The buttery sweet taste of victory

Last week, I was bested by a vending machine.

When my Elfin Crackers became lodged in the machine, my snack food guilt kicked in and I accepted that I was not meant to have Elfin Crackers. After all, I have three weeks (now two and a half) to lose 60 pounds for a wedding. Elfin Crackers are not on the plan.

I furthered this rare moment of resignation with an even rarer moment of good will, when I imagined that the next person to stare down that cold vending machine glass and hit D7 would be gifted with a free, second bag of delightful Elfin Crackers. Imagining a wave of good karma rippling through my thinner universe made me pretty happy.

Today, however, when I walked by the vending machine and saw that my Elfin Crackers were still there taunting me and dashing my hopes for karmic ripple, I lost all sense of mercy and good will.

Surprise, awe, and four packages of Elfin Crackers.

Those Elfin Crackers were going down and I didn’t care that it took me more than $3 to do it.

So, here I sit on a miserable Tuesday with my four packages of Victory Crackers, celebrating a triumph of human perseverance and loose change.

Vending machine, you will have many days. Today is not one of those days.

Chin down, shoulders back, boobs out

My name is Amanda and I have terrible posture.

After 32 years of shuffling around, unaware of my slumped spine and chicken head, my new physical therapist, Chris, opened my eyes and kicked my shoulders squarely back in alignment with my ass. It wasn’t pretty and, for the first three days, I felt like a combination of the Terminator and Jayne Mansfield. But, I think this invisible rod jammed up my butt is finally starting to pay off. I have significantly less shoulder pain, I feel a lot taller, and my stomach seems to have sucked itself in, which is thoughtful of it.

Of course, there have been some painful revelations along the way. For all my years of weightlifting, I’m surprisingly weak when it comes to keeping my body healthy and stable. My spinal muscles are shaky and lazy. All the stabilizers in my shoulders and hips are dodgy.  And, I couldn’t support my body weight if there was a box of Oreos at stake.

Such news has been hard to accept.

But, I’ve altered my routine at the gym and, for the last four weeks, I’ve hoisted nothing heavier than a 13-pound medicine ball. I’ve been squatting, lunging, jumping, and stepping. If we use Sweat Stain Size as the primary indicator, it appears I’m actually working harder. I suspect I’m well on my way to improving my shameful 2-inch vertical leap.

Remind me to tell you all about the weirdos I met at physical therapy. Yikes!

Have a great weekend!

The juju’s gone bad

If I never before believed in curses or bad juju, I may now. The last two weeks have been almost comical for how bad my luck has been. In fact, it’s been one mishap after another.

Here’s what happened:

• My shoulders went on strike. After years of abusive weight training and ignoring minor aches and pains, my shoulders (yes, both of them) finally screamed “Uncle!” and stopped working. It’s officially called Shoulder Impingement Syndrome, but that’s just a fancy way of saying I have a combination of bursitis, tendinitis, and ligament strains all at one time. (Did I mention it’s in both shoulders?) All upper body workouts have ceased, so I’ve been dividing my gym time between tons of cardio, plyometrics, and body weight exercises for my lower body. This change is perhaps the one good thing to come from Broken Shoulder Disease, but it is bumming me out to be somewhat weak and mealy on top.

I start physical therapy today, so I’ll keep you posted.

• I found a tick on my butt. Scratch that, it was sorta IN my butt. In the shower last week, I was scrubbing away, doing my due diligence, when I noticed what felt like a lint ball. I tugged on it and it didn’t move. I strained and craned, but was unable to see it, since it was just inside my butt crack, dead center. Almost immediately, I knew it was a tick. Thankfully, it hadn’t lodged in very long and, against official tick-removal recommendations, I yanked it out with my fingers. (There may have been an emotional outburst, as well.) It was traumatic. I blame those damn dogs.

When toe meets rock, the pudgy fall.

• I fell down a hill. While running with Erik last week on an old logging road near Enumclaw, I tripped on a rock and fell, scraping my right hand and knee. There was so much dirt packed in it that, when I finally got home and tried to clean it, mud and rocks were coming out, and it felt like gravel. So gross. Once it was cleaned, however, it took on a whole new level of gross when it began oozing yellowish funk for three or four days. I tortured everyone in my office with my ooze exclamations.

• I had two cavities filled. Swedish Fish, I wish I knew how to quit you.

• The new, super-cute guy at my gym is MIA. I shamefully admit I need a carrot to get me out of bed and moving at 4 a.m. For the last few weeks, that carrot has been a very fit, extremely smiley, young guy at my gym. He’s probably all of 26, probably married (all those ex-military guys are; I suspect they come out of the womb married), and completely adorable. Having him in the room helped ensure I put on a clean shirt every day, held in my gut, stood up straighter, and generally pushed myself not to look like wiener. Well, now that he’s missing (young, attractive guys can never manage to get out of bed that early on a regular basis), I’m loping around in a smelly shirt and not bothering to put on my eyebrows. Wiener.

So, that’s about it for now. Wish me luck at physical therapy. I’m a little nervous. I have to be there a whole hour and I have no idea what to expect. I brought workout pants just in case. Just in case what? Hmmm…I don’t know. Sprints? Haha!

Have a great weekend!