Some Days It’s Enough to Make Your Heart Skip a Beat

I never write here anymore. I think about it, but never get to it. Life is moving so fast, it feels like the view from a carousel sometimes. Except without scary, impaled horses with their mouths open, silently frozen in the middle of protesting the brass poles through their middles.

I’m married, and have been for 9 months (in two days). I’ve lost 100 pounds now. My weight starts with a ’1′ for the first time since high school. I had my annual performance appraisal and did quite well. gabriel and I will finally live together 2 weeks from now. Two weeks and one day, actually.

It looks like we’re going to Atlanta, Georgia in October. It looks like he’s going to Camosun College to take the medical lab assistant program.

This is my last weekend in Seattle, and tomorrow night we’re gathering as many of our Seattle friends as possible together to say goodbye. It’s all so exciting, so happy but still so bittersweet, and it’s all happening so fast.

I got mentioned by name in the New Yorker blog today. It’s all a beautiful blur and I love days like this.

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Oh, Whippersnapper.

C'mon! Just five more!

Tonight during my workout, I considered telling The Whippersnapper* a dirty joke I’d heard, but the following two exchanges made me rethink the plan.

Me: “Ha, ha…I can’t believe they’re playing this! I haven’t heard David Lee Roth in ages!”
Him: “Who?”
Me: *stunned* “you know….Van Halen?”
Him: *polite smile, noncommittal nod* “Almost done! Five more!”

and then later:

Me: “…makes me feel like ABBA.”
Him: “ABBA rule!…”
Me: (*oh thank god!*) “Yeah! I..”
Him: “…Just like Ace of Base! You like them too?”
Me: “…oh…um….am I doing this right?”

In other news, my cheese-shard injury still hurts. This is a big impediment to someone who only types with four fingers. I’m 25% less productive!

I had a good workout tonight. 3 sets X 15 reps of bench press with 25 lb dumbbells. 3 sets X 8 reps of pec flies with 15 lb weights, 3 sets X 8 reps of delt-thingy reverse pec flies with 15 lb weights, 3 sets X 8 reps of tricep kickbacks with 20 lb weights, 3 sets X 15 reps of um…bent over row type things? with 20 lb weights, 3 sets X 15 reps of drag bicep curls with barbell, 3 sets X 15 reps of reverse drag bicep curls with barbell, 3 sets X8 of lateral raises with 10 lb weights (12 next time, I think). Then 75 kettle bell swings, 90 seconds of plank on the ball, 30 knee-tucks on the ball, 30 bridges on the ball and a lot of stretching. Felt good.

*my personal trainer is 21. He’s practically a fetus.

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I am Graceful and Elegant and Classy

Today, whilst scraping at a wooden cutting board in an effort to get it clean, I came upon a particularly stubborn bit of dried cheese. Scraping at it with increased vigour, I inadvertently wound up wedging said bit of dried cheese, which was unexpectedly sharp and hard, under the nail of my left middle finger, where it produced a surprisingly sharp pain.

As a result, my finger has been sore and throbbing all day. It hurts to type with it.

I injured myself with a shard of old, dry cheese.

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Unwelcome Sex Dreams, Welcome Surprises

Those who know me well know that my subconscious hates me. And not just in a quietly vindictive, smouldering, muttering “bitch.” under its breath when I walk by kind of way. no, my subconscious hates me actively, with much fiery vengeance and torment.

Last night I had the latest in a lifelong, ongoing series of Unwelcome Sex Dreams. Generally about coworkers, and this one was no exception. He and his wife, who had fallen in with a bad crowd of role-playing nerd gamers BENT ON VIOLENCE had decided to sacrifice me – kill me – to appease their nerd Gods and make their nerd quota. I naturally decided that to escape this fate, I would seduce him. It got graphic. And then today I had to talk to him several times at work, while refusing to make eye contact and trying not to remember that a scant 12 hours ago, dream me and been huskily suggesting to dream him that he should take off his shirt. Oy ve, brain. I get it, already.

The little black dress just got littler.

1) 2) My company Christmas party is coming up in 6 weeks or so. I’ve lost weight, so none of my pretty dresses (or jeans, shirts, sweaters, blouses, underwear….) fit me anymore, and I felt kind of excited to buy a new something shiny. So I went and tried on a bunch of dresses tonight. The results weren’t great….this one was too big in the bust, this one too small in the butt (Bethy got back.), this one too long, this one unflattering. Then I tried one on that I really liked, but it was too big, so I asked the saleswoman if she could get me the next size down. She came back and said “Sorry, we didn’t have the next size down, but we had one TWO sizes down.” and I said that there was no point, but thank you. But she said why don’t I just try it on. And so I figured why not – if the zipper breaks I can say it’s her fault for forcing me into a satin sausage skin.

