Let’s Get Healthy: Day Twenty-seven (AKA So. Many. Cats) #romancefit

Time on Treadmill: 30 minutes.
Ennui Level: Parisian

Why is it that every time I get hot, sweaty, tired, grumpy, and don’t want to be touched (aka any time I’ve come in from working in the garage), that is the EXACT moment that all the cats in the house decide that they have to interact with Mom in some way? Jasmine does her best to surgically attach herself to me, Jemma headbutts my hand until I pet her, Jessie does the same thing until I let her snuggle into my left arm, Jeremy starts whining about God knows what, and JJ shouts because he’s now a shouty old man.

Never mind — they’re cats, it’s what they do. In fitness news, my butt is definitely getting smaller and firmer, but I’m also developing some aches in my left thigh that make it difficult to sleep on that side (and that’s my favorite site). I’m thinking about investing in one of those roller thingies to see if I can work the knots out that way. The weight is continuing to drop incrementally, and I can now fit back into my black jeans, which is a win. More importantly, I can do 25 minutes on the treadmill at a stretch, which means the endurance is definitely coming back, yay!

Let’s Get Healthy: Day Twenty-six (AKA Oh, God) #romancefit

Time on Treadmill: 30 minutes.
Tiredness Level: not even, and I really have to go to bed

We finished Stranger Things 3 tonight, and I think it’s the best season yet, which apparently runs counter to a lot of opinions out there. My reason for appreciating this season so much is that it captures the look and feel of 1985 to an amazing degree (I was in college this year, so yeah, I remember it quite well), plus I love the deepening of the relationships between the various characters, especially Eleven and Hopper. And hey, it brings back some very fun memories of wandering around malls, back before Amazon started delivering everything to your door.

I’m also kinda delighted with something that I just realized tonight — the quasi-romantic pairing of Hopper and Joyce is not only age equivalent, but Winona Ryder is actually four years older than David Harbour. Since I get a little sick of seeing actors cast with love interests twenty years their junior, this is a nice change of pace.

Oh, as for the title of this post, I need to get up tomorrow for an interview but I’m not really tired. This should go well!

Let’s Get Healthy: Day Twenty-five (AKA Why All The Jewelry, Nic?) #romancefit

Time on Treadmill: 30 minutes.
Sweat Level: positively awash

“Nic, you’re a romance writer. Why do you keep banging on about all this jewelry?”

I’m glad you asked. See, writing is my passion, and it’s what I’m going to be doing until the day I drop dead over my keyboard. That being said, my writing process involves various kinds of crafts, jewelry fabrication being one of them. I literally cannot “just write” — I’ve tried it, and I get so boxed up I can’t even find a glimmer of a way through the story. But if I split my time between writing and fabricating a pair of earrings, the writing goes great guns because while I’m working on the jewelry I’m also mentally going over the story, padding out places and whittling away at others. When I’m finished with the jewelry I take all of that back with me to the laptop and put it into my WIP.

Also, and I hate to be blunt here, but books make money across a period of time. A book I sell today won’t pay me royalties until three months from now (or one month if it’s Smashwords). Whereas a piece of jewelry will pay me today, if I can find a buyer. And to be honest things are kinda tight in Casa Cameron right now, so anyone who buys one of my pieces is literally helping to feed my cats. If you want to see more of my stuff (sterling and otherwise), please do check out my Etsy store — there are all kinds of nifty sparklies up there right now.

Let’s Get Healthy: Day Twenty-four (AKA Ho Ho Ho, Perimenopause) #romancefit

Time on Treadmill: 30 minutes.
Irritation Level: snappish, but I don’t want to kill anyone. Yet.

Mrgh. Uterus-related details coming up, so bail if that squicks you.

Okay, so we’ve all established that I’m in perimenopause. And one of the joys of that particular state is that your period decides to show up whenever it damn well pleases. 28 days? Oh, no, my sweet summer child, your cycle is now 33 days. Except when it’s 21 days, which appears to be happening now, except that all I’m getting is a dark brick reddish smear, not even enough to warrant a pad. I don’t know if this is my uterus’s new way of heralding an oncoming period (which was supposed to start on the 17th), or this is the beginning of the end, or what. I do know that I’m retaining a bit of water, I’m definitely irritable, and I want to eat my weight in doughnuts. No, I’m not going to do that, but I want to.

