labelleizzy: (Default)
getting over a nasty sinus infection that settled in my chest. Again.

it got bad enough this weekend that I couldn't sleep and my abdominal muscles started locking up after the violence of the spasmodic coughing.

never again will I wait so long before seeking help.

One: I have two kinds of bronchial inhalers, I will use BOTH, I will remember that I HAVE both and will use both when I start getting in trouble.

Two: one night of no-sleep is the dealbreaker now. One night, then get the doctor.

Three: try and figure out wtf is the problem with my head (I know, my mom was like this too) that makes it so I'd rather harm myself literally than perceive that I was disappointing other people.

Four: the doctor is there to help preserve your health and life. they're not put out when you go to see them with an actual problem, and if they are, then you need to see another doctor.

Five: crowdsourcing your health advice is a not-horrible option when you have people who actually do give a shit about you and not just posting clever quips. (My friends DO give a shit, I've seen other people get much less helpful comments, the bastards)

Six: saying I CAN'T BREATHE WELL if true, is an excellent way to get taken seriously with my HMO.

Seven: My HMO did good work again, I'm just saying.

Eight: it's time to write down all the meds I'm taking and when, so I can make sure to take ALL OF THEM (I forgot to do the inhalers till well around dinner time and it wasn't very fun.

Nine: More water, more hydration, and I want to go pick up some of that guaifenisin stuff to add to the regimen; and I need to get more sleep.

10: I'll be done with the antibiotics by this time next week but I need to keep using the inhalers through the first week of August (21 days since onset, minimum)

Ten things make a list, ergo a blog post. Sorry this is boring, glad I'm not dead (or suffering like I was before).
labelleizzy: (Default)
well who could have guessed that emotional disequilibrium (feelings, stress, anxiety) would accelerate executive dysfunction (distraction, deflection, defensiveness, confusion, flustered, brain fog, & the other joys of adhd)!
(Me, I could have guessed. But it's taken a formal diagnosis and a ton of reading and reflection.)

had a long talk with Jeff last night. He was again very frustrated with me and again very patient with me.
but he never attacked me and he never made me feel like I was wrong.

for the first time, I think, I was totally calm and not defensive during one of these talks.
for the first time, I took notes.
I was safe with him.
I could actually hear and accept what he was saying.

Not gonna get into the specifics of his feedback but over the course of the conversation I became certain that working with this specific new therapist on strategies for coping with adhd is probably the best choice I've made in the past year.

you can't fix something you don't know is busted.
when I'm calm and secure, I think and plan really well.
when I'm bottling up Feelings (see above list) it decreases my ability to think, plan, and execute.

It's pretty simple, now that I get it.
But I couldn't have gotten HERE without the years of other kinds of work to deal with understanding family issues, building my health habits, practicing clear communication and learning relationship skills.

I said something elsenet about wishing people came with black and white rules that I could memorize, but they don't. It would be easier with rules, but ultimately I think my meditation practice, religious practice, Flylady practice, and self reflection will help me navigate the world with additional clarity.
Maybe I won't crave rules if my boat is more watertight. It sucks to feel like you're managing one disaster after another.

I want to re-establish my meditation practice.
I want to re-establish my devotional practice.
both of those help me clear my mind and focus on my goals.

I want a regular weekly occupation that gets me out among people in interesting situations.
I want a regular practice of self-care that includes grooming and getting my touch needs met.
these will work towards my social needs and help take some of the stress off Jeff.

I've been working on figuring out how to be more independent of him, now I know he actually VALUES that I think it'll be a lot easier digging in and actually working to achieve those things.

One way I've always done well is when someone has clear expectations of me that are within my ability to meet. I may want to go on medication but right now I'm apprehensive. Which is perhaps foolish because I suspect I've been using caffeine and alcohol to self medicate for years. I'll do some more research.

(good gods look at the twenty seven million I-statements!)

okay.

gonna post on facebook, renew a prescription, make some more tea, make a to-do list for tonight's party.
labelleizzy: (Default)
Just had a massage focused on my hand/arm that's still healing up from our NYE car wreck. She started at my neck, chiseled some out of my shoulders and pectorals, went down my right arm and my biceps/triceps, the muscles that wrap around the elbow, the stuff in between the long radius and ulna, stretched the right places in my hand and wrist, gods bless her. Did a little under my shoulder blades which also helped.
So much better.
Now I want to have a day doing physical things.
labelleizzy: (Default)
Physical Therapy feels like it's going slow, but still, I can do a lot of stuff I haven't been able to.
Grip strength of the right hand isn't great, but it's mostly reliable and seems to be improving. *shrug*

One cool thing that I hope is actually progress: (background) I have a habit of cracking my knuckles and tugging on my fingers. (Mom says we have a family history of arthritis in the knuckles ugh)
The hand that's healing has been staying swollen for a lot of the day. Today I got in the hot tub and soaked hand and body awhile. The swelling went down and has pretty much stayed down.

