Rants

Rant 71 October 2014: Make it Crunky

October 18th, 2014 by Mistress Krista | Comments Off

Rant 71 October 2014: Make it Crunky

Last night I ate chicken sashimi. Yes, that’s raw chicken breast. Which is normally an insane thing to do. Unless you’re in Tokyo with a Japanese host…


Rant 70 May 2014: Make Love, Not War

May 10th, 2014 by Mistress Krista | Comments Off

Rant 70 May 2014: Make Love, Not War

Resistance is that force in you that throws rebellious tantrums, whispers sweet self-critical nothings in your ear (or screams them in your face like a drunken guy at the bus stop), keeps you stuck in self-destructive habits, and glues your ass to the chair when you know you should get up and do something.


Rant 69 December 2013: The Winter of Our Content

December 1st, 2013 by Mistress Krista | 30 Comments

Rant 69 December 2013: The Winter of Our Content

Having passed through the abundant harvest of my juicy, fruitful celebration of 40, I’m now freezing at the threshold of the dark winter of Coming To Terms With Aging. I never expected this. I always thought I’d sail through this part, barely stepping on the universe’s Life Change Lintel as I breezed through the portal into midlife.


Rant 68 September 2013: 80 Thoughts on 40

September 22nd, 2013 by Mistress Krista | 20 Comments

Rant 68 September 2013: 80 Thoughts on 40

I’ve clung with my fingernails to this sticky ball we call Earth for 40 vertigo-inducing trips around the sun. Now, I pass my wisdom on to you.


Rant 67 January 2013: Apocalypse Now

January 5th, 2013 by Mistress Krista | 10 Comments

Rant 67 January 2013: Apocalypse Now

If you lost everything in the apocalypse, how might you end up freer? What would be in the boxes that would be jettisoned? What imaginary authority figure or judge would catch fire and be destroyed? What bullshit could YOU throw out in 2013 to free up some mental health, and why?


Rant 66 December 2012: The First Rule of Fast Club

December 2nd, 2012 by Mistress Krista | 27 Comments

Rant 66 December 2012: The First Rule of Fast Club

The first rule of fast club is: Don’t talk about fast club. The second rule of fast club is that skinny guys no longer get to tell me what to do. (Although I love you guys. You look so cute with your pants falling down!)


Rant 65 October 2012: Pray for Mojo

October 14th, 2012 by Mistress Krista | 42 Comments

Rant 65 October 2012: Pray for Mojo

The late 30s and 40s are a time of great power for women. Declining hormones tear veils away from our eyes. It is the beginning of when we learn to get over the crap we’ve been spoon-fed, to feel some rumbling righteous anger, and start loving ourselves.


Rant 64 April 2012: The House That Stumptuous Built

March 31st, 2012 by Mistress Krista | 70 Comments

Rant 64 April 2012: The House That Stumptuous Built

Judge me, assholes. Judge the hell out of me. Let me know when you’re done. Because I have other business in this world.


Rant 63 February 2012: In Praise of Older Women

February 4th, 2012 by Mistress Krista | 38 Comments

Rant 63 February 2012: In Praise of Older Women

Esteemed Stumpfans, I present you with this unalterable truth: I ain’t gettin’ any younger. And neither are you.


Rant 62 January 2012: Goooooaaalllls!!

December 26th, 2011 by Mistress Krista | 22 Comments

Rant 62 January 2012: Goooooaaalllls!!

When did we all become so obsessed with producing stuff? Do I really want to be able to make more stuff, faster? I thought I left that shit behind in academia when I got off the Publication Purgatory treadmill. This year, do LESS.


Rant 61 April 2011: Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner: Confessions of a Feminist Nutritionist

March 28th, 2011 by Mistress Krista | 22 Comments

Rant 61 April 2011: Guess Who's Coming To Dinner: Confessions of a Feminist Nutritionist

Today I want to talk about change and transition. I want to talk about the lived realities of our bodies. I want to talk about pain. I want to talk about the ways in which self-transformation and working towards deep health are social justice projects.


