A new year approaches: 2020, the year of the double crit, and it’s time to set some goals and make some plans. 🙂
My primary, short-term goals are more of a “to-do” list than actual goals. I have things piled up from this year that will need to be taken care of before I can take on new things. Here’s my list of “things that are left over from 2019 that I have to finish before the end of February 2020“:
-Write, edit, polish, submit short story to the anthology I’ve joined
-Complete the two Kingdom scrolls I’ve been assigned to do (SCA project)
-Finish my Valkyrie hood so I can fight in it at Estrella (SCA project)
-Full construction and embroidery on a commissioned Viking hood, hopefully before Estrella (SCA project)
-Full construction and embroidery on a Hedeby bag for my husband (SCA project)
-Embroidery commission for some friends (SCA project)
^^ These are things that have to be done. I have set a firm deadline for them, so I’ve gotta follow through.
Then there are some less-deadliney things. These are more the goals/plans that I’m making for the upcoming year:
-FINISH FIRST DRAFT ON BOOK 3
-Book 2 revisions/marketing/promotion (after back from beta readers–this will have a deadline because, well, publishing lol)
-Two current novellas-in-progress
-Potentially three more novellas (a trilogy)
-Teach more SCA arts classes
-Learn more SCA/medieval arts
-Get back into rapier fighting (now that I’ve lost enough weight that I feel comfortable fighting again–when I’m off restrictions, that is)
-Recertification for work
-Take better care of my mental health (and start asserting myself in those times where I normally back down and give in)
-Read more books
-Continue to build my social media presence as an author and build my brand
-Do more SCA (and mundane) sewing/embroidery/arts for myself and my husband
-Continue with my keto diet and weight loss, adding exercise as tolerated (once I’m off restrictions from my podiatrist)
-Work more with my co-author on our horror novel to get the first draft of that finished and in the editing process
This is by no means a comprehensive list, because, frankly, I haven’t thought about it that much yet. I’ve got so many things in the first list to get finished that I haven’t activated my “2020 vision.” Lol
But wait! 2020 isn’t just the start of a new year–it’s the start of a new decade. So, then, I’ve got 10 years’ worth of goals to devise. Let’s see what I can come up with here:
-Complete the 5-book ABNORMAL series and start on the ABNORMAL LINEAGE spin-off series
-Continue to take advantage of writing opportunities to participate in box sets/anthologies and grow as an author
-Expand body of written works to include more genres/standalones/etc
-Find an effective way to save money for attending conventions/book signings as an author–and then attend more signings and conventions 😉
-Strive to achieve Laurelhood before 2030 (which is, oddly enough, both within my ability to achieve and totally beyond my control haha)
-Work on overcoming (or at least adapting to) my social anxiety to where I can function better at social events, like conventions or SCA events
-Continue building an author network
-Learn more about generating graphics for book covers, book marketing, and other things
-Maintain the weight I’ve lost, get to a healthy weight, and try to find an exercise plan that works for my lifestyle
-Learn how to pattern more complex clothing (Viking I can do, but that’s too easy–I want to learn the concepts behind patterning that get me from measurements to finished garment without necessarily needing a manufactured pattern)
-Accept my grey hairs wholeheartedly
-Find a better balance between work/home/SCA/writing that encompasses all the things I need to do as well as all the things I want to do as well as omitting the things I don’t want to do lol
-Take more vacations
-Make my health a higher priority, in as much as it comes to calling out when I’m sick and not trying to “soldier on,” taking time off when it’s physically or mentally needed, and recognizing when I’m taking on too many projects for my mind and body to handle
It’s a tall order, but these are my goals for the next two months, the next year, and the next ten years. Note that I’m calling them “goals” instead of “resolutions.” I make the distinction because I’m not “resolving” to change things, but rather setting what I hope are realistic goals that will improve my writing career, further my SCA learning/experience, and keep me mentally sound through it all.
2020 is just another year, but at the same time it’s not. As long as I make an effort to do the things I want to do in the coming year/decade, 2020 is whatever I make of it. 🙂
In an unfortunate turn of events, my original blog post about Carrie Fisher’s death three years ago never migrated to this site when I bought this domain.
(You can read my original short tribute here. It’s a search link, but it’s there.)
