Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Cézanne of Cellulite

Cézanne - Large Bathers

1899-1906 (130 Kb); Oil on canvas, Philadelphia Museum of Art

 Well now, that was an experience.  Months ago, I bought a "spray on tan" via a Groupon-like deal for ten bucks.  Didn't know when I would use it, but thought it might come in handy.  I'd actually forgotten about having it, but it was set to expire soon, so I got a reminder to go use it.  I decided that getting some "sun" prior to going on vacay would be great.  No one need be exposed to my Casper-ness. 

I called and made the appointment - assuming that I knew what I was getting into - the car wash style of spray-ons.  Um, no.  Turns out - the operator, along with the spray gun, uses the body as a canvas.

As in - well, use your imagination - or don't, whichever you prefer.  It's drop trou (and everything else) and this guy, we'll call him Paul - proceeded to turn me into a bronzed goddess.  Evidently, he's the spray-tanner to all the competitive ballroom dancers in the area.  And y'all, I am rocking me some Dana Torres abs this morning.  Now I am not planning to wear a two-piece, midriff baring swimsuit, as that ship has, well, sunk but it's fun to think about being Helen-Mirren-like.  He told me that I would "love him in the morning" and he's right.  My (whatever the name of the ab/muscle group that runs vertically) are always visible, but let's just say they now pop with some skillful highlighting!  Day-amm - what this guy can do with a spray gun is amazing.  Turns out what Oprah's make-up can do for her, Paul can do for the whole body. He "contoured" my thighs,  gave me a "smaller" waist and some killer ab definition.  All for ten bucks.  Sure, they are Lee Press-On Abs and body, but hell, it's fun for a while :-). 

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Paint by numbers.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Don't Don't Don't You Forget About Me

I'm in a really sweet spot right now.  Things are going well.  I'm practicing good self-care and I am living more slowly in my life.  A million and three things to be grateful for (and my "Great Things" jar is filling up).  I'm living a full and fulfilling life.

And I will forget all of it so very quickly.  I don't know why that happens - well, all or nothing thinking is probably the culprit, I suppose.  The situation is much better than it used to be.  I have learned to change my focus, maybe not immediately, but I can (mostly) pay attention to the good stuff, while acknowledging some negative feelings about other things.  I can lead a happy, peaceful, serene life and still be sad about this or that.  In the past, all I could see was the one thing to be sad about.

So I want to remember that this, too, shall pass - this land of kittens and rainbows and unicorns with lilac-scented farts - and things might become a bit murkier and that, too, shall pass.  It's called life.  I somehow have this notion that if I do the work, then I can somehow prevent life from happening.  More of my performance-based thinking, I suppose.

I'm trying to manage my expectations about the upcoming trip.  A few of you may remember the last one and I certainly don't want a repeat of that.  I have given myself permission to pull the rip cord of escape - not termination of the relationship - if things get bad.  The logistics of this trip are far different from the last but still, managing expectations to get myself in the right headspace is important.  There will be a ton of things that I cannot control (every single thing in the universe except my reactions) and if I go into this with an attitude of acceptance, rather than expectation or entitlement, then Bob's my uncle.

I am trying to do some advance planning re:  food on this trip.  As I said before, my friend lives on (grazes continuously, no real "meals") the kind of foods that are triggery for me.  This is my problem, not hers.  And I need to develop some sort of plan to deal with this - from a logistics standpoint, if nothing else.  I would like to avoid coming home from a week's vacation feeling bloaty, swollen, and down mentally just from what I've eaten.  This one will require some doing.  One thing that I can do is get my exercise in first thing in the morning.  I will have time - she sleeps late so I can figure out something to do that will keep me busy and bolster my chances of making better choices.

Obviously, this has turned into a self-pep talk, but a lot of success in this deal comes down to hitting the easy button.  Making the decisions when things are easy and putting a little planning in place to make the path better paved.

