fat-burning foods

Some foods may increase a mild metabolic increasing effect, a thermogenic effect, causing your body to burn more fat. Fruits in this category include apples, blueberries, grapefruit, peaches and strawberries. Some vegetables include asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, celery, onions, radishes, spinach and tomatoes. Almost all proteins have a desirable thermogenic effect except proteins high in fat, lunchmeats, and processed proteins.

From the new Master Food List I put on mightykat.net

tuna roll-ups

These are very easy and quick to make, they taste great, present and travel well. Nutritionally, they're fabulous - tuna, whole wheat, veggie - minimal ingredients, low fat, with protein and quality complex carbs.

Morphed from Bea Cumming's recipe

2 cups whole wheat flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

1/3 cup of olive oil
2/3 cup of liquid (water, soymilk, whatever)

Pour liquid into flour mix and stir.

Wet the countertop and put down a piece of wax paper. Put the dough on it and put another piece of wax paper over it.

Roll it out very thin and rectangular.

In blender, lightly combine
either one 12-oz. can, or two small cans of dolphin-safe tuna, drained
2 eggs
1 cup or 1/2 can of filler veggie - spinach, French-cut green beans, celery, whatever - drained
dash of salt
Drain well!

Spread paste evenly over dough.
Cut into strips about 2" wide and 4" long (vary to preference). These will expand a lot!
Roll up each like a jellyroll.

Place on greased baking sheet.
Bake at 375 for 10 - 15 minutes (12 usually works in my oven, and mind you my oven may run 25 degrees hot, so you may need 400 - 450, as original recipe calls for).

clamps from the museum

Check these out. When you absorb equipment cast-offs, it's often like an auction - you take everything in the batch and don't even know what all you got until you get it home. To wit, here is a pair of clamps that a guy was using for bar clamps. I'll put them in the museum wing. What are these, pipe clamps before PVC was invented? They must weigh nearly 10# a piece.

I like gripping them around the star edge and raising to warm up my shoulders. You never get that particular grip with bars.

Announcing The Mighty Fit Review

Today I launched The Mighty Fit Review, a blog devoted to my reviews of fitness-related products and books. Go here for the unvarnished evaluations of one personal trainer/athlete/author who values biomechanically correct, sound, durable, effective equipment; potent, safe, hormone-free supplements; great reads; and generally fun, awesome, cool stuff.

I'm happy to receive recommendations for products to review. Unfortunately, spammers have ruined every direct contact tool I've used over the 'Net, so first-timers now have to post on my blog/s to reach me.

end of december woods

and to all a good lift

Since work outs are highly ritual by nature, anyone who works out and likes what they're doing is that can use the larger personal and societal calendars to pronounce work outs and produce significant experiences. That is, you can mark a holiday with a big work out session.

I knew a woman who ran; she ran five miles a day every day of the year and ten miles on her birthday. There was a story I read somewhere in which the narrator dutifully went to his daily running group's meeting point on Xmas morning not knowing whether he'd be the only one to show up, only to have another show, then another, and without any special arrangements, there they all were, as usual, to run on Xmas morning.

When my book launched, my friend Bill Boggs told me to celebrate with a good coffee and a work out, and how right-on this was. I hadn't thought of doing this, but I did and it was a great session.

On holidays at gyms, there's a special feeling. They're always packed with people who are off work and trying to get in a work out before the rest of the holiday stuff gets underway. They're beating the clock and come and go in a storm and can generally be irritants to the regulars. But in the quiet off hours, like late evening, when the regulars come in, there's a special feeling in the air. It's unspoken, tangible, warm.

What's cool about this is it is entirely organic. Celebrating by working one's body is free and available to everyone regardless of class, race or belief system. It's ancient - this is what dances are. And I know there are multitudes of people out there right now who are quietly looking forward to a big work out on Xmas. Whether it's setting a record, hitting an intensity threshold, reaching a goal or just being there and doing something, it'll be a special session that they'll enjoy and remember.

And to each of these Amazons and to everyone, I wish you a Merry Work out and a Happy New Lift.

me on Xmas day. broke personal records in Olympic lifting and worked the bag 'til it begged for mercy. great work out.

