This may be TMI, but...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I've stayed at 2400 mg of sodium today, and I've have to hit the bathroom six times today with a full to bursting bladder. Granted, I've also had close to 70 ounces of water, but it's running straight through me instead of being stored, which is amazing.

Oops -- make that seven times...

Oh, that explains the palpitations

In addition to the Xanax I'm now taking for chronic insomnia (I scaled back from the prescribed .5 mg because that made me sleep for 11 hours and left me feeling stoned for the rest of the day -- not cool), I've made another change in my lifestyle. Granted, this change is less than 24 hours old, but somehow I suspect it'll help with things such as my tendency to retain water like a camel, my bouts of heart hiccups, and a doc-in-the-box's observation a couple of months ago that my blood pressure was slightly above normal.

Last night, I got home from work, having only had a South Beach meal bar, a chicken Caesar wrap and a bag of baked Lay's chips all day, and made a rather large dinner because I was starving. The dinner consisted of two salami sandwiches, four dill pickles, and two servings of cheddar cheese soy chips.

I then headed off to Home Depot to get a new shop vac filter and some light fixtures for the bathroom, and realized that I felt dreadful -- my chest ached, I felt lightheaded, yadda yadda. I grabbed a bottle of water to sip while I shopped, got the stuff and headed home, where I promptly popped an aspirin, potassium and magnesium supplements and felt better. The supplements got me to thinking (I take them because I usually run low on potassium, and magnesium is recommended by a lot of nutritionists), so I looked up the sodium content of my dinner.

Holy Christ on a pogo stick. In one meal I'd consumed about 140% of the daily recommended intake of sodium. In one meal. I'm surprised my heart didn't just explode. And I don't want to think about how much salt I've been cheerfully shoving down all these years.

I did some more research, and it seems that 2400 mg of sodium is a reasonable amount to consume on a daily basis (from that number, you can figure out how much I'd eaten with dinner last night). As an experiment, I'm going to try and stay within that number for a week and see how I feel. So far today I've had about 1200 mg with breakfast (oatmeal and milk) and lunch (roasted chicken breasts, a touch of gyros meat, a small scoop of roasted potatoes, salad, tabouleh and tsatsiki), so I can have a meal bar (350 mg) this afternoon if I get hungry, and round out the evening with 850 mg for dinner.

And yes, I'm drinking 64 ounces of water a day. This should be interesting.

The House: Mudding and Priming is Done

Saturday, October 11, 2008

And would've been done on Tuesday, had I not contracted a majorly unpleasant bug from Lyndon (who told me upon returning from Atlanta that he didn't want to worry me but he'd felt dreadful over the weekend and up until Tuesday, whereupon he landed in Atlanta and felt 100% better. I then listed my symptoms to him and he said, "Oh, yeah, that's how I felt!" Ah...) which pretty much kept me off ladders since Tuesday. As I felt better Thursday evening, however, I went over and finished the last of the mudding -- and judging from the amount of powder I raised from sanding the hallway walls, the immediate purchase of a Shop-Vac would be a goodness indeed.

Yesterday and today was priming, well, pretty much everything. I suspect that raising my arms tomorrow will be something of an adventure, and when I came home Lyndon said, "Darling, you have a big stripe of paint on your face that makes you look like Adam Ant." And lo, I did -- it was even in the right direction. Of course I didn't have the frock coat, boots or groupies, but I did warble a line or two from "Kings of the Wild Frontier."

Tomorrow I need to give the ceiling another coat, and then it's time to apply the texture paint. Weelah! And to make things even better, our new bookcases arrived so Lyndon picked them up -- next weekend, I stain and varnish them. Seeing as we've decided we need to paint the bathroom cabinets and doors as well (they're a dingy cream that just isn't going to go with the blue and white), I see a HVLP sprayer in my immediate future, yes I do.

The House: I am a Golden Goddess of Drywall

Monday, October 6, 2008

Considering that the last time I did any mudding was, oh, 15.5 years ago, the skill set came back remarkably quickly. In four hours I was able to get the top half of the hallway smoothly mudded, and patched a bunch of areas around the bathroom. With luck and a tailwind I should finish all the mudding tomorrow night, and then we can primer the crap out of it, put the textured paint on and the topcoat.

And THEN we get to tile. Whee!!!

In the meantime, the Bodacious Brit keeps asking when we'll start painting the master bath. Granted, he's not being pushy so much as wanting to know when I need him, but I have to keep saying, "Not yet."

I did explain that today I have to finish the hallway mudding and the patching around the rest of the room; while I'm doing that, he could pull the toilet out of the toilet stall and remove the baseboards in preparation for painting and tiling. Hmm -- I may tape the doorway and cut in the ceiling first thing this afternoon so that he can start painting in there while I mud the rest of the bath.

Oh, and then he goes to Atlanta tomorrow for three days. His managers have such good timing.

The House

Friday, October 3, 2008

So, we bought a house. The reason why I'm posting about it here is that I am about to don my cowl and mask and become Spackle Woman, Maid of Mortar, DIY Warrior Princess (catchphrase: "Criminals, prepare to be renovated!") and overhaul the master bathroom, which is...well...

Okay, you have a 15' x 12' room with am L-shaped 2-sink vanity, Roman tub, glass shower enclosure, a 6' hallway leading to the bedroom, and a sloping ceiling which means the wall closest to the interior of the house is 10' tall. In reality the room is more like 12' x 12' because one interior corner is cut off and leads to the toilet stall, and the other corner leads to the walk-in closet -- the space between them is taken up by the hallway.

1) The walls have painted-over wallpaper (the paint is bright mustard yellow and the wallpaper is an extraordinarily hideous blue and red paisley. Euuuuuuu...) which is badly damaged and has to come off; after this, the drywall must be repaired, primed, covered with textured paint and painted with an Aegean blue topcoat. The ceiling will be painted semi-gloss white. Part of this requires me to climb up a 6' ladder to get at the top of the 10' ceiling -- intellectually I know that a fall of five feet won't kill me, but it could certainly break a couple of bones.

2) The main floor is carpeted and the toilet stall has a linoleum floor; all of this is coming up, along with the baseboards, and is being replaced with white textured porcelain tile and suede white coving tile.

3) The fixtures (two 4" centerpoint sink faucets and drains, one Roman tub faucet and drain, one shower faucet and showerhead, one towel rod, two round towel holders, one toilet paper holder) are ancient gold-colored things that are corroded in places; they will be replaced with brushed nickel fittings.

4) The shower door and glass wall are sheathed in tarnished gold trim and need to be replaced. Because of the odd shape of the half-glass wall (it sits on a tile wall next to the far end of the tub) I may have to have the pros come in and do this.

5) The vanity lights are tarnished gold and need to be replaced with brushed nickel vanity lights, and the glass acorn light fixtures in the toilet stall and closet replaced with nice dome lights.

The exercise angle is, I'm doing all of this renovation work myself, with the possible exception of the shower stall door. Lyndon is helping me as brute force and painter's apprentice, but the mudding, paint cutting in, tiling, plumbing and wiring is being done by yours truly. So far I have badly banged up knuckles and a blister on the underside of my right index finger, my arms feel like limp noodles from all the wallpaper scraping, my feet hurt like hell, my Achilles bursa needs to be iced every night, and I'm having the time of my life.

Haven't lost any weight so far, but I think I'm also retaining water as a result of muscle and joint inflammation. I do know that my leg muscles are starting to firm up something wicked. And yes, pictures will be posted once the job is done.

