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Monthly Archives: October 2011

Happy Halloween!

Hope everyone gets a lot of treats and no tricks, 🙂

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Happy Halloween!

Hope everyone gets a lot of treats and no tricks, 🙂

What’s new

Aside from watching Today show segments while I am getting dressed for work in the morning, or clips of various news shows in the locker room at my gym, I don’t watch news broadcasts. There, I said it, I don’t watch the news. I’m not quite sure when I stopped watching the news, however, I will say that I have no desire to dive back into television news viewing.  If it’s not the latest natural disaster scare, or repeated reporting on the Dow Jones most recent plummet, it is the continuing focus on the rising unemployment rates and dismal state of the economy. For an individual like me likens her job to getting a root canal with no Novocaine, the constant reminder that we are basically stuck between a rock and a crashing building is akin to having a pitchfork repeatedly shoved into our abdomens. While I believe that it is important for people to be educated about the state of affairs in the U.S. and abroad, I need a break from the doom and gloom that is the news today. Quite frankly, I don’t care to add yet another point of stress, frustration, disappointment, and tragedy into my life. Believe me when I tell you I have had enough stress, frustration, disappointment, and tragedy to last me another lifetime. Oh, and don’t even get me started on the almost daily shenanigans of the individuals who are vying to become President of the United States. The country is falling down a steep rabbit hole and what do we the people get, a crop of clowns that for all the rhetoric they spew have virtually zero ability to empathize with struggling Americans who are being crushed by the current state of affairs. The thought of any of these individuals taking over the wheel of an already sinking ship is enough to make me want to permanently stay out of the loop.  

My self-imposed hiatus from watching the news has no definitive time table. Right now, I am glad not to be subjected to a near constant flow of dread, although, at some point I know that I will have to lift my head out of the sand. 

What’s new

Aside from watching Today show segments while I am getting dressed for work in the morning, or clips of various news shows in the locker room at my gym, I don’t watch news broadcasts. There, I said it, I don’t watch the news. I’m not quite sure when I stopped watching the news, however, I will say that I have no desire to dive back into television news viewing.  If it’s not the latest natural disaster scare, or repeated reporting on the Dow Jones most recent plummet, it is the continuing focus on the rising unemployment rates and dismal state of the economy. For an individual like me likens her job to getting a root canal with no Novocaine, the constant reminder that we are basically stuck between a rock and a crashing building is akin to having a pitchfork repeatedly shoved into our abdomens. While I believe that it is important for people to be educated about the state of affairs in the U.S. and abroad, I need a break from the doom and gloom that is the news today. Quite frankly, I don’t care to add yet another point of stress, frustration, disappointment, and tragedy into my life. Believe me when I tell you I have had enough stress, frustration, disappointment, and tragedy to last me another lifetime. Oh, and don’t even get me started on the almost daily shenanigans of the individuals who are vying to become President of the United States. The country is falling down a steep rabbit hole and what do we the people get, a crop of clowns that for all the rhetoric they spew have virtually zero ability to empathize with struggling Americans who are being crushed by the current state of affairs. The thought of any of these individuals taking over the wheel of an already sinking ship is enough to make me want to permanently stay out of the loop.  

My self-imposed hiatus from watching the news has no definitive time table. Right now, I am glad not to be subjected to a near constant flow of dread, although, at some point I know that I will have to lift my head out of the sand. 

It’s not you, it’s me

I’m thankful that yesterday the jaw of hell, otherwise known as my job, did not prevent me from going on a run at the gym. It has been a little over a week or more since I have been able to get out of the office to take a run on the treadmill. It’s funny to think that just a short while ago I had a love/hate relationship with running. I hated to run, but loved how good I felt afterward. Today, running has become something that I am determined to incorporate into my life to sustain balance and shape. Balance and shape are two things that were in very short supply for my mother prior to her death. For as long as I can remember, my mother had always struggled with weight, although there is photographic evidence from her youth that reveals a once svelte woman. Somewhere along the line, the svelte young woman became a mother of four with a husband that she wrapped her whole world around, and when that husband passed away, she turned to what she felt would comfort her. Instead of being a sustaining life force, food became an enemy in my mother’s life that when coupled with no exercise, loneliness, and depression led to a headlong collision with death.

