jianantonic: (Default)
I went back to Weight Watchers today. I promised my therapist this was the week. Of course I waited until Friday. Afternoon.

For those not in the know, I was in a clinical drug trial for the last year. The last six months of the trial, I was put on a drug that made me gain weight like mad. Super fast, lots of weight. 30-40 pounds in six months? Didn't help that with my various injuries, it's been hard to keep in a regular fitness routine. But the trial is over now so there's no chemical reason I shouldn't be able to lose this weight. I stopped gaining weight, but since the trial ended, I haven't really lost any, either, despite my attempts at better habits. I knew I needed to go back to WW. The plan has always worked really well for me. It's just a matter of staying on it. So I guess starting today, I'm back on it. The shitty thing is that even if I do really well, it'll take many months to shed the weight I put on, and that's really discouraging. I also hate when people see me who haven't seen me in a while because I look like I REALLY let myself go. And I want to be like "it was for science!"

I also did my second bike ride in two days. Just rode home from the shop where I'd had it tuned up, about a 3-mile ride. My crotch is sore from the saddle, but I think if I make sure to ride regularly over the next week or two, that should go away, and I'll be able to handle longer rides.

Tomorrow, I leave bright and early for Seaside with Toby. We're staying at a hotel and playing the team game on Sunday as well. In my mind, I'll wake up early Sunday and go for a run on the boardwalk. But the possibility of actually doing that is probably pretty slim. I'll pack running gear just in case...writing it down here just boosted the likelihood that I'll go by at least 40%.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I've always been very silly and outgoing and open, and I'm guessing that most people would assume I'm the kind of person who loves to go streaking or flash random strangers when I'm drunk or maybe even not drunk. But the thing is, no. I've had body image issues for my whole life, and I've *never* been comfortable getting naked in front of others. Even with sexual partners, there have always been things about my body that I'm not comfortable with. In all my time with Z, I never did get past some of my hangups, even with him.

This is something I've been trying to work on. I mean it's not like it's an important life skill to be able to be naked in front of people, but I think the underlying body image and confidence are a big part of the whole deal, and also a lot of my friends do a lot of naked things and I'd like to not feel weird about it. Because I honestly don't care if my friends know what my tits look like. Clothing is such that the shape of a person's body isn't really ever a secret anyway -- but despite logic, the hangups remain, and so it's a thing that's hard for me.

I've done a few naked hot tub sessions with a handful of friends. It's always awkward for me at first, but then I loosen up about it. I'm getting more comfortable with the idea.

Then last night was the Portland World Naked Bike Ride. I've been planning to participate in this for years, but had been conveniently out of town in previous years, so I didn't have to worry about facing this anxiety until this year, when I had no alternate plans. I was literally sick to my stomach for most of the day just thinking about it. But I also knew all along that this was an illogical feeling and that I would be with 10,000 other naked people, so let's do this, right?

Well, I fucking did it. I went to the park about an hour before the ride and slowly removed more of my clothes until I was down to shoes, socks, underpants, and helmet. A lot of people keep their underpants on because, yeah, it's a sweaty thing, and I felt like that was a good stopping point for me. I stood around naked in the park with 10,000 other naked people. I met some new people for the first time while we were all naked together. Then I rode my bike through the streets of Portland for 5 naked miles. There were a few times where I felt a little weird -- a LOT of people stand on the sidelines and take pictures, which is pretty fucking skeevy, but I wasn't too icked out by it because it was mostly dark and I was part of a whole sea of nudity, so whatever. It actually didn't feel sexual at all. And that's the point. Part of the idea of the ride is to promote positive body image. And I don't feel like it cured my desire to look a little different, but I do feel like I can be as comfortable in this naked body as I could be in a perfectly sculpted one. And this was a big step that meant a lot to me. Yay.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
It's super duper nice to be done with my writing project, but life gave me a nice kick in the balls (you know, figuratively) this morning just to make sure I don't get too cozy, I guess.

The last few times I've ridden my bike, I've had issues with the ride. A few weeks ago, I noticed that the brakes were dragging on my back tire, so I took it in to a bike shop that I passed mid-ride. They fixed me up in just a few minutes and I was on my way. I rode the rest of the day with no real issues. Then it started doing it again...riding with your brakes constantly (somewhat) engaged is really fucking hard. So on my way home last night, I rode to Performance and told them what was going on. They worked on it for a while and sent me on my way. It felt decent for the short ride home. Then this morning I woke up at butt o'clock to ride in, and I noticed the brakes were dragging again. I didn't have much choice other than to live with it, though, because it was 5:30am and the bike shop wasn't exactly open. But then my back tire went flat.