Just now I was thinking about seeing the chiropractor, and wondering if he can adjust fingers. I think I remember him doing it. And I have had a swollen painful root-joint of the thumb pretty much this whole time.

So I tugged on the thumb a bit, had a bit of bright pain, but now I can touch my thumb across to my pinky, and the whole thumb-wrist part hurts less. I think I might have encouraged a tendon to move over just a bit, to go back to where it normally belongs! (*fingers crossed*)

Before I forget I'm going to take some more acetaminophen (I do miss ibuprofen but it clashes with one of my other meds) and hope to keep the swelling down.

The rest of my life is okay, and we have a houseguest this weekend, so I must dash!
labelleizzy: (strong)
This whole series is public, if you have any interest in fat folks getting more fit.

One thing I'm realizing/have realized about recovery from the old ACL injury and the surgery ten years after the original injury, is the degree to which the body adapts to such an injury. Ive been working out hard since 2011, first doing prehab, then surgery Nov 1, 2011, then post surgical rehab.

Old snarls and pains and general fucked upped ness persist for years. The injury persisted for years, it's just logical upon reflection, but i had some magical thinking going into the surgery four years ago... Not just about this, but about a number of things, regrettably.

Any road, four plus years of work has already been paying off, in strength, flexibility, confidence, stress management, and a slow but gradual improvement for most of my physical concerns.

Today, however, today was special. For context: Over the weekend i had an unwelcome sudden unexpected back spasm. Spasms like that have been really really uncommon since i started working out with trainers at the gym but used to happen ALL the time, both when i was injured and during my very sedentary, book lovin', inactive childhood. To repeat, since the knee surgery replaced the necessary ACL structure in my knee, i haven't been used to that kind of occurrence, not for around four years.

Today my body felt... Different. Easier. Like, even on both sides of my hips. Like, both legs feeling the *same*. And the tailbone thats been bothering me, also feels eased. Flexibility is surprisingly good today, i could put my foot on the top rail of the stretch barre, and i could squat further without feeling the danger!pain in my knee, hip, or hamstring.

I'm thinking now that maybe that brief back spasm might have been the last of the old adaptations, finally letting go now that the rest of my body has been strengthened and trained and appropriately balanced to do naturally what bodies are supposed to.

(Hint: it ain't sitting on my ass reading and silent for hours every day as i did during my childhood.)

*happy sigh* i love to move, now. It's a joyful thing.
labelleizzy: (i dance)
Tonight dance was wonderful. There was so much music i had never heard before, and a few familiar tunes... It's been two weeks since i got to dance and i missed it and my body missed it too. (Yes, we are the same thing, still i missed it twice.)

The lesson tonight was about relationships: what are you drawn to, repelled by, what is difficult what is easy... I flashed on my brother dancing at his wedding... He was intentionally ridiculous, showing off. And on our childhood choreography and on things like high school dances where it always felt like everyone was watching (me, self conscious? Nahhh)

Movement was performative. Softball games, basketball, i didn't find my way into moving joyously till after college when i started social dance and country dance... Just dancing for ourselves and because it was fun, no competition, and performance wasnt the primary goal at all...

This realization seems important. And my body is much happier after 2 hours of loving movement. I'll bring this to my therapy appointment tomorrow.

And i think i want to try to connect with the irish dance club on stanford, and try it out agsin. Claire played some AfroCelt Sound System tonight and my bodymind went NUTS. It was great and horrible. (More on this when i have access to a proper keyboard.)

Edit: forgot to mention that this was the birthday celebration for November babies and i got to stand in the center and receive loving touch from my dance family. And Erin helped massage away my sinus headache. Yay!

And there is one thing i have to talk to Claire about, it's an ongoing thing where another dancer keeps staring at me. (Boo) Uncomfortable and IDK how to manage the situation.
labelleizzy: (strong)
I tried something new yesterday, not consciously, but in the moment.
It was a foam core roller kind of day. And by that I mean that my muscles were tense and tight and not flexible, and it was adding pressure to my joints.
I spent 4 or 5 hours on Tuesday at the pottery studio, standing still on a concrete floor, or hunched over the pottery wheel. Lots of focus on the work and not so much on my body...
Standing on concrete floors kinda sucks. it tightens my leg, ass, and back muscles, and messes up my knees and feet and sometimes my hips.

