28 April 2012

Yay :)

I was notified late yesterday that I had been nominated for and awarded an alumni scholarship for my program.  It's for $1,000 and will pay for both Summer and Fall semesters' tuition.  *And* I managed to find my Summer textbooks online for a total of $16!

Thanks, God :)

20 April 2012

A New Taste of an Old Distraction

I've touched on my body issues and battling my weight before in previous posts.  I have a metabolic issue wherein my body thinks its diabetic, my pancreas has decided it doesn't want to play, and it is very, very difficult for me to lose any weight (gaining weigh ton the other hand seems to happen no matter what I do).  Even when I was training muay thai/MMA two-three hours a day, teaching class, eating clean and drinking almost a gallon of water a day, I could never drop below 200.

I have been taking Victoza for several months (before Paula Deen got her mitts on it) and had a great amount of success with it, losing 40 pounds.  My goal has never been to be a size six or whatever; it's just been to be as healthy as possible and the Victoza seemed to be helping me accomplish that.  At my last doctor's visit, we decided to go off the Victoza as (a) the returns were starting to diminish and (b) we wanted to see if my body had gotten the message now that weight had been dropped.  These last two months were my first months with no medication whatsoever.

I went back to the doctor today and, according to the scale, I have gained 13 pounds.  I was still dieting and exercising.  The only thing thing that changed was the Victoza.

To say I was disheartened would be correct; a mild characterization, but correct.  I have come to terms with a lot of what God used MMA to teach me about taking my focus off how I look/how I think I should look (long story short: it's about your character, stupid, not your looks).  So while I'm not happy, I am not wrapped around the axle about *that* aspect of it all.  I mean, my clothes are even still fitting just fine which is kinda weird to me but...okay.

I don't know really how to explain it except I keep going back to that old, familiar phrase "it's not fair".  I work hard, I take care of myself, yet my body refuses to show off the rewards.  It's hard not to feel defective which can lead to the "God made me wrong" mental path and that's a totally incorrect statement.  God made me exactly the way he planned to make me for His reasons.  This is just the type of moment where I wish I could get an explanation as to why :P.

Adding degrees of difficulty to the task is our office diva.  She's been ill and has had to take steroids.  Steroids increase your appetite and can make you gain weight, and she's maybe a size six now.  Office Diva walks around bemoaning about how she's so fat and how a friend of hers called her a "butterball" and so on and so forth.  I have nearly had to bite my tongue to not say things like, "Hey, when someone comes up to you and takes the food out of your hand and tells you that you shouldn't eat it because you're fat?  Talk to me." or "When someone asks you when the baby is due?  Talk to me." or "When people make comments about you in your presence because when you're overweight, it also means you're deaf?  Talk to me."  I get that she's a former fitness person and this is hard on her and her self-image also but, seriously, once she stops taking the steroids, she should be able to get the weight off.  I don't really have that option and I will freely admit my supply of grace in this instance is running a little short..

On the flip side of that equation is the Spousal Unit.  He is consistently wonderful about telling me I look good and that I'm attractive both in general and especially to him (hey, really only catering to an audience of one anyway :)).  I know he not only means it but he believes it and that helps a lot but there is still that small part of me that whispers "it's not fair" and I don't now how much credence to give that voice any more.  Do I just stop any attempts and let the 40 pounds find their way back?  'Cause they will no matter what I do.  Do I keep trying meds or think about going back on the Victoza at the price tag of $350/month?  Or do I look at a particular diet my doctor and I talked about and try that?  We even discussed lap bands and I know from going through the SU's gastric bypass with him that there is no way I qualify for that since I am too healthy, can work out and have no co-morbidity factors.  It would be an absolute last resort for me anyway and one I would have to seriously consider risks versus benefits before I made a decision of that magnitude.

What we did today was talk about the new competitor to Victoza, called Bydureon (made from Gila monster saliva!  Really!).  It's a once a week injectible versus the Victoza once-a-day deal.  The cost is comparable.  But he gave me some samples to try and then come back in a month.  Drawbacks besides the price are that it comes in an injectible suspension form, which means you have to mix it yourself before taking it, and the needle is QUITE a bit bigger than the one used in the Victoza pen. The first show I gave myself in the doctor's office was a serious ouch.

But right now this is just stopgap while I try to figure out what I should do.  I don't know if I didn't learn the complete lesson from God or if He has something more to teach me on this topic.  Are the available medicines the answer that I should take (never discount the fact that physicians and medicine can work for God)?  He's provided the money before for my prescription and there is no reason to think He will not do so again.

So, hello quandry.  Right now my brain is turning stuff over so much that I'm not sure I would hear God if He was standing next to me with a megaphone so if anyone wants to pray that I and whatever external noise shut up long enough to hear Him, that would always be appreciated.  In the meantime, I need to shut my brain off and get some sleep so I can work out in the morning and then get back to finishing my papers for this semester.  Ergo, good night.

(and thank you Shinedown for the post title)


"Some days I am not sure if my faith is riddled with doubt or whether, graciously, my doubt is riddled with faith.  And yet I continue to live in a world the way a religious person lives in the world; I keep living in a world that I know to be enchanted, and not left alone.  I doubt; I am uncertain; I am restless, prone to wander.  And yet glimmers of holy keep interrupting my gaze."

