Different kind of combo

It’s a lovely sunny morning today and I felt compelled to get outside for a run. It’s supposed to get really hot starting today so best to do it early!

Today’s route choice was 3 miles of rolling hills. There’s a 1 mile stretch nearby where the hills are less extreme and more balanced, ups and downs in similar proportions. I made a loop out of that part and ran it twice, then tacked on an extra mile. It’s only 74F now but the sun felt really hot. I’m not ready for summer yet!

Once I got my drippy self back inside, I decided to do a half hour of yoga to stretch out. That was nice; I got to focus on my hip flexors and IT bands. And I threw a low lunge with held foot in there… quad-errific.

And now I need to go shower and get on with my day… which includes going to the grocery store to pick up ingredients for some kind of dessert for tomorrow’s BBQ at my partner’s parents’ house. Ah yes, the grocery store on the day before Memorial Day. It’s going to be a circus in there.

Editing to add! So I grabbed a cookbook off the shelf– it’s Diana Shaw’s Essential Vegetarian Cookbook, which I always liked– and started to look for dessert ideas. And all the desserts are presented as low-fat or fat-free. This cookbook is from 1997 and it shows…

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My everything hurts

I figured I’d be sore after HIIT, but for some reason I’m surprised at the degree of soreness I feel today. It’s all in my glutes, hips, quads and hamstrings. It’s not quite “toilet sore” (you know, when things hurt so bad that getting down and up to pee is a challenge) but it’s not fun either.

It’s a nice day and I had a couple errands to run so I went walked to them, maybe 2 miles. It felt fantastic while I was walking along but once I stopped, the hurting doubled down. Argh.

BUT! This weekend the pool opens! So maybe I can soothe my sore parts with a nice soak.

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HIIT and hemp protein, how cliche

I got my butt out of bed, onto the train, and into the gym early this morning for another HIIT class. Now I’m singing another little song to myself: HIIT is kick my butt, HIIT is kick my butt… (It sounds a lot like the "Crunchy bits of stuff" song from last week.) I don’t dare go into class without eating something, but I also don’t want to eat two breakfasts, so I made myself the usual strawberry/banana/hemp protein smoothie, drank half at 5am, and I’m drinking the other half now at 8:30. It’s much better when it’s first made.

I found this class easier than last week’s, though. I’m almost certain it was shorter, and I did mostly the tough options (last week I took mainly the easy ones). The makeup of the class was different though, so maybe the instructor dialed it back for us? Last week there were several really fit-looking people in there who weren’t in today’s class. I also excel at finding places where I can slack off during the workout. I need to work more on keeping myself pumped up and willing to push myself (although I’ve put so much time into learning how to pace myself and keep a reserve in the tank…)

My hips are still unhappy too. Yeah, let’s make 2 of the active recovery intervals holding boat pose for a minute? That’ll go great!!

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“Good Fatty Blog” and privileged voices

Longer treadmill run today: 4 miles in 53 minutes, nice and solid, no need for a walking break. Today actually would’ve been a nice day to run outside, but I neglected to plan ahead so I was stuck inside. Tomorrow I might just join J for a regular lifting day, or I might try HIIT again. I haven’t decided yet. I did get good sleep last night (thanks, bedtime yoga) so maybe I can handle getting up extra early.

Someone I follow on tumblr, fancybidet, made a tremendous post being critical of fat acceptance/body positivity and Health At Every Size for still focusing in on bodies that are compliant and able, the ‘good fatties’, while conveniently ignoring and othering the ‘bad fatties’ who, for whatever reason, aren’t following the cultural narrative of health-seeking. The trope of random weight loss after working on body acceptance is still huge in this space, and she does a great job of breaking it down as a person who instead has had weight gain as a result of disability.

We live in a culture that doesn’t know what to do with people with disabilities and health conditions. The intersection of weight and disability is blurry, misunderstood, and demonised; and many people within “body positivity” fail to comprehensively understand the nuances of living in a body that is fat and disabled (not to mention fat and not white/ poor/ trans or a combination of those!)

