The Final Fifty

{April 30, 2013}   A Cause for Optimism

So, inadvisable as it most certainly was given my throat congestion and history of asthma, I tried the Zombies RUN! app last night. Here’s how the workout breaks down:

  • 10 minutes walking. And not casual stroll walking, fast walking that leaves you just a little bit out of breath.
  • 10 repeats of the following: 1 minute walking, 15 seconds running.
  • 10 minutes free run, where you run or walk at your choice, depending on how tired or masochistic you happen to be feeling.

It went quite a bit better than I had anticipated. It turns out even I can’t get winded in 15 seconds. I kept going farther instead of turning around halfway through, figuring that I could cool myself down more at the end on the way home. So, all told, I went for just over 52 minutes and traveled a total of 3.21 miles.

I’m not sure how I feel about adding on so much to the duration. I should probably have turned around earlier, because I was worn out and starting to hurt a little on the way back, and I still had to keep going. On the other hand, I am mostly fine today (except when I’ve been sitting for too long), so maybe it was good and sort of forced me to keep going past where I was comfortable.

It’s honestly the first experience I’ve had with running at all where my lower body suffers more than my lungs do, so this is a new limiting factor for me. I know that running to the high school and back doesn’t kill me the next day, so maybe I’ll use that as my bench mark from now on and see how it goes.

The app itself is pretty great, though I haven’t gotten too far into the story line. It plays messages for you, radio advert style, and the rest of the time it plays music from your phones playlists. I liked that a lot, because music helps the time pass more quickly and distracts you from the work you’re doing.

I think I could really get into running, at least recreationally. It was so nice to be working out and be outside in the fresh air. I suppose I could make that happen with a bike, too, which I am also interested in, but my bike is in California, and I gave it to my sister since getting it out here would be more trouble than it’s worth. Also, it only had one speed anyway, which was fine when I just wanted to move at all, but now it would be a bit limiting. I might start trolling Craigslist to see if there are any bikes for sale.

Today after work I’m planning to do ballet to help me stretch out between running days. I’m getting to the point now where there are more and more activities I want to do, and I’m running out of time to fit them in. I figure a bike I could fit in by replacing bus trips with it, but I’ll see what it will cost first and then go from there.


{April 29, 2013}   The Recurring Delusion

I can’t run. Wait, that’s not exactly true. I can run just fine. I just have never successfully been able to both run and breathe within the same general time frame. I had (mostly) accepted this.

But my new success with the very brief cardio portion of the Ballet Boot Camp DVD has once again revisited upon me the idea that maybe, one day, I could manage to run a bit. To that end, I bought the train to 5k edition of the Zombies, Run! app, which I’m hoping to try out soonish.

I can’t start it today, or at least I probably shouldn’t, because I still have the respiratory craptacularity left over from Oliver!, which will most definitely NOT help with the whole breathing thing. I’m still not entirely sure whether or not that is going to stop me.

Weigh in was good, lost another 2lbs, even though I’ve been less strict in the last week or so than I should be. I’m getting back on track, though, so no worries.

Last night was the first rehearsal for Hair. I am so stinking excited for that show I can barely stand it. I got an additional solo in Walking In Space, which is one of my favorite parts in the whole musical. And the cast is full of wonderful, talented people that I am really privileged to get to work with. Can’t wait!

{April 26, 2013}   Ballet. Ooof.

Last night, ballet won, so I did my Ballet Boot Camp dvd, and actually availed myself pretty well. The cardio part has always always winded me enough so I’d have to pause a few times in the middle, but last night it felt substantially easier than it ever had before, and I made it the whole way through.

The ab and leg stuff, on the other hand: OOOOOF. I am sore today, particularly in my upper abs. It’s the good kind of hurt, though. It means I worked myself over pretty hard. And that makes me happy!

Good news! Today the weight plates I ordered for my dumbbell set should get here, so I can use my set much better than I could otherwise. I don’t have great confidence in the handles, but worst case scenario I can get better handles for pretty cheap.

I’ve decided to try the one month squat challenge. I think my best bet is to do these with body weight only so that I can really focus on my form. I don’t think I’ve done much more than 50 squats in one day before, so it will be a challenge no mater what I do.

