Archive for December, 2014

What is Healthy

Posted: December 31, 2014 in Uncategorized
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I think I’ve mentioned a few times here about different perceptions of what it means to be healthy. One example that comes to mind is when I mentioned that I think there is a problem with the way being healthy is considered a barometer of morality or worth and commented that I am not healthy,  someone told me that anyone lifting what I do is healthy- apparently my body missed that memo.
But I think this results from a confusion over being healthy vs pursuing health.  What I mean is – I’m not healthy.  I have a number of medical conditions which mean I am not in generally good health. These conditions are also not going away so I will never be fully healthy.  However,  I absolutely try to pursue health. By that I mean I make an effort to do things that will improve my health and be as healthy as I can be.
Which is the difference to me.  Just saying am I healthy or not is a measure against a general standard of health for all people. Whereas when I talk about doing things for my health, that’s a relative measure against myself.
I think this misconception comes up a lot with health at every size (haes). I see a lot of people who misunderstand haes  as meaning everyone is healthy, which obviously is not true. But haes is not about saying who is or is not healthy but rather about a pursuit of health that is not focused on weight loss or using weight as a measure of health. This is also how I can say I’m not healthy but I follow a haes philosophy. By talking about haes or healthy behaviors, I’m not saying I’m healthy,  I’m not ignoring my medical issues,  I’m saying I am seeking to be the healthiest I can be (without focusing on weight loss).
(I would usually capitalize haes as it’s an acronym but I’m posting from my phone and it’s easier not to)

So on facebook the other day this article was shared on my feed titled Why Judging People for Buying Unhealthy Food is Classist. I wanted to comment a bit more on this topic because people who say that it’s not expensive to eat healthy and that poverty is no excuse annoy me so much.

For a little background, if you don’t already know this about me, I’m a social worker in the metro-Detroit area. I’ve worked with a number of non profits in this area and others, and have done community organizing work in Detroit and other poor areas across Michigan. All my personal and work experience has been in Michigan. I have some of my own experiences I draw from regarding poverty and food, but the vast majority actually comes from work experience.

First two points that  I originally was going to put at the end, but really need to be emphasized:

Poor People Deserve Little Luxuries/Enjoyments As Well

Being poor is bad enough, it is absolutely unfair and cruel to expect anyone to live based purely based on survival with no regard for enjoyment. Maybe that means having cable, maybe it means getting some candy, a cake, or some other food they don’t NEED but want at the store. Someone who is poor, including those using SNAP, have just as much right to buy some foods for enjoyment over pure survival needs as those who are not poor.

Mind Your Own Damn Business!

Really, everything else could be ended with this. You have no right to know all about poor people’s lives and choices just because they are poor. They owe you no explanation for every choice they make. And it is classist from the start to think their choices are any of your business to pick apart and judge just because they are poor.

So with those two points covered, let’s still move on to the issue of whether it is cheaper to eat healthy foods.

What is Healthy?

So right away one problem we need to acknowledge to start with regarding judging poor people for buying “unhealthy” foods and insisting that eating “healthy” is cheap is that “unhealthy” and “healthy” foods are not well defined and will vary a lot from person to person. I’ve written a bit before on issues of “what is healthy” (and a bit here). One thing that stands out to me is that for “healthy” homecooked meals on the cheap there is often a reliance on boxed pasta- it makes sense, it’s cheap for the number of calories and how filling it is, and you can do a number of things with it, and include smaller amounts of veggies and meat. For me though, my first thought for pasta is “so many carbs!” I think I eat pretty healthy. What I eat is primarily fresh vegetables, dairy, and meat (mainly chicken breasts or bacon)- and that is relatively expensive. Especially the meat. I actually eat less meat than I should to hit my protein goals but it’s too expensive to eat too much of. Plus none of this keeps long, so I have to deal with going to the store more often and risk wasting food from spoiling if I overpurchase- both of which increase the cost, or potential cost, of these foods.

