Scooter Girl 411: First Love

Original Content

The sound of the wind rushing from under the face shield muffled the low, smooth whine of the 50 cc engine. It was still early enough for a crispness to linger in the morning air, before the grueling Midwest summer humidity took over. I meticulously scan the road ahead and relish in a sense of unadulterated freedom riding my Honda Metropolitan. There was just something extraordinarily fun riding a scooter. There was just something about having nothing but two wheels and a motor which separated me from the road brings about a sense of vitality and unexplained joy. It is one of those odd, acquired taste which is impossible to explain to someone who absolutely have no interest in riding.

The fun. The thrill. The undeniable vintage coolness of being on a scooter was sparked when I was just a tween binge watching old black & white movies on the television. The 1953 classic, Roman Holiday, starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck was the movie that forever changed my life. Scootering was probably my very first true love. No amount of words can describe the childlike wonder and delight on her face. Perhaps it is magic. Perhaps it is a death wish. But I am willing to wager that one would be hard-pressed to find a scooter rider without a smile on their happy little faces.

Perhaps it is just a cult phenomena like Jeep or Mini Cooper. Regardless, I am a fan. Always have been, always will be. I think Robert M. Pirsig said it best in his book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values.

In a car you’re always in a compartment, and because you’re used to it you don’t realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV. You’re a passive observer and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame.

On a cycle the frame is gone. You’re completely in contact with it all. You’re in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming.

hepburn-vespa-roman-holiday(Thanks Seth from Metro Scooters for the quote)

There may be some truth to being in the world, without being separated from it by a couple thousand pounds of metal and plastic. Granted Pirsig was referring to motorcycles specifically but I think the direct connect with all that is around us can easily be applied to scooter riders as well.

The last time I was on a scooter it was the late 1980s. My love for scooters never completely died, but it never was quite enough to do anything about it either. With two little ones, it was difficult to prioritize a want over a need.

It wasn’t until I was riding on the Hubs’ new (to him) 650 cc motorcycle that the sense of uninhibited freedom came flooding back to me. This year, the scooter fever took hold of me by both shoulders and gave me a good shake. The kiddos are on the verge of being adults and all the stars seemed to be aligned, beckoning me to the open road once again. So after over a 30+ year break, I bought another scooter.

I researched for over 3 years and I settled on a Genuine Buddy 125. *swoons* Yea, that’s mine!

(Thank you Caitlin from Capital City Scooters for the awesome new ride)

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My hope is to share with anyone reading is bits of discoveries and ah-ha’s that I have uncovered through a lot of research and trails & errors.

I  would like to post a Scooter Girl 411 on Mondays but the frequency is still to be determined – why? Because it’s riding season silly! SO please subscribe to get auto updates.

Until next time – zoom zoom 🛵 👧🏻

 

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Healthy Byte: Body Size Perception

Originally Posted HERE

Full Research Article HERE

A new study from Macquarie University has found that people’s perception of their own and other people’s body weight can change in as little as two minutes.

“After two minutes of being exposed to images of thinner versions of themselves or others, we saw that the neural mechanisms controlling participants’ perceptions actually adapted to see thin images as normal,” lead author Associate Professor Kevin Brooks explained.

“Original sized body images now looked fatter to them.”

The opposite was also true: exposure to fatter body types made participants see original body sizes as skinny.

The researchers also found that while there were different brain mechanisms controlling a person’s perception of their own  and the body size of other people, the two mechanisms can also affect each other.

“This means that being exposed to images of skinny people doesn’t just make you feel bad about your own body size, which has been known for a while, it actually affects the perceptual mechanisms in your brain and makes you think you are bigger or smaller than you really are,” said Dr Ian Stephen, another author of the study.

“Duration and frequency of exposure definitely play a role, but the fact that the brain adapts after such a short exposure time suggests we are incredibly susceptible to being manipulated by images of different sized bodies.”

The researchers say that the results add another piece of the puzzle to our current understanding of  involving body image disturbance, such as anorexia nervosa and muscle dysmorphia, and could potentially be used in the development of treatments for such conditions.

“There is only one way for information to be received by our brains: through the perceptual and neural mechanisms fed by our senses. By unpacking the details of the  involved in body size perception we are hoping to discover more about how the brain deals with this information as a whole, so that we can understand how conditions involving  image disturbance arise,” Associate Professor Brooks concluded.

HEALTHY BYTE: Eat Instinctively

 NOTE: I am sorting through a year’s worth of links that I thought would be interesting reads for Healthy Byte. Although some of this information maybe old, there’s still tremendous value in the content. So I am meticulously picking & choosing articles that provides the most timeless information. Enjoy!

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Originally Posted HERE 

By: Jan Bowen

It’s not exactly a secret that there’s more to being happy with your body weight than eating a specific number of calories. Food is intricately connected to our emotions and to our sense of identity.

