Once Upon a Fat Girl

Friday, March 09, 2007

Forgive Me Abs

I got a book called Escape Your Shape by Edward J. Jackowski from the thrift store the other day. It's very interesting--says that everyone is one of four shapes: Hourglass, Spoon, Cone or Ruler. Despite the fact that most rulers are thin, I am a ruler. My bust and hips have the same measurement, and my waist is less than six inches smaller. Rulers gain weight around their waist first, which is definitely me. They also have weak abdomin and back muscles, and lowish muscle tone in general, which is also me.

So I did the beginner workout today, which I'm supposed to do three times a week, with one or two "day off" routines as well. Holy Hell. It included doing 20 each of five different ab exercises. I was SO proud of myself for finishing them. I went on with the rest of the routine and what's there? Do 20 of each of the five ab exercises again. No way. I had to stop, which was fine because I'd been working out for 45 minutes already. I'm sure someday I'll be stronger and I'll be able to do the set twice. Today I'm trying not to think about doing them again tomorrow.


I love this website. Everytime I log on and see that she's posted, I get excited. If you have the time and interest, her entire site is worth reading. Right now she has 100 more things you can do to prepare for Peak Oil (or whatever comes down the pike. Severe weather? Global Warming? Unemployment?)

Increasingly, I'm finding myself thinking of getting healthy as a matter of survival. I can't remember if I already told you guys that I just had some blood work done. My cholesterol is shockingly low, only 126. But my HDL (good cholesterol) is only 29. It should be about 50, according to the doctor. The only real ways to raise your good cholesterol is to exercise and to lose someweight (thereby lowering your triglycerides. Mine aren't high, but they are on the high side of normal.) I'm not super worried about this, because my ratio of HDL to total cholesterol isn't too bad. But I don't want to have a heart attack. I'm shockingly out of shape--exercising for 45 minutes today was difficult enough to make me feel a little sick.

Whether or not anyone believes in Peak Oil or Global Warming--no one can deny that there is a health care crisis going on in our country. I don't want to get cancer during a time when it is becoming less and less easy to get treatment. I don't want to get cancer at all--and I think I can prevent it even though both of my mother and all my grandparents died of cancer and my dad is a survivor. Antioxidants are my friends.

I keep thinking I have to get over my obsession with food. It is conceivable that when things get really tight, American's will be forced to go back to eating what they can buy locally or grow themselves. We're growing food to be used as fuel, killing the honeybees with pesticides and screwing up the weather with our astonishing consumption. The only people alive who can remember really bad times in our country are old, and were children or at best very young adults during the Great Depression, so it's easy for us to start thinking that we deserve to eat whatever we want whenever we want it. Bananas from Peru, chocolate from Switzerland, Cherries from Chile. It's easy for us to believe that we are above getting our hands dirty in order to eat. But it's very likely that a time is coming soon when we won't have so many options. When food traveling 6000 miles ONE WAY to get to us is unacceptable. Where it costs so much even to truck our food from California that we have to be much more aware of what we are eating.

It's easier not to think about these things. It's much easier to believe Bush when he says that American Ingenuity and technology will save us. It's easier not close our eyes and our minds to the idea that paying attention to where our food comes from is important. Who wants to think about a time when it's too expensive to drive to work, much less import peaches? But if we don't start thinking about it, we can't prepare. And if we prepare, we can rise above the hard times. If we decide today that gardening is fun, that eating something we've pulled out of the ground ourselves is a really cool thing to do--how much easier to deal when it becomes necessary instead of a hobby?


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