September 28, 2015

Baby Steps Back to Fitness

Guest Post by Dee

Hey Cranketeers, Crabby here! I'm all excited to introduce Dee from Break out the Skinny Girl with an in-the-trenches perspective on getting back into fitness when it feels anything but "easy" and "fun."

So why am I so excited to introduce Dee?  Well, first off, she's very funny.  And secondly, she blogs with an adorable British accent.  And thirdly, she's just started a new blog which looks to be the sort Cranky Fitness readers might enjoy.  New blogs need encouragement! So please, if you like this guest post (I know I did), think about clicking over to her blog and offering some support. Thanks, and enjoy!--Crabby

So when Crabby very graciously extended her invitation to guest-blog a few words, I jumped at the opportunity – I wasn’t put off at all by the hoots of hysterical laughter which the prospect of me writing an article relating to fitness drew from a handful of people (ok, from pretty much everyone I’ve mentioned it to). In my skinny girl blog, I talk about my own battle of the bulge and whilst admittedly the content is a bit light on theory, as someone who’s dieted back and forth with varying degrees of success over more years than I’m ready to admit, I’m at least a tiny bit qualified to offer an opinion.

Where exercise is concerned, I’m speaking from somewhat less than a position of strength.

I would hazard a guess that the most consistently well-developed muscle in my entire body is the one that operates my jaw – it’s definitely the one that’s had the most exercise. Don’t let the fact that it’s currently buried under a couple of extra chins fool you - if it was visible I’m sure it would look very toned indeed.

September 21, 2015

Take a (Korean) Hike

Guest post by Jan Bono

Crabby is still in blog-slacking mode; she swears she is working hard on her novel-in-progress, though with her obsessive tendency to rewrite, and the distractions and demands of even her easy life, the pages do not seem to be piling up very fast. But be assured she is having fun, and continuing to plod along, and she will eventually complete the damn thing--which she will then try to wheedle you all into reading. Gosh, how you must be looking forward to THAT fine day! 

However, even with Crabby gone AWOL so much, Cranky Fitness simply will not die. Crabby is very grateful for the help of guest contributors to keep things going until Crabby gets her act together better as a blogger. So this week Cranky Fitness contributor Jan Bono is up to bat again, with another tale of her far-flung fitness adventures.  Jan is author of Back from Obesity: My 252-pound Weight-Loss Journey”and you can get it in print or as an ebook on Jan's smashwords page) --Crabby.

My American friends living in Korea are avid hikers. And so, apparently, are the vast majority of native Koreans. Naturally, during my visit in June to this lovely country, I joined right in, although hiking the hills of Korea to stay fit had never crossed my mind when I packed for my trip!

September 15, 2015

Quick Trick for Preventing Emotional Meltdowns

image: wikipedia
By Crabby McSlacker

So this is a "Quick Trick" in that it doesn't take too long to implement it, but as usual, I wrote a long-ass blog post to provide some context for it. As regulars know, I am pretty much incapable of getting straight to the point.

And the usual disclaimer applies: this may only work for me and my odd brain.

Plus it's only a shortcut to help you access all the emotional regulation skills you've already mastered as a thoughtful, responsible, adult human. If you don't have them to start with, and you've been blowing off all that personal growth and/or therapy stuff your entire life, it probably ain't gonna work.

It's basically a metaphorical tool I've been using to create an almost instantaneous mindshift in difficult situations. Simplistic and goofy? Sure! But I find it really helps. And there's even a fitness angle too, so I thought I'd pass it along here.

September 11, 2015

Sugar Won't Fix It

Guest Post by Jan Bono

(Jan B. is frequent guest contributor here at Cranky Fitness. And don't forget to check out her book! It's Back from Obesity: My 252-pound Weight-Loss Journey”and you can get it in print or as an ebook on Jan's smashwords page).

On September 11, 2001, at exactly 6:15 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time, I entered a small local convenience store to pick up a cup of coffee on my way to an early morning faculty meeting at the high school.

Several men stood clustered together beneath a wall-mounted television set just inside the door. They were staring up at the screen, open-mouthed. The whole store, usually a hub of activity, was eerily quiet. I could tell by the looks on the men’s faces that something horrible was being projected above their heads. My gut clenched, and I knew I didn’t want to know what it was that had their attention so intently riveted. If I didn’t look, maybe it wouldn’t be real...

September 11, 2001. A day in which we saw, with all too much clarity, the high level of American vulnerability. Our country had been attacked. We had been attacked. None of us would ever feel as safe again as we had when we’d gone to bed the night before.

I stood beside the men in silence. With a growing lump in my throat, nausea welling in my stomach and tears blurring my vision, I gathered some form of small comfort standing there among the delivery truck drivers, the store owner and a few early-rising regular customers. It was not a time to be alone.

Soon, however, I realized I had a job to go to, and tore myself away from the repeated views of the unimaginable destruction on the television screen.

I got my cup of coffee. Then I hesitated in the candy aisle. If the world were truly coming to an end, why not indulge one last time? Couldn’t I at least be “comforted” with the sugar to boost my stamina?

September 08, 2015

Exercise vs. Diet for Weight Loss: Is There Any Reason to Get Off the Couch at ALL?

By Crabby McSlacker

Those of you who are still pissed off at Cranky Fitness for exposing how easy it is to overestimate calories burned by walking may not be happy about some of the information I'm going to discuss in this post.

But as I was following up on an interesting comment that appeared in that last post (thanks JessicaB!) I came across some more depressing research, at least for folks like me who justify caloric indulgence with increased activity. Because according to a bunch of recent health and fitness articles, experts have concluded: when it comes to weight loss, it's pretty much all about diet, not exercise.

A couple examples:  "Exercise Alone Does Not Help in Losing Weight," and "To Lose Weight Eating is Far More Important than Exercising More."

It's not too far a leap to imagine some folks concluding there is almost no point in exercising at all! Especially people who don't like to exercise anyway and are hoping for a free pass to say the hell with it and settle down on the couch with a Lean Cuisine and a crate of Diet Pepsi for a 5 hour Netflix binge-watch.

Do I have some cranky things to say about these articles and the "screw exercise it's useless" school of thought?  Gosh, perhaps I do!

On the other hand, I don't believe in failing to report important research because we don't like what it says. I fail to report important research all the time, but it's out of sheer laziness and ignorance, a far better reason, don't you think? Anyway, more thoughts on the whole Diet vs Exercise debate below.

Plus, Labor Day has come and gone which means it's the beginning of a new season, right? So it would be awesome if any of you were willing to pop down into the comments and check in with what you've been up to over the summer, or what you're dreaming and scheming about these days, or how the heck you feel about life right now.