Female Body Changes and the Mystery of Metabolism that Appears to be Asleep at the Wheel

Ok so maybe all of this facial hair isn’t entirely mine (but maybe some is). Also it’s possible that today is Halloween.

While I have zero issue with plastic surgery for other people, I find that it doesn’t really appeal to me on a personal level (today). With that said, there are elements of aging that are seriously less than fabulous. I don’t mind getting older from a number stand point. I just never realized that cosmic humor would require all of the numbers that pertain to my body to join in on the joke.

I went to see the doctor for a routine check-up. While I was there, I thought that perhaps the scale was pulling an excessively early April Fool’s Day joke on me. It wasn’t. The weight in question was shocking to me and is not a number that bears repeating. Ironically it is a number that a bear might weigh if she did happen to get on that same scale, too.

As a bonus I was in the perfect sunlight at another point and noticed something gleaming in my view. It took me a moment to realize that a long thin fuzzy hair had landed on my face. Another unhappy moment later led me to discover that I was a bit off the mark on my original assessment. The fuzzy didn’t land there. It was trying to escape my face. What the eff?  When did I turn into a she-wolf?

It’s tough to feel pretty when your youthful bod has gone on vacay and left you and your bat wing arms dangling behind. It frustrates me immensely and leaves me scratching my beard. Although I love naughty food, it doesn’t seem to matter what I eat. I’ve tried changing the menu significantly, yet I still remain un-thin but with a serious hangryover. If I exercise, I get even hungrier, so I eat more and end up bumping up my calorie count to offset the activity increase.

Please don’t even mention salads. I like real people food. The only salads I enjoy are less like salads and more like bread-free sandwiches. The others with all veggies plus a side of more veggies never leave me satiated. Man cannot live on kale alone, and even if he (she) could, why would one ever want to try???

I will keep attending to my increasing presence of sasquatch chic body flair as I continue to strive for a way to solve my “how to achieve a healthier lifestyle by eating cheesecake” mystery. I know that I could maintain that approach if it was an option. Maybe I will give kale another try. Ha! Not! But I suppose that there are other veggies that I could purchase (yet again) and actually eat this time (ideally before they sprout mini-gardens of their own).

Thankfully I don’t have any major negative temptations in the house at the moment because it’s Halloween and every person in America gives out celery and protein powder. Also the holidays are quickly approaching, and that’s always a great time to shed the excess fluff.

Despite my snark, I do need to figure out a way to get motivated. I may be able to pick up Thor’s hammer, but I think the real challenge is going to be putting down Jo’s fork. Sigh.

Lentils and lettuce always – Joanna

Mystery

I Told You

Ahhhh soooo much bettah now.  No more itch and no more funky!

So I can tell you that I did have the full bandage wrap on for the entire day yesterday.  This surpassed my own expectations, but I recognize that the rest of the mature adult world may be less in awe of my limited (nonexistent) restraint.  This is especially true given that at two minutes past midnight, I simply couldn’t take it anymore.  Poof be gone gnarly germ harbor pretending to protect me!

Incredibly my husband is still speaking to me, but he did go out of his way this afternoon to tell several of our new neighbors that it was a giant nicotine patch for my raging habit.  (It’s a big band-aid, but it does appear patchy-esque.)  That didn’t really explain the other even sketchier hand, so no telling what they think of me now.  In all fairness, it’s just a matter of time before they know what a mega mess I am in general anyway.

My unsexy hand with the blown vein after the IV.

Ironically the IV hand hurts more than the one that had the actual surgery.  Is there anything to do after a rough IV job?  At this point, I’m planning on telling people that I’m one of the few barehanded female boxers in the state but that I did not fare well at my latest event.

***Ahem – slight revision to hand explanation per https://mainepaperpusher.wordpress.com – I’m one of the few barehanded female boxers in the state.  You should see how the other girl fared in our latest match. Ding ding baby!  😈

It’s Just a Matter of Time

hand grrr

Ten points redeemable at absolutely nowhere to whomever names the owner of that mouth!