Athletic life of the woman who would be president

Former Congresswoman and nearly presidential candidate Pat Schroeder said on All Things Considered today that she couldn't figure out the strength part of the image for a woman presidential contender (ssh - granted running off the stage crying is not it - nevermind). Image is so important, she said, and how a woman can acceptably convey strength through athleticism in this role is unchartered territory. It's an interesting question for Americans. Male presidents run, flyfish, hunt and clear brush in the public eye to ridiculous extremes, and these are all given the nod. Schroeder said it's difficult for a female to pull these things off without looking silly.

On the surface, this sounds like a perspective I'd dismiss, but this isn't about "real life." Instead, this is a finite problem within a definite, arbitrary structure - a marketing problem within the American presidential candidacy business - and therefore I consider this a solid quandry. A fun one when you're nowhere near it. So let's consider:

What might be acceptable and even beyond that, what could successfully convey strength, power and authority?

I'm throwing running out. In fact, all strictly aerobic activities. Nobody cares about a female doing these. Not only do they not convey strength for our presidential contender, they indicate weakness, because she's surely insecure about her appearance (weight) and prioritizing her vanity over other things.

Weightlifting? Hmm. Maybe, if there's a subdiscipline in there that isn't too peculiar; obviously, bodybuilding is out, because it involves a conspicuous subculture with enough peculiarities to make her look at best inscrutable and at worst terribly odd. General lifting/exercise won't do much; Condi Rice works out each morning, but without a specific discipline, it's too weak an identity to do anything for her generally. Olympic lifting - not so much, because people will think she's in the Olympics and leave it at that. Powerlifting might be a possibility; although it has its subculture, it isn't too visibly offbeat. Mostly it stays in the gym; that is, compared to say, bodybuilding, there's no set costume for a powerlifter on the street, and in the gym, the garb generally isn't skimpy. So she could pass. The exercises she does are generally respected across the board, by lifters and those who would recognize the lifts from vague imprints in their subconscious (TV, high school, etc.). And most of all, the word "power" would work for PR, naming the actual concept they're trying to create. But she can't compete now or recently, and of course she's not big or overly mannish, which are rules of thumb for her in any situation.

Combat sports. Probably not presently, and probably not ever professionally, but if she has some degree of closeted accomplishment which could be leaked, that could work. There's a mystique that goes with the ex-boxer, ex-kickboxer, ex-anything for that matter, that generally isn't blocked by gender barriers. So let's have either private boxing training (like the old president of L.L. Bean, was it? something like that) at 4:30 every morning, and/or give her some amateur championship, like a great record in ground-breaking co-ed high school wrestling. While the pop-Asian combat fitness pursuits like Taekwondo would be more easily accepted, they would also be more easily dismissed (see aerobics). Karate might just be on the line, but I think the accepted/dismissed split would be along the lines of audience gender. Risk would outweigh potential benefit.

Ball sports? Can't do softball, she'll be labelled a dike for sure, and while America is willing to talk about the possibility of a female presidential candidate now, it's sure not ready for talk about a gay one. Most ball sports are either going to be seen as too much a men's world or simply as recreation, and we need to convey serious stuff here. Besides, unless she's a celebrity, in which case she'd never be a contender, it's very difficult to prove herself outstanding in ball/team sports. Soccer wouldn't convey what we need in this country, though she might be a hit with the European press. Hockey? Nah. I think it has to be individual or individual in the form of combat.

Skateboarding? No way.

Roller derby? That'd be awesome, but couldn't win any election.

Climbing? Now THAT's a great possibility. Keep that one on the table.

Marathoner or triathelete? She can't do it anymore or even recently, but if she had a few of these under her belt, that'd fare well.

Skiing? Curling? Tobaggoning? In order: too recreational (but would be good for vacations); too strange to register; too Olympic.

Yoga/tai chi/Pilates? Forget it. She doesn't have time for these trivial things now. Those are for the stay-at-home moms. And generally, nothing trendy, and nothing with a special "group fitness class" uniform, especially snug or revealing.

Nothing typically thought of as feminine - volleyball, gymnastics, ice skating.

Hunting of any kind (this includes fishing)? Going to be seen as a stunt and the opposition will tear it apart.

The Iditarod? That's be awesome, too. It might work if it was maybe ten years back in her past.

