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I have said in the past that depression is an insidious thing in that it does, by its very nature, make it awfully difficult to do anything about. It's a self-perpetuating condition in a lot of ways although obviously it's more complicated than that. Having said that, if you can get enough of a wedge in the gap that you can address some of the underlying causes, then your ability to continue to do things to cope with it increase enormously, or at least that seems to be what's happening with me. A new prescription for medication has made a real difference and acting on a blood test that showed me to be low on both vitamin B12 and vitamin D may well have helped quite a bit. I'm now cycling three days a week with every indication that I will be able to step this up in the near future. I've lost nearly 5kg (only another 20-25kg to go!) and cycling is already much easier. I'm finding socialisation much easier although it's still easy for me to become overstimulated and exhausted and a few relationships have become closer and more rewarding. I'm actually happy and feeling like I have agency. This is all extremely promising.

I had an almost-on-a-whim purchase recently. A friend was selling his very nice mountain bike and I'd regretfully decided that I couldn't justify spending $750 on a bike. Visiting him to check out his garage sale, we started talking again and the looking at bikes I'd done in the interim had made me realise just how good a buy this was. So I'm now the proud owner of a fastidiously modified and maintained Felt mountain bike. This will allow me much more rewarding trail rides and provide the impetus to do exactly that.

Flat hunting is becoming more prominent now that I have the mental space for it. I attended an auction yesterday and although the property was out of my reach, it always had a bit of a "too good to be true" aspect to it and in the end was so far beyond my limit that I wasn't even disappointed. There are other potential candidates and I will continue to hunt.

I didn't get the job I wanted. I'm a little dubious about why exactly I was turned down and it's very easy for me to be paranoid about this but others around me are agreed that it seems dodgy. I shall follow this up gently while also consciously going through the emotional process of letting go of that particular hope.

So a period of growth and change. 2014 was not my best year but 2015 could be really good. Onwards.
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I spent some time on the bike both today and yesterday. This is still a special thing for me and I've had no notable discomfort from the admittedly modest amount of riding I've done. (10km yesterday, 15km today) So I think I'm back to my commute and from this point I'll be interested to see how my fitness progresses. It's dropped horribly in the past year and I am even slower than I was before surgery. There is a LOT of work to do. If I ride to and from work by default and treat the bike as my primary form of transport for most other things then I think it will work. It'll take time but that's unavoidable so I will just do and do and do and the doing will become easier. I'm hoping that this will also put me back on track as far as paring my weight back goes.

Mostly though, while it will do many good things for me, I just adore riding. I still feel deft and graceful on the bike and as my muscle tone returns, that will only get better and I'll get back the muscular and athletic thing as well. I loved having that and I absolutely WILL have it again. There's a hint of spring in the air and I think this is the perfect time to start cycling again. It will be wonderful.

Reboot

Jul. 2nd, 2013 11:56 pm
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This month will be one of abstinence (in some ways). I've started the detox diet and so I will have very real restrictions on what I can eat for the next three weeks. No booze, caffeine, wheat, soy or dairy. Nothing from the nightshade family which apparently includes potato, sweet potato, chilli, capsicum and eggplant. After that I'm going to try to keep my intake down and look at what exercise I might be capable of come August. The booze prohibition will lift come August but gently and with care.

I have an interview tomorrow for a permanent position doing what I'm doing now on secondment. I'm a pretty good chance to get this but I'm counting no chickens. I would like it though.

More annoyingly, I lost my purse on Saturday afternoon. The usual round of card replacement and swearing is ongoing. I discovered that it was gone just as I walked out the door on Saturday evening. It was especially annoying as I was feeling good about going out, especially after the particularly good night I had on Friday. Oh well. I'm at least feeling far more comfortable in myself and that can only be a good thing.
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Saturday was eventful. I had my last scheduled appointment with my therapist and it consisted almost entirely of me telling him how thoroughly happy I am. I first walked into his office about three years ago, a very nervous and confused and distressed person. I'm not that person anymore in so many ways that the me that used to be feels more like someone I used to know than someone I used to be. The disconnect is remarkable. The difference made by surgery is so much more than I'd expected and I'm still unraveling that but all of the entangled aspects of it are good. I feel now that I've done all the big stuff and I now have the head space for some fettling of myself and my life.

