Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Need to See Results

My teenaged nephew told me tonight that he can see I'm losing weight. Oh, wonderful young man, I needed to hear that! Bought him a taco pizza dinner to say thanks :).

I need to see that SOMEthing is happening, or I completely lose heart in my attempts to become fit. No, not instant gratification! I'm so used to extremely delayed (or never, Ha ha ha Ha ha ha) gratification that I've pretty much given up on some things.

I don't know if you realize it, but I didn't just start going to the gym last month. I've been going for almost two years. I had no idea where to go for an education on getting myself fit, but I'm finally finding some people generous enough to share their valid knowledge with me. So yeah, I'm technically becoming a copycat in that respect, but they wouldn't blog their weight loss / fitness tips if they didn't want to share them, right?

Bless him, Matt slapped a big bandaid on my heart when he said it, because to date, only three places on my body show any visible changes: my face, my lower legs, and the part of my ribs just above my "spare tire". I'm starting to see that there are ribs under there again. I'm not sure what a good thing that is, though, because if I press on one of my ribs where there's no appreciable fat, it hurts like crazy.

So yes, results barely showing, and two out of three are places I don't normally let the world see. Okay, I don't let anyone see. I've gone from wearing an XL in tee shirts to a L, and the Oxford University sweatshirt I bought in London in July fits me just right now. I'm still upset over the JC Penney incident Saturday morning, however. I went to check out their fitness gear in sale, and they had FIVE pairs of exercise capris in XL in the whole store. Two were the same pants style. None of them fit me.

Let me be honest here: my tush has never looked good. I've got wide hips, no muscle definition back there, and it's kinda flat. Which means that it's also weak, and that makes running harder, and might even be the starting point of my extreme supination, which in turn links up a whole heap of related problems, in a chain reaction. I'm not insulting myself talking about my weak butt -- it's a weak point, just like my arms. I didn't know there were three sets of muscles that need strengthening, and a piriformis muscle which has been pinching the daylights out of my sciatic nerve, making me think my right leg was completely disintegrating. What else was I to think, when I was having to drag it like a dead limb, using my hip to lift it?

All of that to say that even with my flat bootie, those pants seemed made for some variant of female that has literally no flesh on her posterior. Forget it if you have a strong set of glutes that are well rounded... These pants will NOT fit them. But realistically, what can you expect from a $10 pair of running capris that were probably made in China? They were sized to fit a bamboo shoot.

So, I'm sticking with UnderArmour. They are way expensive for my taste, but they have been good quality so far and they fit me. Maybe when I'm in better shape I'll DESERVE that privilege of being able to actually choose what I want from a lot of clothing locally. There's just not much available in my size.

So I have to get myself fitting into smaller sizes. If I do this right, I'll also be getting adequate sleep, in great cardiovascular and physical shape, eating healthfully, and maybe just a smidge happier with myself. My sister seems to feel that my diabetes is the cause of my slower-than-expected progress. I don't know. I haven't been having sneak attacks of hypoglycemia lately.

I may not be able to see a difference myself, but I can feel a difference inside, under that layer of fat that is hiding my muscles as they are toning up. I feel stronger. I'm beginning to have more energy. And if I could just drop this sludge a little faster, I could maybe even run.

And you know, I want to run. There's a sense of being truly alive and free when I can run unhindered. I still dream about being able to run like that fairly often, practically floating over the ground with my feet barely skimming the surface. Funny thing is, sometimes I'm pounding that pavement absolutely barefooted like I did as a child.

If you see positive changes in my shape, please share that with me., its the only feeling of success I really get, since pounds aren't melting off me still. Maybe the fat is being eaten away as I'm building muscle simultaneously, but that doesn't show, yet, so please encourage me if you see a hint of success. :). I'm feeling more insecure about it with every weigh-in.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Day After Day

Just got the unofficial accusation that I'm cheating on my mile recording. Like I really need yet another slap in the face today regarding my fitness. I'm about ready to just quit the "team" because, after being told to "get more miles!" I rose to the challenge and added TEN MILES of sweaty resistance biking to my day.

I'm doing a lot of exercising. A lot. About 33 minutes on the elliptical, 45 minutes to an hour of weightlifting & resistance training. Then ten miles on the bike. I've done 1.75 miles on the treadmill when my shin splints don't cripple me.

Then I get told that my bike miles don't get full credit. It feels like I'm being called a cheater.

I'm doing all this work, trying to eat clean, drink tons of water, and my weight doesn't noticeably change.

Then people insinuate that I'm a liar. Like I'm not doing what I say. Like I'm not choking down blueberries (I don't like them) and Greek yogurt (it tastes like sour cream) and unsweetened oatmeal made with nothing but water and cinnamon. Apples. Apples and other fruit coming out my ears. Raw vegetables (even though they upset my stomach.) I can't even finish all the food I'm supposed to be eating.

Do you have ANY idea how miserable it is to do all of this and see no changes, day after day? I have zero support, no help, and a metabolism gone haywire.

This old maid is really tired of the fight. After all is said and done, I'll still be overweight, alone, and loathing everything about myself. There's just nothing worthwhile left.

