Mind Your Own (Body) Business

I’m 5’0″ and currently I weigh 154 lbs.

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PC: Zachau Photography

I’ve always carried more weight on my frame than the BMI calculations for my height would recommend. The only time in my life I was in the “green zone” on the BMI calculation was when I was in college, racing bicycles competitively and barely got down to 128 lbs from riding 20-25 hours a week and restricting calories. Oh, and I was bulimic. And severely depressed. But obviously I was healthy, because I was fitting into size 6 jeans for the first time in my life, right?

Today, I am the heaviest I’ve been, aside from my pregnancies. And I couldn’t be happier about my body. Because now it’s not about what I look like; it’s what I can do with what I got that I find fulfilling and puts me in awe on the regular. It’s taken decades of hating myself because I didn’t look like what others told me I should look like. It’s taken months of self-care, soul searching, and paying attention to myself. It’s taken getting my depression under control and accepting that I am a good and worthy person who deserves health and is healthy. It’s taken owning my choices, and making those choices based on what I believe to be good for me and what I want, and not what others or the media tells me what I should be doing. I’m rocking my own road and living my own life, just like what my blog byline says. I am not perfect, but I make progress, and I am happy to do so.

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And doing yoga on the beach in a swimsuit and giving zero effs about it

My only wish is that others can be happy and comfortable with their bodies, doing what they love and loving what they do.

Unfortunately, we live in a society that still struggles with the concept of “beauty at any size.” The “right,” socially-acceptable body structure is so closely tied with morality that we have a culture that supports, or at least turns a blind eye to, body-shaming. We look at people that are “too fat” or “too thin” (because that is totally an objective measurement, right?) and immediately judge them. It’s okay to leave a mean comment about what I think they look like. Clearly, they don’t realize how they’re being perceived. They must not care about themselves. How stupid/sick they must be, to not know what they need to do to look “normal”? Just put down the fork/eat a sandwich/stop lifting because you look too bulky. Because I am offended and concerned about how I perceive the way you look, and now I make it your problem.

I must confess, I am a former fat-shamer. I would see overweight people and think, “how could they not care about their health?” Because clearly that was the only logical conclusion. And of course, their health is totally my business (sarcasm level at an 11 right there). Never mind the decades of terrible diet advice the public has been fed. Or the fact I know nothing about this person or their life, how they might be working a full-time job and caring for an aging parent at home, or how a bad knee or lack of accessible physical activities that are varied and enjoyable might make fitness extremely difficult. What, you mean not everyone wants to slog it out on the elliptical 30 minutes a day, five days a week?!? Shoot me. (And if you love the elliptical, that is awesome and you keep doing you!)

And especially with females, body-shaming women just promotes the objectification of women. Because society dictates that as a woman, it’s my duty to look a certain way so I am attractive and pleasing to the eye. If I’m too fat, or too muscular, or too tall, or too thin, or not whatever is considered “right” to look today, it’s uncomfortable for others to look at me, and I’m not holding up my end of the bargain on being a woman. This type of thinking puts me in so much rage I’m just going to end this thought here with a big load of baloney. Because this is such baloney.

 

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RAGE!!

 

Finally, there’s the “health” argument. The argument that if you’re over- or underweight (especially overweight), then you are unhealthy, and that’s wrong because your lifestyle will cause others pain down the road as your body gives out and others have to take care of you, either financially or with caregiving. To which I have one comment:

MY HEALTH IS NONE OF YOUR G*DD*** BUSINESS. AND YOUR HEALTH IS NONE OF MY G*DD*** BUSINESS.

Bob Harper, most notably known from his work as a personal trainer on NBC’s The Biggest Loser, recently suffered a heart attack. He’s an extremely fit person, and he almost died from a heart attack that nobody, least of all him, saw coming. Meanwhile, a Dutch study came out that people that are considered “overweight” on the BMI scale actually live longer lives than “normal” weight people. I cannot possibly know a person’s health history from their pants size. Fit-looking people might have cancer, and overweight people could go on a 12-mile hike and hike circles around me. I don’t know, and what’s more, IT’S NONE OF MY G*DD*** BUSINESS ANYWAY. Neither is it yours.

