Posts Tagged ‘exercise’

Image

 

This is not a diet blog and I swore I’d never blog about this topic again. HOWEVER,  I am passionate moderate living and in reading Austin Kleons book ‘Steal Like An Artist’ he said,  if you cut off all your passions to focus on one theme , the others will come back like phantom limbs. I’m paraphrasing a bit, because I’m too entrenched to get up and get book to fully quote. (No, not to be confused with lazyness hee hee lol smiley emoticon:)))  ….*note.. If you are an aspiring writer, blogger, artist, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU read the book!

Okay, I’m FRUSTRATED with the food fads and trends. I’m tired of hearing grains and dairy are bad for you. (Unless you are gluten and lactose intolerant).  I’m tired of seeing before pictures that look like normal and after pictures with < 7% body fat ON A WOMAN, AND people cheering this behavior forward., Sorry ladies, been there done that, its not good for you.

I can’t speak to the men very well  because I feel like the rules are a bit different.  I’m not looking for an argument, I’m simply going to write what I know and share my experience with people.

What prompted this ? I am on vacation and have been eating extremely healthy for vacation mode. Maybe a bit restrictive because my metabolism has been interesting since I turned the big 40.  Well last night I was really craving a “high class bourgeoisie” dessert so I splurged on this incredible gelato (I would have re mortgaged the house or a cup. IT WAS THAT GOOD) and you know what??. My stomach feels the best its felt all week. I had been slightly bloated prior to my “sin” and it was like my belly said “thank you for finally not counting the sugar grams or checking to see if there was only organic ingredients” . THANK you for being moderate.

Hey, I’m not saying saying organic is bad, because I do lean towards this, and recognize America has a lot of work to do when it comes to offering less processed, “whole” ingredients and I, 100 perecent agree we need to get GMOs,  bad dyes and all that crap out of our food.  All I am saying is stop the incessent, extreme nagging of extreme health. You are scaring away the people who really need to make some changes in their life because they see a before picture of a skinny chick who ate nuts and twigs for a month to get even skinnier.  If I were overweight, I would be like “%¡|°|°||^\**<[¡<[%*\]][%|°[°®®€”. Yes that was a stream of expletives.

Here are 8 reasons why dieting and extreme food restrictions suck:

1) 18 ~25 % is normal body fat percentage. This DOES NOT TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION muscle mass. Based on height and weight,   mine is 21% and I’m moderately athletic. I  have been as low as < 5% and trust me , getting to that place sucked. I was at roughly 10\13% when I was an alcoholic smoker, runner and trust me, I was NOT healthy or even close to it. 

2) You are not teaching yourself how to eat moderately. You are teaching yourself how to restrict.  That sounds like a lot Of fun. 

3) The stricter the diet the higher the propensity for failure, binging, severe depression and anxiety.

4) oh Crap. Was I was supposed to make this funny? I don’t know how. Oh I know! Diets suck bc 9/10 times THE FOOD TASTES LIKE SHIT.

5) Sorry food police,  NO ONE wants to be around people measuring their food. Learn portion control by eating slowly and listening to your body.. I admittedly suck at eating slow but I do know when I have had enough, I don’t need a damm scale or container to box me in.

Caveat, when I was anorexic, I would take my little measured vegetable salad into Au Bon Pain in Cambridge, Boston and eat it at my break. People looked at me like I was crazy because I WAS CRAZY! One time, my portioned meal, fell on the ground. I scooped it up, washed off in the bathroom, and cried ON the floor while I ate my veggies delight.  My point, don’t box yourself in with crazy restrictions and guidelines or you could end up on the floor crying into dirty veggies.

6) Dieting LOWERS your metabolism. You need to increase it by learning to eat small, healthy, meals portioned BY YOUR SIGHT AND FEELING. 

Caveat. Three years as an anorexic THEN! Another three years  of my body holding onto food like white on rice and being slightly overweight till my body was like “okay, shes not going to be an Au Bon Pain floor eating fool anymore”.  My point, restrictions on food tell your body to conserve and slows metabolism, hence you are working against yourself.

7) Fake sweetener is bad. Yes. I like my coke zero every now and again, and I use a stevia sugar blend, in moderation,  but real sugar (or fruit)  is probably the best if you are truly craving something sweet. Aim for “In the raw” brands or eat some of that amazing gelato I had in Ft Lauderdale (Pan’e Dolci). WHY do humans crave sweet? Because in the old days.(caveman?) Sweet berries meant non poisoning berries, so don’t fight your cavemen instincts. Try fruit first. If its been a while, and you need some gelato, eat some gelato.

8) Diets are boring. Do your research. There are multitudes of healthy fulfilling foods. JUST stay away from the word DIET.

I think I said enough.  

Sidenote~ I do not intend to piss off athletes. I got mad love for ya. My irritation is with promoting unrealistic body images within the fitness industry as an attempt to promote weight loss products. I love The Dove Campaign for real beauty. They are not a weight loss company but I love the message they portray in terms of women celebrate your inner and outer beauty.

We live in a world of polarizing extremes.   I recently got rid of a book I purchased a few years ago, titled ” So and So’s method to a flat stomach” I don’t know why I even purchased the book, lets just say it was an impulse buy during a massive outbreak of PMM- Pre-menstrual-mania. I’m sure I even purchased the book at some super cute Starbucks-BarnesNobility along with a frosted orange-cranberry -scone (my favorite treat , in case you were wondering what to bring me as a baked-good surprise.  )

I’m not immune to the strobe-light eye-bulging-pings of pictures of muscled up models , with their fashionably tousled,  frazzled hair and looks of  undeniable pain and beautiful desperation in their face with quotes such as “If you do not look like me while you are working out, then you should go eat that orange-cranberry -frosted scone while you sob in the corner for not pushing yourself this morning, you lazy , sad person”  Yes, I’m being facetious with my quote; however, unless you live in a hole, you have seen something of this sort somewhere in a magazine, in social media or at the nail salon while buffing up your nails.

