Morning coffee on the front step is the best part of my day. :) (at Northeast, Minneapolis)
I love my new apartment. :) Minneapolis kids, feel free to drop by and I’ll make ya one mean pour over coffee.
So heads up, next month’s giveaway is not fitness stuff. It’s rocker stiletto heels that I never ever wear, and some moderately stylish items of new/ish clothing. FYI for anyone wondering about next month.
Also, I’ve just about come to the end of stuff I have to give away. I’ve certainly made a ton of room in my personal space and passed items along for good karma :) but it’s almost gone now, so I hope y’all stick around for reasons other than free shit.
jonyellowsnow replied to your photo “Speak of the devil! These peeps are selling Quest bars, weight loss…”
where are you going to go next?
I’m still at my old gym up in Brooklyn Park, I canceled a month ago but I can keep using it until next week I think. I decided not to join the LA Fitness in Roseville. I am joining The Cellar for fighting and powerlifting in August or maybe September :)
Speak of the devil! These peeps are selling Quest bars, weight loss shakes, and “10 weeks to toned and skinny” programs at the entrance to the gym and the word “perfect” is prominently featured in their signage. UGH.
This bullshit is following me everywhere. Is this, THIS, seriously the state of the “fitness” industry? This is so pathetic and gross. I’d walk out the door right now but this gym has free weights and I’ve still got a week until my membership runs out and I’m hurting for cash. I’ll just put on my perma-pissed face until I walk out for the last time.
jonyellowsnow replied to your post: Last Sunday I successfully completed t…
I would literally die during tough mudder but I love warrior dash. You’re so right about the camaraderie it’s the best part!
Dude the hardest part was all the damn cardio, haha. I was so not ready for this but it was still really fun and not at all impossible.
I’m thinking of trying to assemble a local team for next year, if you’re at all interested? :)
Last Sunday I successfully completed the Twin Cities Tough Mudder, the first in what I am positive will be a long and bad-ass interest in intense obstacle-type events! Running a Tough Mudder has been towards the top of my fitness bucket list since I began this lifestyle journey three years ago, dramatically out of shape and unable to exercise for more than a minute at a time. Finally, last weekend, I completed ten adrenaline-fueled miles of mud and tired legs and discomfort and total awesomeness. :) Here, as promised, is my Tough Mudder in obstacle-by-obstacle review!
How it started: This badass lady weightlifter I see at the gym a lot descended upon me one day in April and asked if I wanted to join her Tough Mudder team. The suggestion made me very nervous as I was pretty sure I wasn’t ready for one, but I figured I’d never actually feel ready and needed to just tough up and do it. Two weeks later I severely herniated a lower vertebra while powerlifting and felt sure that would be my doom, but I focused on recovering so I’d at least have half a chance. Even though as the time came closer, everyone else on my team ended up dropping out, mostly because of injury and health issues. All I knew was that I’d have to try or I wouldn’t be able to let it go.
Training: I honestly didn’t train for this event. It would have been cool if I had trained, but it wasn’t for lack of caring, just more of a schedule insanity and aforementioned injury. I hate running and my body also hates running, so I don’t make a habit of regular runs. However, I had completed an 8-mile trail run/walk about two months ago so I was fairly confident in my ability to make it 10-12 miles, once. I did a “short run” one week before the Mudder, and a 4-miler three days before so I could be confident my body was going to be cool with running. Aside from that, it had been mid-level strength training, regular cardio conditioning, and core work as part of my regular routine.
The night before: I ate the biggest damn bowl of pasta, a big salad, and strawberry shortcake for dessert. One member of my team (that I’d never spoken to or met before) got in touch with me and said she wanted to run. Cool, I had a team member! She was of a similar mindset: Do our best, but be smart. She hadn’t trained either. And the Tough Mudder is not a race. The only way you can lose is to not even try. And we were sure as hell going to try.
The morning of: Giant oatmeal breakfast and two cups of coffee got us on the road to a huge hunting reserve in Hudson, WI (not even in Minnesota but only a 40min drive). Some very important things to remember: Snacks, water, sunscreen, band-aids, dry socks, and as many towels as you can bring!
