Accountability Blog – October

Remember last month when I said I was going to actually dedicate myself to this better-my-lifestyle endeavor? Well…

I actually did! Let’s see how:

DIET

Crap food – I hit my goal, having just one crap Jack in the Box lunch for the whole month. I also only had one crap breakfast. Nothing more to be said here. Grade: 4.

Vegetables – I made a realization that I made a goal that I couldn’t possibly BEAT. You can miss fewer than zero days. So I’m changing my goal to no more than 1 day in a month without at least one serving of vegetables. That being said, I did have one day right at the end where I literally had no veggies in the house and did not want to go shopping. Still, best I’ve done so far. Grade: 4.

Sodas – I tied my best ever by hitting my goal exactly, six sodas or energy drinks for the month. Nearly cracked a seventh one the last week but my fleeting willpower held strong. Grade: 4.

Overall diet grade: 4. Hit every goal, even if I didn’t exceed any of them.

WORKING OUT

This is going to be a “caveat” entry. I started pretty good on working out, averaging two a week (my goal). Then on October 23, I didn’t work out because I CLIMBED FRICKIN’ PEAVINE MOUNTAIN. That’s right, having not really hiked in twenty years other than my Peavine attempt last year, I hiked 15 miles up 3,500 of vertical grade. It’s 8 days later and my feet are only mostly healed, so that eliminated the possibility of more workouts. Still, 5 gym workouts plus Peavine – we’re gonna go with a straight up success grade. Grade: 4.

MEDITATION

I started strong with this goal but petered out a little bit at the end. Ultimately, I meditated 8 days this month, which is a bit under my goal of 12. Still, we’re going to say I was pretty close. Grade: 3.

DISC GOLF

I didn’t touch a disc this month at all, including not mailing the one out that I borrowed in September (grrr). I did sign up for a local one-day even in November, though, which will wrap up my year nicely.

CREATIVE WRITING

So I haven’t written 2,500 creative words since 2012. But I resolved to kick ass this month. Did I? Well, I may not have kicked it, but I did give it a hearty squeeze.  I plopped out 2,531 words. They were all done in one day, so you’d imagine this goal is something I should have no problem with, but there just wasn’t a whole lot of days where I had the time and energy to sit in front of my computer again after work. Still, this was heartening, and a ton of fun. Grade: 4.

VICES

Recall that I had a one-month goal of “cutting out all booze and pot” for the month. Well, the short answer is we didn’t cut it out all month – there were a couple of rough days that we wanted to toast away. However, the goal was implemented for financial reasons, and we didn’t spend a single penny on vices the entire month. My vice budget was simply a bottle of booze we bought before I made the resolution and some sodas. So I can’t call it a success, but I managed to keep the spirit alive (RETROACTIVE PUN ALERT!), so we’re gonna say close but no cigar. Grade: 3.

 

OCTOBER OVERALL: 3.5 – I hit all but three goals, and they were pretty close. Unfortunately, I didn’t EXCEED any of the goals. So let’s try and make my lowest grade next month a 4. Maybe see some 5s in there.

 

Accountability Blog – September

If you’ll remember, I ended my August write-up with “I’m going to try a renewed dedication to this quest in September”. So, did I?

In a word, no. There was a pretty decent excuse in that I traveled a ton this month with two camping trips and a week on the east coast for a disc golf tournament. Travel tends to mean worse habits, and boy did I live up to that.

DIET

Crap food – I had two crap lunches and one crap breakfast. It’s close to my goal, but not quite there. I’m okay with this given my travel schedule and how easy it is to just grab crap fast food when you’re away from home. Grade: 3.

Vegetables – There appeared to only be two days without veggies, which is a nice improvement. It’s again close to my goal, but not quite there. Grade: 3.5.

Sodas – There’s two ways to look at this. I had 10 sodas, which is not great. But the other way to look at this is to include energy drinks (which I really should), which brings this embarrassing total up to 15 for the month. An unequivocal failure. And I can only blame travel so much. See, when I know I’ve failed something, I don’t try to salvage, I just go off the deep end. I stopped holding myself responsible and just drank soda like it was going out of style. Grade: 1.

Overall diet grade: 2.5. This is not trending in the right direction.

WORKING OUT

Well, it couldn’t get worse than August, when I did not work out at all. September saw me work out… well, my calendar says twice but I’m fairly certain I worked out about four times. Let’s call it 3 since I am not very good at even keeping this damn log. Still, it falls well below the 8 I hoped to do. Grade: 2.

MEDITATION

I meditated six times, which is acceptable, though well below my goal of 12-15. I’m too cheap to pay for the upgraded service, so I’ll be going through the same 10 routines ad nauseam. But in the times where I don’t fall asleep, it does help center me a bit. Grade: 2.5.

DISC GOLF

Rehashing this will hurt my soul. If I had gotten even a bogey 5 on my final hole of the 72-hole tournament, this would have been graded a 5 since I would have cashed and left $200+ richer. Instead, I took a 7 and was one stroke out of the cash. I want to grade it a zero (even though I typically don’t grade disc golf), but the truth is I played pretty well for about 70 of those holes. Grade: 3

CREATIVE WRITING

2500 words in a month was my goal. Bear in mind, I have not done this more than once (when I was writing sketches last summer for The Untamed) since 2012. Here, I wrote two sketches and started work on The Great Depression: The Musical (even if it was literally only one stanza). Total word count is just a little above 700 words, but I don’t consider it only a 30% success. I actually wrote creatively for the first time in a while. I’m going to give myself half a pass this month. 2500 might difficult to hit with any regularity (ignoring the fact that I’ve already written 500 words in this blog alone) but it’s a fun challenge. Grade: 3.

SEPTEMBER OVERALL: 2.5 – When I failed, I failed big, but a few other goals were pretty decently followed.

I’m adding one new addition for October only, at least for the month starting after today. In looking at my budget, I’ve spent way too much the last two months on my “vices” – booze, cannabis, and soda. Like way way too much. I’m not as concerned that I’m drinking too much, but I’m completely obliterating my monthly spending goals. So Danielle and I are cutting out all booze and pot for the month (except if there’s a party we’re attending which, at this time, we have none that we know of). It’s more for financial reasons, but a pause will have a number of other good effects.

And more importantly, and this I’m excited for, I’m *actually* going to commit this time. No excuses of travel, no seeing that I’m going to fail so throwing in the towel. I’m going to try to hit every damn goal at least once in a month.

Accountability Blog – August

DIET

Crap food – Well, for the first time since starting this blog, I hit this goal. I had one crap breakfast (on the 2nd of the month) and one crap lunch (on the 7th) but held off the rest of the month. Sure, I had Jack in the Box once for dinner this month, but there were extenuating circumstances and I cleverly put no restrictions on this whatsoever. Grade: 4.

