fitness · running · tbt

As Summer Approaches, Tracy Takes Stock #tbt (from June 2013)

For this week’s Throwback Thursday, I go back to the very first summer of the blog, back when Sam and I weren’t even 50 yet, didn’t have a book in mind, and weren’t sure what our “goals” for our Fittest by 50 Challenge were. In this post, I consider the shifting sense of goals, some difficulties I had with the concept, and set myself the goal of running a half marathon (continuously) before my 50th birthday. I had forgotten all about that. And in fact, my fittest by 50 goal changed from that to an Olympic distance triathlon (of which I did two before I turned 50). I have done several half marathons since then, but none continuous. I’m working on continuous running now, and have done 10Ks, but not yet a half. Perhaps this is a new goal I can set for my October half? We’ll see. Meanwhile, I like this post a lot, and will undertake an actual “stock-taking” of where I’m at this summer, at 53, next week. Tracy I

FIT IS A FEMINIST ISSUE

Summer on a beachWe started the blog with a bold public commitment: to be the fittest we have ever been by the time we are 50 (that’s 14-15 months from now).

We’re not even a year into it, and my outlook, goals, and thoughts about this project have changed in some significant ways.

First, a bit about goals:

When we started, I wanted to: keep on weight training, stick with my steady yoga practice, and continue my transition from walking to running. I started (and have since dropped) tai chi, and included swimming only among my summer activities. Biking was (and remains) a leisure activity, but that’s a bit stressful for me right now because of an upcoming triathlon.

I also had an explicit goal of reducing body fat and increasing muscle mass, as measured by the bod pod.

I’ve had a troubled relationship with goals because, while for some people…

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fitness · tbt

Are Women-Only Races Sexist? No. Are They Good for Women? Yes. #tbt

For today’s #tbt I searched back to April 2013, five years ago, to see what we were writing about. It’s extremely interesting to me to observe the evolution of the blog over the past five years and especially how my thoughts on some things have changed. But one thing that hasn’t changed is my support of women-only spaces, including events. There is still a place for them and I’m glad we have them. For more, read on….
Have a good one!
Tracy

FIT IS A FEMINIST ISSUE

bigstock-Water-Start-1455231In July, Sam and I are taking part in the Kincardine Women’s Triathlon.  It’s a women’s only event that happens annually.  The founder, Janet Bannerman, established the race to raise money for the local community and

 “to give the women the opportunity to have a race where they could feel empowered. They could compete against other women and feel comfortable.”

We might react more negatively to races for men only, wondering why they were excluding women. We might even go so far as to say that they are sexist because they discriminate against women.  Why should we regard women-only races any differently? To answer this question, we need to think about the reason for them.

The idea of spaces for women only has been around for a long time.  Author Virginia Wolff talked about the need for women to have “a room of their own.” She reasoned that the women…

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body image · eating · fitness · food · tbt

Moderation Won’t Work If You’re Addicted, but Are You Sure You’re Addicted? #tbt

A #tbt from five years ago, where I explored food addiction and intuitive eating.
Tracy

FIT IS A FEMINIST ISSUE

sharma-obesity-chocolateWhenever I talk about moderation in eating, I always hear from people who have at least some foods that they do not believe they can moderate. These foods are usually things like potato chips and cheesies, cake and cookies, nuts and pretzels, chocolate and ice cream.  To a lesser degree, some avoid things like pizza and french fries for similar reasons. They can’t eat just a little bit.

My initial reaction to this claim of the inability to moderate is skepticism.  The intuitive eating approach that I’ve been following lately, and that has miraculously freed me from all rules about food and from overeating pretty much anything, works on the premise that when we release ourselves from the idea of forbidden foods and eat what we want, when we are hungry, in a mindful fashion until we are satisfied (not stuffed, satisfied), we will achieve a peaceful relationship with food.

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fitness · health · meditation · tbt · winter

Meditation anyone? #tbt

Even though this post isn’t from all that long ago, I wanted to repost it today because I’ve heard lots of people commenting on this dreary time of year, when the sky seems more grey than blue most days, and in our part of the Northern Hemisphere the cold makes many of us just want to pull the covers over our head in the morning and hibernate until spring.

That’s how I’ve been feeling a lot lately. Tired. A little bit miserable and off my game. Burdened even. It comes and goes. One thing that helps tremendously, seeing as I can’t actually make winter move through any more quickly, is meditation. It grounds me and helps shift my inner world even when I can’t shift my outer world.