A couple years ago, Noelle Tarr from Coconuts and Kettlebells wrote a post that broke the internet in the paleo/health-sphere when it was featured on the Whole9 blog, called “Why I Don’t Want Six-Pack Abs.” She received an alarming amount of criticism from this post, from people who argued that if you don’t have a six-pack, you must not be working hard enough, and if you don’t want to work hard for your physique then what are you doing? SMH. This just illustrates my point that our culture is way too looks-obsessed, totally ignoring the person underneath the abs. Obviously with the personal measurements I gave in my opening sentence, you can be assured that I do not have a six pack. I have no desire for the work it takes to get one. Because those are my priorities, and this is what makes me happy. If you prioritize the diet and training it takes for your abs and are happy with it, again, that’s awesome and you keep doing you! But it is so not me, and the work it would take would make me miserable. That doesn’t make me lazy or unworthy or weak. It makes me different. Which is totally okay.

We are all on our own journey. Sometimes that journey takes us to a health-focus, sometimes it doesn’t. That is no reason to shame or hate on others. You are not bad because you don’t do what I do or think how I think, and the same goes for me. Be kind to yourself. Then be kind to others. That is how the world is supposed to work, I think.

Go make it a great day.

Shoutout to Steph Gaudreau’s article on Stupid Easy PaleoMind Your Own Body: An Open Letter to Body Shamers” for inspiring me to finally get these thoughts out that I had been keeping silent for way too long. And if this content speaks to you, check out a free pass to Steph’s Women’s Strength Summit May 15-21!

 

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Giveaway Shout-Out and Sweet Anticipation

Hey, gang.

Where did the day go? I can’t believe it’s already bedtime and I just sat down to write. That was good timing, huh?

First up, want to run Nike Women’s Marathon this October? Ashley is hosting a giveaway on her blog, A Lady Goes West for a spot in the 2014 Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco. The giveaway is to promote the Team in Training for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. I’ve never joined Team in Training, but I have friends who have raced in their “purples” while accomplishing fitness goals and raising money for cancer awareness and  research. It’s a pretty great organization if you’re looking for support while accomplishing your racing goals, such as a guaranteed spot in the Nike Women’s Marathon. Check out Ashley’s post for more giveaway details on how you could win a NWM spot of your own!

I had an awesome run this morning by the ballpark.

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It was partly that foggy, and partly my phone was in my pocket before I took the picture. Eww, sweat.

I worked from home, so I made a quickie yogurt and peach bowl with some cinnamon for breakfast while I started cranking out work.

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Plus 2 coffees. It was a HUGE peach. I don’t know what Safeway does to make them so huge. But it was perfectly sweet and kept me going through my marathon conference calls all morning.

Lunch was leftover pot roast I made last weekend. I was busy entertaining a cranky Squish to eat lunch with me, and since my camera is rather a distraction to him, I didn’t get a lunch pic.

Then Hulk and I went to my second trimester ultrasound appointment. It was the big one, where they measure everything tip to toe and you find out if it’s a boy or a girl. Any guesses? I’ll keep you in suspense and do the big reveal tomorrow. Mostly because Hulk and I immediately told our families, and Facebook. I feel like making SOMEONE squirm in anticipation. So, it’s you. Sweet, sweet anticipation.

Then Hulk went to work out while I made a quick dinner for the Squish and I of leftover chicken and some cheesy broccoli I quick whipped up.

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I also ate about 1000 tortilla chips while waiting for dinner to cook, so by the time it got to my plate I wasn’t very hungry.

Time to wrap it up, and hit the sack. I’m taking a rest day tomorrow per The Fitnessista Summer Shape Up Week 2 calendar, but I still want to get up early to get some work done. I’m also thinking about getting a haircut after work, and maybe dropping off the dry cleaning. You know, all of the glamorous excitement that comes from living my life.

Have a most wonderful night!

 

The Mental Game: Summer Shape Up Workout 1 Review

Good morning! I am so happy it’s almost Friday. Ahh!

Sitting down to some breakfast of eggs with a sprinkle of cheese and some apple with almond butter,

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And drinking as much coffee as I can. Last night was a late night, and I had trouble sleeping so that 5am alarm was most not welcome. It’s going to be a long day of the sleepies, I can tell!

Still made it to the gym for my first pass at The Fitnessista’s Summer Shape up Workout 1 (click on the image for the Pinterest pin URL):

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The verdict? Ugh! I am really out of shape, and that was really hard. Mostly the lunges and inchworms, they are not movements I normally incorporate into my routine. When I was doing it, I hated it. I wanted to say that it was stupid and I didn’t like it and I was just going to do my own thing from now on. Then I felt bad. One, Gina puts the SSU on every year for free, and it’s a lot of work. Who am I to sit comfortably back behind my keyboard, sweat slowly drying on my brow and whine, “boo, I don’t like this, it’s stupid?”And Two, I signed up for it, so I should do it and not punk out.

