Sceptically Fit

22/05/2012

Lots of Links

Filed under: Exercise, Health and Nutrition — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — Sceptically Me @ 19:29

Stress can make you fat. Should we just sleep more? Is meditation the answer?

A look at the idea of sustainable agriculture and the role of subsidies. Another look at the question of is Paleo sustainable?

British tastes in breakfast cereal is moving away from highly processed and sugary. Can we move away from cereal altogether? Mark offers some conversational rebuttals that may come in handy when explaining you don’t eat grains.

A further look at the role of inflammation and mood disorders.

A look at the myths and pseudoscience in the cosmetic industry.

I don’t expect to win, yes its just about taking part and yes, races are just more fun.

Caitlin talks about why fit is a feminist issue:

But when you’ve internalized the social messages that you are weak because you are a woman, well, just existing in the world becomes a lot harder than it needs to be.  And when you pursue fitness simply so you can fit a new definition of “sexy,” you are continuing to buy into a system of thought that says women’s highest value lies in how they look to others.

I think it is critical that we feminists engage with fitness and athletics in a way that takes these things seriously and recognizes their potential to change lives for the better.  It doesn’t have to be about hating yourself and your body, nor does it have to be about embracing fascist beauty standards.  It can also be about loving your body and wanting to take the best possible care of yourself.  It can also be about rejecting the social equation that says to be a woman is to be weak and in need of protection.  It can be about redefining yourself as a creature of strength and power.

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26/11/2011

Months of Stress and Inaction

Filed under: Personal — Tags: , , , — Sceptically Me @ 15:35

I’ve spent the last few months in a state of constant stress from several different sources. This is is not a good state to be in and its a state I want to change.

The stresses that I’m not going to detail aren’t going to go away immediately. In fact I see much of the stress staying at a similar level for quite a while even if the direct cause changes. But what has to change is how I’m coping with them.

I don’t expect it to change over night – this kind of thing never does. But I’m starting.

Diet: I’ve been binging terribly on carbs over the summer and I’ve definitely lost muscle and gained fat.  I’ve started trying to track my diet. I’m going to try and keep my carbohydrates under about 100grams a day. And based on a lot of what I’ve read, a woman who exercises a lot needs approximately 1.3 grams of protein per kg. So basically my plan is to aim for a ratio of 20/20/60 (carbs/protein/fat). With that I’m trying to cut back on my refined carbohydrates (specifically grains). The party season is about the start, and rather than bring a sense of guilt or  asceticism and denial into my lifestyle I’m going to ease myself into it. I’d like to try and tidy up now, and in the new year try the 30 day primal challenge to see how that goes.

I’ve been coming across a lot of tasty sounding recipes but haven’t tried them. I’ve not really explored cooking and creating anything myself. Once again – things I want to work at.

Exercise: Over summer, I haven’t completely dropped this, even through Autumn I managed to keep up enough running and weights to not completely set myself back. But its been directionless, and probably contributing to the stress at times. In the last month I’ve started feeling like I can’t neglect myself any long (so a big tick there). I’ve started building up my weight training again – and I’d say I’m back a little bit ahead of where I was before it all went to head. My squat, deadlift and overhead press have increased. My bench hasn’t but I do that after the other three so that could be why. I’ve also decided to concentrate on my pullup over winter – as in to be able to do one. So I pushed a bit, and now I’m down to a 12kg counterweight on the assisted pullup machine (ie 5kg less than previously).

I’m now feeling more ready to start up my running again. I’ve decided I do want to do a half marathon again next year. But I want to build up to it more slowly. Spread the training over the week a bit more and increase mileage slowly enough to match an increase in carbohydrate consumption so I don’t get two weeks before the race and am ravenously eating everything in sight. I managed to turn up at a running club and keep up with them for the 8km run – though I’m going to have to work at being able to chat while running.

Sleep – get some! I bought one of those sun alarm clocks about two months ago and I’d recommend it. I only bought the cheap one which increases brightness every five minutes for twenty minutes instead of a gradual increase over twenty minutes/hour as some do. I’m very sensitive to light so usually wake up within the first five minutes. Even though its not the gradual adjustment of dawn, its better than a sudden alarm. The other side of things – going to sleep – has to improve. I need to go to bed earlier, and I need to be less stressed so I do.

Mental Health – working on making time for non-exercise related activities. I’m planning on going back to dance classes in the new year. I’m trying to make time for creative outlets, and cut back on the web surfing (oh the irony of saying that on a blog). I’m also seriously looking at exploring meditation/mindfulness as a path to helping my mental state.

 

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