Today, I saw her last performance as Leia Organa. I cried. Not loud, ugly crying, but I cried. Several times. I mean, I don’t cry at movies generally, but when I saw the name “General Leia Organa” on the screen, I teared up. Hell, when I saw the Star Wars scroll come on the screen, I teared up. I teared up when I thought of young Carrie. When I thought of flipping-people-off Carrie. When I saw Rey training with Leia. And the end–oh, my GODS, I cried. I left the theater sniffling.
The movie was amazing. Better than the eighth, possibly my new favorite of the Skywalker saga. But this post isn’t about the movie.
This post is about Carrie. About the impact her life–and death–had on me.
Since my original post is hidden on the interwebs, I’m going to write a new one. I get to do that, because this is my blog after all.
I never met Carrie. Never talked with her in any capacity, not even online. I have no connection to her in any way… Except for the bipolar disorder. That’s a thing we shared, and it’s a thing she was vocal about.
I want to be like that. I want to become a person who others see and say, “Hey, that chick is pretty cool. Oh hey, she has bipolar disorder. That’s cool.” I want people to see it as a part of me, but not all of me. I don’t want to hide it, and I want to be a part of making a world where no one has to hide it.
I’m not a huge celebrity like Carrie was. Is. She’s still with us in spirit, looking down on us all and giving us a big smile and bigger middle finger.
But she wasn’t always a big celebrity. She started out small, too, so there’s hope. Hope for everyone who wants to make it big, and hope for everyone who wants to make a difference. Maybe some day, someone who has read my writing, who hasn’t ever met me, will see a report about my death, and they’ll be sad. Maybe they’ll write their own blog post about the influence I had.
Not any time soon, mind you; I got shit to do. I’ve gotta write more books. Gotta spread the word about the things that affect me and many more like me. Gotta get out there, get known, and get busy. But maybe some day, when I become one with the Force, some stranger, some fan out there, will be affected. And maybe they’ll continue where I left off.
I’ve never shied away from talking about bipolar disorder and how it affects me, but now I’m going to make more of an effort to be vocal about it. I mean, I’m not going to get preachy or anything, but I’m going to be more … me.
Carrie Fisher wasn’t a friend of mine. She wasn’t anyone I’ve ever known. But she was a presence. She made an impact.
Ah, mental health days. They come and they go, and sometimes they hit like a freight train to the gut.
Yesterday evening I had one of those moments. I was riding high on a mania brought on by exciting new writing projects and opportunities, including two contracts signed in one day, and then the realization hit me:
I still have to go to my fucking day job.
Yeah, I’m growing and progressing as an author. I’m getting there, slowly. But I’m nowhere in the zip code of “writing for a living.” Nope. Not even on the same continent. Not gonna happen soon, unless something big happens first.
I’ve been at my day job for almost nine years, but it’s stressful and stagnating. I don’t have really much opportunity for growth and change, and sometimes I don’t even have the opportunity to get the training I need to do some of the positions I have there.
Some of you are probably saying, “Well, get another job.” Sure. In a small town. Where jobs are scarce to begin with. Oh, and I can’t afford to take a pay cut, so if whoever is hiring could just pay me what I’m making currently–which is so not minimum wage–that’d be great.
I find myself trying to think of what skills I may have to market, if I decide to look for a new job. I am semi-bilingual, but only in regards to medical Spanish, really, and mostly in regards to the eyes. Conversational Spanish is hard for me to remember, because it’s been so long since high school/early college. I suck at verb tenses. I am organized, a little OCD even, and I am one of those rare nerds who enjoys filling out paperwork. But what could I do with that? I honestly don’t know.
I need a change. Something to be different. This knowledge that I have to go in there five days a week and do the same shit every time is killing me. I’ve been in this routine for the better part of nine years. Sure, it changes on occasion, but not much and not often. It’s a grind, that’s for sure.
I think that’s what caused the depressive episode to slam into me last night. My time, at least 40-ish hours of it a week, is not my own. I can’t make decisions for my time, because I need this job. I need to keep plugging away, keep grinding at it. I can’t stop.
Resentment at my lack of choice is eating me up as well. I hate that I’m stuck, hate that I can’t escape. I know, I know, looking at it as a kind of prison isn’t helping matters.
One of my friends is trying to encourage me to at least give it a try to find another job, but I’m hesitant. Hell, I’m scared. What if I find something and it’s even worse? What if I can’t find anything that pays what I need to make? What if I find something great and lose it somehow (closures, firings, etc)? What if, what if, what if….
