Stuff and that.

Stuff. And yeah. That

Tag: middle age

Welcome back.

Oh hello there, fancy seeing you here, hiding down the back of the couch with all the dust bunnies, the half chewed lollies, one broken pen, a marble, and oooh, shiny at least $5 in coins. Nice. It’s dark and cosy down here…

Where was I? Oh, that’s right. Blogging. I’ve had a hiatus of sorts. The kind of hiatus one has when all the wheels fall off *and* you break an axle. Now, way back in February 2017, I though 2016 wasn’t as shit as I thought it was, and I was sort of complaining a bit about nothing much. It’s now (almost) February 2018 (might even be by the time I post this. I’m digressing. Again.) and I look back on 2017 and yes. Well.

2017 was indeed a bit fucked up. Conga-line of clusterfucks from about Easter onward. Nice one, 2017. Just after Easter, I was blessed with a virus. Not a bad virus so to speak, I just lost 20 IQ points and my brain got filled with custard for a couple of weeks. Then, not long after my last post, I hurt my back. Now, hurting my back is something I do moderately regularly – apparently I have a slightly irritable disc and it ranges from a teensy bit testy to really fucking cross. It objects to the most trivial of motions – generally a slight bend and twist, usually involving picking up a featherweight item at the periphery of my reach. This time was no different. I was unpacking the dishwasher. Back went “oi, you there”. I went “o fuck off, mate. Shizz to do”. It went “alright then. Hold my fucking beer.” My back decided to bypass really fucking cross and venture into absolutely apoplectic territory, and it was welcome to physios and copious muscle relaxants and pain killers. Noice one, mate.

Not satisfied with physically torturing me, I decided a nice dose of man-flu was on the cards. Proper temperature and everything (39C or something. I had the delirious). I was home from work for three whole days. Crikey. I have *never* been that sick before. The kids decided to get in on the action and between them tag teamed the gastro (invincible mother-guts meant I missed that one – although, working from home… in the middle of a telephone hook up and I’m all “erm. Can you call me back in 20 minutes” while Mayhem chucked his guts up. That kid threw up more times in one day than in his entire life.) Then, because gastro wasn’t enough – let’s have some boy-flu. In Mayhem’s defence, I think he had actual flu. He was a sick bubby for a few days. Didn’t even ask for his ipad til day five.

So, you’d be thinking that was enough of the illnesses, right? Well. I would have thought so. But I didn’t really get over the Man-Flu… I just had epic apathy that got worse and worse until I was really struggling to do more than go through the motions at work every day and collapse on the couch at night. Of course, I consulted Dr Google to see whether it was the Ladypause (the shop did appear to be shut) or a depression (I really did not give a fuck about anything. Except that I did give a fuck that I didn’t give a fuck) and was I going to take to my bed with the vapours for the next few years? Except I’d need to change the sheets, and that took effort and yeah… you got it.

I finally hit up a trained medical professional  and whadderyou know. My thyroid, which had a history of taking little naps, decided to shit the tin completely. Now, it’s stopped functioning optimally before, but I’ve never had symptoms. Here are some symptoms (I stole them from here)

  • depression, feeling withdrawn and a lack of motivation
  • inability to concentrate
  • body fatigue, muscle aches and low energy levels
  • needing more sleep
  • intolerance to cold temperatures
  • unexplained weight gain
  • dry skin and /or pale skin and facial bloating
  • hair loss or thinning out
  • constipation
  • heavy, irregular or prolonged menstrual periods
  • goitre (enlarged thyroid gland that is visible)
  • slower heart rate.

Had a couple of them. Or ten. My heart rate is pretty slow anyway. I’m naturally slightly warmer than dead. Little white pills entered my life and things have improved dramatically. I’m still not what I was, though. Albeit fairly close. And the fucking shop had a grand reopening sale. That was a tale in and of itself. I’m away from home, presenting at a conference, and it was like the gates of hell had opened. Suffice to say that while I am mildly disappointed the shop is not in fact shut, I’m glad we’ve returned to business as usual.

