Faster, Fitter and Freakier at Forty

me and danny

I’ve been getting quite a few side-long glances lately, and I don’t mean from strangers. No, its mostly been my long-time friends and a few relatives that have been looking at me curiously. They aren’t quiet sure what to make of it, this new me, the old me but different.

My friends that expect me to drop everything and rearrange my schedule to go for a sixty mile bike ride or the friends that expect me to show up at the local race are wondering what has happened to their cardio junkie that could never get enough miles and their overly competitive buddy that could never acquire enough trophies to convince herself she could actually run.

The other homeschool moms are asking why I’m all dressed-up. What’s the occasion? My sister quit waiting for a fight, because I stopped starting one. My kids even stopped being afraid to ask a question, because I stopped jumping down their throat with the answers. My husband still does a double blink expecting his old wife to appear after he clears his eyes. But she hasn’t returned (thank the gods). And the new me is still here. Get used to her, because I’ve fallen in love with her (and so has my hubby).

Don’t worry world, I’m just as vain as ever, I just care less about what the world thinks and more about what I think about myself. If I fall asleep knowing my husband loves the hell out of me, my kids think I’m a superstar and I like myself, I’m gonna sleep well.

You may wonder what the hell all this has to do with running, biking and all the other bullshit I like to blog about, well here it is. I’m fitter, faster and freakier than ever at forty. That’s right, I am faster and fitter and freakier than ever. If you care to be the same at forty, I will attempt to explain what I’ve done without elaborating on how the transformation came about. Just think of it as a transformation that took place because I was exhausted of being my old self.

I may no longer care if the community knows I’m a fast runner, but I still care that I can run fast. A matter of fact, I am running faster now, just shy of age forty, than I have ever run in my life. My latest training run pace was the same pace as my fasted 5K ever. I’m proud of that (and yeah, I did just kind of brag about it). If you are wondering how it’s possible here it is in a nutshell: I run less, do more core and weights, and spend less time working out.

I used to average about 35-40 miles running, squeeze in about 100+ miles on my bike and a 3000 yards swim each week.

Now I run about 17 miles a week, do core/cardio 30 minutes five days a week and swim about 3000 yards one day a week. I work out no more than one hour a day and take off Sundays.

Here’s the thing, I used to run distance because I loved it. I would run away from my problems, contemplate life, indulge in my alone time. I would return refreshed but tired, too tired in fact, to have the energy to keep up with my two growing children. I would drag myself through the remaining portion of the day, dreading chores and schoolwork. By the time my hubby got home I was not only too tired to converse with him, I was resentful that he got to come home and relax while my day was still going. I was a resentful bitch and absolutely no fun to be around.

So now I workout for different reasons. I’m no longer escaping my life, quite the opposite really, I hate to leave for even 30 minutes because I don’t want to be away from my family that long. No, now I work out for my physical health and to look the way I desire to look. That last statement seems really vain, I know, but it is true. My personal happiness is directly related to how I look (so shoot me) and providing I have any control over that, I will work out to meet those needs. My husband appreciates it too, so why not?

Do I worry about gaining weight? No. I figured out a long time ago that weight has nothing to do with how much you work out. I was my heaviest when I was training for my marathon. Weight has everything to do with what you eat (not how much you eat). A calorie is NOT a calorie. If you want to hear more about this, you may have to wait for another blog.

Here’s another tip for those of you pushing forty, especially the cardio junkies: you need more weight training and less endurance training to maintain your lovely figure, especially you ladies. I promise to write a blog about my take on looking hot into your forties next.

So to wrap it up, here is my new me and the philosophy I live by:

Go short and fast (running), do more core and weight training to be leaner not meaner, ride for pleasure not distance, never use a workout as a reason to eat, carb-up, or replace calories.

Always look your best. I don’t care if you are going to the grocery store or to the homeschool co-op, look and be the best you can be. Why the hell would you want anything less for yourself?

If you are too damned tired from your workout to listen and keep up with your kids, then you are being a selfish bitch. Cut it out. They will grow up to hate you.

If you don’t have the desire to jump into your husbands arms and kiss him all over (literally) when he walks through that door, then it’s time to stop and evaluate yourself. Nuf said.

