Sunday, August 26, 2012

My beef with vegans

Do I dare?

Don't take this post too seriously. Lately I have felt off, and it's easy to get a bit judgmental when things seem out of sorts internally. Rather than one more person ripping on Lance for what was obvious, I decided to go in a different direction.

I actually have no problem with vegans. In fact, I applaud anyone who chooses this way of living, especially if the choice is for environmental or moral reasons, not simply because it's in fashion to be one. I'm sure I'm not alone when I freely admit that I'm impressed with how Scott Jeruk conducts his life. The world might be a better place if more people tried to follow his lead when it comes to diet. I realize that generalizations never go over well, so before I jump fully into my post, I will state that the following only applies to a select few in the vegan community. Unfortunately, these few seem to be the most vocal yet the most incapable of presenting ideas and facts in a truthful way.

First let me just put it out there that I don't like when I get so upset that I feel the need to unleash a string of unsympathetic words on someone; however, I get really sick of people jumping on their high horse while incorrectly citing studies in order to support their cause. It's not just vegans, of course, but the number of times I have read an incorrect statement about a study relating to milk, meat or eggs written by a devout vegan is staggering. What amazes me is that sometimes even the study itself, which is often more of a survey, or the authors of the study claim that the results are inconclusive, yet people twist and then spread the news around as if their version of the results were hardcore facts. My feeling is that if you don't know how to read a study and don't understand what the findings mean, don't cite it. Instead, express your thoughts and your opinions on the matter.

Citing a study incorrectly is worse than writing a piece with no references. I don't think people who blindly misuse studies are stupid or anything. Most writers have probably done it at least once, but it shows a lack of attention. I wouldn't be surprised if I have done it in the past, though I attempt to be careful. By the way, does anyone else find it strange that a vegan website or an animal rights activist would cite a study in which lab rats are so obviously mistreated? Dr. Campbell's study with rats exposed to carcinogens is probably one of the most misused and misunderstood experiments I can think of, but it's probably the most (incorrectly) cited in the vegan world. I don't think very many individuals have actually read the study, only the propaganda floating around on the internet relating to it. Unfortunately, people now claim that milk protein causes cancer, which, simply put, is bullshit. The study was inconclusive and none of the rats developed cancer, but I have already gone into great detail with that one. Now non-meat eaters are claiming eating eggs is as bad as smoking. Someone should have told my grandparents who all lived to be healthy and active into their 90's that eating eggs was super BAAAADD for them and could have killed them!

I guess my point in all of this is that one has to be very careful when gathering information, especially from websites and blogs that advertise anything relating to healthy living. Obviously there are informative blogs out there, but anyone jumping on the healthy-living bandwagon is not automatically an expert in health and nutrition. Choosing a certain lifestyle does not suddenly certify anyone as a dietitian either. When I think of healthy living, I can't help but remember the lady who suggested putting sugar-free Jello on EVERYTHING, including carrots, as if that's some kind of well-balance diet. Sadly, some very unwell people can throw a healthy-living title on their blog and get unsuspecting readers to believe that what they present is valid. Here's a good article on the topic of these kinds of blogs possibly not being all they claim to be: Healthy-Living Blogs. 

If you say things like, "I can't believe how easy it is to be vegan and don't understand why anyone wouldn't choose this lifestyle," you probably have never dealt with many health issues. Good for you. Also, the more you imply my choice to eat a more well-rounded diet is due to a lack of intelligence, the more I will point out your inability to properly understand and cite scientific studies.  Again, I have mad respect for those those who choose to be vegan. I have often contemplated the idea of becoming one myself, only my past experiences of being so sick on a vegan diet hold me back. However, I sort of want to try again just so I can NOT shove my lifestyle down people's throats.

Where are the vegans standing up for these guys? 

Well, aren't I the critical one today? 

In other news, I have started to work again on my novel. It's funny how something that seemed so brilliant at one point can seem downright lame several months down the road. Ahh, writing is rewriting, as they say.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Mike Sandrock: Diane Israel article

Diane Israel Daily Camera article

Another great article on Diane Israel was written recently. In it, she talks about the fear of success.  From the article: "I left my race in my training," she explained. "I did that all the time. It was an excuse for me not to do well and not be as great as I could be." I have mentioned self-sabotage before, because later in my career I did it too. More than being afraid of success though, I was caught up in my addiction. I started sacrificing the potential of being great on race day for feeling OK the days leading up to the race. In other words, rather than sit with uncomfortable feelings and fears that arise when tapering, I caved into my addiction and OCD patterns. I'm sure there was an aspect of wanting to have something to blame a poor performance on, but it was really about being unable to curb the addiction. 