I’ve never personally struggled with weight, nevertheless, my slim exterior covered the fact that I was desperately out of shape. Little by little, however, I am beginning to take control of my fitness level and may I say that I am loving how strong I feel, that and the added little extra of fitting perfectly into a dress I haven’t worn in years. Other people have been noticing my transformation as well, and except for a few people who I am convinced think my transformation has more to do with grief than time put in at the gym, I’m glad that what I have been doing for my inside is reflecting on my outside. With this transformation has come the “What have you been doing lately?” and “We have got to hit the gym together” statements. “What I have been doing lately” is not a problem for me to answer. I love sharing tales from my gym classes and leading people to workout videos that perpetually challenge me; it is the “We have got to hit the gym together” statement that sets me running for the hills. It’s not that I don’t want my friends, coworkers and acquaintances to get fit, I do, it’s just I don’t want to be there when they do. You see, gym time is “me time,” a time when I feel that I have some semblance of control over my life. I can run on the treadmill and/or take a cardio sculpt class, all while sweating profusely and blocking out everyone and everything around me. I like the fact that I am not strapped down to someone elses’s schedule, along with not feeling obligated to carry on a conversation with my “gym buddy.” Virtually every time I go to the gym, I see people with their gym buddies (usually woman) who instead of pushing each other to go deeper, spend time gabbing about celebrities, what they watched on TV last night, what is happening at their jobs or their relationships. For me, that is called brunch, not a workout.

I am fully aware that not all gym buddies work to suck the vigor out of a workout. There are countless stories of gym buddies who have served as a constant source of motivation and inspiration for one another down the path towards good health and fitness. Unfortunately for the people that ask me to go to they gym with them, I am not one of those people. I like going it alone which is something that is entirely about me, not the person that is asking me to go to the gym with them.  This is something about me that will probably never change and so if you are ever at the receiving end of one of my awkward “I like to go to the gym alone” proclamations, please don’t take it personally. When it comes to going to the gym, it isn’t you, it’s me.

It’s not you, it’s me

I’m thankful that yesterday the jaw of hell, otherwise known as my job, did not prevent me from going on a run at the gym. It has been a little over a week or more since I have been able to get out of the office to take a run on the treadmill. It’s funny to think that just a short while ago I had a love/hate relationship with running. I hated to run, but loved how good I felt afterward. Today, running has become something that I am determined to incorporate into my life to sustain balance and shape. Balance and shape are two things that were in very short supply for my mother prior to her death. For as long as I can remember, my mother had always struggled with weight, although there is photographic evidence from her youth that reveals a once svelte woman. Somewhere along the line, the svelte young woman became a mother of four with a husband that she wrapped her whole world around, and when that husband passed away, she turned to what she felt would comfort her. Instead of being a sustaining life force, food became an enemy in my mother’s life that when coupled with no exercise, loneliness, and depression led to a headlong collision with death.

I’ve never personally struggled with weight, nevertheless, my slim exterior covered the fact that I was desperately out of shape. Little by little, however, I am beginning to take control of my fitness level and may I say that I am loving how strong I feel, that and the added little extra of fitting perfectly into a dress I haven’t worn in years. Other people have been noticing my transformation as well, and except for a few people who I am convinced think my transformation has more to do with grief than time put in at the gym, I’m glad that what I have been doing for my inside is reflecting on my outside. With this transformation has come the “What have you been doing lately?” and “We have got to hit the gym together” statements. “What I have been doing lately” is not a problem for me to answer. I love sharing tales from my gym classes and leading people to workout videos that perpetually challenge me; it is the “We have got to hit the gym together” statement that sets me running for the hills. It’s not that I don’t want my friends, coworkers and acquaintances to get fit, I do, it’s just I don’t want to be there when they do. You see, gym time is “me time,” a time when I feel that I have some semblance of control over my life. I can run on the treadmill and/or take a cardio sculpt class, all while sweating profusely and blocking out everyone and everything around me. I like the fact that I am not strapped down to someone elses’s schedule, along with not feeling obligated to carry on a conversation with my “gym buddy.” Virtually every time I go to the gym, I see people with their gym buddies (usually woman) who instead of pushing each other to go deeper, spend time gabbing about celebrities, what they watched on TV last night, what is happening at their jobs or their relationships. For me, that is called brunch, not a workout.

