Posts tagged healthy
Tumblr and Twitter have been talking quite a bit about an interview from 7 years ago in which Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jefferies mentions that he is not interested in selling clothing to overweight women and the “not so cool” kids crowd.
“Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely,”
It is a fairly reprehensible thing to say but it’s also not surprising. This is how fashion works. Are you really that shocked that a clothing company is trying to market itself to a specific demographic? Have you looked at a typical mannequin recently? All of this is to say that there is a much larger discussion about health and body image that we should be having.
When I lost all my weight a few years ago I noticed many changes, not just my body and the types of clothing I was wearing but in behaviour. The way I was treated and if I’m brutally honest, the way I treated others. On example: I noticed that I received more store help and attention while shopping for clothing once I lost the weight. It’s a small thing but it was noticeable.
I was talking with S. about this recently and we both affirmed as formerly chubby/fat people we’re hyper-aware of body image and it’s mostly because we have this fear of letting the demons of our formerly non-healthy selves take over.
I am not saying that one needs to be skinny, but one does need to be healthy and I’ve stressed that on this blog quite a bit. To find your thing: yoga, running, swimming, cycling, climbing, etc. Find that thing and just do it. You can be big or large and still healthy. The flip-side being that one can also be skinny and unhealthy. The one thing we should all avoid being is lazy and inactive. Eat right and get outside more.
I struggle with my own sense of vanity and arrogance when it comes to my active lifestyle. I have to keep reminding myself that for 10 years I was lazy and inactive myself. I only found my “thing” at the age of 30. So it is a rather foolish and ignorant thing to immediately judge someone as I have no way of knowing their own personal circumstances. I don’t know how active someone is just by looking at them.
But still I find myself shaking my head or thinking a bad thought from time to time when I am confronted with a person who is heavy or fat. I don’t like this part of myself but I’m a human and I’m trying to be better about how I judge people.
As far as the business practices of Abercrombie & Fitch go, they’re certainly allowed to do whatever they want to do. They invest their money in a product they want to sell. They get to decide on that product as long as it is safe and legal. They don’t need anyone else’s permission, including yours or mine before they do so. If you don’t like it or them, shop elsewhere. I do. Use your dollars democratically.
Just some thoughts. Feel free to agree or disagree with me.
- Great run.
- Bad run.
- Shit run.
- Amazing run.
- Sick run.
- Injured run.
- Hungry run.
- Inspired run.
- Tired run.
- Happy run.
- Depressed run.
- Funny run.
- Random run.
- Scared run.
- Morning run.
- Day run.
- Evening run.
- Night run.
- Chased by dog run.
- Almost killed run.
- Weird run.
There are all kinds of runs. Just get to the next one.
I’ve run regularly for the past 3 years now. It has completely changed my life. This blog is basically the same stuff over and over and over. So I doubt I have too many non-tumblr followers. But, as I’ve mentioned numerous times: this blog is about me and not you. It’s about “keeping it on the brain” and staying focused and driven.
All that being said, I often find that it’s easy to get caught up in non-running running problems. I’ll repeat it again because it’s a weird thing to say: “non-running running problems”.
It usually comes down to these three things.
— We bitch about the weather being too hot or too cold or too windy or TOO whatever.
— Do I look stupid wearing this? Maybe I should buy that over-priced $125 Lulu Lemon tech jacket. I just belched when I ran past that old couple on the side-walk.
— Now that I think about it, the first two things are basically versions of this one. It’s all bullshit. We complain, we say things, we worry, we obsess.
But at some point you have to just return to running. Just running. We run for all kinds of reasons, but there is that feeling of running at the heart of it all. Don’t forget about it.
I know I sound all new-agey and shit but its running, it brings out something inside of me that I cannot explain or put into words adequately. If you were a runner, you’d understand.
- Run more.
- Eat healthy.
- 15 minutes is better than 0 minutes.
- 10 minutes is better than 0 minutes.
- Outside is better than inside.
- Sometimes inside is ok.
- Rest is just as important as exercise.
- Stay focused.
- Write it down, it keeps you honest.
- Find your “thing”. Keep doing it.
Yesterday was the first truly spring-run-like run. It had all of the feelings that spring running brings:
- Bounce in your step.
- Fresh air.
- That ‘wanting to go further’ feel.
- Not having to wear four different layers of gear.
- Seeing people doing shit outside. (In the winter, most humans disappear. It’s nice to see people outdoors working and enjoying themselves.)
It is such a nice feeling to see other people out on the road. In the winter, you tend to only see the most hard-core of runners. But even then it’s hard to wave or interact as you’re too busy concentrating on not slipping on ice or snow. Either that or you’re so wrapped up in the many layers of winter gear that you don’t notice anyone outside of your tiny little sphere of running.
People waved back, people smiling, walking dogs, cleaning up their yards, etc.
SPRING SPRING SPRING *DOES DANCE* SPRING SPRING
There are many on tumblr who talk about “fat shaming”. And I am certainly not going to deny that. It pervades our society. People make all kinds of snap judgements when it comes to body image and life-style.
