Daily Post: Why, Thank You?

What’s the best (or rather, worst) backhanded compliment you’ve ever received? If you can’t think of any — when’s the last time someone paid you a compliment you didn’t actually deserve?

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Back handed compliments never fall short in this world, but rather than focusing on the negative I would like to discuss compliments. Obviously. Compliments are the best.

After starting this blog I would get the occasional “you just have it all figured out” as though to suggest just that… I had my life figured out. They would then take it further to state that they did not as though to ask me the greatest question of all: HOW? The craziest part about this situation is that it happened more than once. Each time someone would discuss the life I posted on the internet, I wondered what I was projecting that someone would assume that I solved a piece of life’s puzzle. It felt odd because I often felt as though I had so much to resolve within my own life. The truth is, we all want to figure “it” out and find ourselves, or discover what creates a greater meaning for us in this world. But who has any of these things really figured it? Deepak Chopra?! Certainly not me.

So while it has been exceptionally flattering that people think because I am self-reflective in a public forum that this living this is so easy it’s for the birds, it’s not. I’m just soaking up this world too. And since I have zero insight to provide you with, I’ll leave you with my boy, Deepak.

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Why, Thank You? | The Daily Post
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The Butterfly: The Shape-Shifting Mascot

As a curious person I often rely on Wikipedia for my trivial knowledge, but when it comes to lupus, I love my straight up medical facts. One thing I never questioned, but never knew the answer to is trivial but wiki wouldn’t do- why a butterfly?

The symbol for lupus is a butterfly- An animal that is symbolic for rebirth, renewal, and transformation. Or- is it because we get this hideous Malar Rash across our faces (exhibit: a). And so, through my research I learned some new lupus trivia, such as, yes- it is because of the rash.

And hello- I share a disease with Millie “The Most Famous Dog with Lupus.” Question: Who is the most famous cat? 

So while I’m not ready to abandon my negative feelings towards my views of the butterfly as our symbol (it’s a shape shifting creature that has a short life span. I can’t jive with that.) I do feel slightly more knowledgeable about my own disease. Now, who is down to have a new mascot? I nominate the wolf (lupus meaning wolf!)– now that’s an animal I can feel strong and proud to be represented by!

Reading Material

I mentioned last weekend that I’ve been trying to shake a cold… It will not be shaken! When I get sick for an extended amount of time I begin to think that my innocent cold is my not so innocent other friend sneaking up on me. If you have lupus you may know this fear and it’s semi-paralyzing because I don’t want to do anything that may wake the sleeping giant. It’s challenging to explain to a person that does not have lupus how this affects a person with lupus. Having a flare is TERRIBLE, and if I sense one coming on my life will get put on pause until my body feels “right.” In an effort to stave off any serious problems I have made rest a priority.

My week nights thus far has been spent on a couch. Again. Thursday night at 4 p.m. I was sound asleep. Last night, 9:30, done for. The last thing I remember was trying to get falafel from the fork into my mouth… Didn’t happen. This then led to my decision that the food should be put away, I dropped the tzatiki sauce all over the kitchen floor. Damn you, NyQuil!

On the other side of the coin, I’m now up at 7 a.m. on a Saturday! And, I feel refreshed. As miserable as that may sound to you, I don’t mind it. If I could, I would like to ease into every day with a nice cup of coffee and some light reading. This luxury doesn’t happen frequently, but when it does I enjoy clearing my mind on the internet. This week seemed to give an additional need to escape the real world.

An open letter to facebook:

Dear facebook,

I want to say I loath your existence, but I don’t. You have kept me entertained for countless hours when I needed you most. I would specifically like to thank my facebook friends for some perusing material that I will now share with you all.

Best,

Talia.

On to the posts:

1. I enjoyed this one for it’s idea. As much as I hate my phone, and my friends know this because I am always cellularly out of touch, I have been just as guilty of this crime. In the 21st century we love our technology and we love to distract ourselves with it in public. I think it’s a nervous habit that I’ve developed. Now I’m realizing that I have stopped biting my nails… It’s making so much sense. Regardless, playing on our phones is r-u-d-e, rude!

How Phone Stacking is Civilizing Dinner with Friends

Also, if you have not watched Louie C.K. discuss his disdain for cell phones, watch this. There is something so freeing about giving up your technology.

Something Louie C.K. and I can agree on!

2. My first job was in a coffee shop. Despite sucking at that job, I still have a deep rooted caffeine addiction. How did I suck at it? Besides never remembering how to make any of the drinks I also broke the frappuccino machine. You know, the one that looks like a giant slurpy machine. I let go of the handle too fast and it flung up and shattered. Frappuccino went everywhere. I then experienced the wrath of my furious Egyptian boss (I only mention that so you can imagine is accent as he was yelling at me). I then also learned the power a young female has when she hyperventilates while crying. I kept the job.

