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About tienlong

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    Cubicle 18
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  1. To wrap up this quest: I just did my third meal plan, with a day of power-cooking: 2 Stroganoff 3 Fajitas 3 Turk'y / greens / mashed cauliflower 2 Green salad / cottage cheese 5 Omelette / frittata / scramble 3 White bean chili _____________________ 18 meals At two meals a day, that's nine days. Yeah, I probably won't be able to eat that much food in one week. That's ok, there's a lady at work who will share my chili and possibly a frittata and/or fajita meal. She likes my cooking and doesn't have a problem with a meal that doesn't have meat in it. That's two or three meals I can share before they're wasted. About 85% of this menu is stuff from the dairy and veggie aisles of the grocery store. I have a giant garbage bowl to haul out to the compost now, but the veggie bin in the fridge is empty of veg and full of bowls of prepared food to grab for lunch and dinner. I'm great at throwing a meal together out of stuff in the fridge and the cupboard, and I'm also great at sticking mostly to the outer edges of the grocery store. For this week, I just went shopping and bought whatever made me think, "Oooh, that looks really fresh, interesting, yummy! I'll buy it, see what I can do with it." And voila! Meal plan, easy peasy! And my kitchen isn't even a wreck! I think my problem with meal-planning was that I was unintentionally stifling my own creativity in the kitchen, thereby sucking all the joy out of it. Since my greatest strength is probably solving problems on the fly, I think it totally counts as a meal plan even if I did come up with it off the cuff and while pushing a grocery cart, and never wrote anything down until it was already cooked and portioned out. My snacks are prepared for the week (it's mostly workdays, when I don't have time much less inclination for breakfast), and I've rearranged the kitchen so that the blender is easier to access (protein shakes). I have one more meal plan to go, and I can mark it off my Epic Quest. I'm going to do the same thing next week that I did this week, with fewer processed foods included, and find out if I succeed twice. If I do, this will end up being the meal plan template I'll use from now on. I got news back from the doctor about my labs: I'm NOT diabetic, let me repeat that, I DO NOT HAVE the same disease that every single person in my family my age or above has fallen to, I'm not even "pre-diabetic," and my cholesterol is a little high but not high enough to be treated. Just exercise and losing about 10% of my body weight, which is fine, because my goal was already about 30 - 40% anyway. Other than that one thing, there wasn't ANYTHING interesting or notable about my labs. I didn't succeed at my other goals, but I think I'm finally figuring out the nutrition part of the journey. I know what my plan will be going forward, and I'm going to concentrate on building the habits for working out. I think I'm ready to join the Druids, now.
  2. Blah. Kind of fell off the wagon this week. I did go to the doctor Monday, and I did mess up my rotator cuff. Again. I went back for labs on Wednesday, but I keep missing the nurse's phone call, so I still don't know if I've dodged the bullet on diabetes. Friday morning, I had to get really vicious with myself to get me out of bed. I kept doing the morning math, you know, "If I don't do this, I can sleep this many more minutes." Then it was all, "Seriously, you spent almost $1k on that machine, you're going to sleep instead of hauling your ass up and using it?" Ugh. This week, I've finalized a Nicotine Quit plan. "Whaddya mean, quit, Tienlong, you said you already quit smoking!" And I did, cigarettes are a thing of the past. The nicotine replacement therapy, however, is not. I've spent months weaning down from two packs of cigarettes a day to the equivalent of two or three cigarettes a day in replacements (lozenges, to be exact). Now it's time to quit the lozenges, as well. I scheduled two days off before Labor Day weekend, to give myself five days. Three days for me to stop trying to eviscerate anyone in my sight, two more days to prevent anyone from trying to eviscerate me. I've tried to quit cold turkey before, and "bitchy" doesn't begin to cover it. So now I've leveled down to almost nothing, I have a vape and a bottle of no-nicotine juice to act as a pacifier for sudden cravings, and a couple of coworkers who know the plan and are willing to judge me if I cheat. Ugh, I just spent a long time typing up a really detailed rant about the injustices of eating meat and smoking cigarettes, and then said screw it, and deleted it. I'll just say this: the research into the self-harm of eating animal-based diets is just as well-documented as the research into the self-harm of smoking, while the methods and encouragement to quit that self-harm are also widely-shared, but it's a testament to the miracle of advertising that people can self-righteously bitch about smokers while at the same time still shoveling dead animals into their mouths. Smokers and meat-eaters share the same thought-process in choosing the blue pill, and as for me, the moral disgust of eating meat was a strong incentive for a permanent lifestyle change that is missing in quitting smoking. The tobacco industry, after all, doesn't maim and torture tobacco plants before dismembering the abused corpses and neatly wrapping them in plastic before presenting them to the salivating consumer. If self-harm was adequate motivation for anyone, there would be more thin, vegan, non-smoking, non-drinking, financially-stable virgins in the world. Every day that I don't have a cigarette is the same kind of Olympic win as every pound that I lose, for the same reasons. This time last year, I was a smoker who couldn't even conceive of myself as being nicotine-free. When I think of how long it's taken me to get to this point, where quitting nicotine has a finish line that's within sight, it puts all my fitness goals into perspective. I have good reasons for believing that I can do this thing. I have the tools, I have a goal, I have the will. By this time next year, I will be fit and healthy. It doesn't have to be a cold-turkey, instant-gratification achievement. All it takes is to keep moving in the right direction. To that end, I'm going to take the time until the next challenge to work on my plan for respawning. Not because I've stopped trying, but because I need the redirection. Back to Level One at the Academy!