I have been down the exercise-lunatic road-  secretly running at 3 am in Boston Massachusetts, ironically “hiding” my completely obvious obsessive compulsive-exercise disorder in the depth of the pre-Team Jacob  hour, praying that no-one would notice my mania.  I would- pretend I was “just taking out the trash” when I came back dripping wet, limping from overused tendons and shaking from hunger in my “running clothes.”  I have had to ceremoniously burn all my fitness fanatic magazines as a form of therapy to rid myself of the demons to have what I thought might have been the perfect figure because I imagined that punishing myself for eating would bring me peace, content and eternal happiness.

I really do not know many women (and some men) who struggle with their body size, image & food intake,  etc on a daily basis. Lest, here I am again , teaching fitness , joining a run club and blogging about what continues to creep into my mind , yes sometimes on a daily basis  Am I dancing with the flame that burnt me to the ground twenty years ago? Should I teach Dance as fitness? (which I came to the conclusion after a few classes that , no , this might not be my skill set , as Carlton Banks tried to sue me for stealing his patented moves)  I have also listed other questions that pop up in my mind and minds of others due to the insidious ADHD’ness of the fitness-fanatic posts..

“Am I working out enough? Am I eating too many carbs?  Am I eating enough carbs? Are carbs and grains really that bad for you?  Seriously now fruit has too much sugar in it??  Am I doing the right exercises? Should I be lifting weights more because strong is the new sexy which is the new skinny which, inevitably the people lifting still look pretty darn skinny so that’s just totally confusing and overwhelming? Should I try to lose 5lbs because someone asked me to be in their challenge group to “get fitter?”   STOP!!!

I want to inspire and motivate people to be and live a healthy lifestyle; yet not let it consume them in a negative self-centered, controlling manner.  I haven’t figured out the best means to carry out this message, but I am learning slowly that standing up for the us “middle-grounders” is a good place to start.  You can be healthy, run, exercise, walk, jog, crawl, teach, box, tae-bo, turbo, ski , jump, hop , bungy jump , swim, zumba, dance, frog jump, play red-light , green light or what have you  and ENJOY IT!  I guess I just feel like health& fitness on social media sends the message that inevitably frightens people the most that really need a reason and an authentic, stimulating catalyst to get up and start appreciating exercise as a part of their life that’s flippin’ fun! not agony!!!!

As I am trying to put into my own words, I’ll lean on the very media that sometime pushes the negative voices in ourselves to an advertisement that literally makes me want to cry because I’m so in love with the message.  I’m referring to the Special K advertisement currently on tv. (google it!).  In a nutshell it’s a variety of beautiful women, all different shapes and sizes, trying on “size-less’ jeans ,with words of inspiration as tag instead of “size x, y or z”.  This advertisement is such a breath of fresh air betwixt the other messages of “do or die to get to a size” .

The inspiration for this blog was my post on Facebook today “What do you think of the popular fitness/health Facebook post “Abs are made in the kitchen”.    Here is a quick summary on how I feel about this post:

  • Being healthy & exercise is more about how I feel than looks. Yes- I want to feel confident about myself- but quilting my way out of something enjoyable to have ripped-up abs- is just not my cup of Joe- Plus Cups of Joe should be starting in the kitchen..For me, it about feeling peaceful & healthy and intuition and moderation play and major role in my decision making when it comes to eating. I do not measure, count calories or weight myself.  (ok, occasionally I step on the scale, but I really try to avoid at all costs)  I am not saying that people who want to lose weight – should follow my protocol, I’m just saying that if I’m not listening to my body in terms of what I feel like I need to eat , and stop when I am full and I’m going by a calorie counter- I end up feeling deprived, restricted and angry.  
  • Please let it be noted, I’m not disrespecting anyone who uses these methods to stay healthy, I think that’s awesome! I’m a HUGE HUGE fan of weight watchers and my fitness pal.c om because it does encourage moderation and nothing is “off limits, I’m simply referring to how my brain works and hoping to inspire people to think about a variety of ways to be healthy, lose weight, gain muscle – etc!

In closing, Do not let your self worth be determined by number on a scale, jean size at  Jones, or a flat stomach flapping in magazine in front of you.    Ok, I wanted my blog to have more of a humorous slant, but for me this is a serious subject too because of the fact that anorexia and obesity are one of the same disease. They are eating disorders, and both should be treated as such. Do you know that when I was anorexic, my therapist made me go to Over-eaters Anonymous?  What the frack?  Well, what I realized is that OA, is not just about – overeating!, it’s about using food to control your emotions!!!  Therefore, my message to anyone that may be struggling with eating and health,  if you feel like you have a serious problem- there is help, and getting control of the emotional aspect of literally “what’s eating away at you”, is the first step in freeing yourself from emotions that bind you into using food/exercise (lack of /overuse) I will list a few hotlines, links below.  Thanks so much for reading! I hope i have inspired or helped at least one person to take the step for a health life , that is not driven by a jean size or a scale number.

http://www.oa.org/

http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/

http://www.recoverymonth.gov/