Nothing works right in this old body. I'm obviously a mutant, so I guess it's a good thing I can't have children and spread my creepiness.

It's obviously natural selection at its finest.

Understand Yet? I don't. :(

Miles last week: 61.86
Calories burned: 5,315

I'm only sharing this as a gesture of futility.

These are screenshots from my health insurance's website where I have to record all of my exercise. After all of this sweaty exercise and calories burned, rather than losing another pound and a half, I gained two pounds over the weekend.

I said I would give it a full three months to start seeing results. Looks like the only results I'm going to see are continual pound additions. (And no, my clothes aren't getting any looser.).

Feel fortunate if your body responds to major amounts of exercise by losing fat. Mine doesn't. Unfortunately, there is still an awkward 12 year old girl in here sniffling because no one is ever going to love her. Except now she's lived long enough to see that it's true, and now she's not even a skinny kid anymore.

* I was going to say, you better love me for who I am, because my body isn't going to improve. But that's quite the joke already.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Miles last week: 33.86

No fooling... I really did get that many miles in last week, when you include all the exercising I did, weightlifting, strength training, walk / running, elliptical, and bicycling. It probably sounds bogus, until you take a few factors into account. I'm not cheating. Check my phone, where I record it all. Ask the people at my gym, especially the woman who works the desk at night, about my psycho workouts. She has seen me doing them. (Technically, I'm always over the time limit on the bike, but the others are empty anyway, so I'm not causing a problem)

1. I was angry about the other team's count, after I heard mention of pedometers. My competitiveness went into hyperdrive. I bought resistance bands and use them whenever I have a few spare minutes between classes, during lunch, during my planning period... Basically, whenever I think about it. (I want to get rid of my "chicken wings"... Is that so wrong? Yeah, I get a little obsessive. At least it's not over a man who mistreats me.)

2. I'm single, and I have a LOT of time on the weekends and at night to spend at the gym. I also, obviously, have NO social life. I don't date, either. (Lack of opportunity, really. Not a lot of men in my dating pool as it is. Most are married or divorced and vengeful.)

3. I'm using a reclining bike, which means no pressure on my shins. Just my quads. Biking long distances is much easier for me, even with the resistance raised. You'll notice I can't do ten miles on the elliptical or the treadmill. I fail at running distances. Plus, I'm really discouraged about running right now. I make a little progress and then my shin splints bench me. :( Oh, other than the fact I'm always so slow in a race that I want to quit before finishing my first mile. I need serious help in the mental aspect of running. I can do it on a treadmill, so why not with other people around?

Is my anxiety in crowds THAT bad? (Yes. I just never realized that races totally freak me out in that aspect. My anxiety more than triples.)

4. I remembered how easy it is to spend hours at the gym because I can watch a movie on Netflix and take my mind off my discomfort, though when I'm breathing so hard, I miss a lot of the movie dialogue. :D

5. I've lost four pounds, and they put me into the stupid mental state of overkill. (You know, "if a little is good, TONS will be awesome!"). I know it's wrong. But maybe six weeks of hard effort will start moving my sluggish metabolism. Hey, I'm not as tired as I am on a usual day without strenuous exercise preceding it. I might be onto something here. God knows, nothing else has worked.

6. I'm absolutely desperate to get this weight off, because I think it is the main cause of my recurring shin splints. When something sensible seems to be working for my weight loss, I clutch at it like a drowning man holding onto a piece of driftwood. And then i naturally overdo it. (I'm afraid it will stop working.) Besides, I suspect that with even ten pounds gone, it will become noticeably easier for me to run. Imagine what it'll be like after forty.

7. Maybe I'm just a psycho when it comes to the gym. But if I continue losing weight without injury, cardio will be the key. More than one person has told me to lose the weight before I attempt to run, and my previous efforts have all failed. So now I'm trying the sleep, eat clean, and do lots of cardio with weightlifting mixed in route.

8. My insurance company is kinda forcing me to track calories burned and pounds lost, or else they will increase my rates. I'm pretty threatened by that. More anxiety for the chubby little rat on the wheel.

9. There's a little bit of vanity involved. I'm miserable feeling like this, and ashamed of how I look. I'm hoping that with a better shape, I'll stop hating my reflection. The other things that make me who i am can't be changed, but maybe my body can, and then I, if no one else, can accept myself.

Until I break a leg. I have to crank up my metabolism or I'm in a lot of trouble with my health anyway. Diabetes will become a serious problem, instead of an occasional inconvenience.

So here's the deal: I said I have 40 pounds to lose. (It's a little more, but forty is a responsible place to start.) If those four pounds are really gone, that means I've lost ten percent of my first goal. When I get there, I'll probably have another fifteen pounds to go, still leaving me really curvy, but hopefully able to fit into a smaller size.

I don't want to be skinny. I just want to be lean and fit. I'm not going to starve myself. So, lots of exercise it is. And lots of sweat. :) It makes me sleep better at night, anyway.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Miles & Sadface

The two cups of coffee seemed to have done the trick on my migraine yesterday. Lesson learned: don't skip coffee on the weekends.

