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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

i take issue

I came across this article today, which claims that, according to a survey, the average woman goes on twice as many diets in her life as she has lovers.  I'm sure it says something (unflattering) about me, but my immediate reaction was, "Huh. Only twice as many?"  I think for me it's more like 4x as many.  I could list for you every guy I've ever boinked, but not every attempt at dieting.  This probably means I should be sluttier. Or less eating-disordered. Or possibly both.  DON'T JUDGE ME.

Besides, both my occupations are heavily female-dominated.  This means I've worked with a lot of women over the years, and let me tell you.  A significant fraction of them started a new diet just about every other Monday and were throwing in the towel by Thursday.  Since most of them were in relationships and not out at the club every weekend fucking random people, the two-to-one statistic still seems bogus to me, even if we're assuming I am less promiscuous and more crazy about my food and body than the average chick. (For the record, I'm not sure I am. On either count.)

So, the question becomes, why do women diet so much?  They're not ALL trying to win supplement company transformation contests.  Maybe it has something to do with advertisements like this.

Or this.

Or this.

How much of this has to seep into your subconscious at a young age before you just "know" that, as a woman, you're supposed to always be making the number on the scale go down? How much has to seep into your subconscious before you think eating disgusting 90 calorie snacks of "diet food" is perfectly normal and acceptable?  How much before you start feeling guilty or full of self-loathing when you do eat the real piece of cheesecake or the actual sugar cookie?

For the record, even though I myself am dieting at the moment and was so hungry after the gym today I could have chewed off my own arm, I would no sooner eat a Fiber One brownie than I would eat dirt. What I did eat while waiting for a decent enough interval to pass that I could make and eat dinner was raw baby carrots*** and ginger tea. When I posted that online, one of my friends who's also doing the challenge said that she'd staved off pre-dinner hunger with ginger tea, raw carrots, and raw broccoli.  (I am *so* gonna win this thing.  Her broccoli probably added an extra 5 calories, ahahaha.)  But seriously. I know it probably sounds elitist or even ridiculous from someone who admits to thinking pb&j quest bars are delicious, but I cannot conceive of eating a vaguely brownie-like substance just because it's only 90 calories. For 90 calories you could have an actual cookie. That tastes good.

This whole 90-calorie food business pisses me off almost as much as the time several years ago that I read an article where some self-satisfied little snot of a nutritionist sniffed that *half* a baked potato is a serving. I'm sure I was just overly sensitive because ever since I was a young child, I've been eating a whole damn potato by myself. God. What a gluttonous pig.  I've mercifully blocked out whatever else was in that article, but I'm pretty sure it was one of those that told women they should be eating 1500 calories a day. When not, y'know, dieting.


So, anyway, yeah. Back to my thesis.  I don't believe that the average woman has only been on 16 diets in her lifetime. Unless she's under the age of 25.  It's just too pervasive in our culture.


***two things about baby carrots, if you'll indulge me.  Firstly, I was deeply disappointed (and I am not even kidding you) when I learned that baby carrots are not actually baby carrots, they're just regular carrots cut into smaller pieces. Next you'll be telling me those baby corns you get in Chinese food aren't really babies. Or corn.  Or something.  Secondly, my friend and I, through rigorous scientific experiments conducted at Cranes Beach, Ipswich MA for the past six summers, have ascertained that the only food seagulls will not eat (and therefore will not steal from out of your beach bag when you leave it unattended to go in the ocean) are baby carrots.  To control for the fact that perhaps they are averse to the color orange, we tested them with Doritos.  No.  Seagulls are down with Doritos.

Monday, January 20, 2014

suck it, Trebek

I know, bad blogger, bad bad blogger.  (Please do not hit me with a rolled up newspaper.)  While I was neglecting my blog, however, I did do a guest post over at Cranky Fitness.  You can go read it if you missed it or, y'know, just go read Ms Crabby's blog in general because she is awesome.

Today, however, we are going to have blog potpourri.  Hence the title.  My titles always make sense. Eventually. If you're me.

