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Harriet

Harriet's Emergency Stopgap

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3 hours ago, Harriet said:

 

We can talk about cycling. In fact, I'm going to rant about cycling because it has been trying me lately. I just moved to America without a car. I'm currently walking to the gym and shops, which nets me six plus hours of walking per week. I'm trying to learn to cycle because I'd be able to go places, and Mr Harriet loves cycling. But I hate it. It scares me. It hurts my knees and I feel like I'm using sheer intensity of will (and knees) to get up hills, not muscles. It's exhausting. This could be because the seat is too low. But I can't make it any higher because 1: I already have trouble getting on and off and 2: I have trouble with balance. I have to concentrate constantly so I don't fall off (but I always feel like I'm going to fall off, so it's no fun). By the way, the roads here are extremely bumpy, which is fine for cars. But some places they've painted the road marking over each other so many times they're an inch higher than the surrounding road. Ironically, the worst spot is where they've painted a bicycle icon to show that the street is bike-friendly. I hate going over these bumps and getting my, um, seat beaten. And no, I can't stand up because I emphatically lack the balance*. I find intersections difficult because I can't look around easily when I'm moving (because of poor balance) and I have trouble stopping and starting smoothly because I'm uncoordinated. To top it off, the bike is an unwieldy beast that seems determined to fall over, roll away, or hit me in the shins whenever I try to move it/unlock it/lock it. And finally, everyone else locks their bikes in about 3 seconds while I struggle awkwardly for 30 seconds, sighing because I hate it and wouldn't mind if someone stole it anyway. I should probably practice just in case I get better at it and have a good transport option. But I might need to do some mental work on it because I currently hate it so much that I start feeling unhappy before I even get on the bike. 
 

I'm going to page a couple of my Rangers, @Sloth the Enduring and @DJtrippyT for advice here. 

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On ‎12‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 10:41 AM, Harriet said:

 

No, you're right, this is ridiculous. I don't have much in common with wolverine, or Jackman. I am clearly a dwarven warrior, like Dwalin, but with nicer hair. I'm just slightly too tall and with not much beard and a bit too narrow and maybe not vicious enough and I've never killed anyone in battle, and dragons maybe don't exist, but otherwise we're exactly alike and no one can persuade me otherwise. 

 

I cannot believe that I missed this when it first flew by, but ...

giphy.gif


 

17 hours ago, Harriet said:


You just decided? But Howwwww? 


First, let me just say that the answers and resources above are the bomb and the diggity and I will be looking further into some of them myself - because even after years of work, I still freak out a little bit when there's an extra couple pounds on the scale or the ol' jeans feel a bit tighter this week. But my really obsessive 'must be leaner' phase started to end when I found that same Nia Shanks of whom we have conversed in other threads. (I swear she is not the only fitness guru I read, but she is by far the most quotable and easiest to refer to when it comes to those ridiculous perceptions of skinny women being somehow 'better' and other cultural nonsenses that make women want to compare themselves unfavorably to ludicrously airbrushed ideals.)
 

Some of our local Nerd Warriors might recall that around February of last year I was having a full-blown FREAK OUT over the fact that I had gained 10-12 pounds since I started lifting. I was trying to restrict calories and then I was frustrated because I suddenly couldn't deadlift a kitten and then I had a bout of pretty serious depression and it was all very chaotic and unpleasant and the fact of the matter was that even with that significantly larger number on the scale, I was still in excellent health and my fitness was waaaayyy better than it had been in my 20s, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

 

i+got+better.gif
 

Seriously the whole body-image merry-go-round is hard and crazy and pointless and weird. The better news is that there is a lot of great work being done and content being created around all of that right now, so it is not as difficult to find help - or even someone else who understands - as it used to be.

 

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6 hours ago, CourtnieMarie said:

 anyway i became obsessive but didn't really know i was obsessive because being obsessed with losing weight is something that's mostly praised in current society.


That is very true. 

 

6 hours ago, CourtnieMarie said:

 i stopped following fitspo on social media and read some books on diet culture. i deleted myfitnesspal on my wedding day a couple months ago so i've only just started the journey towards body acceptance. that's MY story though and part of why i usually let others respond to weight loss/fat loss/diet questions on here :) 


Congratulations on getting married! Many felicitations to you and your spouse. Ah, yes, the fitspo and the social media. Maybe not the healthiest habit but so addictive. Thank you for the book suggestion. I love books and tend to be more convinced by them than articles, because in the same time it takes to read a book you can read about 30 articles all saying different things.

