Why Wearing High Heels is Bad for You and Why I Do it Anyway

wearing high heels is bad for you Kristi Joy WilkinsWearing high heels is bad for you. You probably already knew that. But did you know that even your favorite athletic shoes likely have a small heel? Any bit of positive heel can alter your alignment, and your gait.

A positive heel shifts your weight onto the front of your foot (which is not designed to bear all of your weight), and holds your foot rigid in plantar flexion. Your whole body then has to compensate for the forward shift to keep you upright. The constant plantar flexion semi-permanently shortens your achilles and calf muscles.

Many shoes, most especially high fashion sexy heels, have a narrow toe box that is smooshing your poor toes together. This, combined with the heel, and rigid sole, totally changes your gait, causing you to smash into the ground with way more force than you would use if you were barefoot. Can we say, “Ouch!” all the way from the feet up to the neck?!

Your body adapts to the positions you put it in on a regular basis, and the movements you do habitually. Maintain the positions long enough, and do the same movements often enough, and your body WILL adapt with shortened, atrophied muscles, bones pulled out of correct alignment, and PAIN. This happens with prolonged and frequent chair sitting, as well as prolonged and frequent heel wearing (again I’m including shoes with any sort of heel).

I am a big fan of going barefoot. Check this out for the benefits of going barefoot.

But here’s my confession: I LOVE HIGH HEELS. Yep, this barefoot girl loves killer heels, and especially high heeled boots.

So, if wearing high heels is so bad for you, and going barefoot has so many great benefits, why do I still wear high heels?

I really only wear heels for nights out, photo shoots, and in the bedroom (fancy, fun, and fucking). It makes me feel fabulous and sexy. What can I say? I love dressing up. I feel free and like a Bad-ass, Rock Star.

If I could wager a guess, wearing high heels probably makes you feel the same way. 

Also I feel free when I take off my heels, and realize why I don’t wear high heels every day! I can also see what happens to my feet after only wearing heels for a few minutes or hours. The small toe boxes squish my toes together and the heel puts tons of pressure on my metatarsals.

So, here’s what I do to minimize the damage that comes from wearing high heels (and what you can do too).

  • Aim to go barefoot as much as possible, or in minimal shoes if you must wear shoes. Barefoot as much as possible, means 80-90% of the time.
  • Spend lots of time correcting your feet and your alignment with the exercises in the video.
  • Spend extra time doing your foot exercises after a session of heel wearing.

Fancy Feet Exercises

Take a good look at your feet with your socks off.  Are your toes smooshed together? Is the joint of your big toe sticking out to the side (bunion)?  Is the side of your foot on the ground (flat feet)? Are your toes curling or crooked?

Take a good look at your feet, ankles, and knees in a mirror.  Are they all stacked exactly on top of each other? Are your feet pointing straight ahead? Not kinda straight ahead, but STRAIGHT ahead?  And once you’ve got that, where are your knees? Now that your feet are straight ahead, are your knees rotated inward? Rotate them outward, but KEEP YOUR FEET POINTING STRAIGHT AHEAD. 

Next, get your weight off the front of your feet. Back your ass up! You may feel like you’re going to fall backwards and that’s okay! You should not look like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. All joints should be directly stacked on top of each other.

Holding hands with your feet which is exactly what it sounds like, this will help get your toes un-smooshed.

Spreading the toes apart– lift them up and put them down one by one. Pinky toe to big toe is usually easiest, then challenge yourself by going from big toe to pinky toe. Even if you can’t get it at first, just trying will give you benefits.

Rolling on the ball. You can start with a tennis ball and graduate to a firmer ball, like a lacrosse or golf ball. Simply roll it around under your foot paying attention to the sore spots and working them out.

Calf stretch (not in the video, but VERY important). If your calves are very tight, start with a rolled towel, then you can progress to a firmer and higher surface like a yoga block. Keeping all the alignment points from above in play, place the front of your foot on the towel and gradually bring the non-stretching leg from behind to be even with the stretching leg. Don’t let the hips move forward, or the feet turn out.

You can wear heels without these steps, but you do so at your own risk. Now you know the risks of wearing high heels, and have read about the benefits of going barefoot, you can make an informed decision about your footwear.

It’s like eating dessert. Eat some cake some of the time, but not ALL the cake, ALL the time!

And if your feet, ankles, knees, hips, or any other body part is already compromised and/or in pain–please do NOT compound the problem by wearing heels (that includes your quarter inch athletic shoes).

When deciding whether to wear heels, or more foot-friendly choices ask yourself:

Can my body bounce back easily?

Would it be more loving to myself to be wearing flats or going barefoot?

