Tag Archives: rest

Quis traversum elit? Is your fitness tracker running your life?

Click to check out an interesting article about the “quantified self”.

Quis traversum elit?  Who is tracking the trackers?  I feel compelled to write about this as I’ve run across so many people on our Fit Fatties Forum and on Facebook who are sharing the fact that they have become a slave to their fitness tracking devices.  Don’t get me wrong.  Fitness trackers can be wonderful!  For many people those gorgeous, full-color interactive graphs are just the thing to get them up and moving  in the morning.  But I feel like I need to address the fact that interest in these things can and does sometimes tip a bit towards obsession in some people.

I have experienced this myself in the past.  I was wearing one of those trackers that shared your steps and speed and cadence with a group of friends online.  I distinctly remember almost missing a plane because I was obsessively walking the terminals to “get in my daily steps” before midnight.  Every day I would pull up those stats.  If the stats were good, I had a good day.  If the stats were bad I was despondent.  Sound familiar?  If  you think this sounds a little like an obsession with numbers on a scale, I would say you’re right!

I think another dangerous aspect of this is that we are encouraged to hit these goals regardless of how our bodies feel on any given day.  Just like the body signals when it is full or hungry or needs cheese, the body signals when it needs rest.  If we continually ignore our body’s signals in order to maintain an appropriate slope on a pretty digital graph, things can get kinda dicey.  We’re risking chronic physical exhaustion which can lead to overuse injuries and even chronic illness.

So what’s a person to do?  Here’s a few tips:

1.  If the graph feature of the tracker is making you feel a little bit obsessive, turn that part off or ignore it.

2.  Try to build rest days into your schedule.  Instead of insisting that you work out every day, how about 5 or 6 days a week?  Then take a break when your body says you need to.

3.  How about keeping a journal where you map how your body is feeling on any given day.  Then maybe you can identify that Thursdays are tough and plan a yoga session or a meditation session for that day.

4.  Remember that cardiovascular fitness is only one part of wellness.  Maybe schedule in some other forms of wellness work like stretching or weight training or breathing exercises.

5.  If you are truly becoming obsessed with your tracker, maybe you need a trial separation.  This is true even if you spent a metric butt-ton of money on it.  Try taking it off for 2 weeks and see if the effect on your OVERALL well being is positive or negative.

Hope this helps you in all your wellness endeavors.

Love,

Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

P.S. Want me to speak to your group about fitness trackers and all kinds of other wellness stuff?  Send me an email at: jeanette at thefatchick dot com.  You can learn more right here.

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Time for a Little Self Care

Coming off a very busy week after an incredibly busy weekend hosting the first annual Fat Activism Conference.  Over 30 hours of content with over 40 speakers in 3 days!  Followed by two days this week of meetings and proposals and general running around regarding the next projects to come down the pike.  I’m so excited!  But…

But I’m continually surprised by how long I really need to recover from some of these things.  Sure, I took a day off after a very intense weekend like I had.  I knew I’d be tired for at least a day.  But after age 40 after going like crazy for a week and not really getting any good sleep, I kinda have to remember that one day of resting up just might not do the trick.

At the end of yesterday’s meetings and running around, I found myself spent.  Like eat a PB&J for supper and sleep in my clothes spent.  And I’ve decided that today, I would finally listen to the messages my body is screaming at me and take a little break.

Maybe I will get a massage.  Maybe I’ll fit in some time for meditation or maybe just a nap.  For sure I’m going to take time to find myself something wonderful to eat–something that nourishes my body and my soul.  Because helping to change the world, even a little tiny bit, is a whole lot of work.  And we have to remember that caring for others requires that we have energy.  And having energy means that we have to have time and space for self care.

It’s like the old adage about the airplane oxygen mask.  Make sure your mask is secure before you start helping other people with them.  It’s not about being selfish.  It’s about understanding that your effectiveness to help may be severely diminished if you are flopped over on the seat, gasping for air like a fish.

I am incredibly inspired by the speakers I heard this past weekend.  I feel more motivated than ever to do the work that needs to be done to make the world a safer and better place for people of all races, ages, shapes, sizes, types and abilities.  But this work will not be done in a day or a week.  It won’t even be done in a year or a decade.  So I’m going to stare at puppies and take a long nap.  I’m going to eat something fabulous and listen to awesome music and dance in my undies.  I am going to do what I need to do to rebuild my energy and gird my loins.  So I am once again ready to fight the good fight.

Love,

Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

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ROUND numbers–the 500th Post!

post500.001-001Well hello there!  Welcome to the 500th post on Fat Chick Sings!  It’s always great when we reach a ROUND number.  A 10-K, a 25th or 50th wedding anniversary, a 100 mile bike ride.  The goal of meeting ROUND numbers help fuel us, keep us going and move us forward.  The joy of reaching round numbers give us an opportunity to pause, celebrate, reflect and take stock.

