Monday, August 31, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
I don't recommend that. It doesn't divine your real question and supply you with the answer. Stupid Internet.
So I, in my infinate Amanda-ness, started listing all the things I might be unhappy about....and I came to the conclusion I'm dissatisfied with my inability to follow through like I would like with my goals (weight loss, saving for Eurotrip, etc...) I was making decisions that I knew were not the best ones. So what did I do? Created more lists.
I've been aware I'm a list-maker in my most trying emotional times. Can't decide who to live with when my parents divorce? Make a list of the pros and cons. Can't decide what to wear in high school? Make a list of every conceivable outfit with all the possible combinations of the articles of clothing I had (Yes. I did that.) Can't feel like I can get through the day after Rich died? Make a list of the items to do that day..... And every single one of those lists helped me get through my emotional crap. Why? I could probably psycho-analyze everything, but really I don't care. They help.
When I originally started to lose weight, my tracking system was insane. I had time tables and check boxes and calories expended and calories ingested (broken down by sub category). Everything was color coded. Sometimes double color coded. And I lost a lot of weight. I lost about 43 lbs. I've gained ten back since being sick, so I'm sitting at 210.5 right now.
Up until Tuesday, however, I didn't realize that my brain functions super well with concrete little pieces with timelines and checkboxes and lists, and sub lists, and sub-sub-sub points. They make me happy. This list-making anal-retentive super discrete concrete item awareness is the source of my willpower and drive. Who knew? I was proud that I've figured out an essential feature to how my brain works, and how I can get back on track (I've lost 2.5 lbs since last week, so far so good).
But, I'm obviously not done figuring this emotional quagmire I'm stuck in right now, though. I'm not feeling really well right now, but I'm not sure if that's the fact I stayed out until midnight last night chatting with a friend, or the fact that I've had absolutely no appetite and have reverted to fail-safe foods. Foods I can eat when I don't want to eat. Like frozen yogurt. And potstickers. And Salad. Anyway, something in my emotional imbroglio is perturbed.
I hate my stupid brain.
On the up side, I went out and bought two cute dresses (Size 14!!!! I haven't been that small in a few years) on my lunch break and I look hot in them. It was nice to try on things in smaller sizes, look at myself in the mirror and go - "I look good. I like that." There were 4 I liked, but two of them I didn't want to pay as much as they wanted for them.
Again, no shoes that fit/look good. Silly Monster Feet.
By the way, these coats are awesome. I want one, or two, or four.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Photo Journey of my hike last Sunday with Paul, Andrew, and his girlfriend. This might take a few posts.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Good thing was that the hike didn't totally wipe me out. I'm sore today, but not CCS sore or can't-stand-up-because-it-hurts sore. Just warm muscle sore. I biked in this morning and did my commute in 32 min, which is great timing ~5 min more than my best time. I felt GOOD this morning too!!
A lot of this is about a week of following some simple rules outlined in Mastering Leptin, a book someone recommended to me. It outlines a hormonal resistance that is self-perpetuating that leads to being perpetually overweight, hypothyroidism, fibermyalgia, and sinus problems (Hello. That's me.) It's pretty basic stuff, but there's a few differences from anything else I've read. And most of it centers around timing.
So I've followed the basics, (for the most part). I'm learning what triggers my fatigue and feelings of CCS. Sugar (in all forms, but especially in candy, crap, high fructose corn syrup, and stuff like that) and simple carbs (like bread, french fries, popcorn, etc...) really makes me crash and robs me of energy. Things like bran don't effect me so much. A lot of this has to do with glucose levels. I haven't had any soda or diet soda or most anything with sugar in it. My diet's been mainly vegetables, protein and a little complex carbs. Trying to get only three meals a day in to allow the maximum amount of time for my body to create a rhythm for maximum fat burning. Plus, I try not to eat right before I go to bed - to allow 3 hours before I go to sleep. This scheduling thing has been the most difficult. My life and/or activity and/or energy levels don't allow me to always do that, but I'm working towards it. Plus, I've been doing tons more exersize than I used to. Anyway I've lost a couple pounds recently, but really been doing SO much better energy wise. Yay for me!
