Trees, Vampires, Unphotogenic Women

Weight-loss is slow going, I believe the last time I revealed my weight to you I was 59.5 kg/131 lbs. Now I am 57 kg/125.6 lbs and it has taken me a damn long time to get to this point. I won’t make my 54 kg by June deadline, maybe 54 kg by December if I can stave off the winter plumping that a cold climate inspires. Even though I haven’t lost that much weight the difference in my body from the beginning to now is substantial or maybe it is purely a mental/emotional change. Either way I am actually pretty happy with my body despite not having reached any goals yet. Well I did reach my measurement thigh goal, I prefer or rather have come to accept that I don’t have model legs. Here’s to short chunky thighs! Hopefully I can manage to get a progress shot but it proved tricky to get a shot of myself by myself haha

I am sticking to my exercise routine and find that the way I have set it up is working out really well for me. I want to avoid dieting. I am eating less sugar, trying to cook more but other than that I am eating very much how I normally would (I love food even healthy food, my biggest issue was the tv snacking not so much the meals), no calorie counting, or anything. I have a young daughter who is now aware of such things and I just can’t see myself going on some crazy diet, it’s not like I am overweight in the first place.

On another note

I am impossible to take photos of, I am worse than a damn vampire in that respect. I see the camera but I am incapable of looking at it directly. I can’t make facial expressions (I do in normal circumstances but not in front of the camera). Sam found this program that interprets facial expressions and we tried it on our photos. Friends and family members had a myriad of complex expressions. My facial expressions were always 99% neutral. How does one make an expression of complete neutrality, am I a fucking tree? To top it off I have no understanding of light at all. As you know I am EXTREMELY farsighted which means I require a tremendous amount of light in order to see properly, with great lighting my vision is normal in my right eye (my left eye is lazy and weaker as you will actually see in the photo below, it isn’t usually THAT lazy but I didn’t sleep much last night and it was in the mood for a field trip apparently).

The bulbs in our house are always 100 watts or more and we usually have multi-bulbed fixtures because otherwise my world is very shadowy. Sam asked me the other day if it is like living in a video game from the 90s and yes actually that might come close. It is hard to explain it is like I am wearing a transparent but darkening veil. There are shadows everywhere and when I don’t get enough light my eyes play tricks on me, I literally cannot understand what I am seeing, it just makes no sense, like I have spotted something that doesn’t exist or a glitch/tear in reality. I wouldn’t say things are pixelated haha like in the games but strait lines appear to dance, shake, warp. I guess it is like stepping into bright light after a movie or standing in an unlit room before your eyes have adapted. You’d think having such a high requirement for light would make me exceptional at finding it but I am not which means I can never find proper lighting for my photos.

Anyhow I have this photo of me for some reason I am pulling my chin back in a way that gives me some extra chins or wrinkles really because they aren’t chins. I was in a awkward position trying to understand how to use the mirror to photograph myself and well I was very confused despite my complete lack of shits given expression. I took this photo not as a glamour shot (obviously people) but to show you my skin. All week I have been testing natural remedies to help improve my skin. I do think they have been helpful actually. I need seriously to fix my eyebrows what happened there?! I do have freckles do not be alarmed.

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Longevity, Bad Skin, and Bumblebees

I have been studying a lot about longevity lately

What I have learned is by no means a great revelation so don’t expect to be astounded

A primarily plant-based diet. Protein is not central to a meal it is a side dish. There was no sign of carb-cutting, reduced fat, sugar substitutes, extremism. Just eating regular home-cooked type foods. Home grown foods were pretty common too. I am fortunate in that I like, well everything. Unfortunately this makes me boring to cook for according to the hubster because I will eat whatever you put in front of me without complaint.

Participation within a community and a strong social network. Having friends and getting out of the house go a long way to stave off Depression. I struggle with this step. Sam and I go to festivals and community celebrations regularly for Isadora’s sake but we haven’t really gotten to the stage of actually talking to people yet! We don’t have friends and the thought of bumping into someone I know fills me with dread.

Occupation/Passion long-lived people tend to go on working and leading active lifestyles.

Regular exercise/activity

Resilience the ability to roll with the punches and well to laugh at oneself

You know the expression idle hands are the Devil\s plaything? I think it goes for the mind as well. I struggle with this one, I have what you could call lazy lobes. I avoid hard things like math. On the workout mat I am embracing all sorts of new challenges but I have yet to crack a physics book. I like learning what I like learning but I think a sense of curiosity/wonder and a willingness to step out of your comfort zone is the key to keeping sharp.

Well those are a few points I noticed repeatedly.

I am the queen of ruts and at the moment that is one of my biggest hurdles. I am looking for somewhere between coma patient and adrenalin-junkie.

