The first time I heard of vaginal weights I was listening to Howard Stern on the radio, he was interviewing this guy who was complaining because he had divorced his wife a year ago and she started using vaginal weights soon after. She came back home just long enough to shag him once and show him what he was missing. At that point I was in my early twenties, was newly married and had no kids. I assumed that vaginal weights were some sort of dirty sex toy.
Now fast forward 15 years. I am older, (almost 40) wiser, (I know there is no such thing as a dirty sex toy!) I have kids, (two to be precise) and I am a #runner. I hang out with ladies who confess to me that they plan their run routes according to available pee stops. I know women who examine race routes, studying where every port-o-poty is to determine if they can in fact finish the race without peeing themselves. Some ladies I know will only run at the gym on a track that is within just yards of the nearest restroom.
Not me, I’m just fine when I run…as long as I don’t stop. I can run ten miles and never have to worry about losing control, it’s when I stop briefly to let my dog sniff a mailbox that the floodgates suddenly open and I find myself bent over, clamping my crossed legs shut while yelling at myself for being an incontinent fool.
As women runners, we have two problems: we are women, and we are runners. Most women have had children and this drastically affects the muscles that control our bladder (pelvic muscles). The pressure of carrying a child weakens the pelvic muscles and seems to weaken the sphincter muscle which keeps the urethra (urine tube) closed. Even if you haven’t had kids, eventually you may have problems just because you have gone through menopause, which also seems to weaken the pelvic muscles.
But above all, as runners, we are continually pounding those same muscles, weakening them. Imagine yourself running and unless you are always squeezing your muscles, like you are actively trying not to pee, then your pelvic muscles are bouncing up and down freely like a huge bungee cord stretched loosely between to people. They stretch out and loosening more and more over time. Sadly, because we are runners, we are adding to the problem.
I’m sure you’ve tried Kegels; you know, the exercises where you stop your pee mid-stream repeatedly in an attempt to strengthen your pelvic muscles. The problem is, you have to remember to do them all the time in order to see any improvement. And if you take a break for a few days, you are back to square one.
Enter the vaginal weight. I can’t recall how I discovered these little things but I have to tell you that every day that has passed without me telling you all about them is a day I have felt guilty. I feel like I’ve been keeping a secret from a close friend…a secret that will make you stop peeing yourself. I’m sorry. Please forgive me.
Vaginal weights usually come in sets, mine came in a set of six weights, each progressively heavier. You first figure out which weight is a good starting point for you. You do this by inserting the lightest, see if you can walk around without losing it, (i’m sorry, you just have to bear with me here) you should do this while wearing underwear because these things could break tile if dropped on it correctly. Once you find a weight you can’t hold, you use the weight that is one step lighter. This weight should be used for 15 minutes twice a day until you have no problem holding it. Then you start using the next heaviest weight the same way until finally you can hold the heaviest weight for 15 minutes twice a day. At that point you can go to once a day or a couple times a week to maintain pelvic muscle fitness.
I know this seems like a huge dedication but it really isn’t as bad as it sounds. If you make it a habit of using them in the morning while showering and getting ready it’s a perfect addition to your morning and evening ritual. You will be surprised how quickly you will advance through the weights, possibly in just a week or two. I did. And the best part? They really do work, and they work quickly.
And finally, there is an added benefit that I didn’t mention but you’ve probably already figured out: they improve your sex life. If your husband throws a fuss about you spending a little cash on MORE exercise equipment, just tell him the truth: they aren’t weights, they are dirty little sex toys! He will get right on board.
Here is a link to Amazon, these are the weights that I bought. (I am now an affiliate on the suggestions of blog readers, hope you are not upset). I hope you have the same benefits. Please post in the comments if you are brave enough. And guys, if you read this whole thing I hope you have a little more respect for us ladies and all we go through!
#Running #women #exercise #incontinence #peeing
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
If you’ve been following me on twitter lately, you may have noticed my focus going from running to running my mouth off against GMO’s. It has upset some twipsters, but only 2 of the 60,000 I have following me have truly bumped heads with me on it.
In the following blog I am simply going to tell my story, and maybe rattle off just a few tidbits of information available on the subject. If you are so inclined, you can seek more information on your own. I’ve put links throughout this blog that will take you to places to learn the truth about GMOs. And in the end, you can draw your own conclusion.
