cycling · fitness

Changing of the guard: one bike out, one bike in

This weekend has been, for many social media watchers, All Olde England all the time. Yes, you probably heard something about a wedding; I think it was in the papers. Royal weddings are prime occasions for wallowing in the excesses of British pomp and parade. But for my money, I prefer the traditional, always-in-style changing of the guard in front of Buckingham palace. Maybe it’s because I was in marching band in high school and college, but I love me some bright uniforms and shiny brass buttons (but not those bearskin hats– read more about them and where they come from here).

If you’re not up on the British changing of the guard, here’s a photo to help (and of course the wikipedia page, too):

The changing of the Queen's guard at Buckingam palace, with red uniformed guards on horseback.
The changing of the Queen’s guard at Buckingham palace, with red uniformed guards on horseback.

Although it is undoubtedly less newsworthy, I thought I’d share with you, dear, readers, my changing-of-the-guard story.  I own 5–6 bikes (depending on how you count), which may seem to some (okay, almost all) people like a lot. Hey, bikes are like shoes– you need different ones for different occasions. And, of course, for all cyclists, the correct number of bikes to own is n+1, where n is the number of bikes you currently own.

What I said above.
What I said above.

A less-well-covered story, though, is the story of letting bikes go.  We do this for lots of reasons: a bike might no longer fit well (because of injury or other body changes); we upgrade to a fancier model; we send it as hand-me-down to another; or, it’s just reached the end of its bike life. Such things happen, and all have happened to me.

But this time, I have to admit that I’m letting a bike go for more personal reasons.  The fact is, I just couldn’t make the relationship work. So it’s time for it to go be with someone else. I’m talking about my Brompton folding bike.

My Brompton folding bike, in all its orange and celadon-green glory.
My Brompton folding bike, in all its orange and celadon-green glory.

I bought it in December of 2016 with glee and anticipation of many memorable trips with it– to conferences, on vacation, to work, and who knows where else. I wrote about it here on the blog.

But you know, sometimes relationships just don’t work out. I tried hard to make friends with this bike. I rode it around town, put it in the car to ride it other places, and even took it to a conference in Atlanta.  Boy, did that not go well. You can read about my airline-induced bike fail here.  The fact is, I just didn’t like riding it.  Period.

However, just as some relationships end, others appear on the horizon. I had just made plans to sell the Brompton to my new friend Christy (who’s super-psyched about it– yay!), when my friend Rachel texted me to ask if I was interested in buying her year-old gravel bike. It’s too small for her, and she thought it would fit me. What is a gravel bike?  You can read here about it, but it is a bike built like a road bike, but with disc brakes.  And it’s meant to be ridden on a variety of terrains– on and off road, and takes bigger tires.  Here’s the one Rachel offered to me– a Salsa Warbird:

A Salsa Warbird, with shimano 105 components and a white frame with  red, orange an yellow stripes. Gorgeous.
A Salsa Warbird, with Shimano 105 components and a white frame with red, orange an yellow stripes. Gorgeous.

And here it is in my dining room:

Same bike as in above pic, but it's mine, all mine!
Same bike as in above pic, but it’s mine, all mine!

Yeah, I bought it. I love it. It rides beautifully, and it will carry me back into the woods, which I’ve not been riding in for some time. Yay!

So, one bike out, and one bike in. I’m preserving the bike status quo, and three people– me, Rachel, and Christy–  get a new bike to work into their rotation.  Oh, yeah, of course Rachel has to replace the Salsa Warbird with another gravel bike (I think she may get the same model but in a bigger size).

Have you recently let go of or acquired a new bike, boat, or other important-to-you gear? I love hearing people’s happy (and also bittersweet) stories.

 

 

 

 

diets · fitness

So many bad diet headlines, so little time…

There’s a lot we already know about dieting, namely:

  • No matter what cockamamie diet we dream up, it is both true that  1) someone probably can lose weight temporarily with it; and 2) almost no one can keep weight off with it.

Imagine my 1) lack of surprise; and 2) skepticism when I saw a headline saying “lose weight by eating as much rice and potatoes as you want– no, really”. This news (and I use that term lightly) story reported on a 14-week study done on participants in a UK-based  commercial weight-loss program called Slimming World vs. a control group that did self-led calorie reduction using standard nutritional materials.

