Ted Talk Tuesday – Recap of Why Some People Find Exercise Harder Than Others, and why I didn’t go to the gym this week after all

I may have jumped the gun on picking exercise as the topic of this past week’s video. I’m going to give a short-ish overview of the talk, then explain why I did nothing in the realm of exercising.

This is also going to be a self-venting session so I make sure I covered my bases in handling the biznass of getting healthier.

The Ted Talk, by Emily Balcetis a “Vision Scientist,” had some interesting perspectives on working out. Balcetis conducted an experiment with some participants who were considered “unfit,” and those who were considered “fit.” They had them walk a certain amount of distance, without knowing what the distance was. First, they had the participants estimate how long they thought the distance was. The scientists found those who were unfit, estimated the distance as longer than those who were fit. Long video short, they found that exercisers can actually make exercise feel easier by doing a few easy things, particularly while running/walking; such as not looking at your surroundings and keeping your eyes on a fixed point ahead of you. This can make exercise feel 17% easier, and participants who used this method went 23% faster than they did before using the methods.

The night I watched that video, I decided to test out my cardio threshold by dancing in my bathroom. My burlesque group is keying up for another performance and I was attempting to see if a song I was thinking of would be a good fit. I twirled and sashayed, and flipped my hair, threw my arms around a little. I pranced around for approximately three minutes. It was a blast and felt good to move.

It’s no secret my health has been pretty awful this year, leading to weight gain and a general sense of sluggishness. I could be experiencing lung issues from the burn pits while being deployed. Or, I’m just allergic to Samantha, my cat. Fingers crossed it’s just allergies.

My allergies weren’t bad when I lived at mom’s house, but moving into Manfriend’s smaller apartment made them a lot worse. I’ve had bronchitis five times this year.

Back to me dancing in the bathroom. Exactly ten seconds after the song finished I had a coughing attack and puked. It felt like my lungs were on fire and I couldn’t do anything but collapse on the bed and ride out the hacking spell.

So, instead of puking on one of the Y’s treadmills, I decided to tackle my allergies. I mean I’m fine with hurling in public, but I don’t think the Y staff would appreciate it. I focused on addressing my symptoms first, then the underlying causes of my illness.

Mom pleaded with me to find a new home for Samantha. I totally get this logic, I’m her baby girl, she wants me to live and thrive…that..and Samantha’s a bitch so I can’t blame mom. Final word, Samantha’s not going anywhere, so I had to figure out how to make it work. I need to get back to working out, as I’m growing out of my underwear again.

As usual I armed myself with the facts, as facty as YouTube and Google can get. I convinced myself for a half hour that I had a rare pulmonary/respiratory disease that only 200,000 people have on the planet. I didn’t.

In case anyone else struggles with pet allergies, here’s the game plan I followed:

Deep cleaned whole apartment

Vacuumed everything (including couches and table chairs), will vacuum every two days, three at the most

Chugged a cycle of antibiotics to kick the active infection,

Got X-rays to rule out a more serious issue (still waiting on results from VA),

Continued to do albuterol inhalers,

Took Claritin in the morning(contemplating switching to Zyrtec as others have proclaimed it’s superiority in all things itchy and phlegmy), once I get home from work I take 24-hour-gel-quick-release-Allegra, as well as a spritz up the nostrils of Flonase, followed by Benadryl at bedtime. I also did a sinus wash with the Neti Pot – good gawd there was so much snot. Fun fact, Samantha jumped on the sink counter as I was washing my sinuses out and started to lap up the water pouring from my nose into the sink as if drinking out of a drinking fountain, I slapped her off the sink and called her disgusting….she’s worth it, she’s worth it, she’s worth it, she’s so worth it…

I also applied foam shampoo to Samantha and toweled off. She didn’t maul me, so that was fun. Also have wipes to swath her down to decrease dander. Brushed her more, and washed hands after handling her.

Wiped down furniture with dander reducing wipes every few days. Waiting on a spray which will be easier to use.

Used eucalyptus essential oil in the bath to clear out sinuses as well.

Used a hair kerchief as a make-shift face mask for litter scooping.

I am so hot. No literally, it was warm, I sweat a lot while poop scooping.

Used a nebulizer at night to clean out the lungs.

Had Manfriend beat on my back to loosen the phlegm.

I need an adult

Bought a semi-expensive air purifier for the living room. A friend suggested making a diy one with a box fan and an AC filter. Will be making that soon for the bedroom as I maxed the credit card out for the Honeywell. Note on Menard’s and how they can suck it: I spent an hour in the air purifier section trying to decide what to get. It.Was.Not.Easy. So many factors to include. I compared online reviews, prices, sizes, whether they were automatic or light dimming for bedroom use, noise factor, should I get a good expensive one for the bedroom or the living room, then buy a shitty cheaper one for the other room. Which was more important – watching Netflix while breathing, or breathing while sleeping??? I had to know whether the unit I picked was specifically suited to pet dander, how many square inches WAS my living room and bedroom???(color wasn’t on the table by this point), should I get a tiny one for the room with Samantha’s litter box? I had to consider the price of the replacement filters…speaking of!!!! I thought I’d be proactive and get replacement filters while I was there, but oh no, wait, they didn’t have one of the replacement filters. The unit I picked required 1) ‘A’ filter, and 3), count ’em fucking 3 ‘R’ filters. Menard’s sold a two pack of ‘R’s’, and noooo ‘A’ filters. An employee finally came down the aisle and asked if I needed help, but he couldn’t find the right one either and by that point I was dealing with an “I KNOW MORE THAN YOU,” situation with air purifiers so finally I told him he could go. An older gentleman walked into the area and he looked at the units. I expressed my frustration, and for an instant considered asking him if he’d be my sugar-daddy because honestly I might have to start a GoFundMe page if I want to live and keep the damn cat.

Oooo – new middle-of-the-line- appliance

Whew…anyways, that’s why I didn’t go to the gym this week. Though, I might go sit in the steam room tomorrow to get the rest of this slime out of my lungs. I guess Y memberships have their perks.

Since I can’t exercise, I should probably start eating better again. So without delay, here’s the next video in my Ted Talk series: The Surprisingly Dramatic Role of Nutrition in Mental Health…too little too late?




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