June 17th, 2012 — Fit Girl
So you know, I’m getting a divorce and my husband and I were living in the same house for four months during this proceeding, because basically he cut me off financially and we had not decided who would keep the house. He also cut me off my gym membership, the gym being a place I went for at least an hour daily to manage stress and be fit and healthy. It wasn’t very nice. But, hey we’re getting a divorce and lots of people think this gives you carte blanc to be a jerk.
As you can imagine this was very stressful for everyone. Me being me, I decided that I had been working out religiously for six years and was in pretty good shape. I thought my body would let me slide for a few months until I had my finances back together.
I was simultaneously having a difficult time buying supplements that help with weight, nothing weird, just fish oil and that type of thing. I also quit taking my bio-identical hormones, also an expense. Add to that I was having difficulty buying the fresh, healthy food I had a habit of eating.
Then I just started eating crap. Well, this giant bag of Doritos won’t hurt, or this giant bag of Robin Eggs, or this box of cheap Milk Duds. I was drinking a bottle of Brianna’s Asagio Caesar Dressing every week, it’s on fruits, veggies and nuts, so the calories don’t count I lied. I pounded calories like a drug.
There was a mass quantity of beer in the house every day, also a serious issue in my marriage, which I started consuming more than I wanted to, more than I should, which too makes a person bloated and fat.
Essentially, all of my habits went out the window. And it’s all the teeny, tiny, seemingly insignificant habits that keep a person healthy and fit, as opposed to flabby and tired.
And I was hard on myself. Giving myself shit the entire time. Stepping on the scale and making excuses, oh it’s only 5 pounds, I can still wear my jeans. Until I couldn’t. Then it was only one size, until those got too tight. I am now wearing sundresses everyday, not only because I love them, but also because I am not surrendering to the next size up in jeans.
“Give yourself a break Tracee, you’re going through a divorce,” I told myself over and over and over as a way of calming my anxiety and guilt and anger about my body’s refusal to forgive a few months of poor habits. “As long as you don’t start smoking again you’ll be doing great.” And I haven’t, started smoking again, of which I am very proud. This is the first personal crisis that I have not smoked my way through.
“Give yourself a break, Tracee, you’re going through a divorce.”
So I did. Give myself a break.
I flew off a pink Barbie razor scooter and broke my clavicle fiercely. And took pain killers. And laid in pain, without any activity at all for two weeks. And my weight went all sorts of crazy, skyrocketing back to my post-Zack weight.
Suck. It’s so unfair that it took me six years of hard work and dedication to get fit, and only about five months to put everything back on. How is that fair? Why won’t my body just do what it used to do when I was in my teens and 20s?
Then the other day it occurred to me that in my 20s I didn’t eat food. I was poor, poor, poor. I would go the entire day without eating anything and then stop at whatever fast food restaurant was having a sale and eat a .99 burger. Or I would starve all day long and then eat yogurt or Raman for dinner. I was broke and needed to spend as little money as possible.
Then as I got richer, and was able to afford more food, I got bigger.
Maybe, just maybe, my natural weight is bigger than it was in my teens and 20s. Just maybe eating food, even healthy food, is going to make me a larger, healthier, fitter person. Certainly starving all day is not “health.”
I’m back on track and have lost about 10 pounds in a couple of weeks. Most of it was water weight, from pills and inertia. I am walking the dog an hour a day. I still can’t hit the gym for another month due to the clavicle. I started tracking calories to give myself a reality check on my consumption.
I’m also under less stress, though still grieving.
Now, I’m focusing on taking care of myself. And instead of instructing myself to “give myself a break,” I am simply telling myself, “I love you Tracee, I love you.”
My body is not going to let me slide. I just have to accept that. It just is. The other thing I have to accept is that 80% of it is food. I hate this. I love to exercise and I love to eat. But, again it just is. I have to forgive my body for this.
I will love myself back to fitness, back to great health. With good food, good exercise, lots of rest and meditation and some joy mixed in. The difference this time is that I’m returning to habits I have already established. I already know it’s the tiny habits that make the difference longterm, not binging and dieting. Which makes it easier.
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January 6th, 2011 — Body Image & Self Esteem, Fit Girl, TGR Body
I recently wrote an article in Lydia’s Style Magazine about skin cancer.
The part I found most relevant to The Girl Revolution is that UV (utraviolet) rays, the substance that causes skin damage and skin cancer, are cumulative. Meaning, our body stores them in its cells for the duration of our lifetimes and they add up, never disappearing.
I’m a regular sunscreen-user now, but as a teen I layed out and sun worshipped, to get a tan. According to the dermatologists I interviewed, all those hours of laying out are accumulated UV rays that are in my body’s cells and could become skin cancer. They will still be there in my 60s and 80s too. So, I really want to use sunscreen, to rack up as few UV points as possible during the remainder of my life, so as not to increase the risk.
