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Sunday, April 28, 2013

i have a problem with authority

I don't know if y'all believe in the Myers-Briggs, but I am an INTP.***

In case you do not feel like clicking on my link, let me quote from that source of unimpeachable knowledge, wikipedia:  "INTPs accept ideas based on merit, rather than tradition or authority. They have little patience for social customs that seem illogical or that obstruct the pursuit of ideas and knowledge."

Yes. That wraps up some of my more annoying personality traits in a nutshell and ties it with a pretty bow. I don't like stupid rules, kids. I will follow them if they make sense. I will follow them if my NOT following them will unduly inconvenience someone else. But when people try to make me follow rules I disagree with just because they're the rules, I bristle. And when people try to convince me their stupid rules do in fact make sense when clearly they're illogical, I kinda go insane. I know this is an unattractive quality in a mature adult human being. I just cannot fight it.

What's that got to do with this blog and its subject matter? Well. I may have mentioned before that I have, since sometime last summer, been absolutely devoted to squatting barefoot, or as I prefer to call it, monkey-footed. Sometimes I do this actually in my bare feet. Sometimes I do it in my grippy socks.  But being able to feel the floor through my feet has improved my performance so much that I really do not wish to wear my shoes in the power rack ever again.  Unlike many other things that are verboten in my gym--using cell phones, taking your children in the adult locker rooms, removing the connectors from the cable machines--there are no signs telling you to keep your shoes on. I am not the only sock squatter, not by a long shot, and for months I was never reprimanded, nor did I see anyone else reprimanded, for taking their shoes off in the rack.  Then maybe in February or so, one of the morning employees came up to me in between sets and told me I had to put my shoes on or he would get in trouble. Okay, fine. In my head, I christened him the Shoe Nazi and I stopped going to the gym before noon on any lower body days.  It annoyed me, but no, I didn't actually want him to get in trouble with his higher-ups for my disobeying the (non-posted) rule.****

Then just last week, in the middle of the afternoon, one of the (young) gym employees I am quite fond of approached me in between sets of box squats, literally blushing, and apologized for having to tell me, but...his boss had seen my bare feet and told him to make me put my shoes on. I felt so bad for the poor kid. I assured him I knew he was only doing his job, put my shoes back on, and called my squats for the day.  Next lower body day?  He was working again, so to avoid putting him in the awkward position of having to tell me again to knock my shiz off, I kept my shoes on to start.  He very sweetly came over and let me know that, uh, the coast was clear. Great!  Fast forward to this afternoon.  I wanted to squat again.  I figured it being Sunday afternoon, there'd be absolutely no one around who would care if I went money-feet.

I was wrong.

The Boss Lady herself was there and this time she gave me the scolding herself.  After somewhat patronizingly telling me that *she* used to power lift and thus understood why I wanted to do what I was doing, she told me I couldn't because I could drop a plate on my foot and the gym would be liable.  I rather sensibly (I thought) said that, um, I was inside the rack and thus that was impossible.  She started going on about how, well, if a plate fell off the bar into the rack... I refrained from asking her to explain how the laws of physics apparently don't apply in our gym. I did point out that I had the collars on the bar. She suggested I buy a pair of Vibrams. I did not ask how Vibrams would protect me from breaking a toe if those pesky laws of physics did stop applying. This is exactly the kind of thing that makes my brain explode and my blood boil. Don't give me bullshit reasons for your stupid rules that insult my intelligence. Tell me your insurance requires all the gym-goers wear shoes and Vibrams count as shoes. And then maybe I'll be a good girl and be inspired to buy some of these:

Meh. Tell me bullshit and all I was inspired to do was break my kneeling squat PR fueled by pissiness and then completely immaturely gloat on getting away with taking some ninja video of the high box step-ups I'm working on.


