Due to some heavy-duty changes, I am closing down The Holistic Chick blog and starting up a new one:
It is going to be the same content, only I am adding fitness to the mix.
See you there!
Due to some heavy-duty changes, I am closing down The Holistic Chick blog and starting up a new one:
It is going to be the same content, only I am adding fitness to the mix.
See you there!
This is my story about finally getting the guts to go to a gym.
It was something I struggled with for a while. I was afraid I was too fat for the gym. Which is stupid, because why do people go to the gym? I had reached a point where I had to do something with myself, and even though I was out of shape, something had to get me back into shape, right?
So I got a membership (that’s a whole other story) and got myself going. At first I was freaked out, self-conscious, and hypersensitive to my surroundings. After two days, I decided I didn’t care what other people thought, I felt better than I had in years after only two days!
These are the things I figured out when it comes to going to the gym when you’re fat:
1. Get over yourself. If you are all freaked out about what other people are going to think, then you aren’t ready to put in the money, time and effort. Paying for a membership isn’t going to immediately change your outlook, or your behavior. If you aren’t ready to walk into a gym squeezed into a compression sports bra with your head held high, then you aren’t ready for it.
2. No one cares what you look like. I found this to be a hard truth. I figured I was making an absolute fool out of myself huffing and puffing and sweating , but not a single person noticed because they were all too busy concentrating on themselves. This is the truth. If you are in the weight area of your gym, struggling with a five pound weight, the person next to you is too busy staring at their form in the mirror to pay you any matter.
3. Get workout gear. I found working out in ratty shorts and a t-shirt didn’t do anything to boost my self esteem, so I went shopping. I hit the plus-sized workout clothing places and got bras, capris, t-shirts, workout jackets, sneakers, a new iPod, a sports watch, a gym bag…oh yes, I went shopping. It felt good to wear clothes I would only wear at the gym. Workout clothes are much more comfortable to work out in, to be honest. Also, it gives me a reason to wear a screaming lime green workout shirt, as well as neon pink socks. When I put my gear on, I was ready to sweat!
4. People watching in a gym is hilarious. Hauling myself around on an elliptical while watching the Zumba folks come in the front door in all of their Zumba brand gear is fabulous. I had no idea there were shoes especially for Zumba class. Also, the guys who can’t stop feeling their own muscles, the ladies who come in with a face full of make-up…these folks are awesome. There’s this one lady who puts make up on in the locker room right before she goes out onto the equipment floor, and takes a quick flat-iron to her hair. There are the folks who grunt loudly when they lift weights, there are the show-offs, the folks who really don’t know how to use the equipment correctly, and we cannot forget the techno folks. These are the ones who sit on equipment and text. More than once I had to ask someone if they could sit somewhere else because I wanted to get a set in.
5. Get a trainer. I can’t say it enough. Not only will they get you working correctly, they are also supportive and in my experience, protective. My trainer told me if anyone gave me a bad time, to tell her and she would handle it. She’s not someone you mess around with. Really, though. A trainer will get you on a scheduled workout, will guide you through the workouts that will help you, show you how to use the equipment, and will be your cheerleader. There’s nothing worse than using cable-weights the wrong way. If you’re going to sweat a lot, why not make it for a reason? The money I have spent on my trainer has been some of the best money I have spent in my life. Yeah, a trainer can be spendy, but if you find the right one, the money is worth it. I found it helps to be accountable to someone who won’t take excuses.
These are some of the things I discovered on my own. Mind you, when I walked into my gym I had no idea what I was doing and I felt like a fool. I got over all that in a hurry. I am there to get healthy, not to impress anyone. No one has laughed at me yet…in fact, one person came up to me, as I was dripping all over an elliptical, and told me that he was happy to see me in there every day, and that I was an inspiration.
*When I say “fat”, I am saying I walked into the gym over 300 lbs. No joke.
First and foremost, a shout out to the beautiful Lovely Organic for nominating me for a Liebster Award. This blog post is about the award, not the blogger who nominated me. Lovely Organic has a wonderful blog that’s chock full of information, go check it out.
