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Gemma

Gemma pares it down. Waaaaayyyyy down.

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2 minutes ago, Katerina said:

OMG. You really are my twin.

Danny De Vito Arnold Schwarzenegger GIF - DannyDeVito ArnoldSchwarzenegger Twins GIFs
 
2 minutes ago, Katerina said:

I have actually advised doing this to kids whose extended family asks unwelcome questions over holidays.

You should look up the christmas clap backs.

 

2 minutes ago, Katerina said:

I don't understand. :/

You abbreviated badass. I literally have only ever met one group of people that do that and they are from the midwest. It's frankly adorable.

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4 hours ago, Gemma said:

all my good intentions of working out at home have gone the way of the dodo. So many excuses. I need to find ways to make this easier and with a more reliable "trigger."

 

Ahhh, let me know when you figure this one out. You can write an article like "3 easy steps to bulletproof habits you can't possibly fail at, even if you have less motivation than a fallen tree and just want to take a nap".

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Today's Captain Obvious lesson:
 

When your lower back hurts terribly, specifically because you have been laying around with bad posture on the sofa too much 

- and- 

You have a splitting tension headache because your neck is cricked up in cricks because ^same reason^ 

 

 you could  *

 

1) go do ten minutes or so worth of mobility work, even if that means you have to dig through piles of junk to find your tiny travel-size foam roller because you have no idea where the rest of your mobility junk is because your whole upstairs is in remodel chaos ... 

 

- - OR - - 

 

2) you could mindlessly internet surf while continuing to lay on that same sofa with that same bad posture, feeling sorry for yourself because you feel like poop but not wanting to get up and do anything because you feel like poop and then continuing to feel like poop therefore continuing to feel sorry for your poopy-feeling self. 

 

 

Now, dear nerdfriends, QUIZ TIME!!! 

 

Question ONE - which of those do you think would be more effective?

 

Question TWO - which of those do you think Gemma the Genius actually did for basically this entire morning? 

 

Spoiler

Answer to Question ONE: 
Foam-Roller-Exercises-Upper_Back.gif

 

 

 

 

Answer to Question TWO:

 

giphy.gif

 

 



 I R SMRT. 

 

I do feel better now though so I think I can manage to go run my errands. I took today off because I haven't had a decent night's sleep for quite a long time and I did not have any important work taskers on today's list. But I do have some errands to run. 

 

 

*There are certainly other options but I'm not Captain Obviousing them because I didn't try any. 

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2 hours ago, Gemma said:

Today's Captain Obvious lesson:
 

When your lower back hurts terribly, specifically because you have been laying around with bad posture on the sofa too much 

- and- 

You have a splitting tension headache because your neck is cricked up in cricks because ^same reason^ 

 

 you could  *

 

1) go do ten minutes or so worth of mobility work, even if that means you have to dig through piles of junk to find your tiny travel-size foam roller because you have no idea where the rest of your mobility junk is because your whole upstairs is in remodel chaos ... 

 

- - OR - - 

 

2) you could mindlessly internet surf while continuing to lay on that same sofa with that same bad posture, feeling sorry for yourself because you feel like poop but not wanting to get up and do anything because you feel like poop and then continuing to feel like poop therefore continuing to feel sorry for your poopy-feeling self. 

 

 

Now, dear nerdfriends, QUIZ TIME!!! 

 

Question ONE - which of those do you think would be more effective?

 

Question TWO - which of those do you think Gemma the Genius actually did for basically this entire morning? 

 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

 



 I R SMRT. 

 

I do feel better now though so I think I can manage to go run my errands. I took today off because I haven't had a decent night's sleep for quite a long time and I did not have any important work taskers on today's list. But I do have some errands to run. 

 

 

*There are certainly other options but I'm not Captain Obviousing them because I didn't try any. 

 

Why do you need your foam roller for mobility work? I mean, you have a couch, possibly a coffee table and I'm fairly confident a floor too.

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Ooof, at least you caught the captain obvious need earlier rather than later? Glad you were able to get yourself feeling better regardless, even if it took some mindless internet surfing first.

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1 hour ago, Grumble said:

 

Why do you need your foam roller for mobility work? I mean, you have a couch, possibly a coffee table and I'm fairly confident a floor too.

