Oh hey! You may have noticed that I haven’t blogged a ton here, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to blog here ever again! I will…just give me time! However, the reason I’ve been a bit slow to post is because I just made the move to the east coast and am getting settled in DC! So I’m still working out and teaching a few classes, but my life has not been full-blown fitness over here. Maybe I should write about that, though?
Anyway, if you want to see what I’m up to in a non-fitness sense, check out my DC blog, where I chronicle what I’ve seen and done here, because I am seriously excited to be living in our nation’s capital! So…check me out!
A while back, I got an email from David, a contributor over at The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance blog, asking if I would consider a guest submission on the benefits of exercise for cancer survivors. As cancer has recently struck a little too close to home in my family, and we are big believers in doing what you can to heal yourself, I told him to send something over right away! It’s been a while since I posted, but I thought his topic was important, and maybe the tips provided will help you or someone you know! Until my next post, email me questions or topics you’d like to read about. Hope you’re enjoying your summer as much as I am mine!
Inexpensive Fitness Opportunities and Cancer
Exercise and physical activity are key components of energy balance, quality of life, and strengthening your body. For those undergoing treatment of mesothelioma or those who have just been diagnosed or in remission, fitness helps to increase energy levels, strengthen the body’s muscles, bones and joints, and gives a boost to mental health and your spirit, explains the National Cancer Institute. Finding opportunities to engage in physical activity is cost prohibitive for many people, especially those dealing with the expenses of costly medical treatments. Consider these inexpensive fitness opportunities for anyone just diagnosed with, in treatment, or in remission from mesothelioma.
Walking is an aerobic activity that allows you to start out slowly and build up to a tougher workout yet requires minimal equipment. Furthermore, it can be done by just about anyone, anywhere at any time. All you need to go walking is a pair of comfortable and supportive shoes and clothing appropriate for the outdoor weather. Bring along a water bottle for hydration. If you are beginning a new fitness program, talk with your doctor and begin slowly, such as walking at a moderate pace for 20 to 30 minutes 3 to 5 days each week. If you are sensitive to the heat, walk outdoors early in the day or later in the evening when the heat is less intense. Or, drive over to an enclosed shopping center and do laps in the mall before the stores open and foot traffic increases. As you are able to build endurance, increase the pace and duration of your walks.
Hiking is more intense than walking, but trails are available for people of all fitness levels. Consult with your local parks system for guidance on trails best for a person of your fitness level. When going on a hike, wear comfortable and supportive walking or cross-training shoes and clothing appropriate for the weather conditions. You might consider bringing a walking stick to assist you on steeper terrain. A bottle of water will help keep you hydrated, and if you will be hiking in the sun, applying sunscreen provides protection from the ultraviolet rays.
Swimming offers full body exercise yet does not stress your joints in the ways that weight bearing exercises do. Many communities have fitness centers and YMCA locations that offer memberships that include access to an indoor pool at a low cost. If the cost of a membership is not within your budget, many parks and recreation systems offer low cost daily and seasonal passes. Another place to check is your local school district, which may have open swimming hours during certain times of the week. Check with your health insurance company, as some insurance programs allow people with a mesothelioma diagnosis to participate in fitness programs at a reduced cost due to the many health benefits of exercise for people with a cancer diagnosis or those in remission from cancer.
Thanks, David! Does anyone have any experience with maintaining or gaining fitness while undergoing cancer treatments or post-surgery/treatment? What did you do? How did you feel? Any tips you want to share?
So, I’ve decided to diversify, so if you want to read more of my rambles, check out The Verbal Filter, where I prove that I don’t actually have one!
I actually started this baby way back when I moved to Chicago, when I was just regular chick, and not a personal trainer or health know-it-all. And then I ditched it to become Body FM. And now I’ve changed my mind again! So come on over and read what I have to say there too! I’ll still be posting here, but the other site will have a little bit broader range of topics and will probably be a whole lot more ridiculous.
Come say hi!
Oh MAN, how much did you miss me? Just a little? Not at all? Well, fine, same here.
All kidding aside, I have been busy with… well, with life.
