Tag Archives: health

It’s the little things

I’ve been in a funk lately. No reason, really. I think it’s just the way I’m built with storm clouds inside.

During this period of general moodiness, W and I have cleaned up our diet, eliminating almost all processed foods and loading up on fruits and vegetables.

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From today’s grocery shopping trip.

I’ve been experimenting with new foods — chia seeds, flax seeds, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, homemade smoothies and juices. I’ve been trying out new recipes, too. I made broccoli tots, and they were delicious. Napoleon Dynamite’s got nothing on us. I found a recipe for three-ingredient pancakes (3 eggs, 1/2 C cottage cheese, 1/2 C oatmeal) that keeps me full all morning long.

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These tots are tops.

It’s weird, this taking-care-of-me thing. I find myself slowing down and enjoying the little things: a banana with a tablespoon of almond butter, a perfect apple, a bottle of fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice.

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Protein-packed pancakes with banana and Trader Joe’s almond butter.

But it extends beyond food. This weekend, I bought some socks off the clearance rack, and I found myself appreciating the bargain as well as the simple pleasure that comes from owning a pair of warm, comfortable socks. I am growing basil inside the house in a small container. Every morning, I smile as I check on the new green shoots as they crack through the soil in search of sunlight.

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A pair of my new socks: awesomeness you can wear on your feet.

These little things give me the boost I need to move forward.

I had an eye exam and am waiting for new glasses.

I called the gynecologist today to schedule an overdue annual exam.

I tell myself I am worth it. Sometimes I believe this more than other times.

Scary things like doctor appointments start with a small step — a phone call.

I call and schedule and wait.

In the meantime, I savor the small things: a new notebook, a warm sweatshirt on a cold day, the comfort of a favorite flannel shirt, a hot cup of tea, a good book, a cat in my lap …

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What about you? What little things bring you joy?

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Weighty matters

images[6]This is the post that has me stuck. This is the post I need to write to get unstuck.

I don’t want to. I’d rather do other un-fun things like shave my legs and file my taxes.    

But I’ve grown tired of existing in this stand-still place.

So, here goes nothing. Or possibly everything.

My body.

My body has served me well for the past 49 years. That’s almost five decades. Half a century. I’ve been around as long as soft contact lenses, Astroturf and the Pillsbury Doughboy, folks.

Growing up, I was of average weight. I was thick and muscular. I had a softball player’s physique.

Thanks to a steady diet of cafeteria food, late night snacking and beer, I put on the freshman 15 in college and held onto it for the next four years.

I went through a weird girly phase post-college. It was like I had been abducted by aliens. I started growing and painting my fingernails. I had long hair. I lost weight. I was skinny. I wore dresses and heels and lacy thigh-high nylons from Victoria’s Secret.

I got married.

I came out.

I got divorced.

I started to put the weight back on.

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That’s me … under the covers.

I went from Sporty Lesbian (the sixth and lesser known Spice Girl) to soft butch to butch. And with each transition, I added weight.

The weight was my armor. It protected me from the world. It insulated me from myself.

Everything bounced off my armor. The stares, the sirs, the disapproval, real and imagined.

I don’t need the extra weight anymore. It has served its purpose. It is weighing me down. It is stopping me from living my best butch life.

I want to be lighter for a variety of reasons. To be healthier and to have more energy and to move more easily through this world. To look that good in a tucked in flannel shirt and big ol’ silver belt buckle. To wear baggy jeans that feel like home. To swagger a little harder and a little longer.  

But also to complete my butch vision for myself that I will draw with straight lines and sharp angles.

A trip to detox

So promising

So promising

W and I went to rehab Monday night.  Well, actually, we just stuck detox patches on the bottom of our feet before going to sleep, so it’s nothing like that at all pretty much the same thing.

I’ve been waiting to use these patches since W stuffed them in my Christmas stocking but have been holding out for just the right toxin-loaded occasion.

Disclosure: The patches were on my Christmas list.  The mere thought of pairing sleep with having toxins purged from my toxin-riddled body was too good to pass up.  Much like sleeping and weight loss.  Sleeping and writing my memoir.  Sleeping and changing the litter boxes.  Or, sleeping and doing just about anything else for that matter.

