Running Tips…

Breathe: in through nose, out through the mouth (the entire run)

Abs *tight* (Yep, throughout the entire run)

Change gait

Concentrate, but be aware of surroundings

Consider fartleks

Eat well to run well

Supportive bra; exchanging on a regular basis (before becoming worn) — same for shoes

Consider body hugging undertops and shorts; never tight

Lace up firmly

Snug, good, comfy socks!

*

Use the restroom right before you leave

ALWAYS – sunblock and sunscreen – rain or shine (don’t forget neck and  behind ears)

Give it all you got; don’t waste your time: This is it; this is where you get in shape — keep that in mind.

Mind the weather; dress accordingly

Good pair of running glasseswith UVA and UVB protection

Shoulders relaxed; arms up and in

When you see a loose dog, stop running and take it down to a walk, moving to the other side of street, if can; hopefully you can do this before it sees you. Avoid areas where loose dogs are encountered.

Don’t

Assume: Always assume you have not been seen, and run defensively. Mind driveways, blind corners, and intersections, again, you have not been seen, even if in full view, even if you have the “green light.”

Run against traffic when no sidewalks; better chance you will be seen though not a guarantee which segues to the next tip…

Make eye contact with motorists!

…Get a good night’s

Keep an ear out as well as an eye (or two 😉 ); use all your senses.

Mind various surfaces, and run accordingly, carefully maneuvering gravel, hidden holes, wet areas.

Stretch after your run

Carry identification; pepper spray; house and vehicle keys, and…

Do NOT forget…

..

…your phone!

If  “too tired,” remember that it is, indeed, rare  to ever regret having worked out 😉

Well Done! Give yourself some praise, you’re a star

Strix

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Braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaas…

Barely There, Invisible Look, Wirefree Bra

Barely There, "Invisible Look, Wirefree Bra"

The claims that bras are not healthful for women have been around for ages. Whether you subscribe or not, the points are compelling and worthy of, at least, thoughtful consideration. Personally, I go back and forth on this one — have for years now.

Upon first hearing about it, it makes sense; however, the “science” is not so firmly behind it. On the other foot, “science” has never been all that reliable when it comes to women’s issues — recall that menstrual issues were “in our heads,” and We were, of course, simply (or “simple”) “hysterical.” (Is there a word more sexist than “hysterical”?) Weaker and all.

I do not now, nor have I ever had my faith based in science; it is just as fallible as any other “opinion,” in my opinion ;). Subject to continuous change. Yes. And it does, does it not?

I go with my experience first.  “Guts” maybe or “intution” is a far more reliable barometer for me. Which does not in any way negate someone else’s experience and truth, even as it is in direct contrast or opposition to my own.

So all this to say, I do believe there is something unhealthful about bras — and certainly, ill-fitting, poorly designed bras. Still, we are conditioned to them, yes? I mean, not just in terms of society and what’s “appropriate”; but, really, to comfort. I hate to say it, but there is a measure of comfort to wearing them; as there is to not :).

I imagine this comfort is more than physical, though; and perhaps borne of conditioning for acceptance, socially and culturally. Too bad, really; I hate being the product of such. But, there it is.

So far as the charges about bras suffocating the lymph nodes, I interpret this as a feeling I get occasionally of mild anxiety: it translates into me feeling like “I ‘must’ get this bra off, now,” and gives a mental/emotional feeling of being sufffocated/smothered — very uncomfortable. As well, the feeling is physical — one of confinement and suffocation, as if in a straightjacket (not that bad, of course, but you get me, right?) This happens a bit more often now than it did in my 20’s; however, it’s not something chronic. Both those sensations together produce an anxiousness unlike any other in my experience. Not sure I’m making sense, here — anyone relate?

Lately, I’ve taken to not wearing a bra much at all at home — and, in fact, out as well (for shame! Never would I have done this when a foolish “child” 🙂 ) In the past, I never-ever-ever went the day braless! Only to sleep, really. Oh, lordy, I recall my mother wearing a sleeping bra, haha. Product of the ’50’s, for sure, was/is Ma :D. On the other foot, I see the value in such bras: one, they are generally not confining or uncomfortable; two, they can keep things within a safe area :); three, for large-breasted women, they can offer great relief. My mother falls into the last category, as well as being a proper 1950’s product :). I can relate to bras and comfort on this level: I also do not liking bouncing around and falling out of clothes; so wearing a bra is not completely a “bad” concept, to me.

Still, I am feeling increasingly more comfortable without than with — is this just “getting older”? Hmmm. Or, perhaps, generally “becoming more comfortable with my body”? That’s a possibility, as I’ve experienced that growth in stages — exercise, for example shot me to a new level of body consciousness AND confidence — oh.Yeah. CONFIDENCE. Is there anything more wonderful than climbing the ladder of confidence? 😀 Not sure the bra/braless thang is confidence, though…haha.