I'm waiting on someone to take me out for my birthday so I thought I'd recap the good things from last night. Yes, of course they all happened while I was alone. I don't get to have good things with other people. So bite me and my melancholy. It's really lonely here in the wasteland. No one understands that. But they have plenty of trite "answers".

I did 2.58 miles on the elliptical, farther and faster than ever before. I broke my record.

I did 10.01 miles on the bike in under 42 minutes, because I want those miles, darn it. My piriformis muscles cramped on BOTH sides at the same time.

Then I did 1.23 miles on the treadmill, some of it running, just to stretch out my legs and my cramped backside, hoping to finish the movie I had been watching my entire workout. Yeah, THAT kept me distracted when the going got rough. It was The Raven. I kinda liked it. I needed another hundred calories to meet my goal of 3000 calories burned for the week.

Runkeeper tells me I broke 8 of my own records last night. Wahoo.

I think I made up for missing Saturday. I got there and was down three pounds (when I expected to be retaining ten pounds of water, actually), and when I left, I had lost another pound. Probably sweat -- my clothes were drenched when I finished. I was also covered in gritty salt, and when my bra dried overnight (I waited till today to get a load together to wash), it was stiff.

I burned almost 1200 calories at the gym last night. Probably worthless overkill but I told you, I want those miles. I did more miles last night than all of last week put together. Running makes me cry (because I'm such a bedraggled failure at it) but my competitive spirit is still doggedly dragging along, tied to the back bumper.

Please forgive me, because I feel completely miserable right now.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Tick Tock

Tick Tock, my migraines progress like a clock.
God help me when the clock ceases forward progress and starts running backward, as it does sometimes.

They start at 7, then proceed clockwise from the base of my skull, to 9 on the left side, then 10 near my left temple, to 11, 12, and 1 across my forehead.

I tried to sleep it away and have lost most of the day as a result. I got to see the last few minutes of daylight while I made a very strong cup of coffee (too strong to sweeten into pleasantness, actually), and wondered that there was still light at nearly 5 pm in the winter. Although I know the days are slowly growing longer again, they still aren't long enough for me.

I tried Tylenol, ice packs (they're just fabulous for confusing my inner thermostat... The heat's on the blink again, I'm covered in ice, and sweating in my bed anyway), sinus medicine, water (how do I get so dehydrated in ONE day of not guzzling water, which I hate? Is this an Aquarius thing?), sleeping, and now a megadose of caffeine. I even tried extra b vitamins yesterday. *sigh*

I slept through 3 and 4 o'pain and Quincy gently kissed me awake for a weewee break outside. Now the pain is at 5 o'clock in my skull, and I'm hoping that it doesn't go for another sweep around my head.

What caused this? I don't know. Could be PMS, could be that I don't typically have coffee on weekends (and no soda to take its place), could be sudden dehydration. It could be because i wore my glasses yesterday. It kept me from the gym yesterday, which frustrates me, now that I've figured out how to fairly and legally rack up real miles for the mileage contest at work. I guess that will be this week's rest day, officially.

(No, I still don't consider wearing a pedometer to count every step you take for the day as fair. It's cheating. They are supposed to be miles of deliberate exercising, not every step taken in your day.)

I didn't sleep much later than I did this week or last. I'm trying to put myself on a "good" sleep schedule, and by golly, I intend for it to be permanent, if only because my moods seem a little more stable on 7+ hours a sleep a night. (Though I'm doing it for the sake of weight loss. Just trying to balance my life a bit since it seems I will have to achieve perfection in all areas to start losing weight for good.)

Now don't get all know-it-all and tell me I don't have migraines because they don't fit the textbook definition of how yours strike. Those would be typical migraines, and not everyone has exactly the same type of headache but really DOES have a true migraine. There are atypical migraines. It doesn't make my migraines special, just a little different. I still have noise, smell, and light sensitivity, and the feeling that my head will explode if I so much as lean forward. Random nausea.

Resentfulness that I'm being controlled by pain I can't alleviate unless I beg for serious drugs * from a doctor that will mess with hormone levels, and therefore my weight. I'd prefer a homeopathic route, since I'm trying to head into the practice of clean eating.

Actually, I was going to spend some time yesterday planning my ("clean") meals for the week, and today shopping for them and cooking, but I got kneecapped by the migraine. If it loosens it's grip, I still have the holiday tomorrow to get started. And I could still have a useful late evening tonight at the gym.... I'll just have to shift my bedtime back a little later, or just find a way to get to sleep in a hurry after an hour of cardio.

* I'm going to donate blood this week. I can't have a bunch of blood-thinning chemicals in my system.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Learning Process

Today I finally understood a few things. (Okay, i already knew; this was just confirmation.) Some people will always want things, promise they will repay on a specified date, duck you on that date, and not give a damn. It doesn't matter who they are, but they will always come wanting more, and always on their terms.

Sometimes it involves favors they insist they deserve from you, though they never do a thing in return for you. They will deliberately and impersonally email you the day after your birthday, with a limp "hope your day was happy," in an attempt to throw a guilt trip on you for not being easily controllable.

