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Dear Marie-Claire

Apparently I’m a little late to the party but news broke last week that Marie-Claire was publishing an expose on the dangers effects of health/fitness bloggers and how bloggers of this nature are nothing short of anorexic-control freaks.  You can find the original article here .  I read the article(and the responses to said article) on Wednesday and have been thinking about it ever since.  At first I wasn’t going to say anything about it; but the more I thought about it the more I realized I needed to speak out against it.

Now, none of the woman in the article have any clue who I am.  They have never heard of me or this blog and maybe never will.  That’s not the point.  The point is I have some arguments against what was presented in the article and I think just as they were allowed to put their opinion out there; I should be given the same courtesy.

If you don’t want to read the whole article the jist is this: the author contacted 6 of the women behind some of the most popular blogs in the genre of health/fitness and said she wanted to interview them about blogging/making money from a blog.  Things took a turn for the sketchy when she started insinuating that the authors had eating disorders/exercise disorders and/or could cause their readers to have the same.

I faithfully read one of the six blogs mentioned and peruse the others on a fairly regular basis.  I have seen very little of what the author accuse these women of(obsession with NOT eating food, exercising too much, being self-absorbed).

The following are things that really stuck out to me in the article:

The author points to several *key* blog posts that “back up her point”.  Such as the fact that one of the bloggers ran 22 miles and then was hungry….um….yup I think after 22 miles I’d be hungry too(heck I’m hungry after a 2 mile run!).  Since when does being hungry mean you have an eating disorder?

The author seems to take issue with the fact that these six women derive some monetary income and perks of this job(such as free stuff given to them by companies looking for mention on the blog).  Ummm…don’t we all do a job of one sort of another that a.)pays you some money and b.) gives you some sort of perk(s).  I’m an eye doctor;  I can get free contacts….My hubby works for Best Buy; he gets a great employee discount and can win free prizes(cameras, GPS, cd’s ect are just some examples of things we have won) through contests/incentives.  Are you going to write an article about us now?  Oh wait, you better include my sister in that article because she’s a teacher and she gets lots of discounts at local businesses.

The irony was not lost on me that a magazine consumed with images of anorexic models featuring articles on “how to lose 10 pounds fast” or “flat abs: we show you how…it’s easy!” would call foul on women presenting a healthy, whole food way of living.

Now beyond the article, I was rather disturbed in reading some of the comments left by other readers.  Now a majority of the comments were in support of the food bloggers and reacted angrily to the article.  There were a few that said the article did bring up some questions they had; which is fine; everyone is entitled to their own opinion.  What disturbed me were the handful of commenters who seemed almost gleeful in the “bringing down” of these women as if they had a personal vendetta against healthy living blogs(and those six authors in general).  One even went so far as to call those who read these blogs “minions”.  I take offense to that.  Just because I read a blog and enjoy it and feel the need to stand up for someone doesn’t mean I blindly worship them or agree with everything they do.  That’s just absurd.

And finally I am blown away by the fact that some commenters logic is that because people are defending food blogs and these six women that that means that what the article says is gospel truth.  Now I know that sometimes this is the case.  When someone defends themselves over-zealously it can mean that they are feeling guilty or there is truth behind the argument.  But not always and to claim that because I want to defend myself(hypothetically speaking) automatically means I’m guilty is plain wrong.

I don’t really read Marie-Claire….I find it so be vapid, self-serving and spoiled.  This article just gives me MORE reason not to read it.  Now if others feel the same way about health blogs; then so be it….guess what you don’t have to read them!

So I am off my soap-box now……back to the goofiness shortly!

-Tamara

“Who are you that lies when you stare at my face? Telling me that; I’m just a trace of the person I once was cause we’re not the same; you’re just a picture of me; you’re gone as soon as I leave; you’ve lived my life for me; And you’re no more than a piece of glass”….Caedmon’s Call

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Weekend Update #3

Howdy Folks!

How was your weekend?  Mine was fab!  Friday night was spent as per our usual(and quickly becoming tradition):  dinner out with the folks(only this time it was just mom as dad was playing tennis) and then some shopping for the house.

Saturday ushered in fall-like temps(lows in the 50s; highs in the 70s..*love*) so dad and I took full advantage of this and woke up early to run around the marsh(about 4 miles).  After breakfast, the four of us headed over the house we are painting and hubby and I got the majority of one side of the house completely painted with blue(now to go back and paint the trim!) Mom and dad worked on one of the dormers; the house is really starting to come together now…soooo excited to see it when it’s all done!!

