I Am That Girl Now

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Oh, my aching head

You know, sleep is good. Sleep is an excellent thing. I really have to realize at some point that I am not 19 anymore and cannot effortlessly absorb staying up until 2 AM on Saturday without there being painful repercussions for days afterward. I just went to my Hub's office to steal some Excedrin. I dropped the bottle, spilling pills everywhere. When I finally got them back in the bottle and grabbed two pills for myself, I promptly dropped them. I was pretty worried that I was going to drop the water, too; when I'm tired, these days, I get pretty damn clumsy.

Water is another thing. Currently guzzling water. Even though I don't sweat nearly as much on weight-lifting days than on cardio days (by about a bucket's worth, I think), it still takes away crucial moisture. Combine that with the tired and the heat and oh, I'm so headachey.

On the up side, I noticed last night that I have quads. I mean, seriously, I never saw the damn things before, and lo, there they are; there's this little swoop on the side of my leg right above the knee. My evil calves seem to have trimmed down enough to show off my insane amount of muscle there, because I can make them change shape alarmingly by flexing my feet up and down. I can't see the back of me, so I can't tell what my hamstring-type muscles are up to, but I poked at them and they poked back, which seems encouraging. Arms are definitely less jiggly than they once were, and I can see more muscle peeking out from under the fat layer.

This bodes well. It seems to indicate that even while losing my mind to the "I can eat like everyone else does!" lie this past month, the exercise is still doing a good job. Muscle is good. Muscle is very good.

I have to admit, I have developed a rabid hatred for females of a certain body type-- the slender, streamlined ones that look like they've been made out of some kind of firm rubber. You don't see bones on these chicks, you don't see fat bulges, you don't see muscle, you just see an expanse of featureless, changeless skin. Nothing sags, nothing bounces, nothing moves, nothing pokes out. It's creepy. We have a few of these here in the office and while they're perfectly nice girls, I can't escape the feeling that they were poured into a mold and had skin spray-painted over the top, and that soon their alien overlords will send the command to kill all humans and these girls will smile perkily and smite us.

I understand fat. I understand skinny. I understand muscular. This body type, though, I do not get at all. I do not understand how it is possible, or how they are powered, and yet I see these girls everywhere. I fear what I do not understand, and I hate what I fear, so I have a powerful hate on for these gals. It's not nice of me, and it's not good, and I need to get over it. Gahhhhh.

I'm currently also full of hate toward various people at work. This probably has to do with the fact that they're bothering me while I'm tired and headachey and I don't want to deal with their petty shit. I should probably go home. Sadly, I have a big meeting in about half an hour. Possibly curling up under my desk and having a cry would help. Sigh.

Cut for length-- click to read more.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Oh, where to begin...

I need to stop having such long periods of time between posts that I feel the need to start each and every one with "I'm still alive!" Feh.

That said, I am still alive, so there's that. It is hotter in Chicago at the moment than it has been since the summer I moved here, and I had central a/c then (and no clue how damned lucky I was to have it, having never before lived anywhere that didn't have central a/c). Granted, that summer was also the summer of ComEd sucking complete ass, with power going out for long periods of time here and there around the city. The financial & political district of the Loop was hit with a day-long outage right around Labor Day, if I remember this correctly, and the mayor was so pissed that he held a news conference specifically to scream at ComEd in as public a setting as possible. ComEd tried to calm people by paying for food gone bad in the grocery stores and restaurants and homes caught in the worst outage areas (which were sometimes electricity-less for days on end), but by that point everyone was so mad that such attention was a mere drop in the bucket. Investigations were done showing that ComEd hadn't bothered keeping Chicago's electrical grid up to snuff for years on end, and oh, what a black eye that was for them. ComEd has been sucking up to Chicago for five years now in order to convince us to forget how radically they fucked up.

My point being, the electricity had better hold. It is insanely humid, and at 5 this morning it was 85 degrees. This may be as far down the thermometer as things have gone since yesterday, when it was less humid (thank God) but hit 100 degrees. Dear God.

I did tone things down for HIIT this morning-- drank water before and during, took the speed down a notch, kept a careful eye on my pace and breathing-- but I'm taking a certain amount of pride in the fact that I still did it, anyway. I may have periods of time when my eating suffers, but the exercise remains regular.