I did two-a-days yesterday.  Spin class in the a.m. and a wonderful yoga class at lunch.  During sick week last week, I did have two Diet Cokes.  They were the only thing that sounded good, and so I drank them, as I desperately needed the liquids, but I am back on the beam.  I'm taking a break for the 6am class today to do some trip prep (why the hell am I writing this instead of ironing? - well, because it's ironing).  So I am done.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Manage your expectations and your meals when entering dangerous territory.


Monday, January 21, 2013

Bacon Makes Everything Better

Well, I didn't rebound as quickly as I'd hoped and still felt bad on Saturday.  Perhaps my party on Friday night was a little too much.  It went pretty well.  I had 12 guests, I believe.  It is hard to attend to a dozen people and still be engaged in the festivities.  It was the first time most of the guests had been here, so they weren't really apt to take the "make yourself at home" and "help yourself to more beverages and goodies", so that kept me hopping.

Saturday, I laid low.  I didn't ride but I did do a bit of work out in the yard, as the weather was wonderful.  By evening, however, I was feeling a bit down and unmotivated.  At almost 9pm, Pebbles called and invited me over to the Big D Nekkid Spa, so I met her over there and then spend the night.  TGB woke us all up early, so we headed out to breakfast, as I was CRAVING bacon and Pebbles said this place  had the best bacon.  Hmm, I didn't realize until just now, that it was a chain.  Anyway, perfectly cooked thick sliced bacon, crispy but not burned.  Yummy!

I headed home after that and hopped on the bike for a great ride on another brilliantly sunny day.  It felt good to get out and to have all my internals feel like they are back to normal.  I ended up going farther than I had intended, as I ran into some folks I know out on the trail at my turnout point, but they convinced me to ride farther with them.  Then, when I was coming back in, it was just too nice to go home, so I bypassed my car and rode further.  Longest ride I've had in months.  I actually enjoyed the solo ride today, something that I don't often do.  As they say, the hardest step is that first one out of the door.

This week is jammed with pre-trip stuff.  Pebbles is working an alternate solution for TGB.  I kinda felt like she wasn't going to just this trip pass through her fingers.  She's resourceful and creative, that one.  We'll see.  Fingers crossed.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Everything is better with bacon.


Friday, January 18, 2013

Menopause with a side of Morning Sick

I am happy to say I'm on the road to recovery.  Yuckaroo!  What a miserable couple of days.  Everything under the sun made me queasy.  It was like being pregnant with Pebbles all over again.  I had to remove all the scented candles from my house and put them out on the porch AND I had to wash my moisturizer off.  I didn't even realize it was scented until the smell made my toes want to curl up.  What an unpleasant 36 hours!
I am on the mend and it was not the flu, as I did see the doc.  Just a run of the mill stomach bug.

A wrench has been thrown into the Aruba plans.  Pebbles' friend who had agreed (for pay) to come and stay with the GrandBeast has bailed at damned near the last minute.  We leave a week from tomorrow.  So it looks like they won't be going.  Which makes the whole thing a lot less fun for me - wow - did that sound self-centered.  Sure did.  I'll have to work on that a bit.  Anyway, it will work out the way it is supposed to.  I just need to start making some alternate plans, since P/S won't be able to assist.  Our host has some serious health and mobility issues and so it will fall to me.  But we will manage, we always do.  I just need to get this settled in my mind as to not build up any resentments towards anyone.  Something to ponder.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Stay in Recovery.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Changing Course(s)

I'm not really choosing the cruising life.  I am, however, changing my plans for exercise tomorrow.  I started my day spinning with Mr. Beautiful and then went to TNT (tone and tighten) class at lunch that has left me hurting. I think I'll be able to get up off the commode in the morning if I'm really lucky.  Anyway, I had planned to do Zumba in the morning followed by a yoga class at lunch.  I think I'm going to forgo the zumba tomorrow for an easy spin class - just to warm up/move my legs.  They feel like a lead pipe filled with rocks right now.  I've popped a couple of Aleve.  Here's hoping.

Other than that, life is good.  My dance card is pretty full in the run leading up to Aruba.  Dinner tomorrow night with Talia.  Dinner the night after with a professional colleague who will be in town.  Friday night I'm hosting a coffee and dessert social for I don't know how many people.  We'll party until I run out of cake, I guess.  Saturday I'm hoping for good weather to get in a bike ride, but it's looking pretty chilly.