Rowing? No one would care but rowers.

Rodeo sports? No. Demolition derby? Huh-uh.

So, the shakedown from my initial brainstorming leaves these finalists for the female who needs to look strong through being physical in order to run for president right now:

  • in public - 1st choice climbing; 2nd powerlifting
  • in private - boxing or a combat sport that crosses for fitness pursuit today
  • in her past - lots more leeway. Marathons, triatholons, amateur combat sports

Hey, I'm not making the rules or the public opinion. I'm just a pragmatist with a sense of humor.

You know what would be really cool? If she had once worked as a welder or coalminer. Those always poll well. In fact, it'll be much easier for her to stage the strength role in her past work life than her past or present athletic life. Thank WWII for that, and Rosie.

Rosie the Riveter painting by Norman Rockwell

Me on the heavy bag

Something Familiar now in Powell's Books

Pleased to announce that Oregon's monolithic independent bookstore Powell's Books is now carrying my book and its fabulous reviews - see here.

But oh, if you really want it fast and with free shipping, order direct from the distributor, William, James & Co. Online or by phone. And yes, you can have it there by Xmas, or the end days of Hannukkah...depending where you are, even Solstice.

Also, you can look inside the book on Amazon now.

Wheatie at the bar

Pensive before his big lift

and plyo

Got adaptability?

So all you lactose-intolerant thespians and poets aren't necessarily weak, you're just slow to evolve, biologically kicking it old school. This is fascinating. More proof that we weren't built to drink cow milk, despite what the dairy marketers would have you believe.

Lactose Tolerance in East Africa Points to Recent Evolution

NY Times, Nicholas Wade -- A surprisingly recent instance of human evolution has been detected among the peoples of East Africa. It is the ability to digest milk in adulthood, conferred by genetic changes that occurred as recently as 3,000 years ago, a team of geneticists has found.

The finding is a striking example of a cultural practice — the raising of dairy cattle — feeding back into the human genome. It also seems to be one of the first instances of convergent human evolution to be documented at the genetic level. Convergent evolution refers to two or more populations acquiring the same trait independently.

Throughout most of human history, the ability to digest lactose, the principal sugar of milk, has been switched off after weaning because the lactase enzyme that breaks the sugar apart is no longer needed. But when cattle were first domesticated 9,000 years ago and people later started to consume their milk as well as their meat, natural selection would have favored anyone with a mutation that kept the lactase gene switched on.

Such a mutation is known to have arisen among an early cattle-raising people, the Funnel Beaker culture, which flourished 5,000 to 6,000 years ago in north-central Europe. People with a persistently active lactase gene have no problem digesting milk and are said to be lactose tolerant.

Almost all Dutch people and 99 percent of Swedes are lactose tolerant, but the mutation becomes progressively less common in Europeans who live at increasing distances from the ancient Funnel Beaker region.

Geneticists wondered if the lactose tolerance mutation in Europeans, identified in 2002, had arisen among pastoral peoples elsewhere. But it seemed to be largely absent from Africa, even though pastoral peoples there generally have some degree of tolerance.

A research team led by Dr. Sarah Tishkoff of the University of Maryland has now solved much of the puzzle. After testing for lactose tolerance and genetic makeup among 43 ethnic groups in East Africa, she and her colleagues have found three new mutations, all independent of one another and of the European mutation, that keep the lactase gene permanently switched on.

The principal mutation, found among Nilo-Saharan-speaking ethnic groups of Kenya and Tanzania, arose 2,700 to 6,800 years ago, according to genetic estimates, Dr. Tishkoff’s group reports today in the journal Nature Genetics. This fits well with archaeological evidence suggesting that pastoral peoples from the north reached northern Kenya about 4,500 years ago and southern Kenya and Tanzania 3,300 years ago.

Two other mutations were found, among the Beja people of northeastern Sudan and tribes of the same language family, Afro-Asiatic, in northern Kenya.

Genetic evidence shows that the mutations conferred an enormous selective advantage on their owners, enabling them to leave almost 10 times as many descendants as people without such mutations. The mutations have created “one of the strongest genetic signatures of natural selection yet reported in humans,” the researchers write.