 

 

Hmmm, I do have a couch and a floor - perhaps what I lack is education. I have not yet found anything besides foam rolling, miracle ball work, or a shepherd's crook that has any discernible impact on either my shoulder knots or my low back pain. I mean, Downward Dog feels good, like a good hamstring stretch, but it does not provide any relief once I am stood back up again. And DD + Sun Salutation is the alpha and omega of my yoga education. I'm hyper-mobile, gumby-level bendy, so most stretching type exercises are nice but don't move the needle on my pain. Are there Shaolin secrets that I am not privy to (or have forgotten)? 

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21 minutes ago, Gemma said:

 

 

Hmmm, I do have a couch and a floor - perhaps what I lack is education. I have not yet found anything besides foam rolling, miracle ball work, or a shepherd's crook that has any discernible impact on either my shoulder knots or my low back pain. I mean, Downward Dog feels good, like a good hamstring stretch, but it does not provide any relief once I am stood back up again. And DD + Sun Salutation is the alpha and omega of my yoga education. I'm hyper-mobile, gumby-level bendy, so most stretching type exercises are nice but don't move the needle on my pain. Are there Shaolin secrets that I am not privy to (or have forgotten)? 

I just so happen to have this sitting in my favorites.

https://yurielkaim.com/yoga-shoulder-stretches/

 

personal faves: Saddle pose and Threaded needle pose. I cannot tell you how much the latter has helped with my right shoulder (if it got any more knotted, it would earn a boyscout badge.)

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aw man! i do that too. i wasted a lot of time before dinner yesterday trying to find a recipe online when i already knew what i was going to end up cooking. also i keep my crappy foam roller and yoga mat in the living room now so that it's within easy reach. it may not add to the decor but it certainly works!

 

glad you took the day off and hope it helped!

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So I went to the gym yesterday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

giphy.gif

 

 

I have absolutely no rational explanation for why it has been so hard to get my gym habit back since Florence. I know that I feel like cowpies when I don't work out. I know that I have successfully established a regular workout routine in the past, sustained it for years, and quickly recovered from short-term interruptions. I know that I can't rely on motivation, I need an easy repetitive battle rhythm, as reliable and non-negotiable as 'on Tuesdays we wear pink.'

 

I also know that despite having some decent tools at my house, I really don't like to work out at home and will almost always find a way to procrastinate out of it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 

 

Knowing is really only half of the battle.

 

giphy.gif

 

*** Theatrical aside *** many years ago, at the dinner table, number one son was talking about something he learned in school, and ended the story with "so now we all know." My husband, of course, responded with "and knowing is half the battle." Eldest (probably fourteen-ish at the time) shot back, "yeah, but what's the other half?"

 

Number three son, at or around 10 and always quick on the draw, immediately responded "showing up" in a tone that implied a sense of "duh!"

He was, I think, not wrong.

 

 

So, I'm not under any illusions that I 'have the problem licked' or anything. It was just one day. But ... I am apparently still capable of just telling myself "do the thing" and then doing it without *too much* additional thought about whether or not I feel like it, or if I have all the right stuff packed in my bag, or if today is really the best day for that because after all I have x and y on my schedule already so ... blah blah blah.

 

 

I took it super easy, because it has been a looong time and I didn't want to not be able to get out of bed today, so:

 

- warm-up, 2 rounds of Sun Salutation, then

- circuit x3

--- 10 kb swings 20#

--- 10 inverted rows

--- 7 kb strict presses 20# (I was going for 10 here but on the first circuit rep 8 was super extra strugglebus and again with the not overdoing it right out of the gate)

- 10 minutes of hand and wrist mobility exercises from the NF handstands program

 

That was all, but I really felt like that was enough and much more would have been too much.

 

 

 

 

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21 hours ago, CourtnieMarie said:

nice circuit! why did i never think of sun salutations as a good warmup??

 

 

They are about the only warm-up I have patience for (other than the old standby of empty bar lifts). And I probably ought to do more than 2 rounds, but - attention span of a fruit fly. Once I'm in the gym I want to just get ON with it and not mess about.  (I'm not really an idiot*, I will warm up more if it is cold outside or if I have been very sedentary, but that isn't usually my case). 

 

Today my gym was closed because of the National Day of Mourning, also I was unexpectedly off work. So I am puttering around the house ... but I did get a little inspired by Steve's recent article on HIIT, so I managed to force myself to do 100 kb swings (25#) in an interval-ish format ... 20 swings, light housecleaning for 2 minutes or until heartrate observably decreases, then 20 more swings.  

 

It's not much, but it's something.