So yesterday's workout using the foam core rollers to kind of lightly beat up my muscles and encourage them to relax and let go, was really really useful.
After we rolled our legs yesterday, Etty had me work again on holding plank on toes and elbows. I made it to thirty full seconds at toes and forearms! I figured out a subtle way of pushing my shoulders, somehow, up towards the crown of my head. Felt like I was, dunno, sliding but not-sliding my arms and clasped hands up that mat, and suddenly it was almost easy.

and then after working from forearms and toes, holding at forearms and knees felt EASY. I held maybe another whole minute after the shift.

Now then yesterday AFTER the workout, I was on concrete for hours again, this time doing art for Burning Man camp. And my feet and knees hurt again, I've been massaging into the bones of my feet and manipulating them to help them feel better, all morning. But I am doing things and going places with my bodywork, and ultimately I'm really really proud of my sticktoitiveness. =) Body feels strong. Even when it's stiff and sore, it feels strong.

Yay body, yay me, yay healthy habits.
labelleizzy: (greatness)
Today's workout with Tal and [livejournal.com profile] tshuma was challenging in different ways than these used to be.

There was a balance exercise that was physically challenging: stand on a curb with one foot, keep your hips square, bend the knee of the supporting leg and lower your other toe to the ground. Straighten, repeat 10 times on each leg. Whoa.

But the part that's emotionally challenging is to realize that I have made HUMONGOUS progress in strength, flexibility, and balance since I started writing about this journey nearly two years ago.

Cognitive dissonance, man.

Like, I do know that I'm stronger than I used to be, but parts of my brain are still expecting those gains to vanish as soon as I stop looking at them. I have an old script running "this is what my body looks like and this is what it can do"
AND THE SCRIPT IS WRONG.

Not sure how I change that, because both my head and my heart need recalibration.

Tal says that I don't give myself nearly enough credit; that much, I believe! *laughing*

Okay. Here's what I can do:

I can hang out in Table position and extend alternate arm and leg for many seconds with no discomfort or huge effort.

I can hang out in Down Dog for many seconds without discomfort or huge effort.

I can do a dozen inverted rows hanging from the TBX with no discomfort and little effort. I remember how sore my hands wrists elbows and shoulders were when I first started that exercise, and how I did it all wrong.

I can do plank at my knees for ages, and then I can detach one knee or hand at a time, repeatedly. Not up to full plank all the time, but I'm getting there.

I can hold Bridge pose for a good long time, even on a squashy surface like my bed.

Properly warmed up, I can put my foot up on the railing at shoulder height to stretch, with no pain and very little effort.

Each shoulder moves independently, and the adhesions seem to be totally gone, shoulderblades move fluidly and the shoulders are normally down and back instead of hunched up and forward. This is HUGE.

Lower back pain, foot pain, hip pain, pain in the shoulder, has essentially vanished. Knee feels stable.

My curves have been smoothing out as the muscles get stronger and settle in closer to the bones.

I can reach things atop the fridge or at the back of that one shelf without standing on my toes or stretching diagonally, my shoulder just GOES FURTHER NOW.

Deep breathing is my normal way of breathing. Actually scored 100% when I last saw a doctor and the nurse took a blood O2 test! Yeah!

I stand and sit straighter more often. Today I got my hair cut and it felt more natural to sit up straight than to lean back in the chair.

These are all true things.
How I was is not how I am now.

I want to come to terms with that. Internalize it, incorporate it into my self image.

I have become physically strong.

This gives me a sense of peace.

I still have more to say about this but I need to leave it there for the moment.

I am strong.


Posted via m.livejournal.com.

labelleizzy: (mad scientist)
Good workout today. Tal reviewed the "homework" with me, I was doing the side lunge wood-chop thing wrong, as it turns out. Good she's on the checking on details kind of thing.

I want to start doing belly dance drills. anyone want to join me, IRL or virtually?

Yesterday I picked up the glucose meter, and the pharmacy pushed my Metformin prescription through a day early, since I was there. Go go gadget pharmacy techs! Then I got basic training on how to use the glucose meter, and by now (late afternoon on day two of owning it) I've done three self-sticks thus far. Forgot to dispose of the lancet after use this morning, remembered about two hours ago that I hadn't reached down the sharps container from where I've stashed it atop the fridge. Went to get my kit and took care of that.