The survival advantage was so powerful perhaps because those with the mutations not only gained extra energy from lactose but also, in drought conditions, would have benefited from the water in milk. People who were lactose intolerant could have risked losing water from diarrhea, Dr. Tishkoff said.

Diane Gifford-Gonzalez, an archaeologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, said the new findings were “very exciting” because they “showed the speed with which a genetic mutation can be favored under conditions of strong natural selection, demonstrating the possible rate of evolutionary change in humans.”

The genetic data fitted in well, she said, with archaeological and linguistic evidence about the spread of pastoralism in Africa. The first clear evidence of cattle in Africa is from a site 8,000 years old in northwestern Sudan. Cattle there were domesticated independently from two other domestications, in the Near East and the Indus Valley of India.

Nilo-Saharan speakers in Sudan and their Cushitic-speaking neighbors in the Red Sea hills probably domesticated cattle at the same time, because each has an independent vocabulary for cattle items, said Dr. Christopher Ehret, an expert on African languages and history at the University of California, Los Angeles. Descendants of each group moved south and would have met again in Kenya, Dr. Ehret said.

Dr. Tishkoff detected lactose tolerance among Cushitic speakers and Nilo-Saharan groups in Kenya. Cushitic is a branch of Afro-Asiatic, the language family that includes Arabic, Hebrew and ancient Egyptian.

Dr. Jonathan Pritchard, a statistical geneticist at the University of Chicago and a co-author of the new article, said there were many signals of natural selection in the human genome but it was usually hard to know what was being selected for. In this case Dr. Tishkoff clearly defined the driving force, he said.

The mutations Dr. Tishkoff detected are not in the lactase gene itself but a nearby region of the DNA that controls the activation of the gene. The finding that different ethnic groups in East Africa have different mutations is one instance of their varied evolutionary history and their exposure to many different selective pressures, Dr. Tishkoff said.

“There is a lot of genetic variation between groups in Africa, reflecting the different environments in which they live, from deserts to tropics, and their exposure to very different selective forces,” she said.

People in different regions of the world have evolved independently since dispersing from the ancestral human population in northeast Africa 50,000 years ago, a process that has led to the emergence of different races. But much of this differentiation at the level of DNA may have led to the same physical result.

As Dr. Tishkoff has found in the case of lactose tolerance, evolution may use the different mutations available to it in each population to reach the same goal when each is subjected to the same selective pressure. “I think it’s reasonable to assume this will be a more general paradigm,” Dr. Pritchard said.

windshield ice crystals

shooting this is why i was late for work this tuesday...

smoky windmill

more windmill pics. That's not fog, it's smoke. My neighbor decided to smoke us all out by burning leaves on an otherwise beautiful day. Kind of an interesting effect.

Everlast Gel Heavy Bag Wrap

See more of my fitness product reviews at The Mighty Fit Review

So I got myself an early present, the Everlast Gel Heavy Bag Wrap. I am not sold. This wrap is a much-needed idea, but the product needs work.

First off, it's slippery. Looks like they chose the fabric so the velcro hooks could grab. Slippery on the outside means when I try to land hooks or uppercuts, or if I hit just the slightest bit off square, my glove goes sliding right off the surface. This is dangerous to my joints. Maybe I can use it for aiming drills, but I won't want to use it for combinations all the time, especially if I'm going all-out with power and speed. For that I'm going to use a bag with leather or something similar, like bags are covered with. Secondly, slippery on the inside means that within a couple of minutes, the wrap is sliding off the bag. I have adjusted for a smaller opening at the top, to no avail. This shouldn't take a specialist to figure out that it needs a strap of some kind over the top to secure it.

The whole thing is stark black, save for the obligatory branding on a patch at midpoint. It needs markings similar to bags so I can fix on a point to target, and have some guides for bodypoints. The same company made my bag, with stripes positioned for this purpose, and even the logo works for this, so how'd they overlook this feature on the wrap?

Next is the sound. Ah, there's nothing like the smack of my gloves on a heavybag. But this funky slick material absorbs the sound, and I'm robbed.

The one good thing is that the wrap delivers what it's made to do: the cushioning is so effective that I scarcely felt like I was hitting anything. That's off-putting at first, to be sure, but the idea of being able to unleash my force without fear of bruised knuckles and injured hands afterward is why I bought this thing in the first place.

