Today I am thankful.
You see, I read an article in Thursday's Portland Press Herald that "expressions of thanks promote health and happiness and give optimism and energy to the downtrodden".
I am not downtrodden, but I could use a bit of optimism and energy.
My mom clipped this special article for me after reading a post I wrote last Wednesday. The post was, admittedly, snotty. And also a little snide. And also lacking in substance. After embracing this fact I began to fear that if you read this post you might believe I am actually snotty and snide, and not the lovely and gracious person you have come to know on this blog.
So I took it down.
Because really, I am a thankful person. Really. Very thankful. Everyday. It's like--who I am. Always. T.h.a.n.k.f.u.l.
Today I am especially thankful that I have cool parents who let my family crash at their house for the entire holiday weekend, and who also took care of our kids and our incontinent old man dog while we went wining and dining with our friends. Thanks Mom and Dad! Sorry you had to step in Linus's crap, Dad. He just slips those little nuggets out...
I had a lovely Thanksgiving with my extremely large family (we're talking over 25 and not everyone was there). It was a pleasant ruckus. I can only tolerate the Thanksgiving ruckus for a few hours at a time, however, and then I need to escape to my chambers and read for a bit before re-emerging in all of my extroverted glory. This Thanksgiving I chose to spend my get-away-reading time with Matt Fitzgerald's text Racing Weight.
In case you were wondering, it's not a good idea to read a book about achieving Race Weight when you are in the midst of digesting a gigantic slice of dark chocolate cake slathered in peanut butter sauce. You already knew this, of course. I'm the only dumb fuck who would read such a book on Thanksgiving Day.
It is a good book. A wise book. A moderate book in which Fitzgerald uses all of the latest research to highlight the advantages of achieving race weight for one's specific sport, and then ways one can safely do this without losing muscle, without becoming a carb-starved bitch, and without becoming homicidal with hunger. (Okay, he really only covered the part about not losing muscle.)
Much of what he discusses is counter-intuitive. For example, "using a sports drink in training may preserve muscle mass and promote a slightly leaner body composition." Or, you might be interested to know, one can help to optimize her muscle-to-fat ratio by eating protein/carb combo immediately following exercise, because fat burning increases while the carbs you take in are delivered to your muscles to replenish glycogen stores. (143) The book is full of helpful little snatches of race weight know-how such as these facts.
I especially enjoyed the section on supplements. I'm planning on upping my intake of calcium and also trying beta-alanine and conjugated linoleic acid. Has anyone had any experience taking the latter two? Beta-alanine is an amino acid that formulates an antioxidant in your body that supposedly helps fight muscle fatigue and increases lean muscle mass. CLA (the conjugated etc...) has been shown to help fight seasonal weight gain (not as in off-season--as in winter season). Taking adequate amounts of calcium reduces the production of a hormone that aids in fat storage. (236-241) It think it's safe and maybe smart to give these three supplements a shot. And has anyone out there tried taking creatine? I'm not planning on taking it, but I'm curious what your experience has been with it if you have.
It's a good read, and one I recommend even if you could give a hoot about achieving "ideal" race weight. It's more a book about how to eat to fuel for your life as an athlete than a book on how to get thin. Still, don't read it on Thanksgiving. I hate to admit it, but after reading it I feel monstrously large and I just want to cleanse myself by eating only greens, fruit smoothies with whey protein, and lean meats for the next year.
Before I sign off I want to give a LOUD CONGRATS to Kim (Teta Equals Booby) who competed in IM Cozumel today. SHE. KICKED. ASS. 12:22--which is a gigantic PR. Also competing was Claire (Speedy) who also had a fantastic race and a PR, finishing in 12 hours flat. I'm so excited for both of them, because they both deserved to have awesome races and they did.