So I thought about it some more. I thought about why I found it so difficult and mentally draining. Why could I not finish the inchworm-to-pushup set? Why did I stop doing the side lunges to press as a compound movement and just do a set of side lunge and a set of presses? And the ab circles – no. Just no. I realized that I like to think I am in better shape than I am. I like to Olympic lift “big” weights. I’ve run marathons (you know, years ago). I’m not that out of shape, am I?

Yes, yes I am. And since I enjoy doing workouts I think I’m good at, and I am most certainly NOT good at this one, I need to recalibrate my mental game here.  As I stretched after my measly 10 minutes of half-hearted HIIT intervals, I mused about when Squish was 10 months old and I finally felt ready to get back into the fitness world for real, and joined a boot camp class. I was so weak compared to where I used to be. I couldn’t do pushups without being on my knees, and even then I couldn’t do a full set without breaking form. That was after a pregnancy and 10 months post-partum taking-it-easy workouts of long walks and an occasional Jillian Michaels Yoga DVD. Lately, I haven’t been doing much more than biking the 3 miles to work and occasionally carrying heavy bags of groceries home from Whole Foods. I’m not much better now than I was two years ago.

So what to do? I need to get in a better headspace and see this as a motivating challenge. Next time, I’ll use my timer to see how long it takes me to get through one circuit. Then I’ll have a goal to beat that time. I’ll find the joy in the movement, being grateful my body still works enough where I physically can do these exercises even though they are difficult, and not get caught up in how I look to other gym-goers, and how wimpy I must look to them. Who cares what they think, anyway? And for the stuff that doesn’t feel right because of my preggo belly or fitness level: modify, modify, modify. I can’t do ab circles, but I can do planks. I need to use a lesser weight for the lunge stuff (I was using 10lb-ers). Finally, I need to give Gina a big huge thank-you for putting this together and giving me the wake-up call I needed to kick me in the butt and get me moving again.

Okay, that was a good ramble/rant for today. Time to go conquer the world again. Make it a great day, everyone!

Snacky Day

Good morning! I totally blew off last night’s post. After waking up early to hit the gym, I was battling the sleepies all day. It was everything I could do to crawl into bed at 10:00pm. At least yesterday I got 30 min of easy cardio in with some stretching. Today was a rest day for the SSU, but I wanted to get into the momentum of waking up early for the gym. I figured just the act if getting down there and doing something at 5:30am would spark the habit. But, ugh, I gotta get to bed earlier to get this done.

Because of the soul-crushing fatigue, I ended up snacking quite a bit throughout the day. A bar,

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Some pita chips,

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And a several unpictured mini chocolates.

At work they were streaming World Cup on one of the giant conference room projectors. I told Hulk about it, and he sent me this:

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Hulk was a professional cyclist for 3 years.

I had a long commute home, which didn’t improve my fatigue or mood. The bike cars on my train were at capacity so I couldn’t get on and had to wait for the next one. As much as I love how more people are embracing bike commuting and public transportation, it sucks that it seems there are TOO many now. About twice a month I can’t get on the train due to capacity issues. I know it’s a seasonal problem (more people ride in the summer when it’s nice), but it’s too bad that they don’t add another bike car on the peak commute trains during bike season. I like the train, but if I drove I probably wouldn’t be as late to work or coming home nearly as often.

Anyway, because I was coming home late Hulk started dinner already. Simple healthy salad with some unpictured roasted chicken.

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Squish ate all my cucumber.

Then we ran to Target for some groceries. I brought along my “pack mule.”

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I asked him to smile, but he just wanted my phone.

Then I came home to a couple of surprises. First, I won a Bondi Band from the Foodie Loves Fitness giveaway, and it arrived!. Thank you, Nicole! Here I am modeling it, tired and no makeup and all.

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And I sort of look like a creepy Dracula or something. Wow, should have checked that one out before posting. Oh well, the Bondi band says “Run Like a Princess Today,” which is, you know, how I normally run. Wearing expensive gear and whining “can’t someone else do this?” the entire time. Hoping to give it a go this week!

Then my Snoogle came! I ordered this from Amazon:

 

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This turned out to be a point of controversy in the household. I’m about 99% positive most couples go through the initial “Snoogle shock,” where the husband realizes he’s been replaced with a body pillow. Plus, we have a small apartment and this thing is enormous. Hopefully I’ll be getting a lot of use out of it, so it’ll be worth both the cost and space investment.

