Why Is Fat Funny? Is Being Fit And Healthy Really “Living The Life”?

So, I was busy watching (aka bingeing) on Friends episodes a few of weeks ago (thank you sick time) when I had an epiphany of sorts.  Most of us are familiar with the popular sitcom and know that one of the main characters, Monica was “fat” in her younger years.  In flashback episodes you get a glimpse of young Monica (in a fat suit).

Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros.
Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros.
The thing that got to me was the way her character was portrayed when she was fat; a person who lacked self-control and binge ate her feelings.  It also poked fun at her in the scenes and showed her as the goofy “fat friend” who comically danced about and got stuck in bean bag chairs  because she was too large to get up.  Later in the series you learn that the reason she lost weight was because of a cruel comment she had overheard Chandler make on Thanksgiving.

A year later, her character was then transformed into who we see on the show now, a thin and beautiful woman.  Overly competitive, meticulously clean, and well-disciplined (she’s a chef who doesn’t overindulge in her fare), she’s a completely different person.  Yet, they do have moments when they sneak in some lingerings of “Fat Monica” and her insecurities show (i.e. the episode where she learns Chandler dumped a girl because she got too fat).

This is not the first and likely not the last time we’ll see something like this. Another favorite show of mine is New Girl.  They too have a main character, Schmidt, who used to be fat and the flashbacks more often than not poke fun at his “fat person” status.

His character is now portrayed as a narcissistic ladies’ man who continually comes off as douchey.   There are even a few episodes where he begins (secretly) dating his college girlfriend (from his fat days).  BUT he feels like he needs to hide it and is ashamed of his feelings for her because he has his trophy of an ex to compare her to.

I could go on and on spitting out examples of how being fat is portrayed in the media.  In the majority of cases it’s the butt of a bad joke or something portrayed in a shameful manner.  I guess that’s part of the deal though, we’ve conditioned to laugh at it or look at it in disgust.

Is being fat (or shall I say having fat) truly a laughing matter?  And why are these “ex-fat” people always written to turn into these type-A over achievers?

Is it all just for show?

I say yes and no.  Many studies suggest that someone who used to obsess over food in an indulgent manner is also likely to do a complete 180 and flip the switch with an obsession of “the healthy life”.  There is even a new eating disorder called orthorexia nervosa, which literally means “fixation on righteous eating.”

It can become a psychological game and ultimately end in disaster.  This is why so many people struggle on the maintenance side of things or with disordered eating after they strive for a healthier lifestyle.

It’s finding that sweet spot that can be tricky, but there are ways to check yourself before you literally wreck yourself.

Checkout these 20 signs that you’re too obsessed with your weight:

1) You weigh yourself multiple times a day

2) You count every calorie

3) You feel yourself up

4) You believe thinness will solve your problems

5) You see food in black and white

6) You’re adding more and more foods to your forbidden list

7) You’re skipping social functions

8) You have to cut your food into bite-sized pieces

9) Your workout is always your top priority

10) You’re always up on the newest diet craze

11) You check everybody out

12) You fetishize skinny pics

13) You have tricks to avoid eating

14) You’re a slave to Fitbit

15) You eat only 100% organic, 100% of the time

16) You beat yourself up for bad behavior

17) You love your selfie more than yourself

18) You feel more lovable when you’re thin

19) You bring your own salad dressing

20) You’ve lost your other passions

Where do you fall on the spectrum?  I’ll admit, I have faced my moments of obsession when it comes to weight loss and body image, but I’ve become aware of these instances and things that trigger that mentality.

I’m a firm believer in finding the balance so that healthier habits can be maintained in the long run.  Knowing that a five-pound fluctuation on the scale is normal and not acting like it’s the end of the world is healthy.  But why is it still so hard to accept the triumphs without going overboard?

For one, we live in a society of smoke and mirrors.  Social media has made it so easy for people to only share the highlight reels of their lives.  It all looks so easy for them, they’re thin, they eat all of the foods, and never workout, but are also sporting abs.