Vegetables – Looking at my calendar, it looks like I had four days without veggies this month. Admittedly at least one of those days I didn’t really have the option to get something with veggies, but still a pretty bad fail. Grade: 2.5.

Sodas – 11. Ouch, that’s nearly double my goal. It’s probably still *slightly* better than I did before this challenge, but it’s still pretty lousy. Grade: 2.

Overall diet grade: 3.

WORKING OUT

Zero times. Not once did I work out. That’s terrible. Sure, it was a busy month and I always tend to work out more in the winter than in the summer, but this is pretty inexcusable, especially on the heels of the past two months where I only worked out 4 times total. Grade: 1.

MEDITATION

I only decided I would add this goal halfway through the month. I finished the month out with 5 in the final two weeks. Considering my monthly goal was 12-15, my prorated total would put me at around 11 or 12. So we’re gonna call this a success. Grade: 4.

DISC GOLF

I played 12 holes of practice early in the month with someone from work and bookended August with about 24 holes on the last day of the month. I’m trying to get my body ready for next week when I anticipate playing no less than 6 rounds in 5 days (possibly 7 rounds). I think 36 holes in the prior 2+ months satisfies that criteria, right? Grade: N/A

CREATIVE WRITING

I only decided I would attempt this at the very end of the month, and I’m okay with not having succeeded because of that. What’s more, I have some gift cards coming my way and I plan to buy a laptop with those. I am infinitely more likely to write on a laptop than I am while sitting at my not very comfortable computer desk. After all, I have a bed that can sit all the way up. 🙂 Grade: N/A.

JUNE OVERALL: 2.5. Still not great, all things considered. I’m going to try a renewed dedication to this quest in September and I hope to hit each one of these targets.

Spoiler alert: I had two sodas on the very first day of September. So there’s that.

Accountability – June & July

So I have not actually written an accountability blog in several months which, I imagine, is not good in terms of holding myself accountable. So I’ll compensate by adding a gratuitous grading scale.

5 – Not only did I hit my goals, I exceeded them.

4 – I hit my goals.

3 – I came close, but did not hit my goals.

2 – Not only did I not hit my goals, I basically was as unhealthy as I was before these resolutions.

1 – I failed on every level.

JUNE

DIET

To refresh your memory, three are three sub-goals here.

Fast food/crap food: my goal was to have no more than one junk food lunch and one junk food breakfast a month. In June, I had three crap breakfasts and two crap lunches.

Vegetables: There were four days I did not eat vegetables at all, much less than the zero I hoped for.

Sodas: I had nine sodas, not six.

Overall, I’ll grade my diet a 2 for June.

WORKING OUT

Recall that I hoped to work out twice a week for a total of 8 to 10 times a month. Looking back at my accountability calendar, I see I fell just short, having not worked out at all. Okay, that’s more than falling short, that is quite literally the least I could do. Grade: 1.

DISC GOLF

I started off the month as hot as you could, but winning my second tournament of the year (this one at one of my all time favorite courses, Turtle Rock). Like my other Masters wins, this was a wire-to-wire win, resulting in a 4-stroke victory and my biggest payday to date. I followed this tournament up with a pretty sub-standard showing at King of the Lake, but I did manage to sneak into a tie for last cash. While this was disappointing, it was the *first* odd-numbered year that I ever cashed in the King, so there’s that. We’re going a full 5 for this grade.

JUNE OVERALL: 2.

JULY

DIET

I had a whopping four crap lunches (I realize I eat crap lunches when I am having a bad day – it’s my comfort food – and I had no shortage of bad days in July). I had one crap breakfast and at least two days without vegetables. Maybe a slight leg up from June? Well, I had the chance to improve on nine sodas in June, but I didn’t. I had 9. I’ll grade this month a generous 3.

WORKING OUT

I worked out four days this month, a couple of those also working on my shoulder. I’m hoping to get it back to competition form by the first week of September when I have my biggest tournament of the year. While four is well short of my goal, it’s better than I’d done in a couple of months. So…. yay? I’m gonna grade this a 2.5, though. It’s still well short of my very reachable target.

DISC GOLF

I did not touch a disc for the entire month. Grade: N/A.

JULY OVERALL: Given that this was a very trying month on a number of levels, I fared sorta kinda okay I guess? We’ll keep it at a 2.5, though.

 

RANDOM NOTES:

  • First off, you’ll notice I’ve yet to hit basically any of my goals in any single month. And spoiler alert, I won’t in August either. Well that’s disappointing. However, here’s hoping I get a renewed push going into September and actually try to hold myself accountable more than just saying “shucks” when I miss a goal.
  • Also, I can’t actually “grade” disc golf since I’m not setting a goal. I mean, I did grade June because I won a tournament, but I don’t think I’ll actually my disc golf grade in my overall grade because, with no measurable goal, it’s a totally arbitrary number.
  • I will be adding two categories starting next month. The first is “creative writing” because I’ve been saying for YEARS I want to write more and I’ve had tons of friends very disappointed that I have basically not written. This blog and work stuff don’t count: creative writing only, preferably one of my two novels I’ve started, but I’ll take working on sketches or anything that gets the creative juices flowing. My goal? 2,500 words a month. I know that’s peanuts, but if I start crushing it (like all the other goals I’m hitting routinely) I’ll increase that number.
  • The second addition will be meditation at the urging of my therapist. I’ve tried meditation in the past and not gotten much out of it, but I also recognize that I don’t handle stress as well as I thought I did. He recommends 10 minutes a day. I’ll say let’s do 10 minutes three times a week. So on a per month basis, that’s 12-15 times.

Accountability Update – Stupid, stupid May

So, how’s that accountability thing going? Let’s find out:

DIET

I think I’m like most people. When I make goals for myself, I set out earnestly to hit those goals. But once it becomes clear I am not going to hit them, not only do I stop trying, I basically take it in the opposite direction to see how spectacularly I can fail. I had 8 sodas, not 6. And while that may not seem like much, each sized soda was considerably larger than I normally get, so those 8 were more like 10 or 12. I also had two crappy Jack-in-the-Box lunches this month. Again, it’s only one more than my goal, but it’s also double my goal. I missed veggies again one day. I failed pretty hard in May. Especially when you compound my eating habits with:

WORKING OUT

…which I essentially did not do. I worked out a grand total of one time, and considering my goal was 8-10, I came up juuuuuuuuuust a bit short. I want to be able to place the blame elsewhere, but simply I got obsessed with War and Order, a handheld strategy game. Why work out when I can loot castles and kill soldiers, am I right? I hold out hope that June will be different, but it’s a flimsy sort of hope.

