No training recaps this week, as J is on his well-deserved vacation. I believe this is the first Monday this year without a training session or recap, and it does not feel as weird as I expected. Probably because I have had plenty of time to mentally prepare mind for the void. Body probably does not care all that much. I still got up and went to the gym, albeit at my earlier time rather than my Monday-training-at-6 time.

For this uninterrupted by training session week, I had previously decided to run straight through the days of Dr. Spencer-themed Lists. My experience with these is they run shorter than many of my other Lists, or perhaps I am simply become more efficient in my conduct and able to get through them in an hour and 15 minutes, versus the 2 hours I typically allot. At least that was my experience today with chest and triceps (recapped here if you want to see the actual List of exercise). My mileage may vary tomorrow and the balance of the week.

So in advance I had decided that I would do my 30 minutes of cardio or something would count as 30 minutes of cardio if I had time to pursue it after my List of the day. My selection this time, since I was working upper body, was what trainer J has labeled as “Abel 30.” It’s a short List – 30 leg presses, 30 walking lunges (15/side), 30 goblet squats, and 30 hamstring curls on the stability ball. The reason I chose that one is pretty simple: it’s 4 lower body I can absolutely, reliably remember. It made quite an impression on me the first time we went through it, one of those truly memorable Lists that completely, totally, routinely kicks my ass. Doing it after a regular full-blown List was a disaster mistake utter drain on my energy reserves. I got through 2 sets and made the executive decision to join my associates on our usual lunch walk for my 30 minutes and call it good. Assuming I would be capable of peeling myself off the mat and actually walking, of course. I had my doubts and the idea of staying right there and taking a nap had profound appeal. Unfortunately I remain hyper-responsible about work and commitments of that sort, so I did get up, cleaned up my mat and put equipment away. The housekeeping is a nice segue into leaving the gym and onto the rest of my day.

And honestly, the primary reason I am sharing my non-training session Monday is because a few of my real-life friends wanted to know if I was doing a non-session recap. Because it’s Monday. They, like me, are creatures of habit and are expecting something health and fitness from me.

The rest of my day is/was good. There is a lot to talk about related to my churning thoughts through practice. But for today, it’s all about hormones.

About 3 months ago, I began bioidentical hormone matching therapy. It’s now been 3 years since my hysterectomy, and while I was not experiencing any particularly bad ill effects from it, I also did not feel like I was being all I could possible be (borrowing an old Army motto and mangling it to suit my purposes). So my doctor had me do a saliva test – and let me just say, drooling spit into tubes 4 times a day is not charming or fun – and found at that time that I was severely deficient on most hormones. Not a surprise at all, but still, it gave a baseline to measure and dial-in the hormone matching therapy he prescribed.

So for the last 3 months I have been created and prescribed for me hormone creams into my skin 2 times daily, 6 days per week. It has been a painless process – click the cream onto my arm, rub together until absorbed. A couple of weeks ago it was time to get my levels retested, only the first saliva test I did not provide enough saliva for them to measure, resulting in a do-over. I finally talk to his physician’s assistant today about what’s going on with me.

The creams are doing their job, in that most of my readings are in measurable range and are normal. However, my estrogen and progesteron are still out of whack, in that my estrogen is high in proportion to my progesterone. Tweak is actually pretty minor, in that I have to do 2 clicks of progesterone at night instead of just one. The estrogen was normal to good, just need to get the progesterone up to balance correctly. There is also a very low dose of testosterone mixed with the estrogen, and now I was a little high on that, so she’s going to tweak my prescription and bring that down a little bit. All in all, though, she was very pleased that we are so close to the right mix of hormones, and I was kind of relieved that it is working the way it is supposed to be working.

In truth the effects are pretty subtle. I sleep better. My energy seems better as well, although it does seem like there are multiple contributors to that. What does seem most significant while still subtle is that I have more stamina in my exercise and practices. Whether that can be attributed to the the hormone level rising to normal levels or simply that I am working at it possesses potential for debate, but I am choosing to believe there may be some or a lot of merit in getting myself more normalized so can focus and stay in the moment when I am in the gym and working at my practice. And keep going where before I would be so ready to throw in my towel.

Whatever the hormones are doing, I think my family and friends will agree that my funks are rarer and do not manifest in ways they did at one point. My overall outlook is healthier, better, more self-directed and upbeat and positive inwardly as well as to the world at large. While I have always tried to be kind and positive toward others, I have been pretty great at self-shredding. Since negative girl’s ultimate incarceration, I have been a lot better. Perhaps the hormone matching therapy is part of the keys to her cage door.

Mostly I am happy and relieved to be achieving some semblance of normalcy. My new formulation should be here later this week and I will just continue on this regimen for the next 6 months, when we measure once again. Unless I start feeling poorly, of course. I have to flex my schedule to ensure I get in for my B12 shots every week. And take my vitamin D and other supplements to ensure my better health journey continues.

It’s been a fantastic day. Even if my whole body still feels sort of weirdly tired. Maybe more sleep and a Motrin or Aleve tablet are in order. This many hours later and still feeling the practice this morning? Yep, sometimes it’s good to be okay with OTC pain relievers. I’m definitely not one of those “no pain, no gain” gym people. I’m more that I want to “feel good, be comfortable, take pain relievers as appropriate” gym people.

Happy Monday everyone! Hopefully we are all going to have a simply spectacular week.

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