First off, how kind of you to assume I have a traditional work week. I don’t. I work this Sunday through Thursday, and normally work these weekends you speak of.

Like many others out there I struggle to maintain a work/ life balance. As in: I need to do all the errands I don’t have time to get to during the work week. Including doing things like go to the dentist, get my oil changed, do the weekly shopping, clean the condo, do laundry, do my pt, cook for the week, etc, etc, etc. So relaxation is something that happens more during the work week, surprisingly. If at all.

Yesterday being particularly stressful in that we had roofers banging on our walls and throwing boxes of shingles onto the flat roof right above our heads. All goddamn day. The cat having none of it, pathetically meowing at us periodically, while drooling, and occasionally hissing at us if we got close to her. It was a shit day off for sure, and while I managed to donate the donatables to the store of thrifte, do the weekly shopping, make a couple banchans for noshing with some of our veg, and bake a lemon sourcream bread which fell from all the banging on our living space, I was grumpy about it all day, and did not get to destress save for the small moments I took out for myself where I went to the thrift store and bought myself a Halloween costume I probably won’t use. I got the parts to be a werewolf boyscout leader. Everything just needs to be washed in prep of wearing. This way, if I take the werewolf mask and gloves off, I’ll still have my boyscout leader uniform costume, which is awesome in that I found some plaid pants that go perfectly with the beige top, complete with merit badges.

Today isn’t much different. I have lots that needs doing, like cleaning the oven, the bathroom, my car. But it’s too hot to do some of those things, so I will do other things. I have already cleaned the cat’s litter box, taken out a box of trash, and started my binders soaking in laundry detergent for this upcoming week. And yes, the roofers are still here as well. However, I am hoping they are done with our building. I don’t think any of us can handle another day like yesterday.

So yeah, when my Omada coach asked how I could destress this weekend, the answer is: I don’t know. Become independently wealthy? Where other people take care of such things? Because if I want to continue to be part of society, with clean clothes, a healthy body, and healthy food to eat, I don’t have time for the luxury of destressing.

*ETA*

So the marathon day continued as I hand washed several bunches of hand washable things. I removed the adhesive from the back windows of my car from some crap stickers and put a new sticker from the gallery on the back window. I installed a lazy susan bearing onto the base of my vending necklace holder and put that on my jewelry armoire to use for necklace storage until I start vending again. I hung my newest art piece someplace safe until my show next year, freeing up the easel for my mate to paint on. I generally tidied, putting various things away from other projects. And finally, I did some research for another new art piece, completing the assembly of the piece, which just needs to be framed in the shadowbox I sourced at a thriftstore specifically for the group artshow in January. Things left undone: measuring and hemming the sleeves of the silvery pewter evening coat I scored a few weeks ago, which also needs a good steam or trip to the dry cleaners to get all the wrinkles out. Hemming the plaid pants for my Halloween costume (although they are still wet after washing them). Nor did I finish setting rivets into the leather chaps I purchased a while back. I currently have one leg done, the other marked off, but needing the studs. And before you ask, yes doing all these things, and wanting to do even more, made me a bit hypomanic which I am still attempting to calm myself from. I also, never cleaned the bathroom. And still I feel like I haven’t done enough with my days off.

It’s been a week

Posted: September 17, 2021 in Uncategorized

It’s been a week of using all the various meds I got from the teledoc for my teenaged face.

Retin-a for the evenings, after first washing with a special cleanser.

Then we have an antibitotic lotion for the affected area in the morning, after washing with a mild soap, then lotion to combat the flaking effects of the retin-a, and then sunscreen on top of that as the retin-a makes your skin sensitive to the sun.

In addition to an oral pill I also got, which can screw with my blood pressure and also make me even more sun sensitive.

All of which can take 8-12 weeks for any changes to be noticeable, but they make make things worse in the interim.

*eye roll*

Thus far, we seem to be at a stalemate. Things really haven’t gotten better, nor have they gotten worse. They just are.

I did however have to stop the oral pill, as that was upsetting my stomach (one of the possible side effects) and may have to stop the antibiotic lotion I put on my face in the mornings, as it has a similar possible side effect.

But, seeing as how my face was getting increasingly worse, I will take a stalemate. Even if I feel incredibly high maintenance right now with my special creams, and soaps.

I have a full day ahead of me, so off to it.

So I guess the Omada app is a gentle approach to lifestyle changes. Perhaps it gets more rigorous as time goes by.

This week’s goal I chose being to not drink sugary drinks, in addition to attempting to follow a balanced meal plan, while taking out a half hour of my day every day to relax. Along with weighing myself daily, tracking my meals, and of course, getting in 7,500 steps.

