Eat to the Beat

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Today, someone took the time to explain to me how one properly flosses teeth. I realise that this has never been pointed out before, and understanding WHY something happens is probably more important than the fact it is done. Sometimes, that extra step is hard when everything else matters. I’d never visited a hygienist until today either, so please feel free to chuck a disapproving look this way. However, I made sure to tell her how gentle she was, how nobody else had ever taken that care before with my teeth, and that being willing to learn brings great reward.

Remember to tell someone today how important they are, and how much they matter.

Last night, I rented a movie as I was alone in the house: Dr Strange now explains a lot of the motivation in the Marvel universe, the location of one of the outstanding Infinity Stones, and that however much I love Benedict Cumberbatch he’s fucking wasted as badly constructed combination of Tony Stark and Star Lord. The cut of the film feels horribly off in places too, and the effects sequences… it was like watching a migraine. However, I may yet give it a second viewing to see if stuff improves. This does mean however that two of the best British male character actors of a generation now hold significant store in a Comic book Universe. There’s always a bright side.

Last night was also my first lesson in what my body enjoys digesting post operation and what is unacceptable, and an important correlation was made. I understand why a certain Chinese dish makes me unhappy: it’s not the fish, but the batter they’re coated in. Sadly that means last night’s chicken also makes it onto the ‘avoid like the plague’ list, which is sad as it was lovely at the tastebuds stage. There was a warning I might also need to lay off trigger foods that were an issue pre-Operation, but as yet I think I might yet get away with going back largely to normal.

Today is the last day of playing with back end stuff for the other sites. Starting tomorrow, it’s T Minus 15 days to full-on Patreon awesomeness. I’d better get on with my to do list :D

Deliver Me

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This week’s turning out to be quite the significant landmark. At 8 am I arrived at the location for a well-known reality TV show to begin a two hour health MOT, conducted with a nurse and a doctor, which involved me sitting on a static bike with a breathing tube in my mouth, plus a selection of other exercises and tests. The plan was to see how much better my health has become in the five years since the last time this kind of thing was conducted. The results, quite frankly, blew my mind.

That number, believe me, is a revelation. It puts me in the top 10% of people in my age group for fitness. Everything has improved since my last visit, the only exception being a slightly elevated cholesterol rate, but it is hardly cause for concern. I apparently have a stupidly relaxed resting heart rate and an incredibly efficient system for converting fat to muscle (which I already knew, but is lovely to have confirmed.) My grip, which I thought was average at best is apparently beyond good and into amazing. Mostly, what the two hours this morning did was confirm that yes, it is possible to get healthy from a standing start. If you make the effort and put in the hours, it can change your entire body for the better.

The only cloud on the horizon is my gall bladder, but the scan for this is tomorrow and assuming that everything is clear, I can stop pussy-footing about and get back to Hard Bastard Training. In fact, I suspect I’ll now have no excuse to avoid doing a Tough Mudder type challenge later in the year, which my husband got roped into by someone at work and was afraid of completing alone. I’m hoping to get working on the monkey bar traverse next week, which is my next major obstacle to overcome. Right now, I’m looking forward to everything that is going to be thrown at me, because I suspect exercise shit just got very real indeed.

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The biggest surprise is now being told to eat more each day to cover daily body maintenance. Because of my current level of exercise, I’m simply not taking in enough calories to maintain basic bodily function, which I have to admit explains a fair few things about levels of fatigue. There’s a couple of other issues to take care of too, but mostly I’m celebrating the fact that I have done what I set out to do, in almost exactly a year. Now I’m here, of course, I have to remain long term and not go backwards, and that’s always been the part of the equation that’s never been managed.

I can do this. I know I can. Here’s to the next year’s worth of progress.

I Might Be Wrong

There is a eucalyptus tree in our garden, almost pulled over in the last round of Winter storms. We’ve decided it was too unwieldy, that our whole garden is going to be remodelled in the next year, and this (plus many things) had to go. My husband had taken most of the height from it, but showed reticence to finish the job, and after a particularly passionate discussion over commitment to maintaining the outside of the house, I stepped in. That meant that yesterday morning, as remnants of a teenage LAN party were filtering into unusually warm April sun, I stepped into the garden with a huge hacksaw and a plan.

I am not, as a rule, an outdoors person. Sure, I enjoy going to places and looking at things, but relaxation for me is never outside. However, now I’m beginning to grasp that my future is changing, it is only right and proper that I force out of my normal comfort zone and start doing stuff that is not fun. That eucalyptus was taken to almost ground level yesterday, and has a root system that is a metaphor for how sometimes it is hard to remove things from your life. Every time I thought I’d got on top of removing the stump the thing showed me how deep to dig and strong I’d have to be to cut it out. I’ve done good work, but one day will not be enough, and I’ll be back this week to finish the job. However, what I did manage was to clear more than half the rest of the mess, and call out for a chainsaw because sometimes, you just gotta use the big equipment.

However, yesterday was exactly what was needed.

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The change to my upper body strength was the biggest revelation: sawing shit is FUN when you don’t get tired after 30 seconds. In fact I hacksawed so many things it was enjoyable: once upon a time I’d have never coped with the job I’d set myself in one sitting. Yesterday, by 3.30pm I was tidying up and feeling the effort had been very much worthwhile. The other massive upswing from last week is the ‘nothing fatty that could set off another gallbladder incident until you’ve had bloods and an ultrasound’ warning from the Doctor. I now know that peanut butter is off the books, organic included. It meant the roasters had to be omitted from last night’s chicken dinner too, but that didn’t diminish the awesomeness of the experience, because I sneaked bread sauce in.