It’s not that I didn’t want to post at all. I just felt like I didn’t have a quality post in me. Not that this one will be quality either (so don’t get too excited or anything), but I felt it was time to mosey on back. I’ve been randomly posting stuff on Tumblr, but it hasn’t been so much health and fitness related, so I still wasn’t inspired to write over here at Body FM. But now… I think I am. Maybe just in a way that’s a little more relaxed for a while.
You see, my life has gotten a little more relaxed lately, so it’s fitting that I want my blog to follow suit. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not sitting around eating bon bons and watching Real Housewives all day long (I wish. No seriously, I do). However, I’ve slowed down a little in the past few months with work, with workouts, with putting undue pressure on myself — and I’ve started breathing again. I’m not going to get all heavy on you here, but I feel like a giant weight has been lifted off my shoulders and that I’m handling what life throws at me SO much better since I made a few changes.
So what have I been up to, you ask (without really caring but knowing that it’s the polite thing to do)? Wellllll since I last posted in December (yeah, new blog abandonment record for me), I have:
- applied to grad school in Washington, DC (cross your fingers or say a prayer or both. at the same time) after visiting my friend Anna, and completely falling in love with the place. Everything about it. Just…everything.
- left my job as a trainer/instructor/marketing director after deciding to take some time to move home to Michigan and get my head on straight. I loved where worked, and all the people there, but I just felt I needed a break from teaching six days a week (see two bullets down) and trying to make something work that just wasn’t.
- got some help in getting my head on straight and changed my mind, staying in Chicago due to a sudden influx of freelance work (that majorly paid the bills) and the sudden reappearance of my social life. Oh, I have friends? I had forgotten when I was walking around in a fog all the time.
- slowed down on the workouts because my body was yelling at me that it was so! stressed! out! and noticed, that heeyyy, I didn’t gain 50lbs overnight without daily cardio… or really, any weight at all! Miraculous. I think I actually dropped a few in this process. Weird. (I have since added strength classes back in and am walking and running — but only when I feel like it.)
- kissed a few more frogs on the way to finding my prince. I mean, I haven’t found him yet, but man, if this is a numbers game, I have GOT to win soon. I’m feeling optimistic. And while we’re on the topic, if Facebook could stop suggesting friends for me who happen to be guys I’ve gone out with but that I have no other connection to, that would be great. It’s annoying. And a little creepy, because seriously, how did it come up with that?
- kept up (mostly) with my goal of reading 50 books this year. I’m a little behind, but the last two, The Likeability Factor and Breaking Free From Emotional Eating, have been taking me a little longer, because they both have great advice, and I’m really trying to soak it all in. Perhaps a book review to come? (Oh, but let’s not get ambitious just yet.)
- decided to cut my hair into a long bob and donate 8 inches to Pantene Pro-V’s Beautiful Lengths. Except I’m incredibly cheap, went to the Aveda school to get chopped for $16, and walked out with a straight up angled bob that made me cry in the chair after ‘Kenny’ decided to made it ‘funky,’ allowing me to give 12 inches instead. I may or may not have caused a scene at the front and told the stylist’s instructor that I ‘did not even feel pretty.’ But now I like it! Mostly!
Soooo… that’s where I’m at. Exciting right? I’m bumming around Chicago for a little longer, working from home, reading, hanging out at Starbucks way too much, and trying to like my hair. Sums it up pretty well. I do want to try to start posting about fitness and health more, but honestly, I may be playing around with how I do it. If there’s anything you’d like to see or talk about, let me know! I would also like to thank all four of you who have actually kept coming to my empty little blog. Well, empty no more! Blog world, I am back!
OK, short but sweet post from me, but this post from Colleen over at Bee Fit really struck a chord with me. Why I Have To Stay Strict really resonated with me and why I tend to be such an all-or-nothing person. I’ve never been a smoker or an alcoholic, but sometimes I do wonder if I have an addictive personality because of my relationship with carbs and sugar. I think most of America has a bit of a sugar addiction (I know Leah has some thoughts on this as well), but I think I especially have a problem with it, that I am working on. And this is why when I’m really on my game and people say, ‘Oh, it’s just a little cookie or a piece of candy,’ I don’t think the same way at all. Anyway, thanks for your honesty and this awesome post, Colleen! Everyone else, go read!
