A non-update

25Sep08

Again, silence because things are going reasonably well, not because I’ve given up and my cookie-crumb spattered corpse has been found face-first in a giant chocolate cake.

Busy as can be – I’m one of those people who always seems to pile her plate too high with things to do, maybe I should try and apply some of these sensible weight-management techniques to my free time!

…naaa, that’d never work.

So yeah, I’m still here, still fighting the good fight and all that.

The biggest development in this area is me learning the joys of fresh green pepper on my sandwiches. Hooo-boy, that’s some good flavor!


Break Glass

15Sep08

I know, I know, the posts have been slowing down a lot. Same ol, same ol, and I avoid contact with humanity as much as possible, so I don’t have any new intriguing episodes of bizarre human behavior to share with you today.

What I do have is a Break Glass In Case of Fatness box.

That’s right, I outgrew some of my clothes!

*does the happy dance*

Two skirts and a pair of pants, with a few more shirts ready to join them that I’m barely skating by on. In addition, two of the other shirts that were baaarely fitting are now looking really nice on me (in particular, my red and white stripey pirate shirt. YAR! Now it can be halloween every week!).  Also, my “Fresh MELONS and strawberries” shirt (feel free to supply positioning for the text) still looks melon-tastic, but it no longer clings to my upper arms like a drowning man to a life raft.

I’m shrinking, folks! I’m fitting into pants I’d previously shunned to the back of the closet. The brand new jeans I’d bought are starting to look suspiciously baggy (which is somewhat a shame. They made my butt look totally hot).

This was one of those moments when all the work pays off. I can SEE the results. I have a memory comparison of how it used to be and how it is. It’s not just my ancient and somewhat arbitrary scale. It’s not just me FEELING smaller, or peering into the mirror and smooshing my chipmunk cheeks in to see if they’ve gotten any less chipmunky.

This is proof.

I feel REALLY good. I bought a new shirt, a size smaller than I previously would have, and I look AWESOME in it, daring neckline and all.

I’m reveling in the experience. There are so many moments of disappointment and downage when dieting. So many weeks where the needle on the scale doesn’t seem to move at all, or even in the wrong direction.

I’m going to take my accomplishments and celebrate them, and I will have this blog entry to remind myself :

SELF, it’s working! You feel great today, you look great today, and the whole world knows it.

REMEMBER this day, when it gets hard later on, when you want to just give up. You can do this. I can do this.


Update

11Sep08

I’ve been quiet, but it’s not because I’ve been secretly hiding in den formed from dislodged couch cushions and a My Little Pony blanket, eating donuts and shamefully avoiding the computer screen.

I don’t even HAVE a My Little Pony blanket.

No, I’ve been quiet because not much has been going on. I’ve been slowly moving forward, which is good. I’m up to three and a half belt notches (meaning I COULD do four, but then sitting would become uncomfortable) on the belt I couldn’t even wear when I started this journey. I’m wearing pants that I had banished to the back of my closet because they were telling me just how fat I was and I didn’t want to listen. And I’ve started a new tactic with my nemesis, the Elliptical.

You know, it’s actually kinda funny. I say that it’s the Elliptical that is my nemesis, when in reality, I know it’s myself.

It’s like there’s two of me. The adult, who knows that exercise is not only good, it’s imperative if I want to achieve my fitness goals. Then there’s the child, who just wants a lollypop and to watch the My Little Pony movies (which I do have, on VHS).

We both get on the Elliptical, and my adult self has to be strong enough to overrule my child self when it starts to become “work”.

I’ve taken a new tactic. 20 minutes. That’s my goal. Until it’s no longer a struggle to do so, I will stay on the elliptical for 20 minutes.

Why is 20 minutes so difficult? Is it because I get exhausted? No. I’ve done 25 minutes before. I sweat like crazy, wish for the headband I keep forgetting to buy, my feet start to ache a little, and my breathing is labored (mostly because my allergies keep my nose stopped up most of the time).