I don't feel very different. Maybe a little clearer headed? Last night my guts were rumbling audibly and I figure that's the Metformin starting to kick in. Good thing I have already been changing my diet to lessen the carb load, I didn't experience any of the unpleasant side effects that I've read about. So yay for that.

As soon as I had the diagnosis I cut two things: I quit eating just-carbs or just-carbs and cheese, and I put the honey away that I've been using in my tea. Daily. Fortunately I am the happy possessor of some really good quality looseleaf black tea and I love how it tastes with just milk, so I am not missing the sweetening.

Blood sugar levels thus far have been smack in the middle of the 70-130 before eating (91) and at appropriate levels of two-hours after eating as well. I only have three data points so far.

I've decided to treat this as an experiment in mad science, where I am both the scientist and the experimental subject.

Muahahahah. That always ends well, so I am told! =)

Trying to figure out what to make for dinner, and I've got some picking up and put away to do before the cleaning ladies come over tomorrow. So I'm off the 'net for a little bit. I've got tons of reading to do on LJ Idol and I am not keeping up well with that responsibility.

Though I do cut myself some slack for the sudden shift in my health status...

eh.


How are you all, on this lovely Wednesday afternoon?
labelleizzy: (strong)
Not sure how to make this post coherent. Perhaps a list.

  • Test results received late last night/early this morning before I went to bed. Congratulations, it's Diabetes! =(
  • Congratulations, it's also high LDL cholesterol! (fuck.) At least Triglycerides and HDL were where they're supposed to be.
  • Good workout today with Tal, and I told her about the blood tests. She is being strict with me, she wants me to up my gym visits to four times per week, to make SURE I do ten to 15 minutes of interval training on the treadmill Every Time I Come In, because cardio is my big challenge. We talked about Metformin and researching my situation (which is both hypothyroid/Hashimoto's and diabetes) and about seriously building my stamina and strength.
  • as a matter of fact, one thing Tal said deserves its own bullet point. I'm not to use the elliptical anymore for my warmups, I'm to use the treadmill and do the interval work for fifteen minutes because "the elliptical is fine for people who are just starting or who are recovering. You are neither." This pleases me MIGHTILY.
  • Wonderful to run into [livejournal.com profile] wrenb at the gym, we had time for a cup of coffee and a chat that I found very nourishing and therapeutic.
  • On a related note, my brain weasels are still telling me that DIABETES=DEATH (because my dad had diabetes when he died) so I will encourage EVERYONE to share diabetes success stories if you know any. Stupid damn brain weasels. At least I know they're there, so I can deal with them.
  • Feeling strong and warm and sore, had a wonderful workout Wednesday and today, and a serious chiseling-out massage yesterday because Danniel is back working at Massage Envy. And he's added some new strokes to his repertoire. And I gave him a double tip yesterday because that was aMAzing, and because I could. Whew, I was flying on endorphins!
  • I've gotten some links from [livejournal.com profile] sarahmichigan re: hypothyroid and I'm working on finding reliable info on diabetes and "eating diabetic".
  • Doctor's office has me in for three appointments next week: I get a blood sugar monitor and a lesson on how to use it, I am seeing the optometrist or opthalmologist (not sure which) so they can check out my eyeballs and (one assumes) start a baseline, and there's a class on, I think, diabetic nutrition. I'll be busy looking after my health next week, what with extra workouts and everything.
  • And, since ten things makes a list, I'm going to go find something delicious to have for lunch. And now I know how to balance the plate: 1/2 vegetables, 1/4 protein, 1/4 hopefully complex carbs.


Life. Is complicated. I've never been so happy to be unemployed in my LIFE, except when I had the knee surgery and could just spend my time recovering and doing PT.

Honey, [livejournal.com profile] eeyore42? I'm sorry I'm not working but I'm glad I can narrow my focus and Deal With This as completely as possible.
labelleizzy: (do it)
OK, exercise and moving my body is starting to feel more natural than sitting still.
This is a little weird, but still good. I feel *tougher* than I have in years.

Been on the bicycle every single day this week. *shrug* I can't remember now why I was ever afraid of riding in Mountain View. My bike lets me ride tall. I'm looking car drivers in the eye, and sitting up straight. Awareness and contact with others on the roads help me feel safe even in roads where there's no painted bike lane.

