changes

Recently I’ve been noticing that my leather jacket fits a little tighter than comfortable. I’d been in denial about it for awhile and just attributed it to wearing it unzipped, or lumpy clothes underneath, or something. But I’m pretty sure it fit much better when I bought it (one year ago) and have decided that my shoulders have probably gotten wider. I don’t have any baseline measurements, but yesterday Je measured my shoulder span (back, bone-to-bone) at 15.5″. Shall report back and use this new data point as a future reference. I mean, this is not really a significant thing, I’m both happy (yay shoulder muscles!) and sad (leather jacket fits funny :() about this change in my body but in the end, whatever. Although I think this is the first sustained tangible difference I’ve noticed in my body shape since beginning to exercise consistently (~2 years).

In other news, I stopped washing my hair with shampoo after chatting with Wesley about his no-poo lifestyle change. I figured I might as well try it, since I don’t particularly like washing my hair and the more low-maintenance I can make my life the better. (Standard work-aversion tendencies.) I use baking soda and tea tree oil when I feel like my head is getting uncomfortable (about once a week) and otherwise rinse with water or skip a shower entirely. I don’t typically take long showers but I have found that not needing to lather, rinse, condition, rinse saves quite a bit of time. Hope it helps with the drought as a side effect :) It’s been 3 weeks and the only minor down side is that my hair smells like hair instead of smelling like flowers (which used to only last 1 day after shower anyway…). My solution is to spray a bit of perfume or rub a bit of essential oil into my hair. No complaints from me so far, but just a few complaints from Stanley… I’ll probably commit to this for a few more weeks before evaluating whether to stay or not.

If anybody is interested in trying no-poo though, I’d have to say it was a pretty easy transition for me since I used to go 2-3 days before showering, and my curly hair hides grossness pretty well. Typically (from what I’ve read) the scalp/roots will first over-produce oil in the first few weeks while getting used to not being stripped, before adjusting and getting to a happy place. Maybe my standards are lower but I felt like I was over the hump in like 1.5 weeks – more typical is a 5 week transition.

In other other news, I’m training for a half marathon. I’m following a couch to half marathon plan vaguely, but started at week 10 of 20. The plan does two short runs during the week (3-4 miles) and then one long run on Saturday that varies from 5 to 10 miles (more then less then more again). So far my longest run has been 7.5 miles (I mapped my run wrong and was short of my 8 mile plan lol) with no joint pain and no sign of impending injury. Nice! I will say that my calves have been really sore after the long runs though… might go check out a running shoe store this weekend. I plan to complete the 13.1 mile run by the end of October – do you want to be a morale booster and join me for a few miles in the middle? :)

Well, sad to say that my bi-weekly resolutions are not being famously successful. I’m updating and re-ordering the resolutions as I choose/finish them, but the last one didn’t work out and I’m sad. I did an extra 30 minutes of cardio a day for 7 days but then SOMEBODY (Actually I have no idea, but I’m suspecting Sally!!!) got me sick and I’ve been basically bed-ridden for the last week. On the bright side, I lost three pounds from being perpertually hungry but too tired to get out of bed half the time to stuff my face???

I woke up this morning not really wanting to pick another one, but I had extra time to get ready so I put on more make-up than usual. Instead of just eyeliner+eyebrows, I put on mascara and a little bit of bronzer, concealer, blush. I think… I’m not going to do this for two weeks this time because my face is stuffy and every time I blow my nose I’m paranoid that I’ve wiped off half my face. I think I’ll eat one-a-day instead.