***I'm a weak "T" however--I can make myself score as an INFP by answering just a few questions I'm iffy on differently. In practice, this means I'm a little more tactful and circumspect than stronger INTPs usually are. I went to massage school with a woman who was, I have absolutely no doubt, a strong INTP. She was always causing a ruckus by saying the things out loud that I was only thinking. I hearted her greatly.

****Well, there's a posted "proper athletic shoes" vs "street shoes" rule to keep people from lifting in work boots but nothing specifically says you have to keep your proper athletic shoes on

Friday, April 26, 2013

me n' the Glute Guy have words

I've read a lot of critiques of famous trainers' new books lately.  Having high profile fitness experts suggest that an 800 calorie a day diet is a reasonable way to lose weight for one's wedding or that us ladiez pick a kettlebell that weighs "as much as our purse" is certainly discouraging.  I can't say for certain that if I were offered a bunch o' money to write a book that sells out like that I wouldn't do it, but I'd like to think I wouldn't.  I'd like to think I'd stick to my own message, the one that says no matter how small or overweight or old or out-of-shape or weak you start out and no matter the fact that you possess a vagina, you CAN, with work, lift heavy-ass shit and lifting that heavy-ass shit will change your body in ways that you will most probably like and, more importantly, it will make you feel like a superhero.

It is with sadness that I must then take huge issue with some things in the fitness book I am currently reading, Strong Curves by Bret Contreras and Kellie Davis.  Mr Contreras is well known in the weightlifting/fitness community as The Glute Guy.  I don't know how one sets out on the path to become the world's most renowned expert on, y'know, asses--even after reading Mr Contreras' explanation in the book, I'm still kinda bemused--but, hey, someone's gotta do it. And I'm sure if she's alive, his mom is very proud. Anyway, I'm reading along and while I have my disagreements with some of what the book is selling me--it's a little tilted towards the "clean eating" philosophy that's so trendy and popular and it claims repeatedly that following the book's program will cause you to lose fat and build muscle at the same time which, no--I am mostly enjoying it. If anything, at least it has caused me to go around flexing my glutes during all my ADLs for two days in an attempt to keep them activated. I'm sure that's worth the $9.99 I paid.  (If only for the entertainment value I'm sure it affords anyone who notices me doing it.)

Sadly, I then happen across this little gem: "A woman with a slender upper body and shapely legs may never be able to do a chin-up no matter how lean and strong she gets."

Excuse me, but BULLSHIT.

There is no excuse for a normal-weight woman who strength trains (and has no orthopedic issues that make the movement impossible or unwise, of course) to be unable to do *one* chin-up. Note: we are not talking about an overweight person for whom bodyweight exercises are naturally much harder. Note: we are not talking about your average woman who does not lift weights. We are not talking about 25 chin-ups in a row or 5 sets of 10 or even one wide grip pull-up (which is much harder). We are talking about *one* chin-up, done by a lean woman who has purportedly been working on her strength. To tell that woman that, oh, it's okay, she may never do that one chin-up no matter how much she works is ridiculous. Ridiculous and patronizing. Ridiculous, patronizing, and UNTRUE.

This whole thing makes me capsy.

I prefer Nia Shanks' view that, hell, you can work your way up to handstand pushups and other crazy hard things and here's how... Because you may be a woman, but you're also a badass. Imagine my surprise when Mr Contreras refers to Ms Shanks in his book and calls her his dear friend.

I think she oughta have a talk with him.



Tuesday, April 23, 2013

a lesson i learned at least 15 years ago

...or Story Time with Andrea!

One of the formative experiences in my thinking about body image occurred some time in the late 90s/early 00s. Sorry I can't be more specific than that, but I'm old and the years just blend together. I do know this occurred on a Saturday afternoon because that is intrinsic to our story. So don't say I'm not giving you specific details like a good journalist. God.