  3. I'm starting on one of my Epic Quest challenges, to get my butt on the elliptical almost every day for the next six weeks. It's worth 25XP. Today is 8/1, so that means until 9/12. I'm building in a rest day, Sundays, so that I can have at least one day during the weekend to sleep in and be rested before the work week starts again. Also, I'm going to the doctor today to find out why my shoulder still hurts and what can be done to fix the problem, because it's hindering me from pushups and I don't want another rotator cuff tendinitis, or worse, tear. I'm also going to make him do all my start up checks - labs, weight, etc. At six o'clock, the sky is just lightened enough to give everything that cool blue tone, what's the word for a gloaming that's in the morning? It's nice. It's light enough to give me some visibility, but not enough to make me self-conscious. And I let my dogs stay outside with me, my boy Manny especially. Mally's an effective alarm system, even distracted as she is by the squirrels and other wildlife, but Manny tends to stick close, especially when I'm doing something weird like running in place on a strange new machine. Ugh, time for a shower, I have to go to work.
  4. First morning on the elliptical, and I only managed 10 minutes and 1 mile. And I had to push myself that last .105. That's ok, that's fine, a mile is good. This is a WiP, not a manuscript that can be written in a day. I've made another step on the journey. My body isn't dying, it's just the fat cells letting go. No pain, no gain. Don't stop until you're proud. OMG, I'm dying! That wasn't walking a mile, that was running motion, running speed. I just ran a mile! (OK, jog, but still...) No wonder I'm dying, I don't run! Except from chainsaws! I've discovered a barrier. I'm afraid to be in the garage at 5:30 in the morning. It's still early enough that the sun isn't up, which meant I waited this morning until 7am. I can't do that on a weekday, because that's the time when I need to be getting out of the shower. The absolute latest I can start is 6am, and Monday is Lugnasadh, which means the problem will only get worse every day from now until next spring. But it's pitch dark outside where the garage is. We have three porchlights, but none on that side of the house. And there's no streetlight on that side, either. The security light above the garage doors is burnt out. Suddenly, the basement looks less scary. Here's what I need to do to take down this barrier (I think): I need to put a new bulb into the garage security light. I need to cover the single window so that the inside of the garage isn't able to be seen from the street or the neighbor's side yard. With the security light on, I can keep the garage door open, too. My garage is an arsenal of things I can use to defend myself, from the old fireplace poker to the bug spray, and I need to remember that I can be pretty bad ass when it comes to fight or flight. And I need to remember that the fear I'm feeling is for the unknown monster that lurks in the dark, not of anything that's real. I am fire I am death, I am fire I am death, I am fire I am death... OK, I'm doing this thing. And this totally counts for my next Batcave quest! Huh. I've caught my breath. Maybe I'm not going to die this morning. Hey, since I'm all warmed up and it's Saturday, I'm going to cram in some yoga, too.
  5. IT'S HERE!!!!!!!!!!!! It's set up, it's working, I've been playing with it and OMG, it's gorgeous!
  6. The window of time for the delivery guys to bring and set up my elliptical begins in half an hour. Story-time: Yesterday I was standing in the pest aisle of the local department store, staring at bug spray. Lots and lots and lots of sprays, no bombs. WTF? And 90% of it for roaches. OK, I get it, roaches are hard to kill, but they're the one bug we don't have. I finally had to get spider spray instead of a bomb. I guess I'll be spraying the hell out of the garage. Yesterday, I walked twice! I haven't been, because of the heat. I suppose I could have done it after work, but doing it during break time is more convenient. Except I don't want to come back to my cubicle all sweaty and smelly. So yesterday was the first time I walked twice. Whew. I need to create my third meal plan for the week. Yuck. I hate doing this, even though I can see the results I'm looking for. Last week's meal plan template is NOT going to work for me, though. I got derailed, it was too hard to track, and it overall kind of sucked. The first week's template worked better. I'll try that again. Oooh! Yesterday, after finding the bug spray, I went into the veggie aisle and found cauliflower crumbles. I'm going to try these to replace all the rice I usually eat (since I had to throw my rice away). Cross your fingers for me!