I read once that wearing a bra — in contrast to what they are supposed to do — serves to promote, not just poor breast health, but also sagging. Sounded strange, but, the explanation was something about the tightening and un-naturally “lifting,” “separating,” and general manipulating into un-natural positions, etc., and then releasing, which is much more of a jarring to the tissues than going all day on regular errands and daily life without one. Interesting. Can’t recall where I read that. I’m sure it’s online somewhere.

For the past several years, now, I have been wearing exclusively NON-wire bras — seriously, it must have been a misogynist who designed the oh-so-fabulous “underwire bras” we so desperately need (male or female, doesn’t matter, they hated Womyn!) They are truly objects of torture. Now, I have no problemo believing THOSE are bad for health.

Some claims go so far as to state a correlation with breast cancers. To be honest, it’s not within the realm of UNreason to think so. I certainly would not be surprised one iota if they contribute.

One bra (pic above) I like right now is this one. I have a few :). No wires. I’m not into too-too much “support” bras as that indicates confinement and too much squishy-squish. (In f act, I LOVE Barely There under garments, in general; the under pants they offer are so comfortable, when I shop for them, I end up bringing home a huge bagful. I’ve got, I think, all styles!) I like being held in place but not armor! I save the armor for running (best *ever* running bra) 😉

So, of course, I will always wear a bra for running! Not sure it actually goes to health, though; but it certainly appeals to my sense of aesthetics — so, yes, I am a product of, a slave, even 😉 to, yes, SOME culturally imposed norms, to my chagrin, though it may be. So slap me 😉

Like I said, I could talk bra for ever, 😀 Any thoughts to share?

Strix

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ETL Friday!

ETL Friday! is back this week with one of ETL’s Lifers :). Her view of “Nutritional Excellence” gave me another way to look at Eating To Live, and that’s always a good thing!  I can think of few as knowledgeable as Claudia, and I love-love-love what she shares here; it’s truly insightful and wisdom from which we all can benefit.
But , I’ll give you Claudia and stop gibbering :D:

Hello everyone,

I’m here today on ETL Friday to talk about how I discovered the Eat to Live diet-style, and how it has transformed my life.

Most of my life, I have struggled to try and keep my weight down. I did a lot of yo-yo dieting, losing weight only to eventually gain it back again. I always experienced dieting as a form of deprivation which I could not keep up indefinitely. At some point I’d always start to feel too confined and unsatisfied, and fall back into my old habits of eating anything I wanted to, whenever I wanted it.

Before ETL, I was a food addict, and if I went too long without food I became very uncomfortable. My experience of hunger included headaches, weakness, shakiness, and stomach grumbling and discomfort. When I was dieting, I would obsess over food, and think about it all the time. It seems like I was hungry quite often, and always ready for my next meal.

One of the major things that ETL has done for me is to cure me of my food addiction, allowing me to lose all the weight I needed to once and for all, and to permanently maintain an ideal weight without it being such a struggle.

The first time I heard Dr. Fuhrman speak was in Philadelphia’s Chinatown, at a vegan conference on ‘Chinese Plant Based Nutrition and Culture’, where he gave a lecture called ‘Greens: The Super Food’. While I was impressed with his speech, I wasn’t quite ready to make any major lifestyle changes right away. I was just having too much fun enjoying all the great vegan restaurants that Philadelphia has to offer, and my waistline was showing it.

Eventually, I decided that it was time to go on a diet again, but I chose to follow the McDougall plan because eating all the starches seemed more do-able and less confining to me. It really didn’t work out though. Although I managed to lose some weight, I was not so relaxed about it. I was white-knuckling it, and always thinking about my next meal. I was still the same old food addict who was afraid to go too long without food for fear of becoming hungry. Besides the discomfort of being hungry, it tended to cause me to freak out and want to eat anything in sight that wasn’t nailed down. Back in the days that I had followed Weight Watcher’s, I remember they used to tell us that if we went for more than 4 hours without eating, then we were just setting ourselves up for failure. Besides the hunger issue, all of my starch based meals had become rather colorless, and I was also rather pale and colorless as well. Another problem was that my skin become very dry, which I believe was from the lack of any nuts or seeds in the diet.

Meanwhile, I had a health issue that had been brewing for quite some time. I had a fibroid uterus that had grown to the size of a 6 month pregnancy, and I discovered that Dr. Fuhrman was an expert on therapeutic water fasting and had helped women use fasting in order to shrink their fibroids. So, between wanting his advice on my medical issue, and wanting a better diet, I decided that I would become a member of his website in order to get his support. One thing I liked about the member center from the very beginning was the way that Dr. Fuhrman is so totally committed to everyone’s success and has absolute confidence in our ability to achieve it. To make a long story shorter, Dr. Fuhrman told me that I needed to follow his diet, and get close to my ideal weight before he could even consider whether I might be a good candidate for a fast. In the end, fasting did not turn out to be my best option, however, I did end up losing weight faster and more effortlessly than ever before, and the weight has stayed off. Instead of eating a washed out, colorless diet, and being hungry all the time, I now enjoy a delicious, colorful, and satisfying diet, and do not experience the uncomfortable hunger symptoms that I used to have.