Also important to keep in mind that even if you consider a food healthy, a healthy diet needs variety. Lentils are a cheap healthy food that gets brought up often, besides some issues I will go into more detail on soon, there is also the “who wants to eat lentils everyday?”, and also that eating the same one food day in and day out is not healthy. A healthy diet needs variety. And there is context to consider for “healthy”- take for example a parent living in poverty, feeding their kids lentils is certainly not healthy if the kids won’t eat them. Kids need to eat, so healthy is going to have to be within what the kids will eat, and also it’s not cost effective to buy and prepare food that is going to end up going uneaten.

The line between what is “healthy” and what is “unhealthy” for foods is not as clear cut as many like to pretend it is.

Food Cost and Availability Varies by Location

The subtitle here really sums it up, and applies most to judging people over distances for how they spend money on food. What you can purchase at your local grocery store for a certain price is not what all people can purchase from their closest grocery store for that price. This is especially important because people living in poverty often live in areas very different than people at higher incomes. And as contradictory as  it seems, groceries are frequently more expensive in poor areas! (Especially in food deserts because stores can cash in on lack of options.)

This especially goes for those who brag about how little they spend on groceries who are saving by having a vegetable garden (which is great if you have the time and resources too, but you need to acknowledge the cost of that, the time for it, and that not all people have the ability to supplement groceries with growing their own food).

It’s More than Just The Cost of Food

The article linked in the beginning addresses this- it’s not just about how much the food costs, it’s also access, time and cost to purchase (transportation to the store), time to prepare the food, cost to prepare the food, and access to means to prepare the food. People who have never lived in these conditions take these things for granted, but these are not givens for all people.

Grocery Stores:

Let’s start with access to stores, cost to get to them, and time to get to them. If you are not already familiar with food deserts, you should do some reading on them. These are areas that do not have ready access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food. According to the USDA’s Economic Research Service approximately 23.5 million people live in food deserts.  Detroit, for example, until relatively recently did not have any national chain grocery stores within the city. This recently changed and there is now a meijer at 8 mile and woodward and a whole foods in midtown. If you aren’t familiar with Detroit, chances are that sounds better than it is to you, since most people don’t realize how large the city of Detroit is.

An image of Detroit's relative size showing you can fit San Francisco, Boston, and Manhattan within the city of Detroit (proper, not metro area), which I added approximate location of Whole Foods and Meijer onto (the red polygons).

An image of Detroit’s relative size showing you can fit San Francisco, Boston, and Manhattan within the city of Detroit (proper, not metro area), which I added approximate location of Whole Foods and Meijer onto (the red polygons).

