serinde: (feminine complaint)
serinde: (ki)
Today marks the end of two (work) weeks of the New Regime; I get out of bed at 6am, do half an hour of yoga to Dengue Fever's "Cannibal Corpse", make a cup of tea or coffee (depending on the day), and drink that while I write morning pages for half an hour. Then I get ready for work and all that. Weekends are slack-permissible. I have fought the lizard brain down and not missed a day, in spite of tiredness, malaise, and purring cats.

Therefore the lizard brain has developed a new tactic. "It's been two weeks," it whispers. "What's changed? It's not doing any good. You might as well sleep in, or lounge in bed petting a kitty."

This is, of course, arrant nonsense. No, doing yoga hasn't made me lose weight--but I knew it wouldn't; not even when I was doing an hour of it three days a week. That's what the bike is for. And yes, my left leg is still very weak and not able to keep up--but it will take more than two stupid weeks to make that happen and I know this because I have been in physical therapy enough to be clear on how long it takes to see progress, particularly with a chronically, multiply screwed-up limb like this. The yoga's purpose is to keep me loose and flexible and to kick-start my metabolism in the morning, and it is doing those things. Secondarily I'm wanting it to help me get into that meditative, Zen-ish state, but this is harder when I have to tell myself what pose to do next rather than just follow a teacher.

Similarly, no, writing morning pages hasn't cured me of mental wharrgarbl and emotional roller-coasters & confusion--but that's not what it does. It drags all of that out into the open to be looked at, understood, and hopefully addressed. Eventually, yes, one expects a milder internal climate, but this is an ongoing and extended process and not to be sorted in a couple of weeks.

Finally, it has not cracked me loose on more public writing; one notes that my last Foojournal post was the one describing what new regime I was enacting, and there's been nothing since, here or elsewhere. OTOH, I have been focused on sewing, and secondarily research. So mental things are moving, and I will take that as a reason for cautious optimism. Wait and see, I think.

The milestones I'm looking for sound something like this:
* Getting up and doing being a reflexive habit, not a mental dialogue every. single. morning.
* Signs of my left leg getting stronger. Right now, rising into high and then crescent lunge is very difficult and shaky. My end-goal is for it to be as stable as my right side, but I'll take any visible improvement to start with. (Hilariously, I'm perfectly fine in Tree pose on that side, which is generally considered much harder. i do not even.)
* When I have any kind of mental agitas, correctly identifying and using the right tools to deal with it; which, I think, exhibits as "not losing several hours/an evening to wallowing, moping, internet uselessness, or other unhelpful and unproductive behaviors". This doesn't mean I can't slack if I feel that's the right pill for my ill, but it should be an active and mindful choice. (I can actually point to a level-up here; on Tuesday, I suddenly felt un-obsessed with the dress I'd been working monomaniacally on, and was sliding down the rabbit hole of totally wasting the evening. I stopped myself, sat down, and wrote down a list of everything I didn't feel like doing. After that, I realized I kinda felt like finally organizing my contact synchronization and upgrading my laptop to Mountain Lion, both of which needed doin'. Profit!)

I'm hoping that when the weather breaks and I can ride my bike more, this will help reinforce the benefits I'm getting, too. It usually puts me in a better state for the day (and also reduces my appetite, yay).
serinde: (ki)
So the leadership program of great renown had its last session the first week of this month; and once that heat was off, as well as the start-of-semester wharrgarbl dying down, I determined to make another go at the various lifestyle changes I had worked out back in June. If you don't feel like making the clicky, it boiled down to these:

1) stop what I'm doing by 10:30, be in bed by 11
2) do some yoga or other calisthenics in the morning, rather than coffee-and-stare-at-internets; carry coffee into work
3) ride bike more
4) spend less money; take lunch more, cook more
5) be diligent about tracking what I eat

Concurrent with this, right after the program ended I was feeling unusually down. There are, of course, any number of possible contributing factors--kitty, major project stress, seasonal change?--but it made a useful benchmark.