  7. I'm mostly ready for the delivery and set up of my elliptical. It's going in the garage. I realize this is probably not where other people would put it, but there's no room on the first floor and if I put it on the second floor or in the attic, I'll shake the whole house. And the basement? Um... OK, look, I can be a total weenie, and there's this hole in the wall of the basement that leads under the kitchen of this century-old farmhouse, which is an addition to the original house, where there's no light, it's dirty and dark and I've seen too many horror movies and let's-not-meet videos and creepypasta/reddit story readings on Youtube. You know those pics of attic and basement staircases that disappear into total blackness? And it's creepy because you don't know what's at the other end of the staircase, maybe nothing, maybe... something? OMG, that's this hole! This is horror-movie crap, I could probably write a best-selling thriller based on this hole in the basement wall. I'm not spending thirty minutes in the pre-dawn hours with music in my ears and my attention on the controls of the machine, just puffing and panting and sweating away, while this hole is... there, just there, existing, possibly as aware of me as I am aware of it. ... Nope. The elliptical is going into the garage. I'll put an air conditioner in there until the temps drop, and then a space heater. I'll live with it. It'll be fun. I had to make a major change to my menu for this week. I was getting ready to make some kim bap, and I pulled out the jar of rice... and it's loaded with tiny black bugs. Bugs are a fact of life when you live in, as mentioned above, a farmhouse that's 100 years old and is surrounded in fruit and nut trees, flowers, and various wildlife. They used to bother me, but I'm blasé about it now. However. NOT IN MY RICE! So I'm pretty ticked off about the fact that I had to throw away an entire jar of rice. The beans-n-rice I was going to make is actually a vegetarian take on red beans and rice, the kind you get in Louisiana, yummy as hell but not so much if you don't have the rice to go into it. So far I haven't found bugs anywhere else, leading me to suspect that they were in the bag when I bought it, ew, but I've been eyeing my store of lentils and beans, now, too. This is how people get trust issues. So I made some pasta salad to get me through the rest of the week, to go with the chick'n nuggets and PB&J. (Cover your eyes, this next part is going to make me sound like an asshole.) This has led me to realize that it's possible I'm too good of a cook. I nailed this pasta salad. Every bite is delicious, the pasta is at that state of al dente perfection only found in the five seconds between still-gummy raw and mushy overcooked, and the veg are crisp and cool and refreshing as a glass of iced water. I can't stop eating it. My taste buds are going, "Oh, yeah, one more bite, get that flavor, get it in our MOUTH," and my stomach is saying, "I hate you, you bitch," you know, the usual argument between what you want and what you need. I'm sitting at my desk at work, mournfully thinking, "My body is not a trashcan!" while my fork is chasing down that last bit of tomato, that last slice of olive. I eat because I'm hungry. I keep eating because I'm a hedonist. I have GOT to learn that it's ok to put the leftovers in the fridge for later! It's ok to stop eating, I can go back for more later, when I'm hungry again. On the plus side (no pun intended), my leggings are no longer tight. Technically, I suppose, they're now pants. I went on my daily walk during my break at work, and I had to keep hitching my leggings up. The pair I'm wearing today are capri jeggings from Walmart, not expensive but they're soft and pretty with an abstract sort-of-Monet-ish flower print, and they're pretty, dammit! They're my favorite. And they're falling off. So I must be doing something right. I Googled "five pounds of fat" and realized, holy crap, I lost three of those! So far, I've lost 17 pounds, mostly from my new food habits, No wonder my pants are loose. If the weight is coming off that easily right now, just from not shoveling the crap down my throat, who knows what will happen when I'm on the elliptical every morning. I don't have the money to waste on new leggings or pants until I've at least plateaued a bit. What am I bitching about, right? I have suspenders. It'll be ok. I am totally failing at building meditation into my daily or even weekly routine.
