Heading toward 2023.

New Year Resolutions. I don’t tend to like them. Mostly because they fade away. Quickly.

I’ve spent 2022 building new habits, growing, learning. Also, I suppose, shrinking?

Today, this last day of 2022, I consider what I’ve done this year.

  • I’ve gotten into and stayed in the 150-155lb range. My lowest adult weight.
  • I’ve revived my love of reading, though I now combine that as book reading and book listening (thanks to the Kindle/Audible sync) and read for multiple hours every day.
  • I’ve picked up a lifting routine to get strong.
  • I have practiced a new language (Dutch) every day.
  • I’ve learned how to cook several new dishes and am enjoying learning more.
  • I’ve returned to horseback riding regularly. Finding my way out of anhedonia and into joy.
  • I’ve done (and continue to do) the mental health work through EMDR that has lead to my continual healing from the trauma & abuse I dealt with for years in Hillsboro then Southern Oregon.

Going into 2023 I find myself for the first time with optimism and hope. I am now fit & healthy. I am an equestrian, reader, learner, and cook.

My New Year’s resolution, then? KEEP IT UP!

No new habits or big changes. No new commitments heading into 2023. I have some goals around my new habits, of course! Striving.

I head into 2023 self-embodied, self-aware, and ready to continue on this incredible journey.

I head into 2023 grateful that I got out of that toxic mess before the pandemic started. Grateful isn’t a big enough word.

I head into 2023 grateful that I have a wonderful support network.

I head into 2023 overjoyed to have re-connected with friends that I was purposefully isolated from.

I head into 2023 independent, healthy, supported, and safe.

I head into 2023 with hope and optimism I thought I might never feel again.

I head into 2023 wholly me.


Fitness goals: a moving target

Me 10 years ago, 25lbs heavier.

This came up on Facebook today, a memory from 10 years ago. hohum. Now, I weigh 25lbs less than I did in this photo.

And I keep going to the plus-size section. Like, not thinking. That’s just…. where I go when I walk into the stores. I don’t read, or look at sizes – I … find myself there. Then have to stop and go somewhere else.

when I look at clothing that will fit me, it looks like it has way too little fabric.

I don’t see the changes in the mirror. I don’t see the changes until I look at old photos.

and this weekend I returned to lifting heavy things (working on progressive overload) and am super sore. I’m still at 33% or something body fat, so it’s a bit early to do a proper body recomposition – but muscle burns fat, so I’m trying to do a combo of cut fat + build muscle. My current goals are to get real muscle definition: not looking to be super bulky to compete, but I want to see real muscles everywhere. Goal right now is 25% body fat, but I’d like to be lower body fat so that any “higher weight” comes from muscles.

Not doing CrossFit – f that. I got into it in 2010, by 2016 it was considered a cult. It’s super dangerous and stupid. I hate racing. I’d rather do slow, heavy lifts with the best possible form. not sure how I thought “speed-Olympic-lifting” could be a safe thing to do, but it did help me without injury for a while – definitely avoiding that trap now, though, that I know better.

Instead, I’m doing this in short, 10-20 min sessions. Usually, ~3 sets of 6-12 reps each, aiming to lift to muscle failure. These are short and intense, and I can do 2-3 a day very easily, on a work break, even. And for now, on my own – but as I lift heavier, I may engage a personal trainer 1x/week. I’m still at a stage where I can make a lot of progress alone.

Not doing any cardio – only what happens when I walk Eclipse or during these strength training sessions.

Enjoying the new routine!

Being me, healing

It’s been an interesting time for me recently. Not interesting in the greater scheme of things: my life is still beautifully boring and I’d like it to stay that way forever. Interesting in my world.

I have done multiple assembly projects:

  • My new home theater system: back to modular pieces!
  • My yoga trapeze stand
  • An art storage cart
  • A multi-tier dish-drying rack
  • Catio!

Why is this so interesting in my world? I have a lot of challenges with assembling things. This causes a lot of emotional volatility for me, which of course, makes it even harder to finalize the projects successfully.

Even things I have done successfully many times: like connecting up home theaters.

But this last month or two, I’ve assembled all these things – and only the catio with help (it’s a powder-coated dog kennel, it was a two-person job anyway, but very simple). The others I completed on my own.

This is a big deal. One of the results of the abuse that I endured was learned helplessness. And I had already learned to be helpless with regards to assemblies thanks to IKEA. (Rawr! I still won’t try to assemble IKEA furniture!).

I also have a low patience threshold with these things: I get frustrated quickly and easily.

But … my partner has been helping me with a ton of projects around the house, and they’re endlessly patient, cooperative, enabling,and helpful. They’re also an amazing teacher. And they listen to me and hear my suggestions and … turns out, I have some good ideas. Who knew?

So, now, when I buy something that does need assembly, I know I can get it together (except IKEA, never fucking trying that bullshit again). I go into it confidently. When I hit a snag, it doesn’t infuriate or upset me. It confuses the bejeebus out of me, and then I figure it out.

And I know if I do get truly stuck: I have the most amazing help 20 minutes away… or a FaceTime call. And that person is safe to ask for said help.

And most of this? I did during some incredibly hard EMDR reprocessing and an especially challenging cycle.

In fact… that 100lb lost mark?

… that was lost 2 days after hitting it. Over the course of this cycle I gained 14 lbs in 9 days. Shot back up to 172. I sure did.

So when shark week ended, I went ahead and engaged in a 48-hour fast and got back to eating healthy foods and tracking my calories. I’m back down to 159 now. Yes, I lost those 13lbs in about 5 days.

This is why I don’t worry about my PMS binges. I’ve been doing this now for a long time, I know how quickly the weight drops after my cycle.

It’s not true weight gain. I mean yes, I definitely had several 4000 calorie days in there, but it takes longer, sustained over-eating to truly gain weight. I’m ok with this. Mostly it was hormones, water, and salt causing retention. Also some chocolate cake, pizza, meatball grinder, and chocolate chip cookie dough, too. Oh and bagels w/ cream cheese.

I’m a food disaster sometimes, my friends. But it’s moderated by how well I eat (and don’t eat) the rest of the time.

Anyway. Transparency. I hope it helps some folks on their journey.

I’ll be back at the 100lb lost mark tomorrow.

My goal for May is to be solidly in the 150s, to get my set point low enough that a big day won’t throw me back in the 160s. 10 days left in May: easily on track to reach that goal.

I feel like I am finally finding myself again. Feeling “right” and safe in my own skin.

To finish, photo time!