Hubby and I made a scrumptious lunch of stir-fried veggies and veggie burgers then headed off to our house.  I spent the afternoon cooking for Sat night while hubby did some chores and watched college football.  Church was awesome!  They had an inflatable pool with stairs leading in and out of it in the sanctuary and they asked anyone who wanted to be baptized right then to come forward.  Very moving; don’t think there was a dry eye in the house!

One of hubby’s friend’s from work was there and went forward to get baptized so we invited him home for dinner after church.  At home, hubby gave the house tour and mom and I worked on getting dinner together.  I made fancy grilled "cheese" sandwiches(basil zucchini herb whole wheat herb bread, pesto , mozzarella *cheese*, tomatos and spinach)inspired by Mama Pea and spinach artichoke dip….alll homemade and vegan…oh yeah….plus peanut butter blondies(also vegan) for dessert…..everyone went to town and said the food was delicious.  I’m sorry there are no pictures but again…broken camera situation….I need to take hubby’s point and shoot cause I don’t think he uses it anymore since he’s not doing car audio right now……

We played some games and then everyone crashed!  Dad and I woke up early on Sunday and ran around the lake then hubby and I made the big breakfast(no pancakes this time though….pumpkin cinnamon rolls….*yum*).  After the obligatory weekend trip to Lowe’s we did some minor painting and repair work around the house. 

Mom and dad left in the early afternoon and we spent most of the day relaxing.  I undertook a major project for dinner(didn’t think it’d be that bad actually)….making ravoli.  The making of the dough, the stuffing of the dough into the ravoli’s were all easy.  It was rolling out that dang dough thin enough then cutting the shapes out…gah…I was seriously sweating!  But it turned out all right though I was a bit unhappy with the flavor of the filling(butternut squash, goat cheese, onions and sage).  The sage was just off putting to me…..I followed a recipe when I should’ve just gone with my gut….Live and Learn!

Always too short(but incredibly enjoyable!) and here we are at Monday again!  Have a great week everyone!

-Tamara

"I struggle with my laziness…I’m always like: should I sit down and do nothing or should I lie down and do nothing?"….Jim Gaffigan

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Fresh Month…Fresh Outlook

Happy October Everyone!

My favorite time of year has always been from October 1-December 31.  Though it’s been  a long time since I’ve lived in a location that actually *had* a fall(the exception being last year when I got to enjoy some fall weather in NC) I love the IDEA of fall and all the things that go along with it.  Plus this time period contains my two favorite holidays(Halloween and Christmas….bet you thought I’d say Thanksgiving!).  And when I was in school(which was the past 23 years of my life!) this meant several three day weekends and Christmas Vacation!

Living in Florida, this time also meant that there was the possibility of having days where the temperature DOESN’T reach 90+ and the humidity stays at a normal level.

I love the colors of fall and of Christmas: the deep reds, crisp oranges, browns and greens, reds and silvers.  I love the smells of fall: cinnamon, pumpkin, fresh breads baking, crisp cool air. And those of Christmas: chocolate, mint, pine(plus all the smells of fall that are still around). I love the flavors of fall and Christmas(which coincidentally are the same smells I love!

(and PS…I know that fall *technically* started in September but for me, it doesn’t *feel* like fall till it’s October)

For me, the start of October and MY Fall has signaled a transition to a new period of life; ie a fresh start.  It may not make sense to you but just go with me here.

This year I feel like I need a new start more than ever.  August and September were just over-taken with: starting new jobs for both hubby and I; moving to GA; buying a new house; moving into said house; getting said house into a live-able condition.  With all that activity I let my personal activity(ie, running and lifting weights) dwindle.  I also found myself reaching for more junk food than normal; eating larger servings of things than normal(ahem…a full bag of blue corn chips in 1 week: that’s 10 servings people)*.

source

As a direct result my motivation took a nose-dive; my exhaustion levels sky-rocketed and I have found myself a flabby crabby naggy(threw that one in for hubby’s benefit) person.

I want to look forward to working out again(instead of hiding under the covers and hoping it won’t find me!)……

“Eight minutes(of working out); That’s all it takes!..Just 8 minutes!!….Yeah, can you make it no minutes?  Cause right now I’d just don’t feel like it….and later I’m not going to want to….”….Jim Gaffigan

So it’s time to say hello to fall and say good-bye to excuses and bad attitudes(and hiding under the covers!).  It’s time to get up early and get those workouts in!  Pump that iron; run those miles!

The cool fronts have started to arrive so I really have no excuse now!

Making fitness a priority=a happier, healthier(less flabby, less crabby, less naggy) Me and I’m sure that’s something that all(but particularly hubby) will appreciate!

