Operation: Get It Together

It doesn't feel like anything too sinister is happening, despite the date. Mostly, I'm just happy it's Friday. That said, it is quite possible that I'm getting a(nother) cold. I blame my boss who, for several days, leaned over my desk sounding increasingly like a man with a five-pack-a-day habit, saying, "I don't think it's a cold." Um...don't you? Well, I do. Please get out of my office. He gave in and is now at home in bed, but last night I began to feel the sneaky symptoms in my own head and throat. I spent three bucks on a mere twelve ounces of healthful juice, so perhaps that will fend it off. C'mon virus. Three dollars is a lot for juice. Mind you, I was just sick three weeks ago. That's too much sick. I object.

Trying to be less susceptible to every damn sneezy thing that makes its way through the building is on the agenda. There are quite a few things on the agenda, in fact.

The Outside
Lately, I am cutting a figure a bit more like a Renaissance nude than is currently fashionable. (I know, I know. Body image, etc.) Were I going to be spending most of my time reclining in the altogether in pastoral scenes, surrounded by cherubim or similar, it would be okay. Under those circumstances, I'd say I look pretty good. However, many of my clothes do not currently fit me. Since circumstances (and chilliness) dictate that I do have to wear something every day, that is problematic. So. Either invest in a new wardrobe of flowing Renaissance garb, or try to whittle myself back to my erstwhile silhouette. I chose B.

Theoretically, this plan should involve exercise. That is the hardest part for me, so it remains aspirational. Meanwhile, I am trying to go for oatmeal for breakfast (note that anything for breakfast is a novelty) and salad for lunch. Dinner is such a random affair already that no sensible guidelines are being applied other than "try not to eat pasta. Or pizza. Even though you totally want to."

So far, I'm pretty excited about the oatmeal. It turns out to be pleasant to have the first several hours of my day not marked by near starvation. I am not very enthusiastic about the salad, but that does not shock me. I am notoriously indifferent to salad, with the exception of the very plain one they used to have at Ti Couz, but that was due to magic dressing. Alas, Ti Couz has closed and taken its magic dressing with it. My feelings about salad are so lacklustre that I feel very virtuous for having had four so far (this is week one of this plan and I've not had lunch yet today). However, this attitude also makes me feel that having had four salads, my body should look entirely different. (In related news, this is also how I feel about walking for one hour or swimming for 20 minutes. "Wait. What? I look exactly the same. But I'm so tired. I'm confused.") To me, salad is the Food of Deprivation, but thanks to its pal oatmeal, at least I'm not a ravening wolverine when lunchtime rolls around so salad is at least possible. We'll see. I hope to be reunited with my pencil skirts by November.

The Inside
There are problems. There is, of course, the cold that I can feel settling in right this very moment, but there are other things too. Some pesky infections, some sleep-ruining allergies, some "I thought walking might be a good exercise option, but my whole right leg is a disaster" pain. I guess if I were a coat or something, I'd be discounted and sold "as is." Not tip top. Not shiny and new. I want to turn this around. Are you listening, salad? See what you can do.

Additionally, after being told by a surprising number of unrelated people that it has changed their lives, I made an acupuncture appointment. I am terrified of needles. I never get the flu shot despite yearly miserable illness. I don't even have pierced ears despite, you know, noticing that earrings are quite pretty. (I do have a full sleeve tattoo, but I was drunk at the time. No. I don't. That was a joke. I don't even have a very tiny butterfly inked onto my ankle. By the way, zero ink and piercings is about as alternative as you can get in San Francisco. I win.) A needly approach to health is pretty daunting for me, but Operation Get It Together demands I give it a try. It is not easy to get out of a rut, particularly if you have no upper body strength to speak of. It takes a lot of scrabbling around and falling back in a few times, but I'm working on it.

Among things that concerned me was the expense of acupuncture, but at lunch yesterday, a friend told me that he had had good results with sliding-scale community acupuncture centers in the East Bay. So I looked it up. There are several in San Francisco (unsurprisingly). What this seems to mean is that four people in one room receive simultaneous treatments. I am a little dubious about this; if I'm going to be full of needles I want it to be all about me and my special, special needs and problems. However, since I can't really afford to have it be all about me and my special, special needs and problems, I'll try it. Not the first time though. I'm paying the big money for the first time so I can blather on about all my fears and symptoms. I'm sure she'll enjoy that. Don't worry. I'll do it very quietly so as not to incommode the four porcu-people in the community room.

The Perimeter
In my high school, all girls took self-defense as part of the P.E. curriculum. Notably, during that section, the boys took wrestling. That strikes me as no less disquieting now as it did then. It always seemed like they were learning how to pin us to the ground while we were learning how to gouge out their eyes. Maybe slightly awry culturally and pedagogically. Anyway. I hated it. The scenarios we were given were scary and the actual physical combat stuff just embarrassed me. I was very shy, spindly, and not at all athletic. I don't actually remember any of the physical techniques we learned. For me, they didn't make me feel safer, but rather, doomed. If anyone ever laid a hand on me, it seemed obvious to me that I was going down.

I remember the feeling. I've carried it with me long past the moment where it would have been sensible to shake it off and learn a few physical defense responses. So far, I've been employing the other things I learned at 16: 1. Pay attention 2. Walk with authority. I do believe that these two things are half the battle. (I worry for all those earphone-wearing, Twitter-scrolling ladies I see everywhere.) However, it would be nice to stop carrying "doomed" as the inevitable next step if glaring doesn't work. And, as you know, I did recently watch ALL of Alias, aka Women Kicking Ass.

The Blog Bully had recently encouraged his wife to take a free safety class offered by Impact at Sports Basement (thanks, Sports Basement). She had been reluctant for many of the same reasons I have been reluctant, but had gone and been glad. So, when by the sheerest chance I happened upon a notice that the same class was being offered this week, I went. I'll be honest; my knee to the groin skills are only so-so, but just showing up felt important. Just showing up felt like claiming some sovereignty. Just showing up felt like taking one step away from doomed. There is a much, much longer more hands-on class offered by Impact. That'll be the next frontier.

For now, I think I need some more vitamin C. And maybe a nap.