Tuesday, March 31, 2009
I am all for exercise, but I think the stripper workouts, sexy workouts, and ect. are getting out of hand. Not everyone needs to workout on the pole, just like not everyone needs to be training for a marathon.
I think the goal is to get good heart health and not be extreme in the exercises that you do.
I know many 200 lb woman will be injured if they start doing spins on the pole in the living room, just like they would be injured if they did a couch to the NYC marathon training regime.
Monday, March 30, 2009
I personally believe if we reflect on the dating shows very few people have found true love. So I think any "real woman" versus the typical " model/actress" who goes on this show is also not going to find love. In these shows it is not about love, it is about exposure. I also think if the show is not filled with 50% real/ 50% " model/actress" then the bachelor is not really into dating a real woman.
This is the same with interracial dating when there is only 3 minority women out of 25 in the show selection then you are really not into interracial dating.
Only time will tell the exploitation factor of the show.
From the article:
Cutting back on spending may not mean cutting down on calories.
The more "energy dense" a food is -- i.e., the more calories it contains per unit weight -- the less it costs per calorie. For instance, the lowest-cost vegetables, per calorie, are potatoes; and the sugar in fresh raspberries is 100 times more expensive per calorie than table sugar.
As prices of foods go down, the purchases of those foods go up, and vice versa. Between 2004 and 2006, the prices of very-high-calorie foods dropped by an average of 1.8%, while the prices of very-low-calorie foods went up by an average of 19.5%.
The article goes on to cite obesity statistics, without context, and then give some measures some consumers are taking to combat the cost of food--such as packing a lunch for work! It isn't an extensive article and I don't recommend anyone rush over to read it (though it is linked HERE). My interest, is in how this reality is framed. Now than many middle-class and upper-class folks are feeling the pinch due to the recession, this cost disparity becomes more visable in the mainstream media with nary a realization that the the problem of access to healthy, fresh foods is a constant problem for the poor. Let's hope more mainstream journalists can make the connection.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
How did she achieve this? 1200 calories per day (the minimum any respectable doctor would allow her patient to eat to live), a personal trainer, a promotion deal with a diet company (remember cash is motivation), tons of time (when "getting back into shape is your full-time job it makes it a tad easier), and of course--AIRBRUSHING!!! Look at her face, its completely been distorted and I'm fairly sure some of those abs have been enhanced. She is undeniably thinner, I totally do believe that's she's lost over 50 lbs, but its the how and the why that I'm concerned with.
Valerie Bertinelli was an all American sweet-heart of the 70's--the good girl in a family sit-com about a newly divorced mother of two daughters. She was pretty, thin, and personable in her interviews. Then she grew up, married a rocker, had a kid, and gained a bit of weight. She went from sweet-heart to average and in Hollywood, that's a sin. Now, as penance for that lasp, she is on the cover of People magazine in a bikini at the age of 49. She looks good, but as I've said, she's had tons of help both in reality and in the chambers of make believe in Hollywood's best airbrushing studios.
I'm not hating on Valerie Bertinelli, its just that her particular journey for most American women isn't particularly helpful in terms of recognizing what health is verses thinness. The expectation of a bikini body at 50 is not conductive to achieving greater health and well-being for American women and girls. It is counter productive in fact, because if you can't have that, then why try is an oft heard response. Why try for what? What is fitness, what is health? Is it an exact weight? I don't think so. Is it the ability to wear a bikini and look completely fabulous at the drop of a hat? I definitely don't think so.
We all have to define or strive for what health means individually, but we are guided by the cultural messages that we are fed daily. Even in my more modest goals, I look at Ms. Bertinelli and I think: "maybe I should try to wear a bikini one day" even though I know that's not an indicator of health, but an impulse implanted in my psyche by cultural expectations and values I don't really share. I've never wanted, even in college, to go to one of those over-priced Spring vacation places and get really drunk wearing a bikini to be mocked on Fox News while they simultaneously talk about the moral decline of American youth and exploit their nubile bodies for ratings. Eek. That's what a bikini means to me. It means MTV and trying to please total choads. It probably has different meanings for other readers--by no means am I saying this is universal.