When I had a bad migraine on Sunday that rolled into Monday and left me unable to function for most of the day, I decided that it was time to break out the detox patches.

I convinced W to wear the patches, too, just to make her feel silly see if her experience was any different from mine.  This is science after all.

The patches promise toxin removal, improved circulation and increased energy.  It is like reaping the benefits of sex without having any fun at all.

The theory is that the patches extract the toxins that have accumulated in our bodies from things like deadlines and pepperoni and Coca-Cola Zero and teenagers through the pressure points located on the bottom of our feet.  The pads contain exotic ingredients such as bamboo vinegar, dextrin, chitosan and powdered loquat leaves.  Oooh, loquat leaves.

As soon as I open the package, I notice an unpleasant smell.  I assume it’s the bamboo vinegar that’s making the pads smell like dirty feet even before we apply them to our feet.  The irony is not lost.

W sporting detox patch

W sporting detox patch prior to nocturnal activity

We place the pads on out feet before bedtime as per the package instructions and wait.  W reports post-application that her feet are starting to feel warm and tingly.

My feet start to tingle, too, because I am a giant copycat easily influenced by the suggestions of others.

Somehow, we are able to sleep despite all of the excitement and promise of invigoration and refreshment.  I dream that I am a giant Altoid, curiously strong and refreshing.

In the morning, W sits up and peels off her pads, complaining about the stickiness of the detox patch adhesive.  She folds the pads in two, tosses them in the garbage and takes a shower to wash her sticky feet.  She is not much for science.

I wake up with a headache.  A dull headache, but a headache nonetheless.  I do not feel cleansed, refreshed or energized.  I have a headache.  And I am grumpy because it is 6:20 in the morning.  My grumpiness toxin has not been purged.

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My patches after a full night’s sleep

I peel off my patches and observe that they are dark.  And they stink.  The surface of the patch is gooey and slimy.  Some sort of scientific reaction happened last night.  I take pictures for documentation.

My feet are sticky from the adhesive, so I can’t wear socks or slippers.  I end up walking around the house in my bare feet and collecting cat hair and other detritus on the bottom of my feet.  Any toxin purification that occurred while I slept is nullified, because I now have actual, visible dirt and hair sticking to my feet.  My feet look like Chewbacca.

When W comes downstairs, I am still complaining about my headache.

She snips at me to make an appointment for acupuncture.  At this point, I’m starting to question whether she woke up cleansed and refreshed.

I snap back before she gets out the door.

After she leaves, I wonder whether the patches just stirred up our toxins instead of drawing them out of our bodies. Or, whether we are so loaded with toxins that we would have to wear these patches every night for the next 20 years to see a real difference.

Or, maybe we are just tired and overworked and prone to bouts of grumpiness and fatigue that can’t be cured overnight by sticking a stinky patch to the soles of our feet.

Part of me hates to give up the idea of too-good-to-be-true because then what do you have left?  Nothing but hard work and elbow grease, which is what got us here in the first place.

So, I’ll stash the remaining patches for a rainy day.  You never know.  They could come in handy.  I could always use them to remove the cat hair from the couches.

Going Primal

I’m an all-or-nothing kind of gal.

Remember that recent post about making gradual, healthy lifestyle changes? Baby steps in big bad butch boots?

Blew that bitch out of the water.  Already.  And it’s only been three days.

I’d pretend to be embarrassed, but what’s the point?  That’s just me.

Slow and steady?  That’s for other  people.  And turtles.

I need a plan.  And a matching checklist.

The plan has to be sexy and new.  Something that I can commit to with every single fiber of my impulsive being.

I asked W which diet plan sounds better. 

  • Atkins. 
  • Clean Eating. 
  • Primal/Paleo. 
  • Weight Watchers. 
  • Dukan. 
  • South Beach. 
  • Low carb.

She said Clean Eating.

I told her that she was wrong.

It’s Primal.  Without a doubt.

Think cave women.  Tiger-striped loin cloths.  Hunting for your own food.  Living off the land.  Long, wild sexy hair.   Tossing your woman over your shoulder and heading back to the cave after sunset for something really primal.

