Don’t lift more than 5 pounds? My purse weighs more…

Whenever I come across information that tells women not to lift more than five pounds, it makes me wonder how they came up with that number. Why is five pounds the alleged magic number for women and weights? Nothing in our lives weighs more than five pounds? How is that even helpful to anyone?

It makes me think about what I pick up in a day. How heavy is that bag of groceries? More than five pounds that’s for sure. Women pick up heavy things everyday in real life. Kids weigh a lot more than 5 pounds, even my little cat weighs more than 5 pounds. I carry her around with one hand.
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My guess is my purse weighs more than 5 pounds too. Which lead me to ask just how much does my purse weigh and pull out a scale. The current state of my purse is that it needs to be cleaned out. It stays that way for months. So the contents of my purse in its current state is typical.

My purse weighs 8.8 pounds. I thought it was going to be 9 or 10 pounds so I was pleased to come in under my guess. I was correct that I carry around over a pound of lipsticks. Its been this way for months now and I just keep collecting more change so it will only get heavier until I break down and empty it out.

Next time you time you hear the message women shouldn’t lift heavy weights, ignore them. It is a ridiculous idea that women are either incapable of lifting heavy things or that we shall wind up with big bulging muscles (most of never will get to bulgy). For me lifting heavy things had made me more compact and strong enough to lug my heavy purse around all day with no problem.

Don’t let others ignorance hold you back from strength training. Lifting heavy things will do wonderful things for your health and your vanity.


Weekly Menu 12-2-13

I was going to start this segment in the New Year and decided frack it, let’s get it going now! Just what is this new segment? Why has she not told us yet? Here it is the Weekly Menu post. My vision of this is to help you all get started planning your own weekly menus by sharing mine and a recipe each week. Yes, you will be seeing what we eat each week and yes, there will be repeats on those menus.
 photo DSCF2003-3.jpgFriday has been the Weekly Groove post which is getting changed to a monthly thing. I like it but sometimes I feel like it can be a bit sparse and getting people cooking is something I am extremely passionate about.

Its a sbiwy (aka snowy) day here, the kind of day that lends its self well to big pots of food, baking, and lounging about reading or writing with a cup of coffee. This week’s menu is heavy on Italian food and hamburger, just how it happened.

Sunday – Pork and Hominy soup from the freezer and cornbread
Monday – Pizza!
Tuesday Bolognese and pasta
Wednesday – Meatloaf
Thursday – Tasty beef casserole
Friday – Easy day, French dip sandwiches and sweet potato fries
Saturday – Chicken and wild rice soup, pumpkin rolls

Simple Big Batch Bolognese
1/4 cup olive oil
1 to 2 onions, diced
1 cup celery chopped
1 1/2 cups carrots chopped
1 to 5 cloves of garlic chopped
2 pounds hamburger or ground turkey
1 cup wine
1 to 3 tablespoons dried basil or fresh
1 to 3 tablespoons dried parsley or fresh
1 to 2 bay leaves
12 cups of tomatoes that’s 1 number 10 can or oz.
2 cups grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Heat pot and put oil in it. Add diced onion and cook until softened. Chop the celery and add it to the pot and do the same with the carrots. While they cook chop up your garlic and cook for about a minute. Add the ground meat in and brown. Add wine cook for a few minutes and add herbs and tomatoes. Simmer for 2 hours on low, stirring occasionally.

I add the veg as I chop them, you want to start building your flavour layers at this point in time. I usually add some herbs but if you don’t its okay. You are looking at about a half hour to an hour prep time depending on your knife skills, they will get better and you will get faster. This cooks for a long time but you can do other things while it simmers, just give it a twirl now and then. I get 4 to 5 quarts.

Surviving the Holidays

Surviving the holidays can seem like a collision course. We are thrown together more often and not always with the folks we want to be with. There is food everywhere calling our name, sometimes with an aunt or friend urging us to have a bit of this and that with a third helping on top. It gets stressful navigating that collision course.

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Here are my top tips for making it through.

1. Breathe! Inhale, exhale, repeat. Long deep breathing has saved me so many times.

2. Eat what you love not what you think you should. That means when Auntie Alice is trying to make you take a huge portion of something you hate, you say no. Life is too short to eat food you hate. Eating carrots when all you really want is stuffing makes for a sorry existence and over eating. Eat what you love.

