Friday, December 8, 2017

Fan Your Feet

This image is a collage of foot pics I found with an image search (if one is yours and you want credit just leave me a note in the comments). Notice the shape, how it's more triangular than oval. The bones of the foot are meant to spread out, like our hands do. 

Now consider these women's shoes from Zappo's.

I took screen shots of shoes from $50-300, from heels to comfort boots. Notice anything about the shape? That's right, mostly oval. If you review the foot shape in the top image, you can see how come of the feet start to narrow again at the toes. Is this nature, or because we're wearing these shoes? 

If shoes were really meant to fit the natural shape of the foot, they would have narrower heels and would spread out until the metatarsal joint. If any narrowing occurs after that point, it would be minimal. 

I wore pumps as a teenager. Pumps with sharp, pointed toes. My toes naturally curl under, and I've developed bunions. I'm convinced it's from these artificially-shaped shoes! 

When I wear my Birks, my toes spread out naturally, just like when I'm barefoot. Same with my Boggs. But all my other shoes still compress, even the comfort brands like Clark's. Isn't it time we re-evaluate shoe shape? 

That won't happen as long as there are these kind of statements: 
Known as the dreaded “summer spread,” the foot condition involves the widening, flattening and collapse of feet when they aren’t securely bound and supported properly by shoes, explains New York City-based podiatrist Dr. Dennis Shavelson. Flat sandals and strappy shoes prompt feet to splay, and provide little-to-no arch support. That places the body in an abnormal walking position that can cause long-term medical issues, including toe, knee, hip and back problems. (Huffpost)
What's this foolishness? "Bound and supported properly"? Okay, I concede that arch support prevents a lot of problems with gait and pain. But why is spreading so bad?? How much of it is vanity? This page from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons identifies five foot problems that can be prevented by wearing shoes with wide toe boxes: bunions, corns, hammer toes, crossover toe, and ingrown toenail. You see? Splay is good!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

the cost of weight loss

Last year I was doing incredibly well managing my money, but now debt is accruing. I'll need every penny of the bonus pay I'll get this semester to get out of it.

The culprit? Weight loss.

I don't mean the $20/month I give to Weight Watchers for my online-only membership. That's minor and totally worth it. No, I mean the amount of money I'm spending on clothes and shoes. Yes, I also need smaller shoes. My credit card statements for this month show I spent $644 on clothes, and last month I spent $424! That's almost more than I spent on food, which was $732 this month and $640 last month.

Healthy food is expensive. So are new clothes.

Plan: reduce money spent at Starbucks ($75 last month!!). Waste less food. Only buy clothes that are absolutely necessary to get me through the rest of the semester. Which should be nothing. I think I'm prepared now until I drop another size.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Loving the program!

How great is it that I can eat 7-cheese ravioli from Boston Pizza and still lose weight! I left 1/4 on the plate, and I have very few weeklies left, but I'm working it! 

Travel this time has been more of a challenge than in January or May or July. I think the difference is that I'm traveling alone and it makes me less self-aware. J was with me the other times. For example, today I stopped at a convenience store to use the washroom. I always buy something when I do that; I chose a Diet Dr Pepper, then looked for food. It seemed so natural to have a candy bar! I fought the temptation and bought cashews instead. And I counted them. Because I want to be in control of my health. 

Tonight in the hotel room was hard too. In the past, J and I would have cookies or some cake. I had a Fibre 1 cookie brownie. It wasn't what I wanted but I told myself that's what I could have. A bit later I had microwave popcorn. 

Good choices I made this trip: 
🍎 Bought lots of fruit at the grocery as well as veg to roast and the Fibre 1 brownies. 
πŸ₯• Roasted the vegetables and made quinoa to share with my hosts. 
πŸ“‹ Tracked everything. 
🚢🏻‍♀️Walked 2 miles on 2 different days. 
🍝 Left yummy ravioli on the plate. 
πŸ›Œ Got plenty of sleep. 
🌲 Enjoyed nature. 

πŸ™Š I didn't do my physical therapy at all. 
πŸ• I ate half a slice more of homemade pizza than I meant to. I was tempted and succumbed. 
πŸͺ I had a muffin at the coffee shop. This wasn't a terrible choice, since it was made in-house and wasn't giant. 
πŸ’¦ I had trouble getting my water. I was drinking far too much soda. I bought a pack of water bottles (sorry earth 🌏) and that helped a lot. 

Tomorrow I fly home and I dread hanging out in the airport in my weaker-willed condition. I'll look up some restaurants at the airport so I'll have a plan. 

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Reflection on my summer

Activity from the #weeklyfocus

My first goal for the summer was just to stay within my points and drink lots of water. I succeeded at this. I didn't have a particular weight goal in mind, but I lost 25 pounds.

