Archive | October, 2012

The lost and found year – I need a makeover!

16 Oct

As I said in my last post, 2012 has been a bad year physically (although a great year in other aspects). One thing that has fallen by the wayside is my personal style. (Whatever that was before!) I have fallen back on my old standby hair cut, because of my eye surgery I haven’t been able to wear eye makeup (so why bother?!), and summer is always a bit of a fashion vacuum. Not to mention feeling out of shape and weird in my clothes. So I’ve decided I’m going to have a makeover. Since I’ve declared that the cataract is the end of my physical problems for 2012, and I’m 3 weeks out from that surgery now and things are returning to normal, why not?

I sent my husband and daughter a picture of a haircut that’s a good bit shorter, more layered, with long bangs (thanks to a couple of cowlicks, that’s the only kind I can have). They agreed at an alarming rate that it would look good – which made me wonder how bad my long layers and usual ponytails/buns really are! Part of me would really like to go all the way to pixie, but for 2 things. First, every time I’ve done it I’ve HATED it and immediately started growing it back, mostly because it’s actually a lot harder to take care of than longer hair and you have to do something to it every day. (Okay, some of you do something to your hair every day, I know. I don’t. That’s what ponytail holders are for!) And second, I’ve made my family and my hair stylist promise to do an intervention should I mention cutting my hair short, so I wouldn’t get away with it anyway.

This is what I’m going for (although I don’t anticipate it being in my eye all the time!). Shoulder length, with long, side-swiped bangs. I am panicking a bit at the problems I”ll face in my convertible, exercising, and on the boat, since it won’t all go in a ponytail… But it’s not a makeover if you just do the same thing, right? And she looks pretty perky about it…

There’s a better view. The actress’s face shape is similar to mine, her hair color and texture are similar to mine… Theoretically, this is a slam dunk, right? (Just nod… This is a question along the lines of “does this make my butt look big.”)

I also can start wearing makeup again. I’m down to one drop of 2 meds just once a day, so I no longer would be washing the makeup into my not-quite-healed eye. I’ve thrown away all my old makeup to make sure I don’t bring any bacteria into the situation. If I can get my act together in the mornings, I could actually look… well… pulled together. And since it’s fall, that’s a whole lot easier than a month or two ago! (Is it just me, or is summer in the South cause for completely giving up on fashion?)

So next time you see me (after Thursday), watch out! I’ll probably look just like this gal. Okay, that’s a stretch. But hopefully I won’t look like a tired soccer mom. Which, since I hate soccer, is a sad thing. Just think, every day in November, I will be participating in NaNoWriMo looking like a pulled together fashionista. Probably.

Returning to health and fitness – here I go

8 Oct

If you’ve been reading this blog (as sporadic as I’ve been at posting!) you know that 2012 was a seriously crappy year for me healthwise. Here’s the breakdown:

  • January  –  started 2 months of physical therapy for plantar fasciitis. At this point I could wear sneakers. The longest I could wear anything else is 2 hrs.
  • February  –  diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia. Leading up to this was 2 years of chronic sinus infections and bronchitis, and crippling exhaustion.
  • March  –  increasing migraines. I went from 3 a year to 2-3 a month at first. By July I was having 20 a month.
  • April  –  finally have some energy, and iron levels good.
  • May  –  great trip to Uganda, but one of the worst migraines of my life.
  • June  – migraines increasing. Otherwise doing ok.
  • July  –  tested positive on a blood test for celiac disease. Can’t do a biopsy until August.  Also in July, I saw a neurologist and got meds for the migraines. Hallelujah.
  • August  –  have the endoscopic biopsy for celiac. 10 day wait to find out I don’t have it. Same day, I find out I have a “monster” cataract.
  • September  –  have cataract surgery. I can’t read for a week, they think I might have a retinal tear (I don’t) and it takes awhile for my eye to adjust.

Now, in light of this list, you might think it’s stupid for me to assume that this cataract saga is my last 2012 health issue. And you might be right, but I’m an optimist. I’m also just tired of the whole thing, so I’m going with the “I’m done with all that crap” approach to my life at this point. Fall is here. I can wear boots. I’ve been enjoying my gas stove for the first time today. Call me crazy, but I’m moving forward.

So what I discovered today is that this year has left me woefully out of shape. I knew it. I felt it. I’ve felt uncomfortable in my skin for some time, not because I’m “fat” but because I knew I was losing muscle and gaining fat, even while staying about the same size. I’m now cleared for exercise (2 weeks post op and things are going pretty well, thankfully!), so today was the day. Today, I started my “get back in shape” quest. And boy, was it depressing.

Not that long ago (2 1/2 years) I did Insanity. It sucked, but I did it. I’ve always been strong. Today I did the “Intro” workout on a Bob Harper workout DVD and learned a new fact: I’m really not very strong anymore. I’ve done the 1 hour workout on this DVD before, a couple of years ago. The whole one hour. It was hard, and I didn’t do every rep, but I did it. Today, the 20 min workout using 5lb weights was hard. No lie. I couldn’t do all the reps. 90%, but not all. And my heart was beating hard, and I was sweating. Not good.

Obviously, looking at the stupid list of ailments from the year of 2012, none of them were anything I could have prevented. (I eat an iron rich diet, I just don’t absorb it well – my kids have the same problem, we learned.) I haven’t sat around eating bon bons all the time. My calorie count was down from usual because I knew I was being sedentary, both because of the ailments and because I’ve spent this year writing. So I’m not mad at myself like I would be if I just “let myself go.”  That is not to say that I’m happy!

I’ve got a long row to hoe here. It’s going to suck, because, unlike the only other time in my adult life I was really out of shape (post baby, bed rest, etc), I’m not 31. I’m 47. I’m perimenopausal. My hormones are screwed up, my metabolism is in flux, and the things that always worked before aren’t going to work the same now as they used to. I’m in “mid life” now, and whether or not I feel it emotionally/mentally, it’s a reality in my body. I don’t want to look like the Crossfit competitors on Pinterest, I just want to feel well. I want to be strong enough to go to Uganda and get through long days of working and stress and not die. I want to enjoy my family and not have any physical complaints (wow, would that be awesome! Probably for everyone… It’s been a year of complaints, I guess.)

So this isn’t about “I’m going to be a fitness model in 90 days.” It’s not about jumping into P90X or Insanity or any other intense program. I’m going to work my way back to fitness with DVDs and walking, probably some gym time as it gets cold (I don’t like the gym much, I like “real” stuff). I’m tracking calories for a little while until I get my metabolism jump started (my daughter found a great app called MyFitnessPal, and I’m using that). I’m not obsessing (although if I can’t walk down the stairs in the morning, I may have a moment of magic words). I’m just trying to put the “year of ailments” behind me and embrace the other theme of 2012 – the year of God’s faithfulness.

Because ultimately, that’s what it’s been. Through all that crap (I tried to think of another word, but honestly, the others were worse!), I’ve written 4 novels and a screenplay, published 2 with another a week or so away, and will be doing NaNoWriMo next month. I’ve edited 4 books. I’ve had a hugely successful trip to Uganda. I’ve had great family memories. God has carried me through all these problems with, really, only about 3 short freak-outs. I think that’s pretty good! He is faithful. Always. And that will be my memory of 2012… God is faithful, always.

What will be the legacy of your 2012?