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