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4 hours ago, Nol said:

 

1. WOW! You eat clean! I'm in awe and wish I could eat so little sugar. Let's take a minute to appreciate how well you're fueling your body compared to most. I'm sure you'll continue to see improvements in your overall health and well-being!


Um, yeah, I guess I eat better than I used to, and not too poorly at all.

 

4 hours ago, Nol said:

2. Being in the US without a car must be hard! But biking in places that are not properly set up for it is nightmarish (and potentially dangerous!)

My husband cycles everywhere, but he's Dutch, so his level of confidence, control and his musculature are all top level! I, on the other hand, am a scaredy-cat, have no cycling muscles, and no control. After a few horrible experiences, I now refuse to cycle unless I'm in NL or on a very, very quiet road. I totally understand where you're coming from!

It might sounds ludicrous, but why not look for cycling lessons?

I'm planning on taking some as well, I think there's a real skill in cycling. I'm amazed when I see how much control Dutch people have! Cycling lessons aren't a common thing but it's 2018, it's got to exist, right? ^_^

Also, it sounds like your bike is too heavy! If you can afford it, maybe look into getting a light road bike. It doesn't replace musculature but it can make your life a lot easier, and there'll be way less shin attacks (only major downside is that they're pricey).

Note on spinning: my father-in-law is a cycling fanatic, and he regularly takes spinning classes when he can't fit in outdoor cycling, so I can confirm that it's a great tool for building those muscles :)

Note on locks: I don't know who these people you mention are, but everyone I know who has a bike takes their time locking it! No one wants to come back to a bike missing a wheel, or no bike at all!


Yep, those Europeans, right? Mr Harriet is German and I swear sometimes he just cycles with no hands while smoothing back his hair or looking at maps on his phone. Plus he has this super tall bike where you can't step through but have to swing your whole leg over the hip-height bar. Probably they start cycling when they're like 2 years old or whatever.


I guess I could take lessons but I think I just need practice. I certainly had no trouble cycling as a child, but my balance is significantly worse as an adult (I get hilariously bad vertigo, like on train platforms if I get within about 1.5 feet of the edge, for example... it started when I was about 20), and I seem to have trouble forming a coherent picture of multiple moving objects when I myself am moving, which makes intersections feel slightly dangerous. There's probably a word for that. 

 

4 hours ago, Nol said:

 

3. I can't help with the whole bulking-cutting conversation, but like some others, I do recognise myself and my body image issues in the things you write.

Obviously, you know yourself best! In my personal experience, I had to (still have to) simply stay away from appearance-related goals. They never came from a positive place and only worked as an excuse to bully myself. Maybe you can set yourself a challenge to have only non-appearance related fitness goals?

What do you think?

 

Sorry I wrote so much!

All I want to say is that you are fantastic! You are implementing all these positive changes into your life, and this will definitely bring you further and further away from the nasty body image issues. It's a long journey for sure, but there's a great saying, "when it gets better, it gets better" ^_^

In other words, you don't have to wait for things to be perfect before enjoying them, every little step makes life a little easier and a little nicer :)

 


Yes, no doubt performance related goals are less madness-inducing. No need to apologise for writing too much, I appreciate everyone who comments on my challenge :)
 

Damnit, that is so true. I could start enjoying things now, even if I intend to make further changes. 

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2 hours ago, Gemma said:

 

I cannot believe that I missed this when it first flew by, but ...

giphy.gif


Do you mean when it flew by like a fire drake on its way to ransack a treasure hoard? I said "maybe" so I could be convinced otherwise. I'm leaving it open.

 

2 hours ago, Gemma said:

Some of our local Nerd Warriors might recall that around February of last year I was having a full-blown FREAK OUT over the fact that I had gained 10-12 pounds since I started lifting. I was trying to restrict calories and then I was frustrated because I suddenly couldn't deadlift a kitten and then I had a bout of pretty serious depression and it was all very chaotic and unpleasant and the fact of the matter was that even with that significantly larger number on the scale, I was still in excellent health and my fitness was waaaayyy better than it had been in my 20s, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 


Oh man. I'm sorry to hear about the depression. *hugs* Glad you got, better, too.
I started lifting around the same time my year of calorie restriction ended. I put on 13 pounds, but I was in a semi-happy place because my lifts were going up rapidly and I felt like being strong was more important than anything, and anyway it all went to my legs and not my waist or stomach where it used to live. I looked a lot better than I had the first time I was that weight, before lifting (but now I can't find any pants that fit and regularly get upset about this). But I'll be honest, I thought I was going to make regular progress toward looking like the social media fitness girls. 

