The New Rule

I have a new rule regarding exercise & fitness that I made up based on my experiences today:

If you can’t Beyoncé, then Betty Page.

Look, I have fibromyalgia & because I can’t Beyoncé like I used to, I am a chubby girl. But I need to exercise & move because that actually makes fibro hurt less. I’d also like to weigh less so that my fibro muscles aren’t carting around so much chub. I have gone the Beyoncé route with a fabulous trainer who had me doing HIIT & I lost 30 lbs in 4 months. Ridiculous rapid weight loss. Amazing. I looked fantastic.

I was also constantly injured. This is not my trainer’s fault. This is me being a dumb ass & not expressing my limits. This was me not acknowledging limits. This was me going 7/11.

Today it began El Niñoing all over Los Angeles & rain is pretty much garbage juice for fibromyalgia. It’s the pressure change plus the cold & the damp. If you have any arthritis in you at all (& my hips are a mess; thanks, huge boobs!), it is triggered by the damp & that makes the fibro worse.

Thankfully my sister & her boyfriend got me a Hurry Cane for Christmas. This may seem like a ridiculous thing to get a person like me if you are one of those people who only sees me at parties or out dancing. I’d like to remind you that you only see me like twice a year. 

The Hurry Cane is amazing because I can bust it out for a few hours, take some of the stress off the affected muscle or connective tissue, & then I feel fine. I feel fine.

My new dilemma is that I was also gifted a Fitbit Flex for Christmas by my attorney, & I am a competitive asshole with a fitness instructor cousin in England who constantly invites me to step count challenges. I am intellectually incapable of resisting a challenge. If you challenge me to a thing, it will become my goal in life to 0wnz0r you, even if that goal is unrealistic or possibly dangerous. Challenge me to a duel & see what happens to you, which will probably end with you driving me to the hospital.

So here I am, hobbling about in the monsoon with my Hurry Cane, puttering around work, the Jiffy Lube, & the Ralph’s, & not wracking up many steps. THIS IS TORTURE. I am watching everyone blow by me & I haven’t even met my my modest step goal. I am seething with rage. It is cold & wet & flooded outside.

Then I remembered that I own, on DVD, Leslie Sansone’s Walk Away The Pounds. Let me preface this by saying that I was the girl who took kick boxing & did Tai Bo & did Susan Powter’s Stop The Insanity & religiously attended step aerobics all through college. I took 2 hour dance classes. I jogged. I worked out with a celebrity trainer & ran around with kettle bells.

But when I was first diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I could barely walk 2 minutes without curling into a ball in pain. So I got myself Walk Away the Pounds.

I put it in. I didn’t need the cane. I hit & then exceeded my step goal. I took a shower with my Philosophy Sparkle Holly Berry stuff (thanks, Mum) & got into bed. 

I could not Beyoncé, but I could Betty. Betty is better than nothing. Betty is better than a lot of things.

So if you can’t Beyoncé, Betty. And if you can’t Betty, eat a cake, light a cigarette, & call your ex. Now you’re Adele*.

*Don’t be Adele.


Tea & Sin

It took a long time to fall asleep last night.

Almost ten years ago, I tore a tendon in my right ankle, on the medial side, more up the calf than the ankle itself. Subsequently I have this weird instability that, thank God, only rears its ugly head a couple times a year these days.

On the drive to church Sunday, it was threatening any time I touched the gas pedal, then seemed to dissipate as I went about my business. It came back full force last night as I was trying to sleep. I laid there & prayed. “Dear God,” I repeated, “Please stop my ankle from popping out. I cannot deal with that pain tonight. I can’t. And I need to be able to drive to work tomorrow.”

I fell asleep & dreamt I could do parkour, which was handy because I lived in a concrete bunker apartment building with no stairs, & I was on the third floor. I had to dodge a bunch of bad guys to get home. Once I entered, Christopher handed me a program for High Mass (which is pretty much standard Sunday stuff for me), & I found Plucky seated in my kitchen, surrounded by empty liquor bottles, lecturing the floor about cat care.

Upon waking I figured this dream meant church is my home, but then why is drunk Plucky in my church? And then I asked myself, why not? If she ever leaves Ashville, I’m gonna ask her to come with me. Like I do.

Is this my calling? Is Jesus calling me as super weird as He possibly can?

Anyhow, I woke up feeling kind of ok, but off, & went to work. I was there for a half hour. Even after taking pain meds, the pain got worse. My ankle didn’t didn’t hurt so much (though it was unstable), but I was in fibro flare. My shoulders, my back, & my forearms were becoming bricks of pain. I managed to pick up an ankle brace & some food before I caused a vehicular accident–small mercies.