I did Atkins about two years ago and lost a considerable amount of weight in a relatively short period of time.  W and I were having a commitment ceremony, so I wanted to look good in my pinstriped pants and vest.

I found that I could live without bread and pasta.  I also discovered that I had incredible amounts of energy when I stopped eating carbs and sugar.

Like energy to paint a small house or perhaps start my own cat farm.

But this time around I thought I’d go Primal.  It’s not as restrictive as Atkins (at least the early stages of Atkins).  For those of you who aren’t familiar with Primal or Paleo, plan participants eat meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds.  Processed foods, grains, legumes and most dairy are no-nos. 

Quite frankly, I like the idea of going all Tarzan with my food choices.  Something about beating my chest and swinging from a vine appeals to me.  Maybe it’s the whole taking control of my life thing in a very forceful  way.

What can I say, I like a good gimmick.  Especially when its wearing a loin cloth.  And a bikini top.

Cave Woman

Being kind to myself in the new year

Middle-age butch has been feeling under the weather.

There’s nothing sadder than a sick butch.  Well, perhaps a crying butch, but it’s the new year, people, and no one wants to start 2013 with that disturbing image.

Anyway, I woke up a few days ago with searing pain on the left side of my throat.  Which put me into a panic of sorts.  I was afraid that I had come down with another case of strep throat.

I am prone to sore throats and strep.  I have huge, enlarged tonsils that attract the Streptococcus bacteria much like The L Word’s Shane attracted every lesbian in a 50-mile radius.

(Note: Cool TV lesbian attracts other lesbians.  Middle-age butch attracts bacteria.)

As soon as morning came, I grabbed W’s bedside table light and hurried to the bathroom.  I positioned myself in front of the mirror, stuck out my tongue and ahhed several times while bouncing the light off of my red, inflamed tonsils.  I didn’t see any white patches, which eased my mind a tiny bit.

It still could be strep.  But I haven’t been running a fever and don’t seem to have any other symptoms besides a sore throat.

I have had strep throat so many times that I can pretty much diagnose myself.

Throat ChakraMy throat has always been my Achilles heel.  W insists that my throat woes are tied to my throat chakra and my communication problems.  “You haven’t been blogging,” she notes.

“Right,” I say.  “Or, maybe I’m sick with a serious, life-threatening bacterial infection.”

I like to shoot arrows in W’s new age theories.  Even though I secretly believe in them.

“Good God, I haven’t been blogging,” I say to myself.

Yesterday, I came to the conclusion that I’m on the cusp of a mild cold.  I ruled out a trip to the doctor for a strep test and possible antibiotics.

I made sure to sleep in.  My body needs the extra rest.  And, gargled with warm salt water.

I hit the health and beauty aisle at the grocery store.  I bought a bottle of chewable vitamin C tablets that weren’t on sale, three kinds of cough drops  and a new box of tea, even though we have 30 kajillion boxes in the pantry.

See fruit floating near top of bottle

See fruit floating near top of bottle

I knew we had an ample supply of ginger ale and orange juice at home, as well as half a bottle of my grandmother’s tried and true cold and flu remedy, Rock and Rye.  It’s whiskey.  And fruit.  So, it’s totally good for you.

Even with the last of the holiday before us, I took it easy.  I put my feet up when possible.  Watched part of a Wife Swap marathon.

It hit me this morning that I should try to be kinder to myself in 2013.  Not just when I’m sick, but every day.

  • I should take care of my body and nurture it with non-whiskey-soaked fruits and vegetables and vitamins and antioxidants and other things that are really good for it.  (With a little bit of whiskey thrown in on occasion.)
  • I should indulge myself more.  With new kinds of tea, magazines that catch my eye, books and music and other items that will add to my day but won’t break the bank.
  • I should make time to do those things that are important to me like writing and reading and, yes, blogging.  (Apparently, the lack of it messes with my throat chakra.)
  • I should gently prod myself to break out of my comfort zone and volunteer, take a class, take a risk, go somewhere new, meet some new people.
  • I should forgive myself for little things and big things, old sins and new ones.
  • I should love myself a little harder and a little better, which would give me new reason to be kinder to myself.