Thus far I have gained and lost the same 2 lbs over the past three weeks. Omada says I need to lose 10 lbs in the next 14 weeks. I’m wondering if this will happen. I like food, and don’t have any unhealthy relationships with it. I don’t think I’ll ever be a skinny waif person, with or without Omada. I have what you could say, is a ‘solid’ body type. Kinda burly all over. I have periods where I get lots of exercise because of my job. Case in point, one day this week I clocked in 15K steps, which equates to 6.5 miles.

But I do occasionally love some friend chicken or pizza. Which is where I run into problems.

However, after this week’s delivery box, I have tons of produce to go through. I intend to make some prepared vegetable noshes this afternoon for snacking for myself and my partner, as he also needs to shed some COVID lbs.

So, while I am still trying my best to stay on the program and do the suggestions, I’m thus far not seeing many results yet. Which who knows if I ever will.

I’ve already penned a post about all that I do to keep my wardrobe in good repair. I am reminded of this as I did a couple loads of laundry so I don’t stink, and continue to contribute to a society where clothing is required.

But today I also need to do the weekly grooming. Such as shaving what needs shaving, and trimming what needs trimming. Clipping my fingernails down (I cook a lot and smeg gets under your nails otherwise, plus I’m a picker, so I won’t leave my face alone if I have nails to scratch at every bump and imperfection) and getting my toenails too as they haven’t been trimmed since before surgery.

I also, as of yesterday have added new things to my daily grooming routine. In addition to needing to use dandruff shampoo very other day, or I get flakes, and my work wardrobe is all black, so this will not do. But I also now have a special face cleanser I need to use. And, a new face cream that I need to apply 20-30 minutes after washing my face.

At night, when I shower, I also set my grind guard to soaking in denture cleaner (the only thing that keeps it from getting funky I have found), so I don’t continue to shatter my teeth with my grinding which costs time and money to later fix.

I also need, before bed, to take my evening brain meds, and a new medication for my face. In addition to putting lotion on my feet as they have started getting scratchy and gnarly if I don’t.

Mornings are no better.

When I get up, I weigh myself for the Omada app. Then, if it’s a day off, I do my PT for my back. If it’s a work day I need to wash my face, wet down any egregious hair sprouts, and add product to keep it neat. Since I’m taking and applying products to my face that now make me sensitive to the sun, I now, in addition to applying facial moisturizer, need to apply specially formulated sunscreen to my face as well.

Then comes breakfast, where I take my brain pills, and multivitamin and flax seed oil pill, and get on with my day after brushing my teeth.

You know, I didn’t used to need to do all these things. But now, as I approach 44, I guess this is how it is.

I’m trying to start healthy habits now, in hopes of not necessarily prolonging my life, but making my remaining years of a higher quality.

But god damn, if it isn’t exhausting sometimes.

So with all the changes in management at work, the question remains: do I want to apply for the lead position…..again. It’s a pretty thankless job, being lower middle management. Which means you get to deal with the team and visitor problems, without having any actual power to do anything about those problems. The only real reason for becoming a lead is it might eventually lead to you moving up to a supervisor position. But not always.

I’m not quite sure if I actually want to have that responsibility. As when I was an acting manager, a long time ago in my twenties, for a small family owned tuxedo shop, my body ate itself alive from the stress. I got down to 90 lbs when I started gaining back the weight I lost because my stomach was so bad from stress that I couldn’t eat. I mean true, we’re at over 20 years later, and I am a different, more well adjusted person. But, well, I just don’t know. I rather like the way things are right now, which I realize will also be changing dramatically in the next few weeks as we get a new manager, new supervisor, a new team will be hired, and we move into the new to me building.

However, I do know that historically, management seems wary of putting me in a managerial position. Always dangling the carrot of ‘if you exhibit managerial traits, and do the job without the proper pay, we may, at some point promote you’ without actually promoting me. It happened at the storage facility, it happened at the fabric shoppe. I guess I am better as a back burner manager, than an actual manager, for whatever reason. So knowing this, why would I bother trying again? If I already know what the outcome will be? So yeah, there’s that.

Otherwise, my coworker friend is having second thoughts about their new job and has been catastrophizing since midnight this morning about it. I have a belly ache from eating breakfast while fielding messages from them. I basically ended the conversation by telling them I had nothing left to tell them, as they weren’t listening. The moral of the story being: they really need to get into therapy.

Today is my last day off before I work for five days straight. I need to run laundry, change the bedwash, and do other homebody things in prep.

Off to it.

Do you stress eat or drink?

