Radio Silence

Okay, first and foremost, an apology for the quiet. I started this blog in an attempt to be honest, so, here it is. I was sick for a bit, but certainly not enough to stop me from sitting at a laptop and pecking at a keyboard. I was actually very, very depressed. As in, I lay on the couch and could barely get off the couch to do all the things I absolutely must do. There was a lot of wall-staring and quiet-crying, but I’m out of it now. I know myself well enough to know it won’t be the last time, so if I take a long break again, that’s where I am! Sitting on the couch and crying silently onto a potato chip. Not a pretty picture.

I’ll post another Fitness Friday this Friday, I just wanted to explain where I was if anyone is reading this! 🙂 Thanks for your understanding, and I’ll see you Friday!

Fitness Friday, Week 2

Okay, let’s be honest (if you can’t be honest on the internet, where can you?). I hate working out. I love walking for hours, and/or going on hikes that literally and figuratively leave you breathless. Prancing around my house in my sweats just makes me feel silly, but I have to because the weather here has been not so great. Also, while I’m whining, I hurt myself on Wednesday. I guess it’s been longer than I thought since I was working out every day and I lost what mojo I had.

I picked out a workout, and before I tell you the name, just remember that I will be explaining it and the reason I chose it. Don’t laugh. Promise? Insert Pulp Fiction reference here. It’s called “Ballet Beautiful”.

STAY WITH ME, I’m about to explain.

I am a poor, single mother with a large quantity of free time at my job. I don’t relish the idea of buying workout equipment. On the list of things to buy (a car, shirts for the baby and a phone that is not my little brother’s “old gaming phone”), equipment for the time of day I have to physically exert myself to shed pounds is not high on my list. That’s how I found myself googling “no equipment workouts” for an entire afternoon. I found a lot of workouts that seemed really promising until I reached the line “almost no equipment”. And generally, the equipment was a pilates machine. WTF, Google? We used to be best buds and now I feel like you’re messing with me just for the fun of it. I did, eventually, find http://popworkouts.com/ and, amongst hundreds of workouts, I found “Ballet Beautiful” and it actually DID NOT include equipment. I decided not to swim a mile every day. You know…sanity.

If you decide to do this workout, or any workout, one of the first things I would urge you to check is your abdominals. (This tip is for the ladies with babies). I found out that I am the lucky winner of a diastasis recti, meaning the muscles of my abdomen still haven’t fully closed. (See a super scientific picture below.) I thought they would have by now, they’re supposed to close on their own, and, like an idiot full of blissful ignorance I went on to do planks and crunches, thinking, “Gee, my stomach muscles feel pretty funny!”

So now I have to be careful. As one woman put it, “doing crunches without fixing your [diastasis recti] is like buttoning a shirt from the top and only going halfway – the bottom is just going to keep flopping around.” Um…gross.

I did eat better this week, and I did it intentionally, not just because I’m poor. I have a confession: I stress-ate a chocolate bar. AND IT WAS GLORIOUS.

I won’t be posting progress pictures this week, as there has not been any visible progress. I figure I’ll post them about once a month, progress or no, but once a week feels too sad.

Also, I just want to come back to the Ballet Beautiful workout before we go. If you read the description for this workout, you’ll find out that Natalie Portman weighed 92 pounds by the end of it. I do not endorse that kind of rapid weight loss, no matter how healthy anyone says it has been done. I don’t dance for eight hours or swim a mile on top of this workout. It just seemed like a good NO EQUIPMENT work out and I am SORE. So far, the arms workout seems confusing (because I know no ballet, and popworkouts assured me I wouldn’t need to know) and my arms are not sore at all. But the rest of it I do like, so I think I’ll put the legs part into any serious kind of routine. However, I am on the lookout for a new regimen, so if you know of any, let me know.

 
 
 Happy Father’s Day, everyone!

 

Fitness Friday

Welcome to Fitness Friday! It’s a cause that is very dear to me. You might have heard this alliteration before, I can’t imagine I’m the first to use it. When I say Fitness Friday, I am talking about a social situation that has significant meaning to me as a woman, a mother, and a single mother, although, truthfully, I could have stopped the list at “woman”.

Allow me to say that I am the furthest thing from a jock that you will find on this planet. There are plenty of terrifying women who breastfeed and weight lift and eat only raw salmon and acai berries they grow from their victory garden. I am not one of these women. I am truly impressive when it comes to numbers of Doritos eaten, but not so much sports played or weights lifted.

When faced with the prospect of an early morning run or an early morning read, I would infinitely prefer a book. I know it’s the lament of all mothers/people, but I don’t have the TIME. Sure, I could leave my baby with the sitter for ANOTHER HOUR and go work out at the gym, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but I miss her. I would rather be chubby and spending time running after my daughter than sweating in front of strangers.

