Saturday, March 30, 2013

Hey, I Felt That!

Tonight at the gym I did my cardio first (33 minutes of the fat-burning program on the elliptical trainer) and then went for my weightlifting. Yes, I know that you're supposed to do cardio afterward to make sure that you have enough energy to finish all your sets with good form, but that doesn't work at all for me. It leaves me tired just at the beginning of my weightlifting.

Cardio first, on the other hand, pumps me full of oxygen and keeps me going. I have to do what works for me or I won't get in a good workout, correct?

I grabbed 8 pound dumbbells (hey, last time I used 5 lb ones) and decided to do some bicep curls. I ended up doing six sets of 15 reps each, slowly enough to use proper form.

Usually I fail miserably at the bicep curl machine because I just can't keep my shoulders still. They move in and out while I'm lifting and it seems like I'm straining them pretty much every time. It wasn't hard to control with free weights, though, while I watched myself in the mirror. Just checking for form, mind you, but it gave me a positive feeling to see that I didn't look like a complete idiot doing my curls. I looked pretty good. Lol

And for the first time I could actually FEEL my biceps working. I never feel that with the machine. It was so awesome that I did six sets, as I've said. I felt like being productive, since I'm gonna be sore anyway.

Triceps kickbacks... Ugh... I did six sets of 15 reps of those as well, but my form was a bit wobbly. I did six sets of triceps extensions on the machine after the kickbacks, with a higher weight than before. Yayyyy me!

Adductors and abductors, and the hated glute machine which is shaping up my butt. On the bright side, I was texting thru an amusing conversation while I did my glutes, and when he made me laugh, it made the work a LOT easier. Other people get endorphins from exertion.... I don't. But I think I get them from laughing during exertion. Gotta be careful though, because if I start laughing uncontrollably while I'm exercising, I just might wet my pants. Caution, indeed!

Did some seated rowing, and I'm not sure yet if that's doing things right, because my freaking breasts get in the way of my fully pulling the handles back. But what can I do? I don't know a modification for THAT problem.

I know I'm going to be sore tomorrow, but I burned 773 calories according to my Polar monitor.

:) That's worth a tired grin.

There were more pictures...

There are a lot more pictures of me on my Bahamas cruise that I can't share on Facebook. My family can see them, but for the most part, I'll hide them and be ashamed.

Simple reason, and it freaks me out because I don't think I can control it. That's what is keeping me awake tonight, writing this post when I've been good for two months about getting plenty of good sleep at night.

I've had lower leg edema for a decade. It's one of those things that my doctor politely ignored and wouldn't even look into the causes for. Last summer when I flew to Italy, the long flight killed me with fluid retention and I got a nasty case of cankles. The frustrating thing is that I normally have very slim ankles.

That time, the swelling was so bad that my ankle bones disappeared on both sides of both feet. The skin was stretched so tight that it stung like bees were attacking me. I spent a lot of time with my feet propped overhead on Italian hotel walls. I could feel my legs throbbing and it created a lot of unnecessary fatigue for me.

Y'know, it made me wonder what was going on, considering that I stick to a very low-sodium diet. I never salt anything. I buy unsalted vegetables. I don't drink diet sodas, either. I have an otherwise clean bill of health -- no signs of high blood pressure and I've got a very strong heart. I was running every other day, working on a C25K program at the time.

Now I'm going to the gym 5 days a week, doing up to an hour of cardio plus weightlifting each time. Eating a clean diet. Drinking plenty of water (for weight loss that never quite happens). Doing everything RIGHT.

Went on the cruise with no flights there longer than 2 hours each. I even got a night's sleep before boarding the ship.

But by that night, before embarkation, I showed my sister how my lower legs were rapidly swelling on flat ground. It got worse. (It kinda hurts when it happens.)

You see, in those pictures that were taken by the ship's photographers and by my sister, there was a LOT of swelling suddenly present. She tearfully mentioned that she believed it was a diabetic complication that's going to lead to having both of my legs amputated.

The swelling was not just in my legs. My upper arms swelled up all the way to my shoulders. I look like Petunia Pig in all of my pictures, and I'm pretty sure that I don't look like that normally. As tired as I was, I wouldn't be surprised to find out I was carrying an extra 20 pounds of water in my limbs on my vacation.

What do you do about a situation like mine? Over the counter fluid pills don't do a thing about my edema normally, so I'm hoping I will soon find a doctor who will want to help me, rather than saying it'll pass by the end of the month, (When it comes back again, naturally.) I should have taken a measuring tape with me, and I think I will the next time that I have to fly.


Friday, March 29, 2013

Lush In the Shower

No! I haven't been drinking. Bwaaahaaa!

I Lushed out as much as I could in the shower earlier, and now I'm doing my housework smelling like a combo of Rosé Jam and Karma soap. :). It's pretty heady stuff, despite the patchouli that was involved.

In March 1989, I was working in a local music store at our mall, when Madonna's Like a Prayer album was released. It was my senior year of high school, and I was head over heels in love with my boyfriend of three weeks at the time. How heady the beginning stage of love, indeed.

I had the coolest job I could have wanted in our little town, because I worked all the time and had no social life, but I worked at the main (legal) teen hangout in town. I got to see and meet lots of people. I also got to climb way up to the high ceiling of the store on a ladder and create awesome album displays that really made the creative artist in me happy. :)

When that album was released, as a publicity gimmick, the cardboard packaging had been scented with patchouli oil, at the request of the reigning queen of pop music, Madonna. I had the honor of opening the first box containing the new album. It stunk to high heaven! Too much patchouli.... I've had reservations about that stuff ever since.