So! The Liebster Award. I have never heard of such thing, so I am going to cut and paste what Lovely Organic wrote regarding what the award is about:
So, what is this Liebster Award you ask? I did a little digging around and I found that this award is typically given to bloggers who have less than 200 followers. Also, it appears the inspiration behind the name of the award is the German word Liebster, which means lovely, valued, beloved, etc.
The rules are as follows. Again, I am going to cut and paste:
1.Post 11 things about yourself.
2. Answer the 11 questions that the nominating blogger set for you.
3. Create 11 questions for the bloggers that you want to tag.
4. Choose 11 bloggers to nominate and link to them in your post. (No tagbacks.)
5. Go to their blogs and let them know.
6. Follow the Tagger and visit at least 3 of the tagged bloggers.
Holy Cow, that’s a lot of work. Don’t get me wrong, the nomination is lovely, but the hoops that you have to jump through that are the “rules”? I don’t even know 11 bloggers, and answering and creating 11 questions seems so redundant. I have a blog simply because my ego tells me people want to read what I have to write. My brain comes up with some odd stuff and I love writing so hey, I put the two together and here I am, out in the blog-o-sphere probably making a huge fool of myself. That’s OK, though.
So really, I appreciate the nomination. I really do. Recognition is always a good thing, but I honestly cannot bring myself to create 11 questions, answer 11 questions, tag this and track back to that, and everything else that is required. As well, I am not comfortable nominating my sister bloggers simply because it’s a requirement, and there really isn’t 11 things anyone needs to know about me. So I once ate a Pop-Tart while walking across a bridge backwards on the fourth rainy Tuesday in May (not really, making a point). Does it matter, really?
Bottom line, really: when I opened my email and saw I was nominated, then saw what the requirements were, the first thing that entered my mind was “oh, I fulfilled one of the 11 requirements”. To me, that’s not how I want my blog to be seen. I don’t blog to become a statistic for some award that demands so much.
So whatever this Leibster Award is, shame on you for making bloggers jump through flaming hoops on nonsense in your circus ring of recognition.
I’m a huncher. No matter how much I try to keep my back pressed up against the , back of my chair, I eventually find myself practically laying on my computer keyboard with my nose pressed against my monitor. Even worse, it’s totally an unconscious thing. I have no idea I am leaning forward until I stop and completely redirect my mind to what my body is doing.
Earlier today, I was typing a Google search entry and I realized I was nearly laying the upper part of my body on the desk. Horrified at myself, I straightened up and heard a cracking sound in my neck as I did so. No pain, but it’s not a sound you want coming from any part of your body.
So, like any savvy blogger, I hit the web to see what I could find on ergonomics and improving my posture, not only for sitting but for standing and walking as well. From what I can tell so far, I am so out of alignment my knuckles might as well be dragging on the floor. The amount of information I found was staggering and inconsistent: sit up straight, do NOT sit up straight, walk carrying weights (also known as the Farmers Walk), do not carry anything heavy. Sit with your feet beneath your hips, pretend there’s a string attached to your head from the ceiling, do a body check every five minutes to see where you are in your posture. Use wrist rests when typing. Don’t forget all of the products that you can purchase to help you with your, including someone to massage you if you’re stiff.
First of all, the massage sounds good. My shoulders bear the weight of all my stress and they are hard as rocks, to the point where I don’t like them being touched, even a simple tap can hurt. I’ve been massaged before, and it’s not a big thrill for me because I have a difficult time with being touched. Same reason why I’ve never had a pedicure. The thought of someone touching my feet frankly freaks me out but that’s a post for another day.
Anyway…I came across a website about sucking in your gut, and how it’s actually beneficial. It doesn’t solve all problems, but it helps strengthen lower back muscles as well as your core. The best website I found for information was here. Yes, it’s a blog about the raw food diet, which is not a turn off for me, I have actually found quite a bit of useful information.
So first things first, I am going to work on strengthening my core. Then maybe my lower back won’t ache when I walk or sometimes, even stand. Sadly, I am parked in front of a computer over 40 hours a week at my jobby-job, and I have got to do something before I turn into a mushroom.
