Well, hello there, 42…

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I’m on Nerd Fitness. I just posted this as an introductory post. It’s time to kick this pig.

This is a both a new character and a respawn point for me. I don’t do New Years Resolutions; at least, I don’t do them on January 1. It’s an arbitrary date, and I’ve never been one to go along just to go along. I do these things on my birthday (not so coincidentally, today). I joined the Academy as a birthday gift to myself. My mom sent me money, I used it on this. And I’ll be damned if I let my mother down by wasting money. That right there is one of my top goals, to be honest.

I’m 42 today. I am the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything. I’m also fat and much more sedentary than I like. A lot of that comes from the brutal winter we’re finally ending. I didn’t want to drive in the snow to get to the gym so I could run and lift. Laziness took over. I’m done with that as of right now.

Tomorrow at 1:00, I’m going running for the first time in weeks. I went once in February because we got a super nice weekend (okay, it was probably about 40 degrees, but I love running in the cold, so long as it’s not too cold) and I’d rather run on streets than on a treadmill. My friend Shane is starting running, after I introduced him to Couch to 5K last fall, right before the White Witch cast her endless winter all over the world. I’m also signed up for a run on Thursday night with a local running club. I’m giddy excited about it.

I started running and working out last year on my birthday, when I weighed in at a jaw-dropping 260 pounds. So not healthy, and I didn’t (and don’t) wear it well. I carry it all up front, and it’s uncomfortable to carry around and to look at. My first weight goal was 225 pounds. I hit that in October. I’m back up to 245 right now, and I’m significantly unhappy. I bought myself some new jeans a couple of months ago, and I can’t fit into them now. I want my good jeans back. I’m also too big for my kilt, and it’s getting dangerously close to kilt weather too. Twenty pounds should come off pretty quickly.

I’ve been working on eliminating soda from my diet. I’ll have maybe two or three a week at this point, but I’m ready for that to go away. I don’t need that crap in my system. Not anymore. Water and tea will be good. I’ve done it before, I can do it again.

My first 5K that I’m aiming for is the Pride 5K in June in Columbus. A friend of mine (who said she was inspired by my running and has been running 10Ks for the last year) bought me a shirt to wear. It says “Run like you stole a drag queen’s wig” and I want to be at the front of the pack when this race starts, especially with that shirt.

I won’t lie: I want to be a hot, tight musclebear. I can do that. 190 pounds at 5’11”, furry and meaty and sexy as hell. This is not unachievable. I can, will, and am doing this. It’s happening right now. Mindset is a big chunk of this, hey?

 


Grazing and gazing

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I weighed myself this morning: 259.8.sugarkiss

It’s not the biggest I’ve ever been, but it’s not far off. I set a one-year goal for myself to get down to 225. I’ll still be heavier than I want to be, but 35 pounds is a good first goal in 12 months.

I need to start running again. That starts this week, thanks to the forecast not looking like Hoth.

My food choices need to change. I started eating salads — good salads, not just sad lettuce in a bowl — last week, and they’ve made a huge difference in my day, honestly. I’ve started looking forward to that Cobb salad from Cosi instead of the crap that I usually eat. There will be days when I get the pasta bowl from Piada, but I have other choices. I’m also probably going to start bringing my lunch to work more instead of buying stuff at restaurants. That Cobb salad is great, but I can make and bring two meals (salad and sandwiches) for the $10 cost of that salad. I got some Brain Bread from Beehive Bread Company this weekend; I’d forgotten how awesome that bread is. And it’s not far from work, so I can go up on my lunch break, get a loaf of it (and a pull-apart to eat) and still be back to work on time.

My biggest challenge is getting rid of Mountain Dew. I can do it, though. And maybe I can stave off the ‘Beetus for a little while longer.

Super tired of being fat. Super ready to fix it. Still not all that motivated.

sugarlips

My insecurities are coming back in a HUGE landslide. I hate it. Hate it like fire on my crotch (not that there’s anything wrong if that’s your thang; we all have our kinks). I’m good at my job (I’m not as consistent as I’d like, but that’s a different thing entirely). I have a great office environment and fantastic co-workers. I have a phenomenal husband and friends who are supportive. Someone suggested that I read up on impostor syndrome. I’m not sure about that, but it’s an interesting read. It feels like some sort of social anxiety, to be honest, and that confuses and infuriates me. I’m a strong extrovert, and shit like that just does not happen to extroverts. I should probably try to find a therapist at the very least.