Where was I? Okay.  I was at Haymarket in Boston, waiting for a bus.  It was late afternoon, maybe 4-ish? As I stood there, just people watching***, two Hispanic women, probably in their early 30s, came up from the subway. One was unremarkable enough that I don't remember anything about her appearance other than that she was around the same age as her companion. The other was barely 5 foot tall and--I'm not excellent at guessing weight but--well over two hundred pounds. Perhaps 250.  Short and heavy enough that she had that look some people do of being completely round. Now, that is not that remarkable. There are short people and tall people, fat people and skinny people.  All kinds to make a world, as my mom would say.

What was remarkable was how this lady was attired: a black lycra tube dress that barely covered either her cleavage or her butt. I watched her and her friend walk past me and across the street with a mixture of fascination and horror. First of all, there was this sense that just one tiny wrong move and I was going to see a boob pop out or, on the other end, (as Patsy Stone would say) "...and all the world's your gynecologist." Secondly, I couldn't help my bemusement (ignorant, I know now) that tube dresses came in that size. Finally? Where on earth were they going dressed like that at 4pm on a Saturday? This was a club/party/big date dress if I ever saw one.

^^^Tube dress example for any male readers who stop by. (I learned my lesson after the time 2 out of 3 male friends had *no* idea what a romper is.)

But after a few seconds, those feelings slipped away and what I realized was that this woman--chatting animatedly and smiling with her friend--not only had no feelings of self-consciousness about her body, she also gave off a vibe of being supremely confident. This was not the kind of woman who dressed scantily in some kind of desperate attempt to gain attention. There was nothing about that in her body language.  She just seemed happy and comfortable and like she and her friend were having just the best day. And to me, it seemed like she obviously felt hot in her own skin, any deviance between her own body and societal/media norms notwithstanding.  And it occurred to me that as much as this woman almost certainly felt hot and beautiful, she most likely had a husband/lover/several suitors who thought she was sexy as hell too.  I dunno why I made that leap. In retrospect, it seems pretty unfeminist of me, this idea that one has to have the approval of a partner to feel beautiful. Nevertheless, it all made this sort of huge impression on me. It was maybe the first time I was able to divorce in my mind that someone had to look the way society tells us is ideal in order to feel beautiful or to have other people find them sexy.  This woman was sexy.

Even if I disagree with her fashion choices.

All this bubbled up in my memory today after reading a comment on someone else's blog, taking issue with a fitness author saying that after you followed her plan you would be "hot and confident" and therefore implying that as you are now you should probably be insecure and ashamed of yourself. To which I also say bah! And feh! And other interjections that end in h. The lady in the tube dress taught me you don't have to be conventionally beautiful to be confident but that being confident probably makes you hot. Pretty good for being in my field of vision for 90 seconds and never speaking to me, huh?


***see? it was a long time ago back when our primitive cell phones did not allow us to peruse the internet at all times

Friday, April 19, 2013

blogging news flash

Posting semi-horrifying semi-dressed photos of yourself will cause people to unfollow you. Who knew?


It's just hilarious, and I am glued to my TV watching CNN because a.) holy crap! and b.) I was supposed to do some work in Brighton today but since the city is on lockdown, that's not happening. So I've got too much time on my hands. Let's see what else I can come up with to alienate my few readers today!


Thursday, April 18, 2013

"perfection": worth a little hunger?

I've had the very beginning of this post in my drafts folder for a few days. Then Monday happened. Finishing one of my usual self-absorbed paeons to navelgazing seemed tone-deaf when a horrible fitness-related tragedy in which innocent people were maimed and killed had just occurred in my own city. But you know what? I have absolutely nothing original to say about that. I have no new perspective. There's nothing I could write that hasn't been better expressed elsewhere. I can only suggest that if you would like to read a moving article (and comments) on the meaning of Monday's events from the POV of a runner, you go here.  And if trivialities in the face of horrible events annoy or offend you, click away from here for awhile. Trivialities are all I've got.