Prior to this there were of course local grocery stores, but just having access to a close grocery store does not mean access to fresh, healthy foods. I’ve been in stores years back in Detroit that sold rotten produce, spoiled meat and dairy products, and would even change expiration dates on those foods to try to sell them after they spoiled. People who lived near these stores would not shop at local stores for anything other than canned goods. Anything else people have to travel out of their area for, and speaking personally I don’t remember ever grocery shopping in Detroit as a kid- we always drove outside the city for grocery. I shop in Detroit now, at the previously mentioned meijer. But on the topic of not assuming your situation is everyone’s- many people are still shocked to learn the meijer in Detroit closes everyday at 11pm. It is the only meijer I know of that does, all others are open 24 hrs. So there is a meijer in Detroit now, but it also has more limited availability than those in the suburbs. Even with changes including (but not limited to) these two chain stores opening in the city, there are still many people who have to travel significant distances to a grocery store.
If I were really accurate when talking about my grocery budget I would be including not only the cost of the foods, but also the cost of my car and gas to get to the store. And the time it takes me to make food would include the time it takes (averaged out for what I can get during a trip) for getting to the store and back. For those who do not have a car, then it’s the cost and time of travelling by bus. Having a car is a huge benefit for access to groceries. I can travel further for groceries if need be than someone who does not have a car, it doesn’t take me as long, and I can fit more groceries in my car than if I was carrying them to and from bus stops and had to carry them on a bus. And in places like Detroit, public transportation is not reliable. It can take a long time to travel short distances, the longer the travel time the more it limits what you can purchase, and you need to work around bus schedules which is harder depending on your work hours. I looked up a hypothetical of how long it might take me from a particular area to a grocery store and the time given was so ridiculous I could bike that distance faster, and I have biked to the grocery store before (not in metro-Detroit), but that ignores whether or not someone has a bicycle, if they are already taking the bus for some other reason (like going straight from work to the store to home) such that changing transportation methods adds time, if they have a disability that makes them unable to ride a bike that distance, and lastly but very importantly, if they would have to go through areas that are not safe to walk or bike trough if they did that. Some folks think I’m crazy for the areas I walk and run, and for the community organizing work I’ve done in Detroit (that involved among other things going into communities, talking to people, and getting chummy with local gang members!), but contrary to the opinions of some folks I don’t just ignore safety issues. But I use some common sense (or street smarts might be a better way of phrasing it) to assess relative safety, and there are areas I will avoid for safety reasons- top of that list is places where all the houses are abandoned. Which is like every street around some areas of Detroit.

When you can just get in a car and drive to a local grocery store and pick up groceries, that is a huge privilege a lot of people do not have, and that is often overlooked when people talk about how cheap eating healthy is.

Having a Kitchen:

You also have to take into account having a kitchen and appliances or not. The article mentions a woman who is homeless who has no access to a kitchen- this is one of many possible reasons someone may not! Even people who have homes do not always have kitchens at all, or basic appliances like refrigerators or stoves. I previously worked with a non-profit that provided donated fridges and stoves to low income people who didn’t have them- the waiting list for those items was massive and donations do not keep up with the need. Eating healthy without those things is very hard, and again, something many people take for granted having access to.

And just like the real cost of my groceries includes transportation to get them it also includes the part of my utilities that goes toward these appliances. I’ve also known people who had a stove and fridge but didn’t run them because it was cheaper for them to save the electricity of having those hooked up and running and just eat fast food. Whether or not the food from the store is cheaper, if it’s too expensive to have the fridge and stove to store and prepare the food, it doesn’t really matter that much.

The Problem of Solutions Created by People Unfamiliar with the Problem

The article addresses this.

Even organizations designed to help frequently get it wrong. I worked for an anti-hunger organization whose pricing was so out of touch that I — while employed by them — was unable to afford to make their recipes regularly.

In fact, I decided to do a challenge where I ate only their recipes for a week. These recipes were marketed to low-income families as cost effective ways to eat healthier. A week’s worth of groceries (for two people) for this challenge cost $150. My partner and I had previously been spending about $25 a week because that’s what we could afford.

Most people who are not actually having to survive on these low budgets don’t really realize what it’s like. And then when you have people not living it creating the advice, it doesn’t match up.

Of course there is also the problem in here that people working non-profits are paid such pitiful wages that many workers rely on the same services and programs their clients do to get by! Not entirely on topic of this post, but people should be paid enough to afford more than a little over $100/month for groceries for two people. (Even SNAP for one person when I received it was $200/month, and my current grocery costs for just myself are well more than that even.)

Stop Thinking Poor People Are Just Too Stupid To Know Their Own Lives

One of the themes running throughout all of this is the underlying issue of people assuming they know better about circumstances they are not living in that the people who are. Which is also based on the stereotype that poor people are stupid and can’t be trusted to make logical decisions about their lives. People are very quick to jump to the conclusion that poor people just lack their knowledge of the better options out there, rather than jumping to the conclusion that maybe there are factors they (as someone not living in the situation) simply aren’t aware of.

(Random thoughts on my training post.)

