Attitude and Health

I’ve really been struggling with my attitude and perspective lately. My job has been so frustrating. I’ve been job hunting but am in such a negative place, it’s hard to find anything I’m really excited for. Is it worth taking a pay cut? Will I be just as frustrated somewhere else?

I know these feeling aren’t good for my health, and are a waste of the short time we’re given on this earth, but I also struggle with what the point is at all, and that’s probably the root of my discontent.

I’m not sure what the solution is. I’ve been trying positive affirmations, and they work fine at home, but at work, I feel like I can barely stand to be around most people, let alone fake a positive and happy attitude. Is it their fault? No, they are working within the system of our environment. I’m the one who wants things to be different.

I’ve been trying to sit outside every day that it’s not too hot or raining. I’ve been getting in workouts. I’ve been trying to get in good quality sleep. I meditate at least once a day. I’m not sure what else I need to do. If I didn’t feel totally happy and content outside of work, I’d worry I need anti-depressants. I know I have a decent setup at my job, but I’m just not happy. And I know ultimately something needs to change or I need to be brave enough to move on.

To be continued, I guess…

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Overweight People Aren’t Lazy Idiots – Maybe There’s Another Cause (Besides “Genetics”)

Here it is. The death rattle heard ‘round the Internet. People are posting links to this article and either saying it’s disheartening or “another excuse.” And despite my better judgement, I read every comment. Every single one. Full of people who think their experience never gaining weight, their experience easily losing weight, or their experience losing weight and keeping it off negates that there’s an issue. Rather people are lazy excuse-makers. No one sees an overweight person as a person. Rather they’re a sub-human form of life who is disgusting and lacks willpower. I’ll stop you right there if you’re one of those people. I am overweight, and I am not lazy. I am not worthless. I have willpower. I work on projects for work that everyone else has abandoned because they require too much work, too much attention to detail, and too much follow-through. I lack nothing that these assholes are saying fat people lack. I am a very goal-oriented person. I bet I have more money saved than the average American my age. I get delayed gratification. And I am a smart person. I have access to good food. And I eat it. And I don’t eat 6,000 calories a day like many people assume. But I hear you, you judgmental jerks. You don’t WANT heavy people to lose weight. You don’t want there to be more to the story.

In my opinion, this article was the perfect avenue to open up dialogue and brainstorm other potential causes  or approaches. This was a great scenario to consider other things that might be playing into the story. Maybe it’s not as simple as people are eating way too much because they’re glutenous sloths. Maybe most overweight people WANT to lose weight, but they’re struggling. Maybe simply eating less and exercising more really isn’t working. Maybe you can take them at face value and be part of the cure, not the perpetuation of the disease (of fat-hate).

Somehow an article that seemed to me like a suggestion to look at other approaches has pitted those who struggle against those who have never had weight issues or lost weight once and kept it off (even if that time is less than two years, as mentioned in the article – those who have lost weight recently think they’re safe from regain). Hell, a friend called fat people “fucktards.” How is that helping? I’m glad you know every person in the world. I’m glad you’ve experienced every scenario. I’m glad you know everything about everything, ever.

So, as a fat, worthless, lazy fucktard, what do I think? More

N=1 – What Works For You Versus What Will Work For Everyone

Let me start this post by saying, I think it’s so, so, so important to learn what works for you. So important. So I’m not suggesting people stop that. Keep using yourself as an experiment. If you think a certain food bothers you and you want to eliminate it, add it back and see what happens, great! If you want to see what level of carb intake your body responds best to, do it! Or how much protein or fat seems to be optimal for staying full and getting in good workouts, do it! Or, when you have in injury you might work out on your own or get advice on what your issue is, that’s fantastic. There’s no point in knowing what that pain means in “most people.” In order to heal and improve, you need to know why YOU are having the pain.

