On Not Being Thin

To start this story where it should end I have no desire to become thin.

I feel I have nothing in common with white affluent “Influencer” women who proselytize getting a “beach body.”

Using the term Thinspiration alarms me. No one needs to be thin if they’re going to go on a crazy “diet” to try to whittle down to their bones.

My body is at its “fighting weight” now. Which is great because by exercising I can burn off the anger I have at the injustice in society.

Hello folks–it wasn’t my goal to lose 20 pounds in the last 2 years. Nor do I like using the word “thin” or “skinny” to describe my body or anyone else’s body.

From the time I was 22 until I turned 23–in only one year–I gained 30 pounds. At five feet tall I was unhappy weighing 138 pounds. In the early 1990s I had about 5 sessions with an M.D. who had a practice focused on nutrition.

It took me 6 years to lose the extra weight.

In my forties I weighed 125 pounds.

Three months before I turned 46 I was going through a hard time. Suddenly and out of nowhere I told myself: “You must start lifting weights.”

Not at all so that I could lose weight or become “thin” or “skinny.”

I decided to lift weights as a coping mechanism for the emotional pain I was in. In March of this year I celebrated my 10th Anniversary of lifting weights.

So I went out and bought a cool DKNY pocketbook as a reward.

Again: the goal is not to be thin or skinny.

In the coming blog entries I’ll talk more about my weight lifting practice. I will review 3 health and fitness books that are right-on.

Too I will talk about my Left of the Dial lifestyle that is predicated on this motto:

“No judgments.”

2021 Summer Lower Body Routine

Kettle bell squat (holding kettle bell @ chest) after each squat do a knee raise alternating legs 10-15 pounds 12-16 reps

Single leg Romanian deadlift (reach until you feel stretch in hamstring) 10 reps

Reverse lunges holding dumbbell high in 1 hand and low in the other 5-8 pounds 8 lunges each side

Donkey / glute kicks (starting on all 4s – alternately kick feet straight back to squeeze glutes

Alternating lateral lunges (feet wider than shoulders opposing leg straight – working leg bent – back and fourth)

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Burpees 12 reps

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V-shaped crunches 15 reps

Jumps side to side and front to back 20 jumps

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Side planks (as many seconds as possible) 2 sets each side

2021 Summer Upper Body Routine

Band shoulder raises (1 leg and palms forward – curl band up and push above head) – 12 reps

Band rows (step wide on the band with both feet – leaning forward and alternating rows) – 15 each side

Push-ups (1 set standard – 2 sets modified)

Dumbbell curls (start palms in and rotate up on the way up) 8 pounds 12-15 reps

Overhead tricep extension (1 side at a time – only moving elbow) 5-8 pounds 12-15 reps

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Jump rope jumps (20-30 seconds)

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Plank tucks (tuck legs in plank position) 20 tucks

High knees kicks 20-30 seconds

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Plank with shoulder taps 20 taps

New Fitness Book

Alysia Montano the author and athlete of this book is an Olympic champion. She is an activist who endorses clean sport. By using the word clean I take it she is against the use of steroids.

Though she is a runner I zoomed in on the exercises in this book to use in my own fitness practice.

My personal trainer incorporated one of the movements into the new routine he gave me.

In coming weeks I will supply the 2021 Early Summer Upper and Lower Body workout sheets.

This book I was able to find at a public library. It’s sold in bookstores as well. I was able to take this book home for free. You could check it out of the library should you want to save money.

I recommend buying the book.

It does feature strength training exercises which is what pulled me into taking this book home.

Eating to Beat Depression and Anxiety

Drew Ramsey, M.D. published the new book Eat to Beat Depression and Anxiety.

I’m set to check the book out of the library soon.

The wind-up is that like I’ve forever touted in this blog the food we eat can improve our mood.

Per the Women’s Health magazine page that reviewed the Ramsey book the following foods up our happiness quotient:

Leafy Greens:

Kale and Seaweed

Rainbow Produce:

Bell Peppers and Avocadoes

Seafood:

Wild Salmon Anchovies and Mussels

Nuts, Beans, and Seeds:

Cashews Red Beans and Pepitas

Meat:

Grass-fed Beef

Eggs and Dairy:

Eggs and Fermented Dairy

Who says you can’t have yogurt in moderation?

I started having mussels once a week long before I read this Women’s Health review. Too I’ve always preferred cashews over other nuts.

If you don’t want to take my word for these things you can take the word of Drew Ramsey, M.D. who wrote the book Eat to Beat Depression and Anxiety.