I am fully aware that not all gym buddies work to suck the vigor out of a workout. There are countless stories of gym buddies who have served as a constant source of motivation and inspiration for one another down the path towards good health and fitness. Unfortunately for the people that ask me to go to they gym with them, I am not one of those people. I like going it alone which is something that is entirely about me, not the person that is asking me to go to the gym with them.  This is something about me that will probably never change and so if you are ever at the receiving end of one of my awkward “I like to go to the gym alone” proclamations, please don’t take it personally. When it comes to going to the gym, it isn’t you, it’s me.

Princess or Provocative

I’m not quite sure if my parents flat out prohibited my brothers and me to dress up during Halloween or if it was just a case of never encouraging us to get into the Halloween spirit. After all, these were the people that never celebrated any holidays or birthdays in our household. No, we weren’t Jehovah’s Witnesses but I guess you can say that was a common denominator between them and us. But even if my parents had allowed and/or encouraged me to dress up during Halloween, personally, I don’t recall there being a huge desire on my part to dress up for Halloween.
Growing up, one of the only costumes available for little girls was the princess costume and I was not the princess type. This once rough and tumble little girl was not about to drench herself in itchy taffeta and a tiara. From my perspective at that time, the only cool costumes were the boy’s costumes. Not only was there a variety of options for boys to choose from, their costumes allowed them to move around and be everything from scary to heroic. I loved the fact that boys had the option to dress up as Freddy Krueger or Superman for Halloween, unlike girls who could be a princess, or a good witch or a bad witch. On occasion, I did see girls dressed up as Wonder woman, but the princess and the witch definitely reigned supreme. Today, there is a wide variety of costumes for little girls to choose from, unfortunately, too many of them are inappropiate.
Some of the Halloween costumes designed for girls as young as 8 years old cross one too many lines in my estimation. “Sexy nurse,” Sexy school teacher,” Sexy dancer,” anything involving the word “Sexy” has no business being marketed to 8 year old girls. I’d take a sea of taffeta and tiara trick or treating 8 year old girls instead of the 8 year old that is sporting a mini- skirt and sports bra that has been stuffed to the max with tissue paper. Arguably, I’m in no position to give parenting advice being that I don’t have any children of my own, but I think allowing an 8 year old girl to dress in provocative clothing for Halloween is something that one doesn’t necessarily have to be a parent to register. Behind every inappropriately dressed for Halloween little girl, are parents who purchase these costumes for their little girls, which in turn eggs on the creators of these costumes to produce more of the same. I can’t pretend to comprehend why on earth any parent would think it is okay to allow their daughters to dress in such provocative ways for Halloween, but I wish they would take a hard look at the message they are encouraging thru these costumes, the message that these girls should be perceived as sexual beings.

We live in a world where girls as young as 8 (and younger) are being trafficked to men who view these girls as sexual objects to be physically and sexually used at their whim. And in a sense, TV, movies, and magazines participate in bolstering the perverted image of the provocative little girl. Although we will never be able to eradicate the wicked and perverse triggers that lead men to sexualize little girls, as individuals we can take an affirmative stand against the sexualization of young girls. Individually, we can start by taking a stand against the providers of the “Sexy” costumes for little girls by not buying and/or recommending these costumes.  As consumers, we have a lot of power as to what stays or goes. It is my hope that one day the “Sexy” costume for little girls will go away, far away.