Now, you’d think that would be enough for one year. But no, 2017 wasn’t quite finished with me.

I had a fall.

Yes, I am an old person. I have Falls now.

I tell people I fell about a metre. This is not a lie. It is indeed about a metre from my arse to the ground. Which is also indeed about how far I fell. I just left out the bit about slipping on some wet leaves and landing on my arse, spraining my ankle, skinning my knee, and tearing a tendon *and* a ligament in my wrist.

Fuck. Me. Fucking. Swinging.

Yeah, could have been worse. I could have broken my wrist and ankle. Normal people break their bones when they fall. I have sort of hypermobile joints, so I sort of suddenly fold in peculiar directions and gravity takes it’s toll. I’m getting better – eight weeks down the track, the skinned knee has finally healed up, the dodge ankle is fine as long as I don’t jog (pfft) or go down stairs, and my wrist is letting me know what I can’t do by letting go of things randomly. Interesting times.

Anyway, 2017 wasn’t all shite. Just health-wise, 2017 belongs in the bin. I did do some reading (about 25 books, so not much reading), I cooked a bit (poisoned the family with a few new recipes and they didn’t die.) More or less kept up with my steps, too – 4.7 million of the fuckers. We had a couple of cracking family holidays that added Stories to the family lore, which is what it’s all about. I stood up at not one but two conferences in 2017, which was actually fun. I am an ok presenter and come off super calm and composed. Which is nice, considering I am a puddle of sweat from the ankles down. I got bombarded with questions after both presentations, too. And I got to catch up with family and friends after one of them.

And I decided to do something about my stupid back, and took up pilates. This has been one of the best things I’ve actually ever done. I go more or less once a week, it’s a structured class run by physiotherapists (rather than aerobics instructors) and despite my epic Fall with all the other related injuries, back was completely fine.

Anyway. 2018 goals…

Not as shit as 2017.

And I’ll leave it at that!

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On the wagon again…

A few months ago, I decided to declutter some of my um. Personal baggage. So, how’s it coming along then, this mission to be a bit less fat that I was? I started in November, it’s now May and I have lost eightish kilograms (actually, I have lost more than eight kilograms, but I am less than eight kilos lighter than I was when I started. Confused? Yeah. So am I.) But still, I am lighter than I was when I started. That’s the main thing, right? But there have been a couple of kilos that’ve come and gone a couple of times, what with one thing and another. There’s been a couple of holidays, and the lady bidness doing its level best to thwart me (hey, you need this extra kilo and ALL THE CHOCOLATE IN THE WORLD) but I know I have slipped off the wagon a little bit lately (did I mention ALL the chocolate in the world?) I’ve noticed I have been doing a lot more scoffing and there’s been a lot less savouring going down.

Like, sitting at Bouncy Land, allegedly supervising my children; with a bag of mixed lollies “for the kiddies” in front of me while I nutted out a particularly tricky bit of crochet.  I suddenly realised as my hand snaked into the bag, pulling out a couple of delectable jelly pieces, that I had NO idea how many times I’d actually done that in the hour I’d been sitting there. I’d basically been sitting there, crochet in one hand and a jelly in the other while I muttered to myself for an hour (…83…84…85…86…what do you mean 86…fuck it. Repeat).

Not to mention finding myself heading toward the poxy charity chocolate box again. Now, I established a while ago that I don’t actually like the stuff. It’s cheap and nasty and slightly warmer than is pleasant, and for the last well over a year, I have dipped in the box maybe three or four times (hormones seriously have a lot to answer for) but in the last couple of months, it’s been almost daily. Also, there’s been wine. Much wine. And cheese. I love cheese. And maybe cake. There could have been cake. At least once or twice. And Baileys. I am partial to a Baileys on a cooler evening, and the evenings have been getting cooler.

Ok, I confess, I know exactly where that stray couple of kilograms keeps coming from, damnit. The lady business, well, I’m not sure exactly what’s going on with that – but I am of an age where the shop should be shutting up. However, it appears that, like the rug shop on the High Street, this shop is in no hurry to make up its mind. Grand Sale, Grand Sale, everything special price, you make me an offer… Please. Shut. The. Damn. Shop.