Exercise is coming along nicely

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I did my walk last night, and found out tonight while on a walk that the complex's weight room is open again in the evenings (you need to use your garage door opener to unlock the door -- this was broken, oh, seven years or so ago, and only fixed recently after someone broke in and stole the office's flatscreen TV).

Which makes Mellie very happy for two reasons. One, I know from experience that I can do all the aerobics in the world and I won't lose a frigging ounce. Add weightlifting to that, however, and the fat starts coming off (what can I say -- I'm 3/4 Eastern European. They breed women who can pull a plow after a bad winter where they had to eat the ox). Besides, I always feel better when I'm carrying serious muscle tissue around -- screw toning, I want to see bulges in all the right places.

Two, we close on the house a week from Monday, after which we have three weeks to do some serious painting and tile installation, not to mention moving over all the delicate/electronic stuff, all of which will be much easier to do with nominal muscle strength. As it is, I'm probably going to be utterly and completely wiped once we complete the move since I keep forgetting that I'm not 16 anymore. Still, I'm also not 70, so I should be able to do all this without toppling over with muscle spasms.

Thursday's total mileage: 1.25 miles. 484.05 miles to Isengard.
Friday's total mileage: 1 mile. 483.05 miles to Isengard.

No, really, I AM back this time

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What can I say -- the last month has been spent looking for a house, podcasting, dealing with assorted weather issues and other stuff. And I haven't been all that good about walking (bad Mellie, no biscuit), but that should be remedied now that --

-- ta-da! --

-- we're buying a house. We close on the 29th, move in on the 18th, and after that I'm leaving the freaking treadmill UP permanently so that I can hop on it any time I like, even after 10 PM, and do my walk. That is, if I have any energy after the renovations we're planning for the offices (walls need to be painted), master bath (walls need to be painted, carpet pulled up, a tile floor put down) and kitchen (cabinets need to be painted). Whee.

In other news, my consistently malfunctioning reproductive system is at it again, and while I'm waiting for the Crimson Tide to make its belated appearance (and there goes all my male readers) I'm having runs of PVCs (premature ventricular contractions, or as I refer to them, "heart hiccups") due to hormone fluctuations.

Yes, my doctor knows about them. No, the beta blockers he gives me don't work. Oddly enough, getting mildly hammered does, so I may indulge in a rare and precious mojito tonight. My body -- you know you want it.

And speaking of things to want, man, I really, REALLY want ice cream right now. Probably due to the hormone fluctuations as it's not something I normally crave, but a bowl of Tin Roof would really hit the spot.

Wednesday's total mileage: 1.25 miles. 485.30 miles to Isengard.

I'm back

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Now that the period of Tour de France/Conestoga/Worldcon/Armadillocon is over and done with, it's back to the walking for me (and that's it for now, since the weight room at the leasing office is closed outside of office hours due to a recent robbery. Bastards).

On the upside, I haven't gained back the initial 10-pound loss, and I did a full 30 minutes last night (in a pouring rainstorm, mind you -- I came back to the apartment, dripping wet, and told Lyndon that it was a bit humid out there) without a problem. On the other hand, I haven't lost any more weight in the intervening month. So now it's time to kick the walking back into gear, and I've gotten some nice suggestions from Taffy on tasty low-carb stuff to eat for breakfast.

Update on the Achilles bursitis -- if I'm good about taking my ibuprofen and wearing my walking shoes, it seems to settle down. If I wear forget the ibu and wear dress shoes, oh dear God. This whole getting older thing sucks.

I am also seriously considering turning Jordan into a pair of black-and-white slippers. It's bad enough that I have King Hell insomnia, but him wiggling next to me, headbutting me for attenion and nipping my butt at 4:00 AM is really, REALLY not helping the situation. I don't want to take sleeping aids if I can avoid them, but Jesus, this cat is working my last nerve.

Tuesday's total mileage: 1.25 miles. 486.55 miles to Isengard.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Lost 1.4 pounds over the weekend, and I don't really know why. I didn't eat much, true, but I also sprawled around the house watching the Tour or doing work for a web client so it's hardly as if I was out there doing aerobics. I also added a Super B Complex vitamin to the SAM-e to help with metabolization and prevent an unsafe increase in homocysteine, but that was this morning so it doesn't really explain the weight drop over the weekend. Oh, well -- stop complaining and enjoy it, Mel.

I also just realized that Worldcon is three weeks away and I really, REALLY need to find a nice dress for the Hugos (the semiprozine I'm associated with is up for a Hugo -- we don't have a shot in hell, but I'm going to dress for the occasion nonetheless). Where is Albin when I need him?

Chugging Onwards

Friday, July 11, 2008

Sorry about not posting recently -- I've been walking, but I've also been watching the Tour de France and I'm somewhat sleep-deprived because of the little black and white bastard, so I'm shamefully behind in all of my blogs.

However, as of this morning I officially scored a 10 pound loss since all of this started. Yes, true, this has been going on for, what, four months now, but I also feel really good because while the weight loss is slow, it's not bouncing up and down on a weekly basis. For me in this particular situation, slow is good.

The new walking shoes have really helped -- walking with them is a pleasure, and my heel only starts hurting when I switch back to my dress shoes and have to go walking for any distance. Now I just need to start hauling my still-large butt to the gym so that I can lift weights on a regular basis, because a muscled Melanie is a happy Melanie.

I've also tried something for the last month, not so much for weight loss but to counteract the constant exhaustion and aching joints I've had for the first part of the year. There's a supplement called SAM-e that is a synthetic form of a compound formed naturally in the body from the essential amino acid methionine and adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy-producing compound found in all cells in the body. SAMe is believed to work by being a methyl group donor in many reactions in the body. After donating the methyl group, it is converted to a compound called S-adenosyl-homocysteine.

People use SAMe for a variety of reasons -- osteoarthritis (SAM-e appears to diminish osteoarthritis pain as effectively as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication), depression (it has been hypothesized that SAMe increases the availaibility of neurotransmitter serotonin and dopamine), and liver disease (preliminary research suggests it may help to normalize liver enzyme levels and help with cholestasis). I read about it in a fitness magazine and thought, "well, I don't have liver problems but osteoarthritis pain and depression -- oh, yeah."

So I started taking a 400 mg pill every day about a month ago, and I do believe there's been a marked improvement in both my knees and my mood. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties I also haven't been retaining water like a camel, which is frigging marvelous. There are side effects -- it can produce manic behavior and cause insomnia -- which is why you're supposed to taper off to a 200 mg pill every other day once you've recharged your ATP levels. Since I have thyroid issues anyway and haven't noticed any manic behavior (insomnia, yes, but I've always had problems with that and the recent insomnia has been prompted by a small black and white feline from the inner circle of Hell), I'm continuing with the daily 400 mg pill for at least the next few weeks. I'll let you know how it goes.

Holy Achilles bursa, Batman!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Okay, so last Saturday I used my Google-fu and found Run On!, a good running shoe store in Richardson with people who will evaluate your stride, measure your feet, fit proper shoes to you, et al. I headed over there and was somewhat surprised at the crowd gathered around the cash registers and the fitting area -- they actually had a sign-up sheet so that you'd get fitted in the order you arrived. Then again, the fact that they were slammed did seem to indicate that they knew what they were doing. So I signed in and got a nice woman named Joanna who studied my stride, decided that I was a moderate pronator with low arches, and brought out three pairs of walking shoes -- New Balance, Saucony, and Nike -- with arch support and side stabilizers.

After trying them all on and walking up and down the store, I decided that the Nike Air Structure Triax pair were the best fit -- they provided arch support without it becoming annoying, and the toe box was nice and roomy. After I picked them, she informed me with a grin that they were on sale for $50 -- "I usually don't tell folks what the shoes cost until after they pick a pair, because I don't want the price to affect their judgement, but you really lucked out here!" she said.

