Saturday, February 20, 2010

Tracy Anderson's Anti-Bat Wing Routine

Okay, its well known that I don't like Tracy Anderson, I think she's a fraud and a bad trainer. She doesn't believe women should like more than 3lbs of weight and she thinks everybody can look like Madonna. Well, here's a home video of her doing her anti-bat wing arm exercise routine, which is pretty much a bunch of arm gyrations set to a beat. I'm sure it gets your heart rate up and that your arms are feeling it by the end of the five minutes, but I don't think that it should serve as a replacement for some weight resistance or weight lifting toning which is important for bone health as well as the aesthetics of the arm. Did you know that Michelle Obama can bench press 200lbs? Isn't that awesome and quite frankly, her arms are my personal envy.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Random Funny, you're welcome!

Quick Word of Encouragement

So, I was super sleepy at around 3:30 p.m. convinced that there was absolutely no way I could go to the gym and that perhaps if I drove home 40 minutes, took a nap, then I would be able/would desire going to the Y. Ha, right. Well, instead of grabbing a Diet Coke, I filled up a huge water cup and drank. I'm now perked up and I'm going to the uni gym as originally planned. Water, the new coffee!

Sarah Silverman: Making Fun of Fat Women Isn't Funny

So, Sarah Silverman was interview on CNN the other day and they asked her what category of jokes strikes her as offensive and unfair. She said:

"I don't really care for like fat jokes about women, specifically," she said.

"Because I feel that we live in a society where fat men deserve love, and fat women do not deserve love -- at least in white America. And so I feel like that's an ugly thing, and it doesn't make me laugh."

One thing that hit me about her answer was that she was trying to be culturally aware and own that she speaks for "white America" and not "American comedy" in general. This is good, to be aware that just because you are part of a dominate group, that's groups aesthetics and assumptions are not universal. Yet, I also think that when I see most fat jokes aimed toward women, they are women of color and that's not particularly funny either. If Tyler Perry or Edie Murphy is dressing like an fat black woman and making fun of her specifically because of some kind of fat black woman, ball busting stereotype (thinking back to Eddie Murphy's farting fat family in The Nutty Professor that was pretty unfunny and hateful), that's not funny--to the fat men and women, but especially the women.

I think that you rarely see depictions of fat white women as gross or crude; usually they are the best friend--often perky, like Gilmore Girls' Sookie. Gilmore Girls actually gave Sookie in the course of the show a husband and she went on to have three kids (all pregnancies depicted in the course of the seven year show). She had a rich life. This is rare for fat women on TV. Some of the WB's earlier fair showed positive black women of size and Monique has been both funny and fat, but that's because the jokes weren't on her, she made them. Among white-focused TV (read, mainstream) you have fat husbands and skinny wives, with the exception of Roseanne.

I think that Sarah is right, that fat jokes aimed at women in particular are not funny, but I don't think that its just a white community thing. Its especially unfunny when a skinny person dresses up like a fat person (see Perry and Murphy) and then depicts said fat person, man or woman, as an out of control slob and glutton. Tom Cruise also did this in Tropic Thunder.

When a fat person, however, puts it out there, particularly like Monique in a thoughtful, but funny way and talks about weight and body image, that's a whole different bag of party tricks (and certainly not what Silverman is referring to). Fat-drag is just mean spiritedness dressed up. So, reader, what are your thoughts on the matter?

Goal Update: Two Gyms

So, I'm a member of two gyms--and for the past week and an half almost everything has been closed :) I worked out yesterday and I've got my gym bag packed for today, Saturday I'm going to the Y and then Sunday I'm finally taking that Yoga class. I was actually off work for two days this week due to snow (which was nice, but cabin fever does tend to take over). You see, I live in the SOUTH and when we get snow, we totally freak out, close everything and hide. Its our way of dealing. I did a lot of organization and de-cluttering, so that's at least activity, but the snow has been mostly removed and the town (State) is back open for business. I'm also going to start reporting on doing the Beck Cognitive Behavioral Therapy book on changing thinking patterns to help with weight loss and dealing with the emotional aspects of food. I'll give you weekly updates starting Saturday.

Vintage Beauty: Betty Page

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Oprah's Not Talking to John Mayer

Oprah's Not Talking to John Mayer according to I think this is great. If Chris Brown did "the unforgivable" and John May did "the unforgiveable". Then I think she is right in her denial to do his interview.