Yes, well. That bit is out of my hands. The wine and the cheese and the chocolate and the new ice-cream shop around the corner from work and the stuffing my face with chippies when I get home from work, however. That bit is in my hands (literally *in* my hands. Ahem. See what I did there.)

So, I have taken the first steps toward being mindful again. Starting with a week of calorie counting. There’s nowt like measuring every mouthful to make one reconsider its worth. Snacks are now served on plates like I’m a Lady or somesuch. If I really want the snack, I am happy to do the extra dishes. And I’m not just restricting the mindfulness to food. I have also been making a conscious effort to go to bed at a reasonable hour (ok, reasonable is up for debate, somewhere before 11.30 is fairly reasonable) because (der) getting a decent amount of sleep at night means I don’t have that crash in the afternoon when I go looking for a little something something that leads to another something because the first something wasn’t the something I was looking for because I was tired and what I needed was an extra half hour of sleep. Plus, my steps. Getting my steps up solves a multitude of problems – it stops me turning into the Dragon Queen, helps me sleep better, and, if there’s enough steps, they compensate for the odd cheese platter and bottle of wine.

And I do like the odd cheese platter and bottle of wine. (And cake)

Thinner…

Riddle me this, Gentle Reader. What kind of idiot decides that the very bestest time in the universe to take up a diet would be in the couple of months before Christmas? Yeah. That’d be me. Crazy person from Crazytown, Population one.

I had one of THOSE revelations a little while ago… Mum was organising some pants being made for me in far flung parts and she needed some measurements. Fuck me, that was a confronting experience. There were quite a lot of numbers involved in them thar measurements, and whilst Mrs McGee insists she “doesn’t do numbers”, she’s a fucking dressmaker. She knows damn well what *those* particular numbers mean. Her daughter is a fatty boombalaka (and also a foot taller than her so she’ll pretend she knows nuffink if she knows what’s good for her. Good mother I have there.)

Anyway, I made a decision that right then and there – I was going to start watching what I eat and attempting to move more. I weighed myself and measured myself and wrote down those confronting measurements one more time and started (or stopped. Something). I could have waited til after Birthday Season finished, or after The Christmas Season, or the beginning of January, or after we got back from holidays or after I went back to work or even after I finished my second lot of annual leave.

Or a random Tuesday in 2018.

Nope. No time like the present. Basically, even if December and January are a little rocky, there’s a good chance I won’t be starting from an even shitter place than I would be starting when I did. Ok, that didn’t make much sense. Long story much shorter – Start now, lose some weight now, lose more after the Silly Season.

I’ve been officially fat before, and last time, the wake up call came in the shape of a photograph. I didn’t recognise myself. In the picture was a fat old besom, bursting out of her shirt, snarly face being stuffed with something or other, and that’s not how I looked in my head. Ok, the snarly face probably was as I imagined it. It was Christmas and I’m not good at Christmas. Anyway, long story short, got a fright, pulled my finger out and lost 20kg. I kept it off, too. Well, most of it (give or take a couple of kilograms), for about five years. Then, my thyroid shit the tin and I stacked on ten kilos in a relatively short period of time (trained medical professional was involved in the diagnosis. My thyroid wasn’t bad enough for medication, but bad enough that losing weight was a fucking yuge effort for minimal result), then there was the knee thing, turning fifty and getting an enormous CWA bosom overnight, and whadderyou know, I hit the ton just over twelve months ago.

Now THAT was an eye opening number. I Did Not Like that number one little bit, cut back on the cake and forced the knee into a trifle more exercise than it was comfortable with and clawed my weight back to a relatively less repulsive number than I saw on those scales… But time moved on and while my weight didn’t really shift from said less repulsive number, I wasn’t really all that super comfortable with how I looked and felt, and how clothes were fitting me (or, more to the point, not fitting me). That damn CWA bosom was playing havoc with the line of my clothes. And the generally rather well padded arse was um. Substantial. VERY substantial. Then came the aforementioned measuring and the realisation that, despite my internal denials, I was actually a Bit Fat, and I wasn’t very happy about it.