So I bought them, took them home, went for a walk and HOLY SHIT. No bursitis pain. WHATSOEVER. My calves ached a bit from suddenly being expected to work again, but it didn't feel like I was walking on ground glass anymore. Woohoo! I then got slammed with work this week so I haven't been as good as I should've been, but I just went out for a half hour walk and I feel fabulous! It's amazing how not being in pain will help with regards to exercise.

And I have to admit, rather shyly and in a very small voice, that tonight...I was tempted to run. Just for a short stretch. I didn't, partially because I didn't want to scare the locals and partially because I'd like to make sure that the bursitis is completely healed before I start putting that sort of strain on my Achilles tendon, but still -- me, running. Whoda thunk it?

Oh, I also had a pleasant little egoboo burst while trying on shoes -- after Joanna said that I had low arches, I explained that I was flatfooted as a child, and in fact wore orthopedic shoes as a toddler until I got fed up with them and started tossing them in the toilet (after the third toss, Mom decided that I could live with plain old gymshoes). Joanna laughed and said that it seemed like everyone was wearing orthopedic shoes in the 1970s.

Of course, I was wearing mine in the 1960's. Hee, hee, hee...

Saturday's total mileage: .94 miles. 489.99 miles to Isengard.
Tuesday's total mileage: .94 miles. 489.05 miles to Isengard.
Thursday's total mileage: 1.25 miles. 487.80 miles to Isengard.

Ha. You thought I was gone, didn't you?

Friday, June 20, 2008

No, I just had a rather severe problem with achilles bursitis that I needed to work on. According to my doctor, I'm supposed to ice it, take ibuprofen religiously, and go get a decent pair of walking shoes from somewhere where I can be fit properly.

I'm picking up the shoes this weekend, but last night I couldn't stand it anymore and went out for a walk. Only managed 22.5 minutes before I was limping again, dammit, but at least I was out there.

I've also added SAM-e as a supplement, not so much for weight loss as to offset the fact that I felt exhausted, depressed and my knees sound like popcorn. I'm now six days into the course and I have to say that I do see an improvement -- I'm not getting crackles in my knees and neck as badly, and I was able to get through a VERY stressful week without crashing. Now if I can just get my ankle working properly again, I'll be a happy camper.

Thursday's total mileage: .94 miles. 490.93 miles to Isengard.

Oh, dear Lord

Friday, May 30, 2008

Four straight hours of cleaning my office, the foyer, the kitchen and living room. Considering that I was drenched in sweat at the end of it, that's got to count for SOMETHING in the way of exercising, right? Especially since my feet felt like they wanted to explode and my bad Achilles tendon was screaming for mercy. Good thing we finally got our medical insurance cards -- now I can go in to the doctor and get that checked out.

Oh, and I was down another pound this morning. Like I said, it's all good and I'm happy, but I really do need to avoid obsessing about it.

No, I'm not dead

Thursday, May 29, 2008

And I have been walking, although not that regularly -- however, I HAVE been busting a move cleaning the joint in preparation for an incoming houseguest, so Mellie has been exercising.

I'm also freaking out the tiniest bit, because I've lost 3 pounds over the last three days. This is freaking me out because I KNOW from past experience that this is when I sabotage myself by thinking, "Okay, how can we increase this? What can I do to make it go even faster? Should I reduce my calories even more? Drink gallons of water? WHAT?" I really, REALLY need to stop that particular line of thinking, because it usually explodes in my face.

I do kinda wonder if the change in my eating habits is what's causing the weight loss, however -- I usually have breakfast, then a big lunch around 11:00 AM, then something at night. This week, however, I've been having breakfast, then a midmorning snack (usually a protein bar), then a light lunch at 1:00 PM, then dinner. I know that stringing out his meals like that really helped Lyndon lose weight; I didn't think it would work for me, but maybe I was full of poo. We'll just have to see.

Recent total mileage: 1.9 miles. 491.87 miles to Isengard.

My ovaries hate me

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Jesus, Allah and Zoroaster, you can poke divots a half inch deep along my shinbones from all the water I'm retaining, and I had a fun little episode of tachycardia just as we started recording Episode 6 tonight. I swear, the picosecond our health insurance goes through I'm going into the hoohoo doctor and getting back on Yasmin, because this flirting with heart failure is just bullshit.

Thursday's total mileage: 1.25 miles. 493.77 miles to Isengard.

Sweating to the Scrubbies

Monday, May 12, 2008

Not bad - it's just barely 10:00 PM and I've already got my workout done. I also got a chance to watch much of Season 6 of SCRUBS in the process; on the one hand, it makes walking a heck of a lot more entertaining. On the other hand, cracking up at the recap episode while doing 2.1 MPH leaves you somewhat dizzy and breathless.

Monday's total mileage: 1.36 miles. 495.02 miles to Isengard.

Back on the track again

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I don't know if it was the first week of work, getting my beloved caffeine back or what, but damn, I woke up feeling great today. Got out of the house at a reasonable hour, spent money getting recycling bins and other useful items at IKEA, came home and degreased the stovetop/scrubbed the drip pans and burners, did a 30 minute walk, recorded, edited and uploaded Episode 5 of Don't Quit Your Day Job, went to Whole Foods and got a chicken caesar salad, chicken breasts and side dishes and sushi (I really shouldn't shop when I'm hungry), watched WALK TALL, went out for another 30 minute walk, and now I may just take a shower and call it a night.

Saturday's total mileage: 2.5 miles. 496.38 miles to Isengard.

Yeah, you know that whole "no soft drinks" thing?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Fuck that noise. I haven't done dick exercise-wise since Monday because I was shattered by the time I got home, and by yesterday I was running on fumes -- exhausted, cold, too tired to be foul-tempered, I couldn't drum up the energy to get a word in edgewise on Archerr's gangbang show, and I barely got through recording Ep 4 of Don't Quit Your Day Job without going nap-naps on the keyboard. It was bad, people

After I crawled into my comforter around 9 PM, conked out for two hours and woke up just wanting to die, I said screw this and had a glass of Diet Coke with Lime. Within an hour, I was up and cheerfully editing the rest of DQYDJ's episode 4, then stayed up until 3 listening to We're Mean Because You're Stupid and the gangbang show. I have had one eight-ounce can of Coke Zero today, and I powered through the day and will be going home to write this evening, just as soon as I give JJ a lot of love because the neurotic sonofabitch has started pulling his leg hair out again from separation anxiety.

Yes, I know caffeine is a drug. Yes, I know I should cut it and artificial sweeteners out of my life. But frankly, this is not the time to do it because I can't afford to turn into a zombie right now.

I hurt

Monday, May 5, 2008

Frigging malfunctioning ovaries that cause me to swell up with water and it won't come OFF. Arrgh. And now that I'm staying away from all soft drinks it also means that I'm not getting any sweet, sweet caffeine because the only caffeinated beverages I can drink now are coffee and tea, and I loathe coffee and don't have any unsweetened tea on hand.

So I'm bloated. And aching. And going through caffeine withdrawal. And I want to crawl into bed and hibernate until November. Feh.

No Soft Drinks: Day 1
Sunday's total mileage: .62 miles. 498.88 miles to Isengard.
Weight work:

Set #1
Set #2
Set #3
Set #4
Bench Presses
Triceps Press
Overhead Press
Ab Crunches

This is gonna be hard

Sunday, May 4, 2008

As of, well, right now, I'm giving up soft drinks for at least two weeks. It's been brought to my attention that diet soft drinks, which are all I drink, can promote premature insulin release, which then grabs onto whatever blood sugar is available in the bloodstream and turns it into -- tra la -- fat.

