Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Apple Watch, body scans--what the hell????

I had a soul enriching retreat with an inspiring group of women this last weekend. A great deal was discussed that I'm still digesting. So, I'm not ready to share any of that just yet.

So, instead for your entertainment...
I'm taking a picture of taking a picture.

I got my Apple Watch. 

I freely admit that I'm addicted to do dads that measure "me". What I'm doing, how much energy I'm expending, all that. I use them all for a while and then find I dislike being measured all the time. 

But I still get them when they promise to get me closer to "truth". 

I want to believe I'm working harder than I am so I'm always looking for some ultimately accurate device that will show me for sure what I'm doing. 

Part of me doesn't really want to know but I can't let it go. 

The other part of me (the one that is high and mighty) likes to dryly point out that my ancestors didn't need to monitor their movements at all. That voice usually doesn't get the mic for very long--I do love gadgets.

And because I really want to know more about this "truth" I had a body scan done--I wanted to see the results of all my hard work with Precious. I just knew underneath my cushy exterior would be a rock solid core of muscle and dense bone. The scan was going to tell me all that.

How body scans work is that you lie down on a table and an X-Ray mounted on a track makes slow sweeps across your body to give you a read out of how much of you is bone, muscle and (of course) fat. Takes less than 10 minutes. 

The scan looks kind of like the figure on the right.
When I got my results back I discovered that if you put me in a jar and shook me real hard, I'd turn into butter. 

Also, I discovered that the human body flattens out to an alarming extent when horizontal. The scan produces a silhouette of a teeny tiny thin person (the green and blue representing the bone and muscle) surrounded by a humanoid ocean of red (adipose tissue). It's not a good look. 

Heck, it was downright disturbing to see! I had no idea about how my excess weight was settled on my body.

I shared the result of my scan with Miss Keri who immediately shot back that the scan was WRONG and that I'm BEAUTIFUL. 

(I love Miss Keri ALOT--if my beauty was the problem she would be correct)

What I didn't know about was how much my muscle mass I'd lost over the years. 

How different body composition looks from being a super active person in their twenties to someone who is in their late forties who only gets in some walks along with going to the gym a couple times a week.

Working out is good but what I'm doing is barely stemming the tide of nature. 

I intend to live a long time. Not sure what quality that will be if I have fat nestled around my internal organs. 

I let Precious in on the scan results. She responded by adding more weight and more intensity. 

It's going to be a bumpy ride.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sugar--I had no idea

There is an awful lot in the media these days about the dangers of refined sugar. I do know this much--if I eat too much of it I feel like crap. Mental fog, low energy etc. Also, insane water retention.

When I was driving down to Ojai with Miss Keri I noticed my shorts were uncomfortably tight around the waist-band. My first thought was "DAMN! These were washed in hot water". Thirty seconds later I considered that hitting the bakery at work and eating more than "a little kettle corn" at home was contributing to my discomfort (nothing out of control but more than I was used to eating--even a gradual increase over the period of a couple of months can make a difference in your weight or how you feel).

So, I decided to just drop sugar. It wasn't hard to do--I don't eat much in the way of processed foods and already know which foods register high on the glycemic index.

So, its been about two weeks. Just as I expected, I feel better and my shorts are fitting the way I want them to again. Here is what I didn't expect.

Yesterday I went for a massage. For several years now I have experienced massage that is either borderline uncomfortable to excruciating. I breath through it, drink lots of water and let the MT do her thing knowing that spending time sitting most of the day, sports injuries and the aging process were contributing to my overall crunchiness.

This is the first time in a long time that I've had deep tissue massage that didn't feel like I was being worked with hot pokers.

I never made the connection that sugar could have been contributing to that much inflammation in my body. For a long time, I've avoided many activities but because I just HURT. I don't have chronic pain but I was experiencing enough day-to-day discomfort that I started limiting myself in what I thought was physically possible for me.

The irony in this of course was that I thought that by changing how I ate I was putting a major limit on myself--what I perceived as limiting my enjoyment was actually limiting me in ways that were more integral to my happiness and overall wellbeing.