The idea behind the study was to see if eating less-energy-dense foods (of which carbs are included) could result in more weight loss, lower appetite and fewer food cravings.  And indeed the experimental group did lose more weight on average than the control group (13 lbs vs. 7). However, we don’t know that it was because of what they ate, as the experimental group had lots of attention from the researchers, peer-group support, and other treatment that (according to the study) may well have influenced the outcome. In addition, the subjective reports of appetite, satisfaction with the program, and cravings were more favorable than those of the control group. But again, they knew they were the experimental group and identified as a group.

I might add that many of the important health metrics (blood glucose level, blood pressure, etc.) didn’t differ between groups.  However, one difference in the study caught my eye:

RMR significantly decreased in the SW [experimental] group but did not change in the SC [control] group.

What’s RMR?  Resting metabolic rate. The above line says that those in the Slimming World diet plan group ended up with a lower metabolic rate than those in the control diet group. That’s not good. That’s really not good. That’s one of the many bad effects on bodies that engage in dieting. It’s bad because it means that your body’s rate of energy consumption is lower, meaning that you burn calories at a lower rate.  This is part of the reason why most people who diet regain all the weight they lost and then some.

What can help raise the RMR? Several things, but the easiest is exercise, which can contribute to increased muscle mass.

So what are the salient results from my reading of this study?

  • You can indeed eat potatoes, rice, etc. in amounts you want. (We knew that already).
  • Being part of a group with shared goals (whatever they are), may help members feel committed to and satisfied by the group’s activities.
  • Dieting often results in lowered resting metabolic rate, which has significant negative effects on bodies.
  • Exercise has no such negative effects on bodies; in fact, exercise raises RMR.

If you’re looking for eating advice from me, here’s something that looks good– this whole-wheat roti with bananas and peanut butter.

What are you finding yummy these days? I’d love to hear from you.

Whole wheat roti with bananas and peanut butter. Mmmmmm...
Whole wheat roti with bananas and peanut butter. Mmmmmm…

 

 

feminism · fitness

Self-mothering as activity

Last weekend I went for a yoga retreat to the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Wellness in western Massachusetts. My friend Laura and I did a Five Element Yoga workshop with Jennifer Reis, who also does Yoga Nidra (or yoga sleep) workshops. This involved a bunch of yogic practices:

  • poses or asanas;
  • different breathing techniques;
  • mudras, or hand gestures done with breathing, meditation, or poses;
  • self-massage (literally from toes to head);
  • yoga nidra, where you lie down on your mat while you are led through a body scan and/or guided meditation.

We also went through these poses, breathing technique and mudras in the contexts of earth, water, air, fire, and ether (something like space). All of the movements, however big or small, restful or vigorous, were hitched to some internal state, or intention, or emotional expression. The metaphysical taxonomy of all of this is pretty baroque, but as in many things, you can take what you like and leave the rest.

The big message I got from all the movement and internal focus was this: I want and need more mothering in my life. This semester in my academic job has been emotionally intense– one of my students died from suicide, and several others have been suffering from and getting treatment for depression, anxiety, and trauma. And for whatever reason, this semester I was the professor that these students talked to about their troubles. Of course they have many others in their lives, including therapists, family, friends, community, etc., but on the academic front it felt like I was the go-to person on the Bridgewater State University campus for student support.

I consider it an honor when a student trusts me with sensitive and difficult information about their lives. It is also a burden, as it makes me want to bifurcate myself into two persons: Catherine the kindly professor, and Catherine the mama bear, ready to do battle with whatever and whoever is causing them pain. I admit that I was more bearish than I usually am, in response to students’ pain.

I also didn’t take great care of myself this term; I haven’t been eating in ways that feel healthy to me, and I haven’t done as much activity as I need to feel good and vigorous and strong. Clearly I need some mothering myself.

So I did what I could, which is to go to Kripalu for the weekend as soon as the term was over. I am lucky and aware of the privilege that allows me to devote time and money and resources to this kind of self-care. I ate great tasting and healthy-to-me food that I neither cooked nor cleaned up after. I moved around and was still and was curious and listened.

What I heard were these desires:

  • I want to move with energy and strength and grace.
  • I want to be less fearful about the body I have now.
  • I want to be by myself and also with others in movement and stillness.

I’m not a mother, but I know lots of them. They seem to combine lavish loving with relentless cajoling, threatening, sweet-talking and redirecting their children to help them move toward their goals in life.

