Trying not to spiral 7.23.19

IMG_3011.jpg

Remember the boyfriend/girlfriend/non-binary jeans I got and had to return for a different size?

I was all excited to wear them and put them on. Ok, they fit.

I look down at the leg of one and just shake my head.

THIS is my life.

Dang I’m wondering if I should just return them. There’s that first instinct buried in years of organized religion - this is what I get for shopping while in mourning.

But really, it’s just dumb luck.

SERIOUSLY. I have to drive all the way back to the store AGAIN.

Sigh.

Small thing, in the end. Whenever something like this happens, I think: at least it’s not cancer! At least I was able to eat today!

I feel like I’m on a rollercoaster that keeps going faster and faster and FASTER. Way past the fun speed, all the way to the one where you feel like you’re going to throw up, have a headache and just pray it will end soon.

I used to love rollercoasters. Not anymore.

I re-read what I wrote yesterday and I’m a little embarrassed. Lord, I keep admitting such embarrassing things.

The smugness I can easily slip into. The fatalistic outlook on relationships.

But it’s what makes the writing real, and not too sanctimonious - I hope - one friend told me: don’t edit too much! When I was freaking out about what I’d written in the weeks prior to my dad dying.

She said: it’s so raw, so real.

I know that hardly anyone is reading these days. At least I’m guessing that’s the case. I just need this. It’s this touchstone I have each day. Ok, gotta write! No idea what the hell is going to come through these typing fingers, but I notice I’m not making as many notes late at night. I’m getting enough words OUT during the day, that my brain isn’t spinning out of control.

I’m stressing out about the thing in my leg now. I don’t have a bad feeling, and neither does my mom. We’ve been wrong, though. Generally, though if neither of us has a terrible feeling….

How many bad things can happen to one person? Wouldn’t that be a cruel thing to have happen right after losing my dad?

I still can’t believe it. I’m still very much in the disbelief stage. How the HELL is my dad gone?

My parents were home a lot in recent months, because my dad wasn’t well, obviously.

Now my mom is out and about, and I’m TRYING to get out. Or, I’m in bed sleeping.

I really am concerned about my sleeping.

I’m also concerned that I can’t seem to get a certain number on the scale. Now, let me first be clear how I feel about scales.

They are stupid.

Because I’m a weird scientist, sometimes I leave the scale out and record what my weight is after I pee a lot after doing IV bags. It’s really quite fascinating - at least I think so!

Each IV bag weighs 2.5 pounds and lately, I’ve been giving myself 5 pounds.

I was curious because in grad school we learned that humans can gain and lose up to 5-7 pounds in a DAY due to loss of fluids, feces, sweat.

Wrestlers know this, of course.

Anyway, I’ve been working really hard on eating enough. I added in lox cream cheese (mainstream brand so who knows the quality of the lox, will work on a better source), still eating my 100 calorie coconut ganache snacks with whipped cream, coconut ice cream DAILY now, and of course, the avocado, dressing and three eggs. There’s just enough days, though, where I can’t get that all in.

But even so, I can’t get the number on the scale to inch above a certain number.

I’m not going to share the number on the scale or on my jeans.

I think it’s pretty clear now how I feel about NUMBERS - so many numbers in our culture that we use to decide if we are GOOD or not, or SUCCESSFUL or not.

Scale, jean size, salary, number in the bank, number of kids, cost of house, cost of car, ugh ugh UGH.

EDIT: I forgot to include FOLLOWERS - THAT number says so much about what kind of human I am right? (ugh)

No. It doesn’t matter anyway. What the actual numbers are.

The issue is that I have to keep it in a certain range so that I have a cushion.

I noticed my arms looked a little more like they used to, and my first reaction was: oh no!

Then, I had to reframe and think: oh yes.

I’ve decided this - if my arms don’t have some mush, then something is seriously wrong. I found this photo of me, my brother and my cousin sitting on the back of our old blue Mustang - I saved the photo to show one of the kids who was in disbelief that we ever owned a car so cool (adults could never be COOL at any point, right?). I must be around four years old. I look so serious. I’m staring off into space like a few photos over the year have captured. Me having heavy thoughts in between the smiles.

And my little arms! So short with their usual mush.

I used to hate them. I wouldn’t wear tanks very often. I was self-conscious all of the time. If I was tan, I figured, I’d feel differently about them.

Now, it’s just so interesting to switch my mindset. No, I’ve GOT to keep trying to put weight on. So counter to so much of our culture, it’s such a weird thing to have my mind switch.

I’m a little concerned that I can’t seem to get above this one number. Why is that? Am I not absorbing the food I’m managing to eat? Why won’t my body get above that number?

Oh, I meant to share why traditional scales are stupid. I’m copying and pasting my little nutrition vignettes into a Google doc with the hopes that I could eventually create some less ramble-y, more focused posts. Let’s see how that goes.

When I’m worried about something - a biopsy report, my dad dying, nothing major or anything - I have trouble focusing on anything like that.

So, if the words come out and I explain things within this post, I have to capture the content so that hopefully I can do something with it later! Hoping I GET a later!

So the scale. Is dumb.

First, I mentioned, we can lose and gain 5-7 pounds daily from just our body doing it’s thing.

Traditional scales don’t take into account the ratio of adipose (fat cells) to lean body tissue (muscle) which is really, really important.