I'm finally back in gear all the way. It took a week to get there, inch by inch, loading myself back up with all the carefully-balanced habits. I got our lunches made for the week, and have selected four new recipes to try this week (and ordered the groceries to make them with) so that we can stop being bored with the same old things that I got so dependent on. Got the frozen faux-cheesecake fudgesicles made yesterday, although the heat was such that our freezer took all day to freeze them. I've admitted to myself that I really do need to have my last mini-meal of the day be a dessert-type, so I'm also going to be trying out a brownie recipe and a pumpkin cheesecake recipe from the BFL cookbook. I've been guzzling water all weekend. And, thank God, my Hub is also back in gear and has been hitting dinner out of the park night after night.

It's so weird how this goes. Up until Friday I was struggling hard just to remember why the hell I was doing this-- no, that's not quite it; I was struggling to be able to give a rat's ass. I knew what I was doing, I knew that if I got everything back on track that I would feel much, much better, but the Inner Cartman kept up the don't waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaanna! refrain. I was being both the petulant child and the frustrated mother at the same time. Exhausting.

It does, however, click back into place, given time and effort, and I feel okay now. I seriously need a nap-- we were up until 2 AM helping a friend install laminate flooring on Saturday, so it took forever to fall asleep last night-- but otherwise, I'm okay. I know how to do this stuff, it's just the give-a-shit that is occasionally lacking. Happily, it responds well to jump-starting, so if I start doing the right things again eventually I'll want to do them again.

In other news, I am in love with our financial advisors. It's such a huge relief to say, "I can handle the little stuff like savings accounts and making a budget and paying off credit cards and paying the bills, but beyond that I'm completely lost: HELP ME." Strangely, it was also a huge relief to have my Hub at that meeting with me. I've been the only one dealing with the finances for years now and suddenly he's at least caught up on the news, so to speak. Experts can convey the importance of these things in a way that I can't. I am unbelievably grateful. Yes, we're going to pay them money, but I'm grateful for the help nonetheless.

Work continues to blaze ahead. I'm going to try to remember to post here first thing in the morning, though, so that I can get my head on straight about this part of my life before I charge into work.

I am currently covered in tea tree oil-- my face is, at least. Apparently I have rosacia, which apparently has something to do with infected/inflamed sweat glands due to excess heat and sweating. Lord knows, I've been sweating like a Thanksgiving turkey on the last Wednesday of November, so the real question is how I managed to duck this before. Feh. This certainly answers the question of what my weird rash is, though, and if it responds to the tea tree oil then I don't have to get a prescription. Wheee.

It probably wouldn't do to take a nap on my desk when I'm bucking for a raise. Too bad. Must go get water instead.

Cut for length-- click to read more.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Taking a break

The good thing about actually working at work, as opposed to putzing around randomly and spending about half my time on the internet, as I was wont to do before, is that when I take a break, it feels like taking a break.

I do not have the new Harry Potter book yet. There's a long story involved, but mostly it involves meaning to do the pre-order on Amazon and putting it off for the past six months... and then only remembering about it on the day of, when every one of my friends started bouncing around and squeaking and clutching their freshly-delivered copies. No time for bookstores since, but it looks like we'll be able to drop by one on the way home. That'll be my indulgence this week, big time. And the good thing is that when I'm reading, I'm not eating.

(Which, by the way, is huge. I can remember once upon a time being incapable of reading without a bowl of chips or other repetetive-motion snack on hand. By only reading on the El for about a year, I seem to have trained myself out of it. Excellent!)

I'm continuing on learning how to live healthy out of the corner of my eye, so to speak. If I were driving, it would be one of the mirrors I check every minute or so. (I'm a paranoid driver, when I have the chance to drive, and want to make sure those fuckers aren't creeping up my tailpipe.) This is interesting. I keep having to remind myself that I'm not weak, I'm just applying my mental muscles in ways that they're not used to-- using mental freeweights instead of the machines, running outside versus on the treadmill, that sort of thing. (Oh, I am SO addicted to metaphor today.) So, just like every other phase of this thing, I'm going to trip and fall and blunder around a bit, and the answer is still the same that it's always been: get back up and keep going, dammit.