I have goals– in particular, physical activity goals this summer. They are:

  • Bikes not Bombs charity ride (30 miles)
  • PWA Friends for Life charity ride (68 miles)
  • MA-VT round-trip Labor Day weekend ride (100ish miles)
  • NYC Century ride in Sept (75 miles, which is actually 82)

I’m doing some riding and some yoga, but I need some serious self-mothering to get enough done to make these goals. So I’m going to see what I can do to act as my own mama bear to myself. I’ll be reporting back on what happens.

Thank you to all the mothers out there, and also to those of you in the process of self-mothering. I find strength and solidarity and motivation and community from reading your stories and comments.

Happy Mothers Day to all of us!

fitness · weight stigma

Obese people? People with obesity? How about this: People.

Language matters. What words people use for us have lots of effects– they contribute to the way we see ourselves and also how others see us. In school, I was known as “that smart girl” in a way that was definitely not complimentary. It was as if that was the box I had to occupy, never to stray into other territory. Luckily, I got over this once I arrived at university, where being hailed as “smart” was definitely considered praise.

For people who are living with illness or disability, language does additional harm by burdening them with labels that identify them with the illness or disability they are dealing with in their lives. Calling someone sick, disabled, or other terms simplifies them by identifying them with one feature of their lives to the exclusion of all the complexity and richness of personhood.

Luckily, there’s a solution to this problem: we can use what’s called people-first language (see here for a good handout on how to shift from harmful to more accurate language).  Here’s what the organization The Arc has to say about it:

People-First Language emphasizes the person, not the disability. By placing the person first, the disability is no longer the primary, defining characteristic of an individual, but one of several aspects of the whole person. People-First Language is an objective way of acknowledging, communicating, and reporting on disabilities. It eliminates generalizations and stereotypes, by focusing on the person rather than the disability.

Disability is not the “problem.” For example, a person who wears glasses doesn’t say, “I have a problem seeing,” they say, “I wear/need glasses.” Similarly, a person who uses a wheelchair doesn’t say, “I have a problem walking,” they say, “I use/need a wheelchair.”

So what does this have to do with obesity? In a blogpost this week, James Fell reported that Obesity 2018 Canada has shifted to using people-first language when talking about people’s weight.  He says:

From a post by endocrinologist Dr. Sue Pedersen: “Obesity is a diagnosis, and not a way to describe a person. Thus, instead of the terminology ‘overweight or obese people’, the correct terminology is ‘people with overweight or obesity’. This is a critical step in breaking down the stigma against obesity!”

I thought “people with overweight” sounded a bit weird, but Yoni [Freedhof, obesity medicine physician and writer of this blog ]told me, “people with excess weight” could be an easier way to address that.

I have a bunch of responses to these developments. First, let me say that people-first language strikes me as respectful and indeed a necessary step in the direction of destigmatizing lots of diseases, conditions and modes in which people make their way through their lives.

That said, let me turn to its application to the terms “overweight” and “obese”. It’s true that both  the Canadian Medical Association and the American Medical Association having a BMI >30 as a disease (even though scientific and other subcommittees of the AMA recommended against this classification; see here for one such report). However, announcing that people with BMI >30 (the standard medical definition for obesity) have  a disease is both massively stigmatizing and arguably incorrect. Announcing that people with BMI >25 (the standard medical definition for overweight) have a disease is arguably absurd and definitely flies in the face of loads of evidence to the contrary.

I’m aware that what I’m saying is controversial.  I’m questioning whether all or most people with BMI>30 have a disease/are unhealthy. I think I’m on safer ground questioning whether all or most people with BMI>25 have a disease/are unhealthy.

So, if I’m right (which of course I think I am, and I have a gigantic bibliography of evidence available), then maybe the language we need is not people-first, but people-only.  Do we need these terms  “overweight” and “obesity” at all? If medicine needs precision, there are actual body weights and dimensions available for help in assessing someone’s health. And BMI can be calculated easily from those measurements using tables (I’m not linking to one, but you can find them anywhere). I don’t think these terms are helpful in medical contexts (I’m working on an article with a colleague– Hi Dan!–  on this now), and as general descriptors they are stigmatizing and shaming (and often an inaccurate way to convey information about a person).

If we want to describe someone’s dimensions, there are lots of words to use, including large, big,  fat, heavy, etc. These are descriptive words, and many people in fat acceptance movements embrace them. I just happen to think that obese and overweight aren’t helpful as descriptors. And I think that using the terms “people with obesity” or people with excess/over weight” is terrible– its strangeness calls attention to the person’s size, maybe also invites stigma, and presupposes something that I argue elsewhere is false. For more on this, you can look at this blog post. And when the article comes out, I’ll blog about it too.