I keep thinking our culture will get more woke on this, but it’s taking a long, long time.

A lot of the time, people are losing water weight or lean body tissue. Neither one is truly weight loss that we should strive for - if that’s the goal, of course.

Really, we should be focusing on how much lean body mass we have. THAT is the real hall-marker. For example, an Olympic athlete that’s a disc thrower or something else that requires a stockier frame - many sports require certain body types that have nothing in common with the waif-y bullshit we find on the internet or the keto people, ugh, I can’t go down diet trends right now, I get that it’s kickstarting people in a lot of ways, and I’m all for that, but I do hope that people can use the trend to jump start a new path, and then move over to a more sustainable and healthier diet, I’ll get to that, hopefully one day - that athlete may * look * “heavy” according to American culture, but in reality, that athlete is pure muscle.

Someone else may be thin, and * look * the way our culture recommends but not have much lean body mass! We begin to lose lean body mass - oh, that means muscle - around our mid-thirties and it really starts to decline over the next decade or so. Without testosterone, I can’t maintain muscle! I can tell when my levels get too low because I lose hair on the top of my forearm, my muscles start to not be as firm, and my road rage is almost nil. For reals! Those are my check-points.

Without muscle, we are more likely to injure ourselves. I discovered this when I kept having injuries around the time my testosterone was near zero. If we were to give even small supplements - at safe levels and from excellent sources - to both men and women as we age, we’d prevent a lot of injuries that people assume is part of getting older. Nope, not necessarily. Dancers and gymnasts are often able to stay in incredible shape as they age.

Because of that muscle.

So for our culture to focus constantly on the scale, and the jean size, is missing one of the most important aspects of health and fitness.

I was able to have my lean body mass and adipose measured by my ND. I’ll have him do it again next month when I’m at his office for a couple of different appointments (consult and the needles in the stomach, oh joy), and report back. The last time he checked, no surprise, my lean body mass was decent, only because I work at it.

Oh! I should mention that just because I’m taking very low levels of testosterone - to mimic what my body would be creating if I still have ovaries and adrenals that worked properly - I don’t have muscle. I have to do the exercises to maintain them.

Anyway, the point is that we are focusing on the wrong numbers so much of the time.

For someone looking for a crude overview of what their weight is, scales are ok. As long as we understand that they aren’t giving the full picture of what our body composition is and that we’re often losing water weight. I worry that too many people - especially young people - are giving that number on the scale way too much power in their lives.

I just got a phone call from a young person (non-relative) who wanted my advice on something.

Oh! I need to keep the details confidential, but it made me so happy that they came to me! And trusted me with such personal questions. I assured them that we are all unique human beings and we don’t have to figure anything out right away. We are all evolving, and who we are today, may not be who we are tomorrow. We don’t have to fit in a box! That’s all Patriarchy.

It’s so hard. What I do. Is so hard. Speaking out all this time. Putting such personal things on my podcast, not easy, NOT AT ALL. I have that desire to be liked by everyone! But if I want to be true to myself, then I have to accept that not everyone will like me or what I stand for or what I say.

But the alternative sucks. I’ve done it. For too many years.

I told this person: what I do is so hard, I’ve taken so many hits for saying the things that I do, but it all feels worth it when a young person reaches out to me BECAUSE THEY KNOW THEY ARE SAFE WITH ME.

That makes it all worth it and reminds me that I’m on the right road. As hard as it is.

I really want to be more brave! Even more brave than I’ve been! I want to publish my writing! I don’t know why I’m so scared of that. I do all this other shit, and THIS is the thing that I’m afraid of???? The thing I’ve been working towards my whole life?

I’m also overwhelmed at what to even write about or pitch. My dad. My health. My struggles. Disability.

I feel like such a dummy, because I asked people on Twitter what to do about this lame trauma therapist. I realized later, how un-woke I must be in the disability community. There is still so much I don’t know!

What the therapist did is probably so typical. And I’m so SHOCKED. When in reality. people have been LAME like that forEVER. There is some traction happening. There is a great video I just saw that I will have to find to share.

But for now, I’ve got to get ready for my appointment and get in the car! I hate when I’m rushing. And I do it too often. If I don’t have a driver, I tend to push the time. That’s another great factor of being driven. They arrive nice and early, so I end up being nice and relaxed.

Instead of gripping the steering wheel and shaking my fist at the irresponsible drivers.

I hope this all makes sense. I never know what the hell I’m saying in here. It’s a scary feeling. But I figure it helps me worth through things, and get these words out of my head. Sometimes I’m going to sound like an ass. Sometimes I’m going to sound pathetic. Sometimes I’m going to sound lonely as fuck. Sometimes I’m going to sound arrogant.

I’m all of those things and none of those things. I’m just trying to get through the god damn day like everyone else.

Just a little hungrier than most.

Gd dang it I’m so annoyed I have to go BACK to that store to get that thing off my jeans! What the hell???

Please Universe, can you make SOMETHING a little easy on me? Like a clean biopsy report? Can you at least give me that? I can’t handle surgery right now. I will, if I have to. And it’s not getting my INSIDES cut which is like beyond terrifying. The leg thing…ugh, just sounds awful.

Please. Let it be clean.

Much love,

Jules