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Ugh. So attempting to eat under 1700 calories clearly wasn't working because it made me think about food all day.

 

giphy.gif?cid=3640f6095c119f04347477376f

 

Yesterday my hands fed my face three protein bars instead of a proper lunch, and today I slept for three hours instead of writing. So. Synthesising all the advice received here, I am going to use MyFitnessPal to track my food in a non-judgemental way for a while and see what's normal and habitual for me. I'm going to get stronger--happily I seem to be climbing out of the 6-month lifting rut I've been in. I am going to do some head work on feeling good enough right now. Maybe later I'll decide to reduce calories extremely slowly in a non-punishing way like farflight. Or maybe I'll just swap some of my less healthy pleasure for healthier pleasure. I'll take a look at it next year if it still seems doable and important. 

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9 minutes ago, Nol said:

Wait... I thought you were British? I'm lost xD


Because I spell doughnut with all the letters and write about the USA like it's strange and exotic? Yeah, nah, I'm 'Strayan :D

 

Australian-kangaroo.jpg

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3 minutes ago, Harriet said:

So attempting to eat under 1700 calories clearly wasn't working because it made me think about food all day.

 

 

Yikes! I don't know that I could make it through one day on 1700 without getting meaner than a rabid raccoon. 

 

For what it's worth, I am stumbling around in the same dark cave, though, trying to sort reason from nonsense, so you are not alone :) The *one thing* that helps to keep my appetite from going haywire is eating WAY more protein than I am used to. Once haywire happens, my wise-decision-making ability evaporates. I do get "meated out" fairly quickly, though (in the context of a day), so I tend to prefer to drink a good chunk of that protein. 

 

In any case, yay for embracing your body and its own wisdom. :)Learning to listen to mine is a work is progress for me. 

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Harriet said:

Ugh. So attempting to eat under 1700 calories clearly wasn't working because it made me think about food all day.

 

giphy.gif?cid=3640f6095c119f04347477376f

 

Yesterday my hands fed my face three protein bars instead of a proper lunch, and today I slept for three hours instead of writing. So. Synthesising all the advice received here, I am going to use MyFitnessPal to track my food in a non-judgemental way for a while and see what's normal and habitual for me. I'm going to get stronger--happily I seem to be climbing out of the 6-month lifting rut I've been in. I am going to do some head work on feeling good enough right now. Maybe later I'll decide to reduce calories extremely slowly in a non-punishing way like farflight. Or maybe I'll just swap some of my less healthy pleasure for healthier pleasure. I'll take a look at it next year if it still seems doable and important. 

 

Sounds awesome!

2ufhwNgM3qHKGxq8wdcWAiFpcm29FF1vQ7VZHkTu

to continue with Holy Grail gifs ^_^

(eating under 1700kcal while strength training is crazy!! I'd be seeing old ladies offering me pizza too if I did that!)

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7 minutes ago, Harriet said:

Yeah, nah, I'm 'Strayan 

Ok, so there goes my mental image--lol. For whatever reason, I pictured you as German. . .blonde, lovely, and athletic. You may still be all those things, but now the accent in my head needs to be adjusted when I read your posts -- lol.

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1 minute ago, Katerina said:

Ok, so there goes my mental image--lol. For whatever reason, I pictured you as German. . .blonde, lovely, and athletic. You may still be all those things, but now the accent in my head needs to be adjusted when I read your posts -- lol.

 

Blond, lovely and athletic... you just need to add golden skin and the accent to turn a German into an Australian ^_^

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5 minutes ago, Katerina said:

Ok, so there goes my mental image--lol. For whatever reason, I pictured you as German. . .blonde, lovely, and athletic. You may still be all those things, but now the accent in my head needs to be adjusted when I read your posts -- lol.

 

3 minutes ago, Nol said:

 

Blond, lovely and athletic... you just need to add golden skin and the accent to turn a German into an Australian ^_^


Hahaha, nope again. I'm as pale as a necromancer and have loads of dark brown hair. And I don't have much of an accent. Americans mistake me for English in real life, too. 

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17 minutes ago, Nol said:

 

Sounds awesome!

2ufhwNgM3qHKGxq8wdcWAiFpcm29FF1vQ7VZHkTu

to continue with Holy Grail gifs ^_^

(eating under 1700kcal while strength training is crazy!! I'd be seeing old ladies offering me pizza too if I did that!)