And it looked really great.

And it was 40% off.

And that’s how I ended up buying a size 12 dress.

…you guys. I was a size 22 like 9 months ago.
The dress is a fluke – most of what fit me were size 14s….but seriously. That’s amazing. I’m so grateful.

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Doubting the Whippersnapper: Lessons in Humility

As I believe I had mentioned a couple of posts back, my beloved personal trainer (also close friend and confidante) Tanya moved her exercise and training studio into her home. This is great for her, but her home is a 40 minute drive from me. I thought about the cost of our sessions together (Tanya gives me a good deal, but personal trainers just aren’t cheap), and how busy my life already feels, and how much time I spend driving already to ferries and back – and I just couldn’t do it. I only cried a little. I couldn’t help it – we’ve been seeing each other twice a week for over two years.

Anyway. A couple of months before our last session, Tanya had made the acquaintance of a new young trainer who was working out of the same building as her then-studio. He was new to the game, looking to drum up clients, and eager to start putting some of his new knowledge and skills into practice. He was also, since he was so new, very affordable – even moreso than what I’d been paying with Tanya.

So, I grumblingly, grudgingly agreed to give him a go. On the outside I was all optimism and open-mindedness, as cheery as a sister-wife, while inwardly gritting my teeth, assuming/expecting the worst, and full of suspicion and resentment, like a sister-wife*.

Another friend of mine agreed to see him on a trial run as well, and her first appointment was before mine, and what she reported didn’t sound promising – strange odor, extreme nervousness, lack of personal space respect, constant out-loud counting, and a head-to-toe black ensemble, like a phantom, or Zorro (if Zorro were a nerd in black socks and black Reeboks).

I steeled myself before our first session, treating it like an obligation and vowing to give him at least 4 sessions before I icily informed him this wasn’t going to work out, and returned gracefully to the butt-groove in my couch, smug in the knowledge that I had at least given him a fair trial.

And at our first session, I admit, my inner monologue was pretty unbearably smug. “Tanya wouldn’t do it this way. I’m used to doing it more like that. This kid’s a fetus. What is he having me do here? Oh Lord, I’m barely feeling this. One set real slow is NOT as good as three sets at regular speed, you kindergarten keener. I’m barely even breathing heavily here. Pfft…15 lbs?! What are these baby weights?? Oh, you are NO Tanya.”

He was pleasant enough (and on my first visit, had opted to throw some white into the ensemble and not just swoop out of the darkness like a big weird bat), and seemed to have an impressive knowledge of injury treatment and prevention, different exercise techniques for different goals, etc. But when we parted that day, I sauntered out of their with a self-assured, rueful smile, and a thought-bubble above my head: “Poor kid never had a chance. Well, I’ll see the four sessions out and find someone else – or, you know, take the winter off and buy shares in Haagen-Dazs.” I went home, went to bed…

….and in the morning, could barely move. My muscles were SO.SORE. I couldn’t believe it. During the workout itself I had felt as though I was barely exerting myself…how could this be? I must be coming down with the flu. Aches. Yep, influenza aches. Gotta be. I grimly hobbled and limped throughout my day, in severe denial of a terrible case of DOMS, chalking it up to coincidence.

I have since seen him 6 more times, and my confidence has grown with every session. I’ve never sweat as much as I do when working out with him. I’m not only consistently sore after our workouts, but my chiropractor gave me a list of areas on my body that need help, and The Whippersnapper (he’s 21. Did I mention that? Fetus.) put together a program to help with that – tightening my joints and ligaments and tendons (all of which are loose, as a result of my being so heavy for so long). My chiropractor has said she can already tell a difference. Even today, he started me doing an exercise that seemed totally laughable and below my skill level – lifting an 11 lb large medicine ball from my chest to all the way above my head, with both hands – s-l-o-w-l-y. He said it was to tighten and tone my shoulders. And my cocky brain went “pfft, this is some bullllllllsheeit. This is a waste of my time and mon…owwwwwwww“. He had me do three sets of 20 reps, and by focusing on going slowly, I could barely lift my arms at the end. I was trembling, sweat pouring down my face, laughing at how difficult it had become. The kid knows what he’s doing. I think this could be the beginning of a very good thing. He’s even cracked jokes a couple of times yet.

There’s definitely hope for him – and maybe even some for me, in learning to be more open-minded, and ignore my preconceived notions, and in general just stop being such a big ol’ know-it-all.