I made it happen by tracking everything every day. I learned ... not much new. The program works when you work it. 

My activity goal was to go swimming 15 times, since I paid $150 for the membership. I failed at this goal. The water was always too cold! We had a mild summer in Tennessee, and I was out of the country for the hottest parts. I won't be getting a membership there again.

What got in the way was mostly weather, but it didn't help that my friend who was going to go with me was never available. I learned that I shouldn't pay money for exercise. πŸ’°I also got more evidence that it's hard to exercise when I don't set a time. 

I was planning to walk more, but the weather was bad or I had a cold or I hurt my foot, I learned I need to have back-up exercises lined up. 

This week's eating goals will be to stay within my point range (including weeklies and fitpoints). 

My activity goal for this week will be to complete my physical therapy exercises (for back and feet) at least 4 times, and to schedule it before breakfast. #babysteps

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Journal on my weight loss journey

I was listening to @fatdag’s WhysAdvice #94 this morning (see There were several subjects, one being what to say when people tell you you’ve lost enough and you should stop. This hasn’t happened to me, but people HAVE asked if I’m losing too fast. I’ve always said, “I’m losing at 2 pounds a week, and that’s right on target.” But it has had an effect on my thinking and made me question my rate of loss. Especially as I’m having loose skin, much more than when I lost this same weight 17 years ago. 

So this past week, I set my tracker to “maintain,” with the idea of giving my body time to adjust. My WI was this morning, and I gained 1.4 lbs, which is pretty much maintaining. I’m not upset at the results. But I didn’t like the mental effect on me. 

Giving myself a few more points was like opening the doors to a giant party. “Whee! I can relax! I can have this, and this, and this!” And that was difficult to fight against. I also felt hungry a lot. I started thinking a lot more about cake frosting. 

For this week I’ve lowered my target partway, just giving myself 2 extra points per day. I want to shift back to losing but I only want to lose 1 pound per week, not two. 

I’m still trying to increase activity, mostly in order to shape my body and get some muscles under that loose skin. I’m also trying to relax about the loose skin. As a WW Connector said to me a while ago, you have to compare the aesthetics of weight loss with the health benefits—heart health, cardiovascular strength, less pressure on the joints, etc.—and those are what really matter. 

Another topic fatdag discussed in his podcast was finding a deeper “why.” I think that’s something I need to work on, too. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Review of Terra's Kitchen

*This is not a sponsored post. 

Terra's Kitchen is a food delivery service that has a range of recipes: vegetarian, paleo, gluten-free, low-calorie, etc. They're non-gmo and they use organic when possible. This review is based upon my first shipment--I was pleased, and I've signed up for a second one. I'm a vegetarian and a Weight Watcher living in Tennessee. I cook just for myself.

What appealed to me first about Terra's Kitchen was their packaging (part of the reason why I didn't stay with HelloFresh). It's like a little refrigerator--quite clever and reusable!

FedEx dropped off this heavy box on my porch during the shipping window I was given, and picked it up again on the next business day:

See the latches on the front? They have a little tamper-evident strip. Rip those off, and unlatch. The next layer is insulation: 

Pull out the insulation to reveal five little drawers full (depending on how much you order) of food and ice blocks:

The ingredients for each meal comes in plastic containers covered with a thin film. The containers are easily recyclable. Here are the ingredients for Pesto-Goat Cheese Vegetable Flatbread

What you see are mushrooms (which I only used half of because I'm not a fan), fajita-cut peppers and onions, their flexpita (5 sp for Weight Watchers), parsley (I used 1/3 of what they gave me), goat cheese, and a tub with pesto (I used half) and spices. If you look closely you'll see that everything is already cut up. The only cutting I had to do was chopping the parsley. That dish took about 20 minutes to prepare. Here it is complete: 

The other two meals I tried with my shipment were Tofu-Bok Choy and Black Bean Sliders. All three meals were quick and easy to make. 

Taste and Preparation
The first meal I made was the Black Bean Sliders. OMG so good! And so easy! I'll definitely make this again. The patties are made with black beans, cumin, garlic, jalapeΓ±o, and cilantro. You mix their salsa with the fat-free sour cream they send and put it on one side of the bun, and put smashed avocado and cilantro on the other side. I had to cut the cilantro and scoop out the avocado, and I had to saute the garlic, cumin, and jalapeΓ±o. The rest was just mixing. My only criticism of this meal is the bland buns. Granted, they were better brushed with oil and toasted as they recommended, but my regular sandwich slims were better. I made three large patties out of this instead of 4 small ones and had it for 3 meals. 

