Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Lift Heavy S*&$

Around October of last year, I started to get really worried about Eli. He was doing homeschool and wrestling was shut down. He was spending all day, every day, in his bedroom under his LED lights and the impact on his mental health was starting to concern me. I was also feeling the impact on my own mental health. I knew I wanted to get him moving, but wasn't sure how to do it. A good friend of mine is big into CrossFit and she suggested that it might be a good option. Eli and I visited a gym and signed up for the intro class. If you want a cool way to hang out with your teenage son, Olympic weightlifting is a good way to break the ice. Both of us really liked it and though we've switched to a more COVID cautious/training focused gym, we've been going consistently for the last six months. About a month ago C signed up too, so we roll into classes deep. 

I'm not trying to be dramatic when I say that it has been life-changing. I haven't been shy about my issues with body image and weight. The older I get, the more I realize that I move in and out of true body dysmorphia pretty regularly and that so much of my self-worth has been tied to my size for nearly all of my life. Which, from a logical perspective, I understand is ridiculous but from an emotional perspective, has been so difficult to navigate. I won't lie. I joined this gym fully anticipating to drop weight. I was going to get small. Tiny even! When that didn't happen, I went to my doctor and got my thyroid checked with the sole purpose of getting a prescription that would make the pounds melt off. 

It turns out that my thyroid did need a little help, and with the meds on board I started seeing improvement in symptoms I didn't even know that I had. My hair stopped falling out in clumps and I no longer felt the need to either take a nap or rage scream at 3:00 each afternoon. But the weight stubbornly stuck around. I was working my ass off (not literally) at the gym, eating right, and taking thyroid meds and yet I didn't lose a single pound. Literally, not a single ounce. And everyone says, "But your measurements!" I have been religiously taking my measurements for the last eight years and I can say confidently that my measurements haven't changed either. 

But here's the interesting part. I don't care. I truly don't give it a second thought. My goal has changed from an arbitrary weight I temporarily claimed two babies ago to "Lift Heavy Shit." In the olden days, this lack of weight loss would have derailed me entirely and sent me into a downward spiral of self-hatred and some really f-ed up internal dialogue. But it didn't. In fact, I forget to weigh myself on a regular basis. I ordered a bunch of shorts for the summer and without hesitation sized up because I was tired of wearing uncomfortable pants when it's hot out. I think that there are visual changes in how I look, but it hasn't been in the size of any of my body parts. I think I stand taller. My muscles are more defined. There's a fold in my back that disappeared (you're welcome for that uncensored visual). These are all things that I'm happy with, but even more, I went from lifting a PVC pipe to now getting into the #100+ range. I split jerked #85 OVER MY HEAD! I know what a split jerk is! C told me the other day in class, "You look really strong" and I'm not sure I've ever been more smitten with a compliment. 

The impact that this funny hobby has had on my mental health and on my family is so phenomenal. I'm sleeping better and my mood is so much more stable. Eli, it turns out, is a great gym buddy. He's supportive and encouraging and, much like his dad, everyone loves him. When wrestling started, he was way ahead of the rest of the team because he'd been so active in the downtime. C is starting to love it (parts of it, at least) and it's such a cool way to spend time together. And the girls love to go hang out in the kids' area and are really hoping that they'll offer classes for them soon. We are literally happier, healthier, and better adjusted. I'm so grateful for it and in retrospect, it was an excellent use of our interaction budget. 

I joke that it makes my brain stupid though, so occasionally I have to write the WOD on my arm :) 


Thursday, April 15, 2021

Pandemic Pets: An update

You might remember the menagerie post from early quarantine, followed up by the addition of Taco the tortoise. Now that we're a year into quarantine, I figured an update was warranted. 

Taco is doing wonderfully and we're all low-key obsessed. He's gotten a little bit bigger, but not so big that I don't anxiously worry when C and the kids take him outside to play in the grass. He loves sprouts, dandelions, and getting his booty brushed. 

I haven't seen Francisco since I posted. We had to get the tree trimmed and the trimmers alluded to some "creatures" that they "took care of" but I'm really hoping that Francisco was smart enough to make himself scarce. 