However, was given a sample slice of Karma soap during my visit to Lush a few weeks ago and decided to use it this afternoon in the shower. It wasn't just a patchouli scent -- it's a blend, but it smelled so satisfying to me in the store that I wanted some.

So I used it and then slathered my arms and legs in Ro's Argan Body Conditioner. :). I smelled so yummily like Rose Jam that my dog was licking water droplets off my feet when I got out. Now the rose scent has faded and I can smell the Karma on my skin.

I like it. :) Fortunately, the patchouli doesn't knock you down. Now I know why Karma is their signature scent. I just smells comfortable and good. I can imagine a man smelling of this would be totally unsafe in my presence. I'd become a serious cuddle-hog just to smell him.

But that's how I roll. Don't judge. Lol

So, if you're shopping for me at Lush (okay, if you're shopping for yourself instead), I recommend these: Ro's Argan Body Conditioner, Karma soap, and Angels on Bare Skin face scrub. Probably the Rub, Rub, Rub body scrub as well, but I can't find the sample they gave me. :(. Guess I need to go shopping or just steal what my sister ordered and has just left here, because I'm a storage place.

I'd really love to get one of their Brightside bubble bars though. *sigh* But they are a limited time only item and still out of stock. Boo.

Today's Thoughts

Some inspired by Facebook, some just random thoughts.

Was Jesus' hair long or short?
Why does it matter?? I didn't read the whole tract about it, but isn't hairstyle generally (with a few exceptions, like some monks who shave bald and those who are tonsured) an issue of vanity? It's Good Friday - I'm thinking that sacrifice and resurrection are the point, not hairstyle.

I know, you don't have to say it again -- I'm going to Hell for that. And for not attending your church. I was told there are over 400 churches officially recognized in my tiny town, so what are the chances I'd be saved by just picking the right building? Your building. Hmm. Lol. Please forgive me Father, for I have sinned, though I suspect You have a sense of humor.

My dog loves to make me giggle. If he gives me a tickling kiss and I giggle, he keeps at it until I have to make him stop. He now walks on my back when I ask him to. Usually. :). I've got my own mini-masseuse back walker, and it's awesome to feel 8 pounds of paw pressure when I need it, however briefly he may oblige me. I obliged him today by untangling his leash where he was tied out and tangled himself out in the rain. I further obliged him by toweling him off and blow-drying his hair to stop his shivering. He loved it and I'm glad he's not afraid of the hair dryer, though there is that pesky "I hate baths" thing.

I added a shot of espresso to my protein shake and it is a GOOOOOOOOD thing. :). It's just long-weekend headache prevention. Yayyyyy.....

Last night at the gym was kind of a yuck, and probably my fault because I started in the standing tanning booth. On the other hand, I was all kinds of tired already and almost skipped working out completely. I got 2/3 of the way through my leg extensions and fatigue with a capital F hit in the middle. I realized that if I didn't take it easy, I was going to strain something. I managed one mile of walking and I was done for the day. Worn out. I can't feel too badly about it though. At least I tried.

I think I'm in a body-transition period. (Not that it'll stop me from trying.) Meaning? Though I've skipped the usual womanly rites of passage of getting married, pregnancy, having children and raising them, grandchildren, social ladder climbing (though that one never appealed to me) and all the rest, I can't avoid hormonal changes.

I know they can happen over a ten year period, and that being childless has caused mine to start earlier. No problem yet, as it so far just means that the monthly torture is a lot easier to deal with. :D. The night sweats I could pass on, but I can make my bedroom colder and not notice it quite so much. Oh, I've got an increased risk of breast cancer, but I didn't choose to be childless ultimately anyway.

All I mean is that I may have to stop pretending at the gym that I'm still 25 years old and figure out a plan a bit more suitable to someone "my age", but only because I've been wearing myself out lately. Overtraining, yep, I'm guilty, but only because I want to see some changes happen fast. (Maybe I'm unrealistic there.) My calves are pretty cut, my thighs are getting smaller, and so is my belly. It's also been noticed that my butt is taking on a nice shape and my arms and legs are toning up. (The last half was a male opinion. I did get a second opinion from a male that said I do look like I'm getting smaller overall.).

It would be hard for anyone who sees me in my daily clothes to notice any big changes in me, because I usually wear baggy clothes, and I haven't rushed out to buy smaller ones yet. I don't like constricting clothing. Here's the obvious change I have seen in my clothes: my fitted workout capris aren't snug anymore! They're wrinkling loosely and finally providing a little modesty in places I'd been wishing I had for the month I've had them. Lol That center seam provided some embarrassing and unnecessary definition at times.

I keep mistaking Bottlecaps for Razzles. If I eat a Bottlecap, I realize I was thinking of Razzles, and wish I had SweetTarts or Spree instead. I think fondly back to my toddler days when my brother would hold my hand as he walked me barefoot to one of the many neighborhood mom & pop stores that used to be in Milltown. I remember Davis' Grocery that was a street behind our grandmother's house, and getting to eat some Razzles he bought there. (Don't you just love random subject changes?)

My sister was probably holding our brother's other hand, but my two or three year old's world was pretty much centered on my own point of view at the time.

I also remember drinking a Capri Sun predecessor (it was a drink pouch with a straw) at a store closer to our duplex. I think that may have been called Winchester's Grocery, but it's hard to know the names when you don't yet know how to read.

Dusty barefoot feet, I remember, as well as the fallen green apples in the yard behind our duplex, rotten and squishing thickly between my toes. I remember at the time that my only worry in the world was that some day I would go to school and they would make me play basketball there, and I didn't want to. It sounded like torture to me.