My biggest problem with that, though, is that I’m petrified that I’ll end up on meds that will in some way fundamentally change me, who I am, and how I interact with the world. I don’t want that to happen. Meds would almost make me feel like I’m a failure, like I can’t handle myself and my world.

sugarlips

One of those aforementioned awesome co-workers and I have been talking about trying some exercise that doesn’t feel like exercise. So yesterday, we bought a Groupon for two private ballroom dance lessons and a group dance class. Anyone who pays any attention knows that I’m a huge Dancing with the Stars fan, so this makes me happy. And scared. SO SCARED. I’m going to do it no matter how much I suck at it, but it’s still scary as shit. We’ll see what happens.


Still Second Class

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So, Leon and I have been together for 11 years. Comingled finances for about 10 1/2 years. Leases, loans, credit cards, everything. Thankfully, he’s always had jobs that offer domestic partner benefits.

Now, he’s unemployed and I have a job. I can get insurance through my employer. The insurance, while decent, is through two different providers, one for medical and one for dental and vision. I was filling out my applications for them today and got to the question about marital status.

Marital Status: Single // Married // Divorced

It’s always a tricky question. We’re not legally married in any state in the country (something that *will* change this year, dammit). If I have to get in on the fucking lawsuit against the state of Ohio to get my 14th amendment rights, I will. In, as my friend Zach says, a cocaine heartbeat.

Let me be perfectly clear about this: none of this is the fault of my employer or the insurance agent. It is completely the fault of the insurance providers. If I was married to a woman, this wouldn’t even be an issue. If I was a single parent, this wouldn’t be an issue.

For those of you who can’t seem to see that this is about creating a second-class distinction, you’re part of the problem. And that makes you one of the biggest fucking douchebags on the entire planet. Those of you who can’t seem to fight for anyone who’s not just like you, same pile of douchebaggery.

I’m so goddamned angry right now that I’m surprised that my hair isn’t on fire. There will be so much pixel death tonight. SO MUCH.


My Insecurity — Let Me Show It To You

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eeyore1

It’s never pretty when one does far too much navel-gazing. I never feel adequate enough. It bothers me a great deal.

I have an amazing husband. Most days, I don’t know why he bothers with me.

I have a great job and fantastic co-workers. It’s an entire office full of knit-worthy people. Seriously. Every single person in this office, I would knit something for. Every day, I feel like I frustrate them and let them down.

I’m very good at my chosen profession. I can not clue in to how to do this job well. And I don’t even know if I’m good enough to keep it. Six months in, I should have some confidence in what I do. Not so much.

I feel like a giant fraud in my faith most days. I know what works for me, but is it fair to try and teach others when I don’t know what works for them? I don’t know what to do anymore.

I haven’t been running in weeks, and I have a 15K this weekend and it’s going to take me 2.5 hours to finish it (it does have an awesome goodie bag, though, so that’s something). I’m somewhat alright with that, but damn, I want to do it faster. I can’t even seem to finish the goddamned Couch-to-5K program and I think I’m going to run a half-marathon in two years? High much?

I feel very, very adrift. Again. Still. And the shittiest part of all of this is that I know that it’s not me with the doubts. I mean, they’re my doubts, but right now, they just feel completely unmanageable. My seasonal affective disorder didn’t hit until January or February last winter, and it was super light for me. This year, it’s already hitting, and it’s hitting hard as fuck.

Two songs have been on repeat in my brain today: Mama’s Broken Heart by Miranda Lambert (“Go on and hide your crazy”) and If You’re Going Through Hell by Rodney Atkins. And now it’s adding Morning Comes by Delta Rae.

I need more light in my world. I need more peace in my world. I need more me in my world. And gods above and below, I need it soon. I hate feeling like I’m losing my shit. I’m terrible at coping with the way the world moves around me, and it’s getting worse as I get older. A year on a remote plot of land with just learning how to be me again. That wouldn’t suck.


Marriage Equality, Part Two

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This is a reply I made to someone on Facebook.

Not everyone believes in the same God. Or Gods. There is a guideline of separation of Church and State in this country. Marriage equality has NOTHING to do with religion. Nobody’s religious views will be affected by it. Churches who don’t believe in it won’t be forced to perform same-sex marriages. My faith (and Mojie’s, for that matter) allow, affirm, and celebrate when people make a commitment to one another. So does my mother’s; she’s an ELCA Lutheran. So does my friend Zach’s. He’s an ordained United Church of Christ minister. By saying that “God” has said this, you take away the voice of their faiths.