So. Last Friday marked the end of my six weeks of post-fulk dieting. Six weeks of whining and hunger and moaning and hunger and complaining and hunger. Did I mention hunger?  When I diet by calorie-counting**, I am always so, so hungry.  I have a healthy appetite--I may have mentioned that before--and 1400-1500 calories is not much food.  Oh, it could be worse, obviously. 1500 calories is enough to fit in a glass of wine or some other small treat here or there.  It's not super-strict deprivation. But it's not enough food to keep my belleh from grumbling or keep me from constantly thinking about whether it's time to eat again yet.

Last Friday also marked the first time in that six week period that I got the Random Number Generating Device*** to read 113. This was not my "goal weight" (sigh) but it was, y'know, close enough. Close enough that it was time for me to decide whether I was going to keep dieting or call that mutha. In my attempt to make a rational decision about that, I decided to employ a couple other data points besides the RNGD. I measured my waist: 24.75". And I took several unflattering, badly-lit, non-tanned, non-flexed, camera-self-timer pictures directly out of the shower, dripping hair n' all, in naught but my underwear****.

Note: I clearly do see the point that a person who weighs 113 and has a 24.75" waist and all of whose clothes range between a size 00 and a size 2 could be said to be beyond "rational" when considering whether to continue dieting.  If I did not hang around an online (bodybuilding-related) site where many, many people are obsessed with being extremely lean, I wouldn't even be questioning this. I'd be saying to myself, bitch, you have (vanity-sized but still) 00 jeans that require a belt to stay up. No one who can honestly say that has any business being on a diet. Now go eat a fucking donut and hush yourself. What *is* your problem?

I do have a problem. Beyond the crazee. So you hush up about that. My problem is uneven fat distribution.  As my lovely unflattering pictures made abundantly clear, I have approximately 2 pounds of excess fat on the back of each thigh. If you could suck that four pounds out and slather it back on evenly over my whole body, like spreading peanut butter on toast*****, you wouldn't think I had any extra fat. You'd think, huh, that woman's lean as hell. I'd like to say genetics has fucked me, but truth is, that gynoid fat has been proven to be good for one's health. Genetics thinks it's doing me a favor by depositing that extra four pounds of fat right on my saddlebags. It's me that's fucked myself by hanging around people who are in general horrified by it.

I wouldn't even say it's peer pressure. I threw my unflattering pictures up on the internet and my weightlifting buddies, being sweet kind supportive friends, told me I look great and I'd be fine no matter what I decided to do: cut more, maintain, or start another bulk.  Meanwhile on the same forum, people much leaner than me were dieting and other people were putting up transformation pictures where they hit (DEXA-verified!) 15% bodyfat and being effusively praised for it.  No one was going to come out and say to me, "Andrea, yeah, you are still too fat, so suck it up and starve some more" but it is really hard to see other people being lauded for more and more fat loss and NOT think that there's something a little wrong with you if you aren't striving for that. You're lazy. You're half-assing it. You're not serious. You're not committed. You're deluding yourself about how attractive (or not!) you are.

Meanwhile, as I was struggling with this, in other corners of the interwebs, in a great coincidence, other people were discussing the pressure to be lean, the fear of having any fat at allthe difference between looking perfect and being healthy,  and the conflation of fat loss with healthy behaviors.  There must've been something in the air last week or two. Or else all the crap in the media about getting a summer bikini body has made a majority of intelligent, reflective, fitness-oriented women want to pull their hair out, punch someone, or, y'know, blog.

This is me from the front.

Not a great picture, for (as I said) many reasons, but even so, it does not displease me. If I were tanned and lit correctly, if I were flexing and posed right, you'd see how much muscle I have. But even without that, I can look at it and think that, well, I look pretty athletic. Which was always my aim.

And this is me from behind.

You see whereof I speak, I assume. But honestly? I can't make myself hate this very much either. For one thing, for the great majority of my life I wouldn't have even looked too closely in the mirror at myself in a thong, nevermind taken a picture of such. Nevermind shown it to anyone. Nevermind put it on the interwebs where strangers and friends****** could see it. In my old age I have come to love and appreciate my body enough to look at it in all its imperfections and still feel fondly disposed to it. That's a victory all in its own. I may be deluded, but I think my imperfect body is beautiful. And I'd rather be deluded in that direction than in the converse.  Grandiose fantasies are so much more pleasant than paranoid ones.

So what did I ultimately decide to do?  Well, I decided to take the weekend off.  The weekend lasting through Tuesday, since my son's birthday is April 16 and I had Chinese food and cupcakes to consume. Then I was going to reassess.  Well, here it is, April 18 and I still haven't reassessed. I honestly am on the fence still.  Eating till I was actually full the last few days has been blissful. On the other hand? I could lose four more pounds in another 6 weeks and maybe...maybe...some of it would be from that thigh chub. And then I could take a thong picture that wasn't vaguely horrifying when I'm not in the mood to be deluded. It seems so close to achieving. And then I remember how much I whined from March 1 to April 12.


**I can lose weight easily and without hunger by going low carb. Unfortunately I can't lift weights on low carb. My muscles demand bagels or they won't deadlift shit.

***the scale, of course

****I have to admit I did put on "good" picture-taking underwear.

*****you diet for 6 weeks and see how many food-related metaphors *you* use

******not sure which is more embarrassing, frankly

And google chrome doesn't think horrifying is a word. Huh.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

in which andrea takes the nsca-cpt

Late on this report but late is better than never! Well, obviously some of my blog posts in retrospect would have been better as "never" but you know, gotta fill the electronic paper, blah blah.

N E Way.  Bright and early on the morning of April 6, I traversed the wilds of East Boston and presented myself to a small conference room in a large chain hotel near the airport to take my NSCA-CPT, paper n' pencil edition. Here's the thing. The NSCA has two ways it will allow one to take their certifications. One is the nifty twenty first century computerized, get-your-results-immediately-after option which can be taken at various (I'm totally serious here) H&R Block locations at your own convenience. You just pay, schedule a date, take the test, and find out if you've passed. The second is the old skool #2 pencil, fill in the lil oval blanks on your score sheet in a proctored room then wait a few weeks for results experience we all remember from out SATs that occurs in certain cities on a few select dates.  I chose option #2.  Why, Andrea? you ask. That seems stupid!  

Well, kids, two reasons. First of all, if it's not patently obvious, I am a huge procrastinator when it comes to certain things.*** When I decided last fall that I was going to pursue this certification and saw that the test was going to be offered here in early April, I realized that having that firm date as the day I HAD to take it was going to serve me better than scheduling it at my leisure. Otherwise 20 months were going to go by as I told myself I wasn't *quite* ready to take it yet and maybe I ought to study a few more weeks.  Secondly and more importantly, they charge you less to take this test the old fashioned way.  And they charge you even less if you choose early registration.  It may not be obvious from the number of pairs of expensive shoes in my closet, but I am ridiculously cheap frugal about certain things.  Why should I pay these people more money than I have to just to take their test?  Besides, if I didn't procrastinate, taking a test at an H&R Block during tax season seemed...unwise.

Back to our story. I did manage to procrastinate enough on my studying that the week before was a huge review-everything-I-ever-read and try-to-cram-it-into-my-brain panic experience. I had bought the (expensive!) practice test package from the NSCA which turned out to be quite helpful. In my studying frenzy, however, I found myself getting stupider by the minute. I sent a friend a semi-panicked text the day before the exam which said something like "omfg the more i study for this test, the worse i do on the practice exams!" to which the response was "um, maybe stop studying?"  Ah, my friends, what would I do without them? Sigh. I didn't heed that advice. In fact, the morning of the exam I was in the hotel lobby an hour early furiously reviewing chapters of the CPT manual on my kindle in between stress-induced trips to the restroom.  About twenty minutes before they let us into the room, I switched to playing a relaxing game of Tetris**** instead. So it's not like I was cramming until the very last minute. She said in her own defense.

