Hooked

It didn’t take long. One practice, and I am now hooked on SCA rapier fighting.

I have a lot to learn, obviously–especially since yesterday afternoon was my first time picking up a sword–but I received a lot of encouragement from the people I fought with and they’re great at teaching newbies.

One of the first things I learned is that I’m horribly out of shape. It wasn’t long before my right arm was shaking with the effort of holding and maneuvering the rapier. I found a solution that allowed me to practice longer, though: left-handed fighting. Yeah, my derpy left hand that doesn’t know how to do much of anything now can perform a few thrusts and parries. It was all very basic, but I had a blast.

I’ve already started looking up places to find gear for myself, as well as started planning how to make protective jackets for myself and my husband. (Safety first, people!) Not that the local SCA group (barony) doesn’t have loaner gear, but I want something better fitting that I can move in. The loaner jacket I used yesterday was a bit tight and restrictive, largely due to my largeness. Broad shoulders and fat upper arms do not make for ease of movement when the garment isn’t fitted properly.

The swords will probably be a long time coming, because rapiers aren’t exactly cheap. For a good fighting sword, you need something that’s not going to break on contact or whatever. And for a practice sword (and maybe tournament fighting? I’m not sure) you need something that’s tipped to prevent actual stabbing.

No, I’m starting with a basic mask, some kind of hood to go under it, a gorget (look it up–basically neck armor), gloves, and a jacket. Very basic protect-your-vitals kind of stuff. Because again, safety first. They’re not going to let you swing swords at each other, rubber tipped or not, if you’re not wearing protection.

always use protection Okay, so maybe you don’t need that much protection. But you get my point. Keep the vital bits covered (and the “bits” as well, if you value your ability to bear children in the future and sit comfortably for a while–this is applicable to both men and women).

I’m not going to be joining any tournaments any time soon, but I already love the feel of a blade in my hand and the clash of sword against sword (okay, so it’s not quite that dramatic…still fun). It’s good exercise, and I am definitely “feeling the burn” a bit this morning. I took it easy, though, and made sure not to over exert myself. So the spaghetti arms of yesterday are simply achy, not shaky. Well, no more shaky than normal. 😉

My husband and I are going to purchase our SCA memberships soon and become card-carrying fighters, which I think will be fun. I’m leery of the camping portion of SCA events, because I’ve never been a camp-y person, but from what I’ve heard you get so busy doing event stuff that you don’t have time to realize you’re camping. By the end of the day you’re exhausted, so it’s find tent/cot/crash. Or something.

I already can’t wait for next Sunday. Things to remember: Benadryl (in case of bee sting), sunscreen, and some kind of headband to keep the sweat out of my eyes. I didn’t sweat that bad yesterday, but I know eventually I will.

It feels good to have exercise aches today. Definitely better than just arthritis aches or pains from sitting on my ass too long. 😉

The Great Weight Debate

I’ve been morbidly obese for probably close to two years now, and while exercise is fleeting at best (going out walking in the winter sucks), hunger and cravings are exponential. Especially the cravings.

There’s a new drug on the market that I’ve seen commercials for…well, not new-new, but a new combination of two older drugs that have previously been used to treat addiction and mental illness. Hell, I’m already crazy and I’m addicted to food and caffeine, so why not give it a shot?

Next time I’m at the doctor’s (which is sometime this month), I plan on asking about this prescription to see if it’s something I can try. I mean, can’t hurt, right? I’ve even been one of the two meds before (for OCD behaviors like cutting and picking at my skin). So it’s likely safe to take with my other meds, and if the other part of the combination drug might interact with my other meds the doctor would be able to tell me.

Here’s where the PSA comes in: do not take diet pills or any such medications without consulting with a doctor. Seriously. Don’t do it. It’s dangerous as shit and most of the over-the-counter stuff isn’t really FDA regulated as strongly as prescriptions are. Some OTC stuff isn’t even FDA regulated at all, meaning there’s no QC as far as how much of what is in it or the quality of the ingredients. Even prescriptions can be dangerous, so talking with a doctor is a must. Talk with your pharmacist, too. Licensed medical professionals. People with medical and pharmaceutical degrees. Not your second cousin twice removed’s best friend who you kind of know on Facebook. Not even me. Half the time I’m talking out of my ass, but here I’m serious. Talk. With. Your. Doctor.

If you’re overweight (or even think you are), you need to see a doctor on a regular basis anyway. Get your annual physical, get weighed (as much as it sucks to do), get tested for diabetes and heart disease and any other things that can be affected by weight gain.

