The Fitness Industry Makes Me Sad

I have a very different definition of what constitutes healthy compared to the fitness industry.

Before I get into the specifics of my opening statement, I’m going to share a story.

Back in July, I did a free fitness assessment at my gym. Of course, I expected to blow the scale out of the water with my whole food living, dominant physique and #vanillagorilla mentality. Hello? I am a Healthy Living Blogger after all.  

So I signed up and answered a boatload of computerized questions about my eating habits:

  • Do you add salt to your food? Of course, usually when I’m cooking because veggies need love. They also like to be roasted and toasted too. (Don’t we all?) 
  • Do you opt for low carb or low-calorie when possible? Um no. Isn’t that just a chemical shit storm waiting to happen. Plus, I don’t think they make low carb apples and potatoes?

Chemical Shit Storm

(source)

Noticeably absent, at least for me, was any question about where my food actually comes from, which is kind of a big deal. If my eats are direct from a farm, chances are I’m not sucking down a McShake loaded with high fructose corn syrup or a breakfast sandwich with seventy-five different ingredients, most of which I can’t identify without a dictionary and a translator.   

McDonalds EWWWWW

(source)

Onto the fitness portion of the test.

I hopped on and off a step for two minutes straight, without even wheezing once. I even started to enjoy myself. I excelled at the mobility challenge, where we had to stretch as far as humanly possible. Since one of my superpowers is being hypermobile, I knew I had that one in the bag. I also let them take my blood pressure and pinch my girly bits and pieces with a pair of body mass index tweezers. Let me tell you, it hurt like a son of a bitch when they went after my thighs. There’s not much there, other than rock solid muscle (#poundschest) and maybe a little flesh, and I’m pretty sure their ‘pinch’ left a mark.    

I performed every test, answered every question and waiting patiently and eagerly for my results. Confession: out of the four potential categories: Needs Work, Fair, Fit and Excellent, I expected to be awarded the highest honors and sent on my way with a crown, or at the very least a pat on the back and a protein shake, which you know I wouldn’t actually consume. After all, my doctor did give me two thumbs up at my annual physical mere months before when we went over the results of my blood work together. She declared me healthier than a horse and told me to keep on riding, so why would the fitness industry be any different?

Well the results came back and they were….drumroll please.

Fair. 

Forgetting excellent, even though we know I am, I didn’t even qualify to be in the Fit category. To say I was speechless would be an understatement, and we all know how much I can talk. I was shocked beyond comprehension. Did they miss the memo? I did a Tough Mudder less than a year ago, and while I couldn’t run a marathon at this moment in time, I could easily walk one. I even did a forty-five minute Spinning class yesterday, after taking weeks off, without batting an eye, and earlier this week, I went on a four-hour hike, rated as difficult, and had myself a blast.  

Vanilla Gorilla Meg Collage

Even more shocking than my “Fair” label: I was told in order to achieve a Fit level, still not excellent mind you, I’d need to lose at least nine pounds of pure fat. Not total body weight, just fat. I realize most of you only know me through the internet, so you may not really know my body or its baggage. Without getting overly descriptive, I clock in at a strong and vertically challenged 5’2, which makes me pocket-size. I am little bitty all over, except for my twins and I’ll be damned if I let those ladies go. 

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not claiming to have the flawless figure of a Victoria’s Secret model, post photo shop. I don’t have six-pack abs and I won’t be winning any physique or figure competitions soon. Excessive calorie counting, super structured meals and dangerously low body fat isn’t appealing to me. Having those things doesn’t automatically qualify me to be fit either.

Here’s what I do know.

I am at a healthy weight for my body type, and losing nine pounds would be detrimental, not to mention destructive. My conditioning is fantastic, and I am in great shape, not only physically, but mentally as well. I know when to push myself and I know when to back down. I am incredibly proud of what my body can do, and I embrace its subtle curves, all while longing for more junk in my trunk.

