Archive for May, 2015

Before heading out for my run I actually thought about this blog post and started wondering/worrying- what if I don’t have anything to say after my run? lol, like that would happen! Of course I have nothing to say about it BEFORE the run. Walking/running always gives me time to get lost in thought though.

So I’ve had a migraine and been feeling really sick all day today. By late night it was mostly gone so I felt like I could try running but was/am still exhausted. But still headed out for the run. I’m still working on reminding myself to go out and just do it even if I’m not feeling great. Better to do what I can than worry that it will go badly.

Had an odd experience today, right after leaving my house a police car turned down my street he passed me, I looked back and saw he pulled into the driveway of the house across the street from my I think, I kept walking and then he turned around and pulled up next to me. Wasn’t really surprised to have him stop to ask me something because it was very late night and I figure walking around at that time of night probably seems odd, but that didn’t seem to be why he pulled over. I took out my headphones and he asked me if I was Michelle. Nope. I am not. He did not seem convinced. Asked my name, I told him. Asked when I was born, so I told him. Asked me where I lived, which I told him. He asked if I was sure I wasn’t Michelle from a few houses down from me. I am sure I am not. He repeats a few times that I look like her. Tells me she dyes her hair red like mine. I mentioned mine is actually pink/purple, and he pulled out his flashlight to verify it is. He told me to have a good run and then  drove off but then turned back into the drive in front of me to talk to me a bit more. He noted that I am actually a bit shorter than Michelle. Asked if I knew her, I don’t really know too many of my neighbors but then he told me a little more about her and I remember I did meet her once about a year ago. That was it though. He told me she freaked out on him or something. Then said he was going to ask me to call him if I saw her, but changed his mind because he was going to be out of town. Again, wished me a good night and took off.

I kept on walking but after a bit I started feeling weird about the conversation. I’m bad at realizing inconsistencies until after. At first I assumed that there was some call or report relating to Michelle that is why he was looking for someone matching her description. But the later comments made it sounds like something more personal, and like he knew her- the part about her freaking out on him, and also that he was going to ask me to call him specifically and not the police in general/that if he was out of town, another officer couldn’t just handle it. But if he knew her personally, it doesn’t make sense that he would think I was her.

Maybe there is some perfectly reasonable explanation for that, but it got me thinking and a bit nervous. Then I start thinking, I gave him my address and he was me walking away from my house, so what if he is someone super shady and I just gave him reason to think my house might be empty (not that he would know whether I lived with someone from that exchange, but still). I decided to head around the block back toward my house. By the time I got back around I didn’t see him on the street anymore and I looked for anything obviously off at my house, but nothing looked weird. Finished up my run which wasn’t really anything great and came home, looked around my house quickly as soon as I got in, didn’t see any sign of intruders or a break in. So thankfully nothing exciting there! Just me being a little paranoid.

As for the run itself… Week 2 is a 10 minute warm up walk, then alternating 1 minute walking with 30 seconds jogging and 5 heel lifts. I was debating doing the heel lifts but did, though once I get to the knee lifts I will be skipping those.

My shoes were feeling super tight though I don’t know why all the sudden. Just as I was typing this realized I have a bunch of blisters all over my feet now as a result 😦 ugh. Might need to get new shoes soonish.

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Sprints Ramblings

Posted: May 26, 2015 in Running Blogging
Tags: , , ,

Obviously my runs are still not as frequent as I planned. Oops.

So I went outside to go run some sprint intervals, opened my runkeeper app and discovered that my previous saved sprint style workouts were not there and I couldn’t remember what my usual sprint plans looked like, it’s been awhile since I’ve done them clearly. So I spent a few minutes trying to think of what an appropriate length for the intervals would be. I was thinking 30 second sprints but decided since I’ve been doing 15 second jog intervals with the zombies 5k training, even though with those 15 seconds feels ridiculously short, I would just stick with that. Given that the 5K training involves slow jogs, not sprints, I upped the walking intervals between, and planned to do about half the intervals of the week 1 5K training runs. Of course I usually prefer distance based intervals over time based intervals, but time based make it easier to plan how long it will take me and I was trying to keep it quick today.