I probably go through a two-liter bottle every 2-3 days. I have no idea if that's considered a lot (it probably is, with my luck), but for now it's got to go.

*sob* I'll miss you, Diet Coke with Lime...

Saturday's total mileage: 1.25 miles. 499.51 miles to Isengard.

Oh, dear sweet bleeding Deity Of Your Choice

Friday, May 2, 2008

I'm sweating like a horse.

Allow me to explain. For some women, good solid aerobics is all they need to peel off weight. I envy them, I truly do, because I can do aerobics until the cows come home, and while it give me nice tone in my legs and strengthens my heart, it does bubkes for weight loss. I'm 3/4 Eastern European -- I come from a people where they bred women who could pull a plow after a bad winter when they had to eat the ox. I'm genetically designed to be well-muscled, and when all that wonderful energy-soaking tissue isn't available my body looks at the available energy in the system, figures, "Well, might as well store it against a bad winter -- you never know when the Tsar's men will burn the crops," and suddenly I'm wearing fat jeans again.

So I have returned to the weights this week, and dear Glory but I can tell the difference. For one thing, I could probably rehydrate the Sahara with my sweat after a weight session -- I'm gulping water like it's going out of style, and minutes later it bubbles up out of my pores. Yeah, I know, lovely image there, but it's true. It also tells me that la bod is actually doing real work for a change, and work uses energy, and energy comes from stored fat and carbs in my system, and that leads to a Mellie who will be able to shop in the regular women's section one day soon.

And I'm serious about that -- when I get all of this padding off, I intend to turn into SF Writer Barbie. I will be hitting every damn store in the mall and trying clothes on left, right and central, even if I don't intend on buying a single thing. And it will be fun.

Thursday's total mileage: .62 miles. 500.14 miles to Isengard.
Weight work:

Set #1
Set #2
Set #3
Set #4
Lat Pulldowns
Standing Pulldowns
Dumbbell Curls
Dumbbell Rows

*scree*scree*scree* revisited

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

And this is why I don't weigh myself on a regular basis. I can tell from my face, extremities and the fact that I can wear a pair of jeans I've NEVER been able to fit in before that I have gotten smaller.

The lying fuck of a rat-bastard scale, however, informs me that not only have I only lost four pounds over six weeks, I have also miraculously GAINED back five pounds in one day. Which probably has much to do with the Crimson Tide and my body's habit of channeling your average camel and retaining enough water to make it across the Sahara.

See, Walt, this is why I don't look at the scale. Consider yourself damn lucky that you're penile-enhanced.

Back in the closet it goes, asshat piece of machinery that it is. And now, my friends, Mellie gets serious about throwing the iron around, because that is the ONLY way for this Eastern European to lose acceptable amounts of poundage.

Tuesday's total mileage: 1.32 miles. 500.76 miles to Isengard.


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The title, by the way, is the closest I can come to the Psycho theme, which accurately reflects how I've been feeling today (well, that and this comic).

I can always tell when the Crimson Tide is about to make its grand appearance -- I start sloshing with retained water because my electrolytes are bouncing all over the place, and my temper turns homicidal. I should have done a stockup at Kroger this afternoon, but I took one look at the jammed parking lot and turned around. If I had to wade through that crowd, blood would have been spilt.

The exercise helps, of course. Still, I would give a pretty penny for a five day dose of Celebrex and a quart of Blue Bell Tin Roof ice cream. And maybe a good old fashioned bloodbath with lots of swordswomen. Yeah.

Monday's total mileage: 1.32 miles. 502.08 miles to Isengard.

Want to see who my hero is?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Taffy Carlisle Huffington of Pod Is My Copilot has spent the last 10 months achieving a single goal: to lose 150 pounds in one year. She is closing in on her goal, and should achieve it on schedule in June.

Go here to see what she did. Taffy, darlin', you are one hell of an inspiration!

Good to know!

Note to self: before sitting down to record a brand new podcast, go off and do your walk because otherwise you'll spend 6 -8 hours recording the podcast, editing the podcast, setting up a website, creating artwork, uploading MP3s to LibSyn and doing the other work that goes into a podcast launch, and after the sun comes up and you're blearily staring at your screen trying to remember what the squiggly black marks mean is not the best time to go exercise.

Mmm, planning this out a bit more in advance might have been a good idea, yes?

So, no walks on Friday and Saturday, but I did keep the calories within acceptable levels so that's not necessarily a huge downer. Now if I can just convince the black and white cat that I am not into bestiality and he should stop trying to push his head up my butt while I'm sleeping, everything would be good!

Sunday's total mileage: 503.40 miles to Isengard.
Weight work:

Set #1
Set #2
Set #3
Set #4
Split Squat
Stiff Legged Deadlift
Calf Raises


Thursday, April 24, 2008

I'm sitting here wearing a pair of jeans that I bought about two years ago. They were an emergency purchase, grabbed just before we flew to England to attend my SIL's wedding, and even though they were kinda small I bought them because I knew I wasn't going to get through an entire week on just two pairs of old black jeans, which were the only things I had at the time that fit me.

And I was right -- the new jeans didn't really fit very well. I couldn't sit comfortably in them, and when I took them off I had this horrible red welt all around my waist from the band cutting into my skin. I struggled through the week in England, then as soon as I got home I put them on my "too small" shelf with all the clothes that didn't fit me anymore. And there they sat for two years, despite occasional try-ons, because they still didn't fit.

This morning, while getting dressed, I decided to jump the gun a little bit. I was going to hold off trying them on again until May 1, when I did my weigh-in, but since all of my shorts and jeans were in the wash I figured, "What the hell."

Go back to the first sentence in this post. I'm sitting here wearing a pair of jeans... I'm not gasping for breath or wincing in pain. I don't feel as if they're slowly sawing me in half. They're still the tiniest bit snug, but I wouldn't shy away from wearing them in public.

Oh, yeah.

Thursday's total mileage: 504.65 miles to Isengard.

Back to throwing iron around

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Huzzah! Today marks my return to weightlifting, and oh dear, where did my upper body musculature go? I know I had some muscles, somewhere...

As shown in this shot (yes, I know it's blurred -- it was taken with my cameraphone), you can see Your Hostess just after finishing 40 minutes of cardio and before she prepares to throw the iron around. Just be grateful you can't see the rivulets of sweat coursing off my brow -- it ain't pretty, folks.

By the way, I'm posting this picture, unflattering as it is, to prove a point -- I am not some slender willow fretting about putting on three ounces after having an extra helping of celery at lunch. I'm a big ol' gal, without a doubt. From the side, I look like a duck. I'm hefty. And I need to lose at least 140 pounds. Whee...

Which is why I'm in the gym lifting weights, walking on the treadmill and generally doing things that are considered beneficial for my health. Yeah, I know I look nothing like most of the other folks in the gym, and Lord knows I'm not wearing stylish exercise togs. In fact, I think I'm wearing a Dave Matthews Band cap, Windycon t-shirt, cutoff sweatpants, black crew socks and my Dr. Scholl gymshoes in that pic. Fabulous!

Thing is, I'm not there to impress anyone with my fashion sense, and I really don't give a rat's ass what someone thinks when they look at me. I suspect too many people in my condition are shamed into thinking that they can't step foot into a gym, looking the way they do -- the perfect people might point and laugh, after all.

