Back on the log*

I stayed in bed – with possibly six bathroom breaks (number one only) – from 7:45pm to about 6:45am this morning. My sleep was fitful. I did my feel entirely rested when I got up. However, my bowels functioned somewhat normally, and without any pains, and that was a total win.

I still felt slow, my lower belly and lower right edge were still uncomfortable (but not in pain), and I was somehow a bit clumsy, but I felt significantly improved overall. It still took effort to talk, but a whole lot more came out, whenever I did attempt speaking, and much sooner than it had taken every time yesterday. My mom noticed that part immediately when we finally spoke later in the morning.

I wasn’t sure how the day would progress, and was worried I might have to be home and, possibly, in bed most of the day. By nine o’clock, I had determined that I likely would go in to work. It was only for three hours today, and the prospect of being at home all alone, especially with the discomfort and all, was not a delightful one. So, I took a fitful nap, after eating some, and then got up and went in. I was slow-moving still, with a light sensation of my guts being as of yet undetermined as to when they might escape my body and in which direction they might choose to do that escape.

I adjusted after a little while to being able to talk to people quite normally, and eventually was at almost full normalcy on that front. I was able to walk around a bit faster near the end, and even jogged back inside, when I discovered that I’d left my smoothie near-dregs in the fridge. That surprised me, even.

I did my grocery shopping, and headed home to change. Since late morning, I had been messaging a buddy from the gym about running together this afternoon/evening. He hadn’t replied to my inquiry yesterday (about running today), and I knew he probably had been out drinking.

Turns out that he had arrived home around 3:30am last night/this morning. I told him that 13+ hours was plenty of recovery time, and that, though he claimed he felt like he was dying, I had almost ended up in Urgent Care, and so he and I could die together – it would be better to die in good company than all alone, after all.

He allowed that we could make it work, assuming he didn’t feel quite so terrible by the evening. We agreed that we would be in touch after I finished grocery shopping in the afternoon.

By the time, however, that he responded to my messages in the afternoon, he told me that he was out drinking… right then. Can we get a facepalm, please?? ;P

I considered running to the bar to meet him, partly for getting back at him for leaving me hanging, and partly for my desire not to be left alone with whatever was going on in my belly. It was gorgeous outside, and I knew it was an outdoor patio kind of place, only a 5k from my house. However, he was actually doing some one-on-one time with a friend from out of town, and so I did not do that.

(Okay, but when was he planning to run with me, if he had the friend in all weekend, anyway?? Either he’s a sneaky liar or wasn’t thinking, I dare say.)

And so, I went running in my own. What had intended to be a short little run, maybe two miles at most (plus a .05 as stretch beyond the goal), and at a slower, we-are-ill pace, turned out to be a full-on ladder run – with the 10lb vest, recall – that ended up being the third-fastest 5k I have ever done. Period. That means without any weighted vest for those fastest times. And I did my third-fastest with a 10lb vest on me, wondering the whole time if I might hurl or just sh** my pants at any given moment.

That is some other-world Goggins stuff right there.* Nearly end up in a hospital in the morning, have a panic attack, work out late morning, nearly fall apart trying to work in the afternoon, so go home and get ready for bed at 4:45pm. Sleep forever, wake up still sick, go to work again anyway, and then do one of the hardest and most successful runs of my life, considering if and when I might need to crap or vomit on the side of the road somewhere. (I actually did come very close to vomiting right after I set out!)

So, yeah… what a day…

*If you don’t get the references, read David Goggins’s book, Can’t Hurt Me.

Post-a-day 2021

Oh, snap…

6:40am: Wake up groggily, in need of a bathroom. I have slept in by over two and a half hours, and my body is demanding that I get up to relieve it, at last. I do.

As I re-ascend, a flea lands on my ankle. I grab it immediately, destroy it, and flush it down the sink. This cycle repeats itself once more, but this time with the bug landing on my shin. I head downstairs a get plates and tea lights, set up the traps in a few spots, hoping to nab anything left while it is still somewhat dark outside, and pour the soapy water and light the candles.

As I am just about to head upstairs to my bed – for I had not felt as though I had slept eight hours, and felt a real need for more – , a pain strikes my lower belly. Oh, no… digestion problem, I think, rushing back to the bathroom. Everything had gone as usual in the bathroom initially, but my father’s (and my maternal grandfather’s) GI tract genes had been passed down to me, so it is somewhat always a toss-up as to whether by bowels will be normal or ridiculously sensitive.