I know it’s not for everyone, but maybe it’s something worth trying if you’ve not tried it or have been thinking of it but haven’t gotten around to it yet. Om…

FIT IS A FEMINIST ISSUE

When we asked people awhile back for some suggestions for topics they’d like to see covered on the blog, someone suggested meditation as a thing they’d like to hear us say more about.

joy within coverI first started to meditate back in 1991, when I was still a graduate student, and I’ve had a fairly consistent meditation practice since then (with various levels of dedication but it’s always a thing in my life regardless).  The book I learned with was called The Joy Within by Joan Goldstein and Manuela Soares.

It is an excellent starter book that helps you build from very short periods of meditation (under 2 minutes) to longer periods up to 30 minutes over a four week period. It takes you through different focusing techniques, some involving breathing, others involving sounds, still others taking attention to mental images. The authors suggest keeping a journal and jotting down your experience…

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fitness · tbt

Body hair and winter months: Will the extra leg hair keep me warm? #tbt

It’s that time of year again when I get less regular in my leg hair shaving. I’m not sure why I feel compelled to shave my legs for the knee physio clinic, but I do. How about you? Do you shave less or stop in the winter months?

FIT IS A FEMINIST ISSUE

winterlegsIt’s the winter. For many of us summertime shavers, the season of more body hair. Bye bye bathing suits and hello tights and leggings.

I still shave my legs though since I bare my legs in hot yoga, on the trainer in bike shorts, and in the hot tub at home. I confess though that I’m less fastidious about it all. I have dry skin that’s no big fan of the cold weather and so I certainly shave less often than I do in the summer months.

Serious cyclists, male and female, shave legs for a variety of reasons. See some debate and discussion here.

Now if wind tunnel tests prove to be right, we ought to be shaving our arms as well. Read Specialized say that hair-free arms will save you time on the bike

How much faster? On their test volunteer, the result suggested a time saving…

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body image · tbt · Throwback Thursday

Still Struggling with Body Image? Try a Nude Vacation #tbt

As we enter into the holiday season (yes, it’s coming), we are about to face a barrage of posts that are trying to make us feel badly about our bodies (you know the ones, all about holiday weight gain — more on that in a few weeks!). Here’s an oldie but goodie from the early days of the blog, when I (Tracy) reported on how I tackled my body image issues in an unusual way: I went to a nude resort and it was transformative!

FIT IS A FEMINIST ISSUE

Sam and I often get a kick out of the site stats that tell us what search engine terms get people to the blog. People have landed here by searching “soccer and beer,” “If a guy says you are not fat but fluffy,” “aikido makes me nervous,” “hard fast no cuddling after tshirt,” and “no other regret compares to the childhood email address made.”

But yesterday, my heart really went out to the person who searched “I want to be nude at home but I’m too modest.”  Many of us struggle with body image. I’m not sure if this searcher is too modest because she (or he) is self-conscious about her (or his) body not being “good enough,” but if she is, I can recommend a solution that worked for me:  a nude vacation.

A few years ago my husband finally convinced me to try a nude resort for our…

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fitness · tbt

Why I like “falling back” #tbt

Sam tagged this post last night in her post “Dark is Coming.” I re-read it and thought it would be a good re-blog today even so because it still 100% captures how I feel (other than I have given up o the 6 a.m. swimming altogether for the time being).  I am happy for more light i the mornings right now and though I get that early nights are tough, my challenge is on the front end of each day at the moment.

Tracy

FIT IS A FEMINIST ISSUE

daylight-saving-time-clip-art-free-cliparts-that-you-can-download-to-dw2whh-clipart

I’ve heard a bunch of complaints from friends this week about our clocks “falling back” on the weekend. Mostly, people are grumpy about the earlier darkness setting in. Sam blogged about that last week.  I understand that people get seasonal depression (sometimes called SAD) and that the end of daylight savings time brings it on more intensely.

But the alternative is not to have DST at all. It’s DST that’s the aberration, creating those wonderful long summer evenings. Don’t get me wrong. I love the long summer evenings. But if we didn’t bother with DST, we wouldn’t have to “fall back” and the long summer evenings would have been an hour shorter all along.

Once the weather changes I’m not as inclined to go out for an evening stroll. I lean more to cocooning at home on cold winter nights. An earlier nightfall somehow seems to give permission for…

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