 

I have a full box of household stuff packed up to take to the thrift shop tomorrow, including a kitschy ceramic snowman candleholder thing with a pumpkin-spice scented candle that I got at a women's ministry gift exchange a few days ago. Normally I would keep it ... in storage somewhere, or in a closet, collecting dust ... for a few years. I would feel guilt about getting rid of it. Not even sure why. But it would eventually end at the thrift shop, because it is so kitschy I don't even have anyone on my list that I could re-gift it to. 

 

So I behaved very graciously at the ministry event, expressed appropriate gratitude, and now I am just letting it go without feeling any guilt about it or letting it occupy space in my life for years. This is kind of a big deal for me, anti-clutter breakthrough-wise speaking. 

 

 

giphy.gif

 

 

 

 

 

* I think. Other persons' opinions may vary. 

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32 minutes ago, Gemma said:

so I managed to force myself to do 100 kb swings (25#) in an interval-ish format ... 20 swings, light housecleaning for 2 minutes or until heartrate observably decreases, then 20 more swings.  

 

It's not much, but it's something.

As somebody once said, doing something when you have the choice to do nothing is everything.

Good job!

33 minutes ago, Gemma said:

 I am just letting it go without feeling any guilt about it or letting it occupy space in my life for years. This is kind of a big deal for me, anti-clutter breakthrough-wise speaking. 

YES! Good on you for donating it. It wouldn't do you or anyone else any good taking up space, and it can find a good home with someone that has that precise level of kitsch.

 

giphy.gif

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1 hour ago, Gemma said:

 

I have a full box of household stuff packed up to take to the thrift shop tomorrow, including a kitschy ceramic snowman candleholder thing with a pumpkin-spice scented candle that I got at a women's ministry gift exchange a few days ago. Normally I would keep it ... in storage somewhere, or in a closet, collecting dust ... for a few years. I would feel guilt about getting rid of it. Not even sure why. But it would eventually end at the thrift shop, because it is so kitschy I don't even have anyone on my list that I could re-gift it to. 

 

So I behaved very graciously at the ministry event, expressed appropriate gratitude, and now I am just letting it go without feeling any guilt about it or letting it occupy space in my life for years. This is kind of a big deal for me, anti-clutter breakthrough-wise speaking. 

 


Yes, excellent breakthrough with the letting go of clutter. Good work.

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Today's gym:

 

- Sun Salutation x3

- Circuit x3

--- 25# kb swings x15

--- inverted row x10

--- 25# kb goblet squat x8

--- 20# kb strict press x8

- 10 minutes hand/wrist mobility + quadruped rocking from NF Handstands

 

 

Current "freedom from useless stuff" win:

 

I had ordered a garment sometime during the black Friday/cyber Monday madness week (seriously, that stuff lasted a long time this year, right?)

 

I received it last week, and it almost fit. Like really, it was only just a little bit sort of uncomfortable. But I totally could have justified it being 'close enough' to not go through all the hassle of returning it. I mean, it would probably stretch a bit, eventually. And it worked, it met the need. And it looked okay. This ... this is the voice that lives in my head. (She is really annoying sometimes.)  

 

Reality check - it would never have stretched, because I would never have worn it. But since I actually spent money on it, I would have kept it for years - hoping that the dresser-drawer fairies might stretch it out a bit, maybe, or telling myself that I might lose just enough weight/bodyfat to make it actually perfect, or whatever.

I returned it to exchange for the actual right size. It went out in yesterday's mail. I am too old for this nonsense.

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1 hour ago, Gemma said:

I returned it to exchange for the actual right size. It went out in yesterday's mail. I am too old for this nonsense.

yes!!

giphy.gif

that is a huge hurdle i have only recently gotten over. i know clothes get more comfy the more you wear them so if it's not comfortable out of the box, it will be soon right? not if you don't wear it! exactly like you said. i'm spending money on quality clothes (for the most part) and if they're not comfortable out of the box, back it goes. i've been considering an "excitedness" scale for purchases as well. how excited am i to wear this?

 

i really want to love button-downs but i just never feel comfortable in them. i recently returned one for a different size but i still don't love it. going to have to return it.

 

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3 hours ago, Gemma said:

 

I received it last week, and it almost fit. Like really, it was only just a little bit sort of uncomfortable. But I totally could have justified it being 'close enough' to not go through all the hassle of returning it. I mean, it would probably stretch a bit, eventually. And it worked, it met the need. And it looked okay. This ... this is the voice that lives in my head. (She is really annoying sometimes.)  

