Posts tagged health
Posts tagged health
Finally understanding that being a person who takes care of other people doesn’t conflict with being a person who takes care of herself, and it never did.
Apples with goat cheese is ok, but red peppers with goat cheese is freaking amazing. It SO satisfied my sweet and salty craving today. Also dark cocoa almonds are a gift from the heavens. I ate about an eighth of a watermelon tonight and I have only one regret - that I have gone so long without it in my life. Dessert? Who needs dessert? I want a giant bowl of watermelon and rhubarb and I don’t even need a fork.
Now that I’m finally able to do crazy bananas likeplan aheadandactuallyexecutesaid plans, life is a lot easier. And my recipe invention mojo is back with a vengeance. Last week, when I realized I was going to be working early a few days and I’d need a filling, high-energy, low-GI breakfast, I made these sort of mini frittatas in green pepper cups. I put extras for later in the freezer and I just move them to the fridge the day before so they thaw, then pop them in the microwave for less than a minute. They are a pretty fantastic breakfast if I do say so myself, and they pack a big nutritional punch without a lot of calories or money. I think I worked it out that they’re like $1.65 to make one, and they are really easy to batch out for a week at once. And they’re less than 250 calories.
Tomorrow I go into work late instead of early so I’m making a bunch of tamales (another great make-now-eat-all-week nutritional powerhouse.) I fell in love with pork tamales in Honduras, but I’ll be making lean beef tamales and black bean-sweet potato tamales. I like them spicy, so tonight I made a cooling salad to go with them that’s kind of a quick-pickled hybrid of salad, relish, and slaw. It’s shredded Napa cabbage with grated radish, carrot, and zucchini, and it’s soaking in vinegar seasoned with salt, sugar, garlic powder and oregano. When I eat it I’m going to toss some fresh chopped tomato on top and just OMNOMNOMNOM. While I’m at it, who wants me to post some recipes?
And I’m noticing patterns really, really clearly. Like how if I’ve been at work for a few hours and I’m thirsty and my blood sugar is low, I want sweet and salty and caffeinated. Such as the unfortunate combo of a Starbucks doubleshot and a bag of “fully-loaded baked potato” chips for a combined total of nearly 700 calories. Or how after dinner I always crave something sweet, and I don’t seem to care if it’s pie or ice cream or handfuls of M&Ms.
So I’m trying to plan accordingly. For tomorrow at work, I’m packing a thermos of green tea for my hit of caffeine, and a sliced apple with goat cheese for my sweet n’ salty fix. And I’m going to pick up a variety of fruit to see what satisfies my dessert-obsessed sweet tooth best: pineapple, watermelon, oranges, or sweet Meyer lemons. If that doesn’t work, I’m thinking super-dark chocolate.
It feels so good to be able to make these observations and choices again. I’m fighting the temptation to take on everything at once, though. I want to do ambitious things like do a 30-day sugar detox and work out every day alternating strength and cardio and cut my calories down so I can lose 2+ pounds a week. But I know that way lies burnout, injury, and disappointment. For now, I’m focusing on taking this journey one step at a time, enjoying the process, and just generally appreciating myself for how far I’ve come already. Right now, that feels way better than “skinny” ever could.
Actually, I have a lot of bad habits. But the one in question is my apparent addiction to “fitness” magazines. I have that in quotes because really, when it boils down to it, not much of the magazine - be it the ever-suspect Shape, the continually disappointing frontrunner Women’s Health, or the misnomered Fitness - is actually related to fitness. I find myself turning down corners on the few pages that are actually useful so I can avoid wading through the mire a second time.
I don’t ask much from a fitness magazine. I ask for doable, realistic, interesting workouts - something to break up the monotony of my routine. What I don’t want is a workout that calls for a bajillion pieces of equipment, or says “afterwards, run for three hours because this workout is actually just a piece of shit waste of time.” And I don’t want to see anything that’s trying to convince me that a workout can give me so-and-so’s [insert desirable body part] because the workout definitely can’t give me her genes, personal chef, and trainers.