One friend who moved to California for a while expressed to me the hope of wearing a bikini (she's a size 10, sometimes 8) because she felt like that's the only acceptable bathing suit one could wear in their 20's. It was weird--it struck me that for her, the bikini was about fitting in as a standard of dress. Kind of like a graduation robe or a white wedding dress--one simply couldn't deviate and wear a one-piece to the beach. Even, if it didn't look as good on a size 10 frame as a 2, you still wore the bikini. I thought that that sounded crazy, but it was her belief and it was how she thought of the bikini.
So, the bikini on Ms. Bertinelli probably has another meaning, private only for her. I don't know what it is, but I think that the public act of wearing a bikini on People magazine will be interpreted by millions of American female readers as some kind of bodily redemption--she fell into the sin of the average and has re-emerged exceptional, sculpted, and perhaps ready to take on new movie/tv roles. She was the relateable and likeable 70's girl and now she's the relateable and ex-fat modern woman. She is role model and expectation--but this message is delivered uncritically and without the truth of how our dysfunctional work/life balance, how our nutritionally deficient food supply and how are unreal expectations of thinness screw with our collective health. I'm tired of these stories: she did it, so can you. Guess what: you can't. You have to work, you have kids to take care of, you don't have the money or the time for a professional trainer or a chef, you have the stresses of the economy, loss of your retirement, and of course your elderly broke parents to help out. You, American woman, you're life sucks compared to Valerie Bertinelli's, but that doesn't keep the media from making you feel bad because you don't look like her.
Friday, March 27, 2009
I've been preparing my garden for Spring planting and doing some landscaping and tomorrow I'm going to use my soil blocker for the first time and start my indoor vegetable seedlings (I started my flower seedlings a while back).
Gardening is major activity exercise, yet somehow I'm able to do it four hours straight without realizing how much time has passed by! Why is it, that when movement you love (like dance or in my case gardening) blinks by, but doing time on the treadmill can take eternity?
I like working out out-doors, but I seem to have forgotten this. This season I'm doing tons of gardening, but I also want to try to rediscover walking outdoors. I lost tons of weight one summer walking outdoors.
What have you forgotten you love to do fitness wise?
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
I don't think Beyonce looks deformed, but I don't believe for a minute she has a 19 inch waist.
Kate Moss' measurements are 33A-23-34 . This is just another Hollywood delusion they are trying to selling to make me feel bad.
According to IMDB.com Beyonce measurements are 33-26-42.
Becuase if Beyonce has a smaller waist then Kate Moss then I need to kill myself today because I can never reach an "ideal Hollywood" standard.
I am so happy for anyone who can lose 125 lbs in 9 months. But I don't think this is a realistic timeline for the average American that has responsibilities like a 40 hour a week job. 125 lbs in 9 months is equal to 3.4 lbs a week loss. That rate of weight loss is very hard to maintain when you are in the process of learning all new habits.
I am also not a an advocate of taking out food groups for the purpose of a detox.
So if you can lose weight that quickly I am happy for you, but if you can't don't feel discouraged. People need to lose at rate where they can learn lifestyle habits that can keep the weight off for the rest of your life.
I personally thought the original picture Kim Kardashin was ok. She is definitely smaller then all the kids at my Wal-mart. But I am always happy when people bring up that airbrushing in magazines are real and we as consumers should not buy into the Hollywood illusion of perfection.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
So constantly overeating is really called a binge and it is a disorder. Who knew? I thought I just liked food and hated exercise. I personally think Americans make every vice into a disease. Yet, if labeling your eating habits has a disorder allows you to get help and make changes in ones life; then I believe the label is helpful.
Biggest Loser Baby Bounce Back--over at Fit Tip Daily, they're lauding the Biggest Loser host Allison for getting back that post-baby body pronto, emphasizing how she was back to work on the set of the Biggest Loser eight days after giving birth and back to work six days on her day-time soap.
I think that this profile and the messages it intends to send are inherently dysfunctional and unhealthy! It reminds me of Heidi Klum walking down the run-way of the Victoria Secrets show less than a month after having given birth, model perfect again.