 

19 minutes ago, Katerina said:

Yikes! I don't know that I could make it through one day on 1700 without getting meaner than a rabid raccoon. 

 

Oh... well, MyFitnessPal wanted me to eat 1400 in order to lose a little bit of weight. I thought that was insane, so I increased it. It was still insane, apparently.

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1 minute ago, Harriet said:

MyFitnessPal wanted me to eat 1400 in order to lose a little bit of weight. I thought that was insane, so I increased it. 

1400??? Wtf? Did you download the sadistic version of MyFitnessPal? Sheesh!

 

Ok, rant over. ;)

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4 minutes ago, Harriet said:

 

 

Oh... well, MyFitnessPal wanted me to eat 1400 in order to lose a little bit of weight. I thought that was insane, so I increased it. It was still insane, apparently.

 

They're insane!

A couple years ago, I tried following the NHS 12 week diet, they put me on a 1300kcal diet! (I think for men they recommended 1800kcal)

It's appalling!

 

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17 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

I'm going to page a couple of my Rangers, @Sloth the Enduring and @DJtrippyT for advice here. 

 

Sloth will know better than I, but if your knees hurt while pedaling then I suspect your seat is too low. If you go to a local bike shop they should be able to “fit” you to your bike and adjust the height of your seat. 

 

It it seems counterintuitive but you will probably feel *more* balanced on a higher seat, because you won’t be be in a “hunched up” position, and you’ll be able to look around more easily as well - your head swivels better if your spine is straight and not held low between your shoulders. 

 

You’re 100% right about those foul paint lines. All cyclists hate them, especially in the rain. 

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2 hours ago, DJtrippyT said:

 

Sloth will know better than I, but if your knees hurt while pedaling then I suspect your seat is too low. If you go to a local bike shop they should be able to “fit” you to your bike and adjust the height of your seat. 

 

It it seems counterintuitive but you will probably feel *more* balanced on a higher seat, because you won’t be be in a “hunched up” position, and you’ll be able to look around more easily as well - your head swivels better if your spine is straight and not held low between your shoulders. 

 

You’re 100% right about those foul paint lines. All cyclists hate them, especially in the rain. 

 

Thanks for the suggestion :)
Yes, I did suspect that my knees hurt because I wasn't fully extending them. It hadn't occurred to me that sitting taller might be *more* comfortable, though. I will give it a try. I have no idea how I'm going to manage stopping and starting, though, because I usually need one foot flat on the ground in order to keep my balance :/ 

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15 hours ago, Katerina said:

1400??? Wtf? Did you download the sadistic version of MyFitnessPal? Sheesh!

 

Ok, rant over. ;)

 

15 hours ago, Nol said:

 

They're insane!

A couple years ago, I tried following the NHS 12 week diet, they put me on a 1300kcal diet! (I think for men they recommended 1800kcal)

It's appalling!

 

 

I mean, they asked me my height, weight, goal weight, and my level of activity, which is technically sedentary. I told them I exercise but they weren't impressed. Also, when using tree calculators, I never know how to enter weightlifting, because it's "intense", but only for about one fifth of the total workout time in between resting and setting up. Spirits preserve me, even if I tell them I do 10 hours of exercise a week and that I want to maintain, they still only give me 1720. I don't get it.

 

Wait. Fork. Was I supposed to enter exercise calories manually to offset all the eats? 

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16 hours ago, Harriet said:


Because I spell doughnut with all the letters and write about the USA like it's strange and exotic? Yeah, nah, I'm 'Strayan :D

 

Australian-kangaroo.jpg

 

TBF, I'm American and I do two of those three things. I'll let you decide which.

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17 hours ago, Harriet said:

USA like it's strange and exotic?

FTFY

 

17 hours ago, Harriet said:

Ugh. So attempting to eat under 1700 calories clearly wasn't working because it made me think about food all day.

 

Yesterday my hands fed my face three protein bars instead of a proper lunch, and today I slept for three hours instead of writing. So. Synthesising all the advice received here, I am going to use MyFitnessPal to track my food in a non-judgemental way for a while and see what's normal and habitual for me. I'm going to get stronger--happily I seem to be climbing out of the 6-month lifting rut I've been in. I am going to do some head work on feeling good enough right now. Maybe later I'll decide to reduce calories extremely slowly in a non-punishing way like farflight. Or maybe I'll just swap some of my less healthy pleasure for healthier pleasure. I'll take a look at it next year if it still seems doable and important. 

