Wednesday, August 13, 2014

General Life Updatery


Images from Parks and Recreation. Owned by NBC. Via Buzzfeed.

It's been nearly a month since I updated y'all about my whole "Trying to be a competent adult" thing, so I thought I'd fill you in.

The calorie counting is going relatively well. During the week when I'm working is easier, because my breakfasts are dictated by what I have time to eat--which usually means frozen foods, which are easy to zap the barcode and enter into MyFitnessPal through my phone. The weekends are a little harder to measure. Sometimes that app can be kind of slow, and pulling up all of the stuff you want to eat and keeping meticulous track of it can be a pain in the ass. So the weekends have been hit and miss, but I'm okay with two days out of the week being a little above my goal calorie count. The point is change my eating habits over the long haul, not meticulously keeping track of every little calorie I consume. It's a broad strokes thing for me.

With that said, it's paying off. I've lost somewhere around 6 pounds doing this, which is a nice reward. I've actually probably lost closer to 8 pounds, because I didn't own a scale when I first started, so I just guess my weight. After a couple of weeks of counting calories, I finally got the money to buy a scale and...I was actually more than what I originally estimated by a couple of pounds. But whatever, six is still great, and it's not really about the weight lost, anyway, it's about health.

Speaking of health: running is a bag of syphilis-riddled dicks, y'all. I hate it.

But running has been made easier by using MediaMonkey--an iTunes-like app for Android, and Zombies, Run! 5k Trainer app. I get a bit of story line as they train me for a 5k, and then it pulls tracks from one of my MediaMonkey playlists without having to run the app in the background. I do also run Endomondo to track my distance, speed, water lost, and calories burned. Y'know, all the fun stuff. But Zombies, Run! keeps me motivated.

I've had a few physical setbacks as I do this whole running regimen. I started out running one day, walking one day. I haven't been able to stick to that exactly, though, because as the running has increased in intensity and length, my legs have started screaming. It got so bad one day that I actually took two days off any physical exercise to give myself time to recooperate. I was afraid I was going to rip or sprain something. Since then, my off days have been actually off, not just walking, most of the time. Because I don't want to over do it and hurt myself. I can't afford the doctors bills, and it seems counter-intuitive to the whole "getting healthier" thing.

In addition, I have asthma, so I have to be very careful how hard I push myself. And I've always had a problem with pushing myself too hard because I want to be like the cool, athletic boys. I'm never happy with the progress I make, I can only ever see how far what I'm currently capable of is from where I'd like to be. So last week I was out for a run. It was the first day of a new running regimen. I managed to make it to the end of my run drills. When I slowed to a walk, though, the world grew sharp, bright, extra colorful. I got light-headed. I couldn't get my breath. It's then I thought, Maybe I pushed myself too far. I got down on my knees to keep myself from throwing up or passing out. Then I thought, No, I need to get lower. I gotta get below this thing. So I laid down until the feeling past.

Which of course looked completely crazy, and I had several people stopping to ask if I was okay. I was very grateful that they were worried, but once I'd laid there for a few minutes and got my breath back, I was fresh and ready to head back home. I did end the day early, that day. I'm not an idiot.

I've also been writing relatively consistent. I finished two or three short stories. I've been hitting almost one a week, but this most recent story has slowed me significantly. I've restarted it several times, coming at it from different angles, trying different things, trying to find my in. I think I've got it now, though.

On a personal front, I started a new job a few weeks ago. Things have been going very well. It's much, much, MUCH less stressful than my previous job, and I'm hoping that once I've gotten used to the new hours, I'll get into more of a groove with writing in the evenings. I've been trying to write on my lunch breaks now, too, but it's hard to find a place where I can write without being looked at strangely, or having people constantly bothering me and breaking my concentration.

All in all, things are going really well for me lately. I'm feeling better than I have in a long time. My old job was basically killing me. I was angry all day, every day, without breaks. Doing something else is like slipping off a suit made of concrete and learning I've been full of helium this whole time. And I'm proud of myself for finally figuring out a way to exercise and eat write, and even working in writing time.

It's still early. I've only been at this for about a month, but I really like where things are heading. Maybe I can have my first fiction sale before the end of the year? Who knows? I do know if I can keep it up, this will be my healthiest, happiest, and most productive year in a long time.

So, y'know, that's nice.