No, it’s not that the exercise is hard.

It’s just that, as my child self says, it’s “no fun.”

It’s not. I don’t like being sweaty and uncomfortable. It doesn’t have to be painful to be “not fun”, it just has to not feel good. Also, it’s boring. It’s so boring. So very very boring. I’ve tried podcasts (sometimes they help). I’ve tried music (sometimes it helps). I’ve tried reading (sweaty hands = no no). I’ve tried watching TV (sometimes it helps).

But somewhere around 15 minutes, the boredom and the not funness of it collide and turn me into a quitter. My inner child sits down and wails, slamming her fists into the floor, screaming and sqwunching her face together so hard it turns red.

And my adult self has to be strong enough to ignore her, to keep going, and to push forward.

20 minutes. I can do 20 minutes. Just five more minutes.

It’s hard. But what’s funny is that much like a REAL child, it’s easier as time goes on. She learns that hysterics aren’t going to get what she wants, and so her tantrums are smaller and smaller every day.

If I even slip up ONE day, she’s back to full force, though. It’s exhausting, being my own babysitter.

Other Stuff

The knee is the same, still wearing the brace almost constantly. Tuesday and yesterday I had one of my patented Crazy Brain Headaches, which do not respond to painkillers, are definitely not migranes (I took the medicine once and it felt like my head exploded), do not respond to either stretching or muscle relaxants, and also don’t seem to appear on pattern with sugar or caffeine intake. They also range from being slightly painful and irritating to extremely painful and debilitating. I can make them feel better by applying an icepack and putting pressure in the right place, or hanging upside down from my bed. Neither of which allow me to do my job, which is programming.

I’m going in for allergy testing at the end of October, pending my post-nasal drip’s stubborn refusal to respond to the strongest allergy meds my regular doctor will prescribe, and I’m kinda hoping that the Crazy Brain Headaches are related to allergies, and will magically disappear as my other symptoms also disappear. A girl can dream, right?

Also, I just want to note that if you have ANY troubles on the regularity front, get thee to a grocery store. Buy a box of Fiber One cereal (I recommend the raisin bran flavor) and then be prepared for intestinal acrobatics on a heretofore unseen level.

I’ve been drinking coffee dailiy and taking a drink mix fiber supplement, and STILL never got the regularity that this cereal is giving me. I have to limit it to every other day just to keep me sane.

It’s AWESOME.

I do not advocate exceeding the recommended dosage. Have an egg or something to go with the small bowl to round out your breakfast if you need to.

Also, do not ignore your body when it says you need to go. Trust me. You need to go.


The Idea
So MizFit had a post recently about creating a Mission Statement for your fitness goals.

…what’s that, you say? That post wasn’t exactly “recent”? Hun, if I remember it, it was recent. That’s the rule. My memory’s bad enough that it’s mostly accurate, with the marked exception of being able to tell what movies are “new” and what movies were made before some of you were born.

Right, now that we’ve got that cleared up. MizFit recently *eyes the room suspiciously, ready to squash any signs of disagreement or objection, then continues* had a post about creating a Mission Statement for your fitness goals.

I thought it was a fabulous idea!

But being me, I couldn’t ONLY do fitness goals. I have all sorts of goals and plans and dreams and stuff in my life, not just Fitness-oriented.

And so began my descent into madness.

Definitions
First thing, of course, is to define things.

Dreams, goals, mission statements…what’s the difference, right?

First comparison – dreams vs goals.

A totally awesome and incredibly quote-worthy person said “Goals are Dreams with Timelines.” ~MizFit

So then how does a goal differ from a mission statement?

A goal can vary in size. Is your goal to get a totally ripped abdomen, or is your goal to have general over-all health? The washboard abs may be a part of the over-all health goal, you see, but that doesn’t make the smaller goal any less useful.