Maybe I’ll start with baby steps. Update my resume. At least browse job sites and want ads. Work my way up to actually applying.
I know the statistics in my area aren’t good. I don’t have any government experience, and that’s about the only type of availability in my “price range” that there is around here, without any experience, that is…
Another goal hit in my keto life journey! I’m proud to say that I’m under 250 lbs now, which is something I feared I’d never reach again.
I’m far from “done” with the keto lifestyle. On the contrary, I feel so good about the weight that I’ve already lost that I’m planning on continuing indefinitely–not only for fear of backsliding, but also because I actually don’t mind the low-carb life. Can’t eat any of the snacks in the break room? Okay. I’ll bring my own snacks. Not much on the menu at a fast food joint or restaurant? Fine. I’ll pick what I can eat and just not eat the carb-y stuff.
For the official count, here’s my weight loss numbers for the last 30 days, 60 days, and overall since I started:
I’ve been doing a keto diet for about 2 1/2 months now. Almost 40 lbs in 2 1/2 months! I’m so happy.
I’ll plateau eventually. Probably a few times. But for now, I’m enjoying the steady decline in weight. My clothes fit better–sometimes too big now–and I feel better overall.
Speaking of feeling better, today I see my podiatrist to see if my foot has finally healed enough to get this stupid boot off. It’s been 8 weeks today, and I’m 1000% done with the boot. It’s heavy, it’s awkward, it makes my gait weird, and my other foot is getting painful from my favoring the foot with the boot. All that, plus I can’t drive. I miss running errands on lunch or being able to take myself to work. It’s the little things in life, man.
I haven’t had the boot off for much of anything besides showering and changing clothes. Because I wake up earlier than my husband and the boot has a ton of Velcro on it, I just sleep with it on to keep from waking him every time I get up in the night. Since this is a re-break of a bone that tends to re-break once initially broken, I’m trying to be a good patient and stick to my restrictions.
If all looks good on the x-ray this afternoon, I might be able to ditch the boot and just “take it easy” for however long the doctor determines I need to do so. I have a sinking feeling that he’s going to tell me “no sword fighting,” which will be a disappointment for sure. I’m eager to get back to rapier practice and relearn all that I’ve forgotten and recondition myself to holding the sword for long periods of time and sparring with friends, but all that might have to wait if the doctor says it might jeopardize my foot.
I really don’t want another 8 weeks of boot life.
Maybe later today I’ll call and schedule the DEXA scan I was supposed to get months ago. Hard to figure out a time to do it when I can’t drive myself to it! This needing a ride everywhere stinks.
Other news in the health front: I accidentally skipped a month of my biologic injection, but I got it yesterday so that’s on board. Hopefully my doc isn’t too mad at my slipup when I see her in a couple of weeks. (And hopefully I can drive myself to that appointment.) I was out of my Adderall for a couple of weeks while the pharmacy had issues with their shipments, but I’m happy to say that I have that again as well. My mental health is, well…
…Yeah. That. I hate my job. It’s getting to me. I mean, it’s the same thing day in, day out, five days a week. Sure, there’s the occasional half day or holiday, but lately I’m getting called in to either switch which half I’m working or to work the whole day on the half days (usually at the last possible minute), and the doctor has a couple days a month off, which makes the work load on his off days easier because there aren’t any patients, but yeah…that’s not enough. I don’t know what else I would do, though.
I’ve worked in healthcare for the better part of 19 years (9 years in a hospital setting, and close to 9 years where I’m at, with a brief period of joblessness and retail when I moved to Arizona), so I’m not quite sure what other marketable skills I might have. I mean, I’m quasi-bilingual, so there’s that, and here in AZ speaking Spanish is always a bonus, but my Spanish is limited. My grammar is terrible, and as far as conversational Spanish goes I can muddle through most of it, but I know sometimes I’m using the wrong word or wrong verb form. Medical Spanish? I’m almost completely fluent there. I can snag a chief complaint or medical history no problem. But if I want to do something different, something non-medical, I don’t know if my Spanish is up to par for other professions.
I have a degree that’s non-medical–a Bachelor’s of Science in Criminal Justice Administration–but that’s 13 years old now, and I have done absolutely nothing with it since I graduated. Well, I got it framed and hung it up. That’s about it.