2021 Spring Lower Body Routine

  1. Kettlebell Front Squat (Hold KB by the base at chest height – feet shoulder width (10 lb x 12 reps)
  2. Dumbbell Lunges – Hold DBs sideways at shoulder (5 lb x 10 lunges each side)
  3. Bridge on Platform – lying down placing feet on edge of platform push with heels (8 lb x 15 reps)
  4. Kettlebell Dead Lift – keep back straight (10 lb x 12 reps)
  5. Calf Raises with or without weight (2 5 lb DBs x 15 reps)

Fast Paced step-ups – on platform with 1 riser each side (20-30 seconds)

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Crunches – lifting arms

Jumping Jack forward and back (20-30 seconds)

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Ab Hold – holding feet 6 inches above floor hold as long as possible

2021 Spring Upper Body Routine

  1. Resistance band Chest Fly/Chest Press combo (band in back on coffee table or dining table) (15 reps)
  2. Kettlebell Suitcase Row (in forward leaning position) row kettlebells up with kettlebells held sideways pull shoulder blades together (10 lb 12-15 reps)
  3. DB Skull Crushers – Tricep Extensions – lying on back (bend elbow bring weight by your head extend back towards ceiling) (5 lb 12-15 reps)
  4. DB Curl holding DBs together (squeeze bicep at the top) (5 lb 12-15 reps)
  5. 2 DB Upright Row Start with both DBs in front of body palms facing back raise elbow as high as possible (5 lb 12-15 reps)

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Medicine Ball Slams (10 straight and 10 side-to-side)

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Standing Kettlebell Rotations (10 lb 15 reps)

High Knees in Place (20-30 seconds)

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Alternating Leg Raises (15 reps)

The 80 Percent Rule

Years ago I had written in here about the 80 Percent Rule I adhered to: eating healthful food 80 percent of the time.

Devorah the health coach vetted that eating well 80-to-90 percent of the time was perfectly fine.

She believed that my indulgence in a pastry 2 or 3 times a month was okay too.

No– we should not think of treating ourselves to food as “cheating.” We should think of doing this as an “indulgence.”

There’s a difference: labeling food as good or bad is a moral judgment that sets us up to feel like we’re a good or bad person for eating the kind of food we do.

I have discovered chocolate souffle pots that I can order with my weekly groceries delivery.

The ceramic pots can be repurposed for ramekins to use for melted butter when you cook lobster for dinner.

Trying to be a saint 100 percent of the time will set us up to fail.

I can’t resist a cannoli on occasion : )

Hello Healthy Fat

The Health Coach I hired zoomed in on how I could boost my energy that had tanked:

“Have more protein and healthy fat at lunch and in the afternoon.”

Devorah said: “The carbohydrate bucket should be low.”

The exception is that sweet potatoes are a healthy carbohydrate.

How auspicious it was that 2 weeks before talking to the Health Coach I started buying the sweet potato chips seen in the photo above.

You can order them from Fresh Direct online in New York City. Or ask at your local food market if they stock this product or could start getting it.

The simple ingredients: sweet potato olive oil sea salt.

Devorah vetted that this is a great snack to have in the afternoon with a little hummus to help extend my energy later in the day.

Other food to elevate my energy:

Have an avocado or hummus with my salad at lunch. Or have celery with peanut butter.

I tipped Devorah off to Hope brand plain hummus. It uses olive oil not natural flavor.

Natural flavor is a chemical additive found in Sabra hummus.

The better option is the Hope brand plain hummus.

I steer clear of natural flavor in food and drink products.

I steer clear of food products with unhealthy fats like sunflower or safflower oil or corn or canola or vegetable oil.

I steer clear of potato chips and pretzels except every so often.

Devorah vetted that it’s okay for me to have a pastry 2 to 3 times a month. Plus a hot chocolate a few times a month.

In the next blog entry I’ll talk more about what Devorah told me.

The Fruited Plain

Two years ago I hired a Health Coach to help me design a better eating plan.

Goodbye, granola mush morning breakfast. Hello, scrambled eggs with shitake mushrooms.

This was in 2019. Since then I had regained my energy through fall 2020.

Stress lack of sleep and depression can cause fatigue.

“Sugar can exacerbate anxiety and depression,” Devorah the Health Coach told me.

Fruit grains and beans break down into sugar.

Devorah told me I could have 1 to 2 small pieces of fruit a day.

I add organic raspberries to my salad for lunch. Mix in organic blueberries with whole-fat plain Greek yogurt after I exercise.

For breakfast I have an organic navel orange. That’s all in terms of fruit.

Yes–sugar is the culprit in ill health more than any other substance is.

A lot of us had become depressed while sheltering indoors during the pandemic. Not only this a person can be depressed because they’re under stress.

Whatever the root of what you’re going through as I’ve written in here before healthful food can improve a person’s mood.

How am I climbing my way out of the recent fatigue I’ve experienced?

First I have started to focus on living for today. Not worrying about what might happen in the future.

Hiring Devorah was the strategy that helped me start to regain my energy.

Though I paid her you will get her action plan for free courtesy of what I’ll be covering in the coming blog entries.