Did you know that AJ and Hillary golf? Well, if you’ve ever seen us play, you still wouldn’t know it. We didn’t say we played with any kind of skill.
Mostly, we’re just out there, hitting the links, so we can make jokes about “long shafts” and “losing our balls.” Oh, also, AJ likes to eat brisket out of a plastic baggie. Don’t ask.
Anyhoo, you can listen in to the golf podcast episode to hear all about our adventures with the sport of kings.
There’s already been a lot done on the topic of a “good walk spoiled,” which apparently Mark Twain did not say. So, rather than AJ and Hillary blathering on about a topic they’re not experts on (that’s what the podcast is for. Duh.), we figured we’d just use this space as the Lord intended and link you to some interesting/useful/funny info about the sport of golf.
What’s your experience been like when hitting the links? Have you experienced your own religious experience, aka a Jesus Ball? Albatross? Straight eagles? Do you have a good explanation for why all the bird-related nomenclature? Perhaps you have a petition for us to sign to get baggies of brisket sanctioned as legit golf snacks?
Normally, a terrible pun like the one that appears as the title of this episode and related blog post/show notes would be all Hillary’s idea. But alas, it appears her bad influence brilliant ideas have rubbed off on AJ. (Read: Hillary is not to blame for that groanfest.)
Puns aside, it’s not a “stretch” (shut up, we’re on a roll now) to say that yoga is pretty damn good for you, as far as low-impact workouts go.
“But AJ and Hillary,” you may say, “what’s the difference between yoga and stretching? Or yoga and Pilates? Or yoga and barre? Also, what is barre, anyway?”
Well, damn, grasshopper, aren’t you just full of lots of interesting questions, like a tired toddler coming down off a sugar high?!
OK, OK, so those are all good questions.
Stretching is usually where you try to lengthen or release one muscle or part of your body at a time. Yoga definitely has stretching elements, but it’s made up of multiple poses and generally more of a full-body exercise. Yoga can be stretching or strength training or even cardio, depending on the workout.
Yoga vs. Pilates is more nuanced. There tend to be fewer Pilates movement variations, whereas yoga has a ton of different options. And some would say yoga has more of a spiritual side to it, though that’s not always the case. Both workouts do have similar movements though.
If you’re just getting started on your “yoga journey” (no, you have to call it that. Yoga police will come for you and take away your mat if you don’t.) take it slow. You probably don’t wanna hit your mat running, so to speak, with a 90-minute hot yoga class where you’ll spend 89 minutes doing headstands. So we’ve heard. From a friend.
But the nice thing is that entry to yoga is cheap and fairly simple. A decent mat is nice but not required. And there are a ton of free resources on the interwebs, one of our favs we’ve linked to in the “More Info and Deets” section below.
What about you? Have you tried yoga? Love it? Hate it? Get Downward Dog with us in the comments!
If you have made it to 2021, survived a global pandemic with its various forms of isolation, consumed any kind of online content, and yet still don’t know if you’re an introvert or an extrovert …. dude, what the fuck?
While taking care of an extrovert can seem relatively simple (just add people, expect a lot of talking, and brace for — ew — physical contact), making sure an introvert is healthy can be a little more nuanced. (Yes, we know we totally stereotyped extroverts and left no room for subtlety. We’re tired and just wanna go re-watch “Ted Lasso,” so we need to keep this short, OK? And if you come at us about not mentioning ambiverts, we will cut you.)
A lot of us are starting to emerge on the other side of the pandemic. For those of us who are introverts, returning to whatever the hell “normal” is going to look like will take some more adapting.
So, whether you are an introvert or know and love one, here are some helpful tips:
Take It Slow: With many restrictions easing, it may be tempting — even as an introvert — to want to see alllllll the people and do allllll the things. But it’s OK to say no to events and activities that deplete your energy reserves. Set your boundaries and stick to them.
Prioritize Your Mental Health: It’s not going to do you any good to have just survived a global pandemic, only to make yourself sick with social, work, or relationship pressures. Have frank discussions with people in your life — whether that’s your boss, your kids, your significant other, your family members, or your friends — about how you want to handle social situations and gatherings after COVID. Again, boundaries are cool.
Schedule Alone Time for Yourself:Mark it on your calendar or do whatever is necessary for you to carve out time for yourself, especially once you start to go out and do things with people. Your social stamina is likely pretty diminished at this point, so you’re gonna need some extra time to charge those batteries.