Truth be told, those are just the snippets.  I’m sure not every meal is a heap of fries with a 1 pound burger and I’m sure they are in fact spending some time in the gym (despite what they say).  And, guess what?  They probably have their fat days too and battle that same stubborn 5-10lbs like you. When they sit down they have a roll in those perfectly sculpted abs.

Smoke and mirrors.

What are your thoughts?  Do you notice these “ex-fat” characters as well?  Do you recognize yourself in them?  Does it offend you?

 

 

 

 

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Product Review/Giveaway: Mighty Nut Powdered Peanut Butter

 
This month, as a Sweat Pink Ambassador with Fit Approach, I was awarded the opportunity to test out Mighty Nut Powdered Peanut Butter.  These products were provided to me for free and though I will be compensated for my review the opinions and experiences expressed are my own.

If you know me then you know I am a huge peanut butter fan!   

Add peanut butter to nearly anything and it makes it exponentialy better!  My personal favorite ways to use peanut butter are in my morning oats, as a flavor boost in smoothies/shakes, or with apples or carrots as a quick snack.

The only downside to PB??  It’s a calorie and fat dense food and I can only enjoy it in limited quantities.  That’s where the powdered stuff comes in!

Packing 85% less calories from fat, powdered PB can be enjoyed without the guilt.

Here are two quick and easy ways to use Mighty Nut Powdered Peanut Butter!

  1. Add it to your favorite smoothie or shake recipe.
  2. Make a quick and healthy snack like apple ‘nachos’.

Simple Chocolate PB Shake

1 cup coconut or almond milk

1/2-1cup water (to thin)

1 scoop of your fave chocolate protein powder (I used Shakeology)

1 handful of ice

2tbs Mighty Nut Powdered PB (I used chocolate)

1 handful of frozen spinach

Mix ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.  Thickness will vary depending on protein powder type and which liquid you use (I find my shakes with coconut milk are always thicker).  Enjoy!

 


Apple “Nachos”


This next recipe is another quickie!  You can use a mandolin to slice your apple or do it the old fashioned way with a knife.
Recipe:

1-2 small apples or one large

2tbs Mighty Nut Powdered Peanut Butter (original) mixed with 1-2 tbs water to get to a runny consistency that canbe drizzled over the apples.

Sprinkling of dried cranberries.

Simple.  Three steps and you’re ready to head to scarf town!


I’m still working on getting a bit more creative with my uses and plan to use the original in a savory dish.  Perhaps something a little Thai inspired?  Mmmmmm spicy peanut sauce and chicken!  I think I need to get back in that kitchen!

Are you a peanut butter fan?  Do you like to use powdered peanut butter?  Well here’s your chance to get your hands on your very own stash of Mighty Nut!  I’ll be giving away one container to a lucky winner!

Entry rules (follow the rafflecopter link to complete):

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/YjVjYmYwZWMwNDdkODExZmJmYmZiYjQyZjVjODIwOjU=/?

  • Follow @GoMightyNut on Twitter
  • Follow @GoMightyNut on Instagram
  • Tweet about the giveaway. Sample tweet: I would LOVE to create recipes with @GoMightyNut! #EatMighty @fitapproach #sweatpink mightynut.com
  • Pin a picture from MightyNut.com

 

 

2014 A Year In Review

This past year has been a whirlwind!  Let’s take a moment to look back to my Fit Goals of 2014 and see what I’ve accomplished!

