Everything in Moderation

Sunday, December 14, 2014

What a week of exercise looks like for me right now

20 minutes of Foundation Training in the morning

Bike to work and back at the end of the day (an hour/ ~14 miles on the bike total)

Push-ups/Core circuit

2 hour Hunt/Trail Run (~10 miles, 2,000' gained)

20 minutes of Foundation Training in the morning

Bike to work and back at the end of the day (an hour/ ~14 miles on the bike total)

~1 hour of playful bouldering at the gym on the way home

Push-ups/Core circuit

Bike to work and back at the end of the day (an hour,/~14 miles on the bike total)

~1 hour of playful bouldering at the gym on the way home

20 minutes of Foundation Training in the morning

90 minute Trail Run (~9 miles, 1,500' gained)

Bike to bar : )

1 round of Disc Golf at Alton Baker (+4 and a new course PB for me!)

~1 hour of playful bouldering at the gym

Bench press/core circuit

2 hour Trail Run (~12 miles, 1000')

Cougar Hot Springs soak

Watch Star Wars

Noteworthy: Feeling STRONG all around for the first time in a while. On the runs, I feel excited and spry, not like I'm just slogging through mileage or vertical. Biking to work has been excellent. It's a time to plan/prepare for what's ahead or reflect on the day. It provides a much needed transition from work to home and increases the time I get to be outside. Also, I've fallen in love again with bouldering.

Foundation Training has had visible effects on my posture and strength (I've been doing the first DVD for 3 weeks now, but had been doing the video below daily for about 3 weeks before that) and the increased power/engagement in my posterior chain is helping me feel more strong and protected on runs and when climbing at the gym, but also just in general with everyday movements. It's crazy because the postures are so simple, but you can feel results so quickly. I started with these videos:

Here's the Ted Talk.

Here's the 4 min thing I did daily for a while at the start of the day, before I ordered the 2 DVD set.

Let me know what you think!

Friday, December 12, 2014


Saw this film last weekend with Blaine:

And we loved it! Favreau's comedy is a celebration of food, cooking, and the bringing together of people around these things. A lot of what I was writing about in my last post is exemplified in this film. BUT: Spoiler Alert: It'll make you really want a grilled cheese on white bread and all the Cuban Sammies : ).

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Treatise on Food/Dieting

I've been getting into it lately with some people on the inter-webs (and some close friends) who evangelize restrictive, low-carb/high fat (paleo style) diets. They seem to be all the rage these days, especially for long distance runners. I too have been sucked in at times (see past posts on here for proof). The problem is, I think the concept of "dieting" in general is not all that healthy. Here's why it concerns me:

1. Calling certain foods "bad" increases their power. When people deprive themselves of certain things that are natural for them to want (I'll get into that later), they are more likely to binge on the food when they "allow" themselves to eat it. In my experience, when I've had an "I will/do not eat ___" attitude, I find that it dominates my thoughts in an unhealthy way. The detriment to mental health is tremendous and should not be overlooked. Which brings me to point two:

2. The MENTAL HEALTH repercussions of dieting are not addressed by people who evangelize these rigid eating rules/patterns. People like Tim Noakes and Phil Maffetone love to discuss the number of people in this country who are obese or develop Type II Diabetes as a result of being overweight and point to carbs as the culprit, however, they never discuss the mental toll of the diets they espouse. These "diets" can serve as gateway drugs to eating disorders that cause millions of men and women to suffer daily. Eating disorders kill more people than any other mental disorder out there and they have the lowest recovery rate. I have directly asked them to address these concerns on social media platforms, and they have yet to respond...

3. Mental Health affects Physical Health and vice versa...both positively and negatively. To look at either of these in isolation is MAJORLY problematic, and this is another huge issue when people rigidly adhere to diets. When people experience a greater sense of purpose, worth, and mental well-being they will be more active, and thus, more healthy/physically fit. The obsessive, rigid, consumed brain will affect the body over time in an equally detrimental way. Mental stress/strain can manifest as chronic physical pain/injury.

4. The RELATIONAL repercussions of dieting are not addressed by people who evangelize these rigid eating rules/patterns. Eating is a communal experience that brings people together. This has happened across cultures and for centuries. I'm sorry, but if you can't go out with friends who want to share a pizza pie, OR if you need to bring your own salad to the restaurant while everyone else shares in the experience in order to adhere to a rigid diet, you ARE missing out on a relational experience and a growth opportunity. Meet a friend for a beer after a long week at work and cheers with a glass water...you'll see what I mean. We experience joy and contribute to a sense of self through interacting with others. The shared experience is powerful. Rigid food rules and patterns inhibit this. In addition, being mentally consumed by adhering to the diet you're currently on will affect your ability to be present and engaged when you are with other people.