So onto cycle 2 my weights still seems so much lower than I feel they should be. So trying to remind myself that they will keep getting heavier each cycle, so I’m moving in the right direction. And it means I can focus more on form.

Still feel frustrated though when I know I could be going heavier on certain lifts though.

Still no fractional plates though, so I have to round everything to the closest 5lbs. It’s really only OHP that this is a big issue with since it’s my lightest lift.

Just finished my deload week. Which ended up being basically a whole week off while I worked on finals and then one workout with all 4 lifts at deload weights.

One thing that stands out to me in training is how much lifting makes me aware of my eating and my need to eat better- and eat. The day I did my deload workout all I’d eaten all day were some veggies and wine at a holiday lunch get together. Not a lot of food period, and no protein. And I could feel it, because even lifting light weights was a struggle.

I don’t know how other folks can lift fasted (other than the obvious different people are different). I actually am working on going back to intermittent fasting- I tried it on purpose years ago, then decided it wasn’t for me, then last year realized I was essentially doing it without trying just due to my schedule. I’m not a morning person so on days I worked and had class most of the time I would wake up (so there is however many hours of not eating while I was sleeping), go to work with no breakfast, be busy at work and don’t eat, then go straight to class, then come home and eat dinner- by which time it would typically be 24 hrs or longer since I’d eaten last. After I left my job it stopped being just natural for my routine though. I’m also getting to were I’m extremely hungry if I go awhile without eating which bugs me. Aside from benefits of fasting for short periods, I just like not feeling hungry if I go without eating for a bit because I’m busy! So I’m starting with shorter fasts for now, and going to work my back to doing fasts that are 24 hrs or longer again. But I need to plan fasts around lifting days. I can do other stuff fasted- I suck too much at running to know if it changes my performance but I can run fasted, but lifting? I can feel such a massive difference when I don’t eat, don’t eat enough, or eat the wrong stuff (high carb, no protein).

Anyways, hope this cycle goes well. Looking forward to the weights getting much more challenging than they are right now.

This post is about body love and work toward improving how I view my body- which hopefully resonates with some other folks too and maybe encourages others. Just thought I should start by explaining that part, since that isn’t exclusively what I write about here 🙂

I started thinking about photos and “flaws” and how I feel about photos showing flaws for me. One that is big for me is stretch marks. I have (now faded) stretch marks almost all over my whole body- well not really, but thighs, hips, ass, abdomen, boobs, and my upper arms. So I can keep them all covered, as long as I keep all those areas fully covered- no shorts, tank tops, or anything too low cut, and certainly not crop tops. But I don’t often dress that way- especially at home alone, including when working out.

So this photo is actually the on that got me thinking about this awhile ago (and then was reminded about it again today). This is a picture I took wearing my lifting belt while working out and posted to instagram (the weird mirror image part is something I do sometimes to create a square image for instagram instead of just having a lot of blank space on the sides). I was commenting on how I was still getting used to the belt. I’ve started getting used to it but it still feels weird.

Anyways, this photo got me thinking about it because after I posted I started feeling a little self conscious about my stretch marks in the photo. Can you see them? I can, lol. Probably mainly because I know they are there. But in actuality anyone else looking at this probably would not notice at all.

I tend to notice these things in photos more than other people. I also have a slight issue that photos allow me to obsess about them in ways I don’t in person because I’m never looking at a static version long enough to except in photos.

