Stretching is just not a precursor to “real” exercise, or a postgame formality. Stretching allows us to slow down and tune into our bodies in a way no other movement does.
You know you have to. The longer you put it off, the harder it will get. No, you can’t just skip it. Your mother tells you. Your doctor tells you. The internet tells you. Sometimes it seems like the world is telling you: stretch yourself before you wreck yourself. So how is it you’re here again?—exhausted, splayed out over the floor, resistance band cast off to the side and forgotten like the refuse from a dissipated storm.
“How do patterns develop and stick? What does my ability to make some good habits and struggle with others say about me? How can I break bad habits and create healthier ones?”
Seven years ago, I lost 92 pounds. During the two-and-a-half-years it took me to lose the weight, I made many new healthy habits that I still have, like regular exercise and eating more veggies. In the past two years, I regained about seven pounds, and I was kinda okay with that. Then, this year, I added another ten.
The old “bad” habits I thought I had conquered—like emotional eating, rewarding myself with food, and portion control—had, to a degree, boomeranged back, while some newer habits, like tracking my food and going to weekly Weight Watchers meetings, had slipped away.
So now I’m back to counting, back to meetings, and back to asking the big questions: How do patterns or habits—the good, the bad, the mystifying—develop and stick? What does my ability to make some good habits and struggle with others say about me? Do I somehow lack “discipline” or “motivation”? How can I break bad habits and create healthier ones?
Stretch Your Wallet and Your Pantry with These Easy, Nutritious Recipes
When it comes to comfort food, few things fit the bill like a big bowl of warm soup and a fresh, crunchy salad. Not only is soup nurturing – it’s the food we go to when we’re not feeling well – it’s easy and satisfying to make; usually with items pulled from your cupboard or pantry. And, soup and salad can also be one of the healthiest and most nutritious meal parings, and a great way to add more vegetables and legumes to your diet. Soup is also budget-friendly and helps stretch food that you have on your hand. Plus, a big pot of soup on the stovetop is just plain good for the soul.
Empowerment, Victim Blaming, and Feminist Models of Self-Defense
Sometime in 1988, I found my way to a bare-bones studio over a discount store in Brooklyn and the practice of empowerment-model self-defense. I was a women’s studies undergrad at the time and—although I didn’t yet identify as such—a survivor of sexual trauma. Falling in with that sweaty group of feminists saved my life.
Self-defense was feminist theory come to life. An embodied practice, it introduced me to physical and emotional power—my own, and that of other women. It invited me to diverse community, to learn from and alongside women whose backgrounds were different from my own but who shared a common vision: a world free of violence and oppression.