Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Weight Loss Journey Update

Driving shot on my trip up north 
I’ve mentioned my numerous struggles with weight loss that started a little over a year ago before, but I haven’t updated that story very much considering nothing’s really happened—just 7 or so months of me teeter-tottering a one pound weight loss, a very self-deprecating journal entry, and more doctor’s visits with no help moving forward.

Then I gave up gluten a little over a month ago and things started changing.

The pain relief was pretty immediate. I’d become accustomed to an all over aching, slow post workout heal time, sore joints, etc. To have all that disappear was kind of jarring.

The constant nausea and bloating lessened about a week in, which—according to an old journal—started persistently back in 2007. I’ve been dealing with nausea for so long that I couldn’t remember what it was like to eat and not feel sick immediately afterwards. For the first two weeks, I was over eating simply because nausea had always been how I knew it was time to stop.

About a month in, I stepped on the scale. 5lbs down. I can’t describe the feeling at seeing those numbers. I became a bit obsessive with weighing myself then, afraid that maybe it was just a fluke in the scale.

But it kept dropping.




It’s been two weeks now, and I’ve managed to maintain an 11lb weight loss.

I’ve decided to stop weighing myself now as to savor this successful feeling. I know it’s going to slow soon, and I don’t want to be disappointed.

But, I’m excited about working out again and actually seeing results.

I’m in a funny clothing place now. My fat pants are too big but my next size down are still too snug. No matter though. My closet could probably support a small clothing shop with its variations in sizing. I have pants in five different sizes floating around in there.

I do want to make it clear that this loss isn’t simply from giving up gluten. I’m not saying I have Celiac disease, because I haven’t been tested, but it has become abundantly clear post giving it up that something about gluten containing products was making me ill and affecting my metabolism.

Case in point, my heart palpitations are back. I haven’t had problems with those for a couple months when I adjusted to my higher thyroid medicine dosage. But a couple weeks after giving up gluten, they returned and I have a feeling my dosage may be too high now.

This gives me great hope my hypothyroidism might be from the gluten. Maybe I’ll be medicine free again soon!

Also, my period is back, which is probably the best thing about this process as the hubs and I are planning to start trying for kids in the coming October. I’ve spent the last couple of months worrying that I wasn’t going to be able to conceive since a working womb is kind of central to the process.

I will update a lot more on this now as I progress…now that I am progressing. I have a doctor appointment at the end of the month, so hopefully I’ll get the heart issues straightened out.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Camping and Temp Work Frustrations

How to describe my life right now: stressed, in a constant state of anticipation, vacillating between ‘Everything’s going to be okay’ and ‘Holy sh*t, what are we going to do?’

The hub’s work contract is up in two weeks and despite everyone’s assurance that something will get worked out, nothing seems to be even remotely decided except for the roundabout expiration date of his current contract. It glows on the calendar, mocking me.

It’s tense around here. I try to keep the support alive, but then I have to pay a bill or something on a car breaks and I am reminded of how much money we don’t have and how much worse that’s going get if this doesn’t pan out.

Not that we won’t get on our feet either way, but I’ve done the unemployment game before. That game sucks.

So when my parents offered to pay for us to go camping with them this weekend, we jumped on board. We may have stayed at a federal campground with no electricity, showers, or any signs of modern society—the outhouses were rsurprisingly clean—but it was the most relaxing weekend I’ve had in a very long time.

 The hubs and I decided that money, jobs, and future financial crises talks would be pinned on the board of things we’d worry about after we returned to the land of internet, electricity powered lights, and heated water.

I’m back now, but I’d rather not be.

On Monday the official 2 week mark drove in carrying truckloads of stress behind it. I spent two hours that night combing job boards, another hour trying to go through bills to see where we can trim more fat, and a couple more hours coming up with the statistics on how long we could live off our available credit.

Give me mosquito bite covered legs and dirt seasoned food over this uncertainty any day.

 Temporary work shouldn’t be a thing …

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Short Story Love

My well loved short story collections. 
In honor of the start of Camp NaNoWrimo and my endeavor to write a short story anthology, I thought I’d point you toward some short stories available online that have left a mark on me as a reader/writer.

As an English graduate, short stories were my bread and butter during my academic days. In some ways, I learned to love short stories more than I do novels. All texts, whether 1,000 words or 100,000 words, require a level of bravery and talent to leave any kind of mark on the world, but I think a short story has a lot of work to do in a very limited space that gives them a certain appeal unobtainable by longer novels.

If a short story can elicit some kind of visceral emotion from me within their short pages, I hold them to a different level than I would a novel that did the same. There is no room for background, slow building, or space to grow a strong bond between reader and text in a short story. It’s all action, and if done right, powerful, lasting action.

—That’s not to say I don’t love full-length novels. I’m a reader of all—

I’ve fallen in love with many short tales, but these are my favorites:

            If you read any on this list, let it be this one. It has Christian undertones, some might say overtones, like most of Tolkien’s work, but it’s also simply a story about people, about appreciating your neighbor and looking at the world through their eyes. It’s also about an artist, a pastor, death, and a leaf.

This one had me in a moral quandary. If you’re a lover of Utopian/Distopian stories, give this short one a read and decide what you would do. It’s about a perfect society, what is responsible for that perfection, and what one would do in the face of that thing which makes it perfect. I’m writing in circles, just give it a read.

            Another moral quandary story. This is about a town that holds a lottery once a year as a ritual to bring prosperity to the town. I won’t tell anymore, but it’s definitely worth a read.

            This is about a sick woman who is locked away in a house in the country at the advise of her husband to help her get better. Strange things happen in her isolation and the ending is just creepy perfection. Read it.

Honorable Mentions: