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June Food Challenge

Lately -- mostly because of how busy I've been -- my diet has really gone downhill in terms of quality. So I've decided to give myself a food challenge for the month of June, which is to cut out all the pre-packaged and instant foods I've been eating lately, which I know isn't great quality.

This isn't about weight or dieting for me as it is breaking a bad habit: a few years ago I went off soda cold turkey, cutting out all beverages except water and tea. Again, this was to break the soda habit I had developed. This is pretty much the same thing, except I'm cutting out as much of the crap food as possible.

Of course the problematic thing here is I really don't like to cook, and often don't have time to. So I'm leaning on a sort of "hunter-gatherer" diet, eating lots of veggies and natural starches like baked potatoes and complimenting it with quite a bit more protein than I typically eat at home. Chicken, sandwich meats (I know, heavily processed and not the best choice, but I really hate cooking), eggs, mushrooms, tofu, etc.

Part two of my challenge this month is also to cut way, way down on the number of times I eat out, mostly so I don't trade diet quality for money spend. I'm allowing myself two eat out "passes" this month, one which I'll probably save for my birthday at the end of the month. So I'm also buying a lot of trail mixes, nuts and crackers that I can stash in my purse for those evenings I don't get home until later in the evening.

This is my June challenge, but I've already been following the rules for the last week and been quite successful. By eating a lot of veggies and baked potatoes I'm avoiding a lot of that pesky cooking I don't like and eating much better. Here's hoping I can keep going through the month of June and break my Kraft Dinner habit. :P


Swish of My Skirt

When did I start loving to wear skirts? I used to hate them -- at least, I used to hate wearing them all day. Yet in the last few months I've fallen in love with the damn things and spend far too much time standing in front of my closet wishing I owned more of them.

And dresses! I can wear dresses now I never could before. (Though the shapeless sack dresses popular right now will never be my friends, at least I'm no longer banished to polyester and spandex.) I just purchased an awesome blue and white gingham print halter sundress that I've very excited to wear as soon as the sun comes out again.

Guys, I miss fandom. I miss talking literary devices and plot and good writing versus bad writing and character and allegories and and and… My English major heart is desperate to dance again.

Thus, I point at this piece of lovely meta about Kurt Hummel's hero journey in Glee this season that made me happy. And also this awesome Periodic Table of Storytelling inspired by TVTropes.org.
Screw the bullet points, there would just be too damn many.

So it's been almost three months since I posted because, Wow Life. Just busy. March and April were basically stolen by organizing LogiCON, a one day science and critical thinking conference on April 9. Somewhere in there I became the official President of the Greater Edmonton Skeptic Society, dated a guy for a couple of weeks (Where did I find the time for that? Where?!?), went to a surprising number of arts events including Hunchback at the Citadel (so awesome) and the Charlie Chaplin Symphony night (also so awesome), and also managed to finally track down a bridesmaid dress for my sister's wedding. Which was good because, directly after LogiCON? Sister's wedding and the various showery/bachelorette planning and parties that went with it.

But the last two weeks have been much, much quieter. And I miss my blog. I've managed to keep up reading the flist even though I haven't been able to post.

Have been catching up on TV. And I've started watching Glee again. Somewhere in season two I heard it stopped sucking, and I admit I have a crush on Darren Criss so when I heard he was on the show I peeped and got sucked in again. It's nice that the show is less about Rachel and things are more balanced. I like the character of Rachel, but too much of her is... too much. It's nice to hear other people sing: there's a lot of good voices on that show. Also: hilarious cover of Friday is hilarious. I love when internet memes go mainstream. :P

With regards to Doctor Who: I miss RTD. Moffat has great style and I love the cinematography of his seasons, but the storylines are just... bleh. I'm am so sick of predestination paradoxes on this show, especially since they aren't even done that well. Blink was fun and Girl in the Fireplace was neat, but do we have to keep recycling the same time travel plot over and over? Can't we just have a fun alien adventure with some running?

My Bullet Point Life: Epic Update

Wow have I not posted in ages. In order to make up for that, I have for you a tl;dr update on my life, the universe and everything.

When last I left you all I had just dug my car out of a massive snow bank.
  • Work is awesome and usually insanely busy. I've taken on a Project Management role in the office and am basically running point for a bunch of projects on both the design and development fronts. This typically involves a lot of client-staff wrangling, but I'm good at it and enjoy it. It also allows me to stay in tune with the day-to-day happenings of most of the company, which I also really love. My live may look disorganized, but when it comes to work I'm a coordination champ.

  • Meeting madness! I continue to work with other members of the Greater Edmonton Skeptic Society to organize LogiCON, a local Edmonton conference celebrating science and logic. We were fortunate enough to partner with the Telus World of Science for this event which opens up our audience significantly, but also means we have to get our butts in gear to make sure we put on a good event. This -- unsurprisingly -- also involves a lot of wrangling, particularly when it comes to the other GESS members organizing the event. Website going up this week. *fingers crossed*

  • Went on a winter cabin adventure a few weeks back. This cabin was literally in the middle of nowhere. We had to hike in 20 minutes from the highway, carrying all our stuff, through undisturbed knee-deep snow. The cabin had no power and no heat save for a wood-burning stove, which I was appointed in charge of. I have a whole new respect for pioneers who had to keep their stoves stoked all night during the winter to keep warm. Though once we had the place warm it was quite cozy. Really fun weekend that included cooking dinner with headlamps.

  • Friends got engaged! Woot!

  • Had dinner with a bunch of the old Brick cohorts, which was excellent. Got all up to date on my gossip too: boy am I glad I don't work there anymore. :P

  • Went on a Sex and the City-esque dinner date with three of my girlfriends. We decided I'm probably Samantha. This all came from a long and extended conversation about our sex lives, so it seemed appropriate. I think next week when we go out again I'm going to suggest we all dress up New York like to go with the theme.

  • Speaking of dresses, the great Bridesmaid Dress Hunt has officially begun!

    I was really nervous about my first dress shopping experience post op because I've had such terrible experiences before with shopping for dresses, and though my size has come down considerably I wasn't sure what kinds of problems I still might have because -- let's face it -- I'm still not "small".

    It was awesome, though! When it comes to dress shopping I'm now basically 100% average when it comes to proportions. Almost everything I tried on fit! Some of them weren't flattering, but at least the seams were all in the right places! :D :D :D GUYS I CAN WEAR PRETTY DRESSES THAT AREN'T MADE OF SPANDEX YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW HOW AMAZING THIS IS. While I haven't found the bridesmaid dress yet, I did find an amazingly cute little black cocktail party dress that was on sale. IT HAS A LINING AND EVERTHING!! :D :D :D :D :D There are not enough smiley faces in the world to express the joy of being able to fit into pretty things and not feel like my body was an alient, misconfigured, ill-proportioned oddity.

  • Had a wonderfully geeky night with starpanties where we watched movie special features. Yes, that's right, not the movies themselves but the special features. We are so, so beyond geeky. :P But so fun! We watched the Scott Pilgrim features, the Dr. Horrible Musical The Commentary, and the new Star Trek movie making-of documentaries. Also, starpanties made awesome chicken. #omnomnom

  • Sat on a Women and IT panel and talked to a room full of Girl Guides and Pathfinders about what I do all day, then together we built a simplified log in user process on the whiteboard. It was a really fun morning and I definitely want to keep promoting IT to young girls and women.

  • Participated in Startup Weekend Edmonton last weekend and had a fantastic time building the LaunchWith.Me prototype with fellow Edmonton developers and designers. Some of the people I'd worked with before while others I met and worked with for the first time, but I learned so much and pushed myself. CSS3 is brilliant and I will never go to Photoshop first again when it comes to design: you can do so much right in the browser with CSS3, and this weekend was my first chance to to really use it. I also now have a github account and a rails server. My geek, it is ever growing in all directions. :P

Not so epic a post after all. The above doesn't really fully illustrate how busy I am right now, but take my word for it: BUSY! I love it, though, especially after a sedate December. Jump right back in with both feet!

Check and Check

Today I have conquered both my open spot (finally closed!) and the snowbank that ate my car (shoveled/brushed). HaHA!

I am sore, but open-wound free for the first time since November. And I will be able to get out of the parking lot and drive to work tomorrow (provided it doesn't snow another 10" overnight that is).

Now if I could just get rid of this cough. *grumblegrumble*

Pretending the Snow Doesn't Exist

Edmonton has been hit with a pile of snow over the last 48 hours. I have been hiding from it in my apartment all weekend as well as trying to marshal my immune system to beat down this bug I caught from a coworker before it goes all plague on me.

Haven't left my apartment except for that one time Friday night when I took the garbage out.

I am not looking forward to having to brush all the snow off my car tomorrow. Though I do note through the window that my wonderful landlords have already taken the snowblower to the driveway.

Didn't accomplish anything I hoped to accomplish the weekend, but I blame that on this blasted cough and general sick feeling. Instead I watched a lot of Buffy, cuddled Velcro Cat and pretended January in Edmonton doesn't include snow. The only thing remotely productive I did was my dishes.

Tomorrow? Back to the real world.


Hey, so remember those days when I used to post all the time?

Okay, so quick bullet point update:

  • I am doing well, five weeks post op today and this last week and a half I've been feeling more like myself. I can make it through an entire day without feeling exhausted and the soreness and discomfort has come way down in the last 10 days, enough that it can be managed easily with a Tylenol once in a while as needed rather than every 4-6 hours.

  • Really surprised at how quickly having smaller breasts has become normal and not-weird. I had 2 lbs of tissue removed, and am currently wearing a 38D from my 32H. The band size increase seems strange, but it's mostly for comfort. The larger band sits well with the swelling and doesn't press against the anchor incisions, and since everything is still high and tight (apparently will fall into a more natural shape in another 3-5 weeks), I don't actually need much (if any) support, so the larger band doesn't ride up. I am still curvy and hourglass shaped, but not top-heavy: this is exactly what I hoped for.