I ask for scientifically sound and up-to-date information on nutrition, offered in tandem with examples of how to apply what I’m learning. I don’t want a bogus one-size-fits-all meal plan. I don’t want recipes that are either patronizingly easy (Add smoothie mix to milk. Blend. Drink. Don’t inhale while you swallow) or impossibly difficult, with obscure and/or expensive ingredients (Special order goat from this region of the French Alps, and marinade it for exactly 83 minutes in cognac and white truffles.) And I don’t want any nutritional decrees handed down from on high without some kind of information about why and by whom I am being told do do so.
I ask for a magazine to cut the crap about how to land a man (because some women like women) or how to do your hair and make-up (because some women don’t give a shit about that, we have important stuff to do) or what the latest fashions are (because never in my life will I have $140 to spend on a single item of anything.) While we’re at it, stop trying to tell me how to “dress my shape.” “Dress your shape” is code for “your body is not good enough, so here are ways to disguise it.” That’s a load of bullshit.
The only truly revolutionary thing on my wishlist? I’m sick of each month watching another celebrity blush about how “normal” she is. I know celebrities are real women. They are real women who are paid to uphold an unrealistic standard of beauty, and they have teams of people helping them do it. I’m done with reading about how “real” these special women are. I want to read about how special real women are. I want the cover and feature article to be about a woman who overcame cancer and is now working to raise awareness and money for research. I want to read about women who do the research - I think in October, Dr. Susan Love and her scientific peers should be on the cover of almost every health and fitness mag for women. I want to read about women who lead their fields, who overcome odds, who surpass expectations. I don’t want to read about a celebrity and sigh “Oh, well, if I was that rich/genetically blessed/famous I could probably look that good too,” I want to read about a real woman and feel inspired to get on her level.
Realistically, I know no magazine will change its format to reflect my expectations. And goodness knows that no publisher would ever dare to put something like this on newsstands. But I’m an idealist of a high order. I want to publish this magazine, quarterly, online, and I’m recruiting contributors. I know that there are some great writers out here on Tumblr, young women and men alike who are daring to search for and give voice to facts, to body positivity, to real inspiration and motivation. I want you on board for this. Please leave a message in my ask if you are interested in this project, and I will reply with my email address. Let’s make real fitness a real priority!
Think before you nom!
A striking example of women’s magazines tweaking the meaning of messages. To summarize, Size-18 body acceptance figure, Jess Weiner, sets out to lose weight after a trip to the doctor after several years revealed she had pre-pre-diabetes.
Glamour titled the original article “Loving my Body Almost Killed Me.” The problem with it is that the automatic (and unnecessary) jump is made from “loving” and accepting your body automatically leads to one being overweight.
Doesn’t that, transitively, imply that not being overweight requires you to hate your body? To be waging a constant war on it? Pssht.
The Jezebel interview linked here has some further explanation by Jess Weiner on how she felt about the article. The Glamour article claims that Jess Weiner, who has lost 25 lbs and is back into the healthy range in her labs, is set to lose another 30 pounds. At 225, she is still overweight, but as Jezebel points out, there is no evidence to say that, compared to a thin person with the same labs, she’s at any higher of a risk for diseases simply because of her weight: The idea of healthy at any size. And, it’s not that Weiner would be at an unhealthy weight if she lost 30 lbs, it’s just that the magazine’s fixation on the idea that she SHOULD be even though Weiner herself said that number was a moving target.
Mostly, it’s frustrating to see the idea of “body acceptance” being automatically linked to unhealthiness. It shouldn’t be code for fat.
When do we get to the part where focusing on the actions that maintain health (generally balanced diet and exercise) and accept what bodies result (psst. they’re nice)?!
Body acceptance for me is rejecting the whole concept. You don’t become healthy by dieting. Healthy is as healthy does. Eat a lot of veggies. Move around. Stop reading Glamour.