I worried the intervals I went with wouldn’t be intense enough but figured I didn’t need to be super intense today. Especially since I had some caffeine in a drink earlier and since I typically avoid caffeine I have a strong reaction to it and my heart rate was noticeably elevated from that, and without a heart rate monitor I sometimes get a little overly cautious about such things. Times like this I really wish I had a heart rate monitor again. Eventually when I have spare money I’ll get a new one.

Ended up that the 15 second sprints with 2 minutes walks after caffeine was intense enough for me today. I didn’t get as far as I thought and decided instead of going anywhere else I would just circle around my block again after I was coming around the first time. Then I accidentally hit the stop bottom near my house and decided to just go ahead and call the run quits even sooner than the already short run I had planned.

Extra short works for my today since I did this after my bench workout and really should be in be already! So very short sprint workout.

Even though it was super short it was really fun! I actually forgot how fun I find sprints. My normal run workouts I really don’t look forward to. And they can be enjoyable in their own way… but not really that fun. Sprint intervals are fun though! I really like running as fast as I can for a short distance.

According to the interval breakdowns by runkeeper my sprints were slower than usual, but that wouldn’t be surprising. Of course it’s hard to know how accurate that is because I find that the voice notification for intervals is several seconds off from the time the app shows. Often I look at the time on the app to avoid that, but this time I didn’t feel like it so I went by the voice, which means if the app counts from the time it displays I was walking for the first few seconds of sprints and running for the first few seconds of the walks. Maybe that is part of the next part too them because what really surprised me was that my walks were getting faster according to the breakdown, which normally with sprints they do they opposite, after each I am more exhausted and my walking gets slower.

Um… so those are my thoughts from my sprints today! Maybe I can remind myself how fun sprints are and use them as more motivation to get through my 3 regular training runs quicker so I can get to sprints again! lol.

Oh, before I go, I just looked it up and when I used timed intervals, one of my preferred interval segments is 30 second sprints with 2 minute walks* (and has you increasing your sprint speed each sprint interval). Maybe I will use that one again next time.

*well, I walk. People who are better runners jog the slow intervals. I’ll try that one day, but for now I’ll stick with walking for my slow intervals 🙂

So I’ve posted before here about the problems with judging poor people for eating “unhealthy” foods. I was thinking about one particular aspect of the ways that eating healthy foods can cost more, in this case not so much in terms of money but time.

I am getting sick of people who suggest that cooking at home totally doesn’t take any longer than fast food.

Bullshit.

Starting backwards in the process, one part I think no one ever seems to consider is clean up. When people talk about how quickly they can make a homemade meal, they pretty much never include the time to clean up. Which in my experience, takes a lot longer.

If I run out and buy fast food, I am using nothing that requires cleaning up. Now counter or stovetops that need to be wiped down after cooking. No cutting boards, knives, pots or pans. And no plates or silverware to eat with.

Part of what got me thinking of this is being able to cook at home and still keep up with all my dishes right now since school is over. Because when I get busy, I am more inclined to order or pick up food, or just eat frozen foods that I can heat up and eat in the container, and the issue for me is less often the time and effort to cook the food than the time and effort required for all the clean up after.

Even when food doesn’t require cooking if it requires any preparation that typically means something that needs to be cleaned, such as a cutting board and a knife.

I also feel like people tend to underestimate how long it takes to prepare meals from start to finish, at least the folks who claim “I can make a whole healthy meal in just 10 minutes”. Even recipes that estimate prep and cook time I feel like often underestimate the prep time…. or I just am really slow at cutting things up, though even if that’s the case it just goes to show that how long something takes you doesn’t mean that’s how long it would take anyone.

