Sunday, June 09, 2013
So often I hear comments like, "real women have curves" or "men like meat, not bones" (which is creepy and derogatory for a variety of reasons!) or, "I look like a woman, not a skinny 12 year old boy".
You get the drift.
And it's absolutely disgusting and completely insane to me. People, you are missing the point!
The response to body shaming or societal pressure isn't to combat it with more body shaming! How absurd to say; "hey my body type is my own, and I'm proud of it, and my sexuality, and I'm not defined by what others think...oh and also, skinny women are gross."
The point shouldn't be that "real women have curves" but that people come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and there is no 'one size fits all' way to look.
Real women have curves, are overweight, are skinny, are athletic, are muscular, are young, are old, so on and so forth.
Embrace yourself, be proud of yourself, and don't combat body shaming with more body shaming.
Monday, April 22, 2013
Since embarking on this fitness/nutrition/health routine I have lost around 12 pounds off of my 4'11 body, bringing my current weight to 99. I have toned up and gained energy and muscles in places I didn't know I had. I am fitting back into clothes I had previously considered donating.
And I don't feel great.
Thanks to a mildly obsessive nature, I have a difficult time taking a day off of exercise. Ok, scratch that. I have a compulsive need to exercise. What started as 30 minutes of the 30 day shred has evolved into adding jogging later on in the day, and 30 more minutes before bed. I have been keeping my caloric range reasonable and within spark's recommendation, but lately...lately I want it to be lower. Lately I hate the muscles in my arms, I think they are masculine and therefore unattractive. My thighs are still too big. My stomach still sticks out.
I think it's easy to fall into this trap; I have before and that ultimately led to my vacation from seeking good health. Eating celery in place of ice cream makes me feel good, superior, perhaps, a testament to my growing will power. It's no longer a struggle. If we go to chick fil a, I get the chargrilled chicken sandwich, no fries, water to drink. If others have cake, I'll eat a banana. It's slowly become entwined in my thought patterns, a habit. And I can't decide if that's good or not.
Am I being too crazy? Or is this what it takes?
Why am I googling “the fastest way to lose 10 pounds”? If I lost 10 pounds, would I be happier? Healthier? Better looking? At my weight, I'm healthy. I'm fine. On the outside, I'm eating a much more healthy diet, I'm exercising regularly, I'm not doing anything crazy extreme. I'm not starving myself. I'm not exercising for 8 hours.
But mentally, I'm consumed. I need to exercise again. I need to do more squats. I need to get more cardio. I need to eat less for dinner. I need to stop using salad dressing. I need to read more and more and more and more about “health” online. The best diets. The most effective workouts. What's my BMR again? How many calories are in carrots? I need to weigh myself just one more time...
Is this a healthy new habit of mine, or am I descending down the rabbit hole of obsession? Do I dare pull myself back out, and risk losing progress, or continue, and risk sliding and sliding deeper and deeper?
Sunday, March 10, 2013
Today I went beserk. Yesterday was not only an "off" day, it was also FAMILY DAY. This involves my uncle and cousins coming over and us all:
Playing Magic the Gathering (the card game) while eating Pizza Hut for a nutritional breakfast
Playing more butt compacting activities (to clarify: sitting on your ass)
And more still....
Then filling our exhausted bodies with hot dogs and smores. (I had three...the blasphemy!)
If that sounds like a delightful day, you are absolutely correct. If it sounds like I ended the day with a stomach ache and marshmallows cob webbing between my fingers and chocolate smeared on my lips, you are also correct.
So today I decided to be good and exercise. This started with putting in my almost half hour of time into the 30 day Shred by the lovely Ms. Micheals (aka Satan) I blogged about level 2 of the shred in my first blog post, so there's no getting around admitting that i pansied out and rehashed Level One. This is my 12th day of the shred, but my 11th day on Level One. To break it down there's 3 levels, and you do each for 10 days. BUT...this morning I considered level 2 to be technically impossible, so I opted out and completed the tried and true level one.
But by the end i was feeling so confident I did an additional 8 minutes into level 2! Then I almost died, so I traded the masochism for a nice shower.
So that should be the end right? To me clean smelling hair means no more sweating for the rest of the day. Or it usually does, but as previously mentioned, my smore-shamed self lost it today. Fueled by cereal for breakfast, a grilled chicken salad with a crazy salad "spritzer" that contains 1 calorie because it's essentially scented water for lunch, and oatmeal with blueberries for a snack, I pressed on. I walked/jogged a solid 30 minutes up and down my very long and slanted driveway while blasting my ears with Modest Mouse's depressing and thoughtful lyrics.
After the walk my little brother and I jumped on the trampoline for another half hour. Ka-pow!!
In conclusion, my shower was a waste. But I feel amazing, and rather proud of my comeback .
If the above doesn't sound like very much exercise to you, well...
You can go to hell. You dirty athlete, you!! /waves fist
If you enjoyed reading this, and/or think you may like to check out my review of the 30 day Shred (so far) which includes the pros, cons, and all that jazz, click here!!