Oh and related to this is is a scary - just plain scary story.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
The process is as follows as an example - write it down, and allow yourself to write anything and everything that comes to mind. The more the better!
There's an irrational "flight or fight" lizard brain bombarding thought that's terrifying:
ex. I'm irrationally afraid my weight will balloon out of control and the result will be that I will be fat and ugly. (Some parts real. Some parts irrational)
Transfer that irrational fear into more of a concern and move it into the "adult brain" and reduce the spiking panic, translate what ACTION you'll take....
2. ACTION (or why that will not happen, or look at the likelihood that it will happen)
2a. I've gained some weight back, but not all of it. Over the course of a year I've lost around 30 lbs. That's still great progress.
2b. I've cultivated healthy habits: I bike, I hike, I don't eat crap dinner food anymore, I eat breakfast, I've not drank diet coke or soda (maybe 2 reg. sodas) in two weeks. I don't overeat. I don't binge.
2c. I'm taking an active role in reducing the weight gain that has happened. I've read a really informative book that gives me hope that the I've discovered the underlying problem in my health. This isn't a diet per se, but rather information on how to be more in harmony with my body's rhythms. Following a few simple rules (along with healthy eating and exercise) will allow my body to optimize how it uses food as fuel instead of hoarding it in my tummy and butt, increasing adrenaline resistance, and prompting hypothyroid issues. I'm doing research and figuring out the pitfalls that could trip me up so I can avoid them. I have a specific timeline for a goal and if progress isn't made (and I'm following the basics) I can investigate other tactics.
2d. A friend of mine is offering that I can be her "trial Pilate's client". She's studying for her certification and I'm going to get to do Pilate's for the first time :) That will help.
The next step is
3. WORSE CASE SCENARIO - What is the WORST thing that could happen/that I'm worried about and can I handle it??
The worst thing is that I don't lose any weight, and I'm ugly and unattractive.
3a. I can be attractive/pretty while still being not thin
3a1.There are aspects of my body that are pretty/attractive that don't have anything to do with my weight. - I have pretty eyes, I like my toes, I have a nice face shape.
3a2. There are aspects of my personality that are attractive that doesn't have anything to do with my weight. - I was told I have wit. I'm very loving, I care very much for my friends. Just yesterday I was told people appreciate my levelheadedness and my ability to see both sides of the equation is very refreshing and a positive attribute. I'm a good listener. I do things for people I love.
3a3. Ugly is mostly on the inside. Being who I am is attractive and pretty in it's own right.
4 CAN I HANDLE IT?
4a. I've never been really thin my entire life, so I've handled it pretty well since I hit puberty, I think I can handle it if I don't lose anymore weight.
4b. Besides the CCS, I'm fit as a fiddle, it doesn't seem as though my health is in terrible jeopardy at the moment, or in the near future. If this goes on for decades, there could be associated difficulties (abdominal fat is the leading cause of heart disease and cancer in some areas). That could be mitigated with regular checkups and my continued healthy eating/exercise. This would affect my ability to bike/hike/move as there's stuff in the way. But that hasn't stopped me from enjoying those activities currently, so I don't see why it would in the future.
4c. I'm secure with who I am and won't let how I *think* others view me dictate how I am emotionally or mentally.
4d. Some people won't want to befriend me because I'm not super fit. These people won't associate or include me in their lives. ....If these people can't see the beautiful person I am, they don't deserve to have the benefit of me being their friend. They are too shallow and superficial for me to actually relate to on a deep level anyway, and thus this isn't a negative.
