I Amuse Myself

I sit here, by myself, at my computer.  I’m watching videos (in this case ‘Arrow’) which has a very cute, very able young guy.  In-and-of-itself that’s good.  But what’s really good…I can have fun all by myself.  I enjoy hanging with other people.  But, really, I can enjoy myself.

I can talk to the video.  I can make comments.  And I can laugh.  I feel like I’ve felt guilty for a long time about just wanting to be myself.  That seems wrong.  And I don’t want to be myself ALL the time.  But a lot of the time?  Yeah, I like it.  In fact, I’d like more time by myself so I can do all the kinds of things I want to do.  Or, at least, try the things I think I want to do.

So perhaps I don’t need purpose.  I don’t need meaning.  For right now, I just need to amuse myself.  Enjoy myself.

So there.

Rage, rage, rage

The time is now.  The time is always now.Age is an illusion.  Who knows how much time they have left? There is no reason to stop, to give up, to abandon oneself. But it’s only you that can find your way. Your path, your journey is yours alone.

Things will change. Sure. But you can fight and, in the fight,  re-find your true self over and over. Letting others, even the other within ourselves, deny us, Rob us of that continued engagement with life is wrong headed. It is not others that define us. It is always, ultimately just ourselves.

I don’t know yet how to renew my zest but I know I can and I must.  I chastise others for looking outside themselves for their happiness, for their path…it’s time for me to take my own advice. So what if I have fears, pains, changes in mind and body? I’m still here. I can still matter. And that’s what I’m going to do.

Rage against my own latitude.  My own willingness to waste the little time we’re granted. Waste the gifts were given. Because there’s no purpose? Meaning? Destiny? Here. Now. Has to be enough.

You just don’t know what will happen next.  It’s not just true when considering what kind of trade or position but it’s a helpful metaphor.

The important thing, I currently think, is to remember that you’re just trying to get a sense of a market (a stock, future, whatever).  There’s no “predicting” there’s just guessing with some degree of probability.  

There’s no need to trade anything, anytime.You’re looking for a “good” trade for the market at that time.  You look at the market, watch it and learn to “feel” what’s going on.  That push and pull between buyers and sellers.

Why not?

I find myself having lots of judging thought.  You know. “You’re too old to do that.”  “No one wants to hear what you have to say.” “Your not ‘as good’ as…”  Like that.  But then I have to pause and really question that.  Why not do what I “want?”  Why not just try stuff even though you’re above a certain age.  If I’m not going to have fun, explore, push the envelope now…well, when?  Time no longer spreads infinitely before me.  And, even leaving aside the actual moment of death there’s the whole getting to death.  Sure I picture staying more-or-less the same into a “delightfully cranky” old age.  But who knows what that journey is going to be like?  Why not?  Why not embrace that experience.  Isn’t all that all there is really?

Sometimes I enjoy just playing solitaire and sort of watching video.  Is that bad?  Wrong?  Or, is it better to explore that.  Sometimes I enjoy doing learning activities like learning a software related thing, or an art thing, or actually doing something artsy.  Sometimes I just want to zone out.  But I’m learning myself.  But I’m limited by what I can see right now.

Thanks to the prompting of a reader I am finally getting around to posting about my progress with hormone optimization and the other recommendations made by Cenegenics.

In short, things are great.   I am taking supplements and hormones that I believe are making a significant difference.  Based on the dietary recommendations I am closely following a low-glycemic eating plan and have lost 11 pounds in the first 4 weeks!  Also based on the recommendation of the nutritionist/trainer I am exercising 4 times per week…a big change for me.  I do interval training twice a week and high intensity resistance training twice a week with some cardio.  My perceived fitness has improved a lot.  I can tell in my daily life as well during workouts that my cardiovascular capability is improving and I’m definitely stronger.  I just feel more comfortable in my body.

Of course, since I’ve change three significant things (supplements, diet and exercise) it is difficult to ascribe which of these is the thing that’s making feel lots, lots better.  While I can see very direct evidence that the diet and exercise components are making a huge difference it’s harder to discern the effect of the supplements so directly.  Most of what I’m taking are specific vitamins and such along with some hormonal supplementation (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid).

The personal coaching from “my” nutritionist has been phenomenal.  I send her a daily journal of my food intake everyday along with a personal journal of my feelings, thoughts, observations.  She always responds with encouragement and, when necessary, suggestions for modifications to what I’m doing.

Both the doctor and nutritionist are very responsive to my questions.  The doctor has made several adjustments and even prescribed, through my pharmacy, a topical anti-inflammatory gel that has really helped some tendinitis that I have experienced.  They both have assured me that this is just the beginning and that my full result…my “optimum” result…will take 9-12 months so I should just continue to feel better and better.