Anyone else have a crummy summer in terms of finding time to workout and now are looking around for their motivation(if you find mine please send it to me UPS; I’ll write you a check 😉 )

-Tamara

“I heard it takes forever to grow a woman from the ground”…Chris Thile

*For the record, I am not AT ALL planning on going on any kind of a diet. I’m strictly talking about making better choices, such as eating only 1 serving of chips at a time…not two or three! And eating more fruit and vegetables for snacks as opposed to processed junk food.

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Celebrating Life

My husband’s Aunt passed away on Friday after a long battle with cancer.  She was a remarkable woman who remained positive despite her illness.  She had tons of hilarious stories, which often centered around the foibles she encountered due to the fact that she had been blind since childhood.

I don’t remember all the stories, but one sticks out in my mind….Her BLIND Date.  I don’t know all the circumstances surrounding this encounter but someone…friend, family member, I’m not sure….set her up to go on a date with someone she had never met, known world-wide as a blind date.

Upon arriving at said date the datee’s came to the realization that this date was blind in more ways than one…both attendees were themselves blind but those responsible for the arrangement of said date had neglected to tell either party of the other’s visual status.

Now by and by they finished their meal and decided they wanted to continue this date at a different location.  Apparently the male member of this little pairing was the “less blind” of the two and it was decided that HE would “lead the way” to their next location….giving a whole new meaning to the statement, “the blind leading the blind”.

Double white canes out and they were off….His “less blind” status was soon to be tested when his lack of visual perception caused hubby’s Aunt to run smack dab into a light pole(or something like that…just work with me here, it’s been awhile since I heard the full story)

Another story that makes me laugh doesn’t directly involve his Aunt, but took place at her house while they were visiting her and it directly involves hubby so here we go:

Hubby was about 2 or 3 years old and momma and daddy hubby, +sister and hubby had gone to visit Aunt C. Aunt C had a beautiful brand new white couch in her basement. Said couch was admired by all and the grown-ups retired to a different room for relaxing and doing grown-up things.

By and by, it was noted by all that it was rather quiet and someone asked when was the last time little hubby had been seen?

Search dogs may have been called out but eventually hubby was found in the basement with the *red* couch…whoops…did you read that right….*red couch*….look back up a few sentences and you’ll see that in fact the original color of the couch was not red, but in fact white….

Little hubby had found a can of paint and had made short work of painting the couch, as it were, red.  Now, momma and daddy hubby were not exactly what you would call “made of money”, so replacing the couch was out of the question.  I believe it was thrown out there that since Aunt C was blind, would it really matter?  Though that statement was quickly vetoed by momma hubby.   The couch was eventually returned to it’s white state after daddy hubby cleaned and cleaned it….

Awww….kids…..

Well, there you have it; I hope telling some funny stories about a wonderful lady is the way she would’ve wanted herself remembered.

I would like to take this time to celebrate my life and all the things I am grateful for:

My hubby, my parents, my in-laws, all my grandparents; the fact that I am surrounded by long-lived happy marriages on all sides(all parents and living grandparents are still married), my sister, my dogs, my job, my new house, the fact that I live in the USA, Jesus, my health

“Lay down softly, in our sorrow; lay down sister to die. Cover over, my Sweet Father, cover over her eyes.  Your broken body, it cannot weather, the years your youth still longs to spend, so go down graceful, sleep with the angels and wake up whole again…..But the finest moment, no man can measure is to look your Savior in the eyes”….Bebo Norman

-Tamara

“This is not the end here at this grave; this is just a hole that someone made. Every hole was made to fill and every heart can feel it still, our nature hates a vacuum.  This is not the hardest part of all; this is just a seed that had to fall. All our lives we till the ground until we lay our sorrows down and watch the skies for rain.  There is more, more than all this pain; more than all the falling down and the getting up again.  There is more, more than we can see from our tiny vantage point in this vast eternity; there is more”….Andrew Peterson

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The Good Confession

"……I heard the call and came……..

They buried me, beneath the water

Then I rose again……

And  said, I believe, He is the Christ, Son of the Living God….

All I know is that I was blind and now I see, though I kick and scream, Love is leading me. Every step of the way His Grace is making me,

 every breath I breathe,

 He is saving me and I believe

 by Qumana

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Weekend Update

Hi there!

I hope everyone had a great weekend! I know I did. I’ve decided to do a weekly post on Monday’s detaling the events of my weekend since they tend to be when stuff happens most! 

This weekend was busy, busy, busy and flew by as usual! 

Friday evening after work I stopped by my house to pick up the girls and then headed to Mom and Dad’s house.  After a quick dinner at Panera we did some shopping at Home Goods and dropped dinner off for hubby who was working late.