Take It Easy on Yourself … And Others: We’re all just navigating some of the craziest shit most of us have seen in our lifetime. Things are gonna go sideways. People (that means you, too) are going to behave erratically. Be more understanding and forgiving that you maybe normally would, with yourself and with those around you. … Whew, that just got deep. Quick! Someone make a dick joke!
What about you? Are you an introvert who’s just making your way through? Or do you know an introvert who’s got this all figured out? Drop us a comment or two!
First of all, this is somehow our 30th episode. So, to all of you who have listened, read, given us some praise or feedback, or kept us in the cheddar: Our humblest of humble thank yous. This has all been a blast, and that’s all because of you.
Ahem, what we meant to calmly and professionally say is that the incredibly insightful, honest, and real Dr. Maggie Landes was gracious enough to agree to be our first-ever guest.
Maggie came on the show to talk about intuitive eating, which we discussed a few weeks back. Her insights and takes were refreshing and honest, and we came away as even bigger fan gurls than we were previously.
“We track our kids, our bike rides, our investments, our macros, our screen time, our mileage, our fertility, our grades, our steps, our Amazon orders… It is exhausting to even consider all of it, but we have partitioned the experience of being a human into fragments of inconsequential measurements.”
You didn’t really think you were gonna get away with just one episode about bikes, one of Hillary’s favorite topics, did you?
No, no, friendly listening reader. Face it, if AJ and Hillary are essentially gonna provide you this high-quality, hilarious content for free, well, you’re just going to have to tolerate us talking about whatever floats our goat.
Now, if you clicked that last link, you might notice it takes you to Liv, Giant’s e-bikes for women. And if that seems like it was done on purpose, that’s because duh. Yes, this is our blatant attempt to get Giant to sponsor this podcast (please see the previous statement about free content).
However, AJ and Hillary are unwilling to shill for just any bike provider. No, no. It just so happens that we both own Giant e-bikes, and we love them sososo much. So, yes, this is self-serving, but it’s also a love letter to e-bikes.
We go into more details in the podcast about why we opted for e-bikes (Hillary sold three of her previous bikes to get one e-bike, a Giant Rove E+, which brings us to price, and we’ll talk about that in a moment.) AJ upgraded to an e-bike, a Giant LaFree, after hearing their praises sung by a friend.)
But they couldn’t be happier with their purchases. (Hillary’s already logged more miles in the few short months she’s owned her e-bike than she did all last year.)
Speaking of purchases, back to the price. Yeesh. It’s steep. On the low end, you can conceivably get an e-bike for under a grand. But it’s still going to be several hundred dollars. On the high end … well, the sky’s the limit depending on if you want a mountain, road, or even fat e-bike.
Taking Care of Your E-Bike
Just like you would with a regular bike, you want to take care of your e-bike so it lasts you for hundreds and hundreds of miles.
To that point:
Store your bike — and especially your battery — inside. It’s a good idea to take your battery off when you’re not using it.
Keep your bike clean. You should wipe it down after every ride, especially if you were riding through wet, dirty, sandy, or salty conditions. Talk to your local bike shop about the best product to protect and clean your bike chain too.
If you’re transporting your bike on a vehicle, pick a rack that’s rated for the weight of your bike. E-bikes tend to weigh a lot more than traditional bikes, and not all bike racks are meant to carry that much weight. Hillary’s a fan of her Kuat Transfer v2. It’s not technically rated for e-bikes, but it generally works as long as she’s not toting bikes with their batteries on.
It’s not a bad idea to find a cover for part of your bike where the battery connects. Some bike makers (like Giant!) sell them. Sometimes you can find generic ones on Amazon. If nothing else, depending on how your battery connects to the frame, you might be able to get away with just a plastic bag to protect the components.
Get the best lock you can afford. You just spent the earth on a bike. Don’t let some yahoo walk away with it.
What about you? Any experiences with an e-bike? Hate them? Love them? Cuddle up with yours each night, stroking it and telling it it’s a pretty, pretty princess. … No? Maybe that’s just AJ. Ride into our hearts with a comment here or on our Facebook page.
Further Info and Deets
Please note some of these are affiliate links that help support this podcast and site.
According to Tribole and Resch’s website, intuitive eating is defined as “a weight-inclusive, evidence-based model with a validated assessment scale and over 100 studies to date.”