Am also seeing, already, some muscle definition in the quads near the knee. Unrelated to the biking but relevant to the rest of the physical working, I can feel muscles at my waist, even if they don't show much yet. So much better than feeling weak and soggy Like I did once upon a time... Functional strength and balance. This shit RULES.

feeling a need for an early night.

Be well and happy, Livejournalists!
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)

I thought I had a lump in my breast.
Yes, THAT kind of lump.
Turns out I was wrong
thank GODS I was wrong

 

I didn't let myself have time to react today, to release, to let go of the holding-on I've been doing ever since I first suspected, something like two months ago...

 

and just finished a HARD workout with Tal... I told her about my appointment and my worries from today, and that I wanted to "sweat out all the stress"... she said, with a grin, "we can DO that!"

 

and we did.
hells, halfway through, she even made me RUN, like seriously RUN THROUGH THE GYM and around the other people working out, in a loop around the two guys playing basketball, who looked honest to goodness surprised to see this two-and-a-quarter hundred-pound chick pelting after her zippy little 98 pound trainer...

 

but I kept up. *grin*
Tal *gets* without me saying it that I get all locked up in my head (most of my life) and deep in my bones when we work out... and she pulls out something crazy like this, and it pops me back out into reality.

 

so, okay, once I stretched out and cooled down, I did wind up in the locker room ambushed by sobs for about a second.

 

like omg I dodged a bullet there kind of thing

 

like what am I doing with my life

 

just this enormous almost panic attack... can you have a "relief attack?"

 

shuddering, head on the bench, hunkered down, my face in the shirt I'm about to put on...

 

I'm outside now, baking in the car because I needed to write this down.

 

the value of being IN the body cannot be measured, and yet I usually take it for granted.

 

being in the Body fixes some things that the Mind creates.

 

I want to remember that.




labelleizzy: (nanowrimo)

I am grateful that...

 

* I have a husband who loves me and who I love & can respect , is physically demonstrative with affection, pets, and cuddles, and supports us both in comfort.

 

*I have a pair of silly and serious kittehs, who nag me to get up, to pet them, to feed them, to play with them.

 

* I have exceptional health. I barely got a sniffle, for the last two years. My body is working well and responding to Martha Graham's "slow and steady pressure" as I incorporate loving movement into my daily habits.

 

*I have a good mind. I troubleshoot and bring creative problem solving skills to all kinds of situations, and sometimes can find the solution that eludes others.

 

* I have a good heart. I try to love well and without "judging", and to communicate proactively and with radical honesty. I try to bring health, clarity, and optimism wherever I go.

 

I am grateful for my ability to learn from my mistakes and to incorporate these lessons into my life. Every bit of learning has something to do that can make Life better, and even the small lessons (eat something when you get up if you have a Sad) have a remarkable impact. (like now.)

labelleizzy: (strong)
Made it to the gym today! Awesome!

and I'm starting a workbook to try and track what the hell I'm doing when I go there, so I can refer to it easier than LJ entries.

so. Briefly, I did 13 minutes of cardio, then 7 machines? 3 for legs, 4 for arms... then some time stretching and doing yoga stuff at the end.

My hips feel better than they have all week, as do my knees, but my ancient nemesis of Neck Muscle Spasm has returned. It has plagued me since childhood. Argh! Sometimes working out my shoulders helps it go away. Other times, not. This seems to be a "not" evening. Red wine sometimes helps, and tonight it did, a bit, but I still have stiffness and ouchiness. Last ditch efforts include microwaving the neck-wrap, and taking the srs muscle relaxants. I think I'll try the neck-wrap and skip the Srs Drugs tonight, bearing the red wine in mind. Lots more water before bed.

Good night, my loves.
labelleizzy: (strong)
Physical therapy went really well today.

10 minutes hard riding on the bicycle (unfortunately with some old white guys stuffed with Old White Guy Privilege on the bicycles next to me, partly why I went hard on the bicycle, to distract myself from Saying Something)

then I stretched a little and told Janet a little about dancing last night, and then she had me jump up onto the 4" step. Hop forward, and step back down. Forward, and hop off forward. Then (this was the part I was scairt of last time) hop up sideways from the right, and hop back the same way. Twice to prove the first time wasn't a fluke (wink). Then hop up the other sideways (from the left), and hop off.

and I wasn't scairt this time! but I also realized "hey, I never did this before in my pre-surgery life either, so, it's understandable to be a little scairt." And then I felt better about having been scairt and not trusting my right knee to Do The Thing, the first time.

and then, and THEN. She had me get on the treadmill and walk-jog. I was actually running! Whoo-hoo! Not very fast, and not very long, but running!

