Stuff and other nonsense

amuck

This will be draft 3 that I’ve started this morning. I keep trying to come up with relevant things to write about. I am trying to keep this blog at least loosely gravitating around heath/fitness/cooking. But, fact is, there is only so much I can say. None of which made up a whole post on its own. So, here are some quick highlights:

-I tried P90X. I made it 4 weeks through before the 1+ hour long workouts started to feel like torture. Also, I only have about a 40 minute attention span for yoga. However, I did gain some significant flexibility and can now hold crow pose for almost 2 whole seconds. Hey, little victories. Also, I really appreciate taking the time to truly focus on my form and perform my lifts for strength again. I’m not trying to double up on the cardio/lifting thing like P90X had you trying to do. Hello, oly bar squats, so good to see you again.

-I’m really sick of food. I think this probably proves that I’m bad at being a human. Making food, smelling food, having to think of appropriate foods to eat, ugh. Like, at this point I would be totally content to just sit down with a loaf of French bread and go to town. Instead I ate carrots and hummus. +1 mana.

-It has come to my, slightly resentful, attention that I appear to be at the point in life in which Halloween parties are no longer a thing that happens. There has been a nice linear regression since I was about 17 so I guess I managed to drag that out as long as possible. Maybe this is why people do Halloween make-up youtube tutorials. Still get to dress up but then don’t have to deal with the itchy, smudged makeup and scratchy costume all night. Also, you get to sleep. And not socialize. And not have to deal with drunk people. Also, you can read books, in comfy clothes. Sorry, my anti-social is showing. But, honestly, this does make me a bit sad. I still have a very special place in my creepy little heart for Halloween. I guess I’ll just stay home and watch Hocus Pocus.

-Oh, and hey, Winter is on the way. For those of us who live in Northern states, especially college towns, beware the onslaught of Uggs. Seriously, aren’t trends supposed to die out within a year or two? My boyfriend feels that they are just high top moccasins and I don’t think he’s wrong.

-It’s in the high 50’s low 60’s here in Ohio right now. You know what that means? Helloooooo boost weather. Shout out to all my fellow forced induction enthusiasts. And to my fellow AWD family, you know what’s next? Aw, yeah! That slippery white stuff that falls from the sky. Donut dust. Drift glitter. Fun flakes..

-Oh, and Season 11 of Supernatural started. (Pause for fangirl moment…) Also, on a related note, I finally got around to reading Felicia Day’s book. It’s fantastic and hilarious and it made me feel better about myself and I love her more now. You should go read it.

ahh

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Insomniac Afternoon

Fuck.
Ugh. Okay.
So, here I am trying to sleep. And, if I’m honest this is nothing out of the ordinary, but my mind is just marathoning. As of late it’s been mostly centered around food, diet, health and body image. I will say that I’ve never had a particularly healthy relationship with food. When I was a kid I had an under-developed bile duct and it caused me hundreds of day long stomach aches, many nights with my face in a toilet and essentially left me thinking that food was poison. If I didn’t eat I wouldn’t have anything to throw up. Problem solved. I became scared of food and would only eat food that I had prepared myself. This mostly consisted of salads.
I evened out in middle school and was basically healthy. I wasn’t preoccupied with my body or my diet. I was just living.
High school was a mess. I basically lived off of Fruit Loops, pizza, beer, ice cream and french fries. And, yes…I did say high school. And while my diet was shit, I was happy. I felt good in my skin. I was also at my heaviest.
In my 20’s is when things started to get very, um, dark. I had serious body issues. I would eat a handful of carrots for lunch. I counted calories. I weighed my food. I went overboard on exercise. I was pretty much obsessed.
As my 30th birthday fast approaches I find that I am maybe starting to find my balance. Maybe. I realize that I don’t do well with restriction. I have fallen into the catagory of people who have compartmentalized foods into bullshit groups of “good” and “bad”. I’m having trouble keeping sight of moderation.
I wake up and immediately think about what to eat. It becomes a battle. I beat myself up for only wanting to eat cookies or PB&J. I almost accept the fact that I am healthy and completely capable and that should be enough but, then I pass a mirror. I will stop to poke and prod. Turn and scrutinize. And then the body image, and to some extent my self esteem, takes a nose dive.
I try really hard to focus on the fact that the media is fucked up. That figure competitions only showcase half of that persons figure. I am not a model, movie star nor do I have tailor made clothing and shapewear.
It never really sinks in.
So, I am going to really try now that I’m heading into my 3rd decade on this planet to just accept my body for the healthy, strong, agile sack of tissues that it is.
To do that I have to stop being that scared, judgy, media warped person that pinches and scowls.
How better to do that then to post up an undoctored picture of yourself? I find it sad that I feel like this borders on brave.
I am not trolling for any kind of sympathy, compliments etc. I just really want to put a picture of me. Human. In the flesh. No filter. Cellulite. Imperfect self.
If I saw as many unedited, inclusive, body positive images as I see of those that are mostly Photoshop copies of the same body composition then maybe I could just let the fuck go of this battle already.