Next week I'm pretty booked up, too.  I'd purchased a groupon for a "spray on" tan nearly a year ago, so I've decided to get it done before going to Aruba - at least I won't be quite so fish-belly white.  I'll be more oompah-loompah-ish.  And so I need to schedule a pedicure BEFORE the Macco paint job so that my color doesn't come off with the "spa" treatment.

Lots of good behaviors to acknowledge.  I'm doing the deal.  And I already have a plan for sending home any leftovers with others.

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Lost fitness cannot be regained in a day.  Live to fight another day.

ETA:  Got up, feel like I'm getting the flu or somesuch nonsense (I've had a shot) so no gym for me.  Headache, nausea, body aches.  I'm going back to bed.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

I Want My MTV

Footage by Slater.  Editing by Slater and Pebbles.  Our motorbike trip.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Wanda, Wanda Is My Name

Yesterday's discussion of the Mirror Exercise on Ellen's blog along with Helen's post  got me to thinking about how body image, self-image and self-acceptance play with weight loss, weight maintenance and fitness.  Throw in aging and it becomes a quagmire - a pit that I can easily get stuck in.

The danger zone, at least for me, is using my success or failure at weight loss/maintenance to determine how I feel about myself.  Now your mileage my vary, but I came up through the ranks with a disordered relationship with food AND myself.  Because of how I allowed the scale to let me feel when I no longer weighed the 133.5 pounds that I did for about a minute and a half in 2010, I just stopped weighing some time last year.  Perhaps there is another way to go about breaking this cycle, but for me, this is working - at least for now.

And being fit/thin/whatever does have health benefits, there is no denying it - but will it make my daughter love me any more?  Does wearing a size 6 make me more worthy of love from others?  Don't think so.  It will, however, keep me out of prison.  Sigh.   So after "health" is achieved, what is really the goal of weight loss, face lifts and boob jobs?  The reason always quoted is "so I can feel better about myself" or "so I'll have more confidence"  but really, are those reasons really internal or are they motivated by the desire for external validation?  Do I want to look better for me or do I want to look "better" so that you'll think I look better and therefore, I'll feel better about myself?  It is all so fleeting, so transient.  Again with the sticky wicket.

I can remember having a discussion with Talia about breast augmentation, we were ready to book a flight to South America - her to get some and me, to hoist mine back up  - and (I am not anti-surgery of any kind - plastic, cosmetic, enhancement, reduction, weight loss, whatever - no judgment here) - the discussion evolved into who is this really for and the motivations behind it.  Let me speak for myself and my motivations.  If I value myself for the person I am on the inside, it doesn't mean I let the outside fall to shit, but if I'm externally-based, what the hell happens when that's gone?

Looking nice and dressing nice and taking good care of myself physically are examples of good self-care.  Because I value myself, I do those things - the outcomes of good self-care are just the sizzle.

I think of my friend Wanda.  Her son got married about four or five years ago and to prepare for the wedding, she lost 100 pounds.  I believe her husband lost about 80.  Since that time, it appears that Wanda has gained most, if not all, of her weight back.  And I have never heard her say one self-depricating thing in an office where "fat-talk" is widely spoken.  Her sense of herself and her place in the world is as good as it ever was, before, during and after - and it's always been very, very good.  She is that whole, complete light that Ellen spoke of in the comments of yesterday's post.

There are some facts about the external me that no amount of navel-gazing, mirror-gazing or raw food grazing is going to change.  I am a woman of a certain age who abused her body in a variety of ways - excess sun, excess food, thirty year smoker and I can't escape those consequences.  I see these facts as things I cannot change, not facts to be dwelt upon.  As the Chinese saying goes, "You can't stop a bird from flying over your head, but you don't have to let it build a nest in your hair".

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Choose steak over sizzle.


