welcome to June Renew (year two)

Another thirty days for me to actually get it together.

Here we go again. We’re slowly approaching the midpoint of 2022, and I’m ready to write again. I did this challenge last year as well, the first time doing something of this caliber. While it takes its own creative and mental toll on me, I still feel like I’m working toward something. That’s why I want to keep going with it. See what kind of streak I can pull by creating my own version of self-reflection. I’m trying to encourage others to partake one day, but I’m far too shy to amplify that message right now. So I’ll just be here, doing my own little part toward the betterment of the soul. Because as long as I keep trying, the rest of the world will too.

I’m doing something different this year. I’m putting more thought into how I present you my daily words, as I challenge myself to break free from that which has been holding me back. I don’t want to hastily hit ‘publish’ on something that I don’t truly believe in, or that I haven’t even proofread. I need something substantiative over these next thirty days, as I feel time is running out to actually get my shit together. And this time, I’m hoping whatever I learn takes me through the month and long past its end. It’s time for real change, no matter how many bumps and bruises I hit along the way.

So with that, here’s the rules for June Renew: Year Two.

1. Write a (weighted) entry here every day.

Yes. As always. And I’ll still be talking about my day and what I feel that day. But I’m going to put a different lens on it. I’m going to do my best to check my weight every morning when I wake up. I’ll put it at the top here and I’ll be honest about it. My weight has fluctuated year after year, and I’ve never been on the permanent decline. I’ve lost weight and gained it back tenfold. Now, I sit at a not-so-healthy 235 pounds. People seem floored by this when I tell them, as I feel I’m proportional and carry it well. And there’s always the body positivity movement to fall back on, which I attribute to loving where I currently am, while knowing I can get healthier. But it’s still too much weight on me. I’m obese. And now, there’s a real chance if I don’t get a handle on it, I could one day see myself with a full-blown case of self-inflicted diabetes. I’ve been through blood test and hormone tests, and there are some elevated levels of glucose and insulin. My A1C is normal, and my hemoglobin count was not tested while I was fasting (it was a spur of the moment “hey, want a blood test?” from my doctor). But the results still scare the hell out of me enough to actually want to make a change.

I’ve been gathering up as many tools as I possibly can for years and years, and I have enough knowledge to know just what I need to do. I’ve been using Weight Watchers for the past month and have seen a loss of just over two pounds. The service is helpful, so I’m using it until further notice. Because I’ve still got to work on the willpower part, which has always seemed to give me trouble. It never seems to click for me on a long-term basis. But perhaps it will this time when the real consequences for my health are staring me in the face.

So I’m keeping track of my weight. I think daily is the way to go. I’ve heard it a million different ways, why weighing in every day is bad or good for you. However, it’s not going to take any effort for me to hop on the scale when I wake up each morning. I’ve been cooking myself breakfast and packing my snacks for a month on my own now. If I’m forced to show you my progress, it’ll be all the more sweeter to actually taste some. You’ll be seeing my weigh in at the top of each entry, save for a few days where I’ll (un?)fortunately be out of town.

Oh yeah, the test also showed I’ve also got myriad covid antibodies. Meaning all this testing, joblessness, and forced masking we’re doing is just wanton cruelty at this point. F*ck you, NYC leadership. You’re literally the worst.

Anyway.

2. No pot…again

Sigh, here I go again for the millionth bajillionth trazillionth time. Yes I dried out for all of April. Yes I went right back to it when those thirty days were done. Yes I also took breaks here and there in May. And so? I still feel like an absolute idiot every time I go back to this thing. I know I’m self-medicating. I know this is about no other reason than to forget about bullshit for a little bit. But I know it’s clearly not good for me. It’s not good for my mind, it’s not good for my soul. For some people, yes, but I know if I continue using as I’m doing, it’s going to take me down a very lazy, very solitary path. I will end up in a cave, puffing away in front of a computer screen (or a tablet, whichever direction civilization takes us), until they find me in a ditch somewhere; old, slumped over, surrounded by her writings with a smile on her face. That’s it. That’s what this “depressant” does to me and where I feel it can take me if I keep choosing it.

But I love doing it. I love the feeling. I smoked cigarettes for ten years, I clearly have some kind of oral fixation. And if I can get a mindf*ck out of it, all the better. Still, I know that’s not me. Or at least it’s not me anymore. My past self would have gladly sat here stoned off her gourd, lamenting and hoping that what she desires most just shows up at her front door. She’d just keep getting fatter because she has the munchies, and no one would think one word about her or her life. No one would be there to intervene because she won’t let them, as she thinks she knows what’s best for her.

No. I don’t want that life. I don’t judge anyone who does. I just want something else. Something more. Something where I’m not going to end up a single woman. This is something I know I can achieve, just as long as my head isn’t in the clouds. I purposefully put it up there, and it sometimes takes a village in order to drag it back down. So this is my quitting face. No THC, no “loopholes,” no smoking a CBD cigarette which is fine because “it’s not tobacco.” No, I would really like this to stop for a while. A long while. Until further notice. Until something possesses me again to hit the Devil’s Lettuce. Maybe knowing that I will do it again one day is enough to put it down for now. I know I’ll never touch another cigarette, but if I can find the time, maybe I can waste a little time on THC.

The challenge, after these thirty days of course, is I may only partake if I have someone to partake with. Someone has to bring it up. Someone has to suggest it. I have to let it go. As much as I love it, I have to put it in the past right now. Because my future has no room for it. Not if I want to accomplish what I’m setting out to do.

I’ll miss it, that much I do know, but I hope the more progress I see in other places, like weight loss, the less I’ll be inclined to break a new streak. It worked when I quit smoking cigarettes. I made the choice and never looked back. And every time I would think about having one, I’d say to myself, “Well, I’ve gone this far (X months) without one, that would break your streak.” And that’d be the end of it. This August 6th will mark six years since I put out that final cigarette. I can do that with THC. At least, that’s my plan. That’s what I hope I can do. I talk a big talk, but I cave quite easily. Let’s make sure this time I don’t. My entire future depends on it.

3. No touching.

I won’t elaborate. I tried something in April and failed. This time I don’t want to fail. Something got into my head about idle hands and the Devil’s plaything, etc…etc…so I’m opting out again. Maybe that’ll be transformative in some way in and of itself. Plus it ties into the whole “Devil’s Lettuce” from above. No Devil’s Playthings, Devil’s Lettuce, or Devil’s Food Cake. I think we’ve got ourselves a challenge.

And that’s it.

That should be enough things on my plate to accomplish over the next thirty days. I keep putting it in my head that this is an actual quit date, not just a ‘quit smoking until July 1st’ date. I hope I can keep remembering that. Talk me out of it if you think I’m going back. You’ll have thirty days to decide, too.

It’s a sign.

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