Adjusted Reality

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” – Mark Twain

Month: May 2023

Taking a break from writing to write

I have been pouring much of my spare time towards goal #5, but I wanted to take a break from making those words to make these below.

Goal #1 – Weigh 178.0 lbs by the end of the month

Well, I did it once (on Thursday), but my average is still a bit above that.

It’s a bit slow going. I’ve had a few… indulgences. Sometimes you have to celebrate good news before you can share it (and probably be too busy) at Trulucks.

And then, you know when you have one of those days where you just can’t even? I had a few of those early in May. I managed to get my shit together pretty quickly, but I took two full days off workouts, didn’t track my food for three days for the first time since the cruise, and just kind of let myself be okay with not aggressively working towards my goals for just a few moments in time. It was enough to get back on track instead of starting a huge rebellion similar to 2020. And 2021. And early 2022.

Calorie Deficits: Week 1: ?? (I’m going to guess about 0, honestly) Week 2: 212 Week 3: -397

I haven’t been perfect this month, but I’ve been pretty good. And that’s way better than giving up. Things are still going in the right direction. This last week being a bit over is just a gentle nudge to me to stay the course.

#2 – Strength Over Stamina

Another place where I’ve been good but not perfect…. please refer to my garmin calendar.

+1 hour today for the walk I haven’t taken yet but totally intend to!

Here’s some hurrahs:

  • I’ve been quite consistent with my swimming, 750y in 14:30-ish minutes for 3 weeks in a row. Improving this isn’t even really in my top 10 things right now, so I’m just happy I’m in the water.
  • Staying consistent with strength training 3x week. Seven months now, forever to go!
  • FTP test done today, and survey says: 182W. My watts are finally higher than my lbs! 🙂 It was the first time doing the ramp test, I think I have some improvement left (5-10W max) just by knowing what to expect next time.
  • I’ve done two bricks this month. Neither were magical (read: runs were 10 min/miles, one day was too hot/late and one day my legs felt crappy) but I am optimistic about what I might be able to do with a little race day magic (and caffeine).
  • I’ve been pretty decent with recovery. I’m rolling/stretching 3-4x week and using the massage boots and ice almost every night. All the parts feel like they work most of the time and I know what to do about them when they don’t before it becomes a huge problem (and that’s proper recovery).
  • Just running in general is a ‘yay’. It’s been really excellent this month. I tend to have to run just a few minutes after I’m out of bed and haven’t had the time to try a workout when my body and brain feel alive yet, but it feels like there’s good stuff in there if I did!
I can’t believe we’ve had wildflowers for soooo long this year!

And the boooos:

  • I haven’t ridden my TT bike outside again since the end of April and not sure I’ll get a chance before the race since it’s in a week.
  • I also haven’t been swimming in open water since Kerrville last year. I will make sure I do this before the race since I need to see if my swim skin fits now. 🙂
  • No practice tri (swim/bike/run) and I am pretty sure I have missed my chance to do this before the race.

#3 Not Just Ignoring My Surroundings

Here is one reason why I blog about my goals. I wrote some excuses about not being able to prioritze decluttering the bedroom, it feels too big, I can’t make myself do this with my precious little free time. And then I asserted I’d be happy with just organizing my jewelry box area and the drawers underneath it. Then, I realized I was about to have my weekly chat with my parents and I could totally multitask.

An hour and a half later, we’d caught up on the week, and that section is clean. I know I’m never going to have a lot of motivation to do this stuff, and if I wait for some mystical force to make me ready, I will be LONG DEAD before that happens. Sometimes, things just take doing.

I will now say that I’d like the next very small section (the rest of my jewelry and hair stuff) done by the end of the month. It may take the same amount of time or less.

#4 Relaxing Hobbies

  • Painting: nope. I have been absolutely sucked into my novel trying to barrel towards a full first draft. I’m cool putting this one on pause until later on because of that.
  • Blogging: here’s Brussels – and waiting on the camping blog until I edit those photos
  • Photo editing: I’m currently in the middle of Day 4 of Paris, and I know I’ll finish that by the end of the month. I may pause before the Louvre on Day 5 as it has over 1000 pictures to sort through and hop over to something else for a while.
  • I have played some guitar, but definitely not 3x week. It’s an afterthought, not a habit.
  • Meditation – I’ve done it more days than I haven’t, but I’m thinking about 4x week. I think that’s where I’m settling now and just can’t bring myself to do it every morning like I used to.

