Gluten Free Fitness

Why I Don’t Wear Shorts


Sometimes we teach best what we need to learn.

A good friend of mine told me this, years ago, as he could always tell what was going on in my personal life by the way I taught my Spinning class.  (This was back in the infancy of Spinning when it was a bit different than it is today.)  If I taught a very meditative, focused class, he knew it was because my own life was in turmoil.  By teaching with focus, and creating that internal quiet for my students, I could hope to quiet the chatter in my own mind.

I haven’t taught Spinning in many years, but I see that concept overflowing here in the blog to what I write.  If I write an article about awareness, it is because I feel that awareness slipping away from me.  If I write about being kind to yourself, it may be because I have been especially hard on myself lately.

So I continue to teach best what I need to learn.

I believe very strongly that we have everything that we need to succeed, that we have to simply draw it out and choose to use it.  I believe that celiac disease is a blessing in disguise. But sometimes I am overwhelmed, and scared too, and doubt fills me.

As some of you know, I have had multiple surgeries on both knees.  My knees are pretty torn up with scars and scar tissue.  Most of the time I look at these scars and bumps with a sense of pride that I’ve managed to overcome a few obstacles in my path.

And yet, why don’t I wear shorts?

I very rarely wear shorts.  Even though I live in subtropical South Florida, I generally wear pants, capris, or skirts.  I have returned to fitness competitions, and even though I wear a bikini on stage, I am acutely aware of the scars.  I recognize the scar tissue, and the way it deforms the lines of my legs.  I look at this picture from last year, and the first thing I see is the scars.

And on a more abstract plane, the scars and scar tissue are a reminder of my own weakness, of fallibility, of being imperfect in many ways.

So why is it so hard?

I’m not sure.  I know that I am a perfectionist by nature, and that sometimes that makes it very difficult to accept imperfections in myself, even when there is nothing that can be done.

Most if the time I can recognize that which I cannot control, and I can let it go.  But sometimes I cannot.

And so I struggle.  And so we all struggle from time to time.

A friend of mine is an incredible athlete, a wonderful empathetic person, a wife, and an emergency room physician.  She also is very hard on herself from time to time, and I remember encouraging her to be as kind to herself as she is to others.

So why is it so hard?

For some reason it’s easier to see the good in others.  It’s easier to remind someone else to be kind to themselves, to give it a rest.  To step back and observe, enjoy, and celebrate the accomplishments.

It’s hard to do for yourself.

So once again I am teaching best what I need to learn.  I hope you all choose to be kind to yourselves today.  Feed yourselves well, spend time with people who make you happy.  Please leave a comment and share one thing you will do to nourish yourself well today.

And me?

Well, I’m going to wear shorts.  And I’m going to be okay with it.

The Magic Bullet for Living a Healthy Gluten Free Life


The Magic Bullet for Living a Healthy Gluten Free Life

No, not the Magic Bullet, one of my favorite small kitchen appliances… Not a pill, or potion, or lotion, or gimmicky late night infomercial product or fitness program…

Actually, it’s not very sexy at all. But, it will get you closer to your goals than a kitchen gadget, a pill, a potion, lotion, or gimmick.

It’s awareness.


Since you can’t package it and sell it, I’m afraid this little tidbit may be receiving less attention than it should.

If you’ve been reading my rantings, you may have heard me rant about this before. I believe that celiac disease is a blessing in disguise, a built in necessity where we HAVE to become more conscious of what we put in our mouths.

Awareness can extend much further than the gluten status of a food though

1. Be aware of how much you move-sitting, standing, lying. Be conscious of your movement or lack thereof, and try to add more general movement to your day.

2. Be aware of how eating different foods make you feel. Do you feel energized or listless? Do you feel good or no so good after eating french fries or something with a list of unpronounceable ingredients longer than your arm? (Gluten free of course-whatever it may be.)

3. Be aware of your sleep patterns. Many, many of us aren’t getting enough sleep, and that can lead to issues with appetite and weight control. On top of feeling tired, which just stinks. I am guilty of trying to get a lot done in a small amount of time, I understand totally. But sleep is crucial. 7-9 hours is ideal. Really. I get up at 5AM, but I’m lights out by 9:30-10 PM.

4. Be aware of your stress levels, and minimize them whenever possible. If you find yourself getting aggravated, try to focus on your breathing, count to 10 in pig latin, whatever it takes to talk yourself down. Every day life throws a lot of chronic stressors our way, and we’re just not built to live well under that constant low level stress. It’s very different than the stress of running from a lion, you know? In that case you run and it’s over. If you find this interesting, a great book to check out is Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers by Robert Sapolsky.

5. Be aware of the nutritional value of your food. You don’t have to change anything, just take a look-see. You may find that your habits begin to slowly change, and gravitate toward more “healthful” foods just by being aware of your choices and not just grabbing by habit.

So it’s not a pill, or a potion, or a lotion, or a gimmick. But give it a try and see what happens. You may be surprised what a little awareness can bring you.

Leave your experiences with awareness below…I love to hear from you guys!