One might argue that the more specific goal is actually better, but I’m not here to judge goals. I’m here to chew bubblegum and kick ass…and I’m all outta bubblegum. (That was from a RECENT movie, folks.)

Anyway, so the difference between a goal and a mission statement is that goals can (and possibly should) be small, single-serving things that you want to accomplish.

A mission statement should be an umbrella which incorporates all of your goals into a single, poignant phrase or paragraph.

A mission statement shouldn’t have a timeline, because a mission statement should never go out of style. But unlike a dream, a mission statement is something you’re working to fulfill. A Mission Statement is a PROMISE, above and beyond all else, to yourself. What do YOU want to promise yourself?

Examples
So! Let’s take some examples, shall we?

I had a dream. I wish I was healthier and thinner.

I then turned that dream into goals. I will fit into size 12 jeans by the end of the year.

Obviously that can be refined, but for now it’ll do.

Now, I need to turn the dream and goal into a Mission Statement. I will eat healthier, exercise, become stronger and more flexible, and be more conscious about the decisions I make in my life and how they affect my life and overall health.

The mission statement keeps you going once your goal has been reached. So many goal-oriented people find they NEED something…a race to prepare for, a measurement to meet, and weight to achieve. The Mission Statement is going to keep me from needing those tangible goals, because I know what my overall purpose is. I keep it in mind and remember it whenever I feel weakened by donuts, or tempted by snooze buttons on my alarm.

I can say “Oh, well, if my goal of ‘the end of the year’ doesn’t happen, I can just push the date a bit.”

But it’s harder to deliberately do something that’s counter to my Mission Statement. “If I eat this donut, I am deliberately flaunting my personal promise to be healthier. What will the effects of the donut be?”

And the nice thing is, I can still choose to eat the donut. There’s a chance that I weigh the possibilities, and I decide that I will actually feel worse if I deny myself the donut. But I am aware of the consequences either way, and make an informed decision.

….

Bait and Switch!
None of which has anything to do with the title of this post. Anyone who has been reading me for a while has probably already figured THAT out.

So the fitness stuff was easy, because I already had that stuff on the forefront of my mind. I already knew what my goals were regarding my fitness and health, I just hadn’t put them into words.

The REST of my life is one great big muddle of confusion. I’ve got printouts and scribbled notes out the wazoo from WikiHow and other places, trying to figure out how to organize my life into neat little sections, and then develop goals and Mission Statements for them.

Funny how many cobwebs we find in our life when we shine the flashlight around and look in corners we usually ignore.

Through all of this, I found an article on How to Be Honest With Yourself that I liked, and it recommended I take a personality test.

And this, my friends, is where the title comes in.

Addiction
I love personality tests.

I do. It’s like an addiction. I love memes and “what star wars character would you be” and everything that even smells like a personality test. I love to learn about myself, and sometimes having a piece of computer code look at me with the same exact measuring stick it looks at everyone else gives me a more clear picture than rooting around in even the deepest nooks and crannies of my own head possibly can.

So I took the Kearnsey Temperament Sorter test. I remember taking this back in my Freshman year of college, but a lot has changed in my life since then, so I thought it’d be fun to take it again.

I got the same result, and as I read through the descriptions, I feel…peaceful.

Instead of focusing on how much I hate confrontation and that is something I need to work on, it’s mentioned that I don’t do well in stressful situations, hate confrontation, and will often build bridges and work to try and solve confrontations between other people.

Instead of constantly telling myself that I should stop doing things for other people, I can see that it’s common in my personality type, since we love to make other people smile. Doesn’t sound quite so awful put in that tone, and I stopped badgering myself and started actually analyzing my behavior to see if I took it too far, and tried to please people who were taking advantage of me.

It’s another perspective, another point of view. Another way to put myself under the microscope and try to understand why I do the things I do.

I’m an INFJ – and I don’t feel like I tried to sway the answers to make myself look better than I am. I feel really good about that test, and I plan on putting that knowledge to work in organizing my goals for the non-fitness portion of my life.