I whimpered about it for a moment, but then I called a cab company to come get me with a minivan or SUV cab that I could stow my bike in. So I made it to work on time, but now I have a gimpy bike sitting in an empty office here and I'm not sure what to do about it. Obviously I'll take it back to the bike shop, but there remains a question of how I'll get around for the next few days until McKenzie returns with the car. I can mooch rides through the weekend, I think, but getting to work on Monday is the challenge. Z says I could use his bike...but I don't think I want to. It's soooo heavy and there are huge hills that I am not going to want to power a super heavy bike up at 6 in the morning. Then again I've been working against the brakes on my own bike on my last few rides, so maybe it won't feel much different. Maybe I'll see if Peter can carpool on Monday. That's actually probably my best bet. It's funny how it's just so hard to come up with reasonable ideas when you're focused on a panic situation. But really I guess this doesn't have to be all that stressful. Still, it was a shitty way to start my day.

The day gets better, though -- I'm going to a concert tonight with my mother-in-law and a couple of friends. I don't have any writing assignments to do. I want to buy myself a treat of some sort for finishing that project, but I'm strangely not in a shopping mood right now. I'll give it time, I'm sure I'll start to feel differently soon.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)

It may have been a mistake to go for a 25-mile bike ride two days before reuniting with my husband after a long time apart (especially since the reunion will only be two days itself). My nethers are very sore now, but I had a lovely ride! Dave took me on the Springwater Corridor from OMSI out to Gresham, then back and up through Southeast to Hawthorne for ice cream. Then we drove back to Beaverton and played board games until bedtime.

Bedtime was a while ago, but I'm still awake, because someone down the street from here is throwing the loudest motherfucking party ever, and it doesn't even sound like a good party. It's just a bunch of drums and terrible music and what sounds like hundreds of children shrieking. I actually called the cops, because it's so loud I can't block it out no matter how I try. I felt like an asshole calling, but you know what, they're assholes for being this loud a) ever and b) especially on a work night, late into the evening. And I felt like much less of an asshole when the dispatcher told me they'd had lots of complaints already. She said an officer was already on the way, but that was 10 minutes ago and they're still really fucking loud, so I dunno. I am really grumpy about this. I'd be less grumpy if I didn't have to go to work tomorrow, but this is a five day work week for me since I'm taking the cruise next week. Sigh.

jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I'm feeling okay right now but not sure that'll last. I never let myself look at the clock last night because I knew whatever time I saw would really discourage me, but my estimate is that I finally got to sleep around 2 or 3. No idea why I couldn't sleep. Bed was comfortable. I wasn't hungry or thirsty. Maybe it was just knowing I had to be awake and physically active at 5am that kept me up.

I just noticed a transit worker doing tai chi in the bushes. That's a little strange.

Anyway I was on my bike and out the door around 530, but timed this day exactly wrong...arrived at the train station two minutes after the train left and 28 minutes before the next one. Whoops. I'll still be plenty early to work, it just means sitting around bored for a half hour knowing I could have slept a little more, maybe. But I'm not feeling the lack of sleep just yet. We'll see when I have to ride home later.

I love riding transit and using the many car alternatives that are available to me in and around Portland, but when a car is not an option at all, it gets stressful. On Monday, for example, I had two things on my agenda: meet my prof downtown for lunch and see my trainer at 3. Because I had to transit everywhere, and make several transfers from the burbs to downtown and then all over Beaverton, I was out of the house for almost nine hours, all for three hours of scheduled activity. The rest of the day was either spent riding or waiting. It's not that my house is inconvenient for transit options, it's that my house is pretty far out from most of the rest of what I do around here. Work is the worst though because there really is no good way to commute without a car. Biking works when it's nice, but it means waking up at ass o'clock. All of this is why I'm thinking seriously about getting a scooter. I've wanted one for a while, and it honestly seems like it makes a lot of sense. But I dunno. This is the only week on the calendar this summer where Z had the car away at a tournament, so I can't really use inconvenience to justify a purchase like that. Meh. But, you know, it'd be fun, I think.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
I biked all the way home from work yesterday for the first time since moving farther out. I didn't want to do it, but I talked myself into it by calling myself a lazy bitch and reminding myself that I don't get better weather than this. And I thought to myself in my 9-year-old niece's words, "Just do the damn thing!" I had just gotten my bike back from the shop, and I've been feeling lazy lately, so even talking myself into going the whole way felt like a victory. What I've been doing the few times I have biked since moving is riding only about halfway, and taking transit to cut out the middle half of the ride. It shortens the commute from 14ish miles to 7 or 8ish, which is still a decent way, but feels like a copout, especially with the long rest in the middle of the activity. The full ride took me 90 minutes yesterday, and I took it relatively easy. I probably could do it in 75 minutes, maybe...but no real reason to rush it, so I didn't. The last few miles were awful, though. I had no gas in the tank and being so close to home but still so far was a real mindfuck. I felt great when I finished, though :) I have to do it again tomorrow, since Z is taking the car to Eugene for the weekend.