The cello is obviously one part and I love the thing. My body is still a bit of a focus though. It's coming on to a year since I had regular exercise and I've become fat and soft. The fact that my drinking habits have escalated over that period as well hasn't helped and that's a concern on a few levels. So it's time to do a bit more reclamation. I'm cutting back on alcohol and the plan is to drink none at all during July. I'm also doing a detox diet over the first three weeks. I don't know that the word "detox" is especially meaningful but the basic plan is to break a few bad habits and lose a few physical cravings like caffeine and refined carbohydrates. I probably won't stop drinking altogether but the way I approach it needs a significant rethink. Exercise will obviously have to wait a while - I'm still having to be careful about how much I walk at this stage, never mind anything more strenuous.

On a more superficial level I got a labret piercing on Saturday. I'm most pleased with it and had been getting really good responses to it as well. I'm also still craving ink. I have a fair idea what I'd like a tattoo to look like from a couple of metres away but I'm rather short on content. This needs to happen soon, I think. Now is the time in my life when I want it to happen.

I've done the broad brush strokes, now is the time to erase some smudged pencil lines, blot some excess ink, and fill in some detail. I am still my own project. This is fun.
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I felt like posting randomly from work (on my lunch break - I'm being good!). I felt awfully virtuous yesterday. Cycle commute to and from work and then straight to pilates as soon as I got home. Both of these exercises were actually really nice. Cycling was just what cycling always is and I thoroughly enjoy my commute. Pilates was hanging out with some of my derby league while running through a series of exercises which will surely do good things for me over time and left me feeling pleasantly sweaty and warm and with the sort of satisfying ache that just says I've used my muscles and which I've come to both like and miss. The exercise plus no trashy food has conspired to get me under 75kg. This is still far too heavy for my liking but represents good progress. The best part of all of this is that I'm finally in control of my body again and have some use of it. This is spectacularly good and I'm finally feeling something approaching optimism. There's still the question of what is going to happen with my knee but that hinges on what the surgeon has to say and is going to be something of a long term exercise. I've accepted that, even though the fact it will keep me from skating really bugs me and again, at least I have *some* access to my body.

It seems I actually really enjoy exercise which is something I would have found odd once. This can only be a good thing unless I lose it again. It seems I have both motivation and opportunity at the same time. I also have plans. Onwards then.
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So yesterday I splashed out and bought a couple of things. One was a new pair of headphones. My old Sennheisers disappeared recently but were getting rather rattly and worn so probably due for replacement anyway...it's not as if I didn't get a *lot* of use out of them. So another pair of Sennheiser cans and these are rather nicer than the old ones. Cleaner, less bass heavy, defined and just lovely. $150 is slightly more than I meant to spend but they were so much better than any of the $100-120 range things there that it was entirely worth it.

About half that price, but entirely more rewarding was the replacement bike helmet. My old one resoundingly earned its keep a couple of months ago and is now no longer a helmet. So this morning I put it on, along with cycling appropriate clothing and rode to work for the first time in months.

I had not realised how badly I had missed this and how dreadfully I felt as if I no longer had ownership of my body. Being allowed to use my own body like that again is the most gloriously empowering thing. I'm flabby and unfit and so so SLOW but it was the best thing ever and I get to do it all over again tomorrow.

I felt properly functional for the first time in months. The cough has nearly completely receded, I slept well, I got exercise, I listened to good music through my shiny new headphones while working and my productivity went through the roof. The contrast to the past few months was such a stark relief that I'm startled by just how cramped and unhappy I really have been recently. I should not want to cry with relief when I get home from work, not because the commute was hard but because it was so good.

So I'm now actively taking my body back. No snacks, reduced booze, cooking real food, finally exercising again, pilates on Mondays, and while I'm not looking forward to the consultation with the arthroscopic surgeon (not yet actually booked) it will at least be a step forward.

The months of no exercise and comfort food bingeing has seen my weight creep up to 77kg. 18 months ago I weighed 63kg and I liked that. Now my clothes don't fit. All the above measured should fix this particular bugbear. I *like* being fit and lean. I am so taking that back.

Finally, it's now four months away from reassignment surgery. That time will fly. I can't wait.
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I didn't get anything other than the scheduled CT scan done at the Alfred and I wasn't that surprised. I do now have an x-ray (for my shoulder which still aches when it shouldn't anymore) and an MRI scan (for my knee) booked for this coming Sunday. I'm both impatient and nervous about finding out what's going on with my knee.

Things are slowly coming to a head. The weekend after the one coming I start preparations for surgery which will be nastily uncomfortable but needful and really, it'll be such a concrete forward step that I'm nearly looking forward to it. Nearly.

No skating has prompted me to play guitar more again. I have neglected this badly and my fingers don't quite do what I ask of them. Hopefully this will get better over time.

