Category Archives: aging

The Shiny Coat Series: Moving It

What happened? What are you doing? No carbs? Calorie counting?

I’ve gotten some questions lately about hitting my Fake Weight, so since I want to totally jinx myself be helpful to others and encourage healthier lifestyles when I can, let’s look into this, shall we?

Calorie counting works great for maybe two people on this planet some, but it does not work for me, not when I was twelve and not now. I could never maintain a weight I reached from calorie counting.

I look at food groups instead. Veggies, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, grains, and meats I go for while I mostly avoid dairy and lots of desserts. And I got there mostly by noticing their effects on me, not as an external rule from somebody else. Dairy gives me your basic allergy symptoms, stuffy head, runny nose, foggy brain, tiredness; sugar leaves me tired, too, and craving more sugar.

But I think what’s happened to shift my body over the past year is exercise.

Turns out heart-pumping, blood rushing, sweat-inducing exercise burns up all those clingy calories I refuse to count. You can’t phone it in like I did for years reading Entertainment Weekly and barely breaking a sweat on the elliptical.

Also, to maintain a lower weight, the activity needs to be something you love or at least enjoy a little and fits into your current life situation. Find that thing. And it may not be your first preference, but that’s okay.

I personally would prefer being tipsy and sweating through my clothes on a crowded dance floor at midnight to a throbbing bass line, but guess what? Not so workable as a mom who lives on a sleepy island and has to get her kid to grade school in the morning. Maybe in a few years…

My second choice would be hiking up a small mountain, snacking at the top on a rocky outcropping with a water view, and losing sense of time coming down during great conversation. Unfortunately, driving a few hours each way and hiking for several hours doesn’t generally fit in my Real Life. Or anyone else’s.

This left me with. .*sigh* . .walking the dog. But then I started walking faster, and now we run excluding the two million pit stops she requires.

Maybe for you it’s going to a gym and reading trashy magazines as you cycle hard. Or maybe it’s walking fast while chatting with a friend. Or maybe you finally take that tango or hot yoga class. Or maybe you turn on Just Dance and go nuts when no one’s home. Maybe, if you’re like me, you need to get outside and do something to make you breathe hard to keep you from going batshit crazy.

Whatever it is, pick something. Change it if you get bored. Mix it up, walk a different path, cross-train, try a new class.

The more you move your body around, the more it will thank you and beg for more, and the more your energy will spread from just your tense head and tight shoulders, down into your toes.

So get out there and move it!

Have you found a way you like to move it?

The Shiny Coat Series: Come to Your Senses!

This month’s installment on healthy living, The Shiny Coat Series, looks at, sniffs around, and possibly fondles you wish the topic of your physical body.

My friend Trish and I were talking about this need we humans have that we totally ignore: to be aware of living in your body. We’re busy, we’re all about what’s in our head, the should‘s, the have-to‘s, the to-do‘s, and we use our body as if it’s an old beater which it may resemble, only good for getting from Point A to Point B.

Well, I am here today to remind you to turn off that ever-spinning engine in your brain, and come back into your skin. At least for a minute or two.

No, this is not how to make yourself feel better with a scarf, part 2, the X-rated version not a bad idea, though, oh the spam!. Although sex can pull you back down into your curled toes for moment. But if you’re one of those people I would never! sorting your mental laundry list during the act — multitasking at its worst — then no, sex may not be the answer for you sorry, Hubs.

Some may disagree; certain religions, even some Eastern philosophy, have a thing against listening to your body or indulging your senses, like physical desire is a thing to be risen above. It’s that age-old wild animal versus civilized man argument, as if we can’t have both.

I say bullshit. Dive in. Your brain, your gut, your skin, your senses, they’re all connected, and sending warm fuzzies through your system, scientists are finding out, is good news for everyone in your cute, little, physical ecosystem. We are sentient beings after all.

We naturally do it as kids. Seeing a giant dirt pile in our yard, the Kid at age 3 ripped off her clothes, plopped herself down, and poured dirt on her legs. Pure, simple, physical joy.

So, here are my suggestions for coming to your senses:

-sex (IF you can shut off the mind for just two fucking minutes I mean, hours, of course!)
-soak in a hot tub, bathtub, metal bucket, whatever!
-drive with the windows down, radio blaring
-skinny dip
-meditate and mentally scan your entire body
-drink a delicious pinot noir (but this is not about numbing yourself!)
-get a massage or scrub
-squint in the sun
-dance crazy
-savor a luxurious dessert
-go hear live music
-walk in the woods and listen
-do yoga or stretch
-run hard
-go barefoot in the sand
-beat a drum or two
-get a mani/pedi
-photograph wildlife
-wear anything cashmere, silky, satiny, or soft

These are just some suggestions. Maybe you have others?

What brings you back down out of your head into your whole, delicious body?!

