Archives for posts with tag: exercise

Rainy weather has returned to the Pacific northwest. I’m okay with it – I like the rain. It’s pure unfortunate coincidence that my arthritis pain flares up in wet weather. Also, right before wet weather. Also, when the weather isn’t entirely certain whether it wants to be wet or dry, or chilly, or cold… I mean, it’s not much of an exaggeration to admit that my pain subsides most notably in very hot, dry weather in hot, dry climates… and that’s not even “for sure”. I can’t count on it.

Rainy autumn days aren’t even rare or surprising around here.

I can at least count on change. Change is. I hurt right now, and I see the sun peaking out from behind morning rain clouds. Well, okay… so… this moment is painful, but the next one? It’s not a given, and I don’t know. Allowing room for uncertainty, in this instance, is supremely helpful. Rain or not, and whether or not I am in pain, I’ve got a life to live.

Perhaps a walk later?

I started out for a walk yesterday. The rain took a sudden turn for the worse and the tickle became a downpour that wasn’t well-suited to long walks. I shrugged it off and returned home. I glance at the time, and at the sunshine filling the studio, for now, with warmth and light. Maybe the sunshine will still be around later this afternoon?

I take a breath, and relax. I stretch, and get up from my chair and move around some. I take a moment to recall whether I’ve already taken anything for my pain today…? Maybe it’s time. The day continues, as days tend to do.

It’s time to begin again.

I’ve been sleeping very well and deeply for a few days now. It’s lovely. It’s a rare thing. I’m enjoying waking rested each morning, with the lingering remnants of my dreams colliding with each other as I make my morning coffee. The impositions of changing my living space so substantially haven’t really been “all that” this time around, which is also very nice. I feel comfortable here. I sip my coffee smiling, in spite of a stiff neck and some morning pain. I appreciate where life has taken me, so far. I’m grateful for my good fortune, and for the outcomes of my efforts and my decisions (and those shared with my Traveling Partner).

Another day.

My coffee is good this morning. I sip it contentedly, over the news, shortly after meditation. Yoga helped some with the pain in my shoulder and neck. Maybe not “enough”, but it seems rather early to be adding an Rx pain relief solution to the day. I had intended to start the day with a walk, but it seemed so dark at the time, I decided against it. It now seems like a much better time, but it’s also close to the time I generally start my work day. lol I decide to make taking that walk a nice break later in the morning. I enjoy having the choice to do that.

Simple self-care is so critical to the quality of my experience of my life, generally. I wish I’d understood that much sooner! Sleep. Enough water. A nutritious, calorie-limited diet. Carefully managed healthcare. Exercise. Meditation. I mean… every one of those things is probably equally important… none of them seem like negotiable details or “frivolities”… Are you taking the best care of yourself that you know how to? (Am I taking the best care of myself that I know how to?)

I think over the day ahead, and consider what needs to get done, and how best to fit in caring for myself, along the way… I look around my studio… There are still some details that don’t feel “moved in”, in this one room. Chaos. My personal chaos, reflected in my working space. I shrug to myself, in acknowledgement more than as an excuse. I think ahead to the next weekend, while also admitting there are some things I can easily work into the week – no need to wait. My industrious Traveling Partner pushes his projects ahead fairly aggressively. He sets a good pace; it’s not a competition. I smile, thinking about our tidy home, and the team work that gets us here, together.

…I remember the paintings in the back of the car. I brought them home from the office yesterday. I remind myself to retrieve them from the car before the heat of the day turns the garage into one of the gates of hell. (I exaggerate, but it has been quite hot.) My “to do list” grows slowly, as I sip my coffee and think about the day ahead. I should get on that. It’s already time to begin again. 😀

Weird day at work. I’m ready to move on from that.

What’s this really about? (It’s probably a metaphor)

I had a moment of aggravating conversation at one point during my day, with a relative stranger, and on a rather delicate topic – my weight. Yikes. How does a person approach someone they don’t know well at all, and with a rather mundane mixture of erroneous assumptions and internal narrative, come up with a good rationalization to open the door on the topic of weight and weight management with an irritable middle-aged fat chick on the bus?? Inquiring minds want to know, because frankly, I know me – and I would not attempt it. I must have grown some over the years. I politely listened to the litany of “have you tried”s, followed by what may very well be Amazon’s Top Ten Self-Help Books to Read in 2018, finished off with a hearty portion of “I had a friend who…”

<sigh>

  1. Mind your own business
  2. You don’t know me
  3. Damn, I’m so done with that conversation

I think what made it most distasteful (beyond the fact that I did not solicit an opinion on the subject, nor seek conversation with the individual), was the way off assumptions – beginning with the underlying assumption that all of the health concerns of someone who carries more weight than is aesthetically pleasing to another human being are therefore to do with the weight. Keep your fucking aesthetics to yourself, please. lol I’ve got my own – and trust me, I’m already hard enough on myself without additional bullshit and baggage offered up for free by a stranger who probably needs some therapy, themselves. Seriously. Damn. Move along.

There’s already a surplus of constant nagging and criticism in the world, generally. It’s not necessary, or in most cases at all helpful, to add to that steaming pile. Let it go. Don’t think a fat chick is attractive? Well, the next step is not a conversation starter like “you know, you’d be cute if…” or “I don’t mind older gals, but…” (yes, people say this shit actually out loud). If you don’t think a fat chick is attractive… walk the fuck on. It’s that simple. You don’t find someone hot? They aren’t obligated to meet that need for you, you have options in life, and suggesting they change for you needn’t be among those. You have no claim on their time or appearance, and it isn’t even a little bit appropriate to “make suggestions” for “doing something about it”. Just stop.