 

I know we are likely different sizes (I'm 6' ft 2 inches, roughly 200 lbs male)...but 1700 calories sounds....miserable...I'd kill someone...daily.....

 

There is absolutely nothing wrong with having an off day. Apparently, you needed that extra sleep, sleep is just as important as gym time. Also, please, be patient with yourself. Throughout my life, I always heard the old line "treat others how you would like to be treated..." and I am typically happy to make any excuse for other peoples behavior, but somehow "I've gotta do better..." and held myself up to this impossible standard...and I was never at peace, never happy, never enjoyed anything.

 

What I finally learned was to "treat myself they way I treat others." No one else is going to treat me the way that I want to be treated (for the most part)...the world doesn't care (again, for the most part, there are oases of decent people, but they can be few and far between). I've got to treat myself well. I've got to be patient with myself. 

 

It's alright to fall off the wagon...hell it's alright to jump headfirst off the wagon and do a belly flop (like I did at last nights dinner: Cheddar's: half a plate of their cheese fries, philly cheesesteak sandwich...and ceasar side salad....and a cookie when I got home....). But it was yummy...and fun. And I'm back at it today. Yesterdays meal was worth it, no reason to beat myself up about it

 

It's kind of like Grumble said is a comment on my challenge regarding a financial purchase..."buy once...cry once." 

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@Tanktimus the Encourager, thanks for the call; I love talking about bikes.  There used to be a car-free family here who rode everywhere.  I wish I could remember who that was and tag them (if they're still around).

 

@Redstone , most women need a shorter and wider seat, but most spin classes have a generic (that is male) seat, but everyone's butt hurts until it gets used to riding again.

 

@Harriet , if you fear and hate cycling there are other ways to get around your (urban?) environment.  I'm starting to see a lot of those electric scooters pop up around here.  Where are you at?   America varies widely in how cyclists are treated.  Minneapolis is awesome, Memphis is a terror.  The suburbs are almost always bad.  The country and small towns are almost always good.  Minneapolis, by the way, grinds down the paint lines when they re-do them so they don't build up.

 

The general rule of thumb is that your knee hurt, you should raise your sea, if the back of your knees hurt you should lower your seat.  Another common cause is a lack of stability in your knees.  Usually that means you'll need to strengthen your quads.

 

@DJTrippyT thinks my answer to everything is to buy a bike.  In your case it might be a good idea.  I ride with a guy whose wife didn't know how to ride a bike when they met, but she wanted to ride so she could do the family activities.  She started with a three wheeler, once she was used to traffic she got an Electra Townie and learned to ride.  Something like that might be a good choice for you.  The seat is set back and the positioning is upright.  The benefit is that you can have a full leg extension and still be seated low, making it easy to step down.  The low center of gravity helps make the bike feel more stable too.

 

Electra Townie Bike , they probably start at $450 and go up.  There are other bikes that fit similarly though.

 

Your local REI may offer bike classes aimed at people who want to get more comfortablee on a bike.

 

Locking a bike is always a hassle.  Sometimes I get it in 3 seconds, sometimes I'm fumbling around forever.

 

I've only done three spin classes.  It's a great workout, I'd do it regularly  if I belonged to a gym.  Usually the bikes require the clip-in shoes, but they also usually have them to borrow.  The instructor is good at getting people motivated, but, sadly, I've never heard of a nerd-centric class like you described.  We really need a NF gym somewhere.

 

Everyone gets up hills by intensity of will.  People either love it or hate it.  If you could gear down even more so that you're spinning up the hills it might not be so hellish for you.  Or get an electric assist bike.  Those are awesome.

 

I lost where you talked about it, but has your vision been checked recently?  After my last concussion I was having trouble at intersections too.  The optometrist had prisms ground into my glasses to get rid of double vision and everything got better.

 

Good luck.  I'm always around if you have any more questions.

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I just read through a lot of this and liked a bunch of posts.  I lost track of everyone I wanted to quote, so I'll keep it short. This was such a helpful read for me.  I've been trying to not judge my food intake too much (other than making sure I get enough protein) and to stay off the damn scale except maybe once per month, but it's haard.  Since starting to lift again, I've been hungrier and eating about 2100 calories per day... which feels like a lot for me.  I'm a 5'4ish woman and weigh somewhere between 170-175 lbs... which needs to change but I want to change it in a better way than I've done in the past.  I know I'm getting stronger and good things are happening, but it is so hard to let go of the  GET SKINNIER DON'T EAT RUN ALL THE TIME mentality. ... I really appreciate the "it gets better" stories, so thanks everyone!

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