Liralen Li (liralen) wrote,
Liralen Li

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Regaining Weight

One of the interesting things was that when I first started down the competitive path, I lost about 15 pounds of weight from my high of about 172 lbs, during the worst of the stressful days of moderating. Then, over the course of the six months of competitive, I got down to about 150 lbs.

I'm not a small woman to begin with, I'm 5'9", and I did and still do construction, so 150 was kind of frightening. The only time I'd ever hit that weight since my late 20's was also during my moderatorship, when I'd gone four months on extreme stress and got to the point where I came down with vertigo before I could actually stop and rest for a week. I regained my weight fairly quickly with actual sleep and food.

I did that again.

Within two weeks of quitting competitive, where I was cooking again, lifting again, and went from doing about 3000 steps on average per day to doing about 7500 a day now, I got back up to 155. Now I'm at 158 and steady with the usual daily fluctuations as I had been before all these adventures. The interesting thing is that even with the weight gain, I still fit into my skinny clothes, so I suspect that a lot of the weight regaining was mostly muscle mass that had atrophied when I wasn't moving around all that much and forgetting to eat. I went from getting breathless just going for a walk to being able to do my usual three mile walk easily.

It's been a relief to regain my shape so painlessly. I rode my bike to a meeting today at a coffee shop that's just a mile and a half from my house, a ride I used to do without even thinking about it, and during the winter, it was an effort. Today it was a breeze, and I went quickly enough to get there in just ten minutes.

I'd marked the weight loss with the gaming, and liken it to someone going into Fey lands and eating only of the not-real food there. There was no substance to actually sustain my real life presence, and so that presence waned. The other interesting half of that equation has to do with a friend of Irish descent who is a recovering anorexic, who thinks my usual weight is just horrifyingly huge; but she also can't lift a half a package of roofing material and bring it up a ladder onto a roof, either. So it's all relative.

Creativity and the Other Lands, the walk over the lines of what is real and what is not, and coming back to tell the story. I lost weight when I was in the throes of writing with Allie as well, so it's familiar territory for me, it seems.

I do that. It's one of those obsessive things that I'm coming to grips with, that ability to lay aside my life for a while for something I care passionately about that only pulls me further away from reality for a while. And it becomes all-consuming, sometimes to the detriment of my health and relationships, but only to a point. In a way, I have to thank the people who made it easier to leave the team, as in all reality, they've helped me reclaim my life.

I'm painting again. I'm starting to write here again in preparation to being able to write at all again.

The painting has been kind of interesting, as I got juried into the Longmont Studio Tour on a whim of a long-time artist friend of mine. She came up to me one day and said, "I think you should show with me in the Studio Tour. I have plenty of space, and we have completely contrasting art styles, and it would make for good diversity in what people saw when they came."

Mimi is an abstract painter in oils. I'm utterly concrete in my watercolors and ink paintings. It amuses Jet immensely that Mimi uses a very concrete medium in order to do abstracts and I use materials that normally would be associated, in Western Art, with abstracts in order to do very precise concrete paintings.

And I went through the process of getting juried into the show, which was amusing in and of itself. I had to submit works on time, and have them examined and judged in, which seems to be something of a threshold for a lot of the local artists. They say that the work has to match a set of criterion to be good enough for the Tour. I've been painting long enough, though, that I had no qualms about it, and there was no trouble with it at all. So I'm glad I cleared that, and quite a few people congratulated me on that. So that was interesting to realize that I'd passed a threshold without even really knowing it was there.

The Tour requires ten hours of volunteer work, if you don't pay another hundred and fifty dollars in entry fees. I had the time, so I figured I'd do that work rather than pay the money. Given that they had jobs in marketing and outreach, things that I've done in the past, it was pretty simple to sign up for those committees, go the meetings, and I think I'll be well past that with some of the copy they want me to write. There was one other lady interested in the wording for the brochure, so we met today at that coffee shop to talk it over. She wrote the bulk of one area, and I'm asking another artist about the blurb he wants for the "Featured Artist" blurb in the pamphlet.