Pre-race: We were registered for a 10:40 race wave, but everything got pushed back so far that we weren’t even queued to start until almost noon! Note to self for next year: Pick an early wave. Even the first wave. People were getting heatstroke before the race even began, sitting out there in the shadeless corrals for an hour. Finally they herded us in, got us warmed up and super pumped. As a bit of fun, everyone got to climb over a short wall before the official thing even began, and we all clustered into a little “holding area” for a speech. The motivational pre-run speech was actually very motivational. I seem to recall lots of “I can” chanting and chest-thumping and upraised fists and we sang the national anthem. And I’m not trying to be sarcastic here, just that I was so pumped/freaked out of my skull that I don’t remember exactly what went down!
And we’re off! A few hundred people go sprinting up and down a grassy, hilly backwoods trail. I immediately notice that the ground is littered with spent shotgun shells, which lent a photogenic sort of grit to the scene. The run is already killing me though, as my teammate and I are seriously booking it at a good 6mph+ pace up and down hills and through puddles and ruts and brush piles. Miraculously, a galvanized type of insanity suddenly comes over my vision and I sprint up the hills laughing like a loon.
Obstacles: We hit our first real obstacle just past the 1 mile mark. At this point I’m already pretty winded but also ready to fight a bear with one hand tied behind my back. After this point, the obstacles come every mile or so, on average.
- Kiss of Mud: A soldier-crawl under barbed wire through a giant mud puddle full of very sharp rocks. Not difficult in the least, just slightly painful and (obviously) extremely muddy, but makes you feel like a bad-ass and prepares you for being very dirty and quite uncomfortable for the next few hours.
- Pole Dancer: An run of straight poles set about two feet apart that you’re supposed to shimmy over using just your hands while your legs hang (hard to explain). I make it a few feet on this before my wrist buckles painfully and I have to drop. How does one train for this?
- The path then runs us through a lake inlet that requires a bit of paddling/treading water. People all around are joking that this is the best obstacle ever, and we have a little mini pool party, washing off the mud and splashing about.
- The Mud Mile: I’m seeing a theme here! This is a series of six or seven water-filled trenches interspersed with hardpacked dirt walls. The water is about four feet deep and the walls are very slippery. After you splash and slide through all those, then there’s another 100 yards or so of deep, deceptively slippery mud path to navigate. We take this slow because people are faceplanting into hidden giant mud pits everywhere.
- Arctic Enema: Oh, holy fuckballs of life. Everyone says this one is going to be bad but I had no idea until I got there…. yet another thing I didn’t train for, and I am not good with extreme cold. This is a tub of 5-foot deep ice water, with a board in the middle that you have to swim under to make it to the other side. I climb to the top of the tub and stick my hand in the first five inches of water. Not bad, I think, it’s no worse than Lake Superior in June. Chilly. I hop right on in and immediately realize that beyond the first 12 inches of “warm” water, the tub is literally full of ice. Freezing, slushy, clattering chunks of ice. My body immediately tries to lock up and curl into a defensive ball, but all I know is I have to get to the other side. I trudge through the thick soup of ice and duck two feet under to get past the board. It is so, so unbelievably cold and I black out for a split second underwater before flailing back to the surface and, ignoring the convenient ladder, haul myself up and over the exit side in a state of panic and shock. Well, I made it. Now I know. In retrospect am sure everyone was laughing at me.
- Glory Blades: After a mile-ish run that I don’t remember as I am trying to keep my heart from stopping dead in my frozen chest, we come to the Glory Blades. These are two 10-12ft high angled walls set into the ground, leaning towards you. The object is to go up and over. I actually make it over both of these without help, using the strut as a pushoff and ungracefully hauling my body over the top.
- Quagmire: Another deep sloshy mud pit that requires a bit of climbing and sliding. I don’t remember this one very well, but I imagine it was not very intimidating.
- The Warrior Carry: This is a stretch where you have to carry someone. My teammate immediately jumps on the back of a big dude offering everyone rides because she doesn’t want to make me carry her. Another dude offers to carry me, but I say I’m way heavier than I look and am sure I’d be more suited to carrying someone. An adorable alt-pixie of a girl giggles and jumps on so I start jogging down the path with her on my back. (Extra perk: She’s really… REALLY cute. :3) After a few hundred feet, we’re instructed to switch out the carry. No way in hell is this tiny little cutie about to carry my chunky ass down the trail so I ignore the switch command and run a double distance carrying her. I did not mind this at all. :D
- Berlin Walls: Two 12-ft straight walls with no handholds or assists. This is an obstacle designed for teamwork, unless you are very strong/fast/tall/can somehow get over a 12-foot wall with no help. I am very iffy about my chances in this one and start to go around, but at the last minute I decide to try. A guy gives me a boost up and I’m barely able to grab the top. With a little more help from the boost guy I’m able to pull up and straddle the top of the wall. At this point I get totally stuck up there because I have no hold on anything and I feel like I’m about to take a very bad topple. In panic I semi-grip the top edge and swing my body down, but there’s still about a five-foot drop. I land hard and roll away. I decide not to try the second one because my back injury is already bitching hard at me about the awkward drop. Sorry, spine.