3. Keep exercising. Your normal schedule might be too much but keep active. It just will make you feel better and kickboxing can be a great way to release stress after repeatedly denying Auntie Alice.

4. When all else fails laugh. A co-worker at my first job used to say “I have to laugh or I would cry.” That has stuck with me. Sometimes you just have to laugh at the situation.

What do you do to survive the holiday season?

Body Image, Pinterest, and Me.

As I peruse pinterest I am always amazed at the amount of sexualization of fitness and fitness photos. It gets to the point where it feels almost overwhelming and disheartening. There’s the squat butt camp, the thigh gap group, the you can do it just ignore pain, etc. The one thing the have in common is a picture of a woman with no head. She is just a breasts, bum, and thighs, even the Venus of Willendorf got a head.
 photo Venus_von_Willendorf_01.jpgThere came a point where I stopped looking at these and started dissecting them. What are they saying to me and others out there? If you do enough squats you will have a perfectly rounded bum, work hard enough you too can have a thigh gap, never mind the pain hurting yourself is good. Are these healthy? I ask myself this and I wonder who out there is damaging themselves to get something that just might be unattainable for them.

I have a butt, it doesn’t matter if I squat or not. I have a butt: skinny, fat, and in between its just there. It is a matter of genetics for me. A college study buddy worked very hard to get a small bum, she squatted and did heavy weights, she will never have a “squat butt.”
 photo eosbvffrt76ee6r.jpgAs teen Mademoiselle magazine was where I first encountered the thigh gap concept. The gist being you did not have a thigh gap you were, not thin. First thought was crap I don’t have one, I’m fat. The truth is to achieve a thigh gap, maybe, because I haven’t ever had one, and might never get one even at anorexic body fat levels. It would take a lot of starvation on my part to get me anywhere near a thigh gap. And if you feel pain while working out, please stop, that is called an injury. Yes, you might feel discomfort but pain, pain is not good. Pain is your body telling you to stop.

We need to celebrate our bodies and not some in the future potential us. What you look like right now is gorgeous, what you will look like tomorrow is beautiful. Celebrate who and what you are now, because the truth is you need to love yourself, just as you are.

Venus of Willendorf picture from Wikipedia.

Workouts and being Sick

Working out while sick, what to do? Do you push on through the workout or rest? My inclination is to tell you to rest or do something that is very easy. Regular exercise will help you fight off infection and help prevent disease. But once you are already sick it can be difficult to decide whether to proceed with a workout, modify or skip it.
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Keep in mind it is your immune system that goes to work after a hard workout. The immune system takes care of the muscles you stressed during that workout. Which means if you are sick the immune system is working to make you well. Put a hard workout on top of that and there is the potential to overload it and compromise your goals.

Recently my glands decided to swell. I was tired, my throat and head hurt, and I felt cruddy in general. I thought about exercising and said frack that. A few days later I tried to yoga and it made my headache worse. I stopped what I was doing and went back to reading. All in all I took about a week off of exercise. My current weight lifting program is challenging enough when I feel like superwoman, let alone when I all I want is some soup, lemonade, and to go back to bed.

Instead of overloading my immune system I took time off, eased back into exercising, and finished NROLS Basic Training 4 feeling awesome instead of tired and dead.

Workout Groove: Music

This is a new weekly thing focusing around exercise and movement.  Its going to be based on what I am grooving on that week. So it might be an exercise, stretching, dynamic movement, yoga, music, or something I thought was cool and want to try. So if you have something you are interested in or a question let me know and we can address it in this weekly blog segment.

This segment is starting with me getting over being ill.  So I haven’t grooved on much of anything. Yoga got dialed back when it started aggravating my headache.  It did give me a chance to make a September playlist.  Music plays a huge role in working out for me.  Since I lift at home I usually use a CD player for my listening enjoyment and enjoy a good mix tape (yeah I know its a CD but mix CD just doesn’t flow.)  I embarked to make a mix tape for each month of the year. Some have themes some don’t.  I know its a little late as I should be making Octobers but that’s just how it happened.

September: Rainy Day Mix
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Yoga: Why I keep practicing.