Posted: September 10, 2021 in Uncategorized

I suppose one of the benefits of being part of the Omada program is I am becoming much more AWARE of what I am eating, when I am eating, and why I am eating.

Life has been particularly stressful lately, in addition to the regular stress of living in 2021. Resulting in my wanting to eat more crap. And by crap I mean fast food, or what would otherwise be considered junk food. It’s been a struggle, but I’ve been doing my best to avoid poor choices.

I also quit drinking any alcohol two months ago, which also has challenges.

Ways I combat the junk food issue is: I don’t do that. As in, I only eat what we buy during our weekly shopping excursions, and I don’t buy junk food for a reason. That reason being, if I have it, I will eat it. Instead of fast foods, I stock things that need planning, making me ask myself: am I really that hungry? Or am I just looking for something to stuff into my face hole. In which case I keep an array of fresh fruits and sometimes make ahead vegetable banchans (Korean for quick/ side dish) which are usually healthy cooked, chilled vegetable nosh prepared with red pepper, garlic, sesame oil, and a bit of salt; for just such occasions. I also killed my microwave many years ago and never replaced it. I have a tiny kitchen so counter space in a premium. And I realized, aside from the occasional times I want to heat up a pastry or rice, it just contributes to unhealthy eating habits. But, that being said, I will usually splurge on one item per shopping trip. Today we had doughnuts for breakfast because it is my partner’s birthday, so no splurge item. But usually I’ll get some sort of sweet baked good, or a frozen pizza. After all, all business and no fun foods makes Jack a dull boy.

I also don’t do soda. I mean, every once in a while I will splurge on one, but it’s a treat, not a usual thing. However, I do enjoy bubbly drinks. So I buy three cases of unsweetened seltzer water every week. We recycle the cans, and it makes for great non alcoholic mocktails. Which I also don’t do often, but with a splash of juice, a seltzer makes for a good substitute for a beer while enjoying buffalo wings. I buy single serve cans of fruit nectars, and this week I sprung for a big bottle of pomegranate juice (on sale!) as I’ve been looking for a red wine substitute. Something I can pour into a wine glass, and sip while I unwind for the day. I have found, like many do, it’s the act of relaxing with a beverage, not the actual intoxication, I primarily miss.

Along these lines, I’ve also been keeping an eye on portion sizes, which is part of the Omada app’s daily check ins. You need to self regulate what size meal you had when checking in. I usually do medium sized day meals, with a large-ish dinner. I also have been trying to keep track of my snacks. Opting for say, a half a ‘single serve’ bottle of Gatorade when I get home from work, vs a whole bottle in one shot. Or measuring out a handful of peanuts into a small bowl, vs just eating them out of the jar like some sort of wildebeest. I am almost down a full lb this week as a result, having lost a lb last week, my only being on the program two weeks, really. So I guess we could say I’m making progress.

I am still recuperating from a major surgery I had a few weeks back, so I can only imagine I would be dropping more if I added some sort of exercise routine, which will come in time I’m sure.

I also have, with the consultation with my therapist, decided to work on my spirituality, while also working on my daily goal I set, which was to take a break from working for a half hour a day. I normally do this when I get home from work, when I would usually go for a cocktail. Instead I will attempt to start to meditate during this time. I haven’t decided if I’m going to try to find some guided mediation, or just go commando.

And that’s all I got on this Friday, September 10th.

What a day

Posted: September 10, 2021 in Uncategorized

Yesterday was my VERY BIG DAY OF ERRANDS.

Starting with therapy at 8:30, not 9:30 like I somehow got into my mind. I know this after my therapist called at 8:35 to tell me we had an appointment. Of course, not to make things easier, teams did not want to cooperate with loading the video meeting, so a quick call to my therapist to leave a message saying I couldn’t get on, and could we perhaps do a telephone session? Which, of course, turned out to be our last session before his wife has their baby, and he then moves onto greater things. Connection one severed for the day.

Then after getting myself together some I drove to work for the mandatory, annual insurance and benefits meeting. It was informative, even if I had to leave a bit early during the Q and A portion due to being maxxed out on the meter for time, and not wanting to get a ticket.

Then back home-ish to have lunch with a friend. I had the doner sausage wrap. It was very good. Especially with the cafe theater of the group of persian men with lone white guy that sat behind us, who ordered a big plate of food, lovely looking mint teas, while speaking of things of importance.