Our meals should nourish not only our physical body, but also sustain us emotionally and spiritually, helping us live the fullest life possible. Sounds straightforward, doesn’t it? Sure. But by the time we’ve reached our early teens, we’ve often forgotten how to determine what real hunger is.

In fact, most of us, fortunate enough to never experience true physical hunger, have only experienced emotional hunger.

We’ve complicated our food, turning it into a source of conflict rather than contentment, or even — joy.

There IS a way to get back to enjoying meals as an easy, guilt-free experience again. To do so, you must ‘trust your gut’ by eating instinctively (not impulsively). This is the secret to never worrying about your weight again.

Your gut already has all the answers you need. In fact, scientists tell us there is a secondary brain in our belly, containing over one hundred million neurons of intelligence! So use that gut wisdom to help you eat well! Those gut hunches you experience aren’t just your imagination. They’re literally your body’s attempt to advise you. So, listen to it!

1. Pay attention to how you feel about food.

Focus first on ways you’re emotional eating. Diet books often focus on this as the key to permanent weight loss, and it’s definitely a large percentage of the equation. Burying our feelings via overeating or eating unhealthy foods only adds pounds and guilt.

Trusting your gut at this level means paying attention to what you’re feeling in the momentbefore you reach for the food you want to overeat. If you pause and listen, your stomach will tell you what you’re feeling.

If hearing that wisdom feels too difficult — your emotions (and all of that ice cream you spoon down) are drowning out your gut talk. Try this: After you eat something you regret, consider what you ate. Doreen Virtue, in her book Constant Craving:  What Your Food Cravings Mean and How to Overcome Them tells us that often, the type of food we eat is a clue to the emotions we’re trying to stuff.

Sometimes ice cream helps us self-medicate feelings of depression. Crunchy, salty chips tend to soothe us when we’re feeling anxious and stressed. And that slice of pie might be a substitute for the bit of encouragement you really wanted.

Notice the feelings you felt when you craved a specific food, the correlation might surprise you. Until you address the underlying issue that’s bothering you, the unhealthy eating habit won’t stop.

2. Ask yourself if you’re really hungry for something else.

If you’re handling your emotions in a healthy way and your appetite still isn’t satisfied, figure out what you’re really hungry for in life that goes beyond emotions. In what areas of your life do you lack fulfillment? Sometimes, overeating is connected to an urge to fill a void of happiness or deep-seated purpose.

Your enteric nervous system clues you in to your emotions, which is possibly why it is often considered the home seat of wisdom. You “know it at a gut level” if you pay attention. Once you identify what’s missing, don’t try to fill that emptiness with food. It won’t work.

You’ll never find peace until you forgo emotional eating and start living the life you’re meant to live.

3. Let your intuition guide what you eat.

Your body has infinite intelligence. In fact, there is individual knowledge contained within each cell of your body. It will tell you what it needs — if you listen to it. When you explore intuitive eating, your body will tell you when it’s hungry and when it’s full. Your gut will tell you what type of food your body requires and how much it needs to adequately feel nourished.

Pay attention to your body’s requests as you decide which of the many food choices are best for you. We are each biochemically unique, with distinctly individual needs. Allow your highly-tuned body-mind unit to tell you when it needs re-calibration. If you start craving nutritious foods, it’s a signal from your body that it needs the specific nutrients from that food.

 Craving beets? Maybe your blood pressure needs normalizing, or your liver needs extra support. Eggplant sounds irresistible? Maybe your brain power needs a few extra antioxidants.

Does the idea of trusting your gut to tell you what to eat sound crazy? It’s not. Try eating instinctively for six months to a year and you’ll notice your body — and health — responding in the most positive way.

Eating instinctively is an approach to food, not a diet.

When you tune into what your body is saying and give it what it needs, you will never worry about your weight again.

Much Needed R&R

It had always been a personal life goal to earn a masters degree. As an immigrant who came to the United States knowing only two English sentences, I take particular pride in my accomplishments. I was the first in my family to earn a bachelors and now a masters.

The online masters in Creative Writing was both satisfying and frustrating. In particular, the capstone curriculum seemed to have been polluted with busy work and/or repetitive fruitless exercises which, at times, greatly hindered the reaching of the mandatory 50,000 words goal.

After what seemed like an unusually long two and a half years, I celebrated my achievement with splurging on the framing of my diploma and not writing anything for the next five months.

I had completely burnt out.

I didn’t even turn on my computer except to play an occasional Bejeweled.

It has only been within the last six weeks or so that I didn’t mind sitting down at my keyboard and type. The state of my blog can attest that I had to vacate any and all exercises which remotely resembled homework.

So hello there & welcome to my blog!

Please take a look around & rummage about.