So I've boxed it up and am sending it in to exchange for the gel wrap gloves they're pushing; marketing says you can use them instead of handwraps, which I'm dubious about, but we'll check them out. They're $20, the wrap was $30. [ETA wraps arrived 12.27; will review soon]

Everlast, please take this one back to the drawing board. I'll be waiting for the improved version.

Marketing copy
Convert any heavy bag to awesome gel!

Helps extend the life of old bags or effectively cover tears or holes. Adjustable design with 4" hook-and-loop closure secures snugly to all bags - old or new.

Bethlehem soccer players persist despite resistance

Their country is resisting them, the border controls resist them, the concrete they play on resists them, yet this group of Palestinian grrls keep kicking. They grew up playing soccer, they're playing any game they can manage to get, and they're determined to stay in the game.

Story by Amelia Thomas, Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

ages 12, 10, 7 - diagnosed with anorexia

This article by Deborah Haynes for Reuters raises awareness on how young children can get caught up with eating disorders. Body issues aren't just for teens and adults anymore. We're well aware that obesity is rampant in toddlers and children, so this shouldn't be a total shock.

If nothing else, please take away from this news item the idea that it can be a life-and-death powderkeg to say anything to anyone about their body.

I'm especially sensitive to this as a trainer. I've watched too many people plummet into self-destructive cycles because of an offhand remark from someone who wasn't even trying to be mean. Something that seems obvious to one person about another's physique may not be that person's reality or desire. It may be his or her demon.

No matter how well-meaning or casual the comment, if you don't know the person well, my advice is stop and hold your tongue. There's just no good reason to remark on how thin, thick, skinny or fat a person is. You have no idea how your comment may be taken and what may come of it.

Wheatie finds a sunbeam

lean back - good; sit straight - bad

Will this society ever change this damaging lifestyle norm? In this excerpt from an article by Sara Goudarzi for LiveScience, she writes about the best sitting position for the human body, and (shock!) it's not sitting up straight in your chair.

A 135-degree body-thigh sitting posture was demonstrated to be the best biomechanical sitting position, as opposed to a 90-degree posture, which most people consider normal," said study author, Waseem Amir Bashir, a researcher at the University of Alberta Hospital in Canada. "Sitting in a sound anatomic position is essential, since the strain put on the spine and its associated ligaments over time can lead to pain, deformity and chronic illness."

Back pain, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, is the most common cause of work-related disability in the United States. It costs Americans nearly $50 billion annually. Sitting appears to be a major cause of this ailment.

"We were not created to sit down for long hours, but somehow modern life requires the vast majority of the global population to work in a seated position," Bashir said. "This made our search for the optimal sitting position all the more important."here

When strain is placed on the spine, the spinal disks start to move and misalign. At a 90-degree sitting position, this movement was most prominent. The disks were least moved when subjects were sitting back at a 135-degree sitting position.

"We have to do something that is similar to the lying position," Bashir told LiveScience. Lying down in a relaxed position with your knees slightly bent is the best position that a person can be in, because it doesn't cause any stress on the ligaments, the thigh muscles as well as on the back.

Sitting on a chair that provides proper support, such as a slightly tilted back car seat, can mimic the relaxed supine position. Slouching caused a reduction in the spinal height which means that there was high rate of wear and tear in the lowest two spinal levels.

pizza dough

Ma's recipe, modified for nutrition and general wholefoodieness
makes enough for two pizzas

2 envelopes dry yeast
2 cups warm water
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar
4 tbs oil
3 cups white flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
dash of amaranth
pinch of milled whole raw cereal
pinch of flax seeds
gluten if necessary (if crust turns out flat)

Combine very warm water and yeast, let activate.

Combine all ingredients, let rise.

Keep hands floured to spread in pan.

Pizza with this crust generally bakes at 350 in 25-35 minutes.

moody self-portrait

New pic to start the week. Yes, as a matter of fact, I am fascinated with my own image.

Girls' weightlifting growing in Florida coast high schools

Girls weightlifting increasing in popularity
by Eric Pfahler, TCPLam

Five Treasure Coast schools reached the regional volleyball tournament. Of those, four offer girls weightlifting as a sport.