John Mayer has a bunch of problems and I don't think they would be solved in 1 hour on Oprah.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Proper Squat Form

This video shows you proper air-squat and standard squat form demonstrated by a variety of individuals. Squats are great for your legs, but hard of the knees if you are carrying extra weight. According to Dr. Oz's show yesterday, losing weight and doing conditioning involving the knee can result in healing of the knees, so don't rule out squats altogether if you're heavy although consult a doctor, nurse practioner or personal trainer who specializes in obese clients before starting a squat regime.

Double Standard Alert !! is reporting that Beyonce is neglecting her marriage by working on Valentine's Day instead of going to a basketball game with her husband.

In my opinion, both of these people are rich and mobile. If he wanted to be with his wife, he could have flew to Chile if he had non-paying activities at the All-Star game.

But I would like to point out, that many singers rest their voices before performance. Therefore, even if he went she probably wouldn't have been a good conversationalist.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Black History Month: Harriet Ann Jacobs

Harriet Ann Jacobs (1813 – 1897) was a slave who published “Incidents in the Life of A Slave Girl” in 1861 under the pseudonym Linda Brent. The book chronicles the hardships and sexual abuse she experienced as a female growing up in slavery. Jacobs fled slavery in 1835 by hiding in a crawlspace in her grandmother’s attic for nearly seven years before traveling to Philadelphia by boat, and eventually to New York. Jacobs was active in feminist anti-slavery movements.

Friday, February 12, 2010

A Response to the Dodge Ad from the Super Bowl

There were several great feminist take-downs of the crap ads that pervaded the multimillion dollar spots throughout the Super Bowl last week. The consensus seemed to be that advertisers thought that the best winning angle for ads this season was to portray men as down-trodden by the evil vagina-archy, bitches be the problem and slubby dudes just wanna have fun. One of my favorite responses, Amanda Marcotte's Thoughts on the Misogyny Bowl in advertising (versus a truly uplifting game).

My favorite quote:

You know it’s a rough year in misogynist Superbowl advertising when an ad suggesting that women’s role in bearing sons matters more than their very right to live can’t even win the title of “Most Misogynist”. (Though it’s only on a technicality---the Tebow ad that aired during the Super Bowl was too confusing to register as overtly hateful, though it did insinuate that the only reason women die in childbirth is they aren’t “tough” enough, and apparently had it coming.)

Echidne mention that the Dodge Charger ad was actually narrated by Michael C. Hall, he of Dexter fame whose serial killer drama is similarly narrated by said actor. Check out her full post here, but I gotta say she hit it on the head because it almost seemed like that ad would culminate in violence. Scary. Her summation: Women are ball-breaking bitches or they have horrible, horrible cooties, and you must act decisively! By buying some crappy product! To show that you are not pussy-whupped, nosir.

Yes, buying crappy products make you a man, bitches is the problem, etc. Tired.

Well, in defense, there's a great parody up to that Charger, "Man's Last Stand" called "Women's Last " which is, well, way more accurate in terms of crap gender expectations and inequities, including "I will make 75 cents to every dollar you make." Check it out:

Vintage Beauties: Rosie Perez

Rosie Perez

Back in 1989, in the opening dance sequence of Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing, Rosie Perez was the hotest chick in the game. Also, what I loved about her she was "normal looking" but because of the dancing and later the ice cube scene she became hot.

Vintage Beauties: Ava Gardner

Thursday, February 11, 2010

John Mayer is Crazy

He also then goes on to apologize for the crazy talk.

I think he need to take a Kanye West Vacation .

John Mayer is just crazy. In the Playboy article he refers to his male anatomy to being a White Supremacist, but intellectually he would date a black women if she acted like a crazy white girl.

As a second warning, no women on the planet should go near John Mayer. He will just bring you down and throw you under the bus.

John Mayer

John Mayer has diarrhea of the mouth. He can't stop talking about his famous exs by name. He is such a fame hog. If a women has self respect they will stop dating him and anyone like him.

Women need to try to get to know a man before they start hooking up or their guy might end up putting their business on front street ala John Mayer.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Lisa's 7 Week Jump Start: Week 7 Closure

After seven weeks of Jump Start, I am going to say I have stayed the same. For a total of 8 lbs. I am saying this because I have changed my WW weigh-in time to Monday night, versus Wednesday morning.

