Posted September 25, 2013 | 11:49 am, by nadine
Hey blog, its been a while. Truth be told I got kind of distracted by summer and went traveling for a bit. Then I sort of took some time to ride my bike and smoke some ribs. Summer is the season I usually bugger off. But seeing as its fall, and I’m starting to get back into things, I figured I should revisit you.
Lately I’ve been contemplating my hands. They really are marvels, your hands. Evolution has done a fine job of giving us such adaptive, and expressive appendages. They are, in short, some of the best tools around. I find it a bit of a shame they don’t seem to get as much attention as our brains.
Sure, our brains do a lot of things, even in our sleep. But I like to think of hands as an extension of your brain, as opposed to something your brain just operates.
This fall I’ve pretty much jumped back into fabrication. I decided on metal, so most things I’m looking to experiment with are welding, casting, milling, carving etc.Its given me a renewed appreciation for physical problem solving, and how immediate the feedback of “Does this work, will this fit, will this survive [x], does this need modification” is. Even something as simple as working on my old beater bike gives me these insights.
Its also given me a renewed sense of patience when it comes to learning things. I tend to give myself a longer lead when it comes to learning physical things or doing physical work, and I’m hoping that attitude translates over to digital learning. I find I think I should learn digital things really fast, then get frustrated when it doesn’t happen quickly. I then toss myself into a “Oh I should know more by now” spiral, which, frankly, is self-defeating.
Its been a little while now since I took a break from web design, and I still don’t miss it, but I do concede that I’m not always sure where I’m pointing. I’m hoping that some fabrication experience will round out my knowledge pot and help me start to solidify a direction.
Posted April 21, 2013 | 11:49 am, by nadine
So, its spring, and about this time of year my feeds get a large spike of “get fit” posts. I get that, its spring, people are turning a new leaf. That’s cool. But I’m going to go out on a limb here and say this: If we’re hanging out, or chatting on the internets, I really, really don’t want to listen to your weight loss goals, tips, ideas, or strategies. Sorry, its just not my thing, and here’s why.
For starters, I think all diets are a crock. You can call them systems, or lifestyles, or whatever you want. But if you’re cutting out entire swaths of food groups (barring a medical issue or political thing), or living off vitamin enriched water, guess what? Its still just a diet. Plus I just can’t take anything seriously that says things like “You can totally eat all the meat, but apples are kind of evil.” Um…what? No. I like apples. Apples are amazing. Shut up.
Second, I get cagey when ppl start rambling off about diets, because it has taken me most of my adult life to be good with who I am and what I eat. When I was around 8, I was put on my first diet. What were you doing when you were 8? Probably not counting calories. Probably not cultivating a hatred of your own body because all of a sudden there was something “wrong” with you. Probably not listening to your doctor say things like “Don’t people make fun of you, it would be easier if you were just thinner.” Yep. Thanks for that one doc.
Third, I’ve had enough of diet culture. When my Mom became diabetic (it runs in my family, don’t even get me started on people’s assumptions about diabetes) she had to go to diabetic school, and I went along with her. I actually learned a lot about food, nutrition, and how things work together. But despite that knowledge, I still spent a good chunk of my adult life running the diet gauntlet. Because I still had that over-riding thought that losing weight would make everything better. That if I could radically change my body, suddenly all my problems would start going away.
Well, a few years ago I had a rather bad brain patch. And once again, I got back on my little loop and said “Ok! I’ll try and loose weight that will make it better.” Instead it made my hostile feelings towards myself even worse. Things were not good. We’ll leave it at that.
Then one day I started cycling with no goals of weight loss in mind at all. I cycled to just enjoy cycling. It was incredibly freeing, and I began to unpack my food and body issues.
My unpacking time lead me to this: Bodies are really complicated and individual things. They are not simple in and out machines. I had been treating my body like a machine. When people post diet and food advice, I feel they are making an assumption that all bodies are the same, and that if it makes them feel great, then obviously its going to make me feel great. But it doesn’t work that way because my body is different than yours. Its how one person can eat well and still end up with health issues, and someone else can eat big macs and nothing really goes wrong. Its how some chart tells me I’m overweight and at risk for whatever, but my doctor says my numbers are so good I’m 10 million miles away from any issues at all.
Finally I think restrictive eating is damaging. I feel that unless you’re working with your doctor to nail down a specific issue, or you are hard core training for some athletic competition, that subtractive or restrictive eating, is more unhealthy than healthy. Cutting out entire food groups, or vilifying them is still just a diet trick. I have a feeling that every food group is probably villified in some diet, somewhere. This is an industry that makes billions of dollars a year off such tactics. Plus being mentally on guard all the time about food is exhausting. It takes its toll on you (I also wish medical conditions where you had to do this, didn’t exist, but they do, and that sucks).
To wrap it up, today I have a good relationship with food. Today I am a healthy, active lady. I love cycling, I swim, I enjoy lifting heavy things. I can honestly say that I like myself, and my body, and all the awesome things I can do with it. Today, I have a good sense of self image, and a good bead on what my body is telling me day in and day out.
It took a really long time to get here, and I think I’ll stay. So you’ll pardon me if I’m not really enthused about your diet advice.
And on that note, today seems like a good day to bake muffins and go for a walk. So if you’ll excuse me, I have some apples to peel.
Posted April 17, 2013 | 6:58 pm, by nadine
So I went to Ireland for 2 weeks. I was really looking forward to it. My friend Jen had moved to Dublin earlier in the year and seeing her + doing some exploring = a good idea.
I didn’t have any hard set plans, besides some already set hiking dates, but figured its a small country, with lots of history, and its easy to get around.
Instead I ended up with a wicked sinus infection that couch bound me (including antibiotics) for 7 days out of 14. Combine that with jet lag, fevers, and sleep deprivation, and let’s just say it was not a good scene. I literally saw Dingle, and Dublin, and nothing else but my gracious host’s couch.
Still I got some good shots of hiking the edge of Europe (it really was like the end of the world), which I’ll share below. Despite being so friggin’ sick for most of it, I am glad I got to do this hike and cliff walk.
However, first, here are some short noted things:
Decent into Slea Head
Cliff Walking near Ballydavid
River and marsh approaching Brandon
Pretty streets in Dingle
And the rest of my photos can be found on this flickr set.
Will I return to ireland? I’m not sure. I realize my time there was marred by sickness. Which makes me very bias. But I am rather unsatisfied with my experience upon coming home (didn’t get to go to Tara, Wicklow, or The Causeway, hardly went out in the evenings). So we’ll see.