My attitude? "Bite me." I'm there to sweat, grunt, swear, haul weights, flop my fat around, and perform whatever I need to do in order to build muscles, strengthen bones and keep my heart pumping for years to come. If the perfect people don't like what they see, that's what the gym TV's are for.

Oh, yeah -- despite the fact that I'm a big ol' gal, my resting heart rate is currently 77. Normal is anywhere between 70 - 80. I've had it as low as 65, and I intend to get it even lower this time. And the calves are starting to cut in quite nicely, thank you very much.

Wednesday's total mileage: 505.99 miles to Isengard.

Weight work:

Set #1
Set #2
Set #3
Set #4
Triceps Press
Shoulder Press
Ab Crunches

Spring has sprung

Yes, we have seen the last of the cool, pleasant days in the clavicle of Texas until October or so. I don't necessarily mind the heat all that much, but the humidity just makes me want to flop onto a recliner posed in front of a strategic air vent and swill ice water.

On the plus side, I now have a nice short bob so the sweat on the back of my neck manages to evaporate, which came in handy as I plodded around the complex this evening. I may have to just suck it up and start using the treadmill again (which is good because it's in the A/C, but bad because it's pretty much relentless and stopping to take a break is somewhat problematic).

Oh, also had a kickass job interview today. Think good thoughts for me, please!

Tuesday's total mileage: 507.33 miles to Isengard.

Catching Up

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sorry about that, folks. I've been sort of bad about the updates over the last two days. Thursday I don't know what happened, and Friday I was up until 2:00 AM or so doing a podcast with some very crazy folks. Nonetheless, I got back on the horse yesterday, and I'm about to go out and do tonight's walk with all the very, VERY chatty birds out there. I thought birds slept during the night -- shows what I know.

More when I come back from the walk.

LATER: Yeah, so that didn't go quite as well as I'd hoped, mainly because JJ came down to the door with me in the hopes that I'd let him go outside. Normally he's an indoor cat, but I know he gets very bored so sometimes I'll let him go out and follow him around the apartment building while he checks out trees, bushes, that sort of thing. After fifteen minutes or so, I pick him up and take him in the house, no problem.

Not tonight. He went out, rolled around on the sidewalk as per usual, went over to the A/C units to inspect them, then dove into a trio of bushes. I waited for him to come out.

Nothing. "JJ?" I call.

I see this little head poke out of the bushes and look at me as if I'm a total stranger, and he made this noise that I'd never heard him make before -- the only way I can describe it is as a warning meow (with more of a growly purr on the end of it).

So I stand there for a minute or two, waiting for him to come out. When he doesn't, I decide to pry open the bushes and see what's happening -- and the little bastard yowls at me. Thinking maybe he's stuck on something, I try to reach in...

...and he claws my fingers.

The FUCK? In the six years that I've had him, JJ has never, EVER scratched me on purpose. I jump back, pissed off, then try to prod him out with my foot. Yowling even louder, he takes a swipe at my leg (luckily protected by thick sweatpants and my gymshoes).

Time for the big guns. I pick up the water bottle, uncap it and dump it on the bush. Very reluctantly, he slinks out and heads to the front door, still giving me that warning sound every time I get near him. VERY cautiously, I open the door and he shoots upstairs.

Well, I have to follow in order to clean off the blood now dripping from my left hand. After doing that and dabbing on some triple antibiotic, I give JJ (who is giving me a foul look) some treats, refill the water bottle and head out on my walk, figuring that we both need to calm down before we can figure out what the hell was going on. When I get back, he's waiting on the rug inside the foyer.

Okay, I know he's bored stupid. Maybe he just wants to spend some time outside. So I open the door -- after a moment's hesitation, he goes out, and I sit down on the stoop to wait for him to do whatever it is he needs to do. Kill a bird, piss on a tree, whatever.

So what does he do? Rub his head against the brickwork, then head back to the door and meow piteously. Son of a bitch. I open the door and he STREAKS back in, as if freaked out of his tiny little head.

I figured he needed some TLC, so I spent twenty minutes playing with his rod-and-reel cat toy, then gave him a good brushing and reassured him that he's my favorite black cat. He's now snoozing quite happily on his bed, and I'm still wondering what the whole bush problem was all about -- I don't know if he was scared by something and was hiding or what.

I do know that he's not going outside again anytime soon. He'll just have to wait until we get a house with a yard that we can enclose with a cat-proof fence (aka the type that gives an animal wearing a collar a mild shock if it tries to cross it). Then I'll toss a collar on him and he can be the Great Black Hunter as much as he likes.

In the meantime, damn, my fingers hurt.

Saturday's total mileage: 510.01 miles to Isengard
Sunday's total mileage: 508.67 miles to Isengard

A short one

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I'm two weeks away from my first weigh-in since I started all the walking. As I explained to Walt, the reason why I'm not weighing myself more often, even on a weekly basis, is because I know from past experience that if:

  • there's a significant loss I'll celebrate by pigging out, and

  • if there's no loss or (please God, no) a gain, I'll spiral into a self-loathing depression, which is tiresome.

So I figure a weigh-in every couple of months is satisfactory. For day-to-day purposes, I'm basing things on how well I fit into my jeans. I have a collection of them across a spectrum of sizes, and as I posted earlier I can now get into the largest of the sizes, albeit with a certain degree of muffin toppage. I figure that in two weeks much of that will be gone, and I can wear the jeans comfortably (i.e. sit down in them without breathing problems or stopping blood flow to my lower body). When I get to a certain set of jeans, I'll know I'm at the weight I was in 2003, which was the lowest I'd been since returning to the States.

Wednesday's total mileage: 511.35 miles to Isengard.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I am a happy podcast-listening walker! Not only did We're Mean Because You're Stupid post a new ep yesterday, not only did the QCast Connection post a new episode today, but so did Pod Is My Copilot in time for tonight's walk, and Taylor the Latte Boy said the sweetest things about my phone calls to other podcasts! I love me some Taylor, Taffy and Rodan (and Walt, Nessa and Holly. And Michael, Mister Bee and British John. Oh, hell, I love you all).

Unfortunately, I only did 30 minutes tonight because I did my back, which now feels like I got punched right between the shoulder blades. As a result, walking upright was sorta painful. Yes, I am falling apart at a rate of knots, people -- pretty soon, the Bodacious Brit will have to take my Zimmer frame in and have it pimped.

On the plus side, the legs are starting to show even more signs of muscle development, and I figure I'm about two weeks away from fitting comfortably into the jeans I haven't been able to wear for a year or so (I can get them ON now, mind you, but there is serious muffin toppage when I do and that shit ain't right). So that's all good.

Tuesday's total mileage: 512.69 miles to Isengard.

Oh, dear Glory

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Now you know what I looked like when I was sixteen. Even then, I looked like I was plotting something...

Create Fake Magazine Covers with your own picture at

Of course, the scary thing is that I still look recognizably like me, as this picture of me at 35 demonstrates.

To be honest, there are baby pictures of me at 1 year old where it's totally obvious it's me. The Bodacious Brit says that I don't age much, and I'm starting to think he's right.


Monday, April 14, 2008

Which is how I'm feeling, thanks to all the freaking tree sex going on out there and my sinuses going completely apeshit. What I really, REALLY want to do is crawl into bed and hibernate until September.

What I did anyway is haul my ass out to Stonebriar to order a new pair of glasses (my left earpiece snapped off yesterday, and I have rimless glasses so there's almost no way to fix this. Did I mention that I have a job interview tomorrow? Fabulous...), pick up some new tank shells for interview purposes, do laundry, and go out there into the vegetative smegma and get my walk in for today. At least I had a new episode of We're Mean Because You're Stupid to keep me company, she said, giving The QCast Connection a meaningful look.