Fun fact: about ten years ago when they had auditions in Boston for (the real) Jeopardy, I passed the written test to be on it, but apparently failed the actual audition/simulated game part because I kept buzzing in too soon.   Despite my later being regularly schooled in bar trivia league, I remain convinced that had they let me on there, I'd have won hundreds of thousands of dollars. That was before perimenopause/old age destroyed my memory. God.

Three paragraphs and a video in and we haven't actually even started the real post yet, boys and girls. This might actually be a new record.  Or low.  Depending on how you look at it. Perspective is everything.

Ok!  Random fitness-related crap!

1.) I entered a $100,000 body transformation contest.  Poof!  Now I'm a bat!  No, no, no, we aren't attempting to transform into small flying mammals or anything actually interesting. We're attempting to transform our bodies into something more aesthetically pleasing to the judges so that we can then later be used in supplement company advertising.  Now I know I have no chance of winning. First of all, it's a 12 week contest, so by my reckoning the winners are going to be people who have approximately 20-25 pounds to lose, which is the most weight you can reasonably expect to lose in 12 weeks unless you're really overweight. I mean, if you're 80 lbs overweight and you lose 50 lbs, that's impressive, but you're still 30 lbs overweight (and thus not supplement company marketable) at the end.  If, like me, you can reasonably only lose 5 or 6 lbs, well, that's not going to make a very dramatic transformation (and isn't marketable.)  Plus, I'm 51 years old. I doubt I am the demographic the company is trying to reach. So very not-marketable.

Nevertheless I entered in an attempt to get my fitness routine back on track.  So far, so good.  Last week during week one, I lifted 4 days and went to yoga once, took healthy food to work with me every day I worked so that I would not go to Au Bon Pain and eat mac n' cheese and brownies instead, had 3-4 servings of veggies and fruit a day, and flushed out a lot of bloat on what I lovingly (ok, not so much) call poverty calories.  The summer of 2012 when I was preparing for my upcoming surgery I was lifting heavy, doing my conditioning, and going to yoga regularly.  I was lean, I was muscular, and I was all-around really fit, because I wanted to go into the first (and hopefully only) major surgery of my life as strong and healthy as I could possibly be.  I want to get back there.  I'm motivated.

2.) Do you tell people at the gym that they're badass?  Every once in awhile, I see someone doing something really impressive and I want to tell them how impressed I am, but I am usually too shy.  Even though I KNOW I myself am ecstatic when I get a gym compliment.  I know, I know, it makes no sense.  Today's example was one of the gym regulars, a dude who has lost a good deal of weight (probably over 100 lbs) in the three years I've seen him around, who was doing waiters carries with the 35lb kettlebells. Since I do those exact same waiters carries, only with 20 lb kettlebells, I was like, holy crap.  Bittybro, I said to myself, someday *you* will walk the entire perimeter of this gym with 70 lbs over your head. Then I laughed and laughed. But seriously, I wanted to tell this guy how badass those carries were, but I didn't. How to overcome this reserve, readers?

3.) In a fit of insanity, I bought these.  They're pretty much a $50 version of my $10 grippy yoga socks, sigh, but since they're officially shoes, I thought I might be able to get away with wearing them in the gym.  I am so sick of being scolded by the Shoe Nazi lady and her minions, I have yet to dare try them however.

4.) Speaking of things at my gym I don't approve of, they shoehorned this giant TRX apparatus into the stretching area which involved moving other equipment around in that already over-crowded gym.  I was facetiously told the other day that the reason I am such a klutz and always have bruises all over me is that I only train for strength, not agility, but I swear to god, if you saw the amount of bobbing and weaving I have to do just to farmers walk around that gym and not break an ankle, you wouldn't say that.  I have nothing against TRX, but if they were going to put something that takes up that much space, they could have given us another damn power rack.  I guarantee you, it would get used more than that TRX. After all, people gotta curl somewhere. (Insert winky face here.)

Alright, that's enough randomosity for now.

Weightlifting baby memes crack me up almost as much as SNL Sean Connery.


Addendum: my feet in stretchy shoes