August 18, 2014

Swimming Lessons


By Crabby McSlacker

OK, so regular readers may recall that:
  1. I recently hurt my back;
  2. I am hilariously inept at my physical therapy exercises and seem to be making little progress yet in the back-healing department;
  3. I've been bemoaning my lack of back-friendly exercise options and bitching about how I am getting less fit by the day;
  4. I discovered taking up swimming might be a feasible option; and,
  5. I have always loathed everything about swimming.
(A quick review? Let's see: apparel requirements; chlorine; my lack of natural floatiness or coordination; being forced to arrange breathing opportunities instead of snarfing up air any damn time I want to; and sharing a pool with other people. And of course most excruciatingly: having to initiate the activity by submerging myself voluntarily in cold nasty evil frigid wetness. Acck! For a warm-blooded mammal such as myself, this feels like a profoundly unnatural act).

Seriously, the only great thing about swimming is that eventually it is over with.

So, one might wonder, given my wonderful positive attitude towards the whole enterprise: how is the swimming thing going so far?  Can an Old Crab learn some New Tricks? And are there any tedious lessons said Old Crab can share from her experience?

August 11, 2014

Injured? Hooray!


By Crabby McSlacker

So yeah, this is me trying to do the whole positive reframe thing.  Can I stop whining for a few minutes and attempt to consider that having a back injury is not something to kvetch about? Perhaps it is even a wonderful growth opportunity in disguise?

But no worries, fellow crankypants skeptics. I'll excuse you for a moment if you want to step outside and barf. (Just remember for the sake of your coworkers or loved ones to mop up afterwards, and be sure to brush your teeth).

The weird thing is...  this is not just some a total bullshit attempt to cheer myself up.  I can actually see both sides: When you want to be active and are sidelined, injuries suck! And yet injuries can also lead to really freakin' good stuff.

The trick, I'm thinking, is deciding whether to cope with injuries in Typical Dumbass Ways, or try to be more Clever and Sneaky about it. Having tried plenty of the former techniques, I thought it might be time to experiment with something different for a change.

August 07, 2014

Seen in NYC


So this isn't a real post, just a handful of photos I took on the road in New York. I'm heading back home today.

And I will try to forgo extensive whining about my back injury, whatever the hell it is. A Progress Report (or an Amusing Lack of Progress Report) on physical therapy may follow at some point, but I'm really hoping to write one of those cheerful "my triumphant return to working out!" sort of inspirational things, not another bitchstravaganza of frustrations and gripes. So I'm thinking I"ll give it a bit more time.

Meanwhile, no running or biking or ellipticalling or weights. But lots of walking right past notable NYC landmarks and not photographing them! Only to capture weird shit no one else would possibly want to look at instead.



August 04, 2014

Deciding I Don't Want to Die


By Genie; posted by Crabby McSlacker

I am seriously psyched to bring you this guest post--it’s quite inspiring and motivating, as you shall soon see. And another cool thing? This was sent by a heretofore anonymous “lurker,” who challenged herself to tell her story in a more public venue. 

However, I need a favor here. I'm hoping that when you get to the end and think to yourselves: "I want to hear more from Genie, she should have a blog of her own!" that you keep your big traps shut about that, ok?  Say instead, "I hear starting a new blog is kind of a pain in the ass, but you should really keep contributing posts to Crabby's blog!"

Got that?

OK, I'm off gallivanting in NYC but I leave you in good hands today; please welcome Genie!

--Crabby

When Crabby sent out an invitation for guest posts, I thought, “Why the hell not?” So I mustered my courage and sent out an email with a short version of my story. Her response was so warm and immediate, I had to “screw my courage to the sticking place” (apologies to Lady Macbeth) and do it.

For better or worse then, this is the short version of how I decided I didn’t want to die anymore.

July 30, 2014

Will Restricting Carbs Make You a "Fat-Burning Beast?"

photo: pixabay

By Tiffany Reiss; With a Long-Winded Intro by Crabby McSlacker

So for years I've been intrigued by notion of "Fat Adaptation," a concept advanced by Mark's Daily Apple and others. The idea is that by strategically restricting carbohydrates, you can reprogram your body to use fat as fuel instead of glycogen.

According to Mark:

If you’re fat adapted, the genes associated with lipid metabolism will be upregulated in your skeletal muscles. You will essentially reprogram your body. 
With that comes great benefits!  Like more energy available during exercise and throughout the day, and an easier time burning fat and losing weight than if you are a "sugar burner."

However, most mainstream nutritional advice says almost the opposite: Watch the fat, eat more carbs. These experts claim you need a crapload of carbs for optimal nutrition, especially if you are doing something athletic.  

And yeah, everyone agrees you need protein and that you should avoid refined and processed foods as much as possible and you should be eating plenty of produce.  But as to what else you should be fueling with, the "Are Carbs Good or Are They Bad" debate rages on.

I got so tired of hearing the contradictions that I asked Tiffany Reiss what she thought.  As regulars may recall, Tiffany is a smarty-pants professor type who knows a lot about exercise physiology. (Her bio is below).

So, is her answer simple and straightforward?

Hell no! Because it turns out it's a complicated question!

So those of you who like to geek out, here's Tiffany take on the whole "Should I restrict Carbs" question.

--Crabby

To Carb or Not to Carb

It’s such a simple question: Are carbs good or are they bad? Should we eat them or shouldn’t we?