Yeah, I know I’m being a bad blogger, but I can’t really think of anything to write about lately. Hopefully something interesting will happen soon, or I’ll stop being lazy and make something interesting!
Yeah, I know I’m being a bad blogger, but I can’t really think of anything to write about lately. Hopefully something interesting will happen soon, or I’ll stop being lazy and make something interesting!
…And inconsistent workout facilities.
Just in case you missed it, here’s a recap of what’s going on with me: Working on getting into running shape, quitting teaching and moving to Seattle in August. (Did I cover those last two on the blog, or just on twitter? I don’t recall…) There. You’re all caught up. ;)
Disclaimer: I know I’m talking about health and fitness a lot lately, or maybe it only seems that way to me, but, as I’m sure you can imagine, it’s at the forefront of my mind. If you find this sort of thing boring, I apologize, but to me it’s vastly more interesting than my oh so common complainy pants posts, so you’ll just have to deal with it until something more interesting comes along. Here’s a picture of some otters I took at an aquarium to assuage any potential wrath:
So, yeah, turns out this post will be not only fitness related, but of the whiny variety as well. I’m having a bit of trouble this week. Pretty regularly now, a coworker and I had been taking advantage of the small exercise room provided by our district for after-work workouts. And on the days that she was busy with kid-related stuff, I would go home and either go walking with my husband or do some laps in the apartment pool. Since the beginning of the hot season here in south Texas, which started in February or March this year, walking in the afternoon was taken off the docket due to my propensity to overheat. We would still go in the morning on the weekends, but then even that got too hot, but we always had the pool.
Fate, it seems, has decided to make my life miserable. This weekend we went swimming on Saturday, noting that the pool was kind of green. Then, with much hesitation, we sucked it up and went swimming again, on Sunday, in an even greener pool. (Icky!) We decided not to use the pool again until the situation was remedied. (I think the filter isn’t working. There wasn’t any suction.) And upon further inspection yesterday, it is, in fact, closed with no sign or anything to let us know what’s going on.
Then, yesterday, after work, I changed into my workout clothes and headed over to the workout room… It had a sign on the door:
I was not only irritated that it was closed, (and I changed in the bathroom for nothing!) , but yesterday was May 31, not June 1, so the sign was a big fat liar! Way to lie, liar sign! I was pissed to say the least.
THEN! To top it all off, got into the car, pulled out my ancient muddy pond brown Zune and found this:
Note the cracks and large black spot on the upper left side. I love you, Zune! Please, don’t die!! (Although, upon further inspection, I kind of love it that Elphaba is staring fixedly at the black spot! Maybe she can fix it with her magics! Though that didn’t work out too well for her, so maybe not…) (Also, that’s Donna Vivino as Elphaba. She is amazing! I just needed to let you know.) Upon discovering the injured Zune, I called Aaron for the fiftieth huffy time of the day just to share my dismay with someone.
And this was all on top of the previous huffy calls that were due to missing texts that threw off my crock pot plans! CROCK POT PLANS THAT I WOKE UP AT 5:00AM TO BRING TO FRUITION!!!
Ahem. Sorry. It was all very upsetting.
Anyway, in typical “me” style, I’ve said all that just to get to my point: My avenues for exercise have been decreased dramatically! Too hot/humid to walk (I mean, it’s almost 100F out there, people! Heat Index! UV rays! Solar… Flares…?). Exercise room at work, closed. Pool, closed. I’m at a loss. What’s a girl to do? (ToT)
“When first we practice to deceive!” But how much worse then can it be, than when the one deceived is me?
An interesting thing happens every time we go on a field trip to visit a college campus… The teachers are way more interested in the programs than the students are ! It amazes me how many affordable opportunities are available now that weren’t even around 10 years ago when I started college. We mostly visit low-cost schools, like the local technical and community colleges and some of the two year programs that they offer are phenomenal! Every trip, I shake my head in regret that either they weren’t around or I didn’t know when I was making BIG choices about my future.
