Friday, February 15, 2013

Bad, Bad Blogger

It has been forever since I wrote a post, and since the last post wasn't exactly a happy one, I thought I'd better slay the dragon and write a new post.  I had all of these good intentions of posting a race report from our 5k last Saturday, to talk about running, to talk about my new philosophy on weight loss....it just kind of honestly went to hell.  So, here I am to talk about those things, albeit a little late!  No pictures in this post, simply because I am too lazy to deal with it this time around, I just want to get a post down and out.

Life has been very difficult the last couple of weeks.  I do not want to talk about my job for a variety of very obvious reasons, but it's not been a good time lately, and I have found myself extremely stressed.  I can tell my blood pressure is out of control again, because I can literally feel it.  On a good day it would be difficult to handle, but when you are grieving, well...you wish you had a punching bag.  When something or someone you love very much dies, it quickly makes you realize who and what matters, and that's a very small core group of things.  My husband.  My family.  My amazing group of friends, who have overwhelmed me with thoughtfulness and kindness the last couple of weeks.  My health.  That's the shit that matters.  Unfortunately, sometimes the workplace becomes an all day director's cut of Office Space, where TPS reports and how many pieces of flair you are wearing is of DIRE importance to people 5 pay grades above you.  And it is a struggle, trying to give good face and play the game, while also trying to be who you are.  I know that was all very crunchy and philosophical, but that's what's going on, without giving too much away.

On to better things...last Saturday my husband and I both ran the Heart Breaker 5k.  It was the first race we've run together in a few years, so I was pretty excited he was doing it with me.  It was a very small, local race that I'd honestly never heard of, but it was about a 10 minute drive from our house!  I started that morning with an hour of Yin yoga, which really put my muscles and feet in a happy place.  Although it was brutal to get up early, I am going to have to try to make that a pre-race ritual.  It was a cold run, and a chilly 35 degrees, so having my muscles stretched and warmed like that ahead of time was a life saver!  So, two very cool things happened:  One, I actually PR'd!  I ran the 5k in 34:38, which was very exciting to me.  I hadn't run in like 2 weeks and thought I was going to suck for sure, but I actually was faster than normal.  I think I am just a race person, sometime about it actually puts some speed in my step.

The second cool thing to happen was that my husband, who has not trained at all, was only 2 seconds behind me at the finish!  I was so incredibly proud of him, his goal was to run the whole race and not take walk breaks, and he accomplished that.  I can't imagine if he trained, he would definitely be blowing past me at the finish line!

So I mentioned I had a new philosophy on weight loss.  So, I decided that I am going to stop tracking my food, counting calories, and to weigh very infrequently.  I know that may sound crazy and like I am not being serious about being healthy, but I discovered that it's actually going to be the healthiest option for me.  I have been pretty religious about tracking, even if I don't post about it here.  Even when I've had more than I should, I track it.  It has gotten to the point that it's made me exhausted and miserable.  I've been so focused on that, I've forgotten how to have joy and focus on running, which is unacceptable.  That's all I do all day at work, is try to hit numbers, get a certain percentage of this or that, and constantly grade myself for people above me.  Then to top that off, I'm doing it in my personal life too?  And don't get me started on the scale.  It never fails, every week I'm low, but weigh day will be up 2 pounds above where I was for the rest of the week.  And comically, would be back down to that low weight the day after weigh day.  I've got enough shit to be upset about and feel bad about without adding to it, so I am going to weigh once a month, IF I feel like it.  As I told my friends, it's not rocket science.  You know if you are losing weight or not.  Your shit is either fitting/baggy, or it's not.  I am going to eat normal meals, which due to tracking I have a pretty good sense of portions/calories and live my life.

I can't tell you how free I feel and what a burden has been lifted after I stopped tracking.  I've been doing pretty well with food too, and actually find that I'm eating less.  My pants are fitting good, and I feel like I look good so, that is good enough for me right now.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Natasha

I remember the first time I ever saw you.  You were tiny, black, covered in mange and bald spots.  You had a bald spot on the top of your head like Friar Tuck.  I thought you were the most awkward, strange looking puppy I had ever seen.  You fit in my hand, and you seemed unsure of what was happening.  I took you home, and named you Natasha to spite a guy I was dating at the time.  It was a name I said I liked once, he said it was ugly and stupid.  I thought it was beautiful and dignified.

Baby Tasha


I remember giving you a bath to try to soothe your skin, and you protested loudly.  When I was done, I wrapped you in a towel and cuddled you close to me.  You immediately quieted, and I sat with you for a long time, holding you close to me.  My parents were angry I took in another dog, but I didn't care.

I remember you growing into an awkward gangly dog with a head too small for her body, a neck like a Shakespeare collar, and skinny stick legs like a colt.  You were black, but had odd, random patches of chestnut colored fur around your neck and in your tail.  You were hyper, hated to be petted, always on the go.  You liked to tease the other dogs into chasing you, and you tormented any animal that dared come near our yard.  You cornered an armadillo into a shallow hole until I finally had to intervene.  You barked at the cows.  You killed a cat, and when I tried to step in the middle, I got a lifelong scar on my leg from the most pissed off cat in the history of cats.  You were frustrating.  You tore up things.  Everyone said you were ugly, strange, impossible to love.