Diane's film, Beauty Mark, will be showing in Boulder on Wednesday August 29th at 7PM at Shine on 13th street. Admission is $5.00. For those of you who have not seen the movie, I hope you can make it. It is truly a brilliant piece of work. 

Racing Flatz

For years now, I have missed out on one part of the pre-race ritual, putting on racing flats. I never wore them in workouts in high school. Some people wear them any time the pace is faster than a jog. It was too risky for me to strap my feet into lightweight footwear, because I was a bit injury prone. As a result, I only wore them in races. My high school coach kept me in either training shoes or racing flats, period.  Eventually, my college coach coaxed me into my first pair of spikes. I think I wore them a total of two times, once for the the regional race and again at nationals in cross-country. I sort of miss being able to switch shoes before races. More than liking the idea of something to give me an edge when running faster, being stuck in clunky training shoes is a reminder that I'm not 100 percent and will never really be. That said, I am doing everything I can to cope with the imbalance. Despite feeling slightly wobbly and lopsided as I make my way around the track or pick up the pace in a race, I consider what I am doing running, RUNNING. I'll take the tape and heavy shoes in races, because I don't think I could really run without them. Everyone has to deal with issues. All I need to do is keep moving forward, right? This fall, I might try some new healing techniques. I'll give more details when I find out more.

Disappointment fell on me hard at the track yesterday morning. I could not seem to get my legs to to turn over while attempting a few 400/800 sets. Meanwhile, another lady there was blowing through a million 200's, looking like a petite version of the terminator. I was slightly embarrassed that I was lumbering around the track, feeling like 7-minute pace was a huge effort. Running is a different sport for me these days. Long ago, my goal was to run as fast as possible. My new goal is to move in a forward direction as fast as I can without breaking. There's a HUGE difference in this kind of running. It's kind of the equivalent of consuming as much liquid as possible through a straw with holes in it. It works, but the results are limited.

Running is not the same activity it once was for me, but running in general has also changed a huge amount since the 80's, when I started. There are all kinds of new training methods, more information on how to recover and improvements in equipment. One thing that I have thought about more lately is how many runners are doping, but that's nothing new. Years ago I met an ultra girl who used something to improve her performance, even though she was new to the semi-elite scene. Some friends and I used to joke about the need for different kinds of races, those for users and those for regular people, but people would probably cheat anyway. It did make me wonder exactly how many runners who aren't even in the elite category use, but that's an aside, a topic that deserves a full post some day.

Back to the track...

My biggest problem, form issues aside, is not knowing pace. My other problem is simply being slow. I don't know if it's because I was tired yesterday or getting too much in my head, but I could not seem to break out of a pace that was just under 7-minute miles, even when I told myself to "let 'er rip!" Well, I didn't actually tell myself that, but I did attempt to get my legs going faster. Strange that my heart and lungs feel OK at that pace, but my body seems to be struggling. Solo workouts when things are not going too smoothly are not much fun. I'm not sure if having someone there would have been helpful, but I seem to need something I'm not getting at the moment. Sigh.

More later. I've been doing a few interviews for a project I'm working on, and I will have much to share down the road.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Tight butt

I KNOW there are plenty of people who have had this condition. It's not exactly piriformis syndrome, but it's something similar. Actually, it might be that, but my sciatic nerve doesn't seem to be involved too much at this point. All I know is that my butt is tight, really tight. It's so wadded up, in fact, that it limits my stride, and going uphill is difficult. Did you all hear that? Going UPHILL is difficult. AAK ~ I can't have that! This tightness is what I experienced in the Aids 5K race. My body tightened up, and I couldn't find my stride. All my zoom was gone. In an effort to correct this problem, I'm rolling, strengthening and stretching, and these actions are helping, I think. However, I can tell that I lose strength the tighter my poor butt becomes.

Doing the ouch shuffle.