Sure, maybe these women can do that "naturally" but I seriously doubt it and whatever means they took to "get their bodies back" probably involve crash dieting and exercising past what a new mother really needs to do. Also, these kinds of Birth as Spectacle (look at the baby-bump--oh, look how she got her body back) are simply additional means by which to push regular women beyond the brink. Even pregnancy isn't an excuse to have a little jiggle DAYS after the birth--DAYS!
In addition to the body-image cluster-@#$%, you get the work-life balance cluster-@#$%!!!! Having a baby is fairly significant and pressuring women (and new fathers) to return to work days after a birth is wrong. Celebrities, politicians, and other note-ables often sacrifice work-life balance in order to get where they are. I get that, but emphasizing how "its possible" really just marginalizes new parents from taking advantage of what SHOULD BE LEGALLY MANDATED PARENTAL LEAVE FOLLOWING THE BIRTH OR ADOPTION OF A CHILD. Every developed nation in the world EXCEPT the United States of America has parental leave and maternity leave--PAID and at least six weeks, though in some places it is up to six months.
Articles like these are propaganda against work-life balance, parental leave, and striving toward real health instead of simple "beauty" as health. I'm not pissed at this particular woman--the pressures, working on a weight loss show alone, let alone Hollywood standards make people do crazy things, but I am pissed off at the media outlets and the corporate policies that work to undermine worker's rights and parental leave (and the Lobbyist they employ that get their messages out there). Six days of leave is absurd and the fact that she's lauded for it? Well, it reinforces all that is wrong with work-life balance in America today.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Urban girls of color are "hit with a double whammy," says Neena Chaudhry of the National Women's Law Center. Often their communities have less access to open spaces and they face competition for scarce resources at school. Theoretically, Title IX should solve this problem, but unlike in colleges and universities, high schools are not required to report gender breakdowns by sport, resources, and funding. A study by the National Women's Law Center suggested that few urban female athletes were using Title IX to demand equal treatment.
There's a push now to require high schools to report statistics like colleges and universities do to make sure that the schools are complying to Title IX. Last month Senator Olympia Snowe reintroduced a 2004 bill to the Senate called the High School Sports Information Collection Act, which would require high schools to report the gender of student athletes and the financing of sports teams.
Advocates say that enacting Title IX compliance laws would increase sports opportunities for girls and boys across the country. While city officials hope to increase girls' participation in sports especially, the new double-dutch teams in New York are coed. The video below from the annual double dutch tournament held at the Apollo Theater in New York shows the incredible amount of athleticism that competitive double-dutch requires. Since countless studies have shown that student athletes perform better in school and have higher self-esteem, clearly girls across the country would benefit from similar programs.I think that this is a great move and that schools should branch out to meet the athletic and the activity interests of teens in order to encourage life long love of movement. If you follow the link above, you can watch a short clip of the International Double Dutch competition held at the Apollo Theater in NYC last year--it gets really good at the 1:20 mark. The international competition is a mixed-gender group, which I think sports like Double Dutch (as with Cheerleading now) show that mix gender groups can and do work.
I think that offering more and more varied sports to urban girls is crucial, but I also think that the issues surrounding participating need to be addressed as well. For example, if a girl is expected to care for younger siblings after school how could she be included in programs such as these? Sometimes, girls have additional duties like cooking, cleaning, and caring for younger siblings that parents don't put on their sons--this was certainly the case in my mother's life. We have to work to under cover their barriers in order to help adolescent girls flourish. Though I do think that a little Double Dutch might just be one brick on the path to greater encouragement of young female athleticism.
Friday, March 20, 2009
The 1,100-square-foot garden will include 55 kinds of vegetables, including peppers, spinach and, yes, arugula. (The selection is a wish list put together by White House chefs.) There will also be berries, herbs and two hives for honey that will be tended by a White House carpenter who is also a beekeeper. The chefs will use the produce to feed the first family, as well as for state dinners and other official events.
The White House will use organic seedlings, as well as organic fertilizers and organic insect repellents. The garden will be near the tennis courts and be visible to passersby on the street. The whole Obama family will be involved in tending the garden, White House spokeswoman Katie McCormick Lelyveld said.