Breakin’ it Down

1. Be barefoot or in minimal footwear 80-90% of the time.

2. Do your foot exercises consistently.

3. Pay special attention to your feet after wearing “bad” shoes.

4. Be confident and Kick-Ass whatever you’re wearing. Whether  you’re wearing stilettos or naked feet–

Rock It Like You Mean It!

Kristi Joy Wilkins

 

 

 

Exercise and Depression: What to do when you Just. Can’t. Move.

Exercise helps alleviate depression. We know this. In so many ways exercise changes your brain and body. Exercise lifts depression. You know movement is good for you. If you want to see how movement has changed my life see Lifting Weights Saved my Life. exercise and depression Kristi Joy Wilkins

What do you do when you can’t move? Or when you can’t move in the way you want to move?

I’m hiding out in the bathroom writing this (cause this is “me-time”). This was supposed to be a Make-A-Goofy-Sassy-Informative-How To-Exercise-Video-For-You Day.

Know what?

I just couldn’t tolerate trying to be Goofy, Sassy, Informative, and How To-ish in front of a camera today.

(Read: couldn’t get my shit together)

So, what do you do when you feel like crawling under the covers and telling everyone to fuck off??

You know you need to move. But maybe you can’t get to the gym, don’t have the equipment you need, or you’ve hurt your back, or your knee, or some other body part, or for whatever reason you can’t do training as usual.

Or maybe you just can’t stand the thought of doing ONE MORE HARD THING BECAUSE EVERYTHING IN MY LIFE IS SO FUCKING HARD RIGHT NOW!!

I get it.

It totally get it.

So remember this–

All of life is movement.

Movement is life.

Breathing. is. movement.

Neurons firing is movement.

Changing positions is movement.

Focusing on alignment is movement.

So breathe. Air in. Air out. Belly out. Belly in.

Tell your negative thoughts to talk a long walk off a short pier.

Sit on the floor instead of in a chair.

Walk around your house. Maybe around the block.

Pop a squat when you get down to pick up all those gross crumbs off the floor.

Lie on the floor with a blanket over your head instead of on your bed.

Not big change,no. But movement nonetheless. Changing the load on your bones, muscles, cells, and neurons–nonetheless.

“Start where you are.

Use what you have.

Do what you can.”

Arthur Ashe

and never ever ever give up

Big love to you!

Kristi Joy

Forget Willpower–It’s About Desire

It’s 6:30 a.m. 

J-man says: “Willpower.”

Me: “What about willpower?” (thinking ‘damn straight I’ve got some willpower to get up this early to write!’)

J-man: “Write about willpower.”

Pause.

Me: ” I don’t believe in willpower. It’s about desire. You gotta desire something.”

You only get so much willpower. It ain’t a never ending well that you can draw on. Willpower gets used up on not screaming at your kids (or not screaming so much). Willpower gets used up on getting up early when you’re tired, so you can get that project done. Willpower gets used on saying “no” to the cookies. Willpower gets used on making yourself lace up the running shoes when you hate running. Willpower gets used on going to that job that you hate day after day.

You only get so much willpower. When it’s gone, it’s gone.

Changing your life. Doing something so huge and scary you don’t know how you’re gonna pull it off. Being magnificent. Living life as a Ten. Daring to live as the Badass Beauty you are, even though yo momma, yo papa, and everyone significant in your life told you to shush it up, hide your light under a bushel. Going for something because you know it’s right for you, even though it’s so counter-culture you have no examples to follow, and people will think you’re bat shit crazy. Those things don’t come from willpower. They can’t. They come from DESIRE.

Burning, gotta have it, gotta change it, can’t-stand-the-way-it-is, walk-over-hot-coals-and- broken-glass-to-get-it DESIRE.

DESIRE.

Desire will get you up at 5 a.m. day after day. 

Desire will keep you training and lifting hard when you want to give up.

willpower and desire Kristi Joy Wilkins

Desire makes you say, “Shut the fuck up!” to the negative mind chatter.

Desire will open your heart again and again and again after you’ve been hurt.

Desire will cause you to try again and again and again when you fail.

Desire will keep you from listening to anyone who tells you that you can’t do it.

Desire  will keep you from eating all the cookies. 

Desire will drive you to find ways to make your Lover(s) sing, and your Babies have everything they need. 

Desire will cause you to show up as All That You Are in your full radiance–unashamed.

DESIRE. When not getting it is not an option.

DESIRE.

You got it?

If you’ve got desire–to feel strong, confident, and sensual in your skin–but you don’t know where to start, what to do, or how to do it–I’ve got a plan for you.

