The Duel

Probably should start writing the post before I worry too much about the picture.

I am far too chipper for the late hour.  I’ve gotten the wanderlust again and I don’t know if it’s because we’ve had weeks now of miserable weather with only a few broken hours of weak sunlight or if it’s just become a natural part of my rhythms, but I’m planning trips for the coming year like it’s going out of style.  Minneapolis for my cousin’s wedding in June, now it looks like DragonCon in September and possibly going to New Orleans in October.  This extra week of vacation plus the icy temperature and fields and fields of blow that seem to have transformed the parking lot outside of our condo has me dreaming of airplanes and airport security lines and the wonderful process of going.   Hopefully, all the plans will come together and the money can be set aside and it won’t all be the gleeful fannish dream it feels like right now.  Someday, somehow, we’ll add up all these little half-escapes and find a door right out of all our troubles.

I’ve gone just enough today to be quite pleased with myself.  I have not yet succumbed to all cravings and excuses and little sidesteps that are settled just above my head.  All the ideas that I let destroy my diets in the past, they’re just outside my peripheral vision but I know exactly what they are, how they feel with then they swing towards me with this angelically demonic tone just syruped over everything they whisper.  They hope to get my attention and they hope to put the breaks on what is starting to become a fairly visible difference.   A physical difference that I can physically detect.  These ideas, these failed motivations, these fears all are hoping that one of these days I will trip up and fall out of my groove and my life will become predictable again.

I am becoming one of those people who could just up and do anything.   This is very scary.

Scarier yet is how this is coming about.  I find today that I like doing push-ups.  Even if they’re modified pushups from your knees.   I remember being told to do those in high school gym and no one ever properly explained how to do them and I sort of half did them just enough to get by. They felt impossible and awkward.  Now I’ve got enough strength going in my arms and I understand how my arms need to go to support the weight and it feels good to feel that I can do them.  Not a thousand.  Not single-armedly (hear that, Miss Grammar Nazi 1994, I know it’s not a word.  It is poetic license, though).  I can do a push-up or two, though.

I ate in the limits, rode on the bike with the seat so hard it’s akin to medieval torture until the calories were up, did the strength exercises and I don’t feel remotely brutalized by the effort. Not a drop mistreated.  So, terrors, fears, cravings, and whatever else is battering around inside the Pandora’s Box of my brain, you’re going to have to make me far more miserable than this to make me consider going back to what was.   This is my glove on the ground.  This is a challenge.

This Movie Loves a Lint Screen

500 words in a hot minute.  Or not quite that fast.  We’ll try and put a little effort in tonight.  I’ve been putting in effort all day.  Especially with the diet.  After the serious psychic blow that the new scale provided, I’ve decided that the only way to deal with it is to just keep pressing onward until I am truly beginning where I intended to begin.  This is sort of like pre-season only it all actually counts.    I have lost weight since yesterday but I’ll report again on Sunday and do it weekly from then on.  So that’s a plan.

I got a gift card yesterday for ITunes from my sister when we went to her house for our delayed Christmas and I heard a song on Pandora and got the whole album on a whim since I didn’t really have anything I was desperate to get and it is FANTASTIC.  April Smith and the Great Picture’s Songs for a Sinking Ship.  Bubbly and bouncy and perfect music to do your laundry to while you gear up for the last bit of exercise after impaling yourself whole-heartedly on the WiiActive.

Yes, the laundry is working.  I am working.  I’ve got the YNAB (You Need a Budget – and I do) software up and running now that I know that I’ve got money in the bank.   Hah.  I had to once again call the bank and sort my password out so I can get online.   That’s sort of a terrible mistake because now I realize I could, maybe, get my hair done and my eyebrows waxed and a new dress before our sold-out luncheon on Thursday when really, I could easily survive without those things.  Little luxuries.  But I am doing really well, eating good food, not bitching about not being able to demolish pizzas and other innocent baked goods just for the sound they make.  I had the most delicious, sweet apple that you could ever imagine just now.  Crunchy and crisp and just dripping with juice.  It felt like I was eating candy and I don’t feel a little apple shaped lump in my belly like I would with candy.  Yeah, no fooling, either.

I’m doing really well, I realized, because I just am not giving myself the leeway to not do what I need to do.  I went to the grocery store today and had some ideas along with the smart balance butter stuff I wanted to get, but none of those ideas involved the usual rundown from the crazy grocery runs I’ve done in the past:  pizza, gummi bears, starbucks ice cream and Diet Doctor Pepper.  Just from a few weeks focusing on SparkPeople, I realize how screwed up that was leaving me and how further down in the hole that was throwing me.  Of course, it doesn’t sound BAD at this point.  Just not acceptable and I can distract myself.

I don’t have my birthday figured out, but I hope there’s an option out that doesn’t leave me feeling like we might as well have skipped it.

Bonsoir, mes amis!


Don’t Doubt It, Shout It

Friday.  O holy Friday.   Four words down.

I want to do something different tonight, something other than the usual rundown of my day and how it was kind of shitty, kind of weird and how I mostly ate well but kind of got trapped by an inadvertent trip to the diner (inadvertent and ill-advised and unintentional and frustrating but managed) and how I’m just sort of emotionally floating towards this time.   This magical alone time.  This dream time where all is fair.

I want to do something different, but having taken a little nap and a little trip through my own negativism, I know something else: I have to first do the administrative tasks.

