Monday, April 19, 2010

Label reading and Ranting.

We have a problem in America. Yes, I am going to go off on the American diet again.

I just went grocery shopping at good old Wally World. I spent a lot of time in the produce section picking up fresh fruits and veggies, so far so good. I continued my shopping and because I'm an avid label reader I take time making sure that what I'm putting in my cart and in turn putting into my body is good wholesome food. As I venture out of the produce section I am usually disappointed time and again.

I'm sure some of you read my tirade about High Fructose Corn Syrup in my beloved Wheat Thins (I have not bought them since!). It's really brought on an awareness of how many of the foods out there that are marketed as healthy, are not. The phrase "whole grain" doesn't mean anything if it doesn't say 100% whole grain. Without that 100% the whole grain claim only means that there is whole grain listed somewhere in the ingredient list. To the unconditioned healthy eater, this can be very deceiving. I thought it would be fun tonight to get a frozen treat for Justin and I. I picked up a container of Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches and about the fourth ingredient on the label was HFCS and then a bunch of other ingredients I couldn't pronounce. Not the better for me choice that I thought it was. Why is it that food companies aren't held responsible for pulling the wool over the eyes of Americans?

I shouldn't have to work so hard to make sure what I'm putting in my body is healthy. I shouldn't have to spend 15 minutes in an ice cream aisle to find something that's made with milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla. Heck, I don't care if they throw chocolate in least I can pronounce it and I know where it comes from! I guarantee that most Americans don't take the time that I do at the grocery store to do this. I'm not saying this because I am better than anyone else. On the contrary, I'm saying this because I used to be that American. I used to go to the grocery store and make what I thought were pretty darn good choices. Now that I'm better read on the subject and pay more attention, I realize I was pretty far off when it came to healthy eats.

Again, I'm not sure what I can do about it. I'm not sure how any one of us can make a difference in holding food companies responsible for falsely advertising their "healthy" product. It's not clever, it's dishonest. It's this dishonesty that is making some guy or gal at the top of the company rich, while the average American gets bigger and more unhealthy. I am grateful for those out there who make it their life's mission to education others about healthy eating. If I could get involved in a group like that, I would.

I know I've ranted about this subject before. I'll probably rant about it again. It bothers me that health and wellness is not more important to more people. I'm not talking about weight loss. I'm talking about true wellness. I'm talking about putting the things in your body that it needs. I know I put a lot of blame on the food companies that market these products in the fashion that they do. But there is some responsibility that lies in the hands of each person who doesn't take the time to educate themselves or read a label and know what they are putting in their body. I've learned not to trust every claim on every bold printed food label. I think I'm healthier for this. I will only put what's good into my body. I will only serve my husband and my eventual children what is good.

I will only get one body in my lifetime. I plan on treating it right.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Free Coffee Fridays

I love Fridays.

One, Friday at work always feels like not really a work day. I think there's something about knowing you don't have to be at work the next day that makes the atmosphere that much lighter. Two, Friday is the day before two full days off work. Leaving work on Friday afternoon gives the feeling of going on a mini vacation. Even if your plans for the weekend consist of housework, it's still a glorius feeling to walk out of those doors on a Friday.

Being a ForKids, Inc. employee makes Fridays even sweeter these days. We get free coffee on Fridays at Borjo coffeehouse. It's not a large coffee or anything fancy. It's just coffee, and it's free. All I have to do is show my nametag and I don't have to pay a dime. What a grand concept. This makes the coffee taste better. I can't explain it, but it tastes like a small piece of heaven in a cup.

My job can be hard. Somedays I feel like I am running in circles. It's amazing how working with someone else's life can really take it's toll on you. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my job. I enjoy helping others and when I make progress or have success with a client, that's all I need to keep going. Success with a client and now Free Coffee Friday.

I love Fridays!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


As a runner I should have known better. I should have recognized the signs my body was giving me. Instead I decided that new shoes weren't that important. Boy was I wrong. My carelessness caused what I think were stress fractures on my left shin, and tendonitis in my right foot. I wore my old running shoes throughout training and for my entire race. I am now sidelined from my regular runs until I heal.