Maybe that's not a coincidence, Sebastian River athletic director Michael Stutzke said.

"Absolutely, and that's one of the reasons we have it," he said.

Sebastian River is one of a growing number of state and area high schools with a girls weightlifting team, and often, participation in the sport is driven by girls who want to train for other sports.

"It gives the girls another opportunity," Fort Pierce Central athletic director Jay Stewart said. "It kind of balances our offerings.

"It's a way to help kids keep in shape, so I think it's a win-win situation."

There are 171 schools listed by the Florida High School Athletic Association that either have or are adding girls weightlifting this season. Sebastian River, Martin County, Jensen Beach and St. Edward's are the area schools that offer girls weightlifting and also made a regional volleyball appearance. Fort Pierce Central, Port St. Lucie and Treasure Coast High School will offer the sport this year for the first time, and South Fork also has a program.

Ambrea Phillips kicked out of HS weightlifting class in case of rape

Wow, this is one for the books.

Judge to decide if dismissal of student justified

By Jamie Satterfield, Knox News

A federal magistrate judge is being asked to toss out a lawsuit filed on behalf of an Anderson County teenager temporarily booted from a weightlifting class because of a principal's fears that she might be raped by male classmates.

Attorney Arthur F. Knight III argued at a hearing in U.S. District Court Thursday that Ambrea Phillips may have suffered a bit of stress but little else when, in January, then-Anderson County High School Principal Bob McCracken removed her from a weightlifting class.

"There's no dispute she was removed," Knight said. "There's no dispute she was returned (three days later). The really dispositive issue is, did Anderson County appropriately respond. She had no academic detriment whatsoever."

Phillips' attorney, Roger L. Ridenour, disagreed, arguing that her stress was so great that she wound up physically sick. Phillips is suing for up to $1 million.

He also contended that Anderson County school administrators have a pattern of mishandling issues of sex, whether it be an alleged "open notorious affair" between an ex-principal and a secretary or claims of an inappropriate e-mail exchange between an assistant volleyball coach and a player.

"Your Honor, this is at best a case that ought to be heard by a jury," Ridenour said.

...After Phillips was kicked out of the class, her father contacted the media. Three days later, McCracken allowed her back in the class. She and her dad filed suit anyway.

Phillips was a senior, a straight-A student and a track team member when she signed up for the class. Knight noted that she only missed three days of the class, completed it with no complaints or problems, and earned an A. She has since graduated and attends college.

natural athlete diva Kimberly Garrison

This OCB diva is in the Philadelphia Daily News. Nice job all around. Sorry no pics posted with it.

Bulk up your inner beauty, weightlifter says

There isn't much Lisa Marie McKeogh can't do.

At 40, the Philadelphia native is a competitive bodybuilder, fitness competitor, entrepreneur, martial artist, competitive power lifter, exercise instructor and personal trainer. She also works full-time as an interior designer for Fretz Corp., kitchen appliance distributors in Philadelphia.

Lisa recently won the 2006 OCB Charm City Classic Women's Master Body Building Championship, a national competition held in Baltimore.

She's also on a mission.

"My mission is to help women discover their inner beauty as they develop their outer beauty," she said. She wants women (especially those over 40) to get past the stigma that the free-weight section of the gym is for men only.

I agree. Lisa is a wonderful example of the art of female bodybuilding at its best. She's an all-natural athlete, possessing a graceful, symmetrical, sexy and feminine figure.

McKeogh recently gave me the 411 on what it takes to be an all-natural (no steroids or other drugs) competitor in female bodybuilding and fitness.

Her Philly.com newsblog on fitness happenings is Girlfiends' Locker Room

model dies from anorexia

To the powers that be in the model and image industries, who keep these ideals going, publicly deny there is any problem, and fight reform tooth-and-nail: Shame, Shame, Shame.

21-year-old Ana Carolina Reston weighed 88 pounds

Reuters, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil - The mother of a Brazilian fashion model who died from complications of anorexia has made an emotional appeal for parents to take better care of aspiring young models.

The death of Ana Carolina Reston, 21, follows growing criticism of the use of underweight models in the fashion world, an issue given new significance after the death in August of Uruguayan model Luisel Ramos of heart failure during a fashion show in Montevideo.