DISC GOLF

Here’s where things get funky. I started out my disc golf month at a one-day tournament at a new course (I’d only played once the week before at doubles). And I did what I’ve done all year, sucked. This tournament featured a) my third (3RD) sub-900 rated round this year and b) my SECOND DFL (dead f’n last) finish this year.

Apparently, the bursitis in my throwing shoulder is causing me more problems than I thought, especially when putting. So I did what any rational person would do, decided to play out the tournaments I’ve already signed up for then hang up the discs for the rest of the year to recover. I emailed my ex to change my schedule with the boys because of it. Then what happened?

Oh yeah, I started kicking ass. I won Duel at Dayton by four strokes, playing good golf the entire weekend. As a comparison, in the 9 tournament rounds before Dayton, I reached my player rating only once. Dayton featured 3 rounds in a row above my rating, something I tend not to do very much. Also, SPOILER ALERT, June started off pretty well too.

THE REST OF MY LIFE

The boys are done with school, in more ways than one. We’re moving them from their current school back to the public school they are zoned for. There are many reasons for this move, but it’s definitely the right one. It’ll be a sharp change (and for L, his third school in four years). They have mixed feelings about it, but have spent the last few days getting phone numbers for the parents of many of their friends. So there will be play dates a’plenty.

My girlfriend has had some medical issues resulting in surprise surgery (which is, as you know, the worst kind), so it’s been a pretty rough, tiring month. She’s on the mend, at least until the next, bigger surgery (less surprise, but no less sucky). We will get a nice excursion next weekend when we attend the wedding of some longtime friends of hers.

May was a weird month financially, too. Twice each year I get three paychecks (I get paid bi-weekly, not semi-monthly), and May was one of those months. Plus I got my small tax rebate. Plus my second-biggest disc golf payday ever. So I’ve been able to pocket a little money to spend on a trip later this year with the boys.

Oh, and I we interviewed for and selected my third employee! She starts on July 1 and I’m SUPER excited a) because we desperately need a third person and b) because she’s awesome.

Onto June…

April Update

So, how’s that accountability thing going? Let’s find out:

DIET

You may remember in this blog post, I made a resolution to eat better because I was working out more. So how’d it go? I missed two days of veggies in May, one of which was because I was out playing disc golf for a good portion of the day and had plans at night. In general, I’m having more than one serving of veggies a day, but at least I’m basically hitting the lower bar each day. It helps to have a girlfriend who enjoys cooking (healthy!)

WORKING OUT

I worked out four times last month. If you’re good at math, or even just barely passable, you’ll realize that that’s not 2x a week. Unless April only had one week which, after thorough research, I concluded it didn’t. Of course it’s not a matter of time, it’s a matter of priorities. Let’s see if I can change that in May, during which I’ve already worked out (checks calendar) zero times.

DISC GOLF

I played two days of golf the entire month, both doubles. I played exceptionally mediocre in both of them, missing cash each time (in one I was playing with a total newbie so it was basically a solo round). So far for 2019, I’ve made $0 in disc in 2019. Too bad I haven’t spent $0.

THE REST OF MY LIFE

The boys are doing great. They’ve taken up reading as a legitimate hobby, spending most of each car ride (to and from school) silently reading. For Landen it’s usually Calvin and Hobbes. Duncan switches between that and other books. School’s been going well for them too. I unfortunately won’t be able to take them on large vacations like I’d hoped (definitely rethinking the custody arrangement I agreed to based on things that have not transpired as discussed), but I’m making it work as best as I can.

Work is finally slowing down and I’m able to concentrate on process improvement and a backlog of old projects. This is actually exciting news, as these are the real things I intended to do in this position.

My body is rapidly falling apart – herniated disc in the back, bursitis in the right (throwing) shoulder, and arthritis in the left foot. Yeah yeah, I know, working out would help some of these.

Let’s see how May goes.

Updates – March

So, how’s that accountability thing going? Let’s find out

DIET

You may remember in this blog post, I made a resolution to eat better because I was working out more. So how’d it go? I’m not going to pretend the bar was set super high – it was only three goals – but I did very well. I had my full allotment of six sodas (I had the last one around the 20th of the month), I only had my two fast food jaunts (Jack in the Box for lunch once and a fatty bagel once for breakfast), and I ate veggies every day but one. Most days I had multiple veggies, so I feel good. That’s, like, a 98% success rate or something for month one.

ABOUT THAT WORKING OUT THING

Well, this isn’t going as well, but I didn’t set a clear goal. I think a reasonable goal would be two sessions a week. That’s vague on purpose – it can be going to the gym and using the elliptical and/or weights, or doing yoga or pilates or other core work at home. I haven’t done two sessions a week in a month or two, and I probably did a total of about 5 total sessions in March. No bueno.

DISC GOLF

Remember a few months ago when a doe-eyed man with a bag full of big dreams set up a bunch of goals for the year? I haven’t had the cajones to reread that blog, but suffice to say this has been a historically bad start to the year. I mean historically. Put it this way, since 2010, I have not had a sub-900-rated round. And the one I had then was because of a severe injury. You’d have to go back to 2009 to get a legit sub-900 round. This year? Yup, already had two.

I know it’s altitude. I know it I know it I know it. But I keep going back. Why do I keep going back? Let’s do some research. Since moving west at the end of 2007, I’ve played 262 tournament rounds. 175 of them were above 4000′ in elevation (almost exactly 2/3). Here are my findings:

Average round rating below 4000′: 950.56

# of 1000-rated rounds below 4000′: 5 (~5.7%)

# of sub-930 rounds below 4000′: 17 (~20%)

Average round rating above 4000′: 965.01

# of 1000-rated rounds above 4000′: 16 (~9.1%)

# of sub-930 rounds above 4000′: 13 (~7.4%)

I used to think it had to do with playing early in the year, but I now think that’s crap. The few rounds I played in Reno (above 4000′) after a two-month layoff and dealing with bursitis in my throwing shoulder were actually quite good (I took home the 1-tag in the opener!) Then I go down to sea level and throw my first 8 rounds well below my rating (only one round so far is unofficially rated above 950). Oh well, onward and upward. Literally, upward. I need higher elevation.

THE REST OF MY LIFE

This one is murkier. The internet isn’t the forum for airing dirty laundry, so let’s say say specters from my past are making my life in the present very challenging. And they’re inevitably affecting my relationship with my boys and even the amount of time I get to spend with them. Personal choices obviously have a say in that as well (I played several tournaments in March, for instance), but there are extenuating circumstances.

The boys are doing well in general. I just had parent teacher conferences with both teachers and, while L’s reading scores have me more than a bit concerned, they’re both prospering in various areas. I can only imagine how hard it is to try to learn anything at school while dealing with two separate homes and lifestyles. Fortunately, my parents’ divorce happened when I was in college, and even THAT had its own challenges. It must be 1000x harder for kids.