Still hating my body right now. It's fat, unfit, sore, balky, fragile and has now managed to find itself a throat infection from somewhere just in case I was getting complacent. It's getting the hiding of its life once I know I can get away with it. My cycle commute is a distant memory as is derby training. This is going to hurt. It'll be constructive hurt though. I suspect that this will be a theme for a while. Frankly, getting gain with my pain will be a huge improvement and I can't wait.
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So it's getting on for 3am and I'm sitting and thinking and surfing random stupid stuff on the internet because for some reason the idea of going to sleep seems untenable. This has been my pattern now for over a month. I'm living on 3-4 hours of sleep per night and been an aching sleep deprived zombie at work which doesn't make for the most pleasant possible working days.

I have an appointment tomorrow at The Alfred hospital. Ostensibly it's because during my shoulder x-rays they saw a "spot" in my upper lung. They said that it's likely a transient thing but that they simply want to check it because if it *is* transient then it should have, well, transited by now. I've barely given it a thought and for some reason have been entirely successful in telling myself not to worry about it until a doctor says I should worry about it. What I'm planning to get done tomorrow is point out that while they looked at my shoulder and spine six weeks ago, I have a knee that aches even after only moderate walking and on which I'm now terrified to cycle or skate for fear of doing permanent damage and can we do an MRI scan now please? At this point I don't care what it costs. I want to know what's wrong. I want to know what I can do without causing permanent damage and I want to know what needs to be done to fix it so that I can arrange to have that done.

The first two point are to give me at least some use of my body back. I've gained about 5kg and dropped muscle mass at the same time. My clothes are getting tight and I"m starting to dislike how I look and feel self-conscious about it. My fitness has dropped to the point that I can feel it even with gentle walking...I'm not out of breath but I feel the difference in heart rate and effort and I do breathe harder than I used to and I feel it in the muscles of my legs where I wouldn't have even registered that I'd been doing anything before. My body is deteriorating in all sorts of ways and at this point I can't do a damn thing about it. I need to regain agency in this and to do that I need knowledge. Right then, let's do that. Once I have that knowledge I know what I can do without permanent damage. I don't *care* if it hurts, it's not like I've had much in the way of pain free moments for the past six weeks anyway so this will not be a big step.Just the knowledge that I'm reclaiming this body will be worth a very great deal of discomfort. The last point hopefully gets rid of the pain and puts me back on track to cycle commute (if I can't do that already anyway) and going back to train and work up to scrimmage. This will mean work but it will be such GOOD work and I so so so need to get started on it.

Of course all this is predicated on a good prognosis. I have no idea what the potential range of outcomes is and I'm so scared that it's going to be something that means I simply can't go back to the level of activity I've gotten used to. So I'm sleepless and not a little worried and at 3am there's not a single useful thing I can do except sleep. I have no idea why I'm so reluctant to do that and so I worry about that as well. This is not helpful.

This Saturday will be another round of testing. It should have been the day when I tested up to green star and became eligible to bout. Part of me really really doesn't want to be there and part of me is saying "Don't you *dare* walk away from scrimmage on a test day." They will need warm bodies there to NSO and there will be friends there testing. Honestly, too, there's part of me that really does want to be there.

I am going to fix this.
I am going to fix this.
I am going to fix this.
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Right. I have developed some bad habits lately, some worse than others so it's time to knock them on the head. I'm posting this so that there's some accountability and I can't just weasel out later with nobody the wiser.

Smoking: This is the worst. I took it up again at the start of last year when my world went kablooey. I cut myself some slack but since moving in with a smoker things have spiraled out of control. No more.

Alcohol: This is a sometimes treat, not every day. Three days per week alcohol free at *least* and drink as if I was driving when I do drink, even if I'm at home.

Trashy snacks: Confectionary, bready stuff, chips and cheeses. I need to back way off with these...there's a veritable smorgasbord of the stuff next to me at work and I have to make myself ignore it most days.

Exercise: This isn't bad but it's time to bump things up a little. Be more consistant and intense with cycle commuting and when I'm not derby training, do core strengthening exercises.


I can have the body I want if I work at it and I *know* I'll feel so much better on several levels if I do.
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Yesterday's exertions made themselves felt today. Sore thighs felt ok on the cycle commute in but didn't like going up and down stairs. They were also grumpy on the way home so there was lots of spinning in short gears and focussing on the biceps femoris and whatever the one next to it is called. I wonder if things will be up for a reprise of the running thing on Thursday. I shall see. 69.4kg this morning, no snacks although one of the grapefruits in the fridge will very likely disappear as a dessert. I think that's perfectly reasonable.

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