The situation with my inflexible behind didn't cause me too many problems when I ran on Saturday. Despite feeling drained from getting my period after the race, I decided I would warm up into a nice tempo run on the trails. Unfortunately, things didn't go quite as planned. On the other hand, I got to run with some speedy girls for a little while, which was fun, even though it hurt. I guess I was not mentally into pushing myself that day, because I was having some thoughts about being easy on myself before and quitting during my run. Sometimes I feel like I get emotional about pushing it, so my goal was to ease into things. Instead, two former CU runners breezed by me on my warm-up jog. I decided to try to keep up, because their easy pace looked like it might be close to my tempo pace, and it had been forever since I last had company on a run. I sort of got in over my head, even though we were talking while heading up a big hill on the trails. One of the girls went ahead, and the other was nice enough to run with me. 12 minutes into it, I was feeling like I was beat. Fortunately, the two turned off onto a different path, and I continued up the hill after thanking them for the company. Wow, I was feeling whiny at the end of my 20-minute effort. I pretty much slowed to a slog after they turned off, and my grand plans of gradually getting faster as the session continued were shot. It's not so much that I was hurting, it was more that I didn't have the opmph I needed to get to the end feeling strong. Well, I'm glad I got through it. The girls were an inspiration. They looked so smooth and comfortable at their faster pace. Sigh.


I'm convinced spiders know my deep fear. They seem to taunt me and appear out of nowhere just to make me shudder. Tonight, one sneaky little bugger climbed up to the top of my computer where it sat behind my the screen with two of its legs barely hanging over the edge. At first I thought I was seeing things. Hoping it was dust or some oddly shaped and colored cat hair (but knowing it probably wasn't), I scooted away from the table and leapt into action, throwing the newspaper at it and then fleeing the scene. I have no idea where it is now, and I assume it will find and eat me while I sleep. No wonder I'm an insomniac. The last time I had an encounter with a spider, I was doing sit-ups, and one magically appeared from the ceiling to torment me, riding its little silken rope down close to my face, its legs spread wide in full "let's scare humans" mode. I bet he was anticipating a mid-afternoon snack. Before he could attack me though, I pulled a wild ninja move, doing some kind of flip roll which landed me on my feet running. Probably my worst spider experience was waking up to one on my shoulder. I don't think I have ever jumped so high. I hate those things.

I would post a picture of an icky spider here, but I couldn't even look at the google images that came up when I searched for one. That reminds me about my trip to McGuckin Hardware store a few years ago when I was searching for one of those gadgets that plug into the wall and emit a sound that is supposed to keep creepy critters away but is also safe for pets. When I asked the sales clerk about these humane products, he said they didn't carry them and insisted I take a look at the spider traps in the pest control aisle instead. I don't know who the genius in marketing is who decided that putting an ugly, dangerous looking spider on the box of a bug trap was a good idea, but I will say that I probably made a fool of myself when I squealed and turned, backing out of the area with my hands shielding my eyes. Needless to say, I did not walk out of the store with anything that day. GAH!

Back to running...
It looks like the results of the 5K are in, and I ran 21:39. I'm OK with that for now. The two ladies who were ahead were 14 and 19. last year I ran 21:41, so yay to two seconds faster this year! 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Feeling small

This is amazing. I know the video is a few years old, but it's still as impressive as the first time I watched it:


And this is fun:

Monday, August 13, 2012

The center of the universe

I took the day off today. I was mentally tired. That sounds funny, but it's usually a sign that I'm physically tired too. My legs are feeling better than I thought they would though, so that is good news. The funny thing is that I started to go for a run, and my mind kept bailing on me. I figured it was going to be a long battle if I kept going, so I turned back and decided to enjoy a rest day, even though yesterday was pretty much one too. It has been a long time since I have taken an extra day off, and I know in the spring I was doing that quite a bit. BTW, has anyone ever had a sneeze attack after a race? I could NOT stop sneezing for two days! I don't know what happened there.

the level of productivity I reached today

A lady once told me to stop acting like I was on center stage. She was a former model, and believed for a long time that all eyes were constantly on her. Then one day at a show, she was walking down the runway with the hot, bright lights on her, and she somehow managed to fall off the end of the stage and into the audience. Horrified, she raced back to the dressing area, missed her next run but was able to get dressed and back on the runway for her third outfit showing. She was convinced her career was over, that she would be laughed out of modeling, but the reality was that almost nobody noticed. Well, the people she fell on noticed, but otherwise, everyone was too consumed with their own shit to put much thought into what had happened, and there were plenty of people who simply didn't see her tumble. Of course the designer and people in the show were aware, but "the show must go on" motto was taken seriously, so it did. She told me that this incident helped her be less frantic in life, because she realized that people are more concerned with their own internal dialogue than with what other people are doing. My dad used to say that half the people in the world don't care about your problems, and the other half are glad about them. I don't believe that, but I am starting to realize that most people are not going to spend much time examining others when they have their own worries. This lady I mentioned had an eating disorder, but seemed to be more healthy in life after she stopped modeling.

So many of us walk around as if everyone is judging us. We assume people think certain things about us and feel like the world is watching, waiting for us to screw up or stumble. I have come a long way in terms of not getting too caught up in feeling constantly scrutinized, but I still have my moments of insecurity. What I really need to learn is to not take other people's bad behavior personally. I could have used a reminder the other night when I was snubbed by someone and felt hurt. Instead of thinking, wow, this lady has a problem, I immediately, thought, "Oh no, what have I done? Why am I not good enough?" The more I thought about it though, the more I realized that I'm not the one with the issue. Still, I hate when an effort to be nice is met with the opposite. And why is it that I'm the one walking away feeling bad? Why did I bother? In sharp contrast to this encounter, almost immediately after, I ran into someone who greeted me with a big smile and a hug, which made me feel much better. It also made me realize that I need to stop basing how I feel on how others react to me. We are social creatures though, so I'm sure I'm not alone in wanting to feel accepted. Yes, I'm overly sensitive, but I don't feel it takes a big effort to be polite.

My sister reminded me some time ago that it's OK to not be liked by others. I don't like everyone, so why should I expect everyone to like me?  Sometimes we like someone, but the feelings are not mutual. In rare instances, it's possible to like someone but discover it's unhealthy to be around that person. Years ago I had a friend who tended to take advantage of people in her circle. She did it to me one too many times, and I finally had to draw the line. The relationship was too unhealthy to continue. It's rare that I get to a point where I feel a solution can't be found, but it does happen. Recently, a distant relative ended a 15 year marriage, because she could no longer take the verbal and sometimes physical abuse of her alcoholic husband. Things are always more complicated when addiction is thrown into relationships, but his behavior was what drove her away.

What I have learned in life is that the saying about sticks and stones breaking bones and words never hurting is a bunch of bullshit. Words hurt. They scar and wound just as deeply as a physical injury, sometimes even more so. Actions hurt too.

Damn, I've spent so much time censoring what I write in this post, that I don't even know where I'm going with it. I guess I'm not quite ready to share some bigger issues that have been on my mind lately. Those will have to wait.

I think I'm having a bit of the post race blues. I can't seem to stop crying all of a sudden. At the same time, I feel pretty lucky to have some very supportive friends in my life these days. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Aids Run/Walk 2012

I am happy to report that I got myself both to the start and the finish of a 5K this year with all body parts intact. I picked the Aids run, because I had a really good time when I ran it last year. Also, some friends were participating in the walk event, and I wanted to catch them after the race. Before I get to all the gory details, let me say that this year I didn't encounter a single snotty person. Last year I had that incident with a meanie at the start line. It was a really fun day, and I even got to hang out with my friends after the race, something I usually don't have time to do. There was a beer garden, so we sat and had drinks and a good conversation.

When I ran the race last year, the start was delayed by quite a bit. This year it started early! AAK! I don't know which is better, a late or an early start, but I felt a bit flustered this time. I wasn't quite ready to go, and right as I was running up past the start line, the gun went off..or actually someone shouted, "GO!" I turned around as fast as I could, fiddled with my watch as I was picking up the pace and tried not to panic. However, I was not far from the leaders, so I focused on staying strong. Wow, it's weird when you don't have time to mentally prepare for the race! I hit the first hill with some power, but I could tell my legs weren't as fresh as I had hoped they would be. Still, I was determined to have a solid first mile. 5:12. What? I giggled and thought, "Yeah, I WISH!" I knew something was off with the timing. I was afraid to look at my watch, so I waited a little bit. Then I forced myself to look down. 6:20. That seemed more realistic but faster than I anticipated for where I am right now. Last year the mile seemed too long, and my time was supposedly 7 something, which I knew it wasn't, so, clearly there's something off with the time on that first mile and possibly with the entire race as well. I don't think I ran a 20 something, even though that's what my "official" time was, because my watch read something faster than 22 minutes but over 21 minutes. It was hard to tell, because I started it late, and stopped it late too. 