Rant 60 March 2011: Fear is My Homegirl

February 27th, 2011 by Mistress Krista | 10 Comments

Rant 60 March 2011: Fear is My Homegirl

“If you don’t feel fear with a heavy weight over your head, then you are probably mentally ill.”
–Charles Staley


Rant 59 September 2010: I’m Not Old; I’m 37

September 7th, 2010 by Mistress Krista | 54 Comments

Rant 59 September 2010: I'm Not Old; I'm 37

In nearly four decades, it has never rained on my birthday. As I write this on Sept 4, 2010 (mark your calendars for next year — Mistress loves presents!), my 37th birthday, it is raining.

The only inevitability in natural systems is change.


Rant 58 June 2010: Hot for Teachers

June 6th, 2010 by Mistress Krista | 15 Comments

Here I was, Dr. Krista, gentle creator and longtime tender of Stumptuous.com, coach to hundreds of women as part of the Lean Eating program, emailing my buddy Kyle to ask — really sort of beg — him to check whether I was eating my spinach. What’s up with this?


Rant 57 May 2010: What’s Eating You?

May 9th, 2010 by Mistress Krista | 72 Comments

Once upon a time there was a magical land. The inhabitants of this land were lean and sculpted. These divine citizens wore hot pants Rollerblading and tiny swimsuits to do their laundry, and lo, it was good. There was only one problem with this magical land.

It was complete. And utter. BULLSHIT.


Rant 56 April 2010: What to Expect When You’re Expecting

April 5th, 2010 by Mistress Krista | 25 Comments

Rant 56 April 2010: What to Expect When You're Expecting

Ask yourself: Do I even know what the hell “OK” looks like? Or am I drowing in fear, worry, anxiety, and “shoulds”? Let’s say you get those abs or that bench press. Let’s say that magical number appears. Then what?
Are you going to be happier than some nutty guy with a ukelele and 9 small dogs in grass skirts?


Rant 55: Predictions for 2010s

January 2nd, 2010 by Mistress Krista | 39 Comments

Rant 55: Predictions for 2010s

Stumplady is putting on her prognosticatin’ pants and giving youse the Predictions for the Decade.


Rant 54 December 2009: Haven’t been there/done that, have an opinion anyway

November 24th, 2009 by Mistress Krista | 19 Comments

Rant 54 December 2009: Haven't been there/done that, have an opinion anyway

For those of you living south of 60 degrees latitude (or not in Churchill, Manitoba), polar bears may look cute and friendly, like in the Coke commercials, but they most certainly are not. They are generally grumpy, hungry creatures who think people are basically upright cocktail weenies. If you think bears are cuddly pets, you’re probably the kind of person who would own a face-eating chimp. Why armchair quarterbacks suck, and why difficulty brings growth.


Rant 53 November 2009: Swhiner baby

October 28th, 2009 by Mistress Krista | 16 Comments

Rant 53 November 2009: Swhiner baby

Hey! Apparently there is this thing called swine flu! And we are all going to die horribly from it! Instead of the Four Horsemen, the apocalypse will be wrought upon us by the Four Pigmen, who will arrive in a burst of porcine glory astride their mighty oinking and snuffling steeds!


Rant 52 July 2009: Mistress goes to the mountain

July 4th, 2009 by Mistress Krista | 19 Comments

Rant 52 July 2009: Mistress goes to the mountain

Things I learned on my summer vacation: Oxygen is important. Colorado grandmothers make Marines look like crybabies. Also, eyeballs can explode. Cooool.


Rant 51 May 2009: Rituals of renewal

May 17th, 2009 by Mistress Krista | 17 Comments

Rant 51 May 2009: Rituals of renewal

As the Animatronic robot sang to Bart Simpson, “You’re the birthday, you’re the birthday, you’re the birthday boy or girl.” My second birthday, competitive dishwasher unloading, and new opportunities for Hallmark.


Rant 50 March 2009: Ain’t that a shame

March 10th, 2009 by Mistress Krista | 35 Comments

Rant 50 March 2009: Ain't that a shame

I’ll get up in front of anyone to talk about anything. I can’t promise it will be interesting, relevant, or amusing, but hey, you get what you pay for. At least I’m up there and not losing sphincter control. So it was a rather interesting experience to find myself crying in front of an audience. And not just a nice little politician’s crocodile tear. I mean full-on, let ‘er rip, snorking complete with the DTs and PTSD. WTF?


