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DreamDancer : The Art of doing nothing


DreamDancer

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I am a bit late to the party, but better late than not at all. I was waiting for my book to come in: " How to Stop Smoking in 15 Easy Years: A Slacker's Guide to Final Freedom"

I was in assasins last time, - I was doing better than I had expected with easing into the body weight workout, but then I got sick. I also fell at work .

I am the Queen of Overplanning, so in keeping with the theme of my challenge, I am not going to plan this at all, and just go with what I have so far.

Goal #1- forget to smoke.

Goal #2- sleep 8 hours per night

Goal #3 Meditate 8 minutes per night, but instead of going on to week 2 of the program I was following last time, just stay with following my breath.

So far my first two goals aren't to really 'do' something. They're more about not doing.

Since the book came in yesterday, I have started reading it. The first assignment is counterintuitive : enjoy your smokes. If you can't enjoy them, at least stop busting on yourself for smoking.

The second assignment is to watch yourself as you smoke. Watch for the moment right after you light up to get a better understanding of why you did.

The basic goal is to realize that you don't really have to do something to quit - you just have to STOP 'doing' the smoking.

I am having a bit of difficulty not busting on myself.

Some background to this :

I finally went to the doctor, after like a decade. She did all sorts of blood work and a lung x-ray. It turns out that my lungs are clear, which was a total shock to her. But my blood is 'too thick' likely due to my body trying to compensate for not getting enough oxygen.

She is running more tests, because there may be something wrong with my liver. And I also have to go for a sleep study.

I currently work as a pottery painter and showed her some photos I took featuring racoon prints in the clay dust, and some spiders by my window - - and she asked how quickly I can change jobs.

I got a week off of work to determine if my job is what was affecting my sinuses and lungs and I wasn't allowed back until I can wear a filter mask. I got two washable ones that can be wet down if it's hot, but the optimal solution is to get a different job.

I am also working on that, taking classes in Android development through Code Louisville. The classes are intense and a lot of why my previous challenges didn't work out is because I have to study. (I already graduated 'Front End website development') I have been developing websites since 1999 but lacked formal credentials.

Backstory : I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and sjorgrens syndrome in 1995, and with reactive hypoglycemia around 2003. I became a certified massage therapist in 2004, but also worked as a bookseller at B&N. Between 2001 and 2004 I lost about 70 pounds and weighed 115 by 2004.

Around 2008 I got in an upward spiral with the hypoglycemia and by 2009, weighed about 140. I was T-boned while driving by an uninsured driver who ran a red in 2011. I gained 20 lbs and started a new job painting pottery where I sit a lot and lift heavy stuff intermittently. I opted not to get a new car and moved downtown where I could catch all the busses, figuring that walking is good for my health.

Last October I was crossing an intersection on my way to work (in a crosswalk, with the walk sign) and was hit by a pick-up truck. I had physical therapy but still walked with a limp and rapidly gained another 20 lbs by April (so topped out around 178).

I keep telling my boyfriend that someday I will be able to run and jump around, evading danger, like Salmon Khan in "Ek Tha Tiger" or "Debangg". Or Eggsy in "Kingsmen" . Or Parker in "Leverage" . (OK so the real goal there is to be "20 pounds of crazy in a five pound bag.")

I found Nerd fitness in April and have lost about 16 pounds and most of the limp doing challenges

Weight approx 160

  • Like 3

My current 6 week Adventurer challenge - DreamDancer Respawns

 

Previous challenges - #1 - #2  - #3

My NF introduction post

website

Goal: to be "20 pounds of crazy in a five pound bag."

 

 

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The second assignment is to watch yourself as you smoke. Watch for the moment right after you light up to get a better understanding of why you did.

I think that I will sort of 'blog' here about what happens when I 'watch myself'.

I lit up. I felt compelled. Haven't got to the bottom of this yet, but as I sit here I am realizing that I WAS doing my studying - trying to hook up something using Java that hasn't worked properly in the self imposed project I started as practice.

I needed a break (and so far I only got android studio up and running on the desktop and iTunes on a netbook so I could watch instructional videos.)

But why can't I just sit down across the room and just sit? I Have To be doing SOMETHING. I can't have an idle moment. If I do, someone will find something for me to do!

Granted that at the moment, the only person around is my cat... But I think I have taken over the 'responsibility' of finding SOMETHING to do if no one else is there. And it's a lot easier to justify the break in another activity if I HAVE TO smoke.

My father used to even say exactly 'Find something to do or I will find something for you to do!' (and you're not gonna like it <--implied.)

At a lot of my jobs, the manager's primary responsibility was to make sure nobody was slacking off. At the bookstore, you can't be shooting the breeze at the info desk with someone, even a customer, about a book you thought was fantastic. You have to be taking them to the section where it's located.

If you are discussing it with a fellow employee, your hands need to be moving - rearranging the books on the shelving cart; alphabetizing a section nearby; cleaning up the spill somebody made because bookstores MUST have a cafe and a customer thought that the best place to stash their drink while they took a book off the shelf was that same shelf...