The muddled miles? 

I fell asleep. I did exactly what I told myself I wouldn't do and got afraid to really push it. Instead, I got into a steady state. I was making an effort to be competitive, but this is where my lack of training started to show. My heart and lungs were fine, but my body seemed stiff. Still, I made a big move passing a guy as we entered the park with about a mile left. He jokingly yelled at me, asking if he was slowing down. Just when I'm thinking, "sweet- a nice little uphill to make an even BIGGER move," the unthinkable happens; my body tightens even more. It's hot. I'm really thirsty, despite taking as much water possible at the two water stations, and I feel my confidence waning. I'm not running smoothly up this thing and can't seem to find my stride. It feels awfully limited and short. Then, BOOM the guy passes me back like I'm standing still. DAMN! I yell something encouraging to him with the full knowledge that he knows how bummed I am that he is ahead again, but I hang on as well as I can. 

Continuing up the slight incline (man I wonder how I would have done had this been a REAL hill!), I see a lady in front of me. I'm thinking I can catch her, so I hold steady. I'm not sure what I was waiting for, but my mind seemed confident that I would pass her without making much more of an effort. Unfortunately, reality was setting in, and I know how short a 5K can be. The finish line was bound to be coming up soon, and I hadn't yet impressed anyone. I was closing the gap, trying to tell myself to dig deep and GO FOR IT!! But it wasn't  happening. Had the race been a half mile longer, it's likely I could have caught her simply by keeping my workhorse pace, but my dreams of being like a thoroughbred, galloping for the finish line, were not manifesting, and my "GO LIZE GO!" mantra was being met with all kind of internal resistance. The gap continued to close, but I never got to that all out sprint phase of the race. Was it fear, not being conditioned, or being out of race mode too long? It's hard to say, but it's clear that I need to work on both fitness and confidence. Before I knew it, the race was over, and I was dumping an entire water bottle over my head in an effort to cool down. 

I don't know what my actual time was. I worry that the times in the results are a bit fast, and my watch was a bit slow because of the way I started. Chances are I ran about what I ran last year, only it was a very different race. I attacked the first mile this time, which I wanted to do, but it's the middle and end of the race that need work. A third place finish was awesome though, and I'm really stoked that I was able to run with almost no foot pain. Last year I could hardly walk after this race, but this year my foot was only a little bit sore. I'll watch it and take the next few days off/easy. The imbalances are there, but I'm going to address them as much as possible. In fact, I have an appointment with Mark Plaatjes next week for some PT. Which reminds me, I won a gift card to the Boulder Running Company ~ WOOT! That made me jump for joy, because I am in such dire need of new running clothes! 

Now I have an odd question for my readers. I recently went to watch a race in Boulder. There were several races with family, masters, competitive women and competitive men divisions. The competitive women's field was deep, really deep. How cool that a 45-year-old lady won it too, but I digress. There were some incredibly strong runners of all ages in that group. My question is this: Why would several women choose to run in the competitive men's division if their times are not fast enough to win the women's division? I could see this if the women's field wasn't too strong, and someone was preparing for a specific race, wanting to have some good competition, but I can't seem to come up with a good reason why anyone would do this otherwise. It seems a little bit odd to me, but maybe there's a good reason to do it? I don't know. Anyone have any ideas? I'm mostly just curious, because the people I was standing with and I could not figure it out that day. ETA: OK, I got a good response from someone who told me that the races all started early that night. Chances are that all the ladies who were in the men's race missed the start of their race. I knew there had to be a logical explanation. I just couldn't think of one at the time. 

Well, I'm quite stinky and need a shower before work. This post is very rushed and not well written, but I wanted to put my thoughts down before I get into a different space or forget all the little details. I had fun. It was a good day. There was even a live band playing 80's music after! Yes, I have a LONG way to go, but I'm thrilled to be starting here. 