Proponents of the garden see the move as a victory for fresh, wholesome food. With the Obamas as role models, it could also be a turning point in their battle to overturn the perception of organic food, farmers markets and gardens as the preserves of the elite.
I love the fact that Michelle is making healthy food, organic food, and home-grown food part of her healthy families platform. I spent about four hours today preparing my garden for planting on this THE FIRST DAY OF SPRING. I'm also pleased that in the Washington Post article about the White House Kitchen Garden that there was not one fat-shaming comment which seems rare when discussing anything health and food issues in the mainstream press.
I'm a big supporter of home gardening and community gardens--I think that growing our own food helps us to make connections between what is really food and what is manufactured dreck. In addition, its good exercise and it is as local as you can get. Also, I'm not a crazy survivalist or anything, but I like to know how things work and how I might be able to get a bit off the grid as it were.
I'll have several more posts about my garden (and pictures) as it progresses. Here in Kentucky, a good rule is to not plant anything outdoors until after Derby Weekend, but indoor seed starting will begin on my part pretty soon. Also, soil preparation is well underway. Today I spead some compost and organic manure on my old plot from last year--I'm expanding this year. Last year, to get rid of the grass, I really depleated the soil by simply digging and chucking the grass. I didn't have a cultivator (I have a smallish one now). So, that area in particular needs more organic matter and nitrogen (I've also added some organic blood meal--I know, doesn't it all sound gross?). Tomorrow, I'm going to plant some Peonies and Clematis(es) in the front yard. Its okay to plant those now, just not vegetable crops yet. I'm going to have the Peony Bushes grow along my front fence and the Clematis(es) will grow up over the front porch supports--near where I'm hoping that my hydrangeas will come back from last Spring. I suspect that one out of three of the hydrangeas took (plus the one in the back yard).
Anywho, I'm going to apply manure to the new Peonies as well as soil suitable for shrubs when I plant and then I'll cover with mulch. The weather is supposed to stay between 40-60 for the next ten days or so, then get even warmer. I just hope that there isn't a major dip in temperatures, but according to the gardening books and the directions on the plants, March planting is appropriate for the Peonies and Clematis(es).
Later I may also spread more manure on the back garden, though I also need to attend to my apple trees pretty soon--and that means buying mucho multcho. Oh, and I bought a wheel barrow today--it was hell getting it in the car, but its shiny and red and I love it!
Thursday, March 19, 2009
I could live above the poverty line without my husband. While an extra paycheck is gravy, it is not what comforts you when times are bad or when kids grab your last nerve and hang on, or when the boss deems you expendable. Marriage is more than economics or shoring up a community.
Marriage means there is someone willing to wait out your temper tantrums, weight gain and hair loss, illnesses, job uncertainties, child-rearing woes and soul-searchings until someone recognizable returns.
I think America is very good at breaking marriage down to a science or overcovering the bad marriages in the media. I thinks this is why so many people are cynical about marriage and don't respect the people who enter into marriages.
I feel if people who are looking to get married approach it with respect, honesty, and feelings as well as social science. They would be happier about the instution of marriage.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
2. Find healthy meal alternatives.
3. Keep your gym membership if it’s a lifesaver for you.
4. Haggle at the gym.
5. Just let your gym membership go if you never use it.
6. Walk or jog your way to fitness.
7. Put some air on those old bike tires.
8. Pick up some secondhand exercise equipment.
9. Or just do simple, at-home workouts.
10. Give workout videos a try.
Some tips I am keeping up with are:
Tip 3: keeping the membership if it is lifesaver. I am still paying my $40 for WW a month because it is my lifesaver. Before WW I was gaining 1.5 lbs a month. In my 29 weeks of weight watchers I have maintained or decreased in size. For me, if I gain anymore weight I am sure I will get in the diabetes range and that medicine can run anywhere from $15 with co-pays to $100s a month without insurance.
Tip 10: I am back to doing my old school Richard Simmons tapes. They are fun to do because him in those shorts keeps me laughing.
Monday, March 16, 2009
I don't agree with most of Meghan McCain's thoughts, but on this quote I agree with here 100%.