 

Reality check - it would never have stretched, because I would never have worn it. But since I actually spent money on it, I would have kept it for years - hoping that the dresser-drawer fairies might stretch it out a bit, maybe, or telling myself that I might lose just enough weight/bodyfat to make it actually perfect, or whatever.

I returned it to exchange for the actual right size. It went out in yesterday's mail. I am too old for this nonsense.


Right on. It's such a temptation with stuff we order online, to rationalise not sending it back. Well, it doesn't matter how convincing those rationalisations are, they don't make you actually love the piece, and they don't get you to wear it more often. Send back all the things!!! 

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On 11/29/2018 at 4:29 PM, Gemma said:

I have not yet found anything besides foam rolling, miracle ball work, or a shepherd's crook that has any discernible impact on either my shoulder knots or my low back pain

Don't know if this would help, but it helps me. (I hurt my lower back as a dumb kid doing dumb things. Stupidity knocked my pelvis, so I can get out of alignment easier perhaps than most.) My physical therapist assigned them. 

1. Lie on the floor on your back. Legs bent to 90. Push one leg and pull the other with your hands, but resist the force. Do for a count of 6. Then pull legs in a little and repeat. Then in a little further and repeat. Then switch the push/pull on your legs and do the whole thing on the other side. Low bridge to end. 

2. Like yoga reclined twist, but go side to side slowly, holding each side (suspended--not all the way to the floor) for about 3 seconds. 10x/side, alternating. 

3. She also has me (before #1) squeeze a ball between my knees for about 10 seconds. 

As a result of doing this almost daily, my lower back pain is greatly reduced and sometimes absent. Because I do get out of alignment easily (for example, I am clumsy and trip over a curb), sometimes I will knock myself out of alignment and be unhappy for the rest of the day. But it's definitely better with this. Good luck :)

 

On 12/5/2018 at 12:39 PM, Gemma said:

Once I'm in the gym I want to just get ON with it and not mess about.  (I'm not really an idiot*, I will warm up more if it is cold outside or if I have been very sedentary, but that isn't usually my case). 

Yep, I struggle with this, too, especially since most days I am not just sitting. 

 

On 12/5/2018 at 12:39 PM, Gemma said:

Normally I would keep it ... in storage somewhere, or in a closet, collecting dust ... for a few years. I would feel guilt about getting rid of it. Not even sure why.

Yay, you :) I also feel guilty when I get rid of things that people give me (even if I don't want them). 

Image result for cheering pitbull

On 12/7/2018 at 1:30 PM, Gemma said:

Current "freedom from useless stuff" win:

 

I had ordered a garment sometime during the black Friday/cyber Monday madness week (seriously, that stuff lasted a long time this year, right?)

 

I received it last week, and it almost fit. Like really, it was only just a little bit sort of uncomfortable. But I totally could have justified it being 'close enough' to not go through all the hassle of returning it. I mean, it would probably stretch a bit, eventually. And it worked, it met the need. And it looked okay. This ... this is the voice that lives in my head. (She is really annoying sometimes.)  

 

Reality check - it would never have stretched, because I would never have worn it. But since I actually spent money on it, I would have kept it for years - hoping that the dresser-drawer fairies might stretch it out a bit, maybe, or telling myself that I might lose just enough weight/bodyfat to make it actually perfect, or whatever.

I returned it to exchange for the actual right size. It went out in yesterday's mail. I am too old for this nonsense.

Yes! The mantra I am trying to live up to is, If I don't LOVE it, I don't keep it. Yay, you again! :)

 

My goal is to get to the point where I look amazing in leggings and whatever-the-hell-I-want-to-wear-as-a-shirt. Then I will never have to wear uncomfortable clothes of any kind. (Left to my own devices and stripped of my vanity, I would live in yoga pants or leggings, but I don't have the body to pull that crap off yet, and at 40-something, I am too old to delude myself that I do.) 

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On 12/7/2018 at 1:22 PM, CourtnieMarie said:

 

i really want to love button-downs but i just never feel comfortable in them. i recently returned one for a different size but i still don't love it. going to have to return it.

 

 

Button downs are weird, especially if they're tailored enough. Can't move arms, buttons pop open. Also, I really want to love elegant clothing that requires ironing. But I always reach for zero-effort things that I can just pull on. Solution: elegant knit tops instead of t-shirts? Un-crushable Polyester? 