For each of the last three weeks, I have done yoga 4 of 5 work mornings; rode my bike to & from work either two or three times; been increasingly good about food tracking (it's not 100% but we're getting there); and been cooking and taking my lunch more often than not*. I've also been going out less. I have not been entirely diligent about bedtime, but I'm in bed by 11:15 more often than not.

Results thus far:
+ I am in much, much better state of mind, on the whole.
+ Weight is at last starting to creep downwards.
+ I have spent a lot more time working on my stuff, whether it be knitting, sewing, cooking, or domestic improvements.
+ My complexion has gotten clearer (!). This makes little sense to me, considering I haven't eaten less sugar or chocolate, neither of which is usually my downfall anyways, but there it is.
+ The apartment is getting closer to where I want it to be.
+ Biking is becoming easier! I am in my top gear (of 7. don't judge me.) for much of the ride, and I can get up the first half of the OMG DOOM DOOM hill under the GWB.
- So far the yoga has not yet seemed to improve the weakness in my left leg.
- I keep waking up half an hour before my alarm, at what seems to be the end of a REM cycle? Then drifting back to sleep, then snapping awake when the alarm hits.

This looks like pretty unqualified success, and although it's really hard, in that first five minutes, to drag myself from the warm snuggly bed and go to something exercise-y, I always feel better when I do; and one morning the lizard brain had convinced me to lame out, and within ten minutes I found myself on the mat anyways. So it is full speed ahead, and maintain these changes as best I can through the exigencies of the holiday season.

* of course then I spent money I shouldn't have on fripperies, but I mean, one problem at a time
serinde: (Delirium)
I have been sleeping ill for the past month or two. First I chalked it up to not exercising, so I made an effort to exercise more. Then I figured it was the idiots on the freakishly loud motorcycles, but do I not live in the city and should not I be able to cope? Then it was too hot, so I blamed that. The last few nights have been lovely sleeping weather, though, so I'm having to face up that the reality is somewhere else (particularly since I've been sleeping like a log at [ profile] sweh's). I'd had a few suspicions already starting to niggle, and I think I have it confirmed: I'm not perfectly at ease in my new digs yet.

That is, it feels like "home", and I don't feel alienation or MY GOD WHAT IS THIS PLACE when I'm about my daily wossnames. But when I lay me down to sleep, any random noise that I hear snaps me awake and alert. Not the jerkweeds cruisin' up and down, I mean, but anything else: a creak as the floorboards cool, the *thump* of Ranger jumping heavily down from the couch in the other room, a strange jingling noise down on the street which I think might've been someone dropping their dog's leash; but any small noise, I go to full-on alert and find my hand reaching for the knife hanging on my bedpost.

I don't think I'm a particularly paranoid human, even as much as a single female in NYC maybe ought to be. I don't have any degree of apprehension when I'm out and about, nor when I'm awake and puttering (even if it's equally late at night), so it's not as if the new neighborhood (which, yes, does have a crime rate higher than the UES, and has had a spate of recent muggings and sexual assaults) is itself what's triggering it. Home invasion isn't really the favorite flavor up here, and even if it were, I'm on the fifth floor for heaven's sake; there are a lot of targets further down. No. I think it just has to be that there's more random noises, I'm not used to them, and since this place isn't one room I can't just open my eyes, see that all's well/identify the sound, and settle back down immediately (and then the noise is checked off as "you can ignore this").

I am sure this will come with time, but until then, I'm feeling seriously and increasingly dragged-out, which is messing me up in other ways.
serinde: (body)
I had put off thinking about most lifestyle arrangements until after moving, because how do you know what things will look like til after you're settled; and then until after all the California trips were done with, because ualeaualeualeualeaue; but all that's done and the apartment is mostly settled (although there was enough of putting that off to warrant a separate post), and although yes the stress is ramping up at work and I Don't Wanna Think About Being Virtuous, the fact is that I know I will feel better if I realign things. So, herewith, the long mental burp.