However my girlfriend Danielle has been a nice pillar of support in all of this, as have a few friends I’ve opened up to. I had the chance to see Corey and Matt in their adorable place in Oakland. Got to perform with my improv troupe, The Comedy Collective (and will again this coming Friday!), and partook in some shenanigans. All in all, a mixed bag.

 

I anticipate doing this sort of review monthly. It’s good cheap therapy content.

 

Health Accountability

Spoiler alert: I’m 40 and my body is 612. My metabolism isn’t what it used to be. And I’m woefully out of shape.

Thankfully, my apartment complex has a gym and I’ve downloaded a few yoga/pilates videos that focus on core strength, which is clearly my issue. But this blog isn’t about that, it’s about three health/eating resolutions I made for the start of February and hope to continue the rest of the year. I’m posting them because public shame is a viable motivator.

  1. No more than 6 sodas a month. I’m not a fan of cutting out entirely, and though I can (I recently gave up soda for two months on a dare with my son), this isn’t about total exclusion, it’s about moderation. So I’m allowing only 6 sodas each month. So far I’ve had one in February and plan to have another later today. If I use up my allotment by the middle of the months, sucks for me.
  2. Only one “fast food lunch” and one “fast food breakfast” a month. Because I forgot to pack lunch today, I will exercise my lunch token today.
  3. Have one serving of vegetables a day. I know, I know, you’re supposed to have like 40 every day. But clearly if I’m resolving to have at least one, it should be clear that that’s a goal I’m not currently hitting. So far in February, I’m 5 for 5.

That’s it. I’m starting small. Let’s see how long I can keep this up. Now to share on Twitter so I can further keep myself accountable/shame-ready.

Day 123: Back on my Feet

I finally looked over the instructions I was supposed to be following after my procedure – good thing I had Ash before that helping me along. I am supposed to be on a soft-foods diet again for 7-10 days, as it could take about 5 days or more for the steroid injection to actually begin to work its magic. And I’m able to mix my percocet and ibuprofin if need be.

I probably should have looked these instructions over beforehand.

Anyway, as my title suggests I’m a little more alive today. Yesterday, we signed some house documents and just doing that (and walking around the building a few times because I was woefully under my step count) did tire me out a bit. Today, I was able to get up, drive D into school (L stayed home today because… weird school reasons), and even attempted to do a little packing, as we’re supposed to be out of our house in 12 days. So yeah, gonna be an interesting time.

This morning I awoke to some jaw pain, but not as much as the two previous days (yesterday got bad at times). I have been taking Aleve pretty regularly just to keep inflammation down, haven’t needed the painkillers yet. I will say just an hour or so of light packing has made me need to take a little rest, so I’m not exactly up-and-at-em yet. I imagine it would not have been fun had I had to sit in a chair and concentrate for 8 hours (it took me about 30 minutes to even get my head wrapped around writing this blog).

Eating has been weird. I did manage to eat some cheese-stuffed rigatoni things (I opted not to try the sausages) and it was about my upper max, but it’s nice that I’m not stuck just eating yogurts and soups at least. But I am always sort of stuck between being hungry and having and upset stomach. It might be taking Aleve on a not-full stomach, or going back to drinking Boosts, or something else. But I tend to feel almost nauseous, which oddly tells me that I need to eat, so that feeling goes away. Damn my counter-intuitive stomach. I imagine this is a tiny slice of what pregnancy might feel like, only I will be over my weird stomach in a day or two, hopefully.

So it looks like I’ll give it a couple more days of recovery before I start moving the ole jaw around, see how I’m actually coming along. Right now it FEELS like I can open my jaw even LESS than before, but that’s largely because I’m scared to. Probably after the weekend, I’ll be ready to do some jaw-juts (a name I made up, where I stick my lower jaw out) and some jaw-jukes (another name I’m making up right now, where I’ll jigsaw my jaw back and forth), and some jaw-jigglers, where I put my jaw on top of Jell-o. The last one isn’t a real exercise, but I think it would feel pretty soothing.

Here’s my face, and also (coincidentally) me showing some Gavman pride. Have a great walk this weekend, Jaymar!

GAVMAN!
GAVMAN!

PAIN: 2

INCONVENIENCE: 4

REGRET FACTOR: 4

Day 53: Subtitle

You know the old fairy tale about the guy who has double orthognathic jaw surgery, is on the road to recovery, is at the point where he can eat softer foods like pastas, yet he craves meat, so he pushes himself much harder than he probably should? No? Makes sense as it was banned in a few elementary schools and at least one synagogue. But the moral of the story is: meat is tasty, but it can probably wait.

In terms of daily pain, I seem to have stalled out. I’m no longer at a zero, and in fact things like opening my mouth to smoosh food in there hurts more today than they did even a week or two ago. I think it’s largely because I’ve been trying to eat chicken (cut up into small pieces or the pretty-soft Costco brand chicken alfredo). The chewing itself is okay; it’s certainly cumbersome but doable, but this action seems to make my jaw sore to open up wide for a few days afterwards. It’s a double-edged sword, except instead of a sword, it’s yummy food I still don’t get to eat! So really, it’s like a simile that doesn’t work at all.

And speaking of pain, in that first week where I rarely got out of bed, the one thing that never hurt was my back. This is impressive as my back has hurt for more than a decade now, sometimes so bad I have trouble standing up. Well, since lying down (or reclining significantly) is the MOST comfortable position for me to be in, my back at least was excited about my jaw surgery. Now that I’m up and about (and packing up for a likely house move later this year), my back has decided to resume being a little bitch to me. It’s amazing how much I move during the day (even at a desk job) that directly affects my back, and that’s not even counting my Hokey Pokey practice.

And while I’m bitching about pre-existing conditions, you know how my skin sucks monkey nut? Yeah, well, it’s not quite as bad as it was on day 6, but it’s looking pretty Middle-Earthen. And I think I know why – gluten. I had gone gluten-free for two years, and while my skin was never perfect back then, it certainly was better than the splotchy quilt that it is now. So now I’m in a catch-22, and one that’s almost as bad as the Joseph Heller book (CLASSIC LITERATURE SLAM!) I either go back to soups, smoothies, and if I’m adventurous then also GF pastas, or keep eating things that I enjoy more and look like the alien from the first Men in Black movie with hives. Given those choices, I think you see how much I disliked Catch 22.

Anyway, recovery is slow. Annoying. And I’m frustrated. But still, if you were to ask me the day before my surgery that I would be where I am today today, I’d have signed on the dotted line that day.