2014 Fit Goals

  1. Run the entire Walt Disney World Marathon on January 12, 2014
  2. Sign-up for and complete either the Wineglass or Empire State Marathon.
  3. Sign-up and complete a Tough Mudder or similar obstacle race.
  4. Sign-up and PR in at least one Half-Marathon.
  5. Complete at least one unassisted pull-up.
  6. Run faster/more frequently (aim to triple mileage).
  7. Complete 1 round of p90x3.
  8. Sign-up for and complete a few 5k races.
  9. Eat cleaner!  I struggle with this one and often fall off into old habits.
  10. Start biking during the warm months.
  11. Sign-up for the 100 mile Ride for Life
  12. Lose the weight/lose inches–ideal weight=150lbs, size 6/8
  13. Sleep more!
  14. Blog more about fitness! (not really a fit goal, but related–I’d like to make sure to keep you updated on my progress and struggles)

I didn’t get through them all, but I am very proud of the goals that I did accomplish!!

Completing my first marathon is by far my biggest accomplishment of the year!  It wasn’t easy and I didn’t do as well as I had hoped, but I did it and was brave enough to sign up for this year’s marathon (which unfortunately I had to back out of in December).  It was a great year of increased mileage, strength, and fun races to boot!

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WDW Marathon 1/12/14

It wasn’t a Tough Mudder, but I did manage to run in 2 obstacle 5ks! Both were a blast and I’m definitely eager to try my hand at something a bit more challenging in 2015.

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Tough Turtle-Ithaca,NY
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5K Foam Fest-Batavia, NY

I also did fairly well at picking up my pace and increasing my mileage throughout the year (thanks to my months of ill-fated marathon training).  Longer runs became easier and shorter runs were faster.  I was also happy to have completed more 5ks than the prior year, but missed out on many races due to our hectic wedding schedule.

My favorite race of the year might have to be the Trick or Trot 5k because it was the first race that my little nugget ran.  I’ve been counting down the days until this little dude could run with me and it was ridiculously cute to see him wearing his first race bib.
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All in all, it’s been a great year! I didn’t complete as many goals as planned, but I didn’t gain back any of the weight I lost in 2013 so I feel proud and accomplished.  I do have big goals for 2015 and hope to keep moving forward with this healthy life and am grateful for all I’ve gained in 2014.

What did your 2014 look like?  Do you have big goals for 2015?

Product Review: Manitoba Harvest Hemp Pro 70

Disclaimer:  This is an unbiased review.  As an SPA, I am often provided with opportunities to review certain fitness/health related products.  I was not paid for my review, but did receive a free product for testing.

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“HempPro 70 – It’s water soluble and has a smooth texture! It’s also our higher protein option (the Original flavour has 20 grams of protein per 30 gram serving). We love this protein in a post run smoothie or yoga shake (yes, you can literally shake it with your favourite beverage and you’re good to go). Comes in three delicious flavours; Chocolate, Vanilla and Original.”

When offered to review this product I was eager to try it out because I’m always look for vegan protein options. I was a little bit nervous though because when one hears the word vegan one assumes that taste will be lacking.  Though these powders had a mild taste they weren’t on the bad side, in fact it was refreshing to try something that wasn’t overly flavored.

I first tried out the Manitoba Harvest Hemp Pro 70 in chocolate as a run recovery drink and was pleasantly surprised by the malty chocolate taste.  It reminded me of a less sweet version of Ovaltine.  AND I LOVE OVALTINE!  My blender was dirty so I didn’t bother with testing out a smoothie, rather I just shook it up with some plain unsweetened almond milk and gulped it down.

It mixed really well and was smoother than most shakes I’ve tried.  It didn’t do that weird hydrophobic powder clumping thing that many protein shakes do.  It was also easy on the stomach!  I didn’t feel like it was difficult to process and it didn’t sit heavy.

A couple of days later I gave the vanilla a try.  I liked the vanilla too, but in my opinion it was little too bland.  That’s not a bad thing though.  If you’re a smoothie junkie, the last thing you want to do is add something that has too powerful a taste.  I think the light flavor would be greatly suited for a daily smoothie because it provides more versatility than other shakes I’ve tried.

