DAY 026: Tearing myself a new one

At some point last winter, I noticed a pain in my left bicep during certain normal movements.  Raising my arms in certain ways hurt, lifting certain things in certain ways hurt, and even certain light Zumba arm moves hurt.  It eventually became painful to sleep on my left side, which is my usual position.  The only thing I could conclude was that I had somehow torn a muscle.  Although I didn’t have any kind of scan done, my (new and less wonderful) doctor confirmed it when I saw her for the first time in May for a physical.

I’ve been doing independent weight training on my arms since I started this weight-loss party back in March 2015.  I have always been careful with controlling the motion of anything I lifted, taking it slow, and making sure the weight isn’t too much.  I somehow still managed to hurt myself pretty severely.  The best I can figure is that when I started doing arms again after enough of a hiatus to decrease my strength, I worked out as if I had never stopped and over-exerted my muscles when I should have ratcheted down the amount of weight I was lifting.  Muscles are built by a process of tearing and rebuilding, but when a tear comes from an injury, it’s not magically healed by a protein bar.  It needs to rest until it’s ready to work again.  You can’t rush it.

The doctor told me in May to stop with arms weights until my bicep was healed.  Foolishly, I gave it a week and then resumed my normal circuits in spite of the persistent pain.  The only reason I ended up stopping is because I abandoned health altogether when things got rough in the fall.

A year later, I’m finally healed.  I hit my arms circuit last night for the first time in several months.  I was a little tentative and ginger at the beginning of my workout, especially when it came to the exercises that really used to hurt when my muscle was damaged.  But you know what?  I feel good today.  I have the satisfying soreness from a good burn, but no pain.  Soreness is fine, but there should never be pain.  Got it.  No more being stupid.  But also… I forgive you, past self.

On Tuesday, I was chatting with a friend as we were leaving work together.  She asked, “Are you dieting?”  I said, “I’m eating right.”  She said, “Your face looks good.”

And that’s where it starts.

Hello, saddle.  It’s good to be back.

DAY 017: The foodstuffs dreams are made of

They’re baaaaaaa-aaaaaack:  the food dreams.  With a twist.

Last night, I don’t even remember what I was illicitly eating in my dream when I reached the level of semi-consciousness where I realized I was dreaming.  At that point, I immediately grabbed a bowl of whipped cream that appeared from nowhere and started eating it with a spoon.  I could take or leave whipped cream in real life, so that was a surprising splurge!  Haha.

This was the second night in a row of food dreams, but with different indulgences.  I always hit this point when I start a new health routine.  It’s not even just one point; it’s more like a starting point of what will be an intermittent pattern that continues indefinitely.  Oddly, it seems to happen at times when I’m not having any waking cravings and am actually feeling pretty secure in my food and exercise choices.  I usually feel insanely guilty when I wake up, before it hits me that the sinful eating I did in my dreams didn’t really happen.  The best is when, like this morning, I become aware that I’m dreaming and I can go hog wild with no consequences.

The weird part about last night’s dream was that, before the whipped-cream plot twist, I had an internal struggle about an indulgence of a different kind:  weighing myself.  It’s always a bit of a challenge not to weigh in between my usual Sunday night times, and I confess that I do usually give in around Thursday.  It’s been particularly challenging not to step on the scale this week, after annoyingly posting no weight loss at all last week.  My next scheduled weigh-in is still 4 days away, and I feel like my body has made it over the week-2 slump and has responded well to my consistency with diet and the introduction of regular exercise.  (I made it to the gym after work yesterday!)  I want to wait until Sunday to see the progress, and I’m so hopeful for a big number to offset the stall from last week, but I’m being diligent with myself not to.  If I can’t resist the damn scale, which should be an easy thing to resist because it’s THE ENEMY with a gremlin living inside it, how am I gonna say no to donuts and cookies and bowls of whipped cream?

Sooooo, I’m gonna ride it out.  In the meantime, I’m trying to prepare myself for a possibly disappointing number on Sunday.  I have to remember that the scale only tells me my relationship to gravity, not how I feel.

