January 27, 2016

Crabby Goes to a Conference and Learns Four Things

By Crabby McSlacker

Crabby and the Lobster have at last arrived in Austin where they are spending the winter. Lots to love about Austin, it's a fitnessy town! And a few things to grouse about as well, but more on all that in a future blog post.

So one of the first things Crabby did in Austin, even before unpacking, was attend the  Prevention's R3 Women's Health Summit.

(And why is Crabby sudden speaking in the third person? She has no idea. Perhaps it has to do with insomnia, a problem she thought she'd seen the end of. Lately it's back with a vengeance. She hasn't had a good night's sleep in five days and it's fucking with her head). But ok, enough. Crabby shall hereby transform from a "she" to an "I." Ready?

So yeah, I'm a little late and sketchy reporting on the conference. I went in on Friday feeling harried and I had to leave before it finished on Saturday, so I missed some of the speakers. But despite my distracted and slipshod mindset, I actually came away with a lot! (Including two tote bags stuffed with swag and the enjoyment of a ton of free food and beverages. And everyone knows that free food and beverages do not contain calories. It's a rule.)

But aside from the cans of tuna and the pound of coffee and the vaginal moisturizer and the hemp bars and soaps and supplements and toothbrushes, what were some of the take-aways?

January 11, 2016

One For the Road

photo via James Vaughan
Guest Post by Jan Bono

Crabby McSlacker and her intrepid spouse, known here as"The Lobster," are currently on the road. Regular readers may recall that they are heading from Provincetown Massachusetts to Austin Texas to spend the winter.  They are not flying (or walking or biking for that matter), so they find themselves spending many, many, many hours every day scrunched up in their perky but diminutive Honda Fit. Alas, it takes quite a bit of unscrunching at the end of the day to be able to walk again.

But anyway, it seems fitting that this week we have a car-related excerpt from Jan Bono's inspirational book, Back from Obesity: My 252-pound Weight-Loss Journey.” Enjoy! --Crabby

Singing the car buying blues

My car was nine years old and had over 130,000 hard-earned miles on it. The trips to the repair shop had become alarmingly frequent. On Thanksgiving eve my vehicle had refused to restart after I shut it off at the gas station.

It was time to buy something new, but I was dragging my feet. I had purchased my Honda Accord in 1991 simply because it was the only car I could find at the time I could fit into. Now I was 30 or 40 pounds heavier. I was terrified I wouldn’t be able to find anything I could safely drive and stay within my budget.

“Get a Toyota,” said my friend Pat. “You’ll fit in a Camry, I’d bet on it.”

I didn’t want a Toyota.

January 01, 2016

Resolution Realization: The Only Trick That Really Works. (For Me).

By Crabby McSlacker

So I used to think the whole idea of New Year's resolutions was stupid and arbitrary. But now I'm more like: "hell, why not?"

I'm always working on some sort of goal anyway. So why not take advantage of the timing? If I undertake a delusional quest for behavioral change at the same time everyone else is similarly psyched up, we can all pretend together that there is something magical about a date on a calendar!

Will it help our motivation? Who knows? But the fantasy of a fresh start is pretty darn enjoyable in itself.

This year, however, I cheated and started a while back, working on something I wanted to change.  I tried an approach that is anything but new, and you've already heard it a hundred times. I know I've written about it many times before. It's so simple and obvious you'll feel totally cheated when I remind you of what it is.

Yet if you actually use it, instead of saying "I know that" and ignoring it--well, damn it if it doesn't totally work. Could be very handy for use as a new year's resolution tool.

At least the results for me have been pretty amazing. Using this method I went quite quickly from Wishful Thinking to a full-fledged Sustainable Behavioral Change! And I felt the difference almost instantly. I'm actually pretty confident that as long as I keep applying this principle, I will continue to be successful.  And conversely, I suspect that as soon as I go back to "knowing it" but not "doing it," I'll be back daydreaming about accomplishments rather than having any.

Are there major drawbacks to this method? Of course there are! More about that later.

Meanwhile, here's your simple recipe for New Year's Resolution Success:

December 24, 2015

Happy Holidays from Cranky Fitness! Plus, Very Last-Minute Gift Idea

photo via James Vaughan

By Crabby McSlacker

Whatever winter holiday you celebrate, and whatever your favorite traditions are,

photo via James Vaughan

let's hope it was, or is, or will be, a lovely, peaceful, and joyous occasion! I'll be very curious if any of you are willing to share what your winter celebrations are like.

I've been blogslackin' again, but not just due to the buying-a-new-house-on-a-whim shenanigans. I'm back to working on my novel again. (Yay?)

But not being around as much as I used to be, I've been really missing everyone. You guys rock! You are part of my community, part of my family even, and I know exactly how weird that sounds. And so before I start the whole New Year's Resolution Let's Kick Ass in 2016 yada yada yada stuff, I want to sincerely wish you all the happiest of holidays. 

As you may know, here at the Crab and Lobster household, we are not religious. Nor do we believe that there is a  jolly fat guy in a red suit who circumnavigates the globe distributing presents with the help of flying reindeer. Thankfully, we have no children to indoctrinate with any improbable Christmas myths either. Because isn't that a weird cultural tradition when you think about it?  "Let's all lie to our kids about Santa Claus until they get old enough to figure out that we're full of shit. So when it's time for those "stay in school" and "don't smoke" and "be nice to everyone, even the unpopular kids" lectures, we'll have absolutely no credibility!