Ignoring my feelings is counter-productive and only serves to internalise shame when I need to draw attention to this shit many of us feel. Lots of people in body positivity circles are still trotting out the “good fatty” trope when it does harm. Some of us are bad fatties who are putting on weight and can’t control our disobedient bodies. And I want to be able to take up space physically and intellectually and have my body respected like it should be. When I am ashamed, I am quiet, and I am more inclined not to advocate for myself; I believe this only leads to negative medical (mental and physical) outcomes.

I want to talk about this here because, well, as a fat person who mostly writes about exercise and fitness, I might as well slap “Good Fatty Blog” up on this– my voice here is incredibly privileged. I want to recognize where I benefit and make sure I’m thinking about the intersection and demanding respect for all people in all kinds of bodies.

So go read her post! And let’s talk about how things can be better.

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I can’t relax, so don’t tell me to relax

Another typical Tuesday combo, lift ‘n’ run. The run part went great (I fit 1.75mi into the 20 minutes, kept turning the treadmill up) but the lifting part was tough. I’m blaming it on my period and the fact that I’m still– STILL– sleeping like crap and not recovering well and being sore. It’s intensely frustrating. And it figures– over the weekend I couldn’t sleep in past 7am, but yesterday and today my alarm went off at 6:10am and I desperately wanted to keep sleeping.

I just need more time in my life, for everything. My partner’s been working long hours (he hates it; I hate it) and it’s rubbing off on me, I always work more when he’s working more. And I wind up taking on more of the stuff around the house, which is okay– he does the same for me when my life goes nuts– but right now I feel stretched thin.

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In search of yoga variety

Today’s a yoga day. Can you believe I am still sore from last Thursday’s HIIT? Especially my upper body, my neck and shoulders and chest and sides.

I decided to do a different practice by the same person who does my favorite Youtube yoga. She has two there, the afternoon grounding that I always do, and also a morning heart opening one. I had tried the morning practice before and didn’t like it for some reason, but I went back to it today to try it again. My experience with it this time was better, and maybe all the back and chest work will help everything settle down. I also found myself with unusually flexible ankles today; with a little work I could get my heels down in down dog and in a wide squat. That never happens!

It was also my first practice with the spendy mat. I’d heard that they take a while to break in, and that was certainly my experience– any sweat on my hands or feet sent them sliding all over the place (and this was a heat-building practice in the sun…) I put a towel down and that kept my hands in place at least. The manufacturers recommend “just practice on it!” for breaking it in. Not being able to stay in a down dog makes that tough… but I’ll try to stick with it for a bit.

My partner’s birthday was over the weekend and we had people over. I made a gorgeous coconut tres leches cake trifle– seriously, it’s probably the most beautiful thing I’ve ever baked! Everyone enjoyed it and now we have leftovers in the fridge. I decided to have a small bowl for breakfast (it’s not going to keep forever is it) and after I ate it I felt just like … bleh. I regretted it and wished I had just had a normal fruit and protein smoothie or some eggs or something. Cake why you betray me :(

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Healthy questions

Unsurprisingly, I’m sore today– but it’s not too bad, mostly my serratus and glutes. It could be lots worse. (Hopefully I don’t get more day 2 DOMS tomorrow.) I held myself to 30 minutes on the boring-ass elliptical machine to just get blood moving. How do people work out on that thing every day? It didn’t help that ESPN and golf were on the TVs, and I managed to pick up the world’s blandest magazine to read…

As most of you know, I’m a proponent of the HAES philosophy, which stands for Health at Every Size. It’s a pretty simple yet surprisingly revolutionary idea: that healthy behaviors should be accessible to all kinds of people. It seeks to encourage people to eat and move and live in ways that feel good and support their health, while discouraging weight loss as motivation and removing shame and stigma. I consistently see HAES misrepresented among its opponents, who claim that it means "healthy at every size," and that its proponents say fat people never suffer from illnesses related to their weight and people should never lose weight. Which is kind of silly; being fat is absolutely associated with certain ailments, though the cause-and-effect relationship is less well-studied.

But let’s go back to first principles and examine our assumptions about health.

It might be illuminating to ask a few questions here: what is health? What traits characterize a person who is in good health? How can people ensure good health as individuals? And what are some ways we, as a society, can promote health?

Please leave your thoughts in the comments!

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