This I considered as I sat in an upturned cushioned footstool, pretending it was a boat, using the legs to rock back and forth on the sea of the living room floor. I watched Big Blue Marble on TV and somehow understood the concept of a planet and the shot of Earth from space was the planet I lived on. That was when I was thinking that I was glad I was a girl and not a boy because they make boys play basketball at school, but not girls. How wrong I was about that, lol.



Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Hacked My New Shoes

So, the Brooks Dyad 7s turned out to be so big once I got used to them that my feet are turning down inside them. I just can't make my feet behave.

The problem is that I need the sole of the shoe to be wide enough I can't stand on the outsides, but the inside needs to be snug enough that my foot can't turn under, yet my toes can wiggle around freely. It's always freaked me out a bit when my toes were constricted in shoes that were too tight. I suppose you could say I've got claustrophobic toes.

I tried to think of something flexible and soft enough to line the outsides of my shoes, under the insoles so that it wouldn't move around. Clear plastic tubing seemed worth a try, and I just happened to have some.

Because I'm a MacGyver kinda chick, darn it. I have flashes of usefulness occasionally.

It seems to have worked, though more testing is necessary. So I've encouraged my naughty little feet to stop dipping down at the outsides by raising their limits. My feet and ankles stopped hurting quite so dreadfully today, but my left calf and right knee are complaining a bit. Who knows, I may have gotten it right, and my legs are giving up their compensation for my unsteady and unbalanced gait. Could be.

Could be I still have a visit to a specialist in my new future.

The "Gay" Thing

Because I don't believe that I'm here to force my beliefs upon anyone else, I'm not taking a big public stand on the gay marriage issue by having a Facebook avatar war. I'm straight, aways have been, and expect to remain so. There's just something I like about the idea of a man stronger than I am, and able to make me feel safe in his presence. I like men, even though I've known some that are absolutely rotten to the core. As you do with either gender, depending.

I have several friends who are gay, and I can't begrudge them their happiness. Some of them I didn't know it for many years into our friendship. So what?

I'm a tad envious of anyone who finds that special someone to love them, and I don't have the energy or interest to throw stones at them. Hey, alone isn't great. I've got tons of experience to say that.

But anyhow, I can state it this way, and maybe you can understand where the true potential for fear lies.

I've never been sexually assaulted by a gay man or woman. The ones guilty of assaulting me were definitely straight men. Men with violence and deviance issues, but straight. Psychos. And straight.

So I'm sorry, but I can't participate in the witch hunt. I don't think that's a step toward having a better world. Hate isn't a positive tool when you lash others who never harmed you with it.

You can tell them they're going to hell if you want, but who is to say you won't be joining them in that handbasket for your judgmentalism and hatred? Hey, didn't the Bible warn something about judging other people?

I'd really rather see that hatred and energy being used to protect children from predators. Can't we do that instead?

Oh.... I guess this means I'm going to Hell too.... I kinda figured that.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Confused About My Fatigue

Okay, so where's the "boundless energy" I'm supposed to be feeling after three months of clean eating? I'm more fatigued than ever before, to the point I've had to take extra rest days from the gym. Seven hours of sleep each night, and I am worn out. I took a three hour nap after work today instead of going to the gym and I'm about to go to sleep again.

It leaves me with a lot of questions.

Is this just the second stage of what happened to me twenty years ago when diabetes hit me as a strong and lean young woman? I felt my energy drain away when it happened.

Surely this isn't part of female aging. Constant exhaustion despite good exercise and healthy eating is NOT part of a gradual change of hormone balance.

Am I really going to have to eat more? I feel stuffed as it is. It seems like I'm always eating and I still come in under 1500 calories a day. It isn't like I'm losing weight.

There is a voice whispering that something's wrong under the surface that's unrelated to anything else. Well, it took nine years of pestering for my doctor to listen to me and give me a glucose tolerance test, which I failed.

(Not the only doctor I asked to test me when hypoglycemia started happening. I suppose a more dramatic event would have impressed them, like going into a diabetic coma behind the wheel of my car?)

See? I was right all along. Though I rarely run to a doctor for help, I do pay attention to how I'm feeling.

I don't waste time in a doctor's office for a sniffly nose four times a year when my allergies stir up. But if it settles into my lungs, I will go. I just believe my body should try to work out its own problems with proper nutrition and exercise, if at all possible. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, eh? :)

Still, what would I tell a doctor if I went? I'm tired all the time and I shouldn't be? I wouldn't know what to say, other than my joints all hurt, and that might be because of my shoes. (I've modified my new shoes, by the way. More on that later.)

Coming up on 10,000 views of my blog. Yay!

They've Got a Name For That... MDDS

Mal de debarquement Syndrome, or MDDS for short.

Basically, it means that several days after getting off a ship, I've got some nasty dizziness and vertigo bothering me. It's not my imagination. I'm not drunk. But my ears and brain are having a hard time getting used to flat land after a little motion of the ocean. It most commonly (90%) happens to women between 40-50 and is probably related to estrogen & progesterone levels.

Well well... We all KNOW I've got plenty of estrogen, now don't we? Lol. Just take a look at my profile. I could have been a real breeder. ;). But that has been taken out of the equation and sometimes I'm really relieved. Sometimes not so much, but I couldn't have had a family without someone else's consent / cooperation anyway, so I'll just accept that it's part of my fate, and hope for great-nieces and great-nephew to cuddle someday.

It could happen. I know at least my nephews understand that I'm really a calm and sane responsible person beneath my goofy exterior. You can't let just anyone see the real you, ya know. Lol

Anyway, I don't want to be put on clonazepam or antidepressants to fix it, so maybe it will just fade away. Hopefully FAST. I almost passed out in front of a lass today. That could have been embarrassing.