I’ve been writing since I was 10 years old. In other words, pretty much for as long as I can remember. I don’t know which came first, though: my love for office supplies or writing. Could be my writing came from my almost fetish-like adoration of writing supplies, which lead to my full on fetish-like adoration of bags.
I’ve always had to carry a bag, tote or backpack that could also handle my writing supplies. Pens and a notebook or two, the normal 8.5×11 size (I’ve tried the smaller uber cute notebooks but the smaller paper doesn’t get me anywhere, literally) of notebook, so I needed a purse to fit those items, as well as the rest of the stuff I carry. I would alternate between backpacks, messenger bags, tote bags, over-sized purses…anything to carry my writing implements. For over 30 years I have done this and yes, I have quite the collection of handbags and writing supplies, but not anymore.
These days, I no longer need to drag around writing supplies, now that I have my Android phone. After checking out quite a few Android Apps for writing, and after doing a lot of research, I finally figured out a writing system that worked for me: Google Drive.
This wasn’t planned. I started out with Google Docs, then two days after I got that into my phone Docs turned to Drive. In simplistic terms, I can write in the Doc file on my phone, and when I get home to my desktop I can make changes or do more writing on the same documents using Drive as well.
To me this is super super cool. I didn’t want to pay any money for a decent word processor for my phone because that just sounds…well, weird to me. Drive as a free app, which also works with my desktop, is pretty stellar because I can whip out my phone and squeeze a line or two in during work without having to drag out pen and paper, and once I get home I can continue on in the same document.
I like it. I like it a lot. Oh, and did I say it was free?
I was in a search engine kind of mood tonight (in other words, procrastinating like you would not believe) and I came across a brand of cosmetics who had come out with a healthy line of products.
I must say the front page for this line of products (let me call them Exhibit A so I won’t overuse adjectives) was very nice. I was sold simply by reading the description, “100% natural and packed with organic ingredients”. There was mention of Eco-Cert Certification, the packaging was award winning because it was made of an everyday vegetable, the packaging was very attractive and boy, I really liked the color of the lipstick! I dove into the two pages of products, all excited as to the bounty I was going to be faced with.
I am going to number my disappointments:
1. No lipstick. There was lip-gloss, but no lipstick. There was a picture of several shades of lipstick, in the same amazing packaging, but either the company is out, or not advertising it or whatever. Regardless of the reason, it wasn’t available to purchase. I can adapt, so I aimed for the lip-gloss.
2. The Lip-gloss has nice colors, the price is a bit steep at $20 but the price doesn’t matter anymore because right smack dab in the middle of the ingredients is Fragrance (parfum). Those two words are a deal breaker for me, because Fragrance (parfum) can be absolutely anything. Now, Fragrance is known as a trade secret, so companies do NOT have to divulge what the Fragrance is made of. The website tells us Exhibit A’s Lip Gloss is formulated with “natural and organic ingredients”. That is well and good, but what are those ingredients? Traditionally, Fragrance (parfum) is generally known as an umbrella term for synthetic or chemical compounds, so in this Lip Gloss am I to assume the same thing? The website says this line of cosmetics is made without synthetic fragrances, so do I believe it? As I said, seeing that one ingredient is an absolute deal breaker, so I moved on to another product in the line.
3. Pressed Powder! Yipee! Wait…no ingredients listed. NEXT.
4. Loose powder! Well, not too bad, pressed is more purse friendly but…oh wait, first ingredient is talc, which my skin hates. Never mind.
5. Eye Shadows! Soft, muted colors and again first ingredient is talc. Scratch that idea. Even worse, at the end of the ingredient list there’s that phrase that make my eyes roll to the back of my head: “May Contain”. Then there’s a line of letters with numbers. Whatever these letters and numbers mean, are they in the product or not? May Contain? So, if we get a batch that contains whatever it may or may not contain are we better off for it, or is it an accidental batch?
6. Last but not least, in an attempt to find something that I absolutely had to have, I checked out the eyeliner. This time instead of looking at the colors, I went straight to the ingredients, which were rather good save for this horrible mouthful of letters: Ferro Ammonium Ferrocyanide.