A coworker asked me "so is this sugar free thing forever?". I guess it's forever until it's not. I change my diet up a lot and only a few years ago I thought low carb diets were completely stupid. I still think you need carbs in your diet to feel well and for proper brain function but clearly there is more for me to learn around what role carbs play in my diet and what is the best way to take them in.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Please take a compliment

When I was in Ojai with Miss Keri enjoying a little "she and me" time, I saw this hanging on the door of a metaphysical bookstore.
Like your hair...why thank you!
I loved it! Ojai is full of quirky, sweet surprises and I especially liked the idea of getting a spontaneous compliment.

When I got back into the office I made a few of my own and hung them around my area.

It took a few days, but eventually I noticed that the compliments were being torn off one by one.

(I was little surprised to see how long it took for people to take a compliment--is it really so hard to own a few kind words for yourself?)

Even so I was tickled to see that people were responding even a little so I took a few photos of my compliment campaign and shared them on Facebook.

It seems that others were as charmed by the signs as I was by the one I saw in Ojai.

Mixed in with all the kind feedback were a few requests for "virtual" compliments. At first I thought they wanted me to compliment them directly but then I realized what they really wanted was a way to get a compliment with the same spontaneity that the sign offers.

So with a little scripting help from Andrea, I compiled all the compliments into this little web page.

Compliments any time you need and as many as you need (just refresh the page).

Here is the really cool thing. People have been reporting back that the compliment they got were just the words they needed in the moment.

One woman who just returned from the salon got "You have really bouncy hair".

Another received "You don't need to settle" TWICE IN A ROW.

And yet another having a hard time felt her chin raise up a bit to hear "You have so much talent".

Kind of makes it feel a little like an oracle--and in the way anything can be a nudge the Universe I suppose it is.

It's amazing how a few positive words can give the little bit of confidence you need when you need it.

Not a whole lot else to say about this--please take a compliment. It would really knock my socks off to hear back from you on the compliment you get, especially if you love it.

Even better would be to hear that you run your own compliment campaigns. Have some sweet words to share? Put them out there and see what blossoms from it.

Let me hear from you in the comments below.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Religious Freedom Restoration Act: We still need to ACT UP

I'm a married woman, married to a woman. We and our kind may not be fully embraced and loved, but we are not invisible. Not by a long shot.

In 1989, during the height of the AIDs epidemic, 4,500 protestors gathered at St. Patrick's cathedral in New York to protest Cardinal O'Connor's position on safe sex, homosexuality, condom distribution and abortion. Several dozen protesters entered the church, disrupting services and even going so far to desecrate a communion wafer. 

At the time, the protests were vilified--many said ACT-UP had gone too far in its militancy and disrespect.

But, when your life is at stake, you can't be nice. When no one else is speaking up, you have to make whatever noise your tiny voice can manage. Even if it isn't nice. Even if people get upset.

Your silence will not protect you. --Audre Lourde 

Silence = Death


And just this week in Indiana...

In the midst of this furious debate, I have prayed earnestly for wisdom and compassion... --Gov. Mike Pence

This just gets me. 

I want to know why the governor's prayers for wisdom and compassion are coming after the NCAA, SalesForce, Gen-Con (etc etc) threaten to pull their business from Indiana and not before signing the original bill that would allow businesses to exclude LGBT from their businesses.

Did the wisdom and compassion come in the form of a new insight that everyone could see his position was total bull shit?

The governor's "surprise" that RFRA would impact his state's business just fascinates me. That anyone, much less the governor of such a populous state, would think such an act would go un-challenged speaks to how vocal we still need to be. To not be comfortable. To not be nice.

To not be silent.

Silence = Death

What was "good for the State of Indiana" just over a week ago needed to be signed into law in a private ceremony--make of that what you will. 

Prejudice is not nice either so lets keep it quiet behind a closed door. If we pretend it isn't happening, maybe everyone else will pretend too.

Governor, thank you for the "fix" but nobody is playing your game of make believe. There is still a lot to be done--not just in Indiana either. 

While I still believe dialog, mutual understanding and respect are the way forward, I will be damned if I stand by silent and docile for the sake of being nice and being respectful. 

I will not sit down because my anger makes you uncomfortable. 

I will not quietly die to keep things the same.