Monday, March 25, 2013

New Shoe Review

Tried running in my new Brooks shoes, and I was hoping I wouldn't feel the pounding under my feet, but I did. What can I say? I'm a Clydesdale.

My shins hurt a little and my right knee started hurting, but I did have an easier time tonight than before, and I managed to keep going for a full 30 minutes. I did discover that everything hurt less when I picked up my speed. I felt almost light footed when I pushed it up to 5.6 miles per hour. So, the Clydesdale clomps easier at a faster speed.

It makes sense, though, because the less time feet have to strike the ground, the lighter they strike and there is less opportunity for turning wrong.

I need a coach, trainer, somebody to help me prevent breaking m'bones.

I'll have to see what tomorrow holds on soreness and held over pain. I only managed about 480 calories burned tonight, because I had to stop when I became lightheaded. But I've been lightheaded and dizzy for days and I don't know why. Hm.

Am I overdoing it? I've got no idea. Is my changed diet to blame? That doesn't make sense, given that all I've cut has been junk food and I've added healthy whole food with lots of water to drink. If weight loss is 80% nutrition, it needs to start showing, because I'm losing heart.

In any case, I did work my glutes, quadriceps, abductors, and adductors pretty hard, so though the calorie count didn't skyrocket, I must have accomplished something. My legs feel like jelly.

I'm still fighting my feet, which want to roll outward, so I may yet need to modify my shoes with some squishy foam or something on the outside edges, under the insoles.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Don't Trust the Wet Foot Test Completely

Okay, back from Memphis (my dear brother drove. Thanks!) with new running shoes for my naughty feet. They are cute feet, but they will not behave and cause me a lot of pain and misery. They need some firm-handed correction. And someone to rub them when they hurt. But I digress...

I'm trying Brooks Dyad 7s because they were out of Asics Nimbus 14s in my size. I may order some online anyway because I need to alternate my shoes to slow the wear on them. She did say the Nimbus might be a good choice for me.

These shoes are actually listed for people with flat feet, so the arch support is minimal. She told me I have extremely high arches, which is true. But you can't tell that from the wet footprint test, because I naturally put my weight on the outsides of my feet where it looks like I have normal arches. Still, the arch supports in the Cumulus that i had eventually bothered me - I don't like the feeling of anything pressed against my arches very firmly. It kinda hurts, which makes me roll my foot out even further to avoid the touching. Ha ha. Self perpetuating problem.

Maybe I need some orthotics. I'll give it a week and see if I'm still hurting. If these shoes don't work, I can return them, anyway.

I think these Brooks are intended to retrain feet into proper pronation and striking, and are considered a beginner's shoe. They are some of the heaviest shoes, because of the thick cushioning on bottom. Maybe they will help me. They are certainly wide enough! They seem huge to me. Lol magic shoes? I dunno. Lol

Today I've been crazily run-down feeling, like I was on the verge of fainting. Drunk, even. My blood sugar feels out of whack, so waking up in the morning may be ... Problematic. I haven exercised since Thursday when I started being so tired (and winter came back full force), so I'm at a loss about the cause of my fatigue.

Nearly fainted a couple of times when I got home tonight, and I'm in bed very early. Hopefully I'll feel normal tomorrow. I suspect I'm just not eating enough. Veggies take up a lot of room in your tummy, I'm discovering. It's hard to eat and drink (water) as much as I'm supposed to without feeling stuffed all the time.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Gait Analysis Tomorrow

....maybe.... If I'm lucky. Lol

Six months ago I went to Fleet Feet In Memphis for a running shoe fitting. The guy who helped me just had me walk thru the store, then jog a little, and then brought me a few pairs of shoes to try on. One pair was just perfect and served me well for about five months. Then the pain set in and I didn't realize I'd worn out my shoes.

Well... Other people that went there for shoes tell me they got on the treadmill and ran, got videotaped, etc. *Pout!* They didn't do that much for me! Okay, I realized the other day that it's just possible that my train wreck of a running gait is so glaringly obvious it wasn't necessary to watch me run at all. Lol

This time at least I have an obvious wear pattern on a proper pair of running shoes fitted to my running problem. I'm fairly certain they'll say I'm supinating and I have high arches and a rigid forefoot, which explains the outsides of my feet hurting even when i walk barefoot on carpet. But I want verification that I'm correct in what I've figured out.

I've been wearing Asics Cumulus, and I think I need the Nimbus model because it's a little more of a serious runner's shoe, and built for shoe pounders like me. Lol. Sturdy. Unfortunately, the crazy "Lite Bright" color choice isn't available in wide shoes. Just a calm black, purple (! I love purple!) and blue version. No excuses for me to buy the clown shoes there. But I want 'em. ;). I might be able to wear normal width shoes, but as I've said before, tight clothes make me claustrophobic and tight shoes ruin my day and sometimes make me panic. Just like I did when I was a kid trapped in a tight turtleneck. I freaked out!

I don't remember being this hard on shoes as a kid, but... We wore them just as foot covers anyway, until they were ragged, or the next school year started, or we outgrew them. Barefoot was the way as much as possible. Now we have to make all sorts of shoe considerations just to keep us from turning into Jabba the Hutt on the couch. Still, I'm glad shoe companies differentiate for different foot needs.

I was rubbing my shins with my Lush massage bar (for moisturizing, primarily) and noticed my shins are actually kind of cut with definition now. Wow... Results right there! Now those results need to spread to the rest of me, other than my bootay. Guess what my summer project is going to be?