All together now, say it five times fast. Typing the word about made me dizzy. To save myself from falling out of my desk chair I copied and pasted the words into my search engine and up popped several cosmetics websites that inform us of chemicals in our cosmetics and their possible toxicity levels, but I bypassed those websites in favor of the one that would prove my point without any sort of bias.
Heck yeah, I went to the FDA. The Federal Drug Administration. The Feds. Their own website. Because hey, if the government says it’s OK to use, why let’s just hop right on that train and ride it to the end of time (insert whatever level of sarcasm you see fit). Seriously, I went to the FDA’s Color Additive Status List. Looks like it was last updated in December 2009? Huh. You have to scroll down, or use the links across the top, to find the section where Ferro Ammonium Ferrocyanide lives. Oh, and List 5? List 5 are the colorants “exempt from certification and permanently listed for DRUG use. (None of these color additives may be used in products that are for use in the area of the eye, unless otherwise indicated.).” Copied and pasted from the List 5 Category.
Now, the list is in alphabetical order, so it’s not difficult to find what the Fed’s have to say about Ferro Ammonium Cyanide. For those who aren’t intrigued by all this, let me quote what it written: “Externally applied drugs, including those for eye area – GMP – 73.1298”. So. This colorant is exempt from certification, and we can use it on the eyes. *raises eyebrows*
So then, I went to an independent website to see what they had to say about Ferro Ammonium Cyanide:
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lists Ferric Ferrocyanide and Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide as color additives exempt from certification. Ferric Ferrocyanide and Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide are safe for use in coloring externally applied cosmetics and personal care products, including products applied to the area of the eye, when these ingredients conform to FDA specifications. Ferric Ferrocyanide and Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide are also allowed to be used in externally applied drugs. These ingredients are not allowed to be used in products intended for use on the lips.
Wait up a second. I can use this product on my eyes, but not on my lips? Is this the reason why cosmetic companies, who have loose, colored powders you can use as either nail polish, eyeliner, eye shadow or lipstick have a disclaimer when certain colors are not to be used on the mouth?
In addition, this product is in a brand of cosmetics that is said as being “100% natural and packed with organic ingredients”.
This is why we need to educate ourselves. The pretty packaging and claims sometimes do not tell us what we need to know before we use a beauty product…
What we should know.
Eating breakfast has never been a popular thing for me. Yes, I know it’s good for me, I’ve read all of the benefits of eating breakfast and the bad things when you don’t. Heck, even my Nurse Practitioner tells me I should eat breakfast. Might as well admit it, every doctor I have had has been trying to get me to eat breakfast.
When I was in my 20’s I worked in demanding jobs and I would either not eat or grab something so I could continue moving. Back then I could handle it (or so I thought) but then I was told I wasn’t getting enough nutrients and my body was in a constant starvation mode, so whatever I ate my body kept because it never knew when it was getting more fuel again. Did I learn? No, not yet, not 20 years later. Now, if I don’t eat I start feeling really ill, but I can still push myself to not eat until the afternoon.
Granted, in real life I work swing shift at my jobby-job, so I don’t start work until 230 in the afternoon three days out of the week. I am generally out of bed around 10 or so, plenty of time to hop online and whatnot before I have to get ready for work. Even with a couple of hours at my disposal I still don’t eat.
The thought of anything other than coffee first thing out of bed makes me nauseous. Sadly, I can consume coffee like no tomorrow, until my stomach starts to complain and I start getting that ill feeling from not eating. Two weeks ago, I completely overdosed on caffeine, so I started drinking half decaf. Then a week ago I started off my week telling myself that I would make a real effort to eat breakfast, instead of starving myself until 4 in the afternoon when I took my first break at work and could run to Starbucks for a bagel with cream cheese.
I didn’t go nuts on the breakfast. I did oatmeal with raisins, which I do love. I ate it. I wasn’t thrilled, but I ate it. I didn’t feel great while I was eating it but it did make a difference as the day went on. After the first day, I figured I could get used to eating in the mornings. So I had more oatmeal with raisins the second day. It was easier getting down than the first day, and I did feel decent as the day went on, again.