Tonight I'm going to BodyPump again after about a week off. I'll stick to using the beginner weights and just work on finding the groove for now. As much as I enjoy being fit and trim, it's really nice to finally not have something to stress about -- no races on the calendar, no more dresses that are just a little too small... I mean, there are plenty of dresses that are too small, but I don't have to wear them. It would be nice if I could just be skinny, but it would also be nice to put more ice cream in my face. My life is hard, you know?

I also think it's time to cut my hair. It's at the length where it pretty much stops getting longer, and wherever it rests on my back is just fucking itchy all the time. Not sure if I wanna chop it all off or just cut it to chin length or shoulders or whatever. Suggestions welcome.
jianantonic: (Seahorse)
So it turns out the guy I hit is a lying jurkface.  Not only is he claiming $1000 in damages (I didn't even scratch his car one little bit!  NO dents! Even if the paint was scratched, a bumper paintjob is only $500 -- I know this, I'm in the biz, y'know), but he's claiming injuries now.  So I went ahead and turned it over to my insurance.  They'll cover the costs, so it's nothing out of pocket right now, but it is possible our rates will increase come renewal.  Luckily we don't renew for another 11 months...  I've talked to three different adjusters now, and all are sympathetic, that it's really unlikely dude is actually injured and they are also dubious about the damages.  I sent them pictures of my car, which shows that the paint isn't even scratched and there's no evidence of a collision, beyond the fact that I admitted to it.  I just can't believe that mofo is claiming injuries.  I've hit cars harder while parallel parking.  Ugh.  I hope my insurance will deny his injury claim.  Our adjusters would.  Seriously.  Less than bumper car impact.  What a fiasco.  I can't wait 'til bike weather is back.  I would like to quit driving please.  Maybe I just need to suck it up and start biking in the cold rain now.  Maybe next week...

My fitness has been faltering a bit.  As expected, I have been totally slacking on my half marathon training.  It's just not breathing down my neck yet, but it's not like it's the kind of test you can cram for.  I know I need to work on building up to it.  It's just so hard and unpleasant!  Suck it up, Massie.  You got this.  Maybe.  I also managed to gain 7 pounds in November, before Thanksgiving, even.  So I've been working on undoing that, and I think I mostly have, but it was kind of a wakeup call, like, hello, you are getting too lazy again...

I still work out every day, but having a gym at work means I use it on my lunch break the three days that I'm there, and that means a much less thorough workout than I'd get at the real gym, because there's less time and less equipment.  So I'm looking for ways to mix it up a little better and amp up the stuff I do on non-work days.  Perfect days for adding mileage, really, except that I always schedule my free time to the supermax.  I need to just put more gym time into the schedule.  And get out and run more and just fucking do it, because I know I can.  I just don't WANT to.  But the more I do, the easier it'll be, and the less miserable...at least I'm trying to tell myself that.  I'm also looking for a yoga studio.  My gym has yoga, but it's not my favorite style, and yoga studios around here are pretty cheap (and also more common than Starbucks).  Katy is coming to stay with me this weekend, and I think we'll try out a yoga place together.  We're also gonna do some motherfucking baking.  

Blazers game tomorrow with Rob.  Rip City!
jianantonic: (Default)
Our realtor sent us some new listings a little outside the radius we'd originally been looking.  The distance is a con, but not a complete dealbreaker -- they're still in the area, but instead of a 10-minute walk to the transit center, it's a 10-minute bike ride.  I think I can live with that...but I need to sit on it for a while.  My friend Dave, who is an avid biker and bike commuter here in Portland, assures me that I will become accustomed to biking in all weather conditions, and that starting in the summer is actually good because I'll get a more gentle introduction to the elements, and the gradual onset of winter will give me a chance to get used to the cold.  I guess.  We'll see...