Don't take the easy days for granted.

Anything worth doing well is worth doing badly.

I didn't have a free meal at the house this week, but I did two stupid ones two days in a row: first tapas, then an Indian buffet. ::smacks self on forehead:: Okay, remember how I went through all the work of identifying things I shouldn't do, reasons I should go to restaurants in the first place? Tapas and buffets are at restaurants, granted, but they also fall firmly into the "I don't know when to stop, because I am a doof who feels entitled to her explody sensations" category. Remind me sometime: the reason for restaurants is to order ONE MEAL off the menu, not to graze or to compete with my Hub over who can eat the most of those little honey dumplings before sheer sweetness overload kicks in.

I'm bored with the food we have, which is dangerous. I need to sit down and research and get a few more recipes into our weekly cycle, because lasagna and chili and sloppy joes have all appeared twice now and... well, boredom. I need more side salads in my life. I also need to get things tweaked so that I once again have a hand-held way of tracking my calories/fat grams/protein grams/carb grams for the day; I know for a fact that I'm having creep set in. Creep is bad.

I went to bed on time last night but couldn't sleep until well after midnight. Grrr.

It is hot and humid and nasty, and yet so far I'm dealing a lot better with that, exercise-wise, than before. The magic acclimation process may be kicking in, I don't know. I do know that I had the HIIT kicked up again today and was just fine with it, even did five minutes of LISS after it for good measure, and when I finished I was absolutely drenched. Seriously, no joke, you could wring out my sports bra and have yourself a smelly little puddle. My Hub tried to give me a congratulatory hug and then lept back, squawking, "Holy crap, you're so sweaty I slid off." Ahhh. Tomorrow will be the second time I try the higher weights on the upper body workout, so we'll see how that goes.

I think the main thing I'm learning (slowly, slowly) is to recognize when I'm considering food just so I can procrastinate on something. And oh, my. I have the feeling that half the reason I stopped accomplishing anything else in my life over the past year and a half was because every time I worked on something else, something inside me would flip out, think it was too hard, and try to lure me away with food. And, of course, I'd always be lured. Rather than learning to concentrate, I learned to stop concentrating on anything except the healthy lifestyle thang, which is okay in the short run, but in the long run... hell. No wonder so many people gain the weight back; there are so damn many mental transitions and it's like starting from scratch on every one of them. The only comfort here is that this isn't completely unknown: it may be a new topic, but the learning pattern is familiar.

I've written a few pages in the past few days, and sketched out the outline for a few more scenes. Lord knows I have enough babblepage on this book tucked away in my trusty laptop-- universe building, character background, hundreds of shots at all-encompassing outlines-- that I have enough information available to work with. THREE YEARS since I had the idea for this book, folks. THREE YEARS. I'm tired of being scared of doing it badly; I can't ever have a finished draft if I never write the rough draft, so dammit, I'm writing. It's definitely rougher than I'd like, and I'm out of practice, but anything worth doing well is worth doing badly and so I'm pressing on.

It does make me feel better to accomplish things. I remind myself of that, now. It's like I'm my own mommy. "Think of how much better you'll feel after it's done!" This is a phrase that used to make me roll my eyes and work even harder at procrastinating, but I seem to have a sample of that feeling saved and tucked into my heart, so when I tell myself to think of it, I feel it, briefly, and it makes me want to feel that glow and that pride and that delight again. So onward I chug.

It's not really that I'm taking too much on, it's more that I'm taking ownership of things that I've been avoiding for years. We'll see how this goes. I like being this person, dammit, and I want to keep being her.

A glorious epiphany this weekend led to me realizing that indeed, this is not the 1950s, and I'm more likely to be Ward Cleaver than June when at last my Hub and I decide to procreate. More, I realized (and asked, and confirmed) that my Hub is possibly destined for the role of househusband. He's better at dealing with small children than I am, he has much more patience than I have, and he has the ability to bestow infinite amounts of forgiveness-- which is one thign that I find awfully hard to master. You won't believe what a relief that was. I mean, for all my ingrained feminism, I still fell into the trap of thinking that I was going to have to be everything, here-- Ultimate Mommy and the main breadwinner-- and it was a real shock to realize that my Hub is just as suited for the role of primary caregiver as I am to for the role of breadwinner. We've completely inverted the traditional male/female thing, here. I do all the huge household-steering things and he's always been on the upkeep end-- and it has finally occurred to me that no, we don't have to be equal partners in every portion of this relationship; as long as everything gets covered, it's okay if the whole thing gets inverted.