I’m going to do it.  It’s best if I lead with this so we can avoid any assumptions to the contrary.  Based on past history, it is a statistical inevitability.  I can recite all of the reasons why I shouldn’t, and I recognize that this standoff with my husband is not going to end well this weekend.  Please note that I’m not aiming to make him mad.  Rather I’m trying to figure out how to win him over to my point of view on the proper course of action in this scenario.  (Reality check – There is zero chance of my convincing him.)

parentsdontunderstand

 

Okay.  Here’s the situation.  My parents went away for a week’s vacation.  No no no.  Not that.

 

So I had hand surgery two days ago, yes?  Yes.  And the bandage / wrap should stay on my hand for one full week before the doc checks it, and then he will wrap it again for one more additional week until the stitches come out, yes?  Yes.

I prefer to see these as wise suggestions from a well-paid guy in a white coat with a knife.  My husband sees this as professional advice that must be followed to avoid problems after surgery.  Silly man!  And this is where the divergence in our approaches comes into the picture.  The impending blowup draws closer…

Me:  “Argh!  This wrap is driving me crazy.  I’m going to take it off and put a large waterproof band-aid over it instead.”

Him (comforting and calm):  “Don’t mess with it.  The doctor said to leave it alone for two weeks.”

Me (ever so casual):  Yes, I heard that as well…  But you see…it’s been two days and that’s practically same thing as two weeks.

Him (quickly moving from calm and supportive to irritated):  I’m not going to debate this with you.

Me (even more chill and smooth like buttah):  Oh me neither.  I’m just going to remove it a little bit.

Him (advancing past irritated and heading toward mad):  Noooo.  Don’t touch it.

Me:  It’s no biggie.  I can do this.  It’s easy.

Him (steely):  No.  You’re not.

Me (less casual):  Hmmmm.

Him (staring at me and waiting yet saying nothing): …

Me (looking back and responding but only in my mind):  (oh yes I am)

Him (in his mind):  (NO YOU’RE NOT)

Me (in my double secret probation mind):  (OH YES I AM!!!)

knife

This knife has cut more than a tin can and a tomato.

I’m not saying that he is wrong.  (He’s wrong!)  And I’m not saying that I’m right.  (I’m right!)  I’m just saying that I have had a dozen surgeries since I was a teenager (mainly operations on my joints), and I have played this unwaiting game every time.  See the knife in the picture?  It has been used for slicing bread and removing casts (plural) from my ankles.  My tweezers have plucked eyebrows as well as stitches.  I never make it to the follow-up appointments because I have yet to become a big enough grown up to just leave whatever it is alone.  You’re welcome orthopedic surgeons for all that messy post op time I saved you.

Noooo I don’t really think he is wrong, and yeeees I know that the doctor gave specific instructions for my benefit.

But it’s iiiiitchy!  And funky.  And then back to itchy.  And then back to funky.  It bothers me immensely.  It pesters me, and I fidget with it constantly.  I have shoved cotton gauze under the edges.  I’m about to harvest a truckload of aloe off my patio to get it to calm down.  But then the increasing invisible germ element comes back into my mind and bleh it grosses me out even more!

I doubt that I will make it through the day with this thing.  If that is the case, he will be furious (out of genuine concern for my welfare), and I will act like I don’t notice the steam coming out of his ears for the two-ish days that follow (because I’m a stubborn bonehead and I warned him that I would do this).

That’s all I have to say on this for now.  I must run to take care of other things.  For starters, I need to see what kinds of large bandages we have in the medicine cabinet.  Totally unrelated of course.  I just need to check…

mick

Help me Mick!

hand3

I can’t get no satisfaction either!