Rant 49 September 2008: How I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb

September 17th, 2008 by Mistress Krista | 4 Comments

If you are like most people, you are probably a failure, many times over. You have screwed up so many times from birth to this present moment that your cumulative idiocies could pile up to the moon – before themselves breaking away, clumping together, and forming a satellite of their own. But don’t be discouraged!


Rant 48 August 2008: You’re lying to yourself

August 7th, 2008 by OMGBFFA | 7 Comments

Hi everybody! It’s OMGBFF A here, and I will be your guest ranter this month. It’s been a busy time in KristaLand, what with her new coaching business and all, so I figured I could buy her some time by talking about myself and providing the August 2008 Rant of the Month.


Rant 47: June 2008 On the good ship Karmapop

June 1st, 2008 by Mistress Krista | Comments Off

Wow. Just wow. I cannot come up with a better word to describe what’s happened since I took my job and shoved it. My karma ship came in like a luxury cruise liner full of buffet tables and inebriated hotties stumbling upon a desert island castaway.


Rant 46 April 2008: Shoveling to nowhere, or, let’s quitz again, like we did last summer

April 5th, 2008 by Mistress Krista | 1 Comment

It’s been a hard winter in Toronto. It started earlier than normal with a snowstorm that was like Satan had mated with a canister of liquid nitrogen, and kinda just went from there. It’s now April 6 as I write this, and there are still piles of snow outside, hanging on by their icy little fingernails. So you can’t blame people for getting a little kooky.


Rant 45 February 2008: Let’s get this party started

February 1st, 2008 by Mistress Krista | Comments Off

This story begins, as all good stories do, with having margaritas with grappling legend Eddie Bravo in a snowstorm.


Rant 44 December 2007: Separate but equal

December 1st, 2007 by OMGBFFA | Comments Off

Every sport carries with it some risks; we have to be vigilant and careful. In martial arts, especially in class, we shouldn’t execute techniques with which we are not completely familiar, and certainly we must exercise restraint.

It is an understatement to say that I am not patient; I left patience behind so long ago that it is a ghostly memory to me. My time off the mats has taught me the importance of patience, of looking at my activity as a long-term project. Taking an extra week off is far better than coming back a week too soon, re-injuring myself, and spending an additional four weeks away…


Rant 43 October 2007: Stumptuous versus Stumptuous!

October 1st, 2007 by Mistress Krista | Comments Off

Last summer, I signed up for a few Brazilian jiu-jitsu lessons. I shrimped a little, I triangled a little, I choked out the occasional unsuspecting newbie with my only, poorly executed move, and then work got crazy so I let it drop. This summer, I got crazy and dropped work instead. In July I returned to my peeps at Kimonogirl, an all-female BJJ group. They welcomed me with locked arms. Thus began my Summer O’ Beatdowns.


Rant 42 August 2007: Cut and run

August 1st, 2007 by Mistress Krista | Comments Off

It’s 7:30 am and a strange man’s chest hair is in my face. In fact I’ve paid good money for this.


Rant 41 July 2007: Walk the walk

July 1st, 2007 by Mistress Krista | 1 Comment

I’m not just the President of Hair Club for Men. I’m also a client.

In a world where life is uncertain, people like to have someplace to hang their hat. Having such an existential headwear receptacle kinda takes the edge off the sense that at all times we are standing on the edge of the abyss as the ground crumbles beneath our toes. For most of us with busy lives, we’re pretty much one crisis away from totally losing our shit.


Rant 40 May 2007: Harsh winds do shake the darling buds of May

May 1st, 2007 by Mistress Krista | Comments Off

“Whoever’s approval you seek, imprisons you. Choose your jailer with care and deliberation.”
–Jamal Rahim


Rant 39 April 2007: Kids these days

April 1st, 2007 by Mistress Krista | Comments Off

I’ve been teaching university undergraduates for nearly ten years now. (I shudder to type that.) Lately, it’s struck me that the kids these days seem a little bit… different… than I remember. They’re tense, depressed, worried about the world and their place in it, and riddled with mental and physical ailments. Oh sure, there was always that one Lisa Simpson keener who’d flip out if they got a B+, but in the last couple of years I seem to have noticed the vibe changing.