Okay, yeah, I had one doughnut because Ramón brought them home. But screw it, it’s not like I have them every day. And I have to admit, it was kinda overly sweet. My tastes appear to be changing along with this new addiction to cardio.

Oh, the picture? Yeah, I spent the afternoon and evening in the garage making an amethyst and sterling bracelet (the bracelet roundrels have a hammered texture, which is why they look sparkly) when I wasn’t walking on the treadmill. So go me, I guess.

Let’s Get Healthy: Day Twenty-three (AKA Get Thee Behind Me, Satan) #romancefit

Time on Treadmill: 30 minutes.
Leg pain: a solid five, but that’s due to the incoming weather patterns screwing with my joints. CBD oil and ibu should calm everything down by the time I get to bed.

Welp, I knew it was going to happen at some point. One of these days I would spend the day doing stuff, forgetting all about my treadmill friend, and when it came time to take a shower and hit the hay (yes, I take showers at night. I have to — I’ve been drenched in sweat this last week well past midnight) I’d think, “Ya know, I’ve been good. I haven’t missed a day yet. Skipping it one time won’t kill me, and maybe I can make it up tomorrow.”

And it wouldn’t kill me, it really wouldn’t. But … I’d know that I missed it. And that would make me feel, not bad or guilty, but like there was a gap in my day. Like, have you ever had a day when you know you forgot to do something, but you couldn’t remember what? It’s like that.

So I got my shoes on, got on the treadmill (I think I’m going to start calling him Chuck) and banged out thirty minutes to the Femmedance playlist. And now I am showered and about to hit the hay, so g’night.

Let’s Get Healthy: Day Twenty-two (AKA Dancing to Katy Perry) #romancefit

Time on Treadmill: 35 minutes.
Weight: lowest that I’ve been all year. Eat veggies with at least two meals a day, people. Trust me, it makes a difference.

It’s somewhat hot here in the clavicle of Texas, to the point where we got up to 100°F with a heat index of something like 112°F. What makes it worse is that we’ve been having a fair amount of rain (nothing like the Gulf Coast, of course — NOLA and the rest of Louisiana, you have my deepest sympathies) so it is muggy as hell here right now. We had yet another storm go by earlier in the evening, mainly off towards the west so we didn’t get much rain, and it cooled everything off a lot (thank you, Thor), but it left behind a buttload of moisture in the air. And since I was trying to cook hamburgers, kale chips, and sweet potato fries, that added even more heat to the kitchen. In case you haven’t already guessed, heat + moisture makes for a very soggy Nicola, as I sweat copiously at the drop of a hat.

So can someone tell my why, when I am sweaty, sticky, hot, cranky, and just want to get dinner MADE, dammit, that’s the time that 3/5ths of the J Crew decide that They Must Be With Mom? Jeremy was constantly under my feet, JJ was shout-meowing from the living room, and Jasmine tried to surgically attach herself to me yet again. Why? Why don’t they do this during the winter when I’m cold and would appreciate an extra bit of body heat? Why must they decide to pile on when all I want to do is climb into a cold shower and sluice down? Cats, I swear.

That being said, I’ve learned that when I’m hot and sweaty and just want to get the treadmill part over, it’s best if I leave off the podcast and switch over to music, specifically my Femmedance playlist. Say what you will about her, but Katy Perry has some extremely danceable hits, and sometimes that’s exactly what you need if you have to keep bopping along.

Oh, also, we got to Episode 3 of Stranger Things 3 tonight and my buddy Cinco and I agreed that Hopper could get it. You know he gives the best damn hugs.

Let’s Get Healthy: Day Twenty-one (AKA Does Sweating Count?) #romancefit

Time on Treadmill: 30 minutes.
Sweat Level: Dripping like a honeysuckle after the rain.