I certainly feel younger. I feel more alert, my concentration and focus are great.  And I continue to feel better week by week.

The only real drawback to Cenegenics is cost.  It’s (for me) an expensive proposition to pay for the supplements and their monthly fee.  My current feeling is that I will continue through my next blood panel and see what, if any, adjustments they recommend.  At that point I may have to evaluate whether to continue with them or try to find alternatives.

The on

After stopping the melatonin I am now feeling fantastic!  The first day after stopping the melatonin I woke up feeling different.  More energized and just really good. Since then (it’s actually only 4 days) I’ve continued to feel great.

I started my interval training on Wednesday.  As Jen recommended I got on the elliptical machine and (finally) have a use for my interval timer.  I set the intervals to 20 seconds/45 seconds.  I did a 5 minute warm-up then a cycle of 20 seconds high intensity (amped up the resistance and my speed)/45 seconds low intensity for three cycles.  Then 2 minutes of low intensity.  Rinse-and-repeat for 30 minutes.  I actually really enjoyed it.  You have to focus to kind of keep track of what you’re doing so it kind of takes your mind of the boredom of being on a machine.  I felt awesome afterwards.  Really energized and good.  I don’t remember every quite feeling that way after a workout…so cool.

I’ve since done one session of high-intensity resistance traning with some cardio and another session of interval training…this time running.  The running was fun too and again the interval thing made it more enjoyable for me.  For the high intensity part I tried to sprint as hard as I could (although Jen wanted me to keep my heart heart in a certain zone…really not a problem since I can’t really sprint that fast…yet).  Again I felt really excellent afterwards and still felt quite good for the rest of the day.  The kids were over with the grandkids and I had plenty of energy to plan and run around.  So much better!

I know that I am often very optimistic and kind of high at the beginning of things.  I really want to make a significant change in my life not just my weight.  I’m finding this whole combination of exercise, diet (which is working great too.  I’ll blog about separatetly) and supplements to already have made me feel lots better.  After I asked the doctor she indicated that it could take 9-12 months to get a “full” result.  I can’t wait to see what that’s going to feel like!

I’m now in week two of my Cenegenics directed hormone and supplement plan.  I have to say I’m now feeling pretty good.  I’m over my cold or allergies or whatever they were and, generally speaking, am feeling quite good.  Hard to know if it’s placebo effect or reality.  But does that really matter ultimately?  How you feel is the real measure.

Due the festivities around my mom’s 90th birthday this past weekend I’ve been pretty stressed and between that and the cold haven’t really worked out much.  My husband, daughter and I took a look walk in the canyon with lots of hills.  I felt strong (although a little cardio challenged occassionally) and enjoyed it.

I was planning on starting some interval training (as advised by Jen, my Cenegenics fitness trainer/nutritionist).  However, when I pulled into my driveway I felt so sleepy I thought “I’ll just close my eyes for a sec.”  Next thing I knew I was sound asleep and woke up (with my mouth hanging up…ick) about 15 minutes later.  That was a bit weird for me.  One of the things I hope to get from this program is increased energy but I’m not usually SO sleepy that I actually fall asleep.  Something similar happened the next day.  Late afternoon and I almost dropped off during a (boring) meeting.  Not like me.  I contacted my Cenegenics doctor and Jen.  The doctor advised that I stop taking my nighttime Melatonin (3 mg) and see if that’s what causing the sleepiness.  I’ll try that tonight although I will say I feel like I’ve been sleeping MUCH better but I’m taking so many things it’s hard to know what to attribute for that.

Also, I’ve been reading this really excellent book, The Power of Habits, about habits…how we get them and how to change them.  The book has some really interesting insights into how the brain forms habits and how one might influence that unconscious process to change one’s habits.  I definitely feel that’s what I need.  The book talks about the notion of “cues” that trigger an unconscious response.  For example, I noticed that as soon as I see food on a counter at home I feel an urge to have some.  I’m not hungry and, prior to seeing the thing, didn’t feel like eating.  As a result, I’ve resolved to keep things put away to avoid this “cue.”

I’m also thinking it’s important to take the notion of goals seriously.  In the past, I’ve made “committments” to doing things (exercise, eating better, etc.) but they were easily ignored.  The weren’t “real” commitments…more vague aspirations I suppose.  Realizing this here are my goals for the next two weeks:

  • Interval training – minimum twice/week
  • Strength training – 2/week
  • Journal all food consumption
  • Do some art thing every day (draw, paint, plan a project, sew something, practice quilting)

I don’t want to make too many commitments.  But these should be a good start.  I’ll try to post progress about them to help me keep them in the forefront of my mind and establish these things as routines.