I am glad I pursued this challenge. I got me to some huge Milestones in my diet journey. I also have re-enforced my fruit and veggie habit.

In future post I will focusing on my 5 K Aspirations.

Thanks for following me on my journey.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Article Recommendation: Radical Homemaking

Check out this Alternet article by Shannon Hayes called "Radical Homemaking: Why Both Men and Women Should Get Back Into the Kitchen."

She explores the history of the terminology behind "homemaking" and "housewife" as well as documenting some of the class/racial/economic/gendered tensions behind the "stay-at-home-housewife" vs. radical homemaking, where both men and women learn skills, such as cooking, gardening, canning, carpentry, etc. to be radical homemakers. Its thoughtful, not pat, and worth a read.

Two Gyms: A Little Crazy or Just Right?

So, here's my update. I worked out SOOOOOOO MUCH last week. Actually, I over did it a bit and didn't stretch properly and spent much of the week in constant tightness/pain. I now belong to two gyms--is that crazy or just right?

The gym at the university I work at is $15 per month, taken directly from my pay-check and I know have a $25 per month YMCA membership as part of a household. I work Monday-Thursday, and my commute is about 40 minutes, so driving to the small town I work at outside of the city I live in is not very practical (or gas efficient). So, Monday, Tuesday & Thursday I'm working at at the Uni gym; Friday/Saturday I'm working out at the YMCA. Also, I've been looking for a yoga class and with three Y's in the city, I'm going to sample their Yoga classes (which are included as part of membership) so that I can do yoga at least once per week.

For all the effort I put in, I didn't actually lose any weight, but I believe I'm building muscle. I'm avoiding the scale for a while and measuring/observing my clothes instead. This is about lifestyle, not a quick loss. I'm shedding weight, not losing it. I'm also going to look into the pre-maid salads they have at my Uni cafe and see if they're any good.

Small goals:
Take multivitamin everyday
Focus on cardio (letting strength training go for a couple days, maybe do some pilates moves since I didn't do my abs last week)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Lisad00 5K On Off Aspirations

Well, I have decided to do the same 5K Run-Walk I did last year. You can see my results here: Lisad00 First 5K Results

I have decided to train to beat my personal best by 2 minutes. I will keep you briefed of my progress. The race date is April 18, 2010.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Vintage Beauties: Aretha Franklin

Vintage Beauty: Ruby Dee

One of our readers, William, has brought Ruby Dee to our attention. He pointed out that she is bringing the beauty at any age and he is on the money.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Black History Month: Buffalo Soldier

Cathay Williams (1842 – ) was the first and only known female Buffalo Soldier. She was born into slavery and worked for the Union army during the Civil War. She posed as a man and enlisted as Williams Cathay in the 38th infantry in 1866. She was given a medical discharge in 1868.
I just wanted to point out that there were trail blazers before us and they will trail blazers after us.

8 Craziest health rumors

Liz Vaccariello, Editor-in-Chief, PREVENTION, wrote about the top 8 Craziest health rumors

They are as follows:

1.) Baby carrots are preserved with bleach
2.) Working out on an empty stomach burns more fat
3.) Eating too much sugar causes diabetes
4.) Does Listerine mouthwash help keep mosquitoes away?
5.) Spicy foods boost metabolism
6.) Liquid eyeliner causes sinus infections
7.) It’s safe to follow the 5-second rule for dropped food
8.) Can cracking your knuckles cause arthritis?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sara Rue Loses 25 Lbs. on Jenny Craig

A little more than two months ago, Jenny Craig’s newest spokeswoman, Sara Rue, announced to PEOPLE her goal of losing 30 lbs. with the program. After five days she had dropped 7 lbs., and now, just nine weeks after she began she’s already shed 25 lbs. — and can’t wait to lose the final 5.

I am sorry but I am calling foul. We here at Fat Feminist Fitness Blog have been very critical of Valerie Bertinelli and Kirstie Alley while working with Jenny Craig. Yet, neither of them lost 25 lbs in 2 months. Here is the link to the video of Valerie Bertnelli talking about losing 18 lbs in 7 weeks.