In the final chapter of my book, The Fat Chick Works Out!, I encourage you to enjoy meeting your exercise goal and then to go ahead and schedule a little rest.  And then I go on to define “schedule a little rest”.  Schedule, means that you decide when you are going to rest, and for how long.  Little means that the rest is long enough to feel like a rest, but not so long as to cause you to lose all the muscles and momentum that you gained.  And rest means to actually take a real break from the thing  you were doing.

So I’m going to take my own advice and schedule a little 2 week vacation from blogging.  Don’t worry, I’ll be back October 1.  And during this time, I’m going to reflect on the blog and take stock.  The blog may come back looking a little different.  Maybe it will have  slightly different focus.  While I’m reflecting, I’d love to hear from you.  What do you like best about the blog?  What posts make you say, “meh.”?  You can leave me messages in the comments, or write me privately at jeanette at the fat chick dot com.

And it’s not like I’m dropping off the planet entirely.

Remember, if you live in the Bay area, come join us for a Hot Flash Mob in downtown San Francisco THIS Wednesday, September 18.  We’ll be meeting at a secret location in the Financial District at 12:15 PM and dancing at 12:30.  You can get access to the secret location when you RSVP either on the meetup group, or on the new Facebook event page.  I hope to see you there!

And it’s not too late to join me at the Size Diversity Task Force retreat in Las Vegas coming up October 11-13.  I’ll be hosting some super fun activities there and we are going to have a BLAST!

Thanks for hanging out with me.  See  you in two weeks!

Love,

The Fat Chick

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Desires–What I Wanna

I LOVE jammie time!

I LOVE jammie time!

Not all cravings are for food.  Sure, chocolate chip cookies are important, but there are other things in life.  And in learning to listen to what my body wants to eat, I am learning to broaden the question and listen to the other things my body wants.

At some point every day, my body craves rest.  Especially since I am such an early riser, there comes a point where my body wants to just curl up somewhere under a nice blankie and get some sleep. And it feels so good!  I love, love, love my jammies.  In fact when my friend and super talented photographer Kelly Varner came over to take some pictures, we went through the closet to look for some clothes.  When she saw my collection of PJs she laughed and said, “you have a lot of pajamas!”  To which I replied, “of course!  Jammies are awesome!”  At some point in the evening, I’ve been known to shout out, “What time is it?”  To which my husband has learned the Pavlovian retort, “It’s jammie time!”  At which point I’ve been known to burst into my own version of “Jammie Time” which is based on “Suppertime” from You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.  I’ve even got a special little song I sing when I slip into a bed made with clean sheets fresh out of the dryer.

Sometimes, I really just crave some time alone.  I want to shut the door and shut out the world.  I want to read or surf the net or display my wrath via computer games and I don’t want to talk to anybody or be with anybody.  Sometimes I crave company.  Sometimes I want to talk to somebody and sometimes, I just want to go to the coffee shop and sit in a room with a bunch of strangers–just to be somewhere other than my room all by myself.

Sometimes I feel the need to go out into the world and sing and dance and play with others.  Sometimes I want to walk or bike or stretch or shake my groove thing.  And sometimes I need to withdraw from the world and be outside and be with nature.  Sometimes I want to shut off my phone and simply look at some clouds or some trees or the ocean.

My point is that there are many, many kinds of cravings in my life.  Some of these cravings involve food.  Many do not.  But I find that when I am ignoring cravings in one area of my life, other cravings tend to intensify.  If I’m craving alone time but find I can’t get it, I find myself craving more sleep.  If I’m craving sleep, but can’t get it, I find myself craving sweet or starchy foods.  When I’m feeling the need to go out and dance and shout and shake my groove thing and can’t do it, I crave shopping for new things.  I have learned that there are many “displacements” for when I ignore the underlying cravings in my life.  And I have learned that my life works better when I can find a way to satisfy the underlying cravings rather than the displacement cravings.  Now life being what it is, I can’t always get whatever I want whenever I want it.  And I’m a little old to flop down on the floor of the local grocery store to have a kicking and screaming tantrum.  But even when I can’t have what I want, I find it helpful to know what it is.  And I’ve found it helpful to make peace with the replacement cravings too.  They are all part of me and it’s all good.  It’s all good.

Love,

The Fat Chick

Thursday Theater: Sometimes You need a Boost

I’m having a busy/sleepy morning. And you know, sometimes it feels like I just can’t quite get there. Like I’m almost where I want to be, but I fall just a leeeetle bit short. Like the poor guy in the video above. I can see the goal. I can see what I want. But I just need to hold up and take a little rest.

But luckily, I can always rely on some help from my friends to get me the rest of the way there:

And I also like to believe that I help some of my friends to reach their goals. Sometimes I’m the turtle and sometimes I’m the baby sea lion. But it helps to remember that none of us gets where we need to go completely alone. Together we can move mountains. And hang in there, it’s almost Friday!

Love,
The Fat Chick