i love you spoon

I’ve decided I’m just going to give up on forks for awhile. Spoons are where it’s at.

I do have a bit more energy now that I’ve stopped the blood pressure thing. Honestly, if I could remember how to spell it I’d tell you what it is. Anyway, I was able to get two loads of laundry done last night after work and that was after going and getting my hair cut and colored. So I’m feeling better about being able to function.

Functioning is good, particularly this weekend. My dearest Lancelot has a birthday on Monday so I’m planning to spoil him rotten this weekend. Some home cooked meals, a movie, a concert, and a dinner out are all on the lineup so far. I started the shenanigans yesterday with a silly little stuffed monkey. Today he got a little package of chocolates. I love spoiling that man.

Tomorrow is dermatologist day. Not sure what to think about this. I’ve been taking Humira for ages now and it doesn’t seem to be helping much anymore. I take two pills on top of that and I’m not seeing much come from them either. I had the same nonsense on my legs and they removed it with surgery but with where it’s at now that just isn’t an option.

Having chronic nonsense is frustrating. The mental health stuff, the skin stuff, the weirdo stomach issues that act up sometimes… It’s just more than I want to deal with, ya know?

Thank you Cowboy Sam Elliot, I think I will.

so there I was, up to my false eyelashes in chicken feathers and ginger ale bottles

It’s been hot here lately. HOT. Sadly that means my energy levels are super low. I’m having one hell of a time getting motivated to start walking again, even inside on the treadmill with both fans going. And I know I need to get some activity in.

But…

Somehow, and I’m really not sure how, I’ve lost 2 1/2lbs since last Friday. And this baffles me because Lancelot and I didn’t exactly eat super healthy food over the weekend. We mostly ate crap to be honest.

Anyway, I’m excited, super excited, and I’m hoping this helps jump start my walking and activity. So YAY!

In other news, I finally got my new glasses.

They almost perfectly match my hair, they have tons of bling, and the clip on sunglasses are amazing.

With the exception of the weather this week is shaping up well. It’s a short week for me, only three days, and then I have a delightful five day weekend. And then the following week is only four days and then I’m off work until July 22nd. We aren’t going anywhere exotic this time, just taking time off work to relax and enjoy each other’s company. I can’t wait.

things i’ve been learning

  • eating a bowl of ice cream isn’t going to make the world end
  • “traditional” meal prep isn’t necessarily right for me – I get bored too easily
  • variety is crucial; this includes a little junk every now and then
  • my mental health is every bit as important as my physical health; I can’t neglect one in favor of the other
  • this is a process
  • Lancelot thinks I’m beautiful no matter what
  • I lost 1lb since Monday even with eating the ice cream last night

The lighting in my office is horrid. But yes, I’m wearing tie-dye. This is a high-low skirt and kimono style vest over a white tank. I got the combo at the art festival a few weeks ago. I made the jewelry. I think this may be my new favorite outfit.

Mom and I are trying to eat healthy dinners together and I’m trying to have healthy lunches but I really have realized that having the exact same lunch every day is not for me. There will be similar pieces, such as fresh clementines and hard boiled eggs, but I’m going to try for something a little different. If I have a salad I’ll try to put different things on it, you know, stuff like that.

I know for damn sure that if I get bored with the food I’ll drop this damn “healthy eating” thing like a hot rock.

Yes, it’s a pain in the ass to make a lunch every night, but the pay off will be worth it.

One down, 99 to go…

starting small

Stress is a trigger for a lot of people when it comes to unhealthy eating habits. Through many years of therapy I’ve mostly gotten away from binge eating when stressed, though not entirely. I’m working on it.

I’m not following a “diet” right now because, quite frankly, I don’t believe in them. I didn’t gain this weight overnight, I’m not going to lose it overnight. What I need to do is learn, and PRACTICE, healthier eating habits that will stick with me for life.

So much easier said than done.

There are a few things I’ve been trying to do for some time now that I hope will help:

  • avoiding drinks that have sugar added
  • drink only 100% fruit juice and that’s usually just what I need for a smoothie
  • I keep healthy snacks in my cupboard at work so I’m seldom tempted to go get junk food
  • the snacks I keep at work are usually of the “100 calorie” or single serving variety
  • eat small bits throughout the day, loaded with protein typically, so that I don’t ever get super hungry

I also know that taking care of my mental health is crucial right now. I should have walked this morning but I was up for it. Instead I spent time taking care of some tasks I’d been putting off around the house. I feel better for having done that.