Alas, that was it. I lasted two days. I didn’t eat breakfast for the rest of the week. EPIC FAIL. I will try again Monday.
Yesterday, I was asked what I thought about milk. Not raw milk, I’ve no experience with that at all. I’m talking about the pasteurized stuff that comes in the gallon jugs at the grocery store, that comes in chocolate or strawberry flavors, that is served in our schools, that is heavily advertised with pretty people wearing milk mustaches have never seen a product so heavily advertised as being the best thing for our bodies. It is believable, really, until you see the ads are sponsored by the dairy council?
My Milk Story starts with no politics, no indignant feelings towards dairy lobbyists, nothing like that. I simply could not drink it.
I don’t recall if I was lactose intolerant when I was born, or why my mother didn’t give me milk when I was little. Up until the age of 13, when it came to milk I drank soy baby formula in cans. Prosobe, I think it was called, I don’t even know if it’s around anymore, but that’s what I drank, ate my cereal with. I remember the smell of it vividly, and I also remember how to make it: one can, along with three cans of water, made a pitcher. We’re not talking fancy vanilla flavored soy or anything like that, this was the 70’s and soy was NOT flavored back then, and it didn’t come in half gallons. I drank that stuff until I was 13 years old, when I decided it was time to be a grown up and drink real milk for a change. I latched onto the cow and didn’t let go for five years. I drank milk like it was going out of style. I could never get enough of it.
I should stop here and let everyone know that other than a case of the chicken pox, I don’t recall any other childhood illnesses while I was drinking baby soy formula. No ear infections, croup, none of that standard stuff kids always get.
Then I spent five years drinking cow’s milk. Those five years were the sickest years of my life. I was always coming down with throat infections. Not strep, it was never strep, just some sort of infection the emergency room doctors couldn’t figure out, no matter how many throat cultures they did. I would get antibiotics and they would send me on my way. Also, during that time period I got the one and only ear infection I would ever have in my life. It was the most painful experience I have ever had. Having all four wisdom teeth dug (literally) out of my head at the same time was no match for this ear infection. The pain was horrific. I was stuck on horrid amounts of antibiotics for that as well. I will never forget that first night on antibiotics, I didn’t want to miss a dose so I stayed up all night, talking on the phone with my friend Patrick who was sweet to stay up with me. We were on the phone until five in the morning. I never forgot that.
Because of that ear infection, I developed sensitivity to penicillin, and I can no longer take it. Period. As well, that ear infection left me hard of hearing in both ears for two months afterwards. Hard to listen to your Sony Walkman when your ears are inflamed. Shortly after that episode, my mother began seeing a health guru, who got her to change her diet, got her to take out her aggression towards her mother by beating pillows, and got her drinking rice milk and eating all sorts of veggies. Mom was meditating for an hour every night and doing yoga. She seemed so healthy so I decided I would somewhat follow her route. The first thing I gave up was milk because I found out how awful it was for humans, how it caused ear infections and the like. An ear infection was something I was determined never to experience again.
Therefore, I gave up milk, and then the coughing started. I coughed constantly for just over a month. I went to the doctor and I was told my body was getting rid of all of the casein that had built up in my lungs; it was very common for people who quit the dairy to go through a detox process. The garbage coming out of my chest was thick and just nasty, and that was only after drinking milk for five years. Five years! I know people who have consumed milk for years, even decades, and I had all those problems after only five year
I was sold. I wasn’t going to touch milk again. It was easy, no milk and no ice cream, but cheese was tough. I had tried my mom’s cheese alternatives, almond cheese and soy cheese and just no. I went back to my soy milk and figured that was a major step. My mother, who never got the taste for soy, drank rice milk. I admit, soy is an acquired taste. I can’t deny that. Texture as well. Major breakthroughs have been made when it comes to soy milk, but I never did buy the ads that said it tasted just like milk. It doesn’t. Not at all, and the texture is wrong.