Back in the bathroom, I find that nothing is interested in moving – it feels as though there is nothing to depart from my body, even. And yet, I am suddenly crying out in pain, it has become so intense. But nothing seems to be happening inside me. Just pain exists, increasing to a point I have never known. I have had success pains before, but they typically end within a minute, as things readjust inside me, and then I am fine.

But this is somehow different.

The cries of pain continue to escape my lips, shocking my more and more. What is happening?

There is a chance it could be the appendix. The position of the point of the most pain is appropriate. But I’d need a second opinion to be sure. Perhaps I would do best to call my mom and ask her, since I know that she knows. The cries and the pain continue and increase, as the phone calls.

Straight to voicemail. I call again, in case it is merely Do Not Disturb. Voicemail immediately. She’s still asleep. I could call the house, but only if absolutely necessary, as it would wake more than just her. Wait on that.

Thinking is growing fuzzy. As I begin to get up from the toilet, my ears lose full hearing, filling partly with a fuzzy, humming noise. My vision is shaking. I might be about to pass out.

I rush to wash my hands, and rinse some cool water on the back of my neck. It helps briefly and barely. I need water. But my bottle is upstairs. If something goes wrong, I need to be downstairs. There’s a cold bottle in the fridge, I recall.

I bolt in a slow stumble down the stairs to the kitchen, and open the fridge, shakily. I manage to pull out the water and drink some, then hold it against the back of my neck.

But I cannot hold it there. Before I really know how it has happened, I find myself on my hands and knees, my head laying inside the fridge, my breathing heavy and intense.

I just feel so hot.

And I hadn’t five minutes ago.

Something is definitely wrong.

I call my brother. He does not answer. I call the house for my mom twice, but it just keeps ringing both times. Some emergency contacts, I think, somewhere far back in my brain.

I might hurl, I realize. But I might just need a bowel release. Either way, I need to get back to the bathroom.

Because I always put things away, I put the water away in the fridge, though something inside tells me too weakly to bring it with me. Too hard to hold.

I crawl back up the stairs, so hot, out of breath, the pain only increasing in my lower belly, just above my pelvic floor, especially on the right side.

I make it to the bathroom. Nothing is moving in my bowels, nothing wants to exit. As I have been contemplating where to seek emergency medical care, should I need it – though, I had wanted a second opinion on that, this the phone calls – I am now faced fully with making the decision myself. But I know I cannot see well enough or function well enough to find the directions to the right place on my phone. Urgent Care, not ER, but I have never been there, so I’m not certain we’re it is; just that it is near.

First that, then see if I can drive… or even make it to the car.

I have been very near passing out this past several minutes, I know I need someone else to know of my situation, to help if I do pass out.

I call a friend on EDT, knowing she would be awake by 8:20am, even if it is a Saturday. She answers.

But I find that I cannot speak.

I manage a greeting of some sort, I believe, but then just continue breathing heavily, crying tears of pain and confusion and frustration. I know she will remain calm and evaluate properly, but I need to communicate what is happening.

My arms have gone completely tingly, shoulders to fingertips. When did that happen?

With much struggle and murkiness, I finally manage to say what is happening. I am only in underwear at this point. My shirt was wrenched off in the bathroom when the heat first began – I had thought that I only was overheating somewhat, but my skin was completely soaked with sweat once I’d slid off my shirt.

She first tells me that her husband (hems a doctor, but not the first reason I was calling her) is not with her right now, but then immediately tells me that I might be having a panic attack – BREATHE. At this point, I am lying face-down on the floor, my cheek just hanging over the first stair step. My left hand clenches a soaked paper towel… soaked with what? Tears, snot, sweat…, probably all of them, but I cannot quite remember how it even got to my hand. My right hand is pressed into my lower right belly, at the point of the most pain.

Staring at the phone – on speaker – on the floor next to me, I focus on calming my breathing, deepening each stroke. I am still terrified, but I already feel immensely better emotionally, now that someone is here with me. That helps my breathing ease better.

We laugh at her comment on how I should probably be talking to an actual doctor, not someone searching on WebMD. My face is soaked and my body hurts, my arms still tingling, but my hearing has been restored and I can see clearly, though my processing is still slow – it takes real effort to make the words come out. But I tell her that, if we determine I need to go to see a real doctor, I first need to make it upstairs to put on clothes. We laugh at the prospect of my showing up in my car in just a pair of underwear, and I wonder if I would end up with a ticket afterward for indecent exposure…. and yet an ambulance would have taken me in just my underwear, and that would have made their jobs even easier.