Unless it’s a big drop.  😉

DAY 007: Shaken, not stirred

Spoiler alert:  This has nothing to do with how I take my martinis.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to express how the last few months have been for me that led me to the point in my weight-loss mission where I find myself today.  In particular, the last 6 weeks of that have turned me into a raw, exposed nerve at times.  When I saw that today was #007 in my numbering scheme, a bit of an opportunity presented itself.  It’ll be a bit of a stretch, but hey, that’s been true for my pants of late; why should my writing be any different? 😉  So, let’s say I’ve been feeling existentially shaken, but somehow not stirred to action.  (It’s tortured, but whatever.  I’m sure I’ve done worse.)

Most of the year was pretty decent, just extra busy.  When things weren’t busy, I didn’t use my time the right way.  If I could go back to the summer and kick myself in the ass, let’s just say I would.  I did have an ankle sprain in there, but even still… I leaned hard into excuses that allowed me to stray from my healthy eating and abandon exercise altogether.

Zooming in on one cross-section of time, I take you to the period of late November through late December 2017, AKA the holiday season.  Call me over-analytical (and be correct), but a highly symbolic thing happened out of precisely nowhere.  The week leading up to Thanksgiving, the piercing I got to mark the halfway point in my mission got irritated.  It was slightly warm to the touch, and I could feel there was some sort of ball of nastiness between my earring and the hole in my ear.  I the area as best I could without taking the earring out, but after a few days of those attempts, there was no change.  I finally decided to do the obvious thing my body wanted me to do and remove the earring to give the hole a thorough cleaning.  The second the post left my ear, the nastiness ball got even larger and warmer, and the hole was imperceptible.  For the ensuing 2 weeks, it became a one-to-three-day cycle of cleancleanclean, scab slowly forms over site, scab falls off, repeat.  I haven’t been able to figure out what could have caused the sudden flare-up, but it was a week before I dared try getting an earring back in.  When I did, it was my sharp piercing stud from when I got my lobes pierced at age 11 — ohhhh, yeah, I still have those little pink studs in all their juvenile glory — and it hurt more than the original cartilage piercing did.  I’m pretty sure I partially re-pierced it.

That long-winded account is to say, I don’t view it as a coincidence that this happened at a moment in time where I’d solidly backtracked to the pre-halfway mark.  My piercing might as well have said, “You no longer have the right to this.  Come back when you’re serious.”

This saga is persisting even now, albeit to a lesser extent; but I am mostly leaving the earring out, periodically re-piercing the hole to drain it of blood (there’s a blood bubble that’s shrinking, but still present) and cleaning it.  I am not about to let that sucker permanently close.  At one point, I tried to insert the earring I got that hole pierced with, but my ear swelled up around it immediately and I had to take it right back out.  It was several days before I could do anything with it again.  I don’t know if I’ve developed a sudden allergy to sterling silver — is that a thing that can even happen?! — but it was wild.  I guess I’ll have to keep watching it.

Right after Thanksgiving, I had a minor car incident when a friend’s mom hit my car in her driveway.  No one was hurt, but it was enough that my car needed significant repairs, and I was without it, out of state, for over two weeks.  This meant a huge inconvenience at home; hours on the phone with insurance adjusters, rental car agents, and the auto body shop; and an unplanned trip back to my hometown that cost me 8 hours on the road and personal time off work to pick up my car when it was finally fixed.  It was an unwelcome bout of stress and annoyance.

Then, just before Christmas, my grandfather died.  I don’t think I need to expound on that.  Suffice it to say, I loved him very much and everything about letting him go was awful and painful, sometimes physically.

When I finally got back to my place after the unexpected, prolonged time at my parents’, I was drained.  I couldn’t get out of the terrible mental spiral of, What will they say about me when I die?  I need to quit my job and do something that matters.  Life’s too short.  I’m so unhappy.  Like a broken record, over and over again.  And I came damn close to doing something rash.  When I would re-pierce my ear during that period, I liked the pain.  I admit to doing it more than usual because I liked the pain.  The psychology attributed to cutters suddenly made sense to me:  giving myself this physical pain was a type of release valve for the internal pain I was feeling but didn’t know how to express, let alone work on solving.

I needed to get myself back into some semblance of control over the situation I was downward-spiraling myself further into.  That’s why I decided to do a fast to end the year.