Rant 38 January 2007: No perfect workout

January 1st, 2007 by Mistress Krista | Comments Off

By guest ranter Gus Sonnenberg

About a year ago I asked Krista to help me find the “perfect” workout. Now you’re probably saying to yourself, “Well duh there’s no such thing.” Unfortunately, I’m not as smart as you are, so I went looking for one anyway. Krista, clearly recognizing that I needed to figure it out on my own, kindly referred me to some good resources and sent me on my way. This is the story of my search. I offer it to you during this season of resolutions. Keep it in mind as you set your goal for 2007.


Rant 37 December 2006: Season’s grating

December 1st, 2006 by Mistress Krista | 1 Comment

It’s considered deeply gauche and “PC” to express a dislike for the holiday season. And I confess, there are indeed chestnuts roasting on my open fire — my gas range anyway. I love the seasonal food and getting together with my loved ones over a bottle of wine and a good meal. I’ve just made (and eaten half of) a batch of truffles.

Yeah, I’ll be hitting up the nutritional atonement plan just like everyone else in January — my god, I’m only human and premenstrual to boot! Stay out of my way unless you want your fingers bitten off!


Rant 36 November 2006: Exercise and chronic fatigue syndrome

November 1st, 2006 by Mistress Krista | 3 Comments

This month’s piece is written by my younger sister Kayla (aka Killer Kayla). Kayla got pretty much all the athletic genes in the family. Until her early 20s, she excelled at figure skating, dance, cheerleading, lacrosse, swimming, kickboxing, and just about every other physical activity she attempted. In 2004 she became mysteriously sick, with what was later revealed to be Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. This past month, she ran her first 10k, and she is an ongoing inspiration to me. Here’s her story.


Rant 35 September 2006: Thanks for the hospitality

September 1st, 2006 by Mistress Krista | Comments Off

I’ve been spending a lot of time in hospitals lately. First, a close friend of mine was having elective surgery. One week after I returned home from caring for her, my aunt and her husband were in a terrible car accident. My aunt’s husband was killed, and my aunt just finished having surgeons fuse an assortment of wires and plates to her bones, in order to repair her hand and two smashed ankles. When she was airlifted to Toronto, I returned to pace the hospital corridors with a sense of familiarity…


Rant 34 July 2006: But out

July 1st, 2006 by Mistress Krista | Comments Off

First, the exciting news: I am happy to announce a new Gym That Does Not Suck in Toronto! The Toronto Newsgirls, under the able direction of coach Savoy Howe, hope to go solo with an all-female boxing gym September 1! I hope to participate in directing a strength and conditioning component, so stay tuned for updates…


Rant 33 June 2006: Choose joy

June 1st, 2006 by Mistress Krista | Comments Off

A recent study examined people’s perceptions of control over their life choices. There was a substantial difference in perceptions of control depending on the health status of respondents. People who rated themselves as being in excellent health, scored an average of 20.0 on the mastery scale, compared to 16.1 for those who reported that their health was fair or poor.


Rant 32 April 2006: The best defense

April 1st, 2006 by Mistress Krista | Comments Off

My training partner is sitting on top of me, choking me. I grab her wrist, slide my foot up next to hers, buck my hips and fling her off face-first into the mat. She flies like the proverbial wet sack of poop. Hoohah!


Rant 31 March 2006: Putting the butch in butch up: fitness and anxious masculinity

March 1st, 2006 by Mistress Krista | Comments Off

If one follows the popular press, the fitness fora, and the so-called blogosphere, it would seem that masculinity is in an unprecedented state of crisis.

In fitness terms, the masculinity crisis occurs at several levels, some of them contradictory: the brute strength guys disparage the “bodybuffers”, while the bodybuffers disparage the “pencil necks”; the guys training for mass rip on the guys training for strength; the guys lifting barbells dump on the guys lifting kettlebells; the guys training with the new technological gadgets regard old-school trainers as a bunch of shambling Cro-Magnon morons; the weight trainers think endurance athletes are wimps and the endurance athletes say the weight trainers are so muscle-bound they can’t wipe their asses, and so forth. Running through this divergent collection of j’accuse is a “lady doth protest too much” level of angstiety over male weakness.