So what do y’all think? Do you prefer “obese people”? “People with obesity”? Or maybe just using their names?

 

 

fitness · health

Testing, testing: how much preventative care and screening do we need?

Important note: as they say, I’m not a doctor (well, not an MD; my philosophy PhD really doesn’t count here). We all read, talk to people and make our own decisions about what to do based on our particular values and needs and goals and bodies and finances and time. So this isn’t advice, much less a medical recommendation. (Not that you’d think so, but I figured I’d say it anyway).

Okay, that said: I went to the gynecologist this week.

Oh joy!
oh joy!

I was there to deal with some menopausal symptoms (a topic for another blog post). During the appointment (my first with this doctor), she reeled off a big list of questions about screening, including mammograms, paps, etc. I tend to be a bit behind schedule according to American (but not necessarily other country) standards for various types of health screening. In this country, there’s a lot of variation among individual practitioners about screening, and they are sometimes at odds with national professional scientific panel recommendations (e.g. for mammography, see here the US Preventative Services Task Force recommendations).

My previous internist and I got into a heated argument about screening– she wanted yearly mammograms for me (luckily I have no family history of breast cancer nor is it likely I have genetic markers for it) and in response I cited the USPSTF results. She replied, “well, I don’t agree with them”. I asked what evidence she had to contravene those results. She had none. I changed doctors a bit later.

It turns out that I have some company in being resistant to and skeptical of many (although not all) medical screening. Barbara Ehrenreich (one of my author-essayist heroes; her classic book Nickeled and Dimed forever changed my view of labor justice) has published a new book called Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer. I recently read an essay excerpt from the book here, which definitely makes me want to read the whole book (when I do, I’ll post a review).

Ehrenreich is reacting to two trends she sees:

  1. the technological new-toy enthusiasm in the medical establishment which pushes us to be examined, measured minutely, recorded and treated, just in case the barely registerable potential abnormality that we’ve been informed of will rise up to plague us;
  2. the identification of this tech-heavy but not obviously therapeutic process with normal health maintenance; resistance is seen as irresponsible and maybe even irrational.

I really like this example she gives of a medical encounter that perfectly illustrates 1):

I was struck by the professionals’ dismissal of my subjective reports—usually along the lines of “I feel fine”—in favor of the occult findings of their equipment. One physician, unprompted by any obvious signs or symptoms, decided to measure my lung capacity with the new handheld instrument he’d acquired for this purpose. I breathed into it, as instructed, as hard as I could, but my breath did not register on his screen. He fiddled with the instrument, looking deeply perturbed, and told me I seemed to be suffering from a pulmonary obstruction. In my defense, I argued that I do at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day, not counting ordinary walking, but I was too polite to demonstrate that I was still capable of vigorous oral argument.

There are a bunch of questions that she raises here, and they are issues that I think about a lot in my professional life (as a public health ethics person) and in my personal life (as an aging, active, curious person). One of them is this: if I don’t have any symptoms, does it serve me to engage in high-tech explorations of my systems in search of something that looks amiss to the machine?

This is of course a very hard and controversial question. The whole issue of screening for diseases and risk factors and conditions and genetic markers for people who are asymptomatic is a huge area of health research for a lot of fields (mine included). I did find this interesting systematic review of meta-analyses and randomized trials (this means they looked at a ton of data at several levels using very fancy methods). It asks a very straightforward question: does screening for disease save lives in asymptomatic adults?

The straightforward answer is: for the most part, no. Here’s what their abstract conclusion says:

Among currently available screening tests for diseases where death is a common outcome, reductions in disease-specific mortality are uncommon and reductions in all-cause mortality are very rare or non-existent.

What does this mean? I can get various kinds of screening for diseases– mammograms, colonoscopies, blood chemistry, imaging and other tests for cancers, heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, etc. The researchers asked two questions:

  1. How likely are these individual screening tests to reduce my risk of dying from that particular disease?
  2. How likely are these individual screening testing to reduce my risk of dying for any reason?

In the case of 1), they did see some reductions in disease-specific mortality risk for four tests (including mammography under some protocols, and two less-invasive-than-colonoscpy tests for colorectal cancer). But they didn’t find those reductions for the other 15 screening tests they looked at (I won’t list them here, in part because their results are more robust for some than others based on availability of evidence). However, here are a few nuggets I found that put them in Ehrenreich’s camp:

A very large number of tests continuously become available due to technological advancement.One may be tempted to claim a survival benefit of screening based on observational cohorts showing improved survival rates, but these are prone to lead-time and other types of bias.

