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!

December 07, 2015

Healthy Adventures in... Playa del Carmen

By Crabby McSlacker

So we're back from our trip to Mexico, and to cut to the chase: we had an awesome time!

The "Mayan Coast" is kind of a weird place to spend Thanksgiving though, isn't it? Sun and sand and snorkeling and being far away from family is not exactly the Normal Rockwell version of the holiday.

This is Crabby not even THINKING about stuffing a freakin' turkey.

But we were celebrating our 25th anniversary! We figured this gave us special dispensation to bail on the usual holiday traditions.  (Our 20th anniversary was spent at Beth-Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston due to complications ensuing from my hysterectomy recovery. This sounded a little more fun.)

Anyway, if you are a normal person, when you travel you just say a cheerful "F--ck it" to the whole healthy lifestyle thing and just have a good time.

But I am NOT a normal person. Plus, we travel a fair amount. So I try to be mindful about food and exercise in a way that keeps me from going totally off the rails, but without becoming so obsessed that I drive everyone around me crazy.

So, what's cool about vacationing in Playa del Carmen? And can you do it in a healthy way?