If I really do become one of those people who bikes everywhere, then I guess a 10-minute bike ride will be about the same to me as a 10-minute walk is now.  And if we do move farther out, then I'll kind of have to be a person who bikes.  So, perhaps it's a healthy circle.  So, other than being far out, this place we looked at this evening is great.  1300 square feet, 3br/2ba, really cute neighborhood, and we even chatted up one of the neighbors, who seemed great.  And the place is way under our budget.  So that's a huge plus...probably makes up for how far out it is, really.  Hopefully our realtor can show it to us next week.  I'll be sad if the inside sucks, but for the price they're asking, there's gotta be something wrong with it.  
jianantonic: (Default)
I am officially a bike commuter!  I still feel like a poser in the cycling world, but by the end of this week, I will have done almost 70 miles.  That's worth some cred.  My legs are pretty sore, but my crotch is by far the sorest.  I know I'll get used to it and it won't stay sore, but it's pretty brutal to ride on such a bumpy trail for 10.5 miles each way.  It's all paved, but a lot of it is just shitty quality trail, with lots of roots and cracks in the pavement or just really bumpy pavement in general.  Still, I'm thankful it exists and my ride is really beautiful.  Once I get past the newbie pains, it'll be nothing less than awesome.

My alarm went off at the absolute perfect time this morning.  I was having a dream where a toilet was overflowing, and panic was setting in.  Never have I been so relieved to be jolted out of sleep!

Work was relatively slow today.  We didn't get the Lindsay Lohan claim.  Oh well.  (She was in an accident with a commercial truck, and our office handles insurance claims for the trucking industry, mostly in California...so it wasn't too far-fetched.)  I really like it there.  How long is the honeymoon phase for a new job?  I started four weeks ago.  Anyway it feels like a good fit.  I'm really happy with the way things are going these days.
jianantonic: (Default)
That was the most stressed I've been in a while, but it all worked out beautifully...

I took my bike for the test run to my office and back today, to make sure I could do it (both physically and figuring out the directions).  On the way out, I second-guessed myself SO many times.  The trail is not nearly as clear as google maps would have one believe.  There are so many forks, but I finally did figure out that the ones that don't dump you in some neighborhood eventually all meet up and you can take basically any of them as long as you keep pointing yourself in the correct general direction.  There are a few places where the trail crosses roads and I had no fucking clue where to meet up with it again, but was able to figure it out with a wee bit of trial and error.  The gps on my phone is minimally helpful -- I mostly just used it to make sure I was still going in the right general direction, and also to see how much farther I had to go when I felt like I'd gone too far already.  

Not counting stops to figure out directions, the ride took just over an hour, which is basically exactly what google maps said it would take.  It rained on me a little, but it wasn't terribly unpleasant.  It's flat almost all the way there -- the very last stretch is quite hilly, but it was manageable.  I stopped and ate lunch at Chipotle and read a little bit before hopping on and coming home.  The trip home was much easier to navigate, so I'm confident that now that I've done it once each direction, it won't be so stressful when I do it tomorrow.  Still, I'm going to leave waaaay early to give myself plenty of time.  

I'm really pleased with myself that I am capable of doing this.  21 miles!
jianantonic: (Default)
So, McKenzie and I have decided to buy a house.  We've come a long way in our plans recently.  At first, it was, "we'll probably never be able to afford a place in Portland, oh well."  Then it became a long-distance kind of plan...maybe one day we'll somehow have the kind of money to buy a nice place here...but even then, I wanted city and Z wanted rural, so it was a very hazy idea.  Now that we've been living in the 'burbs for a year, I'm really, really in love with this particular neighborhood, and I've been totally jonesing for a house on the street next to our apartment complex.  There's a little neighborhood there with mostly older, smallish houses.  Some of them are kind of in disrepair, but some of them are so super cute, and the perfect size, and it's just exactly where I want to be.  Only trouble is none of these is for sale -- not that we were looking at buying anything soon anyway, but it's hard to fantasize about a house that may never be available.

Still, whenever we'd walk through the neighborhood, I'd point out houses to Z that I love and we'd have another conversation about Oregon homeownership.  My feeling has always been "I know it's not possible now, but as soon as possible would be nice."  When I got my new jobs, it started to look like a year or so would be a realistic time frame to save up a down payment that would be enough to bring our monthly housing costs down when switching from renting to paying a mortgage on the size house we want.  The more we talked about it, the more Z moved closer to my timeline...and then he leapfrogged me.  We both agree that we love Beaverton and would love to buy in this particular neighborhood.  We agree on the size place we want and the price range.  But now Z thinks he wants to buy right away.  No, we don't have money for a down payment right now, but we do have good incomes, and with the prices and rates so low, it does make really good sense to try to get in on something before the market turns again.  So the plan is to borrow money for a down payment from my parents, to be paid back over 2-3 yearsish, and then borrow the rest of the mortgage from the bank.  My parents are on board with this idea, so basically it's totally doable...we just need to find a house we want.

The problem with that is there's not much on the market at all.  In any price range.  Right now, most houses are getting lots of offers, and there's a lot of competition among buyers -- at least if the house is any good.  There are several that have been sitting on the market for over a year...but no one wants them.  This whole competition aspect is very stressful for me.  I don't mind paying a competitive price for a house I want (within my range), but I just don't want to be in a hostile, time-pressured situation with other buyers.  And I wish there were more options, though I do like some of the ones out there.  Hopefully some more will come on the market soon.

Z has the car in Canada all week, so Wed-Fri I'll have to bike to work.  I've mapped it out and more or less know the way, but I definitely want to do a test ride tomorrow before I have to do it for real on Wednesday.  Today would be a perfect day for it except that I have a training session at 3.  Probably not a good idea to ride 21 miles before the session, and definitely won't have the energy to do it after...so tomorrow it is.  
jianantonic: (Default)
I'm still waiting on the next step of the interview process, but things are moving forward jobwise, and since it's absolutely beautiful today, I decided to take my bike for a ride along the trail that may one day become my commute.   The drive to the office is 7 miles, but it's 9 miles by bike, since I won't be taking the freeway.  I don't know this part of town very well at all, so I figured I'd take advantage of the nice weather and all the spare time I have for getting lost and just see if I could figure out at least the first part of the commute.  

There is a trail, but it's only the middle part of the ride.  Before that, I have to wind down like 15 different roads, and there are another 15 or so after the trail to get to the office.  It is a well known fact that I am terrible with directions, so it's going to take me a while to memorize such a complicated route.  Never mind the fact that I'm not really in good enough shape for a 9-mile bike ride right now, and my bike is a $90 POS I got at the grocery store.  A new bike will be the first thing after seahorses that I buy if this job offer comes through.  Anyway, I studied the route for about half an hour, committing it to memory as well as I could, and finally set out.  Most of the roads have bike lanes, and the ones that don't are very residential, but there are lots of left turns, which means crossing over from the bike lane to the turn lane, and then of course making the turn.  It's that crossing over part that wigs me out the most.  I just can't turn around far enough while riding to get a good look behind me to see if there are cars coming up on me.  What's the best way to handle this situation?  Is there a trick to it?  Because I'm kind of scared that I'm going to peek behind me, not see anything, and then glide myself right out into the path of a fast-approaching Subaru.  (That's pretty much the only car that exists in these parts.)  I guess between making the hand signal and checking as well as I can, I should be okay...this part of biking just scares me.  Also, there are lots of 4-way stops in my neighborhood.  If I'm on a bike and I'm going straight, I just ride up to the front of the line, stop, and then proceed when the opportunity arises, staying in the bike lane the whole time.  But what's the protocol if I'm turning left?  Stop and wait my turn in the line of cars?  That's what I've been doing.  It just feels strange -- I've never really seen what other bikers do in this situation.
 
Anyway, the ride was lovely.  I caught glimpses of Mt. Hood at various points along the ride, and I never felt threatened by the other traffic on the road...just really hesitant at all those left turns.  I rode about as far as I figured I would be comfortable backtracking, which just happened to be almost exactly to the point at which I had stopped memorizing the route.  I came back home without any problems and mapped it, hoping to see that I'd gone a nice long way.  I didn't time it so I have no idea how long I was out, but out and back was 4.6 miles.  I was pretty tired by the end of it, so I know I'm going to have to improve my endurance before I even think about taking on a commute that's twice as long each way.  I also need to figure out what I'd do about clothes -- I get pretty sweaty.  Any logistical tips are much appreciated.  I'm really thankful this area is so bike-friendly.   I just wish I were more bike-savvy.  I do think that upgrading to a nicer bike will make the ride somewhat easier, because I did a decently long ride in Brooklyn when I was there and it wasn't challenging, really.  Maybe part of what wears me out is stressing about traffic.

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Meg

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