Rant 30 February 2006: Gyms that don’t suck

February 1st, 2006 by Mistress Krista | Comments Off

“The gym… Where musclebuilding takes place: crowded, funky, out-of-the-way, insufficiently equipped, wrong atmosphere and full of smudged mirrors and jerks. I hope that doesn’t describe your local iron-and-steel watering hole. If it does, think garage, Olympic set, squat rack, and a bench. The person who must work out can train in any dungeon, believe me. For the beginning trainees, the last impression they need is the most common scene they are introduced to across our fertile pastures and fruited plains: hyped energy, endless stationary bikes and running and climbing machines in a dazzling fluorescent white convention-hall setting, lined with mirrors and occupied with gaily outfitted, but disillusioned hopefuls strutting in unison. Who are they and where do they come from?” –Dave Draper, Iron on My Mind


Rant 29 December 2005: Survival of the fittest

December 1st, 2005 by Mistress Krista | Comments Off

Leaving work late one night, I spot the headlights of the approaching bus. If I sprint, I can catch it. No friggin way am I going to stand out in the dark at a freezing bus stop! Although I’m laden with full-length winter coat and a heavy knapsack and bags, and therefore run with the grace of a three-legged hippo (not to mention a strange rattling sound from deep within the bowels of my luggage), I go for it.

Even as a sedentary office worker, my day is full of mini-challenges. The morning of the day I ran to catch the bus, I had to tromp through several inches of snow to do a number of errands. Working on campus, I often find myself walking, climbing stairs, running to make appointments, and carrying loads of books.

At the gym it dawns on me how far our fitness practice has come from the demands of real life…


Rant 28 November 2005: Who are you?

November 1st, 2005 by Mistress Krista | Comments Off

“Who am I?” is the question that most of us are really asking when we fret about challenge and change. I remain convinced that for most people, a chronic injury or illness is not spiritually debilitating primarily because of pain. In the majority of cases, the pain and lack of mobility is controllable and manageable, and does not dominate every waking moment of consciousness. Rather, the psychic blow comes from this damage to our identities, to our sense of ourselves as physically whole.


Rant 27 October 2005: How do you measure up?

October 1st, 2005 by Mistress Krista | Comments Off

Those of us living in North America tend to be a bit smug about the quality of life we enjoy. Not to toot our own horn (ah hell, I’m gonna toot it good), but until 2001 Canada ranked consistently as the best place in the world to live according to the United Nations Quality of Life survey.

That North American smugness has recently been tested by various world events and our own shifting demographics. We are getting older, more sedentary, and sicker with illnesses of affluence that previous generations knew little of. Late summer’s hurricanes showed us the creaking, crumbling, moldy underbelly of the United States’ social infrastructure…


Rant 26 September 2005: The worst mom ever

September 1st, 2005 by Mistress Krista | Comments Off

For many folks, September remains the psychological “start of a new year”. After all, most of us spent 15 to 20 years (or, in my case, even more, argh) living by the rhythms of the school year. Labour Day is past, we’re mentally off vacation, the days are cooler and our heads are clearer, and we’re ready to sharpen all our nice new pencils to write in our lovely empty ruled books. Now, the shocking true story of an evil mother who MAKES HER CHILDREN WALK TO SCHOOL!!


Rant 25 June 2005: The play’s the thing

June 1st, 2005 by Mistress Krista | 1 Comment

Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious!
—(Unknown)

Raise your hand if you have trouble finding motivation to go to the gym.

Now raise your hand if you have trouble finding motivation to goof off, screw around, be silly, and have fun.


Rant 24 April 2005: Say yes to crack

April 1st, 2005 by Mistress Krista | 1 Comment

Chiropractic:
95% science
5% woo-woo

“I like those odds.” –Homer Simpson

Regular readers will recall from my last rant that there are nasty sciatica gremlins in my ass. Yes, my low back and hip are grumpy things at the moment, forcing me to do a little butt wiggle every time I get up from the couch, in order to try to remove my femoral condyle from my sphincter, or whatever the hell is actually wrong in there.