And I get underestimating how long it takes. I do that all the time. I never realize how long a lot of things I do take until I’m actually in a time crunch and suddenly like “how on earth does it take more than 2 minutes to run downstairs and get clothes from the laundry and put the clothes from the washer into the dryer?” It feels like it takes no time at all to me, but when I actually look at a clock, it’s a lot longer than I thought.

I imagine the same is often true for prep time in cooking for many people.

And there is definitely a degree of “you can’t assume how it works for you is the same for everyone”. When it comes to cooking time for foods, a lot of foods you can set and do something else for awhile. Of course I have no timer in my kitchen and am bad at setting one of my phone for food so I often leave food and forget about it until it’s burnt. Or I have something in the oven and I’m up every 5 minutes to check on it (in which case I’m not super productive in what I’m doing between checking on it) and often I check on it and it’s not quite done and then check again and it’s burnt, because apparently it was much closer to done than I thought. Even still, I’m not terrible at this and a lot of food I can leave to cook and do other things while it’s cooking. This is not the case for everyone. I’ve known people who said they had to be in the kitchen the whole time they were cooking something or they would always forget about it and burn it. That makes cooking more time and effort intensive if you can’t multitask at the same time.

And then even more time if you don’t already have the food at home to prepare and need to run to the store to get it.

This probably sounds like making a big deal out of a minor issue, until you are living in poverty and exhausted at the end of a long ass day, and you have the choice of picking up some cheap fast food at one of the many fast food places nearby or cooking at home.

*and I really mean many. ever been to Detroit? I’m still shocked a lot of the time at how many fast food places there are around all the time, and I’ve live in or very near Detroit most of my life (23 years by my count). And many of them are even 24 hour unlike the far fewer grocery stores. Access to fast food around here is much easier than access to groceries.

And the fact that fast food often makes more sense for poor folks because not just of the cost but the time and effort when you are already exhausted from the stresses of poverty is a serious public health issue. One that we should be putting in real effort toward fixing, primarily by working to end poverty. Pretending poor people are just too stupid to realize that cooking at home is just as cheap, fast, and easy is not only not true, it’s not helping anything.

On Dehumanizing Language

Posted: May 21, 2015 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Ya know, it’s funny to me that some people focus so much on name calling. I’ve seen arguments among fat hate folks about whether or not it’s really ok to use a lot of the names they do for fat people.

Whale/landwhale, cow, ham, planet, and the combination of those: hamplanet, orca et cetera, et cetera.

Obviously none of that is nice, and it’s all a dehumanizing (I mean, duh, you are literally calling us non-human), and I won’t respond nicely or be ok with being called those things. But it doesn’t really bother me. Calling me any of the above doesn’t hurt.

What’s funny to me though is all the fat hate folks who think they are being reasonable by calling that name calling among their own but ignore what I find the worst of all:

“it”

“things” is a close second.

I guess because “it” is such a small word, just two little letters there, people think it doesn’t matter. But I find that the most dehumanizing and harmful word. And you know what, it does hurt. I’m kind of sick of the idea that people aren’t allowed to be hurt by things other people say. Sorry, that’s bullshit. Because I’m not a thing, I’m not an it, I am a person, a human being, and that means I do have feelings. And there is a sting in being reminded that some people see you as literally not human, to be called a fucking object.

The vast majority of people refer to their pets as “s/he”, “her/him”, or “them” rather than “it” or as “things”. This language places certain human beings as less than even animals.

I honestly don’t even understand that mentality. The stupid animal names and the like, I get it, you think you are being edgy and funny- you aren’t, you’re just being an asshole and you should not feel good about that. But to feel comfortable calling any other human being “it” for any characteristic of theirs… what the hell is wrong with you? And what the hell is wrong with every other one of you who see this language by people you associate with and don’t call it out? Seriously, what in your life lead to a place where you feel ok with that kind of dehumanization of other people?