As a feminist and a human I’m appalled by our culture’s war on women. Living after several big feminist movements we are now expected (note that we still have certain expectations placed on us) to go to college, land a dream job, land a dream Significant Other, land the perfect house or apartment in our dream city, get up early and make healthy breakfasts and lunches, go to work, pick up your dream kids, make a delicious, healthy dinner, spend quality time with friends so as not to be the dreaded Boring Parent Friend, and be amazing in the sack, because you’re allowed to express your sexual yearnings now, and you’d better, or your SO is totally justified in finding sexual relations elsewhere. Oh, and during all of this, you’d better fit in some time to work out, girl, or you’re going to look strictly like a “Before” picture, and no one will stick around to see the “After”.

I recently saw an ad that made me a bit ill. It was a woman wearing itty-bitty gym clothes surrounded by her four children. The caption said “Mother of four – what’s your excuse?” obviously drawing the comparison that she, the mom, is super fit, and you, a schlub, are not. Firstly, if she really is as fit as she looks on the cover of that magazine, it’s because someone is watching those hooligans while she hits the gym in a big way. Secondly, anyone can look good with photoshop (google photoshop gifs, you won’t be disappointed). Thirdly, while I’m glad that she is in shape and healthy, insulting me with someone else’s fitness doesn’t send me into a “working out” mood. It sends me into an “eating cake” mood, because I’ll never look that good in lycra. I’ve accepted it. It’s okay.

And that’s just being thin. That’s something anyone and everyone in our Western culture can relate to. What about stretch marks? What about the moms all around the globe pulling their shirt up in front of the unforgiving mirror and staring at their stretch marks, wondering if they’ll ever go away? Perhaps if they take a bath in jojoba oil they will go away. Maybe if they look up pictures of pregnant Kim Kardashian they’ll feel better. The jojoba oil won’t help, and neither will Kim Kardashian. The only thing making those things go away is time and the ability to stop touching them even though they do feel weird and it’s kind of fun to run your fingers over the ripped flesh. It’s a grotesque kind of fun, but whatever.

One day, fat and depressed,  I was so hysterical over whether or not I would ever lose weight, I began to google weight loss after pregnancy and stretch marks after pregnancy. There wasn’t much to go on that was helpful. A lot of it was obviously photoshopped, no one was being honest, and it seemed like the only people doing well with losing the weight were women in their forties, whose kids were in school and old enough to take care of themselves while they went for a jog. There were a few sites that actually talked about what stretch marks and women’s bodies look like even a year after pregnancy and these sites were beautiful and helpful. The majority, however, were for ads on stretch mark creams and fitness videos.

So let’s consider Fitness Friday a consciousness raiser. I want to raise the level of discourse being held on real women and real women’s bodies. I am a single mom with a one-year-old baby and a full-time job. I can’t possibly be the only one. All the single ladies , put your hands up if you’d like to read about my journey to health and fitness. I will be sharing progress pictures, talking about what I’m eating and what I’m doing to lose weight. I’m far from being an expert on fitness, but I’m willing to share my experience and I want to encourage all the women out there who are unhappy with their bodies to take action. Even if that action seems small, it all adds up.

EDIT: I wanted to include a picture yesterday, when I posted this, but my brother came over to hang out, and I didn’t have a chance to post the pictures. So here they are, stretch marks and old orange sweats included.
Stretchmarks after pregnancy

Weightloss after baby

Buongiorno Principessa

Captain’s Log, Stardate 11000.1, I am starting a new blog and it’s going to be so, so cool. Welcome. You made it. I’m glad, because the internet is pretty big and confusing, and it’s nice to know someone out there can still follow a map.

This is my very first post. You can think of it as preparation for all the awesome that’s about to come your way. I have compiled here a “The Bored and Le Dumb” survival guide. Below is a list of all the things you’ll need to pack (you’re going on a trip – a GOOD trip) and things you’ll need to check at the door.

Things You’ll Need to Check at the Door:

1) Immaturity

I’m all for open inquiry and discussion, so comments and questions are encouraged. However, this blog is intended for a mature audience (and I don’t mean an X-Rated audience, I mean a no bros, no booger-eating audience). I will be discussing issues some people find intimidating and this fear of the unknown causes the less mature to act quite irrationally and/or rudely. So…haters to the left.

2) Pet Spiders

We don’t want that here.

3) Harry Potter Hatred

I love Harry Potter. Harry Potter is life. I WILL be making A LOT of Harry Potter references. Nerdy references of all kinds, actually, but the ole HP will be making regular appearances.

Things to Take With You

1) The Harry Potter Books

Did you think I was going to make it another second without a Harry Potter reference? You were wrong. But seriously, bring your box set, because there will be a quiz.

2) Pets & Kids

There’s a serious lack of adorable on the evening news, but the evening news is for your parents. Videos of cats iz for us! And I will be sharing clips and gifs of cats, dogs and kids of all shapes and sizes.

3) Your Bad Self

On this blog, you do you. Comment, ask questions, post a gif, a picture, a link. Yes, I started a blog because I like to talk about myself, but my real goal here is to shout out at the internet and see who responds. I want to find my people.

So please, look around!