A lot of people try to recommend over-the-counter stuff to me for weight loss, and I flat-out turn them down. I mean, I take enough meds as it is between the bipolar disorder and the rheumatoid arthritis…do I really want to take some random OTC drug that may or may not severely interact with one of my other meds? Uh, no. I do not. I want to stay sane and safe.

I risk enough drinking as much caffeine as I do. I take a prescription stimulant to stay awake during the day because I have a tendency to nod off at random times if I don’t. No lie–they even tested my blood for narcolepsy years ago because of this. No narcolepsy associated antigen was found, but lemme tell you, if I don’t get my prescription and/or don’t have any caffeine, I’m zonked. I fell asleep a few times watching Rogue One recently. A freaking Star Wars movie! How can I do that? Well, I didn’t drink any caffeine before going to the movie. Zzzzz. Oops. But that lends to addiction, and to risk of heart problems because my pulse rate is usually sky high even at rest. So another PSA: don’t be a dumbass like me and OD on caffeine.

Anywho, to make a long story even longer, be smart about medications. Even if you think you have no other choice besides OTC “miracle” meds or miscellaneous herbal stuff, talk with your doctor. I want y’all to be safe. I want me to be safe. So I’m taking the plunge and asking about this new medication. It may be costly (most new meds are, sadly), but if I want to get serious about losing this weight I’ve got to cut my cravings, and I just do not have the self control for it. Who knows, maybe losing the weight will help me sleep better…maybe it will amp up my energy enough to where I don’t need the caffeine as much. Maybe I’ll fit into that corset for Phoenix Comicon a little better.

Lotsa maybes, but nothing’s certain until you try.

Just try responsibly.

Poke-splosion

After just four days of playing Pokemon Go (with a break one day due to extreme exhaustion after work), I have to admit that this game’s addictive.

I don’t play “to win” (capture gyms, etc), but it’s a good game to get out and get exercise and potentially meet new friends. Since I mostly farmed in WoW, it’s kind of like that for me, only with walking and being outdoors. I “catch” the Pokemon, get experience, etc. I’m getting a good mile and a half plus every day that I go out and play in the evening (or morning on the weekends)…now if I could just find an app that had a fun way of getting you to eat better or eat less…but I don’t think anyone’s come up with anything like that. Maybe a game where you get special perks for eating veggies and lose those perks when you eat ice cream. Or something.

Until I went to the local park (we’re in a pretty small town, so there are only a few places that have multiple pokestops and whatnot to catch Pokemon & collect pokeballs), I didn’t realize exactly how popular the game was. I mean, I know tons of people were talking about it, but I didn’t expect the sheer numbers of people wandering around looking at their phones, talking about the Pokemon they were trying to catch.

I also didn’t expect the sheer numbers of adults playing the game. Like, vastly greater numbers than the kids. I know that Pokemon started when I was a teenager, so there are a lot of adults my age or younger who basically grew up with Pokemon. It’s yet another blast from the past in this golden age of nostalgia.

I’m hoping this Poke-splosion helps me lose some of this extra weight, or at least tone up a bit. It would be nice to have the corset that I’m making for Dragon Con fit a bit better. It would also be nice to have people quit asking if I’m having a baby. I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t try to be diplomatic with my answer. I just say “No, it’s just fat” and get on with life. I used to try not to hurt people’s feeling and not make them feel bad for asking, but eff that. Maybe people should feel bad for assuming that any woman with a belly is pregnant.

How did I get from Pokemon to preggerbellies? What can I say? That’s just how my mind works.

Off now to get ready for work. Maybe on my lunch break I’ll go for a walk & try to catch a few more.

Feeling the Burn

I got plenty of exercise this weekend…nearly six miles walked overall (thanks to the evil that is Pokemon Go), which is more than I usually walk in a week–even taking into consideration all the walking I do at work.

Unfortunately, I kindamaybesorta forgot to put on sunscreen during my first walk yesterday. Yeah, my pale-ass self got sunburned. Looking for Pokemon.

facepalmgif

So if anyone today notices my mild sunburn…I totally got it from walking for exercise. Not playing a game. Got our stories straight? Good.

Sunburn notwithstanding, I am glad to be getting some exercise. I don’t think I’ve lost any weight so far–not even a measly pound–because I haven’t changed my eating habits, and I wasn’t drinking as much water as I should have been.

Next time I go venturing out in the daylight for Pokemon, I’m definitely wearing sunscreen. And bringing Benadryl. I forgot that it’s bee season, and while I don’t have a super serious reaction (as far as I know–I haven’t been stung in over 25 years) I don’t really want to risk it. And I’m bringing water. And putting on sunscreen.