The key for me is to just keep trying, keep moving forward, keep making progress. It’s all about one step at a time.

the biggest goal ever

I currently weigh 269lbs. I am 5’6″ tall. Depending on who you ask I am considered Morbidly Obese even though I am constantly told, even by medical professionals, that I don’t look that heavy.

But I am. And I’ve decided that being that heavy is almost certainly the root of my discontent these days.

My body hurts, almost constantly. It just plain doesn’t feel right. And I get tired entirely too easily.

These aren’t part of a larger, more sinister, issue. This is me not having taken proper care of my body for far too long. I will own this issue because it’s mine to own.

So what’s my goal? I will lose 100lbs by June 24, 2020.

Before anyone panics, that would still have me at a healthy weight for my height. I am also doing this at the recommendation of my doctors. I have no intention of doing a crash diet, using laxatives or stimulants, starving myself, exercising to the point of excess, or anything that is otherwise not healthy. I plan to be more diligent about my food and drink choices and increase my activity, namely walking.

I can do this. I will do this. Lancelot and Mom are doing it with me, though I don’t think either of them plan to lose as much. We will support each other.

I’m telling you all about this because I need to be held accountable. And maybe you’re looking for someone to inspire you or make you feel better about your progress. Who knows.

I will share good recipes as I come across them, I promise you that. Sometimes that’s the hardest part.

Here we go… 100 or bust.

finally friday

The end of the week was, for a long time in my world, just the end of the week. I won’t say that it was awful, but it wasn’t amazing. Mom and I would usually spend all day Saturday running around – errands, shopping, whatever other trouble we could find – exhausting ourselves.  On Sunday we might do things around the house, or attempt to recover.

And then…

Lancelot.

How can you not love that smile? Seriously. And that’s little Riley the River Otter on his shoulder. Riley came home with me from the aquarium in the Dubai Mall. It’s not uncommon for L to include one of the “kids” in the pic when he sends me a selfie. He’s adorable and sweet and treats me with respect and I love him.

So now weekends are usually spent doing stuff together like cooking, eating out, going to movies, watching movies on the couch, and lately we’ve been going to the local farmer’s markets with Mom. Good times.

I wouldn’t say that my weekends are necessarily better, they’re different. I always had a good time with my mom, and I definitely have a good time with L. I do look forward to the weekend just a little more, mostly because, well, grown up things. Y’all know what I mean.

Last night I was able to get another necklace pendant put together. I’m planning to wear it next week with a new outfit. I’m still trying to put together new things to wear. I seriously think that part of my Case of the Blahs has to do with my “look.” I want to look like I feel and I’ve been feeling younger lately. I’ll just blame L for that.

At any rate, I’m still doing my best to get my “poo in a pile” as Dr. K would say. I’m trying to do better with the food and I’m making sure to make time for the activities I enjoy. Working my DBT skills like a good kid.

so there i was, wading through a pond full of blueberry jelly and whisky when suddenly…

Evidently what I needed was to get the ol’ creative juices flowing again. And, oddly enough, I’ve done some of that through cooking.

That was actually last week, but we’re counting it. Balsamic marinated chicken with a Balsamic Caprese salad. Super easy and amazingly delicious.

That was just a few nights ago. Salmon, zucchini noodles with caramelized

onions and cherry tomatoes, and quinoa. It was my first attempt at cooking quinoa and only my second time doing the zucchini noodles like that. Oh. My. GAWD.

I’m trying to eat better because I’ve really let that lapse here lately and I’m seriously thinking all of the junk I’ve been putting in my body is taking a toll. Mom is on the bandwagon with me, as is Lancelot. It helps when everyone is trying to get healthy.

And then there’s this…

Miz K and I finally got some pics we’d taken around campus framed and hung in our small consultation room. We’ve only been in this space almost a year, not like we were rushing anything. I took two and she took two. The frames were a donation from Dr. K so there really wasn’t any cost. And the color totally helps. We’ve picked out four more, ones that represent the seasons, that we’re going to hang up later this week.

But wait, there’s more…

That’s one of the shawls I’m working on. The pattern is called Stormy Sky and the yarn is a Knit Picks Stroll Tonal, I can’t remember the name of the color. It’s soft and beautiful and the pattern is super easy. You start with the one corner and work the stripes out from there. This is typically my early morning project.