Coffee always seems to be a source of controversy. In fact, this year the DSM-V mentioned caffeine usage as a disorder (click here). So be it! I have a caffeine disorder. Well, good ol’ huffpo recently wrote about the positive side of coffee. I like to imagine this is how a nicotine addict reacts to news on cigarettes.

well, this article says it kills you, but this article suggests that it makes you look cooler than people who do not smoke

When it comes to caffeine I only trust the news that says it’s good for you anyways. The articles that say it is damaging just don’t know what they are talking about. Seriously, every other day eggs can kill you or make you magically gain 10 years on your life.

Read this coffee lovers! huffpo coffee tawk

3. My final post for the day is just photos. This is for those of you that are like, I just read two articles and your blog, I ain’t reading no mo’

This is AMAZING. I love creative people that think to do funny things to their babies. Isn’t this why people have babies?! Click on the photo below for the link and more importantly, cute baby!

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To Stretch or not to Stretch… That is the Question

Feel the burn.  That sensation that runs down the back of your hamstring as you stretch out your muscles before a run.

Head to knee. 90 degree angles. standing. sitting. balancing.  Stretching brings an awareness to your muscles- it feels like your muscles are acknowledging your hard work and then thanking you for stretching them out. Stretching has become part and parcel with my workout routine- which is why it took me by surprise when my bestie said, stretching isn’t good for you.

She swore up and down that a trainer in her gym is big into the don’t stretch movement. Movement?!  I didn’t even know this existed.

This catastrophic moment sort of felt like the time I was told Pluto wasn’t a planet…

You mean, abandon an essential part of my practice? How can I just give up all that I thought to be true.

As a perpetual student I decided that finding the answer to this question was not as simple as putting faith into some trainer at Danielle’s gym. It was of no offense to her, but who is this trainer… and what does he know?

I read articles. Note the (s) – that was a plural.  I read multiple articles that all concurred with this stranger who flipped my workout understanding on its face.

This article (Click: Reasons not to Stretch), for those of you that are not too lazy to read a blog, but are too lazy to read the New York Times, is not saying do nothing before you workout.  However, it is making a few interesting points based on recent studies that I chose to select as “bold statements”: 

  • if you stretch before you lift weights, you may find yourself feeling weaker and wobblier than you expect during your workout
  • pre-exercise stretching is generally unnecessary and likely counterproductive
  • A better choice…is to warm-up dynamically, by moving the muscles that will be called upon in your workout. Jumping jacks and toy-soldier-like high leg kicks, for instance, prepare muscles for additional exercise better than stretching. As an unscientific side benefit, they can also be fun.

According to the research that has been done, they don’t totally understand why stretching hinders performance, but many are agreeing it does.

Clearly, I had to try this new approach out- I’m also fairly lazy and have no problem reducing my stretch time. Since discovering this new way of thinking I decided to make myself a human guinea pig.  Starting last Sunday I have not stretched before running. The results are in.

10/6: 2.03 mi

10/7: yoga

10/8: off 

10/9: yoga

10/10: 1.75 mi

10/11: 3.31mi

10/12: 3.12 mi

10/13: 2.02

Making for a total of 12.22 miles of ZERO STRETCHING BEFORE RUNNING.

How do I feel?

I thought that after my first day of no stretching pre-run that I would be the most sore, especially since I took a solid 3 days off from running, but I felt exactly the same. I actually enjoyed feeling my joints loosen up as the run progressed.  In fact, every day this week I actually had great running sessions. On 10/11 I got out there and ran the most I have ever run without stopping- I felt amazing. I did it again the next day. The soreness set in by yesterday, but it wasn’t from not stretching- it was from pushing myself. I got out there again yesterday morning and did a solid two mile run and felt fine. This morning I said I was taking the day off- I was feeling it in my calves.  Now it’s 11 a.m. and I’m getting the itch to go- It’s only two miles.  

Maybe it’s because I incorporate hot yoga into my routine a minimum of two days per week, but I feel wonderful. I don’t know if I agree entirely that stretching isn’t an important part of working out, but it’s definitely an interesting perspective. I also believe many people do not know how to stretch properly- I was doing it wrong for years. By stretching the wrong way you can actually do more damage to your body. Post work out I also made it a point to stretch out my muscles.

On a final note- I am not a trainer, I have zero real knowledge of the body, I just like to read. So, my point is-

don’t take my advice, but feel free to read as I take my own. 

Happy stretching (or not) guys!