And, yes, some of the yearning to go back to school is just a “Grass is greener” situation, but the one thing that causes a real reaction every single time are the culinary arts programs. UGH!! I die a little on the inside as we tour the kitchens and listen to the instructor talk about what they teach and all that. Every. Single. Time. You see, when I was a sophomore or junior in high school, I decided that I was going to take my love for baking (and cooking, to a lesser degree) and turn it into a career. Hooray! Bright-eyed and full of hope, I shared my dreams with everyone! I was going to be a chef (or pastry chef, I hadn’t decided)! Hooray!! Little did I know that culinary arts programs (at the time) were incredibly expensive and didn’t include housing! Hooray…?
My hopes soundly dashed (we was po), I went to work as a kitchen prep at a newly opened local Chili’s and let my dream die. When I hated being a prep (who wouldn’t), I told myself that it was proof that I wasn’t cut out for working with food and sank further into complacency. I eventually started college at the local university, once my dad got laid off and I qualified for financial aid. I petered around, majoring in Psychology at first, considering Art and settling on English (cause it was easy for me). Got my degree. Got my teacher certification. Started teaching…
It wasn’t long before I started feeling dissatisfied with my job and I started regretting my decision to get a degree in English. More and more, as time has gone on, I’ve longed for the days of working at the coffee shop where I worked in the middle of my college career. And as I’ve been examining the infinitely opportune future, I’ve been feeling the pull to go back to school and get that culinary training that I’ve always wanted.
Today, though, was just the straw that broke the camel’s back… The culinary arts professor at the technical school we visited was talking about the food industry and how different it was from other careers. And then, he described, with perfect clarity, the feeling of joy and gratification that I’ve always felt when serving good food to people and my heart surged with longing. That! Just exactly that! That is what I’m missing! That passion that I’ve only ever felt when working with food! He talked about taking a bunch of raw ingredients that weren’t much on their own and creating something wonderful with them. AND THEN! While it’s still fresh and new, you place it into the hands of someone that can immediately enjoy it. I’ve felt that again and again. At the coffee shop, when I got the order just right. At home, when I cook something that makes the dining room go quiet. A feeling of peace and joy that I’ve never felt as a teacher.
And I want it back.
Note to self: Next time you have an awesome idea for a post, don’t wait to write it. You’ll regret it.
So, yes, the post I was planning to write that was full of inspiration and whatnot is gone. At least four times I’ve sat down to write it and the words elude me. And not only the words, but the spirit behind the post seems to have left me as well. Not cool, Dobby, not cool.
It seems that it’s not just my writing that’s being effected, either. Along with my writing inspiration, all other forms of inspiration appear to have left me as well. I feel like doing NOTHING, all the time. I don’t want to read, write, surf the wed, watch TV, play video games and housework, HA! I have no motivation. I still do these things because I know that I should enjoy them or they need to be done, but it’s only with extreme effort. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Is there a flu or something that only makes you feel tired and unmotivated?
“…and you can’t do anything about it. Right?”
Note: Some of today’s post deals with ::cough:: feminine health issues. I’m not going to be graphic or anything, but I just thought you should be forewarned, just in case.
I know that I’ve mentioned the health problems that I was having last year, but I don’t think I’ve really gone into too much detail because of the, hrmm, sensitive nature of what I’ve got. I think that up until now, I’ve been mostly ignoring it and haven’t really sat down and thought about it. Today, though, I was trolling about a weight loss website that I’ve been looking into and on a lark, I looked up the condition to see what kind of information they have. I was, am, floored.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s get down to brass tacks. Last year I was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) which has a whole slew of side effects which including abnormal hormone levels (which leads to “lady problems”) , difficulty having children (which isn’t an issue since we aren’t planning on having kids) and weight problems. (You can clicky the link if you want to know more.) The “lady doctor” that I went to gave me birth control pills to regulate my hormones and straighten out my horribly confused system and pretty much just sent me on my way.
This diagnosis and the problems that prompted me to see a doctor were kind of pushed to the side as I was dealing with work stress and then my grandfather dying. I think it’s safe to say that these three factors were what pushed me into depression but the indifference that said doctor showed didn’t help. Finally, I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but thanks to the pill, I’m a lot more emotional that I used to be and I don’t like it.
