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Dragon doing more of the same


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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.


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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. 

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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!



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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.  :D 


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. 

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