Monday's total mileage: 513.94 miles to Isengard.

Yeah, so...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I skipped the walk yesterday, mainly because I got sucked into finishing this jacket for a friend and when I looked up it was 2:00 AM and I figured, "Screw it, I'm tired."

But I did the walk tonight, and the whole complex has this wonderful woody smell from all the downed trees that reminds me of...actually, I'm not sure. Band camp? All I know is that it smells yummy, and has some mildly erotic connotations because of 1) the age I was at when I first smelled it and 2) the person who was carbonating my hormones at that time. Completely and utterly unavailable, of course, but Lord, he was fine. If I could pull a Peggy Sue Got Married dealie and mentally travel back to that point in time, I do believe I'd take the opportunity to give him a slow, thorough up-and-down look. And then I'd smile.

I bet I could make him blush. Of course, making him moan would be so much more fun...

Um. Did I mention that the exercise was having a beneficial effect on my libido? Yeah.

Saturday's total mileage: 515.28 miles to Isengard. Which means I've covered just under 20 miles so far. Nicht sehr schlect, ja?

Just in case you thought I was some kind of saint

Friday, April 11, 2008

I'm not. Yes, I've been good about doing the walking and keeping an eye on what I eat, but sometimes I also think, "Fuck it" and fling caution to the winds.

Such as today, when breakfast was two pieces of leftover deep dish pizza. Mmm...deep dish. We're lucky enough to have a really good Chicago-style pizza place here (called, appropriately enough, Chicago St. Pizza), and by now they recognize my voice when I call and order a medium deep dish, sausage only, for pickup.

Then this afternoon I had an unusual but intense craving for good ice cream. Since the Paciugo in the new strip mall across the street STILL isn't open, dammit, I settled for a double scoop cone of Amaretto and Cheesecake ice cream from Marble Slab Creamery. Good stuff, Maynard, and it hit the spot nicely.

Yeah, I could probably lose weight faster if I ate nothing but unprocessed foods and never allowed sugar to pass my lips. But screw it, where's the fun in that?

I appear to have done something interesting to my toe

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Specifically the toe next to the big toe on my left foot. More specifically, it doesn't want to straighten out completely, and when I put weight on it it complains. Loudly.

I suspect I have done something to the first joint joining the tarsal and metatarsal. I don't think it's broken -- it's not lumpy/swollen/discolored and while it hurts it CAN support my weight -- but a sprain is certainly possible, And it made today's walk more than a little difficult, to the point where I had to sit down for a bit on a little stone wall and rest the foot. Yeah, have I mentioned that this whole growing older stuff sucks donkey balls?

At least I did get the walk in. And I took lots of pictures of the storm damage in the complex -- compared to other parts of the Metroplex we got off lightly, but there are at least 7 downed trees, two downed light posts, a flagpole that is now parallel to the ground, a bunch of shredded shingles/deshingled roof sections, and some decapitated chimney caps here.

Springtime in Texas can be a real bitch, y'all.

Thursday's total mileage: 516.62 miles to Isengard.

Auntie Em, Auntie Em!

I went out for my evening walk, like I do, and walked straight into the teeth of one bitching wind mixed with oh dear God amounts of humidity. We have a tornado watch for the clavicle of Texas until 6:00 AM tomorrow morning, you see, after a first wave of meteorological ick that thoroughly drenched us earlier in the evening, and I keep checking Weather Underground's radar and watching this very, very large and increasingly nasty wall of weather sweep towards me.

Have I mentioned that I live in a second-story apartment? If my complex ever gets hit by a funnel cloud, we're totally and utterly screwed.

But I got my 40 minutes in, dammit, so take THAT, rain gods!

Wednesday's total mileage: 517.92 miles to Isengard.


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

So I was checking Weather Underground for my area as we had the promise of craptacular weather on the way, and I saw a Weight Watchers banner that just bemused the life out of me.

Weight Watchers Online FOR MEN: Learn How to Lose Weight and Still Eat Like a Man.

Now, I'm curious -- how does one eat like a man, anyway? With your hands? Sans serviettes? Do you chase down a wild impala, throw it to the savanna floor and tear at it with your teeth? Granted, that would certainly burn a hella bunch of calories, but where are you going to find a wild impala in your average urban sprawl? And have you ever tried to get animal blood out of an Armani suit? I mean, really.

But I'm even more confused. See, I live with a man, and he eats pretty much the same way I do, and he lost a boatload of weight over the last year. He's certainly not a woman (and I can attest to that personally, hur hur). Does that make me a man? Not with this bodacious set of ta-tas, I'm thinking.

What this is, of course, is some truly dumbass sexist advertising. The subtext is: "Only sissy girls go on diets, and eat vegetables and salads, and stop when they're full. You don't want people to point at you and call you a woman, do ya? Real men eat whenever they feel like it! They gorge on bowls of fried chicken, bags of snacks, anything they like! And they eat meat -- raw, bloody meat! But it's hard to pick up the babes when you weigh 400 pounds, so sign up with us and for a low price we'll fool you into thinking that you're eating the same artery-clogging crap that your father and grandfather ate!"

Okay. I take two talking points away from this whole ad campaign:

1) How on God's green earth can eating healthy foods like salads, vegetables and other unprocessed foods be considered unmanly? Is it because you don't harvest corn with a bow and arrow? Would it be more acceptable if you could mount heads of lettuce over your mantelpiece? Someone, please, show me the logical chain where eating a chunk of beef or a bag of Doritos induces testosterone production and the urge to watch "Girls Gone Wild" videos.

2) As I don't think WWOFM is into bestiality, it stands to reason that the phrase "lose weight and still eat like a man" implies that other weight loss methods, such as consumption of unprocessed foods, eating in moderation, keeping an eye on your calories, etc. must be "eating like a woman." Yah. Tell me, O gurus of weight loss, why this is a bad thing? Because up until recently, women outlived men by a statistically significant percentage; from this, you would assume that eating like a woman is a positive thing to push, at least from a longevity point of view. And it's hardly as if guys are required to don a skirt and false eyelashes if they order a Chinese chicken salad. Of course, they can if they want to, but that's a whole 'nother issue.

I'll tell you this much, kidlets; one of the nice things about growing older is that I'm more willing to cry "BULLSHIT!" at dumbassery like this. By all means, WWOFM should help men with losing weight. But for the love of all that's holy, stop doing it by dissing my gender, goddamnit.

Tuesday's total mileage: 519.22 miles to Isengard.

A rather nice Monday

And indeed it was -- in addition to doing some very necessary laundry (clean underwear is always a goodness, particularly after a shower), I critiqued three stories for my writing group and got my story "Lusts of the Cat Queen: A Dash Manning Adventure" critiqued tonight. And yes, "Lusts..." is just as pulpy as it sounds, except for one eensy twist: my hero, Captain Dash Manning, is tall, blond, square-jawed, handsome, smart, brave, resourceful, helpful to little old ladies, and is the poster boy for the Galactic Rangers. He's also gay as an Easter frock. This causes some consternation in the Ranger's PR arm, much amusement to his girl sidekick Ginny Mardon, and rabid delight among well-endowed male aliens everywhere.

And no, he bears no resemblance whatsoever to Captain Jack Harkness. I wrote the first half of this story two years ago, well before I ever set eyes on the beauteous and talented John Barrowman. But I digress.