What's funniest is that my Hub is one of the few men I know who is perfectly comfortable with this scenario. When I asked him about the idea of him staying home with the babies if I end up in a career where I make enough money to support us all, he looked at me with the "duh!" face and said, "Well, yeah. What'd you think we were going to do?"

I love my husband. Oh, my God, I love him so much. It would figure that I'd turn out to be one of the women who would rather cut off a limb than stay at home with small children, and he'd turn out to be one of the men who'd rather stay home with the kids than go to work. We are, in our way, an excellent team.

We've started talking about looking at kids as an option in 2010 or '11. We've got our first meeting with a financial advisor on Friday afternoon, and when I talked to her she sounded optimistic about getting us into good position to get the student loans paid off and a house down-payment saved for by that point. (Not to mention, by that point our credit will finally be completely rehabilitated. Thank God.) Personally, we're trying to look at the things we want to do before we have kids, and see if there's a way we can fit them in.

Half the panic I had the other week was this sense that I'm turning 30 soon and that so much that I wanted to do, I haven't done. Somehow, it's relieving a lot of the angst and panic to have a five-year plan in place. I feel so, so, so much better. Now I just have to get a handle on this avoidance-eating, and I'll be golden.

Cut for length-- click to read more.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Still alive, I swear

And actually doing very well, in spite of facing the scale and going "eek!" this morning. I'm good with it, really; one of the joys of maintenance is having numbers past which I Shall Not Go, and this is entirely too close to that weight, so I've snapped out of the whiny, self-involved, but I wanna! mentality that has been rocking me around the block this whole month. I was very good today during meetings that ate up the entire morning (and featured pastries... LOTS of pastries). And I have had two excellent HIIT sessions now, Wednesday and then this morning, and yesterday I pushed up all my upper-body weights by 2.5 lbs and did pretty well with it (by which I mean that in spite of my "aaaaaaah!" response, I did not give up and pushed through and roared at the end).


The challenge right now, as I see it, is being able to do more than one big thing at once. I have to be able to keep the health and fitness thing rolling without having to concentrate on it constantly, I have to, because, well, face it, I kind of put a lot of my life on hold for this whole thing. The challenge now is to be able to get my career rolling, to build my own department from scratch over the next five years, and not gain the damn weight back in the meantime. Truth be told, I also want to be able to get my book written by my 30th birthday, which means that I need to get the fuck going RIGHT NOW. I want to be established in a career, able to afford a house, and already published by the time I turn my life over to the mommy thing (a prospect, I must tell you, which scares the living crap out of me-- I don't wanna! noooo!), and I want to be fit and strong and fast and flexible, too.

Yeah, that's a lot on one woman's plate. Particularly considering, you know, that I've had to put together my own pile of motivation and ambition because my Hub is so laid back that I have to push that much harder to make this family roll forward. Yeah, that makes me nervous. I don't want to end up resenting him for being himself, so I just have to get the hang of being the captain in this relationship.

Lots of forward movement on the career thing this week: lots and lots and lots. Thing is, I discovered that one of my weird quirks is that I am very scared that I can't actually do this, although I'm not aware of that on a very conscious level-- it pops up when I'm actually having to work things out and take the things I've planned and DO them. I keep ending up stalling in mid-motion and wanting to eat, instead, and I know what it is, I know it's a blatant distraction/avoidance technique and comforting activity in one-- which doesn't make it any easier to stop feeling, I tell you. I think it will pass, as I get more comfortable with this. I've put myself into this place in my life where I love to plan, I love to analyze, but the actual implementation process scares the hell out of me. And yet, I'm distinctly dissatisfied with not implementing, with not moving forward, and in that dissatisfaction I want to turn to food, too. So really, I'm going to be challenged either way, and if I go forward at least I get other stuff out of it, so the challenge won't be for nothing.


