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2010 in review

January 2, 2011

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 2,300 times in 2010. That’s about 6 full 747s.


In 2010, there were 52 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 24 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 10mb. That’s about 2 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was May 6th with 84 views. The most popular post that day was Workout #1: In Which Running Does Not Kill Me.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for strongcore/, strongcore, absolution+work outs, fat people jogging, and fat peope need to work out.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Workout #1: In Which Running Does Not Kill Me May 2010
1 comment


It’s time to sit up straight. May 2010


Fat People Need To Run (Or Bike, Swim, Walk, Ski…) October 2010
1 comment


ABSolution! April 2010


ABSolution! Field Reporter#1: Meet Carrie April 2010
1 comment


I will work out and eat my cake too.

October 28, 2010

Riveting, I know. What a title.

It’s been a journey to the center of the earth and back, or maybe just to stellar health and back to laziness. But either way, I’ve had journeys and I think I’ve come to a conclusion – at least for 2010.

  • I don’t want to be at a BMI that’s too large or too small.
  • I want to wear skinny jeans and avoid a muffin top.
  • I want to make 80% of my food choices good – but I’ll be darned if I miss an opportunity to bake something tasty.
  • I want to be fit, but am okay if it’s not at the same level as Jillian Michael.

How do I accomplish this though? I know I can be obsessive and be successful that way, or I can be the exact opposite with gluttony and be successful at that too. But how. How do I create a world where I can have the aforementioned bullet list? I’m still on a journey with that, because as I bake that last batch of cupcakes, smell that pizza cooking or the coca-cola tempting me – I often fall off the wagon to the wrong side of the tracks. Why isn’t it that I fall right into the arms of my brown rice, spinach and baked chicken breast. I don’t see myself leaping into the open arms of the stationery bike either. No. The longing and satisfying arms of fat and carbs win every time.

But, I’m standing at the gates of health, and I’m making a statement that I WILL exercise. I WILL be healthy. And I WILL eat a slice of cake at your birthday party if you offer it.

That’s enough for the step I’m on today. In fact, I just peeled myself off the ground of my workout room, a sweaty mess – and wonder why I want to bake cupcakes to celebrate. But there will be no cupcakes today. I’m currently firing up my rice cooker and brown rice will be a tasty reward in itself. I’m saving myself for my kids Halloween candy. How bout’ you?


Fat People Need To Run (Or Bike, Swim, Walk, Ski…)

October 7, 2010

One million years ago, Swen suggested running as a way to get started on her ABSolution! program.  Being too proud to beg off this activity in the face of a superstar volleyball athlete such as her, I started running.

But before I started running, two things happened.

#1.  I got breast reduction surgery.  This, to use a pun, was huge.  I am so grateful that this procedure exists.

#2.  I saw a really big woman at the gym running on a treadmill for over 45 minutes.

While it is nice not wearing a 40H bra, #2 really stuck in my head.  It was a week night and I hopped on an exercise bike behind this woman, with a 45 minute workout planned.  When I sat down on the bike, the woman was already running, and I didn’t think much of this, except probably how awful it probably felt for her.

As I pedalled away and paged through my library book, though, I noticed that this woman kept running.  No breaks.  She was sweating.  And not stopping.  I could see she wore earbuds plugged into something – she was either watching television or listening to music.  She wasn’t having a heart attack or taking breaks.  She was just running.  She was a big woman – picture a tall woman, someone who would shop at Lane Bryant – and she was running.

Seeing this for me was a breakthrough.  Seeing this woman said to me that running wasn’t off limits.  That people could do it, at any size.  They just had to make themselves do it.  I realized that I didn’t really have physical limitations.  I had lopped off the huge boobs, I was smaller than the woman running.  This woman was doing something I found impossible at my size, and she was appearing to survive it.   This suggested to me what I later discovered:  your weaknesses can be all in your head.  Running isn’t about leg muscles or strength or stamina.  It’s all mental.

This inspired a sort-of manifesto: FAT PEOPLE NEED TO RUN!

We need to see ALL PEOPLE exercising, not just the skinny and the twig-legged and the ectomorphs who would be slender and flat-bellied whether they ate carrot sticks and ran marathons or snarfed down piles of smashburgers and sat on their asses.

We need to see that exercise isn’t just for a certain class of people, off-limits to you if you aren’t a size 2.

We need to see ALL BODIES struggling and huffing and puffing and sweating because physical movement doesn’t just belong to the those who like Lean Cuisine.  Physical movement is possible no matter what size you are.

This is not a dig on skinny people.  Or people who are already enjoying fitness.  You can’t help your body’s genetics and you shouldn’t apologize for already enjoying the gifts of physical exercise and health.  Rather, this is a matter of branding and image control. In our society, there is an equation:   Exercise = That Hot Chick In A Sports Bra With A Flat Midriff.  Every magazine cover and every health club ad reinforces this image, as well as its converse, which is Fat People Are Not Included.   Fat people somehow become less fat by exercising under the cover of darkness or in their basements until they emerge, thin and appropriate.

What would this mean, if for just one month or week or day of the year, all the thin people of the world stepped out view and just the out-of-shape and the overweight took to the gyms or the sidewalks of America?  Thin people, we already know what you can do.  You represent an ideal for many of us, but not an everyday reality.  Thin bodies get a lot of media coverage on televisions shows and fashion runways, but we know that there is an obesity epidemic in this country, so thin bodies are not telling the whole story.  What if the thin people of the world just exercised in their basements for a while and let the fat people hold the banner of physical fitness?   Or what if more fat people took to the streets, evening out the imbalance?

