Fitbit: Feb. 6-12

Warning: I talk about suicide in this post.

I have a purple Charge 2 that I wear almost constantly, because I want a heart monitor. As a side effect, I get slightly warped fitness stats emailed to me weekly. I say “warped” because the days that I spend 2-3 hours on the couch crocheting usually have 5,000 more steps than the days that I exercise more, so it’s clear that some of my steps aren’t actually steps.

Regardless, taking care of my body is a part of my growth process, so I thought it might be worth posting these from time to time. It’s still relatively new for me: I’ve only cared about my longevity for a little more than 2 years. Before that? Well…

Honestly, if I took an obvious path towards suicide, people would notice. Chemicals or injuries are very obvious. Overeating is slow and subtle, and in America, it’s rude to tell people that they are having too much to eat, so it is a very smooth road. Full plates, dessert when it’s offered, and self-medicating pain with sugar… it was easy but insidious.

As I came into my marriage, The Flutenist asked me to stop. To take care of myself. To live. 

I was… surprised might be too weak of a word to contain my reaction to being loved and wanted. As someone who had believed that if she died, she would fade into the aether, and the people around her would be subtly happier without being able to remember why… having someone ask me point blank to give him as many years of my life as I could was… like I said “surprising” is just not strong enough.

I took him seriously. 

I have lost 55 pounds so far, by making small changes and being consistent. (Read: I cut out refined sugar entirely for months, I stopped self-medicating with chocolate-caffeine-sugar combos, and I started eating smaller portions.)

My BMI is 30.0 right now. ๐Ÿ˜‘ Still obese, but just barely. My mom bought me a body composition analyzer for my birthday (at my request ๐ŸŽ‰), so I will soon be able to temper that number with my % body fat. I suspect that the average healthy weight range for my gender/height/age may actually be too low for my body type, so I’d rather focus on maintaining a healthy fat level.

I had been exercising fairly frequently (about 45 minutes per day on the weekdays) before winter hit, but from November on, it’s been dicey here. My routine is ruined, and I can’t use my membership for the local indoor track (they have given us permission to bring my emotional support dog) because The Flutenist wants to wait until she’s better trained and/or has earned full public access first. It’s a good call, but it also prevents me from going.

At the very least, I’m holding pretty steady over the winter. Just going up and down a few pounds total. That bodes well for spring.

Day 11 With Dora

It’s so cold outside here. Especially since I lived for a year and a half in an area where it was usually 40 degrees (F) warmer than it was here. Several longstanding aspects of me have started to change.

  • I take hypothermia and frostbite more seriously now. 

I was never super lax about them earlier, but now I start wearing long sleeves sometime around 65 degrees, so I look like a charicature of winter when the weather is like this (13 degrees at the moment). Hat, long scarf wrapped around my face and ears, thick coat, 2-3 shirts, double gloves, 1-2 pants, and insulated boots. I’m not worried about looking tough or cool; I just want to be warm.

  • I am now the type of person whose dog owns clothes.

I did a few quick searches online and found out that most dogs who start limping in the snow (as mentioned a few days ago) do so because the salt irritates their paws or because their feet are just too cold.

Dora is a short-haired dog, without excess body fat, so she chills easily. The fleece you see her wearing is the inner layer of a ski jacket style coat. Today, my little family went for a walk and she wore both layers. We were only out for 19 minutes total, and we walked the same path both ways, so I would say that Dora started favoring her paws and shivering after about 10 minutes. Of course, we needed to walk back home, so she had to walk on her sore feet, but as usual for the last few days, once she warmed back up, Dora was fine again.

  • I am willing to exercise in the freezing cold if I need to.

 For most of my life, I’ve basically said “Exercise releases endorphins. So does chocolate. I’m eating chocolate.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป” It’s how I got over 100 pounds of excess weight. At this point, I’m down almost 60 pounds so far, and I’ve been stable for the last year (which is a good and bad thing). 
Honestly, though, I’ve only been willing to exercise since July 12th (when Pokรฉmon GO launched), but I don’t see anything wrong with making exercise fun enough that I want to do it again. So, this whole idea of walking for my own sake is still less than a year old.

I hope that the temperature rises to above 25 degrees soon, so I can be outside for more than a few minutes without issues. I volunteered at a dog shelter yesterday and was outside walking large dogs for 40 straight minutes. It was between 3-10 degrees, windchill much lower. I…. it took me almost a full hour after coming back into the warmth to realize how tough on my body it had been.

I’ve had hypothermia before, during a day hike with my family, and it’s not good. All I wanted was to sleep in the soft, soft snow. They wanted (and in fact forced) me to finish the hike. I wish they had actually called one of the emergency 4 wheelers who are on site for the purpose, since those last 2 miles were nearly impossible, but nope! Oh well. At least they didn’t let me die out there. It all worked out eventually.

Pokemon GO (Going Outside)

I started playing Pokemon GO a couple of weeks ago. It was amazing when I first started playing. It’s silly, I know, but augmented reality is pretty exciting. It feels a bit like magic in stories: the protagonist lives their life in a mundane routine, and then one day, they realize that there is so much more than they’ve ever seen. It really feels like a hidden world layered on top of the normal one. I love it.

In one day, I went from pretty much hiding indoors to walking several miles a day around my neighborhood. This is kind of significant. I have no flowers or landscaping because my neighbors live too close to me, and I don’t feel like I own the space. I also only walked around the nearby pond during the rain, because when the sun is out, other people are out there, and I felt like I was intruding. I couldn’t mow the lawn because people could see me. Some days, I couldn’t go get my mail because I might be seen. It was bad.

But for the last few weeks, I’ve been eager to walk, even though people can see me. Even though people can probably tell that I’m an adult playing Pokemon GO (which is somewhat shameful, albeit quite common around here). Even though I am sweaty and disgusting-looking during this heat wave. It doesn’t matter. I just want to catch things, to collect them, to hatch them, to move.

I stretch. I drink about 60 oz of water a day. My muscles are sore, from my legs through my chest and arms. I get antsy if I sit still for too long. It’s good for me, except for my need to drive to reach pokestops. I can usually make time to walk, but I can’t always just drive around on a whim. And I need to find places to park so that I can walk and play- I do not play Pokemon GO while driving, even though it would make it easier to find locations in augmented reality. So, I’m either stuck with the 3 hotspots that I know of, or I need to fins a friend or family member who will drive me somewhere, even though I’m just going to click frantically on pokestops as they drive briskly past them.

Well, anyway, I’ll keep walking and playing for as long as I can, and I do hope that I’ll become healthier and happier as a result. Wish me luck! Sileko out.