(Poor Aaron! He’s been a doll through all this drama. And, of course, he gets the worst of my irritability and down swings. Thanks sweetheart. I’d be lost without you!)
Basically, my unhappiness with the effects of the pill, which was given to me to manage the PCOS, spurred me to look into in on the weight loss website and that brings us back to where we started.
Me. On the floor.
I found a couple of support “teams” for sufferers of PCOS that are trying to lose weight and I started reading some of these women’s stories. It was all I could do not to burst into tears on the spot. Hearing about the pain and suffering that they’ve been through that is so similar to my own and yet so individual brought all of the fear and stress and frustration bubbling out of the little hole that I’ve been stuffing it into as I’ve been prioritizing “important” stuff.
Is it weird to say that I had no idea how much it had been bothering me? Suddenly, I found myself faced with this bitter, raw place at the center of all the negativity that I’ve been struggling to escape and it was like a light clicked on. (Dammit. I need a tissue.)
When I looked at someone other than myself with the same struggles and worse, for the first time, since it wasn’t me who was suffering, I could admit how much it sucks and how unfair this random toss of the dice has been. Because it wasn’t me… Because it wasn’t just me being a big baby. Because when it’s happening to someone else, I don’t have to pretend that it’s okay. When it’s not me I don’t have to pretend that it’s no big deal just because it’s not life threatening.
And it does suck. It sucks big, hairy donkey balls. It sucks to find out that parts of my personality that I’ve been proud of could be because of what this disorder has done to me. It sucks to know that in treating it, some part of the core of who I am changes a little. And maybe you don’t really notice it, but I do and it makes me sad. It sucks that it’s harder for me to lose weight than it is for a “normal” person. It sucks that people are shallow and I am judged too harshly for something that I have limited control over. It sucks that there is no known cause or cure.
But it feels pretty damn good to be able to face it. And it feels pretty damn good to be able to admit it. And it feels pretty damn good to know that I have people who love and support me and do what they can to make it okay. (Seriously, bad day to wear mascara!) It feels pretty damn good to know that there is something wrong with me and I’m not just a failure. And it feels pretty damn good to look to the future and see promise and hope.
Thank you for putting up with my emotional colonic. I love you guys.
Pocket full of posies!
We’re all getting The Plague!
-Traditional Nursery Rhyme
(with a slight change by me)
While I probably won’t catch The Black Death from the fleas here on campus, this is just fair warning in case I “disappear”. (It could happen! Last year there was a case of Plague in OREGON! Straight from the CDC even!!)
Here in South Texas, Spring is most definitely upon us. This not only means uncomfortably warm and humid days but it means the return of THE FLEAS! (Not to mention the ever-present mosquito menace.) I’ve blogged before about my adventures at my campus with flea infestations and this year is looking like it’s going to be just as grueling and unpleasant in that regard. Last year it started in April, but this year, with the earlier warmness and all, they are early too.
This year, I am trying out some new techniques in flea killing, prevention and detection. Apparently, because we are a school, we can’t use pesticides in the building, so we are left to our own, non-poisonous devices while they try to catch the culprits (possums, or as they’re called around here “tlacuaches”, in the ceiling) and spray outside (hopefully). My room and the computer lab seem to get it the worst since we are both at the back end of the campus, away from most of the scary activity that would keep flea-ridden beasties from taking up comfortable residence. Plus, this wing has a convenient hole in the roof. Huzzah…
Last year, my arsenal in the battle against The Itchy Ones included hand sanitizer, cheap-o Lysol and my pinching fingers. This year, in an effort to be more cost effective and avoid the use of chemicals (mostly the former), I’ve retired the two cleaners and I’ve got a few new tricks up my sleeve. Of course, nothing (aside from poison) tops the effectiveness of well trained pinching fingers, but they don’t always get the job done.
That, my friends, is where good lung capacity and scotch tape pick up the slack. We have pale linoleum floors all over campus and they’re kept fairly glossy making it difficult for the enemy to execute their usual long jumps. If you happen to look down (which I do a lot now) and see one creeping toward you in little hops, often a mistimed pinch ends with a flea somewhere on you and in the very near future: itching and the distant possibility of the Black Death or Typhus.