I described the feeling last night to my Hub as "not so much juggling, as... falling down the stairs." It's got the same sort of circular rolling motion, but I feel a lot less in control than I feel I ought to, and it feels a lot more like I'm the one in free-fall than the one controlling the falling objects, you know?

I don't know. I have to get this going. I want to have a career, have a house, and have the stupid college loans paid off in five years, and it's a hell of a challenge. We've got a first consultation with our new financial advisor next Friday, though, so that's good. Of all the things that will make me feel better about life, having some professional guidance on the financial stuff is tops on the list. TOPS. That'll be a huge weight off my shoulders.

I have to deal with the fact that I am not doing well on my first twelve-week BFL challenge, and that's my own damn fault. The exercise has been going very, very well lately, but the food went wacko. Half of it is that my Hub all but drops off the face of the earth when it gets hot out; he doesn't want to cook, or go anywhere, or really do anything except hide near the air conditioner. So I have to do more than I'm used to, and when I'm already kicking up the effort on everything else in my life, it gets me very cranky. I need some pampering, dammit. I feel like it's fine if he doesn't have ambition about work, or about improving himself, or whatever, but if I'm going to kick it up in those areas to take care of us, I need a hand elsewhere. Of course, that means that if I tell him this he gets all sad and guilty, and then I start getting paranoid that my wanting more things in life is making his life unneccessarily rough. Sigh. I hate being the captain. And I hate having to tell him that I need to be taken care of. It's probably the Midwestern Protestant upbringing: I feel that I shouldn't need things, and the logic that follows that indicates that if my needs are coincidentally fulfilled, it's okay, but if I have to ask then I'm a) weak and b) being a pain. Feh. I need to get over that.

I think the thing here is that I need to know what I want, and have everything I do point in that direction. I want stronger relationships with my friends, my family, and my husband. I want a rewarding career that makes good money. I want a strong, healthy body. I want to have this eating thing under control. I want to know how to relax. I want to live in a vigorous neighborhood in a comfortable place. I want to be published. I want to travel. And I want to get this life thing figured out.

So... setbacks in some areas, forward motion in others. Maybe that's how the juggling thing works. Just as long as I don't let anything fall down completely, I guess, it's still working.

Cut for length-- click to read more.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Still on the horse

Couldn't sleep again for the longest time last night. This time it wasn't so much the overactive brain; no, first it was because I had "Come On Eileen" stuck in my head and then later I was just too damn warm. I was fine when my Hub was still off doing his late-night stuff, but when he came to bed he was not only blocking the air conditioner's lovely arctic breeze but his not inconsiderable body heat was radiating right at me. Eventually I stripped off my ancient worn-out t-shirt and flopped about on top of the covers in my skivvies. Of course that meant that I woke up in the middle of the night freezing to death. Body temperature is a fiendish thing.

So tired now. Bleah.

I am, however, bouncing back. I've kicked a lot of ass at work this week, and I did get my HIIT done yesterday after work, and I'm on my third day of eating purely on-plan. This of course has caused my Inner Cartman to conclude that three days of good behavior has not only made up for this weekend AND the weekend before, but has surely bought me enough wiggle-room for another episode of Carbs, Sugar and Fat, Oh My! The Inner Cartman is an idiot, but a persuasive one. Grrr.

Actually, this is a short one today. Very busy. Gotta go.

Cut for length-- click to read more.

Monday, July 11, 2005

So, I'm freakin'.

It came to my attention last night that I have spent the past week or so completely freaking out. I'm not usually aware of my own emotions, so things like this escape my notice until my mysterious symptoms get so severe that I have to sit down and figure out what in the hell is going on. This time, we had the weird facial rash (real cute), the inconsolable need to binge, the insomnia, and the activity paralysis on any number of projects. I was lying awake last night, staring at the ceiling, and finally thought "Hrm, I have this weird tightness in the front of my chest and my heart is all thumpy, and... hey, I'm scared and stressed and freaked out!" By God, I am overwhelmed and scared to death. It's nice to know that. It was entirely possible that I was going to go eat a fleet of Twinkies from that fear without ever acknowledging it as such.