After devouring breakfast on New Year’s Day, I signed up and weighed in for a new DietBet.  The pot is currently at $195,870 with 6,532 players.

This past week, I signed up for two additional DietBet games:  a Kickstarter that currently has 13,355 players and a pot of $400,650, and a Transformer that currently has a DietBet record (!) of 7,022 players and a pot of $932,400.  (Both are still open to new players — join me!)  These three new bets are in addition to the Transformer I joined in November that’s still in progress — and that I have lost both rounds of so far, but that I will come back and win!

Even after all the turbulence of the fall, I remained in a sort of helpless stupor where I knew what I needed to do, but I just couldn’t get myself there.  I’ve had to force myself back into meal prep and ratcheting up my give-a-shittitude, and the mental effort of babysitting myself has been tedious and exhausting.  It’s starting to take hold, though.  I’ve gone from being emotionally shaken to having finally shaken myself out of that rut.  I’ve gone from being emotionally not stirred to having finally stirred myself into taking charge.

I’ve already made some progress in spite of that, dropping 3.2 pounds since Monday night.  I’m definitely a long way from being all in, and I have yet to get a proper workout under my belt this time around, but it’s coming.  I’m going to get myself there.  There’s no alternative option.

Life’s too short for regret.

 

 

 

DAY 004: Wii did kinda start the fire

The snow bomb cyclone of terror and doom is upon us.

My area only got a light dusting of snow, but it’s FRIGID outside.  Like, wearing-three-pairs-of-pants frigid.  And windy AF.  Like, wearing-three-pairs-of-pants-and-still-getting-wind-burn-on-your-legs windfy AF.

Those factors + resolutioners overrunning my gym = interest in working out, tanked.  Unfortunately, that makes it pretty hard to reach my daily steps goal if I’m going to reach the 250,000 steps I want to hit this month.

Soooo, today, I had a brilliant idea:  work out at home with the ol’ Wii!  And I do mean old.  That piece is about to celebrate its 9th birthday.

This turned out to be quite the production.

I turned the console on with no problem.  When I finally found a remote control, I tried to use it, only to find it was unresponsive.  I opened the battery compartment to find… batteries that had oozed everywhere, who knows how long ago.  I pried them out of their slots, cleaned out the hardened residue, and replaced them with new ones.  I reset the control with the console, and SUCCESS!

Then, after I literally dusted cobwebs off of my Wii Fit board, I flipped it over to immediately check the batteries for the same issue as I had discovered in the remote — and there it was.  I removed the leaked, dead batteries and cleaned out the compartment, but I had no more extra batteries of the right size at home, so I had to trudge out into the bitter cold to buy some.  (Oh, I was serious about making this happen!)  Unfortunately, I had kind of mis-sequenced this whole venture; I should have checked for full Wii functionality before changing into my new Under Armour work-out pants that only cover me to mid-calf and removing my top entirely, leaving on only a bra.  But I didn’t.  And I didn’t feel like changing before dashing out to CVS, so I threw my winter coat on over my bare torso and subjected my bare legs to the biting temperatures.  I mean, I only walked to and from my car between my building and the CVS I drove to, but it was enough to feel the effects of my laziness.  Shit, I had to go when I was still revved up enough, or it would never happen!  Aaaaaanyway, I returned triumphantly with the batteries — great way to spend my Extra Bucks! — that I immediately inserted into the board, and… NOTHING.

I tried and tried to get the thing to work, but nothing I did made any difference.  RIP Wii Fit Board.  (And then I impulsively went on Amazon and ordered a replacement.  **shrugs**  YOLO.)

When my Wii was on and I had optimistically opened the Wii Fit menu, it greeted me with this:

IMG_3521

Yowza!!!  That’s 2.76 years.  Do better, self.

Oh wellsies.  At least I know I have a working console and a working remote, so when the new board arrives, I’ll be ready to go!  And I WILL use the crap out of my Wii if this polar spell keeps up the way it’s supposed to.

In the meantime, all that running around from room to room and from car to CVS got me to within 500 steps of my daily goal, which I know I will hit tonight by just walking around in circles if I have to.  Wii may not have helped me get a burn on tonight, but it did help re-light my fire and get those needed steps.