If you believe that marriage is for the sole purpose of procreation, do you also support the dissolution and banning of marriages who have zero intention of having children? Or the ones entered into by women past the age of menopause or sterile men? Would you support legislation to require an opposite-sex couple who enter into marriage to have at least one child? If your answer is ‘no’ to any of those, that argument is invalid.

This is completely for the CIVIL equality. There are 1138 rights and responsibilities afforded to married couples by the federal government that are not an option for anyone who’s not in an opposite-sex marriage, including things like property inheritance, hospital visitation, and child custody. My father and stepmother were married in a civil ceremony by a Justice of the Peace. They’ve been married for 30 years. Is their marriage any less valid because they weren’t married in a church? Or because they don’t have children of their own?

How is anyone asking you to give up your rights? There are exactly zero ways that this would impact your rights or your life. You say that you “Do not and Will not stand and let someone try to shove there (sic) beliefs down my” throat. By fighting against what others believe, isn’t that what you’re doing? In this instance, nobody wants to take away any rights from you. At all. Ever. We want equal rights. You want special rights, rights that are not afforded to other people.

I’m sorry you had horrific experiences with some people growing up. I got beaten up by straight people while growing up. I don’t hate straight people, and I’m not trying to take away their rights, simply because I know that not all straight people are the same, just like not all gay people are the same.

All we want is to be treated like Americans instead of being treated like second-class citizens.


Marriage Equality

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So, to anyone out there who may possibly be interviewing anyone who is anti-marriage equality, or even those out there who are reading this who are anti-marriage equality (and, uh, why are you here? Fuck off; you’re a bigoted douchebag), I ask you this (or ask you to ask your interview people this): Why are you anti-marriage equality?

  • If you say “Because the Bible says so!”, you’re disqualified; not everyone believes in your Bible, and you’re cherry-picking parts of it. My faith allows and celebrates people to make commitments to one another.
  • If you say, “Because it’s not natural!”, you’re disqualified; neither are eyeglasses, pacemakers, gasoline, or oxygen tents.
  • If you say, “Because it could/will lead to beastiality (or something equally as stupid)!”, you’re disqualified; there have been exactly zero cases in the last ten years since Massachusetts passed its marriage equality laws where this has happened.

If you’re going to be a bigot, at least have the guts to say it’s because you’re a bigot. I’d have a truckload more respect for you than if you use one of the above. Granted, it’s about a Hot Wheels truckload, but any port in a storm, hey? Two people getting married will not affect your marriage in any way, shape, or form.

Yes, we know you’re still out there. Yes, we’re fully aware that you’re going to try to stop this. What you need to realize is that we don’t give to juicy shits about your little temper-tantrums. We will win this, and you will look like bigger idiots than you already do.

If you really want some credibility for any of your arguments, you’ll bring us facts, not emotional whining. Until then, kindly shut the hell up and get out of the way so the future can happen.


…and cue the Celine Dion…

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Aunt Frances Owens: My darling girl, when are you going to realize that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage!

I need to remember that more often. I’m feeling decidedly… not a part of anything, and that saddens me. I’m feeling isolated, and I’m feeling lonely without feeling alone, and I’m getting neurotic about a lot of things. I’m trying my damnedest not to be and to be more positive, but I don’t know how well I’m doing. I need to change things about myself, both physically and emotionally, but I’m not sure how to do most of that work.

I feel like I let people down a lot, and I neither mean to nor want to. Something needs to change. Maybe it’s time to suck it up and find a therapist. It couldn’t hurt, right?


Adrift. Again.

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Forgive me. It’s been four weeks since my last post.

Not a lot has changed since last I wrote, O Great Internet. I’m maintaining my weight (still ~250 pounds); I’m not losing, but I’m also not gaining. I’ve tried making better food choices, and that seems to be going well. I’ve been snacking on healthier things (oranges and strawberries lately, with some popcorn if I crave salty snacks). Hell, I even had a salad with dinner tonight. I haven’t been to the gym in two months, and I probably won’t go this week, since the Resolutioners are there, and I hate the thought of being seen as one of them.