That’s all I have for today, go make it a great day, kids!

 

 

 

Liebster Award!

Okay, so I feel terrible about this. But I’m a horrible person, so this should not come as news. But back in May, Christine at the Marshall Campus Rec blog nominated me for a Liebster Award! And what did I do? NOTHING!! So, here I am begging for forgiveness and trying to make up for lost time. Thank you, Christine, you rock. And the rest of you should head over to the Marshall Campus Rec blog, check it out, grab some workout ideas, and say hey.

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Anyway, what is the Liebster Award? Well, it’s an award to recognize new(ish) bloggers to promote blog recognition, find new blogs, generating blog bonds, and generally promote the small(ish) blog community. All good things, all good things.

As the recipient of this award, I am obliged with the following actions:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you (Thank you!)
  2. Answer the 11 questions they came up with
  3. Nominate 11 other blogs with less than 500 followers (I’m assuming this is an estimate on my part. I hope I don’t offend; “What do you mean you think I only have 500 followers?!?” Remember, I’m socially awkward.)
  4. Create 11 new questions for the nominees to answer (mwa ha ha!)
  5. Tag your nominees and notify them (tag! You’re it!)

Fun, right? Okay, let’s get to my

  1. If you could have any ability or talent in the world, what would it be? For realistic abilities that others have that I don’t, it would either be the ability to sing on-key or a photographic memory, because  that would be kind of cool. For supernatural abilities, being able to fly/teleport or telekinesis. Anything that will enable me to be lazier than I already am.
  2. What piece of workout equipment best describes you? Squat rack. It’s a standard. Basic. Versatile. Always there for you. And it’ll kick your ass if needed.squat-to-parallel(source)
  3. If you had a day a year where you could eat three things you wanted without gaining a single pound or feeling guilty, what would the three things be? I’m assuming “feeling like crap” is another consequence that would be unobserved in this scenario. In that case, jelly beans, pizza, and real Coke.
  4. If you hosted a dinner party and could only invite three people, who would they be and why (living or deceased)? Ooh, this is a hard one! Seth MacFarlane, because he would be really hilariously offensive and piss everyone off, Jennifer Lawrence, because she would be a really amusing conversationalist and could probably put up with Seth, and Marie Antoinette, because she would be good at gossip and might bring up the status of the dinner party having royalty there and all. Plus you know, cake. We’ll eat cake.
  5. What is your favorite TV show right now? Archer!fx-2013-premiere-dates-justified-anger-management-archer-legit2(source)
  6. What is your favorite “healthy food” and why? Almond butter, because it’s tasty, versatile, and satiating
  7. Any healthy New Year’s Resolutions this year? What were they? How are they coming along? I didn’t really have resolutions, more like goals or focus for the year. It was to heal up all my running injuries (check, I think!), get pregnant and have a healthy baby (again, check, I think!), and to just not fall back in my health habits (sorta check, it’s been up and down).
  8. If a movie was made about your life, who would play you? Anna Kendrick, because I’m told she resembles me. And I say “she resembles me” because I believe I am older, so I was here first.994886_564388993625372_749500879_n(source)
  9. What’s your favorite quote/motto right now? Someone told me that Mark Zuckerburg said if you don’t have enough bugs, you’re not developing fast enough. This is pretty applicable to my current job (I work in software) and in life in general. If you’re not getting dirty/making mistakes/losing/blowing stuff up, you’re not trying or doing it right.
  10. If you could pick one store to have unlimited access to for the rest of your life (free shopping sprees, go in at whatever time you want), what would it be and why? Ha, at first I was going to say Target, then I was all, “what am I thinking?” Go big or go home: Harrod’s in London! Pure shopping magic right there.
  11. What are you looking forward to most this summer? FINALLY getting some real pool time in, and all the trips and vacations we have planned (and the sporadic ones I know will be coming!)

Whee! That was fun. Okay, now you go!

My nominees (and you guys, I’m pretty sure you have a billion more followers than I. I just think you’re awesome and I enjoy following you!):

Okay, and here are your questions, kids!