*Also – I watched the series finale of Big Love recently. Really, writers? REALLY? Why didn’t you just have Bill and Barb wake up and go “ha! ha! It was allllll a dream.”
Worst. series ending ever. I actually said “oh COME ON” out loud to my laptop.
ALSO also, I watched the series finale of the Sopranoa recently (having rewatched the entire series). It – and I missed 90% of what was there, the first time around – was absolutely fucking masterful. Jesus, what a fantastic show. Watch it. Savor it.

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That Whooshing Sound? Another Weekend Flying By.

Great news, readerinos*. Gabriel and I heard from the lawyers last week, and our first stage of immigration processing has been approved. That means they checked me out, and found me appropriate to be a sponsor, so I’ve been approved to sponsor Gabriel to be a Canadian Permanent Resident. Now they transfer his file to the consulate in Buffalo for inspection and processing. We still have about 4-11 months, roughly – the average seems to be about 7 or so. Then Gabe moves here, and either goes to school or right into looking for work. He’s using this time to try to figure out what he wants his next career move to be, as he’s in the oil industry now, and doesn’t want to stay in it (and there’s not much work in that capacity on the South island, anyway). I’m both nervous/scared for him (and for me! Sponsorship means I have promised the Canadian government I will financially support him while he’s here, no matter what), but also excited for him and kind of envious of the new opportunity and chapter. I love my job most days (though since a big-fish company swallowed our littler-fish company, not only is the pressure on, but sometimes I also feel like a corporate whore), but I’ve been with the company a long time. I feel like the position I’m in is tailor-made for me, but I also sometimes long for change. Not yet, but someday. But change to what? It’s funny – I feel like if I quit my job tomorrow, and then the day after saw a posting for the same job, I would gasp and say “THAT’S MY DREAM JOB”. So, I think some of my itchy-feet is nothing to do with not being satisfied by my current position, and more to do with having been there a long time. A greener pastures scenario, if you will.

Anyway, good news on the immigration front. I’m glad my sponsorship bid was approved, and truth be told am also a bit relieved, as I had an arrest** incident just under 5 years ago that I worried could affect my candidacy. So now, we just have to be patient and wait.

And really, as hard a time as we have with the goodbyes, and as much as we miss each other during the week, and as expensive and tiring as the travel is, we’re LUCKY for a distance couple. Most people dealing with spousal class immigration sponsorship don’t get to be together every weekend, I’ll bet. And while sometimes I worry about Gabe driving such a long way, and I even get sick of my own little drive out to the ferry terminal and back twice a week, it’s not that bad. I look forward to not having to spend the gas money, and the time, but for now, it’s just 2.5 listenings of Curtis Mayfield’s “Move On Up” on repeat – three, if the traffic’s bad. I can handle that.


We had a good weekend, which included a Big Lebowski quote-along screening, complete with costumes, White Russians, and wii bowling on the big screen (I sucked, but one of our friends was damn good, and won her round), and it was a really good time. We had brunch with a friend, watched some good movies (of course), got some thorough house cleaning done, and enjoyed some quality snuggle time. And while I was out at my meeting, Gabriel made me a big batch of turkey lentil chili. I’m spoiled rotten.

Tonight after I dropped him off I picked up some groceries, then stopped and did a bit of cardio on the elliptical and watched some of the Emmys, because it was what the TV in the gym was set to. And here’s what I have to say about that: I really, really don’t give a fuck about awards shows.

*I know I’m alone here, but just lemme pretend, ok? ok.
**No. Wild horses couldn’t drag it out of me.

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Blog Neglect: Life Just Keeps Going

How long has it been since I’ve typed here? Months.

Gabriel and I got married. My handsome, funny, warm, loving, wonderful best friend of a favourite person and I stood up in front of our family and a few friends, on a sunny day (June 11th, 2011) under my parents’ plum tree, and grinned at each other, and said yes. I love him so much. More with every day. I can’t believe I got so lucky. He is more thoughtful, more considerate. more hilarious and easygoing and generous, more interesting and passionate with every passing day. I’m so excited we get to spend the rest of our lives together.

…assuming they ever start! The immigration process is taking longer than we’d anticipated/hoped. We did have the option of Gabriel moving here right away and applying for permanent residency from within Canada, but those applications can take even longer, and he wouldn’t be able to work during that time. Fine, we thought, he can at least use the time to go to school (he’s wanting to start fresh on a career, maybe…something new). But he’d still count as an International student, meaning tuition would be exorbitant (roughly 3X the cost for a Canadian) and not affordable to us. So, we decided we would get married, and he would return to Seattle, and we would keep spending our weekends together until his PR application is approved.