Anti-Gravity Movie Popcorn

[Warning: she’s getting her bitch on]

I took the Kid to see Hugo in 3D after ripping into our lottery winnings in our mattress. The movie was great in a very dontwealllovethemovies kinda way. If you go, be on time or you’ll never have me as your movie date because the opening shot in 3D is the highlight of the film, imo.

But this post is not about the movie. It’s about the concession stand. What they think we are not seeing them do there.

First off, I am a popcorn fiend. I admit it. I am powerless to it. So, I usually always get some at the movies, however nasty it may be. I said I’m powerless, you judgey judgers! Plus, concessions is where the exhibitors make their money, and haven’t you heard, the movie business is in trouble, so I’m doing my part.

But what amazes me is how they serve up those golden morsels nowadays. They lift the scoop of popcorn highohsohigh above the bucket and let those popped fluffballs of joy float, single file, down, down, down. Leaving as much air in the bucket as possible while still remaining on Planet Earth.

Now, if you’re 15, this is The Way It’s Always Been. But if you’re 29, like me, you have not forgotten the days when they were not so lovingly tender with the corn.

They roughly scooped, slapped it down in the bucket, and scooped some more. And then, they’d pound the bucket on the counter several times like they’re about to make a free throw shot with 1 second to go to settle the corn and make room for yet another incoming scoop of popcorn.

I am not shitting you. That is how it was done. It was a beautiful thing. Ask your dad.

Now that I’ve written this, honestly, I’m lost in my movie concession stand reverie, so talk amongst yourselves. *sigh*

Do you have any great memories of going to the movies?

The Shiny Coat Series: Food in Your Dish

A new year, a new beginning, and lots of folks are getting on that terrible invention, the bathroom scale. I feel your pain. I am one of those people who has had the same 20 pounds come and go. And come and go. For thirty years.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against starting a new eating plan with the new year. Really, who starts anything on a Saturday except a hangover? No one. We humans need some external event to shake us up and drive us towards a healthier existence for pretty much everything, like New Year’s, or your high school reunion, or becoming pregnant, or getting kicked out of your house, or a Monday. Just something.

And I know this issue is loaded and complicated and emotional for those of us who ride the rollercoaster, so these ideas are just one item to put in your basket as you sort through the marketplace of food and its relationship to your body and your self. No one has The Magical Answer for you although I’m told France has a pill….

But I’m here on the other side, the stabilized side, to give you three food tips if you feel you must “be good” and do the D word. They will support you, help with cravings and fill you full of vitamins, protein and fiber.

1. Beans. I know, the musical fruit. But ease into it, a little each day, and your body will adjust, I promise. Plus, they’re packed with fiber and protein and other good stuff. And for those of you (like me) who need variety in life, there’s lentils, garbanzos, pintos, navy, black, and on and on. Experiment with hot or cold options, plain or tossed in soups or salads. I’m told they help to even out your blood sugar level which will help with those evil cravings.

2. Fat. I know you’re running from this and it seems counter-intuitive, but eat fat. Every day. I’m not talking sit down with a tub o’ lard hey, who’re you calling a tub o’ lard?. I’m talking raw (or roasted at home) nuts, seeds, avocados, and oils (yes, some oils are better than others, but that’s a whole other blog post…). Do not be afraid of good food like I was! I think it was Cynthia at Cookus Interruptus (a fun site with cooking videos and comedy) who said if you eat foods that have had the fat removed, your body will still be looking for that fat and not feel satisfied. I am all for satisfaction, so stay away from anything that says “fat-free.”

3. Veggies. I’m telling ya right now if you are dieting and only eating lettuce or broccoli, I was not you will not be able to maintain when you’ve reached your goal have you seen my new yo-yo?? *ahem*. Expand your vegetable horizon. Experiment with types of veggies and methods of cooking them. I swear, I’m beginning to think if I toss a dog turd in olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and roast it in the oven, I’ll love it. Gross, yes unless you ask my dog. But the point is that those veggies you grew up thinking were gross may not be so gross after all. So be a man and try some! Frankly, I believe increasing your vegetable consumption is the key to the kingdom along with an icy shot of Citron Grey Goose as needed….

Before you know it, you’ve broadened your menu horizon, you’re eating tons of good stuff every day, you’re not feeling deprived, and guess what? Your body is adjusting (and hopefully you’re moving it around several times a week in some way that you like).

And then when you reach your goal, you won’t abandon yourself because this time along the journey you realized what truly feeling good feels like, with more energy, strength and focus, and you won’t be able to ignore it those times you and I revert back and start feeling crappy. You’ll want to have healthier and more varied eating, not because it’s weigh-in time, but because you know you’ll feel better that way.

Then you’ll be on the other side, the stabilized side. Where you can relax and love food again.

Are you eating any new, healthier foods this year?

Hey! It’s 2012!

Happy New Year!
Ask me whether what I have done is my life. ~ William Stafford

Our only security is our ability to change. ~ John Lilly

What’re ya finally gonna do in 2012?