- Devil’s Beard. A weighted net laid flat over the trail that you have to go underneath. This is an obstacle best done in a group - the more people you have, the lighter the net feels and the less likely you’ll get stuck in it. Also, a bear crawl is definitely the ideal way to navigate this.
- Cage Crawl: Another watery mud pit with narrow, shallow trenches dug into it and a chainlink over the top. This obstacle demands that you slide into the trench headfirst on your back, facing up, and use the overhead chainlink to pull yourself through. (Do not go in facedown, you will suck water.) And I just literally slide through this one. It’s downright relaxing! The water is niiiiiice.
- Walk the Plank: Absolutely hands-down my favorite obstacle of the run. We climb up a structure to a 12 foot platform, then out on this skinny board. Wait for the command, then you jump straight out and plummet down into a deep pit of water. It’s like a high dive at the pool. I loved this. But it’s VERY intense for anyone with a fear of heights. I ran a mile earlier in the event with the toughest most badass bitch I ever saw, but she was sobbing and going limp at the top of this platform. It’s pretty high.
- Prairie Dog: A narrow tube slide that you go down headfirst and splash into yet another mud puddle. Mud in yo face, to the extreme.
- After another quarter mile on a very steep, narrow and rocky path through the woods, we come upon one of the race staff ATV’s that has gotten very stuck in some mud and rocks. They are trying frantically to get unstuck, because they’ve got a bloody injured Mudder on a stretcher in the back. Everyone on the trail races to literally lift this thing out of the mud, and with a little teamwork, they’re on the way to safety in barely two minutes with a weak but cheery thumbs up from the injured Mudder. Awesome. :)
- Balls to the Wall: Hooray, another 12-foot wall climb! This one’s got ropes though, and is quite do-able even despite my rapidly flagging energy. The climb up is actually easier than the climb down, but I make it carefully down without landing on my back again.
- At this point, everyone is somewhat succumbing to that thing that happens when you are running on only adrenaline and even stupid things are outrageously funny.
- Hold Your Wood: A log carry around a fairly short but hilly loop of trail. The difficulty, of course, is dependent on how heavy of a log you choose. The logs range from about 10lbs to some of the bigger chunks probably weighing upwards of 50lbs. Mine was pretty light but I could have taken a heavier log, for sure. Next time!
- Hangin’ Tough: This is a series of swinging rings set over a deep pool of water. I hang on the first two and try swinging to the third before losing my grip. To be fair, I have literally not touched the monkey bars for over ten years before the day of this event. I’m trying all the obstacles though, whether I can do them or not.
- Long-ass run through a cornfield full of cowshit mud. Some funny guys are stopping at literally every mud puddle to roll around and shout “Bonus obstacle!” Everyone’s exhausted but in very high spirits.
- Funky Monkey: This is a set of monkey bars angled upwards for maximum shittiness and then back down, also set over a deep pool of water. See above for my monkey bar skills. (I have got some practicing to do!)
- The Mile 9 sign. Holy shit. This is officially the longest distance I have ever run (even though we’ve walked at least half of it… shhh.)
- Everest: This is a “get a running start” wall run/climb, very similar to a skatepark halfpipe and you have to run and jump to grab the top and pull yourself over. (But we can see the finish line by now! So close!!) There’s a big-ass bear of a dude sitting on the top edge helping people, so I point at him and start tearing like hell at the wall. I am able to run and jump and grab his hand, and together we get me dragged up to the top. I stay there for a few minutes and help another girl get over. A Mudder helps you, you help the next Mudder, it’s a damn good system.
- Electroshock Therapy: Literally no one has any more fucks left to give so as a random group of strangers we tear through Electroshock Therapy like a pack of screeching baboons. This is an electric obstacle. There are hanging wires that are intermittently electrified. Oh not so bad, right? Ha, well, these things are a 10,000 volt shock. Do not let the wires touch your face. Go in with your forearms up in front and over your face. I knew this in advance but entirely forget after the first shock, which comes from a wire brushing my cheek. I bite the shit out of my tongue and the whole right side of my body has a mega spasm. It hurts. It feels like getting punched with a lightning bolt. Still no fucks left to give though so I just keep stumbling through giggling like a nutcase. And….