#5 Write Stuff

I’ve spent almost every moment of free time on this that I can without being a complete antisocial a-hole (and maybe treading the line there the last weekend or two, sorry Joel!). I’m at 65k words and climbing, and I’m beginning to write what feels like the ending of book one. The last words in my draft are “F$%k. We’re running out of time” (yeah, the book is definitely PG-13 right now). I’m excited when I think about the story, but not when I read the words. In my guts, I know it will get there, but I need the crappy first draft done first. I need to know the shape before I can really mold the clay. So, I am racing my way laying out the story and will be SUPER excited to just noodle and noodle and noodle with the fiddly bits once I’m there. Then, I’ll have to set some boundaries on how much I do that before I let in a small audience of readers. I also haven’t done any of those exercises the writing books say to do, so I may do that too.

But first, I need to have the words down. I don’t think I’ll type “the end” before May 31, but I also don’t think I’ll be too far off.

So, yet again, goals for the rest of the month, short as it may be:

  • Track every day and try to bring myself back to 1200 + exercise calories consistently to see how close to 178.0 I can get.
  • In this order: open water swim at least once (must), ride my tri-bike outside (would be nice), do a practice tri (highly unlikely), then go see what I can do at my first race in a long time where I feel like maybe I can actually kind of… race.
  • Clean out my jewelry/hair area of the vanity.
  • Play more guitar, at least a few times before the end of the month.
  • Keep plugging away at the book towards a finished rough draft.

Ten days left, let’s go!

Brussels: Un Grand Place

Our day in Brussels was an afterthought, but an afterthought I’m very very glad we had!

When we looked at train trips from Koln to Paris, many of them stopped in Brussels. Joel started looking for an itinerary that gave us a few hours to explore. I decided to take it even further and got us a very nice hotel to stay in so we wouldn’t have to lug our luggage around. The train trip was extremely uneventful in the best way possible, and we were in Brussels mid-morning. Our hotel let us stash our luggage for a few hours, and we went to go play!

We wandered around a little bit, and then found a cute little Italian place to eat, complete with a house cat that lived upstairs. We split a delicious salami and olive pizza and a pretty rainbow salad for lunch. This may have been my favorite salami pizza of the trip. And considering I had many contenders for favorite salami pizza during this trip, I have no idea why I may have gained weight during it… it’s a mystery.

Once we were fueled for the day, I led us to the Grand Place, which was something the internet said we couldn’t miss. Well, sure, you definitely can’t miss this!

After gawking at the plaza for an appropriate amount of time, we wandered back through the streets and noted a multitude of adorable waffle shops. Some were…. themed.

Why so many phalli? Well, it’s in hommage to THIS GUY, the Manneken Pis. He’s the town mascot.

After some more wandering though pristine streets with beautiful buildings, we found a very nice garden and relaxed here for a few minutes.

The backpacks grew heavier and check in time was near, so we headed back to the Warwick and spent a bit of time in the room. I worked for a bit, then I took a nice, long, relaxing bath in our tub.

After this much-needed recharge, we headed back out in search of food and drink. The brew pub kitty corner to the town’s mascot called our name, and one of the three outdoor tables were unoccupied. It was kismet!

Since we had an excellent seat, Joel resolved to have a sampler of each of the taps. I tasted a few and then stuck to my favorites. We couldn’t pass up a Belgian waffle in Belgium, so I retrieved late-afternoon snack for us- we passed on the phallic variety and instead partook of one with caramel, chocolate, and whipped cream.

It was just as delicious as it looked. After two weeks in Germany drinking very light beers, the ABV in Belgium snuck up on us. Around sunset, we started the search for something to soak up all the beverages.

We were looking to try a restaurant Joel picked out, but they were reservation-only with just one spot available hours later. The need for food was imminent, so we wandered back to the Grand Place to watch the last vestiges of light disappear behind the impressive buildings.

Right there was a restaurant with an expansive menu that looked yummy, so we found a table.

We started with a charcuterie board, and then split a beef stew and fish and chips.

Because, Europe, both actually came with the chips as a side dish. Beef stew for proof.

The view did not suck. After a leisurely dinner enjoying the perfect weather and gorgeous scenery, we retired to our hotel and crashed HARD.

…because we did that, we forgot to buy our train ticket to Paris the night before. This resulted in us waking up, realizing we needed to get going NAOW because the only train trip option remaining left in 30 minutes. There was bit of drama with stops and missed connections when we should have had a very quick straight shot. What could have taken 2 hours took almost 8.

Was it worth it for one night in Brussels? You bet your Grand Place it was!

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