November 07, 2011

An Unusually Frank Blog Update

Image: Ace Covers

This is one of those mea culpa posts in which a blogger wastes a whole post explaining what's going on with her blog and making hopeful pronouncements about the future, rather than just sitting her ass down and fixing things by writing a bunch of informative, witty blog posts on crucial and fascinating topics. But heck, this is Crabby McSlacker of Cranky Fitness! So seriously, how likely is the "hunker down" option?

But if you can put up with a paragraph or two of rationalizations and lame excuses, I do have some announcements about stuff coming up on the blog, which may either thrill or horrify you, depending. One thing I am finally learning after many fine decades on this planet is to stop taking myself so f#@cking seriously. So I figure if worst case y'all get fed up and go find a better health blog over the next few weeks, I am fairly well convinced the world will keep spinning on its axis.

So what's the deal with blogging lameness and what's coming up over the next few weeks?

Crabby Encounters Life Transitions and Gets Her Ass Kicked... But Only Temporarily!

Regular Cranky Fitness readers (a rare, intelligent, gentle, and patient breed) may have noticed that I haven't been keeping up too well with blogging, tweeting, or Facebook lately. Why? Well, it's a combination of (1) struggling to get re-settled on the west coast which is taking more time than I thought; (2) attending an awesome 3 day blog conference at Dole, where I met a bunch of great folks, learned about mighty Mushroom Powder and a whole lot of other things (a report on which is upcoming); (3) the surprising and gratifying growth of my Life Coaching practice, in which my first rule is Clients Come Before Blogging; and (4) the sudden and relentless onslaught of menopause-related insomnia, which has me tottering around in a walking coma most of every day. And yep, you can bet your britches there is an insomnia research post in the pipeline, which may well be written at 3 a.m. some night since I've apparently got nothing better to do then.

(Hmm, note to self: Is confessing to be a badly-organized, sleep-deprived excuse-maker perhaps not the best life and wellness coaching marketing technique? Must ponder.)

But it's time for Part II of the Blogging about Blogging instead of Blogging About Health and Fitness Post:

Tis the Season for... Free Stuff!!

I was originally going to title the whole post: "Crabby's Crass Cavalcade of Commercialism!" because I wanted to announce that there will be a whole slew of upcoming review/giveaway posts.   But then I thought hmm... perhaps not the most sponsor-friendly way of proceeding?

Basically, the deal is that with the upcoming holiday season, I've been getting a lot of product review pitches. "Hey Crabby," the friendly PR folks will write, "We've got a nifty new fitness gadget/pair of shoes/natural supplement/self-help book/spa vacation blog conference you might be interested in, wanna give it a go?"  And being insanely greedy curious, my natural response has been:  "Free Stuff? Hell yeah--here's my address, send it right over!"

And you know how you go to Costco and they have a bunch of free sample tables going, and even if you already ate lunch and wouldn't normally keep sampling more and more and more and more things, somehow the notion of "FREE" does this sneaky zombie trick and eats up your normally rational brain cells and replaces them with useless protoplasm and so you keep saying "yes please! yes please! yes please!" to every hairnetted purveyor of snack items because hey, it's FREE!! and then all of a sudden after the 17th sample you remember there may be consequences?

Well, that's kinda what happened.  I kept saying "yes please!" to PR people, things took a while to get to me and for me to assess them, and now I owe a boatload of giveaways and reviews before the Christmas buying season is over.

But I'm also going to try to squeeze in actual health and fitness information wherever relevant, and you'll get a chance to win stuff whenever I was able to extort find giveaway opportunities. (Which is almost every time I deal with a PR person, and as you can imagine, they love me for that). And of course there'll be the usual whining, swearing, odd bits of TMI, gratuitious unrelated pictures, pointless digressions, etc.

So in some ways this is an apology, but on the other hand, there are actually a bunch of nifty-sounding products coming up which you may be able to win.

Anyone else ever get in trouble with "Free Stuff?"  Have trouble sleeping?  Have complaints about health blogs that seem to be all about products?  Or just wanna say hi?  And hey, thanks for your patience!


  1. You are an inspiration, Crabby! Life is not perfect, it chugs along at an unflinching pace, and the health and life advice you provide is truly a gift!! Your honesty shows that even leaders such as yourself must identify, face, and overcome life's challenges.
    I am a Crabby fan!! Thank you!!!

  2. I commisserate with the lack of sleep thing. You would think working full time while doing my MSc would tire me out given that I get little sleep but it seems when I sit down to sleep....*nothing*.

    And free stuff? Love it :)

  3. I have gone into shops simply to have their samples. Even when I had gone in yesterday...for the same sample. Not good.
    I love how much you make me laugh in your blog. It' about quality, not quantity, and it's a far better example to make yourself and your loved ones the most important thing over your blog. Rock it, crabby!