- Lauren Winner "Still:  Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis"

12 April 2012

Why is it...

that people say "I don't mean to be pushy" when, yeah, that is *exactly* what they are doing.

11 April 2012

And the winner is...

Our professor was back in town so we met last night and finally got our midterms back.  Of course, when he starts out the evening by saying over half of us - out of a class of 16 - failed the miderm, that's...not encouraging.

I passed with a B and I'm working on being happy with that (*waves to legacy of performance orientation gifted by parents*).  What I found interesting were the attitudes of people who had admittedly never read the book and failed the midterm.  One girl was saying how she'd never failed anything and the Evil TCH Munchkin in my head wanted to say, "You're young yet.  Give it time." but I refrained.  Still, if you're not reading the book or trying to familiarize yourself with the material, how can you be surprised that you didn't do well?

The other thing that boggles my brain is how many people haven't even started their papers yet.  This is just anathema to me because I like to spend the last few weeks of a semester polishing up my prose, looking for any errors, etc.  I know I've got some breaks in that I don't have kids at home but, still, the majority of my weekends each semester include at least a three hour stint in the coffee shop working on homework.

So I have one more case study due that I'm going to try and complete this week, the HR paper to polish up and then finish running my data, and write my discussion and conclusion for the other paper.  Fingers crossed.

06 April 2012

Please cite this blogpost properly and other random moments

Have I ever mentioned exactly how much I really hate APA style?  If I have not, please let me assure you now that I despise it to the depths of my soul.  I even despise it more than okra (which I already think is Satan's boogers).

If you can't tell, I'm trying to take care of the finishing touches on one of my two papers that are coming due (be working on the second one this weekend.  I'm starting to think the coffee shop should put a little nameplate on my chair at this point :)).  I've got citations from journal articles, news casts, government documents, magazine articles, what APA so helpfully calls "nonperiodical web documents, web pages or reports" and assorted other pieces of information.  All six inches of documentation jammed into two manila folders that I've been lugging around with me for about four months now are so familiar at this point that I think I'm starting to dream about them :P.  I just keep reminding myself that soon I will be done, done, DONE with this semester and that means two more classes closer to my Master's.

Knitting was providing stress relief but now it's providing more in the way of humor - for other people :P.  The blanket I have a picture of in my last post is 120 stitches for each row.  Somewhere along the way of my first five rows, I managed to add in another stitch, which is...not good.  So I went back to the yarn store and had my first lesson in how to rip out stitches one by one.  Still couldn't find the error so Yarn Store Lady took a look and, dude, I couldn't recreate what I'd done if I *tried*.

Apparently I managed to do some kind of advanced increase stitch that isn't even supposed to be seen.  Go me!  YSL joked I was now ready for sweaters and I told her my label for my sweater line would be "Sweaters...by Mistake" :).  Took it home and somehow managed to create *another* stitch, thus giving me ample opportunity to practice my newfound talent of ripping stitches out.  I ripped out the entire row and finally decided, "You know what, self?  You're only, what, four-five rows into this thing.  Let's rip it all out and start over."  So last night I ripped out the few rows I'd done and then re-cast the 120 stitches needed to start the blanket.  We'll see if I do any better this weekend and give my working-on-not-swearing vocabulary a rest.

However!  I do hasten to point out that I am not the only oblivious one in the Hermitage.  The Spousal Unit had a meeting to go to on Tuesday night and it was in a small church versus their usual spot.  The SU needed to use the facilities before the meeting started, asked a friend where they were and the friend said he believed they were through the sanctuary.

So, SU wanders in and sees a small group of people sitting quietly.  They look up at him (a little strangely, per the SU) and he says he's looking for the bathroom.  One of the group points him in the right direction so the Spousal Unit thanks him and excuses himself.  On the way back, he has to go through the sanctuary again and the same group of people are there and giving him the same odd kind of looks.

It is then that he notices the very large casket with the very dead guy in the center of the sanctuary.

So, see??  It's not just me!

And now I'm going to shamelessly steal from The Bug and her post on songs from your iPod predicting your weekend.  I don't have my iPod here at work but I do have iTunes so I let it randomly play ten songs:

Bim Bam Smash - John Powell (The Bourne Supremacy)
Cold Missouri Waters - Cry Cry Cry (Cry Cry Cry)
Like a Dog Chasing Cars - Hans Zimmer (The Dark Knight)
Carnivale Main Title Theme - Jeff Beal (Carnivale)
Vezandlebe - Johnny Clegg and Savuka (Cruel, Crazy, Beautiful World)
Keep Yourself Alive - Queen (Live in Montreal)
The Tower - Vienna Teng (Waking Hour)
What Have You Done Now? - Within Temptation (The Heart of Everything)
Apprivoise-Moi - Ishtar (The Voice of Alabina)
Miami International - David Arnold (Casino Royale)

*looks at list*  Seriously?  I have no idea what that says about my weekend.  Anyone?  Bueller?