Shifting The Numbers (14/365)

When I woke up like a bolt of lightning had run through me at nearly 5:00am, I was curious as to how the remainder of the day would go.  I woke up and got up and got shake and lingered a bit, laying there, drinking what I actually find as enjoyable as any Starbucks I’ve ordered.  I actually finish my shakes more often than not which I can rarely ever say for the former.

Well, it seems, that the energy has stayed with me.

Energy that has allowed me to exercise for forty-five minutes without feeling panicky and nervous and heart-fluttery which usually freaks me out just enough to stop.  My music was fast-paced and my stomp walking with Leslie Sansone felt like…exercise. It felt legit even if everyone and Cindy Crawford is lifting weights and doing yoga.  It was forty-five actual minutes and I felt every drop of that serotonin moving through me.  Oh, this, this is why people do this?

I have to imagine that just the regular walking and getting up and moving around that I’ve been doing in January has helped make it easy to shift a bit.   I’d half-planned just to see if my XBox would even play the DVD or if it had been scratched and ruined at some point between now and the last time I attempted this.  Caffeine, I’m sure played a role, but today…I don’t know.

Energy that stuck with me, too, to take garbage and recycling out, to wash pots and pans, attempt to make chicken stock (celery but no carrots, it is going to need work.), go to the store and try and find size 6 riding boots to zero avail, but ended up coming home with some random chicken, random Bordeaux-hued lipstick, some more gum, and some soda.  Slowly working on pushing that pop out of my life again.  To do laundry.  Order groceries.  Contemplate if in the next month or two if I want to try making keto bread.

And soon, hopefully, if I can stop distracting myself with random nonsense, make up my bed with some nice, clean sheets.

That’s a lot for me.  Maybe you and yours have all this shit locked down, but I am in a constant state of personal revelation when I handle anything without spending hours letting the thoughts run around in my mind, percolating a few drops of high-octane willpower before collapsing in a heap of your own making.

I know that better habits – habits at least like not buying Starbucks, even the low-sugar macchiato – make for days like this.  And if you can stack a few days like this, you can make your surroundings a place where you can trust that you have a clean bowl to cook your slightly more complicated low-carb food in and you’ve got space to move around in and you’ve got time as well.  So you don’t block yourself out of your own plans.

A little scary, mostly wonderful to contemplate.

The eventualities of sticking with this for a full year.  What it will mean.

The Charming Charmer Charmed (5/365)

I owe a lot of words.  A fair wheelbarrow full of words.  Days upon days of not telling you the cut of my jib.

I apologize and am going to start making up for it.  I came home straight away from work and took a shower, just to get my own deep and yet ever-incipient blehness off.  Or at least the top layer of it.  Really, I thought, in my way, in my way that eight years or more years of writing has yet to cure me of, I can just get by with a handful of hours of sleep. I can take the shower in the morning.  A little more time to game. A little more time in the world of make-believe.  Someone else’s make-believe, mind.

The morning, this Priestess of the Holy Dawn discovers, only entails rapture for those who drag themselves up to meet it.  And I was in no fit state to drag myself anywhere.  Just a tragic gamer mess desperate for one more hour when there wasn’t one more to be had at 6:40 in the a.m.  The girlness was incidental.  But I felt sure that as bad as the hair was, as unctuous and displeasing as it appeared, I could at least mitigate the situation with my makeup bag.   The one I regularly leave in my car for just such a purpose.

Well, clever me, clever girl, unfit but dragged down to the parking lot, the Priestess makes a second discovery: no makeup bag.   Then she and I have to make a quick decision, right on the spot.  Go back up and spend 2 minutes looking for it and possibly be a few minutes later and have to do it at my desk which is not either of our favorites…or just go and assume nobody in this vast Vampire Factory will ever turn their head in my direction.

Have you any doubt as to which the Priestess and I selected as our professional behavior for the day?  I swear, I must have looked like death scraped up and served on toast.  Just frightful.  And this is the day that so many new things and new people had to be met.

So I came home as quickly as I could and am determined to get some sort of color on my zombie face tomorrow.  The lesson to all of this is that if I don’t pull myself away to handle my shit, it catches up with me.   And embarrasses me even when I swear I don’t care and it doesn’t matter.  And the game will still be there.  Everything will still be there, I lose nothing to take care of what I need to take care of.