The point to all this? For those Pokeplayers who haven’t seen significant amounts of daylight in years (walking around at comic cons doesn’t count), prepare yourself. Bring water so you don’t get dehydrated in the summer heat. Wear suncreen. Bring bug spray (did I forget to mention the mosquito bite? Yeah, got one of those too). Be sure to have a good, straight path to your car or home in case you walk too far and get winded or sore.

Basically, be smart about it. We nerds are generally a smart people. We can figure this out. The exercise may be new for many of us, but we can adapt and get fit.

 

Caught by the balls

Yeah, it happened. I hate Pokemon but I wanted to get involved in walking like my husband has been with this new Pokemon Go craze (and I wanted to walk with him), but I couldn’t find an augmented reality app that I liked that I could use while we went walking. So there it is. I have a Pokemon Go account. I’m level six. I gotta admit, the avatar’s pretty cute.

Screenshot_2016-07-10-04-35-57-1

Last night we went on an hour-and-a-half long walk, mostly spent searching for “points of interest” (or whatever they’re called) and catching different Pokemon.

Am I addicted to the game already? I’d like to think I’m not; I mean, I’ve only been playing for half a day. And it’s not like I’m going outside at 4:30 in the morning because I’ve got a wild urge to catch Pokemon. Sure, if one shows up in my apartment I’ll grab it, but I’m not going to go looking for them this early in the morning. Yeah, we went out late last night–“late” being around 8:30 to 10:00 pm–and spent the time searching for and catching Pokemon. I probably got more exercise in that hour and a half than I have since Phoenix Comicon. I certainly got the most number of steps in a day since then.

It was kind of funny…as my husband and I were standing on a street corner next to a church in the dark, with another Pokeplayer next to us, a car full of young guys–probably early to mid 20s–pulled up to the corner. When one of them leaned out the window to holler at us and ask what we were doing, I half-expected some jeering or taunting or at least him yelling “Fucking nerds!”…but none of that happened. He simply asked what we were doing…so, being the proud nerd that I am, I said, “Pokemon, man!” His reply? “Pokemon Go? Hell yeah!” That’s right. The quasi-thug hanging out the car window was a Pokefan. Who knew?

I was surprised by the sheer number of people in our small town who were wandering around late at night to play this game. Given that there isn’t much of anything in the area we were walking–especially nothing that was open for business–there were still random groups of people walking and chattering. Occasionally we’d find a car full of people playing, driving around to the different points of interest or “gyms” and playing there (one car had small children in it, so I assume the parents didn’t want them walking around that late at night), but most of the people we passed by were walking.

Good for Pokemon. They got nerds to get out of the comfort and societal safety of their homes and go out into the world and be active. We even chatted with one or two people briefly (not counting Car Guy).

Will this interactive motivation to get moving stick? Will I continue to play and get more exercise? I’m not sure. I tend to lose interest in things like this relatively quickly, but we’ll see.

For now? I gotta catch ’em all. Or something.

A pre-Mother’s Day adventure

It’s off to some historical sites today as we take my mom & dad out of town to celebrate Mother’s Day a little early. Since my husband works tomorrow, we’re doing our day with my parents a day ahead of time.

I’m trying to mentally psych myself up for a day of walking, walking, walking. I considered exercising in the apartment “gym” (translation: about 3 or 4 different exercise machines) early this morning since I was up, but then I reconsidered after remembering that I haven’t really exercised in months and months and I’d likely end up sore beyond belief tomorrow…hell, I still might end up sore as hell.

Gotta get my stamina and fitness up at least a little bit in the next few weeks, though, because Phoenix Comicon starts June 2! There will be so much walking to do as we traverse downtown Phoenix to see all the sights (and be seen in our cosplays). I’ve also potentially got interviews to do; as a media member, I get to fill out a form letting the con know which guests I’d like to interview. The con organizers will forward my info to the various guests, and then they (or more likely their agents) will be in touch with me to set up interviews.

I’m super excited about this–more than just normal con excitement. I’ve only done one live interview, and that was a disaster. The band (I won’t name names) was so preoccupied with being late to the venue that only two of the five did the interview while the others started setting up for the sound check, and one of those two obviously did not want to be there. He was squirming in his seat, not making eye contact, and giving short answers to the questions. When I asked if they had a message for their fans, his response was: “Come see our shows. Buy our records. Buy our shirts.” Classy.

These interviews should hopefully go much better. I’ve got to figure a good way to keep my questions with me as we walk around, because I won’t have much storage space in my cosplays (just a tiny purse for the Jedi TARDIS and a small hidden pocket for the Temari cosplay). Maybe I’ll grab a small, small notebook at Wal-Mart or something sometime before the con so I can have my questions all written down. Or notecards. I have a shitton of 3×5 notecards…but my purse/pocket are so small I might still have to fold them up to get them to fit. Hindsight, I guess…