January 30, 2013

Resolution Reflections: Can You Believe It?

So as we wrap up the January Resolution Support Group and Giveaway, you may be wondering:

Believe what?  Believe in the invincibility of San Francisco Bay Area sports teams?

Nah, the photo above was just a handy image to use--although as a Bay Area native, I've gotta say: Go 'Niners!

What I actually mean by "it" is:

Believe in Your Own Incredible Ability to Change Your Life for the Better.

And yeah, so why is a self-confessed cranky foul-mouthed skeptic getting all trite and sappy and urging you to believe in yourself?

I know, it's kinda creepy. And possibly annoying.  (On the other hand, readers of Cranky Fitness are renowned for their patience and ability to withstand even the most annoying of blog posts.)

But as I am slowly but surely rewiring my ornery pessimistic brain circuits, I'm discovering that perky hopeful neural connections seem to work a hell of a lot better than grumpy ones when it comes to getting shit done.  And I'm really appreciating the amazing impact that positive expectations can have. Or, if not always positive, at least open-minded and curious.  (Despite much progress, I still have a crapload of work yet to do myself).

One thing I have no doubt about?  The whole "things will suck and there's nothing I can do about it" mindset is Not Helpful At All. 

Do you sometimes have trouble really believing deep down that things will go well for you?  How do you rewire a skeptical brain to be more positive and hopeful?

January 28, 2013

Rugged Reader "Rugged Reader" Giveaway"

And no, the post title is not a typo born of late night sleep-blogging. Nor is it a sign that you're suffering from double vision... though the giveaway does have an optometrical angle!

 Oh Dear!  You Can't Focus on That Lamp?

You see, this a giveaway contest for the rugged readers of Cranky Fitness who'd like to win a cool pair of compact, portable, nearly indestructible "Rugged Reader" eyeglasses. (Canadians too!)

The glasses can be clipped easily onto a pocket.  And, made of tough polycarbonate, they form their own case with rotating arms. (Arms? Wait, that sounds funny! Is there another word for the thingies that hold glasses to your face?). They cost about twenty bucks, which will either sound like a bargain or quite pricey depending on your normal eyeware buying habits.

If the video thing below works, check out the clever design. (And have no fear, you get the gist in 7 seconds and there is no annoying sound track to alert bosses or spouses that you are blogsurfing yet again).

But what if you are too young to need "cheaters?"  Lucky you!   If you don't have any needful close friends or relatives, then you're free to go about your business...

That is, unless you're brave enough to stick around to witness the graphic Eyeglass Ass-Squashing Test undertaken in the Cranky Fitness Laboratories. 

January 21, 2013

Food Tracking: The Good, The Bad, and the Insane

Tracking what you eat: is it the secret key to achieving a healthy body weight, optimal nutrition, and superhuman goal-crushing awesomeness? Or it a one-way ticket to crazytown?

For me, I think it's possible that both are true.

And yep, for those of you who have followed the blog for a while, this may sound familiar. I generally prefer an "intuitive" eating style but every now and then I go on a food and exercise tracking rampage.   Remember my tedious Tips for Counting Calories and my advice about keeping a food or exercise journal or my brief love affair with Jilllian Michaels...er, I mean the BodyMedia Fit armband?

I actually suffer from a psychological malady, though oddly enough not one recognized by the textbooks: intermittent Fitness Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

Is anyone else severely FOC'D too? 

January 16, 2013

Setbacks & Screw-Ups: Resolution Giveaway Week 3

Got a healthy goal or resolution?  Good for you!

But if it hasn't happened already, it will:

You will mess up. You will have a bad day or a bad week or even a bad month.  You will Suck whereas once you Rocked.

So what do you do next? Give up?

Awfully tempting! Because the easiest way to avoid the miserable feeling of disappointment we get from not living up to our aspirations is to stop having any.

It's too hard! I quit! F--ck it!

Or... you could take a deep breath, and figure out how to go forward.

I've got some thoughts, but I'll be really curious what others might have to say about coping with getting back on track after you take your eye off the ball.

January 14, 2013

Quick Weight Loss Exercises; Sculpting Sexy Legs: Ask The Trainer

Time for a new workout? Our trainers have tips!

We've got some very cool stuff in this next edition of "Ask the Personal Trainer."

For one, we have a new panelist, Adria Ali! And Dave put together a couple of great custom videos explaining exactly how to do the quick but challenging workouts he talks about. And as usual, Taylor delivers sound advice you can relate to.

You may notice some common themes among the responses, which is heartening, don't you think? I personally hate it when experts come to opposite conclusions and you have no idea what in hell you're supposed to do next. But the specifics from wise panelists Taylor, Dave and Adria are divergent enough to give you lots of choices.

Join us for some tips on Sexy Legs and Faster Weight Loss. And please feel free to ask a question of your own for future "Ask the Trainer" posts. (And if you already have and it hasn't been answered? Please remind me, as I'm not the most organized crab in the world!)

January 09, 2013

Rock Your Resolution Giveaway, Week 2

If you're joining us late, this post is part of a giveaway contest, which it's not to late to join.   But more importantly, it's intended to be a source of mutual support for those of us trying to acquire some shiny new healthy habits in 2013.  Today's theme?

Find the Joy!

And sure, there's always a bit of suck-it-up self discipline involved in forming a new habit.  If it were totally easy and effortless to make changes, why the hell would we have waited so long?

If broccoli tasted like fresh baked cookies, and if lifting weights felt like a lovely trip to your favorite spa for a massage, and if we were all well-organized stress-free superachievers, there would be little need for all the "resolution" and "willpower" and "this time it will be different" crap.

But just because lifestyle changes require a bit of focus and resolve, they don't have to suck! There are a number of things you can do to make the change process more fun and less miserable. And less misery means a better chance of success, right?

January 07, 2013

Finding the Right Combination

Based on the picture above, what might you guess this post is about?

Hmm, I guess only brilliant/obsessive/imaginary followers of this odd little blog could have any clue.

OK, another hint: here's a similar picture I posted a while back:

Notice what's different? And so what sort of post might you be in for?

January 02, 2013

Resolution 2013: Let's Rock It Together Giveaway

Do you make New Year's Resolutions?

I often do, but at the same time I think they're sort of ridiculous. Should I really expect an arbitrary date on the calendar to yield sudden magical results not obtainable other times of the year?

Yet some of us can't help ourselves. The start of a new year seems to provide a motivational a kick in the pants as well as a cheerful, if delusional, sense of renewed willpower and self-discipline.

So all the gyms will be temporarily packed with bewildered newcomers; sales of diet pills and weight-watcher's frozen dinners will spike; there will be additional purchases of bathroom scales and running shoes and promising home fitness gadgets.

Sorry, Time Machine to Send You back to the 70's Not Included

(And perhaps a few people will even buy a cheap exercise book filled with suggestions and silliness and swear words! Not that any particular humorous fitness ebook comes to mind... even if we do happen to know of one written by an incorrigible search-engine abuser).
Anyway for most people, resolutions and good intentions will fade in a few weeks or days or even a few hours.

But hey, how about this year we do something different?

What if we pick One Damn Thing and focus on it together for an entire month? It doesn't have be a Resolution, either, just any goal or aspiration you'd really like to make some progress on.

Here's my crazy scheme...  (and yeah, there's a giveaway involved, but feel free to ignore it if the whole giveaway/promotional thing is getting too annoying):

Heart and Core Sports Bra/Tank Giveaway Winners

So who are the two winners who get to pick out a sports bra or workout top from Heart and Core?

The random number generator has chosen...