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A friendly reminder
- If anyone –– whether they’re a best friend, significant other, workout partner, coworker, parent, trainer –– tells you that you’re less of a person because of your weight/breast size/musculature/skin color/body shape, you owe it to yourself to cut that person out of your life entirely.
- If you pay for a trainer who routinely denigrates you on account of being overweight as a futile attempt at making you “believe in yourself”, you need to fire that trainer, get your money back, and get one who values your human dignity.
- You have a god-given right to pursue happiness in accordance with your best ideals and beliefs. You are not someone’s before picture, friend to feel sorry over, potential therapy group victim, or a joke at parties.
- You have a right to feel safe in a gym that respects bodies of all kinds. You have a right to feel supported by the staff, protected by their strictly-mandated guidelines as stated in their membership handbooks/agreements, and advocated for if a member or patron of a gym harasses you, sexually or otherwise.
- You are a unique thread in the fabric of human life. The effort that people have made into loving you into being should be respected, dignified and upheld. If you actively decide to pursue a healthy, fitter lifestyle (or not), your experience, viewpoint, and belief system is just as valid as a person who has been doing it longer.
- Your choices are your own, and in most cases are valid expressions of personal identity. Celebrate those things which make you unique. If you see something in you that needs improvement, by all means do so, but at the end of the day accept that you are perfect at all times, in the manner that God has made you, and that everything will be OK.
Musicology Moment No. 1
The mediant octave modal frame (a type of deep, chord-based song structure seen in many songs from the 19th century) is a particularly beautiful base for many traditional songs and hymns. The tune for “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” is a gorgeous example of this modal frame.
The tune for the hymn is probably traditional and was collected by William Steffe in 1856. It became a popular song in various incarnations. Most Americans have to be told that “John Brown’s Body”, a little-remembered abolitionist song from the same time period, was widely sung to the same tune of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”.
The modal frame arose out of the unique nature of vocal singing. These hymns were composed for congregational singing, and their utilitarian nature allows for a great number of individual variations. Because of their singability, the mediant-octave modal frame has great emotional resonance with people. “Silent Night” is the other famous example of a song written in this modal frame.
Anonymous asked: What kind of protein powder do you recommend
The best kind of protein powders usually contain whey, or casein protein. Bodybuilding is usually about 40% working out and 60% genetics, so it’s best to start out understanding that protein powders aren’t steroids, but rather a nutritional supplement. That being said, you usually have a protein shake after a workout to help the body recover from the stresses of working out, or sometimes if you don’t have the time to have a full meal usually required before or after working out.
Your best bets are eating whole, natural, green foods first, and then supplementing that with protein rich foods: turkey breast, chicken, tuna, cheese (!), lean beef, beans of various kinds, milks of various kinds, and nuts and seeds.
If, after having any of these things, you decide to opt-in and buy a protein powder, get one that has a dominant amount of whey or casein protein. Having talked to enough bodybuilders who work at nutritional stores for years, I can tell you the vast majority of the claims on packaging is actually quite minimal and sometimes full of shit. You want something that’s going to do the job regardless of how much ‘muscle-ripping’ or ‘muscle recovery compound’ ability it has. Just go with something that’s simple enough to stir into a glass at the end of the workout. There are lots of places where you can find that, even at Wal-Mart.
The bottom line is that there is no magic pill. As someone who still struggles with keeping weight down (OMG piroshkis and pizza in two consecutive days), the most important thing is to stay active, focused, and grounded in respect for yourself and your body.