A friend of mine has been encouraging me to look at the possibility of working on post as a contractor or some other type of government position, but I’m leery of that. When I first found out I was moving here, I spent months ahead of time applying at various positions on a government website, and I never heard back from any of them. I even revamped my resume based on some redacted resumes my dad showed me from hires he’d done as a DOD employee. So I had my Resume Wizard one from Word that failed, and my Based on a Successfully Hired Government Employee resume that also failed. I just don’t know if I can handle the stress of trying to find a job while maintaining my stressful job.
If I was better at marketing–if my book was selling enough to be profitable–I’d hold a sliver of hope that I could make money doing that. It’s not, though, and I’m not, so that’s out. No, writing is a second profession for me, not my primary source of income, and I doubt it ever will be. I can dream, but…yeah.
I’ve gotta get moving on that marketing stuff, speaking of which. I’m part of a group of authors who are making a run on the USA Today Bestseller’s list with a box set of stories, and my newest WIP is geared towards that. I’ve got a lot of work to do with that, though, because I need to get followers and do some heavy marketing as well. Can’t get to the bestseller list without working for it.
It seems like a lot: the boot, the existential employment crisis, the writing, the marketing…Can I do it all?
I don’t know, but I know one thing: Something’s gotta give. I don’t know how soon, but it’s gotta happen. Whether it’s freedom from the boot and freedom to do my normal activities, or a new job, or a surge in sales, something has to happen to change things. And I know, I have to change to make some of these things happen. I just have to be brave enough to try.
It happens sometimes in life: you get depressed, you lose your self confidence, and you kinda wish mirrors didn’t exist. That’s how I felt when I gained all that weight–like every time I passed a mirror was another opportunity to see how I’d failed.
Now? Now, it’s not as bad. Yeah, I’m still overweight–obese, even–but I’ve lost so much weight that it’s not as obvious. I even had a patient tell me I was looking thinner yesterday! People don’t always pay attention to the workers at the doctors’ offices, especially not enough to care whether they’ve gained or lost, so it felt good that my weight loss was noticeable.
I had noticed a bit of a change in the mirror myself as well, but I still felt kinda gross and huge most of the time. That feeling dissipated, however, when I took the following picture after work:
For the first time since I’ve started losing weight, I saw the difference in a photograph. I can see that my face is thinner. Yes, I have the camera at an angle, and my head is tilted a bit, but the difference is notable. I’m starting to become me again.
Here’s a photo from a few months ago, kind of on the downhill slide of weight gain, when I was nearing my heaviest, for comparison:
The angles aren’t 100% the same (because it would take me forever and tons of OCD energy to find a selfie where I held both my head and the camera at the exactsame angle), but they’re close enough for a comparison. Look at the selfie from yesterday, and the one from months ago. In the second photo, you can clearly see that the face is fuller, even though I was going for that angle where the fullness isn’t as obvious. It was “full” enough that, even though in the individual selfie it wasn’t bad, the difference between the two is striking.
The “new” me? It’s closer to the “old” me than I’ve been in a very, very long time. Long enough now that I have to search Facebook for a comparable photo of “before weight gain.” I finally found one with a similar angle to it, from four years ago (when I was at my most recent “thin” weight–which is still about 75 lbs less than my current weight):
Okay, so I’ve got three individual photos–one now, one a few months ago, one “thin-ish 30-something me”–but can we see a side-by-side? Well, seeing as how it’s almost 5am and no one else here is awake and I have apps on my phone for this, let’s see what I can do.
(Speaking of apps and stuff, sorry for the weird borders on all these….the website is basically not letting me upload anything that’s not edited in some way, so I’m doing what I can to get these up here without altering the actual photos)
Now this is a good comparison set of images! The “before” (pre-weight gain) image is blurry, but it’s almost the exact same head angle as the “now” image. I look like “me” again!
This. This is it. This is my fuel for the fire now. I can see “me” again when I take a picture. I can see the possibility of being that “me” once again if I just keep at it. I can visualize the weight loss, I can see an end in sight (even though I’m still just beginning).