It got me thinking, though, on my way home, and specifically got me thinking about The Things That Work versus The Things That Do Not Work – and how subjective that is, and also how easily led we really are as creatures. Think about it; if you are content, comfortable, and healthy and someone markets thin-ness to you sufficiently repetitively with enough catchy slogans, you may quickly find yourself wondering “how to get rid of these extra pounds” (that you don’t have in the first place) in order to meet some ideal of beauty (that no one actually measures up to) or risk being a failure… in life… in work… in the bedroom. Yikes. Heavy. (lol, Yeah, I went there.) Self-help fads of all kinds are constantly pushed on us – but first, we’re made to feel inadequate and discontent, to soften us up and make us hungry to spend our money on that shiny new life being dangled out there… just out of reach. Some of that shit works… for someone. Some of it works for “many” people. Very little of it works for “most” people. I assure you, chances are, none of it works for everyone. It just doesn’t. Buuuuuut… find the thing that works for you, whatever that is, and stick with that… change happens. Just don’t get distracted by the slow rate of change, or the lack of real impact that change may (at least initially) have… because… oops! Back to square one as you (we, I, whatever) hop right back on the treadmill, cycling through self-help tips, tricks, and techniques that helped at least one other person at least once, but possibly not you, ever… Well that doesn’t sound at all productive. :-\ (I hate wasting my precious limited lifetime; I have already wasted so much.)

I end up there, too – well, I have. “Try. Fail. Begin again. Try something else. Fail. Begin again.” Over and over – forgetting that the most effective and efficient approach is to remember what works – then “Try. Fail. Begin that working thing precisely all over again and do that. Try. Fail. Begin again with that very thing that was just working until I failed myself, and do that.” This is a path to growth and change. It looks very like a darker stranger path, though, one that leads to a whole lot of endless bottomless nowhere, which is annoying because “Try. Fail. Do exactly what has never ever worked, and do it harder” over and over looks rather similar, but does not lead to change, or growth, only frustration and eventual madness. Knock that shit off. Also avoid the pitfalls of “Try. Fail. Flail wildly through all the try-able things without committing to anything or giving anything a chance to work. Begin again – but don’t give any one thing a second chance, and if something starts to work – sabotage that shit immediately” – personal experience suggests this is also not a winning strategy. lol Yep. Done those, too. Very human. My results, as a result, have varied – a lot.

I guess sorting through all the shit to try is a place to begin again. Sift out what hasn’t worked in a frank and honest way. Reflect on what has worked – and why it worked, if that is knowable. Repeat what works best – for you. Your results may vary. You are having your own experience. How is a writer (however self-help-ish-ly they write) hundreds of miles and many years removed from your experience actually going to know with any certainty what will work for you? I mean… better than you? Well…  maybe. Some stuff. Okay. I get you on that – me too. I do like data. I’ve worked hard to be as self-aware as I am, and still have a lot of work to do in that area. Adulting is fucking hard. But, once you’ve tried something, and are able to acknowledge based on experience whether it works for you or not… why repeat what doesn’t work? Seems very impractical. Although…

Some stuff just need practice. For some practices, the incremental changes over time are not recognizably easy to see. Fuck – that all just got a lot more complicated, didn’t it? Do you know yourself? Can you recognize what does work, in order to rule out what does not? Based on what data? Whose opinion? Who are you – and where do you want to get in life??

It begins so simply, so often; in practice, selected changes, desired, sought changes can be difficult. It’s the “in practice” portion of the experience that I find is the challenge… What am I practicing? Is it actually what works for me? Who decided that? If it wasn’t me – why would I trust that opinion over my own experience of myself? …And am I actually practicing?

Today, the needle moved on the scale (in the desired direction, I mean). Fucking finally. Tomorrow? Of course. I begin again. 🙂

This morning I’m sitting out politics. I’m sitting out routine. I’m casually dissing habits. I’m enjoying an odd summer morning that dropped into the mild spring week unexpectedly. Sure, in a few minutes I’ll put on my shoes, grab my keys, and make a point of locking the door behind me before I head to work. I’m still effectively adulting, which puts a smile on my face; I’m not trying to.

This morning practice pays off. I woke on time, and enjoyed a leisurely shower. I sat down to write, and spent the time, instead, looking at new baby pictures shared by friends who are new parents, and watching the sun rise. The windows are open to the morning breeze, and the heat of the coming day has not yet set in. I sip my coffee quietly, listening to the red-wing blackbirds calling each other across the marsh; later they will visit the feeder, but they too seem to be enjoying a lazy morning.

Did I say it is a “lazy” morning? That sounds a tad harsh. I’m just relaxing over my coffee, and things are mostly already quite tidy and orderly here. There is no urgency to force myself through routines that tend to be habitual most days. I smile and wonder if this is how my firm habits break; random summer mornings in the midst of spring?

The changes in diet and medication seem to be working out. There are verbs involved, always and of course. It’s one of the “hard things” in my experience. It requires practice. Mindfulness. Repetition. More practice. Some beginning again. Okay – a lot of beginning again. Plenty of study. Some incremental changes over time. Self-awareness. The will to choose change. More practice. Some crying. Plenty of self-acceptance. Persistence. Fearless self-advocacy. Over-coming learned helplessness. More mindfulness. Fewer calories. More walking. Still fewer calories. More yoga. Fewer calories. Fuck. I’m hungry! Am I actually hungry? More mindfulness. LOL Verbs. My results vary. But… I’m making progress, a little at a time, and wishing there were some other word (concept?) than “dieting” to hold this thought, because I don’t see myself as “dieting” so much as changing how I eat, how I live, how I understand the role food plays in my experience, and how I take advantage of the existing body of cognitive science to turn my brain injury into an ally on this part of the journey, instead of my nemesis. 🙂

Every bit of all of this – steps on a journey.

It’s a lovely morning to begin again.