And for those of you who don’t think I was funny enough in this blog, please check out my new favorite website: www.chocolateanus.com. All my runclub friends are getting one of these this year:)

and please, if you like what I have to say, can you please share my blog with your friends?

#running #forty #biking #relationships #racing #kids

How McDonald’s Customers Can Save the World

puppyYou may think that huge corporations and endlessly wealthy people hold the most power, but you would be wrong. Those corporations and the rich people who run them are like little drooling puppies eager to please their master. The people who give them money are their masters. That is why McDonald’s customers, all 69 million that eat there each day, are the most powerful people on the planet.

This also means that those 69 million people who eat at McDonald’s each day, are responsible for the foreseeable end of the world.

You may think I am being a little harsh, after all, there are quite a few other burger, chicken (yes, even the religious ones) and pizza joint customers who are definitely doing their part to destroy this planet and all things living on it. But I point to McDonald’s because they are the leader in the fast food industry. They are the fast food company that all fast foods strive to be. They have led the way, set the standard, created the business model and all other fast food chains copy it…because McDonald’s is loaded.

money mcdonalds

The good news is that those 69 million people also have the power to save the world. Don’t believe me? Well consider this: Back in 1990, McDonald’s got a bad name for all the polystyrene waste it produced due to serving its burgers in plastic boxes.styrofoam To avoid bad publicity, McDonald’s stopped using the plastic boxes and switched to the more environmentally friendly paper. Did they do it because they care about the environment? Hell no, they did it because they feared the loss of profits if they didn’t. But they did it, and that’s a good thing.

Or consider this: Back in 2000 McDonald’s single-handedly put an end to the GE (Genetically modified also known as GMO) potato. gm potatoHow did they do it? They simply told their French fry suppliers that they wouldn’t buy any French fries made from genetically modified potatoes. Why? Because their customers told them they wouldn’t eat GE potatoes.

McDonald’s customers are even more powerful than the government. When the fear of mad cow disease threatened the sales of their hamburgers, McDonald’s stepped in and managed to get their ground beef suppliers to provide safe meat when the FDA and USDA were not able to.madcow Authority doesn’t hold a flame to the mighty dollar. With McDonald’s being the largest purchaser of ground beef and potatoes in the world, when they threaten to stop buying from you, you better listen.

The fact is, McDonald’s customers control the actions of McDonald’s. Don’t kid yourself, McDonald’s doesn’t care about you or your family, whether you get Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease or have a triple bi-pass because you eat their food every day.mcd sick But they do care about the money you spend on their food every day, and are willing to do whatever you want them to in order to get you to walk through their door.

So what exactly are McDonald’s customers doing to destroy the world? Well, simply, they are demanding that McDonald’s supply them the cheapest, most convenient, tasty, addicting food on the planet. And McDonald’s is listening. Whatever it takes, they will do it. They love their customer’s (money).loyalty

If you eat at McDonald’s, you probably haven’t made it this far into the blog post, I’ve probably already lost you because McDonald’s customers are some of the most loyal customers out there. But I hope you are still reading because you are the one that I am really writing this to. You are the one that has the power to change all the things that are wrong with McDonald’s. If I still have you, please, read on.

You may not care about all the things McDonald’s does in order to get you the fast, cheap, convenient, tasty and addicting food you eat. But I’m guessing if you care about anything, than you should care about what McDonald’s is doing to SERVE YOU.

Here are a few things you might care about.

Animals
If you care about animals than you should not support an industry that causes clear cutting of rain forests. Because McDonald’s has become a global company which tries to Americanize each new country it invades. It has also brought with it the large consumption of beef which requires vast areas of grazing fields thus requiring the clear cutting of rain forests. Clear cutting of forests displaces wildlife and increases the rate of extinction. It also decreases the amount of precious trees on earth to filter our polluted air.rainforest

Not to mention the cattle. After a short time growing up, cattle are moved to feedlots for fattening-up and to wait until the beef market is at its peak so they can be slaughtered. The feedlots are vast enclosures with no grass.feedlot The cattle wade though their own excrement to eat vast quantities of grain laced with GMO corn and powdered protein made from dead animals including other cattle. Cattle are not designed to eat corn (or other animals) so are in a constant state of stomach upset not to mention that the environment the corn creates in the gut is ideal for pathogens like e coli to thrive. And by the way, as Americans we eat more than 1 million animals an hour.