The Enemy Combatant’s biggest weakness is how light they are. Either from exhaustion from the fight or in a sad attempt at camouflage, fleas will often lie still on the floor. But one well timed gust from strong lungs and you KNOW if that black speck on the floor is in fact a flea or if it’s just a black speck. AND if it is in fact a flea, it is now further away from you, which is a definite plus! Then, you simply tear off a small piece of tape and place it over the flea until it’s good and stuck, lift, fold it over and you have a tiny little prisoner and can pinch through the tape at your leisure without worry that it will escape. That little jerk isn’t going anywhere! Or, if you’re having a particularly bad day or are feeling particularly evil, you can just leave it there to die on its own…
And with that lovely image, I must depart. Happy Hunting!
“…’cause I don’t think it’s gonna turn out okay
It’s no fair, it’s not fun
If every time it’s gonna end the same way
Big bad world: one”
“Big Bad World One” by Jonathan Coulton
Yet again, I find myself feeling wiped out. I don’t know how driven people do it. I just don’t have that kind of crazy energy. A couple of weeks of frenetic business and I’m ready to crawl between the sheets and sleep for a month. Seriously, how do you people do it?
So, I knew going into NaNoWriMo this year, that I wasn’t going to kill myself over it. I did that last year and it caused some strain on my already tenuous social life. (Sorry guys. I’m not exciting. A thrilling night out for me includes going to eat somewhere like P. F. Wangs with friends and then a trip to a book store. Yikes! I’m boring.) Things seemed to be hurtling themselves at me pretty frequently, including some wretched bouts with writer’s block and feeling unwell. Needless to say, I got behind. Horribly behind.
Currently, I am over 10K behind, so I’m throwing in the towel. This doesn’t mean I’m going to stop writing, it just means I’ll be doing it at a slower pace. After all, this year’s story took some strange turns and I get the feeling that unless I go back and correct said detours, I’m going to end up at the same dead end I did with last year’s “winner”.
I have no regrets about calling it quits. And now you know.
Today we’re going to talk about a touchy subject with a level of candidness that some may find uncomfortable. For those of you that have trouble with my honest assessment of the treatment/judgment of “plus-sized” people, strong language and other personal things, here’s a picture of a fish:
Okay, now that we’re alone…
There is a subject that is near and dear to my heart. It’s something that has affected most of my life. It is something that I feel strongly about. A subject that is often shied away from in polite circles. At least when there are any fat people around.
::gasp:: There. I said it.
So, let’s get real. According to the BMI scale, I am obese. This is something that I never talk about with anyone other than my husband. It’s too painful and entirely too personal. It’s an Issue (intentional capitalization for emphasis) I deal with every day. Every day that I have to look in a mirror and hate what I see. Every time that I see little to no results to weeks of steady effort. Every time that I see the judgment in people’s eyes. Every time I hear a perfectly beautiful and healthy woman bemoan her weight. It’s not okay.
All of my life I’ve been fed bullshit or been looked down on. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been fed the line “But you’re not fat… (whiny voice)” by someone I’ve called on being judgmental about the weight of someone not present. I guess I’m somehow magically exempted from your disdain for fat people. Really? Don’t buy it. But you have just made me wonder what you say about me when I’m not around.
But really, I digress. There is a point to this rambling and self-indulgent post. Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. I’ve been chubby since I was eight or nine and that can’t possibly be my fault. And on top of that, I was recently diagnosed with a disorder (not life threatening, just inconvenient) that *TADA* has a symptom of obesity. In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, women with said disorder are twice as likely to be obese when compared with women that don’t have it. Joy. In addition to this lovely and depressing bit of information, one of the side effects the medication that I’m taking to regulate said disorder is *TADA* weight gain. FML.
And I just love the nagging by my new doctor when I’ve gained a few pounds since I started on the medication. It’s a lot to take, lady! I barely know you and this is how we’re gonna play it? Just walk and watch what I eat? Oh, really? Is it really that simple? Do those two things and the weight will just melt off, eh? Thank you! No, really! Thank you! I’m a big, fat idiot and I HAVEN’T FUCKING TRIED THAT ALREADY! Also, until you’ve exercised with the weight of a small person added to your own, don’t talk to me about easy.
