Halfway

Well, my big “I’m gonna blog more!” plan for my sabbatical has fallen by the wayside because it’s been a month and a half between posts and I’m halfway done with my sabbatical. Whoops.

Looking at my rough list of “to-dos” from my last post, I have gotten some things done:

Major tree and shrub removal: This one happened the very first day of my sabbatical and I wrote about it in my last post.

Replacing the last two sets of windows on the house: They look amazing! Was a much smoother and clean process than I was anticipating – kudos to the Pella Window crew! If I were more organized, I would have taken before and after photos. Whoops.

Constructing a garden shed: Well, we have the shed, obviously, but it’s been sitting in it’s boxes in the garage since I bought it. The plan is to have the location prepped before the 4th of July week (dug out, leveled, sand and pea rock laid down). Why that week? My sister is planning on coming up for a few days that week and she’s willing to help me put it up (weather permitting, more on that below).

Painting: HAH. Absolutely zero of that happened. 😦

Having my mom stay with me for a week: I went down to the farm on Mother’s Day and brought Mom back to my house. We had a great time – went shopping, talked a lot, and she spent a ton of time looking out the back windows on the yard and pond watching all the wildlife. Also, I watched more local news and Wheel of Fortune than I have in decades. 😀

Landscaping: I’ve been working on clearing out all the landscaping rock in the garden bed next to the garage SINCE MOTHER’S DAY. Why is it taking so long? Because to get the rock out, the ground has to be dry – so about two days after the last rain is ideal. Problem is there’s been only two or three days where those conditions have happened – otherwise it rains every other day, or in the case of the past week, it’s rained EVERY DAY. ARGH!

Once the rock is out, there’s a stump we need to dig out, but the soil can be damp when we tackle that, so it’s not as crucial to be dry for two days in a row. Then I’ll plant my hydrangeas and get some new edging and mulch down then that project will be DONE.

Electrical work: Still haven’t done this one.

Designing Tim’s studio space: Well, we had the plan, but then he was focusing on his illustration and comics work full-time for a month or so and in the interests of saving money, we put this project on pause. Plus, he has a desk at a local studio with other comic artists, so he’s been spending a lot of time there working so having a better space here wasn’t a necessity.

Dialing in my nutrition/exercise plan: HAH.

I’ll clarify: HAHAHAHAH.

In all seriousness, I’ve been doing really well at CrossFit. I did my first (half) Murph on Memorial Day in the 90+ degree heat and did a lot better than I expected. I’ve also been setting some PRs on my weight lifting (bench press, front squat, back squat, etc.) and now that summer is here, we’re doing more running, which has been great even though I’m the slowest one there.

Nutrition-wise, I haven’t done anything. I’m in a funk and my motivation and drive to make meaningful changes is at zero right now. Which results in me wrapping myself in a warm blanket of comfort foods and making bad choices. It’s times like this where I wish I had that friend that I could talk to when things are low. But, after being rejected by the last friend I trusted with my troubles, I don’t bother anyone with my business anymore. Which is fine – all you can really rely on is yourself, right? And I know what some of you are thinking: “get a therapist” – I’d censor myself there too because I don’t feel comfortable talking to a virtual stranger about those things. I’m sure it works for other people, but in my experience it wouldn’t help. Maybe I should get one of those old-fashioned paper journals where I can sort out my thoughts. 🤔

ANYHOO.

Back to the nutrition thing: I’m going to try and make small, incremental changes to my eating and drinking habits and hope that this gradual change is the key to success. Especially since the “RAWR NO EXCUSES” method that I’ve tried in the past fails miserably.

Still haven’t made any plans for a weekend trip, so that part probably won’t happen – but who knows.

Now if it would just stop raining!

Time, Time, Time…and Fitness

I started this post a week ago.

I also started another post nearly three weeks ago.

Did I finish either one of them? Nope.

Why not? Time. You know, like the song…

Time, time, time, see what’s become of me
While I looked around for my possibilities.

Yes, I know Paul Simon wrote the song, but my first experience with it was with The Bangles cover of the song….

the_bangles

Oh my gawd, I so wanted Michael Steele’s hair back then. Curse you for being too chicken to dye your hair red and for being too afraid to ask your parents for a crimping iron!!

Oops, I got a bit off track. Sorry. 😛

What happened to make me feel like I didn’t have enough time? Life. Stress. Feeling like there’s not enough time leftover every day to indulge myself in writing. Feeling like all you can do is put one foot in front of the other just to make it through another day.

It’s exhausting. It sucks.

However, there are things you can do to help mitigate those feelings of worthlessness and anxiety. For some, it’s meditation. Others, doing something with their hands like gardening or knitting makes them feel better and helps them relax.

For me, and I’m sure a lot of you (all three of you that read my nonsense), it’s exercise.

And the past month, it’s been a bit up and down on the fitness front. I’ll just recap with a bulleted list (and in no particular order):

  • Life stress.
  • Eating and drinking my feelings.
  • My mind not being focused resulted in me aggravating my problem shoulder at CrossFit.
  • The scale not going down and my clothes not fitting again (more on that below).