So, I decided I wanted to be thinner.

No number-y goals or anything, just less fat than I was. For me, a relatively low fat diet is the way to go. I don’t follow any particular diet as such – less in than out, move more than I sit, and don’t deny myself anything (because that just leads the very mature 14 year old who lives in my head to just yell “fuck yers all” and stuff her face with whatever has been popped on the “you can’t have that” list). I just know that too much protein makes me spew, and too much fat makes me, well, fat. And I also refuse to eliminate entire food groups like cake and pizza from my life. So, since the end of October I have been considering what I shove in my gob before I stuff my face with whatever is laying around.

And, despite two birthday parties, six Christmas parties, Christmas itself, and going away for a week where I managed to consume about six months worth of alcohol in the space of eight days… I am just a little bit thinner. Not quite noticeable to anyone else unless they look *really* closely, but enough that I need a belt with some pants and the bosom is a little more cross your heart divide and separate and a little less CWA. I’ve also been able to do a spot of shopping in my wardrobe and extended my repertoire of attractive frocks by several. And really, if I think about it, in the last year and two months  I have lost 10% of my starting body weight, and that is a pretty good thing. I still don’t know what I’m aiming for… just a bit less than I am.

 

 

Standing up

A week or so ago, I was innocently riding my bike down the street near me, concentrating on the obvious things like not falling off and watching out for cars and small children (it was the school holidays) when a ute went past me, with the driver hanging out the window yelling something at me. I didn’t actually hear the words he said, but the tone wasn’t pleasant and honestly,  how many young idiots in utes yell nice words at fat ladies on bikes?

One of the benefits of wandering into middle age is becoming invisible to young idiots like that. So to say I was surprised and shocked by the whole encounter would be an understatement to say the least. By the time I’d collected myself he’d disappeared from view, and what would I do about it anyway? He may have been being encouraging? Anyway, I felt sort of squicky and uncomfortable all day, decided to give him the benefit of the doubt, built a bit of a bridge and got over it and as if I would ever run into him again to confront him about it anyway.

Fast forward to yesterday… I was running really late for work (damn daylight savings) and drove to work. Anyway,  all flustered (daylight savings, who’d have it) and went the wrong way out of the driveway. So, a quick detour down the next street and whadderyou know… there’s the very distinctive ute that went past me. I spent all day yesterday internally debating the whole thing about whether I should go and confront him or continue to walk away.

I’m not the most confrontational soul, and I’ll do anything to avoid an argument. But this wasn’t an argument. This was someone else going out of his way to make someone else miserable for no reason but his own amusement. I was minding my own business when he chose to yell at me, and his actions impacted on me in such a way that I was really quite upset, whereas if he’d chosen to mind his own business too – both of us would have continued to have a pleasant day.

This morning, I confronted him.

I told him he would have no idea who I was and no idea why I was there, but when I reminded him, I think he knew . Of course he denied it, then said if he did do it, he didn’t remember what he said.  I very calmly (on the outside) told him that his actions made me feel uncomfortable, he insisted he was yelling encouragement and if I didn’t hear his words, how do I know he wasn’t? One raised eyebrow from me. He didn’t continue to insist he was being encouraging. He did apologise a couple of times (to his credit), and I told him that next time he went to yell out the window at anyone, he should think about how his mum or his sister or his girlfriend would feel to be on the receiving end of what ever it was he said.

Then I continued on my way to work (still shaking like a leaf, I might add!), and if I’ve made him feel as uncomfortable as he made me feel and made him think about it for a second next time he decides it’s an ace idea to shout out the window… He’s only 19 or 20, so he’s got 60 years ahead of him of being a dick, and maybe I might have re-directed his path a smidgeon. Maybe I haven’t, but for one small moment he knew what it was like to be me.