I need this little guy's energy for my next race:

ETA: Some pics from after the race:
At the beer garden

Hanging out with Team Simon

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Women's Bodies In the Olympics

Charlotte Dujardin
First a big congratulations to Charlotte Dujardin who has won a second gold for Britain by capturing the win in the individual dressage competition!

I have not yet heard a single controversial comment about the weight of a male competitor in the Olympic games, nor have I heard anything derogatory about a guy's looks. On the contrary, I did hear quite a bit about the sex appeal of one male swimmer. It seems no matter how successful a woman is, there have to be additional comments about her appearance. let's just take her down a notch, shall we? History making gold medallist, Gabby Douglas, while beautifully accomplishing her goals at the games has been criticized for her hair, of all things. Now, instead of focusing on her outstanding performances, everyone is all wrapped up in commenting on her hair, her friends and family defending her, and critics making rude comments about it. Nobody in Gabby's position should have to be concerned with anything other than her sport, but, unfortunately, criticism about how she looks is inescapable. We live in a world where women have not yet been able to avoid being judged on outer appearance, no matter how successful and accomplished they may be. This was also the case in the 1950's when Rosalind Franklin was horribly criticized by Watson and Crick for her looks and what she wore, despite her contributions in the science world. It's not just athletes who are subjected to harsh criticism.


Holly Mangold is accustomed to being in the spotlight, not just because of her successes and barrier breaking moves in sports. No, her name is well-known because of her size. In one of those backhanded compliments, one article claimed, "You could fit a half-dozen Lolo Joneses into Holley Mangold’s singlet, maybe more." The author then encouraged readers to not measure her in this way. Too late, you just opened that door. Let me ask you this question: Have you ever heard such derogatory commentary about a male weightlifter at the Olympics? Leisel Jones, nine-time Olympic medallist, was scrutinized in the public eye when her weight became an issue in the media. Forget that she qualified for her event and won a medal swimming with her team, let's focus on how much she weighs and how she looks in her bathing suit. Even the most qualified in the world are subject to some pie in the sky standard of beauty that really shouldn't apply to anyone. But we are taught from a young age that we are not OK as we are. Every girl knows that she need some scientifically-formulated smart molecule that's clinically proven to make her prettier.

Leisel Jones 2012

Even those who are considered to be acceptable in the looks department are criticized if they then attempt to use this to their advantage. Here is a really interesting blog post about Lolo Jones that addresses this and much more. The previous Fit and Feminist post addresses much of what I point out here. Check out both if you can. As a woman, you can't win. Either you're too ugly or fat or you look great but aren't allowed to flaunt it. We are put down if we play their game or stand our ground. Is it true that women must be kept in a box? We can't just go out and do our sport, we must also look a certain way, a way that society dictates. Women are still attempting to push forward in sports and be taken seriously. There have been huge steps forward in this Olympics, but there is still a long way to go. The one good thing I have seen is that more people are willing to counter these disturbing belittling comments against women in sports. I hope that trend continues and we can support all female athletes more fully in the next Olympics.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Before diving into this one, let me say first that I understand that there are a few sites that are called Pro-Ana that claim to be supportive environments for those seeking treatment for anorexia. I question the terminology. The name itself could be triggering, as it implies there is something positive about being anorexic, but supposedly there are non-judgemental environments that call themselves Pro-Ana. Unfortunately, the term usually does not refer to these types of sites, if they actually do exist, and people don't often associate a supportive environment with anything Pro-Ana related. What, you think we are that stupid? To be clear, what I have posted below does not address these kinds of supposedly supportive communities. I'm talking about the sites that blatantly encourage destructive and unhealthy behavior. Perhaps the best criticism of ALL of these types of websites comes from ANAD. They state that Pro-Ana sites "can pose a serious threat to some individuals, not simply because they promote eating disorder behaviors, but because they build a sense of community that is unhealthy. They lure the impressionable and persuade them that the Pro-Ana community is providing caring and nurturing advice." 

Even at my worst, I was smart enough to know that what I was doing was unhealthy and dangerous. I was caught in the addiction though. Can you imagine a pro-alcoholic website? How messed up would that be? Yet there are people who actually think promoting thin in excess is OK. I would NEVER want to inflict what I went through on anyone, period. 

Of course I could probably leave it alone after stating that these websites are ridiculous, but I'm all fired up about it today and will say a bit more.