  4. Just saying hi! I am lucky enough to be a good sleeper most of the time. On the rare occasion that I suffer a bout of insomnia it really kicks me in the butt and makes me miserable. Hope you get some quality sleep soon!

  5. I agree with the 'don't worry about taking yourself too seriously' point. I'm glad you're back and happy to see your blog whenever it does pop up in my reader. I love having crabbiness in my life to make me feel better when I'm not perpetually cheerful about healthy living. Quality over quantity! And hey, Free stuff is always pretty rad, too (especially if it ships to Canada! haha!)

  6. Responsible blogging!!! It's all about remaining true. There's nothing wrong with curiousity (aka trying the freebies) It's when you pub a product that you don't like but feel you need to be nice to that becomes a problem.

    It's the new age pimping I tell you. We can't sell ourselves short :) We are more than free sneakers!

  7. OMG, you guys are awesome. Am off to the gym to attempt heroic things but will be back later to check in with what everyone's been up to.

    I still insist that Cranky Fitness commenters are the NICEST, SMARTEST, and BESTEST in the blogosphere.

  8. Being one of those rare, intelligent, gentle and patient regulars, I look forward to any blog posts, even if they're spaced out more than usual. Wait. I meant the timing between posts, not the content.

    As a life-long insomniac, I completely understand how it's hard to get by when you're half asleep all the time (even when you're supposed to be fully asleep). Even following all the latest research and good sleep hygiene I struggle to fall and stay asleep. An infrequent Lunesta helps.

    I look forward to your crass cavalcade!

  9. When ever you get around to posting, is OK with me. It's like a little crabby gift in my reader. And what is up with the free stuff brain thingy. I have seen people LINED up at Costco to get a mouthful of whatever. Weird. I however am looking forward to the giveaways.

  10. Free samples don't count.

    Ain't menopause grand?


    That's all I've got today.

  11. Just saying Hi and if you get the urge when you come up for air after all the freebies to do a post on what to do about perimen night sweats...I'll read it from top to bottom.

  12. I just recently started blogging mainly about fitness on my blog, but I use to get a lot of product pitches for make up and even fashion events around the city where I'm required to write a review... I've only taken a couple of them though. I just can't commit to a review, especially if I find that I don't like the product, which happened a couple times. I had absolutely no motivation to write it and didn't want it wasting space on my blog but had to do it anyway so that's why I don't do make up reviews anymore.

  13. Oh, the perimenopausal insomnia! I can relate. I'm new to your blog, but I'm happy to read whenever you post. So take a nap, and go work out, and post at 3 a.m. It's the new me-time, according to the Sunday NY Times. did you see that article?

  14. Thank you, Crabby, for soldiering on anyway.

    Looking forward to your reviews.

  15. You are one of my favorite bloggers because you are so honest. I'm not sure what the heck Mushroom Powder is but I feel as though maybe you're on some psychedelic trip from the 60's and maybe the menopause isn't as bad as you think on your mushroom powder trip.

    Hang in there girl!

  16. Life is for living and I am proud of you for taking some time away from the 'nets to take care of your real-world stuff. I look forward to reading all your coming posts!

  17. I agree, free stuff doesn't count calorie-wise, like the food eaten off your spouse's plate doesn't count.

    I'm trying melantoin for sleeping. It doesn't seem to help as much with falling asleep as with staying asleep. I think that you have to try it for a few weeks.


  18. "Is confessing to be a badly-organized, sleep-deprived excuse-maker perhaps not the best life and wellness coaching marketing technique? "

    Would bring you clientele who want someone who understands them.

    (Perhaps I should try melatonin. I've got the falling asleep part down, but it's tiresome doing it several times a night.)

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  19. You don't need marketing Crabby. We love you because you experience life like the rest of us.

    My last bout of insomnia was cured by combination of flu shot and pizza. This was after trying everything for 3 weeks. Good luck finding your combo

  20. I'm still cheering to have you back on a semi-regular basis. I'll take whatever Crabbiness you can provide.

  21. And here I thought you were going to tell me all about your unusual proposition to be paid as a party girl. Darn misleading photos. :)

    I'll see your menopause related insomnia and raise you a scratchy-hurts-to-swallow throat and sinus trouble waking you every 60-90 minutes with a dry nagging cough that will.not.stop. Ugh. Add in 2 children 5 and under and 1 husband out of town = lots of bad food and no exercise. So yeah, I'll cut you all the slack you need if you'll do the same for me. (Because I think I last updated my blog in like September. Oops.)

    Here's to real life! *clink*

  22. As with AmyG, I totally feel you on how insomnia muzzes up the brain. It's horrible, feeling like you have to think through a fog when everyone else is active, then being almost overly mentally active at a time where it isn't really helpful to you or your business! My current stretch is going on 8 months of 3-4 hrs on average per night if I'm lucky - not much good when I've got a day job!