Some don't even bother with an online "Happy Birthday" when virtual strangers make the effort, just out of kindness.

My brother bought me dinner. My dad sent me some pretty (fake) flowers. (Because they'll last longer.) A coworker gave me some yummy goodies and another brought me an awesome cupcake from his daughter that I pretended was a birthday cake. My nephews gave me a gift card for the very expensive local coffee shop that I like. :) I even got a funny card from another coworker. That's as good as it gets.

It's enough. It's probably a lot more than I deserve. Things work out this way for a reason, even if we never understand why. Maybe it's all those voodoo dolls I make and keep jabbing with pins. Hmm. ;)

Anyway, I know this is only a pang for me, because it was my birthday and not yours.

Because I was sick most of the week I didn't go to the gym, and tonight I went. I was angry because I haven't been losing weight, and though my Walk Across Tennessee team recorded our miles fairly, we got trounced by a team who had to have put in 50 miles per person in the week, knowing they didn't put in that much exercise time. Then I heard that they were wearing pedometers and counting every step they had jiggled for the day. Apparently, more than just actual exercise miles.

Now, I have to pee a lot when I drink enough water, but I don't count any of those trips to the bathroom as legitimate exercise.

So I did 2.56 miles of hard cardio on the elliptical (my heart rate maxed out at 187 - I'm probably heart attack proof, so save my heart for that first batch of Terminator hybrids). Then I got on the bike and those calories weren't budging. For 25 minutes of hard breathing sweaty biking, it said I only burned 108 calories. ...but it never asked my weight or age. Aha! When I put the activities on my insurance company's app, it told me I actually burned more like 380 calories. Yay, that does make me feel better. I got in over 8 miles today, thanks to the bike. (Yes, I increased the resistance.)

When I looked at my goal to burn 3500 calories a week, I was crestfallen to realize that even with a rest day, I'd have to burn nearly 600 calories a day 6 days a week without fail. That's just for one pound of fat to lose. I supposed I'd have to start doing two-a-days if I was ever going to see my weight start to go down. Because otherwise, I'd never have the energy to burn 600 at night.

I actually did 775 with just the elliptical and bike. I still want to run, but I can't lose the shin splints at this weight. I've got to get lighter or I'll keep getting hurt.

According to the scale, I've lost two pounds this week. Please God, let them really be gone.

Right now, I don't really want to participate in the 7k I signed up for. I just want to pick up my packet and shirt I had to pay extra for (because I know I signed up first and they won't honor their offer to give the first 100 sign ups free shirts) and go home. Nobody will be running with me, and nobody will be cheering for me. I'll be there alone. That's the hard part of running races. It'll be another crowded and lonely event I'll just embarrass myself in.

Maybe what I did on the first day of my new year will be a hint of what I see for the rest of the year: successful workouts and calorie burning, and a pound lost forever each day. (Cue the old gypsy saying "Thinner" here.)

And it's for me. Just me. I've got no one to impress, and I just want to feel better and not hate my reflection so intensely.

Hey, another good night at the gym, so I'm rewarding myself with another Oxygen back issue. I really did earn that. I can count on me, after all.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Bronchitis Relapse & Resistance Bands

In retrospect, I'd have to say that a 5k in 32 degree weather wasn't a good idea. But I didn't know beforehand that I was still sick. I'd had no signs of it other than a scratchy throat. The truth is, I probably picked up a simple cold from someone at the school, and it went straight to my bronchial tubes.

So today I'm sneezing like crazy, and I've had a couple of bouts of coughing that made everything go grey and I had to gasp to get my breath back.

I'd had a round of hard cardio on the elliptical planned, but it'll make me cough if I try it. Probably sneeze too, and that'll be pretty nasty. So, here I am, grounded again. That'll give the viewers of my log on more red herring to chase the next time I ask a question about food for a prerace energy boost, and the go spouting off about how I've been lazy in my running for two week prior. I guess they couldn't read the note about being in bed two weeks with bronchitis. Idiots.

Coincidentally, today Runner's World tweeted that they're starting a new column, Fuel School. Lol Great! I wonder when I'll get to see it? I'd ask my question there, but I don't want to be ridiculed on the national level.

Anyway, this doesn't mean I did no exercise today. Last night I bought a set of resistance bands and I've been working my arms all day whenever I had a few minutes. Biceps, triceps, deltoids, and traps. Yayyyy me. I bought them because I'm having a hard time with the bicep curl machine at the gym and I didn't want to deal with dumbbells in my house. Those bands really do work. And I can clip all three together eventually if I need serious resistance.

So, resting at home, but not skiving off my workout completely. I'm not crying over anything, but it does feel like my sinuses are coated with itching powder, and it's driving me kinda crazy.