They conclude with this (edited by me for brevity):

One may argue that a reduction in disease-specific mortality may some times be beneficial even in the absence of a reduction in all-cause mortality. Such an inference would have to consider the relative perception of different types of death by patients (e.g. death by cancer vs death by other cause), and it may entail also some subjectivity… Screening may still be highly effective (and thus justifiable) for a variety of other clinical outcomes, besides mortality. However, our overview suggests that expectations of major benefits in mortality from screening need to be cautiously tempered.

In short: screening for serious diseases is medically useful for people under many circumstances. But for those with no symptoms, it is questionable whether it will extend their lives, and it’s not clear it will give them greater control over how and what they die from.

Lots of screening presupposes a very high-tech, very interventionist, and statistically low-yield approach to health. That’s fine if that’s your deal. You do you. But it’s important to know what you’re signing up for. And this is not one-approach fits all. Because of my medical and family history, I am committed to and feel like I need some types of screening, but not others. I try to stay informed and make evidence-based decisions, but my decisions are also based on what I think health is for me, what my biggest health worries are, and how I hope my life will go.

Have you had experiences with medical professionals about screening and health that you’d like to share here? I’d love to hear from you.

cycling · fitness

Revving up for charity rides in 2018

This year I promised myself in my New Year’s resolution blog post that I’d move, write, reflect, repeat. Here’s a summary of my goals and plans:

Herewith my scheduled timeless event plans for 2018:
  • March cycling trip to Arizona with Janet, Steph, and Kathy
  • Early June Bikes Not Bombs charity ride in Boston (with whomever wants to join me)
  • Late July PWA Friends for Life charity ride in Toronto with Samantha, Sarah and friends
  • Early September (Labor Day) weekend bike ride with Rachel to VT from Easthampton MA (and back, too)
 

In March, I went to Arizona and rode/hiked with friends.  And now I’m really looking forward to the spring/summer seasons, with riding and riding and more riding. The next goal on the list is the Bikes not Bombs charity ride on June 10. I’ll be doing either the 30- or the 50-mile ride, depending on weather conditions and how I’m feeling that day.

This reminded me of one of my previous blog posts from 2014 about charity rides.  If you’re thinking about doing a charity ride or run this year, check it out.

-caw


Charity bike rides can be a barrel of fun.  You are raising money for some cause (presumably a good one).  You don’t have to think about the route—there are marshals, cue sheets, arrows on the road, etc.  At the finish line you’ll find ample food, drink, and entertainment—often in the form of amateur drumming groups, jugglers, incidental guitar playing, and of course frolicking dogs and babies.  And, you feel great because you have ridden with a large group of high-minded charity-oriented cycling folks.

I had previously been a bit leery of big charity rides for a few reasons.  But having done several of them, I am a real fan.  Here are a few things that I used to worry about, and how I stopped worrying.

Worry #1:  Raising Money

The point of a charity ride is to raise money for a cause.  Most rides have a minimum amount, so you’re on the hook if you don’t make your fundraising goal.  The biggest athletic charity event in the US—the Pan-Mass Challenge (http://www.pmc.org/) requires a minimum of $5000 for those doing the two-day ride of 180 miles.  Whoa.

However, when I started doing the Bikes Not Bombs ride (which has only a minimum of $150 of fundraising), I discovered something:  many people are happy to donate to my ride.  I was overwhelmed by the generosity of people who gave money, and it makes me more likely to donate to others’ events.  This is undoubtedly a good thing.

Worry #2:  Riding Alone

I do lots of group rides, and also don’t mind riding by myself.  But for the Bikes not Bombs ride, I didn’t have a buddy to do my 50-mile route.  However, even before we rolled out I had met folks, discovering common connections (someone knew my bike mechanic or friend of a friend who races for blah-blah team) and making new ones.  People tend to be perky and happy at the start of a charity ride, so it’s easy to make conversation.