I marvel somewhere in the back at how I can even have such thoughts right now, but can barely manage to mutter a single simple sentence aloud.

I tell her that, even if it just turns out to be digestion issues, I am totally okay with that. I’m still glad I was able to get ahold of her. I’d actually rather not have it go that way if I ended up at Urgent Care, however. Not cool. She is giving me options of what might be wrong, assessing my specifics on the pain locations.

Nothing quite lines up as well as the facts that 1)I am near beginning menstruation, and 2)I have bad bowel genes. I ate brisket yesterday, which I do not usually do, but everything else was rather normal in my food.

As we sit on the phone, the pain slowly begins to ebb away, bit by bit. I ask her to stay with me, and she agrees with a firmness that she had already planned on that.

After an hour, I finally have been able to roll to my right side, and curl up in a ball for a bit, and then lie on my back, knees up. The pain has finally begun shifting around slightly, no longer covering such a great area within my body, but it has shifted partly, though gently, to the tender area just above the pelvic bone and in front of the uterus. It is relaxing its grip, nonetheless. I make it to my hands and knees. My arms are only barely tingling.

I need water. I had wanted some already, and had laughed as I’d told her that my brain felt like she could get it for me, because she was here with me now… that fogginess hadn’t been able to sort out the different between digital and physical presence, obviously. But so, I have finally made it to my hands and knees. After staying there a while longer, I finally make it shakily to my feet, and then head downstairs. Perhaps I should eat food, too.

I have some calm, dry food, after I gulp some more water, and she tells me she’ll check in again later.

It is almost 9:00 now. I use the bathroom once more – no BM or gas, of course – and head upstairs to rest briefly. For some reason, I have it in my head that I still need to go to the gym. I had already canceled the 9:00am cardio class, knowing that was neither an option nor a good idea. Not paying that no-show fee. But the 10:00 class is just calm weights, and part of that was something I had missed Monday and had been waiting to make up all week.

I couldn’t miss it… but that had been a thought I’d had before the morning’s insanity. However, my brain was still so murky that it was not able to notice that fully. It just knew that I had to go to 10:00. And that I had convinced someone to go with me, and had helped that person sign up for the class this morning… while I was lying on the floor in the hallway, shaking still…

(I know, right?)

And so, after a brief nap, I did go. Before we began, one of the guys asked about my morning so far – I think – and so I told him a brief summary.

‘And you’re still here?!’

My brain hadn’t even considered that yet. Life goes on, was all it could think, and so it had had me continue onward in my day.

It was still very difficult to talk, to make my body out forth the effort of creating and spitting out words, more than just a few at a time. But, once we got to work on our training, I didn’t really need words – not more than a few every so often – and so life felt somewhat normal. I was sleepy, exactly, but my brain felt something like sleepy, and my body was definitely tired. I had the wherewithal to take it all easy, but not to consider that I maybe should just go to bed or something.

I think I really wanted to be with people for a while. And whatever was wrong with me seemed utterly unlikely to be contagious. I’d even checked my temperature, and it was quite low. No elevation whatsoever. And I don’t feel that kind of sick, anyway. I just felt cloudy and a bit weak on endurance.

And I was. But I got through all that I’d determined to do for today’s workout, and I felt much improved by the end of it. Though, no longer having a specific, repetitive task in front of me, it was a struggle to walk to the car to get myself home. I stopped for bananas on the way, knowing I would want smoothies today and tomorrow, and feeling a call toward eating a banana, anyway.

I managed to make food and eat it, and drink some smoothie, and then shower and nap for a while before having to head to work. When I got in, I found that I couldn’t talk. Not quickly, anyway. If someone greeted me, I could only smile, and then wonder how speech worked, feeling mentally my throat and mouth. I set down my stuff, and acknowledged that maybe I couldn’t do this work today, despite my efforts to show up. My belly had begun aching again, but I wasn’t sure when. Every time I considered genuinely talking, my eyes started to burn.

I went a spoke to the supervisor. She reminded me what the store actually does, that they’ve been short workers before, and that it is significantly more important that I take care of my own health and well-being than suffer through helping there. They absolutely would make it without me, if I needed to go home. And the fact that I had shown up in the first place spoke volumes to my dedication. No, there were no negative repercussions for me, if I determined that I needed to go home right now. Think about it, she told me, and let her know. I had been crying from the moment I’d started telling her what had happened.