At least I figured out a motivational reward - for each night at the gym, I'll let myself buy another digital back issue of Oxygen Magazine. Cherie Steffen of recommended it, and so far, it's inspiring. :). And even useful.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Sweaty Start to the "Big Week"

This week I will be 42 on Thursday. (Yeah, Valentine's Day, and no, it isn't really a week full of feasting and dancing for me.) everyone is always broke and / or busy for mine, though I never am when theirs comes around. Anyway, I like that my age will be an even number. The odd numbers seem to have bad years attached. Lets not dwell on that, or you'll start calling me a fat, bitter, lonely old maid. Whoops, sorry, I bet you already did. Ha ha ha. ;)

I went to bed at 10:00 last night. Gasp! Does this mean I'm a reformed night owl? Let's hope so! Lol. My eyes popped open at 5 am, after a very calm dream about playfully running after one of my nephews in a forest.

My whole chest area was covered in sweat. As it is most every morning, even though I'm waking up in a 65 degree bedroom. (Don't give me the "You're too young for that" speech. I most definitely am NOT too young. But thanks for playing.). I couldn't get cool after that, even with all my skin exposed in a cold room with a ceiling fan blasting. It was cold enough that my dog stayed under the covers, ok?

I was so awake I was thinking about taking a predawn run in my dangerous neighborhood, but I wasn't sure if my shins could handle it. I tried to go back to sleep, but it was impossible.

Maybe it was a sign from God that I should have gotten up and found some way to exercise. Maybe driven to the gym and hopped onto the elliptical, at least, in all my peri menopausal sweaty glory. Well, in my gym clothes, I mean. Haha

If it happens again tomorrow, I will take it as a sign of one or two things:

1. My body loved getting right at seven hours of sleep, and that's my optimum amount.
2. God is waking me up for morning cardio and I'd better make it so. ;)

I just need to find some kind of high energy breakfast or supplement that will make me feel absolutely energized for my workout. Any suggestions?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The People in the Back Matter Too.

Fair warning: I'm still disgusted with myself.

I knew going into today that I hadn't had nearly enough sleep. I was shy about three hours of what I needed. So even as I went through the first tenth of a mile, I was already feeling tired and draggy. I also felt extremely heavy on my feet. Neither of these things is a magic bullet reason for why today felt so disappointing, but they probably contributed to the whole.

Maybe it was the cold. At least I didn't pull any muscles from coldness, though I didn't do a good job of warming up or stretching, and that's my own fault. I was wearing enough clothes even without my jacket, and I almost tried to load myself down like a pack animal with water, phone, jacket, etc.

As soon as I started breathing hard, I couldn't regain control of my breath again. I went to shallow panting and then I got that horrible metallic taste in my mouth. Blood. I don't think I could have spit out a drop of blood if I had tried, but I do think it came from my lingering bronchitis (stupid of me once again to think a month had been enough time to get over it -- last year it took about three months) and my beginning cold.

It was either my sinuses or bronchial tubes, and my sinuses aren't really that bad yet, so it probably came up from my lungs. Bad taste, and then phlegm started clogging up the works. The second half of the race was a pattern of jogging a few seconds until the coughing started, then getting choked and having to slow down to a walk again. I really did keep trying to jog, even while I was coughing, but I couldn't do both.

I just remember wondering why my breath tasted so nasty. I thought it was my imagination because I didn't want to run in the cold. (It was 32 degrees.) I could see my breath, but keeping my Buff over my mouth didn't stop the coughing. It wasn't the cold air - just the bronchitis. It's six hours later and I'm still having to repeatedly clear my throat every few seconds. I did it all morning before the race, and I still am. Yuck.

I'm still limping, but not from any pain. (That will be tomorrow, and all week, I'm sure.). My right leg is dragging again, and I'm having to pull it forward using my hip. It wasn't the big problem, but it was just another thing that made me want to sit down on the side of the road and just QUIT. I limped after the first mile. And darn it, I wanted to be able to at least run a mile. I can do it on the treadmill. A mile and a quarter, actually. I guess the treadmill makes it too easy.

So... I still haven't found that magical state in which distance running is fun, just being resolved to finish the distance so far back that they've already given out all of the water and tell you to your face that they don't care what your time was after the first 200 people finished. Why keep the clock running anyway, if you only care about the winners up front?

Hey, those people in the back matter too. Even if we are destined to forever embarrass ourselves trying to keep up with the "real" runners, some of us desperately need someone to tell us that it wasn't pointless to try.

I think it would help me to lose fifty pounds, but anybody who looks at my log or at me melting in the gym would be perplexed about why I'm steadily gaining a pound a day. No period in sight, and it isn't water. You've gotta understand that every single pound is seriously freaking me out. I'm doing the right things to make it go away, and the harder I work,the bigger and heavier I get.

Everybody knows more about what I AM DOING WRONG (and that's the bottom line, making sure they paint me as stupid and them some kind of fitness genius) and it is always some ONE little easy detail they attach magical properties to -- if I just did THAT I would wake up tomorrow and be lean, healthy and fit. Do this exercise, don't do that exercise. Eat this food, never eat this food! Don't eat more than 1200 calories a day you pig!, you're not eating enough. Take this pill, wear this patch, drink gallons of water, stupid- that water thing is a myth! Don't eat sugar! Don't eat fat! Don't eat carbs! Don't eat meat! Don't eat salt! Don't let your electrolytes get out of balance! Don't lift weights! Don't do lots of cardio! Do hours of cardio a day! Don't eat anything white, don't eat corn, don't eat artificial sweeteners! Don't eat honey -- that's sugar! Don't have caffeine! Don't eat gluten!