OK, well, I like to think I’m your favorite, even when I go a little MIA.
I was going to write a big post about what I’m thankful for, but you know what? I can sum that up in a few words: family, friends, doing what I love, lessons learned this year, and big things happening in my future. I really am grateful for a lot, but those things sum it up pretty nicely.
Now that that’s taken care of, let’s talk food! With Thanksgiving looming (tomorrow!), I thought I’d give everyone, including myself, a little reminder about what our plates SHOULD look like when we pull up to the table tomorrow. The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston provided me with this great illustration of how big servings are, even when we’re sitting down for the biggest feast of the year. I know we’ve seen serving size guides over and over again, but I actually really like this one, and I think the message is always good to remember! And let’s be honest, a refresher never hurt.
What do you think? Are you watching your portions on Thanksgiving? Did they cover all of the basics in the picture above? And the most important question of all, what are your Thanksgiving favorites (healthy or not!)?
Oh, yeah! And what are you thankful for?
So I’m still working on some things around here, but I have been thinking a lot about what it means to be a feminist in the fitness world. I’ve got a lot of ideas swirling, but in the mean time, check out this post, and really the entire Fit and Feminist blog.
Things have been… a little out of control lately.
Nothing crazy, but I haven’t been as on track as I would like to be. I’ve been using my commute as more of my cardio than I would like to admit. In truth, I’m on my bike at least an hour every day, but still. My body is pretty used to it by now, so I really shouldn’t be counting it as a workout. I also haven’t been lifting nearly as much as I’d like — and I can tell in how I feel AND look.
Food has also been slipping. I make food at the beginning of the week — lots of chicken, veggies, egg whites, etc. But when meal time comes? I just.don’t.wanna. So I spend money and calories somewhere I shouldn’t. That one has got to stop too, because you know what? I feel amazing when I’m eating right!
And lastly, water and sleep. Not enough of either, and I don’t know how this happened! Time to just buckle down and recommit.
So on Monday, I’ll be starting Operation: Remotivation and Rehydration. Let me know if you’re interested in joining me on this….Details to come!
Again, Glamour gave me today’s material.
Do you know what this is? It’s a Halloween costume. Called ‘Anna Rexia.‘ It features a visible skeleton, a measuring tape around the waist, and a tiny little heart serving as a name tag. And it was actually for sale online. This wasn’t a joke, and even if it were, it wouldn’t be funny. I wouldn’t necessarily say this glorifies eating disorders, but it makes light of it, as if it weren’t a real condition, which I find just as disturbing. How would people react if someone went as cancer? I’m honestly not sure why or how you would do that, but I’m just making a point here. I doubt anyone would think THAT was funny.
And there’s something about the fact that it’s a very revealing costume (duh, as a female between the ages of 18 and 35, you can’t dress up on Halloween unless it’s something plenty skanky. Whatever you decide to be, it must be a Skanky Nurse, Cop, Doctor, Vampire, [fill in the blank], right?) that makes it even worse. The very small amount of fabric used here in and of itself implies that one must be fairly thin to wear it. And that skeleton really drives the point home. [Edited to add: Apparently there is a plus-sized version, but I don't think the design is quite the same.]
We already see EDs and unhealthy thinness glamorized on TV constantly, from teen shows like Gossip Girl and Greek (in an early episode, one of the already very thin girls eats chips right before rush starts and when the sorority president reminds her of this, she says tells the other girls she’ll be right back and heads for the bathroom) to reality TV like the Bachelor Pad (one of the male contestants called a very much smaller-than-average-sized woman ‘thick’ when describing his first impression of her). I don’t really think we need a Halloween costume to do any additional damage.
Thoughts? Who’s with me? Who thinks the folks at Glamour (and myself and The Village Voice) are overreacting? Whatever your opinion — spill! I wanna hear it!