And after that, I was walking to cool down and she'd printed and brought over my List Of Goals for PT from awhile ago... "so you've started dancing again... Bicycling outside? Walking? Yoga?" I said how I do yoga at home but haven't tried a class since the surgery. She said, do the yoga carefully, with modifications, blocks and such. Then she reminded me I'd said I want to do rock climbing... she said, go ahead.

GO AHEAD. Though at the lowest, carefullest level. (eeee!)

She also said it looked like after one or two more sessions, if I keep up being physically active, I could probably be discharged from physical therapy.

(!!!!!)

Oh Gods, I'm high! from that and how good it feels to move and how it doesn't hurt or buckle or do weird things. It feels so good to move! I feel strong and healthy and so very very blessed today!
labelleizzy: (strong)
Went to the gym yesterday. Was a bit weird to have gone to the skin cancer surgeon in the morning, get assigned the Thursday surgery date, go out to lunch and freak out a little (and get a lovely couple of comforting phonecalls from [livejournal.com profile] laviolinista and [livejournal.com profile] madametromboni, separately)... and then go to the gym and be trained up in how to use some of the equipment that I haven't used yet.

Life in the midst of worry about... things. Basal cell carcinoma is, I grant you, a bit threatening, but shouldn't be life threatening; and obsessing over it is Officially, Not Helping.

So I met with a trainer, and we talked about my goals and a bit on my history. She was very professional, had a good "game face" on. (that's a skill I still work on and often fail) I tried a lot of new things, and learned some tricks to a few of the machines that I've been already using.
weight talk behind cut )
My highest weight, but I feel notably stronger than I have in years. And the shape of my big muscles feels smoother on the outside, like the toning I've been doing is stretching out & flattening the subcutaneous fat. Which perhaps it is.

Lots of good advice from the young lady trainer, which reinforced my determination to do a few of the things I've been doing at home, more often. Shoulders, hips, spine, flexibility.

Keep breathing. Keep taking care of myself. Drink more water, keep moving.

And don't wait a year to get a rough patch of skin, that won't heal, checked out by a doctor. Sheesh.
labelleizzy: (Default)
I walked to work and back yesterday, my last day teaching (supervising) the choir class at the high school. Had a great chat with one of the ninth graders in the Womens Chorus. She challenged me to do something I've been saying I would do for a decade: join the ACLU. She has a point there. I also walked out on my errand to try and find a new pair of exercise pants at Target. Unfortunately that attempt was made of fail. BUT! but I did get a new package of cotton underwear! that fits! and doesn't have holes! and they are all blues and purples~!

such is my life that I am excited to spend <$10 for 6 pairs of cotton underwear. Heh. Feels a bit like pampering myself. And so, a fair bit of walking yesterday. Did not get to gym.

Going to gym today after shower & breakfast, flip laundry, start dishwasher, & library drop off. I'm really looking forward to it. Planning to ask the desk for one of the trainers to do an orientation on the machines so I can be sure I'm using correct form and to have an idea of the kind of challenge they think I can go with. I am probably not challenging myself *enough* to really build muscle mass, but I am challenging myself enough to warm up the muscles and get them and my joints to start to be flexible again. So I'll get some professional advice. =) Planning to spend about 2 hours there total, though I think I'm missing the window to try a class (today), I think it will be just right after two weeks off.

Medical TMI behind cut, or, why I can't yet use the pool at the gym, dammit )

I want to get to swimming. I really like swimming. So I am totally taking care of this detail both so I can swim and so I can get back to (ahem) other things as well. Heh.

This much said, time for my shower so I can go get brunch so I can finish my other errands and get my butt to the gym around 1 pm. Ought to ping [livejournal.com profile] angelkatharine and see if she'd like to meet me there.
labelleizzy: (yoga)
Based on a friend's friend's post, I'll be attempting to blog 100 things about my health and fitness progress between now and December 31. There's no deadline, actually, for this challenge, but I want to see what I do between now and the new year, for myself.

Going to talk about going to the gym, how stuff feels physically and emotionally, what kinds of changes I'll be making in dietwhat I eat and how I exercise. Planning to change my food intake a bit, away from the generally high-fat (high quality) food I've been eating.

Going to do more of what I already do, more reliably: physical therapy (slooooowly and with good form), bicycling, and light weightlifting to start with.