Hope and Honor 7k

I signed up for the race a month ago, not knowing I would be benched by leg problems again. I was hoping I'd be okay. A few days ago I tried running on the treadmill and I was in pain pretty quickly. I'm still feeling those shinbone aches even though I'm trying to take it easy on them. *sigh*.

Considering how I limped through the last race, and I'm limping this morning, I'd be really embarrassed to drag myself through the finish hurting too much to walk well and possibly crying over a broken tibia. So I'm being wise here, really. I've still got to see a doctor about the lower half of my body to see what can be repaired.

It would have been a good chance to run a small race, however. They had a big inflatable arch up, the radio station was there, and they even had timing chips. That would have been a first for me. Not a lot of participants, either.

However, when I heard them making the announcements that registration was closing and they were getting ready to start the race, I felt that cold hand of anxiety reach in and squeeze my stomach hard. Every race, it's been the same. I know I don't have a snowball's chance in hell of even placing in my age group, but it frightens me. I'm intimidated and I'm always running alone. I like running, when it isn't bringing tears of pain to my eyes and making me feel like a failure.

But it's not really as simple as putting on an old pair of sneakers and just running. I had thought it would be simple, until I started having problems.

Well, anyway, it turns out that I WAS one of the first 100 participants, so I got the T-shirt I paid for, as well as a free T-shirt, and I got a goodie bag. It was an embroidered drawstring backpack with a bunch of useful stuff inside: bottle of water, bottle of Gatorade, water bottle, embroidered baseball cap, foam can hugger, and a foam foot (stress squeezer?) that Quincy is determined to get. His eyes lit up when he saw that thing. I don't know why.

I literally feel lame for not even being able to try, but my running shoes are past worn out (they hurt me now) and even walking hurts me lately. Yep, just a walk up and down the street is pretty awful. I think when I find a good shoe for myself, I'll buy a second pair. Maybe my six-days -a-week workout schedule was too much for the Cumulus. Next time (tomorrow?) I will mention to the person fitting me that I need shoes for a person that is heavier than she may first appear. ;).

(Ok, yeah, I know I look like I need to lose weight, but I'm told I carry it well, so the unsuspecting does not realize just how heavily I carry it. I was being weighed in a doctor's office once, and the nurse looked astonished when she finished balancing the scale. She asked, "Where are you putting it?!? I can't see how you weigh that much! " Looks can be deceiving. And so can the baggy clothes I've always favored. Hey, I get claustrophobic with tight clothes. I used to be a kid who couldn't float on my back without my legs pulling me under because I was all lean muscle. Until I was in my mid 20s, I was a slender girl with big breasts and wide hips. I had some great curves. Too bad I couldn't afford to buy healthy groceries on my salary, because that changed things.)

So I'm considering myself a financial contributor for this race. It benefits the Wounded Warrior Project, so I don't mind giving my money for that. It's a good cause. Besides, I got some decent swag for my registration fee, for a change. I wonder if all those 20-somethings I was intimidated by got any good stuff. I wonder if they even got T-shirts. Lol. Now I've got two green ones, which is a scarce color in my wardrobe. (I flat out paid for one with my registration, so don't give me any guff about it.)

I'm not giving up on my running, but for now I have to sort out my biomechanics, shoes, get some more weight off, and really work on my nutrition. Hey, I grew up (possibly deliberately) malnourished, so is it any surprise proper nutrition has escaped me all these years?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Caught Myself!

Last night I felt so fatigued I decided to force myself to take Friday night off at the gym. To do this, I put all of my workout clothes in the wash and did not hang them up to dry for today. Sports bras, capris... Wet.

Today I came home determined that I feel well enough to hit it hard today and found... Wet clothes.

So the me of last night just busted the me of today trying to be sneaky, though she calls it productive. :D. Looks like I have time for a little nap before tanning and dinner.

Only ten pounds

I did some work with ten pound dumb bells last night, and my shoulders are KILLING me. Not the muscles... Down inside, in the sockets.

Well crap. I mean, who can't do ten pounds with a bicep curl? Really? I'm that weak? I've gotta work on this.

So no, that's not a new old lady perfume I'm sporting. It's Blue Goo. Say what it may, I do smell a strong sport cream scent, but I can feel it penetrating my skin, anyway, and it's nice. It has glucosamine in it, so maybe it might make my achy shoulders feel better.

My week off at the gym is well over with, so why am I feeling so tired and achy all the time, still? I couldn't possibly be overdoing this -- it'll take an hour of cardio daily for me to lose, along with weightlifting.

Feels like an ouchy catch-22 to me.

I can handle muscle soreness, but when pain is radiating out from my bones and not the muscles, I have to wonder what is going on.

Oh well, at least I have a kickin' tan. :)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Bad Kinda Day

Everybody has a bad day occasionally. Mine is still going on. :).

Really, I need to see some measurable changes in myself, other than sheer exhaustion overhanging from last night. I'm still worn out after a full night of sleep, so I didn't hit the gym before work this morning, as my anger had directed me to. By this morning my anger was bullying my psyche, so I just hid under the covers until 6:45.

Last night I was freezing, the house was cold, I was tired, and I went to sleep early wearing my thick, fuzzy zebra pjs. Lately I sweat profusely from the waist up so I sleep in a T-shirt, but not last night.

Last night I woke up sweating all over, sure that it was my usual 5 am sweat attack. Nope. It was a few minutes after midnight. I kept waking up drenched every hour and a half. And I didn't feel hot in my pjs, exactly. I was too cold to get them off. *sigh*. Whatever.

So apparently I was burning some serious calories while I slept. It made me think of what I saw when I got out of the tanning bed last night -- about half a cup of sweat pooled from under my back and legs. It was surreal. And kind of gross. I cleaned it well. Eww.