  • My posture has improved exponentially since surgery, which I noticed immediately (like 12 hours immediately). I no longer hunch over when I stand or sit, which is the most brilliant thing in the world. I used to hate walking by windows and mirrors because I would always notice how hunched I was and try to straighten up, though inevitably in a few minutes my efforts would falter. Now it's the easiest, most effortless thing in the world to stand and sit straight: this is what people have commented most on, and the thing that has really made the most difference to me.

  • Getting tired of sleeping on my back, which I've been doing now for five weeks. I'm not a back sleeper, so it's been irksome. Hopefully in the next few I can go back to sleeping on my side.

  • Holidays were excellent and very relaxing. Our office was shut down last week so I had the whole week off to spend napping and visiting with family (not necessarily in that order).

  • Also: I have run out of TV to watch! All that spare time off work I had in December completely depleted my backlog.

    I am up to date and and have enjoyed such shows as Mad Men, Fringe, Dexter, Chuck, How I Met Your Mother, Big Bang Theory, Bones, Castle, Criminal Minds, White Collar, Doctor Who, Community and Sanctuary.

    Shows I'm not or no longer interested in watching include: Merlin (couldn't hold me), The Office (I have an embarrassment squick this show pings and can't watch it), True Blood (it got to weird and lost me) and Lost (meh).

    Suggestions for new shows to watch? They don't have to be *new* new, just new to me.

Day One Post-Op

I feel surprisingly good. Not nearly as much pain as I was prepared to take on, though that could just be my high quality drugs talking. Slept a lot yesterday, both at the hospital and at my parents' house after. Tired now, but was awake and mobile most of the day today.

The medical binder they sent me home from the hospital in came off at my surgeon's office today and I got a good look for the first time. Medical tape is still on over the incisions and things are swollen and a little lumpy in places right now but both the surgeon and I are very happy with the results.

But wow, what a difference!

My arms aren't constantly negotiating for space around my chest! Sitting up straight in chairs today has seemed almost effortless! I don't feel like I look droopy at all for the first time since high school! When I look at myself in the mirror wearing a tank top tonight I feel like it actually fits! I'm excited to go home later this week and try on the rest of my clothing and see how it fits and how different it might look.

Also excited to shower tomorrow, which my surgeon says is cool with the medical tape. Yay clean hair!

Christmas Cards!

Want a Christmas card from me? Leave a comment with your mailing address and I'll add you to my Christmas card list. And if you feel left out because you don't celebrate Christmas but still want a card, let me know what kind of seasonal card you'd prefer and I'll do my best to track one down.

Don't feel you have to send on in return. I like heading to the post office with a thick handful of cards to mail: it gives me warm fuzzies. :D

Comments screened for obvious reasons. I'll unscreen any without mailing addresses if/as they come in.


Impending Surgery, or Eep! *Covers Eyes*

Out of curiosity I tried to watch a couple of online videos showing the breast reduction surgery process, the active word there being "tried".

I'm not generally a super squeamish person, but wow I got maybe three seconds in and had to turn it off. I just can't watch it, not yet. Maybe after, once it's done and I'm mostly healed. Not now. I know how the procedure works and can talk comfortably about it in abstracts and diagrams on napkins, but seeing actual video is too much right now.

There are many, many reasons why I'm anxious about the surgery but one of them is definitely the surgery part. I've never had surgery before and only been under general anesthesia once. I expect post-op pain, but pain is one of those things that's difficult to quantify and even more difficult to predict. Will it be the worst pain I've ever experienced? Maybe. I've never broken a bone or anything horrible, so it's entirely possible.

I've been reading some other people's blogs and watching some YouTube vlogs from other women who've had the procedure, and I'm thinking pretty seriously about a trip to Value Village for some dirt cheap button-up and zip-up tops that I'd be okay with ruining. I knew I would need something the first night since apparently the drains go right into the gauze (oh the drains, how excited I'm not about those) and I was warned leakage is normal, but even after they get taken out most people end up bleeding a little through the stitches. So probably I should stock up on things cheap and comfy.

I also need to find a couple of light support sports/leisure bras without wires for as cheap as possible since they might (will?) get ruined. I know roughly what size-ish I'm going down to, but it's a tricky purchase to make since post-op there's going to be a ton of swelling. Sooooo... smaller than I am now, but probably larger than what I'm going down to...?

Based on the day-by-day vlogs I've watched (and I am so thankful to each and every woman who posted them because knowing what to expect -- or at least having a better idea of what to expect -- is helping with the anxiety), it seems the first two or three days are the worst. I'm probably not going to get much sleep the first night between pain and having to sleep upright. Thinking I might spend the first couple of nights camped out on the comfy recliner in my parents' basement rather than the guest bedroom.

Also not super excited for the car ride home from the south side of Edmonton where the surgery will be back to St. Albert post-op. Apparently road bumps are no fun at all.