PAIN: 2

INCONVENIENCE: 4

REGRET FACTOR: 2

Day 34: Big Boy Pants

In recovery terms, I’ve passed infancy and have moved onto toddlerhood. No longer do I use the baby toothbrush; I’ve upgraded to a larger one (and I will occasionally use my electric one just for cleaning the underside of the splint). I have also long since stopped using syringes and even baby spoons; I can now fit a normal spoon or fork in my mouth.

In fact, I’m limited in what I can eat obviously by softness, but also by what can fit between my teeth. I am opening my mouth nominally more and more each day, but I still have trouble fitting anything fatter than scalloped potatoes in there. So my days of eating a lacrosse ball are still a ways away. ‘Cause it’s obviously a slippery slope from scalloped potatoes to lacrosse.

My weight seems to have stabilized at 169, a loss of about 12 pounds. I’m going to try to work out (whether it be going to a gym, yoga, or just stretching and hikes) with some regularity as my diet slowly migrates back to normal so that I don’t just put on the weight I had managed to starve off. With my back now bothering me once again (stupid doing stuff!) I have to try to pretend I’m not aging and I can still do all the things I could do when I was 20. I will probably not hit myself in the head with heavy objects though, just out of principle. I can’t imagine it did me any good.

I had my first wine since the surgery this weekend. It was pretty wonderful, and will continue to be wonderful for a while, as I don’t plan on drinking too much for the foreseeable future, so I’ll definitely have leftovers. Still no soda, and that’s something I hope to continue long after my recovery is but a distant memory.

Sleep has been fine. I’m still waking up fatigued, but that might have more to do with the fact that I still have some jaw pain when I wake up. That’s tiring. But I no longer have issues falling asleep.

Talking still generates so much saliva that it seems I have slurp-swallow every nine words. It’s incredibly sexy, trust me. It’s nice to know that, no matter what mutinies my glands are planning later in life, my salivary glands show no intention of abandoning ship. Rather, they come with reinforcements in times of trouble.

I spent almost an hour outside in the ~9″ of snow we got today with the boys and one of their cousins sledding. By the end of walking up a not big hill (I’d characterize it as more of a “small slope”), I was already breathing pretty heavy (not being able to open my mouth much). However, I remember a few weeks ago when I got that way by merely walking around the house. I think Thomas Jefferson put it best – I’ve come a long way, baby.

PAIN: 1

INCONVENIENCE: 3

REGRET FACTOR: 2

The most recent ortho pictures EVER!? I couldn’t believe #9!!!!

Just because *I’ve* made it a rule never to click on click-baiting headlines like this doesn’t mean nobody else does. So yeah, it may not be Buzzfeed worthy, but check out what’s going on with my teeth. First, a comparison of where we’re at from the inside:


Xray1 2014-05-07Xray1 2015-10-07

 

Xray2 2014-05-07 Xray2 2015-10-07

The change is pretty astounding. My teeth have undergone a pretty crazy transformation already, and I haven’t even gotten to the major stuff (except, perhaps, that I have 8 fewer teeth than when I started).

What they’re working on now is two things – the major one is that the top teeth need to be angled a little different, a little away from the bottom teeth (which is funny since up until now, everything they did were to rein those top teeth in). This is really the major thing that *could* push back the surgery date. The other thing they’re working on is rotating one of my lower back teeth. This isn’t necessary for the surgery, but will have to get done anyway, and they can do it concurrently with torquing the top teeth, so why not?

Today the surgeon Dr. M will be getting molds and will be performing “mold surgery” on them to see if all the jigsaw pieces will fit like he hopes. So, I had hoped to get confirmation today that Dec. 21 will be the surgery date, and I do not have that confirmation yet.

However, I have the ortho Dr. O extremely happy with my progress. He seems optimistic about the Dec 21 date, but really, he doesn’t have final say. The surgeon does. Here’s a picture of how far one set of my teeth has come in exactly 17 months, which also provides a glimpse into what it’s like to be missing a whole bunch of teeth:

Teeth5 2014-05-07Teeth5 2015-10-07

 

Also pretty amazing. It’s contrasting pictures like this that make me happy I’m doing this procedure. If nothing else, I’ve actually started using my front teeth to chew a little bit, and this isn’t even where my teeth will end up.

But now I feel like we’re racing against the clock. Why am I so insistent on a December surgery? Two reasons, really:

1) Ash has her winter break for 3 weeks starting on that day. Since we won’t be able to have my family in town to help, it’s going to be a brutal recovery and Ash will be as worn down as me, probably more. If she weren’t on break, it really wouldn’t be feasible for a typical recovery as I will need someone by my side, at least for the first week. So without her break, she’d have to take a few weeks off of work, which we don’t really want for a myriad of reasons.

2) I found out last week that Dr. M the surgeon is retiring at the end of December. So if I go on as scheduled, I’ll be one of the last, if not the last, patient he performs this procedure on. The surgeon isn’t really old – I’d peg him as maybe 60, but he’s been doing this for 30-35 years or so. It’s good that he’s retiring, but NOT BEFORE HE WORKS ON ME! Part of why I agreed to this procedure is because I liked and trusted him so much. Yes, he has a partner that is probably also very good, but there’s no doubt I want M to do the procedure, and Dr. O today also confirmed that would definitely prefer that I have Dr. M do it as well.

So the nerves continue. And also, I see pictures like this:

 

Face3 2014-05-07Face3 2015-10-07

Wow, my teeth are definitely looking pretty great right now. So why do I even bring up this comparison? Well, this is the first time I’ve really noticed just how much weight I’ve put on in the last 17 months. It’s been something I’m consciously doing in preparation for the surgery. Or at least, that’s what I’m telling myself. I totally abandoned my work-out regiment at the start of the year, have been eating pretty crappily ever since and not working it off. I’ve more or less stopped playing disc golf (my only real regular exercise) and have been going to PT for my back.

Suffice to say I’m not exactly happy with how I look in this picture. The double-chin I’m less concerned about, because actually I really don’t have a first chin (you can’t see it with this picture, but my profile pictures show that I really don’t have a chin). I’m *hoping* that the surgery will correct this a little. I don’t have unrealistic expectations – I’ve noticed in my research that underbites tend to see a pretty significant aesthetic difference after the surgery, whereas overbites are far more subtle. I’ll have a little more of a chin, but without him putting an implant there, it isn’t going to look a whole lot different.

So this parlays into how I feel about myself going into this. I’m not doing it for aesthetics, but I don’t like my look in profile. I DO like my smile more now than before, but I realized the crookedness of my teeth had less to do with my image issues than the shape of my jaw and chin in profile. I’m also not happy about letting myself get really out of shape.