It is fun meeting other artists, and asking about mediums. So much can be told by what they choose to work in. Cindy, the lady that was also doing the writing, was a graphic artist who went and did technical support work, and then retired in order to do travel photography and to explore all kinds of art mediums, mostly visual. She says she can't stop at just one, so she does pastels as well, both abstract and concrete. She was envious of me, who was able to concentrate on just one medium. She did a lot of kinds of painting, drawing, and loves doing portraits of people and birds.

I didn't even try to tell her about the crazy quilt of Things I Try For Fun. *laughs*

But it was really great to just get to meet her.

Another of the ladies that was at two of the meetings is a kind of engineering artist who makes 3D things out of Stuff She Finds. She's also a fiber artist who did a lot of spinning in the 80's, too, so she and I traded stories about spinning the grease, and sheep to shawl contests, and how these youngsters these days have it easy buying rovings off of Etsy... *laughs and laughs* And commiserating over when it was impossible to find lace yarn in a yarn shop, and the only way to get it was to make it yourself. That was really fun.

It does mean that my fiber arts may get a showing along with my paintings. There are a few things that I'm making now, almost compulsively, that will be ready in time for September.

Yes, my hands aren't really getting that much better, yet. I'm still using them too much, but I'm using them differently than before. The tendons aren't really getting that much better, but the musculature that's supporting my hands, shoulders, and arms is actually getting better with the change in usage patterns. My chiropractor remarked that I was getting a lot stronger, which jived with my weight gain being more muscle than anything, so that was useful data.

The bees are doing well. They've built four frames full of honey and brood already, and have gone through nearly six quarts of sugar water and a huge pollen patty. They're busy still, and happy and the workers are all gung-ho and flying around in clouds.

I made a mild mistake and tried to move their hive overnight without doing the right thing to get them to orient on the new position; and I realized my mistake when I saw the huge cloud of workers coming in to try and find the hive in its old position. I really needed to keep them in the hive through a day or two, and then let them out in the new area with branches across the entrance so that it would look different and they'd have to maneuver around and possibly trigger a "the tree the hive was in fell down and so we have to figure out where it moved to" response to reorient and figure out where it was.

I moved the hive back, in broad daylight, without any protection, and the field bees were so relieved at getting their home back, they were bashing into me and crawling all over me in their haste to get back inside. No stings at all. And I'll do it better next time and when the mornings aren't so cold. A few of the field bees had come back and landed on the ground in front of where the hive 'should have been' and were in their cold slow-down state because in the shadows it was so cold they couldn't move until the afternoon sun hit them again. The advice about letting them circle to find out where the hive had gotten to might have worked if they'd been able to fly, still.

As it was, though, I panicked and just moved everything back, and they're doing all right again. The hive, though, is also gaining weight, in terms of honey, brood, and pollen. The new bees should be coming in three more weeks, if the queen is laying well, and given how eager they were to get back, she's probably doing just fine.

So things are progressing, and my days are starting to fill with stuff I need to do. Jet is finishing his sophomore year tomorrow, so he'll be out of school, and we have some plans for the summer. The first will be a trip to Ashland, Oregon, to celebrate Marina's graduation from high school, and the whole Rostyki clan will be gathering. That should be fun, as we're doing it as a road trip, too, and exploring as we go, in the usual way.

Jet's also discovered Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege, which is a fascinating five versus five more-realistic first person shooter, where a lot of the mechanics have to do with being able to shoot through and break down more flimsy materials, like drywall walls, banisters, and windows. The weapons and Operators are really fun, and the comms work I did in competitive really makes sense, now, to him, as the very things that we had to communicate in comp are the only things that makes sense to communicate in the game: position of the enemy and damage done. The game makes a lot of it far too easy, with room callouts located in the interface itself, a compass embedded in the HUD, and outlines of all your teammates available all the time, so you know exactly where they are and where they're going. *laughs*

"Back in my day..."

Overwatch's layout now has a great deal more appeal to me, given how much easier it now is to coordinate with your teammates. And it's interesting how much of what I learned is now applicable to so many other games and interfaces.

So I'm making progress, and really looking forward to a summer with my family, my art, and my friends.
Tags: art, bees, gaming, healing, health

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