When I was new to ETL, I had to go through a period of missing the old foods that I had always liked, and feeling deprived because I wasn’t eating what everyone around me was having. It made me feel left out. Fortunately, I got over that long ago, replacing the old with the new, and thoroughly enjoying my new diet-style. Now I actually feel sorry for those that still struggle with the food addiction brought on by a SAD diet, and who haven’t had the good fortune to be cured of it by ETL. Ironically, many people see my diet as very limited and even feel sorry for me. With regard to this, I have an analogy that is meaningful to me.

In Anusara yoga, we learn to experience greater freedom (of movement) by having structure and setting boundaries. Its a concept that isn’t intuitively obvious, and sounds paradoxical, but it perfectly describes my experience of ETL.

Instead of just letting everything go lax, we use our muscles to achieve proper alignment of the body, setting boundaries that take us places we’ve never been before. Take a look at the picture of John Friend on the cover of this DVD:

John Friend, Anusara.com

John Friend, Anusara.com

John is doing something that takes balance. Balance is something that doesn’t happen by flopping your body around and relying on flexibility alone. You have to engage your muscles and set boundaries in order to get your body to do things never before imagined. This DVD is called the Dance of Yes and No and is all about the experience of freedom through boundaries

I guess the really cool thing about this for me is that ETL is a real life, ‘off the mat’ experience of what John Friend was trying to teach. For me its kind of like an Aha! moment, but its kind of hard to convey this. Its a really profound and deep thing. From the yoga side alone its difficult to explain to someone who hasn’t experienced it, and from the food side alone, its also hard to explain to someone who hasn’t experienced it. But it is way cool to experience it from both sides, and to realize that it is all connected.

Many SAD eaters feel sorry for me because they think that I have ‘limited’ myself, and that I’m so ‘deprived’. But, what they don’t understand, is that through this ‘limitation’ I am experiencing a freedom far beyond what they can imagine. I am free of food addictions and cravings. I am free of being ‘powerless over food’. I am not constantly controlled by food. I am more relaxed about food. I don’t need to eat as often, and It doesn’t feel like an emergency every time I get hungry. I’m not climbing the walls. I am not in a constant state of hunger, or fear of hunger in which I obsess about having food quickly available at all times. I am free to enjoy a bounty of healthy natural food with a more enhanced level of pleasure than ever before, while also experiencing the joy of having a fit, healthy body. I am not digging my grave with my knife and fork, limiting my enjoyment of life be cutting it short like the SAD eaters.

It’s all a matter of perspective, and while others may see the ‘limits’ I’ve set as self-deprivation, and feel sorry for me, they don’t realize that by doing this I’m achieving greater freedom. I’m achieving the freedom from food addiction.
It is we ETLers who have the real freedom. We have earned it, and it is wondrous.

_Claudia

claudia_1

Claudia in a handstand; Elijah, with hand creating a resistance to press against for greater extension. Photo by “Sheila-Seattle” taken at Dr. Fuhrman’s Utah Getaway

I love the freedom through boundaries analogy and I’ll never forget that description. It’s exactly how I feel.

This is one of the most poignant and relevant benefits for me because it rings so true. Just beautiful! Thank you, Claudia.

Strix

sm row smiles

Three Favorite At-Home Exercises….

I like to do a variety of  exercises, and so these are some I do at home. This is part of my life that is just as important as Eating for optimal nutrition.

I think my No. 1 All-Time BEST for weightlifting is the Arnold Press:

This is incredible AND, I like the fast results. She says in the video this is good for shoulders. Hooooooold on, there, Lady. This works the entire arm. Killer tris! If you’re like me and don’t like doing a ton of various arm stuff, AND, your nemesis is the triceps area, then this may for you 🙂 Best results I’ve ever gotten from an exercise for my entire arms. Add this one to your routine. Try it!

Next, Jumprope. I have an adjustable one I like, Lifeline’s Power beaded jumprope. It’s nice to be able to adjust it to various sizes; but it’s not a necessary feature. Any jump rope will do! And, they are very inexpensive. This is so good to get your heart rate up and really burn calories. Do a few sets and see if you’re heart is not bumpety-bumpin.’ Put some music on and do it rhythmically 🙂 Lots of fun. You can do these outside, too and get your all-important Vitamin D! Or, how about these for rhythm? lol

Thirdly, I like to keep my 15-lb weights at the bottom of the stairs: Every time I go up I have to carry them. Then I have to carry them back down, of course ;). So each trip, I’m lugging 30-lbs total, and I’m getting at least a bit of a metabolism revving.  I sometimes will do various lifts, like pressups or biceps curls with them while climbing; or just carrying them with arms at my sides (especially going down).

Okay, 2 bonus ones 😀 : I have a bar I put over a bathroom doorway so I do a set each time I use that bathroom 🙂 so that helps. And, again, doesn’t have to fancy-shmancy expensive! Just make sure it’s secure.

I also love The Five Tibetan Rites (Here it is animated)

What exercises do you do at home or inexpensively?

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