I started seeing a chiro.


Rant 23 March 2005: Bury my heart at Wounded Ass

March 1st, 2005 by Mistress Krista | Comments Off

“Aging is not for sissies.”
–Bette Davis

As I write this, I am in pain.

Something is strangling the sciatic nerve that runs through my hip and down my leg. When I stand up, I stumble with momentary weakness as the nerve responds to the change in spinal position. Instinctively I curl the leg, twisting it inward to protect it, like cradling a baby animal gently. It is literally a pain in the ass.


Rant 22 February 2005: Groundhog day

February 1st, 2005 by Mistress Krista | Comments Off

In the movie Groundhog Day, Bill Murray plays a jaded TV weatherman doomed to repeat the day’s events, over and over and over. He knows the future but is unable to do anything with it, until he makes major changes in his actions and his attitude.

Often when I speak to clients and trainees it is as if they too are stuck in their own Groundhog Day. They repeat the same negative patterns over and over without really learning anything or fundamentally re-evaluating why things did not work. They also look to external sources to tell them the future: a new “magic” diet or fitness plan, a new “guru”, a new celebrity shill, or a new product. They often feel that a new supplement is the groundhog that will control their future success. Or, perhaps they feel that genetics is the groundhog that predicts their failure. This occurs despite them often “knowing” the right thing to do. But as the saying goes, knowing and not doing is the same as not knowing at all.

Aside from chance or random events such as giant tidal waves, plagues of locusts, being discovered as the next supermodel on the New York subway system, or being hit in the cranium with a frozen mass discharged from an airplane’s bathroom 20,000 feet overhead, most of our future is well within our control…


Rant 21 January 2005: You say you want a resolution?

January 1st, 2005 by Mistress Krista | Comments Off

Contemplating our excesses generally leads to a resolution to improve. Throwing up the previous night’s cerveza invariably leads to some kind of vow never to ingest alcohol again in between lying on the bathroom floor thinking how nice the cold tile feels against one’s face. But memories are short, and often we need to repeat our mistakes several times before we learn from them.

This is, of course, a time of year to make resolutions. And in about two days, the time of year to forget about them.

There are many reasons why resolutions fail…


Rant 20 December 2004: Process, not product

December 1st, 2004 by Mistress Krista | 4 Comments

I get very many kind emails that assume I am some kind of champ. Big Mistress smooches go out to the guy who wrote me to settle a bet with his buddy about how much I could squat: both proposed numbers were much higher than I could ever expect to see without the assistance of vitamin T, but the fact that they assumed I could do it was extremely gratifying…


Rant 19 November 2004: The fitness fascist

November 1st, 2004 by Mistress Krista | Comments Off

My husband and I joke that we work in two of the most misunderstood fields. As a nuclear physicist, he gets subjected to Homer Simpson and “glow in the dark” jokes ad nauseam. Either that or someone accuses him of poisoning the planet. As a researcher and writer in the field of women’s studies, I get subjected to “what is there to know about women?” questions, women who say, “I’m not a feminist! I like men!” (apparently not noticing that I don’t hate at least one man or I wouldn’t be married), or “you know what the problem is with feminism” lectures from men with mother issues who couldn’t even name a single feminist including said mother. In either case, people assume that they are well qualified to comment on our professions and we take a lot of shit at parties. It’s enough to make one want to hole up in the corner, get drunk, and go face down in the cheezies within minutes of getting in the door.

I also work in another misunderstood field: fitness and nutrition…


Rant 18 October 2004: The Ritalin Kid

October 1st, 2004 by Mistress Krista | Comments Off

Canadian Thanksgiving, for you folks not living in Soviet Canuckistan, is in October. In my opnion, this is a better time than the American November Thanksgiving. It’s more clearly harvest time, the temperature is still nice, and you get over two months’ recovery from turkey and family dysfunctionality before Christmas (for those of you who moved straight into family dysfunctionality during Ramadan, or who are still recovering from high holidays in September, sorry about your luck).


Rant 17 August 2004: Ohmigod I am sooo stressed!!!!!!!

August 1st, 2004 by Mistress Krista | Comments Off

Stress.