Our group meets twice a month in a local Chinese restaurant, mainly because they're tolerant of us sitting there for a couple of hours and talking loudly about SF and fantasy geekery, so the critiquing took place while devouring a lovely dish of lemon chicken with some egg drop soup on the side (hmm -- maybe Nessa and Fairy Princess Holly have a point about Walt speaking Chinese when he starts talking about comic books and such...). In addition to getting useful feedback on my stories, the other nice thing about these meetings is that I always feel mentally pumped afterwards; there's just something about talking shop with a bunch of irreverent genre writers that kicks my brain into high gear, which translates nicely into creative energy. So, after slinging my butt around the complex for 40 minutes to get some physical pumping action as well, I'm about to head to the Office of Doom and see if I can finish a story before hitting the hay.

So how was your Monday?

Monday's total mileage: 519.87 miles to Isengard.

A Happy Moment

Monday, April 7, 2008

Lyndon wanted to clean his office on Saturday and needed to use mine as temporary storage space, so I was sweetly asked to make myself scarce for a couple of hours. As I didn't have a problem with this whatsoever, I cheerfully packed up the laptop and headed to Stonebriar Mall where I could have lunch at the Cheesecake Factory and write at the Barnes and Noble Starbucks afterwards.

Now, as much as I adore the Factory's crispy chicken sandwich with chipotle mayo, I equally loathe the CF chairs -- they're rattan, have arms and are incredibly uncomfortable for me to sit in. Given my druthers I prefer to sit on the banquette, but getting to it can be a problem -- the tables at my local CF are placed close together, and sidling between them usually means that I'm dangling some part of my body over someone's dinner. Not cool.

Today the tables on either side of me were full, so the waitress pulled out the chair for me. I gritted my teeth and sat down, waiting to feel the arms gouge into my sides like a vise...

...and they didn't. Oh, the chair was skin-tight, don't get me wrong, but I could sit in it without leaving marks in my flanks. Huzzah!

I R Sick

Sunday, April 6, 2008

I'm assuming this is the same thing the Bodacious Brit had last week -- general achiness, tired all the time, sore throat, congestion up the wazoo.

So I slept for the bulk of the day, indulged in some junk food for dinner, then walked. Mainly because I hadn't walked for the last two days, and sick or not I didn't want to make it three. I know you're not supposed to work out extensively if you're sick, so I figured I could set up the treadmill and amble along for twenty minutes or so, just to see how well I could handle it.

Turned out I handled it fairly well. Having a squeezie of water to wash away the gunk in my throat helped. And after I sat down for a twenty minute break, I felt like I could do a little more, so I ambled along for another twenty minutes, which got me my 40 minutes for the day. I didn't go quite as far as I usually do because of the ambling, but that's okay -- the whole "Walking to Bag End" thing is cumulative, not "I HAVE to walk X miles every day or the world will end!"

I also tried something different while walking. Various people around the blogosphere are turning their iPods on shuffle and listing the first twelve songs that pop up, so this is what happens when I do it to mine:

1) Maria Maria - Santana
2) Come Out of the Closet - Eric Schwartz
3) Crawl - Think of England
4) The Flower of Carnage - Meiko Kaji
5) Fun and Games - Barenaked Ladies
6) Hey Mama - Black Eyed Peas
7) Plainsong - The Cure
8) The Right Time - The Corrs
9) Life Is a Lemon and I Want My Money Back - Meatloaf
10) Deeper Understanding - Kate Bush
11) Venus As a Boy - Bjork
12) The Rhythm of the Heat - Peter Gabriel

For some reason, Venus As a Boy always makes me think about jumping Sam Neill. I have no idea why. But I digress.

I've kept the iPod on shuffle all night, and it's been kinda fun to listen to what comes up next. I'd totally forgotten that I had certain albums -- I need to listen to those more often.

Sunday's total mileage: 521.21 miles to Isengard.

Okay, that wasn't smart

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I wore an old pair of dress shoes to a job interview today. The shoes have absolutely no support whatsoever; as a result of spending a couple of hours in them this morning and afternoon, my feet are screaming imprecations at me and threatening to have Tony Soprano break my kneecaps. How that's going to help them, I have no idea -- they're not really au fait with the whole nervous and circulatory system dealie.

Yeah, so, I think I will be hitting the shoe stores tomorrow and see if I can find any decent flats with some sort of arch support. I have slip-in supports, of course, but if the shoes are fairly low as flats usually are, the supports lift my feet just enough so that the backs rub hell out of my heels. Damn, but I miss my nice Dr. Scholl Mary-Janes.

I know this must be fascinating. I'll shut up now about the shoes.

The actual workout, however, was good and assisted in dispelling some free-floating irritation about various things that I can't talk about because this is a public site. You know the drill. Plus it's warm, windy and smells fantastic out here in the clavicle of Texas, so walking around in the heavy weather helped soothe my savage breast(s).


Down, girls.

Thursday's total mileage: 522.38 miles to Isengard.

Recovery Day

Wednesday was a Recovery Day, thus there was no walking in Middle Earth or Plano. This is mainly because I got to 10:00 PM after a day full of running around like a headless chicken, and realized that if I did my walk I'd be charged up and awake for the next few hours, and since I had to get to sleep early for a 9:00 AM job interview maybe this wouldn't be the greatest idea?

I like it when I can give my excuses extenuating circumstances.

Some things I've noticed

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

I have now been doing the walking thing for (checks calendar) 13 days, now. So far, I have noticed the following:

  • It's easier for me to get up from the couch -- no more steeling myself for the flare of agony in my knees.

  • I can see definition in my calves, and some in my thighs.

  • It's easier for me to get to sleep.

  • We've already talked about the increasing sex drive.

  • The tummy has deflated the tiniest bit.

  • So has the butt. I no longer look like I'm either a duck or 9 months' pregnant from the side.

  • I got dressed for a job interview this morning, and wound up pulling up the dress pants without having to unbutton them.

  • When I cuddled with Lyndon this evening, I didn't immediately think, "Eeeee! He's touching my fat!" In fact, it was downright comfy and sensual. Yay!

So, no huge change in size, but there are definitely some benefits to all this cardio that are making themselves known. That's hot.

Tuesday's total mileage: 523.72 miles to Isengard.


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Thought that would get your attention.

I don't know about anyone else, but in my case there's a very strong correlation between regular exercise and a rise in the sex drive. Which can be pleasantly entertaining at times, and more than somewhat distracting at others, particularly when I'm trying to deal with Dallas traffic. And then there are the just plain weird times when I obsessively replay the scene in "The Pancake Batter Anomaly" episode of The Big Bang Theory where Penny is rubbing Vicks on a congested Sheldon's chest and wish that Penny had agreed to his (admittedly platonic -- well, hey, it's Sheldon) request for sponge baths.

Yeah, I never said I was normal. And Jim Parsons is one slender man. Nice voice, though, and cute, and it's cool to get confirmation that Sheldon is from Texas. But I digress.

So the hormones are making themselves known with all the walking, and judging from previous experience the effect will be even more pronounced when I start lifting weights again. This could get rather...interesting.

And in closing, my new favorite video. Okay, the doll fetishism is a bit weird, but thanks to the tatted Gerard Butler clone I think I just ovulated.


Monday, March 31, 2008

Sometimes, life has a way of interfering with things and you can't quite manage what you had planned. For example, today I had to finish a short story for an editor, compile, upload and quality check Issue #8 of Helix SF, fill out background information forms for my job interview tomorrow, print off writing samples for same, do some necessary food shopping, wash clothes and dye my hair in addition to exercising.

All of which meant that I didn't quite manage my 40 minutes tonight. Instead, I did 35 minutes, while listening to Episode 17 of We're Mean Because You're Stupid and laughing my ass off.