Then home for a bit to recuperate from the day’s heat, then back out to work again to say goodbye to a coworker friend who is leaving. It was only a bit awkward as the bartender girl got annoyed that I only ordered a seltzer water, and later there was a mishap with the guy who ordered a couple apps for the tables, and somehow thought he was getting stuck with everyone’s bill. I gave him a five, explaining I only bought my own soda, but I was contributing to ‘the cause’ which just earned me a dirty look. I also found out yet another one of the ‘core’ hosts is moving to another department. They had already checked out of their current job, and really wanted it, so I’m happy for them, but that made two more relationships/ connections severed that day.

I wrapped up my evening at 7:30ish, finding I apparently can only socialize for about an hour before I am deemed done.

This morning is my mate’s birthingday. We are going to get doughnuts and eat them in a local park while it’s still cool outside. He hurt his knee, so anything terribly strenuous is out of the question. But I already gave him his gift which was an Italian military wool long coat. Bought at the same time as my Carpathian military coat long coat, His is blue, came with a nice hanger, and is much finer (see softer) wool than mine. But it’s Italian, I would expect nothing less. Later we will more than likely do the weekly shopping as we are out of the foodstuffs, and after that dinner someplace. The going battle is between Creole or Asian fusion. I’ll ask the birthday boy what he wants to do soon as I probably need reservations as it’s a Friday.

The world keeps changing, it’s up to me to keep up.

*ETA*

After I got home last night, I also managed to download and sign up on the health app that works with my insurance for dermatological services. As embarrassing as it was to take closeup photos of my gnarly acne, that I was very self conscious about at both lunch, and at the going away party, I need to do something about it, as it’s not going away on its own. And this is why I have insurance. I guess the doctors can prescribe and send a ‘scrip to my pharmacy, without an in person, or even televisit. Technology man. Wow.

You spin me right round

Posted: September 8, 2021 in Uncategorized

This morning was a curious type of day, having me waking at 4 am to be at work, punched in, and on post by 6 am.

Around 8ish, after I was moved to another spot to keep the door open for contractors demoing part of the building, and make sure no one who hasn’t first been cleared got in, I saw one of my coworkers. The one who is a friend, whose last day is tomorrow. He asked me if I had heard about our manager. Yesterday was unexpectedly his last day. Why? Because the museum has instituted a mandatory vaccine policy, and he didn’t want to get vaccinated.

Wow, talk about choosing your battles. He never struck me as an anti-vaxxer. To be quite honest, I thought we all were on board with the whole: vaccines good, COVID bad, thing. Let’s just say, I’m disappointed. Both that he doesn’t want to look out for himself, those he loves, and our team by not getting vaccinated, and that he chose that as his reason for leaving the team in a bad place.

Lest we forget, we’re losing one of the supervisors to another department next week.

And the remodeled building reopens next month.

And we just lost our department head a month or so ago.

I’m trying to roll with the punches, but I’m starting to feel like one of the musicians on the Titanic playing as the ship goes down (don’t argue with me on the validity of this, I’m talking about the movie). We have lost so many good people to other jobs this past year alone.

Along these lines, this means maybe/ maybe not, the remaining supe will take the manager position. Leaving room for two of the leads to move in, leaving room for two new leads. Or, rumors have it that they will hire one new lead, and one new supe, what with the other building reopening. Leaving people asking me if I’m going to try to get promoted to a lead position……this will be my the fourth attempt if I do. I’ve had three people ask me in the past 48 hours. Which makes me reevaluate my plans to just do my current job, and pursue my artistic goals. Which let’s be realistic, I’m not going anywhere doing shows in early January, at a gallery in a small industrial area, that has ZERO ped traffic. And my job is hard on my body. I don’t care how healthy they say standing is for you. Doing it for 8 hours, 40 hours a week, ain’t healthy.

So I need to think about this. Perhaps talk it over with my therapist tomorrow morning, provided I have therapy. As his wife is pregnant and getting ready to deliver any day. In which case, our last session was our last, if not, tomorrow will be our last.

My only friend remaining at work, wants to go to another department, so there’s that too.

And we’re scheduled to start hiring a new team to populate the remodeled building in the next few weeks, so I will be helping hire, and train those folks, before they become part of the family. Which will be a lot to take in.

I’m trying to remain steadfast in the face of all this change, but it’s hard.

Anywho, tomorrow I have therapy, then attend a mandatory insurance meeting at noon, back across town to have lunch/ nosh with a friend, then home perhaps for a shower, then back out to a celebration at a nearby establishment for my coworker who is leaving, also dropping off some suspenders for the other coworker friend who wants to join another department. Gonna be a day.

I have a lot to think about.

Omada, you ask too much

Posted: September 6, 2021 in Uncategorized

So here we are at the end of the first official week with Omada.