But again, no kids here, so what do I know?

So anyway, we celebrate "Christmas" because that's what we both grew up with. But it's a Christ-free, Santa-free, low key version of Christmas. "Christmas Lite."

It's mainly about connecting with family and friends.  And hell, let's be clear: it's also about desserts. And Presents. We've tried to be grown-ups and skip the over-eating and the presents part, but as it turns out? We like stuffing our faces with sweets and getting and giving presents.

Every year we say: "let's not do anything about presents this year!" "Let's not eat a whole bunch of cookies and cakes and candies until we're ready to explode!" And every year, we are totally lying.

Fortunately, we both grew up with the "open presents Christmas morning" tradition, not the horrible alternative, the jump-the-gun, Christmas Eve unwrapping.  I know this is customary in some countries and cultures, but WTF? You wake up Christmas morning and the holiday is already over? No, no, no, a thousand times no! That's just wrong. (For us!) 

We also drag Christmas morning out as long as possible. One person, opening one present at a time. Everyone watches and exclaims. Even if we are just opening gift cards for retailers we have specifically requested ahead of time.

This year, we are more geographically far-flung than usual, which is a bummer.  But we are hoping to have a happy Skype-mas and share the present unwrapping festivities via the interwebs.  (Fingers crossed).

But Speaking of Christmas Presents...

Do you sometimes find it hard to buy something that is useful enough not to be a total waste of money, yet not so everyday-useful as to be a bit... unexciting?

No, actually, they don't.
photo via James Vaughan

I can not recall the last time I fondled my vacuum-cleaner.
photo via James Vaughan

Or maybe you just want to buy yourself a present? But one that would actually reduce suicidal or homicidal ideation during a stressful holiday season?

Well, some of you may be ahead of me here, because as you may recall, I'm a big fan of Rick Hanson's programs, and his awesome Foundations of Well-Being Program is on sale if you sign up before January 1st! Plus, there's a 30-day money-back guarantee if you sign up and then flake out.

Am I an affiliate? Hell yes! But the reason I pimp for Rick is because he is insanely smart and helpful, not because I get an occasional check. I get tons of affiliate offers (God knows why, for an almost-dead blog, but whatever) and I turn 'em all down. Because apparently I'm too stupid to be motivated by money.

I could go on forever about what a great resource the program is, because not only do you get Rick's presentations, there are guest speakers, activities, quizzes, forums etc, plus a monthly live Q&A. 

This stuff really works: you CAN rewire your brain for more happiness.  But gosh, guess what? It takes a little practice, and consistency, and effort. Most people find that without some kind of structured program, it just doesn't happen.  

(Note: if you plug "Rick Hanson" in the search box at Cranky Fitness, you can read a scary, almost stalkery number of posts singing his praises. To sum up, Rick is (a) brainy (b) warm (c) funny (e) humble (f) pragmatic (h) straight-forward (i) entertaining and (j) a hell of a nice guy.

Could you, or anyone you love, benefit from a program like this? Then get a move on, and if you pay for the year upfront before January 1, you get a big discount. More info at the Foundations of Well-Being site.

Of course I can't find my affiliate log-in info, because I am a disorganized nincompoop, and waited 'til the last minute to put this post up. So if the link doesn't work, bear with me, I'll figure it out when Rick's peeps are back in the office. Just let me know if you try to sign up and it ain't happening. Also, I'm not exactly sure how you gift it. There's always the endearing home made gift certificate approach, right? And then you figure out the sign-up thing with your recipient once it's not a surprise. (Or heck, there may be a gift option, but I can't get very far in the sign-up process to test it because I'm already signed up).

Oh, and in other business news, I just wanted to alert and remind anyone who's thinking about going to the Prevention R3 Summit in Austin with me that it's coming up before too long: it's January 15th and 16th.  Remember when I blogged about the R3 Summit? It's a women's health summit with tons of speakers, demonstrations, etc, and now they've added Joan Lunden to the line-up too.  Maybe a little motivation for any New Years goals you may be contemplating? But our discount code has changed, it's now PVNR3SDCRANKY1. (But I'm NOT an affiliate on this one, just attending for kicks and possible free food).

So what do you guys do to celebrate (or not) the winter holidays? Any other good very last-minute gift ideas?

December 09, 2015

Pack it in, Pack it out!

Guest Post by Jan Bono

Well folks, Crabby has messed up post-scheduling yet again. (Shocking, right?) She should have run this guest post by Jan B much sooner. Why? Well because it contains a December 10th deadline for ordering what could be a nice little Christmas present for a loved one, or hell, yourself! At least if you're the sort who actually aims to give Christmas presents on or before December 25th.  There's still time, but alas, not much. Crabby hereby apologizes and swears she will try not to be such a nitwit in the future.  --Crabby

In Crabby McSlacker’s recent Checkin' In blog post, she invited us to let her know what we’ve been up to, what we might be planning, and what’s on our minds these days.

Yes! She actually wrote that! So I’m taking her up on her invitation and telling you all how I’ve managed to abandon my daily fitness regime, immerse myself in a pool of self-pity, and resent the everyday exercise opportunities that have been forced upon me.

But wait! There’s more!