It’s a fact of life in most jobs. We hear a lot about how busy everyone is now, how time pressured, and most of all, how stressed out…


Rant 16 July 2004: All roads lead to fitness

July 1st, 2004 by Mistress Krista | Comments Off

I was having dinner with the charming and witty Phil Caravaggio the other day, and naturally, as happens with gym nerds, the conversation turned to training and nutrition. We talked about this research and that research, and the challenges of working with clients who come in with a variety of half-baked nutritional theories.


Rant 15 June 2004: Against perfection

June 1st, 2004 by Mistress Krista | Comments Off

To me, images of fitness models and other types of so-called perfection exist in the same universe as the Smurfs, Pokemon, and Santa Claus: a fun idea, but not real. Watching some studio set with perky people is about as inspiring to me as two weeks straight of November sleet. What particularly fills me with apathy is the emphasis on training for appearance. Sure, if I had to choose between the two, I’d rather resemble Salma Hayek than Jabba the Hutt. But in general, an excessive focus on appearance as a training goal is intensely DE-motivating to me.


Rant 14 May 2004: Weed the garden

May 1st, 2004 by Mistress Krista | Comments Off

We don’t say that teeth brushing fails because 95% of people regain tooth plaque once they stop brushing. The point is that fitness and nutrition are good habits that have to be repeated, over and over and over. Gardens look best once they’ve had time to mature over several years, as the consistent care of the gardener becomes evident in healthy, vibrant plants…


Rant 13 April 2004: Adapt or die

April 1st, 2004 by Mistress Krista | 1 Comment

Pandas suck.

Oh sure, they’re cute and fuzzy and we’re supposed to care about them and save them, and biodiversity is rapidly being eliminated worldwide, and this is genuinely a global concern, and blah blah. But come on. Unlike other bears, who are clever enough to be opportunist omnivores, pandas pretty much only live on bamboo. Talk about high maintenance. It’s sort of like the kid who will only eat Cheerios. Eventually, reality sets in. The world is not made of Cheerios, nor do Cheerios provide 100% of human nutritional needs…


Rant 12 March 2004: Hit me with your best shot

March 1st, 2004 by Mistress Krista | 3 Comments

“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better. What if they are a little coarse, and you may get your coat soiled or torn? What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice? Up again, you shall never be afraid of such a tumble.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson


Rant 11 February 2004: Just do it

February 1st, 2004 by Mistress Krista | 1 Comment

I know many people who are very wise about other people’s problems, or who are good at finding solutions for their jobs, but when it comes to themselves they are paralyzed by their over-intellectualization. They can tell me in great detail exactly what they are feeling and what is wrong with them, but they do not act to change it. It’s like they’re holding a road map and sitting on a well-marked road, but they can’t make themselves turn on the car’s ignition. They just keep going over the map again and again.


Rant 10 January 2004: What if?

January 1st, 2004 by Mistress Krista | Comments Off

I’d like to dedicate this rant to the memory of Rosemary Vernon, the Iron Belle who in her role as editor of the fitness site Dolfzine, remained dedicated to the cause of women’s training. I imagined her as a graduate of a fine finishing school somewhere, the kind of elegant woman of a certain age who always knew which fork to use, how to say a kind word, and of course, how to get deadlifting chalk out of your black workout clothes. She was indeed a steel magnolia: a lovely flower on the outside, but tough as nails inside.


Rant 9 March 2003: Goodbye, iron men

March 1st, 2003 by Mistress Krista | Comments Off

In March, two sad things happened. First, Cable-Bar Guy JV Askem died of a brain tumour. Then, suddenly, the originator of the Supertraining group, Dr. Mel Siff, died of a heart attack. Yes, this is a site aimed primarily at women, but as I touch on in Boy Butches up Girl, there are lots of wonderful men who have been instrumental in creating a world where strength and hard work, not gender, are the primary qualities which matter in training. Askem and Siff are two of those men.