If you support farmers you should not support MacDonald’s.farmer
McDonald’s has probably done more to dissolve small farms than any other business in the world. With its high demands for cheap beef and potatoes large agribusinesses have eaten up small farms and monopolized the market pushing prices so low that no small farmer could ever compete. When people are eating McDonald’s, they are not eating locally sourced foods provided by small farmers.

If you care about people, especially immigrants, or on the other hand, American jobs, you should not support McDonald’s. meat
The meat-packing industry was once a great industry to work for, supplying good jobs to skilled laborers. Thanks to McDonald’s, the meat-packing industry has had to speed up the production of beef. Where a typical packing company used to kill 60 head of cattle an hour, now they kill and process over 300 an hour. The skilled laborers have been replaced with cheap, unskilled, often illiterate, sometimes illegal, and usually Hispanic laborers who are unable or unwilling to fight for their rights. injuryOne third of all workers are hurt on the job every year with little to no compensation. The jobs are dangerous and the facilities are run without surveillance by a governing body that can effectively change it.

If you don’t like people who hurt children or prey on children you should not support McDonald’s. baby mcds
From the moment McDonald’s realized the vast amount of money that children could bring into their restaurants it began praying on them like a molester. It has for decades marketed its products to children creating a lifelong loyalty to the food. While most babies and toddlers will refuse McDonald’s food unless bribed with a cheap toy in a Happy Meal they soon develop a taste for it that lasts a lifetime. Those kids customers grow up to be adult customers. Kid customers of course beg their parents to go to McDonald’s after seeing all the commercials and toys being offered, and those parents eat even more than the kids.

What’s wrong with that you might ask? Well, that brings me to the next category.

If you care about your health, your children’s health, healthcare in America or the health of the world, you should not support McDonalds. kids mc

The food at McDonald’s has created a health crisis in America. Not only is it high in fat and sugar, laced with toxins and GMO’s but it is highly processed and void of any natural or unnatural nutrients.obesity Obesity has been on the rise since the conception of McDonald’s and has two-thirds of our population overweight. Over one in three adults are either pre-diabetic or diabetic. Our children, 90% of whom eat at McDonald’s every month, many on a daily basis, are fatter and more unhealthy than ever before. Type 2 diabetes is up 21% since 2001 in children. One in every 3 three children born in 2000 will develop type two diabetes. This generation will be the first to live shorter lives than their parents. For the first time in history we are seeing hardening of the arteries in children.

If you care about the environment you should not support McDonald’s.trash

The obvious environmental impact that McDonald’s has on the environment is the vast amount of trash it produces on a daily basis, much of which ends up on the sides of roads by its most lovely customers. And now, thanks to the ‘healthy’ salad offering much of that trash isn’t biodegradable and is produced with petroleum.

McDonalds is the largest purchaser of beef in the world. As a result there are many unseen effects on the environment starting with the forests, many of which are rainforests, that are clear-cut for the grazing of cattle to the fact that it takes 4 to16 pounds (depending on who you ask) of grain to produce 1 pound of beef.

You see, cattle are the most expensive source of calories produced. chartThey require more land than any other animal or crop and more water than pork, chicken or vegetable crops. Since cattle require so much grain (1.4 billion bushels of corn) cornto fatten them up we need to grow more corn which means more pesticide. monsantosOh, and by the way, that corn is all genetically modified, which in itself had a profound irreversible effect on the environment. In case you missed it, check out my last post on GMO’s.

Where am I going with all this? Well, I want to offer hope. I know that our government will never come to our rescue, not when money is involved. It all comes down to money. And lucky for us, we are the ones who have the money. We hold the power. As consumers we have ability to save the world. Our actions directly influence the actions of biggest planet destroying companies. If you don’t like what they do, then for frick sake…quit supporting them.

.save the world

Because the fate of the world…is in your hands.

Suggested reading and viewing:
Fast Food Nation, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Super Size Me, Food Matters, Forks Over Knives, Food Inc

 

 

Who Cares? I do! (Just weeks away from my 20 year reunion…)

I sent out a tweet last week that said: Every time I think about eating garbage, I remind myself that my 20 year reunion is in less than a month. I had quite a few retweets and a couple of tweeps that said they had their reunions coming up this summer too… but the response that caught my attention was the reply that said: @dianeistrong, you shouldn’t care what others think. 