Get fitted for the right running shoes! (I did. My brother and his son are my witnesses.) Oh no you didn't, because they are the magic solution and I know that everything else would fall into place with the RIGHT shoes! I don't know who YOU got to fit you for your shoes, but you must have picked THE ONE GUY WHO DOESN'T KNOW WHAT HE IS DOING, because my magic shoes solved all my problems! (Really, Forrest? How're you enjoying your bandwagon of propaganda? Aren't you easy to manipulate?).

These people can all tell me what I'm doing wrong without ever spending a moment with me, looking at a picture of me, or knowing anything about me in any tiny detail. If any pat answer was the solution, don't you think the world would know this already? As the good man once said, "Life IS pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something."

The answer is to never gain weight, never get out of shape, never become depressed, and never have a chronic health condition impacting any of these. Suuuurrrrre it's all under your control. Sure it is. All you need is the perfectly healthy human body.

There's such a bewildering amount of know-it-all "solutions" coming from all directions. I mean, what the fuck?!? It's ALL bullshit. Or maybe I should pray and expect God to fix it all for me. Maybe God wants me to die a miserable and heavy mess, instead. Maybe God doesn't bother with the people in the back, either.

So here's what my pace looked like:

Mile 1. 12.58 minutes (Well, it's a mile under my hoped-for 15 minutes)
Mile 2. 14:42 minutes
Mile 3. 16:40 minutes (coughing was uncontrollable here)
Mile 4. 15:29 (only .11 miles at that pace - hill going up to the finish line)

My average pace was 14:48 min / mile, so I guess it all averaged out ... Okay. It's all pretty pathetic, but I did try, and I'm still a beginner. My next goal is to aggravate my shin splints so badly that I have something to show a doctor. Then maybe I can make a little bit of progress toward healing. The question is, do I continue with my 10k training, or do I back up and try to improve my 5k disaster? Whatever I do, I've obviously got a lot more work ahead of me than behind me.

Race Day

Headache? Check.
Aching Shins? Check.
Uncontrollable Sneezing? Check.
Coughing? Check.
Sore throat? Check.
Overwhelming phlegm production? Check.
Bloody taste in the back of my mouth? Check. What's that about, anyway?
Dragging leg? Check. (By the way, thanks, piriformis.)
Exhaustion? Check.
Worst finish time ever? Check.
Feeling of being an utter loser and failure? Check. Check. Highlighted. I don't want to do this any more. Ever.
Endorphins? What are those, and why don't I have them?
Cold house to return to? Check.

Must be a race day. Thanks for the BioFreeze samples. I'm going to bed now. My dog is trying to cheer me up by letting me play with his favorite squeaky toy.

At least I wasn't last this time, though I didn't finish fast enough for the finish line people to care that I even finished. I love it when they don't have any more water at the end for the slow people, too.

All the little things that could happen, did, but before we even got to the road, I wanted to quit. It just wasn't any fun. The worst problem was my mindset. When that goes wrong, every pebble seems like a boulder.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Oooh, punish me, baby!

Last night, someone threw a major pout at me because I told him I wouldn't be rescheduling my evening at the gym so I could sit around waiting to do him several favors. Honestly, I've got no intention of mending someone's socks and washing their clothes if they never so much as open a jar for me.

I called him on his user-type manipulations (again) and told him no. Oh, he started pouting, and wanted to know why he couldn't expect me to be at his disposal. Well, I can't call on him to do anything for me at any time, so why should I be treated like a slave?

Oh, he got me with his best shot, which was, actually, a rather limp threat.

"Ok I'll leave you alone for a few days."

His justification for the upcoming ignoring:

"I don't care to be attacked like I was because I didn't give the correct response to a cryptic question."

I think he has my conversation mixed up with another one. First, nobody attacked him. I said he blew off what I told him I needed him to do. He did -- he completely ignored it. (Because he has ignored my needs 100% for so long he thinks it's a good game plan.)

Second, there was never a question asked. Lol. Let alone "cryptic". I was concise and to the point. Wow.

So, he has let me know he is going to stop talking to me for a few days until I get back in line to his demands. I suppose that's intended as a punishment.

He's forgetting something though.... For nearly two years I haven't give him what he wants. But he still keeps texting me, pestering me. *sigh* Thinking it will work. Thinking he's controlling me. Basically just irritating me with every message.

So where's the punishment? I'm looking forward to being unharassed! He was just looking for an excuse to blow off my upcoming birthday, as he has always done.

Maybe he will realize that I don't have to receive communication from him if I don't want.

It's all up to me.

So punish me baby! I could use the peace and quiet! Lol

Male Female Doctors Aren't Qualified to Understand

Regarding yesterday's post:

Don't get me wrong, the prospect of menopause isn't something I embrace (after all, look what it is doing to me). Practically speaking, knowing I'll never have children makes me really sad. It's something I looked forward to literally all my life. I wanted to be part of a happy and stable family that I haven't known yet.

