“Think theater and go mirror-free! Participants want to be absorbed in a fun and motivating experience, not to watch their possibly out-of-shape bodies attempt to match a lithe instructor’s every shimmy and shake.” – so started a fitness newsletter about the latest workout trends that Turbo Jennie forwarded to me the other day.
I wrote her back a very intelligent response that basically consisted of LOLWUT?
No mirrors in a workout studio? That’s like a restaurant with no fake centerpiece candles or a subway with no bizarre ads or a strip club with no poles! I mean, what are you supposed to look at then?? Turbo Jennie agreed with me, answering, “Mirrors are a must. It seems like most work harder with a mirror and those that don’t stand in the back or sides!”
I figured we were all in agreement until I posted about gym mirrors on Facebook and was surprised when the vast majority of people said they prefer no mirrors. Several women even said that the no-mirrors thing was one of the reasons they switched from a traditional gym to a CrossFit box. (That and the implicit permission to wear crazy knee-high socks. Okay so they didn’t say that but I know they meant it, deep down.)
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Happy NEDA week, everyone! This week – February 23 to March, 1 2014 – is National Eating Disorders Awareness week and I’ll admit that I wasn’t going to post about it at first. Mostly because I feel like I write so much about eating disorders on this blog that it’s kind of NEDA all the time here. I’ve had eating disorders for decades, they’ve been with me for more of my life than not, and I’ve been very public about my struggles with them and my continuing recovery. My archives are full of posts about how I developed my EDs, what kinds I’ve had, what treatments I’ve been through, what setbacks I’ve had, my body image and endless posts about what I’ve learned. I didn’t think I had anything left to say on the subject, frankly.
And then two things happened:
Between busy schedules, noisy kids, diet restrictions, school pickups and work, planning a simple lunch out with friends can require more coordination than Angelina Jolie holding a G8 summit. For something that’s supposed to make our lives simpler, sometimes eating out is crazy complicated. But it’s important to me to find time to connect with my girls and so even though it sometimes goes awry, I still try. So the other day a group of us met up at Panera for a little girl time. It was less Ladies Who Lunch and more Sisters Who Snack (between running after kids, talking and laughing).
“Wow. Well that’s good birth control,” the young man dryly observed as he watched my friends and I herd our kids into the other day. The scene was, admittedly, a little rowdy – we had four babies amongst us and all of them were trying to bolt in different directions – but I just had to laugh. The joke was on him because between the four of us, we actually have 16 kiddos so if he thought four nominally mobile toddlers were bad, he should buy stock in Trojan. (Sometimes I swear the purpose of my life is to convince teens not to have sex. Some moms make motherhood look as effortlessly adorable as a Pottery Barn ad. Me? I make it look every bit as gory, gross and difficult as it is. Sometimes worse (I’m dramatic). Seriously, they should have me tour health classes.)
Best eye makeup EVER.
Wait, that sign has words?? My whole world view was rocked one day in 5th grade when my parents took me to get my eyes checked. It turned out that not only was I near-sighted but I was so near-sighted that the fact that signs contain actual words and not just blurry pictures was a shattering revelation. I remember marching out of the optometrist’s office and reading every sign I could find – just because I could.
Ever since then my consistently worsening vision has provided my family with a trove of embarrassing and hilarious stories. Like the time when I was 16 and jumped on the back of a boy in the swimming pool, thinking he was my brother that I’d been horsing around with. I quickly realized that despite wearing the same color swim trunks as my brother, he was not related to me in any way when he turned his head and said dryly, “Excuse me, can I help you?” I still had my legs locked around his waist when I spotted my brother several feet away laughing so hard I thought he was going to aspirate his own tongue.
I love love love Natalie Dee.
This weekend something awesome happened: My husband’s grandmother, the last living grandparent either one of us has, came to visit. It was the first time my children have ever met their great-grandmother although they know her well from the cards and stickers she sends them on their birthdays. In the entire 14 years my husband and I have been married, Grandma Ann has never forgotten a birthday – not even mine. (A stark contrast to my own grandmother who gave me exactly one birthday gift in my entire life and that was a pair of used underwear.) We spent a wonderful day with her and at 86 she’s as sprightly and fun as pop rocks in Sprite.
