Saturday, June 27, 2015

A Dip

Spending my Saturday working. Again. And feeling pretty darn lonely, like all my friends have moved away again and I am exhausted and overwhelmed by the thought of having to start over with new peeps again. It takes me a while to warm up to people; I'm not shy, really, but I am reserved and introverted and wary of letting people in. And sometimes it feels like I am still shell-shocked with everything my brain and body and heart have been through over the past few years, and that it is more important to protect myself, keep myself on the straight-and-narrow, not do anything too wild and crazy, that I am passing up chances to put myself out there, develop new relationships, and just like be a normal person who doesn't freak out and overthink everything.

I'm not intentionally isolating myself, but I do find myself being extra wary of surrendering my independence, my routine, my emotional security. It feels safe but it also feels limiting. I don't know if it is more important to figure out how to just be okay with myself first, or to say screw it and take risks and be spontaneous and accept that things might be scary and out of control and potentially disastrous.

Sorry this is vague. I'm not having a terrible time, just a slightly down period. Sometimes weekends are wonderful, and sometimes they are really hard.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Birthday Fail (Again) and News Roundup

Well fuck me I missed my blog's birthday for the fourth (count 'em: 2012, 2013, 2014) year in a row. But at least I'm getting closer, right? It's hard to believe I started this crazy thing FOUR years ago. I was still a  dumb little pipsqueak back then - just barely outta my teens (turned 20 about six months before my first post). I was also literally a little pipsqueak because I was starving and underweight, but that makes for less festive birthday party conversation so ahem moving on...

I am taking myself out of the boot AMA, at least part-time. The back pain is getting to be intolerable, plus the boot seems to be aggravating my old Achilles injury (same side as the stress fracture). Maybe just tightness/compensation or something, but I am NOT going to pick up another injury in the process of recovering from the first one, if I can help it. Besides, my foot does seem to be feeling a little better (maybe? I think? knock on wood?) i.e. standing doesn't seem to bother it as much, and I can poke it without shooting pains. I spoke to my orthopedist yesterday afternoon and she ordered an MRI which I'll get next week. Hopefully it feels better enough by then that I won't spend the whole weekend freaking out about having developed some life-threatening injury [SHUT UP, A STRESS FRACTURE COULD BE LIFE-THREATENING].


How 'bout that Supreme Court, amiright? Well done, folks. Two excellent decisions in two days. Just when I'm getting ready to pack my bags and move to Denmark, the good ole U.S. of A. comes through. And while we're at it, I never thought I'd say this but: the Pope and I share an opinion on science. Good couple of weeks for humans all around, no? Of course there was this fella but at least he has been sufficiently publicly shamed. My best friend works in a lab a few hours north of me and has taken to sending me #DISTRACTINGLYSEXY selfies of herself in a lab coat and goggles about 12 times a day, so all in all I'd say this situation has ended in a net gain.

I'll give you a minute to click through all those links.

My Friday plan involves swimming, lunch, and then PT (swoon). And maybe some work on a couple papers we have going but, you know, maybe not.

Edit: UGH dang it. I went to PT earlier this afternoon and told him all about my genius ditch-the-boot plan and he was like 'HA uh, no'. So I have been re-booted at least until after my MRI. Oh and also I learned that my sexy physical therapist is ENGAGED so I'm gonna need a little time to get over that.

Well, that was short-lived.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Women's Food

Thank you sir, for documenting what your wife describes so aptly as: "the bullshit I'm subjected to."

On Special K: "A cereal that's long been marketed as diet food for women. Not because it's particularly healthy or anything, but because if you replace full meals with Special K you'll essentially starve, which is definitely one way to lose weight."

On Luna bars: "At least Luna Bars are positioned as healthy, not just low-calorie."

On Activia: "It's diet food masquerading as yogurt Pepto."

On Lean Cuisine's Spa Collection: "An attempt to draw women in by evoking cucumber eye masks and orange-rind water" and "The kind of food you eat and then immediately forgot you ate, both because the flavors are so anodyne and because you're still hungry afterward."

On Skinnygirl popcorn: "Only 'skinny' because the bag is the size of a baby's head, not a whole baby, like most popcorn bags."

On Skinny Cow's ice cream bars: 'Legitimately delicious, even if Skinny Cow is the worst name for a food product since Argentina's Barfy burger."

Now excuse me-pardon me-don't mind me my life is just sooooo crazy I'm gonna go take a quick break with my thumbnail-sized brownie.