My mind instantly floated back to those afterschool specials with the heart-felt, all warmy-feeling messages about self-esteem and confidence.

aa free to beaa growing pains

You’re right, I thought, I shouldn’t care what people think of me.  But then I thought, the hell I shouldn’t! 

I’ve been staring at the nine bug bites on my stomach wondering when the hell they will go away. They’ve been there for weeks and I look like I have chickenpox!  It’s like they are trying to compete with the gallbladder surgery scars on my navel and between the rib cage.2013-07-16 14.48.55

I’m not nearly as concerned about those nine bites as I am about the six that are on by bikini line.  It looks like I got in a fight with a rusty razor.  (Sorry, no picture, I just couldn’t bring myself to post it.) This morning I found myself applying triple antibiotic ointment to them in hopes of a speedier healing.  The second day of our reunion is going to be spent at the beach (what kind of sick test is this!), I can’t have these things on me with 200+ classmates judging me.

Of course the rash I get in my armpits from my homemade deodorant probably won’t look too hot  with my swimsuit either.  2013-07-16 14.47.26If you catch me swimming or sunbathing with my shorts on and my arm held tight to my sides and my hands wrapped around my waist in a tangled mess then you can be sure the damn things didn’t heal in time.

I almost forgot about that line of cuts on the top of my shin that I re-nick every time I shave my legs.  Even if they did heal, I’m going to have white spots on my legs because I essentially shaved off my suntan.  2013-07-16 14.49.51There is one good thing about the nicks, they take away from the bulging varicose vein on the inside of my calf.  Beautiful.  In the right light, it looks like a really sick muscle.

And the scars.  They have really accumulated over the years.  The 12 inch scar on my arm (thank you Brad Clayton) was there at the ten-year reunion2013-07-16 15.26.27

but I have a few new ones to add.  Of course there are the Tiger Stripes (that’s what my hubby calls them anyway) on my lower back (thank you children)2013-07-16 15.00.00, the silver dollar sized hole in my left leg (thank you Black Lab on the bike ride two years ago)2013-07-16 14.58.32 and all those scars on my knees (thank you trail race where I biffed and two tough mudders), 2013-07-16 14.55.08the scar from the gallbladder removal (as mention above)…I could go on but I’m pretty sure you get the gist.

It is very obvious that I am not perfect.  I am flawed like most people.  And if it weren’t for Facebook, that fact may be a little easier to admit.  See, when Facebook first arrived in my life about six years ago, I had just found running.  I found myself updating my status on a daily basis, bragging about how far I ran and what place I got at some local Podunk race. I still can’t help but tell everyone when I manage to do something that seems really awesome…at least to me.

bragging

Don’t we all seem kind of awesome in our own special way on Facebook?  Forever witty, only posting the very best pictures of ourselves.  It’s the persona we want the world to see (though my persona is especially challenged when it comes to spelling and grammar), especially the ‘friends’ we’re pretty sure won’t ever see again…except at our highschool reunion.

Of course, of the hundreds of friends I have on Facebook, only about twelve actually see my postsaa eggs 12

and of those twelve people…maybe one or two might care, maybe.

aa 2 eggs 2

So they are really the only people I need to maintain my persona  with.    This takes quite a bit of pressure off.  Unfortunately, I don’t know who those two people are.

And when I really think about it, those two people may or may not show up for the reunion so statistically there might be one person who cares.  And now that I think about it, what kind of judgmental, self-righteous, capricious, not to mention superficial, person would give a crap about some chick they went to school with twenty years ago?  I mean really, that’s a little sick, right?  Like maybe they need to be put away or confined…maybe have a little one-on-one with a doctor in a cold room painted lime green.  Right?  Are you feel’in me here?

aa cracked egg

Now that I take a closer look at the crazy, whacked-out egg, I can see who it is, it’s me. I’m the only one who cares what I look like at the reunion.  I can’t believe I just posted all those pictures of my flaws (they physical ones…haha, you don’t want to see pictures of the mental ones!) I feel better now that I have all that out on the table, however, thanks for listening.  This chick thanks you for it.aa one egg