image

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And there it is. I’m about to publish this….
Fuck

An Endless Echo

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I consider myself lucky in that I made it 29 years into life before I had to face the absolute finality that is death. It’s one thing to know of a concept, to know that it will happen, but it’s another to actually be sucked into the vacuum that is left when a someone ceases to exist. I’ve lost people in the sense that we had a falling out or a fazing out of each others lives. I guess I thought that losing someone to the inevitable would be similar. I was very, very wrong.

This year, well not this whole year, just July. And, only in the the span of a week and a half in July, I had to come to terms with the mortality of two family members. Two people who had been around for all 29 years of my life. People who had become so much a part of the tapestry that was my mundane, ordinary life that much like oxygen they were just there and I had become so used to their presence that the though of them truly not being there wasn’t one I had really had. It wasn’t that I felt these people somehow invincible or immortal but I hadn’t put the full gravity of death into perspective. I didn’t think about what it would be like to look for a number in my contacts list and scroll past their names. There was never the forethought to realize that at some point I will have some inane little story I want to tell them but they wont be around to hear it. There was still history I wanted to know and things left to learn. It really is the simple things that hurt the most. While on vacation I was taking pictures specifically for someone who I would never speak to again. I didn’t realize it at first but when my recent memories finally overtook the last 29 years of memories it was like the floor fell out from under me.

One was my grandmother. Granted, I knew the odds were pretty great that I would outlive her. She had become rather sick in the last 5 years of her life and her autonomy was gone, her will slowly slipped. She could no longer read or write. She could barely speak. Her body gave out on her while her mind stayed all too sharp. She became a prisoner, just waiting for release. It was crushing to visit her but I made it a point to try and see her as much as I could. Regardless of how uncomfortable it was for me I knew I had limited time and any time spent with her could maybe break the monotony and give her something to smile about or at least distract her from the waiting. When I saw her the last time I knew it was the last time. I tried to engage her as much as possible but she couldn’t really talk and her mental function had drastically decreased. I’m not positive that she was even completely aware that I was there or who I was. It really shook me. To see this woman reduced to a shell was haunting. Honestly, it scared me. A few days later I got the call that she had stopped breathing in her sleep. While I was thankful that the ultimate end was peaceful it was certainly not swift. I’m glad she didn’t go out with a struggle, chaos and noise being her last sensory input. But, the long decline overshadows that. She lived a hard life, full of raw deals and disappointment. I miss her but I’m glad her struggle is over. If I were a person of faith I would wish for her to find her place in heaven with all the friends that passed before her. I imagine her reunited with all the animals she shared her life with. Even though I don’t believe this to be true, I do know that the nothing is a better place than it was here in the end.

The other person I lost was my cousin. Unlike my grandmother, I didn’t imagine this, ever. It wasn’t even a passing thought. She was young. She was radiant. She was the closest thing I had to a sister. I never once thought I would be present at her funeral. Her laugh, her smile, the sound of her voice, the last hug we shared at our grandmothers funeral. Those are the echos she left behind. They haunt me because they were pure light. She had nothing but passion and good will. She was one of the biggest moral influences in my life. To have that compass sucked into a void without so much as last glance, a good bye, a happy last memory just absolutely floored me. It knocked everything in my life off balance for a while. With our grandmother there had been a reason, a gradual fall, and then a graceful a release. My cousin was just gone. No reason. No nothing. Just a void that had once been filled with life.

It’s in working my way through that void that I’ve come to realize that the thing I failed to recognize about death and the absences it leaves behind is the fact that it also takes all hope with it. When you argue with someone, when you fall out of touch for whatever reason, there is still the opportunity to reconnect. They still walk the earth. Someone somewhere is hearing them laugh, someone is loving them, they are making a difference somehow. But death, it is total. That person is no more. All that they have to offer has been given and now all that’s left are memories sure to fade. The impermanence threatens to tear apart the threads I’ve used to tie my understanding together.