Monday, June 22, 2015


It is bothering my sense of symmetry to be only using my left shoes. I have this fear of finally getting out of the boot and finding all my left shoes worn down to scraps while my right shoes are still shiny and new. The thought literally gives me chills. I might have to talk about it in therapy.

It's back to PT this afternoon to work on what my new physical therapist called my "postural imbalances." Although it is kind of a drag and I am terrible about doing the exercises as prescribed, I actually enjoy going to PT because it makes me feel like I am actively DOING SOMETHING as opposed to just sitting around waiting for my foot to heal. Plus my physical therapist is super hot. Even though he thinks I'm unbalanced.

Another issue I'm having is that none of my shoes have quite enough of a lift to keep both legs even when I'm wearing the boot, so my lower back is KILLING ME from being pulled out of alignment all day. My sneakers are closest, but I am so frigging sick of wearing ugly sneakers all the time! So now basically whenever I'm home I have one icepack on my foot and another ice pack on my lower back. Maybe I'll ask my smokin' physical therapist for a massage today.

Oh and finally, awesome book recommendations everyone!! I picked up a copy of Flight Behavior yesterday (thanks, Cammy!). Only about fifty pages in and I'm totally engrossed. Add this to the mounting evidence about why I never want to live on a farm.

Happy Monday everyone. Peace out and be gentle on your feet.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Foot Stresses, Food Stresses

Last night I had the scary experience of waking up starving and not being able to get back to sleep. This has happened only a handful of times ever in my life, and it freaks me out every time. I did eventually get up and eat a granola bar, but not before tossing and turning and fretting for two hours in the dark.

Serves me right; my eating was totally chaotic yesterday—late breakfast, late lunch trying to work around the university rec center pool hours, skipped snack, small dinner, replaced my post-dinner snack with wine despite having been hungover from too much cheap wine the night before etc... so maybe it shouldn't have been surprising that my poor tummy was crying out for some real food to get it through the night.

All things considered I've been doing reasonably well with eating through this injury, despite much-decreased activity levels. My calorie intake is maybe down a tad, though not substantially. But I can't shake the aversion to "real," "wholesome," "balanced" meals. It's like I feel as though I haven't pushed myself to the fullest each day, and thus want nothing to do with normal, healthy, nourishing food. Instead I want to eat baby carrots with hummus or an apple with a scoop of peanut butter or a Clif bar or cereal and call it a day. Actually getting out my cutting board and colander and pans etc. and preparing a normal, grown-up meal seems ridiculous and unmerited. It's fucked up, I know. If anything I should be more concerned about nutrition while trying to recover from an injury...but I think we all know how maddeningly irrational my brain can be when it comes to this stuff.

It almost feels like I never want to feel totally satisfied and full; I want to be a little hungry, a little light-headed; to feel like I'm staying one step ahead. A broken foot is keeping me sedentary, but don't worry I got this I'll just skip dinner.

History shows this will catch up with me, and I am really fucking NOT in the mood to deal with ED bullshit these days. Thus I am working really hard to remind myself that I am still exercising a reasonable amount each day on the bike or in the pool, that restricting doesn't solve anything, and that I will never be satisfied on the wimpy rabbit food meals I'm trying to get away with. Remember my weird craving for beef a couple weeks ago? I've had two other oddly powerful cravings recently—one for cheese and one for sweet potatoes, of all things. Why? I have no idea. I never ever get food cravings, so to have multiple powerful ones in the span of a couple weeks is strange and unsettling, to say the least. Apparently my body is trying to send a message about the quality of nutrients (of lack thereof...) I am currently taking in.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Updates from the DL

Mama Bear and I officially postponed our trip this morning. It was just not really feasible to imagine that my foot would be healed enough to do much of anything in the next week, and the prospect of going on this wonderful vacation in a BOOT without being able to hike and climb and explore was totally bumming me out. We pushed it back about six weeks, and will now be heading out the last week of July. It's a bit of a letdown to not be heading out in a few days, but it just makes a lot more sense and I am a little relieved to not have to go and try to have a good time while incapacitated.