Kind of a record (not a record) month and a half since my last blog. Hmmm.

bi-weekly resolutions

Someone said that it takes two weeks to make a habit. I’ve decided to set myself up for 25 bi-weekly resolutions for 2014. That means, every day for two weeks I will do that thing each day (possibly excluding weekends). These are actions that should/would benefit me in some way, whether it be a habit I want to incorporate into daily life, or something I want to try that might be good for me in the long run. I started this off on a whim while talking to Lynn, I commissioned her to wear a skirt every day this week with me. In a non-committed order:

  1. Wear a skirt
  2. Floss
  3. No make-up
  4. 30 extra minutes of cardio So this one failed because after one week I got ridiculously sick with a bad cold.
  5. Bike to work
  6. Shower
  7. Blog
  8. Eat a full breakfast (fruit, carb, protein)
  9. Eat dinner
  10. Eat out for lunch
  11. Wear a backwards-hanger item of clothing
  12. Work 6am-2pm
  13. Work 10am-6pm
  14. No computer time between work and sleep
  15. Extra make-up (foundation?)
  16. Evening sanpo-suru
  17. Clean apartment for 30 minutes
  18. Not straighten hair
  19. Call mom once a week for four weeks
  20. Eat yogurt
  21. Eat one-a-day
  22. Write and send a letter
  23. Wear a different jacket
  24. Something artsy/craftsy for 30 minutes

Anybody want to join me in these bi-weekly resolutions?

30 minutes

Easy 5 minute increase to a 30 minute continuous run up one of the trails at Rancho San Antonio. Not really sure what I’ll do next… Should I continue until I can run for an hour straight? I don’t want to train for a half marathon or anything, since I’m not really motivated be distance or speed, just in fitness. Hmmm….

My right knee was hurting in the same way as the last two weeks, but lingered for much less time afterwards. I think I’m fine already after just half a day!

Okkkk time for a nap.

I’m so proud of myself for running (most of) the Rancho San Antonio hiking yesterday! Two Saturdays ago I was overzealous and thought that Emili and I could run up with no problem (its less than 3 miles up, after all) but after about 5 minutes into the incline we were both totally out of breath and gave up. I made it a goal to be able to run the entire thing, thinking it’d be a nice long term goal or something… But alas, yesterday was so much easier than I expected! I “ran” for 25 minutes straight and was probably only 3-4 minutes from the vista point. Super happy! My right knee was a bit uncomfortable for the rest of the day but nowhere near as bad as two weeks ago when I was complaining about it all day and mostly chair-ridden.

Here’s to heart health and getting stronger!

flesh wound

I went on a group bike ride after work yesterday and on the way back, TOTALLY ATE IT. Instead of making a tight U-turn on a path in a park, I followed Fred straight onto a dirt path shortcut. My wheel caught the edge of the tiny wooden curb and I fell onto my hands and knees. Mostly my knees. Just my right knee. I took a breather for a few minutes and poured some water on it to get the dirt out; I didn’t think it felt too bad, like a large area scrape but not too deep. By the time we got back the blood was dripping from my knee into my sock, so hardcore! And the actual wound looked like Halloween zombie make-up. The shredded skin was lumpy and covered in shiny blood and … pretty much like a zombie.

I decided to just head home to do a thorough clean up. Rinsed it completely off in the shower, got out all the dirt I could manage without an actual “rub,” and noticed that the dead skin shreds turned white? Kind of like a weird skin version of coagulating. Didn’t bother/have the balls to rip/cut off the dead skin pieces, so I decided to leave it. Smothered the entire thing with neosporin and wrapped it up in paper towels + tape. Bleeding slowed pretty quickly, but hasn’t entirely stopped since I can’t help but move my leg when needed.

Morning-after injury count: Lleft ankle very bruised, not swollen. Left knee medium sized bruise, very minor scrapes. Right knee hella bruised, looks like lasagna. Both hands are totally fine, thank goodness. I’d be much, much unhappier if my hands took the blunt of the fall instead of my knee, I think.

No pictures here, since it looks hella disgusting. I’m planning on taking a fantastic time lapse with once-a-day photos. It’s going to be great!!

In the end, I’m glad that:
– I clot
– I’m not afraid of blood/pain
– It wasn’t worse
– I sometimes rebelliously use my left foot to brake when driving, and now that skill has come in handy
– I don’t have to take PTO

I’m annoyed that:
– I have to skip yoga for a few weeks, I hope that Amber will let me postpone my membership :/
– I don’t have a roommate to heed my every beck and call
– I’m vegetarian
– No more biking/cardio exercise for awhile

Also, this may be taxing on my immune system which is already crappy. I’m going to skip Enbrel until the wound is completely closed up, just to be safe. No need to flirt with infection.