There are 10 principles to intuitive eating, which include:
Reject the Diet Mentality
Honor Your Hunger
Make Peace with Food
Challenge the Food Police
Respect Your Fullness
Discover the Satisfaction Factor
Honor Your Feelings without Using Food
Respect Your Body
Exercise—Feel the Difference
Honor Your Health with Gentle Nutrition
It might be easier to explain what intuitive eating is not. It’s not a diet. But on the flip side, it’s not carte blanche to go ape-shit and motorboat pan after pan of brownies until you make yourself ill.
In a lot of ways, it’s the anti-diet. You don’t count calories or macros or exercise to “earn” food. You eat what you want, when you want it. And as much as you want. The goal isn’t to binge but rather to eat until you’re satisfied.
But How Do You Lose Weight?
See the thing is …
At least that’s not the goal.
According to this article, “[t]hus far, studies have linked intuitive eating to healthier psychological attitudes, lower body mass index (BMI), and weight maintenance — though not weight loss.” (Emphasis ours.)
But Y Tho?
Yes, we can already hear your objections and complaints. “If you don’t lose weight, what’s the point? I’ve already ‘intuitively ate’ myself into being unable to wear pants that button. And now you’re telling me to ‘trust my hunger’? You clearly have not met me or my hunger.”
And all of those — plus more because we’re over achievers — are the same objections that both AJ and Hillary had.
In fact, Hillary had tried intuitive eating on one or two other occasions, only to watch her weight climb and her feelings of anxiety and shame around food only increase.
AJ was of the “this sounds like some next-level bullshit because I cannot be trusted to eat whatever I want whenever I want unless I want a crane to move me in and out of my house” mindset.
So Why Try Again or Now?
We, like many others, are tired. Tired of counting carbs or fat or calories or whatever macro de jour is. Tried of exercising just to be able to eat more. Tired of working hard to lose weight and doing everything right, only to give in to a small temptation that inevitably became a huge binge. Tired of trying to figure out what we could or should eat at a restaurant or at someone’s home.
And the Results?
Since neither AJ nor Hillary decided to try intuitive eating for weight loss, it’s probably not surprising they haven’t lost anything. On the flip side, they haven’t gain weight either.
When Hillary started, she decided to weigh herself every day to 1) overcome her fear of damn number and 2) just to see what happened. And what happened was … well, not much. The scale fluctuates on the regular but only one or two pounds in either direction. Some days it’s up, some days it’s down, but it all averages out to about the same number.
It’s still pretty early in the process for both of us, but we are starting to see some benefits. We do both feel a little less cray-cray around food, though not every moment of every day.
Hillary’s been focusing more on the “gentle nutrition” aspect because she felt like her consumption of fruits and vegetables had gone way down. AJ’s been tackling the book and workbook and has found that to be helpful.
It’s early days, but so far, intuitive eating has been a useful tool for both of them.
So, What Now?
Honestly, who knows? As implied above, we both felt like we needed to heal our relationship with food and get off the crazy train.
Will we ever get back on? Maybe. If our weights become more of a health concern or we just feel like we want to lose some weight. AJ still likes low-carb eating and keto, so she might go back. Hillary has no plans beyond continuing with intuitive eating until she doesn’t want to anymore.
Obviously, this is an ongoing thing, so we’ll let you know how it goes and if anything changes.
Is Intuitive Eating Right for You?
Maybe! Here’s a completely unscientific questionnaire* we put together for you:
Are you a chronic dieter? Or do you prefer the term “professional dieter”?
You can do an instant macro or calorie breakdown of your meal and every plate in your immediate vicinity like a heat-seeking missile, and you are not a licensed nutritionist or medical professional
You compulsively track everything you put in your mouth like you’re trying to win a prize.
Words and phrases like macro, carb, fat grams, reset, cleanse, on plan, and cheat meal are part of your everyday vocabulary.
Your fitness tracker sends you messages like “chill the fuck out” instead of “good job!”
You have developed a nervous tic that is triggered by others eating or mentioning things like a Snickers bar, potato salad, baked beans, etc.
Or have you already tried intuitive eating? Did you love it? Hate it? Something in the middle? Tell us in the comments or on our Facebook page!
*Additional Disclaimer In Case You Missed the Link to Our First One
This list is meant humorously, not to diagnose or denigrate actual medical issues or eating disorders. By design, we’ve omitted the following: severely restricting calories, intentional starvation, skipping meals, binge eating and purging because those are signs of an eating disorder. PLEASE: Seek help from a medical professional or mental health advocate if any of the precursors or symptoms listed here characterize your eating or if you feel triggered in any way.