I went to physical therapy for the first time yesterday evening. It seemed weird/fruitless to start PT already when my foot is still broken enough to keep me from walking, but PT Guy was ready to jump right in. Me, not so much. I forgot how skittish injuries make me. I am still totally spooked about re-injuring myself,  so in the session I kept questioning everything he wanted me to do... like, "are you sure that's not gonna hurt?" "are you sure I'm not gonna make it worse??" Thankfully PT Guy was super nice about it and promised me I won't hurt myself doing his silly calf stretches and towel scrunches and such.

Want better balance? This Towel Scrunch exercise will help to activate the muscles of your feet and add to better balance and coordination.   Place your foot on a towel and scrunch up the towel by curling your entire foot- not just the toes.   Combine this with stretches and soft tissue therapy for the foot and you will really be rocking!  To learn more exercises and techniques- visit Prehab Exercises, Scrunch Exercise, Visit Www Prehabexercises Com, Visit Www Prehabexercis Com
surprisingly difficult...

Still swimming (badly). Does anyone know if biking is okay? I've been doing some on the recumbent at the gym, though it makes me nervous. I'm not technically weight-bearing, which is what everyone tells me is the key, but it still freaks me out a little to be using my foot at all. I am going a little stir crazy with the constant sitting around, but you know, it's just a few weeks. I won't get horribly out of shape or gain huge amounts of weight or develop heart disease or something from a few weeks of being sedentary. Right?

And finally ARGH IT IS STILL RAINING. Literally, it has been raining for days and days and days and it won't stop. Why can't the heavens send a little of this weather out to California? I'm so over it. Rain is the worst. THE BOOT IS NOT WATERPROOF.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Tuesday Notes

Foot is still booted. But I have not yet driven off the sanity cliff.

I have gone swimming a few times now, and it is sort of growing on me. It's such a a different sensation from any other kind of exercise. Like, you're practically floating, totally weightless, with this surreal sensory deprivation. It never feels like you're working that hard, but you get back to the wall and are somehow winded. Strange. Part of the breathlessness is probably that I have terrible form and definitely don't use the correct breathing technique (my current breathing technique is to NOT DIE), but oh well. Sue me, I have a broken foot.

So yes, I will admit, there are other types of exercise besides running, and I can survive without running for the foreseeable future. But I have to say, swimming is so fucking BORING. I can't even really let my mind wander in the pool because I'm so busy keeping track of how many laps I've done. Plus since I suck, I have to stop periodically to catch my breath and give my limbs a break from flailing about, and thus cannot get into any sort of rhythm. You guys feel me?

I saw Spy the other day. It was pretty funny, if surprisingly violent.

Ugh I swear it has been raining for days, and isn't supposed to stop anytime soon. Do you guys know how obnoxious it is to hobble around in a boot in the rain? Well let me tell you, IT IS REALLY FRIGGIN OBNOXIOUS. Actually it is pretty obnoxious to hobble around under any circumstances in the boot, but the rain just adds insult to injury. I had a meeting with my advisor yesterday and he felt so bad about making me walk up to his office (on the third floor) that he came downstairs to meet me. J is also super jazzed about me getting started on my doctoral research, it's pretty cute; he sent me an e-mail about possible DISSERTATION topics the other day (and I don't even technically start the program for two months). I was like 'uhhh, I've been at the pool.' At least one of us is focused on the end game here.

I need book recommendations. Hit me, literary blog readers.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Stressed Out Foot

Yup, it's a stress fracture. After about two weeks of denial, I finally sucked it up and went to the health center on campus where I got an X-Ray; they told me it looked normal, but that I should try to see an orthopedist. Luckily there's a walk-in clinic just outside College City where I was able to see someone that afternoon. She confirmed that yes, technically the X-ray looked normal but that stress fractures don't usually show up on them anyway...regardless, I was having sharp, localized pain right along my third metatarsal (a.k.a. prime stress fracture location). So chances are good it's broken. To be fair I think she was being particularly cautious given that I showed up  hollering "I NEED TO BE CURED BY MY VACATION IN TWO WEEKS." Hence the boot.

I am handling it better than I thought. This is turning out to be a useful exercise in curbing my longstanding exercise compulsion. No running obviously, but it's the lack of walking that is really testing me. Usually I trek all over the place - to campus, to my job, to the grocery store on the corner, to friends' apartments in my neighborhood, etc. And sometimes I take a lap around the block just because I'm feeling antsy or claustrophobic or fat or whatever. So even outside any "formal" exercise I am pretty active in my day-to-day life, but with this damn boot I am basically doing no walking whatsoever and it is a STRUGGLE. I am not one to sit still or veg on the couch. Especially in summer when it is sunny and nice out! BUT the best thing I can do is chill out and give my foot a break for a hot sec to just like relax and heal and not be so damn STRESSED. Thank goodness for Netflix and books and podcasts and blogs and other forms of distraction for this crazy kid.

