Assessing things, two days after the ride

RideAcrossValleyFullMap
(click on the picture to see it full size)

Wow. I did NOT expect to see those kind of results. I knew that I got off to a flying start out of Chatsworth, considering that it’s a real grade and I had the wind at my back. But dang… (@_@) . I did that??? [keanu]Whoa.[/keanu]

How am I feeling? A lot less sore than I thought I’d be. Plantar fasciitis is not acting up. My first steps this morning were not painful at all. I have a bit of knee soreness, but it feels “exercised,” not injured. I got some laundry done…everything is out of the washers and there’s one last load in the dryer. It’s not even noon.

Goal for next year: the coastal trail. What better way to give a beach cruiser a workout than at the beach?

CruiseMissileF-111

Advertisements

Ride across the San Fernando Valley, 12/26/2013

Apres-ride CBTL...Burbank and the Hollywood FreewayLA Valley CollegeWoodman and the BuswayOdessa and VictoryThe former Valley Teen Center
Halfway point: Oxnard and White OakDe Soto and VictoryCanoga Metro Orange Line StationSaticoy and CanogaNordhoff and CanogaFinal Map

I actually did it! 18.6 miles! I feel really good, although I imagine I’m going to feel sore tomorrow. No problem…it’s a rest day.

Keeping my promise, sort of…

12262013_18MileRide_Fotor

Last year at this time, I mentioned my intent to walk across the San Fernando Valley in honor of my late husband and to raise funds for the International Myeloma Foundation. Richie was given his diagnosis of multiple myeloma, a blood cancer, on the day after Christmas, 2006. Then I got plantar fasciitis in one of my feet, and had to back off on walking long distances. I was told that cycling would be a good alternative to walking, and that it can sometimes serve to rehab the plantar fascia because pedaling stretches the very tendons in the bottom of the foot that get stressed walking.

Anyway, I’m really enjoying riding, and I realized that I could do the same route as a cycling route. The route is illustrated above. It’s 18 miles. I have done two 10 mile rides already, so I don’t think it’s so far fetched. And of course, there’s always the option to bail and catch a bus along the way…perhaps not along the Orange Line because of the scarcity of bike racks, but along Burbank Boulevard. I will also have my mobile phone with me, a first aid kit, and bike tools. I will have two liters of water on me in a “Camelback” type arrangement, and also some munchies. I intend to get lunch at the end of my route.

18 is a good number: in Jewish tradition, Hebrew letters also have numeric value, and Cheth-Yod, Chai, the Hebrew word for “Life” is valued at 18. I’m doing this to celebrate the lives of family and friends who have been taken from me by blood cancers, and to support a friend who is currently fighting blood cancer.

I intend to set out at 10am on December 26th, and if my figuring is right, I will likely be in North Hollywood at the end of my route around 12:30 or 1pm. If you want to join up on the ride you can meet me at Chatsworth Station at 10am, or if you want to donate to the International Myeloma Foundation feel free to visit them at http://www.myeloma.org/ . I also support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society because they are involved with both research and patient support not only for the leukemias and lymphomas but multiple myeloma as well.

I will document my ride, of course.

Frankenfoods, Frankensupplements, and your liver.

Green Tea Fields, Japan

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/22/us/spike-in-harm-to-liver-is-tied-to-dietary-aids.html

I drink a fair amount of green tea nearly every day. I’ve been doing so for about a year, when I substituted homemade, unsweetened iced tea for my Pepsi MAX habit of 2-4 cans a day. I don’t do artificial sweeteners anymore, (with the occasional lapse or accidental consumption, mind you) and I keep nutritive sweeteners to a minimum. If I drink a sweetened beverage, chances are it’s sweetened with Stevia or Monkfruit extract, or a blend of both.

However, steeping tea in water is one thing, using chemicals to extract the maximum amount of catechins from green tea leaves, then concentrating that extract, is yet another. A glass of wine at dinner is pretty much a good thing, unless you are taking meds that specifically do not allow alcohol consumption. However, chugging a whole jug of red table wine is harmful, to say the least. A few cups of green tea, spread out over a morning and early afternoon, is fine. But taking large doses of diet supplements with green tea extract in it can screw up your liver even faster than alcohol abuse, apparently.

I strongly believe that the closer to nature food is, the better it is for you. You can’t always eat that way but the more fresh stuff you eat and the less processed stuff you eat, the better off you will be. Unfortunately, the Diet Industrial Complex and the Bodybuilding Industrial Complex is very successful in selling special food and special supplements to people trying to either lose weight or gain muscle. It’s a huge business, and last year I saw it in action, up close and personal.

Even if you don’t want to check out that link, I want you to take a look at this picture. Check out the hellbroth of chemicals in this supplement, and all the disclaimers. It’s scary stuff.

Holy Disclaimers, Batman!

Seriously, that’s a packet of “high performance fitness supplement” I was given at that event. Do you think anyone wades through all that verbiage before popping one or two in hopes they can get that leg up on weight loss or training? Of course not! We should not be surprised that doctors are seeing really scary side effects from these supplements and pseudo-meals. There’s also the way some people train that’s very dangerous…yes, I like Crossfit, but people take it to extremes and some people wind up coming down with Rhabdomyosis, which is a muscle wasting disease that actually can be brought about by insane overtraining.

The fact of the matter is this: health should be the goal of any fitness and/or eating regimen. If you are endangering your health in the chase after skinny or buff, you are missing the point completely.