When I was an ice skater, you couldn't stand at the barrier ('hold up the barrier ') - you had to skate, skate, skate for the whole hour. No breaks! No chit-chat! No catching your breath! (At least not at the barrier - which is probably why you often see ice skaters bending over with their hands on their knees- moving in circles, gliding - but NOT near the barrier! )

If you Google' ice skater taking a break ' most of the images are action shots!

So thoughts about all of this and more come up when I watch myself smoke.

  • Like 1

My current 6 week Adventurer challenge - DreamDancer Respawns

 

Previous challenges - #1 - #2  - #3

My NF introduction post

website

Goal: to be "20 pounds of crazy in a five pound bag."

 

 

Link to comment

Nice start on Day 1 :)

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Barbarian Assassin / Level 5

 

 

STR: 16.5 | DEX: 4.8 | STA: 8.9 | CON: 8.7 | WIS: 6.6 | CHA: 6.8

 

 

 

My Current Six Week Challenge - Jrosto - A Barbarian Cleans Up His Act

 

 

 

Previous Challenges - #1, #2, #3, #4

 

 

 

My NF Introduction Post : My MDA Journal : My MDA Phase 1 Success Story

 

 

 

Simple & Sinister Workout Log

 

 

 

Keep Calm and Send in the Penguins!

 

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Joining in with another late starter!

I've never smoked (though both my parents and my husband used to) but I totally understand the "must be doing something" problem. Sometimes when I just try to sit and do nothing I can't seem to stop my leg from jiggling. It's like if I'm not doing something then I must be doing something wrong. One thing that seems to help me is reading. That's still doing something, but at least it's fun and relaxing.

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Battle Log

 

Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

 

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I had a little breakthrough yesterday. For the first time ever, I was about to habitually light up - and decided I didn't feel like it.

I did feel like it later, but I let that be okay. I think I smoked less last night than usual. I am not tracking the number though, as it seems to give the cigarettes too much importance.

I also found out that at least part of why I am sick is that I have the beginning symptoms of 'Potters rot'. I have a few rants about it to make, but have to go to work shortly.

  • Like 2

My current 6 week Adventurer challenge - DreamDancer Respawns

 

Previous challenges - #1 - #2  - #3

My NF introduction post

website

Goal: to be "20 pounds of crazy in a five pound bag."

 

 

Link to comment

Good job with your breakthrough! I've learned the same thing about food. I don't tell myself I can't have certain foods. Otherwise I'm just making it where that's all I want. If I tell myself I can have anything whenever I want it, I discover I don't want junk nearly as much. I can actually keep a carton of ice cream in the freezer and it can take me weeks to eat it all. When I "couldn't" have ice cream I would buy it for a cheat and eat the entire thing in a day or two. It can be hard to maintain though. I find myself slipping back into the "that food is bad" mindset and I have to reset myself.

 

I'm sorry to hear about you being sick. Hopefully it's still early in the diagnosis and you can reverse it.

Battle Log

 

Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

 

Fitbit, Epic Quest Character

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Good job with your breakthrough! I've learned the same thing about food. I don't tell myself I can't have certain foods. Otherwise I'm just making it where that's all I want. If I tell myself I can have anything whenever I want it, I discover I don't want junk nearly as much. I can actually keep a carton of ice cream in the freezer and it can take me weeks to eat it all. When I "couldn't" have ice cream I would buy it for a cheat and eat the entire thing in a day or two. It can be hard to maintain though. I find myself slipping back into the "that food is bad" mindset and I have to reset myself.

I'm sorry to hear about you being sick. Hopefully it's still early in the diagnosis and you can reverse it.

It's EXACTLY like the ice cream example! Every time I have tried to quit smoking before, the day I 'set ' to quit I wind up smoking TWO packs, instead of less than one, and it stays that way for a few days...

I've read the whole book now, and in a few days I will read it again. The author said sometimes it takes a few readings to get to the point where you're ready to forget to smoke.

Part of one of the steps is to start noticing other parts of the day you enjoy. Also to take a few moments without a cig lit up to accept yourself unconditionally.

As I go through this process, I am noticing other things in my life changing as well. I am not as likely to get my mind all worked up about trivial stuff. (Another 'exercise' is to stop beating yourself up about smoking, and then expand that so you're not beating yourself up for making little 'mistakes'.)

I am sort of putting everything on hold til Saturday or Sunday. Last Friday I thought I might be able to just quit smoking altogether by Saturday morning.

I had a split sleep study scheduled. I had to go in at 7 pm, and wouldn't be leaving the clinic til 6 am. I figured it might be easier to walk away from cigs when I had already been in a circumstance where I couldn't smoke for 12 hours.

It might have worked if the study had wound up 'split'. In a split study, they hook you up to all sorts of recording equipment, and track your sleep for a few hours. If they see evidence of sleep apnea, they wake you up, add a cpap machine and calibrate it. I was totally tired - - but didn't fall asleep till well after midnight. (Despite turning the lights off at 10.)

I had been somewhat hopefull that they would find out I had it--- sleep apnea would explain SO much of stuff, and if it was that, I would finally have been diagnosed with something treatable.