When we rolled out, we quickly clumped into groups, and also played leap-frog with other groups going up and down hills.  I ended up riding with a guy from London, Ontario (yes, Tracy and Sam, it’s true!) to the first rest stop, about 18 miles in.  For the next 16 miles, I traded places with a pair of riders, and then was largely on my own for an hour.  Sooner than I expected, though, I found myself at the second rest stop, and caught up with many of the folks I had been riding near and with.  It was like a party—people chatting, eating, and one person was even interviewing riders for the Bikes Not Bombs website.  We also caught up with some of the 30-mile riders, and were encouraging and leading them through the more densely trafficked end of the ride.  It was truly an experience of cycling solidarity.

Worry #3:  Sketchy/Inexperienced Riders

There were 746 riders this year, which is actually pretty small for a charity ride (the Pan-Mass Challenge Ride had 5,500 riders last year).  However, many of these folks are not so experienced, either with road riding or with group riding etiquette.  Especially early in the ride, it’s important to be vigilant and prepare for people swerving, braking suddenly, slowing down or even stopping on the road (all of these have happened around me).

There were also people riding who were clearly unprepared for a 50-mile ride:  they had no tools or tubes for changing a flat (and probably didn’t know how, either), and didn’t carry bars, goo, or even enough water or sports drink.  Several people I passed or rode with for a bit had no bottle cages on their bikes, so they didn’t have a way to drink regularly.  And it was hot and sunny—a high of 86 (30C), which means you need to drink a lot and often.  The good news is that the more experienced people checked on the less-prepared people, and made sure no one was stuck on the side of the road without help.  This meant that most people (including me) didn’t break any speed records, but this is not what a charity ride is about.  It’s about spreading bike love throughout the route…

Worry #4:  Being in Shape for 50 miles (or maybe 30 this year)

The Bikes Not Bombs ride is in early June, and when we have a late spring I’m not always in the best shape by then. However, there were options.  Charity rides usually offer multiple rides, and this one had 10, 30, 50 and 80-mile options.  Also, the routes tend to start out together, with the different length rides splitting off later on, so you can decide at the last minute (but no swerving, please!) to take a shorter route.

I’d love to hear what other people’s experiences have been with charity rides—what are your favorite ones?  Any other worries I missed?  Any other benefits?

 

 

fitness · holiday fitness

What to do when spring refuses to arrive

Today is April 15– spring should be well on its way, even to the more northern climes.

Words saying "yeah but no" with drawing of arms crossed.
Words saying “yeah but no” with drawing of arms crossed.

 

You would think we’d be in a position to do this by now:

Woman in a pink outfit and white hat playing hopscotch in a park. And it doesn't look cold at all.
Woman in a pink outfit and white hat playing hopscotch in a park. And it doesn’t look cold at all.

Well, think again. Up in Ontario, where several of our bloggers reside, they’re getting this message:

Words saying 'potentially historic ice storm" -- Environment Canada. I'm sure we'd prefer it to be historic in the sense of in the distant past. But no.
Words saying ‘potentially historic ice storm” — Environment Canada. I’m sure we’d prefer it to be historic in the sense of in the distant past. But no.

Here in Boston, it’s currently snowing/sleeting/freezing rain. Love this trifecta.  However, the bigger issue is tomorrow, which is Patriot’s Day Marathon Monday.  Schools and government offices are closed, and lots of people (myself included) take the opportunity to head outside to enjoy running or watching the Boston marathon, or just frolicking in the spring weather. So many times I’ve cycled with friends, enjoying the last break before the end of semester crunch hits. But not this year.  Here’s what they’re predicting:

Boston Marathon forecast: raw, rainy Monday will create challenging course
Boston Marathon forecast: raw, rainy Monday will create challenging course

Not looking good at all.  At least we’re not having the full-blown ice storm that’s hitting southern Ontario, which is something to be thankful for.

So, what’s a fitness-interested feminist to do while waiting out this yucky weather?

  • Set up the trainer again? NONONONONONONONONONO.
  • Go to yoga classes? Yes.
  • Break out the Pilates and other fitness-y DVDs and have at it in my living room?  If I must.
  • Give in and watch all of the Oscar-nominated films on iTunes? Now, we’re getting somewhere. ..
  • All of the above? Yes, I guess so.

Into every life some crappy weather must fall. We in the colder regions will all get through it. And yes, southern-region friends– you now have my total permission to complain about heat this summer all you like.

I leave you with words of wisdom and an image we can all take as the best advice for dealing with cold weather:

There's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing".

A big pile of muddy, raingear-clad, happy kids, sliding down a muddy mound.
A big pile of muddy, raingear-clad, happy kids, sliding down a muddy mound.