I'm still freaking out, which is bad, and now I'm exhausted as well from being up half the night with my spinny brain. I had a very bad time of it for a while there and was seriously considering saying FUCK IT to everything. I didn't want to go anywhere, I didn't want to do anything, I wanted to sit in one place and hide with my books and my television and my cat. I didn't even want to talk to my Hub. Seriously, in retrospect I really should have realized days and days ago that I wasn't feeling constrained by my lifestyle, I was feeling trapped by my life. My reaction to such is to flee and hide and stay very still; I must've been a small prey animal in a former life.

Overwhelmed. Completely overwhelmed. When my Hub came to bed, we spent about an hour talking (and, okay, having me cry on him quite a bit) and it improved matters a bit. I get it into my head sometimes that not only do I have the world on my shoulders, but that nobody else can help out with it, and that if I don't keep it up then everything will crash and everybody will blame me for doing it wrong. I start hoarding up my trust, rationalizing my disinclination to deputize by thinking that I could do it better, that it won't take long, that this person is overworked anyway, that this was supposed to be my responsibility and it's wrong to push it on someone else...

Anyway. That's just not good for me. Not only do I get nothing accomplished because I've frozen in place (and that just makes it worse, because then I'm behind! ack!), but it clearly starts eating away at my health. Pun intended. By the time my Hub got to bed last night I had given myself a stomachache from all the worrying, and-- since he has a long history of doing the same thing-- when I admitted to this, he promptly sent me to the bathroom to take a Pepcid. Good man.


The good news is that last night's breakdown did get me to realize and admit what was going on in my noggin; the bad news is that since I got so little sleep, I overslept and now I have to do cardio when I get home, instead of already having it done. I do not in any way want to contemplate what I've eaten this weekend, or find out what damage I've done to myself, so in the interests of keeping myself on-plan this week I'm giving myself until Friday to weigh in and am filing this weekend's food in the "let bygones be bygones" category. I'm too exhausted to learn from myself, and that was too close of a close call.

I have a tan now, though. Good lord. I've been pure white for years on end, due to avoiding activity, the great outdoors, and clothing that covered me less than your average burka, so my tan astonishes me. I'm also astonishing myself with how muscle-y my arms feel (in spite of the omnipresent fat wobble hiding the definition); I wish it would translate into being able to lift more, though. Hell, I should just kick up the weight next UBWO and go ahead and do it. Tired of being wussy.

Trying to dig out, here at work. My only plan for the day involves being able to see the surface of my desk by the end of it. Ugh.

Anyway, I'm still among the living. I hated our houseguests with a passion, FYI; they weren't bad people, and they did a very good job of taking off and entertaining themselves most of the time they were here, and my Hub did indeed make their care and feeding his primary responsibility, but... bleah. I had nothing in common with them and they pushed my buttons and I wanted very much to kick one of them in the teeth. Mental note: the next time my Hub has guests, I should vacate. Sigh.

Cut for length-- click to read more.

Thursday, July 07, 2005


So hungry. Lunch in 20 minutes with Hub. Currently waiting on a call from a customer. Glaring at phone.

To distract myself, I will write out my new plan for my evening ritual:

8:30 PM (yes, 8:30, I know, I know, it's cutting down my unencumbered time and/or TV time to only about two hours, screw it): get up off the damn couch and get to work.

  • Set out clothes for the morning.

  • Set out pills for the morning.

  • Exercise prep: if weights are the next day, set out weights, prep laptop for iTunes access, put out Palm for workout timing; if HIIT is the next day, make sure iPod is charged, get the litter box cleaned and the herb plants watered.

  • 9:00 PM: Last meal of the day. Go eat.

    9:15 PM: Brush teeth, wash face, put on PJs.

    9:30 PM: Kiss Hub good night. Go to bed.

    Cut for length-- click to read more.

    This month is never going to end, I swear

    Weekend before last, we were over-booked socially. This last weekend, we spent the entire thing at the in-laws'. As of tonight, we have guests for the weekend-- internet friends of my Hub's whom I have met a total of once before. Next Thursday is the Bastille Day 5K, that Saturday is the Chinatown 5K, we're supposed to meet an out-of-town friend for brunch Sunday morning and go to another friend's place for the entire afternoon/evening for fireworks and a birthday celebration. If I stop too long to think about this, I may throw myself on the floor and have a tantrum. TOO MUCH SHIT TO DO. TOO LITTLE TIME.