 

Kick Ass Transformational Programs are Open!

I’ve finally made the leap.

I’ve been slowly transitioning my business over the last four years from both massage therapy and personal training to movement-only training. I’m finally making the leap to focus on premium transformational programs.

I am so excited to be able to help women in a bigger way, to help them make complete lifestyle changes!

My Kick-Ass transformational programs are open for you!

Does this sound like you?

You know you’re magnificent, awesome, and bad-ass but
you’re tired of not feeling and looking strong, confident, and sexy.

With all the fitness and diet hype out there, you don’t know where to start.  Or maybe you’ve started too many times to count, and nothing seems to work.

You need a step-by-step plan, and someone to guide you from that tired, lost-your-mojo, negative place–

to strong and sexy, vibrantly healthy, and kick-ass!

I can help you do just that with my Beautiful Strength programs!

Be Strong, Be Beautiful (6 month program) is for you, if you’re starting from scratch and need a complete transformation with strength training, nutrition, and guidance in shifting your limiting mindsets. Tell me more!

Be a Divine Badass (3 month program) is for you, if you’re already active, but not getting the results you want. You need a customized strength training plan and nutrition plan to get results. Tell me more!

Aligned and Awesome (1 month program) is for you if you need to learn how to develop functional strength, achieve pain relief, and ease of movement. Tell me more!

I hope to see YOU in the studio soon, Beautiful!

In Beauty and Strength,

Kristi Joy

 

Thoughts on Hustling, Biting off More than you can Chew, and Celebrating the Baby Steps

I’m interrupting hustling my new programs, to make some comments on the process.

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What new programs??
So glad you asked!

Programs to transform your physique, your health, and your attitude to Kick-ass!

Aligned and Awesome. Be a Divine Badass. Be Strong, Be Beautiful.
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Wow. Wowie. Wow. Wow. Did I bite off more than I could chew or what?

Yes. Yes I did. And I’m doing it.

The problem is not in the over reaching. The problem is that I am blinded to how far I’ve come.

What about you? Do you have trouble acknowledging what you’ve accomplished?
Maybe it’s time to stop, take a break (say what?), and celebrate what’s working in your life. Celebrate how far you’ve come. Applaud yourself for the hard lessons you’ve learned, for what you can do now that you couldn’t do five years, three years, or even one year ago.

Are you lifting more–even a little bit more? Celebrate it! Have you lost 5 lbs–instead of the 10 or 20 (or more) that you wanted to lose? Celebrate it! Are you more patient, more loving–even a little bit? Celebrate it! Have you taken even a few steps toward your dreams and desires? Celebrate it!

Here’s a post that I made on a personal blog over a year and a half ago regarding celebrating the baby steps. Maybe it will resonate with you.

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The Work of Your Hands
Posted on July 17, 2013

Kristi Joy Wilkins mulberry face

mulberry face

I want you to stop beating yourself up. I don’t mean giving up, or saying, ” Well I should just be happy with the way things are.” I mean taking those baby steps toward your dreams, following your heart, and then patting yourself on the back for the courage it took to take those steps!

Look at the work of your hands. Go ahead–look at your hands–what have they done? Today? Every day? Over the years? What have you accomplished? Are you enriching people’s lives? (If you’re not, then find out What You Want To Be Doing on this planet and Who You Want To Be and start doing it!) But if you are taking the baby steps, then allow yourself to celebrate, breathe it in, own it, feel joyful about it.

The Work Of My Hands:

My growing garden. My two beautiful children. My bald-ass chickens. Nasturtiums and lavender blooming. 195lbs deadlifted. Kitchen cleaned. Laundry going. Blog post written. Helping people re-learn how to move well and get strong. Helping people feel better with massage. Working day-by-day on my relationships with my daughter, my son, my husband, myself.

Kristi Joy Wilkins chubby naked baby

Who can resist a chubby baby?

This is the work of my hands. I am accomplishing and moving toward my goals. I am making the world a better place.
My normal mode of thinking is to see only how far I have to go and how far I fall short of Who I Want To Be.
Yes, the world is Going to Hell in a Handbasket, and yep, you can ALWAYS do more. But have you taken the step? Have you moved forward? Have you done what you know to be right?
Don’t stop making progress on the path, but

Take a look at the work of your hands– and be proud.

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And the most recent work of my hands: programs to transform your physique, your health, and your attitude–to Kick-ass!

Got a serious desire to feel and be strong, confident, and sexy in your skin and empowered in your life–but you don’t know where to start?

I’ve got a plan for you!

You provide the why–I’ll show you the what and the how with strength training, simple nutrition, and helping you bring your magnificence out.