Wednesday, July 8, 2015

How Many Burpees in a Chocolate Bar?

One of my Facebook friends (who also shares my birthday AND my Myers-Briggs personality type, making us two peas in the proverbial pod) recently posted a little mini-rant about this article on PopSugar.

Ms. Jenny Sugar has calculated how many burpees must be performed to burn off various dietary indulgences. She allows that 'we all need to indulge a little and satisfy our cravings,' but admits that 'sometimes when you try to eat just a little square of dark chocolate, you end up eating the entire bar!'

I feel you, Jenny. Truly. 

So Jenny did some math for us and came up with how many minutes of burpees must be performed to burn off some seriously yummy foods. That dark chocolate bar? One hour of burpees. Whoa.

Burpees are also called squat thrusts. (I don't know why they're called burpees, but my little boys have their theories are and laughing uproariously as I type.) They are also notoriously wicked hard. Just one or two isn't bad, but burpeeing for an hour... ow. Go ahead and try one.

I'll wait.

See? Hard. This is how most people feel about burpees:
Image: pinterest
Before I get into the psychological fly in the ointment, I would like to pop a hole in Ms. Sugar's balloon. I really hate to diss anyone who does math because we all know how much I hate it, but really, how many calories people burn doing anything is SO HIGHLY VARIABLE. I guarantee Tom Brady wouldn't need to do an hour of burpees to burn off that chocolate bar. He's a big guy. He could just toss around a well-inflated football for a few minutes, if he can find one.

(Doh! I'm going to be exiled to Rhode Island for that one!)

Jenny's point, of course, is for us to think long and hard about whether or not we should really eat that yummy-fill-in-the-blank because that is a lot of hard slogging to pay for it. But my FB/birthday/MBTI twin said we should just enjoy a treat from time to time and not get all worked up about 'paying it off,' and I couldn't agree more. Wow, we March 25th INFJs are so in-synch!

One of bday/MBTI twin's friends said she liked the burpee currency because she, like pretty much everyone, hates burpees, so thinking of an indulgence in these terms really gives her pause. And I get that. But still... I hate thinking of exercise as punishment, as penance for enjoying a treat.

So how do you avoid schnarfing down the whole chocolate bar? I find when I limit my sugar intake, I struggle with way fewer cravings that are even asking to be satisfied. When I eat whole, real food, as close to it's natural state as possible, I am far less likely to binge. As for chocolate, I eat the really dark stuff. No binge... it's too intense.

But as a recovering binger, I am still vulnerable, so I just don't keep that stuff in the house. Anything that really tempts me I only buy or make for special occasions, and then I simply.... enjoy it.

No burpees required.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Redefining Romance and Excitement

I speak French. Or, at least, I used to. Now I just shout 'on y va!' to my children in the mornings and 'ouvre ta bouche, s'il te plait' when I brush their teeth. Though I'm thinking I should seek to resurrect my French skills, in the event that the Darling Husband comes home saying, "Guess what?! We're going to France!" That would be exciting!

The DH is out of town, so last night I decided to search some French movies on Amazon. Watching TV in french is how I made serious progress all those years ago, when my memory was young and impressionable.

But here's the problem: just about every movie I previewed was about adultery. It seems some showed consequences for this, which I appreciate. I didn't stick around to find out what those were, but prior to the consequences, there was the promise of lot of steamy sex. Which I suppose is how affairs work usually. I still felt annoyed, however. What is it with these French film makers? Why is everyone having affairs? Why can't we ever find movies about passionate marriages?? Why is every marriage depicted as so boring or difficult that people have affairs?

I got fed up and annoyed and I realize this is not a precursor to sleep, so I started perusing light, frothy American movies. These aren't so much about adultery, but dating. Have you ever noticed that practically every light, frothy American movie is about how couples get together? And they're almost always young, skinny and beautiful.

Seriously. Every. Single. Movie. How to get together. Never how to stay together. It seems that marriage is not deemed film-worthy. Marriage is boring. It is not romantic. It is not exciting. Only getting there is romantic and exciting, but once you're there, you're watching something that's telling you to look elsewhere.

It's like you're expected to start out with an American movie and end up with a French one.


The DH and I are celebrating our tenth anniversary this year. And you know what? We still love each other. In fact, we still like each other. But if movies were to be believed, one or both of us should really be shopping around for some romance and excitement.

The older I get, the more the definitions of these terms change. I think it's romantic that my husband comes home to me at night, rather than finding an excuse to be out. I think its wicked cool that he fixed the furnace. Honestly. The furnace died and my clever man fixed it. (You never think a man in a headlamp is sexy until the house is really cold.) And 'excitement?' It is exciting when you're rushing to the hospital because your child just had a seizure on the school bus, but it isn't good.

Still, no one would want to watch a movie of my life. Everyone gets along too well, and I don't think we're going to see a headlamp-wearing suitor on The Bachelor anytime soon. But I don't think the problem is my life. The problem is the movies. Or at least, too many of them consumed without a healthy dose of real life in between. Too many movies make finding contentment in real life impossible.

We need to redefine romance. Sometimes it's just bringing in a flower from the garden. Or looking out the window at our small people frolicking on the grass to the melodious soundtrack of the neighbor's lawnmower.

This is the life we've made together. And it's good.