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Category Archives: maintaining the temple

trying to climb back on the wagon

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the sun still hadn't made it up by the time i step off the train. i don't blame it; gloomy day. perfect for a day to pull the covers over your head and hide from it. monday.

the weather forecast tells me it's one degree colder out and i notice too, with some chagrin, that it's also a tad darker on my brief trip to the bus stop. for some reason i thought fall was arriving this week, but apparently it already happened. right on top of things.

today i don't walk to the skytrain even though that's my new thing to inject a little exercise by default into the day. i'm actually going to go to the gym after work. i've not become completely sedentary, but as close to it as i would ever want to be. i went on a discovery/fact finding walk on saturday that had me zigzagging all over new west uptown, so i am somewhat redeemed, but only just slightly.

now it's time to work on shoring up some of what i've lost in the past year or so. there was a time when i was lacking in dedication, but motivated by the desire to be fit at least on a superficial level. i let that slide too. i thought that membership to a gym would spur me on, but i don't know who i thought i was kidding. it only seemed barely feasible while i wasn't working and the only time i think about it is when the money is drained out of my account on a bi-weekly cycle. i've noticed too that life, or what you've got going on in it, is a definite factor. in my case it's true that being in a relationship has had a serious deleterious effect on my physical state, especially being involved with a couch potato with some serious bad habits.

i remember when i would walk from the west end to kitsilano undeterred by rain, inspired by sunshine, kicking it at a rapid clip over to the other side of the bridge, to the espressohead coffee house. if it was a blustery and damp evening the frothy reward of a cappucino was enjoyed in its warm, unique intimacy. i couldn't even tell you if it's there anymore. i've not done much street hiking lately. the bridges and sidewalks line the side of dirty, busy suburban roadways and are hardly inspiring. inspiration is key.

my next post will probably be full of wingeing about stiff limbs and aching muscles. today i return, the awol exerciser, to the gym.

freedom i can see

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i recently got fitted for contact lenses. i've had them before, but this time it was a bit more complex process than simply slapping in the suitable magnification thanks to the recent introduction of bifocal vision into my life. given my current situation, it probably seems like an extravagance, but my eyeglasses are always dirty and impossible to keep clean. vision through them is occluded and frustratingly blurry. were it not for the fact that i really do need them to "see" print in the region of my armlength. so i concede, when absolutely pushed, to compromise and squint through the most expensive crappy glasses i've ever owned. if i'm just on a walkabout i dispense with the glasses altogether because i can see the world around me with as much clarity as ever.

vision with contact lenses is imperfect as well but in a different way. i find myself having to blink to adjust my gaze so that i can see, but not all the time. sometimes i very aware that there is something in my eye, but not all the time. drops are absolutely necessary for complete comfort. but, by the end of the day, i am willing to surrender fairly decent vision for obscured and gauzy comfort. everything is a compromise.

life’s balancing act?

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how do people fit exercise and life into life when they work?

i have no idea how. i was one of those people back in the day. on and off. i wasn't entirely faithful to my temple back then either.

desperate times demand another plan of attack. one that includes decisive action and a determined steadfastness. i've gotten into the swing of getting to the gym. i even miss it when i don't get there at the preplanned time and compelled to get there if more than a day has passed without visiting. i guess you can say i am more…..determined.

this week i worked 4 days out of five and tried to fit in a couple of sessions at the gym. it made for a couple of long days. i'd leave work only wanting to go home, but i detoured to the gym to do what needs to be done. then i'd finally arrive home with a yawning gap in my stomach that begged to be filled with anything resembling sustenance. with some help i managed proper and healthy dinner, and after an uninspired feed, i put my feet up with the intention of doing of doing absolutely nothing. no blogging, only a passing glance at emails. newsletters and all that other information that usually keeps me busy most days. nothing except struggling to keep my eyes open until it is time to go to sleep.

with the prospect of working fulltime in the near future i feel like my life might be reduced to something less desirable than not working at all, having no control over my life. that little routine i've injected into my life would be thoroughly ruined by the ultimate of routines; 9-5 work. i don't know which is worse. the rational mind in me does. but the emotional says i'd rather not be working and have the freedom of time, precious time.

oh my crumbling temple

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i went and had my foot looked at. after a brief fondle the podiatrist declared that i had a case of sinus tarsi syndrome. just like that. a little pressure here and little push there. part of me felt like i was getting the bum's rush at a cost of $75 for the appointment. but afterward, i looked up the condition and it seems fairly textbook case. still though, perhaps more could have been gleaned from a little more prodding examination. instead, he plastered me up shortly after my arrival in aid of fitting me right then and there for expensive orthotics. he didn't ask me if this was the course of action i wanted to take, assuming of course, that my pockets are lined with gold and it was something i could easily afford. quite the contrary.