It seems like I’ve been doing yoga forever.  It is one of the first activities that I tried and stuck with.  I love that one can find it everywhere these days and it is no longer relegated to the metaphysical bookstore on a shelf between Alistair Crowley and Isis Unveiled.  I can’t remember why I wanted to start practicing, it just got in my head and I tracked down what I needed to get started.  Once I started I knew I liked it from the very beginning.  It made me feel better all around, mind, body, and spirit.  Yoga felt like coming home.

 photo DSCF2018-3.jpgWhat has yoga done for me and why do I keep doing it? I get stuck in my head a lot, I’m a thinker and my yoga practice has balanced that out for me.  It get’s me out of my head and into my body, it also helps integrate them.  Working out in general is a good stress release but yoga changes my mood faster and gives me the skills to cope when things go sideways. Being able to realize your breath patterns while angry and change how you are breathing is powerful and can change a negative situation into a good one.

Yoga has helped me rebuild self esteem and have the awareness to know when and what damage I am doing to myself and stop it.  Yoga has helped me love myself and stop negative thoughts from getting to me.  Don’t get me wrong I still have fat days and bad days, but it helps to put those days in perspective.

One aspect I didn’t really think yoga would bleed over into is running.  Yoga has helped my running in ways that running more would not have.  First off is recovery and maintaining range of motion which is what I expected.  What I did not expect was full diaphragmatic breathing and breath of fire to help make breathing easier while running.  Running can be uncomfortable at times and yoga has helped me know when to push on and when something has gone beyond uncomfortable.  When you are learning to run it all feels bad for the most part and yoga helped me separate I am going to hurt myself pain from, oh my god this sucks.

The main reason I keep practicing yoga is that I love it and all the other benefits are the icing on my yoga cake. What do you love about yoga?

Simple Lifestyle Changes Part 2

Making small change in your life is an easy way to start finding your healthy.  We had simple changes 1-5 a while back.  These are all changes I use or have used at one point in time and found they made a difference.  Here are Simple Lifestyle Changes 6 through 10.

 photo DSCF2047.jpg6. Ditch the soda.  No one needs extra sugar in their life and the diet sodas may not add calories but they sure don’t have any health benefits. I still struggle with my diet coke habit, I love that stuff.  The less I drink it the less I want one.  I used to have one a day and am now down to a couple a week.  It is a process.

7. 5 minutes of meditation can change your mood and mindset.  All you need to do is breathe deep and consciously for 5 minutes.  Try it and see what happens, don’t let your ego stop you when it tells you to quit, keep going and make yourself stronger.

8. Try a healthy food you think is weird.  A year ago I thought green smoothies were weird and gross and had never tried one.  I was hooked after my first one.

9. Smile at a stranger and pass happiness on. Sometimes all it takes is a smile from someone to make your day better.  If you make eye contact, flash them a smile, this has made my day more than once and turned a bad day good.

10. Walk more.  Is something two blocks away?  Walk there instead of driving.  Park at the back of the parking lot, this is one of my favorites.

Vlog: Ramblings about food, bread, and misconceptions

Morning Running Fail

This summer I decided I wanted to keep running, which means doing it in the morning.  I am not a morning person, never have been, and highly doubt I ever will be.  Mornings should be eased into with plenty of coffee, internetting, and social media.  There is no jumping out of bed bright eyed and bushy tailed for me even with a full nights sleep.

This is what I keep repeating to myself as I stagger out the door.
So you may have guessed getting my butt out of bed and running first thing is a bit of a challenge for me. Morning running started out in a fasted state which ruined me for the rest of the day. It was bad.  I was cranky, tired, and awful for the rest of the day.  Now I am eating a granola bar before I head out which has helped with my moods.  I am no longer a crab for the rest of the day, still tired though.

When does all  that energy which is supposed to come from morning exercise kick in?  I sure do not have it.  I get up around the same time everyday so its not like I get up earlier to go running. Afternoon run or exercise I feel energetic afterwards, morning not so much.

As for consistency in the morning, so far that is not going to well either.  I boot the computer up and don’t do it or eat my granola bar, roll over and go back to sleep.  Afternoon or evening I am fine with. Afternoon seems to be my time for exercise in general. I am going to struggle through getting up and running two or three days a week as it is important to me and I keep hoping to find the awesome that turns a mourning run into a morning run. Yes, I have been referring to them as mourning runs. Is it autumn yet?