- THE FINISH LINE. We all stagger under the finish arch and are honorably crowned with our hard-earned Tough Mudder headbands. Then I am handed a beer and half a banana. This is the only food I have seen in over 10 miles and to me it looks like a five-course gourmet affair. I stuff the banana in my face and sip the beer and it is heaven.
The party’s mostly over by the time I get there because we were the last wave, but it’s still an enormous sense of victory. Out of curiosity I ask for the time. It is barely past 3pm, which means I ran my first Tough Mudder in approximately 3 hours, which I am very impressed at myself for. I retrieve my finisher shirt and stumble to the bag check, still covered in mud and ooze and there is about a gallon of sand in my buttcrack (no seriously, any Mudder can testify to this). Still not having regained any fucks to give, I semi-discreetly strip down next to my car, towel some of the mud and sand off, put on some dry clothes, line my car interior with towels and finally plop down into the seat. I slowly make my way out of the parking field, high-fiving other departing Mudders as we go.
Later that night, after the most epic dirt shower of my life, I ate approximately my bodyweight in Chinese food and it was good. The following day, I wore my finisher shirt and headband and spent the day fist-bumping other random strangers who had just been through the same experience and had earned the same headband. That was also good. This was one of the best experiences of my life. 10/10 will run again next year. Some final thoughts:
- The Tough Mudder is not a race. It is not timed. The point is to finish. The point is to participate. Every person in the event with you is your teammate. They will help you. You should help them.
- Trail shoes are your friend. Things with regular laces will come loose or untied and be the biggest pain in the ass. Something that fastens cord style will be much easier to run in.
- Wear tight clothing. Long pants are your decision (I was glad to have them) but long sleeves are not advisable unless it’s chilly out. And get a pair of non-blister running socks, seriously.
- Train for it if you can - bodyweight/upper body strength, endurance running, core, grip strength - but if you haven’t trained, you’ll be mostly okay if you’re at least somewhat fit.
- Be smart, but don’t let fear or doubt stop you. Being badass isn’t about never being afraid, it’s about trying hard even if you’re afraid. Do what you can.
- The only way to “lose” a Tough Mudder is to not show up.
- You can.
angelgoesvegan replied to your post: Deconstructing an ED mindset one rule …
You go girl!! I´ve been struggling for years but I think HCRvegan finally did it for me. Slowly getting back to a normal life with a normal relationship with food. Slowly.. but slow progress is better than stopping right ;)best of luck to you ! =)
How wonderful that you have found something that works for you! I always think it is immensely interesting that there are so many different things that are perfectly right for all different kinds of people. I’m high-protein vegetarian because that’s where my body and brain work best. It took me a long time to settle there. I struggled through LCHF for a long time, and it wreaked havoc on my mental wellbeing and totally fucked up my body functions - perfect example of something that some people can easily thrive on, but can be totally wrong for someone else. I’m glad you found HCRV if that’s what’s making your brain and body feel the best they can. :)
fitanne replied to your post: kickass-calisthenics said:My gf t…
Even if the asker want this removed, could you still post your answer? I think this is important but I don’t want to reblog it he doesn’t want it spread
I’ve actually been working on an orthorexia post for awhile now. I’ll probably end up putting a lot of this info into that one. If I take it down I’ll still have something new to post in a bit, just not sure when that will go up.
Anonymous asked: I live in rural Illinois never heard of Quest but looks like low carb bullshit.Good for you. When I was at the height of my ED I remember eating cheese,bacon,and lard (and refusing strawberries) like it was normal. I would've loved this Quest shit.
See, there is nothing legitimately “wrong” with the food item itself. It has lots of protein, which is good if you need protein. It has lots of fiber, which is good if you need fiber. It has very limited sugar, which is good especially for people who have to watch their sugar intake for medical reasons. i.e. this bar would be excellent for people who need to boost their protein intake and/or carefully monitor their blood sugar levels.