No, I’m serious about the post title. Because I spent about two hours in the garage tonight working on jewelry, unaware that it was 86°F with a heat index of 95°F, and I am freaking drenched. (Yes, I rehydrated and took electrolytes, and I feel okay, just moist.) I suppose all that really does is get rid of water weight, which is kind of a shame but whatevs. That being said, I have an awesome amethyst and silver bracelet in progress along with the blue jasper one, so there will be new pretties in the Etsy store soon along with the pendant and earrings I just put up today (I need to photograph two other earring sets tomorrow and add those as well — if you like garnet and silver, make sure you check them out).

In writing news, I did not write today because I kinda got distracted with the business side of the job — namely, doing promo, asking people what kind of swag they would prefer, talking with other writers about best promo methods, and looking into costs for things I can’t make like enamel pins. It did not help that the cats were crawling all over me today for reasons I still do not understand. I think tomorrow will be a bagel store writing day because I can get 3K cranked out there.

Let’s Get Healthy: Day Twenty (AKA Damn You, Stranger Things) #romancefit

Time on Treadmill: 30 minutes.

So I’m incredibly late to the party, I know this, but I’ve learned that if I watch Stranger Things on my computer I can walk for at least twenty minutes without a problem. So that’s what I’ve been doing — I finished season one over the weekend and now I’m halfway through season two and really, really enjoying this show (yeah, I know there are some issues with season three, so don’t spoil me).

I also *touches fingertips together guiltily* kinda want to write an 80’s romance with SF or spooky overtones? I mean, I was a teenager during that time so I should be able to dredge up the appropriate memories and come up with SOMETHING, you know? Seeing as I already have three books on the writing desk, however, I think I have to let the back brain muse on the idea for a bit and see what it comes up with.

Let’s Get Healthy: Day Nineteen (AKA Why Are You Numbering These?) #romancefit

That is a perfectly reasonable question. I’m numbering these posts for two reasons — number one, it lets me keep track of how many days I’ve been doing this, which is useful from a statistics and goal achievement point of view. Number two, I’ve decided that I’m going to do this for a full year. Well, hopefully longer than that, but I’m going to record my walking workouts for 365 days and see how I feel at the end of it.

I know that nineteen days on, it’s already sooooooo much easier to walk around. I can go shopping without mentally wincing at the thought of having to slog around Kroger picking up food, I can step down from a curb onto the road without being super cautious in case my landing leg decides to buckle, I can get up from a sitting position without having to haul myself up — hell, even climbing stairs has gotten easier. And I have to say, my calves look sorta amazing right now. I always put on muscle fast, especially in my legs, and you can really tell from the knee down that I’ve been doing this for nineteen days.

But now that I’m feeling better, I have more endurance, and I actually have an appetite for more exercise, it’s time to take things up a notch. Tomorrow I’m going to start back at the gym for a three times weekly weights workout. My knee and thigh muscles need more work — my tendons keep popping out of place every time I sit down for longer than ten minutes — and putting in some upper body and core work sounds like a good idea.

And in case anyone’s wondering, I’ve lost seven pounds. Which is a drop in the bucket if I must be honest, so I’m not worrying about it. It’s more important that I can get around more easily and gracefully again. Man, if I can get back to a point where I can go dancing again, that in itself will make everything worth it.

Let’s Get Healthy: Day Eighteen (AKA Feeling Better All the Time) #romancefit

MAN, I woke up feeling productive. Did my thirty minutes on the treadmill, got two sets of earrings done, tumbled the settings for the blue jasper bracelet, put a hammered texture on a piece of silver that will be die cut into circles for the amethyst bracelet, made word quota, and started watching season one of Stranger Things because I tried watching episode one of season three and I have no idea who any of these people are (it doesn’t help that two of the boys look remarkably alike). That being said, as a 53-year-old I am very much digging the Eighties vibe of this show, and I’m looking forward to seasons two and three.

I have also learned that if I spend more than an hour in a really hot garage I need to hydrate and take electrolytes, otherwise my hands start shaking and I can’t solder accurately. So at least I know about that now.