If a toddler were to challenge me to an arm wrestling contest, I'd lose.
I'm not talking about a highly agitated toddler - I'm mean ANY toddler could beat me.
You may be thinking to yourself that perhaps I should stop challenging toddlers to feats of strength. By doing so, this could easily become a non-issue.
But the issue is, my most favorite thing on Earth is Pilates Cadillac / Trapeze work.
This is my Stott Cadillac / Trapeze table. This was the photo from my table's listing.
I have to use the photo from when I bought it as when I try to take a photo of my table, in my dark unfinished basement, it looks like I work for the Spanish Inquisition.
I don't, I just aspire to the the most upside downiest girl ever.
Inversions are wildly fun and physically challenging. My trainer and I spend a good bit of time working on them.
I love that I can work with her in the studio and bring home new routines and practices. These practices keep me busy for weeks on end and at this point, I actually have a pretty sizable collection of things to practice on my own.
Back to my baby arms - Inversions, especially certain ones require a great deal of upper body strength.
For me to start in the position on the left doesn't usually work in my favor unless I extend one leg backwards to the top bar for leverage
That's not me, by the way. There isn't anything this woman can't do - she's the most amazing practitioner with an insane amount of control and upper body strength. I love her work. Check out her video here
The thing is, I have never had upper body strength - I actually remember in middle school having to take a PE physical where girls were tested on how long they could hold a "Flex Arm Hang" ...
I was 12 years old - my coach grabbed me by waist, lifted me up to the bar, removed his hands and I immediately came right back down with him.
After staring at me for a moment, he grabbed my waist, lifted me up, told me to stop messing around, removed his hands and I immediately came right back down.
I had to run laps until all the other girls were done because he didn't believe I couldn't do them. I actually think I was the only girl with a 0 second score.
From his perspective, he knew I was incredibly athletic. Every single year, I held the school record for Hanging Leg Raises - I could hold them out forever - I could hold that position until they told to me stop, without batting an eye or breaking a sweat.
I received 0 seconds on the Flex Arm Hang and ran an extraordinary amount of laps every single year until I moved onto High School. Thankfully humiliation came in other forms at that point. I don't think I could handle another Flex Arm Hang assessment.
Those days are over - I am officially kicking off a program to build my upper body strength.
My goal is to be able to do 15 Pilates reverse pull ups and 15 Pilates hanging pull ups by my 46th Birthday. I don't mean in total over the next 4 months either - I mean at ONCE on my 46th Birthday.
Let me just put this out there as well, upon my 46th Birthday, no toddler will ever be able to beat me in an upper body challenge of strength again ...
Except maybe for this one. I'm fairly sure that's a medal around her neck.
I was straight up Pizza Shamed the other day - not by a fitness blogger, for me it was a male colleague. I didn't even know that there was such a thing but then I found the above referenced Twitter War and I didn't feel so alone.
Perhaps not many people have experienced this form of shaming, it certainly seems to be a lesser known form of shaming. Think of it like the second cousin of body shaming, tart shaming, parent shaming, mommy shaming which is like parent shaming only it comes from other woman who are hyper critical of other mothers in particular. Especially of those mothers that have a 14 year old that wears athletic shorts in the middle of winter, etc.
Anyways - Pizza Shaming is slightly different - perhaps not something many people can relate to but I'm here to tell you it happens and it's upsetting as 1. everyone loves pizza and 2. no one likes to be shamed for any reason, especially in front of a group of people.
I was sitting in a meeting that spanned several hours, spanning over lunch time. They brought pizza in, which was great - I usually scrape my toppings off onto a plate and eat them sans crust.
This day, I cut myself an itty bitty slice of actual pizza - crust and all. As I went to get another portion as I wanted to pick at the toppings, a male colleague said, "Oh my god, you must LOVE those carbs - are you really having another slice?!?"
Not entirely knowing what I to do, I ignored him. Thinking I didn't hear him, he repeated it, only much louder this time which halted the entire meeting as people looked at me to respond.
Understand, we weren't taking a break from the meeting. We just happened to have food while discussing one of the company's highest priority projects.
I actually had to stop contributing to the actual work effort to say that no one has to be concerned with what I was eating - that maybe we could shift our efforts from my lunch to the topic at hand.
I was absolutely seething and I ended up throwing the food away untouched.
In that moment, I felt reduced from being a significant contributor in a meeting to feeling as though I needed to defend myself and my food choices.
I immediately went from being a thought leader to just a woman who was being scrutinized unnecessarily. As I was trying to refocus, a negative narrative starting running through the back of my mind completely sidetracking me.
I shouldn't have eaten that...
I need to not indulge in such things ...
Maybe I should intermittently fast for a bit ...
How long will it take me to work off that pizza ...
How many calories are in 1/4th slice of pizza ...
I'm so annoyed that it got to me in such as way.
The real work is trying to understand why I'm so critical of myself - why my internal narrative flips to breaking myself down versus building myself up so easily. What should have been an innocuous comment seeped into the cracks of my armor and sent me reeling. I didn't eat dinner that night and I went to bed hungry and angry.
Such perceived scrutiny is apparently my trigger and it's mine to own and process. I realize that but as an open letter to all who read this - maybe you can just STFU about what other people are eating and leave them to it unless you're asking where they got it because it looks so incredibly delicious.
There was an interesting article on the Huffington Post about Public Food Shaming - a lifestyle coach said - woman already feel guilty for eating cheat foods as we're held to very different physical ideals than men - so when someone says something along the lines of "are you sure you want to eat that? You can lose your figure" it will typically reinforce the thought that women should always be dieting or watching our weight.
Which is so completely bonkers ...
Life is hard enough - sometimes a girl just wants a slice without fear of being pizza shamed.
January was an absolute crap month for me - I was dealing with deadlines, travel and being so overwhelmed with my daily life that I wasn't able to do my typical meal prep / planning. I didn't work out, I didn't spend anytime on my pilates practice and my morale was in the crapper.
It's no longer January - the month of bad decisions ... It's February which means I'm back to my normal routine. Thankfully.
Meal Planning & Prep is a huge component to my success but I don't have a ton of free time so I need easy and delicious go-to's that I enjoy and keep me on track.
Nothing is easier or yummier in terms of creating easily portable and Keto friendly meals than Egg Cups.
Most Sundays I make different versions of Egg Cups as I find if I have them at the ready, come Monday morning, I can just grab a portion and head out the door. This reduces the chance I'll grab a ketosis killing snack at the office.
Anyone that works for a software company is familiar with the typical start up company kitchen - they are always crammed full of pop, snacks, sweet treats, beer, etc. Combined with lunch being brought in many times a week - there's temptation at every turn.
With a bit of planning I can stay on track - these are one of my favorite items to have on hand.
Today I made Sausage & Ricotta Egg Cups:
Place in a preheated oven (375) and bake for about 30 mins.
You'll know they're ready when they have risen, are firm to the touch, and the cheese is a beautiful golden brown.
For those of you that have shared that I use too much cheese - I think you may need to take a step back and really evaluate your life through a critical lens. Something is wrong. I'm worried about you.