 

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21 hours ago, Harriet said:

 

Button downs are weird, especially if they're tailored enough. Can't move arms, buttons pop open.

yes! and i don't even have a large bust. even flannels i feel too constricted.

 

21 hours ago, Harriet said:

Also, I really want to love elegant clothing that requires ironing. But I always reach for zero-effort things that I can just pull on. Solution: elegant knit tops instead of t-shirts? Un-crushable Polyester? 

 

yup! this is where i usually end up, sweaters, knits, and dresses (NOT SHIRT DRESSES lol)

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On ‎12‎/‎9‎/‎2018 at 9:43 AM, Katerina said:

Don't know if this would help, but it helps me. (I hurt my lower back as a dumb kid doing dumb things. Stupidity knocked my pelvis, so I can get out of alignment easier perhaps than most.) My physical therapist assigned them. 

1. Lie on the floor on your back. Legs bent to 90. Push one leg and pull the other with your hands, but resist the force. Do for a count of 6. Then pull legs in a little and repeat. Then in a little further and repeat. Then switch the push/pull on your legs and do the whole thing on the other side. Low bridge to end. 

2. Like yoga reclined twist, but go side to side slowly, holding each side (suspended--not all the way to the floor) for about 3 seconds. 10x/side, alternating. 

3. She also has me (before #1) squeeze a ball between my knees for about 10 seconds. 

As a result of doing this almost daily, my lower back pain is greatly reduced and sometimes absent. Because I do get out of alignment easily (for example, I am clumsy and trip over a curb), sometimes I will knock myself out of alignment and be unhappy for the rest of the day. But it's definitely better with this. Good luck :)

 

This is helpful, thanks, I'll try 'em!  

 

#3 is my standby for putting my dysfunctional SI joint back where it belongs.

 

 

On ‎12‎/‎7‎/‎2018 at 4:22 PM, CourtnieMarie said:

i really want to love button-downs but i just never feel comfortable in them. i recently returned one for a different size but i still don't love it. going to have to return it.

 

23 hours ago, Harriet said:

 

Button downs are weird, especially if they're tailored enough. Can't move arms, buttons pop open. Also, I really want to love elegant clothing that requires ironing. But I always reach for zero-effort things that I can just pull on. Solution: elegant knit tops instead of t-shirts? Un-crushable Polyester? 

 

 

LOL - my whole "Ordering clothes online" kick that I am currently on is based on a desire to step up my business casual game. I've spent years 'getting away with' nice black jeans, with tank tops under short-sleeved cardigans in summer and long-sleeved t-shirts/cardigans in winter, always with ballet flats. Well, low-heeled boots on the *very* coldest days. But now I've finally decided to try and dress like a grown-up, also to actually acknowledge that my official dress code actually does include the words "no denim" --- this nonsense is HARD!!! I haven't even addressed the button-down issue yet, because it is really hard to find one in ivory or cream and I look like death on a soda cracker in harsh whites.

 

Current debate - I just received a pair of very nice trouser$$$ that I actually saved up for and wrote into my budget as a reward for paying off one of my student loans. They are gorgeous and fit perfectly except they are a couple inches too long. Pants that fit perfectly is a leprechaunicorn for me. Most trousers, a bit long would be no problem, but these have a cute side vent that will make hemming them more than an inch very awkward.

 

So now I have to decide - do I have them hemmed just a little, and then commit to wearing them with heels? I do have comfortable-ish low-ish heels (like, 2 1/4", I refuse to go worse than that). Or do I return them and then go through all the pain over again of finding the charcoal gray I need, in a cut I like, that actually works properly with my waist-to-hip ratio and does not make me look like I'm wearing a sack? I'm leaning towards the hem+heels option, but I need to have a 'real talk' conversation with my tailor first to make sure she can do it without them looking too weird around that side vent. I have not taken the tags off, in case I do have to break my own heart and send them back.

That old jeans and t-shirts protocol is sounding better all the time.

 

 

 

Today's workout brought me back to the Nia Shanks 3x3x3 protocol that I started (and almost instantly abandoned) earlier this year.

 

Warm-up:

3 rounds Sun Salutations plus a minute of Kb swings because it is ***COLD*** here!

 

KB Goblet Squat:

30#x6, 25#x10, 20#x15

 

DB Bench Press:

25#x5; 20#x8; 15#x13

 

Bent-over DB Row:

30#x5; 25#x8; 20#x15

 

Finisher:

25# KB swings, 8 rounds of 10sec work/20sec rest

 

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