This is the NSFW photo, sorry

This is the NSFW photo, sorry

So this is a photo from February or March. It was actually the middle of the night if I remember correctly (thus the lack of clothing) I got out of bed to use the bathroom and while going back to bed I saw my reflection and liked what I saw, so I decided to take a photo as well. Then after I took the photo- I hated what it captured. I liked what I saw in the mirror, but not what I saw in the photo, which happens a lot for me. Eventually I shared the photo and those thoughts with some others. I think one of the ways I describe myself was that I thought I looked “lumpy” and also was bothered by the stretch marks again visible in the photo. But when I mentioned these things to other people, people started responding that they couldn’t see any of those things. That was kind of a point when I started realizing that I am way more critical of photos of myself that most people probably would be. And I’ve tried to make a more conscious effort to not nit-pick my photos, but even more so to not let that stop me from sharing them even if I am still mentally picking them apart. Sort of a fake it till you make it mentality I guess? I hope that if I can at least let go of the flaws enough to not feel like I want the photo kept hidden away, then maybe eventually I stop even thinking about all the flaws in the photos at all.

I’m not sure that is working on the not seeing “flaws” in my photos. But I’m not hiding because of them so I still think that is still good. My instagram is full of selfies and for everyone there are so many things I could point out that I don’t like about how I look, but I let go of it all and post anyways.

On the other hand maybe it does help because even though if you look below my sports bra in this photo you can clearly see stretch marks, I like this photo and they don’t really bug me in it.

For some reason there is something… or somethings… about me some people just really hate. I mean, I never expect to be everyone’s cup of tea. But honestly I am surprised at times the amount of obsessive hate I get directed at me. Particularly the obsessive part. Like the folks who obviously disagree with me and clearly straight up do not like me, yet still apparently read everything I write here and on other websites- and check all my workouts I post online. I mean, I have a blog specifically identified as being about feminism, I expect the random nasty comments. That some people really get so obsessed though that they don’t just say “haha fattie!!!!” (<- real comments I get often) and move on but keep following all my activities across various websites- that was a bit unexpected.

But I guess I should have expected, I’m fat, I’m a woman, and I’m queer a dyke, several characteristics that mean a lot of people are very bothered by my mere existence on the internet. I actually try not to venture too far away from certain safe internet spaces usually (my facebook that is limited to those I have friended, and a few forums that restrict membership and are heavily moderated against hateful or harassing comments). Though I’ve branched out recently. Though I still won’t go on reddit. But I have this blog, and another, I use twitter now and then, and I started posting on instagram a lot and even made my account public, and I’m active on this fitness website called fitocracy.

The latter being the primary source of most issues I run into.

None of this should surprise me. I stayed out of #gamergate and mostly out of #shirtgate but I read about both and I know women who actively posted bout them. I know about the rape threats and misogynistic comments that followed those who did. I know about the doxing and many women who had the harassment go beyond the internet resulting in being stalked and threatened IRL. Women who no longer could feel safe in their own homes all for speaking out on the internet against sexism and in support of other women.

Misogyny on the internet isn’t news to me. But I stayed largely uninvolved in both of those precisely because I have limited energy to deal with bullshit. I have more than enough stress in my life already, and I do research that revolves around violence against women- when I want to relax and get away from that, I don’t want to get away from it by reading a bunch of rape threats.

And it shouldn’t surprise me running into so many issues on a fitness based website, it should be no surprise that a number of men who are interested in lifting feel the need to fuel that interest with misogyny and homophobia. Because it’s all about proving one’s masculinity which apparently means tearing down women and gay men.

And even though this is titled “haters gonna hate”, I wish I could sit here and say that it hasn’t changed anything for me and I just ignore it. I do my best to, but sometimes, it doesn’t work. I’ve deleted a number of workouts after just downright mean comments (not advice, just mean for the sake of being mean.)  I’ve started not tracking a lot of workouts online- not for the reasons I hear others use about just not caring about points anymore, or because they track other places instead, no- for me when I choose not to track something online it’s because I just don’t want to deal with comments from folks about how they are laughing at my workout.

I want to connect and talk to folks who have a similar interest and I want to celebrate progress, but I can’t do that without also opening myself up to all number of rude comments there, and here, and probably soon enough other places as well as a small set of people follow me around from site to site.