If only....

If only my sweating was ever linked to burning fat. I can never see much difference. Usually none. It's been a year and ten months of hard work in the gym, and I've got no improvement to show, except for a newfound ability to sweat ammonia, thankssomuch. And three dead pairs of running shoes. Lol. That's so helpful.

Well, maybe I'm a little stronger. I was weak as a kitten, but now I've moved up to cat. Fat cat.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Demotivated and Depressed

More demotivated than anything.

It's one of those days when I look at the photos of myself from my cruise, look in the mirror, and am very unhappy with the progress I'm making on changing my body.

Facts:

I'm spending between 1 1/2 to 2 hours in the gym each time, lifting weights and doing a lot of sweaty cardio. I'm putting forth the effort, believe me.

I've been eating clean for two and a half months. That's showing no results either.

I wake up every morning drenched in sweat, no matter how cold the room is, and it's a seriously thick, icky kind of sweat.

I've yo-yoed on losing and regaining the same three pounds for four months this time.

I'm a bit frustrated and beginning to hate myself pretty passionately for something I can't change. Okay, that's depressing.

I spend a LOT of time in the bathroom because my body doesn't want to keep anything I ingest for more than a couple of hours.

I've absolutely had it with people suggesting I risk my life with gastric bypass surgery, as though I were an overeater AND morbidly obese. I'm neither. And forty pounds is not an amount you can have approved for just cutting off, unless I have it done to my breasts (again). I won't stop there, either.

Since I don't have any support in all this, how about not making "helpful" life threatening suggestions to me? I seriously doubt you're finding any real answers in two packs of cigarettes a day.

If you can't help me and you won't cheer for me, how about if you just shut the hell up?

I'm going to get in the tanning bed for some light therapy now.

Back to Clean Eating

If I haven't mentioned it before, I just returned from a five day cruise to the Bahamas. Here are the facts:

It was a Carnival ship, but not one of the ones which had problems. Now I know why our cruise director was making jokes about the ship sinking. Lol. We found out on the shuttle back t the airport.

By the way, the cruise Director, Matt Mitcham, has a voice that just poured over me like warm melted caramel. When he spoke, I had to listen. *sigh* Brummie accent too. :). Some voices just do that to me. His was the second I've heard like that. Too bad he's too young for me!

I didn't exercise on the ship, other than a lot of walking and stair climbing. I was hurting too much most of the time. (Blame my running shoes... I'm buying new ones STAT.) See my post about chronic nerve pain for more on that. Right now, with these shoes, even walking is excruciating. Next time, I need shoes made sturdier for heavy people and people who hit the ground hard when they run, like me. :D

I didn't stick too well with clean eating, but I did make an attempt. :) cantaloupe... Need I say more? I figured that eating a few more calories and the cutting back to normal with my strenuous exercise routine might shock my system int showing some weight loss results.

Oh, and I didn't gain any weight on my cruise. I tried a lot of new things, and I didn't skip dessert. Of course, I didn't finish most of my desserts either. :D. They were great -- i just filled up on the previous courses and only wanted tastes of the sweet stuff. some of it was too rich to finish, however.

My legs swelled and cankled, but that was all, and probably due to the flying I did. I think I could become anorexic and my legs would swell anyway.

So yesterday I had oatmeal with almonds, tuna salad with Greek yogurt (out of Chobani locally though... A pox on this store!), apples, raw almonds, (okay, a bag of baked Cheetos), and pan seared portobellos for dinner (they are SO yummy!), with a couple of protein shakes in there somewhere. And one pack of Sport Beans. (I was SO tired before the gym.) I've got to figure out some easy-prep varied clean meals though... I can't eat tuna every day.

I'm still absolutely tickled about the machines hearing the signal from my heart rate monitor. :).

And today... Would be an excellent day for my LUSH order to arrive. :)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Neato Gym Tech!

I bought a heart rate monitor a couple of weeks ago because I wanted to see if I was REALLY doing anything at the gym. I intended to compare the BPM on the machines t the monitor strapped to my own ribs.

I got a surprise. My monitor not only transmitted the data to my watch readout, it also sent the data to the Precor treadmill and elliptical machines I was using!

Normally the elliptical registers me at 178 BPM and stops working from there. Tonight it stayed in the 160s range and I really had to kill myself to see 180. All the while my watch was beeping warningly for me to cut out the max heart rate shenanigans.

So I'm sharing my first full readout, if for nothing else than to prove I'm not faking any of this exercise. I didn't include the extra 100+ calories it said I burned driving home. (I didn't know how to turn it off just yet.)

I finally see that I'm accomplishing something proveable.

Well, that and my butt, which is becoming defined enough that other people can see the shape changing. This is a good thing, because I hate doing the glute press machine with a purple passion. I added another five pounds to it tonight, so there. :)

I do realize my wrist is at a weird angle, wrinkling the skin horribly, but I was at the gym dealing with glare.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Lush

After disembarking from our cruise, we had to wait at the Orlando airport in the main terminal for several hours before our flight. We weren't allowed past security until two hours before our flight, so we did a little shopping. That airport is like a freaking mall.

Around one corner we found the only Lush airport store, and the first Lush shop I've ever seen. I'd heard that it was like a luxury Bath and Body Works, which I love. All of the Lush products are advertised as handmade and environmentally friendly. Yay. I love that.

The store smelled wonderful. Not exactly fake perfumy, but fruity and flowery. Luscious. *sigh*. It was Bath and Body Works on all-natural steroids.