It seems like Hair is going to be a much more intense show, dance wise, so I’m kind of excited about that. I don’t think I’ll be able to pull off 6 days of dance with rehearsals and transit time, which I am ok with because, with the calorie restriction, I seem to keep losing even when I don’t do anything beyond my normal walking. I’ll work in body weight stuff and weights with the dumbbells as much as I can.

Really, I feel like I’m just more active in general now. I walk at least to work and back every day, and I generally try to work in more walking during the day on my lunch break or whenever. I like being out and moving around, especially now that it’s warmer and sunnier than it was even a few weeks ago. Turns out it’s much more enjoyable when you don’t have to worry about slipping and falling on your ass. Maybe next winter I’ll do more walking in the mall since it’s indoors and close to home and work.

So, yesterday. It was actually pretty awesome until this morning. I’ll get to that shortly.

I went for a walk down to the lake on my lunch break. It was approaching 70 out, the sun was shining gloriously in the sky, and I was treated to some entertainment in the form of a woman who had clearly lost contact with the mothership. I got a good 30 minute walk with some hills, I synthesized a little vitamin D, and it was pure, unadulterated awesome.

After work, I went home and did half an hour of belly dance (to ease back in, and also because I was short on time.) I ate a bit, but left some wiggle room because we were going to Wild Wings for trivia, and I knew I would want to graze on stuff there.

Have I mentioned the unholy craving I’ve been having for soft pretzels? Mostly I don’t crave bread products too much, but lately, I’ve missed the chewy, stretchy, doughy aspect, and soft pretzels are MADE of chewy and doughy.

So DBF, knowing this, picked stuff he knew I’d like to accommodate my cravings. I didn’t do bad, really, calorie wise. I went a little over my baseline, but not near over the calories the activities I’d done afforded me, so still within the sweet spot. And those pretzels and boneless wings were so tasty.

This morning, though, my intestines told me they were displeased. It wasn’t as bad as it could have been, just some angry pangs and grumbling really, but it definitely didn’t agree with me. Which is probably a good thing. I suspect I’ll remember it next time we go to trivia and not have as much trouble resisting the stuff I know I shouldn’t eat anyway. Note: I did not have food poisoning. And the food was delicious. I’m not saying people should pass on wings and pretzels. Just that I apparently can’t enjoy them without consequences.

I’m glad to have started dancing again. I’ve undoubtedly lost some of my progress, but I’m ok with that, the musical was important and fun, and my body still responded to the diet, so I can regain my former skills dance wise. I might do some tap tonight, or ballet, not sure which I’ll settle on when I get home.

This week I have been awesome for taking a damned break, recovering from illness, and mostly not deviating from my diet rules. I’m easing back into dancing more again, and my extra weight plates are on the way so I can get back into my weight routine as well. I am working on getting my wrist back up to full function so I can proceed with both cello and weights without risking further injury. I am taking time to notice how different my body is than it was before.

I have also noticed a few new things. Even though I have deviated slightly in the last month, my normal default is now the diet. This is great because it means it’s sustainable and has become habit, which is absolutely critical to long term success. Working in a bit of flexibility, I think, is good because I don’t want to have seriously rigid rules forever. The whole point of this is to be healthy, mentally and physically, and I don’t feel like being forever obsessed with everything that passes my lips is a healthy or desirable way to live.

Here’s the other thing I’ve realized, now that I’ve had time to consider it: I don’t regret ever having been fat, and I wouldn’t go back and change it now if I could. Oh sure, I might have lost weight sooner just for the affect it’s had on my body, but if I had the choice to go back and make myself always be naturally thin, there’s no way I would. Being fat has forced me to really study what constitutes a healthy diet and a healthy body. It has made me work for it in a way that gives it more value. And, most importantly, being fat has taught me so much compassion for other people, their bodies, and the degrading messages we are all bombarded with all the time. It has taught me that the value of a person has absolutely nothing to do with what kind of body they have.

Today the sun is out and it’s glorious and I just want to go lay outside and soak it up. I got my cortisone shot, so aside from some brace time and being careful for a while, I am on the road to being free of this shit (knock on wood.)

I haven’t resumed working out again yet, but I might today. That’s if I don’t cave in and just go walk around in the sunshine for a while. Which, hey, still exercise, right? Exercise with a side order of vitamin D.