But you have to remember, what works for you may or may not work for someone else. So someone else is struggling losing weight, and when you lost weight all you did was eat as few carbs as possible. That’s great. And it’s nice to suggest, but stop at suggesting. If the other person feels like crap on very little carbs or can’t maintain it, or doesn’t lose, that doesn’t mean he or she is lying. It just means what worked for you doesn’t work for them. If weight loss for you is simply staying under 2500 calories, great. I’m glad you found what works for you. The problem is you can’t push that on someone else. You can’t expect someone who progressively feels worse and worse to intermittent fast. Or run two miles every morning. Everybody’s body is different. We’re all unique little snowflakes. And, sure, when something works for most people, it’s nice to suggest it. But when it doesn’t work for someone, that doesn’t mean they’re lying or doing it wrong, it simply means they’re not part of the “most.” That’s why they say “most,” after all. “Most” means “not all.” More

The Affliction of the Naturally Thin

Before I get into this, I want to disclaim, I’m NOT judging those people who have problem putting or keeping weight on. I think those who struggle to keep their weight up are in a similar boat as those who easily keep weight off. I’m also not addressing those who easily maintain their weight without much effort but don’t say anything snarky. This post is narrowly considering those who keep a healthy weight without much effort, but tell others to “just” do some super-simplistic approach to weight loss (or gain, but I can only speak to loss).

I was a skinny kid. My parents used to worry I wasn’t eating enough. I always had good energy. And don’t remember having a favorite food beyond cheese and cola. I do remember foods I hated (mostly vegetables, but I also wasn’t fond of meat or egg yolks). I remember being excited when my mom made ice cream or brought it out to us after swimming, but I don’t remember begging for ice cream or other sweets. Food was just… Food. Those were the days, right?

I hit puberty and suddenly had hips and thighs and a little stomach pooch. But I wasn’t fat. I maintained this “not quite a thin girl” look all through high school and the first few years of college. During middle and high school I definitely started having an affliction for fast food (especially McDonald’s cheeseburgers and pizza). After a breakup, a bout of depression, finding solace in food, and unlimited freedom to eat all of my meals out, I gained weight. I haven’t looked back since. It’s been a struggle to lose the weight I gained mostly on impulse. Mostly in a fit of self-pity. Mostly over a term of several months.

And since then? I get it. I get why weight loss is this national phenomenon. I get why it’s a bajillion dollar industry. More

Cargill Pink Slime, GMO-Fed Pigs, Arsenic In Chicken Feed, Systemic Inflammation and Cancer, Oh My!

I’ve known about ammonia in meat for years (since I watched Food Inc. – If you’re one of the few who haven’t, you should). And that’s kind of when I started looking more closely at better-raised meats (meat being generic for beef, chicken, turkey, pork, fish, etc.). It’s quite the process to wade through the propaganda. It comes from both sides. There are the “extremists” (who I admittedly relate to more) who don’t want any extra “crap” in their food or bodies. I relate to this. Have you seen this study on pigs fed corn – and the comparison between GMO and non-GMO? Anyway, then there are the other “extremists” who think the first set of people are making everything up, that food is a sum if its parts, that we’ll all starve without GMOs and grain-fed animals, and feedlots and farm raised fish.

I’m sure the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

But in the meantime, I only get one body. And the more I search and the more popular it becomes, the better-priced healthier alternatives become. More

Lab-Grown Meat – Food Is More Than A Sum Of Its Parts

Today I’d like to vent about the mixed signal the “health” industry sends. Even those alternative health people who claim to be outside the norm. Those who tell us to question everything. Those who say conventional wisdom is wrong and we are mislead. And those who say that real food and nutrition is the answer to our problems. This is sweeping, and it’s coming to you as a vent because I’m so sick of Internet bullying!

I was following this group/page about gut health. I don’t even remember the name because I’d just started following it a few weeks ago, and I un-followed it without much thought of sharing the page with anyone else. Mostly because, well, no one needs to be talked down to or bullied. And I know the owner of the page would say she was just opening up discussion and found it “interesting” and “intriguing” (both annoying words she’d keep saying after talking down to the responders).