A commenter (which: HI!) mentioned that struggle between knowing and doing.  That eternal battle between the part of us that knows the benefits and costs of not tackling the exercise or putting together something healthy for the meal in front of us.  I have a whole year documented of not being able to string together a huge push towards losing weight despite having so many instances and days and issues that should have made it a no-brainer.  What is working for me right now is working in smaller and smaller frames, starting with nothing further out than the next 24 hours.   For one day, I can take 15-20 minutes after I get home from work and click on SparkPeople and do what it says with the strength training.  I can spend 15 minutes cooking some pasta and heating up some vegetables and adding this imperfect sauce that probably is too sweet, but I like and while I cook and eat I can check my email and dance around and get up enough energy to do this strength training.  That’s 30 minutes (adding incorrectly, of course) , I say I decide this in the morning and promptly forget it while I’m eating my breakfast.  But then again at lunch, I take a breath and think, okay, lunch, I’ve got something good in the freezer here at work, I’ll make that and track it really quick and okay, tonight, I’ve got this other good thing to eat, um, about the right calories to fill up the rest of the day (it’ll take about 30 minutes to make and eat and I’ll check my emails and do my exercise, not so bad.)  Then I go back to work after my pretty good lunch and when I get hungry again, I have my 100 calorie snack bar and remind myself about the evenings tasks and that they won’t take long and maybe this is working and life is pretty okay.  And I forget it until I get in the door.

Then I kind of get excited to just check it off my list since I’ve been thinking it about all day.  So food’s cooking and I’m checking my very important spam mail and I’m saying okay, I need to post on lustrata, need to eat and track, do whatever exercise is called for, get 15 minutes of cleaning done and then I’m off the clock.   I don’t have to do the exercise perfectly or get everything tracked to the last grain of rice, but for the past week (god knows if this will continue, but I hope it does), I just consider it work assigned to me.

I don’t put it off, I don’t let myself feel like work is done until I’ve checked off these boxes and know where I am for tomorrow.  So often, I throw plates in front of myself so I have to wear myself out making things okay to start.  I’m trying really hard to just clear the way so I just have to eat what I have and work out how it says and there isn’t creative energy that has to be spent on getting out of it.  It’s sort of a deal with myself that this is a process of getting myself together and organized so that there can be more fun and less pressure.  That the problem is avoidance feels incredibly good, addictively so, but with every addiction, you give things up to get that safe feeling.

If I whine and wheedle and cave and retreat to my bed, it doesn’t matter that the exercise would have been refreshing or the food would have cleared my head and made me want to write.  I’ll never know.  If I do it, quickly, with the same energy I’d put into a task at work for my boss, then I can always climb into bed if I need to.  There’s time for that.  Though 99% of the time, having done it, I don’t feel like hiding anymore.

So this is my advice to myself and to those who I am deeply unqualified to advise.  Don’t think about how hard it is.  Think about how easy it is.  How you’re going to have another day of having done it to mark off your calendar.  Fight any negative, self-sabotaging doubt of doing it. Do it in small chunks along with other things that you find fun/addictive, do it until stops being easy and keep a record of it.  Do it as soon as you schedule yourself time to do it.  If you put it off, when you realize this, look at the clock and give yourself five minutes to gear up.  Set a timer on the computer ( and when it goes off, do it if only for the novelty.  Do it to prove that smartmouth voice inside that says I knew you wouldn’t work out today, you’re ridiculous when you’re earnest dead wrong.

You’re marvelous and you’re more than a workout, calorie-counting, fitness wannabe, but until you give yourself that self-maintenance time, I find that there’s no time for anything except being in bed wondering where the time’s gone and why I feel like shit.




A Fair Sight More Than Nothing

So I am working super a lot and my words are a jumble and slow to rise to the surface and I need to work out and I’m a bit hungry and grouchy in some degree and time is wasting away and la la la.


I find I am a hell of a lot more cogent once I’ve eaten and worked out.  Yeah, this is not big news to the world, but when I do my routine – be it low carb or low calorie or what I think I’m doing now which is trying to be balanced and eating a wide variety of things, in smaller portions with water versus pop –  when I get focused and stay focused – I am so much more at ease.  Even if I think I can’t, once I prove myself wrong,  things start falling into place.  It is just about reminding myself I can clear the first obstacle.  I can forget this a hundred times a day, which is problematic, but if I just show up and remind myself that things are possible, my brain stops fuzzing over and struggling to churn up enough flotsam and jetsam to get me to stop trying.  It goes, oh fuck, she’s going to flop around in front of the tv again and we’re going to have to fucking go with her.

Damn right, little nascent muscles, I’m riding the stationary bike and there’s nothing you can do about it.

So, universe.  How are you?  Tonight, as you know, I came home drained not from a bad day at work, just the usually lengthy, stressful sort and worked out.  It was not a super spectacular pull your ponytail back, Tony Little and work it workout.  It was a me looking at the clock at 7:30 and saying  I have to at least put on my shoes and see kind of an exercise.  A battle not to turn it off, but just to put some energy into my movements.  Then, since sparkpeople says I need to burn some more calories today for my cardio than the wii workout burns, I plunked down on the bike and finished it.  And now it’s all done and I’ve lived to tell the tale.

I did want to say that today an actor I admired and was swoony over in a sad, weird, agnostic girl kind of way passed away today.   John Dye was the Angel of Death in Touched by an Angel (a show I watched it for a season or two because I found him serene and kind and perfect for an unavailable, non-sexual tv boyfriend.  He died of some kind of heart issue at 47.  Nothing is promised.

My boss told me what must be devastating news about his wife’s health.  I know he doesn’t want me to tell anyone, and I won’t, not in any non-vague and non-anonymous way, but it’s hard not to see how precious time is in light of the unknowable distance between us and the event of our bodily exodus.  Makes you want to love your body as it shuffles and splits and dies away beneath your touch and the grasp of the world.