After a few minutes sitting there, chatting – well, sort of – with another coworker who had been in the room with us, I noticed that I was hunching forward. When I stood up, I could not stand up straight. The pain was too strong, and I was too weak.

I was going home.

Now, it is just after 6:30pm. I am lying uncomfortably in bed, that lower right spot gently twisting again. The aim is to sleep. The goal is to awaken healed tomorrow. We shall see what happens.

Post-a-day 2021

Just breathe

“I’m proud of you… everything that you do… Remember that.”

As far back as I can remember, it has been a bit difficult for me to be around very old people. If they are old and alone, that hurts me already, but , once they have reached a point that their bodies are beginning to fail them openly, it is as though a switch flips in my mind, and I suddenly struggle to breathe, to function, to focus.

My grandfather is at this point. Actually, he is much beyond it. As we talked today, I had to clear myself continuously in order to remain present with him. I have begun missing him more and more in recent years, as there has been less and less of him to see, with whom to speak and interact. I have seen him grow more and more frustrated with his own brain, his own body as a whole, as he has lost ability after ability… ones which he had is such intense abundance. Indeed, he was one of the smartest and most learned people I have ever known. And he didn’t even attend college. Nonetheless, he was the best resource we had growing up – even better than our teachers on most subjects, and more efficient and detailed in his answers than an encyclopedia. He was one of my greatest inspirations as a child and young adult, and I think so much of me longed to be most like he was. And he always made it so clear that we were loved by him. In almost very action, every phrase or look, every article or comic strip he saved for us or television program or clip he recorded for us, it was clear that he loved us.

He, every so often, would call me “Honah Lee” (from “Puff, the Magic Dragon”), and still does. He’s always played around with pronunciations of words, both of English nature and foreign (e.g. jalapeños with a hard j and firm n). So, it was an easy step to get to calling me Honah Lee. After I had learned German, and we had long since begun to use it with one another (college and onward for me), he called me one day, and said that he wanted to share what he’d figured out so far. He then sang to me “Puff, the Magin Dragon”… in German. He had done his best to translate the lyrics. I think I might actually have cried while he sang to me over the phone. There was just something about it, I was quite overwhelmed with the expression of pure delight and love in that act. Indeed, any time he used German, I always noticed how he sparked to life, as though becoming, just for a few moments or minutes, a young child, excited for the unexpected adventure that life could and would unfold. He hadn’t been allowed to use German in school as a boy – it was forbidden by the school. It was his language of home, fun, love, and self-expression. But he hadn’t used it much beyond his childhood. And, by the time I was born he had almost never used German at all; not until I had begun learning and using it with him. And so, every time we used German together, it was like I got to know him as a child, free from the many pressures and stresses that naturally arise from adulthood, from aging. I just got to be with him. And I reveled in that.

And I still do.

However, talking with him today, discussing how, though he is to turn 91 years old in a few months, he hopes yet is not sure he will make it there, it was somewhat terrifying how easy it was to be with him. He was 100% present as we spoke about that, though is isn’t always these days. He said that he has lived a wonderful life, that he is grateful, and that he is not afraid of dying (despite the fact, as he said, that people say not to say that). I merely nodded, and cried as I said that we very much would miss having him here with us. I held his hand for a bit, and we shared multiple kisses on the cheeks and I love yous and Hab’ dich lieb’s before I had to leave.

And then, just before I had to leave, he said to me, slowly and intentionally, looking me directly in the eyes, – something he has struggled to do lately – “I’m proud of you… everything that you do… Remember that.”

And I will.

And I would not be surprised if today was the last time the two of us see one another in his life. We might see one another again, but it is not very likely. He cannot seem to eat almost anything anymore, and his body is, frankly, falling apart and shutting down on him. A could be causing B, and B could be causing A, but both are contributing to the other, and the result is the same: he does not have much likelihood of living in his physical body on this Earth for much longer.

And it’s terrifying for me.

My paternal grandfather died when I was in middle school. It was expected and not. And it was difficult yet not. The same was true of my paternal grandmother. I was in college when she died, but I was still very much in the child mentality, much more so than the adult mentality. Now, I am very much more on the adult side of life than I am on the child side, and it is an entirely different kind of experience to have this happening now. I suppose that, since my maternal grandparents had survived my childhood, something in me had felt that they would be forever present in this life. They had made it to adulthood with me, so to speak, so they were here to stay.