    I need a plan to escape this weekend. I already warned my Hub that when I'm feeling hemmed in and trapped by humanity, even his company is too much; I'm going to flee the house on Saturday and go shopping. Not sure what I'm going shopping for. I have a strange love of going to "visit" the stuff in the stores, checking in on it, looking at it, taking comfort in the fact that it exists and is interesting. Maybe I should go to the library-- same thing, just with books, and I could take some home for free!

    The apartment is a mess, I'm low on sleep, and the cooking I intended to get done last night didn't get done because by the time I got done with a) cooking dinner, b) going to the store for supplies, and c) throwing together my 9 PM mini-meal, it was so totally time for me to go to bed.

    I did, however, get to bed earlier than normal, and I desperately needed it. My Hub, on the other hand, in spite of being too tired to cook, or clean, or really accomplish anything involving prep for the guests, still stayed up for several hours after I hit the hay. I don't know what to do about this. (Rather, I don't know what to do that doesn't involve shaking him until his brains rattle out.) He knows he's tired. He is aware that extra sleep would make him feel better. I think he realizes that he's not getting stuff done because he's tired... and yet, knowledge doesn't appear to make a difference. I think that for him, more physically demanding things such as cooking, cleaning, trips to the store, and anything involving movement come in second in importance to anything that can be accomplished on his computer. As long as he has enough energy to sit in front of the computer, he doesn't feel that there's a real problem.

    I, on the other hand, require not only enough energy to sit on my ass, but also require the energy to exercise, cook, clean, and still have the oomph to give a shit about eating right. I need sleep.

    I may be reaching some sort of breaking point where my Hub's attitude toward taking care of himself is concerned. If he wants to eat crap food, fine. Whatever. If he wants to avoid exercising, I'm not going to force him. I've been sidestepping the sleep issue, too, but it's getting to the point where it is affecting me, and while I try hard to stay hands-off on peoples' personal choices when those choices are only affecting them, this is a whole different story.

    I think I'm going to lay down the law on the sleep thing. For myself, I will go to bed at 9:30 PM, period. Beyond that, I'm going to make it clear that his choices are his own, but that the choice has come down to a) he chooses to get enough sleep or b) he chooses not to get enough sleep and still have to take care of his half of things. I'm through with letting him sleep until I'm done with my exercise. I'm not going to pick up the slack on packing lunches anymore, and I'm not going to be nice about it when he's repeatedly too tired to cook on his dinner nights and wants to go out or order food instead. And the next time he wants to have guests over, I'll go halvsies on prepping for them but seriously, that's it. I am sick of being overly nice about this stuff.

    Hell, I seem to be reaching this point on a lot of things this week. Peoples' methods of childrearing may appall me on a personal level, but as long as it doesn't impact my life, I feel that I have no right to say anything. When their parenting choices repeatedly cause otherwise-entirely-adult gatherings to degenerate into chaos, that's something else. If you want to goof around with your child by teaching them how to hit people, fine, whatever; it's when you don't bother to make it clear to the child that this is not allowed outside of the home that you get a problem. ("Kid, you do not hit Grandma. Ever. EVER.") If you're perpetually running late, but the only person it only hurts is you, fine, whatever; when you run late to such an amazing degree that it causes people dependent upon you to miss their flights home, that's another thing.


    The main thing with my Hub, at least, is to find a useful way of communicating the problem without causing him to tip over from guilt. He does this thing where it's like he thinks if he hates himself enough for something, then it's okay. I don't want him to hate himself-- not only because I love him and want him to see the good stuff about himself and yadda yadda smushikins, but because his paralyzing guilt doesn't help me any. Yes, dear, it's a lovely gesture to wear that sackcloth and ashes and whip yourself and all, but none of this is getting the garbage out to the dumpster. What would really impress me would be actual action, actual change. An overabundance of self-flagillation is mostly making me suspect that this is a subconscious way of avoiding change and action.

    What's worse is that I don't have any real room to bitch on that one because I know I do the same thing myself. If I feel really really bad about it, I don't have to actually do something about it, right? Sigh.

    And, anyway.