There were five other, um, frugal people taking this exam with me on this sunny Saturday morning. Interestingly (to me at least) there were three of us ladies and three guys; the guys all appeared to be in their twenties, the ladies all over forty or at the very least 35.  I'm not sure what to make of those demographics.  Women my-age-ish all wanna make career changes? Young women into fitness aren't confident enough to want to teach it?  Old guys and young women aren't so cheap they'll actually pay extra to go to H&R Block? I dunno.

Just a few things about the test. The first 35 questions are video questions. Not my favorite because they are, necessarily, timed. They show you a video clip, you answer the question, they go on to the next and there's no going back. This is contrary to my own (probably most people's?) preferred way of test-taking. Sometimes you just need a little time to mull over the correct answer. But this was an area the practice tests did prepare me for somewhat. Wouldn't have wanted to go in there not having experienced the format for those. The rest of the questions were just your average standardized test multiple choice questions. The funniest part (oh, in retrospect) was that the proctors had told us they would announce when we had an hour left--out of three--and twenty minutes left. There were 200 answer spaces on the test sheet and when "one hour left" was called, I had just answered question 120-something. Holy crap! I semi-freaked. I am NOT a slow reader, kids, and I have never had a problem running out of time on tests. I started reading questions really fast and not mulling. Then I turned over another couple pages in the test booklet and realized that, oh, there's 200 answer spaces but only 150 questions. D'oh. I had plenty of time to reread the questions I'd blown through and make sure I hadn't made any mistakes.  Oh, Andrea.

Perhaps my favorite part of the whole exam was the guy seated directly to my left at the next table. He was perhaps the youngest of us, a black kid with long dreds who appeared to be only twenty or twenty one. I could see him in my peripheral vision and he was doing exactly the same thing I was doing: acting out some of the various exercises the test was asking us about so he could feel what muscles were working, etc. It made me feel very warmly disposed towards him (as did, let's be honest, his might not be obvious in my bitchy sarcasm, but I am extremely maternal in nature): kinesthetic learners of the world, unite!  Hope you passed, Long Dreds Kid!

Hope I passed too. We'll know in about five to seven weeks, I guess.


***true fact: I'm writing this as I procrastinate on what I'm really supposed to be doing this morning

****if you're having an old skool experience, go old skool, yo

Sunday, April 7, 2013

like the loch ness monster

If you don't get it on video, where's the proof it exists, right?

In that spirit I give you: kneeling squats, 205x8. As long time readers will know, taking video at my gym is strictly verboten, and I thus do not get away with it very often. But it was Sunday afternoon, the weight room was as empty as it ever gets, and the employee on duty was someone who would never give me a hard time. Et voila!

Original Video - More videos at TinyPic

I would say "notice how much better I've gotten at the unrack and re-rack!", but uh, you all have nothing to compare this to. So just trust. It used to be much scarier.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

6 months

Guess what today is? My six month "hysterversary!"

Yes, the hysterectomy support forums do use twee and vaguely nauseating terminology like that. But, hugs! (Yeah, yeah, yeah, do I *seem* like the support group type to you? Let's be cereal here.)

Anyway. Yes. Six months ago at this time I was unconscious while my gyn and her husband** used a magical tiny camera and cauteries and, I dunno, other stuff to remove those girl parts that were trying their best to kill me. Along with their neighbors***. I thought I'd take this opportunity to bore you with reflect on the changes in my body since the big day.