My body may not have rock hard abs or buns of steel, but it is healthy and it is definitely fit, which is perfect for me.

Thanks for letting me Think Out Loud, Spoons.

What does fit mean to you? How do you see healthy? Have you ever been told you need to lose weight to be ‘fit’?

Posted in I Work Out, Reflections | Tagged , , , , , | 29 Comments

Top Ten Signs You Participate in a CSA

I think it’s high time we talk veggies; farm share veggies to be exact.

Yes, I’m absolutely glossing over my disappearing act. What can I say? Life got in the way and I needed a sabbatical, partially due to my CSA, so this post is more than fitting, in a you don’t need lubrication to get there kind of way. Admit it; you missed my sexual innuendos. It’s also possible the Hubby is home for a solid week, which means I’m getting my groove back, and yes, I do mean it like that. 

Back to the point of this post: CSA goodness.

For those of you who pick and choose your produce from a grocery store and then buy it in reasonable and manageable quantities, this post will likely be strange for you. Even so, I wanted to give you a glimpse into my world, so I’ve decided to share the pleasure, the panic, and the pandemonium, which comes with participating in a CSA. 

CSA Fall 2014 Produce

Let’s give it up for The Glorious (pause for effect) The Magical (a second caesura) and the Overwhelming Produce which threatens to overtake you, your loved ones and everything in its path. At the end of the day, or really the season, only the strong survive.  

Top Ten Signs (or way too many to count) You’re Participating in a CSA

  • Produce pick up day is like your birthday and Christmas rolled into one.
  • Phallic veggies become your thing.
  • You get ridiculously excited for the first tomato of the season.

Tomatoes

  • You eat salads. Lots of them. In fact, you put the neighborhood bunnies to shame.
  • You start to give away entire heads of lettuce.
  • Come October, you beg people to take them.
  • When they refuse, you try adding lettuce to smoothies. You realize this was a horrible idea and vow never to do it again.
  • You do it again.

One Head of Lettuce

  • You receive Facebook messages from dear friends simply stating “Greens Paralysis,” and know exactly what it means.
  • You respond to those same messages with “I can’t eat another fucking salad.”
  • Then you eat another fucking salad. You even like it.

Strawberry Blue Cheese Salad with Red Onions and Walnuts

  • Managing and processing produce is high on your weekly To Do list. 
  • Chopping bell peppers at 11 p.m. on a Saturday night is all the rage.
  • You turn down social engagements because your Bok Choy is on the brink of death, and you’ll be damned if you lose another bunch. 
  • You put in on an Autumn Pizza and declare yourself a genius.

Autumn Pizza with Bok Choy, Carrots and Green Beans

  • There is some kind of green soaking on your counter, in a giant vat of water, at any given moment.
  • You’ve dubbed this method ‘Revival of the Fittest.’
  • Sometimes you’re hoping it will fail, sending your sad and sorry produce to the Great Compost in the Sky or really the giant black bin in the backyard. Pfft, technicalities.

Summer 2013 CSA Final Week

  • The sight of wax beans makes you want to curl up into a fetal position or head for the hills with Julie Andrews and the Von Trapp kids.
  • You learn to yodel.
  • You head to Rozi’s and drink beer instead. 
  • You realize this is a much wiser decision and pat yourself on the back for such quick thinking.

Beer Tasting at Rozi's

  • You start to lose counter space.
  • Almost overnight bags of apples are everywhere.
  • You put those same apples in everything.
  • And I do mean everything.

Apple Collage Pizza, Muffins and Grilled Cheese

  • You have a small mountain of squash, hiding in a cool dark corner of your basement.
  • You’ve named them.
  • Fred and Sally to be exact.
  • You’ve numbered them too.

Squash Hoard - Pumpkin, Spaghetti, Butternut and Acorn

Mediterranean Eggplant Salad

Summer 2014 CSA Week 3

  •  You single-handedly keep Ziploc in business.
  • Tupperware is your new best friend.
  • Sucking the air out of plastic baggies with a straw no longer feels illicit. In fact, it’s become the norm. You even have a spot for the straw in your utensil drawer.   