Going to try new things. Swimming on a regular basis, for instance. Running (with the knee brace at first). Pilates. Rock climbing (!!). More hiking. More geocaching.

and. and. I will go back to dancing. I will. I will. I will.
labelleizzy: (multitudes)
Finding myself lately, looking at a lot of older people. I see people with white hair and wrinkles, in athletic shoes and support hose, walking confidently or with a walker or in a wheelchair, hand in hand with a companion - a sweetie, a daughter, a son (or so I assume), or a caregiver (again I assume)...

and I realize I am indeed at middle age.

42 is a good age to be at, but I will be exceptional for my family if I live to significantly past 80.
So now is a good time, especially since I HAVE the time right now, this year, this season, to think and plan out what I want middle age to look and feel like, and to think and plan and imagine what eldering will or may look and feel like for me.

I think I need to really re-examine what I think I know about getting older, and what it will feel like from the inside. I think I am learning that a lot of assumptions I used to have about how the world worked, drove COMPLETELY off the tracks after I discovered a pagan practice, after I discovered a polyamorous lifestyle, after I realized I don't, and I can't, fit tidily into the boxes that pop culture seems to want to put everyone into.

I overflow. I am large and abundant and have way too much love and hope and earnest curiosity and quirky interests. I am not nearly sarcastic or bitter enough for "what it feels like is expected of me". I'm an idealist. I'm inclusive. I'm passionate and frequently relaxed and forgiving. I like to make things myself, to find things out myself.

I don't think we have enough dialog about what it means to leave the Youth Culture behind and move into ... what? What does it *mean* to "get older" or to "become mature" or "adult"?

Who are the models of behavior? What do we need to do to move from here to ... wherever there is? What can, what MUST we shed and leave behind to make the journey?

If I think of this process in a pagan context, I can use the five-stage model, which goes Maiden-Mother-Teacher-Warrior-Crone. (the last four steps, I feel, interchange and interweave in women's lives as we grow older and more experienced and sure of ourselves, rather than being concrete, definable stages we progress through in an orderly fashion.)

I've been through Maiden, Mother/Teacher stage (my teaching and librarianing all had a deeply maternal caretaking quality), have spent some time in Teacher/Warrior stage and want to spend more there and gain in strength and confidence. I want to return to Mother/Teacher stage as an artist, birthing words and images and inspiration... since I can't birth my children, I will find children to mother and mentor and teach; I can't "lose myself" in childrearing, so I will strive toward finding myself in artistic and community endeavor. I will find my own teachers, and worry later about Being Teacher, if I choose to return to that. Teacher/Warrior needs community, and I've let my community drift away from me for too long. If I rebuild and regrow Community for myself, I think that over time, my other needs will gradually be met: needs for people time, needs for meaningful work, needs for playful and productive connection and belonging. And my need for FUN. =)

Have been living in "stuck" mode for too long. Been struggling to do *anything* productive. I've been homecaring, and taking care of my own body. The good part of that, is that for the first time in my life, taking care of my physical self is an unconflicted, unguilted, first priority. Too many "wake up" calls about my health in the last few years.

No more "shoulds": The change is here. I *am* moving my body. I *am* finding the foods and activities that help me feel strong and healthy and good. I *am* looking to the future, to 50, 60, and yes, to 80. I'm Off The Path. I have NO idea what these years are "supposed to look like" and you know what? I don't care. I can survive in the wilderness, I can feed myself and take care of others and make all my own tools.

Not getting any younger. (in some ways, thank Gods for that!) Therefore: NOW it is time to take stock/inventory, time to truly see where I am as I descend into the season of Dionysos, into the dark and the cold, into the introspective time and the Lesser Madness. Sink my Roots. Allow myself the time to make my Tools, talk with others about the Path Ahead, laugh and eat and drink wine around the fire, love hard and plan to Do Important Things before I die.

Ripples in the pond. Are my ripples from a big ol' PLONK or are they the cascade of light, sweet rings shimmering out from a single smooth stone skipped far across the pond? I'm hoping for a many-times multiple skip with a surprising dogleg hop at the end before the splash...
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Am currently developing a theory wrt pain (or at the least discomfort) and me learning something new.

The educational term is Cognitive Disequilibrium. That means your brain gets all shaken up when you encounter a new concept or paradigm that you didn't have room for in your prior worldview, and so you need to move everything around a bit to make room for the new (assuming true) thing you have learned or are learning. It's a bit like that trick to suitcase packing, where an already-full suitcase (or especially duffel) can be made to accommodate more stuff by jouncing it on the floor a little, so the existing stuff settles down, packed tighter, and there is then a bit of room at the top of your bag to add something else.
And of course the Extreme Version of Cognitive Disequilibrium would be, the Unpack-Everything-Add-the-New-Thing,-Repack-everything-Up-Again mode of repacking.