More in an upcoming post as to how the diet is going (not not well, huzzah!), just suffice to say that I’ve been dumb about thinking the world will suddenly bend for me.  Maybe for as long as you have ever known of me.  Maybe longer yet.  And I’m not about to wise up. But I can stop being so damned stupid.

And You Called Her for a Liar: 3/365

I have caught the Third Day Flu.  The notorious third day, what the fuck, my body’s constant glucose drip that I have so long gone out of my way to provide it with, is gone Flu.

It is the day when if you’re not sure you want to turn your life on your head for this that you give the hell up.

Some days it just sucks.  And I have melted at these points.  I have given up so many diet ghosts because I would really preferred to have somehow not been hit with this natural reality – and my preference in the moment trumped (fuck him and all he stands for) my ability to recall that this is what happens.  There’s some sort of memory block that happens when I’m planning or thinking about low-carb or just reducing the horrifying amount of sugar I generally, casually, eat.  Like having a child, I guess.  You have to forget or you would never, ever do it again.

It happens and it sucks to get headaches and be both hungry and repulsed by food and needing to add water and feeling irritated about having to pee more frequently to accommodate the Suez Canal’s worth of water your supposed to be swallowing every day.

It sucks and rather than transcend, today I choose to do what I need to do and whine at the internet, my very safe place here upon the internet, that it sucks.

But I won’t quit.   Wouldn’t that be hilarious and tragic if all it took was three days off the go go juice and I am broken down completely? Ready to capitulate to any terms for a handful of marshmallows (don’t tempt me, my friends.)

I will respect the fact that I am taking step 3 to get to step 365 – a step ostensibly somewhere far out from where I am right now.  I am taking it like I take my vegetables: with a face that indicates I’ve just been hit in the face with a bitter, skunky baseball.  Literally, my eyes will water at a piece of asparagus.  But I think half of that is just not troubling to cook them in a way that will make them delicious rather than simply edible.  The other half is just the training in my brain that anticipates punishment and a sense of “missing out” and sitting in chairs for hours after dinner refusing to eat the lima beans that were served to me.  Lima beans that tasted like mold, like musty, rotten fuzz in a leathery shell.  Hiding them in napkins to look as though I cleaned my plate.

This is not deep childhood trauma.  This is just an association in my mind that I am well aware of and have build ruts into with how regularly I work at defending and recalling this stance.  Vegetables are not gross.  They are helpful and fine.

So I need to break down the aversion and eat more of them.   Ugh.  I will.  It’s important.

The book: Life After Life by Kate Atkinson.

 

Prayer Hours at the Temple of Love (2/365)

January 2nd.  We’ve come back again just like that Backstreet Boys song.  That’s my era, my friends, perhaps I’ve evaded saying so for eight years of blogging, but that’s music I grew up with.  Along with The Smithereens and Liz Phair and Goo Goo Dolls (especially, now, their pre-Superstar Carwash albums) and a host of others I should write about some time.

Anything to not stand before you with my five hundred words about intention again.  I’m not bored with doing it.  Certainly not on day two of this segment of my life, this year arc of experimenting with what happens when you just don’t do the shit that always fucks you up.  You just don’t do it, touch it, come near it, allow it space in your life.  I’m not bored already with trying.  Just framing the language of YES, I AM TRYING TO BETTER MY LIFE in such a way that we both feel like I mean it and that I’m not overworking every single sentence to get us there.  Just to enjoy this as the opportunity it is – to rebuild my journal and do right by myself.

I ate low-carb today.  I got up and walked a smidge, took some recycling to the bin that needed to go, got low-carb groceries.  Pro Tip: order your groceries if your grocery store provides this service.  It means I can’t wander the aisles contemplating carb counts and squeaking by with eating something quasi-justified, or saying fuck it, and asserting I will start tomorrow, and filling the cart with pizza and candy bars.  Not that I have ever done anything like that.

The above means I left the house for something other than work.  Got outside.  Immediately felt rrefreshed and energized and everything as advertised.  This needs to be done.  Working my brain into a tizzy about doing it and never doing it is…a gross result.  It’s icky to swirl around in the same thoughts for too long.  It’s like using the same bathwater for a month.