Confession
Hello, my name is Ninja, and I’m addicted to Online Personality Tests.


So I got a knee brace.

To be more precise, I got two knee braces.

Hmm, maybe I should back up a bit.

I went to Walgreens, gimondo super-corporation of a drugstore that it is, because I had a prescription to pick up and they carry foreign chocolate.

What? Girl’s gotta have standards. If I’m limiting my chocolate intake, you can bet your sweet bippy I’m not wasting those calories on HERSHEY.

Right, back to the knee braces. I stood for about five minutes, staring in slack-jawed amazement at the knee brace section. I had no idea what I was looking at. Why was that one $50 (marked down, shockingly, to $12)? Why was that other one $15? Did the brands matter? I couldn’t decipher the marketing-speak bull they paste over all of the packaging. I was leaning toward a one-size-fits-all thing when I decided to ask.

I had someone paged to the area, and she attempted to talk me through it, but really only succeeded in convincing me that there wasn’t really a difference in them. She measured my thigh just above my knee (something like 18.5 inches) and recommended X.

I look at the back and say “Hey, the largest one they make stops at 17 inches.”

“No, that’s the one you want, I’m sure of it.” she says.

For the record, she’s a big fat liar.

I couldn’t even get the thigh part past my knee.

So I took it back in, huffing because it was hot outside and I’d been trying to yank it on in my car in the parking lot. Attempting to yank a knee brace over my calves is not only one of the least graceful things I’ve ever done, it also nearly bummed my knee again.

I, instead, got the simpler Ace knee sleeve (I’m sure it has a real name. It’s a knee sleeve, with a porthole window. That’s my story and I’m stickin to it. Ferrets and rats would LOVE this thing.

It’s Medium was about the same size as the other thing’s Large was. So I got the new large, and it fits, is comfortable, I can wear it under my jeans and my work pants without an alarming giant growth on my knee – I imagine such odd conversations. Someone would say “Wow, what happened to your knee?” and I would reply, flippantly, “Oh, it’s nothing. Doctor says I have Arboreal Xylemphitis. I should complete my transformation into an Ash tree sometime next summer.”

But, I’ve been wearing the brace since yesterday afternoon, and already the knee feels better. I wore it while I was sleeping, too – that seems to be a time when I unconsciously take out the day’s frustration on my injured limb, based on how often I wake up with it hurting.

Anyway, I said all of that so I could rant about the following :

What the ach eee double hockey-sticks is wrong with companies nowadays? Both of the knee braces I tried on were made by the SAME BRAND, and yet had wildly different sizing!

Also, and I’m sure this will ring a little bell with at least some of you – aside from the super-fit with their althlete injuries, who is most likely to have knee problems?

The overweight and obese.

Now, I’m not saying I’m some dancing fairy or anything, but I’m definitely in the “average” woman range. I’m slowly working my way out of size 14 into a size 12. I no longer have thunder thighs, and yet I found it nearly impossible to find a knee brace that would accommodate a larger frame?

You’ve got to be kidding me!

What are overweight people with knee problems supposed to do?

The knee brace isn’t a frivolous purchase. It’s not something I got so I could hang out with the cool kids. I didn’t get it in Barbie Pink.

It’s a medical apparatus. MEDICAL.

Why would you not make something MEDICAL be available to what has to be at least 50% of the people most likely to need it?

I am…not angry. Upset? A little. More, I think I’m disappointed. It’s like how I feel about places like Victoria’s Secret not really selling a complete line of bras for larger women – those who most need a very good quality bra with support.

Also, the shelf of “impulse buys” next to the checkout contained an entire row of home drug test boxes.

“I’ll just check out now…oh, a line, rats. Hmm, maybe I could use some gum, I think I’m running low. Oooh! Look at that candy bar, is that a new flavor? And oh, look at this! I’ve been meaning to test little Timmy for cocaine usage!”

Puh. Leeeze.