At the end, the crazy irrational fears have been thought through, action plans have been made if attention needs to be paid to certain areas. Calm is, for the most part, restored. It's a fantastic strategy, a kind of therapy if you don't have anyone to talk to, or if what you think is going on inside your head is so crazy you can't tell anyone.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Basically, I'm getting along. I went for a 31 mile ride on Saturday and it pretty much wiped me out. Which is unfortunate. My ability to be in shape has taken a severe decline here recently and I'm going to pick up a book someone recommended that helped them lose a lot of weight. She's had some general parallels in her body type to mine, so I'm really hoping it'll help. This recent development of my body expanding what seems like to me exponentially is severely frustrating, upsetting, and downright sad sometimes. I've lost some ground on all the hardwork I put in for over a year.As for my writing, beside the minor black hole in between Friday and Monday where almost nothing got done, it's actually going really well. I'm writing a short story about my Grandmother Needham (pictured below). I started the story because the house she lived in is one of the most consistent elements of my dreams (not saying it comes up in every one, but that throughout my lifetime, it's popped up the most often). The story that wanted to be told was my first brush with a death of a loved one.
Some personal stories can be very insipid and dull, monotonous and just bad. However, if done right, personal stories can have the most life and the most beautiful awareness and essence to them. I'm hoping this turns out into the second type. Here are a few excerpts that will most certainly undergo massive editing later on. Please feel free to comment on the wording, flow, structure, etc... of the pieces/paragraphs.
"When I was young, the kitchen was the best place to be. It was a long narrow L shaped brightly lit room where food, surpassing my child ideas of quality sprang forth like magic from underneath grandma’s smiling face and busy hands. They were always simple things, sandwiches, salads, rice, but they tasted like crafted tidbits of pure magic. Food so delicious it required its own state of mind. Tomatoes so ripe they burst into arias of flavor, ice cream that was so creamy rich it was like chilled velvet dreams, a salami and muenster sandwich with large bits of peppercorn that crackled across your tongue like bolts of flavor lighting.
I was amazed, and honestly sometimes irritated, by the harvest gold fridge that stood next to the back door. It was old and had varying levels of wear in its dull burnt sienna then bright shiny buttercup color. It was always stocked with the best and the worst food. There was always ice cream and apple juice and yummy meats and cheeses in it, but it also housed the loathsome three bean salad that tasted too much like vinegar and lingering farts. I wondered at the novelty of its ice maker and was slightly disgusted with it for ruining the question of whether the light in the fridge stayed on when the door was closed. It doesn’t. For weeks after that I kept thinking of the apple juice, cake, and leftover green beans sitting side by side, alone in the dark, waiting for someone to open the door and turn on the light. "
....that was more from the beginning.....this is more from the end where we visit Grandma in the hospital.....
"My brother and I were told to wait in the “family waiting room”. We slumped in the dark and barely lit space that had somber colored pale blue walls waiting and waiting. It was like waiting for Dad to come home and ground us. An air of anticipation, overlaid with dread and unknown foreboding at what the news might bring. It wasn’t going to be good, but how bad it was going to be was yet to be determined.
Both of us sat on the navy blue love seat, with upholstery that felt weird and plasticy. An uncomfortable chair sat off to the side, and for as small as the room was, it looked barren. It was drab and somber type of room, a place where unhappy people waited. Maybe they would choke back a sob, exhausted with emotion, perhaps someone would have an outburst and scream at the unjustness of it all. Really it was just as it said - a waiting room. A room to be in to wait, to flip absentmindly through outdated magazines, to try to not think too much in. I was glad I didn’t have to stay there long.
Dad and my uncle were talking in hushed strained angry tones further down the hall. Two large six foot plus brothers, dark haired, large glasses showing eyes bruised with fatigue and emotional exhaustion were talking about their dying mother. I didn’t want to hear what they had to say, but I couldn’t help it. Hushed tones mentioned “Leukemia….getting worse….doesn’t want to hear about it…..don’t know how long…."