  8. I want to say thank you for acknowledging that childless people should trust themselves about whether they want a child or not. I've been dead-set against having a child since I was five years old (I've just turned 43). I don't like children. I don't mean that I regularly throw them in the cauldron with some carrots and potatoes, I just don't like being around them. And yet, all my life, people have utterly ignored my dislike of children and told me, "Oh, it'll be different with your own." I asked them, "You willing to bet an innocent child's life on me changing my mind?" And they don't even blink! No matter how much it's entirely possible that I could ruin a child's life by having a baby when I didn't want a baby, they still thought it was something I should get right on. I've never even been married, you'd think they'd at least endorse me keeping a boyfriend long-term before suggesting I get knocked up! Oh, and the money I've spent on contraceptives probably doesn't add up to a year's worth of diapers, but it wasn't cheap. And yet people still say to me, "You're lucky you don't have children, one day you'll know what it's like." It's not luck, it's determination! And I'm 43, when is "one day" finally going to be "never" in some people's heads? So, I pretty much ignored about 95% of your post because it had nothing at all to do with me, but I liked that part.
  9. Yeah? So does my bestie. I don't really like lists. I tend to rely on memory for almost everything, and the list always feels like extra work that wasn't needed. You know how Steve's make-your-bed email says "How you do anything is how you do everything?" I didn't study in school, I don't do an itinerary for vacations, I don't take notes during meetings. Making a list is like doing homework when you and the teacher both know you're going to ace the pop quiz AND the final. I occasionally need to be nagged, but I never need a list. It's also limiting. In the case of the meal plan, though, I'm doing it because it's limiting. Like, limiting what I'm allowed to eat. That backfired on me today. I had two PB&J sandwiches, a single cup of oatmeal, and a mug of miso soup. That's it, for the entire twelve hours between waking up and getting home from work (and the seven hours I spent asleep, and the couple of hours since last night's dinner, crap, that's a long time). No healthy snacks, no bad snacks, no snacks at all. I had run out of snacks!?! OMG WHAT DO? I had to wait for after work, and now I've crammed dinner down my throat and still have four hours left in the evening. *sigh* I'm kind of embarrassed how quickly I made that much food disappear. You'd think I'd unhinged my jaw, or something. Oh, and that whole idea of guzzling water to help you feel full? No.
  10. Just for curiosity, this morning I stepped on the scale and it said 231.1... OMFG! SO CLOSE to breaking 230! It's just 1.2 pounds, I can do this by the end of the week!!! Saturday: Lunch: Grilled cheese and small fries; Dinner: Korean BBQ tofu Lunch: Stir fry < Friday while I'm waiting on delivery Dinner: Kim bap Nothing Lunch: PB&J Dinner: Whatever I can scrounge Lunch: Korean BBQ tofu Dinner: Lo mein Lunch: Chick'n nuggets and pasta salad Dinner: Scroungin' Lunch: PB&J Dinner: More scroungin' Lunch: PB&J Dinner: Chow mein Two grilled cheese and medium fries I was so hungry. Lunch: Chik'n nuggets and pasta salad Dinner: Scroungin' There, that should take me to next Saturday. Most of this I can cook today and stick the microwavable bowls in the fridge to grab for meals. Best yet, I don't have to worry about which day I'll eat which food. I'll just mark it off as I eat it. This meal plan should finish off most of my leftover fresh food for the lo mein and kim bap. Seriously, cucumber and avocado kim bap, yum! Now it remains to be seen if I'll actually make it. I have the roller, but it's still a pain trying to roll those suckers tight. I refuse to feel any guilt about the grilled cheese and small fry. I could have gotten a large fry, and I didn't. Victory achieved. Edit, 7/27/16: I have totally lost control over this meal plan.
  11. MY POP SMAUG HAS ARRIVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And it is every bit as adorable as it looks in pictures!!!!!! SO CUTE!!!!!!!!
