June’s Over? Julying

July is Disability Pride Month, celebrating the prohibition of discrimination against people with disabilities. There are and have been many important and beloved people with disabilities in my life. No one should be treated as second-class citizens, and – especially during the pandemic – their marginalization has really become more and more evident to me. Though everyone is fighting a battle, you don’t need to know someone’s story to treat them with basic humanity dignity. Life lesson for interacting with people in general: Don’t be a dick. Simple.

New Orleans is beautiful at night.

Most of my time recently has been taken up learning and reading recovery stories. I have a surgery coming up soon and with it two weeks of bed rest. Six weeks of general rest and recovery. I wouldn’t be half as nervous about it (since it is something I’ve been fighting to have for years), but my husband and best friend will both be four thousand miles away. I will still have my family and don’t want to diminish how invaluable I know my mother with be, but still. I may end up writing more about this once it’s done and I’m stuck in bed, but for now these sparse details are all I will say on the subject.

TLDR: Surgery: good and necessary. Separation from loved ones: bad.

Another shot of New Orleans from the steamboat

Three days ago, I officially hit my weight loss goal. I was 0.2 pounds away in early June then bounced up and down during the wedding week. In 2022, I lost 55lbs. I did it by restricting my calorie intake to 1500 per day. The app My Fitness Pal App helped me keep track of my calories and even made adjustments for days I went to the gym (because obviously I’d need more calories on workout days). I didn’t do anything crazy at the gym. Just walked on the treadmill on full incline. I started at 20 minutes at speed 2. Now I can do 45 minutes at speed 3. That’s it. No cross fit or anything too strenuous. I have bad knees, flat feet, and walk incorrectly, so that’s hard enough. Really, with how much I sweat, it looks like I’ve been doing cross fit by the time I leave the gym. My friend has started carrying a spray bottle of cleaner in her car for days she drives because I leave a pool of sweat behind on her seat. Hahaha! Gross. I’m really happy about this achievement. I’m the slimmest I’ve been in 10+ years and the healthiest. My energy levels are up, and my blood pressure has gone down into the normal range. My BMI still says that I’m overweight, but whatever. I’m not trying to be a supermodel. I’m trying to be healthy. And I think I’m finally getting there.

Scrambled egg whites in a Carb Smart tortilla with fried mushrooms and grape tomatoes

Here are this week’s suggestions for fun and enriching activities:

  • Relaxing Music: “Watermark” by Enya. You can listen to it here or find the album on Amazon* or streaming.
  • Soothing Sounds: “Relaxing Rain & Soothing River Sounds Near a Beautiful Waterfall in the Rocky Mountains” by Relax Sleep ASMR. I like how the title tells you exactly what you need to know.
  • Puzzle: Sudoku. You can find the game here along with everything you need to know about how to play.
  • Movie: Howl’s Moving Castle (2005). You can find it on Amazon* or on a streaming service. As I’ve said before, the book and the movie are very different. Familiarity with one won’t really spoil the other.
  • Creative Prompt (write, draw, paint, sculpt, photograph, or collage something based on this subject): festival
  • Mythology Lesson: The Muses. Read about them here, and do a little further research if the mood takes you!
  • Short Reading: “The Arabian Nights.” You can read it here, or you can listen to it on YouTube.

Try one per day or everything every day, and you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a more vibrant daily round.

*These are Amazon Affiliate links.

What’s in your wallet? I mean, How do you work toward or maintain good health?

The Harp Players by Giroust

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