Okay on to the random tidbits

I have been having problems with my skin ever since I moved to Sweden namely year round dryness and Eczema during the winter. Then I started birth control which has resulted in some breakouts, uneven pores and tone, and redness. Add that to my Irish heritage very sensitive, very fair, very thin skin and I am looking downright haggard. I look about 48 on a good day and I am only 35. I used to have a lovely porcelain complexion now I look like I am wearing a mask sewn out of other’s people’s faces. I have a hypoallergenic soap and lotion despite the grotesque expense and I am keeping hydrated and sun safe but I am still looking less than radiant. I read that Aloe Vera is good for redness, thin skin, and well basically everything! I have two Aloe Vera plants so today I wiped what looked every bit like heaping amounts of pre-ejaculate all over my face hopeful for some miracle. Aside from the squirm/giggle factor the actual Aloe Vera was extremely soothing to my feverish flesh (I don’t have a fever just hormonal temperature spikes). I really hope this helps because despite the big role my vanity plays in the endeavor for decent skin it is also really uncomfortable.

We have lots of bumblebees around our home, which is fine, I love bumblebees, the world needs bumblebees and sometimes they fly into the house. The other day I saw a bumblebee flying around my living room with a long strand of my red curly hair. I am not sure if it got caught on his/her plush or if he/she just wanted it for some mysterious reason.

While Sam was working in the hobby room a bumblebee got in (not sure if it was the same one) and it stopped in front of one of my paintings and just stared at it for several minutes as if in deep contemplation. What are the bees up too?

Jump!

In my recent post to Mindlovemisery I gave a vague overview of the stuff rattling around in my head. Not a very gripping read I am afraid because the things I am wrestling with now aren’t so easily penned down. Instead of talking about what essentially amounts to gibberish I’ll talk about my fitness journey and yes I am still on one despite the lack of posts.

What I am doing

I have kept up with my exercise. Haven’t missed a day. I admit I have cussed a lot during my Thursday workouts because it is a challenge to workout directly after my cleaning job. It is a physical job and all I want to do when I get home is hop in the shower and take a nap! I haven’t developed stamina yet and I am not sure it is physical stamina that is the problem. I am almost agoraphobic so being out and around people is very stressful and exhausting. I am keeping the Thursday workout around 30 minutes though so nothing too long.

I do yoga 30 minutes every morning 6 days a week (the 7th day is 1 hour of yoga or recovery exercises from various videos). I am including a lot more posture work in the routines and have started to work with some very challenging stabilizer exercises. I plan to continue systematically targeting and building up my weak points in this way. I have seen an increase in my back and shoulder strength.

My main workouts I generally try to keep under 1 hour. My general preference is 45 minutes to 1 hour. After 1 hour I start to lose focus, enthusiasm. I am mixing it up though some days my workout is only 30 minutes particularly on Thursday/Friday when I have a lot going on. This is excluding the 30 minute yoga session in the mornings which is mandatory to keep my body pain and Depression in check.

On Tuesdays I have started a 10 minute run which I do before Pilates. The weather is nice now and it gets me outside. I started last Tuesday after having avoided running for 2- 4 years (I know it was a min of 2 years). I am able to run the full 10 minutes on hilly terrain. I do not run fast. I am not fast. I have lots of slow twitch muscle fibers and I am clumsy as hell and have a strange tendency for face planting. I am able to run 1 mile in the 10 minutes which I think is a good pace for this turtle. My dream is to one day do a 5K charity run. I haven’t really attempted to run very far, I have always plotted myself small circular courses to avoid getting lost. I get lost easily in fact the very first day I ran I actually ran past my house without seeing it on the return trip, so I have to be careful not to end up in Texas Chainsaw Massacre type areas! Right now I am just trying to get used to running, though I do not think I will ever really get comfortable with running which is partly why I am doing it, albeit in small doses.

As for my diet it has been iffy.

I had cut the sweets down and as a result the cysts in my breasts almost completely disappeared! Then a bunch of special occasions popped up at once and I increased my intake and the cysts returned with a vengeance. I am hoping the cysts will disappear with the decrease in sugar. I have actually made myself some healthy snacks and am trying to ween myself from frozen meal laziness. Now Sweden does have some decent frozen meals with identifiable ingredients and all that and I don’t snack extra or anything as a result of eating the frozen meals but I know that I need to actually make the food myself. I am not saying I never prepare my own food because I do but I am a lazy cook. I love lentils like they are seriously delicious but I don’t love to cook lentils. I just don’t like cooking that much.

A random question (Isadora asked me this morning because they are practicing jumping at school)

Are you better at long jump or vertical jump?