under pressure

I’m feeling a whole lot of ^ right now. The whole plague thing is wearing on me. My skin splitting is wearing on me. Trying to fit in my exercise time is wearing on me. Not being able to knit or crochet or really do anything creative is wearing on me. Work is crazy busy and that’s wearing on me. The dog really likes to bark and that’s wearing on me.

Basically, I’m just fucking grumpy today.

But this too shall pass, and I know that. Yesterday was challenging because my hips were too sore to get on the treadmill, my day was full of meetings so everything was kind of “off,” and I just plain didn’t feel that great. Blech.

The best thing about having a challenging day is that you can go to bed and wake up the next morning to a brand new day and a chance for a new beginning

I spent some time talking to Lancelot this morning and that helped a ton. I’ve decided that I need to shake some things up a bit. I’m going to aim for 6 days a week / 30 minutes a day of exercise; half will be treadmill and the other half will be things like cardio/calisthenics that can be done in the living room. He installed some fitness apps on the Firestick thingy for me the other day, now I just need to convince Dog Blossom that she does not need to help.

I’m not entirely sure what to do about my skin, and that might be the single most frustrating thing. My skin is always dry and I know that doesn’t help, neither does the cold winter air. Constant washing is part of the problem, but it’s also incredibly necessary. So right now I have four bandaids on three different fingers, and that makes doing many things difficult.

For example, since the fingers in question are my thumb, index, and middle fingers on my dominant hand it requires an act of Congress to do fuck near anything on my phone. It also makes knitting or crocheting out of the question. Forget trying to open bottles. Fortunately I’ve found good bandaids that are waterproof and actually shaped to fit over finger tips so I can put them on (with a little Neosporin) in the morning and they stay on all day. But this is a pain in my ass.

It’s hard to stay grumpy when there’s a cute tiny kitty sleeping in his chair

To get myself out of this funky little mood, here are some things that are going well right now…

Thanks to a tip from a fellow Noomer I’m meeting and exceeding my water goal for the day. Plain water bubbled with the Soda Stream with some chunks of citrus is actually tasty.

Banana Oatmeal “muffins” that Lancelot and I baked over the weekend. Just oatmeal, bananas, and vanilla extra are all that’s needed. (I put in a few blueberries this time but they aren’t crucial) So good.

I have been walking consistently and I’m really proud of that. Yesterday was a tiny speed bump, not a dead end.

Prepping snack bowls on Sunday means I don’t have to fuck with it during the week!

I might not be ready to make all of the changes I know need to be made, but I am starting to identify them and by doing that, I can start to make a plan. Few things make me happier than a good plan. Well, except this…

changes and differences and fun stuff with markers

Chicken noodle soup – oh yeah

Some days I find myself cooking more and some days I find myself making a ham and havarti grilled sandwich on whole wheat bread. It’s called The New Balance and I really kind of like it.

Part of what I’ve been doing is figure out how to use the pantry and freezer bits that I already have on hand given that I’m trying to eat healthier. Tricky? Indeed. Impossible? Not at all.

The chicken noodle soup, one of my favorites this time of year, came together with only things I had on hand. I had the chicken in the freezer (rotisserie chicken I had picked up at Costco), the stock was in the pantry, and the veggies were in the fridge. I spent time one evening getting everything started, stuck the pot in the fridge, and then last night brought everything to a boil and tossed in the noodles. Twenty minutes later I had dinner.

I ask myself this on a regular basis

I’ve also been doing my typical “hunt for interesting recipes that I know use the stuff I have” thing and I’m finding some really great ideas. Part of it is being willing to try new things, like really exploring different cuisines like Thai and Indian food as well as vegetarian dishes.

Anyway, I’m having some fun with this and that means I’m still sticking with it. I’ll try to remember to do my official check in tomorrow, but I know I’ve been doing better with this. I’m getting to where I really look forward to doing a 30 minute walk, and I think part of that is because I’ve switched from doing it very early in the morning to doing it after work before I have dinner. The physical activity helps me unwind from my work day.

I have a chin!

I really don’t feel like I look much different yet, but there’s the chin. I did go get my hair trimmed a tiny bit this morning, mostly to keep me from shaving my own head while I’m trying to let my hair grow out. So far so good. It is funny (I think) but the back at the base of my neck is starting to curl up. I’m kind of excited to see how long it gets this time.

The longer I’m on this whole “getting healthier” journey the more things I think of that scare me and make me want to just quit and go back to my old habits. But then I remember Carrie. ❤

10

This morning’s selfie

I’m not getting a pic taken quite every day, but more often than not I do. My hair is getting long enough on top that it will happily curl if I don’t tame it with the blow dryer. And I have officially lost 10lbs.