We were met as we browsed by a rather enthusiastic young man who proceeded to give me a hand and arm scrub and massage, and then rub me with an in-shower body lotion that smelled like Rose Jam and left me feeling like I had silky skin. (Ro's Argan Body Conditioner - I bought it and have been enjoying it ever since. )

I loved that store. Being a cautious shopper very mindful of the 3-1-1 security check coming up, I worried about buying much that was liquid, but they gave us free shipping on the liquids, and that was a huge help.

I also bought a Wiccy Magic Massage Bar (yeah, I realize about the name, and no, I don't care) and use that to tame my ashy legs. Lol it smells like cinnamon and peppermint. Now I just need to order a couple more lotion bars before it gets too warm to ship them. Yikes. Unless of course, someone is going through Orlando's airport and wouldn't mind picking some up for me? I also need some bubble bars. :D. Yeah, I know. I'll order them online.

I've been using their Angels on Bare Skin scrub on my face and it feels great, but it might be a little too oily for my T-zone. I'm not sure yet. I had a little flare up a week ago, but I tamed it with some of my usual meds.

Chronic Nerve Pain

I have killed my running shoes! I'm certain of this because I'm feeling the arch supports press achingly into my admittedly high arches whenever I wear them.

I just can't believe that it took me only six months to destroy them, because they still appear quite presentable and only the lower outer edges look worn.

However, the feel inside is now a different matter. I can't stop walking on the outsides of my feet (major supination problem), and I hurt whenever I walk. From the soles of my feet aching upon first standing, to the achy shinbone points, to my electrical-burn sensations running through my thighs, up through my painful hips, and into my lower back, something has gone dreadfully wrong.

We were shopping in Nassau, and the pain intensified so quickly that my vision became all wavery and I though I was going to faint. Really and truly drop to the floor... It wasn't even hot in Nassau, nor was it humid. I hadn't even walked that much, but my nerve pain took over. It felt like I'd been hooked up to a car battery and given a nonstop jolt.

I really don't know how anybody can live with this much pain on a daily basis, and I know that some suffer worse every day. Yikes. It brought tears to my eyes, I'll tell you that much.

A lady in front of me saw me gasping, clutching my thigh with my eyes squeezed shut, and sympathized that she suffers from a similar neuropathy, and knows how it only gets worse, never better. I'm glad she was there to validate why I had tears in my eyes. I was feeling like the sole victim of the Inquisition's torturers.

What if all the exercising I've been doing is just aggravating the problem? In other words, I may end up with a buff body, and no desire to do anything ever again than to lie in a hospital bed pumped full of morphine until I die.

It's morbid, but it's true. I'm hoping that with weight loss will come a lessening of the pressure on the offending nerves. I don't want to be dependent on pain medication.

Besides, I'm working on having a decent looking backside. So far it hurts every time I use my glutes to lift, but I'm seeing results, so I don't want to quit now.

I just want the pain to stop.

L'Occitaine

People who know me best understand that since my eyes are failing me (and have been since the age of nine -- it's not exactly a news flash) my sense of smell is one that I try to nurture. Or maybe coddle. :)

I love good smelling stuff. Add to that good feeling stuff, and you've got a recipe to make me smile.

For years, I've said Bath and Body Works is my second favorite store. Amazon is the forerunner though. Books. Need I say more? Lately B&BW has disappointed me by retiring every fragrance that I've fallen into a passionate state of entrancement with.

First it was Lavender Flowers. Then it was Tranquil Mint, which was my migraine therapy. Then they started cutting back on the Twisted Peppermint line. And now they've discontinued Black Amethyst. *sniffle* It seems I have the kiss of death.

When my co-travelers' luggage was lost en route to Italy last summer, the airline provided toiletry samples from L'Occitaine in the kit. My roommate, Brandi, enjoyed the samples so much that she found their store while we were in Florence, and bought a few of their products. Verbena was my favorite. It's a crisp, lemony smell full of bright freshness.

However, I felt weird about buying the same fragrances that she bought (hello, weird stalker-seeming copycat?) so I just made happy with their generous samples. I didn't try the Shea butter hand cream until Thursday night, though, when I wanted my dragon-scaled sunburned lower legs to stop flaking and hold onto my Bahamian tan.

Wow, that's some rich stuff! It did the trick very well. Scales be gone!

I don't understand why my legs and arms stay so dry when the other parts of me go crazy with oiliness. Even when I'm drinking plenty of water, they all stay ashy. Which is gross and growing worse as I get older.

So I planned to hit the L'Occitaine store in the Atlanta airport. As luck would have it, we arrived from Orlando at something like gate A1, and walked all the way to gate A30 for departure. The store just happened to be right after gate 27. :) <--- happy me.

The salesgirl gave my sister and me a snotty attitude when we entered. Nothing like the friendly folk in Florence. My sister and I had a minor argument upon entering; she insisted I was there to buy Shea butter hand cream, but I really wanted some Verbena products. The hand cream was really a minor consideration for me.

I countered the snotty clerk's attitude by telling her "I'm going to buy these; would you hold them for me please?" as I continued to shop alone and selected several more items that I wanted, including 2 of the hand creams and two accompanying body creams. (A surprise gift for my sister, who needed a little pick-me-up.) it's funny how her attitude changed when I became assertive with her. It's not usually my style, but she seemed to be judging me on my traveling clothes and I wanted to see how well my idea worked to act like she was there to serve me.

Oh gee. That's right -- she actually WAS there to serve me. I suppose I was a little spoiled by my earlier visit to LUSH, where the salespeople made us feel very welcome. More on that visit In another post.

