Sunday, September 30, 2007

Can you BELIEVE October starts tomorrow?

September was both very long (while at the office) and very short (while trying to get anything else done). My September goals were only partially met. I did unload, or find a home for, well over 100 pounds of Stuff from this house, but that was cheating because my friend L is going to take my elliptical trainer. I did get to the gym at least 3x a week, but I think there was only 1 week that I hit 5x. I did not lose 10 pounds. My daughter says I look smaller, so I will tell myself that I replaced fat with muscle and though the scale didn't move, my work slacks are sagging in the butt. I've heard from more than one person that it took about two months of solid gym attendance before the scale really moved, including my own daughter, who is now so tiny it's crazy, all through exercise and watching her diet. She was working yesterday and asked if I could wash her jeans for her while doing other laundry. As I was folding them I marveled at how long and narrow they are. So I am neither disappointed nor discouraged, but I am going to pay closer attention to my eating habits, because I know those could be better.

I went to the gym today, and did a solid hour on the elliptical trainer. An hour. Me. 49 year old brain aneurysm survivor me. Now, I didn't do 20 miles, but I watched an entire episode of L&O Criminal Intent while maintaining at least a steady 3.8-4 mph, with bursts of faster time during commercials, which is not bad for someone who really ought to be dead. You really notice how many commercials there are when you use them for your high intensity time. The first time I got back on an elliptical machine last spring, I got dizzy in 2 minutes and had to lurch the two feet to my bed to lie down, wondering if I'd have to somehow reach my cell phone and call 911 - THAT kind of dizzy. Now I can do an hour. Whoo! Hiking in the mountains is going to be SO much easier this time.

I skipped the weights today. I need to balance the weights with yoga, because I have been bad about stretching and between the weights and sitting at a desk being tense all day, my arms and shoulders are so tight it's awful. I used to be flexible, but around a year of neglecting yoga left me as inflexible as a board. I'm thinking daily yoga and then a couple of serious weight training sessions a week will be a better balance.

I have an estimate on painting the house, and it came in exactly to the penny what I expected/guesstimated, so I think that's a go, as soon as love bug season is over. I didn't even think about love bug season, but fortunately the painters did. For the uninitiated, Love Bugs are black bugs that live for a brief period of time in the spring and the fall. They are called love bugs because all the do for their brief existence is screw. In midair. And they are attracted to the smell of car exhaust, so they end up splattered all over the front of your vehicle, where their horny little bug juices eat the paint off your car. A good swarm will make it impossible to see through your windshield. At this time of year, school fundraiser car washes feature kids at the side of the road holding up signs, We Clean Off Love Bugs! Which is not an easy thing to do, because once these little buggers get baked on, it takes some serious muscle to get 'em off. They (the bugs, not the kids, but maybe the kids too) are also attracted to the smell of fresh paint, and will stick themselves to it if you paint outdoors at this time of year. So the painting is scheduled for later in October, after the love bugs have boinked themselves to death once again.

This month is Asheville! Whoo! As of today, I plan to drive up on the 14th and return that Friday, the, whatever it is, 19th? That way I have Saturday to get ready to hit the road, and the weekend to recover, and I think 5 nights on an air mattress is probably all I'm really good for anyway. I do believe in the adage that houseguests and fish stink after 3 days, so I will try to be as unobtrusive and un-annoying as I can be. I know the cat will be pissed, he hissed at me every damn morning last time, right after purring and asking me to put food in his dish. Plaintive meow for food. After food hits dish, eyes of hate and a hiss, because I am a stranger, even though I do have those convenient opposable thumbs. Use the thumbs, woman, then fuck off. It was quite funny.

My son would of course give me his room as he did last year, but I think it's more convenient if I stay downstairs because I wake up much earlier than anyone else and I'd like to be able to putter around, drink coffee and get on the computer without being a disturbance. I will talk to him this week and we shall firm up plans - he will not be off work for my entire visit, probably only a couple of days of it, but I am able to amuse myself. I am thinking a day spa visit would be nice, nails and such, and of course I will have my camera. It dawned on me that I will be bringing more electrical devices than clothing, and the number of power cords borders on insane.

MacBook and its power cord. And the iPod and its cable and such. Two cameras and their cables and battery chargers - wee purse camera and Big Momma. Phone and charger, of course. Then regular stuff like a blow dryer. It will take me a day to prep and remember all the cables I need before I get on the road, and about 10 minutes to pack my wardrobe of jeans and running shoes and boots, including remembering socks and makeup.

I am counting down the days!


ChelleC said...

Catherine, sounds like you've had a very productive month of September. You are getting in shape. Wahoo!!! An hour on an eliptical? That is phenomenal.

I bet you really ARE counting down the days until Asheville.

Bess said...

Woo woo! I swear, honey, that's one vacation I'd like to be taking. And mega-congratulations on a whole hour of eliptical training.

Let us hope that October is as productive as September for you but more peaceful. Ohm.

Amie said...

I can't believe how quickly my own health is improving - I hope you're feeling the same.

Honestly, a HUGE part for me was finding the doctor who said "oh, your numbers look almost okay, but you're still feeling the symptoms, so maybe God just programmed you different - let's give you the meds and see how that helps" instead of the previos doc who thought once the cancer was gone, his job (including listening) was done.

Now I can actually do some of the working out I want to do, and so I'm reversing the cycle - what was too-tire-to-workout-and-get-more-energy became getting-more-energy-and-can-workout-more.

Yay, for you!

Catherine said...

Amie, one thing I noticed is that this has to be a permanent change. If I don't work out for even just a week, my energy drops like a rock and I can hardly make it through the day - the same work day that makes it hard to get to the gym is the day I can't get through if I don't get to the gym. This is a challenge, as we say in Corporate Speak. I was pissed because I stayed late at work and didn't make it to the gym tonight, because those workouts give me the energy to survive my life. And you go with your 3.5 mile walks! It does become an addiction, and that stuff about mood improvement isn't just propaganda. I can feel it and see it, and it's quite dramatic now. I used to be a "take it or leave it" exerciser, I'd do it for a while, get busy and quit, and not really see a difference in my energy or mood (in my ass, yes). Now I'm in it for the mood and energy boost even more than the ass improvement (though that still matters).