That might not seem like much, I mean I have been at this since January 2nd, but it feels like a whole lot and it feels healthy. I have had days were I gained back a little but then I lost it again, with an overall downward trend. I’ve never lost more than 2lbs in a single day. All of this combined with not feeling deprived makes me one very happy camper.

And Lancelot really is in this with me. Yesterday he helped me prep fruit salad bowls for both of us and he has happily agreed to eat whatever I cook for him. And he helped me figure out a menu for the week that’s going to be easy and healthy. That makes life a hell of a lot easier.

A very lovely dinner last night consisting of penne made from red lentils, garlic, onion, bacon, wilted fresh spinach, and canned diced tomatoes

I’m still fighting with the skin issue, and that makes getting enough activity a big problem. Fortunately that is finally subsiding so I was able to get a short walk in yesterday, just 15 minutes, but it felt good. I’m going to try to do that again today. I’ve also decided that water would probably be good for me. Shocking, right? But I don’t like water, not at all. I do, however, like water that has had fresh lemon in it. So…

Meet Llulu the Llemony Llama. I had purchased this bottle quite some time ago and decided that it just wasn’t my thing. But I had paid way too much to just ditch it. Now that I work at home and can refill this as often as necessary I’m thinking it will work perfectly for my water. And I’m even going to try to remember to track how much I drink with this thing. That’s a 1L bottle (little more than 16oz) so I would need to drink four of those to hit my “daily water recommendation.” The volume is no problem, it’s the taste. We shall see.

In other exciting news we are in the middle of yet another nasty winter storm. We’re in for 10″ of snow and nasty winds. Travel is not advised. Snow day for pretty much everyone in the area.

Garth will be staying in bed sleeping all day. Like every day.

before you throw out the bath water consider the continuing usefulness of that baby

I’ve been thinking a lot here recently about changes. Why am I wanting to make changes? What changes do I really want to make? Why now?

Part of what I realized is that some of the changes I want to make now are ones that I’ve tried to make before, but wasn’t successful. Why? Is that important to know?

HELL YES!

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result each time. I’m done being insane.

me! chubby me!

This is my official “before” picture. Yes, I want to be healthier. I want to be able to ditch some of the meds I take because I want my body to be in better physical condition. But let’s face it, I’m doing this in part because I want to look better.

So why do I think things might be different this time? Because of Lancelot. He supports this decision to make a change, he’s doing parts of this with me, and when I get frustrated he asks what he can do to help.

That right there is love.

I realized this morning that I’m starting to feel overwhelmed. Let’s be honest, this is a whole lot of change and it’s happening kinda quickly. Plus there’s that whole changing of the guard thing going on in D.C., I’m still fighting some kind of sinus crud, the skin issues continue to be an issue, and I am seriously thinking about chocolate right now. That’s an awful lot.

I’m not sure if my need for routines is something tied to my mental illness or some personality trait or what, but I live and die by routines and that is the flat out truth. Change brings about the need for new routines, which is wonderful. But just like it takes some time for new habits to form, it takes some time to work out new routines. And right now I’m trying to do both.

Part of what I need to do, as I see it anyway, is to start by prioritizing. I’m learning about (relearning a lot actually) a ton of things that will all help on my journey to “healthy.” But if I try to take on too many of these little changes at once they’re going to overwhelm me.

You can drown in a thimble-full of water just as easily as in a swimming pool.

I have started to make some changes that are sticking. I’m wearing my Fitbit every day and aiming to get at least my minimum step goal set by Noom. I’m trying to get on the treadmill for 30 minutes every day, but some days that just won’t happen. So I will at least hit that minimum. I’ve decided I really want to get up to busting 10k every day. But not today.

Activity is starting to change; good. I just need to figure out what the routines are that go with my activity to make it easier to maintain those good habits. Now onto food.

Part of what I do every day is log my meals and snacks, and my drinks if they have calories. Y’all know how I feel about my iced coffee and I was Not Willing to give that up, and I haven’t. Now when I make it I measure everything and my milk is unsweetened coconut milk. It’s actually quite tasty.

I will honestly tell you that I’m not feeling deprived with this new way of eating, though it too is a little frustrating. It isn’t second nature to me and so I keep feeling like my “meals” are really just these odd collections of ingredients that never quite made it into a dinner. Does that even make sense?

For example, I have found myself eating pickles, roast beef lunch meat, a hard boiled egg, and an apple – as a meal. It’s fine, those are all foods I enjoy, but… Yeah, it’s weird. I’m getting there though. Breakfast has been the easiest because I typically have my coffee, a fruit smoothie, and overnight oats. That “feels” like breakfast and the stuff goes together. One meal down at least.

