Re-Learning How To Swim and other tales

I’ve done three days of swimming, so the next three days will be rest days and under 1700 calories (hopefully) days. The swimming days necessitated over 2k calories. Even so, I ate beneath the range and being under-caloried/lacking in sleep caused my form not to be so good in the pool. Thursday wasn’t too bad. I had a nice 16 minutes with minimum panic. Yesterday was terrible. I had that moment again when I forgot to swim. But I realized I’d had a full working day, 5 hours of sleep and had not eaten in a few hours before I swam. So I was likely tired.

Today I went swimming after being fully rested, working on my conference paper, and having eaten heartily (see food notes below). Managed to do 21 minutes and 21 half laps. The previous days were all 16 minutes w/ 16 half laps. I’m not doing the length of the pool this time because I get really disoriented and scared these days. Unsure if maybe it has to do also with my astigmatism and  vertigo, or if I’d correctly identified it’s aquaphobia due to last year’s health scare. But apart from that, it’s also because when I was doing the length of the pool (before my two week swimming break), I was still holding or needing to touch the side of the pool. Not very efficient swimming and actually quite dangerous.

The past three days I managed to swim without holding the sides, just concentrating on my form. Well, yesterday I regressed because of aforementioned fear but I still managed to do 15 half-laps. I also did on all three days calisthenics, 4 minutes on the first day, 3 minutes yesterday, and 6 minutes today. This involved the usual leg exercises, lunges, side lunges, squats, stretching, wall pushups and exercises to work my obliques. I do them better in the water obvs because gravity, but the effort on the muscles are the same. I figure if I don’t swim too long but also do calisthenics that’s a sort of circuit training in the pool and I’m not over-exerting myself.

So, onwards to three days of rest days while focusing on my academic work. I’m not touching my fiction until I’m in Penang because I need to finish the conference paper and submit two articles.

Food Notes

I went to Crocodile Farm on Friday Night after my swim and jacuzzi soak. I ordered the wat tan hor for one person, half a roast chicken which I ate over the course of breakfast, lunch + 2 snacks! Plus, that garlic broccoli that I love, soup, and pineapple juice. I ate what I considered a decent share — half of the wat tan hor, half of the broccoli, about 1/3rd of the amazing salt roasted chicken, and then I tapau’ed the rest to bring back. It’s a family restaurant so there were no airs and graces. So I ate the rest of the wat tan hor for breakfast, the broccoli was Friday night supper. And I finished the rest of the roast chicken in three meals! Having said that I’ll always treasure how awesome the staff at Lai Po Heen were despite my bad experiences elsewhere in the hotel (mostly the staff were lovely, I shouldn’t judge them by 3-4 ppl I guess). But The Emperor’s staff are also very lovely. So there. I know where all the quality halal chinese food can be found!

So anyway, that fueled me up nicely. I had thai food tonight after my awesome swim and another jacuzzi soak: green chicken curry, about 1/3 a bowl of rice, and tom yam. Still eating slightly below swimming range.

Sunday’s Agenda

Tomorrow I am not leaving the apartment as I’m stocked up (and I need to finish fruit/vegetables). Hoping to eat under 1600 calories but we’ll see. The plan is to finish the paper, email the slides and then work on re-submitting the hauntology article which I withdrew because of a miscommunication. Having chatted with the Editor in Chief who did not know what had transpired, she gave me permission to re-submit (I am very very grateful). I had to eat humble pie but you know what, I just want the paper published and I probably shouldn’t have been so emotional (same old same old). I’ll submit the psychogeography paper to an international journal after I get back from Penang. Maybe after Malacca also because I might get some ideas when I’m doing the psychogeography thing there. I guess I’m so obsessed with psychogeography right now because of the awareness that yes, this is what I’ve always done as an author and poet. I have an intimate relationship with cities. I breathe them in — their numen, their layers. And being able to explore what that means as a scholar — that’s heady stuff right there.

Anyway. Time for bed. I’ve been off insulin for nearly a week now. Morning blood sugars still happily low. Not being on insulin makes food/calorie management easier, to be honest. It makes me even more determined to keep trucking on this fitness journey.

Saturday music: Cigarettes After Sex, Aldous Harding, Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions. Laid-back, dreamy music after the intensity of two Tori Amos days. Much needed, lovely for a Saturday evening.

Listening to: Let Me Get There — Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions, feat Kurt Vile