That’s right, girls and boys! We’re now coming at ya with more vitriol! At least 137% more exclamation points! And (somehow) like 200% more profanity and sarcasm! We didn’t think it was possible either!
*gently sets down the coffee pot and quickly chews a CBD gummy before continuing*
Anyhoo, so for this episode, AJ and Hillary are doing something a little different, which you probably picked up on with the extra long title THAT IS NOT AT ALL MEANT TO MAXIMIZE SEO POTENTIAL OH CRUEL GOOGLE GODS WHY WON’T YOU SMILE ON US???
At any rate, in this here episode, AJ and Hillary lament the things about health and wellness that make them want to brain themselves with a kettlebell.
AJ’s First Rant: Fuck You, Abs — AJ could do planks until she became a literal piece of wood and drop her body-fat percentage below her shoe size. But since her genetic makeup went, “nah, hard pass,” it’s unlikely six-pack abs are in her future. However, after two sets of bicep curls, boom! Instant muscle definition. Genes are funny, huh?! Hahahahahaha! Fuckers.
Hillary’s First Rant: Putting the “Whore” in Hormones — Hillary just looooooves how her menstrual cycle affects how much weight she can lift. Because it’s awesome to be making them sweet gainz at the gym, only to have her hormones go, “you know what? We’re going to make you weaker, not stronger, just for this week, just to fuck up your life and make you wonder if any of this is worth it.” It’s. So. Much. Fun.
AJ’s Second Rant: Men’s Health Mags = Useful, Women’s? No. — Are all magazines just a vehicle for companies to try to sell us shit we probably don’t need? Yes. Do we all get that? Mostly. But how about providing actual useful information while you’re at it? Why do men’s health and fitness mags offer actually useful workouts and scientific information, while women’s continue to say shit like “dOn’T lIfT mOaR tHaN 2 pOuNdS aT a TiMe Or U’lL gEt BuLkY!!!”
Hillary’s Second Rant: “OMG Eat 1,000 Grams of Protein Immediately After You Workout, Or You’ll Never Gain an Ounce of Muscle Your Whole Life, and You’ll Probably Die” — Man, we really gotta stop giving away the whole rant in the subhead. Anyway, for years, Hillary heard you had like a 30-second window after you finished picking up the heavy stuff and putting it back down where you had to cram protein into your pie hole or your whole workout was for naught. Yeah, turns out, sure, protein’s important. But you’ve got a hot minute or two — or like 24 hours — to consume it. All those years immediately chugging disgusting powdery chemical crap when she could have taken her sweet time … to drink the disgusting powdery chemical crap. *sigh*
What about you? What really grinds your gears about health and fitness and wellness? Rant away in the comments!
Increase our podcast listener/fan base. In S.M.A.R.T terms, we’re aiming to increase our downloads to 1,000 per episode by the end of the year.
Continue the gratitude practice she started the first of December 2021
Start incorporating meditation beginning in March
AJ’s progress update:
“S….L…O…W. That’s how and a little frustrating. I changed up my eating habits because I noticed that I was UNDEReating, which is easy to do when you adopt a Keto lifestyle (which I still love). I also hit a stall in shedding weight for the first time. Despite my going strict Keto and even doing the “clean,” as opposed to the “dirty” version (more on that in a future post/episode) I was not dropping any weight, which sent me into a shame spiral late last year, which sent me into an emotional eating and binge cycle. Not good.
“So, I started the year trying to get my eating back on track and eat more healthfully. I began following WW (formerly Weight Watchers). I (at the time of the recording) dropped 5 pounds in one month. Super frustrating, BUT if I maintain this trajectory, 5lbs/month, I’d be on track to lose 60 pounds in the year. It’s actually a win but my attitude needs work. Listen to the episode for more on this.
“My workout routine has improved since last year but is still spotty in places where my work schedule gets cray. I will be working on improving this in March.
“As for the publishing goal: I am making much better progress with that goal. I hired a writing coach, who was WONDERFUL and have a solid publishing plan for the year.
“The podcast growth goal is coming along as well, thanks to our loyal listeners and our efforts with social media.”
Hillary’s progress update:
Gratitude: “The gratitude practice is still on track. I’ve managed to log three things I’m grateful for almost every day since the first of December.
“At first, the results were strikingly noticeable; I feel like my whole perspective shifted for the better in that I was able to stay more positive. It also helped me keep things in perspective and to realize that any given situation was never either truly good or truly bad.
“Now, either I’m just used to that shift in that I don’t notice it, or it’s not working as well. It’s still usually fairly easy for me to come up with three things I’m grateful for every day. But I don’t notice the improved outlook as much.