Part of my inspiration for this is when I see folks say this doesn’t happen, they don’t see it. Well, you wouldn’t if it’s not directed at you. Many of these exchanges have not happened in the open. I’ve deleted them on other sites, on this site comments need to be approved so if I delete it without approving it no one except me knows it happens. And so that’s part of why I’m writing this. To acknowledge that this happens, even though if you looked through comments here or elsewhere you would find no evidence of it.

And a big part of my inspiration in writing this is just how exhausted I am with it. I’m exhausted at having to put my guard up if I venture over to certain sites. I have to prepare for the backlash if I do something as radical as suggest that folks should maybe not use homophobic slurs. And it’s just fucking exhausting and there are so many times I just want to delete all my accounts, block everyone, and hide from the whole world because of this. Usually I get over that. I get some rest, get my strength back up, but the mental armor back on, and venture back out to deal with it all again. But god damn it blogging, tracking workouts online, and wanting to talk to other people about lifting should have to feel like that.

And it’s on a totally different topic but I am somewhat reminded of this article I read recently about Lena Chen’s experience blogging about sex. There are a number of parallels, plus it’s a great piece and worth reading so I’ll take any excuse to link to it.

So I just came across this 10 point rebuttal of the “Top 10 Reasons the Fat Acceptance Movement Should Be Ashamed of Itself”, and wanted to share because it is great.

I can honestly say that most critics have no idea what they’re talking about when it comes to the Fat Acceptance movement (which the author inexplicably abbreviates as FAM, even though most people simply call it FA) or Health at Every SizeR (HAES).

This has also been my experience. Most folks who complain about Fat Acceptance and/or HAES seem to have absolutely no clue what they are, so they throw out “criticisms” of both that have nothing to do with anything either movement promotes. One I see a lot is complaints that HAES is about forcing people to find fat women sexually desirable… what? That’s not anything first off. No one is trying to force anyone to find anyone sexually desirable. But how do you get that from Health At Every Size which simply promotes focusing on healthy behaviors without making weight loss the goal of those behaviors? Oh right, because most of the time these people then go on to cite some fat hate sub on reddit as the place to learn the truth about HAES… because that will definitely provide a more accurate understanding of what it is than going to the source. /sarcasm

Fat person says, “I’ve tried everything and I just can’t lose weight.”
“Did you try X?”
“Yes. Yes. I tried X.”
“Yeah, but did you do Y?”
“Yes, I did Y.”
“Because sometimes people do X, but they don’t do Y.”

Yup. This is so spot on. Have had this exact conversation many times.

Dr. Sharma warned against judging a book by the size of its ass:
Don’t blame people for their weight because you can’t look at somebody and, based on their size, immediately jump to conclusions about their lifestyle. I’ve got a lot of patients in my clinic who are large, who are obese, who know more about nutrition, more about healthy living, and are actually practicing those principles than some of my thinner patients who come and have other problems.

Not much original content here from me, I just really wanted to share the awesomeness of this list because it is so perfect.

I was hanging out with a friend once, and we were driving somewhere in my car with my music playing when a song I like started- Emotional Girl by Terri Clark. It’s a song that came out when I was 9 and I’ve been listening to it ever since then. My friend starts telling me how he can’t believe I would like this song. I’m confused, he’s hear enough of my music he should know by now that I like country music. That’s not it. He explains that this song supposedly represents everything I disagree with because I get upset at sexist stereotypes and this song is saying they are true.

Except not. I’ve listened to this song a lot. No where in the song does she says “women just more emotional than men!” or “women can’t control their emotions!” She sings about herself being emotional, and the artist happens to be a woman (or “girl” in the lyrics of the song). This led to an argument about whether or not it “proves” a stereotype for an individual to meet it, which he claimed it did- I still find interesting considering how many stereotypes he would be “proving” under that logic.

But I’m reminded of this conversation from time to time because while most people would never say they think a single individual displaying a characteristic means that proves a stereotype of all people like them in some way will have that characteristic, people still are inclined to take such things as evidence that their stereotype is accurate.