Starting November 1, I’m going to cut out soda (again), cut out fast food (again), try to eat better (again), and try to work out more (again). I’m not setting rigid goals like in the beginning of the year, b/c once I broke the first one of those, I allowed myself to waterfall in breaking all the other ones. Just general health goals. I don’t like flabby me as much as less-flabby me.

I also had my very first dream, or even part of a dream, about my surgery. I was looking at a grainy album cover that had some poor sap with a huge round wedge in his mouth, unconscious. Then it sorta morphed into a video of the same, and someone squeezing a flat tube above the wedge. I was told it was how that person was able to breathe. I, in the dream, did a “gasp for air” that I do in real life when demonstrating why it is I’m having this procedure done. I wonder if I actually did gasp for air in real life. I’ll have to ask the missus. It wasn’t a particularly bad or scary dream, but I imagine they will be coming with more frequency.

I *should* find out anywhere from tomorrow to next week if I’m going to hit the Dec 21 window for surgery. Keep some body parts crossed, especially if they’re fun parts to cross. Let’s do this!

NYR Diet: Weeks 3-4

I’m definitely past the new-rush-of-a-challenge part of this experiment, and only four weeks into the year I’ve already slowed down below the minimums for the tougher tier. I’m still ahead of the bottom tier, but I did falter a little bit here.

Exercise – this is a word I’ll never remember how to spell. I’m actually still on target here. I’ve done 2-4 workouts a week, and boy is my back tired. I’ve noticed better flexibility and I wasn’t beat up after playing 27 holes at Sun Valley the other day. Definitely on the right track here. I should start adding some weights to my core workouts soon. Will have to look around for stuff that weighs about 5 pounds.

Cardio – I’ve lagged a bit here, having only done 1 cardio last week. It *was* 27 holes of disc golf on really rugged terrain and I did walk over 10 miles that day. But still, that was my only attempt at it. Still not terrible, but I need to find times to take some brisk walks. Hopefully that will be a little easier when there’s more daylight around.

Leg stretches – there’s a built in cheat that whenever I do yoga, I automatically get to check one of these badboys off. But in terms of other days really stretching my legs, I am not dedicating time just for that. On the flip side (and this is a new thing) almost every day I’m stretching my hammies a little bit, whether it’s just sitting on the floor differently (instead of indian-style, I’ll stretch one leg out while sitting). Definitely helping out there.

Veggies – Oof. This is the big one. With my new braces-wires going in, it was hard to eat many veggies this week. I gave myself a scant 5 servings, and that might have been generous at the end. We’re also finding ourselves rushing a bit in terms of getting veggies made for dinner, so it’s only partially my braces to blame.

Sodas – still none, but man I was craving a Dr. Pepper at the Superbowl.

Fast Food – A small yes. I say small b/c when I devised this category, I was specifically targeting Jack in the Box (where my meal would be in the vicinity of 1200+ calories, and very few of them good) and Qdoba. Saturday I had Qdoba, and while the naked burrito I got only clocked in around 700 calories, and some of it good (black beans, brown rice), it IS still fast food. Ash pointed out that eating a burger at a bar is worse for me than the Qdoba meal, yet I didn’t tick off “fast food” when I ate at a bar. So really I don’t know if I should count this. I probably shouldn’t. It would keep my slate clean. Hmmm.

Anyway, growing pains, but still doing all right.

NYR Diet: Week 2

If you don’t have time to read it all, I’ll keep it short: so far so good.

I did another three workouts (2 yogas, one abs). I am developing a little more flexibility in yoga, that I could tell when I did a core workout last night. I don’t “feel” more flexible, but I’m seeing results. I’m doing 100% of the ab workout (in terms of the # of exercises, I’m still doing less reps than they do in the video.) I’m doing more than 50% of the core workout (again, less reps), and I’m doing about 1/3 of the yoga (full reps within that 1/3). I’m feeling a little sore the following days, but nothing crippling like years past when I re-started P90X. I think I’m doing it right.

I found a nice stretch of neighborhood to take a brisk walk in that’s 1.5 miles. I tried doing the walk with the boys, but it’s just too slow to get my heart rate up. HOWEVER, I played a SINGLE round of 18 holes doubles this past weekend and brought along a pedometer. To my astonishment, I clocked 6 miles. Sun Valley will do that to ya.

I’ve just barely gotten my veggies in, but still not as many greens as I’d like. Potatoes and cucumbers are good for you, but not in the same realm as spinach, kale, brussels sprouts, lettuce… etc.

No sodas, fast food or ice cream so far this year. Part of me wants to “break the seal” on the soda so I don’t feel this stigma against having one. But I guess I’ll keep on keepin’ on.

NYR Diet: Week 1

Week one was my “cheater” week. I wanted each week to start on Monday so the first week was 11 days long. Surely in 11 days I would be able to hit all my goals, even in my higher tier, right? YES I DID.

I worked out 4 times (2 yoga, 1 core, 1 abs), did my two cardios (DG round, 1.5 mile walk), had 11 veggie servings, and didn’t have any of the bad stuff.

Ash insists that I am already more flexible (I did yoga last night). I don’t notice a difference there. The entire yoga working is about 95 minutes. The first time I did it, I did the first 20 minutes, then the first 25. Last night I did over 30 minutes. My goal from here will be do one more exercise each time. So last night I left off at triangle pose. Next time I tackle it, I hope to go one exercise beyond that.

The food has been pretty good – we’re trying to streamline our food-making regiment in general so that we’re not stuck scrambling and making french toast at the last minute. So we’ve had the foresight to prepare veggies. Truth be told, I probably had more than 11 servings, but again I’m playing it very conservative.

I do need to do more cardio, but I’ve decided 2015 will be the year I take on TONS OF PROJECTS and read TONS OF BOOKS and play TONS OF VIDEO GAMES and watch TONS OF STAR TREK and … you get the point. We really need 3 more hours in the day. If there is a god, why does Earth spin so fast? It should spin about 15% slower.

Anyway, so far so good.

NYR: Veggies

I was having trouble deciding how I would quantify ‘salads eaten’. If I don’t have salad but eat 3 servings of veggies, is that a salad? So instead I’m changing my goal to ‘veggie servings eaten’. I’m going with the ‘traditional’ definition of veggies servings of “about a cup”. And I’m going to be pretty hard on myself with that definition. 4 pieces of cucumber will not count.

TIER 2 will be to eat 10 servings of veggies a week.

TIER 1 will be 4.

It may not sound like much, but I’d gone weeks before without any veggies, and then I’d eat salad three days in a row, then no veggies for a while. Much of it is preparation, which Ash and I are trying to rectify.

So far only 4 days into the new year and I’m ROCKING my new years resolution.

(My year-end book and music review columns will hopefully go up soon, as well as a post updating my surgery when I know more.)