First of all, I'm pretty sure I am now almost 100% healed internally. I have read that it can take up to a full year for all the nerve connections to grow back and so forth, but over the past month or so I can honestly say that I don't feel anything different on my insides any more. Even back in February when I felt mostly totally healed, a few days of physical labor or being on my feet most of the day and I'd feel a little swollen and sore in the cuff where my internal stitches had been. Ten days ago I spent seven hours doing hard physical work and when I was done--exhausted and starving but none of that internal ouchiness. Yeah, baby.  Similarly, it took a long LONG time after surgery for my intestinal function to feel like it had regulated and there weren't weird painful nerve twinges every time it was almost time for a morning meeting****.  Apparently the intestines get really pissed***** about being pushed and shoved aside during surgery and are in a snit about it for quite a while.

Secondly, I am no longer vaguely terrified about the whole works failing and my intestines making a break for it out my hooha while I'm squatting 160 or having sexshul intercourse.  According to the internet it could still happen but I have ceased to worry about and instead choose to believe that a.) my doc did an awesome job stitching me up in there and b.) my body heals super, especially since I took care during recovery to eat ALL THE FOODZ and c.) since I was a really, really good girl and abstained from sexshul intercourse for the 3 months prescribed by my physician (and, okay, even a little longer [see: vaguely terrified]) Jesus/Buddha/the laws of physics are gonna reward me with a fully functioning vagina for the rest of my life.

And now that I have, once again, overshared, let's move on to more blog-topic-related matters.  I lost a lot of muscle mass during recovery. People swore to me that I wouldn't, but they lied. No, actually, they just didn't realize how incredibly restricted I was going to be for the first almost-6 weeks after surgery.  When you're not even allowed to lift your own (admittedly obese) cats or, strictly speaking, your own handbag with its normal contents, and your body is putting forth all its energy towards healing up all the tissue that's been cut and restitched together and regrowing nerves and blood vessels and such, it wisely (from a long term evolutionary standpoint) decides that it doesn't need to expend the metabolic resources to keep all that expensive muscle that ain't being used and ::poof:: GONE.  A month after surgery I was down to 108 lbs. I'm pretty sure the last time I weighed 108 pounds I was eleven or twelve years old, kids.  It did not make me happy. And this with my postop diet of mac n' cheese, calzones, and whatever the hell new cookie recipe I found on the interwebs while I was bored and semi-housebound. So when I was released back to the gym I went on the bulk of all bulks. A fulk, actually. (Fulk=fat bulk.)  Since my birthday and Christmas came in the midst of this there was the added bonus of my friends gifting me with things like bottles of Baileys and the giant Costco gourmet chocolate assortment. And taking me out for drinks and Mexican food and and and. Operation Fatten Up Andrea: successful.

By the end of February I weighed...wait for it...wait for it...121. On the plus side, I no longer needed a belt to keep up every pair of pants I own and I was pretty sure I'd grown all my lost muscle back. I even, in my usual douchebaggery, took pictures and posted them up for my friends, all of whom agreed my muscles were back, baby. So time to "cut", i.e. diet.

It's been one month and one day. NOT THAT I'M COUNTING. I'm back down to 114. I can fit into all my pants (in varying degrees of comfort, ahem) and some of them are back to needing to be belted to stay up. And the saddest fact is, with a lot of the fulk fat off I can see that no, not all my muscle did come back. The extra fat was making me look a lot bigger and fuller than I really was. Right now I'm definitely squishier and softer and smaller than I was at 114 or 112 last summer.

I suppose it's a small price to pay for having my treacherous reproductive organs out of my body, yeah?

Present plan: stay on this muthafuking diet for two more weeks or till I hit 112 (whichever I crack at first), then back to a slow bulk in hopes of regaining more muscle mass. Wish me luck. I'm pretty sure with my ovaries removed I am not in the optimal hormonal condition for muscle growth (ha!) but as I recently remarked elsewhere, thank you functioning adrenal glands! Someone's gotta pump out the measly amount of testosterone my old woman body is producing.


**oh, don't worry...he's a gyn too, not a plumber or tax accountant.

***I like to anthropomorphize my organs

****that's my favorite new euphemism for pooping

*****see "***"