Friday, March 08, 2013
Ok, so I'm just over the 33.33333333333 percent hump of Jillian Micheal's evil and malicious act of revenge on the under-exercised majority (ie her 30 day shred video, which combines strength and cardio). Today marked my first day on level 2; that's right folks, I'm 11 eleven days in.
Do I love it? Am I doing cartwheels and blessing the heavens that my bod resembles something hard enough to withstand the apocalypse? Have I reached indestructible status??
Nope. I am still pretty out of shape. And for a long time, I was comfortable with that title. Out of shape. It has a pleasant ring to it, and I think it depicts my personality pretty well. Like something who you can eat with and not feel judged when you pick around your shirt for splinters of chips. Someone who will never, ever suggest we all go for a pleasant morning jog (oxymoron alert!). Someone who doesn't decline a healthy portion of chocolate trinity ice cream at midnight.
And, what I realized, is that it's a total cop out. This isn't about weight. This is about health. And the fact of the matter is there is simply no reason why a healthy, young, normal weighted ranged woman can't touch her toes or walk up the stairs without crawling like a spider monkey halfway through. My health reasons, my phosphorous deficiency, my leg difference (one is pathetic and artery deprived, fyi) my asthma, blah blah, they were all excuses. Stupid ones, since exercise helps all those issues. The truth of the matter is I was depressed. Like, really depressed, as in mildly suicidal. An agoraphobic, depressed crazy person who stayed on the computer all day. But for the past couple months, swallowing appropriate pills and what not, I've relearned my love for feeling “good”. I know a lot of people are anti-meds and believe me, I can relate. But can I just say from personal experience there is a big difference between waking up and hurting and feeling awful and...well, feeling nothing, totally empty inside, to feeling, just one day, normal. Healthy. No fever, no headache, no obsessing about all the possible things that could be wrong with me, like brain tumors or cancer. Being happy to simply exist!
So for the past couple months I've been taking that new founded normalcy and reclaiming my health, my body, and my goals (while still being neurotic as heck). Karate Chop!
Um, so back to the shred. Minor detour there....whoops. In any case, I've been trying to exercise, eat better, go outside, but 11 days ago I decided to start the shred and really commit to a daily intense workout.
I still feel like I have a while to go, it's not a 20 minute miracle worker, but today I fit into the jeans I almost threw away 6 months ago. I've lost a couple pounds, but I'm not sure how many. I weighed myself a couple months ago at 112, and now today I'm 102. How much of that was “shredded” off? Not sure. (I'm 4'10, so no one freak out :P )
I can also feel myself getting tighter, more toned, and absolutely stronger. I can do push ups now! Real ones!
Level 1 is pretty damn difficult, but Level 2 is just mean. I didn't modify moves by choice. My body modified them automatically. To clarify, since I'm doing a rather poor job, the 30 day shred is divided into 3 levels you do for 10 days a pop. For the freeloaders out there, it is available on youtube.
I wish I would have taken pictures at the beginning the way those clever fancy pants do on the interwebs, but alas, I didn't. And I don't have a good workout “look”. It would pretty much be me in my red bra and undies, which sounds sorta inappropriate...so....
Maybe next time, post shopping?
Pros of the Program:
Jillian Micheals is more encouraging than I anticipated. I thought she was going to make me cry or vomit and it turns out I only felt like doing one of those.
They have modified version of the moves that make you want to kill yourself
It's doable and time accessible at only 26 minutes
Most importantly, there are real results after only 11 days. So yippe!
(To be fair, I probably wouldn't give any exercise program a sparkling review unless it rewarded me with a golden pony upon completion... or 250,000 dollars)
The repetition makes me feel like I've lost my mind. In an ideal world, there would be 30 different videos instead of three. Even if the workout remained the same, the slight changes would be refreshing. Like one day, they come in wearing funny hats.
I want some pumping tunes! Grrr!!! The weird background music isn't doing it for me, sorry.
The girls look a little “too” excited to be working out. Why is there so much smiling?!
Some of the moves are impossible for newbies. Impossible I say!!!
They don't specify what weights they are using (I use 5 lbs but have to drop them for certain exercises)
Lastly, I don't agree with her promises of perfectly chiseled abs and "looking like this" (she points to her lovely advanced assistant athlete who clearly did not arrive at a workout video by putting in a mere 30 days). It's not realistic and I'm not sure I 100% appreciate the "lets get a hot bod" mentality of exercise. I will never resemble anyone in the video, and I am A Ok with that.
In any case, despite the disproportionate amount of negatives to positives, I really do like this workout and feel committed to sticking it out. It's hard, but it's supposed to be. Or at least that's what Jillean tells me.
Thanks for reading my first Spark Blog. ^_^ Stay tuned for a tangential rant about the potential hazards of the Biggest Loser, both for the contestants and for our culture. And of course, for future updates on the shred, and whatever other nonsense pops into my newly INDESTRUCTIBLE BODY.
Best of luck to everyone in achieving their goals! :D
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