  12. *screams in more excitement* We just paid for the elliptical and it's being delivered and assembled next Friday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm bummed that I couldn't have it tonight, but I'm hyper with excitement that I actually bit the bullet and bought it. It's not a cheap one - it's got all kinds of resistance and incline and different pre-programmed workouts and a heart rate monitor and a FAN! It's like the one at the gym, but better, because it has a FAN! You know what else I'm bummed/excited about? The fact that my food budget for the next two months is slashed to almost nothing. Bummed because I'm used to fresh food for almost every meal. Everything I eat can be stored in the fridge until I've grazed it to the ground, and then, the day after the next, I'm buying more. Anything that needs cooked can be done in the microwave or the toaster oven. Not as good for me as you might think, because it's 1) yummy, 2) easily accessible and 3) plentiful. Along with my food budget being sliced to almost nothing, the rest of my budgets are absolutely $0. No more clothes that, if I keep working out, won't even fit me next summer. No more health & beauty items that I use once, realize I hate it, and never use it again. No more novelty items and toys. In other words, no retail therapy. Excited, though, because this is an opportunity to create new, better habits. It's not like I'm going to be eating PB&J sandwiches and ramen noodles for the next two months. I'm estimating that I have at least a month's supply of perfectly good food that was sitting around the kitchen, ignored just because it required a bit of alchemy to become edible. My store of spices, sauces, salts, oils, canned foods, frozen foods, and dry foods is pretty varied and interesting, and all I have to do is cook it. I can even freeze it for microwavable dinners that only have a handful of ingredients, all of which I can pronounce. So I'll be eating stuff that I haven't bothered to cook for myself for a long time. All of it can be supplemented with bits and pieces of fresh food as needed. This means no more treats like the vegan jerky or the honeydew ice bars or the avocado smoothies. I won't have the money to spend on treats, or eating at a restaurant for lunch because I was too lazy to cook the evening before. I'll still be able to continue my better eating habits as well as limiting my portions instead of eating ALL THE THINGS. I think that limiting my food will be easier than it sounds. I noticed on this last week's meal plan, I didn't eat as much as I'd planned for. I still have a lot of that food left. I'm going to pull out my recipes that require what I already have instead of buying more, and see about cutting the recipes in half so that I'm not making food that goes to waste just because I can't eat it all. The new, better habits are: 1) Cook more to eat less 2) Solve my boredom problem with physical activity, not bank activity 3) Re-train myself to be less materialistic, more satisfied with what I have I'm going to have that elliptical paid off in a couple of months WITHOUT sacrificing a dime of my Camp NF 2017 fund. You know what I hear a lot of? People talking about the elliptical or treadmill that they own. You know, the one in storage. I'm a bit worried by this, because it's a huge purchase (I've bought cars cheaper than this machine), and I truly believe that it will level up my physical fitness. I'm not really interested in losing my thick-girl sexy, it's just that I want to be able to jump around and be strong and flexible and healthy. But everyone around me is letting their elliptical sit in storage instead of using it. WTF? They have it but don't use it! I'm fully aware of the habit most people have of paying for a gym membership that they never use, and I, too, never use my membership. Because I hate it and I don't want to go. I don't want to be like that with the elliptical. I want that sucker to break down from wear and tear before it gathers any dust. I don't want to have paid nearly $1k for a machine that doesn't get any action. I think this elliptical will be featuring very heavily in my challenges for the next few months.
  13. Someone told me today that it looked like I was losing weight. I mentioned this to someone else and she stopped, gave me a look, and said, yeah, it's obvious I'm losing weight. *squee* Check this out, though: awhile ago, I couldn't wear a shoe on my right foot because the dog hip-checked me on the way inside, and the screen door sliced off part of my Achilles heel. So that healed. (No pun intended.) There's a thick scar on my ankle, but I can wear a shoe again. So, yesterday? She hip-checked me again, and the screen door took a slice off my other heel. Sumbitch! Screw it, I don't need no stinkin' shoes if I have an at-home elliptical.
  14. Are you coloring? Yay! One of my coworkers re-introduced me to coloring, by giving me one of her coloring books that she didn't think she'd ever be able to use. OMG. Now I have a collection. The mandala ones are my favorites, but there are so many quality, complex, interesting adult coloring books available now. Knitting and crocheting are another thing I do while listening to videos and audibles. Keeping my hands busy is a must, or I start opening new tabs and mindlessly flicking from one thing to another, distracting my attention and ruining it for myself.
  15. *screams in excitement* WE'RE GETTING A HOME ELLIPTICAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm giving up my gym membership! I'm putting the money for the membership toward paying for the elliptical and my savings for next year's Camp Nerd Fitness. The elliptical machine is literally the only one in my gym that I care to use at all, mostly because it's easy on my knees while still being a workout. I hate going to the gym, it's boring as hell and I don't like not being able to wear whatever I want and I don't like being around other people, and I don't like being self-conscious about whether I've cleaned the machine well enough. I never use the tanning bed or massage chair or the showers, anyway. I don't like the gym, I hate going there, now I don't have to! Maybe eventually I'll invest in more gym equipment, but for right now, the elliptical and my yoga mat are the only things I really need. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! MY TEETH ARE SWORDS!!!!!!!!!!! MY WINGS ARE HURRICANES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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