What if we saw fat people biking, fat people jogging, fat people swimming laps, fat people hiking, fat people rollerblading, fat people lifting weights and kettlebells, fat people doing yoga and pilates, fat people playing basketball and tennis, fat people in step and spin classes?  How many more people would be able to see that fitness can belong to them, too?

I never saw the running woman’s face.  I don’t know her name.  She probably didn’t even know I was there.  But everyday I go for a run, I think of her and am thankful for her good example.

10 Ways to Break Out of a Fitness Slump

September 28, 2010

It seems that every person I run into these days is going through some kind of fitness slump:  unmotivated, skipping workouts, eating poorly, etc.    Its time to break out of the duldrums and get back to fitnessopolis, aka, the gym.  Here’s how.

1.  Re-evaluate your Goals.  Remember, the ones you WROTE when you started working out 6 months ago?  Put a big, gold star on the goals you have accomplished, and re-write the ones you need to work on.  Set challenging, yet realistic goals.  Be specific!  How many times a week, how long, how much weight.  The more specific you can be, the better.

2.  Look at your calendar.  A change of seasons, transitions back to school, multiple school curriculum nights… are real challenges to maintaining a regular fitness routine.  Take a critical look at your calendar and plan your exercise so that it works for your schedule.  Try to make it as routine as possible.  You are more likely to stick with a fitness routine if it becomes an expected part of your day- just like brushing your teeth.

3.  Hire a personal trainer.  As they say, invest in your health now, or pay for it later.  You may not need more than a couple sessions and a few new workouts to get your butt in gear.

4.  Find a gym buddy.  Research shows that working out with a friend improves participation and can even make you work out harder and longer.

5.  Update your ipod.  New music, new mood, new motivation.

6.  Join a group fitness class.  Accountability and motivation come from a set date and time, as well as an instructor and peers.

7.  Get out your skinny jeans and try them on.

8.  Journal or log your activity, diet, weight.  Any information that you want to measure or evaluate.  Having that information in writing is a visual cue and can help hold you accountable to your goals.

9.  Take a picture of yourself- dressed or naked, whichever one will make you run, walk, swim, step that extra mile.

10.  Suck it up.  Go workout.  You’ll be glad you did.  I asked my client (nearly 60 yo) if she has been going through the fitness duldrums lately.  Her response “No, some days I may not feel like I have enough energy to workout, but once I get started I kinda forget and just get it done.  The same hour is going to go by if I don’t workout, so might as well do something good for myself.”

Be Well!

Mental Comparisons

September 23, 2010

When it comes to fitness, I know you are not supposed to compare yourself to others.

I know you are not supposed to break anything but your own personal record.

I know you are supposed to honor your own unique body and find your own compelling reasons to exercise.

Yeah, I know.

But I still wonder what other people think about while they exercise.  I can’t help but be curious about what goes through their minds while doing something that is physically difficult.   Or something that is new.  Or something that they are unsure about executing.

What, for example, does Swen think about while she plays volleyball?

What does Cami think about while she does the same ABSolution! moves I am learning?

What does Brett Favre think about while he is throwing all those brilliant interceptions?

Is everyone else thinking something wonderful and helpful while they exercise?  Is this a secret?  Why can’t I know?

Here’s how it goes for me mentally when I’m working out:


Stage 2: Okay I kinda rule.  Lookit how I just passed that 78-year-old man!

Stage 3:  *forgets she is exerting the body at all* Gets all thinky about various writing projects.  Mulls over issues with family and friends.  Listens to actual song lyrics and convinces self that they contain truth: ‘Yes!  New York IS a concrete jungle where dreams are made of!’ or ‘California Girls really ARE unforgettable!”

What do you think about during yoga session?  During the first 10 minutes of a run?  While you are swimming?  While you are taking a fitness class?   While you are biking, either on the road or up a mountain?  While you are walking your dog or grinding it out on the elliptical at the gym?

I am curious to know how others drown out the little voice that George Sheehan talks about, the voice telling you to “stop.”  What do you fill your mind up with when you exercise?

Good Fitness Quote

September 23, 2010

‎”It’s very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit.”

– Dr. George Sheehan

The Myth of the Really Healthy Fit People

September 20, 2010

I have in my head this idea that Really Healthy Fit People live a life where there are no off-weeks or gaps in training.

I imagine that these people make love in their fun run t-shirts.   They read diet books for pleasure and only stay at hotels with treadmills and never eat anything sold at the gas station.   They run marathons through their pregnancy and don’t own a television. They sit at the dinner table and listen to classical music while picking at steamed fish and braised vegetables and talk about how their physical fitness benefits them in all arenas, e.g. their stamina really allowed them to take charge of that big meeting, learning perserverence helped with finishing their graduate program, going the extra mile to save money on their electric bill, etc.  They don’t read books about vampires or watch porn or would never drive anywhere when they can walk, ski, rapel, or rollerblade.

Really Healthy Fit People train 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and it all is for the greater good.  They peer down from their sculpted torsos at slobs like me and feel nothing but hearty positive pity.

Right? Read more…

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