But they aren’t. No one is, really. But they are more obviously likely not to be here for that much longer. A small part of me had felt disappointed in myself for not providing them with what feels like would have been some of the greatest gifts I could have given them. I do not have a stable career. I do not have a partner in life. I have no children. I don’t even have a pet. I know they do not need those things for me. But that is why they would be gifts.

However, when Opa said that to me today, that he is proud of me… of everything I do…, it reminded me of why those other things have always seemed to matter. They are most often expression of success in living one’s life fully. At least, they are mostly seen that way. But, when the ultimate goal is that we live life fully… that we be true to ourselves and fully self-expressed…, I cannot say that I have failed my grandparents or that I have let them down. Indeed, I have fulfilled every wish they could have for me in relation to success in my life. All the other stuff – the marriage, the children, the house, the career – are tiny details by comparison.

I do not say this lightly nor boastingly when I say that I am one of the most loving people I know. I do not do well with keeping people at the standard ‘comfortable distance’ in life. I do not chat about the weather easily. Either I do not know you at all, or I want to know you, embrace you fully. Like Ender Wiggin said, the moment I get to know you, I get to love you. And I love loving people. It is terribly difficult and stressful for me to ‘try to get to know someone’. Just be yourself with me, let go of whatever you are hiding, let me see you, be with you…. let me love you. That’s all I want from the people around me. And that’s how I want them to see me, too – see all of me now, so that you can love me for me. Let us not waste time on pleasantries and weather. Let us dive right in, and have an absolute blast together. Indeed, that is exactly why dating is so difficult for me, why I cannot seem to ‘figure out’ how to interact with this guy with whom I went on a date recently. I don’t do surface level. I do the real you, the real me. And when people avoid that, turn or step away from it, usually in fear, it is so hard for me… it only makes me want to come even closer, that I might love you even deeper. And though this might sound like I am socially awkward, I truly am not. I can be quite quiet in certain circumstances, but I probably am the only person at the party who will know everyone else by the end of it.

And I am grateful for that. So much of who I am is love. And I have no idea what comes next for me in life. (Like… genuinely, I have no idea… please, grasp that for a moment…) But I know exactly who I am stepping forward into that unknown. And I love her and I am grateful every moment for her and for all that she is and for all that she is not. And I learned today that, more than I ever saw, my Opa feels the same way about her. He knows I’m not married, not settled in any way, not career-stable or financially stable. But he knows that I am stable, and that I am ready for whatever is through that next threshold as I step forward into it. And he is proud of that, and all that it involves. He is proud of me, of who I am, of all that he knows I will create out of who I am in this life, even though he will not be here in person to see most of it with me.

I pray only that his love, his support, his guidance help me to move forward confidently and comfortably throughout the rest of my life. I am grateful for him always. And I love him dearly, deeply, truly. Thank you, God, for allowing us the opportunity to spend so much wonderful time together in this life.

In the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. Danke, Gott.

Post-a-day 2021

P.S. Frohe Ostern, folks!! Happy Easter, allen!! (Not to deny the weight of all of that ^, but it was because of Easter that I was able to spend the time with my Opa today at all. And I am grateful for that. And the Easter Egg Hunt in which I got to partake. Today really was a great day, filled with silliness and love and fun. But it also was very real one, in which, I believe, God was helping me to prepare for part of what comes next.)

Body Image

I intentionally look at myself in the mirror, nude – or almost entirely – every single day.  I look and I see all that there is to my body.  I fill myself with the experience of all that my body is, standing before that mirror.  And I love myself.  Through and through, from the tiniest hair to the German skin to the inherited bowels that are all too sensitive – I love my body for all that it is and for all that it is not.  This is my vessel, my space, my temple, my power, my source in this life.  And I am ever grateful for and in love with it.

That does not mean that I do not want to improve upon it.  One can love something and still want better for it.  Indeed, I believe part of loving something means always wanting better for it.  Such is the case with my body.  Every day, as I see the improvements from only a week ago or days ago, I am grateful that I have blessed it with such love… such love as it takes to get out of bed when I want to snuggle in deeper to the cozy covers, to get myself ready for bed early enough to have enough sleep, to choose these foods over those, to deny the casual pressure of those who do not have the same intentions with their food and drink and schedule, not to take the easy route, and just to accept the current and temporary convenience of eating this standard meal that I find before me, possibly even for free.