What’s the purpose of this post, you may ask? (Besides a little narcissism lol) To show that it’s possible. To demonstrate that yes, noticeable weight loss can be achieved. Is it super easy? No. I have to struggle constantly not to backslide and get into old eating habits. Do you know how often people bring keto-friendly snacks in to the office? Almost never. Cookies, bagels, donuts, chips, bean dip, fruits, etc are in abundance, but meats and cheeses? Nuts? Yeah, not so much. (Don’t get me wrong, though–there are some people at work who have brought in meat and cheese trays specifically so I can snack, too.) Fast food choices are severely limited on this diet. Eating on the run isn’t all it’s cracked up to be anymore. And once the boot is off and I’m off activity restrictions post-Jones fractures? I’ll be exercising. I have to. I can’t rely on only the keto diet to lose this weight. It’s too deep-seated, too set in. But I can do it. I can lose it. And if I can (and I’m a pretty lazy person in general), then almost anyone can.
Find what works. Keep trying. Don’t let obesity win. Don’t let obesity kill you. I was on the road to an early grave. I could feel it. I got short of breath putting on socks or getting in and out of the car. I had trouble putting on my shoes. Now I can do those things with no problem. And they’ll get even easier the further I get.
Slowly but surely (well, maybe not so slowly lol) I’m doing it…I’m losing the weight that so terrified me earlier this year and sent me into a deep depression. From 287.4 lbs and edging ever closer to 300+, I have lost 35.6 lbs in just shy of two months. All I’ve done, aside from being stuck in a fracture boot for my foot, is switch diets from the high-carb, high-junk stuff I was eating to a keto diet.
I can put on socks without getting out of breath. I fit into all of my clothes, plus some old ones I had given up on (and once again my chain shirt). I have more energy. I feel better. And I don’t have that fear of dying from obesity-related causes.
I’m far from my goal still, and I know that it’s not over. I can’t just stop eating a keto diet now that I’ve started. Every single person I’ve talked to who has done keto or who has known someone on keto tells me that the instant they went off of it they started gaining again. So this is a lifetime thing. It’s a lifestyle thing. I have changed how I eat, and I need to maintain that diet indefinitely.
Am I okay with that? Absolutely. If giving up sugar and snacks is all I have to “pay” as the “cost” of losing this weight, then so be it. I’ll pay that cost 1,000 times over if it means not feeling like I’m on the verge of death every day.
This was one of those “scared straight” things. I terrified myself with the thought that I might be ineligible for important surgery or at risk for co-morbid diseases and health problems if I didn’t lose the weight. I was desperate. And my healthcare providers? Not much help in the advice department.
My primary care doc pretty much told me that I was screwed because of all the meds I’m on for the bipolar and the rheumatoid arthritis. He said I’d have to cut down to less than 1200 calories a day because I’m a woman. Does keto do that? Not necessarily–but it’s effective regardless.
Now, this doesn’t mean I think keto is the be-all and end-all of the dietary world. It works for some, but not for all, just like any diet. No single thing works for everyone. Human beings aren’t built that way. But for me, keto seems to be the thing that works. I’ll tell people how easy it is for me, but I’m not going to force anyone to go on the same diet I am.
I probably won’t be back to 150 lbs or less, like I was off and on in my twenties. But I’ll be in a better place than where I was, which is important. Better for my health, better for my mental health, and better for my self-esteem.
Went to the podiatrist yesterday. Got new x-rays taken.
It was not the best of news.
Yes, the bone is starting to heal. There’s calcifications forming and a “bridge” between the two parts where the bone is starting to knit.
But it’s not enough.
Remember how excited I was to possibly be out of this boot in two weeks? Well, he tacked on another two yesterday. Another whole month in this blasted thing.
I know I’ll survive it. I know I’ll be okay… Eventually. I’ll just also be constantly frustrated. And disappointed. And a little depressed.
************************The next day**************************
Yeah, so I was I guess a little tired, too–I kept dozing off while writing that! Lol Still hating the boot this morning, but I’m slightly less depressed about it. That mood will change as the day goes on, though. The longer I’m up walking on it, the heavier it gets, or at least it seems to. You wouldn’t think three pounds would be a terribly huge amount to carry around, but all those steps add up after a while.
This weekend has a forecast of grocery shopping, a small SCA event (no camping involved), and a lot of cleaning around the house. I had been hoping to get a new Skjoldhamn hood made for myself for Coronation, but the outlook isn’t great for it. With how busy we’ve been lately (and with, yes, the boot hampering my ability to do some things as well as I’d like), the house has gotten a bit cluttered. Not, like, dirty, just messy. A lot of “stuff” accumulated. Oh, and my husband’s birthday is Monday, with the dinner party for him after the SCA event tomorrow.