Cut text working yet? )
serinde: (pamcakes!)
Friday night our Floating RPG Campaign (currently Dresden Files) resumed after a several-month hiatus, and I seized the opportunity to lay my tale (or tailbone) of woe before Dr. Nick. He nodded sagely, stood behind me, moved his hands a little bit along my hips, and asked "What side?".

"Left," quoth I.

"'k." And he immediately dropped a hand a few inches and pushed unerringly at a small spot in the middle of my left ass cheek, whereat I howled like a scalded cat. "Yeah. Piriformis. Do those stretches."
Went to my primary care physician today in re: my Probably Sciatica; not because I thought he could do anything about it, he being an internal medicine dude, but to start the referral wagon in motion. I was expressing how this particular pain was different from my other injuries on that leg, and he said "how many had you had?" and I started recollecting them as best I could, but I thought I missed some. So here's me trying to get them all down. I might be missing some.

Winter, 1997: Both knees: Fell on 'em, hard, while ice skating. For the next year and change, when kneeling down, there would be a point of excruciating pain at one point in the bend, and then it would be okay on the other side of that least until I stood up again. Eventually it went away, but my left knee remains occasionally arthritic.

January, 2003: Left groin muscle, torn at aikido. By someone's pants. Don't ask. Got better after 4-6 weeks, but never really recovered full flexibility.

Burning Man, 2004: Pinky toe: Smashed at Fight Club. I forget which foot it was, though, so maybe doesn't count.

Spring, 2006: Left knee: bursitis, or that's the best guess. Out for a couple weeks.

- strained both rotator cuffs in summer 2006, just to switch it up a little -
- late 2007, switched jobs; stopped going to aikido -
- early 2008, started running for exercise -

June 2008: Left knee, bone spur from running. Stopped hurting after a month or two of not running.

July 2009: Left foot, plantar fasciitis from running. Went away after a month or two of not running + ice + dork sock.

Spring 2010: Left ankle: chronic sprain from aikido injury + mosh pit + not letting it heal. Got better in about 10 weeks of dork boot + proper shoes.

Feb. 2011: Left pinky toe: broken on a cruise ship deck chair. Healed after about two months of dork boot, because wearing any shoe on that foot was excruciating.

And then there's the current whee, that seems to be of two parts comprised: something that feels muscular that started around January, and then the Maybe Sciatica which started after the Stanford trip last month but before I got my new bike.

I have come down with [ profile] nedlnthred's lurgy (with really shit-arse timing, I may add), and crawled home from work at 2pm suffering from total enervation, a tetchy throat, and a head packed with pressure. No actual symptoms elsewise, but still deeply miserable. In the hopes of effecting a swift cure, or at least keeping it from getting much worse, I spawned the following procedure:

0. Set up P&P on your televisionary device.
1. Take ye a smallish chicken. Seethe it with carrots, onion, salt, pepper, and whatever other stockish stuff you have lying around, for about 3 hours.
2. Meantime, roast two heads of garlic in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes.
3. Strain the broth, reserving the chicken meat and fending off an importunate cat.
4. Chop up most of an onion and saute in olive oil, adding thyme ynogh.
5. After the onion is well along, throw in an additional handful of raw garlic cloves.
6. Let that fry while you squeeze out all the roasted garlic cloves. Throw those in the pot, with about 3.5 cups of broth.
7. Let that cook together for 15-30 minutes, or until the raw cloves are soft.
8. Immersion blender the snot out of it.
9. Stir in 1/2 cup of whatever combination of cream or half-and-half you have to hand.
10. Add the chicken meat and salt & pepper to taste. Let it cook for about 5-10 minutes, but obviously watch out for curdling dairy.
11. Consume while lolling on the couch watching P&P and feeling terribly sorry for yourself.