I think I've been doing some of that Extreme Version, myself, along with some of the more convenient version... hmmm.

Many people aren't, it seems, even willing to jounce their duffel-o-self a bit to make room for the more-stuff, or to reprioritize their packing lists and omit items that are less useful on further examination. Many people are probably pretty content to pack like they have always packed, assuming they have what they need to meet their needs for the next trip or emergency...

But I'm finding that I want and need some very different things now. When I used to pack my Travelling Bag and my Emergency Bag, I used to include a lot of things my Mom and Dad always included. For example, mom likes to have a shower cap. Dad had diabetes meds. I also used to overpack... "What if I want to wear THAT? and _that_?" I might say. So I would schlep a lot of extra stuff around with me, on the off chance that I or someone else would want or need that particular stuff.

You know what though? I can count on the fingers of ONE HAND the times that someone wanted one of those extra things I packed. Including me wanting to wear THAT or _that_... Life is a lot easier when I decide to pack light, when I rewrite the old packing lists.

Now rethinking The Way We've Always Done Things, well, that's a bit of work. And it's not always comfortable, either. You have to ask Why Have We Always packed the shower cap, and since I'm not diabetic and Dad's dead now, Why are diabetes meds still on the Packing List? Also, realizing, that Later When I Come Home I can Wear THAT, or _that_, and I sure don't need that, which is My Personal Unnecessary Thing I Always Have Brought On Trips, and admit to being embarrassed about the fact that you are only just now admitting that you don't need it, and whyever did it take so long to Figure That Out?

Translate that to my Physical realm and add the element of Will.
Yes, you have to hurt yourself a little, every day, to avoid Harm. That means, work the muscle that's cramping, to the point of discomfort. Bend and stretch even when the joints are creaking and the other muscles complain. You wanna be strong? Re-examine how much damn time you're spending killing time on the Internet and figure out how to make a comfortable space to do your back PT exercises in the house. And then do some yoga or bellydance, and then, seriously, you can use your Power of teh Internets to GO FIND A CLASS because you know that is how you learn best, when forced to be accountable to other people in a class (and particularly to be accountable to the Teacher, if I respect him/her...)

it is gonna hurt, at least a little, to climb back up this rock. And I won't climb in the same way as I did when I was 25 and took for granted that rock climbing was easy. It's also a totally different rock... the river's washed me downstream a significant bit. *grin* (Yes, I like metaphors and parenthetical statements, why do you ask?) I've got some new tools and, as mentioned above, have lightened my carry-load considerably; my muscles are weaker than they once were, but I know that with steady effort I can make them and me, stronger. (Literal AND figurative, here.)

Emotional Disequilibrium
Thing about Emotional Disequilibrium is that you cannot tolerate very much of it and still learn effectively (witness kids' grades dropping with parents fighting, bullying in the classroom, illness of whatever kind, etc etc etc.) However, often the process of Cognitive Disequilibrium PRODUCES Emotional Disequilibrium ... (duh) ... being uncomfortable while having to learn something new, having to admit that You Don't Know Everything, that you can be Surprised, you can be Unprepared... *gasp* quelle horror! in our culture it is often preferable to lie about what you know/don't know than to admit any kind of ignorance and willingness to be educated... We often will take hit points IN our ignorance Because we are Unwilling to admit to our ignorance... (witness most folks initial sexual experiences... and oh yeah my own *regret*)

But Emotional Disequilibrium can, when managed carefully, be the source of Learning, also. It's not MetaCognition, to think about your feelings and whence they came and what your triggers and patterns are, but it's damn effective even if I don't have a nice jargony name for it... I've been referring to it as Pathwork, healing work, Family of Origin work, Clutter-clearing, Reconstruction, and Shadow work. There's probably as many names as there are people doing the Work.

Many call it Recovery. For me, Reconstruction is a better metaphor.

ReDesigning. ReDrafting. ReWriting. Keep feeding yourself and caring for your own needs and making sure you are warm and dry and loved... as much as is possible in a chaotic world, and that you help others to be fed and warm and dry and loved... and you can probably lighten YOUR load, and help others lighten THEIRS.

Feeling useful and loved and secure in the world, yeah, that's the path to recovery/reconstruction/health.

The Path to Peace.

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