches in a day depending on my activity or intake. Pants I bought this summer don't fit. I tried to start off slowly and run again, a measly two mile jog and bam! I stepped off a curb tonight, heard a pop and now I'm in agony. I'm sure this means at least 6 weeks of no running/elliptical/up hill treadmill workouts. Great. I'm destined to be a fat cow no matter what I do.

Every time I try to focus on my health or activity after this godforsaken hysterectomy it's been nothing but awful. I'm constantly reminded of where I was vs where I am. And I hate it. I can't see how I am going to lose the 20 pounds I put back on by just eating less and...sitting here. I sit at my desk ALL day. I sit at night. I try to work out and I get hurt or sidelined for weeks. 

It's one of those times I feel cursed I haven't had the flu this year. Everyone around me has been sick or bed ridden with a blessed stomach virus or knock you on your ass bug. Me? Nothing. Sure I have allergies from hell, but that doesn't stop me from eating or slowly metabolizing every bite of a meal at the rate of a sloth sitting at a buffet.

I have decisions to make and I don't know where to start. I track my calories, I cut down when I need to, more restrictions are only going to make me miserable. I always envisioned myself a year later being in a better place. When I think about April, I don't see that happening at all.