First, I should mention, I should have un-followed this page almost immediately. Right after I started following the page, she posted something about what is the leading cause of constipation (according to a new study). And rather than giving the answer quickly, she let commenters argue over it. For hours and hour. Finally I went out and googled the research. And then she flippantly replies later, like it was an after-thought, but posting a link to her own page (and not the study). Don’t have a page offering health advice if you’re not going to give it, or hold it back so that those who read the info but don’t get the right answer read the misinformed comments. And THEN you still don’t link to the study, you’re only using it to prop up views on your personal page.

Like I said, my fault. I should have followed my instincts and un-followed then.

More

Here I Go Again On My Own

(Note: This is a follow-up/conclusion to my post a few weeks ago about trainers. Finally, this saga ends. )

You know what makes me sad? How, consistently, society only gives you what you deserve if you don’t settle for anything less. In the past, people around me would give me the benefit of the doubt, treat me with respect, or be kind in general just because it was the right thing to do. Now, however, I’ve noticed people, mostly entrepreneurs trying to startup new businesses, don’t offer such courtesies unless I demand it. And by demand, I mean when I threaten to take my business elsewhere. And trust me, by the time I’m ready to take my business elsewhere and tell said company about it, I’ve already made up my mind to move on.

I realize the owners of these businesses think I’m being unrealistic, impatient or short-sighted. But the truth is, the beginning of a relationship, whether it’s with a business, friend or new romantic partner, is the best at the beginning. And if someone is willing to show true colors that quickly, I can’t imagine how bad it will be if I get invested in a partnership with that person or company.

On the flip side, there’s always a part of me that feels guilty when I put my foot down. I assume this is guilt coming from being raised to “be a nice person” or avoid being a “crazy woman.” But the truth is, I know what I deserve. If I don’t get it, there are plenty of other businesses and people willing to meet my minimal expectation.

Specifically, I’m talking about a local guy who I bought some personal training time from when it went on sale with Groupon. Now, don’t get me wrong. I realize when businesses sell these items at a deep discount they often don’t make a lot of money or are even losing money. But, the point isn’t to make money on these, the point is to get your foot in the door with clientele who wouldn’t otherwise purchase your services, right? I’ve tried new restaurants this way, and I’ve gone back, at full price. Of course, I’ve also tried new restaurants this way, seen it wasn’t worth full price, and never gone back. There’s the rub. If you offer something at a discount and it’s not worth the discounted price, you’ll never get a returning customer at full-price.

I have had some experience with this trainer, and felt like I’d be willing to give his paid services a shot. They always seemed too pricey for me to make a leap, so when the Groupon came available, I jumped at the chance. It would take a lot to make his full-priced service worth it, but maybe if I got my foot in the door, I’d see the benefit and realize it was worth it. Or, I’d find a way to discount his full price service (he always referenced food and supplements, which I don’t need). I was actually excited about this.

Until I tried to put the training into motion. I approached him and asked him how to redeem my Groupon. He was short with me and referred me to his website as if I was inconveniencing him asking him. Sigh. OK. So I went to the website and filled out a survey a mile long. Now, I don’t mind giving information, and was excited that a trainer actually wanted to know this much about me. But the survey seemed to be repetitive and didn’t seem to have a clear purpose. Also fine. Maybe I just don’t see the big picture, yet. So I take a LOT of time to fill out the survey. And jump through a bunch of hoops to setup our first consultation. When I arrive, it’s clear he hasn’t read the survey I was required to complete. And then he makes fun of me for writing “so much.” Um, I thought that was why you had so many questions?