But when I woke up the next morning, the technician said that they would go over the logs and call me sometime this week after they analysed them. At that point I figured it meant I didn't have sleep apnea.

Oh well back to the drawing board... I got kind of bummed out - - because at the time I figured the doctors would once again conclude I 'just' have fibromyalgia. In my experience with fibromyalgia, which is 20 years of experience, all they do is send you home with the latest meds - whatever is being promoted for use with fibromyalgia at the moment.

I lasted a little while longer, but then smoked again...

Well, they called today - and I have to go back Friday for a second sleep study - except this time I will spend the entire night hooked up to cpap machine.

It turns out that once I finally get to sleep, I have 'mild' sleep apnea, as long as I am sleeping lightly. But - when I hit REM sleep, it goes from mild to the bad end of 'moderate' , and my oxygen level is on the edge of 'severe'.

So, while I am not elated to have sleep apnea, maybe I will finally be able to SLEEP!

As for 'potter's rot' - it's like black lung disease. The tiny particles of silica dust get stuck in your lungs - and there's no way to get them out. Apparently my lungs are currently clear enough - but I am not allowed to go to work without a respirator/mask.

From what I read, it takes about 20 years to develop full fledged 'silicosis', and I have only been working at the Pottery for 4 - BUT I have sjogren's syndrome (very little tears and mucous - the stuff that protects your sinus and eyes from particulates.) I think that's why I am showing signs of problems, when other people who have been there much longer aren't.

But - after I was out of work for the week - one of my coworkers woke up not able to breathe AT ALL. She has been there 7 or so years. She was in hospital for a week. They diagnosed her with pulmonary edema and sent her home with a defibrillator (despite that heart tests show her heart is OK.)

She isn't wearing a mask at all! And she absolutely knows what my doctor diagnosed me with. I am finding this extremely odd - but I figure she probably didn't mention the dust level we work in. (Whereas I showed my doctor a picture of racoon footprints in the dust by my desk... So my doctor probably didn't have to think very hard to figure it out.. In fact she looked quite aghast and asked how quickly I could find a different job... )

I have actually been getting a bit of flack from other coworkers about wearing the dust mask. It's like they considered me a wus because I 'can't handle it'. (I usually have worn one before this - I just couldn't all summer, because it's 90 F in the building.)

Actually, they also give me a bit of crap about having to leave due to the heat as well. (Well I am not the dumbsh*t who is gonna die of the dust or heat! Who's smarter now?)

  • Like 1

My current 6 week Adventurer challenge - DreamDancer Respawns

 

Previous challenges - #1 - #2  - #3

My NF introduction post

website

Goal: to be "20 pounds of crazy in a five pound bag."

 

 

Link to comment

Definitely stick with your mask at work and tell the ones giving you flack to kiss off! Hopefully your next sleep study will get things settled and get you whatever you need to help you. Good luck with the smoking and I want to reiterate the part about not beating yourself up. I wasn't able to make any lasting changes until I stopped beating myself up about every stumble. We're human. We're going to stumble, we're going to fall and we're going to have bad days. If you show yourself the same compassion you would show a friend or family member, you'll bounce back from those stumbles much faster. Good luck with everything and keep us updated!

Battle Log

 

Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

 

Fitbit, Epic Quest Character

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I honestly don't know how the company you work for has successfully passed any kind of insurance audit.  Both their property and workman's comp insurance carriers would be very interested in getting the conditions at that facility addressed, and quickly.  

 

It does sound like you have a legitimate workman's comp case against the company.  It also sounds like you can go out on unemployment due to health issues that make it so you can not work in that environment.

 

Screw 'em.  Wear your mask if you go into that building.  If you end up with fibrosis, you will be wearing more than a mask all the time.  Wearing a mask, and supplemental oxygen is not a lot of fun, take it from someone who has been there, done that.  I no longer need the oxygen (yeah donor lungs), but do have to wear a mask in situations where I might be exposed to disease.  Pretty much anytime I go out in public once the flu/cold season gets going.

 

Oh, here is an applicable tidbit on causes of PF:

 

Occupational exposures

Pulmonary fibrosis can develop after significant exposure to a wide variety of inorganic dusts, including asbestos, silica, coal dust, beryllium, hard metal dusts

 

 

Autoimmune issues increase the odds.  

 

You will get there with putting aside the cigs, and when you do you will feel sooooooo much better.Everyday you get closer to your last cig, that very last stinky butt :)

Barbarian Assassin / Level 5

 

 

STR: 16.5 | DEX: 4.8 | STA: 8.9 | CON: 8.7 | WIS: 6.6 | CHA: 6.8

 

 

 

My Current Six Week Challenge - Jrosto - A Barbarian Cleans Up His Act

 

 

 

Previous Challenges - #1, #2, #3, #4

 

 

 

My NF Introduction Post : My MDA Journal : My MDA Phase 1 Success Story

 

 

 

Simple & Sinister Workout Log

 

 

 

Keep Calm and Send in the Penguins!

 

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