So yes, I made myself a happy girl with a little splurge on some great smelling skin care items. I've decided it's worthwhile to pamper myself a little bit. :)

PS - I have NO idea how to pronounce the name L'Occitaine. I'm not even sure I spelled it correctly. Lol

Monday, March 4, 2013

Love Never Dies

Real love never dies, no matter how much you might want it to. :). I think this applies in a variety of situations, but I've got a particular one in mind. Yeah, I've still got feelings for him, and it's probably pointless to have them but I can't kill them no matter how hard I've tried. I'm not sitting here sniffling over him, but simply musing that what I thought I'd absolved myself of is still very much alive and weighing on me.

And I can't tell him. *sigh* That's life. (I don't think he's interested, and I'm powerless to do anything about it anyway.) Once upon a time I made a very bold move and I was rebuffed for it. Embarrassment. Not quite as bad as humiliation, but pretty darn close. It took me five years to get over.

Yeah, that hurt, but only one rejection ever made me laugh, anyway.

I had a talk with the person who has, for years, dismissed all of my feelings as "puppy love." Yes, she really went there and likened my emotions to that of a kindergartner. Im not a dog either. She denied saying it. (Probably not understanding what an insult that is, she forgets it when she says it.) She also denied ever cutting me off when I was gushing about *him*, but done it she has, for twelve plus years. So I calmly asked that she please not ever be dismissive about my feelings again. Let's not discuss my life at all, if I'm regarded as a simpleminded idiot. I could always refuse to listen to her, and be cutting, cold, and downright cruel. I don't put it all out there for the world to see, spray painted on a water tower, as you do. (If you're a redneck. Lol)

Just because I haven't had a very "active" dating life, just because I haven't been married and divorced, just because my love has never been returned (it never has, and I know that), it doesn't mean i don't have real, human, adult feelings. I don't think you have to be promiscuous to understand love, and to know that what you feel is love. (Do I have to quote Forrest Gump here? Or is that a tad flippant?)

On the contrary, I think that confusing sex for love is a real problem. Think about Don Juan, the supposed "great lover". Promiscuous as the day is long, and dragged into Hell for his "love 'em and leave 'em" attitude. Sex isn't love. They aren't interchangeable, though I realize they might be sharing a bed in the best of circumstances. Sex isn't required if you love someone, though I suppose it could be a fun thing to do with someone you love.

Perhaps I'm not the one who doesn't truly understand love. Maybe I do get it, better than a lot of people, but I'm not willing to risk catching diseases and being disappointed for the sake of a sweaty bit of wrestling. Maybe we each understand things differently, and we have to find others whose ideas mesh with our own.

I sweat at the gym plenty. It's an overrated experience, and it makes my skin itch horribly. I consider it a side effect rather than the whole show. The rest of it? Well, the jury is still out but it's close to deciding that isn't worth the effort at all.

It's been hard not having anybody to "girl talk" with, but I grew up without that bit, except for some of my friends I get to talk to infrequently. They're all married mothers, so chatting about my lack of a love life is, admittedly, not something they really want to commiserate with me about.

So I blog about it. Aren't ya glad? Lol. Nah, you should be glad I'm really NOT putting serious concerns in here. No, I'm not. :). Some things I will take to my grave.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Living la Vida Aburrida

I see other people living these interesting and outrageous lives. Really out there, doing things, making great memories, growing as people. :)

My life keeps telling me, "Sit back down in the corner and shut up, honey, because you don have what it takes to be anybody different, and you're a bore."

Yeah, looks like I'm going on a liquid diet next week. Amnesia sounds good.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Gym-Tan-Laundry

Well, this week's fitness work has gone fairly well. One mistake - I got in the "hot" tanning bed for the first time after my workout, and it kinda freaked me out. It has a face tanner... Which seemed to me to be a very intense set of purple mini-suns aimed right at my face. Thought they were going to burst into flames and melt my contact lenses onto my eyes. Ohh, I had the heebie jeebies. It was so hot I melted onto the acrylic in a puddle. Now I know how a fried egg feels. I'll stick to the "beginner bed," I think.

Besides, that thing burned my butt. Yeah, it's aloe bath time, bay-bee. The point of tanning was to prevent the tropical sun from cooking me into raw blisters, not so much to get a golden tan before I go. I've left chunks of my scabbed skin in Venice... I don't want to repeat it in the Bahamas.

I'm really tired tonight after my workout, so I'm having trouble deciding on a hotel room after the flight. My brain just isn't working on it. It absolutely wants to sleep, but I need to shower off my tanning accelerator and slather on some sunburn gel.

I have noticed a few more changes lately, mainly in my legs. My calves are gaining definition, and my hamstrings are responding pretty well to the increased weights I'm lifting. I figured that all the cardio hasn't shown much effect yet, so I might as well start lifting heavier weights. Everything I read tells me I don't need to fear big bulky muscles unless I take steroids, and there's no way I'll take those. More muscles burns more fat, and I hate feeling weak anyway.

Oh, my triceps are firming up too. They seem to be showing the fastest change, but I'm having trouble with my bicep curls. I can't keep my shoulders still, and it feels like my forearms are where the real workout happens. Eh, more resistance bands, I suppose. Still, it's nice to see the beginnings of definition somewhere. I guess weightlifting is the key.

However, I have to admit that my hips are terribly sore. They are probably running a close second to my glutes for weakest body muscles, and I have to strengthen them all, no matter how much it hurts.

It's been snowing all day, but nothing appreciable until 7 pm, when the icy, glittery snow came down. :) It was beautiful.

And now it's time for me to hang up my UnderArmour tights. So that's that. Gym, tan, laundry. Lol. Without all the white trash drama from TV.