At any rate, there ya go. I’m going to work on activity and just getting the hang of this food stuff first. There’s lots of other stops to make on this journey but those two seem like they belong together, and like they’re going to form the foundation of my success.

i’m late!

I meant to post on Friday but then we had a snow day (that I worked half of) and I wasn’t feeling well and I could maybe come up with a thousand excuses. But I didn’t post. But I’ve been making progress.

Since starting this adventure I have lost 8lbs. I’ve managed to do two days on the treadmill where I did 30 minutes. I’m starting to feel better. My big thing now is figuring out this whole meal planning stuff.

Treat for sticking with things even when I felt like utter crap. Sometimes all you need is a cheap and cheerful bouquet from Target to keep you going.

The one thing I haven’t really been able to do – at all – is knit. My skin has finally gotten to the point where it cracks and bleeds if I look at it cross-eyed. As I type this I have bandaids on both thumbs, and I should maybe have two more on just one middle finger. It’s pretty damn awful.

Garth is sharing his grooming tips with everyone these days, including Lancelot

progress is sometimes slow

I’m 44 years old and I’ve been looking for this bobblehead for ages. While I’m trying very hard not to let my office be overrun with Baby Yoda stuff, there are some things I just NEED.

This has been a WEEK. And yes, I know that today is only Wednesday. But our semester started on Monday and it’s been ridiculously busy so far.

It doesn’t help that I’m feeling rather like something you’d scrape off the bottom of your shoe. I’m not one for naps, I have a hard enough time sleeping at night, but yesterday after finishing my one and only meeting I got into bed and slept for three hours. I just felt wiped out and I couldn’t get warm.

Before you get too worried let me say that I am pretty well positive that this is NOT The Rona. I think I just have a wicked head cold, maybe a mild case of the flu. I’m achey, cold, only a little congested, and tired. Very tired.

So I’m resting, I’m kind of ignoring the diet right now, and being as gentle with myself as possible. And it seems to be helping. Today I’m starting to feel better. I’m fairly sure I’m doing the right things because in spite of eating with not-quite-reckless abandon yesterday I lost 1.5lbs. I’ll take it. Today I splurged on a bagel with cream cheese for breakfast. I need to feel better before I stress myself out over this.

I haven’t even been knitting the last few days, and that was the first sign that I wasn’t feeling good. This morning I had to take Lancelot for a quick blood draw and I took the shawl I’m working on with. It felt good to knit.

So I’m here, alive, still trying to fight the good fight. Mostly fighting with the dog, actually. It’s been warm enough here that the back yard is muddy and yesterday she came in covered in it. So me, not feeling good, had to wrap her in a towel, carry her up the stairs, get clean towels from the linen closet, and give her a shower – all while making sure L stayed asleep.

And yes, I pulled it off.

week one check in

I’m going to try to post every Friday with an update of how the week has gone, primarily as a way to keep myself accountable on progress with my goals.

Current weight: 261.5lbs (down 5lbs since 1/2/21)

Steps walked: 14, 197 (over 5 days)

Right now that’s what I’ve got. I am eating better and starting to feel better. And I guess I am doing some with the vegetarian thing; I’ve had a few salads this week and last night my dinner was an acorn squash. Tomorrow night is date night and I’ve already put in our order at our favorite Indian restaurant and I’m getting a vegetarian dish.

I haven’t had a ton of time for knitting, but I pick up my needles as often as I can. Tomorrow morning Lancelot and I are going for massages so I’ll be taking a project with me then.

There hasn’t been a ton of other excitement around here. I have decided to take a selfie every day since I’m growing my hair out, just seems like a fun thing to do.

I knit the shawl ages ago, the dragonfly cuff thing is from JUL Designs

you take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have a really interesting collection of veggies

Eric is here to judge you, and me, and really everyone

Life has been interesting lately, hasn’t it? My personal life has been fairly quiet, though very busy with work. I put in 10+ hours over the winter break and last night I was still in my office working at 8pm. I’m not fond of times like this but it’s not a constant so I just sort of deal with it. I have started a new shawl, only because I needed something to keep myself occupied with in a waiting room, and it’s a non-pattern sort of thing with a ball of yarn that I honestly don’t know why I purchased but am finding myself loving.

And then I did a thing. A purely for myself kind of thing. I started Noom. And so far I have lost 4lbs in less than a week. I love it.