At home I ate & collapsed, but I also now had more time to do NaNo. I have created characters I would want to hang out with, & that makes writing a breeze. Then I dorked around on Facebook for a while.

Father Ian (that’s Canon Ian to you) had posted something about taking confessions, & I replied that I had been thinking about that sacrament, funnily enough. But as I’d never done it before, where do I start? “Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. When I was 6, I said something cruel to a boy to spare myself embarrassment & I still fear to this day that I scarred him for life. When I was 7 I didn’t want to get stung by a bee again, so I kind of shoved this boy in the bee’s path & he got stung.” Wait. As an adult, that last one doesn’t even make sense. You can’t actually shove a child into the path of a bee. Bees aren’t trains.


Maybe I should confess, so Father can tell me these things! Anyhow, he said to come over for tea & we’ll talk about it. I will see if he means it Sunday. Tea does sound very nice. I could ask him my fornication questions (see yesterday), but I’m not sure anyone short of a brimstone Baptist can take that subject seriously.

I then watched Scream Queens (kinda meh this week) & then got into bed & called the boyfriend. And here I am with you.

He is coming for Thanksgiving. I am stoked! I’ll have to make sure I have a pumpkin pie for him; that’s his favourite. Happily, it is also my brother’s. They can split it. 

Oh And Another Thing…

There’s a rather ugly strain of snark going around right now that speaks from a place of high intellectual assessment of pop culture & its various depravities. Instead, it betrays the snarkist as medically ignorant.

I get that some people are on diets because it’s trendy & fashionable. But those diets exist because some of us would die or at least experience tremendous discomfort if we ate the foods that aren’t on them. Yes, a Norm that goes gluten free is kidding herself, but for those of us with celiac, it’s not us making a fuss or being difficult or precious. It’s that we don’t want to crap ourselves in your presence in the immediate future, & we don’t want diseased bowel cut out of us at a later date.

If someone has a nut or wheat allergy, they frequently learned this after showing up at the ER because they stopped breathing. So let’s not be dicks about this. You may as well deride someone for being averse to drowning or falling into a wood chipper. Should we poo poo those who aren’t keen on being hacked to death by Jizzy The Marvelous Murder Clown? Well then seriously. Calm your tits. Don’t be offended if someone can’t eat something you made. It not their fault any more than it’s yours. And if they’re over the age of 7, they usually get that.

(If they do throw a fit & you didn’t know, however, feel free to assume their blood sugar is low & that all this stuff is coming up from the time their brother poured soy sauce in their Coke when they weren’t looking & they missed Thanksgiving due to near death. We all have baggage.)

I am also weary of people who mock those that look different or behave differently without first ascertaining if there’s a medical issue before assuming they’re a slovenly entitled jerk. I’m fond of saying “Most people don’t have Asperger’s; they’re just dicks” but some people do. They’re not dicks; they’re just kinda difficult to get on with. I use that saying so often because I’ll meet women dating a somewhat awkward, neglectful, inappropriate guy but he’s hot so they put up with it cos they saw a thing on Dr. Oz about “Aspergris or whatever” & I’m like “Child, no.”

The same goes for people in the grocery store sick of a child’s flapping or strange utterances (after 20 seconds, not imagining the parent deals with it all day). And my other favourite, the impromptu weight counselor. This has never happened to me, but it has happened to friends losing a significant amount of weight.

The most mortifying example was a gal in a fibro support group who had lost 40 lbs eating right & going to the gym, but she had about 120 to go. She was at the supermarket loading her basket with lean protein & veggies, wearing a sweatshirt from her gym.

An extremely well put together & elegant woman approached her. She was very slender & my friend thought she was beautiful. Then she opened her mouth. She sorta grasped at the sweatshirt & said “Did you get this from Goodwill? Cos your ass has surely never seen the inside of a gym.”

My friend was dumbstruck. She stopped by the pizza & ice cream aisles, went home, cried, & ate. We all got her back on track, but this hideous Beast of Prey did enough damage to make the gal no longer proud to wear her gym sweatshirt out any more.

My response, as I’m this kind of a bitch, would be “I can imagine why you’d think that. I still have a ways to go, but I’ve lost 40 lbs, & I’ve in fact just come from my 3rd gym session this week. I think I have pretty good food choices in my cart, but you’re so slim, maybe you could recommend some others?”

I’ve been known to completely destroy a person’s life with meek kindness.

This all boils down to think before you open your giant flapping hate hole. You don’t want to have to shove your foot in there, do you?*

*Foot fetishists need not answer.