They mean no harm to me, I am sure, but such a meal is not free for me.  It has its costs.  Yes, it is utterly convenient, and significantly less socially odd and, sometimes, less embarrassing.  But, it is not blessing my body when I consume it.  Often, it causes my body actual pain, in some small way or other.  And, occasionally, it causes pain in some not-so-small ways… things I never noticed until I began to pay close attention.  I always thought eating meant one would feel ever so slightly ill afterward.  But that is only with certain foods, with the ones that do not serve my body, that I feel that way.  I have learned.

My food is my medicine – I take no other – and it is my daily blessing that gives me the energy for tomorrow.  It gives me my strength to exercise at 5:15 most mornings, as though it were a normal hour of the day.  It gives me the nutrition I need for my deep slumbers at night to restore and improve my strength and energy.

And it is not always easy.  Indeed, it often is difficult to manage getting myself the food I need, whenever I am doing things away from home, with others or alone.  Even at home, it takes effort.  And yet, after all this time, the effort seems like almost nothing.  Why?  Because it is so incredibly worth it.  I don’t even have to think about giving myself the right foods to serve me best, let alone thinking twice about it.  All because I love and want to take loving care of my body.

My body is merely the starting place.  If I am comfortable in my body, and it is ready and able for anything, then my spirit, too, with my body’s support, can take on whatever comes my way, and with a ready heart.  So, as I gaze at myself in the mirror each day, easily noticing the room for improvement, I also marvel at the beauty of all that I am, of all that I have become, and of all that I see I can become… all because I love myself for exactly who and how I am. I once was afraid to see myself naked – I couldn’t stand it.  Now, I look forward to that time of intimacy and being attuned to and connected in all ways with my physical self.  It is one of the most beloved times of my day, and it fills me always with love, joy, and gratitude for this life and for this current step within it.

Post-a-day 2021

Progress

I did another set of progress photos today to coincide with the body electrode measuring scan I did this evening. On January 11th, I began a good rehab and fitness challenge with my gym. I had an electrode scan that week, too. The challenge ended after three weeks, and included required progress photos.

At that three-week mark, I was not delighted with my photos; not in the least. I barely even saw a difference in the photos, despite the fact that I had verified differences in how my clothes fit and how certain parts of my body felt and looked firsthand. A friend of mine reminded me that women tend to take longer for things to change visually, like in a photo, when compared to men. (Ah, yes, I recall the men’s photos from the start of at-home workouts for COVID-19, and the month-in photos… super unfair.)

Anyway, so I determined to keep at it for st least another two sets of three weeks, and see what could happen then. Today, I am at that nine-week completion mark. I did photos every three weeks, and compared them to one another. By the sixth week, I definitely noticed a difference from the start of the photos, and it was even more so noticeable today. (Keep in mind that I was already rather active before the challenge, though not in near as great shape as I had been pre-COVID-19. So, I wasn’t starting from sedentary or from eating total crap, but I definitely was not as active as pre-COVID-19 [or now] and was rainy a lot of stuff that wasn’t good for me in various ways.)

Put in the right workout outfit, I look amazing right now, even to my own eyes. I watched this little clip someone took of me last week over and over and over again, it was difficult for me to grasp that I actually looked so good as I did. And it was awesome.

Today, in my old shorts (that I now have to roll twice to keep from falling off of me) and new bra, as in all the photos (though I grabbed the wrong green ones by mistake, it might have been a good thing in the long run), I did the fourth set of photos and was grateful. Though everything was out in the open, I can truly see an awesome improvement from January. From the electrode dats tonight, I have numbers to back it up.

My weight went down a pound. My muscle weight – the number of pounds of muscle in my body – went from 46.5lbs to almost 51lbs, increasing three pounds. (That means that I released roughly four pounds of fat.) And my body fat percentage went from 18.5% to 17.5%, down a whole percentage point. Several other things improved, too, but I do not remember their particular numbers.

All of that was in nine weeks. Sounds pretty cool to me, but it also feels Really cool and Really good, and I am extremely grateful for the progress and my ability to make it.

I’m conclusion, wow. Here are some photos, in case you care to compare them.