Finally got back out for another run. It’s funny, the last time I run I had just gotten my sunburn on my back. I feel like it’s been a long time since I ran last, but on the other hand today was my first day of my sunburn not hurting anymore and it feels like that healed fairly quickly.

I’ve been using time of day as an excuse for not running. I do wish I had a treadmill so I could just run in my house sometimes. Since my last run it’s seemed like the only times I’ve been able to run where daytime hours, which for most people probably sounds good but I prefer to run after dark. It’s quieter, more peaceful, fewer people around, no risk of sunburn. Mostly it’s the lack of people.

Today I actually went out for my run in just a t-shirt, no hoodie. Which I thought would be fine given how hot it was inside my house even with the ac on.

Yeah… no.

As soon as I stepped outside I realized it was actually rather chilly out, but instead of going back in my house for a hoodie I decided it would be fine, it didn’t seem THAT cold and plus once I started walking/running I would warm up.

Wrong again!

So this is the same layout as the first two runs, 10 min warmup walk, 10 repetitions of 1 min walking and 15 sec slow jogging, 10 minute ‘free form run’. My first couple jogging sets didn’t go well- my feet hurt and I couldn’t seem to get a normal stride. It was like my body completely forgot how to do the motion of running. But after my first few sets of jogging it got better and I got back into a more normal stride.

Still wasn’t really feeling the run though. Just unmotivated to actually run. So when the free form run came I mostly walked with just a little jogging here and there for the first 5 minutes. But then when I heard the doctor tell me I was 5 minutes in I figured why not go ahead and run the last 5? So I VERY slowly jogged the next 5 minutes and then limped the short distance back to my house after the scheduled run was over.

Now for the spoilers for the Zombies 5K storyline:11009220_10106705689576154_2196656929510421226_n

I am kind of glad I am not actually in able… well obviously I am glad there is not really a zombie apocalypse, but beside that they seem a bit reckless with my safety as a runner in training! I mean… also if there were a zombie apocalypse my strengths would obviously be something other than running. But still, third run into my training in which they are still not assuming I can run further than 15 secs worth of slow jogging in one go, and yet they send me outside the township for supplies which results in me being chased by a zombie? That does not sound like it’s very safe -_-

And since this is not my first time doing the 5K training program, I also know this is not the last time I will complain about their disregard for my safety in training!

Next run I’m going to try some HIIT work. Woo-hoo!

I am thinking that maybe I will start blogging about my runs here- like specifically a blog post for each run about how it went, how I felt, random things it made me think of. I’m hoping doing so would help motivate me to run more. Summer is here, and I didn’t run pretty much at all over the winter so I felt like I needed to start from scratch again. I decided to go back to my Zombies 5K app and do that again. I had the idea that I would start running every other day for over the summer, at least for now since I have the time. My idea was actually do the 3 runs for each “week” of zombies 5K but then after that (between “weeks”) I would do a HIIT running workout, because I love those.

So I set out and did my Week 1 Day 1 run just under 2 weeks ago. And then I didn’t run again until this morning. So my plan didn’t work out obviously.

So I’m needing a bit of motivation to get me actually running. This isn’t really an accountability thing, that doesn’t work for me. Actually it tends to have the opposite effect. I run, I lift, I workout in general for me. When it starts to feel like I’m doing it for someone else, because I’m obligated, because I made a promise, it falls apart. I don’t want to do it anymore. I don’t want to run because I have to run because I told people I would and now if I don’t they will know that I didn’t follow through.

This is just because I think adding the blogging and reflection will help me.

So back to my runs now. For Zombies 5K for those not familiar it has 8 weeks with 3 workouts each week. For Week 1 each workout is a 10 min warmup walk, then you repeat 10 times walking for 1 minute and 15 seconds of jogging, then finish with a 10 minute free form run. The free form run is 10 minutes where you walk or run as much as you feel capable of.

