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July 3, 2007

trans fat fallacy

I love how totally unhealthy food now is advertised as containing "NO TRANS FATS."

I mean, I could easily make you a trans-fat-free bowl of white sugar, with maple syrup. And butter. On a bed of cotton candy.

I've seen a number of delis advertising "We care about your health! We fry in trans-fat-free oils."

FYI, "pure chicken fat" is a trans-fat-free oil. Trans fat is basically synthetic liquid plastic. It keeps the brownies in your Brownie Fudge Chunk ice cream soft at freezing temperatures, which, if you think about it, is Not Normal. Other fats are still bad for you. Just not as bad as consuming synthetic liquid plastic.

(Incidentally, I don't mean for this post to sound self-righteous. I just ate a dark chocolate bar with whole hazelnuts. I totally ate three serving sizes. Women just ... do that sometimes).

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April 18, 2007

Fitness Rant: "take the stairs," my ass

I am always annoyed when fitness publications suggest that one might lose weight by "taking the stairs at work."

First of all, a person looks very sanctimonious leaving his or her coworkers at the elevator and jaunting up four flights of stairs to the office. Also, such activity tends to spill one's coffee.

But more importantly, if I am in a workplace, I am very likely
  1. not wearing my Reeboks, because they don't go well with pinstripe
  2. not wanting to be sweaty, which is also unbecoming with pinstripe
This page from the Get Healthy Kentucky initiative offers the most demoralizing, soul-squelching, Taylorist suggestion yet:
Consider developing a walking map highlighting a few different routes/trails in and around your facility, in distances varying from .5 miles total trip to 2+ miles total trip. Display and distribute maps in receptionist/lobby areas and other central locations. Staff can enjoy a walk during breaks and/or lunch periods.
A walking trail ... around the office! Try to imagine a koi pond or wooded glen as you hoof it through Human Resources!

I am similarly peeved by the suggestion that you "park your car in the back of the lot and walk to the store."

Suspending for a moment the fact that New Yorkers don't have cars (or parking lots), there is also the fact that, unless I just came from the gym, I'm probably not wearing my gym shoes. And if I just came from the gym, I think a walk across the parking lot would provide negligible additional value. Does someone think that clicking across a Costco parking lot in my strappy sandals is a useful form of cardiovascular conditioning? Is this a plot by podiatrists? Are these articles all written by sweaty men who dress like slobs?

Seriously, go do some real exercise, then take a damn shower.

p.s. No one ever lost weight vacuuming or fornicating, despite the little infographics in magazines telling you how many calories you burn doing these activities. Your "resting metabolic rate" actually assumes that you'll be conducting normal life activities throughout your day. You don't get "credit" for absolutely every time you move a limb. Seriously, go do some real exercise (then take a damn shower).

p.p.s. If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy this classic: Shape magazine wants us to get gym-raped

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April 7, 2007

the ladies gym and the giggly girl-car

Today I worked out at a "ladies only" gym. From the front, the place looked basically normal, but once I was inside, I realized that the entire center of the space was a great big mat area on which a woman wearing a headset was conducting a rambunctious play group for children, such that the women working out could watch their kids playing.

It was very weird to work out while the background music suggests that you touch your head, shoulders, knees, and toes (not the worst idea ever) and then informs you about the alphabet, while also saying something about elephants.

(Side note: toddlers with tiny blonde ponytails, curled up on the floor pretending to be "flower seeds" and then sending up shoots and growing into flowers, is about the cutest thing I've ever seen, unless, you know, you released a bunch of bunnies into the class or something).

(Side side note: I can lift very many bunnies. I would like to see a gym that allows me to determine just how many).

It's snowing like a motherfucker* here. Tomorrow I'm driving to Cleveland to spend Easter with my extended family.

The rental company gave me a bright red Chevy Aveo hatchback, which is a precious, tiny girl-car. I love it very much. I am so excited to drive it every time I approach it in the parking lot. It has three spots for cups, one of which is currently holding an apple.


A red apple preciously placed in the apple-cup of my precious, tiny red car? Love. I am reduced to giddiness, and saying "Zoom zoom!" on the turns.

* Why would a motherfucker snow? Oh, crazy idioms.

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January 17, 2007

what kind of merciful god made fresh cherries a diet food?

I am so very excited about the two strips of turkey bacon and an apple I'm about to eat.

Here, once again, is a photo of my abs in college:


Not that my abs themselves have a degree. You know what I mean.

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November 25, 2005

in which I come out of the closet as a very girly meathead

I finally realized I had been avoiding the gym because I hate doing cardio. However, I love lifting heavy things repeatedly. When I was in college, I lifted very many heavy things repeatedly. I spent two years busting my lats on the lat pulldown machine until I could finally do one pull-up. Once I could do one, I could do twelve a couple months later. When I did, people would sometimes put down their weights and watch for a minute. College was kind of great that way, even if it often involved hiking through drifts of snow to get to the gym. It's like you needed two lockers to hold the difference between what you were wearing in a New Hampshire snowstorm and what you were going to be wearing in a weight room.