Lastly, no need to worry, folks. I know I’ll be fine and it’s just a mere flesh wound. It will heal in time and I’ll be up and (literally) running soon! I feel like a kid again, haven’t had a knee injury like this in like, a decade?

Hi Dr. Brown,

My wrists and fingers have been hurting more than usual for the last 2 weeks or so. I’ve tried taking mobic and indomethacin to no avail – I’m thinking if it doesn’t desist in another week, I’d like to come in for a direct steroid injection to maybe put the RA in it’s place? What else might you recommend?

Thanks,
Jenn

gluteus, gluten, gluttony

I’ve been really consistent with exercising since moving to Norcal, which I’m really glad about. There’s that fear of starting “the daily grind” and having to sit on one’s ass the entire day, then being too pooped when the work day ends to do anything but sit on one’s ass some more. I signed up for a six-month membership of eight yoga classes a month, which means at a minimum I’ll be doing that almost twice a week. I finally understand the appeal of gym memberships; gotta get my $$$ worth and not skip. Eight times a month is definitely doable, and it may be a good thing that I get some rest days.

Even if I’m not cycling to work yet, I’m still glad to have that option for cardio. I ran for 20 minutes on the treadmill today and felt my knees starting to give out, so I guess that’s still not a viable option. But I really missed running – maybe I’ll try inserting a few miles a month into my routine :)

BUT ANYWAY I went to the gym today because of yesterday and today’s carb loading. Yesterday was my first day of gluten in eight months, and ate more than half a loaf of sourdough. It was freaking delicious and I couldn’t stop. Today, my manager brought donuts and bagels to work… so I had a few of those too. And then my coworker Ben gave me his Monopoly McFlurry coupon so I treated myself to that too. And then I felt sad about the impending loss of my almost-abs (I can almost, almost see subtle side shadows in the mornings!) so I had some motivation to do some cardio. Not bad, right? Everything in moderation?

Re: losing my gluten free and vegan dietary restrictions and turning vegetarian –
I’m happy that I don’t have to consciously omit things from my daily eats, but I think I’ll still try to keep relatively low levels of empty gluten and carbs in my diet. Going to make a conscious effort to maintain meals consisting of more vegetables than grains… after my party next week. I mean, a girl’s gotta live a little right? Heh. I’m going to commit to a vegetarian diet for either 6 or 9 months. Since I’m a “diet non-responder,” i.e. my RA didn’t go away on the most restrictive diet, it’s unlikely that it’ll get any better on less restrictions (only no meat). But seeing as I’m used to a vegan diet right now and I’m still enjoying the resurrection of my relationship with bread, I might as well stay on the healthy side and avoid meats for as long as I can manage. Unless I see/feel iron or B12 deficiencies, I see myself staying vegetarian for awhile. (Pescetarian is highly likely though – I miss fish.)

thought dump

Re: arm strength, true success is the capability of blowdrying one’s entire head to 90% dryness without tiring.

I got my bloodwork done after about two months of vegan+gf, and the only things of note are low glucose and low white blood cell %/count. No surprises there…

I nerded it out and did the AMC12 from 2001 just for fun. I got 70.5/150 after about an hour and I was too tired to finish; I only attempted 18/25 problems. 6 points for correct answers, 1.5 for blanks. You need a score of at least 100 to move on to the AIME…

The copay for Enbrel is way, way too high so I need to switch insurances for 2014 or quit it altogether. I have until October to decide.

Layla is in the bay area! We’ve been doing all sorts of fun activities, including: driving a Tesla to/from SF just for kicks, yoga, eating, Color Me Mine… I don’t know what tonight’s plans are (probably just to chill) and then on Saturday we are going to Santa Cruz for beaching :)