I weigh in for my second Kickstarter tomorrow.  I’m looking forward to seeing if I have had any changes since I weighed in for my first Kickstarter on Monday.  That momentum would really help me keep this little flame lit!

Mean, not-so-lean 2017

For this entry only, I am ditching my usual format of numbering the days because, well, that saga is over.  To put it better, that chapter of the seemingly never-ending mission has closed.

I can’t believe that at this time in 2016, I was getting ready to weigh in at under 200 pounds for the first time since college.  I made it to that milestone, but lost my way in the middle of that year, and then, between a series of fits and starts and flirtations with getting back on the healthy track, I just surrendered at the end of last summer.  It was one too many punches in my ever-expanding gut, and I couldn’t be bothered.  Last year — OOOH, that feels good to put 2017 in the past! — pinned me to the mat and I quit trying to get up.

I steered into the skid so hard, I can’t believe what the scale told me when I forced myself to get on it today.  By rights, I really should have gained a metric fuck-ton of weight.  I devoured all the marked-down Halloween candy, all the yummy fall treats, enough Thanksgiving dinner and homemade treats while staying with family, and basically just kept going down that path until kingdom come.  It got worse when my grandfather somewhat expectedly and somewhat unexpectedly died the week before Christmas.  I went home to my family and we ate our feelings for a week, then I gorged myself on Christmas cookies and more discounted candy.  Once I came home to my empty house after all that emotional zig-zagging, I consciously continued the bender.  I truly don’t remember the last time I worked out, but I want to say it was… early October?  Ugh.

The night before my grandfather’s funeral, I got a punishing migraine.  I get them from time to time, but I thought I had identified the main cause of them — a too-tight hair tie around my wrist — and hadn’t had one since.  Well, turns out crying/fighting not to cry/not sleeping well/not eating right/getting no exercise/having crazy emotions can produce them, too… with a vengeance.  I was knocked off my feet in a cold, dark room for hours, finally throwing up so violently and forcefully I’m surprised it wasn’t coming out of my eyes and ears in addition to my mouth and nose.  That was only my third vomit-inducing migraine, and by far the worst.  I never want to feel like that again.

Yesterday, I decided the way I would end the year-long migraine that was 2017 was by fasting.  I just didn’t eat for 30 hours, from the time I went to bed on the 30th to the time I “woke up” this morning.  Why the air quotes?  Well, because fasting is — duh — a detox, and my body had a LOT to detoxify itself of.  (Yes, I am aware that I am not detoxified now after one day of not eating, but the process started.)  I got a nasty migraine again in the afternoon yesterday, and it didn’t fully dissipate until after I ate breakfast this morning, meaning I was essentially awake all night in mind-numbing pain, in spite of my perfectly lovely NYE plan of sleeping right through the stroke of midnight.  2017 just couldn’t let me go without one last kick in the head.  (At least I didn’t yak this time, although that at least would have provided some relief.)

Sooooo, when I got on the scale this afternoon (after 2 meals and 2 snacks), I was certain that I would see at least a 12-pound gain from my last weight check on December 3rd.  The proximal dehydration from my 30-hour fast, coupled with the month and a half of eating everything in sight and making zero effort to counteract any of that damage with physical activity, really should have ballooned my weight waaaaaay up.  And yet — don’t ask me how — I weigh 2 pounds less than I did on that date, and only 2 pounds more than I did when I weighed in for a Transformer DietBet on November 14th.

OK, body.  You came to play.

My meals for the week are prepped and portioned.  I stayed fully on my meal plan today and am on track with my water intake.  Yesterday was the reset.  Today is technically day 1.  Now let’s see about not stopping until the work is done.

And thanks, universe, for the solid of not making me 20 pounds heavier.  I’ll try to remember this when I’m working my ass off and the scale isn’t budging at all.  Mysterious ways, amirite?

Happy new year!

 

DAY 743: To sleep, perchance to food-dream

OK.  It’s day 20, and I feel like I’m back tracking.