She is totally within her right to defend her weight against critics. I believe even a 3 years old could find the flaws in her politic logic, without bringing in her appearance or weight into the discussion as a trump card of why we shouldn't listen her.
Debaters need to realize when you sink to attacking a persons looks it just makes your argument look weak.
My brother is going to run/walk it with me. My goal is simply to finish the race (or I should say to enter and finish it). I can do 3.1 miles--its a 5K--I know that, its just to enter a public event as a not-skinny person "running" gasp a race. I hated "the mile" in PE as a kid, but this race isn't about me verses the totally fit oddly 6 foot 8th grader in junior high, its about challenging myself and sticking to that challenge. I would like to run/walk it this year with a goal of running the whole time in 2010, but let's not put the cart before the horse.
So, what will be my reward? I think I'll give myself a polar heart monitor (here's a snazzy one):
You can hook it up to the polarpersonaltrainer.com site which allows you to set fitness goals and track your progress. There's also the fitbit which is cheaper and it tracks sleep as well, but it isn't a heart monitor, more of a very fancy pedometer. They really need to combine the two ideas if you wanted to know your every waking (and sleeping) day down pat, but for me, tracking yourself all day could get creepy and I'd rather just see what's the picture when I'm engaged in specific fitness activities (though I do agree geting your daily activities up is vital particularly in America).
Anywho, I'm not going to be in training for this race until May because my schedule makes it really difficult to engage in a cardio schedule, but I will try to focus on pilates and arm exercises during the week, with a Wednesday and Friday dedicated cardio workout each week.
This study is good for all dieters who face the "food police". I do Weight Watchers which has the group session component as well as the cutting calories component. Weight Watchers suggests that you can eat anything if you allot points for it. They do recommend you fulfill the healthy guides before you start using your points for treats and fast food.
Which means I can eat a big mac for lunch, if I have a salad for breakfast and soup for dinner. But when dealing with the "food police", being seen eating anything but a carrot means you are not taking your weight loss seriously.
But as the study shows, reducing calories on a consistently helps you lose weight not just the diet foods you eat that might be low in calories.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Outsiders need to stop re-victimizing the victims. If a person believes they were abused, then they were. So Jessica Simpson is entitled to have her feelings and make her decisions. So is Rhianna.
If the public wants to truly help victims. Then they need to provide funds to extend the reach of shelters and legal funds that give these victims a place to go if they want to leave and the legal means to stop their abuser from contacting them.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Meagan Goode is qouted as saying:
"I went to work with a studio that had worked with me about three years prior, and I was a lot thinner then," explains Meagan. "They basically said 'You need to lose weight if you want to work on this film.' It was a threat: If you want to keep your job, you need to lose weight. So go back to a size 0. I felt it was a career moveI think the film industry needs to check themselves. I can think of very few roles were a size 0 is necessary:
- medical patient
- eating disorder patient
But even in these cases couldn't you use CGI. If they can make superman fly and spiderman shoot webs from his arms. They can CGI someone to size zero so they don't risk their health.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Last Thursday night I was starving after class (and I couldn't do my generally flex schedule because a planned meeting Friday) so I had to figure out what to eat. All I could think was: I WANNA EAT NOW!!! Nothing was prepared at home and once again, I hate frozen meals though I do have some; I wanted to eat in the car on the way home (or so I told myself), but all the fast food options just kept going through my head. Now, I have gluten issues, so fast food is particularly bad for me also its bad for everyone. I was adding up in my head how much a combo meal at any one of the usual fast food restaurants is and it pissed me off. Then, I realized that I could eat Thai food for a couple dollars more. There is a really healthy Thai Restaurant right before the exit to get onto I-75 where I work (all the Chinese places in this town are awful, but the Thai place still has several healthy and tasty options). So, I went in and I ordered the vegetable and tofu dinner with steamed rice. The sauce is a soy sauce/ginger/garlic thing, not an oily pad-thai sauce or sweet type sauce. I had to sit in the restaurant for a few minutes as the order came up (I now have the to-go menu in my car so that I can order ahead if I'd like to do that in future). Of course, they gave me a ton of rice, but I used it over several days. I didn't eat until I got home, but what I ate was ready, delicious, and healthy. Because I was in my I WANNA EAT NOW mode, though I was greatly improved by the wait in the restaurant and the drive home, I still did eat a bit beyond satisfaction. But, I filled up on veggies and tofu and still had some left (instead of putting the veggies/tofu over the rice, I put some of the rice in with the veggies which cut back on the rice quite a bit).