So there I was, on my non-dairy kick. By this time, I was in community college, and I was given an assignment to write a paper on something (I really don’t remember what) so I chose to write about how cow’s milk can negatively affect our health. We had to read our papers aloud to the rest of the class as part of the assignment. One of my fellow students actually started crying because I would dare suggest not giving children milk, which is what they needed to grow into strong, healthy adults. She would not listen to a word I said, and thought I was Satan incarnate for even thinking milk was not healthy. I told her I was allergic to it, she said that there must be something wrong with me (it’s called Lactose Intolerance, but I might as well have spoken Klingon to her). I tried to reason with her by giving her facts, but she didn’t want to hear anything bad about milk. As I recall, she left the class in tears. She didn’t speak to me for the rest of the semester.
All that over milk. Wow.
The events I mentioned above occurred about 20 years ago. I never had one of those odd throat infections nor have I had an ear infection since I stopped drinking pasteurized cow’s milk. I know of the political and health reasons to not drink it, but for me, I don’t have to hop on a single bandwagon. Simply, milk does not do my body good.
January is over with. for some, it’s a tough month with the weather and everything else. I can’t believe its February 1st. I had to pinch myself this morning, just to make sure I made it through the night.
Not to say it wasn’t easy, I will be honest. I did catch some sort of cold, but it was the basic upper-respiratory annoying madness. Thankfully, it did not materialize into bronchitis, which seemed to be going around the office (the place is a hot bed of disease, but what office isn’t?) so I lucked out there. Sadly, my cold came up when we were having “weather events” here (read “snow in the lower elevations to include the valley floor”) so I was stuck in town for two days working extra hours.
Needless to say, I survived. In the madness of life I forgot what keeps me going, and that is writing. I’ve always written, and I created this blog because my ego told me I have something to say that others are interested in :). My writing has been sparse…oh heck, can we say non-existent? That’s going to change.
With February here, I am back in the writing saddle. There’s lovely products to talk about for sure, and with the hope of Spring comes my love of Springy-scents. I find myself to be a seasonal gal, as I don’t wear the same things all year round. My moods change with the weather, so I cannot wait for the mail to drop off my lastest acquisition from Nessa’s Naturals. Had I been more on the ball I would have mentioned this before the ordering expiration date, so I do apologize for the lag.
The Pamper Me Set is on its way to me now (and I got one shipped to my dear friend Amy in St. Louis) and I cannot wait. It was made FOR ME in the scent I chose, so it wasn’t grabbed off of some shelf and put in a box. That’s what I love about custom orders, your products aren’t made until you order it.
Out of all the scents available I chose Honeysuckle:
Perfume Roll On (5 ml)
Dry Oil Body Mist (2 oz)
Frosting Sugah Scrub (4 oz)
Frosting Body Cream (4 oz)
Lipstick (in your color choice).
Nessa’s Naturals uses only organic, unrefined, natural and wildcrafted ingredients in her products, so no garbage to worry about. Remember, our skin is our largest organ, so what we use on the outside gets inside as well!
I finally got my umpteenth copy of Of Love and Other Demons today. The entire book is just excellent, but for me, the best quote ever is this:
“The Bishop called him to account in his office and listened without indulgence to his complete unadorned confession, conscious that he was presiding not over a sacrament but a judicial hearing. The only leniency he showed him was to keep the true nature of his sin a secret, yet with no public explanation he stripped him of his dignities and privileges and sent him to the Amor de Dios Hospital to nurse the lepers. Delaura begged for the consolation of saying five-o’clock Mass for them, and the Bishop granted his request. He kneeled with a sense of profound relief, and together they said an Our Father. The Bishop blessed him and helped him to his feet.
“May God have mercy on you,” he said. And erased him from his heart.
Its the last line that shreds me each and every time. And erased him from his heart. *sobs*
If anyone is curious, its the very first paragraph of Chapter 5.
All right, readers. I had to get that last bit out. Thank you for understanding.
We will be back to our regularly scheduled programming soon. I have to talk about the new Magic Vegan Eye Shadow Primer from The All Natural Face, as well as some amazing goodies from Nessa’s Naturals. Owens Acres has a FB page, and Laura has been creating more and more fun things. So much to talk about!
Also want to give a shout out to a new friend, Susan over at Going Green Fabulously.