Satisfaction

Pest

Day 12 – Keep Going and Never Give Up

prayer

This is a little snippet of a text conversation I had with my mom a few weeks ago.  Clearly I was ribbing her, but sometimes it feels true.  We pray and beg and cry, but we stay trapped in an emotional whirlpool where we can barely keep our heads above water.  I fully believe that our cries are heard, but we may still have to ride out the waves a little longer.  The key is to keep going and to just hold on a bit more.  Never stop hoping and never give up.

Thankfully I was able to spend yesterday out of the whirlpool.  I didn’t have to ride any major emotional roller coasters.  I wasn’t subjected to any blindsiding life events.  And I continued to take initiative to keep the good momentum going.

My three goals from yesterday were:

  • Assess and go into more detail on the division of labor on the home management scene (a.k.a. sharing the chores).
  • Take a little walk beyond the boundaries of my home and yard.
  • Write something honest that makes me uncomfortable to share but likely needs to be read by someone who could be helped by it.

These were the results:

  • Chore chat – On a scale of “Bleh!” to “Fabulous!” I would give this one a high “Meh.”  We talked about it.  We split up chores.  No big epiphanies, but no big meltdowns either.  Chores were knocked out with minimal drama by anyone.  That’s actually probably closer to a “Yay!” than a high “Meh.”
  • Take a walk – I circled the block to check the mail.  That was probably somewhere between 1/3 to 1/2 of a mile.  Task complete.
    • This seems like really small potatoes, right?  But allow me to add these deets for the numbers nerds out there.  If you walk 1/3 of a mile every day for one year, that comes to 122 miles.  In ten years, you are at 1,217 miles.  If if really committed and did this for fifty years, that would mean an extra 6,100 miles.  Bumping it to 1/2 a mile a day would mean an extra 183 miles in a year, 1,825 miles in a decade, and 9,125 miles over fifty years.  Dat’s a lotta meat-a-balls!
    • If I went totally bananas and walked 1 & 1/3 miles daily for fifty years (51.17 years for you fact checkers), I would walk the same distance as the circumference of the Earth (again allow me to save you the lookup time – 24,901 miles).  Amazing!
  • Write something raw – I wrote about problems, labels, and disorders I have wrestled with my entire life.  I wrote about what I am doing to work toward booting any remaining freeloaders off my train for good.  I don’t like putting this stuff on paper (electronic or otherwise), but I believe that it’s important that we recognize any negativity we have been empowering, and at times, embracing.  We wear our labels like they are fresh off the rack.  Even if I can’t fully extricate them from my emotions and my behaviors, I can stop allowing them to define me.  I have to be willing to see them for what they are, and hopefully in doing that, I can recognize that they are not who I am but rather attributes and experiences I have meandered and learned from.  Taking that a step further, my prayer is that my revealing my own struggles and successes may help someone else keep swimming through their emotional whirlpool until their waters subside.  They always do.  Just keep swimming.  (Now imagine Dory singing those words in “Finding Nemo” – it’s catchy!  A bit annoying but catchy nonetheless.)

We are not designed to be “perfect” people (“perfect” per our subjective human standards, definitions and expectations).  We are going to be sorely disappointed if we require that of ourselves.  I believe that the real game at hand is figuring out that we are the way we are for a reason.  We always discover our greatest strengths whenever we overcome our greatest weaknesses.  And sometimes it isn’t even about overcoming those weaknesses or shortcomings.  Sometimes the actual truth (Truth) is that we have to recognize that they aren’t shortcomings at all.  These so called disorders and perceived personality aberrations are an intentional part of who we are.  They have a purpose in our lives.  We are not broken.

You are not broken.

