I don’t think you’re ready for this
jelly post. Just the normal randomness that is Thinking Out Loud Thursday.
First, in last week’s post about lessons from not exercising I mentioned I had some thoughts from a different perspective. Well, the day I wrote that post we had a discussion in my women and gender studies class about health in America, particularly women’s health. FYI I don’t like getting all technical and won’t dive too deep into this since I’m not a professional and it’s a sensitive topic. My professor noted that 80% of Americans DON’T get the recommended amount and type of exercise (cardio and strength) per week. Additionally, 60% of Americans are overweight or obese. I’m well aware that there are many factors that contribute to obesity and lack of exercise is just one of them. I knew this information before but, even now, it still doesn’t seem real to me. Actually, I feel like I know more people with the opposite problem (too much exercise/obsession with weight…both are just as serious).
I believe my “lack of awareness” is completely a sign of where I was raised, how I was raised, and the fact that I was born into a “financially stable” family. But just because obesity and relating health issues aren’t in my daily life doesn’t mean they don’t exist. They obviously do.
Here’s where I’m conflicted: what is the “right” message to send?! Not for me, per say, but in general. There are so many people who over exercise but there are so many people who under exercise. Both groups require different care and concern. Both can be life threatening. But a happy medium exists! You don’t have to run a marathon or sit on the couch all day (although I can claim I do both sometimes). There is a middle ground that we can all strive for. Walking counts, skipping counts, anything that gets you moving counts. This discussion was just a reminder to me that everyone goes through different challenges in life and you have to give yourself what YOU need, regardless of what it seems everyone else is doing.
On a COMPLETELY different note, I woke up yesterday to a broken microwave in my apartment. I might have mentioned this before but I rely on the microwave for everything. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. As I didn’t have any breakfast food besides instant oatmeal I thought I was being all smart and responsible by boiling water to pour over my oats. Fail. After a lackluster and unsatisfying two bowls of oatmeal I declared a breakfast do-over. As in, those bowls didn’t count. Why I had two (like the second would be better?) is beyond me. So I did what I do best and went out to get a smoothie. Problem solved.
I then bought rolled oats to make overnight oats and cook on the stove top, plus a few other breakfasty items to get me through until the microwave gets fixed. I also ventured into reheating my food in the oven. I honestly never thought of that. But as my mom said, when life takes away your microwave, figure out how to use the oven. It’s a stretch of a statement but I’ll make it work…
Gretchen | Gretchruns says
Those are really interesting statistics! I agree with you that there is a happy medium. I feel like I’ve found it- I generally get in 30 minutes of (at least) moderate exercise every day, but I do take rest days and then other days I’m running a long time. I sometimes will work out twice a day (running + yoga or something) but it works for me. The minute I feel burnt out or obsessed I take a step back.
I’m the opposite from you and I never use my microwave! If my oven broke though I would be screwed..I rely on it a lot and make at least one meal with it every day.
If only more people could adopt your happy medium :) But it really is individual.
Brie @ Lean, Clean, & Brie says
I’ve thought about the whole too much exercise and too little exercise split that we have in the US and I think it is hard to come to a happy medium for our country, but I think if people realize that finding what works for YOU is what will work for you in the long-term, a lot more people will find themselves in a healthy relationship with exercise.
Brie @ Lean, Clean, & Brie recently posted…My decision to go on Accutane
Just coming to terms with that decision and then acting on it seems to be the hard part for most people (on both sides of the equation).
Sam @ See Sam Run says
UGH, broken microwaves are the worst. Mine broke last weekend and I’m still waiting for my landlord to replace it. She only eats frozen meals so I don’t know how she is surviving. No microwave and a crazy week means I’ve been eating out too often. Whoops!
I know it requires toasting, but my favorite breakfast food is a bagel and cream cheese.
Sam @ See Sam Run recently posted…Thinking out Loud 30?
I’ve bugged my landlord three times in the last 24 hours about it. Contemplating buying a cheap one and having him reimburse me ha
I am far from the happy medium of fitness. I love working out because it provides a clear mindset, but am a bit worried I’m running my body into the ground. Tough. As for oats, I highly recommend the overnight oats! I like making a nut butter/banana pudding or even berry pudding with them :)
Kaitlin recently posted…NYC MARATHON WEEK!
I think about that too with (literally) running my body into the ground. I’m hopeful that periods of rest like this plus always incorporating rest days, I’ll feel strong for a long time.
Amanda @ .running with spoons. says
Err… my microwave broke a few months ago and I haven’t bothered to replace it :lol: I think it’s the fact that I grew up without one, so I never really relied on it heavily. That and I prefer to eat most of my food cold or at room temperature so I never really used it for heating things up. If my blender broke, though? I’d be lost.
Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…. thinking out loud #154 .
I don’t mind most food cold but certain things I NEED hot!
If it energizes me (mostly), it’s kind of my fitness ‘medium.’ That doesn’t mean that I’m not sore or really sweaty. It just means, for me, that I don’t come away drained for days afterwards. :) I do push past that happy medium sometimes. Yet, I usually stay in it, especially when I’m not training for anything in particular.