So my first time doing this again the 15 seconds of jogging was definitely not wearing me out at all. I can run longer than that even despite not having run in awhile. So I was feeling good through the most of it, and then got to the 10 minute free form run. I always want to try to run the entire free form runs, but I also was ok with this being my first time back at running in awhile, slowing to a walk a littler here and there. And that is how it went!  I slowed to a walk just a little bit a few times, but I ran most of the 10 minute run (and then walked the rest of the way home after the 10 minutes was up). Overall felt it went pretty good.

Things were different this time. 15 seconds still didn’t feel hard, but my feet have been hurting a lot and just walking was hurting them. As well I ended up with a bad sunburn after mowing the law, so my chest and shoulders were in pain. Overall I felt kind of miserable and exhausted. But I decided to go out for a run whether it was good or bad. I thought a lot through this about my feelings with running.

Thinking about starting from scratch after not running over the winter and realizing I don’t actually feel bad about that. I am not trying to run marathons right now or anything. Running can be a warm weather only activity for me and I don’t mind right now if winters set me back. I felt all this winter like I needed to be running, but it wasn’t so much “I want to be running” as “I feel like I should be running”. I’m trying to let go of these “shoulds” and just do what feels right for me. And I’m ok with not making linear progress with running. It’s not about that for me.

So I had no real issues this run with my 15 second jogging intervals, but the 10 minute free form run had little running in it. I ran a few minutes, walked a bit, ran some more, walk a bit, ran a little more. I was halfway through and I slowed to a walk… to a limp actually. At which point I decided not to try running anymore and just walk the rest of the way home (which was only slightly over 5 minutes- I was better this time at working out a route that wasn’t way longer than needed). And I don’t feel bad about that. I don’t actually feel bad that my second run I was able to run LESS than my first, when I’m “supposed” to be getting better. Some runs will be good, some will be bad. But I like going out and doing it, and that’s what matters. That’s what I’m focusing on.

I’ve also decided to just take it as it goes and I’m not worrying about hitting any significant goals. Even though I’m supposed to be doing a run in september, so I need to be able to run further for that- right now I am going to work on letting go of all these “shoulds”. If I can’t run long enough by september, then I won’t be doing it. I’m not stressing out about it right now. I’m going to work on running because I like running, the end.

I have enough stuff in my life I get stressed out about, enough deadlines, and things that need to be done. Running is supposed to be for fun, for fitness, for my health, and stressing out about hitting specific lengths or times is the opposite all those things. So I’m going to work on letting it be a de-stressing activity rather than something else I stress about.

So someone mentioned a website proteinpow.com online and I decided to check it out. It’s a website with a bunch of recipes using protein powder. Pretty cool. At the bottom on the home page they have some links to recipes of theirs with one titled “Are you beach body ready?” And I’m sad to admit that I was nervous clicking it- is this going to be a body positive piece or more advice on losing weight to look good at the beach?

Fat hate trolls like to act like they have an exclusive claim on fitness. And seeing them a bit too much on instagram recently, that mentality starts to seep into my brain, and I become weary of fitness spaces/websites.

The stupid thing is, this isn’t really my experience with fitness sites and people involved in fitness. Women especially who are very interested in fitness still understand the negative, impossible to win standards women are taught to hate ourselves if we fail to meet. Body positivity then is very much accepted and supported by many fit women.

And the article on proteinpow was actually good! I quite liked it! It actually reminded me quite a lot of Laura’s post about the Protein World ad. From the proteinpow article:

NO ONE is attacking health and fitness. On the contrary, they’re seeking to reclaim the true meaning of what health and fitness actually means.

. . .

It’s a lie to think that fit bodies only look a certain way. How can they? When they’ve all been designed so differently? How can we – and more important – why SHOULD we all fit a singular mold?

I would argue that, either directly or indirectly, the reason we’re sold this lie is so that we feel unhappy with ourselves – unhappy enough to feel the need to buy weight loss supplements when we don’t need them. Unhappy enough to push beyond our breaking point when we exercise and lose sight of why we started on our fitness journey to begin with. Reminder: it wasn’t just for a six-pack – it was for our fitness, it was for our performance, and it was for our health.