“I still enjoy doing it, so I think I’ll continue for now. In the future, I may look to include more journaling about one of the things I’m grateful for every day to see if that further improves my mental headspace.”
Meditation: “So, I was supposed to start March 1, and I didn’t. I’m not sure why I’m so resistant.
“Part of the reason could be because we’re getting toward the end of a home renovation project, and it’s been loud AF. So, the thought of trying to carve out some quiet time to focus seems daunting.
“Also, I’ve been toying with some intuitive eating (watch for a future episode on that), which is presenting its own set of challenges. Although meditation is supposed to be a part of the intuitive eating process, I just haven’t been able to bring myself to figure out when and how often I’m going to try meditation.
“So, there’s a definite stumbling block going on, and I’m just going to have to do some work to figure out what the deal is.
“Ugh. Sounds like so much work. Gross.”
What about you? How are your goals for the year coming? Have you been successful or stumbling? Tell us all about it in the comments or on the related post on our Facebook page.
Streaming fitness, where you can participate in a workout from the comfort of your home, certainly isn’t new. But the plethora of sites proliferating workouts and classes all over the interwebs … well, there are new options. Lots of options. So. Many. Options.
So, with all the workout goodness to choose from, how do you pick?
If you’re AJ, you undertake an exhaustive study of every class out there, perform a thorough cost-benefit analysis, and use a database to streamline reporting. Or at the very least, you bust open an Excel spreadsheet.
Wait! Come back! You don’t have to be like AJ! We promise!
If you don’t wanna commit that much time, effort, or nerd power to this exercise (Tee, hee, hee! See what we did there?), we created some criteria for you to consider and listed out some of AJ’s favorite options in the Further Info and Deets section below.
First up, why bother with streaming? Maybe you prefer to workout from the privacy of your home. Maybe you’re not ready to rejoin the sweaty masses. Maybe during lockdown, you put on a little weight. Maybe a lot of weight. Maybe, for instance, maybe you outgrew your size XXL sweatpants. It could happen. We’ve heard … from friends. … OK, OK, samesies. But there’s certainly no judgement in the privacy of your own home.
In addition to privacy, there’s convenience, variety, and savings.
As far as costs go, there’s quite a range, from free options to services that can cost you nearly a hundred bucks a month or more.
When it comes to picking the right service for you and your goals, here are some tips:
Set an intention for your membership. What are you after? Is it to lose fat, build muscle or endurance, prep for a race or competition, get some stress relief, become more flexible? Knowing your end goal can help you narrow your options.
Figure out what will motivate you. Live classes may give you a feeling of community and accountability, something to look forward to and the transience of FOMO if you miss the class. Do you need variety because you have the attention span of fruit fly? Do you want to try something you’ve never tried before like Bollywood-style workouts, Barre, or boxing? Or maybe the idea of training with one of the hottest, most sought-after trainers appeals to you?
Set a price point. What can you afford to spend? Will this replace the gym or other fitness classes, or are you planning to add streaming to your regular workout routine?
Choose a streaming method that fits your lifestyle. Ask yourself if you prefer:
Mobile device only, like a cell phone or tablet.
Television streaming, including Roku, Amazon, AppleTV.
Audio oriented, i.e. guided workouts with verbal cues
Special interactive devices like a mirror or bike (not reviewed in this round)
Or ALL or most of the above.
So, after all that careful consideration, which sites did AJ prefer, or which won the knock down, drag-out, nerd-off?
Best for Variety of Workouts and Platform Options:NEOU — This is AJ’s go-to.
Best for anyone with ADD:Les Mills — Actually AJ really liked the workouts, so she kept this one too (don’t judge).
Best for Yoga: Alo Moves — Per one of the listeners, Chandra, oh she of the supreme bendyness.
Best Free Option:YouTube — It has as many, if not more, types of workouts as NEOU.
What are your experiences with streaming fitness? Do you have a go-to class or service that you love? Or tried and hated? Dish in the comments, or let us know our Facebook page in the related post comments.
DISCLAIMER: This post and others on this site contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, Hillary and AJ may receive a small commission. This helps support the show and site and allows us to continue our sassy shenanigans. Thank you for the support! Everything on this site is based on information we learned from our own experience and/or research. Please do your own research before making any important decisions, and always consult a medical professional before adopting or changing exercise, eating or fitness plans. You and only you are responsible for your health and wellbeing.