But on the flips-side. I’m also not going to feel badly about working hard and eating right. We all make choices.
Just because I am fit and excited about the healthy choices I am making, does not mean that I am putting down YOUR choices or your life-style.
Some people cannot help being larger. And being larger is not necessarily the same thing as being unhealthy. I know plenty of larger, so called “big” people, who walk/run/bike/yoga/etc. and live a very healthy life-style.
Be happy with who you are. You have every right to enjoy the body you have, large or small, fat or skinny, fit or not.
mens sana in corpore sano ~ Thales
While the allure of the gym — climate-controlled, convenient and predictable — is obvious, especially in winter, emerging science suggests there are benefits to exercising outdoors that can’t be replicated on a treadmill, a recumbent bicycle or a track.
Despite my more recent struggles with the outdoors, I agree with this completely. Outdoors physical fitness is the way to go. Correction: it’s MY way. Get out there: run, jump, explore, play! Sun, rain, snow, wind, night… there is so much awesome out there waiting for you.
I’ve been pretty shitty about running these last few weeks. Lots of lifting. I need to grow a pair and go back out there. Ugh.
There are other alternatives when it comes to running in the cold. I’m as hardy as the next person but my cut-off is somewhere around -10 to -15 C. I’m not willing to go beyond those temperatures. Even with proper layering, any exposed skin for longer than a few minutes will result in frost-bite. The fact that my iPhone will not properly function in those temperatures says something about how cold it is outdoors.
But there are still ways to stay active, to make yourself sweat. I’ve been working on a lot of strength training:
If you don’t have that shaky muscle achy feeling after your workout then you’re not pushing yourself hard enough. No real excuses, indoors or outdoors there is plenty that you can do to help your body feel better.
It’s that time of year where people sign up for gym memberships and make New Years resolutions to change their health/diet/weight/etc.
I’m glad that people want to make these types of changes. I used to make them myself for many, many, many years but I would often give up after a few weeks. And that’s the thing. It’s not hard to change yourself for one week, maybe even two. But somewhere around the third week most people start to rationalize or waver on the choices they make.
I’d like to offer some advice for those who wish to truly change themselves and keep their resolutions:
- Write it down.
- Talk about it.
- Tell your family/friends.
- Set achievable goals.
- It is ok to fail.
- Even the smallest improvement is an improvement. Hold onto that.
- Keep going.
I recall quite vividly how much I wanted to quit the Couch to 5K running program when I first started two years ago. But I also recall how happy I was when I discovered that I had lost two lbs in the first week. It’s not a significant amount of weight loss but it was progress. And I held onto that. It was something positive, it was something that I achieved through hard-work and perseverance.
I just passed my two year anniversary a month ago and even though I’ve managed to keep off the weight and change my lifestyle with regard to eating/exercise, I still find that it’s a struggle. I still set goals. I still sometimes fail at them.
It’s an ongoing process and it’s not going to happen in a single day. It takes weeks, months, and often years to significantly make the type of change that many people want.
Keep going forward. Kill it.
I love Sundays. Not because I have them off, that rarely happens. I love them because it’s always the start of a new week. It lets you hit the refresh button.
It’s Winter now and finding your motivation is often difficult. So if you find yourself feeling badly about the food you ate or the missed workout you shirked, do yourself a favour and hit that refresh button.
Start over. It’s a new week. New goals.
Motivation in Winter is often at an all time low. I know I’m not the only one who struggles to find a reason to keep working out, especially when it’s easier to just sit on the couch and finish off the rest of your Advent calendar. But there are ways to kick your ass into gear.
Here are a few tips that help me:
1. Write it down. - Write down your goals on a calendar (for me it’s this blog), but no matter where you write it down—fill in some empty white space. It helps to set goals, to see it in front of your face, to have it be a reminder. As I have mentioned many times in the past: keep it on your brain. It will help keep you honest.
2. Change your clothes. - It seems silly but it works. Change out of your work/home clothes and grab your work-out gear. Ok, so you’re not wanting to work out and you’re now dressed in your work-out clothing. How stupid would you feel if you just sat around in your work out clothes? Pretty stupid. You might as well go out for a run or that work out you’ve been avoiding. You’re already half-way there. I find half of my motivation comes with simply changing into my work-out clothing. The rest of the work out sort of takes care of itself.
3. You’re badass! Kill it! - There are other lunatics out there. They are just as driven. Just as focused on keeping fit and healthy. Know that it makes us extra bad-ass. To run in the cold, dark, winter, we’re a rare-breed. I try to hold onto that feeling.
4. Embrace Winter. - That cold, sweaty, burning feeling at the end of your run once you let yourself breathe again. The frost, the ice, the snow, the quiet of Winter on a night when no one else is around. The soft hush and silence of snow falling. It’s something that only Winter runners truly comprehend. These are some of my favourite moments of Winter running.