Again, super rough draft. But when I'm finished, I'm going to try to get it published.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Stupid anime movies I never got, understood, or liked (but I watched with Rich nonetheless) that she'll love. His Dad's pocketwatch I figured she'd like to have. Two comfy blankets we used to put on the single bed we slept together on in Kansas. I'd smoosh up against the wall on my side and he'd sleep on his side with one arm hanging off and the other tucked beneath his head, his skinny butt barely hanging onto the flannel sheets we always slept on. The super NES and the Xbox 360, with all the games that consumed so much of both our time. The games I used to love to watch him play. I could watch him play video games for hours. He was so very good. Lastly, all the pictures of the random anime characters that, again, I didn't get but she'll adore.
I didn’t think it’d – hurt – like it does. I’m miserable and upset and disgusted with everything and kind of feel like throwing up. It’s one of those times where you don’t want anyone to talk to you or touch you and you don’t want to eat or sleep or think or do anything. Go away. You all just want it to go away.
I know this happens, but I don’t like it. I don't have to like it. I guess what makes it a new notch of (sad, repulsing, disgusting, horrible) is that this is the first time I've touched his things, thought about him and had it feel so blandly empty and so far from my life.
Richard is in the past, in my memories and the memories of the people who knew and loved him, but he's gone. I will never ever in my life see him or hear of him again. He won't ever play video games anymore, won't ever wait anxiously counting off the days for the new video game he has to have come out, he'll never lay on his side to go to sleep again. He doesn't exist.
But it's worse than that. There's no aching piercing overwhelming sadness. There's no screaming anguish. Every time I've had an emotional response to his memories or his things or our anniversary, it's been intense or unmoving. I've either wept with anguish and mourning, screamed and ranted at his selfish folly, or behind a viel of logic fondly remembered our happy times or empathized with the sad way both he and our relationhsip ended, the sad circumstances that brought us up to that point, and brought him to his end. There was never this hollow clanging of nothing. Never this awful pit-of-the-stomach feeling that this life doesn't hold Rich. At all.
I'm sure some of this is touching his stuff and thinking of Clio, his daughter. She's 12 years old, the most well behaved, sweetest child I've ever known, cute large nose that is just like his was. Her mom talked to me a few days ago and told me she's trying out for cheerleading in a few days..."Probably home practicing her smile." That intensly sweet, precocious, playful girl lost her dad.
For the rest of her life she's going to be marred with the memories of him, of how he couldn't cope, of how he abandoned her to go to Seattle then double-abandoned her by committing suicide. She never really knew him and now she won't get to. Thinking about her and her leigions of stuffed animals, anxiously awaiting her cheerleading tryouts, I'm filled with sadness mixed with a touch of despair. My only part in her life now is sending her relics from her dead father's past.
And this, my friends, fucking sucks.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
1. I've not had any diet coke since 8/7/09. I've decided it's formaldahyde. Yes. That's not really true, but the thought of drinking formaldahyde has changed my path for the tea bag or apple juice or mineral water everytime I start heading for that refreashing sizzle pop Ahhhhhhhh.... of opening a diet coke. Don't ask me why now's the time. It just is.
2. Not smoking Cigarettes. This is a big one. I'd rather not burn my money away, but I love my deliciously evil body destroying habit. But I'm going to cut back to three cigarettes a day for the rest of the month and then go cold turkey after that.
3. WRITING! :) That's a happy one. No, I'm not giving it up, I'm increasing it. I'm writing for me, to get better. Yes I am. And I will share frequently. Goal is at least 20 minutes a day every day for a week. We'll see how that goes. Hopefully I'll have a muddy gem to share before the end of the week.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
Operas are hillarious. The drama that ensues is ridiclous. For my take on Wagner last night I offer the following:
There was this guy name Siegfried who was raised by a crazy theif dwarf in the middle of the forest. He makes this sword (of which he's a little too attached to I think) and to "test his mettle" goes after this big ass dragon. So he slices and dices and is big-heap-dragon-slayer.
After Siegfried tasted some of the dragon's blood the birds in the forest start talking to him. Yes. He tasted blood and heard birds talking to him. They tell him to take a ring (which will help him rule the world) and a helmet - which is a shiny cloth in the play I saw - and to kill the dwarf. So he grabs the gear, leaves the mounds of gold, goes home and kills the dwarf - at which point the entire male cast goes "hahahahahah! - the dwarf couldn't make the blade but he could feel it. hahahahaha."