My hiatus from running has given me runners envy. Because the weather is nice, I have been going for walks through my new neighborhood. This has been enjoyable, until some show off runner blows by me. Then I wish I could just pick up the pace and put a little hop in my step. Then I remember the shooting pain in my shin during the race and in my foot afterward. Then I get mad at myself for ignoring my previous need for new running shoes. As you can see, this can be a vicious cycle. All of this because I underestimated the value of good shoes.

I have been keeping my cardio fitness up by using the stationary bike and the many elliptical machines that the gym has to offer. I know that when my body is ready I will be able to run again and begin training for another race. You can bet your shoelaces when the time comes I will be doing this training in new running shoes.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Naked Truth

Every couple of days, I go to the gym in the morning before work and utilize the locker room shower and hair dryers to get ready for work. Recently, I've noticed the amount of people in the locker room that walk around naked. I'm not talking a quick moment of nakedness while taking off your gym clothes and wrapping a towel around you. I'm talking about full nudity for extended periods of time.

It may be just me, but I'm slightly uncomfortable with one lady in particular who feels the need to walk around fully nude and chat LOUDLY to anyone and everyone she sees. One day a few weeks ago, this particular woman struck up a conversation with me as I was washing my hands about the ankle brace I was wearing. I didn't know where to look during this brief and uncomfortable conversation. What got me even more was that she was without shower shoes. And just today, I walked into the locker room after a pretty tough workout, and first in my line of vision was her naked butt while she was leisurly blow drying her hair. I found that to be a little extreme.

I know that this is more acceptable to some than it is with me and I'm also all for loving your body, but I feel like there is a line to be drawn with appropriate nudity in this situation. I've come up with some rules as far as this that I think all people should follow when exercising locker room etiquette.

1. Nudity in the locker room is okay, as long as it is for a brief moment as you are changing your clothing.

2. Never under any circumstance should you strike up a conversation with a total stranger with your boobs, butt, and genitals in clear view.

3. Flip flops or shower shoes should be worn when showering in locker rooms and one should not be barefoot at any time in a public locker room. It's gross to not follow this rule.

4. Blow-drying your hair while completely nude is unneccesary. They make towels/robes for that purpose.

5. I support the love of ones body, but I do not need to see it in its entirety. Period.

I may get a number of people disagreeing with me on the point I am making, but I don't care. There is a time and place to prance around naked, the gym locker room is not one of those places.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Stressing over health=Not so healthy.

My week has been busy and has felt overly long. First off, due to our recent move, my commute has increased from about 3 minutes to 30. Secondly, since my clients mostly have day jobs (which is wonderful for them and their children, and I would never complain about it!), the only time to meet with them is the evenings so I've been working late. I can't seem to get into work late enough in the morning to make the late night not seem so long and tiring.

My main issue and point of stress this week though, has been none of the aforementioned things. I feel like with this shift, I have to make time to work out. If I go to the gym in the evening, I don't get home until REALLY late and I don't want that. If I get up and get to the gym in the morning, I have to pack a bag to shower there since it is closer to work than it is to home. Since my leg and foot have not healed completely and I haven't been able to run, a walk through the neighborhood seems more leisurely to me than a cardio workout.

The stress I have felt over this has gotten me thinking...Is it really healthy to stress over exercise? Part of me says it's okay to do so because it means exercise is a priority in my life. However, I feel like exercise should not be a stressor, but a stress reliever. What is it that is causing me to feel like I have to push myself daily in order to obtain an effective workout. I'm not training for anything at the moment, so my exercise routine should be all about good health and wellness rather than pushing myself to the limit.

When I think really hard about it (which I have to watch, because it can hurt if I think TOO hard), I realize that I have done a darn good job this week with healthy choices. I haven't skipped a workout, I have made 90% clean and healthy food choices, I have made sure to get enough water, and I have gone to bed at a good hour and gotten at least 8 hours of sleep a night. Which, face it, compared to most people these days is really good.

So I've decided that I am going to work really hard on changing my view of exercise and healthy living. Though it will remain the priority it already is, I will not be so hard on myself if I don't challenge every muscle during every workout. A nice walk around the neighborhood is lovely and can be a very effective workout, and I need to recognize it as just that. I will vow from here on out, to give myself credit for the healthy choices I make. I know that I will eventually get to run again (which I hope is sooner rather than later!). I will probably begin marathon training sometime this summer, but I will bask in this down time and take it for what is: A nice, active, healthy rest.