10 Things I Want My Daughter to Know About Working Out

So many good fitness/health blogs living here at WordPress.Com. This is a great article about fitness priorities.

wellfesto

Mid-way through a recent group exercise class, the teacher lost me.  She didn’t lose me because of some complicated step sequence or insanely long set of burpees; I mentally checked out because of a few words she kept saying over and over.  “Come on!  Get that body ready for your winter beach vacation!  Think about how you want to look at those holiday parties!  PICTURE HOW YOU’LL LOOK IN THAT DRESS!

View original post 649 more words

Getting to healthy

I talk here a lot about body acceptance. This is not an accident. This is not dogma, this is a necessary starting point for a realistic fitness journey.

I’m not a religious person, but the Serenity Prayer has a message even for someone who is agnostic like me. Let me rephrase it a little.

Let me find within myself the serenity to accept what I cannot change, the courage to change what I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Mesomorph Endomorph Ectomorph

We cannot change our genes. A fair amount of what controls our metabolism and our body type is genetic. Ectomorph (skinny, non-muscular) parents tend to have Ectomorph children. Endomorph (fat) parents tend to have Endomorph kids. Mesomorph (Average build) parents…you get it. Parents whose ancestors had to deal with food insecurity a lot tend to have slow metabolisms that hang onto calories. In turn, they have kids with similarly slow metabolisms. Those whose ancestors lived in relative plenty tend to have quicker metabolisms. Why do Frenchwomen not get fat? Why do we look at Greece and Rome for our body ideals instead of Poland, Hungary, Ukraine or Russia? Again, you got it. The more science looks at the connections between heredity and weight, the more it seems that our results are at least partially written in our genes rather than completely a matter of effort. This is something the American psyche rebels against, kicks against these goads until it bleeds, but it’s truth.

However, there are things we can change. We can get more active. We can eat more real food, more plant-based food. We can stop doing things that work against our health. We can control stress. We can get enough sleep. Ultimately it’s not going to provide the kind of OMG WOW results that you see all over the place in the media, but it will at least mean you will be a stronger, healthier person who will likely live a longer life than those who tend to not pay attention to things like that.

So yeah, let me find within the serenity to accept what I cannot change; (my body type) the courage to change what I can change; (my health habits) and the wisdom to know the difference.

The first Otagenki Report is up! A fun bike ride in Santa Barbara!

Really diggin’ this bike riding stuff…

Otagenki

Yesterday I was out and about in Santa Barbara at Santa Barbara Open Streets…a lower-key version of CicLAvia, the huge event that happened 3 times this year in LA. This is the first time I’ve gone to one of these events and ridden my bike. This was incredibly fun, and I think the video I brought back says it all. Cycling is great exercise, almost everyone learned to ride a bike as a kid, and it really is true that you never entirely forget how to ride a bike. Bikes are easy to find at garage sales, and most big cities have bike collectives that sell refurbished bikes cheap and teach you how to fix or even build a bike for yourself. The bike I was on when I shot this was a garage sale find, bought 10 years ago, sitting stored for years and years and only recently fixed…

View original post 52 more words

Wicked Witch Hands Fat Kids Shame-Filled Letter instead of Candy

Halloween is NOT the time to be doing this. It’s ok to bend the rules a bit on a holiday that comes but once a year.

*Loud record scratch noise*

We interrupt our regularly scheduled blog to make this public service announcement.  Apparently a woman in North Dakota called into a local radio station saying that she will hand trick-or-treaters that she deems too fat a letter along with their candy.  The thin kids will just get candy.  After the interview, she emailed a copy of the letter she plans to send along to the radio station.

Want to know what the letter will say?  Here it is in all its glory:

Happy Halloween and Happy Holidays Neighbor! [Picture of a cute pumpkin]

You are probably wondering why your child has this note; have you ever heard the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child”?  I am disappointed in “the village” of Fargo Moorhead, West Fargo.

Your child is in my opinion moderately obese and should not be consuming sugar and treats to the…

View original post 1,085 more words

Fitness Training and Trash Talking

I am totally guilty of trash-talking myself when I work out…feeling like an uncoordinated klutz. Negative self-talk is actually quite bad for anyone’s fitness journey.

Did you know that it’s “Fat Talk Free” week?  I just found out yesterday and I’m super excited.  A whole week dedicated to not trash talking our bodies?!?  Sign me up!  The day was created by sorority Delta, Delta, Delta.  You can see their video here:

Today I’d like to talk about how to talk to your body while you are fitness training.  We’re all familiar with the notion of trash talking in sports.  That’s where you call out your opponent and do verbal intimidation to help you win (or at least get air time).  If you want to see some amazing examples of trash talking in sports, you can follow this link to the Top Ten Sports Trash Talkers.  Unfortunately many of us have also faced trash talkers, gawkers and mean people who have tried to derail our fitness attempts in various ways.  From having people belittle your…

View original post 598 more words

Exercise Discovery–Finding Your Fun

Yes, exercise can be fun. Getting my bike back in working order and riding around has been a learning experience. Why did I wait so long? I missed this.

fatchickchirps.001-002

Naturally a lot of people ask me what I do.  And very often when I tell them, they say, “Oh I hate to exercise.”  And if they seem happy with the idea that they hate exercise, I leave it at that.  People are allowed to love exercise or hate exercise or do exercise despite the fact they hate it or start a small hat shop.  It’s not my job to tell them what to do.  But sometimes people ask me how they can stop hating exercise, and that’s what this blog post is about.

Because as the graphic says above, exercise is like sex, if you’re not having fun, you’re not doing it right.  And if you flipped that slide over, you would come to the second part of that statement which is, “sometimes you’ve got to kiss a few exercise toads before you find your exercise prince or princess.”

View original post 1,004 more words