And hey, at least it isn't crutches and a cast, right?

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Attack of the Anxiety Monster

My anxiety is off the chain right now. I don't know why! I always have some level of anxiety going on—seems like part of my temperament, unfortunately. But the past few days it's been insane.

Irrational fears? Check.

Freaking out about minute details? Check.

Heart pounding in my chest? Check.

On the verge of tears over something tiny? Check.

I had this scary sense yesterday of just being so anxious and so unmanageably freaked out that the thought of it would be easier to be dead right now popped into my head. I've had that thought related to depression, but that's kind of the nature of depression, ya know? Wanting to be dead as the result of depression makes sense to me; it's predictable. But wanting to be dead because of anxiety? Because life is too scary? That's not normal.

Being injured is not helping. I hate being injured. I'm antsy and stressed about it. I'm worried my foot won't heal enough in time for my hiking trip with Mama Bear at the end of the month, and I have SO been looking forward to this!

I made an appointment with the campus health center tomorrow morning; I'm always paranoid about fractures, given the sorry state of my bones (THANKS ANOREXIA, IT'S BEEN REAL!) but I'm pretty sure it's not that. Pretty sure... I'd know if it were broken, right? Right?!

I am trying so hard to stay off my feet and avoid unnecessary walking, which has me feeling like a fat slug. Yesterday I worked up the courage to try swimming at the athletic center pool on campus. It took courage because (A) I am a terrible swimmer, and (B) I'd never been to the pool before and thus didn't know anything about lap swimming etiquette so I was all intimidated. Anyway I went and made a new friend (it was her first time swimming there too!) so we braved it together. I do like swimming, I just suck at it and hate the whole ordeal of changing, showering, dealing with the matted and chlorinated mess that my hair becomes, etc. But it seems pretty clear that my body can't take much more than minimal running (I am so injury-prone, it really sucks) so I should probably work on making low-impact activities part of my normal workout rotation.

So, ugh, hanging in there I guess. Just feeling kinda icky and frustrated and bogged down. It is not the end of the world. Things will right themselves again. Soon please!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Normal or Disordered?

It's 98 degrees out. Muggy as hell. I feel like drinking wine instead of eating food for dinner. The thought of turning on my stove right now is nauseating. Basically I just want to veg on my couch and get a little drunk and watch the Bachelorette and do nothing productive or wholesome or healthy.

Normal or eating disordered? I can't decide.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

That Feeling, Reprise

I woke up this morning feeling fat. You know when you can just feel it, in every icky last ounce of yourself? Nothing's changed, I know. There's no reason I would be any fatter now than I was twelve hours ago. I'm gonna blame my period, which (A) makes me bloated as hell and (B) messes with my brain and emotions. Oh and I'm also gonna blame the fact that I'm shaking off a foot injury which has kept me from running the past several days. And if anyone wants to try claiming "fat is not a feeling," I'd like to reiterate: YES IT IS. And how 'bout ya just keep your mouth shut and just thank God quietly because you've clearly never felt fat before. Consider yourself #blessed.

Other evidence this is period-related: I got an intense craving for BEEF yesterday. Seriously. I was reading an article about the drought in California and how certain foods take tons of water to produce—specifically almonds, broccoli, (both of which I eat regularly....oops...sorry Mother Nature) and beef—and just the sight of the word beef literally made my mouth water. All I had with me was a Clif bar which was totally not gonna cut it. Maybe I need to up  my iron intake... Ugh but meat is SO EXPENSIVE and I am poor, and thus I ate eggs again for dinner and my beef craving is as vicious as ever today. There is a chance I'll be stopping off for a package of hamburgers on my way home tonight.

Anyways. Let's hope this fat feeling dissipates soon. I've got a couple boring weeks left before my vacation adventure. My short-term solution involves baggy pants, substituting running for hard biking, lots of Netflix and other distractions, guzzling water (it makes me feel better, I don't know why), and podcast-listening rather than brooding or calorie-recounting. Anyone else following Undisclosed, the legalese-heavy follow-up to Serial? Not quite as intoxicating, but still fascinating.

All righty, keep fighting the good fight everyone. Take care.