What I don’t love is the bullshit that happened in the US capital yesterday. It was cowardly and that jackass president just kept pouring gasoline on a grease fire. Those people were not protestors they were domestic terrorists and they should be dealt with appropriately. And the same for Cheeto Mussolini. That kind of behavior shouldn’t be tolerated, let alone spurred on by the leader of a country.

I don’t talk politics much because I don’t feel qualified to do so. I have my opinions, you have yours, and as long as we can agree to treat one another respectfully then I don’t too much care if your opinion is vastly different. But this shit? Oh hell no. The last thing I’ll say about this is that I am very eagerly awaiting Joe Biden taking over and having the opportunity to set some things right again.

Tell me when it’s over, I can’t look anymore…

2020 24 hours to go

Ok, so it’s less than that now, but if you don’t get that reference, you should maybe move on to someone else’s blog. Just sayin…

I am not even that excited right now

I’ve been keeping busy, which is fairly typical around here. Although this morning Lancelot dropped some good news on me. He works tonight, New Year’s Eve, but isn’t working overtime this week so he’s off tomorrow and Saturday, so we get a truly normal weekend. That is something to YAY about.

That was not at all exciting

On Tuesday we got 8″ of snow. Fortunately it wasn’t too shitty when I had to go get L from work and it stopped in time for him to get to work that night just fine. Now it’s just mostly a mess, but not a hard to drive in mess. I expect snow during the winter, this is the Midwest, but it doesn’t mean I have to love it.

Dog Blossom LOVES snow

I do feel very fortunate that our laundry room is in the same basic area as the back door the dog goes out to get into the back yard. When she heads out I put “her” towels in the dryer to get them nice and warm so that getting her dried off when she comes in a little bit easier. Yes, she is spoiled.

Those are two of the shawls I knit earlier this year. I hate blocking.

I still need to weave in the ends, but that’s the last of the stuff that needed to be blocked. I consider that to be a victory. We won’t talk about all of the half-finished projects still on the needles that need some love. But we will talk about how awesome L is – he helped me take an inventory of my needles this morning. Such a good boy.

Sometimes these two can be good, but not usually

This is probably the point at which I should make some kind of profound statement about how I’m going to focus on being a better human next year, as if I’m not a good human right now. But that’s not my style. I’m more of a goal setting type human. So here goes…

  • I will finish all of the fiber projects that are currently in progress
  • I will continue to work on my health issues by being more mindful of what I eat and drink
  • I will work to incorporate more physical activity into my routine by using the treadmill, ultimately getting to 30min/day, 5x/week
  • I will learn a new creative skill (I have kits here already for quilling and chain maille)
  • I will learn at least one new Indian recipe
  • I will continue to explore vegetarian dishes and strive to include a meatless dinner at least 1x/week

sharing the love, or maybe these are sand fleas, who knows

One of my all time favorite ways to “curse” someone is to say

may your crotch be infested by the fleas of a thousand camels and your arms be too short to scratch

but this year that just doesn’t seem like enough, ya know?

Lancelot did get to have Christmas Eve off, but then went in to work on Christmas Day (because of overtime) and then Saturday was his day off, but he had slept a good portion of the day and was awake most of last night, and so then today was like a regular Sunday. And if you’re kind of exhausted trying to keep up with that just imagine how I feel.

At any rate, we were able to spend a little time together and it wasn’t too bad. Any time I get to spend with my guy isn’t bad. But ya know what is bad? The new Wonder Woman movie. Seriously, not worth it.

So I’ve been doing some cooking, I’ve cleaned out some cupboards, straightened the pantry, made a run to Target (it’s going to snow this week and I didn’t plan for that, or get enough milk when we went last weekend), blocked two shawls and a scarf and wove in the ends on those, setup another shawl to block, and have done what feels like a metric ton of laundry.

I have also spent a LOT of time being a puppy’s pillow

L and I have been really quite careful about our plague protocols. I wear a mask any time I’m going to come in contact with anyone who is not L, including my mother. I firmly believe that wearing a mask is good for me and it’s good for anyone I’m around. It’s a respect thing if absolutely nothing else. I have been cleared by the doc to get the COVID vaccine as soon as they’re available to the general public and I have every intention of getting it, but that won’t happen for awhile and the mask and keeping my hands washed should stack the deck in my favor for living long enough to get that precious vaccine.

My grandmother is in her late 80s and lives in a nursing home because she’s got issues with dementia.

She was scheduled to get her vaccine next week.

She tested positive. On Christmas Eve.

So please, don’t do it for me, but do it for your grandma. Or someone’s grandma. Anyone’s grandma.

Whoever you do it for, will you please just wear a fucking mask?