Lisa's 7 Week Jump Start: Week 6 Results

After six weeks of Jump Start, I am going to say I have stayed the same. For a total of 8 lbs. I am saying this because I have changed my WW weigh-in time to Monday night, versus Wednesday morning. So today’s weight is from my home scale. This is how I did it this week.

1. Eating lots of veggies via salads.

2. Throwing away food that was stale versus continuing to eat it.

3. Fitting in extra exercise when I could.

Staying the same is awesome. It means that I didn't sabotage myself after reaching goals.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Oscar Mold Breakers

Mo'Nique & Gabourey Sidibe got the 2010 Nominations

Gabourey Sidibe for Actress in a Lead Role

Healthy Resolutions Challenge

So, my work--a University--has put out a 55 point, 6 wellness credit change through our Healthy You program for the month of February. The three items they want us to track are:

1. Sleep--at least 7 hours per night
2. Relaxation/Meditation--at least 15 minutes of time out of your day
3. Nutrition--eat at least one cup of fruit and one cup of vegetables per day

Now, I'm pretty good on the Sleep category--I try to aim for 8 hours per night. I'm also very good on the veggies, though making sure that I eat a cup of fruit will require a bit more attention. The relaxation/mediation component is what I'll really need to work on, but I think that a challenge like this is exactly how to go about it. After all, it takes 21 days to form a habit, right LisaD? In order to receive full wellness program credits at the end of the year, one must participate in at least one of the monthly challenges. We track our progress in an online system.

So, how about it readers--anyone interested in taking this challenge with me? Let me know in the comments and I'll try to arrange a reader give-away from a sponsor if we get enough responses.

Vanity Fair's Young Hollywood: All White & Thin Apparently!

So, according to Vanity Fair, Young Hollywood is all white and all thin. Somehow I'm not shocked that they forgot about breakout star, Gabourey Sidibe.

There is a great quote in Ebony where she addresses her outsider status in Hollywood:

"I don't try to live up to the standards of Hollywood or any of that – I know that I'm different and I celebrate it. In a weird way, I kind of really, really love being the alien in the room. I dig it."

Gosh, I hope she's nominated for an Oscar for her performance in Precious. I hope she wins. After all, are the Oscars about acting or beauty pageants sans the talent portion?

Must Read: Eating Diorders Somehow Still Occuring in Fashion Industry

Check out this in-depth article at Jezebel regarding eating disorders, disordered eating and the unsafe working conditions within the fashion industry. Its well written and researched. My favorite quote:

Agencies need to stop telling women like Coco Rocha "We don't want you to be anorexic, we just want you to look it!" Because too many of them are. In any other job, a worker who developed a serious health problem due to the job's conditions would get workers' compensation. Models get, generally speaking, fired. In any other job, if enough workers were developing the same serious health problem due to the job's conditions, there would be an outcry, and the dangerous conditions would be abolished.

I have to say that because this is a female dominated field and it bolsters the illusion of wealth and glamor, there will be few in sympathy with the author, Jezebel's Jenna's, call to model worker rights, health or safety. Much like prostitutes, models are dismissed (though better paid) as doing unnecessary work (unlike, say a coal miner who gets black-lung and deserves protection). Coal miners, prostitutes and models all deserve safe working conditions. All human beings are worthy of dignity and a shared protection under the law.

In addition to protecting the health and safety of models, we need to consider the health and safety of women and girls.

According to a study conducted by the Girl Scouts of America:

"75% rate fashion as "really important." Almost nine out of ten feel pressure to be thin. And celebrities and models influence girls' self-perceptions more than parents or friends. Obviously, conditions need to change within the fashion industry to benefit the models who live and work in an environment that can be hazardous to their health. But with fashion playing such a crucially influential role in the lives of young women, we need change — larger sample sizes, more diversity in magazines and on the runway, a greater focus on health and better eating disorder screening — for the good of all girls.

Interestingly enough, the vast majority of teenagers would also prefer to consume fashion imagery that has not been excessively Photoshopped, and to buy clothes modeled by people who aren't super-skinny. These sound like specific instructions from a key segment of the apparel market — meaning that change would not only be morally admirable, but remunerative as well. The only question, as always, is whether or not the fashion industry is listening."

Monday, February 1, 2010

Christina Hendricks Gallery

Christina Hendricks' Photo Altered by NY Times Fashion Editor

This is interesting, after the Golden Globes there was a flap about a New York Times fashion writer who criticized Christina Hendricks dress/body-type. Cathy Horn said, "You don't put a big girl in a big dress. That's rule number one."