About my husband….This guys is amazing. Seriously. Like, he’s been 100% supportive with the change in diet since I’ve gone keto, even though he himself is not on the diet. He’s constantly trying to figure out new things for me to eat or new ways to cook to accommodate my new eating habits. He now looks at the carb counts on foods in the grocery store to see if I can have X food item or not. He helps me out when my boot becomes a burden, often taking over some of my household chores, and the poor guy has been driving me around everywhere whenever he can. Yeah, I have to get rides to and sometimes from work because his work schedule doesn’t allow him to drop me off, but he takes me to doctor’s appointments and any stores I need to go to and he damn near killed himself driving us to and from Great Western War because I couldn’t take over for any of the driving. No catnaps in the passenger seat, no real chance to rest except for the occasional stop for gas or bathroom breaks. And when the podiatrist gave me my “extended sentence” in the boot, he just shrugged it off and said he’d keep on driving if it meant I healed better and didn’t break myself again. Here are a couple photos of this incredible guy that stole my heart and puts up with my shit:
Y’know, I just realized I don’t have enough pictures of him. I have, like, eleventy million selfies, but not many of my husband. I’m so terrible.
Here’s a good one. The look on his face is because I was messing with the camera on my new phone, and he probably didn’t really want a photo taken at Burger King while he was waiting for his food. See? Puts up with my shit. Lol
He makes it all tolerable though. He makes it all worthwhile. He’s there, 100%, and that’s what matters in the end.
Yeah, I’ve got a month more of the boot. I’ve gotta beg for rides when he’s not available, and I lag behind when we’re out walking anywhere, but he always waits for me to catch up. He always comes to get me when I need it. He’s the reason I am able to do the things I do–his support and encouragement.
Love ya, baby. I promise to drive more when the boot’s off. And to try to learn to cook for myself, so some of the food load is off of you.
It’s been four weeks today since I was sentenced to the boot for the Jones fracture on my right foot, and it’s been four weeks of hell–waiting for rides everywhere, not being able to help my husband with the driving when we travel, lugging around three extra pounds of boot everywhere I go. To say that I’m sick of the damn thing would be an understatement. Today, however, I see the podiatrist again for a follow up and another x-ray, and, theoretically, I have only two weeks left of bootness.
I still haven’t gotten the bone scan done, but then again, I can’t fucking drive myself to the doctor to pick up the order, and I can’t drive myself to the radiology department in town to get the scan done. I’m totally reliant on other people to get around. In the words of Gollum, “We hates it!” Maybe once the boot is off I can get around enough to take care of the scan myself and, hopefully, get some answers as to why my foot keeps breaking.
In other news, as of Monday I was down 27.2 pounds from my initial weigh-in of 287.4 pounds. I’ve been doing the keto diet for about a month and a half, and for two thirds of that time I haven’t been able to exercise the way I’d like, mostly because of the boot. Still, even with less mobility and less exercise, I’m feeling better, my clothes fit better, and I’m not craving carbs like I thought I would. Do I miss them? Sure. Do I sometimes wish there were keto-friendly snacks more readily available at work? Sure. Have I broken down and gorged on candy and bread? Nope. I’ve been a good girl. And, after the next two weeks have passed, maybe I can go back to exercising–and to rapier practice!
That’s right, my diet is going so well that I think I might be able to fit into my chain shirt again, which means more stabbing! I am so out of practice that I may have to start from the beginning, in a way, because I’ve probably forgotten a lot of the fundamentals, but my health and my confidence are up enough that I feel like I’ll be able to once again enjoy the only sport I’ve ever been remotely decent at!
Oh, yeah! Back to “fighting trim”–or at least trim enough to fight! Lol
I know my good friend and rapier teacher will be glad to hear that. I feel like I’ve disappointed her by quitting practice for, what, a year now? Or close to it. It’s amazing what a difference 27.2 pounds can make to one’s confidence, even though I’m far from my goal weight. Ideally, I’d like to be back down to the 150-170 range, which I know is a long time off. Realistically, I’m probably going to be content with getting down below 200.