Reston died on Tuesday in a Sao Paulo hospital from a generalized infection caused by anorexia, an eating disorder in which sufferers obsessively deprive themselves of food in pursuit of an ultra-slim look.

Reston weighed only 88 pounds (40 kg) and was about 5 feet 8 inches tall (1.72 meters) tall. Doctors consider this weight normal for a 12-year-old girl no more than about 5 feet (1.5 meters) tall.

...“Dictatorship of skinny look kills a model,” said the front-page headline of O Dia tabloid, which carried a picture of the dark-haired, big-eyed girl in lingerie....

North Korea's first female boxing referee Kim Won Hui

Cheers for N. Korea and Kim Won Hui
Jeers for AP and its "What the?" angle on this story - her body and clothes

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - North Korea's first female boxing referee attracted media attention Wednesday for impressing spectators while adroitly refereeing recent bouts dressed in a uniform "suitable to her slim figure."

Kim Won Hui, a 31-year-old former volleyball player, became the North's first female boxing referee in 2003 after completing an "eight-year course of boxing, refereeing and foreign language" at Korean University of Physical Education, the North's official Korean Central News Agency said.

"She, wearing referee's a uniform suitable to her slim figure, judged the matches strictly and skillfully" during recent North Korean boxing championships, KCNA said of Kim.

North Korea, influenced by traditional Korean Confucianism, is a totally male-dominated society. Nearly all high-level government posts are believed to be held by men.

But the country has some female sports stars, including judo athlete Kye Sun Hui, who became a heroine after winning gold at the 1996 Olympics, and Ham Pong Sil, who won the women's marathon at the 2002 Asian Games.

It was unclear when Kim first refereed a boxing match. But she "enriched her experience" during the Pyongyang International Invitation Boxing Tournament held in 2005, KCNA said.

Thin - film and campaign by Laura Greenfield

An important documentary will premiere on HBO tonight: Thin, as in dying to be, through anorexia and bulimia. Besides the film, Loren is raising a steady body of provocative imagery on females and body image; check out her photos on her site, and books on girl culture.

From HBO:

"Eating disorders affect five million people in the U.S., and more than 10% of those diagnosed with anorexia nervosa will die from the disease. Seeking to put a human face on these sobering statistics, acclaimed photographer Lauren Greenfield went inside a Florida treatment center to tell the stories of four women who are literally dying to be thin. The devastating HBO documentary THIN reveals what she found there - and explores the issues underlying their illness. Premieres Tuesday, November 14 at 9pm.

THIN is the centerpiece of a multi-faceted campaign designed to explore issues surrounding body image and eating disorders, including a companion book, traveling exhibition of Greenfield's work and a website. An educational resource guide for the documentary THIN has also been developed to accompany the film for use by individuals, educators and community groups nationwide. It will reach approximately two million high school students and 15,000 college professors directly with a downloadable guide available online. For more on the THIN campaign - the book, exhibit, educational guide and DVD - visit hbo.com or thindocumentary.com."

Fabulous chicken soup

Unbelievably good. Before I forget what we put into it:

1 chicken - have cooked chicken meat ready to go
2 cartons of free-range, organic broth (you know, if it's on sale)
2 envelopes of chicken gravy
1 envelope of beef stew seasoning
around 2 cups of cooked wild rice
1 bag frozen veggies - stir fry with asparagus, squash, carrots, etc.
full package gnocchi (Italian potato dumplings - yum yum!)

  1. melt veggies in broth over med hi heat
  2. add beef seasoning envelope contents
  3. make gravy, add to pot
  4. add chicken to pot
  5. add rice
  6. cook gnocchi, add to pot
  7. add spices (garlic, black pepper, Italian seasonings)
  8. simmer for an hour or two
and oh, man, is this amazing!

perfect form, clean & jerk: Naim Suleymanuglu

Naim Suleymanuglu at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. This has been called one of the greatest lifts of all time. Freakish amount of weight makes for a slow lift, which is excellent for studying form.

and good form as well, from a lower-level athlete:

in the zone

there are days when i cannot drag myself through a work out
when it feels like my lifting days are over
so there, that must've been the last of my youth

some days, it all comes together
out of the blue
of the ashes
of the smooth, earthy geode holding clear, crystal points

then i know this is part of me
not to cease until i do.

what greater satisfaction
to know oneself
and know this is mine

when my body's gone
i'll miss it

Something Familiar is here!