With that said, I would like to highlight a few of the people who have deeply inspired me to keep going at various times this week.  There are so many amazing writers out there, but these individuals have a special kind of style when it comes to sharing their own experiences with adversity and how they tell their struggles to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine.  The word du jour per the Daily Post is savage, and that is the perfect adjective for these writers.  They are honest and real and raw.  They speak from their hearts and are perfect just as they are.  I don’t share these with you for my benefit.  I share them for yours.

https://wakinguponthewrongsideof50.wordpress.com/ – Where to begin when describing this jewel?  She is absolutely wonderful on so many more levels than I could ever articulate.  Truly.  Amusing, heart warming, eclectic, and inspiring.  (Hello future me!  I utterly adore you!)

https://knockedoverbyafeather.wordpress.com/ – Bad assness at this level needs no introduction, but I will say that my world is infinitely better because she is part of it.  (Also I’m dying to see that giant feather!)

https://insidetherainbow.blog/ – She makes me laugh and cry and laugh again every single time, and she speaks to my heart whenever she writes. (I would gladly stand in a line for 4 hours to see “Grease” with this rockstar!)

https://carolrolke.com/blog/ – Introspective, clever, witty, and fierce – I appreciate her words on so many levels.  (I’m pickin’ up what you are puttin’ down.  Keep sharing all that awesomeness!)

https://authentically50.wordpress.com/ – We face different issues at this point in our lives, but her words transcend the individual scenarios.  (I’m truly thankful that I stumbled across your blog.  Such divine providence!  You are a blessing.)

never give up

My father gave me this little sign for my desk years ago.  Such powerful words.  Thanks for the reminder Pop.

Be fierce.  Be yourself.  Never give up.  Never give in.

***Joanna***

Savage

Day 10 – It’s Time to Shine

Born to Shine

I wrote the two lines above tonight because these words have been circling my mind more and more with each day that passes.  I feel the truth in them, and I sense them pushing me forward.  They tell me to get out of my own way.  To get out of my own shadow.  To shine.  The words are for me, and they are for you.

My challenge continues to evolve in ways I could have never predicted.  The tech turn off element is very much in effect and is extremely important, but this challenge is really about recognizing my priorities on all levels of my life.  It is about becoming my highest potential self by allowing me to embrace my authenticity.  It is about remembering who I really am and helping others rediscover their light as well.  I am being flooded with signs and revelations.  Undoubtedly they were always there, but I needed to open my eyes once more to be able to see them.

During this evening’s challenge, I unplugged for several hours to listen to a speaker discuss the topic of knowing your value and acting on it.  He talked about recognizing your priorities and gaining positive momentum as you allow your authentic self to take the lead.  For obvious reasons, my ears always perk up whenever I hear the word momentum, but the entire lecture could have been written in response to my unspoken fears and uncertainties.  His words challenged me yet again to reevaluate what I was putting first.  They reinforced the importance of honoring my own value and becoming who I am meant to be.

We cannot expect others to see our beauty if we refuse to see it in ourselves.  It’s time to leave the shadow.  It’s time to shine.

***Joanna***

Day 9 – Don’t Get Sucked Back In

7cecb16de0a836f177a04b03c78c7276As reality would have it, I was absolutely slammed at work today.  I didn’t have a minute to spare.  And if you are a parent, that means that you need to expect the following words in return for that kind of setup…”Mom, I feel sick.”

Sigh.  I can’t stand it when one of the monkeys feel that way.  I also dislike knowing that I’m going to be that much more in the weeds with the aforementioned pile of work when the amoxicillin fairy fails to appear.  That fairy is a total loser.  She never shows up when I need her.  She may be directly related to the tooth fairy who has forgotten to deliver as expected on time on multiple occasions as well.  It’s incredibly rude given the amount of effort we have put into gardens for those mini flying wenches.  Ok maybe other people could have assisted the tooth fairy a bit more, but I digress…

So I dropped off one teeny unsick kid at daycare, came back home to get to work, two other kids appeared and one instantly transformed into a sick kid, the prescription fairy was M.I.A. (wench!), we went to the pediatrician, we went to the pharmacy, there was more sick kid action, there was more pharmacy action, and my work was piling up at a furious rate the whole time.  The hours blew by, and I looked up to see that I was minutes away from the tech turn off start time.