But wait, one more…

I had ordered some gorgeous lampwork beads from an artist I adore. Last night I decided that I needed an instant gratification project. These two pendants are part of the result of that. I also put together some bits from a bead show L and I went to earlier this year. I’m thinking tonight I might make something else.

50 shades of “better”

There really isn’t such a thing as “better” when discussing mental illness unless you’re talking about degrees of illness. I will never be “better” like someone who has had a broken arm can be considered “better” because the bone has mended. I will never be “better” like someone who had pneumonia is “better” because the pneumonia is gone.

But –

I am a million times “better” than I was ten years ago.

I have struggled, I have hit rock bottom and kept digging, I hurt the people I loved, I did horrible things to hurt myself.

But –

I am a million times “better” because I have learned strategies and I’m more in touch with my body and the way it talks to me. I listen to my doctors and my mother and Lancelot when they tell me I’m not acting like myself. I take care of myself. I take my medicine. I sleep.

But –

I won’t ever be cured, or healed, or however else you want to describe it. There will always be times of struggle. There will always be tweaks to meds. There will always be a need for therapy. There will always be constant care and feeding of the demon Bipolar, and that will always be my full time responsibility.

But –

That’s how I am “better” than I was ten years ago.

taking out the trash

I’ve mentioned several times recently that I’ve been on this “clean out all the bullshit” kick. I’m loving it. Clothes that didn’t fit or don’t make me happy, jewelry I never wore, some shoes, a few books, candles… I realized just now that there’s another stash of clothes that need to go, hidden under the stairs.

But there are other things that need to be removed. Yesterday I ended up cleaning out my closet at work, the one that primarily houses snacks and stuff. That was a disaster. Today I’m going to spend a little time on my desk. Too much clutter, too much nonsense in the drawers.

I can’t really say what it is that gets me into these moods, but it’s a cyclical thing with me. Kind of like Spring Cleaning on steroids I guess. All I know is that I feel better once it’s all done.

This afternoon I’m meeting with one of the program coordinators for the writing program I just left. I feel good that I was able to finish the semester successfully, but I know that I just can’t take on that kind of workload and stress again right now. I want to finish the memoir one of these days but I already know that my Fall semester is going to be too busy. There’s at least one international trip planned so that right there is enough to make me not interested in school.

I’m going to try to add back in a hobby/creative outlet that I haven’t done in ages. I’ve signed up to take a fused glass class at a local studio where I’ve taken classes before. I’m excited, it should be great. The last project I made, I think, was last summer. Not that the knitting and jewelry making aren’t good enough, but a girl shouldn’t box herself in too much when it comes to being creative.

a million things

I’ve been making pretty good progress with getting my life back together. This wasn’t like some of the ridiculously spectacular explosions that I have faced before, but the time between January 1 and now has been, well, I don’t have enough of the right words to describe it.

It was like having to burn all the candles at all the ends.

It was like arguing with a demon in my head who was a toddler and insisted on a bedtime story every five minutes.

It was like watching all of the things I wanted to be doing slip through my fingers like water, and knowing that the water was tears.

But it’s over, and as much as I love what I wrote and as proud as I am of what I managed to do, it needed to be put away for now. And so I did. I cleared out a small drawer in my desk yesterday and put all of the printed materials and my notebooks in it. The memoirs I read are on the bookshelf (except Patty Duke’s shitty book, yuck). Reclaiming my workspace yesterday and getting that area ready for creative things again was crucial for moving forward.

I also went through my room and came up with four bags full to send to the thrift shop. I was ruthless. It felt FABULOUS. And, as usual, I found some things I had completely forgotten about. It feels a lot better in there now as well.

This is maybe a weird thing, but I’m going to share anyway. I’m totally a list maker, y’all know that. But I don’t like writing them on paper if I don’t have to. At work I have a whiteboard mounted on a door and I frequently fill that up. But at home I don’t have that, so I improvise.

Upstairs I keep a dry erase marker in the bathroom and I write my lists on the mirror. Sounds strange, but it works. It’s right there where I look every day and it wipes off super easy. I find that it really helps, and it’s a cheap hack.

Life is slowly returning to the happy place where I really enjoy it. Mom and I did a little shopping last Thursday, Lancelot and I went and had massages Saturday morning and then did a little shopping, we had friends over for dinner, and then brunch on Mother’s Day. And I’ve been knitting again. What more can you ask for?

Apparently you can ask for more treats.