Which, after our wedding, 2 days with family, and an unforgettable 3-day mini-moon at Point-No-Point, we did.

…But we hadn’t counted on the goodbyes being so much harder, and our time apart feeling that much more unnatural. I know it sounds silly, as marriage is just paperwork, but…it isn’t. Something is different. Now that we’ve married each other, it seems like we’re each a little homeless without the other. We’re looking at as long as another year of this, and I’m sad. But it is entirely beyond our control, and we are doing our best to stay positive, enjoy our weekends with lots of fun and movies and sex and restaurants and outdoor goodness. I just hope he can come home soon, to stay.

What else is new….well, yesterday was my last appointment ever with my beloved trainer, Tanya. She and her husband moved into a new house about 40 minutes north, and her studio will be in their home now. It makes the most sense for her, by far – the travel time, gas cost and overhead was no longer feasible. But for me, adding a 40 minute drive each way to my two weekly workout sessions was impossible, no matter how great a deal she offered me. I’m so, so sad to be parting ways with her. She and I have been working together for 2.5 years or so, and I can’t really express how much she means to me. She is among the most mature, wise, dorky, loving, honest, real people I’ve ever known. She knows me so, so well.

It was her, who, when I had been working out with her for close to two years, and was losing weight so very slowly (30 lbs over two years), and I was lamenting that slowness, and swearing that I had no idea why, and then talking in the same breath about how sometimes….(and here’s where we get personal) I just couldn’t. stop. eating. Stuffing myself with food, overeating the point of pain and lethargy and occasional vomiting (and sometimes on purpose, too, though I didn’t talk about that at all for a long time) lightly, casually, offhandedly mentioned Overeaters Anonymous, then backed off and left me alone.

That bug sat in my ear for a few months, and eventually, I took a deep breath and thought “oh, fuck. Here we go.” and went to my first meeting, where I met a room full of weirdos, in a cult-like setting (there is a lot of hand-holding and prayer and recitation and repetition and some hugging) and it freaked my ass right out. But when the weirdos opened their mouths to talk about their lives, their addiction and their recovery…well, they sounded like me. I guess I didn’t escape the addiction in the family after all – it’s just harder to recognize in burger-form than in syringe or vodka or cigarette or blahblahgamblesexdrug.

I’ve been going to 2-3 meetings a week for over 7 months now, and the relief I feel in JUST BEING HONEST about this terrible, heavy (ha) secret I have been carrying for years is immeasureable. I am coming to understand myself and my life so much more than ever before. I am getting to be nicer, and gentler, and good things are happening. I’m also 48 lbs lighter than I was in January. And I’m loving myself, and taking care of myself. And Gabriel could not be more supportive. He even came to one of my first meetings with me. He is my biggest cheerleader and makes it clear to me how proud he is. I couldn’t be doing this without him. Not half so readily, anyway. He inspires me.

It’s also making me less inclined to deal with bullshit. or be hard on myself. I had a falling out with a fairly new friend recently – well, to be more accurate, she had a falling out with me; it came utterly out of the blue, to me – and while I was initially very hurt and bewildered, I’ve come to separate other people’s baggage and shit from my own. I know I’m a good person and a good friend, and I know what I deserve, and I feel totally prepared to let everything else go with a shrug. That’s a first. I’ve always been so quick to be angry with myself and internalize blame, etc etc. – but I am who I am. And having spent time lately with some really good, solid friends – one in particular who makes me laugh so hard, and is so encouraging and loving to me – I am realizing life is too short for anything other than the people who make us feel good, who we trust, who make our lives better and love us for who we are.

I went to the chiropractor today – I really thought as I took weight off, my body would hurt less. And that’s true, in some ways. Being lighter makes me feel less lethargic, and more nimble and agile. But I hurt just as much because I’m always sore from weight lifting or squats or lunges or sleeping funny. Some days I feel like a creakity old biddy. But the chiropractor helped soooo much. She’s amazing and so funny.

Also, my new favourite saying is “pooped my jeggings”. I didn’t, or anything, but it makes me laugh to even say it.

Life is ticking along nicely. I’ve been cooking a lot, too, enjoying healthy, flavourful and creative food that is actually good for my body. Some recent concoctions include gnocchi with onion, mushroom, garlic, spinach, sun-dried tomato, celery and tomato sauce; turkey burgers with a side salad of romaine, red cabbage, red and yellow peppers, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, fresh dill, cilantro and champagne vinaigrette with smoked sea salt; and quinoa & black bean chili with chipotle and mixed bell peppers, with zucchini.

I’m not even going to make a promise to update frequently, because….well, let’s just see what happens. But life, by and large, is beautiful, and never boring.

xo

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