I finally realized that there is no authority figure at the East Harlem Bally's who is going to force me do cardio, which (have I mentioned?) I hate. And also, since I'm not very good at it (I once blogged about the first-ever time I ran an entire mile, which was about a year ago, and it took thirteen minutes or something), it doesn't seem to burn enough calories to be worthwhile anyway; I'd rather just eat less. I mean, you can spend half an hour busting your ass on a treadmill and the little calorie counter says "you burned 110 calories!" Wouldn't it be more efficient to just put down the damn pie? "Not eating pie" is both free and time-saving.

So, up top is a photo of my actual college abs. At left is a photo of my actual college biceps. Well, one of them. I apologize for all the weird-ass cropping. Due to the presence of bad hair and ex-boyfriends, it proved impossible to fit all my formerly muscular bodyparts into a single photo. (I was once a redhead, and I had curled my hair for my college graduation, for which I was, in fact, wearing a sari-type dress).

In the end, after college, I didn't get lazy; I had started a dotcom that ate all my time and resources and I couldn't afford a gym. I was literally in my office eighteen hours a day, in pinstripe. I had little to no idea what I was doing, or I might have realized that staying healthy and having a balanced lifestyle would be conducive to effective entrepreneurship. At the time, I considered staying out of the gym a great sacrifice. I switched from protein shakes to Costco canned vegetable soup, fifty-four cents a can.

I can still out-arm-wrestle most women my size, and a few women bigger than me, and a few men my size (but not many men are my size, and the ones that are are generally a bit sensitive about it, so I wouldn't recommend arm-wrestling girls in public anyway. In private, well, that's another matter).

p.s., No, I am NOT a dominatrix. Please don't email me about it! I can only bench press, like, sixty pounds. I don't want to hit you. I'm a little tiny woman who wants you to open doors for her. Thank you.

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August 4, 2005

a bit of light porn

I generally protect my cowboy's privacy here, but I'm going to give him a shout-out for getting scouted for a jeans ad. These are the cowboy's abs! Hot damn.

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June 30, 2005

I punched a girl with braces

My latest article, about being the first woman captain of Dartmouth's boxing team, is up in the Writing section.

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June 13, 2005

"try purging in the shower to block out the noise"

So, the Onion this week ran an Infographic which used a background image of a pro-anorexia site, with the name of the site mostly visible. So I googled "fragile innocence"...

This "pro-ana" site includes some tips on not eating, including (seriously):
  • Watch other people eat and smell their food (this can be bad if you're on the verge of a binge) and try to convince yourself afterwards that you were in fact that one eating and that you are full.
  • Watching people eat can also make you more determined. You'll feel stronger watching them give in to food. You're superior and don't want to grow disgustingly fat like them.
  • Listen to other people eat. It sounds so gross you'll lose your appetite.
  • If your craving is so strong that you can't resist, just take a bite, chew, and then spit it out. If you crave even more put what you spat out back in your mouth. You'll be so grossed out you won't want to eat anymore.
And now, the punch line (so to speak) -- this is my favorite:

You can train yourself to forget hunger by gently punching your stomach every time you get hungry because you'll hurt too bad to eat.

I feel the need to purge my brain.

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May 22, 2005

how to get a D-A-T-E

Tomorrow night's spelling bee has a "Singles Night" theme. Anyone can compete, of course, but single spellers are encouraged to attend. Pete's Candy Store, 7pm.

Home improvement realization of the day: anchors work just as well or better when filled with a squishy substance, such as paint.

I did a BOSU class at the gym yesterday, which was quite difficult (unlike, say, the Pilates mat class I did, which was so lame it ended up in my comedy routine). A BOSU is this thing that looks like half of an inflated exercise ball, mounted to a round, hard base, and you do things like stand on the dome and lift weights, or balance your butt on the dome and work your abs by lifting your legs while balancing. You can also turn the BOSU upside down and do exercises on the flat part, which then wobbles because it's resting on the dome. All fine and good; it's just slightly annoying that "BOSU," despite sounding kind of cool and Japanese, is an acronym for ... BOth Sides Up.

Sigh.

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May 8, 2005

I took TWO multivitamins! Take THAT!

Yesterday I ate a solid half-pound of alfalfa sprouts with salad dressing, feeling like a rebel for eating a salad without lettuce, which I've never really liked.

It seemed subversive until I realized that eating alfalfa sprouts is never subversive.

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April 26, 2005

because "rebounding" sounds better than "ladies jumping on trampolines"

I just did a rebounding class at the gym. The instructor was this cute little guy, queer as any rebounding instructor should be, who, while we were running in place on our trampolines, ran into the aisles between us and just started dancing all early-Micheal-Jackson style, while women cheered and whistled.

Among the music for this bouncy little party was a song that primarily consisted of the phrase "her ass is a spaceship that I want to ride," which I found a bit disconcerting. It reminded me of working out at the gym at Dartmouth to endless repetitions of "Smack My Bitch Up."

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April 1, 2005

by the way, I thought Million Dollar Baby was maudlin and poorly written

It has just occurred to me that I'll have to take out my nose jewelry if I want to start boxing again, and that people have told me that when you take nose studs out, the hole starts closing up in less than an hour. Hrm.

I suppose I'd have to take out the belly button one, too. Funny, when I boxed in college, I really never got hit in the stomach, because I was shorter than the guys -- there would just be no way from them to get in there without severely compromising their balance and/or opening themselves up to a good whack in the head.

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