Overnight oats are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. They are different from normal oats, but just as yummy. :) It depends on whether you are in the mood for cold or hot oats.
Emily recently posted…Why Exercise can be Obsessive
I love how you phrased that! Workouts should be energizing and not always so taxing.
Sarah @pickyrunner says
Our society is so skewed in views of its health. You’re right that it does connect to your family’s socioeconomic background just as much as it does the state where you’re raised. I grew up in a town that was centered around sports teams. So for me, I know nothing else. I have a hard time overexercising than underexercising. I think in the healthy living blog world that we’re absorbed in, it’s more common to see people work themselves into the ground, and that’s why we see all of these posts about needing to rest, whereas in the “real world,” the opposite is actually more common. My coworkers think my idea of fun is torture. I love running and biking, they don’t. Our country as a whole really could work on the middle ground. I mean, look at Europe! They walk everywhere so fitness is part of their everyday life, but they’re not out running a million miles and not taking rest days, nor are they spending their days on the couch. Those countries have a good balance.
Sarah @pickyrunner recently posted…Three Years.
AGREED. I’ve never known anything but sports and staying active. You are so right about Europe. Plus they take naps almost daily, eat “indulgent” food but small portions and are generally healthier.
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine says
I think if you’re just sitting on the couch all day and have no extenuating circumstances as to why you can’t workout…you have a major problem!
And omg….I would cry if my microwave died! :O…..but no cook? Classic cereal ;)
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine recently posted…Black Garlic & Lime Cedar Plank Salmon
I need to bring cereal back into my life :) I’ve really only had Rice Chex since being GF
I think that so much of finding the “happy medium” is about being honest with yourself as to why you’re exercising (or not exercising). I think people on both ends of the spectrum struggle with being honest with themselves, myself included!
Are you not exercising at all because you are injured or legitimately burned out? Or is there something else stopping you that you can try to address?
Are you exercising a lot because you are working towards a goal that requires a lot of exercise? Or because you feel guilty or fat if you don’t run X miles a week? For me, I enjoy all the exercise I do, but I know that one reason I work out a lot is because of my anxiety. That’s not a bad thing, but I may need to discover additional coping mechanisms because I don’t want to physically burn out or get injured.
Katie recently posted…Little Cottonwood, or the hardest climb I’ve ever done
Completely agree! I have a stress fracture in my foot so I haven’t been doing cardio for about a month. I think those questions are very important for each person to address individually.
Morgan @ Morgan Manages Mommyhood says
When we moved into our house, there was no microwave. We never got one, and it’s not too bad! I reheat things in the pan/oven and it usually comes out better than it would have in a microwave, just with some more time/more dishes.
Morgan @ Morgan Manages Mommyhood recently posted…Favorite Halloween Memories
I’m sure it does come out better (that’s what my mom said too). I need to build in more time because when I’m hungry, I want my food ready that minute.
Julia @ Lord Still Loves Me says
In San Diego, I feel like I am SURROUNDED by people who have execessive exercise issues, so I am with you. I find that statistic to be so far wrong. However, I think I forget to take into account that an adult is anyone 18+ so it includes senior citizens!
Julia @ Lord Still Loves Me recently posted…Healthy Living Survey
The stat was crazy to me too. But if you look at the map, the areas of those who don’t workout are pretty concentrated.
Dani @ Dani California Cooks says
I actually didn’t have a microwave in college. My roommate and I used our oven to do pretty much everything!
Dani @ Dani California Cooks recently posted…Crockpot Pumpkin Apple Raisin Butter (vegan)
My roommates and I are struggling to come to terms with using the oven! Particularly for reheating food quickly.
Rebecca @ MyEagerFeet says
Those are some sobering statistics – but you’re right the running/blogging communities need one that’s quite different. I hope sometimes that maybe I can lead by example, I know I got into running when I was around people who considered it normal.
Rebecca @ MyEagerFeet recently posted…Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon: Week 13
Completely agree. I think it’s more effective that way too.
masala girl says
i remember our microwave broke (at home) the day before my first day of work last summer…. produce dept of WF. AKA FREEZING. all i wanted when i got home was soup, which was frozen, and… no microwave. it was a sad sight as i tried to figure out how to reheat it, haha.
as for foods, if you boil water and pour it over your oats (to cover) in a CONTAINER then QUICKLY put the LID on to SEAL IT. shake it gently every 30 seconds or so to mix, and add some more boiling water after 1-2 minutes, reseal, shake, and its good :)
besides that, overnight oats as you said, fruit and (soy)milk and/or yogurt, dinner leftovers, etc.
masala girl recently posted…Food Day 2015- “Toward A Greener Diet”
Thanks for that oatmeal tip! Never knew that. Thankfully it’s all fixed now :)
I definitely haven’t been able to exercise as much as I’d like lately, but I’ve kinda been compensating by trying to eat healthier + just stuffing it in whenever I can. I like greek yogurt with fruits + nuts, smoothies, and overnight oats (I’m sorry to hear about your microwave!). :]
Overnight oats were perfect for last week! Thankfully the microwave is all fixed :)