When Grandma Ann saw this picture I apologized for Son #3 on the right. “Oh, it’s okay,” she said, patting my arm. “There’s always one!” “In every family?” I finished. “No, in every picture! They’re kids,” she laughed.
Afterwards my husband was admiring all the great pictures we’d taken with four generations of his family and that was when I had to go and ruin all the fun.
See THIS is why soda needs a warning label. Or an IQ test.
“Thirty eight grams of sugar?!” my son yelled as he swatted the drink out of his brother’s hand. “I will not let this demon death drink of high-fructose horrors will not claim you!!!” And with that he did some air karate, some pirouettes, and a bow before chucking the thing in the trash. We make quite the impression at the mall food court, let me tell you.
(Evidence #2: Same mall, different night. My children, some of their friends and I all sit down next to a table full of hipster teenagers. Hipster boy says, “Whoa how many are there?” Just as I’m answering “eight” Son #3 spontaneously goes from firmly seated on his bench to fallen on the floor, head first. So I corrected myself, “Seven.” Hipster stares at my kid shrimping around his feet and says, “Whoa do they just, like, do that sometimes?” And of course I answer, “Yes, just ask your mother.”)
I need this shirt SO BAD.
“That’s not normal, you know,” the doctor said, tapping the chart lightly with her pen. She was looking at some preliminary test results for one of my sons who I had brought in to talk about his problems at school. (Ironically it’s not the son the school was telling me to test for ADHD – I still think he’s just high energy – but in the course of testing him I began to see the pattern emerging… in his brother.)
“It looks normal to me. That’s how I do it,” I snapped.
She raised an eyebrow at me. “No, it’s really not normal. And I’m using that in the clinical sense of the word. If you and your son both do these behaviors then you’re both outside the range of normal.”
Nothing like watching your kids unravel to put your own issues in a new light.
“I don’t believe you,” I answered in my most calm voice. ( Which actually came out like “I don belief you!” because sometimes my calm voice gets a Spanish accent because apparently I channel Skippyjon Jones when I’m trying to act like a grown-up. Chihuahuas, cheese and crackers, I might want to rethink that.)
The one unlit Olympic ring. The psychedelic mushrooms floating into the sky. Julia “tiny genius” Liptnitskaia. (You have to watch that video if you haven’t seen it yet!) All those poor puppies. There have been quite a few memorable moments from the 2014 Sochi Olympic games but let’s be honest, it’s Bob Costas’ Eye of Sauron that everyone is talking about. Being “wreathed in flame” is right, poor man:
He’s not crying with joy at yet another American victory but rather because his eyes are in so much pain from the bright studio lights. Ouch.
Thanks to a “pesky viral infection” (that’s the official science name and everything), Costas finally had to break his 157 consecutive appearances covering the Olympics and give in to a disease more known for plaguing preschoolers than felling grown men. It turned out to be a win-win as Matt Lauer’s Facial Hair got to step in and interview Olympians and those people who make Russian nesting dolls (seriously that part was super interesting). And Costas not only got his own updating front-page story on The Atlantic’s site called Bob Costas Eyewatch 2014 but his own #CostasEye hashtag that launched a million wonderfully bad jokes.
Happy Valentine’s Day! Or Happy Friday! I have to say that while I’m not one of those v-day haters, this isn’t my favorite holiday. If ever there was day that shows the destructive power of expectations, then this is it. BUT – there are ways to make it fun! Check out my ideas and I’m hoping you’ll fill in #10 for me by telling me what sweet, funny, kind thing you are doing for someone today! (Or even not doing!)
10 Sneaky Nice Things To Do For Your Valentine
1. Put a small plastic toy in their cereal box. Remember how much you loved those things when you were a kid? Sure you could have bought it for 25 cents at the store and saved the mess but how fun was the surprise of watching a mini stamp set with dried-out ink plop into your pink milk?
Spock pointing a gun at me is definitely the first thing I want to see in the morning. But don’t worry, you get a free badge.