Crazy dad-like theif Dwarf is dead and the birds tell Siegfried there's this hot little piece of tail on top of a mountain that's on fire. So he sets out and finds this girl all asleep in armour up at the top of the mountain. So he undresses her, mates with her, and after one night in her bed, she gives him all of her goddess wisdom and strength in trade for being his wife - and they are undyingly in love with eachother.
Anyway, she gives him her horse (which somehow has lived on this fire mountain of barren rock with her for a long time) and she hangs out on the mountain while he goes tra-la-la down the river to meet this trippy family by the Rhine. The younger brother who hasn't got any power (boo-hoo) convinces his older in power brother to drug Siegfried to be in love with their sister and forget about any other woman, (the sister is a decidedly unpretty girl). Anyway, he'll want her SO MUCH that he'll grab the Brunnhilde from the mountain, have the older power brother marry her, and in all this scheming the power poor brother will get the ring and rule the world.
The fat lady with the hat sings at this point, but it's not the end.
So most of this happens, with the aide of the trippy helmet that lets him look like whoever he wants and instintaneouly be wherever he wants just by thinking of it. The power brother drags poor sad weak Brunnhilde down and forces her to be his bride. So everyone is jelous and angry and pissed at everyone else except for Siegfried, who's just happy-ditz-confused.
In the end everyone just about everyone dies - big suprise. Poor power brother kills Siegfried - by this pond where three trippy mermaids try to steal his ring after poor power brother got a wicked bad dream about his daddy. Evil cunning daddy told poor power brother to kill Siegfried. So, of course, that's the way it goes. Crazy-poor-power brother then kills his powerful brother by "sort-of accident" after power brother was all sad that they hurt the "hero". Ugly sister gets all sad Siegfried is dead, so kills herself.
Brunnhilde (the broad that told crazy-poor-power brother how to kill Siegfried) decides she wants to go up in flames with Siegfried on the funeral pyre so the three mermaid chicks can have back the ring stolen from the ashes of her dead body at the bottom of the Rhine. She decides to take her horse with her to burn in the flames.
Oh - and all this brings about the destruction of Valhala.
Oh Operatic Drama, how amusing you are in your woe-is-me-vengence-greed riddled theatre. I do love your music though.
*note the fat lady didn't sing at the end. :(
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Yesterday was kinda icky. Had a bit of a relapse. Might have been from the alcohol (1/4 cup of red wine) and the 41 miles I biked in 3 days - maybe some heat exhaustion from Sunday? But I felt ok Monday so I'm not sure what's the cause. Biking 41 miles in 3 days was something really minor in the "olden" days, but which really worked me out at my current level of fitness. So I slept 13+ hours yesterday afternoon/evening. This morning I was really fuzzy in the brain and a little ill, but most of that's gone away. I'm going to try biking home from work tonight, so we'll see if I bounce back or slide further into icky.
Pour Mes Amis:
The past year I've developed more casual friendships/close acquaintances than I've had in a long time. It's a marvelous extended support system. *as a side note, I LOVE extended support systems and suggest them to anyone who can get them/handle them/maintain them! Growing up with 4 parents and a gazillion family members who actively raised me I obtained far more balanced perspectives on life, was introduced to many ways of thinking, and always could go to someone who loved me. It was fantastic.
Anyway, friends are good, healthy, positive. But they are also relationships that require work. I don't quite remember relationships requiring so much work when I was a kid. Do we all forget about what happens when we're children, or was it really just easier? For me I think they're much more work than an actual relationship with someone you're seeing romantically. They require understanding, time, attention, allowances, and effort. I'm realizing lately that I haven't really worked at cultivating relationships since I was in middle school. Since then, I've had a lot of people I hung out with, activity acquaintances, casual friends, but no one that would really stand up to the test of friendship - that 2 am call for help that might happen once every 2 years.
What follows is basically the criteria I've determined is - for me - the definition of a true friend.