5. Deprivation of certain foods means inhibiting the fulfillment of other, equally important, hungers. It may be true that we need more/less of certain types of nutrients or foods. Even so, we have other hungers that rigid diets prevent us from satisfying. For example, food is attached to memory. It may be a deeply moving experience for an older, displaced, southern couple to make the "southern style" macaroni and cheese they remember from childhood that they had each year around holiday time and other special occasions. Enjoying this dish may call to mind wonderful memories from childhood/holidays and help them feel closer to family and their roots, which are far away. If a diet deprives someone of satisfying this "Memory/Nostalgia Hunger," this is also a lost opportunity.

So, in an effort to not be problem saturated, here's what I would propose.

Trust your body enough to handle flexible, balanced eating and rely on its cues to tell you when to eat and move.

I really like this conceptualization of "Normal" eating which I first encountered in a chapter called Developing Body Trust by Deb Burgard:

"Normal eating is being able to eat when you are hungry and continue eating until you are satisfied. It is being able to choose food you like and eat it and truly get enough of it--not just stop eating because you think you should. Normal eating is being able to use some moderate constraint in your food selection to get the right food, but not being so restrictive that you miss out on pleasurable foods. Normal eating is giving yourself permission to eat sometimes because you are happy, sad or bored, or just because it feels good. Normal eating is three meals a day or it can be choosing to munch along. It is leaving some cookies on the plate because you know you can have some again tomorrow, or it is eating more now because they taste so wonderful when they are fresh. Normal eating is overeating at times: feeling stuffed and uncomfortable. It is also undereating at times and wishing you had more. Normal eating is trusting your body to make up for your mistakes in eating. Normal eating takes up some of your time and attention but keeps its place as only one important area in your life. In short, normal eating is flexible. It varies in response to your emotions, your schedule, your hunger, and your proximity to food." (Satter, 1987, pp.69-70).

Sunday, November 30, 2014

A New Direction, or, In the interest of Balance

After a reflective respite, I'M BAAACCCCKKK:

The best facial hair I could muster for "Movember"
Ever since we returned to Oregon, I've been thinking a lot about balance. During this time, I had the realization that my blog is NOT balanced at all. I think that's why it's been hard for me to feel inspired to post lately. I mean, you can only post so many pics of mountains, trails, and dirt before it starts to feel a bit silly. With regard to the blog, I knew I needed to take it in a new direction, and the task seemed daunting...so I put it off. Now that I'm actually working on the post, however, it feels surprisingly easy.

Anyway, I asked myself if this blog has been an accurate and full representation of how my life went down the past 2-3 years. The answer I came to: I don't think so! Sure I got to see a lot of awesome stuff during that time, much of which has been well-documented here. I owe that to my own two feet, mountain movements, and an amazing, knowledgeable trail-running community that has taken me in. Really, after documenting our trip out to the wild and wonderful West, this blog has been an homage to those things. BUT, I also earned a second Masters Degree, and found a new career that I absolutely love--and that's hardly represented anywhere on Necessary Movement! I definitely put a lot of work into this new trajectory, as I do other things like my relationships with coffee, beer, friends, and of course with Blaine. I did a lot more than run and train and race, but that's really all that Necessary Movement has shown. With that said, I do think it accurately represented some misguided priorities I've had during that time, and I want my blog to more accurately portray what's going on with me. This will serve two purposes:

1) Uphold core values I hold that include being authentic, real, and searching for healthy balance
2) Keep friends and family far away in the know about what's going on with us out here in Oregon

I've appreciated that some of the 20 or so people that actually read this blog have missed my posts and let me know it. Hopefully they find this new iteration worthwhile too.

In the interest of balance:

I've been climbing (bouldering) more, running less...my toes still look funny : )

I've been riding my bike more, trying to drive less

Taking time to stop at water falls, rather than zoom past them

And generally just cleaning up my act (from today) at the end of November

Enjoying healthy relationships with food and friends--Where Blaine and I had Thanksgiving at Nate's Dad's house

Loving on my daughter

AND loving on my main girl, pictured here with the baby boy.

Cheers to a new direction:

From our 6 year wedding anniversary trip to Smith Rock

Crux Fermentation Project in Bend, OR
I also rediscovered a love for playing music. Blaine and I have taken up the Ukulele, which has been a blast! Lovin' this little instrument:

And finally, my new hero: