Tag Archives: health

Meh. And also blah. With a side of blech. (And way too much TMI)

I’ve been so, so good at staying dairy free. SO GOOD! And on those rare occasions when I’ve broken down and had a cheese item, I’ve doubled-up on the lactaid. The result? My stomach has been much more pleased with me the last few months.

Enter Saturday: I was out and about much of the day. I had a tattoo consult, and an eye doctor appointment, and other random stuff. I stopped for lunch at about one, and even though I texted the Beer Guy that I would cheerfully kill someone for a melted cheese food item, I had no intention of following through (with either the murder or the cheese).

Instead, I ordered a meat pasty. (I literally just typed “cheese pasty” and had to go delete. I am obsessed with cheese.) It was delicious. I felt a little off that evening, but attributed it to having skipped breakfast (mostly) and it being several hours since my 100% cheese-free lunch. The beer guy & I went out to eat, and I ordered my wrap sans dairy, but continued to feel not quite right.

The next morning (yesterday), I woke up and was miserable. I told the beer guy that I felt like I’d eaten cheese, but couldn’t figure out how that’d happened. After all, I’d been so careful. And then I looked up the menu for the place I’d gotten my pasty to prove how careful I was. Second listed ingredient on the menu item I ordered? FUCKING SWISS CHEESE. How I missed that when ordering is beyond me.

So yeah. Yesterday was a barrel of fun. It’s really depressing that cheese–the one food item to which I have devoted more time and energy (and money; I have a lot of cheese making apparati)–has betrayed me this way.

 

ANYWAY – finally my stomach ache went away, and I was all yay! AND THEN THERE WAS FURTHER BETRAYAL.

My left ovary tried to kill me. It was so evil that, after a vicodin, I decided it needed a name. I googled “evil name generator” and the first name on the list was Cat.

As you may or may not know, Cat is also the name of my PSM. Obviously, I texted her immediately to know I’d named my evil left ovary after her. (I’m not sure if she hasn’t responded because of the time difference or because she’s just backing away from our friendship slowly or because she hasn’t seen it yet.)

(I also texted her that I was planning on becoming a vicodin addict, which is probably no longer true as I had a really hard time falling asleep last night, but also couldn’t get out of bed to do anything else.)

So, long and extremely TMI story short – my body hates me and wants me to die. My left ovary is named Cat. Cheese is my best frenemy. I’m probably going to name my right ovary Xyla. The jury’s still out on what I’m going to name my uterus.

My goal for this week is to remain cheese free and be as active as Amy-ly possible, whilst also getting at least 12-15K words down. I need to finish this rewrite by the end of the month so The Ruby Blade can get to my editor in *gulp*   six weeks. That sounds like such a long time, but it really, really isn’t. (PS, if you would like to give me a great deal of money to stay home and write, I would appreciate it!)

Indian khanda sword…

The Missing Link

I am doing really well with getting myself moving most days. I’ve walked, run, or done yoga every day this week so far. Overall, I’m eating much better and more regularly, which is a huge struggle for me. (Last fall/winter, I was so very stressed out that I generally only ate if someone was there to see that I wasn’t eating. I developed an extreme hatred of food and dread of eating to the point that the thought of eating anything at all would make me nauseated. There was a point that I had trouble eating anything that I had to chew and subsisted on a liquid diet of coffee, smoothies, and wine. Surprisingly, that is not a recipe for optimal health, which is disappointing, because I’m pretty sure that weight loss book would’ve been a huge hit and I’d be a millionaire by now. BUT ANYWAY.)

Ahem.

Yes.

Exercise: good!

Food: mostly good!

Mindfulness: coming right along, but I have been slacking off a bit this week.

So, you ask with bated breath, on the edge of your seat, white-knuckled in anticipation, what is that missing link of which Amy speaks?

This is me, today. I’ve averaged about 5 hours/night for the last I don’t know how long. Some people may be fine with that, but I am not. I need between 6-7 hours to be fully functional.

I could probably turn off the light in my office, pull my blanket over me (it is unreasonably cold in my office) and fall asleep right now. Sadly, siesta-ing is not a thing in the US or I’d do it.

My problem is that I just don’t go to bed. I’ve had insomnia in the past, but this is not that. Once I’m in bed, I listen to my “go to sleep” meditation, and I’m out within the 12 minutes the meditation runs 95% of the time.

BUT BUT BUT! I need that time to be awake and at home and present! And since I’m going to bed too late, I’m not getting up early enough to have it in the morning.

The other problem? I really, really like my housemate. I enjoy spending time with him just existing. We watch a couple shows, chat about our days, and usually are working side-by-side on the couch on various projects (websites, blogging, writing, playing mindless games on our phones [that one might just be me]).

But this lack of sleep is really starting to take a toll.

 

I’m good at making positive changes – the last few weeks have shown that. Now I need to address this one thing that is making it harder to maintain the rest of my positive changes. I’m sans housemate for the next three nights (although the wee one will be home, but he’s usually asleep by 7:30, so I’m not too worried about him keeping me up) and I am going to go to bed (in bed, lights out, meditation playing) every night by 10:45.

I’ll report back on Monday and let you know how it went. My dream? That I did this without fail for three nights in a row and then used my newfound energy to run (Saturday), do a strength training routine (Sunday), and write about 6-8K words on The Ruby Blade.

Acceptable? If I get anywhere remotely close to success (as in, I don’t stay up until midnight watching tv and playing phone games and not writing).

Happy weekend!

 

Moving Day!

I have been in the process of moving my website from one place to another for a long time. I’ve been blogging at gazellesoncrack since 2006 (although I’ve owned amycissell.com for just as long). Today amycissell.com is live. There might be a few broken links or broken forms, so bear with me as I get through them, but overall, this should look just like home.

My ex-husband gave me the inspiration for gazellesoncrack and I fully embraced it. I am not graceful. (In fact, in college, there was a person who regularly just called me Grace.) This is not an untruth. For 11+ years, my entire online identity was wrapped around gazelleosncrack.

But in the past 11 years, I’ve become so much more–this space has become so much more. It started as a place to share my clumsiness and book reviews, became a place to share my clumsiness, book reviews, and shoe pr0n. Morphed into a place to discuss clumsiness, book reviews, shoes, and my health & weight loss journey. Then it skidded sideways into a pregnancy tracker and half-hearted mommy blog. All of this while doing my best to hide my real name from the internets.

And now-this is where we are.

There’s a lot less focus on the awkward (although that still exists), I never talk about shoes anymore (my interest in pretty shoes fell to the wayside about the time I had foot surgery), and my posts about my kid are getting fewer and further between as he gets older (and so much bigger, omg, he comes up to my chest now!).

It’s book reviews and writing and health (physical and mental).

I was doing a meditation this morning (seriously guys, if you haven’t read Rebekah Borucki’s You Have 4 Minutes to Change Your Life, get on that) and realized that the last two years have been nothing but attempts to breathe out the bad and breathe in the good.

I breathed out the job that I hated with the passion of a thousand fiery suns. The job that made me have panic attacks and high-level anxiety. The job that caused me to stress-eat and stress-starve (and may have fucked up my entire digestive system semi-permanently). The breath maybe wasn’t as controlled as I’d have preferred, but it’s gone, it’s out, and this is better.

I breathed out a marriage that had been weighing me down for longer than I care to admit. Letting go of a relationship that doesn’t buoy you is harder than it ought to be. Adding a kid to the mix certainly doesn’t make that process easier.

I breathed in new possibilities. I published a book (soon to be two). I’m taking control of that part of my life.

I breathed in a new job that, although not as exciting as it could be, still pays me with real money and affords me the time and energy to continue to work on my writing.

I breathed in a new relationship with a wonderful man who continually surprises me with how much he’s willing to give to me and my son, just because he loves us.

There are still things that I need to let go of and still things I need to pick up. I need to be bolder, more brazen, more confident. I need to be less anxious, less self-deprecating, less willing to put myself and my needs last. More movement, fewer excuses. More running, less sitting.

I started meditating – started being a person who meditates – when things were terribly, terribly bad earlier this year. I’d just turned 40 and was broke. Unemployed. So anxiety-riddled that I couldn’t tell where my brain was anymore. The one meditation I did over and over and over was (again, from the aforementioned book): “Your situation may look like a mess. That’s real. But you are not that mess.”

That got me through March. I started this job the end of April. I’m sleeping better. Eating better. And (and hopefully the beer guy will back me on this) being an all-around happier, more relaxed person.

I’m not saying that mediation got me a job and fixed my crazy, but there is evidence to show that mindfulness and mediation have a positive effect on anxiety (and a whole host of things!). And less anxious = all around better everything.

I’m still not meditating every day, but I’m definitely getting to “more often than not.”

Which brings me back to moving. Moving on. Moving up. This is one more letting go. Letting go of the gazelle that I so identify with “ten years ago Amy” and “Amy who was married to the architect” and “Amy who was too scared to really live.” (My spell check suggests I mean “Amy who was too sacred to really live…interesting…)

Now, instead of taking a name someone else gave me, we are here. At amycissell.com. (Yeah, I know that technically someone else gave me that damn name, too, but hey! It’s very me. 40 years of me, in fact.) I might never achieve the level of fearlessness I’d like, but I’m going to stop letting fear hold me back from what I want.

I will no longer be a dreamer of dreams. I will be a doer of things.

So welcome. Welcome to Amy Cissell Writes. The past is all here – I don’t want to start fresh because the lessons I’ve learned have been invaluable, but let’s move forward with fresh goals, shiny new intentions, and a courage that belies the fear.