Post-a-day 2021

^Had I think about it still

Food for Thought… or naught(y)

I have just had another few sips/gulps from my freshly-made berry-veggie smoothie.  It is delicious.  But it is not fulfilling what my body needs, somehow – it is not entirely what I want.  It has helped, but it is not sufficient.

As I walk into the pantry, I sigh and ask aloud, “What do I want?… Ugh… I want….” My arms have moved outward and curved downward as the end to the last sentence.  In my peripheral vision, I see that my hands are cupping gently and loosely the area just in front of my pelvis, in front of my uterus and groin.  I say, without having thought about it, “I want warm sex?” and then give a soft snort-sigh at the absurdity of my statement.  I am here for food.  That isn’t food.

Hmm…

Is it?

I consider this a few moments, and then jump further into the absurd: What food is warm, satisfying sex?, I ask myself in my head, as though there were a cookbook somewhere with this information listed, and I am aiming to recall what foods are on the list, like proteins or vitamin-B-rich foods.

To my astonishment, after a few moments, I say, “A soupy broth, poured over a pile…bowl of deeply spiced, veggie-filled, hot quinoa.  Hot.”

Yeah, my thoughts tell me, that’s it.

And I think they must be right.  After all, they are the ones who came up with the concept in the first place.

I guess I’m having hot sex… for dinner tonight…?

(If that isn’t roflcopter, I’m not sure what is.)

Post-a-day 2021

^So fantastically easy, I almost forgot even to comment on it or notice!

Monkey business

Have you ever had the experience of biting into the perfect banana? Where it is everything your mouth and brain wanted, as well as everything you hadn’t even realized your body needed in that moment?

I had that tonight. I hadn’t even intended to eat one of the 18 bananas I had just bought. They were just for smoothies.

You see, traditionally, I buy a whole bunch or two worth of bananas (that’s literally) at once, peel them, halve them, and freeze them as part of smoothie preps. That way, I don’t have to peel one every time, I don’t have to use ice, and I don’t have to worry about managing banana peels in Houston (they just go out all at once).

Anyway, so I was doing that: getting bananas for smoothies. But I didn’t quite have enough. I only had 18, and it usually takes about 20-22 to fill the container I use in the freezer. So, I was contemplating just using them from the counter, instead of freezing any of them. I’m making enough smoothies right now, I think, to get through them all quickly enough. Especially if I eat the occasional one on its own, too. And these weren’t exceptionally ripe yet, not to where they needed to be frozen to keep their taste quality already. They had time.

And then, as I set the bunches of bananas in the backseat of the car, a perfectly ripened banana sounded and looked perfect. And I found myself pulling one off, then sitting down in my seat and peeling it and taking a bite out of it right then and there, sitting in the parking lot. And I don’t exactly eat in the car. Yet, here I was, eating a banana in the car.

And I didn’t even care.

The banana was that good.

Golly, it was amazing.

I even moaned a sort of delight, I think, the banana was so good.

So, yeah… that happened. 😛

Post-a-day 2021

^I thought about it just before getting to the line to type it this time, and I figured out the correct year before writing it out. Baby steps!

An unexpected day of… casual chaos?

Okay, so the song-writing got held off until tomorrow. That’s okay. I had a lovely day nonetheless, filled with all sorts of oddities that turned out to be just fine in the end.

My lunch with my dad got all messed up, and we didn’t go to any of the places we were considering, and it wasn’t just the two of us. We didn’t talk about almost any of what we would have discussed as just the two of us. I didn’t get the amazing seasonal meal I had been anticipating. And we still enjoyed having lunch together and talking on he phone a bit afterward, and I enjoyed my dish, despite its having not been strictly with my diet (diet as in ‘regime,’ not as in ‘on a diet’). It was brisket and barbecue sauce with fresh purple cabbage on a baked sweet potato. Baller, though the sauce was a bit too sweet for my taste. That would be the sugar.

Then I was supposed to pick up something from my mom. She got distracted on her way in to work, and so wasn’t there. I waited around half an hour, but had no word in response from her, so continued on to Costco to buy groceries. (Yes, I get my fruits and veggies from Costco usually, because I go through them so quickly, preparing most of my food and beverage at home all the time. Today, I was mostly getting frozen fruits and fresh greens to use for smoothies. Yumm!) Turns out that my mom actually forgot her phone at home today, but she called me when she had arrived at the office, in order to let me know that I could come meet her now.