It's got a really nice flavor and is most kind to the throat and head. It could actually be more garlicky, I think, though maybe my sinus weasels are deadening my smell/taste somewhat.
It's a busy week: the students are moving back into the dorms, the faculty is returning to their offices, everyone's working double tides to make sure everything's right and tight for the start of classes next Tuesday.

Therefore, of course, I've come down sick.

I seem to have fought off most of the symptoms--it's chiefly manifesting as total soul-sucking lassitude and enervation, though with a bit of tetchy throat and sinus headache--but even couch + laptop forces me to set it aside and close my eyes every 40 minutes or so. I OBJECT. STRENUOUSLY.

For once, however, I am being smart and actually staying home instead of trying to power through it; and I'm actually getting some stuff done in my moments of lucidity, which I would not if I had dragged my sorry ass in. The other major goal is to shake it before I have to troop off on a family trip Friday night.
serinde: (feminine complaint)
I left [ profile] sweh's midafternoon, with a multi-faceted but not over-complicated program; drive south, check in on [ profile] nedlnthred's cats as she's away for the weekend (and drop off some things and pick up some things), drive on to Jersey City, drop Bud off at our favored mechanics so they can figure out what's to be done about his muffler (and give him a general check-up as I will need to drive him 500 miles in a few weeks), walk up to Journal Square, and thus home via PATH and subway. The best laid plans, etc.

TMI starts here. )
serinde: (brew-up)
So, a few developments for those who are not living in my brain.

1) I have a new job. My last day at Hunter was Friday, and I'm starting at Barnard on May 10th, where I will be Director of User Services (shut up). This is a big promotion-like thing, and I have moments of shrieking panic, but in my more rational moments I feel tolerably sure I can handle it. I also had the smart of giving myself some time between jobs, which I didn't really have last time 'round; I intended to spend it frolicking around in spring weather, except...

2) So that thing where I hurt my ankle at aikido and then some more in a mosh pit? It was feeling mostly better, so I kept going to class, and I kept going to yoga, and then it started to hurt somewhat when I walked, and then started hurting a lot when I walked, and I did the HMO referrals dance, and the referring ortho couldn't see me til July, and I went back and bibbled at Callen-Lorde's referral dept., and they sent me to the NYU walk-in clinic on Friday who tell me I have a chronic sprain because I haven't just let the stupid thing heal. So I have an air cast and crutches, and I'm supposed to keep off it as much as possible, and wear the (extremely ill-fitting) air cast when walking, and etc. I am coping with this with my usual grace and serenity: which is to say, hanging on by the skin of my teeth and being a whiny little bitch. I seem to have an enforced staycation, except the part where I still seem to be running around a lot. But I'm taking the bus whenever I can, and that's something, yes? In spite of the fact that some of the M66 drivers are rotten fucking people, to the point where one actually closed the doors in my face as I was about to put my foot on the step. (Some of the others are really nice, though, so I guess this evens out.)

3) I still have not hung my curtains. I faithfully swear that I shall call the landlady tomorrow and ask if we have a ladder. I have to change a light bulb anyways. Watch, I'll get them finally up and then hate how they look.

4) As far as I'm aware, we're all still supposed to put our plastic/glass recycling in clear plastic trash bags. So why do none of the stores around me sell 'em?

5) I'm having mental hysterics off-and-on that the progress I'd been making on the weight loss front will now be utterly destroyed by enforced inactivity. Because what can you do without a leg to stand on?

6) I went and asked a boy out, for a number of reasons, not least of which was to confirm that I was capable of doing so. I was ready for "yes", I was ready for "no"; I was not prepared for utter silence. The entire situation has led to numerous reflexions, including that my dating brain appears to be stuck at age 16.

7) I have Rock Band again, which makes me happy, except I really want to drum, but it's my right foot I hit the kick drum with, and that will just not do; and I prefer bass over guitar, but you can't have a solo career as a bassist (tell that to Lemmy, jerkweeds).