. . .

That’s why I think it’s important to push body-accepting discourse. Because it’s only when we love our bodies that we treat them well. That we feed them well. That we exercise them well and use them to the best of their capacity. It’s out of love for our bodies – no matter how ‘fit’ or ‘unfit’ they may seem to someone else – that we treat them their best, fuel them as we should, and exercise them with gusto. And we use them as the tools that they are for living healthy, happy, and full-to-the-brim lives!
So we need to work together to underscore the fact that a ‘beach ready body’ or a ‘bikini body’ isn’t ONE KIND of body – let alone one that requires weight loss to be ‘ready’. You know what a a bikini body is? It’s ANY body. All someone needs to get a bikini body is a body. And a bikini.

It’s not perfect from the perspective of many size acceptance activists of course, but I’m ok with that. From a fitness focused perspective, I think it’s a pretty good article!

And it does remind me of some of the amusing things fat hate trolls thing they can tell about me from my body size. Like that I obviously have never even touched a barbell. That I wouldn’t use protein supplements or other supplements often used to help facilitate muscle growth and recovery (like creatine). This coming from the same folks though who think lifting = bodybuilding. Powerlifting? Olympic weightlifting? Strongman? What’s any of that? Obviously the only people who pick up weights are bodybuilders. Certainly makes me suspect they are not in any place to be judging other people’s knowledge regarding lifting heavy things.

It is funny to me both because it’s so not true to me and my life (obviously I enjoy lifting, and I have protein powder I use for shakes primarily but also other recipes (I love some peanut butter chocolate chip protein balls! Great homemade alternative to protein bars imo). I also take creatine. Aside from my personal experience though, it also amuses because fat women lifting is not some really unheard of thing. There are a lot of fat or otherwise just not thin or bodybuilder looking women who do powerlifting, olympic weightlifting, and strong(wo)man style lifting. This shouldn’t be news to anyone familiar with lifting.

So I’ve talked about this before on this blog, that some people have actually stated that they would be supportive of a fat person working out and they think that person should not be bullied or fat shamed for doing so…. unless they found at that that fat person was not attempting to lose weight, in which case they deserve to be bullied and ridiculed for working out. Which is just completely ridiculous and absurd on so many levels. Why the hell would it matter to anyone what the reason is that someone is working out? And it most certainly doesn’t change the fact that that is a person who deserves to be treated with basic dignity and respect, who has just as much right to that space to workout in as anyone else.

There is a recent story going around social media that relates to this: some asshole named Keath Hauhser, who runs “shark fitness training” took a photo of a woman in front of him at a baseball game in order to post to his “fitness training” company’s facebook mocking her for being fat with an accounting of how much she ate during the game according to him (apparently he spent the whole game watching her instead of the game), and then mocking her for entering what she ate into myfitnesspal at the end of the game. According to this “trainer” fat people should lose weight, counting calories is a common method for weight loss, but then fat people should be mocked for counting calories. Just like we should get off our fat asses and exercise, but deserve to be mocked for getting off our fat asses and exercising. No contradictions there!

Keath made a bunch of hateful and stupid comments that made no sense over several days on his facebook about this woman and other fat people, until the story had enough coverage that he finally wanted out of all the backlash and issued an “apology” which by that point certainly seems less a matter of “I’m sorry and realize what I did was wrong” as much as “can you all just leave me alone about this now?” Apparently people who take photos of strangers to mock them online have very thin skin themselves! Who’d have known….

I first heard about this on facebook when I saw a friend share a letter from the woman photographed, identified as B. The letter tells the story of a woman who had previously weighed over 400lbs and lost over 150lbs, who was excited to be at the game as it was the first time since losing weight she could fit in the stadium seat. The entire letter’s premise is that fat-shaming her is wrong because she has lost weight, rather than fat-shaming her is wrong because she is a human being and you don’t do that other people. That premise bothered me, but it is her story and her right to tell it from her perspective.

