Chaturanga? Uh, sure, I’ll take two

I saw these clouds hiking on Monday. Love this.

It’s fairly early on Saturday morning and it’s far too cold to venture outdoors just yet. It’s been a week of crazy snow, even crazier sunshine, and no certainty or pattern to any of it. I think that’s a metaphor for something. Probably yoga.

Speaking of which, I love yoga now! I’ve wanted to love yoga for some time. I took a power yoga class in college and wanted to die. We parted ways for a few years and I tried again. But, it’s never been a natural fit (like skinny jeans) and it’s usually a year or two between attempts. Well, since my knee injury and subsequent near-incapacitation, I warmed up to pilates, which is essentially yoga-light.

Now, I’ve moved on to the hard stuff. I did a 53-minute power yoga series (in my living room, of course) and felt my spine rubbing against itself in wholly new ways. It was so, so hard. It was downward dog to slow push-up to cobra to “Holy balls, are these skinny bastards trying to kill me!” and now I’m okay with it. I’m so sore in areas I didn’t know could be sore (armpit pain is a new one), but I felt like I accomplished something in getting through it at all.

I’m going to stick with it a few weeks and see how it goes. I’m far too chubby and oafish to consider a public class right now, but perhaps that could be a goal for some time down the line. The teacher at the college is named Sunny. I’m just not ready for that.

I think we all have a picture in our heads of who we want to be. Mine has always been the cool outdoorsy chick who looks great in lycra pants and a ponytail, who does yoga when she’s not rock climbing and running through the wilderness. It’s uplifting to feel even a smidge closer to that picture. It’s a shame it took me this long to get closer, but oh well.

In other news, gluten-free is suiting me. (So is making up catchy, rhyming phrases about being gluten-free.) Of course, I miss pizza. A lot. But, I feel tons better. My PMS was even better, which is probably way  too much information, but it’s true! Headaches are better. Depression is better. Stomach problems are pretty much gone. It’s a pain in the ass, but not the sort of pain in the ass that made me run to the bathroom far too often. This is the kind of pain in the ass that isn’t devastating to one’s work or social life. I’ll take it.

Gotta run! The wilderness beckons!

Schnauzers get a shave, gluten gets a pass

For the last couple weeks, I must have said “I should blog about that” about a million times….and still no blog post was written. Oops. Well, I’ve been busy. Sorta. Okay, not really at all, but busy always sounds better than lazy, which is the honest truth.

Laziness aside, here’s a bit of what I’ve, until now, failed to share:

Before grooming

• Home grooming. My too-shaggy dogs are again lean, mean, schnauzer machines thanks to an entire morning of washing, shaving, and clipping. It’s a long, long process full of threats and swearing (good thing dogs don’t understand English!), but it’s done for a few months and I couldn’t be happier. They look so handsome.

We tried out the new dog-o-mat in town (you bring the dog, they provide the washing supplies) and it worked out really well. For $20, they got to clean up the majority of the mess and I could go home to do the finish work on the legs and face. Not too bad. Plus, the owner suggested I go to grooming school because I did such a good job on the boys, which was a nice compliment.

After grooming

• I’m off gluten. A year ago, my real mom, who is always suffering from one ailment or another, was diagnosed with celiac disease after almost 50 years of stomach problems. I had always blamed her stomach problems on the fact she survived her 20s on Red Hots and RC, barfing up anything more substantial. However, with no such diet of my own and yet regular stomach problems, I wondered if maybe this was the one diagnosis in a dozen that might actually have merit.

I did some research and found that a lot of non-stomach symptoms are related to celiac, symptoms I’ve had for years. So, almost two weeks ago, I went gluten-free. The toughest parts have been breakfast, constant vigilance at the store (gluten is lurking in so many things!), and not relying on frozen meals when I get home from work too cranky to cook. In fact, “too cranky to cook” is no longer an option. I’ve made hot dinner every night since Jan. 31 (my life’s dream has been hot dinner) and it’s pretty amazing. I feel like such a grownup.

The one downside of going gluten-free is that I’m much less gassy. I’ve lost my primary source of entertainment, but it’s worth it when I can go through an entire workweek without complaining to everyone about one stomach problem or another. (Incidentally, what got me thinking about this was complaining to a coworker that my stomach hurt and she shot back, “Your stomach always hurts.” She was right. Others complain about stomach issues maybe once or a month or less. I was having issues most days of the week, though I never noticed it was abnormal until she said it. Ding ding!)

Though it is challenging to give up such a pervasive food group, I do feel better so far and I’ve read that it should continue to get better as I commit to this new lifestyle long term. I haven’t yet managed to find a way to eat out, since no restaurant will guarantee their food is gluten-free, though many have gluten-free menus online with a giant disclaimer. But, I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. I don’t eat out much anyway.

Safety first for these intrepid explorers.

• The first hike. Last Saturday, the cabin fever got too great and the boys and I took our first hike since Franken-knee. We only went about 5 miles, but the first mile was up a fairly steep grade and I thought for sure I was going to drop dead. It’s amazing how much fitness you lose in a month of very limited activity. My surgery leg is so skinny and flabby above the knee now; it’s going to take a lot of work to get the strength back. But, I’m on my way.

I was going to tell you all about scar massage, but I’m going to save that for another day. This post is already too long!

Scar massage. Such a tease!