I didn't have a choice about my complete inability to find someone who would love me, and at my age I'm not going to risk age-related problems for a child I brought into the world alone out of sheer selfishness. So... I don't need a medical professional to get on his high horse and tell me I am imagining the rampant changes happening to me. I know. Even my hairdresser has noticed.

So, duh, doc. I've never really thought a male doctor was capable of understanding female bodies properly anyway, let alone a colorblind one who is incredibly judgmental of single women even having reproductive organs. He thinks only married women should be allowed to utilize girly parts.

He'll never know what hormone imbalances feel like unless he starts to need a bra and a girdle. He can't even empathize. Well, empathy isn't required to be a doctor anyway. Apparently all one needs is a Jack the Ripper attitude and a nurse to tell you when they see telltale colors denoting infections and organs you're not supposed to be cutting on.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Estrogen Domination! LOL

A friend suggested I check into probiotics to possibly kick my body into dropping the weight it should have already been letting go of. Somewhere along the way I found a link to out of control estrogen levels, and what do you know, I show several of the symptoms.

The first being big breasts and hips. Check. I had a reduction. They grew right back.

Crazy mood swings. Oh yeah.

Weight gain in the torso, primarily. My arms and legs need toning, but that's where my weight is.

Night sweating. Oh yeah, that I complained about to my Ob / Gyn and he blew me off, saying I'm too young for that. He pretty much called me a liar. So he checked NOTHING. Because he has turned out to be quite the surgical butcher, I'm changing doctors anyway. Dr. Sweeney Todd has a history of not listening to my concerns anyway.

Estrogen dominance, as it is called, happens to women in their thirties and forties (that's me), when hormone balances shift heavily toward estrogen rather than staying in balance with progesterone. " This results in night sweats, depression, fatigue, weight gain, anxiety, blood sugar imbalance, dry skin and hair, cellulite, brain fog, and low sex drive. " (No comment on the last two there, but every one of the rest I've been dealing with in spades. You may feel that I'm foggy brained, I'll grant you that one. The last one - I admit nothing but a serious disgust regarding the men I have dated. )

"Too much estrogen in the body also causes salt and water retention, making us look bloated, flabby, and soft." Bingo. "However, the estrogen and progesterone levels can be balanced to relieve these symptoms. " (from". Higher estrogen levels cause the body to accumulate fat around the waist and abdomen, causing the dreaded "spare tire" look.

Granted, this site touts the purchase of their book to fix the problem, along with living on a rabbit food diet to lose the midsection fat. Oddly, they never mention exercise. Or hydration. They also speak highly of self-medicating with FDA-unapproved hormones.

Lose the flab in just a few short weeks. Thirty pounds, no less. Wow. No exercise.

Yeahhhh, I think I'll remain skeptical here, but I will make an appointment to have my hormone levels checked. Surely at my age I'm allowed to check into a middle-aged woman's problems. I'm overdue for torture by crushing (mammogram) anyway.

Still, I'm having this mental image of an estrogen molecule dressed in black leather, wearing a scary mask and wielding a whip, terrorizing trembling progesterone molecules.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Day 2, With Sleep


I went to bed last night at 10:02. Yes, it was a Saturday night, and I'm single, and that was the best I could do for a fun night. :P.

I was a little tired, having been to a Fifty Shades of Grey party earlier. We had some laughs, but I think most of the humor was lost on the attendees because few had read the book. The three of us that had, got into a discussion about who should play Christian in the movie. Ian Somerhalder. Pretty unanimous there. Lol. Watch him on The Vampire Diaries. He's already got the basic character pretty much down, minus a few specific tweaks for Christian that aren't part of Damon's character anyway.

I tried some pheromone perfume, just out of curiosity. On my sister, it smelled like a lovely perfume.

On me, it smelled like a fruit salad, I kid you not. Lol. Melon, pears, pineapple. So... I guess I should be looking for a man who loves to eat. Or something. No wonder nobody wants to date me. It's just weird.

So, getting to sleep last night wasn't easy. I tried lying there still and quiet, in various positions. Somehow, I couldn't quite drop off. I was stuck in limbo.

Here's what finally worked, sometime before 11 pm:

Making myself cold in my cold bedroom
Playing thunderstorm ambient sounds
5 mg Melatonin

Normally, it isn't that easy.

I had some very detailed and colorful dreams about going back to work in the mall, which had somehow gained a second floor with some really interesting shops. I was back in the music store, which was vastly upgraded from when I'd left. Vinyl records were making a comeback, and the color scheme was a blend of the dark blue it had been when I started there at the age of 16, and the grey it was remodeled to a couple of years later.

I think my brain was providing me with a way to spend some time with someone I've really been missing, who used to work there with me. I got to spend a tiny bit of real time with him during the summer. The few people I confided in that I hope he liked me (I know, I'm pretty pathetic, but hoping for more than "like" has always made a fool out of me. It's asking for too much.) told me not to get my hopes up. Family members were so kind as to tell me outright to forget it because there's no way he would ever really like me. They were right.