For those of you that would like to give it a try visit http://manitobaharvest.com/ and for 20% off the #pro70 vanilla and chocolate flavors use the code: sweatpinkpro70

 

Finding Your Motivation And Fighting The Motivation Monster

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Let’s talk about motivation.  Motivation is a powerful thing, but being motivated can only get you so far.
Over the past year I’ve spoken with many people who struggle with the motivation monster.  The monster that eats up every ounce of motivation you had when you decided to start your journey.  The monster that creeps in when results and progress slow down.  The monster that sometimes holds you back from starting at all.

Do you know what I am talking about?  It might be an all too familiar scenario for you.  I know it was for me.  In the past year I’ve definitely faced my monster multiple times, but the one thing that really kept me going was my determination to stay motivated.

I know it sounds crazy and you might say, well isn’t and shouldn’t motivation be enough?  It would be great if that were the case, wouldn’t it?!  Let’s break it down into terms and compare a few.

The dictionary defines motivation as:

motivation- n
1. the act or an instance of motivating
2. desire to do; interest or drive
3. incentive or inducement

We can all come up with a reason of why we want to get fit and be healthy.  The why is all too easy.  I wanted this life for me because I wanted to be the healthiest and happiest person I could be for my family.  I didn’t want to feel trapped and hidden in a body I didn’t recognize.

But what happens when your “why” changes?  What happens when your motivation isn’t clear anymore?

That’s when determination comes into play.

The dictionary defines determination as:

determination-n

1. the act or and instance of making a decision

2. condition of being determined; resoluteness

Being determined is what will ultimately keep you going.  Everyone can have the motivation to want to do something, but having the determination to stick it through when times get rough is the hard part.

For me my motivating factors are constantly changing.  At first it was training for the marathon.  I was motivated by the goal in sight, but there were days where I began to question my motives.  Why was I doing this?  Well, because I had made the decision to dedicate the time and energy and to complete the task at hand.  This is why I am a firm believer in setting goals.

A goal can provide motivation and the act of commitment will provide the will and determination to keep that motivation alive.  Does that make sense?  They go hand in hand and together create an unstoppable momentum that will keep you going.  Much like a rolling stone won’t gather moss, a person who is striving for new goals will be less likely to lose their motivation.

For me, starting new beachbody programs is what helps me keep my motivation alive.  I am setting mini-goals through the course of each program.  The end goal is always to follow the program and complete it.  Earning my free shirt and sharing my results at the end are things that help push me forward.  Much like collecting race bibs, completing these programs and earning my shirts are my badges of honor.  They show that I stuck it through and met my goal.

What keeps your motivation alive?  What goals are you setting for yourself?

 

Recipes: Turkey & Black Bean Stuffed Dino Kale

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The creation of this tasty recipe came about due to an over abundance of kale from our CSA share.  Staring down 3 varieties of kale at once was a bit overwhelming and my standard method of preparation began to lose its excitement.  So I went the route of trying something new!

Ingredients:

  • 1lb Lean Ground Turkey (can use any ground meat variety here)
  • 10 Large Dino Kale Leaves 
  • 1 can sodium free black beans

**Add green onions, fresh garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper to taste

1. Prepare your leaves for stuffing:

Blanch the leaves in boiling water until pliable (soft enough to chew, but firm enough so they don’t break).  De-vein the leaves (I cut mine in half since they were so large).

2. Prepare filling:

Sauté the green onions and garlic in a pan with a small amount of olive oil.  Brown the turkey in the same pan and season with salt, pepper, and cumin to preferred taste.  I also added some fresh basil to mine!  While the turkey cooks add the can of black beans so that they can absorb the flavors.  Allow to cool so that you can handle the mixture with your bare hands.

3.  Fill the leaves:

The black beans act as the perfect binder for your turkey filling!  Use your palm to make a small cylindrical formed ball and wrap with the prepared kale leaf.  The amount of filling you will want to use will depend on the size of your kale leaves.  I used a similar amount in volume as you would use for drop cookies, but you can fill them accordingly.  If you find the kale to be a little bit too chewy, line them up in a steamer to cook the leaves more.