I remember when I moved to Oregon and decided to take only two dogs with me.  You were one of the two because I knew no one but me wanted you.  There were times you frustrated me so much that I barely wanted you.  I thought you were unadoptable.  I thought that I took you into my home, so you were my responsibility for life.   Hours after landing in Oregon, you got in a fight with the other dog, setting a lifelong precedent.  You loved her, you wanted her to play, you teased her mercilessly.  She lashed out.  I broke up fights weekly, and I was so frustrated I wanted to give you away.  You continued to tear up things.  You stole an entire loaf of French bread from the counter and ate it.  You continued to fight the other dog.  Several years later, you lost a fight with her, and lost your right eye.

I remember our relationship changing when you lost your eye.  I was devastated that you lost your eye.  I locked the other dog away from you, and I let you sleep with me at night for awhile.  I remember finding it strange to see you calm, and for you to allow me to cuddle you and pet you as you healed.  I remember finding compassion and patience for you, and realizing that you were always playing second fiddle.  You so badly wanted my attention and approval.  I remember being so proud at how well you adjusted to being blind in one eye.

I remember you meeting Eric.  You were indifferent, nervous, not used to men.  You did not want to be petted by him.  Slowly you grew to like having him around, and he became partial to you.  He was the first person who had ever preferred you to the other dog.

Best pals, and one of my most treasured pictures
 I remember you grieving when the other dog died.  You looked so sad, and you moped for a really long time.  I remember being amazed at how forgiving you were, considering how many times you had fought, had your food stolen by her and generally been rebuffed by her.  Even so, you grieved for that mean dog for weeks.

I remember the next four years with you, and how you matured into the most delightful little dog anyone could have.  Now that you were alpha dog and did not have to worry about fights, you relaxed.  I vividly remember the first time you got on the couch and cuddled next to us for over an hour, readily accepting us petting you.  You begged for treats shamelessly, constantly.  Your head tilted adorably when we ate things that were crunchy, or if we said "treat" or "go".  You stared at us mercilessly while we ate dinner.  You would tear ass down the stairs, to the point I feared that you would break your legs.  You relished me coming home from work and hiding, then jumping out and scaring you.  You loved nothing more than having me hug you, pet you and love on you.  You constantly made us laugh.  And how I grew to love you.  You went from a responsibility, to my favorite dog I had ever owned.

An alcoholic little dog who loved her beer

I remember you aging, but not losing that puppy like enthusiasm, that gleam in your one eye.  Your face began to turn white, but you still played tug of war fiercely.  You galloped down the stairs.  You relished short walks.  You begged to go in the car, and then bayed nervously during the destination.  I never saw you as anything less than cheerful, happy.  You grew hyper attached to me.  You did not like me leaving.  You followed me everywhere.  You loved me, and I loved you with abandon.

From nervous yard dog to a loving couch potato

I remember the day you got sick.  I knew you were sick because you looked sad.  There was no happy gleam, no begging, no head tilts.  You couldn't get up.

I remember knowing in my heart that these were our last days together.  I fed you fistfuls of your favorite treats, Bil Jacs and could not stop petting you.  I fed you anything you wanted.  I wept until I had to hold ice compresses to my face to keep the swelling down.  I sobbed that I would rather have cancer and die than have you spend a moment feeling pain.  I got the test results, and I had to make the worst decision I ever had in my life.

At 1:30 pm on Sunday, February 3rd, I lost my little black dog.  My court jester, my head tilter, my underdog, my loyal little dog who didn't have a malicious bone in her body.  A dog who loved wholeheartedly, who was reckless, and who will NEVER be topped.  A day will not go by that I don't miss your head tilts, your dissatisfied noises if a treat wasn't produced quickly enough, your tucked butt runs when you got excited, and your funny way of walking.  I won't forget how you went from a dog who didn't want me to touch her, to a dog who would bury her face into my arm (usually to wipe eye boogers on me, but that's ok), or constantly cuddle as close as you possibly could to me on the couch.  I won't forget how you would frantically wave your paw at me, readily give us high fives, and your insane obsession with bread, beer and Bil Jacs.

I love you Tasha.  I always will.


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Waiting

I just wanted to give you guys the heads up that my next post may not have happy news, and it also may mean a time gap in posting.

We took Natasha to the vet today, and we did not get a positive report.  They did x-rays, which showed that her heart is enlarged, and also that she has a large mass near her spleen.  The vet is sending the x-rays to have them assessed by the radiologist to confirm what he thinks is going on, but he told us that we should be prepared that the outcome is something that we're not going to be able to fix.  He is supposed to call me tomorrow with the test results.

To say that I am heart broken and devastated is an understatement.  Natasha is my baby, my little court jester, and the ultimate underdog.  To think that we may only have a matter of hours or days left with her makes me want to punch a hole in the wall.  I suppose there is still a chance that the x-rays are not as severe as the vet originally thought, but unfortunately I have been through this situation before.  When you've loved a dog and had them for their entire life, 14 years to be exact, you know when they are not well.

I hope to have an update for ya'll one way or another tomorrow.


Just wanted to leave off with this picture for now.  We both look so happy in it, and I've been so blessed and happy to have her in my life, no matter what happens.