Shortly after I posted originally, my mom noticed that Emily and Cauliflower were getting much less active and convinced Averson to release them back to the wild. However, they were only the first in a long line of domesticated snails in the house. Most recently she purchased two milk snails, assuming that snails bred in captivity might tolerate the life of leisure better. We were all hoping for babies, but that hasn't panned out though they do seem to like their upgraded digs. She also has added two more small garden snails that we found outside. So we have a bit of a snail community. Last weekend I was trimming back the ivy (hoping to find a sign that Francisco is still around) and I found a GIANT garden snail on the flower pot. I sort of off-handed told C and my mom and they decided that we might need to add this one to the crew too. Shortly thereafter there was a HUGE commotion on the front porch. IT WAS CAULIFLOWER! We had put a small drop of nail polish on his/her shell to tell them apart. I imagine that poor Cauliflower has been banging on the front door this whole time trying to get back to the land of limitless arugula. 

At the beginning of the pandemic, I saw a post on Facebook by a woman who was looking to rehome her daughter's goldfish who had grossly outgrown their tank. I let her know that C would treat him like his own and that we'd be happy to add him to our pond. Great, wonderful, everyone's happy. C being C though felt bad for the little girl and offered a swap for one of his smaller fish. He and my mom thoughtfully picked a fish from the pond, caught it, and got it ready for delivery. Eli was going along for the ride, and about ten minutes later decided that he felt sad for the poor little fish being plucked from his home. So he and C stopped at PetSmart to buy a decoy fish for this stranger who, I suspect, was not all that excited about swapping out her fish in the first place. C came up with a back story, they hid the saved fish in the backseat, it was a whole thing. So Nemo joined the pond and "Gary" was safely delivered to his new family. 

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago and I get a random message from Nemo's family. Gary has now outgrown the tank and she wants to know if we'd like him back. 1) What are these people feeding their fish? 2) I'm really hoping they don't ask about Nemo since he met an unfortunate, racoon-related demise shortly after joining our crew. We agreed to rehouse Gary but this time I did NOT offer a replacement fish. This was turning into a weird symbiotic relationship that I wasn't totally interested in. Eli and I went to pick Gary up, and again Eli bonded with the fish. As we drove home, he quietly asked "Do we HAVE to put him in the pond?" And this is how my teenager and I ended up impulsively buying an entire fish tank set up for his room. Eli is OBSESSED with Gary and it's basically the greatest, sweetest thing that's happened lately. 

The pandemic really needs to end because I'm running out of room for creatures and Averson's getting some wild ideas in her head...

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

This and that

The kids went back to school. Averson and Eli are thrilled. Syd is... less so. We had her anxiety pretty dialed in but the last half of the quarantine has been tougher. She's doing okay and for her at least, I'm grateful that school is only 2 hours/ 2 days a week. Eli is back to wrestling practice and next week they're back on the mat. I have mixed feelings, but they're all getting tested weekly so I think it's as safe as it can be. And with half of the house vaccinated I feel a bit more risk tolerant. 

Literally the only picture I took of Easter and you'd never know what it was. Our baskets were ON POINT this year. New swimsuits, a new pool toy (from the "pool toys for teens" list on Amazon), a paper airplane kit, a new book, and a bunch of candy. I snuck an anime action figure into Eli's basket and he played with it all afternoon :) 

I had Cesar Chavez day off and the weather was gorgeous, so we ventured to find this bridge and tree that everyone's been posting pictures of. I did not take a picture (SMH). Then we realized that one of my favorite little pubs was across said bridge and decided to stop for lunch. Which Eli had to pay for because C and I had forgotten our wallets in the car. 

Ahh! Here's the tree! But you can't tell that it's cool from this angle. Trust me. It's cool. 

We celebrated my mom's birthday by going out to an actual restaurant! It was so fun and exactly what we all needed. We even got dressed up(ish)

Birthday donuts. She'll be so mad that I posted this picture, but I love it

There are about 700 pictures of braids on my phone because I bribe the girls with tv if they'll play with my hair. Most are kind of a mess but Syd gave me a bubble braid the other night and I really like it! Also, my hair has gotten ridiculous. 

In other, quiet announcement news, I sort of got a new job and will be leaving prison work at the end of the month. It feels SUPER weird and I'll dedicate a better post to it later. In true Corey fashion I 100% tripped into it. It's totally different from what I'm doing now (back to direct patient care!) I'm excited and nervous and also having a very hard time continuing to make my heinous commute. So more on that soon!