    I've finally hashed out a way to exercise the precise muscle that needs help on the front of my calves, instead of the gigantic muscles in the back (which, trust me, need no help). Result: ow ow ow. Oops.

    Guests will apparently be on their way to some kind of 'do in the far far suburbs by the time I hit the treadmill tomorrow morning. This is of the good, because we've been trying to figure out all week how I was going to manage HIIT at 5:30 AM with guests trying to sleep in the next room. Yet another good reason to have a gym membership.

    Cut for length-- click to read more.

    Wednesday, July 06, 2005

    Still alive

    Day 2 of the July 4th Weekend Fallout Regrouping Strategy. Which is to say: I tried. I really tried. But boy, did I lose it.

    There's really nothing like an eager-to-please mother-in-law to completely guilt me. (Except for possibly her son, my darling Hub, whose guilt-inducing powers know no limits.) I'm pretty sure she didn't mean to, but she was just trying so hard, and getting it all wrong, and my Hub was trying to run interference but he didn't have much to work with, and I was trapped in the house with four screaming, stampeding children most of the weekend, and... hello, Taco Bell, hello gummy worms, hello cheeseburgers and hot dogs fresh off the grill, hello local potato chips, hello, ice cream. I tried to get back on track on Monday, since half the day was spent at home, but I continued to lose it. I did get my exercise in. Had to bring along my wee 30-lb weight set to do it, but I did it. So there's that, at least.

    Those of you who notice such things may notice that my binge-meter has been re-set. I made it five weeks and then KABOOM. First Memorial Day, now the Fourth. Beware of three-day holiday weekends, that's all I can say.

    So, back on the horse. I've managed to get past the stage where I hate the horse, and past the "oh my God, what have I done, I should throw myself out a window because I've RUINED EVERYTHING" phase that comes after the horse-hatred phase. I've been chanting a sort of cobbled-together prayer or mantra in my head (thanks to Mae and Confusciously, both of whom I kept thinking of):

    Help me to appreciate the easy days as a blessing, not a right;

    Help me to remember that the hard days never last forever, even if it feels that way;

    Help me to believe that anything worth doing is worth doing badly-- yes, even if I never get any better at it, and yes, even if it's in front of people.

    I'm not 100% yet. My water intake is iffy and I'm having fierce psychological cravings that I've had to put off with entire packs of sugarless gum; I resented the hell out of having to wake up this morning and dragged ass on my way to the treadmill. I keep forgetting that the third leg of the health tripod, after diet and exercise, is SLEEP; my lunatic husband keeps staying up late and getting up early and that's fine for him, since he eats lousy and sits around anyway, but if I want to be able to eat well and get shit done, I need to provide myself with adequate rest.

    Speaking of the rest, the reason that this was really brought home to me was that all of last week I did stupid things, clumsy things, pissy things, and forgetful things. I dropped a bowl of oatmeal. Locked myself out of the apartment. Used my debit card for the rental car instead of the credit card (and had to scrabble around yesterday to come up with enough cash in the bank so that nothing would bounce). Accidentally dumped boiling hot water on my hand and burned myself. Tripped over the cat and fell down. Completely miscommunicated with my Hub regarding laundry. Got lost. Left my moisturizer at my mother-in-law's house. Forgot to take my BC pill one morning (doubled up the next morning and am now living in fear until my period: NO KIDS, PLEASE GOD, NO KIDS; I'M TOO DAMN YOUNG!). Snapped at the children. Gave wrong answers to my Hub. Gave a truck driver the finger.

    I really need more sleep.

    That said, I did have a good time this weekend for one reason: I got to bond with my Hub again. We are a brilliant road-trip team and are transcendently goofy when spending time in a 3-ft. deep wading pool. We giggled together in bed after lights-out for hours, like we were having a damn slumber party (with sex, hooray! best kind!). And we got to watch our wedding video while showing it to my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, neither of whom made it to the wedding, and snuggle on the couch and remember the day. Lovely altogether. I adore that man.

    So. Tonight I have to fix my Palm and do some cooking (we're about to be invaded by guests for the weekend, imagine my joy) for next week, which means I'll have to hit the grocery store first. I have some planning that I have to do... more about that later.

    Glad to be back, though. Hi, folks!

    Cut for length-- click to read more.