If I get into one of these moods on Tuesday/Thursday nights, I think that I will keep the Thai place in mind. Healthy doesn't always mean homecooked or from a cardboard box. Dealing with these anxious I WANNA EAT NOW times is important to examine because I do have food issues and I want to self-soothe without food (or feed myself in a reasonable way when I'm in those food tantrums--I feel like when they aren't food specific, they are more like tantrums than binges because 1. it is true that I've deprived myself a couple hours too much, 2. there was no trigger food, just lack of food that took me to a place where I feel slightly out of control).
Kelly Bensimon of the Real Housewives of NY allegedly clocked her fiance Nick Stefanov. He is quoted as saying the following:
"If I had done it to her, I would have been put in jail immediately," Stefanov told his friend.
"My injuries are worse than Rihanna's - and Chris Brown was charged with two felonies."
My question is there a double standard when it comes to domestic violence? In the struggle for equality do women need to start getting charged for the abuse they inflict in domestic violence?
Of course, none of us fitness seekers have worn a pedometer our whole lives (nor should we--creepy to think of really), but it can be estimated that the average person in America walks approximately 115,000 miles in his/her lifetime (probably considerably more in Europe where walking is more a part of everyday life and seriously more in developing countries where you have no choice).
So, my car has already exceeded what I will do over my entire life in its 9 year span thus far (oh, please last at least 5 more years, dear car!)
Once again, I must say, I really appreciate my car, but I also have to say that I am tired of living so dependently on car transportation. I live in a mid-sized city, but I commute to a small town University about 40 minutes back and forth each day. I cannot wait to get a local job!!! I will be trying throughout the spring and summer (though in this economy, I should be thankful I have a job!)
I live near a couple grocery stores, at least one I could ride my bike to if it didn't cross a four-lane mega road. Bike traffic is not kosher for most of my householdy chores (like grocery shopping, going to the post office, etc.) that I would like to do where I currently live. If I lived closer to downtown, this would be more possible--though right downtown, we lack a grocery store. I want to be able to live in a part of town where I feel like I can do more of my errands by foot or bike, but not in a condo or apartment (I have to be able to have a garden!). This is something that will take time to achieve, but like with any major life changes, it will have to be incremental. So, my first start to this less-car dependent lifestyle will be to get a job in the city in which I live. I will need to pay down debt in order to get a more central house (I'm doing that now). Baby steps...
"Oh, my God, I have no desire," the American Idol winner, 26, tells USA Today. "I would not be a good mother.
I think she should be commended for knowing what she wants. I think choosing not to have kids is just as valuable as choosing to adopt or have kids. No woman should be singled out for reproductive choices.
Economics aside, I think the OctoMom really loves all her 14 children an people should keep that first most in their mind before they comment on her.
Monday, March 9, 2009
While we can't speak for the "performance," at least her body is rockin'.
Maybe if the world would stop talking about her weight, the chick could concentrate on learning the words to her songs.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
I personally believe a woman is worth more than her child birthing capabilities. Since they both ended up conceiving children by alternate means on their own. I think is position was sexist as it was presented to us by US Weekly.
I am not against divorce. I am just against people breaking up for the sole reason of not being able to have children, if this fact was not discovered by both parties until after the marriage.
I would totally feel disappointed in any man dumping me because I found out 5 years into a marriage that I thought was built on love and capability to be dump because I got back a bad medical exam.
Monday, March 2, 2009
For me water is the easiest thing to add to my life style. I drink 8-12 glasses of filter water at work each day. These are the reasons that I drink the majority of my water at work.
- I am close to a bathroom.
- I can have it at arms length at all times since I work at a desk.
- They provide filter waters so I don't have to invest into bottled water at home.