They answer the 2 am call and come riding to your rescue not because it serves their interests, not because it makes them feel good to do so, not because they were up anyway, but because they care about you enough that they'll be there to support you in your time of crisis (regardless of how ridiculous that crisis might seem to them.)
A true friend will "Love and Care about each other to one of the highest degrees." Being there when they need them. Listening to what they have to say because you genuinely want to hear how they are doing, or understand the benefit they get from simply having someone pay attention to them. Listening is very important.
Be within the margin of error. This is the part that typically comes first, but is very crucial. They have to have enough mutual interests that it's easy to do stuff with them on a regular basis. They have to have a similar enough mindset that they're not constantly confused by what comes out of their mouth. They have to be going in a direction in which they can still cultivate that relationship in the future (i.e. one of you can't be a super hippie living going to live in a tree and the other a ruthless financial wheeler and dealer). Your paths have to be close, but the margin can be quite wide if the groundwork and love is there. Again, the margins are WIDE, but you have to occasionally be able to reconnect on footing that is comfortable for both of you.
So these are my criteria. They don't seem ridiculous, I don't feel like what I'm asking is outrageous. This is what I want in a true friend. I've had a couple recently, but making new ones, or finding others, isn't quite what I was expecting - it's puzzling, difficult, lots of effort for a uncertain reciprocation. But then again, when doesn't life throw in new obstacles for you to puzzle over?
Monday, August 3, 2009
Good things are happening, a lot of change. I'm feeling good on the 10 mg of the SSRI. Considering talking to someone who will change the medication, but it's working so far and as long as I don't drink alcohol, and since things seem to be going well I'd rather not mess with it and go off/on another medication.
I've felt so good that I did a test ride in yesterday to my work and rode into work on my bike today. I'll be riding around 26 miles all told after going to a doc appointment this afternoon then riding home. I was slower (around 45 min commute to work) but not by much. It'll be that way for a while. I'm pretty tired, didn't get a lot of sleep last night - but in a good way. Too much caffeine and fun :)
Things are changing a bit, like I said. I made the decision a week or so ago (and Paul's all in this with me) that's been both amazingly freeing and absolutely exciting. I'm going to work really hard, pay off the rest of the debt that's leftover from being with Rich, save up a bunch of money, and in around 26 months I'm going to quit my job, sell off most of all my stuff, maybe send some important irreplaceable items to mom or dad, and backpack through Europe and Asia until the money runs out. Depending on how things go we'll probably spend a max of two years abroad. We'll have a nest egg for when we return to set up camp and get us through until we reestablish jobs and housing, etc...
Frankly, the decision seems a little much to some, but frankly it's the best thing I can think of doing at this point in my life. It gives me a wonderful goal to work towards, it'll allow me to really focus on a couple of important things 1. paying off debt 2. losing weight 3. going on an amazing experience filled trip where I will amass amazing amounts of material for poetry/books/short stories/etc... and really put life into perspective. Besides, it sounds totally fun. The other option I was tossing around was going back to school and earning my degree. But I'm really not in the mood/up for that right now. Frankly, this is the best time to leave and do this. I have no obligations, I'm young, I'll have the money for it (after saving up like crazy). And really, when posed with the options before me, this one is the absolute best.
So I'm doing well physically, very little pain, only some minor fatigue here and there. I'm re-focusing on losing weight (no need to haul another 40 extra pounds along when I'm trekking across Europe). Today was the start of bike commuting again. We're talking about going on some more hikes and some camping trips. Thinking about joining the Y to get some swimming and weight lifting in. I'm also working on minor things like growing out my hair, brushing back up on my French, possibly learning some German, etc... This decision has really revitalized me. I'm excited and happy and content.
Things are going really well. Went on an impromptu trip to Portland on Friday and Saturday, hanging out with friends, chilling out, and I realized at this point in my life I'm completely content. Like a fat happy cat purring in a permanent sunbeam with a loving person scratching behind my ears. Ahhhhhhhhh..........