    It's awesome to see someone else writing about how much insomnia sucks. I send love and hopes that everything else will get better! (I wonder if you could bake a Lunesta into a cupcake....)

  23. I just want to say that I think you are amazing! I will read no matter what cause you can put fun & humor into a post about a dead rat! :-)

    Crabby, I have gone thru every perimenopause to menopause symptom in the book MULTIPLE times & too many to even want to think about. I had the period when I could not sleep more than 30 minutes a night at time.. so basically I kept sleeping & waking up every 30 minutes or so & I was a royal mess for sure so I so understand!!! Check out my post today & go to the item on the Shmirshky links. She has a ton of info on her site & FB page.. although I never got that far when I went thru the lack of sleep stage. And just when I thought it was over, the period came back not too long ago.. will see what happens in a month!

    OK, enough of that! Paying bills has to come first & honestly, when I find a job, I think the blog will go bye bye or just 1 or 2 days a week.... I understand that too.

    As for giveaways, I love winning! :-) But yes, I have had to really think thru pitches I get & turn them down...

    I loved this post! Glad the business is good for you!

  24. I'm sure everyone is long gone by now, but I just wanna say how grateful I am for the support, tips, kind words etc--you guys are awesome (and hilarious!).

    Sadly, though I've been experimenting with melatonin it hasn't helped much. I've got the wake-up-every hour thing, with the escalating periods of wakefulness each time. Perhaps pizza and a lunesta cupcake is the answer!

    Some of you sound like you have/ or have had it even worse than I do... my sympathies! And thanks for cutting me even more than the ordinary amounts of slack.

  25. Wait! I'm not gone.. I just got here. ;)

    The lack of sleep is something I've had to deal with on and off for years. It's better now than it used to be but I'm probably further along in the menopausal trip than you are.

    I found that the worst things to do while I can't sleep is turning on the computer or the television. If I find myself tossing and turning during the night.. a book tends to lull me back.. or at least keep me company.

  26. Not so fast Crabby! There are a few of us that are slow ya know! Ooh, that rhymed.

    Yes, as Hilary mentioned stay away from electronic devices when you wake up. In fact, I don't even turn on lights anymore unless it is really bad, then I just read a bit and try again.

    Oh and I am happy to read when ever you pop up in my reader.

  27. So, a few things.... (not surprisingly)
    #1, HOW DARE YOU SLACK ON ENTERTAINING THE MASSES! (oh, and I hope your trip was safe and you both settle into whatever semblance of a routine you have soon)
    #2, I have totally missed the effed up searches that land people on your blog, wtf, Crabby?
    #3, if you need any assistance with reviewing any items that have been sent your way, I am your hot tempered and impatient servant sent from Hades to help out in any smart ass way I can.
    #4, If you have insomnia, you should TOTALLY be tweeting any and all nonsensical thoughts that pop into your head IMMEDIATELY so that the rest of us know we aren't alone. lol
    #5, Clients before blogging? That's redonkulous! Just because they have money, doesn't mean that they need your help more, even though you need groceries and bills paid more than we need entertainment. BLASPHEMY! lol
    #6, There really isn't a #6, just wanted to mentally draw out your eye roll and possible snicker at my ridiculousness, though you know it's awesome.
    Have a great night, even if it is sleepless.

  28. Mighty mushroom powder? Do tell.

  29. I definitely can relate to the insomnia (after spending the last 6 hours in bed, 4 of them reading 'cause whenever I dozed off over the book, put it down and turned off the light, my eyes popped open and brain got on the express train to sleep-deprived hell)
    I sure hope you find a solution, and share it with us!

  30. I've been in Medellin for a week and just got back. I loved catching up with your blog this morning! I am happy to enter giveaways that do not involve giving out such information as my blood type, sexual preferences, all 122 of my relatives names, the sleep patterns of my dog, receipts of my last food store purchases, the passwords on my bank accounts, etc. When I see one that says I have to add a FB friend and LIKE the sponsors page, I do not bother. I like a little privacy and since more and more we are losing that, I prefer giveaways like yours that just say post an entry. It is not laziness, it is protection from the marketing hounds.
    That said, I have never offered a give a way on my own site and will not do anything that includes
    marketing of foods I do not eat or 'weigh loss systems' I would never use.'

    Now, I hope you are getting some sleep!

  31. Love is never having to say, "I'm sorry," and we all love you, Crabby!

  32. Hi!
    I have another offer for you! ;-)

    I came across your blog in my search for blogs about food and good nutrition. I did not see a section addressing press inquiries , so I am contacting you via this email- hope that is OK!

    We are looking for people to promote our newest consumer downloadable publication.

    "Credible, reliable nutrition information from the American Dietetic Association and the ADA Evidence Analysis Library."

    Please feel free to take your time reviewing, if you choose to do so.


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