I’ve been doing a lot of sitting on the couch and watching Netflix. I went through the entire run of White Collar and Hot in Cleveland. We’ve also watched the full first season of Game of Thrones and all of Star Trek: Enterprise. Fun shows, for very different reasons. I need to get the first part of this season of White Collar so I can catch up very soon, and I need to get the second season of Game of Thrones in a format I can watch on my large TV from my very comfortable couch instead of on my good-sized computer monitor from a mostly comfortable computer chair. I’m working my way through Burn Notice right now; I’m not completely sold on it yet. Though, honestly, I do love the glitter out of Ms. Sharon Gless. She makes me happy; I’d listen to the woman read the phone book. (And, dammit, I can get Cagney & Lacey on Netflix DVD but not streaming. WHY DO YOU HATE ME, NETFLIX??)

I haven’t just been sitting there, though; I’ve been knitting like a crazy man. I finished a double-sized (meaning ten repeats instead of the five in the pattern) Citron in a gorgeous pewter and amethyst for The Sister, and I’m just a bind-off away from finishing Anna for the same Sister. The Citron was mindless and made for a great traveling project, but by the final increase section, I was over 900 stitches, and knitting or purling that many stitches makes you want to stab your eyes out with the needles. Anna, on the other hand, takes a little more paying attention, and it’s paying off. It’s gorgeous, it’s in a 70/30 merino/silk blend, and it’s a fantastic deep blue-green colorway called Kenai. I’ll admit that part of the reason I picked that colorway was the name. Kenai was the name of the main character in Brother Bear, so it’s appropriate that it’s going to my sister. (And yes, I know it’s also a city in Alaska; there’s no emotional attachment there. Yet. One never knows, I may end up on a trip there at some point.)

There hasn’t been a lot of movement in the last month on my video game alter-egos. I haven’t been in the mood to play much, sadly, but I’ve got a ton of screenshots from before the end of City of Heroes (though, warning, that link makes COHers very sad), and I’ll turn them into blog posts at some point, I hope. I’m also still doing some hellacious rep grinding on World of Warcraft. It takes FOR.EV.ER. but I’ll get what I want. OH YES I WILL. Guild Wars 2 is fun, as well. My little Asuran Engineer hit level 40 a while back, and my Sylvari Elementalist (named Shadow Glitter) is also a hell of a lot of fun to play.

Not much to report on the job front. I’ve had a few interviews, but nothing’s come of them. I’ve got one on Monday, and I hope that it goes well. It could be a very large turning point for us if I get it. I’ll ask for more job mojo and leave it at that. I also think I need a new interview outfit, but we’ll see what happens with that.

Aside from that, O Great Internet, there’s not much to report. Same goals from last year stand: eat better, exercise more, lose weight, read more, pray more, blog more, be most smartest (though, if you need to click that link, how are we even friends?), be more authentic to myself. I realize that there are a lot of people out there who really couldn’t care less about me because they’ve made up their minds about me without, y’know, really getting to know me or caring if I’ve even changed who they think I am, and that’s their own issue, one that I refuse to make mine. There will be no shoving me into their molds; if someone doesn’t like who I am, well, they can waltz themselves right out of my life.

Here’s to a massive ass-kicking to 2012. You deserve it for sucking so badly. 2013, you’ve got a pretty low bar to get over. Perhaps you should get to it.

Much love. Blessed be.


“…after the night, the morning comes.”

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I’m totally freakin’ made of awesome, dipped in glitter and more awesome, in a bowl made of filthy language and awesome.

That’s how I described myself to someone today. And most times, that’s how I feel about myself. There are times, though, that I really don’t. I can spend two or three days feeling incredibly useless, incredibly worthless, incredibly broken. I know that it’s a temporary thing, and that the sun will shine again, but for those two or three days, my self-worth is somewhere significantly less than zero.

This year, my Seasonal Affective Disorder hasn’t been acting up. The last three or four years (or more; I’ll have to check with Leon), it’s been horrible. Crying at the drop of a hat, not wanting to get out of bed, not wanting to leave the house, that kind of thing. For me, it’s not as severe or long-lasting as depression, but I’ve done quite a bit of reading about it. It made me feel better to know that I’m not the only one who deals with this; I’m not the only one who suffers every year; I’m not the only one who spirals down into near-catatonia at times. Is that weird? To feel better knowing that there are other people in a shitty mindset? It feels a little weird, but, then again, I’m kinda weird. We changed out a few of the light bulbs in our house with full spectrum bulbs and OH MY GODS, does it make a difference.