The problem comes with how they’re selling it to people: “This food is perfect, it is guilt free, it is clean, it will make you fit and lean and blaze your body fat and you deserve it because you won’t stop until you are BETTER than the average lazy shmuck.” Just everything about it is wrong. It’s selling all the good qualities for all the worst reasons, it’s promoting obsessive disordered habits and calling it an “intense” lifestyle, just, no. I thrived on this shit when I was in a crappy place and I know I’m not the only one.
kickass-calisthenics asked: My gf told me that shes worried Im falling back into old habits and nursing an ED. Ive been tracking/logging my cals/macros & choosing foods to fit within them. I still eat foods I enjoy but how can I tell if Im making nutrition into an unhealthy
addiction or just simply trying to be healthy while maximising my potential progress?
An eating disorder/being at risk is different for everyone.
Things that are good:
- Eating mindfully to make sure your body gets the nutrition it needs.
- Allowing flexibility in diet and workout routine to allow for life obligations and experiences.
- Being able to eat intuitively (at least some of the time) to allow your body to guide your eating to meet its needs, which may differ from day to day.
- Being aware of basic nutritional values and using that knowledge to make dietary decisions that fit your own unique lifestyle and fitness needs.
- Making an effort to eat wholesome foods and balanced nutrition.
Things that are disordered or potentially disordered:
- Structuring your daily diet around predetermined numbers.
- Lack of food variety due to feeling that you must adhere to a “plan”.
- Making decisions based on numbers/calculations instead of your body’s physical cues.
- Feeling that any food has inherent moral value or that it affects your value (i.e. “sinful”, “cheating”, “guilt-free”, “clean” etc).
- Deriving a sense of righteousness from eating “clean” or “pure” food and/or avoiding “dirty” food.
- Having safe foods and fear foods.
- Anxiety or stress when your eating doesn’t go to plan.
- Hesitation or outright refusal to eat anything unless you record/analyze it first.
- Never eating treat foods unless you have taken steps to “fit” it into your daily nutrition plan.
- Compensating for “bad behavior” by restrictively eating afterwards.
- Judging calorie intake on a day-to-day basis and holding yourself to a daily “limit” regardless of activity level or physical cues.
- Intense feelings of fear or disgust about food-related things.
- Fear of binge eating or loss of control over eating.
- "Stress dreams" involving binge eating or feelings of lack of control, food stress, food planning, etc.
- Limiting or altering social experiences based on guidelines of what you “can” or “cannot” eat (barring legitimate reasons like allergies).
- Developing physical intolerances to foods that used to have no ill effect on you (this one is a bit iffy but should be considered).
I don’t know much about where you’re at, but from what you said, you’re at a place where I have been before and it’s a slippery slope. I highly recommend that you ditch the calorie counting. It’s inaccurate, counterintuitive, and destroys a person’s literal brain ability to eat based on physical need. Once you know what foods generally contain, there is absolutely no reason not to “ballpark” it. If you want to count something, try counting whatever “thing” you’ve decided is most important in your diet. I would suggest counting protein if you REALLY HAVE TO count something.
A really big thing to consider here is that someone close to you has expressed concern. Nutrition and food counting is EXTREMELY addictive and can very easily destroy mental wellness. Even if you do not have a full-on “Eating Disorder”, the fact that someone has noticed some potentially disordered habits starting to surface is a big red flag. Just some things to consider.
Anonymous asked: Hi! I am 15 years old and I play ultimate frisbee for my highschool (but i have terrible endurance) I want to shave off some fat and build up my endurance. As a beginner in working out do you have any advice? Thanks :)
Yeah, actually I don’t recommend this to a lot of people but have you looked at trying the Insanity program? It’s mostly athletic cardio drills and bodyweight-based strength training in intervals of increasing intensity. I personally do not enjoy the program very much, but from my experience with it, sounds like it would be very well suited to your goals. I am pretty sure you can download the videos or subscribe to their service thing, new routines/”blocks” come out every couple months or so I think.
kidrauhlmywor1d reblogged your post You know what, Quest Bar? I’m fucking … and added:
I feel like you’re going to burn me alive but I think you might be exaggerating a little(?) I get the message…
Nah, no burns here. Everything I wrote was why I am done giving Quest money and, to a more important extent, why I am done allowing that type of message to help me justify all the dangerous disordered things I’ve allowed myself to do (read: allow my brain to consume my life with obsession over perfect nutrition and endless exercise and always needing to be better). That exact same message may affect someone else in an entirely different way, maybe a positive one, but I know what it does to me (and people like me) and it’s time for me to dismantle that cornerstone of my issues.
Please note that nowhere in the post do I judge other people or encourage them to act differently. But everything I wrote is from the bottom of my sincerity and it needed to be said, somewhere, by someone.