Before this I understood loss and death only as simple definitions. Now I understand them as these invisible beasts that are forever on our heels. Every one of us. I’m all too aware of what I stand to loose. It’s almost paralytic.

I’m trying to find the good, see the silver lining, even if it is tarnished. This has ripped down any curtains I had put up around my own vulnerability. I feel exposed and raw and scared. I feel like I never want to say good bye to anyone. I just want a room full of all the people I love, their pets, and my pets and I just want to hide away and not waste any time. I feel like time’s running out, I know that time’s running out and there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it.

On being well informed in the fitness world

RABBITNOMS

It’s absolutely no secret that the fitness and nutrition world is largely full of scammy, half-truth, poorly researched nonsense. It’s my biggest reservation about entering into the industry….how do I successfully market myself while still remaining truthful? After all, sustainable long-term fitness rarely makes for explosive headlineS and viral campaigns. but, if I’m going to do this I want to do it as honestly as possible…however mundane that may be.

I feel that the ultimate way to get our tumultuous relationship with health and fitness on track is to arm every single person, athlete or not, with the information to make sound decisions for his/herself.  This is incredibly burdensome, I do get that. If we all could get some quality biochemistry education, kinesiology training and access to fresh foods it would be so much easier. But, we don’t live in a world like that. So, the best I can hope to do is educate those around me and pass on good quality information when I run across it. The article I’ve linked is one such example. It is long, but it is so worth the read.

Arm yourself

An Apology to my Digestive Tract

I AM SO SORRY!!!

Like, [(sorry)1000]^7….or something.

I am a vegetarian, walking a very fine line between that and veganism. By and large I do not worry about what I eat and whether or not I am getting all my vitals because, well, for one thing I’m 13 years into this lifestyle and still alive. I’m doing something right. And, also, I eat a lot of really decent, varied foods. Nature has me covered regardless, or in spite of, my efforts otherwise. So, other than my daily protein shake (because there isn’t enough quinoa, peanut butter and nutritional yeast in the world to get me to daily intake goals while still staying at my calorie goals), I really don’t supplement anything. Don’t feel the need to. But then I started to read some actual, scientific facts about creatine. Specifically how study after study showed that vegetarians have lower muscle creatine levels than their meat eating counterparts.

Creatine is not essential in the diet. Our bodies can naturally synthesize it using two other amino acids, glycine and arginine. Regardless of how it comes to be, creatine is needed to assist in the rapid synthesis of ADP to ATP. The faster ADP can be transferred to ATP the more energy is available to the muscle. More energy equals more reps, heavier weights and more explosive movements. You see where this is going.

So, I decided to give it a try. I went with creatine monohydrate because it’s a classic, has close to 100% bioavailability and it’s cheaper than the fancy stuff. Now this is the turning point of where all my good intentions started to fall apart. Instead of reading about the best way to take it I decided to just dump 5g in a glass of cool water and drink up. For some this might work. It does not work for me. Not at all. I may as well have drank sand. Or concrete. Or glass shards.

The best part is that I didn’t learn my lesson the first day. I did this for 2 more days. I did this until I couldn’t eat. Sometimes I can be quite dense. Much like the glob of creatine that was festering in my gut.

BLARGH!!

Via the endless internet wisdom, I now have some ideas on how to experiment and possibly make this process better. Once my digestive tract returns to digesting and moving things along I will be mixing the powder in hot water, splitting up the dose in to two servings and also trying it with a meal. I would like to see what creatine can do for me but if it requires me to feel like this it can’t possibly be worth it.

But, hey, on a way more excellent note, I found a super delicious, not at all guilt inspiring, alternative to nutella. I had to ban nutella from my house because it was binge inducing and I absolutely could not control myself around it. But then I found Date Lady Chocolate Spread. It’s vegan, sweetened with date syrup and pectin and wonderfully simple. AND ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS. Oh, and only 79 calories per tablespoon.Get Some here

And to exemplify my point of both how wonderful the chocolate spread is I present to you a picture of my goofy ass dog and her imitation of my face when I first tasted it.

CrazyEyes
ERMERGERD!!!

In conclusion, this weeks lessons are thus: When trying a new supplement don’t just mix it with water thinking that’s the best or only way to do it. Also, Date Lady Chocolate Spread is a game changer and you need some in your life.