Regarding my “problem shoulder” – I played as an outfielder in softball from the third grade up through my late 20s and a lot of those years competitively. Throwing my shoulder out wasn’t uncommon, but as a 17 year old, I didn’t have lasting problems with it. Well, not until my 40s, it seems. But if I look back on things, my right shoulder has been weaker than the left for a while and was more prone to soreness/muscle knots when I would start weight training. Since I work exclusively at a computer for my daily job, it was really only a matter of time before I had issues. Now I’m seeing a massage therapist every two weeks and have invested in some lacrosse balls for at-home massage therapy for those times in between. I’ve also slowed down on what I do with my training at CrossFit with regards to any overhead presses/pulls.

Speaking of CrossFit, my box had been ramping up for the two coaches to compete at an invitational somewhere up in Washington and it had felt like (right around the time I aggravated my shoulder) everything was all “push it! do or die!” etc. Very much not the environment that I loved when I first started – not the place where they were all about modifying movements to fit your ability.

My husband had come home from CF one night (I tend to go to an earlier class so I can make dinner) and he was really frustrated because he wasn’t getting them to understand he needed some modifications. He has some major limitations on the mobility of his hand due to some extensive tendon reconstruction surgery over 20 years ago. Certain core CF moves he can’t do because of it. After being told there wasn’t a mod for the move they were doing, he just gave up and came home. He didn’t go back for a while either, which was disconcerting.

I think after the competition was over, after hearing grumblings from others that things were getting too intense, and after a number of people were getting injuries there was an 180 on the attitude of the coaches – which I was so happy to see. Now that my coaches have been more accommodating with our limitations, it’s been slow going getting my shoulder rehabilitated, but it’s getting there.

To the issue of the number on the scale not moving; I know. I shouldn’t take that into account. But it’s frustrating working my ass off and not seeing any results. Yes, I can still put those jeans on that was my first real indication that CrossFit was a good thing for me health and fitness wise, but that goddamn number on the scale is still 10 lbs heavier than when I started and the jeans are starting to get a little snug.

But!

Last week I went to the Saturday class and got to see one of the primary coaches I don’t normally get to see (she works the early mornings and I go after work) and she said to me “you have really have slimmed down since you started – you’re more straight up and down now!”

I was taken aback. I’m 10 lbs heavier! My pants are starting to fit tighter again! She said “well yeah, you’re getting a booty now!”

A booty? Me?

Well, that would explain why my pants are starting to fit differently again. I can do a 200# deadlift now and squats are no big thing. Do you know what that means?

Now kick dem nasty thoughts!

Now kick dem nasty thoughts!

In addition to getting a booty, I noticed when I was getting ready for CF yesterday that my armpit fat is starting to disappear! For those of you who are 1) not women and 2) deal with sports bras, armpit fat is the fat near your armpit that gets squished out when you wear a tight sports bra. Just search Google images for “sports bra armpit fat” and you’ll see what I mean. You might ask “why don’t you get a looser sports bra?” Gurl, if you try to run and not wear a compression sports bra, you’re in for a lot of pain.

Back to yesterday; less armpit fat! This is great! It clarified for me that I didn’t gain all this weight in a day, and I’m not going to lose it in a day. I just need to take each day at a time, and over time I’m going to see results.

Just takes time.

Reflect and Resolve

It’s New Year’s Eve!

Yawn.

I’m of the age where I don’t go out on New Year’s Eve anymore. Too much responsibility and not wanting to be out and about on what I believe to be the biggest drunken driving night of the year. Plus, I have booze at home.

What New Year’s Eve does for me is make me pause to reflect on the past year and to resolve my plans for the upcoming year. Looking back on what I planned on doing last year, I failed miserably. Mainly because my world turned upside down with depression, we moved halfway across the country, lost my best friend, and the loneliness that goes along with starting afresh in a new city.

Lose weight! Stop drinking! Eat clean! HAH.

cleaneating

I’m in my 40s and I like booze and cheese, but I work out to help counteract that shit so I don’t weigh 300 pounds. I’m lucky I survived.

Speaking of weight…

I made the mistake of weighing myself today.

HOO BOY.

Let’s just say it’s a number ten pounds heavier than when I started Crossfit.

Which is BONKERS to me. BONKERS.

Why? Well, because my pants still fit. Granted, they fit a bit differently due to all the deadlifts and squats I’ve been doing. Baby got back, y’all! 😀

Admit it. You're hearing it in his voice now. You're welcome.

Admit it. You’re hearing it in his voice now. You’re welcome.

Still, the number itself bothers me. But then, have I changed one iota of my diet since starting Crossfit? Nope. Add to that the fact that you can exercise all day, but if you eat (and drink) a lot of calories, you’re not going to lose weight.

After tonight (because I have a night of cheese and bread planned…heh), I think we’ll be going back to the paleo plan we did last spring because it worked really well for us. Plus, we finally found a place around here that has gluten-free beer/cider (OK on our plan), hamburgers, and sweet potato fries.

Yes, I know it’s a burger and sweet potato fries. But we get the burger without the bun and cheese and sweet potatoes are on the paleo plan, so if we’re going to eat out, why not make a choice in fries that does fit? If we didn’t, we’d fall head first into a large pizza on those nights where I don’t want to cook. Which seems to be often lately.

__________

In other news, it’s below freezing in Oregon.

Goddammit, I moved here to not deal with this shit again. But, at least it’s not 10 below zero like it was in MN last year. Remember the Polar Dash? Remember this day in February?

Fun fact, that was 10 inches of fresh snow and those drifts on either side of my driveway were 5′ deep at that point.

Yeahhhhh…I can’t complain too much. 😀

Happy New Year!