 

Motivational Monday

Today, I has none. Someone told my uterus about the upcoming ablation and it is unleashing the anger of a thousand uterii on me. We’re talking full-on worst PMS in recent memory complete with killer headache, extreme nausea (so extreme), dizziness, low back ache, cramps, and the full on abattoir experience.

(I’m currently working on keeping down my breakfast and 50,000 IU Vitamin D. Fingers crossed.)

Last week was overall pretty good on the health front, though. I walked more steps in 7 days than I had since July of last year when I was chasing Pokemon all over Portland. I ate 85% vegan and 99% dairy free. I meditated 5/7 days, did my plank challenge 6/7 days, got to bed at a reasonable hour 5/7 days, and scheduled my acupuncture & therapy appointments. So much winning.

This week is a busy one – specifically Wednesday when I’m doing my cover reveal post, hitting “go” on all the presales, and also having a minor procedure for which I’ve been prescribed so many drugs! I promise your “Three Things Thursday” post will be written under the influence. (Also, no one is allowed to communicate with me on Thursday because the combination of drugs I’ll be on has a tendency to make me harshly, brutally honest and to want to share that honesty with everyone. Exceptions to the communication blackout rule: the beer guy (because he has to communicate with me by virtue of being my ride home) and my PSM  (because she probably deserves some drug-fueled texts after all the times I’ve gotten ambien texts from her).

Check back in tomorrow for a review of a fantastic urban fantasy book I read last week. Wednesday will have The Waning Moon cover reveal & presale info, Thursday will be a drug-riddled post that’s sure to delight everyone, and Friday I’m planning a mini-review of some of the self-help books I’ve read recently.

Happy week!

 

 

Three Things Thursday: Health & Wellness Edition

Funny story! I’ve been having some…uhhh…issues with my lady bits for a few months now. As soon as I was re-hooked up with health insurance, the very first thing I did was make an appointment to get that checked out. It was pretty exciting! In addition to scoring my “now you’re 40” mammogram, I won a transvaginal ultrasound! (Yes, it is just as much fun as it sounds.) I also won a second doctor’s visit that came complete with a surprise bonus pelvic exam and a surprise cervical biopsy. (Nothing says Saturday afternoon fun like an unexpected Kevorkian curette all up in your business.)

ANYWAY, the diagnosis is that my endometriosis, which has been decently well-managed for the last few years, is angry and trying to kill me. In addition to being wickedly Vitamin D deficient, I’m borderline anemic because of delicate lady reasons.

The doc and I decided that the best way to deal with this is a complete hysterectomy. I’ve been trying to convince someone to cut out my baby-growing shizz for nearly 20 years, and now that I’m 40 (and sterilized), apparently I can make that decision for myself without consulting a man. (When I tried to get one when I was 23, I was told that I couldn’t because my future husband might not approve. Some random hypothetical dude’s opinion was more important than mine. Tell me about why we don’t need feminism?) However, I need to take 2-3 weeks off work for a hysterectomy, and since I’m in week 6 of my new job, not only do I not have the time built up, but it seems kinda unprofessional to disappear for almost a month. Nothing says I’m using you for your health insurance like scheduling a major surgery less than 2 months into your job.

 

So…in the meantime, what am I going to do to managed this horrific situation? I’m glad you asked.

  1. Endometrial ablation next week. Go ahead and click the link You know you want to. This outpatient procedure ought to eliminate/greatly reduce the worst symptom, allowing me to concentrate on managing the others.
  2. Strict AF diet & exercise regimen. The last 18 months took a toll on my physical health. Stress/divorce/job loss/working from home/moving (twice)/single momming – all of this resulted in an upwards weight creep and a downwards fitness creep. If I want to manage the symptoms, I need to be good at taking my supplements (gotta get my blood happy again and definitely need my once-a-week mega-dose of that D) and losing the weight that stress and anxiety and depression gave me. (Honestly-that’s a shit gift and there’s not even a gift receipt.) I’ve been doing better at meal planning (and following it!), and even when I didn’t have my planned meal yesterday morning and had to stop and get breakfast and lunch, other than indulging in a cold-brew, I stuck to the plan and got veg and fruit heavy items. Oh? And it was all fucking vegan. (I’m vaguely considering being an offal-tarian, wherein I’m vegan except for organ meats.) (Maybe an ovo-offaltarian? I do like eggs.) I’ve set aside time every day for a walk, and am 3/3 this week.
  3. Stress management. I have several weapons in my stress management arsenal that I’ve been working on (with varying degrees of success) implementing.
    (i) Daily meditation (nailing it!)
    (ii) In bed by 10:30 every night (needs work!)
    (iii) Therapy (holy fuck, it’s hard to get a therapist to call me back to schedule an appointment)
    (iv) Light therapy in my basement office (I am rocking this one)
    (v) Acupuncture (both for pain & stress management…this needs to be scheduled)

So there you have it! More information about my reproductive system than you knew you needed. What are your go-to strategies for stress management?