Yesterday I went to the mall to look for some things I needed. I actually ended up finding them at Charlotte Russe, which is one of those skinny teenager stores I never, ever thought I would be able to shop in. I don’t particularly like most of their stuff, but they had great prices on leggings, camisoles and underpants, so woot woot. It was a little strange, though. I still kind of felt like I did in middle school, like someone was going to jump out and go “You! Out! You’re too fat to shop in here!” No one even looked at me funny.

Today I’m wearing one of my new skirts with the new leggings and a Doctor Who t-shirt. I guess my style is best summed up as bohemianerd. I can live with that.

Today I am awesome because I legit feel pretty good about myself. I am optimistic about the summer and the stuff I have coming up. Hair starts soon, and has old friends and hopefully new friends in it.

Today was my first weight in in two weeks, since I missed it last week. Amazingly, though I haven’t done much in the way of actual working out, it’s all good news. I’ve lost four more pounds in that time, and shrunk a little bit in virtually every part of my body (including my wrist and forearm… I guess inevitable, but still strange.)

I still haven’t had the energy to properly dance or do weights, but I’ve been trying to get out of the house and moving at least. Yesterday I went out and walked on Church Street for a while, then met my eye doctor at his office because I apparently have bacterial conjunctivitis. He went into his office on a Saturday just to see me and get me sorted with a prescription. I walked back up to the pharmacy to get my eye drops. All told, I probably walked for at least an hour.

Today I went and caught the bus down to the mall, putzed around Kohl’s for a bit browsing, then went to the grocery store to stock up on some things. I probably got  at least thirty minutes of walking in, all together, and I got some practical things accomplished. I’m finally figuring out how to get around effectively on the bus.

Trying on clothes only confirmed that the various brands cannot fucking agree on anything. There were 12s that fit me, there were 8s that fit me. I think I’m sort of around a 10 maybe? Who the hell knows anymore. I know I’ve got a ways to go still, that’s the only take home message I could draw from the whole thing.

Today I was awesome because I didn’t stay at home just because I don’t have a car. I figured out how to get more places, and I got some walking in at the same time. I was brave about trying on smaller sizes of things than I thought I could possibly wear. I bought more fruit and more tea to support healthy habits.

Also, an update: The goal skirt arrives and fits already, though I’m going to wait to wear it until I shrink some more so I don’t stretch it as much. I got one wrap skirt already and have two more coming, and I love them already. I also went to a thrift store and got another skirt (size 8) that will fit pretty soon, so I’m excited about that one two. The dress I ordered doesn’t fit yet, and I might save it longer than necessary for the same reason: the top is stretchy and I don’t want it to stretch to it’s max so that I can wear it longer. I need to get a slip or something for that one, it’s sheer in places.

{April 20, 2013}   Still Not Dead

So, I’ve been doing a bit better, made it to work yesterday (though medicated). I’m really hoping this crap goes away soon. Also, I’m pretty sure I have pink eye, so that’s fun! I have an appointment Tuesday to get the cortisone injections in my wrist, so that’s supposed to hurt for a few days and then hopefully I’ll be better.

No exercise aside from walking a bit yesterday, but diet is back on track. I might dance later today if I have the energy, or go for a walk, but I don’t want to overdo it until I’m feeling better.

{April 16, 2013}   Limping Back to Reality

So, the show is done.

I mostly did ok with the diet, until Sunday at least, when I caved into severe hunger and fatigue and ordered a meal at the post-strike wreckage outing and ate the whole thing. Went over on calories by about 1100, until I went in and added a conservative 3 hours worth of cleaning and other work (it was more like 5), and then I was only over by like 150. I don’t give one single, solitary fuck about it because I had a headache and my entire body ached, and I felt miles better almost immediately after eating. Also, though I ate the whole 1100 inadvisable calories, I felt satisfied and not even a little bit over full. My body obviously needed food. The only thing in there that was “against the rules” was the bread. I’ll live.

I forgot to weigh in on Sunday and Monday both, so I’m skipping it for this week. I’m also fighting off some manner of post-show crud, so hurrah for that.

I went back to the wrist doctor Monday, and have another, different brace this time. She said if I decide I want it, though, I can get a cortisone injection instead, and I’m going to do that as soon as I can get there, because I can’t play my cello much at all with it on. Also, that should resolve it more quickly, which means less pain.

I got a dumbbell set for pretty cheap, I just need to order more plates for it so I can do smaller incremental increases, but the handles are a standard size, so that should be easy. I’ll be ordering them soon if I can’t get them at the place near where I live for a reasonable price.