  1. What’s your favorite knock-knock joke?
  2. It’s 6:30 PM, you just walked in the door, and you find out your mother-in-law/ex-boyfriend you’re not quite over/boss and his wife are coming over for dinner. No time to run to the store. Quick, what’s in your kitchen and what will you make for your super last-minute guest you really want to impress?
  3. Favorite vacation? Better yet, least favorite vacation?
  4. Any stupid human tricks you have the ability to compulsively perform?
  5. What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve done for money?
  6. What do you top on your frozen yogurt? Or if you’re not a fan of the fro-yo, your ice cream sundae?
  7. Describe you’re favorite t-shirt that you own (or steal repeatedly from your significant other). Color? Brand? Fabric texture? How/where do you wear it?
  8. Starbucks, Peets, or Dunkin’? What do you order?
  9. How was your day?
  10. Favorite sport to play? To watch? To hate?
  11. How many Facebook friends do you have? What percentage do you think you actually know?

Okay, go! And if I didn’t nominate you, I’m sorry and you can kick me in the shins the next time you see me. Or, play along in the comments if you feel so inclined and inspired!

Thanks again for the nomination, Christine, and y’all make it a great day!

The Versatile Blogger Award!

First off, this is my 51st post on Emily Rocks the Road! A milestone, yayyyy!

I was sort of planning on taking a blog day off. I wasn’t planning on posting anything or reading blogs. Then I said to myself, who am I kidding, I kind of miss my bloggy friends. So I headed to ye ole Bloglovin’ list for a quick lunchtime gander at what everyone’s up to. Low and behold, I found that I was nominated by Kayla at Blondes Have More Run for the Versatile Blogger Award!

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Holy wow, thank you!

So I’m going to be a huge dork about this because I’m still kind of new to this blogging thing, and I am completely shocked and humbled. Another milestone, yayyy! Totally doing a happy dance over here.

Anyway, here are the rules for this award:

1. Thank the person who nominated me for the award (Done! Kayla, you rock.)

2. Share 7 random facts about myself (Oh wait, this takes work? I thought I’d just get to wear a sparkly dress and look cute.)

3. Nominate 15 bloggers of my favorite versatile bloggers for this award (Share the bloggy love!)

7 Random Facts:

  1. Growing up, my parents owned and taught at a dance studio/karate dojo. I would demo for my mom teaching ballet, swap the tutu for a black belt, then partner for my dad teaching wristlocks and hip throws. This means I am one badass ballerina.
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Amanda and I, in the ill-fated sister duo, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B” competition tap number. Look, we won awards!

2. I live in San Francisco, but I grew up outside of Omaha, Nebraska. Despite popular opinion I did not grow up on a farm, and had never seen a cow up close until I moved to California.

But they’re sooooo cute!

3. I used to ride bikes competitively in college and rode for the University of Nebraska. I am the 2006 Nebraska State Road Race Women’s cat. 5 champion. That sounds really impressive until I tell you that I won the race because I was the only women’s cat. 5 contendor to show up that day. I should probably start leaving that part out.

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Me racing some crit in Nebraska with Hulk cheering me on in his straw hat. And by cheering I mean drinking his post-race beer and yelling at me to go faster.

4. I am really short – 5’0″. Pants never fit.

5. In 2011, pre-Squishy, we took a Babymoon to London. Best. Vacation. Ever.

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A six-month-pregnant me in front of Parliament

6. The Calvin & Hobbes comic series by Bill Patterson practically raised us. Between my brother, sister and I we had every volume. One snowy winter we developed our own “Snowman House of Horror” in the front yard, complete with red food coloring as blood (green for the Alien Tribe Massacre). I should mention that this was also during the time period when we were attending a Catholic school. Every morning three sweet, young, plaid uniform-bedecked children would skip into an awaiting minivan surrounded by a macabre snow carnage. Not sure what the neighbors thought.

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7. Hulk and I are celebrating ten years of wedded bliss this summer. Ten years. No wonder I feel so old.

And the Nominees Are:

1. Amanda’s Sketchbook

2. Alexis Marbach Yoga

3. Bekah Outside the Box

4. Bendiful

5. Busy, Bold, Blessed

6. Change of Pace

7. Crazy Running Legs

8. Eat Live Run

9. I’d Rather Sit on the Couch

10. It’s a Dog Lick Baby World

11. Leading the Good Life

12. Made in Sonoma

13. My Neon Running Shoes

14. Paleo Jess

15. Skinny Jeans & a Healthy Me

Ahh! That was hard. I hate decisions. Hope I didn’t forget anyone. If I did, I’m sorry and you get a free pass to kick me in the shins next time you see me.

EDITED: Um, I totally misspelled “Versatile” in the title. Good thing I am not a professional writer. And I forgot to include the badge. This is fixed, and this is why you don’t write a blog post right before bed without proofreading.