Rant 8 February 2003: Make hay while the sun shines

February 1st, 2003 by Mistress Krista | Comments Off

As I write this in mid-January 2003, my father lies in a hospital bed. At the moment, he is in no danger of dying, though one could not necessarily have said the same a few days beforehand, as he lay in bed at home, clutching the phone, waiting for the moment when the chest pressure became too much to bear and he would have to muster his strength to dial 911. He says that that night, he did not know if he was going to live to see the morning, and there is no hyperbole in this statement. I try to imagine what he must have thought about during those hours…


Rant 7 January 2003: The lady protests too much

January 1st, 2003 by Mistress Krista | Comments Off

On Jan 8, columnist Margaret Wente of the Globe and Mail had a column about what she termed “Healthism”. To illustrate this, she used the example of Jean’s Marines, a group of women attempting to run the Marine Corps marathon in 2003…


Rant 6 December 2002: Magic machines and gift horses

December 1st, 2002 by Mistress Krista | 2 Comments

Rant 6 December 2002: Magic machines and gift horses

“People need to understand that for the average bunch of us who don’t have those special booster-rocket genes, we still have a remarkable set of genes that would get us to our mid-80s in good health. However, instead of taking advantage of those genes, we fight them with bad habits, obesity, and bad diets.”
—Thomas Perls, Harvard researcher into longevity

Your body is an incredible gift horse. Start looking it in the mouth.


Rant 5 November 2002: Working out in the closet

November 1st, 2002 by Mistress Krista | Comments Off

Rant 5 November 2002: Working out in the closet

On October 23, 2002, a column about women’s hockey caught my eye. Hayley Wickenheiser, one of the stars in the Canadian women’s hockey firmament, is having difficulty finding a team to play on because of institutional rules about playing with men. One comment in particular was noteworthy:

“There is, and long has been, a simmering hostility against women in hockey. The more boorish attitude is… that they’re just a bunch of lesbians anyway — a sad prejudice only reinforced when former hockey Olympian Nancy Drolet married her partner, Nathalie, in a Quebec civil ceremony.”

Woah woah woah. Waitaminit. The grrls get hitched (BTW high fives for social progress, Canada!) and it’s THEIR fault that sports is homophobic? Well that just makes me want to throw a Joan Crawford hissy fit.


Rant 4 October 2002: Soy is the new hemp

October 1st, 2002 by Mistress Krista | 15 Comments

Rant 4 October 2002: Soy is the new hemp

This weekend I was shopping at the local market. I got hungry and wanted a protein bar. I popped into a health food store which I know sells them. I was confronted with a floor to ceiling rack of bars. I stood reading the labels. Soy. Soy. Some weird grains and shit. Soy. Nuts and twigs. Soy. Carb-A-Lot. Soy. Soy. Soy. Can’t a woman get some plain whey any more? I left without buying anything. As we were leaving, I said to the friend who was with me, “Dammit, all they have is that soy crap!” She shrugged and said, “Soy is the new hemp.”


Rant 3 September 2002: Time, you thief

August 1st, 2002 by Mistress Krista | Comments Off

Rant 3 September 2002: Time, you thief

People talk a lot about time. They have time, need time, waste time, wish there was more time in a day, and so on. As a result we live in a physical time frame which cheats us from fully experiencing our bodies. We deny them what they need and give them what they don’t want. Our goal, then, is to live more fully in our physical present, in the here and now.

What can you do for your body right now?


Rant 2 July 2002: Time to grow up

July 1st, 2002 by Mistress Krista | Comments Off

Rant 2 July 2002: Time to grow up

It’s a lazy Sunday and I’m eating lunch, flipping thru TV channels. I stop on an infomercial for Pilates. As usual it promises all sorts of things: “longer, leaner muscles” (shyeah right), dropping dress sizes (fine print: if you follow their “suggested eating plan”), better posture (this, at least, is plausible), etc. But the part that makes my jaw drop and bits of tuna dribble down my chin is the chat with the Spokesmodel Du Jour…


Rant 1 June 2002: Snip snip

June 1st, 2002 by Mistress Krista | Comments Off

Rant 1 June 2002: Snip snip

So I’m sitting there in my jammies with a nice cuppa joe on Saturday morning, reading the paper, when I come across this article. It discusses the rise in plastic surgery among young women. Young white girls are getting their eyes done to look more “catlike”. Young girls of Asian descent are getting their eyes done to look more white. And everyone is getting new noses and tits. What the hell?



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