Only one problem…. it isn’t. The letter was written by a man named Tony Posnanski who used photos of a friends of his in crafting this story. Tony and his friend do share much in common with the story he told in terms of weight loss, but still the story is not that of the woman whose picture was taken, and those are not her words.

(fyi, I linked to the letter on Tony’s website, the anti-jared, however it was reposted on another website where I read it originally from facebook share, thus removing any connection to Tony in that format.)

Which makes the premise of the letter all the more troubling.

Keath secretly photographing a woman at a baseball so he could mock her body size and food choices on his company’s facebook page is absolutely disgusting and horrible thing to do. That is true is the woman photographed has lost weight, weighed the same for years, or recently gained weight. It is true whether she is trying to lose weight now or not. It doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is she is a person.That is all we need to know to know that photographing her to mock her body on social media is not an acceptable thing to do

I’ve actually been thinking a lot recently about being single and my feelings about it.

Now just a quick disclaimer here- first off I am speaking about my own experiences, and that is really all I can speak on. Similarly, because I’m speaking from my own experiences, I’m throwing a bit together here that isn’t all directly defined by being single. Some of this is also specific to living alone, and living alone in a house- I could be single and still not have that experience. But that is part of my experience with being single.

1. I’m comfortable being single

As much as I sometimes want certain benefits of a relationship, I’m also very hesitant of getting involved in one- mainly because there are so many perks to being single! I was talking with someone about this and they suggested it’s normal to be afraid of getting serious when you’ve been hurt before… but that’s not how I feel. I’m not afraid, least of all of being hurt. There was a time when I was hesitant of dating for that reason, right after coming out of two back to back abusive relationships. But now? I’m not afraid to get close to people. I’m not afraid of having my heart broken. And honestly I’m not even afraid of the risk of abuse, because I know I can get out and I can survive any of it.

Damaged people are dangerous, they know they can survive.

Quite the opposite, I’m just not about to give up all the good things of being single quickly or without good reason. And I notice that after spending most of my adult life un-attached, I’m very comfortable in being single right now.

Now part of this is liking the perks of being single, especially living alone- things are my way, I don’t have to share, I don’t have to accommodate someone else, I don’t have to accommodate their schedule, or worry that my dirty clothes all over the house or general clutter will bother them. And I don’t get annoyed because someone moved my [insert thing] and now I can’t find it!

someecards says: “Yes, I’m single. And you’re gonna have to be pretty amazing to change that.”

But there is a deeper level to being comfortable being single as well- I’m comfortable with myself! I’ve seen friends who just can’t be single. They get antsy and uncomfortable spending mere weeks without a significant other. The result being they jump into relationships not because they found someone who they are so into they really want to be with them, but because they just really want to be in a relationship for the sake of being in a relationship. Most people I’ve observed who do this, seem to be rather uncomfortable with themselves alone. Being alone with yourself can lead to some deep reflection on who you are. If that makes you uncomfortable you either have to make some serious changes in yourself… or you just try to avoid being alone with yourself long enough for that to kick in. The latter can be a lot easier! There is also an issue with social acceptance and this ties in with being comfortable with yourself though! I’ve had friends who told me they couldn’t stand being single just because they felt left out among coupled friends, or felt like they were judged for being single. There is this idea people have that being single means you “can’t get someone”. People tend to view being single as something forced on a person rather than something they would choose. This often is not the case, but if your single, you are going to come up against this stereotype. Are you comfortable enough in who you are to not give a damn what people think of you for being single?

By being single for so long, I feel like I’ve had to deal with a lot of these things, and so many more. I have grown and I am a better person for it.

2. I’ve learned I’m capable and I can handle myself

A big motivation for me writing this is actually just the mundane things about living alone that I’ve learned to deal with, or you could say even overcome.