In my morning research today, I had found that Walmart would print passport photos, if we submit them online. Through doing my morning research, I didn’t put together my new shelving unit from Ikea, as had been the plan. But I had found a much more affordable way to get my passport photos than by going to CVS or Walgreens, and was grateful for that.

I was going to have my friend photo me when she came for the songwriting, and then was going to have my dad do it instead at lunch. Then that fell through, and I figured my mom could do it when we met up (because my friend had canceled at this point). But that was not too likely, since I couldn’t reach my mom at all now.

What to do? What to do?

When entering Costco, I glanced to the photo department – I had been surprised that they didn’t have passport photos as an option online during my research, so wanted to verify casually – and saw a massive sign reading, “Passport Photos”. I did an about-face, walked up to the photo counter and asked if they did passport photos (because doing them is different from just printing them, mind you). She said, “Yeah! I’ll just meet you down at the end past the last counter. There’s a white screen there.”

Okay, great! Thanks!

I ditched my jacket, used a mirror, fixed my hair and scarf – which was surprisingly little effort, actually – and posed happily for a photo. And then another, because I didn’t love it.

The second photo I accepted, acknowledging that it did look as I look – it was true to me as a representation – and then went about my fruit and veggie shopping before picking up the four photos for less than even the Walmart price had been(!!!), and then heading back to the office to meet my mom (she had called me at this point).

I had a lovely visit on top of the little parking area with her, then headed home to find the same old lady with the same old little dog crapping in the yard as was crapping in the yard when I had left earlier for lunch.

I unpacked, organized the freezer stuff, finished a pumpkin pie smoothie from yesterday (It was heavy and intense, like drinking pie, really.), did a double handful of deadlifts as I passed the barbell, did a load of laundry, tutored out of nowhere, worked on and shared photos I recently did, made another smoothie, listened to Matthew McConaughey read more of his book, showered, and then put together the shelving unit.

Now, I am about to pass out with exhaustion in my eyes and back and neck, ready to get up early for the workout class. I even reached out to my workout buddy friend this morning to verify that he’d be st class in the morning. I can’t get up and attend a 5:15am class without him, now! 😛

So, the day went nothing as anticipated, but I still accomplished almost everything that I had intended, plus much more. By doing the shelving unit, I ended up with a good surface space to do my kakizome tomorrow. So, though I didn’t do the kakizome today, I not have a better space and more of the right kind of paper for practice (it was between the shelves in the box!)!

Before I further my rambling, I bid you all a lovely, rest-filled night!

Post-a-day 2021

^I almost got it wrong, but I caught myself just before typing it out!

Morning life

My cousin is pregnant. Her body wakes her up at approximately 5:34 every morning these days. After my workout this morning (5:15 class), I sent her a message to see if she was up and about. “Indeed,” she replied. So, I called her.

It was a bit weird to grasp, when I considered it all after the fact. Another person and I were chatting lively on the phone about various things, almost as though it were a lunchtime visit. Yet, it was completely dark outside.

After I arrived back home and went inside, I cooked some warm food for breakfast – same as yesterday, but possibly more delicious this time! – and chowed down while I sat next to the gas heater on the floor, still chatting with my cousin. (She was having a nutty cereal for her breakfast, but didn’t know the name… just that it was nutty.)

And none of it felt weird to me. In fact, it all felt really great. When we got off the phone after an hour, at about 7:40, I was washing my dishes and cleaning up after eating my breakfast. I went upstairs, used the bathroom and showered, tutored for almost two hours, then relaxed on my bed for a while. And it all felt completely good. It felt like this was real life as I want it, although I haven’t been living it much lately.

I usually get up around 9:00 to an alarm, unrested (because I actually wake up around 4:30-5:00, and struggle to fall back asleep fully before I have to get up for the day). I start eating somewhere between ten and one pm, and finish any eating by approximately eight hours later (6:00pm-9:00pm).

On the schedule these past two days, however, I’m finishing eating by three and four pm. I’m taking a nap mid-late morning, and feeling very alive for work in the afternoon and evening, despite not eating anymore while there. I go to bed tired – well, exhausted, really – and in a very good way. My body hurts in all the right ways (from the exercise). And I’m eating really quite well. Even the few cookies I ate seem like nothing compared to all the super-healthy stuff I’ve had otherwise. And my body doesn’t even seem to notice that I’ve had them either, it all ha balanced so well.

Basically, once again, I am contemplating a shift in my life to earlier in the day. Period. We shall see what happens next…

Post-a-day 2020