I’ve got a friend who’s dealing with SAD really hardcore this year, and the people around him aren’t dealing with it well. They just don’t get it. It’s not something very many people can help with; you kind of have to have some sort of depression to understand. It’s a shitty, shitty, insidious, shitty disorder. With “regular” depression, you can get diagnosed and take meds. There are support groups. There is traditional therapy. With SAD, the most effective therapy is light therapy. There are no meds. There are no support groups. People think you’re just down and they try to cheer you up. It sucks.

If you know someone who has SAD, treat them kindly, but don’t expect them to be happy just because you are or you want them to be. If you have SAD, so do I. I’m more than willing to help talk you out of your dark places.

I’m ending this with a video. It’s by a group called Delta Rae. They’re absolutely amazing. The song is called Morning Comes, and it’s the absolute best song about struggle, hardship, depression, and hope that I’ve ever heard.

Be well, brothers and sisters. Be strong. We need you. The morning will come, and you will be stronger for it.


Workin’ it

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Three times in the last week, I’ve made it to the gym. GO ME. I’m pretty damn happy about this. I’m doing a strength-foundation workout that I found on RealJock (link is so very not safe for work; you’ve been warned). It’s kicking my ass. Tonight, I added an extra set on most of the exercises I’ve been doing and holy shit, do I hurt. I’m gonna sleep VERY well. I’ve also been keeping up (and, well, surpassing, because I’m an over-achiever sometimes) the Morning Mile Challenge from NerdFitness, and it feels awesome. I’m not always doing it in the morning, but I’m getting at least one mile in a day. Kinda proud of myself.

Still working on getting my food choices smarter, and that’s still not easy. I’m kind of a picky eater, and some foods are more challenging for me than others, but I’m doing what I can. I have asparagus that I’m going to make this weekend, I hope, and we have some orange cauliflower that we’ll be mashing up, too. Kinda looking forward to them. There are ways to make this easier and better, and I will do my damnedest to find them and make this happen, because I need to make it happen.

I finished a pair of cabled fingerless mitts this week, and I have a pair of kicky red cabled gloves on my needles to finish next. It’s kind of nice that I don’t have gigantic paws; most glove patterns are made for women’s medium or large hands, so I’m pretty safe with most of them. I hate sizing patterns, mostly because I suck at it.

Still nothing on the job front, but my unemployment kicked in this week. That will help until I get something. Help, because it’s not a lot. It’s not supposed to be a living, and I can’t wait until I can tell them to stop it. In the meantime, I’ve been working on a church program for Mom (link to Mom’s blog, which needs to be updated, hint hint hint), and I’m pretty proud of the way it turned out. I used my Mad Office Skillz, and it’s pretty awesome. I also have a hefty data entry project on which I’m working, and I’m designing some office documents for a friend’s new business. Those are heavily on the agenda for next week, I think.

Still reading Evolutionary Witchcraft with JaguarMoon. I’m not as enamored of it as I want to be. It’s nice to see another path, but I don’t know that that path is for me. I’m a little skeptical of it, but I think that has more to do with it being out of a book. I deal better with the experiential side of it, and the Feri rituals I’ve seen or of which I’ve been a part have been amazing. I’m pretty sure that that’s what the difference is for me.

I’m also still working my way through the Wheel of Time series. I’m on book five, The Fires of Heaven, right now. The final book, book fourteen, A Memory of Light, comes out in January, and I hope to be caught up by sometime in February or March so that I can get the final book on my Kindle and finish the series. I know that there are a lot of people who pooh-pooh this series because it’s so freakin’ wordy and loooooooooong, but I bough the first one, The Eye of the World, when I was working at Jack & Jill in high school, and it’s been with me ever since. It’s one of those things that I give my sister Sarah shit about, because there is crayon ALL THROUGH my copy of EotW, thanks to her little four-year-old self. No, she’ll never live it down. She knows why she doesn’t get to borrow my books. I don’t care that she’s almost 28. No.

People keep asking how I am. My standard answer is, “I’ve been better. I’ve also been worse, and I’m getting better.” The anger is mostly gone, though it spikes every once in a while, but that’s to be expected, I think. At some point, it will be gone, with little flares of bitterness and cranky-face. I’ll move on to better things, I’m sure, and life will move itself inexorably forward. It will take me along, as it always does. I will bounce back. And until I’m bouncing again, there are video games, there are rockin’ hot workouts, and there are good times with good friends.

And I will take this life, and I will make it my bitch.

So mote it be.