And this is one of the problems with stereotypes- making people in certain groups feel like everything they do has to be defined by that stereotype by way of disproving it.

You tell me women are just too emotional compared to men, and now I’m apparently under some obligation to never show emotion to prove your stereotype is wrong and show that I am worthy of being treated equally. And suddenly an entire group of people are not allowed varying personalities and characteristics because if even a few fit the stereotype for the whole group that is taken as proof the stereotype is accurate.

I’m writing about this because in a lot of ways it took some work to say “so what if I fit your stereotype?” For a long time I did feel like I had to behave in certain ways so I wouldn’t be considered a stereotype. But the thing is, the problem with stereotypes is the stereotype, not me being whoever I am.

And who I am sometimes fits certain stereotypes and sometimes it doesn’t. I wrote recently about musing about fitting the stereotype of the man-hating, lesbian feminist in combat boots, and the thing about that stereotype is there was a time when I did feel like I had to counter that stereotype personally and would be afraid of fitting it. Of course I still don’t fit the stereotype perfectly- usually the stereotype also includes “hairy legged” and I do shave. But, that’s kind of how individuals work.

Some stereotypes about women don’t fit me at all, some do. Some stereotypes about lesbians fits me, some don’t. Et cetera. And that’s fine.

There is nothing wrong with being an emotional person, so why should I be bothered if I fit that stereotype? There is nothing wrong with being a lesbian or wearing combat boots, so why be bothered if I fit those stereotypes?

Also fitting one part of a stereotype does not mean all the things people think about that are accurate.  See for example: fat lesbians do not prove the stereotype that lesbians are just gay because we are too fat and ugly to get a man. Being a fat lesbian doesn’t even prove that lesbians are as a group always fat (even if most of us are, your stereotype still sucks because it doesn’t ft all lesbians) and it certainly doesn’t prove all the extrapolation beyond that about the supposed meaning of our bodies and sexuality.

The problem is with people who make and operate under stereotypes about whole groups of people, not me for being who  I am instead of always trying to be the exact opposite of every stereotype that could maybe be applied to me.

Doing Things You Don’t Like

Posted: December 2, 2014 in General Fitness
Tags: ,

Ok, so last Friday I went out to brunch with my brother and sister, our mom, her husband, and his daughter. While talking my sister mentioned our uncle running for fun. And I commented- why else would you run? And we got into a little debate about people working out just for their health even if they hate doing it (my mom and sister).

I said I wouldn’t run if I didn’t enjoy it.

As I was out doing some running intervals I realized that is only partially true. During my short interval workout (with short intervals of running as fast as I could with recovery intervals of walking in between) I both loved and hated running. And I realized that I often during runs go back and forth between those feelings. Almost every run has lots of thoughts of “Why do I do this!?!” and “I hate running!” and also thoughts of “this is fun!” and “I love this feeling!”

If I really hated running all together I wouldn’t do it because there are so many other options out there for exercise. But also when it comes to my reasons for running, because I like it isn’t the only one, and at times not even the biggest one. Another big reason I keep forcing myself through runs is because I want to be able to run. I’m ok with never running a marathon, I don’t need to run those sorts of long distances, but I want to be able to run for reasonable distances. And the only way to do that is to get out and run.

It also reminded me of some other folks who talk about doing activities they do not enjoy. Ragen Chastain comes to mind, as she blogs about training for an Ironman and talks about how often she dislikes the training. And the more I think about it I realize there are a lot of possible reasons to run or do other activities, even when you don’t enjoy them.

I still think that people are often best served by finding things they enjoy and not thinking that if you hate running you have to just suffer through it. Hating running doesn’t mean you will hate all other forms of fitness and there are plenty out there to try. And I think people are more inclined toward sticking with forms of fitness they enjoy than those they hate.

But I do concede that there are plenty of other reasons to run than just because one enjoys it.