Freezer Stash Collage B

  • Despite all of this, you wouldn’t change a thing.
  • In fact, you even sign up for the Winter CSA program.
  • You call yourself a die hard, and it’s true.  

Have you ever participated in a CSA? If so, what was your favorite and least favorite part? What are your signs you’re participating in a CSA? If not, you should consider signing up. It’s a barrel of laugh and a ball of monkeys rolled into one.

Posted in Good Eats, Reflections | Tagged , , , , , | 40 Comments

Thoughts That Go Through My Mind While Running

Running is not easy for me; it never has been.

While I love a good ass kicking type workout, perpetually placing one foot in front of the other in a hastened manner has never been It for me. Despite that very daunting fact, I find myself lacing up and hitting the streets more and more often lately. Maybe I finally lost my marbles, or maybe I’ve been bitten by the running bug. I hope its not the latter since my skin is incredibly sensitive, and I really don’t like to be bitten, unless the Hubby is the one doing the actual nipping.

In any event, I’ve decided to share what goes through my self-diagnosed ADD brain when I’m pounding the pavement. You should be afraid or at the very least, a little leery.

  • Alright here we go. Clothes on? Yes! Ear buds in? Yes! Music pumping? Let’s. Do. This.
  • My sneakers are the bomb dot-com.  

Meg Bright Sneakers

  • Man, it’s a gorgeous day. The sun is shining, the birds are singing…AHHH! Jump. Now where in the hell did that giant stick come from?
  • Good thing my ninja hops are strong. 
  • I really should do this more often.
  • Oh look, a caterpillar.

Catepillar

  • Oh my god, I think I’m dying.  
  • Crap, my nose is running again. Should I wipe it on my sleeve or attempt the snot rocket. I don’t know, the rocket didn’t work out so well the last time.
  • Fuck it. On the count of one, two, three. Ladies and gentlemen, we have lift off.
  • I think an Apple Gouda Grilled Cheese would be the perfect post workout recovery meal. I’m pretty sure it covers all my macros. Snort.

Apple Gouda Grilled Cheese

  • Am I panting as loud as I think? The way that squirrel is looking at me suggests I am.
  • I am invincible.
  • Run Forest Run. 
  • What if the cats eat my newly transplanted rosemary bush while I’m gone. 
  • I’ll harm those fuckers.
  • Not really.

Rosemary Plant

  • Oh my god, I’m definitely dying.
  • I think it’s time to walk now.
  • I think it’s time for you to shut up.
  • Oh hell no!
  • Bitch please.  

Running Mental Argument

  • Man, what is that smell? Sniff, sniff. Uh oh, it’s me.  
  • Sa-weet, Chiddy Bang. This song is my jam. Hell yes.
  • Damn I feel good. Bring on those endorphins.
  • Crap, I’m dying again.
  • Right. Left. Right. Left. Right. Left. Right. Left. Right. Left. Right. Left.
  • Brittany.  
  • Oh look, a pretty tree.

Pretty Tree Up Close

  • I’m so glad I cleaned the kitchen this morning.
  • Our dining room table is shiny.
  • That is one sexy piece of wood.   
  • That’s what she said.
  • Giggle, giggle.
  • Why is he looking at me?
  • Did I say that Out Loud?

Run Bitch Run

  • Finally. There’s my house. 
  • Sprint, bitch, sprint.
  • You. Got. This. 
  • Show me the way home, honey.  
  • Oh look, it’s Oscar. 

Oscar and Meg Shadows

  • Holy crap, I didn’t die.
  • Where’s my water?
  • I need a tissue.
  • I am Iron Man.  

What goes through your mind when you run? What is the secret to the snot rocket? Do you run with or without music?

Posted in I Work Out, Reflections | Tagged , , | 55 Comments