I need to find a book.  If there were many of you, I’d poll you.  I just need to pull a book and get it read.  There’s surely a couple here I haven’t read, hell, I could even read The Ship of Theseus again and let my brain swell up with possibilities.

I will find one and put it in my bag tonight before my head hits the pillow.

I’ve been playing Mass Effect; Andromeda, not exclusively, but nearly.  I have my opinions – mostly I like it but there is a certain rush job quality that Bioware can be so much better than.  You see the edges here.  Sometimes you get stuck in them and hope for a recent save.  Not to be excessively metaphorical.  I am just working out months and months of not posting like this, friends.

Eventually…no…I and this will always be weird in this particular fashion.  It’s okay if you don’t like it.

No particular beginning that you can discern happening for a week.  This is just…the in-between.

One-Star Review (1/365)

I am on the path. I know the start weight.  I know the score.  The feeling.  The muscle memory of January 1.  This is the easiest day of the whole thing.  The simplest to find the Fitbit and get it charged.  To look up a few low-carb websites.  To add a couple glasses of water to your morning.  To eat some cheese and be distracted by the newness of it all.

This is the day for all of that to happen.

I have gained weight over this year of undocumented emotional indulgence.  The roller coaster of are they, aren’t they, will they, won’t they, do they, don’t they has taken its only just now acknowledged toll.  I’ve pretended that I feel the same, even if stairs leave me slightly ought of breath, if I feel slightly overclocked sometimes, a mind and heart racing without any particular stress to trigger it.  There are signs that are subtle and not that double orders of chile cheese fries have an impact to the body.

I don’t feel the resonating thrum around the idea of providing this page with yet another, probably annual at this point, mea culpa.  I don’t feel like a public face palm is all that valuable to me, personally.   I was mad earlier, overlooking the scale, not shocked, but disappointed that I thought that the magic in my magical thinking was hardcore enough as to invent a workaround for the Law of Conservation.    That I could eat violently – eat against imperfection – and end up perfect.  End up unmarked and not carrying all of the impact of adding dessert at every meal, of cravenly eschewing anything remotely green in color (the chile was mostly red in hue). As ever, the value to me, or to you now, is in the path forward where either we do a little better at not fucking things up, or we don’t.  I mean, as much chatter as I can provide us both about it and we all know I can chatter with the best of them when I’m of a mind, the things I do today are what the rest of my life will look like if I don’t break the chain.

I have my plans.  My flexible suggestions that I am going to be writing into law once I am sure I am not going to spend every day breaking them.  I am writing them down, but not here.   Again, not until I am doing something I can comment on.  Day One, as has been explained to me at my new corporate job, is energy and excitement and press releases and the whole embodied concept of LAUNCH! It’s important and necessary to cast your boat off the shore hard and get moving.  But it’s Day Two, it’s the realization that people – perhaps you, dear reader – have moved on.  The excitement for them is already behind them, scratched out of their bullet journals, and it is on you to design and sustain your own passion and maintain it so you can sell it back to them all the way down the road.

So I have done the Day One Showing Up.  I have provided myself the rationale.  I have not eaten a single marshmallow of the bag of marshmallows that have sat next to me on the couch all day long.  I have joined the hordes of perpetual failure: I have started a diet  and I hope I achieve my goals with it.  But this is the same group that is winnowed out into those who get somewhere, who do make it.  It has to come out of the pool of everyone who is willing to say, goddamnit, okay, maybe my Id can’t run me from morning to night and I have to put my foot down.  All of us tryers standing at the shore, taking the shove into the waters we know, pulling ourselves into the waters we don’t.

 

 

The Dismal Visionary

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Who can say?  Not I.  Not I.

2017 is nigh.

Food.
I am inspired to do low-carb starting January 1.   It’s coming out of my own desire to do it and not, I believe, out of this sense of needing to have a resolution.  Not out of habit.  It’s, instead, coming out of my own personal sense of needing to start the year working on myself because I want to see improvement.  I want my life to be better, goddamnit, fabulous, even.  Not choosing food to serve as an external release valve on all of my emotions.  Of wanting to be able to get myself moved out of this limbo.  I know that there’s a big event coming on the 9th where food will be funky.  I know my birthday is coming again.  Yet, I want to do this.  I want to have a year-end change.  It’s time to start pulling out the motivational picture albums, the MyFitnessPal, the FitBit or some form of pedometer and get to be excited about progress again.