This was the biggest challenge for me to date.  I sat there thinking about everything I needed to do.  My husband was finally back home from his job, so I could close my office doors and get to work in earnest.  And I really considered doing just that.  At that point, the sick kid was conked out in another room.  However the rest of the family was good to go for hang out time.  They weren’t pushing me about it, but it was clear that they were available and ready to spend time together if I was be able (willing) to step away from my computer.  I thought about maybe taking a break and then just pulling an all nighter after the fact to make up for the lost time and possibly make a dent in the work.

But the truth is that more work will be there tomorrow.  And even more the next day.  And the next.  The work hamster wheel will giveth as long as I will taketh.

I need to stop taketh-ing so much from that hamster and let someone else take a crack at the wheel.

I’m thankful to say that I picked my family and myself.  I took the time off, and ultimately I called it a night on the professional front.  No all nighter for me tonight.

My work is very important to me, and I busted my tail to get where I am in my company and my profession.  But I don’t live to work.  I work to live.  And the most important part of that life that I work for isn’t the part that has me locked into my spreadsheets for hours on end every evening, weekend, and holiday.  I’ll finish what I can tomorrow, and I will work extra hours up to a reasonable point.  But I’m not going to continue down a path of sacrificing the things that matter for the sake of taking care of business.

93536d0997644aadc3a4ae9a9b6f62a7

“Scrooge” has always been my favorite traditional version of this tale.

(Even though my intentions are well-placed, I sometimes worry about how I get too wrapped up in needing to take care of business.  I then imagine Jacob Marley yelling at me “Mankind should be our business!!” and I wonder if he is making me a big chain necklace that Mr. T would envy as a representation of my numerous sad choices.  In the meantime, Marley would be wearing that weird scarf thingy tied around his head.  Is he wearing that to keep his jaw attached because his bucket was kicked long ago and his body is falling apart, or is he planning on dusting and wants to keep his hair back?  I have lots of dust he can tackle if he is interested in the latter, so I’m hoping for that one.)

(I am easily distracted so you never know where these contemplative moments will lead.)

(Also the post really ended before all of the parentheses began, so you can stop reading anytime.)

(Unless you just can’t resist.)

(I can do this all day people.)

(All.)

(Day.)

Day 1 – Technology Challenge

technology at rest

Please do not knock or ring doorbell.  Laptop is in sleep mode.

I’m going to hold a self-imposed technology challenge.  Please post comments with your feedback or tag me if you decide to take up the challenge as well.  I will tag your site here if you do.

For one week, I’m going to block out two prime time hours each evening when I will not allow myself to access any of my tech equipment.  These have to be hours when I would normally be found (at some point in that time span) using my cell phone / tablet / laptop / other laptop.  No texting or calling.  No googling or blogging.  No emailing or working.  Only being.  Being present with myself, my family, my pets, my friends – whatever.  Just NOT being with technology.

So many of us have become too connected and too accessible.  We forget to enjoy actual life instead of getting lost in a virtual world of hyperconnectivity and overstimulation.

I want to do something crazy like going out to dinner with my family while my phone stays at home and pines away longingly for my return.  We already have a firm no tech at the table rule, but even then, the cell is always comfortably and safely in reach…just in case.  In case of what?  What is it that I have to find right then on Google, Amazon, or IMDB that can’t wait a couple of hours?

It sounds so simple, but I know how I am.  For me, this will be more difficult than I would like to admit.  Maybe I’m alone in this sentiment, but based on what I see on the roads, in restaurants, and almost everywhere else I look, I don’t believe that I am.

Tech withdrawal updates to follow.

***MoJo***

Shalini is joining the game, too!  Check out her amazing blog at the link below.  She’s fabulous!!

https://bookreviewsbyshalini.wordpress.com
https://techalerter.wordpress.com

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