Don’t pander to me. I’m intelligent and educated and this is the one (well, not the only) damn thing in my life that I can’t seem to conquer. And that, my freinds, is killing me. Ever damn day that I wake up and I look in that mirror and see the person that is not really me staring back out of a doughy face, I’ve already lost for that day. It’s over. The battle is lost and I can’t even try. If I can’t get over this one, apparently so insignificant thing, how in the world can I possibly do all of the big things that I want to do with my life? If it’s so fucking simple, so fucking easy, why is the weight-loss industry so huge? If it’s just that easy, what the fuck kind of moron am I? What kind of useless waste of breath am I, if I can achieve something so “simple’?
I know I must sound bitter and whiny to some of you, but this is the Issue that has plagued me for as long as I can remember. And you know what? I’m sick of it. I’m sick of doubting my worth over something so trivial. I’m sick of the treatment and blame that is heaped on people over something so monumentally personal. For some, the weight is a defense mechanism or eating is a coping mechanism. For others, it really is out of their control due to something wrong with their physiology. For still others, they struggle with an addiction to food. And yes, my fair readers, over-eating is an addiction just like any other. Just like drugs or alcohol or tobacco. I would beg the world at large to treat it as such and to show some compassion to people that judge themselves far worse than they ever could, but, I’ve seen the rotten treatment of drug or alcohol addicts too many times to assume that people would show any understanding of something outside of their experience.
Please, don’t be a dick. Thank your lucky stars that you didn’t lose the genetic lottery but don’t look down on people who did. Don’t look at me like I’m an abomination when I’m ordering the same damn thing you are but it’s wrong from me to eat it since I’m a fat cow and you “don’t usually eat things like this”. Eating out ::snicker:: is something we all indulge in. Don’t be all high and mighty. You do it too. It’s our national pastime. How many times have you had quality time turn into “Let’s go eat fatty food!” time? Thought so.
I’m sorry to have gone on so long, but I really needed to vent some of this garbage that poisons my heart. The mistreatment of others in any capacity breaks my heart and the pain and suffering and even persecution of the overweight is no different. Thin does not always equal healthy. I’ve known many thin people with high cholesterol, high blood pressure and other disorders associated with being overweight, while, with the exception of my newly discovered disorder (which is thought to be caused by genetics), my obese ass is healthy as a horse, thank you very much! Please, don’t pretend that the dirty looks that are thrown my way are out of concern for my health. I don’t buy it.
Okay, okay. Really. I should stop. Just know that I don’t share this for sympathy for myself. I really don’t. But I do hope that in some small way sharing my story might help shift someone’s perspective about something they think they know.
This is my burden. What’s yours?
It’s funny. I had a whole slew of things that I fully intended to blog about today and now that I’m sitting here in front of the keyboard, I can only think of one. But that one is the reason for the brainlessness that I am experiencing this morning:
I’m sure from blog post previous, you could parse that we live in an apartment building. And of course, with apartment living comes various pros and cons. Currently, the pros are outweighing the cons but this weekend was incredibly trying. And this weekend’s big, glaring con was the roofers that were stomping about above our heads on both Saturday and Sunday at 7AM.
If my ravings about being tired (and because of being tired) haven’t made it clear, I rarely get sufficient sleep and I am NOT a morning person. But thanks to my job, I have to get up every workday by 6AM at the latest. This does not make me a happy camper and the majority of my mornings find me bleary eyed and yawning constantly. The only thing that makes up for this constant state of sleepiness is the blessed weekends where I get to sleep past the dawn and wake up [moderately] refreshed.
But, oh no! Not this weekend. No, no, no. THIS weekend had to be the weekend that our lovely apartment management decides to roof our particular building of the complex. The other buildings were slotted for other days before and after, but ours was chosen for the weekend. Needless to say I’ve been grouchy. And to add insult to injury, on Sunday they only worked on our roof half the day. So, 7AM to 12: tromp, tromp, tromp. Then, nothing.
Come on guys. The weather’s been nice. Couldn’t you have started an hour or two later?