I have to say, it’s a bit much.

Not only do I need to track all my meals, beverages, and snacks. Weigh myself daily, and report my steps and activity. Read the weekly lesson. And contribute to the online forum. I get emails daily, either from the forum, the system because I don’t eat early enough and it pesters me to log in my dinner, or my coach. And, this being the one week anniversary, we added a daily goal to the mix, which actually turned out to be two goals, as the weekly reading was about eating habits and I had to set a goal there too.

It’s all starting to stress me out, which is ironic, as my first weekly goal was to help me de-stress. The goal I picked being to do nothing but relax for a half hour at the end of each day.

A friend of mine stated that this heavy load, was both too much of an investment of my brainspace, and also a good way to stress out to failure.

Case in point, weighing in daily, and tracking the point difference every day in comparison to your goal weight, is just a neurosis waiting to happen.

Did I mention I also got an email analyzing my week’s submissions? It congratulated me on eating more vegetables, but chided me for not walking enough. Which I had the past five days off from work, today, a work day, I overshot my 7,500 step goal with 9,500 steps. Who the hell walks 7,500 steps on a day off?

And that forum I mentioned? When my coach sent me a message asking if there was anything I felt I couldn’t do, I mentioned I probably wouldn’t be contributing to the forum much as I work in a job where we are not allowed to use our phones except for when we are on breaks. I was assured that I could contribute when I got home for the day. Not to mention I don’t have any thoughts I want to share with the group about weighing in weekly, or anything I personally struggled with this, our first week.

Part of me feels like this program isn’t a proper fit for me. Perhaps if I had more unhealthy habits I would find the reading, quizes, and hotlinks in both activities to further reading helpful. But I know the difference between foods with empty calories and not, I know about portion control, I know about eating plenty of vegetable to protein matter.

However, I can also see the activities as starting those who are susceptible to such things such as eating or exercise disorders down potentially harmful paths.

So I don’t know. I’ll give it another week at least, until then I’ll try not to let it drive me insane by being more needy than a newborn kitten.

The great cycle of stuff

Posted: September 4, 2021 in Uncategorized

I guess I spend a lot of time on my wardrobe. Something I am supposing that was passed on to me via my grandmother. We were always to look well put together and stylish despite things like lacking the finances to do so. There is no excuse to look shlubby.

And I have carried on this legacy in my life now, even as a transman.

I don’t go thrift shop shopping as much as I used to when I lived right around the corner from a thrift shop. But I still go about once a month. Pickings are far slimmer now than they used to be, but I can usually mange to find something that I like. About 98% of my wardrobe is from thrift shops. I totally believe in recycling what we can, and I’m a snob when it comes to clothing and quality, but have a shoestring budget.

Many times these finds need small repairs, or to be tailored somehow. Having professionally sewn for over 10 years, I am no slouch with a needle and thread.

Laundry of course, is how we stay clean and maintain our clothing. I do the old fashioned thing and actually sort my laundry, blacks, bright colors, light colors, and whites all get their own load. And of course, we have the temperature we wash in, cold for everything but the lights and whites, which get a warm wash.

I do not leave my laundry in the basket when it’s done, instead folding, hanging up, and sometimes doing some ironing of a few shirts that are hopelessly bunched from washing. Nothing worse than wrinkles that are hard set into a shirt or pair of pants.

I try to go through my closet every 6 months, or about when the major weather changes hit. I get rid of anything that doesn’t fit, is somehow defective, or I have decided looks bad on me for whatever reason. I have four piles I sort into: donate to thriftshop (the great cycle of stuff continues) anything that isn’t stained or otherwise worn looking, tie dye (things that have minor stains, like ring around the collar), otherwise repurpose (case in point I just salvaged a silk shirt from my mate that will make me a great ascot tie, this also works for jeans, the denum can be handy for other projects), or part and turn into rags (in a maker home rags are priceless, and buckles, zippers, and buttons can always be reused).

Of course, being the clotheshorse I am, I also believe in dressing for the occasion. I have fancy clothing, business clothing, business casual clothing, madness clothing (see the leather chaps I am in the process of adding studs to just for kicks), casual kicking it clothing, and shlubbing around the house clothing. Yes, I only have one closet, no it isn’t walk in.

So yeah. Just as cooking takes time, so does clothing ourselves, and so does being fashionable. Maybe one day I’ll be able to buy what I like off the rack. But, then again, where’s the challenge? Where is the personalization? I know for a fact that if I wear the modded hot pink and black tie dyed denum jacket with melting crystal patch at the shoulder somewhere, no one else will have one like it. And part of me likes that.