So we go through the consultation, which was pretty straight forward. Height, weight, my goals, my roadblocks, and a few fitness tests. I had gone to a cycle class prior to this, and he knew that was my plan. I told him I really wanted to go to cycle, and if I had to, I’d cut back on the short bootcamp after the evaluation. The bootcamp had nothing to do with the evaluation, it’s how I found him as a trainer to begin with. When I arrived at the consultation and he asked how my morning had been, I mentioned cycle. When we were doing the evaluation, I mentioned cycle again and assumed he hadn’t heard me the first time (or read my email about going to cycle??). Then during the post-consultation bootcamp, he makes fun of me, in public, for being so sweaty. Uh, dude, CYCLE!!! So at this point, I’m annoyed. I hate it when men ask questions to seem interested, and then don’t listen to the answer. It’s like a first date. A bad first date. Annoying.

I leave the bootcamp without mention of actual training times. I honestly didn’t think about it until I got home. Later that day he sent an email asking about times I could setup my first training. I reply back. Nothing. No reply for days. By the time he replies, I’d already made plans for one of the five days I’d listed. Of course he chose that day. I reply and say, “Between my original email and your reply, I made plans on that day. I didn’t want to keep all the days open if something wasn’t set in stone.” He replies back, “Are your available days going to keep changing?” That’s it. No friendly tone. No, “OK, well, let’s get a time set so it’s set” or anything like that. Just a brisk reply that conveyed frustration.

Um, this is NOT what I signed up for. I replied within hours of your original email. You ignore me for days, then reply, then are pissed that I’ve made plans during the time you didn’t reply? This is a business. Either get on top of it, or don’t be mad when your clients, who are paying for your service, aren’t going to clear their entire schedule for ONE training session. I’m sorry, my life’s more than going to your training.

Plus, the way the Groupon was worded, it made it sound like the available time slots were flexible and easy to pick. Um, this is not so easy. Why don’t you have a way for me to go online and sign up for the appropriate time slots? Then we can avoid this antiquated emailing. The site won’t let the times over-fill. Plus, it’s added incentive for clients to choose their classes quickly. But, if we’re going to get into ease of use and clean website design, there’s a whole different discussion.

And I don’t mean to rag on the guy. He’s a perfectly nice guy, and seems to be making a good attempt at starting what could be a successful business. The only problem is he acts like we should be lucky to have him. When, in fact, as a new business, he should be happy to have new clients consider him. Especially considering all of the options there are around town, most at a much more affordable rate. If he weren’t hurting for business, he never would have posted the Groupon. So in order to strike a good deal between the two of us, you offer a discounted service, prove your worth, get me as a full-price customer.

I reply and say, “My schedule doesn’t change if I have an appointment on my calendar. If we set some days in stone, then my schedule won’t change.” He replies immediately and says something about me having to choose the same time, and I can do a MWF or TTH schedule. So I reply and say, “So can you put me down for days A, B, C, D, E, F?” (Six consecutive Tuesdays/Thursdays, starting at the time he’d recommended in the earlier email.)

No reply.

OK, so at this point, I’m done. I’m done with this guy. Done with giving him a chance. Done even caring about losing the money I’ve invested in the Groupon. This is why the YMCA is successful. You pick your times, go to class, that’s it. I tell myself I’m not going, I’m considering the cost I’ve paid so far small, and will use this experience as a reminder to NEVER purchase personal training hours ever again. From anyone. Any time I’ve purchase any type of personal training it’s been a huge letdown.

Of course, three days later he replies. Suddenly, he’s compliant and eager to train me. Too bad it’s too late and I’m over this drama and manipulation and guilt-laying. The whole reason I’m over-weight is because of emotional issues. I don’t need someone who’s allegedly going to try to help me get healthier making fun of how much time I put into his required survey, mocking how much I’m sweating, not listening to me when I say something repeatedly, and making me feel guilty for having a personal life, then ignoring me. I’m better off doing this whole bit on my own.

The week after I was supposed to start training I get an email asking if I’m coming. I reply and say that sometimes things just don’t fit. It really did feel like a breakup. Good thing I never invested any more into it emotionally than I did. It felt good to walk away knowing I’d never get from him what I deserved.

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