Here at last! The book is here and it looks great. Everyone who has ordered a copy from Amazon or William, James & Co. should get it pretty soon. It feels like a long trip has finally ended, and at a houseparty with all my friends.

Dorky me, I have pics to record it all. Here's me with the palette of books,

and the forklift driver Darren, who got the first copy. He was very excited.

the doorplate


Study links steroids to violence, suicide

Beijing (Xinhuanet) -- A new Swedish report says steroids are connected to depression, manic episodes, psychotic episodes, suicide, increased aggression and hostility, sometimes cause violent behavior, and users appear more likely to commit crimes with weapons and fraud.

Researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden studied the relationship between crime and steroid use in 1,440 Swedish residents tested for the drugs between 1995 and 2001 from clinics, substance abuse facilities, and police and customs stations.

Of those involved in the study, 241 tested positive, with an average age of about 20.

The research team revealed those who tested positive for steroid use were almost twice as likely to have been jailed for a weapons offense and one-and-a-half times as likely to have been convicted of fraud.

When the researchers excluded people from substance abuse facilities from their analysis the link to armed crime remained, but the connection between steroid use and fraud disappeared.

While steroids are linked with outbursts of uncontrolled violence known as "roid rage," they did not appear to be connected with sexual offenses, violent crimes such as assault, robbery and murder, or crimes against property.

This investigation instead shows that steroid use may be linked with premeditated crimes -- those involving preparation and advance planning. One explanation the researchers suggest for the findings is that criminals involved in serious crimes such as armed robbery or the collection of crime-related debts might benefit from the muscularity, heavy build and increase in aggression that comes with steroid use.

The scientists report their findings in the November issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

Nancy Pelosi: Amazon

I've no idea whether she pumps iron or boxes, but I do know she is strong, makes weight and hits hard and dead-on. Welcome Nancy Pelosi to my Hall of Amazons. As Speaker of the House, she will hold the highest office any female in this country ever has, just three heads away from the presidency. Hail, hail, hail!

excellent full-body heavy duty work out

Most excellent lift on a most excellent election day!

circuit with set/rest timing

  • chest press
  • pull-ups
  • clean & jerk
  • squat

for the record: record lift 3x - solo
pre-lift meal - beef stew, fish, ice cream and a cup of green/chamomile tea
post-lift - endurox

winter white lamps

Which is better?

natural light, raw photos. can't get enough of this scene.

we all lift

Quick note to combat the diehard misperception that males dominate the practice of weightlifting by droves: a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that the percentages of Americans working out twice a week with weights are

  • women - more than 17 percent
  • men - 21 percent
Call me whatever you call someone who doesn't split hairs, but I just can't get excited over that level of disparity. So journalists, before you lead your next female athlete profile with the idea that the she's in a man's world: don't.

(sorry, no details on the study - gym vs. home, types of lifting, effort, etc.)

The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie—deliberate, contrived and dishonest—but the myth—persistant, persuasive and unrealistic.

~John F. Kennedy

Happy Halloween

or Samhain, whatever it may mean to you...
Which of these photos is better?

Zen of Lifting II

When I think
or let go of thinking
in those quiet moments
when the world is in synch

I know
that death
is the re-assimilation
of my electrons and energies
into the life around me,
the meaning of
going in one’s sleep.
I can feel
the peace of expanding
into eternity.

When I lift
and box,
my body contracts
from within and without,
hardened and hot
in the focus of work.
I can feel
I am a whole individual
forcing against space around me.
I can feel I am alive.

And afterward,
with more music than words
in my head,
and body rising and falling
with the swell of my lungs
and thrum of my heart,
there is a sweet twilight
where I can touch
and be everywhere
and close my eyes
and fly

Fall harvest

From within or from behind, a light shines through us upon things, and makes us aware that we are nothing, but the light is all.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.

~G.K. Chesterton

Dahlia field

Barn raising at Mossback Farm

Good folks, good food.

October fog in the country

There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls. ~George Carlin