New Years Resolutions: 2015

I tend to make very crystal-clear new years resolutions. None of this “be more ____” crap because that’s too subjective. Was I more (adjective)? Hard to tell. I would resolve to do very specific yes/no things so I’d know definitively if I reached the goals. One year I resolved to ask a girl out. I did on December 29 of that year. Woohoo!

But now that I’m 36 and my body is somewhere between the relative age of 35 and 90, I am doing what I never thought I’d have to do – join the 75% of people who resolve to work out and eat better. There’s a few reasons for this:

1) I’m painfully out of shape. While I’m not fat necessarily, I don’t have muscle tone that I used to have, I have some fluff, and worst of all my cardio, core strength, and flexibility are downright pitiful. It’s just age catching up to me, but playing a single disc golf tournament (3 rounds) feels like I need a week’s vacation afterward.

2) I’ve developed some very bad eating habits after a few years of very good eating habits.

3) Because of my job and the amount of time I dedicate to other things, I simply am not nearly as active as I’d like to be. I played a total of about 8 disc golf rounds after Worlds (which wrapped up in mid August). That’s about 2 a month. Pathetic.

4) My inflexibility and core weakness are directly leading to more back pain than I’d like.

5) I’ll be having my surgery where I anticipate being wholly inactive for a week or two, and severely limited for weeks/months after that. My body will atrophy a little during this I’m sure (as the most athletic thing I’ll be doing is playing RPGs on the Xbox). I want to have a better core going into the recovery than I do now.

However, I also know that I tend to set my sights unrealistically high with any of my predictions. Just look at my “modest” disc golf goals, hardly any of which I hit. So I’m doing two tiers of goals. The first one is the bare-bones goals; the ones I full expect to hit even with my recent trend of starting long-term goals strong and then fading out. The second tier is what I’m going to be starting out my year trying to accomplish and going for as long as I can. In an ideal world, I will also complete this tier of resolutions, but it’s much more ambitious. For example, it’ll be saying that I work out 3x a week and eating 3 salads a week. That may not sound like much, but right now I have trouble doing dishes 3x a week. So clearly there will be some work ahead of me.

There’s also an unwritten caveat that the surgery will basically make me unable to complete many of these during my recuperation period. I’m not going to stress if I’m not working out my abs weekly when I’m not supposed to be getting out of bed. I’m not going to force myself to try eating salads when I shouldn’t be eating anything that I can’t put into a syringe. So there will be definite grey area as to when some of these activities can be resumed.

Yes, I’m going to make a nerdy spreadsheet to keep myself on track, motivated, and in constant fear of shame (from myself, and sometimes my kids when I can’t wrestle with them for more than 10 minutes without body parts hurting).

TIER 1

– Working out once a week. This can be any P90X workout (though I will likely be sticking with core, yoga, and abs), or if I end up trying the DDP Yoga, one of those. I won’t substitute a “really difficult disc golf round” as exercise, but if I do some other legitimate workout not listed about, I’ll count it at my discretion. Also, P90X is pretty brutal – I will almost certainly be doing a “modified” version of any of these workouts, at least at the beginning. That is okay.

– 1 bit of cardio a week. This can be something like a long walk, a bike ride, a round of DG, a good swim, legitimate baseball/outdoor play with running with the boys.

– 1 leg stretch a week. This is if I don’t do yoga.

– Eat 1 salad a week.

– Drink no more than 1 soda a week. (If I keep it under 52 a year, I’ll count it even if I do drink more than one in any given week.)

– Eat fast food no more than 1x a month. This is basically just Jack in the Box and Qdoba, the only real fast food I eat. I probably went 3 years without fast food, but lately I’ve been eating it quite often.

– Eat less than 1 mint chocolate chip ice cream a month. This should be easy, but I have had times where I’ve gone overboard with ice cream.

 

TIER 2

– Work out 3x a week – one core, one yoga, one abs. That’s ideal, though if I do 3x any genuine workout, I’ll count it.

– 2 cardios a week. These can be more time-consuming, so 2 is what I’m striving for. One DAY of DG will only count as one, even if I play two rounds.I won’t count general rumble-tumble with the boys unless it is sustained for a while.

– 3 leg stretches a week (yoga will count for this)

– 3 salads eaten a week. Excessive veggies will count in lieu of actual leafy greens, as will very healthy smoothies.

– No soda in 2015.

– No fast food in 2015.

– 2 ice creams allowed in 2014. I need something, don’t I? 😀

 

I’m even going to be over-optimistic and label the first tab as “2015”, indicating that I will want to continue doing this through 2016 and beyond. (I may edit this in the next 2 days if I think of more stuff to add.)

Wish me luck.

My Mouth – the ongoing saga

I promise I’ll get pictures up, but not tonight. Soon, though. Hopefully even before this blog a) gets taken down because I haven’t paid for the subscription or b) goes into full disc golf mode because WORLDS IS IN TWO WEEKS!

Anyway, I’ve now had braces for two months. I remember looking at my mouth a few days before I went in to have the wires tightened and strengthened and thinking “my teeth look NO different. The ortho is going to look at it and say ‘well this is pointless'”. Well, I was wrong. He only looked in my mouth for a second before he said “It looks GREAT”. From the front-on perspective, there isn’t much change. But then I started rooting around in my mouth with my tongue and realized my top front four teeth are much more aligned than they had been (there used to be a pretty big overhang there, now it’s almost flush). What’s more, the biggest thing the braces are supposed to be doing right now is to correct the outward splay of my teeth; to make them hang more perpendicular. And it’s also doing that. So it’s not doing much aligning (particularly on the bottom) in terms of left/right, but my teeth are definitely on the right track.

I also learned a few things in this trip. 1) It isn’t 100% that I will have to have 8 teeth extracted. I mean, it’s still likely that I’ll have to have them all out at once, which I’m NOT looking forward to. But it’s not a certainty, which is something. It’s possible the braces might shift enough stuff around to eliminate the need to extract all the teeth (or even some of them). Right now the plan is to have all four wisdoms removed as well as my four inner bicuspids (the ones closer to the front). The fact that I might be able to get away with less, even if it’s not a great chance, is nice. They should know more in about 3 months. I have an appointment set for early Sept for more wire tightening and then again in mid October where I think they’ll really take an assessment of the mouth and form a true gameplan.

So how’s the actual ordeal going? Well, I’ve hardly had to take any ibuprofin for the actual earlygoing. The first day or two I had braces on I used it, and one day after I had the wire tightening. The actual changing out of the wire was the most painful part of the process so far, and that’s because each bracket that holds the wire had to be individually unsnapped and re-snapped with a new wire in. Worse yet, she had to do it twice on my top when she misread the instructions (or rather the previous ortho assistant had put mis-steps in there). Either way, that sucked but it was very temporary pain.