after i washed off the plaster residue i asked him what i was supposed to do in the 2 or 3 week meantime–he didn't seem compelled to inform me of anything–until my orthotics arrived. to which he responded that i should take anti-inflammatories (advil) and such. it was something i was already doing with no result or relief, as well as following the guidelines of the RICE principles (Rest-Ice-Compression-Elevation). if anything, the pain was progressively worsening and after asserting itself only 10 days prior and i was almost to the point of visiting the hospital for a pair of crutches. i was hoping for a more aggressive solution. he said he'd seen worse. fine, that's other people. i know what pain is and i have no desire to prolong my agony in any event. in the end i imagined to finagle a cortisone shot. its effect didn't last long but long enough to allow me to walk blissfully painfree for about 10 minutes.

this vague disinterest tinged with ennui seems to be a recurring theme among the health professionals we have been visiting of late, excluding my fantastically thorough g.p. it's as if none of them cares. the irony is that of all the professions one could choose, a health professional should work doubly hard at remaining unjaded. without generalizing, it seems that the more education one of these professionals has, the poorer the bedside manner and ability to relate to the human condition.

i inhabit my body 24/7 and i can
sense when something is amiss. i don't want to trouble my doctor
with every twinge and ache, of which i experience now than ever before, but
i know though that sometimes some of the most deadly and vicious
afflictions are belied by their innocuous symptoms.( i don't imagine
that i am dying of anything, but i like to feel secure in the knowledge
that i am completely ok), however alarming these symptoms sometimes
present.  these days we are chided to be our own health
advocates and to give voice to our concerns but i often meet
health professionals that clearly just want me to shut up and listen to
them tell me nothing. i usually don't seek any medical attention at all until my symptoms
become impossible to ignore.  i've a persistent mystery plaguing me chronically lately, and in the absence of a diagnosis, my
blood has been tested, scanned and probed a few times
now, with no result. don't get me wrong. i am heartened by the fact
that there appears to be nothing wrong, but the condition recurs. it is a mystery wrapped in a riddle….

on the plus side my doctor has suggested i drink less water and use more salt, to balance out my out of whack electrolytes. in the grand scheme of things, this could be seen as the best good news i could get, since i am a salt freak and have difficulty in getting in a solid 8 glasses of water.

extreme beauty

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today while i was standing in 7-eleven i noticed that the girl in front of me was wearing the same $4.99 army and navy and t-shirt as myself. it could be said we both have the same great nose for a bargain or we are both shopping on an extreme budget. truth be told, technically i couldn't afford it at all, but retail therapy is retail therapy and it feels nice to buy something new even if it costs about the same as a starbucks latte. it's white and fresh, shouting of renewal and synergy. if it gets stained or something cataclysmic happens to it, or if my physiology simply conspires to destroy it's, not a problem. and acquiring it cost just pennies over 5 bucks. gotta like it.

a deal is a deal and the thing is, a girl can't thumb her nose at a deal however small. it's tough enough. i have forgone every luxury in personal grooming, big and small, from professional landscaping "down there" to having my eyebrows done on a regular basis. and a lovely pedicure….forget it. not happening. i did the whole home pedicure which really just consisted of a soak, a scrub, and painting my toenails with my shaky and unskilled hands.

the only way to get up that hill is to go up that hill

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i'm trying to rev up my metabolism, because it has to be obnoxiously slow to resist every effort i have made in the effort to reclaim my body. not the one i had in my 20's or even 30's because that's just silly. the one i had around the time i crested 40, which was not so long ago. i am beginning to appreciate what i had then finally, belatedly and i want it back. that means work, a lot of it. i can't believe it let myself slide so badly. s. can't really discern a difference and that's a good thing, because i am doing enough surveying of the situation for two.

drinking lots of water, lots of it, even though the doc says cool it a little; drinking green tea and now before i put a morsel of food in my mouth i am out pounding the pavement and workin' it. yesterday i decided our street–which pushes upward at a steep incline westward–would be my daily target, with a zig and a zag thrown in for good measure and to beat boredom.

the tough part always is getting on the gear and the shoes and propelling oneself outside. as i left the building a woman ran by me heading up the hill. well, challenger….always did better with a little competition. thankfully she slowed to a decent paced walk so we had a level playing field. no way i'm running up that hill. not yet. i'll get there, even with creaky knees and protesting lungs. i'll get there.

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