8) In spite of all of these bees, I'm doing pretty okay.
serinde: (body)
Postulate 1: If it's really hot, you don't feel like eating.
Postulate 2: If it's cold, you tend to eat more.
Postulate 3: Our societal ass started spreading in the 70s, when air conditioning became more prevalent, and has increased unto the present day, where central air is all over the place (and the average set temperature is lower).
Theorem: Air conditioning makes you fat.

... in which case I shoulda lost weight this summer. Perhaps I should have bought a scale first.
serinde: (running)
Say goodbye to the above icon; I think we won't be seeing him again.

So, this being the second or third (depending on how you figure) chronic injury state I have gotten from running in what amounts to, probably, less than eight months' activity, I am bowing to the demands of my genotype, and will cease this activity. I am dealing with this necessity in the mature, reasonable fashion you might expect if you have read my blitherings for any length of time. In other words, I'm sulking, bitchy, and rebellious.

I really hope to take up aikido again in the fall, but I'm not sure how to make that work if I am taking a class, too. (There is also the expense, but I am pretty sure it's doable.) In the meantime, what to do? I tried the elliptical today, and although according to the little readouts I am doing just as much as I did while running, I don't feel like I'm working anything near as hard; I'm not tired, I'm not sweating, and I feel generally unsatisfied--but I can't actually move any faster on the thing. Dr. Nick suggested a spin class, which one just started up here at school...and it's over next week, of course.

I need something that pushes me to my limits.
serinde: (self-control)
I returned this evening from the podiatrist, who judges that I have plantar fasciitis. Short form if you are suffering TL;DR: the connective stuff on the bottom of my (left) foot? It's inflamed and sad. This happens if you run, if you're overweight, if you're female, if you lug heavy stuff around, and if you wear high-heels or flip-flops (any shoes without arch support, basically). OH GOSH WELL I DON'T DO ANY OF THAT

So. I am to take ibuprofen for a week, and I am to ice the sad bit 2 or 3 times per day. I am to do stretching exercises[1]. I am not to run. I am to try and keep off it, and not do things that bother it. And I am to wear sensible shoes with arch support. IN SUMMER. kill stab hate kill

I am feeling whiny and oppressed; and also, if packing extra poundage contributes, how am I gonna lose it if I have to keep off my feet?! (The college pool is open, but I find laps so unspeakably tedious I can't stick to them... On [ profile] sweh's advice I am looking into waterproof MP3 players, which would tidily solve my problem, but they seem to be much expense for low functionality.)

[1] One of the primary causes is tightness in the Achilles tendon and hamstrings. Yoga for almost a year? And I still have tightness there? what does it take
serinde: (body)
I haven't been to the Wednesday yoga class for several weeks, between training, conference, and ambushes of Duh. I did go today, whereupon the instructor greeted me, said it was good to see me, and then: "Wow, you're really losing weight!"

(This was particularly useful, as I felt like I was, but I didn't notice as how most of my clothes were appreciably different.) (No scale at present.)
serinde: (self-control)
[ profile] nedlnthred has been sick with death plague all week, and I thought I was avoiding it, but last night I was suddenly slammed by the Bus of Exhaustion; and this morning, though I slept tolerably well (there was one World War Cat taking place across my bed, and the neighbor started chipping ice off his walk at 5am), I'm feeling much the same. With a side bonus of throat tickle and swollenness! Whee!

I really, really cannot afford to be sick this week, which is going to be full of doom and wrath, so I'm trying to sleep it off. This of course utterly derails my plan of going to the Cooper-Hewitt with [ profile] elibalin today to see the 19th-century interiors exhibition going away at the end of the month. grrrr.
serinde: (feminine complaint)
Warning: Womb fluid content ahoy, and not the porn-y kind. )
[*] or other nationalities' representatives, don't step on my jokes


serinde: (Default)

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