Hendricks, of Mad Men fame--disclaimer, its one of my favorite shows and she's a veteran of another favorite show of mine,Firefly--Hendricks is well known for her rockin' bod and bombshell appeal, in addition to her clever delivery of dialogue and the withering look. She is also lauded and shamed for showing off her curves and daring to be glamorous over a size 2.

It turns out that the image of her Golden Globes dress that accompanied Horn's article was actually doctored to be wider--yes, that's right folks photoshop was actually used to make an actress look larger--shockers! Horn claims that it was accidentally distorted, I call bullshit, but whatever.

Hendricks' husband stuck up for his wife, stating:
“I was just upset about the whole Golden Globes dress thing. I thought she looked so gorgeous. And that New York Times blogger saying that… It’s so ridiculous.

“What was nice was seeing the entire internet come after that blogger. That was really cool. It was the first time I saw just a solid block of ‘You’re crazy! What’s wrong with you? You should be ashamed of yourself!’ And honestly, the Gray Lady (New York Times' nickname) should be ashamed of themselves to print a picture like that, that they widened!”

It is nice to see that the majority of posts seemed to criticize the blogger for interpreting Ms. Hendricks body as "a big girl's" body in the first place, prior to revealing the doctored photo--and I"m glad to hear it. But, I think that showing that photos are doctored to malign as well as to create false images of unattainable beauty, deserves more of a discussion. Personally, I'm really liking the present legislation in France that requires advertisers to note in their commercials that the images have been doctored by photoshop (kind of reminds me of alcohol and cigarette ads with the surgeon general's warning on them).

I'd also like to mention that Christina Hendricks is still 99% more beautiful that the vast majority of human beings, and even if her weight is more attainable than the average starlets', constantly comparing oneself to beautiful people probably isn't healthy. As John Donne said, "comparisons are odious." Appreciating beauty, on the other hand, can be a source of delight. So, I will give you a brief gallery of Joan, I mean, Yolanda...I mean Christina in the next post (since Blogspot won't let me put the photos as the end of this one! Grr Argh).

13 Going on 50?

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This is really sad. The girl in the clip suffers from lipodystrophy, which causes the fatty tissue under the skin to deteriorate. Her face appears to be that of a middle-aged woman (although she's only 13) and the stigma of her condition has caused her mother to take her out of school due to the taunts and bullying. She wants a face lift, although how effective that would be in the long run is questionable. The coverage on Today was much better than that conducted by Good Morning America which was even more sensationalist and insensitive, but fundamentally, both news programs focused singularly on the social implications for the 13 year old of her appearance. Lipodystrophy also contributes to heart disease, diabetes, kidney failure and other life-threatening medical conditions that this young woman is likely to face as she actually ages. Her mother, who also suffers from the disease, has seven children, three who inherited Lipodystrophy.

I'm not discounting the desire to appear one's age--or to free oneself from a clef palate or other non-life-threatening, but life-quality diminishing condition. If I were to get breast cancer (goddess forbid), I would most certainly have breast reconstruction surgery (although Twisty at I Blame the Patriarchy makes a good case for why this choice should not be the default or any more valid than living proudly with one's post-operative chest).

I do think that this story uncovers several anxieties about aging and the tragedy of the existence of the ugly, or non-beautiful in this world. Dealing with a bus driver refusing her a youth pass on the bus is serious and upsetting. The bullying she experiences at her local school denies her right to an education and should be dealt with by the school system appropriately. Her mother expressing the wish that she had never had Zara--that because she inherited this condition it would be better that she not have been born at all is just too sad and should be deconstructed.

She is not beautiful, but should the tragedy of existence as a non-beautiful person be cause for the wish for non-existence? Does the mother mean she should have received genetic counseling when she considered pregnancy or became pregnant? These are two very different questions.

I was very uncomfortable with this story and with the manner in which the news outlet dismissed the probability of heart disease, diabetes and kidney failure to instead focus on the appearance of advanced age. Of course, without that "freak of the week" quality, a story about a 13 year old girl with a non-appearance impacting genetic disease that might result in heart disease, diabetes and kidney failure would never make it onto our version of "morning news."