I have a Masters degree in Veterinary Science. During my years working on that degree I had the honor of working with some amazing scientists. Like many students, I was disillusioned into thinking that most research had the sole purpose of discovery, cures and evolving science. Along the way, and while working after receiving my degree I became aware that it is not. Research is more about keeping students and post-docs employed and making the givers of grant money happy.
At most facilities that do scientific research, especially universities, PhD’s seek grant money from places like pharmaceutical and biotech companies. That money is used to perform research on things like new drugs, vaccines, and so on. But more than anything, that research money keeps labs going. It pays for the lab techs, the grad student’s stipends, and the post-doc’s pay. Without that money, people lose their jobs. Many labs are run solely on grant money.
You learn very quickly that you better come up with the results the company providing the funding wants, or they may take their business elsewhere. That is all I’m going to say about that. And by the way, it was while working in an immunology lab that I made the decision NOT to continue vaccinating my children.
I left research to raise my kids. I simply could not work in a field doing research I didn’t agree with.
Fast forward almost 10 years. I am a mother. I am an avid reader of all things related to nutrition, fitness, health, medicine, science and running. I am a self proclaimed nutrition guru. My brain is packed full of alternative and non-alternative medicine, and can tell you what to do for your IT band injury. But along the way, I learned about the corruption of our food. It is nearly impossible to investigate nutrition without finding yourself on the dirty path that our food has taken to the modern day.
As a person who has first hand experience working in research, I do not bat an eye when I am told things like “Monsanto didn’t allow it to be published.” or “He lost his job because he tried to publish his research.”
Everyone says, “Show me the peer reviewed research!” or “The FDA says there is no difference between natural crops and GMO crops.” But they are so misinformed.
Monsanto has spent millions of dollars educating the public about how safe their products are. They have millions to do just that. The small groups of scientists and citizens who know better don’t have millions to counter those commercials.
And as far as the research, well, thanks to the FDA, GMO’s don’t have to be tested for safety. Our FDA is a messed up and overworked agency. They don’t have time to test every new product on the market. If a company believes that their new product is generally recognized as safe (GRAS), they don’t need to test it. If you want to create your own GMO product, you can put it on the market with no testing tomorrow.
Yes, Monsanto has paid for some testing. The studies were crap, they’ve ‘proven’ GMO’s are safe, big surprise. And they will stand behind those crappy experiments until the dead cows they killed come home. Independent scientists and countries where it is banned have done research that proves otherwise. But I don’t need testing to know GMO’s are bad.
Seeing reports that entire herds of animals died after eating GMO cotton stocks–that’s telling. Seeing the results of studies where mice die at twice the rate when fed GMO feed as compared to their control mice eating non-GMO– that’s telling. The fact that wild animals won’t eat GMO crops…that says a lot. And the fact that cows, squirrels, pigs, sheep, bison and rats will choose natural over GMO feed when offered both, that speaks volumes to me. I can do that very experiment in my own back yard, and see the proof.
GMO’s do not help farmers, they are not going to end world hunger and are not good for the planet (ask the 60% of butterflies that die when their milkweed is exposed to GMO pollen). They increase the amount of pesticide needed, they don’t increase yield potential but reduce it over time, they create super-weeds that are resistant to herbicide, they can cause health issues and are less nutritious than natural foods (all information and scientific documentation can be found in the links provided).
I can go on and on…
But above all, I strive to feed my children the very best, least toxic food I can find. And I am trying to support all actions that make our planet a better place for them to live. That said, I don’t feed GMO’s to my children. I buy organics, because that is the only way to know the food is GMO free and I fight for the labeling of GMOs.
If you want to know more, check out some of my links. I also suggest watching the movie, Genetic Roulette , The World According to Monsanto, Food inc. or if you are into reading, these books are extremely informative and site the research all those people beg for: Seeds of Deception, The World According to Monsanto, The Unhealthy Truth, One Mother’s Shocking Investigation Into America’s Food Supply–And What Every Family Can do to Protect Themselves, (all of these links go to Amazon, not because they pay me…I wish, but because you can see the reviews and read the back cover).
And by the way, being GMO free makes me run faster! When you are healthy, you really do run faster:)
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.
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.
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. If 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. There 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.
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), the silver dollar sized hole in my left leg (thank you Black Lab on the bike ride two years ago) and all those scars on my knees (thank you trail race where I biffed and two tough mudders), the 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.
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.
and of those twelve people…maybe one or two might care, maybe.
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?
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.