Saturday morning found Dad and I awake early for a 4 miler around the marsh then all of us headed over to paint the house of a friend of mom and dad’s.  That was some seriously difficult work!  The house is fairly old with rough cedar siding that just sucks up the paint!  I had to apply all kinds of pressure to my roller to get the paint to go on and sometimes had to go in with the brush because it was just too rough.  And boy was it ever hot out!  I’d estimate between 85-90 degrees….and sunny.  I was a hot mess let me tell you; particularly after I tripped over a bush and fell off the ladder(only fell about 3 feet though, no worries).

We painted for about 3.5 hours before calling it quits and coming home for some lunchie.  After our meal, hubby and I headed out for some more shopping for the house(does it ever end??) We got a couple fruit bushes and some vegetable plants along with a few other assorted household items. 

Church followed by dinner out(two vegetarians eating at a bar-b-que/ribs restaurant was quite entertaining) then crash in bed after watching the Texas/TTech game. 

Sunday morning dawned hot and sticky and I nixed my long run idea(since I had slept in….)….big pancake breakfast followed by some cleaning then more shopping(!) then hit the gym for a workout, and finally headed back to our house to do some chores around there! 

It seemed like I just blinked and it’s already Monday but immensely enjoyed every second of my weekend!  Can’t wait for the next one!

-Tamara

"This day’s been crazy but everything happened on schedule…from the rain and the cold to the drink that I spilled on my shirt….You knew you saved me before I fell dead in the garden…and You knew this day long before You made me out of dirt…"….Derek Webb

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Just say Ommmm……

I want to post more…I really do but I just haven’t had the time nor the internet access to do so.  Every weekend for the past three weekends has been taken up with moving and now we’re fairly settled in the new house….but….no internet….and they can’t come out till NEXT FRIDAY…so another week and a half of no internet/tv/phone.  I sometimes can access an unsecured network of our neighbors, but not all the time and never for enough time to post…..

Right now I’m at work and crossing my fingers that the connection lasts through the end of this post!  Some days I have a decent connection all day and then others I can’t get online at all(at work I mean). So bear with me right now till I get more settled and start posting more regularly.

So, moving(no pun intended!) on….I like yoga….I’d like to become more proficient at it.  I used to regularly practice yoga about 3 hours/week a few years ago.  I felt that it helped my anxiety a lot and made my running easier/better.

I would love to actually attend classes at a yoga studio, but right now that’s not feasible financially or time-wise.  So it’ll have to be DVD’s and podcasts for me, and maybe the occasional class at the Y.

Even still, time is a major factor. With working fairly long days and a long commute(50 minutes each way without traffic) plus making time for running and lifting weights, well, there’s not a lot of time left for yoga.

Then I had a brilliant idea….I have an hour lunch; sometimes longer than an hour if I get done with my patient’s early….I am always looking for things to do on my lunch break so I’m not just sitting around the office bored….

There’s not a whole lot to do around the ‘Boro…just a few shops and a “mall” that is really just Belk and JC Penney.

So I decided yesterday, my lunch hour would be the perfect time to practice some yoga!  I brought in my yoga mat and a yoga outfit which I will leave at work and every day I’ll take about 20-30 minutes of my lunch hour to do some gentle yoga in my office with the door closed(nothing so strenuous as to make me sweat so that I don’t need to shower and can use the same outfit everyday for a week).  Then I will still have time to eat and run a quick errand if necessary.

I also want to find a 10 minute routine for waking you up and getting you started in the am to do every morning and a chill out get ready to sleep one to do before bed.

Today was my first day doing office yoga!  I had not been able to download a podcast or unpack any of my DVD’s so it was literally me piecing together poses in a semi-random order. I say semi because I did try to group types of poses together, ie, I started with strength poses(warriors, downward dog, chatarunga, ect) then a section of balance poses, then a section of floor work and then savasana.  Felt GOOD! I didn’t have a good soundtrack either….rain sounds was the best I could find on my ipod…LOL….

I did have a candle burning and the lights off(using only a lamp to create the right “mood”) so that was nice.  But I have to admit, I felt a little awkward and I tensed up a little any time I heard someone walk by my door, afraid someone might burst in when I was in a funky or embarrassing pose!  I think as I continue I’ll get more confident and won’t let little things distract me(or at least I hope I won’t!)

Even without giving it my full “Mental” attention I do feel very relaxed and centered right now.  I will keep ya’ll updated with my progress of daily yoga!

-Tamara

“Take the time, think it through, 30 coins can bury you”-Caedmon’s Call

 

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