This has also stopped me looking at calorie content at foods and pushed me back to the ‘fat’ part of the nutritional information. Even though I’ve been better with food, there were indulgences (especially in the cheese and butter departments) because I’d be able to burn the calories off. The problem now, of course, is if my body cannot handle the process of breaking down high fat foods, there has to be accommodation and I will need to start logging those indulgences to ensure I’m not potentially causing more harm. What I really want to avoid is surgery, because that will put back all my hard work potentially for months. If I can manage this without the need to do so, that will be the long term aim.

I might be wrong, but the more I think about last week is turning out to be a massive positive than negative.

New Sensation

I’m getting to a position where I can start to move forward with some confidence.

I set myself the target this week of clearing what had become an increasingly cluttered work space. It has taken two days, but distinct progress has been made, and I now feel I’m able to start crafting lists without overstretching myself or being unrealistic over targets. My biggest issue, without exception, is taking on too much and then ending up feeling as it I’ve failed because not everything gets done. The first major objective in 2017 is Realism. That means an understanding of what I am capable of doing, and still pushing myself without ending up going too far.

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I’d like to take this opportunity to apologise to anyone I’ve let down in the past as a result of me overreaching. I know I have, that this is one of my biggest single failings. It is why my Christmas gifts are still here waiting to be boxed and sent, and are yet to leave the house. They will do however, in the New year, with the level of detail and commitment I wanted to have accompany them from the word go. Then, once I’ve finally cleared the decks of everything that was promised, I can move on with New Stuff (TM). This way, I can work on things in small, bite sized chunks, and not end up getting bogged down feeling as if I’ve simply taken on too much.

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That means this morning/afternoon making the first of many checklists that will be ticked off as the next month goes on. I’ve given myself until the end of January to get a set list of things ‘done’ and then, at the end of Week Four, we will sit down and assess how successful January was in terms of physical achievement. I’m also going to set my lists up in better defined orders. I’ll have one for Exercise, another for Internet gubbins, and one of Physical Attainment (and by that I don’t mean how many chin ups I can do, but that will feature on the Exercise list.) I’ve bought an A4 journal and will be employing my cack-handed form of Bullet Journaling in the hope that this will help further organise an increasingly agile mind.

After all, it isn’t just my body that requires constant maintenance going forward.

The Edge of Heaven

Christmas has come and gone, and I’ve already broken in the new Fitbit Blaze at the gym this morning. It was less of a stress than I thought, probably because on Christmas Day I dragged the family out to walk. That meant I did do 2k yesterday, but not *technically* as a run so I will count that as rest and made sure I did extra this morning. I’m cautiously optimistic that I can keep up the exercise throughout January, at this level, and think about making some headway into serious weight loss. I also have a new Sony digital camera, and fully intend to go take pictures of stuff, perhaps every day if I can manage it. I’m cautious about committing myself to anything at this stage, and if I can do it without it becoming a big deal? So much the better. 

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Today, I started the way I mean to go on. I’ve unsubscribed from over two hundred email lists. This includes online shopping, lifestyle newsletters, crappy shit I never remember signing up for but someone sold my information on, and Loot Crate. That company has lost my subscription this year purely and simply on the strength of the most aggressive and depressing sales campaign I’ve ever seen. There’s only so much useless crap someone’s prepared to pay for, and one box enough was enough, but they’d keep trying to sell me more, and more by e-mail and eventually, I had enough. Unsubbing is the best thing I’ve done for a long time, not just to save cash. It kick-started my desire to remove from my mailbox anything that is useless and pointless. So, I suppose I should thank them for making me so fucked off I went and sorted everything out.

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Now I’m trawling through months of useless mail deleting message after message with an almost evangelical zeal. I’m even filing stuff in folders. It will be fantastic to not have to wade through dozens of messages I have no interest in. Once that’s done I have my last calorie packed meal of the season and after that we can go straight to healthy shizzle right the way until 2017 and beyond. Another one of my unofficial 2017 goals is to try and learn to cook without the whole process freaking the fuck out of me, and being able to cook my own healthy meals is pretty much a requirement going forward.

Let’s see how much of this I can manage going forward.

Ramble On

This time tomorrow, I will be on holiday.

That thought alone is really rather gratefully received, as it’s been pretty full on for the last couple of months. I’d like to say I’m not going to think about ‘work’ while I’m away too but that’s never really true: whenever I go anywhere, I’ll write when I’m able. Normally I’d have pre-prepared five days’ worth of Other Blog content to cover the shortfall but this time there’s simply not been enough hours in the day. That means I’ll be being creative in the next five days or so, and working pretty much on the fly.

It should be quite interesting to see what I can come up with as a result.

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As I’m off to be fit for five days, there’s less likelihood of being distracted by tea and snacks, plus if the weather is good I have more chance to be outdoors doing stuff. I’ve also got a bit of cash earned to spend on some new clothing (as the place we’re at has shops on site.) It will be more expensive than normal, but I can at least try stuff on without needing to throw myself into a shopping centre. Mostly I have no idea what size I am any more: half my clothing appears to be far too large all of a sudden. There will be at least some time in the swimming pool, quite a lot of miles on the roads around the area and I suspect bike time too. I’ve not actually ridden a road bike since San Francisco last year, so I’m looking forward to seeing if all the work has finally produced an improvement.

For now, there’s things I must do before I start packing. I should probably try and find some shorts. Perhaps it is finally time to get my legs out for the summer.