Oh, you little snottlings. Jean Naté? Shalimar? My revenge will be slow (because I'm old), but arcane and ever so thorough (because age and treachery beats youth and innocence).

Monday's total mileage: 525.06 miles to Isengard.


Specifically, my calves. More specifically, the fact that I can see them again.

I'm wearing shorts because it's quite warm and pleasant today in the clavicle of Texas. While sitting at my desk I chanced to glance down at my calves, and realized that I could see muscle definition. Not a lot of it, granted, but there is a definite cutting in of the gastrocnemius muscle where it meets the Achilles tendon. There is also matching toning in the thighs, although it's harder to see there because there's so much padding in that area. Still, I can see a nice depression in the outer sides when I flex my quads, so I feel pretty damn good about that.

I also really, really need to shave my legs. But I digress, plus I have an editor patiently waiting for a short story, so leg shaving can wait.

Walt mentioned in an earlier comment that it took him a while to build up to 30 minute walks. In my case, I'm genetically blessed with legs that tone up remarkably fast (crappy knees, mind you, but the rest of the legs are golden). In fact, my lower back actually causes more problems on walks than my legs.

Now, this isn't to say that I can gleefully trot along for 40 minutes with a song in my heart and a spring in my step -- I'm still a big ol' gal, so I'm sweating like a pig and looking for the ibuprofen when I'm done. But I can do it, which is good.

Oh, by the way, see that picture at right? That's what my calves looked like in 2002. That, my friends, is my first goal.

The walk to Isengard

Is lovely so far, thank you. I figure I must have crossed that big field where they had the big battle in Return of the King and I'm somewhere in the hills by now.

And I know I haven't been doing the weights this week -- I decided to hold off, get the body back into the swing of regular exercise with the walking, then I'll start the weights again tomorrow. It also has something to do with my mild OCD and liking to start new things on a Monday. I never said I was normal.

Speaking of walking, I've been doing it for over a week now with three days off (one day off a week is perfectly acceptable as a recovery day -- I think I can stick to that now), and I'm now at the point where I can do a solid 40 minutes without excessive panting, pain and desire for a quick death. I figure I'll keep up at this rate for a couple more weeks, let the legs and feet get acclimatized to the distance, then I'll see if I can bump it up to 50 minutes. The ultimate goal is an hour a day, although if things are busy I'll fall back to 40-50 minutes. I also didn't have a lot of back pain today, although I suspect not wearing a heavy leather jacket may have had something to do with that.

By the way, I would like to say in public that Walt is my hero -- go look at this post to see what he's accomplished in the last 18 months. In 18 months from now, I would very much like to be posting similar pictures.

Sunday's total mileage: 526.32 miles to Isengard.

And the beat goes on

Sunday, March 30, 2008

I didn't manage two walking sessions yesterday, but I did go out and do my 40 minutes in the apartment complex rather than on the treadmill. Big difference between free walking and treadmill walking -- for one thing, when my back starts hurting I can hang onto the handrails on the treadmill. When I'm out in the complex, the best I can do is lock my hands behind my back and use my arms as lower back support. A walking corset is starting to look rather attractive, I must admit.

As to general weight and all, I've made a command decision -- I'm not weighing myself until May 1. I know from prior experience that if I weigh myself regularly, even if it's only every week, I have a bad habit of looking at a loss and either skipping a workout or eating something truly bad for me. I realized a long time ago that a rather major part of me is afraid of losing weight. And yes, I know how stupid that sounds, but there are fairly well-entrenched psychological issues behind the fear. I'm trying to erase and re-record the mental tapes that are causing that reaction, but it's going to take some time and effort. In the meantime, no scales -- I'll base my estimations on how I feel and how I fit in my clothes, which is really all that counts, anyway.

Saturday's total mileage: 527.66 miles to Isengard.


Saturday, March 29, 2008

For various reasons I had serious problems sleeping last night, woke up with a mucusy nose and aching eyes, and by 8:00 PM this evening I felt like every molecule in my body had been beaten by a tiny leprechaun with a shilleighie.

So, yeah, I skipped the treadmill and went to bed. Four hours later I woke up, still tired but slightly more compos mentis, and discovered that the Crimson Tide had arrived. Which explains so much, really.

I'll try and do two sessions tomorrow. If not, oh freaking well.

I love neoprene

Thursday, March 27, 2008

No, not in a kinky way, you pervs. I love neoprene because it makes great joint supports.

See, my right ankle, specifically the Achilles tendon, has been hurting for the last couple of weeks or so. I suspect it's a strain injury rather than a detachment as I can still do various movements that require the muscles to be attached, but it still hurts, and last night I got maybe three hours of sleep between the throbbing pain in my ankle and the stress pains in my right knee.

This tells me two things. Number one, much as I love them, I need to throw away the Dr. Scholl's Mary Janes because they are simply worn out and aren't fixing my tendency to supination anymore, and are probably contributing to the pain. Number two, wrapping the knee and wearing an ankle support with a hole cut out to relieve pressure on the heel bursa is a damn good idea.

And icing couldn't hurt.

Thursday's total mileage: 529 miles to Isengard.

And the treadmill continues to roll

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Good Lord -- I've actually done two day's worth of 40 minute sessions, and my legs haven't fallen off yet. Incredible. Although my knees do hurt like a mother when I sit down for longer than 10 minutes. And no, I'm not going to spend the bulk of my time standing, thank you very much.

On the good sider, my legs are starting to show faint signs of definition, which is encouraging. Still gutty as hell, though. Feh.

Tuesday's total mileage: 530.36 miles to Isengard.

And here is a picture of the small furry creature that accompanied me on my trip. Somehow, I don't think it's a Hobbit.

Ow. Ow ow ow.

I keep forgetting that I'm not 16 anymore. I required a large application of Advil before the constant low-level throbbing pain finally subsided. Weights -- yeah, I think I'll do those on Tuesday, because nobody wants to see me curled up in a fetal position and sobbing on the gym floor.

Sunday's total mileage: 533.02 miles to Isengard.
Monday's total mileage: 531.7 miles to Isengard.

And we start a new blog

Friday, March 21, 2008

Mainly because I might as well keep all this stuff in one place.

So, fitness, health and all that crap. Since I am a geek's geek, I have decided to walk from Minas Tirith to Bag End. No, I haven't lost my frigging mind, and yes, I know these are imaginary places no matter how large they loom in the minds of Tolkien fans. However, I can walk the same distance as the little guys did, so this is what I will do:

1625 miles: Take the road home with the hobbits from Minas Tirith to Hobbiton.

* 535 miles from Minas Tirith to Isengard
* 693 miles from Isengard to Rivendell.
* 397 miles from Rivendell to Bag End.

Because Momma has to fit into a nice dress in time for the Hugos, dontchaknow.

Friday's total mileage: 534.06 miles to Isengard.

Weight work:

Set #1
Set #2
Set #3
Set #4
Stiff-Legged Deadlift
Lat Pulldowns
Dumbbell Row
Back Hyperext.

Oh, speaking of geek fitness, you know what I miss? I miss fencing. I never knew what a violent bitch I was until I was invited to join the SFWA Musketeers and picked up my first épée. I've been hit in the boobs, whacked in the throat so hard I could barely talk for 20 minutes afterwards, and I've looked like a Dalmatian after a really good bout (I fence with SCA and Renaissance-style fencers, so it's not line fencing so much as, "I will pierce your heart with my steel and bathe in your blood!").

And I miss that. The guy I used to fence with locally isn't really doing it anymore, the Musketeers haven't fenced in yonks, and I don't know of any North Dallas groups going at the moment. I like playing with long steel, dammit, and I miss it.