For example, today I removed a dead bird from my backyard, all by myself! That may sound silly, but I’m pretty proud of myself for that!

Now, this was after getting some advice from my family who pointed out the common sense solution- use a shovel! I was a bit horrified thinking I needed to get a glove or plastic baggy and pick it up with my hand. We all have our strengths and weaknesses- I’m learning one of my weaknesses is that I sometimes I overlook the simple, commonsense solutions to basic problems. No shame in admitting I’m not perfect!

But this got me thinking about all the things I’ve had to do myself because- it’s just me! I also think most people could benefit from living alone a least for awhile for these reasons.

It’s funny to me, because there was a time I thought I couldn’t live alone! I thought I would always need roommates at least.This was due largely to a fairly serious phobia of bugs- all bugs. I could not deal with them. I could not kill them because that required getting too close to them.

It’s gotten a lot better over the years, and that is due a lot to simple necessity. I had to get used to it/figure out solutions that work for me (I still can’t get close enough to most bugs to kill them by squishing them with something, I  have to use raid that I can spray from a distance. But I keep home and garden raid on hand now so I can handle it my own way!)

Now, I’m also thankful that I was eased into living alone in a house, because I would not have managed going from living with my family to having my own house well. But rather I went from living with family to a dorm with a roommate and a hall full of other students and an RA. Then I tried that again the next year with a different roommate and ended up with a sociopathic, homophobic rooommate who did everything she could to make my live miserable every second of the day because she was upset at having a “gothic dyke like [me]” for a roommate (and this was actually before I was out!)

That was the push that made me brave living alone. I switched dorm rooms for the rest of that year and had a totally nice roommate, but still I decided to move offcampus and live by myself in a studio apartment the next year. Which gave me plenty of living alone experience, though I never had to deal with outdoor things.

Now I rent a house I live in just me and my cat. Which comes with so many more challenges than an apartment. I have to do yardwork- and venture outside and deal with all the  bugs in the process.

Yet ironically despite my general hatred of being outside with bugs, I like mowing the lawn and don’t mind most of the yard work. Which I’m thankful to learn about myself, I know I can handle things that I do not like- like disposing of the dead bird, or having to kill spiders myself. I also learned that I prefer certain chores that I would have thought I hated, and ones that are generally considered men’s work. I’ve had guy friends over who make comments about doing things like mowing the lawn for me or whatever and I’m just like… why? Yeah I’m a woman, but I can handle it! I live alone, who do you think usually does it?

So I’m glad to know that I can be self-sufficient. And again, I think that’s a big benefit to take with me when I do get into a relationship.

Oh, and to throw in a little bit related to the actual theme of this blog- lifting helps with this stuff too! Makes being a single, self-sufficient woman a lot easier. Today I was doing yardwork and hauled my bag of yard waste to the alley and filled it as much as I could with leaves and branches my neighbors keeping throwing on my part of the alley. So then I tried to drag the bag back to my house, but it was too heavy it didn’t really want to easily slide across the uneven grass. So I said fuck it, and just picked it up and carried back to my house. I’ll need to repeat the when I take it out to the curb for pickup. Certainly makes things easier when you don’t need assistance in lifting or moving the heavy stuff- just saying 🙂

I also suck at making lists- this should probably have more than 2 listed items…. oh well.

Laura Lifts

Something that’s been depressing & frustrating me for the last couple of weeks is the whole Protein World advert debacle. In case you’ve missed it, it’s the backlash related to this Protein World advert for their weight loss range.

Other people elsewhere have been much more eloquent than I could be about the body image aspects of this advert, so I won’t bother to re-hash that aspect. Except to point out that I totally agree that everyone who feels “beach body ready” is beach body ready, whether they’re a size 4 or a size 32 or whatever. I’m not going to dispute whether or not this advert is promoting rigid body shape ideals – of course it is. I also completely don’t dispute that the lady in the advert looks great (but that doesn’t mean we all have to aspire to look like her).

What’s frustrating me most about this…

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