So in my dreams I get to have brief conversations with the people who won't have anything to do with me in real life, and sometimes it feels like I've committed some kind of theft in doing it. I didn't talk to him in this dream. I was scared, so I kept my distance and just did my job, just like I do when I'm awake.

If I really didn't have any standards, all it would take for me to "get a man" would be to walk into a local bar and pass around a copy of my bank statement. I don't live beyond my means, I save, and I'm not a spendthrift. Any number of local broke, user-type rednecks would just love to glom onto me, if they knew. Lol They'd allow me to cook and clean for them in my own house while I paid all the bills for them, naturally. Sharing? They'd gladly share whatever STDs they had picked up from all their bar and bedhopping. Do you understand why that type of relationship holds zero appeal for me? No thanks. I've heard stories that some of them never even wash their bedding.

Sometimes, alone is just better.

I woke up after nine and a half hours of sleep, and I can tell that I slept well. :) The sun is goldenly shining and it's not so frigid outside. Despite the sad tint of previous paragraphs, it could be a really cheerful sort of day. Nothing hurt, until I got out of bed, of course. Hahaha. The backs of my knees are so sore I'm still walking like I have braces on them.

No, it isn't my knees. It's the top of the calf muscle, where it connects just under the backs of my knees. Apparently, when I thought the cross ramp elliptical wasn't doing anything, it was doing something to an area that normally doesn't see much action.

I'm just suffering delayed onset muscle soreness from it. I don't know how to make it move on. Walking? Elliptical? I look like an idiot walking stiff-legged. As you do. As I do. Well, whatever. :) I'm the one with the sore legs. I guess I should have taken the warnings seriously, about gradually getting back into your exercise routine after you've been sick with bronchitis. Maybe this week I can add another day at the gym without compromising my ability to participate in Saturday's 5k. And then next week, another day, until I'm back to 6 days with heavy cardio.

Yes, I punish myself at the gym, just for being me, but nobody else wants to do it. Lol

I feel that there is something to this adequate sleep notion after all. Maybe I'm just lucky that I feel well early this morning. (It was early when I woke up to sweet doggy kisses.)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Cardio + Strength + food + SLEEP!

I've been trying to figure out why I never see any shrinkage in the old bod, even though I've been working at it for nearly two years. I've been doing the cardio, strength training, improving food, drinking lots of water, and the pounds are not melting away. Neither are the inches.

Because I love to run, when it isn't sheer pain, my weight is a problem. Oh, never mind the fact that I keep getting told that no one is ever going to love me because I'm fat. Oh yeah, I have heard that a lot. i heard it even when I was under 120 pounds and a real skinny chick. Now that I'm older, however, if I even smell a hint of a man being critical of my shape, I have to assume its because he wants to forever ruin any chance he might have had with me.

So there. If he's not part of the solution, he's very well part of the problem.

It's hampering my efforts to keep running, because my shin splints keep coming back. I want to run. It's that simple. I don't want my running to be a struggle. I want to be able to run long distances without constant injury. I want to be strong and healthy.

I figure that if I'm doomed to spend the second half of my life as alone as I spent the first half, I might as well do something that I can enjoy in my solitude. What the hell, right? I'd love someone to run with me, but nobody is exactly lining up to go with me. I'm going to have to risk the streets alone, so if you hear that I was found dead from being run over, somewhere mangled in a ditch, that's why.

So the weight that won't go no matter what I do is plaguing my legs. I run until I'm injured because nothing else really works.

A couple of nights ago I realized that my sleep pattern (or lack thereof) is possibly a stumbling block. I don't get eight hours of sleep a night. In fact, I rarely get six. According to many studies, this affects healing time and weight-gain hormones, so if I believe that, I'm not getting smaller because I'm not sleeping enough.

Wow. That simple? Well, I'm going to test it for a couple of months, but I will admit that the prospect of going to bed is no more inviting now than it was when I was a kid. There's too much to do, too much to think about, and 10:00 is too darn early to get sleepy. I suppose I will have to drug myself to sleep until I have altered my natural sleep rhythm, because nothing else ever happens that makes me sleepy enough... Or inspires me to go to bed early. Wink wink nudge nudge.

I slept for about 7 hours last night after taking Zzzquil, but I woke up with a near-hangover headache from it and I was groggy for hours. I wonder if one capsule would be enough to make me drowsy?

I was going to the gym tonight, but my legs are really starting to hurt and stiffen up. Right behind my knees.

In an ideal world, I could sleep adequately between midnight and five am, then go to the gym or run five miles first thing, and not be too worn out for the rest of my work day. I'd lose a pound for every 3500 calories i burned or cut from my diet. But that's not reality.

Reality is having to go it alone, with people REFUSING to work with you in any way, while all of your efforts have no effect anyway.

Reality is a bitch.

Okay, perhaps I should sugarcoat it. Reality is a harsh mistress. That sounds more in line with the Fifty Shades of Grey party I attended today, after all.