I’ve settled back into my calorie restriction with no difficulty whatsoever, and as soon as I stop feeling like a bus hit me, I’m going to resume exercising. Hopefully that is tomorrow, or maybe the day after.

{April 13, 2013}   36 Hours to Go

So after yesterdays break, I headed down to dinner with my coworkers at a pub called Ri Ra, which is one of my favorite places to eat around here. I love their pan roasted chicken, which comes with little bitty potatoes and green beans. It was delicious. I ate until I was fit to burst, which still gave me a little bit of room, calorie wise. I have leftovers at the theater for later.

Last night was the night that everyone was at the show: DBF, all my coworkers, and assorted local friends. They all really liked the show, even though I felt like it wasn’t quite as good as last night (even the music director thought we did great, though, so maybe it was just something we felt under the lights.)

After the show, we went to this little pizzeria for snacking and drinking. I was a little peckish, and in general I don’t like to go in with a group to a restaurant and not order anything, so I ordered some appetizers to share with DBF and friends. We got the homemade mozzarella, baked goat cheese, and caramelized onions, all served with fresh baked focaccia. I ended up overeating my calorie limit by a couple hundred calories. I looked back through my tracking app, though, and I haven’t gone over in a long time, and I was out for a sort of special occasion, so I’m not worried about it. For this week, losing anything at all would be an accomplishment. Also, if I’m going to go over on calories, at least it was with something that was amazingly delicious.

So, today I’m going to say I am awesome for generally doing well with my calorie restriction, but also for not letting it get in the way of enjoying myself on occasion, and for not falling into a pit of guilt over it. If anything, I’m sort of glad that it happened, because even though it was small, it felt like an indulgence and makes me feel less restricted about things in general. I am also awesome because I got up this morning early enough to practice my cello for a bit. I was only able to get about a half hour of practice in, but that’s because my hands and wrist started to hurt. It’s going to take time to build up my strength and my callouses, and most especially my right wrist, as it’s been in a splint for six and a half weeks now.

Today is going to be a long day. We have a matinee and an evening show, so I’ll be at the theater from noon until after 10:30. Oooof.

{April 12, 2013}   Now That I Have Some Time…

Right now, I am thoroughly, physically exhausted. I took today off work knowing that I wouldn’t be able to get through to Sunday evening without a bit of a break, so that’s what today is for. I slept in until nearly 10am, and right now I am stretched out on the couch, drinking tea and watching The Hunger Games on Netflix.

Last night, opening night, was thoroughly amazing. The audience responded to everything with such enthusiasm, and everyone was dead on, so I would call it an unqualified success. I got to see some friends after the show, and some former cast mates from Rent. The director told one of them that his favorite game to play is “What Is Shadowmousey Doing Right Now?”, which was so encouraging to hear.  I don’t have any lines, or any solo moments, so to be appreciated for what I bring to the show is amazing.

The first thing I saw when I opened up my laptop this morning was an email from one of my coworkers, telling me that I am awesome because I’m not dead. She follows my blog (wave), and it was great to get the encouragement to press on.

And press on I am. If I have the energy, I might do a bit of yoga or dance later just to keep myself from getting stiff. That’s the big issue right now: I’m stiff and my feet and limbs hurt. If I don’t have the energy, I will just stretch for a good long while.

It occurred to me today how much less limited I am when it comes to standing for long periods of time. My feet hurt today, but they didn’t bother me at all last night, at least until I laid down in bed. Standing for as long as I did used to be really difficult and painful for me, so this is just one more physical benefit I’m getting out of this.

So, yesterday I was awesome because I made a point of telling a few of my friends how awesome I think they are, and how beautiful they are. I stayed away from the sugary stuff at the after party, and only had a few piece of kielbasa and popcorn chicken. I went over my calories, but not by a lot, and I feel good about it because I felt hungry and responded to that hunger instead of only paying attention to the numbers.

Today I was awesome already, because I took out my cello, tuned it up, and practiced for an hour. It wasn’t anything impressive, just some open strings with the bow, and some pizzicato work with the left hand to start relearning where the notes are and build up my callouses. I feel accomplished, though, and like I can maybe start calling myself a cellist. My cello now lives in my bedroom where I can get to it easily, every day. I hope to practice some tomorrow morning before the first matinee.

et cetera