People accumulate the majority of their lifetime UV rays as children and teens: recess, playing outside, riding bikes, spending entire summers playing in water, sun worshipping and tanning.
The more UV radiation they acquire as children, the higher the risk of skin cancer as adults. UV radiation can also lead to skin damage, like melasma or pregnancy mask, caused by sun exposure and hormones having a war on your face. I had this, it sucked and it was expensive to treat.
The advice of the dermatologists was to use a 30 SPF sunscreen on our children every hour. Not just in the morning. Not just at the pool. But, every day. All Day.
“Children should be applying sunscreen every hour when playing outdoors, including recess and getting to and from school, not just on a summer day at the pool,” said Mary Blattner, M.D., Lydia’s Style Magazine Oct. 2010.
I wasn’t that mom. I was sunscreen-at-the-pool mom. At the end of summer, they were golden and “protected” from burns, I thought. I was informed that this is also wrong, a good tan gives you an SPF protection of 4 (four). Totally inadequate.
My kids hate the sunscreens on the market currently. I have to chase them and insist they put it on. This isn’t a hugely fun thing for me to do every hour that they spend outside. They hate the chemically smell, they hate the greasy texture and feel, they hate that aerosol cloud. They HATE it!
Which is why The Girl Revolution is releasing a skin care line, TGR Body, with several forms of organic, natural, paraben and phthalate-free, sweet smelling, non-greasy sunscreen and sunblock.
Natural Beauty Sunscreen Powder looks a tiny bit like makeup, but it’s sunscreen. I love this mom fake-out that lets daughters feel more grown-up. It’s a good motivator for them to use it. The applicator has a brush on top, sunscreen in bottom. Just dust the brush around your face, done. It’s small enough to carry to school for recess. It comes in porcelain and beige to match skin tones. I can’t wait to show it to you.
Natural Beauty Sunblock Mist is a light, sweet-smelling, non-aerosol spray.
Natural Beauty Sunscreen Lotion feels like silk and smells very light.
For boys, we’ll carry Skin Armor Spray. It’s the same great sunscreen product, but labeled differently.
These sunscreens are natural, organic and safe for the whole family.
I’ll be talking more about the product-line and how excited I am about releasing TGR Body until the release in the next few weeks. I’m so excited!
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March 22nd, 2010 — Politics & Legislation
The Health Care Reform Bill passed the United States Senate yesterday.
This is a great day for girls and all other Americans. They will never lose their insurance. They can’t lose it if they “get” a pre-existing condition. They can’t lose it if their parents get laid off, if they marry the guy who gets laid off, they can’t lose it if they get divorced, they can’t lose it if they, themselves, get laid off.
And neither can we.
To Republicans who were against this bill: I’m sorry you feel that way. Fear seems to be the source of the angst about health care reform. To which I’ll quote the Motto of America: In God We Trust. Then I’ll quote the Bible and say, “Perfect love casts out fear.” I’ll further advise a shift in perspective to one of lack and limited resources to the reality that we’re still the richest nation on the Planet Earth and we live in a Universe of Abundance. We CAN afford it. It’s more efficient. Try to see it. It feels better.
I’ve noticed this about Republicans I know personally: though they say they are against social welfare programs, they seem to be pretty happy about cashing unemployment checks, having their babies on federal and state health care programs if they’re pregnant without insurance (many times on purpose), using public funds for family planning, feeding their kids on WIC and food stamps, filing for social security and medicare and medicaid when they need it. It’s a paradox I have not been able to puzzle out through the entire health care debate. I have no doubt they’ll all find the most beneficial way to use this health care bill too.
As they should.
I have equal faith that insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and health care providers will find a way to capitalize on this bill as well. It’s who they are and what they do. They’re freaking geniuses at it.
As they should.
Health care should focus on wellness and healing the sick.
I feel confident this Bill makes the best attempt possible — in our complicated system of checks and balances and “great compromises” – to put the focus back on health, wellness and healing.
Now, if the American Citizens can get their own personal focus on compassion we’ll really be doing well. Perhaps that’s too much to ask of a Bill or a for-profit health care industry. Compassion can only happen in the hearts of Americans. I have faith we can pull that off too. It’s who we are. It’s what we do. We’re freaking geniuses at it.
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September 24th, 2009 — Fit Girl, Politics & Legislation
September 10th, 2009 — Body Image & Self Esteem, Fit Girl
I feel sure that this is perhaps the only thing ever written on The Girl Revolution that is not in any way controversial: Breast Cancer is Bad.
Donating money for breast cancer research is good.
Pixascope Creative Agency and Between the Covers Book Club are partnering to beat down breast cancer by participating in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Austin, Texas on Nov. 1.
Please donate money today.
(That’s our aunt Debbie, a 5 year survivor. My grandmother is also a survivor.)
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