I have finally taken the plunge and stuck my nose where it doesn't belong. Yes, I looked at a few of those "Pr0-AnA" websites, many of which are really nothing more than a few women with bloated egos trying to pass regular dieting tips off as something extraordinary. One bit of "advice" on a website I saw was for people trying to lose weight to drink more water. Oh yes, because that has never been suggested in any diet regimen before. Brilliant! Another one suggested not following a diet plan. Hey, that almost sounds reasonable. Oh wait, that might be because I saw the same bit of advice in a health magazine. Stick "Pro-Ana" in there for some controversy, and everyone is bound to take a peek though. I did not see mention of orange juice flavored cotton balls, which is a good thing.

There are a few really sicko websites that actually do openly promote anorexia, complete with pictures, but there are others claiming they are aren't quite like that. Both are fucked up and should be ignored. Let's face it, nobody in their right mind would actually think promoting the hell that is anorexia is a good idea, but, oh wow, if someone can make a buck on incorrectly used terminology, stir up a fuss or generate some attention, WOOHOOO ! Jackpot!! why not? Yes, I'm talking to you, Thinspiration people. Well, here's why not, because there are plenty of truly sick individuals out there who don't need to be told that being thin is the only way to succeed and be accepted in life. And wow, let me tell you from first hand experience that thin, especially the kind of thin associated with anorexia, does not equal happy. Those who really struggle with anorexia know the torment and desperation of being stuck in an illness with little to no hope of ever reaching any kind of a normal life. Forget striving for happiness, most anorexics are desperate and would be content to be out of their suffering. They are generally MISERABLE and long not to be happy or to look good in a pair of jeans, but to just be out of their mental anguish. It's not surprising that many anorexics commit suicide, so anyone trying to inflict this "lifestyle" on someone else, for real or in jest, is truly evil or certifiably nuts.

There are only a few times I think free speech should be tampered with, but I also realize that shutting down some of these idiotic websites would be a violation of someone's rights. However, just because someone has the legal right to do something doesn't mean they should. The Westboro Baptist Church protests come to mind too. Still, these kind of Pro-Ana sites can be so incredibly damaging to young girls and boys and also to those susceptible to eating disorders. It's sad that anyone would stoop to these levels. Sometimes it's better to keep unhealthy thoughts in your brain and not subject the world to your own problems by promoting a disorder that kills more people than all other mental illnesses combined. The whole concept is revolting to me. As someone who nearly died from anorexia, I can tell anyone willing to listen that being thin isn't a nice little side effect of the illness. Anorexia wrecked my body, my mind and my spirit. It caused me to convulse in seizures, lose my hair, ruin my skin and partially shut down my organs. It took YEARS and years of struggling and HARD work to even BEGIN to recover. Sure, I'm in a much better place now, but I'm among the lucky few. I'm all too aware of the statistics out there. There are so many things wrong with referring to diet tips as "Pro-Ana," and the whole "thinspiration" bullshit is equally disturbing. Call it what it is at least, a sad and pathetic cry for attention at the expense of some who may really be suffering.

For parents who are rightfully worried about these absurd trends in websites, I might suggest looking into filtering software for your children.

And dear Kate, I beg to differ with your "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels" motto. The kind of skinny I experienced was painful and lonely. Maybe if you got your nose out of the yay long enough, you might realize how off base this saying is, but since everything feels pretty damn fine on the white stuff, you will likely keep spreading this crap.

Those who judge others based solely on their weight need help. I just read an article about people and the media calling some of the women competing in the Olympic games fat, as if this is even accurate or relevant. For fuck's sake! Apparently, if you're not air-brushed, exceptionally beautiful and emaciated, you're up for criticism, no matter how successful you are in what you do. The sad and scary thing is that some people are starting to call normal or even thin people fat. What the hell?

Well, that was my little rant for the morning. grrr

In much funnier news, I have wasted a tremendous amount of time with a few friends on facebook coming up with new movie titles by replacing one word of an existing title with the word bacon. My recent contribution was "Bacon flew over the cuckoo's nest." It's loads of fun, and my friend now has quite a long list of pretty hilarious titles. Creating these movie names is also highly addictive, and I can't seem to stop thinking in bacon now.