I keep trying to think of the big picture. I remember when Ash was in labor they kept saying “pain with a purpose”. It’s a little mantra that makes the discomfort and occasional pain of what you’re going through seem relative to what you’re trying to accomplish. I keep thinking of how awesome it will be to breathe (and look) in 3 years, so I’ll deal with having to eat lousy soups and chew most of my meals with the very back left side of my mouth. Actually, that sort of dietary stuff is very temporary – it’s usually only a few days after a tightening that I have to go back to soft foods. I guess I’m preparing myself for after the surgery, where I won’t be eating solid foods like meats for 6 months to a year. A few days here never hurt nobody.

So yeah, so far so good. I’m doing reasonably well on the upkeep of my teeth (worse that I should be doing, but better than I’ve ever done at dental hygiene in my life). So that’s something.

Oh, and did I mention, WORLDS in two weeks?

More diet changes

I just got back from New York for business, and those trips always make me re-evaluate. First off, living gluten-free is hardest when you’re on the road. Add to that being in tons of airports (where they don’t exactly cater to the GF clientele), it becomes doubly tricky. But before I get there (and warning: I’m going to bounce back and forth between time periods in this post)…

Alot of people have asked me “have you noticed a difference?” I’ve been gluten-free since Memorial day, just over 6 months now. To define that – I have not KNOWINGLY put any gluten in my body in that time. Beyond that, I don’t think I’ve even accidentally put any in (and known about it). I HAVE however eaten foods with likely contamination. Mostly french fries. They are almost always fine, but often cooked in the same oils as other wheat. As Stephanie put it, it’s playing “Gluten roulette”. Who knows if it’ll actually be a problem. I’ve not NOTICED any issues directly from eating fries.

Anyway, back to the present. Most of trip to NY I was sick. This resulted in a few things – my skin acted up because it usually does when my immune system is fighting something. I had a few apthous ulcers, but easily managed (thank you Apthasol!) Also, I took care of myself, not drinking as much soda or liquor.

But here’s where it gets dicey. So my skin is worse, my tongue is worse, and those are both supposedly symptoms of Gluten intolerance. But I have them anyway – most of the time. In fact, I’m on numerous skin meds, so any improvement is hard to trace the reason why. Same with the apthous ulcers in my mouth, though since going GF (as well as other preventative measures taken at the same time) I haven’t had a full mouth meltdown like I used to get.

So the answer to how I’m feeling is tough. Everything is marginally better since going gluten-free. I’ve only had one what I would call severe stomach issue, adn that was early on. Ash says I seem better, but I think part of that was when I cut out soda. Man, did I see an improvement without soda, and a deprovement with it. Also drinking less when I do drink is also helpful to my stomach for obvious reasons.

BUT WAIT! In NY, the last two days I had strange episodes with my stomach of EXTREME urgency at night. I can’t recall having had that in a very long time. And this coincides with a week of likely frequent contamination (if not outright glutening if something was given to me say at an airport where the cook didn’t know it contained gluten). Well, that’s a pretty strong tell, right?

The short answer is I just don’t know. Stephanie has been told that skin is usually the LAST thing to improve (a year or two perhaps), so it’s hard to find causation there. The ulcers are better, but I’m also doing other things to combat them (apthasol, mainly, but also hydrating more and making sure I use nasal-spray at night so I’m helping myself be a closed-mouth sleep-breather). The energy seems to be tied almost exclusively with soda, and not gluten.

So where to go from here: well, the first thing I’m going to begrudgingly do is give up soda again. This time, not just for 3 months, I’m going for 6. At least for a start. We’ll see where I’m at then. Also, I’m probably not going to have any more liquor in 2012. I actually probably had less on this trip east than on any other in the past, but still, my stomach didn’t seem to react perfectly to it, so I’ll probably just ease up on it. Go from one bottle of wine a week to one or two a month.

Lastly, I think I may try GLUTENING myself after I’ve gone an entire year GF. Nothing drastic, not starting with two meals of pasta topped off with dinner rolls. But maybe try a burger with a bun one night. If that goes well, up it a bit with maybe going out to Macaroni Grill, having some bread and a pasta dish. We’ll see if I have immediate reactions that Landen gets (overnight eczema, sometimes stomach pain). It is possible that many of my subtle symptoms are just related to other things. But we’ll see. I associate so closely with the GF community now that I almost don’t feel a struggle to do it anymore.

So that’s where I’m at. Wish me luck, and sorry for the ramble.

A few dietary notes

First off, this recipe is pretty awesome. Ash used to make it quite often, and I made it last night. I think we may be having it less and less because the meat does not sit well with Ash, but I might have to keep some ingredients around to make it for myself as a healthy alternative to just having red sauce. Now if only Landen would eat pasta with anything other than red sauce.

I put caffeine back into my diet. Well, sorta. Before each disc golf tournament, I would always have an Amp energy drink. I felt it woke my body up (even if I myself didn’t feel much more awake). Well, after a two-month caffeine hiatus, I tried it before Sunday’s one-round tag tournament at the Ranch. And what happened? I had the shakes. I mean, my hands weren’t actually shaking, but I didn’t feel quite right and what resulted was the worst putting I’ve had in a round in 3 years. I missed 7 putts within 30′, and 6 of them were probably within 16-22′. A couple of them were air-balled. I just had no release. It’s like my hand wasn’t listening to my brain. I’m not the world’s best putter, but I should be making at least half from that distance, if not 5 or 6.

What did I learn? Well, I am not going to have an Amp before tournaments anymore, that’s for sure. I’m also making a resolution. I did not feel any craving for caffeine during my cut-out. However, I just missed the taste of Mountain Dew. So going forward, I’m going to just moderate myself. I will never have more than one case (12 cans) a month, and I’m only going to buy it when it’s on sale (no more than $3/12 pack). I think it’s a pretty healthy concession.

Finally, I’ve put cheese back into my diet, having 3 different cheeses in large portions in one day. I am not noticing a drastic change for the worse with it. When I used to eat a quesadilla (sp?) I’d almost always have stomach pain and I attributed that to the cheese. Well, it might have just been the tortilla. I had 3 last week and other than (spoiler alert: I’m about to talk about my bodily functions, so pass to the next paragraph if you don’t want to know) some fairly typical immediacy in my BMs the next morning, there wasn’t a difference.

On a final note, I’ve gotten downright terrible taking my pills. I think it’s been a week since I’ve had my calcium and magnesium citrate. I didn’t notice much of a difference when I was on them, but in general my body has been fairly happy over the last 4 months (at least my digestive tract – my back, not so much).

Onward and upward.