The second meal I made was the Tofu & Bok Choy Stir Fry. Again, I divided this into 3 meals which I had for lunch 3 successive days. I was less impressed with this one but I think it was because I didn't put in enough red pepper originally and only half the balsamic. For the third serving, I added more of each and it was much better. The only prep I did for this was squeezing the water out of the tofu. My cooking involved boiling the rice, sauting the tofu, then adding the pre-cut vegetables and sauce. 

The third meal was the flatbread pictured above. This one only made two meals for me but both were hearty. I'm not a huge fan of mushrooms so I only used half; it would've been even more filling with all of them. To make the flatbreads, I toasted the pitas in a skillet, sauteed the pre-cut vegetables with balsamic, spread pesto and goat cheese (which I had to crumble) on the pitas, then topped with vegetables and parsley, which I had to chop (I didn't care for it anyway [do people who dislike cilantro actually like parsley? Just wondering.]). The flatbread was super yummy, my second favorite meal and probably something I will order again. 

It ain't cheap. My total for these 3 meals plus a caprese salad (1 serving) was $77.43 (before the $35 discount I used). For my second order, I've chosen Sweet Potato, Spinach, and Apple Quinoa Bowl ($13.49x2), Curried Chickpea Spinach Bowl ($11.99x2), Curry Vegetable Soup ($14.99x2), Harvest Salad ($7.99), and Berry Balsamic Salad ($7.99). My total will be $96.93. Which is like holy crap expensive! I can tell I won't be doing this often. ;) 

If you'd like to try it out and get $35 off (and incidentally give me a $25 credit!), try this link. If it doesn't work, let me know. I can have them email you a link direct. Thanks!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Advantages Response Card #bds

Rape Culture in That 70s Show

There's only one moment of rape in the show: when Kelso is raped by Laurie in "Red's Last Day" (S2E02). Here's a clip: L
Kelso and Jackie have recently gotten back together, and he is having a fantasy where he tells Paul Anka and Lyle Waggoner that "I love Jackie and a real man can deny his instincts," when Laurie interrupts him.

KELSO: Listen...Laurie....uhhh I don’t think you should be in here...I mean I know we’ve made out a couple dozen times...
LAURIE: Twice.
KELSO: Okay....but that’s over!
LAURIE (climbs on top of Kelso): Gosh, I sure do feel close to you Kelso!
KELSO: Uhhhhh, listen, Laurie, I, I don’t think my girlfriend, ... Jackie, would like you sitting on me.
LAURIE: I think YOU like me sitting on you, in fact I know you do!
KELSO: Okay! But that’s not the point!
LAURIE kisses Kelso: Shut up Kelso! This is your lucky day.
(She closes the door. Cut to the van seen from above)
KELSO: Those are my pants! No! .....(van starts shaking) yes....yes....

Although Kelso sexually desires Laurie, he doesn't give his permission because he knows it would hurt his relationship with Jackie. Laurie forces him--granted, it takes little force, but he distinctly says no. That's rape. In traditional thinking of just 20 years ago, this wouldn't count as rape at all, and even today you'd have a hard time convincing a jury. It's still rape.

If you don't think this is rape, imagine how it would play out with the roles reversed. What if Laurie had gotten a new van and was day-dreaming about its potential when Kelso came along? What if she became uncomfortable, and he told her to relax as he shut the door and told her it was her lucky day? What if Kelso unzipped her pants and she said no? Is it rape? Even if right afterwards she says yes?

Look, rape isn't a question of sexual desire. You can want sex and still be raped. Wanting isn't the same thing as consenting. If a woman goes to a bar wanting to have sex, she doesn't want to have sex with just anyone. So she may leave the bar, sexually frustrated, though she has turned down a man's advances. That doesn't give him the right to force himself on her. Even if he makes her orgasm.

As it turns out, he doesn't mind. In fact, he really liked it. When he announces in the circle that he and Laurie have had sex, he's bragging and gives it two thumbs up.

KELSO: I mean...she took advantage of me! I’m violated.
HYDE: You idiot, your thumbs are still up!
KELSO: (Chuckle) Acting’s hard.

And that's what gets me. His example suggests that (1) rape isn't really rape and (2) rape isn't a big deal. When Fez suggests the dark room switch in S7E22, Angie laughs at him good-naturedly. But pretending to be someone else in order to have sex does, in fact, count as rape. Fez is an admitted pervert, so it's "natural" that he has these plans, and it's women's job just to laugh them off.

In the world of That 70s Show, it's easy to laugh at rape threats, because women are presented as having all the power. Think back to seasons one and two when Donna would "playfully" say okay to sex, then rescind her permission. It frustrated Eric, but he never took advantage of her semi-consent. Because she held the power in the relationship. There are many other examples and I'll post some later if I get a chance--if I can tear myself away from watching the show.

As much as I critique this show, I love it profoundly.