So, I can’t do it all at once.  But water, cutting carbs, tracking food and posting daily on MFP about it.  That’s a path towards something.  You will see me doing that, failing, upset, excited, not doing what you think I should, working really hard, being all over the map.  But this is my intention.

I also pledge not to eat out more than once a week.  That’s mostly about money, but I also eat so maniacally, it’s a way to help myself, too.

Writing
Just to reiterate, changes are going to happen here because…they have to.  I can’t do another year of just posting moaning screeds.  It’s a waste of my talents.  I need to read.  I so need to be reading so that the well has something other than marsh water to draw on.  I can’t do better unless I do differently, so the post will happen in essence via MFP or me writing.  I will be here weekly to spaz and cross-post, but it won’t be like it is now.

That scares the everloving shit out of me.  I might accidentally just post. I don’t know.

Computer Time
The reading and the writing and the not just spending whole days restarting Civ IV games.  I have to be conscious of how much time I cede to this thing.  Even just waiting for people to respond to messages.  It’s endless at times.  I mean, I love it, it’s comforting, but it chains my ass to the bed for ages.  I can’t be chained like this forever.  Nothing is forever.

Love
Every day we start over.  The hand hangs out of the carriage and is grabbing in all directions.  But I am sure that I like myself better for just that little bit of trying I am doing.  So, I say how do you do, and I try and make jokes, and I try and express interest and comb my hair and buy (with gift certificates) new dresses and be cute and willing.  And we’ll see.

 

 

A Woman of Negotiable Virtue

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Oh, Fallen London, you are really the swell and dandiest, particularly with your free and easy gifts of the titles for posts.

I have about ten tabs open and I am feeling more than a bit overwhelmed, digitally, and in the good old analog braincase.  Let’s do this, please.

Thoughts and feelings, thoughts and feelings!  I now, essentially, have a second job.  With the caveat that I have to explain to my current boss tomorrow that halving my hours means I need a second job and that I’ve got one, at least for the summer and I need to shift things around to accommodate it.   I think this is fine.  I can just work full days there 3 days a week and work a day and a half at the new one.  It’s stressful, I suppose, for all of us, and I’m half afraid that she’d say, oh, I intended to put you back on full-time June 1, but I don’t financially get that as even being possible, at all, so…I am looking after me. She could also say, well, that’s too much of an inconvenience for me, so goodbye you, which is not really likely, but everything feels within the realm of possibility these days.

It’s only retail, it’s only about 25 hours a week with about what you’d expect to make doing retail.  It’s a stopgap measure to keep me in food and drink and health insurance.  This is not the excitement about it.  The excitement is it’s working in my mentor’s boutique clothing store, they trust me enough that it’s was about 10 minutes of chatter before we started laying out schedules.  They also want to talk about me helping with social media/copywriting…some things that I’m interested in doing anyway.  I know these ladies and I know their vibe, I know the town, and they care about me and my life, the role writing plays, and even the fact that I’m kind of at a mental crossroads.  They get that this is rough.   I feel immediately like, oh, wow, I can’t break this.  I can just be carried by it until I get a clue.

It’s also rough because once this all gets conferred and confirmed, I can’t tell my parents.  I can’t because we’ve agreed in the great High Council of this house that they don’t need to know, the little sister, the aunt, either.  This would only lead to histrionics and heaving sighs and phone calls about if we’re going to die in the gutter and other things I am starting to believe are not exactly likely. It is, in fact, our lives rather than anyone else’s and their freak-out doesn’t change the bank balance and perhaps, it would be good to be able to say, yes, this happened, but we got it covered.

But for now, no telling, no facebooking, certainly not until the current boss is made to know the plans as I see them.  I feel shitty because I’m enforcing this boundary of addressing my needs rather than martyring myself – the usual act of comfort.  I also feel shitty because this is a new schedule change I have to adjust to, a new place I need to make sure I’m giving energy and attention.

Overall, though.  This is good.