Now for something a little bit more uplifting, something I am working on today, even though it's not easy at the moment:

ETA: you know what's unbearably sad? Most of the blogs and forums associated with Pro-Ana are filled with talk about scales, what people have eaten and how much they exercised- all the things I was so desperate to escape in the throes of my illness. Thank FSM I am out of that nightmare now. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Real sports

Jumping- photo from

I finally got to see a bit of the equestrian competitions. It's hard to believe it took me this long to find time to do it, but I was glad there were a few nice recorded videos of both cross country and jumping. For some really fabulous commentary on what has taken place, take a look at this blog: Horse Junkies United It's one of the best blogs around, even for those not into horses! By the way, I'm really pissed off at this guy on facebook who implied that dressage isn't a sport, because a 71-year old man is competing. If you're going to rip on a sport just because an older individual is participating, remember first that a 64-year old man won gold in archery in the early 1900's, and a 53-year old woman won gold in that same event.

I would love to tell this guy who thinks dressage isn't a real sport to get on a horse and merely walk for 40 minutes. I bet he would be very sore after that, and then maybe he would shut up about it. I'm not into taking a stand with people who are so naive. It's not worth it to point out to someone who clearly isn't thinking things through that certain sports require a tremendous amount of skill while others require more strength. At least he left jumping and cross country out of his put down, but what he probably doesn't realize is that dressage riders work for years and years to perfect their style. It's an exercise that actually requires both strength and skill. The leg strength of any elite rider is usually pretty impressive. In this SPORT, it's more about the horse, but the rider has to be able to get the horse to perform. They have to be able to move together. In that sense, both the horse and the rider have to be athletes. I will note too, even though it's unrelated, that equestrian is the only Olympic event in which men and women compete on an even playing field and together. Anyway, check out the Horse junkies United blog, because it is so well done. The bloggers obviously know their subject matter. The pictures are amazing, and the writing is great. You will love it!


Threatening yarn
Has anyone been following the controversial Ravelympics? Apparently, the IOC got pretty upset when some knitters wanted to have their version of the Olympic games. I think if I were an Olympic athlete competing in the games, I probably wouldn't be offended if someone wanted to call their yarn evens the Ravelympics. Who's to say that these knitters haven't spent countless hours perfecting what they do? I can't knit, so maybe that's why I feel this way. I sort of get the outrage, but I think the grumpy letter written to the knitters was a bit extreme and very unkind.

I missed the women's marathon, but I don't think I will watch it. I did catch the men's 10,000, and wow I was glad I did! What a finish. It's still hard for me to watch running races. I noticed that it is getting a little bit easier to follow the men though. The speed of these athletes is just unreal! In time, I will probably be able to watch more of the women's events without getting that sick feeling in my stomach. I gotta keep letting go of resentment and regret and accept both my past and where I am now.

men's 10,000

I'm slightly embarrassed that I was sore and tired (and a little cranky) all week after my little track adventure. Wow. I really need to figure out a way to recover more quickly after those kinds of efforts. I did do a nice tempo run on the trails on Saturday, not going hard but not slacking too much either. It was a little bit cooler Saturday, and I even ended up needing a t-shirt, despite leaving later in the morning. Today I'm going to be hitting the heat, because I slept in late. It's my day off from my main job, so I took advantage. The other job-related things I need to do can wait. I'll be leaving the tee behind and carrying water today, no doubt. 

I'm bumming, because I left my little green spiky rehab ball where I was house-sitting. I seem to do better if I can roll my foot around on it for a bit before heading out on a run. I'll have to use something else until I can get it again, but I'm definitely feeling like something is missing. 

Well, I'm really just rambling today. I'll have to write something more interesting later this week. I will say that this month is the month my agent will be sending out my revised manuscript and proposal, probably toward the end of the month. If anyone wants to send some positive vibes, encouraging a publisher to take a chance with my work, I would very much appreciate it. I so want my book to be published this year. It has been a LONG wait. 

Oh! And wow that was so cool to see the landing on Mars! WooHoo!! Why this wasn't on the front page of our local paper is beyond me, but I guess a story on the use of fresh manure was more important. At least they have updated their online page to make note of this event. 

Image from Mars!

Friday, August 3, 2012

For my music-loving readers

A few great free videos about DJ's, remixing, piracy, turntablism and the evolution of music:



Copyright Criminals