*Wunda (up until I went looking for that picture, I thought her name was Wanda) was the star of a kids' tv program in the Pacific Northwest from 1953-1972.  Just like Mr. Rogers, except she was a clown/witch.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Group Therapy Thursday: Mirror Exercise Discussion

Ah, the mirror exercise.  Can I just say that this exercise does not increase my self-acceptance?  Oh, the part before turning and looking is just fine.  I get that.  I can do that.  And I don't think that I'm ugly, because I'm not - I'm stylish, attractive and quite often, striking.  And I'd rather keep THAT vision in my head than the one staring back at me in the mirror.  Yes, I know that I have deep wrinkles and I know that my skin is flawed and my complexion ain't dewy - those are facts that I'd rather not dwell on, thank-you-very-much. 

Much like I've given up weighing everyday because the scale has too much power, looking in the mirror just makes me feel like I need to head to Costa Rica for a facelift - even though that goes completely against my core value system. 
My value is the person I am and not the package that I come wrapped in. 

I Do What I Like And I Like What I Do

In some ways it is pretty sad and in others, well, it's just about damned time.  I'm discovering what I like to do - what brings me pleasure and enjoyment.  As opposed to something that I do for distraction.  See the difference?  Me, either.  At least not until recently.

My life has slowed down, if that makes any sense - or more accurately, I think I have slowed down in my life - am more present and more aware of each moment.  There is less of "just getting through the day" and more of wanting to get everything out of a day - and not in some harried way.

It occurred to me that I need to concentrate more on doing the things I like versus the things that are merely a distraction.  Distraction #1?  The internet.  Can I wile away hours looking for the edge of the internet?  Yes - does it bring me actual pleasure?  Other than catching up with "my people" (that means you), there really isn't much for me there unless I'm on a fact finding mission.

And because I'm so, so, so committed to distraction as a lifestyle, I really don't know how to be at home, alone and do what I love.  I'm working on reading again - now that was a big pleasure for me, but as I've lamented many times, my ability to do so has waned.  But lately, I'm reading more and more - several books in the last few weeks.  I used to be an avid mystery reader, but lately, that doesn't appeal to me much.  I just read Tropper's One Last Thing Before I Go and loved it.

I'm also finding pleasure in buying just a small bunch of simple flowers (about $4.00) each week from the grocery store and creating an arrangement for my bedside table.  I get the pleasure of creating and the pleasure of seeing/reliving the outcome every time I walk into my room.

I am rocking on with my bad self.  I'm meditated, decaffeinated and low-carbed.  I've been doing two a days when I can - not really hard workouts - those start next week, but what I lack in intensity, I make up in longevity.  

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Pleasure or Distraction?  You Decide.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I'm Going To Be Seriously Pissed

I'm going to be seriously pissed at myself if it turns out that taking vitamin D3 and a vitamin B complex daily would have cut back my appetite years ago.  At my worthless (now rethinking that) endocrinologist appointment, he suggested that I take a calcium/vitamin D thingy, as well as a B complex.  I finally got around to doing this about a month ago and it's like my voracious appetite has been pushed back.  I got through the holidays with no real harm done.

Did a two-a-day today.  Went to the gym at 6am and then again at lunch just to walk on the treadmill.  I almost didn't remember my locker combination it had been so long since I'd gone to the gym at lunch and boy was stuff dusty in there.  There were also some things in there that I didn't even remember owning!

Oh, and I also read A BOOK!  A whole book!  I've been struggling for quite some time with my concentration and it seems to have improved, along with my memory.  Could be the vitamins, could be the dreaded hormones, could be that menopause is taking an excursion to Hawaii for the winter - whatever it is, I'll take it.

My best gift this season wasn't even a Christmas gift.  My friend in FL is downsizing so she packed up all her cold weather/ski gear and shipped it to me.  Talk about a haul!  Lots of stuff to use for cycling in cold weather.  There is this one long sleeved shirt from Nike that has an integrated hood.  It worked beautifully under my helmet and kept my ears warm. A real treasure trove of stuff!

I'm still caffeine and Diet Coke free.  I'm taking a water bottle with me everytime I leave the house.  I'm meditating using my Simply Being app.  I'm eating right and I'm living good.  

Take good care of yourself.  Be kind to others.  Take your vitamins.