Maybe the weight loss will take some of the stress off of my foot. Maybe it will boost my physical confidence and make it so I don’t get out of breath putting on socks. Maybe I’ll be able to exercise again and lose even more. Maybe, maybe, maybe. It’s all a waiting game, really, until this boot comes off and I find out what kind of activities I can partake in. Hopefully–fingers crossed!–I will be cleared for light rapier fighting. Maybe just practice for now, then work my way back to tournament fighting. I miss it now. Before, I was so depressed over my weight I didn’t want to fight. Now? Now I want to get back in there. I mean, the shirt fits. It would be a shame not to put it to use. 😉
Exercising might be tricky. I often am not out of work at a decent time to go to the gym where my friends work out and join them. However, now that I’m losing a decent amount of weight (and once the boot is off and I can drive again), I might make the effort to go out there and, yes, exercise in public. Where people can watch me. It’s a little intimidating to think about, but less intimidating than it was 27.2 pounds ago.
My advice if you’re trying to lose weight? Well, I have a couple of things. One: keep your mind open. If I hadn’t given keto a try, I might still be 287.4 and gaining. I’m not saying keto’s the only answer, but for me it’s working. If one thing doesn’t work after, oh, a month or two, try something else. Just try. Two: keep going. Don’t stop trying. Don’t give up. Take your health into your own hands and be strong about it. Three: Don’t be ashamed to tell people what you’re doing. If you hide in shame, you won’t get the support system that you need to motivate you. I’ve had coworkers and friends who never would speak about my weight before come up to me and tell me how much better I look, how I look more slender, how my clothes fit different. I know that they wouldn’t be mentioning it if they didn’t know I was trying to lose weight, but all the same it feels good. It gives me that boost of confidence I need to reassure me that I’ve made the right decision and that I’ll be okay. It may take a while, but I’ll be okay.
Two more weeks. Two more weeks, and then I’ll be free.
Yesterday, my husband and I went to the grocery store to pick up some foods that I can eat now. It was an–illuminating experience. Okay, frustrating is more the word for it. You see, I’d made a list of the basic foods that I’m allowed to eat now, and I was prepared to just get those basic foods. My husband, on the other hand, wanted to try to find keto versions of foods like tortillas and pastas and pasta sauces, and I hadn’t really looked into that. My bad, I know, but I was just planning on ripping off the band-aid and cutting out the carb-y stuff right off. I had my final week of carb-laden eating. I had my last hurrah, my time to think about what I have been eating and what I will be eating and how that affects my future. I just didn’t think about veggie pasta and whether or not it might be keto-friendly.
Today and tomorrow some cookbooks we ordered will arrive, and we’ll have actual recipes and stuff to work with. Right now? Yeah, I’m kind of winging it. I took a bunch of lists of keto-friendly foods and wrote down the ones I’d eat, then we bought some things off that list to get me through until Friday when we can do some serious grocery shopping with the recipes to go from.
It’s odd, but that last week of eating like I normally do (and logging everything I ate/drank) really gave me perspective. Those carb-laden foods I so loved are always high caloric and not as filling as one might think. I was still hungry, still unsatisfied even with no restrictions during that week. And seeing the quantities of food and calories I’d been consuming really made me feel bad. Like, I didn’t realize how bad I was eating until then. I knew I wasn’t eating the greatest of foods, but I didn’t comprehend how self-damaging my previous diet was.
I haven’t made my lunch yet, but I went ahead and logged it in the Carb Manager app that I downloaded at my keto coach’s advice. The app gives me 25g of net carbs per day to eat–after lunch, I’ll have 5g carbs left. (My coach said to cut down to 20g carbs, but I haven’t figured out all the settings on the app yet to change it.) But logging helps. I can see okay, one full bell pepper in my salad is too much, so I’ll have to cut half of one instead. Maybe a quarter pepper. I can put in X number of black olives before it starts adding to my carb count for the day, and the two cups of spinach it defaulted to should be enough to fill me up. A small amount of cheese for added fat and flavor and I’ll be okay.
I can do this. I can lose this weight. I can cut off Death at the pass and say no, not today, man. I’ve got things to do. I have two book series to write yet, and embroidery commissions, and a Laurelhood to strive for, and rapier practice to get back to (once I’m at a weight where I feel comfortable with it again). I’ve got things to do. I can’t let myself croak because I didn’t want to change.
Grocery shopping will still be frustrating for a while until we get a better gist of what-all we’re looking for. I’ll be hungry at times and not have anything other than a handful of nuts or a small piece of cheese or something to snack on. But I’ll be okay. I’ll get through it.