I have slept terribly the past two nights, in spite of taking melatonin on Sunday night.  Last night, after 2+ hours of trying and failing to fall asleep, I ultimately gave up and went to the kitchen to start preparing today’s lunch and tonight’s dinner.  Still not wound down from that, I went ahead and filed my taxes.  Finally, I trudged back upstairs around 2 AM where I lay awake for another hour before finally dozing off sometime after 3.  I also peed four times between when I first lay down and when I scraped myself off the mattress when my alarm went off for the 5th time this morning.  I usually only get up once or twice throughout the night.

I also had the worst headache yesterday that I’ve had since starting Whole30.  Two pills didn’t kill it during the day, and it clung on and on until I took another dosage before my first attempt at going to sleep at night.  It then took a while to dissipate, which at least it finally did.  As I sit here typing this, I can feel another one creeping on.

I continue to have inexplicable and frustrating stretches of constipation.  That just infuriates me.  In. fur. i. ates. Me.  Anti-bloat diet, my ass.

And to add injury to insult, I am all of a sudden having knee pain.  KNEE PAIN.  For the first time in my life, I have aching, stiff, sore knees through absolutely no strain or exertion.  I’ve been totally phoning it in on the physical activity, and what little I’ve gotten has been pretty non-strenuous.  Even at my heaviest weight of 303 pounds, my knees were fine.  I’m years and miles away from that point now, and partway through this healthy dietary tweak, I’m struck with it out of absolutely nowhere?  Not fair.  Also, not logical.

What the eff is going on here?!

This better be the death throes of toxins leaving my body or something.  I am SO irked about what I’m experiencing this far into the program.  The hardest shit is supposed to be over.  It’s been almost 3 weeks and I have experienced, mmm, approximately zero of the program’s touted health benefits.  For all the extra investment — and I do mean investment — of time and money to stick to the strident rules of Whole30, to experience nothing even close to “tiger blood” is outrageous.  Not only am I not feeling better, but I’m actually feeling worse.  I am so glad I’ve ignored the guideline about not weighing yourself; if it weren’t for my knowledge that I’ve dropped a lot of weight, it’s hard to imagine I could convince myself to stick out these last 10 days.

Oh, oh, oh!  But THEN!  I’m all skittish about stopping after day 30 because what if all the pounds that fell off were just water weight, and I instantly gain it all back during reintroduction?  I won’t fit into my MoH dress.  I’ll be miserable and inconsolable.  It will all have been an utter waste, in every possible sense.  Ugh, I can’t even let myself think about that, but the thought keeps popping into my head.

I’m exhausted.  What I wouldn’t give for a guilty food dream right now.

DAY 731: Happy worth day, dear body

Two years ago today, I made The Change.

It was tentative at first, but it stuck… for a while.  For months and months, I gained steam and experienced a lot of successful changes physically, mentally, and emotionally.  After nearly a full year of hard work, I eagerly laced up my running shoes and went for my first-ever outdoor run in the refreshing spring air after work.

It was also my last outdoor run.

I spent the remainder of 2016 undoing most of the work I’d done from March 23rd, 2015, until that date.  I couldn’t even bring myself to post on my first worth day because I was too busy falling off the wagon, sabotaging myself, and feeling 360 degrees of shitty about it.  One little thing went wrong, and then I allowed every little thing to go wrong and nearly ruin my weight loss.  What a waste.

This year, I’m not at the size I thought I would be when I imagined myself two years out at my start date on this day in 2015.  I’m trying to claw my way back to the levels of health and happiness I had managed to reach previously, before I will really be able to believe I can attain my ultimate goals.  If I started out two years ago feeling tentative, that’s amped waaaaaaaaaay up this time around.

Shakiness aside, I am making sure to recognize my efforts today.  The path I’ve taken hasn’t been straight or without significant obstacles, but it’s started taking me back towards  where I’ve long wanted — and needed — to go.  As my mission enters its toddlerhood, I recommit to the girl who has always occupied, and will always occupy, this body:  I will be fearless.  I will work hard.  I will see to it that my last outdoor run was only my most recent outdoor run, not my final outdoor run.  I will one day stop being ashamed of this body and strive to not only accept it, but to see it as beautiful.

I am worth it.

Happy worth day, dear body.